You often get game analysis from reporters on the court and close to the action on the court, but let’s not kid ourselves, you really want the opinion from the real seats, where the beer flows like water, there are no free t-shirt tosses, and the real question is if that toddler behind you knows they’re shouting “Defense!” when the Nuggets are on the fast break (They obviously don’t). This is the upper deck review.
Nuggs I Love:
- Andre Miller:
In the words of Hardwood Paroxysm’s Matt Moore:
I HAVE SEEN THE OLD MAN GAME AND I AM NOT WORTHY — Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) April 21, 2013
Professor Andre Miller, PhD. as Grantland knows him, or Old Man Miller, or as I like to call him, Uncle Dre (Real life Uncle Drew) came through in the clutch. Without Miller, the Nuggets don’t win this game. End of story. Miller’s game winning layup with 1.3 seconds left to play sealed the game after Steph Curry’s potentially heartbreaking 3 point bomb to tie. Miller abused Golden State’s defense like they didn’t eat their vegetables that night. For the Nugget’s 37 years young point guard, it was a brilliant showing from a player who wouldn’t let the Nuggets lose.
- Javale McGee:
Some dislike Javale and expect the worst whenever he takes the court, but those were far and few in between at the Pepsi Center. Javale receives an ovation when he steps into the game and you can tell he feeds off of it. Javale was probably the player that scared the Warriors tonight more than anyone as he altered shots and brought energy to a Nuggets team desperately missing Kenneth Faried. His stat line of 9 pts, 6 rebounds and 1 block won’t jump out, but he performed admirably when Kosta Koufos was unavailable due to some pretty early foul trouble. In addition, you could see him really energize the crowd with two blocks (one was unjustly called a goaltend) and a monster jam over Andrew Bogut. While the jury is still out on McGee, it’s certain that the Pepsi Center loves Javale and is exponentially louder and brimming with anticipation when he takes the court.
- Klay Thompson:
Not a Nugg, but damn. Hell of a game from Klay. Coming off screens in the first half the guy could. Not. Miss. It was like the Space Jam aliens swapped his shot with Steph Curry’s. Without Thompson, I don’t think the Warriors come as close as they did.
- Playoff Basketball in Denver:
The Pepsi Center wasn’t quite full when the game started, but at about the 3rd quarter the entire building was pumped and rocking. Nothing beats playoff basketball, whether it be in college or the pros, because energy in the building just reverberates off the walls like a bunch of toddlers in a candy store. The Warriors fans were far and few throughout the arena and the scene outside the Pepsi Center before and after the game was one of pure excitement. This city is ready for a playoff run, from the Pepsi Center, to the bars in LoDo after the game, everyone is amped for more Nuggets basketball.
Nuggs I don’t like:
- Rally Towels:
I know, I know, they’re kinda cool in a Pittsburgh-ish terrible towel kind of way, but they’re towels. I still have powder blue ones from two years ago that I use to wash dishes and they’re just not as awesome as they seem. It’s just hard to continue waving because it gets tangled with the person’s towel next to you and because people just give up as time goes on. Why? Because waving towels at altitude is a lot more difficult than waving them at sea level (okay, I don’t know why, you tell me a better reason). If we’re going to have a towel waving crowd, then the whole crowd has to really get into it. Either the rest of Denver has to step up their towel game or we need something else to get excited with. The only pro is that when it’s hot and the atmosphere is tense, the collective towel waving creates a fan like feeling that cools off all that nervous sweat… and that’s about it.
- Missing Kenneth Faried for the game:
Glad you’ll be back for game 2 because there is no way that the Nuggets should be outrebounded by Golden State in a playoff game 55-45.
- David Lee’s hip flexor:
Sorry to see Lee go down with what looks like a season ending injury. GS fans, we feel your pain as we’ve lost a starting forward this year already. It sucks to not have the best players on the court for a series and I hope that Lee gets better for the sake of good basketball fans everywhere.
- Honey Smoked Fish Co.’s sponsorship of the game:
Don’t mind the sponsor, but if you’re gonna sponsor something, do it right. I mean, at least try. Tee’s for Omega-3′s? Really? The random, deep voiced, semi-creepy, “Honey Smoked Fish” pitch after a timeout. I don’t have to comment any further.
- Nuggets 3 point and free throw shooting:
The Nuggets shot 3-16 from beyond the arc and 18-28 from the charity stripe. In a two point game the Nuggets couldn’t hit 70% from the line or even 20% from three point land. Make two free throws and one more three pointer and this game isn’t nearly as competitive. Here’s to hoping the Nuggs can find something that resembles an outside touch for the rest of the playoffs.