Although the Knicks-Hawks playoff series doesn’t start until Sunday, the NBA officials have already handed out its first “technical” to Nate McMillan.
The interim Hawks coach was fined $25,000 for comments deemed “asserting bias by the NBA relating to the 2020-21 Playoffs,” the league announced on Wednesday.
The comments were as follows:
I’ve talked about that to the team a lot. The league wants this. They need this. New York. It’s a big market for the league, and New York has been out of the playoffs for a lot of years, and this is a team our league wants to see.
And this is a team that our league, they want to see — there’s a huge fan base — and they want to see New York in the playoffs.
While on the surface this is no worse than what LeBron James said on Twitter about the Knicks a month ago, timing is everything. A comment like this less than a week before what most consider a pick ’em playoffs series could be construed as implying the refs might have favorable whistles New York’s way.
But here’s the thing. Conversation like this go on all the time in locker rooms. They can be a great motivational tool, especially for the Hawks who already have been treated as an afterthought in this series (despite being arguably more talented and deeper on paper). In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if McMillan did this purposely just to further show his team the league isn’t in their corner.
Just last year we got the Michael Jordan meme that keeps on giving (“And I took that personal…”). The Atlanta Hawks will likely take that same mentality into game 1 this Sunday, and the Knicks better be prepared to meet it by firing on all cylinders.
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.
Not in our house! Who do you think we are, the Brooklyn Nets? The Knicks dug deep and took advantage of the Pacers missing their point guard George Hill to stay alive with a 85-75 win at Madison Square Garden. The motto is take it one game at a time, and New York made some improvements that we’ll hopefully see in Indiana on Saturday.
DEFENSIVE ADJUSTMENTS: It only took us being sent to the brink of elimination for Coach Mike Woodson to realize the constant post double-teaming and defensive switching was a death sentence against Indiana. Chandler didn’t score much (2 points, 8 rebounds, 2 blocks), but in the first half he played Hibbert straight up and protected the paint. This killed Indy’s ability to find open treys and forced everyone else to become playmakers, resulting in them shooting 27% in the first quarter and 29% for the half.
The Knicks weren’t exactly on fire themselves, but JR Smith was slowly finding his shot (9 points on 3/5 first half shooting) and Melo kept the team in front with 15 first half points. Melo contributed to Roy Hibbert getting in foul trouble which opened up the paint. Unfortunately, he Knicks didn’t close the first and second quarters particularly strong and had to settle for a 40-34 halftimelead.
THE DEFINING PLAY: The 3rd quarter looked shaky early on with the Pacers hitting back to back threes to pull within two (42-40). To make matters worse, Tyson Chandler picked up a bad fourth foul sending him to the bench. But from there, Raymond Felton (12 points) came alive and began working smooth pick n’ rolls with K-Mart (7 points) that lead to layups and a key fourth foul on Hibbert. Chris Copeland’s three-point offense lead to some breathing room (53-44) and set the stage for the biggest sequence of the game.
JR Smith turned the ball over leading to a 2-on-1 Indy fast break. DJ Augstin blew the layup, but Paul George recovered on the perimeter and drove right back to the basket to miss his own contested layup. The Knicks raced back and Felton found Copeland open for a three. He missed, but Felton secured a hard rebound and kicked it to an open JR, who also missed. This time, Copeland snatched the offensive rebound inside and nailed a baby hook to extend the lead to 59-48, the largest of the game for the Knicks to cap a 12-4 run.
From that point on, I felt highly confident the Knicks would keep their poise.
COPELAND ARRIVES: After his bad play against the Celtics, Woodson have lost all faith in Copeland. This was the reason he only looked Cope’s way again out of the desperation of avoiding elimination. We saw last night that was probably Woody’s biggest mistake of the series.
The Pacers had been able to focus on Melo and JR since our lineups were composed of guys who weren’t offensive threats (Jason Kidd glaringly stands out). With Cope out there draining threes (13 points, 3/4 from downtown), the floor opened up and it allowed Melo and even JR to work better without multiple Pacers being so quick to collapse on them.
