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 noon ET!
Jared Zwerling (12:01 PM)
Let's get this chat started ...
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What New York City Arena do you think that the 2015 NBA All-Star Game will be held at?
Jared Zwerling (12:03 PM)
Both MSG and Barclays have compelling arguments. MSG is going through a transformation and Barclays is obviously brand-new. Perhaps the NBA flips the script and hosts events at both arenas?
Ben(ny) [via mobile]
Finally Kenyon is on the Knicks!!! Do you see the Knicks using him sparingly like they used Wallace or throw him 20-25 minutes a game?
Jared Zwerling (12:05 PM)
I would say probably a good amount for a bench player -- 15, 20 minutes -- or he could start. He's initially on a 10-day contract, so the Knicks are going to want to play him to see what he brings. I think you'll likely see him in a Knicks uniform the entire season.
Ozair (Edison, NJ)
Jared any word on the Knicks bringing in Richard Jefferson and Mikki Moore to complement KMart and JKidd?
Jared Zwerling (12:06 PM)
There are no additional players coming in. Can't happen.
Hard to see the Knicks making big splash in playoffs. Some inexplicable games recently where we are blown out and defense is non existent even for the nba regular season. Do we need a 3- year plan to restructure this team? My first move is get Popovich as a coach! Money doesn't matter. His teams play every night. Knicks franchise deserves more then the over-paid assortment we now have
Jared Zwerling (12:09 PM)
A lot of fans feel your frustration right now, as the Knicks have basically been a .500 team as of late. The Knicks clearly need to adjust their offense and defense. Teams have somewhat figured out their basic offense that caters to 3-point looks, and more motion and ball movement needs to happen. Defensively, it starts with how they guard the transition game. A lot of that is effort, but the Knicks need to also work on their positioning and defensive awareness. I still think Felton and Shumpert are weak spots right now on the perimeter. Hopefully they improve in due time.
Abir Hossain (New York, NY)
Do you think the Knicks have to stop shooting as if they're in the D'antoni offense, and focus more on pick and rolls/playing inside out? I know you have to shoot your way out of a slump, but some of the poor shooting is shooting us out of games.
Jared Zwerling (12:12 PM)
As I just mentioned, they've been relying on the outside ball too much. It's due to the space-out formation Woodson has the guys in. There needs to be more movement in the offense, which will help their defense. When you stand around on offense, watching Melo too much, you tend to be slower getting back on the other end.
Daniel (Bronx, NY)
I heard rumors that the knicks turned down a 3 way deal for tyreke evans involving shumpert(via twitter)...did you hear anything about this from your sources?? if so...thoughts on such a deal...
Jared Zwerling (12:14 PM)
Shumpert was never going to be traded. Many teams inquired about several of the Knicks, but Shumpert and Co. weren't going anywhere. When I reported that Brewer was being shopped, that even surprised me because the Knicks have been struggling with their perimeter defense. I personally think the team gave up on him too quickly. He was a big part of the team's early success. Hopefully looking ahead, Woodson helps the other role players. He has said several times he needs to help certain guys play better. Some of them feel under-utilized.
Abir Hossain (New York, NY)
Also, what can we do to improve on defense? It seems like we depend too much on Chandler, and he's being overwhelmed with our "swiss cheese" perimeter D.When we go to zone it seems to keep all the lesser defenders more engaged.
Jared Zwerling (12:16 PM)
Shumpert getting back to form, and Wallace, Camby and Martin should help. I also think White needs to play more. Kidd should come off the bench to perhaps allow White or Martin to start for better defensive first quarters. The Knicks have the right defensive personnel; they just need to be fully healthy.
Quincy (The Hague, Netherlands)
As what seed do you think the knicks will start the playoffs
Jared Zwerling (12:18 PM)
3 or 4. The Knicks have the most difficult schedule in the NBA the rest of the way, and I think the Pacers will be the second seed. As we all saw the other night, they look really good, even with the Knicks' struggles. The Bulls could creep up as well, even without D-Rose. They get after it every night defensively and their offense is balanced, which the Knicks need more of.
Michael B (Long Island)
Jared,Since the beginning of the season I've been cautiously optimistic. Especially with the recent struggles do you see the Knicks getting back to form in the 2nd half and come play off time. Is it physically possible for them to play the style of D they played in november?
Jared Zwerling (12:19 PM)
As I just mentioned, if some of their key pieces get healthy and provide some good minutes -- obviously not big ones -- I think they can. They have the right personnel.
Jared.... It seems to me that we are getting used to playing guys out of position.... Melo at pf....shumpert at sf.....Kidd as starting 2 guard .... Any chance we see the line up as we thought is should be at the start of the season.....Felton shumpert melo amare and Tyson to start the game ...in their natural position ??
