Welcome back Carmelo Anthony! If last night’s game was just a regular game for Melo I would have thought he did very well. Add in the fact that it was his first game back from a fractured hand and that makes his performance even better.
You could have found more rust on Stan Kronke’s money clip than on Carmelo’s game.
Melo did a good job mixing up his offense. He started with jumpers and then moved on to attacking the rim. He made a couple of nice drives both to the left and the right for easy scores. His jumper looked solid even though he went only 2 on shots outside the paint. He also passed the ball pretty well finishing with five assists highlighted by a touch pass into Nene who was diving through the lane to the rim. Melo also had a good showing from the free throw line as he made 9 of 11 attempts.
If Melo did display any rust it was handling the ball. He was called for two palming violations, which I do not expect to see many more of in the future, on his way to five turnovers. He also only pulled down two rebounds, but that did not seem to be related to any attempt to avoid contact. He was in the lane when he needed to be.
The truly good news was I did not ever see him rubbing his hand at all. He did have his fingers retaped at one point, but it did not appear to be due to any pain or physical issues.
As far as the rest of the team, they certainly did what we all expected of them. They jumped out early after forcing six turnovers in the first 4:36. In fact Charlotte only led for 34 seconds. Denver pushed the lead up to ten points at 34-24 with 8:50 left in the second quarter and Charlotte never got closer than the final margin of 11 the rest of the night. It really was a smooth game. The only run Charlotte made was in the first quarter when they fought back to get within one late in the first quarter.
Denver came out of this game healthy and confident. That is about all we can ask for.
Additional Game 47 Nuggets
Mindboggling Game Stats
Pace Factor: 91.1 – Somewhat slow for a game at the Pepsi Center. Entering the game the Nuggets had a pace factor of 95.2 at home. Charlotte is third to last in the league in pace factor though.
Defensive Efficiency: 108.7 – Charlotte stopped turning the ball over and Denver let up a bit in the second half.
Offensive Efficiency: 120.8 – The last time Denver cracked the 120 mark in offensive efficiency was the Pacers game, which as you know was the last game Melo played in.
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