Who woulda thunk? Okay, go ahead and try to pull my chain. Proceed with great vigor and articulation to tell me that, any time prior to April, you foretold this. Convince me if you dare try that you predicted, nay, even thought that as the Western Conference Finals draw nigh, it would be the Denver Nuggets sitting around with their feet up, awaiting an opponent.
Truth is that whether you're a Nuggets fan, a fan of another team, or a non-fan, you didn't see this coming. What you saw in your crystal ball, tea leaves, palm, tarot cards, or framed copy of Charles Barkley's rant on the subject was the Lakers being where and what the Nuggets are now.
Where the Nuggets are is officially in the Western Conference Finals. What the Nuggets are is the team that's playing the second best level of basketball in the playoffs. The honor of playing the best goes to the Cavaliers. The Nuggets are captained by 2009 addition Chauncey "Mr Big Shot" Billups who is accompanied by the unlikely, suddenly mature "1st officer", Carmelo Anthony. Add to that a solid & deep cast of role players like wacky but energetic Chris "Bird Man" Andersen and Nene, you have a "golden" team that is peaking just at the right time.
The Nuggets are not only playing their customary brand of high-powered, free-wheeling offense, but (pinch me as I must be dreaming) they're also playing solid defense. They're also confident almost to the point of being cocky and are very hungry for a championship.
By the time you read this, the Nuggets may know who their next opponent will be. Then again, if the enigmatic Lakers go into Houston, still giggling from their 40-point Game 5 blow-out, having resorted to their usual modus operandi of reliance on talent without heart (except for Kobe and "Fish"), the Nuggets may not know who their opponent will be. The Nuggets will just dial up the comfort settings in their golden lounge chairs and wait 2 more days.
But assuming that the Lakers will eventually punch their ticket for the Western Conference Finals...OH WHAT A SHOW that series will be!
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