Chat with Chris Sheridan
Welcome to SportsNation! On Friday, Chris Sheridan stops by to chat about the New York Knicks' NBA season.
Sheridan has been covering the NBA full-time for the past 15 years. Since joining the ESPN.com staff in October of 2005, Chris has been providing in-depth reporting and commentary on the NBA and international basketball for all of ESPN's platforms. Follow him on Twitter: @csheridanespn.
Send your questions now and join Sheridan Friday at 4 p.m. ET!
Chris Sheridan (4:00 PM)
Good afternoon from Madison Square Garden, site of tonight's playoff game. I waited seven years to write that sentence. Questions?
Landry Fields. Please show up tonight. With Stat limited and Chauncy out (I assume) I don't think they can win this game if Fields doesn't step up. Thoughts?
Chris Sheridan (4:03 PM)
They have won without him stepping up. He really hasn't stepped up since the trade -- as in zero double-doubles. Prior to the trade, he had 11 of them. Frankly, I am surprised coach D'Antoni hasn't replaced him with Bill Walker or Shawne Williams by now. If Landry gives them nothing again tonight, I could see a Douglas-Billups starting backcourt for the rest of the playoffs.
Rhonda (The Precipice )
Chris!? What has happened to my team and it's playoff potential?! How could the younger more fresh team be the one riddled with injuries while the older decrepit team is good to go (aside from Shaq)?! The basketball gods hate the Knicks. . .why?
Chris Sheridan (4:06 PM)
Rhonda, I know you will remember from before this series started that I insisted it would come down to execution in the final 3 minutes. I should have said the final 1 minute. The two defensive breakdowns -- the alley-oop in Game 1, the failure to foul quickly on the final inbounds in Game 2 -- are not the fault of the basketball gods. The players were unprepared for both of those plays, and that blame falls on the coaching staff.
Caleb (Long Island)
Biggest surprise in the series so far, Chris?
Chris Sheridan (4:07 PM)
The fourth quarter lineup D'Antoni used in Game 2.
Whats the atmosphere like at the Garden?
Chris Sheridan (4:08 PM)
Not open yet. The ushers look psyched, though.
Beeze (Washington, DC)
Hey Chris, With Turiaf hurting and Amare questionable, will we have a Derrick Brown sighting? Why has he not been in yet? Even for a couple minutes. It seems that the bench is struggling to get in any rhythm
Chris Sheridan (4:10 PM)
Turiaf was taking part in half-speed drills at shootaround this morning, and he is expected to play. And if (when) he gets hurt again, D'Antoni has more trust in Shelden Williams than he does in DB. Still, with that being said, I never would have predicted R.Mason playing all those crunch time minutes Tuesday, so you never know. I think D'Antoni would turn to Brown before he'd turn to Balkman.
Scott (TAMPA, FL)
what is the status of Amare and Billups for tonight's game?
Chris Sheridan (4:11 PM)
Both are game-time decisions. We will have an updated news story on the ESPNNewYork home page by 6 p.m. after D'Antoni gives an update to the media. This morning, he was more optimistic that Stoudemire would play than he was on Billups.
So, give it to us straight Chris. Odds that Amare plays? Chauncey?
Chris Sheridan (4:12 PM)
IMHO: Amare 70 percent; Chauncey 30 percent.
Nick (New York)
What do the Knicks have to do to get the W tonight? Who is your X factor to securing a win?
Chris Sheridan (4:13 PM)
Everyone else has claimed Toney Douglas as their x-factor, and I do not particularly disagree. But if there is one other guy, it is Shawne Williams, who will get open 3-point looks when Melo is blitzed.
if you had the option to pick only one player from the 2012 free agency for the Knick team, who would you pick from CP3, D. Williams, or Dwight Howard?
Chris Sheridan (4:14 PM)
I understand Fields hasn't played well since the trade, but you're telling me Roger Mason deserved more playing time than he did? Mason hasn't logged any minutes down the stretch and all of a sudden he's thrown into a hostile Boston game and expected to shine.
Chris Sheridan (4:16 PM)
To me, that shows how little faith D'Antoni has in Fields.
Phil (Boston (Via New York))
Chris, great work all year! Was Mike D serious when he said that bill walker was one of the knicks best players on the court in Game 3. He has to be serious he was 0-11 from the field, picked up a stupid techincal foul, and paul pierce didnt play awful. With that being said do you think we could see Derick Brown?
