|A 1-3 week after barely beating the worst team in the league. Half the team looks like they don’t even want to be playing basketball anymore and the trade rumors are getting louder. AKA a typical February at MSG. By the way it’s decision time. The Knicks are 2.5 games out of the playoffs with 4 teams to leapfrog, and also 2.5 games out of the 4th worst record and 4 teams to leapfrog. They either need to get their act together immediately or embrace the tank and lock down a top 5 pick.|
|Rank||Player||Comments||Last weeks Rank|
|1||Hernangomez, Willy||This one was easy. The only player on the team to look decent in every game AND to look like he’s putting in effort. It’s only a matter of time before he is starting over Noah.||6|
|2||Anthony, Carmelo||Not going to drop Melo too far even though he had a couple stinkers this week. At least not until we see if this is due to being distracted by trade rumors or if it’s something worse.||1|
|3||Lee, Courtney||Lee is still doing his thing. His +/- is a little disturbing, but it’s mostly due to the fact that the starting lineup almost always spots the other team 10 points right off the bat.||2|
|4||Jennings, Brandon||Jennings has the most Jennings stat line this week; 1-11 for 6 point, but 10 assists and 5 steals. Unlike Rose, Jennings puts in maximum effort every night.||5|
|5||Porzingis, Kristaps||Porzingis kind of stinks lately. Lingering injury or time to get on the ledge? Continue reading|
New York Knicks at Brooklyn Nets
Game 51: February 1, 2017
Knicks 95, Nets 90
Man, I really can’t stomach this anymore.
We’ve all seen a lot of bad Knicks basketball over the last decade and a half, but the New York Knicks Podcast was going to need to find a new recap writer if they dropped this one to the Brooklyn Nets. Had the result been different, I would’ve quit on the season and stopped watching, cold turkey. By the way, I am writing this after a Knicks road win.
So after the Knicks didn’t show up against the Wizards on Tuesday, they stroll into the Barclays Center and immediately fall behind to the dumpster fire known as the Brooklyn Nets. Aside from Brook Lopez and Bojan Bogdanovich, I’ve barely heard of any of these guys. Well, there’s Quincy Acy, the apparent savior of the Brooklyn Nets and former tank-tastic Knick. Everyone looked slow and sluggish, and Kristaps Porzingis was quickly in foul trouble, of course. Carmelo Anthony was struggling, Derrick Rose missed another game with a sprained ankle, and Joakim Noah continues to be a non-factor. Who was going to save the day?
If you say that you guessed Sasha Vujacic would save the Knicks, you’re a liar.
I’ve been incredibly critical of Vujacic since he came to the Knicks a season and a half ago, but he proved to be the spark the Knicks needed. Let’s not get carried away, he only had twelve points on 4-10 shooting, but he came in and brought energy off the bench with his three point shooting. On the two shots that connected from downtown, he was fouled on both and converted on the four point play. Shoutout to Sasha for being ready to come into the game, even though he hasn’t seen a lot of action all season. #SashSanity.
The biggest story from this game was that Coach Hornacek sat Carmelo Anthony, Joakim Noah, and Courtney Lee in the fourth quarter and brought back the Euro-Knicks lineup he used earlier in the season, with Brandon Jennings, Justin Holiday, Porzingis, Vujacic, and Willy Hernangomez. WHG in particular had another strong game, finishing with 16 points and 16 rebounds, as well as a couple of assists. There is no reason that Willy should not be the starting center in the next game, as he continues to outplay the 72 million dollar man again and again. His rebounding and scoring has been excellent, but he has been much better on defense than advertised. He’s continued to hold his own against NBA big men, and deserves a chance to start for this team. Willy and Sasha saved the Knicks up until the fourth quarter, where KP took over.
Kristaps finished the game with 19 points, and 12 of them were in the fourth quarter.
The play of the Euro-Knicks led them to a much needed victory in the borough of Brook.
Saturday may be a different story, with the King returning to Madison Square Garden.
LeBron James, Kyire Irving, and Kevin Love come to New York for the Saturday night primetime game on ABC. I don’t know about you, but I’m not feeling so great about this one, since the Knicks could barely beat Brooklyn on Wednesday. Let’s hope for a miracle. 22-29.
