Kurt Helin

Defense? Who needs it? Giannis Antetokounmpo scores career high 41, Lakers score 47 in quarter and win


Defense may well win championships, but it’s not entertaining. And on a cold February night, we want to be entertained.

Like by Giannis Antetokounmpo scoring a career-high 41 points on 11-of-20 shooting against the Lakers (video above). With Jabari Parker out for the season with a torn ACL, more scoring load is going to fall on the Greek Freak, and it was up to it Friday night.

But it wasn’t enough, the Lakers still got the 122-114 win. The difference was the Lakers’ 47-point first quarter.

Are you not entertained?

Watch Nikola Jokic score career-high 40, lifting Nuggets past Knicks (VIDEO)


NEW YORK (AP) — Nikola Jokic scored a career-high 40 points to lead the Denver Nuggets to a 131-123 victory over the New York Knicks on Friday night.

On the day Charles Oakley was banned from Madison Square Garden, the current Knicks proved again they can’t play defense anywhere near the way his Knicks teams did, and lost their fourth straight.

Former Knicks forward Wilson Chandler added 19 points and Jameer Nelson had 16 points and 12 assists for the Nuggets, who shot 56.8 percent from the field.

Carmelo Anthony scored 33 points against his former team and Kristaps Porzingis added 17, but Jokic dominated the matchup of second-year big men from Europe.

The Serbian center was 17 of 23 from the field and added nine rebounds and five assists as the Nuggets reached 120 points for the eighth time in their last 16 games.

The Knicks shot 56 percent themselves, but never got particularly close in the fourth quarter because Denver couldn’t be stopped.

Oakley was arrested after an altercation with security guards on Wednesday, and Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan announced Oakley had been banned from the arena during an ESPN Radio interview, though said he was open to reconciling with the forward.

Fans chanted “We want Oakley!” and “Free Charles Oakley!” in the first quarter, but the chants soon turned to boos as the Nuggets repeatedly scored easily.


Nuggets: Denver played without Danilo Gallinari (strained left groin), Kenneth Faried (sprained right ankle) and Emmanuel Mudiay (lower back). … Will Barton came off the bench for 15 points and 10 rebounds.

Knicks: Brandon Jennings had 13 assists but shot just 2 for 10 from the field. … The Knicks haven’t won the season series since 2002-03, the season before Anthony entered the NBA.


Dolan said during the ESPN Radio interview that he won’t fire Phil Jackson or stand in the way if Jackson tried to trade Carmelo Anthony. Dolan wouldn’t say if he hoped the Knicks would keep Anthony.

“I’m not going to go there because that’s meddling with Phil,” he said. “That’s telling him how to do his job and I’m not going to do it.”


Of course there have been “we want Oakley” chants at Madison Square Garden Friday


If pro-Charles Oakley chants broke out at a Rangers game at Madison Square Garden, what did you think was going to happen when the Knicks played?

Friday night a good Denver Nuggets team came to town, and Nikola Jokic was the best player on the floor. By a mile. Which wasn’t making Knicks fans feel any better about the direction of their team.

Of course, there were “we want Oakley” chants throughout the game, even if it seemed like game operations was trying to cover up the noise at times.

The good news, eventually the chants faded. The bad news…

Karl-Anthony Towns throws down a couple huge dunks on Pelicans

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Friday night in Minnesota it was the battle of the “best future big men in the game” as Anthony Davis and the Pelicans came to town to take on Karl-Anthony Towns and the Timberwolves.

While the game outcome was up in the air as of this writing, Towns was making his presence felt with some big plays.

On one he blew by Davis for the dunk. Watching these two go at it (and we’ll throw Joel Embiid in the mix) for years is going to be a joy.

Kyrie Irving’s “Uncle Drew” could be headed to big screen, with Irving as star

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Kyrie Irving‘s “Uncle Drew” made an awesome Pepsi commercial.

Would it make an awesome movie?

At least one Hollywood development group is betting that it would, and Irving is attached to the project, reports trade industry publication Variety (hat tip to Hollywood Insider Dan Devine of Ball Don’t Lie).

Sources tell Variety that Temple Hill Entertainment has acquired the feature film rights to Irving’s “Uncle Drew” Pepsi commercials. “Skiptrace” scribe Jay Longino is set to write the script and Irving is attached to reprise the role of Drew.

Temple Hill’s Marty Bowen, Wyck Godfrey, and John Fischer will produce the film, described as a love letter to basketball. The original Pepsi Max advertisements showed Irving, in full make-up, playing a 70-plus-year-old man, Drew, who would show up to pick-up basketball games and school kids half his age, while also reminiscing about how the game used to be played…

Described as “Blues Brothers” in the pick-up basketball world, Longino’s pitch shows Drew and his old squad on the legendary Rucker Park basketball court in Harlem. Years later Drew is talked into returning to the courts to compete in a tournament and goes on a road trip to round the old squad up to play.

As long as they are talking the original Blues Brothers and not Blues Brothers 2000, we’re good.

As the hits and misses of turning Saturday Night Live skits into movies has shown over the years, turning short skits and bits into successful full-length movies succeeds less than the average Irving drive to the basket. But it has the potential to be great.

It may be a few years before we find out. Or six months after that when we all find out via Netflix.