New Jersey Nets v New York Knicks

‘Melo, Knicks players have Mike D’Antoni’s back. Verbally.


If Carmelo Anthony really wanted to help Mike D’Antoni out, he would get back on the court and when he does try moving the ball quickly not stopping and going into isolation so often.

But that’s not happening — Anthony is not expected to play Tuesday night (he did not take part in shootaround that morning), and whenever he does get back to the court you can expect the ball to stop every time it touches his hands.

But he is saying all the right things. So there’s that. Here is what Anthony said about his coach, via the New York Daily News.

“Any time teams are losing, that’s the first thing that comes to mind is the coach, but we don’t talk about that,” Anthony said Monday in Greenburgh. “We support Mike 100%. He’s here with us, we’re here with him. We’re going to roll with that.”

This followed Amare Stoudemire doing pretty much the same thing speaking to the New York Post a day earlier.

But the fact of life in the NBA is that even though the GM (and more so owner James Dolan) put together a mismatched roster that doesn’t fit the system, you can’t fire the owners or the players. So D’Antoni will take the fall. He’s not blameless (he hasn’t tried to modify his system to fit the players given him), but the Knicks problems right now are more about the people that bought the ingredients than the cook.

Chris Paul, after breaking finger, intends to play in Clippers preseason game tomorrow

Chris Paul
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Chris Paul broke his finger Saturday.

The initial diagnosis said the injury wasn’t serious.

Here’s confirmation.

Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times:

Paul obviously wouldn’t push it during the preseason. If the Clippers are allowing him to play, this can’t be bad.

Really, the most challenging aspect to this is grasping the concept that a broke finger can be a minor injury.

Report: David Lee, Tyler Zeller in line to start for Celtics; Jared Sullinger, Jonas Jerebko out of rotation

MADRID, SPAIN - OCTOBER 08: David Lee of Boston Celtics attacks during the friendlies of the NBA Global Games 2015 basketball match between Real Madrid and Boston Celtics at Barclaycard Center on October 8, 2015 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
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Brad Stevens has a big challenge this year – sorting the Celtics’ deep roster of similarly able players.

It seems that process is shaking out at power forward and center.

A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN Northeast:

it appears Boston’s first four bigs will be starters David Lee and Tyler Zeller, with Amir Johnson and Kelly Olynyk off the bench.

That leaves Jonas Jerebko and Jared Sullinger, potentially on the outside looking in as far as the regular rotation is concerned.

Lee is the best passer of the bunch, which could partially explain why he’s starting. Boston’s most likely starting point guard, Marcus Smart, is still growing into the role of the lead ball-handler at the NBA level. Lee and presumptive starting shooting guard Avery Bradley can take some pressure off him.

Olynyk can space the floor for Isaiah Thomas-Johnson pick-and-rolls with the reserves and run pick-and-pops with Thomas himself.

I’m a little surprised Zeller is starting over Johnson, though. The Celtics just signed Johnson to a $12 million salary, and I thought they’d rely on his defense to set a tone early. Like Johnson, Zeller is a quality pick-and-roll finisher who can thrive with Thomas.

This is particularly bad news for Sullinger, who – barring a surprising contract extension – is entering a contract year. It seems those reports of offseason conditioning haven’t yet paid off. Jerebko’s deal also isn’t guaranteed beyond this season, but at least he has already gotten his mid-sized payday. Sullinger is still on his rookie-scale contract.