Adrian Wojnarowski writes that "when the ball leaves your hands for Jeffries, what he does with it is your responsibility. That's how it works," and this is true, that is totally how it works. This was somewhat repeated by Knicks fanatics "Lives" during a Live Blog last night in which Lives stated " Consider Jeffries "Never Open!" Although our Chief blogger meant it jokingly... the reality is it's so true it hurts!
The front office knew the offense was in trouble even before the season started. On December 15, 2011, Knicks forward Melo STATED it simply: "We need shooters." Add psychic powers to his set of skills, because Anthony saw this coming. MELO needs to pass the ball? Um..yes, but to WHOM? The Knicks are currently the second-worst shooting team in the NBA. They are hitting just 41.4% of their shots. Take Chandler and his high percentage dunks out of the equation, and the Knicks are the worst shooting team in the league..... FACT! Iman Shumpert is shooting 36% from the floor, pass it Melo! Toney Douglas is shooting a whooping 32% from the floor, pass it Melo! Opposing teams have noticed. They are defending the paint and letting other Knicks shoot from the outside. They are not respecting the Knicks' outside shooting right now, nor should they, however, PASS IT MELO!
Low point noted on last nights Live Blog vs the Bulls... " JORTS WILL BE BACK IN 4 WEEKS AND WILL HELP." Really? Mike Dantoni is a terrible Coach, no argument there, however, our front office has put him in a position that hypothetically would be similar to praising the Bulls coach for his known defense ..then giving him three "Jamal Crawford's" as starters to beef up his strategy! I am not a Mike Dantoni supporter.. but WTF?? Is this festering wound in our lack of shooting all his fault?
One good note. MELO has made the Eastern Conference All Star team as a starter at SF. The last Knick to do that at SF was ????? Some reading this were not born yet! Perhaps there is a universe in which this is Carmelo Anthony's fault. But it is not this one. Maybe Bizzaro universe!
The Knicks will today start their thoughest patch of the regular season, with a game at MSG against the Chicago Bulls kicking off a demanding back-to-back-to-back stretch; an unfortunate outcome of 2011's lockout.
After facing off against the Bulls, the Knicks will then travel to Boston, before returning home to take on the New Jersey Nets, who sit only marginally behind the Knicks in the Eastern Conference standings.
Believe me, this three-game stretch will be the defining three games of the 2011-12 season.
This team currently sits at 8-13, 2 games out of the playoffs, a feat that isn't too challenging to achieve in the Eastern Conference. Adding an extra three losses to that record could be disastrous to the Knicks' season. Not only will the Knicks have an even more laughable record, but the confidence hit will be killer. Imagine grinding for three consecutive nights and coming out empty-handed. It would be disastrous.
On the other hand, two or three wins from these next three games could be the start of a sudden turnaround. All of a sudden the Knicks could vault themselves back into the playoff picture heading in to a slightly easier couple of weeks. Not only that but Baron Davis will be able to make his way back on to the floor without the burden of having to be the "saviour" or something ridiculous like that, and instead he will simply be a bonus to a team finally hitting their stride.
Rumours of his departure had apparently calmed down since Chris Paul was traded to the Clippers but, recently, some Amar'e Stoudemire trade rumours have resurfaced.
Although I would disagree with such a move by the Knicks - especially considering the fact that he was the man who turned the ship around last year - it's important to address a trade as a real possibility. These are the New York Knicks, afterall.
Making use of ESPN's Trade Machine and a handful of rumours, I've tried to outline exactly how these deals may or may not go down, showing who would come back to New York and who (if anybody) would leave with Amar'e.
Without further ado, let's take a look at the possibilities...
In midst of trade rumors and speculation regarding his future with the Knicks Amar'e Stoudemire's star has waned from that of a fearless saviour leading a Garden Revival to that of rumored trade fodder in Gotham's ever revolving grandiloquent dreams for quick fix domination. Whether Stoudemire added an extra inch in height to his already intensely imposing presence matters little. What all who witnessed last year's revival cannot deny is that Stoudemire's stature grew when he not only became the first Star talent to embrace a fickle Garden rather than shying away from it. But more importantly his stature grew as his unrelenting efforts in the midst of crisis cast back a culture of losing while making Gotham's team competitive and relevant after a decade's long slumber.
With all that said every observer of Stoudemire's career and life will tell you that he is a warrior. If you were to think of what sort of legendary combatant Stoudemire reminds you of while on the hardwood, what image would come to mind to you? For me, I recall the mounted archers of the Asian Steppes or the mounted indigenous horsemen of the great plains. Lethal light calvarymen adept in their use of the long bow or musket while on the move on horseback. Fleet and uncluttered by the weight of heavy armor yet dependent on their mares that set them in motion to unleash the precise killing strikes of their long bows and guns. Mounted skilled aggressive marksman roaming free over the North Asian steppes and the Great Plains.
Stoudemire in many ways is similar to the famed Warriors from the Great Plains and the heydays of the Great Khans. Stoudemire's lethal forays into the paint can unleash an arsenal of posterizing dunks, power moves off glass and at the rim, which employ an adept touch on the move honed over time. Stoudemire can also strike from distance with an improved series of mid and long range jump shots that prevents opponents from cheating too close to him. However, like the famed light cavalrymen, Stoudemire's attacks often required the assistance of a set up to initiate his forays at the point of attack. Moreover, Stoudemire is more effective in an wide open unencumbered system that maximizes space for him to fill the lane via the break or simulated secondary break.