The Nuggets re-signed Arron Afflalo to a five-year, $43MM deal six days before the season began, and have since watched him lose a point off his scoring average (11.6 PPG this year) and turn the ball over a career-high 1.3 times a night. He's had a pair of his best performances of the season the last two times he stepped on the floor, lending credence to the idea that his unsettled contract situation and resulting lack of preparation time led to his poor early-season play, says Aaron J. Lopez of NBA.com.
Here's more from the Northwest Division:
- After hinting that lineup changes could be coming, Blazers coach Nate McMillan said he's sticking with his current starting five, reports Joe Freeman of The Oregonian. Fellow Oregonian writer John Canzano suggests that, in the wake of Jeremy Lin's surprising play, McMillan should find more minutes for young, unproven talent like Nolan Smith and Elliot Williams.
- The Timberwolves, who have been starting Luke Ridnour, a point guard, at the two, are likely to acquire a true shooting guard via trade, tweets Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld.