Posts Tagged ‘Landry Fields’

Raptors Pushing Hard For Fields





HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – You’re either playing checkers or chess this time of year in free agency. And the Toronto Raptors are clearly trying to play the latter.

There’s no other way to explain the three-year, $20 million offer sheet they’ve extended to Knicks swingman Landry Fields, per ESPN.com‘s Marc Stein.

Fields is a necessary means to an end for the Raptors, who are also battling with the Knicks and others for the signature of two-time MVP Steve Nash. By extending the offer sheet to Fields, a deal that reportedly includes a spike in the third year of the deal, the Raptors will try to force the Knicks into making a choice.

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Knicks Left With Few Lineup Options

NEW YORK – Chris Bosh is expected to be back in New York for Game 3 of the Miami Heat’s first round series with the New York Knicks (7 p.m. ET, TNT) at Madison Square Garden.

That doesn’t help the Knicks, who are down three starters.

Jeremy Lin is recovering from knee surgery and might be able to play in Game 4 on Sunday at the earliest. Iman Shumpert tore his ACL in Game 1 and is likely out through the start of next season. And Amar’e Stoudemire cut his hand on a fire extinguisher door after Game 2, taking himself out of Game 3 and maybe longer.

The Knicks still have 12 healthy bodies, but only seven that have played more than 20 minutes in the series thus far. So a player or two is going to have a bigger role tonight and coach Mike Woodson is going to have to go with a brand new starting lineup.

The Knicks have used 430 different lineups this season, but 344 of the 430 have included Lin, Shumpert, Stoudemire or Renaldo Balkman (who was waived in February). And the most-used lineup made up of five healthy Knicks — Toney Douglas, Landry Fields, Carmelo Anthony, Josh Harrelson and Tyson Chandler — has played just 34 minutes together.

Of course, Douglas (zero) and Harrelson (nine) have combined to play just nine minutes in the first two games against the Heat. So don’t expect to see any of the above lineup on Thursday.

Woodson said Wednesday that he will start Anthony at power forward, with Chandler at center, and Baron Davis and Fields in the backcourt. Thursday, at shootaround, Woodson said he’s still deciding between starting Steve Novak or J.R. Smith at small forward. (more…)

Can Chandler Impact Game 2?





MIAMI – Tyson Chandler isn’t feeling 100 percent, but he does feel better than he did on Saturday, when he managed to play just 21 ineffective minutes in Game 1 of the first round series between the Knicks and Heat.

“I feel better,” Chandler said before the Knicks’ shootaround Monday morning. “I don’t feel 100 percent, but I feel better.”

The Knicks will take what they can get after getting manhandled on both ends of the floor in Game 1. Chandler is arguably their most important player, the anchor of their top-five defense. And if he’s more of a presence on that end, they have a puncher’s chance in Game 2 (7 p.m. ET, TNT).

“I’m going to give it everything I got,” Chandler said. “I’m going to leave it all on the floor. Hopefully, I’ll have more energy to get my team going.”

Baron Davis, who is suffering from back pain and stiffness, said he’s “not close” to 100 percent. But he’s hopeful that he can play more than the 17 minutes he logged on Saturday. He kept the Knicks in the game early with 10 first-quarter points.

“We’ll see what happens,” Davis said. “I’ll play as hard as I possibly can, just try and stay loose on the sidelines, and just be ready when called upon. I don’t know what my minutes will look like. Hopefully, I can get us off to a good start and really have no setbacks during the game.” (more…)

Rosen’s Report: New York at Orlando




Jeremy Lin is down for the count and who knows when/if Amar’e Stoudemire will return to action. That means what’s left of the Knicks’ roster will have to carry New York for the duration. While the Knicks are still battling for the last playoff slot, they also have their sights set on the No. 6 seed in order to play Orlando in the opening round instead of either Miami or Chicago. And on the heels of last week’s trampling of the Magic, a repeat performance would not only greatly enhance the achievement of both of these goals, but also make Orlando shiver in anticipation of encountering New York in the money season. After their fourth-quarter meltdown in Indiana on Tuesday, the Knicks also has to prove that they do have a necessary killer instinct.

On the flip side, the Magic need the win to demonstrate that their humiliating performance in New York was a fluke, and that they are indeed legitimate championship contenders.

