New York Knicks vs. Cleveland Cavaliers: Postgame Grades and Analysis

Carmelo Anthony scored 25 points, and the New York Knicks spoiled LeBron James’ homecoming, topping the Cleveland Cavaliers, 95-90, at Quicken Loans Arena Thursday night.

The Cavaliers jumped out to a quick start, taking an 11-point lead early in the second quarter. However, the Knicks slowly chipped away, and by halftime, Cleveland was only up 44-42.

New York proceeded to drop 53 points on the Cavs during the second half, 16 of those coming from Anthony.

The Knicks shot 53.6 percent from the floor overall and converted on six of their 12 three-point attempts. They also assisted on 30 of their 37 made field goals.

James appeared affected by nerves, as the perennial All-Star shot only 5-of-15 from the floor and matched a career high with eight turnovers.

As a team, the Cavaliers coughed up the rock 19 times, leading to 26 New York points.

 

New York Knicks

Carmelo Anthony: A

Carmelo Anthony was spectacular.

He scored 25 points, 16 of those coming in the second half. He was also huge down the stretch, hitting six of his last seven shots, including a beautiful baseline jumper over LeBron James to essentially seal the game late.

What’s more, Anthony did a nice job facilitating, handing out six assists.

Melo went 9-of-17 from the floor, knocking down a couple of treys and going 5-of-7 from the charity stripe.

Finally, he was a plus-nine in the win.

 

Amar’e Stoudemire: C-

Amar’e Stoudemire wasn’t particularly efficient on this night.

The big man went only 3-of-8 from the floor, scoring eight points in 24 minutes. He did, however, do a solid job of setting screens to create lanes for Anthony, so at least there was that.

Stoudemire totaled four boards as well.

 

J.R. Smith: B+

J.R. Smith got off to a rocky start in this one, leading some to question whether he has any idea of what the triangle offense really is.

However, Smith settled down and actually ended up having himself a decent outing.

He stayed under control for most of the night, taking only 10 shots (he made five), and he dished out a rather impressive seven assists.

Smith also made a big teardrop to put the Knicks up five with under 50 seconds to play.

Perhaps learning this offense will not be as complicated for Smith as the masses feel.

Smith scored 11 points.

 

Iman Shumpert: B

For a guy who struggled with his confidence so much last season, Iman Shumpert looked awfully good on Thursday night.

The Georgia Tech product scored 11 points off 4-of-7 shooting and did a solid job of handling the ball when New York needed to beat the press.

Of course, Shumpert was hardly a showstopper in this contest, but he looked significantly better than last year. He stayed the course and played within himself.

Shumpert also grabbed three rebounds in 29 minutes.

 

Rest of Team: A-

Quincy Acy was outstanding in 22 minutes. Although he ended up fouling out, one of the newest Knicks posted eight points and 10 boards, six of those coming on the offensive glass.

Jason Smith was brilliant too, spotting up for mid-range jumpers and burying five of his six shots. He totaled 12 points.

Second-year guard Shane Larkin also had a solid outing, tallying nine points and doing an incredible job of playing the passing lanes with five steals.

Finally, Pablo Prigioni hit a pair of triples for six points, and Cole Aldrich gave New York 14 good minutes off the pine, pulling down six rebounds.

 

Cleveland Cavaliers

LeBron James: D-

LeBron James got off to an inauspicious start in his return home.

The superstar went only 1-of-9 in the first half and displayed very sloppy handles, turning the ball over three times in the first quarter.

Unfortunately for the Cavaliers, this continued throughout the rest of the contest for James.

The two-time champion ended with 17 points off a paltry 5-of-15 clip, turning the ball over eight times overall, which matched a career high.

To make matters worse, James was a game-worst minus-13.

You have to think LeBron will be much better next game now that he got the home opener out of the way.

 

Kevin Love: B+

Unlike James, Kevin Love got off to a terrific start, recording 11 points in the first period and giving the Knicks fits with his ability to space the floor.

However, Love slowed down considerably as the night progressed, as he scored only eight points the rest of the way.

Love remained a force on the boards for most of the night, grabbing 14, but seven of those came during those explosive first 12 minutes.

Love finished with 19 points off 6-of-14 shooting and also handed out four assists.

The forward put up solid numbers, but his ineffectiveness down the stretch hurt his team dearly.

 

Kyrie Irving: A-

Kyrie Irving was probably the best and most consistent of the Cavs‘ Big Three Thursday night.

