Newark Star-Ledger reports as the NBA season comes down the stretch, Madison Square Garden won’t be preparing for playoff basketball.
Instead, a look ahead to the NBA Draft lottery and 2019 NBA Draft will dominate conversation in New York and around a franchise that desperately needs luck (both in the draft and free agency) this coming summer.
If the Knicks do land the top choice, two Duke freshman could be there for the choosing: Athletic freak Zion Williamson and smooth forward R.J. Barrett.
Dime Magazine reports in the latest 2019 NBA mock draft from Tankathon, Williamson (despite a scary knee injury in the recent Duke vs. North Carolina game) went No. 1 in simulations. Barrett, the less-heralded Blue Devil, went No. 2.
While the Duke Blue Devils got relatively good news when the diagnosis on Zion Williamson’s knee injury came in, the superstar freshman reportedly won’t be able to take the floor the next time the team suits up.
Williamson was ruled day-to-day with a knee sprain that he suffered in the opening minute of Duke’s loss to North Carolina, and according to Jeff Goodman of Stadium, the injury is expected to hold him out for this weekend’s showdown with Syracuse.
Marcus Smart would enjoy basketball a lot more if modern NBA players hooped the way it was done in the ’60s and ’70s. Smart says the League today is too “cute” and lacks the type of physical play he thrives on. The 24-year-old Celtics fan favorite re-upped in Boston on a four-year, $52 million extension last summer. Continue Reading By MARCEL MUTONI
The Minnesota Timberwolves may be without Karl-Anthony Towns in their first game back from the All-Star break on Friday, as the big man was involved in a car accident the day prior. Continue Reading By Steve DelVecchio
Photo: Cyrus Saatsaz | Wikimedia Commons
The New York Rangers held their 25th anniversary celebration for their legendary 1993-1994 championship team. When the 1993 season started, the Rangers were an organization and fan base that was experiencing a 54-year Stanley Cup drought stretching back to 1940.
When analyzing how this team was built, it’s clear that it was based around a few things. Among them was young talent in goaltender Mike Richter, drafted in 1985 by the Rangers, as well as defenseman Brian Leetch, selected ninth overall by the team in the 1986 draft.
However, the biggest acquisition was Mark Messier, when he was traded to the Rangers from the Edmonton Oilers in 1991. Before this, Messier was a five-time Stanley Cup champion in Edmonton and a league MVP, as he was a key player along with Wayne Gretzky. Even when Gretzky was traded to the Los Angeles Kings, two years later, Messier captained the last of those championship teams. Continue Reading By Sean McCarthy-Coyle
The NBA loves itself some J. Cole. The seven-time Grammy-nominated rapper frequently mixes in basketball references to his songs, whether about his own playing days as a teenager in North Carolina or name-dropping some of the game’s biggest stars. Asked on Friday who was his favorite rapper during a takeover his team’s Twitter account, Portland Trail Blazers superstar Damian Lillard answered simply and succinctly. Continue Reading By
Photo: GETTY IMAGE
You’d think someone like Shaquille O’Neal would be content with being one of the most dominant basketball players of all time, but if you’ve ever felt the urge to buy car insurance because he told you to, you know he’s a man of many talents.
In the early 90s, Shaq burst onto the scene in a big way and immediately established himself as a force to be reckoned with—but I’m not talking about his performance on the court.
In 1993, the world was treated to Shaq Diesel, a rap album filled with some surprisingly hot tracks that actually managed to land on the charts. Continue Reading By
Photo: USA Today
Finally, we’ve arrived. The stretch run of the 2018-19 NBA season is here, and with it come the games that will define the campaign and change the landscape of the upcoming postseason.
The final 20-plus games of the year are going to be thrilling to watch unfold, as teams will be fighting and jockeying for position, with some hoping to earn a spot that will allow them to host a playoff series or two, and others just hoping to qualify for the playoffs, period.
Obviously, some organizations lucked out in having the toughest part of their schedule early in the year, when they were as close to full health as possible. Others, however, have the misfortune of facing a buzzsaw to close the season, one that could knock them out of postseason contention altogether. Continue Reading By Frank Urbina
Photo: Basketball Insider
The day after the trade deadline passed, LeBron James had some interesting things to say about the arms race that was going down between the Eastern Conference titans.
