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Carmelo Anthony

New York Notes: Carmelo, Jackson, Knicks, Nets

According to Ian Begley of ESPN.com, Knicks All-Star Carmelo Anthony – who is usually affable with the media – was “visibly annoyed” when he was asked last night about Phil Jackson‘s comments on Anthony’s tendency to hold onto the ball for too long. After initially saying he didn’t want to answer those questions, Carmelo weighed in on Jackson’s assertion.

“I don’t even know what was said, to be honest with you. I just don’t even want to talk about that, what he’s talking about exactly. I want to stay away from that at this point,” the Knicks forward said. “My focus is my teammates and winning. We’ve been playing great basketball, and that’s the only thing I’m focused on. Whatever Phil said, he said it. I have nothing to say about that.”

When Jackson made comments last month about LeBron James‘ “posse,” which the NBA Finals MVP took exception to, Anthony questioned why the Knicks president was even discussing LeBron at all. This time around, while Carmelo was careful not to be critical, it sounded like he was once again unsure why Jackson’s comments were necessary.

Here’s more from out of New York:

  • Mitch Lawrence of Forbes.com wonders if Jackson’s “penchant for speaking his mind” will negatively impact his ability to stick around long-term with the Knicks or to land another NBA job.
  • In the wake of Houston’s decision to match the Nets‘ offer sheet to Donatas Motiejunas, GM Sean Marks said he didn’t regret not using the team’s huge chunk of cap room to make a bigger offer that would have made it harder for the Rockets to match. Brian Lewis of The New York Post has the details and the quotes from Marks.
  • In a separate piece for The Post, Lewis examines how the Nets might use all that cap room, passing along a few more quotes from the club’s general manager.

Eastern Notes: Anthony, Williams, Spoelstra

Knicks team president Phil Jackson believes Carmelo Anthony could play better on the offensive end, Al lannazzone and Laura Albanese of Newsday write in a collaborative piece.

“Carmelo a lot of times wants to hold the ball longer than — we have a rule: If you hold a pass two seconds, you benefit the defense,” Jackson said. “So he has a little bit of a tendency to hold it for three, four, five seconds, and then everybody comes to a stop. That is one of the things we work with. But he’s adjusted to [the triangle], he knows what he can do and he’s willing to see its success.”

Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Coach Jeff Hornacek admitted that there are times when Anthony is a ball-stopper, but he doesn’t see it as a major issue for the Knicks, lannazzone and Albanese relay in the same piece. “It’s a fine balance,” Hornacek said. “He’s a star player who can really create his own shot from that midrange area. Sometimes we talk about maybe moving the ball and holding it, maybe it’s a second or two too long for a normal guy, but for Carmelo it’s fine because he can make that play.”
  • Derrick Williams said he never heard from Jackson during free agency this past summer and Hornacek didn’t reach out to him either, Marc Berman of The New York Post writes. Williams said he expected to at least get an offer from the Knicks, but he’s happy with his decision to sign with the Heat“I love my time in New York,” Williams said. “Being one of the fan favorites, leaving a place where I felt I could keep getting better, keep growing. But ultimately I feel it was the right decision. It might not seem that way right now. But I’m getting better each day. Even though I may not be on the court right now, this is for the second half of the season.”
  • Williams said that Heat coach Erik Spoelstra is “by far” the best coach he’s ever had, Berman adds in the same piece. “Really having a coach to teach me the right ways to play defense,” Williams exclaimed. “He really gets you in a defensive mode, with offense second. That’s what I needed in my career.”

