NBA Playoffs: Nuggets Jazz Game 4 Recap- Not Even Adamantium Jumpers Can Be Enough

Can Wolverine be enough to ensure victory?

I know that Wolverine is supposedly indestructible and all that stuff. I’m not going to pretend to know the nuances of the comic books. I watched the cartoons when they were on Saturday mornings. I’ve seen the X-Men movies. I’m familiar with the theory and idea of Wolverine. The particulars of what make him what he is are not important here.

The question remains: is Wolverine enough to win?

What if he’s going against the X-Men himself?

In case you haven’t figured out Carmelo Anthony is Wolverine in this discussion. At least, he was in Game Four against the Utah Jazz. And the Jazz are certainly the team of X-Men. They are a group of players with special talents that work together for the common good. This isn’t going to be a post telling you which one is Gambit or which one is Storm or which one is Cyclops. That’s not the point of any of this even if that’s what you’ve come to expect from the internet.

Can the one lone Wolverine get the better of a team of mutants?

After Game Four, it seems impossible. I don’t know what else Carmelo Anthony could have done. Ignore the nine turnovers. Yes, they matter. But no, they don’t matter right now. Carmelo Anthony and Ty Lawson were the only guys that truly came to play with all of the heart and desire you would need from guys who were down two games to one in hostile territory. They were desperate for a Game Four victory. You can’t say the same about their teammates based on what we saw.

This Denver team gives up far too easily. Did they make a run? Sure. Did they cut it pretty close? Yes. Did it really matter? Not with this squad. They don’t seem to care about defense at all. And by “care about defense” I mean that they would rather try to use telepathy to get shots to misfire for the Jazz than to properly close out, rotate crisply on defense and protect the rim with more than a big windup. There is no defensive intensity or pride with this Nuggets team. And when the shots aren’t falling, you’re left with Carmelo Anthony all by his lonesome.

So what is Wolverine supposed to do all by himself?

He forced things and he forced them good. Don’t blame Carmelo for this loss even if you look at the eight turnovers. He had no choice. He was on and he was fighting. He was the only guy who was capable of getting quality possessions against the Jazz. And he did it all. He’s not a particularly good defender. You can score on him posting up or isolating him on the perimeter. But other than that, in this game he was able to get steals, grab boards and even crash the offensive boards. He finished with 39 points on 25 shots. He made all nine of his free throws and made all four of his threes.

He was incredible. But he was alone.

And he was going against the X-Men.

Deron Williams dominated the show but everybody contributed. CJ Miles had a particularly stunning game as a role player. Wesley Matthews scored 18 points by just being in the right place at the right time. Carlos Boozer took up the slack for when Paul Millsap fouled out and when Kyrylo Fesenko just wasn’t effective enough (which wasn’t often). Ronnie Price was as competitive and physical as any Nuggets big man and he’s barely 6’2”.

You can’t beat a team like that when you have no help – even if you’re as good as Carmelo Anthony. You can’t do it when the best players on your team don’t give an excrement about winning this game. They’ve clearly punted on the rest of the season and are waiting for Mark Warkentein to adjust the roster in the off-season. Chauncey Billups is there but he might as well be a galaxy away. JR Smith is there but we definitely know that doesn’t guarantee anything. Nene, Kenyon Martin and Chris Andersen were there but far too selective for when they were going to give maximum effort.

So what is an offensive, attacking force like Carmelo supposed to do? Just sit back and take the fact that he’s alone?

He tried to fight with all of his powers and abilities. But you can’t beat a team that works together and trusts each other.

I don’t care how mutated and full of rage you are. And I don’t care how many fans you have in Utah.

Seth Carstens