Browsing Posts tagged Raymond Felton

The 8-18 New York Knicks are in serious trouble. Just one season after winning 54 games, the Knicks are devoid of any championship talk or aspirations. On the surface, it’s just a matter of time before owner James Dolan axes  head coach, Mike Woodson and replaces him with assistant coach, Herb Williams. However, such a move would essentially end the Knicks’ season and may push impending free agent, Carmelo Anthony out the door. In addition, the lack of suitable replacements on the open market make axing Woodson a premature move. The Knicks could turn to ex-Knicks Larry Johnson or Allan Houston to take Woodson’s spot on the bench, but neither guy has skill or experience to take over the team. 

While it’s easy to blame a coach for a team’s slow start, Carmelo Anthony and co. can’t deflect all of the blame. Melo is averaging 26.4 points per game and 9.1 rebounds per game, but his poor showing percentage (44.3%) and low assist total (2.9 APG) aren’t getting it done. JR Smith is starting to play better, but Woodson did not have Smith’s services for the first five games of the season. Add in Tyson Chandler’s 20-game departure due to a broken leg and the injuries sustained by Pablo Prigioni and Raymond Felton have rendered the Knicks without a point guard. Still, if the Knicks continue to lose games, Woodson won’t be around to see all of his guys return. 

More times than not, coaches are saddled with the blame for failing to meet expectations. They receive credit and failure based on their team’s performance. Under certain circumstances, the coach should be given a chance to turn things around. Woodson, winner of 54 games last season, should coach the Knicks for the entire season. Axing Woodson now will just lead to turmoil during a season when the team must rebound and prove it can retain the talents of Carmelo Anthony. 

1. Rudy Gay can play

Maybe it’s because he’s in Memphis or maybe it’s because he’s just now coming into his prime, whatever reason, I didn’t know until tonight that Rudy Gay was a legit, top tier NBA player. I know he had the tools in college, but hadn’t really heard or seen much of him. Other than knowing he was on the Grizz, he wasn’t really on my radar of star players. Now he is. He has a smooth mid range game, solid three, real length and can rise up over anyone at anytime.

2. Zach Randolph can’t jump

I’m pretty sure that Zach Randolph can’t get both feet off the ground at the same time. While that would be a dis on his physical abilities, it’s actually a compliment to the rest of his game. He can rebound, score and play some defense

3. After a two year hiatus, Sheed still gets technicals on his reputation

Rasheed got called for a technical on a play where I thought that:
1. He didn’t even commit the initial foul, it looked like there was minimal contact if any.
2. After the apparent foul, I didn’t see Wallace do anything that would warrant a technical other than speedily shuffle away with his hands on his head.

Besides for the foul trouble and BS technical, Rasheed almost single handedly kept the Knicks in the game when he came in. Sticking to his preseason sentiment of “teaching these players how to play in the post.”

4. Ray Felton can get to the rim on a reverse whenever he wants

Towards the end of the fourth quarter, when the Knicks still had a shot at a possible comeback, Felton made a few moves to the basket and reversed (using the basket as a pick to the post defender) to the rim to score easily. He did the same thing last night in the stretch against San Antonio when leading the comeback of 12 down with 7 minutes to go, which is much more impressive than the loss to Memphis was depressing. This showing from Felton makes me feel confident that he can get clutch points for the team in high pressure situations throughout the regular season and hopefully into the playoffs.

While it’s the Knicks first loss and they seemed a little erratic with their turnovers, fouls and technicals (4), I don’t hold it against them as too much of a negative. It was also the second night in a row of road games. I think the comeback win in San Antonio meant more on a positive note than this loss in Memphis does on a negative note. Especially considering Memphis is now 7-1 and hasn’t lost at home in the regular season since March 16th (and that was an overtime game).

Todd Giannattasio is a guest blogger for New York State Of Sports. Todd also contributes to Easy Guy Cooking, an easy recipe website for beginner cooks. You can follow him on Twitter @TresnicMedia

Jim Dolan just made his biggest mistake ever as owner of the New York Knicks, which is pretty telling. Choosing not to re-sign Jeremy Lin ranks above hiring the walking punchline known as Isiah Thomas and subjecting New York to the coaching tactics of the much maligned Larry Brown. One can only wonder what was going through Dolan’s mind as he failed to re-sign his 23-year-old point guard who averaged 18 points and eight assists per game. While many boast that Houston’s offer sheet was ‘ridiculous’, the Knicks failed to make an initial attempt to re-sign Lin. This Linsane circus could have been avoided at the start of free agency. Instead, the Knicks will rue in their lack of persistence to get a deal done. 

