The Curious Case Of The Melo-Free Nuggets

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – Raise your hand if you saw the Denver Nuggets doing all that they have after the Carmelo Anthony deal finally went down.

Go ahead, tell us you knew they’d thrive without Anthony and Chauncey Billups. Show us the sheet of paper you tucked away that said the Nuggets would go 8-2 in the first 10 games post-Melo, would be thumping opponents by 13.2 points and hanging on tight to that No. 5 seed in the Western Conference playoff chase.

We didn’t think so.

Even the Nuggets have been a bit surprised at how they’ve managed the separation anxiety from the player that was the face of the franchise the past seven seasons.

“I just think there’s more enthusiasm, more energy, more things strategically,” Nuggets coach George Karl told reporters after Monday night’s win in New Orleans, when the Nuggets drained 17 3-pointers in a 114-103 win.

So much changes after a seven-month pressure of wondering what was going to happen with Anthony is released. The Nuggets are playing with the sort of stress-free energy that personifies March Madness, as fans near the hideout here will get to see tonight when the Nuggets face the Hawks at Philips Arena.

Still, it would have been hard to imagine them losing both Anthony and Billups and getting the better end of the trade with the New York Knicks (6-5 since the trade and fighting to fend off Philadelphia for the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference playoff race).

In addition to the new faces the Nuggets gained in the trade — Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Timofey Mozgov and Raymond Felton — the trade also allowed Nuggets holdovers like J.R. Smith, Ty Lawson and the supremely underrated Arron Afflalo to show that they are more than capable of handling starring roles for a playoff team.

Lawson had perhaps the largest high tops to fill, taking over for a veteran master like Billups (who was a hometown favorite). Yet he’s proved to be more than up to the task, averaging 14.3 points, 8.1 assists and 2.2 steals in the Nuggets’ last 10 games. His March Madness numbers are a tick better — 17.7 points and 9.2 assists — which is the clearest indication that he hasn’t lost any of the tourney time swagger that he used to help North Carolina win a title a couple of years ago.

But at least one prominent Denver writer, Mark Kizla of the Denver Post, suggested early on that the true leader of this Nuggets team is none other than veteran power forward Kenyon Martin, whose personality and no-nonsense attitude has been adopted by all:

After the departure of Anthony and Billups, there has been much discussion about the identity of the team’s best player. Is it Nene? Should we consider Arron Afflalo, who plays both ends of the floor with passion? Could new acquisition Danilo Gallinari be the Nuggets’ next great scorer?

While the talent evaluation makes for an interesting debate, the argument misses the point. The Nuggets will live or die on defense and sheer force of will.

Nobody would ever nominate Martin, whose jump shot will always will look as if it could break a window, as a graceful player.

But watch him score 14 points and pull down 11 rebounds against the Hawks, and what you realize is this:

Martin is the true grit of the new Nuggets.

He refused to accept losing with the departure of Anthony and Billups.

“Why would I think that way? If I think that way, I might as well shut it down,” Martin said. “I miss Melo. I miss Chauncey. I love them to death. But it’s about us who are here now.”

That’s the sort of mentality that becomes infectious in these sort of situations.

Barring a sudden collapse, the Nuggets will surely finish with more wins than the Knicks and could be a part of an intriguing first-round playoff matchup with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

That’s not bad for a team many (select members of the hideout crew included) predicted would suffer from a severe case of post-Melo anxiety disorder.

88 Comments

  1. nuggets playing good and looking good…. much to the surprise of many…… but i think the trading of melo and chauncey was good and i think the nuggets get the better part of the deal over the new york knicks… hahahaha

  2. Nuggets playing like the 1971 NY Knicks…. love the type of basketball they’re playing…..

    nuggets looking good….. they don’t have to rely on melo and chauncey to make big shots… everyone is required to step up and everyone is up to the challenge now…… no championships for this season but i think they can get past the OKC Thunder….

    Better watch out Durantula…….

  3. nuggets looking good….. they don’t have to rely on melo and chauncey to make big shots… everyone is required to step up and everyone is up to challenge now…… no championships for this season but i think they can get past the OKC Thunder….

