David Lee's historic triple double

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David Lee is one of the polarizing guys for barstool pundits in the NBA. Half the people think he can’t defend, has benefited from Mike D’Antoni’s run and gun (even if the pace-factored stats suggest otherwise), and simply isn’t that good. His supporters think that he possesses a unique set of skills you rarely see in the league.

The debate will continue this summer when Lee is an unrestricted free agent (again). But Lee’s agent got a mighty big highlight clip to throw at teams last night.

Take that ability augmented by D’Antoni’s offense and stir in a dash of Golden State’s horrific defense? You’ve got a recipe for history.

Lee went off for 37 points, 20 rebounds, and 10 assists in a loss(!) to the Warriors last night.

Let that sink in for a second.

It was the first time since the ABA Merger in 1976 to score 37, grab 20 boards, and dish 10 dimes. I don’t care who that is, that’s an impressive triple double. Think of all the amazing players we’ve seen since the merger. No one has done what Lee did last night. And it was wasted in a loss. At some point you have to get past context and pace and recognize something, though. There’s no way Lee’s performance last night didn’t help the Knicks. He just needs to wind up on a team where he can contribute to a winner.

Nets’ national anthem singer kneels to finish performance

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NEW YORK (AP)—  The national anthem singer at the Brooklyn Nets’ home opener took a knee at the end of her performance.

Justine Skye was nearing the completion of the song Friday night when she went to one knee for the finish. There were some cheers, but appeared to be more boos from the crowd at Barclays Center to see the Nets play the Orlando Magic.

NBA players have continued to stand during the playing of the anthems, as required by league rule.

Mavericks’ rookie guard Dennis Smith Jr. misses game with knee swelling

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DALLAS (AP) — Dallas Mavericks rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr. missed Friday’s game against the Sacramento Kings with swelling in his left knee.

Smith, the ninth pick in the NBA draft out of North Carolina State, had 16 points and 10 assists in the Mavericks’ season-opening loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

Smith participated in the Mavericks’ shootaround on Friday morning and was a late scratch. It is not known if Smith will play Saturday for Dallas.

The Mavericks were also missing guard Devin Harris, who was granted leave of absence after his brother died on Thursday.

Watch Lonzo Ball’s 29 point, 11 rebound, 9 assist game Friday night


This was more of what fans expected from Lonzo Ball.

After a rough first game against the Clippers — with Patrick Beverley in his face all night — Ball found plenty of room to operate against the soft defense of the Phoenix Suns. With room to operate Ball had 29 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists — just one assist short of a triple-double. He helped the Lakers pull away to a lead in the third then hold on for a 132-130 win over the Suns.

Ball wasn’t terribly efficient, 12-of-27 shooting, but he was 4-of-9 from three, he played with great pace, he was decisive, and was finding guys with his passes. It was a step forward, even if it was against a sad defense (Eric Bledsoe can be a good defender, but he has seemed disinterested in recent years).

Ball and the Lakers are going to be up and down this season, the goal is for there to be more ups near the end of the season.

LeBron James rejects Giannis Antetokounmpo at the rim

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Through the first couple games of the season, Giannis Antetokounmpo has put up impressive numbers — he dropped 34 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists on the Cavaliers Friday night.

But the Cavaliers still have LeBron James.

He had 24 points and 8 assists, leading Cleveland to the win.

LeBron also reminded the Greek Freak just how good a rim protector he is. Few people can slow Antetokounmpo on the drive, but LeBron is one of them.

Is it too early to root for a Cavs vs. Bucks playoff series?