New York Knicks vs Portland Trailblazers – 11/22/16 – Game Recap

New York Knicks vs Portland Trailblazers
Game 14: November 22, 2016
Knicks 107, Trailblazers 103

Written by Eric Weinstein – @ericcweinsteinn

Well that was pretty damn fun.

In a highly competitive game against Portland, the New York Knicks came out victorious, 107-103 in a thriller at the Garden. This was the most enjoyable game of the season in my opinion, with Kristaps Porzingis leading the way with 31 points, which is his second 30+ point game of the season. Derrick Rose looked like his old self with 18 points and a bunch of highlight plays.

Brandon Jennings had his third 10+ assist game off the bench, and we finally had the Mindaugus Kuzminskas breakout game! Kuz had a modest 10 points in 21 minutes, but hit a clutch 3 pointer late in the fourth quarter. Damian Lillard led Portland with 22 points, and CJ McCollum had 16 points on 17 shots.

Takeaways from this game:

The Knicks can actually be fun.

Yes, you read that correctly. This was the best game so far this year, without a doubt. Kristaps proved that he should be the focal point of the offense, again. The plays he makes are absolutely astounding, but we all know that. 31 points and 9 rebounds for the 7’3 Latvian that just looked so easy for him. KP was rolling, the ball was moving, and the defense picked up throughout the game. The team was clicking on all cylinders tonight on both ends of the floor. It took a little while for them to figure out how to defend the Blazers, but the Knicks held them to 45 points in the second half, which is a good number.

Home game Brandon Jennings is different than away game Brandon Jennings:

This dude loves the Garden. Every home game the Knicks play, you can just see the joy that Brandon Jennings plays with, and the passion comes out in his game. The only issue with that is that I have to be afraid that he might pick up a technical foul every time down the court, but if he’s going to dish out 11 assists every home game, I’m cool with that. With Derrick Rose in foul trouble, Jennings stepped in perfectly, with highlight reel passes to Justin Holiday and Kuzminskas, and his continued solid play. The Knicks haven’t had a solid point guard in years, so it’s really weird that they have two now.

Down the stretch brilliance:

Carmelo Anthony had an off night tonight, there’s no other way to say it. In the past few seasons, if Melo didn’t have it going in the fourth quarter, they would lose most of the time.

This year, they have a 7’3 unicorn and a former MVP going to battle with him, and both of those guys stepped up. Rose and KP were big time in the fourth quarter and took over the game. Rose was getting the paint at will, and KP was hitting shot after shot. This team has the chance to be special if they keep playing like this, even with Carmelo having a rough night.

The Knicks protected home court once again and increased their home win streak to five games. Two straight playoff teams have been defeated at the garden this week, and another solid team is coming to town on Friday. The Charlotte Hornets may not have as much firepower as the blazers do, but Kemba Walker and Nicolas Batum can both fill it up, and Walker may finally make an all-star team this year with his excellent play this season. If the Knicks want to continue this home win streak, they’re going to need to move the ball and play defense like they did in the second half of tonight’s game. Let’s hope for another entertaining win, and let’s watch the orange and blue eclipse the .500 mark. 7-7.

New York Knicks at Washington Wizards – 11/17/16 – Game Recap

New York Knicks at Washington Wizards
Game 12: November 17, 2016
Wizards 119, Knicks 112

Written by Eric Weinstein – @ericcweinsteinn

#TrapGame

The Knicks traveled to Washington to take on the Wizards on the second game of a back to back, and showed a lot of fatigue. They came out sluggish in the first half, got creamed in the third quarter, made it interesting in the fourth quarter, but ultimately fell to the Wizards, 119-112. John Wall once again tantalized the Knicks, to use a Clyde-ism, with 23 points and 11 assists to lead the Wizards. Derrick Rose had his best scoring game as a Knick with 27 points, and Brandon Jennings had an excellent game off the bench with 17 points and 10 assists.

Kristaps Porzingis and Carmelo Anthony both struggled from the field after great games last night, as they shot a combined 14-33 for 35 points.

