Knicks Vs. Pacers – 3-20-14 – Game Recap

Written by William Lee

Welcome to New York Phil Jackson. One day after the Knicks formally introduced the new team President in a Tuesday afternoon Press Conference, and on a day Knicks’ fans decided to hold a protest rally, New York welcomed Mr. Phil Jackson with a 92-86 victory over the Indiana Pacers. The Knicks extended their season high winning streak to seven games, and avoided a season sweep by Indiana.

The New York Knicks lead 21-14 after the first quarter, in a very sloppy and ugly opening quarter. Both teams made only six field goals, converting on less than a third of their attempts. Indiana turned the ball over six times in the quarter, yet New York was so inept themselves, that they were not able to capitalize on any of those opportunities. The game was so ugly that for the last three and a half minutes of the first quarter, neither teams made a field goal to end the period. The one saving grace for the Knicks was that they were able to get to the line, and convert free throws, making 9/10 from charity stripe.

The field goal draught would continue for both teams, before Lance Stephenson finally made a field goal for the Pacers a little over a minute into the second quarter. Amare Stoudemire finally ended the Knicks’ field goal draught by hitting a mid-range jumper two minutes into the second quarter. This sparked an offensive bonanza out of nowhere for the Knicks, compared to how snail paced the game was going beforehand, going on a 16-2 run, giving the Knicks a 39-23 lead with 6:11 remaining in the second quarter. Stoudemire scored 10 of his 21 points in the second quarter, during the crucial run that gave New York a sixteen point lead in the first half. Continue reading

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Some Positivity After the Heat Game

Written by William Lee

Normally I would write recaps on games for New York Knicks Podcast, but for the Heat at Knicks game January 09, 2014 I would like to try something different. I want to point out some positives that came out of the victory over the two time defending Champions Miami Heat. Some positives that if it continues to hold, may offer Knicks fans a slim hope, if and when New York sees them in the playoffs this spring. Now I want to just preface that I am not a coach, or anyone that played for his school’s team, just someone that is a basketball fanatic that watches way WAY too much basketball… Also I am admittedly going to be a homer, so maybe I am seeing everything from orange and blue goggle glasses. With all that said, here are some positives I take from Thursday night’s game, and situations that have to occur if you have any chance of beating the Heat once, let alone four times in a series.

Stretch Four  – One of Miami’s strength is their ability to overload the strong side on defense, yet have quick enough players to recover on the weak side. It helps when you have Lebron James and Dwyane Wade when using this defensive philosophy. Though we have seen stretch fours, give the Heat troubles, when the four is able to shoot the ball well from deep along with a good shooting backcourt. The most notable example of this was when the Dallas Mavericks won the NBA Championship in 2011, with arguably the best stretch four, Finals MVP Dirk Nowitzki. The Knicks seemly always have a stretch four on the court at all times, be it Carmelo Anthony or Andrea Bargnani. Bargnani had a great shooting night Thursday night, and highlighted this theory when he was able to knock down open shots, or attacked the rim when the defense was stretched too far. Of course Carmelo Anthony is going to be Carmelo Anthony, and we saw what he can do when he was put in the stretch four position last season (2012-2013). Side note, this was the biggest disappointment of last season when New York was eliminated and New York fans could not have seen what would have played out if the 2012-2013 Knicks team played against the Heat, and see what they could have done. 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?

Jay’s 2013 Eastern Conference Preview

Jay’s 2013 Eastern Conference Preview

Paul George and LeBron James

The Riggin’ For Wiggins Bracket

15. Philadelphia 76’ers – How excited are you if you’re a Philly fan that your team gutted its roster for a 25% chance at getting supposed first pick in next year’s NBA draft, Andrew Wiggins. Highlights of the season will be game 1 when Allen Iverson will have his retirement ceremony (remember he retired, it clearly was not that he couldn’t find a job) and the last few weeks of the season when they could be serious challengers for worst record of all time.

14. Charlotte Bobcats – The soon to be Hornets have had 8 top 10 draft picks in 9 years and have never drafted an all-star. Every year their strategy seems to be ‘tank and get a high draft pick’ yet they suck at drafting. Well congrats Charlotte, the acquisition of Al Jefferson will probably boost your record just enough so that you won’t get the number one pick, guaranteeing you’ll screw up whatever pick you do get.

