The Knicks are playing their third preseason game tonight against the Raptors (7:30 PM EST) and I’ll be in attendance to have a look at the new coach and system first-hand.
The first two, they split against the Celtics.
Thoughts so far:
With a guys trying to learn a new system, there will be a ton of turnovers at the start and we saw that these first two games. I wouldn’t worry too much about it, soon enough they will get the hang of how the offense is supposed to flow
I was more concerned about the lack of effort on defense the first game - second game, seemed to have corrected that a little. I guess the team was a little too preoccupied with trying to get the offense right they forgot to play defense
It’s nice to see Barg back on the court and healed up, he still can’t defend or rebound
First two games to re-affirmed that Timmy Jr is going to be a big part of the team this year
I’m going to love Calderon
Melo seems to be accepting this change nicely - key will be when the regular season starts and games start to matter… will he stay within the system or try to do too much on his own?
I like Qunicy Acy
Ditto on Dalembert
Double Ditto on Early - man, excited for the rook
Going to be interesting to see who gets the starting SG spot: Timmy, Shump or JR
Will have more thoughts tomorrow about the game tonight.
Works out to about $2.7 billion a year for the NBA!
To put that into perspective, the previous deal signed back in 2007 was $930 million.
A freaking +180% increase this time around!
A guess what? The NBA Salary Cap is based on revenue… when this new deal goes into effect during the 2016/17 season, you can certainly expect the Salary Cap to balloon from about $60ish million now to about $80-90 million.
I’m guessing Phil Jackson was well aware of this during this negotiations with Carmelo. Instead of signed a two year deal and MAXING out when the new salary cap hits (like LeBron is going to do), Jax got Melo to sign a five year deal and lock him in on current “max” rates.
So… the Knicks will have money this off-season (when Marc Gasol becomes available) and then potentially have max room when somebody named Kevin Durant is available…..
Yes.. i know.. all a pipe-dream, but you gotta admit that Phil was/is planning around this TV deal going through.
JR Smith starting at least 30 games (remember last season, there was a bit of controversy over whether Smith would be a starter)
Chris Smith will not play a game (basically got this right, he played two and about a minute each)
Amar’e will play in at least 40 games
What I got wrong:
Knicks will finish 4th or 5th in the East: nope!
Melo will average 27/6.5/3.5 - he grabbed a lot more rebounds than I thought he would. Ended up averaging 27/8/3
Knicks will win 50 games: nope!
First Round win: nope!
Shump will have a break out year - not really
Anyway, onto the 10 prediction this season:
Knicks will be a top 6 team in the East: I have expectations for the team this year. Last year’s “team” was a mess, simply because it was anything but a team. Personal agenda, lack of leadership, terrible coaching, no defense, no offensive plan - led to a pretty awful season. I expect better this year with Phil Jackson as the face of the franchise. He’s spent a lot of time working on changing the culture of the Knicks and the difference will be like night and day. It’s certainly far from a championship team, but we’ll be one of the better teams in the East.
Carmelo’s scoring will drop, but his assists will be up (4+ per game): maybe an easy call, but this is Carmelo we are talking about. He’s never had a season average more than 3 assists a game (closest was 3.8 back in his fourth season, he also averaged a career best 28.9 ppg that season). I say he breaks the 4 per game range this season - all about triangle!
If the Knicks are successful, it will because of Jose and Pablo: Last season, Jose and Pablo ranked #3 and #4 in assists to turnover ratio. With learning a new system, it’s critical the Knicks take care of the basketball. It starts with our point gaurds
Knicks will win 45+ games: Finished with 37 last season, need around the 44-45 mark for at least the 6th seed.
Jason Smith emerges as starting center: Dalembert is currently being tabbed as our starter, but I don’t think he has enough in him this season to sustain. Jason Smith is a sneaky good pick up by Jackson in the off-season. He won’t disappoint. Will be a solid center for us.
Tim Hardaway will lead to team in 3pt made/attempted: this boy has got the green light this year. Going to be key in spreading the floor on offense and don’t seem him shying away from the opportunity to shine
Speaking of leading the team: Melo in Points, Calderon in Assists, Melo in Rebounds, Melo in TOs, Bargnani 3PT %, Dalembert blocks, Shumpert in steals
One of the following will be traded by the deadline - Shumpert, Amar’e, Bargnani, JR Smith: most likely person will be Shumpert
Cleanthony Early will finish a top 10 rookie: kids has got a lot of talent - hopefully he gets the court time. a ton of good rookies this year
Our best 5 (efficiency rating) will be Calderon-THJ-Shumpert-Melo-Jason Smith: good mix of defense and offense, will be the best line up we put out there
What do you guys think?
Any predictions of your own? Would love to hear them!
As pre-season basketball has already kicked-off, I wanted to give a breakdown of the Knicks roster/depth chart for reference
Tim Hardaway JR
We also have three guys that don’t have guaranteed contracts: Langston Galloway (PG), Orlando Sanchez (PF) and Travis Wear (SF)
Interesting group of guys, I’ll have my predictions up before the season opener on Oct 29.
