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Granted, they haven’t played a game in New Orleans yet, but after their first two series wins against Chris Paul and the gang, the Denver Nuggets legitimately look like the second best team in the Western Conference. Furthermore, if they keep playing like this — especially on offense — they could very well challenge the mighty Lake Show in Los Angeles; perhaps even taking them to a Game 7.

But that’s a story for another time.

Last night, it was all Denver, led again by Chauncey “I Enjoy Schooling Chris Paul” Billups and his 31 points and zero turnovers, which equals the amount of turnovers Billups has committed in the series so far. Billups was not alone; however. Carmelo chipped in with 22 points and 9 assists, and from where I was watching, the Hornets do not have an answer for either Billups or Anthony.

David West was too busy trying to handle Kenyon Martin’s defense, James Posey didn’t have much success, and Peja Stojakovic has no business trying to defend a player of Carmelo Anthony’s ability. As for Chris Paul, well, he simply can’t guard Billups — hence the Rasual Butler assignment. Of course, that didn’t work too well either as Billups continues to play with his “Finals MVP” swagger. Maybe some of this will change when the Hornets play in their home arena, but I’m not sure how a group of rowdy fans is going to make you defend better.

Perhaps the home crowd will make the Hornets play with more effort on defense, but they just don’t match up that well with the Nuggets. No amount of crowd noise is going to change that.