New York Knicks: 5 Reasons They Will Make The Playoffs

New York Knicks: 5 Reasons They Are Better Than
By Mike Elworth: Owner and Publisher/Hoopstuff..
People aren’t talking about the Knicks much when it comes to this season and it’s hard to blame them, as they have only re-signed Carmelo Anthony, traded Tyson Chandler and hired Derek Fisher this offseason and they missed the playoffs, but this team has talent. There seems to be 10 teams in the East that can make the playoffs and based on talent, they are probably 7-9, but they are better than the Knicks team which was just the 9th seed in the East. Yes, the conference is better, but for 5 reasons they will make the playoffs this season.
1. Carmelo Anthony
– When you have one of the five best players in your conference and the best scorer, you have a strong chance to make the playoffs and the Knicks have Carmelo Anthony. Carmelo will give them about 30 points and 8 rebounds per game and he alone gives them an excellent chance to be one of the 8 best teams in the East. Having one of the …

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After Tough Playoffs, Mario Chalmers Promises a Major Comeback for Heat

MIAMI — It had been nearly a month since his downward spiral had finally stopped, only because the NBA season had cruelly ended. Even after enduring enough recrimination and ridicule to last any athlete a dozen lifetimes, Mario Chalmers still couldn’t stop blaming himself.    

“I just needed to be by myself,” Chalmers told Bleacher Report last week, following a morning workout at AmericanAirlines Arena. “I just needed to get away. That was the main thing.”    

Yet, for a while, the only place he went was deeper inside his own head.      

“To be honest, I sat in the house and pouted,” Chalmers said. “I felt like, for us to have the opportunity to accomplish a three-peat like that, and not being able to perform to the best of my ability, not being able to be there for my team. … I just felt like I let people down. Especially with it being my contract year, I feel like I let myself down along with the Heat organization.”

What Chalmers had done, after a solid regular season as the Miami Heat‘s starting point guard, was completely come apart in the NBA Finals against the San Antonio Spurs, to the point that head coach Erik Spoelstra pulled him from the starting lineup for Game 5 in San Antonio.

That came after Chalmers had started in his last 280 regular-season or playoff appearances, dating back to Game 6 of the 2011 NBA Finals. That came after Chalmers had made his name, as a collegian and as a pro, for self-assurance that at times exceeded, but also enhanced, his abilities. 

“You know, for the first time in my career, I felt like I wasn’t…yeah, my confidence wasn’t there,” Chalmers said. “Going through that whole San Antonio series, I just felt like in the playoffs I kept getting worse and worse every round. I just couldn’t figure it out.”

Even as others—coaches, teammates, family, friends, reporters—had all the answers. 

“Yeah, that’s the worst thing, because you never know,” Chalmers said. “Everybody in my ear, talking about ‘We need you, we need you to do this, we need you to do that.’ And then when it comes to the game, I didn’t feel involved. Like, you all talk about how y’all need me, but y’all didn’t put me in position to do anything. In previous years, if I was in that position, I would make sure I would go get the ball, I would put myself in position to score. I felt like this year, we all just took too much of a back seat in the Finals.”

And after it was over, after he’d averaged 4.4 points, 3.2 fouls and 2.0 turnovers while shooting 33.3 percent from the field in the Finals, he struggled to find anything or anyone to move him forward.

Then, at last, someone did.

“It was actually my son, really,” Chalmers said. “He was with me that whole time. I would do some stuff with him, and then I would just go sit down somewhere. And he came to me and was, like, ‘Dad, don’t worry about it, let’s go play basketball, I’ll beat you.’ Just being around your kids, that just brings a smile to your face. That triggered me in my mind, like, it’s not the end of the world. You win some, you lose some. You’ve still got the bigger picture, and you’ve still got another year to come back and get better.”

So did he let Zachiah win?

“Nah, I didn’t,” Chalmers said, laughing. “I think he only scored one point. I kind of took it out on him a little bit.” 

