That photograph is sort of misleading. I don't think that Melo and Chris Kaman were ever actually that close together during Friday night's Knicks win.

If you saw the game, you saw another impressive Knicks win, with a 104-94 victory pushing New York's record to a perfect 4-0. You also saw the Knicks play a Dallas team missing Dirk Nowitzki, again offering just enough fodder for those who want to dismiss New York's hot start.

One thing that has not been getting dismissed is the impressive start to the season for Carmelo Anthony. Melo is garnering almost universal praise. Whether it's his renewed focus on the defensive end, his precision passing out of the post, or just his routine relentless scoring, every facet of Melo's game appears to be in perfect harmony.

Now, there's a part of me that is thinking that Anthony's experience in New York has been good for him. If there's one thing New York fans thrive on, it's constructive criticism. If there is a part of your game that we feel could use improvement, New Yorkers are rarely shy in gently pointing out one's shortcomings. We might say things like, "Hey you bum! Pass the ball!" or other gentle, constructive reminders of what we might expect from a superstar athlete.

But there is a part of me that wonders if this is who Anthony has been his whole career, but it's just now being appreciated because a Knicks team that many were doubting entering the season -- I include myself in this group -- is now 4-0 and blowing out opponents. If you look at the bulk of Anthony's statistics, advanced or not, none of it is greatly out of line with his career performance. His less quantifiable defensive improvement appears to show up in the numbers, as well, but is it the result of improved effort as has been generally observed, a natural evolution of a maturing player, or a team-wide re-commitment to the defensive end of which he's a part?

Similarly, there's little doubt that last season Melo struggled through one of the more difficult years of his career. But was the issue a lack of effort, his inability to mesh with head coach Mike D'Anotni, or the team's insufficient supporting cast, or maybe all of the above, or were legitimate flaws in his game exposed that he's addressed?

Now, admittedly, no one's had more doubts about Melo than myself, but while we're all enjoying Carmelo's stellar play to open the year, and surely digging the team's 4-0 start, I'm curious as to whether this is, in fact, some new and improved Carmelo Anthony that we're really witnessing, or just the same old version that we're finally ready to appreciate?

 Follow Brian on Twitter

Tags: Knicks

Nov 17, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Knicks center Enes Kanter (right) and forward Kristaps Porzingis (left) look on from the bench during a break in the action against the Toronto Raptors at the Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports (John E. Sokolowski)
Nov 17, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Knicks center Enes Kanter (right) and forward Kristaps Porzingis (left) look on from the bench during a break in the action against the Toronto Raptors at the Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports (John E. Sokolowski)

Enes Kanter is feeling particularly guilty about the Knicks' 116-104 loss to the Hawks Friday night.

The center sat out with back spasms and he was his own biggest critic for doing so.

"If you're looking for who to blame, you guys can blame me," Kanter said after the game, via Stefan Bondy of the NY Daily News. "Because I was just here like a little baby trying to get my back right. So it's tough to see my teammates battling in a war, and I'm just here like a crybaby."

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New York Knicks' Kristaps Porzingis during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Milwaukee Bucks Wednesday, March 8, 2017, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)  (Aaron Gash/AP)
New York Knicks' Kristaps Porzingis during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Milwaukee Bucks Wednesday, March 8, 2017, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash) (Aaron Gash/AP)

Kristaps Porzingis scored 28 points, Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 22 and Courtney Lee added 26 points, but it wasn't enough for the Knicks as they lost to the Hawks in Atlanta 116-104. 

The Knicks were on fire in the first quarter, scoring 39 points, but gradually got worse the next three quarters. The Knicks were outscored by 27 points in the final three quarters after jumping to an early 39-24 lead.

In Enes Kanter's absence, Willy Hernangomez got a chance to play meaningful time. In 18 minutes, he had six points, seven rebounds and was a negative-10 in plus/minus.  

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New York Knicks center Enes Kanter (Brad Penner)
New York Knicks center Enes Kanter (Brad Penner)

The Knicks will be without Enes Kanter as they visit the Hawks on Friday night due to back spasms, via ESPN's Ian Begley

With Kanter being out, Begley reckons that Willy Hernangomez will assume most of Kanter's vacant minutes, giving the second-year center a great chance to play his way back into the rotation.

Kanter, a fast fan favorite in New York after refusing to back down to LeBron James, is averaging 13.6 points and a career-high 10.2 rebounds per game this season. The center has always been known for his offensive prowess, though has improved on his rebounding and defense this season. 

Hernangomez has appeared in just nine games this season, averaging eight minutes per appearance, after impressing last season. Hernangomez played with Kristaps Porzingis in Europe before each came to the Knicks in separate seasons, and their chemistry was evident in Hernangomez's first season. He'll look to regain form against the Hawks in Kanter's absence. 

Tags: Willy Hernangomez
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 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Hawks hope their recent success against the New York Knicks can carry over to this rebuilding year and help them end a three-game losing streak.

Atlanta (3-15) hosts New York (10-7) on Friday at Philips Arena, the first of three meetings between the clubs this season.

The Hawks won their last three meetings with the Knicks and went 3-1 against them last season. This will be the only game between the two clubs in Atlanta, with the other two meetings scheduled for Madison Square Garden.

Tags: Tim Hardaway Jr.
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 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

Courtney Lee admitted to the media that he and Jeff Hornacek exchanged words, of the variety that couldn't be repeated, at halftime of the Knicks' 108-100 win against the Raptors. At the time of Lee and Hornacek's back-and-forth, the Knicks were losing 59-48.  

"We came in here, we watched film and Coach kind of got on me. I really didn't like what was being said," Lee said, via ESPN. "... [It was] a little explicit. I don't think I can repeat what he said to the media. But we exchanged words and we went from there."

The Knicks were a different team in the third quarter, going on a historic 28-0 run amid outscoring the Raptors 41-10 in the third quarter.

"We had some stronger words for each other and we talked about stuff that we wanted to do better and we came out in the second half and played like a different team," Kristaps Porzingis said. 

Tags: Courtney Lee
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Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr talks to the media before a game against the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum. (Justin Ford/USA TODAY Sports)
Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr talks to the media before a game against the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum. (Justin Ford/USA TODAY Sports)

Though he opted not to coach under him, Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr defended ex-Knicks president Phil Jackson's tenure in New York.

"It's a hard league, man," Kerr told reporters on Tuesday, according to the New York Daily News' Peter Botte. "Things really have to fall (in your favor), you have to do a good job. But you also have to get some luck. Phil knows that better than anybody. You can be really lucky and inherit Michael Jordan, and you can also be unlucky and things don't go your way."

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New York Knicks forward Tim Hardaway Jr. reacts during the second half against the Toronto Raptors at Madison Square Garden. (Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Knicks forward Tim Hardaway Jr. reacts during the second half against the Toronto Raptors at Madison Square Garden. (Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports)

Knicks guard Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 12 of his career-high 38 points during New York's crucial 28-0 third-quarter run in Wednesday's 108-100 win over the Toronto Raptors at Madison Square Garden.

The Knicks turned a 62-52 deficit into an 80-62 lead late in the third thanks to a game-changing run that included seven points from Enes Kanter, seven from Courtney Lee and just two from Kristaps Porzingis, who scored 22 points and brought down 12 rebounds in the game.

New York made 10 of 16 field goals in the 8-minute, 24-second stretch, including a Hardaway layup on a Kanter assist that capped the run and gave the Knicks an 18-point lead.

 

Tags: Courtney Lee, Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr., Toronto Raptors, Matt Eisenberg
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GEICO SportsNite: Knicks win 00:00:43
Jeff Hornacek, Kristaps Porzingis, and, Tim Hardaway Jr. discuss the Knicks' come-from-behind win over the Raptors on Wednesday night.

NEW YORK (AP) Tim Hardaway Jr. scored a career-high 38 points, including 12 during a 28-0 run in the third quarter that sent the New York Knicks to a 108-100 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night.

Kristaps Porzingis added 22 points and 12 rebounds for the Knicks, who outscored the Raptors 41-10 in the third. >> Read more

Tags: Courtney Lee, Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr.
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New York Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek looks on during the first half of an preseason NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass) (Nick Wass/AP)
New York Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek looks on during the first half of an preseason NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass) (Nick Wass/AP)

SG analyst and former Knick great Walt "Clyde" Frazier told WFAN's Mike Francesa he believes the Knicks are capable of maintaining their early-season success.

New York enters tonight's game at Madison Square Garden against the Toronto Raptors with a 9-7 record, including an 8-3 mark at home.

"You know, last year we were 14-10. And then. And then," Frazier said. "So this year, I'm believing in this team, though. I think they're going to get better. … What they can't afford to have is an injury, a key injury to one of their players."

 

Tags: Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis
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Nov 20, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) drives around LA Clippers center DeAndre Jordan (6) during the third quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
		 (Anthony Gruppuso)
Nov 20, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) drives around LA Clippers center DeAndre Jordan (6) during the third quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports (Anthony Gruppuso)

NEW YORK -- Five days after getting dealt their worst loss of the season by the Toronto Raptors, the New York Knicks will welcome their northern visitors to Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night for a rematch.

Toronto, one of the hottest teams in the NBA with wins in six of seven games, handed New York a sound thrashing last Friday, a 104-87 decision in which the Knicks shot just 33 percent from the field.

Tags: Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr.
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 (Robert Deutsch)
(Robert Deutsch)

Superstar rapper JAY-Z chimed in with his own take on LeBron James' "King of New York" comments while performing a concert in Cleveland. 

The New York native is friends with James, and has been for years. But that doesn't mean he was going to sit aside and look at James standing over the Knicks logo at Madison Square Garden, and make those types of comments. He addressed it at his show saying if James can make those comments, then he can be named "King of Cleveland."

CLICK BELOW TO SEE THE VIDEO

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Kristaps Porzingis
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GEICO SportsNite: Kanter 00:00:56
Following a big victory, Enes Kanter is sensing a change in the culture as the Knicks are beginning to understand what it takes to win.

Following a big victory, Enes Kanter is sensing a change in the culture as the Knicks are beginning to understand what it takes to win.


 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

Tim Hardaway Jr. took one for the team as he played through his "intense soreness" in his left foot last night against the Clippers. 

Hardaway has been dealing with the soreness since last Wednesday's game against the Utah Jazz and underwent X-rays after Friday's loss to the Toronto Raptors. Head coach Jeff Hornacek hinted that plantar fasciitis may be the reason for his pain, but Hardaway begs to differ. 

"I don't know what Coach was talking about it, but it's not that," Hardaway told Newsday. "It's just intense soreness with ligaments and stuff. Other than that, it's fine." 

Tags: Tim Hardaway Jr.
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Nov 11, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek talks to New York Knicks point guard Frank Ntilikina (11) during the second quarter against the Sacramento Kings at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Nov 11, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek talks to New York Knicks point guard Frank Ntilikina (11) during the second quarter against the Sacramento Kings at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Frank Ntilikina has a valid excuse to explain his worst performance as a Knick on Monday night against the Clippers.

The rookie point guard was experiencing flu-like symptoms for two or three days prior to Monday's contest, and though he tried to play through them, Ntilikina knew he was only hurting the team. He went straight to head coach Jeff Hornacek in the fourth quarter, and told him to keep him on the bench. 

"Frank's under the weather," Hornacek told The Post's Marc Berman. "He's been fighting it two, three days now. He just didn't have it tonight. He was fine with it. He actually said, 'I'm not helping the team now.' Frank's a smart player. He realized he didn't have enough energy. He sacrificed. He could've gone back in there and still played but it gave Ramon [Sessions] a chance."

Tags: Frank Ntilikina
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GEICO SportsNite: Jeff Hornacek 00:00:43
Jeff Hornacek on the explosive nature of today's NBA and how his club continued to compete all night, securing a 107-85 win over Lob City.

LA Clippers forward Blake Griffin defends New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. (Anthony Gruppuso/USA TODAY Sports)
LA Clippers forward Blake Griffin defends New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. (Anthony Gruppuso/USA TODAY Sports)

Kristaps Porzingis scored 25 points, Enes Kanter had a double-double and the Knicks beat the Los Angeles Clippers 107-85 on Monday at Madison Square Garden.

Porzingis led a Knicks charge midway through the second quarter and into the third, scoring 14 points during a 32-15 run that turned a 34-32 deficit into a 66-49 lead early in the second half.

Kanter had 12 points and 16 rebounds, Doug McDermott added 16 points off the bench and Tim Hardaway Jr. recorded 13 points, five rebounds and five assists for New York, which had lost three of its previous five games.

Tags: Kristaps Porzingis, Los Angeles Clippers, Tim Hardaway Jr.
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DNL: Knicks are no road warriors 00:03:43
Stefan Bondy breaks down the Knicks' road woes and how they'll look to get back on track with a home tilt against the slumping Clippers.

New York Knicks forward Tim Hardaway Jr. looks to pass the ball against the Toronto Raptors at the Air Canada Centre. (John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Knicks forward Tim Hardaway Jr. looks to pass the ball against the Toronto Raptors at the Air Canada Centre. (John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY Sports)

Knicks guard Tim Hardaway Jr. will be active for Monday's game against the Los Angeles Clippers after dealing with soreness in his left foot, head coach Jeff Hornacek told reporters.

Hardaway has been dealing with the soreness since last Wednesday's game against the Utah Jazz and underwent X-rays after Friday's loss to the Toronto Raptors.

Tags: Los Angeles Clippers, Tim Hardaway Jr.
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New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis passes to Knicks center Enes Kanter against the Utah Jazz during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. (Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis passes to Knicks center Enes Kanter against the Utah Jazz during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. (Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports)

Just one-for-November, the Los Angeles Clippers head to Madison Square Garden on Monday night for a showdown with the recently inconsistent New York Knicks.

The source of New York's up-and-down play over the last two weeks: leading scorer Kristaps Porzingis.

Tags: Kristaps Porzingis, Los Angeles Clippers, Tim Hardaway Jr.
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GEICO SportsNite: Bernard King 00:05:43
Knicks legend Bernard King joins GEICO SportsNite to talk about growing up in Brooklyn and his new book "Game Face."

Former Knicks great Bernard King has seen nothing like current star F Kristaps Porzingis in all his years in the game. 

King spent 12 seasons in the NBA -- four with the Knicks -- and he says he has never seen a player with Porzingis' physical attributes do what he can on the floor. 

"He's been really outstanding," King told ESPN's Ian Begley. "I've never seen a 7-3 guy that can hit 3-point shots the way he does. Also, he has a tremendous understanding of basketball and where his placement of his body is on the court in terms of positioning. And how to get position."

Tags: Kristaps Porzingis
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 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Tim Hardaway Jr. said he first noticed the soreness in his left foot after the Knicks beat the Utah Jazz on Nov. 15, but he didn't take it seriously at first.

Tags: Tim Hardaway Jr., Adam Zagoria
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GEICO SportsNite: Knicks 00:01:11
With Kristaps Porzingis trying to break out of his slump in Monday's game against the Clippers, the Knicks look to end their losing streak.

GREENBURGH, N.Y. - Kristaps Porzingis and Aaron Judge are both outsized New York superstars.

Tags: Kristaps Porzingis, Adam Zagoria
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 ( Adam Hunger)
( Adam Hunger)

Knicks great Larry Johnson gave up his former teammates' eating habits in "Athletic Appetites" with Michelle Yu. 

While Johnson and Yu learned to cook Esther & Carol's famous chicken and waffles, Johnson spilled who the worst junk food eater on his former team was. 

"The most junk food eater I would say was Patrick Ewing," Johnson said. "Oh, Pat ate everything."

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Jan 16, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks center Joakim Noah (13) reacts after the Atlanta Hawks defeated the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. The Hawks won 108-107. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Jan 16, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks center Joakim Noah (13) reacts after the Atlanta Hawks defeated the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. The Hawks won 108-107. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

In the Knicks' lackluster 107-84 loss to the Raptors, Joakim Noah was once again on the bench in street clothes rather than the Knicks' road blue uniforms.

Noah was suspended for the first 12 games of the season but hasn't dressed since becoming eligible to return. The 72-million-dollar-man, often praised for his team-first mentality, has handled the situation with class. 

"I think obviously I understand the situation but I'm going to keep working and be as ready as possible to help in any way I can," Noah said, via Steve Popper of NorthJersey.com. "I feel good. The team is doing really well. I support my guys. Right now it's just about staying on the same routine. I'm working hard and it's hard to do. I'm just trying to take it day by day..."

Tags: Joakim Noah
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 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

Knicks SG Tim Hardaway Jr. removed himself from Friday night's matchup against the Raptors as his sore left foot flared up.

Hardaway woke up feeling soreness in his left foot on Thursday, and the pain didn't subside has he couldn't deal with it in Toronto. His X-rays turned up negative, but Hardaway isn't sure what is plaguing him. 

"It started to nag, and got worse," Hardaway told the Daily News' Stefan Bondy after the game.

The 25-year-old still managed to play 33 minutes while scoring 13 points through the pain. He is hoping to be ready for the Knicks' matchup against the Clippers on Monday. 

Tags: Tim Hardaway Jr.
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 (John E. Sokolowski)
(John E. Sokolowski)

TORONTO (AP) Kyle Lowry matched his season high with 22 points and added 10 assists, DeMar DeRozan also scored 22 and the short-handed Toronto Raptors beat New York 107-84 on Friday night, their eighth consecutive victory over the Knicks.

Toronto played without two injured starters in forward Serge Ibaka(swollen left knee) and guard Norman Powell (right hip). Reserve guard Delon Wright (dislocated right shoulder) also was unavailable.

C.J. Miles scored 14 points for Toronto. Pressed into the starting lineup, second-year forward Pascal Siakam scored 13 points and rookie forward OG Anunoby had 11.

Copyright 2017 by The Associated Press

Tags: Courtney Lee, Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr.
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Nov 5, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (11) in the third quarter of the Knicks 108-101 victory over the Indiana Pacers at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)
Nov 5, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (11) in the third quarter of the Knicks 108-101 victory over the Indiana Pacers at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)

TORONTO -- The New York Knicks and the Toronto Raptors will meet for the first time this season on Friday night, each coming off uplifting, comeback victories on Wednesday.

The Knicks (8-6) defeated the Utah Jazz 106-101 after trailing by as many as 12 points in the third quarter. It was the third time in eight days, the Knicks rallied from a double-digit deficit to win and they are 7-3 in their last 10 games after dropping their first three games.

The Raptors (9-5) trailed the New Orleans Jazz by 14 points in the first quarter before coming back for a 125-116 victory after defeating the Houston Rockets on Tuesday to go 2-1 on a three-game road trip.

Tags: Kristaps Porzingis
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Who is Porzingis' wingman? 00:02:05
While Kristaps Porzingis reigns as the Knicks' franchise cornerstone, who is better fit to be labeled his sidekick, Kanter or Hardaway Jr.?

Nov 11, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek talks to New York Knicks point guard Frank Ntilikina (11) during the second quarter against the Sacramento Kings at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Nov 11, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek talks to New York Knicks point guard Frank Ntilikina (11) during the second quarter against the Sacramento Kings at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek was fully behind rookie PG Frank Ntilikina sticking up for himself against LeBron James of the Cavaliers on Monday at Madison Square Garden.

"I thought it was great,'' Hornacek said on MSG's "The Jeff Hornacek Experience", according to Marc Berman of the NY Post. "When we played back in the day, there was a lot of that. So you don't see as much now in today's game."

Hornacek also praised Enes Kanter's reaction on the court to the altercation between Ntilikina and James, and Kanter's overall leadership thus far...

Tags: Frank Ntilikina
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Oct 10, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder forward Carmelo Anthony (7) reacts after receiving a technical foul in the second quarter against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)
Oct 10, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder forward Carmelo Anthony (7) reacts after receiving a technical foul in the second quarter against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)

When it became public knowledge that Carmelo Anthony had a no-trade clause in his Knicks' contract, it became conventional wisdom that Anthony would veto any potential trade besides to Cleveland or Houston, if at all.

It was surprising, then, to see Anthony, who has long been on the record with his love for New York City and his desires after basketball, accept a trade to a smaller city like Oklahoma City.

So how's Carmelo Anthony doing in OKC? Pretty good, according to the man himself...

Tags: Carmelo Anthony
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Jan 16, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks center Joakim Noah (13) reacts after the Atlanta Hawks defeated the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. The Hawks won 108-107. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Jan 16, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks center Joakim Noah (13) reacts after the Atlanta Hawks defeated the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. The Hawks won 108-107. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

At anytime between now and September 1 of next year, the Knicks could use the stretch provision and waive Joakim Noah, creating extra cap space the next two years, according to Marc Berman of NY Post.

Noah has been eligible to return from his suspension for two games but has remained inactive amid the Knicks' logjam in the frontcourt that has kept Wily Hernangomez primarily on the bench behind Enes Kanter and Kyle O'Quinn. After this season, Noah has two years and $37.5 million years left on the contract Phil Jackson signed him to just two summers ago. 

According to Berman, the Knicks are in no rush to make that decision. There are no added cap incentives in cutting Noah now rather than after the season. If the Knicks were to use the stretch provision on Noah, the team would free up $11 million in cap space this summer and $12 million next summer. He'd remain on the cap for the Knicks until 2022 though, at $7.5 million per year.

Last season, Noah averaged just five points and 8.8 rebounds per game in a season where he was limited to 46 games due to injuries. 

Tags: Joakim Noah
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New York Knicks' Kristaps Porzingis, celebrates with fans after a NBA basketball game against Indiana Pacers at Madison Square Garden in New York, Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki) (Andres Kudacki/AP)
New York Knicks' Kristaps Porzingis, celebrates with fans after a NBA basketball game against Indiana Pacers at Madison Square Garden in New York, Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki) (Andres Kudacki/AP)

"Knicks management is making a huge effort" to get in the good graces of Kristaps Porzingis' brother, Janis, reports Marc Berman of the NY Post.

According to Berman, that effort included team president Steve Mills, GM Scott Perry, and head coach Jeff Hornacek all meeting with Janis at separate times earlier this week.

Janis Porzingis said earlier this month that money won't be the main factor regarding whether Kristaps remains with the Knicks long-term.

Tags: Kristaps Porzingis, Danny Abriano
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 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

Knicks rookie PG Frank Ntilikina has touted defensive abilities, but his offense is starting to show as well. 

Head coach Jeff Hornacek has come to learn that if he needs some stout defending, he is going to look at his 19-year-old point guard. That's exactly what he did Wednesday night as Ntilikina was s disruptor for all 20 minutes he saw the hardwood.

"We have great confidence in him defensively. It's great that a young guy comes into the league with more defensive principles than the offensive principles," Hornacek told The Post's Fred Kerber. 

Tags: Frank Ntilikina
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GEICO SportsNite: Knicks on win 00:00:52
Tim Hardaway Jr. and Kristaps Porzingis break down the Knicks' 106-101 win over the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden.

