Tag:

Joakim Noah

Brandon Jennings and Jeff Hornacek (Adam Hunger/USA Today Sports Images)
Brandon Jennings and Jeff Hornacek (Adam Hunger/USA Today Sports Images)

Following the release of guard Brandon Jennings and a possible season-ending injury to Joakim Noah, New York Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek said the team is not tanking to get a better slot in the NBA draft lottery.

Speaking to the media before Monday's game against the Toronto Raptors, Hornacek told reporters he thought the Knicks could still contend for the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference despite cutting Jennings and losing Noah for an extended period of time due to arthroscopic surgery.

Hornacek "bristled at the notion" that cutting Jennings, which the Knicks did Monday morning, was a sign of the team tanking, according to Newsday's Al Iannazzone. Rather, it was a mutual decision, according to the New York Post's Marc Berman.

Jennings reportedly told management he wanted to play for a playoff contender this season, however he did not ask for a waiver or to be traded, according to Berman.

Tags: Brandon Jennings, Carmelo Anthony, Joakim Noah
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New York Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek instructs Knicks guard Courtney Lee (5) during the second quarter against the Orlando Magic at Madison Square Garden (Adam Hunger)
New York Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek instructs Knicks guard Courtney Lee (5) during the second quarter against the Orlando Magic at Madison Square Garden (Adam Hunger)

Keith Schlosser, SNY.tv

By the time NBA All-Star Weekend came to a close, there was refreshing optimism in the air surrounding the Knicks. Carmelo Anthony and Willy Hernangomez were late additions to the festivities. Kristaps Porzingis went home a winner after snagging the trophy at the Skills Challenge. Following the passing of the trade deadline, New York stood pat. After a spirited Cleveland loss and an exhilarating win against the 76ers, signs led to the Knicks wanting to remain competitive, for better or worse.

But alas, reality has begun to set in. Waiving Brandon Jennings may be the domino effect for the tone of the rest of the season. The dust probably hasn't cleared. More changes could be on the way. It's time to look towards the future, build towards the draft, embrace and explore more youthful talent, etc. With that in mind, here's a look at the Knicks will face in the week ahead and beyond.

Defensive Communication: The Knicks' defense has been a raw source of frustration for this team all season long. Frankly, it's a bit strange to see a squad that added players like Joakim NoahCourtney Lee, and Willy Hernangomez in the offseason struggle on that end of the floor. Clearly, putting up a consistent effort on defense had been an initial priority. Such a plan hasn't come to fruition.

Tags: Brandon Jennings, Carmelo Anthony, Courtney Lee, Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Kristaps Porzingis, Kyle O'Quinn, Lance Thomas, Willy Hernangomez, Keith Schlosser
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 (Erik Williams)
(Erik Williams)

Knicks C Joakim Noah had arthrosopic surgery on his left knee on Monday and will be reevaluated in three-to-four weeks, the team announced.

He is expected to miss the remainder of the season due to the surgery, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reported.

Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek said Noah could potentially return before the season ends, but didn't seem optimistic, reports Ian Begley of ESPN.

Tags: Joakim Noah, Willy Hernangomez
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New York Knicks center Willy Hernangomez (14) reacts after an officials call during the second quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center. (Bill Streicher)
New York Knicks center Willy Hernangomez (14) reacts after an officials call during the second quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center. (Bill Streicher)

With Joakim Noah set to miss his eighth straight game on Monday, Knicks rookie C Willy Hernangomez will likely get another start.

Hernangomez has performed well as of late, starting the last four games and averaging 10.5 points and 9.5 rebounds on 58.6 percent shooting in 27.9 minutes. However the 22-year old is still getting accustomed to playing in the NBA.

"Sometimes, I think too much," Hernangomez said to Fred Kerber of the New York Post. "So I need to let my body just play. Let my mind play. I think too much, like if I miss a shot."

Tags: Carmelo Anthony, Joakim Noah, Willy Hernangomez
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 (Ken Blaze)
(Ken Blaze)

Willy Hernangomez, who has been starting at center for the Knicks with Joakim Noah out, had another good game during Thursday night's loss to the Cavaliers.

Hernangomez had 11 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, and two blocks in 27 minutes.

He turned the ball over just once and committed three personal fouls.

Tags: Joakim Noah, Willy Hernangomez
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New York Knicks center Joakim Noah (13) reacts after the Atlanta Hawks defeated the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. (Andy Marlin)
New York Knicks center Joakim Noah (13) reacts after the Atlanta Hawks defeated the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. (Andy Marlin)

 

Joakim Noah, who tweaked his hamstring in practice prior to the All-Star break, missed practice on Wednesday, the Knicks said.

