Management

On Melo’s Comments About Being Selfish Because of Linsanity

In this USA Today article, Carmelo Anthony said that he’s the selfish player people claim him to be because of “the whole Linsanity thing.” He goes on by saying “That’s when it started. That’s when it started to escalate as far as people saying I was selfish.” This I find not to be true on many levels. Prior to Linsanity happening, Melo was being barraged with criticism from really, the lion’s share of Knick fans for having a string of bloodcurdling shooting games. What I never understood was the criticism from certain Knick fans saying that he was a ballhog and a piece of shit (there’s many more things he was called and they weren’t good things). You should of expected what you were gonna get in Melo. I was expecting it to happen because of the following reasons: 1. His hefty usage-rates, 2. Being a purebred shooter (and a high volume scorer), and 3. Making sweet love to the basketball whenever he receives a pass from anyone. Those fans were acting like it was a breaking news story coming from tabloids, TMZ in particular, the headline being “BREAKING: Melo Is A Ballhog Fiend. Knick Fans Are Exasperated” or something like that. They were probably fans that came out of the woodwork for all I know.

Throughout his career, Melo has been a high-usage player. Last season, he was 4th in USG% with 31.8%, only behind LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, and Kobe Bryant. And in his Denver days, his highest USG% was at least 30% in five (and a half if you want to count his year being traded from Denver to New York) seasons played with the Nuggets. All of that being said, Melo is a usage rate stalwart. He’s certainly not in the upper echelon of defenders, averaging a steal to less than a steal per game, and most importantly, to him at least, he’s essentially branded as a scorer in isolation situations and in any situation. It’s a dead giveaway. Shooters shoot, and…yeah. I don’t have to go any further with stats because by looking at Melo’s stats, you get an elegantly painted picture of what his career has been like statistically.

When Linsanity detonated the fuse (MSG) back in February, Lin was demonstrating fundamental basketball, Red Holzman-like basketball—-passing to the open man and getting almost the whole team involved in the game, developing a synergy with spot-up shooter extraordinaire, Steve Novak, in particular. Melo was sitting out with a groin injury most of the time Linsanity was occurring. There was skepticism about Melo and Lin co-existing in the midst of Melo’s injury because of Melo’s isolation-oriented game and Lin’s let’s-get-the-whole-team-involved game. Melo came back and just couldn’t quite tie the knot with Lin, unfortunately. Lin is back with the Rockets after the Knicks decided to not match a remunerative deal a few weeks ago and Mike Woodson’s offense is going to be fabricated around isolation (or Iso Joe), Melo’s offensive tactic of choice.

Melo, I like you and all, but it’s not a revelation at this point that you’re a selfish player. It’s the way you play the game. You’re a shooter that likes to throw up shots and score. Stuff like this has been surfacing for ages now. But blaming Lin? C’mon man. That’s a bunch of poppycock. It’s a little ridiculous to blame the player who rose from a guy laying down on his brother’s couch to global basketball rock star status boosting the Knicks into the playoffs. Let’s not go further by saying even worse tomfoolery. You went just a bit too far this time *Bob Uecker voice.

Dolan’s Ego Once Again Proves Detrimental to the Knicks

This latest error in the disgraceful decade long run of Garden chairman James Dolan may have been his worst. From Isiah Thomas to Stephon Marbury to now Jeremy Lin, Dolan has made all the wrong moves en route to transforming the Knicks from contender to preverbal NBA laughing stock. Tuesday night, the Knicks foolishly waved goodbye to 23 year old point guard Jeremy Lin, as they failed to match Houston’s 3 year $25.1 million offer sheet. Previously thought of as a foregone conclusion, up until the news broke on Saturday of the Raymond Felton sign and trade, the Knicks decision to bid adieu to the dynamic point guard is a shocking one. Dolan’s decision is shocking in that there’s no clear logical reasoning behind it. However, Dolan’s mistake is not shocking at all. Why should we have expected the logical, correct decision to be made? These are the James Dolan led Knicks after all.