Chris Sheridan (4:17 PM)
He was serious. I asked the question that elicited the "best 0-for-11 game ever" answer. In Walker's defense, the Knicks were plus-10 in his 33 minutes. They were minus-13 in Fields' 15 minutes.
i know the smart basketball play is to pass out of the double team, but it seems like Melo--late in game 2--knew the double was coming and passed out of it WAY too quickly. It allowed the D to easily recover, shouldnt he wait for the double to get more then 5 feet from him before he reacts to it?
Chris Sheridan (4:19 PM)
He passed quickly as the double was approaching several times, and his passes were bullets and always found open guys. What I think the Knicks need tonight is to get him the ball in different areas and make the double-teamer come from different directions. In the final 4 minutes of Game 2, he kept getting the ball in the same exact spot.
Ro (Atlanta, GA)
I'm a life long Knicks fan but I have a huge problem with some of Dantoni's desicions. How could he leave Bill Walker out there that long when he was having a cold night and leave Jeffries in there to guard Garnett. he didn't even bother to check or ask if Turiaf could play out the laast few minutes of the game. In his mind, he was done??? That's a nonsense answer.
Chris Sheridan (4:21 PM)
D'Antoni said Turiaf told him his knee was "killing him" early in the 4th, and he said if he had gone for a different player in the final seconds, it would have been Shelden Williams.
Ok, say Amare DOES play. How many minutes you see him playing? I know D'Antoni loves to ride his better players to the ground, but he certainly cannot do it to Amare for this game.
Chris Sheridan (4:22 PM)
That all depends on what level he is playing at. If Amare is too sore to sprint and/or box out, that isn't going to cut it.
Annie (Long Island)
Considering how close the last 2 games were, do you predict another tight game or a blowout win by the Knicks (or Celtics?) tonight?
Chris Sheridan (4:23 PM)
I think if the Celtics win this game, a big reason why is because they take the crowd out of it in the first 8 minutes.
J.D. (Bay Area)
Chris, have you seen STAT at shootaround today? How's he moving? Is he doing any jumping? Hows Billups looking? is he still limping around?
Chris Sheridan (4:26 PM)
I saw Stoudemire briefly. He left for treatment when the walkthrough portion ended and the team started jogging through their sets. Stoudemire was headed for treatment in the pool. I did not see Billups but was told he left just ahead of Amare and also participated in the walkthrough portion.
For the whole first half of the regular season, the negative comment on Mike D is that he was going to run Amare into the ground--playing a player with a long injury history so many minutes in Oct-Feb was supposedly going to come back to haunt them. Can we say that it finally happened?
Chris Sheridan (4:28 PM)
No, because that's not what happened. Stoudemire pulled that muscle while dunking in warmups (and slapping the backboard with his other hand at the same time).
Gooch (Gainesville florida)
Do the Knicks go back to Boston?
Chris Sheridan (4:29 PM)
Not if they lose tonight. And the pressure is squarely on them, not the C's.
Dan (East Village)
Chris, I find it interesting that the Knicks are scoring so low in the 1st 2 games. I love the defense but, what do you think about switching up the play style and trying to RUN Boston out of the garden and outscore the opponent, you know vintage D'Antoni style!?
Chris Sheridan (4:32 PM)
Well, one reason they haven't is because Boston drops four players back to take away the fast break, which very few teams do. That's one of the reasons why the Knicks have been able to rebound so well. Also, on those few opportunities when they have pushed the ball, Toney Douglas has looked more worried about getting his shot blocked than trying to absorb a foul. He needs to get better at finishing at the rim.
Which team benefited more for the playoffs from "The Trade", Knicks or Nuggets?
Chris Sheridan (4:33 PM)
Through two games, Carmelo has done more for the 0-2 knicks than any of the ex-Knicks have done for the 0-2 Nuggets.
Adam (Barcelona, Spain)
Seems like Doc has out-coached D'antoni throughout. No timeouts left at the end of games, lack of execution in reminding players of back court rules etc. Charles Barkley said he could be out of a job, do you think tonight is as do-or-die for D'antoni as it is for the Knicks?
Chris Sheridan (4:36 PM)
Charles apologized for saying that. As I have said before, judgment on D'Antoni will be made next season after he has had a team together for an entire season. In 3 years, he still hasn't had that yet. But as far as short term judgments go, you have to be critical of him for having he Knicks unprepared for the two plays I mentioned earlier in this chat -- the late alley-oop in Game 1, and the inbounds play at the end of Game 2. The lack of timeouts was more of an egregious mistake in Game 1 than it was in Game 2.
the first few games Melo was with the Knicks, it seemed like Fields was not getting the ball like he was used to and he stopped even putting his hand up calilng for it, b/c he knew Melo wasn't giving it up. My opinion is that Fields will not be the same player with Melo on the court with him. thoughts?
