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 4 years ago '09        #11381
59fifty 
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Word I feel u but it made last night victory that much sweeter
 4 years ago '04        #11382
Born_Loser|M 101 heat pts101
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Begley

The New York Knicks have declined to pick up point guard Shane Larkin's third-year option. They've also decided against offering Iman Shumpert a contract extension. Both moves are yet another indication that the organization hopes to add significant talent in free agency this summer.

The two moves became official at midnight on Friday, which was the deadline to both extend and pick up options for players on their rookie contracts. Now that his option hasn't been picked up, Larkin will become an unrestricted free agent this summer. Larkin can still re-sign with the Knicks but only for up to the amount of the option that was declined, which is $1,675,320.

Shumpert likely will become a restricted free agent, a.ssuming the Knicks make him a qualifying offer by June 30.

Deciding against extending Shumpert and declining Larkin's option are both risks. Larkin and Shumpert could have strong seasons and end up signing with other teams in free agency.

Obviously, that's a risk the Knicks are willing to take. It is also another sign that the organization is making free agency in 2015 and 2016 a top priority. Had they opted to pick up Larkin's option or extend Shumpert, the transaction would have eaten into their cap space in the summer of 2015 and, in Shumpert's case, 2016.

With the contracts for Amar'e Stoudemire and Andrea Bargnani set to expire, the Knicks are expected to have enough cap space to sign a max-salary player this summer.

Marc Gasol, Greg Monroe and Rajon Rondo, among others, are expected to test the market in the 2015 offseason.

Depending on how the Knicks spend their money this summer and how the new TV contract impacts the salary cap, New York might be able to chase max free agents in the summer of 2016, when Kevin Durant is expected to be available.
 4 years ago '04        #11383
Born_Loser|M 101 heat pts101
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Berman

Knicks president Phil Jackson stayed away from the shores of Lake Erie on a historic Thursday night in Cleveland. It was LeBron James’ Homecoming Part 2, but it also turned into the night Derek Fisher became his own man and own coach — never again to be classified as Jackson’s puppet.

From an evening dedicated to King James emerged “The Fisher King’’ and his first victory as an NBA head coach. There was so much to like about Fisher’s unconventional approach to facing the Cavaliers, using 11 different players in the first 13 minutes. Fisher loudly proclaimed through actions his rotation has no boundaries, and he made hard decisions with established players on minutes.

We all know about the flowery rhetoric that flutters from Fisher’s lips, as a player, union president and since accepting Jackson’s offer in June. The athletic director at Arkansas-Little Rock thought Fisher, as a student, would wind up as governor of Arkansas or a state senator.

Well, this budding state senator who lists Bill Clinton as one of his compadres can coach, too.

“I thought about how fortunate I am to be in this situation in life where you go to work and this many people are excited about what’s going to happen on the court,’’ Fisher said when asked about the electric night’s festivities. “It was a fun night, and obviously we feel better about getting the win, but we’ll enjoy it for a few hours and by the time we get back into the city, we’ll get ready for Charlotte.”

Fisher made all the right moves in deploying nearly his whole roster. Third-string center Cole Aldrich, who showed ruggedness in fourth-quarter garbage time in the season-opening horror against Chicago, got rotation time; undrafted free agent Travis Wear, a long shot to make the roster, was asked to defend James in the early going; Fisher rolled with Quincy Acy as starting power forward just as he rolled with him in preseason, sticking with his convictions and moving Amar’e Stoudemire back to a reserve role.

Fisher kept Anthony, who had four fouls, out for the first six minutes of the fourth quarter — a delicious move that had him springy down the stretch.

Fisher benched starting center Samuel Dalembert for the final three quarters after playing just 5:34, figuring he couldn’t affect the game with a sore left calf. He held down former rookie sensation Tim Hardaway Jr.’s minutes to 4:45 in a bold maneuver that bears watching. Hardaway was awful on both ends in the season-opening blowout loss to Chicago.

What made Fisher’s night even more special was how he started his postgame press conference. The first question: “What stood out about tonight?’’

There were dozens of different ways Fisher could have responded after the Knicks spoiled the Homecoming King’s night and quieted The Q. Fisher got contributions from all over the place.

Instead, this is how Fisher answered: “Tim Hardaway Jr. He played four minutes, and the level of support and commitment to his teammates and how involved he was in the game, although he wasn’t in, says a lot about him and who we are trying to become. It was a great team win tonight.’’

Some mocked Fisher afterward for the silliness of citing Hardaway’s cheerleading role after this stunning win. Mark it down as Fisher’s first move in attempting to massage the big egos found on every NBA roster, no matter how strange that sound bite seemed. No mention or barb at Hardaway’s recent poor play. Yes, Fisher is no Jackson, who recently published a pointed scouting report on each player, citing Hardaway doesn’t finish well with his left hand.

The triangle offense was pilloried from every angle after the season-opening 104-80 bust against Chicago. But Fisher still had his team believing the following night. J.R. Smith said when the team watched film in the Cleveland hotel, there was a lot of chatter, a lot of players voicing opinions about the viewing.

“We showed a high level of trust and confidence in each other,’’ Fisher said. “If they just execute the basic things we’ve been teaching them and working on, things will work out. We showed a lot of patience and composure and those are the things that we need as we move through this season. We won’t always play perfect and win games going away, so to be able to win a close game on the road this early in the season is a good way for us to get back to work and start looking ahead to Charlotte.’’

Fisher probably started Stoudemire on opening night for political reasons, knowing the six-time All-Star was confused by his preseason bench role. It was a mistake. Fisher grew as a coach in Cleveland. He played Wear in the first quarter to defend James in a game on national TV. That’s guts. That’s also sending out the stern message nobody’s job or role is safe.

Fisher is already an orator. Thursday in LeBron’s house, The Fisher King became a coach.
 4 years ago '04        #11384
Born_Loser|M 101 heat pts101
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Berman

The only thing that could have made it sweeter for Carmelo Anthony was reaching the 20,000-point milestone at Quicken Loans Arena in the process of spoiling LeBron James’ and Northeast Ohio’s party Thursday night.

As it turned out, Anthony’s 25 points left him three shy of joining the 20,000-point club. He’ll be expected to do it instead at the Garden on Sunday early in the Knicks’ game against the Hornets, becoming the eighth active player to be in that elite company and 40th overall. Current luminaries Dirk Nowitzki, Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Vince Carter and James already are there. Figure on the Garden making sure the moment is commemorated.

Thursday’s game was supposed to be James’ Cleveland coronation, but it turned into Anthony’s revenge instead, as he outdid his buddy and rival, dating back to their high-school days.

Anthony punctuated the evening with a game-sealing, left-baseline fallaway over James’ outstretched hand with 26 seconds left. It was hardly the triangle system, but Anthony is aware he must know when to freelance. The question will be when and where.

“I got to believe in it,” Anthony said after the 95-90 stunner. “Which is one of the reasons I wanted to come back. To embrace in and believe in the system. It worked for us tonight. [Wednesday’s loss to Chicago] was kind of a shocker. They threw something at us we never seen before and we’ve adjusted to that.’’

There used to be a greater buzz about Anthony always getting the best of James, all the way back to scholastic contests. That storyline disappeared last season, wiped away completely last April in Miami in their previous meeting, when Anthony refused to shoot in the fourth quarter of a must-win contest.

Anthony was ailing with a bum shoulder, out of rhythm (shooting 4-for-17) and decided to be a decoy in a stinging defeat that ended the Knicks’ late bid for a playoff spot. James, meanwhile, was a runaway freight train in racking up 38 points on 22 shots.

Anthony’s late-game heroics were missing all last season, when his final-minute numbers in close games were abhorrent. Anthony was 0-of-8 in the final 10 seconds of games that were within three points — 1-of-13 in the final 30 seconds.

It was a stunning aberration after Anthony developed a reputation as a clutch late-game shooter in Denver. The theory was coach Mike Woodson played him too many minutes and he had no legs left at the end of games.

Then came Thursday in Cleveland, when Anthony wound up owning King James’ building for one night, with coach Derek Fisher getting an a.ssist, too.

After Anthony committed his fourth foul Thursday night in the final seconds of the third quarter, Fisher used the situation to give Anthony a big break, keeping him out until there was 6:30 left. Fisher could do so because the five on the floor were functioning well.

