2016 Free Agent Targets For The New York Knicks: players who fit both timelines

Written by Kevin Meng

July, 2010

The Lakers had barely recovered from the hangover induced by winning game 7 against Pierce, Garnett & Sons, a bloodbath more reminiscent of World War One trench warfare than the finale of the National Basketball Association’s 64th season.

Kobe Bryant was still bitter that he hadn’t been able to shoot his team out of their 16th championship, try his damnedest though he did. The NBA was still abuzz about the draft that had just taken place. Was John Wall really better than Evan Turner? (yes, that was bandied about). Would Demarcus Cousins ever put it together? Who’s this skinny guy from Fresno State that Indiana just drafted? (better known as Paul George these days). And how the hell do you pronounce Hamady N’Diaye, the 56th pick from Senegal?

All the while, Knicks fans around the world glimmered with ignorant optimism about the future. THIS WAS THE SUMMER OF 2010! We had been swimming in a pool of stale water for years, polluted by the now defunct, non-eco- friendly conglomerate known as Isiah Thomas Co. We wanted the biggest names in the game: Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh. Actually, we wanted two of the biggest names in the game. Little did we know that they had been in cahoots with Riley in South Beach the whole time, and never wanted to play under the bright lights of MSG.

We wanted James and Wade; we got Stoudemire and Felton. The Big Three won not 1, not 2, not…well, actually they only won 2 titles. Better than the Knicks, though. Amar’e is now struggling for minutes in a league not friendly to old men with knee problems, and Felton is the rare NBA breed that has more gun charges on his record than NBA accolades.

What this long-winded rant about 2010 is meant to demonstrate is that the Knicks in the offseason of 2016, armed with enough cap space to throw at big names (which there are none of, by the way. KD doesn’t count), need to remember their lessons from 2010.

The New York Knicks simply don’t land big name free agents. 6 months of MVP Amar’e followed by 4 years of knee surgeries doesn’t count. What 2010 should also teach them is that just because you have money to spend, doesn’t mean to you have to spend it. When the Knicks struck out on the marquee names, they panicked and overpaid an aging and injury-riddled star to make up for it (respect to Amar’e for how well he played, though, and for always fighting to get healthy. He gave New York his all).

So here we find ourselves:

Summer 2016 Continue reading

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Why The New York Knicks Suck: it’s 2016 not 2006

Why do the Knicks blow so badly?

The Knicks suck terribly this year

Why this team is complete and utter garbage, and is worse than it should be

Nobody really expected much out of the New York Knicks this season. Why would they? The team tanked its way to 17 wins last season in a bid to rival the Washington Generals and couldn’t even do that right. What was supposed to be an awful season en route to having the best chance at getting the #1 pick turned into a terrible season inexplicably improved by meaningless wins at the end that dropped us to the #4 slot.

All’s well that ends well, though. With the drafting of future GOAT Kristaps Porzingis, and the addition of actual NBA-caliber players like Robin Lopez and Aaron Afflalo plus varsity team-caliber players like Derrick Williams and Kyle O’quinn, the Knicks looked poised to be fighting for a .400 record(hurray!).

The Knicks got out to a solid record considering their lack of talent, coaching, and experience together, flirting ever so teasingly with .500 several different times. When the team is clicking, they’ve played tough against the best in the league(without Melo even. Sign of something?), but the reality of the season has been that the Knicks have beaten a few solid teams and have usually lost to anyone who is actually good(and plenty who aren’t).

Despite some improvements, the Knicks still suck. But why? Why is it that fringe, formerly-unemployed NBA dreck feast against us night in and night out? Why do teams come to MSG expecting to get an easy win? Why is it that basic in-game adjustments from the other side kill us and there’s nothing we can do about it?

While talent, coaching, and lack of a good South American player(everyone knows that you need to have at least 1)  have something to do with it, that doesn’t explain it all, and firing Fisher isn’t going to change much.

