Melo And Nuggets Say They'll Turn Up The Defense

DENVER (AP) - The Denver Nuggets open the season tonight in Utah. Coach George Karl and his staff are hoping to put a new emphasis on defense.

Karl doesn't have much choice after management let Eduardo Najera and Marcus Camby leave in the offseason, stripping the Nuggets of their top two defenders.

Renaldo Balkman and Chris Anderson arrived over the summer to help.

Karl spent the last two years trying to get the Nuggets to match the Phoenix Suns' up-tempo style, but the team couldn't get past the first round of the playoffs.

To change the team's culture, Karl is counting on a slew of new high-energy young players and a renewed commitment to defense from his veterans, including Carmelo Anthony.

(Copyright 2008 By The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)