Cleat Geeks

Gold Rush: The Wins Keep On Coming

Denver Has A Full Head Of Steam Heading Into The All-Star Break.

The Denver Nuggets have already surpassed last season’s win total and they’re just getting started!  With three wins in a row and 9 out of their last 12 the Nuggets are in good shape.

The Recap:

On Tuesday they beat the San Antonio Spurs 117-109. The game was very close all night having 20 lead changes and 10 ties but Denver put on a 4th quarter rally to seal the win.

Then two days later, they traveled to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to take on the red-hot Bucks.  The Man himself went to work, Nikola Jokic racked up his 11th career triple-double but this one was different. He secured this one in less than 15 minutes, making it the fastest triple-double in NBA history. The rest of the team wasn’t slacking either, making 24 out of 40 (60%) of their 3-point shots. Jamal Murray and Garry Harris both scored over 20 points as well in route to a 134-123 victory.

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Player stats for both games can be found HERE and HERE.

The Road Ahead:

As we head into All-Star weekend the Nuggets sit at 32-26 and are the 6th seed in the West. But there is no room to let up as only 5 games separate the number 3 seed Spurs (35-24) and the number 10 seed Jazz (30-28) in the super competitive Western Conference. As I stated in my previous article, The Nuggets face some very stiff competition coming up.  With only 24 games left on the schedule, the Nuggets really can’t afford to drop to many games, but if they can sustain the level of play that they are at right now, then I don’t think we have to worry about that.

In the mean time, the Nuggets get some well deserved rest this week.

Injury Update:

Some positive news on the injury report is that Center Mason Plumlee should return by late February from a calf injury.  There has not been a set date for his return.

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Their next game is Friday 2/23 vs the Spurs at the Pepsi Center.  Tip-off is at 7:00 p.m. Mountain standard time.

#MileHighBasketball

 

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Los Angeles Clippers Making Huge Statement In The NBA Trade Deadline

General Manager Michael Winger, VP of Basketball operations Frank Lawrence and consultant Jerry West of the Los Angeles Clippers had a busy week and a half worth of trade talk going into the NBA trade deadline. The Clippers were at the center of the NBA trade talk with multiple players including C DeAndre Jordan and SG Lou Williams right in the middle of the trade pool. Los Angeles did make a huge trade but it involved their franchise player in PF Blake Griffin, who signed a contract extension for a 5-year, $173 million dollar contract last Summer. On January 29th, the Clippers made their first transition by moving 5-time NBA All-Star in Griffin, C Willie Reed, and PF Brice Johnson to the Detroit Pistons. In return, the Clippers received SF Tobias Harris, SG Avery Bradley, C Boban Marjanovic, and a 1st round selection in the 2018 NBA Draft.

The Clippers had a week to make a decision on C DeAndre Jordan, who can become a free agent through the player-option on his contract at the end of the season. Los Angeles also had a decision to make on Lou Williams, who is likely a 6th man player of the year this season and Avery Bradley, who they just acquired in the Blake Griffin trade. Both Williams and Bradley were unrestricted free agents at the end of the season. Instead of doing what was expected before the trade deadlines, the Clippers did the exact opposite for many reasons. Instead of trading DeAndre Jordan and Avery Bradley for a potential of Draft picks and younger players, Los Angeles decided to keep them and make a decision after the season. As for Lou Williams, he signed a 3-year extension worth $24 million. There were multiple options for moving Jordan, Williams, and Bradley but not a lot that matched the vision of the Clippers’ new goal after they traded Blake Griffin. Keeping Jordan, Williams, and Bradley not only showed that the Clippers want to win now but they want to win later in the future.

 

Keeping DeAndre Jordan shows the Clippers are not willing to accept mediocrity

For years now, the Los Angeles Clippers have been known to take an incredibly talented roster of superstars and underachieve in the playoffs. Many thought that perspective would change when they agreed to trade PG Chris Paul to the Houston Rockets for a great selection of players. That viewpoint didn’t go away with Blake Griffin still on the roster, so they traded him as well for a great selection of players and a 1st round pick. C Andre Jordan is one of the last pieces of that old viewpoint but they didn’t trade him because they didn’t have an attractive enough offer for Clippers to accept. The leading rumor was that the Cleveland Cavaliers were offering SG Iman Shumpert, PF/C Tristian Thompson, and their 1st round pick in return for DeAndre. The Clippers quickly turned down the deal because they didn’t want the “unwanted money” of Shumpert and Thompson, who were signed to unnecessarily expensive contracts that don’t match their performance on the court. This is despite the reports that the Clippers were looking to acquire more 1st round picks to continue the rebuilding process they started after trading Blake Griffin.

