Posts Tagged With: New York Knicks

NBA on Christmas Day

Football is to Thanksgiving as basketball is to Christmas: they just work together. Throughout the day, five games will be played, starting at noon ET on ESPN with the New York Knicks hosting the Washington Wizards in Madison Square Garden. The NBA-filled day ends at 10:30 ET on TNT in Los Angeles as the Clippers take on their rivals, the Golden State Warriors, which will hopefully be a good game. Between spending time with family, I plan to watch as many games as possible. Here are my picks for each game:

  • Wizards at Knicks: Wizards. I think this one is a give-me game for the Wizards. The Washington team is doing well, with John Wall averaging 17.8 points, 10.4 assists and 4.6 rebounds. Their team gels well together and are currently 19-8, making them third in the Eastern Conference. The 5-25 Knicks, however continue to struggle and even though Carmelo Anthony is putting up big numbers, 23.7 points per game, it’s not enough. Wizards win 100-89.
  • Thunder at Spurs: Thunder. Even with Kevin Durant out, I give Oklahoma City the advantage. Kawhi Leonard is still out for the Spurs and Tony Parker may be out as well. Russell Westbrook seems to be running on all cylinders. If he plays the point, Cory Joseph is going to have a rough time trying to contain him. It will, of course, be a more competitive game than the one before, but I give the Thunder the edge 99-95.
  • Cavaliers at Heat: Cavaliers. Well, this will certainly be an interesting (and tense) game. It will be LeBron James’ first time back in South Beach since he decided to leave earlier this year. No doubt, he will be showered with boos, but still play well. The Cavs are still getting used to playing with one another, but at 17-10, I think they can arrange to do some good things on the offensive end to get the victory. With Chris Bosh out indefinitely, the Heat’s front court will take a hit. Kevin Love is currently averaging a double-double, making him a threat when it comes to shooting and crashing the boards. Kyrie Irving’s quickness will be too much for Mario Chalmers, allowing him to get the ball where it needs to be in a timely manner. Even with the home court advantage, Miami falls to Cleveland 94-110.
  • Lakers at Bulls: Chi-town. Derrick Rose is back. *drops mic* …*picks mic back up* But seriously, even if Kobe Bryant plays, it won’t be enough for the Lakers to get the win in Chicago. The Bulls have a good thing going and I don’t see the LA team messing that up. If Nick Young gets hot, he can put up some major points, but on the other side, there’s Rose and Jimmy Butler at the other end ready to fire at will with former Laker Pau Gasol getting it done in the paint. Being that Gasol is playing his former team and Carlos Boozer his former team, it will be interesting to see how each does. Chicago has the advantage 103-97.
  • Warriors at Clippers: Clippers. This is heart over head decision. The 19-10 Clippers have to keep it moving and get the win. Golden State is coming off a 115-105 loss to the Kobe-less Lakers, which could work in either team’s favor. The Warriors could use it as motivation to get the next win. The Clippers can be motivated by it because if a struggling Lakers team can win without Bryant, they should be able to get the job done with the squad they have. Being at home on Christmas Day, I trust that everyone will step up and put on a great show. Clippers take care of business and win 118-113.

Merry Christmas!

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Christmas Match-up Predictions

       Christmas is one of my favorite holidays, but not for the reasons that some may think. Other than spending time with family and 24 hours of “A Christmas Story,” there are back-to-back basketball games on all day, starting at 9 a.m. PT with the Chicago Bulls and Brooklyn Nets. Here are my picks for each game:

  • Bulls vs. Nets – Bulls. The Nets are having a hard time this season with all of the new adjustments and are 5-8 at home. They are also having a hard time putting the pieces together to win and have yet to get over .500. With the absence of Derrick Rose, the Bulls have also struggled in the season. However, they have key players like Joakim Noah who have stepped up to help. Noah averages 10.6 points and leads the team with 9.9 rebounds per game. Another reason why I think the Bulls will win is because they are more familiar and have better chemistry with each other than the Nets do, especially with all of the drama surrounding the team, most recently including Kevin Garnett’s recent remarks.
  • Thunder vs. Knicks – Thunder. I think this one is self-explanatory, but I’ll explain anyway. The Thunder are one of the best teams in the league right now, while the Knicks are one of the worst. It also doesn’t help that Carmelo Anthony is a game-time decision after rolling his left ankle against the Orlando Magic Monday night. With both Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook healthy and ready to play, I don’t think a Knicks blowout  is anything less than realistic.
  • Heat vs. Lakers – Heat. The Heat are on a five-game winning streak and coming off of an overtime win against the Atlanta Hawks. LeBron James is only improving and leads the team in points, rebounds and assists per game. The team has all the weapons it needs to beat a restructuring Lakers team. Not only are they still rebuilding, the Lakers are an inconsistent team. Some nights Nick Young can shoot the lights out in the Staples Center, while other times, it looks like the lights are out while he’s shooting. It’s also important to mention that Kobe Bryant will be out, so they have no real dominant force on the court. They may put up a good fight being that they’ll be at home, but I don’t see the Lakers beating the fiery Miami Heat.
  • Rockets vs. Spurs – Spurs. Both teams are doing well, as Dwight Howard seems to be adjusting better to Houston than he did to LA. It should be a good game, but I think the Spurs will be able to get the win over the Rockets. As the best team in Texas, the San Antonio Spurs have the experience and skill to defeat the young team. They also have the home court advantage, only losing three at home so far this season.
  • Clippers vs. Warriors – Clippers. This will probably be the most competitive game. Although Steph Curry has been a dynamic shooter for the Bay Area team, the Clippers have several clutch shooters and are improving defensively. The Clippers are also first in the Pacific Division, while Golden State is third. The two teams are tied for most points allowed with 99.1, but the Clippers average more points per game. After the Clippers’ outstanding comeback overtime win against the Minnesota Timberwolves, there’s no telling how far this team can go (NBA Finals maybe?).

