Melo Takes Paycut to Return to Knicks

carmelo-anthony

After weeks of deliberation, Carmelo Anthony has finally decided to return to the New York Knicks.  Anthony made the announcement Saturday (even though he had probably made up his mind by Friday) that he would be re-signing with the Knickerbockers.  The deal will be worth $122 million over the next 5 years.  Who said Melo wasn’t a team player??  This guy just made the ultimate sacrifice by taking a whopping $7 million less than the max deal over 5 years.  He just saved the franchise $1.4 million per year over the next 5 years.  What a guy!  Now the Knicks have the cap space to sign Kurt Thomas.  Can you say game changer?!?!  In all seriousness, the Knicks did what they had to do and so did Carmelo Anthony.  The Knicks, as much as they didn’t want to, had to throw the whole bag of cash at him, because if they missed out on Melo, where would they be?  And Melo actually wanted to leave for a better, more championship ready situation.  The only problem was that option didn’t exist in this years free agency.  The Chicago Bulls were only a better option if Derrick Rose is healthy, and at this point I’d say that is an enormous if.  I don’t believe the Lakers were ever a real option seeing as they don’t have a coach, and they actually have a worse roster than the Knicks.  And as good as the Houston Rockets would have become with the addition of Melo, who wants to live in Houston?? 

 

As for the Knicks, in the horrid eastern Conference, they shouldn’t fare too badly this upcoming season.  They are no championship contender, don’t get me wrong, but don’t be surprised if they creep up to the 4 or 5 seed.  Yes, Derek Fisher is a wild card in this equation, but I have the utmost confidence that Phil Jackson will steer him in the right direction.  Now, I need to say something to all of the Carmelo Anthony haters of the world.  Y’all are out of your damn minds!!  As much as critics and fans alike enjoy picking Anthony’s game apart, he is undoubtedly one of the best players in the NBA.  He may not be the best defender in the NBA, but does defense really exist in the NBA??  And the notion that a team can not win with Carmelo Anthony on its roster; is ludicrous.  Carmelo Anthony is what he is.  He is one of the best pure scorers the game has ever seen who also happens to grab 8 -10 rebounds a night.  Everyone is trying to turn him in to a player that he simply will never be.  You know what Melo’s biggest mistake is?  That he isn’t Lebron James.  Ever since high school, the two have been linked.  Their head-to-head matchups in high school were televised, they came out of the same NBA draft class, and most recently they shared the same free agency spot light.  Melo is not the passer Lebron is, he’s not the defender Lebron is, and he simply is not the all around player Lebron is.  And you know what?  That’s okay.  That doesn’t mean that you can’t win a championship with Carmelo Anthony on your roster.   Phil Jackson will put a roster in place that highlights the strengths of everyone on it, and most importantly, Carmelo Anthony will be utilized correctly for the first time in his career.  Just watch for Anthony’s 4th quarter contributions under Phil Jackson opposed to the tired, wobbly legged Anthony we’ve grown accustom to seeing under the likes of Mike and Mike (no not that Mike and Mike); Woodson and D’Antoni.  Anthony has always been asked to do too much.  With a real point guard and a proper system in place, don’t be surprised to see Anthony thrive as a member of the new look 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!         

