Tag:

Lance Thomas

General view during pre game introductions before a game between the New York Knicks and the Washington Wizards at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
General view during pre game introductions before a game between the New York Knicks and the Washington Wizards at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

The New York Knicks parted ways with assistant coach Josh Longstaff, according to the New York Daily News' Stefan Bondy.

Longstaff, 34, joined the Knicks in September 2014. was considered one of the hardest-working members on the Knicks staff, a source told Bondy.

Among his responsibilities included developing young players who would be used in New York's rotation, notably Willy HernangomezRon BakerLance Thomas and Langston Galloway, according to Bondy.

Last summer, he spent time with Kristaps Porzingis in Latvia to help him work on his game. Longstaff was Porzingis' favorite assistant coach, according to Bondy.

Tags: Kristaps Porzingis, Lance Thomas, Langston Galloway, Willy Hernangomez
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 (Troy Taormina)
(Troy Taormina)

Lance Thomas, who is dealing with a sore right hip, will likely not play in another game this season as the Knicks continue their march to the offseason.

Thomas, 28, has played in 46 games this season, averaging 6.0 points and 3.1 rebounds in just over 21 minutes per game.

He was limited to 59 games last season and has never played more than 62 games during his six-year career, which has been split between New Orleans and the Knicks.

Tags: Lance Thomas
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 (AP)
(AP)

Jeff Hornacek hinted to reporters on Monday that the Knicks will be working on upgrading their defense during the offseason.

"I think if you look at our defense this year, we can use some more defensive players," Hornacek told Ian Begley of ESPN. "[Management] will look at that. [General manager] Steve [Mills] and [president] Phil [Jackson] and those guys will look at whatever can help us out. We know we need some help there."

New York has been in the bottom third of the NBA on defense throughout the entire season, which was a significant factor in the team missing the playoffs for the fourth straight season. However the Knicks will have a top-10 pick in this year's draft, and can have nearly $25 million in cap space to spend in free agency, depending on their decision on the future of Derrick Rose with the franchise.

Tags: Carmelo Anthony, Courtney Lee, Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Kristaps Porzingis, Kyle O'Quinn, Lance Thomas, Willy Hernangomez
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New York Knicks center Joakim Noah warms up before a game against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Knicks center Joakim Noah warms up before a game against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

The New York Knicks will re-evaluate forward Joakim Noah's status to see if he is medically cleared to practice and begin serving his suspension, head coach Jeff Hornacek said to Newsday's Laura Albanese prior to Monday's game against the Detroit Pistons.

Hornacek also said Carmelo Anthony will play after missing the Knicks' past two games with a sore left knee, while Lance Thomas will miss his third straight game with a sore right hip despite an MRI coming back clean.

The NBA suspended Noah 20 games for violating the league's anti-drug policy after he tested positive for a substance found in some over-the-counter supplements, however Noah, who has not played since Feb. 4 due to a left knee injury, won't begin serving the suspension until he is physically able to play.

The Knicks hope Noah can be cleared by Wednesday's game against the Miami Heat, according to ESPN's Ian Begley, meaning he would serve eight games of the suspension this season.

Tags: Carmelo Anthony, Joakim Noah, Lance Thomas
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Mar 22, 2017; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; New York Knicks guard Derrick Rose (25) talks with head coach Jeff Hornacek during the first half against the Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports (Russell Isabella)
Mar 22, 2017; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; New York Knicks guard Derrick Rose (25) talks with head coach Jeff Hornacek during the first half against the Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports (Russell Isabella)

Knicks forwards Carmelo Anthony and Lance Thomas, and guard Derrick Rose will not play in Thursday night's game against the Trail Blazers, the team announced.

Anthony is dealing with left knee soreness while Thomas has a sore right hip.

Rose hurt his right foot during the Knicks' loss to the Jazz on Wednesday night.

Tags: Carmelo Anthony, Derrick Rose, Lance Thomas
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New York Knicks forward Lance Thomas (42) shoots over Orlando Magic center Bismack Biyombo (11) during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game at Amway Center. (Reinhold Matay)
New York Knicks forward Lance Thomas (42) shoots over Orlando Magic center Bismack Biyombo (11) during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game at Amway Center. (Reinhold Matay)

While this season has been a major disappointment for the Knicks, the team's ability to develop its young players represents a glimmer of hope for the future of the franchise.

As Stefan Bondy of the Daily News points out, the Knicks coaching staff has put together several success stories. Lance Thomas joined the Knicks on a 10-day contract and eventually earned himself a spot in the starting lineup along with a $27 million deal. Langston Galloway began his career on a 10-day deal with New York, yet ended the season as an All-Rookie selection (before being signed away by the Pelicans a year later). Ron Baker went undrafted last year and is now starting and playing well for the Knicks. Willy Hernangomez was a second-round pick who has developed into an offensive weapon at just 22-years old. Undrafted rookie Chasson Randle is now starting to look like a piece of New York's future. Justin Holiday never played meaningful minutes before joining New York as a throwaway in the trade for Derrick Rose but is now averaging career-highs in every major statistical category. 

Besides Hernangomez, the rest of the players mentioned above went undrafted, while three played for the Knicks D-League team in Westchester. 

Tags: Lance Thomas, Langston Galloway, Willy Hernangomez
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New York Knicks guard Courtney Lee (5) brings the ball down court during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Orlando Magic at Amway Center. (Reinhold Matay)
New York Knicks guard Courtney Lee (5) brings the ball down court during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Orlando Magic at Amway Center. (Reinhold Matay)

Courtney Lee scored 18 points, Lance Thomas added 17 and the New York Knicks used a big fourth quarter to rally past the Orlando Magic, 113-105 on Monday night.

Willy Hernangomez had 14 points and eight rebounds, while Kristaps Porzingis scored 14 points for the Knicks, who stopped a two-game losing streak. Kyle O'Quinn sparked the comeback with 11 points and eight rebounds, all in the fourth quarter.

Elfrid Payton had his first triple-double of the season with 16 points, 10 assists and 11 rebounds. Evan Fournier led Orlando with 25 points and Aaron Gordon had 17 in the Magic's third loss in four games.

Tags: Carmelo Anthony, Courtney Lee, Kristaps Porzingis, Kyle O'Quinn, Lance Thomas, Orlando Magic, Willy Hernangomez
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New York Knicks forward Lance Thomas (42) looks up after a play during the first half against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. (Troy Taormina)
New York Knicks forward Lance Thomas (42) looks up after a play during the first half against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. (Troy Taormina)

Keith Schlosser, SNY.tv

With little to no lingering effects of the orbital and plantar fasciitis injuries he's battled this season, Lance Thomas is finally playing at the level the Knicks knew he was capable of. Averaging 10.8 points on 58% shooting and 5.5 rebounds over his last four games, the forward is simply making the right plays that help New York on both ends of the floor. They've gone 2-2, with one of those losses being a last second heartbreaker to Toronto. The team is playing at an elevated level and Thomas has been a big part of that.

After a dismal campaign to this point, suddenly making a playoff push (being 4 games out with 21 left) still doesn't seem so much out of the realm of possibility. Carmelo Anthony is playing at a high level, Kristaps Porzingis has returned from injury, Thomas is filling his role, and Joakim Noah's season-ending injury may prove to be a blessing in disguise because it allows other players to be given deserved opportunities. Thomas is included in that conversation, especially because the Knicks had settled into a comfortable rotation with him on the sidelines. Noah's absence should continue to open things up. 

Everyone wants to win. Just about every player has the hunger to compete. Unfortunately, fighting tooth and nail to break in to the postseason as an eighth seed (only to get swept right out) isn't what's best for the long term future of the franchise. Coincidentally so, keeping Thomas past this year might not be, either

Tags: Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis, Lance Thomas, Keith Schlosser
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 ( Adam Hunger)
( Adam Hunger)

Keith Schlosser, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive

 

Courtney Lee was red hot during the Knicks' one-point loss Monday night, scoring double figures in the first half alone. He also proved to be clutch with a late-game dagger that kept the Knicks afloat into the closing seconds. After logging five steals and two blocks against the Raptors, one has to wonder why he wasn't put on DeRozen during that last possession. Between Thomas, the screen, and the switch of Derrick Rose, Lee was positioned elsewhere.

Lee is obviously known for his defense, but his offensive game is on the rise. Really hitting his stride over the last 10 games, Lee has averaged 12.2 points on 54 percent from the field and 46 percent from deep. There's a certain swagger that has been oozing out of him lately. Perhaps the Knicks have even more of a versatile talent than initially realized. Lee is valuable...