The Knicks suck because it’s 2016 and not 2006. Better yet, they suck because it’s 2016 and not 1996. In a league that relies on versatility, controlled pace, spacing, and penetration, the Knicks are posting and joking, plodding and waddling, switching and bitching their way to the bottom of the Eastern Conference. Let’s tear into it a little bit more…

Outdated strategy

New York Knicks suck

The Knicks own version of the Bermuda Triangle does its best to swallow the talent of our best players. Modern analytics and technology be damned.

The NBA that your parents grew up watching was a slower, choppier, more physical game played around the rim from the inside out. It was a big man’s league. The rules and spirit of the game at the time made it a hell of alot easier to play from the block. Perimeter-oriented teams were rare. That’s not the case anymore. The Modern NBA is dominated by free flowing, quasi-positionless, versatile teams that attack from the perimeter, and make you pick your poison. You either let the wings take it to the rim, or you give up an open 3 ball. The Knicks are on pace for closer to the 2006 average in 3’s than they are the 2015.

The Knicks run the triangle. And in defense of this system, it doesn’t matter if we were running the square, the circle or the trapezoid either, the talent on this team just doesn’t live up to a top-tier squad. Still, while nearly all great teams in the league initiate their offense via penetration from wings, ours starts with the slowest player catching the ball 17 feet from the basket. The triangle maximizes mid-range jump shot opportunities and often puts the ball in the hands of the one guy on the court whose job is physical defense and rebounding(Lopez). Take these stats to heart:

  • The Knicks take the 5th most 2 point field goals in the league
  • The Knicks rank 27th in 2 point %………
  • The Knicks take the 23rd most 3’s, and rank 22nd in 3 point fg%
  • The Knicks are 22nd in assists
  • The Knicks are 25th in pace

So the Knicks run an offensive system geared at getting shots that they can’t make. Is there anything more Knicks than that? To top it off, they can’t balance it out with 3’s or free throws(even though the Knicks have the highest ft% in the league, they are only average at getting there). What makes it worse is that they iso the crap out of the ball, ranking 22nd in the league in assists and on pace for about the league average in the mid 00’s. Playing at the 5th slowest pace isn’t helping either. Not when the talent doesn’t match. Great teams like the 90’s Bulls, and recent Lakers and Celtics championship teams played slowly, but they had the talent to match. New York is playing Robin Lopez and Derrick Williams.

Fit

One thing that the Knicks can say about the team this year is that they actually have NBA-caliber players. Melo, Porzingis, Lopez, Afflalo, Thomas, and Galloway, and maybe Derrick Williams and Jose Calderon all belong in the league in some capacity, even if just as back ups in some cases.

The problem is that they are more of a hodgepodge than a cohesive unit. The leftovers of a swing and a miss in free agency. The best teams in the league field units that are not only talented, but that fit like gloves. They are mixes of shooters, defenders, penetrators, finishers, and post threats. To see how the Knicks are the opposite of that, let’s look at the starting lineup:

Jose Calderon New York Knicks

CalderonJose is the worst Spanish thing since the Spanish Flu. Not only is he inept defensively, he can’t do anything offensively aside from shoot. To make it worse, he can’t beat his man to get his shot off. So he is only a spot up shooter at this point, but the Knicks are playing him major minutes.

Afflalo- AA is off and on like a high school couple, and can’t play defense like he could in his day. He’s a net negative on D in terms of +/- and is barely posting in the positive for defensive win shares. The real issue is, though, that he doesn’t bring versatility to our attack. AA makes his living either posting up or shooting from mid range. And what’s worse is that the majority of those 2 point field goals are not assisted. That means he is someone who we iso from mid range or on the block. Sounds exactly like someone else in the starting lineup…..

