Tag Archives: Amare Stoudemire

Time to rebuild?

The Knicks went all in last season. Outside of a rehabbing Iman Shumpert there were no eyes to the future with the roster. The Big Three, Amare Stoudemire, Tyson Chandler, and Carmelo Anthony were in their primes, and an overly veteran group (they were the oldest team in the NBA) were their supporting cast.

The results? A second seed in the East (though a ways away from the Heat), but an embarrassing 6-game loss to the third seeded Pacers. The series didn’t even seem as close as the tally woud indicate.

The Knicks have to retool this offseason if they have hopes of even maintaining their hold as one of the premier teams. That need was exacerbated after the Nets major move, and the eventual return of Derrick Rose to the Bulls.

So what have the Knicks done? They’ve traded for Andrea Bargnani, and signed Ron Artest. The rest of the signings will come on veteran minimum deals.

These moves could either make the Knicks better or have almost no effect. But unless Bargnani realizes his potential of a lottery pick (number one overall actually), the moves aren’t enough to be a top four team in the East (at least on paper…the Nets might not work out as well as people think).

What the Knicks have to hope for is a big improvement from Shumpert, a full season of health from Stoudemire, a steal in Tim Hardaway Jr., and some luck. Even then, returning to a second seed and a second round exit might be all she wrote.

Crazier things have happened. Who saw the Mavs winning the title just a few seasons ago? But if I were a betting man I think this core will never win a title.

Jared Jeffries Knicks New Center

Via ESPN

Jared Jeffries will go down as a footnote: The only member of the New York Knicks who failed to score a single point in their highest scoring game of the season, a 131-109 drubbing of the Utah Jazz.

But Jeffries is more than a footnote.

He will likely remain the starting center for New York for the remainder of the season, a mini-bombshell that coach Mike D’Antoni dropped before watching his superstar duo click together better than they had in any of the eight games since the epic MeloDrama ended with the blockbuster trade that bought Anthony to New York.

“He’s a very good defensive player, he moves the ball, he understands what we want done, he gives us that multiple possessions on the offensive rebounding, tapping balls out. He’s just an energy guy that kind of glues everything together,” D’Antoni said. “He’s a valuable piece for us although he doesn’t score, but he doesn’t have to. This team is a little bit different than a normal team. You don’t have to space the floor as much because you have such good individual players, so I just think it’s a perfect fit for us.”

Jeffries missed his only two shot attempts Monday night, both from point blank range. But he did grab six rebounds, three on each end, blocked a shot, came up with a steal and made two key plays before the game got out of hand that don’t show up in the box score — saving the ball as it was going out of bounds and then firing it off an opponent’s torso to allow the Knicks to retain possession.

So Jeffries is the new starting center. Honestly I don’t think I care that much between him and Ronny Turiaf. Both players are high-energy defensive-first guys that are offensive deficient.

To me Jeffries is six more fouls and another body to log minutes. Still I love what he is doing. Like D’Antoni said, he is a glue guy and with his insertion into the lineup the Knicks have been playing better defense. The one concern I would have with him on the defensive end is his lack of size. When he goes up against Howard, or Noah he is going to get pushed around. Still, he does a lot of other things for the team and I think that should balance out.

On the offensive end I don’t think if matters that he isn’t a good offensive player. Honestly with the amount of shots Carmelo and Stoudemire are going to take I think we can afford to have one position out there that isn’t going to take many shots. Last season it hurt us because we also had Chris Duhon starting, and our best offensive player was David Lee.

What does everyone else think? Do you like Jeffries in the starting spot? Is there anyone else you would rather see there?

Knicks Dominate Jazz 131-109

For the first time in the Melo era the Knicks have recorded back-to-back wins. Yesterday it was a decisive win against the 5th seed Atlanta Hawks, tonight it was against the new-look Jazz. While the Jazz no longer have the look of a playoff team after the retirement of Jerry Sloan and the trade of Deron Williams, they are still a capable team.

For starters it is looking like Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire are figuring out how to play together. Both players scored 30+ points on very efficient shooting. Anthony was 12-16 for 34 points, while Stoudemire added 31 on 12-15 shooting. If these guys can continue to dictate things on the offensive end, while shooting efficiently, the Knicks should be able to play with anyone.

