When the Denver Nuggets and Detroit Pistons executed the most monumental trade since February, no one quite expected the results.
Detroit is 1-2 with Allen Iverson and Denver is 3-0 with Chauncey Billups and can be considered a lightning rod for the Nuggets’ latest surge.
However, as correctly predicted, Billups’ has upgraded Denver with his captain status and his exceptional floor vision.
Denver forced a season best 22 turnovers against the Mavs’ in Billups’ debut. Chauncey posted his first double—double with Denver in over a decade and contributed in an all—around team effort, halting the Charlotte Bobcats to a season best 80 points on Sunday.
Opponents are only shooting 39.6 percent against the Nuggets and Denver has a plus four rebound margin.
In the second quarter over the past three games, Denver holds a 72-64 advantage points—wise, but that feat is inferior compared to their third quarter accomplishments.
The Nuggets have outscored their opponents in the third quarter of every game with Billups’ as the new overseer by a combined 26 points, which has translated into three consecutive victories.
He’s also transcended the play of his teammates. Take Nene and Carmelo Anthony for example.
Since the trade, Melo’ is averaging 25.6 PPG, 7.3 RPG, and 3.6 APG while Nene, not to be out done, has posted 19.6 PPG, nine RPG, three BPG, and 1.6 SPG in the last 12 quarters.
Billups’ himself has registered 15.6 PPG, six APG, and 2.6 SPG since his awaited arrival.
But, there other things that have been sparked by Denver’s new found success. Carmelo Anthony’s hustle has not gone unnoticed, as he gravitated to loose balls against the Mavs’ on Friday. With 7:13 left in the first quarter against Dallas, Anthony missed a three-pointer, but hustled and collected his offensive rebound and slammed the ball through the net. Laziness cured. Melo was greeted with a slap on the rear and a word of acknowledgement by Chauncey and Kenyon Martin as Carmelo hustled back on defense.
Denver is now 4-3 and tied with the Portland Trail Blazers for second in the NBA Northwest, with their next game against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.