The questions about if Amar’e Stoudemire’s knees would hold up sans a minute restriction have been answered, as the injury-ridden former All-Star may be sitting indefinitely due to swelling.
The news came in scrimmage practice following the Knicks’ 102-101 loss at home to the Washington Wizards. According to Coach Mike Woodson, Stoudemire could be “out a while” due to the flare-ups.
Last night, Stoudemire took to Twitterand refuted the injury claims, stating he is only being held back as a precaution.
Fans, IM NOT INJURED, just want u to know I’m ONLY stay’n bk bc of 6 games n 9 days w/ bk2bks! Body & Knees feel great!
The Knicks play tonight on the road against the Milwaukee Bucks.
While I’d like to share Stat’s optimism, history tells me the man is banged up. This injury now reduces the Knicks available big men to Andrea Bargnani and Cole Aldrich. Tyson Chandler may be back this week, but likely not for tonight. I’m convinced the boxing gods hate us…
How were the Knicks going to respond to that disgraceful 40-point thrashing at home to the Boston Celtics?
With another double-digit loss, of course. Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire gave strong efforts, but found themselves failed miserably by their guards, who couldn’t score or play adequate defense as Kyrie Irving had his best game of the season (37 points, 11 assists). This second straight defeat puts the Knicks back at square one regarding the questions about their mentality and unquestionably puts Mike Woodson back on the chopping block (who says he ever left it?).
VINTAGE BAD START: The Knicks went all out in trying to duplicate the horrific first quarter of the Celtics game. They gave up 16 free throws and were at one point down 27-9. They ended the quarter in a 31-19 hole,. but tightened up their defense in the second behind the inspired bench play of Stat (15 points). A Melo three-pointer got them within a point (46-45), but then a bunch of pounding and plodding isolation plays stalled the offense and allowed the Cavs to hold a small 48-45 lead at halftime.
3RD QUARTER MELTDOWN: Melo had 7 early quarter points and the team was well within striking distance. Then the team inexplicably started playing foolish. Everyone got three-point happy, in addition to not boxing out on rebounds nor guarding the perimeter. Irving abused Raymond Felton and Pablo Prigioni for 12 points in the quarter and the Cavs frontcourt got several putback slams off missed jumpers. The Cavs were draining their own threes and before long the deficit had ballooned to 73-60 off a Irving crossover and pullup trey on Prigioni. The last putback dunk on the Knicks had Melo throwing his hands up in exasperation at his team’s effort.
When the smoke cleared, the Knicks took a 81-65 deficit into the fourth.
NO BETTER IN THE LAST 12: The fourth quarter was no better. The Cavs pushed the lead at one point to 19 (88-69), and basically rode the hot shooting of Irving, who made the game into an Uncle Drew exhibition on our hapless Knicks guards.
BLAME MELO? PLEASE…: Games like this serve as a perfect example of why blaming Carmelo Anthony for the wretched start to the season is so ridiculous. The man’s stat line was 29 points (12-19 shooting), 8 rebounds and 3 assists. Sure, Melo is far from perfect. He doesn’t have the best instincts with his help defense, and of course he gets into volume-shooting habits too much at times. But from day one, he’s been our most consistent player in terms of effort and contributions. The guard play was abysmal and with Bargnani having a cold shooting night (11 points, 5/17), Melo’s effort was essentially wasted.
STOUDEMIRE: Amar’e defense and rebounding will always be an issue, but he at least put up points last night and had two great blocks at the rim. He played 27 minutes and had 17 points on 7/10 shooting. If his knees hold up (stop laughing), he could end up being our bench lead as originally intended.
The bleeding likely continues tonight as the Knicks face the Bulls.
It feels so good to be back in the win column. After a nine-game losing streak, the New York Knicks were due for a good game, and it came at the expense of their equally struggling little brothers in Brooklyn, whom the Knicks lit up for 16 three-pointers (59%) in route to a 30 point thrashing at the Barclays Center. New York put together their first complete game of the season and unquestionably the best performance as a team we’ve seen all year. Is this a taste of things to come or just a benefit of playing the lowly Nets?
FIRST HALF CHARGE: The Knicks came out on fire, drilling 12 of their first 14 shots and shooting at 78% for much of the quarter. The defense was strong as well, with Andrea Bargnani pestering Brook Lopez with two blocked shots. Garnett got a nice dunk only to be one-upped on the next play by Bargs driving past him and slamming home a one-handed stuff. Melo played the background (no shot attempts over the first 5 minutes) while others like Raymond Felton (3/3, 8 points) kept the floor spaced with their offense.
