What to Expect from Re-Shumpification

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Iman Shumpert is set to return today when the Knicks take on the Detroit Pistons in London, England. Coming off a brutal ACL injury, Shumpert’s level of athleticism is unknown. I’ve seen Adrian Peterson used as an example of how Shumpert could come back at the same level of athleticism, or even better, but there are countless examples of athletes who are never the same after such an injury. Either way, Shumpert’s return should provide a much needed boost to the defensively challenged Knicks. A top five defense a year ago, New York has had a plethora of problems on that end of the court this season.

We shouldn’t expect Iman Shumpert to come back and be a defensive savior. That is unfair to him as a second year player coming off a devastating injury. Nobody is expecting Shumpert’s return to launch the Knicks back into elite defensive prominence. Having said that, Shumpert is definitely an upgrade over a mediocre group of perimeter defenders, even if he’s not the athlete he was last season. I’m going to break down the areas in which Shumpert will help the team. More

Notes From the Knicks 100-87 Victory Over New Orleans

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Victory!

After going 0-3 earlier in the week against Boston, Indiana and Chicago, the Knicks took care of the feisty Hornets today at Madison Square Garden. Offensively, the Knicks were much better than what we’d seen the previous two games. They were able to hit 11 threes and move the ball effectively, racking up 24 assists. New Orleans is one of the worst defensive teams in the league and the Knicks should’ve been better offensively, but given New York’s recent run of terrible play, I’ll take this W.

Here are my notes from the game:

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Recap: Bulls 108 Knicks 101

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*Unleashes colossal dump that stinks up the whole household.* *Opens up bathroom door.* *Dog approves of the pungent dump.* It seems like Robert Randolph had something to do with this absolutely, disgusting, bloodcurdling loss to the Bulls tonight. He does have something to do with tonight’s appalling loss. But there’s more. Don’t let the darn score fool you. The Knicks produced an exact carbon copy of the previous meeting against the Bulls at MSG, except, there wasn’t a deluge of ejections and technical fouls. But don’t get me wrong here; tonight’s crap gala was equally as horrid as last night’s defeat to the Pacers and the last game against the Bulls a few weeks ago. Essentially, the last two meetings against the Bulls were this: The Knicks would play like a broken record for the first three quarters, and then they would advance towards the front in the late 4th quarter with under two minutes to go. I mean, that’s a little to late to charge, wouldn’t you think? Tonight, the Knicks shot a god awful 6-23, which is 26.1% of shots made, in the first quarter. Then, the Knicks ended up shooting 29.8% through the first half of play. I don’t have a fish, but if I did, I would flush it down the toilet immediately, even if it was alive. I attempted to punch holes through my room wall, but my knuckles bruised because of how impenetrable the Bulls stonewall defensive barricades were yet again. The Knicks ended up shooting 41.1% for the game and scored 41 points in the fourth quarter, thanks to outstanding garbage time scoring, which even set up another bold comeback attempt that came up short. Here are some notes from this poopy game:

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Notes From the Knicks 81-76 Loss to Indiana

My sources are telling me that the Knicks struggled on offense tonight (if you don’t know the joke, check this hilarity out). But seriously, that game was brutal. Coming into the game, Indiana has been the best defense in basketball and played as such tonight. Carmelo Anthony was suspended because of the whole “Honey Nut Cheerios” situation. Add Raymond Felton’s injury into the equation and the Knicks offense was hapless tonight. New York hoisted up 20 three pointers, but only got 4 to go. They shot just 42% in the paint and 34% overall for the game. Want to see some blood? Check out the Knicks shot chart:

BLOOOOOOD

Here are some more notes from the game: More

Game Recap: Celtics at Knicks 1/8

 

Celtics 102, Knicks 96

The Knicks lost their fourth game at the Garden this season in a 102-96 dogfight to the Celtics. And I just want to start this recap off by saying, FUCK THE CELTICS.

I wanted to just write a recap by repeating that over and over again, but that wouldn’t be very good writing.

Without Rajon Rondo, who was suspended for a game because of bumping an official yet again, the Celtics were able to come into Madison Square Garden and steal one for the Knicks. You knew coming in that the Celtics wanted this game bad. They were sick of all the talk about how the Atlantic Division belonged to the Knicks now (which, despite this game, is true), and seem to always show up when they need to. The Celtics defense along with a ton of forced shots held Carmelo Anthony to 6-26 shooting.

Melo lost his cool. He and KG were going at it for much of the fourth quarter, and as has been the case for most of the season, he wasn’t able to harness that emotion. Instead it boiled over into awful execution down the stretch by the Knicks, the exact opposite of the Celtics.

Pablo Prigioni had his worst game in this recent stretch tonight. He had two points and 0, yes 0, assists to go along with his four turnovers. He had a +/- of -19, an atrocious stat line. Since Felton’s injury, Prigioni has played well but fell short tonight. Amare had a -15 +/- despite his 13 points. He gave up a few easy rebounds to Sullinger and Bass, and his defense is obviously still an issue as he comes back into the rotation. I like what I have seen from him though in his first three games back from injury.

Paul Pierce hit a few huge jump shots, one coming directly after Spike Lee leaned over and looked up at him talking shit. I still hate that Spike does that to players, it backfires every time. Garnett had 19 and 10, but probably his biggest asset to this game was his riling up of Melo. While it was great to see Carmelo call KG a pussy multiple times, it didn’t turn out well for the ‘Bockers.  Melo didn’t talk to reporters after the game and allegedly went to the Celtics locker room to confront the lovely Garnett.

Despite the loss, there were a few positives. Tyson Chandler had another fantastic game and continues to be the anchor. He had 13 points to go along with his 17 rebounds, and as always had a few Tyson Tip-Outs. Eight offensive rebounds from Tyson gave the Knicks a bunch of second-chance opportunities, but they struggled to knock down the big jumpers they’ve been hitting all season. Jason Kidd was a +11 tonight and dished out six assists.

The Knicks let a game they should’ve won slip away from them. It’s their second loss in the division in the first try at the reigning champs of it. These two will get together again on Jan. 24, but will need to turn their attention to the Pacers who they play on Thursday night.

Follow Brian on Twitter @bcoles1029

Recap: Knicks 114 Magic 106

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In yet another game where the Knicks started out like the NFL on NBC intro (Joe Webb is SO LOLtastic), they managed to pull out of Orlando with another win. The getaway car proceeded to drive out of the Amway Center garage, Carmelo Anthony being the driver with Jason Kidd sitting in the passenger’s seat. At this point, it’s basically S.S.D.D (same shit, different day) because the Knicks start out with atrocious defense, particularly in the first quarter, and then they always pick up the pace in the end. It’s cyclical. I love how they win in the end (most of the time), but seriously, allowing 36 points in one quarter is a far beyond ridonkulous. Out of those 36 points, the Knicks allowed 25 of those points being in a span of 7 minutes, including a 14-2 run in the first 3 minutes of the first. Thankfully, the Knicks woke up from being narcoleptic on defense in the second quarter, going on a 18-3 run at one point, giving up only 19 points. Amare Stoudemire was actually active on the defensive end, which automatically made the second quarter an awesome quarter. But then in the third quarter, the Knicks’ defense fell down to the ground and went to sleep again like a narcoleptic, getting outscored 34-22, mainly because of Jameer Nelson and Arron Afflalo aka the king of drawing jump shot fouls in this game were being the assassins. The Knicks felt like reiterating the second quarter because they can, and guess what? They did. The Knicks outscored the Magic 33-17 in the fourth, thanks to Carmelo Anthony’s 16 4th quarter points of his 40 total points. Notes and stuff:

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How Amar’e Stoudemire Fits Into the Knicks Offense

Game Preview 12/18: Knicks at Kings

The New York Knickerbockers return to action tonight as they take on the Sacramento Kings (or Queens if you are Shaq) in Sacramento and continue their western swing. The Knicks are coming off a thrilling win in Phoenix on Wednesday night thanks to a J.R. Smith buzzer beater. Smith also hit the game tying shot moments before. The Knicks got 50 points combined from Smith and Jason Kidd on a night where they were without Carmelo Anthony and Raymond Felton. Felton is out 4-6 weeks with a broken pinkie and Anthony is still listed as day-to-day, and is unsure if he will give it a go tonight. Leave it to the Lakers to hurt Carmelo yet again.

