Posts Tagged ‘Amar’e Stodemire’

Blogtable: Are The Knicks For Real?

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.


Blogtable Week 2: The Knicks | Slow starters | Too soon to panic?


Yeah, we know it’s early, but … the Knicks: Are you convinced? Really, what can go wrong?



Steve Aschburner: Sorry, it’s going to take a little longer  — like till March — for me to buy the Knicks as a legit contender. Never have been a big ‘Melo fan, in terms of his interest in leading a team by whatever sacrifice necessary. The Miami victory was emotionally charged — good for New York for taking care of business — and the home-and-home vs. Philadelphia tells us more about where the 76ers are at (disappointing). Also, it cannot be a good thing that the Knicks’ media corps has a younger average age than the active roster.

Fran Blinebury: You’ve got to be impressed by the oldest team in the league. Carmelo Anthony has got it in high gear, Raymond Felton is doing a solid job running things and the Knicks even have a 38-year-old victory cigar in Rasheed Wallace to clean up at the end. So does it all keep running smoothly whenever Amar’e Stoudemire returns to the lineup?

Jeff Caplan: It’s the Knicks, anything can go wrong. But, I’m going the other way. I like this team’s start. Tyson Chandler is such a positive influence and he’s going to hold everyone accountable on the defensive end, just as he did in Dallas. Here’s the key: When Amar’e Stoudemire returns, coach Mike Woodson needs to make the tough but right call and bring him off the bench. He’ll thrive against second-unit players. (more…)

Rosen’s Report: Knicks at Grizzlies

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The Knicks’ win last night in New York was their first over a team with a winning record. Of course, the unfolding of their schedule is a random thing over which they have no control.  But the point here is that, in order to live up to Mike D’Antoni’s boasting that New York is a championship-caliber squad, the Knicks have to dominate all of the league’s weak sisters.  That’s why an impressive showing in Memphis is critical.

Meanwhile, Memphis is struggling to be merely respectable while Zach Randolph is down and out.  In the interim, the Grizzlies have demonstrated that they play much better at home than on the road —- as evidenced by their playing OKC on nearly even terms on Tuesday.  A win over New York would put Memphis only two games below the even-Steven line and do wonders for team morale.

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Welcome To Recruiting Season

– For the latest updates check out: NBA.com’s Free Agent Tracker

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – This is always our favorite part.

Now that you can actually back up the rumors with real, live contact with free agents, we’re going to get a chance to see exactly who is serious about taking home some prizes in this compressed NBA free agency period.

Contact between team officials and players can be made this morning, meaning we no longer have to subsist on a daily diet of unnamed sources and innuendo. With courting season tipping off, we’ll get a chance to see what teams are ready to back up the hype generated in the past week.

If you like Caron Butler or Jamal Crawford, invite them to tour your practice facility and chauffeur them around town like the blue-chip free agent many teams think they are.

If Nene or Tyson Chandler is the big man you must have, the one that will solidify your team’s frontline, now is the time to show them just how much they are needed. Someone has to give these guys a reason to sign here rather than there.

And with the finishing touches on the nuts and bolts of a new collective bargaining agreement still in the works, free agency is going to come down to the same thing it almost always does (aside from cold hard cash, of course) — which team can work it best during recruiting season.

The recruiting season does extend beyond middle, high school and college ball.

Good recruiters are just as valuable at the NBA level, because they know what buttons to push to turn the head of players being pursued from nearly every direction.

The universal opinion that this free agent crop is lacking in franchise talent, a theory that is hard to argue when comparing the 2011 crop to that star-studded 2010 bunch. But that’s what makes the right recruiting pitch even more important — there were only a handful of teams with legitimate shots to land the likes of LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Amar’e Stoudemire.

What franchise worth its private jet doesn’t think it can lure David West or Kris Humphries with the right recruiting pitch?

On to the madness …

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ROCKETS CHASING A NEW BIG MAN

With the Yao Ming era officially over, might Nene be the man the Rockets tab to replace him in the middle? Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle reports that the Rockets’ interest will shift to a face-to-face meeting with the Brazilian big man today, one of many in-person recruiting pitches Nene is sure receive before making a decision on his future:

The Rockets’ pursuit of free-agent center Nene will move to a meeting Monday in Denver between the coveted center and Rockets coach Kevin McHale and general manager Daryl Morey, a person with knowledge of the meeting said on Sunday.

Nene is considered the top free agent available and has indicated a desire to leave the Denver Nuggets after failing to reach an agreement on a contract extension before the lockout. The Rockets had tried to work a deal with the Nuggets to acquire Nene prior to last season’s trade deadline.

Morey has also been in talks with the representative of free-agent center Tyson Chandler.

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