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Tag:Raymond Felton
Posted on: February 21, 2011 11:50 pm
Edited on: February 22, 2011 12:59 am
 

Melo trade: No one man should have all that power

Carmelo Anthony is a New York Knick, and it's clear that he's been the one running the show from the beginning. But is that a good thing or a bad thing?
Posted by Matt Moore

It's over. It's finally over. Carmelo Anthony has been traded to the New York Knicks along with Chauncey Billups, Shelden Williams, and Anthony Carter for Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, and Timofey Mozgov, along with the Knicks' 2014 first round pick according to Ken Berger of CBSSports.com.  

And for Melo? He wins. Beyond everything else, beyond the Nuggets' posturing and threats, beyong New York's cool stance which evaporated into dust, and beyond the desperate attempts by the Nets, including an embarassing crawl back into talks over All-Star Weekend, Carmelo Anthony won.  He got what he wanted, to go to a major market and play next to a star in Amar'e Stoudemire. He got it how he wanted it, under an extension to provide him with financial security under a max deal. And he got it when he wanted it, before the new CBA could be put in place, improving chances that he'll get to hold on to as much money as possible. 

It's day 236 of the Melodrama, and that's the last time we're going to use that phrase. Anthony has pulled off one of the most stunning coups by a player in recent history, and managed to only need eight months to get it done. So, good work there, Melo. Next time, throw us a bone and pull it off a little faster? Actually, we take that back. Don't ever do this to us again. Ever. Please. We're literally begging you. 

This trade represents the extension of what started this summer with "The Decision" and LeBron James and Chris Bosh being wined and dined by executives with proposals, plans, and fan initiatives. We're in a new era, and the players are running the shots. Perhaps that more than anything signifies the key clash involved in this summer's CBA talks. Anthony was able to not only demand a trade from a playoff team, but designate where he wanted to go, and have it done the season he wanted to go. 

We'll never know for sure if Anthony was willing to leave the money on the table to go to New York had he not been traded, nor will we know if he would have accepted a trade to the Nets had the Knicks not gave in and essentially offered up everything but their own children in this deal. What we know is that Melo now joins Amar'e Stoudemire, and that in and of itself is exciting, and weird. 

Carmelo Anthony has a usage rate of 32.5% of all possessions, while Amar'e has a usage of 31.7%. Those are obscene numbers for taking up possessions.  The two are going to have to now work alongside the biggest stars they have ever played with. Melo wanted to be a big star on the big stage, but let's be clear. Amar'e Stoudemire did not go to New York to be a sidekick. We'll have to see how they work alongside together and how Melo adapts to the high pace of Mike D'Antoni's system which also emphasises ball movement. This isn't going to be seamless. Yes, Melo was acquired and yes, he is the star jewel they wanted to add (one of three, it would seem). But there is a degree of concern here and all that's before we look at New York as a team

But all that's for another day. This is a big day of victory for Melo, for CAA, for Leon Rose, and the ever-expanding power of the William Wesley power base, who have just extricated an All-Star from his team and moved him to the team they wanted to move him to. You have to appreciate how Melo's handled all this, even if he started to crack at the end. He's managed not to get fined through this entire process. Think about that. All these questions, all this pressure, all this nonsense, and he managed not to get fined once for his comments. He also managed not to alienate the Nuggets into trading him somewhere he didn't want to go, and managed to secure meetings with Knicks ownership to make him feel good about the future. 

Is this a good thing? We've got Chris Paul in New Orleans, Dwight Howard in Orlando, and Deron Williams in Utah. They're all capable of being free agents in 2012. And a pattern has been set. Sure, it was annoying for Melo for a few months, and hard on his team. But in the end, Anthony got what he wanted, and gets to reap the rewards of playing in a major market and all the endorsements that go along with it. The parties, the glamor, all of it. Of course, he may have set back his ability to win a title because of what was required to get him, but he won't be blamed for that. He'll get to enjoy it, as will his wife La La Vasquez, who has wanted this for a while. 

