Chat with Jared Zwerling
Welcome to ESPNNewYork.com! On Wednesday, New York Knicks writer Jared Zwerling stops by to chat about the team.
Zwerling has covered the Knicks for ESPNNewYork since 2010. He is also an NBA contributor to ESPN.com and writes for ESPN High School. Prior to ESPN, Zwerling worked for Sports Illustrated, CBS Sports and started his career with the NBA in 2004, upon graduating from New York University.
Send your questions now and join Zwerling Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET!
Jared Zwerling (2:02 PM)
Hey guys, I'm here. I was just tied up talking to Mike Woodson and the players. Let's go until 3 p.m. ...
Deven (Buffalo, NY)
Can you see Amare getting traded around or on draft day or any Knick players for that matter?
Jared Zwerling (2:04 PM)
I don't see Amare getting traded. His contract -- three more years, uninsured, etc. -- is not attractive to teams. Amare is still fairly young and he really needs a point guard to get him going. It's been like his umbilical cord through the years (Steve Nash and Raymond Felton, for example). I think the priority is Jeremy Lin's recovery and signing, so Amare has a better chance of playing better next season. We will see, though ... Many questions.
Raj (New York)
What's the latest on Amare's hand? Luckly it wasn't his shooting hand.
Jared Zwerling (2:06 PM)
Latest is that he said he didn't even realize the fire extinguisher was there. He just hit something out of frustration and he said he didn't even realize he was bleeding until Josh Harrellson told him. He's out for Game 3, doubtful for Game 4. He sincerely apologized and he and his teammates are ready to move on.
franklin---Brooklyn NY [via mobile]
Where do the Kninks go from here?
Jared Zwerling (2:11 PM)
Back to where they were from March 26 to April 18, when the Knicks went 9-4 without Stoudemire and Lin. Melo played the four, and he played very well, J.R. Smith and Steve Novak got it going from the downtown and their overall defense was stellar, led by Tyson Chandler. All of those things have to click. Obviously, the Knicks will miss Shumpert's perimeter D, but Smith can fill in that hole a bit. He's playing better perimeter D under Woodson, and he's been very aggressive with LeBron in the series so far. Offensively, let's face it: Melo has to have a monster game in both Games 3 and 4 for them to have a chance, and Smith needs to be that 20-plus scorer with Novak knocking in 3 to 4 threes. Defensively, fortunately Tyson Chandler is healthy and ready to go. He was named Defensive Player of the Year today.
Ian C (Atlanta, GA)
I have to know, why does Woodson refuse to play zone?? It is documented that the Heat struggle vs the zone! Does he think it create lazyness? I think he has to do it now b/c Fields, Jr and Novak, can't play Lebron and/or Wade Man to Man. Jeffries is the only on who can defend Lebron some and he can only play 15 minutes. Will he adjust to the zone for games 3 and 4. Not solely, but just regularly?
Jared Zwerling (2:13 PM)
Zone against the Heat? With LeBron James and Dwyane Wade running point, and Mike Miller, James Jones and Shane Battier from three, I don't think zone will change things much. The Heat's offense is too good. The key for the Knicks is rotations, rotations, rotations -- and that has to happen in man-to-man or zone defense. They were a step slow in Game 2, and Miller and Battier went off from downtown.
Vic (Homestead, Fl)
Hey Jared, I believe Carmelo would rather score 40 and lose than score 20 and win. Lebron is the anti Carmelo. What are your thoughts about this
Jared Zwerling (2:17 PM)
Well, first of all, LeBron is really more of a larger-sized scoring point guard. He looks to pass a lot more. Carmelo is a different player, plain and simple. He's a scorer. So Melo has to get going in the points department every game. Overall, Melo doesn't care about 40, 50 or whatever points, but because he's a scorer, the Knicks need him to have big games in that department.
Jim (Utica, NY)
Has Coach Woodson given any indication who will start in Amare's place tomorrow night?
Jared Zwerling (2:18 PM)
Carmelo Anthony at the four -- like he was from March 26 to April 18 in Stoudemire's absence.
