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

Iman Shumpert Loves The iPhone 5

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqZLOTms24E]

Anthony Would Benefit From Shooting Fewer Threes

Last season was one of the worst statistical seasons of Carmelo Anthony’s nine year career. There were many factors that attributed to his poor season such as feuding with the coach, various injuries and an early season experiment as a “point forward”. But for all the excuses made in Anthony’s favor, I think there is one factor that hasn’t been talked about enough.Across the board, Anthony’s scoring stats were down from what we are accustomed to seeing. Except for one statistic; his three point attempts. Last season, Anthony shot a career high in 3 point attempts, 3.7 attempts/game (3PA) and 3.9 per 36 minutes. He shot just 33.5% from downtown and is a 32.2% career shooter from outside the arc. I believe there is a direction correlation between Anthony’s 43% shooting last season, second lowest in his career, and the high volume of threes that he took. More

Amar’e Stoudemire’s Post Game Has a Role in Mike Woodson’s Offense

Earlier this summer, Amar’e Stoudemire paid a hefty price (approximately $50k) to work on his previously non-existent post game with Hall of Fame center Hakeem Olajuwon. Given the history of Stoudemire’s offensive game, devastation as a roll man with a tint of mid-range shooting, there has been almost unanimous sentiment among the the basketball community that Stoudemire’s post game won’t be used much in games. I too felt the same way, until I looked deeper into the matter.

It isn’t that Amar’e is going to become a post up player. He’s not. That has never been his game, and likely won’t ever be the base of his offensive repertoire. However, that doesn’t mean Stoudemire’s post work this offseason can’t help his game. After analyzing Mike Woodson’s offense, I think there will be opportunities for Stoudemire to score in a post up game and in that area of the floor. We know that Woodson’s history indicates that he run a slower, more isolation based type offense. Unlike Mike D’Antoni’s offense, the pick and roll has never been a staple of the Woodson offense. That doesn’t mean pick and rolls will be eliminated, but we’ll likely see less of them next season. That means Amar’e Stoudemire will have to find other ways to score, because he won’t be rolling to the basket every third possession. More

Isola: Scott O’Neil Leaving Madison Square Garden

 

 

 

Scott O’Neil’s statement via @soshnick

“My time at The World’s Most Famous Arena has been nothing short of incredible
and I am proud of our results. I am thankful and extremely proud of what we accomplished at MSG Sports. There is nothing more rewarding than the
opportunity to help build a world-class staff and seeing them perform beyond our loftiest expectations – people I consider not only the most talented in the
business, but also true friends. To help lead and steward iconic brands like the Knicks and Rangers and sell the transformed Garden in a city like New York
has been a true privilege. I could not be more excited about the process of discovering what lies ahead.”

This is certainly a shocking development, although given the chaotic nature of James Dolan’s management it probably shouldn’t be. More to come later…

VIdeo: Amar’e Works Out With Hakeem

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_G-2rBfkLiY&feature=youtu.be]