Game 21: New York Knicks vs. Chicago Bulls (8:00 PM EST - ESPN)
Betting Line: Knicks by 3.0 ESPN Spread Consensus Pick: Knicks
Straight up, the Knicks are in some deep do-do right now.
Woody, I know you love JR and are trying to let him play through his struggles…but you may want to give him some rest. Obviously there is something going on there, maybe the knee is bothering?
Another minor suggestion, play Prigs a bit more - seems like the team stabilizes when he is running the show. The ball moves, guys are making cuts because they know the ball may actually come to them. Felton - not sure what’s going on this year - but, he needs to take a few plays off.
I’m all for making changes to the team - but we need to be careful. I don’t think firing Woody at this point is the best thing to do. For one, bringing in a new coach is both tough and players and the new coach. Trying to incorporate a new system is always a headache. So why not promote someone from the bench? We don’t have much there - and don’t start with Herb Williams. Granted, I know nothing about our assistant coaches aside from Herb - so you know what? Darrell Walker or Jim Todd might be the answer!
Thought of a little motivation trick the coaching staff can try.. .actually I’m not even sure the players even give a shit - but put a sign up in the locker room that shows the % chance of winning the #1 pick in the draft - and right next to it another sign that reads “Denver Owns This” - update after every loss.
Anyway, I actually think we have a chance against the Bulls tonight.
Even though we were playing two not so good teams, do you think the way Melo is passing the ball out of double teams, and the way the Knicks are moving the ball in general, will be enough to propel them back to the top of the East? I honestly think so. The next true contender we face is the Thunder on Christmas day, so I guess we'll have to wait and see.
Definitely man, the schedule is way soft up until the Thunder game. Should use these next couple of weeks to really figure things out. Gives Melo time to practice moving the damn ball.
I don’t get why it’s taken Melo 12 years to figure out that if he gets his teammates involved, it makes it SO much easier on him (less double teaming, more open shots).
The real test is when the pressure is on and against a good team - does he revert to playing iso ball, or does he try to do it himself? I’m fine isolating him toward the end of the game - but it makes no sense to do it the whole game.
We’re fortunate that the Eastern Conference stinks. Knicks keep playing like this and incorporate Chandler back into the rotation - can easily make our way up to the 3rd spot.
Aside from the simple motivation that being a shitty basketball team is bad, the Knicks have another incentive to not suck this season - they don’t own their first round draft pick this year… and it’s unprotected.
Ah yes.. the Carmelo Anthony trade - the gift that keeps on giving.
Included in the 13 player deal with Denver was our 2014 unprotected first round draft pick.
I’ve seen a lot of crap from this franchise. I’ve been a fan since 1992 - but, if we suck, get a top 2 pick in this year’s draft and miss out on yet another potential star (Wiggins/Parker) my fan loyalty will be pushed to the brink.
sidebar - it seems like every time the Knicks actually do have a lottery pick, we seem to always just miss out on “star group” of talent or just completely blow the pick: in 2002 traded 7th pick, in 2003 got the 9th chose Mike Sweetney, in 2005 got the 7th pick and chose Channing Frye, in 2008 6th pick was Gallo and 2009 8th pick was Jordan Hill. There have been a lot of star players to join the league in that span - granted we do have one of them (Melo), but damnit - sure doesn’t seem like a star the way refs treat him.
Not saying that I’ll just give up on the team - because those that experienced the 2000’s have seen worse… but this really does seem like a kick in the nuts - or ovaries (not gender biased here - we’re all going through this together).
So a message to the Knicks - figure it out and start winning already. Toronto is like 6-11 and leads the division - winning the Atlantic is still extremely doable.
And you know what… given all that, I still would have made the trade - you can’t assume you’ll be a lottery team when you add a player that’s never missed the playoffs in his career.
I’m starting to use Isiah Thomas logic right now - oh boy.
“I honestly didn’t even know who the coach was when I was coming to New York. I just wanted to win a championship; I didn’t even know who was coaching. I didn’t care. It could have been Aunt Jemima. They could have had the syrup coaching. I was coming here regardless. I just wanted to win a championship here.”—
Metta World Peace via ESPN - haha, I love Metta.
In other news, looks like the Knicks held a players meeting after the loss against the Clippers. Last time they did this, they came out and got a W. hopefully happens again tonight against the Nuggets.
