New York Knicks

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 4 years ago '04        #9801
Born_Loser|M 98 heat pts98
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Berman

Mike Woodson isn’t changing his lineup, Carmelo Anthony will keep shooting and the Knicks say they will start redeeming tonight.

The Knicks face a genuine must-win Game 2 against the Pacers, who took Game 1 of the second-round series, 102-95, Sunday at the Garden. A loss would put them down 0-2 heading to Indiana, where the Pacers beat the Knicks both times in the regular season.

“We don’t want to do that,” Anthony said after yesterday’s practice. “We want to take care of business on our floor. We felt we gave them a game, which we did. We’ll redeem ourselves [tonight].”

History is against the Knicks, who are 0-5 in playoff series in which they drop the first game at home.

“It’s very critical,’’ Woodson said. “We can’t go back to Indiana down 0-2. We got to do everything we can do to win the game.”

Anthony is shooting an awful 38.1 percent in the playoffs and has shot an even worse 35-of-110 (31.8 percent) in these last four playoff games.

“I feel the shots I’m taking I should still take,” Anthony said. “I feel those shots I can make. I’m going to keep shooting. We’ll be a much better team [tonight].”

Woodson said he will keep Anthony at power forward for now and not make a panic move to a bigger starting lineup. Kenyon Martin raised the possibility after Sunday’s loss that a foul-plagued Anthony is getting beat up on the block and the Knicks may want to match the Pacers’ size up front.

In a switch to a more traditional frontcourt, Martin would start at power forward, Anthony would slide to small forward — away from the Pacers’ burly David West — and guard Pablo Prigioni would head to the bench.

But Woodson’s smallball lineup will live another game.

“Not right now,” Woodson said. “It’s too early in the series. We held our own to start the game. It had nothing to do with who started at the 4 or 5. We came out of the [first] quarter up five points. Melo didn’t get one foul guarding David West.”

Anthony picked up his fifth foul early in the fourth quarter and played through it. Woodson believes Anthony is due for a big game.

“Melo’s played big guys all year,’’ Woodson said. “Last I checked statistic-wise, we’ve been pretty damn good with Melo playing the 4. I don’t see any reason to change it.’’

Last month, Woodson said he might go big against a tall team like the Pacers.

“I’m not saying I won’t do that, I’m saying right now we have just one game under our belt,’’ Woodson said. “And the big lineup to start didn’t cost us the game. I don’t consider Melo small. You guys might. I don’t. Kenyon is no bigger than Melo in term of starting a bigger 4. We’ll gauge it and see how it goes. If we have to make the adjustment, I’ll be the one to make that call.’’

That last line could be perceived as a dig at Martin, who suggested the possibility. Either way, the Knicks can’t play with the same lack of fire as they did Sunday or the season will vanish. The Knicks were hammered on the boards, 44-30, outhustled and outmuscled.

“Everything comes back to the effort,’’ Anthony said. “We can’t get outworked again.”

Anthony, playing with a sore shoulder, shot 10-for-28 Sunday. He’s a stunningly bad 2-for-his-last-24 on 3-point attempts. With his jump shot off kilter, he is forced to barrel to the bucket and isn’t getting the calls. On one foray, Indiana’s 7-foot-2 center Roy Hibbert all but slapped him across the face as Anthony missed a dunk — there was no call.

“I’ve been seeing the same defense all year long,’’ Anthony said. “My shots, I’m not going to overanalyze it or put it under a microscope. It’s just not going in.”

Woodson also believes the offensive scheme needs no adjusting for Anthony.

“We’re putting him in position to drive it, we’re putting him in position where he can make jump shots,’’ Woodson said. “I’m not going to sit here and complain about the officiating. I’m not going to take him out of those positions. We’re putting him in positions to take the ball to the bucket, and that’s what he has to do and hope for the best.’’

Does he get enough respect from the referees, considering he just finished third in the MVP balloting?

“I don’t know,’’ Anthony said. “I guess I got to earn my respect.’’

Starting tonight.
 4 years ago '04        #9802
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Hahn

Closing in on his return, Amar'e Stoudemire explains why he wasn't on the Knicks bench during his recovery:

After his first scrimmage in almost two months, Stoudemire spoke excitedly about finally being back on the court and joining this playoff run.

"I can't take it," he said of the waiting he has endured during two debridement procedures that limited his season to just 29 games.

"That's why sometimes I stay in the back and watch on TV and do some rehab in the back," he said. "Sitting right there on the bench during the game is very hard for me."

Stoudemire still has to pass a few more tests, mainly how his knee feels today after yesterday's extensive workout and how is feels after more work on Wednesday. Mike Woodson said if all goes well, Stoudemire will "probably suit up Saturday."

No one expects the former all-star to make a major impact, but even in spot duty he can provide some needed offense and size off the bench against this big Pacers team. Pairing him with Kenyon Martin in the second unit would give the Knicks a frontcourt scorer when Carmelo Anthony goes to the bench for rest.

What's most important is that Stoudemire has the physical ability to perform in the playoffs after sitting out so much time.

"I have no pain," he said. "Running, jumping, cutting, slashing; I feel explosive. The only thing now is getting my wind back up and see how it recovers."

How good does he feel? Well, STAT (which is a self-labeled nickname that stands for "Standing Tall And Talented") came up with a new acronym for his recovery.

"Fear is False Evidence Appearing Real," he said. "I have no fear at all."

Can Stoudemire, in a limited role, provide a needed spark for the Knicks? I think he can.
 4 years ago '04        #9803
Born_Loser|M 98 heat pts98
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Hahn

Steve Novak on whether he'll play tonight. "Yeah, I think so. If we can get it loose and warmed up, it's definitely

not 100 percent right now. But most guys aren't.'' Novak reiterated he wrenched his back during halftime warmups of Game 5. He hasn't played since. Novak said he still feels it on explosive cuts. Woodson calling it "game-time decision.''
 4 years ago '04        #9804
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FML

Joey Crawford is officiating tonight
 4 years ago '04        #9805
Born_Loser|M 98 heat pts98
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Jared Zwerling

Usually around the midway point of the fourth quarter, Pablo Prigioni knows what's coming: a substitution that will keep him on the bench for the rest of the game.

