Tag: Kenyon Martin

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Knicks lose by 41 points at home to Celtics


The Knicks snapped their nine-game losing streak on Thursday with a 30-point win over the Nets, and followed it up with a 38-point victory over the Magic at home the very next night.

Any belief that the Knicks problems were on the verge of being solved, however, was delusional at worst, and short-lived at best.

New York hosted the Celtics on Sunday for a noon tip-off at Madison Square Garden, but essentially didn’t bother to show up. Boston opened the game by getting out to leads of 12-0, 18-1, 25-5 and 34-10 on the way to a 41-point shellacking of the Knicks on their home floor.

There’s something about these Sunday afternoon games at home that simply doesn’t work for the Knicks; they lost in similarly humiliating fashion to the Spurs back on Nov. 10 by 31 points.

New York was without Kenyon Martin in this one due to a sore ankle, and started Tim Hardaway Jr. in his place. But that hardly was the reason for this disaster. When you start the game without a field goal for the first six-plus minutes and fall behind by as many as 25 points in the opening period, it’s due to an embarrassing lack of focus and effort more than anything else.

The Knicks fell to 5-14 on the season, while the Celtics improved to 10-12 — under .500, but leading the dreadful Atlantic Division which means the fourth seed in the dismal Eastern Conference.

Knicks and Nets might not remain so mockable for long, so enjoy it while you can

Carmelo Anthony

The Knicks and Nets as engaged in a thrilling competition: Which team is the biggest laughingstocks in the NBA?

Both can lay claim.

They have oversized payrolls, cartoonish owners, coaches on the hot seat and underwhelming stars. The Knicks have seen Metta World Peace and Kenyon Martin feud, and the Nets have matched with Jason Kidd-Lawrence Frank silliness. More internal strife seems inevitable for both teams.

The Knicks and Nets share the United States’ biggest market, but there are more fans outside New York than in it, and the rest of the country is eating up the Big Apple disarray. Though the Knicks and Nets are certainly accommodating with repeated embarrassments, I think we – and I definitely include myself – are a little overeager to mock these teams.

Of everything going wrong for them, the biggest issue is losing.

Even if they beat the Nets in tonight’s hyped matchup, the Knicks (3-13) would still be on pace for the worst records in franchise history. And the Nets (5-13) could shatter records for cost per win.

But a big reason the teams are losing isn’t fun to mock at all: Injuries. Both teams have been hit hard.

Using data from nbawowy, the Knicks rank No. 26 and the Nets No. 28 in net rating (offensive rating minus defensive rating). But when the teams have used lineups that include only members their full-strength rotations, they’ve been much better.

For the Knicks, I define that as:

  • Raymond Felton
  • Iman Shumpert
  • Metta World Peace
  • Carmelo Anthony
  • Tyson Chandler
  • Pablo Prigioni
  • J.R. Smith
  • Andrea Bargnani
  • Kenyon Martin
  • Amar’e Stoudemire

And the Nets:

  • Deron Williams
  • Joe Johnson
  • Paul Pierce
  • Kevin Garnett
  • Brook Lopez
  • Jason Terry
  • Andrei Kirilenko
  • Reggie Evans
  • Andray Blatche
  • Mason Plumlee

Using that adjustment, the Knicks shoot up to No. 20 and the Nets No. 23 in net rating.


Being in the low 20s still isn’t great, but it sure beats leading only the Bucks and Jazz and sandwiching the Cavaliers.

Of course, other teams have also faced injuries and used non-rotation players who lower the team’s net rating. So, this is far from a perfect measure of how good the Knicks and Nets would be if healthy – and it’s also unreasonable to expect perfect health from two teams so old – but I think this is an indicator the Knicks and Nets, as constructed, aren’t quite as bad as they’ve been so far.

And without the losing, maybe their more colorful problems get handled in-house. It all relates.

If the Knicks and Nets get healthy, they could go from historically bad to just regularly bad, and what fun would that be? Sure, we could – and would – still mock them a little, but this golden era of New York jokes could end soon. So, enjoy tonight’s matchup while you can.

Tweet/Quote of the Day: Metta World Peace says Knicks’ locker room problems all about pasta

Metta World Peace

That’s Al Iannazzone of Newsday quoting Metta World Peace discussing his reported locker room dust up with Kenyon Martin.

James Harden would agree that World Peace prefers elbows.

Report: Kenyon Martin, Metta World Peace had “heated” argument

New York Knicks v Atlanta Hawks

Losing causes friction in the locker room. Nine losses is a row is almost enough friction to start a fire.

For the second time in a day some of that friction around the New York Knicks bubbled to the surface — Metta World Peace and Kenyon Martin got in a heated argument Sunday during a workout before the Knicks game, reports Ian Begley at ESPNNewYork.com.

The two veteran forwards did not come to blows, but the back and forth was described as “intense” by one source with knowledge of the dust-up.

World Peace and Martin smoothed things over prior to the Knicks’ 103-99 loss to the Pelicans on Sunday night, sources with knowledge of the situation said.

We don’t have any idea what this one was about, but two veteran players like this should be able to move on.

We already told you that Iman Shumpert vented at Carmelo Anthony after a “miscommunication” on a defensive play. While caught on camera nobody is talking about that one, but Shumpert was already on the trade block so this could well just be a step toward the door for him.

All this really shows is that things are tense in New York, which we knew. There also is no great hope in sight — they need to get J.R. Smith right and Tyson Chandler back healthy. Do that, take some pressure off Carmelo Anthony and things can start to swing the other direction.

But in the short term, coach Mike Woodson has to be concerned he doesn’t become the scapegoat to relieve the pressure.

Carmelo Anthony: “I think we’re playing to lose”

Indiana Pacers v New York Knicks

I’m not sure what more can be said about the Knicks play right now after nine straight losses.

Carmelo Anthony was searching for a way to describe New York’s play and was rightfully harsh in his assessment after a loss Sunday at home to a New Orleans team that had to play most of the game without Anthony Davis. Here is his quote, via ESPNNewYork.com.

“I think we’re playing to lose rather than playing to win right now,” Anthony said after the Knicks’ 103-99 loss to New Orleans on Sunday. “When you lose games the way we’ve been losing them at home, on the road, you start thinking a lot. You start playing a little tense, you start playing on your heels.”

The idea the Knicks are thinking too much and not just reacting was echoed by coach Mike Woodson.

“I thought coming down the stretch, we played on our heels. The [eight-game losing streak] we were looking at here was staring at us in the face [and] instead of relaxing and just playing, we just didn’t make one play,” Woodson said.

Anthony looked like a guy who was pressing Sunday. He realizes how much falls on his shoulders — there is no Raymond Felton/Tyson Chandler pick-and-roll to create shots, J.R. Smith remains cold following surgery, and while Andrea Bargnani gets them points he’s not a shot creator nor efficient. All that said, their offense is basically scoring at the same rate it has all season.

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The more serious problem remains the 27th ranked defense over the last 9 games (using points per possession, stats via NBA.com). Without Chandler (who could be out past Christmas) there is no good way to solve this, and there are no real assets worth trading to get a decent replacement. It falls to Kenyon Martin and he can only do so much.

The Knicks are going to start playing better at some point and rack up wins, and as bad as they’ve been they are just 3.5 games out of a playoff spot in a down East. But when they are going to turn it around and if they can dig out of this early season hole remains the questions.