Irving did a fine job of attacking the basket all game, scoring 22 points off 8-of-14 shooting. With James struggling, he sensed that he needed to get more aggressive, and he did just that.

Irving posted six assists and five rebounds to go along with his point total.

It would be terrific if Cleveland can get this Irving night in and night out.

 

Anderson Varejao: C+

Anderson Varejao was relatively quiet.

He tallied 10 points off 4-of-5 shooting, but he did not make his usual impact on the glass, hauling in only four boards.

Varejao also did not provide much in the way of rim protection.

Cleveland will need more from the Brazilian if it wants to be serious about contending this season.

 

Rest of Team: F

There wasn’t much to write home about for Cleveland in terms of production from its role players.

Dion Waiters had a fairly subdued evening, scoring 10 points off 4-of-9 shooting. Then, in terms of bench production, Tristan Thompson and Matthew Dellavedova contributed six points apiece.

Shawn Marion played 10 minutes but went scoreless. 

Twelve bench points is just not going to cut it.

 

Coming Up Next

The Knicks will host the Charlotte Hornets Nov. 2. 

The Cavaliers will travel to Chicago to play the Bulls Oct. 31.

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New York Knicks vs. Cleveland Cavaliers: Live Score, Highlights and Reaction

It’s a return four years in the making, one you simply have to witness. 

Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks are bringing their work-in-progress triangle offense to Quicken Loans Arena, but make no mistake about it. This Thursday night show is all about LeBron James, who will kick off the second portion of his career with the Cleveland Cavaliers. 

More so than ever, all eyes will be firmly affixed upon the presence of No. 23—yes, No. 23, as the No. 6 jersey is now firmly in the past. Not only is this his official return to Northeast Ohio, but it’s also the very first time he’ll team up with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love in a game that actually matters. 

Against a New York defense that looked rather porous during its season opener and the exhibition season that preceded it, the NBA‘s newest Big Three should be able to rack up plenty of big numbers. Chemistry will inevitably be a work in progress, but it’s not as though the new-look Cavs are lacking in the talent department. 

Missing James’ debut with the Miami Heat was an egregious sin for any basketball fan, but a failure to see him walk back onto the court after coming full circle with his hometown franchise would be even worse. 

First comes the powder then come the cheers.

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Chicago Bulls vs. New York Knicks: Live Score, Highlights and Reaction

With the NBA season just two days old, the New York Knicks will host the Chicago Bulls Wednesday night as each team looks to kick off its 2014-15 campaign on the right note.

After failing to make the postseason in 2013-14, the Knicks will debut their new-look squad headlined by rookie head coach Derek Fisher.

Like their opponents, the Bulls spent the offseason revamping their roster, adding veteran big man Pau Gasol to a star-studded roster. Former MVP Derrick Rose will look to lead his potential powerhouse squad from the get-go after missing a significant portion of the past two regular seasons.

Though expectations are certainly higher for the Bulls, both rosters have the potential to compete as the season progresses.

For now, they’ll look to get the upper hand out of the gate.

Keep it locked here on Bleacher Report for live commentary, analysis and highlights.

 

Tip-off: 8:00 p.m. ET

Watch: ESPN

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How Important Is the 2014-15 Season to the New York Knicks?

Are the New York Knicks biding time, trumpeting patience and process as a way of readying themselves and their fans for another year of feckless basketball? Or are mentions of playoff contention indications of a team legitimately concerned with now, just as much as it is with later?

Different words have been flung around since the end of last season, many of them conflicting with one another. Instead of breeding balance, the Knicks are creating confusion, making it difficult—nigh impossible—to comprehend the importance of now.

Patience. Process.

Playoffs.

Which is it?

For a team so incontestably invested in dissociating itself from failures of years past, the Knicks have not entered 2014-15 with the fixed purpose or definitive direction conducive to redemption.

 

Patience and Process

If nothing else, the Knicks—buoyed by Phil Jackson and Derek Fisher’s candor—have been forthright about their attempt to reinvent themselves. Said reincarnation begins on the offensive end, where they’re implementing a somewhat-doctored version of the storied triangle assault.

This is not a halfhearted installation. Their roster isn’t ideally built for the triangle, but what little control over the cosmetic makeup Jackson had he exploited. He re-signed Carmelo Anthony, mid-range extraordinaire; he acquired Jose Calderon, the ideal off-ball point man; and he signed the triangle-fit Jason Smith.

