An Open Letter to Amare Stoudemire

Dear Amare,

After witnessing Carmelo have one of the worst All-Star Game performances I have ever seen, in a game he probably shouldn’t have even been playing in, I found out your Knicks tenure was coming to an end after you and Knicks had reached a buyout agreement. Initially, I was ecstatic, after a long 4 and a half years, I figured it was best for both parties to just move on. But later that night, I couldn’t help to feel a little bit depressed; for the rest of my life, I’ll always wonder, what could have been. You had a chance to be on the Mount Rushmore of Knicks big men, but unfortunately I’m not convinced you even crack the top 25 Knicks of all time. You will forever be associated to Allan Houston, another former Knick, who signed a $100 million contract, and failed to live up to expectations.

But unlike in 2001, when we were dumbfounded when Allan Houston signed his $100 million dollar contract, the majority of the Knick fan base (including myself) was openly excited when you signed your deal (even though it was uninsured) in the summer of 2010 and proclaimed, “The Knicks are back.” Unlike Allan Houston, you had that it factor; I watched you go toe to toe with Tim Duncan, the greatest power forward to ever play, on several occasions in the playoffs. The fan base could sense the Knicks were heading in a positive direction. I still believe to this day you would have stayed in Phoenix had they offered you the same deal, but we were just glad to have a superstar, it had been almost a decade since Patrick Ewing was infamously traded to Seattle. We had to endure a long two years of horrendous basketball, waiting for this moment. I’ll admit, you weren’t our first choice; hell you weren’t even the second or third choice for some people. Of course, we all wanted Lebron; others preferred, Chris Bosh, or Joe Johnson.

Although I knew there was diminutive chance we’d get Lebron I was still dejected when Lebron, Wade and Bosh decided to construct a potent trio in Miami, but I still maintained on to the idea that hopefully one day, we could form our own trio. Soon after you signed, to my satisfaction, I remember reading rumors about you, Melo, and Chris Paul, joining forces to form a new potent trio.  I’ll never forget your first season in a Knick uniform; you brought electricity back to the Garden, and was a legitimate MVP candidate. Your two and a half week stretch where you averaged 34 points, and 11 rebs, including nine straight 30-point games, was some of the most superb basketball I’ve ever seen by someone in a Knick uniform. When the Knicks acquired Melo later that year, your effectiveness was affected, but I was still on cloud nine because the Knicks had reached the playoffs for the first time in seven years. Continue reading

Knicks vs Nets 12/2/14 – Game Recap

Written by William Lee

New York hardcore basketball fans, Knicks’ fans and Nets’ fans alike marked down December 2, 2014 on their calendars before the season began. Both going into the season optimistically, unfortunately those expectations were never met. Both teams so far underachieving, needing to combine to produce double digit victories, while combining for a total of 23 losses. Not much of a bragging right for whoever wins really.

To start the game Brook Lopez shot an air ball, but quickly heated up, scoring six points after that misfortune. Lopez led the way for Brooklyn, constantly attacking the paint. Lopez scored of his 19 points of his 23 points by halftime. The Nets had their way in the paint scoring 30 points in the paint by halftime, with 20 points alone just in the first quarter. This theme continued as Brooklyn outmuscled the Knicks, scoring 48 points in the paint, and grabbing 21 offensive rebounds.

Carmelo Anthony shot a couple of air ball threes before finally getting it going late in the first quarter, scoring six straight points for New York before finally taking a rest with a little under two minutes remaining in the opening quarter. Without Anthony there was no other reliable shot creator on the team, and the Nets went on a 6-0 run, giving Brooklyn a double digit lead 27-16. This is especially true with the absence of J.R Smith, who missed the game with the “flu”.
New York clawed back into the game, holding Brooklyn to one field goal in the opening five minutes of the second quarter. The Knicks got into the bonus early in second quarter, but did not take advantage of this, going to the line only one more time before halftime. Even so, New York kept it close, always within arm’s length of tying the game, within one possession several times.

Continue reading

Knicks vs. Nets – 4-2-14 – Game Recap

new-york-knicks-v-brooklyn-netsWritten by William Lee

Early on in the first quarter it was a battle of tag teams between the duos of J.R. Smith and Amare Stoudemire, and the combination of Deron Williams and Joe Johnson. Smith and Stoudemire combined to score the first 16 points for New York, with each scoring eight points to help keep pace with the Brooklyn Nets, tying the game up at 16-16, eight minutes into the game. Deron Williams answered with a driving layup, giving him nine points in the opening quarter, who was one-half of the Net’s tag team attack, with Joe Johnson scoring seven points to compliment his backcourt-mate.

