After weeks of trade rumors, Carmelo Anthony stayed put in New York at the NBA’s trade deadline.
Even if there had been a last-minute deal, Anthony would have needed to be contacted in order to waive his no-trade clause. But he told reporters Thursday night, after a team loss to the Cavs, he was fast asleep when everything was going down.
“The trade deadline has come and gone, and me talking about it has come and gone too. I will not be talking about trades anymore the rest of the season.”
As for what’s next, Anthony seemed unclear. He admitted he doesn’t know what Phil Jackson’s plan for the future of the team is and that the Knicks have to get “back to the drawing board.”
The first thing to pay attention to is which players are on the floor with Thomas in fourth quarters. Take a peek at NBA.com, and you’ll see five of the 10 lineups that have played at least 10 minutes in the fourth quarter for the Celtics this season have a net positive. The small-ball lineup of Thomas, Avery Bradley, Marcus Smart, Jae Crowder and Al Horford has surprisingly struggled to stop teams from scoring, whereas the trio of Thomas, Smart and Jonas Jerebko with a center and shooter surrounding them has fared rather well on both offense and defense.
The important takeaway from that data is eight of those 10 lineups are scoring at a similar level as the Rockets, Cavaliers and Warriors. While some lineups have a hard time slowing teams down, being able to stretch the floor for Thomas with at least three 3-point shooters on the court has proven to be incredibly difficult for any defense to stop. As long as the Celtics finish with one of the net positive lineups, their high-octane offense is usually enough to carry them to the finish line.