New York Knicks need to call up Kenny Wooten Jr. after the deadline

New York Knicks, Kenny Wooten

The New York Knicks season isn’t going the way everyone thought it would.  Even when they show signs of light, they take a few steps back.

The Knicks seem to be invisible of recent when they play the best teams in the association.  They were able to compete in some games despite getting blown out by the Los Angeles Lakers last night, 117-87.  They beat the Mavericks twice and kept it close with the Sixers and Nuggets.

However, that isn’t good enough for the fans of the New York Knicks.

The trade deadline is February 6th.  And while Marcus Morris doesn’t want to be traded, allegedly, trades will happen.

The Knicks have veteran players that could be useful on teams that are contending.  Morris is one, he’s being targeted by the Clippers and Sixers.  Others that could be targeted are Dennis Smith Jr., Bobby Portis, Wayne Ellington and Allonzo Trier.

When the Knicks become sellers, roster spots will be available.  One player in their G-League affiliate, Westchester Knicks, that can earn a spot is Kenny Wooten Jr. out of Oregon.

While Wooten’s stats for Westchester aren’t breathtaking,  6.8 points and 5.8 rebounds, he is averaging 3.5 blocks per.  He’s a highlight factory when it comes to blocks, dunks, rebounds and giving the team energy.

Wooten has the ability to jump out of the gym similar to a Mitchell Robinson.  Those two could be a dynamic duo for the Knicks front court.  They’re both young, have hops and could wreak havoc in paint.  Wooten could learn how to score in the paint the same way Robinson did.

There are other players for Westchester that could earn a spot like Lamar Peter or Ignas Brazdeikis.  Besides Robinson, the Knicks struggle protecting the rim.  Robinson and Wooten could be a tandem that would bring exciting blocks and energy to the entire team and fan base.

New York Knicks Marcus Morris doesn’t want to be traded

New York Knicks leading scorer, Marcus Morris, wants to be with the team for the ‘long term’.  Morris is averaging 19.1 points per and is the main reason the Knicks remain relevant in games.

Case-in-point, last night.  The Knicks had a head-scratching great first quarter, scoring 45 points.  But they were playing against a Kawhi Leonard-less Los Angeles Clippers.  As all fans know, a let down is always looming and that’s exactly what happened in the second quarter. Ultimately, the Knicks fell 135-132.

However if it wasn’t for Morris, the Knicks wouldn’t have had a chance to win last night or many games before that.

While at times, Morris presents a Carmelo Anthony gunner like feel, someone has to be that guy.  Julius Randle tries to take it upon himself to do that and it makes sense since he’s shooting 45.3% from the field and Morris 43.8%.

For some reason, Morris just feels right taking the big shots with his smooth confident stroke.  Randle has been on a tear recently under interim head coach Mike Miller but Morris is able to hit the clutch shots.

The New York Knicks have always needed a player with Morris’ mentality and attitude.  He wanted to bring the toughness back to the team and has accomplished that to an extent.

But Morris has been in the conversation to be traded.  The Sixers and Clippers were reportedly interested.  Morris is 30-years-old and playing the best basketball of his career, points and 3-point percentage wise.  His trade value will never be as high as it currently is.

While Morris even said that he “wants to be here long-term” and “help the young guys grow”, if the Knicks can get something good in return, it has to be considered.  It’s still all about youth in New York.

New York Knicks are getting exciting to watch again

Under Mike Miller, the New York Knicks are worth watching again.  Well, for those die-hards, it’s always worth watching.  But under Miller, the team is looking exciting again.

Miller has the Knicks playing simple basketball.  He isn’t trying to do to much or have a complicated game plan.  Miller is simply having them “play”, take that how you may.  Whatever that means to you, it’s working.

The Knicks have a 3-win streak and have 6 wins under Miller.  Those 6 wins are more then the team had under former head coach David Fizdale this season.  Fizdale was out after going 4-18 to start the season and was 21-83 overall in a season and a half.  He had them switching like crazy which ultimately was the downfall of the defense.  It still isn’t polished under Miller but it’s substantially better.

The offense has picked up too.  The Knicks offensive efficiency greatly improved.  There’s more ball movement and actual offensive sets being run.  They also are utilizing the pick-and-roll more which opens up the floor for Mitchell Robinson to put on a show, like he did last game.

Their play has fans buzzing and, of course, overreacting.  However, overreacting isn’t a bad thing in this situation.  The overreaction is exciting because they Knicks are starting to show their potential.  It’s exciting to see the progression of Frank Ntilikina and Robinson.  RJ Barrett has been struggling, of recent, but there’s still glimpses of the excitement to the could bring to the franchise.