Still, even as Chalmers’ psyche was recovering, his future remained uncertain. His contract had expired on June 30 and, after playing six seasons in Miami—the last three for a total of $12 millionhe was hardly guaranteed to return. At the start of free agency, it actually seemed like a longshot, and not only to Heat fans who had seen first-round draft pick Shabazz Napier added to Norris Cole on the team’s point guard depth chart.  

“I didn’t think I’d be back,” Chalmers said. “I didn’t think that at all. I didn’t even think the Heat would want me back, to be honest. That’s how I felt like my playoff performance was, that they didn’t want me back, they wanted to go another direction. So that was in my mind, too, but I was, like, if it happens, it happens.”

He received some encouragement from Heat general manager Andy Elisburg, who called to say that the team still considered him part of the family and still had an interest in retaining him. They just needed to see how LeBron James‘ free agency played out, and they’d come back to him. ”I at least knew that one team wanted me right now,” Chalmers said. “So that was a good thing.” 

Uplifted by that knowledge, Chalmers tried to show the world that he’d shaken off his stupor, posting Instagram video evidence of strength and fitness training, announcing he had “sat around long enough,” and sharing his signature line for the summer: “Minor setback for a major comeback.” 

That was July 10.

That night, James flew back from Las Vegas to Miami with Dwyane Wade, still seemingly up in the air about whether he’d sign with the Heat or Cavaliers. Early the next afternoon, Sports Illustrated published James’ “Coming Home” essay.

Two nights later, Chalmers agreed to a two-year, $8.3 million contract with the rapidly reworked Heat. Pat Riley added him back to a roster thatby week’s endwould officially include Danny Granger, Josh McRoberts and Luol Deng to supplement the re-signed Wade, Chris Bosh, Udonis Haslem and Chris Andersen. 

And, after signing the contract, Chalmers’ own workload intensified, chronicled with frequent Instagram posts that often referenced “the grind.” They were for himself, and for the public. 

“[I was] just saying that I didn’t give up on myself,” Chalmers said. “I didn’t quit. A lot of people doubted me, a lot of people still doubt me. But I believe in myself. And I’ve got a good organization that believes in me too.”

He hopes to reward that organization with stronger play from start to finish this season, due in part to a reshaped body. After initially joining James and Wade in trying to follow now-former teammate Ray Allen’s paleo diet, Chalmers felt irritable without all of the carbohydrates, especially as he intensified his workouts.

But even after altering his eating regimen somewhat, he insists he’s already close to “tip-top shape.” Chalmers has been training at the P3 sports training complex in Santa Barbara and noted he was “getting back to the basics” with Wade, Cole, McRoberts, Udonis Haslem and others during three strenuous but enjoyable days at Indiana University.

Chalmers returned from California early so he should lead the Heat’s young players in their team’s practice gym.

He’s also adopted a healthy attitude, as it relates to his reshaped role, one that he characterizes as “a jack of all trades.”

Pat Riley, in a video address to fans, called Chalmers “a player that we feel very confident about, back at starting point guard.” Still, Chalmers recognizes that—with two other point guards on the roster and no established backup for Wadehe might need to return to his Kansas roots, spending some time at both spots. Spoelstra and Riley have each told him separately that he will have the ball in his hands more, with more opportunities to score. 

“I feel like I’ve finally got a chance to shine, show my real game,” Chalmers said. “Me, CB, D-Wade and the rest of the guys, we’re going to pick it up, we’re still going to play Miami Heat basketball, and we’re still gonna be a competitor.”

He says confidence is no longer an issue.

“Fresh season,” Chalmers said. “Fresh start. Got a fresh team. You know, everybody [is] forgetting about us right now. That’s when we shine, when people forget about us.”

