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Apr 1, 2015; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau reacts to a call during the third quarter against the Milwaukee Bucks at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports (Jeff Hanisch)
Apr 1, 2015; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau reacts to a call during the third quarter against the Milwaukee Bucks at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports (Jeff Hanisch)

Derek Fisher is out. Kurt Rambis is in. At least that'll be the case for the Knicks' head coaching situation for the rest of the season.

And while Rambis is a long-time confidant of Phil Jackson and a well known teacher, preacher, and practicer of the triangle offense, his 54-145 record as a head coach in two and a half NBA seasons doesn't make his chances of sticking around as the main man for too long. Only time will tell, so it will be interesting to see how he handles the pressure of being a head coach under the bright lights in the Big Apple.

Nevertheless, even assuming Rambis himself will be a candidate to keep the position next, here's a reasonable look at who else Phil Jackson could consider, given his preferences.

Brian Shaw

Like Rambis, Shaw is another unsuccessful NBA head coach who has branched off from Jackson's coaching tree following time as an assistant.

Shaw was long considered Jackson's right hand man and star pupil. Though he may have had a future in Los Angeles succeeding Jackson, he followed a path to Denver. It was there where things went south for him. Shaw didn't have the best looking roster, but those around him thought he didn't have the best command, either. Like Fisher, he may be resistant to change and/or guidance along the way.

Seeing how he may be considered a top choice for Jackson in New York, it would be beneficial to bring him on as an assistant before this season ends to get him acclimated with the players and vice versa.

Luke Walton

When Steve Kerr spurned Jackson for Golden State, the Knicks' President should have made a hard play at Walton (instead of Fisher) as his second choice for the team's head coaching job. Of course, hindsight is 20/20.

Walton has undoubtedly bolstered his resume since then with another NBA championship ring and a hot start as interim head coach with the Warriors while filling in for Kerr this season. Of course, any number of coaches could have done well in that situation, but Walton was praised for his demeanor and subsequent reactionary moves during crunch time of games, which was clearly a weak point of Fisher's. Walton is a young coach, but he has more of a track record and some recent exposure may endear him even further to Jackson, his former head coach.

Tom Thibodeau

Thibodeau is arguably the most successful and desirable head coaching candidate on the open market right now. He posted a .647 winning percentage with the Bulls, won an NBA championship as an assistant with the Celtics, and has experience as an assistant with the Knicks. Many things add up in Thibodeau's favor, but one thing distinctly does not: he is obviously not a triangle/Jackson disciple.

But Thibodeau is one hell of a defensive guru, can hold guys accountable, and already has a built-in relationship with Carmelo Anthony after working together on Team USA. He has to have Jackson's respect after finding success in Chicago. If Jackson is willing to build a foundation with a head coach a bit more, this pairing could work.

Patrick Ewing and Kobe Bryant

These are obviously two outside of the box and perhaps unlikely candidates, but it wouldn't be unreasonable to see each come in for interviews.

Hiring Bryant straight out of retirement (much like Jackson did with Fisher) wouldn't be the most savvy move, and it would prove Jackson is merely a glutton for punishment. But given Bryant's status and the respect Jackson has for him, it wouldn't be the craziest hire.

Hiring Ewing would be a home run for the fans. The type of experience he boasts as an assistant over the years trumps most of the other candidates Jackson will consider. Ewing played against the triangle and obviously knows Jackson fairly well because of it. An extra endorsement from Michael Jordan (currently the owner of Ewing's Hornets) may help get him in the door once again. Experience should undoubtedly be a key desirable component this time around, and Ewing has plenty of it.

Tags: Keith Schlosser

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Phil Jackson won't return to the sidelines to try to resuscitate the Knicks, and is looking for a coach with whom he has a solid "relationship."

In the long term, that coach could turn out to be interim head coach Kurt Rambis, Brian Shaw, Luke Walton, Tom Thibodeau or someone else altogether.

Asked if he considered returning to coaching after firing Derek Fisher on Monday, the 70-year-old Jackson said, "Not one second. But the instinct is still there but it's not in my physical capabilities to do that."

Jackson, who has dealt with numerous health issues, said he informed owner Jim Dolan upon his hiring in 2014 that a return to coaching wasn't in the cards for the Zenmaster.

"No, that was understood when I took the job, that I wasn't going to be coach," Jackson said.

Jackson said he and GM Steve Mills made the decision over the last few days to fire Fisher, who amassed a record of 40-96 in one-plus seasons -- including 23-31 this year -- after never having coached before. The team has lost five straight and nine of 10.

Jackson said they informed Dolan of the decision on Sunday.

Fisher is owed $8.5 million over the next two years, ESPN's Brian Windhorst reported.

Rambis, 57, has a career record of 56-145 in two seasons with the Minnesota Timberwolves and part of a season with the Lakers. In his last season in Minnesota, Rambis went 17-65, the same record Fisher had last season when posting the worst record in Knicks' history.

"I've got to do things my way, in a way that I feel will be right for this team," Rambis said.

Rambis said the coaching staff would remain the same but noted there was a "slim chance" he might add someone.

Jackson said Rambis will serve as the interim for the remainder of the season and beyond that he is looking for someone who understands the principles of the triangle offense -- which would seem to favor Rambis, Shaw or Walton.

"It's not paramount but it's important," Jackson said of the next coach understanding the triangle.

He added: "It's always good to have a relationship. It's not paramount, but it's something I'm going to have to have a relationship with someone if they're going to coach this team, That's just how it works. Communciation has to be there in a job like that."

Thibodeau, who went 255-139 (.647) in five seasons with the Bulls, is available and a source close to the former Chicago coach said he would love the Knicks' job.

"He would walk here for that job," the source said.

Asked if he was familiar with the triangle, the source said, "Thibs would definitely run concepts of the triangle. He did in Chicago."

Asked specifically about Thibodeau, Jackson said: "I respect Tom as a coach, he's a really good coach. But I'm not out soliciting coaches right now."

Tags: Phil Jackson , Adam Zagoria

 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Knicks President Phil Jackson said it was his decision to fire head coach Derek Fisher and that interim head coach Kurt Rambis will coach the team for the remainder of the season.

Fisher, who was hired prior to the 2014-15 season, was fired earlier on Monday.

While noting that it's "a lot easier to fire a coach than 15 players," Jackson said the fact that the Knicks have lost 9 of 10 games was a big factor in letting Fisher go. 

As far as the incident Fisher had with Matt Barnes, Jackson said it was "embarrassing" for the organization but had nothing to do with the firing.

Jackson ruled out the possibility of coaching the team himself, saying that it's not within his "physical capabilities."

Jackson also said the Knicks are "looking to improve" as the trade deadline approaches, while noting that Carmelo Anthony has a no-trade clause.

Keith Schlosser, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive

The team Jackson put together is a talented one. There have been evident holes all season long (a need for a more up-tempo point guard and added depth in the second unit, among them), but New York's most glaring weakness had long been Derek Fisher.

Triangle or no triangle, the Knicks should experience immediate improvements. Rambis may not be the total solution, but it's very clear Fisher was the problem. One could argue Jackson took too long to remove him, because now there isn't much time to reassess things and see how the team can perform with a competent coach in place. The trade deadline is steadily approaching and Jackson will have to gauge things completely based off what he's seen with Fisher leading the way.

It's great to see Jackson ready to explore and/or be receptive to respective offers and/or potential changes being made, but the window of opportunity -- at least with regard to finishing out this season strong -- isn't open all that wide. Nevertheless, regardless of whether or not the Knicks opt to make any adjustments leading in to the deadline, it'll be really refreshing to see what they're capable of with a different voice leading the charge.


Interim head coach Kurt Rambis is running his first practice just hours after Derek Fisher was fired by the team.


Frank Isola on Fisher's removal 00:10:08
Jonas Schwartz talks with Frank Isola on the Knicks' decision to drop head coach Derek Fisher and what the future holds for the team.

The Knicks have fired head coach Derek Fisher, the team announced. 

Fisher, 41, had been hired by the Knicks prior to the 2014-15 season.

Kurt Rambis, who was the head coach for Minnesota from 2009-2011, will serve as the Knicks' interim head coach.

Fisher led the Knicks to a 17-65 record last season and a 23-31 record this season.

The Knicks have struggled mightily this season after a solid start, going 1-9 over their last 10 games.

Fisher released a statement after the news broke:

"This is a very talented team with strong character and I am confident they will succeed," Fisher said. "Obviously, I'm disappointed, but have learned an immense amount from this experience and hope to grow from it."

According to Brian Windhorst of ESPN, Brian Shaw and Luke Walton are among the Knicks' top choices as a long-term replacement for Fisher (Feb. 8).

