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 Indiana Pacers – 3/14/17 – Game Recap

New York Knicks vs Indiana Pacers
March 14, 2017
Knicks 87, Pacers 81

Written by Eric Weinstein – @ericcweinsteinn

The Indiana Pacers aren’t fans of snow, apparently.

The blizzard in New York City couldn’t keep the basketball out of MSG tonight as the Indiana Pacers came to town to wrap up the season series against the Knickerbockers. In a season without many bright spots, the Knicks put on an excellent performance in their building, to give the fans something to cheer about. Kristaps Porzingis was the biggest story tonight, as he left the game with a leg thigh contusion, because this season can’t have a high, without delivering a low immediately afterwards.

After the exit of the unicorn, it was Carmelo Anthony and Willy Hernangomez who put the Knicks on their back in the fourth to lead the Knicks to a win, 87-81. Anthony and Hernangomez were scoring, defending, and rebounding at an incredible rate, as both men pulled down double-digit rebounds for their respective double-doubles. Carmelo scored 22 to lead the Knicks, and Hernangomez scored 13 points and grabbed 16 boards. Derrick Rose also scored 16 points and continued to knock down mid-range jumpers.

The biggest story from this game? Defense. The Knicks played excellent defense tonight, and you read that correctly. The Knicks ACTUALLY played tough defense against a decent opponent. Credit to these guys to playing hard all game long and showing fight in another lost season. The Knicks could have easily played down and crawled to the finish, but they hung tough to give the paying customers what they traveled through the snow to see.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, how could the guy who has been one of the biggest advocates of the tank be okay with a win against a playoff team? I’ll tell you why, it’s because even though it goes against what I really think the Knicks should be doing, I love this team too damn much to not be happy about a win. During the 17 win season, the Knicks won a few games at the end of the season that knocked their draft position back a few spots, but I don’t see a win like this mattering too much. Everyone has to accept the fact that New York will land somewhere between the 6-10 pick range, and that should be just fine for everyone. This team isn’t bad enough to get to the top-5 mark with such little time left in the season.

Knicks are back in action against the tank-a-licious Brooklyn Nets in another riveting battle for New York City. Get your popcorn ready, this one will be brutal. 27-41.

New York Knicks at Detroit Pistons – 3/11/17 – Game Recap

New York Knicks at Detroit Pistons
March 11, 2017
Pistons 112, Knicks 92

Written by Eric Weinstein – @ericcweinsteinn

Same game, different day.

In what will be the final time the Knicks face the Pistons at the Palace of Auburn Hills, the Knicks once again failed to show up on the road. New York came out flat and allowed the Pistons to jump out to an early lead, one that was too much to overcome. New York showed fight and cut the deficit over the next three quarters, but were blown out at the end of the fourth.

Kristaps Porzingis led New York with 18 points to go along with 6 rebounds and 4 assists. He set up Willy Hernangomez on a number of nice bounce passes while set up in the post, passes that become possible through the triangle offense. Carmelo Anthony was invisible for another game, only scoring 13 points on 4-9 shooting, to go along with 4 assists. Chasson Randle made great use of more extended minutes to score 12 points, pull down 3 rebounds, and dish out 3 assists. The Knicks may have found something with this kid and he needs to see the floor more as the season comes to a close. Long Island product Tobias Harris led Detroit with 28 points, and Andre Drummond scored 24 points and grabbed 15 rebounds.

It’s just more of the same with the New York Knicks as we keep rolling along here, with the team not being committed on defense, as well as having difficulty with an often stagnant offense.

When Carmelo has nights like tonight, where he doesn’t seem to even be interested in the game, really, it’s going to be tough for the Knicks offense to get going. When the top gun struggles, the team will struggle.

I turned the game off midway through the fourth quarter. It’s just too painful.

After today, the Knicks are currently six games back of Milwaukee with Charlotte, Miami, and Chicago ahead of them. Barring a miracle, this team is not making the playoffs, and that’s easy to see. It makes sense for the Knicks to go into this last stretch of the season seeing what they have in some of the guys who don’t play much. Guys like Randle, Ron Baker, Mindaugus Kuzminskas, Marshall Plumlee, among others, should all be playing more than they are. The Knicks know what they have with guys like Derrick Rose and Courtney Lee, so why not see if these other guys have a future with the team? It’s an easy answer, one that the Knicks don’t seem to understand.

Another back to back situation on Sunday, as the Knicks fly home, but will need to hop on the subway to Brooklyn for a Sunday evening affair with the Brooklyn Nets. This game should be renamed the tankapalooza, considering the participants. Chin up everyone, it’ll all be over soon.

26-40.

New York Knicks vs Toronto Raptors – 2/27/17 – Game Recap

New York Knicks vs Toronto Raptors
February 27, 2017
Raptors 92, Knicks 91

Written by Eric Weinstein – @ericcweinsteinn

Once Rose got switched on DeRozan, you could see the end result coming.

