Amare Stoudemire, Tyrus Thomas

Baseline to Baseline recaps: ‘Melo is off but Knicks aren’t

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What you missed while calling 911 asking to fight a cop….

Raptors 99, Suns 96: The biggest upset of the night was our game of the night.

Knicks 111, Bobcats 78: Carmelo Anthony wondered if he shot too much after the Knicks loss to the Nuggets, then he sat down with Amar’e Stoudemire and talked about the sharing of power. Against Charlotte he took just seven shots, made none and had 1 point. His shot was off, but he also was trying to push the pace and clearly was trying to get others involved, something that does not come naturally to him

‘Melo not scoring opened things up for Amare Stoudemire (18 points on 12 shots) and Tyson Chandler (20 points on 9-of-10 shooting). Particularly in the paint, where those to dominated Charlotte (with a couple monster put backs). The Knicks ball movement was the best it has been in a while. New York blew this game open and did not let up through the third and fourth quarter, giving the starters plenty of rest late.

The question we will find out in the next few days is this — was this an aberration against a bad Bobcats team and defense, or are the Knicks figuring things out? Magic 8 ball says, “ask again later.”

By the way, Kemba Walker is good.

Magic 102, Pacers 83: Welcome to this season’s NBA, where the Magic can have just 56 points one night and look a mess then hand Indiana its first home loss the next. Dwight Howard missed most of the second quarter after picking up his third foul, but Orlando made a 10-0 run at one point and kept the game close. In the third quarter they pulled away and J.J. Redick sealed it with 11 fourth quarter points. Ryan Anderson went 0-8 in Boston then was 5-7 from three in this one, he found his shooting touch again.

Heat 92, Cavaliers 85: Miami lost to Milwaukee at home in their last game after a sloppy effort. How did they respond? With more of the same, for at least the first 24 minutes of this one. By contrast, the Cavaliers came out playing hard, driving and dunking (seven in the first half, four of them by Samardo Samuels, who had a monster game) while the Heat watched. Cleveland led 39-37 at the break as they had 22 points in the paint while LeBron James seemed a spectator (7 points). But in the third quarter the Heat went on a 12-2 to take the lead and Chris Bosh made it stick with 17 of his 35 points coming in the fourth quarter.

Cleveland played harder, but talent still wins games.

Trail Blazers 97, Grizzlies 84: Memphis is a team that likes to push you around, but in this one Portland stood up to them and pushed back. Hard. Marcus Camby had 22 points and 5 blocks, LaMarcus Aldridge had 23 points and the Blazers get another win in the Rose Garden. Memphis forced 20 turnovers (they gamble a lot in the passing lanes) but where that broke the Warriors late the Blazers stood up to the challenge. O.J. Mayo had 20 to lead the Griz.

Spurs to give Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili Friday night off in Denver

Manu Ginobili, Harrison Barnes, Tim Duncan
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The Spurs are 12-3 and comfortably in second place in the West, they have the best defense in the NBA allowing just 93.8 points per 100 possessions, and they have a top-10 offense to go with it.

So, time to start making sure guys are rested.

That is the first night of a back-to-back, with former Spurs’ assistant coach Mike Budenholzer and his Atlanta Hawks coming to San Antonio on Saturday. Popovich is saving his two veterans for that game.

Duncan and Ginobili have looked like they found the fountain of youth this season. Duncan is taking on less of the offense but has been very efficient in those moments. Ginobili has the impact he did a few years back in his bench role.

What Gregg Popovich cares about is them playing like that come the postseason. So they will rest on Friday.

Brandon Armstrong impersonates Ray Allen (video)

2014 NBA Finals - Game Five
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Ray Allen is retired-ish, but he’ll always be running through screens – in our mind and in this video.

Celtics draft pick Marcus Thornton gets beer dumped on head during Australian game (video)

Marcus Thornton, Will Cherry

The Celtics drafted Marcus Thornton with No. 45 pick in the 2015 NBA draft. That essentially entitled him to the required tender – a one-year contract offer, surely unguaranteed at the minimum.

Thornton rejected that, which is almost always a mistake.

Rejecting the tender is a favor to the drafting team, which gets to keep the player’s exclusive rights for a year. If Thornton tries to join the NBA now, he’s stuck negotiating with only the Celtics.

By accepting the tender, the player typically gets one of two outcomes. He either plays on that contract and draws an NBA salary or he gets waived. But even getting waived is better than rejecting the tender, because at least the player becomes a free agent and can negotiate with any team.

Players who reject the tender go to another league and play for less money. In Thornton’s case, that mean Australia.

How’s that going?

(Almost) never reject the required tender as a second-round pick.

Byron Scott says they just have to get Kobe Bryant better looks

Kobe Bryant, Joe Johnson, Byron Scott

Kobe Bryant is averaging 15.2 points a game at age 37. It’s just taking him 16.4 shots per game to get there. After his 1-of-14 shooting performance against the Warriors the other night — with too much isolation and too many plays run just for him — there has been a lot of talk about his shot. With reason, this is his shot chart so far this season.

Kobe shotchart season

So what do the Lakers’ do? Get Kobe to shoot less and get the ball in the hands of the young stars they supposed to be developing more? Nah.

They just need to get Kobe better looks, Scott told the Los Angeles Times.

“I know his mentality is that he can still play in this league,” Scott said. “And we feel the same way….

“Obviously he’s struggling right now with his shot, and I think everybody can see that,” Scott said. “So it’s trying to get him in better position to be able to have an opportunity to knock those shots down on a consistent basis. That’s No. 1.

“I don’t know if it’s his legs. I don’t think so. Again, our conversations are pretty blunt. … He tells me when he is tired and he tells me when he’s not tired. And the last few days, he said he feels great. So, I don’t think it’s a matter of him being tired or his legs being tired. I think it’s a matter of his timing being a little off.”

Yes, how could it be his legs? It’s not like he’s a 37-year-old with more than 55,000 NBA minutes played, and coming off an Achilles rupture and major knee surgery.

Honestly, I hope the Lakers and Kobe find a balance soon, because they have become just hard to watch. And I don’t want Kobe to go out this way.