[Video] Reality Check – Cavs Hammer Knicks 126-94


Photo Credit: USA Today Sports Images

The narrative for tonight’s showdown against the Cavaliers was the Knicks finding out where they stood against the NBA’s elite. The result was a brutal reality check as Cleveland toyed with New York before pulling away in the third quarter in a 126-94 rout at Madison Square Garden.

WEAKNESSES EXPLOITED: I’ve been saying it all season and will continue to do so. Until this team learns competent three-point defense, they’ll be exposed against elite competition. Today’s NBA is predicated on the three-point shot. Once again, Porzingis made poor decisions on double teams and close-outs with his stretch four, allowing Kevin Love to drop 16 points in the first quarter with four three-pointers. At halftime, the Cavs held a 63-48 lead largely on the 50% (8/19) shooting from downtown. For the game, they were a ridiculous 22/40.

On offense, the Knicks were passive allowing the Cavs defense to bully them and force 16 turnovers (which the Cavs converted into 17 points).


SCARED TO COMPETE: This is the second time we’ve played like trash against the defending champs. Yes, some will use the built-in excuses of Derrick Rose being out with back spasms and this being the second night of a back to back. Hogwash. The mentality of this team is markedly different when we face Cleveland.

We play scared and let them dictate the pace. On a night where Melo was clearly fatigued and didn’t have it (8 points, 4/9 in 24 minutes), no one could carry the load. Porzingis had a quiet 12 points and continued his shooting slump (5/15). Jennings had 16 points in his first start, but could only manage 3 assists, giving you a clear indicator of how badly Cleveland shut down New York’s offense.

BIG THREE RUNS RAMPANT: Cleveland’s All-Star trio combined for 59% of the team’s scoring load with 74 points. LeBron James chipped in 25 points. Love had 21 and Kyrie Irving led all scorers with 28. Tristan Thompson dominated the glass with 20 rebounds.

The only good thing about this game is that it’s over. The Knicks will lick their wounds and begin a 5-game West Coast road trip on Friday. The next opponent should be a welcome sight in the Sacramento Kings.




[Video] Say No To Calderon: Cavs 96, Knicks 86


Photo Credit: AP Photo/Tony Dejak

In all honestly, I planned on doing a recap of this game on Wednesday, but I was too pissed off. The Cavs were begging the Knicks to beat them. Their three-point shooting was non-existent, defense suspect, and LeBron couldn’t get into a shooting rhythm.

But never fear Knicks opponents, victory is always within reach when Jose Calderon is on the floor! The season is young, but it’s no hyperbole to state Calderon is the worst starting point guard in the league. On paper, his stats are atrocious — 4.6 pts (27% FG), 2.4 assists, and three-point shooting at 31%. But the eye test is where Calderon looks even worse. He literally can’t keep any opposing guard in front of him. Mo Williams dropped 22 points on him. Amazingly, Fisher had Calderon playing in the final seven minutes. At the time, the game was even. A few minutes of errant passes and stagnated offensive sets later, we found ourselves down by double digits.

This rant sums up my feelings quite well.

WHERE ART THOU SHOT, MELO???: Games like this are when we could really use the old Melo. Unfortunately, most athletes don’t hit the ground running after major knee surgery, so I’m not expecting Melo to return to form completely until around late December. Despite the bad shooting (17 points, 6/18), Melo was strong with his defense on LeBron (23 points, 9/23) and getting boards (12).

PORZINGIS EXCELS…WHEN HE’S ON THE COURT: Our rook continued to impress. In 21 minutes, he put up 13 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocks. He’s currently leading the team in the latter two categories. The problem is the foul trouble kept him benched for long stretches in the second half. It really hurt us because he went out midway in the third just when he had started putting repeated buckets on Kevin Love. Outside of his brain fart fouls, Calderon’s issues with keeping his man out the paint contributed to Kris’ fouling.  Nonetheless, Kris’ confidence is growing. Phil got us a gem.

[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.

No Competition: Heat Destroy Knicks 108-82


Like there was ever any doubt. The Knicks limped into last night’s showdown in South Beach on a three-game losing streak and left in tatters after getting a 108-82 beatdown. As usual, we got to see what a competent team looks like vs. the mess we’ve been putting on the floor for most of the season. Here’s how the massacre went down.

TEAM GREATNESS: Melo upheld his end going toe to toe with Lebron. Melo scored 29 points (55% shooting) and nabbed 7 rebounds. He kept the Knicks in it after a shaky first quarter, and helped ignite the second and third quarters runs that pulled New York within single digits. In addition, our leader put LeBron on a poster via a two-handed stuff at the rim. Masked Lebron wasn’t shabby either, dropping 31 points (68% shooting) along with 4 rebounds and 4 assists.

