Amar'e Stoudemire will be out of the lineup for tonight's game against the Kings. It will be up to Stoudemire's teammates to play team ball and to pick up the slack.
"Amar’e Stoudemire is out for tonight’s game at Sacramento with a sprained left ankle, according to a person familiar with the situation.
The Knicks have not made it official but Stoudemire is expected to miss his season’s first game when the Knicks conclude their California trip vs. the Knicks at 8 p.m. Stoudemire sprained his ankle Thursday in the fourth quarter in LA after rolling to the basket off a pick and getting hit by a Lakers player. Stoudemire tumbled to the court and left the game."-New York Post
Here is the possible starting lineup for tonight's game with Amar'e out:
Douglas, Fields, Anthony, Harrellson, Chandler
It will be a tough game. I would not be surprised if Balkman and Harrellson split minutes at the power forward position. Josh Harrellson will get a chance to show his game. Harrellson has ability to score down low and shoot the outside jumper.
In addition, keep and eye on Toney Douglas. He normally plays good against Evans. In their last meeting Douglas had 21 points shooting 52% from the field. While Tyreke Evans had only 9 points in his last meeting against the Knicks.
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(Big C) It’s only the Knicks 3rd game of the season and it may too early to start hitting the panic button. However, one thing is for sure the Knicks need point guard help and another scorer. So far Toney Douglas has not been getting it done in the last two games. Douglas is shooting 34.2% from the field. Within 3 games Douglas’ shooting is 13% from the 3 point strike making 2-15 shots. Anyone can have 2 off games. The problem is Douglas' poor play is not just based on his shooting. It's more of an issue of him not being able to set up his teammates or get to the hole.
The strongest weapon in Mike D’Antoni’s offense has been the pick and roll. In the last two games the Knicks are not running the pick and roll. They are doing more isolation plays or just 1 or 2 passes and then a player shoots. It is up to the point guard to get the offense flowing and so far Douglas has not be doing that. The duty of the point guard is also to direct their teammates where to go if they are not in the right position.
In order for Toney Douglas to make an impact he has to set up the pick and roll or break down the defense to get to the hole where he can either score or dish the ball to his teammates. Breaking down the defense is not a part of Douglas' game. So while Douglas is trying to learn the point guard role the Knicks might have to look for outside help.
Even though the Knicks have signed Baron Davis, he will not be available for another 5 weeks, according Marc Berman of the New York Post. That is too much time to be without having a playmaker or a guard who can get to the basket. That leaves the Knicks with the option of Gilbert Arenas.
Gilbert Arenas is still a free agent. We know that Arenas might not be the best PR move but the Knicks cannot afford to wait in hope of Davis returning in good shape in 5 weeks. Even when Davis is back there's no guarantee that he will make an impact. Unless there is something going on behind the scenes with Gilbert Arenas (too much time at the rifle range?) he could be an option.
Arenas on the Knicks would provide a few things:
- A player that can breakdown defense outside of Carmelo Anthony
- A 3rd scorer that the Knicks desperately need for nights when Amar’e and Melo are not hot
- Another player that can play the pick and roll
- A player that in not intimidated by other teams' backcourts
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The Knicks roster is set at 15. Therefore the Knicks would have to remove a player in order to make room for Gilbert Arenas.
" 10.) The Sugarhill Gang -- "Rapper's Delight" (So after school, I take a dip in the pool, which is really on the wall / I got a color TV so I can see the Knicks play basketball)
9.) The Cool Kids -- "2K Pennies" (All net finger roll, Allan Houston off the pick / Yeah, the pick of the litter with the kicks)
8.) Busta Rhymes – "New York S---" (Yeah, I'm on my New York s--- / Rep the Giants, the Jets, New York Knicks)
7.) Eminem -- "W.T.P." (They call me the Stephon Marbury of rap, darlin' / Cause as soon as they throw on some R. Kelly, I start ballin')
6.) Heltah Skeltah -- "Sean Price" (Sean sparks like John Starks in the fourth quarter / Oughta meet my peeps, deep like the Torah)
5.) Cormega -- "The Come Up" (My movements like the automatic top on a coupe / Smoothness, like Allan Houston got when he shoots / I'm consumed with, the essence of the street / I'm destined to be, on a level I've yet to see / Son I had 'em so comfortable they slept on me / Like the draft did McGrady, this rap s--- is crazy)
4.) Kurtis Blow – "Basketball" (Or when, Willis Reed stood so tall / Playing D with desire, it's basketball) "- -Jared Zwerling
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Big C) Other Knicks players will have a chance to step up their game with Iman Shumpert out for 2-4 weeks and Jared Jeffries out for 1 week. This could be a big break for the Knicks' Mike Bibby. Mike Bibby missed the first game of the season, when the Knicks defeated the Boston Celtics, and he's sure to be ready for the Knicks west coast trip.
Bibby’s role with Shumpert being out is to set up his teammates. On offense Mike Bibby does not have the same ability to get to the basket as he did in his early years in the league. However, he is capable of scoring points from 3 point range and coming off a pick for the midrange shot. Having Mike Bibby in the lineup this would also allow Carmelo Anthony to take a break from bringing up the ball. Anthony will be able to focus more on what he does best... scoring. Bibby is also one of the best players in the league at running the pick and roll. So Amar’e and Chandler stand to benefit from having Bibby in the lineup if he is focused.
