The fine folks in Dallas continue to say it’s not his knee, it’s conditioning and strength issues that have Dirk Nowitzki out for a week. Not sure I buy it, but that’s what they are selling.
But this little note from ESPNDallas.com turned our head — he could be out longer.
Depending upon the progress he makes during the week, Nowitzki could be held out longer. He missed nine games last season after spraining the same knee and the Mavs went 2-7 in his absence.
Dallas is 2-0 this year without Nowitzki, thanks in part to Shawn Marion going off for 29 on his old team (Phoenix) Monday. But their success is not sustainable without him.
Nowitzki has a sore knee but Dallas officials say this rest is bigger than that. Here is Cuban to ESPN.
“It’s not about his knee. His knee wasn’t feeling well, but that’s a symptom of everything else,” Cuban said prior to Monday’s game with the Phoenix Suns, the second of four games Nowitzki is expected to miss. “So, it’s not like there’s some problem. Even if it was his head, we would still do the exact same thing.
“There’s nothing specifically wrong. Dirk has a process to get ready. You mess with the process; he just didn’t feel right,” Cuban said. “It’s not just Dirk, it’s other guys, too. It’s a first for us in dealing with a lockout.”
So, it’s not just the knee, it’s process. Okay.
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.