It’s very rare when a team gets better after playing their star player, but the Denver Nuggets have done just that.
Once again the Nuggets rude hosts as they blew past the the Detroit Pistons by 3o-points, their second 30-point victory since dealing Carmelo Anthony on Feb. 21.
Since the trade, Denver has improved to 7-2 and once again the Nuggets had eight players score in double-figures, including two – Ty Lawson and Nene – who had double-doubles.
And while fans will salivate over JR Smith’s 31-point performance in which he hit nine 3-pointers. It was an impressive performance, but the fact is that the game was already in hand before he hit seven of his treys and scored 21 points and so his performance had little to do with the victory.
In fact, what was more impressive was the Nuggets made their first eight baskets to jump out to a 21-11 advantage.
Nene and Lawson, who have been very impressive since the trade, were nearly unstoppable in their two-man game. In 26 minutes, Nene had 18 points and 11 rebounds. He also was 6 of 8 from the field. Lawson went for 15 points, 11 assists and had four steals. For his second straight double-double. He also shot over 50 percent from the field.
After struggling with his shot after the trade, Lawson has come into his own. In the last five games Lawson has averaged 16.6 points, 9 assists, 2.2 steals and is shooting 50 percent from the field, .421 from behind the arc and .867 from the free throw line. He also has a 5-1 assist to turnover ratio. Lawson has had three double-doubles, three 20-point games and has had three games with double-digit assists.
Nene has also been nearly unstoppable over the previously three games.
He has averaged 21.7 points a game, 10.7 rebounds, 1 block, 1.7 steals and is shooting an impressive .765 from the field and has done in only 27.7 minutes.
Since the Melo trade, Nene has had four double-doubles and two 20-point games.
Other notable stats
-The Nuggets had 33 assists and only 11 turnovers, three players with more than five assists.
-Denver shot .561 from the field and .486 from behind the arc.
-The Nuggets scored 30 points in three quarters.
-Chris Andersen was a perfect 4-4 from the field, third time in five games he hasn’t miss a shot in a game.