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Roy Hibbert had an amazing block on Carmelo Anthony; Stephen A. Smith was not impressed (Video)

Roy Hibbert blockRoy Hibbert had an amazing block on Carmelo Anthony in the fourth quarter of Game 6 between the Indiana Pacers and New York Knicks that was a major turning point in the game.

The Knicks were up 92-90 with around five minutes left and looked like they might send the Eastern Conference semifinals series to a seventh game. The quarter had gone back-and-forth and was a one-possession game for the first seven minutes. But that’s when Hibbert changed the game.

The Pacers center came over to defend the rim after Anthony spun around Paul George and headed for a baseline dunk. He managed to stuff Melo’s dunk attempt at the rim. The ESPN replay showed the struggle between the two at the rim and how Hibbert’s strength stood up to ‘Melo’s. It was a thing of beauty.

The block sparked the Pacers; they went on a 9-0 run and won 106-99 to end the series. They outscored the Knicks 16-7 after the block, which was Hibbert’s fifth of the game.

Carmelo credited Hibbert for causing “havoc” in the paint. Everyone viewed it as a major turning point. But the only one unwilling to heap praise on Hibbert for the play was ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, who said he wasn’t about to throw Hibbert “a cookie” for the play.

“It was a pivotal play in the game, no doubt about it, but I’m not about to throw him a cookie. He is 7-feet-2 for crying out loud. It’s nice to see him get up and block that shot,” Smith said after the game.

“That particular play, as great of a block as it was, I guess, you’re 7-feet-2. A guy 6-foot-8 is coming your way. I expect you to be able to make that play. That’s what you’re on the court for. I’m not about to give him cookies and milk for that.”

You can see his comments below:

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Carmelo Anthony: Why is everybody mad LeBron James wasn’t unanimous MVP?

Carmelo-Anthony-KnicksLeBron James won the NBA’s MVP award on Sunday, but he fell one vote shy of being a unanimous selection. The writer who did not vote for LeBron, Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe, wrote a column on Monday defending his decision to give Carmelo Anthony a first-place vote. Not surprisingly, ‘Melo doesn’t see what all the fuss is about.

“As far as the guy in Boston, I don’t know why he catches so much flak for that,” Anthony said after Game 2 against the Pacers, via the NY Daily News. “He has the right to vote for whoever he want. LeBron won the MVP. Why is everybody so mad that he didn’t win it unanimously? … Thank you.”

Of course Carmelo understands why Washburn voted for him, even though 120 other voters felt LeBron was the obvious choice. A lot of people think Washburn only voted for someone other than James to make a point and be different, but it’s not as if he voted for a bench player.

Anthony led the NBA in scoring with 28.7 points per game and has carried the Knicks for a large portion of the season. Washburn said he felt Carmelo was more important to the Knicks than LeBron is to the Heat, which is a tough argument to make. Not only is LeBron one of the best offensive players in the game, he was also in the running for Defensive Player of the Year honors. Anthony is more of a scorer than an all-around threat like James.

In any event, we know who Carmelo would have voted for.

H/T Pro Basketball Talk

Gary Washburn defends decision to vote for Carmelo Anthony as MVP over LeBron

Carmelo-Anthony-KnicksLeBron James won his fourth NBA MVP trophy on Sunday, falling just one first-place vote shy of being a unanimous selection. LeBron received 120 of the 121 possible first-place votes and, during Sunday’s award ceremony at American Airlines Arena, he speculated that a New York writer was the one who voted for Carmelo Anthony over him.

“It’s probably a writer out of New York that didn’t give me the vote,” James said, via ESPN.com. “I know the history between the Heat and the Knicks. So I get it.”

He guessed wrong.

Anthony’s lone vote was cast by the Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn. LeBron assumed it was a New York writer fueling the rivalry between the Knicks and Heat, but the Celtics and Heat dislike each other just as much. However, Washburn attempted to explain his decision — one that he says had nothing to do with rivalries or a personal agenda — in a column on Monday morning.

…this isn’t the Best Player in the Game award, it’s the Most Valuable Player award, and I think what Anthony accomplished this season was worthy of my vote. He led the Knicks to their first division title in 19 years.

That’s a long time ago.

Anthony led the league in scoring average and basically carried an old Knicks team to the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference. Amar’e Stoudemire missed most of the season with knee issues, Raymond Felton missed six weeks, and Tyson Chandler dealt with nagging injuries, leaving Anthony, J.R. Smith, and a bunch of lottery picks from the mid-1990s to win 54 games and beat the Miami Heat three times.

Washburn sternly opposed the notion that he voted for Carmelo simply to go against the grain, insisting he did not go around asking the other voters who they were voting for. He also said he was surprised that he was the only person who didn’t give LeBron a first-place vote, which seems hard to believe when more than 100 other people did it. His argument is simply that Anthony has made the Knicks relevant again.

This isn’t the first time it has seemed like a first-place vote given to a player for no reason and it certainly won’t be the last. It happens every year in almost every sport. That being said, the NBA does not reveal the names of voters. Kudos to Washburn for coming forward and trying to validate his decision.

