Knicks Morning News (2016.04.30)

  • [New York Post] LeBron, Chris Paul may dissuade Carmelo from Olympic history (Sat, 30 Apr 2016 02:22:56 -0400)

    Carmelo Anthony now is waffling on Rio. All across the season, Anthony put himself down as a definite for the 2016 Olympic Games, saying his left-knee condition would not be a factor in going for history. Anthony is vying to become the first U.S. men's Olympic basketball player to win three gold medals. But during…

  • [New York Times] Trail Blazers 106, Clippers 103 | Portland wins series, 4-2: Trail Blazers Eliminate the Gritty but Undermanned Clippers (Sat, 30 Apr 2016 05:49:37 GMT)

    Damian Lillard scored 28 points for Portland, which overcame a 2-0 series deficit and will next face the Golden State Warriors.

  • [New York Times] Luke Walton Agrees to Become Lakers’ Next Coach (Sat, 30 Apr 2016 04:37:55 GMT)

    The Lakers grabbed Walton just five days after they fired Byron Scott, who led the 16-time N.B.A. champions to the two worst seasons in franchise history.

  • [New York Times] Roundup: Pacers and Heat Each Force a Game 7 (Sat, 30 Apr 2016 03:19:42 GMT)

    Paul George had 21 points and 11 rebounds as the Indiana Pacers beat the Toronto Raptors, while Dwyane Wade led Miami over Charlotte.

  • [New York Times] Blazers Advance 4-2 With 106-103 Victory Over the Clippers (Sat, 30 Apr 2016 07:03:41 GMT)

    Even as they huddled after the victory that sent them through to the next round, the Portland Trail Blazers were drawing inspiration from the doubters.

  • [New York Times] Trail Blazers Down Clippers to Clinch Series (Sat, 30 Apr 2016 06:00:27 GMT)

    Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum combined for 46 points to lead the Portland Trail Blazers past the Los Angeles Clippers 106-103 Friday night at the Moda Center.

  • [New York Times] Brilliant Wade Lifts Heat to Win Over Hornets in Game Six (Sat, 30 Apr 2016 05:03:28 GMT)

    When the Miami Heat needed someone to step up at crunch time Friday, Dwyane Wade delivered.

  • [New York Times] Lakers Hire Warriors Assistant Luke Walton as Head Coach (Sat, 30 Apr 2016 03:00:50 GMT)

    Luke Walton is coming home to rebuild the Los Angeles Lakers.

  • Knicks Morning News (2016.04.29)

  • [New York Times] Roundup: Hawks Oust the Celtics to Reach the 2nd Round (Fri, 29 Apr 2016 03:29:55 GMT)

    Paul Millsap had 17 points and 8 rebounds, and the Atlanta Hawks beat the Boston Celtics, 104-92, on Thursday night to advance to the second round of the N.B.A. playoffs.

  • [New York Times] On Pro Basketball: Jason Terry’s Last Lesson in Chemistry for Distracted Rockets (Fri, 29 Apr 2016 01:10:04 GMT)

    With the Rockets’ dysfunctional season teetering on a cliff, Terry rallied the Rockets to prolong their series against the Warriors, if only a couple of days.

  • [New York Times] Blazers, Hornets Can Cap Comebacks, Raptors Also Can Advance (Fri, 29 Apr 2016 06:18:33 GMT)

    Last time they came home, Portland and Charlotte were still just trying to win a game.

  • [New York Times] Hawks Finally Find Way to Eliminate Celtics (Fri, 29 Apr 2016 04:48:27 GMT)

    It took nearly 60 years, but the Atlanta Hawks finally found a way to beat the Boston Celtics in the playoffs.

  • [New York Times] Hawks Overwhelm Celtics, Move to 2nd Round With 104-92 Win (Fri, 29 Apr 2016 04:12:39 GMT)

    The Atlanta Hawks had their best regular season in franchise history spoiled last year by a dismal showing against Cleveland in the Eastern Conference finals.

  • [New York Times] Atlanta Bump Boston From Playoffs With Game 6 Win (Fri, 29 Apr 2016 03:06:28 GMT)

    The Atlanta Hawks eliminated the Boston Celtics with a 104-92 victory in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference quarter-finals on Thursday at TD Garden.

