The Knickerbockers finally acquired Carmelo Anthony, and the big news is they did not have to give up much to get him and Chauncey Billups. It looked as though the Knicks were going to have to part with rookie sensation Landry Fields, but they did not have to do so. Here’s how I have the wins and losses for the main players this season:
Total: 10.6 wins and 14.1 losses
Total: 12.6 wins and 4.6 losses
Carmelo Anthony and Sheldon Williams are both playing above their established productivity levels, but I don’t see why Carmelo cannot sustain his new level in New York. All it required of him was some extra effort on the defensive glass, which he has shown, and some renewed defensive intensity, which might wane in the no-defense philosophy of his new coach. And Chauncey Billups appears to be on the decline finally, but he’s still a hell of a throw-in.
On the Nugget side, it looks like they got a bunch of average to below average players. Felton was better last season, but that was the exception. For most of his career he has been slightly below average. Wilson Chandler is pretty much a 0.500% or slightly below ballplayer. Danillo Gallinari plays no defense at all, and he’s a poor rebounder and passer, although he can shoot from distance. Again, though, his peak is at a below 0.500% production level. Finally, I have no dreaming idea why the Nuggets were “holding out” for C Timothy Mozgov, if the reports are to be believed. This guy looks stiffer than a shot of rotgut Vodka.
As far as the draft picks Denver received, if I’m getting it right all they got was a 1st rounder and 2 second rounders. The 1st rounder will probably be middle of the draft, and most of the time 2nd round picks do not even make the squad.
Why didn’t Denver insist on Landry Fields? They may have signed their own “lottery” death warrant with this bad deal.
The Knicks, meanwhile, are not championship level yet, but two above average players like Anthony and Billups don’t hurt the cause, and of course they still have Fields, so they look in good shape.
But I’m telling you, until they learn to play defense much better than they are now playing it, they will never get their lips anywhere near the Golden Ball. History shows you cannot win the NBA Championship without an above average scoring defense, and the Knicks might need to change coaches to get that. With tonight’s trade, they certainly don’t need D’Antoni’s gimmicky European style offense anymore. They’ve got legitimate offensive talent.