[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.


James Dolan Bans Oakley from MSG: “We need to keep the Garden safe.”


Knicks owner James Dolan has confirmed that Charles Oakley is indefinitely banned from Madison Square Garden.

Dolan appeared on Michael Kay’s show to explain his side, implying that Oakley was abusive and was possibly intoxicated. Oakley has maintained that he did nothing wrong and was surrounded by officials within 4 minutes of taking his seat.

“It’s very clear to us that Charles Oakley came to the Garden with an agenda,” said Dolan. “From the moment he stepped into the Garden he began with this behavior, this abusive behavior. Disrespectful behavior… Charles should have never made it to his seat.”

Aside from the ban, the most significant fallout has been Dolan’s firing of Frank Benedetto, MSG’s Senior VP of Security. The Knicks also sent out another video of the incident with 15 eyewitness accounts that allegedly support Dolan’s assertions.

Watch excerpts from Dolan’s interview below.

I know one thing — there better be huge Oakley chants all throughout tonight’s game. I’m sure in Dolan’s mind he’s saving the Knicks’ reputation by going on the radio and disparaging Oak as a out of control, alcoholic monster. All it’s doing is making the franchise look more dysfunctional and ironically in line with the public disrespect Phil Jackson has been laying on Melo in recent weeks.

The Knicks PR statement should have said an unfortunate incident and we’re working with our staff and Oakley to ensure it never happens again. Instead, this interview will prolong the media circus for weeks to come (possibly the rest of the season).

What a time to be a Knicks fan…

Melo’s 31 Points Lifts Knicks Past Hawks 104-94


Photo Credit: USA Today

Sunday’s game had the chance to be a defensive disaster when news hit that Joakim Noah was out. Dwight Howard did run rampant, but Carmelo Anthony’s 31 points and sound team defense gave the Knicks an impressive 104-94 win over the Atlanta Hawks at Madison Square Garden.

NOT WAVERING: The Knicks were locked in on defensive rotations. Outside of a few open treys, the Hawks had to work for every basket and only managed 40% from the field. Billy Hernangomez (7 points, 8 rebounds) and Kyle O’Quinn (8 points, 8 rebounds) harassed Dwight Howard (18 points, 18 rebounds, 6/12 FT) and made him work at the free throw line. And Derrick Rose (14 points, 7 assists) dominated his matchup with Dennis Schroder (0/8, 1 point).

MELO LEADS THE CHARGE: Melo’s offense set the tone, but it was team effort to get this one. Four of the starters hit double figures, including Porzingis with another double double (19 points, 11 rebounds). Courtney Lee chipped in 14 points and was excellent slashing to the rim and using his three-point shooting to stifle several Atlanta runs in the second half.

FOUR STRAIGHT AT HOME: The Knicks have done a fantastic job protecting home court by notching their four straight at Madison Square Garden. The challenge in channeling the focus on the road where too many times we’ve seen a lethargic ball club.

Next up is another home stand against the struggling Trailblazers, who are 1-4 over their last five games but come in off a 129-109 beatdown of the Brooklyn Nets.


[Video] Porzingis Drops Career-High 35 Points in Close Win Over Pistons


We are privileged to watch the growth of a future superstar. Kristaps Porzingis delivered a career-high 35 points to lead the Knicks to a close 105-102 win over the Pistons at Madison Square Garden. Despite a focused game, the scrappy Pistons made sure the Knicks worked for this win until the final buzzer.

FEED THE BEAST: Melo said before the season that he’s never played with a weapon like Derrick Rose. That applies even more so to Porzingis, who feasted to a 25 point first half and truly showed how versatile (and scary) his game is. He worked unblockable fadeaways in the post, ran the floor for contested layups on fast breaks, and burned Detroit for three three-pointers. He shot 13/22 from the field and managed to get to the line seven times.

I said earlier in the week that Porzingis can take the reins at the #1 option in 2-3 years. But if he keeps up this pace, we might have a changing of the guard by next year.

MELO’S NOT TOO SHABBY: All the attention on KP should not negate another efficient game from Carmelo Anthony: 22 points (13/22), 5 rebounds and 3 assists. For this team to work, both guys need to continue being the one-two punch on scoring.

IMPROVED DEFENSE: We’re still a work in progress, but the last two games have shown some marked improvements. The Knicks are playing defense with their legs and stayed in front of their assignments. The Pistons were held to 12 free throw attempts compared to 19 for the Knicks. Joakim Noah’s (7 points, 15 rebounds, 3 blocks) defense, particularly in the first half on Andre Drummond, proved very effective. Drummond was contained to 15 points and 9 rebounds.

The glaring problem remains the three-point defense, which allowed Detroit to claw their way back in the fourth and nearly force overtime on the final play. Once that area gets under control, we’ll see a lot more easier wins.

