Kurt Helin

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Report: Knicks’ players, Phil Jackson have clear the air meeting


Phil Jackson wanted to see more triangle offense (or he didn’t), but either way the players are chafing against that offense. Derrick Rose is not a triangle point guard, he wants to get going downhill of the pick. The Knicks spent $72 million on Joakim Noah to play center, but have looked better with Kristaps Porzingis at the five (although in such small numbers it’s hard to know for sure). Carmelo Anthony didn’t like Jackson’s comments about LeBron’s “posse.”

There’s been a push and pull between the style the Knicks players want and what management wants to see — one that came to a head after an ugly loss to the Wizards Thursday. It led to a team meeting with Jackson, reports Ian Begley of ESPN.

The one game since that talk was a quality win Sunday against the Hawks at Madison Square Garden (a game where the Hawks looked like they had enjoyed their night out in NYC the night before and weren’t exactly peaking at game time). They have a tough series ahead against Portland then a home-and-home with Charlotte.

The Knicks defense is one of the worst in the NBA, and that has been their biggest problem — until the last four games, where they are 3-1 and the defense has been middle of the pack. We’ll see if that continues.

Watch Nicolas Batum nutmeg Omer Asik with pass to Kemba Walker

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Omer Asik guarding a wing player in space rarely ends well for the Pelicans.

Saturday night he faced up on Charlotte’s Nicolas Batum as New Orleans scrambled in transition defense, and Batum passed between Asik’s legs to the cutting Kemba Walker for a bucket. That’s not going on the Asik highlight reel.

The Pelicans got the last laugh with a 121-116 win behind 38 points and 16 rebounds from Anthony Davis.

Report: Pelicans to sign Anthony Brown out of D-League

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The New Orleans Pelicans are looking for a little more shooting and depth on the wings, and they’ve reached into the Erie Bayhawks of the D-League.

Anthony Brown was the last cut of the Lakers at the end of training camp and was the first pick in the D-League draft, and he tore up the minor league getting 29.3 points per game and shooting 65 percent from three. Now he’s getting a shot in the Big Easy, according to Marc Stein.

The Pelicans waived guard Archie Goodwin to make room.

The Lakers had hoped Brown could be part of their young core, play the role of a “3&D” wing, except that he never really pulled that off on either end (he shot 28.6 percent from three last season). His performance in the preseason wasn’t bad but couldn’t get him a roster spot in Los Angeles. That said, he deserved a shot somewhere.

This is a minimum, not guaranteed contract.

Steve Kerr fined $25,000 for ripping officials on traveling calls

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“How is it that everybody on Earth can see these traveling violations except for the three people that we pay to do the job? I don’t get it…. But I can literally put together a blooper reel of plays that are embarrassing travels that are just not called. I believe it’s a case of they have so many things to look at — they are looking at defensive three seconds, the contact in the lane when people are cutting through the lane, they’re looking at the charge and block circle — they’re looking at everything except what they should be looking at which is the basic rule of the game, which is traveling.

“And it’s a shame because guys are getting away with murder out there and the fans see it. My favorite is when you see the visiting team travel and you see like a 1,000 fans in the background all doing the traveling signal with their hands. If those people saw it, how come the refs didn’t?”

That Steve Kerr rant in a radio interview on KNBR 680 in the Bay Area (via CSNBayArea.com) is going to cost him $25,000. The league announced the fine Sunday. It is not a surprise, the league always fines criticism of referees, even when the coach/player is right.

And make no mistake, Kerr is right. Inconsistency on travel calls is an issue in the NBA. Kerr was mad because he thought DeMar DeRozan was getting away with a lot of walking on plays in transition during the Warriors win over the Raptors this week. He was planting a seed. Of course, the Warriors have some guards that take advantage of the liberal traveling calls in the NBA at times.

The Warriors have been doing a lot of seed planting this season. GM Bob Myers went to meet with the NBA league office about some of the flagrant foul calls against Draymond Green that they think are more reputation than reality.

Watch Anthony Davis drop 38 on Trail Blazers in win


Anthony Davis has been an absolute beast this season.

The lastest team to learn that first hand were the Portland Trail Blazers — as Davis dropped 38 on them on 14-of-22 shooting, plus he had nine rebounds and six assists. How hot was Davis? Check out this shot chart.

Davis shot chart

The big difference this game was Davis got some help — Jrue Holiday was back and scored 21 in the Pelicans 113-101 win.