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Posted on: July 19, 2011 10:51 am
Edited on: July 19, 2011 11:11 am

Report: Melo to return to Denver Nov.16

By Matt Moore

Carmelo Anthony was traded after the Knicks had already visited the Pepsi Center last season, which meant there was no return for him as a Knick to the city he was drafted to. If we do get a season, a report out of New York says when he'll be making the trek back to the Rockies. 

From the New York Post:
According to a person debriefed on the Knicks' 2011-12 schedule, the club embarks on a West Coast trip in November and will play a snazzy, nationally televised back-to-back, facing the Nuggets Nov. 16 on ESPN and the Lakers at Staples Center Nov. 17 on TNT's Thursday night showcase.
via Knicks' western trip in jeopardy -

Now, of course with the lockout, that means we could easily miss that Nov.17th date which will be less than 21 days from the start of the season. That would mean Melo wouldn't return to the city he cajoled his way out of until 2012, possibly 2013. Traded in February 2011, may not return until as late as April 2013. That's pretty crazy. 

But if we say the season does go on, what kind of atmosphere should Melo expect? The Post expects a Cleveland-LeBron-like response, which is probably a bit much. Melo wasn't as much of a star in the NBA or in Denver as LeBron was in Cleveland. His circumstances of departure weren't quite as dastardly (even if you think about it, he may have made them worse as he basically held the team hostage for six months, but no one wants to talk about the possibility of anyone being worse than LeBron). And Denver doesn't have the baggage Cleveland does. So while Melo will definitely get his fair share of boo birds, its hard to see it being the same kind of "we need security" situation that James' return to Cleveland was. 

Posted on: July 18, 2011 12:59 pm
Edited on: July 18, 2011 3:41 pm

2011-12 schedule to be released Tuesday

Posted by Royce Young

Good news, NBA junkies. You may have been robbed of your precious Summer League, but you won't have the second best day of the boring, basketball-less summer taken from you. The NBA is still going to be releasing the 2011-12 schedule anyway on Tuesday afternoon. Yay, right?

Obviously, it would be easy to assume that this is a good sign for the lockout and reason for optimism. But really, it's just sort of a business as usual thing. I mean, the league has to be prepared either way. If a deal is reached in October and everyone just assumed games were going to be lost and no one had made a schedule, that would be a problem, right?

But it is at least a sign in some sense that the league is hoping for games and hasn't entirely dug in. Because look at it the other way: If there was no schedule coming, that would be a very, very bad sign. So since a schedule is being released, the fact that the league is doing it at all has to kind of be seen as a good thing. You see, I'm an eternal optimist, especially with this lockout. Begging for a reason to be convinced there will be games.

Last season, the schedule came out in August because the league wanted to see where all the high-prized free agents ended up landing. Since none of that's happening right now because of the, you know, lockout and all, the league is just going ahead with it a couple weeks earlier. And thank heavens it is, because having nothing, not even Summer League, is really a downer.

Even if there isn't a 2011-12 season, we'll at least have a schedule to visualize what it would've looked like. That's something, right?
Category: NBA
Posted on: August 10, 2010 5:56 pm
Edited on: August 10, 2010 5:58 pm

5 can't miss national TV games in 2010-2011

Posted by Matt Moore

The story of the 2010-2011 national television schedule is about what you'd expect. Lots of Heat, lots of Boston, lots of Lakers, and the rise of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Boston Celtics surprisingly lead all teams in national television appearances across NBATV, ESPN, ABC, and TNT with 33 appearances. The Miami Heat, no shock, are second, with 29 appearances, while the defending champion Lakers appear 27 times. That number is likely to increase signficantly with NBATV's fan night. The Orlando Magic also appear 29 times, compared to the East's three-seed Atlanta Hawks, who appear just 14 times. Of the 15 games on ABC, 14 feature the Heat, Celtics, Lakers, or Magic.

New York appears 18 times, while Phoenix has certainly earned some faith from the producers, landing 25 national appearances. Oklahoma City were the big winners, with 24 big-time appearances, and the first post-Christmas ABC game, facing the Heat at home. It's a big win for a small market club.

Of course, most other small-market clubs didn't fair so well. Indiana is without a single appearanc. Charlotte and Memphis have 6 each, New Orleans 7, and Milwaukee only has 8, despite being playoff or near-playoff teams. This is in contrast to the Clippers, the freaking Clippers, getting 12 appearances. Win total didn't have much to do with these decisions.