Behind every man with an inflated sense of self worth is an ambitious woman seeking another television deal.

This is the ultimate empowerment of the athlete, to the degree of forcing teams into decisions they didn't necessarily want to make, and doing so on their terms. A dangerous precedent has been set for NBA players, where the way to win? Team up, even if it means forcing your team to walk the plank. That Denver managed to get out of this with a favorable set of assets is their good fortune, especially after the way they bungled this for six months.  But it doesn't change the fact that Denver's now rebuilding, because Anthony wanted to leave. That's it. No complicated set of initiatives, no overwrought ideas of clashing philosophies, the Nuggets weren't looking to move in a different direction. Melo got what he wanted, when he wanted it, how he wanted it. Welcome to the new NBA landscape of player power plays. 

Now we'll have to see if he's worth even a fraction of the drama (see, we told you we weren't saying it again) he's created for us. 

Welcome to New York, Carmelo. Hope you're ready, because the pressure does not end now. 

For more on our coverage of the Carmelo Anthony trade to New York, check out:

Ken Berger's report on the breaking deal

Royce Young discusses the impact the deal has on the Knicks. 

Ben Golliver hands out trade grades and winners & losers.
Posted on: February 21, 2011 11:35 pm
Edited on: February 22, 2011 9:11 am
 

Melo Trade: Are the Knicks now contenders?

Posted by Royce Young



It happened.

Carmelo Anthony has been traded to the New York Knicks. Finally.

This trade finally happening is kind of like Chinese Democracy. We knew at some point it was coming but now that it is, it's kind of a letdown. Carmelo was going to be a Knickerbocker, it was just a question of what it would take to get him there.

Despite the New Jersey Nets best efforts, Melo was never going anywhere other than Manhattan. Through all the posturing, all the leveraging, all the nonsense, we finally have the resolution we knew was coming when Ken Berger reported that Melo wanted to be a Knick way back in September.

The cost of getting Melo might be that the Knicks front office has been doused in gasoline and one little spark will blow the whole thing up. The Knicks tried to say they were unified in the plan to acquire the superstar swingman, but by all accounts, James Dolan may have stepped on Donnie Walsh's face in bringing in Isiah Thomas to backdoor the deal. In fact, the deal has Isiah's stamp all over it -- overpaying as a result of knee-jerk reaction.

However, this is a deal the Knicks had to make. Whiffing on Melo simply wasn't an option. Maybe they gave up a bit much, but the Knicks are better today than they were yesterday and that's the whole point.

Whatever the case is, Carmelo will be donning the orange and blue in Madison Square Garden. Here's the framework of the deal, according to Ken Berger:
  • The Wolves will be sending Corey Brewer to the Knicks, while receiving Eddy Curry, Anthony Randolph and $3 million from New York.
The question left begging of course now is, was it worth it for New York to pounce sooner than later? The Knicks have Anthony to go with Amar'e Stoudemire, but with what they had to sacrifice to get the duo, can you really see the additions of Billups and Melo putting New York into the Eastern contender conversation? I mean, a starting five of Billups, Landry Fields, Melo, Stoudemire and (probably) Ronny Turiaf isn't all that bad, is it? Two superstars, a solid veteran point guard, a promising rookie role player and a dirty work center in Turiaf.

But remember: Carmelo Anthony isn't LeBron James. He isn't the kind of player that's automatically going to elevate the player of everyone around him. He's no doubt one of the most gifted scorers in the league and maybe the toughest player to defend in the world. In Mike D'Antoni's system, Anthony will fit better than most think, plus playing alongside Stoudemire gives the Knicks one of the absolute finest inside-out, one-two punches in the league. Still, I can't get on the contender bandwagon. Yet, that is.

We all tooted the same horn when the SuperHeat were formed. Yeah they have LeBron, Wade and Bosh. But if you're going to win, you've got to have the role players. You've got to have the depth. And that's what Pat Riley desperately built in grabbing Mike Miller, Eddie House, Erick Dampier and James Jones. It's a good-enough second unit to supplement the Heat's super trio.

