Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Wednesday in Colorado

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 Utah 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.
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 Los Angeles 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 Pepsi Center a week from tomorrow!

4. This past weekend, the Mrs. and I watched the final installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy and I found myself talking more about a certain Avalanche power forward than the movie’s star-studded cast.  Needless to say, “The Locker” was open and ready last night, as the Avalanche got a 4-3 OT victory over Buffalo on a Davy Jones goal in the extra time.  The Avs kept the mighty Alexander Mogilny, Pat LaFontaine and Dale Hawerchuk in check for the entire night….OOPS!  Sorry, those blue/gold Sabes sweaters were giving me NHL ’94 flashbacks.  (Side note-I played A LOT of this game during my college days; playing/dominating exclusively with Teemu and Winnipeg Jets and several of my “usual” opponents/buddies rocked Buffalo as their team.  I don’t like ‘em.) 

Oddly enough, this game should have ended in regulation as a loss for the home team, as a late Buffalo goal was disallowed when a fellow Sabe pulled the goal-to-be puck back over the line.  One of the weirdest things I have ever seen and as I was pontificating the bizarre nature of the occurrence to the Mrs., Altitude’s Peter McNab immediately chimed in with a “I don’t think I have ever seen that before in my life,” line.  Well, if you haven’t Mr. McNab, I know that I never have either.  (Please, click on McNab's link; so fresh.)

Much like their Pepsi Center roommates, the Avalanche currently sit in the middle of the playoff pack in the Western Conference after getting their 6th win when trailing in the 3rd period.

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 St. John’s) but their experienced line-up has proven to be the difference.  With some quality wins over the likes of Georgetown, Gonzaga, Georgia, Wisconsin and California, their two losses (Kentucky and Syracuse) aren’t near as detrimental.  Keep this team in mind as we get closer to March.

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 Oklahoma is still seeing this kid in their sleep.)

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! 



  1. Last night's Avs game was a bit of payback for the last couple weeks where it seems like we deserved a better fate, but a bad bounce, call, or hot goal tender prevented the two points. We got thoroughly outplayed in the 3rd, but thanks to another clutch 3rd period Dutchy goal, an enourous break on the Tyler Ennis "save," some solid play by Boods, and then a bang-bang scoring play by Flash and the Locker, the Avs collect the two points. We'll take 'em.

    Hasn't Elway shaken that first overall pick away from the Panters yet? I mean, c'mon, it's the Panthers, and he's Elway?!?!

  2. It's no surprise, but after a large enough body of evidence, I've come to the conlcusion that people who put together bootleg 1st NFL round prospect highlights have apalling taste in music. That said, I do love the highlights here and glad to see my main man Von is on the MHV player watch list. I could get on board with this guy in an orange uni pretty quick - although smaller, he seems to be quicker / stronger than most hybrid type guys. This guy pretty much single handedly ruined Nebraska's season and Taylor Swift...err, Martinez for good this year. Speaking of, I've serendipidously picked out the soundtrack for Taylor when he decides to enter the draft as another Nebraska QB turned backup safety.

    On another note, love Elway involved as a sales guy and the face of the Bcos - especially for free agency and coach "recruiting", but can we hire a GM already and stop interviewing coaches before we do this.

    Another interesting draft strategy, outside somehow getting Luck, is trying to accumulate 8-9 picks instead of the 6 we have, draft a lot of D, and play the odds. YB may have mentioned this previously as I vaguely recall, but not opposed if we're not in love enough to pay these guys the loot which would cramp our style in the FA market.

  3. I heard some national radio guy say it would not surprise him at all to see the Broncos get Harbaugh and then have Luck tell the Panthers not too draft him because he is going to be a Bronco. I believe a former QB/VP of football ops used that to his advantage a few years back as well. Suppla!
    Being down here in the swamp of H-town, although 75 isn't bad today, I have seen and heard a lot about Von Miller. He is all over the field. Reminds me of Nguen(?) who also played at A&M.
    I was admiring the old school Sabre uni's on the NHL Network last night. Glad to see the Avs got a much needed 2 points.
    When do pitcher's and catcher's report?

  4. Haven't really heard the Harbaugh to leverage Luck deal being discussed, but it seems plausible and I love it! If we're making a run for top jersey sales two years in a row, that would get it done! Tell me everyone in Denver wouldn't be thinking Elway to get me a Luck shirt. Stepping away from complete logic and going pure fan, I seriously LOVE this. Elway back in the Bcos org brings the hottest college coach and best QB from his alma mater to town. Makes a fan feel like the Broncos are still an elite team in this league even with a 4-12 record and on there way back quickly. Then do nothing else but focus on D!

  5. Elway will have his way with the soulless Panthers....I still remember Harbaugh as that somewhat inept, yet sometimes good Bears quarterback, so I cannot get all gaga over him. Plus, he's a college coach....Not that I'd be bummed about hiring him, just not sure I'd be dancing in the streets either, unless he was able to do that Luck leverage magic.

    Let it be decreed: McNabb is king of geeks....The next band I play in is going to be called The Fossil Line.