Carmelo Anthony out vs. Thunder

November, 28, 2014
Nov 28
6:21
PM ET

New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony will sit out of Friday's game against the Oklahoma City Thunder due to back spasms.

It will be Anthony's second straight game missed due to the back issue.

The spasms first surfaced on Monday night late in the first half of the Knicks' loss to the Houston Rockets.

As of Wednesday night, the team's medical staff had not given Anthony a specific timetable for his return.

"They said these things are hard to gauge -- I just don't know how long I'll be out," Anthony said Wednesday night through a team spokesman.

Without Anthony, the Knicks lost in overtime to the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday.

Anthony's status for Sunday's home game against the Miami Heat is unclear.

New York fell to 4-12 with Wednesday's loss and has dropped 11 of its past 13 games.

This is the second injury for Anthony this season. He revealed last week he is playing with discomfort in his left knee, which he said first surfaced during the second game of the season.

Anthony is leading the Knicks in scoring with 23.2 points per game. Their next-highest scorer is Amar'e Stoudemire with 11.6 points per game.


(Read full post)


Knicks shouldn't rush Melo return

November, 28, 2014
Nov 28
3:50
PM ET
If the New York Knicks aren't careful with Carmelo Anthony's back spasms, they could put their star at risk for further back issues later in the season, according to one sports medicine expert.

"He can wind up battling this all season if it's not shut down appropriately to let him heal up," says Dr. Neil Roth, an orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine and the tending physician at Lenox Hill Hospital.

Anthony first felt back spasms late in the first half of Monday's game against the Houston Rockets. He missed Wednesday's game against the Dallas Mavericks and is doubtful for Friday's tilt against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Knicks coach Derek Fisher told reporters on Friday that Anthony is progressing well and he has not been ruled out for Sunday's game against the Miami Heat.

Roth, who has not examined Anthony's injury, says lower back issues are common among NBA players.

"I would bet that the majority of NBA players, if you took x-rays of their lower back and MRIs of their lower back, have some element of degenerative back issues," Roth says.

Anthony's back issues appear to be minor. But they will become a more alarming issue for the Knicks if the pain is related to disc irritation, according to Roth.

Knicks forward Amar'e Stoudemire dealt with spasms that were a result of disc irritation in 2011. They first flared up during the playoffs. Stoudemire missed most of one game and all of another but returned to appear in the Knicks' playoff game that season. He played through significant pain to do so. The issue resurfaced for Stoudemire in March of the subsequent season and the power forward was shut down for six weeks.

"Back spasms is nothing easy to deal with," Stoudemire said earlier this week. "Your whole body shuts down, it affects your central nervous system. It affects your entire body."

The best-case scenario for the Knicks is that Anthony's back issue is solely a result of muscle spasms. If so, he should return in the near future. J.R. Smith dealt with spasms that were solely a muscle issue -- no disc damage -- and he did not miss a game.

"If it's just a lower back muscular spasm, once the nerve calms down and the muscle calms down, you can recover and go back to your activity again," Roth says.

Fisher hasn't offered any specific information on the nature of Anthony's injury. So it's unclear at this point if it is related to any disc issue or if it is related solely to the muscle.


Question: What is your level of concern regarding Carmelo Anthony's back at this point?


You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

Carmelo Anthony doubtful vs. OKC

November, 27, 2014
Nov 27
2:02
PM ET

The New York Knicks will likely be short-handed for Friday's game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The team has listed forward Carmelo Anthony as doubtful for Friday's game due to back spasms.

Anthony said on Wednesday that he remained "stiff" and "sore" due to the spasms, which surfaced on Monday night late in the first half of the Knicks' loss to the Houston Rockets.

As of Wednesday night, the team's medical staff had not given Anthony a specific timetable for his return.

"They said these things are hard to gauge -- I just don't know how long I'll be out," Anthony said Wednesday night through a team spokesman.

Knicks coach Derek Fisher said earlier Wednesday that Anthony was "making some progress, but not enough, I think, to be in a game, so it will be day to day."

Without Anthony, the Knicks lost in overtime to the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday.

New York fell to 4-12 with Wednesday's loss and has dropped 11 of its past 13 games.

This is the second injury for Anthony thus far this season. He revealed last week that he is playing with discomfort in his left knee that first surfaced during the second game of the season.

If Anthony is out for a long period of time, the Knicks will likey be hard-pressed to fill the offensive void created by his absence.

Anthony is leading the Knicks in scoring with 23.2 points per game. Their next-highest scorer is Amar'e Stoudemire (11.6 points per game).


(Read full post)


Chandler, Nowitzki will Mavs to ugly win

November, 27, 2014
Nov 27
12:24
AM ET
video
DALLAS -- Tyson Chandler insisted his desire to nip the Dallas Mavericks’ losing streak in the bud fueled his motivation Wednesday night, not the fact that he was facing his former team for the first time since his less-than-friendly departure from the New York Knicks.

Believe it or not, the big man wasn’t hooked up to a polygraph test after his 17-point, 25-rebound performance.

If you wanted the truth, all you had to do was ask any of Chandler’s teammates.

“We were actually talking about before the game that we had to shoot him with a tranquilizer gun to slow him down a little bit,” Dirk Nowitzki said. “He was obviously amped up for this one. And we wanted to get this one for him.”

It wasn’t pretty, to put it politely, but the Mavs got the win over the Melo-less Knicks. They had to go five extra minutes, pulling out the 109-102 victory in overtime at the American Airlines Center. And Dallas needed everything the 7-foot champion warriors who were reunited this summer could give them.

[+] EnlargeChandler
AP Photo/Tony GutierrezWhen Tyson Chandler wasn't dunking, he was pulling down 25 rebounds.
Chandler, who was barking even more than usual in the Mavs’ huddles, was a dominant presence from the opening tip, scoring the game’s first bucket on a ferocious putback slam. He had a double-double by halftime, already hitting his per game averages.

Chandler’s last bucket was a thunderous, two-hand slam to give the Mavs the lead for good with 1:37 to go in overtime. After the Knicks called timeout, Chandler unleashed a primal scream, tiling his head toward the rafters where that 2011 title banner hangs and releasing emotions he refused to admit feeling.

“Like I said, this is more important because we dropped two and we felt this is one we wanted to get,” Chandler said.

Sure, buddy.

We’re talking about the spiritual leader of the Mavs’ title team who spent his last three seasons in New York, recently acknowledged feeling like a scapegoat for the Knicks’ struggles last season and was steamed that Knicks president Phil Jackson took a passive-aggressive shot at his character and professionalism after the deal to send Chandler back to Dallas.

“I mean, he’s cool,” Nowitzki said before poking a little fun at Chandler’s postgame look that featured a unique hat and accessory. “He’s playing it cool with the match in his hat. I mean, what is that? That’s terrible.”

Chandler’s performance was terrific, as good as any he’s had in a Mavs uniform, including the title season.

Chandler ended up setting new season highs in points and rebounds. Nobody in the NBA has pulled down more boards in a game this season, and it matches the fifth-most in Mavericks history.

Ten of Chandler’s rebounds came on the offensive glass. Of course, the Mavs provided plenty of offensive-rebound opportunities, shooting 40 percent from the floor, including a sickly 4-of-31 showing from 3-point range.

Nowitzki wasn’t immune from the long-distance drought, making only one of his eight 3-point attempts. But the big German hit big shot after big shot inside the arc, scoring 15 of his season-high 30 points in the fourth quarter and overtime.

The 36-year-old who logged a season-high 39 minutes delivered the Dirk dagger, exploiting a mismatch with a midrange fadeaway over Knicks guard Pablo Prigioni to make it a two-possession game with 43.9 seconds remaining.

“Vintage Nowitzki,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “He was struggling from the 3 as well, but it was his will that kind of carried us.”

With the wills of their 7-foot champions, the Mavs found a way, and it had to feel especially good for the guy who was gone the last few years.

Tyson: Unsuccessful Knicks 'disappointing'

November, 27, 2014
Nov 27
1:07
AM ET
video

DALLAS -- Tyson Chandler says he doesn’t spend any time thinking about the New York Knicks. He’s fully focused on the Dallas Mavericks at this point.

But when he does think about New York, Chandler is left with a sense of disappointment.

“Anytime you put the type of talent that we put on the floor and you have the opportunity to really contend, it’s a loss,” Chandler said. “There’s not many times when you’re going to be on a roster that can truly say that they can contend for a title when you just look at it on paper. So anytime you waste -- I don’t want to say waste -- but anytime you don’t succeed in those years, it’s a little disappointing.”