Even more impressive for the two superstars was their play on the defensive end. Both players have been known to put up lackluster efforts on that side of the court throughout their careers, but the past couple of nights they have had some great efforts. Perhaps playing in NY was the boost they needed, because their play has me looking forward to a possible upset come playoff time.

Moving past the stars, Toney Douglas had a great night as  he continues to fill in for Chauncey Billups. Since taking over the starting spot, Douglas has had some great scoring performances and has done a good job dominating his opponent on defense. He shut down Chris Paul in New Orleans, and tonight put a number on Devin Harris leaving him 0-7 from the field. More importantly he dished out six assists while only recording one turnover.

With the win in hand early in the game many players on the Knicks bench got some burn. The bench has been playing well for the Knicks, pretty impressive considering they have been without Bill Walker and Ronny Turiaf. Their play should give us some confidence about our depth heading into the postseason.

It was tough to give up so many players in the trade, but right now it is looking like the Knicks made the right move. It is only seven games in, but Carmelo has the team playing on a different level, and with so many players stepping up on the bench the loss of role players doesn’t hurt as much.

Knicks Playoffs

I know there is a long way to go and there is no guarantee the Knicks make the playoffs, but let’s have a little fun. If the season ended today the Knicks would be awarded the sixth seed with Miami taking the third seed. That means the Knicks would have a match-up with the Heat in the first round of the playoffs.

What do people think about this? Who would be the ideal match-up for the Knicks? Chicago? Orlando? Boston?

Personally I think a series with Miami would be fun. Based on their season record maybe they match-up well with Chicago, but I don’t know if I’d want to face Derrick Rose in the playoffs this year.

In Miami you have a team that does not have a dominate big man, or a top clutch player. Lebron is not a player that improves his game come playoff time and neither is Bosh. Not only do I think the Knicks have a chance to win this game, but I think it would be a fun series to watch. Knicks fans hate Miami and Lebron. Amare and Carmelo joined forces to combat Miami, and wouldn’t it be fun to knock the big three out in the first round?

Like I said, no guarantees the Knicks win this series, but it would be tons of fun to watch and great for the NBA.

What are your thoughts?

Knicks and Nets Rivalry

Via The Canadian Press:

It’s still more than a year before the NBA’s Nets forsake New Jersey for their new US$1-billion home in Brooklyn. But sports fans are already noticing signs of a crosstown rivalry with the New York Knicks that they hope could echo the days when the Brooklyn Dodgers perennially battled the New York Giants for baseball’s National League pennant.

The Nets and the Knicks will be hard-pressed to match the intensity of that rivalry, though there are glimpses of what’s to come. The Knicks won last month’s bidding war for Brooklyn-born superstar Carmelo Anthony — but not before Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov drove up the price during negotiations.

Fans of the two teams taunted one another last year with in-your-face billboards near each other’s arenas. And on Thursday, Knicks star Amare Stoudemire helped New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg dedicate a basketball court just blocks from the Nets’ future Brooklyn home.

So what do you think? Will the Knicks-Nets rivalry ever be big?

Personally when I first read about this I had the same reaction as most Knicks fans: really? You think the Nets will steal fans from the Knicks? They are moving to Brookyln, Carmelo Anthony’s hometown, and he wanted no part of that team. Once I get over that cockiness, though, I realize this could be a great thing.

With the Knicks returning to relevance again many people have been trying to build up rivalries for the Knicks: The Heat, The Celtics, hell after their recent play maybe even the Cavs. Well why not the Nets? If they can continue their plans and improve their talent level like the Knicks have this rivalry could be a lot of fun.

Everyone tries to make a rivalry out of the Yankees-Mets, or the Giants-Jets, but why? Those teams rarely play each other. If there is a Nets-Knicks rivalry we can have games that not only battle for dominance of the city, but for dominance of the NBA. I am excited just thinking about it.

What makes sports great is rivalries. There is nothing better than when the Giants beat the Eagles, or the Mets take it to the Braves. It is about time the Knicks developed some fun rivalries this decade, and if the Nets want one, then let’s give it to them.

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