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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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Acquiring those Draft Picks

Written by Nicholas McGowan

Acquiring those Draft Picks

The New York Knicks are not going to be a contender next year to win a championship, they probably will not be a good team either, for those reasons the Knicks’ plan moving forward is to rebuild next year. With a first round draft pick paired with tons of money to spend in free agency, the Knicks have an opportunity this year to further help their cause in 2015. Phil Jackson recently spoke about buying a draft pick, how high that draft pick will be is still yet to be determined, but adding a young player to this roster will help. The Knicks do not draft as bad as believed, we just trade away our picks every year. Iman Shumpert and Tim Hardaway Jr. have been great first round pickups, Toure Murray is drawing interest from the Bulls, Warriors, and the Nets. Let us not also forget that the Knicks found Jeremy Lin and made him into a 3 year 25 million dollar man. Adding a young player would be great. This young player has the potential to be a factor in our rebuilding process next year. Let us take a look at where the Knicks might be able to acquire a draft round pick, for both straight up cash considerations and for perhaps trading a player for a pick.

Darryl Morey the Houston Rockets general manager, recently on ESPN radio compared this years draft to that of 2003 and 2005. The draft at the top is similar to that of 2003 yet the depth is more comparable to 2005. Looking at the 2003, 2005, Continue reading

Knicks @ Nets – 4-15-14 – Game Recap

Written by William Lee

The New York Knicks continued to thrive in the role of spoiler Tuesday night, defeating the Brooklyn nights 109-98. Brooklyn was trying to clinch their fifth seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs, deploying their full roster on the Knicks, while New York was without their star player Carmelo Anthony after an MRI revealed a small labrum tear. New York shared the ball well without Anthony in the lineup, six players scored double figures in the victory.

 With nothing to play for but pride, and what little bragging rights for New York there is…the Knicks came out to a strong start, connecting on their first three three-point attempts to get an early 9-5 lead. New York without their leading scorer, Amare Stoudemire stepped into the role, and could not be stopped, attacking the paint with frequency. Stoudemire had a strong first quarter, getting to the free throw line at will, scoring seven points in the quarter, he ended up finishing the game with 14 points.  The Knicks would go on an 8-0 run to finish the first quarter with Tim Hardaway Jr. nailing two threes, and a Shannon Brown layup. The run gave New York a 29-18 lead going into the second quarter.

                       The second quarter, and the first half in general was a parade to the free throw line for the New York Knicks. The Knicks eclipse their season average in free throw attempts by the first half, whom are the league worst in attempts at 20.1 free throws per game, attempting 25 free throws. This didn’t mean there wasn’t any highlight plays though, in fact there was a sequence of highlight plays, starting with a “Man Jam” from Stoudemire, Continue reading

Knicks vs Bulls – 4-13-14 – Game Recap

Written by William Lee

Sunday night the New York Knicks played spoiler role to the Chicago Bulls, who unlike the Knicks actually have something to play for besides pride. New York had nothing to play for anymore because the Atlanta Hawks clinched a Playoffs spot by defeating the Miami Heat (of course that happens…) the previous night. The Bulls though had something to play for, looking to secure their third seed in the Playoffs, but was pushed down due to a 100-89 defeat to New York.

New York held on to win despite Carmelo Anthony not playing in the fourth quarter, after he picked up his fourth foul late in the third quarter. Anthony walked off the court arguing the call and was called for a technical foul. Anthony finished the game with 17 points, after starting off the game strong, scoring the first three baskets for the Knicks, finishing with nine points in the first quarter. His scoring was key to staying in a very ugly game, where Anthony converted on four field goals, the same amount as the rest of his teammates. The rest of the team went 4/14 in the opening quarter.

New York finished off the first half on a strong note, where an Anthony steal lead to Iman Shumpert facial on Joakim Noah, which ignited a 9-0 run, giving the Knicks a 45-39  half time lead. Just as Noah was in the middle of that highlight play, Noah was in the middle of everything Chicago Bulls, almost collecting a triple double with 13 points, 17 rebounds, and 9 assists.

The game would be broke open when J.R. Smith hit three straight threes to start the third quarter, giving New York a double digit lead 57-46. Smith finished the game connecting on five threes, finishing the game with 17 points.

