Knicks need to start winning 00:02:14
SNY Insider Ian Begley doesn't see anything imminent but if the Knicks underachieve more, owner James Dolan could make front office changes.

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

The Knicks are in Dallas to play Kristaps Porzingis and the Mavs on Friday for the first time since the trade. So there will be plenty written and said about the deal over the next couple of days. 

Below, let's try to separate fact from opinion: 

 

It's too early to judge winners and losers on this deal

Yes, the Knicks are off to an ugly 1-7 start. And the players they signed with the cap space obtained in the Porzingis trade haven't exactly set the world on fire. So, as of today, you can say definitively that the Knicks didn't get enough back in the Porzingis deal.

But New York only signed one player this summer to a contract that's guaranteed beyond this season (Julius Randle). So the club can have at least $50 million in cap space this summer -- and even more in the following summer. The Knicks also have two future first-round picks from the Mavs. So it's possible to turn those assets into a star via free agency or a trade.

Given that, the final return on the trade for New York won't be known until we see how the cap space/assets are ultimately used.  

From a Dallas perspective, we don't yet know how Porzingis will rebound from ACL surgery. Through seven games, he's averaging 19 points on 41 percent shooting (36 percent from beyond the arc), and grabbing eight rebounds per game. If he and Luka Doncic can turn Dallas into a playoff contender, the picks that the Knicks receive will be mid to late first-rounders. In that scenario, unless the Knicks can turn their cap space into a star and/or their current players vastly improve, the trade will be a lopsided loss for the Knicks. 

No matter how things play out, the transaction will significantly impact New York moving forward one way or another (more on that below). 

Didn't Porzingis ask for a trade?

He did. The relationship between the All-Star big man and the franchise wasn't on great footing going back to his second season, when Porzingis skipped an exit meeting due to frustration over the drama and dysfunction in New York. We were told publicly that everyone was on the same page last season, but that clearly wasn't the case. According to some around the team, Porzingis remained fully committed to staying in New York in the weeks prior to the trade. It's unclear what, specifically, changed in January that led him to alter his thinking. 

There's been an assumption that ex-team president Phil Jackson was the root of Porzingis' issues with the club. That's incorrect. Some people around the Knicks during Porzingis' tenure in New York said his issues stemmed from a lack of faith that the Knicks could create a winning environment, one where he could thrive individually and on the team level. 

After the 2017 trade talks, Jackson was fired and Steve Mills, the GM under Jackson, took over as team president. Under Mills and new GM Scott Perry, the Knicks sent head coach David Fizdale to Latvia in the 2018 summer in an effort to establish a rapport with the star big man. Ultimately, it didn't work. 

Only Porzingis knows how much Mills was at the root of his issues with the organization -- and he's probably not going to discuss it publicly. But it's fair to assume that if Porzingis had faith in Mills and those around him, he'd still be in New York. After all, Porzingis loved the city and the idea of winning in the Big Apple.  



Did the Knicks have to trade him?

No. Porzingis was going to be a restricted free agent in the 2019, so New York could have matched any offer Porzingis received from another suitor. But the Knicks feared that Porzingis would sign the qualifying offer, and they'd lose him for nothing. 

So they moved quickly to deal him, finalizing the trade with Dallas several days ahead of the 2019 trade deadline. Could the Knicks have gotten a better return for Porzingis? That's hard to prove. If they hadn't included Tim Hardaway Jr. and Courtney Lee as salary dumps in the deal, it seems logical to think the Knicks could have gotten more back in the deal -- even given Porzingis' ACL injury. 

New York said at the time that it had done its homework on which teams could satisfy what it sought in return for a Porzingis deal. Dallas checked all of the boxes -- cap space, first round picks, and a young player. That's why they pulled the trigger on the deal shortly after their five-minute meeting with Porzingis and his agent and brother, Janis Porzingis

But several opposing teams were surprised at how quickly Porzingis was traded. They wanted the opportunity to make an offer to New York. Maybe one of those teams would have made an offer that was better than Dennis Smith Jr., Wes Matthews, DeAndre Jordan, two first-round picks and cap space? 

Why does this whole thing matter, anyway? Isn't it old news?

Yes, Porzingis is gone and the Knicks are moving forward. But the trade is going to impact this franchise one way or another. 

If things ultimately work out for the Knicks and they turn into a contender, Mills and Perry will be lauded for handling a difficult situation well and rebuilding the franchise. If they don't work out, the trade will be a major failure for the current regime. 

