Carmelo Anthony played through an inflamed elbow — officially chronic bursitis — during the end of last season and through the playoffs. It showed as ‘Melo shot just 37.5 percent in the Knicks one playoff series, well off the 46.4 percent he shot for the Nuggets the previous playoff run.
That elbow kept him from working out or playing in too many games this summer.
Then he showed up to play for the Melo League in its showdown with the Goodman League in Baltimore. And he looked good, dropping in either 27 or 36 points, depending on whose scorekeeping you wish to listen to (the official scorekeeping at these pro-am games borders on nonexistent). Either way, he looked healthy and told that to the New York Post.
“I’m back like I never missed a game,” the Knicks star said last night….
“This is my first time coming out and actually playing [this summer],” Anthony said. “I wanted to bring LeBron out here to actually enjoy the atmosphere . . . there’s nothing like it.”
If he’s back healthy, that is a big thing for the Knicks offense as they head into next season (whenever that is). He with Amar’e Stoudemire provides a wicked amount of firepower and create serious matchup issues.
The bigger question for the Knicks success, however, is how Mike Woodson gets ‘Melo and teammates to play defense.
Dwyane Wade is secure in his legacy. He’s an all-time great, and an extra missed 3-pointer during his farewell tour won’t change anything. (It doesn’t hurt that his resumé already includes subpar 3-point shooting.)
So, when many players would hold the ball, Wade heaved in a halfcourt shot to end the third quarter of the Heat’s 110-105 win over the Spurs on Wednesday. It wasn’t the biggest shot of Wade’s season, but it still mattered plenty.
Miami’s lead when San Antonio began intentionally fouling late? Three.
The Grizzlies blew a 19-point lead in the fourth quarter and a five-point lead in the final 30 seconds of overtime. James Harden scored 57 points, including 18 in the fourth quarter and all 10 of the Rockets points in overtime.
But Jonas Valanciunas saved Memphis from total collapse. He drew a foul on his putback and hit the game-winning free-throw with 0.1 seconds left to give the Grizzlies a 126-125 win Wednesday.
Jimmer Fredette remains a fascination because he scored a ton at BYU eight years ago and… other reasons.
He has been lighting it up in China, and his season there just ended. Now, the former No. 10 pick could return to the NBA after three years away.
John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7:
Phoenix still needs another point guard, and the 6-foot-2 Fredette looks like one. But he hasn’t shown the playmaking to play point guard regularly. He’s better, and sometimes even effective, off the ball.
Fredette could have stuck in the NBA with a different attitude. His long-distance shooting was an asset.
But he’s also now 30 years old. A new approach likely won’t be enough. His shortcomings, particularly defensively, will be even more pronounced as his athleticism has declined.
The Suns are bad and will remain bad, with or without Fredette. But their younger players have shown signs of progress lately. Fredette’s high-usage style could interfere with their development.
It’s hard to see the upside here other than a brief uptick in attention.
Marcus Smart recently bemoaned the lack of physicality in the NBA.
After Joel Embiid dropped his shoulder into him on a screen, Smart brought some to tonight’s Celtics-76ers game.
Smart shoved Embiid in the back, sending the center to the floor. A cheap shot? Yes. Embiid wasn’t looking. But Smart would surely argue Embiid started it. I also doubt Smart intended to push Embiid from behind. Smart just wanted to get at Embiid as quickly as possible, and Embiid happened to be facing the other way when Smart arrived.
Smart got a flagrant 2 and the accompanying ejection. Embiid received a technical foul.