  • [ – New York Knicks] Friday's Knicks Links: Anthony prefers Jackson to conduct open coach search (Fri, 29 Apr 2016 04:53:08 EST)

    Friday's Knicks Links: Anthony prefers Jackson to conduct open coach search

  • An Open Letter to James Dolan

    One of our longtime posters, Frank, asked if I could share this open letter he wrote to James Dolan. So here ya go! – BC

    Dear Mr. Dolan,

    I have been a Knicks fan for as long as I can remember. I remember scanning the box scores in the paper as a kid, looking for Bill Cartwright’s and Bernard King’s line after every game. I lived and died with the Knicks of the 90s, cheering their lunchbox mentality and how much they seemed to embody the grittiness and toughness of New York City. I was even a season ticket holder during the late 2000s, until I had to give them up after my family moved out of the city.

    People who know me would agree that I am perhaps the least likely person to write an email to the owner of a professional sports team on the distant hope that he might read the plea of one fan out of the many thousands. Even so, I feel like the Knicks are at a crossroads right now, and that perhaps you are the only one that can turn the fortunes of this foundering franchise.

    Like many Knick fans, I cheered the hiring of Phil Jackson two years ago, feeling that bringing aboard a basketball legend and former Knick great could reinvigorate the franchise. However, since then it has become clear to me that Mr. Jackson did not return solely to bring the franchise back to its previous glory – rather, he came back with an agenda to solidify his own legend by proving that his system and its teachings were primarily responsible for his 11 championships, not the combination of spectacular roster talent, his skillful coaching, and yes, the Triangle system.

    I’d like to present to you one fan’s view of Mr. Jackson’s tenure and what I think it means for the present and future of our beloved franchise.

    First – what has already happened from a “Results” perspective:

    His return has been an unmitigated disaster. Despite his public prediction that the team would compete for the playoffs in 2014, they recorded the worst season in the history of this proud franchise. Then, despite his vaunted recruiting powers, he was unable to even land a meeting with most of the sought-after free agents, settling for a backup plan at center (Robin Lopez, who has been excellent), and afterthoughts in Arron Afflalo (who has been quite bad), and Derrick Williams. The result of these signings was yet another 50 loss season and the midseason firing of his own hand-picked coach. And while this 32 win season was a 15 win improvement from last year, it was still 5 wins fewer than the “disaster” of the 2013-14 season that led to Mr. Jackson’s hiring in the first place.

    Worse, however, is that the team regressed after a strong start this season, which belies the notion that the players just needed time to learn the Triangle. Despite his assertions that the team ran the offense with more conviction after Mr. Rambis became coach, the won-loss record and other statistics show that the team actually performed worse on both offense and defense under Mr. Rambis as opposed to under Mr. Fisher. While there may be some “small sample size” confounders partially underlying this difference, it’s very difficult to suggest with any objective evidence that anything was actually better under Mr. Rambis.

    Second – regarding his performance as a talent evaluator AND negotiator (I group these skills together since they are irrevocably tied to each other), I present these with hindsight, since the job of a talented executive is not just to react to the present, but to anticipate.

    The good:

    Certainly the drafting of Kristaps Porzingis – the most promising Knicks draft pick since Patrick Ewing
    Finding Langston Galloway from the undrafted pool (more on this later)
    Signing Lance Thomas (more on this later)
    Trading Tim Hardaway Jr. for a first round pick (Jerian Grant)
    Signing Robin Lopez to an excellent 4 year contract.

    The bad:

    1) The trade of Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton for Jose Calderon, Shane Larkin, Thanasis Antetokounmpo, and Cleanthony Early. On its face this was not the worst trade in the world, since Larkin was a mid-1st round pick just one draft earlier, and the second round picks could be considered as lottery tickets for a team that needed young talent. However, trading for Jose Calderon and his contract that runs through 2016-17 has been extremely crippling for the franchise. There is not one GM in the league that would look at Calderon as anything but a liability on the court and on the payroll at this point. Larkin has talent, but has always best performed as a pick and roll player – a skill that is deprecated in the Triangle. He was such a misfit in the system that he was let go for nothing the next summer. The second round draft picks have not proven that they are NBA players despite 2 full years in the Knicks system.

    And while Mr. Chandler has not played well this season (seemingly justifying his trade “a year too early rather than a year too late”), he could easily just have been let go without any cap ramifications this past offseason, or more likely, traded at the deadline last season – a deadline that saw a far inferior player (Timofey Mozgov) garner two first round picks in trade. Ultimately, this was a criminal misreading of Calderon’s remaining skillset and of Chandler’s potential market. One might defend Mr. Jackson by saying that Chandler did not have the proper skillset to play in the Triangle, so he was trading him while he still had some value, but this is contradicted by the fact that Mr. Jackson tried to sign Deandre Jordan – a player with a very similar skillset to Chandler – in free agency.