Courtney Lee (illness) also missed practice.

Noah's injury will cause him to miss Thursday's game against the Cavaliers, Newsday's Barbara Barker reported earlier this week...

Tags: Courtney Lee, Joakim Noah
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New York Knick forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) reacts after winning the skills challenge during NBA All-Star Saturday Night at Smoothie King Center. (Bob Donnan)
New York Knick forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) reacts after winning the skills challenge during NBA All-Star Saturday Night at Smoothie King Center. (Bob Donnan)

Keith Schlosser, SNY.tv

With the NBA still coming off its All-Star Weekend, the Knicks have not played since losing to the Oklahoma City Thunder last Tuesday. But alas, the late additions of Carmelo Anthony and Willy Hernangomez to the weekend's festivities gave the team's fan base a little bit more to be excited about and invested in as things went on in New Orleans. 

When just about everyone in the NBA world collides for a few days, talk about the Knicks is never too far away. Speculation regarding the team's future, especially with the trade deadline steadily approaching, is running ramped as we speak. With that in mind, here are three things to ponder around this team in the week that follows.

Tags: Brandon Jennings, Carmelo Anthony, Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Kristaps Porzingis, Kyle O'Quinn, Willy Hernangomez, Keith Schlosser
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New York Knicks center Joakim Noah (13) reacts after the Atlanta Hawks defeated the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. (Andy Marlin)
New York Knicks center Joakim Noah (13) reacts after the Atlanta Hawks defeated the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. (Andy Marlin)

Joakim Noah will miss his fifth consecutive game on Wednesday, according to Ian Begley of ESPN.

Noah has been out with a hamstring injury since leaving the game against the Cavaliers early on Feb. 4. 

Willy Hernangomez will start at center against the Thunder.

Tags: Joakim Noah, Willy Hernangomez
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NBA television personality Greg Anthony during pre-game broadcast of game three in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at the Amway Center. (Douglas Jones-US PRESSWIRE)
NBA television personality Greg Anthony during pre-game broadcast of game three in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at the Amway Center. (Douglas Jones-US PRESSWIRE)

Former Knick Greg Anthony, who spent four seasons in New York as a teammate of Charles Oakley, believes players will look at the Knicks in a different light because of the recent treatment of Oakley and Carmelo Anthony.

"It sure as hell ain't gonna help..." said Anthony in an interview with Business Insider. "It's one thing to have your struggles on the court, but this is kind of becoming a domino effect where everything that can go wrong is going wrong for the organization. And it creates a tremendous distraction for the players that are still battling and fighting and figuring out a way to get into the postseason."

The Knicks are facing a rebuild, something the franchise has historically not done slowly through the draft. This past offseason, New York traded for Derrick Rose, while committing over $120 million to Joakim Noah and Courtney Lee in an attempt to improve the team quickly. Anthony believes the situation involving Oakley will not do the team any favors in trying to attract free agents in the future.

Tags: Carmelo Anthony, Courtney Lee, Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Kristaps Porzingis
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New York Knicks forward Lance Thomas drives to the basket past Portland Trail Blazers center Ed Davis during the second half at Madison Square Garden. (Adam Hunger/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Knicks forward Lance Thomas drives to the basket past Portland Trail Blazers center Ed Davis during the second half at Madison Square Garden. (Adam Hunger/USA Today Sports Images)

Lance Thomas will return to the lineup Sunday against the Spurs while Joakim Noah (hamstring) is expected to sit out again, reports Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News

Thomas has not played since Jan. 15 when he suffered an orbital bone fracture. This season he's averaging 4.8 points in 17.6 minutes per game. 

Noah has already missed three games with the left hamstring injury and was originally considered doubtful for Sunday. 

Tags: Joakim Noah, Lance Thomas

New York Knicks power forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) and small forward Carmelo Anthony (7) celebrate a basket by Porzingis against the Charlotte Hornets during the fourth quarter at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner)
New York Knicks power forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) and small forward Carmelo Anthony (7) celebrate a basket by Porzingis against the Charlotte Hornets during the fourth quarter at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner)

Keith Schlosser, SNY.tv

On pace to miss the NBA postseason for the fourth straight season, Carmelo Anthony knows what losing is all about. Since the Knicks won the Atlantic Division title back in 2012-13, Anthony has slowly but surely seen all of the talented veterans from that successful squad depart the Big Apple. In turn, the spotlight casts its shadow more and more on the star forward. Anthony has been unable to deliver since then.

