Before we get into the litany of things that “went wrong” last night, let’s look at some of the more successful franchises around the city of Denver. I’d like to be happy and positive this morning, but this is definitely just….
5. Despite a fifth sub-par shooting performance (<50%) from Carmelo Anthony, the Nuggets actually played a strong 4th quarter (which featured a 20-5 run) en route to a 106-89 win at Golden State. Fortunately for Melo, when he wasn’t clanging shots off the iron, he was driving to the hole and getting fouled. 17-17 from the line helped push the 8th-year forward to a season-high 39 points to go along with 9 rebounds (he’s creeping close to 10per) and 5 assists. Birdman Anderson returned (and purported himself pretty well) on the same night that Chauncey Billups was sidelined with a broken nose/bum wrist that was suffered on Saturday night. The 8-6 Nuggets are off until Friday when they host the Chicago Bulls.
4. It was a quiet but busy night in the NHL. Busy in that there were 8 games played (Calgary lost) but quiet in that no game featured more than five goals scored. Tonight is another night off for the Avs tonight as they prepare for their big Wednesday night game in Vancouver.
3. In between the San Diego bloodbath (a city which is now the HiFive’s least favorite), I put myself through one of another sort, by watching my Zags get pasted in Kansas City by Kansas State. Elias Harris has been hobbled early this year and is not the same player. Without his consistent scoring punch, the Zags seem to struggle a bit. They have size and some experience, but seem to lack the leadership/scoring punch that was a given over the last few years with the backcourt tandem of Matt Bouldin (holla ThunderRidge HS!) and Jeremy Pargo.
There are some really good NCAA games tonight as Duke plays K State, Kentucky faces Washington and Alcorn State travels to Boulder to play the Buffs. Well, maybe not that last one……But at least I can watch it on TV (7 PM MST on FSNRM)
TIME TO BREAKDOWN THE MONDAY NIGHT GAME
2. Slow starts have doomed the Broncos this season, so I thought (and texted several of you about this pregame) a strong start would lead to good things. 3 minutes into the game, I was obviously feeling pretty good (and more texting) as the offense put together one of the most impressive drives, mixing up the run/pass to perfection. But, how quickly things changed as the unit looked out-worked and out-schemed for the rest of the night. The Chargers were far more aggressive and that caused the Broncos to look similar to the one that struggled against Baltimore and Oakland. Not a great night of play calling for Josh Mc, either. For the most part, I am happy with this side of the ball (now and into the future).
1. Then, there’s the defense, which like the offense started strong, looked aggressive and forced some early punts. But then, they proceeded to give up big play after big play. Brian Dawkins, a Hall-of-Famer no doubt, was a liability and his play seemed to exemplify the night for this side of the ball. Where was the gang-tackling of a week ago? This side of the ball needs to get younger and faster and better at tackling.
This poor performance, however, was no bad on Champ. He balled, as usual.
PS-I can’t believe it has been two weeks and I haven’t emitted an ounce of hate towards the HiFive’s old nemesis in Felipe Rios. Even last night couldn’t do it. Yea, he bugs and is a cocky, Alabama meathead, but without this guy around (who I dislike even more now) the hatred just doesn’t seem to be present.
PSS-Lost in all of Monico’s UCSB soccer prodding was my egregious omission of the side that was waiting on the winner of that UCSB/CAL game, my Brown Bears. In college, the Brown soccer team was like my football team, as we got hyped and partied pretty hard for the nationally ranked team. A thousand apologies to the person that “wised me up” to my ignorance: HiFive participant and former Brown midfielder, Dr. Josh Parker.
ONE LOVE (don’t worry, all you DWTS fans, finale review will come along later in the week!)