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.
The second round was supposed to be when things got exciting. Instead, the San Antonio Spurs put on an absolute clinic at home, blowing out the Oklahoma City Thunder, 124-92 to take a 1-0 series lead.
Just about everything went in for San Antonio, particularly for LaMarcus Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard, who combined for 63 points. How dominant were they?
Aldridge in particular got anything he wanted against the Thunder. Oklahoma City’s stars were quiet, with Kevin Durant scoring just 16 points and Russell Westbrook 14. San Antonio controlled the game from the start and Oklahoma City never recovered from the opening punch.
It’s hard to imagine Durant and Westbrook are this ineffective again, and hopefully the rest of this series will be a little more competitive. But the Spurs did what the Spurs do, and did nothing to shake the feeling that they’re the favorites to win the west, now that Stephen Curry‘s status is unknown.
ATLANTA (AP) A year ago, Atlanta’s magical season ended with a resounding sweep by Cleveland in the Eastern Conference final.
Now, the Hawks have another shot at LeBron James and the Cavaliers.
Feeling confident after an opening-round victory over Boston, the Hawks returned to practice Saturday to begin preparations for the best-of-seven series.
Game 1 is Monday night in Cleveland.
The Hawks were the top-seeded team in the East last season after a record 60-win campaign. It didn’t do them much good against the Cavaliers, who steamrolled Atlanta in four straight games.
Even though they slipped to 48 wins and fourth in the conference, the Hawks actually sound a bit more confident heading into this matchup, largely because of their improved defense and rebounding.
For the second consecutive year, the Warriors have lost their lead assistant to another team. When the Pelicans hired Alvin Gentry during last year’s playoffs, Steve Kerr promoted Luke Walton to associate head coach and added former journeyman big man Jarron Collins to the bench. Now that Walton is headed to the Lakers as their next head coach, the Warriors will go outside the organization to find a replacement, according to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein. And one name that will likely not be in the mix is David Blatt, who very nearly became an assistant under Kerr in 2014 before being offered the Cavaliers’ head job.
Given Walton’s success this season as interim head coach while Kerr recovered from back surgery, this will undoubtedly be the most attractive assistant job in the league.
In the last few years, NBA head coaching salaries have skyrocketed, and new Lakers coach Luke Walton is no exception. According to the Los Angeles Times‘ Mike Bresnahan, Walton is getting $25 million over five years, which is the same as Steve Kerr’s deal with the Warriors, now-former Knicks coach Derek Fisher’s deal in New York, and Fred Hoiberg’s deal with the Bulls.
This kind of money has become standard for head coaches who don’t also have front-office power. Tom Thibodeau and Stan Van Gundy both get between $7 and $8 million annually to do both jobs. Given how good Walton’s current situation with the Warriors is, the Lakers probably had to be on the high end of the coaching spectrum to get him to leave.