NEW YORK (AP) Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 26 points, including a key 3-pointer with 32.9 seconds left, to help the New York Knicks rally in the second half and beat the Utah Jazz 106-101 on Wednesday night.

New York trailed by 10 late in the third quarter but got its third comeback victory in eight days. Hardaway's 3 made it 102-98, and he added four free throws after that.

Kristaps Porzingis had 22 points and Courtney Lee added 19 as the Knicks rebounded after blowing a 15-point fourth quarter lead in a loss to the Cavaliers on Monday night. Enes Kanter added 13 points.

Copyright 2017 by The Associated Press

Tags: Courtney Lee, Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr.
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Addition by subtraction for NYK? 00:03:17
Jon Hein and Willie Colon debate whose departure is more responsible for the Knicks' recent success, Phil Jackson or Carmelo Anthony?

Jon Hein and Willie Colon debate whose departure is more responsible for the Knicks' recent success, Phil Jackson or Carmelo Anthony?


Nov 11, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek talks to New York Knicks point guard Frank Ntilikina (11) during the second quarter against the Sacramento Kings at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Nov 11, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek talks to New York Knicks point guard Frank Ntilikina (11) during the second quarter against the Sacramento Kings at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

NEW YORK -- It is never a good time to lose one of the league's most promising young big men, but the Utah Jazz picked an exceedingly bad time to lose Rudy Gobert for at least a month.

First the Jazz had to contend with Minnesota's Karl-Anthony Towns - and failed that challenge in a 109-98 loss to Minnesota on Monday night.

Now they'll have to handle Kristaps Porzingis on Wednesday night when they travel to Madison Square Garden for a showdown with Porzingis and the New York Knicks.

Tags: Kristaps Porzingis
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How will the Knicks respond? 00:02:54
After the Knicks' loss to the Cavaliers, the Daily News Live crew previews the team's Wednesday night matchup with the Utah Jazz at MSG.

Nov 13, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks power forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) controls the ball against Cleveland Cavaliers power forward Jae Crowder (99) during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Nov 13, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks power forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) controls the ball against Cleveland Cavaliers power forward Jae Crowder (99) during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Knicks have a growing sense of confidence in coach Jeff Hornacek's offense this season, PF Kristaps Porzingis told ESPN Radio's "The Michael Kay Show" on Tuesday. 

With Phil Jackson and his insistence on running the triangle offense no longer part of the organization, the 22-year-old believes that Hornacek's ability to implement his own style is proving beneficial to the Knicks' early-season success.

"This year you can feel that Jeff has more, he's running his own stuff without anybody coming in and telling him what to do or how to do so I think from the top down you can feel that there's more confidence in what we're doing," Porzingis said. "It's a better feeling this way.

Tags: Kristaps Porzingis
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Nov 13, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers small forward LeBron James (23) and New York Knicks center Enes Kanter (00) are separated by New York Knicks shooting guard Courtney Lee (5) during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Nov 13, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers small forward LeBron James (23) and New York Knicks center Enes Kanter (00) are separated by New York Knicks shooting guard Courtney Lee (5) during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Jake Brown | Twitter | It has not taken very long for Enes Kanter to become one of the new fan favorites here in New York. At 7-6, I'd say it took 13 games for that to be true, but really it may have just taken one game and a couple of quotes Monday night.

Kanter stood up for his rookie teammate Frank Ntilikina not just in the headlines, but on the court. He showed what a tremendous teammate he is, and what an important voice he is in the locker room. Kanter wasn't going to let LeBron James say or do things to their rookie point guard and let the future Hall of Famer run all over them. Sure, the Knicks blew a 23-point lead and lost the game Monday to the Cavaliers, but Kanter getting in LeBron's face when he was bumping Ntilikina was a big statement.

