Why Giving Mike Woodson an Extension Now Would be Asinine

Earlier today, the New York Knicks lifted the interm tag from Glen Grundwald’s title. Grunwald was promoted to executive vice president and general manager. I think the move was necessary and warranted. In my opinion, Grunwald has done a good job with this team. He struck lightening with Jeremy Lin and he’s done well to bring Steve Novak, J.R. Smith and Tyson Chandler to the team this season. Well deserved, Glen Grundwald, well deserved.

Today, on his ESPN New York radio show, Stephen A Smith went on a spirited rant about how the Knicks should follow up Grunwald’s promotion by giving one to interm coach, Mike Woodson. In my opinion, it would be completely asinine for the Knicks to extend Woodson’s contract before the season ends. Here is why I say that. More

Recap: Knicks 113 Hawks 112

BOX SCORE

What a wild game for the Knicks against Atlanta.  With Tyson Chandler sitting this one out for rest, there was not a lot of defense on either side played in this one.

With Chandler out, Amar’e played the 5 and Melo moved back to the 4 where he has been on such a tear.  Landry Fields moved back into the starting lineup at the 3 spot.

The Knicks shut some people up about Melo and Amar’e not being able to play together for at least a few days. At least on the offensive side of the ball anyway.  Melo got lots of touches while also getting Amar’e involved on the pick and roll.

Melo finished with 32 points on 14-32 shooting to go along with 10 boards.  Amar’e was very aggressive and showing that quick burst that makes him so effective.  He also featured his spin move off the dribble in the post.  Amar’e finished with 22 points on 9-13 shooting with 12 rebounds.

The big difference in this game was there was a lot more going to the basket and less jumpshots.  The jumpshots they did take were quality shots (12-19) from 3.  The Hawks were equally as effective from the three point line shooting 15-23 from distance.

The most encouraging thing about the three point shooting was everyone not named JR Smith and Steve Novak contributed from the outside. Baron Davis, Melo, and Landry Fields all contributed 3 treys apiece.  Novak and JR had 1 apiece.

Landry Fields, who has struggled mightily with his jumpshot this season, was 3-3 in the third quarter from three.  The best part was there was no hesitation and there seemed to be more arc than he has had (which had been very little). He finished with 18 points on 7-8 shooting overall.

Baron Davis, coming back after a couple games off, was pretty effective although he still had a couple careless BD turnovers.  He was penetrating effectively and hit open three point shots as he was 3-4 from distance.  He had a nice penetrating move in the 3rd quarter and dished it to Amar’e for the jam.  The Knicks need him to take care of the basketball when playoff time comes.

The most important thing I take away from this game, besides the fact that Amar’e looks pretty healthy, is the Knicks didn’t fall in love with the 3 point shot.  They were shooting it well, but didn’t let that steer them into taking an inordinate amount of them.  They had pick and roll with Amar’e as well as Melo on the low block a couple times.

I would really like the Knicks to feature Melo on the low block a lot more as this either leads to more higher percentage shots, getting to the foul line, or double teams which help facilitate ball movement out of the double team.  I would like to see more of this in lieu of Melo getting it on the wing where there is no chance of ball movement.

I understand that Melo is going to get his isos on the wing, but I think a higher percentage of low block post ups are in order.  The benefits of this, of course, are getting more free throw attempts.  More fouls leads to the opposing team getting into the penalty quicker which leads to more free throw attempts for non-shooting fouls.

Now onto Amar’e’s defense or lack thereof.  Watching this game, you see that Amar’e doesn’t really seem to know how to play defense.  He lets the same quickness that he uses on the offensive end become a liability on the defensive end.  He tends to jump at defenders instead of simply staying in front of them.

Textbook example of this was when Josh Smith had Amar’e matched up with him, and Amar’e is jumping at Smith crowding him and overplaying him.  A big part of defense is reading the scouting report, and the scouting report on Josh Smith is make him shoot jumpers.  Josh Smith likes to take jumpers all too much, ask Mike Woodson.  All Amar’e has to do is stay in front of him, and if he makes a jumper so be it.  Playing defense is about playing the percentages.

When you are going against the best athletes in the world, all that offensive player needs is the defender leaning in the right direction.  Amar’e needs to stay balanced and in front of his man.  It is this overplaying and getting right up on his man that leads to players blowing right by him.

There were a lot of good things in this game from an offensive standpoint, although it is hard to put too much stock into it beings there was very little defense played.

