Thursday, May 21, 2009


Hey fans, the Meatballs are honored to have a guest blogger tonight.  Without further ado,  The Lube Tube and his thoughts on the Denver Nuggets:

Coming into the Western conference finals, I still wasn’t sure what to make of the season that Denver was/is having. Better said, I just didn’t see it coming. I’ve followed Denver for the better part of four years now, all thanks to a friend that was totally in love (as far as love goes between a man and a sports figure) with Carmelo during his Syracuse time. What’s worse is that Denver, the team people made fun of pretty much every year that I’ve followed for their lack of post-season success, is the only team of mine that’s relevant. I’m a Bengals fan, a Reds fan, and I don’t follow hockey or soccer. (No man should follow soccer if he lives in the States. If you’re from Europe, that’s fine, but come on America, you’re rooting for a sport that in our country was the first to give away trophies for just participating. That’s like trying to call karate a sport. Ask my friends, if you follow soccer, I like you less.) First round exits are what I would get excited about. So much like Carmelo and most of the other Nuggets, this is new for me too.


If you follow the NBA, which many of you don’t, you’ve heard tons of stories about Carmelo becoming a better player, about the impact of Chauncey bringing balance, and the “maturation” of JR Smith, and the energy of Chris “Birdman” Anderson. Since so many have written/spoken/blogged about that. I’ll try to delve deeper.


JR Smith is not mature. He will never be mature. That’s like saying that girls all around the country won’t drag their boyfriends/husbands/dads to the next Twilight movie. Poor bastards. He still shoots 3’s that make me wince and I feel like he doesn’t know what stage he’s playing on. And I’m totally fine with it. He’s too talented and makes too many 3’s for me to make him do anything different. The last thing you want to do is change his style of play, because in the end, that’s what sets him apart. He’s going to take bad shots at the wrong times, and yet, there’s still a good chance they go in. If Gasol is the factor for the Lakers to win the conference finals, then Smith is the Nuggets’ answer.


Birdman. Did you know that he has a tattoo of Mario eating a mushroom? Did you know below it, that there’s a tattoo of Mario stoned out of his mind? How is that NOT someone you want on your team? Say what you want about the energy he brings off the bench, or the shot blocking ability, but sober, Birdman is too much fun to be around. His hair style alone (one of them, titled the “Rooster Tail”, an amazing frohawk) makes my HD worth every penny.

(editor's note: here is a video of the Birdman discussing his tattoos.  Wow, they even have their own twitter page)


Chauncey has had so much written about him, and it’s all well deserved. He came to a city with dysfunctional players, made them a team, and knows exactly when he needs to inject his offense into the game. He’s everything you want in a point guard. Let’s just hope his future coaching career (which is inevitable, right?) doesn’t go the way of Isaiah.


Last, we have the most important piece: Carmelo. Game 1 of the Lakers series already happened, and if you were lucky enough to watch, it was a great game. The best player on the court wasn’t Kobe, or Pau, or Chauncey. It was Anthony. There was just something about his game that night that was smooth, even for his standards. There was only one shot that I didn’t like, and when you put up 39 points, I’ll live with that. It wasn’t just this game though that has impressed me with Anthony. It isn’t that he didn’t care until now. Rather, I think he knew he just needed to save everything for this time of year. I noticed early in the year he was working on getting his touch back, so he was taking an alarming amount of jumpers. In shootarounds, he worked from three or four spots from the 3-point line and wouldn’t shoot from there for most of the game. To be honest, I didn’t know what the hell he was doing for the first 50 games. I chalked it up to his injury; stating, hoping, praying that he was just shaking off the rust and getting his legs back after the Olympics. I didn’t realize that he was quietly improving his game, bit by bit, until March. With about 20 games left in the season, I noticed he started driving to the basket more. He was working on his finishes around the basket. He reduced his number of jab-step jumpers that he would take from 18 feet away. I got giddy. I told friends that he was going to make a splash in the playoffs. He realized that no one can guard him. He’s too big, he’s too fast with his first step, and quietly, he’s too good of a 3-point shooter to leave open. 

When they came into the league Lebron was Sonny, D-Wade was Michael, and Melo was Fredo. Even during the Olympics, they rode him, giving him a hard time during the practices about his playoff exits. Did you happen to catch Kobe’s faces as he was guarding Carmelo in the post in Game 1? No smiles. Why? He was getting beat up. Carmelo wanted it, and when he had the ball, he could basically do no wrong. Even though they lost, you have to like that fire he showed in game 1. Does that fire carry them to the NBA finals? I have no idea, but you better believe I’m hoping and praying it does. That’s a nice change.


-The Lube Tube

1 comment:

  1. Interesting post, Lube Tube. I definitely liked your take on the important pieces to the Denver Nuggets puzzle.

    However, I disagree with you in your final paragraph: "When they came into the league...Melo was Fredo." He just won a national title a Syracuse basically by himself, and Hakim Warrick's freakishly long arms. That doesn't sound like a Fredo to me.

    I would liken him more to Cody from Step by Step...a not-too bright guy (because honestly, how many pounds of weed do you think Carmelo has smoked in his life? 10? 20?) who can get stuff done when needed; not a failure who tried to have his brother assassinated.

    Good post, though. I enjoyed it.