Sean Kilpatrick Reportedly to Sign with Bucks After Release from Nets

Sean Kilpatrick is reportedly headed to the Milwaukee Bucks less than two weeks after being released by the Brooklyn Nets, according to Chris Haynes of ESPN. 

The guard was waived earlier this month in order to make room for Jahlil Okafor and Nik Stauskas, who were acquired in a trade with the Philadelphia 76ers. Kilpatrick was averaging 4.9 points in 16 games for Brooklyn this season.

 

 

This article will be updated to provide more information on this story as it becomes available.

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Carmelo Anthony Hopes to Be Remembered as Someone Who Wanted to Be a Knick

Carmelo Anthony‘s return to Madison Square Garden didn’t go as planned as he scored just 12 points in a 111-96 loss for the Oklahoma City Thunder, but the 10-time All-Star looked back fondly on his time with the New York Knicks after the game. 

At his post-game press conference (via Erik Horne of the Oklahoman), Anthony said he hopes Knicks fans remember him as someone who wanted to play for the franchise:

Knicks fans did greet Anthony warmly during pre-game introductions with a largely positive reception as a video of his highlights over the past seven years played in MSG. 

“The video caught me by surprise. I wasn’t expecting it,” Anthony told reporters (via ESPN’s Ian Begley). “I was waiting for my name to be called and accept what was going to happen. I’d like to thank the organization for making that gesture. That was big time. That goes a long way for myself.”

The 10-time All-Star looked like he was going to send a message to New York early in the game. He scored 12 points in the first half before being shutout in the second half, and he shot just 5-of-18 from the field overall. 

Prior to being traded to the Thunder in September, Anthony spent seven seasons with the Knicks. He was named to the All-Star team in each of his six full seasons in New York and led the team to three straight playoff appearances from 2011-13. 

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Carmelo Anthony Scores 12 Points in Return to MSG as Thunder Lose to Knicks

Carmelo Anthony‘s season-long shooting woes continued Saturday in the Oklahoma City Thunder‘s 111-96 loss against the New York Knicks

Making his first appearance at Madison Square Garden since being traded by the Knicks in September, Anthony finished with 12 points, all of which came in the first half, on 5-of-18 shooting. He spent seven seasons as the face of New York basketball, enduring the many ups and downs that come along with that title. 

The big question leading up to this game was how New York fans would greet Anthony during pregame introductions.

It was answered with a resounding ovation:

Even though things didn’t end well between Anthony and the Knicks, both sides benefited from their partnership. They made three playoff appearances from 2011-13, and their first-round win over the Boston Celtics in 2013 was their first postseason series win in 13 years. 

Prior to the game, Anthony spoke about having fond memories of playing in New York:

Some rough patches for the franchise rarely prevented Anthony from doing what he does best, especially when he was playing at Madison Square Garden:

After everyone got a moment of bliss, the Knicks worked to ensure it wasn’t a happy return for Anthony. Madison Square Garden has been particularly kind to them this season with 14 of their 16 wins coming at home. 

A knee injury kept Kristaps Porzingis on the sidelines for New York, opening the door for another excellent performance from Michael Beasley. The 28-year-old tied his season best with a game-high 30 points. 

SiriusXM’s Justin Termine shared this bit of information about the top of the 2008 NBA draft that illustrates how things have changed over the years:

Actor Michael Rapaport, an avid Knicks fan, offered this assessment of Beasley’s sudden importance to the team:

Beasley was just one of many bright spots for the Knicks in their win. Six players, including four starters, scored at least 10 points. Doug McDermott (13 points) was lights out off the bench, making three of his five attempts from three-point range.  

The Knicks’ win improves their record to 16-13, making it the second time this season they have been three games over .500. The last time they reached that mark on Nov. 22, they proceeded to lose their next three games. 

While things are going well for the Knicks, Oklahoma City continues to look like a disorganized mess. The Big Three experiment with Anthony, Russell Westbrook and Paul George has the Thunder one game under .500 (14-15) through 29 games. 

Westbrook led the Thunder with 25 points and shot 50 percent or better from the field for just the sixth time this season. George appears to be discovering his shooting touch from three-point range, making nine of his last 18 attempts over the past two games. 

The Thunder were coming off a triple-overtime win against the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday, so fatigue could have played a role in this performance. But there’s an overall lack of consistency that has haunted the team all year. 