Game 14: New York Knicks @ Los Angeles Clippers (10:30 PM EST)
Betting Line: Clipper favored by 10.0
Well… don’t think the Knicks have much of a chance against the Clippers. Our front-line most likely won’t be able to handle Griffin and Jordan. The back court will definitely have their hands full with CP3 and Reddick.
We competed against the Blazers - hopefully we can see the same effort out there.
Getting totally blown out is just a bad sign that things are completely falling apart.
Apparently both Amar’e Stoudemire and Iman Shumpert both voiced their displeasure with the lack of ball movement after the loss last night to the Blazers.
And that very much sounds like a shot at either Carmelo Anthony or JR Smith… or both… probably both.
The problem though is that Woodson’s offense is pretty limited. His simple motion sets are really designed to get a player (usually Melo) the ball in position (usually on the block or on the wing) - so that the player (usually Melo) can then ISO and try to score. If there is a double team - typically you’ll see a kick out to a three point shooter.
That’s like 70% of our offense.. and 100% our offense in the 4th quarter.
The other 30% of the time? It’s usually a pick and roll.
So when Amar’e and Shump complain about ball movement - they are really complaining about Woodson’s lack of imagination.
What the Knicks have gone away from that worked well in the past is actually attacking the basket from the Guard position - making defenses collapse and moving the ball to the open man. Felton did a lot of this last year.
It’s not happening at all this year.
There’s enough blame to go around - but it really does start with Woody and the lack of on-court leadership.
I never was a Woody fan when he was in Atlanta because he’d do the exact same thing there - but with Joe Johnson. When he got to NY - it was working because the players were buying into his defensive schemes and we were “leveraging” Mike D’Antoni’s offense sets. The team also had players like Kidd and Sheed to hold guys accountable and make sure game plans were executed.
Now? There’s absolutely no leadership, no accountability and you can clearly see it.
Melo is not a leader. He’s a great scorer an above average rebounder.
Don’t look to him to save this team - he’s just doing what he’s been doing is entire career. Score the basketball.
I thought Metta would bring some sort of leadership - but I was insane to think so. He just seems to be going with the flow and happily serving his role player duties.
Will someone stand up and knock some sense into these guys?
I have absolutely no clue - maybe Tyson when he gets back?
But… here’s the bright side to all of this. The Knicks play in the Atlantic Division. A division where its current leader is (Raptors) has a losing record (6-7).
So, as crazy as it seems - the Knicks aren’t out of it at all… but they are not going anywhere until someone take charge of this team. Keep going down this path and yes… this team is going to blow up.
Oh btw, it is a coincidence that the to non-CAA players (Amare and Shump) voiced their displeasure?
So James Dolan actually did a Q&A with the NY Post.
One thing about Dolan, he’s super sensitive about what’s written about him. Before I even read the article, I knew what to expect - zero candidness, 100% pre-written responses by his PR team.
Click to link to read the entire Q&A.
I was surprised at this response though:
MV: You’ve shown tolerance as an owner; [GM] Glen Sather had a lot of empty years with the Rangers before he showed success. Do you feel you’re more patient than an average owner?
JD: I really don’t compare myself with other owners. I’ll bet you I’m more patient than Mikhail [Prokhorov] is of his team. Mostly, I think it does not pay to be impatient, because you destabilize your team. It’s not like the players don’t want to win, it’s not like the owner doesn’t want to win; everybody wants to win, so it’s a question of: Can you get there? With Mike, I think he can get us there. Mostly, I think Carmelo [Anthony] can get us there, and the other players can get us there, they’re going to have to jell and I think Mike can do a lot to get that to happen. Because he has their respect.
Are you effing kidding me Dolan. Do you actually think you’ve shown patience/tolerance over the last 10 years? Didn’t he just go through two GMs in the last 5 years.
Btw, Dolan NEVER does interviews. According to Isola, the reason why he did this one is he didn’t like the story of him demanding a championship this year got out.
Up by 3 Late, Knicks Don't Foul on Floor... AGAIN, Get Burned by Pacers
Ugh.. what a tough loss…. had that one.
So is Woody ever going to change his stance on fouling on the floor when up by 3 with a few second left? Seems like the decision not-to bites us in the ass every time. EVERY TIME.
Paul George is such a good basketball player. Unreal OT performance. Just carried the Pacers to a win.