But that wasn't the case on Tuesday night, with Raymond Felton being tended to on the sideline with a twisted left ankle suffered at the end of the third quarter.

Not only did Prigioni play all but the final 1:23 of the Knicks' Game 2 victory, but he left his fingerprints on nearly every possession, offensively and defensively. His presence as the starting point guard helped fuel the Knicks to a 33-13 advantage in the closing period.

"Raymond went out, he [Prigioni] came in and he stepped up big time," Carmelo Anthony said. "Tonight, Pablo was spectacular on both ends of the court. He controlled the game, he controlled the ball, and on the defensive end, he pressured the ball and he got us getting up and pressuring the ball as a team."

At the start of the fourth quarter, Prigioni nailed a 3-pointer and then drove into the paint for a short jumper, both times working off of screens with Tyson Chandler. Then, when he grabbed a defensive rebound and was bringing the ball up the court, the Garden crowd started chanting "Pab-lo, Pab-lo!" That was the first time his name echoed throughout the arena, and he called it an "amazing" feeling.

"I'm really happy, but for me it's only about the team," he said. "It's not about one guy or two guys. You can't believe how happy I am now. I'm really happy with this team. We played good, and for me the most important thing always is the team."

Further along in the fourth quarter, Prigioni dished to Anthony for a 3-pointer, and then he blocked a 3-point attempt by Paul George, who's five inches taller. That's how Prigioni's been all season: contributing to a score on one end, making a stop on the other. His relentless approach is contagious.

"[The fans] got us going and that was Pablo," Jason Kidd said. "Pablo isn't known as a scorer, but he hit some big shots, and also defensively he came up big. He also put guys in position to be successful, and that's what a point guard does."

Reflecting on the Knicks' major momentum swing in the fourth quarter, which included Prigioni throwing an alley-oop to Chandler for a dunk, the Argentine smiled when he realized he was the spark behind it.

"Yeah, I think that maybe was the key moment," he said. "We started to play good on offense. We get stops, we run and everything started to be on our side."

But more excitement radiated from Prigioni when he was asked what it was like to finish the final period -- something he hasn't been used to doing this season.

"I love that," he said. "I love to be on the court in the important moments because I used to do this in the last 10, 15 years. But I understand here, I have great players on the team, great teammates, so much experience in the NBA playoffs, so I try to give all my energy in the minutes that the coach thinks I must be on the court.

"When I'm on the bench, I try to support the guys and I have nothing to complain about that. Today, I have the chance to play that important minutes, I'm really happy. Maybe the next game, no. But I'm ready to play one minute or 25 minutes."
 4 years ago '04        #9806
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Ian Begley

New York Knicks coach Mike Woodson finished third in the NBA's Coach of the Year balloting. Denver's George Karl won the award and Miami's Erik Spoelstra was the runner-up.

Woodson led the Knicks to 54 regular-season wins and their first Atlantic Division title in 13 years.

Woodson received six first-place votes. Karl received 62 and Spoelstra 24.

Woodson finished ahead of San Antonio's Gregg Popovich and Indiana's Frank Vogel.

Surprisingly, Chicago's Tom Thibodeau finished eighth despite his team's success without Derrick Rose.

A panel of 121 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada voted for the award.

LEAVE WASHBURN ALONE: Boston Globe writer Gary Washburn caused a stir on Sunday when he gave Carmelo Anthony a first-place vote for MVP.

Washburn's vote denied LeBron James the chance to become the first unanimous MVP winner in league history.

On Tuesday, Anthony defended Washburn's decision.

"I don't know why he caught so much flak for that. He has the right to vote for whoever he wants," Anthony said. "LeBron won the MVP. Why's everybody so mad that he didn't win in unanimously?"
 4 years ago '04        #9807
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Berman

Mike Woodson’s patience is running thin with J.R. Smith.

For the first time, the Knicks coach said he will have a quicker hook with the Sixth Man Award winner if his shooting woes continue. Smith’s jump shot has been in the gutter since returning in Game 5 of the first round against Boston after serving a one-game suspension for elbowing Jason Terry.

“If he’s struggling and I feel the need, I got to pull him,” Woodson said on his ESPN Radio show yesterday. “I will do that as head coach.”

Following Tuesday’s victory over Indiana in Game 2

of the Eastern Conference semifinals, Smith admitted, “My shot is lost for now.’’

But his father, Earl Smith, who taught J.R. all his offensive skills, said it’s only a matter of time before Smith starts lighting it up again.

“Shooters shoot. He’ll be fine,” Earl Smith said when contacted at his Jersey home. “A shooter has to keep shooting. You’re open, you got to shoot it. You can’t force a pass or you’ll turn it over. He’s got to keep shooting and taking it to the rack.’’

Smith was 4-of-15 in Sunday’s Game 1 second-round loss vs. Indiana and 3-of-15 Tuesday in Game 2’s victory — the lone down note on a great night for the Knicks.

Following Sunday’s game, Smith issued an angry tweet, writing he was “not clubbing’’ Saturday night, asking fans to stop trying to find reasons for his lost jumper.

A tweet from the official account of the 40/40 club had Smith in the Broadway bar watching the Floyd Mayweather f!ght, causing a Twitter storm. And then there was more gossip reports yesterday that following Game 2, Smith was partying with singer Rihanna at a Manhattan nightspot following his 3-of-15 brickfest.

Earl Smith said he is surprised at the negative reaction.