Commitment to fully triangle-ing has been further evident in repeated acceptance of the lengthy process at hand. No one involved is entertaining instant mastery. If it’s not Jackson preaching patience, it’s Fisher. And if it’s not one of them, it’s someone else.

Including Anthony.

“It’s a work in progress now,” he said ahead New York’s regular-season opener, per ESPN New York’s Ian Begley. ”It’s going to be a work in progress until the end of the season.”

Indeed, the Knicks are facing a steep learning curve, one Doug Eberhardt and Mike Prada, writing for SB Nation, say cannot be skirted or abbreviated:

Combine a willingness to suffer through that transition year with long-term roster stability and extreme patience from management, and maybe a team can succeed going all-in on the Triangle. That is what the Knicks, under Jackson’s tutelage, will be hoping to accomplish. But that’s a tough sell for any owner, general manager or fan base; New York, of course, is not noted for being laid-back.

Triangle advocates believe previous coaches failed because of that lack of patience, and not any inherent problem with the system.

The triangle is complicated and, at its heart, endorses almost everything the Knicks did not last year: selflessness, ball movement, off-ball movement, spacing and reactive decision-making.

Elements of it have been integrated into other offenses over the years, aside from Jackson’s Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers. Those who tried to fully embrace it have failed spectacularly. (Think Jim Cleamons with the Dallas Mavericks and Kurt Rambis with the Minnesota Timberwolves.)

Recently, the triangle’s core tenets have also come under siege as they pertain to today’s NBA. In previous years, it’s called for an onrush of mid-range jumpers and post-ups, two scoring methods that go against the league’s three-point shooting influx.

These Knicks, then, must not only grasp the triangle but manipulate it.

Only three of Jackson’s Bulls and Lakers teams averaged more than 20 three-point attempts per game. Twenty squads, meanwhile, cleared 20 attempts last year. It’s adapt or die for this offense. And after the Knicks adapt, they’ll have to wait some more.

Then some more.

They may, in fact, wait well into 2015-16, since the Knicks of today aren’t the Knicks of tomorrow.

Roster turnover will play a significant part of their ongoing development. The team is flush with expiring contracts and impending cap space, the latter of which it intends to use.

“Carmelo took less money—even though it seems rather minuscule—but it’s enough for us to have flexibility in the coming year and then as the years go on the pie’s going to get bigger, things will happen,” Jackson said, per Begley.

New faces—whomever they are—will need time, just as the current Knicks need time. There’s no telling when the quest for headlining additions will end, either. It could be this summer; it could be next summer. This game of musical free-agency ventures could feasibly last for years.

And if the Knicks of today are merely a makeshift model for that broad, imprecise chase, how can this season itself be anything more?

 

Playoff Aspirations

Most teams in the Knicks’ situation that are struggling with a new system and employing a temporary core would be classified as “rebuilding.” They wouldn’t be expected to make the playoffs or do much of anything at all. Most rebuilding factions would willingly relegate themselves to the draft lottery while evaluating young talent and experimenting with different lineups.

But for all the similarities that can be drawn, the Knicks are not most rebuilding teams.

Anthony makes them different.

Thirty-year-old superstars playing at their peak aren’t typical components of lottery-lost franchises. Anthony returned to the Knicks knowing they wouldn’t become insta-contenders—he’s admitted as much—but his submission to their plan (and dollar signs) hasn’t bought them unconditional time.

It was Anthony who called the Knicks a playoff team in August, per the New York Post‘s Fred Kerber, and the rest of team has followed suit.

“There’s been teams that are learning a system, and once they figure that system out, they win,” Amar’e Stoudemire said, via Newsday‘s Al Iannazzone. ”When Tim Duncan played with the Spurs, his second year, they were somewhat of a new team but they won the championship. I’m sure we can search for that goal.”

Comparing the Knicks to any San Antonio Spurs team of the last 18 years is beyond absurdly ambitious. But the crux of San Antonio’s blueprint is one they are striving to replicate.

Like the Spurs, the Knicks are simultaneously planning for the future while trying to win now. However lofty or deluded that seems, they have no other choice.

 

Mixed Messages

What can we take away from the Knicks’ patience-seeking, playoff-searching ways?

Not much. Not right now.

