The moment of truth has arrived for Carmelo Anthony.Tuesday night, Anthony will be in a place he cherishes. Not Houston, but Baltimore, where he will host The Basketball Tournament — a month-long event that is down to its final four. Keeping a low profile lately, Anthony will be front and center Tuesday at Coppin State, watching a Syracuse alumni team face Overseas Elite in one semifinal. In the other, Ohio State alumni, which features Nets target Jared Sullinger, play Team Challenge ALS, a Boston College squad fighting to raise money to support alumnus Pete Frates who is suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease. The Knicks’ 33-year-old recent recluse has yet to give an interview since the regular-season finale April 12, when he saw “the writing on the wall.’’ The indication was he knew the club wanted to rebuild without him. In the next few days, Anthony will have a chance to speak his piece. Phil Jackson is out as president, but the franchise’s strategy hasn’t changed much. A stalemate has ensued as sources indicate Anthony only wishes to waive his no-trade clause to go to the Rockets. Not even Cleveland, which is in turmoil, is good enough for Anthony as the Cavaliers are dealing with Kyrie Irving’s trade demand. The Knicks’ management tandem of Steve Mills-Scott Perry claim it won’t trade Anthony to Houston unless it cobbles together a solid deal that makes sense for the Knicks’ future. Nothing has materialized. In fact, a source told cheap nba jerseys authentic The Post the signing of veteran point guard Ramon Sessions partly was due to him connecting better with Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis than did Derrick Rose, who left for Cleveland via free agency. Anthony has also dealt with the very public separation from his wife, La La. All those issues swirl about as Anthony hosts The Basketball Tournament that concludes Thursday. Anthony also will attend a charity event Wednesday with Catherine Pugh, the mayor of Baltimore. The $2 million winner-take-all competition featuring former NBA and Division I players is in its fourth year. Anthony, ironically, engineered its move from New York to Baltimore for the semifinals and finals, which will be televised by ESPN. Anthony lived in Brooklyn until age 10 before moving to Baltimore. “After years of watching TBT, I decided to get involved,’’ Anthony stated in a release. “It’s a tournament for people to live out their basketball dreams and that’s exciting to me. I’m a believer in chasing after your dreams no matter what. And that’s what this tournament symbolizes to me. “Baltimore will always have a special place in my heart, and I’m excited to bring a tournament like this to this city. Basketball and Baltimore go hand in hand. The perfect match. A city that is all about determination. A city that helped build me.” The nearby Wizards would seem an attractive destination for Anthony, but they just matched an offer sheet to small forward Otto Porter Jr. (four years, $106 million). The Post has reported the Knicks want Anthony to expand his wish list and Oklahoma City and Portland reportedly are interested. Hooking up with his buddies Chris Paul and James Harden in Houston has become Anthony’s priority. Even the prospect of playing again for former Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni has not deterred Anthony, who rebelled against his speed-ball offense and reliance on Jeremy Lin, leading to the coach’s resignation in 2012. Dan D’Antoni, the former Knicks assistant, told The Post on Monday his brother will be able to move on from the rancor in New York. “There were a lot of things that went wrong, but Carmelo is a heckuva player,’’ Dan D’Antoni said. “All I’m saying is Mike’s a good person. He understands people change, things change. Two things you can’t deny: Mike’s a helluva coach. Carmelo is a very good player. If those two see eye-to-eye, Mike and I are always optimistic things are meant to be. The next day is going to be better than the day before.” The Rockets dangled Ryan Anderson’s contract in multi-team packages but found no takers. General manager Daryl Morey stockpiled a handful of non-guaranteed pacts to apply to an Anthony trade for mathematical purposes but Sunday released one of those players, Jarrod Uthoff, who had $200,000 due this week if he remained on the roster. Shawn Long, Tim Quarterman and Isaiah Taylor are still non-guaranteed chips on Houston’s roster. Anthony can only hope those guys will be on the move soon.
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The Washington Wizards played a total of six lineups more than 19 games in the 2017-17 NBA season. Some lineups worked much better than others.In the modern NBA, having a lineup for every type of scenario is crucial. Since the Golden State Warriors started their reign of terror in the league, many teams have started to shift to smaller lineups, eliminating post-up play and traditional big men for crunch-time lineups. The NBA has started a phase with an emphasis on efficient scoring, caring more about three-point percentage and shots at the rim than midrangers and post moves. In this new era of the NBA, it’s interesting to see what a team’s best and worst lineups are over an entire season. This shows exactly what type of personnel is on the court for the most successful box score numbers. Below is the best lineup (based off of plus/minus) the Washington Wizards played more than 19 regular season games: Lineup: cheap jerseys John Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter Jr., Markieff Morris, Marcin Gortat (+3.4 plus/minus)
There’s not much surprise here. The Wizards were a pretty solid team in the 2016-17 NBA season, so it makes sense their starting lineup would be their best combination. In an NBA where lineups are getting smaller and smaller, Marcin Gortat is still the best option to protect the rim and rebound for Washington. But what might be more interesting is to take a look at the other five lineups the Washington Wizards frequented this year: Lineup 1: John Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter Jr., Kelly Oubre Jr., Marcin Gortat (+2.2 plus/minus)
Lineup 2: John Wall, Bradley Beal, Kelly Oubre Jr., Markieff Morris, Marcin Gortat (+0.2 plus/minus)
Lineup 3: John Wall, Bradley Beal, Kelly Oubre Jr., Otto Porter Jr., Markieff Morris (-0.1 plus/minus)
Lineup 4: John Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter Jr., Markieff Morris, Jason Smith (-1.0 plus/minus)
Lineup 5: John Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter Jr., Jason Smith, Marcin Gortat (-1.3 plus/minus)
There are a couple of key takeaways from these numbers. The first one and probably most obvious is that John Wall and Bradley Beal are in every single one of these lineups. This just shows that those two are very much at the center of everything the Washington Wizards do. The second takeaway, and the most alarming one, is that the Wizards only have two commonly used lineups from the entire NBA 2016-17 season with a plus/minus of more than 1.0. For reference, the Golden State Warriors have seven lineups that are all net positive last season.
This snapshot at lineups just shows how a lack of depth is extremely detrimental to Washington. If the Wizards are unable to field more than two lineup combinations for extended periods of time, they will be in huge trouble come playoff time. Hopefully the signings of Tim Frazier, Jodie Meeks and Mike Scott will give the Wizards more flexibility in their lineups, allowing John Wall and Bradley Beal to rest on the bench without their team crumbling around them. The third takeaway is that the Wizards have tried to use a small-ball lineup and haven’t really figured it out yet. Lineup 3 consists of two guards and three forwards, using no traditional big man. The problem is, the lineup was a net negative for the team. What the Warriors have (and other teams have that have succeeded with small ball lineups), is a bunch of wing forwards who can guard multiple positions. The reason the Wizards’ small-ball lineup isn’t working is most likely because Otto Porter Jr. and Kelly Oubre Jr. aren’t able to guard multiple positions yet.
If those two can work on their defensive game and hold their own against opponents both smaller and bigger than them, the Wizards may have the makings of a fantastic small-ball lineup, but until then, keep the Polish Hammer Marcin Gortat on the court…please.