|The holidays got in the way so this raking will cover two weeks and 6 games. Unfortunately 4 of those games are losses and injuries are finally playing a factor.|
|Rank||Player||Comments||Last weeks Rank|
|1||Hardaway Jr., Tim||Well I didn’t see this coming. Hardaway has kicked it up a couple notches since last rankings. He’s still inconsistent but in addition to scoring he’s been rebounding and assisting at an impressive rate.||3|
|2||Porzingis, Kristaps||Porzingis shot has still been way off since it came out that his elbow has been injured. Still he’s been averaging over 20ppg and is still the prohibitive favorite among the most improved players 1/4 through the season.||1|
|3||Lee, Courtney||Other than the first Raptors game Lee has played well. On a team of inconsistent players the consistency has been appreciated.||2|
|4||Jack, Jarrett||Jack had a 14 assist game this week. It was in a loss to the Hawks, but still.||6|
|5||O’Quinn, Kyle||O’Quinn isn’t the best player but man is he fun to watch. Gotta love his energy.||8|
|6||Kanter, Enes||The Knicks have a lot of big guys but not a lot of good ones. This was really apparent when Kanter went down. Bonus points for trolling LeBron.||5|
|7||McDermott, Doug||Can’t put all the blame on McDermott but his +/- this week raises all the eyebrows.||7|
|8||Beasley, Michael||Beasley had 24 points at the half against the Rockets. In the 2nd half he showed why so many teams gave up on him. He didn’t even cross half court on a couple defensive stints.||11|
|9||Ntilikina, Frank||Frank had a rough couple weeks. He’s looked out of his element lately. Coach seems to notice too, his minutes are way down.||4|
|11||Dotson, Damyean||Didn’t get to see much of Damyean lately.||10|
|12||Noah, Joakim||3 minutes in the last 2 weeks. Noah is going to get run in Westchester this week, that’s the way to slowly bring him back. I like it.||12|
|13||Baker, Ron||Baker is also playing in Westchester this week. If you’re doing the math that’s over $20 million in salary playing in Westchester instead of MSG.||14|
|14||Hernangomez, Willy||Willy has been so bad I went from ‘the Knicks have too many big men’ to ‘I wonder what Luke Kornet is up to?’||13|
|15||Sessions, Ramon||Nothing to see here.||15|
Will the Knicks make the post season?
The Mecca has been rocking of late with some impressive Knick performances, even the heart breaking come back loss handed to them by Cleveland was great to watch. Porzingis’s down tick in shooting percentage has gone unnoticed with Tim Hardaway Jr coming out party, highlighted by the dagger three at the end of the Utah game on Wednesday, a week after scoring 38 points against Toronto at MSG. Production from other role plays has also been important in jumping out to a good start. Lee, O’Quinn, Jack and Thomas have all been better than expectations at the beginning of the season.
So, what’s next for this gritty new Knicks team? In this unpredictable Eastern conference, it is too easy to fantasize about playoff basketball, and the Knicks will have to continue to improve to make it there.
The triangle is out of sight and out of mind. Horneck has been given full control of the
offense and now the offense is going to run. Unsurprisingly (given the Knicks personnel) they have managed to create an identity as a team that can run in transition, ranking in the top 10 in points added through transition (per 100 possessions). Getting out in transition is one thing but the Knicks have also remained efficient ranking 7th in transition points scored (per 100 transition plays), and 12th at finishing at the rim.
The numbers illustrate how the Knicks are trying to play, however to be successful against the better teams they will need to emphasis transition opportunities more often. We have seen New York resort to iso situations even off a steal, which slows the offense down and lets the opposing defense set up.
Another warning sign that the offense maybe struggling more than it seems is the inability to turn steals into transition points. So far, this year the Knicks rank 27th in transition points added through steals. This combined with the efficiency or lack of the Knicks are showing in transition is a worrying sign for the 10-7 New York squad.
Defensively, the Knicks have been dramatically up and down. Just over a week ago Kyle
Korver highlighted the main blundering point, defending the three-point line. This weakness was also taken advantage of by the tanking Hawks. The Knicks are one of the worst teams in the league at defending the three-point line, especially from the corners. In a three-point shooting league the team will struggle to make it to the post season without improving their close out defense. Otherwise we may start to see even more games get away from the Knicks like we saw against, Toronto (at Air Canada), Cleveland, and Atlanta.
The Knicks can’t rely on Kristaps through 82 games.
Versus both the Clippers and Raptors this week the Knicks have taken some further baby steps towards consistency. Even more encouraging for the blue and orange is Tim Hardaway Jr’s performances. Offensively the shooting guard has grown into his roll, taking less contested 3-pointers and getting to and finishing at the rim. Hardaway Jr’s performances have meant the Knicks have pulled out wins without completely relying on KP. As the season continues Timmy’s offense will become even more important, and he has to stay aggressive in attacking the rim if the Knicks are serious about staying over .500.
