Recap: Knicks 104 Heat 84

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What a start to the season. After all the devastation that occurred after Hurricane Sandy, the Knicks rallied together around their city and gave a fantastic performance tonight. Melo was hot early and the Knicks jumped out to a 33-17 first quarter lead. The Knicks defense was solid all night as they held Miami to 7/20 shooting  from downtown and forced Miami into 21 turnovers. New York’s defense was able to keep LeBron James and Dwayne Wade in check throughout the game as the duo combined to score just 38 points. Miami’s super duo combined for 9 turnovers. The Knicks rode hot three point shooting and ball movement to their 104 points. New York had 27 assists as a team, 9 from Raymond Felton, and shot a staggering 19/36 from downtown. Rasheed Wallace’s late game appearance was the human victory cigar. Wallace capped off the night hitting a three in the final minute that send the garden into a state of elation. Overall, it was a fantastic night for our New York Knicks.

Here are my notes from the game:

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Knicks 2012-2013 Season Outlook

There is a lot of optimism around this Knicks basketball team. While I don’t agree with it, I understand it. You’ve got a motivated Carmelo Anthony, a head coach in the good graces of the fan base and some quality veteran role players. Tyson Chandler is still the leader of the defense, Raymond Felton was a fan favorite under Mike D’Antoni in 2010 and Steve Novak’s championship belt will still be awesome. I get it. But I think there are a lot of deficiencies and question marks on this basketball team. This team is not a contender, which is a disappointment  in this year three of the Carmelo Anthony-Amar’e Stoudemire era.

The beginning of this off-season was an exciting one. New York looked to build around the core of Jeremy Lin, Iman Shumpert, Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler. GM Glen Grundwald and MSG brass looked to surround the core with veteran players. They tried to bring in Steve Nash, but were undone by the egregious contract Landry Fields was given by the Toronto Raptors. Nash ended up with the Lakers. I vomited. Plan B was apparently Jason Kidd and the Knicks overpaid heavily for him. While it was a bad move, the rationale was easy to see. Kidd would be a player who came off the bench and gave the Knicks 10-15 minutes a night, while also being a road map to help Jeremy Lin in his development. New York re-signed JR Smith and Steve Novak. They brought in James White and Chris Copeland. In their best move of the off-season, the Knicks acquired Marcus Camby in a sign and trade with Houston. This looked like a team that could be very dangerous in 2012. More

Preseason Recap Sixers 98 Knicks 90

In order to avoid falling asleep during this game, I took notes. I’ll just write on here the notes I took and then I’ll elaborate on them.

“Ronnie Brewer airball” Yeah that was disgusting.

“Steve ‘Swaggy P’ Novak” Novak was playing exactly like Nick Young of the Sixers tonight. He took a gross three off a dribble, but then hit one off the dribble a few possessions later. Novak expanding his game is a good thing, but I hope he doesn’t try and do too much. Novak’s role is not one of scoring, it is one of shooting. Novak dribbling too much and forcing shots is not good for anybody. Ultimately he’ll be fine. I think he is probably taking some shots he wouldn’t take in games that matter. More

Useless Postseason Game Recap Celtics 109 Knicks 98

Sorry for the late post, y’all. I was having a hard time recovering from the stomach-punch that was the Knick loss to the Celtics last night. Blowing a 20 point lead in a preseason game to those bastard Boston Celtics does that to me sometimes. I take solace, however,  in knowing that this was probably the most pointless game of the season. Below are some rambling notes:

  • The Knicks rested Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler and Amar’e Stoudemire. Melo and Tyson didn’t play because Woodson simply wanted to give them rest and avoid the preseason back-to-back (What’s that about anyway?) while STAT’s issues are a bit more serious. Get better, big fella.
  • Disappointing night from Jason Kidd, who continued giving the team absolutely nothing. Wait, what? He didn’t play either? I didn’t notice. I’m sure he was veteran-leadershipping (Veteran-Leadershipping is the newest option offered by UPS. It’s a tad more expensive, and involves Jason Kidd delivering the package to your house. Instead of leaving it at the door, however, Kidd throws the package through your window and drives the UPS truck into your house.) the young guys from the bench. More

