Knicks Morning News (2014.12.28)

  • [New York Times] Kings 135, Knicks 129, Ot: Kings Edge Depleted Knicks in Overtime (Sun, 28 Dec 2014 08:05:34 GMT)

    Led by DeMarcus Cousins’s 39 Points, Sacramento sent New York to its seventh straight loss.

  • [New York Times] Warriors Shake Off Skid, Beat Timberwolves 110-97 (Sun, 28 Dec 2014 06:06:02 GMT)

    Stephen Curry had 25 points and six assists, Klay Thompson scored 21 points and the Golden State Warriors shook off a two-game losing streak by rolling past the lowly Minnesota Timberwolves, 110-97 on Saturday night.

  • [New York Times] Cousins Leads Kings Past Knicks 135-129 in OT (Sun, 28 Dec 2014 05:57:03 GMT)

    DeMarcus Cousins scored nine of his season-high 39 points in overtime in his return from a stomach ailment, and the Sacramento Kings handed the New York Knicks their seventh straight loss, 135-129 on Saturday night.

  • [New York Times] Jazz Shut Down Carter-Williams, 76ers, Win 88-71 (Sun, 28 Dec 2014 04:59:59 GMT)

    Derrick Favors had 17 points, 15 rebounds and five blocked shots to lead the Utah Jazz to an 88-71 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night.

  • [New York Times] N.B.A. Roundup: Pacers’ Bench Proves Too Much for Nets (Sun, 28 Dec 2014 04:53:34 GMT)

    Indiana’s bench dominated that of the Nets, outscoring it, 50-16.

  • [New York Times] Hawks Beat Bucks to Split Home-And-Home Series (Sun, 28 Dec 2014 04:24:07 GMT)

    Jeff Teague scored 10 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter, Al Horford added 20, and the Atlanta Hawks beat the Milwaukee Bucks 90-85 on Saturday night.

  • [New York Times] Pacers Snap Nets’ 3-Game Win Streak, 110-85 (Sun, 28 Dec 2014 04:15:14 GMT)

    Rodney Stuckey scored 20 points, David West added 17, and the Indiana Pacers overwhelmed the Brooklyn Nets 110-85 on Saturday night.

  • [New York Times] Bulls Beat Pelicans 107-100 for 6th Straight Win (Sun, 28 Dec 2014 03:36:00 GMT)

    Jimmy Butler scored 33 points, Derrick Rose had 19 and the Chicago Bulls beat the New Orleans Pelicans 107-100 on Saturday night for their sixth consecutive victory.

  • [New York Times] Grizzlies Snap 4-Game Skid, Top Heat 103-95 (Sun, 28 Dec 2014 03:21:04 GMT)

    Mike Conley scored 24 points, Marc Gasol added 22 points and 10 rebounds, and the Memphis Grizzlies never trailed on their way to beating the Miami Heat 103-95 on Saturday night.

  • [New York Times] Magic Beat Hornets 102-94 Despite Walker’s 42 (Sun, 28 Dec 2014 02:48:05 GMT)

    Nikola Vucevic had 22 points and 11 rebounds, Tobias Harris scored 21 points and the Orlando Magic overcame 42 points from Kemba Walker to beat the Charlotte Hornets 102-94 on Saturday night.

  • [New York Times] Humphries, Pierce Lead Wizards Over Boston, 101-88 (Sun, 28 Dec 2014 02:27:01 GMT)

    Kris Humphries scored 18 points, Paul Pierce had 17 and the Washington Wizards beat the Boston Celtics 101-88 on Saturday night.

  • [New York Times] Lowry, Valanciunas Lead Raptors Over Clippers (Sun, 28 Dec 2014 00:54:00 GMT)

    Kyle Lowry and the short-handed Toronto Raptors needed plenty of help from their reserves down the stretch to beat the Los Angeles Clippers.

  • [New York Daily News] Knicks force overtime but still fall to Kings, 135-129 (Sun, 28 Dec 2014 07:53:06 GMT)

    We’ll say this about the Knicks: At least they make things interesting.

  • [New York Daily News] Knicks force overtime but still fall to Kings, 135-129 (Sun, 28 Dec 2014 07:53:06 GMT)

    We’ll say this about the Knicks: At least they make things interesting.

