Tipoff: 6:30 p.m. Mountain Time
Last meeting November 23rd at The Can: Denver 114 - Chicago 101
Nuggets: 37-17 (17-11 on the road)
Bulls: 24-30 (14-11 at home) Really 0-0 with this new squad ...
I think Chicago fans had been waiting for years for the team to make some moves. Well they made some moves before yesterday's trade deadline.
Who is gone:
Larry Hughes (fell out of favor with the coaches, shipped to the Knicks)
Thabo Sefolosha (send to the Thunder for 1st Round pick)
Drew Gooden (battling injuries with a bloated salary, sent to Kings)
Andres Nocioni (fat contract and not a lot of game, sent to Kings)
From the Kings:
John Salmons from the Kings (having a career year)
Brad Miller (still can play and can tutor Aaron Gray)
From the Knicks:
Tim Thomas (very bizarre that he's back and this story from the Chicago Tribune will explain why)
Jerome James (Bulls will try to get medical insurance to pay his salary and get his numbers removed from the books)
Anthony Roberson (can you say FILLER)
The Bulls still have their three leading scorers: Ben Gordan (20.4), Derrick Rose (17), and Luol Deng (14.5). Salmons had been averaging a career best 18 ppg with the Kings and should fit in nicely with the departure of Hughes and Nocioni. But remember all the new players must pass physicals and have their trade counterparts pass physicals before they can play.
According to Brian Hanley of the Chicago Sun Times the new players may not be active for the game tonight, which would leave the Bulls a bit shorthanded, but their talented rookie (Rose) will be on display.
If the Bulls are not at full strength I'd like to see the Nuggets come out and really push the pace. If the Nuggets do that not only will they hopefully tire out the Bulls, but also get them into foul trouble.
If the Bulls are intact I expect them to be a touch out of sync and that learning curve should allow the Nuggets to pull out another win on the road.
Denver stood pat at the trade deadline ... numerous rumors had Denver dangling Linas Kleiza around the league, but nothing happened. Rocky Mountain News writer Chris Tomasson has a interesting take on Kleiza's future with the team here.
Kleiza is marred in yet another shooting slump as he has gone 0-16 from three-point land in his last 5 games. His last make came on February 4th versus the Thunder when he went 1-1 in the game from distance.
Kleiza has only scored 12 combined points in his last four games since posting 13 points against Washington on February 6th. I hope this kid realizes his success comes when he's taking the ball to the rim. He is not a lights out three-point shooter, but he has 70 makes in 200 attempts (good for 35%) and can be effective from the outside when he sets himself up with an inside game. These last 28 games and playoffs will decide Kleiza's future with the team.
- Chris Anderson is averaging a career high 2.1 blocks per game
- The Nuggets are 14-3 when Anderson records 3+ blocks
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