Heated Tied Series Against the Heat Now Heads to Super-Hot Miami
If you are headed to your favorite sports bar and eatery in anticipation of a Denver Nuggets playoff title, have fun, cheer for the Nuggets loudly and boldly, but please, please, don’t get too boastful.
You may just jinx the Colorado sports winning mentality, in which the Land of No Respect and No Drama is the apparent proper pathway to victory.
Yes, the Nuggets looked awesome in their NBA opening act, beating the Miami Heat by 10-plus points in a contest that was really a done deal at halftime. The Joker (Nikola Jokic), Jamal Murray, Michael Porter, Aaron Gordon and more really shined. Of course, Game Two was a definite downer, with the Nugs losing 111-108 in a real thriller in their first 2023 playoff loss at home, leaving the series tied at 1-1. It is a game that the Nuggets should have won, as they fell apart in the final quarter, being outscored by the Heat 36-25. But bad games happen.
Despite Sunday’s surprising defeat, following a fourth quarter meltdown, we are bullishly optimistic about their chances in the real heat, when the series goes to Miami on Wednesday and Friday this week. In fact, maybe Sunday’s loss was a blessing in disguise as it brings the Denver Nuggets back to reality, instead of accepting the prevailing view of many sports experts that the showdown was a done deal after Game One.
The games this week will determine the series, so make sure you catch these games at your favorite hangout. The Nuggets’ luck may be determined by your support.
There was an array of star performances by the Nugs in Game One, but their defense was the key, with the Heat charismatic star shooter Jimmy Butler limited to 13 points. More notably, that silenced his mouth big-time.
Game Two we won’t discuss, since it was just an unfortunate accident. On the upside, The Joker netted more than 40 points.
As usual, The Joker in Game One displayed his amazing creativity as a b-ball star with his diverse combination of great passing, rebounding, providing assists and occasionally shooting. In fact, he hardly even got a chance to take a shot in the first quarter, which is fine with the Serbian b-ball hero.
Even though the series is technically tied, The Nuggets are still a strong media favorite, which is not a good place to be in for a Colorado championship team. The media drum is now starting to pound loudly with the anointment of the Nugs as the probable winner of the NBA Championship. The attention this series is starting to generate is scary, with even patrons of local establishments glued to the bar TVs around game time, and the usual loud juke box at some places getting completely silenced.
It doesn’t help that the Heat were a Number Eight Seed team, even with the likes of Butler and Caleb Martin, which now adds to the pressure applied to the Nuggets.
Colorado playoff teams fare better with a “chip on the shoulder” edge, such as what happened with the Denver Broncos in their first Super Bowl win against the Green Bay Packers, and the Rockies in their run to the World Series in 2007.
We do better in assuming the “Rodney Dangerfield” (no respect) image of the sports world. Look what happened to the Broncos when they competed against the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl in the winter of 2014. At the time, the Broncos looked invincible with Peyton Manning breaking every record in sight with a super explosive offense. Broncos’ executive and former quarterback John Elway was talking trash for weeks, predicting a Broncos rout. Wrong, as the Russ Wilson that we wanted last year in Denver, showed his real stuff and the Seahawks won by the biggest margin in a Super Bowl for an underdog team.
Game time brought about bad luck and one of the most grueling Denver Bronco defeats by a 43-8 margin. Then two years later, the Broncos triumphed big time over Carolina with Manning taking a more lowkey role.
Lowkey, with little boasting, is how we like our sports teams to act. Maybe, we will get that attitude back now with a tied NBA final series.
About the only prominent media personality that gave the Nuggets any respect this winter was Charles Barkley of TNT, who contended that Denver would win the NBA title due to their depth. Charles, who is probably known more for his bizarre,, ugly golf swing now than his former stints as a basketball star, had it right, but few expanded on his views. And Barkley is sometimes considered a joke in the eyes of some sports viewers. But if you listen to Sir Charles for long, you realize ugly golf swing aside, he knows his basketball. The Nuggets were not considered playoff championship material, mainly due to their past habits of “Choke-itis.” They found different and unique ways of not faring well in the NBA playoffs.
But this is now 2023, and even on a bad night, the Nuggets are pretty good (well, except for Sunday’s debacle.) The final game against the Lakers proved this point, with the Nugs erasing a huge deficit in the first half to net a great come-from- behind victory. To date, the Nuggets, as courtesy of their play against Minnesota, Phoenix and LA, are the premiere playoff team.
Unlike past years, injuries haven’t come to haunt the team.
As I have said before, and to quote golf wiz Tiger Woods, it is how well you play when you don’t have you’re A or B game.
“No respect” is the prevailing reality for the Nuggets, according to sports columnist Woody Paige, who recently rattled off some dire losing statistics regarding the Nuggets. Never realized they played so poorly in past years. I say let’s keep that image of the bastard child of basketball alive.
The Joker isn’t a fan of publicity, unlike the Miami stars. His interviews mark a big diversion from what everyone normally sees with today’s sports stars. He is dedicated, instead, to his family and horses and Serbian way of life.
Nuggets will win the championship in Game Six by a score of 104-96. Originally thought this may occur in Game Five, but the series is bound to be closer than many originally thought.