**NOTE - There will not be an Unsportsmanlike Conduct post today, just to be honest, I'm tired. I've been in my house for a total of 37 minutes in the last 3 days. I will make it up to you, maybe with this post I did over the weekend. Easy. -Ed.**
Talk about a bold prediction...What??? Are you serious? Have you been smoking that stuff? Maybe so. However, after watching this game we call basketball for the last 3-4 months and looking at the current state of the NBA, there is no team more ready to make a serious run to the NBA Finals than the Nuggets. They are the prime selection to be a darkhorse candidate to win the finals, let me explain before you ask my head on a plate.
Let’s take a look at the personnel of Denver, led by Carmelo Anthony; I would believe that he is poised to take that next step into the pantheon of great players in the league. Carmelo and the Nuggets had a bit of a setback earlier in the year with the broken bone in his hand, but currently at 37-18, they are poised to make a run for the #2 seed in the West. However, after reviewing all of the top teams in the Western Conference, the Nuggets are the only healthy team in the West. Take a look…
Lakers – Andrew Bynum (knee)
Nuggets – None
Spurs – Manu Ginobli
Blazers – Greg Oden
Rockets – Tracy McGrady
Hornets – Tyson Chandler
Mavericks – Jason Terry
Jazz – Carlos Boozer
Suns – Amare Stoudemire
Now I realize that these players are all out for various lengths of time. Some are returning from injury (Boozer), some are down for a couple of weeks (Ginobli, Oden, Chandler, Terry), and some are down for the count (Bynum, Stoudemire). The Nuggets have no such issues, yes, they should’ve went out and got a big man to help depth wise (Ed’s sources say that they are going to make a run at Joe Smith or Mikki Moore as a FA pickup.) but they have all of the tools you need. They’ve got Carmelo as their go-to guy, Chauncey as their floor general and 3-point shooter, Nene and Kenyon are manning the post, and they’ve got athletes on the bench in JR Smith, Dahntay Jones, and Chris “Birdman” Anderson. Coach George Karl’s been here before, remember he took the Sonics against the G.O.A.T. Chi-Town Bulls and took it 6 games with GP and Reignman leading the way. SHOUT TO DETLEF!
Now, I know that this is a bit of a reach. If you remember, I picked the Washington Wizards to make a run last year as my darkhorse candidate. Yeah, that didn’t work out to well. I think this time the Nuggs could make it happen. If Chauncey continues to bring that DETROIT BASKETBALL swag to Denver, and Kenyon can take it to rack like he was back in UC (remember the Jordan Brand jerseys?), and Nene can well…bring it like he was back in Brazil.
But more importantly...Carmelo's gotta bring it like he was in Syracuse in 2002. Its time to make that leap, LeBron did it, DWade did it, Paul Pierce did it. Melo's either going to be another very good player, or he can be great. Being great is a sacrifice, and its got to be something Melo leads them to do. Plus he's half Puerto-Rican like me, so he gotta hold it down.
Well, I believe. They believe. Do you believe?