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December 3, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Chris Sheridan

Chris Sheridan
  (11:59 AM)

Good afternoon, and welcome to my weekly Friday afternoon Knicks chat. The 'Bockers are over .500. You know how many times I've been able to say that in the past decade? Probably less than 20 -- and very rarely in December. Let's chat, shall we ...

Andrew (Boston, MA)

Why does everyone one think Melo is a great fit for the Knicks? They really need a rebounder/defender, back-up PG, and traditional 3pt/defending shooting guard.

Chris Sheridan
  (12:00 PM)

I'll take your points one by one, Andrew ...

Chris Sheridan
  (12:01 PM)

'Melo could replace Danilo as the starting 3. He can average 25, as can Amar'e, and would add to the relatively paltry rebounding they are getting out of Amare and Turiaf/Mozgov. ...

Chris Sheridan
  (12:02 PM)

Toney Douglas is the backup PG and the backup SG, and he was defensive player of the year in the ACC. He runs far too hot and cold on offense, but he is only in his second year. ...

Chris Sheridan
  (12:03 PM)

Felton is as steady of a point guard as they've had since Charlie Ward, and his offensive game is much better than Charlie's ever was. ...

Chris Sheridan
  (12:04 PM)

And lastly, they need an effective sorer to take some of the collapsing defensive pressure off Amar'e in fourth quarters. Right now, opponents would glaly take their chances with Danilo or W.Chandler launching FGs in the final 12 mins than Stoudemire.

Joe Saita (Staten Island)

In order to get Carmelo beside Landry Fields, who else will the Knicks have to give up?

Chris Sheridan
  (12:07 PM)

Depends on how convinced they are or aren't that the Nuggets will move him. If they believe Denver will keep him and try to talk him into signing the extension between March and June, the best offer I can see them putting on the table is Fields, Gallo, A.Randolph (or a No. 1 they'd get by trading him to a third team) and Curry. If their hand is forced, I could see them throwing W.Chandler/T.Douglas into the deal, too. But that would only be at the 11th hour.

bobby (nyc)

what happens to knicks draft pick this year if knicks have better record than the rockets?

Chris Sheridan
  (12:08 PM)

Rocket have the right to swap picks, so they would forfeit that right and keep their own pick.

Doug (NYC)

Chris, do you think the Knicks should be targeting a solid big man like Varejao to shore up that interior defense? That seems a more pressing need vs. Melo.

Chris Sheridan
  (12:10 PM)

Varejao's contract is a cap-killer, so he's not their guy. Much depends on how Turiaf's knee holds up, but I don't see them making any kind of a move for a big man if it takes away from their ability to have max room next summer. They'd find an Earl Barron 2.0 type.

Tom (NY)

Best guess, What happens on the 17th when Heat comes to NY. Fan reaction and game results.

Chris Sheridan
  (12:12 PM)

Fans will be crueler than Clevelanders were last night, I'd imagine. Game result? Closer than the Cavs made things last night, but still a decisive Miami win.

JJ (NY)

Knicks in NOLA tonight. Does Felton need a big game tonight to cool down the Chris Paul - NY love fest? The pick and roll really blew up in the 3rd Quarter versus the Nets, and he's a better shooter than anticipated.

Chris Sheridan
  (12:15 PM)

Knicks beat writers already fanning the CP flames, which is their job given that the team only travels to N.O. once per season. I think there has been a proclivity among some to rate Felton as no better than Duhon 2.0, but Raymond is getting people to change their minds. The learning curve was pretty steep for him over the first dozen games, and that seared itself into a lot of people's conciousness. But a better judgement of Felton should come over games 20 through 60, when he shows whether he can be a consistent scorer and reliable 3-point threat. Remember, it's a big change for him playing under Mike D's system after two years under L.Brown.

Chris (NJ)

With the way Felton has been playing, do you still think the Knicks would offer a max contract to someone like Paul or Deron? (Saying they already have Amare and Carmelo as Max cats)

Chris Sheridan
  (12:17 PM)

If they manage to already have Amar'e and Melo, the best they're going to do is extend Felton -- provided he proves himself worthy -- because they won't have the cap room to go for a bigger name, and Felton is better than anything they could get for the mid-level exception (provided there still is a mid-level in the next collective bargaining agrement).