Takeaways from this game:

Point guard play:

The lone bright spot from this game was the great minutes from Derrick Rose and Brandon Jennings. Both of these guys were scoring at will in the second half, with Rose going off in the third, and Jennings in the fourth. Jennings continues to move the ball effortlessly as he eclipsed the 10 assist mark once again. Rose was getting into the paint with ease and hit a few three pointers, a shot he has struggled with so far this season. Jennings also caught fire from three in the fourth quarter when he hit three in a row from downtown to make the game at least somewhat interesting, but it was too little, too late for the Knicks. What else is new?

Lack of three point defense:

Not much to say here other than the fact that it was horrible. The Knicks let the Wizards, who are one of the worst three point shooting teams in the NBA, shoot 15-25 from three point land, good for 60% from the field. There is no way a team can expect to win when they let their opponent shoot that well from three. The Knicks weren’t fighting to get over screens, which led to countless open threes for Washington. Good to see Kurt Rambis has made some adjustments on defense! (Not).

Otto Porter Knick effect alert:

21 points, 8 rebounds. One of his best games of the season.

All the good feelings from the win against the Pistons pretty much went away by the third quarter of this game. The Knicks didn’t show any life in the first 40 minutes and it showed on the scoreboard. They always seem to make it interesting, but this was one they should’ve had easily. The Wizards are a struggling team coming off a bad loss in Philadelphia last night, so it wasn’t like they were coming in well rested either. These are the games the Knicks will look at in April if they are fighting for a playoff spot and see that it was one they had to have. A playoff team HAS to take advantage of games like this, especially with the tough games the Knicks have coming up next week. With Atlanta, Portland, and Charlotte all coming to the Garden the next three games, the Knicks are going to need to bounce back quickly to avoid falling into a deeper hole to start the season. 5-7.

Episode 348: Updates

Marc and Jay talk about the contest winner, United Games, the fantasy league, Derrick Rose, and more

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Is Basketball Back at MSG? Grading the Knicks Offseason – Part 2

Written by Kevin Meng

Yesterday we broke down the first half of the Knicks offseason.  Now on to the rest of the moves the Knicks made so far this summer.

Signing Courtney Lee to a 4 year, $48 million dollar deal

Not quite sure why Lee chose to play here, but I ain’t mad. In a starting 5 with a scoring forward, a defensive-minded center, the best Latvian big man since Kaspars Kambala, and a penetrating guard with a shaky shot, the one thing this team was lacking was a consistent three ball shooter and wing defender.

Lee has been a positive on the defensive end his whole career, playing bigger than his 6’5, 200lb frame might suggest. He also averaged 39% from bomb territory on 3 attempts per game last season. He was the one of the best shooters on a team that hoisted up the 4th most attempts in the league. With all of the attention on Mr. Anthony, KP, and Rose, he should thrive.

Seeing the deals thrown around for similar players like Kent Bazemore, and the premium put on 3nD wings, signing him for 12 per on average is a great deal. One marker of a good contract is the backend of the deal. A player might be worth their salary in the first two years and grossly overpaid the final two(Luol Deng to the Lakers??), but looking at Lee’s deal, he might even be underpaid in year 3 considering the new cap.

Finding the perfect compliment to the surrounding talent, and doing so on a fair contract? Here’s a big fat A for you, Mr. Jackson.

Grade: A

Signing Joakim Noah to a 4 year, $72 million dollar deal

Not sure if PMFJ still thinks he’s on his hippy retreat in Montana or not, but we have a sinking suspicion that he was on some serious mind altering substances when he signed this deal. When healthy, Noah is a still a very effective defender, good finisher around the rim, and great passer. Add to that his chemistry to Rose and the fact that we didn’t have a center, and the reasons for signing him are obvious. But 4/72 for a guy who can’t stay healthy and is on the downside of his career with a skillset that doesn’t age well? Yeesh.

