End of Season, Not End of the Nuggets





LOS ANGELES – The Nuggets made it difficult for the Lakers to beat them. The first-round series went the max, to a seventh game when it didn’t seem possible after Los Angeles jumped out 2-0. The final installment went to the end too, to the final minutes of the final night.

Just as much, though, the Nuggets made it difficult, if not impossible, to leave the season disappointed, even in defeat. They were that impressive in the 4-3 series defeat and the 96-87 loss in Game 7 on Saturday night at Staples Center.

If the Lakers had Denver’s passion, L.A. would be regarded as much more of a title contender than it is today. The Nuggets grew exponentially during the first round in ways that will pay off into next season and beyond.

“Tomorrow or the next day, when the funk gets out of your body, you’re going to be proud of the team,” coach George Karl said. “And I am proud of the team. I’ve never been in a locker room after a season where every guy in front of me I‘m happy with and content with staying with the same crew and going to work next year. But right now you feel like a piece of …”

He shrugged and held up his right hand as if searching for the proper word.

“A valiant effort in the second half,” Karl continued. “We had an opportunity. And the game was so physical. It was so bang, push, shove grab, hold that I think their size won over our speed. We gave great effort.”

The Nuggets lost the first two games and responded to force a Game 7. They fell behind by 16 points in the third quarter and responded again on the road, earning a tie as late as 78-78 with 6:51 remaining before falling for good.

Karl was asked what impressed him most about his team this series.

He contemplated for nine seconds before answering.

“All year long, I enjoyed their, kind of, belief that they could win when no one else was believing in them,” he said. “From the closer and not having a star player, all the things that were written (about the Nuggets needing a prime-time player in the clutch). I just think they are pretty mentally a tough team for a young bunch of guys. They’re enjoyable to be around. They’re enjoyable to coach. And I don’t think there are 30 NBA coaches saying that right now in the NBA. That says I am blessed with a good situation. Their heart is bigger than people think it is.”

46 Comments

  1. Hi says:

    The nuggets need a star. They already have Ty and faried, also Wilson chandler, but they need a overpowering center that can crash the boards and post up.

  2. harold says:

    gReat Job Denver! eventhough you did not won the series, you’ve showed that thE team has a potential to be A NBA Champion someday

  3. ivanjoe says:

    McGee obviously has a lot of potential. Coming off the bench, he helped the Nuggets win big in certain games in the series. The talent is there, but it is rather raw. More tweaks in his game (low-post, shot blocking without goaltending, etc.), and maybe he’ll become an All-Star or a dominant center for years to come.

  4. Godo Javier says:

    love to see james harden wearing helmet and armor !!!!

  5. lakermig says:

    great series and the nugs came out fighting from day 1 and just got more and more intense although in all fairness the lakers ( bynum and pau) just got worse and worse with every game till it was show up or go home..i have to say well done to the nuggets, but pushing the lakers to a game seven is hardly something to be proud of or make it mean you dont need any changes to the team cause if the lakers (bynum and pau) came out with the same intensity that the nugs did it would have been a 5 game series as it should have really. JUST SAYING THE TRUTH

    • tanna456 says:

      Your team is your team and Bynam and Pau are consistently inconsistent, so save the “If’s and and’s.” The Lakers are also old. Nuggets fans could say If the Nuggets had Chandler and Fernandez it would have been different! Face it, the Lakers are on the down slide and America, (except for the people in LA who have their heads up Kobe’s A**) will be happy about it. THE MOST OBNOXIOUS FANS on the planet!

  6. I.AmBball says:

    i think laker fans would be very happy to not see the MANimal til next year

    • hooplover says:

      please, manimal and lakers shouldn’t even be used in the same sentence!

      • tanna456 says:

        That’s cuz the Lakers are old and have dummies on the team who think acting like a baby or a criminal is ok; and fans that are ok with it! Losers……. I HATE the Lakers and THIER FANS……, GO OKC!!!

  7. butch says:

    okc/lakers game will be very entertaining. it will be physical but my money’s on okc because of their energy & youth.

  8. Francisco says:

    another game seven where KOBE CHOKES and he is bailed out, He is a role player for the LAKERS

    • NBAfan says:

      Kobe chocked? You didn’t see his timely three pointer? Choking is Lebron in the Finals last year…that’s choking

      Also, check all the other HTB…going game 7 with the Nuggest is a STRATEGIC MOVE…OKC is a heck of a team and Durant is a heck of a player and they need Metta be play all games in the series for them to stand a chance….

      Going game seven was a plan. The bigs not playing well until game 7 was a plan. Kobe being “sick” is also a plan….they just wanted to buy time for Metta to come back….

      Was there ever a time the Nuggets threatened to win that game 7? Hell no….

