Let's get this chat going ...
Are the knicks better of without stat in the playoffs?
The recent play of Martin has been great inside, which Amar'e brought to the table. However, the biggest difference is that Amar'e is a go-to low-post threat, which is always a benefit for a team to have in the playoffs, when games become more physical, half-court grind-outs. The Knicks will miss him, but if Smith continues his recent dominance, that's huge because it provides the team another inside scorer. Martin and Chandler together would help with putbacks. Melo, of course, would be the dominant scorer out of the low post. A lot depends on how well Martin and Chandler are off pick and rolls. If defenses take that away well, which the Bulls and Pacers can do, the Knicks may feel the loss of Amar'e more for how he was able to play down low.
Is Chandler expected to return soon?
He is questionable for tonight. I don't know too much beyond that. Woodson did say yesterday that he expects him back before the playoffs. Chandler sounded earlier this week that he didn't expect it to be a long-term thing. We'll see.
Knicks are looking great after winning 6 straight games. What's been the difference?
A few keys to me: one, they're healthier; two, they're getting after it defensively; three, Martin's brought a spirit and toughness that's contagious; four, Shumpert's improving; five, they're controlling tempo well by scoring more in transition; six, they're moving the ball better to create easier shots; and they simply seem to be having fun. They're playing loose and free; they don't look unsure and uptight on the court as they did earlier in the season when they were losing more routinely.
Is Carmelo already back to being Carmelo?
He's looking great, and you can tell by his turnaround jumper. He's making quick spin moves and getting great lift and fade on those shots out of the low post. Overall, he has his legs under him more, which had been bothering him lately.
Who does the Knicks face on their final Game of the Season?
The Hawks at home on April 17.
What seed will knicks get? Due to granger injury..
Well, he's been out for basically the entire season, and Paul George has stepped up really well. I think the Knicks or Pacers will lock up that second seed. The Pacers looked great last night in Dallas and they've won three straight. So both teams are playing well right now. It could come down to the wire. We'll see.
Rasheed Wallace would be a bigger influence on the Knicks going further in the playoffs than Stat. When Wallace went down the Knicks defense sank, it has only improved since K mart was signed. Wouldn't a front line of Chandler, Martin & Wallace transform the Knicks Defense?
The Knicks' defense is looking awfully good lately, and that's without Chandler. Martin's been great. Wallace would help defensively, of course, along with his 3-point shooting, but he's likely not returning this season.
Happy Easter Jared! Question, why didn't the knicks pick up another big man? It's looking more and more that amare, sheed and kurt aint coming back this season...are injury proned camby, chandler and martin enough?
Great question, and I thought they should give a hard look at Henry Sims or Samardo Samuels, who have both dominated the D-League this season. But sources have told me it's unlikely the Knicks will make a move because they want to keep their veteran core in tack as the big man free agent field is slim pickings. They're also hopeful that Wallace and Thomas will return at some point, but from what I'm hearing that's really wishful thinking. While they could use another big body, because things have been clicking for them lately, I doubt they do anything.
If Knicks make the second round of the playoffs, which can be done if healthy enough, what is the possibility of having Rasheed Wallace and Amar'e Stoudemire back?
No idea. We spoke to Amar'e yesterday and he's not even sure of his timetable (or maybe he's not really truthful). From what I'm hearing, Wallace is likely done for the season. Of course, a lot depends on how far the Knicks can go in the playoffs. A conference finals opportunity could mean maybe these guys return. It's just hard to gauge right now.
Jared, I know that Melo said he'd send trash talk texts to Coach Woodson during the Cuse-Indiana game last night but did Steve Novak send you trash talk tweets during Miami-Marquette?
LOL no he didn't, but I'm sure Novak and D-Wade were texting each other about the game because both of them went to Marquette, and D-Wade and LeBron have been supportive of the Canes recently.
How do you feel Iman Shumpert is recovering from his knee injury? How far off is he from the Iman of last season?
They say players recovering from ACL injuries become better shooters because that's all they can do, and Shump has proven that to a tee. His 3-point accuracy in March is a team-high 46.8 percent (22-for-47). He's also attacking the basket better and getting after it defensively. The Shump of old, with upgrades, has been returning.
How many total wins do you think the Knicks will need to win the Atlantic Division?
About nine or 10 games. Obviously it depends on how well the Nets do, and they've won four of their last five games. So they're not going to make it any easier for the Knicks.
I notice that J.R. Smith likes to wear the same sneakers for the next game after he plays well. It's gotta be the shoes, right?
He sometimes changes sneakers three times in a game. He'll wear one pair during warmups, then another during the first half and then a third in the second half. He's a huge sneakerhead. He has around 750 pairs (mostly Jordan Brand) he told me recently.
Hey Jared,What does our summer look like as far as free agency?
