The Denver Nuggets helped coach George Karl claim his 1,001st win with a resounding victory last night at the Pepsi Center over the Orlando Magic, the Eastern Conference’s fourth-best team with one of the league’s best defenders, Dwight Howard. Carmelo Anthony led the way for the Nuggets, scoring a game-high 35 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Second-year point guard Ty Lawson, starting in place of the injured Chauncey Billups, threw in 16 points of his own along with six assists (box score via NBA.com). This marks Denver’s 10th straight win at the Pepsi Center and sets up the Nuggets for another tough game against the San Antonio Spurs Thursday night. But, as usual this season, more of the action last night happened off the hardwood.
After the game, a flurry of rumors indicated the Melo trade was finally going down, with the superstar supposedly headed to the New Jersey Nets in exchange for two first-round draft pick: rookie Derrick Favors and Troy Murphy. Channel 7’s Lionel Bienvenu garnered national attention with his tweet that the trade was official. But after the game, Melo said it was the first he’d heard of the deal and assured the gaggle of reporters that they’d know about any deal as soon as he does (via The Denver Post). The premature tweet has drawn scorn from national outlets like AOL Fanhouse and CBS Sports, which writes, “Denver TV station yells fire in a Carmelo theater.”
While the original tweet now seems to have been deleted, the station’s Twitter feed links to an article outlining the potential trade. Still, the deal doesn’t make sense. Melo has indicated he’ll only sign a long-term extension with the New York Knicks, and it’s unlikely the Nets would give up a pair of draft picks and a promising rookie like Favors to have Melo for just a few months, after which Melo would be free to sign wherever he wants.