Nothing to see here. Just another ho hum game in the dog days of the NBA season where the Nuggets play yet another sub-par Eastern Conference team.

What’s that you say? Oh right … it’s the “Carmelo Anthony” game.

The Particulars

Game: 16
11-5 (5-3 on the road)
Streak: Won 3
New York: 6-9 (3-5 at home)
Streak: Lost 5
: Rudy Fernandez (right Achilles strain) is out. DeMarre Carroll (left hamstring strain) no timetable for return. Nene Hilario (heel bruise) game time decision .
New York: None

Television: Altitude TV

Season Series: First match-up.

Opposition’s Take: Posting and Toasting

I’m not going to bag on Carmelo Anthony. I’m just not going to do it.

While the New York Knicks have been playing uninspired, disinterested games – and they seem to have horrific chemistry – I think much of the Knicks struggles can be chalked up to what they gave up in the trade, not what they received in return. In this case it’s more an example of a square peg in a round hole argument and it very well may cost coach Mike D’Antoni his job.

The Knicks, prior to the Melo trade weren’t fantastic, but they were solid. Obviously we know what the Nuggets received in return … (Danilo Gallinari, Raymond Felton, Timofey Mozgov and Wilson Chandler) and the Knicks received Melo, Chauncey Billups, Anthony Carter, Renaldo Balkman and Shelden Williams. The transfer of these particular players played to Denver’s strength, but went the opposite direction of D’Antoni’s coaching philosophy in New York.

In many ways Billups, through his intrinsic leadership abilities and chemistry with Melo, was able to glue the disparate parts of the Knicks together while they made it to the playoffs last season. Once the Knicks amnestied Billups and signed Tyson Chandler, another player that doesn’t fit in to D’Antoni’s system, they became the absolute mess that you see in front of you now. A team that will be depending on the ever unreliable Baron Davis to guide their ship as they go forward. I’m not sure Davis, and his aching back, can save this sinking ship. An offense in shambles, a coach with players who don’t fit his system, and a superstar player who got his wish and is struggling to make his dreams come true.

As for Melo. I’ve got nothing but thanks for him. When you consider the absolute shambles the Denver Nuggets were in prior to Melo’s arrival in 2003, it puts a new perspective on the almost Herculean task Melo was placed with to lift a floundering franchise into relevancy. That is no small feat. Quite frankly I can’t hate on Melo because of that. Yes, he wanted to leave Denver for brighter lights … maybe he didn’t trust the organization, but those things happened after nearly eight seasons in Denver. Sorry folks, I’m not going to join the parade of Melo hate.

Melo has deep, deep flaws as an all around player. That’s not our problem now, and when everyone looks back on things with the passing of time I believe that people will be more appreciative for what happened when Melo was here. Melo demanding a trade to the Knicks got the Nuggets the bounty you see before you. Think about that. Melo’s demand got the people of Denver the team that they love so much now.

Thanks again for that Melo. The Knicks are a mess, but I think they will find their footing once they either fire D’Antoni or the figure out how to put these pieces together. Once they do I hope that every trip to New York is a raucous and competitive game. Make no mistake, while the Knicks stink right now, Melo will give 110% to beat the Nuggets tonight. Should make for a very interesting game.

Nuggets of Wisdom

-The Nuggets managed to squeak out a win in Washington last night behind another great performance from Al Harrington. I’m starting to eat my words when it comes to Big Al, and you know what, I don’t care. Fantastic if it continues to help the team. Additionally Gallo regained his shooting touch, and Ty Lawson seemed to relax a bit on offense and regain his aggressiveness. They will be important tonight.

-The Nuggets’ team plane was delayed out of Washington last night due to snowy weather. Not sure how this will affect the team. Nene was held out of last night’s game for precautionary reasons; I think it was done on purpose to save him for the Knicks game (speculation on my part). Mozgov played last night after suffering some back stiffness that kept him out of the previous game. Rudy Fernandez felt more soreness in his Achilles tendon after playing the first half last night and will sit out tonight. Not sure how that will affect the bench.

The Nuggets are completing a back-to-back here (as are the Knicks), and their fourth game in five nights. They need to muster the energy to finish this east coast swing 4-0. I think they can do it tonight. Going to be interesting.

Tonight is Stiffs Night Out at Jakes Food and Spirits in Denver. Jake’s is going to be rocking during the Nuggets game and we expect quite a crowd to show up. Great prizes will be given away as well (six seats behind the Nuggets bench on Jan. 27). I look forward to seeing many of you there.

Oh, and in keeping with a tradition. Lets say that Anthony Mason still plays for the Knicks …

Go Nuggets!

Twitter: @jmorton78!/jmorton78

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