In a nutshell, not a lot of salary cap space. For the Knicks, a summer of role players.
Who would win in a game of 1-on-1, you or Alan Hahn?
Hmmm ... I've never seen Alan play, but I heard he can ball. I'll have to get back to you on that one lol. My outside shot's pretty good, and I'm a little quick, but if Alan's got those two things, it might be a tough matchup because he's got the height and size on me already. I'll let you know if that ever goes down lol. Alan's a great dude if you ever get a chance to talk to him, and I enjoy his MSG Network coverage.
How would you explain Melo's poor FG % these past few games?
Well, he's healthy first of all. But I think, for one, he's been adjusting to being back on the court. He's also been seeing a lot more double teams because opponents realize he's the Knicks' only low-post threat. The team's ball movement has been great lately, but they're missing Amar'e a bit to allieveate some pressure off of Melo. I think Woodson should also run more pick and rolls between Melo and Martin to give Melo different, effective and easier looks to release his trademark jump shot. Martin's a great screener and finisher, and Melo's connected with him a few times recently. They know each other well from their Denver days. In addition, Melo knocks down jumpers well off wing screens because he doesn't have to work as much. His release is quick and effortless.
ima die hard knick fan and i beleive n da knicks but dont u think coach woodson should playn iman sumpert a lil bit more wit j.r smith n melo
I was saying that to myself down the stretch against the Grizzlies because Shumpert caused a big mismatch problem for the bigger opponent that night. But Jason Kidd has proven he's a great finisher for the team, and he came up big in that fourth quarter to help his guys secure the victory. Woodson has options because the roster is versatile enough, and he sometimes like Kidd in those late-game situations for his key playmaking.
What's the latest recovery update on Kurt Thomas?
Not sure at this point.
do you think the knicks should start martin even when chandler returns
I really like that lineup, especially to prepare for the bigger teams in the East. I think it also gives them an advantage over the Heat who could struggle at times with the Knicks' size. The Heat has shown in the past they struggle with the Pacers' size, and with Melo, Martin and Chandler, that's something that the Heat hasn't seen that. Perhaps we'll see that in Miami this coming Tuesday. An underrated asset is Martin's early-game approach. He's spirited and plays extremely tough right away. Sometimes NBA games don't get highly competitive until the second half, but he doesn't mess around early on. That approach is contagious and rubs off on the guys, which has been helping them start games off better lately.
What is the status of Rasheed Wallace?
As I just mentioned with Thomas, not sure at this point. They are both ways away, especially factoring in their age and recovery time. You could see them both in the playoffs, but the Knicks would likely have to move on to the second round or conference finals to see either play. That's my hunch if the Knicks are so adamant about keeping them around. There's some hope, but not much.
I've been trying my all to get the Knick players on board with shaved heads, black shoes and black socks, but I can only tweet so much! Help me Jared, lets bring that playoff tradition back, Woodson is already on board with shaved head idea lol
You have one major obstacle: Shumpert and his flat top. Good luck lol ...
Fouling in the 3rd quarter in the Griz game almost allowed them to come back. This has been the case in few games. Do you like that they are being aggressive or do you think they are just lazy fouls?
I like that they're being aggressive. I'm more concerned with their defensive awareness at times. On two possessions, Smith got caught looking when Tony Allen went backdoor for a dunk, and then Allen easily drove by Smith in a half-court set. Smith is an overall good defender, but he has to be locked in more. That goes for several of the guys. Sometimes, they take plays off, but for the most part lately, they've been solid defensively. They've started and closed games very well.
Jared, A few questions:1. What do you think about Pablo at the starting 2? A lot of fans think that with the team short-handed, the Knick's should try to get more scoring on that unit by starting someone like Copeland, JR Smith, James White, or to a lesser extent Jason Kidd. The numbers (and the wins) say Pablo is giving us what we need out there, but some might say that we need our best 5 out there to start games.2. Match-ups aside, do you think Melo will give the team more from the Small Forward or the Power Forward come playoff time? What do you think about starting Kenyon Martin at the 4 and keeping Melo at the 3?3. How would you grade Coach Woodson's job so far this season?Thanks!
1) I like Pablo starting more at the 1 because of his full-court defense and passing off pick and rolls. He's not big enough to stay with shooting guards. But I prefer a Felton-Shumpert backcourt to solidify Melo, Martin and Chandler on the frontline. I think it protects the team more at the start of games on both ends of the floor. Overall, it's more important who's on the court closing games. 2) I don't think it matters where Melo plays on the court. I even asked him this yesterday, and he said he doesn't care. Melo is a dominant, versatile scorer and he'll take anyone to the hole. Put him in isolation, the pick and roll or low post, and he's money. 3) I believe I answered your question in No. 1.
If Amare and Sheed are back by playoffs what is the 9 man rotation Woodson should go with?
