Knicks formally assign Stoudemire to D-League, but just for workouts

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Amare Stoudemire is a member of the Erie Bayhawks of the D-League.

The team announced the move Tuesday but Stoudemire is not going to play a game for Erie — this was simply about getting him some workouts. Stoudemire has been cleared to practice following his knee surgery (to deal with a ruptured popliteal cyst) just before the season started. However, the Knicks are light on practices while the Bayhawks are getting in a series of workouts this week at the MSG Training Center in Greenburgh, N.Y.

So, Stoudemire is going to get his run in — and see how he responds — with the Bayhawks.

If all goes well he could join the Knicks soon, maybe by Christmas when the Knicks travel across the country to take on the Lakers on national television (Los Angeles should have Pau Gasol and Steve Nash back for that game).

Stoudemire is not alone, Chris Copeland and James White also were assigned to the Bayhawks. Copeland is coming off a 29-point game where he was the lone bright spot for the Knicks in a Monday night loss to Houston.

Once Stoudemire does return he will start coming off the bench (to keep Carmelo Anthony starting at the four where he has played so well). It will fall to Mike Woodson to come up with rotations and systems that work with both Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony on the court. That is the bid challenge ahead of the Knicks in January.

But it’s nice to do that from 18-6 and atop the Eastern Conference. They have some margin for error.

Lakers blow 5-on-1 fastbreak (video)

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Corey Brewer is better at finishing fastbreaks than leading them.

Nice defense by Emmanuel Mudiay, too.

But at least the Lakers won.

Did Reggie Jackson distract Jimmy Butler into missing game-tying free throw? (video)

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With the Timberwolves trailing the Pistons by three and 6.2 seconds left, Jimmy Butler drew a foul on a 3-pointer.

Butler made the first two free throws then, just before he got the ball for the third, Reggie Jackson interrupted to talk to Stanley Johnson, who was in rebounding position. Butler missed the free throw, and Detroit won 100-97 after an intentional foul.

Butler said Jackson didn’t affect him, but Butler’s side eye during the delay at least appeared to speak loudly.

Bulls’ Kris Dunn dunks on T.J. Warren after savvy/explosive halfcourt drive (video)

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Kris Dunn had a nice weekend – 39 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds as the Bulls beat the Hornets and lost to the Suns – punctuated by this dunk in Chicago’s 113-105 loss to the Suns last night.

T.J. Warren paid the price for Tyler Ulis overplaying a Robin Lopez screen Dunn cleverly never used.

Orlando Magic will no longer host summer league

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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — The Orlando Magic has decided to end their annual summer league.

Magic president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman said Sunday the trend of NBA teams playing in the Las Vegas Summer League led to the decision end Orlando Pro Summer League. Orlando’s Summer League, which showcased rookies and young players, began in 2002.

Las Vegas will host all 30 teams for the summer league beginning in the summer of 2018. The Orlando Pro Summer League began as a 10-team tournament but there were just eight participating teams this past summer.

The summer league in Orlando, which is played in the Magic’s practice gym, was the only one of three summer leagues that did not allow fans to come in to watch.