Show me the money
… except Carmelo Anthony didn’t go into agreement to play alongside Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum with expectations of cash. Just expectations of self.
That his year of hard work would pay off and some team, any one of 30, would give him a chance. He was prepared to walk away, too, if that never materialized. Portland signed him back in November on a non-guaranteed deal much like the Los Angeles Lakers did with Dwight Howard.
(Just to understand the ‘non-guaranteed’ part of the deal, as an example, Howard was earning $14,490 for every day he is on the roster).
‘Melo’s start looked a little shaky, but by the fourth game with the Blazers, you could tell he was back to form, minus the ego and need for touches.
That humility and work ethic combined brought about a contract guarantee of $2.15 million for Anthony. The Blazers had another 32 days, but put all their chips on a guy who is showing flashes of the old Carmelo Anthony we got to know, and fall in love with, in Denver.
|Vs. NOP||10 points||4 rebounds||Shot 28.6 percent|
|Vs. MIL||18 points||7 rebounds||Shot 40.0 percent|
|Vs. CLE||11 points||2 rebounds||Shot 33.3 percent|
|Vs. CHI||25 points||8 rebounds||Shot 50.0 percent|
|Vs. OKC||19 points||4 rebounds||Shot 81.8 percent|
|Vs. CHI||23 points||11 rebounds||Shot 50.0 percent|
|Vs. LAC||9 points||6 rebounds||Shot 22.2 percent|
|Vs. SAC||20 points||5 rebounds||Shot 50.0 percent|
|AVERAGES||16.9 points||5.9 rebounds||44.8 percent|
Congratulations to Carmelo Anthony and the Portland Blazers. Now it’s time to get into the playoff picture and be the team they were in 2018-19 … with just a little bit more.
Philadelphia 76ers 113
Washington Wizards 119
McDonald’s doesn’t even make this many turnovers to start a morning shift on a wintry, cold day. But 15 was the number that Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons combined for last night in the nation’s capital (the Sixers had 21 total) as the Sixers turned over what should have been an easy win to the Washington Wizards.
|SIXERS (15-7)||WIZARDS (7-13)|
|#VFL Tobias Harris|
33 points – seven rebounds – three assists – one block
27 points – seven rebounds – two steals
26 points – 21 rebounds – one assist – one block
26 points – 10 rebounds – four assists
17 points – five rebounds – 10 assists – three steals
25 points – one rebound – one steal
Wizards at Heat – Tonight
Cavaliers at Sixers – Saturday
Denver Nuggets 129
New York Knicks 92
Eight players scored in double figures for the Denver Nuggets, who scored 30+ in each quarter last night to cruise past the New York Knicks, who rang up 18 in the second and 17 in the fourth to lose by 37 points at home in Madison Square Garden last night.
|NUGGETS (14-5)||KNICKS (4-18)|
17 points – two rebounds – two assists – one steal
17 points – seven rebounds – one assist – two steals – one block
16 points – three rebounds – one assist
10 points – four rebounds – one block
15 points – three rebounds – six assists – three steals – one block
10 points – two rebounds – two assists – one block
Nuggets at Celtics – Tonight
Pacers at Knicks – Saturday
Houston Rockets 119
Toronto Raptors 109
The return of Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka are going to take some reassimilation, and mean nothing to a hungry Houston Rockets team who felt robbed of a win against the San Antonio Spurs on a made-missed slam dunk by James Harden. Houston jumped out to a decent first quarter lead and kept the pressure on the escape the North with a much-needed win last night.
|ROCKETS (14-7)||RAPTORS (15-6)|
28 points – two rebounds – three assists – one steal
24 points – nine rebounds – two assists – two steals – one block
23 points – seven rebounds – three assists – five steals – one block
20 points – six rebounds – five assists – three steals – one block
19 points – 13 rebounds – 11 assists – two steals
19 points – five rebounds – eight assists – one steal
Suns at Rockets – Saturday
Raptors at Sixers – Sunday
Phoenix Suns 139
New Orleans Pelicans 132 (OT)
The Phoenix Suns led by 20 points early in the fourth quarter, 105-85. Never count your chickens before they hatch. The New Orleans Pelicans fought back with a valiant 34-18 fourth quarter surge that tied the game at 125-125 at the end of regulation, before falling 14-7 in the extra period.
|SUNS (10-11)||PELICANS (6-16)|
44 points – eight rebounds – nine assists – two steals
26 points – four rebounds – two assists – one steal
20 points – six rebounds – one assist – two steals
23 points – seven rebounds – six assists – five steals – one block
18 points – six rebounds – one assist – one steal – one block
21 points – six rebounds – four assists (fouled out)
Suns at Rockets – Saturday
Pelicans at Mavericks – Saturday
FRIDAY’S LINEUP / MY PICK ‘EMS
Orlando Magic at Cleveland Cavaliers – 7 p.m. EST – Fox Sports Ohio
Indiana Pacers at Detroit Pistons – 7 p.m. EST – Fox Sports Detroit
Brooklyn Nets at Charlotte Hornets – 7 p.m. EST – YES
Denver Nuggets at Boston Celtics – 8 p.m. EST – ESPN
Golden State Warriors at Chicago Bulls – 8 p.m. EST – NBC Sports Chicago
Washington Wizards at Miami Heat – 8 p.m. EST – NBC Sports Washington
Minnesota Timberwolves at Oklahoma City Thunder – 8 p.m. EST – FSN
Los Angeles Clippers at Milwaukee Bucks – 8:30 p.m. EST – FSN Prime Ticket
Sacramento Kings at San Antonio Spurs – 8:30 p.m. EST – NBC Sports California
Los Angeles Lakers at Portland Trailblazers – 10:30 p.m. EST – ESPN
The Rundown w/T-Money is a daily column “all things NBA” that will run through the entirety of the season, and the playoffs through the NBA Finals
Tracy Graven is a Senior Analyst for BackSportsPage.com.
He has written the NBA for the last two decades and is also tackling the NFL, NCAA, and pinch-hitting on some Major League Baseball coverage for BackSportsPage.
He’s spent 20 years in locker rooms in Orlando, Boise (G League), San Antonio, Phoenix, and Oklahoma City.
He currently lives in Knoxville, Tennessee with his wife and five children.
Reach him on Twitter at @RealTMoneyMedia