2008-09 Game 36: Denver Nuggets 135 – Indiana Pacers 115

Box Score | Highlights

You can put all the concerns about giving up leads or the faltering defense on hold.  Carmelo Anthony likely has suffered a “nondisplaced fracture on the third right metacarpal of his right hand.”  The Nuggets will not know anything more until tomorrow, but when discussing the recovery time George Karl said, “I would think it’s in the weeks area.’’  

I guess it is time to use the internet for more than watching the Chinese feed of the Nuggets game or destroying the newspaper industry.  The third metacarpal is the bone that runs from your wrist to your middle finger.  Based on information found on the Continuum Health Partners website  a nondisplaced fracture is a condition where the “bone cracks with the broken pieces still in alignment.  To me the real question is whether or not the fracture will require pins to set it.

According to the Mayo Clinic website, which states under “Risk Factors” that hand and wrist fractures can occur in “contact sports such as basketball,” the primary instances where “internal fixation devices” such as pins would be required include instances where there are “multiple fractures, an unstable or displaced fracture, loose bone fragments that could enter a joint, damage to the surrounding ligaments, fractures that extend into a joint, open skin related to the fracture or a fracture that is the result of a crushing accident.”  The difference between the fracture being able to heal via immobilization and the requirement for the insertion of pins is would appear to be about four weeks, but taking the factors that typically require pins into account I would suspect that Melo should not need surgery.  To me this all sounds like the Nuggets will be without Melo for at the very least three weeks, but hopefully not much longer than that. 

(How do you like that?  Most of the time I cannot predict the outcome of a basketball game and here I am projecting how long Carmelo Anthony will be out based on a couple of quotes from a basketball coach and a few minutes of surfing the internet.  Who needs medical school anyway?)

Anyway, let’s all give the internet a hand for being so helpful for us this evening.  Thanks internet, I will get in touch with you right after I get to work tomorrow.

By the way, the game did not end when Melo was so violently struck by Jeff Foster.  The Nuggets once again built a big lead, lost it and then pulled out the win although unlike against the Hornets, the game was in hand for most of the fourth quarter. 

However, as I wrote in the game thread, I think any pretense of the Nuggets being a defense first team has slowly gone by the wayside.  I think they will have to pay a little more attention to the defensive end with Melo injured.  

Additional Game 36 Nuggets


  • If anyone out there had doubts about how talented Danny Granger is I give you his performance tonight.  The guy can score from all over the floor.  I would say the only thing holding him back from superstar status is that he is just not quite explosive enough to get to the rim at will.  However, he is a great shooter and is quick enough to get separation for his pull up jumper.  He is also a pretty good defender.  Indiana is a good power forward away from being a very good team.
  • From the Rocky Mountain News article quoted above: 

“An avid Texas football fan, the Nuggets forward [Carmelo] ran out of the locker room briefly wearing just a towel while cheering the Fiesta Bowl win over Ohio State.”

Let me get this straight.  He ran out of the locker room briefly or he only wore the towel briefly?  I hope the towel stayed in place.


  • I shared commenter BeefySwats opinion that Chauncey was playing poorly during the first half.  It seemed to me like he had been a little out of sync over the past week or so.  Then came the second half.  Chauncey started hitting his threes and he took better care of the ball with the timing and locations of his passes much improved.
  • Once again I feel compelled to comment about the officiating.  Let’s just say it was very uneven and the refs were pretty touchy which would lead me to believe that they were pretty insecure regarding their performance.  Linas Kleiza picked up what appeared to be the cheapest technical I have even witnessed by simply making a very muted fist pump/swing that was clearly much less of a display than he wanted to make.   
  • The truly sad thing about Melo getting hurt is he was playing his best ball of the season.  After sitting out three games to rest his sore elbow Melo has broken out of an early season slump.  Including his 8-12 performance tonight he was shooting 50.5% in his previous six games.  We have also seen the return of his post game in two of the last three games and he has also been passing the ball well.  He also deserves credit for playing the rest of the game with the fracture, and playing well too. He scored 15 of his 21 points after the injury.
  • Sticking with the passing the ball well Carmelo was credited with nine assists, including six in the first nine minutes.  Carmelo definitely had three or four very nice passes in the half court, but three or four of those assists were somewhat dubious.  Two of his assists were on simple passes to an open shooter.  One was awarded when he passed the ball to Nene in the post.  Nene made a somewhat complicated move and scored, but Melo got the assist.  At least those are somewhat legitimate.  Melo was actually awarded an assist in the first quarter when he rebounded the ball, made an outlet pass to Dahntay Jones, who was just outside the Pacers’ three point line, who then proceeded to dribble up the floor about sixty feet past a few defenders and dunked.  Awarding an assist on that bucket was akin to awarding Mike Tyson an honorary doctorate (seventh from the bottom).
  • The Nuggets also received great efforts out of Nene, Kenyon Martin and Chris Andersen.  I could not go through this entire post without at least acknowledging their performances.

Mind Blowing Game Stats

Pace Factor – 106.5 – the second fastest game of the season.

Defensive Efficiency – 108.0 – That is their lowest defensive rating since the Philly game and only the third time they have been under 110 in their last 12 games.  Their field goal defense was pretty solid as they held Indy to 43.6% shooting, effective field goal percentage of 48.9% and a true shooting percent of 53.9%.  All are the second lowest percentages over their last 12 games.

Offensive Efficiency – 126.8 – The Nuggets are knocking on the door of becoming a top five offensive team, but things may change with Melo likely to miss some time.

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  • RyanBuff

    Dammit. It just wouldn’t be a Nuggets season without a substantial injury to one of our star players, now would it? This sucks and I am hoping for the best as there has been no definitive answer as far as how long Melo is going to miss as of yet. To think, we have K-mart and Nene as healthy as they have ever been and now Melo is being hit with the injury bug.

  • jakester

    Time for Linas to really step up, I guess. Also Chauncey. Also JR, and Balkman. This team needs to refuse to make excuses, and keep its eyes on the prize of winning this very winnable division.

  • BeefySwats

    Uuuuuugh, please no surgery Melo. :(

    If no surgery is needed, Melo will be gone 2-3 weeks, back sometime for the beginning of February.

    If he has to have surgery, he might be gone until the beginning of March. Think about that.


  • Josh Hopp

    Nice win, but the cost is 3 weeks of Melo-less Nuggets. Surgery will not be undertaken.

    Balkman is about to start seeing serious burn. At least, one would hope so.

  • Nuggets4

    If you look at the three games Melo missed in December, Balkman only got 7 minutes combined. The player who got the most PT in Melo’s absence? Chucky Atkins who was playing 12-18 minutes a game in that time.

    It’s Chucky time.

    Lord help us.

  • BeefySwats

    Good lord, Chucky Atkins filling Carmelo’s minutes?

    If Karl has a brain in his head he’ll divide Carmelo’s minutes equally between Balkman and Kleiza.

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