SOLID BENCH PERFORMANCES: Justin Holiday (9 points, 5 rebounds) continued his solid play on both ends of the floor. Brandon Jennings was hot-dogging out there too much (got called for a carry), but his 7 assists keep the offense flowing in his 17 minutes. Kyle O’Quinn got the nod over Hernangomez and made the most of his 15 minutes. He tallied 6 points, 5 rebounds, 3 blocks (including one on Drummond) and 2 assists. Outside of KP, O’Quinn just might be our best post defender.

The Knicks complete their back to back tomorrow night in D.C. against the Wizards.

[Video] Ron Baker, Meet Bill Stiller


Last night, rookie Ron Baker had an impromptu meeting with actor Bill Stiller during garbage time of the Knicks’ 93-77 victory of the Mavs. Baker crashed into Stiller while chasing a loose ball and stuck around for a quick dap after the play ended. Hey Ben, do the kid a solid and get him a small role in your next movie.

[Video] A Lineup That Works: KP Thrives At the 5, Knicks Crush Mavs 93-77


Photo Credit: USA Today

NEW YORK — Coach Hornacek finally found a lineup that works. After a putrid first half where the Knicks managed only 36 points, Hornacek bench Joakim Noah and inserted Kristaps Porzingis at center, helping to ignite 30-12 third quarter that powered the Knicks to a much-needed 93-77 victory at Madison Square Garden. Will this lineup work every night? No, but it showed the unlimited potential of Porzingis when he doesn’t have to chase stretch 4s.

1st HALF SLEEPWALKING: With Dirk Nowitki and Deron Williams both out, you figured this would be an easy night for the Knicks. Instead they labored mightily on both ends. Harrison Barnes ran amuck for 16 first half points as Porzingis struggled to keep up with him off screens. Derrick Rose had to be benched with two fouls in the first. The Knicks trailed 23-15 after the opening quarter, shooting just 4/13 from the field. Melo was completely flat and shot 1-6 from the field.

The second unit, sporting Porzingis as the main offensive option, slowly got the Knicks back in it. KP had a sweet crossover and pullup jumper to get the Knicks within three (28-25). Nonetheless, the ball was sticking too much, and New York could only manage 5 assists and trailed 39-36 at the half.

EUREKA!: Hornacek hit pay dirt by sliding KP to center and inserting Justin Holiday in the starting lineup at power forward. Porzingis’ length and agility allowed him draw three fouls in the third on Andrew Bogut and force him to the bench with four fouls. And Holiday was able to not only keep up with Barnes, but get his own offense working via mid-range jumpers, cutting to the basket, and three pointers (16 points).

Everyone benefited from the floor spread. Melo looked like a new person out there, dropping a blistering 17 points in the third to push the Knicks to a double-digit lead going into the fourth.

OFFENSE AND DEFENSE: New York continued pouring it on the fourth. Melo and KP had their own scoring duel trading three-pointers. Porzingis also got busy in the post abusing smaller defenders and even paid homage to Dirk with a one-legged, turnaround bank shot. Melo and KP both finished with 24 points. Porzingis also added 11 rebounds.

More impressive than the offense was the defense. For the first time this season, the Knicks held an opponent under 80 points. There was no free throw disparity tonight — the Knicks made 16/18 free throws while holding the Mavs to 8/11 from the line.

Yes, we beat up on a depleted Mavs squad. But the Knicks had a continuity we haven’t seen since the Bulls win. They’ll need the same effort when we look for revenge on Wednesday against the Pistons.

[Video] Melo’s 30 pts, 9 asts Lead Knicks to OT Win Over Jazz



For the second straight game, the Knicks went into overtime, executed better, and defeated a scrappy foe. Last night it was the Utah Jazz, lead by Gordon Hayward’s 27 points and Rodney Hood’s 27 points, that refused to go away until New York edged the OT scoring battle 19-12 to pull out a 118-111 victory.

Yes, New York made it harder than necessary. But these were the type of games we lost regularly last year. We’re now seeing a poise and clutch factor that will be essential to our playoff hopes.

2ND QUARTER DROUGHT AND PLAYING FROM BEHIND: New York went over five minutes in the second without scoring a single point, allowing the Jazz to put together a 13-0 run and go into halftime with a 48-37 lead. Until late in the fourth, the Knicks were playing catch up and struggling to contain the Jazz’s outside shooting (44% from three-point range).

MELO LEADS THE CHARGE: Our leader scored 22 of his game-high 30 points in the second half. Melo did most of his damage in the paint, including several late dunks and nifty passes (9 assists) to keep other guys involved. He hit Williams (18 points), Afflalo (14 points) and Galloway (9 points) during crucial fourth quarter possessions for three-pointers.

And remember Melo did this in his second game back from an ankle sprain and just one game removed from logging 49 minutes in double OT against the Sixers.


ROBIN LOPEZ OWNS THE PAINT: Rolo delivered a marvelous stat line of 22 points, 12 rebounds and 3 blocks. He battled tooth n’ nail the entire night and made sure driving guards got nothing easy at the rim.

PORZINGIS’ LEARNING CURVE: Our star rookie was had to sit in overtime after fouling out via a bonehead foul on Gordon Hayward’s three point attempt. The foul was especially costly as it came with 9 seconds left and New York leading 99-96. Hayward sunk his free throws and the Knicks had to end matters in overtime.