MeloMelo is still a star player, but something just isn’t right with him this season. The biggest issue is how he is being used. Melo is 13th in usage % at 29.5%, and has decreased his % of shots around the rim. He ranks second in isolation plays, and those plays produce less than 1 point per possession. He also has an assist % nearly identical to our point guard. It’s great to see Melo moving the ball, but should our star scorer really be our primary playmaker, especially when he is over 30? The players surrounding Melo don’t make up for his shortcomings, and don’t emphasize his strengths. There is no elite wing defender, no elite gunner or slasher to punish doubles, and no playmaker to make his life easier. He is at his best when finishing possessions created by a point guard or bullying smaller defenders in the post. Not isoing, turning and fading, or creating off the dribble.

Porzingisthe second coming is still in his infancy, but it’s clear that he has the skills to be dominant in the modern NBA. The problem is that the system isn’t emphasizing his strengths, either. The slower the team plays, the harder it is for Porzingis to use his natural advantages. How many impressive alley-oops and putbacks have we seen from him? How many times has he beaten slower bigs in transition, and how many times have we seen this Latvian beast trail for a wide open 3? Yet, he posts up(15% of possessions) more than he plays as the roll man(13.5%) despite being wildly more efficient at the latter and in the bottom third of the league at the former. His most efficient offensive possessions are when he cuts to the rim, yet he does that less than pretty much everything else. Partly a spacing issue, and partly a system issue. Also, when he does get doubled in the post, spacing issues make him more turnover prone and there isn’t enough shooting to punish double teams.

Lopez Knicks

LopezRobin plays gritty, tough, hard nosed basketball. Exactly the kind of guy that Phil would have loved back in the old NBA. The problem is that the game has changed. Lopez is putting up great numbers close to the basket defensively (opponents are shooting 12% worse against him around the rim), but he is fairly one-dimensional. He struggles to keep up with quicker bigs, and doesn’t offer much versatility in the form of switching. On offense, he struggles to contribute much outside of post up hooks. So instead of having a mobile big that creates space, finishes off of cuts to the rim, and plays a modern style, the Knicks play a slow bruiser that muddies up the middle and takes away valuable space for the team’s two best offensive players.

What this boils down to is that the Knicks play players who don’t compliment each other’s strengths. If a player isn’t doing exactly what he is good at, then he can’t really contribute much else while on the floor.

Versatility

The modern NBA is full of teams who play positionless basketball, especially on the defensive end. The Warriors, Spurs, Thunder, and to a lesser extent the Cavaliers have versatile personnel capable of at least keeping you honest on offense, and capable of defending multiple positions on defense or vice versa. The Knicks, on the other hand, attempt to keep the score low by playing as slow as possible, and not actually trying to stop their opponents from scoring. Players like Calderon, Afflalo, Williams, and Seraphin struggle on defense and aren’t anything special offensively. Players like Lopez and Galloway bring it defensively every night, but aren’t versatile offensively.

Carmelo Anthony

Sorry, Carmelo. We want you out there for your defense. Don’t worry, we’ve got Sasha to pick up the slack on O.

It’s sad to think that Carmelo Anthony might be the best two-way player on the team, and he is the guy we want saving his energy for offense. Lance Thomas, at 6-8, 235 should be that guy, but his defense isn’t as good as has been heralded, and he only scores 8.5 per game.

Having players that can’t play both sides of the ball in a versatile manner, either by being able to guard multiple positions and hit the long ball or by being talented offensively and at least passable defensively means that this team is not only predictable night in and night out, but is also incapable of adjusting. While teams of bygone eras past had rigid position definitions and specialists that filled pre-determined roles, modern NBA teams thrive on fluidity and versatility.  Compare the starting lineups of the 2006 NBA finals between the Heat and Mavericks to the 2015 NBA finals between the Cavaliers and Warriors to see exactly what I am talking about. The Knicks just haven’t gotten the memo.

In an NBA where the best teams play in space while maximizing 3’s, free throws, and layups, the Knicks take long, inefficient 2’s. In an NBA where the best teams push the pace to make it easier on offense for their best players, the Knicks slow it down and pound the ball in, assuring everyone gets hurt and tired. In an NBA where the best teams play units that maximize each other’s strength and hide weaknesses, the Knicks either play redundant players and specialists, or misuse the talent that they do have. In an NBA where the best teams play versatile players capable of wearing multiple hats on either end, the Knicks play Jose Calderon and Robin Lopez. This team would have probably kicked some serious ass in 2006. Too bad that was ten years ago. The good news is that this squad is sure to provide plenty of fodder for the NewYorkKnicks Podcast, so stay tuned!

