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Written by Nicholas McGowan

The New York Knicks continue to explore their options when looking to upgrade the current roster. The laughable trade proposal for Kevin love had no shot of being accepted but it at least shows us that Phil Jackson is still looking to make improvements. There is certainly room for improvement as we inch closer to the start of the season. In particular there are two restricted free agents that would make a whole lot of sense on the Knicks roster. The first of these free agents is the disgruntled power forward/center Greg Monroe. Monroe averaged 15.2 points, 9.3 rebounds, shot 65% from the free throw line, shot just under 50%, and averaged around 1 steal and .6 blocks a game. Monroe has expressed his interest in leaving a crowed Detroit frontline that includes young and talented center Andre Drummond and the highly paid and overrated Josh Smith who apparently has the full support of Stan van Gundy. The other restricted free agent is point guard Eric Bledsoe of the Phoenix Suns. Bledsoe really came into his own last year as he made the jump from role player to starter. Despite only playing in 43 games due to an injury Bledsoe looked like a polished starter as he averaged 17.7 points, 5.5 assists, 4.7 rebounds, 1.6 steals, and shot a respectable 35.7% from three. Bledsoe is certainly a better option than any of our current point guards. He doesn’t have the three point shooting or knowledge that Jose Calderon possess but he has defense agility needed to stay with John Wall, Kyrie Irving, Derrick Rose, and the other point guards of the East. The Knicks will have to give up quite the package to acquire Bledsoe seeing that the Suns have said they will match any offer. Monroe on the other hand should be easier to obtain. Let’s take a look at what it cost the Knicks and how Monroe and Bledsoe would fit into New York’s system. Continue reading

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Knicks Vs. 76’ers – 1-22-14 – Game Recap

Written by William Lee

Both the New York Knicks and the Philadelphia 76ers are bottom dwellers in the standings, and both looked to snap a losing streak Wednesday night. The Sixers quickly got a double digit lead in the first quarter, going on a 13-0 run to lead by a score of 19-9 with 6:43 left in the quarter. Philadelphia came into the game with the second worst three point shooting percentage in the league at 31.5%, and it looked like it was part of the game plan for New York to leave them open. One problem with that strategy, the Sixers were not hesitant to take the open opportunities, and they made the best of it, knocking down five threes in the first quarter. This helped give the Sixers a 33-26 lead after the first quarter.
Andrea Bargnani kept the Knicks in the game, getting by his defender and straight to the rim a few times. Carmelo Anthony was held without a field goal in the first quarter, and went to the locker room briefly, cutting his finger on a block attempt at the rim. Anthony exploded for 13 points in the second quarter to get New York within 61-56 at the half. New York did not show any second effort on possessions, particularly in the second quarter. The Knicks would play good enough defense to make the Sixers miss, but was outhustled by Philadelphia on second and third effort plays. The Sixers had seven offensive rebounds alone in the second quarter, and ten for the first half, which led to ten second chance points.
Andrea Bargnani continued his aggressive play, and helped ignite a comeback late in the third quarter into the fourth. Bargnani made a very aggressive move, driving into the paint, attempting to throw down a dunk on two Sixers! He got fouled in mid-air, and had a rough fall, he would get back up and hit both of his free throws to cut into the Sixers’ lead, 79-76. The Knicks would then go on a 10-0 run to start the fourth quarter to take a 90-84 lead with 9:27 left in the game. Evan Turner would stop New York’s momentum, as he did all game long, scoring five straight points to get Philadelphia within a point with 6:47 remaining in the game. Evan Turner made his presence felt throughout the game, scoring career high 34 points, while also grabbing 11 rebounds.
New York would continually leave Philadelphia open from beyond the arc, and it cost the Knicks big time in the fourth. The Sixers would hit back to back threes to take a 96-92 lead with 5:11 left in the game. Shortly after, another Sixer would be left wide open again, Thaddeus Young would deliver a dagger three with 1:47 left in the game. Young had 19 points 7 rebounds and 4 steals for the game. The final score of 110-106 made the game look a lot closer than it really was, and that was because Carmelo Anthony hit two meaningless threes to finish the game. Anthony finished the game with 28 points 4 rebounds 7 assist and 2 steals in a losing effort.
Looking at the box score and seeing everyone’s individual stats you might think the Knicks played a decent game, but Philadelphia play at the fastest pace (Pace factor is an estimate of the number of possessions per 48 minutes by a team)so all the stats are inflated. One statistic that is telling is the fact that the Sixers only turned the ball over 14 times for the game. Philadelphia came into the game being the highest turnover team in the league with 17.5 turnovers per game. This shows that the Knicks were not harassing the Sixers enough on defense. Another category that is hustle statistic is rebounds, and New York was utterly dominated Wednesday night. The Sixers held a 54-39 rebounding advantage, with 17 of those coming on the offensive glass, this allowed for 19 second chance points.
Mike Woodson continue to rely on Raymond Felton, putting him in when the game was on the line. When Felton replaced Prigioni the Knicks were up by two with 7:15 left in the game, Felton would go on to get a layup blocked, and miss a crucial three. Felton had a +/- of -9 for the game, Pablo Prigioni had a +5 in the short amount of playing time he was given. Prigioni actually looks like a point guard when he is out there, he is running pick and rolls, and is willing to wave off Carmelo Anthony, when he is demanding for the ball. Simply put the offense looks to run smoother when Prigioni is the one commanding the floor, there is ball movement whenever he is in the game. New York will look to right the ship with Charlotte coming into town Friday night, but they will be no slouch, as the Bobcats has already handed the Knicks two defeats.

