BREAKING NEWS: Cavaliers Overhaul Roster

With just over an hour until the NBA trade deadline, the Cleveland Cavaliers made multiple, big, somewhat surprising moves. After only having played 15 games this season with the Cavaliers, Isaiah Thomas has been shipped out of town….

Lakers Get: Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye, and the Cavaliers’ 2018 1st-round pick

Cavaliers Get: Larry Nance Jr. and Jordan Clarkson 

Yesterday, Thomas was asked about how he felt playing for the Cavaliers. This question came in reaction to Thomas’ comments earlier in the week:

“That’s been our biggest problem all year, adjusting. Teams are going to make adjustments, and we have to do the same thing too, and we’re not that good at that right now.”

Yesterday’s response:

“I want to play where I’m wanted. I like it here. I’m tired of being traded.”

Apparently, LeBron and company weren’t too fond of Thomas’ original comments. That. Or his inability to play defense. Either one. In Thomas’ defense, he wasn’t afforded a lot of time to adjust to the Cavaliers’ system. Here’s a guy (Thomas), missing the 1st 38 games of the season due to injury, and after just 15 games, is sent packing.

Now, it’ll be a miracle if Thomas can lock down a big contract at the end of the season.

With Thomas and Frye both becoming unrestricted free agents at season’s end, the Lakers have cleared enough salary cap space for 2-max contracts. Did LeBron just mastermind this deal in order to create cap space for himself???? And Paul George too????

The Cavaliers, however, received young talent in Larry Nance Jr. and Jordan Clarkson.

The Cavaliers didn’t stop there. Evidently, they’re going for the record for trades at a single deadline.

The Cavaliers are also sending Dwayne Wade back to the Miami Heat for a heavily protected 2nd-round pick.

AND, the Cavaliers are ALSO sending Iman Shumpert to the Sacramento Kings, as well as Jae Crowder and Derrick Rose to the Utah Jazz. In return, the Cavaliers will receive Rodney Hood from the Utah Jazz and George Hill from the Kings.

Take a deep breath, and try to keep up….

The Kings will also receive Joe Johnson from the Jazz.

To recap….

Cavaliers Added:                                             Cavaliers Subtracted:

Larry Nance Jr.                                                Isaiah Thomas

Jordan Clarkson                                              Channing Frye

George Hill                                                        Iman Shumpert

Rodney Hood                                                    Jae Crowder

                                                                               Derrick Rose

                                                                               Dwayne Wade

The Cavaliers tax bill will jump to $50 million with the acquisitions of Hood and Hill. Without a commitment from LeBron James beyond this season, this seems silly. They must think these moves gives them a shot against the Golden State Warriors. They would be wrong.

Once your head stops spinning, check back for more updates on the wild, 2018 NBA Trade Deadline….

 

What do you think of these trades?? Tell me in the comment section below.

You can now find me on the Radio too. Download the TuneIn Radio App and search OWWR. I’ll be on live every Wednesday from 6:10 P.M. – 8:00 P.M EST. I also broadcast every show on Facebook Live via my DaveTalksSports.com Facebook Page: http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports.

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like my page on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. You can also Subscribe to my YouTube Channel: DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading!! Now go tell all your friends!!

 

 

 

Tank Mode Is In Full Effect

jr smith

The New York Knicks were able to trade who?!?!  That’s right sports fans, someone voluntarily took on J.R. Smith.  In a three-team, six-player trade, the Knicks traded Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith to the Cleveland Cavaliers.  In turn, the Cavaliers traded Dion Waiters to the Oklahoma City Thunder and Alex Kirk, Lou Amundson, and a 2019 second-round pick to the Knicks.  The Thunder will send Lance Thomas to the Knicks along with a protected 2015 first-round pick to the Cavs.  This trade took place just before tip-off of last night’s games, so none of these players suited up for their respective teams.  The Knicks also waived Samuel Dalembert which will clear $3.8 million of cap space.

This is a good trade for all three teams.  The Thunder added a solid scorer in Waiters for a first-round pick and a throw-in player, making the Thunder a good team who just got better.  The Cavs got two rotation players for the price of one, so as long as Lebron James can corral J.R. Smith, this trade will help the Cavs this season.  And the lowly Knicks continued to clear cap space, including $6.4 million owed to J.R. Smith, in hopes to find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  The best part of this deal, by a mile, is that the Knicks were able to rid themselves of the cancer that is J.R. Smith.  Some people believe that the Knicks gave Shumpert away for nothing, but he is hurt, again, and probably wouldn’t have been re-signed following this season anyway.  The Knicks now have only 4 players under contract for next season in Carmelo Anthony, Jose Calderon, Tim Hardaway Jr., and Cleanthony early.