The Knicks on the other hand are dropping four players, two of them young, promising talents in Chandler and Gallinari. Now the depth chart has Shelden Williams seeing big minutes with Toney Douglas, Brewer, Andy Rautins, Balkman and Shawne Williams. Not exactly a championship unit there. I guess on the positive side of things, they finally have that backup point guard they've been looking for. Too bad it's Anthony Carter though.

(An aside: I think Brewer could be an underrated steal for the Knicks. He's a good player that was just never in the right role in Minnesota. He was always pressured to be a scorer rather than playing a specific role tailored to his talents. Now in coming off the bench to spell Anthony and Fields, Brewer can try and assert himself as an athletic defensive stopper, while also finding a bunch of open outside looks in D'Antoni's system.)

I don't think there's any doubt that the Knicks have improved here. At 28-26, they're in the middle of the East. With Anthony and Billups joining Stoudemire, this team is going to battle the Magic for the four-seed the rest of the way. With 28 games remaining, it's not hard to see New York going something like 18-10 and finishing with something like 46 wins, while at the same time being a scary team to play in the postseason.

But a contender? Not yet. That was the issue at hand all along for Walsh. Giving up too much for Melo just didn't make a lot of sense when you were essentially bidding against yourself. The cost might be some tension in the front office, plus a hefty price tag of young talent shipped out to the Rockies.

With a lot of the financial flexibility Walsh fought tooth and nail over the past few years now jeopadized because of the imminent $65 million extension for Melo, how do the Knicks fill out this roster? If the plan is to wait until 2012 to add Deron Williams or Chris Paul, did they really do themselves any favors by making this move now, instead of just remaining patient and making the play for Anthony over the summer?

The Knicks didn't want to take any chances and let their opportunity to land Melo slip through the cracks the way LeBron did. They wanted to pounce now, no matter what the cost was. Yes, they're better. Yes, they're dangerous. I know I'd be nervous if my favorite team were playing them in a seven-game series. Having two top 10 offensive players makes anyone good.

But are they actually a legitimate threat to unseat the Celtics or challenge the Bulls or Heat? Hardly. Just like they were yesterday before this deal was made, they're still a year or two away.

-- For more on our coverage of the Carmelo Anthony trade to New York, check out:

Ken Berger's report on the breaking deal

Matt Moore examines the danger of giving all that power to one player.

Ben Golliver hands out trade grades and winners & losers .
Posted on: February 19, 2011 4:47 pm
Edited on: February 19, 2011 8:21 pm
 

Nets' Melo talks are contradicting as always

Nets owner releases statement he will not meet with Carmelo Anthony as report surfaces Anthony has yet again informed those close to him he will not sign an extension to play for New Jersey. 
Posted by Matt Moore

Update 8:10 p.m.: The New York Daily News is reporting that Melo will meet with Prokhorov tonight. Of course they are. Yahoo! confirms the report. Of course they do. Melo and Prokhorov have been lying through their teeth about these meetings all weekend, so this doesn't come as a shock. But Melo's consistently been reported to be very reticent about joining the Nets. If Prokhorov has his audience, he's got one shot to salvage this thing. 


It certainly looks like the Russian got played. Again. Significant developments occurred Saturday to indicate that the Nets' revived efforts to trade for Carmelo Anthony are either dead, or dying.  Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov released a statement through his spokesperson Saturday afternoon saying: 
Mikhail has not met with and has no plans to meet with Carmelo Anthony. He is looking forward to enjoying All Star Weekend. We will have nothing else to add on this.
via The Bergen Record: In the 'Zzone.

Anthony confirmed to NBA FanHouse that he had no plans to meet with Prokhorov, either. 


