Second Knicks Bloggers Spreecast

Tonight I had the honor of hopping on another Knicks Blogger Spreecast with Chris Delgado of Delblogo.com, Dan from Knicks Fan Blog and Azaz from The Knicks Wall. As always, it was a lot of fun as we discussed all things Knicks from Toney Douglas to Stephon Marbury’s neck tattoos.

Here is the link to the spree cast. Enjoy

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Notes From Knicks 99-82 Loss to Los Angeles

The Knicks got off to a good start last night in Los Angeles before fizzling out and getting bullied by the Lakers 99-82. Carmelo Anthony was the lone bright spot with a 27 point performance. Chandler had a good game scoring 13 points and pulling 11 boards but the Knicks were outscored in the paint 44-26 and out rebounded 40-32. Stoudemire struggled again going 4-17 from the field and spraining his ankle in the 4th quarter. He is listed as day-to-day.

Other notes from the game:

  • Lack of a true point guard is killing this team. Douglas has been far worse than I ever thought he would. He picks up his dribble too early, he turns it over and he has 0 court vision. Right now the offense is stagnant because there is no floor general. There is nobody to distribute the basketball. It is hurting Melo and Amar’e as well because there is nobody to get them the ball where they want it. There’s nobody to run the pick and roll with Stoudemire, a staple of the D’Antoni system. There is nobody to kick and penetrate to Fields, Walker and Novak in the corners. Douglas has become a detriment to the team. Until Toney Douglas starts playing decent basketball or Baron Davis comes back, this stagnant offense will be a reoccurrence almost every night. Thats scary.
  • Nobody could guard Kobe. Fields kept fouling him. Walker was disgustingly bad on him. Don’t get me started on Balkman.
  • Novak was 2/3 from downtown. He really could help us down the stretch and in the post-season.
  • By contrast, Fields looked bad again and only logged 24 minutes. I wouldn’t say he has been last years playoffs bad but he hasn’t been nearly as good as the first half of last year. I think Fields, along with the rest of the team, is struggling to adjust to all the new faces but I think eventually he will start playing good basketball. He’s too intelligent of a player not to at least start doing some positive things on both ends.
  • Stoudemire struggled again. I think he is being affected most by not having a point guard. He just looks like he is on another planet right now. It seems like sometimes he is trying to do too much with the ball. Knowing how STAT is, he wants to be the leader for this organization and take over when things aren’t going well. I love that about him. He is a great leader. That being said, he needs to play more efficiently. It seems like he is pressing a lot. He doesn’t need to be leading fast breaks, in which he turned the ball over twice last night.
  • Balkman sucks
  • Chandler, Stoudemire and Anthony have a combined 5 technical fouls already. This is something D’Antoni must keep an eye on because in this shortened season, the Knicks cannot afford to have any of the 3 suspended for technical fouls.
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Stoudemire Becoming Too Perimeter Oriented

Amar’e Stoudemire is widely considered the best pick and roll man in the NBA. He is 6’11 and wildly explosive. When he drives to the paint he is damn near unstoppable. Last season, Stoudemire shot 63% at the rim and 45% taking 3-9 foot shots. Conversely he shot 44% from 16-23 feet. Pau Gasol, Chris Bosh, Nene Hilario and Kevin Garnett all shot a higher percentage on shots taken from 16-23 feet. Stoudemire is a good mid range shooter but he made his money devastating defenses in the paint and at the rim and he needs to get back to that style of offense.

In last nights game, Stoudemire was 3-5 on shots at the rim, 3-9 feet and 10-15 feet. He was 2-9 on shots 16-23 feet. I understand that part of this is having no point guard and seemingly no pick and roll game in sight right now. That is not Stoudemire’s fault. What is Stoudemire’s fault is his seemingly willingness to just shoot long jumpers. David Lee is a great guy. I love him and Knick fans loved him. He is a good player but he cannot stay with Stoudemire, as shown by Stoudemire’s poster dunk on him last night. Once he realized his jumper was cold, and it was ice cold, Stoudemire should have reverted to his drive and post game. Instead, Stoudemire began firing 18 footer after 18 footer and could not deliver the offensive efficiency that the Knicks needed last night. Against the 6’9 Lee, Stoudemire should have attacked the post and the paint and dominated inside. That is what he is known for and that is what he needs to get back to. This 2-9 from mid-range cannot happen when you are one of the two consistent scoring threats on this team. The Knicks need 20-25 points a game from Stoudemire and he needs to use the most successful aspects of his game to get there.