With the extra rest, Anthony came in fresh, promptly sank a 3-pointer and scored nine fourth-quarter points, including the clincher. Anthony played a modest 34:20.

Anthony’s game-winning three-point play against Washington nine days ago in the final seconds was a confidence booster, even though it was preseason. In last season’s second game, Anthony missed a potential game-winner in Chicago and it set a bad tone.

“It was our mental strength,’’ Anthony said. “We stayed the course. We willed our way to this one.’’
 4 years ago '04        #11385
Born_Loser|M 101 heat pts101
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Berman

When Knicks coach Derek Fisher decided to start Jason Smith for the second half of Thursday’s 95-90 upset win over the Cavaliers and hold center Samuel Dalembert out for the final three quarters, there was more at work than just matchups.

Dalembert, the Knicks’ starting center, was battling a sore left calf that was wrapped up.

After Fisher’s dealings with Jose Calderon, who is out two-to-three weeks with a lingering calf issue, the coach played it safe, though the former Seton Hall shot-blocker was available to play.

Dalembert played just 5:34 and didn’t score. Smith had a big impact, hitting for 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting. Dalembert is expected to be ready for Sunday’s game against the Hornets.

As expected, the Knicks let the Oct. 31 extension deadline pass without exercising the rookie-contract, third-year option on point guard Shane Larkin, even after his nine-point, five-steal performance.

He will be a free agent, because the Knicks want to see more from the 22-year-old. Iman Shumpert also didn’t get an extension, and his rookie contract will expire after the season.
 4 years ago '04        #11386
Born_Loser|M 101 heat pts101
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Acy's getting the start tonight
 4 years ago '11        #11387
King Henry 548 heat pts548
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 Born_Loser said:
Acy's getting the start tonight
 4 years ago '12        #11388
CosbySweater 303 heat pts303
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so this where y'all hide out at huh
 4 years ago '11        #11389
King Henry 548 heat pts548
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 CosbySweater said:
so this where y'all hide out at huh
Abort mission. Abort abort abort
 4 years ago '04        #11390
Born_Loser|M 101 heat pts101
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looking at you Barkley


[pic - click to view]

 4 years ago '04        #11391
Born_Loser|M 101 heat pts101
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Berman

One of president Phil Jackson’s big decisions this season is whether to trade J.R. Smith, and the club had recent conversations with the Pacers regarding ex-Knick Chris Copeland, according to a league source.

The 6-foot-9 Copeland, whom the Pacers signed in July 2013, has an expiring contract after bolting the Knicks for a two-year, $6 million deal, so he wouldn’t affect their 2015 cap space.

Smith, meanwhile, can opt out of the $6.4 million he has coming in 2015-16, but there’s still a chance he will wait to be a free agent until 2016 when the salary cap is expected to rise dramatically. The Knicks are trying to open up as much cap space as possible and would benefit if Smith opts out or if they trade him for an expiring contract.

Through three games, Copeland, a combo forward, is averaging 16 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.7 a.ssists in 30 minutes, though he is still coming off the bench. Last season, Copeland was an afterthought, getting into 41 contests and not making a single start. He had a strong season off the bench with the Knicks in 2012-13 after being plucked out of the Belgian League by European scout Kevin Wilson.

According to a source, Jackson has no plans to make any deals until Dec. 15 — a key NBA date as 2014 free-agent signees and 2014 draft picks are eligible to be traded.

Before training camp began, Jackson made an interesting remark in a Q&A with The Post’s Steve Serby when discussing Smith, comparing him to Dennis Rodman but being unclear on his future.

“I don’t know if that’s possible or not,’’ Jackson said when asked how to cure Smith’s off-the-court immature antics. “He might be one of those guys that’s a little bit like Dennis Rodman, that has an outlier kind of side to him. But I’m going to get to know him as we go along, and we’ll find a way to either make him a very useful player in our organization, or whatever.’’

Entering the season, the Pacers lost a lot of firepower at the wing with Paul George’s season-ending leg injury, Lance Stephenson’s free-agent departure and even Danny Granger’s exit. The Pacers could use an experienced wing scorer, though Smith comes with baggage, recent back spasms and a sore hip.

