Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Knicks Crush Blazers in Mike Woodson's 1st Game as Head Coach

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The New York Knicks beat the Portland Trail Blazers 121-79 today at home after Mike D'Antoni stepped down as head coach of the team earlier in the day.

In Mike Woodson's first game as interim head coach of the struggling and inconsistent Knicks, they beat the Blazers by 42 points in a huge victory.

Play-by-play isn't necessary for this game. This game was all Knicks from the start and they didn't look back. Portland played an all-around awful game while New York clicked on all cylinders.

J.R. Smith was the game's leading scorer. He heated up in the second half and finished with 23 points and seven 3-pointers off the bench. That being said, he was 8-18 from the field, which isn't overly great.

Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire both played well. They only played 25 minutes each, but made their minutes count. Melo had 16 points and 7 assists, while Amar'e scored 17 points and grabbed 8 rebounds.

Jeremy Lin started and had 6 points and 6 assists, while Baron Davis scored 4 points and dished out 10 assists. Lin had 6 turnovers and Davis only had one. I wouldn't be surprised if Woodson starts Davis over Lin in the next game.

Thirteen Knicks played tonight. Woodson gave a lot of minutes to players off the bench. Steve Novak scored a season-high 20 points and made six 3-pointers. Iman Shumpert scored 16 points and dished out 3 assists. Jared Jeffries came back from a knee injury and finished with 4 points and 4 rebounds. Even Mike Bibby and Jerome Jordan got some minutes! Bibby had 4 assists and 2 rebounds and Jordan had 2 points and 2 rebounds. Woodson played every player on the team that was in uniform. I would have liked to see Toney Douglas play, but he was inactive.

Player of the Game: Mike Woodson (He's not a player, but you know what I mean)

What does this game mean for the Knicks? I don't think it means too much because it was only one game. The Knicks beating their opponent by 42 in their first game without D'Antoni as head coach may not be a coincidence, but time will tell. That being said, Woodson made a statement by coaching the Knicks to victory and I expect things to start going better for the Knicks from here on out.

What does this mean about a possible trade before the deadline tomorrow? I don't think the Knicks will make a move. They already have their hands full with having a new head coach and they're coming off an incredible victory. However, if they can find a team that wants Bill Walker, they should trade him.

(Photo Courtesy: Yahoo! Sports - "NBA: Portland at New York - Mar 14, 2012" http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/games/2012031418/gallery;_ylt=AszT.r4E2TV0.2H02BGzDk.PvLYF)

Have any thoughts on the Knicks beating the Blazers? Should the Knicks have fired Mike D'Antoni? Will the Knicks still make a trade before the trade deadline? Leave a comment below and tell me what you think.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Bibby, Douglas, & Jordan Buried on Bench

The Knicks are currently on a six game losing streak. While there's a lot of uncertainty about the team, one thing is clear: You can't blame Mike Bibby, Toney Douglas, or Jerome Jordan.

Why not? Because they didn't play in any of those games. None of them have seen any action since February. None of them are injured either. If you watch Knicks games on TV like I do, you can see them every once in a while sitting on the bench or standing in the huddle with their warmups on.

Let's take a look at each of these players and see what they bring to the table:

Mike Bibby: 21 games, 13.9 minutes per game (2.8 ppg, 1.4 apg, 1.4 rpg)

The last time Bibby played was on February 15th in a win against the Kings. However, ever since then, he hasn't seen a second of playing time. If Bibby doesn't play tomorrow against the Blazers, he will officially have gone a month without playing, even though he is perfectly healthy. It's not like the Knicks are doing well without him either. The Knicks won five games in a row in February while Bibby was playing, but since then they are 3-9 while he's been benched. He signed with the Knicks for the veteran's minimum before the season started in the hopes of getting a ring, but the Knicks are losing and he isn't playing.

Toney Douglas: 26 games, 20.8 minutes per game (7.6 ppg, 2.2 apg, 2.0 rpg)

As the '11-'12 season started, a lot of weight was on Toney Douglas' back. He was going to be the starting point guard for the Knicks. The Knicks won their first game of the season while Douglas started and put up a solid stat line (19 points, 4 assists). However, things gradually went downhill as Douglas struggled to run the offense and the Knicks started to lose regularly. As this was happening, his name started floating around in trade rumors and fans cried for the debut of Baron Davis or a trade for Steve Nash. After a rough game (0 points, 0 rebounds, 0 assists, 3 turnovers, 0-5 field goals) against the Wizards, he was replaced in the starting lineup by Iman Shumpert. Douglas played in the first 25 games of the season for the Knicks, put has only played in one game since then.

Jerome Jordan: 13 games, 4.7 minutes per game (1.5 ppg, 1.2 rpg, 0.2 rpg)

Jordan was one of three rookies signed in the offseason by the Knicks. I saw him play in his debut in a loss against the Warriors (that he wasn't to blame for). He put up 4 points and 2 rebounds in five and a half minutes of play. I remember thinking that he looked talented and could really contribute. However, he has been given only sporadic playing time and has been in and out of the D-League. The most minutes he's played in a game this season was 10 minutes in a win against the Kings. Mike D'Antoni gave Jeremy Lin consistent playing time and we all know how well that worked out. Give Tyson Chandler a break and give Jordan a chance to shine. I'm ready for some Jeromesanity!

I think that D'Antoni should switch things up and give these guys some playing time. When he did it with Lin, we went on a 7-game winning streak. When he did it with Steve Novak, he shot the lights out from three and has ever since. Bibby, Douglas, and Jordan are all capable of helping teams win.
-Bibby helped lead the Kings to the Western Conference Finals in 2002 (That was 10 years ago, but it still counts).
-Douglas scored 30 points in a win against the Bulls and dished out 10 assists to go along with 18 points in a win against the Grizzlies (Both of those games were last season, but they still count).
-Jordan led Tulsa to the 2008 CBI Championship and was named MVP of the tournament (This happened while he was in college, but it still counts).

If there is someone on the Knicks who does need to get benched, it's J.R. Smith. He's been very inconsistent and doesn't seem to be helping the team.

(Photo Courtesy: ESPN NBA - http://espn.go.com/nba/players)
References: http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/players

Have any thoughts on Mike Bibby, Toney Douglas, and Jerome Jordan not receiving any playing time? Do they belong in the rotation? Leave a comment below and tell me what you think.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Bulls Beat Knicks 104-99

The New York Knicks lost to the Chicago Bulls tonight on the road 104-99 and have lost their 6th straight game.

New York scored the first basket of the game, but the Bulls developed an early lead before the Knicks went on an 11-0 run to go up 16-12. After a 3-pointer by Steve Novak, the first quarter ended with the Knicks up 25-23.

The Knicks and the Bulls continued to go head-to-head with each other in the 2nd quarter. A dunk in transition by Landry Fields put the Knicks up 37-32 midway through the quarter. A pair of free throws by Jimmy Butler tied the game up 38-38 and a pair of free throws by Jeremy Lin tied the game up 44-44. The Knicks led 50-48 at halftime. At the half, Tyson Chandler led the Knicks in scoring with 11 and Derrick Rose led the Bulls with 13.

Ronnie Brewer scored the first points of the second half and tied the game at 50 apiece. A three-point play by Amar'e Stoudemire put New York up 55-54. The lead changed a few more times before the 3rd quarter ended with the Bulls up 79-78.

A dunk by Rose put Chicago up 91-84 midway through the 4th quarter. A jumpshot by Stoudemire and two free throws by Lin cut the lead to 3. The Bulls went up 99-90 with under a minute left and won the game 104-99.

Player of the Game: Derrick Rose (32 points, 7 assists, 6 rebounds)

Though the Knicks lost and have lost six in a row, there are some definite positives to take away from this game. First off, all of the starters for the Knicks played fairly well. Chandler had 13 and 10 and Fields scored 12. Melo and Amar'e both scored at least 20 and Lin had 15 points and 8 assists. Also, considering that they were coming off a 5-game losing streak and facing the best team in the East, they fought hard and gave the Bulls a run for their money.

However, there are some obvious negatives from the game. J.R. Smith didn't help the team at all while he was on the floor and committed two bad turnovers. Novak only hit one 3-pointer on four attempts and was contained well by Chicago's defense. Josh Harrellson wasn't able to help out much and was mostly ineffective in nine minutes of play. Lin tried the best he could at guarding Rose, but he was unable to contain Rose. Late in the game, Melo took a few shots that he shouldn't have taken when Amar'e should've been taking shots.

The Knicks play the Portland Trail Blazers next on Wednesday at home.

(Photo Courtesy: "NBA: New York at Chicago - Mar 12, 2012" - http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/games/2012031204/gallery/im:urn:newsml:sports.yahoo,ap:20050301:nba,photo,ap-201203122037742440059:1)

Have any thoughts on the Knicks losing to the Bulls in Chicago? Leave a comment below and tell me what you think.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Knicks Lose to Celtics in OT 115-111

The New York Knicks lost to the Boston Celtics on the road today 115-111.

