Blog Entry

Felton says Denver's better than NY; are they?

Posted on: March 14, 2011 4:58 pm
Edited on: March 14, 2011 4:59 pm
 
Posted by Royce Young



It's too early to say that the Nuggets won the Carmelo Anthony trade, right? No way that the team that gave up Melo actually ended up with the better squad, right? It's not possible that the Nuggets are actually better than the Knicks, right?

Right?

Raymond Felton, who was part of gaggle of players sent to Denver for Melo and Chauncey Billups, says exactly that.

"We're a better team (than New York), I feel like. That's it," Felton told HoopsHype.

Marinate on that comment for minute because I know your initial reaction is to say no way. No way the Knicks, with Melo, Amar'e Stoudemire and Billups, are worse than the Nuggets who are built around Danilo Gallinari, Felton, Ty Lawson and Nene.

But so far, it's tough to argue with. The Nuggets are 7-2 post-trade and have gone from a prime candidate to slip out of the West to actually climbing to the No. 5 seed which they appear to have a strong hold of. Denver has had the good fortune of an easier schedule than the Knicks and with games against the Hornets, Hawks, Magic and Heat, the Nuggets might come back to earth a bit.

The Knicks have looked terrific at times but also have sputtered in trying to work in their new superstar. Since acquiring Melo and Billups, New York has gone 6-5, but that was against decent competition with some wins against good teams (Miami, New Orleans, Utah, Atlanta and Memphis). If the Knicks just hadn't dropped the ball twice against the Cavs, things wouldn't look near as rough. Plus, Billups has missed a few of the last games.

It's obviously premature to make a call on this because in the long run, the Knicks probably will come out better. But with the way things have panned out, it makes Masai Ujiri look that much better for the way he strung out this thing to get the best possible deal for Denver.

I do wonder what would happen between the Knicks and Nuggets in a seven-game series. Right now, I think Denver would have the edge because it seems like they've bought in more to the new system. The Nuggets are playing much better defense now than they were earlier in the year and have a unit that seems very cohesive and together.

Melo is now New York's defensive problem. George Karl said in a radio interview with 104.3 The Fan in Denver recently that the team made big strides defensively since the trade, even saying the Nuggets were "cheating the game" on the defensive end with Melo.

“I don’t think there’s any question that our personality of trying to get ‘Melo to be a little bit more involved with how we wanted to play versus his talent, which is scoring points," Karl said. "There’s a value to that and I have a lot of respect for what ‘Melo can do for a team. I don’t think you’re ever going to be a bad team with ‘Melo’s personality, but you’ve gotta work around his personality a little bit. I think sometimes the team is more important than the individual. You need individual talents, you need individual skills, you need the ability to score, but we were just cheating the game so much on the defensive end of the court, cheating the game in some offensive situations that I didn’t think we were getting enough team into the game as much as we were just getting scoring into the game.”

Are the Nuggets better than the Knicks? Right now, I think so. They've figured out each other while the top-heavy stockpiled talent in New York hasn't quite yet. But it's definitely premature to declare a winner here. I do think we can definitively say though that Denver came out a little better than everyone originally thought though.

Via Sports Radio Interviews

Comments

Since: Sep 2, 2006
Posted on: March 16, 2011 8:48 pm
 

Felton says Denver's better than NY; are they?

Ramfallo,

Nothing irks me more than someone trying to point something out beign wrong that isn't actually wrong.  This guy is a professional writer and cleary knows more about the rules of writing than you do.  So do yourself a favor and shut up unless you can actually back it up.




Since: Jan 2, 2007
Posted on: March 16, 2011 1:51 pm
 

Felton says Denver's better than NY; are they?

I'm a huge Melo fan and I know he improved the Nuggets dramatically in his 7 years with the team, but the current "new" Nuggets are tearing up some good teams even without one of the prime acquisitions (Danilo Gallinari, who has only played two games for the Nuggets so far due to a fractured toe) as well as no Arron Afflalo the last two games.  I'm with the previous comment about the obvious/usual East Coast bias.  Maybe some of you East Coast reporters should watch some games out West before writing your easy-to-refute articles.



Since: Mar 16, 2011
Posted on: March 16, 2011 11:39 am
 

Felton says Denver's better than NY; are they?

Denver has had the good fortune of an easier schedule than the Knicks and with games against the , , and , the Nuggets might come back to earth a bit.
 
Later in the Article

New York has gone 6-5, but that was against decent competition with some wins against good teams ( Miami, New Orleans, Utah, Atlanta and Memphis).


He refers to the Nuggets wins as easy, decent teams. A list that includes the very same teams the Knicks played and suddenly they are  "good wins"  for New York. 

Nuggets Wins include: Memphis , Boston,Atlanta ,Charlotte,Utah ,Phoenix,Detroit, and New Orleans
Nuggets Losses include: Portland in OT, and Clippers

Knicks Wins include: Milwaukee, Miami, Memphis , Atlanta, Utah , New Orleans, and
Knicks Losses include: Cleveland TWICE, Orlando, Dallas, and Indiana twice.

