Video: Carmelo Anthony hits two clutch threes to beat the Bulls

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The Knicks and the Bulls gave us a thrilling game on Sunday, one that New York was able to pull out in overtime 100-99. If not for Carmelo Anthony and his 43 points, the Knicks wouldn’t have gotten that chance.

Anthony nailed two big-time three-pointers with the game on the line — one that sent the game into overtime at the end of regulation, the other that won it near the end of the extra session.

Here’s the first: Knicks down three, under 15 seconds to play. He brings the ball up, and Taj Gibson is defending — but not closely enough.

It’s really unconscionable for Gibson to allow Anthony to shoot that three. You know the Knicks need a three to tie, and you know that Anthony loves these situations and is going to shoot it if he has the space. You have to make him drive there — even if no help comes and he ends up scoring a quick two, Chicago still has the lead and will go to the free throw line (after the Knicks foul) with a chance to extend it.

The three Anthony hit that ended up being the game-winner with nine seconds left in OT was, from a defensive standpoint, a little more understandable.

The Knicks had a frantic possession that began with 43 seconds left in the game, and outworked Chicago on the glass to get up four shot attempts, all of which were unsuccessful. The Bulls were likely exhausted by that point, and with Anthony slowly dribbling the ball beyond the three-point arc with the shot clock off, Chicago likely figured him to be waiting to take the game’s final shot.

Needing only a two to tie this time, it made sense for the Bulls to sag off him a bit and play the drive. But Anthony lulled his defender into a relaxed state, and quickly rose up to drain the game-winning shot.

Cold. Blooded.

DeMarcus Cousins answers first several Kings-related questions same way (video)

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DeMarcus Cousins had a bitter exit from the Kings, but that won’t be the last they see of him.

Cousins’ Pelicans will host Sacramento tomorrow night.

Not that Cousins rushed to talk about the matchup.

Justin Verrier of ESPN:

Cousins is pretty funny when joking with the media, and his smile is contagious. Just listen to all the laughs Cousins generates as he goes through his shtick.

Bonus points to Cousins for eventually breaking down and providing real answers. Some of his relationships in Sacramento were clearly meaningful to him, and he wanted to acknowledge those — even if he’d prefer just to get past this awkward game and all the talk it invites.

Report: Sweet-shooting 7-footer Lauri Markkanen leaving Arizona for NBA draft

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Lauri Markkanen is 7-foot and made 42% of his 3-pointers this season.

That combination alone will have NBA teams drooling, and the Arizona freshman will capitalize.

Evan Daniels of Scout:

Arizona’s Lauri Markkanen is declaring for the NBA Draft and is expected to sign with an agent, multiple sources told Scout.

Markkanen seems pretty certain to get picked in the lottery, likely in the top 10.

Calling him a good shooter for his height undersells him. It’s not just he shoots so efficiently from deep, it’s that he can generate 3-pointers in so many ways — pick-and-pops, spot-ups, off off-ball screens and even running pick-and-rolls himself. Having the height to shoot over defenders is his most noticeable asset, but don’t undersell his mobility.

Markkanen also finishes well at the rim and offensively rebounds at extremely impressive clip for someone who spends so much time on the perimeter. Those interior skills instill belief he will eventually become a suitable defender.

There are a couple red flags. He’s old for a freshman, turning 20 before the draft. He leaves plenty to be desired defensively, especially due to his lack of strength.

But his size and shooting are tantalizing. That’s plenty for now.

Dwyane Wade wowed by jumping, around-the-back alley-oop pass in McDonald’s All-American Game (video)

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Watch for Collin Sexton in the 2018 NBA draft.

In the meantime, the Alabama commit had all eyes — include Dwyane Wade‘s — on him with this pass in the McDonald’s All-American Game last night.

Carmelo Anthony on shrinking role with Knicks: ‘I see the writing on the wall… I’m at peace with that’

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Carmelo Anthony scored just nine points on 12 shots in the Knicks loss to the Heat last night — well below his season averages of 22 points on 19 shots per game.

Anthony, via Ian Begley of ESPN:

“I see the writing on the wall. I see what it is,” Anthony said late Wednesday night. “I see what they’re trying to do, and it’s just me accepting that. That’s what puts me at peace. Just knowing and understanding how things work. I’m at peace with that.”

Is Anthony talking about just the Knicks’ final dozen games of this season, when they’re clearly interesting in testing less-proven players? Or is he referring to his entire tenure in New York?

Anthony has said he’d consider waiving his no-trade clause if the Knicks want to rebuild, and they’ll reportedly try again to trade him this offseason. Perhaps, this is Anthony indicating he’s warming up to the idea of allowing a trade.

Anthony’s and Kristaps Porzingis‘ timelines are barely compatible, if at all. It’d make sense for the Knicks to go in a different direction.

Could Anthony be at peace with that?