Things are finally appearing to come to a head with New York shopping Anthony more aggressively than ever before. The team is motivated to deal him, as the vision with him leading the Knicks back to the promise land hasn't come any closer to fruition. As Anthony watches his closest friends and NBA counterparts chase and successfully capture NBA titles, he's arguably as far as he's ever been from one. This means it's time for a change all around. Nevertheless, Phil Jackson hasn't done himself or the team any favors. This organization has a negative vibe around it and the executive's recent comments and respective actions certainly haven't made things any easier for Anthony. 

Unfortunately for the Knicks' future, Anthony may not be the only one suffering from this lack of positive culture. New York is motivated to shop Anthony, not only because things haven't worked out, but because they have a beacon of light in Kristaps Porzingis to turn to next. Still, this slow transition and negative atmosphere can't be doing the budding superstar any good. Anthony obviously has more experience with this by now, but Porzingis too is getting used to losing. Through a season and a half, the young gun's Knickerbockers have gone 54-82. He's already been mentored by three head coaches. Teams have been known to change players from one season to the next: it's relatively normal. Nevertheless, after drastically changing the makeup of last year's squad, the revolving door would appear likely to keep swinging, given this season's shortcomings. More changes are coming.

Tags: Carmelo Anthony, Joakim Noah, Kristaps Porzingis, Keith Schlosser
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Actor and director Spike Lee argues with an official during the fourth quarter between the New York Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)
Actor and director Spike Lee argues with an official during the fourth quarter between the New York Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)

While the drama between Phil Jackson and Carmelo Anthony has caused the Knicks to look for a trade for their star player, superfan and legendary director Spike Lee made it very clear which of the two he would rather have stay in New York.

"I'll pack Phil's bags for him," Lee told ESPN.

The latest Jackson-Anthony tension stems from a tweet Jackson sent on Tuesday that referenced a Bleacher Report article that was critical of Anthony. 

Tags: Carmelo Anthony, Courtney Lee, Joakim Noah, Lance Thomas
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 (Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)
(Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)

Latest Update (Feb. 6)

5:20 p.m.: Knicks PG Derrick Rose will return from a four-game absence when New York hosts the Los Angeles Lakers at Madison Square Garden on Monday night.

Joakim Noah will miss Monday's game due to a hamstring injury. Kyle O'Quinn will start in place of Noah, according to MSG's Rebecca Haarlow.

Tags: Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah
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New York Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek instructs Knicks guard Courtney Lee (5) during the second quarter against the Orlando Magic at Madison Square Garden. (Adam Hunger)
New York Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek instructs Knicks guard Courtney Lee (5) during the second quarter against the Orlando Magic at Madison Square Garden. (Adam Hunger)

Keith Schlosser, SNY.tv

Looking back, the Knicks are currently nowhere near where anyone thought they'd be. Carmelo Anthony is facing a fourth straight year without a playoff appearance. With his own fate/success as an executive seemingly tied to that of his team's star forward, Phil Jackson has failed amid the continued pressure to put a consistent product on the court. He went all in last summer, spending on veterans and proven contributors. New York's inability to meet expectations has led to trade speculation all around, which ultimately prevents this group from creating and maintaining the positive culture Jackson aspired to develop.
 
All of this has given way to a very underwhelming 6-19 record in 2017. The Knicks had to put forth a really strong comeback effort just to defeat the 9-40 Nets last week. Here's a look at some of the questions facing New York as they look for stability.

Tags: Carmelo Anthony, Courtney Lee, Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Kyle O'Quinn, Willy Hernangomez, Keith Schlosser
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 (Julio Cortez/AP)
(Julio Cortez/AP)

Carmelo Anthony was not mad about being benched during the fourth quarter of Wednesday's game against the Nets, head coach Jeff Hornacek said Saturday.

"He was happy for the guys. The guys were playing well," Hornacek said, according to ESPN New York's Ian Begley. 

The Knicks rallied in the fourth quarter, largely due to the efforts of the bench players.

Tags: Carmelo Anthony, Courtney Lee, Joakim Noah, Sasha Vujacic
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 (AP)
(AP)

Keith Schlosser, SNY.TV:

The NBA trade deadline is less than a month away, which gives the Knicks a limited amount of time to explore and pull the trigger on a blockbuster deal involving Carmelo Anthony

While they could certainly wait until the offseason, moving Anthony sooner than later would give the team a clear direction as they start fresh and look toward the NBA Draft.

