There are a lot of teams in the NBA that I feel are often shed in an incorrect light. Whether it is jumping on a bandwagon a little too early (see 2008 L.A. Clippers), writing off a team a little too early (see 2008 Atlanta Hawks) or just being completely wrong about a team's style of play.
I will admit, I am guilty of the first two. I saw the New York Knicks having a terrible year, and that just wont happen. That team plays with more heart and desire than I expected and no matter what their final record is, they are not a terrible team.
I also though the Philadelphia 76ers having a great year, but I don't know now. Andre Igoudala looks at Elton Brand like he is some sort of Klingon sent from the future and unsure if he should pass him the ball. Meanwhile Louis Williams is looking at Igoudala looking at Brand, trying to figure out what the confusion is.
Pretty much what needs to happen in Philly, is they need to stop looking confused at each other and play like Andre Miller and Thaddeus Young have been ballin' all year.
But this post isn't about Philly or New York. This post is about the third problem; when a team's style of play is completely overlooked. This post is about how the media, I'm talking to you ESPN, continuously offers terrible analysis on the Denver Nuggets.
When a team is playing great defense, but doesn't look like the San Antonio Spurs or Detroit Pistons when they are doing it, they fall victim to the Denver Nugget Syndrome (DNS).
DNS is a serious disease that affects 99% of all media outlets. It happens when a team has great all-around talent, but can't seem to win a championship. After all, a team with Carmelo Anthony, Allen Iverson, Kenyon Martin and Marcus Camby surely could have won a conference championship.
So when that team does not win a title, the defense takes the blame. And maybe on paper, the defensive prowess isn't shown, but if you actually watch the games, you will see stellar defense. Kenyon Martin is one of the best in the league. Anthony Carter, Linas Kleiza, Renaldo Balkman, Nene Hilario and J.R. Smith are all more than capable defenders.
If you didn't get a chance to see the Nuggets play the Boston Celtics, you missed a defensive clinic that resulted in Boston managing only 85 points. The Nuggets next two games are against my Milwaukee Bucks and the San Antonio Spurs. There should be great defense displayed in both games, but the real treat comes Nov. 21 when they play the L.A. Lakers.
Watch for George Karl to put Kenyon Martin on Kobe Bryant, watch Chauncey Billups shutdown Derek Fisher. Watch Nene, Balkman, Kleiza and even Chris "Birdman" Andersen give the deadly duo of Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol all they can handle.
I guarantee your DNS will be cured.
Now the Nuggets are ranked 6th in overall defense, but will ESPN say anything? No. So please, next time you turn on ESPN or look at a box score don't forget the game is played on the court, and when you watch that game, Denver will bring the D.
DNS goes far beyond the Nuggets and far beyond basketball. So as college basketball starts, bowl games approach and the NFL nears the playoffs, remember to put the TV on mute every once in a while and see for yourself what really goes down.