If its possible to take the east coast bias out of the discussion, you will see that the schedules have been pretty even and the Nuggets have clearly been the better team.  And if you want to bring losses into the discussion: Denver lost in Overtime to Portland, a playoff team, and the Clippers.  New York TWICE to CLEVELAND,Orlando and Dallas (two good playoff teams), and Indiana twice (a bad playoff team)

Scoring at will and when their defense turns on in the second half, WATCH OUT!





Since: Jan 4, 2007
Posted on: March 16, 2011 7:32 am
 

Felton says Denver's better than NY; are they?

Save our Sonics!
Save our Sonics!
Save our Sonics!
Save our Sonics!
Save our Sonics!



Since: Feb 15, 2011
Posted on: March 15, 2011 10:30 pm
 

Felton says Denver's better than NY; are they?

Denver trades their 24-point per game superstar, one of the top offensive players in the league. Picks up 3 outstanding team players and builds a solid team. The player? .... Not who you think...... Kiki Vandeweghe. 6 foot 8 scoring machine (almost the same PPG as Melo) traded for a great defensive center (Wayne Cooper), an All star power forward (Calvin Natt) and arguable the “greatest guard no one has ever heard of” Fat Lever.

Hard telling how good they could have been if Natts knees would have held up. A great and fun team.

I wish this new team all the best! I hope you rip the heart out of the “ Super Teams”  bring back the team game and give hope to all of us fans. Small and large market alike.

Isn’t that the concept why we LOVE the NCAA tournament?

Go Nuggets!!!!




Since: Mar 6, 2011
Posted on: March 15, 2011 8:41 pm
 

Felton says Denver's better than NY; are they?

Nuggets may not be better now, though I think they are....by rather a large margin, but after next years draft they will be significantly better !



Since: Nov 14, 2006
Posted on: March 15, 2011 4:01 pm
 

Felton says Denver's better than NY; are they?

" I do think we can definitively say though that Denver came out a little better than everyone originally thought though. "

say though...thought though? In one sentence? Where did this guy learn to write? NY public schools? Nevermind all the genuflecting to the reader that runs throughout the article - this sentence says it all about this guys ability.

But I do love the ability to play both sides of the card. Don't have an opinion...or at least not one worth caring for. It's much better if you state opinions so that both sides win. Very diplomatic.



Since: Mar 2, 2009
Posted on: March 15, 2011 12:11 pm
 

Felton says Denver's better than NY; are they?

Gotta agree with Young that it's too early to say Denver got the better end of the deal. That said, in addition to the infusion of new talent, there are two definite things that improved for the Nuggets. 

One is that Ty Lawson was freed from the shadow of Chauncey Billups, allowing him to flourish.  While Billups was in town, his pedigree and salary meant he had to be the starter even though he's on the downside of his career.  I like Billups as a player, but he isn't a true point guard and Lawson is, which means the ball gets distributed better.  (And, I'm surprised to say this, but Raymond Felton may be the most important player the Nuggets got from the trade since he gives them another unselfish player and quality ballhandler.)

The second thing is the revitalization of George Karl.  Prior to the trade, it seemed to me that he had lost some of his ability to inspire the team.  Their play this year before the trade was mediocre, with some seriously poor efforts.  Melo continued to play hard (at least from the statistical point of view), but the team's defense regressed and there didn't seem much Karl could do to fix it.  Now, he's like a kid in a candy shop, using the plethora of options he has to meet the needs of any given situation.  With Billups and Melo, he had to play them and work around their flaws.  Now, he can play the guys that give him the best chance to win. 

And, the results speak for themselves.  Even JR Smith and Kenyon Martin seem to have bought into the team concept, though we'll have to see how long that continues.  But, with the offseason flexibility the trade has given management, they can replace anyone who gets too me-first with a team-oriented player if they want. 

Even if Young is right that the Melo/Amare pairing eventually clicks for the Knicks, this trade has completely reset the Nuggets, putting them in a position to be competitive now, and have the flexibility to build a strong team in the future with the right moves.  That alone makes the trade a winner for Denver regardless of how the actually player swap ends up working out.



Since: May 7, 2007
Posted on: March 14, 2011 6:51 pm
 

Felton says Denver's better than NY; are they?

The Nuggets now remind me of George Karl's Supersonics of the 90s.  That team never had a huge superstar or player who could score at will
I gotta disagree with your assesment of those Sonics teams not having a superstar, Gary Payton was the best point guard in the league in my opinion. People can argue John Stockton was better, but to me they were fairly equal. And Shawn Kemp was a huge star at that time.

The new look Nuggets do look very good right about now though!



Since: Jul 11, 2009
Posted on: March 14, 2011 6:43 pm
 

Felton says Denver's better than NY; are they?

The Nuggets now remind me of George Karl's Supersonics of the 90s.  That team never had a huge superstar or player who could score at will, but they were very interchangeable and played good defense, and they had multiple guys who could score in multiple ways.  The Nuggets now have so many players who can play multiple positions that they can field small, regular, or big lineups and all be effective.  They can throw out a scoring team or a defensive team, and if someone gets in foul trouble or isn't playing well, they've got plenty of answers.  I would definitely take the Nuggets against the Knicks in a series because New York would be exposed at center and shooting guard, and they'd be weak against scoring forwards.


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