Tags: Carmelo Anthony, Courtney Lee, Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Kristaps Porzingis, Lance Thomas, Mindaugas Kuzminskas, Willy Hernangomez, Keith Schlosser
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Keith Schlosser, SNY.TV:

Joakim Noah has finally found more consistency rebounding the ball and hasn't played up to his former disappearing act as of late, and the Knicks also want to experiment more with Kristaps Porzingis at the center position. 

The above developments sensibly limit Willy Hernangomez's opportunities, but he's still making the most of them. As he continues to do so, Kyle O'Quinn's minutes have decreased. It's not as if he is playing poorly, but Hernangomez has just been too good to ignore.

Tags: Joakim Noah, Kristaps Porzingis, Kyle O'Quinn, Willy Hernangomez, Keith Schlosser
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Have the Knicks hit rock bottom? 00:02:51
With the drama surrounding Carmelo Anthony and Phil Jackson, the DNL panel discusses if the Knicks are hitting rock bottom.

Keith Schlosser, SNY.tv

With a 3-9 record in 2017, the Knicks certainly aren't looking like the contenders Phil Jackson intended to build them to be last offseason. Still only three games out of a playoff spot, there's still plenty of time to make a worthwhile run. Nevertheless, momentum hasn't been in the team's favor for a number of reasons.

Thus, decisions need to be made. Is it worth scrapping together an effort to squeeze in as the eight seed, in effect losing out a solid draft pick to help build upon the future with? The players may appreciate some clarity one way or another.

Some players are assets that can be moved. For those that can't be dealt seamlessly, it's up to the Knicks to utilize their talents full on and go from there. Here's a look at a few things effecting the current state of the Knicks. 

Tags: Brandon Jennings, Joakim Noah, Keith Schlosser
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Dec 31, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; New York Knicks center Joakim Noah (13) brings the ball upcourt against the Houston Rockets during the third quarter at Toyota Center. (Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports)
Dec 31, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; New York Knicks center Joakim Noah (13) brings the ball upcourt against the Houston Rockets during the third quarter at Toyota Center. (Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports)

Knicks center Joakim Noah is available to play in Saturday night's game against the Suns, the team announced. 

Noah has been dealing with a sprained ankle, causing him to miss the Knicks' last two games. 

In 38 games this year, Noah has averaged 5.6 points and 9.1 rebounds per game. 

Tags: Joakim Noah

 (Jeff Hanisch)
(Jeff Hanisch)

Kristaps Porzingis had 15 points and five rebounds in 29 minutes in his return during Thursday night's 113-110 loss to the Wizards at Madison Square Garden.

Porzingis, who has been dealing with an Achilles injury, was seeing his first game action since Jan. 11.

He received results of an MRI on Thursday, which revealed no structural damage in the Achilles.

Tags: Carmelo Anthony, Courtney Lee, Joakim Noah, Kristaps Porzingis, Mindaugas Kuzminskas
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New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) talks with head coach Jeff Hornacek during the first quarter against the Milwaukee Bucks at BMO Harris (Jeff Hanisch)
New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) talks with head coach Jeff Hornacek during the first quarter against the Milwaukee Bucks at BMO Harris (Jeff Hanisch)

Latest Update (Jan. 19)

6:00PM: An MRI confirmed no structural damage to the left Achillies of F Kristaps Porzingisthe Knicks announced Thursday evening.

Porzingis will be available for tonight's game.

Joakim Noah's MRI confirmed a sprained left ankle, and the center will not suit up for tonight's game.

Tags: Joakim Noah, Kristaps Porzingis
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With the injured Kristaps Porzingis and Joakim Noah out, Derrick Rose scored 30 points during Wednesday night's 117-106 win over the Celtics.

Rose added 10 rebounds, five assists, two blocks, and two steals.

"Teammates were giving me the ball and wanted me to take the shots and told me to be aggressive and they called by number," Rose said, according to the NY Post. "We didn't fuss while we were on the floor. We've been talking about playing this way the last 10 to 15 games. There's been ups and downs, mostly downs. Hopefully a win like this can spark something."

Tags: Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Kristaps Porzingis
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New Orleans Pelicans power forward Anthony Davis controls the ball against New York Knicks center Joakim Noah during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New Orleans Pelicans power forward Anthony Davis controls the ball against New York Knicks center Joakim Noah during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

The Knicks could bench Joakim Noah and shift Kristaps Porzingis to center to start in Noah's place, head coach Jeff Hornacek suggested.

"We're going to look over that," Hornacek said after Monday's loss to the Hawks, according to the NY Daily News. "Maybe mix it up a little bit more."

Noah had seven points and 17 rebounds during Monday's loss.

