[Video] Beasley’s 30 Spoils Melo’s Homecoming


It was a bittersweet evening last night for Carmelo Anthony’s homecoming to Madison Square Garden. On one hand, it was sad to see Melo in another team’s uniform after giving his prime years to the city and never truly wanting to leave. On the other hand, the Knicks seem headed in the right direction as they outplayed OKC without Porzingis to win going away and improve to three games over .500. There was a lot to celebrate last night as the team appears to have brought in to Hornacek’s system just in time to face a challenging road stretch.

B-EASY’S GREEN LIGHT:  To say Beasley’s had an up and down season so far is an understatement. We’ve seen him lost on defense and out of control on offense. But tonight and in recent games, the former #2 pick has been locked in. He knows without Hardaway and KP, he’s one of the few guys on the squad that can get his own shot. He did that last night in spades by thoroughly outplaying Melo to the tune of 30 points on 11/17 shooting.

We saw post-ups on mismatches, slashing to the rim to score or draw fouls, and long-range shooting. And most importantly, we saw Beasley moving the ball and hitting guys like O’Quinn for open dunks out of double teams.

I’m surprised Beasley didn’t get an MVP chant last night.


LEE PROVIDES BACKUP: Courtney Lee was excellent tonight, tallying 20 points (3/6 from downtown) and getting to the line (7/7). He did a good job making Paul George work on offense and managed to nab two steals. When he’s aggressive and looking for his shot, it makes it much harder for teams to collapse on our main offensive weapons.

JACK CLOSES THE SHOW: Frank Ntilikina has been the closing PG in recent games, but he struggled mightily in keeping up with Russell Westbrook (25 points, 7 reb, 7 ast). So Hornacek went with Jack, who relied on veteran savvy to time Westbrook’s drives for steal opportunities. He pestered Russ and did a good job of running him into double teams and settling for mid-range jumpers. And Jack nearly had his own triple double, finishing with 12 points, 8 rebound and 7 assists.

BENCH PUTS IT AWAY: OKC was only down 5 in the fourth quarter before our bench players effectively put the game away. Doug McDermott was a man possessed early in the quarter, hitting 3 three-pointers and finishing with 13 points. Kyle O’Quinn prowled the paint on offense and defense, finishing with 9 points, 7 rebounds and a team-best +16. And let’s not forget the scrappyRon Baker, who chipped in 11 points on 3/4 shooting from downtown. But his biggest contribution was on defense, where he pestered the perimeter (2 steals).

TIRED THUNDER: Although many had their doubts about us winning with Porzingis out, OKC were on the second night of a back to back after playing a triple-overtime game in Philly. Those heavy legs became apparent in the fourth when OKC just couldn’t push the tempo. They hoped jumpers and threes would get them back in it, but when we closed those opportunities none of them had the energy left to attack the basket.

Melo looked the worst of the bunch. Outside of hitting his first two jumpers and an alley oop later, he had a horrible shooting night. Melo finished with just 12 points on 5/18 shooting. His miserable homecoming was punctuated by getting denied at the rim late in the fourth by O’Quinn. I hope our old star can get it together out there.

As for us, I’m starting to feel very confident we’re developing the chemistry to be a playoff team.


Melo Responds to Phil Jackson Press Conference on IG


Carmelo Anthony was essentially served his walking papers today at Phil Jackson’s press conference.

When asked if he wanted to keep Melo, Jackson bluntly stated the Knicks all-star would “be better off somewhere else.” Anthony, who just two days earlier affirmed he wanted to remain a Knick, took to Instagram to send a simple response.

I’m sure this is doing wonders for our marketability with free agents. If there’s any silver lining, it’s that Melo controls his destiny with his no-trade clause. Let’s hope he can go to a contender or elite team (Clippers, Wizards) and this charade and disrespect can finally end.


[Video] Too Much Firepower: Warriors 112, Knicks 105


The Knicks didn’t lay down yesterday afternoon for the Warriors. They fought hard and kept it close until the sheer depth and talent of the Warriors pulled away in the fourth quarter behind timely shots from Klay Thompson (29 points) and Steph Curry (31 points) to hand NY their second consecutive loss. Even with Durant out, no one gave us much of a chance to pull this off. However, the game did have some positives for our younger players.

PORZINGIS FIGHTS THROUGH ADVERSITY: KP struggled at times to get his shot from the Warriors’ physical play, but he never looked discouraged and kept fighting. For that reason, he managed a double double with 24 points and 15 rebounds. This is significant progress because last year Draymond Green completely locked him up. The rebounding is most promising considering at times he was boxing out a bruiser like David West to get them.