Knicks Notes: Noah, Porzingis, Hornacek, Rose

Joakim Noah could quickly go down as another Knicks free agent bust if he doesn’t pick up his play soon, Mike Coppinger of USA Today writes. Noah was brought in to be the defensive anchor but the Knicks are tied for seventh-most points allowed per game (106.5), Coppinger notes. Noah, who was signed to a four-year, $72MM contract, has seen limited minutes during crunch time, Coppinger adds. “I want to play better, obviously,” Noah told Coppinger and other reporters. “I know personally I have to play better for this team to get to where we want to get to.”
In other developments regarding the Knicks:
  • The debate over whether the Knicks are now Kristaps Porzingis team or still Carmelo Anthony‘s team is meaningless to Porzingis, according to Ian Begley of ESPN.com. “That’s not something I’m worried about,” Porzingis told Begley and other media members. “I read social media and Twitter and all that. But a lot of that is just in and out. And I don’t really pay attention to it. It doesn’t really matter.”
  • The Porzingis-Anthony controversy is a moot point because the Knicks are really Jeff Hornacek’s team right now, Harvey Araton of the New York Times argues. Owner James Dolan was forced to eat most of previous coach Derek Fisher’s $25MM contract and logically, team president Phil Jackson won’t be allowed another coaching change, giving Hornacek plenty of leverage, Araton opines. Hornacek should feel free to run his preferred offensive scheme, pick the rotation he wants and enforce his rules, Araton adds.
  • Derrick Rose turned aside questions about being benched in favor of defensive-minded Justin Holiday during crunch time against the Timberwolves on Wednesday, Marc Berman of the New York Post reports. Rose is eligible to sign a three-year, $75MM extension as of December 22, and wants to be a closer, Berman adds. Hornacek left in backup point Brandon Jennings, who is also playing for a new contract, and that could prove to be a tough dilemma for Hornacek if Jennings is playing well. “That’s something you’ll have to ask [Hornacek],’’ Rose said to Berman of the late-game benching. “I’m just doing whatever Coach asks me to do, go in whenever he tells me.”

Knicks Notes: Noah, Rose, Anthony, Jennings

Knicks center Joakim Noah may be nearly recovered from the flu, but his other problems haven’t gone away, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. Noah has been under fire for his lackluster performance after signing a four-year, $72MM contract this summer. He played just 12 minutes Saturday night and didn’t take a shot, posting his fourth scoreless game of the season. He was part of the starting unit that fell behind 15-2, and he sat out yet another fourth quarter. “Those are not things I can control,” Noah said of being held out at the end of games. “All I can control is my progress. I need to play better and I will. I just got stay working. I need to play better and I will.”

There’s more this morning out of New York:

  • Point guard Derrick Rose, who was Noah’s teammate for eight years in Chicago, hasn’t lost faith in him, according to Newsday’s Al Iannazzone“Of course it hurts when you want to be out there, you want to play,” Rose said. “It’s not up to him, it’s up to Coach. If it was vice versa where it was someone like myself, I would be hurt. At the same time, I want to win the game. He has a great attitude. He’s still in the game, up cheering us, telling us what he sees on the floor.”
  • The addition of Rose and the development of second-year big man Kristaps Porzingis have taken some of the scoring burden off Carmelo Anthony, Iannazzone writes in a separate story. The 32-year-old forward, who has been the Knicks’ top scorer since he arrived in a 2011 trade, likes having teammates he can count on. “It’s an easy transition for me,” Anthony said. “I always wanted somebody or other guys who can do it for me. Sometimes you want to play the back end and do what you do from that aspect. You don’t always want to be in the driver’s seat.”
  • For the first time in his NBA career, Brandon Jennings is being asked to concentrate more on passing than scoring, Berman notes in a separate piece. The backup guard, who accepted a one-year, $5MM deal to come to New York, doesn’t mind the transition. “My role has changed here,’’ Jennings said. “I don’t have to score a lot. I can set the table. Not that it means I still can’t score. I have to sacrifice my game for the team. I’m playing with some of the best scorers in the world. I definitely have to change my game and found other things I can bring to the table.”

Knicks Notes: Lineup, Carmelo, Porzingis

Like team president Phil Jackson, Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek is reluctant to lean too heavily on a small-ball lineup, despite indications that his team plays best with Kristaps Porzingis at center and Carmelo Anthony at power forward, writes Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News.

