Chat with Jared Zwerling
Welcome to ESPNNewYork.com! On Friday, 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. 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 Friday at 3 p.m. ET!
Oklahoma city [via mobile]
Im a Thunder fan all the way but Knicks are my 2nd favorite team and I live in Oklahoma so I never hear about how good the Knicks look this year. Are they championship worthy?
Jared Zwerling (3:01 PM)
If the Knicks can stay healthy (they have the depth), Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire can co-exist (I think the upgraded point-guard situation will definitely help their play) and Iman Shumpert has a strong recovery (his defense will be key against guys like D-Wade, Rondo, etc.), I think they'll be a scary playoff team and they can reach the Eastern Conference finals. But the Heat will be really tough to beat.
Michael (New York)
Will Ronnie Brewer be available for the opener vs. Brooklyn?
Jared Zwerling (3:02 PM)
He said he'll likely be ready. A meniscus procedure is very minor -- more guys than you think get it done in the offseason from wear and tear -- so he should be fine. He was looking good today working on the side court, dunking off both feet. So based on the initial timetable, he should be ready, like I said.
Chris (North carolina)
Do you see pablo getting big minutes off the bench this season?
Jared Zwerling (3:04 PM)
Because there's not as much depth right now at shooting guard, I see J-Kidd playing more two at times and Pablo getting more burn at the one. Over the course of the season, I could see him averaging about 15 minutes per game.
It is starting to look like Felton was the better choice then Lin. Do you agree?
Jared Zwerling (3:06 PM)
"Starting to look" is still a little premature. It's only one preseason game, guys. But, yes, I do think Felton is a better point guard right now. He's simply more seasoned and, therefore, has more wisdom on the court -- just like J-Kidd. Lin has potential, but he's still figuring it out. Also on a plus on the Knicks' side is that Felton appears to be in great shape.
Will Prigoni possibly take minutes away from Kidd?
Jared Zwerling (3:07 PM)
I wouldn't look at it as "taking away." At this point, J-Kidd is ready to do whatever it takes to win. And he can play some two and even three, as Mike Woodson recently said. I do see Pablo playing more one right now because the depth at shooting guard isn't as strong right now.
JR looked great last night, but do you see his displeasure of being the sixth man as becoming a detriment to the knicks and the chemistry?
Jared Zwerling (3:10 PM)
Absolutely not. J.R. is ready to go, and he understands the importance of making an impact during the game and to close things out. Woodson really believes J.R. can be the best sixth man in the league, and I think J.R. will strive for that. He's never won the award before. He should allow Carmelo and Amare to do their thing in the starting five, and then he can be his own spark in the second unit. I wouldn't worry about this.
Smooth (The Bell)
With Melo having so much success at the "4" late last season and with the National Team this summer why aren't the Knicks making more of an effort to get him minutes at the 4 when Amare is out of the game? Pairing him with Novak up front will make it much easier for him to iso having another floor spacer in the game.
Jared Zwerling (3:12 PM)
You'll see Melo all over the court. He's Melo; one of the best scorers in the league. Woodson also said he's going to mix things up in the offense. That's the benefit he has with the depth and versatility in front of him. Most of the players can play different roles. Also with Melo, don't forget he's 100 percent healthy now, so his shot will be improved. Last sesaon, he was dealing with wrist and thumb injuries, and that affected his accuracy. He showed in the Olympics his shot was money, and that will carry over to this team. He's also in great shape, so he'll have his legs under him. Melo's arguably the most underrated stretch four in the league, so expect him to excel inside-out.
Copeland or Shurna with the last spot?
Jared Zwerling (3:16 PM)
As for last spots -- I'm getting a couple of questions on this -- I still think Rasheed's going to get one and it could come down to Mychel Thompson or John Shurna competing for the final spot. Thompson, who's impressed me in practice more recently, can shoot and defend the perimeter, which is still a hole with Shumpert out. Shurna is money from downtown, and every team could always use another stretch four. He can also be a presence inside because he rebound with his athleticism, which also allows him to run the wing well in transition. You forget he's a former high school dunk champion. Chris Copeland has a chance -- the Knicks have liked him since his play in summer league -- but I think they might prefer Shurna or Thompson because they're better shooters.
Does the poor performance by the reserve Knicks vs. the Wizards lead to more veteran signings i.e. Josh Howard?
Jared Zwerling (3:17 PM)
I have no new news on Josh Howard. I'm hearing that the Knicks are going to go through a couple more preseason games to see where they stand. They're not rushing to bring on any new personnel. They first want to take the time to evaluate what they have in front of them, and that takes a couple of preseason games. Nothing compares to analyzing actual games.
Chris (North carolina)
you've seen him up close and in action so, what would your timetable be for Iman shumpert? do you think he'll be 100% at any point this season?
