As season nears close with no playoffs, Melo, Knicks reflect on a lost season

Josh Newman

After 54 wins, an Atlantic Division title and a trip to the second round of the playoffs, expectations were raised for the Knicks this season.

Those expectations have not panned out as the Knicks are playing out the string, including a 100-89 victory on Sunday evening over the Chicago Bulls at Madison Square Garden.

With the season going as it has, one has to wonder if those initial preseason expectations off last season were too high.

Amar’e Stoudemire is not one of those people asking that right now.

It should’ve been a little bit higher,” Stoudemire said before the game, in which he finished with 12 points on 5-for-8 shooting. “On paper, we might be the best team in the league. We got great players on this team, we’ve accomplished so much, we just couldn’t put it together.”

“It’s not even real for me right now,” said Carmelo Anthony, who will miss the playoffs for the first time in his career. “We still have two games left, but it hasn’t set in yet, not at all. It’s hard to accept that. It’s hard to be happy in these times, it’s just a hard situation right now.”

Given the Knicks can finish no better than 37-45, Stoudemire’s comments may seem silly, but in his defense, the 12th-year pro is forever optimistic, not only in regards to basketball, but in regards to everything.

Before Stoudemire spoke, Knicks head coach Mike Woodson was peppered pregame with questions about not making the playoffs. Predictably, his take was a little more level-headed.

You can point the fingers in a lot of directions, and I’m not gonna sit here and air that out,” Woodson said. “At the end of the day, I’m the coach and I didn’t get it done. It’s just that simple. There are a lot of factors that came behind it, but you can’t sit here and complain about it now. We didn’t get it done and being the coach.”

“I just apologize to the fans because they paid their hard-earned money to see us play and we didn’t come into this season expecting this. We dug a hole early and we tried to make a major push to get in here at the end and we just didn’t get it done.”

The Knicks were left for dead on March 3 when they fell to a season-high 19 games under .500 following a 96-85 loss at the Detroit Pistons. To their credit, the Knicks circled the wagons to win 12 of their next 15 to get back into the race for the eighth and final Eastern Conference playoff spot with the Atlanta Hawks.

In the end, digging themselves an early hole in the standings was too much to overcome to be playing basketball into May. A Hawks win over the Miami Heat on Saturday evening clinched that final playoff spot and eliminated the Knicks from contention.

“I stayed optimistic throughout that entire run figuring that there was still an opportunity to make the playoffs,” Stoudemire said. “With the final three games, we’ve gotta find some type of motivation to get us going so that we can stay positive and at least end the season on a good note.”

With Phil Jackson having been introduced last month as new President of Basketball Operations, changes are likely afoot this offseason. What those changes will be exactly remains a mystery, but two things in particular are going to grab everyone’s attention.

The wide assumption is that the Knicks will move on from Woodson while also looking to secure Anthony, who has said publicly that he will opt-out of the final year of his 3-year, $64 million contract and test the free agent market.

Under the collective bargaining agreement, Anthony can re-sign with the Knicks for five years and $129 million. If he goes elsewhere, the maximum he could be paid drops to $96 million over four years.

“It’s hard for me to even think about that, it’s hard for me to even think past tonight at this moment,” said Anthony after scoring 17 points in just 27 minutes. “For me, it’s just cloudy. I’ve never been in this situation before, I don’t even know what to say about this situation, so the only thing for me is to try to stay positive.”

“It has nothing to do with the way this season went. Even if we had the greatest season, I would probably still be in that situation. It is what it is.”

With his future up in the air, it’s worth noting that for all of the issues the Knicks have had this season, Anthony was not one of them.

Entering Sunday, Anthony was averaging 27.6 points, 8.2 rebounds and was shooting 45.2 percent from the field.

He has been hampered by an injured right shoulder since April 2. He has played through it, but said after the game that with the team mathematically eliminated, he may have an MRI performed in the next day or two.

“One thing I can say, you can’t point at him because he’s been there all year,” Woodson said. “He’s had a hell of a season for us.”




153 comments
chudogz1
chudogz1

Someone should set up another rally to fire WoodRow.... Change needs to start now!!

cj1786
cj1786

I don't see what the big deal about Amare's comment was.  I head people complaining about how ridiculous it was this morning on the radio.  Anyone who thinks its ridiculous clearly didn't bother to look at the context of the comment.  He was clearly responding to a question about the high expectations going into the season, which there were!!!! And why were there high expectations???  Oh yea, because "On paper" the Knicks DO have one of the most talented rosters in the east!!!!!!!  If they didn't no one would have had the expectations they did!!!! The man is not saying anything ridiculous here. 

