It is hump day around the Mile High City of Denver. I got tons to cover, so let’s not waste anymore time.
5. Despite my disdain for “if the season ended today” arguments, an off-night for the Nuggets had me thinking about where this team currently stands, what is directly in front of them and what the imminent future might hold for this team that holds the NBA’s third-longest playoff appearance streak (behind only San Antonio and Dallas). Kind of hard to believe, I know, considering it just seemed like yesterday when Skita, Bzdelik and the boys were winning 17 games.
For starters, this team is 20-13 and sits in 3rd place (behind
and OKC) in the ultra-competitive Northwest Division. It also places them in the 6th spot in the Western Conference with a potential first-round match-up with the Jazz. And the Nugs’ current winning percentage of 60% (11th best in the entire NBA) translates to 49-50 wins over the course of the 82-game schedule. Utah
That seems about right, eh? Are we surprised? The team has yet to play with their entire roster at any one point in the season and with the whole Carmelo Anthony situation STILL looming, roster consistency is not something that Head Coach George Karl has/can/will be able to rely upon. While there have been some games in there that the team gave away (PHILLY at home?) I feel that this group has done well for themselves, Melo or no Melo.
The next week starts tonight in
and involves two road games against inferior teams (LAC/SAC) followed by two home dates against quality opponents (NOLA/PHX). All four are not only winnable, but needed. That foursome of games is culminated by LeBron and the Heatles coming to Los Angeles a week from tomorrow! Pepsi Center
3. A college basketball team that has been getting a bit of “down low” attention in this space, as of late, is the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, who got an impressive conference victory last night over Connecticut. This team was not expected to be one of the conference’s top teams (much like
) but their experienced line-up has proven to be the difference. With some quality wins over the likes of St. John’s Georgetown, Gonzaga, Georgia, Wisconsin and California, their two losses ( Kentucky and ) aren’t near as detrimental. Keep this team in mind as we get closer to March. Syracuse
ALERT-**-Starting tomorrow, the NCAA Hoops section of this post will include a “Player to Watch” section where I break down the professional prospect for some of the nation’s top college players.
Locally, the basketball version of the “Border War” went down up in
Fort Collins with the home CSU Rams getting the 13-point win over Wyoming. The ‘Pokes got off to a fast start, holding down a 2-point halftime lead, but came out in the second half as cold as a Laramie night in January. The now 11-4 Rams were a “middle of the field” team in the competitive Mountain West Conference coming into the year and a convincing win in their conference opener (against a rival, no less) is the perfect way to start the new year. Things get considerably more challenging in a couple weeks, however, when the league’s heavies (SDSU, BYU, UNLV) start showing up on the schedule.
2. I haven’t watched much college football since the regular season ended, but I did hear more good things about Stanford’s Andrew Luck (who I’ve seen several times over the past two seasons). It appears, however, that he is now officially off the board, anyway.
1. The Daily Broncos’ Looksie would like to introduce you to Texas A&M’s Von Miller. Funny how he was on my “introduction” schedule already and that he was mentioned in Heavy Snack’s comment yesterday. By the way, I must concur with HS. This 6-3 240-pound sack machine is a beast and was largely unblockable. Which position he will play is still to be determined as he is not as large as some of the other DE/OLB hybrids on the board. I have seen a few of his games over the years and his presence on a football field is glaring. I like that characteristic in a defensive player. (The first minute or so of this video is team fluff, but after that it is pretty impressive. I think
is still seeing this kid in their sleep.) Oklahoma
PS-I heard that our good friend, Blake Griffin, will be participating in this season’s NBA Dunk Contest. Speaking of which, I’m hoping for some Nuggets’ love at Staples tonight!