Jared Zwerling (3:20 PM)
I'm hearing January, but to me, I'm thinking more like March/April. It takes time to adjust to actual games. I've spoken to several players who've recovered from ACL tears, and while they returned later the next season, they still didn't feel like themselves. Anything's possible from a recovery -- you never know how your body's really going to respond -- but I'm still looking much farther after January. I would say at some point in March or so, Iman could be back to himself consistently. Even if his offensive game is off, his perimeter defense will be needed in the playoffs, that's for sure.
If Sheed makes the team does he take minutes away from Novak?
Jared Zwerling (3:21 PM)
Haha when you're shooting 7-for-7 from downtown in a game, I don't think so. Novak is the best 3-point shooter in the league right now. There will be no minutes "stolen" from Novak. His minutes will fluctuate depending on other factors; not Sheed.
What's Kenyon Martin up to?
Jared Zwerling (3:22 PM)
Tweet him and ask. I have no idea. I doubt he's coming to New York, though, but then again, the Knicks always pull off the unexpected. Who saw Rasheed Wallace in New York? So I can't say no or never.
Do the Knicks have the 2 best defensive centers in the NBA not named Dwight Howard on their current roster?
Jared Zwerling (3:24 PM)
Great question. I definitely think so. Hopefully Marcus gets healthy soon. With Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard out West, it definitely helps to have Chandler and Camby around. The Heat is one thing, but then it's likely the Lakers right after in the Finals, so those two guys will be huge defensively.
I think signing Josh Howard is a no-brainer. If Melo got hurt and say he was down for two weeks, who is going to fill in at small forward. Howard is a decent enough scorer to replace Melo and he can also defend!
Jared Zwerling (3:25 PM)
Well, of course Howard will help, but the Knicks first have to cut one of their 20 guys. That's the max allowed for training camp. The Knicks are patient right now and not rushing to add anyone else yet. I'll keep you guys posted on Howard or anyone else.
Mike D (Nj)
In your opinion, why do you think Coach Woodson was so adamant about not revealing his starting shooting guard to the media until last minute? Seems rather ridiculous for a preseason game.
Jared Zwerling (3:26 PM)
Woodson is all business, whether it's preseason or not. I don't think he really made up his mind going into the game. I don't think he's out to play a mind game with the media. So I wouldn't read so much into that.
Lots of Knicks hate this year. I was surprised Hollinger didn;t have them at least at 5 for his predictions. Still think that the Defense of this team will make us better than the Nets and Sixers and give the Pacers and Celts a tough run in a series. heat are still the cream of the crop though!
Jared Zwerling (3:28 PM)
I think the "hate" you're talking about arises from the word "old," which I don't agree with either. The core of the Knicks' rotation is still fairly young. I think critics need to use the words "wisdom" and "seasoned" more often, which J-Kidd has mentioned as well. Staying healthy is the biggest thing with the Knicks this season. Let's see if they can pass that test.
Whatup Zwerl, good to be back and talking bball. Who will be the 2nd leading scorer on this team. I know STAT is the easy answer, but i dont think so, the guy is a role player at this point...
Jared Zwerling (3:29 PM)
Definitely man! Amare will be the second-leading scorer.
Glen (Long Island)
Are there any possible young back up big men available. Copeland looked horrible!
Jared Zwerling (3:32 PM)
There could be once teams start cutting and waiving players. I can't answer that yet. I know Rasheed is being looked at as a backup four. But because he hasn't scrimmaged or played a preseason game yet, it's hard to tell right now.
Jared, you play 2k13. what do you think of the roster update and how they dropped melo's rating from 92 to 89 and amare's from 84 to 83 without the team so much as playing a preseason game up till that point? think its a little hate? or ar the padding ratings so that no matter how well melo plays this season, his rating will never be as godd as guys like kobe wade and lebron?
Jared Zwerling (3:35 PM)
I could care less about 2K13 ratings or even individual player rankings. These are "stationary" ratings to me. So many things change during a course of a season that benefit/don't benefit players. It's a team game at the end of the day, and because of how a season progresses and what the supporting cast brings, those things factor in with the increases and decreases in individual "ratings," if that makes sense.
Smooth (The Bell)
How much do you think we will see a front line of Amare, Melo, and Novak? Probably their best offensive front court but worst defensively. I just feel Melo needs Novak on the floor as much as possible during his 32 minutes each night to space the floor and create more room for him to work.
Jared Zwerling (3:37 PM)
True, but also Novak needs Melo on the floor for more looks. Melo is the Knicks' best player at getting the defense to bite inside when he attacks, which will open up more looks for shooters.
Chris (North carolina)
what happens the the shooting?point guard rotation once shumpert and brewer are 100%? who's the odd man out?
Jared Zwerling (3:38 PM)
Prigioni and White's minutes should decrease.
Jared Zwerling (3:39 PM)
Guys, I have to run a little early. Tweet me @JaredZwerling with any other questions and comments. Thank you for your time, as always!