Where's Melo?

Rumors were out and about before the game, as numerous media outlets stated that Carmelo Anthony was going to return from his twisted ankle. However, those rumors proved to be premature and hours before the game it was relevant that the star wasn’t playing as Joey Graham was once again given the starting nod.

Steve Nash

Steve Nash just can't miss. (Jonathan Maness)

Maybe the Nuggets as a team bit too early into those rumors as not one player had an answer offensively for the Suns high-powered duo of Amar’e Stoudemire and Steve Nash. And if there was one game Melo’s 30 points were missing it was this one.

Worried about the duo Denver switched consistently on defense, as Robin Lopez and Jason Richardson took advantage of mismatches in the first half. It didn’t help that the Nuggets’ bigs continue to struggle with the high pick and roll, leaving the likes of Jared Dudley and Channing Fry open from behind the arc.

And even when the Nuggets slowed the offense, Nash just wouldn’t miss. This former MVP was barely grazing the net during shoot around before the game and his hot shooting carried over to the game. He scored over Graham, Chauncey Billups, Nene and even Kenyon Martin. Even late in the first quarter, Nash nailed a 40-foot desperation shot with the shot clock winding down.

For the game, Nash hit 8 of 15 shots for 17 points to go with 10 assists.

The Nuggets offense was equally as bad as their defense. It was a bad sign things weren’t going right offensively when Graham led the squad in field goal attempts.

If this game wasn’t a sign that it was time for Anthony to come back I’m not sure what is. Not only did Denver look lost offensively, the cake schedule is done as the Nuggets have to travel to Los Angeles to face the Lakers Friday and then go to Utah to face the red hot Jazz Saturday. The schedule doesn’t get any better as Denver plays two tough home games next week, Tuesday against the Dallas Mavericks, who beat Denver at home in the first meeting, and the San Antonio Spurs, who were embarrassed at home by the Nuggets last Sunday.

Tidbits from the game

  • Billups was added to the All-Star game Wednesday to replace the injured Chris Paul.
  • If you look for Nuggets’ assistant coach Tim Grgurich during the game, you won’t find him with the rest of the coaches. Instead he stands next to the tunnel by the Nuggets bench for a different view of the court.
  • The Suns have two former players on their coaching staff, Dan Majerlie and Bill Cartwright. Both are being groomed to be head coaches in the league. They also have three players, who have brothers playing in the NBA. Taylor Griffin, brother of Clippers’ top pick Blake and interesting enough Robin Lopez , twin brother of Brook Lopez, and Jarron Collins, twin brother of Jason Collins. The two group of twins each attended Stanford University.
  • Haywoode Workman joined Dick Bavette and Pat Fraher as the officials for the game. Workman is one of three former NBA players who moved on to officiating. Workman played the majority of his career with the Indiana Pacers.
  • Louis Amundson, a graduate of Monarch High School in Denver, is a nice rugged player for the Suns. He gets under opposing players skins and despite being a free agent this offseason, Amundson may not be joining the Nuggets bench. Him and Nene got into during a game last season, in which Nene was given a flagrant 2 and was ejected from the game. Amundson called Nene a ‘dirty player’ and a ‘fake, tough guy’ in which Nene responded by calling Amundson a ;stupid dude’ and a ‘nobody,’ and said a real blow to him would have resulted in a ‘break all of his face.’

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Tags: Amare Stoudemire Carmelo Anthony Chauncey Billups Chris Andersen Denver Nuggets George Karl JR Smith Kenyon Martin Steve Nash

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