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There were more reports that the Portland Trail Blazers and the Washington Wizards were wanting to acquire DeAndre Jordan in a trade before the deadline last Wednesday. None of these teams had enough potential for Los Angeles to make a move. The Clippers wanted to acquire the Cavaliers’ 1st round pick was originally the Brooklyn Nets’ pick. That pick is likely to be either in the top 5 or near the 5th pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, depending on the lottery of the Nets selection coming around Draft time. The Clippers were not willing to accept a less attractive offer of two role players with expensive contracts and a 1st round pick that will likely be at the end of the 1st round (depending on the Cavs’ performance in the playoffs). It might have been smarter for Los Angeles to hold on to DeAndre Jordan and generate from his impact on the court. The Clippers would risk losing DeAndre for nothing rather than acquiring role players like Shumpert and Thompson and poorly handle their expensive contracts.

 

Danilo Gallinari, Tobias Harris, DeAndre Jordan, and Lou Williams now lead an underrated Clippers team

With the loss of Griffin through the trade to Detroit and Chris Paul in the offseason, the Clippers are left without a solid superstar on their team. Despite the huge impact and performance of DeAndre Jordan, he doesn’t acquire much attention as do other big men in the league like New Orleans’ PF/C Anthony Davis and Golden State’s PF Draymond Green. Still, Jordan is a huge asset for the Clippers’ defense by accounting for 15.1 rebounds per game. Currently, the Los Angeles Clippers have multiple equivalents of two great role players for the price of one superstar (such as Griffin and Paul). With the exception of Blake Griffin from the team stats this season, the Clippers have 6 players on their team that has accounted for 10 or more points. One of those players is PG Patrick Beverley, who is out for the season after 15 starts with a knee injury. This season, once again, the Clippers have been hammered by injuries. Los Angeles has had 25 different starting lineups (most in the NBA) as well as had 18 different starters.

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One of the biggest surprises of this season is SG Lou Williams, who is the Clippers most trusted player coming off the bench. This season, Williams has played exceptionally well, especially from the 3-point line. Williams has averaged a team-high 23.2 points per game on a .442 field goal percentage and a .381% from the 3-point perimeter. Resigning Lou Williams to a 3-year deal is extremely important with the Clippers trying to add to the dynamic fast tempo he brings as well as rebuilding with more overall talent. The lack of a scoring wing from the Forward position has been one of the biggest issues for the Clippers for the past 5 seasons. This season though, not only do the Clippers have a reliable scoring wing in Danilo Gallinari but they also acquired another one from the Detroit Pistons in SF Tobias Harris.

Gallinari has only started and played in 16 games for Los Angeles due to a glute injury and before then was a little inconsistent. Since his return from his long injury against the Portland Trail Blazers on January 30th, Gallinari has been very efficient in his shooting especially from behind the arc. Gallinari has scored 15 or more points in each of the 6 games he had played in since he returned from his glute injury. Tobias Harris has been one of the most underrated players for the Detroit Pistons outside of C Andre Drummond within the past couple of seasons. This season before the game against the Brooklyn Nets on Monday, Harris was accounting for 18.1 points per game (his best in his NBA career). At 25 years old and under a long-term contract, Harris is already making a big statement with the Los Angeles Clippers as a key franchise playmaker. Thus making the trading of Griffin to Detroit a solid decision in terms of reliability and productivity from Harris as well as SG Avery Bradley.

 

The rebuilding process has already started and will take some time

The Los Angeles Clippers are currently fighting for the 8th spot in the Western Conference standings. As of Monday night, the Clippers are 29-26 all while dealing with major injuries and the trading of Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. While the Clippers will always be grateful for the impact of Griffin and Chris Paul, it is time for the Clippers to move on and remain in the competitive spotlight of the playoffs. This will be a crucial time for the Clippers as the main players that brought success to Los Angeles is now no longer with the organization. The front office believes that this roster full of talented underrated players can be the many faces of the franchise that will bring in profit and consistent wins.

