Tag Archives: New York Knicks

What you might have missed?

The past weekend has been crazy. Rumors are swirling in the NBA, Super Bowl Media week started, two tennis legends are back on the mountain top, and the NHL and NFL all star game ensued.

NBA

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Rumors continue to swirl about Carmelo Anthony, but just how true are they? Well…unfortunately, for Anthony, it looked like his stock is way down and the Knicks are looking to get rid of him for next to nothing for the caliber of player he is. The Clippers, Celtics, and Cavaliers have been linked as potential suitors for Melo. The Celtics have come out and said they weren’t interested, but they might be interested in being the third team  in a deal to help the Knicks and Clippers complete a trade. The stumbling Cavs are likely out as well as the combination of Lebron, Kyrie, and Melo would probably sour in Cleveland very quickly.

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The rumor mill is also firing up with Jimmy Butler’s name in the center of it. Rajon Rondo’s comments about the Bulls on his Instagram page didn’t go unnoticed. Tempers are flaring and what was thought to be a contender in the East, has fallen a long way off. NBA analysts have talked about the Bulls calling the Celtics in regards to a trade between the two teams involving Butler.

NHL

2017 Honda NHL All-Star Tournament Final - Pacific vs. Metropolitan : News Photo

The NHL All star skills competition and game took place this weekend in Los Angeles. The Atlantic came out on top in the skills competition with 9 points, but the highlight of the night was when Ryan Kesler’s son took part in the final shootout competition. Kesler’s son took the puck down the ice and dangled Montreal goalie Carey Price and slid the puck 5-hole, then followed it with an even better celebration.

The All Star game took place Sunday afternoon in the new 3v3 format. The Metropolitan division took the crown with a 10-6 victory against the Atlantic, with Wayne Simmonds getting the MVP award.

Tennis

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Roger Federer and Serena Williams made history this weekend in Australia taking home the men’s and women’s title in the Austalian open, the first major championship of the year.

Roger won his 5th Aussie open title and 18th major championship overall, the most in the open era. Federer took on his longtime rival Rafael Nadal and took him down in an epic 5 set match.

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Serena Williams cruised through the competition winning her 7th Aussie Open title and her 23rd major championship overall, a record in the open era. Williams took on her sister Venus for the first time in a final since 2009. Serena coasted to a 6-4, 6-4 victory.

NFL

Pro Bowl : News Photo

The NFL held their first skills competition since the mid 2000’s and it was an extreme waste of time. If you didn’t watch it, you did not miss out. The Pro Bowl however was a much more entertaining game with the AFC edging out a victory 20-13. It was a rare defensive battle where there was multiple turnovers and somewhat entertaining football, something we have not seen a lot from in past Pro Bowls.

NFL: JAN 30 Super Bowl Opening Night - Patriots : News Photo

On top of the Pro Bowl, the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots made their way to Houston. Media week is under way and the rest of our NFL coverage including predictions will be posted later this week so be on the look out!

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We Should Be Worried About Derrick Rose

The life of a star professional athlete is everyone’s dream. All the money you could ever need, a city that loves you, and a legacy that will long outlast you. This storybook career only happens for a select few players, but there’s another group that we don’t often talk about.

For every legend, there’s a guy who never quite made it. Someone who tasted the success, had it all, and couldn’t seal the deal. In the NFL, we see this on all sorts of levels. Johnny Manziel never even really got to taste professional success. Vince Young had several good seasons just to end his career on a practice squad. Jay Cutler has basically been turned into Chicago’s punching bag. Granted, these guys still got rich, but the psychological toll of seeing your name in lights right in front of you just to have it stripped away in an in inglorious swipe isn’t something that should be overlooked.

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On Monday, Derrick Rose went MIA for the New York Knicks as they fell to the New Orleans Pelicans 110-96. It was a bizzare evening as media outlets and team officials did their best to track down the former league MVP, who had returned to his hometown of Chicago to attend to “a family issue regarding his mother.”

The absence came after a particularly tense period in the relationship between Rose and Knicks’ coach Jeff Hornacek. Rose, who failed to notify any teammates or team officials of his absence prior to leaving, had been benched in the fourth quater of back-to-back games. His actions were unacceptable, but the complex range of emotions beneath them are deeply concerning.

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Back in 2011, Derrick Rose had it all. He had just been named NBA MVP, he was averaging 25 PPG, and he was doing it all in his beloved hometown of Chicago. It seemed like he was destined to become one of the NBA’s next superstars. Rose started off the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season with high hopes to build off his MVP year and take the Bulls deeper into the playoffs. Beginning in January, however, Rose was forced to miss games with injury after injury, ranging from a sprained toe to back spasms. At the time, Rose told reporters, “For someone to not miss more than seven, 10 games in a year (my first three seasons), to miss 20 something, 30 something games, it hurts, man.”

Despite Rose being sidelined most of the regular season, the Bulls were able to secure the top seed in the Eastern Conference, setting up a quarterfinal series against the Philadelphia 76ers. Rose was able to get healthy before the series began, so he was ready to lead the Bulls on a playoff run. Fate wouldn’t have it that way. Midway through the game, Rose suffered an injury while landing after a jump. After an MRI, it was revealed that Rose tore his ACL. The news hit everyone around the league hard, and the fairytale career that Rose had worked so hard to obtain was falling apart around him.

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Rose would go on to miss the entire 2012-13 season, and played in 10 games the following year before tearing the meniscus in his right knee, an injury that sidelined him the rest of the season. In his final two seasons in Chicago, rose missed a combined 47 games and it was becoming apparent that Jimmy Butler was taking over as leader of the team. Before the 2016-17 season, Rose was sent off to the New York Knicks along with Joakim Noah.

Rose’s trade to the Knicks was seen by many as an opportunity for a fresh start. Rose would no longer be asked to shoulder the burdens of being an NBA superstar, but rather be a good player on, well, a bad team. From the outside, it hasn’t seemed to us like things have been going that bad for D-Rose. Sure, the Knicks suck, but he’s averaging decent numbers and he seems to get along with teammates, so what’s there to worry about? Well, the struggles between Hornacek and Rose had certainly drawn more attention to Rose’s unhappiness, but Monday’s disappearance has now made it headline news. This was no mistake. Rose wanted it that way. Why else wouldn’t he tell anybody? Did he think nobody would notice a professional athlete dipping out on game night?

More than anything, this is a cry for attention, and maybe a cry for help. He told the media he was taking care of his mother. ProBasketballTalk is reporting that he “talked about walking away from basketball.” The same source also reported that Rose will seek a max contract this summer. Derrick Rose is not in a stable place right now. Rumors are swirling all around him, often contradicting one another. After all this chaos, it’s hard to see a scenario in which he stays put happily in a Knicks uniform, but furthermore, it’s unclear if Rose has been happy since his MVP season.

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When you look back on what’s happened to Rose since that year, you realize that he’s been through the ringer. After his second severe injury, he was basically turned into a meme. He had a promising young career with his hometown team, and his own body took it away from him. He started off 2016 by saying he’d like to finish his career with the Bulls, and ended it on an unfamiliar team with a coach he’s less than enthusiastic about. Monday’s absence wasn’t just strange and quite frankly unexplained, it was a sign that the former MVP’s mind is focusing far beyond his teammates and is questioning his current place in life altogether. He didn’t skip out on the game because he was mad at Hornacek. Rather, the feud forced him to look in the mirror to question if he was truly happy where he was, and the only place he felt he could find that answer was home in Chicago where it all started.

It’s unclear where Rose goes from here, but it’s had to see this situation dissolving anytime soon. In the meantime, we should all be paying attention.

 

 

2016-17 NBA Expectations Meter: Atlantic Division

Rather than simply previewing each team heading into the 2016-17 NBA season, we analyzed each team and created what a successful season would look like for each franchise. Obviously, the bar is much lower for some than others (spoiler alert: the 76ers and Warriors do not have the same expectations), but each team has goals to work toward.

We begin this week with the Atlantic Division; home to the Celtics, Nets, Knicks, 76ers and Raptors. Two out of these five teams made the playoffs last year, and with other Eastern Conference teams such as the Pistons, Hornets and Wizards looking to take the next step, it is hard to envision three teams getting in from this division.

Perhaps the most interesting storyline to follow in the Atlantic Division is if any of the bad teams from last year can rise to challenge the incumbent playoff teams. The Toronto Raptors finished first with a 56-26 record, followed by the Boston Celtics at 48-34. After that, there is a stark drop-off; the Knicks, Nets and 76ers formed the basement of the Eastern Conference standings last season. In fact, those three teams combined for 63 wins, which is still 10 shy of the Golden State Warriors’ record setting season. Without further ado, here is each Atlantic Division team and their benchmark this year.

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Boston Celtics

                                  2015-16                                     2016-17
                                     48-34                                      53-29
              Lost to ATL in RD1 (6 Games)                           Conference Finals
                  2nd in Atlantic Division                       1st in Atlantic Division

The Atlantic Division in 2016-17 is going to essentially be a toss-up between the Celtics and Raptors. The biggest influence in that is going to be how quickly Al Horford settles into his new team. You may notice that our expectations for the Celtics, like the Raptors, is the Conference Finals. Only one of these teams is going to end up there. The Raptors are the known commodity, while the Celtics appear to be on the fringe of something good.

