Denver Nuggets vs. San Antonio Spurs, Wednesday, Dec. 22
Carmelo Anthony and the Nuggets head to San Antonio looking to seek revenge for a game they should have won last week. In the final seconds of last Thursday's game between the two teams in Denver, Melo drove the lane and hit what should have been the game-winning shot. The shot was waved off as Melo was called for a charge when Manu Ginobili slid into the lane and referee Rodney Mott signaled the call. San Antonio won the game and the NBA again condoned flopping.
The good news for the Nuggets is that the Denver Post's Benjamin Hochman is reporting that the team should be closer to full strength by the time the game tips. Hochman wrote that Chauncey Billups should play in the game, after missing the previous three with a wrist injury. He also quoted George Karl as saying that there is a possibility that the Birdman, Chris Andersen, and Kenyon Martin might return as well. Bird has only played in five games this season and is nursing a sore back. Martin has been in street clothes all year.
Denver Nuggets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, Saturday, Dec. 25
The Nuggets might follow Santa's sleigh to Oklahoma City for an important Christmas Day matchup with the Thunder. OKC is currently in a dogfight in for bragging rights in the Northwest division of the Western Conference with the Utah Jazz and Denver Nuggets. Led by Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, the Thunder have a narrow lead in the division, which the Nuggets can reduce with a win.
Denver can win the game, but will need help on the interior. If Martin or Bird aren't back for the San Antonio game, the extra three days rest should hopefully get them ready for this one. Their presence will help Nene and Shelden Williams on the inside.
Philadelphia 76ers vs Denver Nuggets, Sunday, Dec. 26
There is a recurring theme in the three games this week as the Nuggets return home to face the 76ers on the back end of a back-to-back. The Sixers best player is Elton Brand, who leads the team in points, rebounds, steals and blocks. Brand is a big presence down low, so, again, the Nuggets need to have the injured forwards back to give them a better shot of winning.