Denver Nuggets Game

The NHL lockout cost me a chance to see my Nordiques (I refuse to call them the Avalanche) play Chicago while I was in Denver, so I took the opportunity to see only my second NBA game, taking in a Nuggets – Jazz game on a Friday night.  A small crowd gave me the chance to snag a snazzy club seat at a fraction of the cost, making for an economical and fun way to spend my last night in the city.

Once in the arena, I found my way down to the lower level seats to take in some of the shoot-around (thanks to the usher who turned a blind eye to me sneaking in to seats that weren’t mine):

Sneaking down to the good seatsThe Pepsi Center in Denver is a really nice arena.  Great sight lines and very comfortable seats (at least in the lower and club levels).  About an hour before game time, I took a seat near mid-court and watched a few Nuggets players warm up:

Shoot aroundHere’s Andre Iguodala working on his 3-point shot.  As someone who is/was a terrible recreational basketball player, it’s amazing to see how few shots these guys miss with no one guarding them.Shoot aroundWhen I arrived in the arena, I had forgotten about this being the home of two illegitimate NHL championships for the team formally known as the Quebec Nordiques.  As I was looking around, my eyes came across these Stanley Cup banners, reminders of why I stopped being an NHL fan:

Illegitimate championship bannersI made my way up to my seat for the game and to grab a bite to eat.  Strangely, the food options were limited in the club level if you wanted to eat in your seat.  There were a number of bars/restaurants, but I didn’t come to a basketball game to eat in a bar.  Here I am during warm-ups from my seat:

From my seatIf there’s something the NBA excels at, it’s the pregame festivities.  Here is what the national anthem and Nuggets player introductions looked like:Pre game

Pre gameEarly into the game, here’s a possession by Utah at the opposite end of the court:

The gameShot of the crowd, a little sparse in the upper ends and corners.  I think it was about 2,000 short of a sell-out.  All the better in helping me get a cheap ticket:

The crowdSome more game action, this time at the end closest to me:

The gameThe game itself was a bit of a sloppy early season match-up.  Lots of missed shots and turnovers and neither team played any defence.  If the teams’ shooting was in mid-season form, the score would have been pushing the 120s.  As it was, Denver pulled away in the second quarter and kept Utah at bay the rest of the game, winning 104-84.  All in all, a pretty good way to spend the last evening in Denver.

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