Chicago desperately clawed back into the game, cutting a deficit as large as seventeen to as much as six, on a 5-0 mini run to get within 93-87 with 3:51 remaining in the game. Tim Hardaway Jr. though would knock down all his free throws, scoring seven points in the final three minutes, including a three at the end for final insult. Hardaway Jr. finished the game with 20 points.

New York will continue to play the spoiler role, with the last two games against the Playoff bound Brooklyn Nets, and Toronto Raptors who are still juggling for their seeding.

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

2013/14 Knicks Roster Power Rankings – Week 21

Only two games this week.  The Knicks winning streak continues, but their streak of playing terrible teams comes to an end on Wednesday when the play the Pacers.  We’ll talk playoff possibilities next week, for now lets enjoy a 6 game winning streak and the acquisition of Phil Jackson.
       
Rank Player Comments Last weeks Rank
1 Anthony, Carmelo Melo played 39 minutes in a blowout game to a terrible team.  You’d think with 17 other PF’s on the team Woodson would be able to rest Melo once in a while.  Anyway, another typical week from Melo, lots of points and a good amount of rebounds.  2
2 Hardaway Jr., Tim I’ve been saying that THJ would have to go off on offense to compensate for his lack of defense and that’s just what he did.  Two straight 20+ point games on some crazy good shooting nights.  If this were NBA Jam he’d have a trail of fire following the ball every time he shoots. 10
3 Smith, J.R. Who is this Smith guy who takes a normal amount of shots and hits a decent amount of them?  Who is this guy who passes the ball more than the starting PG?  And will it continue when the weather gets warmer and the club scene picks up? 4
4 Aldrich, Cole With Chandler and Amare out Aldrich got the starting nod against Boston and responded with a double double and three blocks.  He was rewarded the next game with a handful of garbage time minutes because Woodson. 13
5 Stoudemire, Amar’e Amare played only one of the two games this week but continued his streak of being phenomenal on offense. 1 Continue reading

Knicks @ Pelicans – 1-19-14 – Game Recap

Written by William Lee

Wednesday night was February 19, 2014 eve of the NBA trade deadline.

The good news the New York Knicks won against the New Orleans Pelicans 98-91 behind a 42 point night from Carmelo Anthony. The bad news…Iman Shumpert, arguably the only tradable asset the Knicks have, and is willing to part with, reinjured his surgically repaired left knee. Shumpert needed the assistance of his teammates to help him off the floor, suffering a sprain left knee when he was making a move towards the rim.

Carmelo Anthony dominated the fourth quarter, something that has been an infrequent event this season. Anthony scored 13 straight points for the Knicks in the final period, isolating himself on almost all possessions, getting by his defender with his first step, and pulling up for a mid-range jumper. No matter who the Pelicans threw at Anthony as the defender, no one was able to consistently stop him. Anthony even got his shot off against the outstretched arms of Anthony Davis. Though at times Davis did get the best of Anthony, getting a block and a steal on Anthony when they were isolated one on one. Anthony Davis would finish the game with 14 points 10 rebounds 5 blocks and 2 steals, safe to say there will be many more All Star game appearances by this man.

Though the Knicks would not have won, if not for the performances of J.R. Smith and Tim Hardaway Jr., whom were the only other Knicks in double figure scoring. The rest of the starters combined for only 17 points, so their scoring off the both was paramount to New York picking up a win. Tim Hardaway Jr. almost single handed matched that with 16 points off the bench. J.R. Smith in particular was making everything he threw up, including a wild and one circus shot in the first half. Smith did most of his damage in the second quarter, scoring 12 of his 19 points in the period.

New York had as big much as a 13 point lead early in the fourth quarter, but the Knicks would go scoreless in a four minutes stretch, where they watched New Orleans go on an 11-0 run to get within one possession 83-81. The Pelicans would get no closer as Carmelo Anthony closed out the game for the Knicks.

Something curious to note is that Eric Gordon, who was just dominate through three quarters, literally doing anything he wanted against the Knicks pathetic defense, was held out of the fourth quarter until the four minute mark. How dominate was he? Through three quarters he scored 28 points, which included hitting three three-pointers, and got to the line, attempting eight free throws. By the time he came back into the game, he had cooled off, and was scoreless in the fourth. No one can tell me otherwise that New Orleans, who are 23-30 after the loss to New York, were not intentionally tanking, when you have hottest hand sitting on the bench for most of the fourth quarter. Gordon was so cold, he air balled the potential go ahead three with two minutes remaining in the game.