Three Thoughts: Week 5

With week five in the books, the Nuggets now get a well deserved rest after playing four road games in five games which included three overtime periods. Denver was able to win all of those games including a double overtime game against the New York Knicks.

[caption id="attachment_174" align="alignright" width="239" caption="Al Harrington's impact off the bench has been crucial for the Nuggets who have been shorthanded all week. (Source: AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)"][/caption]

1. The Nuggets are proving just how effective their bench can be.

In each of the last three games, Denver has been without one of their starters. In Philadelphia, Denver was without Timofey Mozgov due to a lower back injury. In Washington, Nene was sidelines with a heel injury and finally in New York, Arron Afflalo didn't suit up due to a groin injury. Rudy Fernandez has missed three out of Denver's last four games with an Achilles heel injury. During all of that time, Denver's depth was on full display as Andre Miller and Kosta Koufos had stints in the starting rotation with Al Harrington and Corey Brewer providing their usual spark off the bench. Hopefully the Nuggets will be able to return to full strength by Wednesday, but Denver's ability to get road victories with key players injured speaks volumes about what this team is capable of this year.

[caption id="attachment_173" align="alignright" width="270" caption="Gallinari erupted against his former team in a double OT thriller at Madison Square Garden. (Source: AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)"][/caption]

2. Danilo Gallinari, ladies and gentlemen.

One of my favorite quotes of the week came from Frank Isola of the New York Daily news after Denver's victory over New York when he said on Twitter that they should start calling it the Gallo trade. I wrote in the previous edition that Gallinari was showing signs of being the scoring threat everyone thought he would be, and his 37 point performance against New York added to that. While it was against his former team and he did have some extra time to put up those numbers, Denver might have solved their biggest concern in who is going to take over a close game down the stretch and take that game winning shot. After what Gallinari did at the end of Saturday's game, I think we might have our answer.

3. This week represents the calm before the storm.

The Nuggets have things relatively easy this week compared to what lies ahead starting this Sunday. The Nuggets only have two games this week which are on the road against Sacramento and at home against Toronto. The Kings aren't exactly cream puffs, but a couple weeks ago Denver demolished them 110-83 at home and Sacramento has lost six of their last nine games. Toronto has only won four games this year and have lost eight games in a row. Next week on the other hand should prove to be a little more difficult as Denver will take on the Clippers (9-5), Grizzlies (9-6 and winners of six straight), Clippers again, Lakers (10-8) and the Trail Blazers (9-7). If Denver can take care of business in their next two games, they should have some momentum heading into a difficult week.

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