Amare Stoudemire

Missing The Knick Of Time?

Knicks fans are already panicking, and we’ve barely started the 2011-2012 season. The New York Knicks have problems, and high expectations and low performances are a rough combination in the world of professional sports. Plus, expectations are a particularly tricky thing in New York City – just ask Rex Ryan and the Jets.

As I write this post, the Knicks haven begun the season by greatly underachieving. I live in central New Jersey, so the fan base is split here. And by split, I mean 51% are New York Knicks fans, 49% don’t care about basketball, and I’m one of eleven New Jersey Nets fans. While a Nets fan is in no position to talk, at least we knew what we had this year – which is to say, nothing. But we’ll cover that next week. The Knicks on the other hand were expected to compete for the Eastern Conference title, and if you ask many Knicks fans, possibly win it. They just forgot about one thing: defense.

The Knicks lack of defense comes as no surprise, but it isn’t just the fact that they’re giving up almost 100 PPG and rank nearly last in rebounding – they have no guards either. Mike D’Antoni teams have never really played much D, but in Phoenix, Steve Nash was able to control the tempo of the game. Nash was not only a great assist guy, but he also became a fantastic open floor shooter, an all-time great free throw shooter, and made a lot of money for a lot of average basketball players (just ask Boris Diaw). The Knicks don’t have that floor general– they have a washed-up Baron Davis, an even more washed-up Mike Bibby, and a couple of young guys in Toney Douglas (who can’t even spell our name right) and someone named Iman Shumpert (no clue). These guys are averaging 13.7 and 14.5 PPG respectively. Pretty good right? Not if you look at their FG%’s of .359 and .391 of the same order. That’s pretty bad actually.


But it’s certainly not all shooting woes either. Douglas, the starting PG averages just 4.7 assists per game – which is good for 29th in the league. That puts him just ahead of Mo Williams, who sits BEHIND Chris Paul on the Clippers. As a result, the Knicks as a team rank 25th. That doesn’t work when your only way to win is to blow the other guy out. A total lack of ball movement is a serious problem when the entire offensive philosophy is based on it. So to recap: The Knicks will not defend you, they will not rebound if you miss, and they don’t pass it well enough anyway when you do.
If and when Baron Davis returns from his being-fat hiatus, things could potentially get a little better – but there is absolutely no reason to count on that guy anymore. The best thing he’s contributed lately is the hilarious typo that led to his herniated “disc” being reported as a herniated…well you get it. Ironically, what Knicks fans were counting on, getting the aforementioned Chris Paul, would have been exactly what they needed. Se la vie.

It’s not all bad for the Knickerbockers though. They’ve still got a few things going for them:

1.) They’ve got a lot of talent – Carmelo Anthony may challenge for the scoring title (though he better not beat out Kevin Durant per my column last week!), Amare Stoudemire is very good, and their young players have potential. Their big offseason move, adding Tyson Chandler, has yet to help — especially when sharing the floor with Stoudemire. That one is still to early to call and may be figured out with time.

2.) The Knicks play in a pretty weak and winnable Atlantic Division. Philadelphia looks good in the early going, but I expect that will level out a bit due to a combination of my basketball analysis and because I hate Philly sports. You can always overlook Toronto and New Jersey (sigh), and Boston is getting old and fighting each other. I still think Boston wins this division, but the Knicks should be closer to taking over at this point. I expect New York to make the ridiculous NBA playoff format, but won’t  win a series.

3.) Finally, Knicks fans still have Walt “Clyde” Frazier doing their broadcasts on MSG. I’m not saying that’s a good thing or a bad thing (actually, I’m saying it’s a bad thing), that’s up for interpretation. The acting in his Just-For-Men commercials make Keith Hernandez look like Daniel Day-Lewis. Just unbearable. We get it – you were good at basketball and you like words to rhyme.

So that’s where you stand Knicks fans. Oh and at least you don’t have Isiah Thomas messing stuff up anymore (presumably), so there’s that.

Related posts:

  1. Can Carmelo Anthony Push the Knicks Over the Top?
  2. Is Shane Battier the Miami Heat’s Missing Link?
  3. The 5 Changes the Knicks Must Make in the Offseason
  4. Donnie Walsh, James Dolan, and the Remaking of the New York Knicks

Discussion

18 Responses to “Missing The Knick Of Time?”

  1. Mike D’Antoni is gone after this year. His job was not defense. It always has been and will continue to be pumping up role players stats so the Knicks can trade them away for real assets.

