- Danilo Gallinari will return to the lineup after missing the last two games with a bruised left thigh. The Nuggets have won both games, in part because of the recent play of Wilson Chandler. Chandler games of 23 and 22 points among his last four. “The five or six games Gallo’s missed has helped him get his confidence to a good level,” Nuggets coach George Karl said of Chandler.
- Gallinari will get thrown into the fire against the Thunder. He will start out guarding Kevin Durant, the NBA’s leading scorer, but he will likely be on a short leash. “We’ll have to observe Gallo to see how well he feels,” Karl said. “He’s going to have a tough assignment playing maybe the best offensive player in basketball.” The Nuggets will likely use several players on Durant and Russell Westbrook in an attempt to control Oklahoma City’s best players. “I’m going to play the guys I think I can win with,” Karl said.
- The Thunder haven’t missed a beat with the addition of Kevin Martin in the offseason. Martin is third on the team at 14.8 points a game and is the Thunder’s leading scorer off the bench. “He’s come in and blended in and accepted his role,” Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks said. “He’s been a good scorer for a lot of years as a starter, but he came in as a guy who came off the bench and gave us points. He’s fit in well.”
– Michael Kelly