The Denver Nuggets (24-20, 13-11 home) take on the Boston Celtics (23-20, 7-12 away) at the Pepsi Center on Saturday night, and they will be hoping for a much better result than their 103-90 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday. Against OKC, a 14-point third quarter and 5-22 shooting from beyond the arc doomed Denver, but now they may get their first chance to integrate JaVale McGee into the system on Saturday.
McGee will indeed wear No. 34 for #Nuggets. Had his physical today. Unclear if he'll play Sat. Have to wait for all physicals.— Benjamin Hochman (@nuggetsnews) March 16, 2012
McGee came over in the Nene trade with the Washington Wizards, and he brings with him a reputation of flaky play, lapses in judgment and eye-popping athleticism. He could debut in a Nuggets uniform against the Celtics, but the organization's eye is still on the bigger picture, as noted by Jeffrey Morton at Denver Stiffs:
McGee could pan out as a low-cost little-risk move for the Nuggets. My surprise with the signing of JaVale McGee (expressed yesterday) was he is not an upgrade over Nene, and with a history of knucklehead syndrome and, at times, hilariously low basketball IQ it didn't seem to make sense. Yet, if you look at it closely ... I firmly believe that the trade for McGee is more about this next off-season than it is about the player. Adding an asset that can be either kept or used in a sign-and-trade. Add to that the large amount of cap space the Nuggets cleared with Nene and Andre Miller (presumably) coming off the books ($20 million) and the low-cost signing of Wilson Chandler (5 years and in excess of $30 million - with a team option on the fifth season) and you have a veritable pu pu platter of trade-able assets that can be moved for something even bigger.
Meanwhile, Celtics captain Paul Pierce sprained his ankle against the Sacramento Kings and will be a game-time decision against Denver.
Here is some information to help you find the game:
Game date/time: 7:00 p.m. MT, Saturday, March 17, 2012
Location: Pepsi Center, Denver, CO
For analysis, news and info on these two teams, visit Celtics Blog and Nuggets blog Denver Stiffs. For more updates, stay with SB Nation Denver. For news and notes around the league, head over to SB Nation's NBA news hub.