LIN-LIGHTS AS KNICKS ARE EMBARASSED BY CAST-OFF AND BOYS
WHY DID WE GET WHUPPED GANGNAM STYLE? WERE WE TIRED?
Head to head, the favorite is 4-1-1 ATS in the last 6 meetings. The Grizzlies are 18-5 ATS in their last 23 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of greater than .600, 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 home games and 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games overall. The Knicks on the other hand are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 games playing on 0 days rest, 8-3 ATS in their last 11 vs. Western Conference and 25-10 ATS in their last 35 games overall.
The Memphis Grizzlies are off to their best start in franchise history after dismantling the Oklahoma City Thunder 107-97 on Wednesday to secure their sixth straight victory. Just two nights after making light work of the Miami Heat, the Grizzlies looked equally impressive on Wednesday, opening up the game behind a 36-15 second quarter. Rudy Gay continued his strong start to the season with a season high 28 points for a Memphis team ranked in the top 10 in points, points allowed, assists and rebounds per game.
The New York Knicks are 6-0 for the just the second time in franchise history and the league’s only remaining unbeaten team after knocking off the San Antonio Spurs 104-100 on Thursday night. Despite trailing by 12 points with only seven minutes remaining, the Knicks didn’t give up as they closed the games on a 22-11 run to continue their blistering start to the season. J.R. Smith added 17 points, Jason Kidd had 14 and Tyson Chandler 13 for a New York team who snapped a nine game skid in San Antonio.
When ESPN made this a National TV game I don't think anyone expected both of the Grizzlies and Knicks to be form they are currently in. If you didn't know any better, you would think Memphis and New York are the front runners for the title they are playing that good. While I love this Memphis team, how can you possibly not take the points in this one ( -6) ?
REPOAST FROM KNICKS NOW
JR SMITH: THE SPARK
Throughout a grueling 82-game NBA season, a team will often suffer through droughts, appear lackadaisical, or simply fall on a night in which it was expected to win. This is exactly why every elite squad relies on a spark. J.R. Smith is the man that ignites the Knicks on both sides of the floor. A perfect example of Smith’s impact occurred on Tuesday night. With the Knicks trailing the undermanned Magic in Orlando 57-52 at the 9:48 mark of the third quarter, a familiar face jumpstarted New York’s offense. Just moments after checking back into the game, Smith nailed a ridiculous 14-foot fadeaway jumper with the defense draped all over him. He then sunk a runner in the lane to tie the game at 59-59. Two minutes later, Smith buried a 3-pointer, followed by a steal on the defensive side of the floor, and the Knicks were able to generate momentum heading into the final quarter. “Anthony lauded the performance of his teammate following Tuesday’s win, “The one thing about J.R., he is definitely buying into what’s our task, defensively, offensively. He’s not trying to do it by himself out there on the basketball court. He’s taking what the defense is giving him and he’s taking advantage of that.” Over the course of his eight-year career, Smith has been regarded a top-level talent but at times he would veer from the game plan and attempt to take over ball games on the offensive side of the floor. Under the guidance of head coach Mike Woodson, the guard is accepting his role off the bench and flourishing into a mature professional basketball player. The straight out of high school shooting guard is off to a sparkling start to the 2012-13 season. Smith has displayed all the weapons in his arsenal this year, including the long range shooting, step-back midrange jumper, and an underrated off the dribble game. He’s averaging career highs across the board, points per game (18.2), field goal percentage (49.3), free throw percentage (88.9), rebounds per game (4.8), and assists per game (3.2). “That’s been my biggest thing coming into this season is to be more focused, be more consistent,” Smith admitted. “It just feels good that my teammates are recognizing me and at the same time, I just have to keep it up and keep making them proud.”
Smith scored 16 of his 21 points in the second half against the Magic, leading the second unit and complementing All-Star Carmelo Anthony down the stretch. He hit 7-of-9 attempts from the floor, grabbed three rebounds, dished out two assists, and recorded two steals in 20 minutes of action in the second half. Keyed by Smith’s spectacular play, New York rallied late and defeated Orlando 99-89 to remain unbeaten on the season.
