The New York Knicks are 3-5 and things are so bad the dancers have stopped dancing (by the owners orders).
This is not what Knicks management (or fans) expected, but with Tyson Chandler out a month (at least) it’s hard to see how things take a serious turn for the better in the short term. Without him their interior defense and rim protection is lacking.
Even with him, the problem is there is no easy way to fix this roster.
Which is why they may deal Iman Shumpert sooner rather than later, reports Marc Stein on ESPN (his new blog is a great read).
More and more folks around the league see some sort of Shumpert deal materializing sooner rather than later, given that he’s New York’s only real asset of value to make an in-season move and with the Knicks increasingly confident that they’ve got enough at the position to handle Shumpert’s exit now that J.R. Smith is back and with rookie Tim Hardaway Jr. looking good early.
Earlier this week there was some Kenneth Faried for Shumpert talk, but those rumors were all out of the New York side. The Nuggets want more in in a deal for Faried and the Knicks don’t have a first round pick until 2018 they can deal, so that fell through.
Stein mentions Sacramento as another possibility (not sure who heads back to New York in that deal), and there will be more. Shumpert has value as a young wing defender who can shoot the three (although he is off to a slow start this season, hitting 31.8 percent so far this season).
That said, I don’t know that there is one deal that can solve the Knicks issues. At least not to Dolan’s satisfaction. This is one oddly constructed roster.
Still it sounds like there is some smoke with a potential Shumpert trade with the fire not that far behind.
The NBA has unveiled its top 100 plays of the 2015-16 season, and there’s no mystery as to what were the top two.
No. 2: Stephen Curry‘s halfcourt buzzer-beater in overtime against the Thunder in Oklahoma City during the season.
No. 1: “The Block” by LeBron James on Andre Iguodala in the final stretch of Game 7 of the Finals.
There’s plenty more, too, and if you have 25 minutes to kill, you can and should watch all of them above.
Tyler Zeller is one of the few restricted free agents left on the market who could make an actual impact next season, and on Saturday morning, he’s come off the board. Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald reports that the fourth-year big man has agreed to a deal to stay with the Celtics. It’s for two years and $16 million, with the second season being a team option.
Zeller isn’t a starter, but he’s a nice rotation big man, especially at that price. He can play minutes off the bench for Boston, and his contract is also very movable with the second season being unguaranteed. He played just 11.8 minutes per game last season, but averaged 18.5 points and 9 rebounds per 36 minutes.
The Toronto Raptors were good last season, second best team in the East. That means the guys on Inside the NBA on TNT had to talk about them.
Which means Charles Barkley had to say “Jonas Valanciunas” a lot. Which is high comedy. While a lot of people struggle to say his name the guy is a solid NBA center who, with a little practice, you can say (and spell) his name pretty easily.
This comes from a YouTube user, via Reddit, with a hat tip to Eye on Basketball.
Argentina isn’t considered a medal contender heading into the Rio Olympics. Their golden generation — led by Manu Ginobili — has picked up a lot of speed on the downhill side of their careers at this point.
They didn’t provide much of a challenge for Team USA in an exhibition game Friday night in Las Vegas, one won by the USA 111-74. Kevin Durant impressed playing with his new teammates in dropping 23 points, Paul George had 18, and the Americans had their way in the game.
Which is what we’re going to see a lot of in Rio — the USA’s talent level is just steps above any other team in the tournament.