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Thursday, January 19, 2012
Opening Tip: Was 'Melo trade better for Den or NY?

By Ian Begley

Every weekday morning throughout the season, ESPNNewYork.com will tackle a burning question about the Knicks in our "Opening Tip."

Today's Burning Question: Was the Carmelo Anthony trade better for New York or Denver?


Here are the facts: the Knicks are two games under .500 [20-22] in the regular season since the Carmelo Anthony trade. [Six games below if you count their four-game sweep against Boston in the first round of the playoffs.]

The Nuggets are 16 games over .500 [28-12] in the regular season since the trade. [13 games over if you count the postseason].

Let's look back at the deal: The Knicks sent Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari, Raymond Felton and Timofey Mozgov to the Nuggets. They also dealt Anthony Randolph and Eddy Curry to Minnesota.

New York acquired Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Renaldo Balkman, Anthony Carter and Shelden Williams from the Denver. The also received Corey Brewer from the Timberwolves.

Neither team, of course, kept all of those pieces. The Knicks got rid of Billups through the amnesty clause to create the cap space needed to acquire Tyson Chandler. Carter, Williams and Brewer are gone. Balkman is still on the roster in a reserve role.

For Denver, Chandler is playing in China and Felton was dealt to Portland in a transaction that netted Andre Miller.

The Nuggets come to town Saturday for the first time since the Anthony trade. And they will come to town with a higher winning percentage than New York.

The Nuggets are 10-5 this season after topping the Sixers in overtime on Wednesday. They've won two straight. The Knicks, on the other hand, have lost four in a row and are 6-8. Both teams play one game before Saturday's showdown.

The Knicks' biggest issue at the moment on the offensive end.

Mike D'Antoni's club ranks 22nd in offensive efficiency, measured by points per 100 possessions. The Nuggets, on the other hand, rank fifth in that stat. And the teams are nearly identical when measured by defensive efficiency -- the Knicks allow 99.1 points per 100 possessions and the Nuggets allow 99.2 per 100.

Which leads us to our question:

All things considered, who got the best of the deal? Denver or New York? And when it's all said and done, which team will ultimately come out as a winner in this trade?

Let us know in the comments section below.

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