The Knicks started out hot and scored the first 5 points of the game, but then let the Celtics score 12 in a row before a 3-pointer by Baron Davis. The Knicks regained the lead later in the quarter and a dunk by J.R. Smith put New York up 24-21. The first quarter ended with the Knicks leading by 2.

New York pulled away in the second quarter as the Celts struggled from the field and ended the first half with a 56-51 lead.

The Celtics bounced back in the 2nd half and developed a 15-point lead in the 3rd. The quarter ended with the Knicks down by 8.

The Knicks came back in the 4th quarter. A monster jam by Iman Shumpert cut the lead to 4 before a technical foul was called on him. With 2:07 left in the 4th, Jeremy Lin hit a 3-pointer and cut the lead to 1. Paul Pierce and Carmelo Anthony dueled for the rest of regulation and Melo missed an off-balance jumper at the buzzer after a game-tying 3-pointer by Pierce.

The Celtics outplayed the Knicks in overtime and jumped out to a 5-point lead. The Knicks were unable to cut the deficit enough and lost 115-111.

Rajon Rondo had a great game. He finished with 18 points, 17 rebounds, and 20 assists. Paul Pierce also had a great game and scored 34 points.

Melo led the Knicks in scoring with 25 points. Tyson Chandler and Amar'e Stoudemire also chipped in (Chandler had 8 points and 14 rebounds, Stoudemire had 16 points and 13 rebounds). Off the bench, Baron Davis had 8 points and a team-high 7 assists while Iman Shumpert and Steve Novak each scored 14 points. Lin struggled and finished with 14 points, 5 assists, and 6 turnovers.

Adding to a statistic I mentioned last article, the Knicks are 6-1 when Lin leads the team in scoring and are 6-9 when Melo leads the team in scoring. The Knicks are 2-0 when either Steve Novak or Landry Fields leads the team in scoring.

The Knicks play their next game on Tuesday against the Dallas Mavericks.

(Photo Courtesy: Yahoo! Sports "NBA: New York at Boston - Mar 4, 2012" http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/games/2012030402/gallery/im:urn:newsml:sports.yahoo,ap:20050301:nba,photo,ap-201203041525555263110:1)

Have any thoughts on the Knicks losing to the Celtics on the road? Leave a comment below and tell me what you think.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Summing Up February 15-25 for the Knicks

I was vacationing in Miami all last week, but I wasn't living under a rock. A lot of stuff happened with the Knicks while I was in Florida, and I'm gonna write about all of it.

Feb. 15: Knicks beat the Kings 100-85.
-I didn't pay a lot of attention to this game because I assumed the Knicks would win it, and they did. Their win streak improved to 7 and Jeremy Lin (of course) had a good game. Lin had a double-double (10 points and a career-high 13 assists). Landry Fields also had a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds and Steve Novak scored 14 off the bench.

Feb. 17: Knicks lose to the Hornets 89-85.
-This was the first speed bump in Linsanity. The Hornets snapped the Knicks' winning streak at 7 games. Instead of getting mad, I looked at the positives. They just went on a seven-game winning streak. Also, Amar'e Stoudemire had a great game (26 points, 12 rebounds). The Hornets played a good game and got somewhat lucky in crunch-time. When Marco Belinelli banked in a three in the 4th quarter, I knew things weren't going well for the Knicks.

Feb. 18: Knicks sign J.R. Smith, waive Renaldo Balkman.
-I loved the Knicks signing Smith. I think he's gonna be a great player for the team and help out with his scoring. However, I was upset about the Knicks releasing Renaldo Balkman to do it. He was the 4th-highest paid player on the team and was due to make over a million dollars next season. They should have traded Bill Walker or Jerome Jordan (or both) to a team for a second-round draft pick or cash. Now that the Knicks waived Balkman, they have to pay him all of what he was scheduled to make and it hurts their cap space. Plus, I liked Balkman. I don't think Knicks fans ever gave him enough credit. Here is his Twitter post after being waived by the Knicks:Feb. 19: Knicks beat Mavs 104-97 in J.R. Smith's debut.
-Lin was the obvious star in this comeback win for the team (28 points, career-high 14 assists, career-high 5 steals). J.R. Smith was the team's second-leading scorer in the game and finished with 15 points in his debut with the team. This was a great game for the team. They beat the defending champions.

Feb. 20: Knicks lose to Nets 100-92.
-Deron Williams got revenge on Jeremy Lin by outscoring him and leading the Nets to victory. I wasn't mad about this loss because it was the second game of a back-to-back. Also, Baron Davis made his belated debut for the team and Carmelo Anthony made his return after a groin injury. Davis didn't play too many minutes, but I liked what I saw from him. I think he'll be a great back-up to Lin. Melo didn't play overly well, but he was returning from an injury.