    2) Finding and then not locking up Langston Galloway – Galloway is, in my mind, the exact type of player I would want on the Knicks. He is self-made, humble, and obviously works very hard. Kudos to Mr. Jackson and his staff on finding him and giving him an opportunity. However, if he had signed him to a multi-year contract (likely even at the minimum, or even just above the minimum as we did Lance Thomas and Lou Amundson), we would not have to worry about either overpaying him (via a Gilbert Arenas provision) or losing him to another team this summer.

    3) Signing Lance Thomas to a 1 year contract – Thomas is, like Galloway, someone who could be an integral part of a championship team. His improvement under this regime has been undeniable, and his professionalism and other intangibles have been much lauded. However, it would be disingenuous of Mr. Jackson and his team to take much credit for his signing. First, he was actually released after the trade with Oklahoma City, exposing him to any team out there that wanted his services. Second, if Mr. Jackson had any inkling that he would make this kind of improvement, he would have signed him to a multi-year deal, just like he should have done with Mr. Galloway. It seems possible and likely that we will lose Mr. Thomas in free agency this offseason because of this mistake. As it is, Lance Thomas’s improvement has the look of good and unexpected fortune, not good management.

    4) The signings of Derrick Williams and Arron Afflalo – These have not been “bad” signings in that they have played up to or close to their market value this season. However, signing them to a two year contract with a 2nd year player option removed any possibility of significant upside for the franchise. Even under the best of circumstances, the players would play very well for one year and then we would still have to compete against a market flush with cap space to retain their services at or above market value. The worst case scenario has come to pass with Mr. Afflalo – he has not played particularly well, and yet we are still at his mercy regarding whether he will stay or go.

    5) The signing of Carmelo Anthony with a no trade clause – I am a huge Carmelo nthony fan and think he has been unjustifiably criticized both as a player and a person. I am NOT one of the fans who think he is overpaid. However, giving a player a no-trade clause absolutely hamstrings an organization if, as in this case, a reset button is being contemplated.

    Each of these mistakes could be justified in isolation, but in total, they paint a picture of an executive who perhaps has good instincts but does not have foresight – the type of foresight that, for example, allowed the Warriors and Grizzlies to sign Stephen Curry and Mike Conley Jr., respectively, to what have been proven to be vastly undermarket contracts. There are many examples of this kind of foresight around the league, but none here in New York under Mr. Jackson’s leadership. In addition, he does not seem to have the requisite strong negotiation skills that would allow the team to incrementally improve (without needing to make dramatic and usually high-risk/expensive moves) by making shrewd, team-friendly deals in both trade and contract negotiations.

    Third – what does this mean for the future?

    One of the major selling points of Mr. Jackson’s hire was that he would bring stability to an organization that has had far too much turmoil. Yet, the only thing that has been “stable” since his arrival is his devotion to his beloved offensive system (more on this in a moment). The roster has turned over multiple times, with many changes certain to come this offseason also – a very common occurrence in today’s NBA. He has already fired his own handpicked coach not 4 months into his 2nd season.

    Even in this (most recent) lost season, there was a wild inconsistency in what the goals should be. For instance – after the goal of making the playoffs was clearly unrealistic, why would Mr. Rambis (and by extension, Mr. Jackson), not give young players more minutes until he was actually taken aside by veterans and asked to do so (which must be an unprecedented event NBA history)? If the goal was to “sustain a winning culture” and not player development, why did Mr. Rambis insist that Kristaps Porzingis do things on the court that the current administration has already said he is not yet physically ready to do (post-up, play inside, etc.) but that Mr. Rambis perceived would be in his best interest for future seasons?

    For the future:

    The one thing that Mr. Jackson clearly did right was drafting Kristaps Porzingis. As such, there is literally no more important job for the franchise over the next few years than the careful development of KP while he still has the cover of playing with a star like Carmelo Anthony in his prime — much like Kawhi Leonard was nurtured slowly into superstardom while playing with the Spurs’ veteran stars.

    And this is why we are at a crossroads right now. This next coaching staff will determine how and in what ways KP expands and improves his game. By extension, this next coaching staff may very well determine whether KP decides to stay a New York Knick when his rookie contract expires. Can this be left to Phil Jackson, who may be gone within a year or two, whether by his choice or yours? Can this be left to Kurt Rambis, who has no record at all for player development as a head coach and has the 5th worst winning percentage of any coach with 200+ games coached in NBA history?