Tags: Carmelo Anthony, Courtney Lee, Joakim Noah, Kristaps Porzingis
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New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) during a break in action against the Chicago Bulls during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. ( Adam Hunger)
New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) during a break in action against the Chicago Bulls during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. ( Adam Hunger)

Keith Schlosser, SNY.TV:

The Knicks are still losers of 11 out of their last 13 games, but they've broken the seal on the new year with 2 wins in 2017. There's a long way to go and New York has to make a run rather quickly if they want to prove they can compete before decisions need to be made.

Will this team become a seller closer to the trading deadline? Will they start to explore trades for Carmelo Anthony and their other long-term contracts in the coming weeks and into the offseason? This all remains to be seen.
 
There's an overcast of uncertainty surrounding this team, but head coach Jeff Hornacek's bold move against the Atlanta Hawks worked wonders. Ron Baker and Mindaugas Kuzminskas both provided tremendous energy. As Courtney Lee moved to the bench and the duo found success, it was a message to other starters (or key members of the rotation) that they could be next if they're not performing. 
 
Let's take a look at some of the other more pressing issues facing the Knicks..

Tags: Brandon Jennings, Carmelo Anthony, Courtney Lee, Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Kristaps Porzingis, Lance Thomas, Mindaugas Kuzminskas, Keith Schlosser
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Rose's proper head space 00:03:44
Knicks Insider Frank Isola attempts to figure out Derrick Rose's place with the Knicks.

TNT Basketball analyst Brent Barry told the NY Post that Joakim Noah is a terrible fit for the Knicks and that Carmelo Anthony should ask to be traded.

"I was a little bit shocked,'' Barry said about the Knicks signing Noah to a four-year deal worth $72 million this offseason. "Who else was bidding for Noah's services? Maybe Washington. It was an interesting gamble in the sense the last couple of years he had not been healthy."

Barry added that Noah doesn't fit in Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek's system.

Tags: Brandon Jennings, Carmelo Anthony, Courtney Lee, Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Kristaps Porzingis, Lance Thomas
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GEICO SportsNite: Rose no-shows 00:00:29
Knicks guard Derrick Rose did not show up to the game against the Pelicans at Madison Square Garden leading to concerns from the team.

New York Knicks guard Derrick Rose left the team without permission for Monday's game against the New Orleans Pelicans to deal with what he told teammates as a family issue back in Chicago, according to ESPN's Ramona Shelburne.

Rose's absence, which surprised several teammates and temporarily went unaccounted for, could possibly lead to a suspension and may have cost himself long-term job security with the Knicks, according to The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Head coach Jeff Hornacek did not specify why Rose was not with the team for the Knicks' 110-96 loss, even after teammate Courtney Lee said Rose, who has played in 33 of 38 games this season, was at shootaround before the game, according to ESPN's Ian Begley. The Knicks' full statement during the game, according to Deadspin, was, "He's not with the team."

Tags: Brandon Jennings, Courtney Lee, Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, New Orleans Pelicans
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 (Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports)
(Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports)

Keith Schlosser, SNY.TV:

Currently in the midst of a 1-7 stretch, there's reason for the Knicks to be concerned about their season. No longer looking like a contender, their playoff hopes are in serious doubt.

After spending big on players like Joakim NoahCourtney Lee, and others last summer, this season was supposed to be different. Instead of remaining patient and building around a budding star in Kristaps Porzingis, the Knicks instead surrounded Carmelo Anthony with the talent necessary to make a competitive push sooner than later.

Tags: Brandon Jennings, Carmelo Anthony, Courtney Lee, Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Kristaps Porzingis, Keith Schlosser
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 (Tim Heitman)
(Tim Heitman)

Tommy Dee, SNY.TV:

As we've talked about here several times, Phil Jackson is actively working the phones hoping to find a situation that upgrades the Knicks' roster from a talent perspective without giving away too many assets in return. 

Several teams have emerged as potential trade matches

Tags: Courtney Lee, Joakim Noah, Kristaps Porzingis, Kyle O'Quinn
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Phoenix Suns small forward P.J. Tucker shoots the ball as San Antonio Spurs shooting guard Danny Green and Pau Gasol defends during the first half at AT&T Center. (Soobum Im/USA Today Sports Images)
Phoenix Suns small forward P.J. Tucker shoots the ball as San Antonio Spurs shooting guard Danny Green and Pau Gasol defends during the first half at AT&T Center. (Soobum Im/USA Today Sports Images)

The New York Knicks are looking into trading for Phoenix Suns forward P.J. Tucker, according to ESPN's Ian Begley.