Just when you thought the 76ers knew how to tank, the Knicks are going to show them a thing or two.  Following last night’s loss, the Knicks have now lost 12 straight games, tying a franchise record.  The Knicks have the worst record in the league at 5-32, and there is no doubt they are en route to the #1 overall pick in the draft.  Now this may be wishful thinking, but I think Phil Jackson planned on tanking this season all along.  He obviously would never admit it, but I’d bet the polygraph would side with me on this one.  He traded Tyson Chandler just so he could rid himself of Raymond Felton’s contract, and last night he did the same with Shumpert and Smith.  He will certainly be waiving the three bench players he just acquired, so he doesn’t have to pay them.  And now he is left with a pile of cash in hand, and his reputation, in hopes to attract a group of free agents who will bring winning ways back to the Big Apple.

Do you still believe in Phil??  Or have you lost faith in the Zen Master??  Let me know in the comment section below.

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

One Liner Friday’s

Hey Derrick Rose, how’s your knee feeling?

Are you comfy?

Those chairs on the bench do look pretty comfy.

I think it’s safe to say that the Miami Heat are done messing around.

No no, don’t stop shooting J.R. Smith, please don’t!

Tigah Tigah Woods y’all.

If the Yankees can win with a Minor League lineup, why can’t the Mets?

Yay, Floyd Mayweather won…….again.

That lady at the Miami Heat game looks so nice I think I want to invite her over for thanksgiving dinner.

You know instant replay doesn’t work if your looking at a TV from 1979, right?

Valiant effort New York Islanders (I hate you Sidney Crosby, I hate you).

Stephen Curry is really really good at basketball.

Does anyone on the planet have a smoother jumper than Curry?

There is one word and one word only to properly describe Matt Harvey and that word is FILTHY!!

Hey Los Angeles Angels, you guys stink!

Don’t you have to do something wrong to get ejected from a Major League Baseball Game?

Apparently John Hirchbeck didn’t know that when he threw Bryce Harper out of a game for not saying excuse me after he burped.

Hey Jason Kidd, the baskets that way
——–>

Phil Jackson, hi, we all know you are a great coach, but just stay home, be retired, and enjoy the rest of your life.

The NBA needs to fire whoever schedules their games.

Whoever decided that the Heat and Spurs series’ should play Wednesday/Friday while the Knicks and Thunder series’ should play Tuesday/Saturday needs to see a doctor immediately.

I’m surprised no one is making a big deal out of that.

By the way, could NBA players dress worse?

I don’t think so.

And finally if you missed Iman Shumpert’s dunk from Game 2 of the Knicks/Pacers series then click here:

http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=uirM5sljfO8

This has been another installment of One Liner Friday’s.

Please comment in the section below with your feedback.

Thanks.

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

Now That’s More Like It!!

The Knicks entered Tuesday’s game 2 with their backs against the wall. This game was being looked at like a game 7 for the Knicks, and not too many people were giving them much of a chance after their performance in game 1. Everyone (well almost everyone) was talking about the Knicks possibly being swept by the Indiana Pacers and how bad of a matchup they are for the Knicks. Yes, the Pacers are tall, defensive minded, and physical, but there’s a reason they are the 3 seed and not the 1 seed. They struggle to score the basketball, and anyone with a brain should have realized that D.J. Augustin and Lance Stephenson aren’t going to score a combined 27 points every night. The game 1 loss was also more on the Knicks and their lack of effort than anything else. Now, some of what we saw may never happen again, statistically speaking. I mean 30-2 runs don’t happen everyday. However, it is the style of play and the desire to win we saw in game 2 that the Knicks can duplicate going forward. Let’s breakdown what transpired at Madison Square Garden last night.

The Knicks jumped out of the gate to an early lead last night. They got the crowd involved in the game, and it seemed as if they had a definite game plan and they stuck to it. Or, they finally read my last post about what they need to do in order to beat the Pacers. They did just about everything I said they needed to do. They pushed the pace, they played great defense, and their offense was efficient (except for J.R.). He has been beyond awful. Why he stopped taking the ball to the basket I’ll never understand. I must put some of his poor decision making on Coach Woodson. If I were Woodson, I would sit Smith down and say, “Son, you don’t shoot from outside of 15 feet unless you are WIDE OPEN or the shot clock is under 2 seconds!” If he doesn’t listen then you sit his ass on the bench for Iman Shumpert. Speaking of Iman Shumpert, let me just say ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh babyyyyyyyyyyyyy!! Was that dunk awesome or was that dunk awesome? His ferocious dunk from last night was filthy, dirty, and it was disgusting! For those of you who missed it, click below to check out Iman Shumpert’s sick one handed put back:

