CO Sports Chick

Musings on Colorado sports from a female perspective

Posts Tagged ‘Chauncey Billups’

Melodrama Finally Over!

Posted by The Minkster on February 22, 2011

Carmelo Anthony gave the Nuggets 6 good years of his 7 year contract and was free to leave after this season.  That’s how this NBA contract thing works.  No team can be married to a player for an entire career without both sides putting out.  By that I mean, the organization has to make an effort to build a winning team (see his Airness and the Bulls, and Kobe and the Lakers) around a franchise player and the pro has to continuously work on his game while putting it all out there for the team.  If one side feels like the other isn’t carrying its weight then divorce is imminent. 

Carmelo Anthony

Melo heading to greener pastures

Melo has taken care of his body, improved his game and matured from the defiant teen that was drafted after one season at Syracuse.  The Nuggets have tried bringing in key support players and the right coaching staff, but the moves have come up short.  I firmly believe that if the Nuggets hadn’t been strapped with big contracts and salary cap limits and could’ve figured out a way to bring Stoudemire to Denver Melo would’ve signed the extension in the off-season.  By bringing in Al Harrington with K-Mart and Birdman recovering from off-season surgery Melo was done with Denver.  Time to move on and try to win a championship somewhere else. 

Looks like the Eastern Conference might be relevant again, (other than the Celtics), but the best TEAMS still live in the West and the right to hoist the O’Brien trophy goes through L.A. and Koby.  The kids will have fun playing black top ball during the season on the East coast, but if you watched the All-Star game it is very apparent that the West knows how to play championship caliber basketball.  Although I don’t like the Black Momba, it was great to see him school Bron Bron, D3PO and the Celtics retirees. 

Sorry to see Melo go.  Sorry that the Nuggets couldn’t put together a more dominant team during Anthony’s contract.  Really sorry to see Chauncey get swept up in this mess, but maybe he’ll get another ring out of it before retiring.  But, after months of the Melodrama it will be exciting to see what the Nuggets can do with this new roster and if they can hang on for a playoff spot this year.  I believe there is enough talent to win without Melo, but the only thing that matters is if the guys in powder blue believe that is true.

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Not Enough Heat to Start a Fire in Rockies

Posted by The Minkster on January 14, 2011

Knowing that Melo will soon be playing home games somewhere around the Big Apple in a week or two made the annihilation of the Miami Heat, even without King James, as sweet as a chunk of Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory fudge.  Up by about 30 going into the fourth quarter and maintaining the spread five minutes into it put the Nuggets in the unique situation of clearing the bench and resting the starters for the remainder of the game.  Afflalo, JR and Ty gave us a glimpse of how the future of the franchise might look next year after all the veterans have been cleared out, and if they could do that every night the Nuggos would at least be fun to watch. 

The vets that are cornerstone of trade talks

In case you muted the TNT Heat-loving broadcast team or decided that the Mentalist rerun was more entertaining, you might not know that LeBron James missed the game due to a sprained ankle.  Too bad, because the way the Nuggets played last night I think Melo and the gang would’ve still smacked the Heat around.  Despite its record, I think this team in baby blue could go deep into the playoffs if it could stay together.  And, it would be great if Santa still brought me presents and the Easter Bunny filled my basket with Cadbury eggs.  It’s a business and we all root for laundry, so no use in worrying about who is leaving.  I just hope the Nuggets end up with a diamond in the rough like the Rox did in CarGo after moving Holliday.  Both Holliday and Melo wanted out of Denver and I wish them both many losses and absence of a championship ring upon retirement.  Yep, no taking the high road here – it just a business boys.

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Turn Off Melo-drama and Tune Into Nugs

Posted by The Minkster on September 30, 2010

I’m already tired of hearing about Melo deals and if this past summer is any indication it’s just getting started, so I’m focusing on the three hop along amigos, Smooth and the youngster Ty.  After a disappointing early playoff exit I’m actually looking forward to this year.  No matter whether Melo stays or goes I think the Nuggets are looking at another post season appearance.

Kmart is a dominating player when he’s focused and healthy.  That stretch last year before his annual injury put him on the bench was fun to watch.  Who doesn’t like some in your face smack down playing from the hometown rebel?  Birdman wasn’t the same at all last year, so hopefully the problems were lasered, cut or repaired so he can fly free again.  Not sure what Nene has been doing this summer, but if he is healthy and strong Karl will get him back on track.  Don’t forget about big Al who we picked up a few months ago and I think Balkman is primed for a breakout year.

