The Nuggets have sat several key players for “rest” in each of its last two games, even though they’re nowhere near the playoffs. There’s only one cogent explanation, and it’s not a good one.
The Golden State Warriors, Atlanta Hawks, Memphis Grizzlies and Cleveland Cavaliers have all sat key players in games recently, but for good reason. All these teams are safely in the playoffs, and in the case of the Warriors and Hawks, they have a comfortable cushion at the top of the standings. They’re just trying to prepare themselves for the postseason grind by keeping their top guys fresh.
But why would a team like the Denver Nuggets all of a sudden start resting key players?

First, Wilson Chandler, Randy Foye and Darrell Arthur all sat out in Sunday’s game against the Pelicans. Arthur was dealing with a calf injury, but Chandler and Foye were fine. The Nuggets still pulled out a 118-111 victory in double-overtime, but it was an odd move for a team not in the playoff picture.
It got worse the next day. Denver decided to sit Ty Lawson, Kenneth Faried and Danilo Gallinari, arguably the team’s three best players. Holding out Gallinari made some sense considering he played 42 minutes the night before and has dealt with myriad knee injuries over the last few years, but the other two were strange. Lawson played 48 minutes against the Pelicans and recently dealt with an illness, but he was surely healthy enough to play on Monday. Faried is perfectly healthy, and he offered a “no comment” when asked by Chris Dempsey of the Denver Post about sitting out,.
Faried wasn’t the only Nugget peeved by the decision to sit players. Chandler gave a candid answer when asked about who will play against the Houston Rockets on Thursday:

“I have no idea what they are going to do,” Chandler said. “Whoever is on the court just has to keep playing. It’s the nature of the business. I’m not a GM; I don’t know what’s going on. It’s tough when you’re fighting together but you’re getting set up for failure.”

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