Knicks-Raptors: What to Watch For

Toronto always plays the Knicks tough.

The Raptors may be just 15-30, but they’ll give a strong effort tonight. The Knicks have been surging as of late, now that Carmelo Anthony is trying, having won three straight games. Despite their recent surge, the Knicks are still just the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference. They remain only a half game up on the Milwaukee Bucks who added Monta Ellis at the trade deadline.

Make no mistake about it. This is a huge game for the Knicks. Sure, Toronto is not a great team, but the Knicks need wins any way they can get them. Including tonights game, only nine of the Knicks last twenty-one opponents have sub .500 records. Even if the Knicks win all nine games, they’ll still be in trouble in the playoff picture. New York must win at least eight of these nine games, plus some additional games in order to make the playoffs.

Here’s what to watch for: More

Knicks-Pacers: What to Watch For

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It is game three of the Mike Woodson era. Games one and two have been pretty smooth. Don’t expect game three to follow suit.

Indiana is not going to roll over again tonight. I’m not saying New York will lose, but I would be shocked if this game was another Knicks blowout. I expect the Pacers, 25-17, to come out and fight after last night’s embarrassing loss. The 20-24 Knicks must continue to shoot the ball well. I was extremely impressed with New York’s defense last night and I expect the defense to be solid again tonight. However, that is not the key to victory. The Knicks defense has been top 10 all season. If the Knicks can continue their hot shooting, they should move to 3-0 under Woody Woodson. More

Notes From the Knicks 115-110 Victory Over Indiana

Anyone still think we should have kept Chauncey Billups?

Right now, center Tyson Chandler is the Knicks best and most passionate player. Tonight, his total domination of 7’2 all-star Roy Hibbert set the tone for the Knicks runaway 115-100 victory over the 5th seeded Pacers. The Knick center held the Indiana center to 2/10 shooting and 3 rebounds in 24 minutes. Chandler was spectacular on both ends of the floor; 16 points, 7 boards, 4 blocks. He outplayed and outclassed Hibbert.

Like sneezing, or pouting (cough, cough), playing defense is contagious. One man makes a great defensive play, then the next guy does it and so fourth. Tyson Chandler’s passion on the defensive end of the floor was contagious throughout the entire team tonight. Indiana’s offense was stalled from the get-go and never got going until garbage time. Through three quarters, Indiana scored only 58 points and had two quarters in which they scored less than 20. The ‘Bockers held the haystacks Pacers to just 39% shooting on the night. New York shot 50%. It was a dominating performance on both ends for the Knicks. 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

Notes From Knicks 121-79 Victory Over Portland

Tonight’s game just didn’t feel right.

It was weird for me to see the Knicks do well without head coach Mike D’Antoni. Today was a weird day. D’Antoni’s “resignation” seemed like a culmination of years of failure from the Knicks franchise. It was just another example of a coach (Larry Brown, Lenny Wilkens, Isiah Thomas) being run out of Madison Square Garden in a negative light. Many Knicks fans celebrated. I did not. Even if I was a D’Antoni hater, I would not have celebrated. There is nothing to celebrate. A good head coach lost his job today. Despite when you think about D’Antoni, you had to root for him as a Knick fan. His “resignation” symbolized how much of a true failure this season has been for the Knicks. This was a team with championship aspirations. This was a team that was projected by some, including myself, to win 42-46 games. The 2011 season has been a complete failure for the Knicks. They were the 9th seed in the East coming into tonight’s game. I’m not putting a lid on this team’s ceiling for this year. They may make a run, who knows. My point is that this season has been a complete disaster and the “resignation” of Mike D’Antoni just symbolizes continued dysfunction at Madison Square Garden.

Tonight’s game means little in the big picture of these organization. Sure, they destroyed the equally dysfunctional Trail Blazers, who played the second game of a back to back, but it really doesn’t mean much. Teams often play well after a drastic change or trade. Look at Golden State last night, they lost Ellis and blew out the Kings. I don’t quite get why that happens but it happens. I want to see the Knicks play like this against Indiana on Friday.

I’m not going to go into more about my feelings on D’Antoni. I am currently writing a D’Antoni post that will be up tomorrow.  More

Your Wednesday Melo Articles

Early Wednesday morning provided the Knick blogosphere on twitter with lots of material. Numerous articles from various New York sources surfaced. The common message was simple: Carmelo Anthony is the problem. Today is going to be a day in which the New York sports world roasts Carmelo Anthony, and deservedly so. Here is your guide to all the articles (I will post more as they surface).

Frank Isola, NY Daily News

Berman of the Post

Howard Beck, New York Times

Chris Broussard, ESPN New York

Alan Hahn interview on ESPN 1050 (from Tuesday 3/13)

[twitter-follow screen_name='tarmosino' show_screen_name='no']

Notes From Knicks 104-99 Loss to Chicago

The Knicks have lost 6 in a row. They are 18-24 and are now the 9th seed in the Eastern Conference. If the playoffs started today, the Knicks would be watching the playoffs like the rest of us. From home.

Monday night, the Knicks lost in pathetic fashion to a short handed Bulls team. Despite not having the services of starters, Luol Deng and Richard Hamilton, and backup point guard CJ Watson, the Bulls defeated the Knicks 104-99. The difference in this game was effort. The Bulls wanted to win more than the Knicks did and they won. New York’s effort rebounding the basketball was abysmal and unacceptable tonight. Chicago’s whooping 22 offensive rebounds were the difference in the game and buried the Knicks in the second half. The Knicks had a chance in the final minute but failed to come back and win the game. With 32 seconds left and the Knicks down 4, Carmelo Anthony inexplicably threw up a contested 29 foot three pointer early in the shot clock and the Knicks fate was sealed. More

Knicks-Sixers: What to Watch For

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There’s no doubt about it. This is a huge game for the Knicks.

They have lost 4 in a row, all on the road, and now trail the division leading Philadelphia 76ers by 5 1/2 games. With just 26 games remaining in this lockout shortened season, the Knicks must begin to win games and it starts today. The Knicks play Philadelphia 2 more times, including today, this season. These are games the Bockers must take if they want to catch Philadelphia and win the division. The Knicks have already defeated Philly earlier this season, winning 85-79 on January 11th. I believe the Knicks are a good matchup against Philadelphia and will win Sunday’s matinee matchup. More

Notes From Knicks 119-114 Loss to the Bucks

This has been a fun week!

First, the Knicks lose in Boston. Then they go to Texas and drop back to back games in miserable fashion. The Knicks topped off this week in hell the NBA by dropping a very winnable game to a very mediocre Bucks team. The Knicks, 18-22, now sit just 2 games up on the Bucks for the 8th playoff seed in the Eastern Conference. Their losing ways as of late have propelled Philadelphia to a 7 1/2 game lead over the Knicks. This was a game the Knicks needed to win and they blew it. Again. More

Notes From Knicks 118-105 Loss to San Antonio

No team is better at making the final score look better than it really was than the New York Knicks.

This could have been a 40 point blowout, but of course the Knicks shot the ball well enough in garbage time to make it look like a semi-competitive game. It wasn’t. Without Tyson Chandler and Jared Jeffries, the Knicks defense looked like a bunch of children separated from their mothers at the street fair. They were lost and confused all night which resulted in San Antonio scoring at will. Tony Parker destroyed the Knicks “defense” all night and finished with 32 points. Melo had 27 but it didn’t matter because the Knicks couldn’t stop anyone. A lot of his points came as the Knicks tried, but failed, to make a monumental comeback. More