With the Knicks clearly not be on the same page as a team in their opening-game loss to the Cavaliers, Carmelo Anthony is eager to put that behind them and come together moving forward.
"We're still trying to figure things out. We're still trying to find our identity as a team and as a unit," Anthony told reporters after practice Thursday.
"We have an opportunity to redeem ourselves on Saturday. I know what kind of guys we have. That first game is no indication of who we are as a team and who we will be."
Coach Jeff Hornacek has been preaching a faster pace of play on offense. Following a sloppy first quarter against the Cavaliers, you could see a change in the pace of New York's play that paid dividends in putting them back in the game heading into half time. Unfortunately, that success was limited Tuesday night to the second quarter.
Hornacek hopes to build off of that second quarter moving forward. In order for this up-tempo offensive approach to click, each player must be willing to put egos aside and look to put teammates in the best possible situation to score. That mentality is something Hornacek realizes might be challenging for all players to initially accept, but is confident in the positive effects an unselfish style of play can have on a team.
"Then it all comes full circle and somebody does it for you and you get the shot. If your first mentality is 'how am I going to get my shot' it's going to be a tough one then everyone starts doing it," Hornacek said.
"It's just moving the ball - assists are contagious. We did it pretty well in the preseason. With Lebron (James) running all over the place and his abilities sometimes guys get tentative about throwing passes when he's around so that could be part of it too."
Trailing 39-30 and with Lebron getting a rest, the Knicks were able to push the pace and were quickly rewarded with three, consecutive 'early possession' three-point makes. Justin Holiday found Kristaps Porzingis followed by Holiday making two of his own, both assisted by Carmelo. That short spurt of offense is a prime example of what the Knicks are looking to progress towards on a more consistent basis.
In total, the Knicks as a team assisted on 17 of their 36 made field goals but were hampered by 18 turnovers.
"We're still trying to get used to how our guys see things," Hornacek said. "How much can we leave it up to them, how much do we have coach it. The whole idea of both our half court and full court early offense is to let them use their abilities and their reads. No matter what they do there should be a read or an option to it. That takes a little while, and hopefully it doesn't take us long.
We'll see if the Knicks can continue to make strides and play as a collective unit when they welcome the Memphis Grizzles to MSG on Saturday night.
Tags: Carmelo Anthony , Kristaps Porzingis
In his Bulls debut on Thursday night, Dwyane Wade knocked down four daggers from deep en route to scoring 22 points. It was a solid victory, but perhaps the most interesting thing is that Wade connected on just seven long range shots all of last season. He's already more than halfway there following one game.
After thirteen years in Miami, Wade shocked the basketball world this past summer by going home and signing with the Bulls. But just before he did, the Knicks were targeting the NBA champion and had a small window of opportunity to sign him. Carmelo Anthony even went as far as saying New York had a shot to sign his friend if timing played out differently.
Did the Knicks make the right moves this past offseason? Time will tell. But while the team initially had the cap room to sign Wade, the decision to go in a different direction began with the acquisition of Derrick Rose before free agency even began.
Whereas Rose and Wade obviously play different positions, each player is a skillful scorer who needs the ball in their hands to succeed. Theoretically, there wouldn't have been enough room in the backcourt for the both of them, even if there was enough room for each one financially. Wade is used to carrying his team offensively and taking over a given game at the drop of a hat. He thrives on pull up jumpers, fade-aways and drives to the bucket. He dominates the ball, but there's no doubt he's an excellent scorer. On the flip side, Rose's ability to penetrate and attack not only creates opportunities for himself, but for those around him as well. While he and Wade both have respective injury concerns, they are different players. If everything comes together the way it should, Rose will prove he's a better fit for this team.
The Knicks were going to need a shooting guard either way, but the acquisition of Rose changed up their priorities a bit. To acquire the 2011 NBA MVP, New York sent out a package that included a neatly gift wrapped Robin Lopez. After signing his contract last year, Lopez's annual salary is set to be a bargain for the next three seasons, when compared to those of other quality big men in this new NBA economy. After acquiring Rose, the Knicks had more of their scoring covered, but would need to spend that much more on a defensive-minded center. At shooting guard, they needed more of a complementary player than another dominant scorer. Thus, Wade was no longer a fit. Throwing lucrative funds at him (with Rose already in place) would have created bigger holes across the rest of the roster. Joakim Noah and Courtney Lee will presumably go on to fill those holes better.
While Wade accepted a short-term two-year deal to play in Chicago, he was reportedly looking for a long-term contract initially. At 34 years old, that type of investment would have required a risk. Rose's expiring deal gives the Knicks an opportunity to explore an intriguing talent. Having said that, they can re-evaluate things and potentially hit the reset button next summer if all goes south instead. Rose is a talented player, but the Knicks have some flexibility moving forward. They would have been all in with Wade.
Wade may continue to play well and defy the odds as he gets older. Even if he does, the Knicks likely made the right move passing on him. Perhaps Rose and Co. can help validate that notion in the months to come.
Tags: Carmelo Anthony , Derrick Rose , Joakim Noah , Keith Schlosser
Derrick Rose, Carmelo Anthony and Jeff Hornacek discuss how the Knicks plan on bouncing back from their opening night loss to the Cavaliers.
As fingers are pointed in every which direction (Joakim Noah, Derrick Rose, Courtney Lee, etc.) for the Knicks' opening night blowout loss, it's important to also recognize the importance of Lance Thomas.
Over the last season and a half, Thomas has served as a rare bright spot for this team. Rising up from the ashes as a basketball vagabond, Thomas wasted little time finding his NBA role with the Knicks. It'll be imperative to their success, especially as the team competes for a playoff spot, that he continues to serve as their glue guy.
The epitome of a player with endless hustle, effort, knowledge, and a good attitude, Thomas is able to help set the tone defensively. That's always been his bread and butter when it comes to sticking in the NBA. He applies pressure, dives for loose balls, and does all of the little things. As the Knicks began giving him more opportunities to shine, he was depended upon more heavily. As such, more polished skills on offense were needed. Thomas answered the call by strengthening his long range shooting last summer, subsequently shooting 40% from deep last season.
This season, the Knicks will need even more of the same. After spending big to improve the starting five, New York was still able to grant Thomas the proper payday he deserved. Beyond he and Brandon Jennings, however, there are still question marks surrounding the bench.
Thomas cannot allow the pressure to get to him. What's more, he and the Knicks cannot allow his recent struggles on offense to impact the way he plays on the other end of the floor. As opening night proved, New York needs all the help they can get.
In six games (5 preseason and 1 regular season), the forward is shooting just 31% from the field and 18% from deep. He's forcing it, presumedly because the Knicks do need that added offense. It'd be nice to see Thomas let his defensive intensity propel the rest of his game. In the meantime, he could benefit tremendously from better chemistry with the team's new floor generals.
As the Knicks look to incorporate Rose, Noah, and Lee into the offense more substantially, Thomas should focus on getting back to basics.
Tags: Lance Thomas , Keith Schlosser
Knicks guard Derrick Rose said he wants the Knicks to use the pick-and-roll more in the team's offense after Tuesday's loss to the Cavaliers, according to Newsday's Al Iannazzone.
Rose, making his regular-season debut with New York, finished with 17 points on 41.2 percent shooting from the field. He had missed two weeks with his civil sexual assault trial and is still getting used to working within the offense.
But Rose said, after watching the Cavs, that New York needs to do more of what Cleveland did Tuesday night.
"You see with Cleveland, they run pick-and-roll the entire game and [create] mismatches and close outs, and them driving the ball and making someone else commit and pitching out for a three," Rose said. "That's something we have to keep doing."
Rose also said he needs to improve within the triangle offense, which he'll get the chance to do Saturday against the Grizzlies.
"In the triangle sometimes, you're going to the corner," Rose said. "As the point guard, that's tough sometimes going all the way to the corner and kind of waiting to see what they're going to do on the initial side of the triangle. You have to wait for the ball to come back to you."
It's good to see Rose recognize something that the Knicks' offense sorely missed on Tuesday. Being able to easily execute the pick-and-roll (especially with Kristaps Porzingis) is something that should come with time as Rose builds up chemistry and on the court opportunities with his teammates.
It's clear that being aggressive, making smart decisions and making those around him look good in the pick-and-roll are all positive nuances Rose figures to bring to New York's overall offensive scheme. The execution wasn't there against Cleveland, but the potential for more sure was.
It's hard to go crazy about the number of pick and rolls when Rose is still finding himself in the offense after missing a large portion of training camp.
The league as a whole, per Synergy Sports, only runs pick and roll 26 percent of the time and max pick and roll guards such as Russell Westbrook and Detroit's Reggie Jackson run pick and rolls slightly over 50 percent of the time. You have to run sets other than pick and roll. The frequency will be interesting to see as the early returns set in over the next few weeks.
