[Video] Porzingis Solid in Summer League Debut


Knicks rookie Kristaps Porzingis had 12 points, 3 rebounds and 2 blocks in 18 minutes of play to help New York take a 78-73 victory over San Antonio.

Porzingis played center and went 3/5 from the field and 6/7 from the line.

Watch select highlights below. It’s just one game, but you can see the kid is skilled.

[youtube https://youtu.be/0GWrD9U-9i4]

JR Smith and Iman Shumpert Traded to Cavs

Iman Shumpert, J.R. Smith

In biggest move of Phil Jackson’s tenure as president, the Knicks have agreed to dump over $20 million in salary by trading guards JR Smith and Iman Shumpert to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Per the Associated Press, New York will get a second pick in 2019 from the Cavs. The Knicks will acquire filler players that they plan on immediately waiving. So far, the only confirmed one is rookie center Alex Kirk. The Oklahoma City Thunder will acquire Dion Waiters from Cleveland.

Shumpert is currently sidelined with a dislocated shoulder and averaging 9 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists. Smith, who was the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year in 2013, is averaging 11 points, 2 rebounds and 3 assists on the season.


So long, homies. I have a lot of love for JR and Shump. At their best, I loved the brash, young swagger they brought to the veteran lineups we’ve had in recent years. But if I’m honest, it is very apparent that both players have reached their ceilings in New York. We’ve been waiting for about 2 years for Shumpert to make that “leap” as a second option which just isn’t his game (nor fair to expect from him). Since JR’s excellent 2013 season, we’ve only seen erratic flashes of the focus that made him the Sixth Man of the Year.

A change of scenery will be beneficial for both guys. Shumpert will get to focus on being the lock-down, wing defensive specialist that was his calling card. And JR can be a secret weapon/gunner off the bench. The Cavaliers at the very least get more entertaining with JR on their roster.

I’ll remember the good times. Once a Knick, always a Knick.




Boos, Cheers and Late Hustle: Pistons 97, Knicks 81


Make that 10 straight losses. The Knicks suited up just nine players tonight against the Pistons and spent most of the game in an offensive and defensive fog, going down by as many as 30 points before settling on a 97-81 defeat. Game like this don’t yield many positives. However, the game’s last few minutes allowed for a few moments of cheering.


EARLY PROVIDES A SPARK: Rookie Cleathony Early suited up for the first time since mid-November after going down with a knee injury. Nothing about his numbers tonight will jump out at you — 5 points, 1 rebounds and a steal in 14 minutes of play. But the rook showed strong effort. His most notable moment was a coast-to-coast drive that resulted in a three-point play opportunity. His ethusiasm picked up the energy of the rest of the team and got JR nailing a few threes to bring the lead back under 20.

With only a two minutes left, the fans knew the Knicks wouldn’t be overcoming a 16-18 point deficit. But the fact the team actually gave a damn resulted in loud cheers that would make you believe we were watching a tight playoff game.

Early hasn’t been tainted yet by the constant losing. Fisher should keep him in rotation and maybe his youthful enthusiasm will get contagious.


ANGRY BOOS: Before the late run, most of the night was filled with irate boos from the Garden faithful. The Pistons started pulling away in the second via an 11-0 run that put them up 40-27. With their best players out (Melo, Hardaway Jr, Stoudemire etc.), that Knicks were relegated to contested jumpshots and were shooting well under 40% They were outscored 33-18 in the second and down 58-37 at halftime.

The hammering continued in the third with Brandon Jennings sinking repeated threes. The fans were booing at every intermission and each time it seemed to sap the team’s focus and confidence. The lowest point came with Jennings hitting a three at the end of the third that put the deficit at 82-52.


RANDOM NOTES: JR Smith lead the team with 22 points, going 8/20 from the field (mostly due to chucking threes in the final minutes). Cole Aldrich had a solid outing against Andre Drummond with 11 points, 14 rebounds and 3 blocks. Drummond had a low scoring night (7 points), but was a beast on the boards with 20 rebounds.

Andrea Bragnani was playing just his second game this season when he re-aggravated his right calf and left after a minute. No word on how much time he’s expected to miss.

The Knicks’ challenges mount as the team will play tough teams over the next week in the Grizzlies, Rockets, and Wizards.



Andrea Bargnani Back to Sidelines With Re-injured Right Calf


Andrea Bargnani’s return lasted one full game. The injured-plagued foward/center is back on the sidelines after re-aggravating his right calf just one minute into tonight’s game against the Pistons.

Bargnani made his season debut on New Year’s Eve, scoring 9 points in 19 minutes in a 99-78 losing effort to the Los Angeles Clippers.

Bargnani has played just 20 minutes this entire season.


ENOUGH! Remember we gave up two draft picks for this man last year? The Raptors are very grateful for that misstep. If the Pistons could figure out a way to drop their most expensive player in Josh Smith, we surely can figure out a way to get Bargnani out of here.

