They may still be a work in progress, but the new-look Denver Nuggets are becoming more of a cohesive unit.
Denver (3-3) acquired Billups from Detroit on Nov. 3 in exchange for nine-time All-Star Allen Iverson, and the veteran guard has wasted little time helping his new team get its season jump-started.
After opening 1-3, the Nuggets have won both games Billups has played. They defeated Dallas 108-105 on Friday, and followed that up with a 100-90 victory over Memphis on Sunday.
“This is like night and day from what I’m used to, and that’s not a bad thing,” said Billups, who had 16 points and 10 assists Sunday. “With the way our schedule is stacked, we don’t have a lot of practice time. Our practice is in the game. That can be difficult sometimes and can lead to some bad turnovers.”
The Nuggets committed a season-high 22 turnovers against the Grizzlies, but Billups was only responsible for two of them.
As Billups gets more familiar with his teammates, Denver’s high-powered offense should become harder to stop.
Carmelo Anthony appears to be back in form after being suspended for the first two games of the season for receiving a DUI in April. The two-time All-Star had 13 points and four rebounds in his first game, but is averaging 26.7 points and 8.0 boards in his last three.
Nene has also provided a big lift to the team. He finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds versus Memphis, and is averaging 18.7 points, 11.3 boards and shooting 73.3 percent from the field over his last three games.
“When you’ve got that many weapons I think it’s tough to load up on everybody,” said Billups, who averaged 19.3 points and 6.7 assists in three games against the Bobcats last season with the Pistons. “In the past, you could just load up on Melo and hope that he doesn’t get more than 30. If you’ve got a lot of guys rolling, it makes you better.”
Denver and Charlotte (2-4) split their two-game series in 2007-08, with each team winning on its home court.
Anthony is averaging 37.7 points while shooting 64.4 percent in his last three games at Charlotte.
The Bobcats, who have split the first two games of their season-high six-game homestand, are coming off an 89-79 loss to Toronto on Sunday.
“If (defenses) do a good job on (Richardson) and Wallace, it’s pretty tough for us,” Bobcats coach Larry Brown said.
Richardson scored 53 points in the two games versus the Nuggets in 2007-08, while Wallace scored 40 in his only game against Denver last season, a 119-116 Bobcats victory on Jan. 14 in Charlotte.