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Tag:Denver Nuggets
Posted on: October 21, 2010 1:26 am
Edited on: October 21, 2010 1:29 am
 

NBA Northwest Division preview

The CBSSports.com NBA Facts and Rumors team previews each of the NBA's six divisions. First up: the Southeast.  Posted by Matt Moore.

The Burning Question: Just how big is the Melo question in this division?

Will he be here? Will he be gone? Will Denver retool? Rebuild? Firesale everything but the walls and sell those for scrap? If he is there, will he be a distraction? Will it be business as usual? Are we confident the Nuggets can contend even if he's still in Denver? Are we sure? Are we confused? Angry? Hungry? Who's hungry? 

Last year Denver went 12-4 in this division. The other three cannibalistic playoff teams in this division went 25-23 combined. So Denver's got a lot to say about who wins this division. The problem is, of course, we have no idea what we're going to get when mid-November rolls around and teams have shaken off the early rust or shine and are revealed to be what they actually are.  If Carmelo Anthony is still in Denver at that time, as it appears he very well may be, this team could lead the division, further scuttling Melo's trade prospects. Conversely, if Anthony's gone and Denver's decided to go all Jericho and rebuild their society, then things could get pretty crazy in the rest of the division.

Melo was the biggest star in this division over the past several years, but now that Kevin Durant has eclipsed him as the next great scoring forward, there's more talk than ever about what exactly it is that Melo provides this team. And that question is going to be examined even closer this year as Kenyon Martin is out till January and Chris Anderson till December. The complimentary pieces that were brought in to surround Melo are injured and Chauncey Billups isn't getting any younger. Meanwhile J.R. Smith is still J.R. Smith for better or worse, and this team is always a half second away from going into full-on mental chemistry meltdown. 

The Thunder should be improved, but can they topple a veteran group that knows how to win night in and night out like Denver? Utah's got Al Jefferson, but can they overcome their injury issues to maintain a consistency like Denver has? And if we want to talk about injuries, take Portland's training staff. Please. Ba-dum, ching. No?

If Denver goes down the tubes, there will be a team to fill the void. The only question is if that team will simply be vacating an open spot or legitimately taking the spot Denver had been tagged for a year ago, that of de facto Western challenger to LA. 

What Berger Says: 


CBS Sports Senior Writer Ken Berger previews the Southeast Division.
Everything is in flux with the Melo situation still unresolved. So the spectrum of what could go right for the Nuggets looks like this: A) Clinging to the scant hope that Anthony can be persuaded to stay; or B) Getting the best possible deal for him. There's little reason to have any faith that A can happen. So the Nuggets will continue to explore trade possibilities, which will force them to decide whether it's possible to trade Melo in a deal that saves money and keeps them in contention (no), or saves money and sets them up for the best possible future. Either way, it looks to me like the Nuggets' ascent has ended before they reached their full potential.



And Now, A Non-Sequiter:

Anyone else feel like Kyrylo Fesenko would be the worst roommate in the world? Young, inexperienced, probably always asking questions. He's a jokester, which is fine when you're hanging out but gets old real quick.  Dude probably steals your toothpaste, too. No? Just me? Okay. Just checking. 

VIDEO OF SUPREME PREVIEW SUPREMACY: 
Posted on: October 20, 2010 8:17 pm
Edited on: October 20, 2010 8:29 pm
 

Knicks are moving on Melo, but is it smart?

Posted by Royce Young

Ken Berger of CBSSports.com has pulled in a bunch of new information about the potential of Carmelo Anthony to New York (or to somewhere) and it's not as easy as it might seem. The gist is though, the Nuggets appear more ready than ever to move Carmelo, but want to do it on their time, not his. 

The Nuggets are still hoping that Anthony will have a change of heart and a good start can convince him maybe Denver is the place to be. Of course as Ken points out, that could certainly backfire as the Nuggets are looking at opening the season without Kenyon Martin or Chris Andersen. A bad start could mean Carmelo actually starts saying he wants out now.

And according to Berger's report, the Knicks don't have a deal nearly as attractive to the Nuggets as what New Jersey would have. David Aldridge of NBA.com reports the Knicks story has "no legs" to it. And that's even with the Knicks really sweetening the pot.