His athleticism is outstanding and he’s a special talent when he’s 100% healthy (as you can see he now is). Now if you go back to that video and pause it at 12 seconds you can actually see his hair hit the ceiling. It’s pretty cool. Anyway, there was 1 component to the Knicks victory that stuck out above the rest; their swarming help defense. Any success the Knicks have had or are going to have starts with their defense. As for last night they helped each other, they rotated to the ball, and they forced numerous turnovers. They won the turnover battle 21-6. Without that same defensive intensity throughout the rest of the series, the Knicks will not advance to the next round. Solid defense is also so important because it turns into easy offense. The Knicks scored 32 points off of turnovers, making life a whole lot easier. As for their offense, like I said earlier, they pushed the pace, they swung the ball, and they made quick decisions. Most importantly Carmelo Anthony let the game come to him instead of forcing the issue. It’s no secret formula, but when you normally shoot the ball a million times and then one day you decide to pass the ball and wait for it to cycle back to you, you find yourself OPEN, magically. It’s shocking I know. Melo didn’t get to the free throw line as often as you’d like to see, but he was 50% from the field going 13 for 26. He finished with 32 points and 9 rebounds, which was clearly his best game of the playoffs so far. I would be committing a crime though if I didn’t give credit to Iman Shumpert. He played a fantastic all around game, and maybe now Woodson will leave him on the floor down the stretch.

Now the run in the end of the 3rd and beginning of the 4th quarter was impressive, but don’t forget that the score of this game at one point was 64-62, Pacers. The Knicks after jumping out to an early lead, slowly regressed back to their usual selves. There was a stretch toward the end of the first half and the beginning of the second half where they looked like they were going to let a victory slip through their fingers. As I’ve been saying all year, they lack a killer instinct. In the playoffs that’s one attribute you’d love to have in your back pocket. But in the end we must give them credit for their resiliency. They fought back and went on that historic run to not just close the door on this game but slam it. I think we will see the Knicks carry this momentum to Indiana. I think they will take the Pacers down in game 3 on Saturday. To watch all the action tune in to ABC @ 8:00 p.m. I see another low scoring affair in the Pacers future. 94-89, Knicks. You can book this one too.

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

Okay We Are Going To Start Trying….Ummm…..Starting Now!

Can the Indiana Pacers play any better, and can the New York Knicks possibly play any worse? I don’t think so. I’m not trying to make any excuses for the Knicks. Trust me, I watched that entire game and let me be the first person to say that the Knicks made me throw up in my mouth; twice. Now, I’m also not trying to take anything away from the Pacers victory, but everyone needs to hop off that panic button once again. Let me shed some light on what the Knicks have done and what they need to do to make it past the Pacers.

If J.R. Smith can remember that he is allowed to take the ball to the basket, they might fare better in the rest of the series. And Mr. Anthony is not getting let off the hook so easily either. Since the end of game 3 against the Boston Celtics, he has been downright awful! We all know the statistics, so I’m not going to bore you with those. He, and the rest of the Knicks, are a jack up shots and hope they go in team right now. Despite what everyone thinks, their best recipe for success is not to live and die by the 3. Yes, they succeed when they hit OPEN 3-pointers at a high percentage, but they really work best off of dribble penetration by Raymond Felton or Carmelo Anthony. This either leads to a bucket or trip to the foul line for Anthony, or an open shot for Felton or Iman Shumpert. Their other best offensive option is the high pick and roll involving any combination of Felton/Pablo Prigioni and Kenyon Martin/Tyson Chandler. This has led to the best offensive possessions the Knicks have seen all year. For some reason Mike Woodson doesn’t stick with what works. No matter how good the Knicks look at times they always revert back to their old habits (Iso-Melo). What Woodson needs to preach is sound defense first and smart offense second. They also need to recognize that the pace of play from game 1 completely favors the Pacers. The Pacers want to slow the ball down and work the ball through the low post (because they have a clear size advantage). The Knicks should look to push the pace at all times and take Roy Hibbert and their other big men out of play. And for the love of god, Coach, please leave Jason Kidd at the hotel napping next time you head over to the arena. He is god awful. Even when he’s wide open he doesn’t shoot the ball, so what’s the point of having him out there anyway? I’ve been screaming this from the hill tops all season, but Woodson has this secret love affair with Kidd that no one else is talking about. And at the same time, he has this odd hatred for Iman Shumpert that I can’t seem to figure out. Shumpert, especially against a defensive minded team is one of your most valuable weapons. They need Shumpert’s young legs and energy on both ends of the floor. And think about any of the Knicks fast breaks that aren’t being led by Raymond Felton. They’re being led by Shumpert aren’t they? Chew on that thought for a minute while I delve into what occurred on the Knicks home court Sunday afternoon.

