Author: Brett Pollakoff

Derek Fisher

Knicks, Magic combine for lowest-scoring quarter in NBA history


The Knicks and the Magic have been bad this season, and this is not news. But together, they combined to be so bad that this year’s teams are now a part of NBA history.

During the second quarter of Saturday night’s contest, New York outscored Orlando 8-7. That was it — 15 points scored in total by the two teams, which was the lowest scoring of any quarter essentially in NBA history.

(Technically, it was the lowest-scoring quarter in the shot clock era, but that’s been in place now for the last 60 years.)

More, from

It was the fewest points in a quarter in the shot clock era (since 1954-55), which spans 209,888 quarters played, including Saturday’s action. It was also only the third time that both teams scored fewer than 10 points each.

Orlando was 3-for-19 from the field and 0-for-4 from 3-point range in the second quarter. New York did the Magic one better (or worse), going 3-for-20 in the period and 0-for-5 from 3. There were nine combined turnovers, with seven by the Magic.

It was the fewest points from two teams in a non-overtime period this season, eclipsing the previous mark of 24 achieved three times.

Tim Hardaway Jr., who hit the late-game three that gave the Knicks the 80-79 victory, was able to find a positive in his team’s historically bad performance.

“It was 8-7 in the second quarter so our defense did a great job of withstanding that quarter,” he said. “Even though we didn’t score, they didn’t score as well so we just had an all-around great game.”


Timberwolves’ Zach LaVine sores career-high 37 points (VIDEO)

Minnesota Timberwolves v Los Angeles Lakers

It’s been a dismal season for the Minnesota Timberwolves in terms of wins and losses, but there have been some positive signs that should give fans hope for the future.

Andrew Wiggins is likely to take home Rookie of the Year honors for his consistent play all season long, and Zach LaVine put up a career-high 37 points against the Warriors on Saturday, the team that will finish the year with the league’s best defense.

LaVine finished the night 13-of-21 from the field (including 6-of-10 from three-point distance), and also grabbed nine rebounds and dished out four assists while playing almost 45 of the game’s 48 minutes.

Sixers coach Brett Brown says he’d ‘personally’ be disappointed if Joel Embiid didn’t play at NBA Summer League

Indiana Pacers v Philadelphia 76ers

When the Sixers selected Joel Embiid with the third overall pick in last summer’s NBA Draft, it was widely assumed that he’d miss the entire 2015 season.

Not only did recovering from a foot injury that required surgery dictate as much, but Philadelphia hasn’t been shy about its desire to be on the long-term tanking plan, so keeping assets like Embiid sidelined only helped the team’s chances of earning a high lottery pick in the draft once again.

But at some point, the Sixers’ players need to, you know, actually play in order for the team to get better. And though Embiid was projected to sit out the entire regular season all along, if he can’t begin to develop his NBA skill set this summer, head coach Brett Brown admits that it will be somewhat of a disappointment — if not for the team, then for him personally.

From Keith Pompey of

Brett Brown said he “personally” would be disappointed if Joel Embiid didn’t play in the summer league.

“Personally, I expect him to play in the summer league,” Brown said.  “But if I guessed any of this wrong, I want to make sure that the club is on record not being definitive. We are not in the position to say that now.”

Brown raised a few eyebrows Wednesday when he would not commit on whether the 7-foot rookie center would play this summer.  Embiid has missed the entire season as he recovers from right foot surgery. …

“I just feel like it’s too definitive if we come out and say he’s definitely playing now,” he explain on Friday. “It’s not so much any trepidation I have to 100 percent declare it. I don’t feel like it’s responsible to say that now. He’s heading in that direction.”

The clarification comes from Brown wanting to make it clear that the organization isn’t expecting anything where Embiid is concerned.

But, honestly? Come on.

While the team certainly needs to be cautions with its newly-acquired big man’s foot injury (just ask Kevin Durant about that), at some point, the draft picks are going to need to pan out in order for the team to move on from its somewhat embarrassing rebuilding strategy.

Report: Greg Monroe to the Knicks ‘about as close to a done deal as you can get’

Greg Monroe

It’s no secret that Greg Monroe is unlikely to be in a Detroit Pistons uniform at the beginning of next season.

After a contentious summer where Monroe could neither persuade another team to sign him to a max offer sheet, nor persuade the Pistons to give him the long-term deal that he desired, he took the rarely-traveled path of playing out the season on a qualifying offer in order to become an unrestricted free agent just as soon as it was finished.

Monroe will have plenty of options this summer, though if one report is to be believed, his future destination has already been chosen.

From Frank Isola of the New York Daily News:

Maybe the worst kept secret in the NBA is that Phil Jackson plans to pursue Detroit Pistons forward Greg Monroe in free agency this summer. In fact, one league executive called it “about as close to a done deal as you can get.”

A done deal is illegal of course and would open Jackson and the Knicks to tampering charges. A more likely scenario is that representatives from both parties have made their interest known and will proceed accordingly once the free-agent recruiting period begins on July 1st. It happens all the time. …

It’s easy to connect the dots; Monroe’s agent, David Falk, is one of the few agents that Jackson has a relationship with going back more than 20 years when Falk was representing Michael Jordan. Falk is looking for a max contract for Monroe and the Knicks, coming off the worst season in franchise history, are happy to oblige.

What’s interesting here is that the Knicks are likely to land one of the top picks in the draft, where big men like Karl-Anthony Towns and Jahlil Okafor would appear to be the most obvious choices.

But Monroe is proven to a certain extent, with career-best averages of 16.1 points and 10.5 rebounds in 31.2 minutes per game for the Pistons this season.

New York will need to rebuild with a combination of talent that is ready, and players that are young who will need time to develop. Regardless of the potential positional duplication Monroe may bring to the roster, the Knicks need to lock up guys who are ready now, in order to jumpstart what is sure to be an excruciating rebuilding process.

Jeremy Lin may have already played his last game as a member of the Lakers

Los Angeles Lakers v Houston Rockets

Jeremy Lin has appeared in 74 games this season, but with only three games remaining on the schedule, he may have already played his last as a member of the Lakers.

Lin has missed the team’s last two contests with a sore left knee, and with L.A. having nothing left to play for, there’s no reason for even slightly banged-up players to even bother to suit up.

From Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times:

He wants to finish out the season, all three games that remain, but free agency is just over the horizon for the team’s second-highest paid player.

Lin has been in and out of the starting lineup in his only season with the Lakers, averaging 11.2 points while shooting 42.4%, numbers slightly below his career averages. …

An MRI exam on Lin’s knee showed a cartilage abnormality that was not considered serious. The abnormality was consistent with post-surgery results from a knee procedure Lin had in 2012. He was listed as day-to-day by the team.

Scott declined to discuss Lin’s future with the Lakers, with good reason.

Byron Scott — and hilariously, Nick Young —  have both been rough on Lin at times during this season, the worst ever in the history of the storied Lakers franchise.

It was always a long shot for Lin to return next season. The Lakers only agreed to take on his bloated salary because his contract expired after this year, and the Rockets gave L.A. a first round draft pick for doing so.

He’ll end up somewhere as a free agent on a more reasonable contract in the future, but Lin’s days with the Lakers might just have ended a few days earlier than expected.