Good afternoon from New York, where the topic du jour in this here chat room is the Knicks, whose fans can stop banging their heads against the wall for the next hour and submit questions. I will get to as many as I can between now and 3 p.m. EST. Nothing is off limits, from Isiah to Shawne Williams to Andy Rautins. Let's have at it ...
What's your opinion on raymond felton so far this season?
The biggest thing is how much difficulty he's had running the pick-and-roll with Amare. They've had difficulty executing it more than once or twice per game, and sometimes not at all. Much of that is a function of the two of them not having played together before. You cannot discount how well-oiled of a machine Amar'e was with Steve Nash, and you also have to remember that Felton is what he is -- a decent starting NBA point guard, not a star.
Does D'Antoni have a free ride for the whole season from Dolan, Walsh, and co., or will his seat get hotter with each passing loss?
Walsh's more so than D'Antoni's. Walsh has a contract opotion for his fourth year that comes up in March. That could impact how he operates leading up to the trade deadline in late Feb.
Hi Chris,This afternoon Ric Bucher said in his chat that he thinks Donnie Walsh has done a great job but "his hands have been tied somewhat on how he re-builds that roster by ownership." Any idea what specifically Bucher was getting at?
I cannot speak for Ric, but I will say this: Donnie Walsh mentioned this on the radio this morning, that the Knicks' chances of getting LeBron James took a huge, huge hit when LeBron told everyone to come to Cleveland. The Knicks had planned to sell him on New York, the city, and the best way to have done that would have been to have him here in NY for the recruitment. Instead, they had to go into that conference room with Dolan, Walsh (immediately after his neck surgery), Scot O'Neil of MSG, Allan Houston and Mike D'Antoni. Miami went in with Arison, Mourning and Riley. You get what I'm getting at?
Hi Chris, enjoy your blog. The thing that I would like to know is what do the Knicks need to do to start winning the close games and make their way to playoffs. I know the season is early but will they make the playoffs this year?
The biggest thing so far has been their poor play in fourth quarters. Their shot selection has been terrible, they have trouble feeding Amar'e, and Gallinari has been running too hot and cold to be relied on (same with T.Douglas lately). As much as it pains New Yorkers to be patient, that is one area where patience is most needed. This is a team with 10 new guys, and they're not going to click right away. And with that is going to come some fourth quarter meltdowns, as we've seen, until they get to know each other better and get a couple dozen games under their belts.
82games came out with this seasons first data yesterday. The data backs up that the Knicks are much worse with Amare at Center, and Amare himself is significantly worse there as well. Any word on if Chandler to the starting lineup is long-term? Will Dantoni force us to endure more games like Wednesday and the old days with no one protecting the rim?
When D'Antoni announced the Mozgov demotion, he said the Knicks were at their best, statistically, with Amare at center, but he said they put a lot of weight on "effective field-goal percentage" aka FG pct on quality possessions. I think what you are seeing right now is a transitory lineup until Turiaf is ready to go, and then they'll use him as the starting 5 and bring Chandler off the bench, because he was doing a good job in that role.
What other pieces do the Knicks need and how long do you expect to wait for Randolph to fulfill the "potential?"
Randolph is 21, so you can afford to wait on him, or somebody can. I still think they'll move him as part of the Carmelo deal if that ever gets done, so I'll have my A.Randolph showcasing radar up from now until late February. The piece they need is a second max player. That's why they spent two years dynamiting the team. The second max player is Carmelo. That's what they need to be a viable Eastern Conference champion contender by the end of 2011-12, when Walsh and D'Antoni's contracts ae both ending.
Chris, with the league investigating Isiah, if the allegations are true with the workouts, would that mean Stern would save Dolan from himself and Isiah would not work for the team again? Please? Pretty pretty please?
My opinion/prediction: Whitewash investigation, and a relatively small fine for the Knicks. Remember, Dolan is on the labor committee negotiating the new collective bargaining agreement, so Stern is not going to want to humiliate him.
When is carmelo coming?