  • [ESPN.com – New York Knicks] Kings 135, Knicks 129; 7th straight loss (Sun, 28 Dec 2014 01:04:19 EDT)

    The New York Knicks put up a decent fight on Saturday night. But in the end, the result was the same: another disappointing loss in this disaster of a season. New York trailed by 15 in the first quarter but battled back to force overtime only to fall short against DeMarcus Cousins and the Kings, 135-129. Cousins crushed the Knicks for much of the game, finishing with 39 points, 11 rebounds and four assists. Carmelo Anthony had 36 points and 11 rebounds for the Knicks, who have lost seven straight and 17 of their last 18.

  • [ESPN.com – New York Knicks] Kings 135, Knicks 129; 7th straight loss (Sun, 28 Dec 2014 01:04:19 EDT)

    The New York Knicks put up a decent fight on Saturday night. But in the end, the result was the same: another disappointing loss in this disaster of a season. New York trailed by 15 in the first quarter but battled back to force overtime only to fall short against DeMarcus Cousins and the Kings, 135-129. Cousins crushed the Knicks for much of the game, finishing with 39 points, 11 rebounds and four assists. Carmelo Anthony had 36 points and 11 rebounds for the Knicks, who have lost seven straight and 17 of their last 18.

  • [New York Post] 2014-15 Knicks joining worst teams in NY history (Sun, 28 Dec 2014 03:33:26 -0500)

    Yes, we can start thinking about the Knicks in these terms: They are awfully close to advancing to the ever-shifting Tournament of Woes-es Parade as the worst representative of each…

  • [New York Post] Acy admits hard foul on Wall was ‘unnecessary’ (Sun, 28 Dec 2014 02:39:03 -0500)

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — My bad. Knicks power forward Quincy Acy responded Saturday to his one-game suspension, admitting he laid too hard a foul on the Wizards' John Wall on Christmas…

  • [New York Post] Knicks rally but fall in OT for seventh straight loss (Sun, 28 Dec 2014 01:38:57 -0500)

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Nine men, one goal, one overtime, but no victory. After giving up 67 points in the first half, the undermanned Knicks played a pesky final two quarters,…

  • [New York Post] 2014-15 Knicks joining worst teams in NY history (Sun, 28 Dec 2014 03:33:26 -0500)

    Yes, we can start thinking about the Knicks in these terms: They are awfully close to advancing to the ever-shifting Tournament of Woes-es Parade as the worst representative of each…

  • [New York Post] Acy admits hard foul on Wall was ‘unnecessary’ (Sun, 28 Dec 2014 02:39:03 -0500)

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — My bad. Knicks power forward Quincy Acy responded Saturday to his one-game suspension, admitting he laid too hard a foul on the Wizards' John Wall on Christmas…

  • [New York Post] Knicks rally but fall in OT for seventh straight loss (Sun, 28 Dec 2014 01:38:57 -0500)

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Nine men, one goal, one overtime, but no victory. After giving up 67 points in the first half, the undermanned Knicks played a pesky final two quarters,…

  • [New York Newsday] Knicks can't stop DeMarcus Cousins (39 points) in Kings' 135-129 overtime victory (Sun, 28 Dec 2014 02:53:52 EST)

    DeMarcus Cousins missed Friday night's game with an illness, but he recovered quickly. Then he made the Knicks sick.

  • [New York Newsday] Amar'e Stoudemire would like NBA to lighten schedule (Sun, 28 Dec 2014 01:04:20 EST)

    Amar'e Stoudemire would like to see the NBA scale back its schedule in light of so many players taking games off to rest.

  • [New York Newsday] Knicks can't stop DeMarcus Cousins (39 points) in Kings' 135-129 overtime victory (Sun, 28 Dec 2014 02:53:52 EST)

    DeMarcus Cousins missed Friday night's game with an illness, but he recovered quickly. Then he made the Knicks sick.

  • [New York Newsday] Amar'e Stoudemire would like NBA to lighten schedule (Sun, 28 Dec 2014 01:04:20 EST)

    Amar'e Stoudemire would like to see the NBA scale back its schedule in light of so many players taking games off to rest.

  • Knicks Morning News (2014.12.27)

  • [New York Post] Psychics predict what’s in the cards for 2015 (Sat, 27 Dec 2014 06:00:16 -0500)

    Here are some NYC-centric predictions for 2015 we're confident in making: No one will pick up that one half-full bottle of Snapple rolling across the floor of the E train,…

  • [New York Daily News] NBA suspends Knicks’ Quincy Acy 1-game for foul on John Wall (Sat, 27 Dec 2014 03:56:01 GMT)

    Everything is coming down on the Knicks right now. Why not a gavel?

