New York Knicks: Paul Pierce

Paul Pierce on J.R. Smith: 'Who?'

September, 19, 2013
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NEW YORK -- Brooklyn Nets forward Paul Pierce would care that New York Knicks guard J.R. Smith called him "bitter" -- if Pierce knew who Smith was.

"Who? Who?" Pierce repeated Thursday when asked about Smith's comments.

Asked again, Pierce said, "Who? Exactly. Who? Who are we talking about right now? Exactly. Who are we talking about? We are talking about nothing."

Pierce fired the first shot in the East River Rivalry this summer when he said it was time for the Nets to start running New York City. The war of words between the two teams only escalated from there.

"I just look at him as a bitter person just getting out of Boston. He doesn't really know what New York is all about. He's been playing in Boston his whole career," Smith responded to ESPN New York.

Smith added: "He just knows, just know that his words have consequences and he's going to have to pay for them."

Pierce spent the first 15 seasons of his career with the Celtics before being traded to the Nets.

"Everybody knows how much I disliked the Knicks when I was with the Celtics, but I think it's grown to another level," Pierce said on ESPN New York 98.7 FM's "The Michael Kay Show." "I think it's time for the Nets to start running this city."

Smith on Pierce: He's bitter

August, 31, 2013
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NEW YORK -- Paul Pierce has sparked a war of words between the Brooklyn Net sand the New York Knicks.

Earlier this month, Pierce said that he believed that the Nets would eventually own New York.

J.R. Smith is the latest Knick to take umbrage to Pierce's comments.Knicks' Smith on Pierce remarks: He's bitter

"I just look at him as a bitter person just getting out of Boston. He doesn't really know what New York is all about. He's been playing in Boston his whole career," Smith told ESPN New York on Saturday.

Smith, speaking without anger in his voice, added: "He just knows, just know that his words have consequences and he's going to have to pay for them."

Pierce, an ex-Celtic, said earlier this month that his hatred for the Knicks "has grown a little" since he joined the Nets in July following a blockbuster trade.

For the full news story, click here.

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

Spike: Pierce 'talking crazy'

August, 22, 2013
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Spike LeeKirillWasHereSpike Lee had something to say about Paul Pierce's recent "run this city" comments.
NEW YORK -- Paul Pierce's comments have the whole city talking.

In case you missed it, Pierce, one of the Nets' newest star imports, recently told ESPN New York 98.7 FM, "I think it's time for the Nets to start running this city."

On Wednesday, die-hard Knicks fan Spike Lee fired back.

"Other teams are making a lot of noise with their big, major announcements with every move, like the Nets," Lee told ESPNNewYork.com during an event honoring Carmelo Anthony for his contributions to the New York City community. "The Knicks have been very quiet assembling their team, which I love. I love the fact that people are picking the Knicks fifth or lower in the East. It's great; let people think that. Paul Pierce is talking crazy."

Lee also knows there will be some unpleasantries when Pierce steps on the court with his new Nets teammate, Kevin Garnett.

During a spring game in 2011 at Madison Square Garden, Garnett, then on the Celtics, had some words for Lee that he'll always remember. In fact, Lee said they were worse than what longtime nemesis Reggie Miller once said to him during a game while they were trash-talking from the film director's courtside seat.

"Garnett needs to calm the [expletive] down," Lee told ESPNNewYork.com in October 2011. "There's no reason he should be cursing at me the way he did the last game. So you can put that in the article. It was disrespectful and I would never do nothing like that to him."

Lee said he and Garnett still don't talk to this day.

"Him? We don't speak," he said. "We're cordial when we see each other, but I'm not calling him up. I don't have his number to call him up, and he ain't calling me up either."

These days, Lee is producing an upcoming thriller movie. He also wrapped up his next flick, "Oldboy," starring Josh Brolin and Samuel L. Jackson. The topic of "old" came up with the Knicks, but Lee said the team is "younger now." He even thinks Metta World Peace has fresh legs.

"I love that move. He's not done; he's got a lot left," Lee said. "I love him on LeBron [James] at the end of the game. I love him on Paul Pierce or Joe Johnson at the end of the game. He can play five positions."

Lee said with the Eastern Conference upgrading -- "the beast of the East," he said -- he doesn't believe the Heat will three-peat because "it's hard to do" and they'll miss Mike Miller, who was released via the amnesty clause. Lee said the team to beat now is the Pacers, especially given Danny Granger's return and Roy Hibbert's performance in the 2013 playoffs, which reminded Lee of Knicks legend Patrick Ewing.

"We had no answer for Hibbert," Lee said. "That can't happen again. He cannot dominate. I don't know what needs to be done, who needs to be talked to, but that can't happen again -- can't happen. He's not Patrick Ewing. I know he went to Georgetown, but he's not Patrick. He was playing like it, though. He was playing like Patrick, [Hakeem] Olajuwon, Moses [Malone] combined. He was killing us."

