Denver Nuggets 105, Houston Rockets 102

I’m now seriously starting to wonder if it might be better to just keep our pick rather than back into the playoffs by default.  I just don’t know at this point.  Knowing this team, I could see them, after all of this, still upsetting Oklahoma City in the first round.  Nothing would shock me at this point.

Goran Dragic and Chandler Parsons led the way for the good guys with 21 apiece.  Courtney Lee chipped in 18.  For the Nugets, Arron Afflalo and Ty Lawson combined for 51.

After the game, many wondered why Sam Dalembert, after having blocked 7 shots up to that point, did not see time in the final frame.  Kevin McHale closed the game with a lineup of Dragic-Lee-Parsons-Patterson-Scola, or, more amiably known around these parts as “Scola at the 5.”  I sort of understand the decision.  I discovered earlier tonight, via some snooping on 82games.com that Patterson leads the entire league in crunch time +/-; and of course it makes sense to send out Scola to fill the need for a post threat.  Still, it seems nothing good has ever come from this lineup.  If the team misses the postseason, we will not forget its evil.

Most interesting was Kyle Lowry’s absence from the game in the deciding minutes.  To be honest, his return seems to have been a factor in the team’s poor play.  A unit that was once in sync no longer seems to have defined roles…






About the author: Rahat Huq is a lawyer in real life and the founder and editor-in-chief of Red94.net.

in game coverage
  • wtflife

    This is silly. There is nothing worse than torturing yourself that we may move up in the lottery. It is like playing the lottery; just a bad idea. Way better to get some playoff experience and just know where your pick is. I personally don’t think we will make it, but I can still want it. It is painful to watch Scola and Patterson together. It seems like they should never share the court, but used as an offense defense platoon.

  • rahathuq

    i think we’ll make it.  knowing this team, they’ll win the next 4 straight.  actually, i don’t know..

  • Dave

    Do we still control our own destiny for the playoffs or do we need help?After we lost that Suns game I was scared, now I’m terrified we’ll miss the playoffs. Hopefully the Heat will be sitting their starters, but then again it seems like we play best against the elite teams.

  • rahathuq

    30% odds now to get in

  • sam d

     @rahathuq
     since I already told you I’m a basketball junky I would like to see a story on the new cba and how it affects teams. a lot of people don’t understand the rules and why saving money is important to a team. b4 a person can dicuss trades they need to know what motivates a team to make a trade. not all trades are to make the team better. some are made for felxibility…….rockets best fan………thanks

  • Stephen

     @sam d 
    In the new CBA there are a few changes that will drastically change the landscape for teams. They really kick in at the start of the 2013/4 Season.(The one after next yr.) The CBA kept Cap Levels and Lux Tax penalties the same as last yr to allow a transition period.
     
    Instead of the current $1 Lux Tax for each dollar over Lux Tax threshold there will be an escalating Lux Tax.
    Go over up by up to $5mil and it’s a $1.50 Tax on each dollar.
    From $5mil-$10mil it’s a $1.75 Tax.
    From $10-$15mil it’s a $2.50 Tax.
    From $15-$20mil it’s a $3.25 Tax.
    For every $5mil after $20mil it’s an additional .50 Tax.
    (For example,a team $30mil over the Tax Threshold would be paying a Lux Tax of $4.25 per each dollar,)
    A team $12mil over the Lux Tax threshold would pay $21.25mil in Lux Taxes($5mil at 1.50,$5mil at 1.75 and $2mil at 2.5.)
    A team $20mil over the Threshold would end up paying $45mil in tax!
     
    In addition to the higher tax is a repeat “offender” tax. 
    A team that goes into the Lux Tax 4 out of 5 yrs pays an additional dollar on each salary dollar over the Threshold.
    In the examples above the $12mil team would pay $31.25mil in Tax if it was a repeat offender. The $20mil team,$65mil in taxes.
     
    So there is STRONG incentive for teams to be under the Lux Tax. Being just $4mil over means a $6mil Tax bill,plus you start the clock on the 4 out of 5 penalty clock.
     
    Also in 203/14 the Salary Cap will be based on the Player’s lower @ 50% share of Revenues.(For this yr and next it was frozen at last yr’s level to allow a transition period. Barring a huge increase in ticket revenue next season or massive new local TV deals,the Salary Cap will likely dip slightly and so would the Lux Tax level.
     
    The practical effect will be to make it very hard to pay 3 max salaries.
    Until the NBA gets it’s new TV deal,the Lux Cap will likely stay somewhere around $70mil.
    2 Max salaries w/raises will be around $32mil. That leaves $38mil for 11-12 players. Two things are going to happen in two yrs. Non elite salaries are going to be take a beating. And teams are going to not pay max salaries to players that would have gotten them in the past,causing them to leave for teams that don’t have one on the books.
     
     
     

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