Nuggets Fighting for Life

They stunned the Spurs in San Antonio with a Game 1 win, then dropped the next three in their first-round series.

The Denver Nuggets have seen this movie before. And they know how it ends.

Back in 2005, the Spurs lost home court advantage to Denver right off the bat.

Oddsmakers have made San Antonio -8.5 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for todays game, the over/under has been set at 188.5 total points (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 67% of bets for this game have been placed on Denver +8.5 (View NBA Bet Percentages).

Down 0-1, they went on a rampage, beating the Nuggets in the next four games on their way to the second round and, eventually, the NBA championship.

Now, two years later, Denver is sitting by as a virtual repeat unfolds. Even though the wins haven't come as easily for San Antonio this time around, the results are so far the same.

``We have to win the next game, that's it,'' Denver's Allen Iverson said after the Nuggets' 96-89 loss to the Spurs on Monday night. ``We have to have it.''

Iverson wasn't around in 2005 - he was acquired by Denver in December - but coach George Karl was. After being hired midseason, Karl orchestrated an impressive turnaround for the Nuggets, who went 32-8 under his lead after notching a 17-25 record before he came. They went 10-2 that April.

The Nuggets similarly surged this year as the Iverson-Carmelo Anthony duo finally came together. They had a 10-1 April record as they secured the No. 6 seed.

Despite the uncanny similarities to two seasons ago, they insist they're not necessarily fated for a repeat disappointment.

``Losing three games straight, two at home, you know everybody is going to be disappointed and down,'' Anthony said. ``I try to tell everybody it really ain't over. Anything can happen.''

Game 5 is Wednesday in San Antonio.

``The odds, everybody is going to say it's against us,'' Karl said. ``We just have to win one game.''

And another, and then another, if they want to send third-seeded San Antonio packing.

Marcus Camby said on Tuesday that Karl made them believe it can happen.

``Our spirits are definitely high. We feel that this team isn't that much better than us,'' he said. ``It's not like we've been getting blown out of these ball games. Each ball game can be flip-flopped a little bit and it could be in our favor. So, we still feel confident, we still feel good. But somehow, some way we've got to come away with a win tomorrow.''

Camby said that might be easier than playing at home, where Denver logged a 23-18 record.

``We feel we're a better road team. So, hopefully, that can come into play tomorrow,'' he said.

Monday's Spurs win came off of Robert Horry's 3-pointer with 30 seconds to go. The Spurs' two previous victories in the series were a 96-91 victory in Denver and a 97-88 win in San Antonio. Denver won the first game 95-89.

``It was another game just like the three previous ones,'' Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said Monday. ``We feel very fortunate to get out of there with a victory against a hell of a team.''

After losing Game 1 93-87 in 2005, the Spurs hammered Denver 104-76 in Game 2 and won Game 3 by eight. Game 4 went to overtime as the Spurs won by 11, and San Antonio finished the series with a 99-89 win in Game 5.

``The experience we're going through is good for us,'' Karl said. ``The energy, the intensity, the understanding how hard it is to win a playoff game. All that has been good for us. It doesn't feel good now. In time, it will be good for us.''

In the meantime, the Nuggets are desperately looking to write an alternate ending for themselves.

By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us

More NBA Basketball Coverage from theSpread.com

 - NBA Basketball teams
 - NBA Basketball standings
 - NBA Basketball schedule
 - NBA Basketball scoreboard
 - NBA Basketball injuries
 - NBA Basketball matchups
 - NBA Basketball stats
 - NBA Basketball odds
 - NBA Basketball public betting chart
 - NBA Basketball news wire
 - NBA Basketball top stories
 - NBA Basketball trends
 - AccuScore NBA Basketball predictions
 - Expert NBA Basketball picks
 - Comments and discussion
 - Signup for theSpread.com daily newsletter
 - NBA Basketball Home

NBA Headlines

  • CHICAGO (AP) Jordan Bell has left Golden State's game against Chicago with a sprained left ankle.
    Bell got hurt when he challenged Robin Lopez's dunk on the Bulls' first possession. Bell stay...
  • OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball was ruled out for a game Wednesday night against the Oklahoma City Thunder due a sore left knee.
    Ball also missed the previous game at M...
  • Houston's Trevor Ariza and Gerald Green have both been suspended for two games for entering the Los Angeles Clippers' locker room after a game earlier this week to confront another player.
    The...
  • HOUSTON (AP) Rockets guard James Harden returned to practice on Wednesday for the first time since he was injured Dec. 31 against the Los Angeles Lakers.
    Harden, who is coming back from a str...
  • INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (AP) With sweat streaking down his face and into his bushy beard, LeBron James was not in a playful mood following practice.
    The cold stare. The pursed lips. The focus.

NBA Top Stories

Thumbnail Nuggets vs. Clippers Prediction Will the L.A. Clippers hand the Denver Nuggets another ATS loss when the two teams meet at 10:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday night?
Thumbnail Jazz vs. Kings Prediction Are the Utah Jazz the smart bet to cover the point spread on Wednesday night when they visit the Sacramento Kings at 10:00 p.m. ET?
Thumbnail Lakers vs. Thunder Prediction The Los Angeles Lakers have been a horrible bet to cover against the Oklahoma City Thunder in previous meetings. Will that be the case again...
Thumbnail Heat vs. Bucks Prediction Is the betting total set too high in Wednesday night's Miami Heat and Milwaukee Bucks matchup? Tip-off is set for 8:00 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail Knicks vs. Grizzlies Prediction Are the New York Knicks a bad bet to cover the point spread tonight when they visit the Memphis Grizzlies at 8:00 p.m. ET?

NBA Team Pages