View Full Version : Preseason Game 4: Suns @ Nuggets in Syracuse, 10/17, 7:30pm ET

10-17-2008, 12:36 AM

Phoenix Suns @ Denver Nuggets

Friday, October 17th, 7:30 p.m. ET, the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, N.Y.


10-17-2008, 12:54 AM
Nene to return to Nuggets lineup
By Benjamin Hochman
The Denver Post
Article Last Updated: 10/16/2008 03:07:05 PM MDT

Nene, yep, is injured, but don't fret the injury prone Denver center is expected to play in the next preseason game, Friday in Syracuse, N.Y.

Nene has a right elbow contusion, which forced him out of Wednesday's preseason win against Utah. But Denver coach George Karl said, "I got the feeling today that he would play. And I think Nene needs to play."

The Nuggets' high-priced center is slated to start this season, though injuries and his cancer treatment kept him out of 66 games last season.

"With two, three years being absent from the court, he needs to be on the court," Karl said, in reference to Nene's seemingly annual injuries. "As much as he can get on the court, feel comfortable, win games, get confident I think we need him out there. I think we need to figure out how to make him better and feel his influence. And that takes consistent playing time."

Guard Allen Iverson is expected to play against Phoenix in the Syracuse game, as is center Chris Andersen. But Chucky Atkins (knee), Steven Hunter (knee) and Sonny Weems (groin) are out. denverpost (http://www.denverpost.com/nuggets/ci_10737437)

Melo keeping Syracuse 'homecoming' in perspective

As an NBA rookie in 2003, Carmelo Anthony didn't dare disappoint the chorus of 20,000 fans at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, N.Y.

Like a rock star returning to the stage for an encore, Anthony responded to chants of "We want Melo" by removing his Nuggets warm-ups and playing the final minutes of a preseason game against the Detroit Pistons.

Five years later, the prodigal son - he was the driving force behind Syracuse's 2003 NCAA title run - returns to the Carrier Dome again tonight, but another curtain call might be too much to ask.

"I hope they don't (start chanting in the fourth quarter) this time," Anthony said Thursday. "They've got to realize, it's a different time of the season right now."

Anthony, 24, no longer is a wide-eyed teenage prospect eager to please at any cost. He is the face of a franchise, a two- time All-Star, a gold-medal Olympic champion and a father.

Staying healthy and getting ready for the regular season are the top priorities.

"Going back (in 2003), I think it was still fresh," Anthony said. "The championship was still fresh. The building was still warm from my last game that I played there.

"Now I've got my feet wet in the NBA, my sixth season, an Olympic gold medal, a long summer, so I'm hoping they don't think I'm going to play 48 minutes."

During his back-to-school trip, Anthony plans to get an update on the Carmelo K. Anthony Basketball Center being built on the Syracuse campus.

Anthony committed $3 million to help finance the center, which will feature two practice courts, locker rooms and offices for the Syracuse men's and women's basketball teams when it opens next fall.

"We've got a ways to go, but we're getting there," Anthony said.

Having failed to get out of the first round of the playoffs in each of his first five NBA seasons, the same could be said of Anthony and the Nuggets.

Fazekas unfazed

Despite playing only 12 minutes in three preseason games, former Ralston Valley High School player Nick Fazekas still hopes to make the Nuggets' opening-night roster.

"There's always a window," he said. "I don't think the window's closed until you finally hear that day if you're going to be cut."

Fazekas had two points and two rebounds in 10 minutes against Utah on Wednesday. The appearance came after he approached coach George Karl earlier in the week.

"I just tried to talk to him about how I could get out there and play," Fazekas said. "I felt like there was nothing to lose."

Karl said Fazekas might get another opportunity in the next few games, but there are no guarantees.

"My job is to get the team ready. It's not to evaluate (nonroster players)," Karl said. "I've got to get the top seven, eight, nine guys ready to go."

Injury report

Guard Allen Iverson is expected to play tonight after missing two games because of a bruised left knee, and center Steven Hunter is scheduled to see a doctor in New York today in hopes of learning more about what is causing inflammation in his right knee.

He said it

"It's going to be kind of a tedious trip. This is probably more of a mental challenge then a physical challenge. We need to grow up in that area. Our mental professionalism has always been something that has had good and bad to it."

