New York Knicks

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Props Slaps
 6 years ago '04        #8521
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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Amar'e is making great progress lately but i was wondering about this when Amar'e first went down

Hahn

"To those asking no, Lamar Odom can not come to #Knicks. He remains under contract in DAL. Just no longer playing."
 6 years ago '04        #8522
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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Tommy Dee

"1 interesting conversation with someone tied to the Lakers... 1) odom may retire 2) another validation- Phil wants to be in NYC w NYK"
 6 years ago '07        #8523
Chief|m 54 heat pts54
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 6 years ago '04        #8524
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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Berman

"Amar'e looked great during shootaround working out but still not playing or talking today or tomorrow in Brew City."
 6 years ago '04        #8525
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The New York Knicks have re-assigned Jerome Jordan to the Erie BayHawks, the Knicks’ NBA D-League affiliate. The a.ssignment is the third and final a.ssignment for Jordan this season.

Jordan (7-0, 240, Tulsa) is averaging 1.4 points, 1.2 rebounds and 4.8 minutes in 19 games for the Knicks this season. During his two previous stints in Erie, he appeared in five games, averaging 18.0 points, 8.6 rebounds and 32.6 minutes.
 6 years ago '04        #8526
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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and the cyborg with no emotion known as Derrick Rose injured his ankle so who knows if he'll be playing tonight for revenge
 6 years ago '04        #8527
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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Hahn

"#NBA Summer League in Las Vegas scheduled for July 13-22. #Knicks will be there as usual, with Jerome Jordan, Josh Harrellson and possibly Iman Shumpert among players on the roster, along with whomever is this year's second-round pick. After Landry and Jorts, expectations are high for second rounders now. "
 6 years ago '04        #8528
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Carmelo Anthony has thrived in his new role as power forward, but Mike Woodson said that Amar'e Stoudemire will be reinserted into the starting lineup as soon as he is healthy enough to return.

There are encouraging signs that Stoudemire is making progress, including his participation in Tuesday's morning practice.

“I’ve got to think the doctors and Amar’e are on the same page in terms of where he is,” Woodson said before Tuesday night’s loss to the Bulls. “And when they tell me he’s ready to go, he’ll be right back in the starting lineup, playing the way I expect him to play.”

The Knicks are just 16-20 when Anthony and Stoudemire both play.

Stoudemire has been working with Knicks trainer Dave Hancock and the intensity of their sessions has increased.

“He’s still working out, taking it a day at a time,” Woodson said. “He looks pretty good. Again, I think it’s going to be up to Amar’e and the doctors when he decides to make his move.

“Until he tells me he’s ready to play, I got to continue to go to guys that are in uniform. When he tells me, I’m going to welcome him back with open arms big time.”
 6 years ago '04        #8529
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The Knicks are 11-4 since Mike Woodson replaced Mike D'Antoni.

Carmelo Anthony said that Woodson's record "speaks for itself" when asked if a compelling case is being made for him to remain as head coach next season.

“He’s doing a great job of ... due to circumstances of what happened with the coaching change,” Anthony said. “He’s responded well. I think at this point all he’s really concerned about is winning basketball games and he’s been doing that so that kinda speaks for itself.”

While Woodson has emerged as a legitimate candidate to remain, the Knicks may explore Phil Jackson and sources say they are also interested in John Calipari.
 6 years ago '04        #8530
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Hahn

It was just days before Christmas 1997 and the Knicks were coming off a brutal loss in Cleveland and in Milwaukee for the second game of a back-to-back. They were 15-10 at the time, but maintained lofty expectations as perennial championship contenders.

It was in the final seconds of the first half in a game that was already getting away from the Knicks when Patrick Ewing reached for an alley-oop pass from Charlie Ward. Bucks center Andrew Lang nudged Ewing from behind and The Franchise fell awkwardly and smashed his right wrist -- and championship hopes for another year -- to smithereens.

Though Ewing remained with the team until 2000, and came back to play more big games, that was his last game as the cornerstone of the franchise. The Ewing Era ended on the floor of the Bradley Center.

Almost 15 years later, the Knicks are in Milwaukee looking to avoid another pivotal and, potentially, devastating loss in the Brew City.

"We have no choice," Carmelo Anthony said, "but to be ready for that game."