While they still aren’t a playoff caliber team, they are in striking distance, 5 games out.  We also aren’t sure if this is the beginning of a turn around, it’s too soon to call it that.  What we do know is it’s exciting to be able to be excited for Knicks games, even if it’s for a short period of time.

New York Knicks start this decade off with a great team win

New York Knicks, Frank Ntilikina

The New York Knicks are officially undefeated this decade.  The Knicks spoiled the return of one of the teams greatest players, Carmelo Anthony, with a 117-93 victory over the Portland Trailblazers.

Anthony had his fair share of historic nights in the Garden.  His amazing performance against the Boston Celtics on Christmas day.  Scoring the most points in single game in Knicks history, 62, against the then Charlotte Bobcats, the list goes on.  However, it was someone else’s turn to have the Garden lights all on them.  Mitchell Robinson went 11-11 from the floor, tying the franchise record without a miss.  He went off and shows why he is a major piece for the future.

This victory was a statement win for the Knicks coming into 2020.  They’ve had their struggles to begin the season with their play, front office, coaching etc.  But this win the Knicks give the fans hope that they can turn their season around.

Making the playoffs seems to still be out of reach despite only being 5 games from the 8th seed.  But the team has been playing well under interim coach Mike Miller, who has more wins, 6, then former coach David Fizdale to begin this season, 4.

There’s something to be said about how the players are responding to Miller and his coaching.  The team appears to be playing more like a team and utilizing the pick-and-roll, which is what they should be doing.  It was clear that it worked last night as it was the Mitchell Robinson show.

It seemed like every possession was a pick-and-roll leading to a monstrous alley-oop.  Not only was Robinson slamming it home but Frank Ntilikina had his moment too.  He had a dunk that got the crowded into the game even more and when he shows emotion,  you know things are going well.

It continues to go well for the Knicks and Julius Randle as he is finally starting to play up to his potential.  He recorded back-to-back double-doubles in this 3-game win streak.  Staying away from isolation basketball has bee the key to his recent progression.

The New York Knicks started off 2020 with a bang.  They defeated a team that is contending for a playoff spot in the Western Conference.  Why they make not make the playoffs, showing progression as a team for the future may be better than a playoff berth.

Could the New York Knicks finally be turning the corner?

The New York Knicks scored their most points in a game in 31 years.  They defeated the Atlanta Hawks 143-120.  This was by far the Knicks best overall team game of the season.

The Knicks did play well in both games against the Mavericks, struggled to maintain the lead at times.  But against the Hawks, they led from the very beginning and didn’t let up.

They scored 77 points in the first half and had Knicks Twitter buzzing.  Fans were wondering what team they were actually watching.  Yes, they were playing another struggling team in the Hawks but the Knicks were the superior team and fed off one another’s energy.

There was no clear leader in this game for the Knicsk as everyone contributed.  The Knicks shot the lights out of the Garden and the fans responded.  Cheering after almost every positive thing the team did.

The biggest and most positive takeaway from the game was Mike Miller’s coaching.  At one point, the Knicks went up 31 points, yes you read that correctly.  When the Hawks would cut the lead below 30, Miller would call a timeout.  That was brilliant because even the Hawks have shooters to get hot and get them back into the game.  Miller wasn’t going to let that happen.  Trae Young led the way pouring in 42 points.

However, this game was all Knicks.  They could finally finding their groove under Miller.  His rotations have been on point and the players are responding.  They also continue to play well when Elfrid Payton comes into the game as he pushes the pace, creating plays for himself and others.

RJ Barrett, who has struggled of recent, had his best game as a pro.  He had a career-high 27 points and was aggressive throughout.  Mitchell Robinson also had his career-high of 22 points while adding 13 rebounds.  He was all over the court with flying dunks, alley-oops, steals, everything.

Marcus Morris, 22 points, and Julius Randle, 17 points & 11 boards, also played well.  Randle had a rocky start to the game with two very poor shot selections but finally settled down and only went to iso-ball when appropriate.  Case-in-point, when Vince Carter was on Randle he made the correct decision to take him one-on-one when he knew he could take him.

One of the brightest spots of the game was the emergence of Dennis Smith Jr.  We all know he has struggled mightily this season but had his best outing of the season.  Smith has 8 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists in 13 minutes.  He looked like he had more pep in his step as he too was skying in the air, making correct decisions and shooting with confidence.  It was good to see and hopefully he can build off this strong performance.

The New York Knicks played like a team last night and it was great to finally see.  At times, the ball wasn’t in players hands for more than 2 seconds as they moved it quickly to find the open man, like here.  The team finally might be onto something under Miller, as they’re playing substantially better.  The only thing is can they continue this much improved play.

