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Props Slaps
 4 years ago '05        #10741
drama_kiNg 62 heat pts62
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$14,284 | Props total: 675 675
Someone make a game thread
 4 years ago '04        #10742
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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$42,259 | Props total: 3782 3782
Billy Witz

LOS ANGELES — With 8 minutes 54 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Phil Jackson had seen enough. He texted his fiancée, Jeanie Buss, and agreed to meet at the loading dock inside Staples Center where their car would be waiting. The Knicks were losing by 26 points.

“It was awful, huh,” Jackson, the new Knicks president, said with a slight grin as he exited a luxury suite in the corner of the arena and took an elevator down to the floor level.

In a season full of dispiriting losses, this may have been a new low. Clinging to faint playoff hopes, the Knicks were routed Tuesday, 127-96, by the Los Angeles Lakers, one of the worst teams in the league. They fell four games behind Atlanta in the loss column for the final Eastern Conference playoff berth with less than three weeks left in the season.

The low point was the third quarter, when the Knicks allowed the Lakers to put up 51 points, a franchise-record set not by Kobe Bryant, Jerry West or Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, but by Xavier Henry, Kent Bazemore and Nick Young.

“Fifty-one points,” Jackson, in a dark blue suit and a striped tie, said as he arched his eyebrows. “When it’s 35 points you start to get worried. When it’s a 51-point quarter, that’s really awful.”

If the Knicks are trying to make an impression on their new boss, they did not equivocate. It will most likely be the last time he will see them play in person until they return home from the five-game swing west that began Tuesday. Jackson said he had not yet begun to inquire about coaches, scouts or other front office staff he might want to bring in. He is in a.ssessment mode.

“We’re in a talent hunt,” Jackson said. “We have to bring in talent.”

The specter of Jackson floated through Staples Center throughout the day, hanging in the air like the five championship banners he helped the Lakers to as a coach. He still has a large presence in this city and while his courtship with the Knicks played out, there were many Lakers fans who hoped it would prompt the team to bring him back in.

But when Jackson watched a 45-minute workout Tuesday morning from the stands with General Manager Steve Mills at his side, he was in Knicks warm-up gear. As the Knicks arrived by bus, Jackson was sequestered in the visitors’ locker room. Carmelo Anthony, who would score a game-high 29 points, and Tim Hardaway Jr. were among the few players who saw him there. Most were out on the court.

If there was any discussion, it appeared to be small talk.

“He just sat back and observed,” said guard Shannon Brown, who played for Jackson on two championship teams in Los Angeles. “He told us he would check us out tonight, but it wasn’t like last week in New York, when he talked with everybody.”

When the workout was over, Jackson took an alternate exit from the team to the arena’s loading dock, bypassing reporters and leaving in the same Mercedes sport utility vehicle in which he had arrived.

As discreet as Jackson was, his presence permeated throughout the day. It infiltrated questions that were tossed at Knicks Coach Mike Woodson and Anthony before the shootaround. It wove its way into the fabric of Lakers Coach Mike D’Antoni’s pregame news conference.

Most tangibly, it loomed when the game began, one woebegone franchise hosting another, only one of which might be rescued by Jackson, who watched from a suite while Buss, the Lakers president, watched from her customary floor seat across from the Lakers’ bench.

Jackson acknowledged that it was odd to be back in this arena with the Knicks. “It’s a flip-flop, isn’t it?” he said. He said several fans had stopped him and asked for an autograph or to take photographs with him, which he said he appreciated but often declined.

The whole evening had a strange feel to it, from the presence of Jackson, to Anthony missing his first seven shots, to the appearance of the recently released Knicks forward Metta World Peace — a cult figure amongst Lakers fans and a symbol of this season’s unmet expectations in New York — who conducted a radio interview from a courtside seat.

Later, World Peace joined Jackson in his suite, offering his a.ssessment of the Knicks.

“He was very supportive of his former team, the Knicks,” Jackson said. “He thought there were some good players on the team.”