  • [New York Times] Lillard Leads Portland Past Philadelphia 114-93 (Sat, 27 Dec 2014 05:44:42 GMT)

    Damian Lillard had 28 points and nine assists, and the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Philadelphia 76ers 114-93 on Friday night for their seventh win in the last eight games.

  • [New York Times] Rockets Top Grizzlies in Overtime in Smith’s Debut (Sat, 27 Dec 2014 05:41:42 GMT)

    Josh Smith immediately paid dividends for the Houston Rockets, while the Memphis Grizzlies remained spiraling on their longest losing streak of the season.

  • [New York Times] Suns Outlast Kings 115-106 for 5th Straight Win (Sat, 27 Dec 2014 05:32:44 GMT)

    Marcus Morris had 20 points and nine rebounds, Isaiah Thomas keyed the decisive run against his former team and the Phoenix Suns outlasted the short-handed Sacramento Kings 115-106 on Friday night for their fifth straight win.

  • [New York Times] Faried Grabs 25 Rebounds as Denver Beats Minnesota 106-102 (Sat, 27 Dec 2014 04:56:43 GMT)

    Kenneth Faried had a career-high 25 rebounds to go along with 26 points, and the Denver Nuggets beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 106-102 on Friday night.

  • [New York Times] Rondo, Nowitzki Carry Mavs Past Lakers, 102-98 (Sat, 27 Dec 2014 04:17:48 GMT)

    Rajon Rondo scored a season-high 21 points in his fourth game with Dallas and Dirk Nowitzki added 14 to move up another spot on the NBA’s scoring list in the Mavericks’ 102-98 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night.

  • [New York Times] Davis Leads New Orleans Past San Antonio 97-90 (Sat, 27 Dec 2014 03:50:43 GMT)

    Anthony Davis had 22 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks, leading the New Orleans Pelicans to a 97-90 victory over the slumping San Antonio Spurs on Friday night.

  • [New York Times] Quincy Acy of Knicks Is Suspended Over Scuffle With Wizards (Sat, 27 Dec 2014 03:49:07 GMT)

    The N.B.A. suspended Acy for one game without pay for his role in a brief on-court altercation Thursday afternoon with Washington’s John Wall.

  • [New York Times] Westbrook Leads Thunder to Win Over Hornets (Sat, 27 Dec 2014 03:47:43 GMT)

    Russell Westbrook scored 29 points to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 98-75 victory over Charlotte on Friday night, snapping the Hornets’ season-high four-game win streak.

  • [New York Times] N.B.A. Roundup: Jarrett Jack Carries Nets Past Celtics in the Final Seconds (Sat, 27 Dec 2014 03:45:54 GMT)

    Jack hit a tiebreaking jumper with 28 seconds to play, lifting the Nets to a 109-107 victory over the Boston Celtics.

  • [New York Times] Perfect 10: Dudley Doesn’t Miss, Bucks Rout Hawks (Sat, 27 Dec 2014 03:17:43 GMT)

    Reserve forward Jared Dudley made all 10 shots, including four 3-pointers, and scored a season-high 24 points Friday night to lead the Milwaukee Bucks to a 107-77 victory over the Atlanta Hawks.

  • [New York Times] Monroe, Drummond Lead Pistons Over Pacers, 119-109 (Sat, 27 Dec 2014 03:08:45 GMT)

    Greg Monroe had 19 points and 15 rebounds, Andre Drummond scored 20 points and the Detroit Pistons ended a four-game skid with a 119-109 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Friday night.

  • [New York Times] James Helps Cavaliers Rally Past Magic 98-89 (Sat, 27 Dec 2014 03:05:45 GMT)

    LeBron James had 29 points and eight assists, and the Cleveland Cavaliers rallied to beat the Orlando Magic 98-89 on Friday night.

  • [New York Times] Lakers’ Bryant Out for 3rd Straight Game at Dallas (Sat, 27 Dec 2014 01:17:44 GMT)

    Kobe Bryant is sitting out his third straight game to rest his sore body but could be back in the lineup when the Lakers return home for their next outing.