[+] EnlargeChandler
Jerome Miron/USA TODAY SportsTyson Chandler exploded for 17 points and 25 boards in his first game against the Knicks since being traded in the offseason.
Chandler had no reason to be disappointed on Wednesday. His 17 points and NBA season-high 25 rebounds lifted Dallas to an overtime win over the Knicks.

The NBA season is 82 games long. So judging a trade after just 16 games is a mistake. But if you use Wednesday’s game as a snapshot, Dallas got the better end of the Chandler deal.

Chandler was dominant on Wednesday night. He had 10 offensive rebounds and two key baskets in overtime to help the Mavericks to a home win.

Jose Calderon, who was part of the Chandler trade, had his best game as a Knick (21 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 7 3-pointers). But New York was missing an inside presence -- a presence Chandler once provided. The Knicks were outscored 50-24 in the paint on Wednesday in their first full game without Carmelo Anthony (back spasms).

“We had our opportunities,” Derek Fisher said after the Knicks fell to 4-12. “That’s all you can ask for.”

After the game, Chandler took the high road instead of taking any shots at the Knicks.

He said Phil Jackson didn’t contact him before or after the trade, but he wasn’t upset over it.

SportsNation

Do you think the Knicks won the Tyson Chandler trade?

  •  
    44%
  •  
    56%

Discuss (Total votes: 7,457)

“I just don’t think I was in the future plans to be honest. With new management coming in, they have a different idea, a different vision,” Chandler said. “It’s not personal. If they want a certain personnel that they feel like that they want to build with for the future I completely understand that.”

Jackson said he made the trade, which included Raymond Felton, to improve the Knicks' chemistry.

Chandler took offense to that comment. Earlier this week, he said he felt like he’d been made the scapegoat at times in New York.

“I definitely wish we’d have been more successful. Last season was horrible,” he said. “I think we all understood that. So things ended on a bitter note regardless.”

It's been all roses for Chandler so far in Dallas this season. It's hard to say the same for Calderon and the Knicks.

Question: Do you think the Knicks won the Chandler trade? Or did Dallas get the better end of the deal?

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.
video

DALLAS -- Tyson Chandler set season highs with 17 points and 25 rebounds against his former team Wednesday night, helping the Dallas Mavericks to a 109-102 overtime victory against the New York Knicks, who were missing Carmelo Anthony.

J.R. Smith, starting with Anthony sidelined by back spasms, was 1 of 10 from the field entering the fourth quarter. But he made a tying jumper with 0.9 seconds left in regulation.

Dirk Nowitzki had a season-high 30 points for Dallas.

Chandler put Dallas ahead for good on a dunk at 101-99 in his first game against New York since an offseason trade that brought him back to Dallas after three seasons with the Knicks.

Jose Calderon, the biggest name going New York's way in the six-player deal after one season with the Mavericks, matched a career high with seven 3-pointers for all of his 21 points.


(Read full post)


Mavs 109, Knicks 102; Chandler dominant

November, 26, 2014
Nov 26
10:47
PM ET
DALLAS -- Tyson Chandler was anything but a scapegoat on Wednesday night.

Chandler had 17 points and a NBA season-high 25 rebounds to lift the Dallas Mavericks to an overtime win over the New York Knicks on Wednesday.

Chandler talked earlier in the week about feeling like a scapegoat at times in New York last season. The former Knick played a big role in the Mavs’ win with a tie-breaking basket in overtime and 10 offensive rebounds.

It was Chandler’s first game against the Knicks since New York traded him in June.

Dirk Nowitzki added 30 points for Dallas. New York dropped to 4-12. The club has lost seven straight on the road and 11 of its past 13.

No way Jose: Jose Calderon, who was the other main component in the Chandler trade, lit up Dallas for 21 points, 10 rebounds and four assists. Calderon hit a career-high seven 3-pointers.

This was Calderon’s third game this season. He was New York’s biggest offensive weapon with Carmelo Anthony out due to back spasms.

That’s so J.R.: J.R. Smith started the game by missing nine of his first 10 shots. But he knocked down four of six shots in the fourth, including an absurd 21-foot jumper with 0.9 seconds to play to force overtime.

