(Denver-CO) Tonight, the Nuggets look to get back on track after dropping the second game of a back-to-back to the Hornets on Wednesday night. Their potential victim, the Charlotte Bobcats, who are fresh off a big victory over the Lakers earlier this week, but will be without Gerald Wallace and D.J. Augustin. Charlotte is also playing their third game in four nights and lost its last game to the Trailblazers after scoring only 74 points. However, the Nuggets will be returning to full strength tonight after Carmelo Anthony got the green light from team physicians yesterday after missing ten games with a broken bone in his hand.
The 'Cats will be hard pressed to find a way to make up for Gerald Wallace's absence. Wallace was injured on a collision with L.A.'s Andrew Bynum which looked like a dirty play to me. You be the judge...
Tests revealed that Wallace suffered a partially collapsed lung and fractured rib. Wallace's lung has been restored to full capacity but he'll remain hospitalized over the next 48 hours for observation. In the meantime, Charlotte has to find a way to compensate for losing its leading scorer and best defender, second leading rebounder, and top thief. D.J. Augustin will also be a scratch tonight due to an abdominal strain and missing his 12.1 points and 4.1 assists compounds the problems facing the Bobcats.
The Nuggets will have to figure out how Carmelo fits back in with the rest of his team who have stepped up over the last three weeks tremendously in his absence and that's a problem I'm sure George Karl is delighted to deal with. Adding Carmelo to a team that was able to fare 6-4 over the ten games he missed while playing eight teams over .500 can only help and with 'Melo being snubbed for the All-Star Game be sure to watch for an extra chip on his shoulder tonight.
I'm so excited to see how this team looks after weathering a very tough schedule without their superstar. Denver is currently the fourth overall team in the Western Conference picture trailing the Lakers, Spurs, and Hornets, but would have the third seed if the postseason started today due to being first place by a game and a half over Portland in the Northwest Division.