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Jason Kidd: Still Making Things Happen

Written by BigC on . Posted in test

http://www.nypost.com/rw/nypost/2012/11/08/sports/web_photos/jason_kidd--300x300.jpgHe is the new kid around the block. His name is none other than Jason Kidd. For years fans dreamed of having the point guard legend on the their  Knicks’ team. We all know Jason Kidd as that guy that came into the Garden  as an opponent to make sure the Knicks lost.

 

If it wasn’t in a playoff game it was the regular season where Jason Kidd would lead his team to defeat the Knicks. Kidd was the guy you loved to hate. From year to year Kidd dazzled spectators with his flashy no-look, between the legs,  split bounce passes,  spin moves, and alley oops.  You know, a human highlight film.

 

Kidd has a long resume that includes winning a NBA title and being on the NBA first team list of offense and defense numerous times. Now fast forward to the 2012-13 season with Kidd bringing 18 years of NBA experience to the Knicks. At age 39, Kidd is still trying to make things happen. The Knicks are off to a great start this season with the league's best record of 4-0 and Jason Kidd is one of the main reasons why.


Before the season started, there were many question marks as to why the Knicks were going after Kidd this late in his career. People also wondered if he would start at the point or back up Knicks point guard Raymond Felton. To everyone’s surprise Knicks head coach Mike Woodson elected to have both guards start in the backcourt.  So far the payoff has been great. The Knicks have another coach on the court in Jason Kidd who has seen every type of defensive schemes opponents can throw at the Knicks.

 

At 6’4”  Kidd has court vision that allows him to point out weak points in the defense. On offense Kidd knows when to tell his teammates to get to the right spot, shoot, set a pick, or cut to the hole.  The Knicks' turnovers are at an all-time low and the Knicks have a league best at 10.3 turnovers a game.  If the ball is in his hands or if he's playing the off guard position, Kidd helps make plays.

The benefit of having Kidd:

1.     Veteran leadership and experience to bring a team together on and off the court.
2.     A defensive stopper at the 2 guard position. Now the Knicks have a starting 2 guard who can guard  his man 1-on-1 without constantly switching.

3.     Three point shooting. Kidd is becoming lethal for the Knicks with his outside shooting. He is currently shooting 50% from the outside. His 3 point shooting creates space for his teammates.

4.     Rebounding at the guard position.

5.     Improving ball movement. With Kidd on the court you can bet there will be rare times when there is no ball movement.

6.     Having another player who can push the ball like Felton and excel in the halfcourt.

Kidd is a great fit for a team forming an identity and trying to advance in the playoffs. However, at some point we will have to ask tough questions like "How many minutes can Kidd log in an 82 game season and will he be playoff ready"?

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Raymond Felton: Just What The Knicks Needed

Written by BigC on . Posted in test

Big C) The new season is off to a great start. A few weeks ago the focus was on “What will Carmelo Anthony do with Amar’e Stoudemire being out for 6-8 weeks?” I always had my mind on Raymond Felton as the answer for the Knicks. Felton came off one of his worst seasons since his Bobcat days.
 
Last season Raymond Felton was shooting 40% from the field on the Blazers. On the Blazers he was labeled an out-of-shape, selfish player that was not good for the locker room.
 
 
These stereotypes were completely different from Raymond Felton’s days as a Knick in the 2010-11 season. That year, Raymond Felton was playing like an all-star excelling on the offensive end and playing solid defense (1.8 steals). Felton showed that he was the leader the Knicks were looking for at the point guard position.
 
 
On offense Felton was able to find the open man as well as run the pick and roll. In fact Felton had a career high as a Knick with 9 assists a game. Felton was also the Knicks second highest scorer with 17 points a game. In other words, Felton was flat out balling.
 
 
Now, as the Knicks work their way through the 2012-2013 season, Felton has to be the guy that is the difference maker. Since Felton left the Knicks, the Knicks have not had a full time point guard. Billups did not play a full healthy season with the Knicks. Lin only played 14 games and Toney Douglas was not suited for the point guard role.
 
 
This season the pressure will not just be on Carmelo Anthony but also on Raymond Felton who is replacing the fan favorite Jeremy Lin. So far Raymond Felton seems ready for the added pressure. He's in shape for the new season and ready to prove doubters wrong.
 
 
Felton's strengths:
 
1. He can excel in the pick and roll offense. He knows how to score and pass on the pick and roll. With Amar’e being out, expect to see the pick and roll play with Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks’ big men Chandler, Wallace, Camby, and Kurt Thomas.
 
 
2. He has the ability to find the open cutter or open man. This is where guys like J.R. Smith and Ronnie Brewer can benefit. With the Knicks not being stacked with scorers they will need ball movement and players cutting to the hole as much as possible. Novak can also benefit with Felton being on the court.
 
 
3. He has the ability to hit the open shot and drive to the hole. You often see guards in the NBA who only want to shoot or only want to drive. However, Felton is a player that can drive and draw a foul as well as pull up for the mid-range shot.
 
 
4. He is a good one-on-one defender. On the defensive end of the court he along with J.R. Smith and Brewer will cause problems for opponents.
 
5. He also knows how to push the ball on the break and play well in the half court.
 
 
6. He has one of the quickest first steps in the league to get to the hole. He is also a player who can create his own shot and take the big shot when needed.
 
 
Felton's weaknesses:

1. At times he makes bad passes and turns the ball over.
 
2. He also exhibits poor shot selection.
 
 
Overall, I think the Knicks made a solid pick up. It’s great to see Felton back in a Knicks uniform. If the Knicks have a strong season you can bet Felton will be a big part of it.

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Knicks New Identity: It's all about defense

Written by BigC on . Posted in test

(Big C)  Last season the Knicks improved on defense with the addition of Tyson Chandler. The Knicks ranked 11th in the league with holding their opponents to 94.7 points a game in the 2011-12 season. This year the Knicks have collected a group of veterans to help them secure the paint and the backcourt.  The new defensive additions are former Knick Kurt Thomas, shot blocker and NBA Defensive Player of Year Marcus Camby, along with Rasheed Wallace in the frontcourt.
 
 
Each one of the new forwards are players that know how to play defense and are experts at reading defensive schemes. Kurt Thomas, Marcus Camby and Rasheed Wallace are also players that can guard their man one-on-one without needing a double team or switching to another man constantly on the defensive end of the court. Adding these three players along with the defensive presence of Tyson Chandler will cause havoc for any player trying to drive to the paint. Which is different from what spectators have seen from the Knicks in the past. In previous seasons without Chandler the Knicks were letting their opponents score 105.7 points (ranked 28th in the league). Last season that was not the case.
 
 
The Knicks have also improved in the backcourt on the defensive end by adding Raymond Felton (who is a decent defender) and Jason Kidd.  The Knicks also have Ronnie Brewer who is known to be one of the top defenders at the guard/forward position in the league. Now if you consider these three along with Shumpert (second team all-defense)  and J.R. Smith you have a backcourt that will control the passing lanes and the perimeter as well as apply ball pressure on the ball.
 
These group of players in the backcourt and frontcourt are players that know how to get back on defense, block shots, trap, draw charges and do not give up plays.
 
In other words, Coach Mike Woodson’s dream has come true. Mike Woodson has been screaming defense since last season and it looks like that is exactly what the Knicks have. There may be some things the Knicks are lacking but defense is not one of them. 
 
In the past the Knicks have looked like a team searching for an identity. This year defense might be the face the Knicks have been looking for.

 

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