Encore to a Basketball Renaissance

With the first round of the 2011 NBA playoffs already underway and the Nuggets opening series against the Thunder not far behind, it’s time to look back, forward and all around at the season that has been and the playoff season that might be. (more…)

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…)

New Nuggets era begins with addition to Roundball team

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.”

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.

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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2010-2011 Game 55: Denver Nuggets 108 Memphis Grizzlies 116

Box Score | Highlights

I have to admit, after reliving that incredible fourth quarter comeback against Dallas I almost bought back in. It’s been tempting at numerous times this season when the Nuggets occasionally act like the good team they think they are. Even through the first half of this game I thought it was the best Denver has looked on the road all season. Something just made me uneasy about saying with another half to play and unfortunately it turned into a cruel reminder of why I can’t get fooled anymore.

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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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2010-2011 Game 52 Recap: Denver Nuggets 103 Houston Rockets 108

Box Score | Highlights

This has to be the most bizarre season of Nuggets basketball I can ever remember. In what seems like a side story of the 2011 season, the Nuggets continue playing games and fall to Houston for their second straight loss at home. There are a couple ways to look at this latest defeat. It bears repeating that Denver played without Nene and almost no Chauncey Billups. Even shorthanded, it does seem a little disheartening and unexpected that Melo has a career game and the Nuggets still roll over at home thanks to a heartless collective team effort. Should we really be surprised though?

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2010-2011 Game 51 Recap: Denver Nuggets 113 Minnesota Timberwolves 100

Box Score | Highlights

Just as the Jazz’s methodical attack showed us the bad habits and weaknesses in this team’s style, you can always count on the discombobulated T-Wolves to bring out the better side of these Nuggets. After losing a gritty battle of wills with Utah, the Nuggets bounce back by getting out of their one-on-one ways long enough to survive their customary defensive lapses.

No offense to the Wolves, but this should have been a routine win Denver needed to have. Yes, Denver played late last night against an angry Utah team they met at just the wrong time – but Minnesota also played last night in Toronto where Michael Beasley left with a minor injury. You had to think this could get ugly between two tired teams who both play questionable defense.  Still all Denver needed to do was show up with the effort they showed last night as they just have the more capable team top to bottom.

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2010-2011 Game 50 Recap: Denver Nuggets 106 Utah Jazz 113

Box Score | Highlights

I honestly have nothing bad to say about Denver’s effort tonight. In the preview, I lamented how the Nuggets have refused to show up in big time statement games like tonights. They were so badly embarrassed by the Lakers and Spurs you just have to assume that when things aren’t going their way against quality opponents, the Nuggets are going to fall apart and just give up – that’s just who they are. Although the Nuggets lost tonight, they fought hard through their shortcomings and gave themselves a great chance to win a game that at times seemed far out of reach. In many ways we’re getting a look at the real Nuggets tonight – a team with questionable front line talent and mediocre defense despite their best efforts. Furthermore, they fall victim to their own emotions again and the lucky breaks just weren’t in their favor either. It’s no knock on the Nuggets, but they need that luck. When they don’t get it, they just don’t have that elite level mindset to execute and win anyways.

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2010-2011 Game 48 Recap: Denver Nuggets 99 New Jersey Nets 115

Box Score | Highlights

As I write this, the Nuggets are down by 18 in New Jersey and will lose to the Nets by a yet to be determined amount. One thing is sure, and that is that the Nuggets play is so fundamentally poor that it’s hard to make the argument that Denver is actually a good, contending team simply going through a lull of poor play. If that’s indeed the case, it’s been a frequently occurring lull lasting the entirety of the season. Despite facing the third worst offense in the league, the Nuggets again allow their opponent to shoot lights out in another embarrassing defeat that’s no longer the least bit surprising to anyone.

During a brief road resurgence in which the offense got rolling, the Nuggets settled into their familiar road habits and lose the last two to arrive at a predictable 8-15 record away from home. Fundamentally, the Nuggets don’t run anything different or drastically change their style on the road. They simply make a ton of selfish, mental mistakes out of frustration and fall into the mindset of other inexperienced and mentally weak teams that suffer similar problems on the road.

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2010-2011 Game 47 Recap: Denver Nuggets 99 Philadelphia 76ers 110

Box Score | Highlights

Carmelo Anthony is a very talented player, but no longer has any desire or passion to put on a Nuggets jersey. While both sides have “made the best” of a challenging situation, the long and trivial season the Nuggets are trudging through keeps reminding us they cannot run from their fate much longer. In yet another example of the common theme we’ve seen in games this season – a disinterested team led by Melo begrudgingly go through the motions, squandering their early advantage against Philly en route to a routine, but still frustrating road defeat.

I’ll have to admit, I’ve missed the last three games, and thanks to new contributor GoldenNugget I’ve discovered they’ve been able to bring their balanced offensive attack on the road to the tune of some rare wins. We all know the Nuggets haven’t won with defense in quite a while, but with such a poor road record they need to be what they are and take wins however they come away from home. Unfortunately, what they are is incredibly inconsistent and it showed after this game opened up like a typical road contest this season. When both teams are content to take quick shots, Denver’s offense can carry them all the way through when the ball is moving and finding open shooters. Chauncey Billups provided the early spark in this one, making his first three shots from deep and kicking out to others for open shots off his dribble penetration.  He vaulted Denver to an early nine point lead and it seemed the Nuggets merely needed to take care of the ball while once again the offense could settle in and do all of the work on this one.

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2010-2011 Game 45 Recap: Denver Nuggets 109 Detroit Pistons 100

Recap by GoldenNugget

Box Score | Highlights

Watching the Denver Nuggets and Detroit Pistons go at it tonight, seemed eerily similar to the match we saw Tuesday against the Washington Wizards. Both teams had many highlight plays, pushed the pace and couldn’t figure out how to get a stop if it’s life depended on it. Yet once again, the Nuggets came out victorious, which is usually the case when this style of ball is implemented.

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