Nuggets hammer hapless Knicks 106-78

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Point forward Kenneth Faried led the Denver Nuggets with 19 points and 11 rebounds as Denver humiliated the New York Knicks in the Mile High City.

The Knicks’ yearly excursion to Colorado ended as it has the past 6 years, with a New York loss.

The Nuggets, had lost 11 of their past 12 at home. Can we blame the triangle offense for the majority of Denver’s lost season? Denver fired first year coach Brian Shaw, disciple of Phil Jackson. Shaw tried to integrate a slower pace. Half-court offense is a must come playoff time (and this has been true in the NBA long before the triangle offense). However, the Nuggets went 20-39 under Shaw, well out of the playoff picture in the Western Conference.

Shaw was let go on March 4th, replaced, on an interim basis, by assistant Melvin Hunt. With tonight’s win, the Nuggets are 3-2 under Hunt, who has reinstated a run and gun offense.

The Knickerbockers jumped out to a 14-8 lead 6 minutes into the game.

The Knicks go to a hack offense against teams who run. The “hack-a-Nugget” strategy put the Knicks in the penalty just 7 minutes into the game. In the process the Knicks lost the lead. Denver spurted ahead 23-21 with 2:48 remaining in the first quarter. The teams ended up tied 25-25 at the end of the opening period.

The Knicks came back to take an early 3 point 2nd quarter lead. New York then slipped into their lethargic, “I could use a nap” mode. The altitude in Denver didn’t help as the Nuggets took a 39-31 lead with 5:50 left in the first half.

At this point, the ugliness began. The Nuggets were able to capitalize on 3’s. Very out of character as Denver is the worst 3 point shooting team in the league. However, the WIDE open looks the tired Knicks gave them were to good to pass on, and usually too good to miss.

The Knicks then started an horrific trend of turning the ball over. Seven turnovers all told in the second quarter. Denver, ZERO turnovers in the 2nd quarter (or 3rd). The Nuggets went on a 16-3 run late in the first half and catapulted themselves to a commanding 55-40 halftime advantage.

It just got worse after the intermission as the Nuggets came out blazing, pouncing on New York and opening up the lead to 75-50. The Knicks were a step and a half slow. They would never find their sea legs tonight.

Tired teams play bad defense, bad tired teams play horrific defense. New York is the later. Denver expanded their lead to 91-59 at the end of 3 quarters. It was the 9th time this season that the Knicks trailed by 30 points or more.

Denver sat Faried, Wilson Chandler and former Knick Danillo Gallinari (who was part of the Carmello Anthony trade).

The Nuggets sailed to a 106-78 victory.

The Knicks are on life support and have a quick turnaround, flying to Salt Lake City after the game to face the Utah Jazz tomorrow night. All signs point to another stinker.

As noted, the Nuggets are now 3-2 since Brian Shaw was fired (23-41 overall). This to me is more an indictment on the triangle offense than it is on Shaw.

Shaw joins Bill Cartright, Jim Cleamons, and Kurt Rambis as former Phil Jackson assistants who have attempted to run the triangle offense on their teams and ended up with their walking papers. Not a particularly good sign for Knick coach Derek Fisher. Though Fisher never coached under Jackson, he was hen picked by Jackson literally off the court at Oklahoma City to bring the triangle to New York. New York is now 12-51.

Steve Kerr runs a “hybrid” triangle for the Golden State Warriors. The Warriors are the best team in the NBA West and at this point in time the favorite to bring home the NBA title. Kerr, however, revamped the offense to highlight Stephen Curry.

Could it be that Phil Jackson has all those rings simply because of the superior talent he had in Chicago and Los Angeles and that his coaching success had very little to do with his patent “Triangle”?

Presently, Jackson is busy scouting and burning up the phone lines (one would expect). The thinking here in New York is that he will deal the Knicks’ number one pick. No “if’s” involved, put the ranch on it, he will deal the pick.

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