It looks like Ron Baker busted out of his sophomore slump

The sophomore jinx is starting to turn for Ron Baker. Given a new lease on his second season because of Tim Hardaway Jr.’s leg injury, Baker is back to being “Ron Burgundy” — the affectionate nickname Carmelo Anthony bestowed on him as a rookie. As part of their balanced attack

Kanter, McDermott remind Thunder what they’re missing

Saturday was a big night for Carmelo Anthony and his return to the Garden with the Thunder. And it was just as big for two other guys, Enes Kanter and Doug McDermott, who were traded away from Oklahoma City when Anthony made the move West. “It always feels good

Carmelo Anthony’s warm Garden welcome didn’t last long

Before Carmelo Anthony was introduced with the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday night, the giant jumbotron dangling from the roof of the Garden began to play a short video of Anthony’s highlights as a Knick. After the montage of game-winning shots, his interaction with fans and some clips

Nets expect Allen Crabbe to shoot his way out of slump

Right now, the Nets’ priciest player is their coldest shooter. Colder than Canada. And on a team built around 3-pointers, an extended funk from Allen Crabbe is something Brooklyn can ill afford. “The ball’s not going in for us right now. Just one of those stretches. We’ll be better,

Carmelo homecoming wrecked by dominant Knicks victory

Carmelo Anthony couldn’t have everything. The ex-Knick got a rousing welcome during player introductions that included a stirring video montage, then the night went downhill from there, crashing and burning. Anthony would find himself in a familiar spot — a loser at the Garden. Booed almost every time he touched

Kristaps Porzingis’ injury not as bad as feared

It looks like there will be a Merry Kristaps after all. Breathe a sigh of relief, Knicks fans. After Friday’s exams, Kristaps Porzingis does not appear to have serious damage to his ACL and the club announced he is “day to day” with a “sore left knee.” Porzingis is listed

Knicks won’t have Kristaps Porzingis for Melo’s return

It was fleeting, but for a slight time Saturday, it seemed like Kristaps Porzingis might play for the Knicks. Yeah, fleeting to be sure. After testing his sore left knee that he injured Thursday in Brooklyn, Porzingis was ruled out against the Thunder in Carmelo Anthony’s Madison Square Garden return.

Tim Hardaway Jr. finds a new role while trying to wait out injury

It’s a tricky injury, a stress reaction/fracture that requires more rest than rehab. So Knicks swingman Tim Hardaway Jr. is trying to use his extra time to help the team off the court. His father, Hall-of-Fame candidate Tim Hardaway, is currently a Pistons assistant coach, so it’s not unfamthomable

Melo’s return likely to mimmic his Knicks tenure — a mixed bag

Once a Knick always a Knick is what former players who once made their home at the Garden are greeted with when they return. Mark Jackson got the salute the other night when he was courtside working the game for ESPN. Patrick Ewing was always acknowledged when he returned

How Knicks think Garden faithful will react to Carmelo’s return

More cheers than boos? That’s what Carmelo Anthony’s ex-teammates are expecting Saturday at the Garden. The Knicks have proven better off without Anthony, new management having made a good trade with Oklahoma City. It has them off to a 15-13 start – better than the Thunder’s 13-14 clip. Anthony’s six-and-a-half

What LeBron actually said to Lonzo in postgame huddle

LeBron James wanted to keep what he said to Lonzo Ball on the court after their game Thursday between them. He should probably know better. While James covered his mouth, as if meeting on a baseball mound, and told reporters afterwards it was “none of y’all’s business,” a hot

Carmelo ready for “emotional’ return to the city he embraced

PHILADELPHIA — Kristaps Porzingis has a message for Knicks fans: There’s no reason to boo Carmelo Anthony Saturday night in his Garden return. “I think he was as professional as he could be in his time here in New York,’’ said Porzingis, who considers Anthony his mentor. “I don’t

Carmelo plays longest game of season on eve of Garden return

PHILADELPHIA — The Thunder won’t be well-rested when they attempt to get Carmelo Anthony a victory in his return to the Garden on Saturday. In what was a microcosm of Oklahoma City’s uneven season, the Thunder blew an eight-point lead in the final three minutes of regulation, were forced

Nets get first glimpse of what is to come with Okafor, Stauskas

TORONTO — The Nets finally decided to Free Jah and also got their first taste of Sauce Castillo. After escaping virtual banishment in Philadelphia and then waiting several games to suit up with their new teammates, Jahlil Okafor and Nik Stauskas made their Nets debuts Friday night. And even

