Iso Zo to the Rescue: Trier Lights Up Nets in 107-102 Win


Let the Allonzo Trier hype begin! Fans got to see why Coach Fizdale is ok with iso plays for Trier as the rookie gunner went for 20 first half points and finished with an efficient 25 points on 8/14 shooting (8/8 from the line) in 26 minutes. Yes, it’s just one game and a preseason one at that. But on a team low with players who can create their own shots, Trier displayed why it’ll be hard to keep him stashed in the G-League.

The Knicks started very slow, going down 9-20 early. The ball wasn’t moving and the team was lethargic on defense. Trier became that offensive spark with his assortment of moves. His mid-range jumper was money and he got to the rim with an elusive first step. His teammates recognized he was on fire and rode the wave to take a small halftime lead.

Trier is on a two-way contract. This means should the Knicks want to add him to the 15-man roster, cuts need to be made. With Joakim Noah on the way out, NY might also take a hard look at removing Luke Kornet if Trier keeps this up.

KEEPING POISE: The Knicks had a comfortable 12-point lead early in the 4th when Fizdale cleared his bench. Of course, the bench players lead by Baker and Mudiay got too lax and allowed the Nets to crawl back in and narrow the lead to just two points in the final three minutes. From there, Damyean Dotson (4/4, 8 points) proved to be a stabilizing force by hitting two clutch mid-range jumpers.

On the defensive end, Baker had a key steal (his second of the evening) that lead to a Hicks fast-break dunk to put the Knicks in control for good.

One of the big question marks this years is how the young kids would respond in late game situations. Mistakes were made, but I was encouraged to see no one got down on themselves and the defensive intensity was high.

BEAST MODE: Enes Kanter went on a rampage last night, dropping 22 points and grabbing 20 rebounds in 27 minutes. For all his defensive woes, Kanter is a valuable piece when used correctly. I don’t believe we’ll be paying him the money he wants to keep him, but expect many more light-out nights like this during the year.

QUIET NIGHTS: Kevin Knox had a lowkey game, shooting 50% (3/6) and scoring 7 points. Mitchell Robinson didn’t light up the scoreboard either (2 points, 2 rebounds), but he had two sensational blocks. One came while stuffing a layup attempt. The second was even more impressive when he chased down a three-point attempt and managed to keep the ball inbounds. The league will learn so enough to respect this kid’s wingspan.

GUARD WATCH: Frank Ntilikina (9 points, 2 blocks) had some good moments. Early on he drove to the basket for an emphatic dunk. His defense included a strong block to prevent a layup which lead to a Trier three-point play.

Hardaway spent too much time camped out on the perimeter. He was 3/11 with his best moments coming when he decided to get in the paint. Mudiay was just awful all-around (1/5 and -10). Even with our roster I’m finding difficulty figuring out where he fits.

The Knicks conclude their preseason Friday night at home against the Pelicans.

Season Sweep: Kanter and Porzingis Dominate Nets 111-95


If only we could play the Nets the rest of the season. Riding monster efforts from Kristaps Porzingis (28 pts, 6/8 from 3) and Enes Kanter (20pts 20 rebs, 5 asts), the Knicks completed a 4-game season sweep of the Nets 111-95. After falling behind 3-0 in the opening minute, the Knicks never trailed and go whatever they wanted on offense.

KP’s CAREER NIGHT: Porzingis set a personal record with six three-pointers. The Nets were a step-slow in respecting the Unicorn’s range and he never lost his early rhythm. With Kanter dominating the post, this gave the offense a potent inside-outside punch that kept the floor spread.

PROTECT KANTER AT ALL COSTS: Listen, I want all talk of trading this guy to stop. Defensive issues aside, he’s one of the more talented big men we’ve had in years. His offensive rebounding (5) sucked the life out of Brooklyn when they attempted to make runs. Going 8/10 from the floor and looking for teammates (5 assists) makes this one of Kanter’s best games of the season.


DEFENSIVE EFFORT: Although Brooklyn was held to 42% shooting, there was still glaring issues that can’t happen against credible teams. The Nets got multiple open threes but couldn’t convert. It was more alarming that several opportunities like this came in the fourth quarter when the Knicks’s 25-point lead had been slashed to 10.

On the positive side, the Knicks were after it when it came to passing lanes and preventing drives. Frank Ntilikina looked solid at two-guard with Trey Bruke manning the point. Frankie was a +10 off the bench with 8 points, 5 assists and one steal.

