Melo defends inaction in Acy-Wall scuffle

December, 26, 2014
Dec 26
3:02
PM ET
NEW YORK -- As Quincy Acy and John Wall got into a heated exchange on Christmas Day, a handful of Wizards jumped in to break things up and pull the players apart.

Acy’s Knicks teammates weren’t as quick to get involved.

This was pointed out on social media in the aftermath of the incident.

Some concluded that this was a sign of the Knicks having poor team chemistry. Others said the Knicks were right to avoid escalating the situation.

After the game, Carmelo Anthony was asked why some of the Knicks didn’t get involved in the Wall/Acy skirmish quickly, as the Wizards did.

“You can’t do that now,” said Anthony, who tried to calm Acy down in the aftermath of the incident. “Guys on the bench can’t do that, they can’t move. I saw our coaches holding them back. I saw the guys on the court, anytime you’re running to a large group of people, something can happen. I wasn’t going to allow myself to run up to a group of people in the circle and now something happens to me, now I’ve got to worry about what I might do or what I’m capable of doing. I’d rather just get Quincy out of there and walk away from it while they’re trying to figure out what’s going on.”

Anthony is no stranger to altercations at Madison Square Garden. As a member of the Denver Nuggets in 2006, he was involved in a brawl with the Knicks that resulted in Anthony being suspended for 15 games for throwing a punch.

Acy was suspended one game for his role in the incident and will miss Saturday’s game against the Sacramento Kings. Wall was fined $15,000.

The Knicks fell to 5-26 with the loss -- the worst 31-game record in franchise history.

Question: What do you think about the Knicks not getting involved to break up the Wall-Acy skirmish? Were the smart not to get involved or was this a sign of poor team chemistry?

Quincy Acy suspended 1 game

December, 26, 2014
Dec 26
12:14
PM ET
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New York Knicks forward Quincy Acy has been suspended one game and Washington Wizards guard John Wall was fined $15,000 by the NBA on Friday for their roles in a Christmas Day scuffle.

The NBA said in a statement Friday that it decided to suspend Acy because his act initiated the confrontation. The league said it fined Wall because his actions escalated the incident.

Acy shoved Wall when the Wizards guard had the ball with 5:31 to play in Washington's 102-91 victory. Wall retaliated with a shove, and things escalated from there. It was unclear whether Acy threw a punch during the skirmish, but both players had to be separated by teammates.

Both Acy and Knicks coach Derek Fisher said Thursday that Acy did not throw a punch at Wall.

"I didn't throw a punch. I got up and reacted, then I just grabbed him," Acy said.

Acy received a flagrant foul 2 and was ejected from the game. Wall was issued a technical foul.

On Thursday, Acy said that he didn't expect to be suspended.

"I hope not. What was done wrong?" he said.

Acy explained that he was trying to foul Wall to stop the play because Knicks guard Pablo Prigioni was on the ground and his team was down a man on defense.

"It was just a foul. If somebody has a fast break and you step up and grab them, it's the same concept," Acy said.


(Read full post)


NBA Cold Hard Facts

December, 25, 2014
Dec 25
7:12
PM ET


video

Brad Daugherty discusses LeBron James' return to Miami, the Knicks' future and how the Thunder's speed helped to beat the Spurs.

Be like Fisher: Keep calm, have patience

December, 25, 2014
Dec 25
6:38
PM ET
John Wall Jeff Zelevansky/Getty ImagesThings got heated on the Christmas Day court ...
NEW YORK -– Derek Fisher’s first Christmas as a head coach went a lot like many of the first 30 games of his coaching career.

He was dressed in a sharp blue designer suit and was cool, calm and collected.

Even when a skirmish broke out between Quincy Acy and John Wall in front of the Knicks' bench, Fisher stayed on the sideline while his assistants did a terrific job of making sure no Knicks ran onto the court.

At the same time, the Knicks on the floor didn’t rush to Acy’s aid when the Wizards came to Wall’s defense. Sure, Acy started it with a hard foul, something the Knicks actually needed, considering how Wall shredded them for 24 points and 11 assists without the slightest resistance. Eventually Carmelo Anthony tried to calm and restrain Acy from escalating the situation.

While Fisher doesn’t condone hurting an opponent or seeing a Knick ejected, the coach probably didn’t mind seeing some fight from one of his players, even out of frustration. But he will need his players to be united and have one another's backs when a scuffle breaks out.

[+] EnlargeDerek Fisher
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images... but rookie coach Derek Fisher showed the poise of a veteran.
It’s been an incredibly rough start for Fisher, and the Knicks need to show more fight. The Wizards handed them a 102-91 loss at the Garden on Thursday, and it didn’t feel as close as the final score indicated.

