Trade Impact: Three-way Trade

The Nuggets sent Nene to Washington, the Wizards sent JaVale McGee and Ronny Turiaf to Denver and the Clippers got Nick Young after sending Brian Cook and a future second-round pick to the Wizards. This three-way trade largely benefits the Wizards, but the Clippers also got a solid acquisition in Young.

This move is a little questionable for Denver. After recently committing to Nene with a $67 million deal for the next five years, trading him does free up cap space but the Nuggets could have gotten more for a quality big man like Nene than JaVale McGee. McGee is averaging a respectable 11.9 ppg and 8.8 rpg, but is not quite the same caliber as Nene. The only explanation is that the Nuggets will rotate McGee and the improving Kenneth Faried as a 1-2 punch in the post. Faried should get that start now and will be given the opportunity to develop into quite the player.

The Wizards had to give up Young, who’s averaging 16.6 ppg, as well as McGee but got a much-needed improvement down in the post. At this point, change is necessary for the Wizards, so although they gave up two pieces of their offense to get Nene, anything might be better for Washington.

The Clippers might be the big winners in the deal, giving up virtually nothing for a solid scorer at shooting guard. After Billups went down, Lob City has struggled, and although Young is no Billups, he should be able to pick up their game a little bit.

Bye bye Nene

Quick Injury Update – 3/5/12

Danilo Gallinari and Nene saw limited action in the Nuggets’ overtime win against Sacramento last night. Fantasy owners should be patient; although they are not putting up big minutes yet, it is to be expected that Karl eases his two stars back into playing, especially with the Nuggets playing so well right now. Look for Denver to make a surge in the West in the next few weeks.

Brook Lopez is expected to miss 3 weeks with an ankle injury. Fantasy owners’ disappointment should be paramount, as Lopez was finally back in the lineup and playing extremely well for a few games before yet another injury. The Nets will be hurting by his absence, as Deron Williams can’t be expected to drop 50+ every night.

An unfortunate but familiar sight for Brook Lopez

Chris Bosh is set to return to action tonight after missing the last three games because of his grandmother’s death. The Heat probably wouldn’t have needed him back too badly for tonight’s game against the lowly Nets, especially with Brook Lopez out, but the Heat have lost two of their last three without him and will certainly be looking to reestablish their rhythm.

Tyson Chandler is still nursing a wrist injury and although he hasn’t missed any games because of it, Mike D’Antoni said he might sit him if it gets any worse. Losing him for even a few games would be a big loss considering his averages of 11.6 ppg and 9.8 rpg, along with the defensive presence he brings in the paint.

Chandler has been dealing with some wrist pain since the Knick's game against the Mavs on February 19.

Nuggets Nosedive?

The Denver Nuggets started the season on a promising note but after a tough overtime loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder last night, they have lost 10 of their last 13 games. Even before Gallinari went down with the ankle injury, the Nuggets had lost four of their last five. So the question has to be asked: Are the Nuggets in trouble?

In short, no. Worry not, Denver fans! Despite this recent nosedive, as long as Gallinari and Nene are healthy for the playoffs, your team should be just fine once the postseason rolls around. Although the Nuggets have slid into the 9th spot in the West with the loss, as long as this injury-ridden team keeps the losses to a minimum over the next few games, things should start looking up once their leading man Gallinari takes the court again. And here’s an encouraging stat: of the Nuggets’ last 10 losses, six of them have been by 8 points or less. The Nuggets are still staying competitive for the most part, they just need to start picking up the W’s in close situations again.

The Nuggets really miss this guy, but should be fine if they can win half of their next six games

Unfortunately, this may be easier said than done. The Nuggets’ next six games include the surging Timberwolves, Clippers, Trailblazers, Rockets and two meetings with the Spurs, the NBA’s hottest team at the moment. If the Nuggets can get half of those games, Gallinari and Nene should be back right as Denver’s schedule eases up a little bit (Kings, Cavs, Hornets and Grizzlies). These softer games will allow Denver’s injured stars to get back into rhythm before taking on the Hawks, Thunder, Celtics and Mavs.

The Nuggets have been highly competitive in the West for years thanks to George Karl, an extremely supportive fan base, and a style of play that revolves around team basketball. After the major Carmelo/Chauncey Billups trade that left the Nuggets with nine players for their next game, the Denver Nuggets were resilient. After George Karl was diagnosed with cancer and went through chemotherapy and came back the next season to coach his team, the Denver Nuggets were resilient. In the hardest times, this team displays one of their most endearing traits that fans have come to love them for: their heart and effort almost every time they take the floor. Despite not having Gallinari and Nene on the floor, the Nuggets still almost pulled out a win on the road against a great OKC squad (on a night that saw Durant eclipse 50, Westbrook drop 40, and Serge Ibaka record a triple double).

Despite this recent skid uncharacteristic of this Nuggets team, this guy will keep them competitive

Denver has come up a bit short in these past few games. But with guards like Ty Lawson and Arron Afflalo leading the team in their stars’ absence, along with role players like Andre Miller, Al Harrington, Kosta Koufos, Chris Andersen, and Corey Brewer, Denver should have no problem regrouping once they’re at full strength again.

Injury Report

Here are some injury updates on some key players around the league:

Danilo Gallinari -Gallinari still has about three weeks left until returning from a chip fracture in his left ankle. He was having a great season with Denver until the injury, and the Nuggets need him back as they have lost four of their last six without him.

Derrick Rose – D-Rose is still listed as day-to-day and saw a back specialist earlier in the week, but he’s been listed as day-to-day since the back spasms were first reported, so you’re going to want to check back on this one often. The Bulls have done fine without Rose recently, but will need him healthy to keep it going.

Chauncey Billups – Billups’ Achilles surgery was successful and he says he will be in the NBA after recovery. Whether or not that will be for the 2012-13 season remains to be seen, but he’s definitely done for the year. This is a big blow to the Clippers, who were starting to look like big contenders in the West with the helpful addition of Kenyon Martin. The team will have to rely on more leadership from Chris Paul, especially when the playoffs come around.

Zach Randolph – Z-Bo has been cleared for non-contact drills in practice and is looking at returning to the court in the first or second week of March. He has only played in four games this season thanks to his MCL tear back in January and will likely be a little rusty, so it could take some time for him to get back into the swing of things.

Carmelo Anthony – Melo and the Knicks aren’t going to rush the groin injury because Lin has been taking care of business. He’s listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Mavs, but you should probably expect him back in the lineup sometime next week.

Spencer Hawes will miss extended time as he will be spending the next two weeks in a walking boot for his strained Achilles. You can look for him to be back in March after the All-Star break. Brandon Bass and Emeka Okafor will also sit out until after the All-Star break, although their returns looks like they will be more imminent.

Andrea Bargnani’s timetable for a return is still unknown at this point. He was leading the team in scoring but has only played in two games since January 13.
Anderson Varejao will miss 4-6 weeks with a fractured wrist. This definitely won’t help an already lackluster Cavs squad.
Jason Terry sat out last night against the 76ers for personal reasons but should be back for Sunday’s game against the Knicks.
LaMarcus Aldridge is considered a game-time decision for Saturday’s game.
Nene has missed the last three games but is still listed as day-to-day with the calf injury. Keep an eye on this one moving forward.