The Knicks have stopped running, stopped winning

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There’s no making some Knicks fans happy, they expect the team to win two Larry O’Brien trophies a season and anything short is a failure.

But it’s more than the losing that is making them unhappy lately. Talk to Knicks fans, check out the message boards and you hear that it’s the way they are losing. The Knicks have become boring. The new Knicks are not good AND not entertaining.

It’s because they stopped running, Jeff Fogle points out a Hoopdata.

Which is basically what Amar’e Stoudemire was saying a few days a go when he begging the team to get back to playing Mike D’Antoni’s offense.

For the season, New York is one of the fastest teams in the league, clocking in at 98.2 possessions per game though Sunday….. The last three entries on the log Monday afternoon…92-92-92.

The Knicks are slowing down as a team, he points out, again using possessions per game data:

98.2 for the season (second fastest in the NBA)
96.5 the last 15 games (since the trade)
95.4 the last 7 games
92.0 the last 3 games

Those last three games were before the loss to Boston Monday. Hoopdata (which counts the possessions) has not finished its analysis, but the estimated possessions (used by sites such as Basketball-Reference) have that game at 87 possessions. So even slower. It felt that way if you watched it.

That, folks, is a trend.

Let’s not blame this all on Carmelo Anthony — Denver ran an up-tempo game when he was in Denver. Same with Chauncey Billups. But something is going on with the changes in New York that is dragging the pace down to seven seconds or more.

And it is one reason, maybe a big one, the Knicks are 1-6 in their last 7 games.

Rumor: Bulls expected to wait until 2019 for free-agency splash

AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski
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The Bulls tanked so hard this year, the NBA warned them to cut it out. It was a rare instance of the league responding to actual tanking measures rather than just talk of preferring to lose.

Bulls executive John Paxson, via Vincent Goodwill of NBC Sports Chicago:

“We did this year what we felt was in the longterm best interests of the Bulls,” Paxson said. “It’s not a situation that any of us want to ever be in again; it goes against everything as a competitive person that you believe in; but it’s the way the system is set up.”

Chicago could try to turn around quickly. The Bulls project to have about $25 million in cap space this summer – enough to land a good player or two.

Mark Schanowski of NBC Sports Chicago:

The assumption in league circles is the Bulls will wait until 2019 to make their big move when players like Klay Thompson, Kawhi Leonard and Kyrie Irving could be on the market, and might consider signing with the Bulls after watching another year of development from LaVine, Lauri Markkanen and Kris Dunn.

This is the wise course. It’s unlikely Chicago can lure anyone good enough to lift such a young core quickly. The Bulls are better off remaining patient – and bad, which will net another high draft pick as Lauri Markkanen, Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn develop.

This is also probably the course thrust upon Chicago. Even if they wanted to, the Bulls probably can’t land a premier free agent this summer. Star free agents can see the same problems with Chicago trying for a quick fix and will likely avoid the situation.

There’d be no harm in trying for top free agents like LeBron James or even Paul George. But the Bulls will probably be relegated to 2019 if they want to sign someone meaningful. Better they realize that than make a desperate attempt for relevance this year.

Rich Cho on Trail Blazers getting swept: ‘Being a previous Portland GM, that didn’t disappoint me’

AP Photo/The Charlotte Observer, Jeff Willhelm
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In 2011, the Trail Blazers surprisingly fired Rich Cho after only season as general manager.

Cho – since hired and fired by the Hornets – seems to be holding a grudge.

John Canzano of The Oregonian:

That’s a sentiment many people hold toward their former employer. Few say so publicly. That Cho did indicates just how strongly he feels.

Under owner Paul Allen, the Trail Blazers have run through numerous executives. It’s part of the culture in Portland, and it leaves a lot of outgoing people bitter.

Current general manager Neil Olshey ought to be mindful of that.

Josh Allen’s old tweet: ‘I hate LeBron!!!!! #LeBronSucks’

AP Photo/Margaret Bowles
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Josh Allen, a quarterback from Wyoming, could be the No. 1 pick in tonight’s NFL draft. But his recently unearthed high school tweets – which include using the n-word with an ‘a’ at the end – are the sports story of the day.

And there’s an NBA tie.

Via Ryan Young of Yahoo Sports:

I hate LeBron!!!!! #LeBronSucks

— Josh Allen (@JoshAllenQB) June 7, 2011

Damian Lillard went down this same road with LeBron James, and they got past it.

But it would be a little more awkward if the Cleveland Browns – who have the Nos. 1 and 4 picks – take Allen. Then, Allen will face more scrutiny over this tweet – the most innocuous of the bunch.

Donovan Mitchell tells Thunder fans, Jazz teammates Utah not returning to Oklahoma City this season

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The Jazz blew a 25-point second-half lead in Game 5 last night, extending their series with the Thunder. Up 3-2, the Jazz are still in control. They can close out in Game 6 tomorrow in Utah. Blow that, and they must return to Oklahoma City for Game 7 Sunday.

But Utah rookie Donovan Mitchell is making it abundantly clear he doesn’t plan to do that.

Gabe Ikard of The Franchise 107.7:

Jake Edmonds of KUTV:

A confident proclamation that rallies his team or youthful exuberance run amok?

The narrative will be decided after Game 6. That’s just how this is done.