Tag Archives: New York Knicks

Painful But Expected: Celtics Advance And Knicks Can Only Wonder What Could Have Been.

By Russell Simon – www.BostonSportsU18.com New York Correspondent

While the Knicks could have, and probably should have won games 1 and 2, once Garnett swiped the ball out of Jared Jeffries hand like he was stealing candy from a baby, it was only a matter of time before the Knicks vacation began. And while the vacation was delayed for a couple of weeks thanks to Amar’e and to some extent, Carmelo, the Celtics sweep ensured it will have to be 11 years before the Knicks even have a chance to win a playoff game. The Knicks squandered their chance in 2011, as a furious rally couldn’t withstand pinpoint Celtics execution and questionable officiating.

At least they battled. With an incredible third quarter, led by a couple of fast break slams, and the three point shooting of Anthony Carter, the Knicks once again had the Garden rocking, and me screaming like a girl at a Justin Bieber concert. With STAT obviously hurting he still managed to play 44 minutes and have a double double, and Melo also carried the load with 32 points, in willing the Knicks to within 5 points. Even after game 3, and after an atrocious first half that left the Knicks trailing 55-38, they battled back.

But it wasn’t enough. Just when it looked like the Knicks were about to make that final breakthrough the Celtics responded every time. Whether it was a Pierce charge, or the pivotal Allen 3, Boston had a response to every New York run. When things got chippy with Melo’s flagrant foul on Rondo and the tech on STAT, the Celtics never overreacted, relying on incredible execution and a myriad of pick plays to frustrate the defense and get good looks for the big men.

And it was the big men who led the way for Boston in game 4. While Rondo and Allen dominated in game 3 the Celtics exemplified some of the many ways they can win. With the Knicks overplaying every Allen screen and trying to be physical with Rondo, it was KG and Big Babies turn to kill the Knicks. KG led the way with 26 scoring on jumpers and getting to the bucket in taking advantage of Stoudemire’s back injury and Turiaf’s lack of speed. But it was a Glen Davis elbow jumper that pushed the lead up to nine and was the nail in the coffin for the Knicks 2010-2011 season.And it is a Knicks team that leaves with more questions then answers for next season. What will happen to their aging GM Donnie Walsh? Will their be a new perhaps defense oriented coach for next season? Will they pick up Chauncey Billup’s 14.2 million dollar option for next season? Who will be the new additions to the Knicks of next year? Will the NYPD ever find Landry Fields, who was seemingly abducted by aliens before the start of the playoffs? It will be an interesting time for the Knicks and the league in general but after game 4 they can only watch from the sidelines pondering these questions and the what-ifs, that will surround their playoff experiences this year.

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Déjà vu All Over Again, As Heartbreaker Leaves Knicks, Fans Reeling

By Russell Simon- BostonSportsU18 New York Correspondent

Unbelievable. Deja Vu all over again. In what has been the most painful sports week in recent memory the Knicks have somehow made fans feel as if they were tortured, escaped, recaptured, and tortured again in the same day. First Ray Allen and now KG, this is ridiculous. And again the Knicks can’t close out a game. Again they had a lead, again the Celtics come back, and as usual all systems shut down. This is maddening. Carmelo made the right play, the pass to Jeffries was on the money, and he somehow couldn’t rotate his body towards the basket and finish, instead fumbling and allowing the ball to be recovered by KG. Great play by Garnett to shield his body from Bill Walker to get the timeout, but again another lapse by the Knicks. On the Celtics inbounds, with OVER 4 SECONDS TO PLAY, the Knicks don’t put a guard on Delonte West. They stand there, and don’t realize that the clock is winding down, and foul him with under a second left. Astounding. The Knicks could have gotten the ball back down 3 with 3 seconds left, plenty of time to try and get a good look. But no, as usual a lapse at the worst time. Again the Knicks were out of timeouts, again had the lead with just over 30 seconds to play, again got outsmarted, outcoached and outplayed in the end.

And who is to blame for this? Look no further then Mike D’Antoni. Both games he has been brutally outcoached from start to finish. How can a coach not be aware of the situation around him? How can a coach not tell his players to foul as soon as the ball is inbounded, with four seconds left? Only Mike D’Antoni can achieve that. It is incredible to me that the Knicks have had so many mental lapses, and plays Doc Rivers drew something up and the Celtics immediately went to town on the Knicks. I don’t even care about the fact that he is a terrible defensive coach, but when you can’t coach to the situation at the end of a game you don’t serve a purpose.