“It’s always a game of chicken,” Hornacek said. “I thought earlier in the season we went small and it didn’t pay off. We ended up losing the game. It’s one of those feels if it works, you ride it. If not then you need to get out of it quicker.”

Of course, even if the Knicks’ small-ball lineup plays well, Hornacek will have to choose his words carefully when he discusses it. That five-man unit leaves Joakim Noah on the bench, and Noah is only a dozen games into the four-year, $72MM contract he received from Jackson and the Knicks this summer. That deal will only look worse if the Knicks play their best ball without Noah on the floor.

Here’s more from out of New York:

  • The Knicks have a handful of veterans on their roster who have battled injuries over the course of their careers, but if the team wants to be a contender this season, it must decide whether to prioritize protecting those players or going all-out, argues Steve Popper of the USA Today Network. “We definitely need to be more desperate,” said veteran guard Brandon Jennings.
  • Anthony remains the face of the franchise for the Knicks, but that may not last much longer, as Popper writes in a separate piece examining the continued development of Porzingis. Still, Anthony hopes that teams continue to focus their defensive attention on him to give the second-year big man a chance to thrive. “Teams, regardless of what’s happening out there, they will always load up and double-team and take me out of the game. And he benefits from that,” Anthony said. “So I want to keep doing that and what he has to do.”
  • For even more Knicks news, notes, and rumors, be sure to check our team page for the club.

Knicks Notes: Jackson, Anthony, Noah, Rose

Knicks president Phil Jackson took to social media in an attempt to diffuse the reaction to his controversial comments regarding LeBron James, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. Jackson has taken criticism for referring to James’ entourage as a “posse,” drawing reactions not only from James, but also from Knicks star Carmelo Anthony. Jackson re-tweeted a post from team advisor, Clarence Gaines, an African-American, who was promoting the “Posse Foundation,” which was set up to help black students succeed. Jackson refused to discuss the situation with reporters on Tuesday.

There’s more today out of New York:

  • Jackson’s statements were part of a continued effort to take the focus off the job he has done with the Knicks, contends Mike Vacarro of The New York Post. The writer called Jackson “petty” for focusing on James and Heat president Pat Riley in recent public comments and blasted Jackson for not talking to New York media since September 22nd.
  • Joakim Noah, one of the team’s prize offseason additions, will continue to start, but may not play much during fourth quarters, Berman writes in a separate piece. The Knicks have been more successful lately with coach Jeff Hornacek’s “small-ball” lineup that has Kristaps Porzingis playing center. Hornacek said Noah, who hasn’t scored in three games and is averaging just 4.3 points per contest, needs to become more “aggressive” on offense. “We don’t mind him taking the little mid-range shot, keeping teams honest if they’re going to stay back,’’ Hornacek said. “We want him to continue rolling to the basket, get low in the dunk area if guys penetrate and a big helps, he gets the dump and can just dunk it. If he stays outside, that’s what another team wants. We want for him to be more aggressive when he does get the ball around the basket.’’
  • Derrick Rose is seeking $70K in court costs related to his civil trial that concluded last month, according to ESPN. A woman’s $21.5MM suit alleging rape was rejected by a jury, and the law permits winners of civil trials to ask the court to have some of their costs covered by the losers.

Knicks Notes: Anthony, Jackson, Noah

Carmelo Anthony said he would be offended if Phil Jackson referred to his entourage as a “posse,” but added that he believes Jackson may have meant no harm by his word choice,  Marc Berman of The New York Post relays.

“Do I think he meant it in any kind of way? I really don’t know. I don’t think he did.” Anthony said. “I would hope he didn’t. Sometimes Phil just says things, the first thing that comes to mind. He’s probably in his office now regretting it. When it comes to, Phil, you never know what’s going to be said.” 