Enes Kanter’s old coach offers major praise for new Knicks stud

PHILADELPHIA — Knicks center Enes Kanter won’t say whether his former Thunder teammates miss him in the locker room. But his former coach Billy Donovan will. Donovan said Kanter, his former backup center to Steven Adams was always a good locker-room personality, though he stopped short of calling him

New Nets debut in embarrassing road blowout

TORONTO — The Nets finally decided to Free Jah and got their first taste of Sauce Castillo. Then they went out and took their worst beating of the season, getting humiliated 120-87 Friday night by the Raptors in front of a sellout crowd of 19,800 at the Air

Judgment Day for Carmelo Anthony? It’s complicated

Look, it’s your money. You are the one who doled out what you doled out in order to attend Saturday night’s Knicks-Thunder game. I took a quick look at what that actually amounts to, and it’s staggering: $199 for a ticket in the last row, hard by the

Carmelo can’t hide excitement for Knicks homecoming

No matter the reception, Carmelo Anthony claims to be “excited and ecstatic” about returning Saturday to the Garden for the first time since getting traded in late September to Oklahoma City. Anthony didn’t speak at a shootaround Friday in Philadelphia, where the Thunder face the Sixers, but he told

LeBron, Lonzo hidden convo sparks Lakers’ hope

LeBron James has spoken glowingly about Lonzo Ball this season, but he wouldn’t talk about what the two stars discussed Thursday night after the Cavaliers’ 121-112 win over the Lakers. The two were seen speaking, while James covered his mouth, after a post-game embrace. “None of y’all business,” James told

Nets couldn’t take advantage of opportunity vs. wounded Knicks

The Nets caught a break Thursday night when Kristaps Porzingis, the Knicks’ shot-blocking star, left early in the second half. But they couldn’t buy a shot, and couldn’t cash in. The Nets kept settling for long jumpers, and kept missing them, falling 111-104 before a sellout crowd of 17,732

Knicks asked Courtney Lee to step up and he answered big

With Kristaps Porzingis back in the locker room with knee pain and Tim Hardaway Jr. wearing a walking boot on the bench, Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek made a remark to Courtney Lee to start the fourth quarter. “Fourth quarter, coach told me to step up, we need you,’’ Lee

Hardaway Jr. speaks on mysterious injury: “This is serious’

Knicks swingman Tim Hardaway Jr. indicated his absence will last past the Christmas season. In his first remarks since going down with “a stress injury” in his lower left leg, Hardaway called it a “serious injury,” said he’s not going to “force the issue” and declined to give himself

The secret to Frank Ntilikina’s newfound success is simple

The mind is a terrible thing to use. At least in games. And one guy who wholeheartedly agrees is Knicks rookie Frank Ntilikina, who more and more is adhering to the advice of teammates and coaches and playing more on instinct rather than thinking everything through as if the NBA

Nets got pushed around and lost their home court to Knicks

First the Nets saw the Knicks fans take over Barclays Center. Then the Nets let their rivals take over the game. Brooklyn got beaten up and battered around in a 111-104 loss to the Knicks on Thursday night. “Similar to the first game, they turned up their pressure, their physicality,

Kristaps Porzingis’ durability has to be Knicks’ top concern

The Knicks posted a 111-104 victory over the Nets in Barclays Center, and the best news of all — more than Courtney Lee’s 27 points, more than Frank Ntilikina’s continued development, more than a victory on the road — was that Kristaps Porzingis could stand and walk. Now standing

Kristaps Porzingis leaves Knicks game with knee injury

Knicks stud Kristaps Porzingis suffered a non-contact left-knee injury with 9:55 left in the third quarter vs. the Nets and removed himself from the game immediately and headed to the locker room, limping in the tunnel. Porzingis was defending Nets forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and appeared to take a bad

Knicks hold off pesky Nets as Porzingis injury worry lingers

The Knicks won the game but not the night as it turned into a major Brooklyn Bummer. Knicks stud Kristaps Porzingis suffered a non-contact left knee injury with 9:55 left in the third quarter of the Knicks’ 111-104 victory over the Nets at Barclays Center. He removed himself from

There’s a strange basketball feeling in this city — hope

Try youth and development. It’s so crazy, it just might work. And that’s what both the Knicks and the Nets are discovering this season. So are their fans, who entered with low-ceiling expectations and have to be encouraged — as well as very entertained — that the quick fixes are

Meet Ariel Smith, the newest ex-Knick Jewish convert

You can call him Ariel Smith now. Chris Smith, the former Knicks point guard and J.R. Smith’s younger brother, is making a basketball comeback and is set to debut next week in the Israeli League for Ironi Nahariya after recently converting to Judaism. Smith became an Orthodox Jew —