Anytime a team exceeds expectations, it’s natural to point to two things: a great coaching effort and good personnel changes. While the Knicks are in a bit of a tailspin at the moment, one of the things that make it such a big deal is that up to this point the Knicks have greatly exceeded expectations. As of this writing, the Knicks are 32-20, 12 games over .500, despite their current four-game losing streak. Last year, after 52 games, they were 26-26 and they finished the season just six games over .500, barely making it into the Eastern Conference playoff field. The Knicks entered this season with a roster built around the same three core stars, having lost Jeremy Lin and Amar’e Stoudemire starting the season on the sideline. There were hopes that the Knicks would respond well to a full season under Mike Woodson, but few prognosticators had the Knicks in line to win the Atlantic Division. While the Knicks have benefited from both excellent coaching and some good moves by management, perhaps the most significant change has been to the offensive game of their returning star, Carmelo Anthony.
On the night of three marquee returns to Madison Square Garden – Mike D’Antoni, Chris Duhon, and Jordan Hill – the Knicks nearly gave away a once-blowout game to the slumping Los Angeles Lakers. The Knicks kicked off the evening with Carmelo Anthony in the kitchen, cookin’ with fire. What began as a shootout, with Anthony hitting everything he put up, and Kobe Bryant responding with his own offensive spectacle, turned to a blowout. The Knicks posted 41 first quarter points, and 68 for the half, to the Lakers’ 49 in the first half.
Understandably lost in the Jeremy Lin buzz last week was the fact that the Knicks quietly let Landry Fields walk to the Toronto Raptors. Though it didn’t cause nearly as much controversy as the Lin decision (Lindecision!) – the Knicks weren’t expected to match Fields’s three-year/$18-million offer sheet – it was yet another example of the Knicks failing to retain young, home-grown talent.
Mike D’Antoni and the New York Knicks have come to a mutual decision to part ways.
Yahoo reported that the two sides had “conflicting visions of the club’s future.”
Mike Woodson will asume the head coaching role, in the interim.
On a sports day where the news should be about the NBA Trade Deadline, NFL Free Agency and the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, Knicks fans woke up to news of Carmelo Anthony requesting a trade, a rift among the team’s top executives and questions about the job status of coach Mike D’Antoni. Welcome to New York City!!! First, let’s mention how we even got here:
Apparently, there is a script that this new Knicks squad led by Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony must adhere to when they play the Celtics in Boston. Take a double-digit first half lead, blow it in the third quarter and then lose in heart wrenching fashion in the fourth quarter.
Who knew Madison Square Garden was hosting a weeklong Halloween special? Nightmare week featuring the Knicks is finally over, after the ‘Bockers lost in double overtime to the Denver Nuggets, 119-114. They finish their four game home stand losing all four games and push their losing streak to six. In the first matchup between these two teams since their blockbuster trade last February, Danilo Gallinari scored a career high 37 points and pulled down 11 rebounds, in his return to MSG. Carmelo Anthony scored 25 points on just 10-for-30 shooting in his first game against his former club.
The Knicks defeated the Charlotte Bobcats, 91-87, at MSG, to move over .500 (5-4) and improve their record to 2-2 at the World’s Most Famous Arena. After losing by eight points on the 4th, the Knicks were able to pick up the defense to get some revenge against the Bobcats.
One excuse some might have for the loss is that Amar’e Stoudemire did not play for the second straight game, as a result of a sprained ankle, but they easily beat the Sacramento Kings without him.