It was something the Nuggets haven’t had to worry about in a very long time. With the ball, shot clock turned off and one bucket away from winning the game. If it wasn’t a straight up inbounds to Melo in isolation, it was a failed high pick and roll with Chauncey and Nene, the ball ending up in Melo’s hands anyway. Just as the Nuggets adapt their style of play to an overhauled roster, the coaches are in uncharted territory trying to re-learn how they are going to close games.
There was confusion, miscommunication, a few quizzical glances and some ugly shooting. There was also effort, passion and a Nuggets team who clearly cared more about winning than anything else. For years the Nuggets have been all about whether their talent can outweigh that of the opposition. Now after two games without an All-Star on the roster Denver does not lack talent, but we may be seeing a situation where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.
Hello fellow Nuggets fans across the world, my name is Kalen as you can see above. I’m proud to announce that I’ll be working with Charlie and Jeremy from here on out to try and dissect our favorite professional sports team, as well as give you the most up-to date information in the process. I’m truly honored to be a part of this blog going forward and feel I couldn’t have joined at a better time given how great our front office did with quite possibly the most difficult scenario ever handed down to a rookie GM and new owner in NBA history. The Nuggets, as I’m sure is the case with many of you, are my life and being able to write about them on a platform like this is a privilege. That’s why I promise that as long as I’m a part of the Roundball family, I’ll give everything I have to the loyal Denver Nuggets community in the most honest and thoughtful manner. I hope you all will enjoy having me on as I try and guide you through what looks to be a very bright future for our team!
Being that the biggest trade in Nuggets history just went down not too long ago, now is an exciting time to be a fan. Of course, it always hurts to say good-bye to a franchise player that brings you out of the depths of NBA irrelevancy and into playoff contention year after year — and seeing a class-act like Chauncey leave doesn’t ease the pain — but we knew this day was coming for long time. With just a few clings of some champagne glasses last summer it seems our destiny was set in motion. But now is not the time to sulk over the past, because the glory days of Denver Nuggets basketball are just getting started as far as I can see. This message was clearly sent by Masai Ujiri and Josh Kroenke withing a few days span when they somehow managed to rob the New York Knicks of Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Timofey Mozgov and an abundance of picks and other assets. On top of what great, young players we already have on our roster the new guys create a Denver Nuggets team that is even more young, athletic and most of all extremely talented. It’s yet to be seen how each man will fit into his separate role, but the sum of the parts appears beyond promising.
Once again, I just want to reiterate how excited I am to be a Nuggets fan at this moment. With all that’s gone on this year, to finally meet a conclusion and come out the other side looking as good as we do is exhilarating. For once, watching Nuggets basketball in the year of 2011 is going to be all about winning basketball games with teamwork. That’s something anyone from the highest person up in the Nuggets organization to the most average fan can be really thrilled about. So, here’s to a great second half of basketball filled with tons of heart, soul and determination! And here’s to the future of Roundball Mining Company!
“We’ll move the earth for a title.”
Charlie did a fantastic job of capturing the mood of Denver’s first game sans Carmelo Anthony. It felt like the first outing since the season opening win over the Jazz, after which Melo said if he did not make a change now he never would, that felt meaningful. I also expect to see the Nuggets maintain their high level of performance on offense through teamwork and depth.
Defensively, Denver did not have a particularly good game. Memphis had a true shooting percentage of 58.6%, which was considerably higher than opponents have averaged this season, 54.9%. Plus Memphis scored 52 points in the paint, which you might expect with Zach Randolph roaming the paint, the kicker is Randolph only scored 12 points. It did seem the Nuggets displayed more effort and intensity on defense; even so they gave up a lot of easy shots at the rim. What Denver did best was what they used to do best, steal the basketball racking up 13 thefts as well as forcing 21 total turnovers. If you cannot keep the other team from making their shots, you better prevent them from even taking one.
The day after trading away their two best players, the Denver Nuggets officially begin the post-Melo era with a walkover victory against the Memphis Grizzlies. They led by double digits throughout most of the game while handily outplaying the Grizz. I wanted to get that out of the way because while the win is an important one – I’m going to discuss why on a personal level as a fan, this is a game I’ve been waiting for that meant so much more to me than any in recent memory.
We were fortunate enough to exchange questions and answers with Mike from the tremendous New York Knicks blog KnickerBlogger. I asked him some specific questions about the abilities of the four Knicks that came to Denver in the Carmelo Anthony Trade and he provided some great insights.
Almost exactly eleven months ago I wrote the following:
Frankly, the chances of us seeing Melo take Manhattan are quite slim. Even so, if you’re a Nuggets booster, you might want to pray that a couple of big names take the Knicks’ money this year, just to be safe.
Fast forward to February 21, 2011 and the rumor that I could not believe I was asked to write about at the time has come to fruition. After all the rumors and hearsay we have arrived at the outcome most experts and fans alike expected. Carmelo Anthony is now a New York Knickerbocker and is free to sign his coveted extension before the current CBA expires. He found his way to the market and is going to get all the money.
