The stress level is up in New York — the Knicks have dropped five games in a row, and in each of those games have given up more than 100 points. It doesn’t help that they are falling while that team across the Brooklyn Bridge is suddenly surging and is in the playoff mix right now.
The Knicks latest loss came at Madison Square Garden Wednesday night to the Philadelphia 76ers (110-106), and while it didn’t seem things could get worse at the end they did when Carmelo Anthony cussed at a fan, reports the New York Post.
In the final minutes of another disastrous Knicks loss, a boisterous fan shouted at Carmelo Anthony “Nice defense, Melo.” According to an eyewitness, Anthony shot back “Go f— yourself,” drawing a reaction from other fans in the area.
After the game, a fan on Twitter wrote “Carmelo told me to F off. Huge Philly fan and I got in his head.”
Anthony would not discuss the incident after the game. If the league can find video or can otherwise confirm this, ‘Melo can expect a healthy fine to come his way.
The Knicks are now 0-3 on an eight game home stand (and 10-of-11 at home). This is when they needed to make a push to climb back into the playoff hunt in the East (it’s not that hard to get back in the race, even at 15-27 they are three games out of the eight seed).
The Knicks defense is not letting them — in their last five games they have allowed 116.5 points per 100 possessions, 10 more than their season average and ranked dead last in the NBA.
That is not going to win you games, no matter what your offense does.
Before signing with the Bucks, Jason Terry said he reached out to multiple contenders.
He also spoke with the Lakers.
Terry tried to leverage his relationship with Lakers coach Luke Walton, who also played at Arizona (though their time there didn’t overlap).
Terry on SiriusXM NBA Radio.
I called my good friend Luke. I told him if he needed any help, veteran leadership, in that capacity – Lakers – with an ability to coach at the end of my deal, then that was something I would be looking forward to. He utterly declined, and I respect him for that.
Gotta love a guy who announces to the world his pitch of providing veteran leadership was “utterly declined.”
The Lakers should be just fine with Jose Calderon and Luol Deng.
The Nuggets already had too many quality young big men who won’t easily mesh in Nikola Jokic and Jusuf Nurkic.
Joffrey Lauvergne only complicated the issue.
So, Denver is moving him.
Chris Dempsey of The Denver Post:
Oklahoma City already had 15 players – the regular-season roster limit – with guaranteed salaries plus Semaj Christon (who’s likely headed to the D-League). Lauvergne’s salary is only partially guaranteed, but given his ability and cost, the Thunder surely plan to keep him.
The bigger question is how they use him. They’re already loaded with big men: Steven Adams, Enes Kanter, Ersan Ilyasova, Domantas Sabonis, Nick Collison and Mitch McGary – though perhaps McGary, facing a five-game suspension for drugs, gets waived to make room for Lauvergne.
The 6-foot-11 Lauvergne runs the floor well, and he can score in the pick-and-roll and on post-ups. He’s an impressive passer for his size, and he crashes the glass hard. But he’s not much of a rim-protector defensively. At age 24, he should produce well over the next several years – though he’s headed toward restricted free agency next summer.
Depending on the second-round picks, this might have just been a value play by the Thunder. They can figure out the rest later.
The Bucks hope Xavier Henry is just another thing Byron Scott is wrong about.
Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:
Henry – the No. 12 pick in the 2010 draft – never found his footing in the NBA with the Memphis Grizzlies, New Orleans Hornets or Los Angeles Lakers. He made some strides with the Lakers in 2013-14, but he tore his Achilles early the following season. That compounded the knee injuries that made Scott doubt Henry could meet the expectations placed on him coming out of Kansas.
Milwaukee now has 15 players, the regular-season roster limit. If Henry’s deal is unguaranteed, he’s obviously not a lock to stick. But the Bucks could use another wing. I’m guessing they’ll add more players to compete with Henry for that final spot.
Phil Jackson said he warned the Lakers they’d regret passing on Kristaps Porzingis with the No. 2 pick.
The Lakers are getting another swing at stretch big Jackson liked – though this time with far lower stakes.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:
Travis Wear spent 2014-15 with the Knicks and last season in Spain.
He’ll compete with recently signed Zach Auguste for a regular-season-roster opening that doesn’t exist – until the Lakers ditch Nick Young. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Lakers add more players to the mix.
Both Wear and Auguste are eligible to have their D-League rights assigned to the Lakers’ affiliate if they’re waived before the season.
The 6-foot-10 Wear went undrafted out of UCLA in 2014. He has the makings of a stretch four, but he must become more comfortable beyond the arc rather than just in the mid-range.