This also counts as an open thread, so feel free to post your thoughts during the game here.
Time: 8:00 PM Central Standard Time
Place: The Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado
TV: Fox Sports Net Oklahoma, Altitude Sports
Radio: WWLS The Sports Animal (98.1), KRWZ 950 AM
Previous Meeting(s): None.
If you've been hiding under a rock over the past couple of months, then what are you doing down there? It's probably really cold and musty.
Regardless, everybody has heard about Carmelo Anthony's situation in Denver. He has said that he wants out, and several teams have tried to capitalize on the Melo sweepstakes. New Jersey and their new Russian owner were rumoured to be extremely close to a deal, but New Jersey soured the milk by asking for a little bit more than was agreed. The Nuggets were so POed that they threatened to trade Anthony to the Knicks. But, the situation cooled down and they agreed to let Anthony talk to the Nets. Normally, this doesn't happen in the course of trade negotiations, but it's important in this case, because if Anthony is traded to the Nets, he could easily walk to another team after this year if he isn't satisfied with his situation, even if it meant taking less money. Right now, the status of the trade is uncertain.
How has this affected the Denver Nuggets? In the worst way possible. While the team is playing .500 ball, they haven't had an impressive win since beating the pre-VC/Shard trade Magic back on December 14th. Ever since then, they's struggled against ho-hum teams like the 76ers, the Clippers, and the Kings. In fact, it looked like they were on the verge of a Cavalier-like collapse until last Tuesday, when they snapped a 3 game losing streak against Phoenix. Anthony's play has suffered the most. He still has the talent to score 25 Points Per Game, but on some nights he's totally off, scoring only 16 against Sacramento and a paltry 8 against New Orleans.
It's a nice opportunity for the Thunder to steal a good win away from a declining team. chances are they won't be at full strength for much longer, so getting this win is important in terms of standings, as other teams who face the Nuggets later in the season might have an easier time at it. Overall, if we can force Carmelo Anthony to have a bad game or limit their other scorers, we shouldn't have too hard of a time winning it.
Prediction: Oklahoma City 108, Denver 105