Tom Thibodeau, who was fired by the Bulls last May, has always wanted the Knicks job, a source told Ian O'Connor of ESPN (Feb. 8).

Meanwhile, Shaw would "love" to be the Knicks' head coach, according to Stefan Bondy of the Daily News (Feb. 8).

Keith Schlosser, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive

The writing was on the wall. It was just a matter of time before Knicks President Phil Jackson acted.

There have been tons of signs and plenty of reasons as to why New York should have fired Fisher, some much clearer than others. There were games that looked as though he didn't have a clue, but worse than that, Fisher wasn't someone who could adapt, or at the very least, look as though he ever wanted to. He made mistakes over and over, and without him being shown the door, the bleeding may have never stopped.

It's better late than never, and this proves Jackson not only has his finger on the pulse, but a commitment to righting the ship. Fisher's struggles and inability or refusal to change left his former head coach no choice.

It'll be interesting to see if the Knicks can turn things around from here. Given how low Fisher's lack of progress has set the bar thus far, it won't be difficult to go up.

Rambis, too, has been in New York's locker room for the last season and a half, which may lead some to suggest that he -- like others on the staff -- was part of the problem as well. Still, it's clear he was committed to deferring to Fisher at times. With more authority, perhaps he can make some smarter decisions along the way.

Pistons head coach Stan Van Gundy made a very interesting point about the Knicks last week. They're not a young team, and as such, should be working towards putting a competitive effort forth on a nightly basis rather than remaining content with not always evident development. This team is also arguably in need of a veteran coach: someone who knows how to react in a timely manner with better decisions in crunch time. Rambis will likely know how to manage personalities, motivate them, and light the fire up from under them better than Fisher did.

Rambis may not be the Knicks' ideal long-term head coach, but if he's able to help the team progress a bit more over the course of the rest of this season, it'll only be further proof that a change was in fact needed. This is for the best.


 (Raj Mehta)
(Raj Mehta)

Knicks F Carmelo Anthony has been told by doctors that the continued soreness in his left knee is a regular part of his recovery from the surgery he had last February (Feb. 8).

"It's not going to heal in a week or a couple days or two weeks," Anthony said on Sunday. "The process I had is going to take time to heal."

Anthony returned to the lineup on Sunday against the Nuggets after missing Friday's game.

Anthony has missed three of the Knicks' last eight games due to the knee, and said he might strategically take some games off in order to rest it.

Tags: Carmelo Anthony

New York Knicks head coach Derek Fisher looks towards New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony during first half against Denver Nuggets at Madison Square Garden. (Noah K. Murray/USATSI)
New York Knicks head coach Derek Fisher looks towards New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony during first half against Denver Nuggets at Madison Square Garden. (Noah K. Murray/USATSI)

The more the Knicks lose, the more questions seem to surround them. But the ironic thing is that they are consistent in one specific area: the fashion in which they suffer such defeats.

With their latest loss, a 101-96 defeat against the Nuggets on Sunday, the Knicks displayed a number of behaviors that are becoming all too familiar now. They lack a killer instinct, and players to fail to sense when they can kick it up a notch and go on attack mode. They aren't assertive around the basket. Players aren't showing urgency on the offensive boards, following up shots and creating second chance opportunities. The team's overall defensive intensity is lacking, as is their ability to put up a worthwhile fight for a full 48 minutes over the course of a given contest. Regardless of the circumstances, the Knicks seem to constantly fade away and ice over when the game is on the line in the final minutes. Despite a +13 third quarter that saw New York take the lead, they fell to Denver following an all too forgettable fourth. But unfortunately for the Knicks, such woes are all too evident in what is becoming a recurring nightmare.

Here are more observations from the matinee loss.

- Though they relinquished their lead with time winding down, the Knicks were actually able to hang around and stay within reach of a one possession difference. Despite having the ball with just over 19 seconds left, Derek Fisher opted not to call a timeout (he had two remaining) in order to ensure his team fought back and set up a proper play, Instead, Carmelo Anthony took a difficult and contested shot (with his foot arguably on the 3-point line) with the team down three. He missed, and their opportunity to come back faded away.

- Without Lance Thomas, Kyle O'Quinn, Kevin Seraphin and Lou Amundson (in that order) were Fisher's first three reserves off the bench. The Knicks offense was flat to start the game, and they could have really benefitted from an offensive boost spearheaded by the likes of Langston Galloway and Derrick Williams. Without such a spark, their respective deficit only grew.

- A rare bright spot for the Knicks was the play of Kristaps Porzingis, whose 13-point, seven-rebound, third quarter was arguably the best of his young career. With Anthony sitting out, the rookie not only kept the Knicks afloat, but helped them obtain a key lead. Watching Porzingis headline and carry an offense was very refreshing. It was great to see him prove he was capable of it after finding a rhythm. His versatility makes it difficult for an opposing defense to slow him down.

- Anthony was successfully used as a decoy (seven assists) despite struggling with his own shot, but it's clear he could have continued benefitted from some extended rest. As the Knicks continue to flounder and their playoff hopes dwindle away, doing what they can to not over-exacerbate their star forward will be a key managing factor in the rest of New York's season.

- All in all, the Knicks created a large hole for themselves early on, but the decisions Fisher made in reaction didn't make things any easier. It's time to reassess things and figure out what changes needed to be made to right the ship before it sinks. 

 

Tags: Carmelo Anthony , Denver Nuggets , Kristaps Porzingis , Lance Thomas , Keith Schlosser

Sacramento guard Rajon Rondo doesn't want to play for the Knicks, and the feeling is apparently mutual, at least for Derek Fisher. (Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports)
Sacramento guard Rajon Rondo doesn't want to play for the Knicks, and the feeling is apparently mutual, at least for Derek Fisher. (Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports)

Kings point guard Rajon Rondo said he won't consider the Knicks in free agency because of the triangle offense. Knicks coach Derek Fisher said Sunday the feeling is mutual.

"You can't ask a guy that wasn't very successful playing against it whether or not he wants to come play in it," Fisher told reporters Sunday. "So that's his opinion, that's fine. He doesn't play for us. So we're not concerned about his opinion about us at this point."

Fisher also challenged a reporter who called Rondo "elite". "That's your decision on whether he's elite or not," Fisher said.

Rondo, who turns 30 Feb. 22, faced the Lakers' triangle twice in the NBA Finals, going 1-1. In the Finals that Rondo's Celtics lost, he averaged 13.6 points, 7.6 assists, 6.3 rebounds and 1.6 steals.

When asked about playing for New York, Rondo said: "The triangle's not really a good look for me, I don't think."


The Knicks' Carmelo Anthony drives to the basket against the Nuggets' Joffrey Lauvergne (77) and Will Barton (5). (Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports)
The Knicks' Carmelo Anthony drives to the basket against the Nuggets' Joffrey Lauvergne (77) and Will Barton (5). (Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports)

Box score

NEW YORK -- Rookie Emmanuel Mudiay scored nine of his 15 points during a decisive fourth-quarter run, and the Denver Nuggets beat the fading Knicks 101-96 on Sunday.

Former Knicks forward Danilo Gallinari and Will Barton each had 19 points to lead the Nuggets, who won for the third time in four games. But it was Mudiay, who was just 2 for 12 through three quarters, who delivered nearly all the points during an 11-2 spurt that put the Nuggets in control after the game was tied at 86-all.

Kristaps Porzingis had 21 points and 13 rebounds for the Knicks, who have lost five in a row and nine of 10 since they were 22-22 and looking like a realistic playoff team.

Carmelo Anthony returned to face his former team after missing a game to rest his sore left knee, finishing with 21 points, seven assists and six rebounds. But he shot just 7 for 19, missing a rushed, long jumper with the Knicks trailing by three and about 10 seconds left.

Denver ended a four-game losing streak at Madison Square Garden.

Read more. . . .<


On this week's show, Anthony Donahue and Moke Hamilton discuss the Knicks' recent slide and Derek Fisher's comments about making the playoffs.

Plus, the guys chat with Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders about Fisher's job status, and the trade rumors surrounding Blake Griffin and Carmelo Anthony.

Tags: Carmelo Anthony

Feb 2, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) drives to the basket past Boston Celtics forward Jae Crowder (99) during the first half of an NBA basketball game at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports (Adam Hunger)
Feb 2, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) drives to the basket past Boston Celtics forward Jae Crowder (99) during the first half of an NBA basketball game at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports (Adam Hunger)

Carmelo Anthony will be back in the Knicks lineup today when they host the Nuggets at Madison Square Garden at 1 p.m., according to reporter Al Iannazzone (Feb. 7)

Anthony has missed seven games this season with knee soreness, and the Knicks are 0-7 without him. Anthony had an MRI last week that showed no structural damage. 