“My thing is, those people need to get off the computer and let professional athletes be professional athletes,’’ Earl said. “If they want to go out on a Saturday night, who gives a damn? Who cares? How come you don’t hear about LeBron [James] after he loses? You don’t think LeBron went out the other night [in Miami]? Leave the professional athletes alone. They know what they’re doing.

“Everybody likes him when he’s making shots,’’ Earl added. “He’s missing shots now. If he plays like he did [Tuesday] night and they win, I’ll take it. I told him if you play like that and you keep winning, we’ll take it. We’d rather that than he have a great game and they lose.’’

Woodson has shown more patience with Smith than any Knick, but Smith is 15-of-57 in his last four games, and Amar’e Stoudemire, scheduled to return in Game 3 Saturday, could be an added go-to piece off the bench.

“I’m not going to kick him to the curb,’’ Woodson said on his ESPN Radio Show yesterday. “He’s a big part of what we’ve done this season.”

However, Woodson added, “I’ll gauge J.R. as we go along. If I feel he’s not giving me anything, I can always turn to other guys on that bench. I feel good about the guys that come in off the bench.”

Asked how the flaky sixth man would accept a benching, Woodson said, “It wouldn’t be tough. If he’s committed as a player and trying to win this thing, he’s got to understand. It’s coaching. He’ll get another shot. If he’s about team, he’ll understand and wait his turn again.’’

Woodson said he hasn’t pulled him yet because Smith is still defending well.

“He’s missing shots and he’s not playing well from an offensive standpoint,’’ Woodson said. “He’s giving a lot defensively. That’s why he’s staying out there on the floor.’’

The series doesn’t resume until Saturday in Indiana, where the Knicks lost both of their games during the regular season. They were obliterated, 125-91, on Feb. 20. In the first game at Banker’s Life Field House on Jan. 10, the Knicks lost a hard-fought 81-76 game without a suspended Carmelo Anthony.

“I grew up in Indianapolis,’’ said Woodson, who attended Broad Ripple High. “They got great fans. I know what the fans are like in the state of Indiana. Our job is to go in there and figure out how to get one game and flip this series back in our favor.’’

The Knicks, a solid road team this season who took two playoff games in Boston, didn’t have Kenyon Martin on their roster in either outing in Indy.

“We’re road-tested,’’ Martin said. “The Boston series was tough environment and we know we’re going into another hostile environment and got to approach it like it’s the Boston series.’’
 4 years ago '04        #9808
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Berman

Next stop, Stoudemire!

When the Knicks play Game 3 Saturday at Indiana, Amar’e Stoudemire is expected not only to dress but he will get minutes, coach Mike Woodson said yesterday

Stoudemire, coming off his second knee debridement surgery, staged his second 3-on-3 scrimmage yesterday, and he will finish off his trial run tomorrow with a 5-on-5. If he doesn’t get hurt, he will be cleared to play Game 3 by Knicks medical director Lisa Callahan tomorrow afternoon before they fly to Indianapolis.

Though the Knicks were told to report to their practice facility yesterday, the media were not invited to watch Stoudemire’s second scrimmage. His first one didn’t go well as he was outplayed by center Earl Barron.

However, Woodson said on his ESPN Radio show all Stoudemire systems are go.

“He’s working his butt off to get back in uniform,’’ Woodson said. “We’re going to play him. He won’t be able to play big minutes, but we’re going to play him. We expect him to do his part when he’s in the game. It’s just that simple. Amar’e’s a big piece to this team. He tells me and the medical people he’s ready to go come Saturday, we’re going to throw him out there and see what he got.’’

It could be either a great comeback story or a complete disaster. In his interview with the media after his first scrimmage, Stoudemire said, “There’s no fear. I have no fear at all.’’

Stoudemire was on a 30-minute cap limit for the entire season and will be on an even tighter limit this go round. Still, he will take minutes from Chris Copeland and Steve Novak, who made his return in Game 2. He will never be a great defender but they could use his post scoring, especially if J.R. Smith doesn’t snap out of his haze.

“I have no control over my impact,’’ Stoudemire said.

* Woodson finished third in voting for NBA Coach of the Year. The winner was Denver’s George Karl followed by Miami’s Eric Spoelstra.

* Carmelo Anthony commented on the Boston writer who voted him MVP, denying LeBron James an unanimous selection.

“As far as the guy in Boston, I don’t know why he caught so much flak for that,’’ Anthony said. “He has a right to vote for whoever he wanted to. LeBron won MVP, why is everybody so mad that he didn’t win it unanimously?’’

* Perhaps the new Garden “Pab-lo, Pab-lo’’ chants will have an effect on keeping emerging point guard Pablo Prigioni, 35, in a Knicks uniform next season.

Prigioni purposely signed only a one-year deal last July with the Knicks to give him options this summer. Sources said the Knicks wanted a two-year deal, but Prigioni rebuffed them.

Prigioni, because he is technically a rookie, could only sign for the NBA minimum of $473,000. He told The Post in January he still hasn’t made up his mind on returning to the Spanish League next season or remaining in the NBA. The Knicks may have to use part of their mini mid-level exception of $3.1 million to retain him.

Prigioni moved into the starting lineup on March 18, and the Knicks have excelled since. During their 30-2 run Tuesday, Prigioni played a major role on both ends.

“It was his spark that jumpstarted us,’’ Woodson said. “He’s a kid I didn’t know coming into this season — what little I saw of him in London in the Olympics. He’s done more than I can ever imagine a player doing for our ballclub. I didn’t forget Game 6 in Boston.’’
 4 years ago '04        #9809
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Jared Zwerling

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- The New York Knicks have established a playing-time plan for Amar'e Stoudemire, stating that the power forward will play between 10 and 15 minutes Saturday in his return from knee surgery.