He has made this point often on Instagram as well, warning the pundits to “keep sleepin on the Heat,” promising fans that ”we will b back heat nation,” taunting the doubters with “u want some come get some.” He has even continued to use the #heatles hashtag, even though only six players remain from the 2013 champions, and though he recognizes the Heat aren’t the NBA’s most hunted team anymore.

They were for a while. Hunted and, by some, hated. Like few teams in NBA history. 

“Four years,” Chalmers said. “And now we’re the forgotten team. So it’s good. We all accept it. I’ve talked to D-Wade several times, I’ve talked to CB several times. We’re ready.”

Wade and Haslem have been with the Heat since 2003, Chalmers since 2008, Bosh since 2010. He references the song “Seen It All“ by Jay-Z and Young Jeezy, as consistent with their circumstances: “There’s nothing new that we don’t know, that we don’t know what to expect and we don’t know what to put in to get out. So we’re ready for it.”

And while he speaks of a “totally different energy” and acknowledges “there’s a lot of emotions going around right now,” he doesn’t mean those as digs at the departed James. That probably needs to be made clear, after some of his recent, cryptic Instagram posts have been interpreted that way.

Chalmers laughs at those assumptions. 

“I mean, I’ve never, ever taken a shot at anybody on Twitter without saying their name,” Chalmers said. “I’m the type of person, if I’ve got something to say, I’m going to say it to your face. So all this stuff that they’re trying to break up between me and ‘Bron or whatever—I mean, I’ve talked to ‘Bron five or six times during the summer. That’s still going to be my big brother. We’re always going to be friends. On the court, we’re going to go at each other, we’re going to compete and we’re going to try to draw blood. But off the court, we’re still going to be friends, it’s still going to be a brotherhood. It’s just basketball stuff.”

So, what about the post on Aug. 23, vaguely referencing loyalty and royalty?

“That wasn’t even about him,” Chalmers said. “He’s from Cleveland, so that’s his loyalty. It’s nothing. None of my tweets, Instagram posts have been about anybody. I just like rattling people’s brains, make them think something.”

He smiles. But he is serious, and unambiguous, about something else:

How he’ll respond from his playoff setback. 

What does he say to those who don’t expect a major comeback?

“Just watch,” Chalmers said, smiling. “Just watch. I’m not gonna say nothing else. I’m not gonna toot my own horn or nothing. Just watch.” 

 

Ethan Skolnick covers the NBA for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter, @EthanJSkolnick.

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Mario Chalmers, After Tough Playoffs, Promises a Major Comeback for Heat

MIAMI — It had been nearly a month since his downward spiral had finally stopped, only because the NBA season had cruelly ended. Even after enduring enough recrimination and ridicule to last any athlete a dozen lifetimes, Mario Chalmers still couldn’t stop blaming himself.    

“I just needed to be by myself,” Chalmers told Bleacher Report last week, following a morning workout at American Airlines Arena. “I just needed to get away. That was the main thing.”    

Yet, for a while, the only place he went was deeper inside his own head.      

“To be honest, I sat in the house and pouted,” Chalmers said. “I felt like, for us to have the opportunity to accomplish a three-peat like that, and not being able to perform to the best of my ability, not being able to be there for my team…. I just felt like I let people down. Especially with it being my contract year, I feel like I let myself down along with the Heat organization.”

What Chalmers had done, after a solid regular season as the Miami Heat‘s starting point guard, was completely come apart in the NBA Finals against the Spurs, to the point that Erik Spoelstra pulled him from the starting lineup for Game 5 in San Antonio. That came after Chalmers had started in his last 280 regular season or playoff appearances, dating back to Game 6 of the 2011 NBA Finals. That came after Chalmers had made his name, as a collegian and as a pro, for self-assurance that at times exceeded, but also enhanced, his abilities. 

“You know, for the first time in my career, I felt like I wasn’t…yeah, my confidence wasn’t there,” Chalmers said. “Going through that whole San Antonio series, I just felt like in the playoffs I kept getting worse and worse every round. I just couldn’t figure it out.”

