Tag Archives: New York Knicks

Timeout: The New York Knickerbockers

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We could have never imagined the end of the NBA regular season would turn out to be so exciting. Where to begin. I think it would be appropriate to start off by saying that Carmelo Anthony is looking more and more like the most versatile scorer in the game today. That J.R. Smith deserves a contract extension. And that the Knicks who I once questioned this past summer have proved me wrong; Again. The Knicks have managed to ride a convincing 12 game win streak after defeating the Thunder 125-120 on Sunday. However, the other competition that took place in the game on Sunday had nothing to do with winning the game. It was the battle for the scoring title, between the likes of OKC’s Kevin Durant and NYC’s Carmelo Anthony. In his five seasons in the NBA, Kevin Durant has won three league scoring titles. Durant, the three time reigning scoring champion (2010-2012) had this to say about this years scoring title race. “He can have it, Durant said Thursday when asked about the scoring title and Sunday’s head-to-head game with Anthony. Durant went so far as to say he’s rooting for Anthony.” (NBA.com) I’m buying Durant’s comments, he’s proven himself as the best scorer in today’s game and everyone knows that. Ironically, in his 10 year career Carmelo has never won a league scoring title. And has always been left out of the MVP race. This year Anthony has his name in both conversations, that’s an accomplishment in itself. At season’s end, nobody’s going to forget him going for 50, 40, 41 and 36 points over his last four games. Big games to say the least, all resulting in wins for the Knicks as well. Although this late season push may not mean much to you and I, the Knicks are gaining more and more confidence leading into the post season. Believe it or not, New York is dangerous.

 

Looking Into the NBA Playoffs: 4 Teams To Watch For

With less than 25 games left in the regular season the NBA Playoffs are drawing near. Finally the playoff picture is beginning to come into focus. Top teams look to continue their dominance while the bottom-feeders fight for position. And this is why we love the NBA, the end of the regular season and the playoffs. Because any team on any given night can be beat in this league that’s just how it goes. Whether your team is sitting among the top tier of title contenders or playing like a humble rebuilding project, any team can show out in the playoffs. It’s a completely new season. In the playoffs 16 teams come in with a blank records and only one can win. Think sweet sixteen. But other than home court advantage, nothing from the regular season matters except the seven game series ahead. Fortunately this years eastern & western conference match ups look to be exciting. In no particular order, here are four teams to watch for this post season.

One: Los Angeles Clippers

Recently crowned as the best team in L.A., the Clippers are pacing toward the playoffs in style with the western conference 3rd best record (43-19). Led by All-Star MVP Chris Paul, the team looks to be moving forward toward their next feat; winning the western conference quarter finals. After defeating the Memphis Grizzlies in an exciting first round match up 4 games to 3, the Clippers were swept by the ageless wonder San Antonio Spurs four games to none. A year removed from the disappointing showing against the Spurs, the Clippers have made enormous strides toward greatness this season. In fact, they have beaten the Spurs twice out of the teams three meetings in the regular season thus far. The Clippers have also managed to improve their defense as they currently lead the league in steals. Look for L.A.’s best to make waves in this years post season.

Two: New York Knicks

Aside from the 54 point clinic Stephen Curry put on for the Knicks last Wednesday night, the Knicks beat the Warriors 109-105. Carmelo Anthony dropped 35 points while handing out 8 assists, J.R. Smith added 26 points off the bench and Tyson Chandler had 16 points and 28 rebounds. Yes, 28. But no one was talking about any of that. 54 points later and 4 points too short, that night the Knicks hushed Warrior fans while making the statement that they are a good team. “Team” being the key word. New York displays good balance and rhythm with multiple contributors from the starters to the end of the bench. They currently sit third in the eastern conference at (35-21) but many would argue that they look much better than their record. I cannot believe I’m saying this but I believe the Knicks are one of a select group of teams that can contend with the Miami Heat in this years playoffs. If they can get back into the groove they had early in the season I don’t see why they can’t make a deep run in the playoffs in April.

Three: Denver Nuggets

Ever heard of the term “Run & Gun” ? Meet this years Denver Nuggets squad. All they do is get buckets. The Nuggets are among the leaders in field goal percentage, assists, total points and they are one of few teams in the league to feature six different players recording double-digit scoring averages. How is their defense you say? Not so great; but their scoring efficiency has allowed them to win games (38-22). Enough for them to be sitting comfortably at 5th in the standings among league leading western conference teams. Although some may have thought the Nuggets future was over after moving Carmelo Anthony to New York a couple of seasons ago, ironically they are more of a team now than ever before. But much like the Knicks, the Denver poses multiple threats on the fast break as well as from behind the arc. They’re tough to deal with in the open court because their versatility. Presumably coming into the playoffs at no. 5, look for the Nuggets to start turning heads.

