Linas Kleiza had his first NBA double double today (23 points/10 rebounds — and 7-for-7 free throws) in the Nuggets’ win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. Awesomely, there was a crowd of Lithuanian Kleiza fans at the Pepsi Center, boisterously cheering for Kleiza. I swear he thrives on attention — he tends to kick ass during nationally televised games, and tonight he was just on fire. I love that guy and I need to hang out with these loud-ass Lithuanian basketball fans.
I’m so relieved that the Nuggets turned it around after receiving a smackdown from the lowly Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday (no really, my mom and my dog could’ve played better defense and there’s no way they would have allowed the worst team in the NBA to score 133 points on them). That Memphis game brought back painful memories of last year.
Last year, I had the misfortune of attending the final home game, which was boring as hell and the Nuggets were ahead the whole time, until they lost in the final seconds. They lost the last five regular season games of the year before being squashed by the Clippers and their super-secret ugliness powers during the playoffs. They totally let themselves go after winning the division, and I knew they weren’t a good enough team to turn it back on for the playoffs.
So this year, I’ve been watching these final games with a bit of fear that the same thing will happen again. So far, it hasn’t. There’s no denying that this year’s Spurs are better than last year’s Clippers, but the Nuggets are hot and I’m not worried. I can’t say I think they’ll win (I mean, I can say that if I’m shit talking, but I’m not sure how much I believe it yet), but I can say they’ll play well.
I know it’s too early to worry about next year, but seeing as how Al Wilson just got cut from the Broncos, which bums me out, I’ll spend just a few seconds thinking about it. Word on the street is that next year’s Nuggets team will not include Nene and Camby, and that Camby seems the more likely candidate for trading. I’m going to say it now — getting rid of Camby would rank in the top five of “biggest mistakes the Nuggets could make.” I hope it doesn’t happen.
Now, though, isn’t the time to worry. Now is the time to get ready for the playoffs, which, for me, means coming up with my 2007 San Antonio Spurs heckling strategy. Ginobili, I’ll be ready for you.