“There were a couple of unnecessary fouls for me that I can avoid and I’ve got to learn from those,” Porzingis told ESPN. “I’ve got to learn from my mistakes. It’s frustrating to sit on the bench and in overtime.”


BACK AT .500, BUT FOR HOW LONG?: The Knicks sit at 22-22 and just a half game behind Boston for the final playoff spot. Should New York put together a win streak, jumping as high as fifth isn’t impossible with Indiana holding just a two-game lead.

But let’s temper excitement. In recent weeks, the Knicks have gone on losing streaks every time they’ve hit .500. Getting over the hump won’t be easy as the Clippers come to town on Friday.


[Video] Melo and Porzingis Pound Nets in 108-91 Victory


The Nets are enduring their worst season since moving to the Brooklyn. The Knicks added to that misery last night with a 108-91 thrashing at Madison Square Garden. With this being the first night of a back to back, it was important the Knicks get some rest. And considering New York had a 21-point lead after 12 minutes, this entire game was essentially garbage time.

MELO AND KP SHOW: Our two top scorers had a field day, with Melo finding his shooting touch (28 points, 9/18), and Porzingis notching his 10th double double of the season (19 points, 10 rebounds, 2 blocks). These two played well off of each other with their passing, making everyone’s job easier. Melo did his damage in just 31 minutes of play, so he should have his legs tomorrow Saturday night against the Bucks.

AFFALO ROUNDS OUT THE BIG 3???: Every game, Arron Affalo is looking like the best New York pickup of the offseason. He scored seven of the Knicks’ first nine points and went on to finish with 18. He’s doing damage all over the court which prevents defenses from focusing on Melo and KP. If he can continue contributing 15-18 points per game, New York will be competitive against most teams.

CONSTANT FIRE: New York set a season record with 42 points in the first while holding Brooklyn to 21. By halftime, the score was 65-42. Going into the fourth, it was 92-67. The Knicks finally checked out mentally with just 18 points in the final stanza, allowing Brooklyn to get the loss under 20 points.

CALDERON’S BEST DISHING NIGHT: Our starting point guard only had one point, but he had his best assist night as a Knick with 10. That should give you an indication of how well the ball was moving.



Knicks Beat Okafor-Less Sixers 99-87



This was one team we couldn’t lose to. With Jahlil Okafor serving the first of a two-game suspension for a street brawl in Boston, the Knicks were able to win this one “comfortably” despite a lazy fourth quarter that saw them post only 18 points.

Without Okafor, the Sixers relied on perimeter shooting. But three-point defense is one of New York’s strong points, and Philly only made nine on the night. On the offensive side, Kristaps Porzingis lead the way with 17 points and 10 rebounds for his ninth double double of the season. Arron Affalo chipped in 13 points while Carmelo Anthony, obviously hampered in his first game back from strep throat, had 12 points on 5/16 shooting.

The Knicks will battle the Friday Night Curse tonight with they meet the Brooklyn Nets.


[Video] No Melo, No Closer: Knicks Blow 14-Point 4th Quarter Lead in OT Loss to Rockets

Seth Wenig/AP

I was too pissed off to write about this game last night. After three quarters of competent basketball, the Knicks players and coaching staff reverted back to their worst traits and received the most crushing loss of the season in an overtime loss to the Rockets.

What makes this loss so heartbreaking and infuriating? Let’s look at a few facts.

  1. The Knicks shot 58% from the field.
  2. Without Melo (out with an illness), the two next best scorers stepped up big time — Arron Affalo had 31 points (13/19) 7 rebounds and 4 assists while Kristaps Porzingis chipped in 20 points, 13 rebounds and 2 blocks.
  3. New York was up by 14 points with less than 10 minutes left in the game.

AND WE STILL LOST!!! A closer look at the numbers reveals why.

  1. New York started playing defense with their hands in the fourth quarter and allowed Houston to live at the line. Overall, the Rockets got a staggering 36 trips to the charity stripe. Where some of those fouls suspect? Absolutely. But too often the Knicks put themselves in bad positions where the ref’s flaky dispositions become a factor.
  2. Horrible turnovers. This marked the fourth and OT with Calderon, normally reliable with the ball, having five of them. Galloway and Seraphin also had costly brain farts that allowed Houston to snatch the lead.
  3. Coach Fisher seemed to have a handle on the rotations until it counted. Kevin Serpahin had a great game off the bench (14 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 blocks), but his turnovers (5) helped kill the team in crunch time. 32 minutes was probably too much and Robin Lopez’s defense would have been the better tradeoff.

A lot of fans have been complaining about the uncalled moving screen Dwight Howard put on Arron Affalo, which allowed Trevor Ariza to hit a dagger three-pointer. My issue is the Knicks should have never been in that position by allowing Houston to go on a 12-0 run to help push that game into OT.

On Wednesday, we play the Sixers, who at press time are still winless. We can’t possibly loss to them, right?