You don’t have to be an expert oddsmaker to understand the Knicks chances of winning these days.  For example, one look at these official lines for NBA betting tell that story.  But we could all tell that the Knicks, Shumpert in particular, wanted this one.  With both teams exchanging punches, Knicks tagged in Iman Shumpert. Shumpert came off the bench, giving the Knicks a huge spark with his defensive intensity. Shumpert stole the ball twice within the last 17.9 seconds of the first quarter, leading to a Carmelo Anthony dunk, and then a Tim Hardaway Jr. buzzer beating three, giving the Knicks a 29-20 lead at the end of the first quarter. This run bridged into the second quarter, where it was extended to a 20-2 run, giving New York a 39-22 lead with 8:29 left in the first half.

Shumpert continued to put his imprints on the game, when he grabbed an offensive rebound, taking the ball back out to size up Mirza Teletovic, where he then put the moves on Teletovic, going behind the back on him for a reverse layup! This gave New York a 45-30 lead with 6:16 remaining in the quarter. A minute later Shumpert would disrupt Marcus Thornton’s pass to the post, collecting his fourth steal in the first half, and then running out for an and-one opportunity. Continue reading

Knicks vs. Nuggets – 2-7-14 – Game Recap

 
Written by William Lee
 
             Friday night’s game between the Denver Nuggets and the New York Knicks was a very competitive game to start, with both teams going back and forth. New York took an early 8-2 lead behind a hot start from Carmelo Anthony, who made his first six shots. Denver would turn it around with defense, forcing the Knicks into eight turnovers in the first quarter. New York, who is best in the league at minimizing turnovers at 12.8 per game, was out of character Friday night. Iman Shumpert had four turnovers in less than seven minutes by himself! The defense propelled the Nuggets to go on a 12-0 run to get a double digit lead 24-14 with 1:48 left in the game.
            In the second quarter, the script completely flipped, it was the Knicks defense that starting causing havoc, and getting the Nuggets to turnover. Denver had 11 turnovers in the second quarter, 7/8 of the players that played in the quarter all recorded at least one turnover. This helped give New York ten more possessions in the quarter than Denver.
            Pablo Prigioni and Amare Stoudemire were especially effective, when all the starters were resting in the beginning of the second quarter. They got New York back in the game, and when the starters came back in they effectively  ended the quarter well, going on a 13-2 run to end the first half to give the Knicks a 50-44 lead. Prigioni didn’t score a point in the game, but effected the games in other areas, with six assist and four steals. Stoudemire scored 17 points and grabbed 8 rebounds off the bench in 20 minutes of play.
            In the third quarter, everything went well for the Knicks, including the play that gave them a double digit lead. Carmelo Anthony missed badly on a three-point attempt, but Tyson Chandler was fortunate enough to be around the ball, and just lays it back in to give the Knicks a 59-48 lead with 9:04 left in the third quarter. That was the lone offensive rebound in the quarter, but not much was needed, as the Knicks almost made 2/3 of their shot attempts in the period. A blow out was in full effect by the end of the third quarter with the score 83-68, and no Knicks’ starters would be reinserted back into the lineup in the fourth quarter.
            New York had a great team victory, winning 117-90 with six players in double figures scoring. Carmelo Anthony led the way with 31 points in 32 minutes of play. Anthony had plenty of help as the Knicks’ bench scored 60 points in the game. New York’s frontline was impressive against the small Nugget’s frontline, Continue reading

2013/14 Knicks Roster Power Rankings – Week 15

A 2-2 week.  Doesn’t seem to bad right?  Well the two wins were against some of the worst teams in the league and one of the losses was against literally the worst team in the league.  I really don’t understand this team at all right now, you never know what team will show up from night to night and unlike last year no game on the schedule is a definite win.
       
