Memphis was fortunate to have Mike Miller post a franchise record 41 points in this game. On paper, the Nuggets looked pretty good in the scoring column. Carmelo Anthony scored 33 points, Reuben Patterson scored 17, Andre Miller scored 13 points and dished six assists, and Reggie Evans scored ten while squeezing seven off the glass. The problem against Memphis was chemistry. The loss of Earl Boykins was grotesquely apparent in the area of tempo and collectivity. The Nuggets looked confused when anyone but Carmelo Anthony was holding the basketball. We didn’t have Earl pushing the fast break and consequentially when Andre Miller was on the bench the Nuggets went to pieces.
What did you expect with three gigantic pieces to the Nugget’s puzzle missing in action? I don’t think that this loss is a reason to become hysterical. Marcus Camby will be back. He merely tweaked that left knee and Marcus is a proven warrior. He has been playing at less than 100% all year and without a doubt will be back. He was sorely missed and as a result the Nuggets were bombarded on the offensive glass and gave up 11 second chance opportunities.
Kenyon Martin is still the biggest question mark right now for the Nuggets. How long does a professional athlete need to rest on tendonitis before he can play again? Is this a career ending problem? Is there something else going on that we don’t know about? Will Kenyon ever be effective again? These are all the questions that a circulating around the city of Denver right now. The last missing piece of the puzzle is Earl Boykins and the only answer to that is to hurry up and wait. Bones in the hand can take a long time to heal because of their small size. Hopefully Earl can come back quickly because we desperately need him come playoff time.
Up next is the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets. If the Nuggets can shuffle the personnel and find some chemistry they have a great chance of pulling out the win. I predicted that the Nuggets would end up 5-2 on this eastern road trip, but what I didn’t foresee was the team imploding due to injury. It is up in the air right now whether or not Camby or Martin will play tonight, but a Kenyon Martin sighting is desperately in need. The Nuggets need Kenyon to play tonight in a major way because of weakness on the defensive boards. As previously mentioned there is no reason to become hysterical, but maybe just a little feeling of paranoia is warranted. It will be a surprise who suits and plays tonight. Keep your fingers crossed for the best.