3 players the New York Knicks should look to move on from

New York Knicks, Bobby Portis

The New York Knicks have a couple players with a club option for next season. There are some players that deserve to return and some that don’t. Here’s 3 players that shouldn’t have their option picked up for next season.

Bobby Portis

Portis is still young at 25-years old. He seems a lot older than that.  The biggest issue with him is his contract.  If the Knicks were to pick up his contract it would be $15.75 million.  That’s a lot of money for a guy only playing 21.1 minutes per game.  His stats aren’t great, 10.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.5 assists.  He’s given the Knicks some spark off the bench but it’s never been consistent.  He spends way too much around the arc, looking for 3’s, rather then bang down-low.

The Knicks do need perimeter shooters but not a guy standing at 6’10”.  The Knicks need defense and rebounding, which he barely provides.  If his price tag was lower then bringing Portis back wouldn’t be an issue.  But with how Mitchell Robinson continues to progress it’s better to just cut ties.

Wayne Ellington

While Ellington was brought in for his 3-point shot but just hasn’t panned out.  There were rumors of a possible buyout after the trade deadline but it didn’t happen.  He’s also taking away playing time from younger players.  Daymean Dotson and Alonzo Trier especially saw decreased minutes.

It’s understandable to tryout different lineups since Mike Miller is trying to save his job.  But with what the Knicks are trying to do, rebuild with youth, the 32-year old shooting guard doesn’t fit.  Put that $8 million else where.

Taj Gibson

The 34-year old has played well for the Knicks in the starting lineup but he’s making a lot of money for his age. He’ll receive $9 million next season and turns 35.  However, if the team doesn’t renew his contract they’ll still have to pay him $1 million next season.  Again, the Knicks are looking to go forward with youth and as Robinson progresses, he’ll eventually be the starting center and should be now.

He does provide a good veteran presence for the team and has been one of their better signings.  But the Knicks should explore trades or a buyout.  That time could be used to give the high-flying Kenny Wooten from Westchester a shot.  The New York Knicks should look to renegotiate the contract or let him go.

New York Knicks, for once, might do the right thing before the trade deadline

New York Knicks, Kenny Wooten

The New York Knicks are always in the mix when the trade deadline comes around.  Last season the Knicks made a big splash with the Kristaps Porzingis trade in January.  They were able to acquire picks which is something rare for them.

The Knicks always seem to be the team that’s giving away picks for superstars and/or quick fixes.  That hasn’t happened for awhile now but back in the early 2000’s and 2010’s it happened a lot.

This time around the Knicks appear to be staying put on trading away any of their first-round picks.  That is the best news that fans can hear around the deadline.  First-rounds picks are where the Knicks are going to build their future.  Stock piling as many picks as they can is only going to be better in the long run.

The Knicks are finally doing the right thing when it comes to keeping all picks.

Another thing that the New York Knicks finally did right was calling up G-League stand-out Kenny Wooten Jr.  There were teams that were reportedly interested in trading for Wooten, so the Knicks had to act fast.  They signed him to a two-way contract and waived Ivan Rabb.

Wooten should get time considering other teams were interested in him and the Knicks need to see what he can go.  He had major ups and pairing him with Mitchell Robinson would be something to look forward to for the future.  Wooten’s highlight tape speaks for itself.

New York Knicks not selling at deadline then Mills needs to go

New York Knicks aren’t going to be trading away their ‘assets’ for picks this trade deadline.  It appears like President Steve Mills still has his eye set on going for the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference.

While it is always good to have optimistic goals for the Knicks, we have to be realistic.  The Knicks don’t have a shot at the playoffs.  They have the second worst record in the conference, 10-28, and are 7 games out of the 8th seed.  Don’t see these “dogs” making noise.

Some teams that have been trying to compete for a playoff spot have been eyeing a few New York Knicks players such as, Marcus Morris and Dennis Smith Jr.  Other players that could be on the market are Bobby Portis, Wayne Ellington and Allonzo Trier.

Reports from SNY’s  Ian Begley were that the Knicks would rather get players as compared to picks.  That is if they were to make trade which it seems like Mills is avoiding.  That may be the one good thing Mills has said this season.  If the Knicks want to compete sometime this decade, they’re going to need young talent with upside.

Getting picks is good but unless it’s a high pick you’re taking a chance and might get lucky.  The Knicks aren’t lucky, if anything they’re cursed.  They aren’t the best at evaluating talent either.  They got lucky getting RJ Barrett.  However, the did hit a home run with Mitchell Robinson.  So if they should make trades, getting back young assets would be considered a win.

Mills has been on the hot seat for years now.  He is more to blame for the last two rosters than Scott Perry, who’s entering in his second year with the team.  But Mill’s relationship with the Knicks owner, it seems changes in the front office are unlikely.  How many embarrassing seasons are the Knicks going to have before their needs to be a major shake-up in the front office?

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.

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.

Is it almost time to root for a New York Knicks tank?

New York Knicks

New York Knicks fans might be getting to their breaking point, if they haven’t already.  The Knicks are 4-13 and currently dead last in the Eastern Conference.

