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Richard Kagan

Knicks scenario: It's Linsanity again posted by Richard Kagan

It now falls to Carmelo Anthony to be the lead scorer for the Knicks as Stoudamire is out for 2-4 weeks with a back injury.  But Melo has a slight groin pull.  What if this injury gets worse with all the wear and tear Melo will now experience as the go to guy for the Knicks.  What, lo and behold, if he is sidelined?  What if Jared Jeffries can play a week.  What if Jeremy Lin is up to full speed in a few days?  Fans, we may be back to Linsanity.  Knicks will have to bring out the old playbook  that brought on the Linsanity back in February. 

Then we will see if this team has what it takes. The city was practically levitating back then.  If Lin can find his groove and work his magic and if Novack and company can make some shots, this city will roaringly rock.

Continue reading "Knicks scenario: It's Linsanity again"


Richard Kagan

Thoughts on the Knicks posted by Richard Kagan

The Knicks are playing tonight in Toronto where they trail in the 3rd quarter.  They are getting outplayed, they are out of rhythm.  If they lose, Knick nation will take this loss hard.  I've never seen so much panic over one loss.  The test, if they do lose, is to come back the next game and win.  The Knicks are struggling just to get to .500.  They are a game short of that mark.  If they lose, they will be two games under.  Continued focus on Anthony, Stoudamire, and Lin will intensify.

The issue is can this team when after a loss?  They are so steaky, win or lose.  This team lacks discipline.  They have talent.  But talent is not enough to win the NBA.  The team has to follow a plan outlined by the coaching staff, and execute it.  Can they do this?  It remains to be seen.

Continue reading "Thoughts on the Knicks"


Richard Kagan

Linsanity is for Real posted by Richard Kagan

Knicks' Rookie sensation Jeremy Lin has captured Madison Square Garden and the hearts of New York Knicks fans everywhere.  Today, the saga continued.  Lin scored 28 points, made some clutch treys, had 14 assists in spearheading the Knicks past the Dallas Mavericks, 104-97.  The Knicks had a torrid 4th quarter where three point specialist Steve Novak scored 14 points on four long distance shots in a span of 4:30.  The crowd at the Garden had plenty to cheer about.  The Knicks season is turning around.  And, Jeremy Lin, despite 6 TO's, was the catalyst again in Sunday's win at MSG.  He is a talented, smart point guard, seems tailor made for Mike D'Antoni's offense.  He's making the plays, and hitting key shots, and the Garden is cheering on each made shot.

This is not only a great story for the New York Knicks.  It is a great story for sports teams everywhere.  It seems the dream of Hoosiers does live on.  A player who looked ordinary on two other NBA teams, which eventually let him go, lands on the biggest stage of the league and is shining.  It is a great fit.  The Knicks suddenly look dangerous.  And Carmelo Anthony, one of the biggest scorers in the league hasn't returned to the starting lineup.  It's going to get interesting for the Knicks.

Continue reading "Linsanity is for Real"


Charles Bisbee

NBA Anarchy posted by Charles Bisbee

The NBA is completely bonkers right now. With less than two weeks until season’s tip-off, players are being flipped faster than flapjacks at IHOP. Chris Paul has been perfecting his start-and-stop from the comfort of his living room. Dwight Howard can't seem to decipher his own feelings about the Magic. Lamar Odom, as collateral from the Paul fall-out, whined his way to the Mavs, who were spurned earlier in the week by Tyson Chandler (Knicks). Chauncey Billups took his frequent flier miles to the Clips (though he could be dealt again by the time I finish this sentence) and Big Baby was swapped for Brandon Bass.

Wait, there's more! The Celtics thought they had Baby's replacement in David West (Paul’s former right-hand man) but the Pacers swooped in and snagged him for a cool $20 mil. Consequently, the Hornets are trying to fill out a roster with Quincy Pondexter and a collection of ball boys. Vinsanity joined Odom in Dallas, which lost Caron Butler to the Clippers, which matched Golden State’s absurd, $43 million qualifying offer to DeAndre Jordan (he with the career 5.9 ppg). T-Mac, Rip Hamilton, Chris Wilcox, Mike Bibby and Dunleavy are on the move as well, though these names seem like afterthoughts compared to the seismic activity higher up. 

