Knicks Offseason News

Posted: June 9, 2011 in Knicks


It’s been a while since my last post, partially due to my refusal to write about the success of the Miami Heat (series tied 2-2 at the moment). After the news this week concerning the departure of Donnie Walsh and some other developing stories, it was time for a post.

  1. Donnie Walsh stepping down as Knicks President was not what I expected to happen. After making two of the biggest trades in Knicks history in the same season and getting the Knicks to the playoffs for the first time in years, it was SHOCKING to hear of his departure. I knew Walsh never really got along with Dolan (and Isiah), but I truly thought D’Antoni would be gone before Walsh. Now that D’Antoni’s only real ally in the organization is gone, it’s becoming more and more possible for D’Antoni to leave NY after his contract is up. He may go for the Toronto coaching position as was reported this week.
  2. The draft is coming up, and there hasn’t been too much going on as of yet. I continue to hear reports of Kemba Walker and Jimmer Fredette working out with several teams, and supposedly the Knicks are very interested in Jimmer. Walker was also quoted after winning the 2011 NCAA Championship that he would love to be able to play with his idol Carmelo Anthony. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t bet that either of those players are around for the 17th pick. Walker is projected to be the 7th pick in the draft and Fredette is projected to go 12th. The Knicks with the 17th pick are projected to get Chris Singleton, another 6’9” SF/PF. Drafting a PG or a Center would be ideal to backup Billups and relieve the pressure from Tony Douglas who’s not a true point guard.
  3. Samuel Dalembert is a player I would not be surprised to see the Knicks go after. He’s been healthy for the extent of his career, and with the loss of Mozgov, the Knicks could use some more length. Even the loss of Gallinari hurt the length of this team, but the addition of Jared Jeffries gave back a little. Dalembert is a defensive center and a good shot blocker, one that the Knicks could get affordably.
Updates will be coming more frequently as the draft gets closer. Until then…

D’Antoni Must Go

Posted: April 22, 2011 in Knicks

I really wanted to write a post after Game 2 between the Knicks and Celtics, but I was too irate and frustrated to write something of value. So instead, this post will go through the reasons why D’Antoni needs to go.

Lack of Communication– In all my years of watching the Knicks and NBA basketball, I’ve never seen so many instances where players don’t know how many timeouts they have, fouls to give, or what the play is out of a timeout (regardless if it’s a good play or not) as I have with this coaching staff. D’Antoni’s lack of coach-to-player communication shows through especially in the last few minutes of games, which costs them in the end.

End of Game Execution– Specifically in Game 2 I had a big problem with the last sequence of plays to end the game, on both the defensive and offensive ends. It proved 3 things to me: 1. D’Antoni does not know his roster, 2. D’Antoni does not have a superior basketball mind, and 3. D’Antoni is incapable of communicating strategy to his team. Someone please tell me why Jared Jeffries is the “go-to” guy for the last offensive play of the game? Carmelo wanted to get the ball on the right side, knew he was going to get double teamed, so why was Jared Jeffries lined up on the right side? Why was he even on the court and Shawne Williams on the bench? Jeffries doesn’t have a confident bone in his body, and he’s perhaps one of the worst offensive players in the league. Again, this is NOT Jared’s fault. D’Antoni should have subbed him out after Boston’s timeout was called.

Cannot run a Defense– The Knicks have played some pretty darn good defense this series thus far, but it’s because of the effort the players are giving, not the coaching. How does D’Antoni not make an adjustment when Rondo was first taking over the game in the first quarter? Instead, he left Tony Douglas in the game with 2 fouls who let Rondo waltz to the basket each and every play. Reader, I’m asking you this, would you rather have Garnett take a 3 ft jump shot over Jared Jeffries or Delonte West take a 20ft jumper with the game on the line? Why not one of the guards on the perimeter double Garnett and force him to pass off? I’d much rather have West take the final shot of the game than any of the big 3. Coaching mistake! Also, the last play of the game with Boston inbounding with 4.6 seconds left, why are we NOT defending the inbounds pass??? You always defend the inbounds pass to possibly force a turnover or a 5-second violation. There is nothing good coming from not defending the inbounded and double teaming the post instead. Finally, how do you not tell your team to foul immediately when the ball is inbounded? This is just plain stupidity, nothing more, nothing less.

With that said, the Knicks need to look for an alternative coach. With Rick Adelman on the market now, the Knicks should look into him as a possible candidate. Adelman is one of the best basketball minds in history, and his system a few years ago on Sacramento with Chris Webber and that team would be a fantastic fit for NY.

