New York Knicks: 98.7

King applauds Anthony's record night

January, 25, 2014
Bernard King and Carmelo AnthonyGetty ImagesBernard King texted Carmelo Anthony after the latter's record-setting night on Friday.
Knicks legend Bernard King got off a plane in Houston late Friday night with a phone filled with text messages.

“Are you watching the game?”

“Are you seeing this?”

He wasn't, but King soon found out that his Knicks single-game scoring record was broken. And he couldn't have been happier.

“I am delighted for Carmelo, I’m happy as can be,” King said Saturday in an interview on ESPN New York 98.7 FM’s “The Alan Hahn Show.” “All records are meant to be broken. I’m delighted that it was Carmelo. He’s a Knick through and through. It should be held by a Knick player.”

Anthony set the franchise single-game scoring record and the Madison Square Garden single-game mark Friday night when he hung 62 points on the Charlotte Bobcats.

The previous franchise mark was held by King, who scored 60 points against the Nets on Christmas Day, 1984.

King and Anthony have a special bond.

Anthony has frequently cited the Hall of Fame forward as one of his favorite players, one of the scorers he tried to emulate growing up. The two have grown close since Anthony came to New York in a blockbuster 2011 trade.

Anthony referenced his relationship with King on Friday night when he talked about the “special” nature of breaking his idol’s record.

“Definitely a special moment, man,” he said.

Anthony and King are among a handful of humans who know what it’s like to be in the kind of “zone” Melo found himself in Friday.

King explained the experience to Hahn: “People cannot understand unless they experience it firsthand, really what that’s like. You’re connected to the ball, you’re connected to the flow of the game. You’re connected to the seams in the defense. You’re connected to the defensive schemes that the opposing team is running to defend you. You’re connected to your teammates and where they’re going to be on the floor. Everything comes together completely at that moment. When you’re in a basketball zone there is no way an opposing team, defensively, is going to stop as great a player as Carmelo Anthony.”

The Bobcats found that out the hard way as Anthony torched them for 37 points in the first half and 56 through three quarters. He finished with 62 on 23-for-35 shooting and pulled down 13 rebounds.

Afterward, King texted him, “You were in a basketball zone tonight.”

But how many more nights does Anthony have at the Garden?

He will test free agency over the summer. King doesn't have any insight into Anthony’s decision, but believes the star forward will re-sign with the Knicks.

“There’s no greater organization, there’s no greater city to play in than New York,” King told Hahn. “I think that if you look at Melo and his time here in New York, he has relished that. And I really don’t see Melo leaving New York. This is from my perspective. Where else is he going to go? The fans love him here. And certainly, the performance last night is one for the ages, it’s historic.”

Spoken like a guy who’s had a few of them himself.

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

Woody: Defense was 'awful' vs. Bobcats

January, 15, 2014
Twenty-four hours after Tuesday's loss, Mike Woodson was still pretty mad about his team’s no-show performance against the Charlotte Bobcats.

"Defensively, we were just awful," Woodson said Wednesday on ESPN New York 98.7 FM’s "The Stephen A. Smith & Ryan Ruocco Show."

Woodson’s club held opponents to 89 points per game during its five-game winning streak. They couldn’t reach that standard against Charlotte on Tuesday night, finishing far from it.

The Knicks allowed the Bobcats to shoot 50 percent from the field and gave up 108 points to a team that ranks 28th in points per game. In the Knicks’ defense, they were playing the second game of a back-to-back, but Woodson didn’t want to use that as an excuse.

"I gotta point the finger at me," said Woodson, who said his team "wasn’t ready defensively."

The Knicks got Tyson Chandler back for the Charlotte game after the center missed four games due to bronchitis. Chandler said in an interview with "The Michael Kay Show" that he was "winded" and "a little light-headed" after playing 16 minutes against the Bobcats. He did not anticipate being under a minutes restriction for Thursday’s game against the Indiana Pacers.

Tyson says Woody and J.R. will grow "stronger" after incident: Chandler is taking an optimistic view of the latest J.R. Smith-Mike Woodson tiff.

"I’m not too concerned, to be honest with you, because I feel like it will get solved, and it will actually make [J.R.] and Woody stronger as far as having an understanding of one another," Chandler told Kay and Don LaGreca.

[+] EnlargeKnicks
Kent Smith/NBAE/Getty ImagesThe Knicks didn't get the job done on defense against the Bobcats.
Smith was late to a team meeting Tuesday, sources told, which might have led to his benching Tuesday night.

Smith also had a run-in with Woodson on Monday after he complained about his playing time in overtime of the Knicks' win over the Phoenix Suns, sources confirmed.