And all this happened in slightly over a week. It’s certainly enough to make the casual fan's head spin. The ramifications of this unforseen, pre-season turbulence on the regular season, though, is what really boggles the mind. With little time to mesh, little time to prepare, and a season packed tighter than Delta coach, teams should be in for a wild ride. We're staring down the barrel of the most slapdash, unforseen and chemistry-bungled season since, dare I say, 1998! Should be a wild ride. 

Continue reading "NBA Anarchy"


Sports Fan

Are the New York Knicks real contenders with Carmelo Anthony on board? posted by Sports Fan

I'm not sure if the New York Knicks have all the pieces in place right now, but by adding Carmelo Anthony they are certainly one big step closer to being a NBA championship contender. Although considering the mismanagement over the last 10 years it's heard to believe they won't mess this up too.

Watch for the Knicks to make some strong stragetic moves during this off season to sure things up and make them a true Eastern conference powerhouse.

New York NY Direct TV can bring you all the Knicks action you want.

Continue reading "Are the New York Knicks real contenders ..."


Julius Says

NY Knicks - When the going gets tough, Melo gets going posted by Julius Says

     Any basketball fan can tell Melo didn't have his BEST game. But the final game stats read 27pts., 10 reb....A double-double.....ON AN OFF NIGHT!!

     The night that was billed as Legend's Night from the start of the season....actually started the way it should have. The introduction of a future legend in his prime. Complete with a laser light show and all, this was a superstar coming home. This Knicks team still has to learn how to play something called DEFENSE. The fact that this team needs a defense tutorial might be an understatement. But we'll dwell a little more on this glaring hole in their game at some other point. Probably right after next game! But tonight belonged to Melo.....This man closed the show the way a rock star closes shows. He hit the important couple shots that need for a W. That's what we like here Melo. A winner. 

Continue reading "NY Knicks - When the going gets tough, ..."


Ondre Baronette

MeloDrama finally to a head posted by Ondre Baronette

So your a newly married man, you were born in Brooklyn, and play for the Denver Nuggets. Now you want to force the organization you grew up rooting for, to gut thier roster, trade you to their team, and sign that big extension. It makes little sense, about as much sense as it makes signing that extension before their is a work stoppage. The owners and players will be battling for millions, and you and your New York wife and tv personality, La La Vazquez, will be spending millions, and staying in shape. It scares me to think that these players, all be it great, can dictate the direction of franchises, and send players away from where they play, and start a new path. Its hard to complain about the player the Knicks are getting back, but the entire process, made the Lebron James, "Decesion" pale in comparison. I'll continue to watch the team, and will always think about ways to upgrade, aka, "fix" the roster, that it's okay, but I am in the minority, when I say, I hope this trade gets pulled at the last minute, and the hammer is put away, until summer time. Lets go KnicksContinue reading "MeloDrama finally to a head"


Richard Kagan

Red Storm is for Real In UConn Rout posted by Richard Kagan

In New York City, college basketball always takes a back seat to the New York Knicks.  This after all, a pro town.  The sports fans here are concerned with NBA trophies, late playoff pushes, and the Stanley Cup.  And, then there is St. John's basketball.  St. John's has been a part of NYC sports for years.  Since bubblegun was a penny, phone calls were a nickel, and water was water. 

St. John's beat No. 9 ranked UConn last night at Madison Square Garden, and did it convincing fashion.  The score was 89-72.  For many years UConn would do that to SJU.  But last night, the team came out leading by 4 points, then went on a big run, and took off, leaving the Huskies stunned in their wake. SJU guard Dwight Hardy scored 33 points, 12 in a sequence of 2 trey, and 2 3 pont plays of the more traditional way.  He was as they say, "in a zone" where the basketball looked "bigger and bigger."  That happens once in a while.  It happened last night,  On one play Hardy double-pumped and hit the shot for three.  The partisan crowd erupted. 

For a while, SJU held a 23 point lead, in the second half, and Conneticut Huskies coach Jim Calhoun looked motionless and perplexed on the bench.  Afterwards he said the Red Storm took the Huskies out of their game.  He looked taken out as well.

