Posts tagged “Denver Nuggets

How the West (and East) was Won: A Look at the NBA Playoff Picture


BY MATTHEW VINSKO AND BRETT MURDOCK, Couchsideshow.com writers

If you would have asked us this past summer who we thought would win the NBA Championship, I’m sure we would have had three answers for you: the Miami Heat, the Oklahoma City Thunder, or the most likely scenario, no champion at all.

With the lockout breathing down the NBA’s neck, it was hard to have realistic expectations for a 2011-12 NBA season.  Though the shortened schedule has led to its share of surprises (I’m looking at you, Utah Jazz), the older mainstays have managed to stay true to form and the young, upcoming teams have seemingly dominated a shorter, more physically daunting schedule (with the exception of the San Antonio Spurs; how does Popovich do it?).

Now that the regular season is over and the match-ups are set, it’s prediction time, and who better to run down the NBA playoffs than two diehard fans?  We will admit our last article was a WWE-themed article, so it’s time to pop our cherry once and for all and tackle a real sport.

Western Conference

(1) San Antonio Spurs vs. (8) Utah Jazz

Tony Parker and Tim Duncan were together for the San Antonio Spurs' last title run and will look to do the same this season. Photo by: Brit / Flickr

Matt: I was a little disheartened to see the Jazz easily dismantle the Phoenix Suns this past Tuesday, breaking the hearts of Phoenix fans while ensuring Utah’s trip to the postseason.  Now that it’s all said and done though, I have a hard time picking either of the two against the Spurs.  Though San Antonio showed last year that one-seeds aren’t unbeatable, I don’t see them losing two years in a row in first-round upsets.  Plus, Utah’s front court players (Derrick Favors, Al Jefferson, and Paul Millsap) aren’t nearly as intimidating as Memphis’ combination of Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol a year ago.  Expect a pretty lopsided series in my eyes where the veterans show the young studs a thing or two about postseason basketball.

Winner: San Antonio Spurs in 5

Brett: I spent last Tuesday night at Matt’s house, watching the Suns/Jazz battle it out for a playoff spot while simultaneously writing our Extreme Rules predictions. When the triple zeroes hit and the Suns had lost and missed out on a chance for the final berth, I was left not heartbroken nor happy, but relieved. Because I knew that I would not have to watch the Suns endure a humiliating first round exit to the Spurs, which is what the Jazz will encounter. San Antonio is a deep team, starting with their Big 3 of Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili (bleh) and Tim Duncan, the greatest power forward ever. Their bench is young and talented and the late-season acquisitions of Stephen Jackson, Patty Mills and Boris Diaw were solid. The Jazz are young but inexperienced in the playoffs and will have trouble containing the Spurs on both ends of the floor. This one should be a cakewalk for San Antonio.

Winner: Spurs in 5 (more…)

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Couch Side Podcast — Episode 12: We’re talking ’bout playoffs


BY Couchsideshow.com staff

In this week’s episode of the Couch Side podcast, the dynamic duo of Craig Paul and Wade McMillin preview the NBA playoffs and analyze the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. The hosts also discuss the Denver Broncos signing Brandon Stokley, an odd triple play and UFC 145.

Click here to stream/download Couch Side Episode 12  via iTunes

Click here to stream Couch Side Episode 12: NFL Mock Draft via our host site, TalkShoe

Click here to download Couch Side Episode 12: NFL via our host site, TalkShoe


Clippers sign free agent Martin


BY DEREK BARSNESS, Couchsideshow.com writer

Free agent power forward Kenyon Martin signed with the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday. Photo by: Jason Thompson / Flickr

Free agent power forward Kenyon Martin has agreed to terms on a deal with the Los Angeles Clippers.  Martin had been playing for the Xinjiang Guanghui Flying Tigers in China, but reached a buyout in his contract back in December.  The deal is worth $2.5 million.

I like this deal for a couple of reasons.  The first is that K-Mart can still play.  He has always been solid defensively and while his offense isn’t his strong point, he is a good rebounder and can get hot from night to night.  Martin, 34, averaged 8 points and 6 rebounds with the Denver Nuggets last year before heading to China during the NBA lockout.  Martin also provides valuable depth for the Clippers.  Facing six game road trips twice in the next six weeks, Martin will provide much needed rest for Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan.

The downside to Martin is the risk of injury.  He seems to have perpetual knee problems and hasn’t played in over 70 games since the ’07-’08 season.  And since that season his games played have dropped steadily each year due to injury.  Last season he played in only 48 games and averaged just 25.7 minutes per game, the lowest of his career.

The Clippers are off to a 13-7 start and hold a one game ahead of the Lakers in the Pacific Division.


Are NBA “superstars” ruining the game?


BY DEREK BARSNESS, Couchsideshow.com writer

NBA stars are becoming bigger than the game itself. And it’s making fans bitter; quickly turning them into haters.

New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony went from a fan favorite during his days in Syracuse to a trader after bailing on the Denver Nuggets last year. Photo by: Kevan Emmott/Flickr

Stars have always enjoyed special treatment. But when the power shift is so one sided that players like Dwight Howard can demand a trade the year before his contract expires, general managers are put in quite a predicament. Do they chance losing their star at the end of the season and have nothing to show for it or trade the core of the team that they’ve spent the past several years and millions of dollars building? And fans resent this. Not just fans of these teams, but fans of the game in general.

I’m a huge Denver Nuggets fan. I’m also a huge Syracuse Orangemen fan (yes, they are still the Orangemen to me, although the change to the Orange is growing on me). So When the Nuggets drafted Carmelo Anthony in 2003 it was a dream come true. He took Denver, a perennial lottery team, to the playoffs in his first season. But after what happened with Melo last season, I’m a hater now. I hate the Knicks, Amar’e Stoudemire (for no good reason) and Spike Lee (seriously, does anyone actually like that guy). I even hate the Lakers, and as I write this blog I’m watching the Knicks take on the Lakers. I’m rooting against the Knicks, but essentially that means I’m rooting for the Lakers!

Denver was between a rock and a hard place. Melo’s situation was different than the one the Magic are currently in with Howard. This was mostly due to the expiring NBA labor contract and the possibility that if Melo didn’t sign an extension before the end of the season he would lose millions of dollars in guaranteed money. He made it public knowledge that he would only accept a trade to New York so no teams were willing to trade away the draft picks and prospects that Denver was rightfully asking for in return. If the Nuggets didn’t trade Melo, they risked losing one of the top 10 best players in the league and having nothing to show for it. Personally, I think Melo was greedy enough and would have accepted an extension with Denver rather than lose millions. So Denver traded their star for a crop of young
talent, but none of them will ever fill the shoes of Anthony.

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