Mark Cuban praises newly-signed Knick Ricky Ledo

Ricky Ledo joined the Knicks on the bench Thursday night after signing his ten-day contract, but failed to get into the game.

Warming the bench was something Ledo became accustomed to in Dallas, playing in just 16 games (44 minutes total) in parts of the last two seasons with the Mavericks.

When the team released him earlier this season in favor of signing Amar’e Stoudemire, they probably did him a favor. Obviously each and every young athlete’s goal is to play in the NBA and get paid. But Ledo really wasn’t able to progress the way other 22 year olds around The Association would like to.

Playing for the D-League affiliated Texas Legends most recently, Ledo was given more playing time, and thus, a greater opportunity to shine and strut his stuff. After getting a glimpse of the type of player he can (or has the potential to) be, the Knicks were intrigued. This is the perfect time to give him a shot.

Now that he’s caught on in the Big Apple, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban recently told the New York Post that he believes signing Ledo could pay dividends for the Knicks.

“Ricky deserves to be in the NBA,’’ Cuban stated in an email to The Post. “He is incredibly talented. Because we are trying to compete for a championship, we really weren’t in a position to give him minutes to help his development. I think with playing time he will get better and better and could be a steal for the Knicks.’’

Keith Schlosser, Lead Writer

That’s quite high praise coming from a notable and rather confident source.

Here’s to hoping Ledo plays well, but even if he impresses, it’ll probably be even more worthwhile for the Knicks to explore other options, following a ten-day or two from Ledo, to close out the season. See what they have in Ledo, then move on to someone else. He wasn’t exactly a hot commodity coming into this week, so there’s a good chance he could be had in free agency or simply a Summer League contract when the time calls for it once again.

Recap: Timberwolves 95 – Knicks 92 OT

Kevin Martin scored 22 points as the undermanned Timberwolves defeated the Knicks 95-92 in OT at Madison Square Garden on Thursday night.

Zach Levine was fouled with 11 seconds left in overtime and the hit both free throws to give the Timberwolves a 93-92 lead as they held off the Knick in overtime.

The Knicks had a chance to win the game, but Knicks’ Alexey Shved missed a driving layup in traffic with six seconds left. Levine hit two more free throws before Minnesota before Andrea Bargnani missed a potential game-tying 3.

Langston Galloway led the Knicks with 21 points and Shved added 20. The duo combined to shoot 16 of 41 from the field.  

Andrew Wiggins and Levine each scored 20 for Minnesota.

The Knicks are at the 76ers on Friday night at 7:30 p.m.

Tonight’s Game: Knicks vs. Timberwolves

The Knicks play host to the Timberwolves tonight at Madison Square Garden.

The game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on MSG and ESPN New York.

Lance Thomas, Lou Amundson, Andrea Bargnani, Alexey Shved and Langston Galloway are expected to start.

Recent Meeting

November 19, 2014 - New York’s struggles continued in Minnesota as a second quarter 37-point outburst help propel the Timberwolves to a 24-point lead as they never looked back defeating the New York Knicks 115-99 at the Target Center. The Knicks shot well on offense but couldn’t figure out a way to stop the Wolves. Carmelo Anthony paced the way with 20 points and four rebounds over 27 minutes. Amar’e Stoudemire continued his stellar season with a 19 point performance off the bench. Jason Smith added 14 points. Kevin Martin led the Wolves with 37 points on 14-20 shooting over 35 minutes. Shabazz Muhammad posted 17 points and eight rebounds over 32 minutes.


Fisher figuring out how to be a coach, not a player

Knicks Derek Fisher has learned a lot in his first season as a head coach, but perhaps the most frustrating aspect for him to deal with is not being out there on the court with his team (Post, March 18).

“This is my first year, but, in my opinion, that’s the most frustrating part of being a coach: you’re not out there,” Fisher said Wednesday after their 104-100 overtime upset victory over the Spurs. “So you’re trying to impart some knowledge and wisdom and thoughts and experiences onto your players.

“A lot of times, you see things in them that they’re still trying to discover in themselves. Being a guy that was just in that position a year ago at this date, there are a lot of things I can relate to and I can offer. Everybody’s not always at a certain place in their journey at the same time [but] hopefully we can continue to grow together so more guys are farther along and we can do things like last night 50 or 60 times in a season as opposed to what we’ve experienced this season.”

Like his team, Fisher, too, has experienced his fair share of ups and downs this season. The transition to head coach hasn’t exactly been a kind one to him, and that doesn’t solely have to do with the Knicks’ talent level.

One of the biggest things Fisher has had to adjust to this season is being able to think on the fly. He doesn’t always make the best decisions, especially when it comes to making them in a timely manner. As he alluded  to in his recent comments, Fisher is no longer able to simply hit the hardwood and do things himself. Instead, he not only has to depend on others, but also insure that he himself is pulling his own weight by communicating what he wants accordingly.

Arguably Fisher’s worst mistake this season has been expecting too much from his players. Perhaps he doesn’t have a win total in mind, but the first-time head coach appears to have too much faith in his team’s ability to make the right decisions on the court. In turn, he’ll often opt to lay low, let things play out, and subsequently not call time-outs when the situation calls for it so he instruct his team. There is such a thing as too much patience.

Alas, Fisher is picking things up as he goes. It remains to be seen whether some of the things he’s learned will translate into better decision-making come next season. Phil Jackson figures to retain Fisher next season, which could prove to be risky. Should the Knicks boast a more talented team and still struggle come this time next season, the five-time NBA champion will likely be the one to blame.

Knick sign Ricky Ledo to 10-day contract

The Knicks will sign guard Ricky Ledo to a 10-day contract (Fisher, March 18).

Update (March 19, 10:45AM): The Knicks have officially signed Ledo, President Phil Jackson has announced.

Ledo, drafted in the second round by the Bucks in 2013 after leaving Providence College without ever playing a game, played a total of 16 games in two seasons with the Mavericks. Ledo (6 foot 7) averaged 15.1 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.2 assists with the D-League’s Texas Legends this season.

Ledo, 22, is taking the 15th spot on the Knicks’ roster. If he stays until the end of the season, the Knicks will be unable to call up Thanasis Antetokounmpo (Begley, March 18).

Keith Schlosser, Lead Writer

The fact that the Knicks are opting to explore and give a young gun with some upside a chance at this point in the season is very refreshing. It’s exactly what they should be doing.

Though New York has kept its final roster spot vacant for a little bit now, Ledo’s has been someone who on the team’s radar for a while.

A former teammate of Shane Larkin’s with the Dallas Mavericks, Ledo too spent much of his time on assignment with the D-League affiliated Texas Legends. When Dallas signed Amar’e Stoudemire, Ledo was the odd man out and became a full-time minor leaguer.

In 65 games with Texas in parts of the last two seasons, the guard averaged 14 points on 45% from the field to go along with 5.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and 1.1 steals.  To read more of this story, click here