Kemba Walker, the All-American candidate looked all too human last night.  He scored 15 points.  About half of what he can score.  The Red Storm were relentless last night, wreaking havoc on the defensive end, getting fast break points, and scoring in transition.  The Red Storm held a 27-2 dominance in fast-break points.  The Storm also out-rebounded UConn by 10.  It was a second half rising, that captapulted the Storm into serious conversation about getting an NCAA bid. They've beaten 4 of the top 15 teams in the nation at MSG.  Now they need to beat someone on the road.  But when they are playing well, this is one dangerous team.  They are quick, can run with anyone, and have guys who love to deny the ball.  Oh, and they crash the boards.  This team is 14-9 for the season, and 6-5 in the midst of a brutal Big East schedule. But the Johnnies are holding their own. 

Continue reading "Red Storm is for Real In UConn Rout"


sam goldman

the New York Knickerbockers are boxing there way back in to the spot light posted by sam goldman

The Knicks have been in New York  since there   BAA origins  versus  the Toronto Huskies  on November 1, 1946.  Similar to other long standing  teams there have  been high and low points.  The high point in team history was when they won two titles in 1970 and   1973. Since those titles there have good and bad seasons noticeably  the 8 year gap between 2000 and 2008 when they struggled and were led  by  numerous coaches including the Infamous Isiah Thomas. New York’s baseball empire took   advantage  of the drought  winning the city back with their multiple play off  appearances.      The Knicks were determined to take back the city so they made a bold statement clamming they could  land a big name free agent like  Lebron James and remind the city of its sports  roots . Once again things did not go the way there were supposed two   James  Bosh and Wade all declined the offer of bringing basketball back to the empire state. The  duty fell  on a unlikely hero  Amare stoudemire who in return  has brought life back to the  to the Madison Square Garden leading  the  New York Knickerbockers to a 21 and 14 record and a shot at the playoffs.Continue reading "the New York Knickerbockers are ..."


john howard

Knicks retooling, rebuilding, will make playoffs posted by john howard

The New York Knicks got duped by LeBron.  That may be for the best since the Cavs owner is sending the city of Cleveland's curse with him wherever he goes.  The Knicks were very smart in signing Armare Stoudamire and not waiting on LeBron.  They could have been left out in the cold like New Jersey.

The Knicks new that it would be very hard to keep David Lee, so they found a team that would do a sign and trade and pay very well for him.  The Golden State Warriors gave Lee a 6 year $80 million deal.  In return the Knicks get Anthony Randolph, Kaleena Azubuike, and Ronny Turiaf.

This is will be little talked about next year, but could be a really good move for New York.  Here is how the starting lineup currently looks:

PG  Tony Douglass--in his 2nd year and really needs to be coming off the bench and developing.

SG  Kaleena Azubuike--he averaged 14 points and 5 rebounds in 9 games last year before getting hurt.  He had multiple 20 point games the year before.  He could become the teams second leading scorer and still a chance to develope into an all-star.  He may start the year on the bench until he has proven he has recovered.

SF  Danillo Gallinari--averaged 15 points a game and still improving.

PF Armare Stoudamire--Averaged 20points and 11 rebs last year and reunited with D'Antoni whith whom he had his best year's with.

C  Anthony Randolph--as of right now, this spot is vacant.  With what NY currently has, Stoudamire would technically be the center, but the up tempo game suits small players.  But, Randolph will be a good 7th player.

Continue reading "Knicks retooling, rebuilding, will make playoffs"

New York Knicks News

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NBA playoff picture update: Blazers' home-court hopes still alive, Mavs and Hawks are in, Pa

