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Aaron Afflalo

New York Knicks shooting guard Arron Afflalo reacts after being called for an offensive foul during the fourth quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Knicks shooting guard Arron Afflalo reacts after being called for an offensive foul during the fourth quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

Arron Afflalo, Derrick Williams have told the Knicks that they will not opt in to their contracts for 2016-17, per league sources.

Arron Afflalo and Derrick Williams have both told the Knicks they will not opt in to their contracts for the 2016-17 season, according to Ian Begley of ESPN NY.

Afflalo was set to receive $8 million this upcoming season from the Knicks, but will now be an unrestricted free agent.

Tags: Aaron Afflalo, Derrick Williams
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New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) celebrates a play with center Robin Lopez (8) and forward Carmelo Anthony (7) in the third quarter of their game the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena. (Jason Getz)
New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) celebrates a play with center Robin Lopez (8) and forward Carmelo Anthony (7) in the third quarter of their game the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena. (Jason Getz)

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While repeated reports may say different, Carmelo Anthony and Phil Jackson do agree on several things, one being the talent of the Knicks front court.

In a recent interview with NBC's Bruce Beck (via Maxwell Ogden), Jackson mentioned that in the team's exit meetings he and Carmelo agreed the front court of Anthony, Robin Lopez and Kristaps Porzingis may be the best in the league:

Tags: Aaron Afflalo, Carmelo Anthony, Derrick Williams, Jerian Grant, Kristaps Porzingis, Robin Lopez
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New York Knicks guard Arron Afflalo (Adam Hunger/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Knicks guard Arron Afflalo (Adam Hunger/USA Today Sports Images)

The New York Knicks face the Philadelphia 76ers on the road on Friday at 7 p.m.

According to STATS:

  • The Knicks (3-0) are trying to sweep this season series for just the third time in franchise history (1992-93 (5-0) & 1994-95 (4-0)).
  • Philadelphia's 107-93 victory over New Orleans on Tuesday was its 10th of the season; that means the NBA record for the fewest wins in an 82-game season will continue to be held by the 1972-73 76ers (9-73).
  • New York has won 31 games this season, which is 14 more than it had in 2014-15. That is the biggest increase in wins by any team this season. However, the Knicks are just 1-5 in their last six contests.
  • Arron Afflalo is averaging 20.0 (60/3) points and 7.4 (22/3) rebounds in his three games against the 76ers this season, shooting 57.5 (23/40) percent from the floor in these contests.
  • Carl Landry is averaging 19.0 points per game on 72.7 (24/33) percent shooting so far this month. He had 22 points on 9-for-10 from the floor in Tuesday's win over the Pelicans.
  • Robert Covington has made at least one three-pointer in 20 straight games. He is the second 76er to have a 20+ game streak this season (Hollis Thompson, 22 gms, December 14-February 3).
Tags: Philadelphia 76ers, Aaron Afflalo

Indiana Pacers forward Myles Turner and New York Knicks center Robin Lopez lock hands after battling for a rebound during first half at Madison Square Garden. (Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports Images)
Indiana Pacers forward Myles Turner and New York Knicks center Robin Lopez lock hands after battling for a rebound during first half at Madison Square Garden. (Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports Images)

Paul George returned from an injured ankle to make the tiebreaking jumper with 23.6 seconds left, and the Indiana Pacers beat the New York Knicks 92-87 on Sunday night to tie for seventh place in the Eastern Conference.

The Pacers blew an 18-point lead in the second half against a Knicks team missing its two best scorers, but recovered to join Detroit at 41-36 and stay two games ahead of ninth-place Chicago.

George finished with 20 points and nine rebounds, returning to the game midway through the fourth quarter after the Pacers had said he was questionable to play further because of a sore left ankle.

Sasha Vujacic scored 21 points for the Knicks, who rested Carmelo Anthony and had fellow starters Kristaps Porzingis and Jose Calderon already out with injuries. Arron Afflalo added 15 points. >> Read more

Tags: Aaron Afflalo, Carmelo Anthony, Indiana Pacers, Jose Calderon, Kristaps Porzingis, Sasha Vujacic

Anthony Donahue and Moke Hamilton are back on The Knicks Blog Podcast, and are joined in studio by ESPN New York's Ian Begley.

The guys discuss a whole host of topics, including Arron Afflalo's issues with Kurt Rambis, Carmelo Anthony's future with the team, free agency this summer, the organization's next head coach, and of course, they spend a few minutes on the D'Angelo Russell / Nick Young drama out in LA. 

Tags: Aaron Afflalo, Carmelo Anthony
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New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) argues a call with referee Justin Van Duyne (64) as Dallas Mavericks guard Wesley Matthews (23) looks on during the second half at the American Airlines Center. (Jerome Miron)
New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) argues a call with referee Justin Van Duyne (64) as Dallas Mavericks guard Wesley Matthews (23) looks on during the second half at the American Airlines Center. (Jerome Miron)

On Wednesday night, the Knicks lost to an ever playoff hungry team in the Mavericks. While the defeat itself shouldn't be surprising (given that such desire is not shared by New York at this point in the year), but the nature of it sure is.

