Summer League: Knox Goes Off for 29, But Knicks Fall to Lakers


Kevin Knox had another impressive game last night in the Knicks’ 109-92 loss to the Lakers, scoring a game-high 29 points. Without Frank Ntilikina (groin), the Knicks had struggles with pace and executing plays. The team still showed real fight in coming back from 25 down and had a brief lead before running out of gas.

KNOX SETTLES INTO HIS BEST SCORING NIGHT:  Our prized rookie was looking shaky early on, going 0/6 in the first quarter. Without Knox’s offense, thr Lakers had a 53-42 halftime lead and extended it to 25 early in the third.

Then Knox exploded. He had a 16-point third quarter punctuated by two late three pointers to get New York within striking distance. By the fourth, the Knicks were able to get a brief 82-78 lead before falling apart defensively and allowing the Lakers to knock down three consecutive three-pointers and pull away.

“We were down — I wanted to make sure I did the best I can to help my team come back,’’ Knox said. “It was good feeling. My teammates did a great job finding me.

“Collectively it was a good team comeback. Unfortunately we couldn’t get the win.”

Knox went 5/7 from downtown and I’m already seeing visions of excellent floor spacing with Hardaway, KP and Ntilikina all being threats from behind the arc. Knox was 9/22 overall, but that’s mainly due to some ill-advised fourth quarter shots while attempting to get us back in the game. At one point, Knox had 27 points in 27 minutes on 17 attempts.


GETTING MITCH BACK INTO TEAM BALL: Our other rook in Mitchell Robinson put up good individual numbers — 13 points (5/6), 8 rebounds and 3 blocks. But he also lodged a minus 33 on the floor, the highest between both clubs. At times his athleticism lets him get away with mistakes, like this impressive closeout block on a three-pointer.

But the Lakers and Jazz have shown being a freakish athlete can’t overcome good ball movement. Tightening up his help defense and rotations are the two main areas where Robinson will need to improve.


ALLONZO TRIER UNDER CONTROL: ‘Zo is not a point guard. It was a lot to ask to put the ball in his hands so much with Ntilikina out. Surprisingly, he stayed under control and delivered his most balanced game to date: 21 points (8/13), 10 rebounds and 5 assists.

We’ll need all the scoring we can get this year so I’m hopeful Zo can bring this mentality to our bench unit.


IS DOTSON OK?: For the second consecutive game, Damyean Dotson has looked terrible. In 29 minutes managed just 4 points (2/9) and was 0/3 from downtown. It’s still very early but going through a slump already is concerning. I can see Trier taking his spot if he continues to struggle in preseason.

The Knicks will enter the Summer League playoffs on Thursday afternoon (ESPN2, 4:30 p.m.) against the Celtics.

[Video] Derrick Rose Ready to Return Against Lakers


Derrick Rose is hopeful his back spasm issues are behind him as he looks to return on Sunday against the Los Angeles. Rose tweaked his back on Tuesday in the third quarter of New York’s win over the Miami Heat. After today’s practice, both Rose and Coach Hornacek updated the media on his progress.



[Video] Calderon Buzzer Beater Steals Show in Final Kobe-Melo Duel


The Knicks blew a 16-point second half lead but relied on late heroics from Carmelo Anthoy and Jose Calderon to pull out a 90-87 win at Staples Center.

The game came down to a broken play with the scored knotted at 87. After nearly two violations (inbounds and backcourt) and Melo not getting free, Calderon was left to make something happen.

He did by getting free behind the arc for his only three-pointer of the night.

The Knicks looked like they were going to pack it in when the Lakers went up by five with less than four minutes remaining. But Melo lifted them with seven straight points (12 in fourth) to get the Knicks back in it. Kobe Bryant, who was nursing a sore right shoulder, made three key jumpers in the final minutes to set up the thrilling finish.

The Knicks will need all the confidence they can from this game as next up are the defending champion Golden State Warriors.


[Video] Melo Leads Knicks with 24, Spoils Kobe’s “Final” MSG Appearance


NEW YORK — The Knicks executed in crunch time to secure their first home win of the season over an inspired Lakers, beating Kobe Bryant in what may be the future Hall of Famer’s final appearance at Madison Square Garden.

This was the team’s first afternoon game of the year and it showed. There was a general lack of fire in the first half and that allowed the Lakers to hang around. Bryant, who finished with 18 points, hit the majority of his early jumpers while Melo was relatively quiet with just 7 points.

Things turned in the third when Derek Fisher was ejected for letting the refs have it for a questionable foul on Kristaps Porzingis for challenging Bryant’s three-point attempt.  From there things seemed to pick up. But the Laker bigs, lead by Roy Hibbert (18, 10 rebounds), helped Los Angeles tremendously with their offensive rebounding.