Some of what they’re saying and doing trivializes this season. In addition to installing a new, complex offensive system, they’ve failed to elevate the ceiling of their 24th-ranked defense from last year. Their ability to lighten the scoring load that’s sat upon Anthony’s shoulders since 2011 is predicated upon ball movement and the shot-making abilities of inconsistent role players. Still-developing talents such as Iman Shumpert, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Cleanthony Early should also see substantial court time.

Next year’s first-round draft pick in hand, developing offense in mind, bottom-feeding defense in tow, it’s easy to say that 2014-15 will be nothing more than an empty, lottery-forsaken year for the Knicks. Not even Anthony’s offensive dominance can completely kill that train of thought.

But so long as they play in the Eastern Conference, such wisdom is not infallible.

The East isn’t built for traditional transitioning teams. Alleged tankers (Philadelphia 76ers) and raw-prospect-packed rotations (Orlando Magic, Milwaukee Bucks) make it implausible for a superstar-led team like the Knicks to count on bottoming out. It would take the most flagrant of tank jobs that, in all likelihood, would draw the ire of fans and perhaps the league.

Missing the playoffs also isn’t an effective sales pitch. If the Knicks want to spend forthcoming cap space on a Marc Gasol or Goran Dragic in 2015, or a Kevin Durant in 2016, they’ll want something of value outside Anthony to sling. They’ll need signs of progress.

And, in this case, there are no better harbingers of transcendent change than wins and playoff appearances.

So, immediately, the Knicks are who they are until injuries, a lack of talent, conference competition or a complete shift of course proves otherwise: the rare rebuilding team with its eyes fixated on tomorrow and its heart invested in today.

 

*Stats courtesy of Basketball-Reference and NBA.com unless otherwise cited.

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Taylor Swift is the newest member of the New York Knicks

Already the second best player on the Knicks RT @TheRealBenChew: Taylor Swift posing with Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e: pic.twitter.com/OnWCzOIEXm — Zach Harper (@talkhoops) October 26, 2014 Taylor Swift is quickly becoming more synonymous with New York than she has been with Nashville. The country-pop singer owns a home in Tribeca, she’s recently released her new Article found on: Next Impulse Sports

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What We’ve Learned About 2014-15 New York Knicks so Far

Perfecting the triangle offense is a challenge that may take months before coming to fruition. 

While Tim Hardaway Jr. and Jason Smith appear to be great fits for head coach Derek Fisher’s offense, a couple of players continue to struggle with the system.

Amar’e Stoudemire and J.R. Smith need more time adapting, while Quincy Acy looks like a possible X-factor. 

Many view this season as a transition period for the New York Knicks, but the potential to exceed expectations is greater than some are imagining. 

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New York Knicks vs. Toronto Raptors 10/24/14: Video Highlights and Recap

The red-hot Toronto Raptors looked to score another preseason victory on Friday night, when they faced the New York Knicks. The Raptors had won six of seven preseason games, but faced a tough test from Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks. 

Watch the video for full highlight

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Jose Calderon Must Be Lynchpin of New York Knicks’ Triangle Transition

Jose Calderon has his work cut out for him in his first year wearing blue and orange. Assuming his calf strain doesn‘t prevent him from suiting up next Wednesday for opening night, Calderon is the likely choice for the New York Knicks‘ starting point guard. 

A star he is not. But since creating shot opportunities for teammates is a responsibility shared by every single player in a triangle offense, it can take some pressure off a point guard. He doesn‘t need the court command of Steve Nash or the speed of John Wall. He doesn‘t have to create assists like Chris Paul, shoot like Steph Curry or drive the lane like Derrick Rose.

That doesn‘t mean he can be just any chump in a jersey, though. 

Calderon is no chump. He’s got those mysterious, magical things that all coaches love: intangibles! And he’ll need them all this season.

During preseason, Knicks players have spoken of the triangle with great tranquility and optimism, sunshine and daisies. Yet once the losses start to count next week, that peaceful attitude could degrade into panic if the offense isn’t as smooth as Amar’e Stoudemire’s skin after a wine bath.

When they fall behind, the players may choose to abandon the new strategy instead of perfect it. They might devolve into iso madness, every pass going to Carmelo Anthony, every shooter trying to single-handedly win the game. (I’m lookin‘ at you, Iman Shumpert, J.R. Smith, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Carmelo Anthony!)

Calderon’s main job will be to set the tone. Keep them honest when they start to abandon the game plan. Keep them inspired when they’re worn out.   

