The Third Man

Trying to think of something novel to say about last night's debut of the Melo-Iverson Supernuggets, what I've got is that insofar as this team proves successful (beating Memphis is neither here nor there) it'll be because you're really looking at a three-headed monster here, not a duo. Marcus Camby is, when healthy, a very good true center in an era when true centers are in short supply. Last night he offered 17 points on 6-11 shooting. He pulled down 17 boards. He blocked three shots, had two steals, three assists, and zero turnovers. And he's the anchor of the defense. And defense is crucial to Denver's success. They rank high on points scored and points allowed measures because they play at a super-fast pace, but at least up until the debut of the superstar duo they've been better at defensive efficiency than offensive efficiency.

The point, at any rate, is that not only is that a lot of production, but it's production very few guys in this league can offer. Only Dikembe Mutombo in limited minutes and acknowledged star Dwight Howard have higher rebound rates, Camby's better than Howard on the defense end, and while he's not a stellar scorer he's not an offensive liability either.