Tag: Samuel Dalembert

New York Knicks Media Day

Quincy Acy starting for Knicks as power forward? Looks like it’s happening.


The Knicks have Amare Stoudemire, but he is still on a minutes restriction and really hasn’t been the most impressive Knick player this preseason.

The Knicks have Andrea Bargnani, but he has a strained hamstring. Plus, he’s Andrea Bargnani.

That opened the door for Quincy Acy and he — and his enormous beard — pushed through it, being one of the most energetic and defensive-minded Knicks in the preseason. Acy has started the past three Knicks preseason games and appears to have earned himself the starting spot when the season tips off in less than two weeks, reports Marc Berman at the New York Post.

“No I didn’t plan on coming here to start,’’ Acy told The Post with a chuckle. “I planned on coming here and playing hard to earn minutes. I guess I impressed enough with my defense to earn a spot. I don’t know what coach got going if I’m starting or coming off the bench or not playing, but I’ll be happy.’’

“I think that separates myself — just high energy,’’ Acy said. “Not a lot of guys in the league do the things I do. I take pride in it and take pride in my defense and take some pride in being a great overall teammate.’’

To quote a line I got from David Thorpe: Energy is a skill.

That has been the key — this feels a lot like how Kenneth Faried ended up a starter and key piece for Team USA at the World Cup. Injuries and defections opened the door for Faried, but his energy and rebounding turned out to be just what that team needed for glue and some inspiration.

Acy is bringing that to the Knicks this preseason — he goes all out every second he’s on the court. It’s not exactly something the Knicks have been known for in recent years. The Knicks traded for Acy this summer in a deal that was really more about dumping Wayne Ellington’s contract. Acy was seen as a slightly more efficient scorer than Jeremy Tyler plus a guy who busts it every time on the court.

But Acy has earned his way into the starting lineup (with Jose Calderon, Iman Shumpert, Carmelo Anthony and Samuel Dalembert). Personally I think Bargnani is better coming off the bench (insert your own joke here about coming off the bench in Italy next season if you want). It will be a matchup thing, at times Bargnani and Stoudemire will be a better fit.

Energy always fits, however. That’s what Acy can bring — and the Knicks fans will appreciate it.

Carmelo Anthony says he will mostly play small forward this season

Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony’s position has been a polarizing topic among Knicks fans and NBA observers for some time. He’s primarily played small forward for most of his career, but in recent seasons he’s been asked to play power forward due to injuries to Knicks big men Amar’e Stoudemire and Andrea Bargnani, and he’s been terrific at that position.

Now, with a brand-new five-year deal in hand and a new coach (Derek Fisher) and system (Phil Jackson’s triangle), he expects to go back to mostly playing on the perimeter, according to ESPN New York’s Ohm Youngmisuk:

After playing a good deal of power forward — and excelling at that position — over the past two seasons, Anthony thinks he will be mostly a small forward this season.

“We got too many,” Anthony said of power forwards on the roster. “I don’t need to go down there and battle. For what?”

“If it comes down to it, I’ll go back there,” Anthony added. “But I doubt it. They’re going to move me. We’re pretty packed at four and five positions.”

Whether the Knicks are actually “packed” at the two frontcourt spots is highly debatable. They’ve got the bodies, sure, but looking at their roster, it’s hard to argue that Melo wouldn’t be more effective at power forward than any of their other options.

The Knicks traded starting center Tyson Chandler in June, and his spot will likely be taken by Jason Smith, Cole Aldrich or Samuel Dalembert. This means that Stoudemire will probably be filling in some in the middle when healthy. And their other power forward is, well, Bargnani. Which isn’t ideal.

Fisher said he expects most of his players to play multiple positions, so Anthony could end up playing some power forward anyway. But as of now, look for him to be playing mostly small forward.

ProBasketballTalk 2014-15 Preview: New York Knicks

Derek Fisher

Last season: The Knicks finished just a game out of the playoffs, but their final place in the standings is more than a little bit deceiving. New York had a largely dismal campaign that saw the team underachieve, especially when expectations were so high following a 54-win season and a trip to the second round of the playoffs. Injuries to multiple big men, a regression from J.R. Smith and consistently poor play from the point guard position left Carmelo Anthony trying to do it all by himself most nights, and the overall performance of the team was poor enough to see significant changes made this summer.

Signature highlight from last season: Carmelo Anthony is one of the game’s elite scorers, and he put on a stellar shooting display on Jan. 25 against the Bobcats which resulted in him scoring 62 points on 23-of-35 shooting. The Knicks were just 15-27 at the time and entered the game having lost five straight, and with this being a Friday night in Manhattan, it’s worth wondering how many season ticket holders made other plans, and missed seeing this incredible performance in person.

Key player changes: Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton were traded to Dallas in exchange for Jose Calderon and Samuel Dalembert, and New York also added Travis Outlaw and Quincy Acy via trade with the Kings.

Keys to the Knicks season:

The Triangle Offense: Phil Jackson was hired as president of basketball operations this summer, and while his health will prevent him from returning to a head coaching role on a full-time basis, he’ll be doing so by proxy as much as possible. Derek Fisher was hired as head coach, and Kurt Rambis was installed as his lead assistant — both of whom have extensive experience with the Triangle Offense that helped Jackson’s teams win all those titles. It can take time to teach, however, especially to a group of players that are completely uninitiated. New York’s offense wasn’t terrible last season (it ranked 11th in efficiency), but the Triangle is more of an equal opportunity system than whatever it was the Knicks were running under Mike Woodson. If run properly, it will not only help Anthony get the ball in a variety of positions to score, but it will do the same for his teammates, theoretically lightening his load in the process.