Nuggets fans have had several months to come to grips with Carmelo’s departure. Even the most hardcore fans saw the writing on the wall weeks ago. As hardened to the reports as many fans became, the final news that Denver has traded away quite possibly the most talented player in franchise history brought a flood of emotion.
Updated: Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post has broken the story. A trade involving the Knicks and Minnesota Timberwolves has finally been completed.
It is a done deal in principle, with minor details to be worked out following a conference call with NBA offices tomorrow. Details are known, but minor parameters such as draft pick protections could be subject to change by then.
The Nuggets have traded Melo, Chauncey, Shelden Williams, Renaldo Balkman, and Anthony Carter to New York. They will receive Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari, Raymond Felton, and Timofey Mozgoz in exchange plus draft picks. Of the included picks are New Yorks 2014 first rounder, which pending lottery protections could go to Houston in multiple scenarios, which means this pick could turn into the “first available” number one pick that New York can send out if not conveyed to Houston by 2014. Via New York, Denver also receives second round picks in 2012 and 2013 from the Golden State Warriors. The Nuggets also receive $3 million in cash considerations from the Knicks.
As part of the trade, the Knicks and Timberwolves exchange Eddy Curry and Anthony Randolph for Corey Brewer. Denver facilitates the transfer of Eddy Curry to Minnesota, allowing the Nuggets to shed some $17.7 million in salary. This is more than enough to bring them below the luxury tax threshold immediately.
The deal is done. Of note is the murky status of the 2014 first rounder Denver receives from New York, the details and protections of which will not be known until the trade is approved by league officials. Anthony Carter is also slated to be traded to the Knicks despite them having two point guards ahead of him – Chauncey Billups and Toney Douglas. Anthony Carter surrenders his bird rights due to being on a minimum one year salary and he can exercise veto power on any trade, similiar to Matt Geiger and Devean George in the past. If Carter indeed invokes his power to block a trade out of Denver, the deal will still be completed with minor changes. It’s likely Melvin Ely would be exchanged instead. For now, expect AC to go to New York.
It’s an incredibly sad ending to the second Chauncey Billups era in Denver. Thank you so much for your hard work, dedication, and loyalty Chauncey.
Reaction, analysis and more to come from your RMC staff as the dust settles. Share your thoughts and memories here.
I do not know who made the call, but I am supremely impressed with someone. Whoever came up with the idea of trading Timofey Mozgov along with another Knick teammate, according to SI.com it would be Danilo Gallinari, from Denver to New Jersey may have ensured a deal will be completed and will be responsible for putting an end to all this Melo hysteria.
According to reports that are reportedly verified by actual reporters Carmelo Anthony has met with groups from the New York Knickerbockers and New Jersey Nets and both teams have submitted their “best” offers and that brings us to what will undoubtedly be the climax of this side show that has kept players, fans and front offices alike entrapped for months.
Denver has three options at this point:
With Carmelo Anthony’s eventual departure looming over the entire season, Nuggets fans have had nothing but time to point their fingers in dismay. Exactly where did we go wrong with Carmelo and whose fault is it? Despite a payroll annually among the most expensive in the league, many are placing the blame on Stan Kroenke’s plan for a new era of far less extravagant spending. While there is some merit to the idea that Stan’s influence could have planted the seeds of doubt in Melo’s mind, to charge Stan’s frugality as the grave injustice that’s ran poor Melo out of town is little more than crying over spilt milk.
Sigh of relief. That’s about all I can say as the Nuggets notch a nice win as a much needed break from the season starts now. I discussed earlier the implications and vastly different scenarios that could come into play over the critical stretch next week when no games will be played. For now, I’m grateful for this team and the fact they were able win an ugly game in a gritty and unconventional fashion. Throughout the maddening highs and lows of the game, the Nuggets reminded me once more how the sweet taste of victory is ultimately worth all the frustrations.
When the Denver Nuggets take the floor against Milwaukee tonight, there will be more at stake than a regular season win. For one, depending on the outcome the Nuggets could end up anywhere from sixth to ninth place in the Western Conference standings. But more than that, it’s a time to reflect as all the drama and absurdity of a truly bizarre season reaches a tipping point. The games stop, and only the future of the franchise beckons. The Melo trade saga has been going on so long I almost stopped believing a deadline for a resolution could still be real. Yet here it is nearer than ever. Serenity now!
By the time you read this we are going to be less than 200 hours away from the 2011 trade deadline and with all the information that has been spewed out between the start of training camp and today it is time to take a step back and reanalyze the lay of the land.
These are the facts:
This was a game and effort simply not worth the time it would take you to read about. Long story short, the Nuggets move to 0-2 on their three game road trip in demoralizing fashion at Houston. Since more important matters like the trade deadline loom, I’ll limit this exercise to some story-telling and general commentary while I watch this latest loss wind down.
The game started off very strange, with the Nuggets hitting shots and the Rockets throwing a very early zone at Denver in response. At first, it didn’t seem to matter as Houston struggled to convert stops into points at the other end. The Rockets offense looked lifeless and Denver took control quickly. It was almost as if Houston was offering up the game at that moment, saying “just be patient, play some defense and you guys can go ahead and have this one.” At one point, the Nuggets lead reached 15 in the first quarter. Then…