Now Fisher and the Knicks are a dreadful 5-26, which isn't where they thought they would be at Christmas. The losses keep piling up like postholiday credit-card bills, and it feels like there’s no end in sight to the Knicks’ disaster of a season.

A few fans could be heard high up in the stands chanting “Fire Fisher” throughout the game. It was nothing more than a smattering. Still, people need to exercise patience with the rookie head coach like Nets ownership did with Jason Kidd last season at this time.

Last Christmas, the Chicago Bulls ripped through the Nets like a wrapped present en route to a 95-78 rout on national television. The Nets fell to 9-19 exactly one year ago after proudly touting their championship aspirations entering the season.

Kidd heard loud calls for his head from fed-up fans at Barclays.

After that debacle, Kidd -- who some thought was in over his head during his first two months on the job -- lit into his players in the locker room. Kidd called them out; Kevin Garnett stormed off, upset at some of his teammates’ lack of fight; and the Nets looked like they were unraveling.

But after a turbulent 10-21 start, Kidd kept the team together and the Nets had a stunning turnaround, winning 33 of their next 46 games after Jan. 1.

It’s highly unlikely we will see another post-New Year’s surge like that with the Knicks. Fisher doesn’t have a roster full of former All-Stars like Kidd did.

But Kidd is a clear example of why people should not rush to judgment on Fisher. Sure, Kidd’s exit from Brooklyn was ugly, and as in any divorce, both sides played their part. But now in Milwaukee, Kidd has the baby Bucks at an unexpected 14-15 despite recently losing his prized rookie Jabari Parker for the season.

Kidd looks more comfortable in his second year as a coach, and it’s easy to forget that at this time last year he was still figuring out little things, like when his team needed him to show more emotion on the sideline, or not to spill soda to buy time to draw up a final play with no timeouts left. Any mistake he made was played out on back pages or nightly highlight shows.

[+] EnlargePhil Jackson
Brad Penner/USA TODAY SportsPhil Jackson watched from the stands as the Knicks fell to 5-26. But Jackson sees better things ahead for the 'Bockers.
Fisher, who had his own late-game timeout incident when an official didn’t see him call for time late in one game, will also get more comfortable. And we have yet to see what he can do with more talent surrounding Anthony.

“You find out quickly you don’t have the ball, so you can’t take a charge, you can’t come up with the steal,” Kidd said during the preseason about what Fisher will learn in going from player to coach. “You might see someone who’s open on the extra pass and you can’t make the pass. You can only communicate it to them, show him, and hopefully at some point the trust and respect kicks in and they can kind of find it.”

Like Kidd, Fisher has shown little frustration despite the losing.

“I never saw that,” Anthony said when asked whether he has seen Fisher get frustrated or upset. “Of course he knows and is feeling [the tough losses]. ... Coach Fish is not a guy that will show frustration."

“And he is our leader. If he’s discombobulated, then everybody is going to be discombobulated.”

Thus far, Fisher has taken the Zen-like approach of his mentor and boss, Phil Jackson, and has shown little emotion. But he says that will change when needed.

“No, I have plenty of [emotion],” Fisher said. “It’s just there are appropriate times to do it. ... Emotions during the game are already high enough. Oftentimes that’s when you see confrontations between players and coaches.

“There are ways to be confrontational and let guys know how you feel without being angry and out of control. But as time goes on, the longer I’m here, the more you’ll see.”

Phil and Fisher have a plan. And Jackson will give his protégé all the support he needs.

The Knicks have to stick to Jackson’s master plan even as the losses mount at a franchise-record pace. If the Zen Master gets things right, this Christmas will be the first of many Christmas games coached by Fisher for the Knicks.

Jackson tweeted that Santa will bring Knicks Nation “a better 2015 than 14.”

“The effort and skill of our team will grow as the players learn how to play with and for each other,” he tweeted.

The only way to see whether Fisher can turn this mess around this season or next is to emulate the rookie coach: stay calm and have patience.

Melo on the 5-26 Knicks: 'We're dying'

December, 25, 2014
Dec 25
5:15
PM ET
NEW YORK -- There’s a New York Knicks fan out there who lives and dies with the team, a fan who's been doing much more dying than living with this group.

Carmelo Anthony has a message for that fan.

“I feel what the fans are feeling,” Anthony said after the Knicks fell to 5-26 following a Christmas Day loss to the Wizards.

[+] EnlargeCarmelo Anthony
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty ImagesCarmelo Anthony put up a game-high 34 points on Christmas Day. But it wasn't enough.
"The fans are dying, we’re dying. We’re out there, we’re not producing. We didn’t expect, I didn’t expect to be sitting at 5-26," he said. "So as much as I feel for the fans, I feel for us going through it, too. I don’t expect nobody to feel sorry for us, I don’t expect nobody to feel sorry for me."

