All-NBA Team discussions are always fun this time of year so I thought I’d chip in and put mine up here with a little bit of justification for each. Let me know if you agree/disagree with my selections.
G – Chris Paul
G – Russell Westbrook
F – LeBron James
F – Kevin Durant
C – Marc Gasol
The two spots for debate here are Westbrook’s guard spot and the center spot. More
Earlier today, basically out of the blue, the Knicks signed Quentin Richardson, closing the open roster spot they had from cutting King Solomon Jones. Richardson played with the Knicks from 2005-2009, and holds career averages of 10.3 points per game, 4.7 rebounds per game, and is a 35% three point shooter. This move isn’t that significant, or at least lets hope it isn’t that significant. Also, Richardson is playoff-eligible. Some brief thoughts:
Once a Knick Always a Knicks! It looks like the Knicks are becoming very committed to this slogan. However, I was kinda hoping that players from Knicks teams we try so, so hard to forget would be, um, forgotten from this new campaign. If the Knicks bring back Jerome James, look for them to have a 10 year anniversary night for the 2005-2006 Knicks, where every fan in attendance gets a replica NBA Draft Lottery ping-pong ball.
For those of you that weren’t following the Knicks during those terrible years (and god bless you, really) or have drank enough alcohol to forget them, you may not know that Q-Rich is not a big fan of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett. That being said, I’d very much like for those guys not be extra-angry when playing the Knicks.
Hopefully Richardson doesn’t have to play unless the Knicks are up by 25 and Woodson clears the bench. If he gets burn in a situation other than that, I guess he can’t really be worse than James White. So there’s that.
Headbands! Melo and K-Mart are already avid wearers of headbands, and I can’t remember Richardson playing for the Knicks without one. I suggest a rule change for the playoffs where the team with the most headbands wins.
And that’s it! The Knicks close out the regular season against the Hawks tomorrow, and then get ready to play the Celtics on Saturday, time still to be determined.
15th win in the last 16 games, locked up the 2-seed in the East…fun times to be a Knicks fan, everyone. (Furiously knocks on all of the wood.) Indeed, the Knicks defeated the Pacers today in a relatively ugly, slow, Pacers-y game. Shorthanded in the frontcourt with Tyson Chandler and Kenyon Martin (and every other tall guy on the Knicks) suffering from death many different nagging injuries, the Knicks were beat up on the glass 45-32 (and 13-8 in offensive rebounds). However, even with this disparity, the Knicks took 17 (!) more shots than the Pacers, as the Pacers decided to start throwing the ball everywhere but to their own team, even hitting poor Mike Woodson with one en route to 26 turnovers. Carmelo Anthony poured in 25 points while sitting out the 4th with a shoulder contusion (nothing serious according to him, he is still alive), JR Smith added 15 off the bench, and Chris Copeland scored 20 himself as he made up for his poor rebounding with stellar shooting (8-12 from the field). Some notes:
King Solomon Jones got the start at center, and played pretty poorly but it really doesn’t matter. He over played some hedges defending the pick-and-roll, was constantly getting thrown to the ground by Roy Hibbert, and took a 7 foot jumper off the pick-and-roll that went about 5 and a half feet. Cool name, though.
Steve Novak missed a layup off the pick-and-roll and had he made it I would probably be dead.
Melo started off hot, scoring the first 9 points for the Knicks, but cooled off mightily after that. He started getting frustrated with the officials after the physical play escalated and was guarding Hibbert and West down low and taking a beating. After getting fouled hard by David West on the shoulder and favoring it for a couple of minutes, Melo threw down an alley-oop from Kidd and then hit a catch-and-shoot three pointer and we all breathed a sigh of relief.
The Knicks benefited from Paul George being severly off his game (3-12 from the field) and basically everyone on the Pacers either not being able to throw or catch the ball. I don’t think I’ve seen that many passes flying to no one in particular in a while.
Jason Kidd, a game leading +17, missed a spot up three pointer by about 35 feet, then on the same possession took a runner from the corner as the shot clock expired and missed the rim by slightly less. Then he airballed his next three-point attempt long. Whatever. Kidd came up with 4 steals today, ripping the ball from poor Lance Stephenson as he attempted to drive on Kidd, then stealing a couple of over-the-top entry passes by playing the basketball version of a free safety.
Playing the majority of the game at center, Copeland actually did a decent job fighting with Hibbert for position down low. This, coupled with Hibbert’s relatively bad post up game and the Pacers refusing to throw him the ball when he was in *great* position right under the basket, led to Hibbert having 4 points on 2-5 shooting.
That’s basically it. I mean, this was a pretty sloppy game from about midway through the first quarter on. Looking forward, the Knicks now have their highest seed since 1994, will play the Celtics in the first round, and can/will rest their starters for the final two games o the regular season. The issue with the last thing is that the Knicks currently have 10 healthy players, and 8 of them are currently rotation players. If it were up to me, the Knicks would play Solomon Jones and James White, and throw in Jim Todd and Herb Williams occasionally. Alas, NBA rules require you to play 5 players at a time, so I guess they can’t do that. Anyway, the Knicks clinched the two-seed. I’m going to run around like a maniac for a while. This picture describes my emotions right now:
In an effort to add players who aren’t broken and can actually play, the Knicks will sign forward James Singleton (no, not the guy we passed up for Shumpert in the draft) and release the injured Kurt Thomas. The only thing I knew about Singleton prior to writing this post is that his name was James Singleton. I’d heard of him a few times, but couldn’t recall having seen him play. I read around the inter-webs for information and here’s what I came up with:
Singleton stands 6’8 230 pounds and is a forward. He seems positionally versatile due to his size, so I could see him playing multiple positions with the Knicks. Because the Knicks have zero healthy big men, he’ll play power-forward primarily and probably some center too. Basketball-reference had him listed as a power-forward for the Wizards last year. In 12 games with Washington last season, Singleton played well. His TS% was .60 and he recorded a PER of 19.6. Small sample size definitely applies, but I like this guy. I took to Synergy to watch some film on him and I like what I saw. More
Taylor Armosino (@tarmosino): Earlier this week, Knick legend Bernard King was finally elected to the Pro Basketball Hall of Fame. King won’t be the only former Knick inducted to the hall this year, as ex-coach Rick Pitino and shooting guard Richie Guerin also made the cut. Props to all three, but I’m going to talk about King this week.