New York Knicks players hear the fans chirping the team

Players for New York Knicks hear how disgruntled the fans are with their play.  It’s hard in this day-and-age with social media to not hear everything fans are saying.

Dennis Smith Jr. was in an Uber going home after a home game this season and the Uber was going in on the Knicks.  The driver didn’t even recognize that Smith Jr. played for the Knicks, some fan.

Smith Jr. later told Bleacher Report, “It’s just funny hearing it because that’s when you realize they really don’t know st.   They just be talking.  That’s why it’s good to let them ramble.  They don’t know st.”

First off, if you’re going to be ripping the Knicks you should know what the players look like?  Maybe, he listens to the games in the car?  Even so, he’d have to see what Smith Jr. looks like at some point.

Anyway, the fans in New York know basketball.  They are the most dedicated, ride-or-die fans in the world.  You’d have to be if you’re going to be a New York Knicks fan today, especially how the past few seasons have been going.  Fans are so dedicated that they continue to come to games despite the Knicks losing by 20+ points and having 3 home wins on the season.

Knicks fans are going to cotinue hearing for their despite however bad or disappointing them may be.  It was clear a few games ago when the Knicks were down by 25+ points.  Mitchell Robinson had a block on defense then a dunk in transition and the crowd was going crazy.  If that doesn’t show you that they’re dying for competitive basketball then something is wrong.  Being down by a lot but still rooting on your team because that’s what we do.

Bobby Portis got it from a fan in the grocery store.  However, it appears that Portis respects the fire and passion that the fans have, especially in New York.

New York Knicks fans, or New Yorkers in general, aren’t going to sugarcoat anything.  When you play badly, you’re going to get an ear full everywhere you go.  Maybe, it’s something that these players need to hear.  Players have to respect the fire fans have for the Knicks, you can’t blame the fans.  Players have to look in the mirror and be accountable for their play and do something about it.

The New York Knicks prevail in battle of the league’s worst

New York Knicks, Marcus Morris

The next stop on the New York Knicks West Coast trip was at Golden State.  Despite the Knicks coming off multiple embarrassing loses in a row, they ended their 10-game losing streak.

The Knicks took down the, now, worst team in the league in a overtime, 124-122.  The battle of the leagues worst had the Knicks on top and it was nice to finally get a win after that miserable stretch of losses.

Before the game ever started, Knicks fans on Twitter were debating if they should even watch the game.  The game being on the West Coast is tough to stay up for, especially the way the Knicks have been playing.  However, the die-hards stayed up to watch their team, as bad as they may be.

The only qualm fans will have with this victory is the Knicks blew a 21-point lead.  A victory feeling is finally something to be excited about even if it’s one game, but blowing a lead like that should never happen.

Anyway, the Knicks were carried by the brilliant shooting from Marcus Morris and RJ Barrett, both with double-doubles.  Barrett was the guy to lean on in the first half then it was Morris in the second half.  Morris ended up with 36 points on 10-18 from the field with 5-9 from downtown and 10 boards.  Barrett played 46 minutes and had 22 points on 8-16 shooting, 3-5 beyond the arc and 10 boards.  He finally came out of his shooting slump after struggling to find his rhythm.

Julius Randle also had a double-double of 24 points on 7-16 shooting, 3-4 from downtown surprisingly and 13 boards.  He still won’t stop playing isolation basketball which is the most frustrating thing in the world.  But overall, he played well hitting a huge .

The New York Knicks desperately needed this game for the team and interim coach Mike Miller.  A win would bring new energy to a team looking for something positive and a new identity.

The New York Knicks looked like a different team.  They were upbeat and able to push the ball in transition better then they have in several games.  Mainly because of Barrett and Elfrid Payton pushing the pace.  There was also more communication then in games past which was lacking under David Fizdale.

The Knicks continue their West Coast in Sacramento on Friday.  A winnable game but every game for this team is a battle.  If they are to play, like a team, like they did last night there may be hope for this struggling team after all.

Yet another embarrassing performance for the New York Knicks

Just when you think the New York Knicks season can’t get any worse, it does.  The Knicks started their West Coast road trip with another embarrassing performance.

The Knicks lost to the Portland Trailblazers 115-87 making that 10 straight defeats.  They faced the old face of the franchise in Carmelo Anthony who dropped 16 on his former team.  His teammate Damian Lillard had his way with the Knicks like every other superstar in the league, pouring in an easy 31 points.

Either Lillard is just that good or the Knicks perimeter defense is just that bad.  We’ll take the ladder on that.

The Knicks have some of the laziest defense when guarding beyond the arc fans have ever seen.  One of their laziest players is Julius Randle.  He doesn’t play any defense and looks gassed a majority of the time.  Lillard was toying with him to begin the game on pick-and-rolls where he did a quick step back to nail a 3 in his face.  Teams have to be laughing at the Knicks, just like fans are.

