Season Preview

Written by Nicholas McGowan

Season Preview

The New York Knicks open up the season at home on October 29 against the finally healthy Chicago Bulls. The team then travels to Cleveland for the nationally broadcasted homecoming of Lebron James. Expect the Knicks to be 0-2. We then play the Charlotte Hornets and Washington Wizards, maybe we could be 2-2, but I’m expecting a 1-3 start to the season. It will be interesting to see how the new Knicks will look against 4 probable playoff teams to begin the season. What I’m really looking for in the games against Chicago and Cleveland is for the Knicks to be competitive, show some indication that we can stay with these powerhouse teams. Regardless it should be an interesting start to the season, and to help you get ready here are some links to help you get to know this season’s Knicks a little bit better.

J.R. Smith it struggling with the triangle to say the least.

http://espn.go.com/new-york/nba/story/_/id/11751412/jr-smith-new-york-knicks-says-triangle-offense-tough-adjust-to

http://nypost.com/2014/10/09/knicks-j-r-smith-learning-triangle-will-take-few-months/

Cleanthony Early landed himself a shoe deal with Li Ning.

http://solecollector.com/news/li-ning-adds-cleanthony-early-glenn-robinson-iii/

Phil Jackson gave his thoughts on our roster.

http://espn.go.com/nba/preview2014/story/_/id/11654375/nba-phil-jackson-point-view-new-york-knicks?src=mobile

The Knicks made two random signings… they won’t be with us for long.

http://www.postingandtoasting.com/2014/10/23/7053579/the-knicks-signed-jordan-vandenberg-so-they-can-cut-him-and-send-him

http://www.postingandtoasting.com/2014/10/8/6946719/the-knicks-signed-d-j-mbenga-for-some-reason

Shumpert looks good so far, too bad we won’t sign him.

http://fansided.com/2014/09/28/new-york-knicks-rumors-iman-shumpert-contract-talks/

At least we get to keep Shane Larkin for an extra year.

http://sports.yahoo.com/news/sources–knicks-pick-up-guard-shane-larkin-s-third-year-contract-option-143812008.html

A second round pick, and the right to swap second rounders earned us Arnett Moultrie

http://www.libertyballers.com/2014/10/27/7079571/sixers-trade-arnett-moultrie-to-knicks-draft-picks-and-travis-outlaw

The Knicks and 76ers were just as bad as the Syracuse Orange when it came to shooting threes.

http://espn.go.com/nba/boxscore?gameId=400583964

http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/team/stats/_/id/183/syracuse-orange

And finally, Amar’e decides to take red wine baths to stay healty in last year of his contract

http://ftw.usatoday.com/2014/10/amare-stoudemire-red-wine-bath

Now that you are caught up with all the Knicks news, it’s time for some season predictions. I believe ESPN has us pegged for around 37 wins, while most Vegas places have us at around 41. Now personally I think we are good for around 45, a slightly above .500 basketball club would be a good start to Fisher’s career as a coach. When looking at the eastern conference over the past few years, there are teams that sneak into the playoffs that are either at .500 or below it. Knowing that the Cavaliers will certainly be in the playoffs and predicting that we will make it, that leaves two teams from last year who will need to drop out. The two teams that come immediately to mind are the Indiana Pacers and the Brooklyn Nets. The Pacers lost Lance Stephenson in free agency to the Charlotte Hornets and they lost Paul George to a gruesome leg injury in Vegas over the summer. The Pacers also need to find out what has happened to Roy Hibbert, perhaps it was Andrew Bynum or perhaps it was just mental weakness. Whatever it was, he needs to have a big season with both George and Stephenson gone. The Nets only seem to get older every year and were quick to replace Jason Kidd. While Lionel Hollins might be a good coach, I don’t think he can elevate the team like Kidd did. Kidd was able to help Deron Williams, Lionel Hollins is not known for his ability to guide point guards. The Nets will also have to battle through whatever injury Brook Lopez/Deron Williams comes down with. By the way, they also just traded away a 2019 second rounder to 76ers. Continue reading

Restricted Access

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

The Next Knicks

The Next Knicks

Written By Nicholas McGowan

            Now is the time to stand up and applaud Phil Jackson (if you haven’t already), for the heist he pulled off yesterday in the trade with the Dallas Mavericks. Phil Jackson shipped out the 14 million dollar contract of Tyson Chandler and the multiyear deal Raymond Felton still had remaining. The Knicks received from the Mavericks point guard Jose Calderon, backup shooting guard Wayne Ellington, starting center Samuel Dalambert, promising young point guard Shane Larkin, and two second draft picks in tonight’s draft. With the Knicks actually making smart moves and getting back draft picks, its time start being proud of the fact that for one day we are not the laughing stock of the NBA when it comes to trades. (Player contracts are another story, but at least we are improving in one area). The Knicks come out of this deal looking to go younger and looking to get rid of big contracts. Expect that trend to continue as the offseason progresses. Could we possibly see a J.R. Smith trade tonight instead of a Shumpert trade? Could we possibly see Jose Calderon be traded one day after we acquired him? A lot of new possibilities have emerged with this trade. I would expect the Knicks draft strategy to deviate after yesterday’s deal, so with that said let us take a look at who the Knicks might target in the second round and look at the chance that the Knicks still trade into the first round.

 Point Guards:

Before the trade I had the Knicks trading up to the 21st spot with the OKC Thunder to draft Syracuse point guard Tyler Ennis. Trading Shumpert for Ennis would be a good move in my book and would welcome the addition of pass first point guard that has great court vision and plays defense. Yet with the addition of Shane Larkin and Jose Calderon the Knicks might draft a point guard with their later pick. The Knicks might target Louisville guard Russ Smith. Smith is a talented 3-point shooter, decent defender, and a good value for a late second round pick. I would hope the Knicks could find a way to trade Jose Calderon but if they don’t having Larkin and Calderon going forward would be an upgrade over Toure Murray and Raymond Felton.

 Shooting Guards:

  Continue reading

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

James Dolan: The Good, Bad, and the Ugly

Written by Nicholas McGowan

I write this piece as not a defense for James Dolan but instead of a reason as why we as Knicks fans should appreciate what Dolan has done for us over the past few years. Dolan has made his fair share of mistakes. Let us begin with said mistakes:

-Handed out his band’s CD to free agents in the summer 2010 at the end of their meetings
– CAA apparently runs the organization, (Mike Woodson reportedly had to change his representation to CAA)
-Strict media policy limiting the amount that Knicks personnel can talk to media
-Rumor that he would trade Iman Shumpert if he did not play in the Summer League
-Has proven incapable of finding a GM who can make sound basketball decisions
-Can’t find consistent coach

These are just some of the many mistakes that James Dolan has made. His actions drove us to protest our beloved Knicks. While that action is justified; he isn’t as bad Knicks fans make him out to be. My aim is not to convince you that he is good owner, but my intention is to persuade you to be glad to have him as an owner. We could be worse off. Dolan through his decision to hire Phil Jackson and his never changing spending habits are the reasons of why we as fans shouldn’t be as angry as we are with him. Continue reading