The Knicks did get some solid minutes out of Marcus Camby, a good sign going forward as they need depth up front especially with the length of Rasheed Wallace’s absence being unknown. Pablo Prigioni will also need to see extended minutes with Felton out, and this is a good stretch to evaluate just how deep the Knicks are as a team.

Based on Carmelo’s comments and saying he was barely able to walk yesterday, I am going to assume he is going to sit out tonight. The Kings aren’t exactly the best team in the league and they were without Demarcus Cousins and Tyreke Evans in their last game. The Kings have the second to worst record in the Western Conference and have been just a mess all year. Cousins was suspended indefinitely a week ago for conduct detrimental to the team, a.k.a whining and complaining over and over again. He was reinstated to the team but did not play in their previous game as clearly him and head coach Keith Smart do not see eye to eye.

So the Knicks head into Sacramento a little banged up with a record of 21-8, and should go in and take care of business. The Kings are just 3-7 in their last 10, and rank in the bottom of the league in both offensive and defensive efficiency. If the Kings are going to be without their top two players in Cousins and Evans then the Knicks should have no problem getting win number 22. If Cousins does play then Chandler and Camby will both have their hands full with the young big man as he is one of the top big guys in the game when keeping his head. It will be key for Chandler to stay out of foul trouble, and to work Marcus Camby into the rotation.

 

Follow Brian on Twitter @bcoles1029

 

Knicks 99, Suns 97 Recap

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Greetings fellow Knicks brethren! I hope everyone had a good Christmas Day J.R. Smith Day. The Knicks defeated the Jared Dudley led Suns (Boy is that an awkward statement.) 99-97 on a game winner by Earl III Smith, and I ran outside and immediately jumped into the snow that built up on my backyard. The Knicks were without Ray Felton (welp) and Carmelo Anthony (Please be ok, Melo.) which opened the door for James White to get his first start with the Knicks and had Kurt Thomas reinserted into the starting lineup. The Knicks and Suns decided to take a strong stance against playing defense in the first quarter, and the Suns ended the frame with a 29-27 lead. During the second quarter, the Knicks tightened up their defense, holding the Suns to just 15 points while scoring 27 themselves. Marcus Camby played good minutes backing up Chandler, the ball moved well , and the rotations where on point, leading to the Knicks taking a 10 point lead into halftime. Also, J.R. undercut Goran Dragic on a layup attempt that led to Dragic taking a scary fall and J.R. receiving a flagrant foul. Dragic did not return. The Knicks got out to a 14 point lead in the third quarter, but then silly shots and turnovers, coupled with bad rotations led to the Suns tying the game up going into the fourth. In that final quarter, both teams exchanged small leads until the final seconds. The Knicks, down two, with a little more than 30 seconds remaining, ran a play out of a timeout that the Suns defended perfectly and resulted in a J.R. Smith isolation at the top of the three-point line. Earl was harassed by P.J. Tucker for 5 seconds and then threw up a ridiculous 20 foot turnaround fadeaway that had almost no arc but went down. I proceeded to screech like a little girl.  On the following Suns possession, Sebastain Telfair was forced out-of-bounds after Tyson Chandler chased him like a madman over a pick leading to the Knicks getting the ball back with one second remaining. And finally, to end the game in the proper “WTF”-manner it deserved, J.R. hit a leaning fallaway jumper from the corner as time expired. Swishsanity? Indeed. Some notes:

