Wednesday, March 5, 2014

What's wrong with the New York Knicks? Who must go and who must stay.

          The New York Knicks stand at 21-40 as this goes to press.  Losers of seven  in a row, we are about six games out of the last playoff spot in the East.  We have already fallen. We just can't get up. The Knicks problem has always been defense, but even with their mishaps on defense, if the offense showed up most nights, we'd  have considerably more wins. We will not make the playoffs, because we aren't hungry enough. And even if we do make the playoffs as the eighth seed, teams will expose our flaws and embarrass us. Team chemistry is way off.  Players don't look motivated. Mike Woodson is simply not getting it done with this group of players.
            Anyone that has  watched enough games this 2013-2014 season knows what's going on.  Knicks are always lost as they scramble to cover whomever happens to be in front of them at any given moment resulting in mismatches that opposing teams expose over and over again.  Couple this with the fact that it doesn't look like anyone on the team takes extra shooting and you just have a team not capable of putting a winning product on the floor. Way too many bad shots taken by this stagnant offense that struggles nightly. The Knicks are just terrible right now. 
        So as the season winds down and the Knicks stumble towards last place, I look forward to 2014-2015. Here is my breakdown of who should stay and who should go.  

    CARMELO ANTHONY- Carmelo Anthony will leave the New York Knicks. He will only stay if the Knicks fire Mike Woodson. Carmelo has improved his game considerably these last two seasons and  turned into a bona fide star who on the right team would thrive. Does he want to take a back seat to another star on another team? Maybe not, but at this point in his career he wants a title. The Knicks don't have enough talent to contend with other teams right now. A coaching change would rejuvenate the team, but will it be enough to keep Carmelo in New York.   STAY                                                                                     

       AMAR'E STOUDEMIRE- I like Amar'e but he's a defensive liability all of the time. All that work he supposedly did with Hakeem Olajuwon on his defense didn't  pay off.  And offensively, he gives up the ball way too many times for the amount of minutes he gets. He travels a lot and turns over the ball frequently. Either use him strictly off the bench or trade him/release him. Can generate lots of offense close to the basket, so I'd rather use him as a center because forward just doesn't work.  I think there are way better players in the league to replace him. The many  injuries are just too much, severely affecting his play. No more starts. Strictly off the bench.  Maybe he plays better with a new coach.  That's a big maybe. GO

      RAYMOND FELTON- Don't know why this man is still here. This love affair James Dolan has with Felton needs to come to an end. Raymond is an inadequate point guard, plain and simple and should come off the bench. Felton can't defend and he can't shoot, so why bother. His intensity always seems to be lacking and he focuses way too much on calls he doesn't get from the refs. Always seems like he can't keep up with the other guards in the league. The point guard is supposed to run the team, make sure the right people get the ball in the right position to make things happen. Opposing guards run past him all the time. Not enough offense. Not enough assists. Just not enough. Felton needs to go. GO

TYSON CHANDLER- Don't know why people rave about this guy. Sure he gets rebounds, but that's what tall guys get. Other than that, this dude can't score and can't shoot free throws.  Opposing players dunk on him and get past him to the hoop all day. Does not protect the interior as well as he should. Another complainer of non-calls. Just get over it, dude! Too slow. Only plays aggressive defense when triggered by cheers of the hometown Madison Square Garden faithful. Always looks late on coverage. GO

J.R. SMITH-  JR is  an overrated player. This guy just doesn't play up to his potential. You see flashes of last year's Sixth Man, but this year you never know what you are going to get. Has definitely been more consistent as of late, but has poor shot selection and has stopped taking it to the hole for fear of getting hit.  When he's on, he can shoot and should be the second option after Anthony, but JR just needs to play with more intensity, especially on the defense. Another arguer with officials. JR  needs to go as well. GO

IMAN SHUMPERT- You see flashes of brilliance with this kid and then you see stretches of futility. You never know what you are going to get. His offense is questionable, he plays defense, but he too gets beat because of this constant mismatching because of defensive switches. I think he needs to play with more intensity and work on his shot. I like him, but there are many other players out there that are better. GO

ANDREA BARGNANI- When he played, he didn't play enough. It seemed like he started the game and then you never saw him again. This guy plays no defense at all. This guy, when he's on, is lights out, but he needs to work on his overall game and  needs more playing time to get into his flow. I just don't feel like he's  a starter because he doesn't execute on offense. I think with a different coach, he plays better, but I still think there are better, well- rounded players in the league that could replace him, making him expendable.  GO

 TIM HARDAWAY JR.- Plays his heart out, but his defense is questionable. Just needs more time in the league. Like his offensive game. Needs to learn how to play certain matchups and he'll be fine. I like his flow. I like the way he plays. Just wish he would slow down at times and try not to be in hyper mode every single second.  The future of this Knicks franchise could rest on Tim. He is good, passionate and riles up the bench. Tim is good for this team. Should start more. STAY

PABLO PRIGIONI- Like him as a guard, but because the offense he plays with doesn't see him very often, there appears to be no chemistry on plays and while his play energizes the team on offense, the team seems to do just as poorly defensively when he's in. Pablo is not a great shooter. He does make things happen with his quickness and his ability to move around the floor.  Would benefit from  a new coach.  But there are better point guards in the league. Too many that I don't think Prigioni should be here. GO

   TOURE  MURRY- Good rookie. Like his defense and he will only get better. Needs to work on his jump shot. His offense is just not there yet. For the amount of time he has played, he has missed a lot of shots. I like him, but if his offense doesn't improve, that will limit his playing time. STAY


COLE ALDRICH- Haven't seen enough of this guy to really have an opinion. He needs to play more and should be seeing more time especially with the mounting losses, but Woodson just sits him.  I feel like he is a fine option off the bench, but if you have Jeremy Tyler on the team, I really see no need for Aldrich except to mop up. GO

 JEREMY TYLER- This is the type of player every team loves to have. He is a fearless defender, gets rebounds and gets his shots in on offense. I prefer his defensive game, because he is a big dude and not afraid to mix it up under the hoop and take a few elbows. Always full of energy, easily one of my favorite Knicks this year. Just gives his 100% every time he takes the floor. STAY

 KENYON MARTIN- Always plays with passion and intensity. Problem is when he does that he gets hurt and then out of the lineup. , Kenyon's beat up and if we can't have him off the bench, then what's the point. I would even start Kenyon, but he is too injury prone and I think we can get someone healthier to replace him.  I would say keep him, but then I run the risk of being disappointed when he gets injured. I like his offense and defense, although he too can let faster opposing players beat him . Better defensively than Chandler. A full time Kenyon Martin  could have given us 10 more wins. STAY

 MIKE WOODSON- I like Mike Woodson as a person. He seems like a good guy. But good guys don't win championships. You have to control your team. You have to make demands of them. The team has to understand, that what you say to them is not merely a bunch of suggestions. This is what you want them to do! This is what you need them to execute. This is how you win ball games. If the Knicks are getting these directives, they certainly aren't following them. The Knicks lack unity on the floor and faith in their teammates. This poor display of teamwork goes back to the guy who manages the team. The Knicks are never properly prepared as if they don't know who they are playing until they are playing face to face with them after tip off. I've seen last place teams trounce the Knicks. Woodson has too many favorites and doesn't trust his bench enough.  This Knicks just don't respond on the court and it reflects badly on Mike. James Dolan will not fire Mike now; he will wait until the season ends. The ax should fall quickly after the final basket of the regular season. GO