Recent history is not on their side. The Knicks have lost five straight games at the Bradley Center since a 120-112 win on March 10, 2009 that saw Larry Hughes score 39 points and Nate Robinson put up 32 off the bench.

Overall, the Knicks have lost nine of the last 11 games against Milwaukee.

These two teams have been on a tear over the past month. The Knicks are 11-4 since Mike Woodson replaced Mike D'Antoni as head coach. But the Bucks have rallied to stay right on the heels of the Knicks in the playoff race by winning 13 of their last 18 games. It all started with a 119-114 win over the Knicks in Milwaukee on March 9.

The Knicks won the teams' previous meeting, 89-80, at the Garden on March 26. Bucks guard Brandon Jennings, who had 15 points on 6 of 22 shooting, dismissed it as a bad shooting night. He wasn't about to credit the Knicks defense.

And after a blowout loss to the indomitable Oklahoma City Thunder, which saw Milwaukee fall behind early, Jennings pointed to the team's next game, against the Knicks, and said, "For sure, Wednesday, that's not going to happen."

Not quite Danny Granger's "winnable games" remark that was nailed to the bulletin board, but Jennings got the talking started early.

The Knicks, coming off a frustrating night, as well, after Tuesday's 98-86 loss in Chicago, can only focus internally right now. Both Melo and Tyson Chandler, the only two players who spoke to the media after the game, agreed this matchup with the Bucks is "a must-win."

"We have to approach it like it's a Game 7 in the playoffs," Chandler said.

"It's probably one of the biggest games of the season for us," Anthony said. "We've got to approach it like that."

Here's why:

• A Knicks win would not only open a two-game lead over the Bucks with eight games to play, it would even the season series at 2-2 and move a tiebreaker against the Bucks to whomever has the better Eastern Conference record. A win would give the Knicks a 23-18 conference record, compared to a 21-19 conference record for Milwaukee. The Knicks have seven more Eastern Conference games left on the schedule, while the Bucks have eight. A win would also move the Knicks within a half-game of the 76ers for the seventh spot.

• A Bucks win would put the teams in a record tie (29-29), but give the Bucks sole ownership of the eighth spot -- the final playoff berth in the East -- because they would also clinch the season series at 3 games to 1. The Knicks would also fall 1 1/2 games behind the Philadelphia 76ers for seventh.

What remains:

• The Bucks and 76ers face each other in Milwaukee in the second-to-last game of the regular season. That favors the Knicks as long as they stay within reach of Philadelphia because they could benefit no matter who wins and loses.

• After playing the Bucks, the Knicks have eight games remaining, with four against playoff-bound teams: Heat, Celtics, at Hawks and Clippers. But three of their final five games come against lottery bound teams: at Nets, at Cavs and the season finale, at Bobcats.

• After playing the Knicks, the Bucks have eight games remaining, with four against playoff-bound teams: Pacers, at Pacers, 76ers and at Celtics. The Knicks have the tougher opponents, but the Bucks opponents are each playing for seedings. The question is, if Boston already has the Atlantic Division wrapped up in that season finale, do they rest their main players?

If the Knicks win tonight, most of this will probably not matter.

"At this point, we have to understand what's at stake," Chandler said, "because ultimately we hold our own future in our own hands."

FIXINS

• Painful when the Novakaine wears off, isn't it? Steve Novak went 0-for-3 from three-point range on Tuesday night and was 0-for-7 from downtown in the home-and-home with the Bulls. It was the first time this season he has gone consecutive games without making at least one three-pointer. The Bulls played him well and gave him very few open looks. See if he can end his drought on the hometown rims in Milwaukee.

• Mobb Deep came up small on Tuesday, with just 18 points by the bench compared to Chicago's 33 bench points. J.R. Smith had 14 points, Novak hit two free throws and Bill Walker had a meaningless layup in the final seconds. Need much more than that against Milwaukee, which doesn't have a great bench, but does have Knick-killer Mike Dunleavy.

• Baron Davis had a good start in Chicago and seemed like he was in a nice rhythm, but his passing got erratic and you could see he was frustrating Woodson with his decisions on offense. He dove for the ball in the fourth quarter and came up showing some discomfort. Considering his back issues, it's something to monitor in the second game within a 20-hour span against a speedy, relentless Bucks backcourt.