Nothing is imminent, however there are some people within New York's front office that called Tucker a possible trade target, according to Begley.

Tucker, 31, is averaging 6.3 points and 5.4 rebounds per game in 36 games with Phoenix this season, but Begley notes Tucker's defensive RPM (22nd among 80 qualified small forwards) as a reason why the Knicks would have interest.

Tags: Joakim Noah, Kyle O'Quinn, Lance Thomas, Mindaugas Kuzminskas, Phoenix Suns, Willy Hernangomez
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 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

Keith Schlosser, SNY.TV:

It's been nearly two weeks since the Knicks won a game. Prior to entering what's currently a five-game losing streak, the team's 16-13 record gave them good early playoff standing, and there was reason to be optimistic. But an inability to hold their own against the more competitive teams in the league has been a glaring weakness all season long.

Included in this recent skid are losses to teams like the Celtics and Rockets. Beyond that, however, the Knicks have failed to prove themselves as a contender by not taking care of business against seemingly weaker teams.

At this point, the reasons why the bleeding has continued are abundantly clear. It's up to everyone involved -- the front office, coaching staff, and players -- to put a stop to it before it's too late. Here's a look at three of the more pressing issues...

Tags: Brandon Jennings, Carmelo Anthony, Courtney Lee, Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Kristaps Porzingis, Keith Schlosser
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 (Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports)
(Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports)

Tommy Dee, SNY.tv:

I agree with Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek, who when asked repeatedly Monday night about the team's effort laughed off the idea that the team "hasn't been trying" during their five game losing streak.

Questioning effort is an attack on a team's professionalism and I don't think that's the case here. I truly believe it's a matter of teams feeling far too comfortable with what they see from the Knicks defensively and the simple understanding that if they can hone in and make shots, it will keep the Knicks out of transition where they like to get easy baskets.

In the last five games, starting with a loss at home Christmas Day against the Celtics, the Knicks have faced four teams -- Boston, Atlanta, New Orleans, and Houston -- that primarily run their offense through a PG/C pick-and-roll and surround the perimeter with three point shooters. This is the offense made famous by Mike D'Antoni in Phoenix and later in New York. This offense puts heavy pressure on the defense, with PG driving action causing defenders on the perimeter to help.

Tags: Brandon Jennings, Carmelo Anthony, Courtney Lee, Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Kristaps Porzingis, Lance Thomas
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 (Ross D. Franklin/AP)
(Ross D. Franklin/AP)

Keith Schlosser, SNY.TV:

It's still early, but the Knicks nevertheless have good standing in the Eastern Conference playoff picture. There's optimism in the air, but still vast room for improvement. New York has lost four of its last six contests, and their inability to keep up with the Celtics on Christmas Day exposed many weaknesses. 

As the Knicks look to contend, they'll need to take care of business against the stronger teams of the league. Here are three of the other more pressing issues the team has faced as of late...

Tags: Courtney Lee, Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Kyle O'Quinn, Lance Thomas, Keith Schlosser
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New York Knicks guard Derrick Rose (25) celebrates with forward Carmelo Anthony (7) after a play during the third quarter against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. (Troy Taormina)
New York Knicks guard Derrick Rose (25) celebrates with forward Carmelo Anthony (7) after a play during the third quarter against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. (Troy Taormina)

The Knicks' defensive effort this season has been poor, and that was evident Sunday during their 119-114 loss to the Celtics.

"It was all defense, the way I look at it," Rose said about the loss, according to Ian Begley of ESPN. "We didn't communicate well."

The Knicks outscored the Celtics in the third and fourth quarter, but couldn't overcome the large deficit that was a result of them being outscored 34-20 in the second quarter.

Tags: Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Kyle O'Quinn, Willy Hernangomez
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 (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports Images)
(Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports Images)

Tommy Dee: SNY.TV:

Heading into Tuesday night's game against Indiana at Madison Square Garden, Joakim Noah is still confident things will work out despite his underwhelming play that has faced serious criticism.

What's been obvious to me in watching the team play is that Noah and Courtney Lee -- the player Noah helped recruit here -- have had trouble clicking in the lineup together. Noah seemingly has more chemistry, and the team does as a whole, with Justin Holiday instead of Lee at the shooting guard position. 

