Despite what some people on the island of Manhattan believed, the deal to get Carmelo Anthony was not a steal. This wasn’t purchasing Manhattan itself from the Native American Lenape people for trinkets.
The Knicks are not coming together as fast as expected, and part of the reason is there is no depth around the stars, Howard Beck reminds us at the New York Times. Depth that was traded away to get ‘Melo (and something most Knicks fans were good with at the time).
The Knicks are top-heavy, with Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire and Chauncey Billups headlining an otherwise woeful roster. They lack a legitimate starting center. Their starting off-guard, Landry Fields, would be a reserve on most teams. Among the reserves, only Toney Douglas is a reliable producer. They have no 7-footers, no shot-blockers and no perimeter stoppers. The tallest Knick, Jeffries (6 feet 11 inches), is one of the N.B.A.’s least productive players. He has started 8 of the last 11 games.
“I just think they’re flawed,” said an Eastern Conference scout who has watched the Knicks several times since the trade….
“You have no depth,” he said. “You’ve got five good starters and a sixth man in Toney Douglas and who is the next guy? Jared Jeffries is your next-best player?”
Jeffries couldn’t get off the bench in Houston but is getting pretty good run with the Knicks. Not a good sign.
That lack of depth will haunt them in the playoffs. Well, that and the lack of good defenders. The playoffs are all about matchups and depth of the kind seen in Boston and Chicago — one of those two may well end up the Knicks opponent in the first round — allows a coach to adjust the matchups. Mike D’Antoni will enter the playoffs with few options beyond his three stars.
Who are not meshing well right now. But that is a different problem.
Report: Trail Blazers receive permission to interview Stephen Silas
Portland also was granted permission Sunday to talk to Silas about being its top assistant, league sources said.
Working for Steve Kerr in Golden State – which propelled Alvin Gentry to Pelicans head coach last year and Luke Walton to Lakers head coach this year – is probably preferable. But Silas’ star is rising, regardless. He’s a highly regarded assistant coach.
Terry Stotts, contract extension in hand, could add Silas without fearing being undermined. That’s the value of giving head coaches security. Hiring good assistants becomes more tenable.
Why would Silas leave another good coach, Steve Clifford in Charlotte, for the Trail Blazers? I don’t know for certain, but in these situations, there’s usually one place to start: money. Portland’s willingness to spend could pay off.
Coaching carousel report: Nate McMillan targets Bill Bayno in Indiana; Dave Joerger to keep Nancy Lieberman with Kings
Bayno, the former UNLV head coach, had not been in the NBA this season but had been with Dwane Casey in Toronto the two seasons before that, and before that had been an assistant with Minnesota and Portland.
Corliss Willamson had been popular with players in Sacramento, as had Nancy Lieberman — but she also had a big fan on owner Vivek Ranadive. She is one of only two full-time female assistant coaches in the NBA (along with Becky Hammond in San Antonio).
Kevin Love steps on referees foot, tweaks knee, sits fourth; expect to play in Game 5
“I think Kyrie [Irving] was shooting towards the end of the third quarter, and I stepped on the official’s foot, and it didn’t feel too great,” said Love, who had a total of 13 points and 11 rebounds in Games 3 and 4. “More so the knee [than the ankle hurting]. Will be sore tomorrow, but nothing that will prevent me from playing.”
Love had seemed to find a groove playing with LeBron James and Kyrie Irving to start the playoffs, averaging 18.4 points per game and shooting 44.9 percent from three in the playoffs as the Cavaliers opened the playoffs with 10 straight wins. But like a few Cavaliers, his shooting has gone ice-cold in Canada — he also was rejected at the rim by Bismack Biyombo. Frye has played in crunch time because he is hitting shots.
“I had a lot of great shots, I just didn’t knock them down,” Love said. “It’s a simple as that. I had a lot of confidence in shooting the ball, a lot of really wide open 3’s, especially to start that first quarter. A number of them went in and out, so I just need to continue to stay aggressive.”
This series is knotted 2-2, and the Cavaliers need Love to find his shot before Wednesday night’s Game 5 — the Cavaliers have a series on their hands.
Kevin Love shut down at the rim by Bismack Biyombo (VIDEO)
His biggest play of the night was this clean block of Kevin Love at the rim. Love passed to LeBron James in the post, caught his defender napping and cut the rim, got the pass back from James and… denied.
Biyombo also got LeBron James at the rim but was called for a foul much to the dismay of Biyombo, Raptors fans, and the ESPN broadcast crew (it was the right call — watch Biyombo leap across the lane, he is anything but vertical, he contacts LeBron’s body, that’s a foul). Either way it’s worth watching.