Down on the court, they were not in plain view. The defense was woeful. The offense was stagnant. And the effort flagged. The optimism that was built on the legs of an eight-game winning streak had vanished.

In Jackson’s eyes, it was gone before the Knicks arrived here, lost when they collapsed in a loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday.

“This is just residual depression from losing a game that they were up by 17 points on Sunday,” Jackson said. “It kind of took their hopes away from being in the playoffs.”

In the locker room, the Knicks were in the familiar position of explaining the incomprehensible. Woodson said that “all hell broke loose.” Anthony said the Knicks did not compete. And Tyson Chandler said it was too late for a team meeting.

The man charged with cleaning up the mess did not have any answers, either. But he has only been on the job for a week.

When Jackson exited the elevator, he stopped to use the bathroom. Then he made his way down familiar corridors, through a door and to his car. An attendant held the driver’s door open for Jackson. Buss was in the passenger seat.

What did he have planned for the rest of the night?

“I think I’ll walk the dog,” he said.
 4 years ago '06        #10743
lmnop 122 heat pts122
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$20,854 | Props total: 944 944
the lifestyle is back in full effect:

teams stay setting records on us
 4 years ago '04        #10744
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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$42,259 | Props total: 3782 3782
we Eternal son!!!
 4 years ago '04        #10745
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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$42,259 | Props total: 3782 3782
Berman

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — It was equivalent to a job interview. Metta World Peace, who lives in Beverly Hills, Calif., ran up to Phil Jackson’s Staples Center suite during halftime from his courtside seat for a chat Tuesday night during the Knicks’ 127-96 blowout loss to the Lakers.

World Peace is more than a month removed from a Knicks buyout — one he wouldn’t have asked for had he known the Zen Master was waiting in the wings as team president.

World Peace has told confidants he yearns for a second chance as a Knick after his first stint went sour. When asked if the former Ron Artest wants another shot at New York when he’s a free agent this summer, the confidant told The Post:

“Abso-bleeping-lutely.’’

World Peace spent four seasons with the Lakers — two with Jackson, including winning the NBA title in 2009-10. The defensive forward is seeking a veteran’s minimum deal at $1.4 million. Under the terms of his buyout, The Post reported World Peace received $250,000 of the $1.6 million he had coming. That’s basically the difference between that salary and the veteran minimum he’s hoping to receive.

Phil Jackson is fond of World Peace and has told reporters in the past how it’s difficult to get him off the practice court. Nevertheless, Jackson gave some mixed-bag a.ssessments of the Queenbridge product in his 2013 book, “Eleven Rings.’’

Jackson referred to Metta’s “unpredictability;’’ alleged he tweeted he had signed with the Lakers before the deal was official and they still were courting Trevor Ariza; and wrote though he practiced his jumper religiously, “the only problem was that every day he would shoot with a different style.’’ Jackson said when he pointed it out to World Peace, the player got defensive.

Despite his arthritic knee issues, World Peace told The Post recently he feels he can play two more seasons. He asked for a buyout because he was told not to attempt being a leader in the locker room. The Knicks filled his roster spot with Earl Clark, but since then, didn’t renew Clark’s 10-day deal.

The Knicks, who are 30-42 with 10 games remaining, have clinched a losing record with the loss to the Lakers — a forgone conclusion since the All-Star break.

Carmelo Anthony, who never has missed the playoffs, also never was on a team with a losing regular-season record — until now.

“I’ve never been in that situation before, especially coming off of a 50-something plus win season,” Anthony said before the Knicks’ 107-99 win over the Kings. “We were hoping that we could build off that momentum that we had last year and knowing how good it felt to start something by winning 54 games. Now to have 29 wins, the tables have turned.”
 4 years ago '07        #10746
Funeral James 24 heat pts24
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$16,469 | Props total: 378 378
Artest career is done resigning him would be a mistake that our former front office would make. It's time to move forward there's plenty of other decent free agents available.