Tags: Cleveland Cavaliers , Derrick Rose
The Knicks, who are operating without a defensive coach, were blown out by the Cavaliers on Opening Night.
Mike Longabardi, who served as Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek's defensive coordinator when Hornacek was with Phoenix, is now coaching for the Cavs, Marc Berman of the NY Post points out.
Berman notes that Hornacek wanted to bring Longabardi to the Knicks but the Cavs wouldn't let him out of his contract.
The Knicks currently have Kurt Rambis serving as assistant head coach, with Jerry Sichting, Corey Gaines, and Howard Eisley on the staff as assistants.
Longabardi learned from and worked alongside the great Tom Thibodeau in both Houston and Boston, including the year the Celtics won the championship. There's no doubt he's had a steady coaching upbringing. The fact that he was on a staff that helped lead the Cavaliers to a title last season doesn't hurt his resume, either.
There's no doubt he'd complement the Knicks' current efforts.
Coaches certainly have different specialities. With so much to take care of from A to Z, head coaches often lean on their assistants to help cover all the specific bases. Having said that, Hornacek (and all of his current assistants, for that matter) wouldn't have jobs if they weren't well enough versed to teach both sides of the game. There's only one Mike D'Antoni. His offense may be phenomenal, but there are too many liabilities on the defensive end. Other coaches (and teams that hire them, for that matter) can't get away with that.
It's up to Hornacek and his staff to help get New York on the right track. There's still plenty of time. This shouldn't result in panic. Knicks brass wouldn't have put this staff in place if they thought the defense would suffer.
Tags: Keith Schlosser
The DNL panel assesses the Knicks' opening night loss and if it says more about the team's struggles to come, or just Cleveland's greatness.
Anthony Donahue and Moke Hamilton look back at the Knicks' season-opening loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers. They touch on the team's shooting woes, defensive struggles, and how they were thoroughly outplayed in the 2nd half. Later, the guys move on to the home opener vs. Memphis, and discuss the upcoming schedule.
Following last night's 117-88 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek admitted that his team felt unsettled, especially on defense, where they'll need to be more aggressive.
Hornacek's players seemingly agreed, later saying the following to reporters after the game.
Carmelo Anthony: "Even though it was the first game, we still have some work to do. I believe our focus should be on defense now, rather than offense."
Derrick Rose: "Communication is huge. ... We have a lot of room to improve."
Kristaps Porizingis: "We have a lot of room to grow, as a team. It's going to be a process for us to find that connection offensively. But, one thing we can do right away is get better defensively. We've got to watch film, learn, study and come back next game better."
Joakim Noah: "This is a no-excuse league. I think everybody is disappointed. We want to do better, we want to play better. We got our asses kicked tonight."
Tommy Dee: The Cavs are one of the elite three-point shooting teams for a reason. They literally have 10 guys who can make them...
That means you have to defend the perimeter for 48 minutes, which takes a ton of communication. That speaks to Rose's absence as much as his integration into the offense...
Oct 25, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward Richard Jefferson (24) goes to the basket in the first half against the New York Knicks at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
The Cavs are a championship team because their communication is impeccable and sustains itself over 48 minutes. What you saw in the 3rd quarter was a communication breakdown defensively and it just takes a few possessions to start a game-changing run, which the Cavs did led by Kyrie Irving.
With their morale clearly boosted from receiving their NBA championship rings prior to game time, the Cavaliers were enthusiastically firing from all cylinders.
The Knicks can't get themselves too down from this one. Not being able to stop LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and others is nothing to be ashamed of.
Of course, Joakim Noah's pride on the defensive end is evident. He's supposed to be the team's anchor on that end of the floor. With more time to bounce back, expect him to begin rallying up the troops greater unison.
Defense aside, New York's communication on the offensive end should be just as equally a concern. There needs to be a better flow and guys need to keep moving without the ball. It was a poor game all around, with plenty to improve upon.
Tags: Carmelo Anthony , Derrick Rose , Joakim Noah , Kristaps Porzingis
Hitting the hardwood for just the second time in a New York Knicks uniform, Derrick Rose undeniably had jitters and nerves in Tuesday's 117-88 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
While his teammates had the opportunity to shake loose, find respective rhythms and build a rapport with one another, Rose was unable to take advantage of such a chance this preseason. Unfortunately for him, it was easy to tell.
Rose scored 17 points in the defeat, but did so inefficiently.
Running the point, Rose looked hesitant and seemed to overanalyze his decisions. Players often rely upon their floor general to create easier offensive opportunities, and it was clear Rose, 28, wasn't. Since that necessary chemistry is not yet in place, the offense was less fluid. He wasn't vocal and didn't take charge. As such, Rose's teammates failed to keep moving, perhaps because they didn't have a feel for where he wanted them to go.
The former NBA MVP certainly wasn't the skillful setup man the Knicks desperately need facilitating their offense. Instead, Rose failed to take care of the ball, committing four turnovers while dishing out just one assist. His inability to create high percentage opportunities for those around him also inhibited his own ability to get good looks. The proof was with a 7-for-17 outing from the field.
Despite his evident shortcomings, Rose still showed some potential in the loss to Cleveland. When he didn't take flat-footed jumpers or hold on to the ball, Rose attacked the basket with confidence. His penetration not only caught the opponent off guard, but perhaps his own team's fanbase as well. The Knicks haven't had a point guard with as deadly of a first step toward the basket in quite a while. When going in for layups, Rose was nearly unstoppable. Last season, his 2.3 3-point field goal attempts per game were his fewest since the 2009-10 season. Limiting those opportunities in favor of a finger roll or a quick pass is a smart move.
That's where his wheelhouse needs to be. Rose needs to focus on putting the ball on the floor and going full speed at his opponents. It's likely they'll have to back off or won't be quick enough to keep up. Such penetration would not only create higher percentage looks for himself, but also help spread the floor. As Rose drives, his teammates can position themselves on the wings for open jumpers. It's up to him to find them.
Tags: Derrick Rose , Keith Schlosser
CLEVELAND (AP) LeBron James had his 43rd career triple-double, Kyrie Irving scored 29 points and the Cleveland Cavaliers, who raised their championship banner before the game, beat the New York Knicks 117-88 on Tuesday night in the NBA season opener.
James scored 19 points and added 11 rebounds and 14 assists in front of a raucous home crowd that was on its feet from the pregame ceremony until late in the game, celebrating the city's first championship in 52 years.
James, who spoke to the crowd before the game, continued his perfect record on ring nights. He was 2-0 when the Miami Heat players were presented with their championship rings. >> Read more
- There were plenty of refreshing wrinkles in Jeff Hornacek's fast paced offense. Encouraging nuances for the Knicks included Derrick Rose's penetration and Kristaps Porzingis' rapid catch & shoot release. Rose's ability to attack and Porzingis' quick action kept the Cavaliers' defense on its toes during key runs for the Knicks.
- Whereas many players still looked to be shaking the rust off, Carmelo Anthony looked to be in midseason form early on. Hitting multiple shots from deep en route to scoring double-figures in the first quarter, he had a great rhythm. As the season continues, New York can only hope his stamina returns as well.
- It can't be easy to open up the season against the defending NBA champions. That said, the Knicks looked capable of competitive when they took care of the ball. That didn't last very long. There was a lack of cohesion and it was easy to tell the team's core has yet to have any court time together. Too many turnovers.
- Rose (four turnovers) was unfortunately a primary culprit when it came to not taking care of the ball. Still, his aggression around the basket was encouraging. On the flip side, backup guard Brandon Jennings (1 of 7 from the field) showed poor judgement with some careless and overzealous shooting. His streaky nature is something the Knicks will need to get used to. The good (five assists) comes with the bad.
- There were moments, particularly midway thought the second quarter, that saw Kristaps Porzingis and Justin Holiday get loose for a few threes that looked like they were going to help the Knicks stay in the game. That ended in the third when the Cavs, behind Kyrie Irving, took over the game and blew it open. The Knicks couldn't answer the Cavs' 34-19 third quarter output, led by Irving's 19.
- It's hard to overreact here. Frankly, I look forward to watching the aftermath. I would think that it's easily the best thing that could have happened in my mind because you'll find out about the character of this team very quickly after embarrassment on national TV.
- Overall, Rose had some positive moments, but he does have the propensity to still take really hard shots near the rim at inopportune times. Will he learn to kick out against the elite defenses? That remains to be seen. The explosion was there that allowed them to create a run, but that couldn't be replicated in the second half.
- I expected more from Joakim Noah offensively.
Tags: Carmelo Anthony , Kristaps Porzingis , Keith Schlosser
So here we are, Game 1 of the season against the NBA Champion Cleveland Cavaliers in Cleveland on the night of Game 1 of the World Series.
Nothing like trial-by-fire, huh?
As insurmountable of a task as this seems, there is a way to win and throughout the season we'll plan on giving you TKB's "3 Keys to Victory."