I have mixed feelings about Chandler sitting out.  While it is good obviously for the big man to get some rest before the playoffs, does it help to have Amar’e at the 5 and Melo at the 4 if that’s not the lineup you are going to have in the playoffs?  With the spacing, you risk having to make even more adjustments.  Now if you just wanted to have Amar’e to get a solid game under his belt with Melo, then I can see it.  However, I have read some reports that the Knicks may shut Tyson down for the last 2 games.  I don’t like the idea of the Knicks waiting until the playoffs to get the offense working with these 3 on the floor at the same time.

One last note, I would have like to see Dan Gadzuric get some minutes especially with Chandler sitting out to see if he could contribute.  As seen by today’s game, the Knick defense leaks like a sieve when Tyson doesn’t play.

Knicks-Hawks: What to Watch For

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVKAHF0Q8jM]

The Knicks are heading to Atlanta on Sunday for their last regular-season bout with the Hawks. So far this season the two teams have split their two matchups, with the Knicks winning the first meeting by 17 and losing the second one by 10. The Knicks will be looking to bounce back after their pathetic (and I’m being quite generous) effort in the game against the Cleveland Cavaliers which also marked Amare Stoudemire’s return to the team. The chemistry between Melo and STAT picked up right where it left off, nonexistent. This game is an opportunity for the Knicks to right the ship against a very formidable Hawks team.

Here’s what to watch for: More

Recap: Cavs 98 Knicks 90

BOX SCORE

What a terrible effort by the Knicks tonight.  On a night where their other superstar Amar’e Stoudemire came back from injury, their simply was no effort, no sense of urgency, and no energy from the Knicks tonight.

The Knicks got manhandled on the boards 52-32 and got outhustled to loose balls.  The Cavs waltzed down the lane untouched for easy baskets too many time in this game.

The Knick offense was simply out of sync all night until the fourth quarter when they scored 34 point which matched their output of the entire first half.

Mike Bibby is the only Knick I would say played above average as he scored 12 points on 4-5 from three point range to go along with 4 assists, 2 steals, and a block.

Toney Douglas did show something in the fourth quarter as they cut into the lead with 6 points, 9 rebounds, and 6 assists.  He is still struggling from the outside as he was 0-3 from 3.  It’s never a good sign when Toney Douglas is the leading rebounder on the team. More

Knicks-Cavs: What to Watch For

Tonight, the Knicks will take on the lowly Cleveland Cavaliers. The game is a must-win if they want to try and obtain the 6th seed in the playoffs. The Knicks dropped 1 of the 3 games played against the Cavaliers, but it was back when Iman Shumpert was the starting point guard. One comforting thing for the Knicks is how brutally terrible the Cavs have been lately, losing their last 2 games by a combined 55 POINTS.

Here’s what to watch for: 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

Carmelo Anthony Song (Is It 3 You’re Looking For?)

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBA-lH2a6E8]

This is absolutely hilarious. I know I’m about a day late on posting this, but anyone who hasn’t watched this should check it out. I was in class all day yesterday and somehow missed it. Enjoy!

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

Notes From the Knicks 104-95 Victory Over the Nets

Good riddance, New Jersey!

In their last ever game at the Prudential Center, the Knicks defeated the New Jersey Nets 104-95. In typical Knick fashion, the ‘Bockers got off to a hot start only to let New Jersey back into the game in the 3rd quarter. New York survived their 3rd quarter woes and pulled away late in the 4th quarter. Carmelo Anthony was red hot in the first quarter, scoring 21 points on 8/10 shooting. Tyson Chandler chipped in with a solid 18 point, 10 rebound performance. It wasn’t a perfect game for the Knicks, but they were good enough to win. New Jersey was shorthanded and the Knicks took care of business. I’m not jumping off the walls about this one, but it was a solid win for our Knicks.

Here are my notes from the game: More

Knicks-Nets: What to Watch For

This is one the Knicks should win. Nets star Deron Williams is OUT for tonights game. Williams was a one man wrecking crew, or three point machine, in the last Knick-Net matchup in which New Jersey won 100-94. Shelden Williams, aka the landlord, will also be out tonight. Gerald Wallace is a game time decision. Without those players, and even with those players, the Nets are depressingly bad.

This is also the last time the Knicks will be playing in New Jersey. I’m not sad or sentimental about this in any way.

Here’s what to watch for: More

Notes From the Knicks 118-110 Win Over Boston

That was pretty awesome. The Knicks made it rain inside the garden and trumped the hated Celtics 118-110. Steve Novak and JR Smith each contributed 25 points and combined to shoot 15/20 from downtown. Carmelo Anthony was the man, recording his second career tripple double. His 35 point, 12 rebound, 10 assist performance helped the Knicks hold on down the stretch despite giving up 57 second half points. I think this game can really be summed up by a single tweet:

Here are my notes from the game: More