New York Knicks vs. Orlando Magic – 1/2/17 – Game Recap

New York Knicks vs. Orlando Magic
Game 34: January 2, 2017
Magic 115, Knicks 103

Written by Eric Weinstein – @ericcweinsteinn

This game was what I like to call, “bowling shoe ugly.”

So after dropping four games in a row, The Knicks hosted the Orlando Magic on Monday night in a game that most thought would be a nice way for them to get back to their winning ways and snap out of this funk. Even without Kristaps Porzingis, the Magic should have been an easy win, right? Wrong. In a miserable game, the Knicks lost to the Magic, 115-103. Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 19 points, and Derrick Rose went for 18 points and 4 assists. Jodie Meeks, AKA Ray Allen, apparently, paced Orlando with 26 points on 7-9 shooting, including 6-7 from downtown. Serge Ibaka and Aaron Gordon each put up 22 points for the Magic.

Takeaways from this game:

All around bad:

Not much to takeaway from this game, as the Knicks were just plain bad on pretty much all aspects of this one. Their defense on the three point line was basically non-existent against a team that doesn’t shoot a high percentage from anywhere, and guys were just camping out in the paint for offensive rebounds and easy putbacks. Players like Elfrid Payton and Nikola Vucevic, who are in the doghouse down in Orlando, tore the Knicks apart coming off the bench. Both these guys had double-doubles, and the Knicks had no answer for them defensively.

Orlando shot 49% from the floor, and 48% from behind the three point line. You make it hard for yourself if you allow a team to shoot like that, not to mention the 35 assists they handed out.

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2015/16 Knicks Roster Power Rankings – Week 9

The Knicks go 3-1 this week.  In keeping with their trend, no more than 2 or 3 guys are allowed to play really well in any single game.  Fortunately for the Knicks 1 of those guys has been Melo all week, and when Melo plays really well the Knicks have a great chance at winning.
Rank Player Comments Last weeks Rank
1 Anthony, Carmelo This was an easy call.  Melo shot lights out against the Magic and Bulls.  He didn’t have a great shooting night against the Wolves, but had a season high in assists, 1 shy of a triple double.  The Knicks look like a playoff team when Melo is firing on all cylindars. 1
2 Thomas, Lance What insane world are we living in where Lance Thomas has been the Knicks 2nd best player AND the Knicks won most of the games?  I’m finally convinced, sorry for all the hate Lance.  I’ll add my newly found surplus of hate to the Vujacic section. 4
3 Afflalo, Arron Until the dud against the Magic Arron has been a legit 2nd scoring option next to Melo. It says a lot that the one game this week he couldn’t get it going was the 1 game the Knicks lost. 2
4 O’Quinn, Kyle The basketball gods giveth and the basketball gods taketh away.  O’Quinn was becoming a really key part of the bench until he was held out of the Magic game with an undesclosed ankle injury.  When the Knicks don’t disclose an injury it usually means something bad.  Kyle is probably getting his foot amputated. 3
5 Galloway, Langston Looks like Galloway is slowly coming out of his slump, giving the backcourt some much needed support.  And the better Langston plays, the less we have to see of Sasha. Continue reading

Draft Preview # 2.1: Prospect Evaluation

Written by Ian Ellis (iellis2018@yahoo.com)

‘Sup folks, today we look at the most important part of the draft, the players (duh). Let’s see who the heck these people are, their strengths & weaknesses and how they would fit in with our Knicks. In this 4 part series, there are four tiers I will place all the players in: the hopefuls, the most likely, the trade downs and the buy-a-picks.  

The Hopefuls

These are the players that will most likely be picked before the Knicks are up at four, but due to a draft day slide, they might be available. Also, no, I’m not gonna look at Karl Anthony Towns. There is no way he’s still available at four.

Jahlil Okafor:

DURHAM, NC - DECEMBER 15:  Jahlil Okafor #15 of the Duke Blue Devils reacts after a basket against the Elon Phoenix during their game at Cameron Indoor Stadium on December 15, 2014 in Durham, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

NBA Player Comparison: Al Jefferson

Highlights: HERE

We start off with Jahlil Okafor, the post scoring dynamo from Duke. Jahlil came out Chicago’s Whitney Young High School as Illinois’s Mr. basketball and ESPN’s Top Recruit in there ESPN 100 for 2014, and along with buddy Tyus Jones, signed with Duke University. While at Duke, he did not disappoint. Starting off by winning the co – MVP in both the McDonald’s All American game and Jordan Brand Classic, Okafor averaged 17.3 points on 66% shooting, along with 8.5 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in his freshman year at Duke, that culminated in leading his team to a National Championship. In addition to that hardware, he was a Consensus first-team All-American, won the USBWA National Freshman of the year award, won the ACC player of the year award and won the Pete Newell Big Man of the year award (yeah, that’s a lot). When you think of his game, it all revolves around his post game. He has one of the most sophisticated post games that we’ve seen in awhile, enough to be compared to Tim Duncan’s. He will immediately be able score once he enters the league. In addition to that, he is also a very good passer out of the post, so finding open shooters wouldn’t be a problem with him (Amaré Stoudemire should take some notes…). Once we look past these strengths, there are some real weaknesses to his game. First, there is the defense. He is not a rim protector, which can be seen by his measly 4.6 block percentage, which is similar to Nikola Vucevic and Spencer Hawes. In addition, he is a terrible pick & roll defender, so especially with the fact this is the most run play in the NBA, teams could really attack him (trust me, you don’t wanna see a Calderon, Okafor pick & roll defense). But, there is also a disclaimer: Jahlil played on a very shallow Duke team, with his only backup being Marshall Plumlee. So, it was best for Okafor to not be aggressive on defense and get fouls, because they needed him to score to win. Am I saying Okafor is suddenly a good defender, no way, just merely that he’s probably not as bad as advertised. His other big weakness is his shooting. He shot an abysmal 51% from the line, and doesn’t really have a jump shot meaning he won’t be able to spread out defenses. You can see that I compared him to Al Jefferson, but really think that’s his floor: a consistent 20 & 10 guy who can score in the post, with below average defense. A better comparison might be Tim Duncan, but comparing Okafor’s defense to Duncan’s is insulting. Now how would he get to and fit with the Knicks? Well, assuming Towns goes first, maybe L.A decides that they prefer one of the guards in D’angelo Russell or Emmanuel Mudiay. Philly then picks the other guard, because they already have Joel Embiid and Nerlens Noel (or the guy Marc can’t pronounce). Then there he is and Knicks get him at four. While this may seem crazy, some NBA executives think that this will happen. With the Knicks, he would be the primary focus of the offense in the paint, and be a consistent 16 and 7 starting his rookie season. This would allow Carmelo to play more outside. This would also mean that Phil would have to bring in one more defensive minded frontcourt player, because Carmelo + Okafor could = atrocious defense. All in all, Jahlil Okafor has the potential to become a franchise big man for the next decade or so. Continue reading