Carmelo Anthony

Baseline to Baseline recaps: Ugly or not, Knicks and Pacers will take wins


What you missed while you were stealing a 600-pound bronze moose statue

Knicks 113, Magic 106 (OT): The Kicks were desperate for a win. The Magic were without Jameer Nelson and J.J. Redick which meant heavy doses of Gilbert Arenas (who was 1-of-7 from three). Dwight Howard fouled out. That meant a streak breaking win for the Knicks — The Knicks had lost six in a row, the Magic had won five in a row.

Credit the Knicks with playing small — 6’9” Shawne Williams, a guy who takes nearly three times as many threes as shots at the rim, was the starting center — but keeping Dwight Howard scoreless in the first half by sending hard doubles. Credit Carmelo Anthony for hitting contested shots on his way to 19 points in the third quarter on his way to 39 for the game.

This was not some season changing win — it was rather an ugly, sloppy game really. The Knicks offense still looked disjointed and isolation heavy, Anthony just hit the shots. But the Knicks needed a win, even an ugly one, so they’ll take it.

Indiana 107, Boston 100: Rajon Rondo returned and looked good for Boston, hitting 9-of-13 shots. But Indiana outworked the Celtics in this one, got great play from Darren Collison late and won a game that lacked any flow or any good defense (Indiana was on a 120 points per 100 possessions pace, which is about 20 points higher than the Celtics give up a game. This game had no real flow to it — both teams were at times brilliant and a disaster — but credit Indiana a win it needed to remain ahead of Charlotte in the race for the eighth spot in the East.

Bobcats 87, Bucks 86: Charlotte out-executed the Bucks down the stretch — they had a 7-0 late run to take the lead behind Gerald Henderson’s 3-of-3 shooting in the fourth quarter. The Bucks just do not play well at the end of games (when John Salmons and Brandon Jennings should take over).

All kinds of playoff implications here — Charlotte remains one game back of eight-seed Indiana, with Milwaukee now three back and looking like a lottery team.

Sixers 97, Bulls 85: The Bulls never led it this one and trailed by as much as 23. The Bulls didn’t shoot well all game (1-of-11 from three) and Derrick Rose had 10 turnovers. It just wasn’t their night, but some of that had to do with the Sixers. Thaddeus Young came off the bench and was the most athletic guy on the floor, hitting 10-of-16 on his way to 21 points.

Trail Blazers 100, Spurs 92: No Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili or Tony Parker for the Spurs — all rested with injuries. Credit the Blazers for getting the win, but I’m surprised it was this close.

Wizards 100, Jazz 95 (OT): John Wall had 25 points in the first half, Jordan Crawford had 19 after the break, Mo Evans had 7 in the overtime. This was road win number two for the Wizards this season, break out the champagne.

Report: Lakers want to keep Metta World Peace… as assistant coach

EL SEGUNDO, CA - SEPTEMBER 26:  Metta World Peace #37 of the Los Angeles Lakers sits for an interview during Los Angeles Laker media day at Toyota Sports Center on September 26, 2016 in El Segundo, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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The Lakers must drop two players before the regular season. The four primary candidates:

  • Nick Young, the only one of the four with a guaranteed salary. There was talk of waiving him anyway, but he has seemingly played his way onto the team in the preseason.
  • Yi Jianlian, who has the highest salary of the group. His partially guaranteed, incentive-laden contract makes him an intriguing trade chip.
  • Thomas Robinson, the youngest of the bunch. The 25-year-old might be the best center in a few years of anyone on the Lakers’ roster.
  • Metta World Peace, the oldest player on the team. He turns 37 next month and hasn’t been productive in years.

The Lakers face one tough choice. Waiving World Peace should be the easy one – and it seems they know it.

Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN:

The odds are against Metta World Peace making the Los Angeles Lakers’ Opening Night roster, but the Lakers have interest in keeping the veteran forward around as an assistant coach if they can’t make room for him as an active player, according to league sources.