The biggest Copeland moment for me was seeing him barking at Amar’e Stoudemire about a missed defensive assignment. That let everyone know he wasn’t deferring to anyone not pulling their weight.
STAT’S CONTRIBUTIONS: Speaking of Stat (2 points, 2 rebounds), it seems most people are realizing there isn’t much he’s going to be able to do unless we make it do the conference finals. It took him close to the 10 games to get back to form in January after the first injury. For now, all I hope for is that he’s not a defensive liability in his limited minutes.
JR IMPROVES: Our Sixth Man of the Year isn’t completely himself yet, but he helped way more than he hurt last night. JR went 4/11 for 13 points.We got a few bad shots, but he kept his head in the game. The public Rihanna dis may be just the wake-up call he needed.
MELO THE CLOSER: Melo had 28 points on 12-28 shooting. Not spectacular on paper, but he did what we always want of him, and that’s close the show in the fourth. He went MIA in games three and four, but this time he was an active on both sides of the ball. He took Paul George in the post, drew fouls (a 5th on Hibbert) and hit clutch fadeaways. In addition, he got a jump ball, adding to three consecutive Indy turnovers in crunch time. Over the final 2-3 minutes, the Knicks were able to ice this game behind a 10-4 run.
HOW ABOUT OUR DEFENSE?: We’ve been hearing all series about Indy’s great D. Last night, the Knicks held them to 36% shooting and 19 turnovers. And remember Woody, all these from minimal double teams and switching!
BRING THAT POISE TO INDIANA: In the huddle, Pacers coach Frank Vogel was heard saying once the game got to around 2-4 points, we would start feeling the pressure. Well, the Pacers were never able to secure the lead, showing that when focused and relying on each other, the Knicks are a match for any team in this league.
A bigger test happens on Saturday when we return to Indiana. We haven’t won there all year, but our chances are very good if George Hill sits again with his concussion. If he plays, the challenge is much more daunting. Either way, the Knicks will have to play again with the passion of knowing their playoff lives are on the line.
Before game 2 against the Indiana Pacers, Carmelo Anthony said the disappointing game 1 defeat came down to a lack of effort. The Knicks didn’t have that problem last night, as Melo himself dropped 22 second half points, Iman Shumpert was all hustle, and Pablo Prigioni provided an early fourth quarter spark to give the Knicks a 105-79 blowout and their most impressive win this post-season.
Game 1 left a lot of people wondering if the Knicks were “tough enough” to break down the league’s #1 defense in the Pacers, and NY showed, as they have all season, that they’re a team built on resiliency.
1ST HALF EXECUTION: For the majority of the first half, the Knicks answered the call of hitting shots and providing their own strong defense. They forced the Pacers into multiple turnovers and converted on most of their open shots. With just 3:36 left in the half, the Knicks were up 13 points.
Unfortunately, the Pacer defense combined with some Knick mental lapses left New York scoreless for the rest of the half. The Pacers were able to chip their deficit to only five points (47-42) headed into the third. However, the Knicks had reason to be encouraged, as their lead was predicated on ball movement and balanced contributions as Melo and JR were still struggling from the field.
3RD QUARTER TEST: The Knicks got a legit test over within the first 3-5 minutes of the third. Their shots stopped falling, and the Pacers started to nail three-pointers courtesy of Lance Stephenson and George Hill to take their first lead at 64-62. The crowd was antsy, as there was the fear the Knicks would revert to iso ball and get ran off the court.
Impressively, the Knicks never got rattled, and Melo secured the lead back courtesy of momentum-changing three-point play dunk over Jeff Pendergraph. That play brought new life to the Knicks defense, and on the next Pacer possession a Raymond Felton-Kenyon Martin trap in the backcourt resulted in a turnover and alley-oop dunk. Jason Kidd had another scoreless night, but found other ways to contribute in saving a deflection to find Tyson Chandler for an easy dunk and cap a 10-2 NY run to end the quarter. The Knicks held a 72-66 going into the fourth.
PACERS GET BURIED: The Pacers had been shooting well over 50% for most of the game, but came crashing down to the earth in the last 12 minutes. The Pacers had one of the league’s worst offenses during the season, and it was displayed in all its ugly glory as Indy went 0/11 to start and didn’t score from the field until three minutes were left in the quarter!