Sources say Smith expressed his frustration with Woodson during the game, and the two had a brief, heated discussion over Smith's displeasure shortly after the game. Smith's tardiness Tuesday and frustration with playing just 45 seconds in overtime likely led to Woodson benching Smith on Tuesday against Charlotte.

Woodson hasn't publicly talked about his reasons for benching Smith against the Bobcats, but he hinted in an interview Wednesday with Smith and Ruocco that Smith has shown a lack of responsibility.

"I think it is a privilege to wear a uniform in this league," Woodson told Smith and Ruocco. "There's only 30 teams. There's [only] so many players on each team. I think every player has a responsibility and has to be held accountable for what they do on a ballclub."

Chandler was asked on Wednesday if it was better for players to police themselves instead of coaches implementing team rules. Chandler said, ultimately, discipline is more effective if delivered by Woodson.

"I think players can police certain things … but at the end of the day, the coaches are kind of setting a system, the standard of what’s appropriate and what’s not appropriate -- and then players police it," Chandler said. "When it comes straight from the top, I think it sends a bigger message."

A good cause: Global charity auction site Charitybuzz is auctioning the opportunity for 20 Knicks fans to team up and hit the courts for two hours in a private basketball game. Here is the link for fans to bid. Proceeds benefit the Garden of Dreams Foundation, which serves the city's youth.

Fans can also bid on the chance to meet Amar’e Stoudemire at the Knicks vs. Kings game on Feb 12, Iman Shumpert at the Knicks vs. Mavericks game on Feb 24 at Madison Square Garden, Tyson Chandler at the Knicks vs. Kings game on Mar 7 and Carmelo Anthony at the Knicks vs. Cavaliers game on Mar 23.

Bidding is open through Jan 28.

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

Mike Woodson blasts J.R. Smith

January, 8, 2014
Is Mike Woodson losing faith in J.R. Smith? It sure sounds like it.

The Knicks coach called Smith's recent shoelace stunts "unprofessional" and "unacceptable" in an interview Wednesday on ESPN New York 98.7 FM's "The Stephen A. Smith and Ryan Ruocco Show."

The NBA fined Smith $50,000r on Wednesday for "recurring instances of unsportsmanlike conduct" after he untied -- or jokingly attempted to untie -- an opponent's shoelace in each of the Knicks' last two games.

"I'm not happy about this because he was warned, he comes back, and he makes the same mistake, and it's not right," Woodson said, sounding like an angry parent. "It's just got to stop. I keep saying this every time something pops up, but it's got to stop."

The coach added that Smith has been "unprofessional about how he's approached this whole thing. Something's gotta be done. It has to stop. I'll address it tomorrow when I see him, and then we'll go from there."

Just what will J.R.'s punishment entail?

Woodson, as you know, has been a staunch Smith defender throughout his Knicks' tenure.

Smith has accrued more than $100,000 in fines since he signed with the 'Bockers in 2011. But his head coach has stayed loyal through every misdeed and mishap.

This season, Woodson is playing Smith 32.3 minutes per game, sticking with him despite some awful shooting numbers (34.8 percent). According to Chris Herring from the Wall Street Journal, Smith is on pace to become the first player since 1960 to average more than 30 minutes per game and shoot under 35 percent from the floor.

So if Woodson wants to take a stand, maybe he should start with cutting Smith's minutes. Both Iman Shumpert (in the last four games) and Tim Hardaway Jr. (for most of the season) have shown that they can provide what the Knicks need at shooting guard.

Does that make Smith expendable?

The Knicks, according to sources, are fed up with Smith's transgressions. They have started to explore the trade market for Smith. The 28-year-old has been slowed by lingering soreness in his surgically-repaired knee. But surgery or not, Smith is playing well below expectations for a player who signed a three-year $18 million contract in the offseason.

Woodson seemed to recognize Smith's poor season -- both on and off the court -- when he said that the reigning Sixth Man Award winner has "done a lot of things this year that put him in a bad position and our team in a bad position. Somehow we've got to clean that up. He was a big, major part of what we did last season. There's no doubt about that. We need him to be that J.R."

Woodson also wants to see Smith "grow up" -- a message he also delivered earlier this year after Smith was suspended for violating the league's anti-drug policy.

And the coach says he's not the only one who can tell Smith he needs to get his act together.

"It can come from Carmelo, it can come from his teammates, it can come from his coaching staff, it can come from me being there, it can come from the GM, the owner," Woodson said. "At the end of the day, he's got to grow up. And how come it can't come from J.R. Smith? And that's kind of how I look at it. After a while, these things have got to stop. It's just got to stop."

Question: If you were Woodson, what would you do to get your message across to Smith?

