Milwaukee Bucks v New York Knicks

‘Melo does what ‘Melo does, but old guy Toney Douglas saves Knicks


Knicks fans, this is what you’re going to get from Carmelo Anthony.

He had 27 points and one assist. He shot 10 of 25 on the night and you’re saying, “He had a poor shooting night.” Not really, he had a pretty average shooting night for himself — he is shooting 45.2 percent from the floor this season. Take 25 shots and he’ll normally hit 11 or 12. He was only slightly below that.

But he can create his own shot, and he does not back down from the big moment.

With the Knicks up four and 1:20 left, Anthony got the ball 18-feet out along the baseline, drove baseline around Carlos Delfino like he wasn’t there for the dunk.

With 30 seconds left (after a hustling Toney Douglas rebound of a missed Chauncey Billups three), the ball again went to Anthony, this time on the wing. He drove middle, Andrew Bogut came early with the help, Anthony drove into his body then faded for a contested 15 footer. The net barely moved.

Those shots helped seal up a 114-108 win in ‘Melo’s New York debut. One he had without a team practice but still looked pretty comfortable with his new teammates. It was a win against a Bucks team that just seems to give the Knicks problems in recent year and made this one tough. It’s a win that’s good to have.

The real hero of this game for the Knicks was Douglas, the old man of the roster. Yes, old man. Sure, he is only in his second season at age 24. But as Knickerblogger notes, Douglass signed with the Knicks 20 months ago and as of tonight he is the longest tenured Knick.

Old man Douglas had 23 off the bench on 10-of-12 shooting and 3-of-5 from three. He had clutch buckets all night plus the rebound in crunch time. He was the Knicks real MVP.

We could nitpick this Knicks win. Their defense gave up 111.3 points per 100 possessions to a Bucks team with the worst offense in the league (scoring 101 points per 100 possessions on the season). We could discuss Chauncey Billups 4-of-12 shooting night. We could look at Andrew Bogut’s 14  and 12 and wonder what a better center would do to them.

But Wednesday was not about that.

Wednesday was a celebration of what basketball can be in New York. The electric energy in the building during introductions. The chants of “Me-lo, Me-lo.”

There is a long way to go with this Knicks team. A lot of questions to be answered. But the Knicks faithful got their first look at their newest hero in his new blue and orange jersey. They saw him hit the key shots in crunch time. They saw a win.

They saw hope.

Kristaps Porzingis envelops Victor Oladipo’s dunk attempt (video)

Nikola Vucevic, Kristaps Porzingis
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Scott Skiles moved Victor Oladipo to the bench, because the Magic coach wanted to give Oladipo a chance to be more aggressive.

It worked.

Oladipo scored a season-high 24 points in the Magic’s 100-91 win over the Knicks.

But Oladipo’s aggressiveness also produced this fantastic Kristaps Porzingis block:

John Wall: Wizards shouldn’t have rested me and Bradley Beal together

Bradley Beal, John Wall
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The Wizards scored just six fourth-quarter points in their loss to the Hornets last night.

John Wall and Bradley Beal rested for the first 4:42 of that final period.

Wall, via Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post:

“I feel like we can’t have me and Brad sitting,” said Wall, who finished with 14 points on 6 for 18 shooting, with six assists, five rebounds and four turnovers. “That’s just my opinion. Coach makes the decision he feels is best for us. I just feel like one of us has to be in in that situation because when you’re on the road, this is the time when you can step on them.

“I just feel like one of us has to be in. I don’t know. It’s just my opinion because our second unit was just so stagnant. And I’m not saying they lost the game. [Shoot], we all lost the game. We didn’t make shots. We were 1 for 20, right? I think we were just so stagnant. We really didn’t have anybody penetrating and creating.”

First of all, this is how you disagree with a coach. Wall made clear that he respects Randy Wittman’s authority to set the rotation. Two adults should be allowed to acknowledge their differing opinions without it being labeled a feud.

But is Wall right?

Per nbawowy!, here are Washington’s offensive/defensive/net ratings with:

  • Wall and Beal: 103.0/105.0/-2.0 in 224 minutes
  • Wall without Beal: 110.0/111.2/-1.2 in 134 minutes
  • Beal without Wall: 80.2/116.8/-36.6 in 48 minutes
  • Neither Wall nor Beal: 105.2/101.6/+3.6 in 123 minutes

The Wizards have been much better with neither player on the court this season. They’ve also been a disaster when Beal plays without Wall.

But this is a relatively small sample. Let’s look back to last season.

  • Wall and Beal: 108.5/101.5/+7.0 in 1,715 minutes
  • Wall without Beal: 103.0/102.0/+1.0 in 1,123 minutes
  • Beal without Wall: 103.2/110.9/-7.7 in 384 minutes
  • Neither Wall nor Beal: 97.0/107.0/-10.0 in 768 minutes

Washington was – by far – at its best when Wall and Beal shared the court. They just complement each other so well. The Wizards were also fine with just Wall, bad with just Beal and even worse with neither.

If I were the Wizards, I’d generally chance resting Wall and Beal simultaneously so they can play more together. If I’m using just one, it’s Wall. Beal is not a creator I trust to run the offense, and Wall’s defense is important.

But there’s a limit on how much Wall (and Beal) can play. Wall got 36 minutes against Charlotte, and Beal played 38.

To the point, Wall and Beal played the final 7:18 – and the Wizards didn’t make a single basket in that span. They scored just two points on free throws. So, it’s hard to argue Wall and Beal were the answer.

Wittman blamed the players more than his substitutions.

Wittman, via J. Michael of CSN Mid-Atlantic:

“We don’t have guys that are making plays right now. Again, good looks but until we quit feeling sorry,” said Wittman, who could’ve gone this road after a 123-106 loss to the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday but didn’t. “When things go bad like that I had to twice in timeouts and tell them to lift their heads up. There’s plenty of time left. We’re up nine during this whole thing.  We start feeling sorry, start pouting putting our heads down and it becomes a snowball. We got to grow up in that aspect of it. If the shot doesn’t go in, it doesn’t go in.

“Makes, misses, that’s the game. You never give in. We haven’t gotten over that. That’s been that way for the last couple of years. Guys don’t play well, put their heads down and we pout, feel sorry for ourselves.”

When Wittman previously called out a player publicly, Marcin Gortat didn’t take it well. I’m not sure this will go any better.


When confronted with Wittman’s words, Bradley Beal only would shake his head before giving this retort: “I’m not going to comment on that.”

It’s uncharacteristic of the fourth-year shooting guard, who’ll usually give some sort of answer and shrug it off. By saying nothing, he’s staying plenty.

The Wizards, who entered the season a contender for the Eastern Conference finals, are 6-6. They’ve lost two straight, by 17 and 14 – and the end of their last defeat was historically dreadful.

Is this a team in turmoil?

Michael provides plenty of context to that question.

Chris Paul drops Rudy Gobert with stepback (and Gobert says why)

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When Chris Paul recognized he got matched up with Rudy Gobert in transition, he slowed it down and set it up for an isolation — then used his step back to drop him to the ground and drain the open midrange. It’s one of the better highlight plays from the Clippers this season (and they have more than a few in Lob City).

Did CP3 push off on Gobert? Of course. Welcome to the NBA, every player who drives pushes off (including Gordon Hayward). It looked like to be Gobert tried to sell the contact and didn’t get the call he wanted.

However, after the game Gobert tweeted it was something else entirely.

Either way the Jazz got the win Wednesday night, 102-91, snapping a 13-game losing streak to the Clippers. The Jazz are .500 on the season with the win (7-7), while the Clippers drop back to below .500 (7-8) with some issues to sort out still.