The Nuggets Are Getting Healthy for Their Playoff Push

DeAnte MitchellCorrespondent IMarch 22, 2010

DENVER - JANUARY 05:  Ty Lawson #3 of the Denver Nuggets controls the ball against Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors at the Pepsi Center on January 5, 2010 in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets defeated the Warriors 123-122. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

The Denver Nuggets have been impressive all season, with wins over every Western Conference powerhouse, including two big wins over the Los Angeles Lakers.

Although, it has not been enough to place them atop of the Western Conference, the Nuggets are still in second place with a (47-23) record.

Earlier this year, Nuggets coach George Karl came clean about his chemotherapy and throat cancer diagnosis. 

Just earlier this month, Nuggets forward Kenyon Martin banged knees with an opposing player and the Nuggets survived a scare because Martin did not need surgery.

Ty Lawson, the rookie standout, was hoisted with a shoulder injury that sidelined him for 10 games.

Now you have the Nuggets All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony with a left finger sprain. Although he played through it, Anthony finished the game with four turnovers and 34 percent shooting.

As if Kenyon Martin, George Karl, and Ty Lawson weren’t enough.

Carmelo Anthony has picked up the load in Martin’s absence thus far, and has the Nuggets continuing their dominance. The sprained left finger is not going to sideline the All-Star forward but it is certainly going to aggravate him.

The Nuggets have been hobbling through March, but things are beginning to get better for Denver.

Kenyon Martin is getting his knee re-evaluated this week and back-up point guard Ty Lawson’s shoulder is 100 percent—but do not count on seeing Martin until early or mid-April.

"If he's doing well, we'll very, very slowly and carefully start to progress him forward," said Dr. David Karli. "If he's still sore, we'll have to give him four to five more days and then recheck."

Kenyon Martin is the defensive leader for this Denver team. Martin brings that defensive intensity and attitude to the table, let alone is one main reason the Nuggets have been defeating the Lakers easily this season.

"Without Kenyon out there, it's just a hole defensively,'' said Chauncey Billups.

Ty Lawson has exceeded all expectations this season. Nobody expected Lawson to play so well, and he is in fact a candidate for Rookie of the Year. After injuring his shoulder, former backup Anthony Carter took over Lawson’s role and the position did not miss a beat.

Lawson accepts his role in this Nugget offense and had this to say, "Whatever makes the team better, that's what I'll do," Lawson said. "If I don't play, that's cool with me. If we're winning, I have no problem with it.”

Martin will be available for the playoffs, and so will Anthony.

The Nuggets are currently going into a five-game road trip with Martin, Balkman, and Anthony on the injury report.  Not to mention, George Karl is absent in the five-game road trip.

However, Anthony will most likely play, Lawson is returning to the lineup, and the Nuggets are looking to stay atop of the West, while continuing their playoff push for the No. 2 seed.

(The five-game road trip consists of the Knicks, Boston, Toronto, Orlando, and Dallas.)

For more, follow DeAnte Mitchell  on Twitter