BAKER AND HOLIDAY: These two combined for 19 points on 54% shooting off the bench. They were pivotal in keeping the game close once the starters sat. In his 23 minutes, Baker was a +10.

D-ROSE LEADS THE WAY: As has been the trend this season, Derrick Rose gets up for marquee PG matchups. The refs gave up him fair shake on calls, resulting in him going 10/11 from the charity stripe. Overall, Rose finished with 28 points. Unfortunately, the reason we normally lose when Rose leads all scorers is that the offensive flow sucks and others are frozen out. In this case, Melo only managed 15 points on 6/12 shooting and Lance Thomas, who’s played well as a starter in recent games, was held scoreless over 27 minutes.

4th QUARTER EXECUTION: With 5:56 left in the game, New York was only down 97-93. But the Warriors showed why they’re the odds-on favorite to win the title. Thompson and Curry had some dagger three-pointers coupled with Green getting to the line. Golden State also tightened up their defense to force turnovers.


[Video] Demar Derozan Game-Winner Overcomes Late Melo Heroics


To tank or not to tank? Carmelo Anthony believes not to, as evidenced by his 24 points and a nice pass to Courtney Lee for a three-pointer that made it 91-90 with 10 seconds remaining. But Demar Derozan had other plans, hitting an 18-footer over Derrick Rose to help the Raptors escape the Garden with a 92-91 victory.

We’ve seen games like this countless times throughout the season. The Knicks played strong defense early and had a 53-40 halftime lead. But in the second half, they struggled to deal with the Raptor’s aggressive defense and settled too much for contested jumpers. Still, they had a chance to win it at the buzzer with Melo’s open three-pointer clanking.

The Knicks are 24-36, five games out the playoffs, and have the eighth-worst record in the NBA. This team has shown zero consistency the entire year and don’t need to start now. The long-term health of the team rests on getting the highest draft pick possible this summer.

Melo to Replace Kevin Love as 2017 All-Star


Carmelo Anthony is once again an All-Star. The Knicks forward learned today the NBA has selected him to replace the injured Kevin Love.

Love is expected to miss six weeks to recover from knee surgery. Sunday’s game will be Melo’s 10th All-Star game appearance.

Anthony is averaging 23 points on 44% shooting for the season. The selection comes with Melo on a recent hot streak of 26 points on 46% shooting for his last 10 games.


[Video] Hornacek Rips Starters in 131-123 Loss to Nuggets


Photo Credit: USA Today Sports Images

What happens when you face the statistically worst defense in the league? You drop 123 points on their head. But what also happens with your defense is equally as trash? You still lose because you gave up 131 points at home! The Knicks continue to be the laughingstock of the league with another L to fall 11 games under .500.

Coach Hornacek is at his wit’s end and let the starters have it to start his post-game interview.

Couldn’t guard anybody. Simple as that. They should be embarrassed by the way they couldn’t guard anybody… So those guys are happy scoring their points. We’re going to lose every game.

The venom was warranted. The Nuggets at one point late in the first quarter were shooting 75% and finished 6/11 from three-point range. Luckily, the Knicks were on their own shooting barrage and were only down 2 (34-32) to start the second quarter.

The Knicks played their best ball last night with the second unit, who pushed the pace and attacked the Nuggets defense in transition.  Kyle O’Quinn (16 points on 8/9, 4 blocks) got after it on both ends. Willy Hernangomez (12 points) showed great hands catching needle-thread passes from Brandon Jennings (6 points, 13 assists) on fast breaks.

But it would all go to hell once the starters returned. A 12-point second quarter lead evaporated via an 11-3 Nuggets run and the Knicks, despite scoring 66 POINTS, could only settle for a two-point halftime lead.


YOU CAN’T OUTSCORE BAD DEFENSE: The second half was just an abomination on the defensive end. Kristaps Porzingis, starting his first game as a center, got a somber wake-up call from Nikola Jokic, who lit him and the rest of the Knicks bigs up for a career-high 40 points. It wasn’t just points — KP was getting rag-dolled in there when it came to rebounding. He’s simply not strong enough yet to bang consistently in the paint. Still, I agree with Hornacek that KP’s lack of physicality doesn’t excuse everything that happened last night.

With the length, it should help, he should be quicker than that guy. He should be able to get up on him. He might get overpowered at some point but a lot of (Jokic’s) shots, he just lined ’em up. Spun the ball around with the seams and just shot it in. If our guys think that’s a challenged shot, we need to redefine what that is.


