SH Blog: Phil Jackson will officially join Knicks on Tuesday; Rockets to pursue Carmelo Anthony in Free Agency; Klay Thompson first to 500 3′s

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Phil JacksonThe week of March 9th-16th should hence forth be known as Phil Jackson Week.

In the world of basketball at least.

Because as the Zen Master continues to dominate the daily headlines, well, that’s sure what it feels like.  

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Despite 61, LeBron not Player of the Week

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Carmelo AnthonyHow do you score 61 points in a game and not get named NBA Player of the Week?

Well, if you’re LeBron James, you total 58 points in the three ensuing games, all losses.

James and the Miami Heat had one of their worst three-game stretches of the season, minimizing the impact of his 61-point explosion a week ago and giving Eastern Conference Player of the Week honors to Carmelo Anthony, whose New York Knicks had a rare good week.

Anthony averaged  29.0 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 2.8 steals as the Knicks went 3-1 and remained on the fringes of the East playoff race. 

Bernucca: Among the Elite, Thunder the Team to Beat

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Kawhi Leonard A look at the overall NBA standings shows four teams at the top – Indiana, Oklahoma City, San Antonio and Miami – separated by one game in the loss column. In fact, they were dead even until three of them lost Sunday. 

Just a notch below them are three more teams – Houston, the Los Angeles Clippers and Portland – separated by two games in the loss column. They also would have been dead even had the Blazers held on Sunday against the Rockets.

Let’s call these teams the Magnificent Seven, because your NBA champion is somewhere among them. Dismiss any of them at your own peril; these are the only teams who, at the season’s three-quarter pole, have won at least two-third of their games.

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UPDATE – Buyout Bonanzas: Granger, Butler, Fredette Could Help Playoff Teams; Udrih claimed by Grizz

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danny grangerDoes anyone want Danny Granger?

How about Jimmer Fredette?

Perhaps Caron Butler?

And how about this: Someone — the Memphis Grizzlies — wanted Beno Udrih so badly they claimed him off waivers.

This is the last week for contenders to shore up their playoff  rosters with NBA players for a run they hope will last into June. It is becoming known as February Free Agency.

The official NBA rule is that teams have until 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on Saturday, March 1 to waive a player so he can be used on a postseason roster this season. So over the next few days, there will be a barrage of rumors, buyouts and transactions and we will keep you abreast of all the latest information here at SheridanHoops.

The Los Angeles Clippers already made a big splash this week by signing Glen “Big Baby” Davis, who had the final two years of his contract bought out by Orlando.

It’s a good fit. The Clippers desperately needed a backup big who warrants defensive attention, and Davis helped current Clippers coach Doc Rivers win one championship and almost a second in Boston.

But the big name that will be on the free agent market over the next few days is Granger.

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Tweet of the Night: Sarcastic tweet about Jermaine O’Neal from Rockets’ official twitter account backfires

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Jermaine O'NealThe Golden State Warriors were missing their defensive anchor in Andrew Bogut, but Thursday’s game against the Houston Rockets was one they couldn’t afford to lose.

Heading into the contest, Houston was the only Western Conference team the Warriors had failed to beat this season. Just as importantly, a win against them would bring Golden State within four games of the third seed – still well within reach with 27 games left to play.