Anthony had left knee surgery last February to repair a torn patellar tendon after chronic left knee soreness.

Anthony's ongoing knee issues are putting a drain on the Knicks' offense.

Making matters worse, he's being outperformed by a player they gave up to obtain the All-Star's services.

In the midst of arguably the best stretch of his career, Danilo Gallinari leads the Denver Nuggets into Madison Square Garden Sunday afternoon attempting to deal the sagging Knicks a season-high fifth straight loss.

Anthony has gone 8 of 34 from the field over his last two games and shot 32.6 percent over his past six, part of a 1-8 run that's dropped New York (23-30) to 11th place in the Eastern Conference. The 31-year-old has missed three of those games due to recurring tendinitis in his surgically repaired left knee, an injury that's led to Anthony registering a career-low 42.4 field goal percentage.

"He's carrying a big load night to night," coach Derek Fisher said. "I think he'll be fine long term. I think we just have to get through this next set of days into the break and hopefully re-evaluate him from there in terms of something that's not reoccurring."

The Knicks have shot just 38.7 percent while averaging 93.0 points during their swoon. They struggled again with Anthony held out of Friday's 91-85 loss to Memphis, falling to 0-7 in games he's missed and 1-18 when scoring 93 or less.

"We need a guy like 'Melo who you can give him the ball and he will score, he will get to the line and he will make plays for others," forward Kristaps Porzingis said. "I think that's what we're missing."

Anthony's return is a positive for a team that had other encouraging signs in its latest defeat. Jose Calderon had 18 points in his second game back from a groin injury and Porzingis compiled 17 points, 10 rebounds and six assists. The rookie averaged 9.0 points on 33.3 percent shooting over his previous four games.

Gallinari has often been sidetracked by injuries since being part of the package New York sent to the Nuggets in the February 2011 trade for Anthony. The Italian has been healthy and productive since returning from a sprained ankle Jan. 2, averaging 23.4 points in 18 games to help Denver (20-31) split its last 16.

Gallinari had a season-high 33 and hit all 18 of his free throws in Friday's 115-110 comeback win over injury-plagued Chicago. He's shot 89.3 percent from the line while leading the NBA in free throws made and attempted since Jan. 6.

Denver, which has topped 100 points in 10 of its last 11, had several other contributors in rallying from an 18-point deficit late in the third quarter against the Bulls. Rookies Emmanuel Mudiay and Nikola Jokic each recorded 10 points during a fourth quarter in which the Nuggets outscored Chicago 42-21, with Mudiay finishing with 22 points and sixth man Will Barton 18.

The Nuggets begin a four-game trip seeking to end a three-game skid at Madison Square Garden. Anthony had 28 points in New York's 109-93 home win last season but did not play in a 106-78 loss in Denver on March 9, 2015.


GEICO SportsNite: NY Knicks 00:00:42
Knicks guard Arron Afflalo and forward Kristaps Porzingis discuss playing without Carmelo Anthony in the team's 91-85 loss to the Grizzlies.

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

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

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

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

The Grizzlies led by nine points in the fourth quarter but could not pull away from the Knicks, who were playing without Carmelo Anthony.

Arron Afflalo's 3-pointer brought New York within 87-85 with 35 seconds left. After Gasol missed a layup, Afflalo missed a potential tying jumper with 8 seconds remaining. >> Read more…

Tags: Aaron Afflalo , Carmelo Anthony , Jose Calderon , Kristaps Porzingis , Memphis Grizzlies

New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony dribbles past center Robin Lopez and Detroit Pistons forward Marcus Morris during the fourth quarter at The Palace of Auburn Hills. (Raj Mehta/USATSI)
New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony dribbles past center Robin Lopez and Detroit Pistons forward Marcus Morris during the fourth quarter at The Palace of Auburn Hills. (Raj Mehta/USATSI)

Carmelo Anthony and Lance Thomas will be unavailable for Friday's Knicks-Grizzlies game due to injuries.

Anthony will be unavailable as he has battled a left knee injury that has forced him to miss four of New York's last 12 games.

Thomas suffered a mild concussion and will be out until at least Tuesday while he's in the league's concussion protocol. In addition to Friday's game, Thomas will miss Sunday's matchup against the Denver Nuggets.

New York hosts the Washington Wizards on Tuesday at 8 p.m.

Tags: Carmelo Anthony , Lance Thomas , Memphis Grizzlies

New York Knicks center Robin Lopez reacts after a call during the third quarter against the Detroit Pistons at The Palace of Auburn Hills. (Raj Mehta/USATSI)
New York Knicks center Robin Lopez reacts after a call during the third quarter against the Detroit Pistons at The Palace of Auburn Hills. (Raj Mehta/USATSI)

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

According to STATS:

  • The Grizzlies defeated the Knicks 103-95 in Memphis on January 16. It was their fifth straight victory in this series; the Grizzlies have held the Knicks to 95 or fewer points in each game during this streak.
  • Memphis has scored 100 or more points in nine straight games, which is tied with the Thunder for the longest active streak in the NBA. Memphis has gone 8-1 in those contests.
  • The Knicks have shown solid improvement on the boards, going from grabbing 40.4 per game last season compared to 43.8 so far in 2015-16; that +3.4 improvement is second best in the NBA (Mia, +3.9)
  • Jeff Green has scored 20 or more points in each of his last four games, coming off the bench in each of these contests. That is a franchise record for a bench player.
  • Marc Gasol had 37 points in the Grizzlies' January 16 win over New York; 24 of the 37 points came after halftime (11 in the fourth quarter).
  • Of Robin Lopez's 330 total rebounds this season, 147, or 44.5 percent, have come on the offensive glass; that is the highest percentage in the NBA (minimum 200 total rebounds). He has 17 offensive rebounds in his last two games.
Tags: Memphis Grizzlies , Robin Lopez

The New York Knicks new President of basketball operations Phil Jackson is introduced to the media at Madison Square Garden (William Perlman)
The New York Knicks new President of basketball operations Phil Jackson is introduced to the media at Madison Square Garden (William Perlman)

Keith Schlosser, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive

The Knicks are now losers of seven of their last eight games. Such defeats have come in the form of either blow-out romps, or on the flip side, heartfelt comebacks that fell just short of the mark as the team could only fight so hard and for so long. These losses could have equally demoralizing effects' on a team's collective psyche. Couple that with Derek Fisher's now notorious remark that the playoffs are not a must and the team is still developing, and New York finds itself in a tricky (and perhaps unsurmountable) spot.

The team's recent struggles and lack of urgency from Fisher may call for a "State of the Knicks"-like address by team president Phil Jackson. 

The likes of Fisher, Jackson, and even Carmelo Anthony steered relatively clear of expressing any playoff-related predictions or goals at this past fall's media day, but it's important to understand where the Knicks are headed. Clearly, they want to want to compete; building around Anthony in the relative short-term, and utilizing Kristaps Porzingis as another starring attraction to reel even younger pieces in to further set a foundation for an even brighter future.

That broad question is an easy one in comparison to the more pressing ones that lie ahead because of it. How exactly will the Knicks get there? How long will this process continue to take? What moves, or respective changes, need to be made in order to ensure the team continues to move in a steady, progressive, and positive direction toward that general goal? What can New York accomplish in the meantime along the way?

If one thing is clear, it's that whatever the Knicks have been doing over the last few weeks isn't working. It's poor practice of bad behavior, but unfortunately, it doesn't appear as though anyone (more specifically, Jackson) is lighting the fire up from under them to spark a change. There should be an explanation as to why the team appears so content, or a reasonable dismissal of such a notion, with an assertion that a change (be it from a personnel -- player or coach -- or behavioral standpoint) is coming.

Jackson needs to address these issues.

Fisher's coaching record now stands at 40-94 through just over a season and a half. There's no doubt he hasn't always had it easy with the Knicks' talent level or team makeup, but it's also clear his vulnerabilities as a coach are impacting New York (especially more recently) just as much as they did last season, regardless of which players are actually gracing the roster.

Ideally, Jackson wants to give Fisher as much time as he possibly can to right the ship. After all, Fisher's failure will be considered Jackson's failure to a large extent, as well. Turnings things around would be an opportunity for both staffers to save face. But there's only so much time left for Jackson to relieve Fisher of his duties before he himself is more so to blame for not knowingly stopping the bleeding while he still could. 

If Jackson indeed supports Fisher, even amid his recent comments and the team's latest skid, he needs to spell out what he believes the real problem may be, and how he plans on helping the Knicks fix it.

Tags: Carmelo Anthony , Keith Schlosser

Jan 30, 2016; Memphis, TN, USA; Memphis Grizzlies guard Mike Conley (11) handles the ball against Sacramento Kings forward Rudy Gay (8) during the second half at FedExForum. Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Sacramento Kings 121-117. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports (Justin Ford)
Jan 30, 2016; Memphis, TN, USA; Memphis Grizzlies guard Mike Conley (11) handles the ball against Sacramento Kings forward Rudy Gay (8) during the second half at FedExForum. Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Sacramento Kings 121-117. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports (Justin Ford)

Mike Conley will be the only max-money point guard on the free agent market this summer and as he visits New York for tonight's game with the Knicks, he's wisely keeping his options open.

"Everything will be on the table when the time comes. I haven't committed to anything," Conley told reporters Friday at shootaround, according to ESPN's Ian Begley.

When asked if there was a pact to re-sign and pair up with Marc Gasol, Conley himself added said, "There is no pact," according to Stefan Bondy of the Daily News.

Gasol last summer agreed to a five-year extension with the Grizzlies worth up to $110 million.

Memphis big man Zach Randolph, a former Knick, also joked: "Mike Conley's not coming here, man."

The 6-foot-1 Conley is averaging 14.6 points, 6.1 assists and 3.0 rebounds for the Grizzlies (29-20), currently the No. 5 seed in the West.

Tags: Mike Conley , Adam Zagoria

New York Knicks center Robin Lopez (8) reacts after a call during the third quarter against the Detroit Pistons at The Palace of Auburn Hills. (Raj Mehta)
New York Knicks center Robin Lopez (8) reacts after a call during the third quarter against the Detroit Pistons at The Palace of Auburn Hills. (Raj Mehta)

The reeling New York Knicks had no answer for Marc Gasol last month and will face him Friday night after a difficult loss in the first of back-to-back games. They're looking to avoid a sixth straight loss in this series and deny the visiting Grizzlies their longest winning streak in a year.

The Grizzlies have a chance to extend their surge against a New York team that has allowed 107.9 points over its last 13 games. The Knicks (23-29) rallied from 27 points down and took the lead with 2:14 left Thursday before running out of gas in a 111-105 loss at Detroit.

"We dug ourselves the kind of hole where everything has to go right for you to have a chance," coach Derek Fisher said.

Robin Lopez set season highs with 26 points and 16 boards in New York's third straight defeat and seventh in eight games. Arron Afflalo had 24 points and Carmelo Anthony, who missed the first meeting with Memphis, added 19, 11 rebounds and eight assists but missed 14 of 18 shots.

Matt Barnes is questionable for the Grizzlies after sitting Monday due to a pulled hamstring. He stayed away from Fisher last month after the NBA had suspended Barnes for two games for his role in a physical altercation and threatening the coach in October. >> Read more…

Tags: Carmelo Anthony , Memphis Grizzlies , Robin Lopez

New York Knicks head coach Derek Fisher talks to his team from the sidelines during the first half of an NBA game against the Chicago Bulls at United Center. (Kamil Krzaczynski)
New York Knicks head coach Derek Fisher talks to his team from the sidelines during the first half of an NBA game against the Chicago Bulls at United Center. (Kamil Krzaczynski)

Keith Schlosser, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive

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

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

Despite their record and recent struggles, one could make a very strong argument that the Knicks are not an inferior team with regard to remaining competitive in the Eastern Conference. But they sure look like it as of late. For any other coach in this league, the makeup of New York's roster would be worth enough to guide them towards putting a promising effort forth into making the postseason. But for Fisher, not so much. This is a playoff roster. They just don't have a playoff coach, so to speak.

Van Gundy is known for his blatant tone and sometimes radical takes. He certainly isn't one to hold back with the media. What's concerning, however, is how simply he confirmed or legitimized the belief of outsiders from all angles who are watching Fisher lead the Knicks right into a tail spin. 

The veteran coach wasn't disregarding New York's roster by any means. If anything, his comments should be further evidence of what should be considered the team's ceiling at this point. It's come as a surprise to many how any roster featuring Carmelo Anthony could be considered to still be in rebuilding or developing mode. 

Given the solid pieces around him and the rise of Kristaps Porzingis, this team should be striving for something specific. It's one thing to suggest this team needs more time to continue finding a rhythm (as one could argue Fisher has alluded to when discussing development), but it's time to set a specific goal and not leave things regarding their more near-future so open-ended.

Tags: Aaron Afflalo , Carmelo Anthony , Kristaps Porzingis , Robin Lopez , Keith Schlosser

Detroit's Reggie Jackson is defended by the Knicks' Langston Galloway (2). (Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports)
Detroit's Reggie Jackson is defended by the Knicks' Langston Galloway (2). (Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports)

Box score

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Anthony Tolliver and Reggie Jackson made a trio of big 3-pointers late in the fourth quarter, and the Detroit Pistons avoided a colossal collapse, beating the New York Knicks 111-105 on Thursday night.

The Knicks rallied from a 27-point second-quarter deficit, finally taking a 97-95 lead on a layup by Robin Lopez. Tolliver's 3-pointer put the Pistons back ahead, and Jackson added another to make it 101-97.

After a dunk by Lopez cut the margin back to two, Jackson added another 3-pointer, and the Pistons were able to hold on.

Jackson finished with 21 points, and Stanley Johnson added 22 and nine rebounds. Andre Drummond had 17 points and 13 rebounds for Detroit.

Lopez had 26 points and 16 rebounds.

Read more. . . .


 (Brett Davis / USA Today Sports)
(Brett Davis / USA Today Sports)

The Knicks need an upgrade at point guard, a fact that seems plainly obvious to virtually everyone watching the team.

Count Charles Barkley among them.

"I think the Knicks, they're gonna be there [in the playoff mix]," Barkley said on a conference call Thursday to promote the upcoming All-Star Game, according to the Daily News. "I think, listen, Carmelo (Anthony) has had a solid year. I think he's really been trying to fit into the system they're running. (Kristaps) Porzingis has shocked everybody. He's shocked everybody. Right now, he's right there, him and Karl-Anthony Towns, they're the two leaders in the clubhouse as far as Rookie of the Year. It could go either way.

"But the one thing that surprised me was their point guard. I thought the (Jerian) Grant kid would be playing a lot more, earlier. But let me tell you something, I hear there are rumors they can get Jeff Teague. If they can get Jeff Teague, the playoffs are a lock. I love Jeff Teague. If you put him with Porzingis and (Arron) Afflalo and Carmelo, they will make the playoffs. That's the one weak spot they have to fix in the next year, the point guard.

"They need a point guard; that's the only thing they're really missing to be a playoff team."

Still, league sources told SNY.tv the Knicks are unlikely to land Teague because they simply don't have enough assets to give the Atlanta Hawks in return.

The Hawks are said to be shopping Teague ahead of the Feb. 18 trading deadline, with teh Utah Jazz among other spots he could possibly land.

Back in October, Barkley reversed course on his previous hatred of the Knicks and called them a "sleeper team" to make the playoffs.

Heading into Thursday's game in Detroit, the Knicks are 23-28 and five games under .500 for the first time this season.

 

Tags: Adam Zagoria

 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

The New York Knicks swarmed Andre Drummond to key a December win over the Detroit Pistons, but haven't shown signs of being able to replicate that effort recently.

The slumping Knicks will try to tighten things up as they try to avoid their fifth straight road loss Thursday night against a Detroit team that will likely be without Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who owns the second-longest active games played streak.

Drummond leads the league with 15.0 rebounds per game and is a big reason why the Pistons (26-24) pace all teams with an average of 15.8 second-chance points and rank among the leaders with 44.7 paint points and a plus-4.0 rebounding margin.

New York's game plan was obvious the first time it faced Drummond this season after he had averaged 17.2 rebounds over the previous six meetings. The club threw multiple bodies at the All-Star, holding him to just nine boards while outscoring Detroit 46-36 in the paint en route to a 108-96 victory Dec. 29 at Madison Square Garden. >> Read more


New York Knicks guard Arron Afflalo (4) drives against Phoenix Suns forward T.J. Warren (12) during the second quarter at Madison Square Garden. (Anthony Gruppuso)
New York Knicks guard Arron Afflalo (4) drives against Phoenix Suns forward T.J. Warren (12) during the second quarter at Madison Square Garden. (Anthony Gruppuso)

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

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

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

With that in mind, encouraging such players to opt in would limit the team's ability to upgrade the point guard position via trade or free agency. This would put the pressure on Phil Jackson and Co. to seek out trades to rid the team of the contracts of Jose Calderon, Kyle O'Quinn, or others.

But as evidenced last season, Jackson can be persuasive and effectively find teams to bite on his salary dump bait. Moving such aforementioned players before this month's trading deadline would set the Knicks up to fully and freely explore more promising options this coming offseason. On the flip side, however, it could very well disrupt chemistry and effect the team's chances for playoff contention. 

With the trading deadline just weeks away, Jackson will need to decide relatively quickly what's more important, and if he believes allowing the team to see this season through as currently constructed (as a means of developing some rhythm and respective confidence to build upon for next season) is the way to go. Gaining more flexibility for next offseason could be a good thing, but it may come at the cost of rocking the boat and leading to an unfortunate and demoralizing demise for those players expected to still be a part of next season's core.

Of course, there would be obvious motivation to explore a deal sooner, rather than later. While a veteran like Calderon and serviceable big man like O'Quinn may be appealing for teams currently looking to make a playoff push, they may not stand as desirable come the offseason. Teams, much like the Knicks, will obviously have cap room and there are set to be other options available to choose from at the time.

In essence, if the Knicks truly want to hang on to Afflalo and Williams next season (and they should), the pressure is on to make other moves in the more recent future. This would allow them to prepare to make other potential improvements along the way as well. 

Tags: Aaron Afflalo , Derrick Williams

New York Knicks head coach Derek Fisher reacts to being called for a technical foul during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Boston Celtics at Madison Square Garden. (Adam Hunger)
New York Knicks head coach Derek Fisher reacts to being called for a technical foul during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Boston Celtics at Madison Square Garden. (Adam Hunger)

Keith Schlosser, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive

Following Tuesday's loss to the Celtics, the Knicks have now lost six of their last seven. Still just four games out of a playoff spot, the collective attitude of the team does not look like that of a winner right now. Amid the most recent struggles, the team has looked dejected, confused, and unaware of how to snap out of the funk. 

One could even go as far as suggesting New York is in a bit of a tail-spin, which wouldn't bode well at all for any remaining playoff hopes. Even so, Derek Fisher isn't all too concerned about securing such a spot, more so than he is seeing the team continue to develop.

"There is no end point or endgame,'' Fisher said to the New York Post. "One win. One position. One seed doesn't do anything. There's still so much work to do. We have to focus on the work part and not get caught up in thinking we have to work hard in order to get something. Instead enjoy having to work hard, period."

While it's safe to say New York wouldn't stand much of a chance in a seven game series with a team like the Cavaliers, breaking through and reaching the playoffs, generally speaking, would mean something. What's more, it would give the players (especially those who have been around for both this season and last) a sense of accomplishment. It wouldn't only be a sign of progress (anything better than the worst season in franchise history technically would be), but also a firm step in the right direction. 

Regardless of how far they could go or how much they'd compete with a first seed team, fighting hard in the playoffs would also be a learning experience for this group as they continue to grow. It may bring them together even more. Striving for a certain bench mark is a positive thing. Praising them for "development," without anything concrete to show for it, could be considered a poor excuse for failure.

Not making the playoffs would be a reflection upon Fisher's own progress and respective leadership skills (just as much as actually making the playoffs would be), but his recent comments raise another question as well. How is he able to motivate this team?

It may be not necessary just yet, but no individual Knicks' player has specifically come out and said they continue to buy everything Fisher is selling. They certainly don't practice everything he preaches on the court. Do they support him? Do they believe in his abilities a coach? Should the Knicks continue to struggle, and Fisher appears to remain content in their development, nonetheless, he'll be the one to blame for their struggles once again.

The NBA season is now more than midway through, but there's still plenty to play. Given how promising things looked for the Knicks early on, changing things up may be necessary, should Fisher continue to remain satisfied. Whether that would occur in-season, or whether he would have the opportunity to finish things out and then be let go, remains to be seen. It's important to assess, however, which direction he appears to be taking them, in the meantime. The progress they made early on could have merely been a result of the players, and not something he has done specifically. 

Tags: Keith Schlosser

Feb 2, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) drives to the basket past Boston Celtics forward Jae Crowder (99) during the first half of an NBA basketball game at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports (Adam Hunger)
Feb 2, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) drives to the basket past Boston Celtics forward Jae Crowder (99) during the first half of an NBA basketball game at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports (Adam Hunger)

NEW YORK -- With a disappointed look on his face, Knicks owner James Dolan walked out of an Event Level Suite at Madison Square Garden following his team's latest loss.

The Knicks had just fallen to the rival Boston Celtics, 97-89, for their sixth loss in seven games. At 23-28, they are five games under .500 for the first time this season.

The team is now 3 1/2 games off the No. 8 seed, and even Carmelo Anthony admitted there is a "sense of urgency" before things potentially spiral out of control.

"The morale is good, I don't think the morale is changing," Anthony said after shooting 4-for-16 for 16 points with 14 rebounds in the loss. "But there is a little sense of urgency to know that we gotta turn this thing around quickly because it can start going downhill and we don't want that."

The Knicks travel to Detroit on Thursday and then have three straight home games before the All-Star break. Those games -- against Memphis, Denver and Washington -- are looking critical at this point if the Knicks hope to keep their playoff dreams afloat.

"We gotta try to stay sharp," Anthony said. "I mean, it's a big week for us. We have some home games. We got a break coming up but our focus is to finish out this week and get some wins and take care of homecourt."

Against the Celtics, the Knicks point guards were ineffective. Without Jose Calderon (sore groin), Langston Galloway started with Jerian Grant the primary backup. Those two combined to shoot 0-for-5 with 1 point and 2 assists.

Knicks coach Derek Fisher inserted veteran Sasha Vujacic at the point and he played 18 minutes, going for 13 points on 4-for-9 shooting with 1 assist.

The Knicks hope to get Calderon back later this week, but even then their backcourt situation isn't ideal.

They committed 16 turnovers as a team, 4 by Arron Afflalo.

The Celtics starting backcourt of Avery Bradley and Isaiah Thomas combined for 26 points, 12 assists and 8 rebounds.

"The reality of the injuries were there," Fisher said, presumably referring to the recent stretch where the Knicks have been without Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis for periods in addition to Calderon. "But we are also just kind of in what is a tough stretch and tough part of our season right now whether it is injuries or not. So there are many excuses or explanations other than just not getting the job done....Regardless of who is playing, we have to be ready to go and do the job we need to do for our team."

On the same day he was named the Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for January, Porzingis also didn't contribute much. He went for 10 points and 5 rebounds on 4-for-11 shooting.

He played in his 51st game after playing a total of 50 last year in Spain but insisted that fatigue was not an issue.

"I think it is getting tougher mentally as you go on," he said. "Physically, coaches give you enough time to recover. If you take that seriously, it is the mental preparedness more."

If the Knicks don't get mentally prepared soon, their season could slip away from them quickly.

After a lost year a season ago during which he missed the last part of the season after knee surgery, Anthony doesn't want another wasted season at age 31.

"There's a sense of urgency from that standpoint but the morale and the confidence of this team is not going anywhere," he said. "I won't allow that to happen but we gotta turn this thing around quickly."

Tags: Carmelo Anthony , Adam Zagoria

 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

Isaiah Thomas had 20 points and eight assists, and the Boston Celtics wore down the New York Knicks in a 97-89 victory on Tuesday night.

Jae Crowder and Tyler Zeller each added 16 points, while reserves Evan Turner and Kelly Olynyk were also in double figures as the Celtics were fresher and sharper in dominating the final 15 minutes.

Turner had 14 points and 10 rebounds, and Olynyk scored 13 points in the Celtics' fifth victory in six games.

Carmelo Anthony had 16 points and 14 rebounds but shot just 4 for 16 in the Knicks' sixth loss in seven games. Robin Lopez added 17 points and 13 rebounds, while Arron Afflalo ended a shooting slump with 18 points but had some careless turnovers. >> Read more

Tags: Carmelo Anthony , Robin Lopez

 (Joe Camporeale)
(Joe Camporeale)

The Knicks should consider trading Carmelo Anthony to the Clippers for Blake Griffin, suggests Zach Lowe of ESPN (Feb. 2).

Lowe notes that the Knicks aren't going "anywhere real" in 2016 and says that Griffin -- who the Clippers might not even want to trade -- would give the Knicks a younger star to pair with Kristaps Porzingis:

New York probably doesn't want to hear this, and that's fine. Star-for-star deals almost never happen; inertia is too powerful. The Knicks are (kind of) winning again, the Garden rocks, Melo is happy and passing, and he's an appealing franchise face safely under contract for at least two seasons after this one. Swapping Melo for Griffin would leave the Knicks bereft of wing players.

Anthony, 31, is in the second year of a five-year deal worth $124 million that runs through the 2018-19 season. 

Griffin, 26, is in the third year of a five-year deal worth $94.5 million that runs through the 2017-18 season.

Keith Schlosser, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive

Discussing such a swap a year ago would have made much more sense for the Knicks. The team was sinking like never before, Carmelo Anthony was struggling to stay on the floor, and the future was filled with endless question marks.

And though the Knicks are still four games below .500 at this point in the season, they are within three games of a playoff spot. Anthony's scoring has decreased, but he's become more efficient as he paces New York with rather versatile efforts on a nightly basis. His court-vision and willingness to trust his teammates is at an all-time high.

But it can't be denied that at 31 Anthony is arguably less a part of the Knicks' future plans than Kristaps Porzingis. His window of opportunity to help catapult the team to the next level is limited, whereas at 26, Griffin brings a wealth of youthful energy that would give New York a dynamic duo in the frontcourt to lead the way for a very long time.

However, there's cause for concern when it comes to Griffin's recent displays of immaturity. And he's injury-prone as well. The Clippers' big man hasn't ever been considered a true center over the course of his career and isn't the strongest low-post defender. While Porzingis has been used at the five and his physicality is at a high level, his ability to stretch the floor and shoot from deep makes him more of a four as well. These two would be mismatched from the start, though perhaps the Knicks' brass could make it work with the right vision.

There are too many question marks surrounding such a deal and the subsequent adjustments the Knicks would have to make afterwards. This could regard ensuring Griffin fits, or filling the spots left by the voids created when trading Anthony (and potentially others) to Los Angeles.

For once, there are fewer concerns surrounding the team as currently constructed. Anthony is arguably playing the most balanced basketball of his career, and he's leading a group with steady potential. They need time to come together so that the front office can assess and see what small changes can be made to fine-tune things. There's no need to make a splash at this point.

Tags: Carmelo Anthony , Kristaps Porzingis , Keith Schlosser

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

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

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

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

The rookie is averaging 13.0 points on 36.5 percent shooting in his last six games. He scored 14 points in 20 minutes in Sunday's 116-95 home loss to Golden State, picking up two fouls in the first 90 seconds before he sat for the remainder of a scoreless first quarter.

"This is going to be a learning experience for me, just to make those quick two fouls and then sit out and then later on try not to foul again and not really be able to play hard defensively since you don't want to get fouled out," he said. "It's just things that I gotta learn."

The Knicks (23-27) need him on the floor to provide offensive support to Carmelo Anthony, who had 24 points and 10 rebounds. The lack of playing time for Porzingis was magnified since the starting backcourt of Arron Afflalo and Langston Galloway combined for 14 points on 5-of-25 shooting. >>> Read more…

Tags: Aaron Afflalo , Carmelo Anthony , Kristaps Porzingis

New York Knicks power forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) dunks over Brooklyn Nets center Andrea Bargnani (9) and guard Shane Larkin (0) and guard Sergey Karasev (10) during the fourth quarter at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)
New York Knicks power forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) dunks over Brooklyn Nets center Andrea Bargnani (9) and guard Shane Larkin (0) and guard Sergey Karasev (10) during the fourth quarter at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)

New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis has been named the NBA Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for games played in January.

This is the third consecutive month Porzingis has won this honor.

He recorded four double-doubles (points and rebounds) last month while scoring at least 12 points in 13 straight games.

Porzingis, 20, is averaging 13.9 points, 7.7 rebounds and 1.2 assists in his rookie season.  

Tags: Kristaps Porzingis , Tim Reilly

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

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

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

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

There's no doubt Porzingis has impressive and rather limitless shooting range for a player his size. He can help spread the floor and put pressure on the defense to cover him beyond the arc, so there's an absolute benefit to having him on the floor. But he's still young, inexperienced, and is continuing to learn. 

Thus, using Porzingis as a decoy to open up opportunities for others is probably the way to go. More importantly, Anthony and Afflalo can both create for themselves. Each player has the ability to put the ball on the floor and make things happen. Anthony can dribble the ball as time expires and lull his opponent to sleep before throwing up a worthwhile shot or driving to the basket. In Afflalo's case, he's a confident player who can post up, get to the basket, all in hopes of creating higher percentage opportunities.

It goes without saying that the Knicks not only trust, but will continue to specifically lean on and cater their crunch time offense around Anthony. But when he needs to look for help, New York should be depending on the veteran Afflalo more than Porzingis. So far, it's clear they have been.

But in doing so, here's to hoping the shooting guard will continue to step up, Though he tallied his highest point average all season (15.2), Afflalo also shot his lowest field-goal percentage (42%) in the month of January. He needs to be more efficient, and quickly, too. The Knicks are in desperate need of someone who can create and make things happen behind Anthony. For the latter two plus months of 2015, Afflalo undoubtedly was that guy. But now that he's beginning to waver, albeit it just a bit, there's more talk about why Porzingis isn't as involved or prevalent in the team's offense.

The team needs to continue embracing that proper balance, but in order to do so, players need to step up and come through. Should Afflalo get back on track, that will make things seemingly easier, not only for Porzingis, but everyone else around him.  

Tags: Aaron Afflalo , Kristaps Porzingis , Keith Schlosser

Jan 31, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks shooting guard Arron Afflalo (4) shoots over Golden State Warriors power forward Draymond Green (23) during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Jan 31, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks shooting guard Arron Afflalo (4) shoots over Golden State Warriors power forward Draymond Green (23) during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- The way Arron Afflalo sees it, the glass is half full for the Knicks.

Yes, they have lost five of their last six games, including Sunday's 116-95 blowout loss to Klay Thompson and the Golden State Warriors at Madison Square Garden. But in the bunched-up Eastern Conference, the Knicks (23-27) are still only three games removed from the No. 8 seed and just five out of the No. 3 position.

"We have 32 games left, we have some home stretches," the Knicks two guard, who managed just five points on 2-for-12 shooting against the Warriors, said Monday at practice. "We just gotta take care of business, to be honest. We're not that far removed from being anywhere between 4 and 11 so with that in mind we just gotta put together a nice win streak."

They will have their chance beginning Tuesday when the Boston Celtics -- who own the NBA's fifth most potent offense -- come calling. Boston (27-22) is currently the No. 6 seed in the East.

Heading into the All-Star break, the Knicks play four of their next five games at home, where they are 14-11 this season.

Still, Knicks coach Derek Fisher said he doesn't want to "get caught up in trying to chase the standings."

"Just focus on the process of getting better, working harder," he said. "Of course you don't have to win every game you play and the results will take care of themselves. I think that's what kind of had us in a good position a couple of weeks ago before the injuries hit us a little bit because we were just playing one game at a time and if our record ends up being good enough to get us where we want to go that's what we have to do these last 32 games."

The Knicks may not get point guard Jose Calderon back until Thursday or Friday and will have to deal with the Celtics' high-powered offense that Afflalo said was somewhat similar to Golden State's.

"Yeah, they're similar," he said. "As you can see the league is kind of transitioning that way a little bit. but I like our personnel. I like the fact that we're big, we're strong, we're physical. You just have to play a smart, efficient game and make sure we're playing at the top of our game so we can compete."

The Garden crowd will be key for the Knicks over this stretch. Both Afflalo and Fisher believe the team responds when the crowd's energy is strong.

"The Garden's a special place to play," Afflalo said. "Every time we get a chance to really get that good energy and momentum from playing at home, we gotta take advantage of that. So as we close out this first half of the season going toward the break we plan on taking care of the four at home that we do have remaining."

Tags: Arron Afflalo , Adam Zagoria

Jan 18, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Jose Calderon (3) drives around Philadelphia 76ers guard Ish Smith (1) during the third quarter at Madison Square Garden. New York Knicks won 119-113 in double overtime. (Anthony Gruppuso)
Jan 18, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Jose Calderon (3) drives around Philadelphia 76ers guard Ish Smith (1) during the third quarter at Madison Square Garden. New York Knicks won 119-113 in double overtime. (Anthony Gruppuso)

GREENBURGH, N.Y -- Jose Calderon hopes to return this week after missing three games with a strained right groin.

"[I] feel better so I was able to do a little bit more today and I'll wake up [Tuesday] and we'll see how things go from there," the Knicks point guard said Monday at practice.

Calderon has missed three games dating to Jan. 26.

The Knicks host Boston on Tuesday before a back-to-back at Detroit on Thursday and at Madison Square Garden against Memphis on Friday.

"He went through a lot of what we did today," Knicks coach Derek Fisher said. "We'll see how he reacts from there. I guess tomorrow is possible but I think yesterday we were thinking more Thursday but we'll kind of see how he gets through the rest of today and wakes up tomorrow morning. We have a shootaround tomorrow and we'll kind of see from there."

Calderon is trying not to get too frustrated sitting on the sidelines.

"It's always tough when you're not there to help your teammates," he said. "But you've also got to think about long term. You don't want to do something and be out three (weeks) or a month. So hopefully everything is good."