This is then followed by a report from the New York Times that Anthony has, once again, reasserted that he will not sign an extension in the event of a trade to the New Jersey Nets, effectively eliminating them from the race, if accurate. This has been Anthony's position for a while as CBSSports.com's Ken Berger has reported. And by "fora while", I mean "since September." Throughout multiple efforts by the Nets to acquire Anthony, each time he has backed away from the idea of signing the extension with the Nets. And each time the Nets have come crawling back through the door, even after Prokhorov said he was done the first time. 

So the Times reports Anthony won't sign the extension, and in the same time frame Prokhorov releases a statement saying he has not met and will not meet with Anthony.  That's the sound of damage control.  

Honestly, Prokhorov should never have OK'd anyone from the Nets to get involved again. From the beginning there was talk that the Nuggets were using the Nets to apply pressure on the Knicks to beef up their offer,  a plan which seems to have worked. The Nets swallowed their pride in the hopes of getting the superstar they've covete, and instead have wound up as nothing more than a pawn for the Nuggets to extract more assets from the Knicks, when the Knicks know they maintain leverage.  The Nets now look weak from multiple angles, as a franchise free agents don't want to play for, as a front office easily manipulated, and a team desperate to gut its roster for a star who at the very least is signficantly reticent to join them. Having secret meetings while denying any involvement doesn't really work if everyone and the world knows that Jay-Z is in town and looking to meet with Prokhorov and Anthony. Even if the Nets do land Melo, it's been a bungled approach from the start, and that's before you consider they've essentially offered all the tea in China for him to the Nuggets. And even that hasn't achieved their goal. 

Then again, every report that comes out contradicts the one before it, so Anthony could be a Net by sundown and I wouldn't be surprised. The Knicks' latest offer includes Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, and a first round draft pick via Minnesota (in exchange for Anthony Randolph). 


Posted on: February 17, 2011 9:35 am
Edited on: February 17, 2011 9:36 am
 

Report: Nuggets want Knicks' farm for Melo

Report indicates Nuggets asked Knicks for four of top six players including Raymond Felton, Wilson Chandler, and Gallinari.
Posted by Matt Moore



Photo via Getty Images, illustration via Eye on Basketball. Laughs out loud via Masai Ujiri.

Basically, the next things Masai Ujiri's going to ask for are the fillings out of Donnie Walsh's teeth and Mike D'Antoni's mustache. That's pretty much all that's left for them to ask in exchange for Melo if a report out of New York Times is accurate. From the Times

According to a Knicks official, Denver wants Raymond Felton, Landry Fields, Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari — four of their top six players — for Carmelo Anthony and an aging Chauncey Billups. The Nuggets have also asked about Timofey Mozgov.
via Knicks Making Progress. Will They Make a Deal? - NYTimes.com.

Oh, and the New York Post reports that first-rounder via the Timberwolves for Anthony Randolph is a requisite, too. Next on the list are "all the tea in China," "Fort Knox," "a pet Chupacabra" and "the top floor of the Empire State Building."  This is an absurd asking price, even as a starter, even for an All-Star starter. The Nuggets apparently think that Carmelo Anthony can play every position on the floor except point guard and power forward.  The Knicks would never surrender Gallinari and Fields in any scenario, not when one is a high-upside, high-percentage perimeter threat and the other is in the top five for Rookie of the Year. Raymond Felton is even a stretch, even if they were getting Chauncey Billups back in the deal. This isn't just too much. It's what happens when you ask for too much, then decide to throw in some extra wishes on top. 

This is pretty much the model of what Masai Ujiri has done in these negotiations. Ask for too much, from a position of weakness, then ask for more. We're fairly certain if the Knicks had somehow, someway agreed to that deal, Ujiri would have then asked for the Rockettes. 

As Ken Berger reported Wednesday, Knicks GM Donnie Walsh won't be freaking out over these talks. If Denver wants to continue throwing out ridiculous price tags in an effort to get a steal right up until the last minute, he's content to let them stimmer in their own absurd demands. The Knicks stomped the fourth-seeded Hawks last night to get a much needed win, will be making the playoffs regardless, and the future is bright with or without Melo. The fact that Denver is desperate enough to be trying to get what amounts to one of the most ridiculous deals this side of the Pau Gasol trade actually only further puts into relief how much they're flirting with disaster here. 

