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  Articles > NBA
 Banged Up Knicks Trade Deadline Mistakes

The NBA trade deadline was February 21st. Many teams were said to be active before the 3:00 P.M. EST deadline, including the New York Knicks. Coach Mike Woodson opted for no trades leaving the Knicks with a roster with only one person younger than 27 years old. Now that we are 20 days removed from the NBA trade deadline expiration, let’s take a look back on the deals the Knicks should have made.

Trade: New York Knicks Iman Shumpert for Phoenix Suns Jared Dudley

Reason: The deal for Dudley to some didn’t make a lot of sense for the Knicks. On the surface, the Knicks would lose the youngest player on their roster and a potential defensive star. Since the trading deadline, Shumpert has reached double figures only once and is shooting a pathetic 29% from the field, and has failed to make things difficult for Seth Curry, Dwayne Wade, Russell Westbrook and Jrue Holiday. On the other hand, Dudley is shooting 46% from the field in his last 10.

Trade: New York Knicks Iman Shumpert and 2nd Round Pick for Orlando Magic’s J.J. Redick

Reason: Redick would have been a candidate for 6th man of the year honors if he hadn’t been shipped to the Milwaukee Bucks. Quietly, Redick was the Magic’s second leading scorer at 15 ppg and a dependable playmaker. The acquisition of Redick would have solved the streaky shooting of J.R. Smith, and the efficiency issues with Shumpert. Redick has improved each year in the league since 2006. He’s now a better defender and ball handler, plus he’s a marksman from the arc.

Trade: New York Knicks Iman Shumpert and Marcus Camby for Utah Jazz’s Al Jefferson

Jefferson has been one of the most productive big men in recent years and this year is nothing different. Pairing Jefferson with Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler would have given opponents a problematic frontcourt.  Jefferson’s scoring ability would give the Knicks the low post option that could threaten the Miami Heat.

The three trade options all bring in an additional scorer to compliment Anthony. During the course of this season, defenses have let Anthony erupt through the first three quarters and shut him down in the fourth. Leaving the Knicks to fend for points in the last 12-minutes and ultimately lose games.  Since the trade deadline, the Knicks are down from 39% to 30% from beyond the arc, and have seen a five-point drop in points per game.

The inconsistency from beyond the arc has been a huge issue. The Knicks ultimately live and die by the three. Dudley and Redick both shoot 39% shooters in that department. Substitute either player for a struggling Jason Kidd or Shumpert and things could look different in the fourth quarter. Here are the best fourth quarter line-ups of the trades the Knicks could have made.

Option 1

PG-Felton

SG-Redick

SF-Smith

PF-Anthony

C-Chandler

Or…

Option 2

PG-Felton

SG-Smith

SF-Anthony

PF-Jefferson

C-Chandler

The line-up with Jefferson would pose the biggest threat in the eastern conference. If the Knicks had a dependable low-post scorer not named Amare Stoudemire, a first round playoff exit wouldn’t be a topic in the media. Jefferson is second amongst centers in scoring and has more double doubles than the entire Knicks roster combined (29).

The would-have, could-have, should-have version of the Knicks didn’t happen and now the playoffs are looming and the roster is set. The free agency pick-up of Kenyon Martin has showed promise. Martin brings a toughness, and defensive mindset that could help the Knicks at the end of April. With Stoudemire now out six weeks from knee surgery, should the Knicks look to free agency to add another piece? Who should they add?

Follow me on twitter: @Ty_Hardamon

 This Rivalry Ain’t Kidd-ing

On the eve of 12/12/12, the Knicks and Nets officially began a special rivalry in New York.

After the Nets took the first game between the two just 15 days ago in Brooklyn, the Knicks got revenge in another thrilling game at the Barclays Center. Jason Kidd did what he did in New Jersey for the Nets…make a clutch shot to win the game for his team. This time he did it in orange and blue. Kidd’s three pointer with 24 seconds to go would prove to be the game winner as the Knicks topped the Nets, 100-97.

You couldn’t ask for a better game at the Barclays Center. For the second time this season, the two teams played a game that felt like one played in May, not December. Carmelo Anthony led the way for the Knicks with 45 points, a season high, and an NBA season high. Melo carried the Knicks in a game they clearly wanted to win against their new crosstown rival. In a game where the Knicks trailed 26-9 in the first quarter, Anthony’s ability to take over the game and Kidd’s ability to knock down clutch three pointers is what propelled Mike Woodson’s team back in the game.  The Knicks made big shot after big shot in the 4th quarter outscoring the Nets 26-18 to get the comeback victory.

The Nets were led by Andray Blatche, who scored 23 points, but they clearly missed their star center Brook Lopez. The Nets are 1-5 without their injured center, including five straight losses. The team has struggled mightily since their statement win against the Knicks two weeks ago. Deron Williams has been off shooting this season and had a poor night from the field once again Monday going 6 for 16, including 1 for 6 from three point range. Joe Johnson scored 16, but has been very inconsistent so far this season and hasn’t played at the level he did in Atlanta.  Brooklyn needs their leading scorer to come back healthy to get back to their winning ways.

The Knicks not only got revenge after their first loss to the Nets, but they also hold bragging rights. The Knicks have won 7 of 8 games since that loss in Brooklyn and hold the best record in the Eastern Conference at 16-5. Monday night officially turned this into a rivalry and something truly special for New York.  Knicks fans could be heard in an arena that seemed to be a 50-50 split of Knicks and Nets fans.  That is the last time the two teams will meet in Brooklyn until next season…unless the two match up in the playoffs, which would be a dream for many. After seeing the first two games between these two teams, a playoff series between Manhattan and Brooklyn would be history in the making.

The battle of the boroughs has not disappointed fans so far this season. If those two games weren’t enough excitement, they will meet up again next Wednesday at Madison Square Garden. The atmosphere at the Barclays Center was extraordinary, but expect it to be on another level when the rivals meet at MSG. The winner of next week’s game takes the season series lead. Their fourth and final meeting comes on January 21st at MSG, when the Knicks should have Amare Stoudemire and Iman Shumpert back in the lineup.

Buckle up for the ride because we got ourselves a big rivalry in the big apple.

 Melo Feeling Golden for 2012-2013 Season

Knicks star Carmelo Anthony is ready for the NBA season to begin after winning his second gold medal in London.  Anthony was all smiles Friday when he chatted with reporters at his ProCamps youth hoops camp at St. John’s University.

Anthony is ready to get back going with the Knicks.

“I’m excited to just get this thing going especially coming off of what I just had and what we had in the USA team.”

Anthony also said that not only is he ready but his teammates are working as well this offseason.

“Everybody’s working. I see Amare is in the gym working.  Iman is getting his knee right.  Tyson is out there with me.  It’s just a matter of us putting it all together and making this run.”

The Olympic gold medalist is enjoying what he has right now after helping Team USA win the gold in London.  The feeling of winning the gold in London still hasn’t sunk in yet for Anthony.

“It’s an honor. It’s a blessing.  It really hasn’t sunk in yet as far as being a two-time Olympic gold medalist.  I’m just trying to just live in this moment and enjoy this moment as of right now and go from there.”

The All Star forward said his gold medal is in good hands despite everyone wanting a glimpse of it.

“Everywhere I go they wanna see the medal.  The medal is locked up though.  It’s locked up it’s getting framed.  It’s getting in a case right now as we speak.  I might bring it to the facilities or something like that and show everybody.”

Anthony is looking forward to playing again with his star teammate Amare Stoudemire.  Stoudemire worked out with Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon and Melo is ready to see what “Stat” has got.

“I’ve been looking for him. I haven’t seen him yet. I’m ready to see what he has added to his arsenal.  I’m excited of the fact that he even went down there and started working with the Dream so that’s a big step for him.”

Anthony is looking forward to what Amare can bring to the table this season.  The two have a below .500 record when playing together in the same lineup.  Anthony sees big things coming in the 2012-2013 season.

“With him going down there putting me on the wing now I can play off of him rather than me going out there and him playing off of me which could be a deadly weapon.”

Anthony is ready to get back with his teammates for the season opener.  The opener happens to be in Brooklyn where they will face the cross-town “rival” Nets in the first game at the Barclays Center.  Melo wasn’t ready to call them “rivals” just yet.

“There’s no rivalry between us and Brooklyn right now unless it starts on that first game.  We’ll see what happens in that first game but as of right now we focused on ourself.  We ain’t really focused on them.”

Anthony was asked by a reporter if former Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin has anything to be “scared” of when the Knicks play the Houston Rockets.

“I don’t know. I don’t play against him.  I mean I don’t guard him so he ain’t got nothing to be scared of.”

 Dwightmare is Over
  Nets End Dwight Howard Talks, Sign Brook Lopez to Multiyear Deal

The Dwight Howard to the Nets saga has finally come to and end. The Magic and Nets ended trade talks earlier today as they could not get a deal done after several attempts.  There were rumors of a 4 team trade, a 3 team trade, and a trade between the Nets and Magic. All the drama finally ended allowing the Nets to move on with their offseason.

The Nets have moved on and resigned their center Brook Lopez to a 4 year $61 million deal.  Pieces now are being placed together for the Brooklyn Nets as General Manager Billy King has done a tremendous job this offseason to turn an irrelevant Nets team the last couple of years into a team that can instantly contend. They started off the offseason by resigning their small forward Gerald Wallace to a 4 year $40 million deal.  Shortly after, the Nets made a blockbuster trade to acquire All Star shooting guard Joe Johnson from the Hawks.  After the signing of Wallace and the trade for Johnson, point guard Deron Williams knew that it would be the right choice to stay with a Nets team who was putting together a team that can win now. Deron Williams chose the Nets over the Mavericks as he signed a 5 year $100 million deal to join Wallace and Johnson.  The Nets also added Bosnian 6′9 forward Mirza Teletovic who was a star overseas and can be a huge contributer for the Nets at power forward.  They also acquired forward/center Reggie Evans in a sign and trade with the Clippers and signed Jerry Stackhouse to a 1 year deal. Brooklyn is also working on a sign and trade to bring in Antwan Jamison at power forward.  Not trading for Dwight Howard also meant the Nets got to keep their young guard MarShon Brooks who had a very impressive rookie season last year.

The Nets have definitely made a splash this offseason. They have one of the best starting backcourts in Deron Williams and Joe Johnson. Johnson provides them with a guy who can make shots as he is one of the best shooters in the NBA. Gerald Wallace has been a consistent rebounder and defender at small forward who will contribute double figures in points as well. Brook Lopez is coming off a season where he only played in 5 games after breaking his foot. Lopez had not missed any games in his first three seasons prior to breaking his foot. He averaged 20 points a game in the 2010-2011 season. He is arguably a top 5 center in the NBA and a very solid offensive center. Mirza Teletovic will be a huge addition being a big man who can shoot from downtown.  He was a star overseas and will be another shooter to come in and make big shots for the Nets.  Rookie Tyshawn Taylor out of Kansas will also be a big contributor coming off the bench backing up Deron Williams.  This Nets team is very deep and its only July 11th, the first day free agents can be signed.  Even after losing Howard, this looks to be a playoff team who can surprise a lot of people this year.  Brooklyn will see a very exciting and winning team to open the Barclays Center in 2012-2013.

 Is Woodson Really the Man?
  James Dolan snatches interim tag, Woodson officially head coach

The Knicks have made their decision, the more rational one at least. Interim Coach Mike Woodson has agreed on a multiyear contract to become the head coach.

Woodson took over when Mike D’Antoni resigned on March 14, from hosting an 18-24 record and no support from his locker room. Woodson lead the Knicks to an 18-6 record, an 8.4 PPG differential and the 7th seed in the playoffs.

Outmatched, and Outgunned the Knicks lost 4-1 to the Miami Heat in the first round, breaking an NBA-record of 13 consecutive postseason loses, by winning Game 4, which was the first victory since 2001.

Many expected Woodson to get the nod as head coach, but is it the right move?

Woodson led his former team the Atlanta Hawks to 206 wins in his stay before management decided not to renegotiate his contract, which expired in 2010.

The Hawks posted one 50-win season and three playoff appearances in six seasons with Woodson running the sidelines. The Hawks made it to the conference semifinals twice but failed to win a single game.

At best, the Hawks were just an average team that would make the playoffs each year. The one and two seeds in the playoffs never actually felt the Hawks were a threat, hence only three wins in three playoff appearances by Woodson in Atlanta.

Knick fans are not willing to embrace mediocrity. Can Woodson shed his can’t get over the hump ways, and propel the Knicks to the Eastern Conference Finals? Only if he can make Carmelo Anthony and Amare’ Stoudemire coexist.

Follow me on Twitter: @Ty_Hardamon

 Knicks-Heat Playoff Preview

The 66 game NBA regular season has come to an end.  The playoffs have finally arrived.  The Knicks are locked on to the 7th seed and will play the 2nd seeded Miami Heat in the first round.  Game one will be Saturday afternoon at 3:30 in Miami.  The Heat finished the season with a 46-20 record while the Knicks finished with a 36-30 record.  Miami dominated New York in the regular season winning all three games against them by an average of ten points.

The Heat are not the best matchup for the Knicks.  That is without a doubt, but the Carmelo Anthony led Knicks could make a series of this.  The Knicks have been playing good basketball finishing the season very hot.  With the exception of Jeremy Lin, who will most likely miss the entire first round, the Knicks are coming into the playoffs fairly healthy.  Amare Stoudemire is back and looked strong in the last couple of games of the season.  Tyson Chandler will be ready to go as he got to rest himself for a couple of games.

The key to this series will be the play of Amare Stoudemire.  Stoudemire needs to help Melo in the scoring department and needs to outplay Chris Bosh.  As soon as Amare went down in last years playoff with injury the series was a wrap.  The Knicks need to get the continued incredible play of Anthony as well as a strong series from Amare if they want any chance to make this a series.  Another huge factor in this series will be the defense of Iman Shumpert on Dwyane Wade.  We have seen the aggressive defense from the rookie Shumpert all season that has had many guards frustrated.  If Shumpert can contain Wade throughout the series and force LeBron James to carry this team, the Knicks will make this a long series.

The coaching matchup is fairly even as both coaches Mike Woodson and Erik Spoelstra have been to the playoffs and have won in the playoffs.  Mike Woodson is a guy who preaches tough defense.  Spoelstra has had the entire season to work with his team while Woodson has only been the head guy for six weeks.  Team chemistry is definitely going to be a major factor in this series and could be a disadvantage for the Knicks.

The problem is that the Heat just have too much athleticism and talent for the Knicks.  LeBron James will most likely win an NBA MVP this season, Dwyane Wade has done it before in the playoffs and the Heat are looking to start the dynasty that they hoped for when signing the “big three” last season.  The Heat have added some depth this season with players such as Norris Cole and Shane Battier who have been big contributors off the bench this season.  The Knicks definitely have the advantage when it comes bench play and depth.  New York will keep this a good series because of their improved depth and the strong shooters such as Steve Novak and J.R. Smith.  New York is going to have to get improved play from their backcourt and some big buckets by guys other than Stat and Melo.  Also, the “precocious neophyte” Landry Fields cannot disappear as he did in the first round last year against the Celtics.

The Knicks hope to revive Madison Square Garden and pull off the upset this series like they did against Miami 12 years ago.  It is going to be a tough task trying to do it against a star-studded Miami team, but the Knicks are not backing down and are ready for the challenge.  Sunday afternoon the rivalry continues.

My Prediction: Heat in 6

 Melo Silences the Haters
Anyone who had anything bad to say about Carmelo Anthony was quickly silenced Sunday afternoon.
 

Anthony put on an unbelievable performance at Madison Square Garden in a playoff atmosphere against the Bulls, who have the best record in the Eastern Conference and the most wins in the NBA. The Knicks beat the Bulls, 100-99 in overtime. Melo scored an astounding 43 points. He showed integrity and determination down the stretch making clutch basket after clutch basket. With 11 seconds left, Melo drained a long three pointer with the long arm of Taj Gibson right in his face. The Garden erupted into a thunderous roar. The Knicks seemed to be out of the game, but thanks to four missed free throws by Luol Deng and Derrick Rose, the Knicks stayed alive. Steve Novak had a three pointer that somehow went in the hoop and came right out prior to Melo’s game tying three. Melo’s clutch three helped send the Knicks to overtime where he was not done yet.

Melo would make a driving layup with just over a minute to go in overtime to cut the Bulls lead to two. With eight seconds left, Melo would make the Garden shake once again. He drained another long three pointer with Deng’s hand in his face to give the Knicks a 100-99 lead. The Knicks would get a stop on defense and come out with the victory.

Anthony showed all his haters that he knows that it is his time. The Knicks are playing without Jeremy Lin for the rest of the season and possibly without star Amare Stoudemire for the year. Sunday was up there as one of the most magical performances ever seen at MSG. New York will need Melo to play like this down the stretch and into the playoffs. The Knicks needed that game as the Bucks are creeping up behind them for the eight seed in the East. It was a monumental win in a game that could be a playoff preview of the first round. Anyone who had doubts about Melo has hopped on the bandwagon now and is on for the ride.

The Knicks clearly are the team that the Bulls and Heat wanna stay away from come playoff time. The Knicks are tied with the Sixers for the seven seed at the moment with the Bucks sitting just a game behind. New York has ten games remaining and will play the Bulls once again on Tuesday night in Chicago.

 Linsational February for the Knicks
  Jeremy Lin Leading the Way

The month of February was outstanding for the New York Knicks. The team has found a point guard, and they are back to their winning ways. The Knicks were 8-15, when Jeremy Lin became the starting point guard. Carmelo Anthony had just been injured and A’mare Stoudemire left the team due to the death of his brother. Mike D’Antoni was on the verge of being fired when Lin stormed onto the scene and became the star the Knicks needed. The emergence of Lin has saved the Knicks season.

Since Jeremy Lin has become a starter, the Knicks have won 9 out of their last 12. There was a 7 game win streak during this current stretch as well. Lin had an amazing 38 point performance against Kobe Bryant and the Lakers, as well as a 28 point and 14 assist game against the defending champion Dallas Mavericks. Lin has been averaging nearly 25 points and 9 assists a game during this stretch. It’s amazing what a great fit D’Antoni’s system is for Lin-  kind of reminiscent of when D’Antoni was coaching the Phoenix Suns, and we saw Steve Nash excel so greatly.

While Lin has been a sensation, there is much to be excited about with this team. The fact is that the New York Knicks are winning games playing team basketball. While the Knicks may not win the championship this year, the team has a young talented core along with a nice mix of veterans like veteran Tyson Chandler, A’mare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony to lead the way. Mike D’Antoni’s seems to finally have the right mix of players to excel in his system. If the team can continue to play defense, the Knicks should be championship contenders for years to come.

The playoffs start in April, and it will be interesting to see how the Knicks will play down the stretch. Will they have enough to win a playoff series? How far can they go? One thing is for sure, if Jeremy Lin continues to play at the his current level, the Knicks have a very strong chance.

 The New Brooklyn Nets

The New Jersey Nets began the 2nd half season on the right track yesterday by defeating the Dallas Mavericks. The Nets were not expected to beat the Mavs especially since the Nets have lost the last 11 meetings against the Mavericks. Brook Lopez dominated the game with a 38 point outing.

The Nets are trying to make one final push to try to be an 8 seed in the playoffs. This comes amongst a number of distractions that are plaguing the Nets. The Nets are trying to attempt a trade that would involve Brook Lopez to Orlando for Dwight Howard. If Dwight Howard comes to New Jersey, there is a good chance that the Nets All Star soon to be free agent point guard Deron Williams will stay with the team this offseason.

The Nets are moving to Brooklyn this summer and a Deron Williams-Dwight Howard duo would be quite the combo. The problem that the Nets are facing is what if Dwight Howard is not traded to New Jersey. This means that Deron Williams will most likely explore his free agent possibilities this summer. Teams such as the Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers will be chasing after him and who would want to play for New Jersey when you have the possibility of playing with future hall of famers like Dirk Nowitzki and Kobe Bryant? Rumors have swirled across the NBA saying that Dwight Howard will go wherever Deron Williams goes, so Deron may possibly be playing on a Miami Heat style trio with Deron, Kobe, and Dwight or maybe even Deron, Dirk, or Dwight. Either way, it would be a no-win situation for the Nets.

All and all, Nets fans are truly hoping that the Orlando Magic front office saw what Brook Lopez did last night to the Dallas Mavericks. Nets fans want Dwight Howard badly so they can move to Brooklyn along with Deron Williams and they can drift off into being a competitive team again. Nets fans would love to have a rivalry with the New York Knicks especially since Jeremy Lin has pretty much saved the Knicks franchise.

The trade deadline is March 15th and it will be an interesting outlook on what will happen on deadline day.

 Is Billy King Ready for Brooklyn?

When Mikhail Prokhorov bought the New Jersey Nets he immediately envisioned a five-year plan to make this team a title contender. To make Prokhorov’s vision a reality general manager Billy King has acted swiftly.

During his 10-year tenure (1997-2007) in Philadelphia, King built a team that went to five consecutive playoff appearances (1999-2003) and won an Eastern Conference Championship in 2001. King made two important trades that netted starting power forward Tyrone Hill and starting center Dikembe Mutombo to pair with MVP Allen Iverson during the team’s 2001 NBA Finals appearance.

On February 23, 2011 King capitalized on the diminishing relationship between the Utah Jazz, and superstar point guard Deron Williams. King made the boldest trade of his career trading former All-Star point guard Devin Harris, former 2010 third overall draft pick Derrick Favors, two first-round picks, and cash to the Jazz for Williams. Harris has struggled mightily in Utah, Favors is a backup power forward behind Paul Millsap, and Williams is an unrestricted free agent after the season with no guarantee he’ll make the move to Brooklyn with the Nets.

After acquiring Williams, King has put role players around Williams, as he once did with Iverson, in the hopes of building another contender. King traded the draft rights to JaJuan Johnson and a 2014 second-round pick to the Boston Celtics for the draft rights to starting shooting guard MarShon Brooks, who was selected to the Rising Stars Challenge for All-Star Weekend. King then re-signed power forward Kris Humphries to a one-year deal that provides nightly double-doubles for this season and cap space flexibility for the future. Finally, King traded for Utah Jazz center Mehmet Okur after Brook Lopez was injured as a quick fix replacement in the final year of his deal.

Now King is working on another bold move that could change the landscape of the Eastern Conference and give the Nets a “superhero” for years to come in Brooklyn. King is in discussions with the Orlando Magic and other teams to put Dwight Howard in a Nets uniform. If King can trade some of the role players he’s assembled around Williams he’ll form a dynamic duo that would be this generation’s newest Stockton-to-Malone combination.

The Timberwolves have improved thanks to the pairing of international sensation Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love. The Clippers have become a legitimate title contender thanks to the arrival of Chris Paul to pair with human highlight reel Blake Griffin in “lob city.” The Knicks have been rejuvenated by the revelation of Jeremy Lin to work the pick-and-roll with Amare Stoudemire, who thrived in Phoenix thanks to MVP point guard Steve Nash.

King is trying to continue the trend of dynamic pick-and-roll duos with the Nets and form possibly the best of the tandems in Deron Williams and Dwight Howard. King’s career, the future of Brooklyn, and the futures of Deron Williams and Dwight Howard all rest on potentially the most important trade discussions of the season.

If King can land Dwight Howard Prokhorov’s proclamation will have added validity and Brooklyn will eagerly anticipate the arrival of their first “superheroes” since the beloved Dodgers left town.

Follow me on Twitter: @MikeAScotto

 David Stern Latest Victim of Lin-Sanity

Can anyone escape “Lin-Sanity?” The man, who escaped the wrath of the L.A Lakers regime, could not escape Madison Square Garden’s new sensation: Jeremy Lin.

Commissioner David Stern was known as a bully several months back, but now he is the latest consumer of buying into Lin-Sanity.