WHEN 21 POINTS IN 12 MINUTES AIN’T ENOUGH: Carmelo Anthony, being the quintessential scorer that he is, thought he could shoot us back into it. He went 8/8 in the fourth quarter with 4 three-pointers, including several that got the deficit back in single digits. But it was all for naught since the Knicks couldn’t get stops. One late back-breaking sequence saw the Knicks give up a four-point play after Melo had cut the deficit to six.

Tonight it was bad. As players we’ve got to take that upon ourselves and hold ourselves accountable for that and we have to do better. We have to do better on the defensive end.

The Knicks will remain home for a national afternoon game against the Spurs on Sunday (February 12).


[Video] Inspired Knicks Can’t Close Show Against Clippers

Photo Credit: USA Today Sports Images

Last game, the Knicks were rightly trashed for a despicable effort against the Lakers. Tonight, the effort was there, but a few miscues in the final four minutes allowed the Clippers sans Chris Paul to pull out an 119-115 at Madison Square Garden.

Yes, outside of Charles Oakley’s arrest there was an exciting game that took place.


BIG THREE LOCKED IN: This was one of the rare times that Melo, Rose and KP all played well. All three scored 20 or more and shot at least 50%. Melo lead the way with 28 points and 9 boards. At times, he was engaged in an intense duel with Blake Griffin, who had a first quarter rampage with 18 points and finished with 32. Melo kept his heat-check shots to a minimum and played well in the flow of the offense.

What I liked most about his game is he got to the rim and in most cases finished, got fouled or kicked out. The 1 assist doesn’t reflect it, but he had a few hockey assists and it kept everyone involved.


We got our best game since D-Rose’s return with 20 points, 7 boards and 8 assists on 63% shooting. The most surprising thing about it was he did a lot of his damage on mid-range jumpers from all over the court. That was pivotal in keeping the floor spaced as the defense couldn’t pack the paint for his drives. And for the first time in what feels like ages, you saw Rose actively looking to pass to KP and others.


Looking to keep Porzingis involved did wonders for the kid’s confidence. He didn’t feel the need to defer to the vets and attacked the Clippers defense from the perimeter and inside with cuts to the rim. The three-pointer was there (4/7) and he finished with 27 points, 6 boards and 2 steals. The two glaring issues were the unwise personal fouls (5) and being unable to keep Deandre Jordan off the boards.

KP didn’t foul out, so in a twisted way that can be seen as progress. But if we had him for the stretches he had to sit, the game might have turned out differently. As for getting muscled in the paint by Jordan, that is something that only time can correct. However, it’s a good indicator that we are still a few years away before KP can consistently battle at the center position.

DEFENSE AND BENCH: So as good as the Big Three played, how did we lose? First, the defense simply couldn’t sustain their energy and focus. After outscoring the Clippers 95-88 over the first three quarters, the Clippers stormed back to outscore the Knicks 31-20 over the final 12 minutes. Former Knick Jamal Crawford burned us for 20 points (nine in the fourth) off the bench and even Deandre Jordan hit four straight free throws.

The other area that killed us was a lack of bench scoring. In recent games, we could count on a great showing from some combination of Jennings, O’Quinn, Holiday or Hernangomez. But last night they were overwhelmed and outscored 36-18. The highest Knicks bench contributors were Hernangomez and Holiday, who scored 5 points apiece on a combined 2/9 shooting.

The Knicks are home again on Friday to face the Nuggets.


Phil Jackson Breaks Silence to Slander Melo on Twitter


If you were expecting Phil Jackson to break his media silence with a professional press conference, think again. The Knicks president took to Twitter to take a thinly veiled shot at Carmelo Anthony and gave further fuel to the chaotic atmosphere that has become the Knicks since Melo hit the trading block.

The tweet centers around Jackson’s response to a highly critical article from Bleacher Report’s Kevin Ding that questioned Melo’s will to win and alleged infatuation with the spotlight. Phil gave his seal of approval while comparing Melo’s shortcomings to 80s CBA journeyman named Michael Graham.

Graham played on the 1984 champion Georgetown Hoyas. His academic career was mired by off the court issues. Graham was drafted by the Supersonics but failed to make the final roster. He played four years in the CBA averaging 7.8 points and 6.6 rebounds.


Yeah, this is the player Phil Jackson is comparing his star athlete to.

Never in a million years did I think Phil Jackson could turn the Knicks into a bigger joke than what we saw in the Isiah Thomas years. We have a toxic atmosphere where neither the players nor the coaches know what’s going on. Every day they’re out there trying to make sense of the rumors being leaked from Phil’s office or his minions in the media. It is clearly a major factor in the team’s recent tepid play, including last night’s debacle at home against the Lakers.