While the Pacers struggled, Pablo Prigioni furthered the Knicks run by hitting a pullup three and a short jumper in the lane to extend the lead to 77-66. Chants of “Pablo!” rained down from the Garden crowd, but it would be Melo who finished off the game. Melo had 16 points during an astounding 36-4 run to completely blow the game open to a 92-66 lead.
The last five minutes were garbage time and the starters thankfully got a decent rest. And it’s not like the Pacers got any reprieve when our bench was emptied — Quentin Richardson got in on the run with two treys of his own.
SHUMPERT THE BEAST: I think it’s safe to say Shump is fully back from his ACL tear based on the below play.
There were still some naysayers after Shump’s great play in the last series against Paul Pierce, citing Pierce’s age. This series so far shows Shumpert is coming into his own as a complete player. Once his jumper and finishing at the rim gets more consistent, I have no doubt the Knicks will have a future All-Star. In 28 minutes, Shumpert delivered 15 points (7/11 from the field), 6 rebounds and 1 steal.
ANYTIME NOW, JR: Our Sixth Man of the Year is still in this horrible shooting slump. Last night he went 3/15 from the field (1/7 from downtown). You can tell his confidence is really shaken and even his free throws aren’t a sure thing anymore. Nothing lasts forever, so we just have to patiently wait until he gets out of this. Thankfully, with guys like Felton, Shumpert and Prigioni picking up the slack, and Amar’e Stoudemire returning this weekend, JR doesn’t have overwhelming pressure to get it together. But when he does, the Knicks can potentially blow this series open.
REST!: I normally hate long breaks between games, but this time it’s extremely important to our squad. Melo’s hurt shoulder needs all the rest it can get. The Pacers have made it a point to test it out by hammering Melo in the paint. He was grimacing all throughout the game, but of course hitting his shots made the pain less potent. These three days will also serve to help Tyson Chandler, who you can tell is still battling the lingering effects of the bulging disc in his neck. Remember, the Knicks went right into this series one game removed from eliminating Boston.
Game 3 kicks off this Saturday and should also mark the long-awaited return of Amar’e Stoudemire.
Was that a game 7 atmosphere or what?! I had to check my emotions and remind myself that we were still sitting on a 3-1 lead after Jason Terry lead Boston on an overtime surge to pull out their first win of the series, 97-90. The game was the Knicks to lose in the 4th quarter, and boy did we ever behind Melo’s worst performance in recent months.
MELO GIVES THE GAME AWAY: Carmelo Anthony (10-35, 36 points) has had some bad games during his Knicks tenure, but this was one of, if not the worst shooting performance I’ve seen from him. I’ve said before that I could care less about his field goal percentage as long as he scores when it counts in crunch time. For the first three games in this series, he did just that. Yesterday, he couldn’t covert if his life depended on it.
Playing iso at point forward, Melo missed repeated drives and pullup jumpers. Tyson Chandler (11 rebounds) and Iman Shumpert (12 points, 12 rebounds) got repeated offensive rebounds, and still Melo couldn’t buy one. I knew it wasn’t his night when he couldn’t even nail a short 5-7 footer, and bricked two free throws that could have extended the Knicks lead to four late in the fourth. No worries, as Melo will redeem himself on Wednesday.
CAN WE GET ONE COMPLETE GAME?: Much has been said about the Celtics blowing a 20 point halftime lead and not being able to play a full 48 minutes. Well, it’s not like the Knicks have had a complete game either this series — the difference is NY has been turning it on in the second half and running the Celtics out the building. But with JR Smith, that extra punch was missing yesterday afternoon.
FELTON GOES OFF: Raymond Felton (27 points) is the man. His 16-point third single-handedly brought the Knicks back from 20 down in less than eight minutes. And that long three-pointer at the third quarter buzzer to bring the Knicks within three (68-65) was absolutely breath-taking.
