Carmelo Anthony: ‘Nobody should be worried about Carmelo Anthony’

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The Knicks are last in the NBA’s worst division, and though Carmelo Anthony is certainly not the main culprit for his team’s poor early showing, his play has regressed significantly from last season.

He’s going to become a free agent this summer, but in the meantime, James Dolan’s Knicks are crashing an burning around him.

Time to worry about Melo?

Anthony, Aia Adam Zagoria of TheKnicksBlog:

“Nobody should be worried about me. I’m going to be fine,” Anthony told reporters Monday. “I’m not even thinking about contracts or BS like that. I’ll think about that in the offseason. Right now, my duty is to lead this team to win some basketball games, hopefully to win a championship. That’s my duty. Nobody should be worried about Carmelo Anthony.”

Don’t worry, Melo. I’m not worried about you.

Anthony will definitely be fine. He’s going to get a max contract this summer and choose which team gives it to him. Why would anyone worry about someone in that position?

Oh, right, Knicks management and fans.

I supposed they’re in a different boat. Whether professionally or personally, they have a vested interested in the Knicks succeeding. Conventional wisdom says they should fret about keeping Melo, but I don’t buy that.

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Melo makes so much money, it’s difficult, under the NBA’s salary-cap rules, to put a championship team around him. That will become even more true with the raise he’ll get next summer. I’m just not convinced he’s good enough to justify the cap space his contract occupies.

Still, the Knicks would be better off keeping him. He’s an excellent player who will, at minimum, help most teams reach the playoffs (which says something about the stew brewing at Madison Square Garden).

It’s just that losing him wouldn’t be completely detrimental. Sure, the Knicks might have to rebuild – or overpay so-so players in a doomed attempt to stay competitive. But if they choose the former route, their upside is even higher than with Melo.

That’s why there’s no reason to worry about him.

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook go head-to-head, literally (video)

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This sure didn’t look like just another game for Kevin Durant – and not only because the Thunder beat the Warriors for the first time since he left.

The 108-91 Oklahoma City victory didn’t look like just another game for Russell Westbrook (34 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists and four steals), either.

Harrison Barnes banks in game-winning, buzzer-beating 3-pointer (video)

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With the shot clock off in the fourth quarter and the game tied, Grizzlies big JaMychal Green put back Tyreke Evans‘ miss with a clutch flush. There’s a very fine line between ensuring the last shot and leaving time for an offensive rebound, and Memphis threated it almost perfectly.

Emphasis on “almost.”

The Grizzlies left the Mavericks 0.5 seconds, which Harrison Barnes used to bank in a 3-pointer – off a pinpoint bounce pass by Dennis Smith Jr. – to give Dallas a 95-94 win.

Heat snap Celtics’ 16-game winning streak

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky
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The Celtics didn’t have another comeback in them.

After overcoming a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit against the Mavericks on Monday to extend its winning streak to 16 games, Boston lost to the Heat tonight, 104-98. The streak ends as the NBA’s longest since the Hawks won 19 straight during the 2014-15 season.

The Celtics trailed Miami by 16 in the fourth quarter then cut the deficit to only one with three minutes left. But Dion Waiters hit back-to-back 3-pointers, helping the Heat pull away.

Goran Dragic (27 points) and Waiters (26 points) led Miami, which needed a reason to feel good after losing three of four to fall to 7-9.

The Celtics, on the other hand, still have a four-game cushion over the rest of the Eastern Conference. This might help them regain focus.

Serge Ibaka gets dunked on by Enes Kanter, hit in face by ball (video)

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Is Enes Kanter mad Serge Ibaka rifted with his family?

(No, not this family. That family.)