NBA Blockbuster Fallout: Melo-Drama Finally Finds Conclusion in New York
Changing Carmelo Anthony’s mailing address from Denver to New York was a long, painstaking process for the Denver Nuggets, New York Knicks and hoop fans alike. While Melo is the focal point of a long, deliberated trade that began in November, there are however, ancillary pieces that will have a resonating impact on the remainder of the season.
Chauncey Billups will look to play out the remainder of his pricey ($27.5 MM) contract under Knicks’ coach Mike D’Antoni and his fast paced offense. Under this same system, Billups will be replacing Raymond Felton who is in the midst a career season, which can be attributed to the extra possessions allotted within New York’s system. Expect “Mr. Big Shot” to run the floor and rack up healthy scoring totals much like former D’Antoni point guards Steve Nash and Ray Felton.
Billups will have additional looks at outside shots with Amare Stoudemire drawing attention in the post and at 34 years of age, Billups still offers upper echelon production from the lead guard spot. Shooting a red hot 44 percent from three point makes Billups a deadly threat from the perimeter which will only help in opening up shots for teammates.
Then there is of course Carmelo Anthony, who won’t be bashful in maintaining his gaudy stat line, although the marquee forward is shooting an average of three less shots in ’10-’11. Melo is finally content now that he’ll be playing his home games at Madison Square Garden which should light a fire under the 26 year old All-Star. Expect a return to his 2009-2010 form which saw Carmelo produce a nightly 28.2 PPG.
Did the Knicks give up too much to get Melo?
The remainder of the parts headed to New York will see limited opportunities to contribute although Corey Brewer will get plenty of fast break look akin to the way athletic forwards like Shawn Marion did within D’Antonti’s system in the mid 2000’s.
Similarly, Minnesota could catch lightning in a bottle in Anthony Randolph who could see new life playing alongside a new group of young wing players in Wes Johnson and Michael Beasley.
Headed west are a trio of prominent names which highlight a multi-player package put together by Knicks General Manager Donnie Walsh.
Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari and Ray Felton will all settle into similar roles with Denver and Nuggets’ head coach George Karl. Expect each player to take some measurable hit to their statistical production as Denver will see fewer offensive possessions when compared to New York and the Nuggets will look to platoon several of their remaining incumbent scoring options like Aaron Afflalo and J.R. Smith.
The final 28 games of the season should bring forth the best in Carmelo Anthony as he adjusts to a new offensive scheme that seems catered to his style of play. The focus may be on the Big Apple this spring but in the Rocky Mountains George Karl and company continue to stockpile young, promising players who are sure to develop into the next wave of talented Denver Nuggets.
Written By Conor Gereg exclusively for http://www.thefantasyfix.com.
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