Even as others—coaches, teammates, family, friends, reporters—had all the answers. 

“Yeah, that’s the worst thing, because you never know,” Chalmers said. “Everybody in my ear, talking about ‘We need you, we need you to do this, we need you to do that.’ And then when it comes to the game, I didn’t feel involved. Like, you all talk about how y’all need me, but y’all didn’t put me in position to do anything. In previous years, if I was in that position, I would make sure I would go get the ball, I would put myself in position to score. I felt like this year, we all just took too much of a back seat in the Finals.”

And after it was over, after he’d averaged 4.4 points, 3.2 fouls and 2.0 turnovers while shooting 33.3 percent from the field in the Finals, he struggled to find anything or anyone to move him forward.

Then, at last, someone did.

“It was actually my son really,” Chalmers said. “He was with me that whole time. I would do some stuff with him and then I would just go sit down somewhere. And he came to me and was, like, ‘Dad, don’t worry about it, let’s go play basketball, I’ll beat you.’ Just being around your kids, that just brings a smile to your face. That triggered me in my mind, like, it’s not the end of the world. You win some, you lose some. You’ve still got the bigger picture, and you’ve still got another year to come back and get better.”

So did he let Zachiah win?

“Nah, I didn’t,” Chalmers said, laughing. “I think he only scored one point. I kind of took it out on him a little bit.” 

Still, even as Chalmers’ psyche was recovering, his future remained uncertain. His contract had expired on June 30 and, after playing six seasons in Miami—the last three for a total of $12 millionhe was hardly guaranteed to return. At the start of free agency, it actually seemed like a longshot, and not only to Heat fans who had seen first-round draft pick Shabazz Napier added to Norris Cole on the team’s point guard depth chart.  

“I didn’t think I’d be back,” Chalmers said. “I didn’t think that at all. I didn’t even think the Heat would want me back, to be honest. That’s how I felt like my playoff performance was, that they didn’t want me back, they wanted to go another direction. So that was in my mind, too, but I was, like, if it happens, it happens.”

He received some encouragement from Heat general manager Andy Elisburg, who called to say that the team still considered him part of the family, and still had an interest in retaining him. They just needed to see how LeBron James‘ free agency played out, and they’d come back to him. ”I at least knew that one team wanted me right now,” Chalmers said. “So that was a good thing.” 

Uplifted by that knowledge, Chalmers tried to show the world that he’d shaken off his stupor, posting Instagram video evidence of strength and fitness training, announcing he had “sat around long enough,” and sharing his signature line for the summer: “Minor setback for a major comeback.” 

 

That was July 10.

That night, James flew back from Las Vegas to Miami with Dwyane Wade, still seemingly up in the air about whether he’d sign with the Heat or Cavaliers. Early the next afternoon, SportsIllustrated.com published James “Coming Home” essay. Two nights later, Chalmers agreed to a two-year, $8.3 million contract with the rapidly reworked Heat, with Pat Riley adding him back to a roster thatby week’s endwould officially include Danny Granger, Josh McRoberts and Luol Deng to supplement the re-signed Wade, Chris Bosh, Udonis Haslem and Chris Andersen. 

And, after signing the contract, Chalmers’ own workload intensified, chronicled with frequent Instagram posts that often referenced “the grind.” They were for himself, and for the public. 

“[I was] just saying that I didn’t give up on myself,” Chalmers said. “I didn’t quit. A lot of people doubted me, a lot of people still doubt me. But I believe in myself. And I’ve got a good organization that believes in me too.”

He hopes to reward that organization with stronger play from start to finish this season, due in part to a reshaped body. After initially joining James and Wade in trying to follow now-former teammate Ray Allen’s paleo diet, Chalmers felt irritable without all of the carbohydrates, especially as he intensified his workouts. But even after altering his eating regimen somewhat, he insists he’s already close to “tip top shape,” after training at the P3 sports training complex in Santa Barbara; “getting back to the basics” with Wade, Cole, McRoberts, Udonis Haslem and others during three strenuous but enjoyable days at Indiana University; and returning from California early so he should lead the Heat’s young players in their team’s practice gym.

