Monday, April 23, 2007

Monday Heat

Wondering if I'm sauced or something as Denver out-defensed the Spurs in San Antonio, 95-89, in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series.

The Nuggets, pitiful defending their own goal since the preseason decided they wanted something kinky on Sunday and jumped in with passion, besting the Spurs at what they do best -- shutting down the other team.

While Denver got the one-two superstar efforts it needed from Carmelo Anthony (30 points and eight rebounds) and Allen Iverson (31 points, five assists), the rebounding and interior scoring from Nene (double-double) and Marcus Camby (10 boards), San Antonio struggled checking the visitors and running their offense, hitting but 42 percent from the floor while only earning 10 trips to the foul line.

Do I seem drunk to you or do I just feel that way?

The questions now that beg asking are can the Nuggets do this again? Can coach George Karl get victory three more times by reducing the exposure to risk by significantly limiting the court time of his bench players as he did Sunday.

One more key point that should not be underestimated is how Manu Ginobli did not abuse the Denver backcourt as he usually does. Being shackled and held to nine points aided the victory greatly as did Tony Parker's eight-of-20 shooting.

Still not sold on the Nuggets winning this series but this win wasn't smoke and mirrors.

In the money

CSU's Jason Smith and Nevada's Nick Fazekas, by way of the Colorado prep ranks, are going to be getting guaranteed money by being selected in the first round of the NBA draft come June, or so says a new link for this page (check the left-hand margin),

The WSN agrees Smith is a lock. Fazekas gets differing reviews from pro scouts so his placement in the draft is more tenuous. If I had to lean one direction, I say he's a first rounder but just don't ask me to bet the house -- unless it's yours.

For CU fans, notice that Acie Law of Texas A & M is projected to go no. 14 overall. He wasn't that highly thought of last year at this time. With the coaching of Jeff Bzdelik, hard work and good health, Buffs' swingman Richard Roby could fly up the charts in the minds of the NBA minds come 2008 and be where Law is now.


Here is the WSN draft help for the local pro football team who rarely has harvests worth a nickel, with 2006 being the very rare exception with the selections of prospects Jay Cutler, Tony Scheffler, Brandon Marshall and Elvis Dumervil.

Ideally, the WSN would prefer the Broncos trade up in round 1 to grab a premium prospect such as Wisconsin tackle Joe Thomas, Clemson defensive end Gaines Adams or LSU safety LaRon Landry, even if that means putting all the team's eggs in one basket. And while it is expected Denver will do all it can to advance, the picks below for the team's initial choice in the opening go-around will be based on the assumption the team is unable to do so.

The Six-Pack

Reggie Nelson, S, Florida
---His talent is undeniable. Nelson isn't the biggest safety and there are concerns about, hate to say it, his intelligence but on the field, he simply makes plays, and more plays. The Broncos could use a talent like him in the backyard. That said, while some experts believe he could be around at the end of round 1, I don't. If he shockingly is, Denver would be a fool (and it often is in the draft) to not rip him out of other team's hands.

Tony Ugoh, OT, Arkansas
---Not the aggressive mauler scouts love. More of a finesse player with technique, which is the type of lineman the Broncos usually like. Wouldn't be a glamorous pick to get fans' hearts beating fast but would add much needed talent and depth up front for the team's skill players.

Paul Posluszny, LB, Penn State
---Call me crazy but I believe Denver needs help at this position and any dependable playmaker they can find they need to (my ex-wife's favorite phrase to me) consider. Old-school tough and productive. Like the linebacker the Broncos used to employ in the 1970s and 80s.

Jarvis Moss, DE, Florida
---Not in love with the super-thin rusher but if Denver's top targets are off the board when its' their turn to pick, Moss should be considered, solely because the team's extreme deficiency in getting to the quarterback. In time, with the proper work ethic, he could become another Simon Fletcher.

Aundrae Allison, WR, East Carolina
---Most don't think he's first-round caliber but since when did that ever stop Denver from picking that type of player. Face it, Jay Cutler is the horse the Broncos want to ride. So, surround him with talent that will maximize his skills. Rod Smith is done, Brandon Marshall is still not proven and Javon Walker is begging for less double coverage.

Aaron Ross, CB, Texas
---Denver may not want to pay huge money to another cornerback with Champ Bailey and Dre' Bly taking home CEO portfolios but consider this idea -- taking the playmaking Ross, if unavailable at no. 21 (unlikely) and plugging his skill set in at free safety. Wow. Can we say, Pro Bowl? Sometimes we have to think outside of the box.

Scoreboard grumblings

Maybe Dan O'Dowd knew what he was doing after all. The Rockies general manager allowed workhouse pitcher Jason Jennings to get away to Houston, via a trade, and although centerfielder Willy Taveras and pitcher Taylor Buchholz are early busts, starter Jason Hirsh, a minor-league phenom a season ago, is looking like the real deal.

Sunday, he bested Greg Maddux and San Diego, 4-2, going seven strong innings, lowering his ERA to 3.16, a mark we just don't see out of Colorado starting pitchers. The man is even capable of strikeouts (7), something else this franchise is not used to but has always desperately needed at Coors Field.

Red-hot Matt Holliday had three more hits to bump his average to .382.

It's but one day, one game, but it was a good, good day.

Random ramblings

So imagine, if you will, a world different than we've ever known it. Could it be better, would it be worse, or because we're human, would the song remain the same.

Maybe one day these two schools of thought will leave the attitudes at the door and collaborate for the common good of the world.

Five dating myths to take a look at, courtesy of and Tango magazine, via Yahoo. My favorites? Men and women as friends and men and women -- forgiveness and forgetting (not for the faint of heart because it's too true).

Imminent record holder or not, he still is an arrogant, disrespectful, disgraceful person representing his sport. Hope the adulation is enough because he won't have much else one day. Reminds me of the reported personality of Ty Cobb, minus the racism.

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