Losing in six games to the Hawks last season has to go down as a disappointment for Brad Stevens and company, and they will likely use that as fire to achieve better things this season. The Celts lost Evan Turner this offseason, and it has been reported that Marcus Smart will look to fill that void off the bench. The Celtics got rid of the underachieving Jared Sullinger, who was picked up by the Raptors. The Celtics will have to hope that he doesn’t find his stride with Toronto, meanwhile they have upgraded significantly in that department with the acquisition of Al Horford.

Though we have big expectations for the Boston Celtics this season, it is easy to envision them not playing out. This is a pivotal year for the Brad Stevens era, and there is a tremendous amount of pressure on them to perform. As stated earlier, a lot of this rests on the shoulders of Al Horford, but we have seen previously that big names coming to the merciless media market of Boston don’t always have the best track record.

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Toronto Raptors

          2015-16                2016-17
             56-26                   52-30
 Lost to CLE in CF (6 Games) Conference Finals (7 Games)
1st in Atlantic Division    2nd in Atlantic Division

The Toronto Raptors find themselves in a tough position as far as expectations go. Coming off a season in which they set franchise records for wins and lost in six games to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Conference Finals, the only way they can really improve drastically is my making the NBA Finals. That is a tough task, considering last time we checked, LeBron James and Kyrie Irving are still in Cleveland and they aren’t going anywhere.

In the offseason, the Raptors lost big-man Bismack Biyombo, but gained Jared Sullinger and re-signed DeMar DeRozan for $25 million over five years.

It is very unfair to expect the Raptors to dethrone Cleveland yet, but at the very least they could set themselves to be the next team up. If they are able to beat Cleveland, they will have exceeded our expectations, but for now, a hard-fought seven game series is their benchmark.

 

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New York Knicks

                                 2015-16                                   2016-17
                                    32-50                                    44-38
                  13th in Eastern Conference                        Make the Playoffs
                     3rd in Atlantic Division                   3rd in Atlantic Division

According to Derrick Rose, the Knicks are a super team, right? Anybody? Well, Mr. Rose was a little off on that one, but we do envision the Knicks taking a step forward in 2016-17. How could they not? They brought in Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Courtney Lee and several other players, and got rid of some lackluster players like Arron Afflalo and Robin Lopez. That’s not to say the Knicks are going to be a great team this year, but they could be fun as hell to watch.

If there’s one glaring issue for the Knicks, it is Derrick Rose’s off-the-court distraction. Rose is currently tangled up in a rape lawsuit, and if he is declared guilty, the Knicks season is already derailed. So much of what they are hoping to do this year revolves around Rose recapturing some of the magic of early in his career, and an off-the court distraction is not how the Knicks hoped to start this season.

The problem for the Knicks is also a long-term sustainability issue. This team as currently constructed only has a couple “good” (if you even want to call it that) seasons in them. After that, Carmelo Anthony will be old, Rose will be washed up, and Joakim Noah will be a non-factor if he isn’t already this year.

The best thing that could happen for the Knicks is Kristaps Porzingis having an MVP-worthy season. If he can establish himself as a superstar in the NBA over the course of the next few seasons, the Knicks have something to build around. Until then, they will tread water in the bottom of the playoff picture.

Screen Shot 2016-10-11 at 4.46.46 PM.png Philadelphia 76ers

                              2015-16                                   2016-17
                                10-72                                   32-50
                 15th in Eastern Conference                              12th or Better
                     5th in Atlantic Division                      4th in Atlantic Division

I think we’re all in agreement that it can’t get any worse for the 76ers, right? They’re gaining (finally) Joel Embiid and Dario Saric, a couple long-awaited 2014 first-rounders. In addition, we might get to see a little bit of Ben Simmons, but that remains to be seen.

The new faces on the court signify progress for the Sixers’ “Trust the Process” rebuild, which is notorious for being the longest rebuild in NBA history (we think). Even if Embiid turns into Greg Oden and Saric plays like Dirk Nowitski’s uncoordinated little brother, it would be hard for the 76ers to do worse than last season. This is actually the first year in a long time that people don’t have the Sixers finishing last, and I guess that’s a good thing for 76ers fans. Maybe they’ll hit the lottery again and get another top ten pick that might see the court by 2020.

All joking aside, a core of Joel Embiid, Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Dario Saric, and Ben Simmons could be halfway decent. All the 76ers have to do is make it work effectively.

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Brooklyn Nets

                              2015-16                                       2016-17
                                  21-61                                         25-57
                 14th in Eastern Conference                                 13th or Better
                   4th in Atlantic Division                      5th in Atlantic Division

Wait, shouldn’t that be spelled the BrookLin Nets? The only real move the Nets made this off-season was bringing in Jeremy Lin from the Charlotte Hornets, and that means this is going to be a long season. The lowly 76ers will now be breathing down the Nets’ neck with an improved roster, and it will be hard for Brooklyn to even stay out of the Atlantic Division basement.

The 25-57 record above is something the Nets should strive for, but in all reality, it will be an uphill climb. The Nets look poised to be potentially the worst team in the Eastern Conference, and no amount of crazy Jeremy Lin hairstyles or missed layup attempts can change this.

The Nets, however, are bringing in a new coach, which could be a reason for excitement. Kenny Atkinson is seen as a players’ coach, but we will see how that holds up throughout the course of a long season and many losses. Until then, keep trying Brooklyn. They don’t give participation awards in the NBA.

 

NBA: 5 Most Interesting Teams to Watch in 2016-17

Now that September is here, the NBA off-season that brought us more twists and turns than a sketchy carnival ride is nearing a close. Between KD, Derrick Rose, Al Horford and others, there is a whole lot to digest before the 2016-17 season gets underway. Being the inquisitive people we are here at Fan Interference, we set out to rank the 5 most interesting teams to watch in the upcoming season. Keep in mind this isn’t about wins and losses. Just because something is going to be ugly doesn’t mean it won’t be fun to kick back and watch. Why do you think people stop and look at car crashes? Anyways, here are the most interesting teams for the upcoming season.

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5: Boston Celtics

Early on in the off-season, the Celtics were a dark horse pick to land Kevin Durant. When Tom Brady shows up to your free agent meeting, good things usually happen. Though it was reported that Brady’s presence at the meeting had a big impact on Durant, it wasn’t enough to get him in a green uniform. However, the Celtics scored big with the acquisition of Al Horford, a former star on the Atlanta Hawks. While Horford isn’t the superstar that Durant is, he fits in well with the Celtics and coach Brad Steven’s vision. The Celtics are projected to be one of the better teams in the Eastern Conference this season, and monitoring Horford as he settles in to the new role will be fun to watch, espescially for the Boston faithful.

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4: Philadelphia 76ers

While it is still entirely plausible that they lose over 60 games, this isn’t the same 76ers of last year. With Ben Simmons coming in as a rookie with much expected of him, the entire dynamic of the Sixers has changed. Their roster reads like a team that will be great in a few years; Jahlil Okafor, Nerlins Noel, Dario Saric, Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid are all very young and have a lot of potential. That last name, Embiid, will be particularly interesting to watch; he hasn’t played in an NBA game since being drafted 3rd overall in 2014. If Embiid can stay healthy and stay away from fast food this season, he could be a major player on a team that is looking to build an identity (and has been since Allen Iverson left).

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3: Chicago Bulls

The big headline here is Dwyane Wade. Nobody expected the king of Miami to leave, including Pat Riley. Additionally, the Bulls brought in Rajon Rondo, who has fallen off to say the least since his glory days with the aforementioned Celtics. With Wade, Rondo and Butler, the Bulls have a cheap version of a Big-3 with some glaring chemistry issues. It is no superteam, heck, maybe not even a good team, but it will be a hell of a lot of fun watching the power struggle between Butler, an incumbent Bull who looks to be the new leader, and Wade, a native of Chicago and 3 time NBA champion. Rondo is always a wild-card, but there might be a sliver of hope that the three of them can hit it off and the Bulls can be a contender in the Eastern Conference.

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2: New York Knicks

The Knicks made waves this offseason by acquiring Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah and Courtney Lee. The running joke here is that this team would’ve been great in 2010, but there could be some upside to the New York Knicks this season. Rose is certainly giving us no shortage of entertainment, claiming that this year’s Knicks are a “super-team”. As if there wasn’t enough pressure on the former MVP to finally start producing on the court again. That being said, if Rose is somehow able to recapture the magic of his MVP season, that would make for a lethal combo with Carmelo Anthony, who is aging but still shows he can produce at a high level.

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1: Golden State Warriors

It’s kind of an anticlimactic number one pick, but the Warriors will just be too damn interesting to ignore. With the addition of Kevin Durant (which is still hard to fully wrap your head around), the Warriors have somehow managed to make themselves even better than they were before. That being said, the Warriors have made a big change that may take some time to come to full fruition. Adding a super star to play with other great players like Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green may take time to maximize their efficiency. Should the warriors stutter out of the gate, it makes it all the more interesting. Don’t get caught up on wondering if they can win 74 games. They won’t. That will become very apparent early on. My predicton is that the Warriors begin the season around the 20-8 mark. After that, they will hit a stride, but these things take time. Patience, young grasshopper.