Speaking of opportunities, the Knicks new sharp shooter Steve Novak also has a chance to show his value over the next couple of weeks. Steve Novak was signed by the Knicks to do two things.
- Spread the court
- Hit the open shot to minimize the doubleteam on Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire
If you haven't already noticed, players who can hit the 3 are players who will get minutes in the Mike D’Antoni’s system. Novak is considered to be one of the NBA's best 3 point shooters and he will be given opportunities to shoot the 3 point shot.
Renaldo Balkman is another player that could get more minutes with Jared Jeffries being sidelined. So far Balkman has played good defense in the halfcourt. Renaldo Balkman is not known for his offense but in the Knicks preseason games he showed he is capable of scoring. More importantly Balkman showed that he thrives best when he is on the court with Carmelo Anthony. Balkman knows when to cut to the hole and when to set a pick when he plays with Melo.
Overall, Balkman, Novak, and Mike Bibby will have their chance to show what they have. Let’s see how they make use of that extra time on the court.
(Big C) So far so good for the Knicks to start the season. The Knicks have won their first game and all of their preseason games. While fans and critics have wondered how this new Knicks team would start the season. The Knicks look more focused and determined to win than they’ve looked in ages. The biggest area of improvement is their defense.
The Knicks might have let the Celtics score 104 points but they have been playing aggressive defense. Last season the Knicks were one of the worst teams on the defensive end of the court. Last season it was a regular thing to see players with their hands down and not staying with their man. The Knicks players did not speak to each other, they did not chase after the open man, they just didn’t have their teammates back.
So far this season the Knicks have communicated with their teammates. More importantly they are getting back on defense. The Knicks would never got stops when they needed to. Last night the Knicks were determined to shut their opponents down from coming back and beating them. Tyson Chandler sets the tone for turning up the defensive intensity. The Knicks had quite a number stops to prevent the Celtics from taking the lead or tie the game.
Last season when opponents tied the game with or took the lead over the Knicks would just give up playing defense. The end result would be the Knicks losing the game. Last season if the offense was not flowing the defense would suffer. The players would lose their focus and confidence when their shots were not falling. This year the Knicks defense pushes the Knicks offense. The new Knicks have an understanding that it’s going to be the defense that sets off their offense. Everyone from Mike D’Antoni is speaking defense but it looks like fans are actually going to see a difference this season.
Tyson Chandler is having a great effect on his teammates. It’s hard to believe that one person can make such a dramatic impact on the game. Teams that play against the Knicks will think twice about driving to the hole with Chandler protecting the basket . In the Celtics game Chandler had 6 block shots by himself. Those are numbers Knick fans are not use to since the days of Patrick Ewing and Marcus Camby. The Knicks as a team had 11 block shots and 9 steals vs the Celtics.
The Knicks defense is still a work in progress. The Knicks still need to work on their interior defense and stopping fast break points. But you must admit they are making great improvements by playing team defense. The Knicks half court traps have led to turnovers and shot clock violations. This was not the case last season.
The Knicks look like they are on a mission to go to the top this season and playing hard nose defense is what is going to get them there.
Knicks fans, this could be the year we hear the chants of D-E-F-E-N-S-E reminiscent of the 90’s.
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(Big C) With Iman Shumpert out for 2-4 weeks the Knicks look to add another guard to help them off the bench. That guard is Jeremy Lin. According to Knicks press release the Knicks have signed the young guard. Lin has been cleared off waivers as early as this morning.
"NEW YORK, December 27, 2011 – New York Knickerbockers Senior Vice President, Basketball Operations and Interim General Manager Glen Grunwald announced today that the team has claimed guard Jeremy Lin off waivers.
Lin, 6-3, 200-pounds, averaged 2.6 points, 1.4 assists and 1.2 rebounds over 9.8 minutes in 29 games with Golden State last season and in 20 games for Reno of the NBA D-League, he averaged 18.0 points, 5.8 rebounds and 4.3 assists in 20 games. The Torrance, CA-native, signed with the Warriors as an undrafted free agent on Jul. 21, 2010, following a four-year playing career at Harvard University where he appeared in 115 games (87 starts) and averaged 12.9 points on .481 shooting, 4.3 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.96 steals over 29.3 minutes. Waived by the Warriors on Dec. 9, 2011, Lin was claimed off waivers by Houston on Dec. 12, and later waived on Dec. 24."-Knicks Press Release
Jermey Lin is currently very popular and viewed as a player that has potential to be a solid NBA guard backup. Lin is in good health, unlike Baron Davis when the Knicks picked him up off waivers. This is a low-risk move by the Knicks. Lin does not have a big contract and his contract is not guaranteed. Therefore the Knicks can cut him at any point.
Jeremy Lin at this point still needs to be shaped into playing the point as opposed to a player that could be an immediate contributor. I view Lin as a project. The good thing is Lin could excel with a team like the Knicks.
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"One team's trash is another team's treasure," he said. "With whatever team that I land on they know they're going to get everything out of me. I'm going to come to practice early -- first one there, last one to leave.
"I work hard every day, practice every day and play hard in games whether it's one minute, 10 minutes, 30 minutes or 40 minutes. ... I'm going to always cheer for my teammates, as everybody sees all the time. I'll be the first guy off the bench, congratulating my guys or picking them up off the floor -- doing everything a player is supposed to do." SI