He’s also adopted a healthy attitude, as it relates to his reshaped role, one that he characterizes as “a jack of all trades.” Pat Riley, in a video address to fans, called Chalmers “a player that we feel very confident about, back at starting point guard,” but Chalmers recognizes that—with two other point guards on the roster and no established backup for Wadehe might need to return to his Kansas roots, spending some time at both spots. Spoelstra and Riley have each told him separately that he will have the ball in his hands more, with more opportunities to score. 

“I feel like I’ve finally got a chance to shine, show my real game,” Chalmers said. “Me, CB, D-Wade and the rest of the guys, we’re going to pick it up, we’re still going to play Miami Heat basketball, and we’re still gonna be a competitor.”

He says confidence is no longer an issue.

“Fresh season,” Chalmers said. “Fresh start. Got a fresh team. You know, everybody [is] forgetting about us right now. That’s when we shine, when people forget about us.”

He has made this point often on Instagram as well, warning the pundits to “keep sleepin on the Heat,” promising fans that “we will b back heat nation,” taunting the doubters with “u want some come get some.” He has even continued to use the #heatles hashtag, even though only six players remain from the 2013 champions, and though he recognizes the Heat aren’t the NBA’s most hunted team anymore.

They were for a while. Hunted and, by some, hated. Like few teams in NBA history. 

“Four years,” Chalmers said. “And now we’re the forgotten team. So it’s good. We all accept it. I’ve talked to D-Wade several times, I’ve talked to CB several times. We’re ready.”

Wade and Haslem have been with the Heat since 2003, Chalmers since 2008, Bosh since 2010. He references the song ‘Seen It All‘ by Jay-Z and Young Jeezy, as consistent with their circumstances: “There’s nothing new that we don’t know, that we don’t know what to expect and we don’t know what to put in to get out. So we’re ready for it.”

And while he speaks of a “totally different energy,” and acknowledges “there’s a lot of emotions going around right now,” he doesn’t mean those as digs at the departed James. That probably needs to be made clear, after some of his recent, cryptic Instagram posts have been interpreted that way.

Chalmers laughs at those assumptions. 

“I mean, I’ve never, ever taken a shot at anybody on Twitter without saying their name,” Chalmers said. “I’m the type of person, if I’ve got something to say, I’m going to say it to your face. So all this stuff that they’re trying to break up between me and ‘Bron or whatever—I mean, I’ve talked to ‘Bron five or six times during the summer. That’s still going to be my big brother. We’re always going to be friends. On the court, we’re going to go at each other, we’re going to compete and we’re going to try to draw blood. But off the court, we’re still going to be friends, it’s still going to be a brotherhood. It’s just basketball stuff.”

So, what about the post on Aug. 23, vaguely referencing loyalty and royalty?

“That wasn’t even about him,” Chalmers said. “He’s from Cleveland, so that’s his loyalty. It’s nothing. None of my tweets, Instagram posts have been about anybody. I just like rattling people’s brains, make them think something.”

He smiles. But he is serious, and unambiguous, about something else:

How he’ll respond from his playoff setback. 

What does he say to those who don’t expect a major comeback?

“Just watch,” Chalmers said, smiling. “Just watch. I’m not gonna say nothing else. I’m not gonna toot my own horn or nothing. Just watch.” 

 

Ethan Skolnick covers the NBA for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter, @EthanJSkolnick.

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Can the LA Lakers Make the Playoffs This Season?

Training camp is around the corner for the Los Angeles Lakers, and there are important questions to be answered. Such as, can they make the playoffs this season?