The Knicks finally pulled away via an 11-0  run in the final 2 minutes to go up 98-90. The blitz was ignited by a clutch three-pointer from Langston Galloway (14 points) and four timely free throws from Carmelo Anthony, who scored 11 points in the fourth and finished with 24.

Robin Lopez had his best game of the season, nabbing 13 rebounds (5 off.) and scoring 14 points. Porzingis continued his double double ways (12 pts., 10 reb.) in 26 minutes.

Most importantly, Jose Calderon found his shot today and contributed 14 points (6/12), 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals. On defense, he wasn’t torched by rookie D’Angelo Russell (6 pts).

New York is back in action on Tuesday against the Toronto Raptors.

Knicks Offer Melo 5-Year Max ($129M), Decision Expected July 4th Weekend


The New York Knicks cemented their willingness to retain Carmelo Anthony by offering a five-year, $129 million max contract during last night’s meeting in Los Angeles.

The Knicks offer came after Anthony met with the Lakers, the final team on his free agent list. LA reportedly offered the maximum contract available within their cap — $97 million over four years.

Although the Knicks are reportedly the favorite to resign their star player, Anthony has not given a verbal commitment and advised he would use the rest of the weekend to make a decision. The lead alternatives to New York remain the Chicago Bulls and Houston Rockets.


With all the rumors that have spiraled over the last week, I deliberately refrained from writing much about “Melodrama 2014.” Like most fans, I’ll be happy when this is over. I’d definitely prefer him to stay and even the max contract isn’t that big of concern. I’m more worried about what free agent star gets paired with him next year at a max contract.

As of now, I’d say it’s 75% in New York’s favor that he stays.

[Video] INDEFENSIBLE: Knicks Disgrace Themselves in LA, Crushed by Lakers 127-96


I hope it was the greatest alcohol and sex-filled party of all time on Monday night. That would be the only thing that could explain the embarrassing display of what the Knicks called “basketball” last night at the Staples Center, where they further sunk their playoff hopes with one of the worst defensive displays in recent memory against the Lakers. If you are a Knicks fan, the game was disgusting on many levels — the (lack of) defense, giving up early in the second half etc. etc. If you stayed up to watch this madness, I’m sure you’re still infuriated this morning.


51 POINTS IN 12 MINUTES: The Lakers set a franchise high by scoring 51 points in the third quarter. That mark of defensive futility is also a Knicks record for points given up. The Lakers had six three-pointers and stretched what had been a 8-point halftime lead to 30 by the start of the fourth quarter.

BENCH MASSACRE: The Lakers didn’t miss Pau Gasol or Steve Nash since the bench trio of Nick Young (20 points), Xavier Henry (22 points) and Kent Bazemore (18 points) destroyed the Knicks. Those three were a combined 10/14 from three-point land. From the starters, Jodie Meeks did the most damage, going 4/7 from downtown. In comparison, Tim Hardaway was the only competent Knicks player off the bench (from an offensive standpoint, anyway), scoring 17 points (5/7 FG).

The Lakers bench outscored their Knicks counterparts by 82-21.

HOPE UNCLE PHIL WAS TAKING NOTES: Our new president Phil Jackson was in attendance, and you just know his brain was spinning at how badly this team needs to be deconstructed. It’s been put out there this morning that Melo and Jackson had a sitdown meeting last night. I hope they both came to an agreement that damn near the whole team has to go by next season.

STILL ALIVE: Mathematically, the Knicks are still in the playoff hunt simply due to how the Hawks have been sliding recently. But honestly, does this game give you any enthusiasm about their playoff hopes, or their ability to be competitive should they make it? For them to come out this flat with what’s at stake and after the Cavs debacle shows this team’s mental focus.

The Knicks have little time to dwell on their embarrassment, as they visit Sleep Train Arena to face the Kings at 10 p.m. on Wednesday night.

[Video] Team Effort: Melo, Felton and Chandler Power Knicks Past Lakers


NEW YORK CITY, NY — Weekend afternoon games have not been kind to the Knicks this season. Whether it’s due to partying or just lack of focus is anyone’s guess. This wasn’t an issues yesterday (well, at least on offense) as New York but together a total team effort highlighted by big games from Carmelo Anthony (35 points), Tyson Chandler (13 points, 14 rebounds), Raymond Felton (20 points), Tim Hardaway Jr. (18 points) and JR Smith (16 points) to take their latest “must-win” game over the Los Angeles Lakers. The last thing the Knicks needed was a letdown after Melo’s 62 point game and for now, the momentum is still intact.

DEFENSE NEED NOT APPLY: A win is a win, but it was disturbing how badly the Knicks guarded the perimeter. The Lakers burned them for 11 treys on 47% shooting. Felton was the culprit most of the time, but others were pretty lax closing out on the shooters until the final minutes of the game. Jodie Meeks (24 pts) had a 13 points in the third and was a scorching 6/8 from downtown.