On Tuesday Stern told USA Today “No” when asked if Lin would participate All-Star weekend. Under immense pressure from fans and analysts, Stern changed his mind. Typically, the Rising Stars Challenge is comprised of a total of 18 players. This year Stern made Lin and Miami Heat guard Norris Cole late additions. Since its inception in 1994, there have never been a total of 20 players playing in the game. Why now?

Lin-Credible

Lin has provided a spark to a dull NBA season. Early headlines consisted of the “Aging Boston Celtics”, “Disappointing L.A. Lakers” and “Injury Prone Superstars”. Now you see: “Super Lintindo”, “Linderella Story”, and “Just Lin Baby”.

The Super Bowl ended and media almost instantaneously shifted to Lin. He put a desperate franchise on his back in the #1 media capital in the nation. According to Madison Square Garden Network since Lin has become the starting point guard there has been a 109 percent increase in household ratings.

Stern had good reason to add Lin to All-Star Weekend festivities. Take a look at these “Lintastic” numers Lin has put up since coming to the Knicks:

  • Leads the NBA in points per play when going away from a screen on a pick and roll (1.57)
  • First player since the NBA/ABA merger to score 20-or-more points and have his team win, in his first five career starts.
  • Most points ever in his first five starts (137)
  • First Ivy League player to outscore Kobe Bryant as a starter (38 to 34)

NBA All-Star weekend festivities begin on February 26, 2012 in Orlando, FL. Lin was selected by Team Shaq and will accompany teammate Landry Fields and high-flying Blake Griffin with hopes to ousts Team Chuck.

Despite some questionable decisions made in the past by the commissioner, this one serves the purpose of excitement and happiness for everyone.

Follow me on Twitter @Ty_Hardamon.

 The New Look Knicks

Photo by DvYang

The Knicks have become an entirely different team than the team we saw just seven games ago when they were an abysmal 8-15.  They were a couple losses away from Mike D’Antoni being jobless, Jeremy Lin being cut, and Carmelo Anthony banging himself up even more.  The Knicks were being led by a banged up Anthony and a struggling Amare Stoudemire.  Two men were attempting to carry the team on their backs.  It just could not be done.  They needed a change.  That’s when the Knickerbockers would make a Lin-probable return to winning basketball and an excitement in New York that we have not seen since the days of Patrick Ewing, Allan Houston, and Latrell Sprewell.

The Knicks are now at .500 at 15-15 and in the thick of the playoff race securing the eight seed in the Eastern Conference right now.  Lin has helped lead the Knicks putting up unbelievable numbers.  Lin has scored at least 20 points in six of the seven games and has had at least seven assists in every game.  Three of the games he has recorded a double double.  Lin dropped 38 points against Kobe Bryant and the Lakers in front of a packed Madison Square Garden without Stoudemire and Anthony.  It has been a story that has gotten Lin several endorsement offers and the financial assets to move him off his brother’s couch and into his own place.  Lin has thrived even with all the attention he has received.  When everyone thought the Lin-sanity would take a halt for a game against the Raptors in Toronto, Lin scored six points in the final minute including a game winning three pointer with less than a second to go.

This story has been one of the most inspiring stories and one that has Knicks fans believing in a championship this season. Just today, the Knicks signed J.R. Smith hoping he can add some depth from the shooting guard position.  When Smith is on, he is an explosive scorer.  Him and Anthony played together in Denver as well.  The Knicks have a potential starting lineup of Jeremy Lin, J.R. Smith, Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudemire, and Tyson Chandler.  That is arguably the best lineup in the NBA.  The question is whether Anthony will be able to co-exist with Lin and the rest of the team.  Melo will have to do a lot more passing and less shooting.  This Knicks team has thrived moving the ball and getting everyone involved.  They have gotten great bench play from Steve Novak as well as Jared Jeffries and Bill Walker.  The team has played superb team basketball since Anthony has been out.  The Knicks need Anthony to return, be healthy, and move the ball with this new look team.  If this team can co-exist and continue their unselfish play, we might just see a deep playoff run and MSG rocking come late May for the first time in over a decade.

 

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