Carmelo Anthony will make his first trip back to the Pepsi Center in Denver since being traded just over a year ago. The Nuggets team this season has been in direct result from trading Anthony last February, and the Nuggets aren’t complaining.
The Denver Nuggets (43-22) are looking to stay solid at home against the New York Knicks (38-23). The Knicks have hit some rough spots this season but are on the rise once again to make a playoff run. The Nuggets have their sites set on home-court advantage in the West.
Ty Lawson is the lone starter on the Nuggets roster who was in Denver when Anthony was there. Lawson is averaging just under 23 points 7.0 assists per game over his last five games. He’s shooting almost 60 percent from the floor and just over 50 percent from behind the three point line in that span. The biggest acquisition for the Nuggets from the Melo trade was Danilo Gallinari. Gallo is averaging 16.4 points per game this season and has hit several big shots for the Nuggets this season. The trade also boosted the Nuggets bench, giving them Wilson Chandler and leading to Corey Brewer. Both are averaging over 10 points per game this season.
For the Knicks, Anthony leads the way when he doesn’t let his temper get the best of him. The former Nugget is averaging 27.9 points per game, good enough for second in the league. Anthony has sat out three of the last five games for the Knicks and is only averaging 10.0 points during that span. The last time he played his former team, he scored 34 points in a 112-106 victory back in early December.
The Nuggets players are treating this game like a playoff game and expect the atmosphere to be the same way.
Tip-off is set for 8:30 pm MT (10:30 pm ET) from the Pepsi Center in Denver. The game will be aired on ESPN.