If you're anything like me and Detroit Pistons rookie Peyton Siva, when it gets this late in the season, you come out of the weekend like: So let's get caught up on how the weekend that just passed reshaped the playoff picture, which is mere days away from being officially finalized, starting with an instant classic in Rip City. Well, that was awesome. The Sunday night matchup between the playoff-bound Portland Trail Blazers and Golden State Warriors was just too good to be limited to 48 minutes. Get caught up quickly on the late-game craziness and overtime back-and-forth here: (If you'd like a longer, more context-rich recap that stretches back to the start of the fourth quarter, Gmo's Rockets' Highlights has you covered.) Despite a season-high 47 points on 16 for 29 shooting from irrepressible flamethrower Stephen Curry, and a combined 72 points from Curry and Klay Thompson on 13 for 27 shooting from 3-point land, the Blazers held off the Warriors, 119-117 , in a celebration of shot-making and scoring-as-liberating-performance-art that would've made Toni and Candace proud. LaMarcus Aldridge's pick-and-pop 20-footer with 39 seconds remaining capped a 26-point, seven-rebound night for him and stood up as the game-winner. Nicolas Batum (18 points, 12 rebounds, five assists, a steal and a block in 44 minutes) did a little bit of everything, and while Damian Lillard was off (13 points on 3 for 13 shooting and some shaky decision-making that has led to post-game grumbling ), reserve guard Mo Williams was there to pick up the slack with 18 points on 8 for 10 shooting, three rebounds, three assists and no turnovers in 22 minutes off the pine. He was pretty psyched about it, which makes sense: This was one of the best games of the yr 2nite. #ripcity —Mo Williams (@mowilliams) April 14, 2014 The win improved Portland to 53-28, securing no worse than the No. 5 seed in the Western Conference and bringing them within a half-game of the Houston Rockets for the No. 4 spot. The Blazers and Rockets are now officially locked into playing one another in the first round, but which squad will have home-court advantage remains to be seen —one more Houston win (either Monday night over the San Antonio Spurs or Wednesday night against the New Orleans Pelicans) will give the Rockets the honors, while Portland can still open the playoffs at home if Houston loses out and the Blazers beat the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday . The Warriors are still assured of a postseason berth, having clinched with their Friday night win over the Los Angeles Lakers. But the loss to the Blazers means they can't finish higher than sixth, ensuring that they're going to get either the Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder or Clippers in the first round. It also opens the door for a Warriors team that has scuffled a bit of late (5-5 in their last 10 games) and could be without center Andrew Bogut (who left Sunday's game early with an apparent rib injury ) sliding even further down the Western bracket, where they're now just a half-game ahead of the No. 7 seed, which belongs to ... DDoS: Dallas denial of service. Eric Bledsoe is very quick, very fast and very good at getting to the basket, which makes him a pretty good late-game option when the Phoenix Suns desperately need a basket to tie the Dallas Mavericks in a game between two of the three teams scrapping for the last playoff spots in the brutally competitive Western Conference. Unfortunately for Bledsoe and the orange-and-purple-loving folks of the Valley of the Sun, though, Brandan Wright appears to be Cloak : Wright's third block of the game (to go with 12 points and 11 rebounds off the bench) sealed a 101-98 win that locked up a playoff berth for the Mavericks, who could finish as high as sixth in the West depending upon how the next three days shake out for the Warriors; Dallas now sits at 49-32, a half-game behind the Dubs for the No. 6 spot, and a half-game clear of the eighth seed currently held by ... Just keep grinding. The Memphis Grizzlies closed Sunday strong with a 102-90 win over the Lakers, their third straight victory, thanks in large part to monster games from center Marc Gasol (18 points, 15 rebounds, four assists and three steals in 36 minutes) and point guard Mike Conley (24 points on 9 for 12 shooting, eight assists, two steals and just one turnover in 34 1/2 minutes). So, naturally, the play we're going to show you was made by Zach Randolph, who picked a pretty good time to become a passing wizard: Let's see that from a different angle and at a more Z-Bo appropriate rate of speed, please: I've thought a lot about which new Zach nickname I like best after this, and I've come to the conclusion that it's "Ricky RuZ-Bo." You may feel free to try to sway my opinion in the comments, but it's probably going to be pretty hard. (Also, way to finish the layup, Nick Calathes, thus turning this into an official highlight.) Thanks to Phoenix's Saturday loss, the Grizzlies now hold a one-game lead over the Suns for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Memphis and Phoenix play on Monday night ; if Memphis wins, they're in, and the Suns will see their shockingly successful season come to a disappointing end on Wednesday against the Sacramento Kings. It's kind of a big game out in the desert. Top billin' . The Indiana Pacers are once again atop the Eastern Conference, thanks to an impressive 102-97 victory over the Thunder in ABC's Sunday matinee fueled by Lance Stephenson's NBA-leading and Pacers franchise record fifth triple-double of the season (17 points, 11 assists, 10 rebounds), strong play up front from Paul George and David West (a combined 41 points and 18 rebounds), and —will wonders never cease! —legitimate contributions from the Pacer bench, led by recently returned point guard C.J. Watson, who had 20 points in 25 minutes off the bench and steadied Indy's ship on a day where George Hill didn't quite have his fastball. After Friday's loss to the Miami Heat, the Pacers had once again dipped down to the No. 2 spot; now, Indy's just one more win (in Wednesday's