Lee is hoping the Knicks can earn a berth in the Eastern Conference finals.

"We've got to get there -- got to," he said.

Lee made sure to also get that point across to Anthony, who was being honored by Hennessy for his philanthropic efforts in New York City.

"Everybody has your back, and you've got to get to the promised land, baby," he said to Melo, while speaking to those in attendance. "You've got to get there."

You can follow Jared Zwerling on Twitter.

Pierce: It's time for Nets to run New York

August, 8, 2013
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NEW YORK -- J.R. Smith might think the New York Knicks are the marquee team in town, but Brooklyn Nets newcomer Paul Pierce has other ideas.

"I think the hate [for the Knicks] has grown a little. Everybody knows how much I disliked the Knicks when I was with the Celtics, but I think it's grown to another level," Pierce said on ESPN New York 98.7 FM's "The Michael Kay Show" on Thursday. "I think it's time for the Nets to start running this city."

Pierce later told reporters at a Sprint H-O-R-S-E event in Manhattan: "The only thing that separates the two teams is a bridge. And both of them are in the same division and both of them are considered contenders. You can't help but say this is probably gonna be the best rivalry in sports next year."

The Nets and Knicks will meet four times in 2013-14. The first game of their regular-season series will be Dec. 5 at Barclays Center.

Click here for the complete story.

Bargnani eager for fresh start

July, 11, 2013
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Andrea BargnaniRocky Widner/Getty ImagesAndrea Bargnani said he "really wants" to help the Knicks win next season.
After suffering through years of losing with the Toronto Raptors, former No. 1 overall pick Andrea Bargnani is looking forward to a fresh start with the New York Knicks.

"I had a weird experience in Toronto. I had good years and the last couple of years were bad. When you lose there's going to be frustration. I'm just very excited to be here. I can't wait to start," Bargnani said on a conference call Thursday. "I really want to help this team to win... I'm starving to win."

The Knicks sent Marcus Camby, Steve Novak, Quentin Richardson, a 2016 first-round pick and second-rounders in 2014 and 2017 to Toronto to acquire Bargnani in a trade that was officially announced on Wednesday.

For the full news story, click here.

GLEN NOT WORRIED ABOUT PARTING WITH PICK: Some Knicks fans weren't happy that the Knicks including their 2016 first-round pick in the trade for Bargnani. The Knicks now have just one pick -- a 2015 first-rounder -- over the next three drafts.

"Obviously you'd like to have a lot of draft picks, but at the same time we use those draft picks to get good players; we're a good team because we use those draft picks and as we all know draft picks are not guarantees always," Grunwald said.

Here's what Grunwald said about sending the 2016 first-rounder to Toronto for Bargnani:

"It was already subject to a flip with Denver [as part of the Carmelo Anthony trade], so that it would be the least favorable of our pick or Denver's pick. Denver I think is going to be pretty good for a while. I didn't think we were at risk of giving up a really top pick," Grunwald said. "So again, you're looking at giving up a pick maybe in the 20s or something like that. I didn't think it was that valuable versus getting a really talented player like Andrea."

Grunwald also downplayed the idea that the Knicks made the trade for Bargnani in response to the Brooklyn Nets' headline-grabbing additions of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett.

"I think we’re always trying to get better," Grunwald said. "... We wanted to take another step forward this year and we felt that [acquiring] Andrea was a step forward for us and, notwithstanding what other teams do, we have to get better. We made a big step forward last season but obviously we're not satisfied and we need to continue to move this organization forward."

BARGS TO WEAR NO. 77: Bargnani will wear No. 77. His preferred number, seven, is currently worn by Carmelo Anthony.

"I was going to change my number anyway," Bargnani explained. "I always liked 77. I wanted to have it in Toronto."

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

Woodson: 'Offensively, we're searching'

May, 2, 2013
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FeltonBrad Penner/USA TODAY SportsRaymond Felton scored 21 points and dished out four dimes despite the Knicks' struggles on offense.
Before the Knicks take the practice court Thursday morning, the coaching staff is going to spend a considerable time going through the offensive game tape of Game 5's loss.

While the Knicks haven’t averaged 100 points per game in the series like they did during the regular season, their offensive flaws have been particularly exposed after back-to-back losses.

"Offensively, we were searching," coach Mike Woodson said after Game 5. "I'll go back and break this tape down, and we've got to come up with another plan."

The first thing Woodson is going to notice is how the Knicks' subpar defense didn't lead to much offense -- something he preaches constantly to his guys. Entering Wednesday night, the Knicks had 44 steals in the series compared to the Celtics' 21. But the Knicks had only eight steals in Game 5 and didn't capitalize that much in transition off of defensive rebounds. When the Knicks went up 3-0, those factors led to the Knicks controlling the tempo and scoring more points in the open court with their guard-oriented lineup.

