Anthony Davis Returns, Pelicans Soar Over Jazz

Anthony Davis returned to starting lineup as the New Orleans Pelicans defeated the Utah Jazz on Tuesday night. Davis is back after missing a game with a chest injury that he suffered Friday against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Davis had a great welcome back to the court tonight as he put up 31 points, 9 rebounds and 3 blocks on 12 of 15 shooting. Davis’ Pelicans defeated the Utah Jazz 119-111 to improve to 12-12. New Orleans currently holds the 8th seed in the Western conference playoff race.
The Utah Jazz fall to 6-19, the 2nd worst record in the West.
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Knicks Rumors: Latest Trade Whispers Surrounding Carmelo Anthony and More

Someday, the New York Knicks will be competitive again, but it’s not going to happen with the roster as it is currently constructed. 

For all the excitement that surrounded the team during the offseason when Carmelo Anthony re-signed and Phil Jackson took over as team president, the losing is beginning to take its toll. Sure, there have been close losses, but New York looks overmatched almost every time it takes the floor.

Since changes are inevitable with these struggles, there are bound to be some rumors circulating around the Knicks as the season trudges toward the trade deadline. With that in mind, here is a look at the latest whispers from New York.

 

Carmelo Anthony

Marc Berman of the New York Post passed along an update on Anthony:

Sources told The Post the All-Star forward would be open to dropping his no-trade clause if team president Phil Jackson strikes a deal with a team Anthony would like to play for. … ‘He thought things would be better than this, but he still wants to stick it out for now,’ a source said. ‘He trusts Phil, but I think he’s afraid of Phil.’

Anthony signed a five-year, $124 million deal during the offseason, but he likely didn’t envision a 5-21 start to the season. It would be understandable if Anthony was frustrated at this point and responded accordingly by giving up his no-trade clause.

Berman also alluded to the fact that the Chicago Bulls would make some sense as a possible trade partner, especially since they went after Anthony in the offseason.

On paper, Chicago has plenty of talent and could slide Anthony right into the small forward spot of the starting lineup alongside Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler, Pau Gasol and Joakim Noah. That is a ridiculous starting five, and Chicago would still have the likes of Taj Gibson, Mike Dunleavy and company coming off the bench.

Alas, that seems like a pipe dream for Bulls fans (and perhaps Anthony) now, especially given Anthony’s response to the possible trade rumors, via Mike Lupica of the New York Daily News:

Come on, man. After all the work I did to get here and get back here? If I was to get up and want to leave now that would just make me weak, make me have a weak mind. I’ve never been a person to try to run from any adversity or anything like that so I’m not going to pick today to do that.

While that is admirable from Anthony, he is also 30 years old, and this is already a lost season.

Sure, the Knicks will have cap room next season, but how many elite free agents are lining up to play alongside an aging Anthony on this poor of a team? 

Anthony’s best chance at ever winning a ring is getting traded.

 

Rest of the Team

Bleacher Report’s NBA senior writer Howard Beck provided an update on the plans for the rest of the Knicks:

“The Knicks will probably keep Carmelo Anthony for now. But rival executives say that everyone else at the Garden is available, possibly even the ball boys. J.R. Smith is the most likely to be exiled, if the Knicks can find a taker.”

This really shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. New York is not only going to miss the playoffs this season, it won’t even sniff the No. 8 seed in the watered-down Eastern Conference.

It is clearly time to rebuild, and there is not exactly anyone on the roster outside of Anthony who feels necessary for a quick fix. Trading veterans like J.R. Smith gives the Knicks a chance to acquire young assets from contenders that are in win-now mode and looking to make a move.

More importantly, a trade could present an opportunity to land some draft considerations, which is the surest way to stockpile young talent in the NBA. There are plenty of enticing college players who could turn the Knicks around with the right surrounding pieces in the next couple of years (Jahlil Okafor comes to mind). 

Don’t be surprised when the Knicks are very active between now and the trade deadline.

 

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Jordan Brand & Carmelo Anthony Officially Unveil The “Melo M11″ Sneaker (Picture)

Carmelo Anthony unveil Jordan Melo M11 Sneaker

Jordan Brand introduces the 11th signature performance sneaker from the Carmelo Anthony line. The Melo M11 is the latest performance shoe to release under the Jordan Brand with their signature FlightPlate technology for exploding leaping ability.
The shoe features a custom molded collar to enhance ankle support for players of Anthony’s versatile offensive skill set. Most importantly for any basketball athlete, Jordan Brand designers focused on the lightweight durability and breathability feature on the Melo M11.

Carmelo Anthony Wear New M11 Sneaker

During the launch at the Jordan Terminal 23 building in NYC, Carmelo presented a first up-close look of each leading colorway of the upcoming M11 line. Each colorway illustrates pivotal moments in Carmelo’s journey.

Jordan Melo M11 “The Concrete Island”

The Melo M11 ‘The Concrete Island’ inspired by the greatest city on earth, New York City. January 3, 2015 is the release…

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Who Made the Bigger Mistake: Carmelo Anthony or the New York Knicks?

Even while Carmelo Anthony remains sidelined by a nagging knee injury that may require surgery, the face of the New York Knicks has problems on his hands that no scalpel can solve.

After agreeing to a five-year, $124 million contract with the organization as an unrestricted free agent this summer, his club now sits at 4-20 after Wednesday night’s 109-95 loss to a San Antonio Spurs lineup playing without its resting and injured stars. At first glance, one wonders whether the 12th-year veteran was wise to return to a franchise in so much flux.

But it’s becoming increasingly difficult to view Anthony as the victim in all this.

And while it feels sort of dirty to openly sympathize with a franchise that’s repeatedly (and expensively) shot itself in the foot so many times, one could persuasively argue that Knicks president Phil Jackson will be the one looking back on the summer of 2014 with buyer’s remorse. 

Questions have emerged about Anthony’s relationship with his teammates, adding to a long history of doubts about his defensive pedigree and decision-making. Though several public proclamations from Anthony and others have sought to refute those rumors, the timing of a players-only meeting held last weekend has fueled speculation that something’s deeply awry.

As if New York’s franchise-worst 4-20 start and 10-game losing streak weren’t evidence enough.

On Wednesday, ESPN the Magazine‘s Chris Broussard reported that Anthony became incredulous and confrontational when teammate Tim Hardaway Jr. yelled at him about getting a rebound.

Broussard wrote that “Anthony, according to sources, used another expletive in telling Hardaway he was going to beat him up when they got into the locker room after the game.”

Nobody’s taken a swing at anybody,” one source reportedly told Broussard. “But there’s a lot of arguing and cursing each other out after games.” 

In response, Hardaway told reporters on Wednesday that his exchange with Anthony was a “heat of the moment” thing, while Anthony added, “Me and Tim have no problems.”

Unfortunately, whatever happened between these two may be the tip of the iceberg, a mere microcosm of disaffection that Broussard linked both to Anthony and new head coach Derek Fisher’s widely documented triangle offense.

Several Knicks, in addition to Hardaway, are at odds with Anthony and believe he is not playing team basketball,” Broussard wrote. “Sources said players voiced their displeasure with Anthony over the weekend, telling him he shoots too much, doesn’t move or pass the ball, and plays defense only when he feels like it.”

The criticisms themselves certainly wouldn’t be anything new, but the prospect of quasi-open revolt among teammates would be a serious and potentially long-term disaster for a franchise whose fate is inextricably linked to Anthony for the foreseeable future.

It’s one thing for that franchise to rationalize some late defensive rotations and uneven effort. It’s quite another if those vices are indeed having a toxic effect on an already fragile locker room.

With much of the roster destined for relocation, The Wall Street Journal‘s Chris Herring recently noted, “The Knicks play in a regimented offense, at the NBA‘s slowest pace, that isn’t creating good looks, something that will take a financial toll on several Knick players who are set to become free agents this summer.”