Smith had five more points in overtime but had one of the Knicks’ six turnovers in overtime as Dallas ran off a 9-0 overtime run.

Question: What went wrong for the Knicks down the stretch? Are you seeing the Knicks making any progress or is this a lost season?

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.
video

Mavs guard Monta Ellis wove his way through traffic and passed to center Tyson Chandler, who finished the fast break with a dunk.

Mark Cuban takes jab at Derek Fisher

November, 26, 2014
Nov 26
8:31
PM ET
DALLAS -- Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban took a subtle shot at New York Knicks coach Derek Fisher before Wednesday’s game.

Cuban was asked if he was concerned about Fisher’s commitment to the struggling Knicks, who have dropped 10 of 12.

“I’m more concerned with his health and welfare. I know how hard it is for him to fly and travel and be away,” Cuban said sarcastically.

[+] EnlargeCuban
Jerome Miron/USA TODAY SportsMark Cuban offered some pointed comments about Derek Fisher's departure from Dallas.
Cuban’s sarcasm was a reference to Fisher’s decision to leave the Dallas Mavericks midway through the 2012-13 season and later sign with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The outspoken Mavericks owner expressed disappointment with Fisher’s decision at the time.

“It's not so much what he did, but how he did it,” Cuban said at the time.

Fisher played nine games with Dallas in 2012-13 before asking to be released because he said he was having a difficult time being away from his family in Los Angeles.

Fisher signed with the Thunder on Feb. 25, a little more than two months after the Mavericks granted his request to be waived.
Cuban said at the time that he hoped Fisher would get booed in his return to Dallas.

Cuban also touched on ex-Knick Tyson Chandler. He said he never doubted that Chandler would bounce back after he suffered through a leg injury in 2013-14 that sidelined him for 20 games.

“I saw bounce in his step afterwards. After the injury, there was nothing there,” he said. “I had no question in my mind, none.”

Cuban also said he never thought the Mavs had a legitimate shot to land Carmelo Anthony as a free agent over the summer. The Mavs didn’t offer Anthony a max contract. Anthony ultimately signed a five-year, $124 million deal with the Knicks.

“He had more money from New York and if [Anthony’s answer to Dallas] wasn’t immediate -- I’m in, let’s go, let’s close this thing -- chances are it’s not going to happen,” Cuban said.

On Phil Jackson taking a job as Knicks president, Cuban said, “Good for him. He has [fortitude] and he has confidence. I give him a lot of credit, that’s a good thing. You know, if you keep on challenging yourself things stay fresh and interesting. [And] that’s good for [fiancée] Jeanne [Buss].”

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

Jameer Nelson (back) out vs. Knicks

November, 26, 2014
Nov 26
5:20
PM ET
DALLAS -- Dallas Mavericks starting point guard Jameer Nelson will not play Wednesday night against the New York Knicks due to back spasms.

"We don't think it's serious," coach Rick Carlisle said. "It's next man up."

The next man will not be Raymond Felton. The former Knicks guard, who has yet to make his Dallas debut, aggravated the right ankle that kept him out from Oct. 10 until he recently served his four-game suspension. Felton was a healthy scratch for Monday's loss to the Indiana Pacers.

Nelson, who is averaging 7.6 points and 4.6 assists, had started all 15 games this season. Devin Harris and J.J. Barea are the two healthy point guards remaining on the Mavs' roster.

A #HateHard Thanksgiving

November, 26, 2014
Nov 26
5:49
PM ET


video

Amin delivers a very special #HateHard edition of thanks.

Smith: If no Melo, Knicks to rely on Amar'e

November, 26, 2014
Nov 26
2:06
PM ET
DALLAS -- The New York Knicks will have to fill a significant scoring void on Wednesday night with Carmelo Anthony, who leads the Knicks with 23.2 points per game, likely out with a bad back.

Who will the Knicks rely on to carry the load?

According to J.R. Smith, it will be up to Amar’e Stoudemire, who is the Knicks' second-leading scorer at 11.7 PPG.

“Right now I think our mule will be STAT," Smith said. "His efficiency around the basket [has been strong]. We've got to get more penetration. If anything I think we should put that on STAT.”

