Other than point guard Ty Lawson, who got a starting job out of it, no holdover Nuggets player has benefitted more than center Nene from the team's blockbuster trade last month.
Nene has been Denver's leading scorer and rebounder since the Nuggets dispatched their top two scorers, Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups, to New York on Feb. 22.
In the 11 games since the deal, with Denver having won nine, Nene is averaging 15.7 points and 9.1 rebounds to raise his season averages to 15.1 and 7.5.
"Right now, the point guards are doing a great job of finding the open man, and I'm try to play what the game gives me," said Nene, referring to Lawson and backup point guard Raymond Felton. "If I have an opportunity to go (to the basket), I will. If I have a double (team), I'm going to find the open man and the open shot. That is my style. That's how I play. Right now, everybody is playing like that."
That's about as close as Nene will get to tooting his own horn. He's been very modest about his recent five-game stretch in which he has averaged 18.8 points and 10.2 rebounds while shooting 67.9 percent.
"We don't have just one name or two names," said Nene, who had 20 points and seven rebounds in Wednesday's 102-87 win at Atlanta. "It's all in the group. When you play well collectively, that feels good."
It feels good for the Nuggets when Nene is making shots. He leads the NBA in field-goal percentage at 62.7 percent.
"He's doing a great job," Denver forward Al Harrington said. "He's been very aggressive."
NUGGETS 102, HAWKS 87: The Nuggets won Wednesday at Atlanta because they controlled the inside when the game mattered. The Nuggets outrebounded the Hawks 43-35, and their three frontcourt starters, Nene, Kenyon Martin and Wilson Chandler, had 46 points and 24 rebounds to 32 points and 16 rebounds for Atlanta's three frontcourt starters. Nene led the Nuggets with 20 points. Reserve center Zaza Pachulia led the Hawks with 19 points.
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