Well-rounded games are easy to appreciate, but it takes a special effort to impress with no variety. Carmelo Anthony had that special effort.
Third Star: John Wall (27 points, 8 rebounds, 9 assists)
Prior to March 12, Wall had posted 25 points, nine assists and five rebounds just three times in his career. Since March 12, he’s averaging those numbers.
Second star: Kobe Bryant (23 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists, 4 steals, 2 blocks)
Kobe’s second triple-double of the season gives him his first season with multiple triple-doubles since 2008-09. And nobody had the points/rebounds/assists/steals/blocks numbers Kobe did since Latrell Sprewell in 2003.
First Star: Carmelo Anthony (50 points)
I don’t have the numbers to back this, but this must be the highest-scoring game without a single shot in the paint. I can’t imagine someone topping this, though I never imagined a player could score 50 exclusively outside the lane. Not only did Anthony not shoot in the paint, not a single one of his eight free throws came off an attempt to shoot in the paint. Anthony avoided the paint like it was a rebounds, assist, steal or block. He lasted 29 minutes before collecting one of those peripheral stats, but he never succumbed to that yellow area around the rim.
Anthony was absolutely in the zone when it came to shooting outside the paint, though. He shot 11-of-16 from mid-range (69 percent; season average: 43 percent) and 7-of-10 on 3-pointers (70 percent; season average: 38 percent). To hit those marks with such a high usage rate is basically unreal.
NEW YORK (AP) — A lawyer representing a professional basketball player arrested outside a New York City nightclub has told a jury his client was targeted because he’s black.
Attorney Alex Spiro said Tuesday in Manhattan Criminal Court that a white police officer saw a black man in a hoodie when he confronted the Atlanta Hawks’ Thabo Sefolosha on April 8.
Sefolosha was arrested while leaving a Manhattan nightclub following a stabbing. He subsequently suffered a season-ending leg fracture after a confrontation with police.
A prosecutor said in opening statements that Sefolosha called an officer who repeatedly told him and others to leave a “midget.”
Sefolosha pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor obstructing government administration, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest charges. The Swiss citizen declined a plea deal from prosecutors.
DeMar DeRozan has a $10,050,000 player option for 2016-17. Given the rapidly escalating salary cap, it’s a practical certainty DeRozan will opt out and get a major raise.
But he says he doesn’t want to talk about it.
DeRozan, via Eric Koreen of the National Post:
“I hate that, honestly,” DeRozan said in a one-on-one interview. “I never speak about it. With me, I’ve always been that one player: I’ve been loyal. I’ve been every single thing you can think of here. I think people don’t understand how much pride I take in playing (in Toronto). A lot of times when I do get asked that, it kind of frustrates me.
“Everyday I wake up, I take pride in being the longest Raptor here. People bring up third or whatever in franchise scoring — there is so much stuff like that.”
This sounds awfully similar to LaMarcus Aldridge, who stated his desire last year to become the great Trail Blazer ever and then signed with the Spurs this summer.
Things change, and the impracticality of an extension ensures DeRozan will hit free agency. I believe he’s devoted to the Raptors right now, but his loyalty might change in the next nine months – especially once he sees contract offers from other suitors.
Toronto’s interest in DeRozan might fluctuate, too. He’s a nice player, but the Raptors haven’t won a playoff series with him despite winning the division the last two years. Depending how this season goes, Masai Ujiri might want to rework the roster significantly next summer, and letting DeRozan walk could create major cap space.
I believe DeRozan wants to return to the Raptors, and I believe they want to keep him. But so much can change between now and when both sides must make that call.