Fit of the new pieces: Trading away Tyson Chandler means there is a large hole in the Knicks frontcourt defense that needs to be filled, which is pretty important considering that the team ranked just 26th on that end of the floor last season. Samuel Dalembert can be a capable defender when engaged, but beyond that you’re looking at Andrea Bargnani and Amar’e Stoudemire, neither of whom have a reputation of being impactful defenders. While that area remains a question mark, New York massively upgraded at the point guard position with the acquisition of Jose Calderon — not only a solid floor general, but also someone who consistently ranks among the league leaders in three-point shooting percentage.

More moves on the way? The Knicks were stuck this summer without the ability to go after additional talent via free agency, mainly because of two problematic contracts that have the team over the salary cap. Amar’e Stoudemire and Andrea Bargnani are both in the final year of their respective deals, and combined they count for almost $35 million in salary for next season. New York is certainly eying next summer, when they’ll both come off the books in time for the team to try to be active in what’s expected to be a deep free agent market. But since the two aren’t in the long-term plans, Phil Jackson may try to move one or both to add some youth, or some talent more readily available to help the team win in the immediate future. It would likely require the Knicks giving up an asset of their own to entice someone to take on these unsavory contracts, but it isn’t out of the question, depending on who Jackson believes could be had in a trade that would fit his vision of the future.

Why you should watch: Carmelo Anthony is one of the game’s best scorers, and is one of the rare players in the league who occasionally goes through extended stretches where he seemingly can’t be stopped.

Prediction: With all of the changes, from the front office to the coaching staff to some key rotation players on the roster, it’s difficult to see this Knicks team getting off to a fast start. The Triangle Offense is complicated, and installing new offensive and defensive schemes at the same time can be a lot for players to grasp. A return to the playoffs isn’t necessarily likely, but there are only five or six teams in the East that you can pencil in as an almost certainty. New York has a chance to compete for one of the remaining spots, and in a season where championship aspirations are admittedly out of the picture, that’s really all you can ask for.

Report: Mavericks re-sign Bernard James

Berard James

Bernard James didn’t want to be the Mavericks’ fourth center again.

He figured either he or DeJuan Blair, Dallas’ No. 3 center last year, would return and fill that role. But Blair heading to the Wizards didn’t clear a direct path for James.

The Mavericks traded for Tyson Chandler, who can fill a larger role than Samuel Dalembert did last season, kept Brandan Wright and traded for Greg Smith.

James could beat Smith for a rotation spot or maybe Wright or Smith would play more power forward. There are minutes up for grabs.

And James is pursuing them.

Marc Stein of ESPN:

Dallas renounced James – and Vince Carter and Shawn Marion – to clear cap space to sign Chandler Parsons. The Mavericks also used the room exception on Jameer Nelson, leaving them nothing but a minimum offer available for James.

Because James would have bird rights after his one-year contract, he can veto any trade next season. So, he will get some security (the same security he received last year on a one-year deal).

The 29-year-old third-year big man from Florida State is a solid defender, especially as a shot-blocker. Despite his limited offensive skills, he can still fill a small role.

The Mavericks now have 17 players under contract – two more than the regular-season limit. Ivan Johnson (just $25,000 guaranteed), Eric Griffin (just $150,000 guaranteed) or maybe even James himself are prime candidates to get waived unless Dallas makes another move. James’ guarantee is not clear, but usually, a non-fully guaranteed contract is reported as such.

Report: Knicks want to trade Pablo Prigioni and Wayne Ellington

Brooklyn Nets v New York Knicks

The Knicks have 15 players under contract – a full roster’s worth when the regular season begins – but less than a third of them are definite Phil Jackson picks.

He drafted and signed Cleanthony Early and signed Carmelo Anthony, Cole Aldrich and Jason Smith. It’s possible Jackson also wanted Jose Calderon, Samuel Dalembert, Wayne Ellington and/or Shane Larkin – players acquired in a trade with Dallas – but it’s also possible Jackson just needed to accept their salaries to facilitate the deal.

Two of Jackson’s other signings – Shannon Brown and Lamar Odom – didn’t stick.

Everyone else is a holdover from the previous regime.

If Jackson wants to continue remaking the team in his image, he could easily waive Jeremy Tyler, whose contract is fully unguaranteed, and sign a replacement. But it seems Jackson wants to go further.

Marc Stein of ESPN:

Wayne Ellington has a $2,771,340 expiring contract. Prigioni will make $1,662,961 next season, and his deal his partially guaranteed for 2015-16.

If this were just a case of wanting to dump Ellington – a quality 3-point shooter, at least when he’s open, who doesn’t contribute much else – why not just waive him? Sure, the Knicks would have to eat his salary, but they can afford it and they won’t have cap space regardless. Most importantly, waiving Ellington wouldn’t cut into 2015 cap space.

But it seems New York also views Prigioni as expendable.

Prigioni is an excellent passer who shoots efficiently due both to his stroke and his tight shot selection. He’s a minus defender despite getting a decent number of steals.

In Calderon, the Knicks have a better and younger version of that same player.

Of course, Calderon needs a backup. Even at 37, Prigioni can help next season.

It’s really a matter of how much the Knicks, who have their own 2015 draft pick, want to win now as opposed building to the future. Prigioni is better right now, but the 21-year-old Larkin has more long-term upside remaining.

If the Knicks clear a roster space, look for them to sign No. 51 pick Thanasis Antetokounmpo – another clear Jackson choice.