Cavs Turn Down Knicks’ Melo for Love Trade Inquiry

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The Knicks’ first trade inquiry for Carmelo Anthony did not gain traction as the Cleveland expressed no interest in a proposed swap for Kevin Love.

According to ESPN, the Knicks contacted Cleveland’s front office earlier today to gauge interest. The plan was if the Cavs were receptive, the Knicks could approach Anthony about waiving his no-trade clause for the opportunity to play for a contender.

Unfortunately for the Knicks, this idea comes about two years too late. Anthony, while still a formidable player and borderline all-star, is a 32-year-old whose explosiveness and lift have been permanently damaged from season-ending knee surgery in 2014. Although Love has struggled recently, he’s still in his athletic prime at 28 with no significant injury history.

Rumors of a potential Melo trade heated up earlier this week when the Cavs lost in embarrassing fashion to an Anthony Davis-less Pelicans, prompting LeBron James to tell the media the team’s personnel was lacking and they needed “a fucking playmaker.”

Next on the Knicks’ list will probably be the Clippers (Blake for Melo) and the Celtics (Melo for a pick). The Clippers will probably give the same answer as Griffin also has youth on his side. As for Boston, I can’t see them parting with a 1st round pick since a Melo acquisition wouldn’t be enough to put them over the Cavs or possibly even the Raptors in a playoff battle.

Love him or hate ’em, Carmelo is very likely to at least finish out the year in New York.

Melo Addresses Rumors of Cavs Trade: “I’m not going anywhere.”

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This weekend was abuzz with trade rumors after a story broke that Knicks, Cavs and Celtics were in preliminary talks about a trade that would send Carmelo Anthony to Cleveland, Kevin Love to Boston, and high draft picks to New York.

The crux of the piece is that Anthony, who is aging and suffering from recurring soreness on his surgically repaired left knee, would want to join forces with his close friend LeBron James in hopes of winning an NBA title. Another theorized trade includes Anthony going to the Clippers, where he would also be teaming with a close friend in Chris Paul.

There’s only one problem — Melo loves New York and has no desire to leave. Much like two summers ago when everyone claimed his best shot to win a title was going to Chicago, now the rumblings from media and some fans is the Knicks need to go into rebuild mode. Last night, Melo emphasized his commitment to the Knicks and doubled down this morning in an appearance on SiriusXM NBA Radio:

There’s always some trade shit going, I don’t pay attention to those rumors. I’m not going anywhere.

So there you have it. Melo is staying, just as Knicks President Phil Jackson said going into All-Star weekend. The irony is Melo has been the one elite player in five years that’s wanted to play and win in New York. And here we have some fans and media that want to run him out of town and start over. Have you forgotten the Dark Ages that were the early to mid 2000s already?

 

[Video] Watch Kristaps Porzingis’ Putback Slams

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I’m just trying bring energy to the team, trying to go for every offensive rebound. Second chance points are huge in the NBA. – Porzingis

Six games into his NBA career, Kristaps Porzingis has already delivered some highlight-reel putback slams against elite opposition. Last night against the Bucks, he had his best one over Greg Monroe. Check out this compilation of his biggest putbacks.

[Video] Another One: Porzingis Slams a Putback Over Kevin Love

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Five games into the season, our rookie Kristaps Porzingis might have already found a signature move. LaMarcus Aldridge was the victim last week. This week, Porzingis caught Kevin Love in the paint with a sweet putback slam.

[Video] Knicks Destroy Cavs 117-86

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What a difference a month makes. Around this time in December, the Knicks were getting embarrassed in Cleveland with Kyrie Irving running amuch for 37 points and 11 assists. That was against a Knicks team with no identity. Last night, New York never let the Cavs in it after blitzing them with a 38-21 first quarter, and holding off all comeback attempts over the remaining 36 minutes to take a well-deserved 117-8 6 win at Madison Square Garden. Like all Knicks blowouts this year, it was a total team effort on this one.

JR’S BACK?: After being on the verge of getting shipped out just a few weeks back, JR Smith is finally returning to the excellent form we saw at the end of last season. Starting in place of the injured Iman Shumpert, JR sliced up the Cavs defense with strong drives to the rim and long-range jumpers. It was a case of erratic shots falling — JR played within the offense and shot 8/16 for 19 points, including this collection of breath-taking plays below.

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THJ!!!: Tim Hardaway Jr. continues to shine in his expanded role and thank God Coach Mike Woodson is riding the hot streak. Tim dropped a career high of 29 points, going 11/17 from the field and 6/12 from downtown. Once this kid learns defense, watch out.

EFFICIENT TO THE LAST MAN: Melo (29 points, 5 rebounds), Chandler (11 points, 8 rebounds), and Felton (12 points, 9 rebounds) had good games, along with Jeremy Tyler (8 points, 6 rebounds). The team was shooting over 60% for most of the game while holding the Cavs under 40%. New York would wrap up the contest on 57% shooting from the field and a hot 46% (12/26) from downtown.

The Knicks get to put their win streak to the test against the defending champion Miami Heat on Saturday.

