Overview of the Knicks 2017 Season

Overview of the Knicks 2017 Season

The New York Knicks are a far cry from the perennial powerhouse they used to be in the days of Patrick Ewing in the early to mid-90s. Today, they are consistently ranked towards the bottom of the Eastern Conference and haven’t made the playoffs since the 2012-2013 season. Over the last decade, they’ve made the playoffs three times, while that may not seem all that bad, it is when you consider that the team made the playoffs every single season in the 90s.

Today’s New York Knicks are led by Carmello Anthony in his 14th season in the league, and is the Knicks’ biggest star player with his 21.8 points per game average. They also made some moves that were viewed a blockbuster moves when they acquired former MVP Derrick Rose from the Chicago Bulls during the offseason, as well as another former Bull, Joakim Noah.

Entering the season, the New York Knicks had plenty to be optimistic about. They had added two solid players in Rose and Noah, and already had what they thought to be a solid core to build around in Carmello Anthony. It simply didn’t click up to expectations for the Knicks this season as they currently sit 8 games out of the final playoff spot with the season coming to a close early next week. To add insult to an already disappointing season, the Knicks lost Derrick Rose for the remainder of the season after he tore his meniscus in his left knee a few days ago. A recent NBA analyst discovered that handicapper Jon Price made over $375,000 from wagering against the Knicks in the month of March alone. He takes into account arbitrage betting strategies and trends and this year the Knicks have been his friend.

One can’t help but to see the Knicks as a perennial disappointment in today’s NBA. They have suffered through mediocrity for years, changing general managers and head coaches multiple times, and even did what they could in free agency, but the players don’t seem to pan out as well once they come to New York. The Knicks had as much hype entering the 2016-2017 season as any Knicks team in the last ten years, and they disappointed greatly.

Some are already looking to the next draft and saying that the Knicks need to draft a guard to provide insurance for an injury-prone Derrick Rose, or to potentially even replace him. Rose had an average performance in 2016 and 2017, but missed games again this year due to injuries. He finished his season averaging 18 points per game, which is a point below his career average. Still better than how the acquisition of Joakim Noah worked out for them, as he only played in 46 games and averaged 5 points per game in those contests.

With the 2016-’17 NBA Season coming to a close, it’s safe to say this year was another disappointment for the dynasty that used to be the New York Knicks. Now they’re left with more questions than answers as they enter an offseason with a lot of uncertainty around Derrick Rose and the overall performance of their team.

They’ll look to bounce back and grow through the draft, in time for the 2017-’18 NBA Season.

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New York Knicks vs. Washington Wizards – 1/31/17 – Game Recap

New York Knicks vs. Washington Wizards
Game 50: January 31 st , 2017
Wizards 117, Knicks 101

Written by Eric Weinstein – @ericcweinsteinn

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.

New York Knicks at Milwaukee Bucks – 1/6/17 – Game Recap

New York Knicks at Milwaukee Bucks
Game 38: January 6, 2017
Knicks 116, Bucks 111

Written by Eric Weinstein – @ericcweinsteinn

Finally, a win.

The Knicks finally ended the six game losing streak tonight against the Milwaukee Bucks After a heartbreaking loss on Wednesday thanks to Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Knicks returned the favor and took down the Bucks, 116-111. Kristaps Porzingis returned after a three game absence to score 26 points for New York. Carmelo Anthony led the way with maybe his best all-around game of the season with 26 points, 10 assists, and 6 rebounds. 17 assists in the past two games for Carmelo, which is the highest assists count over two games he has had in his career.

Most notably, we had a Ron Baker crunch time minutes extravaganza with him finishing 6 points and 4 assists, all in the fourth quarter. Bravo Ron, Bravo. Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker both led the Bucks with 25 points each, and Greg Monroe had 19 points off the bench.

Takeaways from this game: Continue reading

Episode 362: Some Positivity

Marc and Jay talk about the last few games, Phil’s breakup, George Carl’s comments, trade deadline, the ever improving bench

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IT’S TIME FOR HORNACEK TO STEP IT UP

IT’S TIME FOR HORNACEK TO STEP IT UP

 Written by Guillem – @GoodOldLiam

Don’t get me wrong. I like what Hornacek has done so far.

Did I expect more? Not really. I liked what he did in Phoenix. How he had a creative offense, a fun team to watch. How he did the A/B teams, showing he will get the best out of the full roster. And I like his character.

He’s just done what I expected; I expected very good things from him.

Now he needs to find ways to improve the performance of the team. Not just wins. Offense and defense.

Right now we are 14th in offense and 25th in defense. With a net rating of -2.9, we are the 20th best team. However, in terms of winning %, we are 12th.

What does that mean? Continue reading

New York Knicks vs Indiana Pacers – 12/20/16

New York Knicks vs Indiana Pacers
Game 28: December 20, 2016
Knicks 118, Pacers 111

Written by Eric Weinstein – @ericcweinsteinn

‘Member Carmelo? ‘Member how he can score efficiently? Yeah, I ‘member!

