The Pistons take on The Denver Nuggets tonight in Denver. Mixing it up a little in the pre-game post here at Need4Sheed I spoke to an expert on the subject….Nick aka The Nugg Doctor. He was nice enough to answer some questions about his team and tonight’s matchup for us and in turn he asked me a few things about the Pistons over at his site.
Tip off is at 9:00 PM and will be locally broadcast on myTV20 Detroit. If you can’t catch it on TV you can always tune in to 1130 AM WDFN The Fan or stream it live through your computer at NBA.com.
The Pistons (41-15) vs. The Nuggets (33-22)
1. Has the Allen Iverson-Carmelo Anthony experiment lived up to its expectations? Has chemistry been an issue?
The Nugg Doctor:
The Carmelo Anthony – Allen Iverson project is a subjective work in progress. If you gauge their success on their individual accomplishments, then yes, it’s been a success. Both men were All-Star starters, both men are in the top five in scoring (AI at 3rd with 26.6 points per game and ‘Melo in 4th at 26.2 points per game), and both men have had extremely high single-game point totals (AI with 51 against the Lakers and ‘Melo with a career-high 49 points against the Wizards).
But, if you are gauging their collective success in terms of where this team stands in the Western Conference playoff picture it’s not all been smooth sailing. The Nuggets are going to be in quite the fight to win games down the home stretch just to make the playoffs this year and the main reason for their position is their inconsistency. Denver can play great basketball for stretches, but routinely become complacent and falter for long stretches too. It’s frustrating, but until ‘Melo and The Answer make it past the first round all their offensive exploits fall short of the franchise’s ultimate goal when they paired these two up. And that goal was to put an elite basketball team together in hopes of bringing a championship to Denver.
2.Linas Kleiza’s name was thrown around in trade talks, but the Nuggets didn’t want to include him in any deals. What does he bring to the team that makes him so valuable?
The Nugg Doctor:
LK or “The L Train” brings a lot of things to this team right now. He gives the Nuggets a player that can score 40+ points in a single game. He’s a tenacious rim attacker, a three-point threat, and a decent passer, but once again the biggest knock on Kleiza is he’s inconsistent. For five or six games in late January and into the early part of February, Linas was averaging upwards of 17-18 points per game. In his last five, he is averaging 4.8 points per game; nearly seven points below his season average. On the one hand, Kleiza gives the Nuggets an exciting reserve player who Coach George Karl goes to first nine times out of ten. On the other, he plays behind quite possibly the premier scoring small forward in the game. Honestly, it’s going to be interesting to see what they do with Kleiza when his contract runs out because I have a feeling he is going to be a hot commodity for teams looking to sign an all-around quality small forward and I’m not sure the Nuggets are going to be able to match a few of the offers he is going to draw.
3. Being in the West and knowing that winning 50 games might not even get you in the Playoffs, what do you think The Nuggets chances to make it are?
The Nugg Doctor:
The Nuggets sported a 32-20 record going into the All-Star break with 30 games remaining. I’ve also stated that 50 wins may not cut it in this year’s Western Conference playoff picture and I prescribed that the Nuggets would need to win 20 out of their remaining 30 games, finishing 52-30, to realistically make the grade. They’ve stumbled out of the blocks so far and are 1-2 since coming back from the NBA’s midseason classic. Their next eight games include having to play Detroit tonight before having to face Houston, Phoenix, San Antonio (twice), and the conference rival Utah Jazz with only two teams with losing records (Clippers and Sonics) sprinkled in there so the Denver may have its back against the wall with 19 games remaining. But, if they can somehow win 52 games I think they’ll punch their own ticket. Anything less than 52 wins and they will most likely leave their fate in the hands of others.
4. What blockbuster trade impacted the Nuggets chances of coming out of the West?
The Nugg Doctor:
The trade that most likely will hold the playoff fate of the Nuggets wasn’t a block buster trade at all. Since Kyle Korver was traded from the Philadelphia 76ers for Gordon Giricek, Utah has been nearly impossible to beat. So far in February the Jazz are 7-2 and currently hold a 2 1/2 game lead on the Nuggets in their division. What worries me the most is the Nuggets not winning their division and finding themselves on the outside looking in the playoff window because the rest of the West is so tough. I mean, there’s seven teams with at least 36 wins so far and the Nuggets are currently tied with the Warriors at 33 wins a piece.
5. The Pistons have one heck of a starting five and a new and improved bench, what or who will Denver try to stop to come away with the win?
