Wilson Chandler, other Knicks-turned-Nuggets, check their egos to beat Celtics: Still miss Melo?

wilson chandler head shot.JPG
Chandler.
Chauncey Billups may have been more valuable than Carmelo Anthony in their first game for the Knicks since the blockbuster Melo trade -- but Anthony got all the love. And the new Nuggets acquisitions, including Juggernaut-tattoo-wearing Wilson Chandler? They debuted versus the Boston Celtics last night and played a frantic brand of basketball that avoided me-first showboating -- and beat the Celtics doing it.

Granted, the Celtics were so undermanned following a day of (marginally inexplicable) trades to beat yesterday's deadline that D-league call-up Chris Johnson played significant minutes. And early on, the Nuggets' play wasn't pretty. Danilo Gallinari's first several jumpers suggested that he couldn't hit the side of an aircraft carrier, and Raymond Felton sometimes let his legs speed past his brain. No wonder the Nugs had just 37 points at halftime.

And yet, the combination of old Nuggets and new exuded an energy we haven't seen from the squad in a long, long time -- and, as a bonus, they appeared to be just as interested in playing defense as offense. Apparently, they heard coach George Karl when he said the absence of no-D Anthony opened up opportunities for improvement on both sides of the game.

Oh yeah: Wilson Chandler had one of those nights, scoring sixteen points on five of nine shooting. His production helped Denver pull away from the obviously gassed Bostonites in the second half.

Chandler can't be counted on for this level of basket-filling night in and night out. He's a lot like J.R. Smith: Some nights, he lives up to the word "Unstoppable" that's tattooed across his back. Other nights, he's an ocean-misser. But what was bracing about last night's performance was the willingness of everyone in Denver colors to share the ball and the effort, rather than sitting back and watching one person -- read, Melo -- determine the shape and pace of a possession.

Scoring could be a problem for these Nuggets, but depth won't be -- and if they play like they have something to prove for the rest of the season, this team may surprise some people. Just like it surprised the Celtics last night.

More from our Sports archive: "Chauncey Billups gets apology from Nuggets, Josh Kroenke -- but will fans accept it?"

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6 comments
AtotheLo
AtotheLo

Wilson Chandler was one of the most consistent players for New York, so I wouldn't even compare his production to JR Smith's volatility, if anything Gallinari should get the nod for inconsistency

George Karl is already very excited about Chandler's two-way game, who knows, this may be his chance to finally shine with an opportunity to play in the playoffs with a great coach

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

AtotheLo, I'd love it if you're right on this one -- and I hope you are. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Knicksfan1
Knicksfan1

As a Knicks fan (who coincidentally is now watching Nuggets games as well) - you guys got the steal.. Gallo is someone who Karl can turn into a superstar - POTENTIAL with capital letters - definitely looked out of sorts, but once he figures out his place, look out - if Nene kicks, he is deadly... Chandler is a good pro who can do everything needed - when the confidence is there, look out... Felton is still maturing - helter skelter is what was asked from him, so thats how he plays - once Karl slows him down and he learns everyones tendencies, he will be back to form. And I cant wait to see them develop Moz....

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

Interesting perspective, Knicksfan1, and one we're not hearing much these days. Thanks for posting.

MKE
MKE

I'm a Knicks fan.. first time i watched a complete Nuggets game coz I want to see how our former Knick players are doing. We love them and we want them to succeed there in the West. So we're happy for the Nuggets right now and we hope that you all be happy for the Knicks as well. Win-win. Goodluck Denver!

Forthepans22
Forthepans22

Scoring won't be a problem man. I'm a knick fan, and I loved felton gallo and chandler so much (as players obviously) that I decided to start watching nuggests games. Chandler is a great player, and Felton is an excellent point, Gallo just had a poor game. Go easy on him. He's not used to the offense, or the plays. He'll get there he has a on of potential.

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