      • tanna456 says:

        “Going game seven was a plan,” ANOTHER ridiculous statement by a Lakers fan. This is precisely why you can’t have a conversation with Laker fans because they say the MOST RIDICULOUS things. They excuse any bad behavior by their players, they never really talk real basketball, they just start repeating stats about Kobe, and talk rings, rings, rings, and banner, banner banners, After a while that talk is just repetitive and lame. The fact that you would even say that they pushed a game seven on purpose is absurd. It’s too risky and unless you watched a series different than what everybody else watched, the Nuggets DID have a chance to win, not only game seven, but the series. I can’t wait for the Lakers to get owned by OKC! Then the Laker fans will start talking about how living in OK is lame and LA is great and a bunch of other nonsense. NOTE to LA people, not everyone things LA is great. If you’d get out a bit more you would see a great country out there and cities that are better than LA. Yes, they have great weather, but other than that it’s no better than living in many other cities in America!

      • tanna456 says:

        ANOTHER ridiculous statement by a Lakers fan! “Going game seven was a plan,” This is precisely why you can’t have a conversation with Laker fans because they say the MOST RIDICULOUS things. They excuse any bad behavior by their players, they never really talk real basketball, they just start repeating stats about Kobe, and talk rings, rings, rings, and banner, banner banners, After a while that talk is just repetitive and lame. The fact that you would even say that they pushed a game seven on purpose is absurd. It’s too risky and unless you watched a series different than what everybody else watched, the Nuggets DID have a chance to win, not only game seven, but the series. I can’t wait for the Lakers to get owned by OKC! Then the Laker fans will start talking about how living in OK is lame and LA is great and a bunch of other nonsense. NOTE to LA people, not everyone things LA is great. If you’d get out a bit more you would see a great country out there with cities that are better than LA in some respects and maybe not as great in other respects. Yes, they have great weather, but other than that it’s no better than living in many other cities in America!

    • role player your funny, kobe was ballin all series like he always does its just about time that the rest of the team showed up,

  9. Igoe says:

    The Lakers are done. They had to bust their butts to get this series, along with Al Harrington’s nose, Corey Brewer’s eye and even a wicked cheap shot by Kobe on Faried. Still, the Nuggets kept coming and coming. That is what is scary about the Nuggets. Take Harrington and Andre Miller off the roster and Denver is the youngest team in the playoffs.
    The Nuggets will have this off season to gel and grow some more. I really don’t think that the Nuggets will be active in the off season with this roster and two keys in Hernandez and Chandler returning from injury. The Nuggets are under the cap and have some good draft picks this year and next thanks to the Carmelo trade.
    The West is going to be the fun division to watch for the next few years with Denver, OKC and the Clippers coming of age.

  10. Xiao says:

    the Nugget played great. Had gme 7 played in Denver, Laker is probably go fishing already. laker looks so tired and won’t survive more than 6 games with OKC…

  11. Hustler says:

    Just want to say I LOVE the way the Nuggets played this series. I usually go for the underdog, and it’s very enjoyable to watch all the hustle and heart they showed on the court. Down 0-2 and were still fighting, Faried had awesome energy, Lawson was a force when he was knocking down his shots, McGee played some very nice games.

    I really hope Denver keep this team together, I would love to see them grow like the Thunder have over the last 3 or so seasons. I believe Lawson could become their go to guy, with players like Afflalo, Faried, Galinari, Wilson Chandler when he’s healthy playing the supporting cast. Will be a team to watch in the next couple of years.

  12. if mcgee gets serious about his game and play the way he did in game 6 or 5 when he was at his best best but bring it every night then they can be a contender till then they will be a first round one and done,

  13. W/E says:

    Championship contenters usually got 1 or 2 players who average 25+ points per game and play good defence at the same time.The nuggets need a consistent mid range shooter with 25+ average to be championship contenter,NOT a carmelo anthony type player who can only make iso plays and cant play defence but someone reliable.

  14. Kevin Sheldon says:

    for a team that was rebuilding at the beginning of the year, I’d say theyre in pretty good shape moving forward. Give them a year or two, and they could become a genuine contender

  15. Inno says:

    Gasol did it 23 points /17reb/ 6as

    Review his stats on regular season, and his stats in every season he played… some blind people say he is soft… ¿soft with this numbers? People confuse polite, well-manners with soft… too many simple-minded

    Gasol is huge, always one of 5 better forwards always playing and never refuse to talk when played bad or give us a excuse. He made huge spanish national team, but he is a TEAM player and with Mike Brown always scared of Kobe reactions, with a coach who dont build a team, Gasol and also a young Bynum can show us all their potential.

    Kobe is one of the best players ever, but if you thing you can do all yourself, dont blame others when your team lose. He look like a child, inmature, now at his age he must be as Kareem or Magic, a reference for all his teamates, someone who make them strong… Lakers won without Kobe, Gasol and Bynum look happy, feel stronger and more important without him… thats sad, if Kobe learn that, he has the chance to win more rings and become a legend… I haven´t faith in M Brown, Kobe have the key

    Nuggets… you have a TEAM and a great coach… You can improve yourself, grow as a family with your fans support and every team will be scared to play in Denver next seasons. Good luck next season I´ll be watching you.