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

Knicks expect Kidd to return

May, 21, 2013
GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Bad news for any Knicks fans hoping Jason Kidd would retire: both GM Glen Grunwald and coach Mike Woodson said they expect Kidd to return next season.

"We had a great meeting with Jason yesterday. We hope he's going to be back and from his comments to us we expect him to be back next year and he'll be a big contributor to the team like he was this year," Grunwald said on ESPN New York 98.7 FM on Tuesday after meeting with Kidd.

Kidd played an important role in helping the Knicks win 54 games in the regular season but struggled mightily in the playoffs.

The 40-year-old was scoreless in his last ten games. The Knicks were essentially playing four on five on offense when Kidd was on the floor. He missed his final 18 shots of the season.

Grunwald on Monday defended Kidd's play in the postseason.

"It wasn’t his role to score," the GM said. "He contributed in so many different ways that it’s hard to list, on and off the court. So I don’t think that was a big factor in our struggles in the Indiana series. Obviously he would have liked to make a few of those shots, but he didn’t. So that wasn’t the reason we lost."

Kidd is under contract for two more seasons but said during the year that he was unsure about playing in 2013-14.

Kidd indicated to the organization that he will be back next year but, as Woodson noted, "that can change. You never know."

Kidd's uncertain status leaves the Knicks with a murky situation at point guard. Raymond Felton is coming back, but it is unclear who will play behind Felton.

Pablo Prigioni is a free agent and is reportedly considering a return to Europe. The Knicks had success with Prigioni and Felton in the back court in a small ball lineup.

If Woodson chooses to go that route again, the Knicks would need someone to share the floor with Felton, assuming Prigioni does not return. Also, given the age of both Prigioni and Kidd, the Knicks may look to upgrade at point guard via the draft or free agency.

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

Notes: Shump says team played 'pissed off'

May, 9, 2013
While the Knicks had a rare home loss in Game 1, there was more of a bitter feeling in their mouths because of how they faltered. It wasn't about missed shots or controversial calls. As Carmelo Anthony put it after the defeat, "They outplayed us, outworked us."

The Knicks carried that anger to Game 2, fueling them to victory. Iman Shumpert described those emotions Wednesday on ESPN New York 98.7 FM's "The Michael Kay Show."

"I think it was more of a must-win as in we felt like we let that first game go," he said. "I don't think we felt pressured; we felt just a little pissed off that we didn't play hard enough that first game. We were just desperate to make that showing that we're the better team."

On why the team didn't play hard enough, Shump said, "I don't think we played laxed; I just think that Indiana came out and made the extra effort. We settled a little bit as far as getting a loose ball here and there, and those points at the end of the game just added up on us."

Here are a few other interesting nuggets from his radio appearance:

The putback dunk: "The Garden gets pretty loud when you've got something that special. That came off the rim perfect. I don't think I'll ever get a tip to come off the rim that perfect."

His words after the dunk: "In a nutshell, I was saying, 'We've got to send them home.'"

Playing on the road: "I like when people boo me. I'm already a guy that likes to play with a lot of fire, but if you give me something to be extra about it, I feel like the best comes out."

Anthony's Game 2 performance: "He was really patient I thought yesterday, just letting the game come and helping other guys get into a rhythm early on. I felt like his patience really paid off because the second Indiana relaxed on him, he just really took over the game. And once he gets it rolling, there's really no stopping him."

J.R. Smith's shooting woes: "One thing you never have to worry about with J.R. is some confidence. J.R. believes every shot he shoots is going to go in, and that's what makes him a great guard in this league. ... We're not going to stop passing J.R. the ball. ... We definitely have confidence in him to do what he's been doing for us all year."

STAT WON'T PLAY BIG MINUTES IN GAME 3: Amar'e Stoudemire remains on track to return on Saturday night for Game 3. But Mike Woodson said in an interview Wednesday on ESPN New York 98.7 FM radio that the power forward won't get much playing time.

"We won't be able to play him big minutes," he said. "But we're going to play him and expect him to do his part when he's on the floor."

Shumpert also chimed in on Stoudemire's return during his radio appearance.

"Any time Amar'e comes to play with us, it's never going to upset anything," he said. "Will we have to work him back in? Yes, but Amar'e has never been detrimental to this team. He's always been a big plus. ... He's been working so hard to get back to where he was."

You can follow Ian Begley and Jared Zwerling on Twitter.

Felton: Knicks shouldn't have worn black

May, 2, 2013
GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- If he had a chance to do it all over again, New York Knicks guard Raymond Felton said he probably wouldn't have worn "funeral black" to Game 5 against the Boston Celtics.

Felton told ESPN New York 98.7 FM on Thursday that he initially was not aware that the Knicks' black clothing signified a funeral. At first, he said, he thought the idea was meant as a team bonding exercise.

"If I would have known that it was all of that, I would have said let's not do that, let's just come like normal and let's just play basketball," Felton said in an interview Thursday evening on the "The Michael Kay Show." "We shouldn't have done it, it's over with. Now it's time to go play basketball."

The Knicks drew criticism from their coach and others for wearing black to Game 5 on Wednesday in an attempt to mimic a funeral.

The Celtics trailed 3-1 in the best-of-seven series, but forced a Game 6 with a 92-86 win at Madison Square Garden.

So, as J.R. Smith put it after the game, "We were going to a funeral, but it looks like we got buried."

Knicks coach Mike Woodson said he was not aware of the players' dress choice until Thursday morning. He addressed it with the team on Thursday and said he was "a little upset" with their decision.

"I've addressed that with our players, and that's enough," the coach said. "The game is played on the floor, and that's where it should be played."

Center Tyson Chandler said the idea of a team wearing black to a potential close out game is nothing new. Chandler said he and the other Dallas Mavericks players wore black on several occasions during their run to the 2011 NBA title.

"It’s nothing against the Celtics," he said. "It’s something we were doing as a team. It wasn’t meant to offend anybody or anything like that. It was meant to motivate guys in the locker room."

The Knicks are hoping to avoid making the wrong kind of history: they'd be the first team in NBA history to lose a playoff series after taking a 3-0 lead. They play Boston in Game 6 on Friday night.

The Knicks, by the way, have not won a playoff series since 2000.

COPELAND IN GAME 6? Woodson said on ESPN New York 98.7 FM that he may turn to Chris Copeland in Game 6 if Steve Novak can't play.

Novak is doubtful due to back spasms.

Copeland hasn't played in the past two games. He is scoreless in 24 minutes in the series. Copeland has been dealing with a shoulder injury but said last Sunday that he is well enough to take the floor.

"Copeland could become a player in this series based on Novak not playing," Woodson said on "The Stephen A. Smith & Ryan Ruocco Show" on ESPN New York 98.7 FM.

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

J.R. Smith 'tired of' inconsistent label

April, 10, 2013
J.R. Smith knows what some of you are thinking. He knows some of you are watching him play in recent weeks and wondering when the other shoe will drop, wondering when "Bad J.R." will again inhabit the No. 8 jersey.

But he’s here to tell you -- and show you -- that you can forget about it. Smith says his inconsistent play is a thing of the past.

"I’ve been known as an inconsistent player (but) I’m just tired of hearing that," Smith said last week on ESPN New York 98.7. "I just want to be as consistent as I can be to help my teammates and give us our best chance to win."

That's exactly what he's done over the past three weeks.

During the Knicks' 13-game winning streak, Smith has been a model of consistency.

He’s scoring 23.2 points per game on 49 percent shooting since the streak started March 18 against the Jazz; prior to that date, Smith averaged 16.7 points per game on 40 percent shooting.

The cause of Smith’s turnaround is simple, really: he’s taking better shots.

The Knicks' sixth man has doubled the percentage of shots he takes in the restricted area during the winning streak (15.6 percent before 3/18; 33 percent since).

He’s also taken a significantly lower percentage of mid-range jumpers since the streak started (36.8 percent of his attempts were midrange jumpers prior to 3/18; he’s down to 27.4 percent since).

"My jumper’s been on and off a lot this year and I’d been relying way too much on it," Smith said during an interview on "The Michael Kay Show." "When I drive, no one can really stay in front of me ... and it helps out our shooters because eventually everybody’s going to have to collapse and I’m able to find (an open) shooter."

The increase in trips into the paint has also helped Smith get to the free-throw line.

Prior to March 18, Smith averaged 3.2 free-throw attempts per game. In the last 13 games, that number has jumped to 7.2. Also, his true shooting percentage, which accounts for free-throws and three-pointers, has climbed from 40 percent to 50 percent.

All of the numbers have catapulted Smith into the conversation for the NBA’s Sixth Man Award. They've also increased the price tag for Smith this summer, when he tests free-agency.

But he’s not worried about that at the moment. Rather, Smith insists he’s focused on one thing: staying consistent.

"This is the best I think I’ve played right now," Smith said. "Every day and every game is being consistent, that’s the biggest thing."

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

Woodson: Knicks 'desperate' to win a title

April, 9, 2013
The Knicks are one win away from clinching their first division title since 1994.

But head coach Mike Woodson is eyeing a bigger prize: the NBA title.

In his weekly spot on ESPN New York 98.7 FM, Woodson said his Knicks are playing with a desperate air as the playoffs approach.

"It's desperate times for our team to win, and win now, and there's nothing wrong with that because that's how it should be. You don't get in this thing (and) not try to win a title ... . We're in desperate times right now to try to win an NBA title, absolutely," Woodson said Monday on ESPN New York 98.7 FM.

Make no mistake: there's still a juggernaut in Miami that's a clear cut favorite to repeat as NBA champs. And the Knicks will likely have to go through the Heat if they want to snap their 40-year title drought.

But the team's championship hopes seem a bit more realistic after Sunday's win over the Thunder.

The victory gave the Knicks 50 wins for the first time since 1999-2000. It was also their 12th straight win, the third-longest winning streak in franchise history.

And it came against a team that was 33-5 at home entering the game.

Woodson put all of the Knicks' recent accomplishments in perspective during his weekly radio spot on "The Stephen A. Smith and Ryan Ruocco Show" on Monday afternoon.

"Getting 50 wins is special," said Woodson, who is 68-32 in his first 100 regular-season games. "But I'm looking at the big picture. It's all great. We can accomplish winning our division and securing that second spot. Then the next step is winning the title. I'm only in it for that and only that."

Woodson first stated at the end of last season that the Knicks' goal was to win the division. "Now here it is right here in front of us, staring us in the face to go get it. We got to go get it," he said.

A division title guarantees that the Knicks will have home-court in the first round of the playoffs, something they haven't had in the last two seasons.

Incidentally, they've won just one playoff game over the last two years, at home against the Heat.

The division is now well within reach. The Knicks need one win or one Nets loss to clinch. Then they will turn their attention to the No. 2 seed in the East.

New York enters play Tuesday 2 1/2 games ahead of Indiana for second place in the conference. A second-place finish guarantees the Knicks home-court advantage through two rounds of the playoffs.

"All of those things are right within our reach and I’m pushing our guys from an urgency standpoint to go get it. So that’s what it’s about," Woodson said.

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

Felton 'loves' Knicks' chances vs. Heat

March, 28, 2013
Some NBA analysts and fans think the Eastern Conference playoffs are almost a waste of time this year. The Heat, they say, are a lock to return to the NBA Finals.

Raymond Felton disagrees with those people. Strongly.

In fact, the veteran Knicks point guard says he "loves" New York's chances in a potential playoff series with the defending champion Heat.

[+] EnlargeRaymond Felton
Ron Turenne/NBAE/Getty ImagesRaymond Felton says the Knicks can take the Heat in the postseason. Do you agree?
"We're definitely one of the teams who gave Miami the most fits this year, so if we get the opportunity to play them in the [Eastern Conference] finals, then I kinda like our chances. I love our chances, actually," Felton told on Thursday.

The Knicks enter play Friday in third place in the Eastern Conference, a half-game behind Indiana.

A top-three finish in the conference means the Knicks would avoid facing the Heat until the conference final, assuming they advance that far.

If they do, Felton believes the Knicks would present Miami with a major "matchup problem."

"I'm not just saying that just because I'm a New York Knick and just being biased," he said. "I just feel like we really cause matchup problems for them offensively, and then we match up well with them defensively. Like I said, I like our chances. Right now, we're winning the [season] series and we've got one more game left. So we'll see what happens."

The Knicks have won two of three against the Heat this season. They beat the Heat twice in the first six weeks of the season but lost the most recent matchup at the Garden earlier this month.

The Knicks and Heat play for the fourth and final time in the regular season on Tuesday in Miami.

"I can't wait. I can't wait," Felton said.

Felton was instrumental in the Knicks' road win over Miami on Dec. 6. With Carmelo Anthony sidelined due to a cut on his left hand, Felton poured in 27 points and handed out seven assists in the Knicks' 20-point win.

Felton was asked if point guard is one area where he thought the Knicks had an advantage against Miami, which had its win streak snapped at 27 games on Wednesday.

"I'm not saying that's a weak point [for the Heat] because [Mario] Chalmers has been great for Miami. He's won a championship there and he's a solid point guard," Felton said. "But I think that's one of the weaknesses of their team. Not saying that Chalmers is a bad player, because he's not. He's great. He's won a championship. A lot of point guards in this league can't say that. He has that. But if you look at LeBron, Bosh and D-Wade and then you look at Chalmers, you're like, 'OK, this is maybe where their weakness is at.'

"But they really don't have too many weaknesses. I'll just say that we match up well with them, that's all."

FELTON IN BK TO HELP YOUTH: Felton spoke from a Boost Mobile on Nostrand Avenue in Brooklyn, where he greeted about 400 fans, promoted the NBA Game Time Plus app, and raised money for Athletes for Charity, a local nonprofit dedicated to charitable efforts which benefit disadvantaged children.

"I just want to help kids as much as I can. If there's any opportunity where I can be a part of something like that, I'm all in it," Felton said. "Just to put a smile on a kid's face or a fan or whoever, it puts a smile on my face."

FINALLY HEALTHY: Felton missed five weeks earlier this season with a fractured right pinky. He's been back on the floor since late January, but said in an interview with ESPN New York 98.7 FM that he just recently started to feel fully comfortable on the court.

"To be honest with you, I just got comfortable maybe three of four games ago when I finally got the [medical] tape off my hand. It took 12 weeks exactly," Felton said in an interview on "The Michael Kay Show."

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

Melo wanted to end Heat's winning streak

March, 28, 2013

As the Miami Heat kept winning games -- 27 in a row before their loss to the Bulls on Wednesday night -- Carmelo Anthony wanted their streak to continue. But that was as a fan.

Playing for the Eastern Conference foe Knicks, that definitely wasn't the case. Melo wanted to make some history by being on the team that snapped the Heat's streak.

"Who wouldn't want to end it? Absolutely," he said on Thursday while appearing on ESPN New York 98.7 FM's "The Michael Kay Show." "I mean, it was kind of twofold because as a fan, just taking away my competitive spirit, my competitive nature, you want to just see them keep it going.

"But as a competitor, I wanted for them to keep it going so I could be the one that ended their streak. But what they were able to do? I mean, come on now. 27 straight games? That's a hell of an accomplishment. We probably won't see that for a long, long time."

Now the Heat have a streak to snap. That would be the Knicks, who have the longest one in the NBA right now at six games. The longtime rivals meet Tuesday in Miami, their final matchup of the regular season. The Knicks lead the series 2-1, with Miami winning the last game on March 3.

Anthony commented on the two hard fouls LeBron James received last night in Chicago, saying that the league will be on top of the issue.

[+] EnlargeTayshaun Prince, Carmelo Anthony
Debby Wong/USA TODAY Sports Carmelo Anthony helped the Knicks continue their winning streak on Wednesday against the Grizzlies.
"I doubt if you see that anymore, just the way that the game is," he said. "They clean the game up so much."

Here are some other interesting nuggets from Melo:

On the team's recent success: "It's just a matter of guys getting healthy. That tends to be the thing over here with us, man, guys being injured. We know what type of team we are, we know the type of players that we have on the team. It's just a matter of getting over that little hurdle that we had during our four-game skid. Right now, we're having fun again playing basketball, guys are getting their confidence back, guys are starting to get healthier."

On Kenyon Martin: "I know a lot of people had doubts. ... I was able to play with Kenyon for about seven-and-a-half years out there in Denver. I know what he brings to the game when he's out there and he's focused. I think sometimes in life when you sit back and then you have an opportunity to get a second chance, that brings a greater person out in somebody, and I think that's what we're seeing right now with Kenyon."

On getting his right knee drained: "It's not even about the needle; it's just about the whole process and thought of having surgery. I hate that feeling, I hate that thought, I hate that going through my mind. I'm not a big fan of going through surgery and things like that if I don't have to. I think that's what caused my knee to get to the place that it was at because I was kind of being naive."

On Syracuse, his alma mater, and Indiana, Mike Woodson's school, going head-to-head tonight in the NCAA tournament: "I'm just going to go home and watch the game, cheer my guys on, put my Syracuse warm-up on, put my national championship ring on the table. I'm going to text coach Woody throughout the game and talk trash to him, and have some fun."

You can follow Jared Zwerling on Twitter.

Grunwald: Teams have figured us out

February, 22, 2013
Glen Grunwald doesn’t have any magic solutions to end the Knicks’ two-month long slide.

He knows the team he put together needs to improve in several areas to pull out of its recent funk.

But he has drawn at least one conclusion while watching the Knicks go 14-14 in their last 28 games.

“Teams have adjusted to our offense a little bit and we need to continue to evolve,” Grunwald said Thursday on ESPN New York 98.7 FM’s “The Michael Kay Show.” "I’m very confident, Woody’s done a great job this year and he’ll figure out, going forward.”

After a strong start, the Knicks’ offense has been stuck in the mud at times in recent weeks.

During their 18-5 start, the Knicks averaged 111.1 points per 100 possessions.

In the 28 games since, they’ve averaged 106.1 points per 100 possessions.

Kay asked Grunwald if the Knicks had enough offensive firepower in their starting five. Instead of answering the question, Grunwald defended the roster he’d put together and interestingly deferred to Woodson.

“That’s really a question for Woody,” he said. “I think we have enough offense on our roster and it’s just a matter of, again, putting them in the right situations and I’m very optimistic that Woody’s going to get that right.”

DEADLINE DEALS: Grunwald admitted that the Knicks received “a number of inquiries” on Iman Shumpert but never considered dealing the second-year guard. Asked if he got any calls on Amar’e Stoudemire, Grunwald said, “We’ll say that we had a lot of interest in a number of our players.”

The GM added that he was never close to making a trade for a big-name player.

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

Woodson: No trades in sight

February, 19, 2013
GREENBURGH -- To deal, or not to deal?

That's the question facing NBA front offices with the trade deadline less than 48 hours away.

On Tuesday, Knicks coach Mike Woodson all but guaranteed that New York would be standing pat at Thursday's deadline.

"I don't think we have anything working. You always talk [about potential trades] but we like the makeup of our team as we stand today," Woodson said after the Knicks' practice on Tuesday. "This is our basketball team, and we've got to move forward in the right direction, I think."

Later, in an interview on ESPN New York 98.7 FM's "Stephen A. Smith & Ryan Ruocco," Woodson expanded on the Knicks' position entering the deadline.

[+] EnlargeMike Woodson
Mitchell Layton/MCT/Getty ImagesMike Woodson doesn't foresee any changes to the Knicks roster before the trade deadline.
He said he liked that his team was leading the Atlantic Division at the All-Star break and saw no need for a major overhaul.

Furthermore, he acknowledged that the Knicks have few attractive trade chips.

"It's not going to be easy to get [quality] players that can come in now. We have an older team and there's not a lot of teams around that are going to take older veterans," Woodson said. "It doesn't work that way. This is the team that we've assembled and I like the makeup of our ball club, I really do."

The Knicks' lone young trade piece, 23-year-old Iman Shumpert, has been involved in several trade discussions in recent days. The Phoenix Suns have shown interest.

As the Knicks keep an eye on J.J. Redick's situation in Orlando, Shumpert's name has reportedly emerged. According to HoopsWorld, the Knicks and Magic have talked a Redick-for-Shumpert swap, but nothing serious has materialized. That deal would have to include additional players to work under the salary cap.

Last week, Woodson said that Shumpert would not be dealt. On Tuesday, the coach added that any Knicks trade would have to bring back a significant piece because New York is in "win-now" mode.

"If you're going to add somebody and make a major move, you've got to add the best players in the league, and that's just not going to happen," Woodson said. "I think our team is what it is right now ... and we're not going to make any moves right now as we speak. We've got to live with what we have; I've got to manage that and make sure guys get healthy and we continue our push to the top."

The Knicks enter the second half of the season four games behind Miami for first place in the Eastern Conference with 32 games to play. They are 2½ games up on Brooklyn in the Atlantic Division and will face Indiana on the road Wednesday to open the second half.

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

Novak says Knicks know sacrifice

February, 7, 2013
During the course of the season, key role players like Steve Novak and Ronnie Brewer have seen their minutes decrease at times.

Then there are guys like James White and Chris Copeland, who have gone from starting one night to riding the bench for a few games in a row. In addition, premier scorers J.R. Smith and Amar'e Stoudemire have accepted coming off the bench.

But through all of the various individual ups and downs, the Knicks (31-16) have remained together through sacrifice. Novak talked about that on Thursday afternoon as a guest on ESPN New York 98.7 FM's "The Michael Kay Show."

"I think from the start of the season, before we even got to training camp, we knew that we were going to have a team that was deep," he said. "I think that's one of our biggest advantages; that's why we're sitting where we are right now.

"We, as a group, understand that there are going to be times that some guys play a ton and some guys maybe don't, but we're not a group that's six, seven, eight free agents vying for shots and fighting over that stuff. We're a group that understands that."

Though Novak is a rhythm player with his 3-point shooting, he said the fluctuations in playing time haven't affected him. He said the key is to be always prepared.

"I pride myself on being ready as soon as I get in there," he said. "I think you watch a guy like J.R. Smith, when he comes in the game sometimes, the first time he touches it, he's ready to go. He shoots it or he takes it to the hoop. I think that's the kind of group that we have."

Here are a few other nuggets from Novak's radio appearance:

Main defensive issue from Wednesday's loss: "Our pick-and-roll coverages weren't precise enough. John Wall was coming off and finding guys, and we weren't getting to the roll man quick enough."

Stoudemire: "Everybody really senses his energy and what he can do for us. The way we can throw it into him in the post, and having a guy who can play with his back to the basket and get you buckets, it's just so valuable. ... With so much attention paid to Carmelo (Anthony) and Amar'e, things are going to open up around them for everybody else."

You can follow Jared Zwerling on Twitter.

Woodson: Amar'e embraces bench role

February, 7, 2013
Amar'e Stoudemire has been on a roll lately.

11 straight games in double figures, shooting 64.7 percent during that span. Two perfect games from the field (7-for-7 and 10-for-10). And a 14.2-point average for the season in only 23 minutes per game.

So what's next? Just to continue what he's doing -- and without a change in the rotation. Mike Woodson said he and Stoudemire are both committed to the forward's role with the second unit.

"I think he's embraced it big time, and that's not to say that he might not ever start," Woodson said on ESPN New York 98.7 FM's "Stephen A. Smith & Ryan Ruocco" show on Thursday.

"But at this particular moment in time, we're happy with him coming off the bench and we're benefiting from it. With him and J.R. (Smith) and Steve (Novak), that really gives our bench a super threat in terms of how we play."

Woodson said Stoudemire, who returned on Jan. 1 from knee surgery, is still on a playing-time restriction, but spoke positively about how it will "prolong his career." More importantly, STAT has been helping the Knicks close out games down the stretch. That's the coach's focus.

"I think the media, everybody, is so interested in who starts the game," he said. "To me, it's who finishes the game, and that's where it all counts."

Here are a few other nuggets from Woodson's radio appearance:

The overall team: "I feel great. I think we're right where I thought we should be. ... If we can stay healthy and stay committed, we will put overselves in position because there's not a team that I think we can't beat."

Jason Kidd's shooting woes: "He went through that stretch of 15 games where Raymond Felton was missing in action and had to log a lot of minutes, and I think that's taken a lot out of him. But he's a true pro and he won't ever quit on you. ... The good thing about Kidd is that I know when a big shot needs to be taken, he's not afraid to step up and take it, or make a big-time play defensively or run the ballclub."

On Rasheed Wallace's return: "Absolutely. He will be back right after the All-Star break and he'll start practicing. ... Rasheed and (Marcus) Camby for us are for the long haul, and as we get deeper into this thing, I think they'll play a more valuable role."

You can follow Jared Zwerling on Twitter.

Woodson: 'Our offense has been stinking'

January, 28, 2013
Mike Woodson Jim McIsaac/Getty ImagesMike Woodson doesn't like the odor wafting through the Garden lately, telling 98.7 FM on Monday the Knicks' offense "has been stinking."
Even though the Knicks allowed the Hawks to score 104 points and shoot 60 percent from the field, Mike Woodson is more concerned with his team's offense. And rightfully so. While the Knicks are holding opponents to a sixth-best 94.5 points per game in January, they've significantly dropped in scoring from 102.3 points per game through December to 95.8 this month.

"Our offense has been stinking a little bit in terms of us getting ball movement and getting back to executing how we were earlier in the season," Woodson said on ESPN New York 98.7 FM's "Stephen A. Smith and Ryan Ruocco" show on Monday afternoon.

On Sunday night, the Knicks ran isolation plays 23.4 percent of the time -- their third-highest single-game mark all season. In the fourth quarter, especially, they lived and died through isolation. Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith scored half of the team's 24 points -- six fewer than the Hawks -- in those plays. Melo did make the game-winning layup in a clear-out situation.

But with Raymond Felton, the Knicks need to get back to two-sided half-court basketball. Recently, the ball has remained on one side of the court too much with a decrease in pick-and-rolls. As a result, Anthony is overworked and incurs additional body contact on his drives.

"He'll bounce back," the coach said of Felton. "I thought he had a great floor game for us (against the Hawks). He made shots early for us. Raymond will be back to Raymond before you know it."

Here are some other key nuggets from Woodson's radio appearance:

Defensive woes on Sunday night: "A lot of the problems is that we haven't been able to practice. That's got a lot to do with it in terms of guys knowing rotations, knowing when we're going to sting someone on the post. I mean, there are a lot of things that come into play when you're talking about trying to build a defensive team, guys in the lineup based on injuries."

Amar'e Stoudemire: "He's growing, that's all I can tell you. He's more engaged and more in tuned to what we want done, especially on the defensive end. ... His energy level is where it needs to be. Offensively, he's been playing beautiful basketball. I'm proud of Amar'e because he has put in a lot of time this summer."

Frontcourt significance: "I think for us in the long haul as we continue this journey is going to be the play of Amar'e, Tyson and Melo together. ... Eventually, we will get to it throughout the course of a game, big minutes. We're slowly working our way there. Statistically, they are playing pretty well together. ... That's going to be pivotal for our ballclub."

Rasheed Wallace and Marcus Camby: "We're not rushing them back. Rasheed is on the floor shooting some, but we haven't started to run with him yet. ... Camby is probably a little bit behind him in terms of his foot and getting back. But eventually, they will be back."

You can follow Jared Zwerling on Twitter.



Carmelo Anthony
24.1 3.1 0.9 36.1
ReboundsA. Stoude... 7.0
AssistsJ. Calderon 4.4
StealsS. Larkin 1.3
BlocksL. Amundson 1.6