The ones to feel sorry for here are the fans who pay attention to this team. They’re investing time (and money) in a team that has lost 16 of 17 games. A team that has had separate losing streaks of six and 10 games. A team that has set a franchise record for consecutive home losses (eight) in a single season.

Even Anthony seems fed up with the inconsistency.

“We have spurts throughout the course of the game where we are showing something, showing that we’re getting it and we’re focused and we have the energy to go out and do it,” Anthony said. “But there are times where we show that we’re not even out there on the basketball court. ... We gotta start trying to put a whole game together.”

That certainly didn’t happen Christmas Day.

The Wizards jumped out to a 9-2 lead in the first quarter by hitting their first four shots. They had 34 points -- and an 11-point lead -- by the end of the quarter.

The Knicks trailed by as many as 22 and never seriously threatened Washington in the game -- except when Quincy Acy went after John Wall with 5:31 to play. That was the only time this Knicks team showed much fight.

“There are times throughout the course of the game where it seems like we’re making strides and getting better,” Anthony said. “And then there are times where it feels like we’re not.”

Not exactly what Knicks fans want to hear about a team that Anthony and president Phil Jackson thought had enough talent to make the playoffs when the season started.

Instead, the Knicks have the most losses in the NBA and are nine games back of eighth place in the Eastern Conference.

Jackson tried to give Knicks fans a reason to be optimistic when he tweeted on Christmas Eve that 2015 would be better than 2014.

Anthony said Thursday he hadn’t seen the tweet because he doesn’t spend much time on Twitter these days.

But he rightfully pointed out that Jackson doesn’t have much time between now and next year to make things better.

“2015 is in a couple of days,” he said.

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

The State Of The Knicks

December, 25, 2014
Dec 25
3:25
PM ET


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Amin Elhassan and Chauncey Billups discuss the likelihood that Carmelo Anthony stays in New York after this season and how long it will take for the triangle offense to be effective.

Wall drives Wizards through Knicks

December, 25, 2014
Dec 25
3:03
PM ET
John Wall’s performance in an easy Washington Wizards 102-91 win over the New York Knicks was a picture of perfection, at least in one way.

The Wizards are 20-8, their third-best record through 28 games in team history. The Wizards started 21-7 in both 1968-69 and 1974-75.


Wall finished with 24 points, 11 assists and six rebounds. It was his ninth game with at least 20 points and 10 assists this season, the most of anyone in the NBA. (Next-most is LeBron James, who entered Thursday with six.) The Elias Sports Bureau notes that Wall is the first Wizards player to have a 20-point, 10-assist game on Christmas.

Wall’s 51 points created was nearly 10 more points than his season average (42.3 points created per game). The Wizards are 10-1 this season when Wall scores 20 or more points.

How Wall got it done
The key to the game for the Wizards was how they fared when Wall took the ball to the basket. Washington shot a perfect 8-of-8 and scored 19 points on Wall’s drives (all in the first three quarters). The 19 points were double what the Wizards have averaged scoring on Wall’s drives.

Owning the paint
The Knicks entered the day allowing only 37 paint points per game, the fewest in the league. The Wizards burned them for 50 points in the paint, making 25 of 42 shots.

Washington’s power forwards, Nene Hilario and Kris Humphries, combined to shoot 13-of-17. That included 7-of-9 shooting in the paint and 5-of-6 on midrange, straight-on jump shots.

The floundering Knicks
The Knicks set a dubious distinction in this game. They’ve lost eight straight home games in a single season for the first time in team history.

Carmelo Anthony did score 34 points in defeat. He’s scored at least 30 points in all four Christmas games in which he’s played, but his team is 1-3 in those games.

Elias Sports Bureau Stat of the Day
The Wizards are 15-7 all time on Christmas. Their .682 winning percentage is the third-best of any team on Christmas, trailing the Trail Blazers (14-3) and the Heat (8-2).
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John Wall discusses what happened in the skirmish with Quincy Acy and his performance in the Wizards' 102-91 win over the Knicks.
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NEW YORK -- John Wall had 24 points and 11 assists, eluding the Knicks all day until getting knocked to the floor by a flagrant foul that sparked an altercation, and the Washington Wizards beat New York 102-91 on Thursday.

Wall toyed with the Knicks for 3 1/2 quarters, highlighted by a spinning, 360-degree layup, before Quincy Acy knocked him down with a forearm shove with 5:31 to play. Wall got up and pushed Acy, who responded with a punch that appeared to hit Wall behind the neck. Acy was ejected in the Christmas Day dust-up, and Wall received a technical foul.

Bradley Beal added 17 points for the Wizards, who had their top five of Wall, Beal, Paul Pierce, Nene and Marcin Gortat in the starting lineup for the first time this season.