  4. Nuggets playing like the 1971 NY Knicks…. love the type of basketball they’re playing…..

  5. benmkapa says:

    Hi Sekou
    i raise my hand , watch my post just after the trade, even when NY won i just compared Melo to Marbury .

    Raymond is a true leader totally underrated – i follow Charlotte and NY since a while and trading those players was definitely a kind of i.Thomas move .

    Gallo is still not 100 % but improve day by day and Chandler is simply good.

    Next year Knicks will not even go into the playoff unless they had a good center but to they have the salary space for …
    They hang themselves with this trade and this year Denver will be in 1/2 final of the western playoff

  6. BB21 says:

    @JEBBBIG are you serious? The thunder are gonna destroy the Nuggets? Get real, they might beat the Nuggets but it ain’t gonna be an easy series and if Durant doesn’t have dominant games the whole series they will lose. They are a one man band with some one supporting cast and thats westbrook but he can’t carry the team if durant doesn’t score atleast 30 ppg, Thunder are going down, Go Nuggets!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Sekou Smith says:

    @BlackMamba24, Fight me!

  8. daniel says:

    The Nuggets built up a very interesting system which is not very frequent in the nba. Maybe there aren’t all star caliber players, but almost every single player that steps on the floor could be part of the starting five. Usually in an nba game there’s a sort of garbage time moment around the second quarter and at the end of the fourth, if the game is already decided, when many of the bench players step on the court – and that is mainly to not overuse the starters, preserving them from injury. Only some of the teams with a winning percentage have a bench with more than 2 or 3 players that have a big impact on the game – Spurs, Lakers, but the team with the best bench is Dallas. Probably come playoff time, the star players are gonna play more minutes and the bench won’t have a big role in the title run. But to me it seems like the nba is gradually becoming more of a team game again, and less star-dependent.

  9. law son says:

    goodluck to both denver and knicks!!!both team workhard for the ring!!!its all about the ring to win a championship!!both team godspeed!!to the playoffs

  10. mao says:

    denver is a beast team now,,,but let see what theyve got in playoffs!!!new york is my team there defense now is no good at all,specially in the low post part,,they cant even rebound a ball,,see you soon in playoff

  11. HugeRuns27 says:

    i think the 7 months talk about where Melo would end up helped them to prepare mentally..even those players from NY that went with the deal..the result was magnificent at the moment cos they’re still riding with that mentality..they cant be consistent night in night out..thats the difference being a superstar and role players..Ive been following Denver since the acquisition of Melo..and they were fun to watch and a team that was offense oriented..run and gun basketball..Goodluck to Denver! I wish this time the owners will truly believe on his players..unlike what happen when the last time when the owner wasnt expecting the team to reach conference finals and scheduled a concert or whatever on their arena..just saying

  12. JoeX says:

    He is just no kenyon martin as he was in the early 2000 where he help his team(nets) to the 2002 NBA finals which was a swept by the lakers and a 6th game win by the spurs on the other year NBA finals..

  13. mao says:

    i love melo and knicks….denver goodluck to the playoffs wish u all d best!!!!!

  14. Heart says:

    Heart beats talent 99% of the time, especially in the NBA where everyone has talent. Melo has proven to have almost no heart on the defensive end, and there is no way in the world that Mike D’Antoni is going to change that. The Knicks will be fun to watch, but they farthest they will EVER get in the playoffs is the 2nd round, and that stands even when they get there 3rd broadway baby.

    I feel bad for Billups in all this. He was truly the BEST individual player in that trade. They tore him from his home, and sent him to a lose-lose situation with 2 prima donnas. My hearts with you Chauncey, because I know you’re probably the only one on that team with heart.

    Melo: I hope La La is getting all the TV deals she wanted, because we all know thats why you went; because YOUR WIFE wanted to go. You sir have no heart and no balls.

  15. Symphony Sid says:

    Remember, when the playoffs start, scores go WAY down and the importance of defense intensifies.

    If George can get everyone on the same page, committed to defense FIRST, team ball at the offensive end SECOND, and everyone runs THIRD, then the Nuggets will give some teams fits in the playoffs.