Smith is getting more used to the triangle’s flow after a brutal preseason in which he called it “a struggle.’’

After shooting 2-of-8 in the season opener, Smith scored 11 points with seven a.ssists Thursday in Cleveland but regressed Sunday, as he finished with seven points on 3-of-7 shooting with four turnovers and two a.ssists in the Knicks’ 96-93 victory. The Knicks have a logjam at shooting guard with Iman Shumpert and Tim Hardaway.

Amar’e Stoudemire’s wife, Alexis, ran Sunday’s New York City Marathon. She recently was inducted into her high school hall of fame in Arizona in volleyball and track.

“She’s the athlete in the family,’’ Stoudemire cracked, adding she is considering doing his vinotherapy (wine bath) Monday.

Andrea Bargnani is still at least several games away from making his season debut, according to coach Derek Fisher, with next week the earliest he can return.

The Knicks originally stated Bargnani would be out the first three games, but Fisher said with the busy week, they may not have a full practice until next week, but may ease Bargnani in with contact drills.

“I don’t necessarily foresee it,’’ Fisher said of Bargnani coming back this week. “Hopefully it’s soon. That’s the best answer. Andrea is progressing. I don’t think it’s fair to put a player out there before he has practiced.’’
 4 years ago '04        #11392
Born_Loser|M 101 heat pts101
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Begley

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- The New York Knicks finished last season with just 37 wins thanks in part to "bad energy," according to star forward Carmelo Anthony.

The energy is different this season, Anthony said. And that is one reason the team is off to a 2-1 start.

"I think just overall, not pointing anything out, but just overall from day one last year the energy was just not right," Anthony said after practice on Monday. "This year, you could just feel the total difference stepping into this gym, talking to guys, talking to the staff, talking to the players. Everybody has a newfound energy so it's just a lot different now."

Phil Jackson took over as team president in March and overhauled the roster in the offseason, trading away Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton. The move was designed, in part, to "change some of the chemistry" of the Knicks, Jackson said.

Jackson also fired coach Mike Woodson and hired Derek Fisher. Anthony's a.ssertion that the "energy was not right" from the first day of training camp last season may have been a reference to owner James Dolan's decision to fire general manager Glen Grunwald days before training camp.

Anthony did not want to talk about specific reasons for the team's culture change. But, when he was asked directly about Chandler, Anthony made it clear that he wasn't singling out the former Defensive Player of the Year.

"I'm not talking about no players, I'm just talking about as a whole, as a whole," Anthony said. "As an organization, as a whole, the energy was just different last year from day one. It ain't have nothing to do with the players. When we walked in here from day one from training camp, media day the energy was just different."

So why did the Knicks have "bad energy" last season?

"I won't go into details. It's deeper than us going out and losing basketball games," Anthony said. "For whatever reason, it happened. We looked at that. The organization looked at that. And they made some great changes."

The Knicks are off to a surprising 2-1 start. After a blowout loss to Chicago to open the season, New York upset Cleveland in LeBron James' first game of the season and beat upstart Charlotte at home on Sunday night.

The Knicks face the Washington Wizards at home on Tuesday night.

"We want to build on what we started the last couple of games," Anthony said.
 4 years ago '04        #11393
Born_Loser|M 101 heat pts101
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Begley

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Iman Shumpert says he isn’t worried about his potential free agency in the summer of 2015 after the Knicks declined to extend his contract at the Oct. 31 deadline.

“I can’t think about that. We make the playoffs and I do what I’m supposed to do, things will happen,” Shumpert said late Sunday night. “But until I do that, I can’t worry about it. ...

“I’m worried about winning games. Like I’ve said, that was the worst year of my life last year and I don’t ever want to feel that again. Mentally I just want to keep playing well and keep everything positive.”

So far, so good.

Shumpert has played a key role in the Knicks’ past two wins, particularly late in games. His fourth-quarter defense on LeBron James was key in New York’s win over Cleveland on Thursday.

