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.
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
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 Noah, Courtney 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
Knicks C Joakim Noah had arthrosopic surgery on his left knee on Monday and will be reevaluated in three-to-four weeks, the team announced.
He is expected to miss the remainder of the season due to the surgery, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reported.
Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek said Noah could potentially return before the season ends, but didn't seem optimistic, reports Ian Begley of ESPN.
Tags: Joakim Noah, Willy Hernangomez
With Joakim Noah set to miss his eighth straight game on Monday, Knicks rookie C Willy Hernangomez will likely get another start.
Hernangomez has performed well as of late, starting the last four games and averaging 10.5 points and 9.5 rebounds on 58.6 percent shooting in 27.9 minutes. However the 22-year old is still getting accustomed to playing in the NBA.
"Sometimes, I think too much," Hernangomez said to Fred Kerber of the New York Post. "So I need to let my body just play. Let my mind play. I think too much, like if I miss a shot."
Willy Hernangomez, who has been starting at center for the Knicks with Joakim Noah out, had another good game during Thursday night's loss to the Cavaliers.
Hernangomez had 11 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, and two blocks in 27 minutes.
He turned the ball over just once and committed three personal fouls.
Tags: Joakim Noah, Willy Hernangomez
Keith Schlosser, SNY.tv
With the NBA still coming off its All-Star Weekend, the Knicks have not played since losing to the Oklahoma City Thunder last Tuesday. But alas, the late additions of Carmelo Anthony and Willy Hernangomez to the weekend's festivities gave the team's fan base a little bit more to be excited about and invested in as things went on in New Orleans.
When just about everyone in the NBA world collides for a few days, talk about the Knicks is never too far away. Speculation regarding the team's future, especially with the trade deadline steadily approaching, is running ramped as we speak. With that in mind, here are three things to ponder around this team in the week that follows.
Tags: Brandon Jennings, Carmelo Anthony, Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Kristaps Porzingis, Kyle O'Quinn, Willy Hernangomez, Keith Schlosser
Keith Schlosser, SNY.tv
Reports of a trade that will send DeMarcus Cousins to the New Orleans Pelicans have already sent major shockwaves through the NBA. Initially, pondering whether or not the Kings got fair value in return for the outgoing star may not appear to have any immediate impact on the Knicks. But alas, it sure does.
Following the deal, Langston Galloway will reportedly be waived and speculation is abound that Tyreke Evans could be let go as well. It would make sense if his expiring contract was merely included as a formality to make the deal work financially. With that in mind, the deal boils down to Buddy Hield, a top three protected 2017 first rounder and a second rounder for Cousins.
Could the Knicks have made a legitimate play at acquiring Cousins? It may not have been such a farfetched concept. Knowing now what the Kings ultimately settled for, offering a deal centered around Derrick Rose and New York's 2017 first round selection probably would have garnered consideration. Adding Willy Hernangomez certainly would have sweetened the pot. This would have meant the Knicks would have been left without two of their top valued future assets, but Cousins is arguably the best center in the NBA. Still just 26 years old, New York could have built a future around him in Kristaps Porzingis. His contract only runs through next season, but it makes sense for marquee players to re-sign in the Big Apple.
Kristaps Porzingis helped lead Team World to victory over Team USA in the Rising Stars Challenge, as he scored 24 points and collected 10 rebounds.
In 33 minutes on the floor, Porzingis shot 11-of-16 from the field and was 1-of-4 for from the free-throw line. His 24 points were third on the team after Buddy Hield (28) and Jamal Murray (36).
C Joakim Noah will miss his fifth consecutive game on Wednesday, according to Ian Begley of ESPN.
Noah has been out with a hamstring injury since leaving the game against the Cavaliers early on Feb. 4.
C Willy Hernangomez will start at center against the Thunder.
Tags: Joakim Noah, Willy Hernangomez
Willy Hernangomez has been named as an injury replacement to the Rising Stars Challenge that will take place during NBA All-Star Weekend, reports Marc Berman of the NY Post.
Hernangomez joins teammate Kristaps Porzingis on the World Team roster.
Hernangomez, 22, is averaging 6.5 points and 5.8 rebounds in 48 games this season...
Keith Schlosser, SNY.tv
The Knicks had an empowering win over the Spurs to cap off the weekend. Beyond that, however, the dysfunction has only continued. The rumors surrounding Carmelo Anthony continue to swirl. Frustration around the team's feeble defensive effort continues to set in. The mystique around what Phil Jackson's next remark may be (or how he chooses to communicate it) keeps everyone on their toes. And as if all of this wasn't enough, James Dolan played a part in a bizarre sequence of events this past week, reminding all that he is never truly far enough away.
As the trade deadline approaches and the losing continues, there are question marks around this team. Can the Knicks build off of the win against San Antonio, or will they fall back into their poor ways? Here's a look at what the team will face in the week ahead.
Questions about team culture: One could argue that the poor culture is going to affect the Knicks for years to come. Clearly, the lack of positivity makes it difficult for players already in the Big Apple to perform at an optimal level. What's more, all that has gone on as of late could certainly impact the decisions of prospective free agents and scare them off from donning orange and blue. For years, James Dolan has been criticized for his poor way of handling things and a lack of overall basketball knowledge. While he has stayed out of Phil Jackson's way, he proved this week with Charles Oakley that he himself will never be far enough away not to play a role in something here or there. That's not a good feeling.
Tags: Brandon Jennings, Carmelo Anthony, Courtney Lee, Derrick Rose, Mindaugas Kuzminskas, Willy Hernangomez, Keith Schlosser
Keith Schlosser, SNY.tv
Looking back, the Knicks are currently nowhere near where anyone thought they'd be. Carmelo Anthony is facing a fourth straight year without a playoff appearance. With his own fate/success as an executive seemingly tied to that of his team's star forward, Phil Jackson has failed amid the continued pressure to put a consistent product on the court. He went all in last summer, spending on veterans and proven contributors. New York's inability to meet expectations has led to trade speculation all around, which ultimately prevents this group from creating and maintaining the positive culture Jackson aspired to develop.
All of this has given way to a very underwhelming 6-19 record in 2017. The Knicks had to put forth a really strong comeback effort just to defeat the 9-40 Nets last week. Here's a look at some of the questions facing New York as they look for stability.
Tags: Carmelo Anthony, Courtney Lee, Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Kyle O'Quinn, Willy Hernangomez, Keith Schlosser
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
Keith Schlosser, SNY.TV:
Joakim Noah has finally found more consistency rebounding the ball and hasn't played up to his former disappearing act as of late, and the Knicks also want to experiment more with Kristaps Porzingis at the center position.
The above developments sensibly limit Willy Hernangomez's opportunities, but he's still making the most of them. As he continues to do so, Kyle O'Quinn's minutes have decreased. It's not as if he is playing poorly, but Hernangomez has just been too good to ignore.
After blowing a 16-point fourth-quarter lead, Carmelo Anthony hit a go-ahead jumper with under 30 seconds to play as the New York Knicks hung on to beat the Indiana Pacers, 109-103, on Monday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
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
The Knicks' defensive effort this season has been poor, and that was evident Sunday during their 119-114 loss to the Celtics.
"It was all defense, the way I look at it," Rose said about the loss, according to Ian Begley of ESPN. "We didn't communicate well."
The Knicks outscored the Celtics in the third and fourth quarter, but couldn't overcome the large deficit that was a result of them being outscored 34-20 in the second quarter.
Tommy Dee: SNY.TV:
Heading into Tuesday night's game against Indiana at Madison Square Garden, Joakim Noah is still confident things will work out despite his underwhelming play that has faced serious criticism.
What's been obvious to me in watching the team play is that Noah and Courtney Lee -- the player Noah helped recruit here -- have had trouble clicking in the lineup together. Noah seemingly has more chemistry, and the team does as a whole, with Justin Holiday instead of Lee at the shooting guard position.
Tags: Carmelo Anthony, Courtney Lee, Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Kristaps Porzingis, Kyle O'Quinn, Willy Hernangomez
Without the injured Carmelo Anthony and Derrick Rose, and with Kristaps Porzingis struggling, the Knicks' bench helped keep them competitive with Golden State during their eventual 103-90 loss.
Justin Holiday had 15 points and six steals, while Ron Baker added 13 points and three assists.
Meanwhile, Willy Hernangomez added eight points and 10 rebounds in 21 minutes.
One of the beauties of social media is the friendships you can make. John Henson is a big time Knicks fan and he sent me this tweet yesterday, "#knicks have won 11 of 15, tied for 3rd in east, on pace for 47.5 wins w/ 1st rd pick & room for max FA next yr"
It was so spot on that I had to write about it.
Seriously, what more could you ask for as we speak right now when talking about the New York Knicks? They've drafted the franchise player in Kristaps Porzingis, they have a player in Carmelo Anthony who can still be a top 10-15 player in the entire league on any given night and they have a former MVP in Derrick Rose who is starting to show signs of his former self. They have a bench filled with players who can come in and contribute at a moment's notice and a coach who is pressing all the right buttons.
Moving forward, they have all of their first round draft picks if they want to get aggressive and make an upgrade trade, and they have three picks in this upcoming draft, which may be as deep 1-50 as the 2015 draft that saw them land Porzingis, Jerian Grant and Willy Hernangomez.
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
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
In back-to-back victories against Atlanta and Portland, the Knicks' center-by-committee worked out quite well.
Kristaps Porzingis asserted himself more confidently with extra minutes at the five, Kyle O'Quinn filled in nicely with a steady rebounding presence, and Willy Hernangomez flashed plenty of potential as he held his ground against veteran big men Dwight Howard and Mason Plumlee.
Following this very short string of success, there's already concern regarding how Joakim Noah will fit in moving forward. Such questions are premature.
Tags: Brandon Jennings, Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Kristaps Porzingis, Kyle O'Quinn, Willy Hernangomez, Keith Schlosser
With a lot of his family and friends still residing in Chicago, Knicks guard Derrick Rose said he will be joining teammate Carmelo Anthony for Thanksgiving.
Rose said he just asked Anthony directly if he could come over to celebrate the holiday.
While Kristaps Porzingis may benefit from playing alongside a bonafide star in Carmelo Anthony, the 21-year-old New York Knicks forward is further able to stand out on the court when he's playing with some of the team's role players off the bench.
Tags: Brandon Jennings, Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis, Mindaugas Kuzminskas, Portland Trail Blazers, Willy Hernangomez, Keith Schlosser
In big wins against Dallas and Detroit last week, Kristaps Porzingis soared on the offensive end and received key minutes at the five position as Joakim Noah remained on the bench. With the veteran big man sitting out Sunday's contest against the Hawks, the Knicks figured to play even more small ball with Carmelo Anthony and Porzingis at the four and five.
While that did happen for certain stretches, there's no way New York could have gone small all game against a much more physical Atlanta frontline featuring Paul Millsap and Dwight Howard. With that in mind, rookie Willy Hernangomez received a well anticipated opportunity.
The Knicks have clearly been content taking their time with Willy Hernangomez. After being drafted in 2015, the big man remained overseas for a year.
Since coming over, there have been questions as to whether or not he could make meaningful contributions as an NBA rookie. So far, he's received DNP-CD's, watched games in a suit, and been assigned for D-League practices.
On Wednesday against the Nets, Hernangomez finally received the call for prime time and didn't disappoint.
Give this edition of the Knicks credit so far this season. When faced with adversity and turmoil, they've responded by playing well.
Behind a vintage Carmelo Anthony performance, which saw the superstar forward score 14 consecutive points for the team in the third quarter (22 points overall), the Knicks (3-4) overcame a sluggish start to beat the Brooklyn Nets, 110-96 at the Garden.
It was the first time the Knicks held an opponent below 100 points this season and the win comes at a time where the Knicks seemingly were in the midst of some internal friction in regards to the team's offensive philosophy.
Lost in the discussion was just how brutally awful they've been defensively, and the team responded with their best defensive performance of the season.
Carmelo Anthony scored 14 of his 22 points in the third quarter, Kristaps Porzingis added 21 and the New York Knicks beat the Brooklyn Nets 110-96 on Wednesday night.
Rookie center Willy Hernangomez had a season-best 14 points, Derrick Rose also scored 14 and the Knicks climbed out of a 14-point hole to take the first meeting of the season between the New York rivals.
The Knicks' opening night loss to the Cavaliers looked like a preseason game for many reasons. The contest served as quite the wakeup call. New York subsequently displayed better behaviors and an increased level of communication in their game two victory over Memphis.Plenty of players --- Joakim Noah, Courtney Lee, and Kyle O'Quinn among them --, showed great improvement from one game to the next. That surely gave the Knicks a big boost, but head coach Jeff Hornacek should be praised for a key conscious decision he made as well. He hasn't gotten enough credit for it just yet.Three fewer players took the court for the Knicks against the Grizzlies, shoring up what should develop into a consistent ten man rotation. Game one was treated much like a preseason contest because the minutes were divided up relatively evenly and everyone was given a shot. When it's time to compete and something more substantial at stake, that's not an efficient strategy. The better players should receive the bulk of playing time.
Tags: Courtney Lee, Joakim Noah, Kyle O'Quinn, Mindaugas Kuzminskas, Willy Hernangomez, Keith Schlosser
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
Making his Knicks' debut at The World's Most Famous Arena on Saturday, hometown kid Joakim Noah was ushered in as Hell's Kitchen's own on the Garden PA system. The crowd roared and welcomed what has been a long awaited arrival.The big man was brought in to serve as New York's defensive anchor. A former Defensive Player of the Year award winner and one-time MVP candidate, Noah demonstrated even in his first performance why his overall talent garners the type of investment the Knicks made in him this past summer. His health will obviously be an ongoing concern, but when he's on the court, there's reason to believe he'll be an upgrade over Robin Lopez.
Willy Hernangomez has reached a multi-year deal with the Knicks, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Verical.
His NBA rights were originally acquired by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2015 NBA draft, but was traded that night to the Knicks for two future picks and cash.
The 6'11, 255 pound Hernangomez is 22-years-old and has played his entire career in the Spanish league.