Even if they've moved towards a reasonable compromise from this starting position, you have to wonder just who it is that Masai Ujiri thinks he's got here. Melo is a top talent. An All-Star. But no rings, little defense, and not a legend. 

But apparently he's got a legend's asking price. 

No one's giving up that much for Carmelo Anthony, except Isiah Thomas. And he's not calling the shots. Yet
Posted on: February 17, 2011 9:35 am
Edited on: February 17, 2011 9:36 am
 

Report: Nuggets want Knicks' farm for Melo

Report indicates Nuggets asked Knicks for four of top six players including Raymond Felton, Wilson Chandler, and Gallinari.
Posted by Matt Moore



Photo via Getty Images, illustration via Eye on Basketball. Laughs out loud via Masai Ujiri.

Basically, the next things Masai Ujiri's going to ask for are the fillings out of Donnie Walsh's teeth and Mike D'Antoni's mustache. That's pretty much all that's left for them to ask in exchange for Melo if a report out of New York Times is accurate. From the Times

According to a Knicks official, Denver wants Raymond Felton, Landry Fields, Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari — four of their top six players — for Carmelo Anthony and an aging Chauncey Billups. The Nuggets have also asked about Timofey Mozgov.
via Knicks Making Progress. Will They Make a Deal? - NYTimes.com.

Oh, and the New York Post reports that first-rounder via the Timberwolves for Anthony Randolph is a requisite, too. Next on the list are "all the tea in China," "Fort Knox," "a pet Chupacabra" and "the top floor of the Empire State Building."  This is an absurd asking price, even as a starter, even for an All-Star starter. The Nuggets apparently think that Carmelo Anthony can play every position on the floor except point guard and power forward.  The Knicks would never surrender Gallinari and Fields in any scenario, not when one is a high-upside, high-percentage perimeter threat and the other is in the top five for Rookie of the Year. Raymond Felton is even a stretch, even if they were getting Chauncey Billups back in the deal. This isn't just too much. It's what happens when you ask for too much, then decide to throw in some extra wishes on top. 

This is pretty much the model of what Masai Ujiri has done in these negotiations. Ask for too much, from a position of weakness, then ask for more. We're fairly certain if the Knicks had somehow, someway agreed to that deal, Ujiri would have then asked for the Rockettes. 

As Ken Berger reported Wednesday, Knicks GM Donnie Walsh won't be freaking out over these talks. If Denver wants to continue throwing out ridiculous price tags in an effort to get a steal right up until the last minute, he's content to let them stimmer in their own absurd demands. The Knicks stomped the fourth-seeded Hawks last night to get a much needed win, will be making the playoffs regardless, and the future is bright with or without Melo. The fact that Denver is desperate enough to be trying to get what amounts to one of the most ridiculous deals this side of the Pau Gasol trade actually only further puts into relief how much they're flirting with disaster here. 

Even if they've moved towards a reasonable compromise from this starting position, you have to wonder just who it is that Masai Ujiri thinks he's got here. Melo is a top talent. An All-Star. But no rings, little defense, and not a legend. 

But apparently he's got a legend's asking price. 

No one's giving up that much for Carmelo Anthony, except Isiah Thomas. And he's not calling the shots. Yet
Posted on: February 15, 2011 10:32 am
 

Report: Knicks turned down Denver offer for Melo

Posted by Royce Young

According to the New York Daily News, a deal was on the table between the Knicks and Nuggets, but New York turned it down. The Knicks would've received Carmelo Anthony while they were sending Danilo Gallinari, Raymond Felton, Eddy Curry and at least one first-round pick.

Donnie Walsh and Mike D'Antoni both agreed that was too steep a price to pay. Also headed to New York in that deal was Chauncey Billups, but that really didn't sweeten the pot for New York.