So it’s been a very tough day for Knicks fans today, being stuck in a limbo between recovering from a heartbreaking loss waiting for Game 2 and a growing anger with each release of new information from the media today. Depending on which broadcast you were watching, TNT or MSG, you may have missed some of which I’m about to tell you. The FACT of the matter is, this could be deemed the worst 2 minutes of Playoff refereeing in the history of the NBA, and here’s why…

  1. The no-call on Billups drive– Chauncey drove to the basket with about 2 minutes to go in the 4th, and was knocked to the ground by Jermaine O’Neal, with Billups having to exit the game. There was a little body, but the foul came from the off-hand down low from O’Neal. A missed call, but one I could live with.
  2. Foul on melo– This was perhaps the most questionable call of the game. It’s one thing to be the Away team on the road in the playoffs and you’re not going to get calls, but that is a totally different story than making outrageous calls on the visiting team. Melo was trying to get his arm free from the grasp of Pierce, who was playing extremely aggressive. Hey, this is the playoffs, aggressive play is encouraged, but you can’t start making calls like that with 45 seconds left in a playoff game. That’s just not kosher. Even Pierce was quoted today that it should have been a no-call. Easy to say after you won the game because of this call…
  3. Trip by Garnett on Douglas– Ray Allen was without a doubt the most active player offensively for Boston. His movement around picks was a constant struggle for the Knick guards, and his quick release was at its peak. When Tony was coming off the pick in the last Celtic possession, Garnett clearly tripped TD and he went flying to the ground. We’re talking about Kevin Garnett, the player voted every year [by the players] as the biggest trash talker and deemed one of the most aggressive players in the league. The fact that Ray Allen hit the 3 made it that much worse. At this point, there were 2 missed calls and 1 bad call.
  4. The chest bump by Delonte West– After Ray Allen hit the 3 with 20 seconds left, he ran down the court to meet Delonte West ON THE COURT for a chest bump jumping in the air. Not only is Delonte West not up for any type of 6th man award, but he certainly was not supposed to be on the court as the 6th man for Boston when play was going on LIVE. Whether West thought NY called a timeout or not is irrelevant, this is an automatic technical foul that the referees decided not to make. This is mind boggling. After perhaps a recordbreaking season of technical fouls due to a change in NBA policy, THIS is the technical they decide not to call? An easy call missed by the referees.
  5. Lawrence Frank double teaming Carmelo– Not only was Delonte West on the court as the 6th man, but on the same play wen Melo was taking the ball up the court for NY’s final possession, Lawrence Frank substituted himself for West and decided to play some double-team defense on Melo for the final shot of the game. Frank was fully on the court screaming right next to Melo, and was actually closer to Carmelo than the closest Boston defender. Automatic technical foul?–Not in Boston.
  6. The missed goaltend by Pierce– First off, this was NOT a bad shot by Melo. If he passed off, he would have been accused of delegating responsibility to someone else. He’s been so clutch with the final shot of the game, so I’m okay with him taking that shot. Now, onto another missed call. When Melo’s final shot was on the rim, Paul Pierce’s hand was CLEARLY grabbing the rim. I have to admit, I did not see this when I first watched the game, but I watched the last 2 minutes of the game today on replay and it was as clear as day. Now, I’m not saying Melo’s shot would have gone in if Pierce wasn’t grabbing the rim, but according to NBA rules this is an automatic goaltend!
This string of bad calls and lack of calls in Boston’s favor only makes you wonder, “was there a little home-cookin’ in Boston”? Now I really hope that wasn’t the case, and I don’t think that was the case, but correcting any one of these 6 items I listed above would have changed the game 100%. How in God’s name does this happen??? As much as I hate complaining about refereeing, this was an abysmal display by the referees and they should be ashamed of themselves. End of story.

It was said best by a friend of mine– perhaps the most physical game of the year in the NBA was decided by a touch foul on Carmelo Anthony. For being a superstar, Melo sure doesn’t get treated like one by the referees. Sure there were some bonehead plays by NY, combined with the genius of Doc Rivers, but the Knicks played well enough to win this game. The defensive gameplan was actually logical tonight (the fact that there even WAS a gameplan is a plus), and NY took Rondo offensively out of the game by Billups forcing him to shoot the outside jumper or dish it. There were a number of questionable calls in favor of Boston, including the absence the calls for the Knicks. The final foul on Melo was the icing on the cake for me, the fact that they could end a playoff game because of Carmelo trying to get his arm free from Pierce so he could catch the ball. Also upon review, it looks as though Melo got fouled on the final shot of the game. Billups was fouled by Jermaine O’Neal going to the hole in one of the final possessions and no call was made.