An old school, defense first, Eastern Conference matchup took place at the world’s most famous arena tonight when the new-look Toronto Raptors came to town. Both teams would be without important players tonight, with Kristaps Porzingis out for the Knicks, and Kyle Lowry out for the Raptors. The Knicks were also without Joakim Noah, who will miss the rest of the season, and Brandon Jennings, who was waived earlier in the day. Chasson Randle replaced Jennings on the roster, and he did not see any action tonight. This was a battle of all-stars as DeMar DeRozan had another game where he could show off just how gifted an offensive player he is. DeRozan finished with 37 points on 25 shots, including the game winner over Derrick Rose with 1.9 left in regulation. Carmelo Anthony had a tough shooting night, but led the Knicks with 24 points on 9/26 shooting.

If you’re somebody who wants the Knicks to tank on the rest of this disappointing season, then this was the perfect game for you to watch. An entertaining, down to the wire game was just what the tank enthusiasts were looking for, just for entertainment value alone. Games like this can almost make the idea of tanking again, bearable.

There were positives all over this one, starting with Lance Thomas, who was once again inserted into the starting lineup to replace the injured Kristaps Porzingis. Lance put up decent numbers, he scored 12 points and pulled down 6 rebounds, but the intangibles he brought to this game were what the Knicks wanted when they resigned him this past summer. Diving for loose balls and solid defense was the key to Lance’s game tonight, and that’s something to watch moving forward. Along with Lance, Courtney Lee continued to prove he was worth the money as well, and he finished with 16 points, 3 three pointers, 5 steals, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists. Lee also drained a three pointer late in the fourth quarter that gave the Knicks the lead before DeRozan took it back from them. Lee and Thomas were the two best players on the court tonight for New York, and these guys will be important for next years team.

The real problem for the Knicks tonight, and this season, has been a lack of killer instinct. Once again, the Knicks had a 17 point lead over their opponent, and weren’t able to finish the job and leave with a win. The Knicks did everything right on the defensive side of the ball, holding a talented Raptors squad to just 92 points, which is well below their seasons average of 108.5.

They were hustling and sticking with their man, and showed the type of fight we’ve all been looking for all season, and it still wasn’t enough. Credit to Toronto to the moves they made last week, because the acquisitions of PJ Tucker and Serge Ibaka are going to do wonders for their team defense. To see those guys every night and have to deal with them defensively is going to be tough for any Eastern Conference team in the postseason.

Depending on what side you’re on, you left this game with a sigh of relief, or a broken heart.

Knicks and Magic, Wednesday at 7 PM. Talk to you all soon.

By the way, if you like college basketball, seeing Ron Baker and Fred VanVleet defending one another was pretty cool. Those guys were a lot of fun to watch at Wichita State, and they played in a ton of big games. Shoutout to the Wheat Shockers.

New York Knicks vs Philadelphia 76ers – 2/26/17 – Game Recap

New York Knicks vs Philadelphia 76ers
February 26, 2017
Knicks 110, 76ers 109

Written by Eric Weinstein – @ericcweinsteinn

Melo to the rescue… I guess?

The Philadelphia 76ers strolled into MSG tonight to face the struggling New York Knicks in an Atlantic Division matchup that turned quite interesting. New York had a 17 point lead in the third quarter, but squandered it and needed some late game heroics from Carmelo Anthony to defeat the 76ers, 110-109. We had another vintage Melo game tonight, and he led the way with 37 points to go along with 6 rebounds. Derrick Rose, who was not in Chicago like he joked about yesterday (not cool Derrick), finished the game with 18 points. The heavily shopped Jahlil Okafor had an excellent game with 28 points and 10 rebounds. Dario Saric, another talented young 76er, finished with 19 points, 15 rebounds, and 5 assists. That guy can ball. The Sixers have a ton of young talent, and we didn’t even see Joel Embiid tonight, who was out with an injury.

Joacim Noah and Kristaps Porzingis were out as well.

This game was Carmelo saying he wont go down without a fight. He knows that this season went south real fast, but he is going to do whatever he can to get this team into the postseason.

Here’s the problem, the Knicks had to beat an Embiid-less 76ers team on the last play of the game. Without Embiid, this team is just what they’ve been over the past four years, and that’s bad. A game winning shot is nice and all, but to blow a 17 point lead against this team? Not good.

There were some bright spots in this game, of course. Willy Hernangomez and Kyle O’Quinn proved to be an effective front court pairing once again, and Lance Thomas filled in admirably for the injured Kristaps Porzingis. Lance had one of his better games tonight, and he even had a four point play. Mazel Tov, Lance. As well as those guys, Justin Holiday hit some big shots down the stretch, and he continues to bring solid defense off the bench. Holiday is playing himself into a tie contract from the Knicks, but I bet the Knicks let him go to sign Jerry Stackhouse or something.

This was a nice win, and it was cool to see Carmelo once again put the team on his back like he’s done so many times before. I know we’re all firmly on the tank bandwagon once again, but a win every once in a while could be fun. Not that we would know that, since we like the Knicks.