Here’s the pre-season schedule:
Oct. 8 @ Boston Celtics 7:30 p.m. Oct. 11 @ Boston Celtics 7:30 p.m. Oct. 13 vs. Toronto Raptors 7:30 p.m. Oct. 14 at Philadelphia 76ers 7:00 p.m. Oct. 20 vs. Milwaukee Bucks 7:30 p.m. Oct. 22 vs. Washington Wizards 7:30 p.m. Oct. 24 @ Toronto Raptors 7:30 p.m.
“It will be less pressure on me. I can see that now in training camp. I feel that. I can see what we’re able to do with the little bit of time we’ve been together this week. I see other guys’ roles and how they’re implemented into the system and what they’re capable of doing. I think it’ll be easier. It’s still going to be a dogfight, but I think it’ll be a little bit easier where everybody is not keying in and focusing on me every single time down the court.’”—Melo on the Triangle Offense via Newsday - exactly Melo, probably the first time he’s played in a system not designed around him having to score the majority of the baskets. key piece this year is going to be Tim Hardaway Jr.
I watched about two of the four summer league games the Knicks played in Las Vegas and just wanted to share some thoughts.
Tim Hardaway Jr is going to have a better year than last. He has bulked up and his shot is as pure as ever - looking forward to seeing what he does with (hopefully) more playing time. I have a feeling JR won’t be on the team for much longer - figure Phil is waiting for him to have a few good games to prove to other team’s he’s still worth it and then trade him
Knicks fans - it’s been awhile since we had any form of a system offense. We had a taste of it when D’Antoni was in town, but his emphasis was WAY too much on offense without any accountability on defense. The Triangle is looking good (brings back a lot of memories as I used to play in it while in High School). Not only does the offense look fluid, guys are working much harder on defense. Now, will our veterans get the memo? Who knows, but they better
Cleanthony Early - like THJ last season, I’m thinking Cleathony is going to be the steal of the draft. This kid is definitely first round talent that fell into the second round - no clue why. If you haven’t seen his dunk from the first game, would recommend checking out HERE
Derek Fisher - it’s summer league so it’s tough to tell. The young guys are picking up the basics of the offense. It’s really all about if the veterans are going to respect his authority for the entire season and beyond. I have confidence in him that he’ll do a good job
Shane Larkin looks good, Jeremy Tyler and Cole Aldrich are working hard to get some playing time this year
Thanasis Antetokounmpo - freak, just like his brother. His nickname is “no chill” and it’s very deserving. Goes 100 MPH all the time. If he plays this year, should be fun to watch. Very raw though
Overall, liked what I saw - but it’s summer league.
Lost in all the LBJ/Melo madness, the Knicks summer league team plays their first game tonight.
Here’s the roster:
Aldrich, Cole C 6-11 245 Kansas/USA Antetokounmpo, Thanasis F 6-7 215 Delaware/D-League/Greece Brown, Shannon G 6-4 205 Michigan State/USA Early, Cleanthony F 6-8 219 Wichita State/USA Galloway, Langston G 6-2 202 Saint Joseph?s/USA Hardaway Jr., Tim G 6-6 205 Michigan/USA Henriquez, Jordan C 6-11 250 Kansas State/USA Johnson, Zane G 6-6 210 Hawaii/USA Larkin, Shane G 5-11 176 Miami (FL)/USA Moore, Cameron F 6-10 230 Alabama-Birmingham/USA Sheehey, Will F 6-7 200 Indiana/USA Triche, Brandon G 6-4 210 Syracuse/USA Tyler, Jeremy F 6-9 250 San Diego HS (CA)/USA Vandenberg, Jordan C 7-1 245 North Carolina State/USA
Schedule so far:
Fri 07/11/2014 4:00 PM ET New York Knicks vs. Dallas Mavericks
Sat 07/12/2014 4:00 PM ET Portland Trail Blazers vs. New York Knicks
Mon 07/14/2014 4:00 PM ET New York Knicks vs. Charlotte Hornets
I feel Melo is playin all of them lol,he had clearly said he wanted the free agency experience. The bulls can't just outright sign him,the would have to give up boozer and a few other pieces in a sign and trade,knicks don't want boozer and the bulls don't want to give up Taj,and Melo isn't taking that serious of a pay cut to play for them,if that's the case he would have went to Miami,Phil & Melo know this lol,that's why there's reports of knicks not feeling worried about him resigning
I wouldn’t count Chicago completely out. If Melo is willing to take a paycut below even what he’d take in New York (which just was reported), then Bulls would just have to amnesty Boozer and they’d be good.
Don’t think Miami was ever realistic because that paycut would be gigantic. But, Chicago is definitely something to worry about.
"The deal will send Chandler and Knicks point guard Raymond Felton to the Mavericks in exchange for Dallas point guard Jose Calderon, center Samuel Dalembert, shooting guard Wayne Ellington, 21-year-old point guard Shane Larkin and the 34th and 51st pick in Thursday’s draft."
Not sure what’s going on here.
Jose makes 7 mil each of the next three years and doesn’t play defense. Is this a foundation guy? I don’t really think so.
at least we got some picks in this years draft! ha