Tags: Jose Calderon , Adam Zagoria

Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry (30) controls the ball against New York Knicks shooting guard Langston Galloway (2) during the second quarter at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner)
Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry (30) controls the ball against New York Knicks shooting guard Langston Galloway (2) during the second quarter at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner)

When it was all said and done on Sunday, the Warriors had run circles around the Knicks en route to a 21-point victory. Such a result wasn't surprising for a team chasing the best record in the NBA history, but the win wasn't as easily obtained as one might have assumed.

Instead, Golden State was flat-footed out of the gate, and the Knicks tried taking advantage as best they could. But it took a near three minutes into the game for either team to simply score the first points of the game. Despite the Warriors' early woes, New York only came away with a two-point lead following the first quarter.

It took Carmelo Anthony (24 points) a while to get going offensively, and as such, New York never really had control of the game, even when they led. This allowed the Warriors to hang around and simply bide their time before pouncing on their prey, pouring in the points and heating up to secure a commanding lead. New York was no match, as they couldn't keep up with the pace. Golden State never wavered and didn't look back from there.

Here are some more observations from the loss:

- A big reason it took the Warriors a while to take control was that Stephen Curry never truly heated up. The star guard shot 5 of 17 and committed three turnovers, even looking a bit flustered early on. The Garden was absolutely packed, however, and it was clear fans came hoping the league's M.V.P. would put on a show. No such luck.

- Klay Thompson did manage to pour in the points, however, pacing his team with 34. By the time the second quarter arrived, the Warriors were setting screens effectively, running steady pop and pick sequences, and creating some excellent spacing. The Knicks weren't quick enough to get out on the open man, which usually ended up being Thompson.

- The Knicks obviously had a legitimate opportunity to compete, and they floundered it. As the struggles start to mount up once again (New York has now lost 5 of 6), it's becoming easier once again to shift the blame on the shoulders of Derek Fisher. He's too content in his mannerisms on the sidelines, when he should be much quicker to react and make certain adjustments over the course of a contest. His inability to do so often puts the Knicks in insurmountable holes. 

Tags: Golden State Warriors , Keith Schlosser

GEICO SportsNite: NY Knicks 00:01:35
Derek Fisher, Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis and Stephen Curry talk about the Knicks' 116-95 loss to the Warriors on Sunday night.

(AP) -- Klay Thompson woke the Warriors from their slowest start of the season with 17 of his 34 points in the second quarter, Draymond Green tied the franchise record with his ninth triple-double of the season, and Golden State beat the New York Knicks 116-95 on Sunday night for its seventh straight victory.

Green made all nine shots as the Warriors (44-4) wrapped up January at 40 games over .500 even with a quiet 13 points from Stephen Curry. He was just 5 for 17 from the field on a court where he's enjoyed some big performances.

Green finished with 20 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for the Warriors, who were held to a season-low 18 points in the first quarter. They charged back with 64 over the middle two quarters - the Knicks had only 65 total through three - and looked back to normal after a sluggish Saturday in Philadelphia. >> Read more...


Knicks guard Jose Calderon dribbles the ball against the Atlanta Hawks in a game last month. (Brett Davis/USATSI)
Knicks guard Jose Calderon dribbles the ball against the Atlanta Hawks in a game last month. (Brett Davis/USATSI)

On plenty of occasions over the last season and a half, the Knicks' offense has seemingly been a step too slow. Things fall stagnant and there's a loss of constant fluidity. What's more, many of the league's up-and-coming floor generals have gone on to torch New York en route to leading their teams to victories. 

Obviously much of the blame for such deficits would seemingly fall on the shoulders of Knicks point guard Jose Calderon. As Phil Jackson and Co. continue to improve this roster and help right the ship (there have undoubtedly been signs of progress this season, despite ups and downs), upgrading this position stands as a glaring need for the Knicks.

Calderon, 34, has missed the past two games nursing a groin injury and is questionable for Sunday night's game against the league-leading Warriors at the Garden. The injury has given New York an opportunity to lean on the likes of youngsters Langston Galloway and Jerian Grant a bit more to see if having them push the pace together is more beneficial than continuing to give Calderon meaningful minutes.

Following those two losses, it's clear a veteran presence is necessary. Luckily enough, that's something that Calderon does, in fact, provide.

"I credit a lot of my knowledge and my success and my understanding of the game of basketball to Jose," NBA All-Star and Calderon's former teammate DeMar DeRozan told the New York Times before the Raptors' win over the Knicks on Thursday (Jan. 28). "He gave me a lot of confidence early on, trusting me, putting me in position to be a great scorer. He always instilled that in me." 

Galloway and Calderon are very close, with the second-year guard constantly learning on the veteran for guidance, advice, and encouragement. Calderon has also taken on a similar mentor role with Kristaps Porzingis.

Still, Calderon understands there may still be holes in his game. 

"Maybe I'm not like the other guys. Maybe I'm not as fast as them. I cannot jump as high as them. But it's been 11 years for me now. You just play different. The problem is when you start comparing numbers to other point guards," he said. "The league is about numbers, and it's crazy. You make those comparisons, and I'm losing every battle."

But alas, it's not all about numbers, though they are often (not always) an indication of impact. His value comes down to production, pace, experience, and a number of other factors, for better or for worse.

The problem is that Calderon's contract runs through next season, when he's set to earn a near $7.7 million. It's clear that what the guard brings to the table is valuable. Whether or not that equals this much money is up for debate. 

At what cost (literally) do the Knicks' limit their ceiling for improvement? Is holding onto Calderon as a backup next season a worthwhile investment? If they do, will New York have enough flexibility to still upgrade at the one? These are all questions team brass will need to pose when exploring options such as Jeff Teague closer to the trade deadeline, or perhaps Mike Conley heading into this coming summer's free agency.

For now, the cons would unfortunately appear to outweigh the pros, though there are quite a bit of both when it comes to Calderon, given the Knicks' struggles. That said, opportunities to change things up are few and far in between. 

Tags: Jose Calderon

Jan 29, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) shoots on a technical during the third quarter against the Phoenix Suns at Madison Square Garden. New York Knicks won 102-84. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
           (Anthony Gruppuso)
Jan 29, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) shoots on a technical during the third quarter against the Phoenix Suns at Madison Square Garden. New York Knicks won 102-84. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports (Anthony Gruppuso)

(AP) -- The Golden State Warriors are well aware that even the lowliest opponents are salivating at the chance to knock them off, and they got another reminder in the opener to a three-game trip.

After Harrison Barnes bailed them out, the Warriors will try for a better performance Sunday night against the New York Knicks.

Golden State (43-4) blew a 24-point lead in the second half Saturday against league-worst Philadelphia and looked like it might head to overtime until Barnes hit a 3-pointer from the corner with 0.2 seconds left in a 108-105 victory.

"We know every night we play is going to be the other team's best game most likely," guard Stephen Curry said. "We're disappointed in how we played but we got a win. There are going to be a lot of different situations to go through to keep winning."

The Warriors committed 23 turnovers - their most since Nov. 27 and tied for their second-most this season - but had 37 assists. They've had at least 30 assists in six consecutive games, the first team to pull off that feat since Golden State had a run of seven straight in April 1994.

"We kept our composure. We've got to learn a lesson to keep playing for 48 minutes. We only played 24 tonight," Curry said.

With Barnes' shot, the Warriors matched the 1966-67 76ers' league-best start after 47 games. That Philadelphia team won 46 of its first 50.

Golden State also remains ahead of pace on the Chicago Bulls' 72-win team in 1995-96. They were 43-5 after 48 games.

To stay ahead, the Warriors will try to improve to 11-1 in the second half of back-to-back contests. Their only loss was their first defeat this season Dec. 12 in Milwaukee, and only San Antonio's 8-0 mark is better.

The last time it visited New York, Golden State was facing a team that finished 10-31 at home. The Knicks (23-26) have already surpassed last season's win total by going 14-10 and snapped a four-game overall slide by beating Phoenix 102-84 at Madison Square Garden on Friday.

Carmelo Anthony had team highs of 19 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists in his return from a two-game absence due to a sore knee.

Anthony sat out each of the two matchups with the Warriors last season. He was rested for a 106-92 defeat at the Garden on Feb. 7 and had suffered a season-ending knee injury before a 125-94 road loss March 14.

Golden State has won in four of its last five visits to New York, and Curry scored a career-best 54 points in the 2013 defeat. He had a more pedestrian 22 in the latest visit and 25 points and 11 assists in nearly 27 minutes in the most recent matchup.

Klay Thompson had a team-leading 27 points in 25-plus minutes in that home victory, and has a combined 77 points in his last two games. He had a season-high 45 in a 127-107 win over Dallas on Wednesday.