Here’s more from New York:

  • Anthony also added that he can’t understand why LeBron James is the topic of Jackson’s conversation, as Berman passes along in the same piece. “I don’t think we play them anytime soon,” Anthony said. “It’s a whole month away. I just don’t understand Phil talking about LeBron right now. In November. I don’t understand that.”
  • Jackson’s insecurities about running a franchise are prompting him to take shots at his successful counterparts, Adrian Wojnarowski of the Vertical argues in a video essay (Twitter link). The scribe details all of Jackson’s failed moves, including his decision to trade J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert to the Cavs for practically nothing in return.
  • The Knicks signed Joakim Noah to a four-year, $72MM contract during the offseason, but the team’s best lineup doesn’t included the big man, as Stefan Bondy of the Daily News details. In Monday’s win over the Mavericks, Kristaps Porzingis was moved to the center position and the team enjoyed great success, including a 30-10 run. Noah admitted that he has to find his offensive game and said he would be looking at the film to “figure it out.”

Atlantic Notes: Nogueira, Young, Atkinson, Anthony

Lucas Nogueira may be able to fill the Raptors‘ hole at backup center left by the departure of Bismack Biyombo, writes Michael Grange of Rogers Sportsnet. Nogueira’s latest impressive performance came Saturday night with six points, 10 rebounds, five blocks and three steals  in a win over the Knicks. The 7-footer is now averaging 8.3 points and 7.3 rebounds in four games. Nogueira says Biyombo appointed him as his successor when he signed with the Magic over the offseason. “During the summer [Biz] told me, ‘Lucas, your time to shine, go get it.’ I know Biz since I’m 15, playing in Spain against each other,” Nogueira said. “So we have a mutual respect for each other. It’s special, when he’s gone, he told me, ‘It’s your time, go get it.’ And I took it serious.”

There’s more this morning from the Atlantic Division:

  • Celtics shooting guard James Young had the best game of his NBA career with 12 points in 16 minutes in Saturday’s win over the Pacers, notes Chris Forsberg of ESPN.com. Boston recently declined the fourth-year option on Young’s rookie contract and spent much of the summer trying to find a team willing to trade for him. Celtics coach Brad Stevens took note of Young’s effort. “He’s shot it at such a different level than he shot it two years ago when he got here, as far as accuracy in workouts, in practice, and everything else,” Stevens said. “He’s certainly always a capable shooter with a beautiful stroke, but he’s really really worked hard on becoming accurate.”
  • Through the season’s first nine games, the NetsKenny Atkinson has proven he can be successful as a head coach, contends Anthony Puccio of NetsDaily. The longtime assistant has Brooklyn playing far above expectations with a 4-5 record despite losing point guards Jeremy Lin, Greivis Vasquez and Isaiah Whitehead to injuries. “It’s just been so mutually beneficial,” Brook Lopez said of Atkinson. “We definitely feed off each other and Kenny’s definitely instilled a lot of confidence within myself. It’s been a great two-way street in that regard. I think we’re continuing to learn about each other more and more.”
  • The Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony plans to diffuse the situation with referee Tony Brothers by staying quiet around him, writes Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. After Anthony was tossed from Friday’s game, Anthony’s wife suggested on social media that Brothers has a vendetta against him. “It ain’t personal with me, on my end,” Anthony said. “I don’t have anything to say to him. He refs. I’ll play. I’ll keep my mouth shut next time.”

Atlantic Notes: Sixers, Anthony, Knicks, Kilpatrick

The Sixers haven’t gotten what they expected from the 2013 draft, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Philadelphia thought it had landed two building blocks for the future when it drafted Nerlens Noel and Michael Carter-Williams. But three years later, Noel is headed for restricted free agency and Carter-Williams has changed teams twice. A second-round pick, Arsalan Kazemi of Oregon, was released last year.