HOW THE KNICKS CAN WIN

  • Forget about LeBron, Kobe and/or Kevin DurantCarmelo Anthony is the most versatile scorer in the game. If KD is a better long-distant dialer, Anthony’s 3-point shooting is more reliable than the other two elite scorers. The difference is ‘Melo’s dynamic post-up game. With Stoudemire out, Anthony is now filling the power forward slot, which makes his offense even more unstoppable (plus he’s a better rebounder than his predecessor). There’s certainly no way that either Hedo Turkoglu, Ryan Anderson (if he makes a miraculous recovery from a freshly sprained ankle), or Glen Davis can put up any meaningful defensive resistance without considerable help. The problem is the Knicks’ spacing forces defenders to come a long way to double Anthony. And should Anthony bring his A-game into the last period, the Magic will run out of tricks.
  • Assuming that Dwight Howard has recuperated from the infamous phantom punch, Tyson Chandler has the length and the defensive chops to make him labor mightily to score in the low post.  In addition, Howard gets flustered when he’s doubled on the move and tends to force shots, make wayward passes, or simply commit turnovers.  Chandler’s timely dive-cuts on high screen/rolls should also put him in dunk city. (more…)

Rosen’s Report: Knicks at Heat

Yes, the Knicks lost on Monday to the lowly Nets but they rallied with an impressive rout of the Hawks on Wednesday where they showed signs of  Carmelo Anthony, J. R. Smith, and Baron Davis adjusting Linsanity. Yet despite the massive hype surrounding New York during the last two weeks, facing the Heat in Miami is the best chance yet for the Knicks to prove that their recent spectacular successes are legit.

At this point in the season, the Heat have their collective mojo working and, thus far, are the best team in the East if not the entire league. Their three leading lights are in synch, and their supporting players are likewise at the top of their respective games.  Miami’s aim is to stuff Linsanity into a straitjacket.

HOW THE KNICKS CAN WIN
Jeremy Lin must hit his perimeter jumpers, repeatedly penetrate and make accurate kick-out or drop-passes, generally keep the ball moving, and play a modicum of man-to-man defense. While he’s far from being a speedster, Lin can read defenses and anticipate where the driving lanes will materialize. Once these openings manifest, Lin’s long strides, slick left-to-right crossovers, and ability to find air-space at the rim are virtually unstoppable. If his straight-up defense is merely ordinary, Lin’s quick hands and extraordinary help-decisions enable him to come up with frequent steals and run-outs.  In any event, Mario Chalmers isn’t the kind of dreadnaught scorer who can consistently embarrass Lin. (more…)

Shaq And Chuck Get Some Rest, We’ve Got The Rising Stars!





HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – Who says you have to wait for TNT’s Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal?

Here at the hideout, we wait for no one to pick our teams, not even the big boys who will serve as general managers for the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge during All-Star Weekend.

Chuck and Shaq don’t hit the TNT set until tonight, and they don’t pick the squads until next week, which gives us (Micah Hart of the All-Ball Blog is my partner in basketball-related crimes today) all the time we need to make our picks for the game that used to pit rookies and sophomores against one another.

We flipped a coin and will kick off the draft right now, using the same 18 players on the official list instead of the ones we think should be on the list — the write-in campaign for Jeremy Lin starts in a few minutes — as if there was any doubt on that No. 1 spot:

Sekou Smith: If you thought I’d pick anyone other than this guy with the No. 1 pick, you were dreaming.

FIRST PICK

Hang Time: Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers

Micah HartWell I might pick another guy first if this were a real game and not an exhibition but since we’re showing off , I’ll take …

All-Ball: John Wall, Washington Wizards

SS: If you’re going to show off, you should at least do it with the best. Say hello to my little friend …

SECOND PICK

Hang Time: Ricky Rubio, Minnesota Timberwolves

MHI considered that, but I want a guy who can drop 30 along with his 10 assists as well. Besides, I’ll have chemistry on my side with Wall and my next pick …

All-Ball: DeMarcus “Boogie” Cousins

SS: Did you just call a grown man “Boogie?” Don’t ever do that again. I hope your guards are ready, because when they see Ricky and his running mate coming at them, it could get ugly. I’ll take …

THIRD PICK

HT: Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers

MHAlright, well you seem to be cornering the market on the guards, so I guess I’ll press the advantage in the frontcourt. Gimme the best big man to come out of Georgetown since Othella Harrington

