Hey guys, I'll be taking your questions until about 1 p.m. ET. Let's do this ...
Where do you see the Knicks in the standings next year?
As I've said before, the Knicks have the potential to be the second seed in the East. I don't see anyone knocking off the Heat from the top spot. The Knicks will be right in the hunt for that second seed, along with the Nets, Celtics and Pacers. Everyone will be watching the Sixers to see what they do with Andrew Bynum, but I think the talent around him is still a bit young to lead the team to a very high seed. The Knicks have three important D's to me: depth, defense and dynamic lineups. They can go small and tall, and still be effective.
Are the Knicks better off without Lin?
From what I'm hearing and reading, Raymond Felton is getting himself into really good shape. He knows he has to, with the Knicks not matching Lin and the team positioned to compete for a high seed. So I think with that said, and being that the Knicks are deeper this time around, especially defensively, I think they are better off without Lin.
Do you think Amare's workouts with Hakeem will translate into the real games?
Yes, why not? Amare works just as hard in the offseason as Kobe, D-Howard and LeBron, who have all worked with Hakeem. Amare has mostly been in positions to succeed in the pick-and-roll, and he's flourished in that situation because he practiced it a lot. I think now that Amare has put in more time with Hakeem (two weeks; most players just do it four days or so), it really shows his commitment to the post. And with his back feeling "great," as his training adviser told me, I think we should expect some good things from Amare on the block this season.
Is there greater concern about Amare's knees now than in the past?
For a big man approaching the age of 30, which Amare turns later this year, yes, there's always that concern. He did appear to lose some explosiveness last season, so that's definitely something to watch. I don't think his back was the only issue. He did admit that the lockout kind of messed up this training pattern, and he didn't come into the season the way he wanted. Based on this summer, working with three different trainers: his longtime trainer, a physical therapist and a strength and conditioning coach, it appears that he's setting himself up well to get back to that 2010-11 STAT form. Hopefully he can stay healthy this season and avoid any injuries.
What is your thought on the timetable for shumpert and how do you think melo and amare will gain chemistry if at all
Shumpert said this week that he's right on schedule, based on his initial eight-month projection for recovery. That means we should see Shumpert back sometime in December or January. I think the bigger issue with Melo and Amare is making teammates around them better. Coach Woodson needs to devise offensive sets that not only put them in positions to score in their sweet spots, but also in positions where they can make plays for others and keep the ball moving. The ball stopped sometimes way too much on one side of the court last season, especially in the playoffs. Few teams find that perfect balance between ball movement and scoring. With the talent and depth they have, the Knicks need to be one of those teams this season.
How do you think that the New York Knicks will do in 2012-2013 season?
Second or third seed. Anything less than a trip to the Eastern Conference finals, to me, should be a disappointment.
How well can the New York Knicks defense be with a healthy iman shumpert and tyson chandler in the middle and will carmelo play defense?
Don't forget about Ronnie Brewer and Marcus Camby as well. And under Woodson in those last 24 games of the season, the team bought into consistent defense, holding opponents to around 90 points per game (about the third-best in the league during that stretch). That meant Carmelo and Co. all doing their part. That's a positive sign for what's to come.
Whats the latest update on Kenyon Martin? I heard he is deciding between the knicks or lakers.
No update. I spoke to two different agents this week, both familiar with the Knicks' free-agency situation. One agent said the Knicks are not looking to rush a decision on potentially adding another player. It appears that could be a backup power forward. The second agent said the Knicks never do what you would assume, meaning a player like Martin some fans think will end up with the Knicks may not come. With Martin playing in LA last season, he could be very intrigued with the Lakers' situation obviously, after they added Dwight Howard. I'll keep you guys updated as soon as I hear of something brewing.
Hi jared,can carmelo anthony have a mvp type season what do you think ?
Great question. If Melo's going to have an MVP-type season, it's going to have to happen this season or next. The pieces around him can make him look really good. We all know Melo has all the offensive tools, but he needs to make game-changing stops on defense (like LeBron did last season). And he needs to develop his passing game. LeBron developed his post-up game last season, which he needed to do, and look at what happened. In addition to his defense, Melo needs to improve his passing. He definitely has potential to be in the MVP conversation.
Why is there a "gag" order in MSG on Lin?
There always seems to be a "gag order" in effect with the Knicks. The team hasn't commented much on several things in the past several months. James Dolan hasn't granted an interview in five years, and he tells his management to be hush hush a lot. For example, after J.R. Smith's tweeting incident and arrest, and after Stoudemire's gay slur, the Knicks didn't comment. Those kinds of things say it all.
Do you think that JR Smith frequent visits to Night Clubs is going to impact his performance this season? How did he look at Dyckman?
Look, a lot of players frequent nightclubs. They are young and rich, and many of them are single. That's also part of the glitz and glamour of professional sports, and it's never going to go away. I don't know how often Smith frequents them, but hopefully he's smart about his life off the court this season. The Knicks are looking to do big things and Woodson needs all his players focused at the task at hand. There can't be any distractions. As for Dyckman, he only played in two overtimes, but the crowd was definitely hyped when he arrived, especially when he pulled off a ridiculous off-the-backboard alley-oop to himself (a la Tracy McGrady in the 2002 All-Star game).