WOODY’S HEAD-SCRATCHERS: Coach Woodson made two calls that ended up being disastrous. First was going with Quentin Richardson to start the second, which began the big Celtics run. Second was repeatedly going to Melo at the expense of Felton, who Boston had no answer for. Yes, conventional wisdom said Melo would hit something, but Felton should have gotten about 3-4 of Melo’s 4th quarter shots.
ALL BECAUSE OF A DAMN ELBOW: JR Smith learned the hard way how one sneaky elbow can result in another 48 minutes of work. I expect him to take this personally and go for at least 25 points on Wednesday when the Celtics come back to town.
The NBA announced late last night that JR Smith will serve a one game suspension for his flagrant 2 elbow on Jason Terry during the fourth quarter of game 3 against the Celtics Friday night.
The play came when Terry attempted a hard swipe of the ball on the perimeter, resulting in Smith swinging an elbow that first landed on Terry’s chest and then face. Terry had to be restrained by teammates and officials. Smith was ejected after the play was reviewed.
The Knicks went on to win the game 90-76 and take a commanding 3-0 series lead. Smith has been averaging 16 points thus far in the playoffs and is the Knicks second leading scorer.
This decision is just another reminder to the Knicks that as one of the premier teams in the league, they’ll be extra scrutiny on everything they do. Much like Kevin Durant got a BS fine for simply doing a throat slash, the Knicks have been victim of overreactive disciplinary actions from the NBA front office. Melo got one earlier in the season for attempting to confront Kevin Garnett after the game despite no punches or up-close confrontation happening. Hell, KG choked a Knicks players after a game in the 2011 and there wasn’t a peep from the NBA about a suspension.
In a way, I’m glad JR learned how important he is to the team and not to risk his contributions on silly retaliatory shots. Nonetheless, I still want the sweep today so someone else needs to step up and bury the boys in the green. I’m looking at you, Chris Copeland.
It was a beautiful game last night for Knicks fans as our squad broke the spirit of the Celtics with a commanding 90-76 victory. The narrative coming into the contest was how the Knicks would deal with the emotional energy of a Boston team looking to inspire their city after the tragic Boston Marathon bombing. Knicks fans will recall we had our own emotional lift to start the season when we blew out the Heat in the season opener on the heels of Hurricane Sandy. Unfortunately for Boston, they were facing a team that had them beat in talent and focus.
TAKEN OUT EARLY, BLAME PRIGIONI: The Boston fans wanted something to cheer for, but the Knicks would have none of it. Pablo Prigioni set the tone with two quick treys. Neither side shot well particularly well in the opening quarter (each squad below 40%). However, you never got the feeling this game would be competitive. Raymond Felton was penetrating at will and kicking out for open shots, one of which being a JR Smith triple. The Celtics got open looks but were shrinking away from meeting the challenge by blowing layups. And even with Melo struggling with his shot going 2-7, the Knicks still lead 23-18 going into the second.
OFF TO THE RACES: You know the most impressive thing about the 2nd quarter? For me, it was the fact the Knicks built the lead with Steve Novak in the lineup. Seriously, Novak had been woeful on offense and defense during this series. Last night, he moved well and wasn’t a liability. The Knicks defense as a whole completely stifled the Celtics guards — passing lanes were clogged up and their offense completely imploded. A JR Smith three-pointer brought the lead to double digits (34-23), and there it remained for the rest of the game.
Melo (26 points), dubbed the “ball hog” by the Celtics media pundits, promptly re-entered the game and drained three straight long jumpers and an alley-oop courtesy of Jason Kidd to push the lead to 47-31 at halftime.
Where was Paul Pierce, you ask? The Celtics main scorer was held to just 4 points on 2-10 shooting. In addition, he was forced into 3 turnovers, mostly courtesy of some stifling defense from Iman Shumpert, who ended up with 3 steals and 8 rebounds for the game.
MORE DOMINATION: Outside of a quick 7-0 Celtics run to the start the third, the Knicks were never seriously challenged in the second half. Without Rajon Rondo, the Celtics couldn’t protect the ball (17 turnovers). Melo continued nailing jumpers, and Felton blew past his defenders throughout the game to the tune of 15 points and 10 assists. The Knicks held a 68-52 lead after the third, and the fourth was decided early on when Novak hit his first three of the series to push the lead to 73-54. After that, the game was basically extended garbage time for 7-8 minutes.
