Jameer Nelson, J.J. Redick, Dwight Howard

Baseline to Baseline recaps: Where the Knicks and Magic try to make statements

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What you missed while eating too much roast beast…

We talked about the lessons from the Lakers/Heat already, so we’ll move on.

Knicks 103, Bull 95: This one was close — tied with 10 minutes left — until Chicago missed their next 12 in a row, and ended  up shooting 26 percent in the fourth quarter. In contrast, the Knicks were just flat out shooting the rock well all day and from pretty much every spot on the floor (12-22 from three). I’m not crediting the Knicks defense totally for Chicago’s struggles but the result is the same and they will take it.

Magic 86, Boston 78: The Celtics really missed Rajon Rondo and his ability to create at the end of this one. The Magic closed this game out on a 15-1 run and the Celtics were not creating the looks they like, and even when they did Ray Allen was missing catch-and-shoots off the screen or Paul Pierce was missing open threes.

But take nothing away from the Magic, who are making Otis Smith look really smart the last couple of games.

Thunder 114, Nuggets 106: No Carmelo Anthony but the Nuggets hung in this one for a half. Then Kevin Durant happened — 21 points in the third alone. The Thunder rode his momentum to the win. Chauncey Billups dropped 30 for the Nuggets.

Golden State 109, Portland 102: Damn it is fun to watch Monta Ellis play. Well unless you are a Blazers fan. He dropped 39 in this one. The Warriors came from behind on a Blazers team that didn’t have Brandon Roy to steady them (although Andre Miller tried).

Khris Middleton dunks, Jimmy Butler can’t stop him (VIDEO)

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Khris Middleton has more expectations and more pressure on him after a breakout season in Milwaukee, followed by him getting him PAID this summer.

Well, he looked pretty good on this play against the Bulls, making the steal then throwing down despite Jimmy Butler‘s efforts to stop him.

Middleton finished with 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting for the Bucks. However, Butler had the last laugh as he went off for 23 points on 12 shots and led the Bulls to the (meaningless) preseason win.

Somebody looks comfortable: Paul George drops 20 in first quarter

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Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.

His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.

George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).

As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.