Sunday, February 19, 2012

How Many Stories Can You Get From One Knick Game???

     Linsanity strikes again.  It's not about the points, assists, or steals that he had in the game. He finished with 28 points, 14 assists, and 5 steals if you wanted to know though.  This game for Jeremey was about the clutch factor.  He had 7 turnovers, but came through during clutch moments of the game to show the League and a National audiance that He is for real.  Many people still feel that they need to see more from the Asian Sensation, but now they are starting to sound like haters.
     How about the Steve Novak show?  He has averaged 12 points off of the bench in the last 8 games (14 this afternoon) and much like Lin, was buried on the bench before the Nets game.  He hit 3 after 3 pointer to open up the court for the rest of his players, and played some decent defense.  The biggest thing He did in my eyes was embrace being in New York by placing a Championship Belt around his waiste after a clutch contested 3 pointer that saw nothing but net.  Lin is the humble Hero, but Novak made sure to let you all know that Lin isnt the only talented Knick that has gone overlooked.
     In case you haven't heard, J.R. Smith was signed by the Knicks over the weekend.  Smith got into New York late Saturday afternoon and in Sundays afternoon game made a huge impression.  Not only did he shoot well scoring 15 points off of the bench, but had a few deflections on defense and a couple of beautiful assists.  He will only get better once he practices with his new teammates in a new system and builds team chemistry.  Speaing of team chemistry, when Jared Jeffries went down after a foul, Smith was the firs one to run over and help him up.  That is a good sign for a player known for being a ball chucker.
     Speaking of Jeffries, Dirk wasn't looking as unstoppable once Jeffris matched of with te 7 footer defensively.  Jeffries continues to play well and is finally getting the respect from the hard to please Madison Square Garden crowd.  How a player that plays defense and sacrafices his body taking charge after charge is beyond me.  He has been playing great over the past 9 games and is a big part of the Knicks going 8 and 1 in that stretch.
     Oh and this was the first match up for Tyson Chandler and his old team.  Chandler felt slighted that Dalls decided to keep themselves open for big Free Agents next year (Dwight Howard, Deron Williams) instead of investing in the player that changed their weak defensive identity and led the Mavs to their first Championship.  Well one teams trash is another teams treasure.  In his "REVENGE" game he finisshed with 14 points and 10 rebounds.   Tyson has made the Knicks a defensive threat.  Even before the Linsanity began the Knicks played excellent defense, offense was the weakness.  In todays game Chandler sacraficed his body banging with the big bodies on the Dallas roster.  He also recieved his Championship ring today and it makes you wonder if he was thinking about adding another ring to his collection after the Knicks dominated his former team in the 4th quarter for the victory.
     I know that Lin has been getting all of the attention even though he has been quick to try and deflect the attention to his teammates.  Maybe we need to look at the Knicks as a whole instead of one player.  There are so many stories that almost go unnoticed.  A story that I will leave you with?  Tomorrow night should be the return of Carmelo Anthony.  The stories are only beginning.
     What has been one of your favorite stories during this magical Lin era?

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Knicks Are Now DEEP?

     Last year the New York Knicks gutted their team to trade for Carmelo Anthony.  They entered the off-season very thin in depth.  The Knicks Drafted PG/SG Iman Shumpert in the first round and made a trade with New Orleans to Draft PF/C Josh Harrelson.  They then added Tyson Chandler in a sign and trade with the Dallas Mavericks.  In Free Agency they added PG Mike Bibby and PG Baron Davis.  When Iman Shumpert was injured on the opening day match up the Knicks added PG Jeremy Lin for depth and we all know how that move has turned out for the Knicks.  Today the Knicks have added SG J.R. Smith.
     The Knicks will have to cut a player to add Smith, and we can be pretty certain that PF Ronaldo Balkman will be shown the door.  This brings the roster to 3 Centers (Tyson Chandler, Josh Harrelson, Jerome Jordan) 4 Forwards (Amare' Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony, Jared Jeffries, Steve Novak) and 8 Guards (Jeremey Lin, Landry Fields, Iman Shumpert, Toney Douglas, Mike Bibby, Baron Davis, J.R. Smith, Billy Walker). This will create some very interesting line-ups for Coach Mike D'Antoni to draw up.
     Walker, Shumpert, and Fields have all seen time at Small Forward, so it will be interesting to see how the Knicks line up during certain situations. To give you an idea of the possibilities I will give you the starting line up and back ups as is, then three examples of substitutions once everyone gets healthy. Starting Line up: C Chandler, PF Stoudemire, SF Anthony, SG Fields, PG Lin. Off the bench: C Jeffries, PF Novak, SF Walker, SG Shumpert, PG Bibby.  Once healthy: C Harrelson, PF Jeffries, SF Novak, SG Shumpert, PG Davis.  Possibility #1 C Harrelson, PF Jeffries, SF Shumpert, SG Smith, PG Davis.  Possiblity #2 C Jordan, PF Harrelson, SF Jeffries, SG Smith, PG Davis.  Possiblity #3 Start Smith over fields with the back ups as: C Jeffries, PF Harrelson, SF Fields, SG Shumpert, PG Davis.
     Again things can get very interesting.  I wouldn't be surprised to see the Knicks make a trade to get some more size off of the bench.  Right now their only big Men are Chandler, Stoudemire, Jeffries, Jordan and the injured Harrelson.  Jordan is still raw and Harrelson and Jeffries are better suited for the PF position.  The Knicks could also trade for a Draft pick seeing as how they are still in a desperate situation from the trades of GMs past.  Grunwald has done an amazing job filling up this roster for now, so I hope that he does rid himself of some of the dead weight and bring in a pick to add some young talent for the future.
     From last year to now who would have thought that the Knicks would be one of the deepest teams in the League?  Whether you think the team is ready to compete for a Championship now or not one thing is undeniable......the future looks bright.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Why you should NOT listen to the "EXPERTS"!

     It amazes me how these "experts" form their opinions.  If you dont follow a team and watch the games, how can you get a full understanding on what is happening?  Lately I have been hearing some disturbing thoughts on the New York Knicks.  It seems that those over on ESPN are saying that Amare' Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony are going to disrupt the team because they are defensive liabilities.  It's funny to me since the Knicks have improved defensively this year and that is with Amare' and Melo in the line up.  Before Jeremey Lin started to see heavy minutes the problem was offense and not defense.
     The other thing that i have been hearing from the "experts" is that Carmelo Anthony is a selfish player and won't mesh with Jeremey Lin.  I have never heard about anyone calling Melo selfish, but now that you need a story these "experts" just throw that out there.  Even if you didnt watch the games this year to see Melo getting his teammates involved, you could look at the stats to see that Melo is leading the Knicks in assists.  I really dont understand how these people come up with this stuff out of nowhere.
     One thing you will notice when watching Carmelo Anthony during his Knicks era is that he has become a very good three point shooter.  He takes a lot of shots from beyond the ark when in his career he has been known to isolate and drive to the basket.  Now that he has a true point guard he will be able to pop and shoot more and won't be in a position to drive on triple coverage.
     Carmelo Anthony is also the leading scorer on the Knicks and let us not forget that he and Amare' Stoudemire are the two superstars on the team and they have specific jobs : SCORE.  Amare' is one of the best pick and roll players in the League so it is natural for Him to get along great with Lin on the court.  Anthony has been facing double and triple teams all year and thanks to Lin being on the court He won't have that problem as much so please tell me how Melo will hurt the Knicks when he will be one on one with defenders.  Tyson Chandler came to the Knicks to be a defender, but with Lin he has been an offensive threat as well.
     You can listen to the "experts" if you want to, but I've been watching every game this year and I know better.  Maybe it's time to realize that Knicks fans are finally getting a complete team.  They have a true starting point guard in Lin that has taken the sports World by storm, a first line of defense Center who has great pick and roll chemistry with his point guard in Chandler, an athletic Power Foward with a deadly 15 footer in Stoudemire, a smart defender and rebounding Shooting Guard in Landry Fields, and now you are getting back one of the best scorers in the League starting at Small Foward in Anthony.  How is that a bad thing?
     Let us not forget that the Knicks finally have some depth as well.  Jared Jeffries has finally convinced the fans at Madison Square Garden that he deserves cheers and not boos.  He has always played defense, but now he is contibuting on the offensive side of the ball as well.  Steve Novak has been knocking down shot after shot, and Billy Walker has proven that he can go on hot streaks.  Iman Shumpert is already a defensive power house half way through his Rookie season, but he is now being put into his natural position as a Shooting Guard and showing a lot of flare on the offensive side of the ball.  He looks to be the 6th Man scorer that the Knicks need.
     Last but not least are the two players on the injury list.  Baron Davis was suppose t be the starting Point Guard once healthy, but now will probably be the savy veteran leading the 2nd unit.  Rookie Josh Harrelson was looking like a 2nd round steal before his wrist injury and his return will give the Knicks another big body that can stretch the defense as well.
     The Knicks need to be talked about as a team that will only get better when certain players return to the line up and not a disaster waiting to happen.  Even an "expert" should know that........

Friday, February 10, 2012

This Feels Lin-Credible!!!

     I love that I went and looked at video of Jeremey Lin when the Knicks picked him up a few months ago.  I saw some skill there and some speed.  I was really excited to get a young player at a position of need for the Knicks.  I posted a link on my FaceBook page and stated that I hoped the Knicks would release Mike Bibby and keep Lin to develope when the time came to make room for a player to fill out the rotation. I posted that link on 12/27/11.  Today is 2/10/11 and Jeremey Lin just out-played Kobe Bryant in a Win over the Los Angeles Lakers for the first time in 10 games.
     In fact Lin has been out playing EVERYONE in the League for the past 4 games.  He came off of the bench against the Nets to score 25 points and 7 assists.  What gets forgotten in that game was Lin's defense against Deron Williams.  That performance and the lack of a healthy true Point Guard earned Jeremey Lin a start against the Utah Jazz and he continued his excellent play scoring 28 points and 8 assists.  When he led the Knicks to 3 straight wins after beating the Washington Wizards and scoring 23 points and 10 assists, Lin became the 1st player since LeBron James to score at-least 20 points and 8 assists in their 1st 2 career starts.
     New York believed that they found the answer at Point Guard, but the rest of the World (outside of Asia that is) still had their doubts.  Of course, when you are performing something attract haters.  Many people claimed that Lin did nothing special since he didn't face a dominant team.  Many "experts" claimed that the Lakers would be Lins biggest challenge and Kobe Bryant would not allow the Knicks to feel too good about themselves.  Jeremey Lin had other ideas.
     In the match up of the Knicks and Lakers in Madison Square Garden, on the National stage, Jeremey Lin and the New York Knicks showed everyone how special they are.  In a night with Kobe Bryant scoring 34 points and 1 assist Jeremey Lin out performed the Black Mamba by scoring 38 points and 7 rebounds and becoming the first player to score 89 points in their first career start since the NBA ABA merger.  Tonight Jeremey Lin played team ball and led the Knicks to their first win against the Lakers in 10 games and the question now became "What happens next?"
     Next up is Ricky Rubio and the Timberwolves and a chance to win 5 in a row.  After that is the return of Amare' Stoudemire who has been mourning the death of his older Brother who passed away this week in a car accident.  Stoudemire has been struggling this year, but now he gets to play with a true Point Guard who he will try to team with in the Pick and Roll game.  Many are expecting Amare' to thrive with Lin who is drawing comparisons to Steve Nash and even John Stockton.  Amare' is the type of player that becomes nearly unstoppable when He has a true Point Guard putting him in the right positions.  Tyson Chandler has been taking advantage of Lins passes of late and it will be even better with Amare'.
     After that Carmelo Anthony returns from his groin injury and the Coaching staff will have to figure out how the Offense will run with the return of Melo who is more of an isolaton player, but has been moving the ball around more before his injury.  It will also be interesting to see how Josh Harrelson fits in when He returns from His injury since the Rookie was coming on strong and showed a touch from beyond the 3 point line.  Of course there is also Baron Davis who the team had hoped would be their starting Point Guard once healthy.  There are a lot more fans watching these days to see just what does happen next.
     No other question is as important to Knicks fans as "How much longer will this Linsanity last?"  Everyone is waiting to see what he does next.  Regardless of how long he is able to play at such a high level one thing is already clear.  Jeremey Lin has made history and captivated the Sports World.  He also did it while wearing a Knicks uniform.  Let the Legend continue.......

What should the Jets address in this years Draft?

     Many people have different ideas on who and what position the Jets need to go after in the upcoming NFL Draft.  There are arguements for Offensive players and Defensive players.  There are many glaring holes for the Jets.  There is no dominant pass rusher in the defensive front seven, there is no Safety to protect the middle of the secondary or match up with Tight-Ends, there is no protection on the right side of the Offensive Line, there is no deep threat in the Wide-Recievers core and there is no game changing Running Back.  It is almost enough to make your head spin.
     The question is, what do the Jets need MORE?  There hasnt been a dominant pass rusher on the Jets in years.  I came into this year thinking that we needed to draft an Outside Linebacker.  I then figured that the Jets can still get to the Quarterback with exotic Blitzes, but you can't cover the middle of the field without getting a Safety.  A lot of Mock Drafts have the Jets getting Mark Barron S out of Alabama.  The Jets probably would have been able to trade down to get him while picking up an extra Draft pick.  I also fell in love with Vontaze Burfict ILB Arizona State and still feel like the Jets need to wheel and deal to get this player.
     Luckily for all Jets fans, Rex Ryan said that he would resume duties as a Defensive play caller.  This immediately makes the same defense that we already have MUCH better.  It also made me check to see how bad the Defense has been.  In 2009 Rex Ryan called the plays and the Defense finished 1st in the League, he split the calls in 2010 and the Defense was 3rd, Mike Pettine took over in 2011 and the Jets Defense finished 5th. Yeah the Jets were 5th in overall Defense and finished with a record of 8-8.  As much as I want a pass rusher, and as much as it is hard to watch Tight-Ends constantly expose the middle of the Jets Secondary, Offense is the side of the ball that needs to be addressed and there are a few Mocks out there that have the Jets picking Alshon Jeffries WR LSU with the 16th pick.
     I am now on that band wagon.  Alshon is 6'3 220lbs. with great hands.  He doesnt have blazing speed, but he can go up and get the ball.  A lot of this of course still depends on what happens in Free Agency and the Combine, but the Jets need to put points on the Scoreboard in 2012 and a big WR is just what they need to go on the opposite side of Santonio Holmes.  If the Jets fall in love with a different player during Pro Days and try outs then they should trade up and down to get the players that they want.  If the Jets are able to trade across  board and get Alshon Jeffries in the 1st round, trade up to get Vontaze Burfict in the 2nd round and George Iloka S Boise State in the 3rd or even trade up again in the 2nd round.  it wouldn't be a bad idea for the Jets to double dip in the 2nd round and picking Vinny Curry OLB Marshall.
     A lot of people are wondering if Mark Sanchez is the answer at QB for the Jets, but if yu never put him in a position to suceed how will you know?  The Jets took away his deep threat when they didn't bring back Braylon Edwards and they constantly put him in harms way when they decided that Wayne Hunter would replace Damien Woody.  It should not be about Mark Sanchez though.  This is about the New York Jets, and they need to address the weaknesses of their team.  With a top 5 Defense a defensive player should NOT be a priority. Even if the Jets brought in Peyton Manning, who would he throw to?  If you replace Sanchez after a year or two, who would his replacement throw it to?
     As it stands now i think that the Jets need to focus on an Offensive threat to go on the opposite side of Santonio Holmes.  This will open up the middle for Dustin Keller and Jeremey Kerley in the slot.  It also let's Santonio focus on slant routes while his new number two can stretch the field.
     Let me know what position or player you think the Jets should focus on in 2012 NFL Draft.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

It Feels Good To Have A FEEL GOOD Story!!!

     This year was suppose to be a year where the New York Knicks were going to be in the hunt for a Championship.  When Tyson Chandler joined the Knicks and declare that he came to the team to "Defend and Rebound" many thought that the New York Knicks had fixed their weakness.  Many a fan (Myself included), and "Experts" thought that the Knick would struggle early while they get comfortable with their new teammates, but would eventually be one of the top three teams in the East with an outside chance at winning a Championship.
     This is not the struggling I signed up for though.  The New York Knicks have been geting embarrassed winning only two games in their last thirteen, against mostly sub .500 competition.  I think that the injury to back up PF/C Josh Harrelson is a major factor to the teams struggle of late.  Granted he is just a Rookie from the second round no less, but he is their big Man off of the bench.  Josh Harrelson scores, spreads the floor with his long rage shooting, rebounds and most importantly if your a Knicks fan, the kid defends.  With Josh out of the line up theonly big Man the Knicks have coming off of the bench is Jared Jeffries, who i am a fan of due to his effort and defense capabilities, but that one player isnt exactly depth.
     Point Guard play has also been an issue.  Toney Douglas has been in a slump of late and that is just me being nice.  He is more of a scoring two guard that can play man defense anyway.  The Rookie Iman Shumpert is going to be a terrific play for the Knicks.  He plays EXCELLENT man defense and is very athletic.  He is still a young player and isnt consistant enough yet to be counted on night in and night out.  He is also still learning the position.  Point Guard in the NBA is very different from College and if your on a Mike D'Antoni team the Point Guard is the most important player ad most difficult position to play.  Shumpert like Douglas may be more suitable as a Two-Guard.  The Knicks are missing a veteran starting PG and it shows......BADLY.  Many think that when/if Baron Davis joins the lineup the Knicks will be a completely different team.
     Well they are a completely different team right now.  They have mostly fixed their defense, but noone was expecting for them to look this bad on the offensive side of the ball.  With Amare's struggling and Carmelo's injuries the Knicks have had noone to truly carry the load.  Each star player had their moments to shine, but neither have truly been the dominant player that they are capable of being.  The refs seem to be taking Bribes as well, butthose things only stick out when your losing.  Landry Fields is playing better of late, but he is suppose to.  The Knicks and their players have been letting thier fans down and those fans have been letting the Knicks know about it.
     When you watch a Knicks game you hear a lot of boos these days.  you also have heard some cheering and believe it or not, but you would've heard A LOT of chants for a player named Jeremey Lin.  Lin is an undrafted Asian American out of Harvard that played for the Warriors last year and was trying to make the Rockets team this year.  The Knicks picked him up just so they would have a roster spot filled in case of injuries to their PG position.  For some reason Knicks fans (Again myself included) have been waiting for Lin to get on the court.  We have had a funny feeling that this kid that many thinks needs to stick with the D-League, is a player and can help this team.
     Last night against the Nets you heard the boos I was talking about as the Knicks created a 12 point hole for themselves to dig their way out of.  At the end of the night you heard something different.  Jeremey Lin entered the game and played like a PG.  Derron Williams had 10 points in the first quarter before Lin came into the game.  He stayed on 10 for a very long time.  Jeremey Lin penetrated to the rack, threw alley-oop passes, he protect the defensive borads, but did i mention that he threw alley-oop passes?  Lins pass to Tyson Chandler was the play of the night.
     Jeremey Lin is a true PG.  He plays to set up his teammates and put them in the best position to score.  That is what the Knicks have been missing and when the Madison Square Crowd was chanting JEREMEY, JEREMEY, it was pretty clear that we may have found it.  Lin finished the game with 25 points, 5 rebounds, 7 assists and 2 steals.  He had the crowd jumping, he was screaming to the rapters after and 1s, he was the decidng factor in a rare win for the New York Knicks and yeah, he had Carmelo Anthony bowing to HIM on the side line.
     We havent been given mush to cheer for this year as Knicks fans, but last night we were proven right.  A player that we the fans have been calling for and alking about showed up.  Will he ever have a game like last nights again???  That is for the future, but for right now...... it feels good to FEEL GOOD111