How much do you potentially see Marcus Camby and Tyson Chandler playing in the same lineup this season?
Depends on the opponent, what's going on in the game, foul trouble for other players, etc. But yes, I definitely see them playing together during games at times. As I said before, the Knicks are one of the most dynamic teams in the leagues because they can throw effective small and tall lineups on the court at different times.
I am a huge Knicks fan. How do you see the Knicks stacking up against the Lakers on Christmas Day.
Amare and Chandler vs. Gasol and D-Howard. Man, I'm excited for that frontcourt matchup. Chandler has proven he can guard D-Howard one-on-one, and then you have Camby off the bench. The Knicks will likely be missing Shumpert in that matchup, but I actually think the Knicks have an advantage because of their defensive depth on the perimeter and interior. The main key to that game to me is Chandler and Camby staying out of foul trouble, which is going to be important for a lot of opposing teams going up against D-Howard. But I like the Knicks' chances in that one.
Any chance the Knicks sign Josh Howard? I know Melo likes him and you can never have enough depth.
Not sure. I do think the Knicks would prefer a backup power forward behind Amare. The five top candidates are (in this order): Kenyon Martin, Louis Amundson, Andray Blatche, D.J. White and Donte Greene.
Do you actually see Amare using these new low post moves this season? If so, does this mean we will see Amare less in pick and roll situations?
Yes, one of the main reasons Amare worked with Hakeem was because of coach Woodson wanting to use him more in the post. Also, Amare wanted to do it because he knows as he gets older in his career, he won't have the same athleticism. Therefore, a back-to-the-basket game is important. Overall, he will still be used in both situations. Amare has been one of the best in the game in pick-and-roll situations. Why take him away from that all of a sudden?
Weakest/strongest aspects of the knicks?
Strongest = depth. Weakest = chemistry (as of right now). That's because half of the Knicks' roster is new. We have to see how they all come together.
Right or wrong: NYK's trio of Felton Kidd and Pirigoni will be better than Lin, Davis and Bibby?
As currently constructed, where do you think the Knicks rank in the East?
Second or third seed.
have you been impressed with pable during the olympics?
Yes I was. He ran his team well, was patient, didn't make too many mistakes, showed he can run the pick-and-roll effectively, admired his ability to play only a few days after very painful renal colic, etc. He will hardly score in the NBA, but as a third-string point guard, with all of his years playing well against top international competition (including Team USA), I like him.
Jared, with the renovations going on in MSG, will the Knicks have an "Open Practice" this year?
Good question. I'll look into that for you guys.
Will we regret not keeping landry fields?
I don't think so. Ronnie Brewer is pretty good. He's well-groomed to succeed in New York after being with one of the top teams in the league the past two seasons, the Bulls, and playing under Tom Thibodeau.
why was courney lee never an option...seems like we could've afforded him
I don't think the Knicks were ever serious about him. They have a better up-and-comer (and younger) Courtney Lee in Iman Shumpert.
Who do you believe is a better fit for the team, Lou Amundson or Kenyon Martin?
I'm going to go with Martin. More playoff experience, he's better inside and outside (Amundson is more interior-based) and he knows J-Kidd from his Nets days (they went to the Finals two years in a row), as well as Melo and J.R. from playing in Denver.
Do you think that Amar'e and Carmelo can both average 25+ ppg next season?
Will Pablo get any burn this season with the depth we have at pg?
Here and there. Not too much. I could see him averaging about eight to 10 minutes per game.
Hey jared ..... I keep hearing about how amare looks offensivly from Akeem .... Any word if he tried to help him defensively ...??
Yes. I wrote that through my coverage. Check out the Knicks Blog for some of my earlier stories on their training together.
If we don't advance far into the playoffs this year is it time to blow it up? if so what are some potential moves we could make?
Let's wait for some of the season to play out first. This is a loaded question. Be a little patient. The Knicks upgraded well.
Do u see any chance of Jason Kidd starting? I'm of the believer that felton might be better suited off the bench
Felton will start.
Was Ronnie Brewer one of the better value pickups this offseason?
Yes, he turned down more money to stay with the Knicks. He said he saw a great role for himself on the Knicks, and that's what championship-contending teams need: players who understand what their role is, and do it well. Brewer is that kind of guy.
Is Mike Woodson really the coach to put this all together?? Also any word on Assitant coaches heading our way?
No other assistants as of now. Woodson has showed two main signs of positive things to come. The first is that the Knicks finished 18-6 to end the season. The second is that he's dedicated himself to his players by giving them summer tasks and traveling around to meet with them. On the court, he's got the right defensive approach and I think he understands where players need to be on the court to effectively do what they do best.
I read this whole thing and still don't understand where you see the Knicks finishing this year.
Second or third seed in the East, and on paper they have what it takes to reach the Eastern Conference finals.
What do you think will be Stat's season averages?
Around 18 and 8 consistently. Amare didn't have that consistent play last season. I think he'll find that touch again this time.
Hey guys, I have to run. If you have a question I didn't ask, please reach me on Twitter @JaredZwerling ... Thanks! I always appreciate your questions and insights.