30 teams in 30 days: Beginning of the Porzingis era


30 teams in 30 days: Beginning of the Porzingis era

We’ll take a look at all 30 teams in the next 30 days as they prepare for the 2017-2018 regular season, which is when the real fireworks begin! Today's team: New York Knicks

Carmelo Anthony may still be on the New York Knicks’ payroll, but it’s clear that his days with the team are numbered.

On the Knicks’ website promoting season ticket packages for this upcoming season, there’s no sign of Melo anywhere.

And in a blog post by Knicks President Steve Mills, Melo’s name isn’t mentioned at all.

Regardless of whether Anthony is on the roster when training camp opens, this season will mark the beginning of Kristaps Porzingis’ reign as the face of the franchise.

The 7-foot-3 big man is coming off a strong season in which he averaged 18.1 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game in addition to shooting 35.7 percent from 3-point range.

Porzingis, 22, has shown the ability to be effective both around the rim as well as on the perimeter. And the Knicks have made a conscious effort to surround him with the kind of talent that can take some of the scoring pressure off his shoulders which will be immense after the Knick, as expected, trade away Anthony.

New York signed Tim Hardaway Jr. to a four-year, $70.95 million contract after he averaged a career-high 14.5 points while shooting 45.5 percent from the field last season – also a career high – with the Atlanta Hawks.

The Knicks also signed NBA veteran Michael Beasley, who set career highs last season with the Milwaukee Bucks in shooting 53.3 percent from the field and 41.9 percent from 3-point range.

As much as the Knicks would love to win big right now, they understand that turning this franchise around will not happen overnight.

“What we do and how we proceed, even in the pressurized atmosphere of New York, must be grounded in a core philosophy and a guiding vision,” Mills said. “As the organization’s new president, that is my most important management role — to keep my eye on the big picture, to ensure that everything we do locks into our overall strategy.”

Key free agent/draft/trade additions: Tim Hardaway Jr. (Atlanta); Michael Beasley (Milwaukee); Ramone Sessions (Charlotte).

Key losses: Derrick Rose (Cleveland); Brandon Jennings (Shanxi of Chinese Basketball Association); Sasha Vujacic (free agent).

Rookies of note: Frank Ntilikina.

Expectations: 33-49 (fourth in the Atlantic Division, 11th in the East)

Stevens says Hayward’s ‘spirits were pretty positive’ after surgery

Stevens says Hayward’s ‘spirits were pretty positive’ after surgery

PHILADELPHIA – Thursday was a travel day for the Celtics, but part of the day for Brad Stevens was spent visiting with Gordon Hayward, who underwent successful left ankle surgery that’s expected to keep him out for the rest of the season.
“He’s obviously post-surgery, having some of the post-surgery challenges of pain and everything else,” Stevens said. “The surgery went great. His spirits were pretty positive.”


He is, all things considered, in a very good place.
Stevens and the Celtics plan to do all they can to keep Hayward there as he now finds himself in the early stages of rehabilitation.
“We talked a little about how to approach the next five months, with maintaining that positivity in different ways to stay engaged, different ways to approach this, to attack this. He was ready to get started with his rehab the minute he got out of surgery.”
Eager to help, Stevens reached out to good friend Frank Vogel.
Vogel, who now coaches the Orlando Magic, was the coach of the Indiana Pacers when Paul George went down with a season-ending knee injury while playing for Team USA in 2014.

“It’s really important to just be active, to be as active as you can,” Stevens said. “I called Frank Vogel, the day we drove to the gym to play Milwaukee, just asked him what are some of the things Paul did in his year off that you would encourage? What are some of the things that we should look at?”
Among the tips he received was to work with Hayward on form shooting while sitting in a chair.
“Hey, he’s gonna be the best guy shooting out of a chair with his left hand, right hand, perfect his form,” Stevens said of Hayward. “Let’s have fun, let’s come up with creative ways to attack this.”

With injuries to both ankles, Smart unlikely to play tonight


With injuries to both ankles, Smart unlikely to play tonight

PHILADELPHIA – Things have only gotten worse for the Celtics on the injury front.
Marcus Smart, who replaced an injured Gordon Hayward (left ankle) in the Celtics’ starting lineup, is now unlikely to suit up for tonight’s game against Philadelphia.


Smart, whose left ankle was heavily wrapped prior to Boston’s shoot-around this morning, said he rolled both ankles in the 108-100 loss to Milwaukee on Wednesday.
Celtics coach Brad Stevens said he had not made a decision on who would replace Smart in the Celtics’ starting lineup tonight.
“We’ll do some work all day and pre-game and make a final determination,” Stevens said.
More to come …