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Ian Begley ESPN Staff Writer 

Here's Carmelo Anthony on why he can be an asset in free agency: "When it comes down to the players, I think I have a little more control over that," he told ESPN while promoting a Gillette event in Manhattan. "I know how to get in contact and speak with the players directly. If it's somebody that they want me to go out and talk to, I know how to get to them directly and speak to them on a level that they feel confident and comfortable speaking on. Not just come to an interview, sit and talk to the execs. I'll talk to you from our experiences as an athlete, those experiences. So you can relate to me, I can relate to you. But (potential free agents) don't need to lie to you. If you're interested, you're interested. If you're not, you're not."

Chris Forsberg ESPN Staff Writer 

Celtics going big tonight: Bill Russell courtside for Game 6 vs. Hawks.

Ian Begley ESPN Staff Writer 

Here's Carmelo Anthony on why he still believes in Phil Jackson: "I don't really know what's happening as far as the coaching decisions and the players. At this point, I still have to believe in what Phil is doing. I can't say that I don't believe in him no more, this is over with. I still have to believe in him. I'm here, I still want to be here. I still want to be successful so I don't have no other choice but to believe in what's his plan."

Ohm Youngmisuk ESPN Staff Writer 

Alex Rodriguez in the house at TD Garden for Hawks-Celtics Game 6.

Chris Forsberg ESPN Staff Writer 

Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens on the loud atmosphere inside TD Garden for this year's playoff games: "I've said this many times, I've been so impressed ever since I've been here with the Celtics fans. You can clearly feel the energy levels increasing as the months go by and as the days go by with this group."

Rachel Nichols @Rachel__Nichols

TV viewing tonight: One eye on the NFL Draft. One eye on Capitals-Penguins. One eye on Hawks-Celtics. Hmm. May need to borrow someone's eye.

Ian Begley ESPN Staff Writer 

Carmelo Anthony said there is no need to look for any deeper meaning behind his absence last week during Phil Jackson's triangle practice. Jackson invited some of the Knicks to work out and run through the triangle offense last week. Anthony wasn't there. Some took it as a sign of discord between Anthony and Jackson. "I don't think nobody should look to, should even look at that. That was more for younger guys who was up there working out, training," Anthony told ESPN during a promotional appearance for Gillette. "Phil did that, Phil spoke to the people he wanted there. So it wasn't something that was mandatory, it wasn't something (where) I was supposed to be there."

Chris Forsberg ESPN Staff Writer 

Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens said Isaiah Thomas is good to go after twisting his ankle in Game 5. "Today it was just as simple as a non-verbal thumb up. So he's fine. He's good to go; he's ready to roll."

Justin Verrier ESPN Staff Writer 

Spencer Hawes will miss Game 6 with an MCL sprain in his right knee, the Charlotte Hornets announce. Hawes will be re-evaluated in a week, according to the team.

Ian Begley ESPN Staff Writer 

Carmelo Anthony says the Knicks are set at front court and hints that he wants the club to prioritize talent over finding players that fit the system this summer. "I believe we have one of the best front courts in the NBA, I believe that," Anthony told ESPN during a promotional appearance for Gillette. "You put a couple of other pieces around that, I think we have something that we can work with, that we can go out and compete with. So I think everybody just needs to be on the same page when it comes to that and not trying to figure out what piece fits here, what piece fits there. At this point, you've got to get players."

Chris Forsberg ESPN Staff Writer 

The Green-covered Garden.

Nick Friedell ESPN Staff Writer 

Vogel said he felt like the Pacers didn't give Game 5 'away' in Toronto. When asked how he guards against his team not feeling confident after Game 5, the veteran coach preached focus heading into Game 6: "I think everybody was frustrated the other night," Vogel said. "There's a lot of noise that comes along with a loss like that, that you have to block out. And we have to understand that you win nothing in 36 minutes or 34 minutes or 24 minutes -- that it's hard to beat a 56 win team in their building in the playoffs. And you got to do it for 48 minutes. And what we did in the first half we didn't do well enough in the second half. We understand that. We understand that if we do that for 48 minutes, we'll win."

Nick Friedell ESPN Staff Writer 

Frank Vogel channeled another local coach when asked about the possibility of his season ending on Friday night: "We're not really looking at it that way," Vogel said after Thursday's practice. "We're looking at it being focused on the task at hand. Task-conscious [as] [Indianapolis Colts] coach Chuck Pagano likes to talk to me about. Task-conscious. Focusing on our assignments to win the next play and to win the next quarter, to win the next game."

Darren Rovell @darrenrovell

In Phil Knight's book he says LeBron bought him a 1972 Rolex (year Nike made 1st shoe). Was etched: With thanks for taking a chance on me."

Nichols: Rockets are infuriating to watch

From The Jump, Rachel Nichols expresses her frustration with the Rockets due to their lack of effort all season and lackluster play in their do-or-die Game 5 against the Warriors.