Posted Jan 17 2011 10:31AM
24 -- In anticipation of the trade finally happening, Carmelo Anthony jerseys are now 50 percent off in Denver. So after the 'Melo-drama, how much more will the price drop if he stays?
23 -- After seven straight wins, the question wasn't what happened to the so-called downfall of the Lakers' empire, but when exactly would the next two-game losing streak set off purple-and-gold panic again?
22 -- Oh, those must have been the alarm bells ringing with Sunday's loss to the Clippers as Kobe Bryant questioned the competitiveness of Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom and now the cupcake diet gives way to the meat of the schedule.
21 -- Blake Griffin gets most of his notoriety for his almost nightly display of slam-dunking awesomeness. But maybe his best move came when the rookie spoke up during a team meeting that began to turn the season around and has produced nine wins in the last 13 games.
20 -- The only person standing in the way of Tyrus Thomas continues to be Tyrus Thomas.
19 --Take a bow, Kevin McHale, for dishing out an assist to the memory and goals of the late Manute Bol.
18 -- Eight years ago, when he'd played just 47 games over three seasons, who figured Grant Hill would ever get to 16,000 career points?
17 -- Coaches are always talking about playing them one game at a time. Now 'Melo seems to be taking his career in Denver that way.
16 -- LeBron James, meet karma.
15 -- George Karl says Europe is "real basketball" and the NBA is "Hollywood." Then again, he might get to re-experience Albany of the CBA with his Nuggets when 'Melo is gone?
14 -- Hollywood? Has Karl ever heard of Gregg Popovich and the Spurs?
13 -- Why is it the only one who seems convinced that the big three-way trade is going to go down any day is Pistons' GM Joe Dumars? Why else would Rip Hamilton be sitting?
12 -- OK, so commissioner David Stern got Clippers owner Donald Sterling to stop heckling his own player, Baron Davis. So, of course, Sterling needs something to do and starts heckling Stern.
11 -- Wanna buy a new car? Jerry Sloan swears he'll help.
10 -- What if the NBA held a 2-on-2 tournament as part of All-Star Weekend with teams made up of players from the same home town? Go back and watch the fourth quarter showdown Saturday night between Derrick Rose and Dwyane Wade and get ready to hand the trophy to Chicago.
9 -- Rajon Rondo is still playing his way back into full shape, Kevin Garnett gets ready to return to the lineup and the Celtics are still ahead of everyone else in the East. So tell me again, why is everyone talking about Miami, Chicago and Orlando?
8 -- Meanwhile, here's a scary thought about the "boring Spurs" in the West: Only twice in the eight seasons since they moved into the AT&T have the Spurs (35-6) lost more games in the second half of the season than the first.
7 -- The Hawks can score a lot of points, win 10 in a row at home and have another 50-win season. But it's losing at Philips Arena to the plummeting Rockets that will keep everyone doubting.
6 -- Quote of the week: When asked about the special problems presented by the defense of the Rockets' Shane Battier, Kevin Durant shook his head and grinned. "Are you serious? I just scored 30."
5 -- Of course, kids say the darnedest things. But do you really want to be Chris Bosh and make a stand against hustle?
4 -- Now that he's got most of the free world finally off his back, for his next trick Erik Spoelstra can go to South Beach and dig up what used to be Mike Miller's shooting touch.
3 -- Get out those measuring sticks for the MLK Day showdown with Thunder at Lakers. First meeting since that playoff meeting last spring.
2 -- 'Melo's sole goal is to win a championship, would love to do it with Chauncey Billups and knows that Billups wants most to remain in Denver. Sooooooooo?
1 -- Get ready, Chris Paul. As soon as the 'Melo deal gets done, you're back on the clock.
Fran Blinebury has covered the NBA since 1977. You can e-mail him here and follow him on twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting.
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