  • [New York Newsday] For Knicks, this might be a good time for a road trip (Sat, 27 Dec 2014 01:01:56 EST)

    West Coast swings are not generally recommended to soothe what ails NBA Eastern Conference bottom-feeders, but nothing else has worked for the Knicks, so perhaps a trip to Sacramento, Portland and Los Angeles will help.

  • Knicks Morning News (2014.12.26)

  • [New York Times] Crawford, Paul Lead Clippers Over Warriors 100-86 (Fri, 26 Dec 2014 07:53:43 GMT)

    The Golden State Warriors shot as dreadfully in the fourth quarter as the Los Angeles Clippers did in the first. As a result, the team with the NBA’s best record absorbed its fifth loss of the season and second at Staples Center in three days.

  • [New York Times] Pau Gasol Leads Bulls Past Lakers, 113-93 (Fri, 26 Dec 2014 05:05:49 GMT)

    There was no getting around it for Pau Gasol, no denying this was one strange and emotional night.

  • [New York Times] Sports of The Times: N.B.A. Rookies Carefully Choose Stockings to Fill (Fri, 26 Dec 2014 03:18:24 GMT)

    Around the holidays, young players who have recently earned their first big paychecks face pressure to buy gifts for family members, friends and hangers-on.

  • [New York Times] N.B.A. Roundup: Back in Miami, LeBron James Receives Hugs and a Loss (Fri, 26 Dec 2014 02:54:07 GMT)

    Dwyane Wade scored 24 of his 31 points in the first half as the Heat edged the Cleveland Cavaliers, 101-91, in James’s return to Miami.

  • [New York Times] Applause and Defeat for LeBron in Miami Return (Fri, 26 Dec 2014 02:41:38 GMT)

    The Miami Heat got the better of LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers with a 101-91 victory in the Christmas Day return of the two-time NBA champion to his former team.

  • [New York Times] Heat Win LeBron’s Miami Return, Top Cavs 101-91 (Fri, 26 Dec 2014 02:35:52 GMT)

    LeBron James and Dwyane Wade wrapped each other in a pregame embrace, chatted and laughed at halftime, then hugged again after the final buzzer.

  • [New York Times] On Pro Basketball: One-Name Stars Can’t Outshine All-for-One Teams (Fri, 26 Dec 2014 02:29:45 GMT)

    Thursday’s games demonstrated that a league long driven by a shoe-company, me-first agenda has continued to lean toward the long-underplayed joy of collective achievement.

  • [New York Times] Wizards 102, Knicks 91: Another Day, Another Game With Nothing to Celebrate for the Knicks (Fri, 26 Dec 2014 00:59:40 GMT)

    In the opening game of the N.B.A.’s Christmas Day schedule, Washington sent the host Knicks to their sixth straight loss and 26th defeat of the season.

  • [New York Times] Lakers’ Kobe Bryant Sidelined Again by Soreness (Fri, 26 Dec 2014 00:47:46 GMT)

    Kobe Bryant sat out his second straight game to rest his sore body, missing the Los Angeles Lakers’ contest Thursday night against the Chicago Bulls.

  • [New York Daily News] John Wall shows Knicks he’s a baller, not a fighter (Fri, 26 Dec 2014 05:33:47 GMT)

    In the moments after John Wall was dented by a pair of Quincy Acy elbows and driven to the floor, Wall swears he was aware of the situation.

  • [New York Daily News] Quincy Acy brawls, Knicks fall in 102-91 loss to Wizards (Fri, 26 Dec 2014 05:28:49 GMT)

    Quincy Acy was about the only Knick to show some true fight in a 102-91 Christmas Day loss to the Wizards.

  • [New York Daily News] Knicks Insider: Stoudemire says more rest is yet to come (Fri, 26 Dec 2014 03:56:54 GMT)

    Amar’e Stoudemire’s production this season has been good: 13.1 points and 7.4 rebounds in about 26 minutes per game.

  • [New York Times] Crawford, Paul Lead Clippers Over Warriors 100-86 (Fri, 26 Dec 2014 07:53:43 GMT)

    The Golden State Warriors shot as dreadfully in the fourth quarter as the Los Angeles Clippers did in the first. As a result, the team with the NBA’s best record absorbed its fifth loss of the season and second at Staples Center in three days.