finale against the Orlando Magic) or one more Miami Heat loss away from securing home-court advantage throughout the Eastern Conference playoffs, thanks in part to ... Birds of war . Shouts out to the Atlanta Hawks, who became the eighth and final team to earn a playoff berth in the Eastern Conference on Saturday by beating the Heat, 98-85 , behind 18 fourth-quarter points from Lou Williams and another strong outing (25 points, four rebounds, four steals, three assists and no turnovers in 36 minutes) from point guard Jeff Teague, who's averaging 20 points and 5.5 assists per game on 50.7/37.8/90.7 shooting splits over his last 10 games . The Hawks can't get any higher than the eighth seed, but they've made the playoffs for the seventh straight season despite losing expected centerpiece Al Horford less than two months into head coach Mike Budenholzer's first year in charge, which is commendable, if not necessarily the great big goal for general manager Danny Ferry and company. Weep not for the memories. The Hawks locking up the eighth seed means the New York Knicks —who earned wins over the playoff-bound Toronto Raptors and Chicago Bulls this weekend —are officially eliminated from postseason contention. New York's 14-5 run over the last five weeks has been nice enough, but it wound up being too little and too late —this is what happens when you lose 40 of your first 61 games, even in a historically poor Eastern Conference —and now Carmelo Anthony will miss the playoffs for the first time in his 11-year NBA career. Perhaps this apparently taped-and-edited-off-TV (which feels thematically appropriate) highlight reel celebrating the 2013-14 Knicks set to "One Shining Moment" will make you feel better, Melo: The cherry on top of the Knicks' season-long sundae of absurdity? This, from Amar'e Stoudemire after Sunday's win over the Bulls, as noted by Steve Popper of the Bergen Record : "On paper we might be the best team in the league. We’ve got great players on this team who accomplished so much. We just couldn’t put it together." Best of luck to the Knicks in the on-paper playoffs, which begin on the 12th of never. (By the way, the Knicks have to win their final two games —against cross-borough rivals the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday and the Raptors on Wednesday —just to meet the projected record produced by ESPN Insider Kevin Pelton that set so many Knicks fans and players to raging before the start of this season. It's funny how things work out.) Walk the dinosaur. The Raptors clinched the Atlantic Division title on Friday despite losing to the Knicks thanks to the Hawks knocking off the Nets. They tied a franchise record Sunday with their 47th win of the season, besting the circling-the-drain Pistons, 116-107 , in a game that saw DeMar DeRozan score 14 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter and punctuate the proceedings with a very loud, very forceful flush atop the dome of Pistons forward Kyle Singler: The combination of the Raptors' win and the Bulls' Sunday loss to the Knicks means both teams enter Monday at 47-33, with Toronto re-taking the No. 3 seed in the East by virtue of being a division winner. The Raptors conclude their regular-season slate with a home game against the worst-in-the-NBA Milwaukee Bucks on Monday and one last meeting with the Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday, while the Bulls welcome the 23-57 Magic tonight before finishing things off in North Carolina against the Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday. Seed toss. Superchunk . Quickly: EASTERN CONFERENCE •If Miami loses to the Wizards on Monday , Indy's No. 1 in the East and the Heat are No. 2. •If the Raptors beat the Bucks and the Bulls lose to the Magic , Toronto locks up No. 3 seed and puts Chicago at No. 4. •The Nets ensured that they can't finish any worse than No. 6 in the East by beating the Magic on Sunday. If the Wizards lose to the Heat, Brooklyn's No. 5. •If the Wizards beat the Heat and the Bobcats lose to the Hawks , Charlotte's locked into No. 7. (Lots of stuff can still happen for the Wizards. Bullets Forever's Mike Prada runs through the various postseason possibilities.) WESTERN CONFERENCE •The Spurs beat the Suns on Friday, clinching the NBA's best regular-season record and securing home-court advantage throughout the playoffs. They're one win away from tying the 2005-06 squad (63-19) for the most wins in franchise history; if they beat the Rockets on Monday and the Lakers in the season finale on Wednesday , they'll finish at 64-18, the best mark of any Spurs team of all time. This is where we remind you that Tim Duncan is 11 days shy of his 38th birthday, and that the Spurs are ridiculous. •The Thunder's Sunday loss to the Pacers gives the Clippers an outside shot of securing the West's No. 2 seed. If OKC beats the Pelicans on Monday, they lock up No. 2 and put the Clippers in third place. But if, by some stroke of unpredictable magic, Oklahoma City loses to a Pelicans team without Anthony Davis, Ryan Anderson, Eric Gordon, Jrue Holiday and Jason Smith (and possibly Tyreke Evans and Brian Roberts, too), the door's still open just a bit for L.A. to take over No. 2 —basically, they need to win their last two games and they need the Thunder to lose their last two games. •If the Rockets beat the Spurs , Houston's the No. 4 seed and Portland's the No. 5 seed. •If Golden State beats the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Warriors lock up the No. 6 seed. •If the Grizzlies beat the Suns , Memphis clinches the No. 8 seed and eliminates Phoenix. •if the Suns beat the Grizzlies, they stay alive; if Phoenix and Golden State both win, Dallas locks up the No. 7 seed. Got all that? Of course you do. Now, to cleanse your palate, here's Russell Westbrook not exactly sticking the landing on his attempt to play after-the-whistle troll. - - - - - - - Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YourManDevine Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL , "Like" BDL on Facebook and follow BDL's Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

