Jeremy Lin is confused why you don’t think he can play with ‘Melo

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Carmelo Anthony is about to come back to the Knicks lineup and suddenly the question has somehow become “how can the four-time All-Star and Olympic gold medalist fit his game in with Jeremy Lin?”

It’s a fair question in that things are going to have to change from how it was when Anthony was forced into the point-forward role at the start of the season. But this is a good thing.

And Lin isn’t worried at all. He confirmed to WFAN that he got his chance when Anthony told Mike D’Antoni to give him a shot (via Sports Radio Interviews).

“You know, that’s true. I’ve been hearing reports, can Jeremy coexist with Melo and everything like that. I’m just confused because he was the one who vouched for me in the first place. So, we want to play together and want to work together and are buying into that. Some people call Melo selfish and he doesn’t buy into the team. That’s just tough for anyone to hear, especially when we don’t think it’s true.”

(Question about getting more assists)“Yeah, I mean, I think that’s the job of a point guard. I don’t want to come out here and shoot 20 shots a game, but if that’s what the defense gives me, then I those nights that’s what I’m going to have to do.”

Anthony can fit in this offense — he worked off the ball just fine in Denver for all those years. Plus, right now, when the first Lin pick-and-roll doesn’t lead to a bucket for the Knicks they struggle with what to do next and reset. Anthony provides an obvious option — if the defense has to focus on the pick-and-roll Anthony will almost always have a favorable one-on-one matchup he can exploit. Zach Lowe does a great breakdown of this at Sports Illustrated.

This can work. It may be rough at times getting there, but it can work. But the real key is the Knicks have to keep playing good defense as they have been.

Nets’ national anthem singer kneels to finish performance

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NEW YORK (AP)—  The national anthem singer at the Brooklyn Nets’ home opener took a knee at the end of her performance.

Justine Skye was nearing the completion of the song Friday night when she went to one knee for the finish. There were some cheers, but appeared to be more boos from the crowd at Barclays Center to see the Nets play the Orlando Magic.

NBA players have continued to stand during the playing of the anthems, as required by league rule.

Mavericks’ rookie guard Dennis Smith Jr. misses game with knee swelling

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DALLAS (AP) — Dallas Mavericks rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr. missed Friday’s game against the Sacramento Kings with swelling in his left knee.

Smith, the ninth pick in the NBA draft out of North Carolina State, had 16 points and 10 assists in the Mavericks’ season-opening loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

Smith participated in the Mavericks’ shootaround on Friday morning and was a late scratch. It is not known if Smith will play Saturday for Dallas.

The Mavericks were also missing guard Devin Harris, who was granted leave of absence after his brother died on Thursday.

Watch Lonzo Ball’s 29 point, 11 rebound, 9 assist game Friday night

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This was more of what fans expected from Lonzo Ball.

After a rough first game against the Clippers — with Patrick Beverley in his face all night — Ball found plenty of room to operate against the soft defense of the Phoenix Suns. With room to operate Ball had 29 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists — just one assist short of a triple-double. He helped the Lakers pull away to a lead in the third then hold on for a 132-130 win over the Suns.

Ball wasn’t terribly efficient, 12-of-27 shooting, but he was 4-of-9 from three, he played with great pace, he was decisive, and was finding guys with his passes. It was a step forward, even if it was against a sad defense (Eric Bledsoe can be a good defender, but he has seemed disinterested in recent years).

Ball and the Lakers are going to be up and down this season, the goal is for there to be more ups near the end of the season.

LeBron James rejects Giannis Antetokounmpo at the rim

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Through the first couple games of the season, Giannis Antetokounmpo has put up impressive numbers — he dropped 34 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists on the Cavaliers Friday night.

But the Cavaliers still have LeBron James.

He had 24 points and 8 assists, leading Cleveland to the win.

LeBron also reminded the Greek Freak just how good a rim protector he is. Few people can slow Antetokounmpo on the drive, but LeBron is one of them.

Is it too early to root for a Cavs vs. Bucks playoff series?