Mile High Sigh: Denver Nuggets’ Tumble Could Continue Since Both Stars Out

January 2nd, 2010 by Rich Kurtzman Leave a reply »
For the Denver Nuggets (20-12) tonight's Northwest Division contest against the Jazz  in Utah is important. Denver has missed their leader in Chauncey Billups, and has seen production and energy drop in without Mr. Big Shot.

The Nuggets are a paltry 1-5 in Billups' absence with their offense only scoring 100.8 points per game, over six points less than their season average. And on the other side, the defense is allowing 1.8 points more, showing that Billups is the link that holds the Nuggets together on both ends of the court.

Denver's offense has been held afloat with Carmelo Anthony's big scoring, averaging 27.3 per without Billups, but his offense may be missed tonight as well as Melo has a knee contusion.

If the Nuggets don't have Anthony tonight, JR Smith will start at small forward for the first time in his career. Smith's offense will definitely be needed tonight if Denver wants to hang in the game with the Jazz, and others will have to step up as well. Starters Kenyon Martin and Nene must play big, literally and in the box score, and bench player Ty Lawson will have to put in some buckets too.

But life in the NBA is a consta ...

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