• After facing the NBA's best offensive rebounding team -- the Bulls, No. 1 at 14 a game, had 18 on Tuesday -- the Knicks go up against a Bucks team that ranks No. 5, with 12.5 per game. The fundamentals are simple: box out. Player they most have to lock down: Ersan Ilyasova.

• Key matchup to watch: Iman Shumpert vs. Brandon Jennings. This is one where you wish both players were mic'd up, just to hear the trash talk.

• Remember: We'll have wall-to-wall coverage starting with Knicks Game Night, which starts at 7:30 p.m. on MSG Networks. Tip-off is at 8 p.m. and don't forget the Knicks PostGame Show afterward!
 6 years ago '10        #8531
Blkboipurp 
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Hold on a second...would the Knicks even be able to get Goran Dragic this offseason?
 6 years ago '04        #8532
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 Blkboipurp said:
Hold on a second...would the Knicks even be able to get Goran Dragic this offseason?
yessir
 6 years ago '11        #8533
27Lives 19 heat pts19
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 Blkboipurp said:
Hold on a second...would the Knicks even be able to get Goran Dragic this offseason?
We have a MLE.. but the problem is if we want Novak/Lin back we need to use the MLE on them since we don't have their bird rights.

Odds are against us if i'm correct.
 6 years ago '04        #8534
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Cheese Doodles

This is 2012, but these New York Knicks are eerily similar offensively to the team that teased us for an entire decade into believing it had championship mettle, only to succumb repeatedly to the greatness of Michael Jordan.

Carmelo Anthony is the Knicks right now, much a Patrick Ewing was the Knicks years ago, which is a good thing. The rest of the Knicks now are what they were back then, too, which isn't so good. But it can become a good thing if Amare Stoudemire returns, healthy and ready to put all the questions about his ability to co-exist with Melo to bed once and for all.

If Stoudemire comes back and ends all that nonsense, there's no telling when the Knicks' season will end.

If he doesn't, the Knicks will be done by the first week of May.

Book it!

"I have no idea when (Stoudemire) is coming back, but I can't wait for it because we need him," Anthony said. "He's important to this team. To what we're trying to do."

Don't bother knocking Melo for failing to emphasize Stoudemire's importance to his own game. You can't blame Anthony for wanting to refrain from such conversation when he's averaging 31.7 points per game in April, playing like a man clearly in pursuit of Gotham City's unfiltered and uncompromised affection.

But if Sunday's 93-85 loss to the Miami Heat proved anything, it proved an army isn't made up of one man. That a dynamic duo -- or trio, if you want to include Chris Bosh -- in the form of Dwyane Wade and LeBron James are significantly more sustainable than a one-man wrecking crew.

"I'm loving what I'm seeing from Melo right now," Knicks' interim coach Mike Woodson said on Sunday. "I'm proud of him, the way he's playing and the effort he's giving. But nobody's blind here. Everyone knows we'll need more than him to get to where we want to go. Nobody's saying his name that much, but I'll say it: Amare! We need him. He'll come back when he's healthy enough to play, but I'll be very happy when he does."

Relieved would be a more appropriate word.

All anyone had to do was watch the continuously gifted but erratic play of J.R. Smith, a surprisingly poor output from Iman Shumpert and the alarming, inexcusable regression of Landry Fields to know how desperately Woodson is aching for Stoudemire to come back.

In 43 games this season, Stoudemire averaged 17.6 points and eight rebounds on 47 percent shooting. He did it with a questionable back, questionable knees and -- no matter how much anyone tries to avoid it -- the simmering acrimony with a touch of chaos that, essentially, has served to damage his career and stature in New York.

People forget that Stoudemire was the Man before Melo arrived. That he was the one averaging 26 points, heading to All-Star weekend, with New York's affection as his motivation. All that changed once Melo arrived. When Mike D'Antoni decided to veer away from both and make Jeremy Lin a savior, Lin had the audacity to jack up more shots than Stoudemire, with the unwavering support of the now-departed coach.

Back a few months ago, Stoudemire acknowledged, "It's hard. The bottom line is about winning, and we all know this. But I'm not going to lie by standing here and saying it's easy to hear folks questioning whether or not you should be here any longer, or whether you fit, when you're just a year removed from being an All-Star and doing the things I was doing."