The Los Angeles Clippers want to have C DeAndre Jordan remaining on the team for this next season. Jordan can choose to leave at the end of this season due to his player-option deal on his contract. If he chooses to stay, he will receive $24,119,000 million in his last year of his contract that he signed just before he signed with the Dallas Mavericks in the 2015 free agency. If Jordan decides to test free agency this offseason, the Clippers will likely use one of their two 1st round picks in the 2018 NBA Draft to draft a reliable rim defender/rebounder. This 2018 NBA Draft class is rich with talent at the Center position. Texas A&M Aggies C Robert Williams is a player that has been compared to DeAndre Jordan in terms of style of play and physical attributes. This could be a player that Los Angeles could use with one of their 1st round picks in the 2018 NBA Draft.

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In the past couple of seasons with Head Coach Doc Rivers also as the president of Basketball Operations, the main focus was building around core three with Paul, Griffin, and Jordan. This meant the constant trading of 1st round picks to secure players that could play around them. Since Doc Rivers was VP of basketball operations in 2013 then promoted to president in 2014, the Clippers have had only three 1st round draft picks. SF Reggie Bullock (2013 draft) only lasted two seasons, SG C.J. Wilcox (2014) only averaged 2.5 points per game in two seasons with L.A., and F Brice Johnson (2016) only played in 12 NBA games before he was a player to send to Detroit in the Blake Griffin trade. Not only does Los Angeles want to keep Draft picks but they also want to draft smarter with players with essential talent rather than filling in a specific role.

Now Michael Winger is the GM, Frank Lawrence is the executive VP of basketball operations, and Jerry West is one of the team’s main consultants. The Clippers are looking to rebuild but on a level where they will remain competitive in the playoff hunt as well as getting younger with more draft picks. This involves remaining smart with avoiding potential franchise damaging moves such as acquiring the expensive contracts of Cleveland’s Iman Shumpert and Tristian Thompson. If that means that DeAndre Jordan will depart from Los Angeles at the end of the season, the Clippers will still be looking to remain competitively vigilant to acquire talent rather than simply filling in a particular system.

Cross-Court Cavs: Trade Deadline Brings New Faces, New Outlook

With the struggles continuing for the Cavs, and a big week approaching, the NBA trade deadline brought a whole roster switch up for the Cavs. The team made moves all over the league to acquire new young talent to pair along with the Cavs veteran roster. This week proved to be a great rebound week overall, with the new acquisitions topping it all off.

Game 1 of the week took place in Orlando for a match-up with a young Magic squad. The run and gun type game the Magic play was really on display, as veteran Jonathan Simmons led the charge despite LeBron putting up a double-double.

Wednesday brought the Cavs back home for a nationally televised battle with the Minnesota Timberwolves. As expected by most, a back and forth battle ensued. Jimmy Butler and LeBron went at it all game long, with both squad’s supporting casts pitching in along the way. After realizing regulation wasn’t enough, LeBron took matters into his own hands and sinked the game winning fadeaway jumper over Butler to seal a much needed win for the Cavs.

Then came the trade deadline the next day. The Cavs waited a little while until around crunch time to make some moves, and once they got going, it seemed endless. The Cavs most notably shipped away PG Isaiah Thomas and SF Jae Crowder, who the most recently acquired, and in return developed a nice young core in Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. from the Lakers, Rodney Hood from the Jazz, and George Hill from the Kings.

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The newbies were all ineligble to play Friday when the Cavs traveled to Atlanta, but they picked up some practice time to help accommodate themselves to the team. Instead, bench players for the Cavs got minutes, and former Hawk Kyle Korver decided to take over, dropping in 30 points to lead his new squad over the old with a 123-107 victory.

The final game of the week, and arguably the most important one, came on Sunday. The Cavs took on the Boston Celtics, who are currently atop the Eastern Conference, and all the new players for the Cavs would play. And boy did they show up. All 4 of them finished in double digits for points, as they all blew open the scoreboard in the second half once LeBron was finished dominating the first. The outburst help propel the Cavs to an easy blowout victory, 121-99, showing great signs going forward for the team.

As one of the most busy weeks of the season came to a close for the Cavs, the team can say they did well. GM Koby Altman did his part in bringing in the new players, and the rest of the organization clearly played their role exceptionally well. The future is bright, especially after this Sunday’s win against the Celtics, as we all have much to look forward to.

Gold Rush: The Gauntlet Is Here

The Nuggets Are In For A Tough Stretch.