Feb. 22: Knicks beat Hawks 99-82.
-Like their win against the Mavs a few days before, this was a great win for the Knicks. Against the Hawks, a team who they could face in the playoffs, the Knicks beat them and everybody seemed to have a good game. These two plays sum up how well the Knicks played:





Feb. 23: Knicks lose to Heat 102-82.
-This was a disappointing loss for the team. Lin played his worst game as a starter, Baron Davis went 0-7 from the field, and only two Knicks shot better than 50% from the field (Novak & Jeffries). Melo led the team in scoring, but they still lost. Here's an interesting statistic: When Jeremy Lin leads the team in scoring, the Knicks are 6-1. When Carmelo Anthony leads the team in scoring, the Knicks are 5-8. Lin should be controlling the ball, not Melo.

Feb. 24: Jeremy Lin scores 2 points in Rising Stars game.
-I didn't watch much of it. I didn't even see Lin when he was in the game. Honestly, who cares about the Rising Stars game anyway?

Feb. 25: Iman Shumpert drops out of dunk contest, Jeremy Evans wins it.
-Even though I'm a Knicks fan, I'm glad that Shumpert didn't participate in it because if he did, he would have won it too easily. Jeremy Lin was gonna assist him and he was from the biggest-market team out of all of the contestants. Remember last year when everyone knew Blake Griffin was gonna win the dunk contest? That's what would have happened with Shumpert. Without him, the dunk contest was more fair and even than most years. Evans won with only 29% of the fan votes.

Melo will start in the NBA All-Star game tonight. Knicks fans should tune in for that.

The Knicks play the Cavaliers next. They've had some trouble against them recently, but I expect them to come out with a win. When the Knicks develop more team chemistry, they're gonna be scary good. Mark my words.

Have any thoughts on the Knicks? Leave a comment below and tell me what you think.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Lin Goes for 27 and 11 as Knicks Beat Raptors 90-87

Jeremy Lin has done it again. The Knicks have won their 6th straight game thanks to J-Lin coming up in the clutch and hitting a three with less than a second left in the game to secure a comeback win.

This was Amar'e Stoudemire's first game back since February 4 vs. the Nets and he didn't disappoint. He scored 21 points, grabbed 9 rebounds, and seemed to play well with Lin. Tyson Chandler and Landry Fields also had great games. Chandler made all of his field goal attempts and and put up 13 points and 9 rebounds. Landry Fields had a stellar all-around game and finished with 8 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists.

I couldn't watch the game because I have Time Warner Cable, but my brother told me that the Knicks were down by 5 with less than 2 minutes left in the game. It looked as if Linsanity was going to hit a speed bump if the Knicks were going to lose to the Raptors. But no. Of course Lin hits a three to win it and finishes with a double-double (27 points, 11 assists). If scoring 38 against Kobe's Lakers doesn't validate him, this does. There's no denying that Lin is a great young player with a very bright future in the NBA.

Next, the Knicks will play the Sacramento Kings at home tomorrow and will look to extend their win streak to 7 games.

(Photo Courtesy: Yahoo Sports! - "NBA: New York at Toronto - Feb 14, 2012" http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/games/2012021428/gallery/im:urn:newsml:sports.yahoo,ap:20050301:nba,photo,ap-201202141921697007739:1)

Have any thoughts on the Knicks beating the Raptors and winning their 6th straight game? Leave a comment below and tell me what you think.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

What the Knicks Need To Do To Win The Championship This Season

Jeremy Lin has saved the Knicks from a disappointing season and has led the Knicks to 5 straight victories. A big factor of this is that he did it without Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony. This means that when they come back, the Knicks could be crazy good. Good enough to win a championship this season. Here's what they need to do:

When Baron Davis is healthy, keep starting Jeremy Lin. Davis is still out, but when he comes back, Mike D'Antoni should play him off the bench as Lin's back-up. Lin has proved that he can make a significant difference in games when given the minutes and is hot right now. Davis is a former All-Star, but is 32 years old and injury-prone.

Melo needs to utilize himself properly. Melo has had a lot of big games this season, but his excessive isolation plays haven't helped the Knicks win games. The Knicks have won when Lin is controlling the ball and they have lost when Melo controls the ball. Anthony needs to play a slightly smaller role and take fewer shots if the he wants the Knicks to keep winning when he comes back.

