The Knicks (3-8) loss to the Pacers was very promising. It was the best defensive basketball they've played for four consecutive quarters in the same game this season. Please note that Beno Udrih started at point guard and Raymond Felton was on the bench. Hurray.
Chris Smith is gone to the D-League, but J.R. Smith may still want to defend his brother's honor against Pistons' point guard Brandon Jennings. It is unlikely that the mercurial, and often immature J.R. Smith will say anything beyond a tweet or a twerp to Jennings, after he was hit with a $25,000 fine for hostilely and inappropriately using twitter to respond to Jennings dig at Chris Smith's presence on the Knicks. Still, beside the Knicks' consistently lackluster performance, the twitter feud is the most exciting thing happening with the Knicks these last few days.
The Knicks are 3-6 and Carmelo Anthony knows what we know -- somebody is not trying on the defensive end. Beyond that it appears that the Knicks just don't have all the weapons they need to be championship contenders.
Amare Stoudemire is unhappy with his minutes limitation which seems to coincide with his name being involved in trade talks. Clearly, Stoudemire needs minutes to improve his play, but he has yet to show that he can play with Carmelo and be of any use on the defensive end.
This Knicks Fanatic maintains that the teams biggest problem is at point guard. Raymond Felton is hugely ineffective on the defensive end and would be better packaged in a trade than Imam Shumpert. Of course, Shump is more valuable.
The Pistons are an improved team but they have lost five of their last six and appear worse on the defensive end than the Knicks. However, the Knicks still need offensive production for someone other than Prigio Bargnani and Carmelo Anthony.
I'm betting this game will be determined by the boards and on how much Jennings wants to beat down the Knicks for not drafting him and for the hostile tweets.no comments
James Dolan issued a guarantee. Sounds like a must win to me.no comments
J.R. Smith makes his return to the Knicks this afternnon in a face-off with the 5-1 Spurs: Coach Woodson has indicated that Smith, who says he still lacks explosiveness, will come off the bench and be limited to 30 minutes of action for now.
Woodson liked the winning starting lineup of Carmelo Anthony, Pablo Prigiani, Raymond Felton, Andrea Bargnani and Imam Shumpert, so he will go with them against the Spurs.
Although the Spurs are 5-1, Manu Ginobli has been struggling. He is shooting 8-13 in the previous three games and averaging 7.0 points during that span. Duncan only scored 8 points in his lat games, but the Spurs won and that is all that counts in the standings.
Andrea Bargnani, the Knicks center/forward, finally showed up in the Knicks 101-91 of the Patrick Ewing coached Hornets. The embattled Bargnani scored 25 points, blocked five shots, grabbed 8 rebounds and dished 3 assists as he replaced the injured Tyson Chandler at center. Coach Woodson was very pleased with Bargnani's play. Woodson also admitted that he was still in learning mode as he discovers how to put Bargnani in a position to succeed. Most notable from a fans perspective is the effort that Bargnani put in on both ends of the floor. He was very active on the double teams and moved his feet relatively well as the guards penetrated to the hole. He made his presence felt. Bargnani is going to have a much more challenging time tomorrow against Tim Duncan, Tiago Splitter and the 5-1 San Antonio Spurs.
Tonight, the Knicks tryagain to handle the Bobcats, but this time they do it without their big man Tyson Chandler. In the Knicks102-97 los to the Bobcats on Tuesday, although our heroes cut the score to a two point differential late in the 4th, the Knick continued to fail defensively. It is doubtful that the problem resolved itself overnight. Hopefully, it is more likely that the Knicks come to the game with a greater energy and sense of urgency. Or we will continue to drop in the standings.no comments
The Knicks are 1-3 and it is clear that the Knicks' defense or lack thereof is the major culprit. However, with the injury to Tyson Chandler highlighting the Knicks' deficiencies to start the season, it is easy to wonder where the Knicks would be if J.R. Smith had not been suspended because of his transgressions and 6-2 guard Chris Smith had not been retained, instead of a big man, because he is J.R.'s brother.
The Knicks' miss the energy and offensive fire power of J.R. Smith who is serving a 5-game cheeba suspension. There is little doubt that his inattention to professional details has left his teammates to flounder and Coach Woodson searching for viable options without the proper tools. Arguably one of the reasons Woodson does not have the proper tools is that he selected to keep J.R.'s brother on the roster instead of one of the bigs vying for a spot during pre-season camp. Coach Woodson did not help matters when he honestly stated that Chris Smith's chances of making the team were enhanced by family ties.
Recently, ESPN basketball analyst Bill Simmons led the charge by criticizing Dolan for keeping Chris Smith on Twitter. Smith, a walk-on at University of Louisville who played a solid role on Rick Pitino's 2013 NCAA Final Four squad, responded to Simmons, who was later joined in the feud by Adrian Wojnarowski, on Twitter.
Although, Chris has his supporters, such as Rick Bozich of WDRB.com in Louisville, there is nothing Smith can do about the big hole in the middle of the Knick's roster. By association, J.R. will receive some of the blame for that hole. Does he deserve it? Does the blame simply rest with his ineffective teammates? Or does the blame for the Knicks woes rest with management's construction of the team?