Author: Kurt Helin

Indiana Pacers v New York Knicks - Game Five

Phil Jackson again says Carmelo Anthony can thrive in triangle offense, but “the ball can’t stop”


In his infamous conference call that ended up with Hawks GM Danny Ferry repeating some bigoted things that now has his job in jeopardy, he also talked about Carmelo Anthony. And pretty much hit the nail on the head.

“He can shoot the s—— out of it, but he screws you up in other ways. So is he really worth the $20 million? I would argue if he plays the right way, absolutely.”

Ferry’s comments are pretty much the norm on Anthony, and that includes talking about him in the Knicks new triangle offense.

Phil Jackson echoed the same ideas about ‘Melo in the triangle as part of a long Q&A with the New York Post.

Q: How and why will the triangle offense make Carmelo a better player?

A: It’ll give him opportunity to be a passer, a rebounder, and probably easier spots to score from than he’s had before. I think. I hope that’s true for a lot of the players….

And that’s where Carmelo’s gonna move forward this year in that situation — the ball can’t stop. The ball has to continually move. It moves, or goes to the hoop on a shot or a drive or something like that. In our offense, that’s part of the process of getting players to play in that rhythm.

When put in settings like the Olympic teams (he’s played in three, has two golds) Anthony has played within that kind of role and moved the ball. He trusted his teammates — but it’s easy to trust Kobe Bryant and LeBron James and players of that level. Can he trust Jose Calderon and J.R. Smith and Amare Stoudemire the same way?

The Knicks roster is a work in progress and a lot of triangle-friendly players need to be added. But ‘Melo is the key — he has to buy in, he has to play the right way, he has to be the change he wants to see. If ‘Melo says “screw this, I’m just taking over the game” he’s back to the situation that had him thinking about getting out of town this summer.

It drove Mike D’Antoni crazy how the ball movement stopped with ‘Melo touched the rock. We’ll see is Jackson and Derek Fisher can get through to him in a different way.

Jeff Van Gundy says brother Stan, Pistons will not make playoffs

Detroit Pistons Introduce Stan Van Gundy

It’s hard to rule teams out of making the playoffs in the Eastern Conference — 38 wins got the eight seed last season and even in an improved conference a team hanging around .500 will have a legitimate shot (if not make it). There are only a couple of teams in the East that really have no shot at that goal (hello Philly!).

Jeff Van Gundy says his brother Stan and the Pistons are one of those teams. They have no shot

Jeff, the former NBA coach and long-time ABC analyst, was on SiriusXM NBA Radio Wednesday morning with hosts Frank Isola and Stacey King and said the Pistons (with Stan Van Gundy as coach and team president) had no shot at the postseason.

“Listen, they have a long rebuild. I think for the last five years Detroit has had the worst record in the Eastern Conference. And you think about that, that’s hard to do because a lot of the teams in the Eastern Conference over the last five years were trying to lose games. So, I mean, it’s a major rebuild. It’s a huge undertaking. I think they’ll be better. I don’t know what that translates to win-wise. I think they’ll be better but a lot depends on some of their perimeter play, how their frontcourt is going to mesh. I doubt you’re going to see the Josh Smith at small forward experiment very often. That was their starting lineup last year with Smith and [Greg] Monroe and [Andre] Drummond. I doubt you’re going to see that because you just don’t have any spacing or shooting on the floor. I’m interested to see how they play. I think there are a lot of things that they’ve got to correct and I think they are working hard at it but I just don’t see how they could make the playoffs.”

There is a lot of truth there. The Pistons have a serious rebuild ahead of them. Josh Smith playing the three is a terrible idea. Detroit’s inability to space the floor was a serious issue last year.

But I think there are things going right for Detroit that will make them a potential playoff team in the East. First, Andre Drummond is going to blossom coming out of those Team USA FIBA World Cup practices and I trust SVG will use him more wisely than the last regime. Greg Monroe is playing to get paid. The Pistons added Jodie Meeks and Caron Butler which should give them improved perimeter shooting and spacing. However the biggest thing to me is Stan Van Gundy will improve the Pistons’ defense, which was bottom 10 last year.

Is all of that enough to get them 12 more wins and up to about .500? Pretty close I think. Detroit may or may not make the playoffs but I think they are in the hunt for one of the last couple spots in the East. That’s a good first step after the past few years.

Dwight Howard with off-the-wall dunk (VIDEO)

dwight howard dunk contest

Don’t forget that Dwight Howard not only won the dunk contest back in 2008 he basically revitalized the event. That setting of putting on a show and getting a boost from being goofy was a perfect setting for him. He thrived.

And he can dunk.

As we get to see on Instagram. In slo-mo.

Report: Jermaine O’Neal still considering retirement

jermaine o'neal

When he was on the court last season Jermaine O’Neal played well — he was a key scorer inside for the second unit averaging 7.9 points and 5.5 rebounds a game in 20.1 minutes on those nights. He had a PER of 15.3, a solid number right at the league average. However, he got in just 44 games (starting 13) primarily due to a ligament injury in his left wrist.

Injuries limiting his minutes has been the story for O’Neal for years now (55 games was the most he has played in a season in the last four).

Does he want to put his body through the NBA season grind for a 19th season? He was one of the most outspoken players after Mark Jackson was let go as coach, does he want to go through it all for Steve Kerr? He hasn’t yet decided reports Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle.

The Warriors certainly could use him for depth at the 4/5, but they don’t need him. They have added quality depth up front. They have Festus Ezeli at the five behind Andrew Bogut (although Bogut has an injury history and Ezeli is coming off knee surgery and may be limited at the start of camp). The Warriors also have Draymond Green behind David Lee at the four plus Marreese Speights off the bench up front.

O’Neal would certainly fit in that group and would add another option for new coach Kerr.

The question is, does O’Neal want to put his body and mind through it all one more time? Doesn’t sound like he knows the answer yet.

Now Chris Bosh says he’s excited to get back into post for Heat

San Antonio Spurs v Miami Heat - Game 6

His last season in Toronto (2009-10), Chris Bosh got 35 percent of his touches in the post (according to Synergy Sports) and took 56.8 percent of his shot attempts within 10 feet of the rim. He played more like a traditional center.

Last season with LeBron James and the Miami Heat, Bosh got just 7.5 percent of his touches in the post and took 38.6 percent within 10 feet of the rim — yet more than half his shots came from outside 16 feet. The Heat system used him to space the floor.

“I don’t bang anybody anymore. It’s a tired thing for me. It’s not my strength and I understand that,” Bosh said back in May about his move to the perimeter.

Now LeBron is gone from Miami and while the Heat are still going to go small they are going to ask Bosh to play more in the post — and Bosh is excited about that, he told Shandel Richardson of the Sun Sentinel.

“I had to play a role,” Bosh said Tuesday, speaking at an appearance at a Warren Henry Auto Group event in Kendall. “I had to play the role for the championships. I feel that I’m back to doing what comes naturally for me, which is being back in the post, being more aggressive. I’m really excited to show the city of Miami what I have…

“They didn’t need me to do that [play in the post],” Bosh said. “(Wade) and LeBron were our post guys. I kind of really used to those tools that I gained and put it all together.”


This seems like a case where Bosh is excited to have a big role again after willingly subjugating his role as LeBron grew his. Now Bosh is going to be the focal point of the offense and he likes it. He’ll do that on the post, on the wing, wherever they give him touches.

The Heat are going to be a solid regular season team and Bosh is going to help out some fantasy teams more than people expect this year. Wherever he gets his points.