The Denver Nuggets have just come off an interesting 2 game set, losing to the Rockets 130-104 on Friday, and winning against the Suns 123-113. Stats for both games can be found here and here. Denver now sits at 30-26 and is in 7th place in the West, but these next four games will be one of the toughest tests for the Nuggets so far, and could shape the rest of their season. Let’s take a look at what’s in store for us:

2/13

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The Nuggets lost a close one to San Antonio at the end of January, 106-104.  If they can play hard like that again on Tuesday, then they have a decent  shot at stealing this one. It also helps that while the last game was in San Antonio, this time they will play in Denver. Tip-off is at 8:30 mountain time.

2/15

 

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The Bucks are the 4th seed in the East, but are only one and a half games better than the Nuggets right now. The game is in Milwaukee and Denver has struggled on the road, only winning eight road games this year. Tip-off is at 6:30.

2/23

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The Nuggets will take a week of after playing the Bucks before hosting the Spurs again. The rest should do them some good. Tip-off is at 7:00.

2/25

 

 

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The Nuggets have not beat the Rockets this year, losing 125-95 in November, and 130-104 last Friday. This will be their first meeting in Denver this year which is a positive. The Nuggets did not shoot well in their last meeting with the Rockets, and that will be key for them if they are to have a chance in this game. Tip-off is at 7:00.

What This Means:

For the Nuggets, this 4-game stretch will one of the hardest they’ve faced all season. In my opinion, if they can win two of these games, they will at least hold on to that important 8th seed. But I also believe that these Nuggets have it in them to win all four. All they can do is take it one game at a time.

#MileHighBasketball.

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Cavs Corner: Lebron Drama and Trade Talks

With a 30-22 record, the Cavs fear that Lebron James may leave after the 2018 season to pursue a better chance of hoisting that Larry O’Brien Trophy a few more times. In the 2016-2017 season, the Cavaliers racked up a total of 25 loses the entire season. Well, this year the Cavs have reached 22 before the all-star break, with 8 loses just coming from the month of January. It seems like the Cavs are crumbling and that has been the storyline for the Cavs this past month and a half. Isaiah Thomas summed it up best, saying, “When we hit adversity, we go our separate ways…men start to go one on one on offense and then defense is every man for himself.” 

 

News had been stirring up that Lebron waived his trade clause and said he was willing to talk to the Warriors, but after the loss to the Magic on February 6, he said, “I’m here for the long haul,” per Tom Withers of the Associated Press. 

 

Lebron has never really had a great relationship with Cavs owner, Dan Gilbert, after his letter to Lebron following “The Decision.” Considering Lebron has abandoned the Cavs once, he seems to know the hurt it put on all Cavs fans. For him to leave again would not be the best move for his ego, but what does he care. Lebron is arguably the best NBA player to ever live and has carried many of teams to multiple Finals appearances. With Lebron being 33 years old, it seems like he is all in on the Cavs for the rest of his career.

 

Thomas is a possible trade opportunity, after his lackluster abilities to maintain his high level and sense of chemistry from returning from his hip injury. The chemistry has seemed to decrease ever since he has arrived. Some may say it’s just a slump, but slumps usually aren’t this concerning for a team that is expected to make the Finals every year.

 

Will Lebron stay loyal? Can the Cavaliers make another Finals? Who will the Cavs pursue before the trade deadline? To me, there is nothing to worry about and the Cavaliers are still an elite team that is capable of making the Finals.

Cross-Court Cavs: The Struggles Continue

The stretch the Cleveland Cavaliers are currently under is both surprising and nerve wracking for everyone surrounding the organization and the team itself. The chemistry issues are starting to go public, and critics are starting to rule the team out as a result. This week is just another example of how trust is continuing to be lost progressively as the All-Star break approaches.

The first contest of the week put the Cavs in Detroit for a match-up with the Pistons. This is part of a rare back to back with the two same teams in the NBA, as these two squads played each other two days previously. Despite the Cavs winning heavily on Sunday, the Pistons came out with vengeance on Tuesday, controlling right from the beginning and never looking back, taking a 9 point victory and sending the Cavs back to Cleveland with their minds boggling.

The Cavs decided to show up and perform against the Heat at home on Wednesday night, though. LeBron James led the charge with 24 points against his former team, as the game went back and forth, but James came up clutch once again and scraped away a 2 point win to help improve the Cavs’ confidence going forward.

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And in the final match-up of the week, the Cavs struggled mightily in a blowout loss to the Houston Rockets. The Rockets came out firing on all cylinders, taking advantage of the Cavs lackluster defense and stagnant offense. James Harden and Chris Paul helped prove how worthy they are to be considered an elite team, as they picked apart the Cavs defense and sent them home embarrassed on national television with a 120-88 loss.