Jared Zwerling (12:21 PM)
Woodson addressed this yesterday regarding potential lineup changes. I think White or Martin should start at the 3 for better defense, and allow Shumpert to slide to the 2 (preferably White). Then, Kidd could be the backup PG. As far as Melo at the 3 or 4, it doesn't matter. He's Melo; he'll cook from wherever.
Is Martin's debut Sunday against the 76ers?
Jared Zwerling (12:22 PM)
Not sure yet. I understand he's finalizing his deal today, so that's a good possibility.
Can we amnesty Amar'e at the end of the season and try to sign a big name in free agency (J-SMoove, CP3). Amar'e's productive days look to be a thing of the past.
Jared Zwerling (12:23 PM)
The Knicks have used their amnesty on Billups. I think Amar'e has been playing well since his return. His post game and ability to get to the foul line are benefits in physical playoff matchups.
Trevon (Plattsburgh, NY)
I personaly feel if the knicks want to take the next step, they have get melo at the three. Their rebounding and defense has been terrible, relying on Chandler to do every thing on that end of the floor. What do you think?
Jared Zwerling (12:26 PM)
That's not the issue. What's more important is their perimeter D. Perhaps they'll start White or Martin? I think having Camby and Wallace back will definitely help tighten up their defense and rebounding. The Knicks' second unit has been getting much more exposed without that big-man help.
AZ (Tarpon Springs, FL)
Hey! Will K Mart play tonight against the Raptors?
Jared Zwerling (12:27 PM)
I don't think so. I would say he'll make his season debut on Sunday against Philly.
Les (East Windsor, NJ)
Jared, obviously, things aren't working for the Knicks right now. In addition to spacing issues on the floor, to me, not enough 2nd or 3rd options with Melo on the court. Why wouldn't Woodson consider starting Copeland, who is a proven scorer, or at least play him more? If you say he is not a good defender, no one is playing good D for them now anyway.
Jared Zwerling (12:28 PM)
Copeland can definitely play, but even his agent knows he needs to improve defensively. I think White or Martin are better bets at the 3 spot. However, Copeland should play off the bench. He's a great energy player and can score inside-out, which the Knicks can use more of. Copeland's ability to drive and post is an asset.
steven(long island ny) [via mobile]
Based on defense, u think getting rid of brewer was a good move? And do think keeping shumpert was a good idea?
Jared Zwerling (12:32 PM)
I was a little surprised by Brewer. I personally think the Knicks gave up on him too soon. He was a big part of what they were doing earlier in the season, and he's the kind of role player you need in the playoffs. But he wasn't hitting shots, and Woodson is quick to bench certain role players when they're not.
Steven haynes (New York)
Why Wasent Iman Shumpert in the rookie/sophmore game? He was 5th in voting last year for ROY
Jared Zwerling (12:33 PM)
Likely due to his returning only one month before the All-Star break.
Anthony (New York)
Why didn't we get rid of Youtube-Dunker James White instead of Brewer who is a great defender?
Jared Zwerling (12:36 PM)
Well, I think for one was Brewer was more expensive, and Martin wasn't going to sign for pennies. The second is that Woodson didn't see a role for him because Brewer couldn't hit shots in his space-out offense. But, like I said before, I think the Knicks gave up on him too soon. Woodson needs to help his role players more to find their rhythm on the court.
Jared - Is it me, or is Melo falling into some old bad habits? I feel as though I'm seeing a lot more isolation plays recently, and a lot less intensity on the defensive end. And to top things off, this year he's chucking up three's like his name is JR!
Jared Zwerling (12:40 PM)
The offense hasn't been getting the same looks they were getting earlier in the season, and, therefore, Melo has been favored too much as a scorer. Woodson needs to go back to the drawing board.
Joseph (New York, NY)
Jared, you keep saying Kenyon at the 3. He has been a PF his whole career and I doubt that he can guard Small forwards in this league now. Please explain this logic.
Jared Zwerling (12:43 PM)
Martin can defend 3s and 4s. Even if he's on the court with Melo, he could take the 4 and Melo could take the 3. I also think offensively, his midrange jumpshot will help the Knicks off Melo's penetration and Felton/Chandler running their pick-and-roll.
Will (Brooklyn, NY)
It's no secret that the Knicks have been getting lit up by opposing teams PG's, so why doesn't Woody give Prigioni more playing time against the other teams top guards? At worst, his full court defense can tire these guards out so they won't have the same burst towards the end of games.
Jared Zwerling (12:46 PM)
I really like Prigioni. I've been raving about his defense all season. If Kidd goes to the bench, I think Prigioni's minutes may drop, but Woodson still needs to play him. His impact disrupting opposing guards the full length of the court has been very effective. Offensively, though, he can't penetrate as well as Felton, and this is an issue the Knicks' backcourt has outside of Felton. They don't have a lot of point guard attackers, and this is why Woodson needs to adjust the offense to get guys like Smith and Shumpert into the paint more to make plays; not maintain too much of a perimeter game.