So why was the disparity so great on the score despite the two biggest stars competing on even terms? It’s the fact LeBron has an excellent team around him to pick up the slack. When Melo goes out the game, the team goes into freefall. When Bron sits, he has the luxury of his fellow All-Stars in either Dwyane Wade or Chris Bosh stepping up. Last night it was Wade, who scored 23 points and helped push the lead to double digits in both halfs. The Heat team defense was also surperb with multiple players guarding Melo for different looks and forcing the rest of the Knicks team to try to make plays.

Melo had 24 points at the half (nearly have of the Knicks points). The starting Heat backcourt of Wade and Chalmers finished with 34 points on 71% shooting. Meanwhile, the Knicks tandem of Rayond Felton and Pablo Prigioni finished with 2 POINTS ON 10% SHOOTING. Add to JR Smith trying to guard LeBron (and losing him multiple times in transition for dunk just seconds after the Knicks scored), and you had a recipe for a bad defeat.

WADE ABUSES THJ: It’s no secret that Hardaway Jr.’s biggest weakness is his defense. Last night, he fell for every Wade pumpfake and move you can think of. To make it worse, we didn’t get his usual offense to offset the schooling, as Tim managed just 6 points on 2-15 shooting.

BLACK HOLE OF DEFENSE: We don’t have many lineup choices, but one that must never be seen again is any that includes Amar’e Stoudemire and Hardaway together. Combined, the two were a horrific -64 in the +/- department with the score quickly running back up to the double digits whenever they shared the floor.

The Knicks have little time to lick their wounds, as they’ll host the Golden State Warriors tonight at MSG.

[Video] No JR Needed – Knicks Soar Against Heat 102-92


The Knicks put together the best home win of the season last night with a complete team effort in defeating the Heat. After two months, the team (sans JR Smith) finally looks to have turned a corner.

MELO GETS HIS HELP: The question going into every game is who will help Melo with the scoring load. At their worst, the Knicks predictably dump the ball to Melo, many times with less than 10 seconds on the shot clock, for a low-percentage isolation shot.

Outside of the first few possessions, the Knicks were at their best in terms of ball movement, guarding the passing lanes, and attacking Miami’s weak interior defense. Andrea Bargnani (19 points), Iman Shumpert (12 points, 9 rebounds), Amar’e Stoudemire (14 poitns, 11 rebounds) and Raymond Felton (13 points, 14 assists) were the “secondary Big Four” that took the load off Melo and allowed him to operate more freely on offense.


MELO VS. LEBRON: We didn’t get to see as much of this as we should have. When they did guard each other, Melo got the better of it. LeBron was still able to have a monster stat line (32 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists) just because he’s the best player in the league, and poor Bargnani found himself switched off onto him way too many times.


MIAMI HELPS OUT AT THE FREE THROW LINE: The Heat could have made this a tighter game simply by hitting their free throws. They shot a very poor 52% (11/21) with Dwyane Wade being the main culprit (0-6). New York wasn’t any better at 50% (5/10).

TIM HARDAWAY JR: THJ made a new poster at the expense of Jesus Shuttlesworth aka Ray Allen. Yeah, our rookie got game.


THE 16-0 RUN: After getting embarrassed by a LeBron baseline dunk, Bargnani came right back with a three-point play on Wade to ignite a 9-0 run to end the fourth, highlighted by two Melo treys and Hardaway’s spectacular tip-in dunk. Usually with JR Smith in the 2nd unit lineup that starts the fourth, the Knicks have been giving up leads and momentum. This time, the point guard play of Toure Murry had Bargnani and Stoudemire carving up the Heat in the post and at mid-range.

CLOSING STRONG: When Felton came back in, there wasn’t any drop-off. Ray continued attacking the paint, which collapsed the Heat defense and got nice looks for Melo and Stat. And when Melo got what appeared to be an isolation play, Felton and others cut to basket allowing for easy layups and dunks. Felton also keep the defense honest by hitting several long jumpers.

ROLES DEFINED: The Knicks are finally playing like a team and everyone appears to know their roles. You can see the confidence and they should have it, considering two of their last four wins have come against the defending Eastern and Western Conference champions.

JR SMITH: Our knucklehead shooting guard sulked on the bench most of the night, but did put up an obligatory standing ovation at the final buzzer. In the locker room, he pouted about whether he still has a “future” on the team. We’ll see if JR finally wakes up, but I think he’s earned at least 2 games on the bench.


Carmelo Anthony Passes LeBron James as NBA’s Top Jersey Seller


The media attention given to Carmelo Anthony’s recent scoring tear has translated into a bump in merchandise sales, as Anthony has now passed LeBron James for the top-selling jersey in the NBA.

Although the Knicks as a team have lead the league in merchandise sales since early in the season, there hasn’t been a Knicks player to lead the league in jersey sales since the 2001-2002 season. Last year, Anthony was ranked fourth in jersey sales.

