Friday morning, the Knicks announced who would occupy the final three spots of their 2013 opening day roster. Unsurprisingly, guard Toure Murray and center Cole Aldrich made the team, and both deservingly so. While he can’t score a lick, Aldrich gives the Knicks a much needed third center who can give them ten decent minutes when needed. Though the team has a plethora of point guards, Murray was easily the best of these fringe roster players during the pre-season. The final roster spot however, is one that has generated a lot of controversy in Knicks-land.
Chris Smith is the brother of JR Smith. He also plays basketball, point guard to be specific, though he’s shown no signs to be good at it. Now, it’s not uncommon for siblings of NBA players to get summer league or pre-season tryouts. LeBron’s arranged for that before, Kobe has done it, and many others have as well. There’s nothing wrong with giving Smith a chance to prove himself in summer league and pre-season. But from what we’ve seen, Chris Smith isn’t an NBA player. In the pre-season, he played fewer minutes than anybody on the team. His 20 minutes played was four fewer than Chris Douglas-Roberts, who was cut and was never really a serious candidate to be a Knick. I think it’s fairly obvious that Coach Woodson knows that Smith isn’t an NBA player, so why is he on the team? More
A few hours ago, the Knicks signed journeyman Chris Douglas-Roberts to a non-guaranteed training camp deal.
This is a very interesting move. CDR is one of my personal favorites, especially when he played the role of Derrick Rose’s sidekick at the University of Memphis. He vanished from the NBA after playing with crappy Nets teams for two years and played overseas for Italian powerhouse Virtus Bologna during the locked out season, after playing with the Bucks in 2011. He then made his return to the NBA last season, playing 6 games with the Mavericks and their D-League affiliate, the Texas Legends. And just last summer, the Lakers signed CDR to play with their summer league squad, and was then cut from the roster shortly after Summer League play ended.
With the signing of CDR, random forward that’s not named John Shurna (remember that imbecile?) Justin Brownlee will we waived in order to free up the 20th and final training camp spot for him.
Something that I’ve always remembered about CDR is that his mid-range game and slashing to the tin were his main sources of scoring, along with (don’t tell Raymond Felton) floaters. He can also generate spacing around the perimeter for the open three, although, he’s a career 27.6% three point shooter. I bet if you look at old shot charts, you’ll see loads of green in the paint and on the elbows of the charity stripe.
Like most small forwards, CDR has a relatively long wingspan. It’s definitely not as long as Paul George’s wingspan, but it’s good enough to pester ball handlers.
In most aspects, Douglas-Roberts is under appreciated defensively. He posted 1.3 defensive win shares in 44 games during his lone year with Milwaukee in the 2010-11 season, and has 2.4 career defensive win shares. That’s not too bad for a player of that caliber.
I really hope CDR makes the roster. Making the roster will be a difficult task for him, though, due to the abundant of depth on this year’s upcoming roster. And to make everyone feel good about him, here’s a picture of CDR and two kittens.
Earlier today, the Knicks signed point guard Beno Udrih to a one year deal worth $1.27M, the veteran’s minimum.
There were a few teams that were strongly interested in the 31 year old southpaw point guard, such as the Grizzlies, Spurs and the Sixers, but he ultimately chose New York.
The point guard vacancy left by Jason Kidd is now filled. Raymond Felton and Pablo Prigioni now have a great third point guard to back them up. Udrih was the ultimate safety net for the Knicks, in case if the Knicks’ other options (ex: Will Bynum) departed for somewhere else (surely enough, they did). Just yesterday, there were reports of franchise-record-22-assists-in-a-game Chris Duhon returning to New York for whatever ghastly reason as a backup quick fix. Thank goodness that didn’t happen. Bobby Brown was also another backup solution, but he decided to stay overseas. More
I haven’t had a chance to get on here and blog about some of the recent happenings in the last few days of free agency. Here are my takes on some of the most interesting developments from around the league:
- JJ Redick, Jared Dudley to the Clippers, Eric Bledsoe, Caron Butler to the Suns, picks to Milwaukee. I love this trade for the Clippers and Suns. LA gets back two of the league’s better perimeter shooters, on good contracts, to put around Chris Paul in a new Doc Rivers/Alvin Gentry run offense. Both guys are good team defenders as well, making them both upgrades over the severely one-dimensional Jamal Crawford. Crawford’s ball handling abilities will still have value, but Redick and Dudley are both better fits (and players) next to Chris Paul. From Phoenix’s standpoint, they acquire one of the prized young assets in the league right now. Just about every team with a need at point guard was rumored to be going after Bledsoe at one point or another, but Phoenix is the team that gets him – and they didn’t give up that much. Jared Dudley is a good player, but at age 27 he’s not an ideal player for a rebuilding team. The question now for Phoenix is if they move Goran Dragic or play him and Bledsoe together. In 185 minutes last season, the Clippers were a +11.1 NET-RTG with Bledsoe and Paul on the court together, so it’s clear that Bledsoe can succeed in a 2 point guard alignment. The issue will be with Dragic, who is a much better player with the ball in his hands and who has struggled to play shooting guard in two point guard sets. Milwaukee was the loser of this trade, but not for the trade itself. Losing JJ Redick for second round picks isn’t ideal, but they were going to lose him anyways and did well to at least get minor assets for him. The problem was acquiring Redick in the first place. They parted ways with Tobias Harris, who was impressive late in the season, to get Redick for their meaningless playoff run that ended with a first round shellacking at the hands of the Miami Heat. I hated the trade then, and I don’t like it now. More
Four year hundred-proof Murray St. phenom, Isaiah Canaan, is yet another unique point guard that is contained in this year’s draft. He intrigues me the most. Canaan is perhaps the most underrated player in this year’s draft. He has draft steal written all over him, literally.