  16. sox says:

    I’ve followed Denver since the first year as the Rockets in the ABA, the days when Ralph Simpson was one of the first “stars” (and Spencer Haywood arrived) and Alex Hannum was the first(?) big name coach. ‘Melo brought the Nuggets out of the doldrums and stayed long enough to make them worth watching. But anyone who thinks Chauncey isn’t the one who gave them the ability to contend wasn’t paying attention. Thought we’d miss ‘Melo’s star power, but I REALLY thought we’d miss Chauncey’s ability to run the game. Didn’t know from nothin’ about the Knicks players, could see we got lots of people in exchange, was sorry to see Billup’s tossed in the cauldron. Having listened to Denver from out-of-state for 30 years, I definitely didn’t see this coming, even with the strengths already on the team! This is the most fun I’ve had listening since DT!

  17. jero says:

    chicago-denver to the finals yeah!

  18. JoeX says:

    Denver gets better w/o melo&chauncey?? but still for me they’re not as competitive as the othr team in the west specifically the lakers or spurs or the mavs. lacking of veteran leaders to lead them in the playoff was their great weakness and kenyon martin is not that guy..Lucky for them they secured the 6seed before&after the trade.. i think they wil be fallen 1st.round in the play.off..that’s ol;)

    • yeojeel says:

      Totally capable of an upset, Denver is. But yeah maybe not against the veteran teams like Spurs,and Lakers. But for Dallas, history has proven they choke in the playoffs (Golden State 8th seed upset) and Finals (blew up a 2-0 lead against one tough guy: Wade), so they are a potential victim of the Nuggets.
      Teams they can beat in the playoffs: all teams except Lakers and Spurs

    • Cocoa Ninja says:

      How is Kenyon not that guy? He’s defensive-minded (which is always an advantage), he’s been in the league for 11 years, he’s played well his entire career, he’s only missed the playoffs in his rookie season and in ’06-’07 (injury related), and he’s been to the NBA Finals twice. Sounds like a good leader.

      • JoeX says:

        he is just no kenyon martin as he was in the early 2000 where he help his team(nets) to the 2002 NBA finals which were a swept by the lakers and a 6th game win by the spurs on the other year NBA finals..

  19. gordon b says:

    denver are way better now than before,welcome playoffs denver is a real contender now in the west,,melo and the knicks needs more defense to win a game,,we knicks fan hoping that knicks can find a center who can do defense stoudemire alone in low post is not enough!!jeffries is no good,,lets go knicks you need center let go off jeffries find center for your defense!!!!playoffs time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11

  20. ariel_1 says:

    Its sad for me to know that Denver will face OKC in the first round of the playoffs.
    I love how Denver is playing right now but then I also love OKC to win it to all up to the conference finals with Perkins in the team. .sigh

  21. gork57 says:

    I AM one of those who believed the Nuggets could flourish without Anthony and Billups. Knowledgeable fans have seen Nene, Afflalo, and Ty Lawson, and knew they were capable of making up some of the scoring the Nuggets lost in the trade. I also saw a bit of the NY Knick players prior to the trade. Media types also should pay close attention to George Karl, the man at the helm. His history is he is at his best when there is turmoil and short rosters. Karl got the new and old Nuggets to integrate quickly, and convinced them that if they play defense everything else would follow. In light of the before/after statistics, it’s clear the Nuggets were a slower, poorer rebounding and defending team than they are now. Carmelo’s presence was a “dead man walking,” and it lifted a huge burden off the Nuggets when he left.

  22. yeojeel says:

    I’m seeing a lot of resemblance with the Pistons championship team of 2004.
    No ball-hug, everybody is communicating and helping each other out as a team.
    The remaining test they have to face is executing crucial plays in close games, and the tenacity for crucial defensive stops during close games. In doing so, their really defined roles would arise, and we are about to witness another non-superstar team get to the NBA finals.

  23. andrew balisa says:

    go denver, just wait when my idol kenyon martin gets 100 percent and he will turn to be a beast again, i still believe in his power

    • Ari says:

      K-mart has already been so huge since the trade, he’s doing just what he needs to do, if he stays healthy and keeps all the guys honest on defense this will be an incredibly tough team to beat!