The Knicks finally returned home after their long west coast trip to face the Indiana Pacers at Madison Square Garden. After falling behind in the third quarter, the Knicks stormed back and took the lead back in the fourth quarter to win the game 118-111. Carmelo Anthony snapped out of his shooting slump to lead the Knicks with 35 points on 13-25 shooting, which was the first time he shot over 50% in what feels like forever. I’ve been incredibly critical of Carmelo the past few weeks, but he showed his elite offensive game tonight. The returning Derrick Rose had 24 points and 6 assists, and Kristaps Porzingis 21 points and 8 rebounds. The big three put on a show for the home crowd and brought the Knicks all the way back. Thad Young and Myles Turner led the Pacers with 21 points each, and Paul George had 16 points.

Takeaways from this game:

Continue reading

Episode 361: The Sky is Falling

Marc and Jay talk about the losing streak, injuries, the roster, Noah, and more

Listen to Episode 361 on Itunes

Listen to the Almighty Baller Podcast Network on iTunes

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Download Episode 361

New York Knicks at Minnesota Timberwolves – 11/30/16 – Game Recap

New York Knicks at Minnesota Timberwolves
Game 18: November 30, 2016
Knicks 106, Wolves 104

Written by Eric Weinstein – @ericcweinsteinn

Why do you do this to me Carmelo? Why?

After I had been talking and tweeting about how Carmelo Anthony needed to stop shooting and Porzingis should take the last shot, Anthony came out and hit the game winning jumper to defeat the Timberwolves in Minnesota. The Knicks held on after blowing a 17 point fourth quarter lead to win 106-104. Kristaps Porzingis led New York with 29 points on 11/20 shooting, but he wasn’t the story of tonight’s game. Karl-Anthony Towns, taken three picks ahead of KP in the 2015 draft, had a career high 47 points on 22 shots, along with 18 rebounds. Whoever the Knicks threw at him defensively, whether it was Kyle O’Quinn, KP, or Marshall Plumlee, it didn’t matter. Dude was in an unstoppable zone tonight, and man was that fun to watch.

Takeaways from this game:

Resiliency

The Knicks were without Joakim Noah, who sat out the game with an ankle sprain, and Courtney Lee had an early exit as well due to injury. New York had to turn to guys like Sasha Vujacic, Marshall Plumlee, Brandon Jennings, and Mindaugus Kuzminskas, who each stepped up in the minutes they played. Jennings had 12 points and 7 assists, Kuz scored a career high 14 points, Plumlee played 20 energized minutes, and Sasha hit a few key jumpers early in the 4th.

Excellent job by these guys to hold the lead for the Knicks as they overcame injuries and ineffective play by key starters. Nice to see the guys that don’t play much be ready to step in if their name gets called.

KAT on the attack: Continue reading

New York Knicks Vs Toronto Raptors – 11/12/16 – Game Recap

New York Knicks Vs Toronto Raptors
Game 9: November 12, 2016
Raptors 118, Knicks 107

Written by Eric Weinstein – @ericcweinsteinn

Can SOMEBODY play some defense?

On the second night of a back to back, the Knicks lost another tough game, as they dropped this one to the Toronto Raptors, 118-107. Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 31 points, but that wasn’t enough to defeat the Raptors. DeMar DeRozan, the NBA’s leading scorer, paced Toronto with 33 points.

Takeaways from this game:

This team cannot defend, which should be news to nobody:

I don’t know if I could count how many easy baskets the Raptors scored tonight. Whether it was Kyle Lowry and Norman Powell getting to the rim, or open threes for the Raptors shooters, it was they were warming up. And when the Knicks decided to try and play solid D, they ended up bailing them out with a foul, (See, “Courtney Lee“ who had a tough time guarding DeRozan in the third quarter). The Raptors took 38 free throw attempts, making 33, and shot 47 percent from the field. Watching Raptors players drive past Joakim Noah (who did have a really nice game with 18 rebounds) was so frustrating, and the fouling by basically everyone on the roster was maddening. Clyde always says, “Play defense with you feet, and not your hands.” Maybe they should’ve hired him as the defensive coach.

DeMar DeRozan is a problem:

This dude can fill it up. DeRozan had 33 points tonight, which is actually one point below his average for the season, but the way he scores is so fun to watch. DeRozan barely takes any shots from behind the arc, and is so smooth with his drives to the rim and mid-range jumpers. A true throwback, and fun to watch. It would be more fun if he didn’t play for a team in the same division, but what can you do.

KP’s Dunk:

Not a lot to say about this, only that it was so dope. Love this man.

Other notes:

The story of this game was defense. The Knicks scored 107 points, which is more than enough to win in the NBA. Derrick Rose, Carmelo Anthony, and Kristaps Porzingis all looked great on the offensive end of the floor, but the team defense is atrocious, and you don’t need me to tell you that. Until that improves, the Knicks are going to lose a lot of games like this. The bright spot in this game is that they really competed against a team that most people would say is better than them, and hung around the whole game. It was about as intense and entertaining as a November game could get. The Knicks get the injury riddled Dallas Mavericks on Monday night at the Garden, led by Harrison Barnes. Let’s hope they learn how to defend before that one. 3-6.

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