So it doesn't look like a deal is as close as it might seem. But let's still ask the question: Should the Knicks be making this kind of effort? In the proposed talks, New York would be losing Anthony Randolph, Danilo Gallinari, a first-round pick they acquired from someone and Eddy Curry's valuable contract. But they would get Carmelo Anthony. Is that a good deal for the Knicks?

In a lot of ways, yes. Anthony is a huge star, will bring a ton of attention to the Knicks and paired with Amar'e Stoudemire, they'll have a nice team. Carmelo is a player capable of winning some on his own but adding in a talented guy like Stoudemire just means that this team could be pretty solid.

But if New York trades away Gallinari and Randolph, plus the assets that could potentially improve the team more down the line, what's left? They'd have Carmelo, Amar'e, Ray Felton and...? I'm drawing a blank. Unless players like Wilson Chandler, Timofey Mozgov and Toney Douglas have abilities hidden within that they're waiting to break out, aren't we just kind of looking at a situation similar to what the Cavs faced all those years with LeBron? Granted, Stoudemire is better than any castmate LeBron had, but Carmelo isn't the same caliber player LeBron is.

The Knicks obviously are dying for Carmelo. And since they know he wants to be there, they're willing to do what it takes. Randolph is a talented player, but unproven. Understandable sending him. The first-round pick, no big deal. Curry's contract is a nice asset, but you've got to give up good stuff to get back good stuff. Gallinari is where it's easy to get a little hung up. He's not a superstar, but he screams Excellent Role Player.

Plus, when you read some accounts of Anthony's game, are we really so sure he's the superstar player we think he is? For instance, Jeremy Wagner of Roundball Mining Company had a nice takedown of Anthony's game in which Zach Lowe of SI's The Point Forward expanded on. The conclusion appears to be that yes, Carmelo Anthony is a good player. A bedrock superstar though, he is not.

The Knicks aren't necessarily selling the farm to acquire Anthony. But Gallinari is a high price to pay because he's New York's most valuable trade piece. Tough call.

If the Knicks were willing to risk it and wait, maybe the Nuggets would take less at the trade deadline. Or there's potential Anthony doesn't go anywhere and just becomes a free agent next summer and can choose wherever he wants to go. Then nobody would have to give up anything to get him. Denver is practicing patience with Anthony, hoping they can convince him to hang around. Maybe the Knicks should hope he does too.
Posted on: October 20, 2010 12:27 pm
Edited on: October 20, 2010 12:28 pm
 

MeloDrama Update: Knicks back in the act?

Melo talks swinging towards New York, away from New Jersey. Posted by Matt Moore

So the season starts in a week, and Melo is still a Nugget. Will he stay there?

After our own Ken Berger reported last week that the Nuggets remain intent on moving him, there's word picking up that the Knicks may be getting back into the talks. Chris Sheridan reports that the Knicks are trying to work out a deal to move either Danilo Gallinari or Anthony Randolph to acquire a player that the Nuggets have more of an interest in. It's a curious report, in that you'd think that either A. Denver would be satisfied with a young forward with either shooting prowess or considerable athleticism, or if they did want one of those moved for an asset, it would be a draft pick they'd be shopping for. 

New York's pick this season was held by Utah due to the last of Isiah Thomas' genius maneuvers. In trying to clear space to bring in one of the Big 3 free agents, the Knicks obtained Tracy McGrady's expring contract from Houston. In return, they had to agree to a pick swap this year and to give Houston its 2012 pick as well. Teams are restricted from trading consecutive first rounders. 

If the Nuggets move Anthony, they'll be in a rebuilding mode. And while acquiring good players is good for the ticket sales, it's draft picks and movable assets that will help them get back into contention through a rebuilding process. 

It's still hard to see a scenario in which the Knicks can get back into this thing, unless the Nuggets are beginning to relent to Melo's pressure to move him, and move him where he wants. 

There are numerous reports that the Derrick Favors angle that would send Anthony to New Jersey is dead, based off of both the Nuggets and Nets backing off. Favors looked good in the second half against New York last night, after a dreadful preseason, so both sides have reasons to walk away from the deal. 

After seeing the Knicks in preseason, it would actually be kind of unfortunate to see Anthony wind up in New York at the cost of their young nucleus. Randolph and Gallinari provide a nice balance to each other's games, Stoudemire looks every bit the superstar they signed him to be, and Timofey Mozgov looks like a promising center prospect. Even Raymond Felton looked like the guard they need him to be for the first time last night. Adding Melo would give them a second superstar and a major scoring threat, but would also damage their flexibility and versatility, things which are important in Mike D'Antoni's system. 

