New Jersey Nets v New York Knicks

Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire out vs. Jazz

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UPDATE: 7:20 p.m. ET: Carmelo Anthony is out for this one, according to multiple reports.

The news is far worse for Amar’e Stoudemire, however, who will miss at least the next six weeks after an MRI taken on Saturday revealed the need for knee surgery.

2:00 p.m. ET: Carmelo Anthony has missed the Knicks’ last two games with soreness in his right knee, and it could be three straight when New York hosts the Jazz on Saturday.

Knicks head coach Mike Woodson told reporters at shootaround that Anthony would be a game-time decision after receiving treatment.

“We’ve just got to wait and see if he’s ready to go tonight,” Woodson said, via Ian Begley of ESPN New York.

The Knicks could also be without Amar’e Stoudemire, who is reportedly experiencing soreness in both of his knees. Stoudemire has been on a minutes limit of 30 per game, and has been essentially right at it the last three games.

Woodson said the decision to play on Saturday would be Stoudemire’s.

The Knicks are 4-5 on the season when Anthony sits, and even though they can get the occasional scoring outburst from J.R. Smith, the team will only go as far as Anthony can take them. It’s more than a little worrisome, then, that Anthony has a build-up of fluid in that sore knee, but according to the ESPN report, there are no plans to drain the fluid at this time.

Anthony should obviously rest as much as possible to get this under control before the playoffs. But it’s worth noting that the Knicks are currently the three seed in the Eastern Conference playoff picture, a half game behind the Pacers for the number two spot.

If the Knicks had their choice that’s where they’d like to stay, since falling to fourth would mean a first round date with a very difficult Bulls team. And even if that test was passed, the Heat would be waiting for them in the second round, whereas if New York stayed in second or third, the team wouldn’t have to worry about a potential matchup with Miami until the conference finals.

Report: Age minimum still on table in Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 23:  The full draft board of the first 30 pics of the first round of the 2016 NBA Draft is seen at the Barclays Center on June 23, 2016 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
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A new Collective Bargaining Agreement is expected to be finished soon, but with months until the current deal expires, both the owners and players can afford to take their time and get the details right.

Both sides reportedly agreed to keep the age minimum – which requires players to be 19 and one year removed from their high school class’ graduation – in place.

Or not?

David Aldridge of NBA.com:

Other issues, like the age limit for players entering the league, are still on the table. The league has long sought to increase the age limit from its current 19, and at least one year removed from one’s high school class, to at least 20 years of age. The union has talked about a “zero and two” setup, similar to that used by baseball — players can enter the Draft out of high school, but if they choose to go to college, they have to stay in college at least two years (in baseball, it’s three years) before declaring for the Draft.

The union wants to lower the age minimum. Adam Silver wants to raise it.

Most likely, the current one-and-done rule remains in place.

But a zero-or-two setup could be an interesting compromise. That would allow players certain they’re ready for the pros out of high school to declare for the NBA draft. In all other cases, Silver would get his wish.

Again, the status quo likely remains in tact. But it’s good both sides are discussing the issue to see whether there’s a better solution.

76ers increase Joel Embiid’s minute limit to 28

Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid, left, tries to get around Cleveland Cavaliers' DeAndre Liggins, center, and Kevin Love during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
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Take comfort, chairs and staffers.

The 76ers have raised Joel Embiid‘s minute limit from 24 to 28.

Jessica Camerato of CSN Philly:

This was never a hard limit. Embiid played more than 24 minutes in five of his 12 games with a high of 27 in an overtime contest. Presumably, the new “limit” will also allow for Embiid to sometimes it.

Embiid’s numbers per 36 minutes are eye-popping: 28.6 points, 12.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 3.8 blocks and 6.4 turnovers. A small workload likely factors into his per-minute dominance, and he’s still a long way from typical starter minutes. But I’m interested to see how his production translates over a larger sample.

The 76ers, in their mission to be less bad this season, will also appreciate a few more minutes of Embiid. They defend like the NBA’s second-best defense with him on the floor and the league’s second-worst defense without him. They also score a little better with him. Overall, they get outscored by just 2.2 points per 100 possessions with him and a whopping 14.2 points per 100 possessions without him.

This could give Philadelphia a couple extra wins over the rest of the season. At minimum, it’ll make the 76ers more enjoyable to watch for a few more minutes each game.

James Johnson dunks on Rudy Gobert in crunch time (video)

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Opponents shoot just 41.8% at the rim with Rudy Gobert defending it – which is now second to Hassan Whiteside among the 50 players who defend the most shots at the rim per game.

But James Johnson went up with no fear, scoring two of his 24 points in the Heat’s 111-110 win over the Jazz last night.

Nicolas Batum bounces assist through Dwight Powell’s legs (video)

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The Hornets didn’t just beat the Mavericks, 97-87, last night.

Nicolas Batum got Charlotte style points with this pass through Dwight Powell‘s legs, assisting Cody Zeller.