Carmelo Anthony Trade Rumors: Why Move Melo? Denver Nuggets Playing Sublimely

Rich Kurtzman@@RichKurtzman Senior Analyst IJanuary 14, 2011

SALT LAKE CITY - APRIL 25:  Carmelo Anthony #15 of the Denver Nuggets protests after being called for his third foul against the Utah Jazz during  Game Four of the Western Conference Quarterfinals of the 2010 NBA Playoffs at EnergySolutions Arena on April 25, 2010 in Salt Lake City, Utah. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Last night, as the Nuggets nastily pummeled the hurting Heat who didn't have LeBron, the front office got what they were hoping for—the team performed at a higher level than they have all year.

GM Masai Ujiri and new owner Josh Kroenke were seen texting like teens instead of watching the game and in the process of trying to move Melo, their Nuggets were trying to sell the star on signing in Denver.

George Karl said he believed this was the most talented team he's had in Denver and it looked like it the last two nights.

The Nuggets blew out both the Suns and Heat by an average of 131-100 as they scored easily, were highly confident and aggressive from the opening tips.

In both games, the Nuggets moved the ball extremely well, dishing out 30-plus assists each night.

Usually Denver's offense becomes slowed down and stagnant because of a high amount of isolation play by Carmelo Anthony and JR Smith, but against the Suns and Heat, Denver dished and dimed the ball exquisitely.

And in both contests, the Nuggets' shooting percentage was in the mid-50s as they scored easily on the great ball movement.

The ball movement led to player movement as the Nuggets slashed the lane and swished buckets at the hoop to the tune of a 96-64 points in the paint advantage in the two games.

The team was energized and gave great effort in all facets of the game, including one of Denver's weakest points, rebounding, as they grabbed 48.5 boards per contest

Passing got the ball rolling and it snowballed like an avalanche thundering down the Rocky Mountains.

Chauncey Billups averaged 10 assists per game and he was the catalyst for the dominant Denver performances, reminding the front office why they would be unintelligent to move the Colorado native from the team he loves.

And really, rock-solid play by the Nuggets in the last few nights is possibly enough to cool trade talks, at least for a few days.

Winning is the great pacifier in sports—it plugs the mouth of the booing fans and renders them docile as a baby.

Could it mellow 'Melo as well?

If the Nuggets run off some kind of wild weeks-long winning streak, would he consider staying for another playoff push?

Is it about winning to 'Melo, or is it about having the spotlight on 'Melo and playing where he wants to play?

At the end of the day (or by the trade deadline Feb. 24) the Nuggets will have to trade 'Melo or lose out on receiving what could be a near King's ransom for the jester.

But for two games at least, this year's version was like the Nuggets of old, running up and down court and running teams out of the arena.


Two Nuggets two-guards blow up

Two players produced the most prominently for the Nuggets in their two wins this week, Arron Afflalo and JR Smith.

Afflalo went off on Tuesday versus Phoenix, scoring a career-high 31 points on an amazing 11-14 (78.6 percent) shooting. Afflalo played an A+ game all around, second on the team in rebounds with nine, he added two assists and two blocked shots as well.

Thursday night was JR Smith's time to shine, and he surely did in the ESPN spotlight. Smith poured in 28 points, including eight made three-pointers that wowed the sellout crowd at the Pepsi Center. On a night that the fans missed out on seeing LeBron James play, Smith put on a great show including his amazing under-the-basket spinning layup. It was spectacular.

Both shooting guards lived up to their positions' namesake, shooting the lights out of the basketball and filling up the hoop for Denver. They showed a glimpse of what the Nuggets are in for when 'Melo is moved and either player could be the future face of the franchise in the Mile High.


Rich Kurtzman is a freelance journalist actively seeking a career in journalism. Along with being the CSU Rams Examiner, Kurtzman is a Denver Nuggets, Denver Broncos and NBA Featured Columnist for, the Colorado/Utah Regional Correspondent for and a weekly contributor to

Rich also heads up PR for K-Biz and Beezy, a Colorado-based rap group.

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