Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Bird Rights hearing set for June 13

Though the title of this post sounds like some sort of nature debate involving birds and worms, that isn't the case. Instead it means on June 13 an arbitrator will sit down with the NBA and the NBA Players Association (NBPA) to decide whether Jeremy Lin, Steve Novak, Chauncey Billups, and J.J Hickson will receive their Bird Rights back.

For some reason (I don't quite understand the dispute), the NBPA believes that because Lin, Novak, Billups, and Hickson were all waived, and signed with their teams as free agents, that their teams (the Knicks, Clippers, and Blazers, respectively) should have the Bird Rights to these players. Bird Rights allow teams to go over the salary cap to re-sign their own players.

For the Knicks, this decision will be huge.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Knicks Extend Mike Woodson

So, what everyone already assumed to be imminent happened yesterday: Mike Woodson received a contract extension! Though the details were never officially announced, ESPN NY reported that it was a two-year guaranteed deal, with an option on the third-year, each season worth approximately $4 million.

This is a fair deal for Woodson. Under his reign, the Knicks reached the top five in the NBA in defensive efficiency, they went 18-6 over their final 24 games to finish 36-30, and they won their first playoff game in over a decade. Despite injuries to starters like Jeremy Lin and Amar'e Stoudemire, Woodson was still able to achieve a good deal of success in his 29 games as head coach, including the playoffs.

But for me, it's hard to be completely satisfied with this move.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Here's What They're Saying

G'day, mockingbirds! Surprisingly, today has been pretty busy in Knicks land. I contemplated writing three or four posts on all of the topics, but I'm too lazy. Instead, I've got some links on all the different things goin' on with our Knickerbockers.

Jump!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Jeremy Lin is going to be on the U.S. Select Team; Jeremy Lin's agent is scaring us

It was announced today that Jeremy Lin was chosen to play for the U.S. Select team. Congrats, Jeremy! Jer-Bear. (Can I call you "Jer-Bear", Jeremy? No? Okay. Sorry.)

The Select Team is a group of 13 up-and-coming players who will train against the U.S. Olympic Squad this summer before the Olympic team departs to London for the athletic festivities. Besides for the notable honor in being selected to the team, there are some benefits to Jeremy's selection.

For one, Lin will get experience playing against some of the best players in the NBA. Although it's a shorter time, being around high-level players for extended periods can really be beneficial. After the FIBA World Championships in 2010, players like Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook, and Kevin Love all had breakout seasons. For Lin, playing against Olympic players, and other up-and-comers on the Select Team will be a good learning experience.

Second, I guess this means his knee is feeling better. Good.

Third, a lot has been said about whether the Knicks should re-sign Lin this offseason, or for how much, because of their limited money. There have been doubts about whether his 26-game breakout was substantial enough to warrant giving him a contract and making him the point guard of the future. If Jerry Colangelo (the U.S.A basketball director) and company believe Lin is good enough to be on the Select team, that should be good, right? The Knicks should give him a contract right?!

Unless he doesn't come back to the Knicks!!! DUH DUH DUUHHHHHH! Jump for some words from Lin's agent.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Here's What They're Saying

So, while the playoffs continue for the eight remaining teams in the NBA, the Knicks sit idly by, waiting for the season to end so that their offseason may begin. Not too much of importance has happened in Knick land recently, but there's still some stuff to read over.

Why don't ya take the jump for some links?!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Returning

Haven't written anything on here in forever. Over the last four weeks I was busy with school work, then finals, and now, home for the summer, I have just been slacking off. I'm looking to return to writing here, so stay tuned....

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Amar'e Stoudemire's Hand Situation

I'm sure by now everyone has already taken in, digested, and pooped out the story of Amar'e Stoudemire slicing his hand on a fire extinguisher case after angrily punching it. Whatever. No more reactionary words need to be written about it.

What is important, however, is Stoudemire's status going forward. He saw a hand specialist yesterday, and while there wasn't any tendon or ligament damage, he did undergo small surgery to repair a muscle. He's been ruled out for Game 3 on Thursday, but Amar'e insisted "he'll be back". While he's listed as doubtful for Game 4, he apparently believes he could be back in time for the rest of the series (if there is a rest after Game 4). And despite the gruesome sounding details of the incident, it's hard to image Stoudemire being sidelined for too long with a cut on the side of his hand.

I don't particularly want to debate whether he was wrong or right or deserving of punishment, but it is a shame that he could potentially miss the end of the series. Already missing Iman Shumpert and Jeremy Lin, with Baron Davis and Jared Jeffries seemingly forever injured, the Knicks stand virtually no chance of making it a competitive series at this point.

Though the Stoudemire-Carmelo Anthony pairing has been largely unsuccessful, the Knicks aren't going to be able to beat the Heat, with just one true scoring threat on the floor. I felt that coming home, with Stoudemire, the Knicks would have a chance to win a game, and maybe even two if they were lucky. Just enough to give the Heat a scare and make it competitive.

But as we've seen, the Heat are playing on a completely different level than the Knicks, and a team being carried solely by Anthony just won't be good enough to out-execute Miami in any significant way.

Tyson Chandler: Defensive Player of the Year

Although it hasn't officially been announced, it has been reported that our own Tyson Chandler was voted Defensive Player of the Year! Yay Tyson!

Update: It's official!

I've said it before, but it's worth repeating, that there is almost no way of truly appreciating Tyson Chandler's presence on the Knicks. Celebrating his well-deserved award is a good way, but it still feels hard to express my gratitude for what Chandler has done with the Knicks.

Last season the Knicks were 21st in defensive efficiency, 28th in opponents points per game, and 25th in opponents field goal percentage per game. This year, those numbers have jumped 5th, 11th, and 10th, respectively. Mike Woodson deserves credit, as does a player like Iman Shumpert who sets the bar high for individual effort, and players like J.R. Smith, Landry Fields, Jared Jeffries, and (at times) Carmelo Anthony have all shown a willingness to defend hard, but Chandler has spearheaded the movement.

His 10 rebounds and 1.4 blocked shots per game are nice, but his value goes so much further beyond statistics, you can only really appreciate it by watching him play. Chandler is constantly barking out orders and instructions on the defensive end, warning every player of a screen or pick, telling them when to get over it, when to switch, when to double a player, where to rotate, where to close out. On picks, Chandler hedges hard, stops the penetration, and gallops across the court to get back to his own man, seemingly creating a one-man prison on the defensive end. A fair number of times Chandler has been forced to switch onto smaller, faster guards, and he has denied their penetration and stuck to them, not allowing a mismatch to ever be exploited.

I had not expected Chandler's impact to be this great on defense, but it's been nothing short of phenomenal. Both in the tone that he sets and his actual execution. I love you, Tyson Chandler, and I'm happy you're the first ever Knick to win Defensive Player of the Year!