Author: Kurt Helin

Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony aggravates sore left knee

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Carmelo Anthony has been playing through a sore knee since the second game of the season, which is likely part of the reason for his slight dip in numbers this season (adjusting to a new offense isn’t helping).

Now it’s a little worse, reports the Associated Press.

Anthony returned to the locker room for a couple of minutes in the second quarter to get his left knee retaped. Anthony said he aggravated the knee issue after hitting the floor while scrambling for a loose ball….

“It’s been sore since maybe the Cleveland game,” Anthony said. “I’ve had some tests. I really don’t know exactly what’s going on with it — I mean, I know what’s going on with it. But like I said, for me it’s just a matter of just not kind of thinking about and playing through it.”

Derek Fisher isn’t exactly taking it easy on ‘Melo, playing him 37 minutes Tuesday night. Anthony had 26 points in the Knicks loss to the Bucks.

Anthony will continue to play for the Knicks, but don’t be surprised if he gets a little rest coming up. They would really struggle without him, but better to do that for a night than to do it for an extended period of time if the knee keeps getting worse and worse.

LeBron James on minutes for Cavs’ big 3: “That has to come down”

Cleveland Cavaliers Media Day
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LeBron James is averaging 39.1 minutes a game. Kyrie Irving is averaging 38.4. Kevin Love is averaging 37.

That would be third, fourth and fifth most minutes per game of players in the entire NBA.

It’s early and legs are relatively fresh, but that’s a lot of run. Coach David Blatt is trying to get some wins and get his key rotations used to playing together… but that is still a lot of run. And it can’t continue forever, LeBron told the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

“That has to come down,” James said Tuesday, referring to the playing time for Cleveland’s Big 3.

“For me, I don’t want to do that all year,” James said. “Obviously right now it’s difficult because we’re trying to find a groove and we’re trying to find a rhythm and we’re trying to find something that you can’t really, you don’t want to shortcut it but at the same time you gotta be smart about it.”

This is one of those things that will be very different for coach David Blatt coming from Europe — there are fewer games and fewer games per week, with more practices. It’s easier to get guys some rest. In the NBA you have to be willing to sacrifice a little to make sure key guys stay fresh (for examples see Popovich, Gregg).

The last couple seasons in Miami Eric Spoelstra didn’t exactly go easy on LeBron, he played 37.7 minutes a game last year, but he did get five games off.

Again, we’re 10 games in so it’s a little early to freak out about rest. Blatt is smart enough to know if his star begins to ask for time off, you give him time off. The season is a marathon with the important race starting after the regular marathon ends, you don’t want to sprint every mile right now.

That said, less James/Irving/Love means more Tristan Thompson, more Dion Waiters, more guys who may not be ready for the stage they are thrust upon. More Shawn Marion when he gets healthy would be a good thing.

The Cavaliers are developing a real rhythm on offense, which will win them a lot of regular season games. But that’s not the race that matters, it’s not the one they need to rest up for.

Mark Cuban on the Lakers: “I just hope they suck forever”

Mark Cuban
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There’s a lot of schadenfreude around the league as everyone watches the Lakers struggle to a 1-9 start. This is an organization that through a combination of shrewd and clever management, the lure of a big market, and some luck have been the most consistently successful franchise in the NBA for the last few decades. There have not been many downs and the ones that did come were not deep and didn’t last that long.

It feels different now. This team is terrible. The Lakers’ plan to get out of that spot is a tried and true formula for them — lure top free agents with the advantages of a big market plus the money to offer max contracts (plus for the next year at least the chance to play with Kobe Bryant). It’s worked before.

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban told Los Angeles sports news icon Fred Roggin on his Beast 980 radio show he’s not sure that strategy is going to work as well as it has before. Then he laughingly said he hopes this latest slide continues. Forever.

“As far as the Lakers go, I think there are going to be a lot of teams that are saying, ‘I’ve got a ton of cap room,’ and signing three big free agents to come play for them. Los Angeles has always been considered a destination city, so maybe they feel that’s a valid strategy. You know me, Fred. Personally, I just hope they suck forever.”

Cuban said he has always tried to be a contrarian in the NBA, when all the teams gravitated toward one strategy he went the other way. Right now, with the coming bump in the salary cap due to revenue from the new $24 billion television deal, there are going to be a lot of teams with genuine cap space to spend. Teams that really only need one piece to contend will even have room to maneuver. Which means a crowded marketplace for the Lakers.

That said, history suggests betting against the Lakers is not the smart play.

Portland reserve guard C.J. McCollum out at least month with fractured finger

New Orleans Pelicans v Portland Trail Blazers
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Wesley Mathews has played well at the two guard spot for Portland this season, but the team leans on second-year player C.J. McCollum to get him some rest each game plus knock down some threes. Well, they did anyway.

McCollum will be out at least a month after a fracture to his right index finger suffered in the Trail Blazers win over the Pelicans Monday, the team has announced. The injury occurred in the fourth quarter: McCollum grabbed an offensive rebound and when he went back up was fouled on the hand by New Orleans’ Eric Gordon (you can see the play above).

McCollum will be re-evaluated in a month, but could be out a little longer.

McCollum has played just more than 13 minutes a game for Portland this season, averaging 5 points a game but knocking down 46 percent of his threes. He missed most of last season due to a foot injury.

With him out expect to see a little more Will Barton, and the Blazers could slide Nicolas Batum to the two and play Dorell Wright at the three. Terry Stotts has some options.

Police re-open investigation of Dwight Howard allegedly abusing his child

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The evidence around Dwight Howard in a recently highlighted Florida case seemed pretty damning — a doctor said it appeared the NBA star’s son was struck multiple times with the buckle end of a belt — but officially that investigation was closed with “no substantiated findings of physical injuries.”

However, Cobb County Police in Georgia have re-opened an investigation from this summer into Howard’s alleged abuse of a child, NBC News learned.

The case involves an incident during the summer of 2014, Sgt. Dana Pierce of the Cobb County Police told NBC News in a phone conversation. On Oct. 1 the Howard Phillips Center for Children and Families in Florida mailed a report to Cobb County Police of alleged child abuse. The police investigated, but said they didn’t have enough evidence to proceed.

New information on the case has emerged in the last 48 hours that caused the Cobb County Police to re-open the case, Sgt. Pierce said. To protect the alleged victim in this case the police could not provide any details.

Howard told police after the Florida incident that he had hit his child with a belt, saying he didn’t know it was wrong because that’s how he was raised. Howard’s attorney called the Florida case “frivolous allegations” and said it was a mother trying to use the child as a pawn against Howard.

Howard was born and raised in the Atlanta area. Cobb County is just north of the city (less than 20 miles).

Howard has multiple children by multiple mothers, although the exact number is a matter of speculation as they rarely come forward.