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[Video] Kyrie Irving Goes for 37, Knicks Lose 109-94

 

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How were the Knicks going to respond to that disgraceful 40-point thrashing at home to the Boston Celtics?

With another double-digit loss, of course. Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire gave strong efforts, but found themselves failed miserably by their guards, who couldn’t score or play adequate defense as Kyrie Irving had his best game of the season (37 points, 11 assists). This second straight defeat puts the Knicks back at square one regarding the questions about their mentality and unquestionably puts Mike Woodson back on the chopping block (who says he ever left it?).

 

VINTAGE BAD START: The Knicks went all out in trying to duplicate the horrific first quarter of the Celtics game. They gave up 16 free throws and were at one point down 27-9. They ended the quarter in a 31-19 hole,. but tightened up their defense in the second behind the inspired bench play of Stat (15 points). A Melo three-pointer got them within a point (46-45), but then a bunch of pounding and plodding isolation plays stalled the offense and allowed the Cavs to hold a small 48-45 lead at halftime.

3RD QUARTER MELTDOWN: Melo had 7 early quarter points and the team was well within striking distance. Then the team inexplicably started playing foolish. Everyone got three-point happy, in addition to not boxing out on rebounds nor guarding the perimeter. Irving abused Raymond Felton and Pablo Prigioni for 12 points in the quarter and the Cavs frontcourt got several putback slams off missed jumpers. The Cavs were draining their own threes and before long the deficit had ballooned to 73-60 off a Irving crossover and pullup trey on Prigioni. The last putback dunk on the Knicks had Melo throwing his hands up in exasperation at his team’s effort.

When the smoke cleared, the Knicks took a 81-65 deficit into the fourth.

NO BETTER IN THE LAST 12: The fourth quarter was no better. The Cavs pushed the lead at one point to 19 (88-69), and basically rode the hot shooting of Irving, who made the game into an Uncle Drew exhibition on our hapless Knicks guards.

BLAME MELO? PLEASE…: Games like this serve as a perfect example of why blaming Carmelo Anthony for the wretched start to the season is so ridiculous. The man’s stat line was 29 points (12-19 shooting), 8 rebounds and 3 assists. Sure, Melo is far from perfect. He doesn’t have the best instincts with his help defense, and of course he gets into volume-shooting habits too much at times. But from day one, he’s been our most consistent player in terms of effort and contributions. The guard play was abysmal and with Bargnani having a cold shooting night (11 points, 5/17), Melo’s effort was essentially wasted.

STOUDEMIRE: Amar’e defense and rebounding will always be an issue, but he at least put up points last night and had two great blocks at the rim. He played 27 minutes and had 17 points on 7/10 shooting. If his knees hold up (stop laughing), he could end up being our bench lead as originally intended.

The bleeding likely continues tonight as the Knicks face the Bulls.

Knicks Sweep Cavs Season Series, Move Within One Game of #2 Seed Lock

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After last night’s physical overtime loss to the Chicago Bulls, the short-handed Knicks had every reason to play lazy tonight against the Cavs. Instead, the Knicks rode a combined 62 points between Carmelo Anthony and JR Smith to easily defeat the Cavaliers 101-91. The win is significant in that the Pacers dropped one tonight against the Nets, meaning New York will need just one more game to lock up the #2 seed in the East and enjoy home court through the first two rounds of the playoffs.

 

SOLOMON JONES: This game was notable for being the debut of newly signed 6’10 center Solomon Jones, a former Atlanta Hawks player under Mike Woodson several years back. With the team having literally no healthy bigs, Jones at best was hoped to be a presence on defense and at worst six extra fouls. Tonight, he was understandably lost on the plays and his new teammates weren’t too trusting. In his 12 minutes, Jones got dunked on by Tristan Thompson, committed two turnovers and got a rebound. Sure, it’s nothing memorable, but all we need Jones to do is buy our squad time to heal and not overwork our depleted roster. After that, he can find a cozy spot on the bench next to James White.

 

THIS IS THE CAVS WE’RE TALKING ABOUT: Cleveland had lost 8 of their last10 coming into this and pretty much played like a team in disarray. Kyrie Irving finished with 31 points and helped his team get withing about nine on a few separate occasions, but the game was decided early on in the fourth behind the man below…

 

JR SMITH REBOUNDS: JR took his frustration from the Bulls game and channeled it properly tonight. He was red-hot from the field (13-16, 31 points), and did his damage on jumpers and drives inside. He manned the offense so well in the fourth that Woody was able to keep Melo rested. Speaking of our leading scorer, Melo continued to put more room between himself and Kevin Durant for this year’s scoring title with another 30-plus effort (31 points, 14 rebounds).

 

COPE BOUNCES BACK: Our “big man” in Chris Copeland chipped in 12 points tonight and fared much better now that he wasn’t being swarmed by Chicago’s defense. Copeland remained an offensive threat throughout the game and did his best work inside.

 

QUICKEN LOANS ARENA NO LONGER A SCARY PLACE: The Knicks have now won back to back games in Cleveland after previously losing their last 10 there going back to the LeBron James era.

