Archive for the ‘ New York Knicks Blog ’ Category

Kristaps Porzingis wins 2017 Skills Challenge

The Knicks are amid the throes of losing, but all Kristaps Porzingis did during All-Star Weekend was win.

After scoring 24 points in the World Team’s victory Friday in the Rising Stars Challenge, the 7-foot-3 Porzingis captured the Skills Challenge on Saturday, knocking off Gordon Hayward in the finals.

It marked the second straight year a big man has won the skills, after Karl-Anthony Towns captured the 2016 crown.

Sitting with a big gold trophy in the interview room and asked about tasting victory after a 23-34 start, Porzingis, the man nicknamed “The Unicorn” by Kevin Durant, beamed.

“It feels good to win no matter what,” Porzingis said. “Even yesterday it felt good to get a win.’’

– NY Post

Knicks legend Willis Reed knows what ails the franchise — not having Phil Jackson as its head coach.

Attending the Hall of Fame press conference Saturday, Reed, a Louisiana resident, told The Post that Jackson has assembled enough talent to win but needs a great coach. A coach like Jackson.

Reed never mentioned coach Jeff Hornacek by name, but said the Knicks aren’t getting the most out of their roster…

“Unfortunately for us as Knicks fans, if Phil Jackson had been coaching all year, we would’ve won more games,’’ Reed told The Post. “His toughness and ability to make guys concentrate, that’s what I loved about him as a coach. He got guys to play harder and smarter.”

– NY Post

Knicks beat Nets in Brooklyn

Both the Knicks and Nets are struggling this season, but it’s still fun to pay attention when NYC’s two teams play each other. Here’s the New York Post reporting on Wednesday’s result:

Knicks beat Nets in Brooklyn

Even Nets coach Kenny Atkinson had to admit the Knicks are Broadway, while his team is off-Broadway. They may have found a few promising young actors, but they wilted under the spotlight Wednesday against the Knicks.

The Nets folded in the fourth quarter of a 95-90 loss, a seventh straight defeat that saw the sellout crowd of 17,732 at Barclays Center largely taken over by blue-and-orange.

“I’d say we’re off-Broadway right now, and we’re trying to get on,” Atkinson said. “We know it’s a long road and a difficult road, but we’re trying to get in that conversation, in the New York conversation.”

If there were any conversation about this one, it wouldn’t be pleasant. For the second straight game, the Nets guarded well, but for the umpteenth time, they lost a game by getting hammered on the backboards and making untimely turnovers.

Washington Wizards assistant coach Sidney Lowe has been fined $5,000, and the Wizards’ organization has been fined $15,000, for Lowe’s standing on the playing court and potentially impacting game action during Washington’s 113-110 win over New York on Jan. 19 at Madison Square Garden, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

The 18-24 Knicks have lost eight of their last ten games through Tuesday’s action. They’re hoping not to lose Kristaps Porzingis for much longer. The talented young big hasn’t played in the last four games (including Wednesday night’s action). Here’s NY Newsday reporting:

Kristaps Porzingis and Joakim Noah will have MRIs Thursday

Kristaps Porzingis and Joakim Noah were unable to play Wednesday night, and both are scheduled to undergo MRIs Thursday morning on their respective injuries.

Porzingis has a sore left Achilles that kept him out for a fourth straight game. Noah sat out against the Celtics with a sprained left ankle.

Noah said his ankle swelled up after the plane ride to Boston and he was in so much pain he didn’t even test it out at shootaround or before the game. Porzingis went through shootaround and did a workout before the game.

New York Knicks center/forward Kyle O’Quinn has been fined $25,000 for striking and pushing New Orleans Pelicans forward/center Anthony Davis from behind, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

The incident, for which O’Quinn was assessed a Flagrant Foul 2 and ejected, occurred with 1:16 remaining in the third quarter of the Knicks’ 110-96 loss to the Pelicans on Jan. 9 at Madison Square Garden.

Latest Derrick Rose Knicks news

Is Derrick Rose doing OK? Well, he’s back with the Knicks. So, he’s physically fine. But mentally and emotionally? We’ll see. Here’s the New York Daily News reporting:

Latest Derrick Rose Knicks news

Derrick Rose is confident the issue that caused him to abruptly leave the Knicks on Monday has been resolved and that he’s back with the team for the long haul. But the veteran point guard also admitted that if he needed more time away from the Knicks he would not hesitate to ask the team for permission.

“No, not at all,” Rose said early Wednesday. “The relationship I’m building with Phil (Jackson) and Steve (Mills) I wouldn’t mind asking (for time off) if I needed it. But like I said, I feel fine and what happened a couple of days ago is just the past.”

Rose was fined but not suspended for going AWOL on Monday and missing the Knicks loss to the New Orleans Pelicans. Rose made the peculiar decision not to notify the team of his intentions to return to his hometown of Chicago Monday afternoon. Also, Rose refused to return repeated phone calls and text messages from team officials from several hours. The Knicks were so concerned about Rose that they sent an employee to his Manhattan apartment.

George Karl takes shots at Carmelo Anthony in new book

It has been more than five years since Carmelo Anthony played for George Karl, but that hasn’t stopped his old coach from taking shots at him.

Karl has a new book coming out in January, Furious George, which might make his former Nuggets players angrier than anyone. Karl’s book features a number of blindsided attacks on Anthony, who he coached in Denver from Anthony’s second season until he was traded in 2011.

““Carmelo was a true conundrum for me in the six years I had him,” Karl wrote. “He was the best offensive player I ever coached. He was also a user of people, addicted to the spotlight, and very unhappy when he had to share it.

“He really lit my fuse with his low demand for himself on defense. He had no commitment to the hard, dirty work of stopping the other guy. My ideal – probably every coach’s ideal – is when your best player also is your leader. But since Carmelo only played hard on one side of the ball, he made it plain and simple he couldn’t lead the Nuggets, even though he said he wanted to. Coaching him meant working around his defense and compensating for his attitude.”

Anthony knew the questions were coming and he took the high road after the Knicks beat the Magic, 106-95, mostly laughing off the comments.

“Nothing disappoints me anymore,” Anthony said. “I’m past being disappointed. I just hope that he finds happiness in what he’s doing. His book, hopefully will bring him happiness.

– Bergen Record

Quick Take: This is great publicity for the book. We’ll be reading it.

Derrick Rose returning for Knicks tonight

Knicks point guard Derrick Rose was one of the last players to leave the court after Monday’s practice as he tested his back to make sure he will be able to return to the lineup.

Rose went through the entire practice and reported no lower-back pain. He said the plan is for him to play Tuesday night when the Knicks face the Indiana Pacers to start a three-game homestand.

The former MVP, who missed about 58 percent of his team’s games during the previous five seasons as a member of the Chicago Bulls, said he’s not concerned that this will be a lingering issue despite missing the past two games and four of the last six with the back issue.

NY Newsday

Quick Take: The Knicks are 14-13 this season, which is tied with the Bulls for the 6th best record in the Eastern conference. The 3rd and 8th seeds in the East are only separated by one game. As for the Knicks, they need Rose healthy and effective if they hope to leapfrog that group.

Derrick Rose dealing with back spasms

Derrick Rose dealing with back spasms

Carmelo Anthony will return to the Knicks’ lineup Saturday against Denver after missing Thursday’s game because of soreness in his shoulder, the team said. Derrick Rose, however, will sit because of lingering discomfort from back spasms. He has missed four of the Knicks’ past six games because of the ailment.

Brandon Jennings is likely to start at point guard in place of Rose on Saturday.

Anthony’s return against his former team will be a welcome one for the Knicks, who are 0-11 in games Anthony has missed over the past two seasons.

– ESPN NY

Quick Take: Knicks fans definitely don’t want to hear the words “Derrick Rose” and “injury concerns.” I felt uncomfortable even typing that sentence. Hopefully he recovers soon.

Kristaps Porzingis puts up big game vs Lakers

Phil Jackson greatest move as Knicks president was on full and incredible display at the Staples Center, flaunted in front of the team that passed him up in the draft less than two years ago.

Kristaps Porzingis finished with a game-high 26 points, 12 rebounds and seven blocks, terminating his shooting slump emphatically in New York’s 118-112 victory Sunday over L.A.

The 21-year-old Latvian came into the game shooting just 30 percent over his previous five while dealing with a minor knee issue. Then he helped pummel the Lakers for the streaking Knicks’ fourth straight road win.