This week had its up and downs, with the Cavs still working on who they are as a team. They clearly have a lot of work to do, with the expectations on their heads so high, but a clear solution or change needs to be figured out in the near future, using the All Star break as their friend.

Gold Rush: Knocking Of The Champs!

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Just when it looked hopeless, a spark ignited in the Pepsi Center that burned down the Warriors.

The Stats:

For complete game stats, click right HERE

The Recap:

The Denver Nuggets were tasked with a Herculean trial Saturday night as the faced the NBA’s super team, the Golden State Warriors.  Denver triumphed in a game that never seemed out of reach but not very winnable. They struggled to shoot late in the 4th and the Warriors seemed to be rolling to victory. The Nuggets looked tired late in the game but never fell more then 10 points down. At the 6:02 mark, Will Barton sank a 25 foot 3-point shot to bring Denver within 3, 97-94. One minute later we were all tied up at 99-99 off of a Jamal Murray layup. The score would remain deadlocked for just over a minute until Will Barton sank another 3-pointer to give Denver a lead with a little help from Nikola Jokic.  This was the turning point for the Nuggets as they would not lose the lead for the rest of the game. The Warriors fought back though and at the 2:57 mark, Draymond Green dunked the ball to tie the game at 104. The true game winner came from Nikola Jokic. Torrey Craig drove to the basket to dunk, but over shot it and the ball looked like it would bounce out-of-bounds, but standing there to get it was Jokic, and at the 2:10 mark, he cooly sank a 3-pointer to give Denver a 107-104 lead. The Warriors tried to come back but Denver overwhelmed them for the final 2 minutes. The Nuggets pulled off the upset of the week with a 115-108 win.

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What This Means:

As we stand now, Denver is in 8th place in the west and just 2 games down from being as high as 5th. This win not only kept them in the playoff picture, it made a statement. The Denver Nuggets won for the second time this year against the Warriors and have established themselves as an emerging force in the West.

Their next game is Monday night vs the Hornets at the Pepsi Center.  Tip-off is at 7:00 Mountain time.

#MileHighBasketball

 

Thanks For Reading And Don’t Forget To Follow Us On Twitter @cleatgeeks and me @GeeksportJosh

 

 

Goin’ to Work: Drummond added to all-star roster

The Detroit Pistons just landed their superstar. And now have their All-Star.

Andre Drummond will represent the city of Detroit at the 2018 NBA All-Star game as a late addition to the roster, as first reported by The Detroit News‘s Rod Beard. He will replace Washington Wizards’ guard John Wall following knee surgery that will see him missing extended time. Drummond will join Team LeBron, the squad captained by LeBron James, as a reserve player.

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Through 46 games this season, Drummond is averaging 14.7 points and a league-leading 15.1 rebounds per contest. He also leads the league with 695 total rebounds. (All stats as of January 29, 2018)

Initially missing the All-Star final cut on the fan vote, Drummond was none too happy with what he (and many others) viewed as a blatant snub. Drummond further responded to his All-Star absence with his play on the court, recording a historical statline, the first of its type, in a hard-fought game against the Utah Jazz following the announcement of the teams.

His late addition will mark Drummond’s second All-Star nod after his appearance at the 2016 All-Star game in Toronto, in which he posted a strong 16 points and 13 rebounds in just over 18 minutes of floor time.

2018 NBA All-Star festivities will take place February 16th-18th at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, with the game between Team LeBron and Team Steph taking place February 18th at 8:30 pm ET on TNT.

Goin’ To Work: Pistons Acquire Blake Griffin

After a slow go in the month of January the Detroit Pistons made a splash in the trade market.

The Pistons agreed to acquire Blake Griffin from the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for Tobias Harris, Avery Bradley, Boban Marjanovic, a 2018 first round draft pick, and 2019 second round draft pick, as first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Talks between the two teams began earlier this week, per Woj, and accelerated in the last 24 hours before the deal was finalized. The Clippers also included two-way players Brice Johnson and Willie Reed in their side of the trade, per Woj.

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While the deal has its beauty from certain angles, it is laden with risk.

On the one hand the Pistons now have a bona fide star on their team (yes, I know Andre Drummond is on the team and yes, I agree he’s an all star snub but that’s beside the point). From the side of business, people now have added incentive to find their way to Little Caesars Arena to see this Pistons team in action. Griffin, for better or worse, has the Pistons fanbase buzzing.

