The Nuggets went toe-to-toe with the champion Miami Heat Monday night. Although they came out on the losing end of a back and forth affair, the Mile High Crew showed glimpses of promise.
But while the rah, rah cheers and moral victories are nice, a potentially disturbing trend is showing itself in Denver’s recent slide. The loss to the Heat marks the fourth home loss in a row. On the season, the Nuggets are just 7 -7 at the Pepsi Center. This from a team that went a league best 38-3 at home last year.
If there’s one thing Nuggets fans have come to expect from their team, it’s home domination. Since the Carmelo Anthony trade, the team is 69-17 at home, an .802 winning percentage. So this year, with a winning percentage of just .500, should the nugget’s coaches, players and fans be worried? That’s where it gets tricky.
It’s okay Nuggets fans, I’ve been worrying since the Jazz loss on Friday the 13th (I mean that kind of coincidence doesn’t just happen, does it?). If you’re a long-time fan, you’re familiar with said home domination, but that means you’re also familiar with road mediocrity. The home/away splits are pretty drastic most seasons, but are practically identical this year on both sides of the ball. And through some sort of geometric property, that translates into home mediocrity. Look it up. If the Nuggets can’t win at home, they can’t win in the playoffs. More to the point, however, if the Nuggets can’t win at home, they won’t be in the playoffs.
Optimists aplenty, huh? No need to worry so early, just take a look at the schedule. The combined record of the teams that have won games against the Nuggets in the Pepsi Center is 144-74. Every team except the before mentioned Jazz would currently make the playoffs. That’s tough sledding for any team, but things surely get brighter. Only three of Denver’s next 11 home games are against teams with a winning record. Just have patience and everything will come around. The Nuggets got hot in the second half last season and are still without Danilo Gallinari and Javale McGee. Plus the trade deadline should prove eventful this season.
So where do I come down? Well, when it comes to the Nuggets at home, I’ve learned to have trust. That said, I am 100 percent confident they’ll turn it all around. I think.