Carmelo's fantasy owners rejoice

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You’ll be able to tell people who own Carmelo Anthony in fantasy basketball leagues today. No matter what you tell them, there will be this little smile on their face, like they know something good is going to happen to them.

Like defensive question mark Danilo Gallinari asking to cover Anthony tonight. Lets allow Mitch Lawrence of the Daily News to tell the story.

Anthony already has hung 50 points on the Knicks this season – more than LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, Kevin Durant or any other NBA player.

Here’s the kicker: Not exactly known as a defender, Gallinari asked for the assignment.

“I like to play against the best because that’s the only way to improve,” he said Monday after practice in Greenburgh. “It’s a part of learning. It’s a part of trying to understand where I am and what I have to do get to that level and what they have more than me. I like the challenge.”

Gallinari has not been a terrible defender against small forwards, according to he allows opponents to shoot 50.4 percent (that’s effective field goal percentage, which gives a bonus for made threes made) and have a PER of 16.2, both a little above average but not out of control. However, Gallinari gets eaten up by power forwards, they have a PER of 20.5 against him his season.

Anthony technically plays the three, but he is anything but prototypical. He can bang like a power forward or drain threes. He is an offensive force. And Gallo is going to learn he cannot stop him. Meaning Carmelo’s fantasy owners are going to be very happy tonight.

Carmelo Anthony says he can play at high level 4-5 more years

USA Basketball Men's National Team Training Camp

Carmelo Anthony can flat-out score the rock — that has never been the question. Even hurting last season for many of the 40 games he played, he averaged 24.2 points a game, had a true shooting percentage of 53.1 percent (right near the league average) while having the entire weight of the Knicks offense on his shoulders (32.2 usage rate, fifth highest in the NBA). When people (or players) talk about him being overrated, the discussion turns to defense or if he makes his teammates better. But there should be no doubt Anthony is an elite scorer.

He thinks he will be for a while longer — like another five years. Via Ian Begley of ESPN:

In fact, the 31-year-old Knicks star is confident that he can play at a high level for the next “four or five years.”

“Without a doubt. Without a doubt,” Anthony said after the Knicks’ final training camp practice on Saturday.

The Knicks better hope that’s true, they already made that bet with that massive five-year contract they gave him last summer.

Anthony’s age combined with him coming off knee surgery have a lot of people — myself included — expecting him to take a step back. Not a big one, but he is coming up at the point in his career where some open shots he used to get are now contested because he’s half-a-step slower, and some of those looks don’t fall as often. His jumper isn’t suddenly going to look like Rajon Rondo‘s, ‘Melo is going to get his points, but he may not be as efficient.

Fortunately, the Knicks have an improved supporting cast around him this season. That should take some offensive load off his shoulders, and maybe the Knicks offense will see better ball movement and start to resemble the triangle. If it’s just more isolation Anthony, it’s not going to be pretty.

Kings pick up option on G Ben McLemore

Ben McLemore, Rodney Hood
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) The Sacramento have picked up the 2016-17 option on guard Ben McLemore‘s contract.

General manager Vlade Divac announced the move Saturday.

McLemore was Sacramento’s first-round pick in 2013. He averaged 12.1 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists last season.