Nuggets-Mavericks: Denver Looks for Game Four Sweep with Focus in HD

Rich Kurtzman@@RichKurtzman Senior Analyst IMay 11, 2009

Coming off a an amazing, last-second, nail-in-the-coffin jumper by Carmelo Anthony, Denver looks to sweep the Mavericks in their semifinal best-of-seven series Monday night.

In preparation for what could be the definitive contest, Anthony said, "We know Game Four is going to be harder than Game Three, especially after everything that's going on right now," regarding the controversy that surrounds the Game Three win.

Game Three ended on a beautifully calm three-pointer from 'Melo, who—according to Dallas and the league—was fouled before his shot. According to the referees that called the game, he wasn't.

Of the NBA's apology letter that was released two hours after the game that said the refs missed the call, Dirk Nowitzki cried, "If I was the league, I wouldn't say that. I don't think it makes anybody feel better. We don't get the last seven seconds back...I think it made it worse."

As the Denver Post's Woody Paige stated today, one of the referees reportedly said, "If they think we missed the call, that's their decision."

With all of Dallas thinking about what could have been, it must be a distraction to the players at this point.

Nuggets head coach George Karl was adamant about Game Three not being decided just by the final play, but by the many that leaded up to it as well.

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"Each team, in a game with so many whistles, has a lot of complaints," Karl argued. "And to focus on the last play of the game, I think, is irresponsible. There's a lot of calls even in the last three minutes of the game that when I send in to the league office, they are going to call back and say, 'You're right. That was a bad call.'"

Anthony continued, "We're expecting a tougher game. We just have to come in more focused than we were in Game Three."

'Melo's thinking is a microcosm of what makes this Denver Nuggets team so great—their desire to improve night-in and night-out, to focus better in Game Four, to play more aggressively, and to dominate opponents.

If Denver does focus and sweep the Mavericks in Dallas, it will be only the second time in NBA team history the Nuggets have made it to the Western Conference Finals. The last time Denver made it that far was in 1985 in a five-game losing effort against the LA Lakers, almost two-and-a-half decades ago.

Dallas would have to create history to become the first ever NBA team to come back from a 3-0 deficit.

Veteran point guard and Nuggets' leader Chauncey Billups is convinced Denver will play with more energy tonight in Game Four. "We're going to be aggressive. We're going to fight extremely hard in the game. We know that they are going to fight extremely hard."

If the Mavericks don't fight as hard as possible, they will lose tonight, being swept under the rug by Denver's brooms.

Look for the Nuggets to get their first-ever seven-game sweep 103-90, tonight at 9:30 p.m. ET on TNT.

In the Bonus

Following Saturday's loss to Denver, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was rude to Kenyon Martin's mother.

When a fan was calling the Nuggets "thugs", Cuban turned to Martin's mother and said, "that includes your son." Cuban also reportedly sought out Martin's mom among many Nuggets fans, and said, "Your son is a punk."

After the "non-call" on Saturday, Dallas' Brandon Bass said, "we're counting that game (Game Three) as a win. We feel we can beat that team." Well, Brandon, you get your chance tonight, so good luck.


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