Tuesday, January 4, 2011

All Denver Teams Worth Discussing

Dental pain again forced me away from posting another Monday Marathon Mile High Five.  I was in the chair early and got some relief for some nagging issues from old metal fillings from the 80’s that fell out.  Ugh.  But, either way…..

5. After 3 straight wins by more than 15 points the Denver Nuggets hosted the Houston Rockets and had to settle for just a 113-106 win.  Carmelo Anthony wasn’t super accurate from the floor, but was aggressive enough to get hoops and trips to the charity stripe on his way to a 33/11/5 night.  It wasn’t just a one-man show; however, as the now 20-13 Nugs got contributions from several players (all starters in double-figures), predominately Nene.  The Brazilian has had a career of inconsistent play (one night beastin’; the next basically missing) but last night was one of the former, getting 16 points and 11 rebounds.  On a team with backcourt and small forward scoring and leadership, a consistent big man could make the difference.  Remember, that just two years ago, this team was one of West’s best and was a couple plays away from a trip to the Finals.  If only Nene was a consistent 20-10 guy, the Nuggets would be a top-3 lock every year, which might be enough to keep a certain player from wanting to go ply his trade elsewhere, like say, New York.  The four straight Denver victories have also been aided by the recent return of forward, Kenyon Martin.  An albatross of a contract signing some six years ago, Martin has evolved into the guts and soul of this team and his presence has been the key for any kind of defensive attitude. 

4. Unfortunately for the Colorado Avalanche, it has been more 1-goal losses lately.  This team full of fast-skating kids that are “easy-to-back” followed up a split trip to Alberta (win in Edmonton/loss in Calgary) with a hard-fought, exciting 2-1 defeat and the hands of the mighty Vancouver Canucks.  The Northwest Division lead has now swelled to double-digits for the boys from BC, but the Avs were more than game in the Sunday night defeat.  I attended last week’s game with Detroit and watched all of the third period the other night and those were two of the most exciting periods of hockey.  Each one involved a comeback goal by the Avs (this group is SUPER resilient) and forced a frantic last few seconds.  Oh, this just in:  Roberto Luongo is really good at goalie. 

** Our friend, Jay Vean has a new podcast up this week at http://www.avshockeypodcast.com/. Check it out!

3. The Colorado Rockies are again making off-season news and this one might be the biggest tidbit, yet!  It appears that the team is ready to put the finishing touches on solidifying their roster with the contract extension signing of Carlos Gonzalez.  A seven-year-80 million deal is all that it will take to ensure that our 3-4 hitters (best in game) are in the fold for at least the next seven years.  Has Scott Boras gone soft?  CarGo is a $150-million guy at the very least and before this; Boras has never let his “stars” avoid getting that free-agent money.  Throw in the fact that CarGo is the league’s only 7-tool player and won the batting title, while flirting with the Triple Crown and he has to be the most attractive player in the game, today.  Period.  Bravo, Monforts.  Bravo Don O’Dowd.  I guess that “when will these guys be on the Yankees/Red Sox?” fear can be put away.  At least until Ubaldo becomes a free agent in a few years.

2. While some of the nation’s top teams still “cupcake it up,” others are already knee-deep in their conference schedule.  My “unofficial” teams of Missouri and Illinois have had strong weeks, with the Fightin’ Illini starting off the Big Ten campaign with two strong wins (@ Iowa, home v. Wisconsin).  The #8-ranked Mizzou Tigers are yet to begin Big 12 play, but they get crackin’ this Saturday in Boulder when they face the Colorado Buffaloes.  There is a very good chance that the Mile High View will be in the hizzie.

Speaking of CU, let’s break down the Buffs’ 10-4 start, in relation to a similar record for another one of “my teams,” the 10-5 Gonzaga Bulldogs.  They are different teams that have very similar records, but have very different ways of coming about those records.  One is a front-court heavy team (Gonzaga) and the other (CU) is dependant on their experienced guard play.  Colorado’s record includes wins against Oregon State, Indiana and Colorado State and losses to Georgia, New Mexico and San Francisco.  Not that impressive.  The Zags, on the other hand, have defeats at the hands of Illinois, San Diego State, Notre Dame, Washington State and Kansas State, but also have nice wins over Wake Forest, Xavier, Marquette, and Oklahoma State (probably their best game of the season). 

Suffice to say, that these are two differently tested teams and with the inferior of the two playing in the far more competitive conference, these records will look nothing alike in a month or two.  Let’s just hope the Buffs can hold court at home this year and make a strong case for an at-large bid come March, because Alec Burks might not be in Boulder much longer.

1. The Daily Broncos’ Looksie has some thoughts on how this team should go forward.  A crappy season (worse in team history) that somehow has left a decent taste in our mouths is super rare.  Personally, I would leave the offense intact, give Tebow a chance, draft a quarterback in the 6th -7th round and spend the remaining draft picks on defensive tackles, linebackers and safeties.  Re-signing Champ Bailey would also allow for us to ignore that need in the draft.

PS-Any chance there will be some Nuggets’ fans at Staples Center tomorrow night?



  1. Nice post YB. Love the top to bottom coverage of the home teams. The Nuggets have had some nice win streaks this year that truly show their potential. No doubt on the Nene point, but it's hard to get on board with this squad as I'm not sure they are really all on the same page ever - if it's not Nene, it's KMart or Melo - especially Melo. In watching recent games, I'm starting to think we can win without Melo. Coming close to saying good riddance if he doesn't want to be here. Great scorer, but doesn't get calls and still only plays D and boards when he wants and not a true leader...thoughts? Despite some heartwrenching losses, the Avs are still exciting as hell to watch (love the fast young talent), but in desparate need of some Power Play killing! I'll be in da Can again for the Red Wings rematch on Monday - that game last week was awesome, but a tripping call on the goalie with less than two mins in OT!? C,mon! Maybe I'll listen to JV and see what he thinks about our ability or lack thereof to kill the PP. I'm in love with the Rockies offseason, so in love that I'm hoping the actual season is this good. The "deal" / no deal outlook on CarGo will be determined in the future, but you can't complain if you're a Rox fan right now. Monforts, welcome to the big time! Looking forward to joining TD and ST for some Rockies GNO action. War the best 3/4 in the MLB. Speaking of fun to watch, Burks and the Buffs are a nice surprise so far despite the strength of schedule. I've watched a handful of action and agree that Burks may be gone sooner than later although he prefers the circus shot which may keep him around a bit longer until he can learn to "square up" to the basket as they say. While I agree with you on the first 4 outlooks generally, I'm not sure that I can agree that I have a good taste in my mouth after this runaway train called the 2010 Denver Broncos that is finally coming to a halt. As posted on the KTH blog, I am on board with one offensive pick: Andrew Luck. Seems like it would be good if for no other selfish reason than I would immediately buy a Luck jersey and i know right now that I'll never own a Tebow one. Just instinct I guess. Otherwise, D reigns supreme in this draft (as we've been saying for a decade) - love Fairley and Bowers. Not sold on the CB Peterson from LSU at such a high pick, but haven't watched him enough to say. I also like Von Miller from A&M - that boy good. Although I won't be sad to see Knowshown and Tebow outta here as I think their trade stock is as high as it's ever going to be, I agree that we can't keep wasting our time / efforts on shuffling offensive players around due to subjective opinions as our needs are clearly on D (last again). One vote for Harbaugh to the Mile Hi. Unwar

  2. Unwar the delay on changing unis til 2012!

  3. Fear the GNO action. Tuesday nights a blast. Wednesday mornings not so much.