This would have been considered a ridiculous thing to ask just a few years ago—the Lakers went to the Finals seven times during the Phil Jackson era, winning five NBA titles.

But that was then, and this is now. And after the worst loss record in franchise history last season at 27-55, the question of advancing into the postseason is a legitimate one.

In fact, many observers are more than a little doubtful about the prospects for this current roster. The bombastic Charles Barkley recently ventured on NBA.TV, per Sheridan Hoops: “I love Kobe Bryant. He’s one of the 10 greatest players ever, but it’s over for him and the Lakers.”

Those are harsh words. But they are also those of a provocateur and should be taken with a heaping tablespoon of sodium crystals.

While nobody really expects the Lakers to contend for a championship this season, their new head coach is maintaining a positive mantra.

During an interview with Mike Trudell of Lakers.com, Byron Scott had this to say:

I know it’s going to be a tough road, but when I start training camp, the first thing I’m going to tell our guys is that our goal is to win the championship. I want them thinking that way from day one. People aren’t picking us to make the playoffs, sure, but that’s not how we’re going to approach it.

We have to change the mindset. It may take a year or two, and I think Kobe knows that, but he already has the championship mindset. It’s not hard to convince him. Convincing everyone else is the biggest trick we have to do, but that’s how we have to do it.

Buying into Scott’s positivity isn’t all that hard if you’re a Lakers fan. There’s an understanding that a tough comeback road lies ahead, but this, after all, is a new beginning. 

It’s not surprising, however, that pundits around the country are questioning the tools Scott has to work with. As Thomas Johnson for The Washington Post writes:

A 35-year-old Kobe Bryant coming off two major injuries. A 40-year-old Steve Nash sticking around for one final year’s worth of paychecks. Nick Young being Nick Young. This is the type of roster that will cause Scott to fondly reminisce over his last job, coaching the post-LeBron Cavaliers. At least that team had Kyrie Irving.

Bryant turned 36 since that article was written, but who’s counting? There are also those who expect to see a rejuvenated Mamba playing like a much younger man.

There will be plenty of doubt cast on the Lakers’ aspirations between now and the start of the regular season. And if L.A. gets off to a rough start, criticism will become even more brutal.

But there is no reason to expect that last year’s train wreck, fueled by an unimaginable number of injuries, will repeat itself.

Is there cause to believe the current squad can get back into the playoff hunt? Actually, there is. With a new defensive mindset, some fresh legs and a healthy Bryant, the Lakers could stay in contention as a slightly better than .500 team and ultimately surprise unbelievers by sneaking into the first round and possibly beyond.

How many wins would they have to add to last season’s record? The Dallas Mavericks clinched the eighth and final playoff spot last season with a 49-33 record, while the Memphis Grizzlies had the seventh slot at 50-32.

In other words, the Lakers would have to pick up about 22 wins from their recent debacle. That’s a lot of ground to make up. But perhaps the idea of affixing a theoretical net gain is the wrong way to look at this.

How about forgetting the past—the highs and the lows—and simply looking at this as a starting point. Everyone begins with the same record of 0-0. All teams get their shot, regardless of the expectations game.

The Lakers have not been on a unified page for the past three seasons. A new coach creates an opportunity for that to change. It’s also a chance to show that last season was an aberration—this may not be an elite roster, but it’s certainly not worthy of bottom-feeder status.

So how does the team with all those banners find its way back to what was once taken for granted?

There has to be a new commitment on the defensive end of the court, and teammates have to help each other out. Players will have to learn a form of the Princeton offense and in doing so be willing to play off the ball. How this works with the point guard trio of Jeremy Lin, Steve Nash and Jordan Clarkson will be interesting to say the least.

Carlos Boozer and Julius Randle will have to rebound incessantly, and role players who thrived under Mike D’Antoni’s freewheeling shoot-first offense will have to dial back to a structured team-first mentality. Nick “Swaggy P” Young may enjoy a little leniency, however, and be allowed to play his style of game as a sixth-man scoring machine.