[Video] Jemele Hill Goes in on Melo – “He is not about winning!”


With last night’s loss to the Cavs, our 2014-2015 Knicks now hold the distinction of having the worst start in franchise history. Before last night’s game, Jemele Hill took the opportunity to rip Carmelo Anthony as player that’s only concerned with money and not winning.

It’s interesting to see how narratives are adjusted depending on the player. Usually when a player bolts rather than tough out a clear rebuilding period, they are called “ring-chasers” and “unloyal.” Now when we have one that stays, and he’s painted as a money-hungry and unmotivated.

Despite the injuries and some horrid shooting nights, Melo is our most consistent player and has had a decent start to this season (23 points ppg, 6 reb, 3 asst, 45% FG). The rest of the team, the majority of which will probably not be here by next year, is the problem. If Melo was clearly phoning it in, I could see this argument more.

Listen to Jemele’s rant below. Do you agree?

[Video] Returning Westbrook and OKC Maul Knicks 108-75


By the time the first quarter ended, the Melo-less Knicks had scored a just 13 points on 30% shooting and were looking at a 17-point deficit. Being a “Knicks loyalist” feels more like being a sadist these days, as the team never got within striking distance and ended up losing 105-78.

WESTBROOK UNSTOPPABLE: In his first game back from a broken right hand, Westbrook was a terror on the Knicks’ hapless defense. He slashed to the rim for dunks and layups, hit pullup jumpers, and even dished the ball when necessary. He ended up with 32 points and 8 assists, with most of his damage being done in the first 24 minutes with OKC scoring a season-high 59 first half points. New York was held to just 33, the second fewest all season by an OKC opponent.

EMBARRASSING DEFICITS: Jose Calderon’s return has seen a marked improvement in the ball movement, but the team is still composed of too many players that can’t create their own shots and have to settle for long, contested jumpers. The Knicks were 2/19 from three-point land and could only muster 39% shooting from the field.Only two players managed double figures (Stat, 20 points and Hardaway, 11 points). In the second quarter, the Knicks were down 40-13. By the third, the deficit had ballooned to 37 points.

ALARMING NUMBERS: Right now, the Knicks are out of the playoffs by about 4 games. However, the team has went 0-3 on this road trip and 1-9 in their last 10 games.The schedule gets much tougher in December, meaning if the NY doesn’t find some type of continuity in the next several weeks, it’s likely they’ll be a lottery team headed into 2015.

MELO UPDATE: Our leader spoke to the media before the game and advised he’s getting “closer” to coming back from back spasms that started during the first quarter of the Rocket game. In addition, he’s still dealing with some nagging left knee soreness.

UP NEXT: New York gets their first crack at the new look Miami Heat on Sunday night at MSG. Although nowhere near as bad as the Knicks, the Heat are also off to a sluggish start with an 8-7 record.

[youtube http://youtu.be/mj2536ZOnA0]

[Video] Melo Ends Preseason with Game-Winner Against Wizards


A tie-breaking three-point play in the final 13 seconds from Carmelo Anthony was enough to hold off the Washington Wizards and close out the Knicks’ preseason record at 3-3.

Melo had 30 points on 11/19 shooting, along with 3 rebounds and 3 assists. As usual, the Knicks made it harder than it needed to be through a combination of leaky defense (3-point coverage, issues with guard penetration) and errant passes. Changing a team’s culture takes time, so fans need to be prepared for an uneven season. What is promising is that the effort and direction is there.

The Knicks will get thrown right into the fire next Wednesday when they open the season against the Chicago Bulls.

[youtube http://youtu.be/pWZW4PyWYA8]

Dollars & Sense – Why Melo Was Right for Re-upping with Knicks for 5 Years, $120M+


Earlier today, Carmelo Anthony confirmed his decision to resign with the Knicks for a five-year deal that will reportedly be under the maximum $129 million he could have received. With that move, Melo’s worth was immediately re-evaluated. From the perspective of Chicago Bulls fans, he transformed from the missing piece to their championship aspirations to an athlete simply concerned about money over a winning legacy. Knicks fans are mostly happy to have back our most consistent player, but there is a vocal minority among us who blame Melo almost exclusively for last season’s failures. Through it all, Carmelo Anthony is back with the Knicks, and despite what you’ll read from other disgruntled fan bases, it was the right move.



The Bulls are a well-coached team that has had their potential hampered by injuries to their most dynamic player (Derrick Rose) and a horrid contract (Carlos Boozer). For the last three years, they’ve failed to attract a consistent scoring threat to take some of the pressure off of Rose. In that regard, you can’t blame them for looking at Carmelo Anthony as a savior. In Melo, they would have one of the deadliest scorers in league who could thrive in the post, from mid-range, or as a catch n’ shoot option on the three-point line.