In this market, players are going to get overpaid. There weren’t many C’s left on the market to get, and even fewer that fit what we needed, but this deal seems more like Phil panicked, realized he needed a C that could pass and be mobile on the court, and blew away the first one he could find with an offer he couldn’t refuse. Noah is still a good player, but he seemed angry at how Chicago did him dirty. Expect a big bounce back from him, but don’t expect him to earn the deal he signed. At least he isn’t Eddy Curry.

Grade: C+

Re-signing Lance Thomas to a 4 year, $27.5 million dollar deal

Continue reading

Is Basketball Back at MSG? Grading the Knicks Offseason.

Is Basketball Back at MSG? Grading the Knicks Offseason.

Written by Kevin Meng

* These grades are based on the situation at hand, including available players, the current market, the Knick’s cap space at time of signing, and whether or not the player was named Sasha Vujacic or Jose Calderon. It isn’t an evaluation of how awesome the player is*

2015-2016 was supposed to be a rebuilding year where the Knicks added assets, built a winning culture, grew together and attracted a big name to join up with them. There was reason for hope: a young rookie with boatloads of potential, another rookie who had just quarterbacked a solid NCAA squad to a good tournament showing, actual NBA-level talent in Robin Lopez and Aaron Afflalo, and a hungry Carmelo Anthony.

Hopes were relatively high for the Mecca. Could this team make the playoffs? Could they make noise if they got there? Could Kristaps GOATzingis really be this good? The season blasted off into space faster than anyone could have imagined, with the team playing .500 ball 40 games in and playing some top-level squads down to the wire (San Antonio and current ring-bearers, Cleveland come to mind).

Welp, we all know how that ended. The rocket burst in mid-air, with wicked, whipping flames that engulfed any and all things good in the souls of the Tri-State Area. Partly because of lack of talent, partly because of injuries, partly because of Sasha Vujacic, and partly because of coaching.

When the 2016 offseason started, nobody had any clue what was going to happen. PMFJ (Phil M***** F****** Jackson) had a king’s ransom in cap space but precious few assets, an aging star, and raw rookie to build around. Hardly cause for hope.

Yet here we are, not far removed from the mayhem that was 2016 free agency with a….wait….what is this?….an NBA-level basketball team? This must be some cruel joke. Is basketball back at MSG? This team may pose more questions than answers, and it may be a few twisted knees away from mediocrity, but at least the rotation has 7 guys that most people have heard of, and Jose Calderon isn’t playing the point..

* acquisitions like signing our 2nd round pick last season or acquiring some random Euro guy to warm the bench have been excluded for length’s sake. We know our reader’s have short attention spans*

Coaching change: signing Jeff Hornacek

Coaching salaries don’t really matter. Who cares about spending James Dolan’s money? What does matter is their experience, knowledge, ability to motivate, and ability to get respect from the players. When you haven’t proven yourself in the league or in the coaching ranks, then players rarely respect you(David Blatt or Kurt Rambis, anyone?). Continue reading

Episode 340: Derrick Rose

Marc and Jay talk about the finals and Knicks rumors with Derrick Rose, JR Smith, Sir Insider, man on the street, Adam Silver, and more

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Episode 328: Catching up with John Henson

Today Jay and John Henson from ABC’s Wipeout talk about the development of Porzingis, the Knicks strategy for the summer, the guard situation, being a Knicks fan in LA, Blake Griffin, the mess that is the Houston Rockets, Derrick Rose, and more.  After that Marc jumps in for listener questions and a mini rant about the Raptors game.

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Episode 325: Mike Woodson and Derek Fisher

Marc and Jay are joined by Mike Woodson and Derek Fisher to talk about the last 4 games, coaching, how to properly answer questions, sleeping with players wives, and much more

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Episode 319: Sorry Lance Thomas

Marc and Jay talk about 4 games, get lots of calls from the likes of lance thomas, derrick rose and more, we talk about coaching, rotations, the backcourt, and much more, enjoy!

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Episode 295: Insider

Marc and Jay talk about the conference semifinals, talk to Melo about his brand building, talk to the head of Insider about their upcoming articles, talk to Derrick Rose about his game winning shot and answer lots of questions

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