The Miami Heat are in town tonight and The Nuggets will be playing their first game since Carmelo Anthony broke his hand. Linas Kleiza will step into Melo’s starting role and I think you can count on seeing Chauncey Billups, Anthony Carter and J.R. Smith on the court down the stretch.
The Heat bring a couple of conundrums. One is how to stop Deyane Wade and the other is apart from Wade, who to you focus on? They have five other players, Michael Beasley, Shawn Marion, Udonis Haslem, Mario Chalmers and Daequan Cook, all averaging between 9.8 and 13.0 points per game. Any one of them, other than Haslem, could put up 25 points if they get hot.
I think the Nuggets will bring a great deal of energy to the game tonight because they know the task at hand will be more difficult without Carmelo. I heard an interview with George Karl this morning talking about how they have focused on getting back to playing stout defense in practice. We can only hope that is indeed the case.
The Nuggets have won six straight overall against the Heat and six straight against them at home. Lete’s hope that trend continues. The Heat are good, but this is one of the more winnable games on the slate of the matchups we know Melo will miss.
Update: Cook is out for tonights’ game.