- Defend the perimeter: Obviously, easier said that done. The Cavs were 2nd in the NBA in field goals made last year (880), third in attempts (2428) and 7th in percentage. With J.R. Smith back in the lineup the Cavs bring back their top 10 3-point makers and have also added Mike Dunleavy to the mix to add depth. The Knicks should expect to see at least 30 three point attempts and need to be prepared to defend against most all of them if they hope to be in this game.
- Get out in transition: The Knicks have shown the propensity early to push pace, finishing 8th in the NBA in pace this preseason (26th last year), which has allowed them to be 5th in offensive rating (104.6) as well. The mantra of Jeff Hornacek has been to push pace to get easy baskets and the Cavs can be run on. If the Knicks can get out early and maintain a good pace and make early shots, it will allow them to selectivly implement half court sets and take advantage of the Cavs in the half court as well as they get into Cleveland's second unit.
- Rebound: The biggest advantage the Knicks have this game is on the glass on both ends. The Cavs were not a great defensive rebounding team last year finishing 11th (33.9 pg), and thus far this year in the preseason they were 23rd per NBA stats. The Knicks were 4th in the preseason at 13 offensive rebounds per game and you can expect a similar effort with Joakim Noah and Kristaps Porzingis attacking the glass for 30 minutes each tonight. Extra shots lead to extra possessions as much as pace does, and when you increase both you should see a big spike in scoring opportunities, especially from the three point arc where the Knicks were just 23rd in the league last year at 21.5 per game. Through the first 6 preseason games, the Knicks were 10th in both three point attempts (27.0) and three point percentage (36.4).
Tags: Joakim Noah , Kristaps Porzingis
While unicorns may not exist, that's exactly why Kristaps Porzingis has been regarded as one so early on in his career. The NBA hasn't seen a player quite like him. At 7'3", Porzingis is a versatile talent with multiple tools. He can shoot from just about anywhere on the floor, man the middle with a lengthy frame on defense, and can even put the ball on the floor a little bit.
Summary: he has all the makings of a star.
What makes Porzingis an all the more unique specimen is the fact that he's coming into his own, all while embracing the bright lights of the Big Apple. He plays with energy, engages the Knicks' fan base, and is continuously eager to learn more. Off the court, he carries himself with poise and is maturing rather quickly.
All in all, the Knicks are lucky to have him. Porzingis is on the cusp of greatness.
As New York opens up their 70th season, ending a three year playoff drought is a primary goal. In order to help prove he can build a contender as an executive, Phil Jackson took it upon himself to make bold moves in the offseason. The hope is that the team's new acquisitions will help prove Jackson capable. Derrick Rose is out to prove he can still play at a high enough level. Joakim Noah, much like Rose, wants to show that he can remain healthy while also proving that his career is not already on the decline. Brandon Jennings will be looking to thrive as a sixth man while playing for his next contract. Courtney Lee will need to be more than an average glue guy in order to properly earn the one he just signed. The list goes on.
Of course, Carmelo Anthony still stands atop of the food chain. At this point in his career, no one will deny his star prowess. Can he lead? Can he win big on an even grander stage? That's still up for debate when it comes to the NBA hardwood. Nevertheless, Jackson has finally put the pieces in place to grant the Knicks' resident star the opportunity to give many in the basketball world what they still crave from him.
But alas, the key here is still Porzingis for many reasons. Even at the young age of 21, he has the potential to average upwards to 20 points and 10 rebounds per game. If the Knicks are contending come February, Porzingis will be an all-star. Increased chemistry and pick & roll action with Derrick Rose and Brandon Jennings, coupled with Jeff Hornacek's widely spread and fast paced offense, will undoubtedly aid that progression. On defense, Noah should act more like a mentor and try not to overshadow his new front court mate.
The Knicks are interestingly between a rock and a hard place. This summer's acquisitiona signify that the team is going for the gusto and aiming to compete once and for all under Jackson's guidance. They will need to be careful not to allow Porzingis' ascension to get lost in the shuffle.
There are plenty of dominating offensive players around him, but hopefully each one can alter their game a bit in an effort to make him better. Anthony's own unselfishness, punctuated by a career-high 4.2 assists last season, was a good starting point. He understands that Porzingis (no longer he himself) will be headlining the Knicks' potential future success. Despite not having many draft selections in recent years, New York has gathered up a handful of youngsters worth taking gambles on. As they look to compete in this shorter window with the current core, the others can develop and prepare. When the time comes, Porzingis will lead that charge on his own.
As subtle as the signs may be despite having more notable names in town, the Knicks' efforts need to be centered around Porzingis. He, more than any other player on this roster, holds the keys to the future. If the Knicks go about it the right way, they can open the door to that path sooner than later.
Before he became "Skizzy Mars," Myles Mills was a basketball prodigy and frequent contributor to TKB. Now that his grind has slowed down after getting a record deal with Atlantic, he again has time to weigh in on his beloved Knicks. I'm proud of his success and happy to see him back here with the following thoughts about the 2016-2017 season...
This time last year was vastly different. The Knicks finished with a 32-50 record, and did little to change the opinions of pessimists and Carmelo Anthony haters. This year is a lot different. The East is no longer the push over conference.
The Knicks success will depend on two factors: their ability to stay healthy and minimize injuries, and their bench production. The training staff has an important year ahead of them. Joakim Noah has missed 68 games his last two seasons, Lee has amassed 69 GP his last two seasons, and we have all heard more than enough about Derrick Rose's unfortunate injury history.
I don't foresee chemistry being as much of an issue as others. Derrick Rose can still get in the paint, he just has trouble finishing, and with Kristaps Porzingis and Noah at the 4 and 5, he has bigs to dish it out too. Lee shot 39% from 3 last year, and I foresee Anthony shooting a career high from 3. The bench is the big question mark.
Anthony (7) and Porzingis (6) against the Boston Celtics during the first half of an NBA basketball game at Madison Square Garden. (Adam Hunger | USA Today Sports)
Can the Knicks count on Kyle O'Quinn to play important minutes? Can Brandon Jennings be a consistent spark plug off the bench? Can the Knicks European rookies, Willy Hernangomez and Mindaugas Kuzminskas, continue their impressive preseason play? Can Lance Thomas have a second consecutive productive year?
If the preseason is worth anything, the Knicks were 5th in offensive rating and 10th in rebound rating. Although their defense was subpar, they distributed the ball extremely well and they attacked the boards. In a tough Eastern conference, they have the ability to make some noise. Anything below 45 wins has to be a disappointment...
ESPN NBA analysts Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson like the roster makeover the Knicks underwent this offseason and envision them as a playoff contender (Best, Oct. 25).
Van Gundy, who coached the Knicks in some capacity from 1989-2001, said avoiding injuries will be the biggest obstacle for this team.
"I think injury has a lot to do with it," Van Gundy said Monday during a conference. "They put big money into players who have had significant injuries in [Joakim] Noah and [Derrick] Rose. So I think how they bounce back and play and how many games they play is going to be significant.
"But I do think they're a playoff team if they can remain healthy. I love the addition of Courtney Lee. I think he's a good glue player. So I think their starting lineup is very formidable. Their depth is a work in progress and I think that will be a big factor in how they move forward."
Jackson shared Van Gundy's optimism that the playoffs are well within reach for the Knicks this season.
"I believe like Jeff that they are a playoff team. They should be. They have upgraded their talent,' Jackson said. "I think Jeff Hornacek is an outstanding coach who will do a very good job with those guys.
"You add Noah, you add Rose, you add Courtney Lee, Brandon Jennings, healthier after last year coming back from injury, I think overall on paper they should be a playoff team, and there's a reason to be excited in the New York area."
The Knicks begin the 2016-17 season tonight in Cleveland against the defending champion Cavaliers.
Van Gundy has always been a relatively tough critic. If he has faith in the Knicks, that brings instant credibility to what they're trying to do.
He and Jackson both allude to the biggest "if" of all: the team's health. Not enough has been said about how talented this team looks on paper. All jokes aside about New York targeting stars questionably past their primes, this is a very strong and versatile group. Phil Jackson and Co. successfully shored up many of the holes that slowed the team down over the last two seasons.
Now it's go time, but this new group's overall health and past injury history is going to be a major hurdle to overcome. Joakim Noah has already had to fight off multiple injury bugs. Now that he and Derrick Rose are both finally primed to return to the court. it'll take time to build up that necessary chemistry as a team.
Because of this, playing up to their full potential may be too much to ask of the Knicks this early on. It's a good thing that they'll be firing from all cylinders on opening night, however. That ensures that there won't be a hole to climb out of like in past years.
Health is a concern, as is team chemistry. Building up a rapport with a new coach in Jeff Hornacek (and understanding his modernized version of the triangle offense) will also take time. But luckily the talent is there, which should be a basis for an easier pathway to success. The Knicks have a foundation and the potential for something special. Van Gundy and Jackson seem to agree upon that.
Completely agree with Van Gundy on Lee and his value as a glue guy. Unfortunately, that glue can't be used to guard against potential injuries. That said, Noah brings an element that the team had last year with Robin Lopez, but it elevates them with intangibles and overall effort on both ends. I believe the Knicks should be a 45-win playoff team, which is what Jackson and JVG are essentially saying here.
Tags: Keith Schlosser
Tags: Carmelo Anthony
New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis is embracing raised expectations heading into his second professional season after he was named to the NBA All-Rookie first team last year.
"The expectations are raised much more than they were last year," Porzingis, the fourth overall pick in 2015, told Newsday's Al Iannazzone. "There were no expectations last year so it was easy for me. But this year there's more pressure because we have a better team and everybody wants to see us win, so the expectations have grown for me as well."
The 7-foot-3, 240-pound Latvian forward has said the team's goal for the 2016-17 season is to make the playoffs, and the Knicks had an eventful offseason that saw them acquire Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Courtney Lee and Brandon Jennings, among others.
"I like playing under pressure," Porzingis said to Iannazzone. "I like being in New York. I like the attention. I think this season will be a better season for me."
Porzingis reflected on how he has grown from Year 1 to Year 2 earlier this offseason, saying he now knows what to expect from an 82-game season and how he has conditioned his body. After a rookie season in which he averaged 14.3 points and 7.3 rebounds in 72 games, he told Iannazzone his focus is on growing and winning.
"I believe that whenever you're winning and whenever you're doing the right thing your stats will be fine, and everything else will come into place," Porzingis said. "The only thing I focus on is just winning. Once you win, everybody remembers a winner."
Tags: Kristaps Porzingis
The New York Knicks have exprienced how a player sustaining a hamstring injury (Jose Calderon, Arron Afflalo) can affect a starting lineup over the past two years. The injuries can linger for quite a while, and even if the player recovers quickly, the missed time can hurt both he and the team from finding a rhythm.
And that seems to already be happening with Joakim Noah.
"Right now, I feel a step slow defensively," he said following Sunday's practice, according to Newsday's Al Iannazzone.
"I feel like I haven't played in a long time. I just have to get my steps, get my first step back, and it will come. It will come."
In fairness, Noah didn't show his rust all too much despite missing the Knicks' first three preseason games. His enthusiasm and overall defensive awareness was infectious across the team in his return. He's a leader and it shows.
True leaders shine the brightest when just his presence alone still elevates the play of his teammates, even when he himself is not at the top of his game. The Knicks haven't had that kind of player, especially on the defensive end, in a while. As Noah looks to acclimate himself into the team's plans, he'll need to develop the same type of chemistry Brandon Jennings has with his teammates on the other end of the floor.
New York had some underwhelming defensive performers this past month, but still managed a 4-2 record. Even without Derrick Rose, their offense was impressive. There are sure to be off nights during the regular season, however, and that's when they'll depend on Noah to anchor the defense. Things still have to be tighter and the team needs to learn to lean on each other and work together. That'll come with time.
Averaging 6.3 points and six rebounds in 18 minutes in the preseason, Noah looked decent, but it'll come down to how he handles more legitimate minutes. After playing 21.9 minutes per game in just 29 games last season, there's clearly been a long layoff for him.
He'll need to prove he's once again capable of handling that type of burden. The Knicks invested in him believing he was. He's key to their competitive hopes, and Noah has already returned quicker than Calderon or Afflalo did. It's possible that means he'll be getting back to normal a lot sooner and the Knicks won't miss a beat moving forward.
Tags: Jose Calderon , Keith Schlosser
If it seemed as though the Knicks got themselves a bargain on Brandon Jennings (one-year, $5 million contract), it's because there wasn't much of a bidding war to be had.
In a Q&A with Newsday, the guard said New York was the only team that offered him a contract this past offseason. "Actually I didn't get any offers from any other team but New York. A lot was because of my Achilles, nobody knew how healthy I was and things like that," Jennings confessed.
His past injury is a difficult one to climb one's way back from. It's safe to say that even in a backup role with the Pistons and Magic last season, he never looked quite like himself. That surely worked out in the Knicks' favor, however. After acquiring Derrick Rose and subsequently spending big on Joakim Noah and Courtney Lee, perhaps it was fate that Jennings fell into their lap. Despite every other team in the NBA passing him up, it made sense for the Knicks to take a flyer on him.
New York truly is the perfect spot for him. It wouldn't have been surprising for Jennings to have actually picked the Knicks over other landing spots in the NBA. With Rose returning (also having tremendous pressure on himself to prove he can still play at a high level and do so consistently), there will presumably be fewer critical eyes on Jennings. In a reserve role, he should simply be able to focus on providing a scoring boost off the bench.
As a personality, Jennings has already helped bring some of that necessary electricity back into The Garden. He seems like a player tailor-made for commentator's Walt "Clyde" Frazier's signature phrases, such as "dancing and prancing" and "winning and grinning." He just brings that exuberance to the court.
As fate would have it, there's more than meets the eye to Jennings. That's been easy to tell since day one. Despite being well known for his own streaky offense, the guard has proven to be a great teammate early on. He plays unselfishly and has looked to create for those around him. Jennings' chemistry with many players has been very evident.
With so much prove and just as much to gain thereafter, Jennings is primed to have an excellent season in New York. The Knicks can put him in great position to show off his versatility.
"It was 29 teams that didn't want me so I definitely have a chip on my shoulder, and I definitely want to prove to everybody that I'm back and I'm healthy and I'm just a team player," he added.
Such hunger and motivation could certainly end up benefitting the Knicks.
Tags: Brandon Jennings , Keith Schlosser
After missing nine practices and five of the team's preseason games, Derrick Rose is back with the Knicks and gearing up for the start of the season.
Despite Rose missing all that time, head coach Jeff Hornacek told reporters Saturday that the guard "did his homework," and he looked good at practice.
Rose, who spent time in Los Angeles for a civil sexual assault trial, said he is just excited to get back on the court with his new teammates.
"I feel like heaven to be out there," Rose said, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post. "I got through my little situation, but I'm happy to be focusing on nothing but basketball.
"I've been preparing for this for a long time. Ever since I didn't make the playoffs last year, I'm still chasing something right now. I just want to hoop and let my game speak for itself."
Rose will get the chance Tuesday to play in the season opener against the NBA champion Cavaliers.
Tags: Derrick Rose
After getting waived on Friday, Chasson Randle will leave the Knicks with a $100,000 parting gift. Despite being a wealthier man, this couldn't have been the exact outcome he was hoping for.
Dating back to his Summer League stint, Randle has been nothing but consistent in an attempt to impress Knickerbocker brass. Intellectually, the Stanford product is a very smart basketball player. He makes mature decisions, but on the court, is still dynamic and spontaneous enough to keeping an opposing defense on its toes. His ability to penetrate and help spread the floor makes him exactly the type of backup guard the Knicks need. After averaging 18.3 points in Summer League and 7.7 off the bench in preseason, Randle deserved a spot on this roster.
Randle outplayed Ron Baker in Orlando and for quite a while this month, looked as though he had an edge on a roster spot. If there was a choice to be made between the two, the decision appeared obvious. But Baker's own maturation and unselfishness endeared him to both his teammates and the coaching staff. He's a fast learner who played very valuable minutes as floor general this preseason.
If there's anything the Knicks learned in Derrick Rose's absence this month, it's that having a reliable third point guard will be essential to the team's success. They're also going to value versatile players who can multiple positions. Such a need was very much present and in the forefront. Unfortunately, Randle was not following a recent orbital injury. That gives Baker a chance to fill this pressing void.
But alas, this decision was not about Randle or Baker. Both could have been retained. Instead, Maurice Ndour was given the final nod. With Randle sidelined and Ndour's salary guaranteed, it makes sense that New York wants to get the most they can out of an active player. After all, they'd be paying Ndour either way.
That doesn't mean Randle won't be back. The Knicks can offer him support during his rehab and a place to begin getting more substantial minutes and attention in the D-League. Sooner than later, however, he's going to play himself out of the minor league. It'll be up to the New York to sign him (and subsequently make a corresponding roster move). They will need to make room for him before another NBA team does. Given how well he's played, that won't be long.
Randle is good enough to play in the NBA and could fill an important need for the Knicks. The team should embrace this opportunity to develop an intriguing young talent. Keep him very much on the radar.
Tags: Derrick Rose , Keith Schlosser
Here's what you like most about what you saw from the Knicks (4-2) in the preseason, which resulted in them winning four of their last five games. First and foremost they are healthy. Secondly, they clearly played with more pace, which lead to more offensive possessions, leading to more points scored, which is the number one aim of the Modern Triangle. Integrating Derrick Rose is now the team's single, biggest challenge.
Defensively, the Knicks have a ways to go, but overall the team seems to have gelled, specifically on the second unit where Brandon Jennings has taken a leadership role as the backup quarterback and, most recently, that has sparked solid play from Kyle O'Quinn, who the Knicks need to fill a huge role for them this season behind Joakim Noah.
Speaking of Noah, the Knicks prize free agent has showed no lingering effect of the tweaked hamstring that kept him out of the team's first four preseason games. He was at his two-way best in Brooklyn last night finishing with 12 points (6-9), 6 rebounds and 3 assists in his 20 minutes. I especially liked his chemistry with Carmelo Anthony in the side, 2-man of Modern Triangle. Noah does a terrific job using his body to set screens on handoffs and Melo, of course, just needs a split second to let his jump shot fly. I'd expect to see more and more of that as the season continues, and I'd love to see them pair Porzingis and Noah in side, two-man as well.
What we're talking about here is chemistry built over the last few weeks and the uncertainty surrounding Rose's presence. Will he add or take away? Conventional wisdom says that Rose will adapt quickly with Noah and allow for Anthony and Noah to work together. He'll also be able to call his own number with Anthony as well as get Kristaps Porzingis involved in pick-and- roll and pick-and-pop.
"I love it," Anthony told the NY Post. "Playing with ball in my hands. Something I always like. Last couple of years, the offense, we didn't run the pick-and-roll. That wasn't the type of offense we were trying to play. This is more the style of play where it calls for me to have the ball in my hands, playing pick-and-roll, figure out the defense, use mismatches. I'm all for it."
It will be interesting to me to see how Coach Jeff Hornacek plays the Rose integration. While Jennings hasn't shot well, he has been a catalyst and we've seen the Knicks bust out and get on solid offensive runs like they did last night in Brooklyn.
How long will Hornacek stick with Rose if things don't initially work out will be very interesting to watch over the first few weeks as the Knicks attempt to continue to build on the momentum from the last 5 preseason games.
Tags: Carmelo Anthony , Kristaps Porzingis
Anthony Donahue and Moke Hamilton get ready for the Knicks season opener vs the Cavs as the guys discuss how the team stacks up heading into the season. Later, Anthony and Moke continue their debate from last week where they take on Slam's top 50 players.
The Knicks have waived G Chasson Randle, F/C Lou Amundson, G Cleanthony Early, and F Damien Inglis, the team announced Friday.
The roster now stands at 15 players.
Randle, 23, recently suffered a fractured orbital bone that will keep him out of action for three weeks.
Amundson, 33, averaged 1.8 points and 1.7 rebounds per game last season for the Knicks.
Early, 23, had been re-signed by the Knicks earlier this week. He spent the majority of last season with the Westchester Knicks of the D-League.
Inglis, 21, had signed with the Knicks on Oct. 11.
Even without Amundson, the Knicks still have a plethora of backup big men on this roster. Many of these players stepped up in big ways during camp and preseason, proving they can handle steady minutes. This would seemingly make Ndour expendable. The Knicks probably got the impression he would have headed overseas if waived and didn't want to lose this youngster for nothing.
Randle played very well behind Brandon Jennings and for a while, looked as though he was poised to occupy the spot Ron Baker now takes up. He has an ideal skill set for what the Knicks want from the point guard position. His recent injury likely led to his early release, however. Hopefully he'll head to Westchester for rehab and subsequently find his way back up, much like Langston Galloway did.
The big surprise for me is Ndour over Randle, but it's clear they feel Ron Baker, who has played well, has done enough to fortify the backcourt situation. What Randle does from here remains to be seen with Westchester as a solid option. Randle is very much a system guard at this stage in his career and it would be wise for him to stick near the Knicks, who have two PGs in Rose and Jennings on 1-year deals.
After concluding the preseason with a 4-2 record, the Knicks will look to carry similar momentum with them as the regular campaign begins. They'll have to do so with fewer men, however, as roster cuts are now looming in the days that follow.
Over the course of the offseason, the Knicks slowly but surely filled out their team. Early on, it appeared as though players like Marshall Plumlee and Maurice Ndour were prematurely given fully guaranteed deals. Further questions arose when Lou Amundson was signed to a guaranteed pact last month. This gave New York fifteen guaranteed deals, leaving little room for young guns on training camp deals to legitimately challenge for spots.
At least, that's what many could have concluded. Instead, both Chasson Randle and Ron Baker impressed and proved to be quite valuable with the Knicks already spread thinly at point guard. After an interesting preseason, there's sure to be a shake up on this roster.
Who will the Knicks ultimately let go of? While still technically on the roster, Cleanthony Early and Damien Ingles will each almost certainly head to the Westchester Knicks. Interestingly enough, these late signings could also spell the end of Amundson's tenure in orange and blue.
Following camp, an NBA team is allowed to retain the rights of four cut players for their D-League affiliate. Early and Ingles obviously take up two spots. There's not enough room to subsequently cut three more of Baker, Randle, Ndour, and/or JP Tokoto. In the interest of continuing to develop each prospect in some form, New York can hold the two guards for their NBA roster, and hope that Ndour and Tokoto play in Westchester.
It would certainly be a letdown for Ndour to not make the cut, but one would hope that he'd be smart about pocketing his guaranteed money and choose to further his relationship with the Knicks by opting to continue developing in the D-League. Willy Hernangomez proved he could handle steady minutes off the bench, and Kyle O'Quinn has started to come around as well. With Plumlee outplaying Ndour, there's little room for another big like him.
The team would need to acquire Tokoto's minor league rights, but that's not too difficult to do. There are both moral and financial reasons for keeping Amundson, but not as many basketball ones. While hoping to build up more prospects, the veteran could be the last odd man out.
Cutting Ndour, Tokoto, and Amundson (along with Early and Ingles) would be the smarter thing to do from a basketball standpoint. But the Knicks' unwavering appreciation of Amundson may still prevail.
On MSG Network's Knicks/Nets broadcast Thursday night, sideline reporter Rebecca Haarlow shared part of a conversation she had with General Manager Steve Mills.
"[Mills] told me there's a strong possibility that one of the three players fighting for a roster spot will make the team," she said. The three aforementioned players appear to be Randle, Baker, and Tokoto. Specifying "one" player would suggest the Knicks are planning to let go of one of Baker/Randle.
Amundson was brought in very late to the party, so it would make sense that the Knicks have some sort of plan for him. It'd be strange to pay that much money just for another month-long camp body.
Hopefully no forthcoming roster decisions get in the way of the Knicks' ability to develop young talent. That's what filling the end of the bench (and building up the minor league ranks) should be about.
Tags: Cleanthony Early , Lou Amundson , Keith Schlosser
The turnover-prone Nets committed the last of their 24 giveaways in the final minute, allowing the Knicks to escape with a 116-111 exhibition victory at the Barclays Center Thursday. >>Box score
- The Knicks' Courtney Lee had his best and most efficient game of the preseason with 15 points on 7-8 from the field along with five assists.
- Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks (4-2) with 21 points in 29 minutes.
- Brandon Jennings (eight points, six assists) and Joakim Noah (12 points) both had six rebounds for the Knicks, who also had 24 turnovers but outrebounded the Nets, 46-36.
- The Nets' Jeremy Lin had 24 points and 10 assists in 30 minutes, but also had a team-high eight turnovers. ..
This game served as a preseason coming out party of sorts for Kyle O'Quinn, who scored the Knicks' last nine points in the third quarter. He tallied 13 total points to go along with a team-high 7 boards. This was the most comfortable he's looked; loose, confident, and not afraid to throw his body around a bit more. O'Quinn understood his role and played it well.
- Coming off the bench for a change, New York had an opportunity to experience the type of boost Brandon Jennings can provide. His shooting still wasn't consistent, but he raised the Knicks' energy with his dancing and prancing following the shots he did make. The guard led the team in assists (6), steals (4), and was second in boards (6). Against the Nets, Jennings' chemistry with O'Quinn was on display.
- The Knicks' point guard experiment continued with Sasha Vujacic getting the start. Playing 12 minutes off the bench, Ron Baker primarily handled the floor general duties in his court time as well. Committing no turnovers, it's extremely encouraging to see Baker steady his teammates and help maintain a calm demeanor on the court. He makes very mature decisions. With roster decisions looming, he deserves to be on this team.
- With this game being a more spirited one, Jeff Hornacek showed his teeth as a coach. Proving to be more reactionary, Hornacek didn't hesitate to call timeouts and right the ship following varied defensive breakdowns. He aggressively called his team out.
For the second straight night O'Quinn was impressive, especially during the 13-0 stretch at the end of the third quarter that gave the Knicks the lead for good.
- So much to love about Noah's passing ability. While it was sloppy at times, Hornacek is clearly comfortable with Noah making decisions with the ball. He's quickly built chemistry with Anthony despite missing much of training camp with the hamstring. How he builds the chemistry going forward with Kristaps Porzingis (five points, five rebounds in 21 minutes) will be an interesting situation to monitor.
- The Knicks offense has been getting off to slow starts but they've shown no signs of panic. The reserves came in and closed out the game in the fourth quarter led by Mindaugas Kuzminskas' 10 points in 19 minutes.
- Holiday was given heavy rotation minutes and responded well with 14 points in 19 minutes.
Tags: Carmelo Anthony
In a preseason full of questions surrounding the Knicks' bench, Mindaugas Kuzminskas has provided some refreshing stability.
When the Knicks signed Kuzminskas to a two year, $6 million contract this past summer, one had to wonder if it would truly be worth it. Many international players take time to adjust to the NBA game. Would he be able to do it in two years time? All the while, would he be able to make an impact as a member of the team's second unit, or would he simply just ride the pine as New York oversaw his development at a slower pace?
Upon signing, Kuzminskas drew early comparisons to, and was regarded as a potential replacement for Derrick Williams. As the regular season steadily approaches, it's finally easy to see why.
Kuzminskas can produce instant offense. Averaging 10 points in just 13 minutes per contest, it's clear he can fill it up. While not quite as explosive as Williams, he still has excellent slashing ability and can cut through the lane with quickness. At 6'9" and 215 pounds, the international veteran's skinnier frame isn't all that imposing against other fellow NBA forwards. Still, he manages to absorb contact pretty well and finishes around the rim. Kuzminskas' long rage prowess still leaves a bit to be desired, but his overall versatility makes him a convenient complement to Lance Thomas off the bench.
Whereas Thomas is more of a endless force of hustle and gritty defense, his own ability to shoot the corner three helps the Knicks spread the floor. Kuzminskas could learn from his teammate's work ethic as he looks to hone a similar skill set in his arsenal. In the meantime, he can do what he already does well: attack, run the floor, and help keep his teammates' energy up in transition. With sufficient playing time and confidence from his coaching staff, Kuzminskas has the potential to become one of the more efficient players in his rookie class.
There's nothing quite like a first impression, and Kuzminskas is hitting his out of the park. At 26 years old, he has already been playing professional ball for five seasons. Perhaps that, coupled with an eagerness to learn and plenty of friends around him already on this team, will go a long way towards easing the transition many fellow rookies seem to struggle with.
Fortunately for the Knicks, Kuzminskas isn't your everyday rookie. This is a team that hopes to compete and create a special culture. He has the opportunity to fill a very important role right off the bat.
Tags: Mindaugas Kuzminskas , Keith Schlosser
Kristaps Porzingis scored a team-high 20 points as the Knicks beat the Celtics Wednesday night...
In his first appearance as a sophomore NBA big man without Carmelo Anthony by his side, Kristaps Porzingis looked the part of a star. He was aggressive around the basket and ran the floor even better. Porzingis exhibited a great handle on the ball, posted up well, and really embraced the confidence necessary to keep the defense on its toes. Scoring an efficient 20 points in 23 minutes, his ability to attack led him to the charity stripe often. Playing good transition defense, he ended up with three blocks as well.
Tags: Kristaps Porzingis , Keith Schlosser
Kristaps Porzingis scored 20 points as the Knicks beat the Celtics, 122-96, Wednesday night in Boston.
- Joakim Noah had two points and seven rebounds in roughly 13 minutes played.
- Lance Thomas had seven points and four rebounds while Courtney Lee had 11 points and two rebounds.
- Sasha Vujacic added 12 points and four assists off the bench.
- Kyle O'Quinn had 13 points and eight rebounds off the bench.
- The Knicks shot 48 perent from the field, including 24 percent from three-point range.
- In his first appearance as a sophomore NBA big man without Carmelo Anthony by his side, Kristaps Porzingis looked the part of a star. He was aggressive around the basket and ran the floor even better. Porzingis exhibited a great handle on the ball, posted up well, and really embraced the confidence necessary to keep the defense on its toes. Scoring an efficient 20 points in 23 minutes, his ability to attack led him to the charity stripe often. Playing good transition defense, he ended up with three blocks as well.
- It was another tough go of it shooting wise for Brandon Jennings (0 of 6), but his chemistry with Porzingis was on display in full force yet again. Much to the Knicks' delight, Jennings has been very unselfish. He's known for his scoring, so his shooting touch will return at some point. It's refreshing to see how he steadies this squad as a floor general.
- The Knicks were firing from all cylinders, pushing the tempo and getting one another involved. Six players scored in double-figures and six dished out three assists or more. With the preseason winding down, Jeff Hornacek clearly used this game to balance minutes and give every player a more thorough look. This was a valuable opportunity for all, and many capitalized.
- On a night where many reserves went on to shine, Maurice Ndour's vulnerabilities were instead easy to spot. The forward had a difficult time finishing around the rim and didn't take care of the ball (Three turnovers in 11 minutes). Competition for roster spots is steep and Ndour looks to be on the outside looking in. Given his guaranteed contract, it'd be nice to see him pocket that money and head to the D-League for more development, rather than flocking overseas so soon.
You have to love Porzingis stepping forward as the marquee guy with Melo sitting. He was active and the ball gravitated towards him. To me, the other players that stood out were the solid play of Courtney Lee and Lance Thomas. Both brought the glue that we haven't seen over the first four preseason games. To have an offensive explosion like that on the heels of a loss to Boston shows you the team can adjust and that should make fans hopeful that the coaching staff is able to communicate changes and the players can learn them and apply them accordingly.
Tags: Kristaps Porzingis , Kyle O'Quinn , Lance Thomas , Sasha Vujacic
Knicks F Carmelo Anthony will not play Wednesday night against the Celtics in order for him to rest, head coach Jeff Hornacek told reporters.
Anthony had played in all four of the Knicks' preseason games.
His high in minutes came against Washington on Oct. 10 when he played 25 minutes.
Tags: Carmelo Anthony
Jurors have cleared NBA star Derrick Rose and two friends in a lawsuit that accused them of gang raping his ex-girlfriend when she was incapacitated from drugs or alcohol.
The jury reached the verdict Wednesday in Los Angeles federal court after hearing dramatically different accounts of the August 2013 sexual encounter.
Neither side denied the three men had sex with the woman, but the issue was whether she consented or was too intoxicated to do so.
Defense lawyers tarred the woman as a liar who tried to sway jurors through her tears to get at Rose's fortune. They claimed she was angry he had dumped her and she set him up and brought the lawsuit in hopes of a big payoff.
The woman's lawyer called the men "sexual deviants" and says they conspired to gang rape her after she was drunk and incapable of consenting to sex. >> Read more
© 2016 by STATS
Tags: Derrick Rose
The Knicks have exercised the 2017-18 team option on Kristaps Porzingis' rookie contract, reports Ian Begley of ESPN New York.
The move will guarantee Porzingis a $4.5 million salary for the 2017-18 campaign.
According to Begley, the Knicks can exercise a 2018-19 team option, and after that season, the team can extend Porzingis' rookie contract up to four years.
Porzingis finished his rookie season with 14.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game.
Tags: Kristaps Porzingis
Knicks guard Derrick Rose will not play in the team's final two preseason games, head coach Jeff Hornacek told reporters Wednesday.
Hornacek said he believes Rose will be with the team Friday to go over how the offense has run things while he has been away from the team.
Rose has been in Los Angeles since Oct. 5 for a civil sexual assault trial.
"If we go through some things in the morning with him the day of [the Nets] game - it's a back-to-back situation, so I don't think we'd get a chance to - but if somehow we could get a couple of guys to work with him, maybe," Hornacek said Monday, according to Newsday's Al Iannazzone. "But we won't push that."
Rose has played in just one of the Knicks' preseason games.
There's no doubt the Knicks could benefit from Rose's presence on the court, but there's also no reason to rush things at this point.
More importantly, as far as the team is concerned, is Rose focusing on building a positive rapport with his teammates. That may take some extra time, but as he resumes doing that in practice (rather than preseason games), this group will come together when it really matters -- opening night.
There's still time for that. Rose's absence gave the Knicks an opportunity to see just how thin they are at the point guard position without him. This strengthens the likelihood that Chasson Randle and/or Ron Baker remain on the roster.
Tags: Derrick Rose
Months before Derrick Rose took the stand to defend himself in a lawsuit claiming he and two friends raped an ex-girlfriend while she was intoxicated, the NBA star was asked if he understood the word "consent."
"No. But can you tell me?" he asked at a deposition in June.
Rose came to court last week with a much better grasp of the word that is central to the $21 million civil case, though his interpretation of the concept could prove costly.
No one disputes the New York Knicks player and his friends had sex with the woman in her apartment Aug. 27, 2013. The question is whether she gave her consent - as the men claim - or whether she was too incapacitated to do so - as she insists.
