2012-13 Game 21: Denver Nuggets 106 – New York Knickerbockers 112

The Denver Nuggets faced old friend Carmelo Anthony tonight in New York and Carmelo proved to be too much as Denver’s bid to be the first team to deliver the Knicks with their first home loss of the 2012-13 season ended in another disappointment.

It has been a while since I wrote up an old school game recap so tonight is as good a time as any, although I am not planning on staying up until 4:00 AM to bang out 3,000 words as I used to when I was a younger man.

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#NuggetsRank No. 3: Danilo Gallinari

After a lengthy delay, coming in at number three in our #NuggetsRank series is starting small forward Danilo Gallinari. Despite possessing perhaps the best combination of skill and athleticism on the Nuggets’ entire roster, Gallo trailed behind the top two in our #NuggetsRank voting and ends up as the popular pick for third-best player on the team.
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#NuggetsRank No. 10: Anthony Randolph

Anthony Randolph tops the trio of enigmatic seven-footers on Denver’s roster at no. 10 in our #NuggetsRank series. It’s going to surprise a lot of Nuggets fans that he ranks ahead of incumbent centers  Kosta Koufos and Timofey Mozgov despite being the least likely to receive playing time among all three.

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Clippers game a bittersweet homecoming for Chauncey Billups

It’s early in the Denver Nuggets 2011-2012 season, but the story so far has no doubt been the inspiring double overtime win against the departed Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.

Tonight’s game against the Los Angeles Clippers doesn’t feature the same hype and excitement surrounding the Knicks contest, but it’s no less symbolic for Nuggets fans witnessing Chauncey Billups’ first return to the Pepsi Center since the infamous trade marking the end of the Melo era.

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Nuggets News: The Association and Stiffs Night Out

Courtesy of Benjamin Hochman, details are emerging on the latest season of NBATV’s “The Association” which will follow the Denver Nuggets through the 2011-2012 season. The first episode airs next Wednesday on NBATV and you can find the full schedule in Hochman’s Nuggets Ink post. For those not familiar with the show it is a fascinating look into the grind of an NBA season from the perspective of the players, coaches, front office executives and trainers. The Nuggets were last featured on NBATV’s “Real Training Camp” two seasons ago and that was a must-watch for Nuggets fans as I’m sure “The Association” will be as well.

We’d also like to post a friendly reminder to attend Stiffs Night Out for the upcoming New York Knicks game. It will no doubt be a fun time and a great opportunity to hang out with fellow Nuggets fans. Our friends at Denver Stiffs are also giving away prime seats to an upcoming home game and if you’re in the Denver area, I strongly suggest you go! Follow the link on Denver Stiffs for all the details.

On to the latest news and links.

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Denver Nuggets 2011-2012 Schedule Released (UPDATED)

This post is a compilation of analysis and breakdown of 2012 schedule in the hours after it was released. To view the official schedule visit the Nuggets website at NBA.com. If you prefer a printable version of the schedule to reference click here for a link to the PDF. Scroll down to read updates and new developments on all things schedule related.

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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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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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Carmelo Anthony Trade – Q & A with KnickerBlogger

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.

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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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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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The Melo Market has Bottomed Out

After months of rumors, sporadic play on the court, booing fans, speculation out the yin yang, millions of words written in newspapers, magazines, on the internet, in emails, in tweets, spoken around the water cooler and thousands of potentially productive man hours lost to fiddling with the ESPN.com Trade Machine the Carmelo Anthony saga appears to have hit rock bottom.  There are multiple reports that the Nuggets are in negotiations in a three team trade that would send Carmelo to New York in exchange for Wilson Chandler, Corey Brewer a future first round pick from the Timberwolves, and if I understand things correctly, an eight digit trade exception.  That is it.  No Danilo Gallinari, no multiple first round picks and no dynamic young player with promise.

Before you completely discount the rumor as being something the Nuggets would never agree to, which my first inclination, keep one thing in mind.  While it is certainly the worst deal for Denver that has been leaked from a talent standpoint it would save the Nuggets roughly $15 million dollars this season.  Denver would be sending out Carmelo’s $17.1 million salary and only taking back $5.8 million providing roughly $4 million in salary savings over the final few months as well as over $11 million in luxury tax payments.  No other trade I have heard or read about would save Denver so much short term money.

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