Any regular basketball team wouldn’t even begin to think about next year’s draft or tanking 17 games into the season, but the Knicks are.  After all the talk players did this off-season, their play hasn’t backed it up.  All the optimism the players and fans had for this season has quickly vanished.

Is it time to root for a tank?

Last season, the Knicks did their best to tank to Zion Williamson without saying they were actually tanking.  Look how that turned out.  However, RJ Barrett has been a great consolation prize and shows that he could be someone special.

Knicks players will say that they’re going to continue to battle and there will be no talk about a tank.  Coach David Fizdale addressed the tanking last season and should be ready for those questions again as the season is getting to that point already.

Wayne Ellington and Taj Gibson also spoke on trying to turn the season around.  Players will say all the necessary stuff to please the media but let’s be realistic.  This team seems like they get down on themselves too much.  The idea of ‘tanking’ will be in the back of some players mind.  It will definitely be in the minds of Knicks fans.

Yes, it’s way-too-early to talk about tanking.  But with the New York Knicks, it’s constantly brought up each season.  This feels like it was brought up extremely early as compared to last season.  The Knicks aren’t a team that can turn around despite what the players say.  They’re a team that will give fans a few exciting victories in front of the Garden faithful to appease them and that’s about it.  The way it’s looking currently, the Knicks might lose 60+ games again.

A healthy Daymean Dotson is great for the New York Knicks

New York Knicks, Damyean Dotson

The New York Knicks are finally seeing the healthy Daymean Dotson they hoped for.  Dotson has been coming off off-season shoulder injury and now is 100% healthy.

Dotson is starting to get more minutes but head coach David Fizdale needs to be more consistent with his minutes.  He should be playing Dotson 15-20 every game.  Dotson is only averaging 12.9 minutes this season for the Knicks.

Since he has been healthy and in his last 5 games, Dotson has been averaging 19.6 minutes a game.  That’s exactly what he should be playing for the Knicks.  He provides the Knicks with positives on both sides of the floor.  He is a excellent defender and has the ability to shoot the ball anywhere on the court.

Monday’s game, Dotson played 18 minutes but was able to contribute 11 point while shooting 50% from the field.  However, he was only 1-5 from beyond the arc.  Which is fine because even if his 3-pointer is off, he can still contribute shooting the ball elsewhere.

The New York Knicks don’t have a true shooting guard yet.  RJ Barrett, you can say as been the shooting guard for the Knicks despite being listed at a small forward.  In the Knicks starting lineup, officially, there is no player listed at shooting guard.

The other shooting guards on the team are Wayne Ellington and Allonzo Trier.  Ellington hasn’t been shooting like he has in the past and Fizdale has soured on Trier hasn’t appeared in a game since 11/12 against the Bulls for only 5 minutes.

If Dotson is able to remain healthy, he can be a solid bench player for the Knicks.  Down the road, Dotson could be the starting shooting guard once they figure out their long-term plans at point guard and small forward positions.

Eventually, Barrett will be at small forward for good and the Knicks will need a permanent shooting guard.  Can Dotson be the guy that steps into that role and be the shooter that fans think he can be?  It depends on how the rest of the season and coaching situation goes.  Right now, Dotson is in the right place to succeed.

How the New York Knicks need to change their lineup

New York Knicks, Boston Celtic, Kevin Knox, Marcus Morris

Head coach David Fizdale has explored numerous lineups for the New York Knicks.  There hasn’t been anything substantial since he took over. He continues to try and find what players work best with each other, and it’s been difficult.

There has been a lot of incomplete lineups whose weaknesses ruin the flow of certain lineups and even games.  The most significant flow stopper was, still, in the Orlando Magic game.  Fizdale subbed in Morris for Knox, who had the hot hand, and it changes the whole rhythm for the Knicks, ultimately taking another loss.

With that being said, one lineup change that fans should hope for is starting Kevin Knox over Marcus Morris.  The Knicks need to be more focused on developing Knox.  He has shown signs of progression through this style of play and shooting thus far.  Knox shot the ball well in Detroit, 5-7 from the field with 2-3 beyond the arc.  His shot looks confident and should get him more minutes.  Knox is currently shooting 43.9% from the floor for this season.

The area of concern for taking Morris out of the starting lineup would be his attitude.  Morris is a fiery player that will command to play more, especially with his contract, 15 million for one season.  Fizdale could start him for 4-5 minutes then sub in Knox to get him more minutes since Morris isn’t in the Knicks future plans.

By switching out Knox for Morris, the Knicks can also tackle another team issue.  Ball hogging between Julius Randle and Morris.  The two can’t play with each other.  They both are ball-dominant players that command one-on-one situations.  That hurts the Knicks more as they aren’t used to playing with each other at this time.

Randle should play more at the center position.  That would help with the floor spacing and create more plays for the offense to run as compared to one-on-one.  Fizdale should find the happy medium with rotating Randle, Mitchell Robinson, and Bobby Portis at center.

Fizdale knows how tough it is to figure out the starting lineup or lineups in general.  Finding what players work best with each other is the hardest part of his job, and with eight new players, it can’t be easy.  The Knicks and Fizdale need to figure out the lineup situation quick before the already restless fans get even more worried.