Over the last week, Anthony has averaged 42 points and 13 rebounds, lifting him over Kevin Durant as the league’s top scorer with 28.4 points a game.


While it’s nice to see Melo and the Knicks getting recognized for their excellent play, I hope they brush this and other sudden media accolades off. They need to remember how critics had dismissed their capabilities throughout the season. I want the hunger and poise they’ve had over the win streak to translate throughout their playoff run.

Knicks Implode in Second Half, Fall to Heat 99-93


I needed 24 hours to cool down before writing about this game. For one quarter, the Knicks looked like the formidable team we saw in November and December — sweet passing, hot three-point shooting and our bigs rolling to the basket for easy slams. As expected, the Miami Heat made a second half run that was exacerbated by bad defensive rotations and head-scratching lineups down the stretch. No, yesterday’s game isn’t a sole reason to become irate as a Knicks fan, but it sure as hell was one to make you highly annoyed.

JASON KIDD RESURRECTED: Without question, the Knicks highlight of the game was Kidd retrieving his jumper from El Segundo. The man was on fire in the first half in nailing fourth straight treys.  In addition, he nabbed eight rebounds, caused several deflections and got three steals. The Heat defense phased him out in the second half, but hopefully this performance will do wonders for his confidence.

REALLY ONE GOOD QUARTER: A lot has been going around over the last 24 hours about the Knicks playing really well over the first half, but it was really just the second quarter, where NY outscored Miami 37-22. In the first, no one could score outside of Melo, who had 17 of NY’s 22 points.

THE WALKING USELESS: James White got the starting assignment again and might as well have been wearing a Heat uniform. In less than five minutes, he had three fouls, one of which being a three-point play given up to Mario Chalmers on the Heat’s first possession.

Steve Novak had three open looks from downtown that he bricked. His biggest detriment was on defense, where he gave up a defensive rebound by being out-hustled by Ray Allen which lead to the LeBron James trey that tied the game.

Why these two got burn while Kenyon Martin and Marcus Camby languished on the bench was mind-blowing.

JR GUNNING: Jr Smith went 5-18 from the field and took 14 treys! Where was the leash for this man? Another Woodson blunder had JR still in chucking while benching Stoudemire, who had been giving Miami fits down low. JR was handling the ball way too much with his more blatant mistakes being two telegraphed cross-court passes that LeBron picked off (the last being the game-killer in the last 30 seconds).

MELO HURT AND SHUT DOWN: Melo had 24 points at halftime but injured his arm on a three-pointer in the second. He only went 3-11 in the second half which was combination of James, the Heat help defense, and Stat not being on the floor. When they did play together, Melo’s pick and roll with Stat lead to two easy dunks.

GET IT TOGETHER, WOODY: Coach Woodson is quick to give guys the Ice Cube early 90’s screwface when they mess up. He needs to give himself that face in the mirror. The Heat experimented with many lineups, but in crunch time their Big Three is on the floor, and that’s why they closed the fourth strong (outscoring the Knicks 26-16). On our end, Stat rotted on the bench while JR was cold and the Heat defense zeroed in on Melo.

And again, not playing K-Mart or Camby while guys like Novak weren’t scoring and getting the red-headed stepchild treatment is inexcusable.

CRYING AND GIVING UP POINTS: Sure, LeBron James did his share of complaining (and even gets caught on camera calling a ref a “bitch ass nigga..”). But guess what — King James doesn’t do it when the game is still in play. Raymond Felton did it at the end of the third and didn’t get back on defense, leading to an open three-pointer from Shane Battier that brought the Heat within four, 77-73. In the fourth, James got away with a foul on Chandler, who sat on his ass and literally threw a fit while James sprinted back, got an offensive rebound, and put in a layup to get the Heat up 91-87. Those two sequences where huge momentum swings and five important points the Knicks literally gave away.

The Knicks get to redeem themselves tonight in Cleveland against the Cavaliers. This is by no means a guaranteed win, as the Knicks have had a lot of problems winning up there in recent years going back to the LeBron era.

Take the Night off, Melo — Knicks Stomp the Heat… Again 112-92


Y’all should’ve listened to Chris Bosh over the summer. When he was asked what team he thought would be their toughest challenge in the East, he mentioned the Knicks as being very underrated. Now everyone else sees what he meant, as the Knicks without Carmelo Anthony completely destroyed the Heat in Miami for their second consecutive blowout. It was a beautiful night for Knicks fans and a wake-up call to the so-called observers out there that who comes out in the East is not a foregone conclusion. Onto my thoughts.

