Analysis/Opinions

Knicks 2011-2012 Season Grades

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This 2011-2012 Knicks season was very disappointing in my book. This was a team that I expected to contend in the eastern conference. I projected before the season that this team would win 44 games and defeat Miami in a playoff series. Clearly I was very wrong about those predictions. However, the past is the past and the future is now for the New York Knicks. While we continue to debate about acquiring free agents and the Lin v  Nash debate, lets take a second to hand out grades to the Knicks from the 2011-2012 season.

Head of the class

Tyson Chandler: A-

  • Chandler is the only Knick to receive an A from me for their performance this season. The only reason Chandler doesn’t receive an A+ from me is due to the fact that he under-performed in the playoffs. I understand that health had to do with that, but he just flat out played poorly in games 4 and 5. However, that should not overshadow his entire body of work. Make no mistake, Tyson Chandler was everything the Knicks thought he could be. And then some. Defensively, we knew he would make a difference, but nobody thought he would help bring this team from 21st in the NBA in defensive efficiency to 5th this season. Without Chandler in the lineup, the Knicks gave up an average of 116 points per game in 3 games played. Chandler dominated Dwight Howard defensively, holding the best center in the league to 28 points and 23 rebounds in three games. Offensively, the big man led the NBA in shooting percentage with a whooping 67.9% FG%. Chandler was the emotional leader of the team all season and the Knicks most consistent player. He was the Knicks most valuable player this season and he receives an A- from this Knick blogger. Here’s to you, Tyson! More

Analyzing Amar’e Stoudemire’s Awesome Defensive Rotation

There were 54.5 seconds left in the game. New York cradled a delicate 87-84 lead over the powerhouse Heat. Down 3-0 in the series, this was do-or-die time for the Knicks defense. Miami ran a high pick and roll between Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh. Bosh did well to quickly slip screen into the paint while both Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler were focused on Wade. The much maligned Amar’e Stoudemire made an awesome defensive rotation to push Bosh out to the baseline, where he then threw the ball into a back court for a turnover. Carmelo Anthony was fouled from three point land on the next possession and the rest is history. In this post, I am going to analyze how Stoudemire made the defensive play of the game for the Knicks.  More

Knicks-Heat: A Little Perspective

I’m not optimistic about this series. I believe the Knicks are too inconsistent as a team to beat Miami. They haven’t shown the ability to beat the Heat this season, and I do not believe they’ll defeat Miami in this first round series. Having said that, I’m going to say this:

Knick fans should be pumped for this series.

This rivalry isn’t the Alonzo Mourning Heat vs the Patrick Ewing Knicks. I’d be hard pressed to believe we’ll see Mike Woodson hanging on to LeBron James’ leg during a brawl tomorrow. This isn’t a great rivalry yet. But it’s getting there. I absolutely hate the Miami Heat. Sure, I was not old enough to really appreciate the Heat-Knicks theatrics of the late 90′s. I can’t say that I ever witnessed Ewing postering Mourning, or that I saw Houston hit that game winning shot in game 5. However, this is the dawn of a new Heat-Knicks rivalry.

I don’t think that New York will win this series, but I’m still excited to watch the Knicks take their best swing at Miami. In order to be the best, you have to beat the best. Unfortunately for the Knicks, they’ll have to play the best in the first round. Were the Knicks to win this series, I think they’d have an excellent shot at the finals. This is a great opportunity for our Knicks. Sure, New York are underdogs, but it was just two seasons ago that the Knicks weren’t even in the playoffs. More

How the Knicks Used Motion to Bury the Celtics

New York’s offense was the catalyst in their 118-110 victory over the Celtics on Tuesday night. The Knicks shot 56.8% from the field, and a whooping 59.4% from downtown. In breaking down the film from the game, you can see why the Knicks were so dominant offensively. As opposed to the Miami loss on Sunday, the Knicks offense was very fluid. They were fluid moving the ball, as well as moving off the ball. Instead of running nothing but Melo isolations , New York did a nice job of cutting and setting screens. Their offense was multidimensional and the results showed on the final scoreboard. In this post, I am going to break down four plays I loved from the game as the Knicks used motion to execute offensively.  More

Does Landry Fields “Suck”?