NBA playoff picture update: Blazers' home-court hopes still alive, Mavs and Hawks are in, Pa

If you're anything like me and Detroit Pistons rookie Peyton Siva, when it gets this late in the season, you come out of the weekend like: So let's get caught up on how the weekend that just passed reshaped the playoff picture, which is mere days away from being officially finalized, starting with an instant classic in Rip City. Well, that was awesome. The Sunday night matchup between the playoff-bound Portland Trail Blazers and Golden State Warriors was just too good to be limited to 48 minutes. Get caught up quickly on the late-game craziness and overtime back-and-forth here: (If you'd like a longer, more context-rich recap that stretches back to the start of the fourth quarter, Gmo's Rockets' Highlights has you covered.) Despite a season-high 47 points on 16 for 29 shooting from irrepressible flamethrower Stephen Curry, and a combined 72 points from Curry and Klay Thompson on 13 for 27 shooting from 3-point land, the Blazers held off the Warriors, 119-117 , in a celebration of shot-making and scoring-as-liberating-performance-art that would've made Toni and Candace proud. LaMarcus Aldridge's pick-and-pop 20-footer with 39 seconds remaining capped a 26-point, seven-rebound night for him and stood up as the game-winner. Nicolas Batum (18 points, 12 rebounds, five assists, a steal and a block in 44 minutes) did a little bit of everything, and while Damian Lillard was off (13 points on 3 for 13 shooting and some shaky decision-making that has led to post-game grumbling ), reserve guard Mo Williams was there to pick up the slack with 18 points on 8 for 10 shooting, three rebounds, three assists and no turnovers in 22 minutes off the pine. He was pretty psyched about it, which makes sense: This was one of the best games of the yr 2nite. #ripcity —Mo Williams (@mowilliams) April 14, 2014 The win improved Portland to 53-28, securing no worse than the No. 5 seed in the Western Conference and bringing them within a half-game of the Houston Rockets for the No. 4 spot. The Blazers and Rockets are now officially locked into playing one another in the first round, but which squad will have home-court advantage remains to be seen —one more Houston win (either Monday night over the San Antonio Spurs or Wednesday night against the New Orleans Pelicans) will give the Rockets the honors, while Portland can still open the playoffs at home if Houston loses out and the Blazers beat the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday . The Warriors are still assured of a postseason berth, having clinched with their Friday night win over the Los Angeles Lakers. But the loss to the Blazers means they can't finish higher than sixth, ensuring that they're going to get either the Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder or Clippers in the first round. It also opens the door for a Warriors team that has scuffled a bit of late (5-5 in their last 10 games) and could be without center Andrew Bogut (who left Sunday's game early with an apparent rib injury ) sliding even further down the Western bracket, where they're now just a half-game ahead of the No. 7 seed, which belongs to ... DDoS: Dallas denial of service. Eric Bledsoe is very quick, very fast and very good at getting to the basket, which makes him a pretty good late-game option when the Phoenix Suns desperately need a basket to tie the Dallas Mavericks in a game between two of the three teams scrapping for the last playoff spots in the brutally competitive Western Conference. Unfortunately for Bledsoe and the orange-and-purple-loving folks of the Valley of the Sun, though, Brandan Wright appears to be Cloak : Wright's third block of the game (to go with 12 points and 11 rebounds off the bench) sealed a 101-98 win that locked up a playoff berth for the Mavericks, who could finish as high as sixth in the West depending upon how the next three days shake out for the Warriors; Dallas now sits at 49-32, a half-game behind the Dubs for the No. 6 spot, and a half-game clear of the eighth seed currently held by ... Just keep grinding. The Memphis Grizzlies closed Sunday strong with a 102-90 win over the Lakers, their third straight victory, thanks in large part to monster games from center Marc Gasol (18 points, 15 rebounds, four assists and three steals in 36 minutes) and point guard Mike Conley (24 points on 9 for 12 shooting, eight assists, two steals and just one turnover in 34 1/2 minutes). So, naturally, the