All-Ball: Greg Monroe, Detroit Pistons

SS: I knew you wouldn’t be able to go more than five minutes without a shout-out to Murrah High (Jackson, Miss.), and for the record, Monroe’s ceiling is much higher than Othella’s was. That said, your bigs will struggle all night trying to keep up with my guys. I have a vision for this game and it includes lots of dunks and non-stop running …

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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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Knicks Still Hurting, Still Confident

GREENBURGH, NY – The New York Knicks played pretty well without Chauncey Billups and Amar’e Stoudemire in the second half of Tuesday’s Game 2 in Boston. And the numbers show that the Knicks have played much better when they’ve had just one of their stars on the court than when they’ve had two or three.

But, of course, Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni would prefer that Stoudemire and/or Billups are healthy for Friday’s Game 3 at Madison Square Garden (7 p.m. ET, ESPN).

The Knicks practiced without Stoudemire or Billups on Thursday. Billups received treatment on his strained left knee at the Knicks’ practice facility, but Stoudemire was getting treatment at his home in Manhattan, so that he didn’t have to travel an hour each way in the car and possibly aggravate the pulled muscle in his back.

D’Antoni is clearly more optimistic about the chances that Stoudemire will play Friday, but the team will have to wait until at least Friday morning to see how Stoudemire feels.

Billups had blood drained from his knee and took a cortisone shot on Wednesday.

“At this point, I know there’s no way I can come back and be 100 percent,” Billups said. “But I don’t have to be 100 to come back. I just want to be able to help the team and not hurt the team. If I can get to that point, then I’ll be out there.”

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Billups Likely to Miss Game 2

BOSTON – The New York Knicks will likely be without Chauncey Billups for Game 2 of their first round series with the Boston Celtics on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET, TNT).

After suffering a strained left knee late in the fourth quarter of the Celtics’ 87-85 victory in Game 1 on Sunday, Billups is officially listed as “questionable” for Game 2. And the way both Billups and Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni talked about it, a status of “doubtful” may be more appropriate.

D’Antoni said that Billups playing in Friday’s Game 3 in New York was “more of a probability.”

“I think everything is up in the air, day-to-day,” Billups added after the Knicks practiced without him on Monday. “I’m hoping for tomorrow. I don’t know if that will happen. I don’t even know if it’s realistic. But obviously, if it’s not tomorrow, I’m hoping for the next opportunity.”

If Billups can’t go, Toney Douglas will start in his place and Anthony Carter will see more playing time backing Douglas up. Douglas started in place of Billups in a six-game stretch in early March, when Billups was sidelined with a thigh bruise. The Knicks went 4-2 in those games, giving D’Antoni some confidence that they could survive without Billups on Tuesday.

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All Set In The East

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – Thanks to a surge here and a slump there, the first-round matchups in the Eastern Conference playoffs are set.

The bracket filled itself out overnight. The Bulls and Pacers will square in the No. 1 vs. No. 8 matchup, Heat-Sixers in the 2-7, Celtics-Knicks in the 3-6  and Magic-Hawks in the 4-5.

While it would be a bit foolish to try to offer up any predictions right now (those are coming Thursday, when the entire field is set), there is no shortage of storylines surrounding each series as we wait for things to kick off this weekend.

Your friends here at the hideout wanted to make sure you were well equipped to tackles each series. So we’ve cooked up a few items for your Tuesday morning reading pleasure, with a huge assist from the Prime Minster.

No. 1 BULLS vs No. 8 PACERS

The Skinny: We’d like to thank Pacers swingman Danny Granger for doing his best to start a small fire in a series that, minus Joakim Noah, is short on eccentric personalities. When asked which team he’d rather face between Boston and Chicago, Granger offered up this salvo to Melissa Isaacson of ESPNChicago.com:

“Boston’s a different monster,” he said. “They don’t have the best record in the East, but they won championships; they know how to do it. They have four, five guys you have to worry about. Chicago, they go as Derrick Rose goes. If you make a concerted effort to stop Derrick Rose, you have a better chance of beating them.”

That sounds great in theory, Danny — except for the part where the Bulls handled you three times this season and have no reason to fear anything the Pacers bring to the playoff party. Granted, these Pacers and this Bulls crew have the same number of playoff series wins (none) going in. But there’s a reason the Bulls are the No. 1 seed and the Pacers had to squeeze their way into the postseason.

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