We'll have to see if the Knicks feel they have to strike while the iron is hot or not. 
Posted on: October 20, 2010 9:44 am
Edited on: October 20, 2010 11:48 am
 

Shootaround 10.20.10: Knocked and slapped

Knicks knocking at the Melo door again, Childress knocked out with a bad digit, and Evan Turner slapped in the face, all in today's shootaround.
Posted by Matt Moore


We'll have more this morning on a report from ESPN NY's Chris Sheridan that the Knicks are back in the Melo chase . One thought off the bat. They can trade for a player the Nuggets want more, but unless they land a draft pick they're still toast. The McGrady trade keeps stubbing Donnie Walsh's toe.

Knickerblogger is concerned that Raymond Felton may not be much of an improvement over Chris Duhon. Last night was a particularly strong showing from Felton, and he looked very much like the kind of point guard the Knicks have needed for years.

A breakdown of the postions in Rick Adelman's system. The focus on the big in the pinch post is going to be why Brad Miller will be so comfy there.

Lots of coaches with health concerns this week. Doc Rivers had a test come back negative for cancer , which is great news. Doug Collins missed last night's Sixers game while dealing with lingering effects of a concussion .

Josh Childress fractured a finger last night and out at least a week but it won't be too long. It's ridiculous that these guys play at this level with broken fingers.

Ted Leonsis thinks Josh Howard is a respected leader . There's lots of mockery this morning about that, but people forget that despite his off-court issues, he's thought of well by teammates, and that guys like Stephen Jackson are perennial captains for their teams.

Jerry West thinks maybe he should have drafted Amar'e Stoudemire instead of Drew Gooden. In other news, I should have had oatmeal this morning instead of eating rusty nuts and bolts from a '75 Chevy.

Al Harrington says he'll be ready for opening night . No word on whether his defense is making a similar commitment.

Marcus Thornton's in a slump, which shouldn't surprise people . Shootres in their second year take a step back sometimes, and the fact that he's got a new coach and a new offensive system probably complicates things as well.

And here's Evan Turner getting slapped with baby powder. So that happened.


Posted on: October 15, 2010 3:42 pm
Edited on: October 15, 2010 5:55 pm
 

Friday 5 With KB: Techs, STAT, and MeloDrama



CBSSports.com's Ken Berger discusses the tech debate, Amar'e Stoudemire's MSG debut, the Celtics' depth, and the continuing MeloDrama about Carmelo Anthony.

Posted by Matt Moore

Each week we'll be bringing you five questions for our own Ken Berger of CBSSports.com about the inside happenings of the league. This week, Ken talks about the Celtics' depth, this ridiculous tech debate, and drops some knowledge on the latest happenings in the Carmelo Anthony trade discussions. You can email your questions to the Friday 5 With KB at cbssportsnba@gmail.com or hit us up on Twitter at @cbssportsnba.

1. Obviously the big story this week is about the technical fouls and Kevin Garnett's ejection which you wrote about. Do you see the league trying to take this hard of a line when the season starts or will they back off to make sure we don't have Garnett tossed on opening night against Miami?

Ken Berger, CBSSports.com: Both sides are going to have to adjust and find some sort of middle ground. The NBPA put its cards on the table Thursday by threatening legal action over the league's clampdown on complaining. On one hand, this is a way for the union to force the league to make the next move and soften its stance. With the CBA showdown looming, I don't see that happening. In fact, by doing exactly what the league is trying to eliminate -- complaining -- the players may have actually caused the league office to dig in even harder on its desire to enforce the new rules. There's no comment or response from league executives yet regarding the players' lawsuit threat. I suspect the NBA will publicly ignore the players' complaint, but privately urge the officials to lighten up a bit. I think players, officials and fans will agree that blatant bullying and demonstrative complaining should result in a tech. It's unrealistic to think that spontaneous outbursts -- a fist pump, a clap, a shrug, and "and-one" gesture -- can be legislated out of the game. Another undesirable result of teeing up every player who disagrees with a call will be the shutting down of communication between players and refs. A little give-and-take is vital to keeping the game moving and letting the players feel as though they have a voice. Trying to force the players to clam up and become robots will only heighten their frustration, lead to more techs and ejections, and make for a bad, bad scene.

