A lot has happened with the Denver Nuggets during our week-in-a-half hiatus and lets get right to what we have missed.
- Carmelo Anthony’s older sister has passed away due to a pre-existing medical condition and he has missed the Nuggets past four games in which Denver has gone 1-3. He will also miss today’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, but will return to the team on Thursday.
- Al Harrington was injured in Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia 76ers when he dislocated his thumb. He was held to only seven minutes and missed Tuesday’s victory over the Portland Trailblazers. He will miss the next two games.
- The Nuggets have won three games (17-13) fewer than last year’s squad (20-10) after 30 games and two games behind the 2009-10 team. And according to ESPN’s John Hollinger, Denver has had the hardest schedule in the league so far, followed by Milwaukee, Dallas and Phoenix. The Los Angeles Lakers, Sacramento Kings and New York Knicks have each had the three easiest schedules.
- Kenyon Martin made his season debut against the San Antonio Spurs and has averaged seven points and four rebounds in his return. He hasn’t played more than 21 minutes a game and will be held out of tonight’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
- Chauncey Billups and Chris Andersen also returned against the Spurs. Billups missed the previous three games and he has also returned to form after his early season struggles. In the previous four games, Billups has averaged 23 points, 5.8 assists and is shooting over 50 percent from behind the arc and from the field. Andersen, who has been injured off and on this season, has done work on the boards in his return, averaging around eight boards a game.
- JR Smith has been injected into the starting lineup to provide the starters with the offense they miss in Anthony’s absence. It has had mixed results, while he has averaged 13.5 points he is shooting below 40 percent and had scored in double-digits twice in the four starts. It might have been a smarter move to put Ty Lawson in the starting lineup and keep Smith’s spark off the bench.
- Nene has carried some of the scoring load in Anthony’s absence. Averaging 16 points and 8.3 rebounds and also is shooting .67 percent from the field and .769 from the charity stripe.
- The Nuggets have a chance to get on a winning streak over the next five games, Denver faces three of the worst teams (Sacramento twice) in the League and all four teams have a losing record.
Tags: Carmelo Anthony Chauncey Billups Chris Andersen Denver Nuggets John Hollinger JR Smith Kenyon Martin Los Angeles Lakers Nene New York Knicks Philadelphia 76ers Portland Trailblazers Sacramento Kings Ty Lawson