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.

Enes Kanter’s teammate told him “You’re about to get 50 dropped on you” after LeBron troll

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Enes Kanter likes to inject himself in situations he doesn’t belong in.

The New York Knicks forward likes to take aim at the biggest star in the game, LeBron James, and has said in the past that he would fight LeBron if he had to.

Some previous comments from LeBron riled up members of the Knicks organization, and there’s been animosity between the two sides ever since.

So it wasn’t too much of a surprise when Kanter had something to say on Twitter about his former team, the Oklahoma City Thunder, dropping 148 points during a win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday. Heck, even former Cavaliers coach David Blatt jumped in on that one, albeit immediately before his own team got 151 scored on them.

Kanter took to Twitter, using LeBron’s own catchphrase against him:

Of course, that’s probably not the best idea. Kanter is a role player and LeBron is one of the best who ever played. Even if the Cavaliers are stinking it up lately, you can’t go after the King like that. You just might miss.

Via ESPN:

“One texted [teammate] me just to say — I’m not going to say who — but he texted me ‘You’re about to get 50 dropped on you, boy.'” Kanter said before Sunday’s matinee against the Los Angeles Lakers. “I responded something back, but I’m not going to say what it is.”

Kanter added that he’s just “having fun” and wanting to put “a smile on people’s face” with his constant prodding.

We’ll see if he ends up smiling the next time Cleveland and New York meet on April 9 at MSG.

David Blatt’s troll on the Cavaliers backfires when opponent scores 151 (VIDEO)

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David Blatt, perhaps sensing his time to pounce as rumors swirl around Tyronn Lue’s departure, decided to troll the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday. It did not go so well.

Blatt, who was fired from the head coaching spot in Cleveland in 2015, now heads Darüşşafaka S.K. in the Turkish Super League. Coaching Team Europe vs. Team Asia in the Turkish BSL All-Star Game, Blatt joked during a TV interview that he was just hoping his team didn’t give up as many points as the Cavaliers did to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday. That game ended with a score of 148-124.

Via Twitter:

So what happened to Blatt’s Team Europe in the All-Star Game?

According to Erik Gundersen over at LeBron Wire, Team Europe promptly got rolled on with a tally of … 151 points.

The final total in the Turkish All-Star matchup was 151-142 in favor of Team Asia.

Oops.

Salah Mejri threatened to come to Blazers locker room after Jusuf Nurkic tussle

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The Portland Trail Blazers and Dallas Mavericks had a game of many emotions on Saturday night at Moda Center. Of course, the game wasn’t that close — Portland led by 17 at the half and finished the game by beating Dallas, 117-108.

But as we’ve seen in the NBA recently, the propensity for NBA players to get into physical spats is high. So it was no surprise that we saw yet another scrum between NBA players on the east side of the Willamette on Saturday as Dallas’ Salah Mejri got tangled up with Jusuf Nurkic and Evan Turner.

The play began with Nurkic getting a clean block on Mejri. Because of the position of the two players, Nurkic’s arm was angled as such that after the block it came clean through to rest on Mejri’s shoulder. Mejri turned, and the whole thing became a tangle of arms and elbows.

Neither Mejri or Nurkic took kindly to that, so the two squared off. Nurkic gave Mejri an ineffectual little push, while Portland’s Evan Turner jumped in to hold Mejri back. The Mavericks center promptly flopped all the way to the ground, inexplicably grabbing his face. It was Premier League-level flopping from Mejri, just top notch stuff.

Via NBC Sports Northwest:

After the game, Turner told media that Mejri threatened to come get the Blazers.

“He’s like ‘I’ll come to the locker room!'” said Turner. “Out of a 225 lb. dude [Turner] a 275 lb. dude [Nurkic] and a 7-footer [Mejri] who hit the ground?”

Portland’s CJ McCollum didn’t seem too impressed with the threat.

“If they really want to fight, they know where to find people,” said McCollum.

Much like any arena, the visiting locker room is just down the hall from the home squad at Moda Center, so it would have been easy for Mejri to get to. Nothing happened, so it turned out as an empty threat.

Meanwhile, Turner was assessed a technical foul for the tussle — presumably for “pushing” Mejri. There was notable tension the rest of the game between Mejri, Nurkic, and the crowd at Moda Center, but nothing else of consequence happened.

LeBron James: “We could easily get bounced early in the playoffs”

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Cleveland’s defense was pathetic Saturday and the Thunder routed them because of it. The Cavaliers gave up 148 points, allowed the Thunder to shoot 58 percent, and basically were little more than traffic cones for Russell Westbrook, Paul George and the rest of the Thunder to dribble and pass around. The Cavaliers have lost 8-of-11 and coach Tyronn Lue’s seat is getting warm.

Can the Cavaliers even get out of the East? LeBron James wasn’t even asking that question after the Saturday loss, he wants his team to get to the conference finals first. Via Dave McMenamin of ESPN.

“Playoffs? We can’t even start thinking about that, not the way we’re playing right now,” James said. “We could easily get bounced early in the playoffs if they started next weekend. Haven’t even began thinking about the postseason.”

It’s January, it’s far too early to write LeBron and the Cavaliers off — his teams have won the East for seven straight seasons in a row for a reason. Cleveland’s mid-season malaise is a thing and they snap out of it, Isaiah Thomas will find his legs and play better, but this season has shown some troubling structural flaws in the Cavaliers. Ones that could bite them in the playoffs. Ones they are active in the trade market trying to address, or at least shore up a little.

Nobody around the league is comfortable picking against a LeBron team in the East — he has been to seven straight Finals for a reason (and how impressive an achievement that is gets overlooked). But this seems to be the weakest LeBron team since he bolted Cleveland (the first time?), and a second-round matchup vs. Toronto is no gimme anymore. LeBron is right to be concerned.