This is what ticks me off about how reporters at times report what players say, and why I think players have every right to be skeptical of the media.  If you ever want to know why players are very guarded with their comments, and often give vanilla answers, look no further than something like this. Whoever got this original quote simply took one line about being the best team on paper, presented with not context, and the internet and Twitter and everyone else runs with it.

hashburry
hashburry

At least Amare has been consistently delusional since his first press conference.

BiggieTKB
BiggieTKB

to me it's more likely the Bulls clear the cap space and try to pay Lance Stephenson 12-13 mil a year as a RFA 


i honestly dont think they can get to the 17 -20 mil it will take to have a conversation with Melo as a free agent.

cole3244
cole3244

melo isn't going anywhere, ny is one of the last places he will be treated like the super star he is not and when they say it isn't about the money its always about the money.


please pj discard this me first player and bring in players who believe in the team concept and are interested in winning before statistics.

BiggieTKB
BiggieTKB

When you talk about the Bulls and their cap situation dont forget that Nikola Mirotic will have to be paid if they want him to come to the US.


he is under contract with Real Madrid and will not be coming to the Bulls for the league minimum.. he makes 4.4 mil with RM and will have to self finance a buy out to get out of the contract.  Rumors are RM is willing to offer him a new contract starting at 10 mil per year.. 


i'd estimate it would take somewhere around 7-8 mil per year from the Bulls to get him here and pay for his buyout.


If the Bulls amnesty Boozer and trade Dunleavy they are around 11 mil under the cap including cap holds .. then try and trade Gibson's three year 25 mil deal for no money coming back.. then pay Mirotic.. then what do do with DJ Augustin who has NO bird rights.. 


THEN how much do they have for Melo?  Maybe 12 mil per year.


Also remember that Bulls ownership is allergic to the luxury tax and will have to make a call on Jimmy Butler in 2015.. 


keep it real.

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@chudogzWe are out of the playoffs so why the rush now for Woody to go?  Don't waste your time, Woody will not be coaching this team next year nor will be have any input on ball operations. 


BiggieTKB
BiggieTKB

@Sandro Guedes  thanks for clearing that up .. no one knew that without you posting it.


#UselessHaterData


RivDim
RivDim

It's extemely doubtful Phil Jackson reads this blog.

BiggieTKB
BiggieTKB

not to mention Captain Kirk has a 5 mil cap hold that would have to be relinquished.   And Boozer .. if Amnestied still has to get paid.. which will knife into Reisdorf's precious profit margin.


the bulls are the cheapest team in the league.  they arent just tossing the 16.8 mil of boozer down the toilet.. if anythign they try a sign and trade which Dolan will never do.

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@BiggieTKB Don't you think if they get Melo,  there's needs and other moves changes?  Melo already has Noah as an advocate.

JCOHEN68
JCOHEN68

Amen to the haterism! Plenty of it here.

JCOHEN68
JCOHEN68

I'm with you Biggie, people forget how we wandered thru the wilderness, under 1 joke coach after another

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@BiggieTKB @xmenreturn So how come those years, Melo still didn't get anywhere. 

You need to be asking yourself, why those other players are great and maybe so so much.

BiggieTKB
BiggieTKB

@xmenreturn  you forgot that Kobe had Shaq and Duncan had Parker/Ginobli.. 


Melo had.. Allan Iverson for a year  or so and Chauncey Billups.for two years

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@BiggieTKB If Melo was as good as many of you make him out to be, we would be saying, Duncan or Kobe couldn't make it out of the West because Melo was in their way!

BiggieTKB
BiggieTKB

@xmenreturn @BiggieTKB  you're right.. Maverics were twice in Melo's tenure in Denver  other than 2011 and 2006 the west has been all Lakers and Spurs since 1999

BiggieTKB
BiggieTKB

@xmenreturn @BiggieTKB  um.. yeah.. Kobe and Duncan are arguably in the top 10-20 all time greatest players to be in an NBA court in their prime when Melo was battling them in teh West


hey.. knicks never won it all in the 90s but that doesnt mean the 1990s were a complete failure .. 

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@BiggieTKB @xmenreturnYou do realize we barely got past the Celtics after being up 3-0?  You really didn't see the disaster coming beforehand didn't ya?

The pt is that we din't get it done. Everything you lose, there is always some reason so stop it. 

When you win, there is a reason to!

BiggieTKB
BiggieTKB

@xmenreturn @BiggieTKB  we ran into a team that was playing better and almost got to a game 7 in our building and had injured players..


Hibbert hasnt played as well as he did in that series since.  he was Hakeem Olajuwon reincarnate.