Knicks coach Mike Woodson acknowledged earlier this week that Stoudemire, who hasn't played since March 7 while recovering from right knee debridement, could play in Game 3 of New York's Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Indiana Pacers.

Woodson laid out a more detailed plan Thursday after Stoudemire did not experience any setbacks during his recovery.

"It won't be very many minutes," Woodson said. "I'm thinking somewhere between 10 and 15 minutes, if that."

The Knicks also are taking into account Stoudemire's return earlier this season from left knee debridement.

"We have talked about [managing expectations]," Woodson said. "I thought maybe we might have pushed a little too much early on, so we've got to be really cautious this time around -- just to make sure that we're doing the right things with him.

"It's not that we didn't think that when he came back the first time, but this time, we really have got to be cautious. He understands; he has no choice."

Stoudemire doesn't care how much he plays -- he just wants to help the team any way he can.

"It's whatever. It's a matter of will," Stoudemire said. "I can play whatever the coaching staff wants me to play. ... Any time you get on the court, you have a chance to make an impact on the game. So if I'm able to play for Game 3, however time coach Woodson puts me in for, I'm going to definitely contribute."

Stoudemire also believes he can be the same dominant player during the time he's in the game.

"Despite injuries, I still have to work and definitely work toward becoming that great player again," he said. "So as I continue to practice and get in better shape and improve, I should be able to play at a high level."

Stoudemire returned to the court Thursday to take full contact in scrimmaging for the second time this week. The first time was on Monday in 3-on-3 play against his teammates, and then Wednesday was a recovery day with only shooting and conditioning.

On Thursday, he upgraded to 4-on-4 play and continued to look quick and explosive with his low-post moves. Most importantly, he was able to take strong contact down low and finish around the rim.

"Today I felt even better," he said. "I did a lot more today also, so a great sign."

Stoudemire knows it will be a challenge facing Indiana's skilled front court which features Roy Hibbert, David West and Tyler Hansbrough.

"I've been playing against these guys my whole career," he said. "They know me and I know them, so it's going to be a battle regardless of who's out there on the court. We've got to have our focus and our determination. It's going to be a great chance to get out there, so hopefully I'm ready for Game 3."

Knicks center Tyson Chandler can't wait to have Stoudemire back.

"He's been so focused and working on things and really paying attention to the schemes," Chandler said. "We're playing against a good team, big lineups. It's a great opportunity for him to be out there. He'll give us a scoring presence on the block, so we could really use him right now."

Stoudemire said he feels similar to when he returned on New Year's Day, after coming back from left knee debridement. He was able to play about two and a half months straight without missing a game. But there's a little extra excitement this time around as he'll be embarking on his eighth playoff run.

"It means everything to really be able to contribute and contend for a title," he said. "I mean, obviously we have a lot more to go -- we have a game to win in Indiana -- but to be able to contribute, it would be awesome."
 4 years ago '04        #9810
Born_Loser|M 98 heat pts98
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Hahn

#Knicks believe the issue with their offense has more to do with the pace than the Pacers. More:

Indiana's defense has given the Knicks trouble in Games 1 and 3 of this series. Aside from that breakout in the second half of Game 2, which saw a 30-2 run and a 33-13 fourth quarter, the Knicks have allowed themselves to fall into a halfcourt slugfest.

"We're playing too slow," Mike Woodson said.

Despite having the third-best offense in the NBA during the regular season, Woodson's team never was a team that consistently played at a high pace. In fact, during the season they were 26th in the league in pace at 89.8.

But in the playoffs, they've been even slower, at 87.1, which is the slowest among the remaining eight teams.

That's exactly what Indiana wants.

"We've got to get out and run," Tyson Chandler said for the umpteenth time in the playoffs. "I think right now we're not doing a good job getting out on the break. We're walking the ball up the floor, our wings are not busting out. We've just got to get the ball out quick. That's the only way to generate pace."

Chandler is a proponent of an up-tempo attack, but what he doesn't acknowledge is that he could be a difference-maker if he ran the floor harder, too. Roy Hibbert, who has dominated him in the paint, can not run with him. Chandler could effectively take him out of the game by out-running the lumbering big man.

Also, Chandler can help by grabbing more than 4 rebounds per game (his series average so far). The fact that the Pacers have had big efforts on the offensive glass are the reasons why they won Games 1 and 3 and why the Knicks can't get out and run.
 4 years ago '04        #9811
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Berman

INDIANAPOLIS - Carmelo Anthony seemed perplexed by comments made by Tyson Chandler that the club is not sharing the ball enough. The Knicks’ offense was woeful Saturday as they scored 71 points and shot 35 percent in the Game 3 loss to the Pacers.

Chandler made critical comments about the club’s offensive mindset at Sunday’s practice. He also ripped the team Saturday night after the loss, saying the club is “not following the game plan’’ on defense in terms of helping him with center Roy Hibbert.

After Monday’s early practice, Anthony said, “I don’t want to go back and forth with that. I don’t know exactly what he’s talking about. But if he feels that way, we’re about to get together right now amongst ourselves and figure that out and get his take and perspective on that comment. We’ll handle that internally and figure it out among ourselves.’’

Anthony said everything looks bad when shots are not falling.

Sunday, Chandler said, “Honestly, I think we’re doing it to ourselves. I watched the tape myself and there’s open looks. We have to be willing passers. You have to sacrifice yourself sometimes for the betterment of the team, for the betterment of your teammates. When you drive in the paint and you draw, you kick it. I think we need to do a better job of allowing the game to dictate who takes the shots and not the individuals.”

Anthony took three shots in the fourth quarter and 16 in the game, so Chandler could have been referring to J.R. Smith (4 for 12 from floor in Game 3).

“I’m not saying that anybody’s doing it maliciously,’’ Chandler said. “I think it’s more so you get in a situation where you want to take over the game or you want to make a big shot, where you have to just stick to the game-plan. Good teams win basketball games, unless you’re a great, great, great, great individual.”