2. The other story this week is the continuing saga of the idiocy that is Gilbert Arenas. Flip Saunders talked about how disappointed he was in Arenas, and that seems like such a shame because Saunders has gone out of his way to try and embrace Arenas back into the fold. Is this going to to renew the Wizards' efforts to move him, no matter how difficult that may be?

KB: The problem is this: Washington's best chance to trade Arenas would be if he proved right away that he's OK mentally and physically. He's 0-for-2 so far -- faking an injury and getting fined, and then actually getting hurt in the very next game. So until Arenas can stay on the court, tone down the distractions and prove that he's still capable of playing at an All-Star level, the Wizards are stuck with him and the $80 million he's owed. He has to do that consistently; I'm told that any teams that may be interested in taking a chance need to see a body of work consisting of at least a month or two with effective play and no shenanigans before they'll be willing to consider it.

3. Amar'e certainly looked good against the Celtics, even during the brief period Garnett was on the floor. Raymond Felton seems to be struggling with him in the pick and roll, but is it possible that Stoudemire (gasp) actually doesn't need Steve Nash in order to be a top flight power forward in this league?


KB: You're right. If he stays healthy, Stoudemire will put up immense numbers in New York. Mike D'Antoni's offense has been like a giant fan with nowhere to blow the air. Stoudemire is the outlet the system has been craving. It will take time for Felton and Stoudemire to achieve anything that resembles chemistry; and it hasn't helped that Felton embraced his new team, new power forward and new system by showing up barely a week before camp, and overweight, at that.

4. Boston's depth seems like it's going to be better than it has been in years. If that's the case, they're going to rest starters even more than last year, right?


KB: That's the plan, but Doc Rivers is ready for the plan to change. The players he's most concerned with health-wise aren't Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. They're the role players, such as the role players named O'Neal. Rivers already has admitted publicly that it's unrealistic to think the Celtics can make it through the regular season without injuries. Once Kendrick Perkins comes back, Jermaine O'Neal will go to the bench, but he won't be any less susceptible to aches and pains. I think if Doc could shave a minute or three off Pierce's and Allen's averages from last season -- 34 and 35, respectively -- he'd feel good about it going into the postseason. Keeping Garnett around 29 minutes -- his average last season -- is probably about right, given that he's healthier than he was at any point in 2009-10. The big concern is with the aging bigs. Doc is going to have to be careful with anyone named O'Neal.

5. The Blazers got outed this week as one of the failed participants in the last gasps of the Carmelo four-way. Miller's got to be getting tired of being on the block, especially after only a little more than a year with Portland. Is that situation going to go anywhere any time soon?

KB: The Melo talks never stopped; they've just quieted down. New Jersey has continued to engage in discussions with Denver, though there's been little progress over the past week or so. Rarely does a low-profile front-office hire have a major impact on a franchise-shaping decision, but the Nuggets' hiring of cap whiz Pete D'Alessandro will greatly streamline the Melo negotiations once they Heat up again. One of the biggest problems for teams dealing with Denver was that new GM Masai Ujiri had never put together a trade of such magnitude. His strength is personnel; with Mark Warkentien out of the picture, the Nuggets had nobody well-versed in the complexities of structuring complicated trades. D'Alessandro's knowledge of the CBA and his relationships with other deal-makers around the league will breathe new life into the Melo talks. There may still be philosophical hangups among Denver's convoluted power structure, but at least there will be someone involved who has experience navigating the minefield of NBA trade rules. The Nuggets, Nets, Jazz and Bobcats were close enough to agreeing on a deal that a little tweaking here or there by someone with a strong background in such things would've pushed it to the finish line. It's only a matter of time before it gets to that point again. And once it does, a significant obstacle to completing the original deal won't be a factor anymore.
Posted on: October 15, 2010 11:59 am
 

MeloDrama Update: Clippers are a no-go

Melo still looking for trade, but not to Clippers, because they are the Clippers.
Posted by Matt Moore


Hidden beneath the glossy veneer of Carmelo Anthony's 30-point, 14 rebound performance last night is the fact that the situation regarding Carmelo's trade request still looms over the team. And recent reports suggest the problem is getting worse, not better, despite Melo dropping bombs on the floor.

The Denver Post today reports of a source confirming much of what KB let us in on last week : Melo still wants out, still wants the Knicks (which isn't happening), won't take a trade to the Sixers, and the Bulls deal won't be happening if the Bulls won't give up Joakim Noah (which they won't).
The interesting takeaway from the Post is that Melo won't agree to a trade to the Clippers.