Walt Frazier said it best following the game after he expressed his disappointment with some of the lack of calls, “You’re not gonna get any of those calls on the road against Boston.” Frankly that doesn’t sound right. Boston will always make the big shot, especially against NY, and the Knicks need to be ready for a physical series. I really thought was D’Antoni’s best post-game press conference, and I agreed with just about everything he said (for once). Don’t worry Knicks fans… we’ll be back on Tuesday. If we can grab 1 in Boston that would be a big victory with momentum heading into New York on Friday for Game 3.

2011 Playoffs Knicks vs Celtics

It’s official. The 3vs6 Playoff Matchup will be the Boston Celtics versus the New York Knicks. With Boston’s loss tonight to the Washington Wizards, the matchup has been solidified. With Boston being the obvious favorite in the matchup do to their more favorable seed and divisional record against the Knicks this season (3-0), some Knicks fans may be writing NY off already. The way I see it, if Boston was playing the way they were in the middle of the season, I wouldn’t think NY had a shot at a 7 game series win. The last 10 games Boston is 5-5, and they’re playing average basketball. Ever since the trade of Kendrick Perkins (personally I think it was a terrible trade), the Celtics have been playing out of character.

It’s also important to note that even though the Knicks are 0-3 against Boston this season, this was before Melo came back home to NY. It’s time for the NY Big 3 to butt heads with the Boston Three Party! Hopefully this result is better than the First Round sweep by the NETs in ’03…

Carmelo… The A-Rod of the Garden

Posted: April 6, 2011 in Knicks

Carmelo Anthony

You like the trade, you hate the trade, you like the trade, you hate the trade…. YOU LOVE THE TRADE! Carmelo is on fire right now. Knicks fans are lovin’ him, and it looks as though things could be starting to fall into place for this team. I can’t help but to compare the current state of this team to how the Yankees were when they acquired Alex Rodriguez. The days where he went 0-5 or went down on strikes with runners in scoring position, New York fans ripped him apart more than any other athlete in my lifetime. BUT, the days where there were multiple “A-BOMBS… FROM A-ROD” (the voice of Michael Kay), Yankee fans kissed the ground he walked on. Same goes for Melo. When he’s performing, NY loves him. When he’s underperforming and giving up back to back offensive fouls to lose the 3rd game in a row to the abysmal Cleveland Cavaliers, Knick fans want his head on a stick. Let’s cut the guy a break… he’s human.

On the bright side, we got the #6 spot in sight, Billups made it public that he wants to be a Knicks again next year, Dolan said next year Donnie Walsh can stay if he wants, and we got see the UPS man last game (Derrick Brown)… “What can Brown do for you?” RT Tina Cervasio

Derrick Brown, Tina Cervasio RT

Raise Your Glasses!

Posted: April 4, 2011 in Knicks

I’m not sure if I’m more excited about the Knicks first time clinching the playoffs before season’s end since 2004 or that we finally beat the Cavs this season (1 out of 4)… anyways, it’s time to celebrate! So there’s nothing really “sexy” about being a 7 seed in the Eastern Conference, but it’s surely better than being the NETS who were in the same position with cap space at the end of last season and still couldn’t make the right moves to excel this year (props to the NY front office). New York fans, let’s see what we’re up against first round of the playoffs…

With the leaders of the Eastern Conference in tight contention with each other, the 2 seed could be either Chicago, Miami (currently), or Boston. So who do us Knicks fans want to see in the first round?

  1. Chicago- Chicago is playing their best basketball as of late, with Derek Rose getting MVP chants almost as often as Lebron is getting Delonte West chants. Granted the Knicks have had Chicago’s number this season with a few wins against them, each of those wins Chicago was either missing Noah or Boozer, so we need to put a little asterisk next to those wins before we start praying for Chicago to slip into the 2 seed
  2. Miami- Let’s face it, they’re the most dangerous team in the league. Whether you like them or not (in my case, NOT), they can blow out any team on any given night. Remember, we’re not talking about a single game here… we’re talking about a 7 game series. The Knicks and the Heat [now] are actually very similar teams in that they are inconsistent in their play, with the end result dependent upon their starpower. Could this be New York’s best bet to make it past the First Round… MAYBE.
  3. Boston- Boston is that team: the team that has New York figured out, the team that will hit that buzzer beater 9/10 times against NY, the team that is more mentally tough than NY, and the team that NY does NOT want to play in a 7 game series. If Boston is healthy, I would rather play ANY other team in the East besides Boston. Boston is the Kryptonite to NY, the John McEnroe to Bjorn Borg, and the Robert Horry of… well, any team he played against in the playoffs throughout his career.