The Nugg Doctor:
Honestly, Denver isn’t going to be able to stop any one player on the Pistons. What is most likely to happen is the Nuggets are going to try and run the Pistons out of the gym while playing little to no defense at all. Even with the reigning Defensive Player of the Year on the team the Nuggets have maybe, and I do mean maybe, played one complete defensive game so far this year. And I wouldn’t be surprised if the Nuggets hold a sizable lead at one point during tonight’s game before things become a dogfight down the stretch. Denver plays extremely inconsistent basketball. Some quarters they can score 35 and hold their opponent in the low twenties, while in others they can give up 40 and themselves score in the high teens. I’m just hoping for a good game because the last time we played you guys ‘Sheed hit a 63 footer to send things to overtime where the Nuggets were so stunned by the heave that they laid an egg in the final five minutes. With that being reminded, we owe you guys big so let’s get it on!
Special Thanks to The Nugg Doctor. If you would like to read my comments on the mathchup head on over to http://nuggdoctor.blogspot.com.
As always leave ’em in the comments. GO PISTONS!
nat, i read the q and a on nugg doctor blog site. i love ur answers….especially the “good luck but not really” HILARIOUS!
I was just having a look at Hollinger’s PER ratings, for what they’re worth.
Lebron James has the highest rating of 30.18. Chauncey is the top Piston, at number 11 (the second point guard behind Chris Paul), with a PER of 24.46.
But who was the second Piston on the list? Not Rip, number 39 with a PER of 19.12 or Rasheed at number 50 with a PER of 18.29. No, the second of four Pistons in Hollinger’s top 50 is Amir Johnson at number 36 with a PER of 19.45.
Sure, that’s for just 10.7 minutes a game, but isn’t efficiency what we want from our young guys right now? You can only read into stats so far, but when they back up what you’ve been seeing with your own eyes, it seems like a pretty good sign.
Has anyone pointed this out yet? I wonder what we’d find if we added up the PER for each team’s top 5, 7, 9, etc.
Nice rad, I appreciate all of the hard work for sure Nat.
Can’t hardly wait for the game either, hope the stones keep rolling!
read^, nice read.
I type like a monkey.
if the stones keep scoring 100+ points I just don’t see how they can be stopped
the fluidics… have u started ur monthy female spasms yet? cuz yesterday u were a little on the sensitive side when i called bill walton a FAGGOT, which he is a FAGGOT lol and the word FAGGOT isnt like the N word in any way ur full of it, if gays dont like the word quit being gay its not right in the first place..on another note go pistons beat the shit outa melo and a.i once again
wow, could that person be banned from posting? seriously.
Amir and Sheed play extremely well together. For a while everyone would quantify Amir’s PER because he just “happened” to be on the court when Sheed went on a run. Now that the sample size is bigger we’re seeing what is really going on. They compliment each other very well on defense and on offense.
Flip has a great rotation going now. maxy for sheed to give him a rest and hit the opponent with our first energy punch. then they bring in amir for another energy punch. then put in sheed for maxy for the knock out.
overall we’re the most talented and versatile team in the league. right now, nothing can beat us but us.
thats offtopic, just had to put this in
HELP! what’s going on with nba.com the league pass is not giving me the pistons vs. nuggets games, when i click on the pistons vs. nuggets it gives me a lsu vs. um games..what the hell!!?
hey richard I have nba league pass and I am watching the game, are you watching on TV if so sometimes it is on a different channel, ifnot the computer I can’t help
and there are pistons fans in denver as well, I heard some SHEEEEEEEEDs
yeah, they fixed the Leauge Pass, so it’s all good.
tight exciting game so far
and i like the rest of u was also frustrated with nba lp, i was like wtf is this college shit?? haha luckily it was fixed
pistons down one with that rip jumper
Maxi is a beast.. he’s been getting alot better.. especially this season. I love his feriousity in his dunking.
Move out the way Shaq..
there’s a new kid in town.
for your entertainment btw… check the video out haha
i rem reading some ppl wanted him on the pistons bahahaha
wow… just shows u how versatile tayshaun prince is… he’s been guarding iverson down the stretch and doing a good job… hius long arms allow him to guard him withou following, and he’s fast enough laterally to keep him in front of him… im impressed… guarding iverson? u’d think iverson would be too short and fast for him
Great finish right now and very huge games from Tay, Rip, and Dyess. Glad I was able to tune in for the 4th quarter!