One of the vocal leaders inside the Knicks locker room has certainly taken notice of Smith’s growth this season. “J.R. has a big personality as we all know but he is so locked in and focused this year, he’s just a different player,” Tyson Chandler confirmed. “He came back a different player, he’s really matured he’s really buying in to what the coaches are preaching and he’s been a big help. We obviously know what he is capable of doing on the floor and coming off the bench, he’s been amazing with the second unit.”
All those statistics fail to highlight the drastic improvement on the defensive end of the court. Surrounded by defensive-minded teammates and a coach that demands a focused approach to stopping the opposing team, Smith is utilizing his athletic frame to create havoc. As one of the fastest 2-guards in the league, Smith can outrace just about any wing player and his quick hands lead to steals. Smith ranks No. 7 in the league in steals per game this year at 2.2 each outing. He’s become a thief in the passing lanes and a pest on the perimeter for Woodson’s top defensive unit.
Throughout a grueling 82-game NBA season, a team will often suffer through droughts, appear lackadaisical, or simply fall on a night in which it was expected to win. This is exactly why every elite squad relies on a spark.
J.R. Smith is the man that ignites the Knicks on both sides of the floor.
A perfect example of Smith’s impact occurred on Tuesday night. With the Knicks trailing the undermanned Magic in Orlando 57-52 at the 9:48 mark of the third quarter, a familiar face jumpstarted New York’s offense. Just moments after checking back into the game, Smith nailed a ridiculous 14-foot fadeaway jumper with the defense draped all over him. He then sunk a runner in the lane to tie the game at 59-59. Two minutes later, Smith buried a 3-pointer, followed by a steal on the defensive side of the floor, and the Knicks were able to generate momentum heading into the final quarter.
“Anthony lauded the performance of his teammate following Tuesday’s win, “The one thing about J.R., he is definitely buying into what’s our task, defensively, offensively. He’s not trying to do it by himself out there on the basketball court. He’s taking what the defense is giving him and he’s taking advantage of that.”
Over the course of his eight-year career, Smith has been regarded a top-level talent but at times he would veer from the game plan and attempt to take over ball games on the offensive side of the floor. Under the guidance of head coach Mike Woodson, the guard is accepting his role off the bench and flourishing into a mature professional basketball player.
The straight out of high school shooting guard is off to a sparkling start to the 2012-13 season. Smith has displayed all the weapons in his arsenal this year, including the long range shooting, step-back midrange jumper, and an underrated off the dribble game. He’s averaging career highs across the board, points per game (18.2), field goal percentage (49.3), free throw percentage (88.9), rebounds per game (4.8), and assists per game (3.2).
“That’s been my biggest thing coming into this season is to be more focused, be more consistent,” Smith admitted. “It just feels good that my teammates are recognizing me and at the same time, I just have to keep it up and keep making them proud.”
“He’s been able to play three positions as well, he can guard point, he can guard the 2 or the 3 as well. If there’s a mismatch, he’s feisty enough with the big guys to try and hold them down until we can get back whole again,” Woodson acknowledged.
Smith is a fun-loving individual with a gregarious personality. However, by his own admission, Smith needed to take the next step at a pivotal point in his career. At the ripe age of 27, the New Jersey native is beginning to put all the pieces together, maturing on the floor, and seeing the big picture. If he continues to find the balance and provide the spark, Knicks’ opponents will have a difficult time extinguishing the flame Smith creates.
The Knicks played horrible against a terrible Magic team. A ten point win is not enough. Don't expect a repeat vs the Spurs. Kirt Thomas and Camby were on that 1999-2000 team that lost the Chip to the Spurs. Watch the Knicks come out smoking and never let up. Under a different coach... the Knicks would have lost tonight, however, Woodson is a Game changer!
Every Knick will be up for this game. Watch us go 6-0. If you are not excited by this Knick team... you are in a coma or dead! After we BLOWOUT the Spurs... we have 6 more to go 12-0..believe it!
Don't worry about Memphis..... we got their number! This young Magic team used to be the Kryptonite that killed our Supermen.... that's all over. The Spurs play the Lakers tonight ..lets hope they get banged up a little. LGK
It's been longer than most die hard knick fans can remember when we were at the Top of the Power ranking. Can we stay there? I have no doubt and you shouldn't either.