  • Jason Kidd–-basketball magician, wizard and connoisseur–-was absolutely wonderful. 23 points, 8 assists, 6 rebounds on 8-16 from the field and 5-8 from three-point land. Also, he was a game high +13. There may not be enough crow left to eat after everything he’s done, but if there is I’ll gladly have another helping. I could try to describe all the things he did, but it would just be incoherent rambling because there was no rhyme or reason as to how he was doing them. Also: Kidd got switched onto Michael Beasley at one point, leading to a match-up of arguably the smartest basketball player ever versus Michael effing Beasley. The result? Kidd tying up Beasley on a drive leading to a jump ball. Jason Kidd is 15 years older than Michael Beasley. 
  • As mentioned EARLier, (Puns!) JR was great. Sure, he took his fair share of bad shots, but without Melo playing, he had to. JR helped the Knicks out-rebounded the Suns (6 bounds), had some nice pocket-passes to Chandler off the pick and roll, and came up with back-to-back steals that led to the Knicks tying the game and then taking small lead.
  • Tyson Chandler bounced back very nicely, recording 14 points and 12 rebounds while providing some great help defense all over the court. Also, he swatted away a Marcin Gortat three-point heavy as the shot clock expired and it was glorious. Good stuff, Tyson!
  • Krazy Eyes Kurt Thomas started, played 12 minutes in total, made two mid-range jumpers and wore orange shoes. Nothing new here.
  • Ronnie Brewer finished a nice layup, but also got called for a carry at half court and missed two jumpers pretty badly. Regression, thy name is Ronnie.
  • Marcus Camby played some nice minutes for the second straight game, grabbing 9 boards in just over 12 minutes and sending a Telfair layup into a camera man/media person sitting under the basket. Camby missed a couple jumpers, shooting with his ridiculous motion that made me laugh every time I saw it. Having someone like Camby to back up Chandler is going to be a big help for the Knicks defense, which has been pretty bad of late.
  • Not starting but still playing 30 minutes off the bench was Chris Copeland, who was 6-12 from the field for 14 points, including some very timely buckets. He continued to get lost on rotations, leaving many a Sun open in the corner for a three. Still, Copeland has been shooting the lights out of the ball recently, and canning a lot of catch-and-shoot threes. Good job Cope!
  • Side note: The Suns court is horrible. After seeing the Knicks all-orange Christmas uniforms yesterday, my eyes to exception to the bright orange key on the hardwood . That combined with Flight White’s bright orange kicks has made me scarred by the color orange. It might be the worst color ever.
  • The Knicks often ran a new set, where Tyson Chandler gets the ball in the high post, and the two guards ran different types of action around him. The set worked very well, and as pointed out by the great Jared Dubin on the ol’ twitter, it was a set that the Lakers ran against the Knicks just two night ago. Make sure to follow Jared if you aren’t already here.

Well, that seems to be it. The Suns aren’t a good team, however the Knicks were missing their top two scorers and managed to pull out a win. Twas’ entertaining to say the least. The Knicks play the Kings led by totally-not-suspended-but-still-kinda-suspended Demarcus Cousins on Friday.

Notes From the Knicks 100-94 Loss to Los Angeles

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This one hurts. For me personally, this one hurts especially bad. The Lakers have always been my least favorite franchise in the NBA, for various reasons. More importantly, this loss hurts for the Knicks. After the magical start to this season, the Knicks have come crashing back down to earth. In their last five games, New York is just 2-3. The offense has not performed well as of late, led by the struggling Raymond Felton. Defensively, the Knicks have yet to patch up the problems that have plagued them throughout the season. These problems all came to fruition on this Christmas day in Los Angeles. Carmelo Anthony’s gritty 34 point performance wasn’t enough on this day. Nursing a one point lead through three periods, the usually strong 4th quarter Knicks faltered down the stretch. Riding a disgusting amount of Raymond Felton wasted possessions, the Knicks scored just 16 fourth quarter points and were unable to stop the Lakers down the stretch when they needed to.

Here are my notes from the game: More