Our next game against Houston...
Will be the first time all season, that the team has been fully healthy. So far this year, we've had to deal with missing key players at all times this season. Whether it's been K-Mart or Bird's knees, Nene's "tight legs", Chauncey's wrist, Al's finger, or Melo's family situations, we've been missing a big cog in the team at all times this season, and we're still only 3 games from the division lead.
Make no mistake, if we're fully healthy, we win this division, and are the most dangerous team in the division in the playoffs. Utah is being carried by Deron Williams and Paul Millsap, and to both guys' credit they are balling, but either of those guys go down, especially Deron, and Utah is a sub .500 club, and we have more depth than them.
The Thunder have had a rather soft schedule so far, and are in a similar situation to the Jazz. Without Westbrook or Durant, they're stuffed. Not to mention they disappear against elite teams. Again, we are much deeper than Oklahoma City as well.
Anybody wishing to debate that, get at me in this thread and I'll gladly demonstrate why we are.
What needs to be done: Stop blowing 4th quarter leads! Too many times this seasons we have came into the 4th leading by a good margin, only to stop playing defense and rely on the 3 pointer to bury the opposition, which 9/10 does not work! Case in point, the Philadelphia game, AT DENVER in which we were up by 12 points with 8 minutes left, and lost. That's unacceptable and pathetic. The blame needs to be placed on everyone evenly, but George Karl also needs to start playing the game of momentum, and defense.
GIVE NENE THE BALL! Tonight (or yesterday, depending where you're from) Nene had 16 first-half points against the Kings. How many did he finish with? 16. The story with the Nuggets seems to be give the ball to Nene in the first, then ignore him for the game. Though he is sometimes waaaaay too passive, this needs to be addressed somehow. When he's got the touches, Nene is absolutely unguardable in the post. He doesn't score in big numbers much, due to his lack of consistent touches, but make no mistake, he can score on anyone if he wants.
Winning on the road wouldn't go astray, either
Nene for all-star, too. Yao won't play, and Bynum is a product of playing in LA. He was still coming 2nd long before even playing this season.
January will hopefully be a good month for Denver. A fully healthy roster, only 5 games against teams over .500 (finally a bit of good schedule lately) and 4 of those 5 games are at home, the exception being a trip to San Antonio. The home games are against New Orleans, Miami, Oklahoma City and the Lakers.
That sounds all fine and dandy, but this team's woes are on the road. The teams we have to play on the road this month consist of: LAC, Sacramento, after that, a 4-game homestand, then the aforementioned Spurs game, 3-game homestand, then 5 game road-trip, against Washington, Detroit, Cleveland, Philadelphia, and New Jersey. Not a bad lot of teams to try and get that road record into a bit of shape.
This all providing Carmelo is still with the team, of course