This is not good for the Knicks. Not good at all.
Starting center and defensive anchor Tyson Chandler will be out 4-6 weeks with a small non-displaced fracture of the right fibula, the team announced. He will be out 4 to 6 weeks.
Here’s what you need to know — the Knicks’ defense allows just 92.2 points per 100 possessions when Chandler is on the court and 107.1 when he sits. That’s 15 points per 100 possessions (and there are usually just shy of 100 possessions per game). The Knicks also get killed in rebounding when Chandler sits.
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The injury occurred in the first quarter Tuesday when Chandler banged knees with Kemba Walker of the Bobcats. Chandler went to the bench then had to be helped back to the locker room. By the way, the Knicks went on to lose to the Bobcats and fall to 1-3 on the season.
The only other legitimate center they have on the roster is Cole Aldrich, who is frankly a fringe NBA player, a guy on the league bubble. Coach Mike Woodson said this will mean more Kenyon Martin (he was forced into action in what was supposed to be a night off Tuesday), but prior to that game he hadn’t played more than 16 minutes a night and was platooning with the also banged up Amare Stoudemire. There will be more Stoudemire too, Woodson said.
There is Andrea Bargnani in the roster, but you can’t expect him to play defense (or do much else well so far this season).
The Knicks have a big problem here. They should go back to Carmelo Anthony at the four and try to figure out a center rotation, but there really are no good answers.
They are still a playoff team in the East, but if the next month they struggle then cannot get higher than a 5 seed in the playoffs, it is a long road from there to where owner James Dolan thinks they should be.
Devin Harris is the kind of veteran, versatile player Dallas coach Rick Carlisle likes in his backcourt — he can run the point or be a small two-guard off the ball. Carlise wants multiple ball handlers on the court and Harris allows him to do that with a number of different combinations.
Or rather, Harris will allow Carlisle to do that once he gets healthy. From Earl K. Sneed of Mavs.com.
Harris had surgery on the big toe on his other foot, this injury is to the “good” one. Harris can be a bit injury prone and the Mavs likely will bring him along slowly.
This likely means more J.J. Barea and Seth Curry in the short term in Dallas.
Late in the blowout loss to the Cavaliers Tuesday, it was clear the Knicks were making a point of trying to run more triangle sets — it’s an offense a lot of their players are still just starting to learn and the game turned into a glorified practice.
On the night as a whole, Derrick Rose was his old self on his way to 17 points on 17 shots: 41.2 percent of his attempts came after seven or more dribbles and after he held the ball for at least six seconds. He took six shots as the pick-and-roll ball handler and hit two of them. (Carmelo Anthony shot 2-of-7 as the pick-and-roll ball handler.)
Should the Knicks put him in more pick-and-roll situations where he’s comfortable? Here are some postgame quotes, via Ian Begley of ESPN.
“Towards the end, when you saw us running it, it was just us trying to get used to it so it’s not that foreign,” Rose said. “We got a lot of room to make up on that side of the ball too.”
“He had that good explosion,” Hornacek said of Rose, who scored 17 points (7-for-17 shooting) in 29 minutes. “He’s just got to figure out all of the stuff that we’re doing, and he’ll be a big part of our team and really help us.”
“We want guys to feel comfortable with kind of who they are,” Anthony said. “We don’t want to try to change anybody’s game. If Derrick feels comfortable being up there in high pick-and-roll, that’s his game. You can’t take him away from that. You want to utilize guys’ strengths. That’s who he is, that’s who he’s always been. We want to rely on that. We don’t want to take that away from him.”
The triangle offense takes time to learn, and Rose has been honest that it’s going to take time. Which is the norm. When Phil Jackson took over the Shaq/Kobe Lakers in 2000 and led them to a championship the triangle got credit, but that Lakers’ offense had an almost identical points per possession as the season before (what won them the title was a vastly improved defense). It was in future years that the offense started to click with the players, after they had run it for a season or two.
The Knicks want to make the playoffs now, which may mean some triangle sacrifices. New York certainly played faster for much of the game against the Cavaliers, which should get them some easy buckets. They should let Rose run some pick-and-rolls where he’s comfortable, particularly drag screens early in the clock. Mostly, the Knicks need to keep the ball moving and the players moving, not let it stagnate into defendable isolation basketball (even if Anthony and Rose can make some plays that way). And in the halfcourt, run the triangle — but keep the ball moving.
One game against the defending champs is not going to define the Knicks season, but they also see where the bar is set. They have some work to do this season.
LeBron James is an Akron guy born and raised, who is caught up in Indians fever like the rest of Northeast Ohio.
Dwyane Wade is Chicago born and raised, a Cubs fan who wants to see the team end its 108-year drought.
So the two have made a World Series bet — loser has to show up at the winner’s arena in the World Series champ’s gear.
After Game 1 — on the night he was collecting his latest ring — LeBron has to feel pretty good.
Either way, the payoff should be good.
Evan Turner‘s Portland debut was a rough one: 1-of-7 shooting for three points, and while he did have five assists mostly he looked like a guy still trying to figure out how to play with his new teammates.
Oh, and he got dunked on by Rodney Hood.
That was not on Turner, he was on his man and just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Even if he instantly morphed into 1977 Bill Walton he’s still getting dunked on there. Hood had a strong night with 26 points for the Jazz.
Portland got the home-opening win behind 39 points from Damian Lillard.