The Nuggets are in action tonight on the second of a back-to-back against the Philadelphia 76ers. The Nuggets are back in Denver where the team is 12-2 and in much need of a win against the 11-18 Sixers. As for Philly, as the title suggests, their 95.7 points per game average should see a boost as the Nuggets haven't been able to justify the 'D' in Denver this season.
The particulars ...
Denver: 16-12 (12-2 at home) ... lost two in a row and 4-6 in last 10 games.
Philadelphia: 11-18 (3-12 on the road) ... lost two in a row and 6-4 in last 10.
Denver: Carmelo Anthony is out (still with family after the passing of his sister).
Philadelphia: Lou Williams is out (personal reasons, wife just had a baby).
Opposition's Take: Liberty Ballers - there's a preview!
I was sort of hoping that Melo would play tonight and not for the fact that Denver was 0-2 on their mini-roadtrip. My hope was that Melo would play so that the crowd could give him a cheer during the pre-game lineups after the tragic passing of his sister. The Denver Post's Benjamin Hochman reports that George Karl is saying Melo should be back after tonight's game. The good news ... Denver plays the Blazers Tuesday at the Pepsi Center and the home crowd will be able to welcome him back properly.
Now for the game tonight ... another thing that is back, is the defenseless Nuggets. If you made a commercial for the Enver "defense" it would sound a lot like a local advertisement for an ambulance chasing lawyer.
Is your offense having trouble scoring points? Does your squad need a confidence boost? Have individual players been struggling? Well, if you answered yes to any of those questions then you need to come play us, the Enver Nuggets. We make mediocre offenses look like well oiled machines. We can surely get your name plugged on the national highlights for the evening with career shattering numbers. There are plenty of offensive rebound opportunities available, drives to the rim can be made early and often and don't worry about pesky transition defense ... we go out of our way for your offense. Don't believe us? Just listen to some of these testimonials ...
Indiana Pacers head coach Jim O'Brien, "Back on Nov. 9th our team was in need of a win, we were just 2-3 at the time. The Nuggets came into Conseco Fieldhouse and really let us take it to them in a historic third quarter. We scored 54 points on 20-21 shooting and embarrassed the Nuggets 144-113. Thanks Enver!"
Chicago Bulls backup point guard C.J. Watson, "On Nov. 26th when we played in Enver our team was without Superstar Derrick Rose. Enver helped me realize my inner Rose as I dropped 33 points on 11 of 22 shooting. It was a pretty amazing night because I only average 5.2 points on the season and haven't scored more than 14 points in any game other than that one ... heck, I've only scored in double figures three times this year. And if it weren't for Melo's buzzer beater we would have won that game ... oh well. Thanks Enver!"
New York Knicks center Amar'e Stroudemire, "I had scored 30 points or more seven times in a row when the Nuggets came to New York on Dec. 12th, I needed one more game of 30+ to break the Knicks record set by Willie Naulls in 1962 of seven games. It didn't look good going into the second half as I just had 6 points, but then I called on the Enver Nuggets and dumped in 24 second half points and got my team the win! Thanks Enver!"
Minnesota Timberwolves power forward Kevin Love, "I came to Enver on Dec. 18th ... I'm really trying to make the all star game this year and I know the fans wont vote me in because my team stinks, so I need some eye popping games. Well, I'm known for my rebounding, but Enver didn't know that as I set a career high with 43 points in that game. We lost, as usual ... but maybe that game will help get me to Los Angeles for the all star tilt. Thanks Enver!"
San Antonio backup shooting guard Gary Neal, "I only average 8.1 points per game, but on Dec. 22nd when the Nuggets were in town I matched my career high of 22 points and was the unsung hero of that big win. Shooting threes against Enver is so fun because nobody guards you! I hit like three-after-three in that one (5-7 on the night)! Thanks Enver!"
San Antonio backup center Tiago Splitter, "I only play like 11.7 mintes per game. I hadn't really played at all since like Dec. 8th, but when Enver came to town on Dec. 22nd I logged 21 minutes as I was so successful and I scored 12 points! Not bad for a guy who averages 4.8 points a game huh?! I only missed one shot on the night ... probably my own fault too (6-7 on the night). Thanks Enver!"
Oklahoma City small forward Kevin Durant, "When you think of me, you think of one thing: scorer. I can score on anybody and proved it against Enver by scoring a season high 44 points last night. It was easy as I had a head at least on my defenders and didn't really have to work on the defensive end. I guess I should really thank Kenyon Martin's recovery because I thought for sure if he was 100% he'd be guarding me, but he's just not totally all the way back yet. Oh well, was a nice win for us. Thanks Enver!"
I hope that Denver can continue to get better defensively as K-Mart gets back into the groove and back into playing shape. Chris Andersen also needs to get back into the swing of things in a hurry. It's sort of sad to see Shelden Williams being forgotten about after he played pretty well for the Nuggets in place of K-Mart and Birdman.
The problem tonight for Denver, according to Liberty Ballers' Michael Levine, is that Jodie Meeks has been struggling.
Jodie's been pretty bad since he put up 19 in the primetime loss against the Celtics on the 9th. He's getting to the line 4-5 times per game, but shooting 4-26 from deep.
If the above phony commerical is true then we should expect a nice game from Meeks tonight ... probably a lot of threes from him.
Views you can use:
- The Nuggets are giving up 105.5 points per game ...the sixth most in the NBA.
- The Sixers haven't played since Dec. 22nd and haven't scored over 97 points in their last four games.
- Since returning from injury K-Mart has played 17 minutes and 21 minutes in two games. He's shooting 8-13 from the field and averaging 9 points and 4.5 rebounds. As he returns to basketball shape, he could help re-shape the Nuggets defense.