Friday, May 29, 2009

Can't Finish

These are two words, pulled from the endless litany of the English language.

Harmless apart. Deadly together.

Can't. Finish.

Grab a hammer. Pound the headstone. The epitaph for the Nuggets' ultimately successful, but endlessly soul-crunchingly disappointing, 2008-2009 season will read: "Can't Finish."

Accurate. Succinct. True.

Literally it's correct. Nene can't finish down low, K-Mart can't finish down low, Melo can't finish down low (and certainly not on his birthday). Chauncey can't finish down low. J.R. Smith can sometimes, but not when he can't. The ball won't go in. The ball don't lie. If Kobe or Gasol flip up a wild shot, or shoot a contested turnaround, the ball wants to get to the bottom of the net, wants to penetrate the hoop in a sacred act of basketball sex. When push comes to whistled shove, however, Nuggets shots do nothing but rub against hard metal, scrape against bone. They don't seek the soft embrace of the net. They seek the touch of the opposing team. They burn for the others.

Figuratively it's correct. The Denver Nuggets can't finish. The fourth quarter is mom at home, telling them father is going to get back from work with a belt and an itch to use it. They bitch about calls, they argue with the refs, they get unnecessary technicals, they miss open shots. They get in their own way, they think before they act when they shouldn't, they don't think before they act when they should. They can't see the forest for the trees. Which is sad, seeing how their logo has a goddamn mountain in it.

The trees in the West, tough, are long. Thick. Worthy of an effort.

The Enver Nuggets had no D tonight, or in the series.

There's also no "C" in Denver Nuggets.

For Championship.

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