    Posted by Ilovedonniewalsh | January 8, 2012, 10:32 am
  2. Did you watch the last 2 games? Specifically last nights game? Because if the article is any indication, I don’t think you did. Maybe you wrote this article before last night’s game but still. And I hope you’re joking about not knowing who Iman Shumpert is. His stats so far have not reflected the talent he’s shown in the games he’s played. Something you’d certainly have noticed if you’ve watched him. You just seem to be spouting the same old popular opinions about the Knicks.

    Talking about defense, last night showed the coaching staff’s defensive tweaks have proved to be effective, and they’re switching more cleanly and making proper adjustments as games go on. The team doesn’t have to play fantastic defense to win, they just need to play well enough to get key stops to make the most of their offense.

    Posted by AJ_ESG | January 8, 2012, 1:10 pm
    • AJ – 2 games does not make a trend, nor Iman Shumpert’s career. The only thing as a fan you can go on at this point is history. And history suggests that the Knicks under D’Antoni, Melo and Amare can and WILL fail on the defensive end.

      Posted by ilovedonniewalsh | January 8, 2012, 2:09 pm
  3. I think I said this someplace, maybe on ESPN maybe here…but as long as NY keeps its current coach they WILL NOT contend for the title. You can’t win a title in basketball without playing defense, its just not going to happen. NY plays no defense and thus will contend for no tittles. The coach was a bad hire, he shouldn’t be an NBA coach because he wouldn’t know defense if it came up and beat him over the head.

    I am thrilled of course as a Heat fan because I would hate to see NY turned into a team that is a threat to Miami. And I just hate NY anyway for reasons that don’t need to be explained.

    Enjoy your points Knicks fans, your gonna get bounced early in the playoffs again. I hope its by the Heat.

    Posted by nightbladehunter | January 9, 2012, 11:03 am
  4. AJ – that was written late Friday night as the Knicks should have lost to the winless Wizards in order to be reviewed, edited and published. But that being said, I’m not sure my overall opinion would have been any different a day later. You may be right about Shumpert’s potential, but the point made was they have no guard play NOW. This is a short season, no camp for rookies. The playoffs will be here before you know it — my analysis was based on why the Knicks aren’t better NOW. And I am of the opinion that playoff basketball tightens up, and I don’t see the Knicks defense, rebounding, and ball movement as something tight enough to compete at that level.

    Posted by Tony Maglio | January 9, 2012, 7:05 pm
  5. “and someone named Iman Shumpert (no clue)”

    Welp, that pretty much tells me all I need to know about your credibility in writing about the Knicks. Peace.

    Posted by Joamiq | January 10, 2012, 10:09 am
    • Seriously, ANYBODY who knows ANYTHING about the Knicks knows who Shumpert is, whether he’ll amount to anything or not, and knows that he was their 1st Rd pick and is a talented, DEFENSIVE MINDED, GUARD.

      Posted by PepPep | January 10, 2012, 11:54 am
  6. Cheap shot at Frazier. “We get it – you were good at basketball and you like words to rhyme”….

    The guy is a HOFer. His rhyming is great and pretty much always makes sense- if you EVER watch the games, sorry I forgot you were a soon to be Brooklyn Nets fan living in Jersey.

    He has a great broadcasting voice and most importantly KNOWS BASKETBALL. Oh, and did I mention that he is a Knick legend!

    The Knicks are lucky to have him as their broadcaster.

    How is his broadcasting have ANYTHING to do with those stupid Just for Men commercials…Keith Hernandez is also a great broadcaster and is an equally bad actor…

    Frankly, your whole article is pretty pathetic- stick to analyzing your equally pathetic Nets, who will probably lose their best player next year anyway.

    Posted by PepPep | January 10, 2012, 11:21 am
  7. If Iman Shumpert continues to play this well, we will not have a problem manning the point. Toney Douglas is really struggling and if Shumpert can hold the fort down until B-Diddy gets back Knicks should be rolling. Btw, figured I would share this with fellow Knick fans. Draft Street is offering a FREE Fantasy Basketball Event this Thursday, the same night of the Knicks-Grizzlies game. I’ve done it before and it’s really awesome. You draft a team for one night and can win cash if your team places. Def worth checking out. http://www.draftstreet.com/l/nbafreeroll.aspx?AID=768&subid=January+Freeroll+-+tcswebsite&pid=201

    Posted by todd | January 10, 2012, 2:42 pm
  8. I feel like I now should remind readers with every column that I am a comedy writer analyzing basketball. I could post the definitions of sarcasm and the concept of tongue-in-cheek right after. Nah.

    But I do appreciate the comments folks. Comments = readership + investment. So, cool. And I do appreciate your passion for your teams and players — you guys make this a better site by feeling so strongly.

    I will point this out though: I don’t play for the Nets, you don’t play for the Knicks — so that doesn’t bother me. The Nets are terrible, the Knicks are average — neither of us influence that. And if you think I was harsh on the Knicks, wait til you see what I say about my local team.

    Walt Frazier was a great basketball player, absolutely. That has nothing to do with my opinion on his current jobs. OJ Simpson was a great football player – that didn’t make him a great husband.

    Posted by Tony Maglio | January 10, 2012, 4:15 pm
    • “OJ Simpson was a great football player – that didn’t make him a great husband.”

      hilarious.

      Posted by Cleveland Fan | January 11, 2012, 5:57 pm
    • BAHAHAHA@ having to REMIND ppl that you are a comedy writer who is doing a very well written (if I must say so) opinion piece on sports..anyone with half a brain and NOT wearing a Knicks Jersey clearly gets the reference to Iman as a sarcastic but notably true reference to the fact that 1) the kid is unknown and 2) though athletic and talented DEFINTELY not a pg , though he is playing that position. I feel sorry for people wh think you are re-writing the bible or the constitution. And uhmmm you’re correct on EVERYTHING including the sarcasm.

      Posted by Shiq | January 23, 2012, 11:41 am
  9. Loved the article Maglio, and agree with all of your points.

    These NY Knicks idiots could understand humor if it hit em across the face.

    Posted by Chauncey Gandus | January 10, 2012, 5:02 pm
  10. Dude, did you really just insult Clyde? You can make all the premature evaluations of the Knicks you want but don’t you DARE insult Clyde! Are you kidding me?! Not only is Clyde a New York Knick legend and Hall of Fame player he is a GREAT commentator who knows basketball as well as anybody, not only that but he has character, charisma and straight up STYLE. I personally believe we are blessed to have Clyde as our commentator. You are a fool.

    As for the Bockers you are jumping the gun in a serious way man. They’ve played nine games with this roster and Woodson and they’ve shown increasing improvement and meshing. By the end of this season when your lame Nets are choosing who their lottery pick is the Knicks will be running in to the playoffs and looking to battle for the Eastern Conference.

    You insulted CLYDE!?! Who do the Nets have for commentators?! Probably some bum Avery Johnson picked up off the Jersey Turnpike on the way to another blowout loss to a below .500 team. Jerk.

    Posted by Longman | January 11, 2012, 10:18 am
    • hehehe..You know it’s bad when it comes to defending Clyde as a commentator and ignoring ALLLLLLL the slams against the actual bball team….aghhhhh yep I’ma Nuggets fan. :)

      Posted by Shiq | January 23, 2012, 11:45 am
  11. In short what is wrong with the Knicks:
    1. Point Guard play, or rather, the lack thereof. We’ll see when Baron Davis returns but when you start someone like Iman Shumpert at the point that screams “we don’t have a point guard” like no other. At least consider giving Bibby some more minutes, even though he’s not the same player at least he can throw a few decent passes.

    2. BALL HOGGING: clearly the biggest issue. There have been games where Shumpert has had more field goal attempts than either Anthony or Stoudemire. Carmelo Anthony is the biggest ballhog in the league since Iverson (and to think they played on the same team!). Stoudemire is a star but also needs the ball and a good point guard to make him shine (time to D up and grab 10+rpg with that athleticism man).

    3. Defense. I was just watching videos on the league website and came across a Miami Heat Top 10 highlights vs. NYK from the Friday game. When a team gets that many dunks and layups on you (regardless if it’s the Miami Highlight Factory) at least start to foul them or something. It’s just embarassing (and for us non-Knick fans, entertaining lol).

    Posted by TMacAttack | January 28, 2012, 10:24 pm

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