Monday, November 03, 2008

AI for Chancey Billups and Antonio McDyess

The Rocky Mountain News is reporting the Nuggets are looking to trade Allen Iverson to Detroit for Chauncey Billups and Antonio McDyess. Initial reaction. This would be a great trade for the Nuggets. They get a real point guard and a solid backup at the 4 for KMart which is needed given his history of injuries.

The Numbers
AI is making $20M in the last year of his contract. McDyess will make $6.9M this year and $7.5M next year. Billups will make $12M for this year and the next two years. Salary cap wise, the Nuggets would still be a little tight the next 2 years if the deal goes through.

I still think AI is great. But I don't think you can win in the NBA with a 6 foot tall 2 guard unless you have a large point guard to match him with. The Pistons have such a person. Rodney Stucky is a 6'5" point guard. The Nuggets have no such player.

The Nuggets really, really need someone who can run the team. The last 5 minutes vs the Lakers made that painfully obvious. In addition, this would allow the Nuggets to move Balkman or Dantay Jones into the starting lineup to guard the 2 or 3 from the opposing team. JR and Klieza would score off the bench and have a little help from McDyess.

It works for me.
Sounds like its a done deal. Also, Stephen A Smith is reporting that the Nuggets plan to waive McDyess after the deal is complete.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Weekend Update 11/02/2008

Well two games in the books this weekend against LA teams. One game shows how good the Nuggets can be, the other how bad.

The good was against the Clippers. The Nuggets played a swarming defense, shared the ball and pretty much owned the second half as they came back from a big halftime deficit to win. It was a real team effort with special kudos to Dantay Jones who had a great game. If they play this kind of team ball all year, they are gonna win a lot of games.

The bad, the final minutes vs the LA Lakers. I tuned into the game in the late 3rd quarter and the Nuggets were keeping a steady lead. As it got to crunch time the Lakers went to Kobe Bryant. He played good but the Nuggets did get a few good stops along the way.

However, the problem was not their defense, it was their offense. The same old 1 on 5 isolation crap from last year. Throw Mello the ball, run to the opposite side of the court and stand there. Mello takes on 2 or 3 guys, then the ball is passed around the perimeter and a desparation 3 goes up late in the shot clock. When are they gonna learn? As the game wore on, Kobe settled for fewer and fewer jumpers and took the ball to the hole. Did the Nuggets go inside to Mello? To Nene? Nope. Just long difficult outside jumpers. Totally different than the Clipper game.

Friday, October 24, 2008

A New Season and the Trade

Well the new season quickly approaches and I have not posted in a long time.

The Camby Trade

From a team happiness perspective, I think this will help a lot. Not that Camby is a bad guy or anything like that. No, things should be better because of clearly defined roles. Nene is the starting center and KMart is the starting PF. No more time sharing, no more discussions about which of the three should be the starter. Both will get all the minutes they want. The team should also be much better defensively. Camby is a great weakside defender, but always seemed to struggle when he had to guard good big men like Tim Duncan or Amare Stoudemire.

The only potential problem is Nene and KMart have not had the best health records in the league.

Why didn't the Nuggets get anything in Return?

It is a misconception that the Nuggets didn't get anything for Camby. They did not get a player back in the trade, they got a $10M salary cap exception. What does that mean you may ask? It means that if the Nuggets were to trade say .... Allen Iversion who is making $20M this season, they would only take $10M in salary coming back to the Nuggets. The net result is, if the Nuggets trade Iverson in addition to Camby, they will drop $20m from their salary cap for the season. This should give them cap room to sign Klieza and JR Smith next year.

Iverson's departure would seem inevitable to me. That is sad because the guy plays his heart out every night. And there is a lot to like about the guy. But if you are building the team around Mello, a 6' scoring point guard does not fit. They need a good play making point with an outside shot.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Spurs v Suns

As the Spurs and Sun are about to play their second game, I wanted to say something about the first game. That was one of the best played basketball games I have seen in a log time. Back and forth with the Champs making the Suns take the title from them.
It was just a joy to watch the game offensively and defensively.

In my opinion, the winner of this series will me the Lakers in the Western Conference finals. I'll take the Spurs or Suns to make it to the finals if there aren't any major injuries.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Nuggets Lost at Lakers

Well the media gets the Nuggets need to play better defense. The bloggers get the Nuggets need to play better defense. The coaches get the Nuggets need to play better defense.

But the Nuggets don't seem to understand they need to play better defense.

Playing much of the game in a zone, the Laker simply reversed the ball and made that extra pass which often resulted in Gasol dunks. The rotations by Camby and Anthony were terrible.

