Gambling on the Eastern Conference: Long odds on everyone not named Pacers or Heat

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jameswade

Brain-twister for you today, folks.

Go back to the start of the 2005-06 regular season, and try to name a superstar player who has represented the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals. Your answer cannot include LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo or Ray Allen.

It’s OK. Keep thinking … 

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SH Blog: Inside the Knicks’ clubhouse turmoil; Kidd re-assigns top assistant Frank

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Carmelo_AnthonyThe Knicks are dominating the headlines like few 14th-place teams could.

SH Blog: Melo has no idea how to fix the Knicks, Wade unsure of what approach to take with current contract

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Things couldn’t have gone much uglier for the New York Knicks in the first month of the season.

They lost defensive anchor Tyson Chandler to a leg injury, J.R. Smith has been awful since coming back from a 5-game suspension, Amare Stoudemire has been a shell of himself while playing limited minutes, Iman Shumpert’s name in trade rumors has been a distraction, and Andrea Bargnani is what most of us expected him to be – a scoring forward who can’t rebound or play team defense.

The end result? Tied for the second-worst record in the league at 3-13. The Knicks are officially a mess.

STORY OF THE DAY:

Carmelo_AnthonyAfter another deflating loss to the New Orleans Pelicans at home, Carmelo Anthony believes his team lacks a winning mentality, from Ian Begley of ESPN New York:

“I think we’re playing to lose rather than playing to win right now,” Anthony said after the Knicks’ 103-99 loss to New Orleans on Sunday. “When you lose games the way we’ve been losing them at home, on the road, you start thinking a lot. You start playing a little tense. You start playing on your heels.”

“We just can’t seem to get it together,” Anthony said after scoring 23 points and getting 10 rebounds. “We can’t seem to figure it out.”

“I don’t know what we have to do as far as coming together as a group,” Anthony said. “I don’t know if we’ve got to sit here for hours and talk and get it all out, but we’ve got to do something.”

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Scotto: Time to Panic for Knicks?

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JR SmithComing into this season, I had the New York Knicks taking a step backward in my Sheridan Hoops preview column. But not this far back.

New York is tied for the second-worst record in the Eastern Conference with a 3-8 mark and J.R. Smith, arguably the team’s second best player, is in crisis mode.

“They say it’s too early to panic,” Smith said after Wednesday’s hard-fought overtime loss to Indiana, the team’s sixth straight home setback. “Me personally, I panic. I don’t like this. I don’t want to play 3-8 basketball. I don’t want to play 50-50 basketball. If we’re going to be a championship caliber team and call ourselves that, we’ve got to play like that. We can’t be any other way.”

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SH Blog: Nuggets rejected Shumpert offer from Knicks, Lacob explains why it wasn’t hard to sign Iguodala

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There’s nothing like a juicy rumor floating around the league, and there was one worth discussing from Wednesday involving Iman Shumpert and Kenneth Faried. Both are still developing and we still don’t know who they truly are as of yet in terms of potential, but there is no doubt that plenty of teams are interested in obtaining either player. So are the New York Knicks and Denver Nuggets entertaining offers? That is the question, which we have some answers to below.

STORY OF THE DAY:

ImanShumpertThe hottest rumor of the day came from Frank Isola of NYDN:

J.R. Smith is starting & Iman Shumpert could be departing. I’m hearing Knicks-Nuggets continue to discuss an Iman for Kenneth Faried trade.

The all-knowing Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports!, however, shot down any notion that this is an ongoing discussion:

Denver has made it clear to Kenneth Faried’s reps: There are no active talks involving him. Knicks offered Shumpert. Denver rejected idea.

There’s been significant interest NBA-wide in Faried, but short of including him into a blockbuster deal, it’s unlikely Denver moves him.

Knicks fans appeared to be devastated by the idea of losing Shumpert, so Woj’s report should provide them some relief. However, there are a number of teams interested in the guard, and the Knicks are undecided on what they want to do. Marc Stein of ESPN has it covered:

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