3 Realistic Trades for Carmelo Anthony: the future of the New York Knicks

Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks

Carmelo and Porzingis are the right stars, but it might be the wrong time.

3 Realistic Trades for Carmelo Anthony: the future of the New York Knicks

Talking about trades for Carmelo Anthony is all the rage now that we have a blue-chip prospect in Kristaps Porzingis, but finding the right fit is more difficult than deciphering what the hell Clyde is talking about half the time during broadcasts. The New York Knicks have been pretty much synonymous with dysfunction and disappointment over the better part of this century. From trading away valuable draft picks for the worst Italian since Mussolini to signing clinically obese, immobile big men to multi-year, cap-destroying deals, this team has had little to be excited about for a long time. The Knicks are a hapless collection of oxymorons– a  big market team in a center of world culture that nobody wants to play in, a team with a huge payroll and minuscule win total, a team that plays in the “Mecca of basketball” but usually loses to whichever team makes a pilgrimage there– so it’s only fitting that the one time in the past two decades that they’ve had a legit superstar is also the one time when the best thing to do for the franchise is trading him.

Although the Knicks are in no shape to compete for a championship as currently constructed, some of the ingredients are in the cupboard. There’s the scoring machine that can get buckets against any defense, a budding defensive stopper with unlimited range, and some young, tough guards that can stroke it from deep. But for everything that is in stock there is something missing, and the store probably won’t be stocking it any time soon. This team has everything except enough talent and coaching to win ball games.

Right pieces. The wrong time.

Seeing as how the timelines of the team’s best pieces don’t really align( Melo being 31 and Kristael JORD-zingis merely 19), it could be that the team won’t be in contention until Mr. Anthony is too old. While he can be this generation’s Paul Pierce(a star who never had enough help to play with the big boys until late in his career), do we really want to chance that? On the other hand, the organization is finally showing some signs of sensible management and finally has a bright future, do they really want to trade the best player the team has had since Patrick Ewing while he is still in his prime?

Depending on how you look it, it might be the best thing to do. IF they strike gold in free agency, say, Nicholas Batum, Mike Conley or both and a few solid veterans, then maybe there is hope that they can go down in a blaze of glory to the Lebron James Eastern Conference Championship corporation in the conference finals, but if they strike out again, then the landscape is bleak. Melo will be going on 33 with no sign of hope coming for another year or two at least. While he is still worth something, the Knicks could do well by trading him, accumulating draft picks and growing around a new core of young players. Which brings us to:

The trades

Crafting the right trade for Melo isn’t easy. First, he has a no trade clause, but that doesn’t worry me much seeing as how the current roster would send me screaming to the nearest competitor if I were an NBA superstar on the backend of my prime. Second, we would need to get solid young players and picks. The problem here is that the teams that Melo wants to go to probably won’t give us the type of pick we are looking for. That means getting the best young player possible, accumulating some solid picks, and tanking when we have our own pick next year while letting Magic-staps John-zingis develop by having free reign to devour unsuspecting defenses with his dragon-like wings and fire breath.

Step 1) Which teams might Melo go to?

Carmelo Anthony of the Knicks

As you can tell, Melo likes to party. He doesn’t want to go somewhere that sucks….like Detroit.

First you need a contender or a team on the brink of contention in a place that doesn’t suck (sorry Orlando, Sacramento, and Utah). Certain places like Indy and OKC might not appeal to a city boy, can overcome their prairie issues with their sheer basketball abilities in my opinion. Current NBA chainsaw, Golden State won’t be making any changes, so they’re out. That leaves us with(in no order):

Houston, Cleveland, Indiana, Chicago, Miami, Atlanta, OKC, Memphis, Dallas, LAC, New Orleans, Washington and Phoenix.