And for good reason. When healthy Griffin is a dynamic, explosive player who brings excitement to the game. And his frontcourt counterpart, Andre Drummond, bears similarity to Clippers center DeAndre Jordan, with Drummond possessing more athleticism and better ability with the ball. Griffin can get you 20 points per game due to his ability on the blocks as well as his improved shot from the mid-range. If all works as it should the Griffin/Drummond frontcourt could be one of the strongest in the league.

However, acquiring Griffin’s service came at a price. And a hefty one, at that. While losing Bradley and Marjanovic hurts very little because of impending free agency and lack of minutes for $7 million per year, respectively, the loss of Tobias Harris hurts. The Pistons have little depth at the small forward after Harris as the role now falls to Stanley Johnson and Reggie Bullock, neither of whom have shown they can hold down a starting spot. The loss of their first round draft pick is also far from ideal. In a draft replete with talent like Trae Young, Marvin Bagley III, and Miles Bridges, to just name a few, the Pistons will be on the sidelines until the second round.

There are questions with Griffin as well. His health is concern number one. Various injuries have hampered Griffin since the 2014-15 season, playing a high of 67 games since then. When Griffin is healthy, you know what you have. But keeping him healthy and effective is essential.

Griffin’s contract throws another wrench into the Pistons’ operations, as he is fresh off of a max deal that he signed with the Clippers in the offseason. Here’s how it looks going forward:

The Pistons are on the hook for a lot of money. And they’ll be hard-pressed to make any upgrades to their roster for bench depth or an upgrade at small forward in this salary cap situation.

 

At the end of the day, Stan Van Gundy is making a high-stakes roll of the dice in acquiring Griffin. Van Gundy will be either the hero for making a move that gives the Pistons a playoff push or the goat for sending away pieces of the team’s future to land star power. There is no middle ground.

What are your thoughts on the Griffin deal? Love it? Hate it? Indifferent? Let me know in the comments below!

Gold Rush: Boston Holds Off Denver.

In The End, One Play Was The Difference.

Gary Harris (14) of the Denver ...

The Boston Celtics held off a fierce comeback from the Nuggets, escaping the Mile High City with a 111-110 win.

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This game brings an end to Denver’s 3-game win streak but they are still alive for a playoff spot. The Nuggets now go on a two game road trip.

Denver was able to stop Boston in the last few seconds to have a shot at winning, but Torrey Craig tipped in the game winning shot just after time expired. This game truly defined heart-break. The Nuggets fought their way out of a 20-point hole and took a lead in the 4th quarter. Trey Lyles sank a three pointer with 10 minutes to go that gave Denver a game high 6 point lead at 88-82. But just as it looked like Denver was in control, Boston went on a 19-7 run and Kyrie Irving beat Emmanuel Mudiay to go up 92-91 with 8 to go. Later, Boston extended that lead to 99-93 when Terry Rozier put away a 3 and an Irving lay-up rolled in half way through the quarter. Al Horford looked like he might have iced the game when he shot a 3-pointer as the shot clock expired to push their lead to 108-102, but Denver answered with a Harris 18-footer and a Lyles putback before Jamal Murray scored to tie it up at 108 a piece. The game winning shot for Boston came from Jaylen Brown’s only 3-pointer of the evening. This shot came with 33 seconds and gave them the 111-110 lead that they needed.

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Nikola Jokic had a double-double, finishing with 24 points and 11 rebounds. Mason Plumlee added 16 points and eight rebounds before leaving the game in the fourth quarter with a calf injury, while Harris scored 15 points and Murray finished with 14 points and tied a season-high with eight assists. This injury was costly to Denver in the end as they really could have used his skills. Harris scored 15 points and Murray finished with 14 points and tied a season-high with eight assists.

This game began looking like it would be a dominating blow out for the Celtics going up by as much as 20 points in the first half. But it all turned around in the 3rd quarter, out scoring their foe 37-24. Plumlee was out in front with 10 points of his own. But as stated above, it just wasn’t enough. The great comeback came up slightly short.

On a side note, the Nuggets seemed to face a more uncommon problem. Even though they played on home court, the over whelming amount of Celtics fans presence gave it more of a road game feeling. At one point loud chants of   “Let’s go Celtics!” boomed through the Pepsi Center. I hope when the Nuggets return home to host Oklahoma City on Thursday and Golden State on Sunday, Nuggets fans will represent in force.

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