The Eastern Conference's top two teams fell last night, as the Heat lost a nailbiter in Portland and the Carmelo Anthony-less Knicks dropped a low-scoring affair in Indiana. Thursday's results further compress the playoff picture in the East, where the top eight teams, from the No. 1 Heat to the No. 8 Celtics, are all separated by just 5.5 games. Here are a few Friday updates related to four of those eight Eastern contenders:
- Asked about the Knicks' reported interest in Kenyon Martin, coach Mike Woodson told reporters, including Al Iannazzone of Newsday, "that's news to me." If Marcus Camby is forced to miss time after aggravating a foot injury Thursday night, then the Knicks could look to sign someone, says Iannazzone.
- Richard Hamilton, who turns 35 next month, tells K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune that he doesn't expect to play past age 38. Hamilton's contract for next year is mostly non-guaranteed, and he would turn 38 during the 2015/16 season, so he'd likely have to sign at least a couple more deals to play that long.
- Nets management has been impressed with the job done so far by coach P.J. Carlesimo, who will "almost certainly" hold the job until the end of the season, a source tells Mike Mazzeo of ESPNNewYork.com.
- Greg Oden's agent, Mike Conley Sr., tells Chris Tomasson of FOX Sports Florida that he's 100% certain his client will be playing in the NBA next season. Conley didn't talk extensively about teams that could be in play, but hinted that the Heat aren't necessarily the frontrunners, and said the Trail Blazers definitely aren't an option. I'm not sure the Heat were widely viewed as the favorites — Miami was just the only specific suitor named in Brian Windhorst's report yesterday.