The Knicks not only looked inferior, but also disorganized. There's clearly no heart in this team, and as such, teammates are not playing together. They're not only getting agitated by themselves, but each other as well, and it shows. There's growing tension amongst them, and it shows. 

It's difficult to gauge how such a team would compete, if led by a competent coaching staff. Still, Phil Jackson has to assess the team as it is now; it's clear certain players are giving up, and that may influence his decision to (or not to) bring them back as the team regroups for next season.

Tags: Aaron Afflalo, Carmelo Anthony, Derrick Williams, Langston Galloway, Keith Schlosser
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New York Knicks shooting guard Arron Afflalo reacts after being called for an offensive foul during the fourth quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Knicks shooting guard Arron Afflalo reacts after being called for an offensive foul during the fourth quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

New York Knicks interim coach Kurt Rambis spoke with guard Arron Afflalo about benching him over the past several games despite Afflalo saying otherwise.

As of Monday, Afflalo had not discussed the move to the bench with Rambis, according to the New York Daily News' Stefan Bondy, but Rambis said Tuesday they had discussed the transition, according to the New York Post's Marc Berman

Afflalo is expected to continue to be a bench player for the remainder of the season even though the Knicks are eliminated from the playoffs. Rambis said he does not plan to change the lineup with such little time remaining this season.

Tags: Aaron Afflalo
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New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) and forward Carmelo Anthony (7) laugh on the court during second half time out against the Chicago Bulls at Madison Square Garden. The Knicks won 106-94. (Noah K. Murray)
New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) and forward Carmelo Anthony (7) laugh on the court during second half time out against the Chicago Bulls at Madison Square Garden. The Knicks won 106-94. (Noah K. Murray)

As surprising as it was to see the Knicks take down the Bulls on Wednesday, they followed up such a win with yet another impressive victory against their old '90s rival on Thursday night as well. 

Though Chicago was without Pau Gasol as they made their way to The Garden, it was still a very positive victory for the Knicks. It's been very difficult for this team to develop continuity all season long. Achieving rare back-to-back wins, the team looked very strong, and maintained the intensity from start to finish so that they could build an attack that proved to be most powerful when it mattered the most.

Here are some observations from the game.

Tags: Aaron Afflalo, Derrick Williams, Jose Calderon, Kristaps Porzingis, Keith Schlosser
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Stephen Curry scored a game-high 34 points last night against New York in a 121-85 defeat to Golden State. (Kelley L Cox)
Stephen Curry scored a game-high 34 points last night against New York in a 121-85 defeat to Golden State. (Kelley L Cox)

Keith Schlosser, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive

With the Knicks in a complete and utter tailspin as they head into the season's final few weeks, losing to the Warriors was obviously to be expected. Alas, this campaign is no longer about wins and losses. As New York struggles to find an identity and a respective rhythm on both ends of the floor, the rest of this season comes down to assessing interim head coach Kurt Rambis, how he utilizes the team's talent, and who may be valuable enough to hold onto when the Knicks look to regroup this coming summer.

With all of that in mind, here are some meaningful observations, despite the blowout loss to Golden State:

Tags: Aaron Afflalo, Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis, Robin Lopez, Keith Schlosser
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New York Knicks guard Arron Afflalo against the Detroit Pistons during the first half at Madison Square Garden. (Adam Hunger/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Knicks guard Arron Afflalo against the Detroit Pistons during the first half at Madison Square Garden. (Adam Hunger/USA Today Sports Images)

The New York Knicks face the Los Angeles Clippers on the road on Friday at 10:30 p.m.

According to STATS:

  • The Clippers defeated the Knicks 116-88 at Madison Square Garden on January 22. It was their seventh straight victory against New York; that is their longest win streak in the history of this series.
  • The Knicks posted a season-high 128 points in Wednesday's victory over Phoenix. The 31-point (128-97) margin of victory was the largest for New York in a road game since winning by 33 at Charlotte, January 24, 2012.
  • The Clippers had a season-low 29 rebounds in their loss to the Thunder on Wednesday, snapping their streak of 13 consecutive contests with 40+ boards. They fell to 1-6 in 2015-16 when they have 35 or fewer rebounds.
  • Arron Afflalo has been red-hot from the floor so far this month, hitting 68.8 percent of his field-goal attempts; that leads the NBA (minimum 20 FGM). However, he did not play on Wednesday, due to a strained abdominal muscle.
  • In his first start since Nov. 10, Sasha Vujacic had 23 points on 7-for-8 shooting, including 6-for-7 from three-point range, in Wednesday's win over the Suns. The six threes tied his career high in a game.
  • DeAndre Jordan has had at least one blocked shot in each of his last 19 games. That is the longest active streak in the NBA as well as the third longest single-season streak of his career.
Tags: Aaron Afflalo, Los Angeles Clippers

GEICO SportsNite: Knicks 00:00:49
The Knicks defeated the Magic on Friday night, 108-95, behind 19 points and 11 rebounds from Carmelo Anthony.

Carmelo Anthony had 19 points, 11 rebounds and six assists, and the New York Knicks quickly jumped on an Orlando team that appeared to still be staggered by Stephen Curry, beating the Magic 108-95 on Friday night.

A night after yielding 51 points and 10 3-pointers to Curry in a 130-114 loss to the Golden State Warriors, the Magic were barely in a game after the first 10 minutes that their coach said they needed to win.

Kristaps Porzingis added 18 points for the Knicks, who won for only the third time in 16 games. Jose CalderonRobin Lopez and Arron Afflalo all finished with 14.

Nikola Vucevic scored 18 for the Magic, and Aaron Gordon had 17 points and eight rebounds. >> Read more...

Tags: Aaron Afflalo, Carmelo Anthony, Jose Calderon, Kristaps Porzingis, Orlando Magic, Robin Lopez

New York Knicks guard Arron Afflalo against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. (Brace Hemmelgarn/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Knicks guard Arron Afflalo against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. (Brace Hemmelgarn/USA Today Sports Images)

Kurt Rambis acknowledged Arron Afflalo is dealing with a bruised thigh.

"He's got, my understanding, a bruised thigh, which can make that thigh really tight and hard to move and hard to explode off of," Rambis said to the New York Post. "... [On Wednesday], he wasn't moving well. That is why I cut his minutes."

Rambis didn't convey just how long Afflalo had been fighting through the pain, but there's no denying the guard has gone cold as of late. Over the last three games, he's averaged 7.3 points on just 30 percent shooting from the field. 

Tags: Aaron Afflalo, Carmelo Anthony, Langston Galloway, Keith Schlosser
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Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry looks to drive up through New York Knicks defense during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. (Anthony Gruppuso/USA Today Sports Images)
Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry looks to drive up through New York Knicks defense during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. (Anthony Gruppuso/USA Today Sports Images)

Kyle Lowry had 22 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists for his first triple-double of the season, DeMar DeRozan also scored 22 while becoming the winningest player in Raptors history, and Toronto beat the New York Knicks 122-95 on Monday night.

Jonas Valanciunas added 20 points for the Raptors, who won so easily that Knicks interim coach Kurt Rambis changed his mind in the final minutes of the blowout and inserted Jimmer Fredette.

Just signed to a 10-day contract, the former college player of the year made a 3-pointer on his lone shot attempt - about the only thing Knicks fans had to cheer during the team's 12th loss in 14 games.

Tags: Aaron Afflalo, Carmelo Anthony, Jose Calderon, Robin Lopez, Toronto Raptors
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New York Knicks former head coach Derek Fisher looks towards New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) during first half against Denver Nuggets at Madison Square Garden. (Noah K. Murray)
New York Knicks former head coach Derek Fisher looks towards New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) during first half against Denver Nuggets at Madison Square Garden. (Noah K. Murray)

Derek Fisher had just finished a long playing career when Phil Jackson picked him to coach the New York Knicks. Just 1 1/2 seasons later, Jackson decided he needed someone else.

Fisher was fired Monday, with his team having lost five straight and nine of 10 to fall well back in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

"It's time for us to make a change, turn this team around and move forward and get some wins and keep going down the road we had started here at the beginning of the year," Jackson said at the team's practice facility.

Tags: Aaron Afflalo, Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis
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New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis and Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol battle for a rebound during the first half at Madison Square Garden. (Adam Hunger/USATSI)
New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis and Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol battle for a rebound during the first half at Madison Square Garden. (Adam Hunger/USATSI)

Jeff Green scored 16 points, including two free throws with 6.2 seconds left, to help the Memphis Grizzlies hold off the New York Knicks 91-85 on Friday night for their fifth straight win.

Matt Barnes had 12 points and Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol each had 10 for Memphis.

Jose Calderon led the Knicks with 18 points. Kristaps Porzingis had 17 points and 10 rebounds.

Tags: Aaron Afflalo, Carmelo Anthony, Jose Calderon, Kristaps Porzingis, Memphis Grizzlies
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New York Knicks head coach Derek Fisher talks to his team from the sidelines during the first half of an NBA game against the Chicago Bulls at United Center. (Kamil Krzaczynski)
New York Knicks head coach Derek Fisher talks to his team from the sidelines during the first half of an NBA game against the Chicago Bulls at United Center. (Kamil Krzaczynski)

Keith Schlosser, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive

The Knicks spirited comeback, down from 27 points against the Pistons, fell short Thursday night in what proved to be another demoralizing loss. And while Derek Fisher has said this season isn't just all about wins and losses, and that making the playoffs isn't a must, Detroit head coach Stan Van Gundy doesn't agree with his opposition's vision.

"I laugh a little bit when I see them referred to as a young, developing team. I wasn't aware Robin Lopez, Carmelo Anthony, Jose Calderon and Arron Afflalo are that young. I read that," Van Gundy said to the New York Post. "Wow. I guess in society at large, guys in their 30s are young."

Tags: Aaron Afflalo, Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis, Robin Lopez, Keith Schlosser
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New York Knicks guard Arron Afflalo (4) drives against Phoenix Suns forward T.J. Warren (12) during the second quarter at Madison Square Garden. (Anthony Gruppuso)
New York Knicks guard Arron Afflalo (4) drives against Phoenix Suns forward T.J. Warren (12) during the second quarter at Madison Square Garden. (Anthony Gruppuso)

Regardless of what they happen to achieve this season, it's important that the Knicks are able to recognize what is going right and carry it over with them to next season as they continue to build.

Despite some inconsistencies, both Arron Afflalo and Derrick Williams continue to do positive things. Each one has endeared themselves to New York, so much so, to be considered a part of the team's "core," meaning the Knicks hope they both opt in to their player options for next season (New York Post, February 3).

Retaining Afflalo and Williams' services would obviously be a smart basketball decision, but it would immediately eat into much of the expected cap space the Knicks could potentially have this coming summer.

Tags: Aaron Afflalo, Derrick Williams
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New York Knicks head coach Derek Fisher talks to New York Knicks power forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) during the fourth quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner)
New York Knicks head coach Derek Fisher talks to New York Knicks power forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) during the fourth quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner)

The Boston Celtics saw Kristaps Porzingis at his best the last time they faced the New York Knicks, although the rookie hasn't been close to that level lately.

Porzingis and the Knicks have lost five of six entering Tuesday night's home matchup against a Celtics team that just had a five-game win streak snapped.

These Atlantic Division rivals have split two meetings, with each winning at home. New York's 120-114 victory Jan. 12 featured Porzingis scoring 26 points in 26 minutes before he fouled out.

Tags: Aaron Afflalo, Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis
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New York Knicks guard Arron Afflalo (4) reacts after making a three-point shot against the Utah Jazz during the second half of an NBA basketball game at Madison Square Garden. ( Adam Hunger)
New York Knicks guard Arron Afflalo (4) reacts after making a three-point shot against the Utah Jazz during the second half of an NBA basketball game at Madison Square Garden. ( Adam Hunger)

As recently outlined by the New York Daily News, the Knicks have undoubtedly relied upon the likes of veterans Carmelo Anthony and Arron Afflalo more often than Kristaps Porzingis during crunch time this season. 

With the game on the line (i.e. the Knicks and their respective opponent within five points of one another with five or less minutes to go), Anthony has taken 47 shots, Afflalo has 45, but Porzingis has only taken 19.

Frankly, that's the way it should be. Coach Derek Fisher was pressed to explain why that is, and while he didn't do it in the best way -- "We don't run plays," he said before elaborating further -- choosing not to put more pressure on Porzingis right now is for the best.

Tags: Aaron Afflalo, Kristaps Porzingis, Keith Schlosser
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New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony drives against Phoenix Suns guard Sonny Weems during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. (Anthony Gruppuso/USATSI)
New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony drives against Phoenix Suns guard Sonny Weems during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. (Anthony Gruppuso/USATSI)

(AP) -- Carmelo Anthony had 19 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists in his return from a two-game absence, and the New York Knicks snapped a four-game losing streak with a 102-84 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Friday night.

Kristaps Porzingis also rejoined the lineup with seven points and seven rebounds, and the Knicks sent the Suns to their 13th straight road loss.

Anthony had sat out with soreness in his surgically repaired left knee, and Porzingis missed his first game of the season Thursday with an upper respiratory illness. Having them back helped Arron Afflalo, who scored 12 of his 17 points in helping the Knicks open a big first-quarter lead that was never really threatened.

Rookie Devin Booker scored 21 points for the Suns, who fell to 4-21 on the road. Their last road victory was Dec. 7 in Chicago. >> Read more...

Tags: Aaron Afflalo, Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis, Phoenix Suns

New York Knicks shooting guard Arron Afflalo drives against Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams during overtime at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner/USATSI)
New York Knicks shooting guard Arron Afflalo drives against Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams during overtime at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner/USATSI)

The New York Knicks host the Phoenix Suns at Madison Square Garden on Friday at 7:30 p.m.

According to STATS...

  • This is the first meeting of 2015-16 between these teams. The Suns have won the last three games in this series after the Knicks had taken the previous four.
  • The Suns lost 115-93 at Cleveland on Wednesday. It was their league-high fifth loss by 20 or more points so far in January.
  • Each of New York's last 10 contests has been decided by at least five points. That is the second-longest active streak in the NBA (Por, 14).
  • The 21 year-old Archie Goodwin and the 19 year-old Devin Booker have formed the Suns' starting backcourt in five games this season, including in each of the team's last four contests. It is the only time since at least the start of the 1985-86 season that two players 21 or younger have played 5+ games together as the Suns' starting backcourt.
  • Carmelo Anthony has missed six games this season, including the last two contests. The Knicks are 0-6 without Anthony in 2015-16, compared to 22-20 when he plays.
  • Arron Afflalo went 3-for-3 from the free-throw line on Thursday. That extended his streak of consecutive free throws made to 30 in a row; that is tied for the second-longest active streak in the NBA.

Tags: Aaron Afflalo, Carmelo Anthony, Phoenix Suns

New York Knicks shooting guard Langston Galloway (2) reacts after a game-tying three point shot against the Oklahoma City Thunder during the fourth quarter at Madison Square Garden. The Thunder defeated the Knicks 128-122 in overtime. (Brad Penner)
New York Knicks shooting guard Langston Galloway (2) reacts after a game-tying three point shot against the Oklahoma City Thunder during the fourth quarter at Madison Square Garden. The Thunder defeated the Knicks 128-122 in overtime. (Brad Penner)

Keith Schlosser, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive

Despite failing to come up with a victory against the Thunder on Tuesday night, the Knicks had to be pleased with their overall effort. New York still managed to push OKC to its limit without Carmelo Anthony, which meant plenty of other key contributors stepped up to the plate and subsequently shined. 

