The Denver Nuggets have enjoyed great success through the first half of the 2009-2010 season.
But as the team hits the “dog-days” of the year and deals with the inevitable injuries and nicks that come with a long NBA season, they’re looking for depth in the middle.
That’s where Johan Petro comes in.
In two of his last three appearances, Johan has logged his highest minute totals of the season. On December 10 in Detroit, JP logged a season high 10:55 and although he didn’t crack the scoreboard, he pulled down two rebounds, one on each end, in a 101-99 Denver loss.
On December 23, Johan saw only 2:27 of action in a 124-104 Nuggets win over the Atlanta Hawks, but he made the most of the time. No. 27 scored two points on a dunk off an Aaron Afflalo miss. The putback was one of two rebounds he had in his short time on the floor.
JP dealt with an ankle injury for the next few weeks, but was called on to relieve Chris Anderson last night and logged quality minutes in Denver’s 115-97 victory over the Orlando Magic. Johan received playing time at the end of both halves, totaling 6:46 in relief.
In that time, he was tasked with controlling Orlando’s center tandem of Dwight Howard and Marcin Gortat. Between the work of Johan, Anderson, Kenyon Martin and Nene Hilario, the high-scoring center duo were limited to a total of 10 points, a big factor in the Nuggets victory.
JP and the Nuggets will have a little time to enjoy their big win over the defending Eastern Conference Champion Magic and get ready for the next one as they’re off until Sunday.
On Sunday, first-place Denver will be showcased on ESPN as they host the Utah Jazz at the Pepsi Center. The Jazz sit fourth, 3.5 games behind the division leading Nuggets in the Southwest Division. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. Mountain Time.
Rookie guard Lawson in starting lineup (Denver Post, December 24, 2009)
Atlanta Hawks vs. Denver Nuggets Play by Play (ESPN.com, December 23, 2009)