I'll ask him myself Tuesday night in Denver. Maybe not quite so directly, but I imaine 'Melo will give the writers something to work with. He's pretty media-shrewd.
Hakeem Thabeet-- BIG fan of his and I think he would be a huge rebounder and blocker in middle for Knicks-- Could they get him cheap? Do you agree with me?
Can't be gotten cheap. Was drafted too high. Knicks would have to give up a future No. 1, and they don't have any to give until 2014. Mozgov is your Thabeet, Tony.
What will become of Gallinari's shooting woes? Do you see him progressing or getting progressively worse?
One of D'Antoni's biggest knocks on Gallo is that he lets one bad game carry into the next mentally, and it's up to Gallo to make that stop happening. I still think you have to wait 10-12 games to determine whether last Thursday night's outburst by Danilo in Chicago was an aberation or not.
Also, the Carmelo trade talk is messing with Danilo, despite his denials. He doesn't want to leave NY, but he knows he's Denver-bound if that deal gets done. It's weighing on him.
Any chance Curry sees some court-time before Feb?
If I were a betting man, I would put my money on another pulled hamstring happening before any real live playing time happens.
Why are people so surprised? This is what a .500 team looks like, some disappointing loses (Warriors, 76ers) and some surprising Wins (Bulls). Knicks will have to fight for it but I still believe they will make playoffs.
You are correct, Ron. And with a new team, you never know what you're going to get from night to night. Again, people are going to have to be patient with this team and its growing pains. They are eight games into a new era with a new nucleus.
really thought the knicks had some potential until last sunday, how do you let the sixers, minus arguably their best player iggy, beat you on your own home floor. that was a pathetic performance, and their loss to the warriors cements it...although it is early, this is a team going nowhere in a hurry, good thing they are in the east and not the west where they might be looking at 55 losses instead of an 8 spot...your thoughts?? do they have any heart??
Here we have a post from Frank, who is not patient.
Good info on eFG for the lineup switch, thanks as always! Can you elaborate on Donnie Walsh's contract situation/option and how that may affect us at the deadline? Might this push us to give up extra for Melo at the deadline? Even as a season-ticket holder I'm hoping we play the patient route and wait to try to get him in the offseason (or start working towards CP3 or Deron at that point).
Pretty simple: Dolan decides in March whether Donnie deserves to keep the job for another year. But I'm uncertain whether that will impact what Donnie is willing to give up. The best-case scenario for the Knicks is that Melo stays in Denver all year, and the Knicks add him as an unrestricted free agent without giving up anything. If the trade deadline passes and Melo is still a Nugget, I think that bodes well for Donnie.
Have the Nuggets had any discussions about either of Landry Fields and Wilson Chandler as part of a package with Eddy Curry for Melo?
The Nuggets like Gallinari and are not all that enamored of the Knicks' other players. That is why they have told the Knicks which players they like from other teams and have told NY to go try to get those players, and then re-package them with Gallo and Curry's expiring contract for Melo.
Great work, Chris...What is the latest with Eddy Curry?
I've sen him working out at the practice facility in Greenburgh. He's carrying a ton of extra weight.
What is the Knicks best line-up down the stretch late in games?
Stoudemire, Turiaf, Gallo, Chandler, and Felton/Douglas depending on which of the PGs has been shooting better that night.
Hey Chris - this Landry Fields kid is pretty good. When he's in, we seem to play better. He's a 1st round talent. Ur thoughts?
I did a long feature on Landry that you can find on both the NY site and the national NBA page. His dad was a 7th round pick of Portland in 1975, his mom played college ball, and his cousin plays for N.Arizona. Also, his uncle was on the 1960 Ohio State national championship team. He has good basketball genes.
Anthony Randolph cannot be helping his trade value now, playing the way he has...can he?
No. He has hurt his trade value. He knows he's only going to get 10 minutes per night, and he's trying to do too much.
