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.

Like crossovers? Check out Top 10 handles of NBA season so far

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It’s not really fair if you ask Nemanja Bjelica to cover Stephen Curry in space, but it does make for a good highlight.

On a nice slow Saturday afternoon around the NBA, let’s take a look at the top 10 handles moves of the season so far, courtesy NBA.com. Of course, there is some wickedness from James Harden, Derrick Rose, and Chris Paul, too. But I’m good with Jordan Clarkson in the top spot.

Watch Giannis Antetokounmpo find Jabari Parker for the slam

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I want the Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker combo to work better than it does. The Buck get outscored by 2.3 points per 100 possessions when those two are on the court together, with neither end of the court working terribly well.

And yet, there are flashes — like the play above — where you think this could start to work. It just may need more time (and getting Khris Middleton back in the mix would help).

Antetokounmpo is having a phenomenal season, and is making plays.

Draymond Green fires back at league: “It’s funny how you can tell me… how my body is supposed to react”

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It’s not hard to find out how Draymond Green felt after picking up a flagrant foul Thursday night when his leg flew up after a foul and caught James Harden in the face. Just go to his Twitter feed.

Saturday at Warriors’ practice, Green expanded on the subject, here’s the video via Anthony Slater of the San Jose Mercury News.

If you prefer to read are Green’s comments transcribed:

“I just laugh at it. It’s funny how you can tell me how I get hit and how my body is supposed to react. I didn’t know the league office was that smart when it came to body movements. I’m not sure if they took kinesiology for their positions to tell you how your body is going to react when you get hit in a certain position. Or you go up and you have guys who jump to the ceiling. A lot of these guys that make the rules can’t touch the rim, yet they tell you how you’re way up there in the air which way you’re body (is supposed to go). I don’t understand that. That’s like me going in there and saying, ‘Hey, you did something on your paperwork wrong.’ I don’t know what your paperwork looks like. But it is what it is. They made the rule. Make your rule. I don’t care. But if you’re going to say it’s an unnatural thing, an unnatural act, no offense to James Harden, but I’ve never seen nobody up until James started doing it that shoots a layup like this under your arm (sweeps arms in a demonstration). That’s really not a natural act either. That’s not a natural basketball play either. But, hey, if you’re going to make a rule, make a rule. But if you’re going to take unnatural acts out the game, then let’s lock in on all these unnatural acts and take them out the game. I don’t know. Let them keep telling people how their body react I guess. They need to go take a few more kinesiology classes though. Maybe they can take a taping class or functional movement classes. Let me know how the body works because clearly mine don’t work the right way.”

Two things.

First, Green should know that the ultimate hammer on NBA fines is Kiki Vandeweghe — former NBA player, two-time All-Star, who also coached in the league. You want a guy with a players’ perspective making the call? You already have it. And Vandeweghe played in a far more physical era than this one.

Second, the flagrant was not issued because of intent but because of the action — if you kick a guy in the face, it’s a flagrant foul. There’s no gray area here, and officials shouldn’t have to guess a player’s intent. When Green went up he was fouled by Harden, and to maintain his balance Green flailed his legs out, something he has done plenty and other players going back decades have done too. That doesn’t mean it’s not reckless. That doesn’t mean a player is still not responsible for his body. Ask soccer officials about this same issue — get your leg above the waist with other players around and it can be called a “dangerous play.” In the NBA, if your leg flies up and hits a guy in the face, it’s a flagrant foul. Whether or not you meant to do it.

Green knows the league is cracking down on this. He knows he’s a target. It’s on him to change. One would think the Finals would have taught him that lesson.

Draymond Green has Steve Kerr’s back with one odd pro-pot argument

Golden State Warriors' Draymond Green (23) celebrates after making a defensive stop in front of teammate Stephen Curry, left, during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Atlanta Hawks Monday, Nov. 28, 2016, in Oakland, Calif. Golden State won 105-100. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
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Steve Kerr missed the first half of last season with debilitating back pain, and in his quest to find pain relief he admitted he tried marijuana (which was legal for medicinal use in the state at the time). It didn’t work well for him, he added.

But Kerr also talked about how professional sports leagues, where the players are dealing with a lot of pain management (particularly the NFL and NHL), need to start viewing marijuana differently than they did a generation ago.

Draymond Green has his coach’s back, via Chris Haynes of ESPN. Although, not with the best pro-pot argument I’ve ever heard.

Vegetable?

We’re just going to let this go because his heart is in the right place. It’s kind of like the scene in Animal House: “Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!” “Germans?” “Forget it, he’s rolling.”

Green was also rolling when he started going in on the league’s crackdown on unnatural acts.

Draymond, so you know, here’s the link to Kiki Vandeweghe’s basketball-reference.com page. He’s not just the guy who hands out fines.