New York looks to even the series at Two

The New York Knicks didn’t expect to be on a downward slide during the heat of the 2013 NBA Playoffs but that is exactly what is happening as the offense has dwindled from 95 points in game 1 to 79 in game 2 to a dismal 71 in Game 3.

“Offensively we just didn’t have anything — either team. It was an ugly game, offensively,” Head Coach Mike Woodson said after the game.

The Knicks did have one bright spot in Carmelo Anthony who led the Knicks with 21 points, the only player in double figures.The series moves back to Indiana for game 4 and tickets are still available.

The Howard Saga That Will Never End

But when your other big sports news alternative involves child molesting and the corrupting powers of big-time college sports, debating where Howard falls on the schmo meter suddenly seems like a more pleasant pastime.

You do have to hand it to Hennigan, just hired to steer this listing ship at the ripe old age of 30 — he is so young, the Magic neglected to mention his age in when he was hired — that he has managed to make us hate him for not ending this soap opera before he has been on the job for a month. He could have given in to Howard’s wishes and pulled the trigger on the deal with the Nets, but instead decided not to rush. You could argue, as , that he lost a lot of leverage with the Nets out of the picture, but that Hennigan understands there will always be options when trading a player as good as Howard, no matter how maddening he is. As , he showed backbone by refusing to grant Howard his fondest wish. Of course, Howard’s fondest wish seems to change daily, so there will be others.

It does cost Howard the landing spot where people would have been least annoyed with him. The Nets, on their way to new digs in Brooklyn and hoping for a new era of relevance, would have considered him a prize and did try admirably hard to land the star center, . Their failure was a boon to the Knicks, , who prefer to maintain their dominance of the New York market on petulance. The Lakers remain a possibility, where Howard-as-diva wouldn’t make anyone flinch in the land of manufactured dramas and Metta World Peace. But if Howard is upset over his fate, he has only himself to blame, , because of his ridiculous faux loyalty maneuver of opting in for another year on his Magic contract.

If you like contract squabbles and the N.F.L. is your league, you might send your attention to New Orleans, where the over about $10 million.

If that isn’t terribly appealing, there were a few things on television worth watching — and still watchable on video — including Mets pitcher the mystery of the knuckleball and at the ESPYs. And there is the pure video thrill of listening to dubbed with soccer announcers’ calls.

Hey, never say we didn’t offer an alternative to pondering Penn State’s sins.

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Hearing Held on Lin’s Contract Status

Lawyers for the N.B.A. and the players union spent more than three and a half hours on Wednesday presenting their arguments to the arbitrator, Kenneth Dam, a professor at the University of Chicago law school.

The union contends that a player claimed on waivers should retain his Bird rights, which allow a team to re-sign a player without respect to the salary cap. The league contends that Bird rights are lost once a player is waived.

The case potentially affects four players: Lin and Steve Novak of the Knicks, J.J. Hickson of the Portland Trail Blazers and Chauncey Billups of the Los Angeles Clippers. Novak attended the hearing Wednesday in Manhattan.

If the union loses the case, the Knicks will have to use their midlevel exception to re-sign Lin, and therefore will probably lose Novak and other free agents. If Lin and Novak win their Bird rights, the Knicks will have much greater flexibility to keep their players and shop for free agents.

Dam said he would issue a decision by July 1, when free agency opens.