The first half ended with the Nuggets up by six, 49-43, but it was the third quarter when the Nuggets really started to pull away. With a combination of defensive intensity and offensive explosion the Nuggets limited the Bucks to a measly 15 points and notched 33 of their own. What I really liked about this stretch of the game was Denver totally dictated the speed of the game in the third and from that point on coasted to the easy victory.
Right off the bat you have to love the way that Kenyon Martin gets the nod from George Karl to start in his first game back from microfracture surgery almost a year ago. Martin only played 15 minutes in the game, but when he was in he was effective. Sporting his familiar college number "4", Kenyon scored eleven points, cleared five boards, dished out an assists, and stole a ball. K-Mart also played some solid defense on Yi Jianlian in the first half and disrupted the rookie’s low post attempts by out muscling him.
And if you love the way Kenyon made his debut, you have to be elated to see the hustle play of Eduardo Najera available to the Nuggets now too!
He isn’t going to make the highlight reel very much, but Eduardo Najera’s overall effort is second to none. Tonight, Najera gave the Nuggets a game-high nine rebounds (four on the offensive glass), six points, four assists, three steals, and a block in a very utilitarian effort. I could go on and on about how much I love the game of Eduardo Najera, but instead I think I’ll just give him a new nickname. From here on out, I’m going to refer to Eduardo as, “The Grout”, because the guy just fills in all the cracks!
Then you add in the one-two punch of Carmelo Anthony and Allen Iverson and you can start to see how the Nuggets beat the Bucks by 26 points. AI finished tonight’s contest with a game-high 22 points, six assists, two rebounds, and a steal while absolutely giving the Bucks fits on defense. And his Western Conference All-Star counterpart was just as deadly. ‘Melo gave the Nuggets 16 points, eight big boards, three steals, two assists, and a block in a mere 26 minutes of game time.
Up next for the Nuggets is a preseason rematch with the Pistons tomorrow night. The game is on NBATV and starts five o’clock MST. A game preview chalked full of links and insight will be up tomorrow in the AM. The Nuggets now rest at 3-1 with just 14 days until Halloween’s opening night. You with me, Nuggets Nation?