On Sunday, Shumpert was disruptive on defense in the fourth quarter against Charlotte. He also knocked down a 3-pointer with two minutes to play to tie the game, finishing with a season-high 15 points, six rebounds and four a.ssists. Shumpert made five of his 11 shots, many of which appeared to come within the framework of the offense.

“I think in practicing all those shots and in games, I know if I come off a screen and they deliver the ball right away I know I’m probably wide open,” Shumpert said. “Just step and knock it in.”

Derek Fisher has started Shumpert at shooting guard in the season’s first three games. On Sunday night, Shumpert was asked if that was an indication to him that he was a part of the Knicks’ future.

“I’ve started most of the time I’ve been in a Knick jersey, so I just think they want me to bring a certain energy every night. They want me to bring that defensive presence because they know I can make something out of nothing on defense and I think they just want me to bring that defensive presence every day,” Shumpert said. “I don’t think it has anything to do with an extension.”

The Knicks appear to be focused on creating as much cap space as possible to use in free agency this coming summer. It will be interesting to see how this approach impacts their thinking on Shumpert.


Acy probable for Wizards game: Quincy Acy landed awkwardly after a hard fall in Sunday’s win over Charlotte and is listed as probable for Tuesday’s game against Washington. Fisher expects him to play, but the coach is not ready to announce his starting lineup. There is a possibility that Fisher may go with a different lineup than the one he’s used over the past two games, featuring Acy at power forward and Samuel Dalembert at center.
 4 years ago '04        #11394
Born_Loser|M 101 heat pts101
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Adam Zangoria

Tobias Harris returns home to New York tonight when the Orlando Magic meet the Knicks in a battle of 2-6 teams.

But the Long Island product could end up staying in his hometown for much longer if he ends up signing with the Knicks as a restricted free agent next summer.

“I’m telling you if the Knicks come at him hard, who wouldn’t want to play for their hometown team?” a Harris confidant told SNY.tv and The Knicks Blog.

The source pointed out that the 6-foot-9 Harris plays well alongside Knicks star Carmelo Anthony. The pair worked out together multiple times this summer at Terminal 23, Anthony’s midtown gym.

“They play well together,” the confidant said. “Carmelo always had him on his team when Kevin Durant came to town and they would win every game.”

The 2010 New York Mr. Basketball and a McDonald’s All-American, Harris starred at Half Hollow Hills West and Long Island Lutheran before spending one year at Tennessee before becoming the 19th pick in the 2011 NBA Draft.

Harris is currently averaging 16.7 points and 8.1 rebounds and went for 23 points, 13 boards and 5 a.ssists when Orlando fell at Toronto, 104-100, Tuesday night.

Ironically, Harris is now teammates with his first cousin, Channing Frye, a White Plains native who was the Knicks’ first-round pick in 2005.

The Knicks will have cap space next summer after the contracts of Amar’e Stoudemire and Andrea Bargnani expire, and Harris is the type of skilled young talent who could fit in well into the triangle.

“Next year they’re going to have a whole different team,” the confidant said.

As a restricted free agent, the Magic will be able to match any offer sheet Harris signs with another team.

But as previously reported on ZAGSBLOG, Harris gets an upgrade in his Nike contract if he plays in either New York, Chicago or Los Angeles.
 4 years ago '04        #11395
Born_Loser|M 101 heat pts101
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Berman

Knicks coach Derek Fisher distanced himself from Phil Jackson’s comments earlier this week in which the team president said he will know by December which players will master the triangle offense and which players won’t.

Jackson’s remarks appeared to be a warning that if a player is still struggling to get the complex offense by then, he could be dealt. The trade season kicks off Dec. 15, when all players are eligible to be dealt.

For his part, Fisher said that putting a date on when a player will get the triangle is not in his thinking. Each players learns it at his own pace.

“I don’t know if it’s a fair a.ssessment or not,’’ Fisher said before the Knicks’ 97-95 loss Wednesday night to the Magic — their sixth straight defeat. “[Phil] obviously knows a lot about his offense, but I think it’s more than just a guy is going to get it. Each player and person has different learning curves. I don’t know if there’s a date.

“It’s more where our team is from a management standpoint. For me, I don’t have a date on when I would a.ssume a guy should or shouldn’t have it. I’m going to coach him until he’s here or isn’t here. Those won’t be my decisions.’’

