Denver Nuggets wagering chance...
The Denver Nuggets winning its...
Denver Nuggets used to be extr...
Denver Nuggets ought to dump W...
Nuggets 123, Warriors 118, OT...
Clippers 104, Bulls 97...
Nuggets-Warriors, Box...
Presented By: 2010-01-21...
Clippers-Nuggets Preview 2010-...
ROSTER REPORT 2010-01-20...
Taurean Green to sign in Spain...
Nuggets re-sign J.R. Smith...
Web viewing of NBA games may s...
Melo not happy Nuggets gave Ca...
Heat sign Yakhouba Diawara...
September 2017
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
 
 
Add to Google
Add to My Yahoo!
Subscribe in NewsGator Online
Add to Windows Live
News » Last shot fails to fall Road loss to Detroit points to the difference between Western Conference powers. PISTONS 101, NUGGETS 99


Last shot fails to fall Road loss to Detroit points to the difference between Western Conference powers. PISTONS 101, NUGGETS 99


Last shot fails to fall Road loss to Detroit points to the difference between Western Conference powers. PISTONS 101, NUGGETS 99AUBURN HILLS, MICH. - The Los Angeles Lakers are a great team.

They're 17-3 (goodness!) and 9-0 since all-star Pau Gasol returned from injury (gracious!).

At times, the Nuggets are a great team too. Remember when Denver beat the Lakers at the Pepsi Center? Or even last Saturday, when the Nuggets slapped the Spurs around in San Antonio?

But after Thursday night's 101-99 loss to the Detroit Pistons - an encore to another what-the-heck? loss - Chauncey Billups said with certainty: "We're not a great team. We're a good team, not a great team. We have an opportunity to get a lot better, our window is really big to get better, but we're not a great team. We should be winning games like this and the Charlotte game. If you're supposed to win, you got to win."

It's very early in this marathon of a season, and the Nuggets , on paper, indeed can battle L.A. in the Western Conference finals. But the Nuggets know that home-court advantage is paramount in the conference finals. And back-to-back losses to sub-.500 teams - road, home, whatever - are the ones you think about come Game 1 at the Staples Center.

"The (constant) in some of our losses has been that (against) a team that's young, struggling a little bit or don't have a great record, we give them hope and confidence by not really going after them early in the game," said Nuggets coach George Karl, whose team is 16-7 and split the four-game road trip.

On Thursday, Denver had a chance to make it a 3-1 trip. The final seconds seemed almost out of a script: Denver down two, final possession of regulation, ball in Billups' hands, on the court where Mr. Big Shot had hit so many. Billups drove but couldn't get the layup attempt to land.

Now, normally a loss to Detroit doesn't look that bad, because the Pistons have studs such as Richard Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince and Ben Gordon. But all three didn't play because of injury, so guys such as Jonas Jerebko, Austin Daye and even former Nugget Chucky Atkins played big minutes in the Pistons' win, Detroit's second in two nights.

"How much courage did they have today?" Pistons coach John Kuester asked about his team. "They were phenomenal."

The Nuggets tallied only 14 assists - three more than against Charlotte - and Billups said Denver must "be more focused. The same thing I always say. Be more focused on detail."

The point guard himself had just two assists, but he scored 21 points, including 15 in the second half.

Carmelo Anthony was holy-moly good. Denver's small forward scored 40 points and did so on 16-for-28 shooting, but after the game said: "It's almost like it was useless, to be honest with you. I don't think anybody wants to go out there, score 40 and lose."

Detroit countered with Charlie Villanueva, who averages 15 points per game, but scored 27 on Thursday, playing in a 48-minute zone.

The Nuggets have now lost seven straight games to Detroit, Denver's longest current losing streak against one team. And Denver hasn't won a game in Detroit since 1995, when Anthony was scoring 40 points on Baltimore playgrounds after middle school.

Benjamin Hochman: 303-954-1294 or bhochman@denverpost.com


Play Basketball Hot Streak and win prizes!

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: December 12, 2009

 

 
Copyright © Nuggetsclub.com, Inc. All rights reserved 2018.