Stoudemire has averaged 13.2 points on 66 percent shooting in the Knicks' past five games, while averaging 22 minutes per game in that span. But he was diplomatic when asked Wednesday about playing a bigger role.

“With the triangle offense, it allows everyone to get involved and play their game,” he said. “Everybody eats in this particular offense. I think with that being said, we’ll see how it plays out tonight.”

Derek Fisher decided to start Smith at small forward against Dallas, as Stoudemire is coming off the bench.

Smith tried not to put the onus on his shoulders to carry the Knicks (4-11) on Wednesday night.

“Do I need to step my game up on offense? Yeah absolutely. But at the same time we've got Tim [Hardaway Jr.], Jose [Calderon], [Iman Shumpert], we've got a lot of pieces so we'll see,” Smith said.

Not fair to blame Tyson: Earlier this week, Tyson Chandler addressed the idea that he was made a scapegoat for the Knicks’ disastrous 37-win campaign last season.

J.R. Smith said he can see why Chandler would feel that way.

“I understand where he's coming from. At the end of the day, this is a team game. You can't just put it all on one person,” Smith said. “This is a collective group. When we won as a team it was a team thing, when we lost, it was a team thing. So I don't think it should be just on him, it should be on all of us.”

Carmelo Anthony out vs. Mavericks

November, 26, 2014
Nov 26
1:09
PM ET

DALLAS -- New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony has been ruled out of Wednesday's game against the Mavericks due to painful back spasms.

Anthony said on Wednesday night that there is no specific timetable for his return.

J.R. Smith started in place of Anthony, who will travel with the Knicks to Oklahoma City following the game, according to coach Derek Fisher.

The Knicks will play the Thunder on Friday.

Anthony told a Knicks official on Wednesday night that his back was "stiff" and "sore" and he was unsure if he would play in Friday's game.

"I just don't know. It's too far ahead for me to even think about right now," Anthony said. "It's gotten a little better, but today was the first day that I actually got to walk around a little bit."

Anthony added that the Knicks' medical staff has not given him a specific timetable for his return.

"They said these things are hard to gauge -- I just don't know how long I'll be out," the veteran forward said.

Fisher said earlier Wednesday that Anthony was "making some progress, but not enough, I think, to be in a game, so it will be day to day."

Anthony left Monday's loss to the Houston Rockets late in the first half with back spasms and did not return.

Anthony said he "couldn't move" once his back locked up. It is the first time Anthony has dealt with spasms.

"I've never felt this way before," he said on Wednesday night. ".... It's gotten a little better, but today was the first day that I actually got to walk around a little bit."

Teammates said Anthony was in severe pain after the game.

"He could barely talk, he said very few words," Smith said. "You could tell the pain he was in."

Anthony visited a doctor in Houston to obtain pain medication that wasn't available in the arena before flying with the Knicks to Dallas. He has not participated in practices or shootarounds, instead opting to receive treatment at the team hotel.

"He's not in a lot of comfort, so [he's] really just trying to rest up and get himself better. We'll be out here tonight and we'll see if we can get a game without him," Fisher said.

This is the second injury for Anthony thus far this season. He revealed last week that he is playing with discomfort in his left knee that first surfaced during the second game of the season

Anthony is leading the Knicks in scoring with 23.2 points per game. Their next-highest scorer is Amar'e Stoudemire


(Read full post)


Triangle proving tricky for Knicks

November, 26, 2014
Nov 26
11:01
AM ET

"The offense is really just a format for playing basketball together. Then we try and add some layers as we go."

That quote, about the triangle offense, might have been lifted from one of the numerous volumes penned by Knicks president Phil Jackson. But that was Derek Fisher speaking, after shootaround during a recent trip to Milwaukee. Thus is the struggle as Fisher, along with his team, tries to forge a new identity while working under the man with the NBA's most sparkling pedigree.

"It's different," Fisher said. "It's not the offense itself that is difficult. It asks guys to think about the game of basketball in a little bit different way, and that's why it takes some time."

So how's it going so far? Here's a look at what's working -- and largely what's not working -- in the Knicks' new offense, along with how they project moving forward.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Carmelo Anthony
PTS AST STL MIN
23.2 3.2 0.6 34.5
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsA. Stoude... 7.5
AssistsJ. Calderon 4.0
StealsS. Larkin 1.4
BlocksS. Dalembert 1.4