What a start to the season. After all the devastation that occurred after Hurricane Sandy, the Knicks rallied together around their city and gave a fantastic performance tonight. Melo was hot early and the Knicks jumped out to a 33-17 first quarter lead. The Knicks defense was solid all night as they held Miami to 7/20 shooting from downtown and forced Miami into 21 turnovers. New York’s defense was able to keep LeBron James and Dwayne Wade in check throughout the game as the duo combined to score just 38 points. Miami’s super duo combined for 9 turnovers. The Knicks rode hot three point shooting and ball movement to their 104 points. New York had 27 assists as a team, 9 from Raymond Felton, and shot a staggering 19/36 from downtown. Rasheed Wallace’s late game appearance was the human victory cigar. Wallace capped off the night hitting a three in the final minute that send the garden into a state of elation. Overall, it was a fantastic night for our New York Knicks.
Here are my notes from the game:
There is a lot of optimism around this Knicks basketball team. While I don’t agree with it, I understand it. You’ve got a motivated Carmelo Anthony, a head coach in the good graces of the fan base and some quality veteran role players. Tyson Chandler is still the leader of the defense, Raymond Felton was a fan favorite under Mike D’Antoni in 2010 and Steve Novak’s championship belt will still be awesome. I get it. But I think there are a lot of deficiencies and question marks on this basketball team. This team is not a contender, which is a disappointment in this year three of the Carmelo Anthony-Amar’e Stoudemire era.
The beginning of this off-season was an exciting one. New York looked to build around the core of Jeremy Lin, Iman Shumpert, Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler. GM Glen Grundwald and MSG brass looked to surround the core with veteran players. They tried to bring in Steve Nash, but were undone by the egregious contract Landry Fields was given by the Toronto Raptors. Nash ended up with the Lakers. I vomited. Plan B was apparently Jason Kidd and the Knicks overpaid heavily for him. While it was a bad move, the rationale was easy to see. Kidd would be a player who came off the bench and gave the Knicks 10-15 minutes a night, while also being a road map to help Jeremy Lin in his development. New York re-signed JR Smith and Steve Novak. They brought in James White and Chris Copeland. In their best move of the off-season, the Knicks acquired Marcus Camby in a sign and trade with Houston. This looked like a team that could be very dangerous in 2012. More
In order to avoid falling asleep during this game, I took notes. I’ll just write on here the notes I took and then I’ll elaborate on them.
“Ronnie Brewer airball” Yeah that was disgusting.
“Steve ‘Swaggy P’ Novak” Novak was playing exactly like Nick Young of the Sixers tonight. He took a gross three off a dribble, but then hit one off the dribble a few possessions later. Novak expanding his game is a good thing, but I hope he doesn’t try and do too much. Novak’s role is not one of scoring, it is one of shooting. Novak dribbling too much and forcing shots is not good for anybody. Ultimately he’ll be fine. I think he is probably taking some shots he wouldn’t take in games that matter. More
Sigh… Coming off a strong pre-season performance against Toronto, there was optimism around Amar’e Stoudemire and his impact on these 2012-2013 Knicks. That optimism will be tested once more as Stoudemire will again miss time with yet another injury. It turns out than an MRI on Stoudemire’s “bruised knee” shows that the $100 million Knick has a ruptured popliteal cyst in his knee. Here is the 411 on a Baker’s cyst from MayoClinic.com:
A Baker’s cyst is a fluid-filled cyst that causes a bulge and a feeling of tightness behind your knee. The pain can get worse when you fully flex or extend your knee or when you’re active.
A Baker’s cyst, also called a popliteal (pop-LIT-e-ul) cyst, is usually the result of a problem with your knee joint, such as arthritis or a cartilage tear. Both conditions can cause your knee to produce too much fluid, which can lead to a Baker’s cyst.
Although a Baker’s cyst may cause swelling and make you uncomfortable, treating the probable underlying problem usually provides relief.