Above all, Bryant has to remain healthy, operate in lockstep with Scott as a fellow taskmaster and prove to Barkley and all the other naysayers that it is not over.

And if all those things happen, the Lakers will make it to the playoffs, and life in the land of Purple and Gold will begin to find its balance once again.

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Top 5 Reasons Why the Los Angeles Lakers Won’t Make the Playoffs This Season

Despite acquiring a few fresh faces this summer, the Los Angeles Lakers are not prepared to qualify for playoff contention. Whether it’s an inability to effectively defend opponents, the lack of a true starting-quality center or the presence of too many talented teams, the Lakers just don’t possess what it takes to make the postseason in 2014-15.

Five key reasons exist to explain this case. Each one holds the potential to impact Los Angeles’ performance as a whole, and the criteria are ranked in order of least influential to most influential.

Without further ado, let’s begin. 

Begin Slideshow

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Magic Johnson Says No Team In the East Wants to Play HEAT in Playoffs

The HEAT are going to be good, how good is up for discussion, but they aren’t going to fall apart like the Cavs did when LeBron left them. They have Bosh, Wade (what version of Wade is yet to be determined) and some solid vets.
On the high side they could get up to the #3 seed in the East and on the low side I can’t see them being any worse than #6, so basically a middle of the road team in the weaker conference.
With that being said, I don’t think anyone is going to be intentionally trying to avoid the HEAT in the playoffs, but Magic was in one of his moods to say something with zero follow up explanation.
No team in the East will want to play the Miami Heat in the playoffs!
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) August 19, 2014

I think what he is trying to say is the HEAT will be better than people think and will be a dangerous team come playoff time, but he never articulates his thoughts beyond the simplest form on Twitter.

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Carmelo: Knicks will ‘absolutely’ make playoffs

Not only does Carmelo Anthony have a new, slimmer physique, the New York Knicks star has a new, positive outlook on the prospect of the team enjoying success next season. A few weeks after stating that he does not believe the Knicks have a championship-caliber roster, Anthony hedged his bets by taking a step back […] The post Carmelo Anthony says the Knicks will ‘absolutely’ be in playoffs next season appeared first on Sportress of Blogitude.

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Carmelo Anthony says the Knicks will ‘absolutely’ be in playoffs next season

Not only does Carmelo Anthony have a new, slimmer physique, the New York Knicks star has a new, positive outlook on the prospect of the team enjoying success next season. A few weeks after stating that he does not believe the Knicks have a championship-caliber roster, Anthony hedged his bets by taking a step back […] The post Carmelo Anthony says the Knicks will ‘absolutely’ be in playoffs next season appeared first on Sportress of Blogitude.

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Cuban: Mavs should have beaten Spurs in playoffs

File this under “should have, would have, could have.” The San Antonio Spurs had a relatively easy path to the 2014 NBA title except for the opening round series against the Dallas Mavericks. Dallas tested San Antonio and pushed the Spurs to seven games before eventually falling in San Antonio. However, at the end of the […]

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Raptors edge closer to playoffs, beat Boston (Yahoo Sports)

BOSTON, MA - MARCH 26: DeMar DeRozan #10 of the Toronto Raptors shoots against the Boston Celtics on March 26, 2014 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)

DeMar DeRozan understands that a playoff berth for the Raptors has meaning beyond Toronto’s locker room. Terrence Ross scored 24 points, Kyle Lowry 23 and the Raptors edged closer to their first playoff spot since 2008 with a 99-90 win over the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night. ”Not just the franchise, the whole city of Toronto and Canada,” said DeRozan, sitting at his locker with his left foot in a bucket of ice. That would be great for the city and we have to take advantage of the opportunity.” DeRozan added 20 points for Toronto, which increased its Atlantic Division lead to 2 1/2 games over Brooklyn.


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