Jeremy Lin out six weeks with knee surgery for meniscus tear

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The Knicks have just announced Jeremy Lin is out six weeks after tests found a torn meniscus in his right knee, per the New York Times.

This season cannot get weirder or more emotionally volatile for the Knicks. They start off pretty well, then fall of a cliff. Then Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire go down, and Lin emerges, and they go on a winning streak. Amar’e returns and they’re playing well. Then Carmelo Anthony returns and the team falls apart again. So naturally the Knicks’ reaction is to fire Mike D’Antoni, because that makes sense. Then the Knicks turn to Mike Woodson, a great coach in his own right who got a raw deal in Atlanta, and he puts them on a winning streak again. Then Stoudemire goes down with a back injury and is considering surgery, may be out into the playoffs, and now Lin goes down.

This is some sort of “Breaks of the Game” kind of stuff right here.

There’s also an injury situation with Anthony, as the groin injury he’s missed time with is bothering him again. Oh, and Tyson Chanlder is playing through problems as well.

So basically, everyone on the Knicks is hurt except Steve Novak.

The good news is that Baron Davis, coming back from a bulging disc earlier this season, is averaging 5 points, 5 assists and 3 turnovers per game for the Knicks. So they’ve got that going for them.

Carmelo Anthony, by all accounts, wanted Mike D’Antoni out so he could be the man in isolation. Without their star power forward or star point guard, he’s going to get his wish. It’s time to see exactly what Melo can give us when the chips are down for the Knicks. This has been where Anthony has played his best in the past. Can it translate to wins, though?

Lin, for his part, is thankful the injury didn’t happen earlier, since, you know, his career might have been over. From the AP:

“If this was done very early in the year, obviously … I don’t know where my career would be. I could be, would be definitely without a job and probably fighting for a summer league spot,” Lin said. “But having said that, this happening now hurts just as much, because all the players, we really put our heart and souls into the team and into season, and to not be there when it really matters most is hard.”

Joel Embiid frustrated, wants more post touches, to play back-to-backs

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Joel Embiid remains a frustrated man.

He wants to be unleashed on the NBA, and he feels he’s being held back.

Part of that is not playing in back-to-backs — Embiid started Friday night against Boston but will sit out by plan Saturday night against the Raptors in Toronto. Embiid knows the plan to help protect a body that has played only 31 games in three seasons before this one and was not cleared for most of training camp, but that doesn’t mean he likes it, as he told Jessica Camerato of NBC Sports Philadelphia.

“I just want to feel like an NBA player,” Embiid said.  “I feel like I’m not an NBA player because I can’t play back-to-back.”

I get his frustration, but can you blame the Sixers for treating the guy like he’s made of glass at this point? Hopefully, later in the season, he can be cleared to play on both ends.

His second frustration came from the loss to the Cavaliers on Friday — he wants more post touches. In the video above he is clear, “I didn’t get the ball enough in the post.”

He’s right here. Embiid had three post-ups all game, one in each of the game’s first three quarters (stat via Synergy Sports). Embiid is efficient in the post — he has shot 9-of-12 on those plays overall this season and the Sixers score 1.33 points per possession when he does. Especially against a team going small — the Cavaliers start Kevin Love at center — Embiid should be fed down low.

Instead, look at his shot chart from Friday night.

Part of this is on him with all the threes, but they have to utilize him better. It’s part of the Sixers growing pains that will come this season.

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.