#NoMoreWashedupRolePlayers
 4 years ago '04        #10747
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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Berman

PHOENIX — Carmelo Anthony entered this season believing the Knicks could at least repeat as the Eastern Conference’s second seed. But after all the turmoil and losing, Anthony now says if the Knicks can somehow beat the odds and sneak into the playoffs as the eighth seed, it could wipe out a lot of the bitterness of 2013-14.

While some teammates may be more ambivalent, nobody is pushing the Knicks harder to make the postseason than Anthony.

Anthony has got a vested interest on many levels: 1) He has never missed the playoffs in his prior 10 seasons. 2) It will give him hope that perhaps the club isn’t so far away as he mulls free agency. 3) A postseason berth will prevent his former team, Denver, from picking in the lottery in this draft — the last piece to the blockbuster trade that brought Anthony to New York.

Asked if his view on the campaign would change if the Knicks made the playoffs, Anthony said, “Absolutely. Nobody really looks at the regular season. It’s over with. Everybody starts 0-0. Our goal is to get there.’’

If they get there, the Knicks will have a sub-.500 record. Even if they run the table in the final 10 games, the Knicks would finish 40-42.

“I’ve never had a losing record before,’’ Anthony said. “This year has been a very challenging year mentally, emotionally for me. I still find ways to remain positive throughout the situation and try to win basketball games. Through the whole season, we still have a chance to get in the postseason.’’

Anthony said new president Phil Jackson gave him a bit of a pep talk at the team’s morning shootaround at Staples Center before the Knicks faced the Lakers Tuesday, but their brief chat wasn’t related to his future. While Jackson has seemed nonplussed on whether the Knicks get in, he prodded Anthony.

It was the first time Anthony and Jackson, the two stars of the organization, spoke beyond introductions. They were holed up in the locker room for several minutes while the rest of the Knicks and coaching staff were on the court.

“He told me to get ready and play and try to finish out the season strong,’’ Anthony said. “We talked about him [relocating] to New York, him coming back from LA. The weather. A lot of generic.

“We haven’t had a tea party yet.’’

The roughest part of the Knicks’ five-game, make-or-break Western trip arrives Friday night against the Suns (43-29), who are vying for the eighth seed in the West. Then come the powerful Warriors (44-27) on Sunday. If the Knicks lose both, they’re wrecked.

The Knicks (30-42) trail the Hawks by 1 ¹/₂ games after Atlanta’s 100-85 loss to Portland on Thursday night. The Knicks’ April schedule, however, is beastly, with a game in Miami, two against the Nets and one each versus playoff teams Chicago, Toronto and Washington.

Perhaps for his résumé, coach Mike Woodson wants a playoff spot badly. The only shot for Woodson returning is getting in and perhaps upsetting the Pacers in the first round.

“I’ve been to [the playoffs] the last four or five years now, and to be home watching it on TV is not going to be any fun,” Woodson said. “So I’m desperately pushing these guys to try and get in there, because then a new season starts and anything is possible.”

Jackson will wait before he takes the temperature of Anthony’s view of the roster. Jackson has already hinted he wants to make substantial changes, saying the club is “in a talent hunt,’’ but he won’t have a lot of flexibility until 2015. Not only don’t the Knicks have their first-round pick, they are without their second-round pick too.

The chance of Anthony returning has increased significantly with Jackson aboard. Interested parties, the Rockets and Bulls have to get under the salary cap first before making a legit play for Anthony. The Clippers could only do a sign-and-trade, and the Lakers still aren’t certain Anthony makes sense with their cap space as a tandem with Kobe Bryant.

Plus, it’s hard to imagine Lakers president Jeanie Buss would want to steal Anthony from the Knicks and Jackson, her fiancé.

As team spokesman, Anthony has attempted to show leadership during this trying season and gave stirring remarks after the debacle against the Lakers about the Knicks taking out their “anger’’ on the Kings.

The one gaffe he has made this season was talking too much about his free agency and his future — which could have come off as not being in the moment to teammates. However, one of Anthony’s character traits is being too congenial; he almost never shoots down a reporter’s question.