A lot was made about Stoudemire hitting a 2 three pointers game 1 versus Boston but I do not see that necessarily as a positive. This is why I say that. You’re paying a guy a 5 year max deal to be your dominant, unstoppable inside force. Do you want him shooting 3′s? Yea it is great when he makes them but what happens if he reverts to a 35% shooter from 3. Do you want your dominant power forward working on his 3 point perimeter shooting when his focus should be getting into the paint and postering people? His 3 point shooting is a nice fasset of his game but that, along with his mid range jumper, should not be the emphasis of his offensive game. Stoudemire needs to get back to dominating on the drive and in the paint.

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Knicks Come Out Flat in 92-78 Loss to Golden State

I was at Oracle Arena in Oakland to witness the Knicks ineptitude tonight. I then went home and re-watched the game on TV. I have to say that the Knicks looked awful on TV and worse in person. In a horrible loss, the Knicks laid down against the Golden State Warriors losing 92-78.

Toney Douglas had maybe his worst game as a Knick. He was 0-5 from deep, 3-11 overall with 6 points and 2 assists. Douglas was unable to create rhythm in the Knicks offense. As a result, the offense tonight was stagnant and in-effective. In maybe his worst game as a Knick, Carmelo Anthony shot only 3-13 for 13 points. It wasn’t only that Melo was missing shots but he was missing badly. Amar’e Stoudemire was 5-14 with 16 points and 4 turnovers. Tyson Chandler was in foul trouble all night resulting in him scoring a whole 2 points and a nabbing a grand total of 3 rebounds. Oh and the Knicks had 0 blocks tonight.

A few more notes from the game:

  • Douglas is driving me insane. I can’t defend this shit anymore. He is so unable to run this offense and has absolutely no court vision. He had multiple fast breaks in which he either passed late or did not pass at all. He cannot run this offense, he seemingly has no idea what he is doing, he delivers no assists (well sorry, 2 assists tonight in 28 minutes) and he didn’t even shoot the ball well tonight. Tonight, he was a detriment to this team and that cannot continue to happen.
  • Walker was actually decent. His defense still sucked but at least he provided scoring off the bench
  • Stoudemire’s offensive game is becoming too isolation/perimeter oriented. His money is made with his unstoppable force in the paint but he seems to be in love with deep mid-range jump shots.
  • On the bright side, Stoudemire did have 10 rebounds tonight and looked much more engaged on the defensive end of the floor.
  • Fields played a great first half. He also played a terrible second half…
  • Balkman had another dunk
  • The Knicks actually really missed Jeffries tonight. In his absence, Stoudemire was forced to not only play the center position but also was forced to log 38 minutes. Jeffries gives the Knicks the ability to mix and match with both Chandler and Stoudemire. With Jeffries out, D’Antoni was forced (or he could have played more Jerome Jordan who looked pretty decent tonight) to play Stoudemire at the 5 in Chandler’s absence and then play Melo or Balkman (both undersized) at the 4 when Chandler was in and STAT was out.
  • Jorts looked like a deer in the headlights for the second straight game and air-balled a 3
  • The Knicks had 1 successful pick and roll all night. Right now, they simply cannot run it with any success
  • Knicks were out rebounded 47-31. Kwame Brown had 10 boards for the Warriors…
  • Bibby played and delivered some nice passes. Exactly what a BACKUP point guard is supposed to do. Unfortunately that far exceeds what our current starting point guard has been doing…
  • Novak hit a 3 tonight….in 14 minutes. 14 minutes with 1 shot attempt. Novak can’t do anything else… why is he in the game for 14 minutes if you’re gonna get him one 3 point attempt?
  • D’Antoni must do a better job getting this offense to at least move the ball. Tonight they did not pass the ball well at all. There are no pick and rolls, no give and go’s. The offense was just very stagnant tonight. I half attribute that to having no point guard, and I half attribute that to D’Antoni. He has to know what he’s got on this club, I mean he sees them every day. Put in some new plays and get some flow to the offense. Tonight there were just way too many possessions killed by forced isolation jumpers by STAT and Melo.
  • Some bald Warriors fan with weird classes sitting in front of me annoyed me the whole game.
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Knicks-Warriors: What to Watch For?


