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.”




113 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.

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.

KnicksMaybeThisYear
KnicksMaybeThisYear

If Knick's don't sign Melo - is keeping Woodson the best thing Phil Jackson can do... If Woodson can do this with Melo, what can he do without?

Sign and trade Melo to where he wants to sign for some picks and then Ultimate tank for  a pick?

zebeto
zebeto

If Melo sign 5yr/130 mil contract its gonna look very similar to the Joe Johnson scenario/contract ........... . knicks need to try and avoid that...

..5 yr/100 mi should be the red line .

rgm891
rgm891

Will woodson be fired the day after the last regular season game ?

Or we need to do more waiting

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. 


RivDim
RivDim

It's extemely doubtful Phil Jackson reads this blog.

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@rgm891 lol  For me, it's makes absolutely no difference.  The boat is rented and the water already there. 

Woody will not be coaching this team next year period.

manchu
manchu

@Sandro Guedes

Which of course serves your narrative of wanting him gone. All the guy did was show up to play every day, whether he tried to play hero ball or whatever you never got the sense he was just showing up for a check.

rgm891
rgm891

The fun is a most about to begin man. Haha. This is going to be great

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.

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@thatsagoodpoint @rgm891 They can honor him with Mr. PotatoHead day for all I care.

This is totally a non issue for me!  Just keeping looking out the window, Freido is a gonna it some pt. 



xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@rgm891 Absolutely!  This is what I have been saying since Phil signed on!  This will be the big topic now until the Melo saga ends.

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.

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!

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!

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.

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

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

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?

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. 

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

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

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?

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.

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!

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.

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. 

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@rgm891 LOL The hardest thing will be trying to get this black man in the boat!  We have this thing about being lied to on the form of transportation!

rgm891
rgm891

PJ will invite woody to his lake front house in montana. Woodson believes it's about coaching next season. All PJ does is put him on the calm peaceful boat ride and waves from his balcony.

rgm891
rgm891

Spot in man this is the truth

rgm891
rgm891

Valid point man. I don't think PJ will overpay for him just judging by the comments he made about kobe contract situation. He's 30 years old. PJ has seen the amare outcome. Signing melo long term is not a good idea. I think PJ understand that.

But if you can get melo to take a nice paycut it's a no brainer but who knows

rgm891
rgm891

I just want it to end so PJ can start making the 70 knicks again. I know I'm reaching haha

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@Sandro Guedes   Me too!  I don't seeing how in the heck can Phil be thinking that he needs to build around Melo and not get some assurance from Melo that he's onboard! 

I would think Phil would want to look Melo in the eyes and tell him that if he stays in NY, in 2 years, he plans to build a squad that really go for that ring and etc. 

Even if Melo was signed here long term, I still think Phil would be doing that.  That fact that Melo can opt out makes things totally revealing!