As I stated before, the Pacers played a very solid game on Sunday, especially their role players. Now if Lance Stephenson is going to have a double double every night and D.J. Augustin is going to hit 45 three pointers than the Knicks have no chance in this series. However, if you want me to realistically believe that that’s going to happen, that also is not going to happen. I just can’t see the Knicks rolling over and dying in this series. Maybe I’m telling you what I want to see more than what I think, but for everyone’s sake they better show a better effort than they did in game 1. I think we will all see what this team is made of in game 2. At this point in the season, they need to lay it all on the line and leave every ounce of energy on that floor Tuesday night. I think they’ll stand up to the challenge and win what is without a doubt their biggest game of the year. It’s playoffs time baby! It’s do or die! 99-88 Knicks. Book it.

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!

Do you know that expression, “Act like you’ve been there before, and act like you’re going there again”? Obviously the New York Knicks have never heard that one before. Now let me just say that I am so angry/frustrated/upset with the Knicks performance Wednesday night that I almost didn’t write this article. However, I need to get my point across to express just how PITIFUL they were last night. Im going to very briefly start with the positives from last night: The MVP of the Knicks roster so far in this series has without question been Raymond Felton. Felton needs to stop complaining to the ref’s every time he’s called for a foul or doesn’t get a foul call, but other than that he’s been great. Last night Iman Shumpert played a nice game as well, but he is still young and raw and gets ahead of himself too often. However, his defensive intensity is unmatched and should be utilized as a weapon for the Knicks (ahem, Coach Woodson, that message is for you). Shumpert was clearly the only person who could slow down or agitate Paul Pierce last night, but somehow I kept watching Raymond Felton or Old Man River (Jason Kidd) try to guard him. Positives, check. Let’s move on to the negatives. This may take a while so get comfortable.

The negatives for the Knicks started well before the opening tip of game 5 in Madison Square Garden. They started with the insanely moronic and boneheaded elbow thrown by J.R. Smith to Jason Terry’s face. This action as we all know resulted in a flagrant 2 foul, an immediate ejection from game 3, and ultimately a suspension for game 4. We also all know that the Knicks despite their best comeback efforts dropped game 4 in overtime. Now there is almost no way, on paper, for you to comprehend the hatred I have for the way the Knicks have carried themselves as of late. Forget the on court ineptitude, I’m speaking to their off court behavior. First, J.R. Smith decides to open his big ol’ mouth after the game 4 loss. He said that the Knicks would have won if he had played, and he would be spending his day off playing golf somewhere instead of preparing for game 6. Oh yeah??? That’s what WOULD have happened IF you played? That’s nice, and if the queen had balls she’d be the king. How about you (J.R.) shut your stupid mouth and apologize for your senseless actions that ultimately hurt your team. How about you say that you have grown on and off the court this season and you feel horrible that you let your emotions get the best of you in a game that was already out of reach. And lastly, how about you assure your teammates, organization, and fans alike that you will not allow anything like this to happen ever again. This is the playoffs! You need to keep your composure and stay focused on the task at hand at all times. I guess these things would have been too much to ask for huh? Silly me. Second, the Knicks decide that there is no chance on this heavenly earth that they could lose game 5 on their home court. So what do they do? They all decide to dress in all black as if they are attending a funeral for the Boston Celtics. YOU STAY CLASSY SAN DIEGO!! How are you going to act this immaturely in the midst of the 1st round of the playoffs and think it’s okay?? Plus, can anybody say bad timing? I’m sure the Einstein’s behind this idea didn’t have any real malice behind this stunt, but following the tragedy in Boston you’d think New Yorker’s would be a little more sensitive to any inclination toward death. News flash: This is the 1st round and you are the 2 seed. They are the 7 seed. You are supposed to win this series handily. So win it already. As for their lackluster play on the court, what is the main reason for Knicks losses this season?

Is it:

A.) They get early leads and don’t know how to blow team’s out?

B.) They play lazy defense with no intensity or purpose?

C.) Coach Woodson doesn’t utilize his roster effectively?

D.) They turn into a one on one isolation team that stands around and watches Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith jack up bad shots?

While most of you would pick D, the answer is actually secret option E, all of the above. These are the main reasons that the Knicks lose. This is why they lost game 5, and this is how they will lose this series if they don’t give themselves a serious wake up call. Whenever they wake up and answer that call, let me provide you with a little insight into what they need to do. Even when Melo looks to pass first he still get’s his 25-30 shots, simply because he’s Melo and that’s what he does, he shoots. The defense from the 2nd half of game 2 is what they need to copy going forward. And lastly it would be nice to see Coach Woodson get passed his hatred for Shumpert, and let him play extended minutes. He appears to be 100% and needs to put Paul Pierce on lockdown. I don’t know if the Knicks will solve all of these problems all at once, but they are an enigma sometimes. One day they will play like the Charlotte Bobcats and the next day they will play like the best team in the league. That is why the Knicks will turn right around and close out this series Friday night in Boston. It might have a little to do with an aging Celtics team playing on short rest as well, who knows? Tune in to ESPN on Friday night at 7:00 p.m. to watch the drama unfold. And ah hell, Let’s Go Knicks!!

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

Knicks Defense Stifles Celtics

The atmosphere inside the World’s Most Famous Arena Tuesday night was electrifying. The crowd was in the game from start to finish, and the Knicks were able to match the fans intensity. That intensity really showed itself on the defensive end. Let me just say that if the Knicks play defense the way they did in the 2nd half, they will give Miami a run for their money. This game was a tale of two halves. In the first half, the Celtics played efficiently on the offensive end and they applied solid pressure on the defensive end. The first quarter was back and forth until J.R. Smith took over. His pure athleticism coupled with his acrobatic shots put the Knicks on top heading to the 2nd quarter. Smith was able to score 5 points inside the final 7 seconds of the 1st quarter to leave the Knicks ahead by 6. His final shot at the buzzer was a step back 3-pointer from about 40 feet. The Garden erupted, and it looked like the Knicks were going to cruise to an easy victory. The Celtics, however, had other plans. The Celtics turned up their defense and started pushing the ball up the floor off of turnovers. With the pace of play being turned up a notch, this created open shots for Jason Terry. Terry finally found his range as he hit three consecutive three pointers and helped the Celtics grab a six point advantage heading into halftime. The 2nd half did not exactly go as well as the 1st for the Celtics. The 3rd quarter of Tuesday night’s game was an exact blueprint of what the Knicks need to do to win. The Knicks energy and defensive intensity was phenomenal. They forced numerous turnovers and their defensive pressure stifled the old men in green. Paul Pierce has always looked like he’s running in quicksand, but I think it’s safe to say he’s nearing the bottom of the hill. Kevin Garnett on the other hand never got anything going due to early foul trouble. This time it seemed that he was the one frustrated by his opposition (and Carmelo didn’t even have to say anything about his wife, hmm go figure). The Knicks defense was intense, it was swarming, it was physical, and best of all it sent a message to the rest of the league. The Knicks in 2 straight games have held the Celtics to 24 and 23 2nd half points; respectively. Thats insane! Now all they need to do is commit themselves completely to that hard nose style of play, and they’ll be all set. And let me branch off here for a second to spend a little time to give credit where credit is due. Kenyon Martin is the man! I love Kenyon Martin’s game (and if you don’t you need to have your head examined). My favorite part of any game is when a player drives down the middle of the lane thinking he has a free path to the basket for a dunk. Little does he know that Kenyon Martin is not just waiting, he’s salivating for such an opportunity. What comes next is the best part. Kenyon either takes the player down in a way that the player says to himself, “I better not try that again”, or he comes away with a monster block. Either way Kenyon Martin is sending this message: (which I approve) Don’t you bring that weak stuff up in here boy! (And then he screams at the crowd which is awesome!). And that right there is what you should love about Kenyon Martin and the dynamic he brings to this roster. Plus, his wry smile at the ref every time he commits a ‘foul’ is pretty amusing too. Anyway, let’s get back to the matter at hand. We know what Melo brings to the table, and we think we know what J.R. Smith brings as well. But what we don’t know is how consistently Raymond Felton can play with the aggressive nature we saw Tuesday night. Felton was by far the player of the game last night. I know I know, Melo had all those points, but without Felton’s contributions that game would have ended differently. So, if Chandler, Shumpert, and Martin bring the defense while Melo and Melo Jr. bring the offense, all we need is little Raymond Felton to penetrate the defense and either dish or attack the basket. With Felton as a viable 3rd offensive weapon the Knicks stand a serious chance in the Eastern Conference. All the Knicks need to do now is not have a let down like we’ve all grown accustom to. They can’t get comfortable with a 2 game lead (especially with those 2 wins coming at home). They need to stay focused as
they enter the hostile environment that will be the TD Garden in Boston. Even with the declining play from Boston’s stars, Boston is going to be the toughest place to play for the foreseeable future, trust me. The Knicks need to keep their defensive intensity up and win game 3. Then they’ll be in the drivers seat. You can catch game 3 of the New York Knicks vs. the Boston Celtics on Friday night @ 8:00 p.m. Tune into ESPN to catch all the action. Enjoy the rest of the series everybody.