The post defense got off to a bad start with Pau Gasol (20 pts) before our trio of bigs, lead by Chandler, clamped down in the second half.

AROUND THE RIM ISSUES: Jeremy Tyler and Cole Aldrich had some really good defensive stops and rebounds, but their offense also had you yelling at the TV. On about four occasions they missed point-blank shots at the rim. Once they get more comfortable with their playing time, that should cease.

THJ: Our rookie was on fire. Tim went 4/5 from downtown and attacked the basket for a sweet 3-point play. His best sequence came in the third when he swished a three-pointer and was the recipient of a Melo alley-oop to extend the NY lead to 83-79.


FUN FACT: Since resigning from the Knicks and going to LA, Mike D’Antoni is winless at Madison Square Garden. Expect Melo to keep it that way.

On Wednesday, the Knicks will host the Boston Celtics.

Welcome Back, D’Antoni — Knicks Start Hot and Defeat Lakers 116-107


The Madison Square Garden dominance continues! There were many storylines headed into last night’s clash between the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers. Would NY be fired up to face their old coach Mike D’Antoni? Would Kobe Bryant have a classic game to turn his squad around? Would Carmelo Anthony added further credence to his MVP campaign? But in the end, the biggest story is that a better constructed team beat up on a vulnerable, lost squad. With that said, there were several moments that I’m sure had every other Knicks fan on edge despite the final score.

Melo Drops 22 in the 1st Quarter: After Melo hit his third consecutive three-pointer to start the game (two in transition), you just knew it was one of those nights for our star player. He was on a mission to show before a national audience and also to his former coach what a talent he is. Melo got to the rim at will, simply blowing by Metta World Peace for dunks and layups. After getting a fouled for a three-point play off a drive, the “MVP!” chants rained down as the score had ballooned to 41-27, a record quarter this season for the league. Melo’s hot start had the rest of the team fired up as well with Raymond Felton getting easy penetration and Tyson Chandler drawing two fouls on Dwight Howard. Melo would finish the game with 30 points.

Hot Shooting Even with Bad Stretches: At one point in the second, the Knicks were shooting an astounding 74% from the field. Melo got to sit most of the quarter and the scoring slack was picked up by JR Smith and Steve Novak to push the lead to 26 points at one point courtesy of a 27-9 run (58-32). That was the peak though for NY, as our team got sloppy with the isolation plays and allowed LA to creep back to as close to 15  before having to settle for a 68-49 deficit at halftime.

The Knicks had to do without Melo for most of the second half when he sprained his ankle following a hard foul from Dwight Howard (punk). The Lakers hovered around 20 points for most of the quarter but some timely shots by Kobe and World Peace had them just down 93-80 going into the fourth. The offense wasn’t pretty at times in the decisive quarter, but the shooting remained solid and allowed the Knicks to push back the Lakers when they cut it six. For the game, NY shot 53% from the field and 48% (12-25) from downtown.

Chandler’s Help Goes Beyond the Stats: Tyson had 18 points, but when you look at the rebounds (just 4), you’d think he had a completely awful night on the boards. That’s not to say he couldn’t have been much better, but he did seal the game with two offensive tip backs into the backcourt that allowed NY to hold possession in the final minute and effectively ice the game. That made up for the underwhelming time he had at the free throw line, just shooting 8-14 (57%).

The Supporting Cast: Novak had to play heavy minutes (26) with Melo’s injury and made good use of it with 12 points (all from downtown). Although he got exploited on offense by the likes of Devin Ebanks, that was offset by a solid shooting night from JR, who dropped 18 points on 7-14 shooting, including a key late three-pointer. Felton was much more streaky (an ugly 9-26 from the field), but made some key jumper throughout the game. He just needs to work on those floaters. Also check youtube later for a nice crossover he put on Dwight Howard.

The Knicks are now 9-0 at home for the season and still sit atop the Eastern Conference standings at 17-5. It was nice seeing Spike Lee teasingly stare down Charles Barkley for his Knick criticisms. Steve Kerr brought some balance to Barkley’s declarations the Knicks can’t go deep in the playoffs, pointing out how Dallas and Miami won titles without dominant rebounding or low-post scoring. Melo might be sitting tomorrow night when we continue our home stand against the Cavs. That could be a tough game if Melo is out and our offense is cold.


Knicks-Lakers Christmas Showdown Jerseys Revealed

The NBA has released the special one-color jerseys that will be worn by all teams competing this Christmas. The Knicks-Lakers game at Staples Center, which now has new significance with the hiring of former Knicks head coach Mike D’Antoni, will feature the below jerseys.

The Lakers jersey looks ok. I’m not sure about ours, though. It just seems it would be way too loud during the game. However, I’ll take it over those green Christmas jerseys we’ve been rocking the last few years. Save the green for our Atlantic Division rival Celtics. Our squad wearing green just felt wrong.

The rest of the one-color jerseys can be viewed HERE.