Highlights from Knicks win over 76ers: 84-77
Offense looked A LOT better last night.
Going to love watching Dalembert and Jason Smith play this year.. hell I’m excited for everyone!
Had a great time at the game last night. Since it was preseason, got to sit pretty damn close to the court.
Few thoughts on what I saw:
- The Garden was PACKED! Well, not completely, but looking around, there were a lot more people than I expected to be at a preseason game. The upper bowl was completely full. The lower bowl had it’s empty spots, but overall, nice feel to the crowd
- Offense looks pretty bad - especially when Melo is in the game. There were a few times where Melo clearly just wanted the ball in the post (instead of working through the system) and got frustrated when he didn’t get fed - Melo being lazy and just calling for an ISO (or anyone for that matter) and not letting the system work through it’s cuts and screens… that’s not where we want to be headed. Fisher needs to dig into that early
- Amar’e is moving around well, doesn’t seem to be hindered by anything - which is nice
- We have three solid point guards in Calderon, Pablo and Larkin. I have no worries at all when any of those guys are in… specifically Calderon - probably the best PG we’ve had since Derek Harper right? - don’t any of you dare say Marbury or Francis!
- The Wear kid is okay - doubt he makes the squad
- I like both Outlaw and Acy - going to be nice role/fill in players
- Jason Smith - big fan of… he’s not GREAT, but.. solid
- Funny to hear one single fan chant “Landry Sucks” every time Landry Fields was in. The fan had one of those piercing voices that everyone could hear.. especially when it quieted down a bit
- Felipe Lopez was wearing some funky yellow pants and a crazy hat - St Johns alum!
- Anthony Mason put on some weight
The Knicks are back at it tonight against the 76ers (7:00 PM EST start)
Thoughts on Preseason So Far
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.
2014-2015 Season Predictions: New York Knicks
Time for the annual season predictions!
Just a refresher, here’s what I had last year.
I got 5 out of 10.
What I got right:
- Net’s finishing higher than the Knicks
- Timmy JR ranking in the top 4 amongst rookies
- 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!
For those that missed it yesterday, the full press conference.
Reaction: Derek Fisher Press Conference
Watched the Derek Fisher press conference and my immediate thought was… this guy is ready to lead.
Phil wanted to hire someone that would help instill a championship culture and from everything that I saw/heard from Fish today - he’s looking like the right man for the job.
I don’t know about you guys, but I’m really looking forward to this Phil/Fish era to really get underway.
soooo… Shump has a new music video out.
it’s.. um … interesting.
h/t to Chris
Congrats to Timmy Jr. for being named to the NBA all-rookie team. Definitely earned it with one of the better rookie campaigns I’ve seen from a Knick.
Two things I was most impressed with: his poise (got that NBA family blood in him) and ability to finish in the open court.
And that’s not even mentioning his best asset - his jumper.
Very happy for the kid - hope he stays in NY for the long-term.
Others that made 1st team: MCW, Oladipo, Trey Burke and Mason Plumlee
NBA Draft Lottery: Tonight, 8PM EST - ESPN
Just a reminder that the NBA draft lottery is tonight.
As you may know, the Knicks don’t own their pick this year - Denver does (part of the Melo trade)
There is a 0.8% chance the pick will land at the #1 spot and a 2.9% chance of getting a top 3 pick.
It would really suck if any of those two situations happened.. actually I would laugh and think “of course.”
But, as you see, the chances are very very small.
Anyway, enjoy the lottery tonight. I’m hoping that the Suns land the #1 pick. Would be pretty great to see Bledsoe, Dragic and Wiggins play together.