Chandler didn’t think Lin ran the Knicks offense correctly

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The few weeks of “Linsanity” last year, the Knicks offense was really not all that great. The Knicks were winning because they were playing good defense and getting enough points with Jeremy Lin running a pick-and-roll heavy offense with Tyson Chandler and shooters like Steve Novak around the floor.

Chandler likes the Knicks point guards better this year because they are running the offense, and in telling that to the New York Post he said the rookie Lin wasn’t the floor general the Knicks needed. From Newsday:

Chandler said the Knicks didn’t have a point guard to get himself, Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire the ball in their comfort zones last season. In Raymond Felton and Jason Kidd, the Knicks have experienced floor leaders who already have made a difference through the first four days of training camp…

“Baron (Davis) was hurt and Jeremy was a young point guard who was just learning, trying to learn and figure out an offense,” Chandler said. “It was nothing against them and it was definitely nothing against Baron…. Jeremy was a young point guard who was inexperienced, who brought a great light to the organization. But as far as being able to run the offense and putting players in the right position he just wasn’t there.”

Chandler is right, and the fact the Knicks never went out and got a quality point guard to run D’Antoni’s system really speaks to a failing of management. If you’re going to hire a system coach, then get him the players to fit that system, not different players then tell him to adjust.

Also, Chandler praised Lin plenty last year when Lin was a Knick. But that was then, this is now.

We’ll see how much having a more experienced set of point guards helps the Knicks offense, or if they run into the same challenges of trying to get Anthony, Stoudemire and Chandler to play off each other well. I’m not sold the point guard was the issue, but maybe the spacing and interaction will be better.

Kawhi Leonard returns Tuesday on minutes restriction

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The Spurs have been the Spurs this season, going 19-8 with an elite defense and offense that’s good enough to get them wins, thanks to LaMarcus Aldridge playing at an All-Star level.

Starting Tuesday, they add Kawhi Leonard back to the mix.

He will return to the lineup against Dallas, but will be on a minutes restriction, coach Gregg Popovich said on Tuesday. He would not say how many minutes, although around 20 seems a logical starting spot.

Leonard is one of the five best players in the NBA (and that may be selling him short). He averaged a career-high 25.5 points a game last season, he’s arguably the best perimeter defender in the NBA, and he finished third in the MVP voting last season.

However, there are going to be adjustments. LaMarcus Aldridge has been the focal point of the offense, but he could see fewer touches, particularly in crunch time. Kyle Anderson could see fewer minutes, and Rudy Gay may as well because Popovich liked some small-ball lineups last season with Leonard at the four. A lot of players will see their rotations change.

That said, it’s the Spurs. Do we really expect them to be anything but an incredibly good regular season team? One that is about to get better?

 

 

 

Pelicans’ Tony Allen out 3-4 weeks with fibula fracture

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The injuries just keep hitting the Pelicans. Guys like Solomon Hill and Alexis Ajinca are out for extended periods of time. Anthony Davis has missed four of the team’s last six games and is questionable for Wednesday night due to a left adductor injury.

Now comes the news that reserve guard Tony Allen will be out three to four weeks due to a nondisplaced left proximal fibula fracture, the team announced Tuesday. This is the part of the bone near the ankle.

Allen has played a limited role for New Orleans off the bench this season, averaging 12.4 minutes a game, and averaging 4.7 points. His reputation is that of a defensive stopper, and when he is on the court this season the Pelicans’ defense has been 5.6 points per 100 possessions better. However, father time has started to catch up with him and he is not the defender he once was.

Expect the minutes to bump up for Jrue Holiday and E'Twaun Moore with this injury, which is not a bad thing as they have played well (they were knocking down threes against the Rockets Monday like they were named Curry), plus Ian Clark could get a little more run.

Watch Kawhi Leonard chop boards ‘karate styyyle’ (video)

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Kawhi Leonard, enabled by the Spurs’ no-nonsense culture, is probably the NBA’s most boring superstar.

He’s widely recognized as the league’s best defender, and he has worked himself into an elite offensive threat. He has already won a Finals MVP, and regular-season MVP could eventually be in the cards.

But Leonard is notoriously reserved. For someone who has been on this stage for so long, we know little about him.

Except we now know he apparently likes karate.

Leonard:

Gonna chop y’all up. Look at all of us. Karate styyyle.

If “karate styyyle” doesn’t become Leonard’s catchphrase, I don’t even know what we’re doing.

Leonard will finally have the chance to chop up an NBA opponent tonight, when he makes his return from injury.

Michael C. Wright of ESPN:

Kevin Durant brings fan to tears with autographed shoes (video)

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Kevin Durant has become a villain to many.

Clearly not to this Warriors fan, though.