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Nuggets 117 - Clippers 99

I just have time for a few quick observations on this game.  And unfortunately, I won't have time for a post during the day Wednesday, as I am doing my civic duty - yes, ClipperSteve is on a jury.  Interestingly, when the judge asked potential jurors their occupation, I was the only one who said 'blogger'.  

Anyway, the Nuggets took care of business against the short-handed Clippers tonight.  For the second game in a row, the Clippers had essentially two guys capable of scoring, although they continued to play 5 on 5.  Tonight it was Brand and Mobley (Sunday it was Brand and Powell).  It's just not enough.

Of course, even if Al Thornton and a couple other guys had actually joined the party today, it probably wouldn't have been enough.  Not the way Carmelo Anthony was scoring.  He went for 36 points in 33 minutes on 13 for 17 shooting, the vast majority of those jump shots with a hand in his face.  When he's making his face up shots like that, there's really nothing you can do to stop him.  

And how about me with the 'five lob passes' prediction in the preview?  Am I good, or what?  Easy buckets are so important in the NBA.  I really don't understand why more teams don't look for these types of opportunities.  Certainly, the Nuggets have the finishers in Anthony and Martin and others to make it an particularly effective weapon, but I refuse to believe that those opportunities aren't there for Al Thornton or Elton Brand if the Clippers would look for them.

Here's a weird thing.  The Clippers made 6 threes, by 6 different players.  I'm not going to look it up, but I guarantee you that hasn't happened in at least three seasons, if ever.  Quinton Ross, who is now shooting 40% from three on the season (better than his overall percentage), made his first three since Feb. 6.  Remember that talk of Q expanding his range and adding a three pointer?  Well, after going 5 for 10 in the first month of the season, he's only taken 10 more in the last 4+ months.  

And don't look now, but the Knicks have won back-to-back games against the third (Orlando) and second (Detroit) best teams in the East.  The Clippers hold the tie-breaker, but if LA loses out against all Western Conference playoff hopefuls (almost a given) the Knicks only need to get two more wins, with Charlotte, Atlanta and Indianapolis on their schedule, to pass the Clippers and in the process hand over 25 ping pong balls.  Say it with me:  Let's Go, Kni-icks!