Stoudemire wasn't blaming anyone, but it would have certainly been within his right to do so. Such is the case when you're the forgotten man, and politics are influencing things just as much as basketball.

But things are working out now. Not just because the Knicks are 13-5 since Woodson took over, or because of Melo's resurgence as an offensive force.

Things are working out now because in spite of all that, it's still evident the Knicks can't make much noise in the postseason without Stoudemire.

"They will need him," Chicago Bulls guard and reigning MVP Derrick Rose, told me a few days ago. "They're doing a lot of great things. Coach Woodson is doing a great job; I've got to give it to him. But no matter what, you always need someone like Amare Stoudemire. He's a big-time player. He's something we'd have to pay attention to."

That means all the attention couldn't be focused on Melo. Against Chicago or Miami, this is exactly what the Knicks will need.

When you hear Smith echo how Miami won't want to see the Knicks in the first round, or others bloviating about what a tough out the Knicks will be, it sounds good. It even seems plausible ...

If Stoudemire comes back.

"Like I said," Woodson deadpanned, "we could use him."

Healthy, that is. Nothing less will do.
 6 years ago '04        #8535
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"Congrats to Jeremy Lin - named a divisional winner for the 2011-2012 NBA Sportsmanship Award! "
 6 years ago '04        #8536
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Sekou Smith

Tucked away in a private room at a fancy steakhouse in Buckhead, Ga., the night before the Knicks and Hawks played last month at Philips Arena, interim Knicks coach Mike Woodson was busy holding court.

The room was filled with folks the former Hawks coach had invited to thank for the love and support he'd received since moving to Atlanta in 2004, people he wanted to thank personally and appropriately for sticking with him through the good and bad times.

Woodson carried on, ribbing one of his guests about his golf game and busting another one's chops for being the shortest man in the room, laughing and joking in ways no one in New York, outside of those with a backstage pass to the traveling circus that is the Knicks this season, has seen him act.

Sure, they've seen a smile or two out of Woodson since he took over from Mike D'Antoni. The Knicks are 13-5 and 9-1 at Madison Square Garden since he moved into the big chair, but they haven't seen the relaxed Woodson that owned the room at that steakhouse.

They haven't seen the Woodson who kicked into high gear when Knicks forward and shooter deluxe Steve Novak crashed the private party, along with several of his teammates, out the night before the game looking for a bite to eat near the team hotel.

Woodson gave Novak a glowing introduction, called him one of the greatest shooters on the planet and then turned serious and fined Novak for wearing a T-shirt and jeans to one of the most expensive restaurants in town.

Woodson was joking, of course. And he repeated his "you're fined" routine on every one of the Knicks he ran into that night, including Jeremy Lin, who showed up late by himself, hat on backwards and his earphones near closing time.

"Fined for what?" Lin said as Woodson dropped the punch line on him, moments after announcing his arrival, "Ladies and gentlemen, the King of New York."

Just a few weeks in and you could tell Woodson and this team had already bonded in ways that would produce the sort of results we've seen from the Knicks on the floor. Even with Lin and Amar'e Stoudemire out with injuries, Woodson has driven the Knicks to the brink of a playoff berth with his straight-talk approach and unwavering demand that his guys plays defense, share the ball and play the game the right way.

If the Knicks are smart, they'll make Woodson a permanent fixture in that locker room and in that city, forgoing their usual coaching/character search for a coach with a surplus of character who has already won over the most important group of men involved -- the men in his locker room.

Woodson inherited a fractured bunch with an 18-24 record. That's not the team that will face the Celtics tonight on TNT. That old bunch played through Lin and its biggest stars, Carmelo Anthony and Stoudemire, struggled to find their way in an offense that didn't suit their games.

Woodson has tweaked D'Antoni's offense and demanded the stars and everyone else turn up the defensive intensity. Under D'Antoni, the Knicks averaged 16.1 isos a game and shot 35 percent. Under Woodson, those numbers have jumped to 22.2 and 41 percent, respectively.

Anthony has flourished in Woodson's system, playing his best basketball of the season since the changeover. He's averaging 31.7 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.9 a.ssists and shooting 51 percent from the floor this month and averaging 30.2 point over the Knicks' last 10 games.