Carmelo Anthony scored 34 points for the Knicks, who fell to 5-26 and have the most losses in the NBA. They have dropped six straight and 16 of 17.


(Read full post)


Wizards 102, Knicks 91; NY has lost 16 of 17

December, 25, 2014
Dec 25
2:33
PM ET
NEW YORK -- How’s that for a Christmas present, Knicks fans?

The New York Knicks were embarrassed for most of the afternoon by the Washington Wizards, falling 102-91 to Washington on Christmas Day.

John Wall had 24 points, 11 rebounds and six assists and Carmelo Anthony had a game-high 34 points as the Knicks fell to 5-26.

New York has lost six straight and 16 of 17. The club has also lost eight in a row at home. That is the longest single-game home losing streak in franchise history. The Knicks had lost eight straight at Madison Square Garden previously but that was across two seasons from March 28 to Nov. 9, 1985.

Christmas tussle: Hey, at least the Knicks finally showed some fight.

Quincy Acy was ejected in the fourth quarter following a skirmish with Wall.

Acy shoved Wall when the Wizards guard had the ball in his hand with 5:31 to play in the game. Wall retaliated with a shove, and things escalated from there. It was unclear whether Acy threw a punch during the skirmish, but both players had to be separated by teammates.

Acy received a flagrant foul 2 and was ejected from the game. Wall received a technical foul.

The league will review Acy’s foul and may choose to fine or suspend him. The Knicks’ next game is Saturday against the Sacramento Kings.

Crushed in the paint: Washington shot 52 percent from the field with many easy baskets in the paint. The Wizards scored 50 points in the paint, outscoring the Knicks by 20. They also pulled down seven more offensive rebounds than the Knicks (13-7).

New York shot 4-for-22 from beyond the arc, while Washington hit 7 of 16 3-point shots.

Anthony went 0-for-6 from beyond the arc, Jose Calderon went 2-for-7 and Tim Hardaway Jr. missed 4 of 5 3s. Not a good day for the best three 3-point shooters in the starting lineup.
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Knicks forward Quincy Acy was ejected after throwing a punch at Wizards guard John Wall in the fourth quarter of New York's 102-91 loss to Washington.

Quincy Acy tossed after shoving Wall

December, 25, 2014
Dec 25
2:21
PM ET
video

NEW YORK -- Well, at least the New York Knicks finally showed some fight.

Forward Quincy Acy was ejected from the Knicks' 102-91 Christmas Day loss against the Washington Wizards after a skirmish with star guard John Wall.

Acy shoved Wall when the Wizards guard had the ball with 5:31 to play in the game. Wall retaliated with a shove, and things escalated from there. It was unclear whether Acy threw a punch during the skirmish, but both players had to be separated by teammates.

Both Acy and Knicks coach Derek Fisher said that Acy did not throw a punch at Wall.

"I didn't throw a punch. I got up and reacted, then I just grabbed him," Acy said.

Acy received a flagrant foul 2 and was ejected from the game.

The league will review Acy's foul and may choose to fine or suspend him. The Knicks' next game is on Saturday against the Sacramento Kings.

When asked about a possible suspension, Acy said, "I hope not. What was done wrong?"

Acy explained that he was trying to foul Wall to stop the play because Knicks guard Pablo Prigioni was on the ground and the Knicks were down a man on defense.

"It was just a foul. If somebody has a fast break and you step up and grab them, it's the same concept," Acy said.

Wall received a technical for his role in the skirmish.


(Read full post)


The New York Knicks held a moment of silence for the two NYPD officers, Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, who were shot and killed while sitting in their car in Brooklyn on Saturday afternoon.

The team showed a photo of both officers and asked fans to stay silent for a few moments to honor their memory. Thursday’s game was the Knicks’ first home game since the officers were killed.

Other New York teams have also honored Ramos and Liu.

New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin wore a black strip on his left shoulder and a peace sign under the "NY" logo on his blue pullover for the Giants' game against the Rams on Sunday.

The New York Jets held a moment of silence before Sunday's game against the New England Patriots, as did the Brooklyn Nets before their game against the Detroit Pistons.

The New York Rangers also held a moment of silence before Sunday’s game against the Carolina Hurricanes.

Sam spreading cheer: Good job by Knicks center Samuel Dalembert and the Garden of Dreams Foundation, who provided a Westchester family in need with a free car on Christmas Day.

Dalembert and the Garden of Dreams surprised the Curtis family of South Salem, New York, with a new car, insurance on the car for two years and $500 in gas cards.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Carmelo Anthony
PTS AST STL MIN
24.0 3.2 0.9 36.7
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsA. Stoude... 7.4
AssistsJ. Calderon 4.2
StealsP. Prigioni 1.3
BlocksS. Dalembert 1.2