Your top five nationally televised games not on Christmas, Opening Night, or MLK Day:

  1. Heat at Magic, November 24th, ESPN: The Sunshine Massacre. The Heat's primary weakness, true size, is tested against Dwight Howard while Jameer Nelson could have a huge game against Mario Chalmers.
  2. Lakers at Thunder, February 27th, ABC: Welcome back, Lakers. They barely got out of the Sooner state with their playoff lives last April and the Thunder should be improved. Kevin Durant will likely take this one personally, while Kobe loathes challengers to his throne.
  3. Heat at Cavaliers, December 2nd, TNT: "Peace? Peace. I hate the word. As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee."-Cleveland
  4. Blazers at Jazz, April 7th, TNT: Let's imagine Greg Oden stays healthy. Let's imagine Al Jefferson stays healthy. Deron Williams, Brandon Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge, Marcus Camby, Andrei Kirilenko, Paul Millsap. The Northwest Division is a bloodbath.
  5. Lakers at Celtics, February 10th, TNT: It's refreshing when the networks give you two seldom-seen teams that never match up. It's a once-in-a-lifetime type game, really.

Posted on: August 3, 2010 11:30 pm
Edited on: August 3, 2010 11:31 pm

NBA's 2011 MLK day is stellar as usual

Posted by Matt Moore

Along with the Christmas and opening day schedules released tonight by the NBA, the MLK Jr. Day schedule was also revealed. And just as in years past, the slate's pretty solid. If only we had a trusty NBA blog to run down the games that day.

Wait, we do have a blog like that! It's this one!

Okay, I'll stop. Here's the rundown.

1PM EST, Bulls at Grizzlies:

The Grizzlies had a huge win last year on MLK day over the Suns, a team much better than them in 2009-2010. And they'll find themselves in a similar situation this year. Carlos Boozer, Kyle Korver, and Ronnie Brewer make the Bulls a much better team than they were last year on paper. The Grizzlies, meanwhile, have only added a shooting guard they can't come to terms with despite the existence of a rookie pay scale. So they've got that going for them.

But still, this should be a good matchup, if the Grizzlies aren't on a back-to-back. Marc Gasol and Joakim Noah are very different but nearly equal players in terms of production and skill. Zach Randolph is the flip side of Carlos Boozer. More consistent, less injury prone, and continuosly hammered for his locker room cancerous behavior. Not that Boozer is a saint, he's just somehow been excused regularly despite his contract situation being a distraction for Utah the last two years. But their production is similar so that's nearly a wash as well. Rudy Gay is a better but younger version of Luol Deng, and O.J. Mayo's scoring punch and perimeter defensive speed counters Kyle Korver/Ronnie Brewer's specific but limited skill-sets. Unfortunately, that Derrick Rose guy exists. Advantage: Bulls.

Let's not even talk about the bench diffferential, which is considerable. Like I said, back-to-back for the Grizz would be a bad, bad thing here.

4PM EST, Kings at Hawks:

The Hawks got ran last MLK by an up and coming Western Conference team in the Thunder. So naturally the league scheduled them against a similar, and only slightly worse in the Kings. Joe Johnson versus Tyreke Evans should make for a good theater, and Al Horford versus DeMarcus Cousins could be one of the most bizarre conflicts of style and personality among players under 25 all season. And hey, what says Martin Luther King Jr. Day more than Omri Casspi and Zaza Pachulia?

8EST, Magic at Celtics:

You don't really expect me to provide you with a preview for the estimated 22nd meeting of these two teams in three years, do you? Because if you do, you expect way too much out of me.

Oh, hey, something-something, Shaquille O'Neal versus Dwight Howard. Boom.

10:30PM EST, Oklahoma City Thunder at Los Angeles Lakers:

This is likely going to be a back-to-back for the Thunder. That's generally how these things work. But in what could well end up being an MVP season for Kevin Durant, it still should be incredibly fun. As we saw in the playoffs, these two teams are extremely well matched, and even with the Lakers' upgrades off the bench, OKC's continued development should make for a strong foil to their heavily favored position.

Plus, Cole Aldrich versus Pau Gasol could be high comedy.