Anthony looks like the star Knicks fans thought they were getting when the organization traded away much of its young core for him last season. And he's doing it against the best of the best. He dropped Video 43 points and the game-winning 3-pointer in overtime in a win over the league-leading Bulls two weeks ago and Video lit up the Heat for 42 points in a loss Sunday.

He doesn't have to publicly endorse Woodson, but his play is affirmation that the change is to the liking of the Knicks' biggest star.

And anyone worried about Woodson's no-nonsense style clashing with a team full of diverse personalities -- check the Knicks' roster, they travel from one end of the personality spectrum (Landry Fields) to the other (J.R. Smith) and make stops everywhere along the way -- overlooked his results with the Hawks.

Woodson worked under some of the most dysfunctional circumstances any NBA coach has had in recent years during his six seasons with the Hawks. He inherited a program that was stripped down to the supports when he took over. His first three teams were filled with rookies, veterans playing out the last string of their careers and journeymen role players needed to fill out the roster.

His last three seasons, when the youngsters matured, prized free-agent acquisition Joe Johnson became an All-Star and eventual All-Star Al Horford was plucked in the top three of the 2007 draft, the Hawks took flight. They averaged 46 wins over his final three seasons, making the playoffs each year and compiling a 53-win season in his finale, the fifth-best record in the Hawks' Atlanta history.

When the Hawks decided not to offer him a new contract after a second straight second-round playoff exit, it wasn't about him losing his team or his X's and O's being off. They had new management and the brass decided a tone and philosophical change was needed after six years of Woodson's grinding approach. So Woodson exited having helped resuscitate a franchise only to see someone else (his longtime top a.ssistant Larry Drew) try to finish the job (it should be noted that the Hawks took a step in the postseason but haven't been back to that 53-win level since Woodson's departure.)

Now Woodson has his chance to do the same in New York: finish a job someone else started.

The Knicks are poised to make a move similar to what the Hawks made in Woodson's final three seasons in Atlanta. They'll have all of the distractions that come with playing in New York. And Woodson will spend his time in the blender that is the New York tabloids, despite his desire to remain out of the spotlight.

But they'll also have a coach who has a firm grasp on what it takes to get to the next level, how to manage a locker room full of complex personalities and how to wrestle with the weight of expectations in the same city he began his professional career in as a player when the Knicks made him the 12th overall pick of the 1980 draft. In a strange way, things have come full circle for Woodson.

And while he's not Phil Jackson, John Calipari or any of the other "names" rumored to be on the short list of candidates the Knicks will consider for the job, Woodson is also not full of the bluster or handcuffed to the drama that comes with those "names" either.

What Woodson is, which is much more important than anything else, is the right coach for this Knicks team now and in the future. And you don't need a backstage pass to figure that out.
 6 years ago '04        #8537
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since Amar'e is expected to make his return Friday and i heard from at least one dude on here on how they should bring him back, just thught i'd ask the rest of yous

should he start or come off the bench (for at least the rest of the reg. season)
 6 years ago '04        #8538
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Cornroll Wallace a.ss n*gga
[pic - click to view]

 6 years ago '04        #8539
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Clyde Frazier

"Melo is balling !! Knicks with the knack, can't wait for Stat to come back!!"

that's my Dipset rapper
 6 years ago '04        #8540
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Based Hahn

When he merely rises from the bench and pulls off his warmup shirt, The Garden crowd begins to stir. When he simply catches the ball, the people urge him to shoot.

When it goes in, it is like a religious experience.

So the eight from downtown that he drained (on 10 attempts) against the Celtics in a 118-110 win on Tuesday night -- including a pair of clutch bombs that served as daggers late in the game as Boston was making a push -- had The Garden delirious on a night the Knicks hit 19 three-pointers.

"He is the best three-point shooter in our league, it's not even close," said J.R. Smith, who, himself, had seven and also seems to always know where Novak is on the floor. "People are starting to catch on to it, but not fast enough."

Smith is right. The NBA is now well-aware of the sharp-shooting prowess (and the "Discount Triple-Check" celebration) of a player that was starting to fade from existence five seasons into his career. Novak's emergence as one of the league's most dangerous shooters -- he currently leads the league in three-point shooting percentage (47.2 percent) -- has put him high on advance scouting reports.

