Amar’e runs into an old problem; Kobe vs. Carmelo in Denver

It’s the never-ending NBA dilemma: Young teams don’t win championships, but old teams don’t have bright futures. So how do you balance the roster if you want to win now and keep winning later? … The Spurs may be figuring it out. In last night’s win over the Knicks, we saw the old San Antonio regime mesh with the new: Tim Duncan (21 points, 16 rebounds, 5 blocks) turned in a throwback performance and dominated Amar’e Stoudemire (18 points, 15 rebounds, 4 steals). Those numbers might not show it, but Duncan and DeJuan Blair (18 points, 13 rebounds) had STAT flustered the entire game … Mike D’Antoni‘s offensive juggernaut struggled in their halfcourt sets all night, while San Antonio was running a clinic. Whether it was Gary Neal threes in the first half or Duncan eating up Ronny Turiaf and/or Amar’e in the post, or even Richard Jefferson catching backdoor lobs, San Antonio seemed to get whatever shot they wanted … One time Raymond Felton (23 points) got into the lane a step ahead of Tony Parker (21 points, 13 assists) before slowing up and moving into Parker’s path to try to create a foul. It’s otherwise known as the “Chris Paul.” Felton nearly got a foul out of it. So the next time down Felton tried it again on Manu Ginobili, but the Bald One flopped backwards, drawing an offensive foul. And you wonder why, every few years, a frustrated opponent wants to karate chop Manu in the face … Now that the Denver fans have begun turning on Carmelo Anthony, his teammates could be next. ‘Melo no-showed yesterday morning’s shootaround before the Nuggets faced the Lakers with an undisclosed personal reason, reportedly breaking the news to the team via text. When he showed up for the game, some teammates told reporters, they didn’t even know he was there. On the court, ‘Melo has been handling his business throughout this whole trade saga. But last night he just didn’t seem all the way there. ‘Melo scored a quiet 23 points and picked up a frustration technical in the fourth quarter … Meanwhile, the Nuggets got manhandled in the paint by Pau Gasol (19 points, 13 rebounds) and Lamar Odom (18 points, 10 rebounds) en route to a double-digit loss. Kobe scored 18 …Read More>>

The first few minutes of Rockets/Grizzlies was panning out like the opening act of the Kevin Martin Variety Hour. He scored early and often and from everywhere on the court, and after K-Mart (32 points) stuck a step-back trey, one Memphis announcer said in a dejected tone, “The worst, ugliest-looking shot you’ve ever seen. And absolutely one of the best shooters you’ve ever seen.” … Houston dominated the boards and had a decent lead at halftime, but Zach Randolph got rolling in the second half and finished just shy of a 30-and-20 stat line with 29 points and 19 rebounds in a five-point Grizzlies win … We don’t want to write the kid off too early, but we’re running out of reasons to believe Hasheem Thabeet will make anything close to the impact you’d expect from a No. 2 draft pick. Not long after Thabeet checked into the game in the first quarter, Chuck Hayes (6-6) squared up on Thabeet (7-3) and bullied him going to the rack for a layup like he was Carmelo scoring on a tackling dummy … In the Celtics’ blowout win over Utah, Tommy Heinsohn and Mike Gorman were discussing Kyrylo Fesenko when Gorman mentioned Fess is from Ukraine. Tommy Points joked, “Looks like the entire Ukraine.” … Ridiculous night out in Atlanta. Just in case you didn’t realize, the Hornets (28-16) are right back near the top of the West, and last night was supposed to be a big test to see how far they’d come. The problem was that apparently the Atlanta Dream showed up to play instead of the Atlanta Hawks, and Chris Paul posted 16 points, 8 dimes and 3 steals in a 100-59 laugher. Yes, FIFTY-NINE points. Joe Johnson was limited to 9 points (4-12 FG) while his team made just 29 percent of their shots from the field and were outrebounded 55-32 … A couple nights after dropping the game-winner on Indiana, Monta Ellis came back and hit a jumper with less than one second on the clock to force overtime in Warriors/Kings. Monta (28 points, 9 assists) capped a fourth-quarter comeback that started when Golden State was down by nine with three minutes to go, and then led the Warriors to a seven-point win in the OT … Other headlines from around the League: Dwight Howard (31 points, 19 rebounds) and the Magic vaporized Toronto by 40; Channing Frye scored 25 points to lead the Suns in a blowout of the Wizards; Andrew Bogut‘s 23 points helped Milwaukee beat Cleveland; and New Jersey won by 15 over Detroit in a game that would have been way more interesting had Kim Kardashian put on a uniform and bounced around. Oh wait, that’s every New Jersey game … Just when the Mavs thought they were getting help for their suddenly sorry offense, the Peja Stojakovic acquisition ran into a snag. It turns out, some other teams have complained to the NBA that Dallas had an illegal pre-arranged trade with the Raptors — a deal where the Mavs would send Alexis Ajinca, a 2nd-round draft pick and money to Toronto for ’07 draftee Georgios Printezis — set up in order to make an open roster spot for Peja knowing that he’d sign with them following a buyout. We’re hearing that the trade and Peja’s signing will both likely still happen, though. Remind us again why teams are fighting over Peja Stojakovic again? … We’re out like Thabeet’s progress …