New York Knicks vs. Washington Wizards
Game 50: January 31 st , 2017
Wizards 117, Knicks 101
If the Knicks play like they don’t care, why should we care?
That headline may be a little harsh considering the Knicks were without Kristaps Porzingis and Derrick Rose tonight, but that doesn’t mean the rest of the team should be excused for a complete lack of effort on the defensive end. Brandon Jennings and Willy Hernangomez were inserted into the starting lineup to replace the two missing Knicks, and both of those guys played well on the offensive side of the ball. Jennings finished with 21 points and Hernangomez had 15 points and 14 rebounds. Carmelo Anthony continued his hot streak of scoring and led the Knicks with 26 points on 10-17 shooting,\ and also pulled down five rebounds. Offense isn’t the problem on this team, but I think we all know that by now.
I couldn’t count how many times Jennings let John Wall get into the paint in this game. In his defense, Wall is one of the best point guards in the NBA, but at least try and make it a little bit difficult for him to get to the basket. The big man duo of Hernangomez and Kyle O’Quinn can only bail out their teammates so much when they just continue to let the opposing guards get right into the lane, which leads to a lay-up or a wide open three.
Kelly Oubre, Markeiff Morris, and Otto Porter are all guys on the former Washington Bullets who can consistently make three pointers, and they all need to have a defender on them. If their man has to sag off of them because Rose and Jennings can’t keep their man out of the paint, then guys like the one’s I just listed are going to have a field day behind the arc.
15 minutes. 0 points. 4 rebounds. 1 assist. Phil Jackson gave this man 72 million dollars for numbers like this. Would you give that money to someone who puts up these numbers? If you answered yes, I don’t think basketball is for you. Joakim Noah continues to be just awful for the Knicks, and I don’t see it getting any better. Hernangomez needs to stay in the starting lineup when Kristaps Porzingis returns, because it is enough wth this dude. Horrible.
I stopped watching early in the fourth quarter. I just can’t stomach watching this team continue to be disinterested on the defensive end. If this team thinks they can get out of this slump, the defense has to improve. It’s that simple. Guys like Hernangomez, O’Quinn, Justin Holiday (who had a tough game), and Courtney Lee all play so hard when they come into the game, and I don’t understand why it isn’t contagious. To be fair to the rest of the Knicks, those guys aren’t perfect, but the effort is there every night. If someone one year ago today told me I would be praising the effort of Kyle O’Quinn, I would have laughed at them, but he has been one of the few bright spots of the Knicks this season. Maybe the Knicks dangle him for draft picks at the trade deadline? Who knows, but for now, I want to see him or WHG in the starting lineup every game.
The Knicks come right back and play a struggling Brooklyn Nets team at the Barclays Center Wednesday night, and that one has to end with a Knicks victory. You absolutely cannot lose to the Nets, who were a robust 1-15 in the month of January. I’m borderline done with the Knicks this season, and if they lose to Brooklyn, I’ll be fully done. 21-29.
|The Knicks went 1-2 since last weeks rankings, although losing in 4OT felt like 2 losses. The offense has been there but the defense is still a huge problem. The Knicks have held exactly 1 team below 100 in January, and that was Philly whom they held to 98 in a loss.|
|Rank||Player||Comments||Last weeks Rank|
|1||Anthony, Carmelo||If this is indeed Melo’s last few weeks as a Knick he’s going out with a bang. A 30 and a 45 point game this week on efficient shooting might make a couple teams seriously consider making an offer.||1|
|2||Lee, Courtney||Great week for Courtney. Almost won the game a couple times against the Hawks. For those of you who wanted him to shoot more, he’s over 13 attempts per game this week and shooting at a super efficient clip.||5|
|3||Porzingis, Kristaps||Porzingis probably had his best week of 2017. Not saying much because he’s been downright bad or injured most of the time, but had to put him up here after that dunk on Dwight.||9|
|4||O’Quinn, Kyle||We have Noah, Plumlee, and Hernangomez on the team, yet the much smaller O’Quinn defends and blocks shots better than all those guys.||7|
|5||Jennings, Brandon||We got to see all 3 Jennings this week. The one that disappears, the one that scores like crazy, and the distributer that racks up more assists in one game than Rose in a week. Continue reading|
Marc and Jay talk about the 4 over time game, Melo trade rumors, explaining how we feel about the teams situation
New York Knicks vs Charlotte Hornets
Game 48: January 27, 2017
Knicks 110, Hornets 107
As we all know, the Knicks have been on a rough stretch as of late. Coming into tonight’s game, the Knicks had dropped 14 of their last 18 games, and the finger pointing began. Heartbreaking loss after heartbreaking loss put the Knicks way back in the standings, and Carmelo Anthony has been put on the trading block. Tonight, was different. After the offense went stagnant in the fourth for a stretch, Courtney Lee happened, and the Knicks took over the game. The Hornets could not withstand this burst of offense late, and the Knicks held on to win the game, 110-107.
