Anthony stays hot, gets triple-double
Carmelo Anthony messed around and got a triple-double against the Boston Celtics on Tuesday, finishing with 35 points (13-24 FG, 7-8 FT, 2-4 3s), 10 dimes and 12 boards. He also had five turnovers, but none of his owners are complaining, especially since he's been scorching hot this month, averaging 32.1 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 3.8 apg, 1.8 3-ppg and 1.4 spg. He's also shooting 51.3 percent from the field in eight April games; keep in mind that he shot under 40 percent before the All-Star break.
He's not the only hot Knick, though. J.R. Smith and Steve Novak came off the bench to combine for 15 3s (Novak had 8), while scoring 25 apiece. According to Elias, that's the first time in NBA history that two reserve players have knocked down at least seven 3-pointers in a game. Keep riding them if you need 3s.
Not coincidentally, Melo's recent statistical explosion coincides with the departure of coach Mike D'Antoni, who was replaced by Mike Woodson. It also coincides in more recent weeks with the physical demise of Amare Stoudemire and Jeremy Lin. We have no clue how the New York Knicks will handle personnel matters this offseason, but if Woodson, Melo, Amar'e and Lin all return next season, it will be very difficult to predict exactly how they will fit together and perform statistically.
We may get a little taste as soon as Friday when Stoudemire hopes to return from his back injury. Stay tuned.
• On the other end of the court Tuesday, Paul Pierce returned from his toe injury and looked no worse for wear, as he hit 11 of 19 shots from the field and a whopping 17 of his 18 free throw attempts on his way to 43 points. Unfortunately for the Boston Celtics, Ray Allen failed to return from his ailing ankle injury, as had been expected. It's not clear if he will be available Wednesday evening against the Orlando Magic. The same goes for Rajon Rondo, who kept his double-digit dime streak alive with 13 assists Tuesday but took a tough fall on his back. He played through it, but it's possible it could tighten up overnight.
• All signs pointed to Marc Gasol skipping Tuesday's tilt between the Memphis Grizzlies and Minnesota Timberwolves, but he laced 'em up and played 33 minutes. However, he clearly wasn't playing at full strength, as he mustered just 4 points (2-8 FG, 0-2 FT) to go with 3 boards and 3 dimes. The good news for the Griz was that Zach Randolph had 16 points (8-15 FG) and 11 boards, as they took down the Wolves 91-84. Hopefully this is a sign that Z-Bo will help his owners out with a solid finish, as the Grizzlies still have five more games remaining.
• San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich kept his starters in action again Tuesday, but with a third game in as many nights Wednesday evening, there's a pretty good chance that Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan could see limited action or a DNP-CD tonight. We may not have an official word until game time nears.
• Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike Brown said that Kobe Bryant "most likely" will not take part in Wednesday's game. After tonight's matchup with the Golden State Warriors, the Lakers have critical tilts with the San Antonio Spurs on Friday and Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday before their regular-season finale next Thursday. It would be somewhat surprising -- and unnerving to Lakers fans -- if Kobe fails to return from his shin injury for those games this weekend.
• Kevin Love said he hopes to return to action on Sunday against the Golden State Warriors. Love will begin his concussion testing Wednesday. He'll have to pass a battery of tests if he wants to take part in the Wolves' final two games this season.
• Unlike Love, Stephen Curry is officially done for the season. Anyone who was holding on to him to the bitter end can let him go now. His bum ankle limited him to just 26 games in this condensed season and has left everyone wondering whether he'll ever be able to play a full season as a pro. His production when actually on the court was fairly typical, though he averaged just 11.4 shots per game, down from about 14.3 over his first two seasons, which led to a career-low 14.7 ppg. His upside remains top 10, but there's no way to justify taking him in the top 10 next season due to his ankle issues.
• Also likely done for the season is Chris Kaman, who is battling a bruised left tibia. Kaman has a lot in common with Curry, because when healthy, he, too, is capable of stuffing the stat sheet, but he just can't stay healthy. The injury-prone big man will turn 30 in a few days before becoming an unrestricted free agent. His fantasy value next season will depend on where he lands and how well his aging body holds up.