The Denver Nuggets lost to the Detroit Pistons last night 99-101, and even after Carmelo Anthony scored 40 points, the Nuggets were unable to get a win in Detroit in 15 years. If there is one thing Joe Dumars has done right since trading Chauncey Billups two seasons ago is the signing of Charlie Villanueva who had 27 points of the bench. Villanueva seemed to be making plays at the right time all game long and Denver had no answer for his size. Billups had 21 points.
Kenyon Martin's absence was felt after Ben Wallace posted 16 rebounds, 10 of which hurt Denver on the Detroit's defensive side. Aaron Afflalo and Ty Lawson both had their worst games of the season on offense and Lawson didn't score.
Nene continued to falter on offense and Joey Graham not only was a let down with points, but he failed to post a single rebound. After barely beating the 76ers, losing to the Bobcats and Pistons, you have to wonder if Denver plays down to their competition or if the lesser opponents rise to the challenge?
I personally think that it is a combination of both with a lopsided handicap on the Nuggets' part. Denver seems mentally exhausted. With Martin as their only injured player, it would seem that Denver was in pretty good physical shape? However, the Nuggets have been noticably faint in their intensity and have been relying on jumpshots instead of posting up in the paint or driving to the hoop.
Anthony scored 40 points last night but took a lot of shots from the perimeter and Nene all of a sudden this season thinks he is a shooting guard. What happened to Coach George Karl? Are you emphasizing Nene's need to stick with a formidable hook shot? Maybe Coach Karl needs to do more fundamental workouts during practices because the Nuggets have missed an abismal number of layups over the last three games.
On the other side, Dumars had to have been pleased with Rodney Stuckey(25 pts) and Jonas Jerebko(12 pts, 8 rbs) who showed a dominating presence last night in Detroit.