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

Carmelo’s Return Spoiled

Wednesday night marked the first game for Carmelo Anthony in Denver since being traded from the Nuggets.  The Denver Nuggets traded Anthony for a host of players and draft picks to the New York Knicks back in 2011.  When it comes to players being traded, sometimes you have players that become a cancer in a locker room or bring more drama to a team than a daytime soap opera.  However in Melo’s case, he and the Nuggets were in mutual agreement that it was time to move on.  Carmelo had always wanted to come back home and play in the city where he grew up, the one, the only, New York City.  At the same time, the Denver Nuggets found a way to get numerous promising young players and future draft picks in return for Anthony.  The trade turned out to be a win-win situation.  With that being said, I have never been more embarrassed for an entire fan base than I was for the IGNORANT Denver Nuggets fans that were in attendance Wednesday night.  From the second they introduced Carmelo Anthony to the starting lineup, they booed him.  As if that wasn’t bad enough, they booed him every single time he touched the ball.  To that I say, ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?  And to make matters even worse, when Melo left the game in the 3rd quarter due to a banged up knee, the fans felt it was necessary to chant, “Where is Melo?”  Really?  Does that make you feel better?  This is not like Lebron James’ situation, where he left his team high and dry and they reverted back to the horrible team they were prior to his arrival.  It is not like Melo left the city he grew up in to chase the money.  NO, he wanted to come home and play basketball in the greatest arena on earth.  Now I know that fans aren’t always as smart as they let on, but I thought they were going to get this one right.  While everyone was wondering what kind of reception Melo would get from the crowd, I kept saying they have to cheer him.  For all he did for this team, they’d be the dumbest fans in all the world to boo him.  Well, if the shoe fits…….  So clearly, the fans that filled the Nuggets arena are classless and don’t understand anything about the NBA.  They clearly can’t look at Carmelo’s career as a Denver Nugget objectively and say, man he was great, he took us to the playoffs literally every year he played here (including his rookie season).  Say what you want about Carmelo Anthony’s game.  Tell me he’s not good enough to win a championship.  Tell me his style of play is not conducive to the “team” mentality.  You can even tell me he doesn’t have the work ethic of a Lebron James or a Michael Jordan.  But don’t tell me he didn’t give the Denver Nuggets everything he had for 7+ seasons.  Don’t tell me the Nuggets would have been a playoff team 7 years in a row without him.  And, you definitely can’t tell me that he wasn’t the reason you came out to the arena to watch the team every night.  So to all the Denver Nuggets fans who booed and heckled Carmelo Anthony, I say go back to school because you obviously don’t have any class.

As for the game, it was pathetic.  Man I get tired of using that word.  As I stated earlier, Carmelo Anthony left the game in the 3rd quarter due to his knee acting up again.  Carmelo Anthony is clearly not 100%, and they need to rest him so he’s healthy for the playoffs.  If a player is going to suit up, they need to be able to give it their all, every night.  And right now, he can’t do that.  Will having his knee drained solve all of his problems?  I don’t know, but I sure hope it does.  A very scary moment came in the 2nd quarter when Tyson Chandler went down after banging knees with Corey Brewer.  As of now the Knicks are calling it a knee contusion.  When asked about it after the game, Chandler said it shouldn’t be a problem and hopefully we’ll see him in uniform Thursday night.  Thursday night they continue their tough road trip against the Portland Trailblazers, and it would serve the Knicks well to have Chandler in there to slow down LaMarcus Aldridge (he’s pretty good).  If you haven’t figured it out by now the Knicks got blown out for the second straight game.  They lost the game 117-94.  While Melo and Chandler left the game and Raymond Felton’s woes continued, there was one positive to be taken away from Wednesday nights shellacking.  Iman Shumpert showed us that he can actually score the basketball.  Since always, I’ve been preaching that he is wildly underrated on the offensive end and once his knee is back to 100%, he will show the world that he can shoot.  Last night was a prime example of that.  Shumpert scored 20 points on 8 of 10 shooting from the field (which included going 4 for 5 from 3-point range).  So being the glass half full guy that I am (haha), let us take away only the positive (yes that’s positive in the singular form because there was only one) from last night’s game.  Other than that last night’s game was a complete and total disaster, and I’m not sure it can get any worse for the New York Knicks.  They need to pick off 1 or 2 of the 3 games remaining on this road trip and crawl their way back to New York with some confidence.  Luckily for them, the Utah Jazz are playing like the worst team in the galaxy right now, and that is where they finish their road trip.  But first, they will be in Portland Thursday night to take on the Blazers.  You can find that game on TNT at 10:30 P.M.  Personally, I can’t wait for them to finish this road trip so I can start going to bed at a reasonable time.  But hey, it’s not all about me now is it?

