Knicks Sign Ronnie Brewer

Despite their flurry of off-season moves, the Knicks had yet to get their hands on a badly needed perimeter defender. They got one Tuesday, as they have signed ex-Chicago Bull Ronnie Brewer to a one year contract. Brewer will make $1,069,509 this season, the veterans minimum for Brewer who has played six NBA seasons. I like this move. It was imperative, especially with Iman Shumpert injured, that the Knicks go out and get a wing who can defend. Brewer has the versatility and athleticism to guard both 2′s and 3′s out on the wing. I really like some of the lineups you could roll out with Brewer on the floor. With Brewer on the court, the Knicks have the ability to play really big with Brewer at the 2, or they could play small with Brewer at the 3 and presumably Melo at the 4. Once Iman Shumpert returns, I think you could do a lot of interesting things schematically with Brewer. The Knicks could run both Brewer and Shumpert together, which would in theory give them an exceptionally strong perimeter defense.  More

Thanks For Those Few Weeks: A Teenager’s Perspective On Linsanity

Back in December, the Knicks signed Jeremy Lin as a free agent. Of course, the sole reaction from Knick fans were like, “huh?” because literally no one, unless you were a basketball blogger or die-hard NBA fan that followed the league at regular intervals, knew who he was. When the signing was made, I then read Howard Beck’s article on Lin. The name struck me, but like the majority of the people, I had little to no idea who this dude was. I’m starting to read Beck’s article, and then I realized that he played against the Knicks while he was with the Warriors.  Lin’s minutes in that game were essentially garbage time minutes. He played close to an even 3 minutes on the court. After I read the Beck article, I had a clear idea of what Jeremy Lin’s story was and it was an interesting story. An undrafted player out of Harvard is definitely not a story you would hear frequently at all. Hearing about players being undrafted was frequent ie: John Starks, Udonis Haslem, Ben Wallace, just to name a few. But a player being undrafted out of the most prestigious university in the United States? Pretty interesting. Not to mention that former Knick great and former three-term New Jersey senator, Bill Bradley, went to Princeton, but wasn’t undrafted, as he was one of the three territorial selections in the 1965 NBA draft. Throughout franchise history, the Knicks have had quite the brains.

I live in a very diverse community. That being said, I go to school with people of a lot of different cultures, which is great. Most of the people had little to no interest in basketball, unless they were playing the sport itself. Most of the people are Laker fanboys and Knick fans at the same time, which irks me and doesn’t make absolute sense, but at least they’re fans of the game. My friends were messaging me on Facebook about the Lin signing. One of my many friends, Russell, messaged me on Facebook; “James, did you hear about the Knicks signing Jeremy Lin?” I simply said “Yes.” Then, he says “I know you’re a huge Knick fan and I really wanted to ask you this: do you think Jeremy Lin will be playing anytime soon?” I stopped to think about that question for a moment. The locked out NBA season was in it’s baby steps phase. The Knicks were coming off of a valiant Christmas Day win against the savant Celtics and the struggle within the Knicks prior to the season starting was for a legitimate point guard that wasn’t the struggling Toney Douglas. With confidence, I said to Russell “I think that Lin will definitely start for the Knicks, not anytime soon, but he will start, considering what they’re going through right now in terms of point guard issues. All I have to say is: patience.” Russell said “do you really think so?” “Yes.” I said. Then Russell had to go. The last thing he said was “Thanks for your opinion, James. You’re a good friend when it comes to talking about basketball. Ttyl.” “Thanks. I really appreciate it. Hopefully my prediction will be fulfilled haha. Ttyl.” More

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

Beck: Lin Will Be a Rocket

 

 

They did it. The Knicks are going to let Jeremy Lin take his talents to Houston. Unbelievable that they would be this stupid once again. Make no mistake, this was not about money. This was about ego and stupidity. The gigantic ego of Dolan has reigned supreme once again and screwed everything up once again. Post coming on this later.

In the meantime, here’s a picture of Dolan at the Vegas summer league. If anybody is in Vegas, go punch him in the face for me. Thanks.