Trevon (Plattsburgh, NY)
The knicks are getting out rebounded every night and lacking on interrior defense this season. Do you think it is time to move Melo to the three with the addition of Kenyon Martin?
Jared Zwerling (12:47 PM)
Melo and Martin could alternate at the 3 and 4, but I think what's important is Wallace and Camby coming back. Chandler has been basically on his own down low for most of the season.
Where does it all start for these guys playing 100% every night? Who is even the leader on the team?
Jared Zwerling (12:51 PM)
Great question. I think Chandler is the main enforcer. You can point to energy and effort, but I think the Knicks aren't on the same page right now. Some players feel under-utilized and the Knicks need more structure with their sets and things like that. I think they're playing too freely on the court and unsure of positioning, etc. It's been too much standing around and watching Melo do his thing.
Joseph (New York, NY)
Jared...at the start of the season it seemed that Woodson was telling all of us that he WILL make the combo of Melo, Stat and Chandler co-exist. Now it seems that he is afraid to use that combo in favor of the the pathetic small lineup that he starts, even against bigger better teams. What gives?
Jared Zwerling (12:53 PM)
Again, it starts with their perimeter defense. Felton, Kidd and Shumpert have been exposed. The Knicks will hopefully soon have Martin, Wallace and Camby back to help contend bigger teams. They've been men down.
TJ (Brooklyn, NY)
Do you think that Woody's loyalty and belief in his older players is a reason why he is hesitant to shake up the line up...JKidd I think would be more effective off the bench and we could use some kind of spark on both ends of the court.. why not give Cope or even White a chance. Maybe start Pablo alongside Felton.
Jared Zwerling (12:56 PM)
Well, Woodson did talk yesterday about possibly shaking up the lineup looking ahead. I like the idea of Kidd off the bench as the backup point guard to create room for Martin or White to start for defensive purposes. Teams have been going right at Kidd purposely when he's the starting shooting guard, and that's party led to their poor starts.
Mike (Staten Island)
Iman Shumpert has not looked like the Iman Shumpert that we know and love. Are we going to see the old Shump this year(hopefully around playoff time)?
Jared Zwerling (12:59 PM)
Great question. First off, on a positive note, he looks fine conditioning-wise and he hasn't had any physical setbacks. It's just him conquering the mental side of the recovery. You can tell he's still learning how to read screens and things like that. There's still plenty of time until April, but I don't think you'll see the full Shump until next season. ACL injury recoveries take a while.
Pat (long beach) [via mobile]
Im surprised you made no mention of Melo on the leadership question and I think thats the biggest issue with this team. Melo is an outstanding player but not a leader. Case in point, him laughing it up on the bench while getting crushed by the Pacers
Jared Zwerling (1:00 PM)
I think Chandler is the most vocal on the team in the locker room. Previously, he's said things during halftime to get his guys going. The players have talked about Chandler's vocal leadership. I'm not saying Melo doesn't lead, though, but Chandler seems to be the guy who says a lot more.
Hey Jared, Whats the latest on Rasheed's return? Also, are there any grumblings that Shumpert came back too soon, or any reason why he's been so bad?
Jared Zwerling (1:02 PM)
Sheed is just returning and he still has to get back into NBA game shape. It could take a little time. I'm not sure on a specific date. As far as Shumpert, I don't think they rushed his return. In interviews, he said he was ready to go. I think the Knicks even delayed his return a couple of weeks just to be sure.
JEFF (WELLINGTON FL)
I AM SO GLAD THAT KENYON IS FINALLY ON THE KNICKS SQUAD. WHAT DO YOU FEEL HE BRINGS TO THE KNICKS? I'VE NEVER REALLY WATCHED HIM IN GAMES, ONLY HIGHLIGHTS THAT IS WHY I ASK.
Jared Zwerling (1:05 PM)
Kenyon brings versatility on defense. If the Knicks switch, he has the ability to guard some wing players well. He's a physical player and energetic, so he'll definitely bring life and an attitude to the Knicks. Offensively, he has a great midrange jumpshot and he can score around the rim with his athleticism. He's a player who basically covers the entire court and does a lot of little things to help win games.
Chris (New York, NY)
Are there any plans in place to better assert Tyson Chandler into the offense? Good things happen when he's active, and he's the most efficient per-shot scorer in the league.
Jared Zwerling (1:08 PM)
I wouldn't say there's a plan, but I think he's always more effective when he runs pick-and-rolls with not just Felton. He's been also effective with Melo and Smith. The Knicks need to run more pick-and-roll sets featuring him and Amar'e when they're on the court together; not as much iso ball. Chandler is also great in transition, slipping to the basket helping guys set up for shots.
Jared Zwerling (1:09 PM)
Hey guys, thanks for your time! I know I missed some of your questions, but please tweet me @JaredZwerling and I'll answer them. Thanks!
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