Denver flourishing minus Melo

Melo and Billups may have done more for Denver by heading to New York. Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images

When the blockbuster trade between the New York Knicks and Denver Nuggets went down before the trade deadline, it seemed to signal that the two franchises were headed in opposite directions. The Nuggets appeared to be restocking the farm with an eye on the future, while the Knicks were looking for immediate returns. It's a prevailing storyline, after all, when stars get dealt.

But we may have gotten the teams mixed up. Weeks later, the Nuggets now look like a team firmly in win-now mode, having won 10 of their 14 games since dealing away the All-Stars. The Knicks since the trade? 7-9.

So are the Knicks really a sub-.500 team going forward? And are the Nuggets actually better off without Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups?