Archive for the ‘ New York Knicks Blog ’ Category

Knicks starting a flock of rookies

The Knicks have a solid, fun flock of rookies who aren’t big-time NBA players yet but have talent and have been enjoyable to watch this season. Here’s the latest update on several of them, and the starting lineup, from the New York Post:

The Knicks’ rookie power trio will start together for the first time this season.

David Fizdale has made one more starting lineup tweak, adding undrafted rookie guard Allonzo Trier in a small-ball shuffle that sends power forward Noah Vonleh to the bench and 2018 lottery pick Kevin Knox from small to power forward.

Amid a lousy start record-wise at 4-11, the lone upside is Fizdale buying in completely to a youth movement and showcasing the three promising rookies.

Center Mitchell Robinson has started over Enes Kanter since the season’s sixth game and will make his New Orleans homecoming Friday vs. the Pelicans.

Each rookie has shown flashes. They may not be winning much so far this first month of NBA action but they’re providing entertainment and the potential for legitimate growth as pros.

The Knicks are rebuilding, awaiting eventual return of Kristaps Porzingis, and mostly relying on very young players to compete. There will be some wins, but plenty of losses, and hopefully positive signs from their youth along the way. And although the Magic won a decisive victory against the Knicks yesterday, center Mitchell Robinson put on a block party. Here’s the New York Post reporting:

Knicks rookie center Mitchell Robinson was drafted 30 slots behind Orlando’s rookie Mo Bamba, but only one of them made the history books Sunday at the Garden.

Robinson set a new Knicks rookie record for blocks with nine as the lone home-team standout in Sunday’s 115-89 shellacking by Orlando. Robinson, who had a handful of rejections at the perimeter, broke the record shared previously by Kristaps Porzingis and Lonnie Shelton, who both had seven.

“I can thank coach,” Robinson said of David Fizdale. “He puts me in position to get those blocks. He was like drop back, don’t worry about my guy. If you see him going full speed at the rim just go get him and meet him at the rim.”

Robinson was one off the Knicks franchise record for blocks — which he said he believes he will break one day.

Full Article

The New York Knicks today unveiled their City Edition alternate jersey, which features the New York City Skyline as the central design element and a symbol of the diverse cultures united across New York City.

The Knicks will debut these uniforms on Sunday, November 11 when the team takes on the Orlando Magic at Madison Square Garden and will continue to wear the jerseys at various theme nights throughout the 2018-19 season.

According to the team, “the City Edition design was inspired by what it means to be a New Yorker and utilizes one of the City’s most iconic and defining attributes – its skyline—as a representation of the many cultures that make up New York and their shared ambitions and dreams. To unveil the uniforms to the team, six Junior Knicks members were invited to the Knicks practice facility where they read letters describing how the Knicks inspire them as New Yorkers.”

Knicks rookie Kevin Knox returns to action

We’re in MSG at the Bulls at Knicks game right now and will post a recap after the game, plus a player interview tomorrow or the next day, but right now here are some words from the New York Post on Knicks rookie guard Kevin Knox, who had been injured but became available to play today and entered this game in the second quarter, even throwing down a nice-looking dunk:

Knicks lottery pick Kevin Knox is back.

David Fizdale wasn’t going to dispute the doctors and allowed the rookie to play Monday versus the Bulls, despite not going through a five-on-five scrimmage before his return from an ankle sprain.

The doctors cleared him after missing seven games, and Fizdale was not going to stand in the way of the ninth pick in June’s draft.

The Knicks had been targeting Monday’s game for his return. However, Fizdale decided not to have a full-scale practice on Saturday and Knox participated in just a three-on-three contact scrimmage.

Full Article

Bulls vs Knicks pregame thoughts

Chicago Bulls vs New York Knicks
Madison Square Garden
7:30 p.m. ET

PREGAME INFO

Entering the game, the Knicks have a 3-7 record (2-3 at home), while the Bulls are 2-8 (1-3 on the road)

Leading scorers for the Knicks: Tim Hardaway Jr. at 23.3 ppg, Enes Kanter 14.5 ppg, Damyean Dotson 12.6 ppg and Allonzo Trier 10.6 ppg.

