The All-Star break isn’t quite done with yet, but with nothing on the trade front looking imminent and no coach-firings to speak of, it’s time to look ahead into the Knicks schedule.
The Knicks look to have escaped the All-Star Weekend unscathed and intact, which, depending on how you look at it, may or may not be a good thing. With no major trades on the horizon and Mike Woodson and his staff looking more and more likely to return by the minute, it appears that the team is ready to go forward with what they have in house. That’s not to say that things won’t change by Thursday’s 3:00pm trade deadline, but for now the Knicks are going to go to battle with the pieces that got them a two-seed in the Eastern Conference last season.
New Yorkers breathed a huge sigh of relief when Carmelo Anthony declared that he would be willing to take less money to return to the Knicks if it meant building something special in The Big Apple. In an interview featured on Sportscenter, Melo also told us that re-signing in New York is his “first priority” and that the money “don’t really matter to me.” The way this season’s been going, I’m not sure that this is the smartest decision for him, but like I said in my anti-trading Melo piece earlier in the week, he won’t want to be lumped into the LeBron James category of “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.” However, just because Melo said something in February, doesn’t mean it will hold credence in July. Anthony went on to say that the Knicks haven’t shown him any official plans just yet, but you like to think that the organization will be much better prepared by the time free agency arrives. You can watch the interview in full right here.
Now back to the basketball world, where the outlook is much scarier. The Knicks dropped a self proclaimed “must-win” to the Kings at home before the break, and now sit two and a half games out of a playoff spot. We’ll have to stay tuned to see if they can be a different team in the second half of the season.
In case you missed “all” of the action last week, here is the quick version:
The Knicks had to make up their late-Januray, eight-game homestand somewhere, so they’ll kick off the second half of their season with four straight on the road. This might not be such a bad thing for a team that sports a home record of 12-18, although their 8-14 mark away from Madison Square Garden isn’t anything to brag about either.
The NBA Trade Deadline is Thursday, so stay tuned to TOK for updates on what’s going on with the team.
Tuesday – 8:00pm (MSG, NBATV) – at Memphis
The Knicks dropped one at home to the Marc Gasol-less Grizzlies right before Christmas in one of their worst performances of the season. This time around, Memphis will be at full strength and at 29-23, will also be looking to make up the three and a half games necessary to get into the final playoff spot in the West. 29-23 and in ninth place? Sounds kind of ludicrous to bloggers who cover Eastern Conference squads.
Wednesday – 8:00pm (MSG) – at New Orleans
The Pelicans have fallen off after a strong start to the year, but are still no pushover at home. There are rumors that they may be looking to trade away one of their slew of guards, including Eric Gordon, Tyreke Evans, or Austin Rivers, so maybe the Knicks catch a depleted team on the night before the trade deadline. J.R. will be disappointed to arrive n New Orleans just days after the All-Star festivities, and parties, have left town.
Friday – 7:00pm (MSG) – at Orlando
The Knicks are 2-0 against the Magic this year, which means only on thing if your glass is half empty: Get ready for a letdown. Orlando is in full-out tank mode, but sit just five games behind the Knicks, which is a perfect representation of how things have been going in New York so far this season.
Saturday – 7:30pm (MSG, NBATV) – at Atlanta
The Hawks have been surprisingly efficient without Al Horford this year, thanks in part to the consistent play first-time All-Star Paul Millsap. This Atlanta team has already beaten the Knicks twice this season, but the difference in talent levels between the two teams isn’t overly drastic. Or is it?