THE ONE BLEMISH: JR Smith had a solid game (15 points, 4 rebounds), but committed a costly reckless moment when he responded to a hard swipe from Jason Terry by elbowing him in the face. Terry sold it a bit, but it was enough to get JR tossed early in the fourth. To his credit, Smith walked away immediately, got a stern talking to from Coach Woodson, and headed right to the back. It looks like a suspension isn’t coming, so the Knicks dodged a bullet.
It JR’s defense though , Jason Terry has a face that’s begging for a good elbow.
CHANDLER WORKING HIS WAY BACK: Tyson Chandler’s recent bulging disc injury at has made his contributions this post-season very sporadic. Last night’s game was promising in Chandler showing some good rolls to the basket for dunks like the Tyson we all know. His numbers don’t jump out at you (6 points, 8 rebounds), but watch out when he truly gets back to form.
I have a good feeling Sunday will be the last we see of the Celtics this season.
23! No, I’m not talking about the iconic number of one of game’s greatest players. 23 indicates the new record for offensive futility that the Boston Celtics set last night in the second half while under pressure from the Knicks defense. The Celtics could only put up 23 points (11 and 12 in the third and fourth quarters, respectively) when faced with the likes of Kenyon Martin in the lane, resulting in a decisive 87-71 Knicks victory.
We’re still waiting on that complete 48-minute game when it comes to defense, but the Knicks put the clamps down when it mattered and reminded the Celtics this isn’t the team they swept back in 2011.
TRIGGER-HAPPY REFS IN 1ST QUARTER: For whatever reason, the referees decided to call the first quarter like they were afraid a fight was going to break out. BS fouls were being called on both teams, resulting in Iman Shumpert, Kevin Garnett and Tyson Chandler having to take quick seats. Offensively, the Knicks didn’t truly get going until newly crowned Sixth Man of the Year JR Smith came in. Swish went 4-4 for nine points in just 8 minutes with the last two being his patented stepback outside jumper and a breathtaking buzzer-beating three-pointer from 36 feet to give New York a 26-20 lead.
SLEEPWALKING THROUGH THE SECOND: The Knicks had a putrid second quarter all-around. Steve Novak and Chris Copeland continued their invisible play. Jason Terry found his stroke from downtown (3-3) that helped spark a 11-0 Boston run to take a 31-27 lead. At one point, Boston lead by as much as 10 as the Knicks offense degraded into predictable Melo isos. The Knicks couldn’t protect the ball either as the Celtics got 16 points off turnovers and outscored the Knicks 28-16 to hold a 48-42 halftime lead.
The only positive from this quarter was Garnett getting hit with his third foul.
BACK TO REALITY: The Celtics shot 57% over the first half and we know that wasn’t going to continue. Iman Shumpert hit back to back treys that erased the Celtics lead, and from there it was all Knicks. Melo rebounded from a slow first half (3/11 shooting) and lit up Boston for 13 points in the third and 34 points overall. Whenever the Celtics tried to make a run in the fourth, a few quick Melo jumpers kept them from getting closer than nine.
With Melo and Smith guaranteed to get theirs every night, the Knicks always have a need for a third guy to step up on offense. Last night it was Raymond Felton (16 points, 7 rebounds), who pushed the pace and ran the Celtics ragged with his drives into the lane.
The interior defense from Tyson Chandler, who had a huge block on Avery Bradley, and Kenyon Martin, who had four big blocks in the second half, kept the Celtics a jump-shooting team. K-Mart in particular was huge with 11 rebounds (3 offensive) and keeping Garnett (4-9, 12 points) working hard to get post position. His defense was also the main catalyst for Jeff Green not being able to get anything going to the basket.
The Knicks will need to be even better on Friday when they head into Boston for what will no doubt be a highly emotional game. Let’s pay back that 2011 series with a sweep of our own.
