With all of the talk of the ubertalented 19-year-old big man Derrick Favors, most Denver Nuggets have overlooked the minor addition of Shelden Williams.
Sure he hasn’t lived up to his expectations since being drafted out of Duke, and he still isn’t as good as a player as his wife (Candace Parker) but it is all about playing the right roles on the right teams – just ask Chauncey Billups.
Well after the first preseason game and Williams and the Nuggets look just right for each other. Williams brought out a wide array of offensive moves and also made his presence felt on the boards and defense.
We have been raving about the addition of this big man all offseason and he showed it Friday night.
Williams used a solid spin move, jump hook and 10-to-12 foot jumper to finish the game with 21 points and 14 rebounds. He also had a dominating blocked shot in the fourth as he showed highlights from his days at Duke and the reason why he was a top five pick in the 2006 Draft.
The final result for the night was a 109-99 victory for the Nuggets
CARMELO ANTHONY – Anthony was his usual steady self, finishing the contest with 24 points and four rebounds. He also hit 7 of 12 shots and hit three of four treys and played some good defense.
CHAUNCEY BILLUPS – Billups struggled with his shot, but he had his usual court savvy as he controlled the tempo of the game.
NENE - Nene had six points and five rebounds, but he like usual tend to differ to his teammates.
TY LAWSON – Lawson had a good start to the preseason, but he spent most of the game trying to set up his teammates instead of forcing his own shot (9 points, 6 assists).
ARRON AFFLALO – Triple AAA showed that his work this summer has started to pay-off. He hit anything he threw up, but still played physical in-your face defense. Afflalo scored 18 points (7-of-10 from the field and 2-of-3 from behind the arc).
J.R. SMITH – So much for all of the talk of a new J.R., he was his normal inconsistent self. Smith went 4 of 6 from behind the arc, but yet missed all five of his shots from inside the arc.
RENALDO BALKMAN – Kool had a pretty impressive game, playing with energy and hitting all of his three shots (7 points, 3 rebounds and 2 steals).
GARY FORBES – Despite having a great training camp, Forbes struggled in his preseason debut. He missed five of his six shots and had four turnovers. Hope he can rebound for the next game.
Eric Boateng, Shane Edwards and Melvin Ely all played in the contest, but none of it was quality minutes.