| Sports |

Kenyon Martin's knee the key to the Nuggets' championship dreams?

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Last night's Nuggets victory over the Portland Trail Blazers would be a happier development if it weren't for the presence of Kenyon Martin in street clothes during the game.

This season, the Nuggets have emerged as legitimate title contenders -- a squad tough enough not only to challenge the title-holding L.A. Lakers but actually best them under the right circumstances. Unfortunately, the absence of key players from the lineup radically decreases their effectiveness, as anyone who watched the team struggle while Chauncey Billups was on the shelf understands full well.

The same is true of K-Mart, who's had his best season in a Nugs uni. But reports that the knee soreness he's experienced of late is as a result of a partially torn left patella tendon suggests that he could either be knocked out of the playoffs entirely if surgery is deemed the only option, or so hampered in his play that he might as well be named Johan Petro.

That could be fatal news for the Nuggets' title goals. After all, their margin for error is so slender that even the temporary absence of rookie guard Ty Lawson cost them dearly in recent matchups against the Lakers and the Phoenix Suns.

Granted, their play against the Blazers offered a formula for success without K-Mart -- namely a commitment to defense of the sort that's a Martin specialty and a greater-than-average focus on passing the ball to free up open shots instead of relying on Carmelo Anthony to go one-on-one (or sometimes one-on-five) to put points on the board.

But while such a strategy can finish off the Blazers at home, can it also make up for no K-Mart when the Nuggets are co-starring in the Lake Show in Los Angeles? That's a lot more difficult to envision -- which is why Nugs fans have got to hope that consultations with doctors reportedly taking place today will bring better news than anticipated. Because Martin's knee could be the difference between another good Nuggets season and an epic one.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.