    The New York Knicks are one of the flagship franchises in all of professional sports. They have a bona fide superstar in Carmelo Anthony, one of the brightest young prospects in the game in Kristaps Porzingis, and significant cap money to spend. This head coaching job should be one of the most sought after positions in the NBA. And yet, the most likely head coaching candidate’s major (and only) qualifications are that he is “simpatico” with Phil Jackson and that his wife is
    good friends with Lakers executive Jeannie Buss. While having a close relationship between front office and head coach seems a noble goal, it’s fair to point out that Mr. Jackson’s own strained relationship with Jerry Krause seemed to work out well to the tune of 6 championships.

    It’s also fair to ask whether Kurt Rambis would garner any consideration for head coach for any other franchise in the league. As Steve Jobs, perhaps the most famous and successful CEO of recent American history has said:

    A players hire A players; B players hire C players; and C players hire D players. It doesn’t take long to get to Z players. This trickle-down effect causes bozo explosions in companies.

    This is not an indictment of Kurt Rambis, who I’m sure is a fine man and is probably a somewhat competent basketball coach. This is an indictment of what Mr. Jackson has admitted will be the process of choosing the next coach. What does it mean when a supposed “A player” wants to hire someone who is at best a “C player”? And what kind of assistant coaching talent will a “C player” be able to recruit, and what are the downstream implications of that in terms of player development?

    Fans are not asking that Mr. Jackson abandon his principles. In fact, I would only ask that he heed his own words:

    Always keep an open mind and a compassionate heart.

    Approach the game with no preset agendas and you’ll probably come away surprised at your overall efforts.

    While it is possible that he is just trolling the media (and fans), his defiant words over the last 2 years indicate a man who is so sure that his way is right that he refuses to listen to anyone outside his echo chamber. He has said that he will not even consider coaches that are not within his ever-dwindling tree of former players and coaches. The problem is – even if he is right, even if the Triangle is a higher level of basketball – the players in the league don’t believe it. Most of his own players from his championship teams don’t believe it. Michael Jordan isn’t running the Triangle in Charlotte. Shaquille O’Neal has said the Triangle is great only if you have the best players. Steve Kerr has incorporated aspects of the Triangle in Golden State (as have many teams), but is running his own system otherwise with great success.

    Championships in all team sports come down to talent AND coaching AND system. The most talented players in the league are not seriously looking at the Knicks as a desired destination. This is not because of the media, as was suggested by Mr. Jackson in last week’s press conference – it’s because by Rambis’s own admission, the Triangle is difficult to learn (“it takes a year”), which is extremely undesirable in a league that now has so much roster turnover each season (not to mention practice time devoted to learning an unfamiliar system can’t be spent on defense, which has been the real problem over the last few years). It’s because the Triangle has the perception of being an overly technical and outdated system that has failed everywhere it didn’t have the best talent in the league. Despite Mr. Jackson’s 11 rings, players don’t perceive the Knicks as their best chance to win as a team and succeed as individuals, and so they go elsewhere. Without talent, no system has a chance of succeeding. Perception becomes reality.

    In closing (and my humble solution):

    As a lifelong Knicks fan, and with all due respect, my hope is that you will consider releasing Mr. Jackson from his position, and give serious consideration to bringing back Jeff Van Gundy.

    Like Phil Jackson, he is connected to a cherished period in New York Knicks history. He has rought a lot of joy to Knicks fans, to New York City, and I would guess to you as well.

    Like Phil Jackson, he inspired unquestioned devotion from his players. He is a man that has literally gone to the deck in
    defense of his players.

    He will clearly work day and night, through the season and offseason, to bring glory back to this franchise.

    He already has a record of success with this franchise in this market with this level of media scrutiny.

    He will not embarrass the organization and the fan base on social media or justify late night tweets by saying, in an actual interview, that “goink” is an urban sexual term, not just a typo.

    He has no devotion to any sacred theory of basketball and no agenda to prove other than that aggressive lock-down defense, good habits, and hard work will bring good results. These are values that New Yorkers feel deep in their collective souls. This would be a hiring that would bring excitement, and most importantly, success back to New York Knicks basketball.

    I would understand if you are wary of bringing Mr. Van Gundy back because of the circumstances under which he left – however, I would consider his heartfelt words about his regrets over that decision and give him and your long-suffering, hopelessly loyal Knicks fans a chance at a new beginning.

    Sincerely yours,

    Frank L.
    Lifelong Knicks fan

    UPDATE: This letter was written (and sent to James Dolan) before the recent news about the interview with David Blatt. I would be fully in support of his hire.

    Knicks Morning News (2016.04.28)

  • [New York Times] Warriors 114, Rockets 81 | Golden State Wins Series, 4-1: No Curry? No Problem, as Warriors Eliminate Rockets (Thu, 28 Apr 2016 05:30:45 GMT)

    Golden State routed Houston as it showed it was more than just one man.

