Revenge is a dish best served cold
Denver 42-25 (25-8 at home)
New Jersey 28-38 (14-19 on the road)
First off I have to apologize for no recap on Game 67 against the Clippers. I was participating in some St. Patrick's festivities and missed the game. I did receive a number of texts praising the Crime Stopper's play as Balkman put in a career-high 22 points and another double-double with 11 rebounds.
The Nuggets improved to 16-8 when Crime Stopper plays 11 or more minutes (33 minutes versus the Clippers.)
Nene also had a nice game against his mentor Marcus Camby scoring 17 points and pulling down 10 rebounds. I found what Camby and Nene had to say after the game to be very interesting.
"It was tough being on the same court and not being on those guys' team," Camby said.
But he appreciated the big round of applause when he was introduced.
"Ever since I left, I have been getting nothing but love from around the city of Denver [when] I've been here," Camby said. "If I could have gotten a nickel for everybody who told me they miss me and they wish I wouldn't have been traded, I could have probably helped out the economy."
I will admit that it is weird seeing Camby in another uniform and his presence in the locker room is probably greatly missed. Nene had some kind words for his former teammate:
"I miss him," said Nene, who played with Camby the longest. "I told him I miss him. I just want the best for him. It doesn't matter where he plays because he's my brother. He wants the best for me. Every time we can, we send each other messages. That dude's a brother. In good times and bad times, he calls. I know he worries abut me and I worry about him."
So the Nuggets spoiled Camby's return by beating the Clippers 107-94, just as Detroit spoiled Billups bid for a victory in his return to Detroit. Denver needed that win and with it they are now back in first place in the Northwest division by the smallest of margins over the Blazers (1/2 game) and the Jazz (1 game).
Tonight Denver will have an opportunity for some payback against the Nets. I think we all remember the 114-70 drubbing New Jersey put on Denver in the Garden State back on February 7th. The 44 point loss was Denver's worst of the season and I expect the Nuggets to come out and take it to the Nets ... there is really no other way the Nuggets should play this one. This team embarrassed you on their home floor and some retribution is in order.
The only downside to this game is that the Nets will probably be without point guard Devin Harris who suffered a left shoulder sprain in last nights 107-105 loss to the Clippers in LA-LA land.
Here is how the injury occurred:
The first-time All-Star was driving to the basket on an attempted layup, when Marcus Camby swatted the ball and Harris' right arm simultaneously -- sending Harris crashing to the floor.
"When he got hit, he tried to land on that arm and it gave out on him when he hit the court. It looked like he was in excruciating pain, so I knew something was wrong," Vince Carter said. "It's funny, because at halftime he was complaining about the same shoulder and how it was bothering him.
Perhaps Camby is trying to do a bit more than just root on his former teammates as this paraphrased quote suggests:
Camby said he'll be rooting for his former teammates in the playoffs, hoping they finally find a way to get out of the first round, something they didn't do in his time in Denver.
An injury to Harris may just be what Denver needed. Just kidding. It's unfortunate that Harris will probably miss the game because you always want to beat the other team when they are at their best.
The Nets however are not playing too well recently. They are 1-5 in their last 6 games and have lost 3 straight. The Nuggets need to make it 4 in a row for the Nets.
- In Denver's 2 game win streak they have combined for 57 team assists, in their 3 previous losses they combined for just 41 assists
- The Nuggets are 9-22 for 40% from 3-point land in their two game win streak
- The Birdman is 2nd in the NBA in blocked shots with 2.34 per game, but he only averages 19 minutes per game ... amazing