    PS I am a Celtics fan… I love basket and Lakers-Celtics finals (not easy but… who knows)

    • Arsak says:

      Well said, Inno. Coach Brown does not know how to use Gasol’s talent, nor did Phil Jackson

  16. Rick says:

    This team and this season, the Nuggets have been more fun than any in the past. They put their heart and soul into it and it shows. This team is really going to be a dominant force in the future.

  17. welcome back to reality says:

    denver played well, but growin i think will be a broad word.. 1st of all it’s true that they need a superstar, an anchor, every championship team does have atleast 1 or 2.. the lakers are dangerous this year if they are focused and competing.. the only thing lakers needs to worry about is their consistency, bynum has been very solid this year but inconsistent, same with gasol.. their front court is not as lethal as other teams have but the length and the fact that they are so experienced is scary enough for other teams not to count them out yet.. i expect the lakers to go the distance maybe WCF even FINALS if they will stay focused.. this is coming from a super HEAT fan and LBJ still the best :D.. and just to rub it in even they make it to the finals the east will take this year :D..

  18. theking0522 says:

    Thanks to the Nuggets for pushing the Lakers to the limit. Now OKC is fresh and ready to destroy the Lakers. The Lakers stand no chance against OKC, unless Metta Peace throws another elbow.

  19. Wes says:

    Congrats to the Lakers, lets see how they do against OKC,. Denver, it will be fun to watch the off season moves they make, Plenty of trade material (players and draft choices) and a management team not scared to rock the boat.
    Hopefully the Denver bigs will find out what a weight room is

  20. Fuzz says:

    I awaitedthe return from China of JR Smith and Wilson Chandler to join the Nuggets roster.That never really happened and greatly hindered their chances of moving through the playoffs.

  21. joex lim says:

    nice 1 Nuggets, good luck next season…

  22. Denver Nation says:

    Good series.
    They need to resign Javale, andre, and rudy.
    If rudy and wilson chandler are heatlhy next year theyll be a threat

  23. Kray says:

    I am so much interested in this nuggets roster right now. I hope they can keep this roster this will be a great team. They fought the lakers till game 7. If wilson chandler was healthy they already won the series vs the lakers.

  24. eknujsra says:

    Yey!Kudos to Coach Karl..so fun to watch Nugget’s games…looking forward next season,,,

  25. PETER says:

    Everybody thought Carmelo leaving , JR , Kenyon, Nene etc would mean the death of the Nuggets.We unearthed a future star in Ty Lawson , who will only get better in the future.Faried is another star we found this year and will play a big role in the Nuggets future success.We have a nice roster of young talent with plenty of experience and should continue to improve next year.

    • Lose Mgee says:

      Great young talent but Mgee’s got to go. I honestly don’t think he’s ever going to evolve to the level I’m sure Nuggets fans are hoping for.

      • vrapz says:

        @loosemcgee….ur ryt.he got the heigth and hes athletic…but he’s too soft.he better unleash his animal side—dominate on the boards and cover the paint area in defence like what chandler do.

  26. Brandon Doyle says:

    Ok so Gasol did show up to play this game, but will he stay as pumped as he was last night…probably not and that will lead to infighting once again http://tinyurl.com/89bftjb Kobe will give another tounge lashing to get him back to where he needs to be if the Lakers have a chance.

  27. BFoulds says:

    Nuggets played great basketball. This team is going to be something to watch over the next few years for sure. Congrats to the currently better team, Lakers

  28. IvanFS says:

    Gasol is GOD, Magic shut up :)

  29. JC says:

    The Nuggets gave their all. valiant effort. i have nothing against the lakers advancing to the nexst round but let us give the Denver Nuggets the attention and credit they deserve. great work by Coach Karl

  30. empire jenz says:

    Great Game for the NUGGETS… LAKERS SHOWS LOTS OF EXPERIENCE… THAT’S PLAYOFF, MANY THINGS CAN HAPPEN, BUT EXPERIENCE STILL IMPORTANT IN EVERY YEARS GOES BY… GOOD LUCK KOBE AND LAKERS…

    LA LAKERS ALSO IN GAME 7 VS. OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDERS…. :)

  31. emerson says:

    Well said, Karl. You deserve a better luck next season. God bless you!

  32. Domainsnext says:

    Thanks George you made us face Oklahoma city full strength.

  33. Richard says:

    Its funny how every time for the past few years you always hear the same thing about teams growing.. and it never happens how many years have the nuggets advanced past the 1st round?? even with melo…

  34. ko0kie says:

    what a pity.. but a great experience to build on for the future.. this team just needs some time to evolve.. watch out for them next season. I just hope they can keep andre miller.. he’s the perfect complement to ty lawson.