Rank Player Comments Last weeks Rank
1 Anthony, Carmelo Two weeks in a row at #1.  No one else on this team seems capable of stringing together more than 2 games of good play so this is Melos spot to lose.  His rebounding has taken a slight dip but considering how bad everyone else has been I can’t complain too much.  You have to wonder if Carmelo wants to stick around after this season considering the players around him.  Is the Knicks pitch to Melo going to be “hey this offseason we are confident we will be able to add the pieces necessary to beat the Bucks.” 1
2 Smith, J.R. Yes, the guy who spent the most weeks at the #15 spot is now in the #2 spot.  That’s what this season has come to.  He had one bad game, but looked surprisingly good in the other 3.  My theory: It’s too cold out to go to the clubs.  He’ll revert back to terrible, hungover JR around mid/late March, just in time for the playoffs. 6
3 Chandler, Tyson Never mind what said about Tyson looking like the old Tyson.  He looks like Tyson but old.  Seeing him get manhandled by Zaza Pachulia was depressing.  Still he played alright which is better than 12 other players on this team. 2
4 Prigioni, Pablo Pablo needs to be more aggressive.  He can’t go a game without a shot an another with only 1 assist.  Deficiencies aside he’s still the Knicks best point guard. 3
5 Hardaway Jr., Tim 3 great shooting nights before that stinker in Milwaukee.  Still, he has to get better on defense, THJ posted a +/- of -19 against the Heat despite being productive on offense. Continue reading

2013/14 Knicks Roster Power Rankings – Week 12

Four games and four wins this week making it the best week since I started this rankings.  Unlike most weeks, I might even be able to avoid making myself furious by the end of this weeks rankings:
       
Rank Player Comments Last weeks Rank
1 Anthony, Carmelo Melo started the week off on fire.  His last two games he hasn’t shot particularly well but it’s probably harder to shoot when there is no consistent 2nd scoring option and opponents can double you on every possession.  Melo has also been rebounding and even assisting at a decent clip.  This weeks clear #1. 3
2 Shumpert, Iman While Shumpert didn’t shoot well this week, he seems to have found his groove defensively again, putting up the best +/- on the team with a total +46 in 4 games.  He’s also averaged about 8 rebounds per game which is a nice bonus. 1
3 Martin, Kenyon It won’t show up as much in the box scores but Kenyon has been huge for the Knicks.  He’s had more than a few timely putbacks and has been an underrated passes as well. 6
4 Bargnani, Andrea it’s feast for famine with Bargnani.  He looked so good against Detroit and Miami and so bad against Philly.  At least it looks like Woodson has learned to play Bargs more when he’s hot and much less when he’s not.  Kinda like what should have been done with JR for the last 2 seasons. 7
5 Stoudemire, Amar’e While Amare had a poor outing in Detroit, he was huge in the Miami and Philly games.  He looks like he’s getting his confidence back and even got to show off some of those new post moves we’ve been hearing about.  Amare has already played more games than last season.  I’m not sure if anyone really truely expects him to stay healthy through the rest of the season and the playoffs but if he can it’ll give the bench a much needed scoring punch. Continue reading

February is off to a good start

  • The Knicks started off the 1st half in usual annoying fashion, falling behind by double digits before winning by a decent margin at the end.  This lack of enthusiasm for the first two quarters is going to really bite them in the ass against better teams.
  • Amare has developed this mini-hook that has been really really effective.  If he is going to continue to score 15-17 and grab 6-8 rebounds in 25 minutes off the bench while playing semi-tolerable defense while not complaining about his role I’m all in.
  • Tyson Chandler: 20 rebounds.  Awesome.
  • Felton hurt his previously broken finger.  After clearly showing some pain and icing it for a while he came back in and hit a few shots.  Lets hope it was just a bump and not a refracturing or the 2nd half of the season is going to be really long.
  • Kudos to the Knicks for finally not getting burned by not one but two fast point guards.  Also, after fast starts by Dunleavy and Ilyasova the Knicks contained them in the 2nd half as well.  In other words, no Knick Effect for tonight!
  • I’m really glad the Knicks won tonight, but they are playing tomorrow and I would have rathered Melo not play 44 minutes tonight.
  • In the 3rd quarter Shumpert got pulled after one minute for missing a defensive assignment.  I like that Woodson holds players accountable but it would be even better if he did that for every player.  Like when Melo all but sits down on the floor with his arms crossed like a 3 year old when he doesn’t get a call.

Episode 171: A Ton of Stuff

We talk about the Hawks and Magic games, Carmelo Anthony’s two milestones, the Rudy Gay trade, Reggie Evans big mouth, a ton of listener questions, Allen Iverson, Rajon Rondo, fantasy basketball, trade scenarios, Steve Novak and much more.  Download Episode 171