Chris,Ian Oconnor had some quotes from Gallo where Gallo essentially said he does not see himself as a star or having those type of abilities. This seems like such a change from a very confident player...can you comment on this?
It was 'superstar' rather than 'star', and I took from it that Gallo does not see himself as a LeBron/Wade/Amar'e type of player. He doesn't have that all-around game. He knows what he is -- a shooter, a complimentary piece. Better to have a player with no illusions about his abilities than a guy who's delusional and thinks he's better than he is (see Steph Marbury's "I am the best PG in the NBA" quote from 3-4 years ago).
even though the Knicks are losing recently I feel it's enjoyable to watch them because they are playing hard, Chandler got his tooth knocked out, and came back in the game. I like the defense and shot blocking with Turiaf this season. They want to win. Do you feel it's differrent this season then in years past in that respect?
I first covered them in 1993, so this year it is very different to see them starting from scratch. Last time they did something like this was when they traded Oakley for Camby, which was a good basketball trade but infuriated the fan base. This year, I sense a lot of carryover frustration from the summer among the fan base because expectations were set so high when the idea of getting LeBron was a possibility they were working toward. Not getting him was a devastating blow, and it's going to be a long process getting the fans to latch onto what should be a .500 team.
It still comes back to what level of patience the fans will have, whether the team starts executing better in the 4th, and how the Carmelo situation plays out.
Before any trade can be agreed upon, doesn't Carmelo need to agree to sign an extension? Let's say the speculation is true that Carmelo prefers NY and the Nuggets don't like what the Knicks have to offer. Following these assumptions isn't a Carmelo off season signing likely?
If the Nuggets are convinced they are going to lose him and they don't like what the Knicks have to offer, I could see them trading him to a team that would use him as a rental if they felt they were one player away from a championship. (Example: To Orlando for Vince Carter's expiring contrat and Ryan Anderson and a No. 1 and/or the rights to Fran Vazquez.)
Hey Chris. Who is the 1st Knick to be traded this season?
Roger Mason Jr.
chris, you are right i have no patience and am used to sports disappointments (also a met and jet fan, and missed the jet 1st half to finish watching the knick travesty), but seriously, where do you see them ending up, with lopez, murphy, favors, harris, williams, etc... the nets might be better
I see them ending up in the area of 41-41 as presently constituted.
Let's say Melo' stays in Denver, what would this Knicks team have to do to not lose out on yet another Superstar free agent sweepstakes?
They would have to pray every night between the end of the trade deadline until the end of June that Carmelo does not change his mind (out of fear of losing millions under a new collective bargaining agreement) and affix his signature to that $65 million extension that Denver will still have sitting on the table for him.
Do you think the Bulls can (and will) offer anything for Melo that is better than what the Knicks can offer?
No. Not with Noah off the table now that he has signed his extension. (Even if they wanted to trade him in February when Noah will become trade-eligible again, his contract makes him what's known as a 'poison pill' player. As the name implies, it is very hard to trade those players under salary-matching rules.)
Assuming Walsh is not rehired and Isiah is out of the picture with the improper scouting allegations, who is the most likely candidate to replace Donnie? Chris Mullin? Allan Houston?
Dolan really, really likes Allan Houston, but I would list Glen Grunwald, John Gabriel and Kevin Pritchard as much more likelier candidates to succeed Donnie. But I also think Dolan will keep Donnie for Year 4 of his contract. Walsh told Dolan from Day One that he would put them on a four-year plan.
Regarding Sean's point on the passion, it is nice for the first time in several years to have players who are here because they are wanted, rather than because they are expiring contracts. You can see they care. I appreciated Felton's visible disappointment with his own game in the first half against the Bucks. Agree?
It is not my job to agree or disagree with you. But you make a point worth posting, Ben.
That's a wrap for this week, folks. This chat is going to be a Friday afternoon fixture, so put it on your Google calender or whatever other planning device you use, and come back every Friday afternoon at 2 p.m. for an hour of Knickage. Also, I am doing my national chat on Mondays at 2 p.m. on the national ESPN NBA page.