On Monday in his State-of-Zen Address, Jackson said: “There’s still quite a ways from their execution capabilities as a team. We think in terms of basketball-wise, Thanksgiving, December, it’s time to really say if you haven’t gotten it by now, maybe we’ll have to think of you as a learner or not a learner as a ballplayer at that time.’’

J.R. Smith, who scored 19 points, in particular, has seemed uncomfortable in the offense. Smith, who could have gained some redemption by hitting the final shot in Wednesday’s loss, is a big trade candidate and the Pacers have some interest.

Smith can opt out of his contract after the season, but he still could opt in, costing the Knicks cap space. They believe there is a strong market for Smith and aren’t looking to just dump him for an expiring contract, according to a league source.

Jose Calderon (calf) said he’s unlikely to be ready for practice Thursday, but indicated perhaps he will be after the weekend.

Calderon said he believes he needs just one practice and then hopes to make his season debut.

“I want to play as soon as possible,” Calderon said. “It’s getting close.’’
Wednesday was the two-week mark of the Knicks announcing Calderon was out 2-3 weeks.

“There’s no question [we miss him],” said Samuel Dalembert, also Calderon’s teammate with the Mavericks. “I play with Shane [Larkin], he has terrific speed, and I don’t see guys who can keep up with him, but the thing about it is the experience. You can’t compare it. Shane is really learning.

“I can’t really wait for Jose to come back also because that’s going to bring a different level of experience to the squad in games that you’ll be able to see.’’

Fisher still won’t give a timetable on when Andrea Bargnani (hamstring) will return. … Fisher started Quincy Acy at power forward, moved Anthony back to the No. 3 spot and sent Tim Hardaway Jr. to the bench. But Hardaway, who scored just two points, started the second half. … Dalembert had two points, but grabbed seven rebounds and also had five blocks.
 4 years ago '04        #11396
Born_Loser|M 101 heat pts101
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Begley

On a certain level, J.R. Smith has come a long way as a crunch-time option over the past 10 months. He blew a tied game in Houston in January because he thought the New York Knicks were actually down two points, an error prompting him to fire up a wayward 3-pointer with 20 seconds left rather than hold the ball for the last shot.

This time around, Smith at least had a firm grasp of the score and the clock when he let go of his 27-footer while Carmelo Anthony stood to the side with his arms out and palms turned skyward, striking a pose reminiscent of Bud Selig's at the end of that tied All-Star Game way back when.

If you get a chance to play back the video of Wednesday night's final sequence, right after Pablo Prigioni inbounded to Smith with 3.5 seconds left in Orlando's 97-95 victory, stop the action at the 2.6-second mark. In that frame you see the moment Smith made his fateful choice in his team's sixth consecutive defeat.

Prigioni had cleared out his defender, Elfrid Payton, whose head was turned away from the ball. Anthony had his left arm extended on the wing, calling for the pass while sealing off rookie Aaron Gordon with his right arm. Smith was looking at Anthony while the Magic defender guarding the ball, Evan Fournier, was briefly overplaying Smith to his left and giving him a clear passing lane to Melo.

The pass was the right play, of course, because Anthony is the $124 million superstar more than capable of making the catch with two seconds left, squaring his body and freezing the rookie, and then rising up with that quick-as-Dan Marino release of his and getting the desired look.

But Smith's choice to rely on his own pull-up jumper that crashed amateurishly off the glass and sent Anthony on a dejected march off the court was hardly the worst decision he's ever made, even if Melo was 10-for-17 from the floor (Smith would finish 6-for-16) and had just made a 3. In fact, given that Smith drained a couple of big shots in between his selfish and insubordinate acts over the years, this bad call wouldn't make his personal bottom 10 during his time in New York.

So more than anything else, the scene served as a mere reminder that the Knicks need to get rid of Smith sooner rather than later, and that nobody will take Phil Jackson's culture change too seriously as long as the shooting guard is part of the culture.

If Jackson's out there trying to trade Smith, he's not trying hard enough. The Knicks' president doesn't have to convince 29 teams that Smith is a gamble worth taking; he needs to convince only one.