The Knicks lead 30-23 after one, and continued their momentum with the second unit (Prigioni, Hardaway Jr., Stoudemire, JR and K-Mart) holding serve with the guards covering much of the scoring slack despite Stat struggling at times with KG offense. Melo and company returned at the 7:31 mark and quickly pushed the lead up to 10 (42-32) courtesy of a sweet Melo pass to an open Shumpert for a trey. A 22-6 edge in rebounding allowed Brooklyn to the trim the deficit to 50-43 at halftime. However, the Knicks were shooting 58% with the balanced scoring, giving you the feeling the Nets were just delaying an inevitable blowout.
3RD QUARTER PILLAGING FROM MELO AND SHUMP: The 18-5 run that closed the book on this game was ignited by the hot three-point shooting of Iman Shumpert. After weeks of trade talk and his standing with Coach Woodson, it was great to see the assertive, sharp-shooting, and highly confident Shump we’d d been expecting all season. His five three-pointers were a career-high, along with his 17 points being a season-high. Outside of a verbal squabble with Andrey Blantche that earned them double technicals, and being a litte too aggressive early with his defense, Shump was pretty much flawless last night.
Melo (19 points on 8/12 shooting, 10 rebounds, 6 assists) had the prototype game of how he should play when the team’s outside shots are falling. He made sure everyone got involved early on (namely Bargnani), made quick decisions out of double teams, and abused Alan Anderson on the block and on the boards. By not having to carry the offensive load in the first half, Melo had more than enough energy to put the finishing touches on the end of an awesome third quarter with several jumpers and passes to a rolling Stoudemire for quick scores. By the time the smoke cleared, the Nets found themselves in a 84-59 hole with the entire fourth serving as extended garbage time.
NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MAN TRASH TALK: Andrea Bargnani had what I’d like to call a “good ejection” in the fourth after getting a second technical for getting into it with Kevin Garnett. Earlier, both had received double technicals for getting tangled up after a rebound. Bargnani didn’t back down and got ejected for talking trash to KG after draining a three in his face. It’s much easier to deal with KG’s mouth when your mopping the floor with him and his team.
MOVE THAT BALL: New York had 24 assists to Brookly’s 11. It should come as no surprise that the Knicks shot 57% for the game while the Nets could only muster 39% on repeated isolation and broken plays.
The Knicks will be back at it tonight to prove they’re on the road to turning it around as they face the Orlando Magic. The Knicks have lost seven-straight at home, so that’s another losing streak the squad should be motivated to snap.
The NBA’s reigning scoring champion has looked anything but dominant the first week into the season. Carmelo Anthony have struggled with his shooting and alarmingly in fourth quarters, when New York has relied on him to extend leads (against the Bulls) or cap a comeback (vs. the Timberwolves). Is is COach Woodson’s plays? An injury we don’t know about? None of the above. According to Melo, his problem is simply — he’s overthinking.
After practice earlier today, Melo spoke to ESPN on his shooting woes and trying to adjust to new teammates.
For myself, maybe I’m second-guessing myself as well. Maybe I’m a little bit passive out there, trying to do things that’s out of the norm and trying to make people better at the wrong times.
That’s where I’m second-guessing myself. And I’m second-guessing my shot, and should I take this or should I pass this. I got to get out of that mentality quick.
Yes Melo, we need a quick turnaround. At the same time, I’m not going to bash the man and put it all on his shoulders. He’s made a strong effort to be the dynamic player that many critics have slammed him for not being since coming to NY. In the Wolves game, he grabbed 17 rebounds. Against Chicago, he had a Devil’s number in 6 rebounds, 6 assists and 6 steals.
The effort and the right ideas are there. When your shot isn’t falling, do other things to help the team. However, there just needs to be more imaginative plays to get Melo the ball in crunch time aside from Felton running around the perimeter until there’s less than 10 seconds on the shot clock. Or just dumping it to Melo repeatedly on the block.
Luckily for the Knicks, they have 78 games and a few months to get it right.
The Knicks got a lesson on the importance of closing out teams last night as they ended up in a seesaw battle in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter in fighting off the Bucks to a 90-83 victory.