The Knicks can’t win without hitting a ton of threes. No one on that squad plays defense outside of Kenyon Martin and Tyson Chandler. They can’t handle a physical defense. There has been a lot of bullshit spewed against the Knicks by network talking heads over the last few months. I don’t expect much of their flawed narrative to change due to one game, but the Knicks sure looked like a team ready for the tough playoff grind as they gutted out an old-school, half-court battle with the Boston Celtics. This was far from a polished performance, and that’s exactly why this win is promising as the Knicks will surely improve as the series progresses.
THE HELL WITH EFFICIENCY. GIVE ME BUCKETS WHEN IT COUNTS!: It’s no secret that success for the Knicks starts and ends with the play of Carmelo Anthony. Early on Melo was on fire in hitting his first four shots (two from downtown). He then went extremely cold from the field. People made a lot about this, claiming that Melo was holding the ball too long. That’s true on some possessions, but many times Melo was given the ball in the possession’s final seconds when our guards failed to get any penetration.
Melo stayed with it and got hot when it counted in the fourth quarter. With the game on the line, he hit back to back jumpers to push the Knicks lead to 76-72. A deflection caused a Boston turnover and Melo promptly went on a one-man fastbreak to hit a layup and make the lead 81-76. The final dagger would come with little over a minute when Melo hit a long jumper over Jeff Green. And for further emphasis, Melo countered a hard trap by finding K-Mart under the basket to make it 85-78.
I’m not a stat nerd and could care less if Melo shoots 35% or 60% as long as we win. These games will be decided in the fourth and from what we saw yesterday, Melo is ready to meet the challenge.
25 AND 8: These are two numbers sum up our second half defense. First off, the Knicks should have been embarrassed to give up 53 first half points to that Boston offense (particularly letting Jeff Green go off for 20 points). They took the challenge in the second half by holding Green to just six points in the final 24 minutes. The Celtics only scored 25 points in the entire second half and 8 points in the fourth quarter!
Two guys were essential in this defensive stand: Jason Kidd and Kenyon Martin. Kidd was all over the passing lanes and totally killed the ball movement in the Celtics offense, being the catalyst for six fourth quarter Boston turnovers (20 for the game). And K-Mart played superb D on Garnett, swallowed up numerous offensive boards, and protected the pain like a madman. The below block sums up what we want out of our defense on every possession.
JR’S DUNK: JR’s shot wasn’t going down yesterday, but he remained aggressive. Like Melo, he had key buckets in the fourth, including a three-point play layup over Kevin Garnett. His biggest play came in the first half courtesy of this massive dunk below.
NO FAVORITES: I was highly worried about Coach Woodson’s sanity when I heard he was considering starting James White. Thank God that didn’t happen. What I liked most about Woody’s decisions is that he played no favorites with the lineup. Tyson Chandler wasn’t as strong defensively as K-Mart, so Woody went with the latter to close out the fourth. Chris Copeland has been a prolific scorer to close out the season, but he had jitters and also couldn’t contain Green. Woody quickly benched him as well. They’ll get more chances to contribute as adjustments are made, but I’m extremely happy to see Woody’s stubborn tendencies eradicated.
The Knicks get one more day of rest tomorrow which bodes well for a potential Tuesday return of Pablo Prigioni.
After waiving center Solomon Jones on Monday following two subpar games, the Knicks announced yesterday the surprise resigning of 12-year veteran Quentin Richardson.
Richardson has been out of the NBA this season, but spent 4 years with the Knicks from 2005-2009. During that span, he averaged 10 points and 5 rebounds.
In his last NBA stint in 2011, he averaged 5 points and 3 rebounds over 48 games for the Orlando Magic.
The Knicks made it clear after Jones got dropped that they were looking for another wing player. That made most Knicks fans believe all our bigs were set to go. Then after Rasheed Wallace had to leave Monday’s Bobcats games early because of a sore left foot, the talk went back to possibly signing another backup big.
No one saw Quentin Richardson returning to the Garden. I admit, I have bad memories of those dark seasons. However, Q-Rich has always been a no-nonsense guy who as a Knick had several confrontations with Celtics players. At the very least, he’ll be physical. Now we don’t need him being as physical as we see below, but I wouldn’t mind him popping Garnett one time. Welcome back, Quentin!