Archive for the ‘ New York Knicks Blog ’ Category

The Knicks were in control of the Cavs Monday in New York. And then the 4th quarter happened, and Cleveland came away with a win. As for Knicks star Kristaps Porzingis, here’s the New York Post reporting:

It was a rare off night for Kristaps Porzingis. Maybe it was LeBron James. Maybe it was the new contraption on his elbow.

With James hounding him at times, Porzingis fell short of his now-usual 30 points. And for the first time he wore a long white right elbow sleeve for his bursitis, a condition that may need postseason surgery.

Previously Porzingis, who has admitted to lingering swelling, had only donned the sleeve during practice so it wouldn’t affect his shooting motion. But after shooting just 7-of-21 for 20 points in the 104-101 Knicks’ collapse, he may ditch it. It was only the fourth time in the 12 games he’s played this season he didn’t score at least 30 points.

“It was for extra protection for the elbow,’’ Porzingis said. “It didn’t help as much. If I fell on it, it hits so hard, the little protection didn’t do anything.’’

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Knicks waive Mindaugas Kuzminskas

The Knicks have waived forward Mindaugas Kuzminskas.

Kuzminskas, 6-9, 215-pounds, averaged 6.3 points over 14.9 minutes in 68 games during his rookie season for the Knicks in 2016-17 after signing as an undrafted free agent on Jul. 9, 2016. The Lithuania-native has appeared in one game this season.

“The respect this franchise has for Mindaugas cannot be overstated,” Knicks General Manager Scott Perry said. “His professionalism and work ethic were greatly appreciated by his teammates, coaches and the entire staff. This decision was extremely tough for us. We wish him nothing but the best moving on with his playing career.”

According to ESPN.com, “Kuzminskas, 28, is in the final season of a two-year contract that was fully guaranteed for $3 million this season. New York needed to open a roster spot to make room for [Joakim] Noah, who will return from a suspension for the use of a banned substance on Monday against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Noah served the final 12 games of the 20-game suspension this season. It was originally issued in late March.”

Joakim Noah suspension will soon end

The Knicks have a frontcourt logjam that is about to be further complicated by the return from suspension of center Joakim Noah. Production-wise, he’s been a disappointment. Salary-wise, he’s too well-paid to keep on the bench. What to do? Here’s the New York Post:

Joakim Noah suspension will soon end

Joakim Noah doesn’t know how much or if he’ll play with the club’s center glut, but he’s delighted his drug suspension is about to end.

Noah will miss his 12th and final game Saturday when the Knicks host the Kings, then be back on the 15-man roster for a Monday home game against the Cavaliers.

The Knicks will then have four centers vying for playing time – unless they trade one of them by Sunday night. The Knicks have gauged backup Kyle O’Quinn’s trade value across the first 11 games and it’s increased because of his solid play as Enes Kanter’s backup. After the Bucks traded center Greg Monroe for Eric Bledsoe, it’s been reported they are looking for another reserve center.

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Knicks face roster decision

Somebody from the Knicks will either be cut or traded soon. For more on this, here’s the New York Post:

Knicks general manager Scott Perry admits he has a big roster decision “looming’’ as center Joakim Noah returns Monday after his 12-game drug suspension is over, indicating a trade is still possible.

The Knicks have to remove someone from the roster to make room for Noah, whom they apparently have no choice but to keep for now because of his four-year, $72 million contract. If a player is waived, point guard Ramon Sessions is a strong candidate. Perry hardly gave him a vote of confidence Wednesday.

“We know that is looming,’’ Perry said before the Knicks’ 112-99 loss to the Magic. “We’re going to have to address the roster. We’ve been working through the process for a few weeks. By Sunday at 5 p.m., there’ll be a resolution one way or another. Whether it’s a trade or waive an individual.’’

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The Knicks have themselves their best young player in many years. Kristaps Porzingis has been awesome this season. Here’s NY Newsday reporting:

Porzingis scored a career-best 40 points in Sunday’s come-from-behind victory over Indiana, the Knicks’ fifth in six games. He was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week on Monday after averaging 33.5 points, 6.8 rebounds and 3.25 blocks, and leading the Knicks to a 3-1 mark.