play we're going to show you was made by Zach Randolph, who picked a pretty good time to become a passing wizard: Let's see that from a different angle and at a more Z-Bo appropriate rate of speed, please: I've thought a lot about which new Zach nickname I like best after this, and I've come to the conclusion that it's "Ricky RuZ-Bo." You may feel free to try to sway my opinion in the comments, but it's probably going to be pretty hard. (Also, way to finish the layup, Nick Calathes, thus turning this into an official highlight.) Thanks to Phoenix's Saturday loss, the Grizzlies now hold a one-game lead over the Suns for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Memphis and Phoenix play on Monday night ; if Memphis wins, they're in, and the Suns will see their shockingly successful season come to a disappointing end on Wednesday against the Sacramento Kings. It's kind of a big game out in the desert. Top billin' . The Indiana Pacers are once again atop the Eastern Conference, thanks to an impressive 102-97 victory over the Thunder in ABC's Sunday matinee fueled by Lance Stephenson's NBA-leading and Pacers franchise record fifth triple-double of the season (17 points, 11 assists, 10 rebounds), strong play up front from Paul George and David West (a combined 41 points and 18 rebounds), and —will wonders never cease! —legitimate contributions from the Pacer bench, led by recently returned point guard C.J. Watson, who had 20 points in 25 minutes off the bench and steadied Indy's ship on a day where George Hill didn't quite have his fastball. After Friday's loss to the Miami Heat, the Pacers had once again dipped down to the No. 2 spot; now, Indy's just one more win (in Wednesday's finale against the Orlando Magic) or one more Miami Heat loss away from securing home-court advantage throughout the Eastern Conference playoffs, thanks in part to ... Birds of war . Shouts out to the Atlanta Hawks, who became the eighth and final team to earn a playoff berth in the Eastern Conference on Saturday by beating the Heat, 98-85 , behind 18 fourth-quarter points from Lou Williams and another strong outing (25 points, four rebounds, four steals, three assists and no turnovers in 36 minutes) from point guard Jeff Teague, who's averaging 20 points and 5.5 assists per game on 50.7/37.8/90.7 shooting splits over his last 10 games . The Hawks can't get any higher than the eighth seed, but they've made the playoffs for the seventh straight season despite losing expected centerpiece Al Horford less than two months into head coach Mike Budenholzer's first year in charge, which is commendable, if not necessarily the great big goal for general manager Danny Ferry and company. Weep not for the memories. The Hawks locking up the eighth seed means the New York Knicks —who earned wins over the playoff-bound Toronto Raptors and Chicago Bulls this weekend —are officially eliminated from postseason contention. New York's 14-5 run over the last five weeks has been nice enough, but it wound up being too little and too late —this is what happens when you lose 40 of your first 61 games, even in a historically poor Eastern Conference —and now Carmelo Anthony will miss the playoffs for the first time in his 11-year NBA career. Perhaps this apparently taped-and-edited-off-TV (which feels thematically appropriate) highlight reel celebrating the 2013-14 Knicks set to "One Shining Moment" will make you feel better, Melo: The cherry on top of the Knicks' season-long sundae of absurdity? This, from Amar'e Stoudemire after Sunday's win over the Bulls, as noted by Steve Popper of the Bergen Record : "On paper we might be the best team in the league. We’ve got great players on this team who accomplished so much. We just couldn’t put it together." Best of luck to the Knicks in the on-paper playoffs, which begin on the 12th of never. (By the way, the Knicks have to win their final two games —against cross-borough rivals the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday and the Raptors on Wednesday —just to meet the projected record produced by ESPN Insider Kevin Pelton that set so many Knicks fans and players to raging before the start of this season. It's funny how things work out.) Walk the dinosaur. The Raptors clinched the Atlantic Division title on Friday despite losing to the Knicks thanks to the Hawks knocking off the Nets. They tied a franchise record Sunday with their 47th win of the season, besting the circling-the-drain Pistons, 116-107 , in a game that saw DeMar DeRozan score 