Langston Galloway led six players in double-figures with a season-high 21 points, shooting 7 of 13, including four clutch daggers from long range. He was feeling it all night long. Such assertiveness is something that the Knicks have sorely missed from Galloway this season.

Tags: Aaron Afflalo, Carmelo Anthony, Langston Galloway, Keith Schlosser
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Kevin Durant went off for 44 points and 14 rebounds as the Thunder beat the Knicks, 128-122, in OT on Tuesday. (Brad Penner / USA Today)
Kevin Durant went off for 44 points and 14 rebounds as the Thunder beat the Knicks, 128-122, in OT on Tuesday. (Brad Penner / USA Today)

NEW YORK -- Even without Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks may have impressed Kevin Durant.

And he was certainly impressive against the Knicks.

On a night when Anthony was sidelined with a sore left knee, Durant went for 44 points, 14 rebounds and five assists as the Thunder fended off the under-manned Knicks, 128-122 in overtime at Madison Square Garden.

Tags: Kevin Durant, Aaron Afflalo, Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis, Adam Zagoria
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New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) and Arron Afflalo (4) high-five against the Utah Jazz during the second half of an NBA basketball game at Madison Square Garden. ( Adam Hunger)
New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) and Arron Afflalo (4) high-five against the Utah Jazz during the second half of an NBA basketball game at Madison Square Garden. ( Adam Hunger)

Keith Schlosser, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive

Coming into last offseason, the biggest objective for the Knicks was to provide Carmelo Anthony with the support he needed and deserved. The star forward took a leap of faith by re-signing with New York and trusting Phil Jackson the previous summer. It was time for the Knicks' president to come through on his end of the bargain.

With a wealth of cap space, the team's biggest pull was Arron Afflalo and Robin Lopez, in addition to drafting Kristaps Porzingis and (trading for) Jerian Grant. Clearly, Jackson didn't help the Knicks make quite the splash many expected them to, but it's worked out, nonetheless. 

Tags: Aaron Afflalo, Carmelo Anthony, Derrick Williams, Kristaps Porzingis, Robin Lopez, Keith Schlosser, Tim Reilly
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Philadelphia 76ers forward Nerlens Noel defends New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony during the first overtime at Madison Square Garden. (Anthony Gruppuso/USATSI)
Philadelphia 76ers forward Nerlens Noel defends New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony during the first overtime at Madison Square Garden. (Anthony Gruppuso/USATSI)

In what has become a traditional matinee matchup for the Knicks on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the team surprisingly came out with all guns blazing to start. Unfortunately, so did their opponent, the 76ers.

Both teams were successfully firing from all cylinders as the game began. A defensive effort was nowhere to be found. Philadelphia pounded the ball inside to Jahlil Okafor (20 points) for much of the first three quarters, and the big man easily had his way with New York's front court. Ish Smith was helping his team run circles around the Knicks. After two strong middle quarters for the home team, they slowed down in the fourth, but the 76ers did not.

This led to the evaporation of an 18-point lead. The Knicks were in dire straits, but luckily, a seemingly still-hampered-by-injury Carmelo Anthony bailed them out with a game-tying 3-pointer. Two overtimes later, and New York came out victorious, 119-113. Here's a look at some more observations from the Knicks.

- Jose Calderon had a lot of trouble slowing down Smith. Though the opposing guard was overzealous with his own shot, his 16 assists brought out the best in his teammates. Once the Knicks made a key switch that saw Langston Galloway defending him instead, they were able to maintain a lead and control the tempo a bit more.

- It's up for debate whether or not Derek Fisher should be credited with making key substitutions down the stretch. Did he time them correctly, or were they made simply out of desperation? The Knicks lacked respective injections of offense and defense when they needed to mix things up. Galloway and Lou Amundson, among others, eventually came up with huge plays and stops with the game on the line.

- Anthony was clearly still hampered by his nagging injury, despite playing an intense 49 minutes. He was grimacing throughout, hesitating to attack the basket. His shot was way off, despite his clutch make in the fourth. The Knicks should consider sitting him again against the Jazz on Wednesday.

- Nonetheless, as Anthony served as a bit of a decoy, Arron Afflalo stepped up in his stead. The guard is a very efficient scorer who is a near perfectionist at pushing off defenders and cashing in on off-balance jumpers. He led New York with 25 points, whereas Anthony had seven assists.

- New York was against the ropes at different points in this contest, but free throw shooting was a big difference maker in a game where both teams were otherwise strong offensively. The Knicks shot 83 percent to the 76ers' 52 percent, as the loser fell short of converting on clutch opportunities late in the game. New York did not.

Tags: Aaron Afflalo, Carmelo Anthony, Jose Calderon, Langston Galloway, Lou Amundson, Keith Schlosser

New York Knicks shooting guard Langston Galloway shoots the ball as San Antonio Spurs shooting guard Jonathon Simmons and power forward David West defend during the first half at AT&T Center. (Soobum Im/USATSI)
New York Knicks shooting guard Langston Galloway shoots the ball as San Antonio Spurs shooting guard Jonathon Simmons and power forward David West defend during the first half at AT&T Center. (Soobum Im/USATSI)

Kawhi Leonard had 19 points and 12 rebounds and the San Antonio Spurs held off Kristaps Porzingis and the New York Knicks 100-99 on Friday night to remain undefeated at home.

