Jeremy Lin, Mike Woodson

“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.

Spurs to give Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili Friday night off in Denver

Manu Ginobili, Harrison Barnes, Tim Duncan
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The Spurs are 12-3 and comfortably in second place in the West, they have the best defense in the NBA allowing just 93.8 points per 100 possessions, and they have a top-10 offense to go with it.

So, time to start making sure guys are rested.

That is the first night of a back-to-back, with former Spurs’ assistant coach Mike Budenholzer and his Atlanta Hawks coming to San Antonio on Saturday. Popovich is saving his two veterans for that game.

Duncan and Ginobili have looked like they found the fountain of youth this season. Duncan is taking on less of the offense but has been very efficient in those moments. Ginobili has the impact he did a few years back in his bench role.

What Gregg Popovich cares about is them playing like that come the postseason. So they will rest on Friday.

Brandon Armstrong impersonates Ray Allen (video)

2014 NBA Finals - Game Five
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Ray Allen is retired-ish, but he’ll always be running through screens – in our mind and in this video.

Celtics draft pick Marcus Thornton gets beer dumped on head during Australian game (video)

Marcus Thornton, Will Cherry

The Celtics drafted Marcus Thornton with No. 45 pick in the 2015 NBA draft. That essentially entitled him to the required tender – a one-year contract offer, surely unguaranteed at the minimum.

Thornton rejected that, which is almost always a mistake.

Rejecting the tender is a favor to the drafting team, which gets to keep the player’s exclusive rights for a year. If Thornton tries to join the NBA now, he’s stuck negotiating with only the Celtics.

By accepting the tender, the player typically gets one of two outcomes. He either plays on that contract and draws an NBA salary or he gets waived. But even getting waived is better than rejecting the tender, because at least the player becomes a free agent and can negotiate with any team.

Players who reject the tender go to another league and play for less money. In Thornton’s case, that mean Australia.

How’s that going?

(Almost) never reject the required tender as a second-round pick.

Byron Scott says they just have to get Kobe Bryant better looks

Kobe Bryant, Joe Johnson, Byron Scott

Kobe Bryant is averaging 15.2 points a game at age 37. It’s just taking him 16.4 shots per game to get there. After his 1-of-14 shooting performance against the Warriors the other night — with too much isolation and too many plays run just for him — there has been a lot of talk about his shot. With reason, this is his shot chart so far this season.

Kobe shotchart season

So what do the Lakers’ do? Get Kobe to shoot less and get the ball in the hands of the young stars they supposed to be developing more? Nah.

They just need to get Kobe better looks, Scott told the Los Angeles Times.

“I know his mentality is that he can still play in this league,” Scott said. “And we feel the same way….

“Obviously he’s struggling right now with his shot, and I think everybody can see that,” Scott said. “So it’s trying to get him in better position to be able to have an opportunity to knock those shots down on a consistent basis. That’s No. 1.

“I don’t know if it’s his legs. I don’t think so. Again, our conversations are pretty blunt. … He tells me when he is tired and he tells me when he’s not tired. And the last few days, he said he feels great. So, I don’t think it’s a matter of him being tired or his legs being tired. I think it’s a matter of his timing being a little off.”

Yes, how could it be his legs? It’s not like he’s a 37-year-old with more than 55,000 NBA minutes played, and coming off an Achilles rupture and major knee surgery.

Honestly, I hope the Lakers and Kobe find a balance soon, because they have become just hard to watch. And I don’t want Kobe to go out this way.