The New York Knicks host the Charlotte Hornets tonight as they look to secure their 21st victory of the 2016-17 NBA regular season. Will they?
The New York Knicks will attempt to block out the outside noise and focus on getting a much needed victory tonight against the Charlotte Hornets.
However, it’ll be quite difficult to accomplish that considering everyone’s focus is on Carmelo Anthony’s future as a member of the New York Knicks.
According to reports, the Knicks have reached out to the Los Angeles Clippers, Boston Celtics, and Cleveland Cavaliers about a potential trade.
As of today, both the Cavaliers and the Celtics have declined offers.
The Clippers, on the other hand, are interested in a deal, as long as it doesn’t include Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan, or Blake Griffin.
Essentially, if the Knicks want to ship Anthony to Los Angeles, they’d only receive some combination of J.J. Redick, Jamal Crawford, and Austin Rivers.
I’m aware these are tense moments for Knicks fans. Some want Anthony gone, some don’t.
If the right deal was on the table, which includes a combination of a young prospect and a draft pick, trading Anthony would make sense. You get value for Anthony, clear cap space, and get younger as you move towards rebuilding around Kristaps Porzingis.
However, if Phil Jackson trades Anthony for Crawford or Redick and Rivers, he should be stripped of his duties as Knicks President.
Crawford is 36 years old, Redick is 32, and Rivers is 24. If the plan is to rebuild, why is Jackson interested in Redick or Crawford?
Rivers, the only young player included in this awful deal, would likely split backup point guard duties with Brandon Jennings. What good does that do?
I’m not sure what happened this season. All of a sudden, Anthony has become incredibly expendable.
Anthony has career averages of 24.8 points on 45.2% shooting, with 6.6 rebounds and 3.1 assists. This year, his averages are 22.7 points on 43.8% shooting, with 6.0 rebounds and 3.1 assists.
Unfortunately, these sentiments are shared by many. For the first time in eight years, Anthony was not selected to participate in the All-Star Game.
In no way am I saying that Anthony has no faults in this season’s debacle. As the leader of this team, you are held accountable.
On the defensive end, Anthony has been a disaster. Offensively, his tendency to isolate on the wing is a detriment to the ball movement that head coach Jeff Hornacek wants to instill.
Then again, has Derrick Rose been the floor general we’d all hoped he’d be? Is he making sure everyone is in their proper spots on the court?
Rose is an elite slasher, but isn’t the point guard the Knicks need.
We can also can get into Joakim Noah’s ineffectiveness this season, but that’s well documented.
As I mentioned yesterday, Jackson should be looking to shop Rose. With Anthony’s leverage on a potential trade, it’ll be difficult to get something done.
Rose doesn’t have a no-trade clause and is in the final season of his contract. A contender looking to make an extra push for a championship may be interested in his services.
Jackson should also look to move Noah, as doing so would elevate Jackson’s status as a great GM.
When the season is over, Jackson and Anthony can sit down and asses possible trade destinations. That way, you aren’t rushing to trade a superstar before the deadline.
Despite the trade rumors, the Knicks still have a game to play tonight.
The Knicks host the 23-23 Hornets, which are in the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference.
The Knicks played the Hornets in a back-to-back earlier this season and both teams won on their home floor. The Knicks won the first game, 113-111, and the Hornets won the second, 107-102.
Unlike the Knicks, the Hornets are sending their best player to the All-Star Game this year.
Kemba Walker is averaging 23.0 points on 45.6 percent shooting, along with 4.1 rebounds and 5.5 assists a game. Most importantly, the Hornets are in playoff contention due to his play.
Michael Jordan, owner of the Hornets, has come quite a long way from drafting Adam Morrison third overall in the 2006 NBA Draft.
Trust the process? I wish the Knicks can say the same.
The Hornets both rebound and move the ball well. They are fifth in total rebounding per game and eighth in total assists per game.
The Knicks also rebound well, but move the ball at a horrid pace. They are third in total rebounding per game, but No. 19 in total assists per game.
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The most important stat of the night: defensive efficiency.
The Hornets are currently sixth in defensive efficiency, while the Knicks are 24th.
For the Knicks, this game will come down to two things.
The first will be their dedication on the defensive end. Will they come out flat tonight due to the outside noise? Will they disappear in the third quarter? Or, will this be one of those games where no expects the Knicks to win, and they pull it somehow?
Secondly, the efficiency of Porzingis. His last two outings have been pretty close to terrible. The combination of early foul trouble and inefficient shooting has hindered his confidence.
Hopefully, it’s something mechanical, and not achilles-related. If the Knicks are playing Porzingis on a sore achilles, foolish would be an understatement.
2017 hasn’t been kind to the Knicks. The Knicks are 4-10 in their 14 games in January. Two of those wins came at Boston and at Indiana—games the Knicks were expected to lose.
Four of those losses came against Philadelphia, New Orleans, Phoenix, and Dallas—games the Knicks were expected to win.
With all the outside trade rumors plaguing the team, in conjunction with a playoff-caliber team like the Hornets, the Knicks are projected to lose this game.
For that reason, I will pick them to win tonight.
The unpredictable New York Knicks get contributions from everyone and win, 109-103.