There is no commonly accepted definition for consent, which is at the heart of a "patchwork quilt" of evolving laws on rape and sexual assault that in some cases require an affirmative agreement before sex, attorney Rebecca O'Connor said.
"It is murky, and I think that's where we're seeing a lot states try to clear the weeds, if you will, and take this on and make it clear," said O'Connor, a vice president at the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network. "It's so complicated we can never just say it's black and white." << Read more...
© 2016 by STATS LLC and Associated Press
Tags: Derrick Rose
Through an early 2-2 start to the preseason, there has been plenty to be excited about for the Knicks. Carmelo Anthony looks to be in decent enough shape, Kristaps Porzingis appears to be steadily maturing from his rookie year, Brandon Jennings is building chemistry with his teammates, and there are spirited position battles as guys fight for spots and minutes in the rotation.
The most glaring questions around this team have stemmed from the recent absences of Derrick Rose and (up until recently) Joakim Noah. With all of this in mind, Courtney Lee has managed to fly under the radar, but not in a good way.
Also one of the Knicks' big time acquisitions this past summer, Lee has failed to make a positive impact this preseason. On offense, he's nowhere to be found and hasn't moved well without the ball. Lee is known for taking on the challenge of often guarding an opponent's best player, but New York will still expect him to spread the floor and serve as a long range threat.
By not keeping active around the perimeter, he's failed to get himself open. There's been a certain confidence level lacking, as Lee hasn't taken care of the ball when teammates do look his way. Needless to say, he hasn't passed the eye test.
Unfortunately, the proof is in the pudding. Lee's NetRating stands at a -14.2. To be at a negative number, following a four game sample, is not encouraging. In addition to being amongst the lowest in the league, such a statistic slots Lee well below other fellow shooting guards, such as Arron Afflalo, Eric Gordon, Avery Bradley, and Iman Shumpert.
What's more, Lee's PER (6.93) is at an abysmal low. An NBA veteran of eight seasons, his efficiency has never been so low, in any other regular season, preseason, or playoff sample size. It's clear to see that Lee hasn't really had his fingertips anywhere on where the Knicks have done positive things this month. The guard also boasts the lowest PIE (3.4) on the squad.
It'd be simple to point to a player's low averages or underwhelming field goal percentages and conclude they are not producing. For Lee, however, his role on the Knicks is about much more than putting up numbers. Instead, he was specifically brought in because he has the ability to seamlessly find his way alongside any number of different lineups. He doesn't need the ball. Over the course of his career, Lee has found other ways to ensure his presence is felt.
Based on the aforementioned advanced statistics, however, Lee still isn't pulling his weight thus far. He's not making the intangible impact the Knicks are hoping for. Is he moving well without the ball? Is he making the necessary extra pass, setting screens, keeping up with his man on defense, filling spaces correctly, not committing turnovers, etc.? Unfortunately the answer to those very questions, more often than not, has been a resounding no.
Lee is already well respected in the Knicks' locker room and has received the outspoken support of the likes of Jeff Hornacek and Carmelo dating back to media day. It's up to his teammates and the coaching staff to see to it that gets more involved, and does so in a positive way. Embrace him on the court, and encourage him off of it, so that New York is not forced to play a game of four on five when he checks in.
Tags: Keith Schlosser
The Knicks have officially re-signed their 2014 second round pick Cleanthony Early, the team announced on Tuesday.
The deal is non-guaranteed, per Ian Begley of ESPN.
Early is expected to begin the season with New York's D-League affiliate in Westchester as he rehabs his injured hamstring.
In 56 games with the Knicks over the last two seasons, Early averaged 4.3 points and 2.2 rebounds in 14.3 minutes per game.
This new pact makes plenty of sense for both parties. While Early assumedly explored/waited for overseas and/or other NBA deals to come, SNY.tv suggested this route as early as last month.
Given the limited opportunities he received over the last two seasons, coupled with his recent injuries and other obstacles, it's clear Early needs more time to develop. Playing in the D-League grants him that chance, all while still playing in the system he's become most familiar with as an NBA professional. Just for curiosity's sake, it also gives Phil Jackson and the Knicks the opportunity to see the progression of the executive's first draft pick through a bit more.
Early's had a tough go of it, but he's been a very good sport. When given ample playing time in NBA Summer League and on D-League assignments, he certainly showed potential. Starting the year off in the minor leagues will provide him with more playing time and catered attention from a coaching staff that will regard him as one of the team's primary players. That's exactly what Early needs to prove to New York (and other teams, for that matter) to show that he still has an NBA future.
The youngster has been most impressive when utilized as a point forward of sorts. He can certainly bring the ball up, push the tempo, and use his size to create mismatches. He's still a very raw shooter, but he has the potential to run in transition and attack the basket. Playing against minor league competition should give him a chance to boast more confidence in these situations.
Tags: Cleanthony Early
Every year, the NBA's general managers answer questions about the best teams, players, coaches, fans, and offseason moves. GMs were not permitted to vote for their own team or personnel.
This year, the Knicks and some of their players found themselves on six different lists.
Carmelo Anthony received votes for which player GMs would want taking a shot with the game on the line.
Kristaps Porzingis received 12.1% of the vote for best international player in the NBA, coming in fourth behind Giannis Antetokounmpo, Marc Gasol, and Dirk Nowitzki. Porzingis also received votes for player most likely to have a breakout season in 2016-2017.
Derrick Rose got votes for the one-player acquisition that will make the biggest impact this season, while Courtney Lee received votes for the most underrated player acquisition this offseason.
Finally, the Knicks received 10% of the vote for most improved team in the 2016-2017 season.
Often regarded as one of the most difficult players to guard in the NBA, Carmelo Anthony managed to drop down the list of players GM's would prefer taking a last second shot.
Anthony's credibility to win on the NBA stage has undoubtedly taken a hit after suffering through the past three (postseason-less) seasons with the Knicks. Despite winning his third Olympic gold medal this past summer, Anthony's clutch gene is no longer as much of a sure thing as it once was. Still, to be one of the few players in that conversation, alongside players like LeBron James and Stephen Curry, is impressive in itself. Both of those players have NBA titles, however, whereas Anthony still does not.
In this new age of Knicks basketball, Anthony could very well begin to play second fiddle to Kristaps Porzingis, who GMs are already regarding as the fourth best international player in the game, ahead of Pau Gasol. There's no doubt the future continues to be very bright for him. It will be interesting to see if he can further his development and become more of a central talent, rather than fading into the background behind the team's new veterans.
New York overturned much of its roster to give Anthony and Porzingis the support they need to be successful. Unfortunately, the upgrades made were not enough to catapult the team into the conversation of NBA franchises making the best moves this past offseason. Over 10% of GM's believe the Knicks will be the most improved team this season, however.
Given where they're coming from, there's a huge expectation for New York to no longer serve as an embarrassment. With much more talent, a maturing Porzingis, and a new head coach, it shouldn't be hard to come as close to that expectation as possible.
Tags: Carmelo Anthony , Courtney Lee , Derrick Rose , Kristaps Porzingis
Interesting and insightful words from Carmelo Anthony, who also serves as the Vice President of the NBA's Players Association when asked about the NBA's Development League.
"If I had it my way, I'd rebrand the whole D-League," Anthony told ESPN. "I'd rebrand it so it's not seen as a punishment."
As someone who has followed the NBA's Development League quite closely over the past five years, I can tell you that Anthony is 100 percent right on two points here. First, the league has an image problem and it stems from the "D-League" label that is associated with it.
That connotation, I've been told by league executives, carries a negative feel for both players and fans, thus devaluing the product. That branding hampers the league from generating the necessary revenues to increase salaries, which Anthony also speaks to.
It's encouraging to hear that the players association, which has seen substantial growth under this current Collective Bargaining Agreement, is looking to give back and develop players. It has always been the NBADL's goal to make it the second best league in the world and a big step in making that happen would be to increase salaries, keep the best American born players here and keep the quality of big men at the ultimate level in the States.
If Anthony can lead the charge to put more money in the pockets of younger players, it will continue to add to the off court legacy he's worked hard to build over the past through years through venture capital and numerous examples of social activism.
Tags: Carmelo Anthony
Forward Kristaps Porzingis had a strong rookie season with the Knicks, but Carmelo Anthony hopes fans and media alike give the budding star room to improve in his sophomore season, according to ESPN New York's Ian Begley.
Anthony, who came into the league as a highly touted pick himself, said he understands what high expectations can do to a young player, especially in a city like New York.
"He's still young, he's a second-year player. I think we put too much pressure on him to be great so fast," Anthony said Monday. "I just want him to just -- or want [the media] to just give him an opportunity to grow as a player. He don't know everything right now. He's just now 21, his second year in the league."
Even with all of the success Porzingis had last season, Anthony said there is still much for the forward to learn and do, especially with new teammates arriving for this year.