I Aint Mad At Cha

The New York Knicks lost their 4th straight game on the road Sunday afternoon.  However, I can’t really yell at my favorite basketball team today.  They put forth a solid effort against a superior Los Angeles Clippers team.  By the way, Chris Paul is really really good at basketball.  I know everyone knows that, but I felt the need to reiterate that point.  If it wasn’t for Lebron James or Kevin Durant, Chris Paul would be the MVP of the league this year.  His defense is extremely underrated and his patience with the basketball is second to none.  While his defense Sunday was stellar on Raymond Felton, I found it funny that Felton waited until the game was just about out of reach to start playing hard.  Felton scored 8 of his 16 points in the 4th quarter, and he looked good doing it.  He was shaking and baking and taking the ball to the rim with authority.  If only someone, ahem like the coach, had told him to attack the basket in the 1st quarter maybe the Knicks would have had a chance in this game.  The Knicks never had a chance to win this basketball game though, however they never quit.  They kept fighting until the final buzzer, and that is the kind of effort they need to sustain when Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler return to action.  As for the game yesterday, there isn’t much to figure out.  The Knicks starting lineup consisted of Kurt Thomas, Kenyon Martin, and Chris Copeland.  That’s all you need to know to figure out how this game played out.  The Clippers defeated the Knicks 93-80, but not without putting up a fight first.  The Knicks played a tough physical brand of defense yesterday (just ask the Clippers front court if they like Kenyon Martin).  I think Kenyon Martin is really funny by the way.  Every time there is a questionable call against him, he looks at the referee and his eyes do the talking.  So now that we’re assuming that Kenyon Martin’s eyes can talk they say, “Come on man, you know you’re making that call because my name is Kenyon Martin, not because that was a foul.”  Anyway, it was an impressive feat to hold the Clippers high powered offense to only 93 points.  The only problem was the Knicks “C” squad was only able to muster up 80 points (and that included 12 3-pointers).  This game, if for nothing else, should be a nice confidence boost for Steve Novak, Jason Kidd, and Chris Copeland.  All hit 3 3-pointers, and kept their team within striking distance throughout most of this game.  Unlike everyone else in the world, I am not jumping ship on the Knicks, not just yet.  Their success depends entirely on the health of Tyson Chandler and Carmelo Anthony going forward obviously, but I see the Eastern Conference as a toss-up outside of Miami.  If the Knicks get healthy and hot at the right time, they could still make some noise in the playoffs.  For now, they will have to make do with the roster they’ve got.  We will see if they can finally win a game against a desperate Utah Jazz team on Monday night.  This is the final game of their tough 5 game road trip.  The Jazz haven’t been playing too well as of late, but they need a win to keep pace with the Lakers for the 8th and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.  You can watch the Knicks take on the Jazz Monday night at 10:30 P.M. on ESPN.

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!

63 points?!?! What Is This Amateur Hour?

You know you have a problem when your leading scorer has 15 points, and his name is CHRIS COPELAND!!  The New York Knicks did not do anything well Monday night against the Golden State Warriors.  The Warriors, led by Stephen Curry, ran the Knicks off the floor.  From the opening tip-off, the Warriors simply looked like they wanted it more.  The Knicks looked sluggish.  They did not look like a team that was determined to win their opening game on a tough 5 game road trip.  Monday night was supposed to be a welcome back party for the Knicks superstar, Carmelo Anthony.  Unfortunately, it looked more like a retirement party.  Melo looked flat, and the rest of the team followed suit.  I’m done getting on Melo.  By now, I think we all know he needs to try harder and play better.  He needs to play better defense, and he needs to PASS THE DAMN BALL MORE!!  Other than that he’s having a great season.  Now it’s not all bad for Melo and the Knicks.  They have had a winning record in every month of the season, and they are still atop their division.  However, you’d have to be blind not to see that the Knicks have struggled mightily from time to time this season.  Was this their worst loss of the season?  It’s definitely up there.  I will make this short and unsweetened.  The Knicks need to try harder.  It starts with the coach and the superstar, and the rest trickles down hill.  If they don’t find a way to win 2 of their next 4 on the road, they could come back to New York with a tighter race in the Atlantic Division than they’d hoped.  For now, they are lucky that the Brooklyn Nets are bad too.  Otherwise, they could really be in a world of hurt.  Winning the Atlantic Division is very important for the Knicks, for it would keep them as one of the top 3 seeds in the Eastern Conference.  As for the Knicks moving forward, I would hope that Steve Novak, Jason Kidd, Pablo Prigioni, Kurt Thomas, and James White won’t go a combined 0 for 15 form the field again (like they did last night).  The Knicks as a team shot just 27.4% from the field, and an atrocious 18.5% from 3-point range.  The Knicks will look to rebound as they travel to Denver to take on the Nuggets Wednesday night at 10:30 P.M.  This is the first time Carmelo Anthony will play in Denver since leaving the team.  Logic would dictate that he would get up for this game and will his team to victory.  For his sake, I hope he remembers to show up Wednesday night.  I see the Knicks playing a much better game Wednesday night in Denver, however I think they will lose 99-97 to the Nuggets on the road.

