J.R. Smith: The Second Option

J.R. Smith: The Second Option

  (Big C) When you think about impact players in the league sometimes you have to look beyond the starting…

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Kenyon Martin:Another Man’s Trash Can Be Another Man’s Treasure

Kenyon Martin:Another Man’s Trash Can Be Another Man’s Treasure

 Sometimes in life another man’s trash can be another man’s treasure or in this case another team’s treasure.  Right now…

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Jamal Who?: It's All About J.R.

Jamal Who?: It's All About J.R.

Cold blooded! Those are the words that come to mind when I think of  J.R. Smith’s recent play in the…

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Shumpert and His Jumpshot: That's All the Knicks Need

Shumpert and His Jumpshot: That's All the Knicks Need

Iman Shumpert's jumpshot is reaching new heights, much like his stylish flat top. Coincidence?  Maybe not, it's probably more of…

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Kenyon Martin:Another Man’s Trash Can Be Another Man’s Treasure

Written by BigC on . Posted in Basketball Blogs

 Sometimes in life another man’s trash can be another man’s treasure or in this case another team’s treasure.  Right now that is the case with the Knicks new power forward Kenyon Martin.  At the end of last season Kenyon Martin found himself at odds with head coach of the Clippers Vinny Del Negro. Despite Martin’s hard work, athleticism, and talent it wasn’t enough for Martin to get re-signed by the Clippers or get a new contract at the beginning of this season. Instead of a fat new payday, like Martin was expecting, he found himself nearly blackballed from the league and labeled “un-coachable”.  

 

A month ago the Knicks decided to take a chance on Kenyon Martin.  Now he is proving teams and GM’s wrong with each passing day.  Martin is filling in the void at the center and power forward positions with Chandler, Wallace, and Amar’e sidelined with injures.  Martin is a big part of the Knicks winning streak.

 

Kenyon Martin has been an anchor on the defensive end of the court.  He has been getting block shots, key rebounds, playing solid man-to-man to man defense, and playing great help defense.  More importantly Martin’s effort and energy is rubbing off on his teammates.  On offense he’s going after every missed shot as well as playing the pick and roll game to almost perfection.  

 

Overall, Kenyon Martin is more than what the Knicks and critics were expecting . Martin has gone from just a pick up player to a key asset who can help the Knicks move to the 2nd round in the playoffs.  If Kenyon Martin did not get the attention of the league before you  better believe he’s getting that attention  now.

 

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J.R. Smith: The Second Option

Written by BigC on . Posted in Basketball Blogs

 

(Big C) When you think about impact players in the league sometimes you have to look beyond the starting lineup. While the Knicks turn things around in the basketball world Knicks’ shooting guard J.R. Smith is becoming a force to reckon with. Coming into the season, all eyes were on Carmelo Anthony, Stoudemire, Felton and Chandler to make things happen. Now critics are seeing that J.R. Smith is an important piece to the Knicks roster. Last season fans got a short glimpse of the potential of J.R. Smith and what he could do on the court.

 

 

 

During the offseason Knicks coach Mike Woodson took the time to get Smith to raise his game to the next level on both ends of the court. Before the season started Mike Woodson said J.R. was a sleeper and he expected big things from the Knicks shooting guard. Smith now seems to be focused on winning and doing whatever it takes to win games, rebounding, or providing that extra scoring punch off the bench, he’s doing it.

 

When people think of teams they tend to only think about the starting lineup and not the impact of the bench players. Outside of Jamal Crawford (16.5 points a game) there aren’t many players in the NBA that are making an impact off the bench like J. R. Smith (17.4 points a game).

 

Before this season J.R. Smith was labeled a player that only cared about getting his, you know the “Chucker” a.k.a. the “I Got to Get Mine" guy. This season it is clear has made some improvements. that J.R. plays not just to score but to block shots, get steals, and even scoring clutch shots.

 

In recent games J.R. Smith got the Knicks back into the game when the Knicks are trailing behind or just when they need to get into a flow offensively. He is the glue guy when Carmelo Anthony is out or is having an off game that provides scoring.

 

With Smith getting back his shooting touch he is becoming a tough player to guard. He has the ability to shoot deep from the outside, hit the step-back-jumper, or crossover his man to get to the hole. The problem is we need to see more drives and less shooting from 3.

 

On any given night J.R. Smith can look like one of the league's best, not just off the bench but on the court. Smith is averaging 5 rebounds to go along with his 17.4 points 2.8 assists and 1.3 steals a game.

 

With Felton in a slump and Amar’e being out J.R. Smith is quickly becoming a serious candidate for the 6th man of the year. J.R. Smith already plays a high energy game but he just needs to take it up a notch in some areas...