Another charge will be to get ‘Melo involved in the offense without shifting to isolation ball. Thus far, Anthony has shown a real commitment to executing the triangle, thinking “pass” before “shoot”—often to the surprise of his teammates, who aren’t expecting the ball to come to them once it touches his hands. Yet ‘Melo is still the star, and one of the best natural scorers in the league.

As Derek Fisher explained, per Fred Kerber of the New York Post:

As a coach, that is my job, to help everybody realize, that we have to figure out a way to blend this together that doesn’t put Carmelo on an island and put the rest of the guys on another island. We have to really be on the same page.

If it’s Fisher’s job from the sidelines, it’s Calderon’s job on the hardwoood. As Dan Feldman of NBC Sports’ ProBasketballTalk wrote, “Calderon is a pinpoint passer, careful ball-handler and sweet shooter. If you were designing the ideal complement to Melo offensively, he’d look something like Calderon.”

Striking the right balance will be essential. If Calderon cannot control this by always having his hands on the ball—which would defy the triangle’s rules about ball movement—he can encourage good behavior and discourage bad behavior with effective communication. 

Fortunately, these are areas where Calderon shines. As Dwane Casey, who coached Calderon while he played for the Toronto Raptors, said, per ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk, ”He is one of the most beautiful leaders I’ve ever been around. Very knowledgeable… he’s a guy that you remember as a player, he was a big part of what we started here and kind of set the tone.” 

In his own words, via the New York Post’s Steve Serby, Calderon said, “You gotta play for the name you got in the front [of the jersey], not in the back.” 

As long as the rest of his teammates have that same attitude—and the jersey designers don’t start putting last names on the front—the Knicks have a better chance to run a successful triangle offense than any team since Phil Jackson left the Lakers.  

 

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Which New York Knicks Player Will Make Biggest Leap in 2014-15?

The New York Knicks expect to make a significant improvement in 2014-15 on their poor showing last season, but to do so they’ll require a number of individual players to raise their performances big-time.

Fortunately for the Knicks, they have a handful of young players we can realistically expect to improve this year, especially with the likes of Derek Fisher, Kurt Rambis and Jim Cleamons on the coaching staff and Phil Jackson in the front office.

Let’s go through a few of New York’s top prospects and predict who will make the biggest leap in 2014-15.

 

Iman Shumpert

For the last few years, Iman Shumpert has been the Knicks’ marquee prospect, but after multiple injuries and a huge blow to his confidence under Mike Woodson, things have not been easy for him.

Ideally with a new head coach, new offensive system and a generally less tumultuous environment, Shumpert will be able to flourish moving forward, but there are no guarantees. He needs to assert himself and make good on his obvious talent and athletic ability, as there’s only so much difference outside changes can make if he doesn’t get involved.

According to Hollinger’s stats on ESPN.com, Iman Shumpert‘s usage rate of 13.5 last season ranked him 63rd out of 70 qualifying shooting guards, so it’s no surprise he was only able to average a career-low 6.7 points per game.

With that said, it was only 18 months ago that Shumpert made a very impressive return from his first knee surgery, improving his stroke to the tune of 40 percent shooting from beyond the arc in 2012-13. That kind of development is still very possible, especially with the chance for a fresh start in the Knicks’ new era.

The triangle will bring ball movement, so while Shumpert tends to struggle creating for himself, he should have plenty more opportunities as a spot-up shooter on the wing.

Defensively is where New York should really want to see Shump step up. It already has enough offense at the 2 spot with Tim Hardaway Jr. and J.R. Smith, but a defensive stopper on the wing could make a huge difference on that end of the floor.

Shumpert has certainly shown flashes of great defense. Even through his struggles last season, he was arguably the team’s best wing defender. His defensive win share of 1.6 according to Basketball-Reference.com ranked him behind only Tyson Chandler and (believe it or not) Carmelo Anthony on the Knicks’ roster.

If he learns the new system quickly and gets the support he needs from Fisher and Company, there’s no reason Shumpert shouldn’t at least improve his efficiency on offense and make some serious strides toward his All-Defensive potential in 2014-15.

 

Tim Hardaway Jr.

While Shumpert is looking to bounce back from a tough campaign, Hardaway is looking to build on a very strong start to his NBA career after earning a spot on the All-Rookie team.

Drafted at No. 24 overall, Hardaway has quickly earned a “virtually untouchable” label in the eyes of the Knicks’ organization, according to Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com, which isn’t really surprising considering the offensive potential he displayed in his rookie season.

