It is only fitting that on the same day that JaVale McGee wins the game for the Denver Nuggets with a tip-in dunk, former Nuggets’ big man Nene goes for 22 points and 10 rebounds to help the Washington Wizards beat the New Jersey Nets on the road.
So should the Nuggets be happy? They barely beat one of the worst teams in the East. One that has only won four road games and they gave up 115 points to a team that averages less than 91 points. Not to mention, Denver ended its nine-game home stand with a 5-4 record and in three of those wins the Nuggets needed a miracle ending to get the victory. With 13 of their final 19 games on the road, the Nuggets may miss the playoffs and it might not be a bad thing. Denver has a dismal 3-8 record against the top five teams in the West.
On to the big men. Both played well and were arguably the MVPs for both their teams. Nene played great in his debut, hitting 9 of 16 shots and helped Washington play one of its complete game of the season. However, this should be expected from Nene against teams like the Nets, who started Kris Humphries and Shelden Williams in the post. So maybe Wizards fans should temper their expectations a little bit.
In his debut, McGee scored 15 points, grabbed seven rebounds and blocked three shots. He also battled past Greg Monroe to tip back in Arron Afflalo’s missed free throw. It was a great start to his Nuggets’ career, but again it was one game and it was against Detroit. It’s hard to tell how good a player can be after one game. However, when you can pass judgement will be during the Nuggets’ seven-game road trip.
- Ty Lawson went for 25 points and usually when Lawson plays at that level the Nuggets win. However, the issue has been he tends to defer to his teammates. During the previous three games, Lawson was averaging nine points and seven assists.
- In just his second game back, Wilson Chandler started in place of Danilo Gallinari, who is out with a fractured thumb. Chandler didn’t shoot the ball well and didn’t share the ball too much, but he did have 11 points and 10 rebounds. In two games, Chandler is averaged 12 points and seven rebounds.
The Nuggets perimeter defense was pretty porous as Ben Gordon scored 45 points and hit all nine of his treys. As a team the Pistons hit 14 of 18 from behind the arc.