Headed into this off-season, the Knicks were primed to take the next step forward. They were coming off a disappointing season, but one that ended with reasons for optimism. New York won its first playoff game since the Louisiana Purchase was made in 1803. Carmelo Anthony found a coach, in Mike Woodson, that he would actually play hard for. The Knicks had found a point guard that could lead them, potentially into greatness, for the next decade. Or so we thought. More

Knicks Acquire Marcus Camby and Retain Novak

The Camby man is coming back to New York. In a sign and trade deal with the Houston Rockets, the Knicks have acquired veteran center Marcus Camby in exchange for Toney Douglas, Josh Harrellson, Jerome Jordan and second round picks in 2014 and 2015. Camby’s contract is worth $13.2 million over three seasons. Today, the Knicks also retained sharpshooter Steve Novak on a $15 million contract spanning four seasons in length.

First, lets discuss Camby. I think Marcus Camby is an excellent fit with this Knicks team as currently constructed. If he was 5 years younger, he is 38 years old currently, I think Camby would have been a perfect fit. Even at this advanced stage of his career, Camby is an excellent defender and rebounder. A technician on defense, Camby uses his veteran experience and grit to make up for deficiencies he may have due to his age and decreased athleticism. He’s not Tyson Chandler, but he’s a rock solid defender in the low post area. Offensively, he’s a great fit next to Amar’e Stoudemire. Not only can Camby help Stoudemire on the defensive end, but he can help open up the offense for the Knick power forward. Unlike Chandler, Camby has the ability to step out and hit an 18 foot jump shot. Last season he posted very solid shooting stats from the floor. According to Hoopdata, Camby shot 42.9% from shots 10-15 feet and 44% from shots 16-23 feet. Barring injury to Chandler (knock on wood), Camby will be coming off the bench which likely means he’ll be playing many minutes next to Stoudemire. I think that is a front court duo that can work. With Camby’s offensive spacing, Stoudemire will have a better opportunity to return to superstar form; which is bigger than any free agent signing the Knicks can make.  More

Let’s Not Sulk Over Steve Nash

Look, I’ve always had a disdain for the Lakers.  I’ve had that disdain for ages now, ever since the Kings and the Lakers were a premiere rivalry back in the early to mid 2000′s in the days of when Mike Bibby was actually alive and not a dead degenerate corpse, when Chris Webber was playing his absolute elite best basketball of his career and when Doug Christie was playing outstanding lockdown defense  for a team not named the New York Knicks.  For the Lakers, Kobe and Shaq reigned supreme along with Derek Fisher and Robert Horry hitting in the clutch, which made the rivalry more and more heated as time progressed.

Yesterday, my hate for the Lakers and Steve Nash is at a new level, but let’s expunge all of the antipathy about the Lakers for a moment.  If you were paying attention to Twitter like I was for the majority of the day on a beautiful Fourth of July, it seemed like the 38 year old Nash was heading to the Big Apple.  Some Knick fans on Twitter were on one hell of an emotional roller coaster about the sign and trade deal and other Knick fans were going bonkers as if an encore was being demanded at a concert.  The emotional roller coaster part in that sentence is the equivalent to Iman Shumpert, who is probably my favorite rookie on the team that is coming off of a grisly torn ACL injury. The trade didn’t only contain Shumpert, though.  The Knicks initial trade for Nash was Shumpert, Toney Douglas, Josh Harrellson, garbage time rookie Jerome Jordan and a couple of draft picks.  But at this point post-Nash trade, it’s totally clear that Shump was the colossal stuffed animal dog at the carnival that you want so badly you’ll do anything to get him in this trade. More

Stay With The Knicks, J.R.

Remember when NBA king of Twitter J.R Smith was barraged with harsh criticism from Knicks fans right after the Knicks lost to the Heat in five games back in May?  I certainly remember that and the majority of Knick fans certainly remember that too. Of course his dismal shooting performances in the playoffs were a key to the Knicks losing, but at the same time, the Heat aren’t exactly the easiest team to get by with an injury prone team. People’s expectations can be a bit ridiculous. J.R was basically being relied on by Knick fans to light a fire with his shooting prowess. He is a prime example of a hot and cold shooter, but in that series, he was cold as ice, he simply wasn’t willing to sacrifice. More

Don’t Expect Wednesday Union Victory

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xjc3FoRf_9g]

 

Tomorrow, Wednesday the 13th of June, the Knicks will know whether or not Jeremy Lin and Steve Novak will be granted with Early Bird rights. If so, the Knicks would be able to re-sign each player without using a cap exception, such as the Mid-Level Exception or the Bi-Annual Exception. The NBA Players Union has challenged the league’s stance that Bird Rights, as well as Early Bird Rights, are lost when a player is waived. This court ruling also will affect other teams in the league, such as the Clippers (with Chauncey Billups) and the Portland Trail Blazers (with JJ Hickson). Here is how Howard Beck of the New York Times explained the Union’s stance:

In the union’s view, Bird rights should expire only when a player clears waivers, because he is a free agent at that point who can choose a new team and sign a new contract.