Merry Christmas, everyone, and let the games begin!

Categories: basketball, Brooklyn Nets, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, National Basketball Association, NBA, New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder, San Antonio Spurs, Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Tracy McGrady retires after 16 years

After coming close to winning his first ring this past season with the Spurs, Tracy McGrady announced on ESPN’s First Take that he is retiring.

McGrady has been in the league for 16 years and was originally drafted by the Toronto Raptors. During those 16 years, he has also played with the Houston Rockets, Orlando Magic,  Detroit Pistons, San Antonio Spurs, New York Knicks and Atlanta Hawks.

Despite his deciding not to play in the NBA, the option of playing overseas is still open for him. McGrady previously played in China for a while, averaging 25 points, seven rebounds and five assists.

On a Chinese social media network earlier this month, McGrady stated that he would post on his website whether he would continue in the NBA or go back to the CBA. Although he has not yet said that he would, indeed, go back to playing in China, chances that he will are 50/50 right now.

McGrady had just come back from playing in China this season when the Spurs decided to pick him up in April. With the Spurs, he only play for five minutes during the playoffs.

Growing up watching players like Allen Iverson, Darius Miles and Tracy McGrady, it is sad to see him retire. However, it is now time for a new generation of players to rise, beginning with players like LeBron James, Chris Paul and Paul George. Luckily, there’s YouTube, so we can still watch some of the highlights of past players’ time in the NBA.

Here’s a highlight reel of McGrady:

Best of luck to Tracy McGrady in whatever he decides to do!

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Iman Shumpert, the Rapper?

In the past, many athletes have tried their hand at exploring their talents in music and Iman Shumpert is no different.The New York Knicks small forward is now using his off season time to make rap records.

Last December, Shumpert released a mixtape, called “Th3 #POST90S.” It was even featured as mixtape of the week on Stereogum, a music website. If this is just a phase for Shumpert, it does not seem to be going away anytime soon.

More recently, First Lady Michelle Obama reportedly will be releasing a hip hop album titled, “Songs for a Healthier America” as part of her anti-obesity movement, aimed at motivating children to eat healthier and exercise. This album will feature Shumpert on a song called “Pass the Rock,” which will also have samples from Marv Albert and Mike Breen. The album is to come out on Sept. 30.

These are not Shumpert’s only musical ventures. Two days ago, rapper Kendrick Lamar was featured on fellow rapper Big Sean‘s song “Control,” which has been said to be the verse of the year shortly after the song was released. Like many rappers, Shumpert decided to respond to Kendrick Lamar in a two minute and fifty-nine second song, produced by J-Muzick.

Shumpert has described rapping as a “side hustle” for him, but only time will tell how far he goes with his newly found rap persona. Whatever he decides to do, let’s just hope he does not forget about basketball. The stakes are now higher for the Knicks to make it deep in the playoffs.

 

Categories: basketball, New York Knicks | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

World Peace in New York

After meeting with the New York Knicks, former Laker Metta World Peace has decided to return to his home state and play with the Knicks.

The two parties agreed to a two-year contract with $1.6 million guaranteed for the first year and a player option in the second.

World Peace decided to go to the Knicks because he “wants to win.” He also believes that both he and Carmelo Anthony can help each other.

The Knicks also had another major announcement. Sixth Man of the Year J.R. Smith had patella tendon surgery and work done on his left knee to repair a lateral meniscus tear.

The procedure will keep him out for three to four months. This means that Smith will miss training camp and possibly the beginning of the season.

The injuries were not apparent, but a representative for the Knicks said that they eventually became worse and worse.

Smith had just re-signed with New York earlier this month for another four years.

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Where in the World will Metta go?

On Wednesday, July 10, the Los Angeles Lakers amnestied small forward Metta World Peace after picking up former Philadelphia 76ers shooting guard Nick Young.

World Peace, formerly Ron Artest, took to Twitter to respond, but did so in an unconventional way.

Following a series of unusual tweets, he then tweeted more, saying that he wanted to leave the NBA and go play either basketball in China with Yao Ming, hockey, arena football or even become a developmental coach.

More recently, World Peace will be meeting with his hometown team, the New York Knicks, within the next few days to discuss the option of joining the team. The contract would be worth $1.6 million for the 2013-2014 season.

