The end of the Nuggets/Nets game (28-27 seconds left in the game) I noticed something happening that I've seen a few times this year. I saw Chauncey Billups screaming at Melo to pass the ball (Al Harrington and AAA were wide open), I saw this too when I was at the Knicks game this past Tuesday. I'm thinking that there's a correlation between Billups shooting a lot more with Melo's "Black hole offense"
One thing that we can agree on that's been frustrating every DenverStiffs member is Billups' willingness to chuck the 3 pointer at a JR Smith'esque rate. I think it's because Chauncey is fed up with Melo hogging the ball. Billups must think that he has a better chance of scoring (Which hasn't been the case with his slump, but he seems to be coming out of it). I don't know if you've notice, but Billups is a much better passer when Melo is on the bench. I understand that Melo is the No. 1 option so he should be demanding the ball a lot, but like the Nets game he almost cost us the game with that jumpshot that bricked off the rim instead of passing to a wide open Al or Afflalo.
Bill Simmons wrote an article about a year and half ago and foretold potential problem bringing Chauncey Billups in with Carmelo Anthony, who's team does this become? We always thought that "Hey it's Melo team, he's made us relevant this past 7 years", but it wasn't until Chauncey came in and the Nuggets surprised the NBA but beating the hell out of the Hornets, the Mavs and taking the Lakers to the brink that the Nuggets were then considered "Contenders".
Look at last year, the stretch where Melo missed 10 or so games with a bum elbow the Nuggets didn't miss a beat. Remember the Lakers game on the road, where Chauncey and JR made it rain and we shockingly upset the Lakers without Melo? I think that was the beginning of the end of the Melo era for the Nuggets. It showed that A.) This is starting to be Chauncey's team, B.) They could win without him in the lineup. Now I'm not saying that the Nuggets can be contenders without Melo, but that seed was planted in Melo's mind.
Chauncey's biggest success came with the Detroit Pistons, they were an anomaly because they didn't have a "superstar" on the team. They were a team that focused on defense and team play and they were a successful franchise before Joe Dumars decided to blow it all up and "rebuild". Think of those Pistons as the "New England Patriots" Which I think Stan Kroenke likes and is going to try to build a team using a "Team first" mentality which does not promote individual play (Which Melo would not like). I think Masai is definitely on board with this (Getting burned by Bosh in Toronto) and this appeals to Kroenke since this philosophy wouldn't be prone to big loss when a player leaves (Just plug someone else in to the system)
I could get into the possible philosophy that Kroenke and Masai could get into but I'll save that for another post. But I think it's a forgone conclusion that Melo is gone, we could sign a big but I don't really think that will happen and I think the FO knows that which is why we haven't heard anything about a trade to bring a big in, just Melo speculation trade.
What do you think?