Tag Archives: Carmelo Anthony

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.

Knicks Stay Hot, Beat Grizzlies 110-108

With the way things were going who would have thought it would have come down to the last shot. The Knicks controlled this game for most of the night, leading by 17 at one point, until a a 10-0 run by the Grizzlies tied the game up at 108 with 14 seconds left. Luckily, the Knicks new star player stepped up, as Carmelo Anthony made a clutch shot over Tony Allen to give the Knicks the victory.

The win over the Grizzlies was huge. The Grizzlies have been playing real well lately, winning 17 of their last 23, including a big victory over Dallas. In addition, the Grizzlies are a big team that wins games by banging bodies and playing good defense, a team the new-look Knicks are supposed to struggle with.

Possibly my favorite stat-line in this game is the 31 assists the Knicks had. Earlier the team was having problems spreading the ball around. Now it seems like everyone is getting in on the action. I will admit they aren’t perfect yet, and I think those 17 turnovers indicate that, but they have been a lot better since they started distributing.

A big part of this has been the emergence of Toney Douglas. Continuing his stellar play in place of Chauncey, Douglas dished ten assists, a new career-high. Like I’ve mentioned before, we all know he can shoot, drive to the basket and play defense. What we need to see him do is distribute the ball. Great to see him come through tonight.

Also it was nice to see the Knicks efforts on the boards. The Grizzlies are a big team and a good rebounding team, yet they had no real advantage over the Knicks with New York pulling down 30 rebounds to the Grizzlies 31. Just a great effort.

With the win and the Sixers loss the Knicks have some breathing room in the sixth spot, and are only 2.5 games out of fifth. Let’s hope they continue this stellar play tomorrow night in Dallas.

 

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Emergence of Toney Douglas

Via Basketball Betting

It’s a bloody good thing the New York Knicks’ second-year point guard Toney Douglas wasn’t playing this well a month ago.

It might have predated his being draped in Denver powder blue right about now, as another casualty of the Nuggets’ crop of young Knicks talent residual to New York’s recent acquisition of Western Conference stars Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups.

Coming off last night’s 20-point performance, everything about Douglas’ game has looked crisp over the past couple weeks.

Turnovers are down, and the drives to the hoop are purposeful. Douglas’ recent three-point shooting spate has been uncanny, and all season long he has been one of the few Knicks to consistently compete on the defensive side of the ball.

Should the emergence of the soon-to-be 25-year-old’s game be something more than an extended mirage, the Knicks suddenly find themselves deep in backcourt riches with the exceeding potential to border on something very special.

Toney Douglas has played great since stepping in for an injured Chauncey Billups. Perhaps due to tutoring from the veteran Billups, Douglas has cut down on his turnovers and has averaged around six assists a game in this stretch.

Toney’s shooting has been great, and on Monday he was lights out from behind-the-arc, but we knew he was a good, albeit streaky, shooter early on. Still his ability to be a field general, while continuing to shoot the ball well and drive to the basket has made him a great weapon for the Knicks.

Let us not forget about his defense either. One of the top defensive players in college, Douglas has brought an intensity to the defensive side of the ball that the Knicks needed. As I mentioned in my recap of the Jazz game, he has shut down opposing guards he faced, which have included Chris Paul and Devin Harris.

For this season he looks to be part of a great three, and possibly four man rotation if Anthony Carter continues to get play time, at guard for the Knicks. With a backcourt like that and a frontcourt with Amare and Carmelo, the Knicks could be a real threat come playoff time.

Looking into the future, it would be great if Douglas can emerge as a starter for us. Next year will probably be Chauncey’s last with New York and if we can have Toney as our point guard of the future we could avoid giving up all our remaining cap space to a guy like Chris Paul or Deron Williams, and instead get a center that we desperately need.

If we could somehow land a guy like Tyson Chandler or Nene, or a player of their caliber the following offseason, we can become the team to beat in the East.

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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.