  • [New York Times] Pau Gasol Leads Bulls Past Lakers, 113-93 (Fri, 26 Dec 2014 05:05:49 GMT)

    There was no getting around it for Pau Gasol, no denying this was one strange and emotional night.

  • [New York Times] Sports of The Times: N.B.A. Rookies Carefully Choose Stockings to Fill (Fri, 26 Dec 2014 03:18:24 GMT)

    Around the holidays, young players who have recently earned their first big paychecks face pressure to buy gifts for family members, friends and hangers-on.

  • [New York Times] N.B.A. Roundup: Back in Miami, LeBron James Receives Hugs and a Loss (Fri, 26 Dec 2014 02:54:07 GMT)

    Dwyane Wade scored 24 of his 31 points in the first half as the Heat edged the Cleveland Cavaliers, 101-91, in James’s return to Miami.

  • [New York Times] Applause and Defeat for LeBron in Miami Return (Fri, 26 Dec 2014 02:41:38 GMT)

    The Miami Heat got the better of LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers with a 101-91 victory in the Christmas Day return of the two-time NBA champion to his former team.

  • [New York Times] Heat Win LeBron’s Miami Return, Top Cavs 101-91 (Fri, 26 Dec 2014 02:35:52 GMT)

    LeBron James and Dwyane Wade wrapped each other in a pregame embrace, chatted and laughed at halftime, then hugged again after the final buzzer.

  • [New York Times] On Pro Basketball: One-Name Stars Can’t Outshine All-for-One Teams (Fri, 26 Dec 2014 02:29:45 GMT)

    Thursday’s games demonstrated that a league long driven by a shoe-company, me-first agenda has continued to lean toward the long-underplayed joy of collective achievement.

  • [New York Times] Wizards 102, Knicks 91: Another Day, Another Game With Nothing to Celebrate for the Knicks (Fri, 26 Dec 2014 00:59:40 GMT)

    In the opening game of the N.B.A.’s Christmas Day schedule, Washington sent the host Knicks to their sixth straight loss and 26th defeat of the season.

  • [New York Times] Lakers’ Kobe Bryant Sidelined Again by Soreness (Fri, 26 Dec 2014 00:47:46 GMT)

    Kobe Bryant sat out his second straight game to rest his sore body, missing the Los Angeles Lakers’ contest Thursday night against the Chicago Bulls.

  • [New York Newsday] Knicks stay loose before Christmas Day game vs. Wizards (Fri, 26 Dec 2014 00:38:25 EST)

    Carmelo Anthony was joking and laughing with some teammates. Other Knicks were punting and throwing basketballs into the Madison Square Garden stands for rookies Travis Wear and Cleanthony Early to chase and bring back.

  • [New York Newsday] Knicks stay loose before Christmas Day game vs. Wizards (Fri, 26 Dec 2014 00:38:25 EST)

    Carmelo Anthony was joking and laughing with some teammates. Other Knicks were punting and throwing basketballs into the Madison Square Garden stands for rookies Travis Wear and Cleanthony Early to chase and bring back.

  • Knicks Morning News (2014.12.26)

  • [New York Times] Crawford, Paul Lead Clippers Over Warriors 100-86 (Fri, 26 Dec 2014 07:53:43 GMT)

    The Golden State Warriors shot as dreadfully in the fourth quarter as the Los Angeles Clippers did in the first. As a result, the team with the NBA’s best record absorbed its fifth loss of the season and second at Staples Center in three days.

  • [New York Times] Pau Gasol Leads Bulls Past Lakers, 113-93 (Fri, 26 Dec 2014 05:05:49 GMT)

    There was no getting around it for Pau Gasol, no denying this was one strange and emotional night.

  • [New York Times] Sports of The Times: N.B.A. Rookies Carefully Choose Stockings to Fill (Fri, 26 Dec 2014 03:18:24 GMT)

    Around the holidays, young players who have recently earned their first big paychecks face pressure to buy gifts for family members, friends and hangers-on.

  • [New York Times] N.B.A. Roundup: Back in Miami, LeBron James Receives Hugs and a Loss (Fri, 26 Dec 2014 02:54:07 GMT)

    Dwyane Wade scored 24 of his 31 points in the first half as the Heat edged the Cleveland Cavaliers, 101-91, in James’s return to Miami.