Step 2) Who has something we want?

We want a nice young player(or at least not old), cap relief and picks. That is going to eliminate Cleveland, Indiana, Memphis, Dallas, and LAC right off the bat. Sorry, but they have nothing we want. Now we have Houston, Chicago, Miami, Atlanta, OKC, NOP, Washington and PHX.

Step 3) Find the real suitors

Sadly, Phoenix has a bevy of nice young assets but getting Melo wouldn’t vault them into contention. Same with Washington since we’d want Bradly Beal or nothing. I’m afraid they both need to be scratched from the board. New Orleans doesn’t really have any interesting players or picks aside from Jrue Holiday, who is oft injured and might actually be too good too quickly and win us more games than we want( DAMN YOU FISHER FOR WINNING THOSE GAMES AT THE END OF LAST SEASON!), so they are gone. All of OKC’s nice picks are gone when we need them, and they don’t really have anyone young that could help us or be anything good in the future, so that leaves us with Houston, Chicago, Miami and Atlanta. But Atlanta has a good thing going, and Melo wouldn’t fit there ball movement style of play( you know? those teams that pass the ball?!?). So now we are down to 3 measly little teams that would suit Melo, the Knicks and themselves in a trade: Houston, Chicago and Miami.

The Trades for Carmelo Anthony

#1- Houston

New York trades Carmelo Anthony, Jose Calderon and Lou Amundson

Houston trades Ty Lawson, Patrick Beverly, Corey Brewer, K.J McDaniels and Terrence Jones + a 2018 first round pick and a 2020 first round pick.

Why for New York?

The Knicks go into full rebuild mode and nab two future firsts + a very intriguing youngish player in Terrence Jones. He can hit the corner 3, run the floor, and is a great athlete. He just needs playing time and an open system. Beverly is a known quantity but a solid player that can shore up our PG defense, and with Beverly, Gallo, and Porzingis locked up long-term we will be set on that end of the floor. K.J has shown some promise at times, and could be a solid rotation player in the future. Ty Lawson is an alcoholic that would have fit in great with the Ray Felton era Knicks where they could hit the town and get arrested together, but would probably be cut by this new Knicks squad. And Corey Brewer is….from Tennessee.

Embrace the tank, go young and cheap, get some picks, and pray.

Why For Houston?

Houston has all of the elements of a contender but hasn’t put it together so far this season. Many pegged them as a the hipster pick to make the finals this season after their run last year, and with their star wing/big duo plus solid wing defenders in Beverly, Ariza, Brewer, there was no reason to think otherwise…until the season started. Melo would give them more raw offensive talent than any team in the league outside of the state of Oklahoma, and they’d still have enough depth to weather the storm during bench time. This is the proverbial all-in push as they say. It sucks losing their two pg’s in this trade, but seeing as how Ty Lawson isn’t even really running the point much anyway when he even gets playing time and Calderon is coming over, there is no reason to think this trade wouldn’t make them one of the best teams in the West. They might have to take a flyer on a free agent or d-league guy just to shore up their PG or SG spot but having Melo would be worth it.

 

#2 The Chicago Bulls

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Knicks vs Cavs – 11-13-15 – Game Recap

Written by Matt Adwar@theknicksguy

Carmelo Anthony did not have much to say after the New York Knicks blew another fourth quarter lead.

Were just not getting it done,” he said.

The New York Knicks held a 6-point lead going into the fourth quarter but were not able to hold on as they were outscored 24-12 in the fourth quarter. Carmelo Anthony only had 4 points in the second half after contributing 22 in the first half.

Derek Fisher did not blame any player but chose to blame himself after the crucial loss.

I have to do a better job of putting guys in position to be successful out there,”

Fisher did not say anyone specific but it is clear that he has not figured out the rotation just yet. In the final two minutes Porzingis and Lopez were left out for Lance Thomas and Lou Amundson, an interesting choice. Continue reading

Knicks at Hornets 11-11-15 – Game Recap

Written by Matt Adwar@theknicksguy

Kristaps Porzingis hit the game winner with 0.6 seconds left ….except it didn’t count. It could not have been any closer as the New York Knicks suffer a devastating loss against the Charlotte Hornets 95-93 as they fall to 4-5.