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!

Sloppy Joes Anyone?

The New York Knicks can be described by a simple formula.  As long as the good outweighs the bad, it’s okay.  Wednesday night at the Detroit Pistons, there was plenty of bad but just enough good to win a basketball game.  On a night where Carmelo Anthony wasn’t able to suit up, the Knicks played a sloppy brand of basketball.  They had 20 TURNOVERS!!  For a team who only averages about 12 turnovers per game, that’s some pretty ugly stuff.  The majority of the turnovers were committed by Raymond Felton (he had 7).  Felton however, scored 26 points and was one of main reasons the Knicks beat the Pistons.  The final score was 87-77 as the Knicks were carried offensively by Felton, J.R. Smith, and Amar’e Stoudemire.  Collectively they scored 68 of the Knicks 87 points.  As you can tell by the turnover totals and the final score, this was a hard game to watch.  I think I actually fell asleep for 5 minutes or so in the middle of the game.  Hopefully tonight’s game will be a little more interesting and technically sound.  Tonight the New York Knickerbockers host Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder.  You can find this game on TNT at 8:00 P.M.  There are questions going around today about Carmelo’s health and whether or not he’ll play tonight.  I personally don’t think the Knicks have a chance to win this game either way, but Carmelo really needs to man up and get out there.  Everyone else can buy into his little “injury”, but I guarantee you he is not hurt.  He needs to grow up and start putting his team first.  Right now, the Knicks need to play every game like it’s their last, because seeding in the Eastern Conference is going to be crucial in the playoffs.  So Melo, even though I know you will never read this page, STOP BEING A BABY, RUB SOME DIRT ON YOUR KNEE AND GET OUT THERE!!  For those of you who are scratching your head as to why someone would rub some dirt on their knee, allow me to elaborate.  As a baseball player, when you get hit by a pitch, your teammates (whom are often road scholars) will tell you to rub some dirt on it and run to first base.  Anyway, Melo really needs to man up and take a page out of Kobe Bryant’s how to manual.  Kobe should clearly be Carmelo’s biggest role model.  Melo like Kobe is a shoot first All-Star.  The only difference (and by only I mean the 8 differences between Kobe and Melo) between Kobe and Melo is that Kobe has that life or death mentality ingrained inside of him.  Kobe is going to do anything and everything his team needs in order to win, including playing hurt, playing defense, and hustling from the opening tip until the final buzzer every night.  Carmelo needs to infuse those characteristics into his personality.  Then maybe other players, media, and fans won’t question his dedication when he misses a game with a questionable injury.

As for the game tonight against the Thunder, the Knicks need to go on one of their 3-point shooting rampages to have a chance to win.  I personally want to see the Knicks shoot less 3-pointers, but in a game without Carmelo Anthony, they need to get a huge game out of Amar’e and Chandler down low to open up the court for the outside shooters.  This is the only chance the Knicks have to beat the Thunder tonight.  And for the love of god, can Coach Woodson please stop fighting common sense and put Amar’e Stoudemire in the starting lineup.  I understand that he wants to keep Jason Kidd out of the starting lineup (and I agree with him there) and with Carmelo Anthony hurt he needs to find another starter, but James White AND Kurt Thomas are the answers to those questions?!?!  Coach Woodson is obviously confused.  At the beginning of the season, I liked what Woodson was doing.  The Knicks were playing defense and he had Melo giving it his all, but now Woodson just looks like an average coach that doesn’t know how to handle his roster.  The Knicks should hang tough in this game tonight because it’s at home, but I see the Thunder pulling ahead in the middle of the 4th quarter and winning by 10 points, 108-98.

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!

NBA Trade Talks

The All-Star break has come and gone, and it is now time for the 2nd ” half ” of the season.  With approximately 30 games left for every team, and the trade deadline looming, contenders will be looking to make a move to solidify their playoff positioning.  The trade deadline is this Thursday, February 21st.  There are many talented players names swirling around the trade rumor mill, and certainly some of them will be moved in the coming days.  Most notably the Knicks have been in the midst of trade talks.  Everyone believes that they need to make a trade prior to the deadline to become a real contender.  I do believe that the Knicks are one piece away from being a true contender for a title, however they need to be careful who they trade this week.  The most popular name in these trade rumors has been Iman Shumpert.  He is the Knicks most valuable trading chip because of his potential and inexpensive rookie contract, but he is a valuable asset to the Knicks for the same reasons.  By the way, if I have to hear how much better J.J. Reddick is than Iman Shumpert one more time I’m going to throw up.  Most people are pointing to Shumpert’s knee and saying he’ll never be the same after a torn ACL last season.  It is a serious injury, but how many guys have come back and succeeded after the same injury?  While the Knicks are certainly in win now mode, they need to keep their bright future in mind as well.  The core of their team is young.  Look at their roster: Carmelo Anthony,Tyson Chandler, Raymond Felton, J.R. Smith, Amar’e Stoudemire, and Iman Shumpert(none of these guys are heading out to early bird dinners).  Carmelo Anthony needs to try to convince these guys to stick around for the next five years(that shouldn’t be that hard to do, I mean this is New York).  The Knicks youngest player with the most room for improvement by far is Iman Shumpert.  He is 6’5″ and 220 pounds with great athletic ability.  He can jump out of the gym, he is a phenomenal perimeter defender, and by my opinion is an underrated offensive talent.  Just because the Knicks have the oldest team in NBA history, doesn’t mean they need to dump young talent to try to win this year.  The older players on their roster are all nearing the end of their careers and are simply role players on an overall young team anyway.  Think about the names that we’re talking about: Marcus Camby, Rasheed Wallace, Kurt Thomas, and Jason Kidd.  Everyone can stop pretending these are the guys that are going to make the difference.  When was the last time these guys were on a list that mattered besides a waiting list for a nursing home?  While I think Camby and/or Wallace could solve some of the teams problems, they are ancient and shouldn’t be relied on.  The Knicks have obvious weaknesses and have holes on their roster that need to be filled.    I believe part of the answer to the Knicks struggles is Iman Shumpert.  He should be playing more than Jason Kidd.  Jason Kidd has been averaging 28 minutes per game this season and 32 minutes over his past three games(the three games the Knicks have struggled in most this season), while Shumpert has only been averaging 19 minutes per game.  Plus, Shumpert has only played in 13 games since returning from his injury.  He needs to be given a little time to return to form.  I am a Jason Kidd fan, but Mike Woodson needs to realize that Kidd is 40; not 26.  If Coach Woodson can get over his man crush maybe he’ll scale back Kidd’s minutes a little bit.  If Woodson flips Shumpert and Kidd’s minutes upside down, I bet he’ll be a lot happier.  The bottom line is: DON’T TRADE IMAN SHUMPERT!!  Also, if the Knicks are going to continue to be trigger happy from three point land, why don’t they play their best shooter, Steve Novak?  I know he doesn’t play a lick of defense, but right now neither does anybody else.  Right now, Kidd is out there as the Knicks shooting guard(taking up precious real estate).  Also, when did we start confusing Jason Kidd with Steve Kerr?  Kidd was one of the best point guards ever in his prime, but he was never a great three point shooter.  Kidd needs to play less minutes which will keep his legs fresher come playoff time, and he needs to be an extension of Coach Woodson on the floor.

There have been a few other teams in the trade rumors along with the Knicks.  The Jazz have an overloaded front court, and I believe Paul Millsap will be moved before the deadline.  The injury prone Celtics should look to make a trade before Thursday, but it doesn’t appear that will happen.  Kevin Garnett will not waive his no-trade clause and Paul Pierce is a big name still.  Even though he is past his prime, the Celtics are looking for way too much in return for Pierce.  Another player who’s name has been all over the news is Josh Smith.  In my estimation, he is very overrated, but someone will trade away too much to get him and will be moved before the deadline.  At the 23rd hour, there are always surprise moves that happen.  Stay tuned to see what goes down before the trade deadline.  Enjoy the rest of the NBA season.

If you enjoy my writing here please go check out more of my work @ intheneutralzone.com.  I am a contributing author there.  Thanks and enjoy!