This was one of the best wins of the season for the Knicks, and is another one of those games where they will give me false hope. Kristaps Porzingis snapped out of his shooting funk, scoring 18 points on 8-11 shooting, even though he was in foul trouble most of the game. Carmelo finished with 18 points on a rough shooting night, but he drilled a jumper to seal the deal at the end of the fourth.
It’s been a really rough month for the Knicks and their fans, and with everything seemingly going down the toilet, the Knicks pulled out a fun win. Stopping all-star guard Kemba Walker, Nicolas Batum, and the Hornets is a tough task, but the Knick defense stepped up in a big way in the fourth quarter. The insertion of Kyle O’Quinn was huge for the team as well, as his brand of defense was exactly what the Knicks needed. Key blocks at the end of the game, along with some big rebounds were what paced the Knick defense. No Noah in sight, I don’t even think he played in the second half, but I could be wrong.
The one negative in this game was the Derrick Rose injury. The back spasms early in the season were the only blemish on the Rose injury record for the year, and tonight another injury reared its ugly head. Even though his defense has been awful, Rose has brought a spark to the offense when he gets into the lane, and he’s been much better than Brandon Jennings this year.
Granted, Jennings was great filling in for Rose tonight, but if the Knicks want to turn this around with the current roster they have, Rose needs to be healthy.
New York goes down to Georgia and they’re looking for a game to steal, and they’ll take on the Atlanta Hawks. The last time the Knicks and Hawks played at the Garden, it was the Hawks who came away with a tough win. The Knicks will need the same contributions from Courtney Lee and Brandon Jennings if they want to leave Atlanta with a win. Here’s hoping they build on this one. Don’t look now, but the Knicks are only two games out of the eighth seed. 21-27.
|The Knicks went 2-2 since the last rankings. If they keep up a pace like this it’ll be enough to just miss the playoffs while also ensuring we don’t get any of the 4 amazing PG’s in this years draft. Knicks!|
|Rank||Player||Comments||Last weeks Rank|
|1||Anthony, Carmelo||Melo continued his hot streak on offense this week. He’s been very good..on offense. Offensively Melo is really good.||1|
|2||Rose, Derrick||Rose is also really good on offense. Well not so much the passing aspect, but he can take it to the hole at an elite level.||2|
|3||Hernangomez, Willy||You might have noticed that I’ve been ignoring the word defense. Since the Knicks ignore it I figured I should too. Anyway (B)Willy lit it up the 2 games he got actual minutes. No reason Noah should be getting more minutes than (B)Willy at this point.||9|
|4||Holiday, Justin||Hi, my name is Justin Holiday. You might recognize me as the guy who digs the starting lineup out of a 10+ point defecit literally every single game. Might have something to do with that D word the guys in the top 2 spots hate so much.||5|
|5||Lee, Courtney||Lee got way too much flac for not taking the final shot against the Wizards. There was literally a guy standing right next to him on the court yelling and waiving his arms. You’d think that was another player too.||7|
|6||Baker, Ron||You might look at Bakers numbers and wonder why he is so high on the list. It’s not that he’s a great defender, but he does look like Gary Payton compared to Rose and Jennings.||3|
|7||O’Quinn, Kyle||O’Quinns minutes have been all over the place lately, but in his lone start of the week he was really good.||8|
|8||Jennings, Brandon||Jennings plays juuuust good enough to keep his spot in the rotation, but that’s just because the Knicks backcourt is a flaming dumpster fire.||10|
|9||Porzingis, Kristaps||Porzingis has looked pretty bad. He had a 1 rebound game this week. Playing injured or sophomore slump?||11|
|10||Kuzminskas, Mindaugas||Pretty bad week for Kuz, but I have a feeling he’ll bounce back. He looks pretty confident when he’s on the court.||4|
|11||Noah, Joakim||Hi, I’m Joakim. I’m hot garbage at everything except rebounding. I airball free throws. I also start over 2 guys playing way better than me.||6|
|12||Plumlee, Marshall||Given a few more minutes Marshall could end up being the 3rd center on this team who is better than Noah.||13|
|13||Thomas, Lance||Now that Lance has been out I realize just how little I miss him.||12|
|14||Vujacic, Sasha||It’s a good thing we have Sasha taking up space on the bench instead of taking a chance on guys like Chasson Randle.||14|
|15||Ndour, Maurice||Same comment as above but replace Sasha with Maurice.||15|
Marc and Jay from the New York Knicks Podcast join Chris Axmann of the Almighty Ballin NBA Show to mourn` yet another lost Knicks season – where did it all go wrong?