So this sounds pretty bad to me. The Knicks, being the honest, competent training staff that they are, say Stoudemire will be out 2-3 weeks. More realistically, I think we could see Stoudemire miss far more time than that, especially if he has a cartilage tear. Make no mistake, this is not a good thing for the Knicks. More
Much of the narrative regarding New York’s recent track record of underachievement has been centered around a lack of team chemistry. That narrative does have some merit to it, as this has been New York’s first conventional training camp with the trio of Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler all on the roster. Not only was this seen as a training camp in which the “broadway bigs” would have the opportunity to mesh together, but a camp where the Knicks as a team can mesh together as well. However, the Knicks have run into a plethora of injury problems. Amar’e Stoudemire has missed time and both pre-season games to date with a “bruised knee”. CAA favorite Chris Smith is now out for the season with a torn patella tendon. His brother, one JR Smith, now has some sort of unidentified ankle/achilles injury. Free agent steal Ronnie Brewer has yet to see action due to recovery from arthroscopic knee surgery. Marcus Camby has a calf strain and his return is unknown. For what it is worth, Henry Sims hurt his ankle in practice, but he is a longshot to make the team anyways. So yeah, that is a lot of injuries. Great thing the Knicks have Jason Kidd and all of his veteran presence. He’ll be able to fix all the Knicks problems. Wait, he’s old and he’s not good anymore so never mind. More
All the talk this Knicks off-season has been about the flashy names. The Jeremy Lin debacle. Jason Kidd and his egregious 3 year $9 mil contract. The Camby man! Marcus Camby returning to the squad. The return of
Rashweed Rasheed Wallace to the NBA. But for all the glam, a meat and potatoes player may end up the toast of New York’s free agent class. Signed on a veteran minimum contract from the Chicago Bulls, Ronnie Brewer is an exceptional wing defender. Chicago rated out best in the league in defensive rating, allowing just 95.3 points per 100 possessions. Having recording a defensive rating of 95.0 in 24.8 minutes a game last season, Brewer had much to do with Chicago’s defensive prowess.
Thanks to NBA.com Stats cube, we can see how Brewer’s on court presence impacted Philadelphia’s offense in the Bulls-Sixers first round matchup.
Last season was one of the worst statistical seasons of Carmelo Anthony’s nine year career. There were many factors that attributed to his poor season such as feuding with the coach, various injuries and an early season experiment as a “point forward”. But for all the excuses made in Anthony’s favor, I think there is one factor that hasn’t been talked about enough.Across the board, Anthony’s scoring stats were down from what we are accustomed to seeing. Except for one statistic; his three point attempts. Last season, Anthony shot a career high in 3 point attempts, 3.7 attempts/game (3PA) and 3.9 per 36 minutes. He shot just 33.5% from downtown and is a 32.2% career shooter from outside the arc. I believe there is a direction correlation between Anthony’s 43% shooting last season, second lowest in his career, and the high volume of threes that he took. More
Earlier this summer, Amar’e Stoudemire paid a hefty price (approximately $50k) to work on his previously non-existent post game with Hall of Fame center Hakeem Olajuwon. Given the history of Stoudemire’s offensive game, devastation as a roll man with a tint of mid-range shooting, there has been almost unanimous sentiment among the the basketball community that Stoudemire’s post game won’t be used much in games. I too felt the same way, until I looked deeper into the matter.
It isn’t that Amar’e is going to become a post up player. He’s not. That has never been his game, and likely won’t ever be the base of his offensive repertoire. However, that doesn’t mean Stoudemire’s post work this offseason can’t help his game. After analyzing Mike Woodson’s offense, I think there will be opportunities for Stoudemire to score in a post up game and in that area of the floor. We know that Woodson’s history indicates that he run a slower, more isolation based type offense. Unlike Mike D’Antoni’s offense, the pick and roll has never been a staple of the Woodson offense. That doesn’t mean pick and rolls will be eliminated, but we’ll likely see less of them next season. That means Amar’e Stoudemire will have to find other ways to score, because he won’t be rolling to the basket every third possession. More
Scott O’Neil’s statement via @soshnick
“My time at The World’s Most Famous Arena has been nothing short of incredible
and I am proud of our results. I am thankful and extremely proud of what we accomplished at MSG Sports. There is nothing more rewarding than the
opportunity to help build a world-class staff and seeing them perform beyond our loftiest expectations – people I consider not only the most talented in the
business, but also true friends. To help lead and steward iconic brands like the Knicks and Rangers and sell the transformed Garden in a city like New York
has been a true privilege. I could not be more excited about the process of discovering what lies ahead.”
This is certainly a shocking development, although given the chaotic nature of James Dolan’s management it probably shouldn’t be. More to come later…