<span class="vcard">Kurt Helin</span>

Dallas Mavericks v New York Knicks

Tyson Chandler says he feels sorry for Carmelo Anthony


Phil Jackson saw Tyson Chandler’s game — a good pick-and-roll big who doesn’t fit the triangle offense well — and banished him from New York. Well… banished isn’t quite the word when you are sent from the 5-22 Knicks to the 18-8 Mavericks. Set free might be a better phrasing.

Carmelo Anthony chose to stay behind in New York with the Knicks. There are 124 million reasons he did. Plus of course his family liked it there. And he trusts Jackson, too. So 124 million and two reasons.

Chandler looks back at his friend Anthony in New York and feels sorry for him, he told ESPN after his Mavericks dispatched the Knicks with ease at Madison Square Garden Tuesday, 107-87.

“I do because he’s a competitor,” said Chandler, who received a warm ovation from the crowd in his return to Madison Square Garden and had eight points and 14 rebounds in the win. “I laced them up and went to battle with him for the last three years and know what kind of competitor he is.

“I know he wants to win, and I know he’s going to take a lot of this heat. And it’s unfortunate because he’s a hell of a player in our league. It’s just unfortunate.”

Unfortunate implies this was something beyond Anthony’s control. It wasn’t. He chose to stick with what was clearly going to be a rebuilding Knicks team that was going to go through some rough times. It’s not easy to change the culture of a franchise as Jackson is trying to do, plus the pieces to run his triangle offense are just not on this roster right now. Not even close. It’s going to take years and a home run in free agency (or maybe with their draft pick this year) to make it work. Carmelo could be part of that change, if he moves the ball better and plays more consistent defense (basically, if he becomes the change he wants to see).

Anthony made his choice.

Chandler has been set free. They both got what they wanted.

Report: Kings have reached out to Vinny Del Negro about being next coach

Vinny Del Negro

That sound you just heard was the collective voice of people in Sacramento yelling “nooooooooo.”

The Kings unexpectedly and unnecessarily canned Mike Malone midseason, and now Tyrone Corbin has the interim head coaching job. All reports are he’s going to keep the job through the end of this season, but he’s not the long term guy.

Chris Mullin seems to have right of first refusal and the ear of Kings owner Vivek Ranadivé. The owner also has interest in George Karl (as do others in the organization) and the feeling is mutual.

But Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated says another name is in the mix, one mentioned in other places as well: Vinny Del Negro.

Del Negro has a .533 regular season winning percentage and you can’t just dismiss him as someone with no idea how to coach in the NBA. He’s done okay. What should trouble Kings fans — and more importantly Ranadivé — is Del Negro’s simplistic offenses, his tedious interviews and public interactions, the heavy reliance on pick-and-roll sets, and his inability to put players in positions to succeed. Guys like Chris Paul and Derrick Rose did better with the next coaches they had after Del Negro because those coaches used systems that gave the players more options and pushed then to give up the ball a little rather than make all the decisions.

What Del Negro does is interview well. He talks a good game. Remember the stories of how he charmed Donald Sterling and his wife over dinner, securing the Clippers job despite the rest of the front office wanting to go another direction? Owners will do that when they like a candidate.

Del Negro sells himself as a guy who can develop players. But the Kings would be better off with Karl. And probably Mullin too, although we have no idea if he can coach.

Rudy Gay dunks and Serge Ibaka ends up in poster (VIDEO)

Rudy Gay
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Rudy Gay is a bad, bad man.

Late in the first half he blows by Jeremy Lamb out top and Serge Ibaka — who intimidates a lot of guys driving the lane on the Thunder — hesitates a little cutting off Gay’s path to the rim. And he who hesitates gets dunked on. Ibaka ends up in a poster of one of the better dunks of the season.

That’s not enough to save the Kings on the night, as they fall to a Thunder team that has already leapt up to the eight seed in the West.