He’s second in the league in scoring (30.2 points), third in blocks (2.2), first in usage rate (35.5) and fifth in Player Efficiency Rating (28.6). That metric measures a player’s effectiveness per minute. To put it in perspective, only Giannis Antetokounmpo, LeBron James, Stephen Curry and Anthony Davis have higher PERs.

Porzingis’ 272 points are the most ever by a Knick through the team’s first nine games of a season. He’s making an early case for the three individual honors he craves as well as MVP, and has the upstart Knicks (5-4) playing inspired basketball and believing they can make an unexpected playoff run.

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And here’s the NY Daily News:

He is averaging over 30 points per game and the “M-V-P” chants are increasing in volume. Sunday night was probably the best performance of his career, and not just because of the points.

Porzingis also blocked six shots – including a crowd-rousing rejection on Lance Stephenson’s dunk attempt – and scored 15 consecutive Knick points in the fourth quarter. When the game appeared lost, Porzingis strapped on his cape and led the Knicks on a 34-11 run to close the comeback.

He was subbed out with 3.5 seconds remaining to a rousing ovation and even more “M-V-P” chants. The legend grows at the Garden.

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Wild recent ride for Jarrett Jack

From possibly retiring to starting at point guard, it’s been an interesting recent ride for Jarrett Jack. Here’s the New York Daily News reporting:

Wild recent ride for Jarrett Jack

There was a time, not too long ago, when Jarrett Jack thought his career was done. He had a torn ACL, a partially torn meniscus and, progressing into his mid-30s, the slow recovery wavered Jack’s confidence.

“The rehab was easy as far as putting in the work and doing the exercises. But the doubt of, ‘When I get back on the court, am I still going to be able to play? Am I doing this all for no reason?’” Jack told the Daily News. “Even when I do the exercises, man, it’s still not feeling the same. Wondering physically if you’ll ever get back and then after you do, mentally not allowing that to stop you.”

From the initial injury with the Brooklyn Nets, it was almost two years before Jack was back playing meaningful minutes. And now he’s doing it against all odds and expectations, emerging as the Knicks starting point guard despite being the only player on the roster without a guaranteed contract.

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Will Knicks keep Jarrett Jack?

Here’s NY Newsday reporting on veteran guard Jarrett Jack, who has been helpful to the Knicks so far this short season:

Will Knicks keep Jarrett Jack?

Jarrett Jack is the only Knick with a non-guaranteed deal, but he’s making it very easy for the team to keep him.

They will have to do something soon to create a roster spot. The Knicks have been able to carry an extra guy on the roster because Joakim Noah is on the suspended list. Management could try to trade someone for a draft pick or do a two-for-one deal to keep Jack before Noah comes off in two weeks.

Jack became the Knicks’ starting point guard three games ago. Jack’s calming influence on the court helped the Knicks to wins over the Nets and Cavaliers in his first two games. He totaled 14 assists and three turnovers in his first two starts.

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Frank Ntilikina twists ankle in practice

We look forward to telling you about how Frank Ntilikina is doing in basketball games, but so far we’re forced to mention him a lot in regard to injuries. And it’s happened again. Hopefully minor. Here’s New York Newsday reporting:

On the eve of the Knicks’ home opener, first-round draft pick Frank Ntilikina had to be helped off the practice court Friday after twisting his left ankle in the final minutes of practice.

Ntilikina writhed in pain at the baseline for several minutes before leaving practice. He later told the Knicks’ staff that he injured the ankle when he changed direction while boxing out for a rebound.

“Looked like I thought he maybe stepped on Willy’s [Hernangomez’s] foot,” coach Jeff Hornacek said shortly after the incident. “He went to box him out and it looked like he stepped on his foot. Hopefully, it’s not too bad.”

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Knicks sign Isaiah Hicks to two-way contract

The Knicks have signed forward Isaiah Hicks to a Two-Way contract.

Hicks, 6-9, 230-pounds, is an undrafted rookie who most recently played for the Charlotte Hornets, appearing in one 2017 preseason game. The Oxford, NC-native averaged 11.8 points and 5.5 rebounds in his senior year for the 2017 NCAA National Champion University of North Carolina.