Mitchell Robinson had 14 points off the bench, but he needs to be starting.  It’s gotten to the point where it’s not about winning games clearly.  It should be about developing the young players for the future.  Robinson should be starting over Taj Gibson.  He should also be playing more then Randle.  Randle hurts the team more as compared to helping them.  He isn’t in the future plans or at least until a coach can figure out how to use him.

Interim head coach Mike Miller said after the game, “In an 82-game schedule you may have some nights where it won’t go in, and we found ourselves in that.”  The Knicks have found themselves in that scenario a lot this season and it’s getting old.  It especially comes on the road as they only have one road victory on the season.  One.

The New York Knicks continue their West Coast road trip in Golden State tonight at 10:30 pm.  Can they get a win against the second worst team in the league?  At this point, very doubtful.

New York Knicks have dismissed David Fizdale of his coaching duties

The New York Knicks have relieved David Fizdale of his head coaching role. ESPNs Adrian Wojnarowski reports this afternoon.

Not only was Fizdale ousted, assistant coach Keith Smart was also let go.

This comes as now surprise to any Knicks fans.  The Knicks are 4-18 and have the second worst record in the NBA.  Their have been rumblings of firing Fizdale since November.

It all began when Steve Mills and Scott Perry said that ‘the framework has been laid out’ for the firing of coach Fizdale.  In his tenure with the New York Knicks, Fizdale went 21-83 in not even a season and a half.  That is a .201 winning percentage which is the worst in Knick history.

The Knicks were embarrassed in their last two games, losing by a combined 81 points.  At one point last night, the Knicks were down 43 points to the Denver Nuggets.  Boos rained down from the Garden and there were even some ‘Fire Fizdale’ chants.

The team has greatly under-performed and seem to be unmotivated to play for Fizdale despite players saying they back their coach.

Marcus Morris even declined to answer a question regarding the coaching after last night’s home court blowout.

The Knicks will now look to find someone who can motivate this team.  They have more talent than last season but can’t find how to properly execute the correct way on both ends of the floor.  Maybe, the next coach can get it out of these young and veteran players.

How the New York Knicks roster is constructed this season

New York Knicks

The New York Knicks have talent on their roster.  However, David Fizdale needs to find a way to properly use it on the court because it has yet to be seen.  Fans have seen that the talent is there but the execution is not.

Their roster was something to get excited about this off-season.  With 10 new players, there is a good balance between young and veteran players.  But, each player likes to stick to what’s comfortable for them and shy away from the team aspect.

Here’s how the Knicks roster is constructed this season.

The Knicks don’t have an offensive scheme.  It’s all isolation, despite what anyone says.  The main culprits are Julius Randle, Marcus Morris and Allonzo Trier.  These three players always try to take the game into their own hands and away from the team.  Randle and Morris, especially, ruin the flow of the game, most of the time, trying to take their man one-on-one.

Randle tried to take Giannis Antetokounmpo one-on-one early in their last game and that didn’t go well.  That bully isolation isn’t going to work, this isn’t pick up.  Giannis came back taking Randle one-on-one and bullying him.

When it comes to playmakers, there’s a few.  Frank Ntilikina is the one stand outs when it comes to that.  He is always looking to make something happen on both sides of the floor.  Ntilikina is sort of one as sometimes he goes missing on the floor.  Elfrid Payton was one until he got hurt.  He likes to push the pace in transition but there hasn’t been much since his injury.  In time, RJ Barrett will be an even better playmaker as he remains aggressive and attacks the rim.  He and Ntilikina are the lone bright spots in the first 21 games.

Some would say that Randle and Morris could be playmakers.  But they try to do that too much and hurt the team more as compared to helping them.

The one thing the New York Knicks do have is a rim protector in Mitchell Robinson.  The only thing is he needs to stay out of foul trouble.  When Robinson can be consistent, he’ll be a problem.  Taj Gibson had a good stretch at setting the defensive tempo since being inserted into the starting lineup but he’s older and not as quick as he was.

Finally, the Knicks don’t have a go-to shooter.  Daymean Dotson and Kevin Know try to be shooters but you can’t rely on them.  Both are inconsistent, especially Knox, and Dotson needs more minutes.  Again, Randle and Morris try to be shooter but they do too much and turn into gunners when they think ‘they’re feeling it’.

The main thing is that there’s too much isolation.  The Knicks aren’t that good of a team to continuously try one-on-ones.  There needs to be more pick-n-rolls and ball movement because it has worked when they utilized it this season.  It all comes down to being consistent and finding their rhythm, which has yet to be found.