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook athttp://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

Phantom Injury Sparks Comeback

Let us rewind to Monday evening at around 8:00 P.M.  The Knicks were getting BLOWN OUT by the Cleveland Cavaliers.  We were witnessing one of the most embarrassing performances of the year in the NBA.  The expletives that were flying around my head are words I would never dare say out loud.  The Knicks looked like they were running in quick sand.  They looked sluggish, and lazy, and they were playing uninspired basketball.  During the 1st quarter, you saw the Knicks go from up 2 points to down 10.  However, the 2nd quarter is where the flood gates opened.  The Cavaliers led by Marreese Speights, simply couldn’t miss.  Speights went a perfect 10 for 10 in the 1st half.  This is a Cavaliers team who is ranked dead last in field goal percentage.  Was it the Knicks poor defense that contributed to the Cavaliers offensive explosion, or was it simply a hot streak that couldn’t be stopped?  I’d like to think it was a combination of both, but the Cavaliers were shooting 81% from the field and found themselves with a 22 point lead less than four and a half minutes into the 2nd quarter.  Yes you read that right, the Cavaliers were beating the Knicks by 22 in the 2nd quarter.  Then, in a blink of an eye, everything changed.  With 6:48 left in the 1st half, Carmelo Anthony caught an outlet pass near half court.  As he caught the pass he tripped over his own two feet and fell down.  It looked awkward, it looked like it could have been slightly painful, but all in all it didn’t look too serious.  Carmelo Anthony picked himself up and walked (not limped) his way to the locker room.  Minutes later, we found out that he would not return to the game.  Amar’e Stoudemire took Anthony’s place in the game, and sparked an immediate comeback.  In just over one minute, the Knicks cut the lead from 22 to 15.  The Cavaliers quickly took a timeout and tried to regroup.  That did not help, as the Knicks cut the lead back to single digits.  The Knicks accomplished this by attacking the basket and cutting down on their three point attempts (other than J.R. Smith).  J.R. Smith added a much needed 18 points but went 1-7 from three-point range.  Smith is very athletic and can pretty much get to the basket at will.  He needs to concentrate more on that and spend less time jacking up countless three pointers.  With a combination of Amar’e Stoudemire’s effective post game and efficient outside shooting by the rest of the team, the Knicks staged an epic comeback.  The Knicks scratched and clawed their way back into this game and with four minutes left in the 3rd quarter, the score was knotted at 64.  The Knicks turned up the heat on defense and held the Cavaliers to just 13 points in the 3rd quarter.  These teams battled back and forth throughout the rest of the game, but in the end the Knicks proved to be too much for the Cavaliers to handle.  They pulled out a tough (much needed) victory, 102-97.

When Carmelo Anthony went down for the count in the 1st half, the Knicks found a way to pull together and storm their way back into this game.  It was truly a team effort led by Amar’e Stoudemire.  Amar’e scored 22 points on 10 of 15 shooting from the field.  Running the offense through Amar’e allowed the Knicks to play a nice inside out game.  If Amar’e wasn’t able to take the ball to the hoop aggressively, he kicked the ball out to an open man.  The Knicks found effective outside shooting from Jason Kidd and Steve Novak.  Novak made four timely three pointers, while Kidd added three of his own.  It’s nice to see Jason Kidd find his stroke, as he added 12 points off the bench.  Mike Woodson still seems to have a problem with Iman Shumpert though because he seemed to find his stroke as well in the 1st quarter.  He hit three of his first four shots but only racked up six total shots for the entire game (in 19 minutes).  I really hope that Woodson is just being cautious with Shumpert’s knee because the Knicks are going to need his production on both ends of the floor if they have any plans of making a run in the playoffs.  I find myself using the same expression over and over again, but ‘a win is a win’ no matter how it looks.  For now that might work against the Cavaliers and the Wizards, but come playoff time that is not going to cut it against the Miami Heat (if they get that far).  The Knicks have a much needed day off today, but will continue their road trip against the Detroit Pistons, Wednesday night at 7:30 P.M.

