Carmelo Anthony and the wonders of threat construction

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Carmelo Anthony feels wronged. It fuels him in practice, keeps him hungry, and serves as a constant reminder that he has to hit the court every night in an effort to prove someone wrong.

Wronged by whom, you ask? Why, the ever-ambiguous media bogeyman, of course. From Chris Tomasson of NBA FanHouse:

Denver Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony still claims his team isn’t getting any respect. “We still feel disrespected,” Anthony said after the latest dispatching of an NBA heavyweight, 114-105 Sunday over Boston at the Pepsi Center. “We still go out there with a chip on our shoulder. That chip is not going anywhere.” Wait a minute. Who’s disrespecting the Nuggets these days? “You guys that write,” Anthony said, referring to the media, although he didn’t have any specific examples to offer.

Forget the fact that the Nuggets have been considered the only non-Laker contender in the Western Conference all year long, and stand as the nearly-unanimous #2 in the conference hierarchy. Never you mind that Carmelo Anthony was generating legitimate MVP buzz at the start of the season, or that Denver had two representatives in the All-Star Game. Everyone on the planet is out to get the Nuggets, and they don’t like it one bit.

Players and coaches use all kinds of motivational tactics to give themselves the strength to face an 82-game regular season. Plus, regardless of what you think of Anthony’s assertion, it’s hard to argue the results; the Nuggets have been rolling all season long despite injuries to prominent members of the rotation, and most recently they bested the Boston Celtics on national television.

If you look hard enough, you can find a media member to represent just about any perspective. I’m sure there are writers out there who don’t believe the Nuggets to be an elite team, and have written as such, just as you could find writers who genuinely believe that the Lakers aren’t good enough to win the West, LeBron James isn’t the MVP, or that the Cavaliers trading for Antawn Jamison was a mistake. There are countless voices out there with just as many perspectives. But hey, if Carmelo needs to use the big, bad media as a reason to play some beautiful and effective basketball, just as the Nuggets have all season long, then that’s just fine. 

Report: Andrew Bogut to be out two weeks with bone bruise in knee

Dallas Mavericks center Andrew Bogut (6) of Australia reaches down to his right leg after suffering an unknown injury in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Charlotte Hornets on Monday, Dec. 5, 2016, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
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Andrew Bogut left just 10 minutes into Dallas’ eventual loss to Charlotte Monday with what looked to be a hyperextended knee. After the game, coach Rick Carlisle said an MRI was coming, but they expected Bogut to miss time.

Looks like it will be a couple of weeks at least, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.

The Mavericks are 8.6 points per 100 possessions better when Bogut is on the court, all because their defense is vastly superior when he is on the court.

With Bogut out, look for Dwight Powell to get more run.

Bogut’s name has come up in trade rumors, this kind of injury isn’t going to change that.

Meyers Leonard yells ‘Meyers’ at Bulls PA announcer, who kept calling him Myles (video)

Portland Trail Blazers' Meyers Leonard foreground, battles Chicago Bulls' Jimmy Butler background, for a rebound during the second half of a NBA basketball game Monday, Dec. 5, 2016, in Chicago. Portland won 112-110. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)
AP Photo/Paul Beaty
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Meyers Leonard grew up in Illinois. He played at the University of Illinois.

So, last night’s Trail Blazers-Bulls game in Chicago was a bit of a homecoming for him.

That’s probably why he was particular perturbed the Bulls’ PA announcer kept calling him Myles. So, the Portland big man issued a stern correction:

For anyone in the Midwest, I trimmed this into a handy Vine you can use in case anyone asks which grocery store you’re headed to:

Klay Thompson masters scoring while barely having the ball

Golden State Warriors' Klay Thompson follows through on a shot during the third quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers on Monday, Dec. 5, 2016, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
AP Photo/Ben Margot
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Warriors guard Klay Thompson possessed the ball for 1:28 last night.

Teammate Ian Clark had it for 2:05.

Obviously, Thompson made a little more of his opportunities.

Thompson scored an insane 60 points in 29 minutes in Golden State’s win over the Pacers.

Remarkably, he didn’t hijack the offense to produce those eye-popping numbers. Thompson shot a cool 21-of-33 from the field, and 20 of his baskets were assisted. In addition to Clark, Stephen Curry,Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Shaun Livingston all possessed the ball longer than Thompson.

In fact, nobody has come close to scoring so much while having the ball so little.

Here are the highest scoring games since the NBA began publishing possession time in 2013-14, marking points in time of possession:

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The the second-lowest time of possession on that leaderboard was also by Thompson. He scored 52 points in 2:40 of possession against the Kings in 2015.

But even that game required more than a minute of extra touch time.

Who has scored the most points in a game while possessing the ball for fewer than two minutes? Again, Thompson litters the list – with last night blowing the rest out of the water:

  • Klay Thompson (GSW-IND 12-5-16):60 in 1:28
  • Klay Thompson (GSW-DAL 1-27-16):45 in 1:40
  • Bojan Bogdanovic (BRK-PHI 3-15-16):44 points in 1:53
  • Klay Thompson (GSW-PHO 12-16-15):43 in 1:17
  • Anthony Davis (NOP-UTA 11-22-14):43 points in 1:36

Maybe Thompson knew what he was talking about when he said he wasn’t sacrificing for Durant. Even with his usage rate down slightly, Thompson has still found ways to flourish. He gets hot in a hurry.

It does take him a while to cool down, though.

Stephen Curry runs from bench into tunnel celebrating Klay Thompson 3-pointer (video)

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Ever been so excited you didn’t know to react?

That was Stephen Curry as Klay Thompson worked his way toward 60 points in 29 minutes, running from the bench toward midcourt then doubling back and heading right into the tunnel.

Eventually, Curry found his senses and tried to put out the fire.