The Nuggets Need Melo…Badly
Cub Scouts the Daily Hoops Scene.
by Cub Buenning
One thing that has become abundantly clear over the past week is that the Denver Nuggets direly need Carmelo Anthony not only on their roster, but in the line-up on a nightly basis. Last night’s defeat to an inferior Philadelphia 76er team was the team’s 3rd game in a row with Melo out to deal with the loss of his sister. Life A.M. (After Melo) might not be all that rosy as the depleted team struggles to find consistent scoring, especially in crunch time, when Carmelo truly shines. Last night’s six-point loss was another in a long line of late game (un)heroics. A Denver 4th quarter 12-point lead evaporated and those in attendance were left with nothing but coal in their stockings. While the team is getting improved play from the likes of JR Smith and the blossoming Ty Lawson, they have relied too heavily on veteran Chauncey Billups to get points. This is surely not a recipe for long-term success and with Al Harrington also now dinged up, the need for Melo back in the powder blue and gold is even more essential.
–Things continue to progress for my favorite basketball player outside of the 303 as Los Angeles Clipper, Blake Griffin continues to put up big numbers and even bigger highlights. Not much positive can usually be gleaned from a nine-win team, but Griffin (and his sidekick, Eric Gordon) has helped the historically inept franchise get their 4th win out of their last 5 games with a victory over Phoenix last night. Blake’s 28 and 12 helped him extend his double-double streak to 18 straight, while this little gem was his League-leading 71st dunk (but ONLY of the night?) of the year.
–NCAA hoops were my focus last week out in Saint Louis, attending Mizzou’s big win in the Braggin’ Rights game over Illinois. An amazing back-and-forth game got muddled by some late game technical foul calls, but nonetheless this was more than just any regular season December game. The Tigers’ post-game celebration in front of the wild 22,000-plus fans (that were split color-wise right down the arena’s core) was much like one normally saved for March. Things didn’t slow down a few minutes later, as the players were still “hootin’ and hollerin’” in the locker room; savoring their second-straight win in the series after nine straight losses.
–Baylor and Tennessee had tough weeks.
–Around my parts, here in Colorado, the 8-4 Colorado Buffaloes backed up a lackluster opening game in Las Vegas (losing to a rebuilding New Mexico team) with a strong full-team effort in a consolation game win over Indiana. The win was even more impressive, as the Buffs did not need to rely on sophomore stud, Alec Burks, who had his lowest scoring output of the year.
–National conference play gets started tonight as UConn faces Pitt in a match-up of two of the east’s best teams. The Big East battle tips off at 8:30 on ESPN2.
This post was a segment of Cub’s blog at milehighsportsview.blogspot.com. The Mile High Five is a daily portion of his blog that covers several aspects in the world of Denver and national sports and pop culture.