The Knicks were wise to rebuff the Nuggets on that deal. Giving up Gallinari, Felton, a first-rounder and Curry's corpse is a bit much when they know they can get Melo anyway. I do think if you swapped Wilson Chandler in for Gallinari and took Felton and Billups out of the deal, this thing would get done. That appears to be more of a realistic trade that the Knicks would agree to. The Nuggets wouldn't be happy, but that's the way it is.

Also in the report is that the Nuggets are most interested in making a deal with either New York or Chicago. The Rockets and Mavericks are in the discussion, but those are long shots. And of course the Nuggets could call back the Nets, but that's probably going nowhere.

The Knicks are running a small risk here if they don't go ahead and reel in Carmelo. First, Anthony might decide he doesn't want to lose money in free agency. Ken Berger wrote yesterday, "Under the owners' proposal, Anthony would only be eligible for a four-year, $47 million deal with New York as an unrestricted free agent." That's almost $20 million. That's a lot.

And Marc Stein of ESPN tweeted that the Nuggets might try and keep Anthony because of the potential for a franchise tag rule in the new CBA.

So there's definitely cause for the Knicks to act sooner than later. There's a lot of posturing going on and it's hard to know what's going on, but I firmly believe Carmelo Anthony will be a New York Knick come Feb. 25. It's just going to take a better deal than this one.
Posted on: February 3, 2011 7:44 pm
Edited on: February 3, 2011 7:49 pm
 

NBA All-Star Game snubs: No love for Love

Who were the biggest snubs for the All-Star game, after the reserves were announced ?
Posted by Royce Young and Matt Moore




As it is every year, some worthy candidates were left out of the All-Star game reserves list. But this year, those left out had more legitimate complaints than usual. Here then are three snubs from the Eastern and Western Conference. 

Eastern Conference

Honestly, the Eastern coaches got it all right. It's hard to really say there's a true snub in the East. Going through though, there certainly are a couple players that have a case. Especially since the whole team is made up of the Celtics and Heat

Josh Smith : Probably the biggest snub has to be Josh Smith. Problem is, who do you remove? Smith though is having probably his best season, averaging 16. 2 points and 8.8 rebounds per game. His defense is well documented but what he's shown off his is versatility this season. Because of injuries, Smith has played small forward, power forward and even some center.

As a key cog in the Hawks machine, Smith has figured out how to play perfectly next to Al Horford and Joe Johnson. There's always a lot of talk about other big threes throughout the league, but there's no reason not to include the trio in Atlanta. Smith has cut down on the dumb shots, is playing well inside and in transition, is maybe the most dynamic finisher out there. Plus, having him in the All-Star Game would be a treat. Can you picture a fast break of Smith, Derrick Rose and LeBron James? I can and it's pretty awesome. 

Andrew Bogut:  Seeing that the East only has one real center on the roster, Bogut makes a lot of sense. It's tough to move off Horford, but you certainly can make a case for Bogut replacing Paul Pierce or even Ray Allen, since the East is stacked with wings.

Bogut has been injured all season as he hasn't totally recovered from elbow surgery, but he's still averaging a double-double and is one of the best defenders in the league. Plus, Bogut deserves a ton of credit for fighting the way he has. Despite suffering a brutal injury last season, Bogut has battled inside and is putting up comparable numbers to last year even though he can't totally use his right arm entirely. That's impressive.

The Bucks record hurts (19-28) which is probably the biggest reason Bogut was snubbed. If the Bucks are a contender or even a current playoff team in the East, it's almost impossible to keep him off this roster. 

Raymond Felton: A month ago, Felton had a really good case to be on this team. But the last few weeks, he just hasn't played well. And that sort of things hurts because that's the period where coaches were casting their ballots.

However, it's hard to ignore the impact Felton has had on the New York offense. He's still averaging almost 18 points and nine assists a game, which is up there in point guard ranks. He's shooting the 3-ball really well and runs the pick-and-roll as beautifully as anyone. Having Amar'e Stoudemire obviously helps, but still, Felton has executed.