2013/14 Knicks Roster Power Rankings – Week 7

How do you even judge a team that wins two in a row by a total of 68 points and then loses by 41 two days later?  Can the Knicks now only beat bad teams that are missing at least two starters?  I’ll try again to make sense of this crazy roster.
       
Rank Player Comments Last weeks Rank
1 Anthony, Carmelo The Melo everyone wants showed up to the Nets and Magic games.  Anthony took only good shots and as a result had his first back to back over .500 shooting nights of the season, he rebounded and he got a good amount of assists.  The bad Melo showed up in Boston, but I can only penalize him to much considering the bad version of everyone showed up against Boston. 2
2 Prigioni, Pablo Pablo was one of two players to show up against Boston.  The team shot 65% for the 17 minutes he played and 22% for the 31 minutes he didn’t.  Is Woodson the only one who doesn’t understand that Priggy makes this team better?  Lets make sure he definitely plays less than 20 minutes a game because Felton is super awesome. 4
3 Chandler, Tyson Chandler is in week 5 of rehab and is talking about maybe coming back before new Years which would make his 4-6 week recovery period about 8 weeks long.  No one wants him to come back before he’s totally healthy but I think we learned that he’s the #1 most important player on this roster. 7
4 Hardaway Jr., Tim Rook has been looking real good.  He better be careful though, if he keeps this up he’ll end up on the trading block.  Also, is anyone else worried that he’s using JR’s 3-point celebration on the bench?  I like the enthusiasm but I hope he’s not using JR as a role model. 5
5 Martin, Kenyon Raise your hand if you’re surprised that lifting his minutes restriction, and playing him heavy minutes at center would result in sore joints.  At least he got to miss the Boston Massacre. Continue reading

2013/14 Knicks Roster Power Rankings – Week 5

Four games and four losses since last weeks rankings.  I will now try and rank the varying levels of awfulness that make up the Knicks roster.
       
Rank Player              Comments Last weeks Rank
1 Anthony, Carmelo Last night was the first night in a long time Melo has shot over .500, but he’s also fighting constant double teams due to the lack of help around him.  A few more assists would help but I can’t complain too much considering he’s currently 2nd in the NBA in scoring and a very impressive 11th in rebounding. 1
2 Martin, Kenyon Huzzah!  An actual Knick player that plays defense.  He can rebound too!  He’s been playing over 25 minutes a game.  Anyone else terrified at what this team would look like if K-Mart went down? 6
3 Bargnani, Andrea Bargnani went ice cold for a few games but who am I going to put above him?  He’s been grabbing 5 boards a game which is…not the worst I guess.  Would still like to see him get more touches in the 2nd half of games, especially when he’s productive in the 1st half.  Looking at you Melo and JR. 2
4 Udrih, Beno With Felton out Beno has bene our resident ‘PG who lets every opposing PG run past him on just about every play’ guy.  He’s up this high for his performance in the Indiana game because 1 great game is 1 more than the players ranked 5-15. 9
5 Stoudemire, Amar’e You know this team is in trouble when we’re putting Amare in the top 5.  Yes his defense is still the worst but he’s been scoring and rebounding at a very efficient rate which is all you can expect from him at this point.   Continue reading