San Antonio won its franchise-record 22nd straight home game to open the season, but this was its most difficult victory yet.

Porzingis had 28 points and 11 rebounds but was on the bench when the Knicks started a 14-4 run to pull within 96-94 with 1:27 remaining.

Tags: Aaron Afflalo, Jose Calderon, Kristaps Porzingis, San Antonio Spurs
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New York Knicks head coach Derek Fisher talks with forward Kristaps Porzingis during a time out in the second quarter of their game against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena. (Jason Getz)
New York Knicks head coach Derek Fisher talks with forward Kristaps Porzingis during a time out in the second quarter of their game against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena. (Jason Getz)

The Knicks (17-19) gave the Heat some help in the Southeast race by sweeping a home-and-home set with Atlanta, which is one game behind Miami in second place.

Carmelo Anthony came three assists shy of a triple-double, finishing with 23 points and 11 rebounds in Tuesday's 107-101 road victory over the Hawks.

"He was doing everything for us, as a leader should do," said forward Kristaps Porzingis, who had 17 points and 11 boards.

Tags: Aaron Afflalo, Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis, Miami Heat
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New York Knicks guard Arron Afflalo (4) advances the ball during the third quarter against the New Orleans Pelicans at Madison Square Garden. (Anthony Gruppuso)
New York Knicks guard Arron Afflalo (4) advances the ball during the third quarter against the New Orleans Pelicans at Madison Square Garden. (Anthony Gruppuso)

While Arron Afflalo's breakout game to open this week supplied hope for another New York Knicks rebound, it also signaled a step back for the Atlanta Hawks.

He can help extend both trends two days later.

Afflalo will try to follow up his monster game in the second half of a home-and-home set Tuesday night when the Knicks visit the Hawks for the third meeting in 11 days.

Tags: Aaron Afflalo
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New York Knicks guard Arron Afflalo gestures after a 3-point basket during the third quarter against the Atlanta Hawks at Madison Square Garden. (Anthony Gruppuso/USATSI)
New York Knicks guard Arron Afflalo gestures after a 3-point basket during the third quarter against the Atlanta Hawks at Madison Square Garden. (Anthony Gruppuso/USATSI)

Arron Afflalo scored a season-high 38 points and the New York Knicks beat the Atlanta Hawks 111-97 on Sunday afternoon.

Afflalo was 14 for 17 from the field and 7 for 8 from 3-point range, making his first seven attempts and nearing his career best of 43 points.

The Knicks improved to 8-2 when Afflalo scores 15 or more points.

Tags: Aaron Afflalo, Atlanta Hawks
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Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James drives past New York Knicks guard Jose Calderon in the fourth quarter at Quicken Loans Arena. (David Richard/USATSI)
Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James drives past New York Knicks guard Jose Calderon in the fourth quarter at Quicken Loans Arena. (David Richard/USATSI)

Led by Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks are normally able to play LeBron James and the Cavaliers rather competitively. But in proving why he's a step above Anthony in superstar status (aside from his championship rings) James has another gear as he steps it up a notch late in the fourth quarter to help his team run away with a victory.

Seeing as how the Knicks have to wrestle for a victory against a James-led squad even with Anthony powering the charge, Wednesday's matchup had even less hope going into it with Anthony sidelined. But with his star teammate sitting out, rookie sensation Kristaps Porzingis stepped up in a mighty way. The triangle offense is all about creating good spacing and sharing the ball, but there's no doubt the Knicks' offense was catered to the big man a bit more on this night.

Porzingis was red hot for three quarters, sinking four shots from deep en route to scoring a team-high 23 points on the night. But unfortunately, he had little help. While New York fell asleep at the wheel in the fourth, James heated up as expected, giving his Cavaliers a 91-84 win. Here are some more observations from the loss.

Tags: Aaron Afflalo, Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis, Lance Thomas, Lou Amundson, Keith Schlosser
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New York Knicks guard Arron Afflalo (4) advances the ball during a game at MSG (Anthony Gruppuso)
New York Knicks guard Arron Afflalo (4) advances the ball during a game at MSG (Anthony Gruppuso)

The message was simple early in the New York Knicks' latest win.

"Wake up, basically," coach Derek Fisher said.

Those words can be applied to the last week-and-a-half as the Knicks seek their fifth straight victory when the Orlando Magic visit Madison Square Garden on Monday night.

Tags: Aaron Afflalo, Carmelo Anthony
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New York Knicks guard Arron Afflalo shoots during the first quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center. (Bill Streicher/USATSI)
New York Knicks guard Arron Afflalo shoots during the first quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center. (Bill Streicher/USATSI)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Arron Afflalo had 22 points and seven rebounds, Derrick Williams scored 17 off the bench and the New York Knicks beat the Philadelphia 76ers 107-97 Friday night for their third win in a row.

Jahlil Okafor scored 20 points for the Sixers in their ninth straight loss. They fell to 1-27.

