SH Blog: Can Phil Jackson save the Knicks?

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It’s the time of year when everything is coming into focus. The big powers in the West are jockeying for the inside track to get to face the Heat in the Finals, and everyone else is trying to align their stars to attract the big free agent prize. This year, it’s Carmelo Anthony, and the Knicks desperately want to keep him, but the Lakers also want to team him with Kobe Bryant, and don’t rule out the Bulls, with a possibly-healthy Derrick Rose, one of the NBA’s best coaches, and more than enough cap flexibility.

With that in mind, let’s get to the latest from the NBA:

PHIL JACKSON HAS IN-PRINCIPLE AGREEMENT WITH KNICKS

Phil JacksonWell, it’s not going to be an easy job for the Zen Master. A bare cupboard of draft picks, a superstar who could bolt this summer, and a median roster age of 28. But Phil is one of the best minds in NBA history, so it should just be a couple years until the Knicks are back on top, right?

Bernucca: Grading the Trades That Have Already Been Made

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Andrew_Bynum_CavsSince training camp opened, there have been five significant trades involving 10 teams, 19 players and seven draft picks.

The big winners have been a team that got rid of the highest scorer among the traded players and a team that acquired a player who has yet to play. The big loser has been a team that swears by analytics.

Another way to look at it is like this: The biggest trades thus far have been the ones that haven’t been made – Omer Asik for Thaddeus Young, Carmelo Anthony for Blake Griffin, Pau Gasol for just about anybody.

And with six weeks until the trading deadline, there will be plenty more trades that are and aren’t made.

But we can’t grade those. So we graded the ones that have been made.

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PODCAST: Is DeMarcus Cousins an All-Star?

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SAC_Cousins_DeMarcusThe title of this post says it all: Is DeMarcus Cousins an All-Star?

Well, I’ll say this — as I say below in my interview with Grant Napear of KHTK Radio in Sacramento — he is certainly an All-Star talent, and I have even given him an All-NBA third team vote in the past. But then I’ll also ask you this: Is Gordan Hayward an All-Star?

Again, the Jazz shotmeister is certainly an All-Star talent, but an All-Star?

I’ll leave that for the coaches to decide, since the coaches are the ones who pick the reserves. But I’ll warn both Cousins and Hayward that coaches value winning above all else. And they abhor players who put up great stats on terrible teams.

SH Blog: Dolan Says Woodson is Safe; Kidd Losing Support With Nets; Al Horford Tears Pectoral Muscle

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WoodsonWhile the news of the day is most certainly that Oklahoma City guard Russell Westbrook will be sidelined until after the All-Star break due to an unexpected arthroscopic knee surgery, life in the NBA must go on.

And on it will go for the New York Knicks, who according to ESPN’s Marc Stein, will remain intact for the time being: 

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SH Blog: Shumpert is playing angry; Knicks unlikely to trade Melo

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I’m not saying “pity the weekend blogger,” but yesterday we got the announcement of Kobe Bryant’s return.

Today? That’s, as they say, yesterday’s news.

Sometimes big news breaks on the weekend, and this is certainly by no means a slow news day, but Kobe was only going to announce his return once, and of course he couldn’t do it on one of my blogging days.

Regardless, that’s news we all saw coming.