The Knicks Can’t Be Stopped Even When ‘Melo Is; LeBron Puts The Nuggets To Sleep

The Knicks only had 3-of-12 shooting by Carmelo Anthony (nine points though he did get 12 boards) and were on the road in San Antonio and yet New York went into Texas and still won, 104-100 to stay undefeated against all odds. And by against all odds, we mean Raymond Felton dropped 25 points, Jason Kidd kept up his torrid shooting by going 4-of-6 from three and the Knickerbockers had just five points in transition. Shooting 44 percent from three helps. It was a pretty game to watch what with New York only turning the ball over seven times and the Spurs’ starters combining for just two turnovers. J.R. Smith (17 points in 37 minutes) is not your average sixth man so far this season, but then again this isn’t your older sibling’s Knicks team. At 6-0 and playing mean defense with an offense where anyone can hit a shot, this actually might be your father’s Knicks team. … There’s still reason to wonder if Brooklyn is ready for prime time, but the Nets have a frontline ready made to rebound. We knew they were in the top-five for fewest rebounds allowed per game but then they went out and had 15 offensive boards in the first half. It was like watching one of Kris Humphries‘ (10 points, 13 boards) fever dreams the way they were working the glass. Well, you can’t expect to rock the Celtics like that without Doc Rivers catching on. After halftime the Nets got just three boards offensively and Chris Wilcox, Brandon Bass and Kevin Garnett were boxing out like it was Intro to Basketball 101 at your local Y. … Iso-Joe (19 points) actually paid off for the Nets with two buckets to get the Nets up four late in their win. After a baseline jumper with 3:03 left, he next went one-on-one about 17 feet out and stuck it a possession later to give the Nets a cushion they’d ride out in the 102-97 win. Paul Pierce (22 points, seven boards) hit a three with 24 seconds left to cut the lead to two, making everyone pissed at the Barclays Center like, are we about to give back another lead? but six points with 30 seconds to play was too much for Boston to overcome. … Keith Bogans put Leandro Barbosa in a sleeper hold on a breakaway but somehow didn’t get assessed a flagrant foul. What made it look worse wasn’t so much the foul but how he held Barbosa up afterward with his forearm under the Celtic’s chin like he was about to go half-Nelson. It wasn’t really a bad night for Barbosa in his starting role for the injured Rajon Rondo, but he did get put in a blender (and then got hit by a pick) by Deron Williams on a series of crossovers that looked like Gasol-Perkins Part II. … It’s going to be weird for a while to see Mike D’Antoni coach while barely being able to move, then watch as his Lakers try to gun for 115 points per game. Yes, unmovable object met immobile force as D’Antoni took over Thursday at the Lakers’ practice facility and really, who’s who in that equation? He was on crutches Thursday and said he wants to coach beginning Sunday after his repaired knee heals. He’s asking — no, he ordered it during his first press conference — between 110-115 points per game from a Lakers team whose best asset for such a style has a partially broken leg, two centers who have only recently gotten over injuries and the other contributors are older. Is this a hand-in-glove fit for an aging, immensely talented starting five? No, but it won’t make it any less entertaining to watch. D’Antoni’s putting in the work, though, after he hobbled into the Lakers’ facility at 6:30 a.m. Before he left his final message to the team was, “Let’s go kick ass.” … Hit the jump to read about the latest Manimal sighting.

Before we get to talking about LeBron’s nasty game and Danilo Gallinari‘s hide-your-eyes moment in the clutch in Miami’s 98-93 win over Denver, let’s talk about how beastly Kenneth Faried has become. Sixteen points, 20 boards (11 offensively) and a big swat on Norris Cole in the fourth. In a sport where LeBron is rightfully called the most physically gifted player, Faried may be the most gifted despite his frame and skills. He’s just 6-8 and still shouldn’t be trusted with a jumper outside of 13 feet but he might grab 25 boards a couple times by the time this season is done. … LeBron was cruising with 27 points, 12 assists and seven boards, but a corner-pocket three by Norris Cole and a charge taken by Shane Battier (18 points all on 6-of-7 from deep) shut down Denver’s comeback from 19 points down. Down just one with a minute left, Gallo (13 points) went total airball out of a fast break. Not the shot you want when you have numbers. Meanwhile, authorities are putting the face of Ty Lawson (zero points, eight assists) on a milk jug after he disappeared the whole game. It’s the first time he’s played at least 20 minutes and put up the goose egg. … The Rockets have begun to fine rookie Royce White because he’s missed practices and therapy sessions as arranged by the team for his anxiety disorder. Seems like the two sides need an impartial observer to mediate their discrepancies and to stop each other from airing their differences via social media. White wants support, but the kind the Rockets are suggesting doesn’t pass his eye test. Let retired ref Steve Javie sit in the middle and get each side to say what they need and don’t need from the other. Repeat from the other party. Find the middle ground and get White playing again. … We’re out like Gallo’s accuracy.

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