Hello, hello, hello! After a few days of travel, the holidays and some technical difficulties, the Mile High Five returns with a Monday top ten. Still no snow at 8,800 feet, but watching the NFL would leave you to believe that it is snowing everywhere else around the country. Fear not, all you amateur hydrologists, we really don’t need the moisture as the mountains continue to get pounded, leaving the state’s snow pack well above the needed level. Let’s get it on!
10. One thing that has become abundantly clear over the past week is that the Denver Nuggets direly need Carmelo Anthony not only on their roster, but in the line-up on a nightly basis. Last night’s defeat to an inferior
76er team was the team’s 3rd in a row with Melo out to deal with the loss of his sister. Life A.M. (After Melo) might not be all that rosy as the depleted team struggles to find consistent scoring, especially in crunch time, when Carmelo truly shines. Last night’s six-point loss was another in a long line of late game (un)heroics. A Philadelphia 4th quarter 12-point lead evaporated and those in attendance were left with nothing but coal in their stockings. While the team is getting improved play from the likes of JR Smith and the blossoming Ty Lawson, they have relied too heavily on veteran Chauncey Billups to get points. This is surely not a recipe for long-term success and with Al Harrington also dinged up, the need for Melo back in the powder blue and gold is even more essential. Denver
9. Things continue to progress for our favorite basketball player outside of the 303 as Los Angeles Clipper, Blake Griffin continues to put up big numbers and even bigger highlights. Not much positive can usually be gleaned from a nine-win team, but Griffin (and his sidekick, Eric Gordon) has helped the historically inept franchise get their 4th win out of their last 5 games with a victory over Phoenix. Blake’s 28 and 12 helped him extend his double-double streak to 18 straight, while this little gem below was his league-leading 71st dunk (but ONLY of the night?) of the year.
8. Another Pepsi Center resident is also experiencing some problems, as the Avalanche come into tonight’s game with
on the heels of a two-game losing streak. The highest scoring team in the NHL is suddenly having trouble lighting the lamp, getting just one measly goal during the recent two-game skid. I will see several of you later for tonight’s game and tomorrow’s High Five is sure to be packed with stories of the big group’s night out! Go Avs! RED WINGS SU……. Oh wait……I’ll have to save those for tonight. Detroit
7. NCAA hoops were my focus last week out in
Saint Louis, attending Mizzou’s big win in the Braggin’ Rights game over Illinois. An amazing back-and-forth game got muddled by some late game technical foul calls, but nonetheless this was more than just any regular season December game. The Tigers’ post-game celebration in front of the wild 22,000-plus fans (that were split color-wise right down the arena’s core) was much like one normally saved for March. Things didn’t slow down a few minutes later, as the players were still “hootin’ and hollerin’” in the locker room; savoring their second-straight win in the series after nine straight losses.
Locally, the 8-4 Colorado Buffaloes backed up a lackluster opening game in
Las Vegas (losing to a rebuilding New Mexico team) with a strong full-team effort in a consolation game win over . The win was even more impressive, as the Buffs did not need to rely on sophomore stud, Alec Burks, who had his lowest scoring output of the year. Indiana
National conference play gets started tonight as UConn faces Pitt in a match-up of two of the east’s best teams. The Big East battle tips off at 6:30 (MST) on ESPN2.
6. If you have a little time this afternoon (1 PM MST), there is an awesome English Premier League game on ESPN2 with league heavyweights Chelsea and Arsenal meeting.
5. I have been recently been reading Bill Simmons’ (The Sports Guy) Book of Basketball (which is awesome, of course) and it had me thinking about some of the NBA’s great former players. Then the gang at SLAM posted this old gem of a story. Bernard King was dope.
2. In yesterday’s 24-23 Bronco victory over
, the defense appeared to be up to their old tricks, allowing the Texans to race out to a 17-0 halftime lead. Big plays were again, an issue, as Arien Foster had plenty of room to run. In the second-half, the unit was still giving up yards, but they remained stout enough to force just two 50-yard-plus field goals by Neil Rackers. In addition, this group that has struggled all year long to make plays came up with a big one to put the game on ice. If a Syd’Quan Thompson interception wasn’t good enough, it was the product of a tipped-pass on the line by Justin Bannon, something we’ve seen very little of all year. Houston