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LiAngelo, LaMelo Ball’s Lithuania Coach Jokes LaVar Can Be His Assistant

Virginijus Seskus, head basketball coach of Prienu Vytautas in Lithuania that recently signed LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball, is not worried about the influence LaVar Ball might have on the team. 

Speaking to LRytas, via EuroHoops.net, Seskus joked that Ball could end up being an assistant coach on his staff. 

“When we get with him [LaVar Ball], we will put a good show. In the worst case, he can be my assistant,” he said. “Then he can shout at my players, not me.”

LaVar has a history of speaking out against his sons’ head coaches. ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne reported earlier this week that the Los Angeles Lakers had a meeting with the outspoken Ball patriarch after he publicly criticized Luke Walton.

LaVar downplayed the meeting, saying it was just to get everyone on the same page with what was best for Lonzo Ball. 

“It may sound crazy to other people, but I really just want the best for Lonzo, and the best for Lonzo is going to be what’s best for the organization,” he said. “Because if everybody’s winning, we good.”

After LiAngelo withdrew from UCLA, where he didn’t appear in a game after being indefinitely suspended following an arrest in China for shoplifting, LaVar announced he was going to have his two youngest sons play overseas to prepare them for the NBA

LiAngelo and LaMelo signed with Prienu Vytautas on Dec. 11. The team plays a 33-game schedule that began in September and will run through May 2. 

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Kristaps Porzingis Out vs. Thunder After Suffering Knee Injury Against Nets

The New York Knicks announced forward Kristaps Porzingis will miss Saturday’s game against Carmelo Anthony and the Oklahoma City Thunder with a knee injury.

He was originally listed as questionable for the upcoming matchup after the injury caused him to leave Thursday’s game early.

Porzingis has been bothered by a few minor ailments this season, including lower back tightness that forced him to miss the Knicks’ loss to the Houston Rockets on Nov. 25. 

The 22-year-old was also sidelined for a pair of games at the start of December after he sprained his right ankle. 

Those minor bumps and bruises aside, Porzingis has seamlessly developed into the focal point of the Knicks’ attack on both ends of the floor following the offseason departure of Carmelo Anthony. 

Through 24 games, Porzingis is averaging a career-high 25.5 points to go with 6.6 rebounds and 2.1 blocks while shooting 46.5 percent from the field and 39.5 percent from three. 

There’s no easy way to replace that kind of production, so the Knicks will rely on a group effort to get the job done. 

In the meantime, Michael Beasley should assume a heavier workload at power forward alongside center Enes Kanter. 

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Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Can’t Leave California for 25 Days Due to Legal Matter

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has provided additional details about the legal situation that prevented him from playing in Thursday’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers

Per Bill Oram of the Southern California News Group, Caldwell-Pope said Saturday he can’t leave the state of California for 25 days. He will be in the lineup for the Lakers’ next game on Monday against the Golden State Warriors

His attorney, Jeffrey Lance Abood, told ESPN on Friday that Caldwell-Pope pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor of allowing someone to operate his vehicle under the influence. The incident took place during his time with the Detroit Pistons last season.

Abood also said the court modified Caldwell-Pope’s sentence and will release him from probation early “so long as he completes an intensive program over the next 25 days.”

                 

This article will be updated to provide more information on this story as it becomes available.

 

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Steven Adams in Concussion Protocol, out vs. Knicks

Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams will miss Saturday’s game against the New York Knicks after being placed in the concussion protocol. 

Per ESPN’s Royce Young, Adams was injured after taking an elbow to the face during the first overtime against the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday. 

Adams has long been considered one of the Thunder’s most durable players, appearing in 160 of 164 games combined during the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons. 

However, the start of the 2017-18 campaign wasn’t quite as kind to the New Zealander after a calf contusion sidelined him for three games in November.  

When healthy, Adams has been the heartbeat of Oklahoma City’s defense while operating as an expert pick-and-roll partner with Russell Westbrook on the other end. 

To this point in the season, Adams is averaging a career-high 13.7 points, 8.8 rebounds and is shooting 63.5 percent from the field. 

With the big man sidelined again, it will be on 2015 second-round pick Dakari Johnson to cover in the middle. It also wouldn’t be surprising to see the bouncy Jerami Grant operate at the 5 in small-ball alignments. 

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