To whatever extent factions of this roster perceive Anthony as a further source of offensive dysfunction, one could understand their frustrations being vented in his general direction.

According to Anthony, however, last weekend’s meeting wasn’t like that.

“Everybody had the platform to kind of speak their piece on what they felt about what’s going on and how they can better the situation,” he insisted to reporters on Wednesday. “But it wasn’t no pointing fingers or anything like that, or solely pointing me out to be the blame for what’s going on.”

Apologists will rightly point out that Anthony isn’t exactly working with an elite supporting cast. Can anyone really blame him for playing hero-ball on a team so desperately in need of salvation? And shouldn’t we withhold judgment until he actually has some help?

Unfortunately, little patience is afforded to guys making more than $20 million per season.

Even if you think the case against Anthony is overstated, the fact remains he’ll be 35 when his new contract comes to an end—and he’ll almost certainly lose some ability to carry the load between now and then. 

He may not be carrying much of anything if worse comes to worst this season. Soreness in his left knee now threatens to bury an already hopeless team.

“What I’m hearing is it won’t get any worse, but it won’t get any better,” Anthony recently told reporters. “So it’s just a matter of how much pain I can take while I’m out there playing. Some days are better than others.”

Anthony has only missed three games so far, and back spasms were responsible for two of those absences.

But if all else fails to address his ailing knee, surgery and an extended recovery period may follow.

“I’m not even looking forward to even discussing the surgery or anything like that,” Anthony added. “I’ll explore as many other options as I can before I go under the knife and get surgery. … That will always be a solution, an option, but that was the last, last option.”

While surgery isn’t imminent—and could potentially be put off until the offseason—the pain is already taking its toll, Fisher told reporters on Wednesday:

I think overall, it’s impacting him quite a bit just not in terms of doing things out there physically. I think more important than the game is non-gamedays, limiting practice time, and limiting his ability to develop and keep some rhythm and cohesion with his teammates because, really, just in the game is the most time they’re on the floor together.

Maybe it’s an outlying injury, and Anthony will finish his contract out in top form. But if this is a preview of life with the 30-something superstar, the Knicks may have another reason to regret their pricey commitment.

Still a lethal scorer who’s averaging 22.9 points per contest through 21 appearances, Anthony deserves credit for believing in an organization that’s done little to earn his trust. Jackson had a lot to do with that, and we certainly owe the Zen Master a chance to cultivate some harmony amidst the chaos he inherited.

If Anthony can stay healthy and bring this team together, perhaps he’ll be a big part of the solution. For the New York Knicks, however, that’s a $124 million “if.”

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Carmelo Anthony denies reports that he’s feuding with Tim Hardaway Jr.

Despite reports indicating the contrary, Carmelo Anthony disputes the notion that there is a rift between himself and New York Knicks teammate Tim Hardaway Jr. The speculation that animosity exists between the two shooters stems from an ESPN report indicating that Anthony threatened to beat up Hardaway in the locker room following an on-court confrontation…Read More
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Anthony, Duncan among the missing for Knicks-Spurs (Yahoo Sports)

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Knicks star Carmelo Anthony and Spurs veterans Tim Duncan and Tony Parker are among several big names out of action for Wednesday night’s game between New York and San Antonio.

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Report: Carmelo Anthony May Require Knee Surgery

Problems continue to broadcast from New York Knicks locker room after an uncomfortable report Wednesday night between Tim Hardaway Jr and Carmelo Anthony. Sources say Anthony threaten to beat up the second year guard Hardaway during a heated disputed regarding Anthony’s shoot first, pass later attitude.
Several other Knick’s voiced their opinions for Anthony to take fewer shots a game. It appears the Anthony is in the Christmas spirit to give his teammates their wish to continue the season without ‘their guy’ Melo.
In recent reports according to Frank Isola of New York Daily News:

According to a source, Anthony has been playing with left knee soreness for much of the season and the fear is that it may require surgery to correct. Following Tuesday’s loss at New Orleans, Anthony admitted that he’s playing with pain and hinted that he may need time off to rest. …
It is believed that if in fact surgery is needed Anthony could postpone the procedure until after the season but his most …

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Carmelo Anthony allegedly threatened to beat up teammate Tim Hardaway Jr.

