Here are a few links for you as we get ready for game five.
Chauncey is going to switch from C.J. Miles over to Deron Williams. Billups will probably get a friendlier whistle than Arron Afflalo, but I doubt there will be much of an upgrade with Chauncey on Deron. Billups looks gassed and I doubt the extra effort he will have to exert on defense is going to help alleviate that. I guess Williams is due for a bad game…
Kevin Arnovitz continues to cover this series like no one else. This article on how the Nuggets are not running their most efficient plays very frequently is as frustrating as it is true. I have written that when the Nuggets run almost anything other than isos, they seem to be able to get practically any shot they want. Unfortunately, they are too much in love with their “random” offense.
Faithful reader Bill Holicky has some statistical evidence that Carmelo needs some help if Denver is going to make any headway in this series. He points out that although there are only 16 teams in the playoffs, Denver only has two players in the top 50 in playoff PER (ESPN.com Insider required). Melo is sixth with a very impressive 27.63, but the next best Nugget is Arron Afflalo coming in forty-third with a PER of 16.84.
Professor Hollinger also points out that under Adrian Dantley the Nuggets long standing position as the best team in the league at earning free throws has flip flopped. It would seem officials are not afraid of Dantley’s bark (ESPN.com Insider equired), mostly because he rarely ever uses it.
Rob Mahoney wrote a very good piece on Carmelo for Pro Basketball Talk that I highly recommend.
For some reason I am beginning to feel optimistic about tonight’s game even though my brain is trying to convince my heart otherwise.