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January 25, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Jared Zwerling

Jared Zwerling
  (12:01 PM)

Thanks for taking part in today's Knicks chat! I'll get to your questions now.

Nick (NY)

Hey Jared, big fan. My question - STAT is looking better and better. He had a great "stat" line last night w/ only 20 minutes of game time. Why isn't he getting consistent time in upwards of 30 mins? He's looking noticeably faster and has shaken what seemed to be court awareness rust. Thoughts?

Jared Zwerling
  (12:03 PM)

There could still be a minutes cap. I wouldn't be surprised. But also look, it's still only January and the team is missing Sheed and Camby. Woodson has to be careful to not burn out his players, especially his frontcourt guys. Fortunately, their backcourt is strengthening now. Felton could play tomorrow in Philly.

Anthony (Township, NJ)

Jared, I like what I have seen from Amar'e the past three games. He is starting to round himself into better shape. I personally would continue to use him off the bench and have him go after second team big men. What do you think?

Jared Zwerling
  (12:05 PM)

For now, off the bench, so he can have an easier time against second-unit players. The Knicks basically have no frontcourt off the bench right now without Sheed and Camby. You can use Melo in the post to start, and then Aamre in the post off the bench. It's a good combination. The main pick-and-roll should be saved for Felton and Chandler.

Lee (NYC)

Jared,You do an amazing job covering the Knicks! Do you think the Knicks will eventually start Amare?

Jared Zwerling
  (12:06 PM)

Thank you. I don't think so. I honestly think their best starting five will be Felton, Kidd, Shumpert, Melo and Chandler. That way you have Melo obviously, Felton and Chandler in the pick-and-roll, Kidd for shooting and smart playmaking, and Shumpert for defense, fastbreak points and outside shots as well.

Jeremy (Waltham)

I was at the game last night and didn't notice rondo had a triple double until i looked up at the screen and saw the stats. do you remember a game where a player had a quieter triple double? seemed like every fan was looking to pierce to (attempt to) pull out a boston victory.

Jared Zwerling
  (12:07 PM)

I honestly feel like every one of Rondo's triple-doubles is quiet. He's a sneaky player. Once he further develops that midrange jumpshot, he'll be so much better. He's made progress with it, but it's still not there yet.

Josh (NYC)

Ayy zwerl - does Felton make the All-Star team if he doesnt fracture his pinky?

Jared Zwerling
  (12:10 PM)

Good question, but I don't think so. I couldn't imagine three Knicks on the team. Like I thought J.R. Smith had a great shot. He stepped up big in Felton's absence as a playmaker, he's improved his defense. He's also a great finisher. He has two game-winners this season -- how many stars around the league can say that? -- and just look at his play down the stretch last night. A big 3-pointer and two key defensive stops.

Josh (NYC)

Other than Miami, who should scare me the most come playoff time?

Jared Zwerling
  (12:11 PM)

The Bulls, Celtics, Nets and Pacers. They will all be tough. I think the Bulls for sure with D-Rose. It sounds like he could be returning soon.

Anthony (Orlando, FL)

Although Amare is def getting better and better by the day, I'd still hate to see him in the starting lineup. Not bc of anything with Carmelo, but I just think that would be way too much scoring in the first unit. I think the team would benefit so much more with him coming off the bench from this point forward, barring injuries of course... Your thoughts?

Jared Zwerling
  (12:11 PM)

Yes, off the bench. See my previous response.

Michael B (Long Island)

Jared, what do you think is the most important thing the Knicks need to do moving forward in order to beat teams like Chicago, Indiana, & Brooklyn come April?

Jared Zwerling
  (12:14 PM)

Their frontline needs more depth. Camby's return is key. We'll see about Sheed. But the Knicks likely won't make a move to bring someone else in unless Sheed walks away from the game. The Knicks' perimeter is locked and loaded, but not inside. There's only so much the Knicks can do in a zone defense. It's not a seven-game winning formula in the playoffs. Great opponents figure it out and adjust.

JD (BKN)

What's the excuse gonna be for Knick fans when they finish 2nd in the Atlantic? All November and December we were treated to "the Knicks have the Atlantic wrapped up," but - amazingly enough - the season didn't end in December! As a Net fan, I get great joy out of hearing excuse after excuse after excuse from Knick fans and their writers. What's it gonna be this year Jared?

Jared Zwerling
  (12:15 PM)

Expectations are the Eastern Conference Finals against likely the Heat. Anything less than that will be a disappointment.

Johnny (Ct)

Do you think is time to cut kurt thomas and sing k-mart??Last nite kurt thomas looked bad and really old in the 2 mins he gat to play!!

Jared Zwerling
  (12:17 PM)

If you look at the numbers, Thomas has been helpful defensively. He's a big body, plays hard, he's in great shape and he can knock down the jumpshot. Sheed is the real question mark. Right now, I'm hearing Martin still wants more than the veteran's minimum. And remember this: His agent and the Knicks have both denied talking to each other. As one league source told me, "I will bet you Martin won't be in serious talks with the Knicks unless Wallace walks away from the game."

Johnny (Ct)

With felton coming back tomorrow what will the staring line up be???

Jared Zwerling
  (12:18 PM)

If he starts, I'd like to see him with Kidd, Shumpert, Melo and Chandler. That lineup has big potential to me. Prigioni, Smith, Novak, Copeland and Stoudemire could anchor the second unit for now.

Bothteamsplayedhard (PDX)

The easy baskets don't seem to be coming at the same rate as earlier in the year. Is that from teams making defensive adjustments or is Felton that important to the offensive flow?

Jared Zwerling
  (12:19 PM)

Without Felton's deep-drive penetration, the Knicks are going to isolation more and through Melo and Smith, the ball is staying on one side of the court too much. A great attacking point guard, which Felton is, changes a lot of things -- positively, of course.

@IAmBrianJ (MSG)

With Felton back, what will the Knicks starting lineup be going forward? Melo at the 4?

Jared Zwerling
  (12:19 PM)

Yes, most likely.

Justin (Fairfax, VA)

At what point will the Knicks give up or move in another direction if Wallace still isn't ready? March or sooner? Also can we get an update on Camby? Thanks!

Jared Zwerling
  (12:21 PM)

Woodson really wanted to bring in Wallace -- that was mostly coach on that one -- so he's going to wait. I would say mid-February-ish. As for Camby, I don't have an update today. But according to the initial timeable, he's about two weeks away.

Angelo (Nutley, NJ)

Is the plan to increase Amare's PT... he seems to be settling in nicely to his current role and I'm worried increased playing time will lead to another break down

Jared Zwerling
  (12:22 PM)

I would say around 25 to 30 minutes is where you'll see Stoudemire. It's only January, folks. He's coming off surgery, he has bad knees, you've just got to be careful.

steve (nyc)

What do you think of Steve Novak's production so far this year? It seems that he is a huge defensive liability when he steps on the court and he is not making up for that in his offensive game like he did last year.

Jared Zwerling
  (12:25 PM)

It's a combination of two things lately: one, the Knicks are missing Felton's deep-drive penetration; and two, teams are all over him. When Novak gets going, that's a huge dent on the other team. Novak is a big game-changer. When he connects on like three, four or five 3-pointers in a game -- some usually during a quick stretch -- that gives the Knicks so much momentum. I've always said that the Knicks should try to run more pick-and-pops for him, but that's not happening. It's more pick-and-roll with Melo and a big. Novak will never have the footwork like a Kyle Korver, so you can't run too many off-the-ball sets for him.

RODNEY (BROOKLYN)

why did woodson start white over copeland!?! It seems like copeland has been making the most of his opportunities unlike brewer or white..

Jared Zwerling
  (12:26 PM)

Most likely for defensive purposes on Pierce. But once Felton comes back, you likely won't see White or Copeland starting. I could see Felton, Kidd and Shumpert rounding out the one through three spots.

