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NUGGETS BRIEFS 2009-10-06 News New Jersey Nets

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News » NUGGETS BRIEFS 2009-10-06





It's unclear how much playing time Malik Allen will get this season, but it's been clear during Nuggets camp that he's a jump-shooting threat, which can't be a bad thing, considering he's 6-foot-10.

"We've been searching for a guy who's pretty dangerous from 18 feet," Nuggets coach George Karl said. "Chauncey (Billups) always likes that guy because he's had that type of guy in Detroit. But our top three big guys are pretty good, so taking minutes will be pretty difficult."

Allen will get a chance tonight to showcase his game for the Denver staff, since Karl said Allen will likely play extended minutes in the exhibition opener at Utah. Other reserves who could get some playing time include post Johan Petro, forward Renaldo Balkman and guard Arron Afflalo.

The Nuggets then travel back to Denver, in preparation for their home exhibition opener against Partizan Belgrade on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

During Denver scrimmages, Allen has impressed onlookers with his smoothness coming off a screen and shooting his jumper. Generally, big men don't have the quick feet of smaller players, so when Allen sets a pick on the ball handler and then pops out to the wing, more times than not he creates space between him and his defender.

"That's what he does best," fellow power forward Kenyon Martin said. "You look at every scouting report from every team he's been on, every year, that's what he does best. ? He's a proven pro who comes in every day, works hard and knows how to play the game."

The 31-year-old Allen is known for his intelligence and his likable locker room personality. Last season, he played sparingly for the Bucks - 11.8 minutes per game, averaging 3.2 points and 2.1 rebounds.

His best season was 2002-03, with Miami, when he averaged 9.6 points and 5.3 boards in 23 minutes. But since 2003, Allen has never averaged more than six points a game, though he has continued to annually make NBA rosters.

"In this offense, the big thing for me is just to be able to space the floor for our best players," he said. "That's how I've kind of made my living in this league."

K-Mart out. Martin will not play in the preseason opener in order to rest a right quad contusion.

"We're not going to force it," Karl said of the injury. "Veteran players who have a little bang, we're not going to force anything."

Afflalo is also suffering from a right thumb sprain, but it is improving and he should be available tonight.

Tough practice. Karl was angered by the team's effort during Wednesday's practice, occasionally stopping practice to bark at his players.

"I think in training camp, fatigue and tiredness are always your enemy," Karl said. "As a coach, sometimes they think they're trying hard, but you don't think they are, so there's that conflict a little bit."

Benjamin Hochman,

The Denver Post

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: October 6, 2009


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