Woodson said it’s good Chandler aired the criticism publicly about the offensive flow, saying it is something that sometimes is needed.

"I don't get mad at things like that,'' Woodson said. "When there's bickering among each other it's pretty healthy but I don't mean to call it bickering. It's being a good teammate.''
 4 years ago '07        #9812
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let's go.... tonight we turn the series around... Knickstape bi*ches...
 4 years ago '04        #9813
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Berman

INDIANAPOLIS — J.R. Smith missed practice again yesterday and was called “a game-time decision’’ by coach Mike Woodson. But there’s good news on Smith’s health as he was spotted Sunday at about 10:30 p.m. at Steak N Shake.

Smith was seen at the downtown Indianapolis landmark with his brother Chris Smith and Knicks forward James White, who will be deactivated tonight.

Smith was holding a bag of food.

Woodson said Smith is still “sick’’ and he and Kenyon Martin, also with a flu bug, are being quarantined from the team so it won’t spread. Martin also missed his second straight practice yesterday.

Barring a relapse, it’s all but certain Smith will play. He said as much after Saturday’s game but the Knicks will list him as questionable.

“He’ll be fine,’’ Carmelo Anthony said. “I haven’t seen J.R. They’re keeping him away from everybody. I’m pretty sure from what I’m hearing, he’ll be ready for [tonight]. If they got to keep him away from us to make it happen, there’s nothing he doesn’t know about our game plan. It’s just a matter of him getting his health back.’’

Smith also has to get his shot back. Smith was 4-of-12 under duress Saturday to move his five-game playoff ledger to 19-of-69, coinciding with his return from suspension.

Smith, who has been criticized for his late-night carousing in Manhattan before and after the first two games, including with Rihanna, has stopped tweeting on his controversial account. He hasn’t tweeted since May 6 when he denied he was “clubbing.’’ The Knicks have not told him not to tweet.

His brother is doing it for him on his account. Chris Smith, a training camp invitee who tore his patella tendon, is rehabbing with the club and is expected to be on the roster next season if Smith is. In fact, they could be a package deal in an attempt to match another team’s higher offer when J.R. is a free agent. Tweeted Sunday: “Indy is boring as heck. But sometimes you need that in your life in the room watching movies with my big bro @TheRealJRSmith.’’

* Tyson Chandler was voted in as a first-team All Defense — selected by the coaches. Last year, after winning Defensive Player of the Year, he was selected to the second team and called it “ridiculous.’’ His opponent in the series, Roy Hibbert, did not make any of the defensive teams.

Chandler and Joakim Noah finished tied for the fifth spot.

* Woodson said of Martin’s bug: “It’s not that severe, but he’s heading in that direction. We’ve just got to be careful there.”

* Woodson won’t come down on Jason Kidd and his seven-game scoreless streak.

“Guys, he only shoots maybe one or two shots,’’ Woodson said. “I can’t point the finger just at Kidd on making buckets for us. It’s a total team effort.’’
 4 years ago '04        #9814
Born_Loser|M 98 heat pts98
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$42,056 | Props total: 3437 3437
Berman

INDIANAPOLIS — The Knicks are bickering about their impotent offense as they enter tonight’s humongous Game 4 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in disarray.

It’s all going haywire for the Knicks at the wrong time, trailing the Pacers 2-1 in their second-round series. Call them the Bickerbockers.

Carmelo Anthony was perplexed by negative comments made the past two days by center Tyson Chandler.

“I don’t want to go back and forth with that,” Anthony said. “I don’t know exactly what he’s talking about. But if he feels that way, we’re about to get together right now amongst ourselves and figure that out and get his take and perspective on that comment. We’ll handle that internally and figure it out among ourselves.”

Sunday, a day after ripping the defense because the Knicks “abandoned the game plan” and are “playing like individuals,” Chandler took aim at the offense, indicating some are playing too selfishly and not passing the ball. The Knicks scored 71 points on 35 percent shooting in Game 3.

Chandler may or may not have been talking about Anthony, who took just three shots in the fourth quarter of that game and 16 total. But that was how some perceived it. Chandler could have been pointing the finger instead at J.R. Smith (4-for-12) and point guard Raymond Felton (1-for-8). Chandler was the first to tout Anthony as MVP earlier this season and was close to him as an Olympic teammate, but was not happy with Anthony last season during the Melo/Jeremy Lin rift.

The Knicks offense isn’t the only sick case. Smith and Kenyon Martin are being quarantined from the team because of a flu bug and missed their second straight practice. Iman Shumpert has a bruised left knee — the same knee in which he tore his ACL last postseason — and did not practice. He is expected to play tonight.

After ripping the team Saturday for not helping out in guarding Pacers center Roy Hibbert, Chandler said Sunday: “Honestly, I think we’re doing it to ourselves. I watched the tape myself and there’s open looks. We have to be willing passers. You have to sacrifice yourself sometimes for the betterment of the team, for the betterment of your teammates. When you drive in the paint and you draw, you kick it. I think we need to do a better job of allowing the game to dictate who takes the shots and not the individuals.”

Then he added, “I’m not saying that anybody’s doing it maliciously. I think it’s more so you get in a situation where you want to take over the game or you want to make a big shot, where you have to just stick to the game plan. Good teams win basketball games, unless you’re a great, great, great, great individual. We only have a few of those come through.”

Mike Woodson said it was a positive that Chandler aired his criticism publicly, believing he is showing leadership. But there’s plenty of tension.

Chandler, who was named to the All-Defensive First Team yesterday (sharing a spot with the Bulls’ Joakim Noah), walked briskly past a handful of reporters after practice and was on the team bus within seconds.

