Report: Carmelo Anthony wants LeBron to come to Knicks; Phil Jackson trying to clear cap space to get it done

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Carmelo Anthony’s free agent decision was expected to have come already, after narrowing his choices down to the Lakers, Bulls, and of course, the Knicks.

But he’s waited longer than expected, perhaps due to holding out some measure of hope that he could end up teaming with LeBron James in Miami — or maybe even New York.

Yes, the latest report has Anthony dreaming of bringing LeBron to the Knicks — a scenario that is beyond unlikely, for a variety of very good reasons.

From Marc Berman of the New York Post:

According to a friend of Anthony’s, Melo has held out faint hope Knicks president Phil Jackson can pull a miracle and clear out the necessary salary-cap space to get it done, but he is running out of time. Anthony’s decision could come in the next couple of days. …

“He really wants LeBron to come to New York,’’ the source said. “That’s his dream right now. Phil is trying to get it done.’’ …

“He didn’t want no part of New York in 2010,’’ the source said. “But he loves Phil and the chance to play with Melo.’’

To be fair, this piece does lay out just how far-fetched that is, and states pretty clearly that it’s essentially not happening.

The Knicks would have to unload the horrendous contracts of Andrea Bargnani and Amar’e Stoudemire without taking back any salary in return for starters, and then Anthony and James would still need to both take less than the max to somehow make it all work.

Dreams are nice, but reality is what we’re forced to deal with, which is this: Anthony and James ending up as teammates when all of this is said and done isn’t at all likely, and barely even seems possible.

Video Breakdown: Clippers use JJ Redick in split cut to fool Jazz at 3-point line

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The Los Angeles Clippers dropped Game 5 to the Utah Jazz on Tuesday night, and find themselves down 3-2 as they head back to Salt Lake City for Game 6. The Clippers have had to deal with Utah’s formidable defense, so much so that they’ve built in counters to Jazz defenders overplaying shooters like JJ Redick.

One example of this countering method could be found in Game 3, when the Clippers ran a split cut for Redick. Instead of fighting endlessly around screens for a 3-point shot as you might expect, LA took the easy route and simply cut Redick to the basket for an easy layup as a means to take advantage of an overeager defender.

We’ve talked about the Split Cut here on NBA Playbook before. The Los Angeles Lakers used it earlier in the season to beat the Golden State Warriors, the team that uses the split cut perhaps the most out of any team in the NBA.

Other teams, including the Portland Trail Blazers, have adapted the Warriors’ use of the split cut as a counter for their own offense this season, which is a testament to just how useful it is.

If you need a reminder, a split cut all about a screener coming up to screen, then cutting toward the basket before his screen action fully takes place. It’s about timing, and catching defenders off guard when they go to set up their recover positions for screens.

For a full breakdown on the split cut and how the Clippers used it, watch the video above.

John Wall wears cape to postgame press conference (video)

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John Wall has been super, averaging 27 points and 11 assists while leading the Wizards to a 3-2 lead over the Hawks in the first-round.

Did you see Isaiah Thomas carry in Game 5? ‘No,’ says Fred Hoiberg, who walks off (video)

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Fred Hoiberg opened himself to clowning by complaining about Isaiah Thomas carrying.

So, the Bulls coach got clowned after the Celtics’ Game 5 win.

Jae Crowder leg-locks Robin Lopez (video)

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Late in the Celtics’ Game 5 win over the Bulls last night, Jae Crowder leg-locked Robin Lopez – the same dirty play that caused rancor for Matthew Dellavedova in the 2015 playoffs.

Lopez blocked Crowder’s shot, but the ball went to Al Horford, who attacked the basket. As Lopez tried to rotate to contest another shot, he couldn’t move. Crowder, who’d fallen to the floor, had him in a leg-lock. Lopez freed himself just in time to foul Horford.

Adding insult to avoided injury, Lopez got hit with a technical foul for complaining about the no-call.

I bet the league issues a technical foul on Crowder, too.