It has been nearly five months since the MeloDrama fiasco started and as the more it drags out the more it impacts all that is involved.
The Denver Nuggets, who have been known for their distractions, have for the most part have successfully battled through injuries, their own distractions this seasons as well as Carmelo Anthony’s – at least until recently.
The Nuggets dropped three very winnable games last week by double digits. They lost to the Los Angeles Clippers (106-93) and were dominated on the boards – losing that battle 57-43. The Clippers since than have won four of five games.
Denver followed that up getting dominated by the disappointing Sacramento Kings. Letting the Kings put up 69 points in the first half and give the Nuggets their worst loss of the season 122-102. The Kings have been more competitive of late, beating the Knicks at Madison Square Garden and dropping three of four by fewer than five points. However, in both games the Nuggets couldn’t find an answer for Tyreke Evans (27 points and 12 assists) or DeAndre Jordan (14 points and 20 rebounds).
The distractions really took its toll when the Nuggets lost a rare home game to the New Orleans Hornets. Hours before the game an apparent trade with the New Jersey Nets was going to involve hometown hero Chauncey Billups too. It was arguably Billups worst game of the season and quite possible could have been Anthony’s worst game as a Nugget. Billups missed 10 of 12 shots and Anthony was held only eight points and missed eight of 11 shots.
The distractions have really impacted Anthony, who has averaged only 16.2 points over the last five games and is shooting under 70 percent from the charity stripe in that time. It has gotten to the point that the Nuggets’ coach George Karl is willing to deduct Anthony’s playing time.
The distractions have also gotten to the New York Knicks, who have dropped four of their previous five games – including dropping their last two to the Phoenix Suns and the Sacramento Kings.
Not to mention the New Jersey Nets and rookie Derrick Favors have struggled this season. They have dropped six in a row and have among one of the worst records in the NBA at 10-31 (of course last season they were 3-38 at this time – so at least they are better). But Favors, who has struggled with foul troubles for much of the season, has had twice as many fouls (8) as points (4) in the previous three games.
But don’t expect any closer anytime soon, since the trade deadline isn’t until Feb. 24.