Talented as they are, the Denver Nuggets (14-9) just seem to have too much “stuff” going on around the team to realistically contend for an NBA championship in 2011.
Carmelo Anthony is posting close to a career-low shooting percentage from the field (42.8%, 23.1 ppg) as trade rumors and behind-the-scenes issues with the organization swirl around him. Injuries to Kenyon Martin and Birdman Andersen have decimated the frontcourt. J.R. Smith and George Karl has resumed their up-and-down relationship. And it doesn’t help that Northwest Division rivals Utah and Oklahoma City are now among the best teams in the League.
One thing the Nuggets don’t need is to have their rock out of action. Chauncey Billups already isn’t having a great season, shooting 35% from the field while averaging 14.4 points and 5.4 assists, and now he’ll miss a week with a right wrist injury.
An MRI revealed Billups, who shoots with his right hand, has ligament damage in the wrist. He originally injured it on Nov. 20. While the veteran leader is out, the team will rely on backup point guard Ty Lawson, who scored 24 points against Boston last week and 18 against New York over the weekend.