Some of you may go with option 4 and say “who cares, we’re not going anywhere this year”. Well my friends, those of you who picked option 4 probably  have not been true Knicks fans before getting Carmelo and have not endured the pain of watching Jerome James sit on the bench for $7.5 million a year for 4 years. With that said… quack…..quack….quack…quack..quack…GOOOO KNICKS! (Mighty Ducks reference?)

“The Trade” in Hindsight

Posted: March 29, 2011 in Knicks

Don’t be a flip flopper-

You knew what we were giving up, and you knew what we would be getting. You knew we’d have a problem defending the younger point guards, and you knew we’d have a problem defending any 7 footer in the league. You knew we’d have a limited bench, and you knew each game would rely on star power. Yes… I’m talking to you Carmelo.

I’m not going to lie, as soon as the trade happened I was a bit uneasy, but after 24 hours of taking it all in, I came to the decision it was the right move for the long run… and I STILL feel that way. I still have this “uneasy” feeling though. It’s the same feeling I had about not resigning David Lee, and a similar feeling to letting go of Zeebo and Crawford for Tim Thomas and Cuttino “the tin-man” Mobley (substantially over .500 at the time of that trade). Every time we had a little something going, we made a move that moved us a step backwards.

So the question is, “Melo- if you knew all of the above, all of the implications of your actions, why not wait out the year and come to NY in free agency?” Money. Why make it easier on yourself [Melo], when you could make it incredibly difficult to build up a bench that may not be able to be put together in another 3 years? It’s funny. The cynics say “It doesn’t matter because you couldn’t afford to resign Gallo, Chandler, and/or Felton anyway.” Although it may be true, who says we’ll even be able to resign Shawne Williams next year?  I’ve actually learned to love Shawne on this team for his outside shooting, tenacious D and no bull**** attitude, I have to put my faith in my top 10 draft pick Gallo or my  stud Small Forward Chandler who had a career-best first half of a season.

So where does that leave us? Greed. Melo knew the struggles he was going to face if he signed with NY and emptied their roster, but he just couldn’t bare the thought of losing $$$ in salary form. Melo, you’re in the mecca of basketball playing for the world’s highest valued basketball franchise… who are you kidding, you weren’t going to lose a dime. Greed.

D’Antoni: In or Out?

Posted: March 28, 2011 in Knicks

Mike D'Antoni

Mike D’Antoni is known for his “7 Seconds or Less” Offense which typically results in a high powered offense generated by outside shooting. From the mouth of Pat Riley (love him or hate him) “The 3 is fools gold”. How many times have we seen the Knicks die by the 3 the past few years? Even more so this year, how many times have we lost games in the 4th quarter because of nonexistent defense and bad shots? It’s a formula that has not ever won a championship in the history of the NBA… fact.

With that said, is D’Antoni the man for the job? It doesn’t matter if the Knicks can consistently put up 120+ points per game if they let a team ranked 29th in scoring score more than that. The Knicks need to be able to incorporate defense into their gameplay. Stars are going to have their 25-30ppg against NY; that’s what stars do. However, teams like the Bucks and Bobcats with zero star-power should not be scoring 100+ points against the Knicks.

Jeff Van Gundy, Byron Scott, even Kelly Tripucka for God’s sake… please help NY!

Post Defense…Where art thou?

Posted: March 24, 2011 in Knicks

Ronny Turiaf

Growing up, we used to call it “big man camp”. It’s where we sent all of the young guys who matured early and were over 6 foot by age 13. You were taught the basics of post defense and post offense, basically everything the Knicks DON’T do. The Knicks are a good shot blocking team, but that’s because they take chances on the defensive end and get pushed so deep on the blocks that they have no other choice but to contest the shot. So what does this Knick team need to do?

1. Better Post D From Amare– Stat is extremely talented and athletic, but he still has so much to improve on defensively. Almost always outmatched in terms of height and size on the defensive end, Amare is FAMOUS for allowing the bigger/stronger center to push him deep on the blocks to the point where he’s underneath the basket. He needs to stand his ground and fight for position. Every game Amare gets taken advantage of down low.

2. Deny the entry pass– It’s just way too easy for these teams to get the ball down low against NY. There’s is no ball denial. It’s something that is so simple and can pay dividends for a team with little size like the Knicks.

3. Play Turiaf– Okay, we all know D-Antoni loves stickin’ guys in the doghouse, but there is no excuse not to be playing Turiaf 30+ minutes a game if he’s healthy. The guy plays his heart out defensively, is more athletic than he looks offensively, and is a monster shot blocker. He always finds a way to avoid fouling while going for the block. The difference between his shotblocking and Amare’s is that Ronny doesn’t sacrifice position while going for blocks. Keep this guy in the game.

Looks like the Knicks need to go to big man camp…