Tags: Carmelo Anthony, Courtney Lee, Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Kristaps Porzingis, Kyle O'Quinn, Willy Hernangomez
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New York Knicks center Joakim Noah (13) pats New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) on the head after a defensive stop during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Phoenix Suns Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016, in Phoenix. (Ross D. Franklin/AP)
New York Knicks center Joakim Noah (13) pats New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) on the head after a defensive stop during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Phoenix Suns Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016, in Phoenix. (Ross D. Franklin/AP)

Joakim Noah only played 11 minutes and scored two points in the Knicks' 127-114 loss, with coach Jeff Hornacek telling reporters afterward that keeping the big-money center in the starting lineup is "something we have to keep our eye on."

Tags: Joakim Noah
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 (Anthony Gruppuso/USA Today Sports Images)
(Anthony Gruppuso/USA Today Sports Images)

Kristaps Porzingis thinks he can help recruit free agents to the Knicks, he told reporters.

"I think (I'll recruit players), yeah," he said. "Of course, you want to build a team around you so you can win, so you can go all the way and win the championship one day. Of course, that's on everybody's mind, I think, that's in a position to do that."

Porzingis, 21, is averaging 20.6 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks in 25 games this season.

Tags: Carmelo Anthony, Courtney Lee, Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Kristaps Porzingis, Lance Thomas
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 (Frank Franklin II/AP)
(Frank Franklin II/AP)

Knicks president Phil Jackson has settled into his life away from Los Angeles and his competitive fire is lit, writes Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report.

"Jackson's competitive fire is fully aflame now that the Knicks are on the upswing-they are 14-11 and have won 11 of their past 16 games entering Thursday night against the Golden State Warriors-but it's more than just feeling better about his work," says Ding.

"Jackson has settled into life away from Los Angeles and fiancee Jeanie Buss, exploring the varied non-basketball interests to which New York caters. Jackson is connecting over lively card games or stimulating dinner conversations with friends who knew him before he was famous, feeling the energy of the city."

Tags: Brandon Jennings, Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Kristaps Porzingis
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 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

No Noah, no problem. The Knicks have gone on 4-0 without Joakim Noah, but there's no denying having him rise up and be the player New York is hoping he can be would pay dividends rather quickly. 

Unfortunately, he hasn't been that player since (at the very most recent) the 2014-15 season. The player the Knicks have acquired looks like a shell of his former self. Of course, he's provided flashes of intrigue, physicality, and toughness here and there.

Noah's vision on offense is among the best for centers in the NBA. With a bevy of tip-backs when crashing the glass, Noah continues to create second-chance opportunities. On defense, he plays an excellent mental game and can frustrate opponents. 

Noah hasn't been able to do this on a consistent basis. He's missed games and New York has proven to be successful without him already. His absences have forced the Knicks to get into a different rhythm -- one that works without him on the floor. When inserting Noah back in, such cohesion often looks lost.

Tags: Joakim Noah, Kyle O'Quinn, Keith Schlosser
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New York Knicks center Joakim Noah (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Knicks center Joakim Noah (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports Images)

Joakim Noah will remain out on Friday night against the Timberwolves due sprained left ankle, the team announced. 

He was also out on Wednesday night due to the ankle injury.

Courtney Lee will also be unavalable on Friday night.

Lance Thomas, who has been dealing with a bone bruise in his ankle, will be available.

Tags: Courtney Lee, Joakim Noah, Lance Thomas
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New York Knicks center Joakim Noah (13) during first half against Detroit Pistons at Madison Square Garden. (Noah K. Murray)
New York Knicks center Joakim Noah (13) during first half against Detroit Pistons at Madison Square Garden. (Noah K. Murray)

After missing two games with the flu, Joakim Noah returned, only to play limited minutes in the weekend back-to-back against Charlotte. The Knicks came away with two commanding victories in the games he missed, so the fact that Noah failed to make a big impact upon returning created doubt he'd be a solid fit for New York moving forward.

It's worth noting that the Hornets went small during crunch time. As the Knicks attempted to match up in the best way possible with their opponent, Noah was an obvious odd man out. Sometimes different opponents dictate the use of less favorable, or simply varied, lineups, and this was one of those times.

With an imposing and physical front line of Steven Adams and Enes Kanter, (and not to mention, the NBA's best rebounding guard in Russell Westbrook), Noah had a quick chance to redeem himself. Unfortunately, he couldn't take advantage of the opportunity.

Tags: Joakim Noah, Keith Schlosser
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New York Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek talks with forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) during the second half against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Madison Square Garden. (Adam Hunger)
New York Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek talks with forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) during the second half against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Madison Square Garden. (Adam Hunger)

I equate the final minutes of the Knicks game last night to a football team that ran the ball down the throats of the opposing defense until the clock ran out. The Thunder simply were stronger than the Knicks on the offensive glass, ripping down 17 rebounds on the offensive end -17 chances for the Knicks to have ended a possession. Overall they won the rebounding battle 53-40 and that helped the Thunder break the Knicks' (8-9) six game home winning streak.