  24. Nuggets fan says:

    Sure Kobe is the best player in the league, but it’s coming to an end very quickly. You and the Spurs will find your way to the old folks home…. And plus we know you Lakers don’t like Colorado…. Remember what happened the last time Kobe traveled to Vail.

    • Heat H8r says:

      But you don’t understand how the Lakers operate. When Kobe’s gone, another superstar will come to L.A. and fill in for him. The Lakers have won too many championships, and have too much potential, to really be out of the Finals picture for very long. From 1992, when Magic retired, to 2000, when they won a title with Kobe and Shaq: that’s eight years. Between 2002 and 2009, when they won their next title, that was seven years. And plus, in addition to winning championships in 2000, 2001, and 2002, they made Finals appearances in 2003 and 2004. That’s five straight times they were in the Finals down that one stretch. In 2005 they weren’t that great, but in 2006 and 2007 they managed to function just fine as Kobe developed further. They got to the Finals in 2008 because Kobe had developed and had a supporting man in Pau Gasol…when Kobe retires there will be a temporary drop-off in the Lakers’ talent, but it won’t last long. Not with 16 championships to flash in the face of potential free agents and rookies it won’t.

  25. Nuggets fan says:

    Laker fan is just sad he’s getting old and tired.

  26. Trevor says:

    “melo and the nugs, haha yikes, no more”,

    Vick “The Brick” Jacobs

    • Denver fan for life! says:

      I hate Carmelo!! Its what he gets! His stupid knicks lost to the cavs twice with him! Ha and Ha! They also lost to the pacers! WTF! My Melo-less Nuggets on the other hand are rollin’. They almost beat Orlando had Jameer Nelson not hit the gamewinner. Who needs you ‘Melo? We fine w/o you, heck we may even be better w/o you. Stay in New York with a just-above .500 record. I hope the Knicks don’t make the playoffs although they probably will. Denver has a better chance than the knicks do at making the playoffs and they are too.

  27. bill24laker says:

    Denver is playing well now but there’s no doubt that they’ll miss Melo in the playoffs…especially when they’ll have no answer for Durant (most likely)

    • Heat H8r says:

      Ha ha ha! When they have no answer for Durant? Listen, with Anthony the Nuggets wouldn’t have stood a fighting chance against the Thunder because of a lack of defense. This group in Denver is the best defensive squad I’ve seen in years…they can stop Durant, but they’ll have to play good help defense as a team to do it, which I think they’re more than capable of doing. I don’t think the Nuggets could beat the Thunder or even take the Thunder to six with Anthony. Without him they’ll make the series interesting, and possibly even beat the Thunder.

  28. Pete says:

    why are you yelling?

  29. MilanoCookie says:

    I think that mello is actually bad for a team as a whole. I’m crazy I know but seriously gallinari, felton , chandler, and mozgov weren’t a big part of the nuggets recent victories. Losing Carmelo has helped them become a better team. Melo is not a team player and even though he has won the knicks a game by hitting a buzzer beater he has made them suffer. Look, in the 12 games the knicks have played since the trade they have won only 6. Thats 50% there record without him is somthing like 53%. When the trade happened the knicks were just starting to play well together. I’m a knicks fan and although I like mello he has to become a team player if he is ever going to help a team win anything.

    • Ari says:

      I think more credit is due to Chandler and Felton, they’ve really showed they can play well with all the remaining Nugget players and they’ve been playing pretty consistent too, both making big shots. I hope these guys stick around in Denver for many years!

  30. Karl says:

    Denver now got a pair of good young players. Lawson,Felton,Chandler,D.gallinari. All them are potenial players. GO Denver :)

  31. SeanA23 says:

    Queeef! Queeeeeef! Queeeef!

  32. SSD LAKERS FAN says:

    I THINK EVERYONE IS SURPRISED THE NUGGETS ARE PLAYING THIS GOOD (8-2)). THIS RECORD IS COMPARABLE TO THE BIG TEAMS IN THE NBA. I WOULD HATE TO BURST THE BUBBLE FOR NUGGETS FANS BUT ITS USUALLY A 82 GAME STRETCH, LUCKY THE PLAYOFFS ARE COMING UP SOON AND MELO AND CHAUNCEY LEFT THEM IN A GOOD SPOT.

