Nuggets (48-25) vs. Magic (51-22)
Time/TV: 6 p.m/Sun Sports
Key Matchup: Carmelo Anthony (28.9 PPG, 46.2% FG; 27 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists vs. Magic on 1/13) vs. Matt Barnes (8.9 PPG, 5.6 RPG; 28 points, 9 rebounds vs. Nuggets on 1/13)
Season Series: Lost 115-97 in Denver on 1/13; Tonight in Orlando.
-Tania Ganguli of The Orlando Sentinel reports Vince Carter participated in this morning’s shootaround after missing yesterday with a sprained ankle. The shootaround this morning was run almost like a practice since Orlando did not have enough healthy bodies to practice yesterday.
-Vince Carter (sprained ankle) and Jameer Nelson (jammed thumb) sat out practice Saturday, leaving Orlando without enough bodies to run a full practice. But both insist they will play tonight. Mickael Pietrus, however, will continue to sit out with his ankle injury, reports Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel.
-Many Magic players agree, Chauncey Billups has all the skills a great point guards need. Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel details these traits and how Billups uses them to torment the Magic.
-Denver was on a three-game losing streak heading into Friday’s game in Toronto. So needing wins in the midst of a tight playoff race, Chauncey Billups and the Nuggets held a players’ only meeting to clear the air, reports Chris Dempsey of the Denver Post.. They won on a buzzer-beater by Carmelo Anthony later that evening.
-Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post writes Friday’s buzzer-beating victory against Toronto only hid the problems that led to Denver’s recent three-game slide (hint: rebounding was part of it).
-Benjamin Hochman of The Denver Post talks with George Karl’s son Koby Karl, a cancer survivor himself, about how he supports his dad in his fight against cancer. George Karl recently had some blood clots during treatment, but is OK. Meanwhile Koby is playing in the D-League in Idaho and can only hope for the best while away from his father.
-Andrew Melnick of Howard the Dunk previews tonight’s matchup between two NBA final four teams from last year.
-Andrew Melnick of Howard the Dunk asked Vince Carter some questions about Orlando’s recurring turnover problem.
-Stephen Brotherson of Bleacher/Report writes Toronto showed some grit in Friday’s loss to Denver. But Denver forced turnovers and got the last word in Canada.
-The Nuggets worked out Brian Cook and Jake Voshkul earlier this month hoping to get some inside help while Kenyon Martin is out, according to Yahoo! Sports. But they found their man was on the roster all along in Johan Petro.
-Orlando was a little light in practice Saturday after Vince Carter sprained his ankle in Friday’s win. But Carter is expected to be ready to go tonight.
-Timing, perseverance and a little Carmelo Anthony allowed the Nuggets to survive the Raptors on Friday night.
-Minnesota coach Kurt Rambis saw positives coming out of the team’s loss in Orlando on Friday.
-Dwight Howard was left on the cutting room floor of Valentine’s Day and is getting used to the snub, but he put in another big performance Friday to make his case for consideration in the MVP race, writes Brian Schmitz of The Orlando Sentinel.
-Ryan Anderson took advantage of some rare playing time in Friday’s win over Minnesota, writes Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel.