Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Opening Tip: Time to upgrade at PG?
By Ian Begley
Monday night’s loss to Milwaukee left more questions than answers for the Knicks.
One of the most pressing questions concerns the team’s point guards.
Specifically, do the Knicks need to upgrade the position prior to the Feb. 20 deadline?
If you’re basing your answer on what happened Monday night, it feels like a no-brainer.
Raymond Felton and Pablo Prigioni both struggled to produce points against the Bucks. They combined to score six points on 2-for-9 shooting in 57 minutes.
Felton also had a tough night on the defensive end.
With the Knicks down one, Felton lost Brandon Knight on a cut to the basket. Zaza Pachulia hit Knight with a beautiful pass, and he converted a layup to put the Bucks up three with 27 seconds to play.
After Carmelo Anthony tied the score with a 3-pointer, Knight brought the ball down and drilled a 3-pointer over the outstretched arms of Felton to win the game for Milwaukee.
The Knicks’ point-guard play has been a weak spot at times this season.
According to 82games.com, the Knicks’ points guards are producing a 12.5 PER, which is a measure of per-minute production. On the other end, the Knicks are allowing point guards to produce a 17.2 PER.
The Knicks are getting 14.1 points per game from the point-guard spot and allowing opposing point guards to score 22.9 per game, according to 82games.com. Knight finished with 25 on Monday night and outscored Felton by 22.
That's a big deficit to make up at the four other positions.
So, if you believe the Knicks need to upgrade at point guard, let’s take a look at what’s out there, courtesy of our own Chris Broussard’s recent trade rumor rundown:
Kyle Lowry: The Raptors reportedly are going to see how things play out over the next two weeks before they decide what to do with Lowry. They’d been asking for a first-round pick earlier in the season, a price the Knicks weren’t willing to meet.
Kyrie Irving: Irving has reportedly expressed frustration with his situation in Cleveland. It’s hard to see the Cavs moving him in a trade at this point. And if they did make him available, they may be able to get better offers elsewhere than anything the Knicks could produce.
Rajon Rondo: This is another longshot. In the best-case scenario for the Knicks, Rondo forces a trade from the Celtics to New York. That doesn’t seem likely. Rondo, according to Broussard, looks forward to testing free agency.
Avery Bradley: Bradley can likely be had because Boston is in rebuilding mode, but would he be a big upgrade from Felton or Prigioni?
Andre Miller: The veteran would certainly be a strong presence in the Knicks’ locker room and has a relationship with Anthony, but it seems like his days playing heavy minutes may be in the past.
Jameer Nelson: He’d probably be available, but he’s making $8.6 million. So making a deal work would be difficult.
Up Now: The Knicks fell behind early and couldn’t get a stop late in their loss to the Bucks on Monday.
What’s next: The Knicks will use Tuesday to prepare for Wednesday’s home game against Portland.
Question: Should the Knicks upgrade at point guard? If so, who should they target?