But if you look at it from the supposed “win now” angle that the Bulls were selling, problems start to arise. The first issue is Derrick Rose himself. Melo forced himself to NY three years ago on the gamble that his co-star, Amar’e Stoudemire, would be able to share the offensive load with him. That has been the furthest thing from the truth, with Stat having to undergo back and knee surgeries. Add to that the minute restrictions and we’ve seen Melo essentially be forced to carry the team.

How does that tie back to Rose? Consider the fact that as hobbled as Stat has been over the last two seasons, he’s still played more games than Rose, who went down early last season with more knee problems following a previously missed season for ACL damage. By coming to the Bulls, Melo would have basically put himself at the mercy of Rose’s health. If Stoudemire’s recent years have taught Melo anything, it’s that knee problems rarely go away. A move to Chicago presented a strong possibility of not only replicating his last few years in NY, but also with a substantial pay cut (over $30 million dollars).



The only fan I excuse for having that “stars should take less money” mentality are teenagers who have yet to enter the workforce. I cannot fathom how any working adult can share that stance.

Let’s do a quick scenario. You walk into your job with a potential raise on the table after years of hard work, building your skills/resume etc. However, your employer tells you that it would be easier for the company’s tax bottom line if you not only didn’t take the raise, but took a pay cut. Most of us would balk at our salaries being reduced $5000 per year, let alone the millions we expect NBA players to give up. Remember — more money, more problems. Just because they have a higher pay grade doesn’t mean they don’t have higher expenses and family obligations to take care of.

I say all that to drive home the importance of this contract for Melo. At 30 years old, this is very likely the last time he’ll be able to generate money on this level. Furthermore, he’s one of the few players that deserves it based on his skills and level of play. Yes, he’s not as good as LeBron. But in a league where the likes of an Avery Bradley can command $8 million per year, are you really going to try to argue that Melo, who averaged 28 points and 8 rebounds last year, isn’t worth a max salary or close to it?



It’s no secret that Phil Jackson and Derek Fisher are looking to implement the triangle offense. Every championship version I’ve ever seen of the triangle had a dynamic scorer. Melo fits that perfectly. Yes, I understand the skepticism that he can adapt to it. However, those thinking Melo isolations were his idea need to remember the track record of his previous Knicks coaches (D’antoni, Woodson). Melo has yet to have a competent coach or system here in NYC. Not to mention, last year had several players post career-lows in scoring (Felton) and shoot awfully for the majority of the season (Shumpert, JR). Iso Melo wasn’t simply the first option — it was damn near the only option due to how inept our offensive sets were under Woodson.



Aside from the Bulls, Melo also had the Lakers and Rockets on his free agency list. LA is crippled by Kobe Bryant’s contract and have no prospects of improving their roster anytime soon. Outside of maybe getting Lala a few more movie roles, the Lakers made no sense. The Rockets would have been an interesting mix, but I believe watching Harden’s style of play flame out in the playoffs probably deterred Melo from seeing a Houston signing as really creating another “Big Three.”



Resigning Melo was just one of the steps on Phil Jackson’s agenda. As noted a few days ago, he’s begun looking at potential trades that can ship out the real albatross contracts on the books in Stoudemire and Andrea Bargnani. But unlike past regimes, Phil is being patient. He wants to develop our younger players and is totally against shipping out guys like Tim Hardaway Jr. just to rid the team of Bargnani or Stat.

Let Phil do his job. The man got rid of Raymond Felton for Christ’s sake. I have full confidence we’ll see another big move or two in the coming months and very likely during the season as well.

[youtube http://youtu.be/A-zukdgQL1o]



[Video] Phil Jackson Talks Melo Signing Delay: “I’m pretty flat emotionally about all this…”


As Carmelo Anthony continues to mull his playing future, Knicks president Phil Jackson talked to the media to give his thoughts on the resigning delay, LeBron James’ role in said delay, and if Melo should be taking less than the offered 5-year, $129 million dollar contract. Through it all, Jackson remains composed. He revealed that he thought their last meeting went very well, as verified by Yahoo sources last week. However, Jackson also did confirm that his recent text messages to Anthony over the last few days have gone unreturned.

Whatever happens, one thing remains — in Phil we trust.

[Video] Ball Movement! All Access Knicks Summer League Practice 7/9/14


We finally have footage of Derek Fisher’s new role as head coach courtesy of yesterday’s practice for the summer league team. As you’ll see from the YouTube comments, fans are already claiming this clip has more ball movement than we saw all season with last year’s team. Jokes aside, it’s great to see Fish and new assistant coach Kurt Rambis drilling home importance of moving the ball for open shots. Our offense was such a struggle last season on all fronts that the massive change in culture Phil Jackson is attempting to implement needs to start early. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.