Then what he said after the game about LeBron was important to send a message and defend his team. Kanter clearly wants to win and he knows what being part of a team is, and being a leader. So far, he looks like the veteran leader on this squad...

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Joakim Noah, Jake Brown
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

After a rough start to the season, Knicks SG Tim Hardaway, Jr. has been living up to his lucrative contract he signed this offseason. 

Hardaway signed a four-year, $71 million deal with the Knicks, and many were skeptical of the signing. Those skeptics weren't put to shame in the beginning of the season as Hardaway couldn't find his shooting stroke early on. However, after settling in, he has picked up his play drastically and looks to be living up to the deal -- for now. 

The 25-year-old has averaged 20.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and has shot 45.5 percent from the field in the past nine games. He recorded a double-double with 28 points and 10 rebounds against the Cavaliers on Monday despite the team's loss. 

Tags: Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr.
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GEICO SportsNite: Knicks 00:01:52
Enes Kanter discusses standing up for his teammates after hearing some of the controversial statements that were made by LeBron James.

Knicks to learn from blown lead? 00:03:20
The DNL panel discusses how the Knicks can learn from Monday night's game against Cleveland, where they blew a 23-point lead in the fourth.

Athletic Appetites: Yu, Johnson 00:05:17
SNY's Michelle Yu cooks fried chicken and waffles with former Knicks forward Larry Johnson.

SNY's Michelle Yu cooks fried chicken and waffles with former Knicks forward Larry Johnson.

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After a heated game at Madison Square Garden on Monday, Cavaliers SF LeBron James took to Instagram to declare himself "King of New York" following a 104-101 win. 

Knicks C Enes Kanter responded shortly after, saying "We already have a king. It's Kristaps Porzingis," per Ian Begley of ESPN.

CLICK BELOW TO SEE LEBRON'S POST

Tags: Frank Ntilikina
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Knicks rookie PG Frank Ntilikina and Cavaliers star SF LeBron James got into it at The Garden on Monday. 

After throwing down alley-oop dunk, James stood over Ntilikina who was trying to pick up the ball to inbound. Ntilikina didn't like it, and started pushing James off of him.

CLICK BELOW TO WATCH THE VIDEO

Tags: Frank Ntilikina
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Nov 13, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers small forward LeBron James (23) and New York Knicks center Enes Kanter (00) are separated by New York Knicks shooting guard Courtney Lee (5) during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Nov 13, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers small forward LeBron James (23) and New York Knicks center Enes Kanter (00) are separated by New York Knicks shooting guard Courtney Lee (5) during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

NEW YORK -- Enes Kanter and LeBron James went chest-to-chest in a shouting match during a high-intensity game, and they continued their two-day war of wars afterward.

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GEICO SportsNite: Knicks falter 00:01:02
Enes Kanter and LeBron James discuss an eventful night at MSG, where tempers flared and the Cavs overcame a large fourth quarter deficit.

NEW YORK (AP) LeBron James had 23 points and 12 assists, Kyle Korver scored 19 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter to spark a huge comeback, and the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the New York Knicks 104-101 on Monday night.

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Nov 1, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks point guard Frank Ntilikina (11) in action against the Houston Rockets at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Nov 1, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks point guard Frank Ntilikina (11) in action against the Houston Rockets at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

NEW YORK -- When the Cleveland Cavaliers head to Madison Square Garden on Monday night to face the New York Knicks, there are bound to be some awkward moments.

Tags: Frank Ntilikina
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LeBron shoots at Phil 00:01:09
LeBron James clarifies his Knicks comments about Dennis Smith Jr., says he was taking a shot at Phil Jackson.

LeBron James made it clear that his comment about the Knicks not drafting Mavericks' PG Dennis Smith Jr. was a shot at former president Phil Jackson.

James said that Smith "should be a Knick," which many believed was a shot at the Knicks actual draft pick, Frank Ntilikina. However, James clarified his comments to say he was aiming at Jackson -- not Ntilikina. 

Tags: Frank Ntilikina
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