Brooklyn Nets v New York Knicks

Carmelo Anthony will play for Knicks Friday night, hold off on MRI for shoulder

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Mathematically the Knicks are still alive in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

Of course, mathematically I have a shot at winning The Voice. Even though I can’t sing. The Knicks and I are in the same place — the Hawks magic number is two, the Knicks are mathematically alive but reality provides a very different view. The only way the Knicks make the playoffs is to win out (4-0) and have the Hawks go 1-3 or worse.

However until that chance is zero Carmelo Anthony is going to suit up and play — he will dress for the Knicks at the Raptors Friday night, as reported in the New York Post. That despite a very sore shoulder that has hampered Anthony in recent games.

And no, Anthony is not going to get an MRI on that shoulder, either

“I believe (I will play) until they tell me we’re out of it,’’ Anthony said at the morning shootaround at Air Canada Centre….

“What is the test going to do at this point?’’ Anthony said. “If they say it’s really bad, I’m still not going to sit out. I’d rather to wait until it’s all over….

“It is what it is,’’ Anthony said. “We have to win all four games, and it’s not a given if we win all four games we get in, but we have to do our part.’’

It’s a noble sentiment, you have to tip your cap to him for it. Anthony has never missed the playoffs in his 11 NBA seasons and will not go down quietly.

Announcement: Pro Basketball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $55,000 Fantasy Basketball league for Friday night’s games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $7,000. Starts at 7pm ET on FridayHere’s the FanDuel link.

He battled through shoulder injuries last year and said these are not as severe, it’s something he can play through. However he has clearly been limited.

If he’s not going to sit out until the Knicks are eliminated, well, that will come soon enough.

Gordon Hayward dunks on Giannis Antetokounmpo, Thon Maker (videos)

Gordon Hayward (20), del Jazz de Utah, intenta un enceste ante Thon Maker (7) y Michael Beasley (9), de los Bucks de Milwaukee, en el duelo del viernes 24 de febrero de 2017, en Milwaukee. (AP Foto/Benny Sieu)
AP Foto/Benny Sieu
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Are we obligated to call Gordon Hayward “deceptively athletic”?

The Bucks have something special in Giannis Antetokounmpo, and they think they have something special in Thon Maker.

But Hayward jammed all over those two in the Jazz’s 109-95 win last night.

First, he got Antetokounmpo:

Then, he got Maker:

Report: Lakers working toward buyout with Jose Calderon; Warriors, Rockets interested

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 18:  Jose Calderon #5 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts to a called foul during the second half of a game against the San Antonio Spurs at Staples Center on November 18, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. 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 Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
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The Lakers took on the salary of Jose Calderon this year so they could get a couple second-round picks from the Bulls (Chicago got him from New York in the Derrick Rose trade), but even with the previous regime in Los Angeles the aging point guard was never part of the future.

As was expected, the Lakers are now talking about buying out the Spanish national and letting him head to a playoff team for a stretch run, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.

Sources told ESPN that it’s not yet a certainty Calderon will secure his release from the Lakers in the coming days, but the sides are indeed discussing the options as Wednesday’s playoff eligibility deadline nears….

Sources say that Calderon, if he winds up hitting the open market, would instantly become a target for both the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets.

Cleveland may also have interest if their plan to land Deron Williams when he is bought out by Dallas goes awry.

Calderon, 35, was not part of the Lakers’ regular rotation, playing in just 24 games. He can still knock down a shot if he has space and can set his feet, and he still has a high hoops IQ and can see the floor, but his athleticism has faded, and that can leave him exposed. Particularly on defense.

Players are being waived now so they clear in time for teams to sign them by March 1, after that said players are not eligible for playoff rosters.

There are better players to hit the waiver wire in the coming days — D-Will, Andrew Bogut, Matt Barnes — but Calderon is going to land somewhere. He’d be a solid third point guard and veteran presence for a playoff run.

Marquese Chriss blocks Bobby Portis, who gets testy (video)

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Bobby Portis didn’t enjoy getting blocked by Marquese Chriss. And Portis sure didn’t appreciate how Chriss fell on him.

But it was all worth it (for me, at least) just to see the Bulls forward make a face that reminded me of this:

Dwyane Wade with dagger dunk to seal Bulls win vs. Suns (VIDEO)

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The time off during the All-Star break did Dwyane Wade some good.

The Bulls guard turned back the clock on Friday night, leading the Bulls with 23 points and topping it off with this dunk that proved to be the dagger, sealing a Chicago win. The Suns were convinced Wade was going to run the shot clock way down before making his move and they lollygagged into position — so he just blew past everyone for the poster slam.

The Bulls won 128-121. Devin Booker led the Suns with 27.