“Again, I don’t get mad at things like that when you’ve got in-house — sometimes bickering amongst each other is pretty healthy,’’ Woodson said. “I don’t call it bickering. Maybe that’s not the word to use. But I just think he’s being a good teammate. Sometimes it’s good that it comes from within the guys that are on the floor working. I don’t see anything wrong with it.”

Anthony disputes that he is not moving the ball properly or being a ballhog.

“The shots I was taking, I didn’t think I forced anything,’’ Anthony said. “The shots I took, I felt I could make. I’ll continue to take those shots.”

Anthony also denied the club wasn’t unified.

“We’re good as far as mentally and everyone being on the same page, everyone’s staying confident,’’ Anthony said. “We have a lot of heart and we’re not going to fold.”

With Smith in a horrendous shooting slump the past five games and now under the weather, Anthony seems to realize he will have to play like a superstar.

“It all falls on me anyway,’’ Anthony said. “I accept that. I expect that. I look forward to that challenge [tonight]. It’s a must-win for us. I’ll come out a little bit more aggressive because we don’t want to go back home 3-1.”
 4 years ago '07        #9815
I Am The Truth 1 heat pts
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$5,105 | Props total: 645 645
send a prayer up for shump y'all... hope all is well w/ that knee
 4 years ago '04        #9816
Born_Loser|M 98 heat pts98
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$42,056 | Props total: 3437 3437
Steve Serby

INDIANAPOLIS — When the epitaph of this cruel tease of a season is written, it should begin with the utter disintegration and disappearance of J.R. Smith, who was supposed to be Carmelo Anthony’s wingman but was Rihanna’s instead with everything on the line.

J.R. Smith, who from the moment he returned from his suspension for elbowing Jason Terry of the Celtics, has done more than anyone to sabotage the Knicks’ championship dreams and ambitions.

He should have stayed in bed with the flu, and it will be a minor miracle now if he and the rest of the Knicks are not Resting in Peace, possibly as early as tomorrow night.

Only eight teams have come back from a 3-1 deficit in the playoffs, and this sure doesn’t look like it will be the ninth, not at a time when desperate Mike Woodson does not have a clue as to whom to play and when.

Dead Team Walking, walking back to the Garden.

Pacers 93, Knicks 82 was another lowlight tape from The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight, with Smith as the ringleader.

He has gone from Sixth Man of the Year to Sick Man of the Year.

So exhausted is Melo (9-for-23, 24 points) from trying to carry the offense on his back that he went a second straight fourth quarter without a field goal. Batman can’t rule Gotham if Robin is a basket case.

Smith was 7-for-22 last night, counting a meaningless 3 with 17 seconds left, which came after he had missed a layup off the back rim. That makes him 26-for-91 and 6-for-26 from the 40/40 Club.

His best performance, the most accurate he had been all night, came standing at his locker afterward.

“I take the blame for this whole series,” Smith said.

“I’ve been letting my teammates down, I’ve been letting my coaches down, and it doesn’t feel good.”

Give him credit for manning up and facing the music. But he wasn’t brought here to face the music. He was brought here to make a beautiful duet with Melo. He had been battling a virus, and someone wanted to know whether it might still be affecting him.

Smith said: “I don’t make excuses. Other people have been playing through sicknesses and injuries, so I have to be able to step up and do what I do.”

Melo had fouled out with two minutes left, to “Hit the Road, Jack,” and Smith managed to bury a long 3 that made it 86-76 with 1:46 left. But the damage had already been done.

It was late in the second quarter when he drove to the rim , something he has been implored to do by Woodson, and collected an offensive foul. Smith sat disbelievingly under the basket, arms in the air, asking the referee: “What did I do?”

Assistant coach Darrell Walker soon had to virtually drag Smith into the Knicks’ huddle. Smith watched from the bench as the Knicks promptly unveiled their shot-clock violation offense. It was Pacers 48, Knicks 34 at the half. The Knicks were 2-for-14 from downtown. They’d been outrebounded 30-18 — yes, they are also The Gang That Can’t Block Out Straight — in no small part because Smith was 1-for-8, 1-for-5 from the 40/40 Club.

“Everyone’s been encouraging me to keep shooting, keep shooting, keep shooting,” Smith said. “I’m still trying to get to the basket, get to the free-throw line ... even missing layups, too,” Smith said. “It’s just frustrating.”

You live by J.R. Smith, you die by J.R. Smith. And the Knicks are dying by J.R. Smith.

“I want J.R. to shoot,” Melo said. “He can’t take the shots with him. I don’t want him to stop shooting. I want him to stay aggressive.”

The problem is that when Jason Kidd (0 points in 15:46 minutes) and Kenyon Martin (0 points in 28:54 minutes) are on the floor together, the Knicks are playing three-on-five on offense.

Woodson reluctantly went big, starting Martin for Pablo Prigioni, who only played 3:26.

If it works, it’s a stroke of genius. If it doesn’t, it’s a panic move.

It didn’t work.

And it sure doesn’t help continuity.

And it sure didn’t help the methodical Knicks push the pace.

“I haven’t shot the ball well since Game 3 in Boston,” Smith said.

The Knicks have lost five of their past seven playoff games. Do the math.

“Three-for-10 from 3, 7-of-22 from the field, it ain’t gonna get it done,” Smith said.
 4 years ago '04        #9817
Born_Loser|M 98 heat pts98
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$42,056 | Props total: 3437 3437
Berman

INDIANAPOLIS — Knicks center Tyson Chandler emphatically said his critical comments after Saturday night’s game and after Sunday’s practice were not directed at Carmelo Anthony.

“I pulled Melo to the side. I’m a man of my words,’’ Chandler said. “None of the words were directed at him. I didn’t want him to take it like, that. I would never want to cause a problem with any of my teammates in the locker room. I wanted him to understand the comments were directed at the team. Most of the time I’m speaking about myself first. I didn’t want to add any extra pressure to his game.’’