As for what happened at the end of regulation - can’t really blame Shump for trying to play D on George there. He grazed the guys elbow and the refs called a pretty lame foul. Kudos to George for being able to knock down those three free throws to send it into overtime.
Melo… seriously, the saying of “no blood, no foul” really applies to him. Refs don’t respect him at all. I get it that he throws his body into people, but, he still gets hacked.
Can’t believe George Hill missed TWO wide open threes toward the end of regulation.
Fun game (until the end), crappy result. And hey… look… the Pacers covered. Won the game by more than 6.5 (barely)
Beno Udrith showed why a bunch of us got excited when the Knicks landed him in free agency. He won’t give you a night like this every game, but he’s a very solid PG and love that he’s in the starting line up now. A big difference from what we are getting from Felton is that he’s actually breaking down the defense a bit by attacking it. Felton, for some reason, started going away from that.
And guess what?
I thought the game was going to be a blow-out, but the Knicks actually showed some heart there… especially on defense.
Hopefully we can build off this - next game is Saturday agains the Wizards.
Knoteworth Knick of the Game: co-winners tonight. Melo just working on both ends of the floor and Beno for playing like a real point guard. Melo - 30 points, 18 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks. Beno - 19 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists
Game 10: New York Knicks @ Detroit Pistons (7:30 PM EST)
Betting Line: Pistons favored by 4.0 ESPN PickCenter: Knicks
Few things to address before getting into the matchup tonight.
Rondo Pipe Dream - The deal that was proposed or floated around of Amar’e, Shumpert and Felton for Rondo, Wallace and Player X is such a terrible offer. Why the hell would Danny Ainge even sniff at that deal? First, Amar’e won’t be valuable in a trade until next season, when his $23 million contract is in the final year - that way, a team stuck under a long team deal can get out of it with the Amar’e expiring deal. Second, Felton… c’mon - his stock is probably at it’s lowest point right now, plus he has a mysterious hip injury. I can see any team wanting him. He does have a decent contract though. And lastly, Shumpert - he’s our best asset, but he still only above average defense with average offensive skills that is coming off two knee surgeries. With any trade proposed, you really need to look at it from the other team’s prospective. If you were the GM of the other team, would you REALLY take this Knicks package? Hell no. Also, I don’t want Wallace on his terrible contract. It would ruin our possible re-build plan after next season.
Shumpert Trade in General: It’s going to happen.. or, there is a really really good chance it’s happening. There is a jam at the SG spot with JR and Timmy JR. JR apparently has a blood oath with Jim Dolan so he’s not going anywhere. Timmy JR is cheaper, younger and healthier than Shump… so he’s not going anywhere. We need front court help - so it just makes sense that Shump is going to get traded. My hope is we can hang onto him for a bit and include him in a larger deal for a star level player in the off-season, but doubt he makes it past the trading dead-line.
Panic - It’s only 10 games into the season, no need to go into full on panic mode. Yes our team has flaws, but the major issue that I’m seeing is the lack of ball movement. It seems like the team completely forgot how to pass, which they were doing last season - resulting in a wide open threes all the time. If they can correct these two things: ball movement and turnovers - we should be in a much better position. And those two things CAN be corrected with the current roster. So no need to freak make a deal that could possibly ruin a reset after next season.
Anyway, the game tonight. Detroit is a fun team. Not sure it’s going to work for them in the long run - but for the fans - getting to see Drummond, Jennings and Josh Smith play together must be fun.
I’m a BIG fan of Drummond. Felt he got screwed over in the draft and can definitely see him develop into a really good player in this league.
Going to be a tough game - I believe Felton may sit tonight because of his hip issue, which may mean minutes for Beno or Toure Murray.
Another injury note, Metta had his knee drained yesterday. He’s expected to be out the week.
UPDATE: My fault, as magic50zz pointed out… completely forgot to mention the whole JR/Jennings beef going on. Review - Jennings tweeted that Chris Smith shouldn’t be in the NBA. JR replied by threatening to send out a hit on Jennings. blah blah blah… provides for nice drama heading into tonight. Maybe a hard foul? Keep an eye out for it!
Knicks Suffer Fourth Home Loss in a Row; Barg Proves Second Banana Status
The whole night the Knicks were battling. Just couldn’t get any sort of lead on the Rockets. Had a chance to win the game at the end, but the refs were jerks and stole it from us. The Rockets were going to foul right away up by 3 with 5 seconds left and they did. Melo hit the three, should have been a four-point play, but the refs called the foul on the floor.
