February 22, 2009 11:59 PM
Big man might be best insurance policy
By Aaron J. Lopez
MILWAUKEE - An interesting development late Sunday in Milwaukee.
It looked like free-agent big man Mikki Moore was going to decide on a new team by midnight, but his agent said that a final decision won't be made until Monday. Mark Bartelstein added that the Nuggets are still among the teams Moore is considering.
The Nuggets could use Moore's size, hustle and experience, and you have to wonder if they made a stronger pitch after starting center Nene went down Sunday with a bruised right knee. The injury comes as forward Kenyon Martin is fighting back spasms and star Carmelo Anthony is playing with his own bruised knee.
When the frontcourt was healthy, coach George Karl was leaning toward adding a point guard to allow Chauncey Billups to get some rest on practice days. The recent rash of injuries has undoubtedly changed that line of thinking, and a big man could be the more prudent option.
When Nene went down in the final minute of Sunday's loss to Milwaukee, it was natural to fear the worst. After all, he tore the ACL in that same knee in 2005. Nene looked pretty concerned in the locker room after the game but his anxiety seemed to ease a bit when the team's medical staff told him that there didn't appear to be any structural damage.
Reporters are supposed to be objective, but let's hope that the injury is nothing more than a bad bruise. Nene, one of the nicer guys in the league, beat cancer last year and he is a legitimate candidate for the NBA's most improved player award.
It would be a shame to see his strong season spoiled by yet another health problem.