After Game 3, Chandler said the club was “playing like individuals’’ and ripped the offense even more the following day when he said the Knicks were not passing enough and isolating too frequently.

Anthony responded Monday by saying he’d like to talk to Chandler. They did.

Chandler said he “wanted to clear it up.’’

“I wasn’t directing my comments at Carmelo Anthony,’’ Chandler added. “I was directing it at the Knicks. If I had a problem with Carmelo or anybody else, I’d discuss that closed doors, in-house.’’

* Iman Shumpert’s knee scare is over after he took an MRI exam yesterday that showed no structural damage and started last night in Game 4. He had a tough outing, going scoreless on 0-for-6 shooting, including four misses in the first quarter when the Knicks started off 2-of-14. Shumpert was held to just 16:13 of playing time.

“I decided to play him under 20, and it didn’t have to do with anything,’’ coach Mike Woodson said.

Shumpert didn’t attend the morning shootaround and the Knicks put his status as questionable while their team orthopedist, Answorth Allen, flew to Indianapolis to examine Shumpert’s surgically repaired left knee.

Woodson said there was concern yesterday morning because Shumpert’s soreness and swelling had not gone away when he awoke yesterday. By last night, Shumpert reported good news.

“We were just making sure, taking precaution,’’ Shumpert said. “I guess there’s still some swelling, but I feel a lot better.’’

Shumpert’s ACL, which he tore last April, was not a factor. He took two spills in the second half Saturday, one in the third quarter after getting fouled by George Hill. The other came in a scramble for a loose ball with Paul George.

Shumpert started at shooting guard — his preferred position — as Woodson finally elected to go with a big starting lineup.
 4 years ago '04        #9818
Born_Loser|M 98 heat pts98
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$42,056 | Props total: 3437 3437
Berman

INDIANAPOLIS — Carmelo Anthony spoke in a whisper. J.R. Smith took blame for this collapse. Tyson Chandler had no criticism, just praise for the Pacers. Mike Woodson seemed stunned their shotmaking has gone so wayward, so quickly.

The Knicks have sunk in a deep hole, a series deficit from which the franchise never has recovered. The Knicks offense has collapsed — along with their once-promising season. Their first second-round appearance in 13 years is turning into a nightmare.

The Pacers routed the Knicks, 93-82, at Bankers Life Fieldhouse to jack their second-round series lead to 3-1. The Knicks never have rallied from a 3-1 deficit — just eight NBA teams have in history.

“I take the blame for this whole series,” Smith said. “I’ve been letting my teammates down, I’ve been letting my coaches down, and it doesn’t feel good.”

Smith, still playing with the remnants of the flu, shot 7-for-22 for 19 points to extend his miserable slump. In six games since his suspension for an elbow in the first round, he is 26-of- 91.

“I believe, I really believe we can to do something special,’’ Anthony said in a low voice. “We must win [tomorrow] and we got to believe in ourselves. At this point, it’s do or die. No need to hang heads at this. We got to do it being very confident.’’

It took Anthony all the effort he can muster to try to remain optimistic. Game 5 is at the Garden tomorrow, where the Knicks season may end against the tall, burly Pacers.

“We got to put these [past] two games behind us,’’ Woodson said. “We have an uphill climb. It’s still doable. I can’t lose hope.’’

Anthony scored 24 points but went scoreless in the fourth quarter and fouled out with 2:00 left battling for an offensive rebound. Anthony, who shot 9-for-23 after going 0-for-4 in the final period, can’t get enough help as the Knicks were plagued with fouls and couldn’t compete on the boards again.

“I thought our offensive flow wasn’t bad but we couldn’t make shots,’’ Woodson said. “We got to find guys who could put the ball in the hole.’’

The Pacers’ size and strength have proven too much. Woodson started with a big starting lineup, adding Kenyon Martin at power forward, moving Anthony to small forward, but it didn’t help.

Indiana slaughtered the Knicks, 54-36, on the boards to continue a series-long trend. The Pacers collected 16 offensive rebounds, leading to 19 second-chance points.

“They’re pinning their ears — five guys crashing the boards,’’ Chandler said. “For the defense after making the stop, it’s a backbreaker.’’

Chandler and Anthony cleared the air over Chandler’s critical comments about the selfish offense. Anthony claims he wasn’t offended.

“I didn’t take it like he was throwing a jab at me,’’ Anthony said. “Our offense has been [crummy]. We haven’t been effective.’’

Pacers 7-foot-2 center Roy Hibbert wasn’t an offensive threat but rebounded terrifically, collecting 11, with three blocks. Hibbert again was a force in the middle stopping the Knicks’ penetrations.

“The way they play defense, the bigs sit back in the paint,’’ said Anthony, who picked up his fifth foul midway through the fourth and lost his mojo. “We have to have confidence in taking the shots we normally take and make. We’re passing up on open shots. We have to take those shots and be confident taking those shots and knowing you can make them.’’

Jason Kidd went scoreless for the eighth straight game, going a hesitant 0-for-2 in 15:46. He even blew a breakaway layup and was seen chuckling on the Knicks bench. Kidd took away minutes from the benched Pablo Prigioni, who had started since late March.

Amar’e Stoudemire played 11 nondescript minutes in the second game of his comeback, picking up four fouls and four points.

“We haven’t played well since Game 3 in Boston,’’ Kidd said. “We have to just let it fly. Stay tough, stay positive.’’

The ball moved. The ball didn’t go in.

“It’s frustrating to talk about our offense and not being able to score the basketball with the weapons we have,’’ Anthony said.

The greaseboard in the locker room read afterward: “Stay the Course. Win one, change everything.’’

Easier said than done.
 4 years ago '04        #9819
Born_Loser|M 98 heat pts98
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$42,056 | Props total: 3437 3437
Ian O'Connor

INDIANAPOLIS -- The New York Knicks want the ball, but they are not worthy of receiving it. They do not belong on the same postseason stage with their star, Carmelo Anthony, who deserves better than he's gotten from a supporting cast that's too busy crumbling around him.