"J.R. has had a lot of issues but he can be a big-time scorer when he's doing the right things," said one high-ranking league executive. "There's always a team out there willing to take a chance on somebody if they feel he can put them over the top, and there's no doubt J.R. can play. People are going to be concerned about chemistry issues in the locker room, so it would have to be a strong leadership and coaching staff that take him in."

Smith is 29, in his prime, banking nearly $6 million this season with a $6.4 million player option for next year. Older and lesser players with more forbidding contracts have been dealt before.

Already burdened by a losing team and a disconnect between the newbies and his cherished triangle offense, Jackson said he wanted to know by the holidays which Knicks qualify as learners, and which do not. He doesn't need to wait to find out about Smith, who answered Jackson's question before it was asked with this hard-to-believe quote:

"Trying to think about the rest of the team over myself or my scoring is something that I never really had to do before."

Smith is the ultimate square peg that's never fitting into selfless triangular concepts, and his résumé of misdeeds says it all. The elbow to Jason Terry that cost the Knicks dearly in the 2013 playoffs. The inappropriate tweets. The five-game drug suspension. The shoelace thing. The headband thing. The Rihanna partying thing. The night he staged a boycott and refused to shoot. The time he suggested the Knicks betrayed him by cutting his brother Chris, who didn't deserve a roster spot to begin with.

Smith spent a lot of time and energy disrespecting Mike Woodson, and unwittingly called into question Anthony's leadership as well. If a franchise player can't impose his will on a supplemental piece gone awry, is he really a franchise player?

Jackson did Melo a solid by trading Raymond Felton, a bad actor and worse point guard, and by replacing him with Jose Calderon, who needs to get healthy soon. But in the name of improving team harmony, Jackson erred in the same deal by shipping out Tyson Chandler, a longtime grinder and achiever whose one NBA crime was deciding last season -- and not incorrectly -- that Woodson was overmatched to the nth degree.

Jackson saw the big man as a necessary sacrifice to make Felton disappear, but so far Chandler-for-Samuel Dalembert has been a Hollywood-sized bust. At least Dalembert is coming off the books at season's end; the same can't be said of Smith, a.ssuming he exercises his option. Jackson inherited that option, and now he has to make it someone else's problem.

At practice Thursday, Smith was Derek Fisher's problem. As much as Jackson's coach defended the spirit of Smith's endgame decision against Orlando, and as much as he reminded that the Steve Kerrs and Robert Horrys and John Paxsons (and Derek Fishers, of course) sometimes took the big shots instead of the MJs and Kobes and Shaqs, Fisher conceded that Smith didn't make the proper read.

"But we cleaned some of that up today in terms of understanding what we want on that sequence," Fisher said, "and I think that will help not just J.R., but all of our guys the next time we're in that spot."

Before meeting with the news media, Fisher huddled with a.ssistants Kurt Rambis and Jim Cleamons while standing on the practice-court spot that approximated where Anthony stood on the Garden floor against Orlando, calling in vain for the ball. Fisher made some subtle turns and moves as if he were acting out a play.

"It just wasn't as high a percentage a shot as we would like to get in that situation," he said of Smith's launch.

Neither the shooting guard nor Anthony was made available to reporters a day after the Knicks lost at home to a 2-6 team that was playing for the second time in two nights. Wednesday night, Anthony said he wanted the ball but that Smith had an open shot. "Or thought he had an open shot," he added.

Everyone expected these growing pains with Fisher and the Knicks and Jackson's triangle, and the absences of Calderon and Andrea Bargnani sure haven't helped. But growing pains signal growth to come, and J.R. Smith isn't going to get better, or more team-centric.

He is who he is, and Phil Jackson shouldn't wait for the holidays to decide that isn't good enough.
 4 years ago '04        #11397
Born_Loser|M 101 heat pts101
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 4 years ago '04        #11398
Born_Loser|M 101 heat pts101
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nice for Sanchez & Gallo to make the cut
 4 years ago '04        #11399
ChitownSavior01 23 heat pts23
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Why do you guys even come in here in post and not in the main NBA forum. LAMES. NYLAWSEETERNAL
 4 years ago '04        #11400
Born_Loser|M 101 heat pts101
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Why do you even care?
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