The Knicks take the Garden floor on Monday to take on the new look Raptors in another Atlantic Division matchup. This will make the tank enthusiasts happy, as the Raptors continue to prove that they are one of the elite teams in the Eastern Conference. Talk to you all on Monday. 24-35.

New York Knicks vs. Denver Nuggets – 2/10/17 – Game Recap

New York Knicks vs. Denver Nuggets
February 10, 2017
Nuggets 131, Knicks 123

Written by Eric Weinstein – @ericcweinsteinn

The real way to punish Charles Oakley was to make him watch this game.

The New York Knicks, for lack of a better term, suck. Plain and simple. A team that scores 120+ points wins 9 out of 10 times. This time was the one of the ten. The Denver Nuggets, who aren’t exactly the cream of the crop of the Western Conference, came into Madison Square Garden and steamrolled the Knicks. The Knick defense, if you can even call it defense, continues to be horrible, as they made a mediocre Nuggets team look like the ShowTime Lakers. It’s time to accept what this team is: a bottom feeder.

This one is going to be short and sweet, because I hate the fact that I continue to repeat myself. Carmelo Anthony had another great scoring night and led the team with 31 points, but like, who cares? He continues to put up great numbers on offense, and the defense makes it so unimportant. Everyone wanted to see Kristaps Porzingis play center, and they got their wish, and it showed that he isn’t ready to play center in the NBA. Derrick Rose and Brandon Jennings were the starting guards tonight, and offensively it worked, but these guys need to get better on defense to be just awful. There’s a theme tonight ladies and gentleman, the defense is the reason this team will continue to lose, and lose badly.

Shout out to Jimmy Dolan and Phil Jackson for ruining the New York Knicks. We deserve better than this. By the way, the point guard from Washington, Markelle Fultz, is incredible. Look him up and pray for the first pick in the draft.

New York Knicks at Brooklyn Nets – 2/1/17 – Game Recap

New York Knicks at Brooklyn Nets
Game 51: February 1, 2017
Knicks 95, Nets 90

Written by Eric Weinstein – @ericcweinsteinn

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 – 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 vs Washington Wizards – 1/20/17 – Game Recap

New York Knicks vs Washington Wizards
Game 44: January 20, 2017

Written by Eric Weinstein – @ericcweinsteinn

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 vs Atlanta Hawks – 1/16/17 – Game Recap

New York Knicks vs Atlanta Hawks
Game 40: January 16, 2017
Hawks 108, Knicks 107

Written by Eric Weinstein – @ericcweinsteinn

Can your heart break if it is already broken?

The annual MLK Day Matinee at Madison Square Garden saw the New York Knicks take on the Atlanta Hawks. The Knicks, who showed little effort against Toronto in the previous game, came out fighting against the Hawks. The biggest story from this one was the insertion of Ron Baker and Mindaugus Kuzminskas into the starting lineup, and both of those two delivered. Baker scored 12 points, all three pointers, and Kuz had 14 points. Carmelo Anthony delivered 30 points on an efficient 10/16 shooting, but missed a key put-back at the end of the game. Dennis Schroder scored 28 points for the Hawks, and former Knick Tim Hardaway Jr scored 20 points.

A real positive from this game was that the Knicks actually showed up to play this afternoon, but morale victories aren’t going to make this sting any less. Carmelo, one game after his comments about the rumors of him waiving his no-trade clause, showed up with a #VintageMeloGame and was scoring from all over the court. Three pointers, drives, pull ups, were all working for him today. Offense continues to not be the issue for the New York Knicks.

It’s the porous defense, most notably from the guards, that is killing the Knicks.

On multiple possessions, Derrick Rose and Brandon Jennings were letting Dennis Schroder get right into the paint and score at will. Schroder is a solid guard who can score, but he should have to work to get his points. It shouldn’t look like a layup line for him. On the other hand, the Knicks forwards were frustrating Paul Millsap for the entire game, as he scored 17 points on 18 shots. He had 6 assists, but he was constantly taking tough shots, as well as missing a few easy ones.

As for the final play of the game, it doesn’t matter whether Derrick Rose was fouled or not, that isn’t why they lost the game. The Knicks missed 8 free throws throughout the game, and shot 8-26 behind the three point line, which is good for 30%. Also, 18 turnovers for 18 points given up by the Knick offense today, which is too high of a number.

I don’t even want to mention this, but it needs to be said. Kris Humphries had 14 points and 3 three pointers tonight. Yeah, the dude who Kim Kardashian married for like 18 minutes was killing the Knicks in the third quarter. If that isn’t rock bottom, I don’t know what is. Perimeter defense needs to be the subject of every single practice from now until the end of the season, otherwise this thing will never get turned around.

The Knicks take on the Celtics Wednesday night at the Garden on the first game of a back to back, and the third game in four nights. Remember what I said about defense on the perimeter? Well, it’s really going to be a focus when Isaiah Thomas walks onto the Garden floor, because we all know that dude can fill it up.

Keep your heads up everyone, it’s almost time for pitchers and catchers to report. 17-23.