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.

[Video] Melo, Knicks Excel in Preseaon Debut, Blow Out Brazil 100-81


The Knicks are back and we’re undefeated! Look, I know it’s just one game, but after last year we need every chance to celebrate.

Before our Garden faithful, the Knicks dominated the Brazilian Paschoalotto Bauru 100-81, blowing the game open by outscoring them 36-19 in the second quarter.

Carmelo Anthony showed no signs of any issues on his surgically repaired left knee, scoring 17 points in 20 minutes on 8/10 shooting. The squad also got big efforts from our newly acquired big men Kevin Seraphin (14 points, 7/11) and Kyle O’Quinn (14 points, 5/7).

Our prized rookie, Kristaps Porzingis, had a rocky start (2 misses and 2 turnovers to start), but eventually settled down to contribute 7 (2 three-pointers) points in 21 minutes. You see the potential, but you also see the long road of work ahead — the standout sore area is rebounding (just 2).

The Knicks are back in action tomorrow with a road game against the Washington Wizards.

[Video] Melo Ends Preseason with Game-Winner Against Wizards


A tie-breaking three-point play in the final 13 seconds from Carmelo Anthony was enough to hold off the Washington Wizards and close out the Knicks’ preseason record at 3-3.

Melo had 30 points on 11/19 shooting, along with 3 rebounds and 3 assists. As usual, the Knicks made it harder than it needed to be through a combination of leaky defense (3-point coverage, issues with guard penetration) and errant passes. Changing a team’s culture takes time, so fans need to be prepared for an uneven season. What is promising is that the effort and direction is there.

The Knicks will get thrown right into the fire next Wednesday when they open the season against the Chicago Bulls.


Knicks Waive Five Players, Retain Chris Smith


With the regular season starting next week, the Knicks cleaned house yesterday with the waiving of five players: Ike Diogu, C.J. Leslie, Josh Powell, Jeremy Tyler, and Chris Douglas-Roberts.

The surprise among the cut players are Diogu and Tyler. The former played well in his limited minutes (7.2 points, 4 rebounds in 16. 2minutes) and provided a solid inside presence with his 6’8, 255 pound frame. The 6’10 Tyler, who was signed to a 2-year deal in August after a strong showing in the summer league, was unable to play this pre-season after suffering a right foot stress fracture in early September that’s sidelined him until late November.

With the Knicks’ constant rebounding issues, the team announced that they will “keep an eye” on Tyler once he’s healthy should he not sign elsewhere.

The waivers mean that Chris Smith, brother of JR Smith, has made the team despite registering playing time in just three games and averaging 1 point (14% shooting) and 1 rebound.


I hope the Knicks have a plan because this looks bad on paper. Yes, we kept the 7-footer Cole Aldrich (who frankly was inconsistent this pre-season but has upside…), but the Diogu and Tyler cuts are baffling based on their play. I don’t have much hope Tyler will be available to resign during the season — serviceable and young big men are lacking and any team with sense will pick him up. Unless NY has an under the table deal in place, he’s possibly gone for good. And while Diogu wasn’t in the best shape, he gave a great effort in the post and was the only player outside of Melo that’s shown he could finish around the rim consistently.

As for JR’s brother, we know nepotism is the only reason he’s on the roster. I’ll hold my outrage if he’s cut and sent to the D-League. If he remains on the bench, it shows the organization has no vested interest in putting together a winning team. Roster spots, especially with our needs, are important and should be treated as such.

We’ll see how this plays out in the coming weeks. For now, there’s reason for concern.

Raptors Hold Off Knicks in Double OT


A lineup of third-string Knicks played hard, but not consistently enough in the areas of defense and rebouding to defeat the Raptors, who used an overtime third-pointer from Terrence Ross (27 points) to force a second overtime period and win 123-120.

Our starters did their part in limited minutes. While Carmeolo Anthony didn’t shoot well (4-13, 9 points), he looked to distribute and took care of the glass in grabbing 8 rebounds. Andrea Bargnani’s shot wasn’t there either (4-12), but he was active in drawing fouls (5-7 at the line) and finished with 13 points. Tyson Chandler hit a few jumpers and was energetic around the rim in his 19 minutes, finishing with 15 points and 7 free throw attempts.

With Raymond Felton and Iman Shumpert resting, heavy minutes went to Tim Hardaway Jr. and Beno Udrih. Junior’s (4-16, 15 points) shot was erratic, but he never shied away from taking them and got some good looks. Udrih had a very solid game outside of some head-scratching turnovers (4). He finished with 19 points, including a big three-pointer to help force the second overtime.

As we’ve seen over the last few games, Ike Diogu (10 points, 7 rebounds) and Toure Murry (12 points, 5 rebounds) came to play hard and continued their cases for making the team.

The big highlight of the game was Metta World Peace and it wasn’t his excellent stat line (16 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists). Tyler Hansbrough tried to dirty up the game as usual and Peace was having none of it. Hansbrough looked like he’d seen a ghost and backed down immediately. In past years, Hansbrough has been one of those guys that’s abused our frontcourt players. Glad to see this season we’ll see none of that when Metta goes into Artest mode.

There was a lot left be desired on the perimeter defense with Ross dropping 27 off the bench and Rudy Gay (19 points) and Demar Derozan (21) also taking advantage of our slow rotations. Rebounding, which will likely again be our weakest area this season, proved to be our downfall as Ross was able to get two looks at a three-pointer that forced the second overtime. However, keep in mind the lineups that were out there and the bigger importance in having all of our main guys healthy to start the year.

Only two pre-season games are left with NY facing the Bucks on Wednesday, and the Bobcats on Friday.

[Video] Preason, Game 1 – Knicks 103, Celtics 102: Shump the Sharpshooter, Hardaway Jr.’s Game Winner

“No exhibition games!” – Iman Shumpert


PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Aside from a frustrating fourth quarter collapse, there was a lot to like about the new and improved New York Knicks, who kicked off their preseason with a go-ahead corner jumper from Tim Hardaway Jr. to hold off the Celtics 103-102.

Melo took it easy tonight (7 points on 3-8 shooting), but did show some nify two-man game moves with Andrea Bargnani. The latter’s outside shot wasn’t falling (0-3 from downtown), but he did a decent job of getting to the line and keeping the floor spaced.

The offensive star of the game was Iman Shumpert, who was a scorching 7-7 from the floor (3-3 from behind the arc). There was no holding back — Shump was full speed ahead the entire game. If his shooting remains consistent, Coach Woodson would be hard-pressed to keep him out of the starting lineup.

Metta World Peace was a solid contributor last night as well, chipping in 13 points and 4 rebounds. He was one of five Knicks in double figures, including Raymond Felton (11), Hardaway Jr. (16), Shumpert (18) and Bargnani (12).

With the lead up to 23 points with a little over eight minutes remaining, the Knicks bench was emptied and the Celtics went on a run. They briefly took the lead behind Chris Babb scoring 12 points in the quarter.

Thankfully, Hardaway Jr. was also on fire, dropping 10 points in the final stanza. His jumper in the closing seconds put away Boston for good, and shows the Knicks have another capable offensive weapon to help out Melo. Woodson should be giving him as much play as possible to get his confidence strong for the season.

Next up on Friday are the Toronto Raptors.