Instead of locking him up on July 1st, the Knicks reached out to a pair of 38+ year old point guards (Steve Nash and Jason Kidd) while working out a trade for the human blimp known as Raymond Felton. Had the Knicks made an initial competitive offer, Houston may have turned their attention to re-signing their own point guard, Goran Dragic. Instead, the Knicks told Lin to hit the market and see what he could get. In essence, the Knicks fed themselves a ‘poison pill’ by making this decision. To make matters even worse, the Knicks will simply let Lin go to Houston without receiving any sort of compensation. Talk about shafting a guy that single handedly ended the ugly, bitter Cablevision-MSG standoff last winter. 

While it’s easy to argue that Lin’s small sample size of games played doesn’t warrant a hefty contract, Lin has demonstrated that he has star qualities. Lin’s 38 point performance against Kobe’s Lakers was masterful. Lin’s late game heroics against the Toronto Raptors demonstrated poise and leadership. Those qualities obviously don’t matter to Dolan’s Knicks. As a 23-year-old point guard, Lin’s poise and statistics put his contemporaries (Kidd and Nash included) to shame. 

The Knicks have never been shy to spend money, so it’s baffling that they would let one year (Lin’s $14 million 2013-2014 salary) stand in their way. Nevermind the luxury tax predicament–things frequently change in the NBA. One of the Knicks’ larger, expiring contracts (looking at you, Amare) could be moved to free room. If Joe Johnson’s albatross, three-year contract can be moved, one team will definitely take one year of Amare Stoudemire on. However, the Knicks won’t have to make that decision now as they let their floor general go to Houston.

While we are on the subject of Joe Johnson, Nets owner, Mikhail Prokhorov doesn’t seem too worried about luxury tax or salary cap hits. Prokorov invested nearly a $300 million of long-term commitments in an effort to take over New York basketball. On paper, the Nets appear to be the superior team and Prokhorov will keep encouraging to the Knicks to let their star players go. 

At the end of the day, all roads in the Eastern Conference lead through Miami. By simply letting Lin leave, the Knicks have taken a giant step backwards. Lin did struggle against the Heat last season, but he only had one chance to play them. The prospect of Felton engineering the Knick offense surely doesn’t scare LeBron James or Dwayne Wade. 

Jeremy Lin had something that the rest of the Knicks simply don’t have–the ‘It Factor’. Lin’s desire to win and be successful was second to none. Here’s to hoping Houston can enjoy a player that gave New York basketball fans hope for the first time in over a decade. 

The Knicks have until Tuesday night to match Houston’s contract offer for Jeremy Lin. On Saturday night, the Knicks completed a sign-and-trade for point guard, Raymond Felton, casting doubt that the Knicks will match Houston’s offer. Currently, the Knicks have Felton and Jason Kidd under contract for next season, so point guard isn’t a dire need. However, Jeremy Lin is a poliarizing figure on and off the court. Before blowing out his knee, Lin was dynamic and helped restore New York basketball–something Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire have failed to do. Not only did Lin add wins to the Knicks record, but he added dollars to the MSG’s declining stock price. At 23-years-old and entering the prime of his career, the Knicks would look foolish if they just let Lin go.

While Houston’s three-year, $27 million contract offer from Houston represents some financial ramifications, the Knicks are in ‘win-now’ mode. Why would they just let one of the NBA’s most exciting players just walk away? If anything, James Dolan has always been emotional owner and he may be upset that Lin structed a deal that will hinder the Knicks’ long-term growth. In addition, Anthony never seemed to fully embrace Lin. Perhaps, Anthony has gotten into Dolan’s ear and has told him that the Knicks should move on without him. Ego can cloud one’s decision making, but can it happen with a young, budding point guard only tapping into his potential? Letting Lin go would be a decision that the Knicks will regret for the next decade.

Kenny tackled the topic of Chris Paul coming to the Knicks yesterday. If the Knicks were to trade for Paul, what would they give up? What makes sense financially?

AP

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