The Knicks were in control for most of the game as they held a 12-point lead at one time. But the 16 turnovers and 24 fouls were just too much for the Knicks to come back from.

Derek Fisher after the game “People oftentimes focus on the fourth quarter and the finish and the last plays but a lot of times the first through the third quarter makes a difference”

Head coach Derek Fisher did not seem happy at his teams performance down the stretch and did not like the excessive fouls. “They got to the free throw line 28 times and that’s too many”

Tip Ins

Arron Afflalo looked great in his season debut with the Knicks scoring 12 points and adding 6 rebounds. Continue reading

Knicks at Raptors 11-10-15 – Game Recap

Written by Matt Adwar – @theknicksguy

A night where Knicks head coach Derek Fisher played 13 guys, it somehow all came together.

A blown call with Carmelo Anthony stepping out of bounds might have been the break the Knicks needed to pull out a victory. The Toronto Raptors made things very interesting hitting a 3 pointer to pull within 1 point with 1.5 seconds left. But the Knicks prevailed as they defeated the Raptors 111-109. The New York Knicks improved their record to 4-4 led by Carmelo Anthony who had a solid night with 25 points on 10-23 shooting. DeMar DeRozan led the Toronto Raptors with 29 points.

Lance Thomas, a key contributor in the 4th quarter said after the game “We imposed our will, everybody fought, its us against everybody”.

Tip Ins

Robin Lopez had one of his best games of the season contributing offensively and defensively. He racked in 12 points, 8 rebounds and 4 key blocks. Continue reading

Open Letter to Knicks Fans: We are Delusional

Written by Devin Thomas (@_knicksss).  Devin also has a Knicks Blog.

 

Dear Knick Faithful,

I have been concerned with the overwhelming positive fan reaction regarding the Knicks’ offseason this summer, so in response, I am reverentially writing this letter to inform you: we are unequivocally the most delusional fan base in the National Basketball Association. I assume you must be pondering: “Who the are you to say something like that?”

Please allow me to overture this by saying, we generally are the most obsessive fans in the league; it is admirable how we consistently fill the World’s Most Famous Arena, whether the team stinks or not. Unfortunately, in regards to our Knickerbockers, while we excel in loyalty, we are severely lacking in intelligence. It is baffling the amount of praise we are giving Phil Jackson for this offseason. Let us not forget Jackson’s draft debacle. Despite what NBA draft experts claim, we were justified in booing Kristaps Porzingis. We decorously assumed the pick was catastrophic. Jackson drafted a player, who will probably make little to no impact, thus effectively wasting another year of Melo’s prime. Don’t be shocked if Melo eventually waives his no trade clause, and decides he wants out of New York. A month later, we’re praising Jackson for taking the long-term approach in rebuilding this team back to prominence, instead of taking the “quick fix” approach, an approach that has bedeviled us for almost two decades. Of course, no one raised the question: how exactly does one rebuild with a 31-year-old star in Melo, who delayed knee surgery, just so he can impersonate John Starks, in an all star game?

In addition, let us also not forget, when Phil Jackson was hired on March 18th, 2014, he stated, he planned to make a big splash in this free agency class. He reiterated this statement in March, as the Knicks were in the middle of the worst season in franchise history, stating, “We know what the first-round pick is going to mean for us, but we also know we’re going to build our team with free agents.”