  • [New York Times] Trail Blazers 108, Clippers 98 | Portland Leads Series, 3-2: Trail Blazers Rally Late to Push Depleted Clippers to the Edge (Thu, 28 Apr 2016 06:11:30 GMT)

    Portland heads home with a three-games-to-two lead in the series.

  • [New York Times] N.B.A. Roundup: David Blatt Is Said to Have Discussed Knicks Job With Phil Jackson (Thu, 28 Apr 2016 03:32:43 GMT)

    Jackson, the president of the Knicks, met with Blatt on Monday to discuss the team’s coaching vacancy, according to a person briefed on their discussion.

  • [New York Times] Ozzie Silna, Savvy Owner of Spirits of St. Louis, Is Dead at 83 (Thu, 28 Apr 2016 01:00:42 GMT)

    A businessman who made millions off N.B.A. television contracts long after the team he co-owned with his brother, Daniel, was dissolved.

  • [New York Times] Warriors Reach Second Round With MVP Stephen Curry Sidelined (Thu, 28 Apr 2016 07:39:43 GMT)

    Perhaps a corny catchphrase to some, those three words really resonate with the Golden State Warriors: “Strength in Numbers.” They are bought into this mantra, all right.

  • [New York Times] Warriors Roll Into Second Round of Playoffs Without Curry (Thu, 28 Apr 2016 05:57:43 GMT)

    Klay Thompson knew Golden State had to come together, that every player needed to raise his game with Stephen Curry sidelined.

  • [New York Times] Blazers Pull Away From Ailing Clippers (Thu, 28 Apr 2016 06:42:30 GMT)

    The short-handed Los Angeles Clippers simply ran out of gas.

  • [New York Times] Hawks, Celtics Alone on Playoff Stage in Close Out Game (Thu, 28 Apr 2016 06:12:49 GMT)

    After a frenzied start to the week that saw some of the NBA’s top players sidelined by injuries, Thursday will mark the quietest night in the NBA playoffs so far, with only one game scheduled.

  • [New York Times] Trail Blazers Beat Emotional Clippers 108-98, Take 3-2 Lead (Thu, 28 Apr 2016 06:09:38 GMT)

    Damian Lillard finally made his first field goal early in third quarter, and the Portland Trail Blazers knew the game was about to change.

  • [ – New York Knicks] Thursday's Knicks Links: Blatt's connection to the front office (Thu, 28 Apr 2016 04:45:15 EST)

    Thursday's Knicks Links: Blatt's connection to the front office

  • Knicks Morning News (2016.04.27)

  • [New York Post] Phil Jackson’s agents meeting points to inside job with Rambis (Wed, 27 Apr 2016 00:39:54 -0400)

    Knicks president Phil Jackson met with Kurt Rambis' Chicago-based agents Tuesday night in New York. That may well be a sign things are progressing toward Rambis being announced soon as the Knicks head coach. However, Rambis' agents are also Jackson's representatives. The agents are also close, longtime friends with Jackson. The meeting could have been…

  • [ – New York Knicks] Wednesday's Knicks Links: Jackson meets with Rambis' agents (Wed, 27 Apr 2016 04:52:35 EST)

    Wednesday's Knicks Links: Jackson meets with Rambis' agents

  • [New York Times] Shaun Livingston, Stephen Curry’s Fill-In, Takes a Far Different Approach (Wed, 27 Apr 2016 00:13:31 GMT)

    Livingston, who has assumed the starting point guard role for Golden State with Curry injured, has a more inside-out style. He had only 12 3-point attempts all season.

  • [New York Times] Clippers’ Hopes Plummet With Loss of Chris Paul and Blake Griffin (Wed, 27 Apr 2016 00:14:12 GMT)

    “He’ll get evaluated, but it obviously doesn’t look very good,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said.

  • [New York Times] Roundup: Raptors and Hawks Are Each a Win From Advancing (Wed, 27 Apr 2016 03:34:43 GMT)

    The Raptors overcame 39 points from Paul George and a 13-point deficit in the fourth quarter. The Hawks also staged a stunning turnaround against the Celtics.

  • [New York Times] Warriors Look to Advance, Clippers, Heat Aim for Home Wins (Wed, 27 Apr 2016 06:30:37 GMT)

    There’s been the unexpected, like Golden State’s Stephen Curry going down with a knee injury. Then came a double whammy for the Clippers, with Chris Paul out with a broken hand and Blake Griffin’s season ending because of a nagging leg injury.