"We're just not getting into our offense quick enough," Woodson said after Game 5. "We're just laboring. Our pace has got to pick up; that's on me."

Give some credit to the Celtics. In the past two games, they limited the Knicks' transition game while picking up their own pace. In the past two games, the Celtics had 25 fast-break points compared to the Knicks' 19. The Celtics have slowed down the Knicks to make them play half-court basketball through Carmelo Anthony, and the abundance of isolation caused by that slowing -- 28.6 percent of their plays in Game 4 and 26.3 percent in Game 5 -- has hurt them. The Celtics excel more defensively with their physical, grind-it-out style, and they're now winning that battle.

"The playoffs are like a game of chess, and Doc [Rivers] is winning," a veteran NBA scout said. "Doc is better than Mike at making adjustments. Doc is one of the best in the game at that."

The pressure is now on Woodson, so what might he do if Game 6 is more halfcourt-oriented?

It all starts with Anthony. Because the ball is in his hands the majority of the time, six assists won't cut it. That's how many he has in the entire series. While Melo "takes it personal with the Celtics," according to James White, he can't get caught up in trying to be a one-on-one hero. He needs to trust his teammates more and make quicker reads in pick-and-rolls and out of double-teams, utilizing skip passes to throw off the Celtics' defense.

The bottom line is: The Knicks need better ball movement. That team approach was a major difference for the Celtics in Game 5.

"I thought we moved the ball well," Kevin Garnett said. "In order for us to be successful, we need to lean on one another on both ends of the court."

Woodson also needs to play Pablo Prigioni more so he can set the tone offensively. The Argentine logged only 13 minutes in Game 5. And what about Chris Copeland? The Knicks have no other low-post threat besides Anthony, and a surprise substitution can come in handy. The Knicks also need to inject some clever screen sets to get their 3-point shooting going.

"If they don't go off from the 3-point line in the next game, it's big trouble in the Big Apple," the scout said.

After Game 5, some of the Knicks just felt they missed shots they normally make. But it's more than that, and the team will need to make some adjustments in Game 6.

Even Anthony knows the Celtics won't go away.

"It wasn't going to be a walk in the park," he said. "Those guys were going to fight, and they're showing some fight right now."

You can follow Jared Zwerling on Twitter.

D'An explains decision not to foul Pierce

March, 5, 2012
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DALLAS -- There's still some fallout from the Knicks' overtime loss to the Boston Celtics on Sunday. Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni fielded questions Monday about some late-game situations in regulation and overtime.

D'Antoni elected not to foul Boston's Paul Pierce in the closing seconds of regulation with the Knicks ahead by three. Pierce took one dribble and nailed a 26-foot 3-pointer with four seconds left to tie the game at 103-103 with 4.9 seconds left.

According to D'Antoni, the percentages say that if you don't foul late and just defend, you win those games. He didn't have specific numbers, but said it was in the 90 percent range.

"But Paul Pierce has the ball and he's like this,” D'Antoni said, showing a shooting motion. "You can't foul him because he'll go up [and shoot].

"They didn't have a timeout [and] that changes it a little bit. If you can get down to eight seconds, then maybe eight seconds you foul, they make theirs, they foul you immediately. Seven seconds left, you miss one foul shot, then they're coming at you then you got to defend it, too."

Would you have fouled Pierce?

March, 4, 2012
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Mike D'Antoni didn't.

And ultimately it cost his team the game.

AP Photo/Michael DwyerPaul Pierce sent the game to overtime with this 3-pointer.


The Knicks had an opportunity to foul Paul Pierce before he pulled up and hit a game-tying 3-pointer with 4.9 seconds to play in regulation on Sunday.

But D'Antoni elected to let the play run its course. He explained afterward the he didn't want Pierce to draw a shooting foul from beyond the arc. The Knicks were up 103-100 before Pierce knocked down the 27-footer.

Here's what D'Antoni had to say when asked if he considered fouling Pierce:

"We don't do that. There was like five seconds left. ... We play it out," D'Antoni said. "Now if it got down below three seconds, yeah, we tell guys [to foul]. Or if they got within the [3-point line], yes. But when they're outside like that and they could go up at any minute, no."

Pierce knocked down the shot. And the Celtics pulled it out in overtime, handing New York (18-19) its 11th straight regular season loss in Boston.

"I don't know if that’s execution, that’s having a horseshoe up your rear," D'Antoni said of the game-tying 3-pointer. "That's what Paul Pierce does."

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Carmelo Anthony
PTS AST STL MIN
27.4 3.1 1.2 38.7
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsT. Chandler 9.6
AssistsR. Felton 5.6
StealsI. Shumpert 1.2
BlocksA. Bargnani 1.2

NEW YORK CALENDAR