I see it being potentially 11 deep. Felton, Shumpert, Anthony, Martin, Chandler, Smith, Stoudemire, Kidd, Prigioni, Novak and Wallace. Copeland and Camby will be on the outside.
Hey Jared do you see the knicks winning 50 games to finish the regular season?
I do. They have four winnable games facing the Bobcats twice, the Wizards and Cavaliers, and that would put them at 48 wins (they have 44 now). And then they would just need two from there. It's definitely possible.
Why do all sports writer always down play any kind of momentum or winning streak the knicks have?
Always? I'm not downplaying it, especially after beating the loaded Grizzlies. Wins against the Celtics and Heat coming up will definitely validate their recent success. I think winning streaks really get noticed at about eight, 10 games.
What are the chances that Knicks can get good free agents for less money if they make it to the Eastern Conference Finals (or Finals, somehow)? Can the Knicks become a Miami Heat type of location for these good free agents taking less money?
As I said before, this summer for the Knicks will be based around role players. Melo, Tyson and Amar'e are locked in for next season, and that eats up a lot of money.
I know the Knicks just beat the Celtics and the Bulls are hurting but who would be the better 1st round opponent? Matchup wise I'd say the Celtics but the team knows it can beat the Knicks when it matters in the postseason.
The Celtics without Rondo and Garnett would be nice, but the Celtics are always scary with how hard they play defensively and how well-prepared Doc Divers makes them. I could see that series going six, seven games. I really like the Hawks in the first round because Woodson knows their style well, having coached there, they don't have their sixth man Louis Williams -- on the other hand, Smith has been on another planet recently -- and they're less experienced playoffs-wise than the Knicks.
Do the Knicks have enough money to sign free agents and J.R Smith, because JR will demand alot of money due to his recent play. Outside of Melo, Amare, and Chandler who get pay the big bucks, can the knicks get rid of Kurt Thomas, Rasheed Wallace, Marcus Camby, J-Kidd(Retiring), Pablo?
Smith really likes playing and living in New York, so his loyalty could keep him here. At the end of the day, I truly believe he wants to start, so if he has a great opportunity to do that for dollar signs and become the James Harden of the East, it could get interesting. Still, though, many league insiders see Smith as inconsistent and they're waiting to see how he plays over a longer stretch. I think it's still too soon to tell how much money he'll fetch this offseason.
will Melo win the scoring title? drop a few 40+ pt games and he can easily overtake KD
With no Amar'e and Chandler, the opportunity is definitely there.
Is there a reason Woodson doesn't utilize Copeland more? He is an excellent scorer. I understand his defense is suspect but so is Novak's and Novak gets plenty of burn. Copeland can be a key to our success if we go through scoring droughts in the playoffs...Thoughts?
Once Chandler is back, I don't see the Knicks playing Copeland as much. He was being used as a frontcourt player, sometimes even playing the five, but Chandler will obviously steal a lot of minutes, and Martin will likely play more with the second unit alongside Novak for his 3-point shooting. I like Copeland's offensive game, no question, but he's better when he's dominating the ball and the Knicks need the ball to move around better as it has been lately. I think Cope can be a knock-down 3-point shooter in the Knicks' evolving offense, but his defense is still suspect, as you brought up. That's why his playing time will be limited.
Jared - Sorry about THE U last night. Correct me if I'm wrong, but is it not impossible for us to play the Heat in the first round of the playoffs? Because I think we Knicks fans need to focus on hoping to get out of the first round for the first time since Ewing was still a Knick. Instead of trying to figure out how to beat the Heat.
Yes, highly unlikely that the Knicks and Heat will meet in the first round.
Thanks for answering all of my questions. Can we somehow set up a 3pt contest for all of the Knicks writers of this recent age: you, Alan Hahn, Howard Beck, and let's throw in Stephen A Smith, Frank Isola, and Marc Berman to round out a 6 man line-up. Winner gets ultimate bragging rights and Steve Novak's invisible championship belt to wear until the next year's competition.
LOL sign me up!
If Chris Paul and Clippers lose first round and Paul wants to leave is there any trade scenarios where the Knicks can possibly get Paul in a multi team deal?
I really don't see Paul in a Knicks uniform next season.
You get the vibes that STAT is trying to almost force Woody's hand into thrusting him into the playoff lineup with this whole media tour and documentary releasing the day before playoffs? Woody's reaction makes me think there may be some drama ahead.
I highly doubt that. The documentary has been in the works for two years.
I am a die hard Knicks Fan, With the current roster this season, do you think knicks can go deep in the playoffs, without having amare, rasheed, thomas?
I think they can make it to the conference finals if they're healthy and continue the rhythm they have right now on both ends of the floor. Their roster is talented and versatile enough.
Hey guys, thanks for your time. If you have an additional comment or question, hit me on Twitter @JaredZwerling.