Tags: Courtney Lee, Lance Thomas, Keith Schlosser
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New York Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek instructs Knicks guard Courtney Lee (5) during the second quarter against the Orlando Magic at Madison Square Garden (Adam Hunger)
New York Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek instructs Knicks guard Courtney Lee (5) during the second quarter against the Orlando Magic at Madison Square Garden (Adam Hunger)

Keith Schlosser, SNY.tv

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tags: Joakim Noah, Lance Thomas

Actor and director Spike Lee argues with an official during the fourth quarter between the New York Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)
Actor and director Spike Lee argues with an official during the fourth quarter between the New York Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)

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

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

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

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

Lance Thomas just started conditioning and remains about a week away from a return, head coach Jeff Hornacek said Friday, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post.

On Monday, Hornacek said he thought Thomas was still at least a week away from playing.

Thomas has an orbital bone fracture and is dealing with concussion-like symptoms after taking an elbow to the face from Jonas Valanciunas on Jan. 15. He began wearing a protective mask on Monday.

Tags: Lance Thomas
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 (AP)
(AP)

Keith Schlosser, SNY.TV:

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

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

Tags: Carmelo Anthony, Courtney Lee, Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Kristaps Porzingis, Lance Thomas, Mindaugas Kuzminskas, Willy Hernangomez, Keith Schlosser
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New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) during a break in action against the Chicago Bulls during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. ( Adam Hunger)
New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) during a break in action against the Chicago Bulls during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. ( Adam Hunger)

Keith Schlosser, SNY.TV:

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

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

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

Lance Thomas has an orbital bone fracture and is dealing with concussion-like symptoms after taking an elbow to the face in Sunday's loss to the Raptors, the team announced. 

Tags: Lance Thomas, Toronto Raptors
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Rose's proper head space 00:03:44
Knicks Insider Frank Isola attempts to figure out Derrick Rose's place with the Knicks.

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

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

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

Tags: Brandon Jennings, Carmelo Anthony, Courtney Lee, Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Kristaps Porzingis, Lance Thomas
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Phoenix Suns small forward P.J. Tucker shoots the ball as San Antonio Spurs shooting guard Danny Green and Pau Gasol defends during the first half at AT&T Center. (Soobum Im/USA Today Sports Images)
Phoenix Suns small forward P.J. Tucker shoots the ball as San Antonio Spurs shooting guard Danny Green and Pau Gasol defends during the first half at AT&T Center. (Soobum Im/USA Today Sports Images)

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

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

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

Tags: Joakim Noah, Kyle O'Quinn, Lance Thomas, Mindaugas Kuzminskas, Phoenix Suns, Willy Hernangomez
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 (Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports)
(Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports)

Tommy Dee, SNY.tv:

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

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

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

Tags: Brandon Jennings, Carmelo Anthony, Courtney Lee, Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Kristaps Porzingis, Lance Thomas
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 (Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports)
(Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports)

Lance Thomas, starting with the injured Kristaps Porzingis unavailable, had 10 points and three rebounds in 20 minutes during the Knicks' 115-103 loss to the Magic on Sunday.

Thomas, who has been battling plantar fasciitis for much of the season, is averaging just 4,8 points and 1.7 rebounds while playing 16.6 minutes per game.

In 250 games during his career, the 28-year-old has averaged 5.4 points and 2.5 rebounds while playing 18 minutes per game.

Tags: Lance Thomas
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 (Ross D. Franklin/AP)
(Ross D. Franklin/AP)

Keith Schlosser, SNY.TV:

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

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

Tags: Courtney Lee, Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Kyle O'Quinn, Lance Thomas, Keith Schlosser
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 (Nelson Chenault)
(Nelson Chenault)

Tommy Dee:

With the Grizzlies entertaining offers for Tony Allen, one of the NBA's premiere perimeter defenders, I wondered what Phil Jackson would be thinking about come March's trade deadline.

It just so happened this idea occurred as the Knicks were in the midst of losing to the Celtics on Christmas Day, having allowed Boston to shoot 14-for-36 from three point range and score 119 points.

Tags: Carmelo Anthony, Kyle O'Quinn, Lance Thomas, Mindaugas Kuzminskas
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 (Anthony Gruppuso/USA Today Sports Images)
(Anthony Gruppuso/USA Today Sports Images)

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

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

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

Tags: Carmelo Anthony, Courtney Lee, Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Kristaps Porzingis, Lance Thomas
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New York Knicks guard Brandon Jennings (Watchara Phomicinda/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Knicks guard Brandon Jennings (Watchara Phomicinda/USA Today Sports Images)

Keith Schlosser, SNY.TV

Derrick Rose and Kristaps Porzingis' big nights are sure to garner the most headlines following Sunday's 118-112 win over the Lakers, but Willy Hernangomez and Brandon Jennings were both huge X-factors.

Filling in for an injured Kyle O'Quinn, Hernangomez played his part to perfection and looked like the best third-string center in the league. A rather physical performance, punctuated by 12 rebounds, was reminiscent of his gritty effort against Dwight Howard earlier in the year. Jennings' scoring prowess is undeniable and he has proved to be a much more versatile player this season, which allows him to catch opponents off guard with offensive outbursts. Scoring 15 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter, it was as though Los Angeles had awoken a sleeping giant.

Such performances are proof of just how deep New York really is this season. How many times has the team employed a third-string rookie center who can log double-digit rebounds at the drop of a hat? Jennings' ability to pour in the points gives the Knicks the best offensive option they've had off the bench since J.R. Smith won Sixth Man of the Year back in the 2012-13 season. But the talent doesn't stop there. Now 6-1 during games in which he's grabbed at least seven rebounds, O'Quinn has certainly played a key role. Justin Holiday provides timely buckets and a strong rebounding presence for a reserve guard, complementing Courtney Lee really well. Lance Thomas has rebounded from a slow start to provide steady defense, and his shot is coming back as well.

Tags: Brandon Jennings, Carmelo Anthony, Courtney Lee, Derrick Rose, Kristaps Porzingis, Kyle O'Quinn, Lance Thomas, Mindaugas Kuzminskas, Willy Hernangomez, Keith Schlosser
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 (Steve Mitchell)
(Steve Mitchell)

Derrick Williams, who opted out of the final year of his contract with the Knicks this past June, told Marc Berman of the NY Post that the decision was tough.

"For sure it was a tough decision,'' Williams said. "I love my time in New York. Being one of the fan favorites, leaving a place where I felt I could keep getting better, keep growing. But ultimately I feel it was the right decision. It might not seem that way right now. But I'm getting better each day. Even though I may not be on the court right now, this is for the second half of the season."

Williams, who played 80 games for the Knicks last season, has appeared in just 11 of the Heat's 20 games so far in 2016-17.

Tags: Derrick Williams, Lance Thomas, Mindaugas Kuzminskas
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 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

Tommy Dee, SNY.tv:

The idea of competition for playing time can be a very slippery slope, especially if incumbents with higher salaries feel threatened and cause locker room friction. But the sense so far is that players, top to bottom, are pushing themselves for minutes, resulting in the Knicks outplaying opponents -- especially at home -- more often than not.

When the Knicks signed Mindaugas Kuzminskas from Unicaja, a Spanish team in the Euroleague, I texted a scout friend of mine who was familiar with his game.

Tags: Brandon Jennings, Carmelo Anthony, Courtney Lee, Derrick Rose, Kristaps Porzingis, Kyle O'Quinn, Lance Thomas, Mindaugas Kuzminskas, Willy Hernangomez
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New York Knicks center Joakim Noah (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Knicks center Joakim Noah (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports Images)

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

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

Courtney Lee will also be unavalable on Friday night.

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

Tags: Courtney Lee, Joakim Noah, Lance Thomas
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New York Knicks guard Justin Holiday (8) reacts after scoring a three point basket during the fourth quarter against the Atlanta Hawks at Madison Square Garden. (Anthony Gruppuso)
New York Knicks guard Justin Holiday (8) reacts after scoring a three point basket during the fourth quarter against the Atlanta Hawks at Madison Square Garden. (Anthony Gruppuso)

Justin Holiday may have had a poor shooting night against Minnesota, but he found himself on the court when it mattered most. In what has become an often occurrence for Knicks' reserve, he was once again on the floor in the closing seconds of an important game. Alongside Carmelo Anthony and the team's more notable players, Holiday was depended on for defensive prowess.

Once considered simply an after thought in the Derrick Rose trade, Holiday has been much more than that. In the absence of Lance Thomas, he has given New York's second unit exactly what they needed: a mature veteran who can spread the floor and play intelligent defense. 

"There's such a premium on guys that can make shots. You have to make shots. With the way the game is today, defenses are rotating so quickly and the ball is going to find the open man," Michael Peck, who coached Holiday in 2012-13 on the Idaho Stampede of the NBA D-League told SNY.tv and TheKnicksBlog.com. "If you're that guy, you've got to be ready to knock those down. He has great length and great elevation on his shot, which makes him hard to cover."

Tags: Carmelo Anthony, Derrick Rose, Lance Thomas, Keith Schlosser
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 (Troy Taormina)
(Troy Taormina)

Lance Thomas will remain out due to a sore left ankle when the Knicks play the Thunder on Monday night at Madison Square Garden, the team announced.

His ankle was in a walking boot after last Wednesday night's game and Thomas said the injury had turned into a bone bruise.

"I don't want to be something that keeps me out for too long but when I come back I want to be effective to the team," Thomas said. "I've been playing through the injuries. My teammates know I've been trying to do my best.''

Tags: Lance Thomas
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New York Knicks guard Justin Holiday reaches for the net during the second quarter against the Charlotte Hornets at Madison Square Garden. (Anthony Gruppuso/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Knicks guard Justin Holiday reaches for the net during the second quarter against the Charlotte Hornets at Madison Square Garden. (Anthony Gruppuso/USA Today Sports Images)

Justin Holiday and Mindaugas Kuzminskas have stepped up in the absence of the injured Lance Thomas, but how will head coach Jeff Hornacek adjust the players' minutes when Thomas returns?

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

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

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

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

Lance Thomas's injured ankle was in a walking boot after Wednesday night's game, the second one he's missed due to a high ankle sprain, reports Marc Berman of the NY Post.

Thomas said the injury has turned into a bone bruise, which will be reevaluated on Thursday.

"I don't want to be something that keeps me out for too long but when I come back I want to be effective to the team," Thomas said. "I've been playing through the injuries. My teammates know I've been trying to do my best.''

Tags: Lance Thomas
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 (Anthony Gruppuso/USATSI)
(Anthony Gruppuso/USATSI)

 Lance Thomas will not be available for the Knicks on Monday night against the Mavericks due to a sore left ankle, the team announced.

He missed the second half of Saturday night's loss due to the injury.

The 28-year-old has averaged 3.9 points and 2.4 rebounds while averaging 17.5 minutes in eight games this season.

Tags: Lance Thomas
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 (Troy Taormina)
(Troy Taormina)

The Knicks had a difficult decision to make this past summer. Two of their unrestricted free agents wanted to return, but after the acquisitions of Joakim NoahCourtney Lee and Brandon Jennings, the team had to decide whether to keep Lance Thomas or Derrick Williams.

Thomas, an all-around glue guy, was coming off a career-year while Williams was coming off a season that was filled with tremendous offensive output with little to show on the defensive end.

After Thomas lobbied during 4th of July weekend, according to GM Steve Mills, the Knicks decided to bring him back, while Williams found his way to South Beach, signing a one-year deal with the Heat.

Tags: Lance Thomas
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Though the Knicks have struggled so far this season, the offensive production of Carmelo Anthony and Derrick Rose has been encouraging. The same can't be said about Kristaps Porzingis, however.

Against the Pistons, Porzingis (7-of-18) started off hot but fizzled out as the game went on. When it came down to crunch time, he was benched in favor of Lance Thomas. He followed that up with a scoreless (0-for-4) effort against the Rockets on Wednesday. 

Unfortunately, there was no bounceback performance. After such an impressive rookie season, Porzingis seems to be hitting the wall rather early in this new campaign, unable to find himself thus far.

Tags: Brandon Jennings, Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Kristaps Porzingis, Lance Thomas, Keith Schlosser
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New York Knicks guard Brandon Jennings (3) dribbles the ball during the third quarter against the Washington Wizards at Madison Square Garden. (Anthony Gruppuso)
New York Knicks guard Brandon Jennings (3) dribbles the ball during the third quarter against the Washington Wizards at Madison Square Garden. (Anthony Gruppuso)

The Knicks (1-1) enter into the game tonight in Detroit on the heels of a solid home win on Saturday. To me, this is a pretty favorable match up, if the Knicks can maintain the offensive balance from Saturday night. That needs to be the model to follow night in and night out. The Pistons (2-1) enter the game on the heels of a monster game from star center Andre Drummond, who scored 20 points and collected 23 rebounds in a 98-83 win against the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday. The Pistons will be playing without star guard Reggie Jackson, who is sidelined with a knee injury for the next 6-8 weeks.

Tags: Brandon Jennings, Lance Thomas, Mindaugas Kuzminskas
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New York Knicks forward Lance Thomas (42) looks up after a play during the first half against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. (Troy Taormina)
New York Knicks forward Lance Thomas (42) looks up after a play during the first half against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. (Troy Taormina)

As fingers are pointed in every which direction (Joakim Noah, Derrick Rose, Courtney Lee, etc.) for the Knicks' opening night blowout loss, it's important to also recognize the importance of Lance Thomas.Over the last season and a half, Thomas has served as a rare bright spot for this team. Rising up from the ashes as a basketball vagabond, Thomas wasted little time finding his NBA role with the Knicks. It'll be imperative to their success, especially as the team competes for a playoff spot, that he continues to serve as their glue guy.

Tags: Lance Thomas, Keith Schlosser
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 (Soobum Im)
(Soobum Im)

Before he became "Skizzy Mars," Myles Mills was a basketball prodigy and frequent contributor to TKB. Now that his grind has slowed down after getting a record deal with Atlantic, he again has time to weigh in on his beloved Knicks. I'm proud of his success and happy to see him back here with the following thoughts about the 2016-2017 season...

Tags: Brandon Jennings, Carmelo Anthony, Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Kristaps Porzingis, Kyle O'Quinn, Lance Thomas, Mindaugas Kuzminskas, Willy Hernangomez
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 (Bob DeChiara)
(Bob DeChiara)

Kristaps Porzingis scored 20 points as the Knicks beat the Celtics, 122-96, Wednesday night in Boston.Joakim Noah had two points and seven rebounds in roughly 13 minutes played.Lance Thomas had seven points and four rebounds while Courtney Lee had 11 points and two rebounds.Sasha Vujacic added 12 points and four assists off the bench.Kyle O'Quinn had 13 points and eight rebounds off the bench.The Knicks shot 48 perent from the field, including 24 percent from three-point range.

Tags: Kristaps Porzingis, Kyle O'Quinn, Lance Thomas, Sasha Vujacic
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 (Mike Dinovo)
(Mike Dinovo)

Joakim Noah returned to practice on Friday, the Knicks announced.

Noah missed practice Thursday due to a sore right ankle.

He had returned to practice Wednesday but injured the ankle while falling during a scrimmage. He had been out since Oct. 6 due to a hamstring injury.

Tags: Lance Thomas
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Phil Jackson smiles during a news conference. (USA Today)
Phil Jackson smiles during a news conference. (USA Today)

New York Knicks president Phil Jackson said he "hand-picked" this season's roster, according to Newsday's Al Iannazzone.

Jackson, according to Iannazzone, told Shaquille O'Neal on a podcast that he could pick the roster he wanted for the first time as team president.

"We talked about, in our initial meeting last Monday, about the fact that this is all hand-picked,'' Jackson told O'Neal. "This is a hand-picked team. They all fit together in a way in which -- we haven't had this opportunity since I've been in New York."

Tags: Lance Thomas
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Lance Thomas of the New York Knicks (Anthony Gruppuso/USA Today Sports Images)
Lance Thomas of the New York Knicks (Anthony Gruppuso/USA Today Sports Images)

Lance Thomas hit two free throws with 0.2 seconds remaining to break a tie and give the New York Knicks a 90-88 win over the Washington Wizards on Monday at Madison Square Garden.

  • After Washington's Casper Ware made a driving floating bank jumper to tie the game at 88 with 6 seconds left, Thomas was fouled by Danuel House in the final second to send him to the line. Thomas sunk both free throws and Washington was not able to get a shot off before the buzzer.
  • Thomas scored 11 points on 3-of-12 shooting, Carmelo Anthony scored 13 of his 19 points in the first half, and Kristaps Porzingis and Brandon Jennings combined for 26 points and nine rebounds.
  • Bradley Beal led the Wizards with 17 points. 
  • Derrick Rose (trial) and Joakim Noah (hamstring) did not play.
  • Head coach Jeff Hornacek implied Marshall Plumlee would make the active roster after the game. "He and Jennings will compete for fan favorite," Hornacek said.
  • The Knicks trailed 53-46 at halftime.

Tommy Dee | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Instagram

  • It was a very impressive passing performance from Willy Hernangomez, who got his first NBA start in place of the injured Noah. Hernangomez found Porzingis for a nice dunk after a backdoor cut and seemed very comfortable in the starting role. Hernangomez had five turnovers despite his three early assists, but overall seemed comfortable with Porzingis especially passing the basketball.
  • Jennings got the crowd going with a third-quarter battle with Ware, a reserve guard. Jennings and Ware got double technicals followed by a 3-pointer by Jennings, resulting in the MSG crowd chanting Jennings' name.
  • Noah plans to play Saturday against the Celtics. There is no word on Rose's availability. 
  • Despite hitting the winning free throws, Thomas struggled shooting all night and missed his first nine shots.
  • Chasson Randle continued to impress the team and has a strong shot of making the team. I've also been pleasantly surprised at how good Ron Baker has been. He's tough, attacks the basket, defends and can make spot 3s. He made one bad mistake in the latter stages of the game. With the Knicks up 86-83, Baker missed a reverse layup on the fast break, and on the ensuing possession, the Wizards converted a three-point play to tie the game.
  • Anthony led the Knicks with 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting, and Porzingis added 15 points and six rebounds in a game-high 31 minutes. Beal led the Wizards with 17 and John Wall added nine points and four assists in 15 minutes. 
  • The Knicks face the Boston Celtics in the first of back-to-back matchups on Saturday at home.

Keith Schlosser, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive

Tags: Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis, Lance Thomas, Washington Wizards
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New York Knicks guard Derrick Rose (25) celebrates with forward Carmelo Anthony (7) after a play during the third quarter against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. (Troy Taormina)
New York Knicks guard Derrick Rose (25) celebrates with forward Carmelo Anthony (7) after a play during the third quarter against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. (Troy Taormina)

Tommy Dee | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Instagram

As the Knicks (1-1) head into their third preseason game tonight at Madison Square Garden there's plenty to discuss about the roster, playing time and keys to ultimate success as fans have had the chance to watch the team on the actual basketball court.

Sounds like the perfect time to check Twitter and field some questions.

Tags: Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis, Kyle O'Quinn, Lance Thomas, Lou Amundson, Sasha Vujacic
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New York Knicks guard Derrick Rose celebrates with forward Carmelo Anthony after a play during the third quarter against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. (Troy Taormina/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Knicks guard Derrick Rose celebrates with forward Carmelo Anthony after a play during the third quarter against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. (Troy Taormina/USA Today Sports Images)

Keith Schlosser, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive

The Houston Rockets ran circles around the New York Knicks' defense in Tuesday's preseason opener. New York was collectively a step too slow throughout the game. The Rockets play at an uptempo style as it is, especially with Mike D'Antoni now at the helm. Needless to say, playing a run-and-gun team like that in the first game of October is not something an opposing group wants to do. The Knicks had plenty of rust to wipe off, but playing a team like Houston right off the bat leaves them vulnerable.

New York's defense was ultimately its downfall, though on offense, the team began running on tired legs relatively early. Carmelo AnthonyLance Thomas and Brandon Jennings looked flat-footed while they combined to shoot 9 of 31 from the field. Alas, shaking out the kinks is what the preseason is all about.

Tags: Carmelo Anthony, Houston Rockets, Kristaps Porzingis, Lance Thomas, Keith Schlosser
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Brandon Jennings (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports Images)
Brandon Jennings (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports Images)

Keith Schlosser, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive

The New York Knicks are looking to benefit from plenty of offensive firepower this season. With Derrick Rose's trial set to begin Tuesday, the same day as New York's preseason, they'll have to learn relatively quickly how to overcome being without one of the top weapons in their arsenal. 

With Rose's health likely to be a constant concern, his absence is something the Knicks will benefit from adjusting to. The quicker they can stay afloat despite this, the better. Coincidentally enough, there's a lot riding on Brandon Jennings. Rose's absence presents him with an opportunity to prove his own versatility. 

Tags: Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis, Lance Thomas, Keith Schlosser
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 (Robert Mayer)
(Robert Mayer)

Tommy Dee | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Instagram

One of the big-time quotes in my mind from the past few days was from Kristaps Porzingis when asked about the importance of Lance Thomas, who has the chance to be the Shane Battier-type glue for the Knicks this season.

