Kidd Signs With The Knicks

For years, the Knicks have lacked depth at the point guard position. Since the departure of Stephon Marbury in 2009, the Knicks haven’t had a viable and productive option at point guard. That all changed last season  in a 25 game stretch with the emergence of Jeremy Lin, a guard whom the Knicks claimed off-waivers from the Houston Rockets.

Now, in the summer of 2012, Lin is a free agent and has signed an offer sheet with the team whom waived him after training camp. The Knicks are expected to match any offer made toward Lin, and to validate Lin as their point guard of the future, the Knicks have gone after several experienced floor generals to help tutor Lin.

Knicks GM Glen Grunwald made several attempts at signing two-time MVP Steve Nash, but they were spurned by Nash when he signed with the Lakers.

Knicks forward Carmello Anthony was shocked when Nash decided to sign with the Lakers, but those sentiments about Nash were forgotten when Grunwald shocked the basketball world and announced the signing of legendary point guard and future Hall Of Famer  Jason Kidd.

“I was shocked to hear Nash was going to the Lakers,’’ Anthony said Friday after the U.S. Olympic Team opened training camp in Las Vegas. “I honestly really thought he’d be in New York. But it was definitely a shock. To hear the J-Kidd news kind of took that burden off a bit.”

The Kidd and Lin tandem is going to help the Knicks on several fronts. The chemistry issue between Anthony and Amare  Stoudemire will greatly benefit from the presence of Kidd. The addition of Jason Kidd provides the Knicks with a player who can defend on the perimeter, rebound the ball, and shoot the open three.

Even with being the second oldest player in the NBA, at age 39, Kidd is still a respected floor general who demands the most from his teammates.

“It really doesn’t matter; Steve Nash, Jason Kidd. A point guard is a point guard,’’ Anthony said. “Someone to run the team, get guys in their position, get everyone going. It takes a lot of pressure off me to try to do everything out there. I can pick my spots. With Jason, it’s a point guard to bring the ball up the court and get everyone involved. I don’t have to do much ball-handling. My mindset is working off the ball a lot; this helps me out to prepare for that”.

Kidd is now reunited with former Dallas Maverick teammate Tyson Chandler. Chandler flourished under Kidd on the offensive end of the court due to Kidd’s use of the pick and roll.  With Kidd as his PG in Dallas, Chandler had one of the best scoring averages of his career – 10.11 points 9.35 rebounds, and 1.44 blocks per game.

“I talked to him all summer,’’ Chandler said. “I honestly didn’t think we had a good shot at him. I thought New York would be a great place for him. I expressed that to him. I was just as surprised as everyone else when he made the decision. I feel like he definitely has a lot left,’’ Chandler said. “I’d throw his age out the window. He’s definitely valued on the court, but he’s more valued off the court. Whether in the locker room, film, in the huddle, he’s unbelievable”

Kidd will be a valuable asset in helping the development of Lin. Yes, Lin did take the NBA by storm last season, but he only did it in 25 games playing against less than stellar teams. There are still too many questions about Lin’s game. Can he defend on a consistent basis? Can he score on a consistent basis? Does he still have trouble going left? How can he get on the same page with the rest of his teammates?

When Anthony returned from injury during the height of “Linsanity,” he struggled playing alongside Lin. It wasn’t until after Lin went down with an injury and was ruled out for the remainder of the season, that Anthony found his stride and had the best stretch of his Knick career during Lin’s absence during the month of April.

Kidd, in an interview on WFAN yesterday, said, “With the intention of signing Lin back, I saw that I can help. Hopefully, help them win and help Lin. He’s a talented point guard, so at this stage I just felt I could help those guys. I think he’s going to be a consistent player, then it’s up to the media to label him great or good. But if you’re consistent in the league, you’ll win a lot of ballgames. So that’s what I’m here to try to help him with.’’

Kidd was rumored to sign with Brooklyn as a package deal alongside Deron Williams. That rumor seemed to gain steam when a picture of Williams and Kidd surfaced of the two of them playing golf together.

“I thought it was a good spot for him, a good situation for him,’’ Williams said. “Number one, he can help that team out a lot; as far as distributing the ball, getting the ball in the right spots, taking the pressure off Carmelo to lead the team. He’s definitely a veteran guy who knows how to play the game and will be a Hall of Famer. He doesn’t have to do as much as he had to do with Dallas. At his age, it will help him out a lot. I thought he was going to Dallas. We didn’t even talk about the Knicks. It kind of came out of nowhere.’’

Kidd will make everyone on the Knicks better, and will help the long term development of Jeremy Lin. He will help mature this roster from immature players who fold even when some expectations are accepted from them, and finally he will bring this franchise something they haven’t had since the days of Patrick Ewing – respectability.

Anthony Erupts For 41 Points

This is why the New York Knicks brought Carmelo Anthony into the mix.

The debate over whether Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire can co-exist was put on hold for at least one game as Anthony erupted for 41 points while Stoudemire added 20 points in his first game since his “incident” with a fire extinguisher.

The tandem combined for 61 of New York’s 89 points and allowed Knicks fans to temporarily forget that their season was on life support.

Stoudemire did a great job on the glass with a game-high 10 rebounds.

Anthony broke a tie game by connecting on a three-pointer with 54.5 seconds left. Then, with one of the elite defenders in the NBA draped all over him on New York’s next possession, he missed a three-pointer but was able to trick Shane Battier into committing the foul.

“We gave it our all tonight,” Anthony said after the win. “We rallied the troops and we weren’t ready to go home yet.”

The main reason why New York isn’t going home is the terrific play of Anthony. He went a solid 15-29 from the field in the win, but he is still only shooting 39% from the field in this series. Anthony went 3-15 from the field in Game 1 and 7-23 in Game 3. Those kinds of shooting nights are what did in his team and prevented them from winning any of the games earlier in this series. The key moving forward for Anthony is only attempting quality shots while getting good looks for his teammates.

Things weren’t all sugar and spice for the Knicks this afternoon, though. When Davis dribbled through the middle of the paint during a fastbreak with 5:15 left in the third quarter, his right knee buckled in what appeared to be a gruesome injury. He lay on the court grimacing in pain for nearly 10 minutes until a stretcher arrive to carry him off the court.

The Knicks PR team would later report Davis had dislocated his right patella. That diagnosis is just temporary as the official diagnosis will be given on Monday after he has an MRI.

Between Stoudemire’s bulging disk, Jeremy Lin’s small chronic meniscal tear in his left knee and Iman Shumpert’s torn left ACL and lateral meniscus, the injury bug has struck often this season.

Still, thanks to Anthony’s heroics, the Knicks live to fight for at least one more day.

Bucks Continue To Fight For A Playoff Spot

Milwaukee enters their game against Toronto with a 16-24 record, yet they are only one and a half games back of the New York Knicks for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Even though the team hasn’t had the kind of success they envisioned due to injuries and chemistry issues, Scott Skiles is happy his team is within fighting distance of a playoff spot.

“We want to focus on the teams in front of us and right now that happens to be New York,” Skiles told the media during his pre-game media scrum. “We want to try to catch them and get in. But there’s also a couple of talented teams behind us. Cleveland and Detroit are both playing much better and we’re only a game and a half ahead of them.

“But again, we want to focus on the teams ahead of us and tonight we caught a break when Philly beat them so we have a chance to get back to within a game. We need to take advantage of it.”

Milwaukee is coming off a tough stretch of games where they are coming back to the east coast after WHAT games out west. Throw into the mix that six of their next seven game are against teams that are sub .500, and it’s clear it’s a big part in their season.

Sure, there are some injury issues, but those won’t be used an excuse if the team falters.

“Yeah, but it’s also a great opportunity,” Skiles explained when asked about. “We’re coming off a pretty good week where we went 2-1 and we could have been 3-0 if (Derrick) Rose doesn’t hit that huge shot. Now we start another one where we have back-to-back road games and then we’re home against Cleveland. At the end of that stretch our season is going to be down to the teens. We’ll only have a handful of games to go. So I know it’s a cliche, but we need every win we can get.”

So with a game on the road against Toronto, Milwaukee can’t afford to let up, even if Jose Calderon is out and the Raptors are 13-27 on the season.

“We need these wins,” Skiles said. “Games like today are the games where you find out the will of your team, how much fight they have and things like that. Can we come in here and beat them again? This is a big game for us. Lets see how the guys react.”