 

 

 

Knicks Sign Pablo Prigioni and Chris Copeland

The Knicks international scouts have been very busy this summer. In addition to signing shooting guard James White from Italy and drafting Greek forward Kostas Papanikolau in the second round of the draft, the Knicks added two more players out of European leagues today.

New York signed 6’3 35 year old Argentinean point guard Pablo Prigioni to a veteran minimum contract worth $473,000. I really like this signing. Nicknamed “The Maestro” in Europe, Prigioni is a master passer and can also shoot with good range. I believe Woodson, especially early in the season, will play Lin and Kidd together on the court which should open up some minutes for Prigioni. The Argentinean guard has been on Glen Grundwald’s radar for about 5 years now. I believe the Knicks got a good value signing in Prigioni and I’m excited to see what he can do. Here are some highlights of Prigioni: More

JR Smith Re-Signs With the Knicks

According to Ian Begley of ESPN NY, the Knicks have re-signed shooting guard JR Smith for $2.8 million next season with a $2.8 million player option for a second season. From a talent standpoint, this is an absolute steal for the Knicks. With all the horrible contracts that have been handed out this off-season (for example, Jeff Green 4 years $36 million, Landry Fields 3 years $20 million), it’s nice to see the Knicks not completely overpay for Smith. They got him at a very good deal relative to his talent level. However, talent has never been the issue with JR Smith. When you think about this man, you don’t think about his great athleticism or outside shooting ability. You think of all the other things.

When the name JR Smith comes up in conversation, I tend to think about everything negative. I think of the contested step back jumpers that never ever go in. I think of the ball hogging, the inability to make the correct swing pass around the perimeter and all the times that he took ill advised shots that threw the offense out of wack. As I watched the NBA finals, I thought about JR. I thought about how neither the Heat nor the Thunder had a player like JR on their roster. They didn’t have a role player coming off the bench to chuck 15 shots per game, most of them contested step backs. 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

Jason Kidd to Join the Knicks

In a shocking development, Jason Kidd has decided to leave the Dallas Mavericks and join the New York Knicks. Earlier in the day, it was reported that Kidd had decided to stay in Dallas. Kidd’s reported deal will be 3 years and approximately $9 million. Whether the Knicks are using the mini mid-level exception or a sign and trade to acquire Kidd is unknown.

I’m not a huge fan of this signing, as I believe Kidd’s best days are far behind him. You can make the argument that he’s got the intangibles and he can mentor Lin. I won’t dispute that Kidd is a player with strong intangibles. He can be a good mentor and he is a good locker room guy. However, they hire coaches to mentor players and the players in the locker room are supposed to be guys who can contribute positively on the court. I’m not so sure Jason Kidd can do that anymore. More

Steve Nash’s Gutless Decision Shocks the NBA World

He chose the Lakers. Really? Of all teams, he chose the god damn Lakers. I can understand not wanting to go to the Raptors or the Knicks, but the Lakers? Dating back to the 1970′s, the Suns and Lakers have been bitter rivals. From Wilt Chamberlain and Connie Hawkins to Kobe and Raja Bell, the two franchises have always hated each other. More recently, the Kobe-era Lakers and Nash-era Suns have had their share of playoff grudge matches over the past decade. Suns-Lakers will go down as one of the great rivalries of the 2000′s, rivaling Spurs-Lakers, Celtics-Lakers and Nuggets-Lakers. Notice how all those rivalries feature the gold and purple uniformed squad that calls the Staples Center “home”. The Los Angeles Lakers are the New York Yankees of pro basketball. Nobody goes “the Lakers are okay. I don’t really care about them one way or the either.” You either love them or you despise them; there’s no in-between.

I loathe the Los Angeles Lakers. Their dirty play, bandwagon fair-weathered fans and sheer arrogance make them the most hatable team in pro basketball. They are the crux of all that is evil within the NBA universe. You would think Steve Nash would feel the same way, since you know… he went to combat against them in the playoffs time and time again. But no, it seems that Steve Nash isn’t the guy that we thought he was. Nash is not the loyal, old-school man that we thought he was. In leaving Phoenix for the hated Lakers, Nash thrusted a dagger through the hearts of a passionate Suns fan-base. The same fan base that embraced him after Dallas exiled him is now reeling after Nash’s stunning Wednesday decision.  More