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Nuggets at Spurs: Let's leave the refs out of it (6:30pm MST)

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Update: Nuggets' Anthony to miss Spurs game tonight because of death in family

A lot of people, myself included, believe the Nuggets should be 17-9 heading into this game and not 16-10, but thanks to a charging call that some of you may remember, the Nuggets will be looking for a little revenge tonight in San Antonio. The best thing for the Nuggets tonight will be to get a "no doubter" game also known as ... a convincing win.

The Denver Post's Chris Dempsey is reporting that Melo will not play tonight as he left the team, from San Antonio, to be with family as there was a death in the family.

"Our entire organization supports Carmelo during this difficult time for him and his family," Nuggets executive vice president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri said in a statement. Read the full story here.

The particulars ...

Records:
Denver:
16-10 (4-8 on the road)
San Antonio: 24-3 (15-2 at home)
Injuries:
Denver:
Kenyon Martin (left knee), Chris Andersen (back) and Chauncey Billups (right wrist) are all game-time-decisions tonight.
San Antonio: James Anderson (stress fracture right fifth metatarsal) is out, George Hill (sprained right big toe) missed the last game Dec. 20th vs the Suns and may not play tonight.

Opposition's Take: Pounding the Rock

Oh geez Louise, I haven't written for a game in a little while ... not since the Nuggets lost in New York to the Knicks. I guess the good news is that the Nuggets had a good shot at actually winning some games. The bad news, so far in this young season the Nuggets are 2-6 in games when I'm the writer (1-1 at home and 1-5 on the road).

Maybe some NateDrama should unfold and perhaps I should be included in any and all deals invovling Melo. I could be moved along with Melo to the SBNation blog in the city where Melo lands. Nate has a shot to land with: NetsDaily, Posting and Toasting, Orlando Pinstriped Post, The Dream Shake or some people's favorite choice Canis Hoopus. Could the grass be greener? Nah, I'd miss you Stiffs too much.

And with that ... let's do some good news / bad news for the game tonight!

Good News: The Spurs will be playing a back-to-back game tonight.
Bad News: The Spurs are in the first game of the back-to-back tonight as they travel to Orlando after tonight's game to face the Magic on Thursday.

Good News: The Nuggets will be looking for some revenge tonight against the Spurs for the way things ended in Denver back on Dec. 16th.
Bad News: The Spurs have more wins at home, 15, this season than any other team in the NBA.

Good News: Of the Spurs three losses this season 66.6% of them have come at home this season.
Bad News: Out of the 12 games the Nuggets have played away from The Can this season, they are only winners 33.3% of the time.

Good News: With the 34th pick in the 2009 NBA Draft the Nuggets passed on DeJuan Blair (37th pick).
Bad News: Um, trick "Good News" as Blair is a Beast and starting for the Spurs. They are limiting his minutes with his tricky knees as he plays 20 minutes a game, but he played in all 82 games last season and has played in and started in all 27 games this season for the Spurs and is averaging 6.9 points and 6.4 rebounds.

Good News: J.R. Smith can do this ... so fun to watch.
Bad News: Manu Ginobili inspired some guys with too much time on their hands to do this.

Good News: The Nuggets might get Kenyon Martin and Chris "Birdman" Andersen back for tonight's game.
Bad News: The Spurs are 9-1 in their last 10 games and winners of nine in a row. Not really the best team to work your core guys back into the rotation against.

Good News: Billups will be back tonight.
Bad News: Read above. Billups' season long slump has him shooting just 35.1% from the field (career low). Billups is also averaging a career-high 2.9 turnovers this season.

Good News: In Billups' three-game absence Ty Lawson is averaging 35.6 minutes, 18 points on 20-38 shooting or 52.6% from the field, 7.3 assists and just 1 turnover per game (2 vs. the Magic, 1 vs. the Spurs, and 0 vs. the T-Wolves). Nice numbers from the starting point guard.
Bad News: Billups has been saying his injury may linger for awhile and he really should rest for 4-6 weeks. But he says he doesn't have that kind of time. Um, Mr. Lawson begs to differ ... rest a bit longer Billups.

Good News: In their last meeting on Dec. 16th the Nuggets had six players score in double-figures.
Bad News: In that same game, the Spurs had five players score in double-figures and as a team put up 113 points on the Nuggets in what was the second game of a back-to-back for them. Denver should have ran them out of the building on that Thursday night.

Good News: The Nuggets only gave up 9 fast break points to the Spurs in their first meeting.
Bad News: The Nuggets themselves only scored 2 fast break points in their first match up against San Antonio and it wont be easier running on the road for Denver ... as we all know.

Good News: 34-year old Tim Duncan is only averaging 14.1 points and 9.7 rebounds this season in 29.9 minutes as Father Time continues to try to slow him down.
Bad News: Duncan had a turn-back-the-clock game vs. Denver the first go-round as he scored a season high 28 points and grabbed 16 rebounds in San Antonio's win. Seems like somebody always goes off against the Nuggets ... should I mention Kevin Love's career-high of 43 points from the last game?

Good News: Denver did tally 20 assists against the Spurs in the first meeting and 20+ is a good receipt for success for Denver as they are 13-4 when they get 20+ assists.
Bad News: The Nuggets only average 19.08 assists on the road ... they'll need some great ball movement against a pesky Spurs defense.

It'll be interesting to see if the Nuggets play with a chip on their shoulder tonight against the Spurs. NBA players don't typically seem to care too much about regular season games, so will the Ginobili/Melo call linger for tonight's game? Tune in to find out ...

ntimmons73@yahoo.com
Twitter: Nate_Timmons