Rookie Diary: The playoff journey begins

Nuggets rookie forward Gary Forbes made a name for himself in 2010-11 after arriving at training camp as a relative unknown. The former Atlantic 10 Player of the Year started 11 games for Denver and averaged 5.2 points despite playing just 12.6 minutes per game. Using as his forum, Forbes periodically shares his thoughts on life as an NBA rookie.

April 17, 2011

OKLAHOMA CITY – It’s crazy to think that last year I was thousands of miles away – literally and figuratively – watching the NBA playoffs on TV in Israel.

We’ve been preparing for our first playoff game for three days and I can already tell there’s a different vibe from the regular season, but the magnitude of the moment probably won’t hit me until I walk into the arena and hear the crowd for Game 1.

I’ve been saying all year that I’m blessed to be living my dream in the NBA, and that’s how I felt Saturday night when we had our team dinner at Mickey Mantle’s Steakhouse. From our captain Kenyon Martin to young guys such as Ty Lawson and myself, we have a great group of guys who are ready to embark on a long journey in the playoffs.

Kenyon reminded us that we’ve come a long way this season but there are still a lot of people who don’t think we can beat Oklahoma City. We have respect for the Thunder, but we also know that if we play smart and with heart, we have a great chance of winning.

Guys are definitely a lot more locked in as we try to process all the information the coaches are giving us. But once we get on the court, a lot of that stuff goes out the door. It’s just about having the will to win and playing Nuggets basketball. If we do that, we’ll be all right.