Driving more to the hole

When J.R. drives to the hole this opens up this midrange shot and makes him a tough cover for any player to guard. Plus it puts Knick opponents in foul trouble.

Better shot selection

Smith needs to stop forcing shots and take more midrange shots when he is guarded one-on-one.

Taking fewer 3 point shots, adding more midrange shots

 

Passing

J.R. needs to look more for his teammates and pass the ball. The more Smith looks for his teammates the more they will work harder on offense. Players are not going to put 100% on offense if they know they will not get the ball.



The Knicks no longer have to look at just Carmelo Anthony to bail them out every time, if J.R. Smith stays focused on driving and using the midrange shot the Knicks will have a good second option. It feels good to have options.

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KNICKS LEGENDS NIGHT SET FOR APRIL 5 TO CELEBRATE THE 1973 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM

Written by BigC on . Posted in Basketball Blogs

NEW YORK, March 27, 2013 – The New York Knickerbockers are proud to announce that the franchise will honor the 40th anniversary of the 1972-73 World Championship team on Legends Night, presented by Chase, on Apr. 5, when the Knicks take on the Eastern Conference rival Milwaukee Bucks at Madison Square Garden at 7:30 pm.

A courtside halftime ceremony will honor the following Legends:

1972-73 World Champions

Dick Barnett #12   Phil Jackson #18

Henry Bibby #17   Jerry Lucas #32

Bill Bradley #24     Dean Meminger #7

Dave DeBusschere #22  Earl Monroe #15

Walt Frazier #10   Willis Reed #19

John Gianelli #40  Harthorne Wingo #43

Head Coach & General Manager Red Holzman

Assistant Coach & Chief Scout Dick McGuire

Trainer Danny Whelan

As a gift, the Legends will receive customized Tissot watches from the MSG Signature Collection.

 

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So You Can Start White, But You Can't Start Amar'e?

Written by BigC on . Posted in Basketball Blogs

(Big C) When Amar’e Stoudemire first came back the public was told that he would work his way back into getting minutes and into the starting lineup. Here we are two months later and it looks like Coach Mike Woodson still has not found a role for Amar’e that he’s comfortable with.

 

Amar’e Stoudemire’s minutes have not increased even though he has been playing solid basketball and showing signs of the player we remember him to be.He has been shooting 58% in recent games and yet he has not been able to play more than 29 minutes nor has he been able to get solid minutes with the starting lineup.As a matter of fact Amar’e ‘s playing time has been somewhere around the low 20’s.

 

With Amar’e Stoudemire looking like he is in shape and ready to play one may ask, “Why hasn’t Amar’e gotten a bigger role on the Knicks?” Going into the season Amar’e was suppose to be the 2nd go-to-guy behind Carmelo Anthony. That has not been the case. The Knicks team has gone from Amar’e and Melo’s team to Amar’e becoming the 4th scoring option and bench player. Imam Shumpert was immediately put into the starting lineup after being out for months. Amar’e on the other hand has yet to make the starting lineup since his return.We’ve even seen James White inserted into the Knicks starting lineup before Stoudemire.

 

Here are a few reasons I can think of to explain why Woodson has elected not to play Amar’e in the starting lineup or at the end of games:

 

He is saving Amar’e Stoudemire for the playoffs. For 2 years in a row Amar’e has been injured in the playoffs when the Knicks really needed him.

 

2.Amar’e’s poor help and pick and roll defense has forced Woodson to go with players that can guard their man and provide good help defense. We all know that Woodson would rather play a defensive player over someone who is not good at defense. (just ask Copeland).

 

I get it.Woodson may have some legitimate reasons not to start Amar’e, give him more minutes, or let him finish out games.However, at some point Woodson has to notice teams have adapted to the Knicks and know how to stop them.It is time for the Knicks to make adjustments.

 

Solution: Start Amar’e.

The Knicks have to have another scorer in the starting lineup to help Carmelo Anthony. Amar’e, like it or not, is the second best scorer on the team. There have been too many games where the Knicks have slow starts because of their lack of offense. With a starting lineup of Chandler, Carmelo, White, Shumpart, and Felton the Knicks only have 1 player aside from Melo who can score (and that would be Felton). Think about it.Who makes a starting lineup with players who can’t score?This just allows teams to clog up the middle or double Anthony.

 

With Amar’e starting, teams will have to respect his offense game and this will open up plays for the Knicks. Amar’e should also close out games and get more minutes with Melo, Chandler, Felton, and Smith. The Knicks cannot afford to try and build chemistry when they get to the playoffs. Chemistry has to start now.

 

Overall, if Mike Woodson doesn’t trust Amar’e in the starting lineup or to close out games what does he trust Amar’e to do?

 

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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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