The Knicks return tonight with a tough road game against the Celtics.


Back on Track: Porzingis, Ntilikina and Bench Power Knicks Over Nets 119-104


Coming into Monday’s game against the Nets, the Knicks had effectively hit rock bottom. Just 24 hours before, the team had squandered a 19-point lead at home to the Pelicans. KP was in a shooting and confidence slump. Ntilikina had been MIA on offense the last week. And the team fell five games below .500 for the first time this year.

But nothing says bounce-bank like seeing the Nets on the schedule. The team delivered a high-level performance that saw both Porzingis and Ntilikina have strong games, and the bench contributed 70 points for an easy 119-104 victory in Brooklyn. With a seven-game road trip looming, this was a much-needed confidence-booster for a team facing their most important stretch of the season.

PORZINGIS WAKES UP: Before Monday’s game, KP claimed to have had an epiphany. He acknowledged that he’s been forcing up too many shots in an effort to live up to his billing as the “first option.” He now realizes that to be the leader goes beyond scoring. Against the Nets, he focused on letting the game come to him and making the “right play.”

This approach resulted in one of his best shooting games of the season (8/14, 26 points). He was also a terror on defense, grabbing 9 rebounds and two blocks. He appeared relaxed and did everything in the flow of the offense. And the biggest thing for me was he appears to have his stamina back.

NTILIKINA SHOWS LIFE: With Jarrett Jack having logged heavy minutes the night before, it was up to Ntilikina to handle the PG load. The rookie responded by nearly dropping a triple-double (10 points, 10 assists, 7 rebounds). We’ve been begging for him to look for his jumper and he did, which allowed for more floor spacing and better ball movement. There were still a few times where he passed up shots when driving into the lane, but we have to trust that’ll come with more experience.

BENCH MOB: Every bench player aside from Joakim Noah saw the floor and contributed. New signee Trey Burke hit his first jumper as a Knick and managed to dish out two assists in eight minutes. Even with the limited time, you could see his ability to get to the rim will prove very valuable when the offense breaks down.

The Nets’s leaky defense had Michael Beasley looking like Shawn Kemp in the fourth quarter. After a slow start (3/8), Beasly started abusing Brooklyn in the post and scored with several dunks, including a putback on his own miss. In 29 minutes, he was 10/18 from the floor with 23 points and 10 rebounds. The other big contributors were Kyle O’Quinn (11 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists) and Doug McDermott (13 points).

New York begins their road-trip on Wednesday night against the Grizzlies.




Hernangomez and Porzingis Lead Knicks Comeback Over Nets


With the starters shooting a combined 30% from the field and staring at a 10-point deficit early in the fourth, the Knicks had every reason to quit. But it was the bench, powered by a huge double double from Willy Hernangomez and a historic night from Sasha Vujacic, that helped Kristaps Porzingis show his potential as a closer in the Knicks’ 95-90 victory in Brooklyn.


WHY ISN’T HERNANGOMEZ STARTING?: This kid continues to show his value every night on both sides of the floor. He helped hold Brook Lopez to 10 points by making the Nets star work on defense. On offense, Willy had some sweet fourth quarter plays, including a tip-in on a wild perimeter pass from KP, and a driving layup on Lopez that made 86-80 with under two minutes to go.

His most impressive play came with 1:09 remaining and the Knicks clinging to a 87-84 lead. Willy got an offensive rebound off a miss, was blocked, then gathered himself again for a tough layup. He gave a war cry and flexed. Our rook is becoming a man right before our eyes. Willy finished with 16 points and 16 boards (7 on the offensive glass).

KP IN THE DRIVER’S SEAT: With Melo having no legs and shooting terribly, Coach Hornacek made the wise decision to go with the bench and Porzingis to lead the comeback. It paid off with KP also having a double double (19 points, 12 boards) and some timely buckets. When the Knicks were down 10 early in the fourth, 66-76, KP hit two jumpers that ignited a 10-0 run. The chemistry with his BFF Hernangomez was great in keeping the Nets from their earlier feasting in the paint.

KP’s biggest play was a dagger three-pointer that made it 92-86 with 53 seconds remaining.

If we’ve learned one thing this season, it’s that the veterans struggle immensely on back to backs. For the rest of the season, I’d like to see Melo rest on those second nights while Porzingis gets acclimated to being the first option for full games.