"I told him at the end of the season don't leave us," Porzingis said. "That's the type of guy who you want [to win]. He's not the guy that everybody adores but he's the guy who is going to do the work every night. He's a warrior."

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

Keith Schlosser, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive

Lance Thomas was a revelation off the New York Knicks' bench last season. Previously known for his endless hustle on defense, Thomas showed versatility. Shooting 40 percent from deep on his way to averaging 8.2 points, the NBA journeyman proved he could be someone on which the team depended on both ends of the floor.

There was just one problem. Playing in 59 games, Thomas was forced to battle the injury bug as the season progressed. After fighting for so long to earn his keep and prove his worth, this was the first time in Thomas' career that he was regularly relied upon as a key rotation player over the course of a campaign.

Tags: Lance Thomas, Keith Schlosser
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Tommy Dee | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Instagram

As training camp approaches and the ensuring preseason games commence, all eyes from critics will be on a narrative that depicts an overbearing and obsessive Phil Jackson peering over the shoulder of new coach Jeff Hornacek to make sure he's running The Triangle, something he's already implemented in his own philosophy.

We got the chance to speak to Coach Nick Hauselman of BBallBreakdown.com, who did an amazing breakdown of Hornacek's offense in Phoenix two years ago on The Mid Range Theory Podcast. We talked about the trend in the NBA of the dribble-drive-attack style in spread form and how Hornacek and Portland's Terry Stotts, one of the game's underrated basketball minds, may just be creating the perfect offensive system for today's game (listen at 30:25). 

Tags: Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis, Lance Thomas
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Derrick Rose (Mary Altaffer/AP)
Derrick Rose (Mary Altaffer/AP)

Derrick Rose is optimistic about the Knicks' chances this season. In an interview with the NBPA's Jared Zwerling, the guard called his new employer "the most talented team I've played on."

The season hasn't even begun yet, so surely that's a rather bold statement. Still, on paper, things look promising. Rose is a former NBA MVP, and he comes to the Big Apple once again teaming up with a former Bulls teammate in two-time All-Star Joakim Noah. Add in an already established star in Carmelo Anthony, a budding one in Kristaps Porzingis, a "3 and D" guy in Courtney Lee, some scoring pop off the bench in Brandon Jennings and a solid glue guy in Lance Thomas (among others), and this is a very talented group at first glance.

Things obviously have to come together, and that takes time. New York has to account for chemistry, be prepared to overcome potential injuries and hope that everyone buys into new coach Jeff Hornacek's vision. Though Rose's Bulls stood atop of the Eastern Conference twice over the course of his tenure, they reached the Conference Finals just once in eight seasons. There are many factors that play into potential success, and sometimes they don't all work out for the best.

Tags: Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis, Lance Thomas, Keith Schlosser
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Future Knicks teammates Willy Hernangomez, left, and Carmelo Anthony, middle, got to know each other during the Olympics when Spain played the U.S.
Future Knicks teammates Willy Hernangomez, left, and Carmelo Anthony, middle, got to know each other during the Olympics when Spain played the U.S.

One of the more exciting things during NBA training camp is when position/rotation battles begin to unfold. An array of new players (especially in the New York Knicks' case) normally calls for opportunities for different players to earn their keeps. It's a chance to see what each respective player is made of.

As New York fills out its second unit, Lance Thomas and Brandon Jennings would appear to be locks for consistent roles and minutes. After shooting 43 percent from deep through 27 games with Chicago last season, fourth-year veteran Justin Holiday should get a legitimate opportunity to earn playing time as well. As for the big men, perhaps returning player Kyle O'Quinn has an inside track. Even so, he shot a career-low in field goal percentage and put up the weakest numbers (including minutes per game) since his rookie year across the board. The Knicks chose not to depend on him too heavily, so there's no guarantee things will change drastically this coming season.

Thus, there may be an opportunity for one of the team's younger bigs to step up in a much needed way. Wily Hernangomez, Marshall Plumlee and Mindaugas Kuzminskas are all on guaranteed contracts. Of course, receiving playing time could come down to varying matchups over the course of a season. They all have different (and respectable) skill sets to offer.

Tags: Kyle O'Quinn, Lance Thomas, Keith Schlosser
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