Odds & Ends – Game 71 and Knicks Podcast Appearence

First off, my apologies for no recap last night as my internet service is currently being difficult. As many of you guys already saw last night, the Nuggets demolished Toronto in such a way that 90% of the game was extended garbage time (no joke). It was a solid business-like win Denver needed after dropping two straight on the road against good teams. I will say that Toronto looked tired from the get-go and didn’t stand a chance of matching the Nuggets energy from the start. Nevertheless the Nuggets didn’t mess around and put them away minutes after the game started, so in lieu of writing about that snoozer here’s a look at the advanced stats:

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2010-11 Game 68: Denver Nuggets 102, Atlanta Hawks 87

It’s hard to understand (or even grasp the concept for that matter) what heaven must be like. Undoubtedly arriving in such a palatial and euphoric location would be blissful on the highest level. And though we can’t exactly embrace that feeling until we get there, we can certainly estimate as to how it might be. Watching the Denver Nuggets since the landmark Carmelo Anthony trade, one can only assume, is just like heaven. (more…)

2010-11 Game 65: Denver Nuggets 116 – Phoenix Suns 97

Tonight the Nuggets notched their first win in Phoenix since 2004, and for George Karl it was his first win in the desert since 1997. Whatever has kept the Nuggets from winning in the US Airway Center in years past certainly was not preset this evening as the Nuggets took it to the Suns from the get-go, and did not let up all game.

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2010-2011 Game 62: Denver Nuggets 120 Charlotte Bobcats 80

When I sat down tonight to watch the Denver Nuggets take on the Charlotte Bobcats, I certainly did not expect to see the Nuggets pull off the fifth biggest margin of victory in franchise history. But… THAT JUST HAPPENED! (more…)

The Big Trade – Returning Meaning to the Season and Some Links

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.

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Analysis and Thoughts on Trading Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks

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.

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It’s over – Carmelo Anthony traded to the New York Knicks

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.

Someone is a Genius

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.

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Carmelo Anthony Trade Watch – Any Day Now…

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:

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The Blame Game: Stan Kroenke’s Money Edition

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.

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2010-2011 Game 57: Denver Nuggets 94 Milwaukee Bucks 87

Box Score | Highlights | Watch Replay

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.

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Appreciating Melo and Chauncey Billups

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!

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Taking Stock of the Carmelo Anthony Trade Saga

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:

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2010-2011 Game 56: Denver Nuggets 102 Houston Rockets 121

Box Score | Highlights

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…

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2010-11 Game 54: Denver Nuggets 121 – Dallas Mavericks 120

Box Score | Highlights

Recap by GoldenNugget

Tonight’s game, ladies and gentleman, is what basketball is all about. Heart, soul, determination, passion and all the other adjectives that go along with describing sports is what the Nuggets displayed this evening for really the first time in a while. We’ve played games this year that you could tell we were really into, but I don’t know if I remember one ever being this intense. I’m sitting here asking myself, “Why can’t we play like this every game?” and I just can’t seem to come up with an answer. Yes, the Melo Drama weighs heavily on this team, but how can we go from playing like we did in Golden State, to this in just one night? What happened last night on the flight home? Did the Denver Nuggets encounter some kind of time portal that sent them back to the 2008/2009 season? I’m just baffled, but you know what, I’ll take it any day of the week.

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