The West is carrying three point guards and the East only has two. So it makes sense to add Felton and take over Pierce or Allen, but it's a tough call to make just because of Felton's position. Fact is though, he's been a huge part in the Knicks first half resurgence which scores extra points with me.

Honorable Outrage Mention:
 Carlos Boozer, Luol Deng, Thaddeus Young

Western Conference

LaMarcus Aldridge:  Aldridge has the most legitimate gripe, yes, even more than Kevin Love. Aldridge has had the most team success, and averaged 25 points and 10 rebounds in January . He just dropped 40 on the team with the best record. Aldridge has played masterfully and hasn't had the questions about his defense like Griffin or Love have had. 

Aldridge has become the leader of the Blazers and has arguably the best combination of both size and skill (mid-range, post, perimeter) of any Western forward not named Dirk or Pau this season. He doesn't have the flashy dunks of Griffin, but he's got the wins, which I'm pretty sure the Blakeshow would trade for. And with the Blazers, somehow, someway, still in the playoffs, to exempt Aldridge is to cast a doubt as to whether team performance is only relevant if the player is a known name. 

Kevin Love:  A shocker that he didn't make it.  The NBA's leading rebounder is also averaging 21 points per game to go along with those 15.5 rebounds per game. 15.5. Which is just kind of ridiculous. 

The fact that Love's surrounded by a terrible team assembled by questionable management should not have kept him out. There has been some discussion that Love's stat-hounding ways have turned off coaches and scouts, which may have led to his exclusion. 

Similarly, the Wolves aren't just bad. They're terrible. But if you look at Love's contributions, you have to wonder how much more terrible they would be were he not there. Love can never be accused of taking a night off, and has the first 30 rebound night since Moses Malone. That's quite a long time. Either way, Love has to wonder what more he could have done to wound up on the All-Star squad. 

Zach Randolph: Randolph is the middle of the debate between Aldridge and Love. He averages 20 points and 13 rebounds, which are pretty ridiculous, especially when you factor for pace (23.3% Total Rebound Rate for Love, 21.4% for Randolph). Randolph's team has had more success than Love, though, and recently has surged above .500, closing in on the 8th spot in the West held by Aldridge, thanks mostly to Randolph's performance.

So he has both the rebounding eye-popping numbers of Love and the team success of Aldridge. Throw in the fact that he's a respected veteran who made it last year with similar numbers and it's hard to argue for his exclusion, even with greats like Duncan and phenoms like Griffin in play.

Honorable Outrage Mention: Lamar Odom, Monta Ellis, Steve Nash, Tony Parker
Posted on: January 28, 2011 11:31 pm
 

Video: Knicks, Hawks fight leads to ejections

Members of the New York Knicks and Atlanta Hawks exchanges punches during a fight on Friday night. Posted by Ben Golliver.

Members of the New York Knicks and Atlanta Hawks got into a fight that involved the exchanging of punches during the final minute of the fourth quarter of their game Friday night. 

Hawks forward Marvin Williams and Knicks forward Shawne Williams got tangled up during a Hawks possessions. Marvin Williams shoved Shawne Williams with two hands in the back, and then again in the chest, which led Knicks forward Landry Fields to attempt to restrain Marvin Williams from behind. Unfortunately, this just made Marvin Williams a sitting duck for a Shawne Williams punch attempt, which Marvin Williams ducked and then threw a counter punch, which also missed. 

Knicks forward Amar'e Stoudemire hopped in the middle and attempted to play peace-maker and, pretty soon, both teams rallied around the combatants as they continued to square off near the free throw line. Marvin Williams kept on with the shoving and was eventually restrained by teammate Al Horford, while one of the game officials and Raymond Felton managed to get Shawne Williams out of the fracas.

Both Marvin Williams and Shawne Williams were ejected. The Hawks went on to win, 111-102.

Here's video of the fight, which will surely result in fines and suspensions for both Marvin Williams and Shawne Williams, courtesy of YouTube user TylerMC17.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com