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New York Knicks

Trade Analysis: Derek Fisher to the New York Knicks

New York Knicks get: head coach Derek Fisher
 
KOBEsh: It’s official. Derek Fisher is now not only an ex-NBA player, but the head coach of YOUR….New York Knicks.
 
Much like the Jason Kidd signing last offseason, Fisher’s hire moved from sheer speculation to recorded fact rather quickly and within weeks of his last game as a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
 
Kidd’s first season surely wasn’t a disaster, as he coached the imperfect and injury-riddled Brooklyn Nets to 44 wins, but it certainly wasn’t perHITMEfect. It’s clear that Kidd isn’t completely ready for the responsibilities as a head coach and has a ton of room to grow, but at the same time was able to organize a solid defense from an old, unathletic team of vets. Offensively, it’s hard to say whether or not the team was hampered by Deron Williams’s ankles, KG’s declining skill set or the fact that their scoring schemes just weren’t that great to begin with.
 
Either way, with a team just across the East river, there’s an obvious precedent for how good Derek Fisher’s first season should be. Is this a better hire than Kidd? And what should be the baseline for a “successful” season?
 
BockerKnocker: Based on only what we know now, this is not a better hire than Kidd. The Brooklyn Nets hired their #1 choice in the former All-Star point guard, while Phil Jackson’s #1 choice gets the privilege to coach Stephen Curry. We have to assume that Phil wanted Kerr more than Fisher, for reasons that don’t truly matter, because Fisher was New York’s #2 option.… Read more...

Trade Analysis: Phil Jackson to the New York Knicks

New York Knicks get: President of Basketball Operations Phil Jackson for five years, $60 million
 
Bockerknocker: Nobody needs to explain the current state of the New York Knicks. Similarly, nobody needs to explain that the hiring of Phil Jackson to run the basketball operations of a once-proud franchise is a good move. What this really means, however, is that owner James Dolan must be Straight-Shot scared that his good buddy Carmelo Anthony will really leave for greener pastures this offseason.
 
We’ve seen this tired act of “autonomy” given by Dolan before. Former wheelchair-bound general manager Donnie Walsh was given the directive of getting the Knicks out of the hole that Isiah Thomas continued to dig even after his ouster. But remember when Walsh was ready to pass on sending young players and quality draft picks to Denver for Anthony, knowing that the ready-to-leave superstar would sign in free agency? Dolan stepped in, mortgaged the future for a “me first” player, and autonomy was vanquished.
 
Jackson comes to the Apple with a much richer caché, of course, and is far more likely to hold Dolan to his word. But before he arrived, I, for one, assumed Anthony would stay for the money and for the ability to choose his next coach. Now, Jackson won’t allow that, and all the championship rings in the world won’t be able to convince Anthony that he should waste one of the final years of his prime in the hopes that Jackson will reload for 2016.
 
If Anthony does stay, it will be a testament to the team-first character of which Jackson believes is within Anthony, based on the role Anthony played on Team USA. It will also justify the hire without regard to whatever happens next. But one thing must be clear: the Bockers are still a 2016 team, at best. There is no amount of Zen that can change that.
 
KOBEsh: I only disagree on a couple of points, but overall, I’m completely with you—this was a solid, though unspectacular signing for the Knicks. … Read more...

Tyson Chandler’s injury and the unlikeable New York Knickerbockers

(It’s just a week into the 2013-2014 NBA season and the New York Knickerbockers absolutely stink. At 1-3, the Knicks are somehow worse than their record suggests: center and defensive anchor Tyson Chandler broke his leg in Tuesday’s game against Charlotte, putting him on the shelf for 4-6 weeks. The fan base, already a pessimistic lot, have gone into a full-fledged panic…though it’s hard to classify their anger as “panic”. “Panic” would assume that they had faith in this team to begin with.

 
I corresponded with MAMBINO co-founder BockerKnocker regarding this turn of events, and how it affects this year’s Knicks)
 
KOBEshigawa: Just to set up everyone with some context, how did you feel about YOUR…New York Knickerbockers before Tyson Chandler’s injury?
 
BockerKnocker: The major players in the Eastern Conference had all improved their standing, save for two teams. The Miami Heat didn’t get better, but they are still unquestionably the league’s premier team. The New York Knicks, on the other hand got worse.
 
I was an Andrea Bargnani detractor from the get-go. He can’t do anything that the average NBA player can do, aside from perimeter shooting. To justify the absurd price that Toronto Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri posted for Il Mago, Knicks head coach Mike Woodson would have to play him big minutes. A big uh-oh.… Read more...