"It's going to be a learning process," Anthony said of Porzingis. "It's a learning curve for him, too. Last year, no one knew what to expect from him. It was all new to everybody. This year he's going to be a focal point in scouting reports and people are going to try to figure out ways how to stop him."
Tags: Carmelo Anthony , Kristaps Porzingis
Knicks F Kristaps Porzingis was limited during practice Monday due to his groin injury, the team said.
Porzingis suffered the groin injury in the team's loss to the Celtics Saturday night, but it is not expected to keep him out of the lineup, he told reporters after the game.
Porzingis felt a slight twinge in his left groin during the first quarter and exited the game during the second. Porzingis said he should be available during Wednesday's game in Boston.
"It kind of just got a little worse and worse throughout the game," Porzingis said, according to Ian Begley of ESPN New York. "And once I cooled down and came back in, I felt a little more."
In the 15 minutes he played, Porzingis recorded nine points on 3-of-6 shooting from the field. He also grabbed three rebounds.
Tags: Kristaps Porzingis
Knicks rookie Chasson Randle, will not need surgery for his left orbital fracture but will miss three-to-four weeks, the team announced Monday.
Randle, who was examined by a specialist, suffered the fracture Friday during practice
The former Stanford standout, in camp on a partially-guaranteed deal, seemed to be in good position to make the Knicks' 15-man roster as the third point guard.
He was averaging 7.7 points and one assist in 15.7 minutes through three preseason appearances.
Willy Hernangomez, the prized Knicks rookie who the team acquired from the Philadelphia 76ers and who Carmelo Anthony (and several others in the organization) liken to Marc Gasol of the Grizzlies, has already made a big impact on the team this preseason.
His performances are getting the attention of not only Anthony, but the coaching staff as a whole. And that's great news for those who believe the Knicks' biggest weakness is backing up Joakim Noah.
With every preseason game Hernangomez plays, he gains a bit more confident and that bodes well for the Knicks, who are going to need positive front court minutes behind Noah and Kristaps Porzingis.
The Knicks are hoping the trio of Kyle O'Quinn, Hernangomez and Marshall Plumlee can keep the team afloat against second units so they don't have to stretch Noah well into the 30 minutes per game range on a nightly basis.
To me, it's their biggest hole and one that, if Hernangomez himself can step forward and fill, will secure them a playoff spot assuming the team stays healthy. That's a major ask for the 22-year-old from Spain, but it's one he seems to be hungry for judging by his first four games.
Hernangomez is averaging 7.5 points and 5.5 rebounds in 19.5 minutes while shooting 55 percent from the floor -- displaying an array of post moves and the ability to finish with both hands around the basket.
This time last year I set the bar far too low for Porzinigis and I won't make the same mistake with his best friend and fellow teammate. Physically, Hernangomez can handle the toughness of the NBA, and he has said he's surprised at how quickly he's adapted to the speed of the league, which he got a solid taste of last game against Boston -- his best game to date.
I believe the idea will be to give O'Quinn first shot as the backup to Noah at first, but Hernangomez will quickly change that from what I've seen. And when you listen to head coach Jeff Hornacek talk about him, it sounds as if he's quickly finding favor with the coaching staff, with minutes on the horizon.
"I didn't know that much about Willy just watching tape and the Olympics, but it seems every day he does something in practice that we (coaching staff) all go 'That's pretty good," Hornacek said last week. "He's just got a great feel for the game. He makes great passes he's shown the ability offensively. I think he is challenging for minutes. We have to find him some minutes, he's definitely deserved them for the things he's been doing."
It's not at all unrealistic to think that Hernangomez can handle 15-to-20 minutes per night and continue to be a factor on the offensive and defensive end, especially rebounding the basketball. He's shown the propensity to attack missed shots and get easy baskets for himself on put backs and for teammates with his passing.
Averaging 6-to-7 points and 5-to-6 rebounds in those minutes doesn't seem to be out of the realm of possibility, and if he can do that, he fills a much-needed gap in the Knicks' rotation faster than any of us anticipated.
Tags: Carmelo Anthony , Kristaps Porzingis , Kyle O'Quinn
Up until about a month ago, the Knicks were primed to head into training camp with fourteen guaranteed contracts. The seemingly open roster spot meant that young guards Chasson Randle and Ron Baker would be able to battle it out and aim to prove themselves, despite only having partially guaranteed pacts.
However, signing Lou Amundson in the eleventh hour instead threw somewhat of a wrench into that plan. Surely, either youngster can still be retained in favor of Amundson (or anyone else for that matter) when it's all said and done. But as a veteran, Amundson's contract costs more to cut, and there's little denying the Knicks appreciate his value as a returning player.
Despite this, New York has a much more pressing need at the point guard position. Rolling the dice with just two floor generals is risky for any NBA team. When those two players are injury-prone veterans Derrick Rose and Brandon Jennings, it's easy to see how thinly the Knicks are left, when one of the two is not available.
That's likely why, despite his recent orbital fracture, the Knicks say Randle's chances of making the roster are not affected. Ironically enough, perhaps his own absence aids the likelihood he sneaks onto the roster instead. Much like Rose's recent absence due to his civil trial, Randle's skills can be appreciated more, now that he was forced to sit out Saturday against the Celtics. As a penetrating youngster and defensive pest, Randle brought impressive nuances to the table. Without them, New York was left even more vulnerable at the one.
Given the roster's dwelling need and his subsequent talents, Randle may truly have an edge at nabbing that last coveted roster spot. Nevertheless, Baker's own intriguing play continues to keep him very much in the running. While Randle does run the floor well, his opportunity to create for others stems from his ability to attack the basket and subsequently spread the floor. This opens up chances to score for players around the perimeter. Still, his natural instinct isn't simply to pass the ball. This is why Baker's unselfish play is all the more appreciated.
It's easy to tell Baker endears himself to teammates by looking for them in transition. He's constantly willing to make the simple passes and sacrifice his own scoring opportunities to see to it that others shine instead. Baker's maturity for a rookie is something to appreciate as well. He has a calm demeanor and is able to hold his own playing alongside veterans.
The two have played so well, that the Knicks will have a very difficult decision to make in the next two weeks. Randle and Baker could very well be battling one other, each already having a seemingly obvious leg over one or two of the players with guaranteed deals.
Both have their respective strengths and weaknesses. Baker is a very sensible player who makes the right decisions. Randle, on the other hand, is more dynamic and can push the tempo if need be.
Either way, the play of each one (paired up with an obvious need at point guard) should make it extremely unlikely that the Knicks allow both of them to slip away at the conclusion of preseason play. Should that happen, another NBA team may come scooping either right up, instead of letting the Knicks develop them in the D-League. The opportunity New York has given them to play has served as a proving ground, and both players have capitalized.
Tags: Lou Amundson , Keith Schlosser
Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek said before Saturday's exhibition loss to the Celtics that Willy Hernangomez is "probably" in the running for the Knicks' backup center spot along with veteran Kyle O'Quinn and rookie Marshall Plumlee.
"We've got to find him some minutes," Hornacek said. "He deserves it." That was before Hernangomez scored 12 points and grabbed 12 rebounds (five offensive) in the loss to Boston. Herangomez started the second half after Kristaps Porzingis left with a sore groin.
Hernangomez, a second-round pick in 2015, has Carmelo Anthony's backing. "I like the big baby. He's a guy who can score, he can pass, he can play D. He can do it all," Anthony told ESPN's Ian Begley. "I try to not make comparisons, but I see a lot of Marc Gasol in him. That's a great sign because Marc is a great player. So for him to have the skills knowing that he has at his age, it's something special."
The battle for the Knicks' primary backup center position will really come to the forefront, now that Joakim Noah has returned. In his absence, New York was dividing up the minutes with a 'center by committee' like mentality.
With more substantial opportunities at the five, some players impressed with pleasantly surprising positive performances. Others left more to be desired. As Noah assumes the role of defensive anchor, the remaining minutes can no longer be taken for granted.
As Hornacek says, Hernagomez has proven himself enough to dictate he deserves playing time. He's someone with plenty of strength, despite a seemingly leaner frame. The young gun is a physical player who isn't afraid to muscle his way inside for rebounds or to get to the basket. Under and around the hoop is where he should position himself more often early on.
As he continues to develop, however, Hernangomez's potential to step out a bit more and hit elbow jumpers is intriguing. He has the range, but his instincts and fluidity need more maturation. Encouragement from the coaching staff will aid that progression.
The praise from both Hornacek and Carmelo Anthony should put the pressure on fellow big men O'Quinn and Plumlee. O'Quinn is in much better shape this fall, but his offensive touch has been lacking through preseason play.
Similar to Hernagomez, Plumlee is a grinder who doesn't mind throwing his body around. Unfortunately, he isn't as polished on the offensive end just yet. Hernagomez's scoring prowess may provide him with an edge, because he has the potential to provide the Knicks with the best of both worlds.