Good evening from Toronto, where it's opening night for the new-look Knicks. Happy to answer questions on any and all topics (within reason, of course). So let's get it rolling ...
Hey, Chris. What can we, die-hard NYK fans, expect from this season?
My best-case scenario for them right now is 41 wins, which would get them a playoff spot. But as I focused on in my season preview, the behind-the-scenes focus throughout this season is whether or not they are going to be able to land Carmelo Anthony, whether through a trade or in a free agency signing next summer. The teams have continued to talk, but the ball is in Denver's court. And until they feel they are ready to move him, everyone waits.
Does Amare need to score 30 a game for this team to win, because with Gallo looking like he has in the pre-season and Chandler not stepping up, thats what it's looking like.
Yes, Danny, somewhere around 30 or the high 20s. You could see how much they are going to rely on him if you watched them duing the preseason (Amare led the NBA in scoring). But just as important is going to be how hard Amare hits the boards, because this team has not been a good rebounding team whatsoever during the preseason. Reggie Evans might get 18 against them tonight.
I'm a little worried about Gallo. I really thought he was going to show up this year with his inside game more developed. Do you think he'll eventually get better numbers than last season or will he regress?
Javier, it is clear to me that Gallo has really been affected by the trade talks with the Nuggets. He knows he would be the key piece going from NY to Denver, and he does not want to leave NY. It'll be somewhat telling tonight whether he starts to play a little more relaxed. As for his inside game, coach D'Antoni has been pretty clear that he will ned to work on that over the course of practices, not in games.
Hey Chris. After watching Anthony Randolph during the preseason I kind of got the feeling they overrated his ability. Do you think he'll ever be a 15ppg 10reb avg kind of player?
I like your questions, Javier. I've had the same thought, but I also saw him play a whole lot better up at the practice facility in Greenburgh than he did in the exhibition games. Remember, he's only 21 and he's stil very, very raw. But 15 and 10 is expecting way too much from him at this point. He is only going to see spot minutes when he is healthy, probably 20-22 per game, so 10 and 6 is more what I'd look to see him average.
Are there any chants the MSG home crowd should practice?
"Moz-Gov" is the most chantworthy player right now.
Chris, if the Nuggets are willing to trade Carmelo at any point this season, do you see any team willing to accept the trade even if Melo refuses to resign with them? I just can't see him ending up on another team besides the Knicks if he stays adement about becoming a Knick. Does that mean it's a matter of when and not if?
That's the million dollar qustion to this whole equation: Would 'Melo agree to stay with a team other than the Knicks if they acquired him. I believe Jay-Z had 'Melo convinced over the summer that going to the Nets long-term was a good move, but I am sensing that Carmelo might be having second-thoughts about that. If he'd agree to stay in Houston, the Rockets could get him in a finger-snap. But Melo holds the leverage because of his unsigned extension, and if he holds out for the Knicks and the Knicks only, that is a good thing for the Knicks.
The Knicks have a lot of length in the frontcourt compared to last year. The new imported Russian center has potential. BUT can it all make up for the loss of David Lee andd his rebounding?
David Lee's rebounding was taken for granted. You will see how much they miss it over the course of this season. It's probably the No. 1 tactical concern the Knicks have right now.
How you enjoying the city so far?
One of my favorite cities in the world. Ate lunch at a Lebanese restaurant today after shootaround. Can't do that in too many NBA cities.
In regards to the melo trade.... the poor play of key components and now injuries, will that spell doom for a trade
It certainly has not helped. Big questions now are: Does Gallo start looking like the player the Kniks keep saying he's going to be, and does Anthony Randolph really make it back in a week from his sprained ankle.
What can we expect of Landry Fields starting at the shooting guard tonight?
Hustle guy, energy guy. Probably more than anything, whether he attacks the boards. (He played forward at Stanford and led the Pac-10 in rebounding last year with 8.8 per game.)
The problem as I see it with the Knicks is they need a SG. They are way way under represented there. However, they can't trade for Rudy Fernandez or whatever because they need to save their assets for a possible Carmelo deal. Is this LeBron 2.0? Can they add a SG while holding their assets for Carmelo?
I agree with your first point, but I wouldn't go so far as to call it LeBron 2.0. Chandler's demotion hurts his trade value, that's for certain. But Fields' promotion could enhance his value, so there's two sides to that coin.
Will Eddy Curry get a contract from an NBA team next season?
Someone will give him at least a partial guarantee, with weight incentives. There's no denying the guy was a force 3-4 years ago. And he's still only 27 yars old. Just look at how many teams are giving offers to Erick Dampier this preseason.
Can we lay off the knicks, they don't have the assets to get Melo considering what the nuggetts already turned down, they have no draft picks to use as bait and thier biggest signing is an injury prone drifter who could only muster enough heart to try for half a season in a contract year.
Ladies and gentleman, I have located a pessimist. Usually you don't find too many of those on opening niht, when every team's hopes are high.
