New Jersey will be coming for that NYC crown soon enough, but at least for now, the Knicks are still the big brother. Even if it was preseason, New York gets bragging rights for at least a few more weeks, beating the Nets in Newark 92-83. While we can’t take too much away from a preseason game – c’mon, Renaldo Balkman led everyone with 20 – both teams got some nice contributions from their role players. Rookie Iman Shumpert (16 points) outplayed every other perimeter player for the Knicks, and rookie Marshon Brooks (10 points) and Anthony Morrow (15 points) put in work from the perimeter … At least offensively, Amar’e Stoudemire (10 points) and Carmelo Anthony (17 points in three quarters) looked pretty in-tune for the first preseason game. While only shooting 3-for-11, Stoudemire had a nice all-around game besides that, and ‘Melo was draining Js. They had one sequence in the second quarter where Anthony went backdoor and caught a lob from STAT with one hand before dunking with two. On the next play, Anthony hit Renaldo Balkman with a dope no-look scoop pass. We caught the announcers saying Stoudemire is claiming he grew an inch over the summer because of the lower back stretching that realigned his spine. C’mon now. We guess “I gained 15 pounds of muscle over the summer” was too cliche. Better posture and getting taller at 29 years old are too different things. The whole idea of offseason physical reports is just stupid. You know it’s bad when there are varying reports that directly contradict each other. We heard a few weeks back that Tyreke Evans was badly overweight and out of shape. Then he shows up to camp, and it’s rather obvious dude has dropped some pounds. Everyone thinks they can ace an eye test … Brook Lopez had 15 points and 11 rebounds … The most interesting matchup of the game was probably Shumpert and Brooks, two rookies with potentially big physical advantages (Brooks with his go-go gadget arms and Shumpert looking like his body’s already more developed than 70 percent of the league). Both hit jumpers, both looked decent getting to the rack and both look like they’ll be solid contributors this year. Shumpert is going to have to be defensively because Mike Bibby is straight-up atrocious on that end. We doubt he could check one of us. Combining Mike D’Antoni with Bibby is like throwing a dog into a shark tank. New York fans are already freaking out that he’s not going to be able to accurately honor that No. 20 … By the second half, Clyde was openly wondering “Where is the Kardashian guy? What happened to him?” … Reports continue to say Baron Davis wants to sign with either the Knicks or the Lakers. New York could use any backcourt help they can get … And another Knick target, Travis Outlaw, was claimed off amnesty waivers by Sacramento … The Warriors beat Sacramento 107-96, and out of all the games yesterday, this one played the most like a real game. For the Warriors, their backcourt put in work. Stephen Curry did his thing (22 points, six rebounds, six assists), but Monta Ellis was conservative in his shot selection (8-for-11) and played a great floor game (eight assists) to go along with his 18 points. If he keeps that up, no way he doesn’t make the All-Star Game. Meanwhile, the Kings’ backcourt trio of Jimmer Fredette (21 points), Tyreke Evans (17 points, seven assists) and Marcus Thornton (21 points) all played well. How will Jimmer D-up in the league? On his first chance, Ellis went by him for a layup like Fredette was stuck in quicksand. He was getting killed all night on that end, but still he made up for it with his shooting. But someone get him some black kicks already. Tyreke Evans looked every bit the beast he was during his rookie year, going right to the rim nearly every time he wanted to. Of course, even with Mark Jackson, it was still the Warriors … With Tim Duncan and Tony Parker not playing, San Antonio got rocked by 14 in Houston. Luis Scola (20 points) and Jordan Hill (17 points, 13 rebounds) had nice outings, and in case you wanted a Hasheem Thabeet update: He already had four fouls by the half … It didn’t take long for us to fall in love with the T’Wolves. Minnesota destroyed Milwaukee 117-96 behind 21 a piece from Michael Beasley and Kevin Love. Love had 15 and 11 by halftime while Ricky Rubio did the same things he’s always done in Europe in his first NBA game (six points, six rebounds, seven assists). Now that Beasley has his head shaved, you are going to confuse him and Derrick Williams up often… until Beas does something crazy… Keep reading to hear about how much money Rodney Stuckey got, and who the Lakers want to replace Lamar Odom …
First and foremost, let’s hope everything goes well in Jeff Green‘s surgery and subsequent rehab from heart surgery. As we wrote yesterday, Green is undergoing the procedure on Jan. 9 after an aortic aneurysm was detected in his physical, and will miss the entire season. Because he failed the physical, his $9 million contract is now voided as well. As for the Celtics (Why do these things always seem to happen to them?), we always got on Green for not being aggressive enough, but now that he’s gone, it’s another major blow to their depth. Doc Rivers has been great at managing his older stars minutes, but with this shortened season upon us, what’s he going to do? He’s losing bodies … After balking at a deal worth somewhere around $40-45 million last week with Detroit, Rodney Stuckey seemed like he was on his way to taking the Pistons’ qualifying offer and trying free agency again next summer as an unrestricted free agent. Stuckey has been overshooting his value during this whole period, and never figured to get the money from Detroit that he wanted, and yet finally, the two sides agreed on a three-year deal worth $25 million yesterday. Seems a little odd right? Our best guess is that while Detroit loves him – more like Joe Dumars loves him – they don’t love him enough to give him a massive long-term deal at the price he wants. Stuckey doesn’t want to be too risky and put everything on free agency next summer. So the two sides met in the middle: Detroit gets their man for at least another three years and Stuckey gets to line himself up for another shot for a big deal down the road. Stuckey has had his problems as a point guard and with coaches, but last season he averaged 16.6 points and 6.7 assists on 48 percent from the field after the All-Star break. In the final month, those numbers jumped to 21.3 and 8.3 … Perry Jones (28 points) was a beast for Baylor in their 86-83 win over BYU. His putback in the closing seconds put the Bears up three and gave them just enough to hold on. Baylor somehow survived against a team that almost never loses at home even though at one point they were down 14-0 in the rebounding department. 14-0! Chad Ford tweeted that if Jones plays like that all year, he’ll be the No. 2 pick in the draft … The No. 1 team in the nation ran all over N.C. State 88-72. Syracuse was led by Kris Joseph (21 points) and Dion Waiters (22 points) … Deshaun Thomas (30 points) went OFF in Ohio State’s 74-66 win over South Carolina, while Memphis surprisingly fell to 5-4 after an eight-point loss to Louisville. Memphis looks like the type of team that as long as you keep them out of the open court, they go from looking top 20 to very average … North Carolina got a big night from Tyler Zeller (31 points) in their win, and Marquette, Florida, Mississippi State, Pittsburgh, Georgetown, Michigan State, Michigan, Creighton and Indiana all won. But Vandy, Alabama and Illinois were all upset, the Fighting Illini by 16 to the giant killers, UNLV … And Lakers fans have been calling for the team to do something… anything. Well anything sounds like it’ll be Troy Murphy after the 31-year-old agreed to a one-year deal with L.A. He didn’t do a damn thing in Boston last year so no one should be expecting much … We’re out like Jimmer’s defense.
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