“Linsanity” is dead. Welcome to Woodson’s Knicks.


When Mike Woodson was the head coach of the Atlanta Hawks, his offense was nicknamed “iso Joe” for all the times Joe Johnson was given the ball in isolation. Josh Smith got to shoot a lot of jumpers that way, too.

That is music to Carmelo Anthony’s ears.

Mike Woodson knows what side his bread is buttered on, he knows that the favorite star of owner James Dolan chaffed in Mike D’Antoni’s pick-and-roll offense. And he’s going to give ‘Melo the rock. A lot. In isolation, jut like ‘Melo wants. From Howard Beck at the New York Times.

But then he spoke more bluntly, saying that he wanted everybody to know that when “I’ve got to get a big shot, I’m going to go to Melo and Amar’e and guys that have done it,” a reference to Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire.

“A lot of these guys are young,” Woodson said in reference to their teammates. “They’re still trying to figure it out.”

You can also read that this way: “I’m taking the ball out of Jeremy Lin’s hands when it matters most.”

Linsanity is dead.

(Woodson) prefers veterans to rookies. He wants the offense to run through his stars. He will run most of his plays for Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire. None of this bodes well for Lin.

“Woody’s inclination would not be to play him,” said a person who has worked with Woodson.

Linsanity was a perfect storm. The Knicks desperately needed a pick-and-roll point guard to run Mike D’Antoni’s offense. Knicks management kept trading those guys away to get other pieces that didn’t really fit D’Antoni’s system. This season the Knicks were left with Toney Douglas as the point guard, but that’s not his fit, not in that system.

Then along comes Lin and his classic point guard skills. He played in a stretch of games against bad teams. But you started to see what the free wheeling D’Antoni offense can look like when you run it as designed.

Then Stoudemire and Anthony returned to the lineup, pushed the shooters to the side, mucked up the spacing on the floor and the Knicks lost six in a row. It’s more than just that — the Knicks aren’t a good team and the schedule got tough — but things got ugly.

So D’Antoni pushed to trade Anthony for a guy who would fit his system and when that didn’t work, he was out the door.

And Linsanity went with him.

Knicks fans, you clamored for Carmelo Anthony a year ago. Well, now you get him in all his glory. This is his team now.

Dwight Howard posts just second 30-30 game in last 36 years

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Dwight Howard never played for the Nets. He almost got traded to Brooklyn by the Magic, but the deal never happened.

Which puts a dent in Dennis Schroder‘s theory Howard gets up for games against only his former teams.

Howard dominated Brooklyn for 32 points and 30 rebounds in the Hornets’ 111-105 win tonight. That’s just the second 30-30 game in the last 36 years, Kevin Love notching the other in 2010.

All 30-30 games since Wilt Chamberlain, who had a ton:

  • Dwight Howard (Charlotte Hornets, 3/21/2018): 32 points, 30 rebounds
  • Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves, 11/12/2010): 31 points, 31 rebounds
  • Moses Malone (Houston Rockets, 2/11/1982): 38 points, 32 rebounds
  • Swen Nater (Milwaukee Bucks, 12/19/1976): 30 points, 33 rebounds
  • Elvin Hayes (Capital Bullets, 11/17/1973): 43 points, 32 rebounds

Howard helped Charlotte erase a 23-point second-half deficit and a 10-point deficit with four minutes left. The Hornets are playing out a lost season, and Brooklyn has looked overmatched most of the year, particularly at center. But no matter the situation, Howard says he still feels super-sized expectations.

Tonight, he exceeded them by leaps and bounds.

Giannis Antetokounmpo leaves Bucks’ loss to Clippers with ankle injury (video)

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The Bucks lost, 127-120, to the Clippers tonight.

More importantly, Milwaukee lost Antetokounmpo to an ankle injury.

He limped off in the second quarter and didn’t return. The Bucks called it a sprain.

Any more time Antetokounmpo misses would be a huge loss. Hopefully, he recovers quickly.

No matter how many other good players – Khris Middleton, Eric Bledsoe – Milwaukee has put on the floor, the team has struggled without its star. Antetokounmpo is a commanding force offensively who just does so much, and his defense impresses.

The Bucks (37-34) are eighth in the East. They’re safely in playoff position, five games ahead of the ninth-place Pistons. But this hurts Milwaukee’s chances of avoiding a first-round matchup with the excellent Raptors – though the way Toronto has regressed in the playoffs in previous years, that might not be so bad. Still, the Bucks should probably chase the seventh-place Heat, who are up 1.5 games on Milwaukee, and a likely first-round matchup with the injury-ravaged Celtics.

Obviously, a healthy Antetokounmpo would be central to that pursuit.

Cavaliers beat Raptors, become first team in 27 years to surrender 79 first-half points and win


The Cavaliers haven’t been good enough throughout the season, especially defensively. The Raptors have – offensively, defensively, starters, bench. Hope has grown in Toronto of winning the Eastern Conference after getting eliminated by Cleveland the last two years.

But LeBron James and Cavs showed why it’s hard to pick any other team – even the first-place Raptors – to win the East in a 132-129 win over Toronto tonight.

Cleveland allowed 79 first-half points and fell behind by 15. But a LeBron-led offense was just too potent. This was the first time since 1990 (Nuggets over Spurs after trailing 90-83) a team surrendered so many first-half points then still won.

LeBron finished with 35 points, 17 assists and no turnovers. No forward has ever dished so many assists without a turnover in Basketball-Reference’s database, which dates back to 1963-64.

And LeBron led the Cavaliers to this win despite Tristan Thompson, Rodney Hood, Larry Nance Jr., Kyle Korver and Cedi Osman being out.

It’s only one game, and it was in Cleveland. But even with home-court advantage in a potential playoff series, the Raptors must grapple with even more lingering doubt now about their ability to beat the Cavs.

Report: Becky Hammon staying with Spurs, not coaching Colorado State men’s team

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Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon was a candidate to coach the men’s team at Colorado State, her alma mater. That would have made her the first woman to coach a Division I men’s team.

Alas, it won’t happen.

Pat Forde of Yahoo Sports:

It’s unclear whether Hammon was ever actually offered the job.

She’s still on the right track for a head-coaching job somewhere. Most importantly, by all accounts, she’s doing good work in San Antonio. There’s also more attention on her career because of her pioneering status, and that will appeal to some teams.

This dalliance with Colorado State raises her profile even further and shows just how close she is.