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Boston Celtics/Denver Nuggets: 11/7/07 - Game Preview

Assorted Thoughts

A couple of months ago Marc Stein explained the Steven Hunter/Reggie Evans trade with the following,

"The Nuggets also are getting themselves a backup for veteran center Marcus Camby by tapping into their depth at power forward, believing that Evans would have struggled for minutes with Kenyon Martin expected to make his comeback from a second microfracture knee surgery and with Nene and George Karl favorite Eduardo Najera also ahead of him at the position."

It's not that I disagree with trade. In fact I see no downside in obtaining a back up center for Camby. I just wonder about Kenyon Martin. Clearly the microfracture surgery is not the death sentence it once appeared to be. But coming back from one is no sure thing. And two of them? After playing over 18 minutes on opening night and just under 22 in the Nuggets second game, Martin earned his first DNP of the year last night. And his production has not been stellar when he has played. What can the Nuggets expect from Martin this year.

Only eight Nuggets saw time last night and they don't have a back up point guard right now. This is not a "Eddie House is not a point guard" type scenario. Anthony Carter, Chucky Atkins and emergency point Mike Wilks are all sidelined by injuries. And everyone knows Iverson is not a point guard in the traditional sense. Though I was impressed by what I saw from him on the few possessions I watched.

Carmelo Anthony is an offensive beast. His career has not exactly gone as planned. He's just fun to watch with the ball. And he's a big dude.

The Celtics have to feel good about being at home on two days rest against a team entering the second game of a back-to-back.

The Nuggets are team with a lot to prove. They want to show what a full, presumably brawl less, season with Iverson will mean. Kenyon Martin and Nene are trying to show they can stay healthy. Everyone besides Camby, Najera and Iverson if he cares has to prove they can play defense. George Karl wants to show that his best coaching days are not behind him. And on and on.

Even with all the Nuggets star power I'm most intrigued by J.R. Smith and Linas Kleiza. Which Smith will show up? At times he can light it up from long range and put points on the board in a hurry. Meanwhile Kleiza is one tough dude. I've liked his game since he was in college, even if I'm terrified by the USSR reference in his NBA player profile.