Knicks at Pistons – 11-20-13 – Game Recap

Written by William Lee
Both the New York Knicks and the Detroit Pistons were shorthanded, but it was the Pistons who overcame the adversities and was victorious Tuesday night. Winning 92-86 despite their starting point guard Brandon Jennings leaving the game early with an upset stomach. Pistons were also without point guards Chauncey Billups (knee tendinitis) and Will Bynum (groin, hamstring). The Knicks were also without their starting point guard Raymond Felton, who missed the game because of hamstring soreness and a pinched nerve in his hip. Beno Udrih stepped into the starting lineup, but was held scoreless in 18 minutes of action. Mike Woodson decided to go to a big lineup to match up with the Pistons’ large frontline. Without Tyson Chandler and Metta World Peace, Kenyon Martin joined Udrih in the starting lineup for his first start of the season. Woodson also decided to put JR Smith back to his sixth man role, and inserted Iman Shumpert back into the starting lineup.
Both teams got off to a hot start, shooting over 50% in the first quarter. The Pistons lead 26-24 after one period, behind seven points from Josh Smith and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope respectively. Andrea Bargnani led the way for the Knicks with nine first quarter points, highlighted by a driving and one dunk. The Knicks cooled off in the second quarter missing 14/21 shots, with so many misses, the Knicks kept themselves in the game with five offensive rebounds in the quarter. Amare Stoudemire showed flashes, with back to back spectacular dunks, part of an 8-0 Knicks run, to take a 34-28 lead with 8 minutes left in the first half. Brandon Jennings came back into the game, and was content with setting his teammates up, collecting four assist the rest of the half. With his fourth assist leading to a Gigi Datome buzzer beating three to end the half, to tie the game up at 43-43. Continue reading

2013/14 Knicks Roster Power Rankings – Week 4

This weeks ranking were very hard to put together because I didn’t want an 11 way tie for last place.  Some players are too high, but sitting on the bench doing nothing at least doesn’t kill the team as much as the play of other players has.
       
Rank Player              Comments Last weeks Rank
1 Anthony, Carmelo Have to bump Melo up to #1 after his 45 point game.  He’s still been very inconsistent shooting, but with the entire rest of the team other than Bargnani playing like crap Melo has to be in the top spot this week. 2
2 Bargnani, Andrea I can’t believe Bargs is up this high after we tore him apart for the first 4 games.  He’s been great on offense for 5 straight games and has even rebounded well in 3 of them.  This is as good as it gets with Bargs and I’m more than happy with this level of play. 3
3 Shumpert, Iman It looks like the trade rumors have been getting to him a little bit, that and being the latest Knicks to get a secret knee surgery over the summer.  Seriously are there any Knicks who DIDN’T get a secret knee surgery this summer, and do they all do to the same doctor and bump into each other in the waiting room?  Anyway, he’s been consistently decent and one of a very few Knicks that don’t make me yell and throw things constantly. 8
4 Prigioni, Pablo Why Pablo doesn’t get more playing time is beyond me, he might be the Knicks best point guard at this point. 4
5 Hardaway Jr., Tim THJ hasn’t done anything great when he’s been on the court but he hasn’t done anything terrible either.  Sadly, that’s enough to earn a top 5 spot on this team. Continue reading

Reevaluating the Knicks Season

OK, I know it’s only 6 games into the NBA season and every single team in the east other than the Pacers have 3 or 4 losses already but I have to wonder if it’s time to reevaluate what was an almost universal understanding that the Knicks would finish 4th or 5th in the conference.

On the plus side JR is coming back tonight, adding some much needed offense and Bargnani had his best game as a Knick with 25 points, 8 rebounds and 5 blocks.  Even NBA betting lines seem to feel the Knicks will be competitive even against teams like the Spurs.

The other side of this is Tyson Chandler is out for 4-6 weeks (at least) and as Harris Decker from The Knicks Blog points out, scoring against Zeller and Biyombo is slightly easier than scoring against the Duncans, Gasols and Hibberts of the league.

I’m leaning towards agreeing with our listeners, of whom everyone seems to feel the Knicks will go below .500 in the next 23 games but it should also be noted that as of yet no one in the east is stepping up to bump the Knicks down a spot or two and Pierce and Garnett look completely washed up so far.

I guess what I’m trying to say is I don’t know what to think anymore.  My gut says this season is a mess and we should all panic but my eyes are telling me the east is turning out to be as top heavy as always and if the Knicks can stay close to .500 with Chandler out they’ll still hold on to a top 5 seed.

What do you think?