Four: Indiana Pacers

Although I said this list had no particular order, I lied; Best for last. The Indiana Pacers ARE my choice to represent the east in this years NBA finals. If that prediction involves beating the Miami Heat in 7 then so be it because if any team has the tools, it’s this one. Led by first time All-Star guard Paul George the Pacers have snuck into second place in the east while passing the New York Knicks on the way. They have won 7 of their last 10 games and hold a solid 10-2 divisional record. If you think about it the Pacers are a lot like the Heat. They are tough, they play solid D, feature a great transition game and they take care of the ball. It’s a great formula for winning, maybe that’s why these two teams are at the top of the east. Last year the Heat beat the Pacers after trailing two games to none. They finished the series winning four straight, closing out the series in 6. If anything, that series gave Indiana confidence and urgency. Caution: Dangerous combination. From last years meltdown against Miami to the emergence of Paul George and the sudden rise to the top of the eastern conference, it is time that the Pacers make their statement as the best team in the east. Stay Tuned.

NBA Today & All-Star 2013

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It wouldn’t be right if we didn’t start by saying congratulations the Super Bowl XLVII Champion Baltimore Ravens. I am even happier for Ray Lewis. Legend. Now that football is over we can turn our full attention to NBA hoops. As we slow down in the coming week for All-Star weekend, lets recap the first half of the season.

The New York Knicks Are Back

Led by Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith, the New York Knicks (32-17) are headed into the All-Star break sitting at number two in the Eastern Conference standings behind the Miami Heat (34-14). Under once interim head coach Mike Woodson, the team has never looked better. Not to mention Carmelo Anthony is playing out of his mind averaging just under 29 points and 6 rebounds a game. Some might say that we’ve seen this Melo before and we have but those teams never performed this well. The Knicks feature an aggressive offensive attack while displaying a much improved defensive game. They have silenced the critics, including myself. And what better way to silence the critics than to win, without Lin. Last summer  the Knicks decided not to match Houston’s 25 million dollar offer for Mr. Jeremy Lin. The same offer I said they would regret in the long run. I was wrong. That could have been the single best thing the Knicks could have done. They went in a different direction when they picked up Jason Kidd. A guard who isn’t going to take shots away from Carmelo but one who will create shots for him. Good move, nobody can run the point like Jason Kidd can. Kidd recorded his 12,000th assist last week against the Minnesota Timberwolves. And lets not forget that he and Tyson Chandler are just over a year removed from the 2011 Champion Dallas Mavericks team who defeated the Heat four games to two. Who knows we may see a playoff rematch between the Knicks and the Heat in the coming months but one question still remains: Are the Knicks the team that can beat the Heat in seven games? It’s tough to say, but right now they hold a 2-0 lead in the season series with the Heat. The teams will meet two more times before the regular season comes to a close. Stay tuned.

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Lost Lakers

Where to start. The L.A. Lakers are bad, real bad. Looking into the playoff race from the outside in, the Lakers currently hold the tenth spot in the Western Conference standings (24-28). The last time the Lakers were this bad (2006 Los Angeles Lakers) Kobe Bean Bryant was seeking a trade. But after speaking with ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, Kobe seems to be patient at this point of the season and his career at large. Following the release of head coach Mike Brown just five games into the season, the Lakers have had to adjust to new coach Mike D’Antoni and his system. They have also hit an early case of the injury bug resulting in multiple key players going down. With Steve Nash, Dwight Howard, and Pau Gasol in and out of the starting lineup due to injury, Kobe has played different roles for the Lakers this season such as being the teams leading scorer, defensive stopper and facilitator. He has been trying new things like playing lock down defense and passing the ball. “I’m just trying to figure out a way to win ball games..” Bryant said. During the month of January, Kobe recorded 3 back-to-back double-digit point/assist games resulting in 3 consecutive wins for the Lakers. While Kobe’s assists may be a small victory for the Lakers, the fans have grown restless with the way the team has performed thus far. Especially following all of the anticipation that followed the teams new acquisitions. Newcomers Steve Nash (leg/back) and Dwight Howard (back) have been battling injuries throughout the first half of the season hurting the teams chances at building chemistry, costing them games. Maybe the decision to send Andrew Bynum to Philadelphia wasn’t quite worth it after all. Yea, Bynum may have had his fair share of injuries while he was a Laker but at least he could make a free throw; Something Dwight has never been able to do. Howard’s shooting this season has been abysmal, shooting (.494) percent from the free throw line. There have been various reports of Kobe Bryant calling out Dwight Howard on a number of topics including his poor play, toughness and his free throw shooting. “That will get better..he’s working on it” said Bryant. All things considered, I don’t believe we’ll be seeing the Lakers in the post season.

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NBA’s Newest Star Kyrie Irving aka “Uncle Drew”

If Kyrie Irving and “Uncle Drew” are not a common names around your homes basketball conversation they very well should be. Meet Kyrie Irving. A 20-year-old star point guard for the Cleveland Cavaliers. He’s 6’3″, slim and a nightmare to handle. Now meet Uncle Drew. He’s..older, some might say that his career as a basketball player is over but if you’ve seen him play you’d say he still got it in him. He’s known for embarrassing younger generation players at local courts across the country with his dazzling moves. Ironically they are the same person. Kyrie actually wrote, directed and acted in a Pepsi Max commercial as “Uncle Drew” See HERE. Kyrie Irving is not only a great player but an even better personality. After playing in just 9 games as a freshman at Duke, Irving decided to enter the NBA Draft where he was the unanimous number one pick of the Cleveland Cavaliers. He would go on to earn Rookie of the Year honors in his first season averaging almost 19 points 5 assists and 4 rebounds a game. At 20 years of age, Irving has shown great deal of maturity and leadership in becoming the Cavaliers leader and floor general. His scoring has gone up to 24 points a game and has scored 30 or more 10 different times this season with a career high of 41 points against the New York Knicks. This weekend, Kyrie will make his first appearance as an All-Star as a representative on the Eastern Conference team. Although the Cleveland Cavaliers have not been the most successful franchises of late, the future is looking all too bright and Kyrie Irving will take credit for that.