"We didn't do a very good job of boxing guys out," Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek said to reporters following the Thunder's 112-103 win at Madison Square Garden last night. "We can't just turn and not drive a guy away from the basket and think we can just get it."  

More specifically, Kristaps Porzingis and Joakim Noah couldn't stop Enes Kanter and Steven Adams, who combined for 41 points and 20 rebounds including 10 offensive rebounds. Kanter had 2 critical offensive rebound put backs down the stretch to seal the victory.

Tags: Carmelo Anthony, Joakim Noah, Kristaps Porzingis
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

In back-to-back victories against Atlanta and Portland, the Knicks' center-by-committee worked out quite well. 

Kristaps Porzingis asserted himself more confidently with extra minutes at the five, Kyle O'Quinn filled in nicely with a steady rebounding presence, and Willy Hernangomez flashed plenty of potential as he held his ground against veteran big men Dwight Howard and Mason Plumlee.

Following this very short string of success, there's already concern regarding how Joakim Noah will fit in moving forward. Such questions are premature.

Tags: Brandon Jennings, Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Kristaps Porzingis, Kyle O'Quinn, Willy Hernangomez, Keith Schlosser
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New York Knicks center Joakim Noah (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Knicks center Joakim Noah (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports Images)

Joakim Noah returned to Knicks practice today after missing the last couple of games with an illness.

Noah is "probable" for tomorrow's game against the Hornets. (Iannazzone)

Tags: Joakim Noah
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GEICO SportsNite: Knicks rolling 00:01:07
Coming off a win against the Hawks, Jeff Hornacek and Carmelo Anthony look ahead to their upcoming game against a tough Portland offense.

Joakim Noah (illness) will not play tonight against Portland, Jeff Hornacek told reporters Tuesday evening.

Noah missed Sunday's win over Atlanta due to the same illness.

Tags: Joakim Noah, Lance Thomas
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 (AP)
(AP)

Through 12 games and 5-7 record, the Knicks are still making adjustments, and one of the newest members, Joakim Noah, believes he can play better. 

Noah so far has contributed 4.3 points and 8.9 rebounds in 23.4 minutes per contest. In 19 minutes against the Wizards on Thursday night, he added seven rebounds and just two points in the Knicks' loss. 

Tags: Joakim Noah
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Knicks guard Derrick Rose (25) is fouled by Washington Wizards center Marcin Gortat (13) during the first half. (Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports)
Knicks guard Derrick Rose (25) is fouled by Washington Wizards center Marcin Gortat (13) during the first half. (Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports)

The Wizards shut down Kristaps Porzingis and the Knicks with a victory in Washington.

Tags: Joakim Noah, Kristaps Porzingis
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KP posts career-high in win 00:00:53
Kristaps Porzingis and Carmelo Anthony discuss the Knicks' 105-102 win over the Pistons, led by a career-high 35 points from Porzingis.

Kristaps Porzingis scored a career-high 35 points and the Knicks held on to beat the Pistons, 105-102, Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden

Tags: Joakim Noah, Kristaps Porzingis
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New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis (Adam Hunger/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis (Adam Hunger/USA Today Sports Images)

Kristaps Porzingis took over at the 5 in place of Joakim Noah in the Knicks' win over the Mavericks on Monday. What does that mean for both players going forward?

Tags: Carmelo Anthony, Joakim Noah, Kristaps Porzingis, Keith Schlosser
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New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (Adam Hunger/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (Adam Hunger/USA Today Sports Images)

Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis both scored 24 points to lead the New York Knicks to a 93-77 win over the Dallas Mavericks on Monday at Madison Square Garden.

Tags: Carmelo Anthony, Dallas Mavericks, Joakim Noah, Kristaps Porzingis
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Nov 11, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; New York Knicks guard Derrick Rose (25) reacts after getting fouled during the first half against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden. Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 11, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; New York Knicks guard Derrick Rose (25) reacts after getting fouled during the first half against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden. Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Keith Schlosser, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive

The Knicks' loss to the Celtics on Friday night was one to forget. Regardless of whether or not Carmelo Anthony's early ejection was justified, there was still one overwhelmingly positive takeaway from the entire ordeal.

As Anthony was tossed, Derrick Rose observed and attempted to come to his aid. Unfortunately, he wasn't quite quick enough to defuse the situation. 

Tags: Carmelo Anthony, Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Keith Schlosser
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