The next step for him to make as he attempts to establish this season not as a fluke but a breakthrough is the ability to run off screens and like the game's top snipers do. Mike Woodson has inserted a few plays for Novak and we saw a few run very effectively against the Celtics.

"He had a lot of great looks and he knocked them down," Woodson said. "As we continue to flow and go along, those shots will become tougher because teams, they watch tape and they're not going to leave. So we've got to find ways to get him some looks."

The Heat, for one, stayed glued to Novak throughout Sunday's game and he struggled to get free. The Bulls did the same. Considering that these are the two most likely potential first round opponents for the Knicks, Woodson definitely has to create movement to help free up Novak.

And while his three-ball is what has everyone smitten, Novak is working hard to dispel the cynicism about other areas of his game, including defense. Coincidentally, Woodson is admittedly not a big fan of the three-pointer, but with a weapon like Novak, how could he not utilize him. But Novak can't stay on the court, especially in critical moments, if he is a liability on defense.

It's obvious teams will attack him on offense, so, to his credit (and Woodson's demand) he has put more focus on preparation on that end of the floor. And despite physical mismatches -- he was caught one-on-one with LeBron James and Paul Pierce several times in the last two games -- he has been determined to compete. Against Boston, Novak banged in the low post with the powerful Brandon Bass and came out of it no worse for the wear.

But there's no question this one-dimensional player has a hell of a dimension: shooting. And he has a chance to leave his mark in the Knicks annals with the greatest three-point shooting season in franchise history. Hubert Davis currently holds the all-time highest three-point shooting percentage for a season with 47.6 percent in 1995-96. Novak is right on his tail with five games to go.

He also has a chance to be the first Knick since Campy Russell in 1981-82 to lead the NBA in three-point shooting percentage.

As for threes made, he's far off the franchise season mark, but considering the compressed schedule and his late arrival to the rotation, he's not that far. Novak has 117 three-pointers made in 49 games, which is 2.4 per game and 100 shy of the franchise record for a season. John Starks had 217 in 80 games (2.7 per game) in the 1994-95 season. Consider that Starks played 34.1 minutes per game that season, while Novak has played a little more than half of that: 18.2 minutes per game this season.

OK, so now that we agree that Novak is a keeper, how do the Knicks keep him?

Novak was picked up on waivers from the San Antonio Spurs in December, who had signed him to a pair of 10-day contracts before he was locked up for the rest of the season in 2010-11 and, as a result, given a second year for 2011-12.

The Knicks don't have any Bird Rights on Novak, so he will be an unrestricted free agent this summer. They will be over the NBA salary cap, so the only way to re-sign Novak -- with the understanding that his market value will no longer be as a veteran's minimum player -- is to dip into their two resources: the mid-level exception ($5 million) and, as long as the Knicks are below the luxury tax threshold, the bi-annual exception ($1.9 million).

Now, the Knicks will probably need most of their MLE to re-sign Jeremy Lin, but how much of it depends on what the market demands for the restricted free agent (the Knicks have the right to match). But there is certain to be some competition for Novak from contending teams, as well.

Novak has found a home at The Garden this season. Whether he keeps it a home -- remember, Shawne Williams took the money and ran, too (and who could blame him?) -- remains to be seen.

The team's core of Carmelo Anthony, Amar'e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler are locked up for at least another three years. Lin and Iman Shumpert are also expected to be around for a while. What the Knicks have to do is be creative to build, and maintain, a strong bench. Novak is a big part of that mission.

AMAR'E LOOKS CLOSE (AND DIFFERENT)

As he hit The Garden floor for his rigorous pregame workout routine, Amar'e Stoudemire pulled back his hoodie just a bit and grinned. Along with a clean-shaven jaw and a well-cropped goatee, Stoudemire had his hair in neat cornrows.

It was a throwback look to that of a 16-year-old Stoudemire we saw in a clever time machine ad by the NBA last season.

The Knicks would love to put Amar'e in a time machine, perhaps to December of 2010, when he was arguably the most dominant player in the NBA in a month that saw him break a franchise record with nine straight 30-plus point performances.

This time around, it's now Carmelo who is having a big month and as Stoudemire is poised to return to the lineup (perhaps as soon as Friday in Cleveland?), the talk is less about how Stoudemire will bolster the lineup and more that his presence could mess up Melo's game.