Down 3-1 after Tuesday night's 93-82 defeat, the Knicks are almost certain to lose their second-round series to an Indiana Pacers team thriving without its best player, Danny Granger, a development that would normally reduce Anthony to the easiest of news media and message board targets, a piñata in a headband.

But this will be a whole new blame game if the Knicks fail to make good on their puncher's chance, fail to take three consecutive sudden-death games from a bigger, stronger and more aggressive opponent. The standard default position -- It's all Melo's doing -- isn't going to cut it this time. Not with Anthony's teammates looking about as comfortable in this series as Sergio Garcia looked on Sunday on the 17th tee.

Only that's exactly what the Knicks are right now -- a team desperate to be saved from itself. Tyson Chandler called for more ball movement after Melo took a grand total of 16 shots in Game 3, called for it after Roy Hibbert made Chandler look Nate Robinson small, and the few extra passes didn't matter in the least in Game 4.

Kenyon Martin went 0-for-3 in 29 minutes. Iman Shumpert, going on a bum knee, went 0-for-6 in a lousy 16 minutes. Jason Kidd and Pablo Prigioni went a combined 0-for-2 in 19 minutes, 16 of them played by the 40-year-old Hall of Famer-to-be who missed a layup and could really use a couple of weeks in the tub.

"We've got to understand we've got nothing to lose at this point," Kidd said.

Nothing but the 2012-13 season, one that will go down as a major disappointment if the Knicks fall to Indiana, and one that J.R. Smith will take to his grave.

"I take the blame for this whole series," said Smith, who shot 7-for-22 Tuesday night, and who has missed 91 of his 137 shots in this postseason.

"I've been letting my teammates down. I've been letting my coaches down."

Just about every Knick could say the same. Woodson made a significant move before Game 4, starting Martin in Prigioni's place and sending a message to Indiana that the Knicks were ready to play with the big boys underneath. If it wasn't exactly Joe Torre benching Tino Martinez, Paul O'Neill, and Wade Boggs for Game 3 of the '96 World Series, it was a nervy call by Woodson all the same.

And he didn't have Torre's touch with it. Not even close. Still slowed by the same bug that got to Smith first, Martin didn't score a point and contributed five rebounds to a Knicks team that grabbed 36, or 18 fewer than the Pacers grabbed.

"We got hammered on the boards again," Woodson said.

They got hammered in every way an alleged contender can be hammered, coach included. Only 29 seconds after Chris Copeland sank a three early in the fourth quarter, cutting the Indiana lead to 10, Woodson inexplicably summoned him to the bench in favor of the returning Anthony, leaving the rusty and ineffective Amar'e Stoudemire (four fouls, four points in 11 minutes) on the floor. Woodson needed offense there, needed to go small with Melo and Copeland, and by the time Stoudemire was subbed out the Knicks were down 16.

Stoudemire and Chandler picked up early, silly technicals, and the Knicks spent too much time and energy complaining about the officials' calls, a losing proposition every time. No longer interested in taking a wide-open shot, Kidd over-passed his way into a 24-second violation at the end of the second quarter. In the third, Indiana's lumbering Ian Mahinmi beat Smith to a loose ball on the baseline he won on pure desire, nothing more.

"I have to play more efficient," Smith said at his locker, disarming the encroaching media mob by ripping himself to shreds. "I have to rebound the ball. One rebound, two rebounds is not enough. Paul George is out there getting 13, 14 rebounds. As a wing player like myself, it's pretty much unacceptable." Losing this series would be pretty much unacceptable, too. The Knicks are the No. 2 seed, the team with home-court advantage, the team expected to face Miami in the conference final, the team with the healthy star in Anthony to operate in ways Indiana only wished the down-and-out Granger could.

But the Pacers are the ones attacking the basket with a purpose; they shot 30 free throws to the Knicks' 14. "They're just pinning their ears back," Chandler said. "It's not just one or two guys; it's five guys crashing the boards, and we have to make them pay for it."

This time around, Chandler was calling for more points on the fast break and for more shooters to knock down open looks. He said that the ball moved better in Game 4, and that he never meant to incriminate Anthony after Game 3 when he campaigned for a more team-centric approach from offenders he didn't identify.

"I wasn't directing my comments at Carmelo Anthony," Chandler said. "I was directing my comments at the New York Knicks."

It was hardly a convincing claim, and chances are Melo didn't totally buy it, either. But the two said they talked and straightened it out, no blood, no foul.

"I didn't take it like he was throwing a jab at me," Anthony said. "Our offense has been s---. He has a right to say that."

Whatever. But after scoring 24 points on 23 shots, some of which he was all but forced to take, Anthony also has the right to ask for a little help here, help he's not likely to get. The team's fundamental (and fatal) flaw is its casting of Smith in the role of best supporting actor, the pseudo-Pippen to Melo's pseudo-Jordan. J.R. just isn't good enough, or consistent enough, to handle the responsibility.

"I want J.R. to shoot," said Anthony, who fouled out with two minutes left. "He can't take his shots with him. I need J.R. to shoot."

He needs J.R. to make them. "I really believe that we can do something special here," Melo maintained.

"I still do believe that we are the better team."

Written on the grease board in the losers' locker room was this message: "Stay the course. Win one, change everything."

Maybe the Knicks can get this series back to a Game 6, maybe not. But if they lose to Indiana in the end, Carmelo Anthony won't be their fall guy. People will understand that even LeBron James, even Jordan, couldn't have carried this sorry supporting cast.
 4 years ago '08        #9820
AC_89 168 heat pts168
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$36,120 | Props total: 8599 8599
Even with jr taking the blame media will somehow still roast melo if we lose this series
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