But the worst part is that yet again, they played so well! Carmelo was off the charts, 42 points and 17 rebounds in one of his best games ever. He was just stunning for much of the second half, just putting the Knicks on his back with tons of incredible shots. Again the Knicks played great defense, and just got out everythinged in the last 30 seconds. Even without STAT the Knicks stuck with them and took a lead, only to see it vanish like the mirage that very well could be the Knicks 2-0 series lead.
Now the series shifts back to New York, where fans are left crushed by the events in Boston. The Celtics are taking on a Reggie Miller against the Knicks persona, and it is terrible to witness. The Knicks have to win the next 2, but at this point I don’t want to look that far ahead. Just lead by more then 20 with 37 seconds left, and then I might breathe easier.

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Allen’s 3 overshadows Great Knicks Performance, But Makes Playoffs an Uphill Battle.

By: Russell Simon

The ball hung in the air for what seemed like hours, released from the old pro that had came up clutch hundreds of times before. The Knicks battled, playing one of their most complete games all year, but this one will still be the one that got away. As Ray Allen’s three whistled through, and Carmelo Anthony’s prayer (Why didn’t he drive!!???) went unanswered, the Celtics survived, in a loss that certainly leaves the Knicks playoff hopes much bleaker then they looked with 30 seconds left in the 4th.

The way the Knicks dominated for much of the first half, and then withstood a Celtics assault in the third, certainly gives Knicks fans hope for the rest of the series, but we may look back on the final 37.3 seconds as those that eventually killed any chance of the Knicks advancing. It started inconspicuously enough; with Rondo throwing a beautiful lob to KG for the slam. But after a stupid offensive foul by Melo it was only a matter of time before Allen delivered the dagger into the hearts of Knicks fans everywhere.

In the end, unfortunately, it came down to Melo. Anthony had a brutal night from the start, picking up a quick two fouls, and watching from the bench as the Knicks lead grew. Melo finished with 15 points and only 2-8 from behind the arc. The Knicks played together for the whole game but in crunch time, Anthony didn’t give it to Stoudemire, instead opting to try to be the hero. This isn’t the movies! Melo should have tried to penetrate to try and get an easier shot, he didn’t need a three and with the time left on the clock should have definitely given it to STAT for a short jumper from the wing that he can knock with his eyes closed, as opposed to a 30 foot, double teamed, chuck.

The Knicks loss overshadows a stunning performance by Stoudemire. Amare was brilliant, with 28 points and 11 rebounds hitting difficult shot after difficult shot. If there is any way that the Knicks can come back and win this series, it will be with him, not Melo, taking the last shot. Amare’s offensive performance was still not even as good as his defensive performance, and the Knicks team D as a whole. Having watched the Knicks give up easy buckets, and have maddening defensive lapses throughout much of the season, it was refreshing to watch them play sound defense for basically the whole game. Only a KG screen and a beautiful shot prevented a big win.

And in the end it was that shot, that sunk the Knicks and makes this series an uphill battle for the Knicks. While this loss hurts New York must be able to respond on Tuesday, it should be interesting to see if the Knicks can recover from such a tough loss. The loss of Billups kills as New York will have to go with inexperienced guards for game 2, assuming Chauncey is out for that long. Now it’s a one game season for the Knicks, and with this tough loss it could be a full year before they get as good a chance to take the lead in a playoff series.

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Carmelo Anthony Trade Embodies All Of The NBA’s Problems

By: Alex Reimer

The Carmelo Anthony trade is less about whether the Knicks are championship contenders or whether the Nuggets received a good package in return and more about everything that is wrong with the NBA.

It took weeks to finalize this trade not because the Nuggets were searching for potential suitors. They knew that the Knicks and Nets were the two logical destinations for Carmelo.

The Nuggets knew what players the Knicks and Nets were offering too. Neither team’s offer changed over the course of the past couple of days.

So why did this ordeal take so long? This trade took so much time to come to fruition because the ball was completely in Carmelo’s hands, and he was conducting meeting after meeting with both the Nets and Knicks like he was a free agent. James Dolan and Mikhail Prokhorov took cross-country flights to Denver to try to convince Anthony to sign long-term with their respective franchise.

Tampering occurs at every level in every professional sport. But no example is as blatant as what was seen here, or what is seen regularly in the NBA. It is common for a team to provide an exclusive negotiating window to another team when a player is dealt in the final year of his contract. The Padres allowed the Red Sox a 48-hour window to negotiate with Adrian Gonzalez this past winter.

The difference here with the Anthony trade is that nothing was official. The Nuggets had not accepted either proposal. They were essentially lending Carmelo Anthony free reign to determine where he wound up, even though he was still under contract to them.

As a result, Anthony was dealt to the Knicks, whose offer was inferior to New Jersey’s. The Nuggets didn’t strike a bad deal, but they struck a worse deal in order to appease Carmelo.

