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February 2, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Ian Begley

Ian Begley
  (11:58 AM)

Hey guys, I'm sure not many of you thought the Knicks would be 8-13 after 21 games, but here we are. There's plenty of issues surrounding this team and plenty to discuss, so we'll get started in a couple minutes. Keep the questions coming in and I'l answer as many as possible.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Do you think that the Knicks will Fire Mike D'Antonio Before the Season Ends?

Ian Begley
  (12:03 PM)

This question has been asked by a few of you, so let's start here: I think D'Antoni will get an opportunity to coach the team with a healthy Baron Davis. If the Knicks continue to struggle with Davis at the point, then management will likely get rid of him. Of course, if the Knicks struggle against the Bulls, Celtics and Nets this week, D'Antoni may not get a chance to coach Davis.

Dan (Westchester county)

Honestly, what the heck is the problem with the Knickerbockers?

Ian Begley
  (12:06 PM)

Great question, Dan. I'll try to keep it short: They don't have a veteran point guard, so the offense lacks spacing and consistent ball movement. There aren't many open shots. So that's an issue. Another is Amare Stoudemire has struggled from the field and isn't getting the easy opportunities on pick and rolls he was seeing last season. Also, Carmelo Anthony likes to run iso's - this doesn't mesh with Mike D'Antoni's offense. So most of the issues are on offense. Defense, surprisingly, hasn't been an issue for these Knicks.

Daryl (Virginia)

Odds the Knocks snag JR Smith or K-Mart from China?

Ian Begley
  (12:09 PM)

Strong, Daryl. The Knicks still have the $2.5 million exception to offer free agents. They have admitted that they'll monitor the situation surrounding guys in China, who have to wait until their Chinese team's season ends before signing with a team. JR tweeted about wondering what it was like to play on Broadway the other day, but I think he'll command more money than the Knicks can offer. Kenyon would be a more realistic get, in my opinion. He won't command much more than the Knicks can offer because of his poor performance in China and the Knicks would have a need because of the Josh Harrellson injury.

frank (NY)

if things stay bad and MDA gets canned in offseason and phil jax turns NYK down who could you see them going to? could SVG be possible

Ian Begley
  (12:10 PM)

Interesting name to throw out. I'd have to think that the way Jeff left the Knicks would factor in to the Knicks decision to go after Stan, and Stan's decision to join the Knicks.

Robert (Chicago)

Who do you think is going to be the X-Factor for each team during tonight's game?

Ian Begley
  (12:13 PM)

Robert, I'm going with Carlos Boozer, who didn't really bring his A game for the Bulls last night in Philly. And for the Knicks, aside from the Big 3 I'd go with Iman Shumpert - can he stay in front of Derrick Rose and hinder him enough to give the Knicks a chance to steal one?

Andrew (Westchester )

Ian:I heard a rumor of Ramon Sessions for Douglas and a second round pick? Is it too little to send to the Cavs? And what would Sessions bring to the table?

Ian Begley
  (12:15 PM)

Andrew, he'd bring much more than the Knicks are currently getting out of their point guards. And he'd give the Knicks some insurance if Baron Davis' back never heals completely. As far as Cleveland taking Toney Douglas and a second-rounder, that would surprise me. Toney's trade value can't be all that high these days and Los Angeles has a large trade exception and a first-round pick to offer. I asked Mike D'Antoni about this yesterday and he didn't dismiss the possibility

Tom (NYC)

What are the chances the Knicks tank and land a top-5 pick?

Ian Begley
  (12:18 PM)

Slim, Tom. When you say 'tank' like the Heat did a few years ago to get a high lottery pick, I don't see that happening with this team. If Mike D'Antoni is fired and replaced by Mike Woodson, Woodson will do everything he can to get this team to win so he has a chance to get picked up next season.

jason (nj)

wats higher: the chance that the knicks make the playoffs or keep their draft pick for 2012?

Ian Begley
  (12:20 PM)

Hey Jason, to piggy back off of Jon's question, I think that the Knicks will turn things around to the extent that they at least finish in the top 8 in the East .... if Baron Davis is healthy, of course. And that's a huge IF at this point

Srgt. Eric Beatty (Richmond, VA)

Calling Mike D'Antoni a genuis on offense is like lighting leaves on fire and calling it arson

Ian Begley
  (12:24 PM)

Not sure where you are going with the Eric, but I'm sure plenty of Knicks fans share the same sentiment. I've heard people say again and again that D'Antoni should be able to find a way to make things work with Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire. But the problem right now is, D'Antoni's offense does not work well without a capable point guard. Also, the Knicks aren't very deep -- most of that depth was dealt away in the trade to land Anthony. Lastly, Anthony thrives in isolation situations, which doesn't suit D'Antoni's offense, predicated on ball-movement and finding open looks

ricardo (NY)

If the Knicks picked up M.Bibby and J. Lin (!) why doesn't D'antoni play them at all? Are they really that bad in practice?

Ian Begley
  (12:25 PM)

Bibby really has poor mobility at this point in his career. He isn't an effective penetrator and is mostly limited to spot-up shooting. Lin has impressed D'Antoni in the Knicks' last two games. He can run the pick and roll well, is an active defender and is quick enough to get in the lane. I wouldn't be surprised if he starts to play regular rotation minutes.

Liz (LI)

Hollinger says Knicks have a 19% chance of making the playoffs. That sound right to you?

Ian Begley
  (12:29 PM)

Given the Knicks' strength of schedule the rest of the way, I'm sure this makes sense mathematically. But math was never my strong suit, Liz. I don't think this takes into account the difference a healthy Baron Davis could make. If Davis is healthy, or if the Knicks acquire a Plan B at the point if Davis fails, then I think they can at the very least sneak into one of the lower seeds in the East.

jason (nj)

any chance the knicks trade stat and tyson for dwight?

Ian Begley
  (12:31 PM)

I really don't see this deal happening. Not unless the Magic execs totally botch the Howard situation. It really doesn't make sense for them to take on Amare's uninsured contract, especially the way he's playing this season. I mean, would you do that deal?

Hater Pete (CA)

Who stinks more: you or the Knicks?

Ian Begley
  (12:33 PM)

That's a tough one Pete, but I appreciate the hate! I'll leave that debate to you ....

Ricardo (Bronx)

With all the rumors about trades, will the front office NEVER trade 'Melo just so that they don't have egg on their faces?

Ian Begley
  (12:35 PM)

Ricardo, I think there are scenarios where they would trade Carmelo, but I don't think those scenarios would ever materialize. So essentially, you're right. Even if a deal made sense from a Knicks perspective, I don't think they'd do it because that would be admitting they were wrong. Also, since James Dolan pushed so hard to get this deal done, I don't see him signing off on a trade to send Anthony out of town

frank (NY)

why not more melo and amare PnR's? does melo just refuse to do this? it should be the go to play

Ian Begley
  (12:39 PM)

Right now, Carmelo is the Knicks best ball handler in the pick and roll. And Amare is their best screener on the P & R, so I agree. I think you should see more of this. The problem is that if Amare, Carmelo and Tyson are on the floor together, Tyson is the primary screener on the pick and roll, robbing Amare of the opportunity. Also, when Carmelo and Amare do get together for a pick and roll, it most often results in Anthony taking a shot. Which is fine. But Amare and Chandler have been open on rolls and Knicks guards (not just Melo) have failed to find them

Drew (Charlotte)

Am I reading between the lines a bit too much or is Amare fed up with Melo's high volume shooting? Some of Amare's comments before the Pistons game were troubling.

Ian Begley
  (12:42 PM)

As a guy who reads between the lines too much, I don't think you are reading too much in this Drew. Amare has said again and again that he wants to see the Knicks increase their ball movement on offense, adhering to D'Antoni's principles. Without calling out Carmelo directly, he is essentially complaining that Carmelo too often takes a contested shot early in the shot clock. On Tuesday, the ball movement was solid and Anthony was efficient (9-for-14, 25 points). We'll see if that continues tonight.

Joseph (Staten Island, New York)

chances the knicks could trade for steve nash?

Ian Begley
  (12:44 PM)

Hey Joseph, I think they'd have a tough time coming up with the pieces to land Ramon Sessions. Getting Nash in a trade would be even tougher. I think it's obviously more likely that they chase him as a free agent and pray that he accepts their mid level over the summer.