Posted on: August 3, 2010 4:21 pm

Lakers-Heat have a Christmas date

Posted by Matt Moore

As part of our continuing coverage of "the NBA can't keep a secret in any way, shape, or form..."
The NBA likes to save its most hyped games for Christmas. It's the first real holiday that it lays claims to each year. The last few years it has been Lakers-Celtics in the yuletide rumble. This year, the hype created by the LeBron James-Chris Bosh-Dwyane Wade trifecta has created a new mega-match. The defending champion Los Angeles Lakers will host the Heat on December 25th, according to Ira Winderman of the Miami Sun-Sentinel .

There's no "proving it" to NBA television marketing executives like there is among other players in the league. Those people know that people want to see the Heat, even with as sick of the Heat's PR trainwreck as they are. One mistake though is that Winderman's article mentions that the Heat won't play on MLK day.

The league has been pushing MLK day as an NBA holiday the last few years, and it's one of the few times when they have a number of people off work with no competing sports or family interests. The work they've done in highlighting that day with sextuple headers has worked well for showcasing the league. Omitting the Heat that day seems to take the holiday down a notch. But maybe that will give them the rare opportunity to show off the smaller markets that are likely to be even more overlooked than usual this year with all the superteams forming.

But for Christmas, you can expect a healthy feast of hype when Kobe-Pau-Odom-Artest-Bynum meets Bosh-Wade-James-Chalmers . And really, what says Christmas like hype?
Posted on: August 3, 2010 8:27 am
Edited on: August 5, 2010 8:49 am

Boston versus Miami leads opening night

Posted by Matt Moore

The new NBA superpower in Miami will definitely have its hands full to start the season as the New Big 3 takes on the Old Big 3. Welcome to being the hunted, ring or no ring. The Boston Globe reports that the NBA season will kick off October 26th with the defending Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics hosting the Miami Heat. If this report and the Orlando Sentinel report regarding the game against Orlando on the 28th are correct, it means two things.

One, Miami will immediately be under fire to produce wins. Starting the season off 0-2 would mean almost nothing in terms of their capacity as a team, but would result in a cataclysmic fire of negative press that would follow them until the notched several significant wins. Knocking off the Pacers on a Tuesday will not help things if they start off winless against the two best teams in the East outside of Miami, both of which have been to the Finals the past two seasons.

Two, the Heat will not open their own arena until at least Friday or Saturday, meaning it doesn't look like the NBA trusts the Miami market to create a particularly rowdy atmosphere, compared to what greets the Big 3 on opening night. Two road games against the two other top East teams? Baptism by fire, super-friends. Baptism by fire.

Meanwhile, the revelation that the season kicks off with Miami and Boston leads us to wonder what team the defending champion Lakers will face. Rampant speculation has suggested Oklahoma City, which would certainly bring the most high profile game for the Western second game of the expected doubleheader. Other possible options include the Suns, Nuggets, Spurs, and Mavericks.

We'll have more on the opening night matchups when the NBA officially releases its opening night, Christmas Day, and MLK day schedule tonight on NBATV.

Posted on: August 2, 2010 9:54 pm
Edited on: August 2, 2010 10:09 pm

Report: Bulls-Knicks Christmas Day

Posted by Matt Moore

When the NBA decided to try out this whole "let's make revealing the schedule a big event on NBATV!" thing, there were a few things they were going to have to manage. The biggest of which was trying to contain leaks of the schedule to reporters, considering the massive number of people the schedule will arleady have been released to. So far, the league has not exactly shown itself to be an impenetrable fortress of information.

After today's slip of the Orlando-Heat game for October 28th, Frank Isola of the New York Daily News has our first Christmas Day release . Isola reports that Bulls-Knicks will play on December 25th, with LeBron James' first trip to the Big Apple with the Heat on December 17th.

The sheer number of people that already have access to the schedule means that keeping a hold on its release was highly unlikely. But they, they did a pretty good job. They managed to keep it under wraps for an entire weekend in which no one was working. It took reporters more than twelve hours to start getting information...

Yeah, not exactly NSA here.

The Chicago-New York match is interesting. It's a rivalry day, and building a New York-Chicago rivalry is pretty genius. Both teams feature improved rosters, and counter each other well. And by that I mean, Chicago will stomp them because Derrick Rose is much, much better than Raymond Felton. But two big markets back in the spotlight on Christmas Day? That's just what the league thinks is best.

Update: Isola also reports the Knicks will open play against Toronto on October 27th. An interesting note, this means the Orlando game againt the Heat will NOT be the season opener as previously reported. This likely indicates that the season will begin as it has s the past few years on a Tuesday, the 26th.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or