Ozair (NJ)

Why are knicks so quiet on injuries this yr still no time table on sheed or camby injuries

Jared Zwerling
  (12:29 PM)

Great question. But I can tell you from talking to a reliable league source, Sheed's injury is an old foot injury that was bad, and should've been operated on. But Sheed played through it, being the tough dude he is. That's Sheed for you; he just wants to play.

Josh (NYC)

What you think of Shump's rapping skills?

Jared Zwerling
  (12:30 PM)

Excellent. He tells real stories; not about fluff stuff.

Alex (Chicago, IL)

Coincidence, Shumpert comes back and in three games we've given up 87, 88, and 86 points? What are you seeing the Knicks doing differently defensively recently? Also, what did you think of Woodson going to a 3-2 zone last night? Is that something he will use more often to help cover up Amare's defensive shortcomings?

Jared Zwerling
  (12:32 PM)

The zone was effective because Amare is not a good defender in man-to-man situations. The zone brought him closer to the basket and he was able to use his athleticism better. In the zone, he has less ground to cover. He's always struggled with positioning and court awareness on defense. As for Shumpert, he's doing a great job, but don't count out Kidd, Smith and Prigioni. The Knicks' perimeter defense has been solid. They've been all over the ball-handler and playing passing lanes well.

Bothteamsplayedhard (PDX)

who's the best Knick with the media?

Jared Zwerling
  (12:32 PM)

For me personally, Copeland and White. We're always chatting pregame.

RODNEY (BROOKLYN)

Hey Jared, Stephen Curry should've been a knick...do u think he was robbed of being an all start?

Jared Zwerling
  (12:32 PM)

No question. Also, in the East, Brandon Jennings should've been chosen over Jrue Holiday, in my opinion. A better record for one thing through a coaching change.

Tony (Millburn )

Is kidd the greatest PG ever?

Jared Zwerling
  (12:35 PM)

Magic probably. His height, his versatility, his leadership. Kidd's in the top five for sure. If there was a category, "players who've done whatever it takes to win," he'd be in the top five.

Az (NYC )

What's more important: being fully healthy come playoff time or burning ourselves out to get a top 2 seed

Jared Zwerling
  (12:36 PM)

Fully healthy. The one thing around the league that everyone agrees on about the Knicks is that "age could catch up to them in a bad way." So health is everything.

@IAmBrianJ (MSG)

Kurt Thomas is clearly hurting us. Is cutting him and signing KMart being discussed? Soon KMart will have to take the vet min, right?

Jared Zwerling
  (12:37 PM)

I'm not sure that's being discussed. There are also other power forwards/centers out there available. I think a hidden gem is Henry Sims in the D-League. No one's talking about him, but he can D up. The Knicks still like him and, from one league source, he was right behind Copeland to make the team.

RODNEY (BROOKLYN)

Hey Jared James white just doesn't look comfortable on the court and seems lost! Will he be here past the trade deadline? what about brewer?

Jared Zwerling
  (12:39 PM)

White did some things last night that I liked. He stayed after it after some missed shots, and he can D up. Brewer, I have no idea. He's still a solid defender, so he's useful to have off your bench.

Ozair (NJ)

Surprised to not see Copeland get any minutes yesterday, any particular reason?

Jared Zwerling
  (12:40 PM)

Good question. But Woodson has been mixing up his starting fives here and there lately, and sometimes a player gets lost in the rotation. Woodson really wanted to solidify his defense last night, and went with White, who's better in that department.

Ronald (Poconos)

Huge fan Jared, quick question...do you see any trades or signings for the knicks before the trade deadline?

Jared Zwerling
  (12:43 PM)

Thank you. Not sure on trade movement yet, but the Knicks would obviously like to have another big man. I don't think they have enough trade bait, though, so I foresee a cut and sign first. As one league source put it, "I don't think they will make any moves. They would love to unload Amare, but there won't be any takers." That's especially due to his past health and bad, uninsured contract.

IHateNets (NY)

are they knick's mindset similiar to the Spurs as in they just want to make it to the playoffs healthy while not really caring about placement?

Jared Zwerling
  (12:45 PM)

The Knicks definitely care about placement. You've got to imagine they want to face a team like the Bucks or Sixers in the first round, as do other teams. It will be interesting to see where the Celtics end up.