Andrew (Boston, MA)

Excellent points on Melo. The only thing I disagree with is Douglas. I love his defense and he will be more of a consistent 3pt shooter as he matures, but when he is playing the point, the offense just stops if his shot is cold. I think a traditional pick and roll back-up PG in necessary

Chris Sheridan
  (12:22 PM)

A wise old man (OK, his name is Dave D'Alessandro of the Star-Ledger) told me years and years ago that it takes 5 years, on average, for a very good college point guard to become a very good NBA point guard. It takes that long to figure everything out at that position. Case in point: C.Billups, who was the No. 3 pick in the draft, then was traded three times, then became an unrestricted free agent and signed with Minnesota, where he spent seasons 4 and 5 of his career before being dealt to Detroit, where he blossomed. So be patient with Mr. Douglas.

bobby (nyc)

follow-up to earlier question - so does that mean the knicks may still have a 1st round pick this year?

Chris Sheridan
  (12:23 PM)

Yes, Knicks have first round picks in 2011 and 2013 that they cannot trade because they've already dealt their 2012 pick to Houston, and the NBA does not allow teams to go consecutive years without a first-round pick. (Remember, Utah had Knicks' 2010 pick).

Albert (New York)

Do you think tonight's game against NO counts as a must-win in order to validate the Knicks as a playoff contender?

Chris Sheridan
  (12:26 PM)

No. One game does not provide validation for such a big question, especially one game in early December. (Plus, they are playing a Hornets team that is sliding hard after a great start) What will validate them and classify them, to a certain degree, is how they do over the final eight games of this month when seven of the opponents are probable playoff teams.

ryan (ny)

has anthony randolph been the biggest disappointment for you thus far

Chris Sheridan
  (12:27 PM)

No. That title has been held by Eddy Curry for three years running. A. Randolph is still in the process of having his game being brought under control.

Akeem (NYC)

does kelenna Azubuike give the knicks a boost when he comes back?

Chris Sheridan
  (12:30 PM)

I would think so, but minutes could be an issue(unless he starts taking Toney Douglas' at the 2). Kelenna is a career 41 percent 3-point shooter. A guy with that kind of accuracy should be major asset in Mike D's offense. (Gallinari is a career 39 percent shooter, and he's a shade under 37 percent this season.)

Bruce (Milford,Ct.)

I think it's great that Knicks finally have a product worth watching again. Speaking of Earl Barron,what happened to him? I thought he looked pretty good late last season. Also do you see Eddy Curry making it onto the floor this season or is he still on weght watcher's?

Chris Sheridan
  (12:34 PM)

Earl started for the Suns last night in their win over Golden State (2 pts, 3 TOs, 4 rebs in 25 minutes). He expected to be a hotter commodity over the summer than he ended up being, which was why he turned down a partial guarantee from the Knicks when they signed him late April.

Chris Sheridan
  (12:36 PM)

As for Curry, every time someone asks Mike D about it, he deflects the question or cites the risk of injury in bringing him back too quickly. But Eddy has been scrimmaging for a couple of weeks. At some point, they have to take a risk with that hamstring of his and showcase him -- at least a little. Another big question mark is conditioning. Eddy came to camp carrying major extra tonnage.

Robert (Atlanta)

Do the Knicks just lack focus when playing at MSG? They just seem to come out with more intensity and energy on the road and that to me has always been the case under D'antoni, at least in the 1st Qtr. How do they get back to being dominant at home??

Chris Sheridan
  (12:40 PM)

Since 10 of them are new to the team, they have not developed a comfort level with MSG feeling like it is their home court. To most of them, it's still a place they used to visit once or twice a year. Two or three quality home wins, and the accompanying boost they'll get from that long-suffering crowd, will help them get there. And remember, the REAL Knicks fans show up for the big opponents. When the dregs of the league come to town, the building is packed with tourists. Has been that way for several years now.

hector (Charlotte NC)

Ok what would be the least we would have to give up to get Melo. Lets say Melo expresses to Denver its NY or bust, as in he'll just sign as FA. Would Curry Chandler TD future 2nd round pick get it done?