Jim (Utica, NY)
Will Jared Jeffries' knees allow him to play extended minutes in game 3 or is he still hurting too bad to play more than a few minutes at a time?
Jared Zwerling (2:20 PM)
Not enough time to get fully healthy. He'll be limited, probably at most 15 minutes in Game 3.
Do you expect Jeremy Lin to come back on Game 4, when the Knicks are down 2-0 to the Heat?
Jared Zwerling (2:24 PM)
First of all, Lin is out for Game 3 and Woodson said he's not sure about Game 4. Lin will be re-evaluated tomorrow with the team's doctors. If Knicks go down 0-3, definitely don't expect a Lin return. I saw Lin participate in a 3-on-3 scrimmage today after practice and he took contact and made some aggressive moves to the basket. He's done more and more each day. The question is: How will he feel tomorrow? He's said once or twice that he doesn't feel great during the recovery day and it makes him less encouraged.
Jared is it possible JLin and Amare returns for game 4? Any good news?
Jared Zwerling (2:26 PM)
Unlikely in my opinion. If Knicks go down 0-3, definitely don't expect Lin back for Game 4. Amare's motivation from what he did might be enough to get him out there for Game 4.
I Love Jeremy Lin, but if the Knicks are serious about contending for a title. Can you really afford NOT to try to bring in Nash? if there's anyone that can make this work in NY, the only point guard i can see doing it--is NASH.
Jared Zwerling (2:28 PM)
Knicks should focus on re-signing Jeremy Lin. He's young, talented and has potential. Go for that. While Nash played well this past season, he's getting up there in age. Also, reports say he wants a long-term contract and the Knicks will likely not give that to him. At the end of the day, Lin is also a business investment. Because Lin became a global sports figure, the Knicks became a much bigger global grand like the Arsenal soccer team. Knicks owner James Dolan will not let Lin get away.
Ricky (Lancaster, PA)
Any updates on the starting five lineup for Game 3?
Jared Zwerling (2:31 PM)
Woodson didn't say who's going to be at the two and three spots, but Melo will be at the four, Davis will start at point guard and Chandler will likely be at the five.
Sean (New York)
Ready to call the Amare deal a failure?
Jared Zwerling (2:36 PM)
No, Amare is still an effective player. He had a very trying season -- his bulging disk injury and his brother's death -- but he's still young enough to enter next season at a very high level. Carmelo Anthony has obviously become the focal point of the Knicks' offense and Amare took a backseat, and that adjustment hasn't yet worked for Amare. He also needs a point guard to get him going. This season, he went from playing with Toney Douglas to Iman Shumpert to Jeremy Lin to Baron Davis to Mike Bibby. Not a lot of consistency for him. A point guard is like his umbilical cord; he needs a very good one for better production. Remember Steve Nash and Raymond Felton? At the same time, Amare needs to play sometimes separately from Carmelo to get more touches at different times. I'm not trying to take away too much from Amare. I think he's still got a lot left.
Zach (Florida )
What are you talking about? Zone is extremely effective against Miami and has been for the 2 years they've been together. It's worth a shot at this point.
Jared Zwerling (2:39 PM)
I'm focusing on perimeter rotations. To me, in a man-to-man or zone defense, you have to know how to rotate and get on shooters. It's started with the Knicks not yet adjusting well to the pressure of LeBron and D-Wade they put on the Knicks' perimeter defenders. From there they have to be better prepared to rotate and jump out on shooters. Miller and Battier had way too many open looks from the baseline corner 3-point area.
Zach (Florida )
Why don't the Knicks use a no point guard offense when baron goes to the bench? Bibby shouldn't be playing any minutes let alone in a playoff series.
Jared Zwerling (2:42 PM)
They should sometimes use a point guard offense when Davis goes to the bench, and they do with J.R. Smith basically acting as the backup point guard. And he's done a nice job attacking off pick-and-rolls and getting to the basket. He's very quick and explosive -- things needed against a very athletic Heat defense. You can't solely rely on Carmelo Anthony in the post. Davis and Smith's playmaking from the top of the key open up the court more, allowing the ball to flow better from side to side. Hopefully Davis and Bibby can provide some solid minutes in Game 3, so Smith and Novak can get going from 3-point range.
