Rose tops Melo
Bulls 82, Knicks 81
Derrick Rose and Carmelo Anthony are at very different points in their careers as they entered their matchup Thursday at United Center.
Rose was playing his first home game since tearing his ACL and missing all of last season. He got a very loud ovation as he came onto the floor and continued to show flashes of his brilliance along with rust of playing at the NBA level full time after a year off.
Anthony is on the doorstep of free agency and has said he will test the waters, but also his commitment to try to attract other stars to the Big Apple. He said he would be opening his rolodex this summer after settling his own free agency future and trying to get his friends to join him. That might be easier said than done.
And there are still issues to resolve with this year's team. Anthony still might need a little bit of help.
It was Anthony who spearheaded the Knicks comeback in the fourth quarter as they worked to get out of the deficit that plagued the team the entire game. New York turned to Anthony one last time after Derrick Rose put Chicago up one point with a few seconds to play on a baseline floater.
Anthony though could not create enough in that time frame. He took a long two with his toe well over the 3-point line that missed without any doubt to give the Bulls the cathartic win in Rose's first game at United Center.
Carmelo Anthony scored 22 points on 8-for-24 shooting. Raymond Felton had 13 and Tim Hardaway Jr. had 10 as the only other players to give Anthony must scoring support. Derrick Rose got 18 points and three assists as he works his way back into regular season play.
Gores expects Pistons to win
Pistons vs. Grizzlies, 8 p.m.
The Pistons made quite a splash this summer in acquiring Brandon Jennings and signing Josh Smith. It appeared to be a clear sign that Detroit was pushing for a Playoff berth this season in the Eastern Conference. There is the expectation from owner Tom Gores for this team to win and continued faith in Joe Dumars to deliver that winner. Even though the road has been bumpy for the last few years.
Bucks floor getting resurfaced
Bucks vs. Celtics, 7 p.m.
When the Bucks finally take the floor for their home opener Saturday against the Raptors, it will not be on the floor they expected it to be. After the two teams complained of slipping on the new surface during a preseason game last week, the floor is hitting the shelf and getting a complete resurfacing. That means Milwaukee will break out the floor they used last year instead of the spiffy new court they planned to play on this year.
Kirilenko: LeBron not toughest to guard
Heat vs. Nets, 8 p.m./ESPN
The Heat and Nets really have a truly budding rivalry. Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett already are not LeBron James fans and they expect to make the Heat's title defense a nightmare. Of course, that is a long way from now and this first matchup will only serve as an appetizer for the matchups to come. But let them talk. And Andrei Kirilenko is. Kirilenko told the New York Post that LeBron James is not the toughest player to guard in the league. We will see about that.
Duncan day to day with chest bruise
Spurs vs. Lakers, 10:30 p.m./ESPN
Tim Duncan is day to day with a chest bruise after leaving Wednesday's win over the Grizzlies. That likely means he is out for Friday's national television matchup with the Lakers. The Spurs are always pretty used to adjusting to whatever combinations Gregg Popovich comes up with. The Lakers though have put together a relatively deep team. Well, the starters cannot score but the bench can. So far.
Nene out with calf injury
76ers vs. Wizards, 7 p.m.
If the Wizards can stay healthy, they might have a Playoff roster. Already one game in, the Wizards might be wondering about their team's health. A key piece already has an injury to fight through. That would be to power forward Nene who left Wednesday's game with a calf injury. It is not clear yet how long the Brazilian power forward will be out. It appears as though he will play Friday against the Sixers.
Bobcats exercise options on three
Cavaliers vs. Bobcats, 7 p.m.
To little surprise, the Bobcats have exercised their team option on several rookie contracts. Yes, Kemba Walker, Bismack Biyombo and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist will have another year of service in Charlotte. This is not a surprise. Walker really blossomed for the Bobcats last year. Biyombo is an interesting defensive prospect and MKG still has a bundle of talent worth watching.
No hard feelings from Hickson
Trail Blazers vs. Nuggets, 9 p.m.
J.J. Hickson left Portland this summer and joined the Nuggets in Denver. It is a bit of a coincidence that his first game in the Mile High City will indeed be against his former team. Hickson claims no hard feelings in the matchup, but admits he had the game against his former team circled for a while. Denver lost in Sacramento in its opener, so there will be more on the line in the form of trying to get a win in this one.
Lob City not dead
Clippers 125, Warriors 115
This summer, Blake Griffin proclaimed Lob City dead. This was a new team with real championship aspirations. They no longer wanted to be known for the playful lobs and highlight reel plays that have come to define the Blake Griffin/Chris Paul duo. They may be trying to distance themselves, but it gets tougher with each alley to the rim and each oop through the hoop. Blake Griffin had 23 points and 10 rebounds. Chris Paul scored 42 points to go with 15 assists and six steals. Three of those assists came on, yes, lobs at key moments in the fourth quarter as Los Angeles was holding Golden State at bay. Lob City is decidedly not dead yet. Nor is it going anywhere anytime soon.
Cuban: Howard made mistake joining Rockets
Mavericks vs. Rockets, 8 p.m.
Talk about being a sore loser. Mark Cuban made a bid for Dwight Howard this summer (and last) and failed in both bids. So, how does he respond? He told the Dallas Morning News that Howard made a youthful mistake and that he hopes the Rockets "suck." That was the word he used. Oh, this could be a fun rivalry again.
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