Chris Sheridan
  (12:42 PM)

If he expresses that to Denver and the Knicks get word of it, I'd bet my bottom dollar they'll wait him out until the summer and then go get him without giving up anything in return. That still remains their best case scenario. Yes, it requires another sacrificed year. But if that is the price to pay to get him for nothing, it'd be worth it.

Anthony (New York)

Will the Knicks consider trading Curry in a deal not for Melo or will they just hold onto him for his cap space?

Chris Sheridan
  (12:43 PM)

If it was for another expiring contract that they felt might help them win a playoff game or two (Peja?), they'd do it. But for long money? No way.

Luciano (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

Not ONE hard foul by the Cavs?!!! That was weird...

Chris Sheridan
  (12:45 PM)

Yep, and the only guy on the bench who yelled at him to get away when he was doing all that yapping was an assistant coach. Weak.

Andrew (Boston, MA)

They stink at home because the crowd is so tense after 10 years of losing. Every time the visiting team goes on a run, a collective "here we go again" vibe fills the arena. The players absorb this energy. The only way to change this are performances like Amar'e and Felton gave in the second half against the Nets.

Chris Sheridan
  (12:46 PM)

Agreed on your first very astute point, Andrew. On the second point, the only way to change this is with performances like Amar'e and Felton gave against the Nets -- BUT IT HAS TO HAPPEN AGAINST QUALITY OPPONENT(S).

dan (New York)

speakin of mike d. obviously when he was 3-8, everyone (or at least i) was startin to wonder about this guy. but now ther 10-9 and hes fine. i think hes back for next season even if no playoffs. but whats ur early thoughts on mike and what do u think happens.

Chris Sheridan
  (12:48 PM)

Look, I've been saying this for a while. For all intents and purposes, this is Year One of his Judgement Days. His first two years were all about doing the best he could while the dynamite was going off all around him. Only thing I could see putting him (and Donnie) in jeopardy is a mid-season 10-game losing streak, maybe 12. Again, this is only Year 3 of their 4-year plan.

Mark (SV)

I've noticed Amare has been getting into foul trouble early, how can they limit his fouls?

Chris Sheridan
  (12:51 PM)

He got his first foul against NJ on the Nets' first possession, and his solution was to stop putting his hands up on defense. Seriously. That's why B.Lopez went off like he did. Wasn't the type of adjustment most players would make, but Amar'e did it because he knew the Knicks needed him out there for offense more than defense, especially with Turiaf on the shelf.

Bruce (Whte Plains, NY)

Why bother showcasing Curry? It could cost the Knicks wins. Curry's value is as a large expiring if we make a trade, nothing more.

Chris Sheridan
  (12:55 PM)

If you are trading him to a team that expects to make the playoffs, e.g. Denver, at the very least you have to show he is capable of getting up and down the floor a few times. If you are trading him to a team that just wants his expiring contract, you don't need to showcase him (e.g. Marcus Banks, who went from Toronto to N.O. in the P.Stojakovic-J.Jack deal and is doing a buyout with the Hornets.)

Jesse (NY, NY)

Chris, if you were GM, would you risk trying to get Carmelo as a FA or would you be willing to throw several assets (Fields, Gallinari, etc) to get him now? If NY is where he wants to go, it seems risky?

Chris Sheridan
  (12:58 PM)

I would do my utmost to have a very, very good handle on what Carmelo's true intentions are, and I would proceed forward accordingly (and sit tight at the deadline if I believed he was coming over the summer). The Knicks could never get that reading from LeBron a year ago, but he was worth the risk of taking a gamble on. Now that they have so many of their rebuilding pieces in place, they don't want to gut the team again -- which they'd have to do to a certain degree if they traded for Melo.

Joshua (Portland)

is felton playing at an all star level right now? other than derek rose, which pg in the east is playing better than felton?

Chris Sheridan
  (12:59 PM)

A certain fellow named Rondo who is leading the league in assists by a country mile.

Jerry Sloan (Utah)

What would I have done if LBJ would have bumped into me?

Chris Sheridan
  (1:00 PM)

Flopped, like you did when you played for the Bulls (I am old enough to remember).

Chris Sheridan
  (1:01 PM)

That's a wrap folks. Will be doing an NBA chat Monday at 3 p.m. EST that you can access off the main ESPN.com NBA page. Next Knicks chat will be a week from today. Enjoy the weekend, all.