  • [New York Times] With Big Turnaround, Hawks Beat Celtics 110-83 for 3-2 Lead (Wed, 27 Apr 2016 04:24:44 GMT)

    Talk about a stunning turnaround.

  • [New York Times] Hawks Overcome Slow Start to Torch Celtics (Wed, 27 Apr 2016 03:24:27 GMT)

    The Atlanta Hawks overcame a sluggish start with a sizzling run that put away the Boston Celtics 110-83 in Game 5 of an Eastern Conference first-round playoff series at Philips Arena.

  • [New York Times] Raptors Top Pacers to Take Series Lead (Wed, 27 Apr 2016 03:00:27 GMT)

    Dwane Casey’s decision to go with a mixed-bag group on the floor in the fourth quarter paid off on Tuesday as the Toronto Raptors erased a 13-point deficit to defeat the Indiana Pacers 102-99.

  • [New York Times] DeRozan Scores 34, Raptors Rally for 3-2 Lead Over Pacers (Wed, 27 Apr 2016 02:43:00 GMT)

    DeMar DeRozan finally turned in the All-Star effort Toronto has been waiting for in the playoffs.

  • Knicks Morning News (2016.04.26)

  • [ – New York Knicks] Tuesday's Knicks Links: Lakers' next head coach could impact Phil Jackson, Knicks (Tue, 26 Apr 2016 05:05:31 EST)

    Tuesday's Knicks Links: Lakers' next head coach could impact Phil Jackson, Knicks

  • [New York Times] Sports of The Times: N.B.A. Should Cut to the Chase With a Best-of-3 First Round (Tue, 26 Apr 2016 01:56:20 GMT)

    In late April, the N.B.A. playoff season has an event horizon out there at the edge of Alpha Centauri, with long series and long games.

  • [New York Times] Roundup: Thunder Finish Off Mavericks and Will Next Face the Spurs (Tue, 26 Apr 2016 03:46:42 GMT)

    Russell Westbrook had 36 points and Kevin Durant 33 as Oklahoma City beat Dallas to advance to the Western Conference semifinals.

  • [New York Times] Stephen Curry Is Out, but Warriors’ Fingers Are Crossed (Tue, 26 Apr 2016 02:28:30 GMT)

    Golden State said Curry would probably miss at least the next two weeks with a sprained knee. It was, all things considered, relatively good news for the Warriors.

  • [New York Times] Paul Leaves Game 4 With Broken Bone in Right Hand (Tue, 26 Apr 2016 07:19:00 GMT)

    Chris Paul broke a bone in his right hand midway through the third quarter and left the Clippers’ Game 4 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night.

  • [New York Times] Paul Leaves With Broken Hand, Blazers Beat Clippers 98-84 (Tue, 26 Apr 2016 07:09:50 GMT)

    As the Trail Blazers celebrated, the Clippers’ locker room was somber.

  • [New York Times] Celtics-Hawks, Pacers-Raptors All Even Going to Game 5 (Tue, 26 Apr 2016 04:06:32 GMT)

    At this stage of an NBA playoff series, there’s not much need for extra film work, no point in making any big adjustments.

  • [New York Times] Westbrook Responds in Style to ‘Not-Superstar’ Jibe (Tue, 26 Apr 2016 06:15:30 GMT)

    Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban declared that Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook is “not a superstar” and then watched as the point guard eliminated the Mavs from the playoffs on Monday.

  • [New York Times] Clippers Reeling After Game 4 Loss, Paul Injury (Tue, 26 Apr 2016 05:51:28 GMT)

    The Los Angeles Clippers did not just lose Game 4 of their first-round playoff series with the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday at the Moda Center. They lost their point guard, leader and best player, too.

  • [New York Post] The Tom Thibodeau fear that scared off Knicks and Lakers (Tue, 26 Apr 2016 00:27:14 -0400)

    Ex-Knicks assistant Tom Thibodeau and former Knicks general manager Scott Layden will be introduced at Tuesday's press conference as the new power couple in Minnesota, making some Knicks fans envious of the Twin Cities. Soon there may be an announcement regarding the return of the Knicks new-old tag-team of Phil Jackson and Kurt Rambis, but…

  • Knicks Morning News (2016.04.25)

  • [New York Times] Warriors 124, Rockets 94 | Warriors lead series, 3-1: Warriors Defeat the Rockets, but Lose Stephen Curry, Again (Mon, 25 Apr 2016 00:11:22 GMT)

    Curry returned for Game 4 of the playoff series after missing the last two games with a right ankle sprain, but he injured his knee on the final play of the first half and sat out the second half.

