A Crushing Loss for Denver?
Did the Game 1 loss take Denver’s confidence away or is going to give them resolve going forward? A two-point loss in a playoff game you could’ve/should’ve won can be absolutely debilitating for a team’s confidence, but it doesn’t sound like the Nuggets are hanging their head — at least Chauncey Billups isn’t:
“I’m disappointed, but I’m not mad,” Billups said at his locker stall, preaching calm and then staying calm when Smith and rookie Sonny Weems swiped his license.
“We’re fine, man. We’ll have other opportunities.”
Apparently, the Nuggets’ locker room is loose enough to entertain practical jokes directed at team leaders, which, to me, is more telling than Billups’ statements. Of course, talking a good game and playing like your confidence is still intact are two different things. While players like Billups and Martin have been on the big NBA stage before, the rest of Denver’s nucleus has not.
Yes, Carmelo Anthony has played in some huge games in his basketball career — Final Four at Syracuse; the Olympics — they haven’t been in the NBA Playoffs or against a player like Kobe Bryant. One thing is for certain, if Denver wants to stay in the series, they would be wise to avoid the mindset of one Woody Paige.