Kristaps Porzingis added eight points, four rebounds and three blocks for the Knicks in his first matchup against Okafor, a fellow top rookie. Okafor missed Philadelphia's first meeting vs. New York on Dec. 2 because of a suspension. >> Read more...

Tags: Aaron Afflalo, Derrick Williams, Kristaps Porzingis

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Andrew Wiggins (22) has his shot blocked by New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) during the first half of an NBA basketball game at Madison Square Garden. ( Adam Hunger)
Minnesota Timberwolves guard Andrew Wiggins (22) has his shot blocked by New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) during the first half of an NBA basketball game at Madison Square Garden. ( Adam Hunger)

In a battle of rookie sensations, the Timberwolves seemed to have Kristaps Porzingis' number on the offensive end. The Knicks took an early and comfortable lead in the first half, clearly looking like a superior team. But as Karl-Anthony Towns began to heat up to start the third quarter, a twenty-point lead dwindled down to single digits, and Minnesota began to put the pressure on.

But luckily for Porzingis, this game was undeniably about a group effort, as a plethora of his teammates came to play in different ways. As Carmelo Anthony struggled to get high-percentagte looks, he crashed the boards with abandon and fought for opportunities, be it for himself or his teammates. The star missed a triple-double by one assist. What's more, Arron Afflalo had himself a dominant night on the offensive end, confidently hitting shots from deep, cashing in on his bread and butter buckets from the corners, and effectively attacking the basket to get to the line. Pouring in a game-high 29 points, he did it all.

And then there was Porzingis, who while struggling from the field, led one of the most spirited defensive efforts from New York all season long. He made his presence felt in another way. Towns' struggles early on and the opponent's inability to find an offensive rhythm was largely in part due to Porzingis, who was all over the place pestering players underneath the basket. His seven blocks tied his own Knicks' rookie record.

Tags: Aaron Afflalo, Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis, Minnesota Timberwolves, Sasha Vujacic, Keith Schlosser
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 (William Hauser/USATSI)
(William Hauser/USATSI)

(AP) -- New York opened 2015-16 in Milwaukee with what stands as its top scoring night, and it's heading back looking nearly as capable.

The Knicks visit the Bucks on Saturday night seeking a third straight win, while Milwaukee is out to avoid a third straight loss as both teams complete back-to-back sets.

A 42-point first quarter in Friday's 108-91 home win over Brooklyn continued New York's recent trend of getting off to impressive starts. It amounted to a 21-point first quarter lead, and the Knicks (10-10) have averaged a 17.0-point advantage after the first half in their last three games - though one of those was Sunday's 116-111 home overtime loss to Houston.

Tags: Aaron Afflalo, Carmelo Anthony, Jose Calderon, Kristaps Porzingis, Robin Lopez
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New York Knicks power forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) and New York Knicks center Robin Lopez (8) defend against Houston Rockets power forward Terrence Jones (6) with the ball during the 2nd qtr of the game at Madison Square Garden. (Gregory Fisher)
New York Knicks power forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) and New York Knicks center Robin Lopez (8) defend against Houston Rockets power forward Terrence Jones (6) with the ball during the 2nd qtr of the game at Madison Square Garden. (Gregory Fisher)

The excitement around Kristaps Porzingis and the arrival of Robin Lopez (now set to face off against brother Brook and the Nets) has revitalized the Knicks/Nets rivalry, a bit, but there's still a long way to go. 

The rebuilding Nets are 5-13, but while still one game under .500, at 9-10, New York is on the right track. With that in mind, the Knicks are hoping to make the Big Apple a premiere destination for players once again. Perhaps more specifically in this case, the focus is on making donning the orange and blue an enticing opportunity.

"For the Knicks, we're in a pretty unique place -- we're not a taxpayer anymore," General Manager Steve Mills recently told ESPN. "We'll have cap room again. And the buzz that is happening here, with [Porzingis] and Melo, should certainly make us more attractive to free agents."

Tags: Aaron Afflalo, Kristaps Porzingis, Robin Lopez, Keith Schlosser
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New York Knicks power forward Kristaps Porzingis drives the ball against Houston Rockets power forward Terrence Jones. (Gregory Fisher)
New York Knicks power forward Kristaps Porzingis drives the ball against Houston Rockets power forward Terrence Jones. (Gregory Fisher)

No Carmelo Anthony proved to be no problem for the Knicks on Sunday night. Taking on the Rockets as their star sat out with an illness, New York shot an impressive 58 percent from the field and saw five players score in double-figures. Four players dished out 4 assists. The ball movement was there, and so was the efficiency. Stepping up for Anthony, Arron Afflalo was assertive, attacking the basket and knocking down a plethora of jumpers from the corners en route to scoring 31 points. Kristaps Porzingis wasn't far behind with 20, but he was even more impressive as he crashed the boards and manned the paint. He gave the Knicks a very strong interior presence against the likes of Dwight Howard and Clint Capela.

Their offensive effort helped the Knicks jump out to a commanding lead, but their defensive effort wasn't bad, either. New York held James Harden, the league's second-leading scoring, to just 36 percent from the field. They made him work for his points, and kept him at bay pretty much until he finally began to persevere with the game on the line.