After a first half which saw the Knicks dominate defensively (forcing 16 turnovers) for a 56-31 lead (punctuated by a 32-13 second quarter), New York would only score 34 points in the second half while giving up an astounding 33 points in the third quarter! It would have been great for the starters to rest considering the Bulls await them tonight, but this dogfight may just be what the team needed.
STRONG BACKCOURT: Coach Woodson went with the 2 point guard backcourt of Raymond Felton and Pablo Prigioni. The Knicks caught a big break when Bucks guard Brandon Knight left the game two minutes in with a strained hamstring. Luke Ridnour also didn’t play, ensuring the Bucks offense would be stalled in parts without their point guards. Felton executed several excellent fast breaks off steals and had his jumper working to the tune of 18 points. There was a brief scare with him having to leave the game due to a strained hamstring, but he worked through it.
Prigioni was his usual pest on defense, notching 3 steals and keeping the ball moving with 5 assists. Iman Shumpert started slow (0-3), but began showing the range and even finishing at the rim (a problem for him last year). Shump ended up with 16 points.
FLAT THIRD QUARTER: The Knicks came out very weak. This was an issue last season where the guys just seemed to get unfocused on their rotations. Before you knew the it, the lead went from 18 to 11 to single digits. The stupid fouls contributed to the Bucks getting easy baskets as well. Melo looked to get teammates involved, but several wide-open jumpers were missed and the Bucks continued to surge.
4TH QUARTER SCARE AWAKENS MELO AND CHANDLER: Caron Butler had a solid game for the Bucks (14 points) and managed to tie it with 4:30 remaining off a three-pointer. Milwaukee even took the lead off a John Henson free throw (81-80). From there, Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler were the catalyst for a game-sealing 10-2 run. Prigioni got a steal for a fast break, leading to Melo missing a layup and Chandler putting home a putback dunk. Melo then scored on his next two plays, a tip-in and a post-move, to make it 86-81. Another Chandler dunk made it 88-81 and effectively iced the game. Melo finished with a solid double-double of 19 points (7-16) and 10 rebounds. Chandler added 6 points, 10 rebounds and 5 blocked shots.
BARGNANI BOOED: Based on this game, the New York faithful won’t have much patience with Andre Bargnani this season. He struggled with his shot and defense for most of the game and finished with 6 points (3-9 shooting) and 2 rebounds off the bench. He was unsure of himself and that’s one thing NY doesn’t tolerate. To be fair, he’s still learning the offense and I’m willing to wait 25 games before pulling out the pitchforks.
BETTER EFFORT NEEDED AGAINST CHICAGO: The Bulls smacked around the Knicks every game last year. NY will have to be much better tonight if they hope to get a win, as Chicago is having their season-opener with Derrick Rose returning. We’ll see how the lineup tweaks work with Amar’e Stoudemire getting burn tonight. Game starts at 8 p.m. ET on TNT.
With the regular season starting next week, the Knicks cleaned house yesterday with the waiving of five players: Ike Diogu, C.J. Leslie, Josh Powell, Jeremy Tyler, and Chris Douglas-Roberts.
The surprise among the cut players are Diogu and Tyler. The former played well in his limited minutes (7.2 points, 4 rebounds in 16. 2minutes) and provided a solid inside presence with his 6’8, 255 pound frame. The 6’10 Tyler, who was signed to a 2-year deal in August after a strong showing in the summer league, was unable to play this pre-season after suffering a right foot stress fracture in early September that’s sidelined him until late November.
With the Knicks’ constant rebounding issues, the team announced that they will “keep an eye” on Tyler once he’s healthy should he not sign elsewhere.
The waivers mean that Chris Smith, brother of JR Smith, has made the team despite registering playing time in just three games and averaging 1 point (14% shooting) and 1 rebound.
I hope the Knicks have a plan because this looks bad on paper. Yes, we kept the 7-footer Cole Aldrich (who frankly was inconsistent this pre-season but has upside…), but the Diogu and Tyler cuts are baffling based on their play. I don’t have much hope Tyler will be available to resign during the season — serviceable and young big men are lacking and any team with sense will pick him up. Unless NY has an under the table deal in place, he’s possibly gone for good. And while Diogu wasn’t in the best shape, he gave a great effort in the post and was the only player outside of Melo that’s shown he could finish around the rim consistently.
As for JR’s brother, we know nepotism is the only reason he’s on the roster. I’ll hold my outrage if he’s cut and sent to the D-League. If he remains on the bench, it shows the organization has no vested interest in putting together a winning team. Roster spots, especially with our needs, are important and should be treated as such.