“I’ve been confident the whole time. Maybe it was just more getting shots in rhythm, good shots, and not being too anxious. Sometimes I try to force things a little too much and (Sunday) I wanted to slow down a little bit and take good shots. Good decisions” Porzingis said. “And it came to me, I really didn’t have to force things.”

NY Daily News

Quick Take: Porzingis is 7-foot-3, can run the fast break, and hit three-pointers. He’s got as much potential as any young player in the league. There is no reason to expect consistent play from him just yet, but it’s going to be very cool watching him continue to develop. And as he gets better, the Knicks will presumably go to him in more consistent fashion. And then the real fun begins.

Derrick Rose misses game vs Cavs

Derrick Rose misses game vs Cavs

Derrick Rose missed the Knicks’ game against Cleveland Wednesday night at the Garden because of lower back pain, the first game he’s missed since joining the team.

The point guard underwent an MRI on Wednesday, which the Knicks said revealed no structural damage. He’s day-to-day and is expected to travel with the Knicks on Thursday to the West Coast for their five-game road trip that begins Friday night in Sacramento.

Rose has missed 228 games over the last five seasons and made one of his goals to play in all 82 in his first year as a Knick.

NY Newsday

Quick Take: The Knicks are missing D-Rose early, trailing the Cavs by 16 points mid second quarter.

Joakim Noah back in action for Knicks

Jeff Hornacek, psychic.

Before Sunday night’s game, Hornacek spoke about the Knicks’ need to finish and step on opponents’ throats which sort of became a theme when the Knicks let a 21-point lead get whittled to one before winning. But earlier in the day, he told his wife he believed Brandon Jennings would have a big game.

Hornacek was 2-for-2. Jennings scored 19 points and made huge endgame plays.

“He gave us a big lift. I saw it this morning,” Hornacek said after the 106-98 victory against the Kings…

Joakim Noah back in action for Knicks

Joakim Noah returned from a two-game absence with a sprained ankle. Noah has battled a series of ills, including flu and a hamstring which everybody concedes has hindered his acclimation to a new system.

“I feel better, but I still have a lot of work to do. Can’t get frustrated with the process,” Noah said. “Our team is definitely playing a lot better basketball right now. So just keep focusing on the positive and just keep focusing on my improvement. I’ve had a lot of knick-knacks from the start of this. The hamstring, ankles, I got sick. I’m just trying to get some consistency right now. … It’s going to come.”

NY Post

Quick Take: Noah started the game, played almost 25 minutes, and only put up two points and five rebounds. He’s having an underwhelming season so far.

Joakim Noah returns to action for Knicks

Joakim Noah returns to action for Knicks

Joakim Noah was back for the Knicks — well, at least for three quarters.

After missing two games with an illness, Noah returned and started at center in the Knicks’ 113-111 overtime victory over the Hornets on Friday night at the Garden.

Noah played 18 minutes, none in the fourth quarter or overtime, and scored six points and grabbed eight rebounds. Coach Jeff Hornacek, who said he was concerned about a guy returning after an illness, praised Noah, saying he did well, but obviously was not 100 percent.

“Felt pretty good. I feel like it’s solid, coming off of being sick like that, just coming out and playing, it felt good,” said Noah who described his illness as being “sick, fever. I had the flu.”

NY Post

Quick Take: Noah has been playing 23.0 minutes per game for the Knicks this season, averaging 4.5 points, 8.8 rebounds and 3.3 assists. If his defense was more effective, his minutes would likely increase.

Here’s NY Newsday reporting on a Knick who is turning some heads in NYC:

Justin Holiday a pleasant surprise for Knicks

Justin Holiday is proving to be more than just a player who was put in the Derrick Rose trade to make the salaries match up.

Holiday, who scored 16 points and helped spark the Knicks’ win over the Mavericks Monday, has become one of Jeff Hornacek’s most entrusted players on both ends of the floor.

“Guys earn opportunities,” Hornacek said. “What Justin has done is he’s doing everything right. We’re not having to tell him two, three times how to guard something. Tell him once and he does it. He’s got great, especially on the defensive end, concepts of where he should be.”

Knicks defense needs big improvement

The latest example came on Sunday afternoon, when the club allowed 65 points to Utah in the second half of a 114-109 loss. They walked off the court with the worst defense, statistically, in the NBA.

The Knicks struggled, in particular, to defend the pick-and-roll. Utah’s George Hill created several open looks for his teammates with the play, which is part of the reason the Jazz made 24 of their 38 shots after halftime.

“We gave this game away,” Anthony said after New York fell to 2-4.

– ESPN NY

Knicks waive Lou Amundson, Cleanthony Early, Chasson Randle, J.P. Tokoto and Damien Inglis

The Knicks waived guards Chasson Randle and J.P. Tokoto and forwards Lou Amundson, Cleanthony Early and Damien Inglis today.

A few of these players may wind up playing for the Westchester Knicks, the team’s D-League affiliate.

Randle, 6-2, 185-pounds, was signed as an undrafted free agent on Aug. 4, 2016 and appeared in three preseason games, averaging 7.7 points over 15.7 minutes. Tokoto, 6-6, 200-pounds, was signed on Aug. 1, 2016 and appeared in three preseason games, averaging 2.7 points over 12.1 minutes. Amundson, 6-9, 220-pounds, scored two total points over 15 minutes over two preseason games. Early, signed on Oct. 18, and Inglis, signed on Oct. 11, did not appear in preseason action.

The Knicks roster now stands at 15 players.

Knicks guard Derrick Rose won his civil trial today. Here’s the NY Daily News reporting:

Derrick Rose found not liable in civil rape trial

A California jury has rejected a woman’s $21.5 million rape lawsuit against Knicks’ star Derrick Rose.

The jury deliberated for just under four hours Wednesday in Los Angeles federal court before finding the accuser hadn’t proven her claim that Rose and two friends gang-raped her while she was drunk or drugged in her central California apartment.

Rose showed no emotion as the verdict was read, and just shook his lawyer’s hand.

Outside of court, he said he was thankful the jury “understood and agreed with me.”

Knicks re-sign Cleanthony Early

Knicks re-sign Cleanthony Early

The Knicks today re-signed forward Cleanthony Early. He will likely begin the season playing in the D-League.

Early, 6-8, 210-pounds, averaged 1.8 points in 17 games for New York during his second NBA season in 2015-16, a year shortened by a right knee injury. He was assigned to the NBA D-League’s Westchester Knicks on four separate occasions, averaging 15.6 points and 7.3 rebounds in seven appearances.

The Bronx, NY-native was originally drafted by New York in the second round (34th overall) of the 2014 NBA Draft.

Preseason: Celtics beat Knicks 119-107

Saturday night in Madison Square Garden, the Celtics beat the Knicks 119-107.

In the win, R.J. Hunter led the Celtics with 17 points (6-of-8 shooting), plus two steals in just 12 minutes. Avery Bradley had 17 points (6-of-8), and two steals in 17 minutes. And new addition Al Horford shot 5-of-5, including 2-of-2 three-pointers, for 12 points, three rebounds, three assists and two blocks in just 16 minutes.

In the loss, The Knicks were led by 6-foot-8, 216-pound forward Mindaugas Kuzminskas, who had 18 points, 10 rebounds and three assists in just 19 minutes of play. Backup center Willy Hernangomez was also solid with 12 points and 12 rebounds in 24 minutes.

It’s preseason, and teams around the league, including Boston and New York, are essentially just warming up, and playing their starters very limited minutes.

Still, observations can be made:

We saw little from Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas today. No big deal.

Adding Horford sounded like a good move by Boston this offseason, and it sure looks that way on the court. Through the four preseason games he’s played, the former Atlanta Hawk is averaging 11.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.0 blocks in just 18 minutes per game. And he’s shooting 61.3% FG.

It’ll be interesting to watch Boston’s power forward rotation. The minutes breakdown there will be a compelling coaching decision.

For the Knicks, not having Derrick Rose (currently on trial in California) hurts. Rose has played just one preseason game for his new squad, and looked good. But chemistry development that should have taken place in preseason is now postponed.

But while Rose remains out, Joakim Noah was healthy enough to make his preseason debut. He had five points, five rebounds, an assist and two steals in 19 minutes. He looked rusty, which is to be expected. It’s hard to have a firm opinion on where he’s at just yet.

Kristaps Porzingis is fascinating to watch. As was the case most of last season. Within the first half-quarter of tonight’s game he hit a pair of threes and ran a fast break, which he finished with a bucket. That wound up being most of his production last night — minutes were limited. But he can do amazing things for a young player who stands 7-foot-3.

The Celtics are now 4-1 in preseason. The Knicks are 2-2.

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