Alas, much of this would make it sound like New York went home with a victory. But this wasn't the case. The game came down to a few last minute poor decisions down the stretch, including some missed timeout opportunities, poorly run plays, and an inability to keep up the same type of effort from start to finish. Here's a look at some more observations from the game.

Tags: Aaron Afflalo, Derrick Williams, Houston Rockets, Kevin Seraphin, Kristaps Porzingis, Lance Thomas, Langston Galloway, Keith Schlosser
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New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (right) is pressured by Miami Heat forward Luol Deng (left) and Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh (center) during the second half at American Airlines Arena. The Heat won 95-78. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)
New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (right) is pressured by Miami Heat forward Luol Deng (left) and Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh (center) during the second half at American Airlines Arena. The Heat won 95-78. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

The Knicks got a little bit of a HEAT check (pun intended) while attempting to extend their four-game winning streak in Miami on Monday. Though New York secured somewhat of an early lead, it didn't last long. Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, and co. came roaring and never looked back after beginning to apply some strong defensive pressure en route to an impressive romp. 

Miami amassed a lead that was over 20 points and went on a 32-6 run midway through the first half. The Knicks never really found consistency with a decent rhythm, thus resulting in a 95-78 loss. Games are often contests of runs and back and forth action, but the Knicks never really proved to have such a fight inside them on this night.

The opponent put together a balanced effort on offense with five players scoring in double-figures. The game was, however, largely in part won on the defensive end, due to Hassan Whiteside's five blocks and a game-high plus/minus of +28 for defensive-minded rookie Justise Winslow. This was enough to sink the Knicks. Here's a look at some other observations from the game.

  • The Heat didn't force the Knicks to change their overall game strategy much, at least on the offensive end. New York had the right idea and players were moving well without the ball in an attempt to create spacing, but the execution wasn't there. The Knicks got the shots they wanted, but the defensive pressure applied by Miami was undoubtedly enough to pester them into not being able to convert.
     
  • As a result of such pressure, Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis and Arron Afflalo collectively shot 38 percent from the field.
     
  • Porzingis struggled from the field early on, starting off 3-of-10 shooting. But this actually wasn't the rookie's worst offensive outing to date, despite the romping his team suffered. The big man took time to make adjustments and react a bit more to what the defense was giving him. He hit a couple of daggers from long range in transition and was still undeterred from attacking the basket. He converted on 4 of his final 8 shots.
     
  • A large part of this loss can be attributed to the Knicks' bench not only being ineffective, but blatantly non-existent from start to finish. Coach Derek Fisher sporadically pulled guys in and out in hopes of finding sort of rhythm, but he didn't have much luck. Lou Amundson boasted a team-high +6 in 10 minutes, however, proving to be energetic during the team's final attempt at a comeback midway through the second half.
     
  • The Heat have had to retool a bit following the departure of LeBron James last year. But after narrowly missing the playoffs last season, they look to have righted the ship in a promising direction again. They've gotten a nice injection of youth from talented players like Whiteside, Winslow, and Tyler Johnson. 
Tags: Aaron Afflalo, Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis, Keith Schlosser

Nov 20, 2015; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) drives to the basket against Oklahoma City Thunder guard Andre Roberson (21) during the fourth quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports (Mark D. Smith)
Nov 20, 2015; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) drives to the basket against Oklahoma City Thunder guard Andre Roberson (21) during the fourth quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports (Mark D. Smith)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Carmelo Anthony scored 25 points to help the New York Knicks defeat the Oklahoma City Thunder 93-90 on Friday night for their third straight win.

The Thunder rallied from a 16-point deficit in the fourth quarter, but Dion Waiters' potential game-tying shot rattled out at the buzzer.

Tags: Aaron Afflalo, Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis, Lance Thomas
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New York Knicks shooting guard Arron Afflalo will not play on Tuesday night against Toronto (Knicks, Nov. 10).

Afflalo, who signed a two-year deal with the Knicks this offseason, suffered a hamstring injury in training camp that has prevented him from appearing in a game so far this season.

Head coach Derek Fisher said that Affalo is probable for Wednesday's game in Charlotte.

Tags: Aaron Afflalo

Some NBA teams have been known to rush players coming off of serious injuries back. This may help in the short-term, but such a plan fizzles out rather quickly, if and when said player suffers another setback.

Luckily, the Knicks aren't doing this when it comes to Arron Afflalo. Despite positive showings from both Jose Calderon and Sasha Vujacic in Sunday's win over the Lakers, there's no doubt the duo has underwhelmed and under performed at times this season. Still, head coach Derek Fisher has been hesitant to change things up, mainly because in turn, that would also disrupt some of the really great momentum the likes of Langston Galloway and Jerian Grant have created off the bench.

When Afflalo returns, he'll obviously be a big upgrade over Vujacic. What's more, Calderon could certainly improve playing off a more talented and potent player in the backcourt as well. As important as it is to have Afflalo in the lineup, hamstring injuries can be especially difficult for a player to come back from. There are almost always nagging effects. The pain can linger on for a prolonged period of time. If a player like Afflalo is hitting the hardwood with full gusto too early, he could certainly suffer a setback that leaves negative effects for both him and the Knicks in the long run.

Tags: Aaron Afflalo, Keith Schlosser
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