Anthony seems on board with Jackson and nobody is f!ghting harder for a playoff berth.
 4 years ago '07        #10748
KnicksLost 17 heat pts17
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$47,257 | Props total: 1609 1609
2 games back we cant fu*k this up
 4 years ago '04        #10749
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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$42,259 | Props total: 3782 3782
 knickslost said:
2 games back we cant fu*k this up
1 1/2
 4 years ago '04        #10750
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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Bogut & Great White Hope won't play for the Warriors tonight but that doesn't mean sh*t with this bipolar a.ss team













WE STILL IN HERE
 4 years ago '04        #10751
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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$42,259 | Props total: 3782 3782
Berman

SAN FRANCISCO — When Steve Mills became Knicks president four days before training camp, he vowed to make every road trip, attend every practice, listen in on every coach’s meeting. Coach Mike Woodson welcomed it.

Phil Jackson is no Steve Mills.

I’m sure we will read in Jackson’s next leadership book on the Zen Buddhist teachings on why he decided to mostly to stay away from the team in the first two weeks of his new job as Knicks team president.

As the leader-less Knicks embarked on the Bay Area to face Golden State on Sunday with their playoff hopes hanging by a thread, Jackson was down the coast in La-La land.

The Zen Master blew off the rest of the five-game West Coast trip after the Knicks opened with their embarrassing 127-96 loss to the Lakers. The club will finish off in Utah on Monday.

The Knicks will face coach Mark Jackson’s Warriors in Oakland, where the native New Yorker is rumored to be on the way out with no contract-extension talks in the works and a recent feud with a.ssistant coach Brian Scalabrine.

Mark Jackson could be available in the offseason to set up a Jackson & Jackson tandem. But it says here the egos are too grand for the two ex-Knick players to make something work. Phil may want to mold his own coach such as Steve Kerr. Either way, Phil won’t be at Oracle Arena to take the temperature of the Oakland controversy.

There will be no consorting with players or coaching staff imparting his wisdom during these desperate times. No schmoozing with opposing team’s front-office personnel or agents that he needs to get to know.

No lecture to the players on Buddha’s Noble Eightfold Path he has used with the Bulls and Lakers as a refresher course to selfless basketball. He will save it all for next season’s team, his team.

With nine games to play, the Knicks trail the fading Hawks by 1¹/₂ games. Atlanta lost 101-97 to the Wizards Saturday night.

“There’s no more talking,’’ Carmelo Anthony said, not worried about Phil’s whereabouts. “We got to go out and play ball. Either we want it or don’t.’’

The Knicks didn’t seem to want it in Phoenix on Friday when potential 2015 signee Goran Dragic destroyed them.

“I just keep hearing [Atlanta] keeps losing,’’ Anthony added. “As long as they keep losing, we got to keep winning. But we can’t control what they do. We only can control what we do and we didn’t [Friday].’’

Jackson was spotted the other night leaving a posh Los Angeles restaurant with his fiancée, Lakers president Jeanie Buss.

“I’m happy he’s found something he really wants to do,’’ Jeanie told the cameras.

Jackson was asked if there’s any chance taking over the bench.

“Can’t do it,’’ Jackson said. “Part of my physical [in]capabilities.’’

Jackson is expected to need another knee replacement surgery. But his health seems a curious excuse for him to be absent now.

“I will be accessible,’’ Jackson said at his press conference 10 days ago. “I am going to be removed.’’

So far he’s been removed — “InvisiPhil.’’ Jackson attended the Knicks’ shootaround at Staples Center on Tuesday, spoke briefly with Anthony in the locker room — mostly chit-chat. He didn’t talk to another player or coach, taking a seat courtside with Mills and a.ssistant general manager Allan Houston.

Asked if he has had a conversation with Jackson, Stoudemire said, “He’s still trying to figure out the lay of the land. No pressure having a sitdown at this point. Eventually I’ll have that sitdown.’’

Perhaps Jackson doesn’t want to get attached to players he wants to try to shuttle out this summer, even if getting to know them better should be part of the evaluation.

