This NBA post-season could be the one for the ages. Like most movies, the NBA season can be predictable because the four best teams, The Los Angeles Lakers, Denver Nuggets, Cleveland Cavaliers, and the Orlando Magic, this season were expected to be in the NBA’s final four. The Lakers and Cavaliers are the teams to ultimately to battle for the title, but with the addition of the Nuggets’ guard, Chauncey Billups, the Nuggets truly can produce the surprising ending to this motion picture. The Nuggets is the character that was always there, but did anyone take them seriously to be at the end?
Since the Nuggets drafted superstar forward, Carmelo Anthony (Baltimore) in 2003, the Nuggets made it to the post-season each year and were ousted in the first-round each time. Each year, Anthony matured on and off the court, but the Nuggets could not get over the hump because of lack of defense and major injuries to key players, like center Nene, forward Kenyon Martin and center Marcus Camby (now with the Los Angeles Clippers). After not resigning the injury prone Camby, the Nuggets brought in forward Chris ‘Birdman’ Anderson, a hungry player with ridiculous energy, skills and talent. Anderson was suspended for two-years for substance abuse, but he always belonged in the NBA because he’s that good and most importantly, he’s not injury prone. Something was still missing, something to make this team ‘one’, enter Billups.
A team doesn’t need a superstar player to win and Billups proved that over and over again. Anthony is the Nuggets’ best player and is a superstar in the league, but he wasn’t enough. Anthony have a great cast around him with the likes of Martin, Nene, Anderson, guard J.R. Smith, guard/forward Dahntay Jones, guard Anthony Carter, you get the idea. Head coach George Karl is a defensive minded coach, preaching defense to an offensive minded squad and even with or without injuries, he couldn’t get the message through to them. After giving Iverson a try, Billups was the answer the Nuggets’ organization, Nuggets’ fans and what the NBA was asking for. Iverson is a great talent, hall of fame guard, but his talent is his curse, unfortunately because he deserves a ring. With Iverson’s mind set, like most talented players, he doesn’t have the patience to run a system, properly.
When Billups was traded this season to the Nuggets by the Detroit Pistons for Iverson, it was clear that he was what the Nuggets needed. Billups brought into Karl’s message and the Nuggets, including Anthony, followed Billups’ lead. Billups have brought a balance on both ends of the court like he did with the Pistons. That balance allowed Billups to be apart of seven consecutive Conference Finals, two Finals appearances, a NBA title, and a Finals MVP Award. Billups is an all-star and was never considered a superstar and with his accomplishments, he was never thought of being the best in his position when he should have been. Billups is not flashy, the faster and not the biggest. Billups is the smartest and in terms of skills, he’s the most complete point guard in the NBA. Billups is without a doubt, the best point guard left in the playoffs and when a team has a dominant point or a good floor general, that team has an edge and that’s what the Nuggets have. Billups made things easy for the Pistons and, no disrespect to the Pistons, Billups is surrounded by ‘studs’ including a superstar, which makes the Nuggets deadly.
It was mentioned midway through the season that Billups made the Nuggets an elite team, so it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that the Nuggets are in this position to win it all.
The NBA is the movie that people normally can figure out. Movie goers know that Jason (Friday the 13th) is going to live and pop back up at the end and anticipate the ending midway through the flick. Nike already is airing the puppets of LeBron James, forward of the Cavaliers, and Kobe Bryant, guard of the Lakers, commercials now (they are awesome by the way). If the Billups’ led Nuggets can be the surprise at the end of this movie and win it all that would be awesome, too.