Amar’e Stoudemire was an afterthought in the Knicks offense for much of the second half against the Nuggets — he had just three shot attempts through the final 24 minutes and two overtimes. Carmelo Anthony put up 20 in that same time. In a game that became the Knicks sixth straight loss. Coincidence?
Anthony acknowledged after the game that the Knicks offense is out of balance, and now the New York Post reports that Anthony and Stoudemire are going to sit down and talk.
It’s a meeting that is overdue and will have more impact than anything coach Mike D’Antoni could possibly say to the two.
“We as a team need to do a better job getting Amar’e the ball,’’ Anthony admitted. “I have the ball in my hands. Maybe it’s on me. Maybe I have to give him the ball a little more, help him out with that. We’ll talk probably [today] and try to figure it out together. If I’m doing too much, I want him to tell me. I want the guys on the team to tell me if I’m doing too much.’’
According to a source familiar with the situation, Anthony has been too obsessed with his points and Stoudemire is too concerned with Anthony taking over the team. There’s also too much finger-pointing, according to the source.
It’s easy to say he is doing too much, but it’s more than that. Anthony is not the guy who should be charged with organizing the Knicks offense, but it’s fallen to him by default as the Knicks have traded away all their true point guards to get Anthony and Tyson Chandler on the roster.
It is why the return of Baron Davis to the Knicks practice court on Monday is so important. He may still be a ways away from playing, and I am far from Baron’s biggest backer anymore, but he would be an upgrade for them.
Stoudemire was at his best when he ferociously attacked the rim rolling off a pick with the ball in Steve Nash’s hands. That doesn’t work with Anthony or Toney Douglas or Iman Shumpert. It might with Davis. He will be inconsistent and lose focus for stretches — trust us, we’ve seen a lot of Baron Davis up close — but he still is better than anything New York has on the roster. He is a start in the right direction.
As is Stoudemire and Anthony sitting down and talking. But all this may still not be enough.
Wednesday night in Boston Gordon Hayward underwent surgery to repair his dislocated ankle and fractured tibia suffered just five minutes into the season-opening game, a gruesome injury that put a pall over the rest of the night.
There had been hope from some Celtics fans that Hayward could return this season, likely for the playoffs, but now that the surgery is complete Hayward’s agent told Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN not to expect him back until next season.
This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who saw the injury. Hayward is in the first year of a four-year deal with the Celtics, they were always going to choose a cautious path rather than rush him back. Under Danny Ainge Boston has always taken the long view, even with all their moves this summer — specifically bringing in Hayward and Kyrie Irving — the target was to be the team set up for next as LeBron James and the Cavaliers faded. That plan does not change now.
Earlier in the day, Hayward had sent a video message out to Celtics fans thanking them for their support in the past 24 hours.
Without Hayward, the Celtics now will focus more on smaller lineups, rookie Jayson Tatum will get more run, as will Marcus Smart in his contract year. Jaylen Brown will be thrust into a more significant role. Also, Kyrie Irving will be asked to do more as the team’s second-best playmaker is now out for the season.
The Celtics will take a step back this season without Hayward, who was going to be crucial for them on both ends of the floor. That’s evidenced by their 0-2 start, falling to the Cavaliers and Bucks on the first couple nights of the season. Boston should still be a team well above .500 and in the playoffs, but they will not be quite the same this season.
Any controversy over C.J. McCollum‘s suspension for the season-opener should be put to rest. The Trail Blazers fared fine without him.
More than fine.
Portland beat the Suns, 124-76, Wednesday. The 48-point margin is the largest ever in a season opener, even as the Trail Blazers let a 58-point fourth-quarter lead dwindle.
Here are the most lopsided season-openers in NBA history (openers for both teams appearing twice):
The 48-point defeat is also the Suns’ worst lost in franchise history, topping a 44-point loss to the Seattle SuperSonics in 1988. It could be a long year in Phoenix.
Marcus Smart and Matthew Dellavedova thrive on aggravating opponents, so when matched up, of course they aggravated each other.
Deduct points from Smart for pulling the hold-me-back charade behind a referee. Plus, Dellavedova’s Bucks beat Smart’s Celtics, 108-100.
The Nets’ projected record this season came under greater scrutiny when the Celtics traded Brooklyn’s unprotected first-round pick to the Cavaliers in the Kyrie Irving trade. After finishing third-to-last and last the previous two years, were the Nets poised to take a step forward, or would they convey a very high pick to the Cavs?
Jeremy Lin, who missed 46 games last season, getting healthy was a reason for optimism in Brooklyn and pessimism in Cleveland. But it appears the veteran guard could be out a while.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Billy Reinhardt of Nets Daily:
If the injury is as bad as feared, what a bummer for Lin. He came to Brooklyn expecting to play a leading role on a developing team, and he just can’t stay healthy.
The Nets were probably more focused on developing their younger players, but – especially without their own draft picks – there was no harm in shooting for the playoffs. This appears to a blow to that (already unlikely) dream.
It’s a boon to the Cavaliers, though. And whenever something significantly affects LeBron James‘ team, it has ramifications into the entire power dynamic of the Eastern Conference. For an injury to a player on a team most expect to be bad, the medical developments here will be tracked closely around the league.