This is new territory for Jackson. He’s getting paid $12 million a year for five years with no presidential experience.

Jerry West said running a team is “a difficult’’ job. Mike D’Antoni, before his Lakers destroyed the Knicks at Staples Center on Tuesday, said Jackson’s excellence as coach doesn’t mean it will translate to president.

Jackson was at the Knicks-Lakers game but wasn’t there. He snuck into the arena, sat hidden in an upstairs suite — undetected until the second period. He wasn’t with the team after the game, leaving before the final buzzer but not without calling them “awful.”

No matter what lips service he paid at the press conference to making the playoffs, his actions speak of ambivalence. In two games on the trip, in Los Angeles and Phoenix, the players have been ambivalent on defense, allowing 129 and 112 points, respectively.

If Anthony stays because of Jackson, he will have earned part of his $60 million. Jackson is expected in New York for the Knicks’ return vs. Brooklyn on April 2.

There’s an old saying: “Showing up is half the job.’’ If he genuinely cared about the Knicks making the playoffs, he would be in Oakland tonight with his desperate team being the Zen Master.
 4 years ago '04        #10752
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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Ian Begley

Not that you needed any hints, but earlier this week Phil Jackson made it clear that the Knicks plan to be major players in free agency when he said the organization is "in a talent hunt."

Naturally, one of the players the Knicks will try to pursue is Kevin Love.

Love will be a free agent in the 2015 offseason.

Zach Lowe reported recently that the Wolves -- at this point -- have no plans to trade Love before he hits free agency. The Timberwolves' stance could change, though, if they get the inclination that Love is ready to sign elsewhere.

Marc Stein also reported that the Los Angeles Lakers, which have long been rumored as a prime destination for Love, would be willing to deal their 2014 first-round pick to obtain Love. The Lakers also could save cap space for the following offseason and make a run at Love in the summer of 2015.

The 25-year-old Love has ties to Los Angeles. He went to UCLA for one season before entering the NBA Draft. His father, Stan, also played for the Lakers.

But, according to ESPNLosAngeles.com' Dave McMenamin, Los Angeles isn't the only big market that has a chance to land Love.

A source familiar with Love's thinking told McMenamin that Love is "enamored with the idea of being 'big time in a big city,' and that list of potential places he’d seek includes New York and Chicago, as well."

So how would Love fit into the Knicks' plans?

If they sign Carmelo Anthony to a max deal ($24,142,7891), the Knicks are expected to have five players under contract at a total salary of $39,492,533 entering the 2015 offseason.

So, in theory, they will have enough room to sign Love in the summer of 2015 if he makes it to free agency.

When thinking about Love-to-the-Knicks in 2015, it’s worthwhile to consider the following issues:

1. Would the Knicks be better suited going after a point guard? Or is a top-flight PG less necessary in Jackson’s triangle offense?

2. a.ssuming Anthony re-signs with the Knicks, would he and Love being able to play off of one another? Both players have a comfort zone on the left side of the floor? Is this another issue that can be worked out via the triangle offense?

These are issues that the Knicks won’t have to face for a while. Plenty can change between now and the summer of 2015. In the meantime, they can take comfort in the idea that Love is looking to play in a big market.
 4 years ago '04        #10753
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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tied for the 8th seed BUT Hawks still own the tiebreaker
















but who cares, WE IN HERE
 4 years ago '08        #10754
AC_89 196 heat pts196
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$38,939 | Props total: 13162 13162
Hope indy ends up in that 1st spot
 4 years ago '04        #10755
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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Based Hahn

#Knicks have won 12 of their last 15 games. They’re 12-4 since Woodson moved Amare Stoudemire and JR Smith into the starting lineup.
 4 years ago '04        #10756
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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Jonah Ballow

We all know Carmelo Anthony is a supremely gifted scorer and arguably the most prolific isolation player in the league. After a season primarily suiting up at the power forward spot, Anthony knew he needed to add another dimension to his game amongst the big boys in the painted area.

One aspect to the box score Anthony rarely receives credit is for his work on the glass. This season, the 29-year old is averaging almost two more rebounds than his career average and a career-best 8.2 boards per game.

