I have never promoted this before for the Denver Nuggets at any point during a season where they have a quality team capable of going places, but as much as I want to promote the band together and produce a super human effort I think tonight is a situation where Denver should play to win…on Saturday.
According to Chris Tomasson, Carmelo Anthony is out, Chris Andersen is out and Ty Lawson is doubtful. Benjamin Hochman is reporting Nene is a game time decision and both are saying Chauncey Billups will try to come back for the second time from his groin injury tonight.
Oh, by the way, Denver is playing the East leading Cleveland Cavaliers who have won eight of nine and 13 of their previous 15 games. The Cavs have crushed the Nuggets the previous two meetings, especially last year in Denver and I do not see that changing with the current state of health at the Pepsi Center.
The Nuggets can kill themselves, play on bad ankles and work their tails off to hopefully stay close to the Cavs or they can let the bench have their night, give everyone another day to heal up, including Chauncey, and give it their best shot in Sacramento on Saturday.
It pains me to say it, but I say give up tonight to win tomorrow. Of course, there is no guarantee that Denver will pull out a victory in Sacramento by resting all their injured players against Cleveland, but there is a good chance by sending Nene and Chauncey out there and giving big minutes to Kenyon could greatly reduce your chances of winning on Saturday.
Anthony Carter and J.R. Smith can handle the point. Arron Afflalo, Joey Graham and Renaldo Balkman can deal with the swing positions, Kenyon martin can play a few minutes at power forward with Balkman and Malik Allen filling in the rest and Petro and Allen can take care of the minutes at center.
It will be horrible to watch and ESPN will undoubtedly be bummed out, but once, just this one time, I think it is the right thing to do.