Stein writes, “How much is Melo missed? In this favorable stretch of schedule, Nuggets are just 4-8 with Iverson. They might pay for it at season's end, with 13 of final 18 on the road.”
Realistically, the next ten games following the rematch with the Houston Rockets is going to not only include the return of Carmelo Anthony in the following game against Memphis, but in my opinion is the MOST favorable ten-game stretch the Nuggets have on the schedule. In said ten games, the Nuggets will only have to face two winning teams (Phoenix and Utah).
Keep this in mind too, the Nugget will be playing three bottom-feeders in the Memphis Grizzlies, Seattle Supersonics, and Charlotte Hornets and will also have back-to-back match-ups with a near cellar dweller in the Portland Trailblazers. Only two of those five games are away from the Pepsi Center, (Seattle and one of the Portland games), and I might have mentioned this, but the Nuggets are anxiously awaiting the return of the game’s most potent scorer! And Stein called the last eleven game stretch, “favorable.” You must be joking me, right?
Don’t go out and get yourself all worked up, Nuggets fans. That is my job, but seriously, the Nuggets are going to be just fine and should bounce right back into the top ten after this upcoming month of action. Carmelo is going to come back with a vengeance after he took his punishment from Stern like a true pro should, (without an appeal), and has been reportedly working like a man possessed in practice.
It should also be mentioned that Stein ranks the Nuggets the 16th “most powerful” team in the league. Right behind the losing records of the Toronto Raptors and Miami Heat. The Nuggets are also the only winning team ranked above the rest of the sub .500 bunch. This all after a couple of major trade shake-ups, the grapple in the apple, and the aforementioned nightmare stretch of facing the NBA’s best teams, at least, according to Stein…