Y’ALL MUST’VE FORGOT ABOUT SASHA!: Give Vujacic some credit; the man stays ready. We needed a spark and it came from Sasha, who became the first man in Knicks history to have two 4-point plays. The latter was part of the 10-0 fourth quarter run that got NY back in it. 12 points in 22 minutes is an excellent night’s work..


DEAD STARTERS: From the opening tip, the energy and decision-making was abysmal from our starting five. There was no semblance of play calling — passes went nowhere along the perimeter until Melo had to heave a long jumper with the shot-clock expiring. They tallied six turnovers, shot 29% from the field, and scored just 15 points in the first quarter to the Nets’ 27.

It got no better as the game went on. Combined, the starters shot 18/57 (30%). Carmelo Anthony had one of his worst games this season, shooting a horrific 6/22 (15 points). Considering his strong play as of late, we can likely attribute this to fatigue from playing his third game in four nights.

Despite Anthony’s futility, the worst among the starters goes to Brandon Jennings, who shot a putrid 9% from the field (1/11). To his credit, he did manage 10 assists, many of them when matched with the bench.



[Video] 2nd Half Lockdown: Knicks Come Alive, Take Down Nets 110-96

Photo Credit: USA Today

What a difference a halftime makes. Coming off the disappointing loss to the Jazz on Sunday, and a tough stretch of games coming against division rivals Boston and Toronto, tonight’s game against the Nets was the proverbial “must-win.” With a 2-4 record, the Knicks couldn’t afford to dig themselves an early hole in the win-loss column. Despite the slow start, a 3rd quarter scoring barrage from Carmelo Anthony (22 points) coupled with excellent passing from Brandon Jennings (11 assists) and offense from Kristaps Porzingis (21 points) powered New York to a 110-96 victory at Madison Square Garden.

TRASH EARLY DEFENSE: We don’t carry the dubious distinction of having the worst defense in the league for nothing. The Nets came out smoking from behind the arc with 5 three pointers in the first and backup Justin Hamilton burning us for 15 points. The Knicks shot an abysmal 28% with Melo’s 0/4 start being the main culprit. Down 29-19 after 12 minutes, the Knicks’s bench was also outscored 16-7.

SLOWLY RIGHTING THE SHIP: The second quarter was sloppy (5 Knick turnovers by the 7:52 mark), but sheer effort pulled New York within striking distance. The ball started moving due to Joakim Noah’s passing, and Melo found his offense by via two three pointers that slashed the deficit to three, 53-50. Although the Nets held the lead at halftime, the Knicks kept the fouling and free throw opportunities in check (7 personal fouls, 9 Net free throws).

MELO’S 14 STRAIGHT: Early on, the third quarter was a mixed bag. Derrick Rose (14 points) scored 6 points to narrow the deficit to 59-58, but then the Knicks had one of their bouts of ineptitude and failed to score for the next three minutes. Brooklyn went on a 8-0 run to extend their lead to 67-58.

Then Melo woke up. His did most of his damage on mid-range jumpers, scoring 14 straight points to get New York a 70-69 lead headed into the fourth.

THE EURO LINEUP: The early fourth quarter lineup is where Coach Hornacek has had issues. But tonight, he staggered the starter minutes to allow Porzingis to run with Jennings, Vujacic, Hernangomez and Kuzmiskas. Sasha kicked off the fourth with a three pointer and would be a +23 despite a two bonehead turnovers. Jennings shot poorly (1-6), but was the arguably the catalyst for this victory with his passing. He found Porzingis twice for open three-pointers and as a trailer on a dunk turned three point play. That capped a 20-7 run that put New York up 92-78 and essentially iced the game.

PROMISING DEVELOPMENTS: Porzingis’ 21 points marked the first time in his career where he’s had three consecutive 20-point games. The scary thing is he still hasn’t developed a go-to move in isolation, so he’s dependent on screens and moving off-ball for his opportunities. If he keeps moving at this pace, those moves will gradually come and he’ll be ready to become the first option on offense within 2-3 years.

Willy Hernangomez had his best game as Knick — 14 points, 6 rebounds and 2 blocks. He excelled with the second unit manned by Jennings and not surprisingly showed great chemistry with old teammate Porzingis. Hernangomez’s skill with the pick and roll gives him immense upside over Kyle O’Quinn when it comes to playing time decisions.

Today’s win marked the first game this season where the Knicks held an opponent under 100 points. Yes, one of Nets’ key pieces in Jeremy Lin wasn’t playing, but business was handled against a team short on talent. After a first half which saw them shoot 55%, the Nets could only manage 41 points in the second half and had a  stretch of missing 14 straight shots.