  • [New York Times] Applause and Defeat for LeBron in Miami Return (Fri, 26 Dec 2014 02:41:38 GMT)

    The Miami Heat got the better of LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers with a 101-91 victory in the Christmas Day return of the two-time NBA champion to his former team.

  • [New York Times] Heat Win LeBron’s Miami Return, Top Cavs 101-91 (Fri, 26 Dec 2014 02:35:52 GMT)

    LeBron James and Dwyane Wade wrapped each other in a pregame embrace, chatted and laughed at halftime, then hugged again after the final buzzer.

  • [New York Times] On Pro Basketball: One-Name Stars Can’t Outshine All-for-One Teams (Fri, 26 Dec 2014 02:29:45 GMT)

    Thursday’s games demonstrated that a league long driven by a shoe-company, me-first agenda has continued to lean toward the long-underplayed joy of collective achievement.

  • [New York Times] Wizards 102, Knicks 91: Another Day, Another Game With Nothing to Celebrate for the Knicks (Fri, 26 Dec 2014 00:59:40 GMT)

    In the opening game of the N.B.A.’s Christmas Day schedule, Washington sent the host Knicks to their sixth straight loss and 26th defeat of the season.

  • [New York Times] Lakers’ Kobe Bryant Sidelined Again by Soreness (Fri, 26 Dec 2014 00:47:46 GMT)

    Kobe Bryant sat out his second straight game to rest his sore body, missing the Los Angeles Lakers’ contest Thursday night against the Chicago Bulls.

  • [New York Daily News] John Wall shows Knicks he’s a baller, not a fighter (Fri, 26 Dec 2014 05:33:47 GMT)

    In the moments after John Wall was dented by a pair of Quincy Acy elbows and driven to the floor, Wall swears he was aware of the situation.

  • [New York Daily News] Quincy Acy brawls, Knicks fall in 102-91 loss to Wizards (Fri, 26 Dec 2014 05:28:49 GMT)

    Quincy Acy was about the only Knick to show some true fight in a 102-91 Christmas Day loss to the Wizards.

  • [New York Daily News] Knicks Insider: Stoudemire says more rest is yet to come (Fri, 26 Dec 2014 03:56:54 GMT)

    Amar’e Stoudemire’s production this season has been good: 13.1 points and 7.4 rebounds in about 26 minutes per game.

  • [New York Times] Crawford, Paul Lead Clippers Over Warriors 100-86 (Fri, 26 Dec 2014 07:53:43 GMT)

    The Golden State Warriors shot as dreadfully in the fourth quarter as the Los Angeles Clippers did in the first. As a result, the team with the NBA’s best record absorbed its fifth loss of the season and second at Staples Center in three days.

  • [New York Times] Pau Gasol Leads Bulls Past Lakers, 113-93 (Fri, 26 Dec 2014 05:05:49 GMT)

    There was no getting around it for Pau Gasol, no denying this was one strange and emotional night.

  • [New York Times] Sports of The Times: N.B.A. Rookies Carefully Choose Stockings to Fill (Fri, 26 Dec 2014 03:18:24 GMT)

    Around the holidays, young players who have recently earned their first big paychecks face pressure to buy gifts for family members, friends and hangers-on.

  • [New York Times] N.B.A. Roundup: Back in Miami, LeBron James Receives Hugs and a Loss (Fri, 26 Dec 2014 02:54:07 GMT)

    Dwyane Wade scored 24 of his 31 points in the first half as the Heat edged the Cleveland Cavaliers, 101-91, in James’s return to Miami.

  • [New York Times] Applause and Defeat for LeBron in Miami Return (Fri, 26 Dec 2014 02:41:38 GMT)

    The Miami Heat got the better of LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers with a 101-91 victory in the Christmas Day return of the two-time NBA champion to his former team.

  • [New York Times] Heat Win LeBron’s Miami Return, Top Cavs 101-91 (Fri, 26 Dec 2014 02:35:52 GMT)

    LeBron James and Dwyane Wade wrapped each other in a pregame embrace, chatted and laughed at halftime, then hugged again after the final buzzer.

  • [New York Times] On Pro Basketball: One-Name Stars Can’t Outshine All-for-One Teams (Fri, 26 Dec 2014 02:29:45 GMT)

    Thursday’s games demonstrated that a league long driven by a shoe-company, me-first agenda has continued to lean toward the long-underplayed joy of collective achievement.