Per NBA rules, teams are permitted to have two Two-Way players on their roster at any given time – Hicks joins center Luke Kornet on the Knicks. A Two-Way player will provide services primarily to the team’s G League affiliate - the Westchester Knicks - but can spend up to 45 days with New York, not including any time prior to the start of Westchester’s training camp and at the conclusion of their season.

Many key Knicks are still very young

Here’s the New York Post reporting on the Knicks, who have a lot of young players, along with some non-star veterans:

The Knicks grew their 25-and-under battalion from five players to seven with the Anthony blockbuster. Kanter and sharpshooter Doug McDermott, likely their sixth man, are both 25.

The former OKC duo joined fellow 25-year-old Tim Hardaway Jr., their starting shooting guard; French rookie first-rounder, point guard Frank Ntilikina (19); starting power forward Kristaps Porzingis (22); center Willy Hernangomez, (23), who likely backs up Kanter; and backup guard Ron Baker (24). Rookie second-round pick Damyean Dotson, 23, is knocking on the door for admittance to the Baby Knicks club.

For now, it probably will look dirty. The five projected starters have been put in grander positions than they’re accustomed.

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Knicks waive Trey Burke, Xavier Rathan-Mayes and Nigel Hayes

The New York Knicks have waived guards Trey Burke and Xavier Rathan-Mayes and forward Nigel Hayes.

Burke, 6-1, 190-pounds, was originally signed on Oct. 11 and did not appear in the preseason. Rathan-Mayes, 6-4, 205-pounds, was originally signed on Aug. 18 and appeared in three preseasons games, scoring two points in 28 minutes. Hayes, 6-8, 240-pounds, was originally signed on Aug. 18 and appeared in four preseason games, scoring nine points in 33 minutes.

Knicks sign Trey Burke

The New York Knicks have signed guard Trey Burke.

Burke, 6-1, 190-pounds, has averaged 10.6 points and 3.6 assists over 24.8 minutes in 267 career games with Utah and Washington from 2013 through 2017. The Columbus, OH-native was originally drafted by Minnesota out of the University of Michigan with the ninth overall selection in the 2013 NBA Draft and named to the 2013-14 NBA All-Rookie First Team as a member of the Jazz.

Last season, Burke appeared in 57 games for the Wizards to average 5.0 points and 1.8 assists over 12.3 minutes.

Rough preseason for Kristaps Porzingis

Kristaps Porzingis is the main key young building block for the Knicks. After an excellent rookie season, things stalled a bit for him in his second season. And while preseason is just a warmup, health issues obviously matter, and right now the big guy isn’t at 100 percent. Not ideal. Here’s the New York Post with more:

Twenty-four hours after he was called out by MSG personalities Alan Hahn and Wally Szczerbiak for his ineffective play, Porzingis missed Monday night’s 117-95 preseason loss to the Rockets at the Garden with a sore right hip that could also keep him out of the final dress rehearsal Friday against the Wizards.

Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek said Porzingis is having problems lifting his leg, a concerning statement about the face of the franchise. Later, when pressed, Hornacek said he is “hopeful” Porzingis will play Friday.

“He said he went out there last game and felt it a little bit but he was playing. When he really took his stride it was soreness in there,” Hornacek said. “Trainers will work on him and get him a bunch of treatment to get him ready.

“I think it’s just sore. He doesn’t remember the play it happened. He had trouble lifting his leg. I don’t know how long that will be.”

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Preseason: Nets beat Knicks by 34

Preseason is just a warmup, but there’s also less of it this year. And the regular season is around one week away. And even in preseason, it’s fun for NYC-area fans to see what happens when the Knicks and Nets play each other. Here’s the New York Post reporting:

With Floyd Mayweather seated in the front row, the Nets put a beating on the Knicks that the boxing champion would have been proud of.

Yes, it was just preseason. No, it won’t count in the standings. But after rolling 117-83 on Sunday — and hammering their cross-river rivals twice in the span of three days — early returns say the Nets are the best basketball team in the city.

The Nets’ long-armed, versatile switching defense held the Knicks to 38.7 percent shooting, and 4-of-15 from beyond the 3-point arc. They had 13 steals and turned 25 turnovers into 35 points. And they turned that defense to offense, swing and moving the ball for 29 assists…

D’Angelo Russell had 16 points, seven assists and three steals, all team-highs.

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There are lots of minor injuries suffered in each NBA preseason. But it’s not a great sign when an injury is the same thing that hit a player during summer league. Still seems like no big deal for now, but here’s the NY Post reporting:

Frank Ntilikina will sit out his second straight preseason game — Sunday against the Nets — and is still considered day-to-day with a knee bruise, but the 19-year-old said he could return to action Monday night against the Rockets.

Ntilikina, who missed all of summer league because of the same injury, said he isn’t concerned the issue will linger much longer.

“It’s going to be all right,” Ntilikina said. “I’m feeling better, better than [Friday]. I did a lot of treatment on my knee. … This is a very long season, 82 games, so doing stupid things, trying to play even if my knee is not all right is not smart. So, it would be best for me be to be healthy and to be ready for the whole season.”

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The Knicks are rebuilding, but they have some talent who plan on winning right now. Not later. Well, they need to wait for the regular season to start. But then they plan on winning. Accuracy matters, people. Anyway, take new addition Enes Kanter, who is happy to discuss his classic big-man moves. Here’s New York Newsday with more:

Enes Kanter brings back-to-basket moves

Enes Kanter considers himself a throwback, a center who can play with his back to the basket and hurt teams with an array of post moves.

Those players are few and far between in the NBA, which is playing smaller and faster. But the Knicks hope to use Kanter’s skills to their advantage, and the Turkish big man believes he has multiple ways he can hurt teams.

“If you look at the NBA right now, you cannot give me three guys that play back to the basket anymore,” Kanter said after practice Thursday. “If you have a back-to-the-basket player and he can play, and he’s got the footwork, it’s over because if they’re going to send a double-team, if you make an extra pass, that’s it.”

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Knicks waive Jamel Artis

The Knicks have waived forward Jamel Artis.

Artis, 6-7, 215-pounds, appeared in one preseason game, scoring five points over 11 minutes. He was signed as an undrafted rookie free agent on Aug. 18, following a four-year collegiate career at the University of Pittsburgh.

He wasn’t expected to make the team, so this is not a surprise.

The roster stands at 19 players.

Generally, every team that isn’t in a serious rebuilding period aims to make the playoffs. And although it looks like the Knicks are rebuilding, Tim Hardaway Jr isn’t thinking that way. Here’s the NY Post reporting:

When Tim Hardaway Jr. was introduced to the estimated 4,000 fans inside the Garden for Sunday’s Knicks open practice/intrasquad scrimmage, he heard as loud a cheer as there was for Kristaps Porzingis.

If fans still are irate over the contract (four years, $71 million) Hardaway was given in July, they also seemed happy he’s back for a second stint. For his part, Hardaway isn’t thinking about his big payday but another “P”-word — playoffs.

“At this point, I really couldn’t care less,” Hardaway said of the July media/fan backlash. “People need to move on and move forward with that. That’s in the past. We got to get ready for the season. If they’re still harping on that, their mind’s on something else. I’m focused on the team and here to win. I know my teammates and coaching staff and everybody in that front office has to have faith and trust in me that I’m going to go out there and do everything to help the team win.

“My expectation is for this team to make the playoffs.”

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Some aspects of a team’s coaching are primarily handled by one coach. Other aspects are more of a group effort. Here’s the New York Post reporting on the latest Knicks coaching responsibility shift:

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Jeff Hornacek indicated Kurt Rambis won’t be in charge of the defense this season, losing his title of defensive coordinator. The Knicks head coach said it will be done by committee.

In the opening week of last season, with the defense struggling, Hornacek said Rambis would be the assistant in charge of defense. Things improved only marginally as the club changed how it defended pick-and-rolls.

In Phoenix, Hornacek carried Mike Longabardi as defensive coordinator. After Longabardi was fired by the Suns, he hooked on with the Cavaliers. Sources said Hornacek would have loved to have brought Longabardi, who has New York roots, to the Garden with him.

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Knicks waive Chasson Randle

The New York Knicks have waived guard Chasson Randle.

Randle, 6-2, 185-pounds, averaged 5.3 points and 12.5 minutes in 18 games off the bench for the Knicks during the 2016-17 season after signing with the team a second time on Feb. 27 following being waived by Philadelphia.

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