The union contends that the entire rationale for allowing Bird rights to transfer was to protect players who changed teams against their will, a principle that could apply to both trades and waiver claims. (The section of the uniform player contract that deals with waiver claims, in fact, cross references the rules governing trades.)

I do not believe that the Union is going to win this claim. More

Reactions From Woodson, Dolan, Grunwald

Woodson: ”I’m very humbled and honored to continue coaching the franchise where I started my NBA career. Our goal is to build off the success we had at the end of last season and to continue our quest of bringing an NBA championship to Madison Square Garden.”

Dolan: ”Mike took over the team under challenging circumstances and made it clear, starting on day one, that he was going to hold every player on our roster accountable. We saw a significant improvement since Mike took over and believe our team will only keep improving under Mike’s direction.”

Grunwald: “Mike has the respect of every person in this organization. He and his staff led the team in an impressive push into the playoffs over the last 24 games and we believe he is the right man to lead the franchise as we move forward.”

Quotes from ESPN New York

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Woodson’s Extension Finalized

The New York Knicks have announced that interm coach Mike Woodson has been given a “multi-year extension”. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anybody, unless you live under a rock or something, as it has been known for weeks that Woodson will be the head coach moving forward. Of course, in typical Knicks fashion, the terms of the deal were not disclosed.

I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again. This is not the right move for the Knicks. Woodson is a solid coach, but he’s not a championship caliber coach. Woodson’s offense is very isolation oriented, which could be toxic with Carmelo Anthony being the main scorer. I do not believe that Woodson has the ability to adjust on the fly and out-coach his opponents, as we saw in the playoffs this year when Woodson made no adjustments what so ever. The Knicks resurgence after Mike D’Antoni’s departure had more to do with the fact that they were actually trying as opposed to Woodson’s actual coaching ability.

In the end, this move was about power and control for Garden Chairman James Dolan and the CAA talent agency that runs the show. Mike Woodson will gladly serve as the official “MSG Head Coaching Peon”, whereas coaches like Phil Jackson would not. It is vintage Dolan to would pass over an opportunity to grab arguably the greatest coach of all time, on account of power and control. Woodson will be a good soldier and succumb to all of Dolan’s foolishness. Dolan was looking for a solid coach who would act out his every order without complaint and Woodson will do that.

The Knicks will be the Hawks for the next 3 seasons. Woodson is not a championship caliber coach and I don’t believe the Knicks will be a championship caliber team under Woodson. New York will be a 4, 5, or 6 seed every season, but they’re not going to become Chicago or Miami or San Antonio with this coach and this roster. They’ll be a solid defensive team every year and they’ll always have talent, but I don’t see the Knicks taking that next step forward.

It is a sad day for Knick fans that are hungry for championships. They’re not winning one under Woodson, I guarantee that. However, if you’re satisfied with becoming the new-era Atlanta Hawks then you’re probably pretty happy with this move. You guys know how I feel about it.

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Discussing Possible Knicks Off-Season Options

As everybody knows, the Knicks were the victims of a gentlemen’s sweep at the hand of the Miami Heat in round one. Now, understandably, the talk amongst Knick fans is what the Knicks should do this summer. The Knicks will be facing a ton of issues this summer, from the PG spot to Mike Woodson to Amare and everything in between. More

Isola: Knicks Working on Contract Extension For Mike Woodson

On Sunday, the Knicks won their first playoff game since 2001. Now, it looks like the man who piloted them to that victory is going to stick around for a while. According to Frank Isola of the New York Daily News, the Knicks are now in talks with current interim-head coach Mike Woodson about a contract extension. With Woodson looking like the guy, other rumored candidates Phil Jackson and John Callipari seem to be completely out of the running. Isola’s report did not mention potential terms of the contract, but I would estimate terms close to 3 years and in the ballpark of 10-15 million dollars. Woodson has done a good job since taking over for the much maligned Mike D’Antoni. The Knicks finished out the season 18-6 in Woodson’s 24 games as head coach and have won a playoff game for the first time since the French Revolution, albeit having played poorly the rest of the series versus Miami. More