It's important to note that the Knicks obviously felt like they had a shot at the top free agents on the market when they made the Porzingis trade. Clearly, it didn't work out that way. If New York doesn't ultimately land a star via a trade or free agency with the cap space obtained in the deal, that will reflect poorly on management. And it's certainly not a huge leap to see how it could cost someone their job. 

Top decision-makers in the organization expected this year's team to be competitive after the Knicks spent $70 million in free agency. Three of their seven losses thus far have been by more than 20 points. If the blowouts continue and the Knicks end up playing for lottery position again, it's fair to assume there will be repercussions. 

Tags: DeAndre Jordan, Dennis Smith Jr., Kristaps Porzingis, Ian Begley
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Richaun Holmes 1on1 00:06:43
Sacramento Kings center Richaun Holeschats with SNYs Ian Begley about the Kings resurgence, RJ Barrett's strength and the hard-nosed Nets.

Sacramento Kings big man Richaun Holmes is now playing in his fifth NBA season, and after three years in the Eastern Conference with the Sixers, he's gotten to know the New York basketball scene pretty well.

On Thursday, Holmes caught up with SNY Insider Ian Begley to talk New York hoops.

The Kings are in town to take on the Nets on Friday night, and Holmes believes the Nets present a tough challenge.

Tags: Frank Ntilikina
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Presidential candidate Andrew Yang
Presidential candidate Andrew Yang

Presidential candidate Andrew Yang has been sounding off on the Knicks and NBA for months. Here's the latest...


Nov. 21, 3:48 PM:

Yang is not happy that the NCAA has suspended James Wiseman, who could be a Knicks target in the 2020 Draft.

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Carmelo Anthony
Carmelo Anthony

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

With Carmelo Anthony set to play his second game for the Blazers on Thursday, we spoke to the trainer that helped him prepare for the opportunity.

Below, Alex Bazzell, who works with Trae Young, Kyrie Irving, Bobby Portis and Doug McDermott among others, talks about training with Anthony over the past few months to get ready for the ex-Knick's return to the league.

Tags: Carmelo Anthony, Ian Begley
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 (Bill Streicher)
(Bill Streicher)

Marcus Morris and Joel Embiid got mixed up near the end of the first half as the Knicks played the 76ers on Wednesday night in Philadelphia, with Embiid falling to the floor and a brief scuffle erupting.

After the game, Morris called out Embiid.

"He just was too big to be flopping, just flopping, grabbing and then -- I'm just not the one to be, not the one that's gonna take that," Morris said. "He knows that, so I mean, you know what I'm about."

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Ntilikina building confidence 00:01:26
New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina and his teammates believe they can compete with anyone but just need to be more consistent shooting.

While the Knicks ultimately fell down the stretch of Wednesday's 109-104 loss to the Sixers at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, New York emerged with optimism after Frank Ntilikina's performance.

Ntilikina's season-high 17 points on 6-of-8 shooting, including three free throws and two triples, in 32:54 fueled the Knicks (4-11) before the Sixers (9-5) came back for the fourth-quarter triumph.

David Fizdale's decision to substitute Ntilikina late in the third quarter hindered the Knicks during the Sixers' eventual 23-3 run from the 3:20 mark of the third to the 9:00 point of the fourth, turning a 77-60 Knicks lead to an 83-82 Sixers edge, but the third-year point guard defended his second-year head coach's move after the game.

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina
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Nov 20, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Knicks forward RJ Barrett (9) passes the ball past Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) during the first quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)
Nov 20, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Knicks forward RJ Barrett (9) passes the ball past Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) during the first quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)

The Knicks were unable to hold on Wednesday night at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, where New York fell 109-104 to the Sixers. >> Box Score

Five things to know from Wednesday's game

1) Backup point guard Dennis Smith Jr. started strong but cooled off, but his 13 points off the bench served the Knicks a bright spot. He shot 5 for 9 from the field and drilled 2 of 3 three-point tries, leading the Knicks with 10 at the half.

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For a moment, the Knicks' game Wednesday at against the Sixers got heated.

With 1:45 left in the second quarter, Marcus Morris and Joel Embiid got tangled up on Tobias Harris' jumper from inside the free-throw line.

As Embiid got interior position with Morris behind him, he backpedaled and fell, which led the Knicks small forward to get back up and step in the direction of the Sixers center.

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Nov 8, 2019; Memphis, TN, USA; Memphis Tigers center James Wiseman (32) walks off the court after the game against the Illinois-Chicago Flames at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports (Justin Ford)
Nov 8, 2019; Memphis, TN, USA; Memphis Tigers center James Wiseman (32) walks off the court after the game against the Illinois-Chicago Flames at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports (Justin Ford)

Memphis Tigers C and potential first overall pick James Wiseman has been suspended by the NCAA, but he will be able to return in time to impress NBA scouts. 

Wiseman has to sit 12 games, the NCAA said on Wednesday, which means he's eligible to return on Jan. 12. He must also donate $11,500 to a charity of his choice. 

The suspension stems from his head coach, Penny Hardaway, paying his family that same amount he is giving to charity to move to Memphis from Nashville while Wiseman was in high school. It was deemed that Hardaway was considered a booster due to his $1 million donation to the sports hall of fame in the high school 10 years ago. 

Tags: Mitchell Robinson, Scott Thompson
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Damyean Dotson (Adam Hunger)
Damyean Dotson (Adam Hunger)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

A few Knicks notes as the club enters a stretch of 11 games against teams that made the playoffs last season, starting Wednesday in Philadelphia...

(Though, not all of the Knicks' next 11 opponents are setting the world on fire this season. Entering play Wednesday, six of the 11 were in the top five in their respective conferences. The other five were a combined 19 games under .500.)

Tags: Damyean Dotson, Frank Ntilikina, Mitchell Robinson, Ian Begley
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 (Chuck Cook)
(Chuck Cook)

Former Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony made his Blazers debut Tuesday night against the Pelicans, and connected on the first three-point attempt in his new uniform.

Tags: Carmelo Anthony
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Nov 2, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Houston Rockets forward Carmelo Anthony (7) celebrates after a three point shot against the Brooklyn Nets during the fourth quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Nov 2, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Houston Rockets forward Carmelo Anthony (7) celebrates after a three point shot against the Brooklyn Nets during the fourth quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Carmelo Anthony is set to take the floor with his fifth NBA team on Tuesday night, but how much will the former Knick actually play?

According to ESPN's Marc Spears, Anthony is expected to start and play about 20 minutes for the Trail Blazers in New Orleans against the Pelicans.

The Blazers officially announced the signing of the 10-time All-Star on Tuesday afternoon, signing him to a one-year, non-guaranteed deal.

Tags: Carmelo Anthony
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A look at Fizdale's job security 00:01:12
Fizdale elaborated on Dolan going into his office on and 'giving a vote of confidence'. Ian breaks down what it means for the Knicks.

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Amid speculation about David Fizdale's job status, the coach said on Tuesday that Knicks owner James Dolan regularly gives him a 'vote of confidence' during visits on game night.

Fizdale was asked at Knicks practice on Tuesday how regularly he speaks to Dolan.

"Every game, every game. Jim Dolan comes in and gives me a vote of confidence, a pat on my back and really has just been incredibly encouraging over the last year and a half or whatever it's been," Fizdale said. "All we talk about is just sticking to the process of making these guys better and building for a future of sustainable winning."

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Jul 7, 2019; Las Vegas, NV, USA; New York Knicks forward Ignas Brazdeikis (17) gestures after scoring a three point basket during the second half of an NBA Summer League game against the Phoenix Suns at Thomas & Mack Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports (Stephen R. Sylvanie)
Jul 7, 2019; Las Vegas, NV, USA; New York Knicks forward Ignas Brazdeikis (17) gestures after scoring a three point basket during the second half of an NBA Summer League game against the Phoenix Suns at Thomas & Mack Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports (Stephen R. Sylvanie)

Knicks second-rounder Ignas Brazdeikis didn't see much time to start the season in the NBA, so it was the best option in the team's eyes to send him down to G League Westchester again to get more playing time. 

And, oh, did he make the best of it. 

In his second game in the G League, Brazdeikis dropped 36 points on 16-for-28 shooting, including 4-of-9 from three. He also had six boards, one assist, and two steals in a tough 96-94 loss to Grand Rapids. 

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Mitchell Robinson (Adam Hunger)
Mitchell Robinson (Adam Hunger)

The Knicks came away with their fourth victory of the season on Monday night, a solid 123-105 win over the Cavaliers on the Madison Square Garden court. 

However, this winning feeling shouldn't be something the Knicks will be feeling for the rest of the season. Well, at least according to FiveThirtyEight

Using their own RAPTOR ratings, the blog has set predictions for the rest of the Knicks' games for the season. And thanks to The Daily News' Stefan Bondy's investigating, the Knicks are only favored in one of their final 68 games for the regular season. 

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Begley talks Randle improvement 00:01:35
SNY NBA insider Ian Begley on the improved performance of Julius Randle keying a possible Knicks turnaround

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

When Julius Randle watched tape of his games early on this season, he knew what was going wrong. He knew he was over dribbling at times, struggling with the double and triple teams being thrown his way. But nothing changed on the court. 

"He kept burning his hand on the stove and not learning his lesson," David Fizdale said. "I think, you burn it enough, you're like, 'OK, I've got to make this change.'"

Change started to come for Randle and the Knicks on Monday. Randle had 30 points, seven rebounds and four assists in New York's win over Cleveland in easily his best game as a Knick. 

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, Ian Begley
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 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

The Knicks jumped out to a 12-point lead after the first quarter against the Cavaliers on Monday and never looked back, coming away with a 123-105 win at Madison Square Garden

Head coach David Fizdale was impressed with the all-around effort, but focused on a main point of emphasis as the team's reason for success in the game.

"The biggest thing is that we protected the paint," Fizdale said. "That's been our biggest emphasis. We finally did a solid job against the speed guards. I thought our guys really took the challenge against Collin [Sexton] and Darius [Garland]. Our bigs did a good job of sliding our feet." 

Tags: Damyean Dotson, Mitchell Robinson, RJ Barrett
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Knicks pound Cavs at MSG 00:01:21
Fizdale, Randle and Barrett on Randle's 30-point night as Knicks avenge an earlier loss to the Cavs with a 123-105 rout of their own

Nearly a week after being blown out by the Cavaliers, the Knicks returned the favor in a wire-to-wire, 123-105 win. >> Box Score

Here are five takeaways from Monday's game

1) The Knicks didn't sweat much against the Cavaliers on Monday. After falling 108-87 to the Cavs just over a week ago which prompted an interesting press conference, the Knicks flew out of the gate and held a big lead throughout the game. At halftime, the Knicks had a 13-point lead and led by as much as 27 in the second half. Worth noting, the Cavs were without their top-player, Kevin Love due to a back injury.

 

Tags: Mitchell Robinson, RJ Barrett
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Knicks look to build on momentum 00:01:25
The Knicks beat the Mavs, then lost to the Hornets in a dagger but the team is focusing on the overall improvement as the prep for the Cavs.

The Knicks split the first two games of their three-game homestand between Thursday's 106-103 win over the Mavericks and Saturday's loss to the Hornets, but they came away from the opposite final results with an optimistic outlook overall.

"We're giving these guys 30 to 45 minutes to be happy or to be down and then we've got to move on to the next, but there's a lot of positives that came from that," said second-year head coach David Fizdale. "I would say it's the best two games we've played back-to-back this year. The kid just ... hit a bomb on us, ripped our hearts out, but we got some good learning lessons that we can take from it and get better from."

The Knicks (3-10) have a chance to win two of three for the first time on the early 2019-20 season when they return to action at Madison Square Garden for Monday's 7 p.m. tip-off against the Cleveland Cavaliers (4-8).

Tags: RJ Barrett
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Oct 30, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson (23) drives past Orlando Magic center Nikola Vucevic (9) and shoots a layup during the second quarter at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Oct 30, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson (23) drives past Orlando Magic center Nikola Vucevic (9) and shoots a layup during the second quarter at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Mitchell Robinson can't escape the injury bug, as a sprained right ankle had him out of practice on Sunday, per a team announcement

The good news is that he's currently listed as probable for Monday night's game against the Cavaliers at Madison Square Garden. 

Robinson has dealt with a sprained ankle earlier this season, as well as a concussion sustained against Pistons. Because of those injuries, he's missed four games already this season.

The Knicks will hope the Cleveland contest won't be his fifth, as Robinson's presence down low is always felt each night. So far this season, he's averaging 11.1 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks per game.

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Terry Rozier
Terry Rozier

Hornets G Terry Rozier had himself a fine night at Madison Square Garden in what became a tough 103-102 loss for the Knicks on Saturday night. But there was a point in time, back in the offseason, where Rozier thought he would be part of the home team.

Rozier had the Knicks in mind during his search for a new team in free agency. He had proven his worth as the Celtics' sixth man, and was ready to get paid. New York certainly had the cap space, but they didn't shell out enough of it. 

"It was probably one of my first options," Rozier told The Post's Marc Berman. "I probably was going to make it happen. Other things happened and I ended up going to Charlotte. It was the interest they showed in me, that was big. The organization believed in me, why not."

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina
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The Hornets had to dig themselves out of a hole Saturday night against the Knicks, but in using the three-ball to do so, they were able to escape Madison Square Garden with a big victory.

It was impressive to see how many three-point shots the Hornets attempted in this game, let alone how many they hit. Once it was all said and done, the Hornets finished 17-of-48 from three-point range. 

No three was more important than the final one, a Devonte Graham dagger with 2.1 seconds left to play. The go-ahead shot was Graham's ninth three-pointer of the game.

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, RJ Barrett
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You would think that after a team picks up a win, let alone a huge moral victory that had a lot of background noise to it, that they'd figure a way to keep that momentum going in your next game, right? Well, the Knicks just did the opposite of that Saturday night against the Hornets.

The Knicks, who were coming off their third win of the season and the second one over Kristaps Porzingis and the possible playoff-bound Mavericks, seemed to pick up right where they left off, holding multiple double-digit leads from the first quarter and on till the middle of the third.

But then the team imploded and watched their 13 point lead midway through the third turn into a one-point deficit with 30 seconds left in the quarter. The two sides would go back and forth down the stretch, but a three-point dagger from Most Improved Player of the Year candidate, Devonte Graham, with 2.1 seconds left all but sealed the game. 

Tags: Frank Ntilikina
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Knicks edged by Hornets 00:01:19
Knicks coach David Fizdale, Frank Ntilikina and RJ Barrett on team's failure to hold a lead in the 103-102 loss to Charlotte

The Knicks (3-10) couldn't hold on again Saturday night, as they blew a double-digit third quarter lead and ultimately fell 103-102 to the Hornets (6-7) on a go-ahead three-pointer. >> Box Score

Five things to know from Saturday's game...

1) Once again, the Knicks allowed one player--this time Devonte Graham--go off on them and crush their spirits. Graham, a 2018 second round pick out of Kanas, hit a go-ahead three-pointer with 2.1 second left to send the Knicks packing. Graham scored 26 points and hit a stunning nine three-pointers to shut the Knicks down on their home floor.

 

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, Mitchell Robinson, RJ Barrett
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The Knicks have reshaped their roster over the last year and change, saying goodbye to some familiar faces (some beloved, some not) in the process. We'll take a look at how some of those former Knicks are performing with their new teams as the 2019-20 NBA season is underway...


Kristaps Porzingis, Dallas Mavericks

All eyes were on The Garden on Thursday, when Porzingis made his much-anticipated return to New York after requesting a trade from the Knicks in January. He was booed throughout the game, but finished with a double-double, scoring 20 points and grabbing 11 rebounds.

Porzingis is averaging 18.5 points per game along with 8.2 rebounds and 2.5 blocks in his first season with the Mavericks.

Tags: Courtney Lee, DeAndre Jordan, Emmanuel Mudiay, Kristaps Porzingis, Kyle O'Quinn, Mario Hezonja, Noah Vonleh, Tim Hardaway Jr.
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Since 2014, the New York Knicks have been in search of a center. Since Tyson Chandler manned the position for years, the team has struggled to find a quality starter at center and it-along with many other problems-has greatly affected New York in the win column. 

After an attempt to sign superstars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving went awry, the Knicks ended up adding several veteran free agents who have spent time at the center position, including Julius Randle, Taj Gibson and Bobby Portis in free agency. The Knicks invested $57.8 million this year alone in those players and forward Marcus Morris. 

These decisions immediately received backlash for creating a lack of positional balance on the roster. As the Knicks look to right the ship after a 3-9 start, the crowded center position comes with many questions and very few solutions.

Tags: Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson
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Knicks look to get on roll 00:01:15
David Fizdale, Dennis Smith Jr. and Mitchell Robinson on using Dallas win to get on a roll and Smith's timely inspiration in the victory

The Knicks earned their third win of the season on Thursday night, beating the Mavs 106-103, as two of their wins have come against Dallas.

Head coach David Fizdale talked about the team's struggles at home earlier this week, and also mentioned what went wrong after beating the Mavs on Nov. 11.

"I don't think it was complacency. I really don't," Fizdale said on Friday. "I really felt like this team is just trying to do so well for the city. I really do. Their intentions are right. They're trying to carry the weight of the city on their shoulders. I just told them you can't do that. I said it's an impossible task. You've got to focus on who's around you in the locker room and put forth effort for the people in the locker room and the city will appreciate that kind of effort. So hopefully we learned that lesson from last night."

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, Kristaps Porzingis, Mitchell Robinson, RJ Barrett
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Dennis Smith Jr. breaking out? 00:00:58
SNY NBA insider Ian Begley on whether Dennis Smith Jr.'s outstanding performance against Dallas could be a sign of things to come

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

After the Knicks' win over the Mavericks on Thursday, Dennis Smith Jr. spent some time reflecting at his locker. 

"It was kind of bittersweet for me, beating the team that traded me but my stepmom wasn't here to see it," Smith Jr. said. "…. I had to take some time out to myself and really digest something like that. She watched every game. Every single game. Even when I was in college.

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, Ian Begley
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

A couple weeks ago, Frank Ntilikina walked into David Fizdale's office, unannounced, and delivered a message: 

"He just said, 'Coach, I've been through a lot in my two years. I feel like I finally understand what the NBA is about. I know I haven't shown it yet, but I'm a dog, too,'" Fizdale said. "It was so cool to hear him say that. And (Thursday against Dallas) he showed that he is really a junkyard dog when it comes to competition."

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, Kristaps Porzingis, Ian Begley
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Marcus Morris and Kristaps Porzingis
Marcus Morris and Kristaps Porzingis

Kristaps Porzingis returned to the Garden on Thursday night, was mercilessly booed, started slow and finished slow, and watched his new team lose to his old team in front of a raucous crowd.

Here's how the back pages in New York reacted, with two of them going full-Porzingis and another not...

Tags: Kristaps Porzingis, Danny Abriano
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Porzingis reacts to MSG boos 00:02:11
Kristaps Porzingis and the Mavericks lost 106-103 to the Knicks. KP reacts to the passionate crowd in his return to MSG.

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Marcus Morris thought the boos and 'KP sucks!' chants at Madison Square Garden on Thursday night affected Kristaps Porzingis' performance in the Knicks' win over the Mavs. 

"It was just at another level. It looked like he was a little rattled, too. So it kind of helped us," Morris said after hitting a game-sealing 3-pointer late in the fourth quarter of New York's win. 

Porzingis heard boos during warmups, player introductions and throughout the game in his first night back at Madison Square Garden since being traded to Dallas last January. 

Tags: Kristaps Porzingis, Ian Begley
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Dennis Smith Jr. has been through his share of adversity this season. After an injury during training camp, a death in the family took the guard away from the team for two weeks.

On Thursday night, Smith Jr. shined for the Knicks as the team topped the Mavs 106-103 for their second win against Kristaps Porzingis this season. 

In just his second game back with the team, Smith Jr. scored 13 points on 5-of-12 shooting, and also had a team-high eight assists to go along with six rebounds in 29 minutes.

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Kristaps Porzingis
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Knicks react to MSG atmosphere 00:01:43
The Knicks beat the Mavericks 106-103. The atmosphere was great and players acknowledged the passion of Knicks fans.

The Knicks (3-9) faced the Dallas Mavs (6-5) for the second time this season, winning again, this time 106-103 as former Knick Kristaps Porzingis made his return to Madison Square Garden >> Box Score

Here are Five Takeaway's from Thursday's game...

1) Marcus Morris led the way for the Knicks in scoring with 20 points, including a go-ahead three pointer with 13.4 seconds left in the game. He was 5-for-7 from three in the game, and had five rebounds in 34 minutes.

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Kristaps Porzingis, Mitchell Robinson
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Houston Rockets forward Carmelo Anthony watches a teammate shoot free throws during the second quarter against the LA Clippers at Staples Center. (Robert Hanashiro/USA TODAY Sports)
Houston Rockets forward Carmelo Anthony watches a teammate shoot free throws during the second quarter against the LA Clippers at Staples Center. (Robert Hanashiro/USA TODAY Sports)

Carmelo Anthony is back on an NBA roster.

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the former Knick is signing a non-guaranteed deal with the Portland Trail Blazers.

The 10-time All-Star last played for the Rockets last season, though he played just 10 games with Houston. Prior to that, he spent the 2017-18 season with the Thunder.

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Kristaps Porzingis said last week that he expected 'a lot of noise' in his first return to Madison Square Garden.

And that was exactly the case during player intros, as the former Knicks' lottery pick heard plenty of boos from Knicks fans on Thursday night.


NY fans on Kristaps Porzingis 00:01:03
Kristaps Porzingis returns to MSG for the first time as a visiting player. What do New Yorkers think of the former Knick?

Kristaps Porzingis is making his return to Madison Square Garden on Thursday night for the first time since he was traded away last February. 

And Knicks fans will certainly let him hear it. 

We decided to hit the streets right outside The Garden to see just how those fans will welcome back the man they once cheered for...

Tags: Kristaps Porzingis
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Breaking down the Knicks at MSG 00:00:49
Ian Begley reacts to David Fizdale's comments that the new Knicks might be pressing too much at Madison Square Garden

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

The Knicks are 1-3 at home and have lost their last two games at Madison Square Garden by a combined 42 points. David Fizdale thinks he knows at least one reason why the club has struggled at home. 

"Honestly I think they want to do so well for the fanbase I think they get tight. I really do," he said. "I've looked at all of the different things that have happened and I just feel like sometimes -- they really want to do well for the city. 

"With everything that's happened over the course of the last year, these guys want to play hard for the city, they want to win for the city. I just think sometimes when it starts to go the other way, they play not to lose instead of playing to win."

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Kristaps Porzingis, Mitchell Robinson, Ian Begley
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Knicks will always feel pressure 00:01:04
Dallas Mavericks forward Kristaps Porzingis knows the pressure Knicks players face because the city is hungry for a successful franchise.

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Kristaps Porzingis isn't sure what to expect from the home crowd when he returns to Madison Square Garden on Thursday. But based on what he's seen from Knicks fans on Instagram and Twitter, he's bracing for a cold reception (which he's sure to get).

"Social media is mostly negative. But we'll see. It's going to be a lot of emotion," Porzingis said Wednesday after Mavs practice at the National Basketball Players Association offices in Manhattan.

Porzingis was back in New York City on Wednesday for the first time since he was traded -- at his request -- to Dallas last January.

Tags: Kristaps Porzingis, Ian Begley
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 (Kamil Krzaczynski)
(Kamil Krzaczynski)

Dennis Smith Jr. was back in the Knicks lineup on Tuesday night against the Bulls, but it wasn't the return he hoped for. 

Though it was his first game back since Oct. 26 after the passing of his stepmother, Smith saw 14 minutes of playing time by head coach David Fizdale. And that time on the court, it was apparent Smith hadn't played in a game recently. 

He went 0-for-3 from the field while committing two turnovers. Smith did, however, dish out two assists and collected two steals on the night. 

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr.
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Knicks owner James Dolan spoke with team president Steve Mills and others in management on Monday, the day after Mills and GM Scott Perry held an impromptu press conference to express their frustration with the Knicks. 

Dolan speaks with Mills and other top decision-makers regularly, just as most NBA owners do, but this conversation seemed to carry a little more weight. Sources familiar with the conversation told SNY that management came away with the impression that their jobs would be secure as long as the Knicks 'showed progress' this season. 

Tags: Kristaps Porzingis, Ian Begley
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 (Kamil Krzaczynski)
(Kamil Krzaczynski)

On a night when Tar Heels head coach Roy Williams was in attendance, one of his former players, Coby White, absolutely went off against the Knicks in the fourth quarter.

And while White's ridiculous fourth quarter - complete with seven made three pointers in the frame - was the biggest storyline of the game, the play of RJ Barrett was one of the few bright spots for the Knicks.

White was simply phenomenal in the final 12 minutes, and despite the fact that he entered the night shooting just 21% from three, he went 7-for-11 from distance, including 7-for-8 in the fourth.

Tags: RJ Barrett
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 (Kamil Krzaczynski)
(Kamil Krzaczynski)

The Knicks (2-9) faced the Bulls (4-7) for a second time in the early season, but weren't able to get the win this time around, as Chicago pulled away in the fourth quarter to take a 120-102 victory>> Box Score

Here are Five Takeaway's from Tuesday's game...

1) Just as they did in their first matchup with the Bulls, the Knicks came back from a double-digit first half deficit to make things interesting by the end of the third with things tied at 85 heading into the fourth quarter. But rookie PG Coby White just exploded in the fourth quarter, hitting seven 3-pointers to break the Bulls back out to a double-digit lead, as the Knicks just had no answer for them in the last 12 minutes of play. White set a Bulls franchise record for 3-pointers in a quarter with seven and scored a career-high 27 points.

 

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Kristaps Porzingis, Mitchell Robinson, RJ Barrett
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Feb 26, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Dennis Smith Jr. (5) dribbles the ball against Orlando Magic forward Wesley Iwundu (25) during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Feb 26, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Dennis Smith Jr. (5) dribbles the ball against Orlando Magic forward Wesley Iwundu (25) during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Dennis Smith Jr. will make his return to the Knicks' lineup on Tuesday night, per The Athletic's Mike Vorkunov

Smith has been out since Oct. 26, as he has been with his family grieving the loss of his stepmother. The Knicks were giving him all the time he needed before making his return to the team. 

Smith has been back with the Knicks since last week, and it was believed that he may be able to play against the Mavericks on Friday night. However, the team wanted to make sure he was game-ready, and decided to wait until Tuesday against the Bulls. 

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Steve Mills/Scott Perry/David Fizdale (Brad Penner)
Steve Mills/Scott Perry/David Fizdale (Brad Penner)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

A few notes about where things stand with the Knicks after an awkward, uncomfortable 24 hours for the organization: 

IS FIZDALE THE FALL GUY?