We should not look past the Magic. Play them like it's game 7 for the chip then onto the Spurs and Memphis. One game at a time and don't overlook any team or take off nights and
we will remain at the top all the way to the raising another banner in the garden.
NBA.com's Power Rankings are just one man's opinion and are released every Monday during the season. If you've got an issue with the rankings, or have a question or comment for John Schuhmann, contact him via twitter.
|1||New York (4-0)
Pace: 93.5 (25), OffRtg: 112.2 (1), DefRtg: 93.2 (2)
The Knicks' perimeter shooting cooled off on Friday, and they still won. So there are no asterisks next to their 4-0 start. But they will have their toughest challenge to date with a back-to-back in San Antonio and Memphis on Thursday and Friday this week. Ronnie Brewer was already a bargain at the minimum, but if he can continue to hit corner threes (he's 6-for-10 so far), that's huge.
|Last week: 2
|2||San Antonio (6-1)
Pace: 95.3 (16), OffRtg: 103.1 (7), DefRtg: 98.9 (16)
When Tony Parker's out with the flu, it's nice to have Gary Neal go off for a career-high 27. But turnovers and (surprise!) defense have been issues for the Spurs over the last few games, including Wednesday's ugly loss to the Clips. Each of the Spurs' next five games is a must-watch. They play the Lakers, Knicks, Nuggets, Clippers (again) and Celtics over the next 10 days.
|Last week: 1
|3||Oklahoma City (5-2)
Pace: 96.7 (10), OffRtg: 104.6 (5), DefRtg: 94.6 (3)
Well, the Kevin Martin thing is working out just fine. The new guy is still shooting better than 50 percent from both the field and 3-point range, the Thunder are a plus-15 in 50 minutes where Martin has been on the floor with neither Kevin Durant nor Russell Westbrook, and he can't be blamed too much for the fact that his team still can't take care of the ball (30th in turnover rate).
|Last week: 5
Pace: 97.3 (5), OffRtg: 103.0 (9), DefRtg: 94.7 (4)
The Grizzlies are now 3-1 against Miami in the LeBron era, so it's no huge surprise that they won on Sunday. But they're supposed to beat the Heat on the glass and in the paint, not with 14 threes (seven from Wayne Ellington). They should have saved a few of them, because they have two more great matchups this week, visiting the Thunder on Wednesday and hosting the Knicks on Friday.
|Last week: 13
Pace: 95.2 (18), OffRtg: 111.3 (2), DefRtg: 102.4 (24)
The Grizzlies were supposed to be a litmus test for the Heat's small lineup, but Miami handled its own on the boards on Sunday. Instead, the Grizz exposed the Heat's 3-point defense, which now ranks 27th. It was similarly bad early last season, but just fine by the time the playoffs came around. Maybe the Clippers (Wednesday) or Nuggets (Thursday) will test Miami on the glass this week.
|Last week: 3
What a difference a year makes. Please LA.. hire Mike Dantoni.....see how long he lasts.
Does Kobe need to hear "Let's Go" or hear Phil Jackson's trianular offensive talk? Neither!
Asking a 1-4 squad that's old (Gasol, Antawn Jamison, Metta World Peace), less-than-100-percent (Howard) or both (Kobe and Nash) wouldn't seem to be the best solution. Inherent in the job description of any Lakers head coach, Mike Brown or otherwise, is a mandate to keep the team's stars fit and energized for a deep playoff push.
Not exactly something to which sprinting up the hardwood is conducive.
Keep in mind, too, that pushing the pace under D'Antoni requires depth. Without a reliable bench on which the coach can lean, those in the rotation are likely to be depended on so heavily as to leave them all depleted, if not ground to a pulp, by season's end.
And last I checked, the Laker's bench has one of the worst benches in the NBA (viahoopsstats.com). Opting, as the Lakers have done, for the top-heaviness of a Fab Four can only afford a team so much leeway to build depth.