Jackson, whose $12 million a year salary exceeds league MVP Stephen Curry’s1, failed to make a big splash in free agency, in fact, he failed to even make a ripple. When did our standards become so low, as to where Robin Lopez, a decent center, but certainly not a game changer, Aaron Affalo, a pro who is basically on a one year deal, but is slightly overrated, especially on defense and Derrick Williams, an athletic four, but has been a bust since being drafted number two overall four years ago, warrants a successful offseason? 2, A few months ago, if someone had told you the Knicks would land Robin Lopez, Aaron Affalo, Kyle O’Quinn, and Derrick Williams this offseason, would you have been satisfied? I’ve heard fans claim this was the plan all along; Jackson wanted use cap space, to find role players, who fit his outdated system (The Triangle), instead of max guys like LaMarcus Aldridge or Marc Gasol. Let’s be honest with ourselves, given the chance, do we really think Jackson wouldn’t have signed Aldridge or Gasol? I’ve even heard fans claim players will perform at a higher level in a structured system. For example, Demarre Carroll was a journeyman his first few years in the league, before blossoming into an excellent ‘three and D’ player in Mike Budenholzer’s system in Atlanta and just became the highest paid player on the Raptors. Do we really think Derek Fisher, who arguably was the worst coach in the NBA last season, can pull the same feat?

Continue reading

Knicks Rookies Join NBA Player Props Betting Mix

New York Knicks fans in attendance at the recent 2015 NBA Draft at Barclays Center in Brooklyn reacted with disappointment upon the announcement of the Knicks’ much anticipated first-round selection.

While the fan faithful anticipated their club picking a familiar name like Justise Winslow of the Duke Blue Devils or Willie Cauley-Stein from the Kentucky Wildcats, many were surprised when the Knicks took relative unknown Kristaps Porzingis with the No. 4 overall selection.

The 7′ 1” Latvian spent the past three seasons with Seville of the Spanish Liga ACB, where he was heavily scouted by a number of NBA clubs that discovered a versatile and physical big man who can consistently hit from three-point territory.

The 19 year-old is expected to have an immediate impact on the Knicks fortunes next season and joins a fellow Knick prospect on the NBA player props betting odds as an intriguing 25/1 bet to earn NBA Rookie of the Year honors next season.

Jerian Grant took a much less direct route to a Knicks uniform on Draft Night.

The 22 year-old point guard, who earned Consensus first-team All-American honors last season while leading the Notre Dame Fighting Irish to the ACC Tournament title, was taken by the Knicks with the No. 19 selection after New York acquired the pick as part of a three-way deal that saw Tim Hardaway leave the Big Apple for the Atlanta Hawks, and No. 15 pick Kelly Oubre go to the nation’s capital.

The announcement of the acquisition of Grant was met with a roar by Knicks fans in attendance and puts two New York players in the 2016 NBA Rookie of the Year mix.

Indeed, the older and more experienced Grant holds the edge over Porzingis in NBA online props betting, with 22/1 odds.

Jahlil Okafor leads the way in early NBA rookie betting, pegged as a 15/4 favorite.

Selected third overall by the Philadelphia 76ers, the 6′ 11” center was named ACC Player of the Year last season before leading the Blue Devils to a national championship at this year’s March Madness.

Okafor is closely trailed by second overall pick D’Angelo Russell. The Los Angeles Lakers point guard was a standout for the Ohio State Buckeyes a year ago and is a strong 4/1 bet to be the top rookie in the NBA next season.

First overal pick Karl-Anthony Towns rounds out the front of the betting pack with 11/2 odds at the online sportsbook.

Taken by the Minnesota Timberwolves, Towns played a key role in Kentucky’s undefeated regular season, earning SEC Freshman of the Year honors.

The Denver Nuggets’ Emmanuel Mudiay, who played last season with the Guangdong Southern Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association sits at a strong 7/1, followed by Winslow, who was eventually taken by the Miami Heat, at 9/1.

The Diet and Nutrition Habits of The Best NBA Players

Written by Helen Freeman

The preseason and regular season for basketball players is very long, particularly when compared to other sportsmen. That means that the fitness and nutrition regimes of basketball players is both very unique and very important to sustain. The average pro basketball player can run between 2 AND 2.5 miles in every game, meaning that the need for a stamina and endurance boosting diet is integral to excelling performance and success. So what exactly are pro basketball players eating?

