In middle school science class I learned about fight or flight. When an animal is confronted they will either step up and rumble or get out of dodge pronto. With the announcement that Nene has been suspended for two games we will see firsthand which option the Nuggets will choose, fight or flight.
The bad news is the New Orleans Hornets do two things pretty well that the Nuggets have been failing to defend and if you have spent any time here over the past week or two you probably know what I am about to say. The Nuggets do not defend the pick and roll or the three point line very well.
The Hornets do rank in the middle of the pack in three point percentage, right alongside the Nuggets at 37%, but Rasual Butler almost always shoots lights out against the Nuggets, James Posey has already hit a couple of big threes against Denver in his first season in New Orleans and Peja Stojakovic is a game time decision after missing ten games with a bad back.
The Hornets may also be without Tyson Chandler although after missing three games his ankle has improved enough to be a game time decision as well as is Hilton Armstrong (you will find a here is a complete rundown of the Hornets’ injury situation).
There are worse teams for the Nuggets to face without Nene than the Hornets. Even if Chandler plays New Orleans does not have much of a low post game. And if you are looking for a silver lining is we know we will see more Renaldo Balkman and more Chris Andersen.
I do not know that playing without Nene drastically reduces the Nuggets chance of winning, but I did not think their chance of winning was very high to start with. The Nuggets have lost three of their last four games on the road against the Hornets with an average margin of 11.3 points. All three losses have been by double digits. Chris Paul is simply the best player on the floor whenever these two teams meet and he almost always gets enough from his supporting cast to overcome the Nuggets superior overall talent level.
Fight or flight Denver. Show us what is in your heart.