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.

D’Antoni says Rockets’ Patrick Beverley to miss about 20 games

HOUSTON, TX - MARCH 18:  Patrick Beverley #2 of the Houston Rockets walks to the bench during their game against the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Toyota Center on March 18, 2016 in Houston, Texas.  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.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
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Patrick Beverley is going to have a key role with the Rockets — he is their best defending guard. And it’s not close. He can help space the floor as a three-point shooter, he can work off the ball on offense and serve as a backup playmaker, but mostly what he brings is fearless, physical defense.

Except he’s not going to bring it for a while.

Following rumors he might knee surgery comes this from Houston coach Mike D’Antoni, via Calvin Watkins of ESPN.

Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said he expects guard Pat Beverley to miss at least 20 games with a left knee injury. His absence “complicates” some roster spots.

The Rockets are going to have one of the best offenses in the NBA but whether they finish fourth or seventh or out of the playoffs completely in the West will come down to a combination of health and how well they defend. This is a setback on both counts.

Expect to see more Eric Gordon, Tyler Ennis, and P.J. Hairston. Gordon has a real chance here. This is going to be an interesting year in Houston.

Jimmy Butler shrugs off idea he’s a “diva”

Chicago Bulls' Jimmy Butler goes up for a dunk past Charlotte Hornets' Marvin Williams during the first half of an NBA preseason basketball game Monday, Oct. 17, 2016, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
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The Chicago Bulls traded Derrick Rose to New York, in hopes that the locker room, “whose team is this?” drama would head East with him. This is Jimmy Butler‘s team, with Dwyane Wade now assisting.

But the drama isn’t gone yet.

On their way out the door, the camps around Rose and Joakim Noah tried to paint Butler as a Diva who was the real problem. When Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times asked Butler about it, he basically laughed off the idea.

“Am I a diva? I don’t call it that,’’ Butler said before Thursday’s 97-81 loss to Atlanta in their final preseason game. “My will to win rubs people the wrong way sometimes. I can blame it on that, but won’t apologize for it. Never will.

“As far as that talk goes, I don’t care. I’m going to keep working and if people don’t like it, people want to say what they want to say, that’s fine. I know, and I think these guys know, where my heart is and how I want to do right by everybody.’’

Rose and Noah thought Butler tried to jump the line to be the leader of the team, which they saw as still their right as the veterans. Butler didn’t care what they thought then, he certainly doesn’t now.

What matters more, Nicola Mirotic and Doug McDermott and Bobby Portis don’t care, and they are the guys still there.

Who will finish with the better record, Bulls or Knicks, is one of my favorite subplots of the NBA season.

Spurs Danny Green has strained quadricep, out three weeks

SAN ANTONIO,TX - APRIL 30: Fans celebrate a three with Danny Green #14 of the San Antonio Spurs against the Oklahoma City Thunder during game one of the Western Conference Semifinals for the 2016 NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center on April 30, 2016 in San Antonio, Texas. 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. (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)
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The Spurs are counting on Danny Green to regain his top-flight “3&D” form this season and give them another defender and weapon when they go up against that potential juggernaut out West. And the Clippers, too.

But that comeback is getting off to a slow start, the team announced Friday.

This likely means a little more run for Manu Ginobili and Kevin Martin to start the season, plus some funky lineups from Gregg Popovich.

Green played great defense last season but struggled from three (where 60 percent of his attempts are taken). Green shot 33.2 percent from deep on the season, which is well below his career average of 40.3 percent (and last year’s down numbers were buoyed by a red-hot January, he was much worse the rest of the season).

It’s something for Spurs fans to monitor, they need to get his legs right before his shot can return.

PBT Extra: Who wins MVP, other NBA end-of-season awards?

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The NBA’s award season seems more wide open than ever.

Ben Simmons was going to enter the season as the heavy favorite to win Rookie of the Year, but with him out injured the door is flung open to a lot of players. Coach of the Year is always a game of “which coach exceeds expectations.” Even MVP seems more open with Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant — the award winners the past three seasons — teamed up in the Bay Area.

In this latest PBT Extra I throw out my predictions for the awards, but let’s get on with the games next week and see who earns them.