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well.  Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports.  Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

So Close But Yet So far

Lebron James is better than Carmelo Anthony.  It is as simple as that (it also doesn’t hurt to have Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh on your team too).  Sunday afternoon, Lebron showcased his all around skills and proved why the Heat are the team to beat in the NBA.  This basketball game was a tale of two halves, and it took a turn when the best player in the world took the game over.  The Knicks opened the game with loads of energy, and Madison Square Garden seemed to be filled with that “playoff” electricity.  The Knicks played a nearly perfect first half and at one point had a 16 point lead over the Heat.  Carmelo Anthony came out on fire and hit 4 out of his first 5 shots.  He also got to the free throw line 4 times in the first quarter, hitting 8 out of 9 free throws.  Jason Kidd finally woke from his slumber and decided to hit 4 three-pointers in the first half.  As a Knicks fan I loved what I saw in the first half, but I had this sneaking suspicion that the Heat weren’t down for the count.  A 14 point halftime lead was cut to only 4 with 6:52 still left in the third quarter.  How did that happen you say?  Well, Chris Bosh came out of the locker room like a bat out of hell, scoring 7 points in the first 3 minutes of the third quarter.  Now, the Knicks showed great perseverance stretching the lead back out to 11 points with 2 minutes left in the 3rd quarter.  And from there it was the Lebron James show.  Lebron took the responsibility of guarding Carmelo Anthony for the entire 2nd half.  Lebron shut him down, limiting Melo to only 8 2nd half points.  He also helped the Heat close the 3rd quarter on an 8-1 run, cutting the lead back down to 4.  Melo did start the 4th quarter with a quick basket, but Lebron came right back and hit the two biggest shots of the game.  He nailed back to back three-pointers tying the game at 79.  Both teams traded baskets over the next couple minutes, but when the Heat took the lead with 4:28 to go, they wouldn’t relinquish the lead for the rest of the game.  The Knicks still had a chance when they were down 4, with the ball, and 30 seconds to play, however what transpired next became the nail in the coffin for the Knicks.  J.R. Smith threw a lazy pass across the top of the key toward Carmelo Anthony.  Lebron jumped the passing lane, stole the ball, and threw down a ferocious dunk.  This put the game out of reach, and the Heat won 99-93.  This has also officially put the Eastern Conference out of reach.

The name of this game was defense.  The Knicks started the game with great intensity.  They were playing solid team defense.  They were doubling, and switching, and rotating perfectly in their defensive assignments.  This kept the Heat’s offense at bay and allowed them to sustain a lead throughout the entire 1st half.  Lebron though, headlined the defensive attack for the Heat in the 2nd half.  Like I mentioned earlier, he completely shut down a tired Carmelo Anthony and forced the rest of the Knicks to beat them (that obviously did not happen).  The Heat’s swarming defense forced 18 turnovers by the Knicks.  This is very uncharacteristic for the Knicks who only average just over 11 turnovers per game.  The turnovers were crucial in this game, and they all seemed to come at inopportune times for the Knicks.  On top of his stellar defense, Lebron also added 29 points, 11 rebounds, and 7 assists (just another day at the office).  This is clearly Lebron’s team, but everyone needs to realize just how fortunate he is to have such a talented player by his side.  Dwayne Wade had 20 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists.  Combined they shot over 50% from the field, and were just 2 rebounds and 5 assists away from having 2 TRIPLE DOUBLES.  It’s basically unfair, but I’ll save my excuses for a later date.  We all know how good the Heat are, the story here is the Knicks and their confused lineup.  I like Mike Woodson finally making a move in changing up the starting lineup, but JAMES WHITE?!?!  I know it’s not a real thing, that it’s just a move to bring Kidd off the bench, but JAMES WHITE?!?!  James White shouldn’t be on an NBA roster, and he is starting for the third best team in the Eastern Conference?  Are you serious Mr. Woodson?  You might as well call up the Oklahoma City Thunder and try to get Ronnie Brewer back.  At least when he started games for the Knicks, they were winning.  What the Knicks need to do is insert Amar’e Stoudemire into the starting lineup at the 4, and allow Shumpert and Melo to slide down into their natural positions to the 2 and 3 respectively.  This will allow Melo to roam free offensively and not take on the task of guarding power forwards on the other end of the floor.  Amar’e can still manage to stay under 30 minutes per game, and should keep the Knicks from getting down early in games.  This has been one of the biggest parts of the Knicks downfall over the last two months.  Coach Woodson should also go back to resting Carmelo Anthony at the start of the 4th quarter.  Melo is not a guy who can play 40-plus minutes every night and still remain effective.  No matter what the Knicks do with their lineup going forward, they need to play defense and scale back the amount of three-pointers they shoot.  It makes them too streaky, and streaky in the NBA doesn’t win Championships.

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well.  Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports.  Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!