  • [New York Times] Roundup: Spurs and Cavaliers Sweep Their Way Into Second Round (Mon, 25 Apr 2016 03:53:15 GMT)

    The San Antonio Spurs swept their way into the Western Conference semifinals over the Memphis Grizzlies, perhaps the most injury-depleted team ever in the N.B.A. playoffs.

  • [New York Times] Cavs Head Into Second Round Looking Sharp and Healthy (Mon, 25 Apr 2016 06:30:34 GMT)

    When LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers swept Boston in the first round of last year’s playoffs, their championship hopes had already taken a major hit because of an injury to Kevin Love.

  • [New York Times] Thunder Look to Advance; Hornets, Blazers Try to Even Series (Mon, 25 Apr 2016 05:57:38 GMT)

    With the ebb and flow to the NBA playoffs, momentum can quickly shift.

  • [New York Times] Spurs Ready to Wait for Semifinals After Sweep of Memphis (Mon, 25 Apr 2016 05:57:40 GMT)

    The San Antonio Spurs know they didn’t face a fair fight in the first-round of the playoffs, so they took what they could in sweeping an injury-depleted opponent.

  • [New York Times] Rebuilding Lakers Part Ways With Coach Scott (Mon, 25 Apr 2016 04:42:28 GMT)

    The Los Angeles Lakers fired coach Byron Scott on Sunday after he oversaw the two worst seasons in franchise history, clearing the way for a continued rebuild after the retirement of all-time great Kobe Bryant.

  • [New York Times] Irving Scores 31, Cavs Sweep Pistons With 100-98 Win (Mon, 25 Apr 2016 05:12:33 GMT)

    Kyrie Irving made big shots, defended tenaciously and then waved goodbye to the Detroit fans.

  • Knicks Morning News (2016.04.24)

  • [New York Times] N.B.A. Roundup: Nerves Fray as Thunder Leave Mavericks on Brink; Pacers Rout Raptors (Sun, 24 Apr 2016 05:35:58 GMT)

    Enes Kanter scored 28 points, and Kevin Durant had 19 before he was ejected late in the game as Oklahoma City took a three-games-to-one lead on Dallas.

  • [New York Times] Spurs, Cavs Look to Sweep; Celtics, Rockets Try to Get Even (Sun, 24 Apr 2016 06:24:41 GMT)

    The San Antonio Spurs know finishing off a playoff series is challenging. Being a win away from sweeping an opponent is even harder.

  • [New York Times] Trail Blazers Get Back Into Series With Game 3 Win (Sun, 24 Apr 2016 06:09:28 GMT)

    Guards Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum combined for 59 points to lift the Portland Trail Blazers past the Los Angeles Clippers 96-88 Saturday night at the Moda Center.

  • [New York Times] Lillard Has 32 and Blazers Beat Clippers 96-88 in Game 3 (Sun, 24 Apr 2016 05:42:55 GMT)

    Damian Lillard scored 32 points and the Portland Trail Blazers found their offense at home, beating the Los Angeles Clippers 96-88 on Saturday night to pull within 2-1 in the Western Conference first-round series.

  • [New York Times] Thunder Beat Mavericks 119-108 for 3-1 Lead in Testy Series (Sun, 24 Apr 2016 04:36:35 GMT)

    Kevin Durant got ejected, Russell Westbrook was part of a shouting match in front of his bench and Serge Ibaka drew a technical for throwing an elbow in the final seconds with the outcome already decided.

  • [New York Times] Thunder Close In on Semi-Final Spot (Sun, 24 Apr 2016 03:30:28 GMT)

    The Oklahoma City Thunder are a step away from the Western Conference semi-finals.

  • Knicks Morning News (2016.04.23)

  • [New York Times] Roundup: Celtics Beat Hawks as Isaiah Thomas Scores 42 (Sat, 23 Apr 2016 03:21:43 GMT)

    Thomas’s point total was a career high as the Celtics closed to two games to one in the best-of-seven series.

  • [New York Times] Pearl Washington, Dazzling Guard Who Put Syracuse on Basketball Map, Dies at 52 (Sat, 23 Apr 2016 01:08:19 GMT)

    A charismatic point guard who achieved legend status as a Brooklyn schoolboy, he helped lift Syracuse University to national prominence in basketball and went on to play in the N.B.A.

  • [New York Times] Hornets, Blazers Need a Win; Thunder, Raptors Seek 3-1 Leads (Sat, 23 Apr 2016 08:21:47 GMT)

    The Charlotte Hornets and Portland Trail Blazers are hoping a change in venue will provide some mojo in the NBA playoffs, while the Oklahoma City Thunder and Toronto Raptors look to take 3-1 leads in their first-round series Saturday.

