It’s a shame the Miami Heat have overshadowed what the Denver Nuggets are doing. If the Heat weren’t chasing down an NBA record for consecutive wins, we’d all be talking about the Nuggets a lot more.
Denver is currently on a 15-game win streak, which is extremely impressive when you consider: A) how bad the Nuggets have played on the road up to this point (11-19 before the streak started) and B) the streak includes wins over the Los Angeles Clippers, the Memphis Grizzlies and the defending Western Conference champion Oklahoma City Thunder… twice.
You would think getting this hot at this point of the season would be something to get excited about, but to hear Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari tell it, head coach George Karl is not breaking out any champagne.
"He was not happy with us; he was pretty mad with us," said Gallinari. "The last two or three games we've been up and down. We've had some good stretches and bad stretches, probably because we're relaxed after all these wins we've had."
My guess is that Karl knows he has a young team and he doesn’t want them to get a big head and think they’re indestructible right before the playoffs start.
After a 101-95 win over Sacramento last night, Karl thought the team settled for too many jump shots and felt they were “fairly atrocious in the second and third quarter."
Karl plays the role of the “disapproving dad” to perfection, finding things to criticize even in the midst of very impressive winning streak. If you always keep the “kids” trying hard to earn approval, then they won’t stop trying until they get it.
It’s hard to predict what you can expect from this Nuggets team the rest of the season. No one is giving them enough credit to take down the powerhouses in the West like the Thunder or the San Antonio Spurs. However, if they keep playing like this, and keep the right mindset, they look like a team with limitless possibilities.