By now, you’ve read all about it in the morning edition of your daily newspaper and heard all about it on ESPN. But how does the blockbuster trade of Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks affect the San Antonio Spurs, if at all?
The Spurs have a 3-0 season series lead against the Nuggets, but consider this. One of the wins was a 113-112 nail-biter. That game, Anthony scored 31 points to go with nine rebounds. Another of the wins, Anthony was out with an injury.
Add to that the Nuggets matched up extremely well with the Spurs before the Anthony trade. The Nuggets had a game changer in Anthony, a player capable of defending Tony Parker well with Chauncey Billups and a frontcourt with size that could cause some problems for the Spurs. The Nuggets bench also rivaled that of the Spurs, and with the Nuggets one game out of eighth place, the Spurs could have possibly been looking at a big hurdle in the first round of the playoffs.
Not to say that Denver didn’t pull in some nice pieces and did well to get as much as they did for Anthony before he walked away this summer for nothing, but a contender they are no more. They are a much younger group and lost a lot of playoff experience and finals experience when they sent Anthony and Billups to the “Big Apple.”
While the Knicks are improved and will make things interesting in the East, the trade possibly made the Spurs path to a fifth title a bit easier and took one obstacle out of their way.
But don’t expect the Spurs to rest on their laurels, especially considering the talent in the Western Conference.