Denver Nuggets' Franchise-Long 4-Game Road Winning Streak Something Special

Rich Kurtzman@@RichKurtzman Senior Analyst IJanuary 24, 2012

Danilo Gallinari out-played Carmelo Anthony Saturday night and the Nuggets are looking more and more legitimate all the time.
Danilo Gallinari out-played Carmelo Anthony Saturday night and the Nuggets are looking more and more legitimate all the time.Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Someone call the police, because the Nuggets just stole the home-court advantage away from four different teams in four separate cities.

Denver's dominating on the court—whatever court they happen to be playing on that particular night—so much so their 12-5 record is easily second-best in the West.

And while the Nuggets have historically been one of the toughest teams to play at their home in the Mile High City, they just made history with their four-game road winning streak.

The Nuggets won in Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Washington and New York, sweeping their East Coast trip, where they usually trip up and lose.

Beating the 76ers (8-1) and Bucks (4-2) on their home hardwoods was huge, because Denver handed those opponents their first home losses of the season.

At 12-5 overall, Philly was the most formidable opponent of the trip, and it took going into overtime with a heroic performance by Andre Miller to take down the Sixers.

And while the Bucks, Wizards and Knicks are all well under .500, the Nuggets of old would have lost focus and composure, while this new Nuggets team took care of business and beat teams they should.

What makes the four-game road winning streak even more extraordinary is that a different Denver player led the team in scoring every night.

Miller (28), Al Harrington (29) and Corey Brewer (22) are all backups, while Gallinari's career-high 37 versus New York was the only starter performance to lead the team in scoring during the streak.

At the same time, the Nuggs were without at least one of their top 10 players in each game, with Nene missing the last two games on the trip.

Denver's depth makes them deadly.

While the Nuggets are devoid of a star player, their nine players that could be starters in the league makes the team incredibly difficult to defend, because one never knows exactly where the production will come from.

How Denver is winning is indicative of their play this year being legitimately strong enough to compete in the playoffs.

The Nuggets out-scored their opponents 110-104.3, and Denver's offense leads the league in scoring.

They score easily by playing total team ball. It shows with an average of 5.5 players in double-digits scoring in each game, but it also shows in the 23.5 assists per game on the streak, good for No. 1 in the league.

Denver also ratcheted up the rebounding to 54 per game on the streak, along with eight steals per, and their youth and athleticism allows the Nuggets to run the floor on any team as the No. 1 fast-break team in the NBA.

And Denver's best 51 points in the paint per game proves they can run the opposition out of even their home gym, while the Nuggs' towering height has become a strength this season.

Overall, the Nuggets aren't just winning, they're winning on the road and in impressive fashion.

Their depth and culture of team-first basketball makes Denver almost impossible to defend, because any one of nine players can lead the team in scoring on any given night.

And their ability to run the floor, create for one another and turn steals into run-out dunks makes the Nuggets one of the most exciting teams in the NBA to watch while making them one of the toughest teams to beat at the same time.

It's still early in this strike-shortened season, but if the Nuggets can keep playing the way they are, they'll be looking at certainly hosting a playoff series and possibly even the No. 1 seed in the West.

Rich Kurtzman is a freelance journalist actively seeking a career in journalism. Along with being your Denver Nuggets Featured Columnist, Rich is the Denver Broncos and CSU Rams Examiner and Kurtzman also writes for Blake Street Bulletin, Stadium Journey, and Mile High Hoops.

Follow Rich on twitter for breaking news, need-to-know retweets and interesting insight on the Rams and everything Colorado sports related.

Follow Rich on Facebook for links to all his pieces and breaking news.