Chris Sheridan (4:40 PM)
Fields has to learn how to be an opportunity player alongside Melo the same way he was with the traded Knicks. Back then, he went to the offensive glass a lot more and played with a greater level of confidence. For the past 6 weeks, he has looked like a rookie -- especially with his lack of confidence shooting the 3. In the past 15 games, he has made a total of just 5 3s. That just doesn't cut it for a shooting guard.
in an effort to quicken the games and make the players think for themselves a little bit, has there been any talk--ever--about eliminating a few timeouts? my non-nba watching fans always complain about hte constant timeouts at the end of games. can drive me nuts, too.
Chris Sheridan (4:42 PM)
Commissioner Stern said that was discussed at last week's Board of Governors meeting, and there was support for cutting the number of timeouts. Having covered a ton of international basketball, I can tell you the game has MUCH more flow and is a lot more intense because of the rule that says only a coach can call a timeout, and it will only be granted on the next dead ball.
Larry (Los Angeles)
If the rest of the country knows the Knicks really aren't that good, why do Knicks fans think they are? The Knicks are down 0-2. They're season is over. Maybe next year play some defense.
Chris Sheridan (4:43 PM)
Thank you for visiting the chat, Mr. David.
Miko (Washington, DC)
Do you think we'll see Jared Jeffries guarding Rondo for extended periods if Billups is no-go and Douglas is ineffective?
Chris Sheridan (4:45 PM)
Yes. We have already seen some of that, and Carmelo has defended him, too. What is of paramount importance is stopping Rondo from getting out on the break. Gotta stop the ball. That is half the battle with defending Rondo.
Chris, gun to your head, game 3 winner (you've expertly dodged the last couple of questions about predictions, impressive)
Chris Sheridan (4:47 PM)
Dude, I've got two key players who are game-time decisions. Cut some slack. If Billups and Stoudemire both sit out, Knicks get crushed, OK?
Andrew (South FL)
Chris Sheridan (4:49 PM)
Larry David, star of Curb Your Enthusiasm and the model for George Constanza's character on Seinfeld. (From watching his show, I take it he is now a Laker fan, thus my earlier answer to the L.A. heckler.)
Mikey Mac (New Jersey)
Can you please explain to me the defense that Toney Douglas was playing in transition against Rondo in game 2? It was unbelieveable how Toney wouldn't try and pick him up until he was already in the paint. I know they sag off of Rondo but come on stop ball!
Chris Sheridan (4:50 PM)
Yes, Toney had some very poor transition moments on both ends of the floor.
D Wash (France)
If the Knicks can pull out game 3, do we have a chance at going 7?
Chris Sheridan (4:52 PM)
IMO, yes. I still believe Boston would win a Game 7 at the TD Garden.
Andrew (North Carolina)
Chris, how do you see Walsh (assuming he's back) tweaking the roster this offseason? I know they want Howard in 2012 and I'd love to get him, but I am afraid of them passing on Gasol this offseason and winding up with neither. If they can get Gasol, shouldn't they do it?
Chris Sheridan (4:54 PM)
Gasol is restricted. And besides, if they signed him and the Grizz did not match, the Knicks' '12 cap space is gone. I think they'll wait on Dwight and get a stopgap guy like Kurt Thomas, or maybe tak a chance on Greg Oden if he'll sign a one-year deal.
Jonny Kempca (NYC)
so, wait, in international play the team with the ball can't actually timeout until play is stopped? GENIUS. but i guess the multi million dollar coaches need to "justify" their big paychecks, huh. hence the 103 timeouts per team....
Chris Sheridan (4:55 PM)
FIBA games really flow because of that rule. They last less than 2 hours. It is my favorite FIBA rule.
David Brooker (Delaware)
Do u think this is Doc's last year as Celtic Coach? And what is his chances of becoming the Knick head coach in two years? Rumor has it that Doc would take a year off, then try it again, but not with the Celtic's.
Chris Sheridan (4:56 PM)
Doc in the fall of '12 is a very plausible scenario if next year goes poorly for Mike D'Antoni.
Chris Sheridan (4:57 PM)
That is a wrap folks. Thanks for stopping by the chat room, enjoy tonight's game and have a good weekend.