Wednesday is again, upon us, with more NBA trade rumors, NFL coach talk but still no snow in the Denver area. Not beginning to look a lot like Christmas…..
5. With all of the rumors swirling around Carmelo Anthony on a daily basis, the 8th-year forward showed no signs of any negative affect, as he led the Nuggets to an impressive 111-94 win over the visiting Orlando Magic. The game was a back-and-forth affair for most of the night and with still about half of the final quarter remaining, the Nuggets held on to a slim one-point advantage. At this point, the defense was ratcheted up and the offense buried the visitors with a 23-6 run. For the game, Melo was an efficient 14-21 from the field on his way to a 35 point/11 rebound night. But it might have been the team’s defensive intensity that made the difference as Nene physically frustrated the Magic’s Dwight Howard through out the game. Nene, alongside 2nd-year point guard Ty Lawson (with Chauncey Billups out all week with an aggravated wrist) helped the Nuggets to their 10th straight home win (at 11-1, the best home record in the NBA) and move to 15-9 on the season. What is to become of this team? The MELO-drama will likely dictate this team’s future narrative and we will revisit this topic later in the High Five.
4. There was little going on in the hockey world with just two games on the NHL docket, but Avalanche fans have got to be still high on the fumes of their last three games. Each game/win seemed almost better than the previous one. Superlatives have been overused by the talking heads in the Altitude studios and the Pepsi Center PA guy, Alan Roach (who has worked over 500 Avs games) even went so far as to call the Chicago game, quite possibly the best he’d ever witnessed. We all can witness the same combatants tonight as the Avalanches are back on the road in the Windy City for a quick rematch with the Blackhawks.
3. After an early season gauntlet that included close losses to the likes of West Virginia, Purdue, Michigan State and Illinois, the Grizzlies of Oakland University traveled south to Knoxville and got a big win over the Tennessee Volunteers. If you want to argue the reality of a Grizzly bear strolling around the urban NorCal environs of Oakland, know that this Oakland is based in the Detroit suburbs. This program, with just 11 seasons of Division-I play under their “pelts”, includes a potential first-round NBA pick in 6-11 center, Keith Benson, who terrorized the Vols with 20 first-half points. For the record, the Grizzlies are a favorite to win the Summit League and very easily could be one of the scrappy mid-majors to make a run into the NCAA Tournament’s second weekend. (Keep writing these down!) Still on the pre-conference schedule, however, is a date with the #2 Ohio State Buckeyes. Just down the road from Rocky Top, another “ranked” team got taken down “in their own barn” as the Louisville Cardinals dropped a stinker to Drexel.
2. We have more Melo talk as this little “nugget” came in a bit under the rumor radar. In a trade that will become official later today, the NJ Nets have moved some parts and acquired another 2 1st-round picks and the expiring contract of Laker guard, Sasha Vujacic (aka Mr. Maria Sharapova). This move gives the Nets 4 first-round draft picks (what the Nuggets covet most) over the next two seasons and more pieces to move. The Nets would obviously want Melo to sign the contract extension before the trade (something Melo has indicated would only happen with a move to the NY Knicks) but the Nets impending move to Brooklyn is one enticing piece which could move the Nets back into center stage of this “MELO”-drama.
1. With the Denver Broncos currently sitting at the 3rd draft pick position, the Daily Bronco Looksie would like to formally introduce you to Stanford’s Andrew Luck. While defense is the obvious need and the focus of our little formal “meet and greets” we’ve been having over the past couple week, I would be remised to not spotlight this guy who will be the first player taken next spring. With no certainty on how the Broncos will be structured come this off-season, a quarterback might actually be needed. And if we play a certain “southpawed” Florida quarterback (and subsequently lose the last 3 games) we might be in the position to take this big-armed gunslinger that grew up in the Houston area. Again, I have mentioned this before, but hiring John Elway, then hiring Jim Harbaugh and drafting Luck, would be a pretty sweet Stanford triumvirate.
PS- So, I guess the Florida High School Athletics Association needs to take a page from the NBA and start cracking down on these whiny players.