14 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter and punctuate the proceedings with a very loud, very forceful flush atop the dome of Pistons forward Kyle Singler: The combination of the Raptors' win and the Bulls' Sunday loss to the Knicks means both teams enter Monday at 47-33, with Toronto re-taking the No. 3 seed in the East by virtue of being a division winner. The Raptors conclude their regular-season slate with a home game against the worst-in-the-NBA Milwaukee Bucks on Monday and one last meeting with the Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday, while the Bulls welcome the 23-57 Magic tonight before finishing things off in North Carolina against the Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday. Seed toss. Superchunk . Quickly: EASTERN CONFERENCE •If Miami loses to the Wizards on Monday , Indy's No. 1 in the East and the Heat are No. 2. •If the Raptors beat the Bucks and the Bulls lose to the Magic , Toronto locks up No. 3 seed and puts Chicago at No. 4. •The Nets ensured that they can't finish any worse than No. 6 in the East by beating the Magic on Sunday. If the Wizards lose to the Heat, Brooklyn's No. 5. •If the Wizards beat the Heat and the Bobcats lose to the Hawks , Charlotte's locked into No. 7. (Lots of stuff can still happen for the Wizards. Bullets Forever's Mike Prada runs through the various postseason possibilities.) WESTERN CONFERENCE •The Spurs beat the Suns on Friday, clinching the NBA's best regular-season record and securing home-court advantage throughout the playoffs. They're one win away from tying the 2005-06 squad (63-19) for the most wins in franchise history; if they beat the Rockets on Monday and the Lakers in the season finale on Wednesday , they'll finish at 64-18, the best mark of any Spurs team of all time. This is where we remind you that Tim Duncan is 11 days shy of his 38th birthday, and that the Spurs are ridiculous. •The Thunder's Sunday loss to the Pacers gives the Clippers an outside shot of securing the West's No. 2 seed. If OKC beats the Pelicans on Monday, they lock up No. 2 and put the Clippers in third place. But if, by some stroke of unpredictable magic, Oklahoma City loses to a Pelicans team without Anthony Davis, Ryan Anderson, Eric Gordon, Jrue Holiday and Jason Smith (and possibly Tyreke Evans and Brian Roberts, too), the door's still open just a bit for L.A. to take over No. 2 —basically, they need to win their last two games and they need the Thunder to lose their last two games. •If the Rockets beat the Spurs , Houston's the No. 4 seed and Portland's the No. 5 seed. •If Golden State beats the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Warriors lock up the No. 6 seed. •If the Grizzlies beat the Suns , Memphis clinches the No. 8 seed and eliminates Phoenix. •if the Suns beat the Grizzlies, they stay alive; if Phoenix and Golden State both win, Dallas locks up the No. 7 seed. Got all that? Of course you do. Now, to cleanse your palate, here's Russell Westbrook not exactly sticking the landing on his attempt to play after-the-whistle troll. - - - - - - - Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YourManDevine Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL , "Like" BDL on Facebook and follow BDL's Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more. [read full article]

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Knicks sign Lamar Odom (The Associated Press)

NEW YORK (AP) -- The New York Knicks have signed former NBA champion Lamar Odom, who was out of the league this season. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Knicks sign F Odom (The SportsXchange)

The New York Knicks signed forward Lamar Odom for the remainder of the season with a non-guaranteed team option for 2014-15, the team announced Wednesday. The move reunites new Knicks president of basketball operations Phil Jackson with Odom, who played under Jackson when he coached the Los Angeles Lakers. Financial terms were not disclosed by the team, but reports indicated that Odom was to earn $8,500 for the final game of the regular season, which was Wednesday night against the Toronto Raptors. Signing Odom now gives the Knicks the opportunity to evaluate his ability to resume his basketball career before the start of next season. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Knicks beat Raptors, who get No. 3 seed anyway (Yahoo Sports)

[read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

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