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Three Things We Learned in NBA Sunday: Yes, there were NBA games on Super Bowl Sunday

Los Angeles Lakers v New York Knicks

Los Angeles Lakers v New York Knicks

Nathaniel S. Butler

If you watch closely every night in the NBA you can learn a little something. We know you are busy and can’t keep up with every game, so we’re here to help with those lessons from another night in the Association. Here’s what you missed while wondering what Pete Carroll/Darrell Bevell were thinking…

1) The Knicks and Lakers are so bad ESPN decided to run bowling instead. The two biggest name teams from the two biggest television markets in the nation played Sunday and nobody wanted to watch. Well, maybe not nobody but so few people that a week ago ESPN decided to change their broadcast schedule and drop this game in favor of showing a taped, edited version of Chris Paul’s charity bowling tournament from almost one month ago. Basically ESPN bet that old footage of guys like Lil Wayne and Nick Cannon bowling would draw better ratings than the Knicks and Lakers. And it’s hard to argue that. They were probably right.

2) Carmelo Anthony can still get up for a dunk. Way up. When you think of the very best alley-oop finishers in the NBA, ‘Melo is not really the first name that pops into your head. But he looked really good doing it in what became a 92-80 Knicks win over the lowly Lakers. Anthony had 31 in the game.

3) Hassan Whiteside is still the best thing to come to Miami since the Cuban sandwich. Okay, maybe that’s overstating it as there were a few good years there with the guy who went back home to Cleveland, but Whiteside continues to be a revelation in Miami this season. He had 20 points and nine rebounds to lead Miami to an 83-75 win over Boston. In his last five games Whiteside has averaged 15.2 points a game shooting 61.8 percent plus pulling down 12.8 rebounds a game and throwing in a block each night. But more than the numbers, when he is on the court the Heat are just more active and energetic — he deflects passes, pressures on defense and Miami just plays with more energy. He is the reason to watch the Heat right now, plus he’s making plays like this.