The We Suck But Not As Hard As The Last Bracket Bracket

#yolofro

13. Toronto Raptors – After trying to give away Andrea Bargnani last season, the Raptors managed to get two players who are even less effective in Tyler Hansbrough and Steve Novak. At least they have a bunch of inefficient ball stoppers. Continue reading

Optimism and the Knicks

Optimism, defined as:

A tendency to expect the best possible outcome or dwell on the most hopeful aspects of a situation”

Of course this word has strayed from the dictionary of Knicks fans in recent years, but you can’t deny the last three years have offered more cause for optimism than any other in the post-Ewing era. I suppose to a certain extent then we should feel lucky that what was a consistently sinking ship of a team year upon year under the direction of Isiah Thomas has now turned into what is expected of a New York franchise; big players, big results, and most importantly of all, big ambitions. Furthermore, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the last two years of the Melo trade have been disappointing given the reasonably swift post-season exits, because when it’s all said and done, there has been improvement. In 2011-12 the Knicks achieved a .545 regular season win percentage, and in 2012-13 a .659 win percentage; the improvement is clear to see, losing in five games to the current NBA champions Miami Heat is hardly an embarrassment, and even losing to the Pacers in the conference semi’s is understandable given Roy Hibbert’s inexplicably high level of play against a banged up Tyson Chandler and a makeshift center in Kenyon Martin.

More of the same please Shump

More of the same please Shump

he point I am trying to make, is that this year, more than any other year, we have reason to be optimistic about the Knicks. Continue reading

A look at the eastern conference

I was going to take a look around the league at the halfway mark. Then I figured since the trade deadline was so close I’d wait because that would change everything. Little did I know I could have written 95% of it and added a little blurb about JJ Redick afterwards since he was by far the biggest name that got moved.  Anyway here’s how each team is looking with about 25 games left in the season.

Miami Heat – Miami was only a few games ahead of the pack for the first half of the season. Now it looks like they are going to run away with the #1 seed as everyone expected. It helps that LeBron had a ridiculous streak of 6 straight games of scoring over 30 points while shooting over 60%. That streak ended with him scoring 39 points but only shooting 58%. What a slacker. Ray Allen and Udonis Haslem haven’t even been playing well so this team has the potential to get even better down the stretch. They get outrebounded often but at 39-14 and 5 ½ games ahead of Indiana I don’t think that’s a huge concern.

Indiana Pacers – Paul George stepped up in Danny Granger’s absence. Granger came back a game ago to further improve the 2nd place Pacers. The only concern is their max contract center, Roy Hibbert, who is averaging 10 and 8. Their last four wins have come at an average of 27 points a game which is impressive since they are one of the lowest scoring teams in the NBA.

New York Knicks – It looks like the Knicks trolled their fans with fast, crisp ball movement, excellent 3-point shooting, unselfish play, lockdown defense and an 18-5 start. The last 33 games they are 17 and 16 since, can’t defend any guard in the league, play iso-ball and forgot how to shoot. Continue reading

The Knicks Bounce Back by Bashing the Pacers

Don’t look too sad, at least you’re filthy rich!

  • I thought we were in for a long afternoon when Joey Crawford gave Mike Woodson a technical 90 seconds into the game.  Some bad calls, but fortunately the Pacers can’t score so it didn’t matter.
  • Speaking of Joey Crawford, I don’t think it’s a good thing when your max contract center runs like a 61 year old ref.
  • It’s definitely not a good thing when he also scores 6 and 8 with 6 turnovers.
  • It’s really really not a good thing when that isn’t far off from his season average.
  • Carmelo attacked the rim all game, even though he was stopped most of the time.  He also followed up his shots which resulted in a few offensive rebounds.  I like the aggression.
  • Raise your hand if you thought Rasheed would be playing 15-20 minutes a night.  Keep your hand up if you thought that would be a good thing.
  • Camby is still not in game shape.  Far from it.  He looks like he’s walking waste deep in oatmeal. Continue reading

Eastern Conference Preview

Miami Heat – The defending champs replaced Ronny Turiaf and Eddy Curry with Ray Allen, Rashard Lewis and Josh Harrellson. The rich got richer this offseason. All Ray Allen, arguably the best 3 point shooter of all time, has to do is hit wide open 3′s off of LeBron and Wade double-teams. Unless Wade breaks down (I won’t even say LeBron as I’m not sure he’s human) the Eastern Conference playoffs start with a finals rematch against Boston.

Jeff Green is back

Boston Celtics – Boston replaced Ray Allen with Courtney Lee and Jason Terry. They got rid of a bunch of players who weren’t contributing much (Marquis Daniels, Ryan Holins, Jermaine O’Neal and Greg Stiemsma)and replaced them with Leandro Barbosa, Jason Collins, Jared Sullinger and Darko Milicic. Jeff Green is also healthy this season which will enable Boston to rest Paul Pierce more than last year. They are still going to be a great defensive team, but now have scoring options at every position. When Avery Bradley comes back, this team is super deep and clearly the #1 threat to dethrone Miami in the east. Continue reading