"They're a championship team, they really are," said Knicks rookie Kristaps Porzingis, who had seven points and seven rebounds in his return Friday after missing his first game of the season Thursday with an upper respiratory illness. "They're playing at an amazing level right now so it definitely won't be an easy game for us, but it's an opportunity."

Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Festus Ezeli might return Sunday following a two-game absence due to an injured left knee. Andre Iguodala was rested for the first time this season Saturday.

Copyright 2016 by The Associated Press


Forward Harrison Barnes and the Warriors are heading to Madison Square Garden to play the Knicks Sunday. (Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)
Forward Harrison Barnes and the Warriors are heading to Madison Square Garden to play the Knicks Sunday. (Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)

PHILADELPHIA -- Harrison Barnes hit a 3-pointer with 0.4 seconds remaining and the Golden State Warriors escaped with a 108-105 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday.

Klay Thompson had 32 points and Stephen Curry scored 23 points for the Warriors, who nearly blew a 24-point second-half lead. Draymond Green added 10 points and 13 rebounds for Golden State, which opened a three-game road trip with their sixth straight victory while matching the NBA's best start through 47 games.

The Warriors are heading to New York, where they will meet the Knicks Sunday night.

They tied the 1966-67 76ers, who also won 43 of their first 47.

Isaiah Canaan had 18 points to lead the 76ers, who dropped to 7-41 but nearly pulled off the most improbable victory of the NBA season.

Philadelphia trailed by double-digits most of the second half until a 15-2 run late in the fourth quarter tied the game at 105 with 22.3 seconds left. The Warriors won it on their final possession when Curry passed inside to Green, who fired outside to Barnes on the right baseline.

Ish Smith scored 18 points and Jahlil Okafor, who returned after missing two straight games due to illness, had 13 points.

Read more. . . .

 

 


Jan 29, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) drives against Phoenix Suns guard Sonny Weems (10) during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
           (Anthony Gruppuso)
Jan 29, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) drives against Phoenix Suns guard Sonny Weems (10) during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports (Anthony Gruppuso)

A sign of a good team is their ability to learn from and improve upon previous mistakes. The Knicks have certainly had their respective ups and downs already this season, but at some point, they'll need to persevere and put a stop to the bleeding.

On Friday evening, they displayed a potential ability to do so with a decisive win over the Suns. Thursday's loss to the Raptors came without three of the Knicks' key players, but the defeat was about so much more than not receiving necessary contributions from familiar faces. The defensive intensity was lacking, as was a similar tenacity on the offensive end to attack the basket, draw fouls, and create higher percentage opportunities. Toronto wanted it more.

But as the Knicks returned home for the second part of a back-to-back, it's clear they indeed wanted this victory more than Phoenix. Players displayed much more pep in their step, and were actively moving without the ball. There was great flow to the offense. Perhaps most importantly, New York excelled at the free throw line, cashing in on 89% of chances from the charity stripe. 

Here's a look at what else went right, and who stepped up, against the Suns.

- Carmelo Anthony returned, and though he still served as the central member of the team's offense, he didn't need to carry the Knicks. Instead, he served as a decoy in certain situations and simply made it his objective to ensure constant fluidity. The forward paced New York with 19 points, but also dished out 8 assists. He also ran the floor well, bringing the ball up after crashing the boards a bit. He looked fine physically, but it'll be important not to burn him out yet again.

- The likes of Kristaps Porzingis and Lance Thomas (for a second straight game) hit the floor after dealing with previous ailments. Though neither player looked to be 100%, it was clear even the most modest contributions gave the Knicks a boost. Each player undoubtedly adds to the heart of the team from an emotional standpoint.

- In addition to simply making more free throws, the Knicks also attempted more than they did against Toronto. The necessary assertiveness returned, as Anthony, Derrick Williams, and Arron Afflalo combined for a perfect 16 of 16 from the line.

- Only Anthony (+33) boasted a higher plus/minus than Langston Galloway (+24), and with good reason. Subbing in for the injured Jose Calderon, Galloway's fingerprints were all over this one. He finished with an impressive stat-line of 11 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 steals. More importantly, he helped the Knicks push the tempo and really challenge the Suns defensively. They kept the defense on its toes. 

- Thanasis Antetokounmpo made his NBA debut and was welcomed to a bevy of cheers from the home crowd. He scored his first bucket on a savvy and evasive layup, exploding to the hoop. 


New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony drives against Phoenix Suns guard Sonny Weems during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. (Anthony Gruppuso/USATSI)
New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony drives against Phoenix Suns guard Sonny Weems during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. (Anthony Gruppuso/USATSI)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

According to STATS...

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

Tags: Aaron Afflalo , Carmelo Anthony , Phoenix Suns

New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) and New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) react after a shot by Porzingis (6) during second half against the Chicago Bulls at Madison Square Garden. (Noah K. Murray)
New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) and New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) react after a shot by Porzingis (6) during second half against the Chicago Bulls at Madison Square Garden. (Noah K. Murray)

 


 

Tags: Carmelo Anthony , Kristaps Porzingis

New York Knicks forward Thanasis Antetokounmpo (43) dunks the ball during an NBA Summer League game. (Stephen R. Sylvanie)
New York Knicks forward Thanasis Antetokounmpo (43) dunks the ball during an NBA Summer League game. (Stephen R. Sylvanie)

The New York Knicks have officially signed F Thanasis Antetokounmpo to a 10-day contract (Knicks, Jan. 29).

Antetokounmpo, 23, was originally drafted by the Knicks in the second round of the 2014 NBA Draft.

He has spent the last year and a half playing with the Westchester Knicks in the NBA D-League.

This season Antetokounmpo is averaging 10.3 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game with Westchester. 

Tags: Tim Reilly

On this week's show, Anthony Donahue and Moke Hamilton debate the possibility of a trade between the Hawks and Knicks that would send Jeff Teague to New York.

Plus, the guys discuss the signing of Thanasis Antetokounmpo.


New York Knicks power forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) dunks over Brooklyn Nets center Andrea Bargnani (9) and guard Shane Larkin (0) and guard Sergey Karasev (10) during the fourth quarter at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)
New York Knicks power forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) dunks over Brooklyn Nets center Andrea Bargnani (9) and guard Shane Larkin (0) and guard Sergey Karasev (10) during the fourth quarter at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)

There were plenty of skeptics and doubters when the Knicks drafted Kristaps Porzingis with the fourth overall pick. With the All-Star break approaching, Porzingis has silenced his critics in the first half of his rookie season, according to Lee Jenkins.

Jenkins writes that the Porzingis craze is built to last. The 20-year-old has brought a newfound energy to MSG, inspired rap anthems in Eastern Europe and caused jersey shortages at the NBA Store. Teammate Carmelo Anthony went as far as to say there is an "aura" around Porzingis. >>> Read more on Sports Illustrated…

The addition of Porzingis has changed the Knicks rebuilding trajectory for second year team president Phil Jackson, according to Harvey Araton.

Jackson admittedly said year one of the rebuilding process "fell flat on its face." Now, with the emergence of Porzingis and Anthony playing a more well-rounded game, the Knicks future is beginning to look brighter. Anthony still remains today's star but is now yesterday's savior, writes Araton. >>> Read more on the New York Times…

Porzingis' agent, Andy Miller, kept the Philadelphia 76ers in the dark on the Latvian product prior to last summer's NBA Draft, according to Adrian Wojnarowski.

Wojnarowski reports that 76ers GM Sam Hinkle was denied a private workout, a face-to-face meeting and a physical of Porzingis. >>> Read more on Yahoo Sports…

Tags: Carmelo Anthony , Kristaps Porzingis , Tim Reilly

The Knicks selected Kristaps Porzingis with the fourth overall pick in this years NBA Draft. (AP)
The Knicks selected Kristaps Porzingis with the fourth overall pick in this years NBA Draft. (AP)

New York Knicks rookie forward Kristaps Porzingis' agent, Andy Miller, kept Philadelphia in the dark on the Latvian product prior to last summer's NBA Draft, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports (Jan. 29).

The 76ers held the third pick in the draft, one spot ahead of the Knicks. However, when it came time to collect pre-draft information on Porzingis, Philadelphia was shutout by Miller.

They were denied a private workout, a face-to-face meeting and a physical of Porzingis.

Philadelphia wound up drafting Jahlil Okafor and New York went on to select Porzingis with the very next pick, which was his preferred destination.

Porzingis is averaging 14 points, 7.8 rebounds and two blocks per game in his rookie season.

The Knicks are 22-26 this season, while the 76ers are an NBA worst 7-40. 

Tags: Philadelphia 76ers , Kristaps Porzingis , Tim Reilly
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