A car crash worth watching: New York Knicks Season Preview

Starting Five: PG Raymond Felton, SG J.R. Smith, SF Metta World Peace, PF Carmelo Anthony, C Tyson Chandler
 
Key Bench Players: SG Iman Shumpert, PF Andrea Bargnani, G Beno Udrih, PF/C Amar’e Stoudemire When Healthy, PG Pablo Prigioni, PF Kenyon Martin
 
Notable offseason additions: PF/C Andrea Bargnani, SG Tim Hardaway Jr., PG Beno Udrih
 
Notable offseason subtractions: PG Jason Kidd, SF Steve Novak
 
FACT OR FICTION #1: Andrea Bargnani will be a key contributor off the bench for the Knicks.
 
FACT. Most people derided this trade, because trolling the Knicks is “in” and the Knicks usually make bad trades. #ANALYSIS. This is just the world we live in, and as Knicks fans, you have to get used to it.
 
There was a time where Andrea Bargnani actually had some basketball skills. He was a 7 footer who could score from the block, shoot the 3, find the open man when the double-team came. He has averaged 40% from 3 for an entire season. He has averaged over 20 points per game for a season. There are not many 7 footers in the NBA with those line items on their resume. Yes, he is a rebounding zero. Yes, the most quotable commentary when you search “Bargnani defense” is “LOL”. Yes, he freaking stunk last year. But he is a big who can score, who is only 28, and who may just be salvageable.… Read more...

J.R. Smith and the emotional anguish of the New York Knicks fan base

(Editor’s Note: Below is a full fledged breakdown from my man BockerKnocker, professed in a mid-day e-mail. I would like to stress that this wasn’t designed to be a post. This was merely a Knicks fan crying out for a better basketball world.)
 
When the companies in which I invest make poor decisions, I take my money out and put it elsewhere. When retail brands offer reduced quality in their products or services, I run to its competitors, almost as a form of punishment. And when girls start to realize that I’m not “the one,” I get out and move on. (This last one is only half true, but I attribute it 100% to emotional, and thus, irrational human error.) So why do I feel like I have to stick with the #sameoldKnicks every time James Dolan and the powers-that-be make a stupid decision?
 
J.R. Smith played this organization like a fiddle, delaying his knee surgery until after we rewarded his playoff free fall with a huge multi-year contract. So naturally, our response was to reward him further by rostering his D-League quality younger brother at the expense of a necessary extra big man. Did we not consider the fact that our bigs include the declining Tyson Chandler, the injury prone Amar’e Stoudemire and Kenyon Martin, and the inept Andrea Bargnani?
 
Does Dolan think J.R.’s face is handsome, so much so that he can now get to see it twice by way of Chris’ exquisite new backpiece tattoo? Why is this happening?
 
Why can’t I drop the Knicks just like anything else? Am I scared of facing the torment of New York’s “true fans?” Why do true fans even exist? How many people reallocated their personal funds when our country’s credit rating was downgraded or when the market crashed? How many people voted for “Hope” and “Change” in the past two presidential elections because their needs weren’t being met? Isn’t being a “true fan” of America, i.e. an “American,” mean that we get to pick and choose our desires as we please?
 
I can’t take it anymore. I want to cheer for a well-run organization whose failures are only attributable to the risk and luck that is appropriate. Being involved in sexual harassment lawsuits, employing people that have ruined, nay, DECIMATED, the quality of the company’s product, and having the stubbornness to make me feel like this will all happen again, is not the profile of an organization that I want to support. I want to be a Spurs fan, damnit, but I can’t.
 
This is emotional torture.

 … Read more...

MAMBINO Roundtable: Best/Worst of the NBA Offseason

With the NBA offseason tied up with a little bow and training camp still weeks away, we decided to sate our NBA appetites by wrapping up a crazy couple months. I threw out and e-mail and polled a couple of our brilliant young minds, and this is what we came up with:

 
KOBEshigawa
 
Best offseason move: Houston Rockets sign Dwight Howard to a four year, $88 million dollar contract
 
After years of hoarding cap room and trade assets, the Rockets’ master plan has finally came to fruition in just 9 short months. The first part of this signing actually came at the end of October, when GM Daryl Morey got James Harden for three guys named Kevin Martin, Jeremy Lamb and Steven Adams. In thirty years, will anyone recognize any player there besides Harden?
 
If Howard is healthy, which I don’t have any reason to suspect he isn’t, the Rockets got a complete game changer that will change the complexion of one of the league’s most porous defenses last year. Towards the end of the season, Dwight showed that when active and engaged he’s still capable of dragging a team of athletically impaired old men to being a respectable defensive squad. Even before we look at his offensive contributions as a devastating finisher at the rim, Howard is already the season’s most valuable signing.… Read more...

Instant Trade Analysis: Metta World Peace to the New York Knicks

New York Knicks get: SF Metta World Peace (two years, $3 million)
 
(The following was a MAMBINO e-mail chain started off by renegade blogger, friend of the blog and all-around degenerate Jimbo Shingles. What followed was an Instant Trade Analysis of Metta World Peace signing with the New York Knickerbockers)
 
Jimbo Shingles: What do we think about this?
 
Where are are the Knicks missing depth? What can they do to win the whole thing?
 
The CDP: Regarding Metta, he fell off the second half of the year a bit, but he was on fire and reinvigorated entering the year. He was in great shape, and an absolute bull dog on defense. His speed has been leaving him for years (he’s 33!), so he can’t guard the fastest guys in the league anymore, but he still has incredibly quick, strong hands and he has great instincts on the ball. Plus, he uses his size well to body up bigs and not give an inch.
 

Offensively he’s not the same beast–Metta has always needed a lot of volume to be even remotely efficient–but he’s definitely serviceable enough in the right positions (open threes, in the post) to keep defenses honest. … Read more...

Instant Trade Analysis: Andrea Bargnani to the New York Knicks

YOUR New York Knickerbockers get: An Andrea Bargnani Turd Sandwich
 
Toronto Raptors get: Steve Novak, Marcus Camby, and other pieces TBD (latest word is that it’s at least going to be the Knicks’ 2016 1st round pick, as well as two 2nd round picks).
 
New York has agreed in principle to acquire the #1 overall pick of the 2006 NBA Draft, a man who stands 7 feet tall, weighs 256 pounds, and is in shooting range once he enters the arena. “Il Mago” has an offensive repertoire that is prime for a 20-point scorer on any given night. He can space the floor for Carmelo Anthony and can prove to be a matchup problem for the defense.
 
In basketball, and in life, we evaluate everything with specifics. I chose a work commute that was approximately 7.89 minutes faster than the alternatives. People debunked (relatively) the financial advantage Dwight Howard would get in Los Angeles by crunching the numbers on how much he would save by playing in state tax-free Texas. And aside from the height and weight measurements I gave you on The Andrea Bargnani Turd Sandwich, the paragraph above mostly had to do with generalities. Generalities are what we fall back on when we can’t give specifics. If your per-36 numbers don’t jump off the page, then you still have a roster spot because of your potential. If your rebound rate is anemic, it’s because you play with glass monsters.… Read more...

NBA Playoffs: Conference Semifinals Predictions

1) Miami Heat vs. 5) Chicago Bulls
 
How do the champs make this a clean sweep?
 
El Mariachi: LeBron James.
 
Can the beat-up Bulls push this to 5 or 6 games?
 
KOBEsh: There really isn’t any logical reasoning to this prediction. Everyone on the Bulls is either physically injured or seriously ill. Derrick Rose’s brother continues his rope-a-dope with the NBA fan base at large, a sentence which leaves me wondering “Why the fuck are we listening to Derrick Rose’s brother anyway?”
 
But the most salient point in defense of Joakim Noah and company? The Chicago Bulls have all the ingredients to beat the Heat–extremely physical defenders, capable shot-blocking bigs that can avoid foul trouble and enough three-point shooting to disrupt a usually sterling Heat perimeter defense. To push this to a 6 game series, Da Bulls must outrebound the Heat by double-digits every single game; after all, this sometimes offensively challenged Chicago unit simply doesn’t have the playmaker to outwit superior defenders like James, Wade and Mario Chalmers on game-to-game basis. More importantly, Jimmy Butler, Marco Bellinelli and Nate Robinson have to continue to shoot in the upper-30% on threes in order to open up the middle for Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah. The Heat’s perimeter defense is completely predicated on their athletes moving inside-out so quickly, not on size alone. In order to counter-act that, those three perimeter players must hit shots.
 
Most importantly, the Bulls know they can beat Miami. Being the team that ended the 27-game streak in a raucous United Center, Chicago has that intangible confidence to combat a Heat squad that quite frankly, most oppositions are afraid of. … Read more...

Knicks-Celtics thoughts going into Game 5

KOBEsh: In the midst of OT during Game 4, you texted me “We’ve had one good game all series. The Celtics are that terrible.” What in particular has been so awful about YOUR…New York Knickerbockers? And do you think this has any bearing on how far they can go in the playoffs?
 
BockerKnocker: For four straight games, the Knicks have depended too much on Carmelo Anthony. There is blame to be shared all around. Anthony demands the ball on every play, his teammates give in, and head coach Mike Woodson doesn’t do anything to stop it. It becomes much easier to defend a scoring machine when help defenders are focused on one player.
 
The Celtics are willing to let the other Knicks beat them, which is par for the course, but the problem with going through Melo on every play is that the guy gets fatigued relatively early. The PnRs with Raymond Felton and Tyson Chandler have been rare; those plays enabled Melo to basically rest by spotting up from 3, where he shot a career high this season.
 
Why doesn’t Novak play with Carmelo? Most of the Discount Double Check minutes occur when Melo takes his early 2nd and 4th quarter rest. Novak’s help defender can never stray too far, while Felton and Kidd’s men will always take that risk.
 
This of course will impact how far they go. But let’s not put the Bockers in the 2nd round just yet.… Read more...