On to the little guys to which I can relate.  We have a good bunch of ball handlers and shooters that will be hard for any team to cover.  Billups is back in the Mile High City fresh off his gold medal victory at the FIFA’s this summer.  Ty has a new shooting motion that he’s been working on all summer, so looking forward to some big games from him this year.  Afflalo should get some significant playing time and have a big season under Karl’s tutelage.  And last but not least there is JR with his insane lights out shooting that I love to see, but the coaches hate. 

Should be a fun year to catch a Nugs game and if the Melo circus can be kept out in the old Cirque de Sole tent this team has a chance to finish two or three in the West.  Keep your eyes on the Pepsi Center court and earplugs in your ears for another fun ride.

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All-Star Snub Not So Bad

Posted by The Minkster on January 29, 2010

Chauncey was snubbed by fans and coaches this week when he was left off the NBA West All-Star team.  I know I should be disappointed as a Nuggets fan and staunch Billups supporter in this not so unsurprising turn of events, but I’m really not.  In fact, I’m secretly relieved that he won’t be pounding the hardwood and will instead have those callous laden feet and taxed ankles safely propped up on the coffee table at home watching it like the rest of the NBA fans. 

The All-Star Snub

It's okay that Billups won't play with Melo.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand the egos involved in pro sports and it is an accolade many players would enjoy during their playing careers.  However, don’t you think Stockton would trade his 10 superstar games for just one ring?  This grown-up version of the high school homecoming court popularity contest is just another way to make money for the NBA and should be looked upon as a fun distraction versus endorsements of extraordinary skills.  However, my congratulations go out to the Nuggets coaching staff and Melo and I’m proud that the Nuggies are well represented at the mid-season event!

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Christmas Break is Over, Time to Step Up

Posted by The Minkster on January 22, 2010

What’s so great about this season’s Nuggets team is the leadership of its veteran players.  Some nights Melo takes over, others Chauncey earns his Mr. Big Shot nickname, and every now and then Kmart runs blue light specials all night long.  The last couple of nights Billups has decided it is time to stop losing games to inferior teams and has taken control. 

Billups getting ready to drain another 3!

On Wednesday night Mr. Big Shot tied his career high by throwing down 37 points during the Nuggets first overtime of the season in Oakland against a young feisty Warriors team.  Billups hit 2 quick treys to start the overtime and picked up an assist on JR’s 3 that all but put the nail in the coffin of Golden State.  The final was 123-118.  Not only did Denver tourniquet the bleeding against sub .500 teams, but extended their record to 7-2 in 2010.

Last night Chauncey had no intention of playing another stanza of free ball and got the team fired up against the visiting Clippers in the third quarter.  Billups contributed 13 of his 20 points during a 31-9 run during that period.  Mr. Big Shot has made 21 3-pointers in the last six games with four coming last night.  Melo had 28 points and 10 rebounds on the news of his selection as starting forward in the All-Star game.  Even Kmart made contributions in the 105-85 laugher, but was laughing all the way to the bank.  Martin donated $1,500 to Haiti relief efforts for each rebound – he grabbed 14!

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Kleiza Opting for Gyros Over Buff Burgers

Posted by The Minkster on August 10, 2009

Not so fast about the Nuggets!

Not so fast about the Nuggets!

Given an opportunity to go back closer to his family in Europe, potentially become a starting forward and cash a bigger paycheck Linas Kleizainked a two-year deal with Olympiakos on Monday.  The Nuggets were set to pay him $2.7 m this year, which was a decent raise from the $1.5 m he made during last year’s playoff season but no where near the cash the Greeks are doling out.  Kleiza averaged 9.9 points and 4 rebounds per game off the bench and was a threat to make outside shots.  Many experts are saying the Nuggies will miss him and DahntayJones, who signed with the Pacers, this upcoming season but I’m not so sure.

Linas Kleiza #43 of the Denver Nuggets goes to basket against the Detroit Pistons on February 25, 2008 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado.

Linas Kleiza #43 of the Denver Nuggets goes to basket against the Detroit Pistons on February 25, 2008 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado.