Speaking of completing bad trades, Isiah Thomas certainly did his fair share of that in his time as Knicks’ GM. Which is why it should be downright frightening to Knicks’ fans and to David Stern that reports indicate Dolan gave Thomas complete control over the Anthony deal. This was not the workings of Donnie Walsh, the man who Stern himself appointed in New York to clean up Isiah’s mess. Walsh’s contract expires in April, and many around the league believe that Dolan will set to hire an “Isiah confidante” to take his place (he can’t bring Isiah back because of that little sexual harassment thing).

Whoever the next General Manager of the Knicks is will have the task of building a championship contender around Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire. Right now, this is far from a championship team, which could lead one to wonder why the Knicks didn’t just wait until this summer to acquire Anthony as a free agent. Given the reality of the situation, it was known that he was disinterested in signing with New Jersey long-term, and known that the Nuggets were not going to push him one way or the other. But nonetheless, the Knicks now have Anthony, Stoudemire, Chauncey Billups, and a whole lot of nothing to finish the season.

This is where the second, albeit more subtle but no less obvious form of tampering comes into play. A core of Anthony, Stoudemire, and Billups regardless of what role-players are around them is not an elite team. Why would Anthony be so insistent on going to a team that still projects to be a 5th seed at best next season? Does he know something you don’t know? Yes.

Deron Williams, Chris Paul, and Dwight Howard are all slated to become free agents at the end of 2012. One of those three players is going to sign with or be traded to the New York Knicks within the next year and a half. This is all likely a working of super agent William Wesley, otherwise known as “Worldwide Wes.” Wesley works for CAA, the almighty agency connected as a representative to many star players. Chris Paul is a client of Wesley’s, as is Carmelo. Connect the dots yet?

This is the state of the NBA. A league where every blockbuster acquisition involves the connecting of many dots, and where nothing can be taken at face value.

The Carmelo Anthony trade was pushed through by an exiled former executive, a supercilious agent, and countless cases of tampering. This is the kind of trade that will continue to push the league towards an inevitable work stoppage as soon as the current CBA expires.

Dirty tricks like this cannot go on forever.

Alex Reimer is the host of the Red Sox podcast, “Without a Curse.” “Without a Curse” is available on both www.thesportsstuff.com and in the iTunes store. Alex is also the host of “The Alex Reimer Show,” which airs Saturday’s from 3-5 PM EST on 1120 AM WBNW Boston and www.moneymattersradio.net. Alex can be reached at, [email protected]

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Are The Knicks Serious? 5 Things To Know Heading Into tonight’s Game

By Zikre Haimanot

1.) Offense V.S. Defense: The Celtics are the best defensive team in the league, the Knicks on the other hand aren’t even average. Taking Mike D’Atonio’s philosophy of offense first then defense, the Knicks have propelled themselves into the Eastern Conference playoff hunt. Unfortunately for them they’re going up against a team that prides itself on shutting down opposing offenses and if the Celtics are able to control the tempo the Knicks have no defense to fall back on. It’s funny to hear people speak so highly of the Knicks offense when in reality it’s all based around one thing, three pointers. If the Knicks aren’t hitting their shots its very hard for them to go to the pick and roll because everyone will collapse on Amar’e cutting and their offense becomes stagnant and doesn’t produce points

2.) The Knicks Are On Fire! ESPN sure knows how to build up a story, the Knicks have won eight so they must be a good team right? Well I’d like to disagree. They’ve beaten two teams with winning records, Hornets and Nuggets, and both teams are in serious chaos between a lack of leadership and Carmelo drama in Denver plus the slump New Orleans has hit. I’d describe this New York run simply as a decent team playing beyond expectations, beating up on bad teams and catching fire at the right time. Though not as great a feat it resembles the run Houston put together when they won 22 straight games with an undermanned team that shouldn’t have won 5 straight let alone 22.

3.) It’s All About The Point Guards: With 8 straight 30 point games Amare is taking a lot of the credit for the success his team is achieving. Look closer and there is another culprit whose fingerprints are all over the wins, Raymon Felton. Quietly having his most productive season yet Felton is off to a quick start and is proving to be a capable NBA point guard. Most people wondered how the transition from a small market team in North Carolina to New York would affect him and so far he’s proven he can handle the pressure. Though Ill explain later on I believe that Felton is as important to this team as Stoudemire.