  • How Will Toney Douglas Fare in Game 2? He was incredibly frustrating in game 1 against Boston, taking 19 shots and failing to distribute the basketball efficiently. Tonight is a game, with Steph Curry probably out, that Douglas should do well in. This game could potentially be a track meet and Douglas should be able to prosper in that type of game. It will be interesting to see what happens tonight.
  • How Will Amar’e be Used Tonight? Lets face it. David Lee is a nice player but his defense may be worse than Stoudemire’s. STAT should see plenty of touches tonight. He dominated last season against the Warriors and I expect him to be dominant tonight. The Knicks did not run pick and roll with STAT in game 1 and thats something I want to see tonight. I know Douglas is sub-par as a point but I’ve seen him run pick and roll efficiently. Amar’e should get about 15-20 shot attempts tonight against a smaller, less-athletic David Lee.
  • How Will the Knicks Defend Tonight? The Knicks need to continue to improve defensively as the season goes on. With the exception of the 3rd quarter, the Knicks were good defensively versus the Celtics on Christmas. The Warriors can score the basketball. Even if Curry does not play, they still have Dorrell Wright, David Lee and Monta Ellis. It will be interesting to see how the Knicks perimeter defense does tonight. As Jared Dubin of Outside the Arc has pointed out, the Knicks perimeter defense is the true weakness of this defense. With Chandler down low, the interior defense is gonna be solid but the Knicks tonight need to close out on shooters and D up people on the wings.
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Notes From Knicks-Celtics Game

Sorry for the lack of posts, I have been having computer issues but they are all now resolved. Since it is obviously far too late to write a game recap, I decided to share some notes I took from watching the game a second time last night.

  • Douglas makes me pull my hair out. I love him and I think he’s a good solid shooting guard coming off the bench but he just does not know how to run the point. When the defense bears down on him he panics which is something you cannot do as a point guard. Multiple times, the play broke down and he panicked and shot the ball. He had 19 shot attempts to lead the team. On a team with Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire, Toney Douglas cannot shoot the ball 19 times.
  • Bill Walker sucks. I have said it a million times and game 1 showcased why. He got an offensive foul pushing off a guy on a dunk, which seems to be his forte even though nobody else in the league ever gets called for it. He had 4 fouls in 15 minutes and his defense sucks. He basically picked Chandler off of Garnett on the final play and gave Garnett a pretty good look at the basket. He did not hit a 3, or score any points for that matter, and when he doesn’t hit 3′s he is useless.
  • I do not understand where the criticism of Fields is coming from. I thought he played his role very nicely. He was efficient offensively and played solid defense. His 2 rebounds were a product of having to chase Allen around the perimeter thus taking him away from the paint when the ball was shot. He hit a 3 early in the game and had another possession where he scored off the dribble. With the scorers we have, you don’t want Fields shooting more than 7-9 times a game. He took 7 shots and hit 3. That is pretty solid and I thought he played his role well. Overall, I thought Fields played a solid game.
  • Stoudmire must be careful with the 3 ball. I loved him hitting those as much as anyone did but he must be careful. His dominant reputation does not come from shooing 3′s or floating around the perimeter. I understand that with Chandler now playing center, Stoudemire does not have the freedom to roam as much on offense. That being said, Stoudemire must continue to look to get inside shots. That is where he is truly unstoppable. It would not benefit him or the Knicks for him to be 3-happy because then he is just an overpaid stretch 4. We need his inside dominance. And getting a rebound once in a while wouldn’t hurt either…
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Knicks-Celtics: What to Watch For

 

Will Melo Dominate?

