Tuesday Bullets

  • A peek at the Nuggets' cap savings from the Carmelo Anthony trade. This version of events is different than many out there, because it accounts for the salary the various players have already been paid this season.

  • A ranking of the best players ever traded midseason. By these measures, Chauncey Billups is the best player in "the Carmelo Anthony trade."

  • Hats off to the Nuggets' new young braintrust of Masai Ujiri and Josh Kroenke. They endured a ton of doubters, and were mocked for their handling of things nearly every step of the way. But they got a ton of value from a situation that could have ended badly for them. The Knicks, to me, get a worthy and exciting experiment in superstar combinations -- we'll see how that goes. Maybe we'll one day say this was great for them. But the Nuggets certainly did not lose. The Timberwolves did a tidy little deal, too.

  • Carmelo Anthony does a lot of isolating. Or he did, anyway. Mike D'Antoni's offense really emphasizes moving the ball. Who's going to win that? A smart examination of the basketball challenges ahead in New York.

  • Who starts in Denver? Ty Lawson or Raymond Felton? You know who could use one of those guys? The Knicks ...

  • All kinds of top wings are having bad games against the Sixers. The case for Andre Iguodala as one of the NBA's great defenders.

  • Way too late, but a huge thanks to Rich (@poormanscommish) for setting up classy blogger hoops on Sunday morning in Los Angeles. Honestly, referees, clocks, and uniforms? We were so confused by the whole thing we turned a nail-biter into a blowout loss in the final two minutes. But it was unbelievably fun, and my favorite thing about basketball is that it's a way to have a great time with a bunch of people you've just met. Here's a little highlight video. No seriously, here's some video.

  • My friend Kerry is in China, and e-mailing routinely about Zhou Qi. How about 41 points, 28 rebounds and 15 blocks in an international (triple overtime) game against Germany? He's said to be just 15. Remember the name.

  • In their heyday, the Knicks didn't dunk. Why not?

  • The scent of an All-Star. Must watch. The Basketball Jones brings the magic again. JaVale McGee wins this one, although Chris Bosh also shows promise as a marketer. Worth noting: Kevin Garnett actually laughed.

  • Recapping JaVale McGee's dunk contest, which was one for the ages.

  • Manu Ginobili tells Jorge Sierra of HoopsHype how parenthood has changed things: "When I was younger, I would take losses very hard and the wins would get me too pumped up. Now on the court it’s the same. I just play. But when it’s over… I may have lost at home against the worst team in the NBA and go back home, see my babies laughing and it’s a whole different perspective."

  • On his Facebook page, Tim Donaghy writes about Sean Patrick Griffin's new book about the Donaghy scandal (under the headline "don't do drugs."): "While I wish Mr. Battista and his author, Mr. Griffin, nothing but the best with their venture, I don't plan on reading this sensationalistic and fictional portrayal of the past events."

  • Beckley Mason of HoopSpeak: "Defensively, it’s unclear how this team will guard anyone. Of Billups, Stoudemire and Anthony, Carmelo is actually the best one-on-one defender -- when he wants to be. But if we know one thing about NBA defense, it’s that talented individuals have nowhere near the defensive impact as cohesive team awareness. Playing with worse defensive big men than Denver’s, Anthony will need to be a far more willing and active off-ball defender than at any time in his career, a proposition that, under the defense-optional coaching philosophy of Coach Mike D’Antoni, sounds as likely as Jason Sudeikus being invited back to the Celebrity All-Star Game."

  • Kobe Bryant is saying it's time for the Lakers to get in gear.

  • On ESPNBoston, Gregg Popovich tells Jackie MacMullen about Kevin Garnett's craziness, or focus, or whatever it is: "KG is unique in that regard. It's important to his game to get himself pumped up, to make sure when he steps on the court that it is the most important thing in his life for 48 minutes. He might be the best at it. Maybe it's a function of my age, but I kind of like it. Amusing isn't the right word, because that's too flippant. More like intriguing, or interesting. Any coach would love a player as focused as Kevin."

  • John Krolik of Cavs: The Blog: "If New York is fine with being Denver east, that’s fine for them. There are worse things than being Denver East."

  • Deron Williams teaches media theory. His point is heard, but may be unfair. The fact of the matter is that anonymous sources are a way of life in the NBA. Tough to ignore them when they're essential to breaking stories. Rather than only believing statements on the record, I'd argue for believing writers with track records of being right just about all the time. 'Cause the NBA's collection of on-the-record information is feeble.