Tyson Chandler Returns to Starting Lineup Against Bucks

Brooklyn Nets v New York Knicks

Knicks center Tyson Chandler has confirmed that he will return to the starting lineup tonight against the Milwaukee Bucks.

Chandler has been sidelined since November 6 after fracturing his right fibula in a collision with Bobcats guard Kemba Walker. In his absence, the Knicks have struggled mightily on the defensive end, posting an overall record of 7-17.

In the four games Chandler has played this year, he’s averaged 7 points, 9 rebounds, 1 steal and 2.5 blocks.

Coach Woodson has also confirmed that the addition of Chandler will move Andrea Bargnani to the bench, and Carmelo Anthony to the power forward position.


Finally, some good news! I’m not expecting Chandler to be an immediate savior since the team’s problems are varied. In addition, it’ll take some games before his timing and legs are fully back. But from a morale standpoint, just his presence will be a huge energy burst for this team. The road to .500 begins tonight…

Rest Easy, Melo — Knicks Come from 22 Down to Stun Cavs

They do a lot of switching… a lot of stuff where you can get caught in laziness and hanging back. So we’re just moving and cutting and guys are cutting hard. And we got Luke Walton out there so it makes it easy. – Cavs guard C.J. Miles on the Knicks’s first half defense


As you can see from the above quote, the Cavs were feeling themselves in the first half against the Knicks. They had reason to be cocky on 68% shooting and at one point in the second holding a 22 point lead (52-30). The Knicks couldn’t make basic defensive rotations and Luke Walton was dishing dimes like a prime John Stockton. And to add to the misery, Carmelo Anthony had a Benny Hill moment in tripping over his own feet and badly hurting his right knee to knock him out the rest of the game.

But halfway through the second, the Knicks began showing signs of life and very gradually it seemed to dawn on them they were playing the Cavaliers. Without Melo, Coach Woodson was forced to do what should become a regular end-game lineup in playing both Amar’e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler.


MEET THE LATEST BENCH PLAYER TO TORCH NY: Center Marreese Speights got the start today and promptly began going to town with jumper after jumper. He hit his first 10 shots and had 15 points after the first. Whether it was Chandler or Stat, he was the Cavs’s dominate scorer in the first half. However, reality (and the Knicks defense) made him a non-factor in the second half where he only had 2 points.


MELO’S INJURY TRIGGERS RUN: The Knicks looked completely demoralized down 22 and the Melo injury appeared to signal this would be a blowout evening. The Knicks instead rallied with a 17-4 run to close the quarter and take a 49-61 deficit into halftime. In the third, the Knicks stormed out with a 10-0 run to pull within 59-61 behind tough interior defense that triggered jump balls, and solid shooting from Jason Kidd and JR Smith. Still, the Knicks couldn’t quite get over the hump despite holding the Cavs to just 1 point six minutes into the quarter and outscoring them 21-13 overall. Going into the fourth, they were still down 70-74.


LIVE BY THE THREE: The Knicks drilled seven treys in the fourth and everyone got in on the party. Novak rebounded from the horrid Sunday game against the Heat and had three treys in the quarter. Kidd nailed two crucial ones, and Raymond Felton added one of his own late. Kidd’s last trey in the final minutes put the Knicks up 97-91, which proved to be just enough breathing room down the stretch.


THE STAT N TYSON SHOW: For the first time in what seemed like ages, Woodson played our two elite bigs in the fourth to devastating effect. Guards Pablo Prigioni and Felton had Stat feasting on pick n rolls for easy dunks and Chandler was all over the boards. The game-changing plays in the last minute came down to this duo. With a slim 97-95 lead, Stat attacked the rim, got blocked and went back up strong to push the lead to 99-95. Later, a missed Stat jumper was tipped out by Chandler to Jason Kidd, leading to a free throw to push the lead to 100-97. And finally, Irving’s three-point attempt to tie was promptly blocked by Chandler to ice the game.


LOSING STREAK ENDS: For some inexplicable reason, the Cavs have been a huge problem for the Knicks even after the LeBron era. Before tonight, the last time the Knicks had won in Cleveland went back to November 2006. To put that in perspective, current Cavs all-star Kyrie Irving for 14 years old at the time.

At this time, we don’t know how much time Melo will miss. Even though the Knicks are claiming it isn’t serious, I don’t have much faith in an early prognosis from the Knicks medical staff considering what we’ve seen happen this year with Rasheed Wallace, Stoudemire and Camby.

Next up is the Pistons, so the Knicks should be able to handle that squad again without Melo.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBWPqDYRK_k&feature=youtube_gdata_player]

Raymond Felton Begins Shooting Drills, Eyes Jan. 26 Return


Raymond Felton, currently out with a right pinky fracture, completed his first non-contact practice yesterday at the Madison Square Garden training facility. It’s no secret that the Knicks desperately need Felton, who’s been out since late December. The loss of Felton has forced New York to put heavy minutes on its aged guard reserves Jason Kidd and Pablo Prigioni.

From the below clip, the recovery period has already done wonders for his shooting form. If everything continues to go well, Felton could be back this Saturday when NY heads to Philly to face the Sixers.

