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This year the Spurs are going to run… no, Popovich means it this time. Really.

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The Spurs were not the slowest team in the NBA last season — actually they were 19th, tied with the Bucks. They were faster than the Celtics, Cavaliers, Haws and the dead-last Blazers.

It just never feels like it. They feel slow, methodical.

This year is going to be different. Sure, 29 other coaches said their team is going to run more this season, but Gregg Popovich means it, as he told the San Antonio Express-News.

“We talk about it every year,” Popovich said. “This year, I’m demanding it.”

“We’ve got to figure out some ways to squeeze out a few more easy baskets,” Popovich said. “We work too hard to score.”

They are never going to be the seven-seconds-or-less Spurs, nor should they be. Popovich knows that just a few easy buckets a game can be a big boost in offense. So the Spurs are going to run…

Okay, they are one possession slower a game in the preseason than they were last season, but we’re not counting preseason. Right?

If Tony Parker is fully back this season the Spurs tempo should pick up, but check back in a couple months for the actual results. It may look a lot like the preseason.

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.