Dec 14, 2012, 2:32 AM EDT
There’s nothing like a nice three-course NBA meal. The appetizer was fried something or other, as the Hawks burned the Bobcats with 57 percent shooting in a convincing 113-90 victory. The main entree involved the Knicks introducing the Lakers to the benefits of something called “passing” in a 116-107 beatdown. For dessert, Portland’s stud point guard Damian Lillard passed on the crème brûlée and ate up another one of France’s greatest imports instead in a 98-90 win over the Spurs. Here’s hoping you saved some room for the Three Stars of the Night:
Third Star: Tyson Chandler – (18 points, 5-for-5 FG shooting)
Unless you’re playing in MTV’s Rock and Jock basketball where there’s 10-pointers, there’s pretty much no way you should be able to score 18 points on just 5 field goal attempts. That’s the name of the game for Tyson Chandler, though. Chandler rolled hard to the rim and created contact, going to the line a whopping 14 times against a Lakers defense that rotates with the speed of a zombie stuck in quicksand. On the other end, Chandler did a decent job containing Dwight Howard and protecting the rim, but his value really showed after Carmelo Anthony left the game with an ankle injury. Nearly every successful fourth quarter possession for the Knicks generated from Tyson Chandler loosening things up in the high pick-and-roll, and his two back-tap offensive rebounds over Howard in the game’s final minute truly served as the dagger. The numbers weren’t gaudy, but this is the type of performance from Chandler we tend to take for granted.
Second Star: Carmelo Anthony – (30 points on 10-for-15 shooting in 23 minutes)
Anthony was absolutely cookin’ early on against the Lakers, helping the Knicks jump out to a huge 41-point first quarter. Melo dropped an insane 22 points in that first quarter (a career-high) and became the first player to score at least 30 points in 23 minutes or less since 2006. Anthony exited the game with a sprained ankle after a tough fall, but hopefully that won’t discourage him from putting his head down and getting to the rim like he has most of the season. Many hypothesized that the Knicks (and Anthony) would be better if he played at the 4, but I don’t think anyone saw this type of production coming. It’s very early for talks of titles or MVP awards, but it’s hard to argue that the Knicks and Melo aren’t, at the very least, contenders for both.
First Star: Damian Lillard – (29 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists)
How about that for a coming out party? Lillard has easily been the best rookie so far this year (get healthy and we’ll talk, Anthony Davis) and tonight he showed why. Young point guards can sometimes struggle to toe the line between distributing and scoring, but Lillard has a knack for picking his spots. His little step back jumper is a killer move, but Lillard’s control on drives to the rim is breathtaking to watch. The polished shooting stroke will garner most of the attention, but watch Lillard’s footwork sometime. He just utilizes space so well and rarely looks wild or out of control. It helped that Tony Parker had some tired legs on the second night of a back-to-back, but take nothing away from Lillard’s performance — he’s the real deal.
Jul 10, 2014, 1:25 AM EDT
Rockets have 72 hours to match
Jul 10, 2014, 12:08 AM EDT
Flip Saunders has been patient all along, that’s not changing now.
Jul 9, 2014, 11:26 PM EDT
Toronto keeping core together from successful 2013-14 team
Jul 9, 2014, 11:00 PM EDT
Does that bode better for Heat or Cavaliers?
Rockets can’t keep Dwight Howard, James Harden and Chandler Parsons and give Chris Bosh max contract
Jul 9, 2014, 10:32 PM EDT
Has Bosh decided on signing with Houston if LeBron James leaves Heat anyway?
Jul 9, 2014, 9:34 PM EDT
Is any of this really helping Sterling’s case? Who knows. But it’s great drama.
Jul 9, 2014, 8:59 PM EDT
Former Pistons coach Lawrence Frank, former Bucks coach Larry Drew could follow
Jul 9, 2014, 8:25 PM EDT
Scott has always been the frontrunner.
Jul 9, 2014, 7:50 PM EDT
What’s next for LeBron, Cavaliers and Heat?
Jul 9, 2014, 7:08 PM EDT
Houston would have 72 hours to match max or near-max offer
Jul 9, 2014, 6:40 PM EDT
Popovich used to joke he was leaving when Duncan does, but he’s having fun now.
Jul 9, 2014, 6:20 PM EDT
LeBron James’ max: $118,705,300 over five years
Carmelo Anthony’s max: $129,135,810 over five years
Jul 9, 2014, 6:07 PM EDT
It’s a real long shot, but if the Cavs actually land LeBron they should swing for the fences.
Jul 9, 2014, 5:28 PM EDT
The NBA business is good.
Jul 9, 2014, 4:05 PM EDT
He was never really in the mix to join LeBron anywhere, the two hadn’t been talking.
Charlie Villanueva launches ‘Crossroads’ webisode series documenting his free agency experience (VIDEO)
Jul 9, 2014, 3:27 PM EDT
Eight-part video blog series takes you behind the scenes.
Jul 9, 2014, 2:47 PM EDT
Maybe this isn the first domino of free agency, the question is what way it falls.
Jul 9, 2014, 2:11 PM EDT
A move from Miami to Cleveland, for example, wouldn’t be so bad.
Jul 9, 2014, 1:45 PM EDT
The Pelicans need help at the three, Howard trying to prove he can still help at age 34.
Jazz expected to match Hornets’ max contract offer to Gordon Hayward, which is absolutely the right decision
Jul 9, 2014, 1:02 PM EDT
Small market teams like Utah and Charlotte don’t have much of a choice.
- Reports: LeBron James and agent done meeting with teams 46
- Rockets can’t keep Dwight Howard, James Harden and Chandler Parsons and give Chris Bosh max contract 35
- Donald Sterling in court calls wife “pig,” promises to sue NBA “until I die” 28
- Report: LeBron James leaves meeting with Pat Riley without committing to Heat 82
- Report: Mavericks shake up Rockets’ free-agent plans, agree to offer sheet with Chandler Parsons 36
- Gregg Popovich agrees to extension with Spurs, likely stays past Tim Duncan era 26
- Report: Cavaliers want to swing Kevin Love trade if LeBron James comes to town 49
- NBA salary cap jumps nearly $5 million next year to $63 million, luxury tax line $76.8 million 7