PBT’s Tuesday Night NBA Winners/Losers: Grizzlies grind ends Warriors streak

Marc Gasol

Every night the NBA can be a cold hard reality — there are winners, there are losers. It’s the nature of the game. We know you are busy and can’t keep up with every game, so we’re here to bring you the best and worst of the NBA each week night. Here’s what you missed while thinking “Aliens” is the best technology movie ever

source:  Memphis Grizzlies. Welcome to the Grindhouse. In what was one of the best, most entertaining games of the season the Grizzlies ground down the Warriors, holding all that flashy firepower to 8.7 points per 100 possessions less than they average on offense. Stephen Curry shot just 9-of-25. Draymond Green was 2-of-11. Andre Iguodala 3-of-10. And the Warriors as a team shot just 41.1 percent. Meanwhile the Grizzlies got a combined 41 points from the big man combination of Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph (the Warriors missed Andrew Bogut in this one). The Warriors are versatile, played small and the scrapped in this one, but Memphis played better down the stretch and got the 105-98 win and snapped the Warriors 16-game winning streak. I’ve been asked on a few talk radio shows if the Grizzlies can they keep this up come the playoffs? What do you think they’re doing right now — they dragged Golden State into a playoff style game and beat them. Teams should fear Memphis come the playoffs.

source:  Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder. We focused a little on Kevin Durant, who reached the 15,000 point milestone, but it was Westbrook who was the best player on the court in the Thunder’s win over the Kings. Westbrook had 32 points, seven assists, six rebounds, four steals, and he just put pressure on Sacramento all night long. With the win the Thunder are just half a game back of New Orleans for the eight seed in the West. That didn’t take long and they will be a playoff team by the end of the week. It’s going to be a much harder climb to catch the teams still above them, they aren’t going much higher up the ladder. Then at the end of the season it will get amusing to watch the teams at the top of the West jockey to avoid the Thunder in the first round.

source:  Milwaukee Bucks. That just sucks. When Jabari Parker went down Monday night I really wanted to believe it was just a sprain as first reported, even though when you watched the video of the injury and his reaction that didn’t seem likely. Tuesday night we found out the clear frontrunner in the Rookie of the Year race is out for the season with a torn ACL. That just sucks for the Bucks. This could mean more Giannis Antetokounmpo (playing the four), more John Henson when he gets healthy in the next week. And it could mean trouble for the playoff chances of the Bucks, who have looked good but Parker was a key part of their rotation.

source:  John Wall. He is playing fantastic basketball of late and that continued Tuesday night against Minnesota in another Wizards’ win — he had 21 points and 17 assists. That was the 100th double-double of Wall’s young career.

source:  Anthony Davis. The Pelicans’ star missed one game with a chest contusion but returned on Tuesday night wearing a special flak jacket for protection under his uniform. Clearly it didn’t slow him down — Davis had 31 points on 12-of-15 shooting, plus pulled down 9 rebounds and blocked three shots as the Pelicans picked up a win over Utah. The Jazz have a quality front line but they had no answer for Davis. Nobody does.

source:  The Barclays’ Center roof. Pretty new building to be sporting leaks already. But just more than a minute into the first half between the Heat and Nets the game was delayed because of a leaky roof in Brooklyn that was dripping on the court. It took more than 30 minutes to fix the problem. And no, even that could not save the Nets from another loss.

Kevin Durant scores 15,000th point, second youngest to that milestone (VIDEO)

Oklahoma City Thunder v Sacramento Kings

In the opening minutes of Oklahoma City’s game Tuesday night in Sacramento, Kevin Durant caught a pass at the right elbow, dribbled across the lane and drained a little 12-foot fade away. Like it was nothing.

With that Durant scored his 15,001st NBA point — at age 26 he is the second fastest to cross that milestone (to answer your question, LeBron James).

Durant is an effortless scorer. He has the handles to create space and he needs just a little, and being 6′ 10″ with freakishly long arms he can shoot over pretty much anyone. He can score in the post but has range out to well beyond the three point line. The bottom line is he scores a lot but he still does it efficiently.

We all marveled at Kobe Bryant passing Michael Jordan on the all-time NBA scoring list this week. If you’re looking for a player who could join that rarified air someday, Durant is your guy.