The New York Knicks are looking for defensive help. As they should be if you’ve watched any of their games recently.
Which is why they are close to bringing in free agent Earl Clark. A deal is near, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.
The New York Knicks are finalizing an agreement with free-agent forward Earl Clark, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
After acquiring him in a trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday, Philadelphia released Clark, 26, and he cleared waivers to become a free agent.
Clark had played with the Cavaliers this season averaging 5.2 points on just 37.5 percent shooting (although he was hitting a respectable 34.5 percent from three). He wasn’t out there for his offense; he’s out there because he’s a good help defender and solid on the ball.
The Cavaliers traded Clark to the 76ers as part of the Spencer Hawes deal. Philadelphia instantly waived Clark, making him a free agent.
He’d be an upgrade for the Knicks (yes a guy waived by the Sixers is a defensive upgrade in New York, it has come to that). At least in terms of personnel. Mike Brown’s defensive systems are so predictable and overused — he likes to switch everything — that teams have learned how to attack it, yet the Knicks don’t really counter. They are predictable to the point of being ineffective. Do that with inferior personnel and the Knicks perimeter defense just gets torched.
Clark upgrades the personnel defensively but that’s about it. And that’s not going to be near enough against Miami.
Billy Donovan was given the head coaching job in Oklahoma City to bring their offense into modern times — and it seems to be working, Russell Westbrook said he feels a lot more space in the system.
But if the Thunder are going to contend for a title, they need a top 10 defense as well — and to do that Donovan is going to keep a Scott Brooks move and continue to start Andre Roberson and Steven Adams. Check out the starting lineup for their first preseason game Wednesday.
There also was this report via Anthony Slater in the Oklahoman yesterday about a scrimmage at practice.
Durant, Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka and Andre Roberson all started for the White team. Nick Collison joined them, but that was only because Steven Adams sat out with back soreness….
Donovan said the teams weren’t split by accident. That’s how they’ve been divided in practice. So at this point, it seems Roberson is this team’s starting shooting guard and Adams is the team’s starting center.
This is the smart move. Last season the lineup of Westbrook, Roberson, Durant, Ibaka and Adams was +13.4 points per 100 possessions over their opponents. Roberson and Adams are there for defense — neither brings much offensive game to the floor, but when you have Westbrook and Durant and only one ball between them, you don’t need more offensive threats. You’re going to get plenty of points.
If they can just stay healthy, Oklahoma City is a team to be feared.
The Hall of Fame player behind the original iron man streak is with us no more.
Knicks’ legend Harry Gallatin passes away at age 88, the team confirmed Wednesday.
Gallatin led the Knicks of the late 1940s and into the 1950s, when he set a then record playing in 610 consecutive games. Nicknamed “The Horse,” he was a beast on the boards who averaged 15.3 rebounds a game one season and averaged 11.9 boards and 13 points per game over the course of his 10-year career. He’s still fourth all time in total rebounds in Knicks franchise history.
Gallatin was a seven-time All-Star and twice All-NBA selection. After his playing days, he spent many years as the athletic director at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.
Our thoughts are with his family and friends.