But that doesn’t mean the draft was a failure. In trading to Jrue Holiday to New Orleans for the pick they used to get Carter-Williams, the Sixers also received a 2014 selection that landed them Dario Saric. And they’re still waiting on the protected draft pick they received when they shipped Carter-Williams to Milwaukee. That belongs to the Lakers and will be transferred to Philly next summer if L.A. doesn’t have one of the top three selections.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Knicks need Carmelo Anthony to become a better and smarter leader, argues Marc Berman of The New York Post. Anthony is under fire for getting tossed from Friday’s game in the second quarter for arguing a foul call. He left the locker room without talking to reporters, but his wife tweeted that referee Tony Brothers has carried on a running dispute with Anthony. Berman says the Knicks, who are off to a 3-5 start despite adding Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah this summer, need Anthony to lead by example.
  • Although coach Jeff Hornacek said it’s too early to panic, the Knicks‘ early problems on offense and defense may last all season, writes Newsday’s Al Iannazzone. The triangle offense remains unpopular with the players, and the lack of effort on defense has continued even though Kurt Rambis was appointed as defensive coordinator earlier this week. “We’re starting off in a hole every game,” Noah said. “We got to get better. We got to get better defensively. We got to get better executing, and stop pressing.”
  • Sean Kilpatrick, who is having a breakout season with the Nets, is thankful to late Timberwolves coach Flip Saunders for giving him his first NBA opportunity, relays Jerry Zgoda of the Star-Tribune. Minnesota was short on healthy players in 2014 and turned to Kilpatrick because he was the best D-League player who could get to Madison Square Garden in time for a game with the Knicks. Kilpatrick lasted just four games with the Wolves, but took advantage of his chance with Brooklyn last season. He impressed the team on two 10-day contracts and was signed for the rest of the year. “He’s grinded through some tough times to get where he is,” said Nets coach Kenny Atkinson. “He keeps blossoming. We’re giving him a lot of responsibility, and he has answered the bell. We’re thrilled with what he’s giving us so far.” 

Knicks Notes: Jackson, Rose, Noah, Anthony

The season isn’t a week old, but Knicks president Phil Jackson already felt it was necessary to meet with players to discuss their comments to the media, writes Frank Isola of The New York Daily News. There were complaints about the offense and defense following a lopsided opening-night loss in Cleveland, but Jackson’s meeting and Saturday’s win over the Grizzlies may have quieted things down for now. New point guard Derrick Rose was advocating more pick-and-rolls over Jackson’s traditional triangle approach. Rose, as Isola points out, missed most of the preseason because of a civil trial over sexual assault allegations in Los Angeles.

There’s more this morning out of New York:

  • The trade for Rose and the offseason signing of Brandon Jennings has made the Knicks a far more interesting team, contends Newsday’s Neil Best. New York now has scoring threats at the point guard position that it lacked last season. “Man, I’m happy I got it out of the way,” Rose said of his first home game at Madison Square Garden. “The crowd was great, energetic, they were in it from the jump.”
  • Joakim Noah showed Saturday that he hasn’t lost the emotional intensity that defined his game in Chicago, writes Al Iannazzone of Newsday. The Knicks’ new starting center, who joined the team on a four-year, $72MM contract this summer, pounded his chest a few times, yelled at Zach Randolph and was serenaded by the crowd in his home debut. “It’s really special to play at home, just trying to stay in the moment because it’s real easy to get caught up in everything that’s going on around you,” Noah said. “This building means so much to me. There were a couple of times, it was very emotional for me. I was very nervous. But it was the best, it was the best feeling.”
  • Carmelo Anthony said again Saturday that he enjoys having high-profile teammates like Rose, Noah and Kristaps Porzingis to share the scoring load, relays Ian Begley of ESPN. Anthony had 20 points against Memphis but suffered through a poor shooting night, making just 5 of 15 from the field. “You don’t see me complaining about it,” Anthony said. “You didn’t see me out there making a face. [It’s] something that I embrace. I look forward to just being out there with guys who can control the game and make plays, and when it’s my time, it’s my time.”

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