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News » Denver Nuggets Getting Inside 2009-11-01

Denver Nuggets Getting Inside 2009-11-01

Denver Nuggets Getting Inside 2009-11-01All point guard Ty Lawson heard when he joined the Nuggets was that coach George Karl isn't a big fan of first-year players.

"Everybody was saying, 'Coach Karl doesn't like rookies. He doesn't like rookies,'" said Lawson.

But that hasn't looked to be the case in the first two games of the season. Lawson, taken with the No. 18 pick by Minnesota and shipped to the Nuggets on draft night, has averaged 12.0 points in 21.5 minutes.

Lawson admitted "it surprised me how much I played" in Wednesday's opener, when he logged 26 minutes in a 114-105 home win over Utah while scoring 17 points. In Thursday's 97-94 win at Portland, Lawson had seven points in 17 minutes.

Perhaps Lawson got Karl to change his mind about rookies during Wednesday's game. During the middle of the game, Karl suddenly started to write "Ty" on his coach's clipboard.

"Things might be changing," Lawson said. "Every day up until (Wednesday) he wrote 'Rookie.' But he changed it to 'Ty.' I don't know what that means."

It means Lawson is playing pretty well. As for Karl, he denies he's ever had anything against rookies.

"I don't know which (deserving) rookie I didn't play," said Karl, who mostly has coached teams that won a lot of games and didn't need rookies to play much. Those rookies also were often low picks. "Everybody says Michael Redd (2000-01). Michael Redd came to Milwaukee about 230 pounds and I told him, 'Until you have a body, I'm not going to play you.' He worked on his body."

NUGGETS 97, TRAIL BLAZERS 94: Carmelo Anthony said the Nuggets were "fatigued." He sure didn't look tired.

The forward scored a game-high 41 points in a win Thursday over Portland.

The Nuggets had played the previous night at home against Utah and, due to a snowstorm in Denver, didn't get to Portland until 4 a.m. Thursday.

"We knew we were a little fatigued playing (Wednesday) night and getting in late," Anthony said. "But we gutted this one out. At the end, we got all the loose balls and all the rebounds."

But while the Nuggets were resting at the foul line, Portland fell apart. The Trail Blazers, who led by five midway through the fourth quarter, missed four late free throws. Trailing 95-94, Portland center Greg Oden missed two foul shots with 4.6 seconds left.

Anthony then put the Nuggets up 97-94 on a pair of foul shots with 1.9 seconds left. A three-pointer by Portland's Brandon Roy hit nothing at the buzzer.

The Trail Blazers were 17-of-22 from the foul line in the fourth quarter while the Nuggets were 15-of-16. Anthony went 18-of-19 on the night.

Roy led Portland with 30 points. Point guard Chauncey Billups added 22 for Denver.

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Author: Fox Sports
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Added: November 1, 2009


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