Live by the 3 and Murder the Heat With It: For the second game, the Knicks took over 40 three-pointers (44). NY hit 18 of them (41%). No, the Knicks weren’t just jacking them up most of the time. They were open shots from ball movement — the Knicks did a great job with spacing (Miami Coach Spoelstra even called Tyson Chandler’s lob threat “vertical spacing”), preventing the Heat from just staying home on any particular three-pointer shooter. And the Knicks had them in abundance — Steve Novak dropped 18 points (4-9 from downtown) and Raymond Felton was 6-10 from behind the arc.

Felton Is Fearless: What more can be said about Raymond Felton? It’s an amazing story considering where he was last year with Portland. The man was drawing ohhs  and ahhs from how he was crossing over Miami guards and big men alike to get into the lane and sink jumpers. Felton’s stat line was 27 points, 4 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals and just 3 turnovers. He rose to the challenge of picking up Melo’s scoring hole but also kept the rest of the team involved. By the middle of the third quarter, Felton was walking with a definite swagger in his step.

The Heat Was Beat Into Submission: A Mike Miller buzzing-beating three to end the first gave Miami a 26-23 lead after one. From then on it was all Knicks. It got really ugly in the second half with the Knicks outscoring Miami 37-27 in the third and 22-12 in the fourth. The threes and the defense just flat-out killed Miami’s spirit. LeBron became discouraged and the rest of the team followed suit. A defining moment came in the fourth when Chandler cut to the basket and the Miami bigs didn’t even both trying to contest, just walked to the bench while Tyson slammed home another dunk.

American Airlines Arena Became MSG South: The Knicks fans got louder and louder as the game progressed. It was a beautiful sight to hear the arena completely taken over for by the fourth quarter.

Let’s Not Rest On Our Laurels: Yes, we’ve embarrassed the Heat twice. Yes, NY has the best record in the Eastern Conference. It’s just December, and we still have a lot of basketball left to the play. There will be bad games, but the effort need to be there every night. We don’t play Miami again until March, but beyond that we know there’s a good chance we’ll be matched up with them at some point in the playoffs. Let’s be ready to meet the challenge.

Tomorrow night we head to Chicago to face off against the defensive-minded Bulls. Hope NY stays on the mental high from this win.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjRqKSJ4sn8&feature=youtube_gdata_player]

In Ball Movement We Trust: Knicks Trounce the Heat 104-84

Yesterday morning, I prayed to the basketball gods that my beloved Knicks would kick off the 2012-2013 season with a nice win. But even in my wildest dreams, I couldn’t imagine my team absolutely drubbing the defending champion Miami Heat in a 20-point blowout (104-84).

For the past few months, Knicks fans have had to endure ridicule for picking up older players and being called “the second best team in New York.” Last night’s performance went a long way to shutting those critics up: Jason Kidd was integral in setting the ball movement early on along with Kurt Thomas supplying solid interior defense. Raymond Felton was phenomenal with his dribble penetration that freed up Melo for several 3 pointers in route to a 16 point first quarter and a 33-17 lead.

The ball movement continued in the second quarter to the tune of 11 assists. The defense produced 12 Heat turnovers and prevented that team’s signature fast break dominance (only 10 fast break points).

Last year our squad would routinely come out flat in third quarters and quickly blow whatever lead we had. Not so last night — although we got off to a sloppy start, our defense kept the Heat turning the ball over while Novak sank a few timely 3s to halt a late 8-0 run.

The Heat made their final run through the first few minutes of the fourth, spurred on by a few ticky-tack fouls. However, Felton and Novak both sank 3s, the latter being a beautiful escape dribble to the left that faked out Ray Allen. The game was iced by the final five minutes, and Wade and LeBron made their exists while Rasheed Wallace chants rained down at MSG. The grizzled vet blew the roof off with a final 3 pointer to make it 19 from downtown (!!!) for the night.

As Biggie’s “Hypnotize” seranaded the court post-game, I couldn’t think of a better way to start to the season. The ball movement from Kidd, Prigioni and Felton was a startling reminder of what we lacked last year. Another key aspect is that we closed every quarter strong. Last season, the Heat always picked us apart in the last minutes of quarters. This time, we met every run with timely shots that had them discouraged for a change.

The great thing about last night is there’s still room for improvement. On the injury front, we still have the returns of Shumpert, Camby and Stoudemire to look forward to. Melo dropped 30, but he got a little out of sorts in the second half by gunning and forcing too many shots. Once he reigns that in a little more and continues attacking the basket…watch out. JR Smith had one of his “brickhouse” games offensively, but made up for it by staying focused on defense (outside of a highly dumb offensive foul on a Kidd fast break).

Enjoy this win, fellow Knicks fans. We have another tough one tomorrow with division rival Philly. Let’s hope our squad continues to show the improvements and we don’t get a letdown.

Stay tuned for much more Knicks coverage as this site builds and gets off the ground fully in the next few weeks.