“They know they ain’t gotta go through Cleveland anymore,” James said. “Everybody in the East thinks they can get to the Finals because they ain’t gotta go through me.”
It’s notable that the Lakers are currently toeing the line between making the playoffs and playing the lottery odds. That does, however, beg the question: What if LeBron stayed in Cleveland?
Now if that had happened, then a lot of things would probably be different for the Cavaliers right now. There’s no telling if they would have kept the pick the Nets owed them, or if they would be playing Kyle Korver, George Hill, and J.R. Smith right now.
It would have added another intriguing wrinkle to what has been the tightest formerly-five-currently-four-man race going on at the top of the Eastern Conference in quite some time. Whether you agree that Cleveland would still be the frontrunner in the East with James, there doesn’t really appear to be a clear-cut favorite to represent the East anymore. Plenty of fans and analysts would give their takes on who stands out among the pack, but there’s no consensus pick. Continue Reading By
Photo: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Taurean Prince finished the 2017-18 season with an offensive fury. In his last 17 games during that campaign, he averaged 19.9 points per game on 45.6 percent shooting from the floor and 39.5 percent from beyond the three-point line. A massive leap from his previous statistics, there were plenty of questions as to what to make of it. It was certainly a small sample size. Also, there were not a ton of good offensive players on the roster with whom he would need to compete to earn scoring opportunities. However, many observers took some optimism about the future of the then second-year wing. “Would Prince enter the 2018-19 season as the team’s best player?” was a frequently debated question as the roster was reformed over the offseason. Continue Reading By
Photo: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
I never looked that happy walking up to one of these when I owned it. Worst effing car I ever had. I’d gotten it second- (or third- or eighth-) hand. It had a few… idiosyncracies. Like:
- It was ugly. Like a giant sat on an AMC Pacer. Girls were NOT impressed when you pulled up next to them in this car. Smooth.
- It smelled like cat pee when the Colorado weather was warmer than 80 degrees.
- None of my friends could drive it, as the stick configuration was upside down of EVERY OTHER CAR ON THE PLANET, and having first be down-and-to-the-left seemed to be tantamount to nuclear fusion.
- The backseat had existed once, but someone had done something pretty drastic back there an owner or two back, and now it was suitable for non-flat storage.
- The stereo had a short in the dash. When the music stopped, I could get it going again by punching the top of the dash as hard as I could. It had happened often enough it had developed a soft spot. Continue Reading By
The Rockets will sign former first-round pick Terrence Jones and rookie guard Chris Chiozza to 10-day contracts to bring them up to the required roster size of 14 players, a person with knowledge of the agreements said on Thursday. Both had been playing in the G League and will be assigned to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. Houston Chronicle
After being injured in his last game before participating in the Rising Stars Challenge during All-Star Weekend, Rodions Kurucs sat for Thursday’s 113-99 loss to the Trail Blazers. Considering the Nets are 24-17 when Kurucs plays and a gaudy 18-11 when he starts, but now are just 6-13 when he doesn’t get on the court, his absence was conspicuous — and more than a little curious. NY Post
Portland’s Enes Kanter, who had been persona non grata at the Garden and stuck on the Knicks’ bench, had 18 points on 8-of-9 shooting and nine boards in his Blazers debut. “The last time I got a win, I think it was almost two months. Winning feels good again,” said Kanter, who was used in just three of his last dozen games for the Knicks and hadn’t won since Jan. 4. “I’m just happy to go out there again, going out there and playing with my teammates. I’m trying to make everyone better.” NY Post
For the first time in his life tonight, DeRozan will play a road game in Toronto. He still isn’t quite sure how to feel about that. “At some point, I know it’s going to hit me,” DeRozan said Thursday night during a free-wheeling 25-minute, standing-room only news conference at the Spurs’ hotel. So much has happened since July 18, when DeRozan was traded to the Spurs in a summertime blockbuster that sent Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green to the Great White North. Express News
With Clint Capela back in the starting lineup after missing 15 games following thumb surgery, the Rockets went from not having enough centers to not having enough playing time for the centers they have. That allowed them to experiment with a lineup they had not used this season, with Kenneth Faried playing at power forward where the Rockets had been looking at options for a backup for P.J. Tucker. Houston Chronicle