Not sure if there is any fans of ‘House’ out there. But recently there was a episode of the show, in which a patient had a condition called a Mirror Syndrome, a syndrome in which he mirrored how the people around him acted. Of course that is a fictional show, but tonight I could have sworn the Denver Nuggets had a case of the Mirror Syndrome.
Barely 30 hours earlier, the Nuggets went into San Antonio and played like a composed and under control team that looked like a title contender, which was the M/O of Spurs over the years. However, Monday it was a completely different story as Denver struggled against a Sacramento Kings team that is sitting 10 games out of the playoffs, but somehow had swept the season series with the Nuggets going into the contest. And to the disgust of coach George Karl it looked like the Kings were going to keep the sweep going Monday.
“This team has given us two miserable nights and we came out like we were playing an exhibition game,” said Karl, who
benched Joey Graham after the first nine minutes due to his lack of ‘defensive intensity’.
And to make matters worst Chauncey Billups, aka Mr. Big Shot, struggled from the field. He hit 6-of-25 field goals but also finished the game with 23 points and nine assists. It was the Nuggets’ million dollar man Kenyon Martin, who continued his roll on offense. He followed up Sunday’s 27 point, 11 rebound effort with a 24 point and 12 rebound performance Monday. He also won a jump ball and tipped the ball over to Arron Afflalo, who hit the game-winning shot with 18 seconds left in the contest and give Denver (33-15) the 112-109 overtime victory.
While the victory kept the Nuggies solely in second place, there was no celebrating in the locker room after the game as Denver was facing a 14-point deficit in first half. The Kings used high pick and rolls and backdoor cuts to lose Denver’s defense and they did it without their star rookie Tyreke Evans, who missed the game due to a hip injury. Not like they needed him, well at least in the first half.
Sacramento’s second unit took the game over in the second quarter with an offense that drew a smile to the face of the father of the Princeton offense and current Sacramento Kings assistant coach Pete Carril. Andres Nocioni kept catching Chris ‘The Birdman’ Andersen snoozing in the paint and drained three treys a two0minute span. Than there was second round draft pick Jon Brockman that beat up Nuggets’ big man Nene in the paint and finished the first half with 11 points and seven rebounds.
Next up for the Nuggets is Wednesday when they host the Phoenix Suns at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN.
Tidbits from the game
- Nuggets improve to 7-3 without star Carmelo Anthony. He has missed five consecutive games due to a sprained left ankle, he is questionable for Wednesday’s game against the Suns.
- Chauncey Billups’ younger brother Rodney Billups was in attendance at the game. The two exchanged a look after Chauncey discussed a no-call with official Mark Ayotte.
- With New Orleans’ Chris Paul getting hurt and not playing in the All-Star game, Billups is his most likely replacement.
- While the Sacramento Kings may not be in playoff contention, they have one of the best coaching staffs. Paul Westphal is leading the way in his first year as the Kings’ head coach. He is also joined by Mario ‘Junkyard Dog’ Elie, Carril and former All-Star Shareef Abdur-Rahim.
- Kings’ rookie Omri Casspi, who is the first Israeli to play in the NBA, had his own fan club with the Israeli flag being well represented at the game.