If the Knicks do make the playoffs, chances are they may face Lebron and the Heat in the first round. How hostile do you think the crowd would be considering it could be the Knicks vs Heat rivalry 2.0?
It would be hostile, but LeBron would just feast off that. Heat would sweep.
Is Felton getting better at running the offense at a tempered pace? A month ago he was playing like a turkey on a Red Bull I.V. Also, will he learn to initiate the fast break like Nash does so effectively with the 50 ft downcourt pass?
He is coming off of two seasons playing an entirely different tempo under Larry Brown, so the learning curve will b a little steeper for him. As for thos 50-foot lead-out pases, there are very few PGs who can do that like Nash. From what I've seen in the preseason, I wouldn't expect more than a handful of those from Ray all season.
Chris.... do you think MD and DW survive another 50 plus losing season?
Hard to say. Donnie's fourth-year option comes up in March, so there is some pressure on him to make his four-year plan look viable by the time he reaches two and three-quarters years into his tenure.
What the health status of Mozgov for tonites game?
D'Antoni called him "100 percent" at the morning shootaround.
NBA Finals pick?
Lakers over Celtics in 7. Again.
The Knicks shouldn't be going after Carmelo via trade. Amare and Carmelo isn't gonna win a ring and will completely devastate them asset wise. Why not try to let these young guys gel a little?
If there wasn't the possibility of a work stoppage, Sameer, the Knicks would be quite content to wait a year and get him as an unrestricted free agent next summer. What concerns them is the fear that Carmelo might want to lock into the $65 million that's sitting on the table, because that kind of money might not be available to him under the terms of a new CBA. That is part of what is driving their efforts to secure him now.
I'm getting kind of tired listening to people bash Felton. The guy is lightning fast to the hoop, has a winners heart, sees the court well, is stout defensively and is only going to get better playing with Amar'e. Who did he have in Charlotte like that? No one. People keep talking about his mid range shooting being a fluke last year, while no one says that about David Lee. Chris, what do you think his production will look like in the Knicks system?
His production, at least in terms of assist numbers, will depend a lot on how hard he pushes the tempo. That's the one big thing I have seen misin from his game in the preseason. Agree with you on his defensive tenacity. They didn't have that last year with Duhon.
Something I've always been curious about, this policy of 'stashing draft picks overseas'. What if they don't want to be stashed? Do they have any say in the matter? Thanks.
That happens with second-round picks sometimes, and their only recourse is to go to camp and get cut, which would mean a team would forfeit their rights to that player. It would be hard to go into a season with that kind of employment strategy if an overseas team was offering nice guaranteed money.
You think Carmelo will end up with knicks?
I think it is a two-horse race between the Knicks and Nets. NJ's offer is far better than NY's.
Knicks just announced that Randolph will be out 2 weeks. That's double what Anthony was saying this morning.
Re: the 65 million dollar extension... There has been talk of a salary roll back. In that case, even contracts signed this summer would be reduced from what I understand. For that reason, doesn't that nullify the eagerness to sign a deal? It's not like Carmelo wouldn't get a max deal if he's hurt. I think waiting for the summer is the smart decision. Someone said "Signing LeBron and Amare would have been a scratch off instant winner. Knicks are now in the 401K field; still get rich, just takes time."
Jay, I do not believe the players will ratify any deal that rolls back their salaries. It would take a lockout lasting a whole season for the players to agree to something that draconian, and I don't see a year-long stoppage happening.
Chris, which playoff spot, if any, do you think Knicks should grab in order to have any realistic chances of moving past the 1st round?
As presently constituted, Panos, I do not think the Knicks have a prayer of getting out of the first round -- even if they made the No. 5 seed and faced my pick for East's No. 4 spot -- Milwaukee.
Are the Hawks handcuffed for the next 6 years because of JJ's contract? How could they pay that kind of money for a number 2 option on a champion caliber team?
It continues to boggle my mind that they gave him that deal, Vinnie.
Could the Knicks possibly win a championship with Amare and Melo getting max contracts when they are both primarily great scorers that are average at everything else? I don't see how they could fit in enough quality play making, outside shooting, rebounding, defense, and bench around them when both are not great all around players like James/Wade and will need a lot of help in some areas etc...
Look, my four-legged friend: It is better to have the problem of having two max-players and wondering what pieces to put around them than to hav on max player without enough around him, which is where the Knicks currently sit.
i like fields alot but i think our offense would run alot better wit felton and douglas starting together,,,douglas is a better defender and a better scorer and we need scorers to give amare more room to work with inside
I think it's too soon to make that statement. Gotta give the rook a chance beore you can write him off. I still think you'll se a lot of Douglas and Felton playing together in 4th quarters.
That's a wrap for the preganme chat, folks. It's a double anthem game and I need to stand up. Check the ESPN-NY site a couple minutes after the buzzer for my instant analysis, with a post-game column to follow.