The Knicks are back in action this Friday against the Celtics.



[Video] Shimmy Shimmy Ya: Brandon Jennings Has a Little Fun in Brooklyn


Knicks point guard Brandon Jennings has brought some well-needed energy to the Knicks this year. Tonight as New York wrapped its preseason with a win over the Nets, Jennings had a little fun at Brooklyn’s expense as seen with the below post-jumper celebration.

Considering Jennings’ recent shooting woes (27% from the field going into tonight’s game), I’d do a little dance after EVERY basket.

[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.



[Video] Lopez Game-Winner Extends Knicks Losing Streak to Eight


NEW YORK CITY — The Brooklyn Nets blew a 16-point second half lead, but were saved by the Brook Lopez putback with 2 seconds left to hand the New York Knicks their eighth consecutive loss.

The Nets rode the output of Lopez (18 points, 7 rebounds, 5 blocks) and Deron Williams, the latter having one of his best games of the season with 26 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists.

The Knicks struggled for most of the game but ignited a 17-7 run to start the fourth. Rookie Cleanthony Early (14 points) was a focal point and eventually tied the game on a 3-pointer with 1:07 left. Unfortunately, Early would miss a game-winning three on the final play. Andrea Bargnani also had a solid game on the offensive end with 22 points.

The Nets win gives them their first 4-0 season sweep of the Knicks since moving to Brooklyn. New York travels to Washington D.C. on Friday to face the Wizards.

[Video] No Country for Old Men – Shumpert Crossover Drops Paul Pierce


With the Knicks out the playoffs, New York fans will take any small victories we can get over these last two games. Iman Shumpert has been terrorizing Paul Pierce on the defensive end since last year’s playoffs. But tonight, Shump gave old man Pierce the business on offense via this sweet crossover. The Knicks ended up pounding the Nets the entire game and won 109-98.

This Is Our Town! Knicks Destroy Brooklyn 110-81, Continue Playoff Push


With the Nets having the best Eastern Conference record since January, a few Nets fans have started to become too vocal. Some even have the audacity to claim they’ve “taken over” basketball in New York. Well, the Knicks had to remind them of their status with a beatdown last night at Madison Square Garden. After going 3-2 on the recent West Coast trip, there is no room for error with less than 10 games left in the season. The Knicks needed to make a big statement on national TV and boy did they ever deliver…

67%: How hot were the Knicks to start? How about jumping out to a 29-20 lead after the first and shooting 67% for the entire first half to hold a 63-38 lead. The ball movement was strong and the Knicks fed the paint (31 points) via Stoudemire post-ups (13 points) and Melo. On the perimeter, Tim Hardaway Jr., Iman Shumpert, and JR Smith all had their jumpers flowing. In addition, all three attacked the old legs of Brooklyn (who were on a back to back without Kevin Garnett) with aggressive drives, including the best finish at the rim Shump has had all year.

BRIEF LITTLE SCARE: In the third, Raymond Felton came down hard on his back and ribs during a rebound, leading to some deep contusions in those areas. His injury seemed to spark a five-minute period of lethargy where the Nets were able to pull within 14-points. The surge was finally put to a halt by a Prigoni three, and key shots from Melo and JR Smith to push the lead back over 20 headed into the fourth quarter.

LOCKDOWN SHUMPERT: Despite picking up five fouls, Shumpert never wavered in his defensive intensity. Everyone he guarded was harassed and forced into bad leads. His work caused him to be a +29 on the court, to go along with 10, 3 rebounds and 2 assists in 24 minutes.

With Shump leading the defensive charge, the Nets were reduced to sub 40% shooting for the majority of the game.

THJ N’ JR: Hardaway got 28 minutes off the bench and was a sharp-shooting 7/10 from the field (17 points). JR was lethal behind the arc (6/12) and had one of his best all-around games with 24 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists.

NO PRESSURE ON MELO: All the big contributions allowed Melo to take a step back on offense. This allowed him to be highly efficient from the field (8/16, 23 points), get to the line (7/8), and focus on rebounding (10).

IN THE PLAYOFFS…FOR NOW: Atlanta lost to the Bulls last night, allowing this win to put the Knicks into the playoffs. The hold is still very tenuous — New York’s next game falls on Friday against the Wizards, followed by the Heat on Sunday.