Tonight at 10 p.m. ET, the Knicks travel out west to face off against the Portland Trail Blazers at the Moda Center. Portland (12-2) has reeled off 10 straight wins, while the Knicks (3-9) have lost all three games against Western Conference opponents this season.
New York has lost five straight games, having averaged about 40 percent shooting and 90 points per game, as Raymond Felton continues to be sidelined with a back injury. Portland beat New York in both matchups last season.
Expected starters for tonight’s game: Beno Udrih, Iman Shumpert, Carmelo Anthony, Kenyon Martin and Andrea Bargnani.
For Portland: Damion Lillard, Wesley Matthews, Nicholas Batum, LaMarcus Aldridge and Robin Lopez.
“I mean I feel like I’m one of the most underrated players right now.”
-Chris Smith, as quoted in the New York Times
Can we just call this “Chris Smithing” at this point? Smith’s comments are just becoming a running joke that he is apparently unaware of. After being called “maybe the worst player in the history of the summer league” by an NBA GM
, Smith has made it his goal to be as outlandish as possible.
He’s even dragged J.R. Smith into this and as we can all see, the real Smith needs to focus on his shooting and not on defending his little brother. Keeping Chris Smith around will continue to be a sour point for the 2013-14 Knicks and the decision to keep him over a big will haunt the Knicks until Tyson Chandler’s return.
Is it just me or are the Knicks getting less foul calls than the rest of the league?
Maybe that’s too broad… Is it me or is Carmelo Anthony not getting calls that other superstars are?
I don’t want this to sound like a Knicks fan complaining unjustly, but am I wrong? Doesn’t it feel like Anthony doesn’t get the respect from the officials that other big names do?
To my eyes, the answer is that Anthony is treated differently and unjustly around the league. We’ve seen it as recently as last week. In several late game opportunities, Anthony has put up shots, drawing contact, missing the shot and not getting the benefit of the call. Against the Rockets a few weeks back, he was fouled but wasn’t given continuation on a shot that went in. He’s just not getting the benefit of the doubt in any big situations. To read more of this story, click here
Ben KopelmanEvery Knicks fan struggles with the optimistic angel on one shoulder (we got Eddy Curry!) and the ever-depressing devil on the other (we still have Eddy Curry??!!). After each week this season, we will offer up the positives and negatives of the last seven days in Knicks-land to help sort it all out and put your mind at ease.
Record during the week: 0-3
Game results: Loss @ Detroit (86-92); Loss vs. Indiana (96-103); Loss @ Washington (89-98)
Overall record / Games Behind: 3-9, 2.5 GB
The Knicks Only Played Three Games: I mean, they could have played and lost four games last week, right? So, only losing three is almost a good thing…
Melo: This is becoming silly, having Melo outplay his teammates every single week, but who else is out there playing hard and doing his job? Melo continued his early season assault on the glass, snagging 7, 18 and 12 boards respectively in the team’s three games. Superstars get the glory when the team wins and the blame when it loses, but even after watching the team extend its losing streak to five, it is hard to hate on Melo for much of anything right now.
Point Guard Play: Felton was playing tired and hurt for most of the season, so there was some hope that Beno might surprise a few people as a starter and improve the play of the Knicks backcourt. Not so much. Despite playing well against Indiana, Beno failed to impress in Detroit or Washington. Prigioni, always a plucky, pesky defender, has not provided much either. Watching George Hill and John Wall run all over the court, there is a stark contrast between what the Knicks are putting out there and what everybody else runs.
Stale Passing: This team is doing slim-to-none well at the moment, but this stand-around, stagnant offense is particularly hard to watch. Remember when the Knicks used to swing the ball and find open three-point shooters on what seemed like every single possession? Yeah, me neither.
Mike Woodson: A five game losing streak in November is going to heat up any coach’s seat, particularity those who entered the season with lofty expectations. Woodson’s rotations and scheming have been an issue, but I think the team’s injuries (J.R., Tyson, Felton) play a big role in the lack of consistency or rhythm thus far. However, more than Xs and Os, a coach has to be able to tap into the heart of a team and get them to play inspired, confident basketball. We thought we saw that before the Pacers game, but the team failed to close out the win. To follow up that effort with the stinker the team put on in Washington is my first real cause for concern that this coach may be slowly losing this team. Woodson needs to pull a winning streak out of his hat — and soon — because the tide is slowly but surely starting to turn.
THE WALT CLYDE
Cheesy Jokes: Fitting that when the Knicks put in for a win-less week, Walt Clyde bumbles and stumbles as well. Harping on a standard line of jokes about the Knicks playing “swiss cheese defense,” Clyde continued a few jokes too many, culminating in him repeating the line “Oooh, looks like Amar’e likes cheese too” a couple times after a horrible defensive sequence. A bad week for everybody at MSG.
You can follow Ben on Twitter @bkop2000
On a Monday morning in late November, I thought I’d be thinking more about turkey and stuffing than how to fix the 3-9 Knicks. After all, this team was supposed to — once again — challenge for the Atlantic Division title, squaring off against the Brooklyn Nets for city supremacy. Instead, both teams are struggling and the question is, how to fix the Knicks?
The truth is, after an hour of thinking about it, I don’t have one concrete answer. Sure, they could fire Mike Woodson, but does that actually solve any problems? He took the team to its first division and playoff series win in over a decade. So, if you’re not going to fire the coach, is there another option? I’m not sure that there is…
Now I ask you: If you were running the team, how would you fix the Knicks?
Mailbag Sunday: Ask TKB
Have a question about the Knicks? Want to know where Moke Hamilton gets his watches? Curious about the Knicks in 2016-17? Why not ask The Knicks Blog staff? Ask us a question below and we will answer select questions each week on both The Knicks Blog Podcast and right here on the blog!
The Knicks fell to the Wizards by a score of 98-89. New York is now 3-9 on the season.
The least you should know…
John Wall led all scorers, putting up 31 points with seven assists and four rebounds.
Carmelo Anthony dropped 23 in D.C., he also pulled down nine rebounds.
J.R. Smith, Amar’e Stoudemire and Andrea Bargnani all scored int he double digits. Smith scored 15, Bargnani 11 and Stoudemire 12.
“My mouth is zipped up man. It’s zipped. My mouth is zipped.”
-Mike Woodson on being fined $25,000 for criticizing league officials (via Al Iannazzone)
GEICO SportsNite has reaction from Knicks head coach Mike Woodson after earning support from team owner James Dolan, and also gets an update from Tyson Chandler.