Fredette Among 3 to Workout for Knicks on Thursday

On Thursday, the Knicks will work out the top 2 scoring leaders in college basketball, BYU’s Jimmer Fredette and Providence’s Marshon Brooks, and the Pac-10 scoring leader, Washington State’s Klay Thompson. At 29, 24 and 22 points per game respectively, the Knicks will have plenty of firepower inside the MSG training center Thursday. It’s no secret the Knicks are looking for another shooter and all 3 players would fit the bill. In last years NBA draft, Donnie Walsh struck gold with another Pac-10 scoring champion; Landry Fields, therefore many speculate Klay Thompson could be the pick at number 17. It’s been reported that sources inside the organization compare Thompson to Allan Houston.

Obviously Jimmer is the headliner of this group although I believe he may end up being the worst of the 3 players. If Fredette had come out in last years draft, he would have been scooped up by NY in the 2nd round. I believe Fredette would be the worst selection for the Knicks at 17. Yes he can score but we also have two of the top five scorers in the NBA today. The last thing we need is another volume shooter with obvious defensive deficiencies.

Providence’s Marshon Brooks is the lesser known of the three, although he may end up going ahead of both players. Brooks is a prolific scorer from Providence who has drawn comparisons to Kobe Bryant. His resume includes leading the Big East in scoring at 24 points a game, including a 52 point outbreak against Notre Dame and a 43 point game at Georgetown.

It’s possible none of the three players will fall to the Knicks at 17 although I believe at least Thompson and possibly Brooks will be there. I don’t believe Jimmer will get by the Phoenix Suns who select at 13. I believe a backup point or a center is a more important need then a scoring shooting guard but Thompson would fill the role of a scorer off the bench, a role that we desperately need some consistency out of.

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Billups to Have Follow Up MRI This Week

According to Newsday, Chauncey Billups is supposed to have a follow up MRI on his left knee later this week. Billups, diagnosed with a strained tendon over after game 1 of the playoffs, was reported to still be feeling the effects of his injury last week. His MRI should show whether additional damage has occurred. With the upcoming NBA lockout, Billups may have extra time to heal his knee. If further action is needed after the MRI, I believe it would be smart to act on it right now as opposed to waiting.

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Jerome Jordan to miss Knicks Free Agent Camp

According to Alan Hahn of Newsday, Jerome Jordan is likely to miss the Knicks free agent camp June 8 and 9 at the Madison Square Garden training center. Jordan is still recovering from an appendectomy. I wouldn’t say this is crushing to the Knicks as Jordan isn’t even guaranteed to be brought across seas but this is definitely an inconvenience. With all the hype surrounding Jordan around the Knicks community, this is a letdown as the team will be unable to see him in person. With the upcoming lockout, the summer league may be wiped out, eliminating the Knicks ability to scout Jordan in person. This may lead to an impact with the upcoming draft in that the Knicks may be unsure of Jordan’s ability which would prompt them to draft a center at 17. Hopefully Jordan can recover before June 8 and get into the gym to show Knicks hierarchy what he can do.

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Carmelo the Cake Nazi

Melo’s been watching too much Seinfeld. On Thursday night, Carmelo Anthony’s birthday extravaganza was held at Greenhouse night club in New York City. Carmelo’s birthday cake, created by Ilene Miriam, was a Knicks blue gym bag with Carmelo’s blue number 7 jersey draped over it. Anthony loved the cake so much that he didn’t allow any piece of it to be eaten. He had the cake boxed up and sent to his Hell’s Kitchen apartment completely untouched and uneaten by anyone at the party.

Image Via ESPN

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Report: Donnie Walsh to be Re-signed This Week

According to Peter Vescey of the New York Post, Donnie Walsh’s deal should be completed sometime this week:

“Because the give and take was not completed until last week, I’m informed. Late changes were made by Walsh and approved by Dolan. Once Camp Cablevision’s required “six signatures” (I don’t think my source was being facetious) are on the dotted line, apparently sometime this week, the deal will be done, if not publicized.

Clearly, the new arrangement will give Walsh the control to finish the Knicks’ renovation the way he sees fit. If there was any uncertainty about that it would have demonstrated Dolan did not want him back. That would have shoved Walsh into retirement”

It’s about damn time. Walsh has done a masterful job of cleaning up Isiah Thomas’ mess and transforming it to a team on the rise with a 2 headed tandem of superstars that has the fan base excited for the first time in years. The next order of business is whether coach Mike D’Antoni will return next season. Next year will be the final year of D’Antoni’s 4 year 24 million dollar deal. Walsh loves D’Antoni so it’s assumed that he will return but you never know with Jim Dolan as the owner. While Walsh should have and is supposed to have full control, that may not always be the case. As shown the Carmelo Anthony trade, Dolan will not hesitate to overrule Walsh and jump into any basketball discussions. This does and should worry Knick fans because there’s no doubt, Dolan’s a moron. This is proven by his continual honeymoon with Isiah Thomas despite the fact that he hasn’t coached since the 2007 season.

Overall I believe Walsh’s return will ensure the return of D’Antoni barring any interference by ding dong dolan. Walsh is a master personnel man and Knick fans should be very encouraged that he will be back for the next couple seasons (details of the contract have not yet been released).