    REALITY WILL KICK IN SOON, THEY ARE NOT A TEAM TO CONTEND FOR ANYTHING AND COME NEXT SEASON THEY WILL BE BEHIND PORTLAND AND MEMPHIS NEXT YEAR. THEY ARE A MAX 7 – 8 SEED IN THE WEST DUE TO THE DECLINE OF PHOENIX AND UTAH. IF THOSE TWO TEAMS STILL HAD THEIR STARS THE CURRENT NUGGETS IN A 82 GAME SEASON WOULD FALL OUT OF THE PLAYOFF RACE.

    IN CLOSING GREAT JOB IN GOING 8-2, GOOD TO NOT SEE ANOTHER TEAM FALL LIKE THE CAVALIERS DID, BUT THE WILL GO BACK TO REALITY AND NEXT SEASON WILL BE A VERY AVERAGE TEAM IN THE WEST.

  33. BlackMamba24 says:

    @Sekou Why don’t you act your age instead of acting like a 7 yr old? Why delet my post in what I had to say about Caramelo Anthony? Your not going anywhere beacuse of the stupid idiot David Stern! Thanks to you guys NBA has fallen off. Its like your cant even speak your mind, what is this, an paki site? Your not entitled to your own opinion. This happend twice, one in Chris Bosh’s blogs and now on Melo’s. Sekou your a loser.

    • Sekou Smith says:

      As long as you do your best to keep the profanity out of your post it will not be squashed sir.

      • Magnum says:

        Well Sekou, maybe you can simplify the comment policy for him to understand the word RESPECT. :)

  34. Mel says:

    Knicks got took to the cleaners on that deal, the nuggets got a whole starting five for a player that was gonna leave anyway, what a coup for the front office of the Nuggets,, We all knew in Denver Carmelo didnt play D, he never cared to, Watch the Knicks, they give up 110-120 every night, Kinda like how the nuggets used to play, you cant win in the NBA giving up easy baskets every night, this will go down as one of the most lopsided trades ever, NY takes ANOTHER loss in the free agent market. Melo will score 25 points, it will take him 25-30 shots to do so, what does Amare do when Melo is standing around going one on one every night, that will get old very quickly in NY. Sorry Knicks the excitement has worn down and the hype will fade once you see that you cant win playing run and gun every night…. we tried in denver for 7.5 years, it never works, DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS,

  35. heat it up says:

    i didnt see it coming, but i knew they wouldnt fall off….. but i could clearly see why they will win for awhile now. while they might not have any superstars, they’re 2 deep at each position, meaning if a team has any holes, they can attack them. adding another star to this already great team would be scary

  36. Mr Trini says:

    A TEAM….. This is exactly who the Nuggets are, i cannot pinpoint a single person as a star. Martin has been superb, JR Smith has been like flash, Felton, etc, everyone just makes you want to watch Basketball, i still believe Nene is underated badly. Nuggets will be in the semis of the western conference. And remember folks, they are healthy……

  37. BlackMamba24 says:

    FIRE SEKOU SMITH HE KEEPS DELETING MY POSTS FOR NO REASON. WHY EVEN LET THIS GUY CONTROL THE BIGGEST BASKETBALL SITE THERE IS?

    SEKOU YOU SIR ARE A LOSER!!!!!!!!!!!!

  38. Lakers Fan says:

    I’m really liking this Nuggets team. I would like to see them play a team like the Spurs or the Thunders in the playoffs. Maybe even the Lakers. These match ups would really show teamwork. The West is really showing what its like to play team basketball. The East (with the exception of the Celitcs and Bulls) should look to learn from these teams who do not depend on “Big 3′s” to win games. They remind me of the Bad Boys 2 but I’m not saying that they’re that good, their way playing just speaks ” Teamwork over Star Power” to me.

  39. Josh says:

    Why are so many of you hating on Melo?
    It’s not like you didn’t know it was coming; it’s not like he didn’t consider resigning after this deal dragged out so long; and it’s not like you gave him up for free.
    Not to mention, Denver was NOTHING without Melo, but right after Melo comes you guys are a bona fide powerhouse in the west.

    This was a double win, but more for the Knicks then anything else. The Knicks now have the entire offseason and next year to get the role players, and their future stars, it’s called looking forward.

    The Nuggets on the other hand got 3 of the most under rated players in the NBA.
    Raymond Felton got SNUFFED out of the all star game with the numbers he’s putting up
    Wilson Chandler is probably the most under rated small forward in the game. and probably my favorite player in the NBA
    Galinarri has developed his inside game and is possibly the biggest scoring threat for Denver, next to J.R.

    But the thing is Wilson is on the last year of his contract, and he’s not signing
    Denver cannot keep winning after losing a few more of their key role players in the off season
    They’ll have to go to rebuilding mode; and start a whole new team

    Not to take anything away from Denver, because I absolutely love how their playing team basketball; which I think will get them far in the regular season, but not in the playoffs; at least I don’t think
    Who’s going to be the guy that’s gonna score the rock when you need it the most?
    The go to guy in the final moments?
    The guy who’s going to break the other teams streak with that bucket?

    All in all, the way Denver is playing everyday makes me change my mind more and more. This squad is looking really good.

    • TWizz says:

      Melo made Denver a powerhouse? What are you smoking? Sure when Melo came, they were a playoff team. But they NEVER made it out the first round, not until they got the likes of Chauncey Billups. Billups is the one who helped the Nuggets get out the first round with his leadership. All Melo did was score some points, which anyone can do in the NBA. Billups also helped bring a defensive mindset to the team, something they did not have what-so-ever.

      • Josh says:

        Where were Denver without Melo
        not even a play off team
        with him there?
        Playoff team, with a great record
        I’m not taking anything away from Chauncy, he’s a real professional and one of the premier guards; but he’s definatly not the biggest reason Denver succeeded

  40. Jake says:

    My hand is raised (although I didn’t expect the Nuggets to do quite so well so soon).

  41. I agree! says:

    dark horse to make it to the west finals… this will be very interesting to watch!

  42. LemW says:

    Melo-Free Nuggets
    Excellent title.

  43. jc says:

    thank god for queermelo being gone now the nuggets can focus on being a team and not giving the ball to a ball hog that puts up contested 3s all day and gives up 50 points on the other end a night. Hopefully for the nuggets the knicks gave the nuggets there entire team so the nuggets have a monster bench. the best offense in the league just got some depth and some D definant contender in the west.

  44. obvious says:

    all this really means is that melo doesnt influence a team as much as lebron did for the cavs

    • todd says:

      not even close. nowhere near as talented as lebron, melo is a one dimensional player, just a scorer while lebron is as versatile a player as has ever played the game. melo can’t compare to kevin durant, who is already a better scorer and is showing better flashes of defense and rebounding than melo ever has. new york traded away it’s team to build around two guys who want the ball constantly but don’t want to play defense. they’ll still bring in a great point guard i’m sure in 2012, but i don’t see any championships coming with their lack of defense at the two forward positions.

  45. James Nelson says:

    I knew they were better. I couldn’t wait for them to trade him. Melo plays no defense, and now they don’t have to baby to anyone anymore. Melo had to have his thirty shots every game, now the open man takes the shot and it is team basketball. The Nuggets are and have always been extremely underrated. So every team has to be aware of the new Nuggets. I am also an OKC fan, but the nugs will beat them. OKC has only beaten Denver 1 time since they moved to OKC.

  46. Neil Alex™ says:

    billups is gettin’ old and slower, melo is a certified ball hog.
    good riddance for the nuggets!

  47. Nisha-Let's Talk says:

    They have Felton, Chandler, and Garlinari (i think i spelled it right???).. That’s the WHOLE Knicks team WITHOUT Stat.. Those three people are why the Knicks were good.. And then they trade them?? Really.. The Nuggets are amazing.. I saw that game against the Celtics.. Amazing.. I just think that they can really make some noise in the playoffs.. Maybe upset a few of the better teams.. I say that the Nuggets will finish with the 4th or 5th spot in the West.. From there.. I have no idea.. :)

  48. lakersfanphilippines says:

    Nuggets right now is such a good team and will be very dangerous during playoffs. Different players coming up big every night.. Post-Melo gives opportunity to the likes of Afflalo, Lawson to step up big time.

  49. Orejon says:

    I am a New York fan, but I must admit that I feel nothing but admiration for the nuggets. And I have become a fan and wish them to do well.

  50. Silver says:

    Melo is a cancer. He is like the new Allen Iverson. Losing Billups sucked, but it had to be done for the trade to go through so you can’t blame em. Nuggets are one of the best teams to watch. Pure team basketball with tough defense and a high flying offense. They need some more TV time.

    • Sean says:

      So true! good to see a team that actually plays like a TEAM everyone should be nugget fans now!
      haha

    • youri says:

      That comparison with AI is crap. AI went to the finals while being the only true star on his squad. Melo couldnt do that with a lot more help and is even worse with amare in NY.
      You should think twice before calling a former MVP and one of the best players of this decade a cancer.

      As for this nuggets team. The selfishness and lack of effort on defense from Melo is what they had to get rid of. They did that and got a better deal than everyone could expect.
      I won’t say I saw this coming, but I did think at that time that the nuggets would be more than fine.
      They proved everyone wrong. They are great without him and I hope the press will eat up Melo down in NY.

      • todd says:

        ALLEN IVERSON did more with what little he had than anybody in basketball. switch him in that time frame with just about any guard in the league and i doubt they would be as successful as the 76ers were. picture him and kobe’s role’s reversed, L.A. would have thrived with Allen Iverson playing off of the most dominant man in the league, Shaquille Oneal while i doubt kobe would have led philly to any more success than what they had with AI. True, his lack of work ethic and the pounding his body took over the years caught up with him earlier than kobe or ray allen, but in his prime he was without a doubt as good as anybody in the league. put his stats and playoff performances up against anybody and there’s no way you can deny this man of the respect he deserves.

  51. jebbbig says:

    the Okc Thunder will destroy the nuggets in the playoffs

    • heat says:

      the nuggets are bbuilt very rugged id yuo see what they did to my heats i know how good they are they are really unbeatable once j r smith is shooting well i see them going far this year but i cant see them beating the lakers because of bynum and gasol

    • DaveDenver11 says:

      Denver are coming up! Id say OKC Thunder are definately the favourites especially with Perkins, however the team without Melo and Billups are now getting more of the ball making more plays without resorting to anthoney taking 3 pointers or long 2s. Players like NENE,Lawson and Affalo are stepping up, especially with Chandler he has fit in the team very well.

      Id say thunder have a worthy team to play and it will be very close!

  52. Sean says:

    i knew right away when i saw that trade that the knicks wouldnt do much better and it would benefit the nuggets
    they got like what 5 players 2 draft picks and cash for a PG that is almost done his career and a superstar that cant play defense
    now they have players that actually play defense, im sorry but it is so easy to find guys that can score in this league its finding the ones that are committed to defense that makes a good team

  53. Whiteylocks says:

    totally called this one. Knicks gave way too much up, and the Nuggets suddenly looked like a much more complete team. They’re two deep at every position, full of scorers, and boast not one but two legit point guards capable of scoring and running the show, even at the pace the Nuggets want.

    Really Sekou? You didn’t see this one coming? i’ll admit, I thought they might slip in the standings. But I think they’re not only a much improved team, but with they’re young pieces, I think they’re a team that will grow very dangerous in the coming years.

  54. Iknew says:

    I knew this was going to happen they had to much talent and got to much talent in the trade. sometimes a player like melo can hold you back a little with ball domination. what a great player whos not a great leader

  55. truthhurts says:

    i’m a SPURS fan but i do like the Nuggets – even more without Melo. Glad to see they don’t need him to get the W.

  56. Kal says:

    Losing Billups was huge loss for Nuggets. Melo is a pure scorer, but lacked so much defence. Knicks got ripped off big time in what they lost in future stars!

  57. MonK3y says:

    I’m no Nuggets fan but I’m glas they’re doing fine right now without Melo. I always thought it was a very valuable deal for them, Wilson Chandler is highly under rated, Galinari and Felton are very very good. The team has great potential.

  58. nuggets rock! says:

    Its no wonder the nuggets are rolling without SMELO, the new Nuggets are all leaders, its great having the fastest players in the league!!! RF#1

  59. Magnum says:

    Can we compare them (or atleast on the same page) with the champion team Detroit years back? A balanced roster without a superstar but make wonders.

    • Kingsfan says:

      The Pistons did have a superstar, Chauncey Billups and Wallace. Unless of course your not counting the Defensive player of the year 2 times straight not a superstar. Then you factor in Hamilton being the unsung hero for most of their games. Now as for the Nuggets, they literally don’t have a bonified Superstar. Closest thing is Nene and I think people could argue he’s a star but I don’t see him holding the weight of the franchise.

      This team is doing well because they are a “team”. They play with grit and guts and it’s not just one guy. It’s the whole squad getting dirty every night. Will they win a championship, who knows but it’s sure fun to watch imo.

      • Nbbabababab says:

        chauncey was not a superstar back then

      • KA says:

        @Nbbabababab how can you say Billups wasnt a star when he was the finals MVP?

      • starless says:

        @KA … Billups wasnt an allstar during the regular season nor was anyone on the team. but at the finals, the most valuable player goes to the winning team n Billups was the MVP for them then….tat saying i dont think the nuggets are a championship caliber team as the pistons were.

    • theRyan says:

      @Magnum, I guess we could start but not yet compare them to the Bad Boys 2 coz this is still the regular season games…maybe they need someone like a Sheed (just like the Pistons back then)

  60. Was I the only one to believe the Denver Nuggets?

    Here it is:
    http://sadesportiva.blogspot.com/2011/02/carmelo-e-convidado-de-honra-para-o-fim.html

    I’ve said that the Denver Nuggets were, now, a better team and could win more games and go up in the standings.
    :)

    • Mark R says:

      The trade was a win-win for both teams. The Knicks get a new star on broadway to sell their newly increased ticket prices and fill the Garden. The Nuggets get an abundance of youthful talent to build for the future, while allowing one of the league’s most under-rated points guards to step out of the shadows of the great Chauncey B-B-B-Billups.

      Ty Lawson has learnt from the master and is now ready to show what he can do. Along with Felton (who was also very under-rated at Charlotte, MJ never should have let him go, preferring Augustin), they have formed a great one-two punch already. It used to be pick your poison with ‘Melo – do you make him a jump shooter or let him drive? Soon they could be saying pick your poison with Lawson and Felton.

      The Nuggets are also doing it with defense. George Karl has made no secrets of his frustrations with ‘Melo – he now gets to play on a team which doesnt emphasize the defensive end of the court in NY, while the Nuggets have already reduced opponents points per 100 possessions by almost 10 points a game – the ‘D’ is back in Denver!

      http://hoopnholla.com/denver-nuggets-after-carmelo-trade/

      • todd says:

        why is defense so underrated in the nba? if you really look at it there’s two parts to a game, offense and defense. somebody like carmelo who is solely an offensive star gets all the praise but the numbers show how badly is game is lacking. that’s why i continue to say dwight howard is severely underrated. only kevin love can rebound with him, he gets you 23 points on a high percentage and opens up the offensive end for the rest of his 3point happy teammates, and on top of all this he’s the best defensive player over the last several years, not even close. so if he is the clear-cut best at one phase of the game (defense) and definately in the top 6 on the offensive end why is he not perennially one of the top 2 or 3 in the mvp race? 23 ppg 14 rpg 58%fg and the best defensive player in the league, those numbers are unreal, why doesn’t this man get the credit he deserves?

    • Tiago Perdigao says:

      Although I actually really liked the talent that Denver got in return for the Melo-man, and predicted a bright future tor the Nuggets franchise, I must admit that this turn-around was unexpected! I thought they would endure an initial phase of searching their new identity as a team, and eventually make the playoffs as the seventh seed… but they picked each others game right from the get go and and they play an unselfish type of basketball, sharing the ball and looking for the very best shot avaliable, that trully is unusual in the Pro game.

      u gotta Love these ‘new’ Nuggets! great ‘feel-good’ story for the League!

      P.S: bom artigo cristóvão