By J.P. Pelosi
If you just tuned into the Denver Nuggets season because, oh I don’t know, you’ve been too busy with news about deflated footballs, and working out why Damian Lillard isn’t an NBA All-Star, well, you may be in for a shock.
The Nuggies’ record is 19-30, just two games up on the Utah Jazz, who’ve gone 4-6 in their last 10, as per NBA.com. Hey, that’s actually solid in the plodding Northwest Division, especially when you consider that the Nuggets are 1-9 over their last 10 outings.
This horrible run of basketball, which led one CBS Sports columnist to call the team a ‘train wreck’, seemed to come to a head in a 104-86 rout at the hands of the Charlotte Hornets last week.
If only it did. The Hornets loss was just one of many stings, with no relief in sight.
Apparently intent on giving up on their club, coach and Denver’s loyal fans, the Nuggets additionally mailed in their most recent performance against quite possibly the league’s worst team, Philadelphia, losing 105-98.
And don’t let the close score fool you: the Sixers’ Hollis Thompson, who hit 1-of-9 shots against the Pistons last week, and 3-of-7 against the cowering Wolves, couldn’t miss on this occasion.
His lights-out shooting in the first half gave the 76ers a 61-40 lead at the break, a gap so insurmountable that even the quick-triggered legend Michael Adams couldn’t have thrown up enough 3’s to close it in time.
Still, point guard Jameer Nelson looked to be trying in the second half, as he mostly has since arriving from Boston last month. That’s at least something. And Danilo Gallinari finally sunk a few buckets for 22 points, though at this point it’s unlikely anybody noticed.
I say this because Denver is in a weird place right now. And I’m not talking about one with rainbow striped buildings. That’d at least be fun.
No, the word on the street, across the web and echoing through Colorado’s old gold fields is that the Nuggies aren’t even trying. Coach Brian Shaw insinuated as much to the press recently, as covered by The Denver Post, and judging by the on-court product of late, it’s hard to argue.
How did we get here?
I mean earlier this season I was among those touting this group as a potential eighth seed in the west. Now they’re shipping players, battling a locker room mutiny, and the most positive piece of news on the club’s website is that Rocky, the team mascot, is gearing up for Valentine’s Day this year.
Now I’m not certain I understand what ‘Send your Valentine the gift of Rocky’ actually means, but hopefully its something more appealing than the passionless basketball we’re currently seeing in Denver.
*This story first appeared on Sir Charles In Charge.