  • [New York Times] Wizards 102, Knicks 91: Another Day, Another Game With Nothing to Celebrate for the Knicks (Fri, 26 Dec 2014 00:59:40 GMT)

    In the opening game of the N.B.A.’s Christmas Day schedule, Washington sent the host Knicks to their sixth straight loss and 26th defeat of the season.

  • [New York Times] Lakers’ Kobe Bryant Sidelined Again by Soreness (Fri, 26 Dec 2014 00:47:46 GMT)

    Kobe Bryant sat out his second straight game to rest his sore body, missing the Los Angeles Lakers’ contest Thursday night against the Chicago Bulls.

  • [New York Newsday] Knicks stay loose before Christmas Day game vs. Wizards (Fri, 26 Dec 2014 00:38:25 EST)

    Carmelo Anthony was joking and laughing with some teammates. Other Knicks were punting and throwing basketballs into the Madison Square Garden stands for rookies Travis Wear and Cleanthony Early to chase and bring back.

  • [New York Newsday] Knicks stay loose before Christmas Day game vs. Wizards (Fri, 26 Dec 2014 00:38:25 EST)

    Carmelo Anthony was joking and laughing with some teammates. Other Knicks were punting and throwing basketballs into the Madison Square Garden stands for rookies Travis Wear and Cleanthony Early to chase and bring back.

  • Knicks v. Wizards Game preview and thread

    Merry Christmas Knicks fans.

    I asked Kyle Weidie of the excellent Wizards Blog Truthaboutit.net to give some insight on today’s game.

    1.  First of all, congrats to Washington on getting a nationally televised game on Christmas even if it is against the Knicks. Washington is in third place in the Eastern Conference, can this team stay ahead of the likes of Chicago, Cleveland and Miami?

     

    Miami? Yes. Cleveland? I think so, even before the Andy Varejao injury. The other big boys (of whom in the East there are not that many — we should probably mention the Hawks)? After Tuesday’s home loss to Chicago, coming off another home loss to the Suns on Sunday, I’m not so sure. (And yes, I’m allowing myself to admit this only a third into the season.)

     

    Washington has the talent and depth to compete with anyone in the league. Their three main problems, in order:

     

    1) Maximizing their offensive potential, in particular, 3-pointers — 15.6 3-pointers attempted per game, third-fewest in the NBA; 38.9% shooting on 3s, best in the NBA. Washington must take more 3s in order to not be a middle-rung offensive team. They attempted just nine 3-pointers against the Bulls, made five of them.

     

    2) A lock-down perimeter defender. John Wall is getting better and the team might be able to get by without one (with Trevor Ariza now in Houston), but it’s still a weakness, and you can’t have your lead point guard play that part, anyway.

     

    3) A reliable drive/slasher past Wall. Knicks fans should be very familiar with Bradley Beal, but he’s still developing. Past that, Andre Miller, Paul Pierce, Rasual Butler, and Otto Porter are not threats to get the defense moving with quick penetration. Washington averages 17.6 drives per game (per NBA.com player tracking metrics), which is third-fewest in the NBA.

     

    2. Washington is 4th in the NBA in defensive rating (99.7) per NBA.com. What is the plan to stop the NBA’s 5th leading scorer Carmelo Anthony?

     

    Paul Pierce to start, although his left big toe has been bothering him lately. But you’ll remember that Pierce used his veteran tricks to bother Carmelo into an 8-for-23 night when the Wizards won by 15 points in the Garden on November 4. After Pierce, Rasual Butler and Otto Porter are probably next in line, and either could get ‘Melo salivating enough to get him scoring in the 40s, which could be a scary proposition for the Wizards under the bright lights of MSG and a national television audience. Also note, according to NBA.com, the Wizards have a 93.0 DefRtg* in the 714 minutes that Pierce has been on the court, a team-best.

     

     

    3. The Knicks have struggled so mightily to stop opponents that posters on Knickerblogger.net often joke (actually they aren’t joking) about which opposing player will set a season high or career high against the Knicks. Which Wizard do you think might have a really big game today?

     

    Rasual Butler has been amazing this season. Now consider that he was the very last, fifteenth man to make the roster. Some figured an undrafted hopeful might fill spot No. 15; maybe journeyman guard-shooter Xavier Silas; maybe journeyman guard-shooter John Lucas III, who was brought in for a tryout at the 11th hour before the regular season. The 35-year-old, 11-year veteran beat them all.

     

    Now, out of all NBA players who have attempted 80 or more 3-pointers, Butler is third in 3-point percentage at 51.3 percent. With Martell Webster out due to back surgery and Bradley Beal missing training camp and several regular season games with a broken wrist, Butler has been a godsend. Against Chicago on Tuesday Butler just went 1-for-7 from the field (1-for-2 on 3-pointers). I expect a bounce back game from him against the Knicks. And if not Butler, then big men — either Marcin Gorat or Kevin Seraphin, both of whom need bounce back efforts — will be next on the Knickerblogger list.

     

    4. I moved to Washington from the New York area in 2000, the Wizards were a pretty dismal organization back then. Today the Wizards have a solid foundation of young, talented players and offer fans a really nice experience. Does this change underscore the importance of a good ownership/management structure?

     

    Definitely. A change in ownership certainly helped Washington. Previous majority owner Abe Pollin passed away in November of 2009 and current owner Ted Leonsis took over in the summer of 2010. Prior, Leonsis was strictly majority owner of the Washington Capitals hockey team and a minority owner in the Wizards — there was long a plan in place for Leonsis to take over for Pollin at some point.

     

    Pollin, for all the good that he did for the community, was terrible at team-building, tragically nepotistic, and cheap in all the wrong ways. Leonsis (a “blogger”), upon taking over, implemented patience (and a 10-point plan or something like that), which allowed Ernie Grunfeld (remember him, Knicks fans?**), who’s been president of Wizards basketball operations since 2003, to blow the team up, become bad-by-design (but not like the 76ers, but more by just playing JaVale McGee, Andray Blatche, and Nick Young at the same time), and ultimately rebuild (with two no-brainer draft picks in Wall and Beal). That, was a long sentence, perhaps a run-on, which is seemingly for how long the Wizards were bad. And I’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that Leonsis pivoted plans a couple times and has a bad habit of taking victories with blog posts that suspiciously resemble “mission accomplished” banners on aircraft carriers.

     

    Randy Wittman was then allow to enforce a culture change in his ability to bench “talents” like McGee (before ultimately sending him packing). And, of course, we all remember Wittman giving Blatche the “DNP – Conditioning” treatment.

     

    So, yes, all of this certainly underscores good ownership that empowers management to do their job without risk of ultimately having to succumb to player personalities and demands that are detrimental to team culture.

     

    [**For further reading on Ernie Grunfeld’s career running NBA teams from New York to Milwaukee to D.C., read here — TAI did a two-part series on him in April 2013.]

     

    5.  Is there anything that Randy Wittman does that Derek Fisher should emulate?

     

    No, probably not.

     

    I do like Wittman more than other Wizards followers seem to — he’s able to balance the fine line of being an old school hard-ass who doles out tough love with being a guy who gets players to respond and take his coaching.

     

    I imagine it’s a plus that Wittman was an actual NBA player who was teammates with the likes of Dominique Wilkins. Fisher probably has the advantage nonetheless because today’s players remember him more.

     

    Otherwise, I think D-Fish is fine on his own. Despite already having a star player already in place, change is tough and takes a long time. If Guitar Man Dolan continues to back Phil Jackson, which he better, and if Jackson continues to practice patience and back Fisher (why wouldn’t he?), I think things will eventually turn around in New York. I think … not necessarily hope, but I think.

     

    6.  Prediction for today’s game.

     

    Wizards win. Not so much because the Knicks are very #KnicksTape, but more because John Wall and Bradley Beal seem to love to play in New York. The game, however, will be closer than Wizards fans might expect–within double digits; the Knicks might even cover the spread.

     

    EDITED TO ADD FROM BRIAN CRONIN: In a minor Christmas miracle, Rett, the son of our buddy Jim Cavan, got through his surgery on Tuesday and his tumor was removed. The next issue is whether his liver would respond after being placed back into his body (the tumor took up about 80% of Rett’s liver, so in removing the tumor they had to actually remove the liver entirely. They then placed the healthy parts of the liver back in to his body and the plan is that his body will re-accept it and begin regenerating the rest of the liver). Today we learned that it appears that the liver is regenerating! Awesome!

    Merry Christmas, everyone!

    Knicks Morning News (2014.12.25)

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