Welcome to the ALL NEW Denver Nuggets, ladies, gentlemen, and Sonics fans. One of the fastest, toughest, exciting, annoying and passionate players the league has seen in the past decade has left his Philadelphia home to play alongside young Carmelo Anthony under the watchful eye and iron fist of George Karl in Denver. Tonight we see only a part of this potential new Western Conference powerhouse as they are forced to play without the suspended Anthony, and JR Smith or the injured Marcus Camby and Kenyon Martin. Andre Miller left to make room for AI, so that leaves them short handed. I saw them play last week and Boykins, Iverson, Reggie and Nene logged significant minutes.
The bad news is that the Sonics have to play without Rashard Lewis (finger injury), Ray Allen (birth of new son), Robert Swift (ankle) and Danny Fortson (knee). Both teams are short handed and tired.
I won't bother with numbers since the new look Nuggets don't reflect the season stats to date. AI has always scored at will against the Sonics and it has always been a matter of stopping the rest of the team. Reggie Evans will be motivated to beat his former team, and he may well do that on pure effort and sheer will. Nene needs to be held, and the best way to do that is to let him foul himself to the bench. The question is who will help lead him there?
Luke, Earl and Wilcox will be expected to put up big numbers tonight, as will Petro and Wilkens. I expect Wilkens to start and Gelabale to come off the bench for multiple positions. We will likely see floor time from Farmer, Wilks and Glyniadakis for the first time in a few games.
It is really anyone's game tonight, but I believe that the Nuggets have to have the edge with AI, Boykins and the home court crowd. Let's hope the Supes prove me wrong.
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