Justin (Fairfax, VA)

I was getting frustrated last night watching the Melo show in the fourth. Granted we won and I know it will be different with Felton, but they need to mix it up and give Amare some touches down the stretch. He just sits in the corner while Melo does his thing. Wouldn't it make it easier on Melo if they mix in Amare into the offense with a high post flash or a post up?

Jared Zwerling
  (12:50 PM)

You make good points, and Amare could benefit from getting the ball more. He's 27-for-32 from the line in the past four games. That's a big boost down the stretch. But here's the deal: Melo is such a great offensive player that you've got to give him the ball in the high or low post down the stretch. I think Melo and Amare could run more pick-and-rolls at times to not leave Amare so isolated.

RODNEY (BROOKLYN)

True or false? Sheed will be back before the all star game

Jared Zwerling
  (12:51 PM)

I'm going to go with false on that one.

albert (bk)

Jared,is there any update with kenyon martin now that we have no timetable on sheed or camby?

Jared Zwerling
  (12:51 PM)

No talks. No update.

Ian (NY)

Realisticly, where do you see the Knicks finishing in the playoffs (what round) and if we are going to lose, who to?

Jared Zwerling
  (12:52 PM)

If they remain healthy as of now with not as much frontcourt depth, the third seed.

Angelo (Nutley, NJ)

Hey JD, as a Nets fan who is overly excited about his team's recent winning ways, havent you noticed that the Nets have only played one good team in this stretch? They have been beating up on below average teams. ... And the Knicks schedule will now turn to those weaker teams and we will extend our division lead.

Jared Zwerling
  (12:56 PM)

P.J. has done a great job, and the players have responded. P.J. defines roles a lot better. He says to one player, "Hey, we need this, this and this from you, and if you can't do it, he will." You've seen that from D-Will. He's become more of a pass-first point guard, and JJ and Lopez are the two dominant scores. That's when the Nets excel. JJ and Lopez should lead the Nets in scoring on most nights. With Avery, he always tried to match up with other teams. P.J. knows his personnel and his players, and has created a better foundation. He's also been smart to start Reggie Evans at the four, and look what's happened: They've gone 10-1 in January so far.

BJ (NY)

Do you think this month off can be good for Felton later in the season?

Jared Zwerling
  (12:57 PM)

Yes, definitely. He said he's in even better shape than coming into the season. And I believe that, because he backed up his words earlier on and looked great on the court.

Mychael (Champaign, IL)

Hey Jared, if you see the Knicks as a third seed in the end, who gets the second seed? I still believe they have what it takes to get the top seed when felton comes back.

Jared Zwerling
  (12:57 PM)

Potentially the Bulls.

Ryan Ronalds (Cleveland)

Who do you see as the Knicks biggest challenge in the playoffs? Heat, Bulls, Celtics, anyone?

Jared Zwerling
  (12:57 PM)

Heat and Bulls.

Glenn (NY)

What are odds Wallace is done? Over 50%? Over 75%?

Jared Zwerling
  (12:58 PM)

Around 50 percent.

tracy (paterson)

were you expecting a fight to break out between melo and KG last night?

Jared Zwerling
  (12:58 PM)

Nope. Why start something up again? Let your play speak bigger, and that's what Melo did.

Mike (Staten Island)

Are prigioni's minutes going to go down once felton comes back? He has been so valuable with his defense, playmaking and he is starting to hit his 3 pointers consistantly.

Jared Zwerling
  (1:00 PM)

I'd expect around 10, 15 minutes from Prigioni. You've got to play him. He's been great on defense, as you mentioned.

Ryan (NY)

How did you get this job? Some would say its a dream job.

Jared Zwerling
  (1:02 PM)

I've worked in sports since 2000 (when I was in college). My No. 1 advice: Get to know everyone. Networking is the key.

Jared Zwerling
  (1:02 PM)

Thanks guys for your time. Sorry I couldn't get to all of your questions. Hit me on Twitter @JaredZwerling ...