“After last year, I knew we played small. So, in order for us to get out in transition and get easy baskets, I had to rebound the basketball, so that was an emphasis of mine coming into the season,” Anthony revealed.

Anthony is the top rebounder when examining the small forwards in the NBA and second to P.J. Tucker in the offensive rebounds per game category. As a power forward, Anthony is tied with Paul Millsap for 12th in the league. On a team that has dealt with major injuries to frontcourt players, the significant rebounding production from Anthony is a necessary component, especially for a New York squad that ranks 27th in rebounds per game.

“It’s been great. It’s something that he has wanted to do ever since last year. He said he was going to come in and be a more aggressive rebounder. You know, he can score with the best of them, if not the best, he’s just adding a couple more things to his game that he always has but just adding a little more effort to his rebounding,” Raymond Felton acknowledged.

SportsVU data tells us that Anthony grabs 71.9 percent of rebounds per chance. This impressive number is slightly above the league leader in rebounds, DeAndre Jordan.

“It really helps because he generates extra shots; he’s a big body and a force down there, which opens it up for a guy like myself,” Tyson Chandler stated.

In a relatively injury free season, Anthony has played 73 games while enduring the physical rigors of playing on the frontline. He’s the second-best scorer in the league this season next to Kevin Durant, hits at a 41percent clip from the 3-point line, and snatches over eight rebounds per game, three metrics rarely accomplished by elite NBA players.

“It helps us tremendously, especially when he can play the 3 or the 4,” Iman Shumpert explained. “He’s rebounding from either position; it’s a big help for us.”

A clear indication of Anthony’s focus on the rebounding aspect of the game is the dramatic increase in double-doubles this season. Through 73 games, the 7-time All-Star has registered 22 double-doubles, a staggering jump from the 10 he posted during the 2012-13 campaign.

As much attention as Anthony receives for his spectacular offensive skill set, he should earn some praise for his work on the glass.
 4 years ago '04        #10757
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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Ian Begley

NEW YORK -- Tyson Chandler raised some eyebrows earlier in the week when he said that the Knicks could cause “trouble” in the playoffs ... if they get in.

"I always thought that we'd have a chance to really make it to the playoffs. And I still believe that if we get in there somebody is going to be in trouble," Chandler told reporters in Utah on Monday night.

After Wednesday’s win over Brooklyn, Chandler and the Knicks may have a few more believers.

“Without a doubt,” J.R. Smith said when asked if others in the locker room agree with Chandler. “The way we’re playing, especially on the defensive end -- making plays, moving the ball, making shots -- we definitely feel that way.”

For those who have been paying attention for most of the season, the idea that the Knicks can make noise in the postseason seems like a longshot.

Afterall, we’re talking about a team that started the season 3-13 and was 6 & #189; games out of eighth place as recently as March 3.

But the Knicks have reeled off 12 wins in the past 15 games, surging into sole possession of eighth place in the East. That run has coincided with Mike Woodson inserting J.R. Smith and Amar'e Stoudemire into the starting lineup.

Over that 15-game span, the Knicks have averaged 112.8 points per 100 possessions. That’s seven points higher than their season mark. Extrapolated over a full season, it would give the Knicks the top offense in the NBA.

On defense, New York is allowing 106.2 points per game. That’s right around its rate for the season and would rank in the bottom third league-wide. But the Knicks’ differential of +6.7 is nearly eight points higher than their season average.

In other words, they’re playing extremely well over the past 15 games.

Given what you’ve seen from the Knicks over that span, do you agree with Chandler? Can the Knicks be “trouble” for their first-round opponent, whether it’s Miami or Indiana?

Up Now: The Knicks beat the Nets by 29 points to take over sole possession of eighth place in the Eastern Conference.

Carmelo Anthony says the Knicks can control their own destiny if they continue to play the way they've been playing over the past three weeks.

Raymond Felton vows to play on Friday despite a contused rib and back bruise.

