"If" only they didn't have to travel so much.
"If" they made more free throws.
"If"just a couple of their 22 three-pointers dropped.
"If" they played better defense.
"If" Ty were playing more aggressively.
"If" JaVale's game matured.
"If" the Nuggets stopped making excuses and decided that they were not going to accept mediocrity, how much better might they be? We may never know. With George Karl the "Ifs" just keep on coming.
His excuses after losses are becoming harder and harder to swallow. There might not be a coach in the NBA as supportive of lackluster effort than he is. Karl's approach is to always leave his team an out. He may be a legendary coach, and Denver's best option right now, but this terrible case of the "Ifs" that he's suffering from is catching - and his team - our team - is infected.
Last night the Nuggets took horrible shooting to a historic new extreme, scoring only one basket from outside the immediate vicinity of the basket. Shot after shot after shot doinked off the rims and sailed into the waiting hands of Blazers defenders.
Somehow the Nuggets stayed in the game, which should be a concern to Portland's coaches, but with 66 points worth of wasted effort from beyond the arc, Denver fell short. The Nuggets remain over .500 despite having played an arduous schedule. They can hold their heads high heading into January when everybody expects things to turn around. If, however, a softer schedule and more nights sleeping in their own beds, is not enough to improve their winning pace - if the "Ifs" continue - it will be time to begin a coaching search.
Karl is an apologist. He must demand more. And Nuggets fans must demand more from him before their expectations conform to his.