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News » Denver Nuggets Notes, Quotes 2008-12-29

Denver Nuggets Notes, Quotes 2008-12-29

Denver Nuggets Notes, Quotes 2008-12-29
--J.R. Smith returned to the bench Sunday at New York after starting three Nuggets games due to forward Carmelo Anthony's elbow injury. While Nuggets coach George Karl has admitted he's thought about replacing guard Danthay Jones with Smith, no move appears imminent. That's fine with Smith. "It doesn't really matter," Smith said of starting. "Once you get the same amount of minutes, it's all the same." Smith averaged 16 points in his three starts. That's also how many points he scored against the Knicks.

--New York all but gave up on forward Renaldo Balkman last summer, shipping him to the Nuggets for a second-round pick and two players with non-guaranteed contracts that were immediately waived. Balkman returned to New York on Sunday, and showed great energy. He scored nine points and pulled down eight rebounds in 18 minutes. But Balkman didn't want to gloat afterward. "I had fun... It's great, but we have another game (Monday at Atlanta)," he said. Balkman's playing time has been erratic this season, but Nuggets coach George Karl went to him on Sunday due being in New York and wanting a power forward who could cover perimeter players.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "The kid has never given in to the dark side of what's going to happen... I think we believed with him, but he's probably believed more than anybody that he was going to come back and be a player... I'm sure he's probably not going to make the All-Star team, but he's close to an All-Star player." -- Nuggets coach George Karl, on center Nene coming back from last season's testicular cancer.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: December 29, 2008


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