Mike Woodson in Contention to Coach an All-Star Team

Usually the coaches of the teams with the best overall record in each conference get the distinction of coaching the All-Star teams every season, but that won’t be the case this year.

Since the best records in each conference belong to the Bulls’  Tom Thibodeau (Eastern Conference) and the Thunder’s Scott Brooks (Western Conference), and because they also coached the teams last year, new coaches must be selected. Woodson is one of many coaches who have the opportunity up in the air when the decision is made Monday morning.

“It’s dangling out there,” Woodson told the New York Daily News. “If it happens it happens. If not, I’m just going to go and rest, and think basketball and get ready for the final stretch. That’s what it’s all about.”

The Knicks entered Wednesday night 1½ games behind the Miami Heat for the lead of the conference and bragging rights going into the second half of the season with the defending champs. With games against weaker opponents before Monday’s decision (Milwaukee and Sacramento), there is a very good chance Woodson may solidify his position.

But while Woodson’s new position as All-Star head coach could be in the future that’s not the main thing he’s focused on. Woodson ultimately wants to bring the NBA Championship back to the “Big Apple,” who hasn’t seen a championship since 1973.

I’m not in it to coach an all-star team,’’ Woodson said to the New York Post. “I’m in it for one thing, man. To try to win a title and try to bring it back to New York. That’s what I’m in it for. I let the players understand the All-Star Game is a great game to showcase talent, the best players around the league. I’m about one thing. Trying to keep them healthy and see how far we can make this run.’’

If the season continues to play out as it has so far, the 28-15 Knickerbockers could potentially see the championship rounds of the NBA playoffs.

JR Smith and Kris Humphries Talk Some Trash

JR Smith has always been one of the more popular players in the New York Knicks camp for his very “eccentric” way of going about his problems. As many athletes have taken to Twitter to voice their opinion, in the basketball world JR Smith has got to be one of the more popularly followed trash talkers of the recent year.

Today was no different for the eight-year veteran fired verbal shots at forward Kris Humphries, in what was one of the funniest tweets of the new year. Humphries had no response. The Knicks lost to the Brooklyn Nets, 88-85, but it seems as though Smith came out on top.

 

 

Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Garnett Named All-Star starters; Round Two Awaits

It might not be as heated of a rivalry as Larry Bird and Magic Johnson from the eighties, but Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Garnett have garnered the attention of many fans as of late.

The two star players were named Eastern Conference All-Star starters on Thursday as the NBA announced the final results in fan voting. LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Rajon Rondo will also start beside Anthony and Garnett.

Anthony was recently suspended for confronting Garnett numerous times about a particular comment involving the star forward’s wife. Usually the two are on opposite benches, but how they play together will be the main question come February 17th during All-Star weekend in Houston.

This would be the perfect time for owner James Dolan to use his technicians to record on-court conversations, seeing as he did so while the Knicks played the Chicago Bulls. Even though the allegations could potentially be true, Commissioner David Stern and Anthony are both supporting the owner’s actions.

“There are microphones in our game all the time and there were no rules violated with respect to this,” Stern said on Thursday as reported by the New York Daily News. “We encourage all of our teams to mike the court the best they can.”

Anthony responded well to the allegations that Dolan was miking the games and even went as far as to support him. “I got an owner that looks out (for me),” Anthony said before practice Wednesday at London’s O2 Arena as reported in an article by Lohud.com. “You can’t beat that. (eh)?”

Whatever the circumstances may be, there has been a bit too much spotlight outside of the realm of basketball. Even though Carmelo is scoring 29.9 points per game with a 25.5 player efficiency rating and is shooting 58 percent for his true shooting percentage, the Knicks need to do more to secure the Atlantic Division. After playing poor defense in their last few contests, the Nets are slowly creeping towards first place in the division, and stronger play against a few weaker opponents should tighten the team’s grip on the division moving towards All-Star break.

In regards to Anthony and Garnett, the two players won’t have to wait until the middle of February to have their four quarter contender fight since the Knicks face off with the Celtics next Thursday. Hopefully Dolan will have his microphones ready.

 

 

 

Shumpert Set to Start in “London-town”

According to Al Iannazzone from Newsday, Iman Shumpert will most likely make his season debut Thursday against the Detroit Pistons.

Coach Mike Woodson has made it clear that he wants to protect Shumpert from any future injuries and wants to start Shump’s season out slow, meaning that he’ll only see limited action. Woodson will likely speak to team doctors before finalizing his rotation but it seems as though he will start the second-year guard alongside Jason Kidd.

The starting lineup at the O2 arena should consist of; Kidd, Shumpert, rookie Chris Copeland, Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler, who has recently recovered from a lingering illness.

With Raymond Felton still out and and Jason Kidd getting slower by the minute, Shumpert brings a new set of life to the rotation and gives relief to the other guards on the roster. An amazing defender, 21 Shump Street will give an added bonus to the lineup, given the Knicks’ recent lack of defensive intensity. Shump Shump also will bring an added spark of youthful energy to the Knicks’ geezers veterans.

The O2 arena is the perfect atmosphere for the return of the young guard. The feeling of a practice or exhibition game being away from home, is exactly what the recovering athlete needs. And three to four minute spurts are sure to be the least of the team’s worries from their explosive option at shooting guard.