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News » Denver Nuggets Notes, Quotes 2009-09-18

Denver Nuggets Notes, Quotes 2009-09-18

Denver Nuggets Notes, Quotes 2009-09-18--G Chauncey Billups spent much of the late summer working out in Las Vegas with backcourt mate J.R. Smith. Billups is hoping that he can mentor Smith, who has had numerous negative incidents in his career on and off the court. Smith has been suspended by the NBA for the first seven games of the season due to pleading guilty to reckless driving in a 2007 accident that resulted in the death of a passenger in his car.

"J.R.'s a work in progress," Billups said.

At the end of last season, Nuggets coach George Karl said he expects Smith, who finished second in last season's voting for the NBA Sixth Man Award, to be the team's starting shooting guard in 2009-10.

"I hope so," Billups said of Smith starting. "I hope that he can make the right progressions and be more consistent and be more reliable at all times on the court. If he does, he's one of the most talented guys I've ever played with. So he's on his way to being an All-Star, if he does."

--Veteran point guard Anthony Carter isn't worried that the Nuggets didn't make the big offseason moves some of the other top West teams did. He believes the Nuggets return enough key players to make run similar to last season, when they advanced to the Western Conference finals.

"We've got the whole core back," Carter said. "We've just got to pick up where we left off last year. Last year was a great learning experience for us because (Kenyon Martin) and Chauncey (Billups) were the only two who had ever been that far (a conference final)."

Billups, Denver's starting point guard, was excited when Carter re-signed in August to be his backup. Billups called it "huge," saying Carter is "one of the keys to our team."

Carter is entering his fourth season with the Nuggets and his 11th overall in the NBA.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "With the exception of myself, (Anthony Carter) and Kenyon (Martin), we've got a young basketball team. I think just the experience we got as a young team, being elite, having some success, if we can be a little more focused mentally, I think we get better." -- G Chauncey Billups, on believing the Nuggets will grow with the experience of advancing to the Western Conference finals.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: September 18, 2009


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