If your question was:
"What would happen if you sent the Rockets to Denver on the 2nd night of a back-to-back , let the Nuggets do pretty much whatever they wanted on D, called the Rockets for all the ticky-tack crap you could think of, including six, S-I-X, travels, bought into every single Melo Whine-for-a-Whistle(tm), and literally wrenched the game out of the players’ hands in the early 4th quarter?"
Well, now you have your answer. Nuggets 111 – Rockets 101.
Sure, sure, serious writers don’t ever complain about the refs, because after all, we know nothing could ever, ever, go wrong with them. Or, really, because their actions can pretty much invalidate any thoughtful analysis of a contest. You take every game as a fair test, and hope all of the BS evens out over a season.
That does nothing to address the granularity of individual games, however. Games where one team (the Rockets) gets called for SIX travels, and the other team for two, both on Nene, who eschews dribbling if at all possible. This was a game where Carmelo Anthony shot 20 FTs, or as much as the whole Rockets team shot, despite the Rockets attacking the basket as much if not more, than Denver.
Or how about this? With the game still a contest, Houston is called for 6 fouls, including a technical from 11:04 in the 4th, to 8:25 in the 4th. That’s right, in the space of 2 ½ minutes the Rockets are whistled six times, or once every 25 seconds. And it only got worse.
You just have to write this one off, I suppose. But while Denver is a good team, they aren’t a better team. And as I’m on the subject of the Nuggets, I’d like to point out just how preposterous I find their whole act.
First off, they’ve got to be the most inked-up team in the NBA, and they accompany that unmistakable sign of store-bought badassery with a "tough guy" attitude. They embrace their "Thuggets" nickname. But it won’t wash. Because they are also a team that cries and flops on par with the Jazz. That’s a disconnect.
These supposed tough guys, with their "hard nosed" attitudes are, in fact, cosseted millionaires who rely on piteous whines to the NBA equivalent of minimum wage employees to help them succeed at their jobs. It just doesn’t wash. Tough guys are, well, tough, not whiny. They don’t complain about every little thing, and they certainly don’t fall down when no one touches them. In fact they try not fall down at all.
All that hard background, all that street credibility, all that boring, trite, ink, and it all boils down to falling down on purpose and hoping the hall monitor bails you out.
So, what was good tonight?
Aaron Brooks is becoming a reliable threat for about 23pts and 7 assists, and he’d have more if the Nuggets weren’t allowed to clothesline him with impunity.
David Andersen has found NBA 3pt range, and he’s generally just standing there, by himself, waiting to scorch the net. 17pts on 6 for 8 shooting. If he didn't get called like a gawky 19 year old, when he's not one, we could see more of him.
What was bad?
Trevor Ariza – stop shooting so many 3s! Please! The Rafer comparison is becoming sort of scary. I hate saying it. But Trevor went 6 for 10 on his non-three shots.
The Refs vendetta against Carl Landry. What the hell WAS that?
I really can’t say more about this one. Sorry. Too bitter.