Carmelo Anthony: La La has a right to be upset with Jordan Crawford, Celtics

Jordan Crawford Carmelo AnthonyThere is no shortage of bad blood heading into Friday night’s Game 6 matchup between the New York Knicks and Boston Celtics. That became evident after the final buzzer sounded following Game 5 and the two teams had to be separated. At the center of that dust-up were Jordan Crawford and Carmelo Anthony, with Crawford supposedly making deragatory remarks about Carmelo’s wife La La Anthony.

On Thursday, La La seemingly took a shot at Crawford on her Instagram account and called him out for being a benchwarmer. Crawford later denied that he said anything about Mrs. Anthony, but Carmelo seems to think differently.

“I would be upset too if I were her,” Anthony said on Friday, via the NY Daily News. “She always gets thrown into the mix of the Boston Celtics series. So I would be upset. She’s her own person and at the end of the day so she has the right to say what she wants to say.”

Of course, Anthony is referring to the Honey Nut Cheerios incident that took place between him and Kevin Garnett back in January. We have no way of knowing whether Garnett or Crawford actually said something about La La, but there’s usually fire where there’s this much smoke. Also, ‘Melo was about 10 inches from Crawford’s face during Wednesday night’s mix-up.

Anthony is right — his wife does have every right to express herself when she is involuntarily dragged into the rivalry. And we’re glad she did, because it’s just one more thing that adds to the hatred these two teams already feel toward one another.

Jordan Crawford, Carmelo Anthony at center of postgame mixup (Video)

Jordan Crawford Carmelo AnthonyJordan Crawford got into it with Carmelo Anthony after the Boston Celtics’ 92-86 win over the New York Knicks in Game 5 of their playoff series on Wednesday night.

As the final seconds were ticking off the clock, Crawford appeared to say something to Anthony. Raymond Felton didn’t like what he heard and tried sticking up for his teammate.

Though Melo walked away, others players got in between Felton and Crawford.

Anthony had an off night shooting. He went just 8-of-24 for 22 points and missed all five of his three point attempts. Crawford, meanwhile, didn’t even play in the game, yet he was running his mouth afterwards. Another player feeling more cocky than he should.

Credit to Carmelo for not falling into the trash talking trap the way he did in January with Kevin Garnett.

“I’m not thinking about Jordan Crawford right now,” Anthony said after the game, per the Washington Post’s Michael Lee. “I don’t even think he deserves for you to be typing about him.”

What’s this? A newer, wiser Carmelo Anthony? I’m shocked he didn’t get caught up in the trash talk this time. That’s smart, because the Knicks need him focused so they can close out this series.

Kevin Durant announces he will be conceding scoring title to Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony has officially wrapped up the 2012-2013 NBA scoring title, as Kevin Durant has announced he will not be suiting up for the Oklahoma City Thunder’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night. KD made the announcement with a message on his Instagram account Wednesday morning.

Kevin-Durant-scoring-title

Kevin-Durant-Carmelo-Anthony-All-StarThe end of the NBA season can be boring for most teams who already have their playoff spot cemented, so it’s no surprise the Thunder have decided to rest Durant for the playoffs. With only one game remaining, Oklahoma City has clinched the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. Risking an injury to their best player for the sake of personal accolades would not be a wise decision.

Oh yeah, and there’s one thing Durant did not mention in his brief Instagram announcement. He would have had to score 70 points against the Bucks to surpass Anthony, who has been on fire since he returned from injury last month. While the Thunder could have constantly fed Durant the ball and let him chase the scoring title since the outcome of the game doesn’t matter, very few coaches would allow their team to do that. Durant said over a week ago that Anthony could have the scoring title. I guess he meant it.

Kevin Durant on NBA scoring title: Carmelo Anthony can have it

Kevin-Durant-Carmelo-Anthony-All-StarThe Oklahoma City Thunder are fighting for the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. Kevin Durant is currently leading the NBA in scoring, but his top priority is getting back to the NBA Finals and erasing the feeling of falling a few games short of an NBA championship. Carmelo Anthony is hot on his heels for the scoring crown, but Durant doesn’t seem concerned about it.

“He can have it,” Durant told Jeff Caplan of NBA.com on Thursday. “I mean the stuff he’s doing right now, every time he touches the ball it looks like it’s going to go in. He’s having a nice run right now and his confidence is high. I’m sure he’s going to take over. If it happens, cool.”

Durant is averaging 28.3 points per game and Anthony is averaging 28.1 and closing the gap. Melo put up 50 points against the Miami Heat on Tuesday and 40 against the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday, so it’s safe to say he’s riding a hot hand. With eight games remaining and only a 0.2-point differential, there is certainly plenty of time for Anthony to pass Durant.

Winning the scoring title this season would be no small feat for Durant, who has won it the past three seasons. Only Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain have captured more than three consecutive scoring titles, so he would be joining legendary company. Having said that, I’m sure he’d much rather have something else in common with Wilt and MJ — a championship ring.

H/T Pro Basketball Talk