[youtube http://youtu.be/xoi_USg2i-E]

Happy New Year! Amar’e Stoudemire to Make 1/1/13 Debut Against Trailblazers


Knicks co-captain Amar’e Stoudemire will make his long-awaited season debut tonight at Madison Square Garden against the Portland Trailblazers.

Stoudemire had been sidelined the entire season after undergoing a left knee debridement procedure in October. He completed his first scrimmage on December 19 and completed a full contact practice with no problems.

Stoudemire is expected to come off the bench for the forseeable future, manning a formidable second unit with the team’s second leading scorer, JR Smith.

Source: Yahoo Sports


A low-post presence? More rebounding? Scoring help? Stat’s return couldn’t have come at a better time with Melo and Sheed questionable for tonight. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that Stat has a monster game to start his season off right. I know for sure the Garden will give him a thunderous ovation. Once Shumpert is back, the circle will be complete.

[Video] Iman Shumpert’s December 30 Practice


Iman Shumpert’s will be returning to the Knicks lineup in January after eight months sidelined with a torn ACL. Here is a glimpse of his training conducted yesterday. Shumpert has not started full contact practices at this time.

#@*! a Moral Victory: Knicks Erase 27-Point Deficit But Lose on Kings Buzzer-Beater 106-105


It finally came back to bite us in the ass.  Playing pathetic defense and letting trash teams hang around has happened a few times this season, most notably in December on the road to the Bobcats and Suns. But each time, the Knicks played great fourth quarter D and JR Smith hit heroic buzzer-beating shots to steal the games. Well, this time we got to feel the heartbreak ourselves with James Johnson heaving up a miracle three to snatch away what would have been the greatest comeback in Knicks history. Personally, this game still has me pissed off and these are the reasons why.


LESSON LEARNED: You play two halves of basketball for a reason, New York. I don’t know if the Knicks were thrown off because of the last start time (10 p.m. ET time) or what, but their defense in the first half was the worst it’s been the whole season. Coach Woodson was incredulous watching Kings guards essentially having an open look shooting drill from the three-point arc. You had guys like Jimmer Fredette coming off the bench and scoring 15 points in 12 minutes off 6-7 shooting from downtown. The Knicks had no effort on each side of the ball and our ineptness was puncuated by Chris Copeland getting blocked on a fast break by little guard Aaron Brooks. And not to mention that block lead to a Kings fast break and a three-pointer.

It doesn’t matter that we were missing a good chunk of our starting lineup; giving up 71 points at the half to the Kings is not acceptable. In the second half, the Knicks held Sacramento to 35 points. I hope the lesson that Woodson crashed home in the postgame is that if we had of played any semblance of defense in the first half, this would have been a Knicks blowout win.


KIDD’s KEY MISTAKE AND CRITICAL MISSED SHOTS: Jason Kidd is our glue, but last night 2 of his 5 turnovers resulted in us not being able to steal the victory. Kidd turned the ball over twice, the last in trying to get a lob to Chandler, that lead to Kings forward James Johnson hitting his first three-pointer of the season. In hindsight, our last three possessions went heavy on isolation and trying to wear the clock down instead of ball movement to maximize scoring opportunities. Chandler made several offensive tipbacks to give us extra possessions but we failed to convert on any which would’ve iced the game.

The other problem is the missed free throws. Chandler was a beast everywhere else in getting 21 points and 18 rebounds, but his 3-9 at the free throw line (including a key miss in the final minutes), came back to haunt us. The rest of the team was no better as we shot 12-20 (60%).


IF SOMEONE ELSE GETS INJURED I’LL SCREAM: How much more bad luck can we have? The early word from last night was that Tyson Chandler was seen limping in the locker room due to a sprained ankle. He won’t miss any time but I’m really desperate, as most Knicks fans are, to see this squad at full strength. Melo, Rasheed Wallace and Amar’e Stoudemire are all scheduled to come back sometime next week, with the first two expected to be back on January 1. Their presence is sorely needed.


THE BRIGHT SPOTS: Chris Copeland’s first half defense was trash like everyone else’s, but his scoring was very impressive. He had the jumper working and was aggressive in dropping 23 points. JR Smith continued his excellent play with a season-high 28 points coupled with 7 rebounds and 5 assists. Marcus Camby didn’t have a strong rebounding game (just 2 boards), but his 11 minutes were key in our comeback as he had four emphatic blocks around the rim.

In the end, we’re still 21-9 despite the erratic play of the last two weeks. In a few days we’ll start 2013 with several of our most important players back and our best perimeter defender in Iman Shumpert is scheduled to make his return by mid-January. It would have been great to end the year with our greatest comeback in overcoming a 27 point deficit, but Knicks fans have many reasons to be hopeful in the New Year.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DJrkWXweDjw&feature=youtube_gdata_player]

[Video] Amar’e Stoudemire Speaks On First Practice Since Knee Surgery


Amar’e Stoudemire completed his first scrimmage workout yesterday with no problems for the D-League Erie Bayhawks. With his comeback just a few games away, Stoudemire wanted to test his left knee which underwent a debridement in October and has caused him to miss every game thus far thid season.

The clip below is less than a minute, but we can see that Amar’e is in great shape. In addition, he previously confirmed that he was no problem coming off the bench as needed, making a possible second unit anchored by Amar’e and JR Smith a nightmare for most B-squads in the league.

And as the Houston game showed, we’re in sore need of a reliable second scorer when Melo is out.