So what does Jackson do as our leader? Trashes the player he’s allegedly trying to get teams interested in trading for. It remains to be seen if this disrespect is enough to get Melo to trade his no-trade clause and essentially get ran out of town. And we wonder why most elite free agents have no interest in joining this mess.

Defense-Challenged Knicks Get Embarrassed at MSG By Lakers


Photo Credit: USA Today Sports Images

Getting blown out by the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers is one thing. Tonight, the Knicks proved themselves hopeless as they began an important four-game stretch by getting outhustled and pushed around by a struggling Lakers team to lose 121-107 at Madison Square Garden. The boos weren’t reserved for Melo this evening since it was the entire team that embarrassed themselves.

NO DEFENSE: The Knicks found themselves in a 10-point hole after the first quarter (19-29) by giving up 5 three-pointers and shooting just 37%. Things got no better in the second as Lou Williams abused our guards on the perimeter and Julius Randle feasted on the paint.

The Knicks went down by as much as 27 points in the first half. In the third, a few runs got it to 14, but the horrid defense prevented New York from getting any closer. The Lakers obliterated the Knicks in the paint 64-38 mostly off of PNR, back-door cuts and second chance buckets.

MELO A MAN ALONE: Because the entire team lacked effort, the MSG crowd couldn’t focus their venom on Melo. He didn’t give them much reason to being the sole Knick that shot well. Going 10/17 from the field, Melo finished with 26 points and 5 assists. Outside of his usual defensive lapses, Melo’s only other bad area was tallying 4 turnovers.


ROSE  RUSTY, PORZINGIS OUT OF SORTS: Derrick Rose’s first game back from a badly sprained ankle is what you’d expect. He was completely out of rhythm over his 32 minutes, going 2/8 (5 points), having 3 turnovers and only 3 assists.

Kristaps Porzingis had no excuse. After a strong finish to the Nets game, he started 0/6 from the field and had just 1 point at halftime. He picked it up over the second half and finished with 16 points despite shooting 5/14. The rebounding was ok, but too often he got beat on simple PNR plays. For positives, he nearly had a double double with 9 boards and was not in foul trouble for a change (2 personals). I don’t buy the

I don’t buy the sore Achilles excuse; right now it’s all mental with KP.

BENCH POSITIVES: Everyone sucked defensively, but the bench had their moments. Brandon Jennings’s streaking shooting was pivotal in every run. He tried to push the pace, got to the line 7 times, and dished out 5 assists. Justin Holiday was 3/5 from downtown and finished with 14 points. And Willy Hernangomez in 24 minutes gave another example of why he should be starting with 8 points and 13 boards.

The Knicks are back at home Wednesday, February 8 to face the Clippers on ESPN.


Speedy Wizards Overwhelm Short-Handed Knicks 117-101


Photo Credit: USA Today Sports Images

What happens when you’re coming off a four-overtime game and missing two of your star offensive players in Kristaps Porzingis and Derrick Rose? You get a Knicks team that couldn’t compete with the firepower of the Wizards, who had all their starters in double figures to easily defeat the Knicks 117-101

The Wizards came into tonight on a 15-game home winning streak and showed a poise and efficiency that the Knicks have been lacking for weeks.

2ND HALF COLLAPSE: The game had our usual pattern. Carmelo Anthony started fast with a 13-point first quarter on 5/7 shooting. But the warning signs (erratic foul shooting, suspect defense, stagnant offense) became more pronouned as the game wore on. The Knicks were only down 54-59 at the half, but were shooting 41%.

Any thought of this game being one the Knicks could steal was erased early in the third. The Wizards went on a 12-2 run to go up 71-56 and never looked back. With Melo being the only one that could create his own shot, the lead at several points ballooned as high as 20. By the 4:42 mark in the fourth, Coach Hornacek waved the white flag and emptied the bench.

Bradley Beal damaged us the most with 28 points. Wall finished with 15 points and 13 assists, and Markieff Morris added 24 points.


BRIGHT SPOTS: Melo was our only consistent weapon, finishing with 26 points (10/17 FG) and 5 boards. Our best two-player was Willy Hernangomez, who started for KP and contributed 15 points, 14 boards and 4 assists. The fact our rook lead the team in assists gives you an idea how bad the ball movement was. Outside of Melo, the Knicks were 24/76 from the field for 32%.

Starting for Rose, Brandon Jennings had 21 points, 5 boards and 4 steals. Despite the high scoring, I can’t say he had a good game. As the starting PG, he only managed 2 assists, had 4 turnovers and shot 5/16 from the field.

The Knicks won’t have long to lick their wounds as we have the Nets tomorrow in Brooklyn.