As if things were not challenging enough in this series for the Indiana Pacers….
Late in the second quarter the Pacers starting point guard Darren Collison rolled his ankle when he stepped on the foot of a camera man out of bounds along the baseline in what was a fluke accident. Collison sat out the rest of the first half and tried to come out and warm up for the second the half but could not go.
Collison has been one of the keys for an eight-seed Pacers team that has hung right with the top-seed Chicago Bulls in this series. Collison has used his quickness to attack Derrick Rose and has made plays. He had 8 points on 2-of-5 shooting when he injured himself. He has 17 points and 9 assists in the first game of the series.
We don’t know the severity of the injury. If this were the regular season we’d guess he might miss a week or two (at least) but in the playoffs he’ll go as soon as he can tollerate the pain.
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.
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.