Melo got two shots, brings the Knicks to within one, Knicks foul… JR misses a half court heave to tie. Game over.
Bargnani solidified his case tonight as being the Knicks second banana.
Tonight was the perfect example of why i thought the trade for him was a smart one. He draws out the big man (this game it was Howard) and opens up the floor for Melo and the other players to operate.
Melo ended the game with 45 points, 10 rebounds and 4 assists
Big men need to respect Barg because his jumper is dead on. Tonight he shot over 70% from the field and most of his shots were jumpers.
I missed having an Italian three point shooter on the team!!
The surprise though was his defense on Howard. Kept Dwight in check the entire game. Just an all-around great game from the former #1 draft pick.
Excited to see him continue to develop over the season.
Btw, best part of the game? This:
Jimmy Dolan spittin game!!
You know he was trying hard because his face had that nervous sweat all over it.
That’s four losses in a row at home. C’mon guys.
Next up, Atlanta on Saturday.
Knoteworthy Knick of the Game: Barg did it all tonight - 24 points, 4 rebounds, 1 block on 9-12 shooting and incredible defense on Howard
“Denver has made it clear to Kenneth Faried’s reps: There are no active talks involving him. Knicks offered Shumpert. Denver rejected idea.”—Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports - looks like Denver saved the Knicks from themselves, ha
Knicks Remember How to Shoot the 3-Ball Again - Beat Hawks
Two big reasons why the Knicks won so many games last year: took care of the ball, 3 points shooting.
They did both of those tonight and guess what? We won. The Knicks knocked down 12 threes and only committed 3 turnovers. THREE turnovers!
New York controlled the game the whole night.. there was a bit of a slip up in the second half, but then finished strong behind great nights from pretty much everyone on the floor, especially from Bargnani and Shump.
Bargnani probably had his best game as a Knick so far: 20 points, 11 rebounds, 2 assists 1 block - hit two BIG threes toward the end of the game to put us up for good.
Jeff Teague is a solid point guard - I mean, the Knicks are terrible keeping opposing PG’s out of the paint, but Teague was making some passes that convinced me this kid is legit.
Felton… c’mon man. Gotta pick up your game. Prigs is embarrassing you out there.
Got the Rockets tomorrow night. Good news? They lost in overtime to the 76ers tonight. Bad news? The millions of Linsanity articles were are all going to be bombarded with.
I’m getting pretty good at this score guessing, got the Hawks right at 91, was off on the Knicks by 3 (wrote 98, put up 95)
Knoteworthy Knick of the Game: You didn’t think I’d go this whole post without mention Shump right? Possibly in response to all the trade rumors circulating right now, he goes out and pretty much does everything - 5 points, 6 rebounds, 9 assists, 4 steals and 1 blocks. Had the highest +/- as well at +15.
Game 7: New York Knicks @ Atlanta Hawks (8:00 PM EST)
Betting Line: Hawks favored by 4.5 ESPN PickCenter: Hawks
The Knicks media and fans are in doomsday mode right now.
That’s what happens when you lose.
The sky starts falling.
As a result - queue the free agency rumors, trade rumors and the dysfunctional team articles.
It’s a long season, so we shouldn’t overreact too much to the slow start. But, it’s just natural to start calling for people’s heads when expectations (reasonable or not, warranted or not) were somewhat high coming into the season.
Of all the issues that need to be fixed, the glaring one is the lack of passion or pride.. which may be caused by a lack of chemistry.
You know what doesn’t really help chemistry? Trade rumors and the one today by Frankie Pageviews over at NY Daily News certainly won’t help the cause.
(Sidebar: Shump for Faried, I’d prefer to keep Shump for a bigger deal for a better player, but I get the urgency to get a front court guy with Tyson gone and Amare/Kenyon not reliable enough. Faried is an undersized power forward though, which worries me… and he’s not the best defender in the world - good rebounder though. Also the second the Knicks drafted Timmy Jr, you knew that Shump we become expendable).
The Knicks can respond one of two ways tonight - band together and pull out a win or keep being strangers.
This season is going to be tough because there are no easy games in the east like there were last season. Pretty much every team got better.
Kind of nervous… let’s see what happens. The Knicks typically match up well against the Hawks.
Game is on ESPN, WatchESPN.
Also, need to be careful about this game - have another one tomorrow night against the Rockets.