The New York Knicks season began with an intriguing loss

New York Knicks, RJ Barrett

The New York Knicks kicked off their season in San Antonio last evening.  The team supported their new statement uniforms on the road against the Spurs.

The game was interesting to say the least.  The Knicks started the game with lackadaisical defense as the Spurs jumped out to an early lead in the first quarter.  Their defense was sub-par as the Spurs were manhandling them on the glass for the entire game.

However, the Knicks were able to make things interesting going on multiple double-digit runs to get back into the game and take the lead.  At one point, the Knicks were up 7 points in second half, having total control of the game.

But, as all Knicks fans know, that doesn’t last.  The Spurs continued to dominate the boards and got to the basket seemingly at will.  Their shooting was something else as well, as it seemed like every big shot went in.

Despite the awful rebounding, help defense and careless fouls and passes, the Knicks played better then expected.  The refs were not on the Knicks side, they never are.  The fouls were 32-12 in favor of the Knicks.  Horrendous.

Point guard situation 

RJ Barrett and Allonzo Trier was the starting back-court with Barrett running point.  He is not a true point guard, but coach David Fizdale had enough confidence in him to be the guy.  This comes after Fizdale saying that none of the three true point guards on the roster earned the starting spot.

After an initial rocky start, the offense got grooving.  Everyone was pushing the ball up the floor and it was paying dividends. Elfrid Payton helped greatly.  Payton had a very strong showing running the offense when Trier when out.  He ran the offense well and was able to push the tempo and his teammates followed.  Payton’s performance, despite his fouling, made him the clear favorite for the starting point guard job.

Dennis Smith Jr. and Frank Ntilikina did not make things easier on themselves trying to get that job.  Smith Jr. couldn’t contain Dejounte Murray or Bryn Forbes, as they ran circles around the rusty Smith Jr.  His shot still needs loads of work.  Ntilikina had careless passes which led to easy Spur baskets in big situations.

Despite the negatives, the New York Knicks play was captivating.  Barrett, Julius Randle and Marcus Morris stole the show.  Those three provided the Knicks with big time offense when needed.  Kevin Knox, too, had huge back-to-back threes for the Knicks.  Even though it’s only one game, his shot looks stronger then last season.

Randle, Barrett, Payton and Morris sparked the team to have a lot of energy and cohesiveness.  The teams defense was ‘tenacious’ as Walt ‘Clyde’ Frazier would say.  They got steals when needed, leading to fast breaks led by Barrett and Payton.  The rebounding was atrocious but they can work on that.  Getting Mitchell Robinson will be a big boost.

However, the Knicks had a decent showing.  A lot of positives and negatives but the Knicks played hard and like a team.  It’s an encouraging start for this young squad.

The New York Knicks 2019-20 season preview and prediction

The 2019-20 New York Knicks season is finally here.  It has been one roller coaster of a summer.  The Knicks were suppose to be the big winner this off-season in free agency and we all know how that played out.

The Knicks did make moves to get the right players for this team.  They’ve added the likes of Julius Randle, Marcus Morris, Bobby Portis, Wayne Ellington and Elfrid Payton.  GM Scott Perry thinks they added to correct players for what the Knicks are trying to accomplish.

The New York Knicks will be battling up-hill all season long.  No one is expecting much out of them this season.  Las Vegas has put the Knicks season win total at 27.5.  The main goal for this season is to continue developing their young core.  This consists of RJ Barrett, Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson and Dennis Smith Jr.

However, that is not going to be the overall goal for this team.  Morris, Portis, Ellington and Payton are on the record talking about their “dog” mentality.  That mentality was present for the first preseason game then absent for the following games.  Maybe that is going to change once the season begins?  Because the Knicks are looking to “shock people.”  They got to back up all their talk from this summer, that’s maybe the biggest thing of all.

If the Knicks do play to their potential, as a team, they are capable of winning at least 30 games.  The playoffs is a gigantic stretch this season.  Anything over 30 wins will be considered a win of a season for the Knicks.

The Knicks also still don’t have a official starting point guard, it’s expected for be announced today.  It’s between Smith Jr. Payton and Ntilikina.  It appears it’s leaning towards Smith Jr. but he isn’t 100% healthy to begin the season.  Not the smartest move throwing him out there.

Coach David Fizdale also mentioned that he will be going with a 10-man rotation.  It makes sense to do that once the season gets rolling but not right off the bat.  The Knicks talked about having one of the deepest benches in the league.  Why would you not rotate everyone and see what works the best?  Some of Fizdale’s decisions are questionable.

The Knicks will be better then what they were last year.  They just can’t play down to opponents or get down on themselves.  Fans already got a glimpse of that in the game against the Washington Wizards at the Garden.  The Knicks didn’t starting really playing hard until the fourth quarter was nearly over.  All we can say was it was preseason but that look like the old Knicks.

The season should be different and better than last season.  The Knicks have to play as a team and grow together.  Fizdale needs to coach to his strengths and have an offensive scheme if they want to make any progress this season.  Our prediction for the New York Knicks, 31-51.