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
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…
In this USA Today article, Carmelo Anthony said that he’s the selfish player people claim him to be because of “the whole Linsanity thing.” He goes on by saying “That’s when it started. That’s when it started to escalate as far as people saying I was selfish.” This I find not to be true on many levels. Prior to Linsanity happening, Melo was being barraged with criticism from really, the lion’s share of Knick fans for having a string of bloodcurdling shooting games. What I never understood was the criticism from certain Knick fans saying that he was a ballhog and a piece of shit (there’s many more things he was called and they weren’t good things). You should of expected what you were gonna get in Melo. I was expecting it to happen because of the following reasons: 1. His hefty usage-rates, 2. Being a purebred shooter (and a high volume scorer), and 3. Making sweet love to the basketball whenever he receives a pass from anyone. Those fans were acting like it was a breaking news story coming from tabloids, TMZ in particular, the headline being “BREAKING: Melo Is A Ballhog Fiend. Knick Fans Are Exasperated” or something like that. They were probably fans that came out of the woodwork for all I know.
Throughout his career, Melo has been a high-usage player. Last season, he was 4th in USG% with 31.8%, only behind LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, and Kobe Bryant. And in his Denver days, his highest USG% was at least 30% in five (and a half if you want to count his year being traded from Denver to New York) seasons played with the Nuggets. All of that being said, Melo is a usage rate stalwart. He’s certainly not in the upper echelon of defenders, averaging a steal to less than a steal per game, and most importantly, to him at least, he’s essentially branded as a scorer in isolation situations and in any situation. It’s a dead giveaway. Shooters shoot, and…yeah. I don’t have to go any further with stats because by looking at Melo’s stats, you get an elegantly painted picture of what his career has been like statistically.
When Linsanity detonated the fuse (MSG) back in February, Lin was demonstrating fundamental basketball, Red Holzman-like basketball—-passing to the open man and getting almost the whole team involved in the game, developing a synergy with spot-up shooter extraordinaire, Steve Novak, in particular. Melo was sitting out with a groin injury most of the time Linsanity was occurring. There was skepticism about Melo and Lin co-existing in the midst of Melo’s injury because of Melo’s isolation-oriented game and Lin’s let’s-get-the-whole-team-involved game. Melo came back and just couldn’t quite tie the knot with Lin, unfortunately. Lin is back with the Rockets after the Knicks decided to not match a remunerative deal a few weeks ago and Mike Woodson’s offense is going to be fabricated around isolation (or Iso Joe), Melo’s offensive tactic of choice.
Melo, I like you and all, but it’s not a revelation at this point that you’re a selfish player. It’s the way you play the game. You’re a shooter that likes to throw up shots and score. Stuff like this has been surfacing for ages now. But blaming Lin? C’mon man. That’s a bunch of poppycock. It’s a little ridiculous to blame the player who rose from a guy laying down on his brother’s couch to global basketball rock star status boosting the Knicks into the playoffs. Let’s not go further by saying even worse tomfoolery. You went just a bit too far this time *Bob Uecker voice.
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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
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
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
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.
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