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@BiggieTKB @xmenreturnSo you're saying some superstars are more super than others?

If so, welcome to the real world!

That's a big reason why the Lakers and Spurs were ultimate champions and Denver only got to the WCF once.

BiggieTKB
BiggieTKB

@xmenreturn  and the nuggets were in the playoff hunt every year with Melo.. Often losing to the Ultimate Champion in the LAkers and Spurs.. 

BiggieTKB
BiggieTKB

@xmenreturn  dude.. im not "obsessed" with anything.. Im just pointing out a fact that was omitted in Beck's tweet..


only a complete idiot would say last year somehow didnt happen and is irrelevant because we dint win the title.

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@BiggieTKB LOL So Melo was not legit?  They didn't go anywhere with him, AI or Billups! 

BiggieTKB
BiggieTKB

@Sandro Guedes  Denver is not going anywhere unless they get a legit Super sTar..


they win a good number of home games due to their style of play and the fact that Denver is at 5,000 feet elevation and visiting players have a hard time adapting to a fast pace in the thin air of the "Mile High City"


xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@BiggieTKB @xmenreturn Not me!  Until you win anything, you're just in the potential category!

I think the Bulls, Pacers have a better team than us.  But that don't mean anything because at least 8 teams in the East are better than us. lol 

Stop being so obsessed with 54 wins!  The great Melo is here this year putting in more mins than ever and we don't make the playoffs in the pathetic East.

What does that say?

BiggieTKB
BiggieTKB

@xmenreturn @BiggieTKB  YOU DONT??  Good GOD>>  Certain posters are in complete spasm over the Bulls and the Pacers and the Nuggets who have not win a CHIP or made the FINALS.

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@BiggieTKB Well, i don't even talk about regular season wins for ANY team!  I surely don't see many post on TKB about how great the Bulls team was due to the reg season win total.

 It's about winning in the playoffs.  Reg season is for positioning and qualifying for the playoffs as far as I'm concerned. 

BiggieTKB
BiggieTKB

@xmenreturn @BiggieTKB  but you get kudos for 57 wins according to Sandro..even if you only win 36 games then next year.. 


All Im saying is Hobeck's tweet is nonsense and discounts our great season last year that would not have been possible without Melo.

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@BiggieTKB @xmenreturn I did exists but it's not some omen of goodness. IT was one season and we didn't get it done in the playoffs for getting the #2 seed from regular season.

I tried to tell many of you then that this was a wasted opportunity and that it would be hard to get back there.

Those like you were just giddy with the 54 wins and fail to see that we needed to make the most of it when we had that opportunity.

You certainly don't get anu kudos for 54 wins in reg season and then following that up with no playoffs the next season!  SMGDH

If that's the case, I should always point to 1969 for my Jets!  Stop smacking me around about those other years! lol

BiggieTKB
BiggieTKB

@Sandro Guedes @BiggieTKB @xmenreturn  


misinterpret again.. i said that with respect to short term performance withon a year.. 4 games,, 5 games.. 8 games.. NOT a WHOLE season when teams like the Nuggets can go from 57 wins to 36 wins.


that "quote" you feel like taking out of context was when you were crowing that we lost to team X in November and December and I was talking about our most recent games against the same team.. 

BiggieTKB
BiggieTKB

@xmenreturn


no.  but to completely act like last season didnt exist is haterism at it's best.


if the Nuggets had a "successful season" losing in the first round then what was our season?


BTW.. only ONE team wins the finals each year.

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@Sandro Guedes LMAO!  Biggie thinks the NBA gives ya a ring for 54 wins in reg season!   In Allen Iverson's voice

"REGULAR SEASON?"

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@BiggieTKB Dude you are bugging.  I was one of many who stated before the season started last year that we had a good team and that I liked that team very much.  Even when we went though a bad spell, i still defended that team! 

I also told you that even after we were up 3 games in the Boston series that Woody was self destructing and going away from what got us there.  

I also told you this year this team was worse not better.  

The list goes on and on!  You are still stuck on 54 wins....in reg season!  SMGDH

BiggieTKB
BiggieTKB

@Sandro Guedes @xmenreturn  the Nuggets had 57 wins last year and lost in the first round.


this year they have 36 wins.. 


Knicks had 54 and lost in the second round..


this year we have 35 wins 


Yet you praise the Nuggets as a "knicks fan"

BiggieTKB
BiggieTKB

@xmenreturn  all i know is that when this team had 54 wins and was a number two seed all the haters slinked under rocks until the Pacers beat us in 6 games.. 

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@BiggieTKB OMG, You act 54 wins in regular season is the best thing to ever happen to our team!  

