Today the Knicks went back to Denver and got utterly spanked by the Nuggets. Melo went out with knee problems and Tyson Chandler went down with a “knee contusion” that for me, felt like this:
The Knicks’ playoff chances will come or go with Chandler’s health. He’s the foundation of the team and I don’t care how good ‘Melo or Stat might be, the Knicks don’t win a playoff series without Tyson Chandler. They don’t win the Atlantic Division either. Anyway, in other news, ‘Melo returns to Denver!
To an expected amount of boos. Let me tell you how this is similar and different than other recent All-Star exoduses. So how does ‘Melo stack up?
What The Nuggets got for Melo: Danilo Gallinari, Raymond Felton, Wilson Chandler, Timofey Mozgov, 2014 1st Round Pick
Nuggets Record With Melo: 38 – 28 (.567 pct)
Nuggets Record After Melo: 44 -22 (.667 pct)
Melo’s Return Game: DEN 117 – NY 94
‘Melo might have complained about being in Denver a lot, but he sure got them some important pieces to build around. Without his fat contract, the Nuggets have also been able to accquire some other stars like Andre Iguodala. Denver can be mad at ‘Melo for leaving them or dissing their town, but they can’t say that he screwed over the franchise. Especially now that it’s obvious that Denver is a better team now without him.
2. The Dwightmare
What The Magic got for Dwight: Nikola Vucevic, Maurice Harkless, Arron Afflalo and three future first-round picks.
Magic Record With Dwight : 37 – 29 (.561 pct)
Magic Record After Dwight: 18 – 47 (.277 pct)
Dwight’s Return Game: ORL 97 – LA 106
The Dwightmare seemed to drag on forever as the Magic locker-room was constantly bombarded with questions about Dwight’s future. Stan Van Gundy lost a job but Hedo Turkoglu kept his. Despite the criticism, Orlando got a fair amount of value in exchange for Dwight, including future picks that we’ve yet to see. On top of that, they dropped Jason Richardson’s ugly contract. However, the Magic are clearly at a disadvantage without the NBA’s best center and have fallen far from the perennial playoff contender they once were.
What Cleveland got for Lebron: Two 1st-round draft picks, two 2nd-round picks, Trade Exception
Cavs Record With Lebron: 61 – 21 (.744 pct)
Cavs Record After Lebron: 19 – 63 (.232 pct)
Lebron’s Return Game: CLE 90 – MIA 118
Of course The Decision is number one. This departure left the NBA with the most visceral reaction, because not only were jerseys burned in Cleveland, Lebron was booed in arenas all across the league for at least a year after the decision. He left his hometown team in a one-hour special that will live in infamy. In his defense, Cleveland management really did fail to put a winning team around Lebron. His absence took the Cav’s from the best record in the NBA to the worst, including a history streak of sucking. I remember when the Cav’s were like, “oh. Here’s Antawn Jamison. That will make it ok, right? Right?” He had his reasons for leaving, and he did raise a million dollars for kids, and he does seem like a genuinely good person, and he does have the best chance of catching Michael, but I think I’ll boo him for the rest of my life. When he won his first ring, I remember joking that now Lebron can go back to Cleveland and win one without the pressure. Now it looks like it could have a chance.
BTW: The pick used to acquire Kyrie Irving wasn’t even from Lebron’s trade. It was the Clipper’s pick that they traded for Baron Davis.