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All-Star Weekend 2013 Houston

Next to the Super Bowl, the NBA All-Star game is the next big thing in the month of February. NBA All-Star weekend will be held in Houston Texas from Thursday February 14 – Sunday February 17 featuring an array of events including the Sprint NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, BBVA Rising Stars Challenge, 2013 D-League All Star Game, NBA All-Star Saturday Night presented by State Farm and finally NBA All-Star Game presented by Kia. The Eastern & Western Conference rosters were announced earlier last week. Sundays game between the East and West All-Star teams looks to be an exciting matchup. Be sure to tune into ESPN, TNT and NBA TV for live coverage of this years NBA All-Star Weekend. Look forward to an exciting weekend of basketball to come.

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Shooting Two: The New York Knicks

So, let’s talk about the Knicks, yes I said it the Knicks. Let’s just start off by saying that their off season has been anything but a summer vacation. Everyone give it up for James Dolan (Owner of the Knicks). Nobody? Alright, moving on. So far this off season the New York Knicks organization have made sports headlines in ways that would make you say “C’mon Son.” (S/O to @MrEdLover) So, here’s your two shots.

1. Jeremy Lin wins divorce settlement with first love; the New York Knicks

Something tells me that the Knicks who failed to match the Houston Rockets 3 year, $25 Million offer for Lin Tuesday are going to feel it in the long run. Was he worth it? it’s hard to say, he played in 35 NBA games as a Knick, most of which were without Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire and averaged decent numbers but best of all he sold tickets!! Lots of them. Looking back to last year, Melo and Amare going down mid-season may have been the best thing that could have ever happened for New York. With Lin in the lineup, they found a way to weather a storm of mid-season injuries. At best, it was a temporary fix. Melo came back, things were not the same. But don’t blame Lin for that, All He Does Is Lin (Props to @djsteveporter) For the Knicks, Linning was a lot easier than winning and for a franchise that sold the leagues most expensive tickets last season, it made sense. They knew exactly what they had. The best seat in town: “Come see the 6’3″ Asian sensation from Harvard tear it up on the NBA hardwood.” Easy, now pay up (Cha-Ching!) Ha, no comment. But now they have to win. It’s a win, or you shouldn’t have traded Lin kinda deal. And all eyes will be on the successes and/or failures of New York and Houston. Hoping that the divorce between Lin and the Knicks is justified by #7 playing poorly, which I wouldn’t wish on anyone but next time you see a Knick fan ask them what they think.
2. Oh Point Guard Troubles…

So you’re the Knicks, you bring in Jason Kidd. Can you hear me now? Good. You re-sign Steve Novak. Good. You trade away some role players for Raymond Felton, Kurt Thomas and you pick up Marcus Camby…There’s some things money can’t buy, but for everything else there’s a refund. Raymond Felton, Kurt Thomas and Marcus Camby have one thing in common. They all played for the Knicks at one point in their careers. Raymond was good for 54 games two seasons ago, Kurt for 7 seasons and Camby for 4. I honestly don’t know how much Kurt and Camby can help, they’re easily pushing 40, but there’s no doubt Felton can fill the void for a Mr. Jeremy Lin. So look, you have Jason Kidd, and now Raymond Felton. Then you have two free agents in Baron Davis and Mike Bibby. What do you do with them? Kick ’em like you kicked Lin? Well, for one, they aren’t worth very much anymore..can somebody say scout team? Think, if we went back about six years, J. Kidd, Bibby and Davis were all killing! But it’s 2012 and Raymond Felton has the most run left in him by far. Plus, all these guys are average anyway, start Iman Shumpert.
P.S.

– I’ve been a Nets fan all my life. So you can understand why I admire Jason Kidd. We understood his divorce troubles from back in the golden days but seeing him get arrested for a DWI was really surprising. I thought I knew the guy, I mean if you asked me, I didn’t think J. Kidd drank at all. A consummate professional is what we called him. Still, respect game. Hall of Famer no doubt, triple-double machine. NBA Champion.

– #2 Landry Fields! Of all people, how could you let HIM go? Solid starter, all around player, young and fun off the court. What more could you ask for? I mean they let Lin go for almost 30Mil but 19 for Fields over three years don’t sound too bad. Guess the sticker price was too much for Mr. Dolan. Therefore Fields is a Raptor and with Toronto sharing the Atlantic division with New York, we’ll be seeing plenty of him. I think they’ll clap when he comes back to the Garden.

My neighbors are doing fireworks at as I write this..so happy July 21st. Goodnight.