New York Knicks vs Washington Wizards
Game 44: January 20, 2017
The Knicks hate me. That’s what I’ve decided.
After a great bounce back win in Boston last night, the Knicks came right back and took on John Wall and the Washington Wizards at Madison Square Garden. After fighting back to take the lead late in the fourth, the fake comeback struck again, and the Knicks lost to the wizards, 113-110. Carmelo Anthony set a Knicks record with 25 points in the 2nd quarter, and finished with 34 points and 10 rebounds. Kristaps Porzingis returned from his Achilles injury and scored 15 points off the bench. Derrick Rose added 20 points. John Wall led the way for Washington, with 29 points and 13 assists.
New York was riding high after one of their best wins of the season in Boston on Wednesday night, and the effort was there once again tonight against Washington. The only thing missing from this team is the ability to close out these games, and, you know, that whole, “defense” thing. The Knicks took the lead on a Derrick Rose layup late in the fourth, but they just couldn’t hold on defensively on the final few possessions.
Everything was clicking tonight for the Knicks offensively, and that continues to be the strength of this team. Only problem is, this team would have trouble guarding my 2016 summer league team that made it to the final four of the playoffs. HOW do you give up 100 points in 3 quarters? That is unacceptable effort from an NBA team.
I understand that the Wizards have one of the most talented guards in the NBA on their team, but somebody has to step up and take on the challenges of guarding him, whether it’s Courtney Lee, Derrick Rose, or whoever.. There’s no reason he should’ve carved up the Knick defense like he did. Inexcusable.
Now let’s go back to the last play of the game. I didn’t notice this from my seat, but did everyone see that the Washington assistant was literally on the court next to Courtney Lee when he got the ball? Not that it matters, but what is the NBA going to do about that? That changed the whole last play of the game, and it could very well be the reason Lee pump faked before dribbling inside the arc.
The Knicks just invent new ways to lose a ballgame every night. Saturday is against Phoenix. I’ll be at that one too. They better win. 19-25.
New York Knicks at Boston Celtics
Game 43: January 18, 2017
Knicks 117, Celtics 106
After the heartbreaking loss on Monday against the Hawks, The Knicks had another tough Eastern Conference test in Boston tonight against the Celtics. The Knicks played just as hard as they did in the last game, if not harder, and came away with an excellent road win, 117-106.
Kyle O’Quinn was inserted into the starting lineup, but it was Willy Hernangomez who was the story in this one, as he came off the bench and scored 17 points and pulled down 11 rebounds.
Derrick Rose led the way for the Knicks and matched his season high with 30 points. Mindaugus Kuzminskas had his second straight solid game since being put into the starting lineup, and finished this one with 17 points. Isaiah Thomas was a monster as usual, and paced the Celtics with 39 points.
If you had told me before the game that Isaiah would score 39 points and the Knicks would still win by double digits, I would’ve told you that you know nothing about basketball. However, these New York Knicks really showed up tonight and took it to the Celtics from the start. They took the lead in the second quarter and never looked back. A scrappy Celtics team was continuously outhustled by the Knicks, as they were outrebounded 57-33. The Knick reserve big men crew of Marshall Plumlee and Hernangomez were on a rebounding mission, as well as Derrick Rose and Courtney Lee, who had 10 and 8 rebounds, respectively.