Unbelievably, THJ’s defense has also been worth writing about. Defensively, Hardaway has become more like his team mate Courtney Lee instead of 2015-16 James Harden. Once-upon-a- time, the young shooting guard would reach constantly, and become a turn table when confronted with a driving opponent. Nowadays, NY’s number 3 is moving his feet, muscling over screens, and stealing the ball from lackadaisical ball handlers. Hardaway Jr will never transform into Tony Allen, but if he can remain average on the defensive end the Knicks become a much better team.
Nothing illustrated the Knicks defensive improvements more than the third quarter on
Wednesday night vs division rivals Toronto.
However, the defensive effort has to be there for the Knicks 8/10 games if they want to hold on to one of those magical playoff seeds.
So, can the Knicks finally make a playoff run?
That’s to be decided, but they are making progress.
Pistons 111, Knicks 107 – Where do the Knicks go from here?
The odds on a top draft pick going to New York at the end of the season just increased after what can only be described as a ‘routine’ loss for the Knicks Saturday night.
Leading by as many as 21 points in the first half, the visiting Pistons were sluggish and
noticeably off their game after coming off a loss to the Wizards the night before. However, a 13-point half time lead quickly became 1 point following a characteristic Knicks collapse in the 3rd quarter, and it wasn’t long before Detroit had the lead in the 4th quarter.
$71m man Tim Hardaway Jr. had a night to forget in front of the Knicks faithful, as he only hit 1 of his first 12 attempts from the field, including 0 of 6 from 3pt range. Blame can fairly be placed on his shoulders, as KP’s 33 points (including 23 in the first half) should’ve been more than enough to see the Knicks to their first win of the season, providing his teammates could produce even a semblance of scoring and defense.
For the team’s second scoring option, Hardaway’s night would’ve looked even worse if it wasn’t for the impressive performances from both Enes Kanter and Kyle O’Quinn, who combined for 32 points and 17 rebounds in around 24 minutes on the floor each. I would argue that apart from Kanter and KOQ, none of the Knicks supporting players had games to remember.
Courtney Lee had a dismal 4 points 2 rebounds and 1 assist in 28 minutes of action, and
whilst Ramon Sessions had a passable Continue reading
Marc and Jay talk about the Hardaway Jr. signing, Griffin bows out of the Knicks front office job, what moves are left, Rondo, and more
New York Knicks vs Atlanta Hawks
Game 40: January 16, 2017
Hawks 108, Knicks 107
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.
Written by William Lee
Written by William Lee
The New York Knicks lose their fourth straight game Saturday night, losing to the Atlanta Hawks 103-96.
Derek Fisher decided to go small against the Hawks, inserting Tim Hardaway Jr. in to the starting lineup in favor of Jason Smith. The strategical move looked great early on with the increased floor spacing freeing up Carmelo Anthony on offense, whom has struggled early on this season. Anthony started the game off strongly, making his first shot of the game. Anthony played extremely well in the first quarter, almost notching a double-double in the first twelve minutes of play with 14 points and 8 rebounds. Anthony strong start led the way for New York to an early 32-20 first quarter lead.
Curiously Fisher kept Anthony in the game to start the second quarter after playing the whole first quarter. Fisher thought better of it, and pulled him out a one minute into the second quarter. With Anthony on the bench, Atlanta shortly would go on an 8-0 run. By the time Anthony was subbed back into the game mid-way through the second quarter, the Knick’s lead which was at one point 15, was now cut down to one possession 38-35. With Anthony back in the game, the overall energy of the team seemed to have picked up, freeing the other Knicks up to score. New York would finish the quarter strong heading into the half with a 61-48 lead. Continue reading
Written by William Lee
Wednesday night was a battle of ineptitude on offense, with Detroit literally being the worst offensive team in the league, being ranked at the bottom for all offensive statistical categories. New York don’t fare any better, being the second worst in points per game at 88.5 points per game.
It was a strange and ugly game to start. It being a battle between Jason Smith, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, both of whom went perfect from the field, scoring 11 points in the first quarters. Both received little help from their teammates, with each team struggling 42.9% from the field. Caldwell-Pope got a little more help than Smith though with Detroit leading 25-20 after the first quarter.
Knicks who were already extremely short-handed with the injuries to Andrea Bargnani and Jose Calderon, as well as J.R. Smith serving an suspension (Jason Smith getting the start), the only backup point guard Pablo Prigioni turned his ankle early in the second quarter. Continue reading