Tom (NYC)

OK, they make the playoffs but are a one-and-done. They can't win a title with this roster. What changes do they need to make in the off-season?

Ian Begley
  (12:44 PM)

POINT GUARD, POINT GUARD, POINT GUARD, POINT GUARD. * they also need more depth in the second unit

Jim (CT)

Why not sign Arenas with the $2.5 million exception?

Ian Begley
  (12:46 PM)

I am surprised no team has taken a flier on Arenas, Jim. Obviously, teams are scared off because of the stigma surrounding the gun incident and the fact that he shot so poorly last season. For those two reasons and because they'd like to save their exception for a guy from China, I think the Knicks stay away from Arenas.

Paul (New Jersey)

What is up with Amare? Can he just not play with Melo or is he really hurting?

Ian Begley
  (12:50 PM)

Paul, his right ankle may be an issue tonight. He tripped over a jump rope -- A JUMP ROPE! -- during half-time warmups on Tuesday and tweaked it. He received treatment on Wednesday. So that's something to keep an eye on. Other than that, yes, numbers indicate that he and Anthony have struggled to play together. One issue: Stoudemire is not getting as many shots at the rim. I think having a veteran point guard in place can help some, but not all, of the issues that arise between Anthony and Stoudemire.

Daniel (Queens)

I understand Wilson Chandler is a RFA. Is there any chance we can snag him? If he waited to come back during next season?

Ian Begley
  (12:51 PM)

Highly doubtful Dan. It seems like Denver will do everything it can to hold on to him. I'd be surprised if he left so much money on the table to play in NY.

Lenny (nyc)

Chad Ford said yesterday in a chat that the knicks are shopping amare hard, but his uninsured contract is a problem. 1: Is this true? Are they really shopping him "hard"? 2: What are realistic trade scenarios? I can see deron for amare. Gives nets a star to move to bklyn with (and someone who can potentially steal knick fans for nets). Also, deron fits better with melo and chandler moving forward.

Ian Begley
  (12:54 PM)

Hey Lenny, I didn't see Chad's piece so can't comment on what he wrote but I do think Amare's uninsured deal is a huge issue. It was a gamble for the Knicks and would be an even bigger gamble for a team to give up talented players to take a chance on Amare. Another issue is Amare's play of late. He has struggled from the field and entered the week averaging more than seven points fewer than he scored last season. As far as Deron for Amare, I don't see the Nets doing this deal

daniel (queens)

who do you see on the knicks starting rotation by the end of march?

Ian Begley
  (12:54 PM)

Good one, Dan. Here's what I'm thinking: Davis, Shumpert, Anthony, Stoudemire, Chandler What do you guys think?

frank (NY)

Aaaron Brooks, K-Mart, JR Smith, & Chandler? who could you see NYK landing and why?

Ian Begley
  (12:56 PM)

K-Mart, Frank. I think JR Smith and Aaron Brooks (who I believe is unrestricted) will command more money from a contender than the Knicks can offer. K-Mart is unrestricted and I could see him accepting the Knicks' $2.5 mil exception.

elan (ny)

any chance of trading toney douglas for a guy like devin harris or another established point guard that isn't seen as part of a teams future?

Ian Begley
  (12:58 PM)

I think you'd have to offer more than just TD in a deal like this Elan. Douglas' trade value is not very high at all. So even if a team doesn't look at a player as part of their future, they'd need more than just a struggling bench piece to entice them to make a deal, I think

Liz (LI)

They should try bringing STAT off the bench with Toney or Shumpert in a fast-paced offense vs. a half-court set with Tyson, Melo, etc. Just because he makes $18 million doesn't mean he can't be a great 6th man.

Ian Begley
  (1:00 PM)

Interesting..... But it would a hassle to deal with the fallout of bringing in amare off the bench. It's kind of like taking Jeter out of the leadoff spot, but to a much much lesser extent

Ian Begley
  (1:01 PM)

Alright, that's it for me guys. Time to get back to work. I appreciate you guys taking some time to hang out. You are very passionate and knowledgeable and it was a blast chatting with you. Let's do it again soon!