Amar’e Stoudemire Injured Once Again

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Sigh… Coming off a strong pre-season performance against Toronto, there was optimism around Amar’e Stoudemire and his impact on these 2012-2013 Knicks. That optimism will be tested once more as Stoudemire will again miss time with yet another injury. It turns out than an MRI on Stoudemire’s “bruised knee” shows that the $100 million Knick has a ruptured popliteal cyst in his knee. Here is the 411 on a Baker’s cyst from MayoClinic.com:

A Baker’s cyst is a fluid-filled cyst that causes a bulge and a feeling of tightness behind your knee. The pain can get worse when you fully flex or extend your knee or when you’re active.

A Baker’s cyst, also called a popliteal (pop-LIT-e-ul) cyst, is usually the result of a problem with your knee joint, such as arthritis or a cartilage tear. Both conditions can cause your knee to produce too much fluid, which can lead to a Baker’s cyst.

Although a Baker’s cyst may cause swelling and make you uncomfortable, treating the probable underlying problem usually provides relief.

So this sounds pretty bad to me. The Knicks, being the honest, competent training staff that they are, say Stoudemire will be out 2-3 weeks. More realistically, I think we could see Stoudemire miss far more time than that, especially if he has a cartilage tear. Make no mistake, this is not a good thing for the Knicks. More

Preseason Recap Raptors 107 Knicks 88

Guys, the Knicks lost a preseason game. The season is totally over, like, really. Kill everything with fire. Panic mode: ENGAGE. Hold up a second, that’s what Nets fans are saying right now because they lost two preseason games in a row. BOOM. Obviously, I’m just kidding about the Knicks, but it’s funny enough that there are people that are already panicking in preseason form. This is the first time the Knicks faced the new Raptors young gun core, which included my current tall Lithuanian hero, or the other STAT, Jonas Valanciunas (I’m Lithuanian. Screw you, Linas Kleiza). That other guy that was being made fun of because of his execrable jump shot last season, particularly from beyond the arc, and just in general, Landry Fields, faced his former team for the first time as well. In case you didn’t watch this game, you didn’t really miss anything new. Actually, you did miss something important. This important thing I’m talking about is Amare’s preseason debut. Oh wait, I forgot! There’s another VERY substantial occurrence you also missed. Kurt Thomas was tagged with a technical foul. Ah ha! That’s what I was thinking about all this time! Anyways, here are some more notes:

  • As I just mentioned, Amare Stoudemire made his preseason debut after being out for the first two preseason games with soreness. His new and improved post game that he had worked on with Hakeem Olajuwon over the summer didn’t really appear that much in the game, but when it did, it was mediocre. Watching Amare’s post game was like watching a Milli Vanilli music video. It seemed like he was predetermining himself more than performing fluid natural movements. Since Amare only displayed his new post game approximately 2 times, I’ll let it slide. On one of Amare’s post possessions, he performed a beautiful spin move to the basket, which was then rejected by Jonas Valanciunas. I know Amare’s post game can improve. Again, being judgmental over preseason games is like saying you can drive a car with an empty oil tank.  There were flashes of Amare’s mid-range game from his inaugural 2010-11 season, which made me very jubilant because that was one of his offensive staples back in the 2010-11 season. I’m not worried about Amare right now. I think he’ll be fine. After all, he ended up going 8-11 from the field scoring 18 points. More

Have Pre-Season Injuries Set the Knicks Up for Early Season Failure?

