Dolan's edict to Newsday, be nice to the Knicks?


The Dolan family’s media empire is vast. It includes Cablevision, the fifth largest cable television provider in the nation, the New York Knicks (with the television rights staying within the Cablevision family) and Newsday, the newspaper and Website.

A favorite sport of newspapers in New York: ripping the inept handling of the Knicks. It’s a bit like shooting fish in a barrel, but it’s a sport nonetheless.

But not so much at Newsday anymore, as the New York Observer reports.

Newsday has a new policy for its sports page. The paper’s editors have told their writers there has to be a new, softer tone. They don’t want loaded words. They don’t want name-calling. They don’t want stories to be unnecessarily harsh.

In interviews with several staffers at the newspaper, the policy was explained to Newsday’s sports reporters and columnists around the beginning of the year. Here are the early results: Stories have been killed because they didn’t adhere to the new policy. One columnist left the paper in response. Reporters, both within the sports department and in the Newsday newsroom, are suspicious of the motives behind it.

The Knicks dealings with the media in general have bordered on the paranoid. Now they are controlling the message by controlling the medium.

Just a note to James Dolan: Don’t worry about what the media writes, worry about the product.

If you want to avoid criticism of your ownership of the Knicks, they need to win. They aren’t winning because you let the Thomas affair linger far, far too long. Now, let Donnie Walsh and Mike D’Antoni turn your toy around. Stay out of their way. They are not perfect, it will not be easy, but these are the most competent people the Knicks have had at the top of the organization for a long time.

Khris Middleton dunks, Jimmy Butler can’t stop him (VIDEO)

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Khris Middleton has more expectations and more pressure on him after a breakout season in Milwaukee, followed by him getting him PAID this summer.

Well, he looked pretty good on this play against the Bulls, making the steal then throwing down despite Jimmy Butler‘s efforts to stop him.

Middleton finished with 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting for the Bucks. However, Butler had the last laugh as he went off for 23 points on 12 shots and led the Bulls to the (meaningless) preseason win.

Somebody looks comfortable: Paul George drops 20 in first quarter

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Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.

His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.

George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).

As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.