All the talking heads are saying the Nuggets aren’t active enough in free agency this off-season in order to keep pace and contend for a title in 2009-10.  I haven’t seen any blockbuster trades in the West that Karl should lose sleep over.   The same top teams kept their stars and have brought in some guys they think can help in areas of weakness.  I haven’t seen any big fish that got away which could have helped the Nuggets and still kept the tax man at bay. 

Fans forget that the Nuggets are a fairly young team and have great upside.  If their players continue to develop and the veterans stay healthy Denver will continue to go deep into the playoffs.  Let’s take a quick look at the youngin’s:

  • Ty Lawson – Might as well start with the best draft pick by the organization since Melo.  The only thing this kid accomplished in the last six months was come in during the NCAA Tourney with a lingering injury and lead the Tar Heels to a championship.  Hmmmm, sound familiar any Orange fans?  This kid deserves a shot at some minutes which he’ll get with Jones gone.
  • JR Smith – Karl’s problem child grew-up a lot last year and should continue to make strides with Billups as a role model.  A little time in the joint this summer I’m sure helped with perspective.
  • Renaldo Balkman- In his first year with the Nuggets (2nd in the league) he showed signs of why the Knicksdrafted him in the first round out of South Carolina.  He needs to continue to develop and stay healthy so he can give Kmart some relief minutes.
  • Arron Afflalo- Starting his second year as a pro, this little shooting guard can learn how to play the game right along side Billupswho he played briefly withat Detroit before the infamous trade.  Ranks second all-time at UCLA for three-pointers made and attempted.
  • Nene – Although going into his 7th year he has lost 2+ seasons to injuries and cancer, so he is still got upside at 27 years old.
  • Melo – He’s only 25 and taken the Nugs to the playoffs every year since pulling on the jersey.  Don’t  think he won’t get better after the experiences over the last year and having a leader like Billups on the team.

I like this mix of youth and veterans, and just like any other NBA team they must get lucky with the injury bug to end up with a high seed going into the 2010 playoffs.  Don’t know about you, but I’d rather be looking at this lineup versus the old guys in San Antonio which is trying to win one more for the old Demon Deacon.

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Smooth Uses HS Move to Drive Nugs Win

Posted by The Minkster on May 22, 2009

Not sure if you grew up a high school Denver hoops fan or have caught it on one of the many video outlets (e.g., http://www.denverpost.com/nuggets/ci_12426245), but Smooth (aka Mr. Big Shot) used an old high school inbounds trick to pull the Nuggets to within 1 right before halftime of Game 2 in the Western Conference Finals.  With the ball on their own baseline and only a few seconds left in the half, Chauncey was looking for Melo but he was being blanketed by Koby who had his back completely turned to Billups.  Feeling the 5 seconds ticking away Smooth reached back into his high school back o’ tricks and bounced the ball off of Koby’s back, grabbed the ricochet and laid up an easy deuce.  It was that much sweeter for Nuggets fans that it bounced off #24.

The Nuggets looked like the AI led team of old in the first 1 1/2 quarters, but finally woke up and kicked it into gear by going on a 14-2 run right before the half.   Since I’m blatantly a Nuggy homer I can tell you the refs didn’t make it any easier for our boys in baby blue.  It was ridiculous that Dahntay Jones picked up 4 fouls before he broke a sweat.  For much of the night the Nuggets were getting called for ticky tack fouls and the Lakers had to pull a WWE wrestling move to get tagged.  Also, as I was twittering with my local sports buddies during the game there were multiple wishes of bodily injury directed towards the announcing table.  One referenced something about charred remains in an alley dumpster.  Anyway, the idiots that ESPN put in the broadcast booth not only had Koby crushes but were chastising the refs for calling obvious fouls against their homies.  I don’t ever remember hearing such favoritism in a nationally televised game.  Maybe Kronke can sneak Scott Hastings into the booth this weekend.

Lastly, I wish the media would stop covering the stunts and grunts spewed by WWE representatives.  Nobody in the Rocky Mountain region cares if McMahon cheers for the Lakers and moved his Clydesdale show to Staples.  If the WWE shuttered its doors tomorrow maybe those potbellied, beer guzzling, rednecks would actually get up off the couch for more than a beer/pee break, and teenage boys would stop beating the crap out of each other trying emulate their roid hero.  Hope McMahon enjoys those purple and gold jerseys for the next week, because he won’t have reason to wear it come June.

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