Canaan decided to return to Murray State for his senior year, after his ridiculously awesome junior season, in which he lead Murray State to a 31-2 record, including 23 straight wins, and to a 15-1 record in the Ohio Valley Conference under 1st year head coach, Steve Prohm. That 23 game win streak start is also the third best winning streak for a coach starting out in his inaugural season. If I was in Canaan’s position, I would have felt the same, too. I would have been like “hey, we ended up at March Madness…for two games, until we got eliminated. But still, what a mirthful ride that was! Let’s do it again, team!” That’s exactly what Canaan did, except, obviously, he didn’t say those same exact words in the quote. Maybe the “team” part, but, yeah. He has everything in a point guard you want: leadership while running the offense, and most importantly, confidence. More
There are lots of great centers in this year’s draft; Nerlens Noel being the main man out of guys like Cody Zeller, Alex Len, Kelly Olynyk, Dario Saric, Jeff Withey, and lots more. In this post, I’ll be discussing the Senegalese, Gorgui Dieng, the full-grown center from Louisville.
Dieng’s journey to America is a pretty interesting one, to say the least. He attended the prestigious Huntington Prep school in West Virginia, the same prep school that nurtured the most hyped prospect since Lebron James/presumed first overall pick of the 2014 NBA Draft from the University of Kansas, Andrew Wiggins et al. In 2010, the NCAA ruled Dieng ineligible, not letting him attend individual workouts and practices. Of course, Louisville had to repeal the decision. They did, and the NCAA reversed it, and Dieng’s college career begun. Louisville coach, Rick Pitino, complemented his attitude and his defensive strengths, and made him the officer of the Cardinals zone defense, quarterbacking it throughout the whole season. Think of it this way: Dieng is to Louisville as Tyson Chandler is to the Knicks; both of them were/are anchors of their defenses, and had/have total control over them. More
Whether it’s Stephen Curry, Carmelo Anthony, Ray Allen, even Steve Novak, it doesn’t matter. Any shooter that ignites a fire is a joy to watch. In some cases, a hot shooter is more exciting than a monster dunk. Shots that are hit at a high clip will make you ask for more and more. Glen Rice Jr, much like his father, is a perfect example of a shooter with those traits that were previously listed. More
The Knicks, as strange as it sounds, have the 24th pick in this year’s NBA Draft (I know, I’m still recouping from typing that). In this post, I’m going to touch on my favorite player in this year’s 2013 NBA draft class, Jeff Withey, the incredibly dominant center from Kansas.
Withey played four seasons at Kansas; his first two seasons were playing behind Cole Aldrich and Marcus and Markieff Morris, so he didn’t get lots of playing time until his junior year, where he started getting all of the significant minutes from Kansas coach, Bill Self. This year, his senior year, was his best year, as that is displayed in the lion’s share of college players. Kansas fell short in the Final Four, because Trey Burke decided to go off in the latter moments of the fourth quarter, and in overtime.
Withey’s absolute best ability is his shot blocking ability; it’s simply amazing. More
As the focus around New York Knicks basketball is quickly shifting from a disappointing 2013 to “now what?” in 2014, let us take a breather from the Knick-less NBA Conference Finals to discuss our promising young friend, Iman Shumpert, and his future. Late last week, ESPN New York’s Jared Zwerling tweeted that the team could be using Shumpert at point guard some next season, and he’ll be working to improve his skills there this summer.
With one or both of Pablo Prigioni and Jason Kidd possibly walking away from New York before next year, the Knicks definitely have a need at the point guard position behind Raymond Felton. After watching Shumpert used almost exclusively as a wing in 2013, Zwerling’s tweets came as a bit of a shock. But the news isn’t completely out of nowhere. More
“Those damn Celtics”
Oh well. I couldn’t whip out my limited edition autographed Wicked Witch of The West broom to celebrate a Knicks sweep on the arch rival Celtics. Everyone that watched this game had their beats per minute go through the roof in the last two minutes of the fourth quarter and in overtime. Even if you took a whole bottle of Lipitor (I advise you not to do that), it still couldn’t have controlled the high blood pressure. The Knicks offense played like the Celtics offense from the last three games in the first half; one colossal hot, steamy turd was dropped on them from the rafters. Somehow, they were only down by 5 at the end of the first quarter. The game was very 90s-esque; sloppy, sluggish basketball was played and it was really documented in the first half, as the Knicks shot 29% from the field, along with an abysmal 20% from downtown, as well as committing 12 turnovers, more than their average 11.8 a game from this season. The Knicks didn’t gain the lead until Raymond Felton hit a jumper with 1:17 left in the fourth quarter, which explained the struggle within the Knicks: Gaining the lead. The reoccurring comeback gene that happened several times in the regular season was happening in the playoffs. The Knicks had a chance to capitalize in the final minute of the fourth quarter after Tyson tipped out™ an offensive rebound, which resulted in a Melo pull up three, in what was their final possession before Paul Pierce took the final shot that everyone thought was going to be drained because its Paul freakin’ Pierce, and missed, en route to overtime. More