The snake has been snake-bitten.

Arron Afflalo, nicknamed "The Rattlesnake" last spring by Denver teammates, has played brilliant basketball the past nine games (22.2 points per game on 49.7 percent shooting) for Orlando, but his team has lost all nine, most of them nailbiters.

On Wednesday night, the Nuggets are nervous about getting bit by a snake.

"Arron will try to get 50," Denver coach George Karl surmised.

Wednesday marks Afflalo's first game in Denver since a surprise August trade. Afflalo was arguably Denver's best player down the stretch last season, and had been signed to a long-term deal, but the Nuggets saw an opportunity to upgrade. Afflalo and veteran Al Harrington were traded in a multi-team deal that netted them all-star Andre Iguodala.

"I think (Afflalo) gets more one-on-one opportunities with Orlando," Karl said Tuesday. "He's probably getting a more consistent amount of shots. With our team, he'd get eight or nine shots one night, 15 or 16 the next. It would fluctuate. They need him to score in every situation. ...

"He thinks he can win every night, he has a lot of confidence in who he is, and he's very disappointed after losses. He's one of the hardest-working guys I've ever coached. I think he's good for a young team, and he's a guy who can be there for 5-6 years. I think Orlando will have a good stretch in the next few months."

So wait, why do they call him "The Rattlesnake?" Well, as Denver's Corey Brewer explained last spring, "When he gets started up on offense with the ball, he gets to rattlin'."

Read more: Former Denver Nugget Arron Afflalo returns with Orlando Magic - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/nuggets/ci_22336340/former-denver-nugget-arron-afflalo-returns-orlando-magic#ixzz2HVH1mNxI

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