Things are going from bad to worse for the New York Knicks as the team’s overall dysfunction took an ugly turn last week with reports that Carmelo Anthony threatened to beat up teammate Tim Hardaway Jr. during an on-court confrontation. The Knicks, currently on a nine-game losing streak after Tuesday’s loss to the New Orleans…Read More
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Carmelo Anthony Injury: Updates on Knicks Star’s Knee and Return

The New York Knicks have struggled mightily this season even with superstar forward Carmelo Anthony playing well, which doesn’t bode well for them now that Melo is ailing.

According to Al Iannazzone of Newsday, Anthony is dealing with a knee issue that could force him to miss some time:

Anthony said his troublesome knee isn’t any worse, but didn’t rule out sitting out Wednesday night in San Antonio or taking some time off to try and get it feeling better.

“I think at this point, it’s just a matter of sitting down with the training staff and the coaches and seeing what’s best for everybody,” Anthony said following the Knicks’ 104-93 loss to the Pelicans.

“If it’s best for me to sit out and take some time off and get it right, then that’s the decision I have to make.

“[But] they’re going to have to pull me out because I’m not going to make that decision on my own.

The 30-year-old veteran decided to re-sign with the Knicks during the offseason despite league-wide interest, and he hasn’t yet been rewarded for his loyalty. New York is obviously a team in transition, especially because the supporting cast isn’t offering much in terms of shouldering the offensive load.

In addition to that, the former Syracuse standout has been dealing with nagging injuries for much of the season. His issues even date back to New York’s second game of the season, as he suffered a knee injury against the Cleveland Cavaliers. According to Andy Adler of PIX11 News, though, Melo downplayed its severity:

Although he admitted to the knee ailment being a bother, Anthony insisted he would continue to battle through it, per CBSNewYork.com.

It’s been sore since maybe the Cleveland game. 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 (it) and playing through it.

Melo continued to play at a high level even with his knee at less than 100 percent, but doing so may have left him susceptible to further injuries. That unfortunate scenario came to pass on Nov. 24 when Anthony hurt his back against the Houston Rockets.

According to MSG’s Tina Cervasio, Anthony suffered what were categorized as “severe” back spasms during that contest:

There was a great deal of uncertainty surrounding Melo’s health after that, and head coach Derek Fisher took a day-to-day approach after his star player was afflicted, per Jordan Godwin of CBSNewYork.com.

“Back spasms are really tough to deal with,” Fisher said. “He felt very uncomfortable, and we have to see tomorrow.”‘

Dealing with multiple injuries isn’t easy for any player, but it is even more difficult for someone like Anthony, who is counted upon to essentially do it all for the Knicks on a nightly basis.

With issues continuing to mount, perhaps it was inevitable that Melo would pick up something else along the way.

Regardless of how long Anthony is out of action, the Knicks desperately need some other players to step up. Amar’e Stoudemire, J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert are some of the most obvious names from a scoring perspective, but it will ideally be a team-wide approach.

There is little good that can come from a potential future Hall of Famer like Anthony being on the shelf, but maybe it will help the Knicks grow as a team in terms of production and experience if nothing else.

 

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Carmelo Anthony: Knicks don’t have loser’s mentality, we’re just used to losing

Carmelo Athony disagrees with Phil Jackson’s assessment of the mental state of the New York Knicks. Or does he? On Monday, Jackson said he believes the 4-18 Knicks have a loser’s mentality. Anthony doesn’t think that’s the case. “When it comes to having a losing mentality, what I take is when you lose games consistently…Read More

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