Dan Feldman

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Nicolas Batum returns to Hornets after ‘scary period’ of migraines

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Nicolas Batum was reportedly battling “excruciating” migraines that caused a “a scary period” for the Hornets forward.

Good news: Batum returned to play over the weekend.

Batum, via David Scott of The Charlotte Observer:

“I was scared, worried,” Batum said Saturday after the Hornets guard scored eight points and grabbed 10 rebounds in his return, a 98-93 victory against the Washington Wizards at Spectrum Center. “I couldn’t think. I couldn’t eat or drink anything. It took me out of everything.”

The migraine came on March 12, the morning after the Hornets had played an overtime game against the New Orleans Pelicans.

“I couldn’t move,” Batum said.

Batum has helped Charlotte to wins over the Wizards and Hawks since his return. It’s probably too late for the Hornets – three games and three teams out of playoff position – to reach the postseason, but Batum boosts whatever small chance they have.

More importantly, he sounds healthy after that nerve-racking period.

Draymond Green bothered by D’Angelo Russell in Lakers-Bucks fight

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D'Angelo Russell was ejected and fined for his role in Friday’s Lakers-Bucks fight.

What does that have to do with Warriors forward Draymond Green?

He’ll tell you.

Monte Poole of CSN Bay Area:

Russell pushed Greg Monroe – who pushed Nick Young, who pushed Malcolm Brogdon, who fouled Young – from behind. I believe Russell bounced off the Milwaukee center more than he backpedaled, but that distinction is probably what irked Green.

Green played for Lakers coach Luke Walton, who was previously Golden State’s assistant/acting head coach. Asked about Green’s comments, Walton didn’t appear pleased to be addressing Green’s public opinion.

Russell played a minor role in a minor altercation.

I’m just mesmerized by Green providing his commentary publicly.

Syracuse’s Tyler Lydon, potential first-rounder, entering NBA draft

AP Photo/David J. Phillip
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Syracuse coach-in-waiting Mike Hopkins is leaving for Washington.

Also departing Syracuse: sophomore forward Tyler Lydon.

Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports:

Lydon ranks somewhere between a potential and probable first-rounder.

A 6-foot-9 forward, Lydon projects most favorably as a stretch four. There, his smooth outside shooting and athleticism could be major assets.

But he’s so thin, there’s a risk he might have to play small forward, at least initially. His ball-handling skills and foot speed are too lacking for the wing, though.

The positive spin: Gaining strength, often necessary for young players, offers Lydon a clear path to improvement. Natural physical progression could help Lydon shore up a major concern: rebounding. Lydon has already shown quality timing (though not enough reliability) for blocking shots, so perhaps his other big-man skills will come around as he gets stronger.

Asking Lydon to create shots for himself or others is a recipe for failure. Planting him inside too much too soon will come with major downside.

But if Lydon, who turns 21 in a couple weeks, goes to a team that gives him a limited role that fits his strengths, he could be quite valuable in it. Three-point-shooting, shot-blocking big men are all the rage.

Report: Knicks committed to trading Carmelo Anthony in offseason

AP Photo/Frank Franklin II
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Carmelo Anthony said he doesn’t understand the Knicks’ direction.

Here’s a clue.

Ian Begley of ESPN:

The Knicks shopped Anthony in trade talks before the deadline and, barring an unforeseen change of course, remain committed to moving Anthony in the offseason, per sources.

Phil Jackson’s plans can change on a whim. Remember, just three years ago, he re-signed Anthony to a mega five-year contract that included a no-trade clause.

And even if Jackson is committed to dealing Anthony, that doesn’t mean the Knicks president will successfully executed a trade. Jackson’s ham-fisted handling of the situation before the trade deadline reportedly only hardened Anthony’s resolve to stay in New York.

But more teams (like the Clippers) will have more salary-cap flexibility in the offseason, once contracts expire. Finding a suitable trade partner should be easier.

Getting Anthony’s approval? He said he’d consider allowing a trade if the Knicks want to rebuild. He also clearly enjoys being in New York and might have a desire to spite Jackson, who has come across poorly throughout this entire saga.

At least there’s still time for Jackson to redeem himself, because the Carmelo drama clearly isn’t over. It’s just on hiatus until the season ends.

Andre Roberson badly bricks free throw, air-balls next (video)

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Oh my goodness, the commentary as Andre Roberson shoots these free throws. This is unintentional foreshadowing at its finest.

Roberson is shooting 42.3% on free throws this season (44-for-104) – the worst-ever percentage for a perimeter player with so many attempts.

At least he defends very well.