The New York Knicks host the Denver Nuggets at Madison Square Garden tonight. It will be the first meeting between the two teams since the mega-deal that brought Carmelo Anthony from the Nuggets to the Knicks.
At the time of the trade, both teams were satisfied. The Knicks shipped four starters to the Nuggets,
including Timofey Mozgov, Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari and Raymond Felton. In return, the Nuggets sent Chauncey Billups, Renaldo Balkman, Shelden Williams, Anthony Carter and of course Carmelo Anthony to New York.
Former Knicks Gallinari and Mozgov now start for the Nuggets. The Nuggets traded Felton for veteran point guard Andre Miller. On the other hand, the Knicks have made little use of their pieces from Denver (aside from Anthony). Billups was let go to make room for center Tyson Chandler. Renaldo Balkman is on the bench in a reserve role. Shelden Williams and Anthony Carter are no longer on the roster.
Since the trade, the Nuggets have thrived while the Knicks have struggled. The Nuggets are playing well this season. They hold an 11-5 record and are on a three-game winning streak. The Knicks are heading in the opposite direction. They are three games below .500. The Knicks have lost five games in a row, including an embarrassing 100-86 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks last night at the Garden. It was their low point of the season.
And it can get worse for the Knicks. The former Knicks, now playing for the Nuggets, could really demoralize them by winning tonight. The Nuggets are flying high, while the Knicks seem to be at square one. A loss by the Knicks would be further evidence that the Nuggets got the better end of the Anthony trade. If you thought the Knicks gave up too much for Anthony, stand up and shout “I told you so!”
The Knicks’ main problem this season has been offense. Last season, they were second in the league in scoring. This season they are 17th. Ironcially, it is the Nuggets who are second in the league in scoring this season. The problem lies at one position: point guard. The Knicks do not have a solid point guard to orchestrate their offense. Rookie Iman Shumpert has played well, but he is still a rookie. The Knicks need Baron Davis on the court. When healthy, Davis is an elite point guard. The offense will improve with Davis on the floor. It has to improve. If not, it could be a horrible season for the Knicks. It could be a horrible few years ahead too.
Edwin Torres was born in New York City. He has been a Knicks fan since the early 1980s. He has visited Madison Square Garden on many occasions to watch the Knicks and his favorite player, Patrick Ewing. For more articles, follow him on Twitter @FlipPoker.