Center the offense around Lin, Stoudemire, Anthony, and Chandler. Here's how an average Knicks offensive possession should go: Lin brings the ball up and Chandler sets a pick. Then Lin can either drive to the hoop, shoot a jumper, throw an alley-oop to Chandler, or pass it to Stoudemire or Anthony. Amar'e and Melo could drive or shoot when the ball is passed to them. Sometimes, Amar'e could set the pick and have an oop thrown to him by Lin. Melo can still do isolation plays sometimes and bring the ball up and shoot a 3 once in a while. The Knicks should have no problem getting a high-percentage shot off every time down the floor.

Don't play Iman Shumpert at point guard. Iman Shumpert is a great young player with a lot of potential, but he is not a good point guard. He is best utilized at shooting guard with small forward being his secondary position.

Keep passing to Steve Novak. Novak doesn't do much besides shoot 3's, but he's damn good at it! When open, Novak will make a three-pointer every time. Defenses still leave him open from downtown sometimes, so whichever Knick has the ball should always look to see if Novak is open for three.

Trade Bill Walker. Walker is not having a great season. Despite defending Kevin Garnett well in the final seconds of the first game of the season and that game when he made 7 three-pointers, he's been ineffective and hasn't helped the team. Walker plays shooting guard and small forward, but the Knicks are already pretty good at those positions with Melo, Iman Shumpert, and Landry Fields. Walker is only 24 years old and is capable of helping teams (he averaged 12 points a game in half a season with the Knicks in 2010), so there are teams that would trade for him, even if it's only for a future second round draft pick.

Give Renaldo Balkman more minutes. Most fans write off Balkman as someone who can't play and doesn't deserve a roster spot. But there's a reason he's been in the NBA since 2006. He helps teams win and is willing to do the dirty work. Plus, he's never given enough minutes or the ball enough on offense to show his value. With Lin's passing skills and the upcoming debut of Baron Davis, Balkman will be able to find ways to score if given the playing time. Remember when he scored 20 points on 7-10 shooting in the Knicks' first preseason game in only 20 minutes of play? He hasn't received that many minutes since. He deserves more playing time.

Do something with Jerome Jordan. Rookie Jerome Jordan has seen limited minutes and has been sent to the D-League this season. Mike D'Antoni should consider giving him more minutes to see what he can do. It worked for Lin. If not, they could trade him or send him to the D-League again.

Sign a free agent. There are still quite a few free agents that could help the Knicks win games. JR Smith has been putting up crazy numbers in China and might be an improvement at the shooting guard position over Landry Fields and Iman Shumpert. Allen Iverson would be an improvement from Mike Bibby or Toney Douglas. Signing Derrick Caracter or Earl Barron to a 10-day contract would provide depth at power forward/center position until Josh Harrellson is back.

If the Knicks play their cards right, they could be holding up the Larry O'Brien trophy in June.

Have any thoughts on the Knicks this season? Can New York win a championship this year? Is Jeremy Lin the real deal? Leave a comment below and tell me what you think.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Lin Scores 38 as Knicks Beat Lakers at MSG

If you were to tell me a week ago that the Knicks were gonna beat the Lakers without Melo or Amar'e, I wouldn't have believed you. However, it has happened. The Knicks beat Kobe and the Lakers at home, 92-85.

Jeremy Lin scored a career-high 38 points and dished out 7 assists. Jared Jeffries had 11 and 9 and Tyson Chandler had 9 and 11, but this game was all Lin. He also shot 13-23 from the field and had 2 steals.

Kobe Bryant (34 points, 10 rebounds) had more rebounds and less turnovers than Lin, but that was about it. Lin outscored him, had more assists, and shot better from the field.

The Knicks have won 4 games in a row and in each of those 4 games, Lin has scored at least 23 points and has dished out at least 7 assists. In these magical last 4 games, he's averaged 28.5 points, 8 assists, and 1.8 steals on 57.5 percent shooting.

I have to admit, I wasn't an instant believer in the Linsanity craze. During the first 3 games, I wasn't totally convinced that it wasn't a fluke. I knew Lin was better than people ever gave him credit for, but the Nets, Jazz, and Wizards weren't great teams and I wasn't ready to jump on the bandwagon yet.

Now, I'm a full-fledged Linsanity believer. This guy is good! He is my new favorite Knick and I'm way more excited about being a Knicks fan than I was these last couple of weeks.

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that the Knicks WILL make the playoffs. People are gonna say, "Remember when the Knicks started out 8-15 and then that Lin guy saved us."

(Photo Courtesy: Yahoo! Sports "NBA: LA Lakers at New York - Feb 10, 2012" - http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/games/2012021018/gallery)

Have any thoughts on the Knicks beating the Lakers at the Garden? Leave a comment below and tell me what you think.