At least no one had to spend a lot of time climbing the ladder to get the ball out of the peach basket.
That game was actually live Thursday night, not some historic footage transformed into 2012-quality viewing by modern technology? George Karl coached the Nuggets, not James Naismith?That really was live. That really did happen. An NBA team, Denver, a good NBA team at that, really did make one basket from outside the paint the entire game. The Trail Blazers really did beat the Nuggets 101-93 in Portland in a game for the ages.
The Dark Ages.
Not scrounging a hoop outside the paint until the 17-footer from Ty Lawson with 38 seconds remaining was incomprehensible enough. That doesn’t happen. That it happened to the Nuggets, though, increased the level of disbelief.
Yeah, if there was a list of candidates to miss every shot from 3-point range, 22 in this case to set a league record for futility, Denver would have been near the top – it began the night 25th in long-range accuracy. But to go 47 minutes, 22 seconds without tripping over a perimeter basket? Mind boggling.
The Nuggets were sixth in field-goal percentage when they stepped on the court Thursday and someone turned out the lights. They do not have an efficient offense, with turnovers and free throws becoming a real problem, but they do have veteran perimeter players known for something other than defense. Danilo Gallinari, Andre Igoudala, Andre Miller, Lawson – at some point, someone has to accidentally make a bad shot from 15 feet.
And yet, one make from outside the paint, allowing Portland to win on a night it shot all of 35.9 percent.
“You recognized that, did you?” Karl deadpanned afterward when a reporter mentioned the freak statistical happening.
Assume a few others will as well and that the discussion of a Wednesday night in Portland in 2012, or 1957 or 1891 or whatever it was, will continue. That, the 3-point record and the perimeter scoring as a whole, can be written off as a numerical anomaly for the Nuggets, of course, but it should also put a big-picture spotlight on an offense that it struggling.