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State of the Knicks 5/30/11

Overview: The 42-40 New York Knicks had high hopes for the playoffs after qualifying for the first time since 2003. The Knicks battled key injuries as Amare Stoudemire was injured badly for games 2,3 and 4, while Chauncey Billups was injured late in game 1 and missed the entire rest of the series. The Knicks were swept by Boston 4-0. They go into this offseason of CBA uncertainty with optimism not seen by this franchise in many years. While Billups’ 14.2 million dollar option has been picked up, there is still plenty of work to be done in terms of working the roster. Of course resigning Donnie Walsh should be priority number 1, although that is said to be done sometime this week. Overall the team is headed in the right direction but needs some work with its bench as well as adding a big man or two. The Knicks select number 17 in the first round of the upcoming NBA draft

Guards: The point guard situation is filled with uncertainty. Billups’ knee is not all the issues we have. While it’s critical that his knee reaches 100% before the season (if we have a season) starts, the backup point guard position is just as critical. While Toney Douglas played that role well last season, his size suits him better as a backup shooting guard. The backup point guard position is a position that many expect to be filled with the 17th pick in the draft. Anthony Carter’s contract is up and it’ll be interesting to see if he is re-signed. The coaching staff loves his professionalism and leadership and I was impressed with his play down the stretch, especially in game 4 of the playoffs as he sparked a Knicks comeback that ultimately fell short. As far as the shooting guard situation, the bench spots will be determined by what happens in the draft. Landry Fields should be the starter next season, and it is imperative to the teams success that he finds his pre-carmelo trade form. If he cannot, then suddenly the Knicks have a gaping hole at the shooting guard position. While Bill Walker and Andy Rautins will both be under contract next season, I’m not high on either player. Everyone seems to think Walker is okay but I think he’s an oaf, in the playoffs he had like 6 offensive fouls. I’m not a fan. Rautins is a wildcard because we haven’t seen what he can do yet. He was a great shooter in college but we know that doesn’t always translate to the NBA. Roger Mason played well in the 2nd half of the year when he got minutes due to injuries to Walker. Mason also played decently in the playoffs when his name was called but he’s undersized and in D’Antoni’s doghouse. Roger Mason is the only shooting guard who’s contact is expired and he is expected to be let go next season.

Forwards: Armelo, Camare, Batman and Robin. Whatever you wanna call them, they are the keys to the 2011 Knicks season. How they mesh is absolutely key to the offense and how they evolve into 2 way players is key to our defense. Offensively, it has to be about ball movement. While Amare and Carmelo are both great isolation players, the key to their cohesion is going to be ball movement. Granted they are dominant scorers but they aren’t the only scorers on this team. Landry Fields, Chauncey Billups, Shawne Williams and Toney Douglas are all lethal 3 point shooters. In order for this team to make the jump to 50-60 wins next season, the offense needs to feature more than 2 players. Don’t get me wrong, they both need their touches on offense but the throw it to Melo, stand around and watch offense needs to be abolished next season. Same goes for Amare, although he was good at feeding Carmelo on cuts and screens when the plays presented themselves. It shouldn’t be a competition for points, rather a mesh of efficient offense that results in high percentage shots being buried by two of the top 10 scorers in our league today. Defensively, the Knicks are a work in progress. The Heat have shown us that defense wins in the playoffs. As much as I hate Miami, I give their guys credit, namely James, Wade and Bosh, for transforming themselves to a dominant defensive team as well as a quality offensive team run by the big 3 (or 2 depending on how you look at it). This transformation needs to be executed by Melo and STAT as well. If the Knicks can at least get stops when needed, the sky will be the limit for this team that is just loaded with scoring. In terms of the backups, Derrick Brown, Shawne Williams and Jared Jeffries are all free agents this summer. Renaldo Balkman, acquired in the Denver deal, is the only backup forward that remains under contract. I believe that all 3 are decent players but depending on who we get on the market, all 3 are extremely expendable. I love Jeffries but his lack of offense is just sickening to watch. If he’d come back, it would have to be on a veteran’s minimum and he’d have a very minimal role (I would hope). Derrick Brown is very interesting to me. As shown in the Toronto game at MSG, he’s incredibly athletic. He’s a guy we should try to keep for cheap and develop. His athleticism gives me reason to believe he can be a serviceable backup wing player much like Shannon Brown from the Lakers. The player I believe we are most likely to resign is Shawne Williams. While he, like Fields, crapped out a bit at the end of the year, he proved to be a versatile player (having guarded Dwight Howard at one point) and a potent 3 point shooter. I think he has the toughness that we need on this team. We need some Mason’s and Oakley’s that will enforce and I think Williams can be that sort of player.

Centers: Ronny Turiaf was the playoff starter and he’s likely coming back on his 4 million dollar player option. I like Turiaf but not at 4 mil a season. He’s a high energy game but any more than 18 minutes a game and he wears down. I’d like him on a vet minimum and coming off the bench, he’d be a nice piece. Jeffries and Shelden Williams were the other two players who saw minutes at center. While Shelden Williams played well in the season, he saw no minutes in the playoffs leading me to believe he will not be back. The big story for the Knicks at center is Jerome Jordan, the 7 footer we purchased from Milwaukee last summer. He played this past year in Serbia and played well averaging 9 points and 4 boards a game. He should be a strong piece coming off the bench, or maybe starting a la Timofey Mozgov last season. This, along with Point guard is a position that may be addressed with the 17th pick in the draft.

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Welcome

Welcome to meloship of the ring, a new blog chronicling the everyday news about the New York Knicks as they wheel and deal their way to championship contention. My name is Taylor Armosino, I am an incoming freshman at the University of Arizona and I would like to go into sports management. I’m a diehard Knicks fan and my dream is to one day work for the team or at least work in the business. This blog is a great forum for me to show my sports expertise as well as share my opinions with Knicks fans everywhere. Users will find this site as incredibly opinionated, informational and interesting. I will blog about topics that I am always hoping to see written about online but I have found there to be a shortage on quality Knicks blogs. I hope you all enjoy and contribute. Follow me @tarmosino