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)

Kevin Garnett predicts Marcus Morris' game-winner right before it happens

Kevin Garnett predicts Marcus Morris' game-winner right before it happens

Kevin Garnett was paying close attention to Tuesday night's thriller between the Celtics and Thunder.

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On KG's Area 21, the former Celtics great watched as Boston rallied in the game's final minute to make a stunning comeback. Right before Marcus Morris drilled the game-winner, Garnett called it by saying, "The Morris twin will end up shooting this or something because he like 'yeah I'm about the moment'"

Not a bad call. Morris certainly was "about the moment" Tuesday night as he has been multiple times this season.


Jayson Tatum comes up big vs Paul George, Thunder

Jayson Tatum comes up big vs Paul George, Thunder

BOSTON – Jayson Tatum had another strong performance for the Boston Celtics, doing so against the Oklahoma City Thunder and Paul George, a player Tatum has acknowledged on more than one occasion he has looked up to. 

That admiration didn’t get in the way of Tatum delivering a big-time performance in helping Boston rally from six points down with 12.7 seconds to play, to knock off the Thunder 100-99.

Tatum tallied a double-double of 23 points and 11 rebounds. And doing so at 20 years and 17 days old, Tatum became the youngest player in franchise history to tally at least 20 points and 10 rebounds in the same game.

“It feels good,” Tatum said when asked about his first 20-plus point, 10-plus rebound game in the NBA. “But honestly, I’m just glad we won. That was a big win against a great team and it was fun playing out there today.”

Impacting the game on multiple levels offensively along with being a defensive and rebounding force are qualities often associated with George who became familiar with Tatum prior to last June’s NBA draft which is when the Celtics selected him with the third overall pick. 

“I reached out to him before he was coming into this draft and I got to talk to him,” said George, who had 24 points and a game-high 13 rebounds against the Celtics. “It’s an honor when you see young talent. I‘ve been inspired by many in this league so it’s great to inspire the younger generation in this league.”

And while Tatum may be young, he continues to prove himself up for whatever challenges await him. 

“We are going to keep throwing to the wolves and keep going to him in those moments,” said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens.

Boston closed out the game with an 8-1 spurt in the final 24.7 seconds, with Tatum either scoring or assisting on five of those points which includes assistant on Marcus Morris’ game-winner.

Tatum’s composure down the stretch comes from being influenced by many, including George who considers it “an honor” that Tatum holds him in high regard. 

“At the end of the day, us veteran guys want the younger guys to take the game further and advance much farther than what I was,” George said. “There’s going to be kids looking up to Jayson (Tatum) that are probably already looking up to Jayson (Tatum).”