Knicks without Felton, World Peace for three games… but they signed Jeremy Tyler

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The New York Knicks are headed to Texas for brutal a three-game road trip — at San Antonio Thursday, a back-to-back against the Spurs, then Dallas on Sunday. Not what a 9-21 team needs to get right.

Just to add to the fun, they will be without Raymond Felton and Metta World Peace, according to new reports.

We’ll let Al Iannazzone of Newsday have the honors.

At the point, this means a lot of Beno Udrih with some support from Toure’ Murry. Also, you may not see World Peace on the court again until mid-January, a couple weeks after his coming knee PRP procedure.

The good news? First and foremost Carmelo Anthony expects to be back Thursday and for the entire road trip. That should give the Knicks’ offense some kind of shape.

In addition, the Knicks made the signing of reserve big man Jeremy Tyler official, reports Newsday. Tyler looked like a guy who would make the Knicks after Summer League (where he played well) but then a broken foot sidelined him for 10 weeks, so he was let go. Now he’s healthy and the Knicks need frontcourt help, so Chris Smith is out (no matter what J.R. thinks) and Tyler is in. The newcomer likely will not see a lot of minutes, but he will get some.

Nets’ national anthem singer kneels to finish performance

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NEW YORK (AP)—  The national anthem singer at the Brooklyn Nets’ home opener took a knee at the end of her performance.

Justine Skye was nearing the completion of the song Friday night when she went to one knee for the finish. There were some cheers, but appeared to be more boos from the crowd at Barclays Center to see the Nets play the Orlando Magic.

NBA players have continued to stand during the playing of the anthems, as required by league rule.

Mavericks’ rookie guard Dennis Smith Jr. misses game with knee swelling

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DALLAS (AP) — Dallas Mavericks rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr. missed Friday’s game against the Sacramento Kings with swelling in his left knee.

Smith, the ninth pick in the NBA draft out of North Carolina State, had 16 points and 10 assists in the Mavericks’ season-opening loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

Smith participated in the Mavericks’ shootaround on Friday morning and was a late scratch. It is not known if Smith will play Saturday for Dallas.

The Mavericks were also missing guard Devin Harris, who was granted leave of absence after his brother died on Thursday.

Watch Lonzo Ball’s 29 point, 11 rebound, 9 assist game Friday night

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This was more of what fans expected from Lonzo Ball.

After a rough first game against the Clippers — with Patrick Beverley in his face all night — Ball found plenty of room to operate against the soft defense of the Phoenix Suns. With room to operate Ball had 29 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists — just one assist short of a triple-double. He helped the Lakers pull away to a lead in the third then hold on for a 132-130 win over the Suns.

Ball wasn’t terribly efficient, 12-of-27 shooting, but he was 4-of-9 from three, he played with great pace, he was decisive, and was finding guys with his passes. It was a step forward, even if it was against a sad defense (Eric Bledsoe can be a good defender, but he has seemed disinterested in recent years).

Ball and the Lakers are going to be up and down this season, the goal is for there to be more ups near the end of the season.

LeBron James rejects Giannis Antetokounmpo at the rim

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Through the first couple games of the season, Giannis Antetokounmpo has put up impressive numbers — he dropped 34 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists on the Cavaliers Friday night.

But the Cavaliers still have LeBron James.

He had 24 points and 8 assists, leading Cleveland to the win.

LeBron also reminded the Greek Freak just how good a rim protector he is. Few people can slow Antetokounmpo on the drive, but LeBron is one of them.

Is it too early to root for a Cavs vs. Bucks playoff series?