Karl, on the Nuggets' three-game trip to Syracuse, N.Y., Bismarck, N.D., and Edmonton, Alberta.

Numbers game

81 games, out of a possible 246, played by Nuggets forward Nene in the past three seasons. The 26-year-old sat out Wednesday night because of a bruised elbow, but Karl hopes to have the big man back tonight. "His two, three years of being absent, he needs to be on the court," Karl said. "We need to figure out how to make him better and feel his influence upon us."rockymountainnews (http://www.rockymountainnews.com/news/2008/oct/16/nuggets-report-melo-keeping-homecoming-in/)

10-17-2008, 10:26 AM
Suns notebook: Nash, O'Neal won't play Friday

Mesa, Arizona - The Suns will likely be missing three starters when they conclude their two-game preseason road trip tonight in Syracuse, N.Y., against the Denver Nuggets.

Suns general manager Steve Kerr said both Shaquille O'Neal (preventative) and Steve Nash (sprained ankle) would join Amare Stoudemire on the sidelines for the fifth of eight preseason games.

O'Neal didn't play in Wednesday's 102-100 win over Atlanta Wednesday and Kerr said O'Neal needs rest after taking part in every practice and game for the first 2 1/2 weeks of camp.
Story continues below ↓advertisement

"His legs are a little beat up and we don't want to run the guy into the ground in October," Kerr said. "He's done every drill and every scrimmage and he needs a break. We want to make sure he's OK for the regular season, and that's only two weeks away."

O'Neal also sat out a court date scheduled for Friday morning in Atlanta, after being granted a fourth continuance in a harassment case filed by Alexis Miller - a 23-year-old rap singer who goes by the name "Maryjane" - until mid-November.

Nash suffered a mild right ankle sprain in the first half against the Hawks and did not return. Kerr said there was minimal to no swelling in the ankle on Thursday but Nash would likely be held out as a precaution. "It doesn't make sense to chance it," Kerr said.

Stoudemire is just about ready to go, but will likely wait since he has a follow-up exam to look at the torn iris in his right eye when the team returns to Phoenix. He's scheduled make his preseason debut next Tuesday against Charlotte - when all three starters should return.


On the plus side, guard Leandro Barbosa, who missed the first two weeks of camp to be with his ailing mother in Brazil, should make his preseason debut tonight.

Barbosa could take up some of Nash's minutes at point guard, although his working knowledge of the offense is still in the early stages.

Goran Dragic, who played 19 uninspired minutes against the Hawks Wednesday, is the likely starter in place of Nash.

Third-string point guard Sean Singletary, who had 15 points on 5-for-6 shooting in 16 minutes against Atlanta, will also get a lot of playing time.


As expected, Matt Barnes got his first start of the preseason in place of Grant Hill, although both players logged 28 minutes against the Hawks. Barnes struggled with his shot for the third time in four preseason games (2-for-11) but contributed six rebounds, three assists and three steals. Hill had 13 points and was on the floor down the stretch, hitting the game-winning shot with one of his patented 17-footers with 5.6 seconds left.

It was also another good night for Louis Amundson, who coach Terry Porter said is making it harder and harder for him to not find playing time for. The energetic forward had six points and eight rebounds in 24 minutes, and iced the game by blocking an Acie Law shot just before the final buzzer. Amundson has made the most of the extra minutes available due to Stoudemire's absence.msnbc (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27233976/)

10-17-2008, 10:31 AM
Melo gets homecoming trip to the 'Cuse
Anthony will relive his championship moments when the Nuggets meet the Suns tonight.

For a brief moment each day, he is 18 again, transported like a Kenny Chesney lyric to the best times of his youth.

"Before I come to practice, I look at my ring, '02-03 champions," Carmelo Anthony said. "I look at it every day. It reminds me of what it took to get here, and where I'm at today."

The Nuggets' Anthony, an 18-year-old freshman, led Syracuse to the NCAA title. Now an NBA vet at 24, Anthony will return to Syracuse for a Nuggets-Suns preseason game tonight. He will also visit the work-in-progress Carmelo K. (for Kyan) Anthony Basketball Center.

"Seeing it with my own two eyes now, rather than seeing it on paper," he said.

Anthony played his first preseason game Wednesday against Utah and scored 16 points in 26 minutes.

"He had a very solid game," Nuggets coach George Karl said. "He was active and a little more alert not perfect defensively."

