Big game Saturday night for the Jazz. They will be hosting our beloved McNuggets (aka. The Peanut Gang).
We wanted to get some answers straight from the horses mouth, so we did a Q&A with Nuggets starting SG Allen Iverson and SF Carmelo Anthony.
Ok, so it's not AI or Melo, but it is Jeremy from Pick Axe and Roll and Nick from The Nugg Doctor.
You can read what Nick had to answer here. Prepare yourself for Jazz blasphemy before going to his site. I think deep down inside, he really likes the Jazz and just needs one of us to invite him to be a Jazz fan. Feel free to do so.
Below you can find what Jeremy had to say. Jeremy is a little more of a realist than Nick.
It almost makes me want to face the Nuggets in the Playoffs just to get some more Q/A with these guys. They actually give McNuggets fans a good name...if that's even possible.
Wanna read what I had to say to Jeremy's questions? Click here.
MUJ: Simple question. Will the Nuggets make the playoffs? Why or why not?
PA&R: I think the win against Golden State pretty much puts the Nuggets in the playoffs. Should Golden State lose at Phoenix on Monday night Denver needs only to beat Memphis on the last night of the regular season. Of course, Denver will not know if Golden State will lose that game so the games this weekend at Utah and home against Houston are still very important. If the Nuggets can just win one of those two games and beat Memphis they are in for sure.
MUJ: What is the mood in Denver after coming in 2nd to the Jazz in the Northwest division two years straight? Melo was POSITIVE they would win it. What does this do to Nuggets team chemistry and will this affect next years lineup?
PA&R: Clearly there is some disappointment involved losing the division to the Jazz yet again, but the NBA is not about division titles. A nice playoff run will alleviate any frustration about finishing second in the division. The season Denver won the division, they were bounced by the Clippers in the first round of the playoffs. No one remembers that season as the year we finally won the division again, we all remember it as the year we lost to the freakin Clippers in the playoffs! As far as any impact on the Nuggets chemistry or mindset, I honestly do not think there is any whatsoever. There has never been a confidence issue with this team. The issue has been overconfidence.
MUJ: Who do Nuggets fans consider to be their biggest rival? If you were a Jazz fan, who would you consider to be our biggest rival?
PA&R: I believe rivalries are born out of animosity. In the NBA animosity is typically developed in the playoffs. I think Denver and Utah are somewhat natural divisional rivals, but they have not met in the playoffs since 1994. More recently the Jazz and Nuggets have only been fighting it out for the division for the past two seasons and their individual contests have had some scrappy moments.Before the Jazz there was a strong, but short lived rivalry with Minnesota because we were the up and coming team, but they were on top. I think the Nuggets players get up to play the Spurs more than the Jazz due to the fact the Spurs are where the Nuggets want to be. They have knocked the Nuggets out of the playoffs twice in the past three seasons. So from a player's perspective I think there is some presence of a rivalry with the Jazz, but based on how they play it seems like they feel a stronger sense of rivalry with San Antonio.Now with the fans, I think there is a much stronger sense of rivalry with Utah. It makes us nuts knowing that we have more talent than the Jazz, but you guys have had more success. Your fans also make us crazy because Jazz crowds are so whinny. However, the fans also have a special anger in our hearts towards the Spurs. If a Nuggets fan had a gun with two shots and was locked in a room with Manu Ginobili and Carlos Boozer, most of us would probably shoot Manu twice just to make sure he is dead. I would really prefer not to answer the second part of the question, but I can try to remove my ability to reason and think logically in order to think like a Jazz fan. From a Jazz perspective, I would think that historically teams like Houston, Seattle and the Lakers would be teams that you held ill will towards due to the battles that went on between the Jazz and those teams in the playoffs in the late 80s and 90s. So I would think there is some sense of rivalry there. Then of course, there is the divisional rivalry between the Jazz and Nuggets should provide just as much dislike for us as we have for you. I know you guys have written unsavory things about the noble Denver NBA franchise, but I am willing to forgive you as long as you promise the Jazz will lose in the first round of the playoffs.Of course, in another five years we may both think the Trailblazers and Sonics are our rivals as both of those teams look to have a very bright future.
MUJ: Who's blue is better? Jazz blue or Nuggets blue?
PA&R: I think the Jersey sales speak for themselves. The Denver Nuggets are seventh http://www.nba.com/news/jersey_080115.html and I have no idea where the Jazz are because the list is not long enough to show how lowly ranked they are.
MUJ: Jazz/Nuggets All-Star Starting 5. If you had to make a team using only the Nuggets and Jazz. Who would start at what position and why? Also include a 6th man and coach.
PG – Deron Williams
SG – Allen Iverson
SF – Carmelo Anthony
PF – Carlos Boozer
C – Marcus Camby
6th Man – Mehmet Okur
Coach – Jerry Sloan
PA&R: The center and 6th man spots were tough. I think Camby is wildly overrated as a defender, but his rebounding would be more necessary than Memo's three point shooting. I put Memo at the 6th man spot over J.R. Smith, Korver and Kenyon Martin because he is a big man who can shoot and that is a big matchup advantage with most teams though it was really tough not to put J.R. in there the way he is playing. I love Korver's shooting, but J.R. can do so much more than he can both offensively and defensively he would get the nod for 7th man had there been one.
Nugget fans are pretty frustrated with George Karl so only a strong hatred of Jerry Sloan would prevent anyone from going with the Old Curmudgeon. Of course, Sloan would probably end up strangling AI with one hand and Melo with the other so that would be fun to see.
MUJ: Predictions for tonight's game. Score and # of Flagrant fouls on Harpring.
PA&R: I think the Nuggets are set for a big let down after the Warriors victory. They were blown out the last time they were in Utah so that may provide some motivation, but I do not think it is going to be enough. Denver knows deep down that this is not a must win game and I think it ends up showing on the floor.
Utah 118 – Denver 109
Matt Harpring flagrant fouls committed four.Matt Harpring flagrant fouls called zero, but I fully expect Jazz fans to wail and complain anyway.
Editors Note: Thanks Jeremy. I hope the Jazz kick the living shiznit out of your squad. Have a good weekend.