Report: Amar’e Stoudemire possibly out 6-8 weeks

9 Comments

When one door closes, another one opens. Now, Knicks big men, don’t everybody clutch their lower back and slowly lurch towards the door at the same time. This is an opportunity for a player to establish that he’s truly an offensive savant, and as much fun as a Rasheed Wallace revival would be, this is something that has long been in the cards. But before we dive into that, here’s the update on Amare Stoudemire and his troubling knee injury:

New York Knicks forward Amar’e Stoudemire will miss at least the first six weeks of the season after re-injuring his surgically repaired left knee, according to league sources.

It is not clear whether Stoudemire will use the extra time off to have a procedure or for rest and rehab.

Stoudemire may be out between 6-8 weeks, according to two of the sources.

Via Chris Broussard | ESPN.com

It’s a tough break for Stoudemire, who has dealt with knee issues his entire career. With Tyson Chandler already banged up with a bone bruise and the aforementioned advanced age of the Knicks backup big men, this is going to be a challenge. It’s going to require thinking outside of the box a little bit, and it’s going to require a star player making a sacrifice he hasn’t been open to in the past. Even though he says he is now. But maybe not THAT specific sacrifice — just a sacrifice in general. Like maybe he’ll let Marcus Camby use his parking spot, or something.

In case you haven’t caught on, yes, Carmelo Anthony, we’re talking about you here. Despite clutching to his identity as a small forward, Anthony played some of his best basketball at the power forward position last year. According to 82games.com, Anthony posted a ridiculous 29.5 PER at power forward compared to a 17.4 PER at small forward. It was a small sample size, but the lineup data supports the notion as well. New York’s most effective lineup in terms of plus/minus last year (over 50 minutes played) was sans Stoudermire with Anthony at the 4. Simply put, the Knicks were better a team last year when Carmelo Anthony played power forward.

And you know what? That all makes sense. Anthony is an incredibly strong player that can really bully his way to the rim and finish. He can score out of the post. He can draw fouls and create contact. When Anthony starts his attack from 17-feet, it’s all gravy. But when he catches on the perimeter in an isolation setting, the chances of a long, contested jumper increase to uncomfortable levels.

Considering the roster composition of the Knicks and the extended absence of Stoudemire, it’s time for Anthony to bang down low with the big boys. With no other post scorer on the roster, Anthony needs to get down on the block and get his team some easy buckets. It’s not always going to look good, and it’s not always going to feel good, but these are the types of sacrifices required when injuries hit. Magic Johnson started an NBA Finals game at center, for goodness sake — surely Melo can play power forward for a few weeks.

And don’t worry, Carmelo. I’m sure J.R. Smith will keep your “questionable shot selection” seat plenty warm in the meantime. For now though, it’s time to answer the call.

Suns GM Ryan McDonough: Eric Bledsoe hair-salon claim about tweet was unbelievable

Getty Images
1 Comment

Eric Bledsoe reportedly requested a trade from the Suns before the season then tweeted yesterday:

Clear message?

Apparently not.

After sending home Bledsoe today, Suns general manager Ryan McDonough explained his rationale:

The hair salon! What a wonderful excuse.

Is it true? I’m not going to call Bledsoe a liar. It might be.

It’s also probably true that Bledsoe isn’t long for Phoenix.

Report: Suns send Eric Bledsoe home, expect to trade him

Christian Petersen/Getty Images
7 Comments

In a shocking twist, the Suns firing Earl Watson did not end the dysfunction in Phoenix.

Chris Haynes of ESPN:

John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7:

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Bledsoe:

That is a first-rate tweet by Bledsoe. It’s great that he’s having fun with the wild situation, because the rest of us sure are amused peering in.

This was always going to be a long season in Phoenix, but things got out of hand in a hurry. The 0-3 Suns have been outscored by 92 – the worst three-game start in NBA history by 16 points. Now, comes the fallout.

At 27, Bledsoe was getting to be a little too old for a rebuild centered on Devin Booker, Josh Jackson, Marquese Chriss, Dragan Bender and T.J. Warren. The Suns could have dealt Bledsoe in the offseason. Now, they’re negotiating from a position of weakness.

Bledsoe is a good starting point guard when healthy. He’s earning a reasonable $14.5 million this season and due $15 million in the final year of his contract next season. There should be suitors, and Phoenix can gain long-term assets while stepping up its tank.

But this sure seems like a crisis-control move more than anything else.

Willy Hernangomez ‘mad’ about falling from Knicks rotation

Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images
2 Comments

Knicks president Steve Mills started his second tenure talking about rebuilding and listed Willy Hernangomez as a core piece.

But Hernangomez, coming off an All-Rookie first-team season, barely played in New York’s season-opening loss to the Thunder– drawing scrutiny.

Then, he didn’t play at all in a loss to the Pistons – eliciting a strong reaction from Hernangomez himself.

Hernangomez, via Fred Kerber of the New York Post:

“The same. I’m still mad,” Hernangomez said. “I cannot help the team win if I’m sitting on the bench. Two games in a row. It’s tough. I have to wait my moment. I cannot say nothing more.”

The Knicks are moving in different directions. Management is talking about building for the future. Coach Jeff Hornacek, who was hired by previous president Phil Jackson, is trying to win now.

There’s a fine line between developing Hernangomez through playing time and making him earn his minutes. Enes Kanter and Kyle O'Quinn might be better right now.

But being marginally better this season won’t get the Knicks anywhere meaningful except lower in the lottery. On the other hand, even on rebuilding teams, winning is most important to a coach’s job security. Earl Watson implemented the Suns’ tanking scheme, and look where that got him.

Hornacek is backed into a corner, and now one of the team’s most important young players is publicly expressing his displeasure. It’s the latest troubling sign in a locker room already suspicious of Hornacek.

Report: Eric Bledsoe requested trade from Suns before season

Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Suns guard Eric Bledsoe tweeted yesterday:

In light of Phoenix’s 0-3 start and Earl Watson getting fired yesterday, that sure looks like a trade request. Still, there’s risk in making assumptions about vague tweets.

John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7:

Why wouldn’t Bledsoe want out? The 27-year-old is in his prime and stuck on a young team that would rather tank than play him.

It’ll be interesting to see how Bledsoe explains the tweet. He previously paid lip service to his situation in Phoenix, but it appears he’s ready to open up. On the other hand, public trade requests typically draw fines from the NBA.