As a result, the Purple and Gold must count on the likes of Jamison, Steve Blake, Devin Ebanks, Jordan Hill and Jodie Meeks (not exactly star power) to fill in the gaps when Kobe, Nash, Gasol and Howard aren't on the floor.
Not exactly a recipe for success if your team needs to shuffle guys in and out of the game.
Well it's the Knicks time to shine. Tonight they will go 4-0 on their way to a 12-0 start. Suddenly the Knicks are no longer the joke of the NBA but the feared team to beat! We are both the Hunter and Hunted. Expect another blowout Knick win at the Garden tonight. My, my things have changed.
Knicks will try to stay unbeaten as they take on Dallas and E-City. Yes ..the former Knick Eddy Curry. Look for Jason Kidd and Tyson Chandler
to have big games and guide the Knicks to the Mav's game prep. The Knicks remain without two major starters in Stat and Shumpert, however,
this is a year of Zero excuses for this Orange and Blue Hurriccane. Look for Melo to go off early and JR will have just as good of a game. Don't bet on Brewer
to shoot as well as last game but expect Novacaine to have a much better outing. Bottom line is another blowout for the Knicks as we move to 4-0.
The entire NBA is now taking note of the warning Chris Bosh sent out to the entire League, " The Knicks are building one very dangerous team and they are flying under the radar."
Perhaps the most scary fact is the EYE of this Orange and Blue Storm is gathering strength every day that Shumpert, Amare and Camby can take more time to get healthy and add to
the increased severity of category of this Storm. With Tyson Chandler playing yesterday battling Flu like symptoms and the conditioning of Rasheed Wallace increasing every day is disconcerting to every team
in the league that must face this Orange and Blue Storm.
The message the Knicks will send tonight is that they will not take "Games Off" or let up. The depth of this team will not allow for such under Coach Miike Woodson. What may be even more scary is that the Knicks have by far not played their best Basketball as of yet. This Re-post of the Sixer blog ( Thank Brookdon of The Knicks Blog) will show the opposition's view from a perspective of other teams that have to face this Orange and Blue Storm : SIXER BLOG COMMENTS MADE YESTERDAY..........
"The key would be stopping Melo. Melo is their ONLY scoring threat out there. Hopefully, Thad, Dorell and ET can give Melo a hard time scoring."
"Lavoy on Tyson Chandler: Holy mismatch"
"Thad on Melo is a huge mismatch in favor of Melo"
"When did the Knicks learn to move the ball?"
"Sixers should slow it down and wait for half the Knicks roster to die."
"I hate Novak."
"When will the Knicks 3pt% finally regress?"
"Maybe seeing what Melo does to us before and after Iguodala will convince people he was important?"
"But the defense as a whole has been very bad. Gotta say though, the Knicks’ spacing is really impressive. They did this against (a half asleep, but still) Miami the other night. They are so much better with Melo at the 4."
" I agree with melo being better at the four simply because he causes match up problems from that position, is a good passer out of double teams as well."
"Personal dislike aside, I think the Knicks are a pretty good team that has a chance to be special. Their weakness last year was injuries + PG play. And Melo at the 4 creates a mismatch at that spot plus it opens up the 3 for another perimeter shooter."
"The MSG broadcast is actually not that bad"
"JR Smith has nights like this every once in a while just hits EVERYTHING. When he was with the Nuggets seemed like every week or 2 I’d look at the scoreboard and see that Smith had dropped like 37 or 41 or something with 7 3s."
Tonight will be another Knick Blowout win. Tonight we may see the finalisation of the starting lineup despite Amare and Shumpert's return. Tonight you may see JR Smith's punishment for talking to the press about his goal of being a starter lifted. Worth repeating again " "JR Smith has nights like this every once in a while just hits EVERYTHING. When he was with the Nuggets seemed like every week or 2 I’d look at the scoreboard and see that Smith had dropped like 37 or 41 or something with 7 3s.
The Knicks have held the Heat and Sixers whom have both been predicted by the MSM to finish well ahead of the Knicks to 84 points! 84 points!!! This Orange and Blue Storm's defense will only get much better when Camby and Shumpert return and Rasheed Wallace is in NBA shape. Make no mistake, we are watching something special evolve here that is not a gimmick or insanity. We are watching the early coming together of the 2012-13 unbeatable Orange and Blue Hurricane formerly known as the New York Knicks. It's been 40 long years since we've had a team so special, talented and well coached.