If the Lakers want to keep World Peace to mentor young players, assistant coach is the right role for him. It’s not worth wasting a roster spot on someone who’s no longer NBA caliber.

World Peace wants to keep playing, and he could lobby other teams. I’d be surprised if he gets another NBA contract, but I was also surprised the Lakers signed him the last two years.

More likely, World Peace must decide between being a Lakers assistant and playing overseas again.

Heat reportedly not shopping Goran Dragic, tell him trade rumors are untrue

MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 26: A portrait of Goran Dragic #7 of the Miami Heat on September 26, 2016 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
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The Heat and Kings reportedly discussed a trade that would send Goran Dragic to Sacramento for Rudy Gay and Darren Collison.

Could such a deal happen?

Miami is clearly sending out word from its end: No.

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald:

Dragic on Erik Spoelstra, via Ira Winderman of the South Florida SunSentinel:

“He just said those rumors, they’re not true.”

Reminder: Mario Chalmers said the Heat told him they would keep him shortly before they traded him.

Teams get the most from players when they’re happy, and job security pleases most people. So, teams often assure players they won’t be traded. If a team violates that trust by dealing a player anyway… that’s no longer the team’s problem. The player is fuming elsewhere.

I don’t know whether the Heat will trade Dragic this season. Their assurances and signals mean something, but only so much.

I do know Dragic is on the wrong side of 30 and has a long-term contract that makes little sense on a rebuilding team.

Report: Cavaliers in advanced discussions on trade for point guard

CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 5: Kay Felder #20 of the Cleveland Cavaliers shoots over C.J. Watson #32 of the Orlando Magic during the second half of a preseason game at Quicken Loans Arena on October 5, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cavaliers defeated the Magic 117-102. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory copyright notice. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
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The Cavaliers should be fine at point guard in games that matter.

Kyrie Irving is an excellent starter. When Irving rests, LeBron James – in addition to his minutes at forward – can serve as primary ball-handler with an extra wing on the floor.

But Cleveland wants to limit LeBron’s and Irving’s playing time to preserve them for another long playoff run, which means finding a more traditional backup point guard for the regular season.

The Cavs have Kay Felder, but the transition from the Horizon League to the NBA is a difficult one for anyone, let alone a 5-foot-9 rookie who was drafted No. 54 overall. Mo Williams is somewhere between injured and retired. They might like to add Mario Chalmers, but he’s not healthy enough yet.

Another option: Trade.

Joe Vardon of

The Cavaliers are pursuing a trade to acquire a backup point guard and are hoping to make a deal before the season starts Tuesday, sources told

The Cavs are in advanced discussions with at least one club, according to a source, and could make one or multiple trades to fill the one, glaring need on a team otherwise built to defend its 2016 championship.

Whom are the Cavaliers targeting? Your guess is as good as mine.

Whom could they trade? That’s much easier to predict, but far from certain. Shumpert could be the odd man out, especially since J.R. Smith re-signed. Cleveland will probably drop one of Jordan McRae, Dahntay Jones or John Holland before the regular season, but I doubt any of those three would return much. The Cavs also have multiple trade exceptions and draft picks, though they have already dealt some picks.

This situation was predictable as soon as the Cavaliers let Matthew Dellavedova leave for Milwaukee. Did they not see it coming, or do they have an ace up their sleeve at the last minute?

Watch Pelicans’ Anthony Davis drop 33 in his return to court


Anthony Davis missed a chunk of the preseason after spraining his ankle in a game against the Rockets during the league’s tour of China. He was considered questionable to return for opening night.

He came back faster than that, in time for New Orleans’ final preseason game Thursday night — and he looked good doing it. Very good.

Davis had 33 points, 13 rebounds and four assists’ in the Pelicans’ 114-111 overtime loss to Orlando. He was red hot from the start as he scored 16 points in nine minutes of the first quarter.

This is a good sign for the Pelicans, who are going to need Davis (and rookie Buddy Hield) to carry the scoring for the team to start the season as they are without Jrue Holiday and Tyreke Evans for an extended period.