Carmelo Anthony, Cleanthony Early and more in NBA GM survey

Keith Schlosser, Lead Writer

Though Carmelo Anthony believes he won’t win the scoring title this coming season because there figures to be less pressure on him offensively, he still nevertheless serves as a major threat for opposing coaches to deal with down the stretch.

USATSI_8157253_110579513_lowresThat much was evident in the recently released General Managers Survey for the 2014-15 season.

Receiving 7.7 percent of the votes (behind LeBron James and Kevin Durant), Anthony ranked third in players who force opposing coaches to make the most adjustments. What’s more, Anthony ranked second (behind Durant) and received 25 percent of the votes when it came to the best players at creating their own shots. His decision to stay in New York also ranked as one of the more surprising moves of the offseason.

Anthony received votes as a potential M.V.P. award winner and for the type of player General Managers would want taking the shot with the game on the line.

Knicks’ rookie Cleanthony Early’s name also popped up in the survey as well, regarded as a top five steal (receiving 7.1 percent of the votes) in this past summer’s NBA Draft. Brian Keefe received votes as one of the best assistant coaches in the league.

Former Knicks’ center Tyson Chandler actually garnered some impressive recognition in the survey, too. Ironically enough, New York provided an assist in this department. Receiving nearly 18 percent of all votes, the big man ranked number one as the most underrated offseason acquisition.

Most of the responses concerning the Knicks and their players were par for the course, but if there was anything even remotely surprising, it would be that Tim Hardaway Jr. did not receive any votes as a player to have a potential breakout year this coming season.

Phil Jackson says Amar’e Stoudemire the key to the season

Sam Spiegelman

Not ‘Melo. Not Shump. Not Hardaway.

It’s all about STAT.

USATSI_8130775_110579513_lowresAsked by ESPN New York about each player’s outlook for the 2014-15 season, Knicks president Phil Jackson opened some eyes when he said Amar’e Stoudemire will be the key to the season.

“One of the keys to the season will be the play of Amar’e Stoudemire,” Jackson told. “Although his tender knees will require his playing time and his practice time to be carefully monitored, we hope he’ll be able to play four rotations of eight minutes per game. That’s because Stoudemire can still be a potent scorer. He can get to the middle when he’s in the low post, and in screen-rolls he’s a threat to either screen-and-pop or drive to the hoop.

“Playing adequate defense is a real challenge for him and he’s also got to improve his rebounding,” Jackson added. “The preseason will also discover whether Amar’e is more effective playing the 4 or the 5 positions.”

Stoudemire proved he can still be a valuable source of offense last season when he averaged a hair under 17 points per game in the month of March, and on the year averaged 11.9 points and 4.9 rebounds per game.

It’s promising that Jackson continues his high hopes for Stoudemire, who over the past couple of years has been both beloved and despised by the Knicks fan base. But in the whole scheme of things, so long that he has remained healthy, Stoudemire has been a valuable contributor.

Jackson is exercising a little hyperbole when he says Stoudemire will be key to the season, but there’s no question his production will be a catalyst. Stoudemire, if healthy, gives the front court valuable minutes and offensive production, which is a major question mark with Andrea Bargnani.

Observations from the Knicks’ preseason win over the Wizards

Keith Schlosser, Lead Writer

Through five preseason games leading into Wednesday’s matchup against the Wizards, the Knicks had struggled to look like a team. The weaknesses were glaring as Carmelo Anthony & Co. failed to find continuity and get into a rhythm.

USATSI_8157251_110579513_lowresBut against Washington, certain things began to click. Of course, New York was still a step behind on defense throughout the game. While increased defensive pressure has been a priority of Derek Fisher’s throughout the preseason, one has to wonder if this team truly has the personnel necessary to put forth a worthy defensive effort.

Without Jose Calderon, Pablo Prigioni and even the speedy Shane Larkin were collectively a step behind John Wall all night long. Unable to keep up, the Knicks were failed to take control as he and Otto Potter poured in the points.

On a night where the defense was discouraging, to say the least, New York was able to do some impressive things on offense. Carmelo Anthony looked more relaxed, and thus, his team was able to come away with a victory down the stretch. Here are some other key observations from the game.

- Shane Larkin struggled in his first start. He’s erratic and runs the floor in an overanxious manner. Larkin often runs head first into traffic, unaware of where to go or what to do from there.

- Larkin’s struggles give way to why it’s so important to continue playing Pablo Prigioni worthwhile minutes. It’s one thing to rest and keep veterans fresh, but New York will be in need of his calm demeanor when it comes to controlling the tempo and helping this team make the right decisions on offense. Larkin may prove to be a liability when Calderon sits early on.

- While things aren’t as seamless as they may like, basic formations of the triangle offense were there for the Knicks against Washington. The team is beginning to understand, though they aren’t making it very pretty just yet. The effort is there, and it led to moderate success on Wednesday.

To read more of this story, click here

Andrea Bargnani

Bargnani undergoes MRI on hamstring

Andrea Bargnani had an MRI on his ailing hamstring, he told Italian reporters (New York Post, Oct. 23).

Bargnani has missed every game since the preseason opener with a tight right hamstring.

“Injuries are always frustrating,” he said. “We’re working every day to get it ready to go on the court.”

The team and Bargnani still aren’t sure if he’ll be able to play in the season opener, or the second game on the following day.

GEICO SportsNite: Knicks on win, progress

Carmelo Anthony and Derek Fisher talk about Wednesday night’s win as well as the progress the team has made in the preseason.

Game Recap: Knicks 103 – Wizards 100

Recap: Behind a 31-point fourth quarter, the Knicks topped the Wizards on Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden.

Need to Know: With the game tied at 100 and 13.9 seconds remaining, Carmelo Anthony hit a mid-range jumper and was fouled. He then hit the ensuing free throw to put the Knicks up by 3.

Overall, Anthony racked up 30 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals.

Amar’e Stoudemire scored 13 points and grabbed 8 boards.

Tim Hardaway, Jr., inserted into the starting lineup, had 12 points.

Links: Recap | Box Score | Play by Play

What’s Next: The Knicks wrap up the preseason on October 24 at 7:30 p.m. against the Raptors.

Carmelo Anthony and Derek Fisher talk about Wednesday night’s win as well as the progress the team has made in the preseason.

The Knicks Blog Podcast: Derek Fisher’s rotation

Anthony Donahue and Moke Hamilton react to Carmelo Anthony’s comments about the Triangle offense and Amar’e Stoudemire’s use of red wine. Plus, the guys chat with the lead writer of The Knicks Blog, Keith Schlosser, about the new 30 for 30 documentary and Iman Shumpert.

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For the show rundown, click here...

  • Melo’s comments
  • Derek Fisher’s rotation
  • Is Amar’e an asset?
  • Keith Schlosser calls in (13:25)
  • Amar’e likes red wine (31:05)
  • What’s caught my eye: Kobe, Blazers, Rockets