We’ll see how this plays out in the coming weeks. For now, there’s reason for concern.
Earlier this week, the Knicks held a special “Orange & Blue” Scrimmage for fans up in NYC. The below video recap includes comments from Melo, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Tyson Chandler. Peep the ending jam session courtesy of Melo, Hardaway Jr. and Shump.
In his first game before his hometown fans in Baltimore, Carmelo Anthony dropped 22 points to lead the Knicks to a 98-89 preseason win over the Washington Wizards.
Despite the ongoing issues with rebounding and defense, there managed to be several bright spots on the roster. Forward Ike Diogu continued his good play with 10 points and 8 rebounds in 23 minutes. Toure Murray was another standout with his tight perimeter defense keeping John Wall contained. He also chipped in 14 points and 2 steals, prompting Melo to say afterward that Murray had a “bright future” in this league.
Andrea Bargnani (13 points) also showed signs of what hopefully leads to a comeback season. In the first half, he was aggressive getting to the rim and exhibited solid post-defense (3 blocks). While his rebounding was abysmal (just 2 boards), it wasn’t a huge detriment against this Wizards team.
INJURY SCARE: In the first quarter, Iman Shumpert sprained his right elbow after colliding with a driving Bradley Beal. He could have returned later in the game, but was wisely left out as a precaution.
BACKCOURT BLITZ: Beno Udrih is getting more comfortable every game. He had a few nice drives into the lane, one of which resulted in a three-point play. He finished with 12 points on 5-9 shooting. Tim Hardaway Jr. was another offensive spark with 14 points.
DOGHOUSE: You know that old saying about it’s not about the size of the dog, but the size of the fight in the dog? It’s the perfect saying to describe how the battle is playing out over our final roster spots. It’s no secret that we need a legit center to back up Tyson Chandler, but thus far guys like Cole Aldrich have looked clueless out there. Meanwhile, Diogu is all grit and determination, grabbing boards and finishing around the rim. Yeah, he’s only 6’8, but rebounding isn’t just about size — it’s positioning and awareness of the ball. Diogu has shown that while others like Josh Powell and the aforementioned Aldrich have not. It looks like Coach Woodson sees that as well, so I expect he’ll make the team over his bigger and younger counterparts.
The Knicks will be back in action on Monday (October 21) against the Raptors.
The sugery marks the third knee procedure Stoudemire has undergone in the last 12 months. Last year, Stoudemire missed the beginning of the season due to a debridement surgery on his right knee. The same procedure, this time on his left knee, caused him to miss the end of the regular season and a total of 53 games.
At press time, the Knicks are preparing for their opening media day. Stoudemire has yet to release a statement.
I doubt many of us were expecting much from Stat this year, but it’s still disheartening to hear that he’s had yet another surgery. I’m not deterred by the claim it’s not “serious.” Anything having to do with Stat’s knees is serious, as the last 12 months have shown.
I’m sure Amar’e will downplay this and claim he’s in “phenomenal shape,” but it serves as another warning for Knicks coach Mike Woodson that Stat will have to be on a meticulously-managed minute schedule. I’d be shocked if we see him play more than 15 minutes a game this season unless we’re severely short-handed.
The Knicks have been a roll this week and sewed up one of their last remaining depth roles in signing 9-year point guard Beno Udrih to a one-year, veteran’s minimum deal.
The Knicks have been vigorously pursuing Udrih for the past few weeks. According to undisclosed sources close to Udrih, his main reason for joining the Knicks was a chance to play for a contender.
Udrih averaged 8.2 points and 4.6 assists last season for the Bucks and Magic. Over the last 27 games of the year, Udrih increased his numbers to 10 points per game and six assists while shooting 40% from the field and 39% from three-point range.
This is a very good pickup, especially at the veteran’s minimum. When Felton went down on Christmas Day last year, the Knicks backcourt suffered greatly with the increased burden on the old legs of Jason Kidd and Pablo Prigioni. Udrih not only works the pick n’ roll well, but he has a solid mid-range jumper which will be essential in keeping the floor spaced.
The other point guard option was Bobby Brown, who from what I’ve seen is an aggressive point guard with a scorer’s mentality. I wouldn’t have been mad at picking him up, but Udrih’s NBA experience was likely the deciding the factor in NY choosing him.
Considering the limitations we had on the financial end, we’ve made some excellent moves this summer in improving nearly every position.