 

WIN AND REST: The Knicks haven’t had the luxury of resting Melo and JR due to all the injuries, so it’s highly important they lock up the #2 seed on Sunday against the Pacers. From there, Melo and JR can at least get shut down or have their minutes highly reduced over the next two games against Charlotte and Atlanta.

Rest Easy, Melo — Knicks Come from 22 Down to Stun Cavs

They do a lot of switching… a lot of stuff where you can get caught in laziness and hanging back. So we’re just moving and cutting and guys are cutting hard. And we got Luke Walton out there so it makes it easy. – Cavs guard C.J. Miles on the Knicks’s first half defense

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As you can see from the above quote, the Cavs were feeling themselves in the first half against the Knicks. They had reason to be cocky on 68% shooting and at one point in the second holding a 22 point lead (52-30). The Knicks couldn’t make basic defensive rotations and Luke Walton was dishing dimes like a prime John Stockton. And to add to the misery, Carmelo Anthony had a Benny Hill moment in tripping over his own feet and badly hurting his right knee to knock him out the rest of the game.

But halfway through the second, the Knicks began showing signs of life and very gradually it seemed to dawn on them they were playing the Cavaliers. Without Melo, Coach Woodson was forced to do what should become a regular end-game lineup in playing both Amar’e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler.

 

MEET THE LATEST BENCH PLAYER TO TORCH NY: Center Marreese Speights got the start today and promptly began going to town with jumper after jumper. He hit his first 10 shots and had 15 points after the first. Whether it was Chandler or Stat, he was the Cavs’s dominate scorer in the first half. However, reality (and the Knicks defense) made him a non-factor in the second half where he only had 2 points.

 

MELO’S INJURY TRIGGERS RUN: The Knicks looked completely demoralized down 22 and the Melo injury appeared to signal this would be a blowout evening. The Knicks instead rallied with a 17-4 run to close the quarter and take a 49-61 deficit into halftime. In the third, the Knicks stormed out with a 10-0 run to pull within 59-61 behind tough interior defense that triggered jump balls, and solid shooting from Jason Kidd and JR Smith. Still, the Knicks couldn’t quite get over the hump despite holding the Cavs to just 1 point six minutes into the quarter and outscoring them 21-13 overall. Going into the fourth, they were still down 70-74.

 

LIVE BY THE THREE: The Knicks drilled seven treys in the fourth and everyone got in on the party. Novak rebounded from the horrid Sunday game against the Heat and had three treys in the quarter. Kidd nailed two crucial ones, and Raymond Felton added one of his own late. Kidd’s last trey in the final minutes put the Knicks up 97-91, which proved to be just enough breathing room down the stretch.

 

THE STAT N TYSON SHOW: For the first time in what seemed like ages, Woodson played our two elite bigs in the fourth to devastating effect. Guards Pablo Prigioni and Felton had Stat feasting on pick n rolls for easy dunks and Chandler was all over the boards. The game-changing plays in the last minute came down to this duo. With a slim 97-95 lead, Stat attacked the rim, got blocked and went back up strong to push the lead to 99-95. Later, a missed Stat jumper was tipped out by Chandler to Jason Kidd, leading to a free throw to push the lead to 100-97. And finally, Irving’s three-point attempt to tie was promptly blocked by Chandler to ice the game.

 

LOSING STREAK ENDS: For some inexplicable reason, the Cavs have been a huge problem for the Knicks even after the LeBron era. Before tonight, the last time the Knicks had won in Cleveland went back to November 2006. To put that in perspective, current Cavs all-star Kyrie Irving for 14 years old at the time.

At this time, we don’t know how much time Melo will miss. Even though the Knicks are claiming it isn’t serious, I don’t have much faith in an early prognosis from the Knicks medical staff considering what we’ve seen happen this year with Rasheed Wallace, Stoudemire and Camby.

Next up is the Pistons, so the Knicks should be able to handle that squad again without Melo.

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NY Spoils Kyrie Irving’s Career Night With 103-102 Win

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Those damn Cavaliers. No matter who’s on the team going back to the LeBron years, they always seem to get up to play us. If my memory serves me correct, they even won the season series last year. Last night was no different with Kyrie Irving going for a career-high 41 points with 17 of those coming in the 4th quarter (several off crazy three-pointers). Considering NY was without Carmelo Anthony (slight left ankle sprain) or Rasheed Wallace (sore foot), we can’t complain too much as a win is a win. However, the Knicks made this much harder than it needed to be as they were up 10 with around five minutes remaining.

Tyson Chandler was huge again with key tips to the backcourt for offensive rebounds and containing Anderson Varejao, who had just 9 points and 8 rebounds compared to Tyson’s 23 points and 10 rebounds. Jason Kidd had a horrid shooting night (3-13 from downtown), but had some key assists in the fourth to offset the cold night. And Raymond Felton picked up the scoring slack with 25 points.

Melo’s still questionable for Monday’s game against the Rockets, but hopefully he suits up so we can get revenge for the blowout they delivered last month. Plus, we gotta welcome Jeremy Lin back to the Garden the right way.

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