The offense was not much better. Throw the ball to Melo or AI. Let me pound the ball for 20 seconds and throw up a shot. The 2nd team looked great in the second quarter. They played defense, moved on office, and attacked the rim. But Melo has forgotten how to play on the block and how to attack the rim. It's all tough jumpers.

In the end, we can not play for them. The team needs to figure it out. Does Melo want to talk about winning? Or does he want to win? Its up to him.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Wrong About Newcastle's Players

I gotta say I was wrong about Newcastle to a degree. The initial group Keegan was playing was just not very good. Given the results of the last few weeks, he just had to find the best 11 for his team and he did.

A good coach, adjusts his system for the players he has. Putting Michael Owen in midfield so you have your best 11 on the field was a great move. At club level, Keegan is a very good manager.

With a new owner, it will be interesting to see if the club can build a team that will last. The ManU's, Arsenal's, and Liverpool's, all tend to buy great players when they are young and keep them through their prime. Newcastle has tended to buy older players usually past their prime. Can they change? We will see.

Nuggets Weekend

Wow. Looks like the Nuggets have played themselves right out of the playoffs. This team just can't seem to give a consistent effort on the defensive end.

There is no way you can continue to pay the luxury tax for a team that at best will make the 8th spot or more likely won't even make the playoffs. I don't think they need to blow up the team, but I expect some changes are coming.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Newcastle is just not very good

After watching ManU just spank Newcastle, one has to say that Newcastle United is just not a very good team. They have difficulty holding onto the ball. They don't defend well, and rarely do they look like they have any chance to score from the run of play.

All professional leagues are about the players. I think the teams moves in regard to their academy and the development of young talent is a good idea and will be the key to the success of the club in the long team. A good manager can help a team marginally, but in the end, great players will make up for any coaching deficiencies. Today's game is a shining example of that. On every part of the field, one team was clearly superior talentwise.

Newcastle fans wanted Big Sam gone because they didn't like his style of play. Well I don't think any change in style is going to help this team. Keegan needs to bring in some more talent in any way he can. Or, Newcastle will drop right into the relegation battle.

Friday, February 22, 2008

No Trade = Best Deal Possible

I'm glad the Nuggets decided to stand pat, except for the minor trade for Taurean Green. Adding big money at the SF position with Artest makes no sense to me. How are you going to find playing time? Is he gonna play the SG and have Iverson at point? Plus it would have just complicated the salary cap issues.

They have a bunch of good young players. When they get Nene and Atkins back, they will be a very competitive team. Ready to challenge for the title? I don't know. But if the keep the same core together, they should be in a good position to do just that in 2 or 3 years.

I think both Phoenix and Dallas really mortgaged their future with the deals they made. Both of those teams have a 2 year window to challenge for the finals. Age is going to catch up with them.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Laker Trade and Trade Talk

Haven't posted for a while. But the Laker's trade and the proposed Phoenix - Miami trade has perked my interest.

First, the Laker's getting Pau Gasol for nothing was a huge steal! An all star caliber big without giving up any key players. Give Mitch Kupchak a raise. This definitely will put the Lakers in the top 3 teams in the west and probably keep them there for the next 5 years. Kobe and gang are relatively young. Methinks I will be watching more Laker games again. :)

Now the proposed Phoenix trade is this. Marcus Banks and Shawn Marion for Shaq. This smacks a bit of desparation. Basically Phoenix is saying, Steve Nash only has a couple of good years left in him. We will challenge for title for 2 years and then blow things up? Pretty risky if you ask me. Especially given Shaq's health the last couple of years. He is such a big guy, all that running around has to be very hard on his joints. I just don't think there are many miles left in the diesel .

This brings me back to the Nuggets. I sure hope they don't make a trade just because they feel like they have too. Talk is they want to trade Klieza and Najera for Ron Artest. I'm not opposed to that. Artest would be a big help defensively. But I don't see how that puts them over the top or puts them in the top 3 like the Lakers. It certainly doesn't solve their salary cap issues.

Personally, I think they need to hold on to LK. If he continues to improve, he will be a solid NBA starter next year. They need to find a ball handling 2 guard, a big point guard, or better yet a point guard who can push the pace.

Look to the trades made by the Jazz and the Lakers. Adding Korver to the Jazz has really helped them out. He is a nice fit for that team and will make it hard to double team Boozer and give Williams an easy target after drives. The Lakers get a PF/C who can shoot from the outside. Allowing them to post Kobe and Lamar Odom. Both trades added a missing piece to those teams.

Sometimes it is better to be patient and wait for that missing piece.