Yes, the impromptu press conference from team president Steve Mills and GM Scott Perry on Sunday night made it clear that David Fizdale's job is under scrutiny amid New York's 2-8 start. If the Knicks continue to struggle, no one would be surprised if Fizdale were let go in the near future. 

ESPN reported on Monday that Mills was laying the groundwork internally to fire Fizdale. This could lead you to believe that Mills will not be held responsible if New York fails to meet expectations. That's not accurate though. 
 

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 (Jerome Miron)
(Jerome Miron)

After a report Monday suggested that Knicks head coach David Fizdale is being set up by team president Steve Mills as the "fall guy" for the team's struggles, the coach spoke highly of team executives. 

Talking to the media at Monday's practice, Fizdale said he feels is comfortable with Mills and the front office. 

"I haven't seen anything like that," Fizdale said of the ESPN report. "They've been very supportive of me."

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May 29, 2019; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri answers questions during Media Day before the NBA Finals at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports  (Dan Hamilton)
May 29, 2019; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri answers questions during Media Day before the NBA Finals at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports (Dan Hamilton)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Let's start here with the Knicks: because of the team's poor record and the impromptu press conference given by president Steve Mills and GM Scott Perry on Sunday, there will be speculation about the job security of David Fizdale and the Knicks' execs.

As SNY reported Sunday, there is no indication that any executive or coach is getting fired in the next few days. But an in-season firing shouldn't be ruled out if the losing and non-competitive stretches continue, people familiar with the matter say.

A factor to consider in all of this are the contracts of Mills, Perry and Fizdale.

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Steve Mills/Scott Perry/David Fizdale (Brad Penner)
Steve Mills/Scott Perry/David Fizdale (Brad Penner)

Amidst the wreckage of their disastrous start to the season, Knicks president Steve Mills is setting up head coach David Fizdale to be the "fall guy," a league source told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Malika Andrews.

According to Wojnarowski and Andrews, Mills has started to lay the "internal groundwork" for the potential firing of Fizdale.

Questions about Fizdale's job status grew louder after Mills and GM Scott Perry held a postgame press conference at Madison Square Garden following the Knicks' blowout loss to the Cavaliers on Sunday -- an occurrence SNY's Ian Begley noted was extremely rare.

Tags: Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, Danny Abriano
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Begley talks Knicks team unrest 00:02:59
SNY NBA insider Ian Begley on yet another poor performance by the Knicks at home and a surprise media appearance by the team's management

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

At some point during New York's 21-point loss to Cleveland, Knicks owner James Dolan spoke to team president Steve Mills and GM Scott Perry about the state of the club. It's fair to assume he wasn't happy.

The Knicks dropped to 2-8 with Sunday's loss -- the fourth time they've lost a game by at least 20 points.

Afterward, Mills and Perry addressed the media -- which is extremely rare.

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Knicks management meets media 00:01:28
Knicks President Steve Mills and GM Scott Perry express their disappointment with the team's poor start to the season

After the Knicks' 108-87 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers at Madison Square Garden dropped New York to 2-8 on the season, president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry conducted an unexpected postgame press conference.

Before head coach David Fizdale spoke at the podium, the two executives said that they felt an obligation to address fans for the Knicks' disappointing start 10 games into the season.

Mills and Perry repeatedly cited the Knicks' lack of effort as the reasons for concern, namely after Friday's 106-102 road win over the Dallas Mavericks (6-3) and former New York star Kristaps Porzingis provided optimism until Sunday's wire-to-wire blowout defeat against the Cavs (4-5) brought the team back down.

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Knicks walloped at home 00:01:53
Knicks coach David Fizdale, Marcus Morris Sr. and Bobby Portis on the team's inability to perform at a high level consistently

The Knicks returned home to Madison Square Garden in New York on Sunday after last week's two-game road trip and lost 108-87 against the Cleveland Cavaliers. >> Box Score

Five things to know about Sunday's game...

1) Taken by the Cavs just one spot in front of the Knicks' pick in the 2018 NBA draft, No. 8 overall selection Collin Sexton showed the Knicks what they missed out on. Sexton dropped a game-high 31 points -- also a season- and career-best scoring output -- shooting 10 of 16 from the field and going 5 for 8 on three-pointers to fuel Cleveland past New York. With the No. 9 overall pick, of course, the Knicks selected small forward Kevin Knox, who scored nine points and grabbed three rebounds in 22 minutes off the bench.

Tags: Allonzo Trier, Damyean Dotson, Frank Ntilikina, Mitchell Robinson, RJ Barrett
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