What a dagger… I think we can all agree that Mr. Big Shot’s alive and well lately.
shiiiiet, that billups cross over, step back and 3 was gaaangsta, wow
great game for all the starters
once in a while they have to show the league they are the best starting 5 (close second goes to lakers)
damn we’re lucky jr smith didnt make that 3, or they could have taken the lead
I can’t beleive chauncey fouled but yes he missed two
wow this one was a dogfight for sure, I love games like this, even the refs let them play through a lot which is good to see.. over all a great game from our startes, I like to see these two teams play, its alway fun to watch..
haha taht scene near the end reminded me of the end of last year’s game.. except it would have been denver with the steal and miracle shot… but didnt happen, they fouled
They just wanted to make the end a little more entertaining, that’s all.
Great start to a Western Conference road swing, 2-0 now!
Tay: 20 points on 8-for-15 shooting, 6 boards, 9 assists.
Rip: 20 points on 8-for-19 shooting, 8 boards, 6 assists.
Chauncey: 20 points on 5-for-12 shooting, 7-7 at the stripe, 8 assists.
Dyess: 16 points on 8-for-13 shooting, 13 boards, 1 block.
Sheed: 10 points, 9 boards, 1 block.
Now that right there is why we have the best starting five in The Association. End of story.
why would joe do that I have seen this before and if the game was win in three after the foul shots are done them I can see putting time back on the clock since there is a change to tie the game but this one was already won so want was the point.. anyway this was a great game, i wish the zoo crew could have playeed a little better but I will take the win,
you said it steve, I don;t think there is another team out there where all the starters score evenly like teh pistons do…
Scoring? Heck, ours do everything… Rip and Tay were relatively close to a triple-double, Dyess had yet another double-double (and Tay was just an assist short, Chauncey two, Sheed missed it by a board) …that’s just dominating!
yea absolutely great performance by our starting 5… when they all click like that they’re hard to beat… and when they all click and our zoo crew does too….??? … well u saw what happens, ask the suns
what a game! back and forth all game long. but the better team came out on top thanks to chauncey and great team defense.
carmelo anthony is such a bad guy. his ego has cost them so many games this season, it’s like he has his own private goal to outscore iverson. mark my words, carmelo’s career will end in flames because of stupid decisions.
As fun as the blowouts are to watch, this one was a proper game, and the type of competition that makes you love the game.
Great effort by both teams, good win for the Pistons.
id really like to see them beat the utah on wednesday, feels like they havent been them in forever, utahs are tough place to win too, lets hope for a big win, i think the bench should play alot in tha t game, surpsie the jazz abit
yea im hoping for a win out in utah too
im suprised btw at dave’s hate towards melo… i didn’t notice him making bad decisions out there near the end… he’s much improved this year as well, playing better d and grabbing more rebounds… he and kenyon martin both did a good job going for that offensive rebound near the end that almost tied it… ball just didnt go down
anywho great great game, and looking for the same 2moro night… actually im hoping they blowout the jazz!!!
Chauncey was ticking me off the first 3 quarters. He was treating the basketball as though it was a piece of trash. Throwing it around. It seemed like every other time down court he threw the ball away. But in the 4th quarter that 3 was HUGE. It was a good game. Rip and Tay came up big. Well watching the game I could tell that the Nugs weren’t going to let the Pistons have easy lay-ups/dunks. Those hard fouls were something I expected from the Pistons back in the day. But it was sketchy throughout the game whether or not the Pistons were going to pull it out in the end. But half way through the 4th I started having more confidence that they were going to win.
Great game last night, yet another reason for Michigan transplants to smirk at our Denver neighbors. One question though, is Stuckey always so out of control? Last night was my first chance to see the rookies in person and I came away much more impressed by Afflalo. Rodney has a nice stroke, but he also had some out of control desperation heaves in the lane. There were two or three possessions in a row where he called his own number and looked like he was trying to get a call. Obviously he’s going to be a good player, it just made it clear to me why we’re expected to put Hunter and Dixon in for the rooks come playoff time. For those of you watching back east, did they cover the halftime entertainment at all? The Pepsi Center dug up the Digital Underground, watching a live performance of the Humpty Dance took me way back to those awkward middle school days.
All of you are forgetting what Ben Wallace did to shaq a couple of years ago in the playoffs when he still played for Detroit. HE PACKED HIS ASS TO THE FLOOR!
^^^^ IF there is a clip of that can you put it on need4sheed of ben packing shaq,,,, pleeeeeeeeease.
Natalie, can you please post the video of the post game interview from last night I would really appreaciate it. Thanks.
Don’t think I can get you the Post game interview, I’m going to be away from my copy of the recording for a couple of days. Sorry.
Here’s the Shaq Block