The two have managed to co-exist with mild success on the court, but more often than not the two have not equally thrived at the same time. Mike D'Antoni struggled to find the answer and now it's Mike Woodson's task as the playoffs near.

"I've got to see if this is going to work," Woodson said. "I got to make it work."

The fact of the matter is Stoudemire should not step into the lineup and disrupt the offense because he will be looking to get his body into game condition. The best mentality he can take into the game is to keep it as simple as possible and stick to fundamentals: run hard, box out, rebound and defend. Stoudemire, for now, should have the focus of a role player and, like everyone else, play off Melo.

Then as he gets more and more comfortable, and the injured back appears stable, the Knicks can start working him back in as a go-to option in the offense.

FIXINS

• What, you thought I'd lead with Melo's triple-double? Hey, you never read it in this space that he was dominating the offense too much. Melo is probably feeling as good as he has since training camp began in December and he has really found his game under Woodson. He also doesn't get nearly enough credit for his basketball IQ, which is something Mike D'Antoni used to tell me regularly.

The truth is, Melo sees the floor better than most think. He is mostly a willing passer, but he can be stubborn. When his mind is right, as it is now, he has tremendous court awareness. The Celtics, as Doc Rivers said, paid almost too much attention to him, which freed up the shooters around Melo and he found them. And when Boston defended him one-on-one, he recognized that and scored seemingly at will against whatever physical defenders (he seemed to enjoy the pounding from Sasha Pavlovic and Brandon Bass) they threw at him.

Hey, there's nothing new to Melo finding open shooters. He's been doing it throughout the season. But look back and consider how many wide-open shots the Knicks have missed this season? Would you keep passing to a guy in the corner who has bricked four straight?

"We just made shots tonight," he correctly noted. "Guys were open the way [the Celtics] were guarding me tonight."

For Woodson, the plan should be to find a way to set up Stoudemire as another outlet for Melo to find when double-teams come.

• Jared Jeffries played just 5:39 off the bench which shouldn't be a surprise considering he's playing through serious pain in his right knee, which will almost certainly need surgery in the offseason. In fact, Jeffries, who is wearing a brace to protect the knee, may be told to shut it down again once Amar'e returns to the lineup.

The season is almost over, but the Knicks are still keeping an eye out for potential big man help for the playoffs, be it via the D-League or elsewhere. A free agent is playoff eligible only if he appears in one regular season game, so Knicks would have to have the player in uniform (and on the court) by the season finale on April 26. Veteran Mikki Moore, who has been in the D-League, could be a name on the radar if just to provide needed depth and experience. Knicks would have to cut a player first.

• Baron Davis had a stomach flu in the morning and needed an IV to help him feel good enough to play against the Celtics. Then, he said, in the third quarter he tweaked his balky hamstring. With Jeremy Lin out of the lineup, Davis knows the Knicks desperately need him and therefore he is playing most nights when, in any other situation, he'd be sitting out. With Davis (18:24, scoreless, 1 a.ssists, 2 rebounds, 2 turnovers) at barely a half-tank, the backup point guard situation is precarious, but credit veteran Mike Bibby for coming through against Boston. Bibby played 26:27 and though he recorded just three points, he posted six a.ssists with no turnovers and five rebounds.

• After consecutive games on the exclusive national schedule, we return with the MSG Network broadcast Wednesday night (Knicks Game Night starts at 7 p.m.) when the Knicks play their final game in the state of New Jersey. Despite finding a usually very Knicks-friendly crowd when they cross the Hudson, the Knicks in regular season play are 31-48 all-time against the Nets in Jersey since the franchise moved there in 1977. The Nets played their first NBA season at Nassau Coliseum on Long Island, where the Knicks were 2-0 in 1976-77 (yes, when the Nets are in Brooklyn next season, it won't be the first time the Knicks play the Nets as a New York-based team).

The Knicks have played the Nets in three different sites since the team moved to New Jersey in '77. The first four seasons were at the Rutgers Athletic Center, followed by 21 years at the Meadowlands Arena and then last season (and this one) at the Prudential Center in Newark.

For anyone keeping score, the Knicks are 84-82 in all-time regular season meetings against their rivals since the NBA-ABA merger.
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