  • [New York Times] Spurs Finish Strong, Put Grizzlies on Brink (Sat, 23 Apr 2016 05:57:27 GMT)

    Despite lopsided wins by San Antonio in the first two games of the Western Conference opening-round playoff series against the injury depleted Memphis Grizzlies, Spurs guard Manu Ginobili knew Friday night would be different.

  • [New York Times] Spurs Take 3-0 Series Lead, Beating Ragtag Grizzlies 96-87 (Sat, 23 Apr 2016 05:12:37 GMT)

    The San Antonio Spurs didn’t play with their usual methodical precision. Kawhi Leonard more than offset those shortcomings, especially against ragtag Memphis.

  • [New York Times] NBA Playoff Capsules (Sat, 23 Apr 2016 04:45:42 GMT)

    LeBron James had 20 points and 13 rebounds, and Kyrie Irving made a pair of big 3-pointers down the stretch to help the Cleveland Cavaliers move within a game of a first-round sweep with a 101-91 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Friday night.

  • Knicks Morning News (2016.04.22)

  • [ – New York Knicks] Friday's Knicks Links: Melo skips Jackson's 'triangle' workshop (Fri, 22 Apr 2016 04:42:18 EST)

    Friday's Knicks Links: Melo skips Jackson's 'triangle' workshop

  • [New York Post] Carmelo curiously skipped Phil Jackson’s triangle meeting (Fri, 22 Apr 2016 00:54:15 -0400)

    Before the season finale and on Trash-Bag Day, Carmelo Anthony admitted he was tired of saying the word "triangle.'' Apparently he's also tired of listening to the word triangle. According to a basketball source, Anthony was not one of the 10 Knicks who were part of Phil Jackson's triangle workshop held Tuesday and Wednesday in…

  • [New York Times] N.B.A. Roundup: Raptors Dominate Indiana (Fri, 22 Apr 2016 02:25:34 GMT)

    DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry each scored 21 points to help the visiting Toronto Raptors beat the Indiana Pacers, 101-85

  • [New York Times] Rockets 97, Warriors 96 | Golden State Leads Series, 2-1: Warriors, Missing Stephen Curry, Fall to Rockets (Fri, 22 Apr 2016 04:54:12 GMT)

    Golden State fumbled away a chance to win in the final seconds.

  • [New York Times] Thunder 131, Mavericks 102 | Thunder lead series, 2-1: Thunder Roar Back From Previous Loss and Rout Mavericks (Fri, 22 Apr 2016 04:12:19 GMT)

    Kevin Durant, who had struggled in Monday’s loss, scored 34 points on 11-of-25 shooting for Oklahoma City.

  • [New York Times] Pearl Washington, Dazzling Guard Who Put Syracuse on Basketball Map, Dies at 52 (Fri, 22 Apr 2016 01:47:32 GMT)

    A charismatic point guard who achieved legend status as a Brooklyn schoolboy, he helped lift Syracuse University to national prominence in basketball and went on to play in the N.B.A.

  • [New York Times] More Intensity? Maybe, as Cavs, Hawks, Spurs Chase 3-0 Leads (Fri, 22 Apr 2016 07:51:36 GMT)

    There have been verbal jabs, untimely injuries, and plenty of lopsided results.

  • [New York Times] Calm Harden Fires Rockets Past Warriors in Game Three (Fri, 22 Apr 2016 07:09:30 GMT)

    The frantic, final moments nearly undermined all the Houston Rockets built in scratching out a double-digit lead, but James Harden took advantage of the disarray by doing what he does best.

  • [New York Times] Harden’s Late Shot Lifts Rockets Over Warriors 97-96 (Fri, 22 Apr 2016 05:42:38 GMT)

    The Houston Rockets were down by one point with no timeouts and mere seconds remaining Thursday night.

  • [New York Times] NBA Playoff Capsules (Fri, 22 Apr 2016 04:48:33 GMT)

    James Harden scored 35 points, including the game-winner with 2.7 seconds left, and Houston took advantage of Stephen Curry’s absence to get a 97-96 victory over Golden State in Game 3 of their first-round playoff series on Thursday night.

  • [New York Times] Raptors Edge Ahead in Series With Stingy Defense (Fri, 22 Apr 2016 04:03:28 GMT)

    The Toronto Raptors have a reputation for being one of the NBA’s best defensive teams and it is that defense that has allowed the Eastern Conference’s No. 2 seed to regain control of its first-round series against No. 7 seed Indiana.