  • With Paul Pierce out and Sasha Pavlovic starting in his place, Melo should have a field day. A 40 point, 12 rebound performance would go along way to securing an opening day win for the Knicks.

Can Toney Douglas/Iman Shumpert slow down Rajon Rondo?

  • Toney Douglas got absolutely destroyed by Rondo in the playoffs last year. This is a new season but the results may be largely the same if Rondo goes off again. The combination of Douglas and Shumpert (Bibby is hurt) must slow down Rondo on the fast break and not allow him to score. If Rondo is contained, I believe the Knicks win.

Who Makes the Big Impact Off the Bench?

  • Shumpert is probably the obvious choice but do not be shocked if Jorts turns some more heads today. I think he’ll get some decent minutes today and I think he will do very well. During the off-season, he spoke about becoming a Charles Oakley-esq enforcer and what better way to do that than against Kevin Garnett. Also look for Balkman to get some minutes to see what he can do.

Merry Christmas everyone and go Knicks!

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State of the Knicks: My 2011 Predictions (Knicks Would Beat Miami in Playoffs)

Overview: This 66 game regular season is going to be a test for the Knicks this year. This season will test the Knicks ability to play consistent basketball as well as their collective ability to stay healthy. Mike D’Antoni will be challenged to keep his stars healthy. Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudmire will be tested as to whether they can coexist on this team. Mike Woodson will be tested to see if he can improve this defense. There are a lot of questions surrounding the 2011 Knicks. There is also a lot of optimism and rightly so.

This team has 2 of the top 5 scorers in the game today. Their starting center was hand picked off the world champions from last season. They have energetic young players surrounding their “big 3″ and a new defensive mentality. I expect this to be the best season of Knick basketball since the Patrick Ewing days. The sky is the absolute limit for this team.

My Biggest Concern: Health. Health. Health. This team’s success, in both the regular season and the playoffs, will be predicated by the health of it’s superstars. With Tyson Chandler and Amar’e Stoudemire having a history of injuries, head coach Mike D’Antoni will have to be careful to not burn his stars out. D’Antoni is notorious for his short rotation and for relying on his starters heavily. This season he cannot do that. Being a D’Antoni fan, I think he will adjust and do a great job this year.

X-Factor: Some people have said Landy Fields or Tyson Chandler. I think the X-Factor for this years Knick team is point guard Baron Davis. When healthy, Davis is a top 10 point guard in this league and if he can return to form relatively soon I think he has a chance to gel nicely with this club. He brings the ability to score as well as the ability to be an absolute wizard passing the basketball. I love Toney Douglas but I think he is a two-guard at heart and would be better suiting coming off the bench. If the Knicks can un-earth the Baron Davis of old, I think they would become a championship team.

Melo will have MVP type season: Yes you read that correctly. Melo, I guarantee, will be a top-5 MVP candidate barring injury. I think, especially early in the season, he will be relied upon as that point-forward and will get others involved. I believe he has a chance to average over 25 points per game, over 8 rebounds per game and over 7 assists per game. As we saw in pre-season, Melo also has a defensive attitude coming into the season. This does not always mean he will be a great defender but at least he will try and I think that is good enough of this Knick team.

The defense will be good enough: No they won’t ever be a dominant defense but I think with the addition and mentality of Tyson Chandler, this defense will be good enough to win. As long as they can slow people down and get some turnovers, this defense will not be a liability for this team. The offense this year should be fantastic and if they can hold other teams on the defensive end this should be a great team.