Ron (Bronx, NY)
I understand your stance with Amare's deal...but considering some teams i.e. Charlotte, Detroit, have players with hefty deals and no big draw, would they bite? Like Amare for Maggette and Thomas or Ben G and Charlie V?
Jared Zwerling (2:45 PM)
A team struggling for a big name and a veteran post player would probably like to have Amare no matter what, but then those teams would lock themselves up salary-wise as well (like the Knicks are) and prevent from re-building with young and cheap talent. But keep in mind Amare is a big-market guy. He's a businessman and has embraced New York City and has done well for himself off the court here. Amare will absolutely not to want to go to Charlotte, Detroit and teams like that. I'm not sure if Amare has a trade veto in his contract. Will look into ...
Why do the Knicks continue to run into bad luck? Last year it was Chaunceys knee and Amares back, now its Amares hand and Lins Knee. Meanwhile, Carmelo is like a box of chocolate (you never know what your gonna get from him) and the refs ran the the Knicks out of game 1 and kept them at bay in game 2. Whens it going to be our time!?
Jared Zwerling (2:47 PM)
Matt, all Knicks fans feel your frustration. After going 18-6 under Woodson, injuries may have doomed the Knicks once again. But it's still Game 3 and the Knicks, with a healthy Melo (for offense) and Chandler (for defense), and 3-point shooters (Novak and Smith), this is still a series. Don't forget that. Stay positive for now. Plus, the Garden crowd will be a great sixth man for the Knicks.
Zach (Florida )
What are the Knicks plans for the offseason? Not much they can do obviously besides bring Lin back, but does he even make them better? He was ineffective against elite competition.
Jared Zwerling (2:51 PM)
Well, Lin should re-sign. That's the first thing. After him, it's trying to lock up what they currently have, and that starts with Novak and Smith. The Knicks have many of the pieces right in front of them, honestly. A starting lineup next season of Lin, Shumpert, Melo, Amare and Tyson is one of the best, and then Novak and Smith could anchor the bench. Of course, the Knicks would probably like to find a healthier version of Jared Jeffries (like a Jeremy Evans type). And they'll need a solid backup point guard. I'm told Davis would like to return to New York, but his health heading into the offseason will be a big question. The biggest challenge will be re-signing Smith, who's likely to explore the market. Novak loves New York and could return at the mini mid-level perhaps at around $2.5 million.
If you want to target one player from the free agency class 2012 that will fit the knicks,who will it be and why??
Jared Zwerling (2:54 PM)
Considering the Knicks don't have a lot of money, why not Marcus Camby to back up Tyson Chandler? He's a better defensive version of Jared Jeffries and is still pretty healthy. They could sign Camby, a former Knick, at the veteran's minimum.
I've heard from somwhere that Knicks can't afford signing Steve Novak next year.Is it true?
Jared Zwerling (2:55 PM)
Well, yeah, he'll demand more on the market after what he did this season. It would be up to Novak to sign for less here in New York. But I know he loves New York and the Knicks. He calls the Garden "a great shooter's arena."
If the Knicks can steal a win tonight suddenly all the pressure is back on Miami. What has to change tonight for them to get the W?
Jared Zwerling (2:58 PM)
It will be a close game through three quarters, with Melo playing well, Chandler being that defensive anchor, etc. It's going to come down to the Knicks having a strong fourth quarter by making stops and grabbing rebounds, controlling the tempo on offense, changing up their pace and attacking the basket. If the Knicks settle too much for outside jumpshots (like they did in their loss to the Heat on April 15), the Heat will get long rebounds and take over the game on the fastbreak, especially with LeBron and D-Wade.
Jared Zwerling (3:00 PM)
Hey guys, thanks for your time! I have to run for Tyson Chandler's press conference, starting now. If your question was not answered or you want to continue to chat, hit me on Twitter @JaredZwerling ... Thanks again.