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"If an injury is coming at a good place, it might be in a good place now," Nuggets coach George Karl said. "We can feel sorry on off days, but we can't feel sorry for ourselves when the games start. We've got to figure out how to win games."
Replacing Anthony's offense won't be easy. He's averaging 21.1 points.
"It hurts," Chauncey Billups said. "That's our best player, that's our No. 1 option."
Smith filled in for Anthony when he recently rested his aching elbow and could be in line for Anthony's minutes. The team went 2-1 with Smith in the starting lineup.
The Nuggets also may turn to Linas Kleiza or Chucky Atkins, a player Karl has been looking to get more into the game. Atkins has played less than two minutes over the last four games.
"I think the next couple of games is figuring out matchups and how I want to play," Karl said.
"Anytime you lose an All-Star, it's always going to hurt your team," Smith said. "Hopefully we can get through it."
Billups is confident the team can hold it together until Anthony returns. Billups has become the glue of the team since his arrival in a trade that sent Allen Iverson to Detroit in early November.
The Nuggets are 23-9 behind the steady play of the proven point guard. Billups is anxious to see who steps up with Anthony out.
"There's going to be some players that are going to play minutes that they maybe might not be accustomed to and play in different stretches of the game that they may not be accustomed to," Billups said. "You've got to embrace that role."
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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