Often compared to modern day Knick star Carmelo Anthony, Bernard King was one of the great scorers of his day. Though I’m not old enough to have seen him play, you need just to look at the stats to see how good he was. For his career, King averaged 24.1 points per 36 minutes. His career true shooting percentage was .561, exactly what Anthony’s is this season. The fact that King didn’t shoot threes makes his accomplishments even more impressive. He was scoring efficiently operating in the post and in the mid-range area, the two most inefficient spots on the floor. At the height of King’s scoring prowess, the 1983 and 1984 seasons with the Knicks, he posted player efficiency ratings of 22.7 and 25.2 and true shooting percentages of .619 and .585. He truly was a dominant scorer. More
They did it! For the first time since 1993-94, the year in which Jason Kidd was a sophomore at the University of California, Carmelo Anthony was 10 years old, Iman Shumpert was 4 and I wasn’t born yet, the Knicks have won the Atlantic Division. Now we can all laugh in unison at the ESPN writers, who all picked the Celtics, Nets or Sixers to win the division, knowing that we surmounted the arch rival Celtics (see ya in the playoffs) and the preseason media hype glutton Nets. The Knicks made sure their division clinching game was going to be a blowout, as they rained threes down on the Wizards en route to a 120-99 victory. They have now won 13 in a row. Here are a few notes: More
50 wins on the season. 12 wins in a row. This is fun.
ABC’s Sunday matinee featured a showdown of teams fighting for playoff position. The Knicks are trying to hold onto the 2 seed in the East, while the Thunder are trying to get the 1 seed in the West. It was a big game for both teams. Not surprisingly Carmelo Anthony led the way for the Knicks with 36 points and 12 rebounds. The Knicks were hapless defensively, allowing OKC to shoot 57.7% from the floor, but they took 15 more shots and hit 15 threes. Without Kenyon Martin in the fold due to injury, the bench stepped up for the Knicks, especially in the first half. Chris Copeland, Jason Kidd and Steve Novak all played well and JR hit a few huge shots down the stretch. All in all, this was a great team win for the team. It was easily the best win of the streak and probably the best win of the season. The Knicks now lead Indiana by 2.5 games in the standings. This was a fun Sunday.
What. A. Night. The title says it all. Please excuse me you will. Tonight, the best Friday Night Knicks game of all-time occurred, bar none. It’s not even a question. A bajillion years from now, you won’t be able to come up with a better Friday night game like this. To be honest, who the hell was thinking of Robert Randolph during the game? Probably lots of people during and after the first half of play, but no one gave two shits about Robert Randolph after the second half. People were probably throwing darts through an image of him. What happened tonight was absolutely mesmerizing. The Knicks went from a more than atrocious first half to the best second half of the season, containing the best third quarter of the season, which is not even a question. The Knicks only scored 36 points in the first half, shooting 34% from the field, 1-12 from the perimeter and coughed the ball up 8 times, while J.J Redick bombarded them with threes early on. It would of been miraculous if the Knicks made a shot with ease in the second quarter. The Knicks needed some kind of motivational booster or strategy adjustments going into the locker room. “Fuck Robert Randolph” tweets were all over the place, per usual. But after the awe-inspiring 1972-73 championship team ceremony (I’ll talk about that more later), the Knicks annihilated the Bucks in the second half six ways to Sunday, the seventh way being Carmelo Anthony, and, if you want to include an eighth (Beatles homage), J.R Smith. In the third quarter, the Knicks scored 42 points, 6 more points than they scored in the first half, went on a 25-2 run at one point, and the granddaddy of them all (no pun intended), Jason Kidd’s buck-naked-inducing (no pun intended there either) 59 foot buzzer-beater from beyond half court. Somehow, the Bucks did come within a six point deficit in the fourth quarter, but that was sealed by one of the few Carmelo Anthony heat checks that happened tonight. Here are some notes: More
All season, despite the media narrative of the Knicks being a defense oriented team, New York’s elite offense has been the catalyst for it’s success. The Knicks score 108.2 points per 100 possessions, a mark that ranks third in the NBA behind only Miami and Oklahoma City. However, the defense has been woefully average all season. New York gives up 103.1 points per 100 possessions, good for 16th in the league behind Minnesota, Milwaukee, Philadelphia and Golden State.
On Wednesday night’s Knicks-Hawks ESPN broadcast, the insufferable Jon Barry said something that spurred me to go look at the stats. He incorrectly spoke about how the Knicks defense has been the difference during the winning streak. Having watched the games, I didn’t think the Knicks were that much better defensively. They’ve had a few great performances (Utah, Boston) and a few not so great performances (Memphis, Charlotte). As I figured, and par the usual, Barry was completely wrong. More