Raymond Felton is finally healthy this season after missing the first few weeks trying to get over a high ankle sprain.
That didn’t mean he suited up and played for Dallas against Charlotte. It just means that his suspension started, the team announced.
Felton was suspended four games by the league over the summer after he pled guilty to attempted criminal possession of a weapon and criminal possession of a firearm, as well as knowingly having a large-capacity ammunition magazine and a pistol that was unlicensed. It all started back when he was a Knick and the police were brought in after he allegedly pointed a gun at his estranged wife. He sentenced to 500 hours of community service and ordered to pay a $5,000 fine.
Felton will be eligible to play Nov. 24 against the Pacers.
How many he minutes he gets remains to be seen, the Mavs have a log jam at the point. Jameer Nelson starts (next to Monta Ellis, who has the ball in his hands plenty), then there is Devin Harris (who tweaked his ankle against Boston) and J.J. Barea. We’ll see where Felton squeezes into that rotation, but whatever it is his role will be limited.
The Knicks are off to a nice little 2-1 start, with quality wins over the Cavaliers and Hornets. This is a team that has a rough first seven games but so far, so good.
What’s different from last season, one Knicks fans would like to erase from their memories?
Primarily attitude and energy of the staff and organization, so basically everything, if you ask Carmelo Anthony, as he told the New York Post. He would know as he was there last year then chose to stay as a free agent (and cash some very big checks) rather than chase wins elsewhere.
“I knew it was different the first day we stepped into training camp,” said Anthony after the Knicks prepared in Tarrytown for Tuesday’s Garden game with the Wizards. “Just the culture and the atmosphere that’s here. The mindsets of people — not just the players, but the coaches and the staff. How positive everybody was.
“There’s no bad energy flowing through our team, the organization right now. That’s always a big key when you have that kind of atmosphere around.”
The old “bad Juju” excuse.
Anthony was quick to say this was not about players have moved on — Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton, among others — and saying it was just the vibe as a whole. I think part of that is the change in coaching styles between Derek Fisher and Mike Woodson.
But really, this goes back to Phil Jackson and a new top-down direction and approach. He is keeping James Dolan at arm’s length (for now). He is setting a new tone, one bathed on a positive glow.
It’s a start, and the Knicks are off to a good one.
The NBA is full of talent, personality and suspense. During the offseason, It’s easy to forget how wonderful the league can be. So, I’ve assembled 67 Reasons I’m Excited For Next Season (67RIEFNS). They’ll be presented in no particular order.
Since Dirk Nowitzki became a full-time starter, the Mavericks’ offensive rating has ranked:
For a couple years after Dallas broke up its championship core, the offense fell below average and then ticked barely above it. But with a re-stocked backcourt featuring Monta Ellis and Jose Calderon, the Mavericks returned to near the top of the NBA.
Essentially, Nowitzki still gives him team a chance to form an elite offense around him. It just requires the right weapons around him, and this year’s supporting cast should be even better than last year’s.
Chandler Parsons is a versatile up and comer. Tyson Chandler is an elite finisher at the rim. Ellis is a year further removed from the horrific Bucks offense that brought out his worst qualities. Between Jameer Nelson, Devin Harris and Raymond Felton, Dallas should find a solid point guard, and Parsons can defray some of the position’s responsibilities.
That’s plenty of talent, enough that a team with Nowitzki – one of the most-dynamic offensive players in NBA history – could score at an elite level.
Nowitzki, 36, has only so much time left in his career. It’s good to see Dallas making the most of it.