The Power of Protein

Top NBA athletes have muscular builds with very low percentages of body fat: in order to achieve this, a strict diet should be followed. NBA players tend to eat protein at every meal. This is because protein is a ‘super food’ that helps to build muscle whist also increasing your metabolism, meaning that you can continually burn fat whilst and after you have eaten your meal. The goal is to aim for 20 grams of protein, as a minimum, in every meal. Real protein sources, such as chicken, fish, greek yoghurt and plenty of mixed nuts) are much more preferable to artificial protein sources such as protein shakes, although many NBA players and professional athletes choose to supplement their diet with these as well as with traditional, real protein sources. High levels of protein and healthy fats are the two things that these athletes should and do eat every day, however the amounts of carbohydrates they eat on a daily basis will vary dramatically depending on whether it was a game day, a rest day, or how much training they had undertaken on any given occasion.

Variable Carbohydrate Consumption

The best athletes carefully tailor the amount of carbohydrates they consume on a daily basis, only intaking the right blend of carbohydrates to give them the strength and endurance energy they need for their daily activity. During intense training periods, carbohydrates may well make up the vast majority of your daily calorie intake, and a 2:1 ratio of carbohydrates to proteins should be achieved, however the kind of carbohydrates you choose are equally as important as the amount that you are consuming. High quality carbohydrates include unrefined rice and pasta, whole grain breads and cereals (rather than processed white ones) and plenty of starchy vegetables. Whilst there is high carbohydrate content in foods such as sweets, pastries, cookies and cakes, your intake of these foods should be massively restricted due to the high amount of refined white sugars these contain. Not only are these white sugars quickly converted to unwanted fat, they can also give you head aches and leave you feeling tired and sluggish: not what you want before a big NBA game!

The Importance of Boosting and Promoting Good Health Continue reading

Knicks 2015 Draft Reaction & Breakdown

Written by Ian Ellis (iellis2018@yahoo.com)

Hey guys, I’m baaaaack to help explain what happened last night. The Knicks got three players: Kristaps Porzingis (4th Pick), Jerian Grant (19th Pick) and Guillermo Hernangomez (35th Pick). So everybody calm down, and let’s begin!

Kristaps Porzingis, PF/C, Latvia

Kristaps Porzingis

The Knicks made a huge splash in the draft by taking the big man from Latvia with the 4th pick. To be completely honest, I booed this pick for the first minute after the pick, just like most of the Barclays Center, but after that I reminded myself why I and all other Knicks fans should be excited with the pick. Let’s look more into Porzingis.

Player Analysis

Pros:

Physical Tools: Porzingis is very long at around 7’3″. May I repeat, 7′ freaking 3″. That’s huge for a player projected to be a PF in the league. Size is not the only thing going for Porzingis, as he is also very athletic. In addition to all of this, he is very smooth and quick like a guard in his movements, he is not just a huge and clunky bigman (*cough* Bargs *cough*)

Shooting: Porzingis has a silky smooth stroke and might be the best shooter in the entire draft class. This, with his superb size, gives him an unblockable shot and allows him to space the floor. In addition he has a very good touch around the basket.

Level of Competition: It should be noted that he played in the ACB last year, probably the best basketball league besides the NBA. Granted, there still is a huge dropoff in play, but it’s good to note that Porzingis probably played against better competition than players like Karl Anthony Towns and Jahlil Okafor in the NCAA.

Defensive Potential: While Porzingis struggles with defensive concepts (like most young big) and will struggle defending post players due to his lack of strength, he has the tools to become an outstanding shot blocker and pick & roll defender.

Attitude: The problem with a lot of these Euro busts it seems like is that they don’t love the game. For example, when you watch Bargs play, he never seems to really care. From what’s he’s told us, he really cares. He has amazing English, which shows that he wants to learn the game here with language not being a barrier. He’s already said how he doesn’t want to be the next Bargs or Darko or Weis. He’s shown a fire and desire for the game, which I think is important.

Cons: Continue reading