Just to put this in perspective, the superstar who is specifically looking for a trade to a major market to expand his brand refuses to be traded to the NBA's second biggest market, to play alongside Blake Griffin, Eric Gordon, and Baron Davis. There are a lot of reasons, but the biggest rhymes with Stonald Derling.

So while the Clippers are off the table along with the Sixers, Kings, Wolves, and pretty much every other small market team, the Nets keep hanging around, dangling Derrick Favors in all his glorious "might take five years to drag something productive out of him" glory. For whatever reason, the Post's source thinks the Nuggets want Favors. Seems kind of risky to hinge trading your superstar on that kid, but hey. He's supposed to be the next Tim Duncan, or whatever.

Meanwhile, the situation continues to drag on, as Denver tries to figure out what it wants that Melo will agree to. Melo's still dropping huge numbers, so there's not much pressure on them. The question is just who will cave first to the other's requirements.
Posted on: October 12, 2010 1:39 pm
 

A moment of silence for Chris Andersen's inkbeard

Posted by Royce Young



How would one go about describing that? The Birdman finally got his "Free Bird" tattoo colored in and as pointed out on TrueHoop, a commenter on The Basketball Jones probably put it best: "It looks like he’s being choked to death by a psychedelic painting." Indeed.

With the addition of the filled in tattoo scarf, I'd say based on my calculations, Andersen has about 10 square inches of real estate left to cover (that we know of). Honestly, if you look back to even 2009, it's crazy to see how much The Birdman has added. I thought he had a lot of tattoos back then. But compared to now? He was just getting started.

I guess the final frontier for Andersen is his face, but he wouldn't be the first NBA player to go that direction. DeShawn Stevenson already put a backwards "P" and a crack on his last season. Plus, his mock tattooneck is nearly as extreme with a rendering of Abe Lincoln on his throat.

When I was in high school, I kind of wanted a tattoo. My mom would always say, "Yeah but think about when you're 60. Are you really going to want that still?" That sort of talked me out of it. I guess The Birdman's mom never said that to him.
Posted on: October 8, 2010 10:10 am
 

Shootaround 10.8.10: Denver scouting Favors?

Posted by Royce Young
  • Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel: "I watched in open-mouth amazement after Thursday's practice as Howard drained bank-shot after bank-shot, then made some turnaround jumpers. He worked for about 20 minutes with assistant coach Patrick Ewing and center Daniel Orton, catching and shooting. I'm not crazy about his turnaround J. But anything that doesn't make him as predictable as he has been in the crowded paint and draws in defenders can't be all bad."
  • Jeff Pendergraph had a pretty nasty injury last night and today he tweets: "Thanks for the well wishes everyone. Gonna b heading back to Portland tomorrow to get checked out by doc but so far word is nothing major... Keep praying y'all. We will get through this. God doesn't put you through anything he knows you can't handle."
  • Blazersedge looks at Portland's options: "Another option would be to grant Rudy Fernandez's release request, which Cho has repeatedly said he will not do.  He could also release another player. Rookie Armon Johnson, picked in the second round and earning just $473,604 this season, would be the cheapest player to release, but this would be extremely unlikely to happen given how high the team's brass is on Johnson's future and how well he has looked during training camp."
  • Larry Brown on OKC: "I look at him and some of our young guys in the NBA and I think our league's in pretty good shape," Brown started. "And this team (the Thunder) probably is a testimony to that. Look at their young kids. Their not only terrific talents, they're better kids. They've done the greatest job of bringing in good kids that represent the league well. When they're talking about respect for the game, that team's a poster child for that. So the West better watch out."
  • Brian Robb of CelticsHub: "Luke Harangody has yet to show me something besides hustle. We should have just kept Scal if we needed that." Ah, missing Brian Scalabrine. What are the chances you thought you'd see someone say that?
  • What will the Hornets rotation look like? Ryan Schwan of Hornets24/7 says Willie Green has the edge to back up CP3: "It appears Willie Green has locked up the backup position at the point.  Color me surprised.  Every statement out of training camp has indicated he is leading the charge as the backup point guard and relegated DJ Strawberry and Mustafa Shakur to purely end-of-the-bench roles.  I won’t lie.  I worry about Green being able to pull this off.  He’s been a swingman for 95% of his career."
 
 
 
 
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