After the Syracuse game, Denver has a preseason game in Bismarck, N.D., on Sunday against the Timberwolves, then Tuesday in Edmonton against the Raptors and Thursday's preseason finale in Los Angeles against the Clippers.

"It's going to be kind of a tedious trip," Karl said, "but our team needs mental challenges, and this is probably more of a mental challenge than a physical challenge."

False alarm? Nene, yep, is injured, but don't fret the injury-prone Denver center is expected to play tonight.

Nene has a bruised right elbow, which forced him out of Wednesday's game. But Karl said: "I got the feeling today that he would play. And I think Nene needs to play."

Nene missed 66 games last season.

"With two, three years being absent from the court, he needs to be on the court," Karl said. "As much as he can get on the court, feel comfortable, win games, get confident I think we need him out there. I think we need to figure out how to make him better and feel his influence. And that takes consistent playing time."

Footnotes. Guard Allen Iverson (knee) is expected to play tonight, as is center Chris Andersen (calf). But Chucky Atkins (knee), Steven Hunter (knee) and Sonny Weems (groin) are out. . . . The Nuggets implemented some full-court pressure defense in the Utah game, spearheaded by Renaldo Balkman at the trapping point. Denver finished with 17 steals.denverpost (http://www.denverpost.com/nuggets/ci_10740636)

10-17-2008, 08:29 PM
Nobody's checking this game out? I'm listening only. I've only heard part of the 2nd quarter here... sounds like the reserves are playing pretty well... now Nene and Melo back in... Melo makes a jumper - crowd likes it.

10-17-2008, 08:38 PM
Sounds like Melo's picking up his game now... 14 pts in the first half (6-10 shooting, 3 rbd, 1 ast, 1 stl in 14 min.).

Grant Hill playing really well.

10-17-2008, 08:40 PM
Was listening earlier. Did sound pretty good for the starters too.

Hoping Nene overcomes these nagging injuries like his elbow, and stays healthy

10-17-2008, 09:08 PM
AI is being totally ineffective. 0-5 shooting, 1-4 FTs.

Melo on the other hand is having a beast of a game.

10-17-2008, 09:09 PM
AI 0-6. Just pull him out of the game already. Let him get to feeling a little more healed and take another shot in the next game. Just a cold night for him, no problem.

10-17-2008, 09:10 PM
In the last 2 minutes - 2 Melo to Howard plays. Nice.

10-17-2008, 09:18 PM
J.R. Smith with an "acrobatic jam". He had a nice alley-oop from Cleaves earlier, too. We'll want to check the highlights for this one, fellas. Then J.R. gets a steal and takes it down to score, too. Nice. 63-55 Denver, about 2:00 left in the 3rd.

10-17-2008, 09:51 PM
Dahntay Jones sounds like he's playing really, really well. Good sign.

10-18-2008, 09:21 AM
Denver wins. Melo and Smitty had great games... Juwon, Birdman and Jones did real well, too.

J.R. Smith, SG 23 8-10 1-1 2-5 0 3 5 3 0 3 1 19
Carmelo Anthony, SF 24 6-14 0-3 2-2 0 9 5 2 0 3 2 14
Linas Kleiza, SF 20 3-9 1-4 4-4 0 3 1 1 1 1 3 11
Anthony Carter, PG 31 3-12 0-1 4-4 0 0 3 3 0 3 1 10
Dahntay Jones, SG 19 2-4 0-0 5-7 1 2 0 0 0 0 5 9
Nene Hilario, PF 22 3-8 0-0 2-2 2 5 1 0 2 2 2 8
Ruben Patterson, SF 10 3-5 0-0 1-1 1 1 1 2 1 2 1 7
Chris Andersen, PF 31 1-2 0-0 4-6 0 7 2 0 3 0 4 6
Juwan Howard, PF 18 3-5 0-0 0-0 4 7 1 0 0 0 2 6
Allen Iverson, SG 27 1-6 0-0 2-5 0 1 4 1 0 5 0 4
Mateen Cleaves, PG 9 0-2 0-0 0-0 1 2 1 0 0 2 0 0

10-18-2008, 11:27 AM
Syracuse plans to raise Melo's jersey to rafters (http://www.rockymountainnews.com/news/2008/oct/17/syracuse-plans-to-raise-melos-jersey-to-rafters/)

And here are a couple of recaps: