The Sunday Read is a look at the best Sunday columns around the NBA.
The Denver Nuggets are 9-4 since they traded Carmelo Anthony. The New York Knicks are 7-7 since acquiring him.
Those results have certainly made for a fascinating epilogue to the ‘Melo drama that lasted six months. But do they mean that the Nuggets are a better team without Anthony than they were before him?
Harvey Araton of The New York Times thinks they’re at least better than the Knicks. And though such a series won’t ever be happening, Araton breaks down the matchups between the only two franchises Anthony has played for …
Consider the compelling and contrasting franchise agendas:
By winning 9 of their first 13 games to start the post-Carmelo era, the Nuggets instantly became a testimonial for the superstar-less collective via the power of 12 opportunistic men. By losing twice each to Cleveland and to Indiana, the Knicks made people at least pause to rethink the rush to marry any combination of the league’s most gifted and talented along the presumed path to championship bliss.
These post-trade records are bound to even out some, but the Nuggets wasted little time in crowing about “playing the right way” and being rid of “sticky fingers” and making a full-blown “commitment to defense.”
Meanwhile, after a 119-117 loss to Indiana on Tuesday, Anthony sniped at his teammate Jared Jeffries and questioned Coach Mike D’Antoni’s defensive schemes. During a defeat to the Pistons in Auburn Hills, Mich., Friday night, Anthony shot miserably, 2 for 12, looked distracted and annoyed with teammates and fans and blew off the news media afterward. Fourteen games into his instantly acclaimed Knicks career, these were disturbing signs if not yet a trend.
- Brian T. Smith of The Salt Lake Tribune profiles the new leader of the Utah Jazz, Al Jefferson.
- Mike Monroe of the San Antonio Express News notes how Gregg Popovich has adjusted his game plan as Tim Duncan has aged..
- Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe talks to Michael Redd, who’s excited to be on the brink of playing again.