Miami Heat v Dallas Mavericks - Game Five

Jason Terry not happy with coach’s decision to bench him late in loss to Suns


After the Mavericks had allowed an 11-point third quarter lead to become an 11-point fourth quarter deficit late Thursday night in Phoenix, they were able to gather themselves and make one final push in the game’s final three minutes. Dallas had fought back to within two, and had possession of the ball with 15.4 seconds remaining.

That’s a time when typically, Jason Terry would be on the floor for the Mavericks, having proven time and again capable of knocking down big shots when the opportunity was presented. But he couldn’t do it from the bench, which is where he sat watching for the game’s final 7:33, while Rodrigue Beaubois got two good looks at tying the game, neither of which went down.

“Coach’s decision,” head coach Rick Carlisle said afterward, when asked why Roddy got those minutes usually reserved for Terry. Carlisle repeated the two-word answer twice more when asked what may have gone into that decision.

It might have had something to do with Terry allowing Shannon Brown to fly in untouched for a powerful putback slam dunk that put an exclamation point on Phoenix’s comeback, and pushed the Suns lead to double digits for the first time just over four minutes into the fourth. Carlisle had words for Terry as he went to the bench for the ensuing timeout, and Terry didn’t see the floor for the rest of the game.

Predictably, Terry wasn’t pleased.

“What do you think my thoughts are about not being on the court? Are you kidding me?” he said afterward. “You know how I feel if I’m not on the court when it’s time to win the game.

“I can’t check myself in and out of games. You got to ask the person that didn’t have me in the game. Ask him his thoughts. What I think don’t matter, really. I’m not trying to be a smart aleck. I’m just telling you the situation. I root my teammates on and wish we could have come out with the victory. It didn’t happen.”

The Mavericks are struggling right now, and have lost six of their last eight; the last thing they need is a locker-room issue brewing. But Carlisle is optimistic that his team will find a way to stick together.

“This team, when things get tough, the history is, our guys have responded,” Carlisle said. “But we need everybody. We can’t have one single guy on that bench not pulling his weight. Otherwise, things can go downhill quick.”

Thursday night in Phoenix, at least in Carlisle’s eyes, that single guy was Terry.

Carmelo Anthony says he can play at high level 4-5 more years

USA Basketball Men's National Team Training Camp

Carmelo Anthony can flat-out score the rock — that has never been the question. Even hurting last season for many of the 40 games he played, he averaged 24.2 points a game, had a true shooting percentage of 53.1 percent (right near the league average) while having the entire weight of the Knicks offense on his shoulders (32.2 usage rate, fifth highest in the NBA). When people (or players) talk about him being overrated, the discussion turns to defense or if he makes his teammates better. But there should be no doubt Anthony is an elite scorer.

He thinks he will be for a while longer — like another five years. Via Ian Begley of ESPN:

In fact, the 31-year-old Knicks star is confident that he can play at a high level for the next “four or five years.”

“Without a doubt. Without a doubt,” Anthony said after the Knicks’ final training camp practice on Saturday.

The Knicks better hope that’s true, they already made that bet with that massive five-year contract they gave him last summer.

Anthony’s age combined with him coming off knee surgery have a lot of people — myself included — expecting him to take a step back. Not a big one, but he is coming up at the point in his career where some open shots he used to get are now contested because he’s half-a-step slower, and some of those looks don’t fall as often. His jumper isn’t suddenly going to look like Rajon Rondo‘s, ‘Melo is going to get his points, but he may not be as efficient.

Fortunately, the Knicks have an improved supporting cast around him this season. That should take some offensive load off his shoulders, and maybe the Knicks offense will see better ball movement and start to resemble the triangle. If it’s just more isolation Anthony, it’s not going to be pretty.

Kings pick up option on G Ben McLemore

Ben McLemore, Rodney Hood
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) The Sacramento have picked up the 2016-17 option on guard Ben McLemore‘s contract.

General manager Vlade Divac announced the move Saturday.

McLemore was Sacramento’s first-round pick in 2013. He averaged 12.1 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists last season.