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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.