The Denver Nuggets Go Old School in Game Five Win
And that's exactly the statement the Denver Nuggets made Tuesday night when they chose to resort to intimidation tactics to win a potentially series ending game against the Warriors.
Now, on some level, I get why they did. Their backs were against the wall and they knew if they couldn't steal a game at home their season was over. A season that began with so much promise.
The Nuggets were dark horse darlings going into the playoffs. They played an up-tempo brand of basketball that lead them to a league best 38-3 record at home this year. There were hopes and dreams of a deep playoff run, possibly even an upset against one of the title contenders in the west, either San Antonio or Oklahoma City. And the fires of those dreams were fanned even more when they came out and won a hard fought game one, a victory that seemed to foretell a quick series win when the Warriors lost one of their best players, forward David Lee.
But the wheels fell off quickly. Golden State came out in game two with a smaller lineup, which is saying something for a team that already played one of the smallest rotations in the league, and doubled down on their offensive firepower in route to scoring 131 points on 64.6% shooting in a game two victory. Never mind that Denver played well themselves on the offensive end, they just couldn't keep up with Curry and Co. in a shooting competition.
When the series shifted back to Oakland for games three and four, the Warriors hit their stride and shifted into gear. Their skill level, despite losing Lee, was clearly better than the Nuggets. They played, and won with, a wide-open style of basketball that the league is now only beginning to rediscover.