Since when did a New York paper need motivation to go negative on the Knicks?
In an ironic twist, all that craziness left Carmelo Anthony as the guy trying to be the calm eye at the center of the storm. He said he is keeping his head down and focusing on the playoffs. Here is what he told the New York Post.
“I believe we’ll make the playoffs,’’ Anthony said yesterday before the Knicks traveled to face the Pacers tonight. “We want to utilize the next 13 games and days we have off to get everybody right. The guys who are healthy have to stay healthy. The guys not healthy, got to get healthy.’’
The Knicks are two games ahead of the Milwaukee Bucks for the final playoff spot in the East. New York has been hot lately — 9-2 in their last 11 — and ‘Melo sounds like a happy guy now that new coach Mike Woodson is running the offense through him (and with Lin and Amare Stoudemire out injured ‘Melo gets all the touches he wants).
“Coach Woodson always wanted me to go down there in the post, get to the goal by driving and staying close to the basket,’’ Anthony said. “So the system he’s put in, not really a system but the offense he’s put in, is to get more post-ups to get closer to the basket and from there start inside out.’’
This is Anthony’s team now — so long as they keep winning and hold on to that last playoff spot there will be plenty of love for Anthony. But if things turn on the court, you can bet the soap opera that has focused on other story lines will come back to ‘Melo with a vengeance.
Lonzo Ball bypasses open layup for no-look backward bounce pass, leaves Luke Walton staring into abyss (video)
Lonzo Ball missed a layup early last night. That might have made him overthink later, when he was ahead of the pack on another fastbreak. Instead of shooting the open layup, Ball bounced the ball behind him without looking, leading to a turnover and open Heat 3-pointer.
On the bright side for the Lakers, they still beat Miami.
On the bright side for us, we got this great Luke Walton reaction GIF:
LeBron James says he was referring to only arena, not consideration of signing with Knicks
LeBron James said in reference to his "here or the Garden" comment that no other venue could have held this final duel between LeBron and Wade other than those two venues. (Not that he was thinking of signing with the #Knicks)
This was always the most likely explanation. The arenas in Los Angeles in New York are the NBA’s biggest stages, and LeBron has repeatedly stated his affection for Madison Square Garden. He didn’t have to think through all the implications to say those were the only appropriate locations.
Ultimately, I believe the given explanation that this was just about the arena’s allure and nothing more. An offhand remark needn’t completely follow the logic that either LeBron or Wade must play for the Knicks for them to meet at Madison Square Garden. But I’m not completely sold this wasn’t a passive-aggressive dig at the Knicks.
Kings player after beating Bulls: ‘Uh-oh, another 2 1/2-hour practice for them tomorrow’
Including when Wade thanked LeBron for seeing that their last game was played at Staples Center, one of the legendary venues of the league. But it was LeBron’s response that turned heads:
“It was either here or The Garden. That’s it.”
Did the Knicks actually have a shot at LeBron last summer?
It doesn’t seem that way, considering LeBron made his decision to go to Los Angeles within 24 hours of the official start of free agency. There was no meeting with the Knicks, no serious contact in any way.
What LeBron was referring to (I think) was having their final game in one of the two brightest spotlights, one of the two most legendary venues in the NBA. Madison Square Garden and Staples Center have a vibe before Knicks and Lakers games that just doesn’t exist anywhere else — even when their teams are bad the venues are special and guys raise their games. It’s a combination of the markets, the big fan bases, and the history of the franchises, and the buildings (Shaq and Kobe basically built Staples Center). Much like a baseball game at Yankee Stadium/Fenway Park/Wrigley Field, there’s just something special about it that’s hard to quantify. It’s just different there.
That’s why the final game for LeBron and Wade had to be in Los Angeles or New York.
But Knicks fans, go ahead and dream of what might have been.