World Peace has also expressed interest in joining the Los Angeles Clippers.

Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni went on record saying that the decision to amnesty World Peace was strictly financial, but whether this was a good decision or not is debatable.

 

 

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Weekend Recap: NBA Playoffs

This past weekend the clock struck 12 for the Knicks, as they lost 99-106 to the Indiana Pacers. The Knicks struggled offensively, only making 40 percent from the field and ended the game with nine turnovers. However, it was not the Knicks low shooting percentage that accounted for their loss. The game stayed relatively close until late in the fourth quarter. The Indiana Pacers, however, came with their “A” game.

The highlight of this young team was Lance Stephenson. Stephenson’s hustle and fearless attitude helped to secure the Knicks’ fate and earned him 25 points and 10 rebounds. It also helped that the Pacers had George Hill back in the lineup after he passed several concussion tests and determined “ok” to play. Hill contributed 12 points and five rebounds to the Pacers win.

The highlight of the game was Roy Hibbert’s monstrous block against Carmelo Anthony in the fourth quarter, which was picked up by Paul George and brought to the other end for a quick two by Stephenson. The Knicks seemed to have fallen apart at the last minute. The Pacers outscored the Knicks 25-18 in the fourth quarter, advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals. Indiana will start this series against the Heat at 8:30 ET Wednesday on TNT.

The Grizzlies had a major wake-up call in their 83-105 loss to the San Antonio Spurs. The game was never really close. It seems as though the Spurs came out on fire. The smallest deficit of the game was by one early in the first quarter. After that, the Grizzlies were never able to catch up.

The biggest part of the Spur’s success was due to their outside shooting. The veteran team was able to shoot almost 50 percent from behind the perimeter. Kawhi Leonard, once again, came up big, making four of five of his three-point shots.

The Spurs were also able to shut out Zach Randolph. He only scored two points in the whole game, but did manage seven rebounds. Marc Gasol, however, was able put up 15 points and four rebounds. The Spurs are a great team, but Memphis did not seem to have a rhythm as they played. They allowed San Antonio to make them play “Spurs basketball” instead of playing “Memphis ball.”

Tony Parker also had a big game and was able to penetrate as well as move the ball around. He ended with 20 points and nine assists.

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NBA Playoffs

     After a long hiatus (school work calls), I felt it was necessary to get back on my blogging horse.

The playoffs are heating up as the Miami Heat and Memphis Grizzlies make their way to the Eastern and Western Conference Finals, respectively. Each series only lasted five games, but the losing teams were missing their key components.

After Russell Westbrook’s season-ending injury in the first round against the Houston Rockets, the  Oklahoma City Thunder has struggled to find a leader of the team. Westbrook also was an essential part to the Thunder’s scoring game. They were able to get past the Rockets, but the Grizzlies were too fast and physical to let the Thunder get through. Zach Randolph has been a focal point in the Grizzlies’ success during their playoff run.  Randolph averages 19 points and 9 rebounds per game. He’s been a dominant player and was able to shut Blake Griffin down in the first round of the playoffs and made big plays against the Thunder. The Grizzlies will go to the Western Conference Finals for the first time in franchise history and will face the winner of the Spurs/Warriors series.

The Heat were able to win in five games against the Chicago Bulls after two of the Bulls’ point guards (Derrick Rose and Kirk Hinrich) and forward Luol Deng were unable to play due to injuries and illness. Nate Robinson took over as the starting point guard. Robinson was able to come up big in the series, but it wasn’t enough. The Heat meshed well and were able to win decisively in three out of the five games of the series (they lost one). The Heat will go on to play the winner of the Pacers/ Knicks series.

My predictions for the remaining series: Spurs and Pacers.

The Golden State Warriors are a talented team and have been able to win two games against the seasoned veteran Spurs, but they are still very young. When Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson get hot, the Warriors are unstoppable. At the same time, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan are, for the most part, consistent and can make things happen on the offensive end. Kawhi Leonard also plays a major role on the Spurs’ team, averaging 14 points in the Western Conference Semifinals against the Warriors. Although I’m rooting for the Warriors (they’re the last team standing from my home state), I don’t think they’re experienced and prepared enough to win against the Spurs.

I pick the Pacers over the New York Knicks because the Pacers are on a hot streak. Paul George, George Hill, David West and Roy Hibbert are all big parts of the success of the Pacers’ team. They all contribute in a major way on both ends of the court. The Knicks have Carmelo Anthony and Sixth Man of the Year J.R. Smith, but they are not enough to keep the rising stars of Indiana down. The Pacers are up 3-1 and with the way that they’ve been playing, it’s not likely that the Knicks will be able to win three back-to-back games against them. There may be a chance that the Knicks win this game, as they are 31-10 at home, while the Pacers are 19-21 away. Even with that in mind, the Pacers did manage to win one game in Madison Square Garden. They play game five tonight, which should be a good one: the Pacers will be playing hard to end the series, while the Knicks will be playing hard to stay alive in the playoffs.

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