I ask because for the last couple of games now it has seemed like Carmelo Anthony has been more of a side dish instead of the Mile High entrée. And if you haven’t been keeping an eye on the NBA’s scoring race this early in the season; let me bring you up to speed. Allen Iverson is now the Nuggets top scorer. At the twenty game mark, AI is averaging 25.5 points (4th in the NBA), 7.4 assists, three rebounds, and 2.5 steals while Carmelo’s average of 25.2 (still good enough for 6th best in the league making he and AI the only duo in the top ten) has dropped from 28.9 points last year when he came in second in scoring to only Kobe Bryant after leading the league for most the year. Granted, Carmelo’s assist average is currently at a career-high 4.3 per game, but it’s not like any of the other Nuggets are stealing his looks with the next highest ppg average being J.R. Smith at eleven.
So who IS the leader of the Denver Nuggets?
I’m not going to try and distinguish who exactly is the leader of this team between AI and ‘Melo based upon statistical achievements (or create controversy seeing how I don’t care which player people delegate for one reason or another), but I will clearly define what kind of qualities these very inconsistent Nuggets still desperately need in one. The Nuggets seek a player that knows how to bring the best out of our worst man. A player that sparks the Nuggets when they are down by ten or on the verge of putting a team away by 20+. A player that sets the tone. Not just offensively, but defensively too. Can AI be this guy? Maybe. We have seen him take an otherwise mediocre 76ers team all the way to the NBA Finals. Could ‘Melo do it? We have seen him take an otherwise mediocre Syracuse team to the NCAA Championship but the answer is again, maybe.
For now, the Nuggets “leader” role is one to watch because without it solidified, I still think that this year’s team is going to continue to show glimpses of greatness while also, at times, appearing like they are on the verge of falling apart. Anyone have thoughts on who, so far, has been the leader of this team? And no wise answers like “George Karl”, knuckle heads!