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News » Denver Nuggets Getting Inside 2008-12-29

Denver Nuggets Getting Inside 2008-12-29

Denver Nuggets Getting Inside 2008-12-29
Could trade winds be blowing between Denver and Oklahoma City?

If New Jersey does the expected and declines to match a Thunder offer sheet on center Nenad Krstic, many believe Oklahoma City will deal one of its excess big men. With Chris Wilcox, Nick Collison and Joe Smith among those possibly available, the Nuggets have had talks with the Thunder.

Wilcox, making $6.75 million in the final year of his deal, is the best of the lot, but the asking price might be too high.

Collison has two years and $13 million left after this season, but that might be too rich for the Nuggets, seeking to get under the luxury-tax threshold.

Smith, a former Denver player, is making $4.8 million in the final year of his deal.

For now, the Nuggets are being patient. With two possible first-round draft picks next June, they're out scouting and evaluating whether they might be willing to part with one. "Right now, we've got nine big men... Something has got to happen," Wilcox said of the prospect of Oklahoma City making a trade if the Nets don't match the offer sheet on Krstic.

Nuggets coach George Karl acknowledges his team could use another big man if it were to get a certain playoff matchup. But Karl said he doesn't have to "predict it (until) the trade deadline (of Feb. 19)."

NUGGETS 117, KNICKS 110: One could say Carmelo Anthony gave the Nuggets some elbow room.

Locked in a tight contest with New York, the guy who just missed three games with a right elbow contusion picked a good time to do that. Anthony scored 11 of his 32 points in the final seven minutes to lead the Nuggets over the Knicks on Sunday at Madison Square Garden.

"They were letting him play one-on-one and the jumper was going," said Nuggets coach George Karl. "And we kind of just rode a hot guy."

Anthony wasn't even at room temperature a week earlier. He shot just 8-of-27 and averaged 11.5 points in games Dec. 19 and 20. After that, the Nuggets (20-11) decided to shut him down for a week to rest the elbow, which has been bothering him since the start of the season.

"I think that was the best thing that ever happened to me," Anthony said. "At first, I was a little hesitant about doing it. But any time you can get rest during a long season like this, it helps. I needed that rest."

He made the Knicks (11-18), losers of six straight, once again rest in peace. With the Nuggets trailing 99-96, Anthony started his hot streak with a three-pointer to tie the score with 6:57 left. Over the next four minutes, Anthony, who shot 5-of-5 in the fourth quarter, hit four straight jumpers, the second giving the Nuggets the lead for good at 107-106 with 4:32 left.

"If you're a basketball player, you love coming in here and performing in the Mecca of basketball," said Anthony, who also grabbed nine rebounds. "If you don't like playing in the Garden, you don't like playing (anywhere)."

It must be said an incident here two years ago led to Anthony not playing at all, after he threw a punch in a brawl that got him a 15-game suspension. Overall, though, it's usually been a Garden party for Anthony. In his six NBA games in New York, he's averaged 29.3 points.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: December 29, 2008


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