2014-03-15 15:40:201 Oct 2018 01:53 AM EST
-by Daniel Mogollon, Staff Writer; Image: Center Tyson Chandler defends point guard Brandon Knight. (Image Source: Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)
We take you around the New York Knicks:
Knicks beat Bucks 115-94:
Behind 23 points from Carmelo Anthony and 20 points from rookie Tim Hardaway Jr., the New York Knicks won their sixth straight game, a season high for the ‘Bockers. Melo made 8 of 16 shots and Hardaway Jr. was even more efficient, as the Michigan man knocked down 8 of 12 attempts.
Shooting guard J.R. Smith (5 of 7; 15 points) and power forward Amar’e Stoudemire (6 of 13; 15 points) also contributed to the club’s hot shooting, as the Knicks made 55.3 percent of their shots against the Milwaukee Bucks in their 115-94 matinee win at Madison Square Garden. Yes, the Bucks are the worst team in the Eastern Conference, but New York is playing some impressive basketball of late.
During their six-game winning streak, the Orange & Blue are averaging 114.5 points per game, they’ve scored 107 points or better in each contest, and they won each game by double digits, with an average margin of victory of 16.2 per game. New York’s next game is on Wednesday night versus the Indiana Pacers, their toughest opponent since they lost by 19 points to the Chicago Bulls on March 2. With a record of 27-40, the Knicks have moved into ninth place in the East, three games in back of the Atlanta Hawks for the final playoff spot in the conference.
Woodson on Jackson:
Before Saturday’s game, head coach Mike Woodson spoke to the media and said that he has nothing to prove down the stretch of the season.
“I don’t think I need to prove anything as a coach,” Woodson said. “I’ve never felt that way. I try to do my job the best I can do, and if you’re gonna judge me on 16 games, then that’s on you. I’ve tried to do the best I can do, in terms of my everyday approach to the game. We’ve had our ups and downs this year and I take full responsibility for that. But at the end of the day, we still have 16 games left, we got a legitimate shot to make the playoffs and that’s where I’m pushing this team.”
Woodson praised Phil Jackson as an asset to the organization, but also acknowledged that changes are forthcoming:
“Guys, it’s basketball. Teams, they try to reshape, they go through changes, and this is no different. You bring in a great basketball mind into your organization and eventually it’ll be reshaped. So how and who and when, only time will tell.”
The Knicks signed Jackson to a five-year contract worth $60 million on Friday. That’s $12 million per year to be the team’s president, as first reported by ESPN. The official press conference will take place on Tuesday at 11:00 a.m. at Madison Square Garden.
Melo says he didn’t take Jackson’s critiques personally:
During an interview with HBO in 2012, Phil Jackson was critical of the Knicks, calling them a “clumsy” team, and specifically super star Carmelo Anthony. Jackson questioned Anthony’s passing, labeling the forward a ball stopper.
"Maybe at that time I was shooting the ball a little bit too much. I really don't know what to say or how to respond to those comments. In the past I've heard Phil said some things about me. But I don't take it personal," Anthony said. "I don't take it no way. At that point he was just another guy who had an opinion. So I didn't really take it personal."
Anthony added that his game has grown since then and that he hopes to speak to the man that will be calling the shots moving forward.
"I'm hoping to sit down and just have a conversation. At the end of the day, it's Phil Jackson, man. I'm pretty sure all you guys would want to have a one-on-one with him. I'm the same," Anthony continued.
While Anthony may have to sell himself to Jackson, Melo can opt of his contract so if Jackson wants to rebuild with Anthony as part of New York’s core, he will have to convince the forward that he can transform the franchise into a legitimate championship contender.
"I'm hoping. I believe so," Anthony answered when asked if Jackson can turn the Knicks into a winner. "But like I said, that's something I'll have to sit down and really figure out at the end of the season, think about it. At the end of the day when that time comes, we're talking about spending these next ... the end of my career in one place. When that time comes we'll discuss that."
Daniel Mogollon is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America. He is also a voter for the Thorpe and the Rotary Lombardi Award, as well as the Latino Sports MVP Awards.
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