4.) Amare Stoudemire For MVP: Folks I hate to break it to you but Amare one of the top forwards in the league, perennial all-star and dynamic scoring threat isn’t as good as people want to believe. Yes he scores a lot of points, commands double teams and has helped rebuild the once proud Knicks franchise but there’s something missing. As a big man and I mean 7 foot big man, why does he average les then 10 rebounds per game? Why do guards attack the rim with no fear of a defensive presence rolling over and sending their shot into the 3rd row? Traditional big men rebound, score in the paint and play defense now I understand the games changed and players have developed and that’s a good thing but they HAVE to keep the playing the roles that define their position. There is absolutely no excuse that a 34 year old KG who’s come off a knee injury should average more boards then Amare. I hate this new breed of big men that play like guards instead of big men .Its not only Amare the NBA is polluted by guys like Rashard Lewis and Antoine Jamison. If Amare ever wants to be remembered as a truly dominate NBA big man he needs to start rebounding and make himself a dominate low post threat.

5.) The Celtics Might Lose: Yes I just went through this whole article pointing out many faults of this Knicks team and all the advantages the Celtics have but there’s one glaring fact that pessimists like me cant ignore, the 2010 season. Last year the Celtics lose this game, they go into MSG thinking easy win and play lifeless basketball. I don’t believe that this is the same team as last year but with those memories still in my mind I can’t help but think “what if”. Hopefully the Celtics will put a strong effort and shutdown this overblown Knicks offense and cool down all the hype. My prediction is that if the Knicks don’t score over 90 points they can’t win so with that I’m picking the Celtics to win 97-88.

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NBA Notebook: Gazing into the crystal ball

New Jersey coach Kiki Vandeweghe has the unfortunate job of captaining the disgraceful Nets as they inch closer to the league's all-time worst record. (Bill Kostroun/AP Photo)

By Matt Serocki

While I have not had the best rate of success with my predictions (the Chargers would beat the Jets for example), I will not let prior failure hold me back from offering up what I foresee in the future.

That being the case, I will now offer up a few predictions regarding the second half of the 2009-2010 NBA season.

THE NETS WILL SET THE NBA RECORD FOR WORST REGULAR SEASON RECORD IN NBA HISTORY

As of now, the Nets carry a beyond miserable 5-52 record. The record for futility is 9-73 set by the 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers.

Many thought that such a feat was unlikely in any of the major pro sports, and then the 2008 Detroit Lions made believers of all of us.

The Nets certainly carry the best chance of any NBA team in recent history of making the wrong kind of history. With the ever-changing dynamic of the NBA, whether through trades, free agency or balance of power, the Nets are primed for setting the new mark.

THE CLEVELAND CAVALIERS WILL WIN THE EASTERN CONFERENCE

LeBron James has the best team he’s ever played with, and this year, he will have no excuses should his Cavaliers fail to advance to the NBA Finals.

Both the Celtics and the Magic maintained the same competitive balance each team has had over the last two years, but Cleveland improved itself with a blockbuster trade when it picked up Antawn Jamison.

Jamison gives the Cavs a player to distract opposing defenders so that King James can work his ever-loving magic. If Cleveland falls short of the NBA Finals again this year, James may never play a game in June ever again.

THE OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER WILL MAKE FIRST PLAYOFF APPEARANCE

Led by all-star Kevin Durant, the Thunder will represent Oklahoma City in the playoffs for the first time since they were known as the Sonics. The last time the franchise made the postseason was the 2004-2005 season.

Durant ranks as one of the top five players in the league this year, and his ascension into the league’s elite crop of players has been amazing to watch, especially considering he plays in the ultra-competitive Western Conference.

It may be a short-lived postseason trip this year, as the Thunder would potentially face either the Lakers, Nuggets or Mavericks in the first round. Nonetheless, seven other teams in the West would gladly trade places with the Thunder.

New York guard Tracy McGrady, who was acquired by the team following last week's trade deadline, will go a long way towards bringing the Knicks back to respectability. (Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)

TRACY McGRADY AND EDDIE HOUSE WILL HELP TURN THE KNICKS INTO A RESPECTABLE TEAM

The trade sending McGrady to New York provide the Knicks with a taste of what having a superstar on their team is like. Although

Danilo Gallinari and David Lee play at a high level every night for the Knicks, a player of McGrady’s caliber alters games simply by himself.

House gives the Knicks a battle-tested, veteran presence off the bench as well as a clutch shooter.

His best days may be in the rear-view mirror, but House can pass along his knowledge of the game and postseason experience to a team desperate and hungry for precisely that.

If both stick around after this season ends, the Knicks will have a solid nucleus around which to build.

And having deep pockets with one of the most talent-rich free agents classes to date (Chris Bosh, Joe Johnson, LeBron James, and Amar’e Stoudemire are all free agents) doesn’t hurt either.

Matt Serocki is a Blogger for Boston Sports U18. He is also a Sports Correspondent for The MetroWest Daily News. He can be reached at [email protected]

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