That 54 win cry of yours is what got you to make all those stupid predictions this year when some of saw Woody self destructed last year in the playoffs. 

Ya never learn man! lol

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@BiggieTKB @xmenreturnWhat moves can Phil do to improve the cast of this team? and make them a contender next year?

You think Phil would do an Isiah and risk moving STATues early and try to find a risky player to work with Melo?

You really think Phil is that sold on Melo to do that when he hans't even spoken to him about the plans for 2014+ yet?

BiggieTKB
BiggieTKB

@xmenreturn @BiggieTKB  there you go again attributing comments to me that i never made.


1. i dont think the knicks have the "same cast" next year"


2. i think phil has made melo feel like he is part of the puzzle here.. Phil's words are all i have to go by.. 


3. YES i think Melo puts "All his trust in PHil"// if you listen to Melo he thinks Phil is a basketball God.

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@BiggieTKB So you think Melo will stay around her next year with the same cast and think he can win something?

You think Melo will put all his trust in Phil when phil hasn't taken the time to make him feel special (not your kind) and the guy he plans to build on? 

YIKES! If you take money out the equation, I'm 100% convinced he's gone then!  No way he give up another prime year of his career here without any of the help you all say he needs.

BiggieTKB
BiggieTKB

@xmenreturn @BiggieTKB  i dont think Melo leaves NY for a variety of reasons.  The least of which is the amount of money Dolan can pay him.

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@BiggieTKB @xmenreturnSo why are you refuting that Melo won't go to the Bulls because it's the money and they can't free up more than 13 mil on so?

You're killing your very own argument! lol

HypoCrit_calNYKfans
HypoCrit_calNYKfans

@BiggieTKB  


You "sliced it and diced it" for him and he still can't get it through his thick skull that Carmelo IS NOT GOING TO THE BULLS! 

I'll say this much, you do have patience with him!

BiggieTKB
BiggieTKB

@xmenreturn @BiggieTKB  umm... Nike (Jordan Brand) DOES pay Melo..WAY more than what he made from them when he was in Denver.


he has incentives for being in NY that escalate his earnings with Nike.  Melo is the second highest paid endorser in the league after Lebron.. All since he got to NY.. 


who says being in NY doesnt pay.

BiggieTKB
BiggieTKB

@xmenreturn @BiggieTKB  that's completely false. 


MJ  made all his money from Nike.. in his last two years with the bulls (96-98)  they paid him 30 mil  year under a special exception .. before that his highest salary was 4 mil.. he signed a 8 year 25 milion dollar contract after his rookie deal.. and then he left .. for reasons unknown for 2 years.. in the middle of the deal.. 


the BULLS have paid a luxury tax bill exactly ONCe in their history.. in 2012/13

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@BiggieTKB I hear ya but I think that's bull.  The Bulls have operated over the salary cap under the MJ years so if they can have a REAL chance to go for a ring, they will take it period.   

They might ask Rose to take a put cut before that though. We shall see.

BiggieTKB
BiggieTKB

@xmenreturn @thatsagoodpoint  hold up hold up..Paul George ALREADY SIGNED a MAX Extension.,


If he's names first second or third team all NBA it becomes a SUPER MAX equal to 30% of the cap.. assuming it is a super max they will have to let Lance walk.. that's why they got Evan Turner.


Even on the SLIM possibility that the Pacers win a chip this year what says that LAnce somehow doesnt want to make money?  i would think a chip would INCREASE his pay day.. 

dont the Bulls need a SG more than a SF/PF?  seeing how they have Butler and (likely at some point ) Mirotic?


Both the pacers and bulls WILL NOT operate in luxury tax territory under ANY circumstances.  that is an indisputable fact.



xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@thatsagoodpointLOL Melo!  We know Melo can score  and that Melo would give the Bulls the thing they need, a person who can score when everything breaks down!  

Boy George would be all hype if he falters this year! 

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@thatsagoodpoint I meant Lance's worth on the market.  Boy George better put up in the playoffs or he might be the one looking for a new gig.  

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@thatsagoodpoint If Indy wins a ring and Lance is a big part, that equation will surely change.   

Yet I think Melo fits that team better than Lance.  LS is a streaky player.  Melo is a much better offensive player.

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@BiggieTKB  If Lance were to win a ring this year, that would be out the window! 

I think Noah wants Melo and that will carry more wait imo. 

BiggieTKB
BiggieTKB

@xmenreturn @BiggieTKB  rather than making 4 moves to clear enough cap space to offer Melo maybe 15-16 mil i think they'd more likely offer Lance Stephenson 12-13 mil.