For a long time we heard the talks, the rumors of Carmelo Anthony being traded to the New Jersey Nets. That was of course until New Jersey Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov put an end to the back and forth banter.
Last night it seemed as thought both Anthony and the entire New Jersey Nets current roster had extra motivation. New Jersey hosted Denver Nuggets at the Prudential Center in Newark. It was Anthony’s first appearance in Newark this season and since all the trade rumors.
Since Prohkorov put a stop to trade talks, the Nets have played much better basketball. Last night was no different.
Just about every Nets player was mentioned in trade talks at some point. It was a team effort last night and head coach Avery Johnson got contributions for a variety of players. Ten players scored for the Nets last night as 11 saw time on the court.
Travis Outlaw came out on fire and got the Nets rolling early en route to his 21 points. Brook Lopez, the big center, led the team with 27 points.
Point guard Devin Harris who’s names seems to always come up around trade discussion involving the Nets, ran the offense to perfection last night. If anyone was motivated, Harris was certainly one of them. He only scored nine points in the game but Harris dished out an incredible 18 assists.
As a team the Nets kept turnovers down, only turning the ball over ten times compared to the 16 giveaways by the Nuggets. New Jersey recorded 11 steals as they played tough defense throughout.
Carmelo Anthony did his best to carry the Nuggets last night. Anthony dropped in 37 points while finishing one rebound short of a double double. In just over 40 minutes on the floor, Anthony shot 12-of-22 from the floor and 11-of-13 from the free throw line. Chancey Billups and Nene had 19 and 16 points respectively for Denver who fell to 28-20 with the loss.
New Jersey shot 53.2% from the field, 60% from behind the arc, and 84.6% from the foul line last night. The contributions not only came from the starters, but the bench played exceptionally well also.
Kris Humphries scored 15 points and grabbed 9 rebounds in just under 27 minutes on the floor.
Anthony Morrow came off the bench and was almost perfect. Morrow made all six of his shots from the floor as well as all four three-point attempts. The only shot he missed all night was a foul shot as he was 3-of-4 from the line. Morrow finished with 18 points.
Many people believe Morrow has earned a starting role, but while he is contributing so well off the bench, why move him?
New Jersey improved to 15-34 on the season. With the win, the Nets are now over .500 at the Prudential Center this season. 14,039 were in attendance last night to see the Nets play with a chip on their shoulder.
The Nets have a nice group of young talent including first round pick Derrick Favors who added six points and six rebounds. If the Nets were to trade for Anthony, that young core would be dismantled. Is it worth it?
At least for one night, the Nets did not need Carmelo.
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