Truth & Rumors > NBA

'Melo gushes over Chicago's Thibs

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07:42 AM ET 04.14 | The Second City may be New York's first concern when it comes to free-agent-to-be Carmelo Anthony. In a development that has to have the Knicks sweating, [Anthony] inquired about Chicago's Tom Thibodeau Sunday afternoon, then gushed over him as a "great coach" whose system can work with "anybody." And the Knicks' 100-89 win over the Bulls Sunday night didn't change Anthony's opinion of Thibodeau, or erase the pain of missing the playoffs for the first time in his career. "It's hard now. It's hard for me to accept [not being in the playoffs]," said Anthony. ... With the playoff-bound Bulls expected to be one of his primary suitors, and Joakim Noah reportedly having tried to recruit him over the All-Star break, Anthony's respect for Thibodeau and his winning system doesn't bode well.

New York Post

Tom Thibodeau, Icon Sports Tom Thibodeau, Icon Sports

Teammates irked by The Lillard Rules?

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07:41 AM ET 04.14 | At some point, the debate may take to whether Terry Stotts is the man to keep coaching the Trail Blazers. But while the streamers fell and players hugged and everyone doled out congratulations [after Sunday's win over Golden State], there was some pretty ugly play that was unbecoming of a team with visions of winning a playoff series. In short, Damian Lillard made a series of really poor decisions at the end of the first half, and another crucial mistake at the end of overtime that nearly cost the Blazers the game. ... [There] is some concern inside the locker room that Lillard is not held to the same accountabilities that other players are. In other words, his mistakes are often either overlooked, or not held to the same examination as others.

The Oregonian

Damian Lillard, Icon Sports Damian Lillard, Icon Sports

Odd man out in Brooklyn

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07:40 AM ET 04.14 | On the one hand, with the way this season started in Brooklyn, it's nice to even have the conversation about playoff lineups, but that doesn't make it easier on its head coach. [One thing] that has been worth paying attention to is coach Jason Kidd's sudden logjam at center, where the Nets have three players -- Kevin Garnett, Andray Blatche and Mason Plumlee -- worthy of minutes. However, it's likely only two will be given significant game action once the playoffs begin next weekend in either Toronto or Chicago. "I don't know if I can play all three of them, but we'll try to play all three," Kidd said before Sunday's game. "But coming up on the playoffs, and especially the first round with it spread out, [Garnett will have] a little bit more rest, so we'll see."

New York Post

Kevin Garnett, Icon Sports Kevin Garnett, Icon Sports

D'Antoni out, Gasol in?

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07:38 AM ET 04.14 | The days of Pau Gasol making nearly $20 million are likely a thing of the past, but he'll be a popular guy once free agency opens. "It's a great position to be in," he said Sunday. "It's rare. The first time I will ever be in that position." It's no secret that he dislikes Coach Mike D'Antoni's offense. It's also no secret that the Lakers will soon weigh whether D'Antoni returns for the final guaranteed year of his contract. ... Maybe there's even a possibility of reuniting with the Lakers. "I think there's chances," he said carefully. "It depends what the conditions are going to be and then I'll decide what's best. At this point in my career, I just have to be picky, put my personal feelings aside and look at the whole picture."

Los Angeles Times

Pau Gasol, Getty Images Pau Gasol, Getty Images

Stoudemire: Knicks can be the NBA's best

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07:38 AM ET 04.14 | Of course, the biggest question hovering over the Knicks has to do with the future of Carmelo Anthony. [Mike Woodson] said he expects Anthony to play these final three games [including Sunday night] despite him battling a shoulder injury. "He hasn't indicated to me that he's going to sit down." ... Going forward under new President Phil Jackson, Amar'e Stoudemire said there was a lot of uncertainty surrounding Anthony and other players. "There could be a lot of changes, that's the unknown factor," Stoudemire said. Stoudemire added with a straight face: "On paper we might be the best team in the league." He also said he expects to be back next season and helping the team reach the playoffs. "If I return healthy, I'm sure we'll make the playoffs," he said.

NBA.com

Amar'e Stoudemire, Getty Images Amar'e Stoudemire, Getty Images

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