Here is a bold prediction that I will make and feel it will happen. The Knicks start out 12-0. Yes I said that, 12-0. Here are our next 9 games after tonight:
|Fri, Nov 9||
||7:30 PM||WIN BY 15|
|Tue, Nov 13||
||7:00 PM||Win by 22|
|Thu, Nov 15||8:30 PM||Win by 24|
|Fri, Nov 16||
||9:30 PM||Win by 12|
|Sun, Nov 18||
||12:00 PM||Win by 8|
|Tue, Nov 20||8:00 PM||Win by 11|
|Wed, Nov 21||
||8:30 PM||Win by 28|
|Fri, Nov 23||
||8:00 PM*** WIN BY 30
|Sun, Nov 25||
||1:00 PM||Win by 8|
|Mon, Nov 26||
||7:00 PM Win by 20|
Call me whatever you feel like ...... but after this run... all the MSM highlights will be: CAN THE ORANGE AND BLUE STORM WHO THE KNICKS HAVE BECOME. BE STOPPED?
Of course this is wishful thinking but consider the talent and determination of this Orange and Blue Hurricane formerly known as the New York Knicks, it would not take a miracle or insanity for such a start
to truly happen. Don't bet against me here...you'd lose big time!
After dismantling the world Chump Heat... the make up of this Knick team will not be taking nights off as they have done under past coaches. The depth of this team
is plain out scary. Philly has no chance of even making this game competitive. The quality of our bench will keep each starter on their toes.. every night. Rasheed Wallace has been the most overlooked piece of our roster since his signing. Keep in mind Sheed just turned 38. He's younger than Kirt Thomas ( who plays 10 years younger than his age) younger than Jason Kidd and Camby. Rasheed's size, shooting ability and defensive presence brings chills to think of him putting 15-20 quality minutes per night at the 4 or 5. In the past the Knicks would most likely have a drop off game considering the thumping we just gave the Heat. Not this year. An argument can be made that our entire roster could possibly be starters on other teams in this league... including the man who made the final cut ..Chris Copeland.
Thank God the Creator our family members Lives and Post up and their family's are safe. With that being said, we have something so special this year it hurts to see our Fanatics for life missing in action for this breath taking ride the Knicks are going to give us this year. I taped the Heat game and noted that defensively Brewer, Melo and JR Smith both put Wade and Lebron in check. In fact the rewind showed 6 times JR stopped both James and Wade from driving to the lane with hard nose defense. He is a badass on both ends. Melo's body looks like he just got drafted from The CUSE. Felton's body looks like a clone of him playing for North Carolina. So many good things happening for the Fanatic family. O&B has just become a first time father to a beautiful baby girl and will always remember this year as special due to his fatherhood and the Knicks winning the chip this year. One blessed man. Props to Cooley high for keeping our Spirits up and bringing hope to keep our blog running. Props to Steady for being " Steady."
Hope all of you turned back your clocks so you will not miss a moment of today's thumping of the Sixers! Hoping all of you can chime in during the game or even blog in real time. I am bursting with excitement and realistic expectations of a Championship, the knowledge of all the Fanatic family are safe and in good Spirits. Here is something to think about. WE HAVE A EXCELLENT CHANCE OF GOING ALL THE WAY THIS YEAR. MELO BEING MVP. COMEBACK PLAYER OF THE YEAR IN RASHEED WALLACE , ROOKIE OF THE YEAR IN EITHER COPELAND OR PABLO, MOST IMPROVED PLAYER OF THE YEAR IN JR SMITH, DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR IN CHANDLER OR CAMBY, COACH OF THE YEAR IN WOODSON, AND SIXTH MAN OF THE YEAR IN BREWER,NOVAK, KIDD OR AMARE...yes I said AMARE!
HAVE A BLESSED DAY FANATICS...HOPE TO E-SEE YOUR COMMENTS OR BLOG IN REAL TIME TODAY AT NOON!