In yesterdays Knick loss to Miami, shooting guard/small forward Landry Fields struggled mightily. He wasn’t great defensively, he didn’t shoot well and he had a few momentum-killing plays. In fact, Fields has drawn criticism from Knick fans all season. There is justification for those criticisms. Fields’ jump shot has regressed mightily from last season and has been transparent all season. His jump shot is as close to broken as broken can get, as Fields is shooting a porous 25% from 3 point land this season. Despite his struggles shooting the ball, I think Fields is a solid player. Many fans look at only his broken jump shot, and automatically assume that the rest of his game is weak. I disagree. While shooting is a huge part of the game, especially for a wing player, it is not the only aspect of the game of basketball. Take Jared Jeffries for example. Jeffries is a below average offensive player, but impacts the game positively in many other aspects, mainly his defense. Now, I’m not necessarily saying that Fields is a wing version of Jeffries. I think Fields can do some good things offensively, as well as play solid defense. From what I’ve seen on Twitter, I think it is safe to assume that many Knick fans believe that Landry Fields “sucks”. However, I am not of that contingent. I get as frustrated as anyone about Fields’ ineptitude shooting the ball, but I do not believe he sucks. I think Fields does a lot of things well and I will tell you why.  More

Analyzing Carmelo Anthony at the Power Forward Position

Ever since the injury to Amar’e Stoudemire, coupled along with a prior injury to Jared Jeffries, the Knicks have been forced to play small ball in which Carmelo Anthony is playing the power forward (or the “4″) position. The biggest beneficiary of the recent infusion of small ball has been the much maligned Anthony. Playing the 4 has forced Anthony to play harder on defense, as well as helped his offense. Zach Lowe had a great take on Anthony’s defense over at “The Point Forward”. This post however, will analyze New York’s offensive advantage with Anthony playing power forward.

New York is 5-2 in the 7 games without the services of Amar’e Stoudemire. One of the, if not the, biggest reason for their success has been the revitalization of Carmelo Anthony’s offense. In the past 7 games, Anthony has averaged 29.8 points per game on 49% shooting, 39% from downtown. Anthony’s resurgence can be largely contributed to his playing the power forward position. Having Anthony play the 4 creates mismatches for not only Anthony, but it opens up the Knicks offense. By playing “small ball”, the Knicks force opponents to adjust their lineups and match-ups to slow down the Knicks and particularly Anthony.

Today, I bring you 4 plays that showcase some of the ways that small ball, built around Anthony at the 4, has helped the Knicks offense.  More

Melo-D’Antoni Deeper Than It Seems

We are back to where we always are with this year’s version of the New York Knicks, examining Carmelo Anthony.  Outside of a couple week excursion to Linsanity everything has been about Melo, sometimes fair and other times not.

This current situation is in regards to quotes Melo had after practice on Monday that are outlined in this column by Jamie O’Grady   http://knicks.lohudblogs.com/2012/03/20/melo-keepin-it-real-real-transparent/.

On the surface it’s a simple, cut and dry situation. Carmelo Anthony didn’t play hard under Coach D’Antoni, he should be castrated. If this is the opinion you have its completely fair and difficult to argue. More

A Farewell to Mike D’Antoni

The New York saga of Mike D’Antoni was a fascinating one. This man, exiled from the desert, came east to the concrete jungle, in an attempt to bring a once glorious franchise from the doldrums of the NBA. In 2008, D’Antoni took on a monumental challenge by coming to New York. Sure, the Knicks paid D’Antoni $24 million over 4 years, but the situation in which he was entering was among the worst in professional sports. From 2001 through the 2007-2008 season, the Knickerbockers accumulated a record of 218-356. They had gone though 7 head coaches, 2 general managers and 1 sexual harassment lawsuit. The Knicks were the NBA’s version of Gommorah. Madison Square Garden had become a wasteland in which careers and reputations came to die.  More

Clarifying Amar’e Stoudemire and the “Stretch Provision”

Amar’e Stoudemire has struggled mightily this season. That is a fact and is non-debatable. Physically, Stoudemire is a mess. He just announced today that he is going to try and drop the extra weight he gained in the off-season. I think this is the right thing to do but obviously you do not want your star player worrying about losing weight during the season. The consensus opinion among fans and critics on Stoudemire seems to be that he is not right physically but will eventually improve his level of play. I beg the question: what happens if Stoudemire continues to regress?

Twitter has been filled with Stoudemire trade rumors for months but nothing has come to fruition. His contract, due to his bad knees, is uninsured therefore making a trade very unlikely. If he continues to regress, there will be no suitor willing to pay max money for a broken down star. If the Knicks were to part ways with Stoudemire, a trade is not the only option. The Knicks can waive Stoudemire but that would still result in their paying Stoudemire his full deal.

I have previously stated that the new Stretch Exception is an option for the Knicks. I was mistaken. The stretch exception is NOT an option for the Knicks as it only applies to contracts signed in the new CBA.

More

Knicks Defense Has Been Huge Catalyst

Last night’s beat down to the Heat marked the end of the first half of the season for the Knickerbockers, and left a bit of a sour taste in the mouth of Knicks fans for at least the weekend. It has been a rollercoaster type season for the Knicks thus far, and they head into the All-Star break a game below .500. The break couldn’t have come at a better time for guys as the lockout condensed season has fatigued many, none more than Jeremy Lin, who was visibly overwhelmed by the Heat’s physicality and athleticism. More