If met in playoffs, the Knicks DEFEAT the Miami Heat: Yes. You did read that correctly. I think the Knicks match up so well with Miami that they would knock off LeBrick and the queens from South Beach. Tyson Chandler last year was the reason Miami could not defeat Dallas in the NBA finals. His presence down low took away driving lanes from the isolation-orriented Heat offense. Carmelo Anthony is 9-3 career vs LeBrick James. The Knicks have the length and athleticism at guard to slow down Dwayne Wade. Amar’e Stoudemire is a superior player to Chris Bosh. A healthy Baron Davis is miles better than any point guard on Miami’s roster. I believe our bench is better. I think Shumpert, Douglas (he will be on the bench when Davis returns) and Jorts can contribute more than Battier and Mike Miller and god forbid EDDY CURRY. Yes the Heat have EDDY CURRY. The big fat slob that ate all the Knicks money for years now plays for Miami. I think the Knicks really would beat Miami in a 7 game series. It would not come easy and we are not miles better but I think the way both teams are currently constructed that the Knicks would beat them.

Record and Standing: This team I think will finish the season 44-22. I think this team finishes as either the 3rd or 4th seed in the east. I see them being behind Chicago and Miami and just about even with Boston. I think this team wins a first round playoff series this year. I think if they play Miami in the 2nd round they win. If they play Chicago it would be a hell of a series and would be close. The sky is the limit for this team and I think after years of darkness, the light will shine in the garden. A championship is a serious possibility for this Knicks team and I expect them to have a great year.

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Knick Fans Should Know All About Baron Davis

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=0-V-gL23TMg]

Remember this Knick fans? Last season, Baron Davis stunned the Madison Square Garden faithful, leading the Cavs to a 119-115 upset victory over the Knicks in Carmelo Anthony’s second game in blue and orange. This game was just a small insight into what Baron Davis can bring to an offense. I can’t wait to see how he performs as the point man when he finally recovers from his back injury and dawns the Knick uniform for the first time. As shown in this video, Davis can be wizard with the ball and getting others involved and he also can score. I look for him to bring these qualities to the Knick offense in the (hopefully) not too distant future.

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Knicks Defeat New Jersey 88-82

The Knicks finished off a 2 game pre-season sweep of the New Jersey Nets tonight with a 88-82 victory. The Big 3 of Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler and Amar’e Stoudemire led the way tonight. Melo had 21, Amar’e had 15 and Chandler had 12 rebounds. A few notes from tonights game:

  • Douglas once again struggled to run the point. He was better tonight than in game 1 but still had a few turnovers and failed to hit open guys on passes. He did run a few decent pick and rolls with Chandler but he is looking more and more like a 2 guard every game. It is not necessarily that he is playing poorly. He is what he is and right now, he is a 2 guard.
  • Tyson Chandler’s energy tonight was awesome. He brought down 12 boards, adjusted numerous shots in the paint and blocked 2 shots. There were 2 things that really stood out to me tonight: Chandler’s communication on defense and his energy while on the bench. During the game there were numerous camera shots of Chandler barking at fellow teammates on the defensive end of the floor. He was directing traffic and getting guys in good spots. Communication is absolutely key to playing good team defense and Chandler is helping bring that communication. In the 4th quarter, Chandler did not log any minutes. However, he was off the bench for most of it cheering on his 3rd team teammates and helping to bring energy to Madison Square Garden. That was really impressive to see that even when Chandler is on the bench he is bringing energy to the team. He was extremely impressive in many facets tonight.
  • JORTS! Harrellson looks more and more like a rotation player the more we see him. He stroked two more 3 pointers tonight and made numerous hustle plays. He was impressive and is showing why Knick fans universally love him. Right now, he looks like a deserving member of Mike D’Antoni’s early season rotation.
  • Iman Shumpert did not impress while Landry Fields did. This is why I said Knick fans should give Fields more than one pre-season game and ditto with Shumpert. One game does not prove anything. Two games do not prove anything. Both players will need to play about 10-20 games before anything can be seriously evaluated in terms of benching one or the other.
  • Jerome Jordan did not play tonight and will probably start the year as one of the two inactive players on D’Antoni’s bench unless Bill Walker cannot go. Walker sat out tonights game with his groin injury. Jared Jeffries missed tonights game with a sore calf but he is expected to go Sunday against the Celtics. Mike Bibby left the game tonight at halftime with back spasms but he said he was fine after the game.
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