Leading scorers for the Bulls: Zach LaVine at 26.6 ppg, Jabari Parker 14.3 ppg, Justin Holiday 12.1 ppg and Antonio Blakeney 11.4 ppg.

NOTES

The Bulls have had a tough time at Madison Square Garden of late: Chicago is 3-7 over its last 10 games in New York City, including losses in five of the last six road matchups with the Knicks.

Zach LaVine scored 21 points vs. Houston on Saturday. It was his 11th game in a row to score at least 20 (3/15-11/3/18), which is a career-long streak. The last Bulls player to post a double-digit streak of 20-point scoring was Jimmy Butler with 15 such games from Nov. 7 to Dec. 6, 2016.

Justin Holiday has made at least three 3-pointers in each of the last five games, which is a career-long streak. Over that span, he has shot .465 from long distance (20-of-43).

Wendell Carter Jr. blocked a career-high four shots vs. the Rockets on Saturday. His 1.90 blocks per game leads all rookies. He has recorded at least one block in nine of 10 games this season.

PREGAME THOUGHTS

This is a golden opportunity for the Knicks, who are still playing without Kristaps Porzingis, to put together a good game and impress the home crowd. Both the Knicks and Bulls have extremely young rosters, but the while the Knicks are without their leading star, the Bulls have a host of injuries. The Knicks just yesterday lost to a struggling Wizards team. Teams are often tired on the second night of a back-to-back, but if the Knicks can grab a win today, they then face a beatable Hawks team Wednesday in Atlanta and gather up some momentum before heading to Toronto for a tough matchup against an excellent Raptors squad.

The latest on Knicks rookie Kevin Knox

Rookie Kevin Knox is one of the most intriguing young players on the Knicks this season. He will be even more intriguing when he’s health and actually playing basketball again. Which should be relatively soon, though an exact date remains unknown. Here’s the New York Post with an update:

Knox will sit out his fifth straight game Wednesday night against the Pacers, but will travel with the team on the road trip to Dallas and Washington. Knox is currently participating in shooting drills and doing non-contact court activity while increasing his movement on a daily basis.

Despite being sidelined since suffering the left-ankle injury on Oct. 20, Knox believes his learning curve hasn’t slowed, and said he has picked up new things from the bench.

“I really enjoy watching on the side because I can really see the game from a different perspective,” said Knox, who was speaking to the media for the first time since the injury occurred. “It’s really fun to watch on the side, they talk, the way they move the ball, defensively. These past few games I was on the bench watching it was pretty great. I got to talk to players on the bench, tell them what they can do better, more and more leadership I can bring to the team.”

Full Article

It surprised no one that the Knicks starting lineup changed early in the season. It could happen again. There very well may be season-long changes as new head coach Dave Fizdale figures out what he’s working with on a team that is focused more on the future than the present. Here’s New York Newsday reporting on Knicks center Enes Kanter, who will now contribute scoring and rebounding as a reserve rather than a starter:

After sweating through the hard workout with Wallace loudly urging him on, the real lesson that Kanter seemed to take most to heart is how to avoid saying what’s really on your mind. Like Wallace, who made a game out of answering nearly any question with a refrain of, “Both teams played hard,” during his playing days, Kanter fell back time after time to, “I’m leading the second unit.”

The uncomfortable questions for Kanter and the equally uncomfortable answers he fidgeted through were regarding his role with the Knicks. An accomplished veteran, Kanter has found himself removed from the starting lineup for the time being as the Knicks have fallen to five straight losses and a 1-5 record.

With the season already steering toward the predictable outcome of a rebuilding year, Knicks first-year coach David Fizdale revamped the lineup before Friday’s meeting with the Golden State Warriors, pulling Kanter, Lance Thomas and Trey Burke from the lineup and replacing them with Mitchell Robinson, Damyean Dotson and Noah Vonleh.

“Yeah, he wants me to lead the second unit,” Kanter said, echoing the sentiment he relayed through pursed lips after the game.

Full article

Knicks vs Warriors pregame notes

The Warriors visit the Knicks tonight, 7:30 p.m. ET. Game televised on MSG and NBATV.

PREGAME NOTES

The Knicks enter this game with a 1-4 record. They beat the lowly Hawks in their October 17 season opener, then lost to the Nets, Celtics, Bucks and Heat. The team’s leading scorer has been Tim Hardaway Jr. (24.4 points, 41.6% FG), followed by Enes Kanter (16.8 ppg, 10.8 rpg, 57.4% FG), Damyean Dotson (14.7 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 48.6% FG), Trey Burke (11.2 ppg, 5.0 apg, 38.7% FG), Mario Hezonja (10.0 ppg, 37.7% FG), Kevin Knox (9.3 ppg, 35.5% FG), Allonzo Trier (9.2 ppg, 37.8% FG), Noah Vonleh (7.6 ppg, 8.6 rpg in just 17.0 minutes per game) and Frank Ntilikina (6.6 ppg, 36.1% FG).

The Warriors enter tonight’s game 4-1, beating the Thunder and Jazz, then losing by two points to the Nuggets, then beating the Suns by 20 and the Wizards by 22. They’ve been led in scoring so far this season by Stephen Curry (34.6 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 6.8 apg, 55.0% FG, 52.4% 3FG), followed by Kevin Durant (27.4 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 6.0 apg, 52% FG, 25.0% 3FG), Klay Thompson (15.2 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 39.5% FG, 14.8% 3FG), Damian Jones (8.4 ppg, 85.7% FG), Shaun Livingston (7.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 60.0% FG), Jonas Jerebko (6.6 ppg, 50% FG), Kevon Looney 6.2 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 61.9% FG) and Draymond Green (6.0 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 7.0 apg, 37.9% FG)

A FEW THINGS TO WATCH

The Warriors have to expect that Klay Thompson will find his shot sometime soon. And that Draymond Green will pick things up a bit in that department as well. Also, the Golden State center rotation is always worth watching… The Warriors offense is close to the top of the league, but their defensive efficiency hasn’t been impressive just yet.

Playing without Kristaps Porzingis and talented rookie Kevin Knox, the Knicks in general are in a state of rebuild and early this season in particular are mostly looking for stability in the form of learning which young players are worthy of the most minutes… In their first five games the Knicks defense has been reasonably efficent, but their offense is still a work in serious construction.

BOTTOM LINE

The Warriors are really good.

Enjoy the game.

On the Knicks starting lineup

The Knicks have a new head coach this sesaon and with that comes a starting lineup that could change at any time. Especially early in the season as the team tries to develop chemistry. Here’s the New York Post on the topic of starters:

The 1-3 Knicks took the unbeaten Bucks down to the final 1:30 before being outscored 16-6 to close, dropping a 124-113 decision Monday night in Brew City.

The current starting lineup has one more game to prove itself, otherwise David Fizdale will change things up, likely at power forward with Mario Hezonja or Noah Vonleh replacing Lance Thomas. As much as Thomas is the club’s emotional leader, his lack of offense hurts. The 30-year-old defensive specialist was shut out against Boston and notched four points in 18 minutes in Milwaukee. Hezonja’s confidence was crashing after Saturday’s Boston benching and getting called out on Twitter by a former Knicks executive, but he rose up in Milwaukee.

Full article

The New York Knicks have exercised their third-year contract option on guard Frank Ntilikina.

So far in his young NBA career, the 6-foot-6, 200-pound Ntilikina has shown some nice defensive skills, but offensively and especially as a point guard is still learning the ropes. Which is par for the course. His NBA career is just getting started. He’s a Knick to watch in 2018-19.

Ntilikina as a rookie last season averaged 5.9 points, 3.2 assists and 2.3 rebounds over 78 games (nine starts). The 20-year-old became the youngest player in franchise history to appear in a game on Oct. 19, 2017 and represented the franchise in the 2018 Rising Stars Challenge in Los Angeles, CA. The native of Strasbourg, France, was originally selected by New York with the eighth overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.

As for his recent play in preseason, here’s the New York Post: “Ntilikina’s gains in weight and height are manifesting themselves on the court. The extra bulk — about 10 pounds — has him stronger to the rack and sturdier in guarding power forwards on switches. Ntilikina’s progress in the preseason was overshadowed by a point-guard race that didn’t do the Frenchman justice. (Fizdale started four different players at the position in five games).”

Knicks waive Joakim Noah, Kadeem Allen and Jeff Coby

The New York Knicks have waived center Joakim Noah, guard Kadeem Allen and forward Jeff Coby.

Noah, who is still owed around $38 million from the team, appeared in 53 games (46 starts) over two seasons with the Knicks, averaging 4.6 points, 7.9 rebounds and two assists over 19.9 minutes.

Allen, who was signed by the Knicks on July 25, appeared in two preseason games with New York, totaling 0.5 points and 1.5 assists over 11.8 minutes.

Coby, who was signed by the Knicks on October 7, did not appear in a preseason game this season.

There are now 17 players under contract with the team, including two Two-Way players.

Chris Bosh, who perhaps may someday play in the league again but for now is enjoying life while his sneakers hang nearby, has some very positive words about new Knicks head coach Dave Fizdale. Here’s the New York Post reporting:

Chris Bosh isn’t sure if he will play again, but he said he will give himself until the All-Star break to make that decision.

But Bosh is sure of one thing. His former assistant coach David Fizdale is the real deal and should eventually recruit at least one superstar.

Bosh, who has suffered from multiple blood clots, was at the Knicks preseason game against the Wizards at the Garden and caught up with the Knicks’ first-year coach after the contest. Bosh, who has not played in an NBA game since the 2015-16 season, played for Fizdale when the latter was an assistant coach in Miami.

“We always tried to make it simple,’’ Bosh said. “If you’re trying to accomplish something, you have to know where you’re going. You have to have a core set of values, which [Fizdale] has. You also have to be confident. Which I know he is. You got to work hard. I know that he’s going to inspire the guys to do what they need to do on the court and off the court to get the job done. Once he inspires them, it’s on the players. That’s what great coaches do.

Knicks sign Jeff Coby

The New York Knicks signed forward Jeff Coby today.

It’s likely a deal that won’t last past preseason.

Coby, 6-8, 225-pounds, split last season with CB Prat Juventud and Cambados Xuven of Liga LEB Oro. In 22 games (eight starts) combined between the two teams, Coby averaged 7.6 points and 6.2 rebounds over 18.7 minutes. He played four seasons (2013-17) at Columbia, posting 5.2 points and 3.9 rebounds over 15.0 minutes in 108 games (35 starts).

Knicks sign Paul Watson

The New York Knicks signed forward Paul Watson today.

It’s likely a non-guaranteed deal that won’t last past the end of preseason.

Watson, 6-8, 210-pounds, appeared in five games for New York’s 2018 Summer League entry in Las Vegas and averaged 2.0 points, 1.6 rebounds and a steal over 12.0 minutes. He spent the 2017-18 season with the Westchester Knicks where he averaged 6.2 points and 3.4 rebounds over 26.7 minutes in 45 games (23 starts). Watson played four seasons (2013-17) at Fresno State, posting 10.1 points and 4.4 rebounds over 29.7 minutes in 135 games (128 starts). He was named 2014 Mountain West Rookie of the Year as voted on by the coaches.

MSG exec James Dolan gets big raise

James Dolan is doing just fine, for those who were wondering.

Here’s the New York Post reporting:

Madison Square Garden Chief Executive James Dolan got a hefty raise, the company said Thursday.

Dolan will bring home roughly $9.3 million in total compensation over the next year — including sales, bonus and other payout — up 20 percent from his previous contract.

MSG, which owns the Knicks and Rangers, saw its shares spike about 46 percent over the past year.

MSG is packed with fans and business is booming. Now it’s up to the Knicks to match that success in the form of wins not necessarily in this rebuild-focused season but certainly in the next few years.

Knicks sign guard Billy Garrett

The New York Knicks have signed guard Billy Garrett.