What's next: The Knicks will play the Wizards on Friday.

Question: Given what you’ve seen from the Knicks over the last 15 games, do you think they can be “trouble” for their first-round opponent, whether it’s Miami or Indiana?
 4 years ago '04        #10758
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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and i agree with Berman, if Timmy doesn't have a spot on the 1st NBA All Rookie Team
 4 years ago '04        #10759
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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Ohm Youngmisuk

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Knicks president Phil Jackson said Thursday that Carmelo Anthony has been bearing a lot of pressure on his shoulders -- and it doesn't have to do with the star player's future.

Jackson said he has had discussions with Anthony over the past two weeks and noticed Anthony feeling the bulk of the burden of the team's topsy-turvy season.

"We've had a couple occasions to talk," Jackson said at the team's practice facility. "We haven't really delved into the future as much as what's gone on, getting to know each other type of thing. Trying to see how he's feeling about playing.

"He's had to carry a big load. It's been a tough year for him. But it's been a tough year for everyone. It's not just isolated with him. But I think he feels the weight of it a lot more on himself."

Jackson has been a.ssessing the Knicks (33-43) and he's seen them go on a tear of late, winning 12 of their past 15 games and climbing into the eighth and final Eastern Conference playoff spot by percentage points ahead of the Atlanta Hawks (32-42).

Center Tyson Chandler has repeatedly said that if the Knicks make the playoffs, teams won't want to face them in the first round. Jackson agreed.

"Well, with J.R. [Smith] playing at the level he's playing at now, yes," Jackson said. "When Carmelo had to carry the load in scoring, a lot of times on his own back, and other people weren't stepping into helping him carry that load, which Amar'e [Stoudemire] and J.R. have done, it could be a struggle. But now they have more than one option out there on the floor, and I think that we'll give teams trouble."

Jackson said he plans to be at every playoff game if the Knicks qualify.

As far as Anthony is concerned, Jackson already has made it clear he wants the prolific scorer back. Anthony plans to opt out of his contract and become a free agent after the season. Dealing with the All-Star's future will be Jackson's first major decision as team president. Anthony has expressed his excitement of having Jackson rebuild and lead the franchise.

Jackson is slowly immersing himself in his role. He has spent his first couple of weeks on the job talking daily with general manager Steve Mills and having occasional conversations with players. Jackson said he also recently met with the scouts in the organization to discuss future prospects and what they've seen from the NCAA and NIT tournaments.

"Well, yes, it's on the docket," Jackson said when asked how much he has been involved with the Knicks on a daily basis. "Having to check in and see what the team's doing and see what's the health situation with the players.

"I think you're always a.ssessing the team and the players and how they fit together and what's the mood," Jackson later added. "Who's not playing up to the level you want to see them play at, and who can produce more if they get an opportunity. So those are ongoing things. But we have an a.ssessment at the end of the year that kind of synthesizes all that and then we can go forward from there."

Team owner James Dolan said after hiring Jackson that fans should not be surprised if Jackson is able to make some moves for next season despite the Knicks' lack of salary-cap flexibility. The team is expected to have cap space to make significant moves after next season.

Jackson also said that the franchise's strong ties to Creative Artists Agency -- which represents Anthony and several other Knicks players and executives -- will not restrict him from making moves to improve the roster.

Pointing out a play made by Anthony during a recent game against Sacramento, when he drew the defense in and found Stoudemire for a dunk, Jackson intimated that Anthony has a chance to emerge as a leader.

"Carmelo's really stepped into another level of trying to help players," Jackson said. "I think that's one of the things that we see that Carmelo can do and that he's grown as he's gone along. Those are issues that are not only on the basketball court. They're off the basketball court, they're in practices, they're in the training room, in the locker room, where players learn to lead and push the team forward with their energy.

"And I've been fortunate to have coached two of the great ones who have been able to do that in Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant," Jackson added. "But there have been other players, too. There's not just those players that do that. There are other players that have to be leaders on your team, and that's what we have to a.ssess as we go forward."
 4 years ago '08        #10760
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