Hardaway struggled to get minutes behind Shumpert and Smith early on but finished the season averaging 15.8 points per 36 minutes, fantastic numbers for an inexperienced player.

Plenty of work still needs to be done, namely increasing his efficiency and diversifying his game outside of the three-point shot, which will almost certainly be his focus this season.

In summer league, we saw Hardaway take a leadership role as one of the “veterans” of the Knicks roster, occasionally running the offense and taking it upon himself to get to the rim as opposed to simply waiting outside for a shot opportunity to present itself.

It’s clear that Hardaway has bulked up over the summer, which will no doubt help him continue to attack the basket, but he plans to use that to his advantage on the defensive end too, which is great news for New York.

Depending on how minutes are distributed, it’s very possible that we could see Hardaway increase his scoring to around 15 points per game, ideally coupled with a raise in field-goal percentage.

Hardaway appears to be one of the most confident and motivated players on the roster, which will surely work in his favor. Time will tell, but it appears that the Knicks have unearthed a gem in Hardaway, which should show during his 2014-15 performances.

 

Shane Larkin

While Shane Larkin wasn’t a member of the Knicks in his rookie season, it’s still very possible that he could improve on his season with the Dallas Mavericks.

Larkin broke his ankle before he could even play a game for the Mavericks, eventually playing only 48 games that season. He never really had a chance to build momentum for himself and with a solid guard rotation ahead of him managed just 2.8 points and 1.5 assists per game.

Now that he’s had time to fully heal and work with Fisher in the triangle offense, we should see more of Larkin‘s raw ability in 2014-15. We’ve already seen his lightning speed in preseason; there’s no doubt he’s one of the fastest players in the entire league.

Running the triangle in what is essentially his second rookie season is not an easy task, but according to Marc Berman of the New York Post, New York actually likes the way his speed occasionally pulls the team out of the offenseto the point where they’re favoring him over Pablo Prigioni as Jose Calderon’s backup.

Once he gets into his rhythm, Larkin can make a huge difference for the Knicks. They’ve been one of the slowest teams in the league for a while now in large part due to their makeup at point guard. Paired with the rest of the team’s young players, he has the potential to transform the second unit into a high-energy machine.

It may be cheating considering how little Larkin got to play in his rookie season, but if he earns a role in the rotation, Larkin‘s production should shoot up rather significantly in New York.

 

Quincy Acy

Like Larkin, Quincy Acy wasn’t on the Knicks last year, but that doesn’t change the fact that he’s turning heads this preseason.

When he was acquired along with Travis Outlaw, it seemed the Knicks just wanted to get rid of Wayne Ellington’s contract, but as it turns out they may have actually received a solid forward for very little in return to the Sacramento Kings.

According to Berman, Acy has a good chance of starting for New York at power forward with Carmelo Anthony moving back to small forward to accommodate the triangle offense.

Grit is the name of the game for Acy, a former second-round pick who’s undersized for the 4 spot. The Knicks could really use a player like that in the frontcourt to pull down rebounds and play physically on the defensive end.

Acy isn’t the most talented young player on the roster, but his energy alone will make a huge difference for the Knicks, and the opportunity to start should lead to a significant improvement on his career numbers of 3.2 points and 3.2 rebounds per game.

 

The Verdict

The good thing for the Knicks is that they suddenly have a nice collection of young talent, which will help significantly in their rebuildingor rather retoolingprocess.

It’s possible that New York could see improvements across the board from its young players, but the primary player to focus on is Shumpert, who’s at a crossroads in his young career.

The Knicks have a huge decision to make in 2015 regarding Shumpert, while the pressure is on him to prove himself worthy of a new contract when the focus will be on adding talent in free agency.

As far as all-around talent is concerned, Shumpert has displayed more than any other player on this list. The issue for him is turning that talent into consistent production on both ends of the floor.

With no surgeries this offseason and a system more suited to his style of play, we should see Shumpert bounce back in 2014-15 and remind everyone just how important a player he is to the franchise’s future before he hits restricted free agency.

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Washington Wizards vs. New York Knicks 10/22/14: Video Highlights and Recap

The Washington Wizards looked to break out of their preseason slump on Wednesday night, when they faced the New York Knicks. John Wall and company had dropped two straight games, and faced a tough test from a Knicks squad led by superstar Carmelo Anthony.

Watch the video for full highlights. 

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