Much of the narrative regarding New York’s recent track record of underachievement has been centered around a lack of team chemistry. That narrative does have some merit to it, as this has been New York’s first conventional training camp with the trio of Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler all on the roster. Not only was this seen as a training camp in which the “broadway bigs” would have the opportunity to mesh together, but a camp where the Knicks as a team can mesh together as well. However, the Knicks have run into a plethora of injury problems. Amar’e Stoudemire has missed time and both pre-season games to date with a “bruised knee”. CAA favorite Chris Smith is now out for the season with a torn patella tendon. His brother, one JR Smith, now has some sort of unidentified ankle/achilles injury. Free agent steal Ronnie Brewer has yet to see action due to recovery from arthroscopic knee surgery. Marcus Camby has a calf strain and his return is unknown. For what it is worth, Henry Sims hurt his ankle in practice, but he is a longshot to make the team anyways. So yeah, that is a lot of injuries. Great thing the Knicks have Jason Kidd and all of his veteran presence. He’ll be able to fix all the Knicks problems. Wait, he’s old and he’s not good anymore so never mind. More

Ronnie Brewer May be the Steal of New York’s Free Agent Class

All the talk this Knicks off-season has been about the flashy names. The Jeremy Lin debacle. Jason Kidd and his egregious 3 year $9 mil contract. The Camby man! Marcus Camby returning to the squad. The return of Rashweed Rasheed Wallace to the NBA. But for all the glam, a meat and potatoes player may end up the toast of New York’s free agent class. Signed on a veteran minimum contract from the Chicago Bulls, Ronnie Brewer is an exceptional wing defender. Chicago rated out best in the league in defensive rating, allowing just 95.3 points per 100 possessions. Having recording a defensive rating of 95.0 in 24.8 minutes a game last season, Brewer had much to do with Chicago’s defensive prowess.

Thanks to NBA.com Stats cube, we can see how Brewer’s on court presence impacted Philadelphia’s offense in the Bulls-Sixers first round matchup.

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Preseason Recap Knicks 98 Celtics 95

This wasn’t your mamma’s Knicks-Celtics preseason game, that’s for sure! Overtime, up-and-down pace to the game, and a down-to-the-wire 98-95 finish were all on display during this Knicks victory in Hartford, Connecticut. Also, appearances by Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Jason Kidd, Kurt Thomas, as well as others — so yes, maybe this was your mamma’s Knicks-Celtics preseason game. Or, at this point, your grandmamma’s. You may have been away and missed this sure-fire Knicks classic, (perhaps you were watching the Nets? Ahahahaha.) and in doing so missed out on the Pablo Prigioni-Chris Copeland pick-and-roll you will be telling your kids about. Some notes to catch you up:

  • Firstly, the Knicks were without Amar’e Stoudemire, Iman Shumpert, JR Smith, and Ronnie Brewer for tonight’s game. If those guys were healthy, can you imagine how much the Knicks would have won by? At least 4000 points.
  • The Knicks jumped out to an eight point lead midway through the first, and then proceeded to end the quarter down one. The Knicks, it turns out, are still allergic to momentum.
  • There was a nice play where Melo air-balled a long two-pointer off of a catch-and-shoot opportunity and the ball dropped right into James White’s hands and he made a lay-up. That, some decent defense on a variety of different players, and seven rebounds was basically the game for White, who was starting in place of JR Smith. More

Preseason Recap: Knicks 108-Wizards 101

Tonight, the Knicks went into our nation’s capital to kick off their inaugural preseason game against the Wizards, and after watching this game, although it’s relatively meaningless considering the fact that it is a preseason game, I was impressed with the new look Knicks; new look as in the brand spanking new jerseys. The jerseys are pretty sleek, sexy, and just plain awesome, except the jersey piping, which makes me want to smash something (I’ll admit it, the “sexy” part is just a filler, but still, the jerseys are still pretty hot, yo). The Knicks scored 38 points in the first quarter (!)  off of 11 assists. That being said, ball movement played an important role in this game– especially from my main man Raymond Felton. The second quarter was filled with loads of boredom until the Knicks finally broke the Wizards 18-0 run with 4:23 remaining in the second quarter. This game pretty much stayed close until the fourth quarter.

Here are some other notes: More