Garrett, 6-6, 210-pounds, appeared in three games for New York’s 2018 Summer League entry in Las Vegas and averaged 2.3 points over 9.4 minutes. He spent the 2017-18 season with the Westchester Knicks where he averaged 11.9 points, 2.7 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.1 steals over 27.2 minutes in 50 games (14 starts). Garrett played four seasons (2013-17) at DePaul, posting 13.1 points, 3.5 assists and 2.7 rebounds over 29.2 minutes in 125 games (119 starts). He was named 2014 Big East Rookie of the Year.

Courtney Lee dealing with neck strain

Courtney Lee right now is dealing with a neck strain, but in general his future with the Knicks appears uncertain. It would not be a surprise to see him included in a trade. Not necessarily tomorrow or this week, but certainly in the next month or two. But for now, he’s a Knick. Here’s the New York Post on his current status:

Courtney Lee entered training camp having to prove he’s worth a rotation spot despite not being a big part of the team’s future.

Lee celebrated his 33rd birthday Wednesday and he’s had better ones. Still suffering from a neck strain he picked up on the third day of training camp practices last Thursday night, Lee sat out his second straight preseason game.

Lee hasn’t practiced since the injury occurred following a hard foul by Ron Baker that threw him into the basket stanchion.

The Knicks are still in a state of rebuild. They do have some talented rookies worth keeping an eye on, and we’ll be doing exactly that.

Knicks sign forward Phillip Carr

The New York Knicks have signed forward Phillip Carr.

It’s probably just a non-guaranteed deal that will end during or at the conclusion of preseason.

Carr, 6-8, 190-pounds, played three seasons (2015-18) at Morgan State University, posting 13.4 points and 8.5 rebounds over 32.9 minutes in 87 games (85 starts). Carr was named to the All-MEAC First Team, twice (2017-18) and was named MEAC Defensive Player of the Year during his junior season.

For NBA veterans, preseason is mostly a warmup. A time to loosen up and get the joints moving again. But for rookies, it’s a bit more serious. First-year players need to prove themselves worthy of regular season minutes, and until they do that most of them will be sitting watching the vets do their thing.

Here’s the New York Post with preseason debut notes on the Knicks rookies:

The Knicks went 3-for-3 in Washington D.C. during their preseason opener. Not from the field — but with their rookie showings, and that is what general manager Scott Perry’s 2018-19 vision is mostly about after running his first draft as chief operator.

Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson and Allonzo Trier all excelled in different ways.

Knox, their lottery pick who could make a bid for Rookie of the Year, hit the defensive glass with panache, after which he pushed the pace in point-forward fashion and wound up with a double-double (13 points, 10 rebounds).

Robinson, in the center of the storm, didn’t back down from Wizards’ feisty veteran Markieff Morris. That led to Morris’ ejection and crybaby act in the locker room after the Knicks’ 124-118 overtime victory. A Knicks security man was seen entering the Wizards locker room with a Washington staffer, ostensibly to ensure Morris didn’t escalate matters.

And a usual yearly reminder is, don’t judge any rookies based on just a couple of games, let alone one game, let alone one preseason game. It’s all a process.

Look. Preseason starts tonight. Which means for the next week or so, there is going to be tons of speculation about which young players are ready for a breakout season.

Of course, players who were rookies last year and showed some skills are almost all expected to do better as NBA sophomores.

But what about guys who have been in the league for a few seasons, and haven’t shown the anticipated improvement, and need to step up sometime soon to keep themselves on the basketball map?

Here’s the New York Post on Knicks guard Emmanuel Mudiay:

Less turnovers. Less pounds.

That’s been point guard Emmanuel Mudiay’s modus operandi during the first week of Knicks training camp.

First-year coach David Fizdale said Mudiay has the lowest turnover rate of anyone during the first week of scrimmages. Mudiay’s loss of 10-15 pounds since the regular season finale has helped with stamina and adjusting to Fizdale’s fast offense.

He looks much improved so far from late last season when he didn’t make a big impression after the February trade with Denver.

Sounds reasonable. If he really did work hard enough to drop that much weight, maybe something is brewing.

Preseason begins tonight with Celtics vs Hornets.

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