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Sunday , Jun , 05 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Will 2012 be awkward for D’Antoni and Knicks?

D’Antoni told The Post yesterday, in his first interview since the season ended, that he is not concerned about his future with the Knicks. “No, I feel good,” D’Antoni said. “I hate it Donnie is leaving. I owe a lot to him. We had three good years. He did exactly what he wanted and said he would do and he’s got us in position to be one of the better teams in the NBA next year. That’s to his credit."


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Things will be awkward for Mike D’Antoni, the coach of the New York Knicks.

After all, the man who hired him, Donnie Walsh, no longer has the final word and is a consultant. A new executive will be brought in, and, no matter what he claims, he’ll eventually want his guy on the sideline.

Inheriting a coach is tough. The new executive and inherited coach have to build trust, familiarity, and win. And they must do it fast.

It can also be useful. Suppose the Knicks falter early in 2011-12. The new executive has a chip to play: D’Antoni. He can get a mulligan by firing ‘Mr. Seven Seconds Or Less’ and bringing in his guy.

The labour uncertainty will help D’Antoni, though. Owner James Dolan won’t want to fire D’Antoni because he’d have to honour his $6 million contract and pay another big-ticket coach.

Remember, teams will have less revenue next year if a work stoppage shortens the season. Paying two coaches isn’t easy –even for the wealthy Knicks.

Odds are that D’Antoni stays in New York. 2012 won’t be easy, regardless of how he spins it.  

--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , Jun , 04 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Isiah Thomas: ‘Never say Never’ on returning to Knicks

Just hours after Donnie Walsh announced he was stepping down as Knicks' president, Isiah Thomas uttered the words that all Knicks fans fear: "Never say never about anything," Thomas said on ESPN's "SportsCenter" Friday night when asked what he would do if Knicks owner James Dolan were to call him about replacing Walsh. "All my doors are open."
HoopsVibe`s Very Quick Call: I`m not sure if Isiah Thomas is a Justin Bieber fan.

Thomas surely made the Madison Square Garden faithful shriek when declaring he`d 'Never Say Never' on returning to the New York Knicks.
These weren`t shrieks of joy from preteens. These were shrieks of horror from dedicated hoop fans.
Knick-nation knew Donnie Walsh, who the club cut ties with yesterday, wasn`t perfect. The veteran spent years clearing cap space to sign LeBron James, but ended up with Amar`e Stoudemire.
They respected Dolan for leading the team back to the playoffs. Most importantly, the organization was no longer a laughingstock.
There were no lawsuits; there were no curious interviews with the team`s star; there was no letting the coach twist in the wind for months; there were no disgraceful contracts; and the owner wasn`t allowed to wreck his toy.
The soap opera had ended. Sanity had returned. Or, so we thought.
Owner James Dolan didn`t like the power Walsh had. So he played hardball on an extension. He demanded that Walsh, going forward, would report to him.
Dolan knew Walsh would never accept this. And Dolan achieved what many believed was his true objective: he forced Walsh out.
This, of course, opens the door for Thomas to return. Officially. Here's the question: did he ever leave?
Some claim the Hall of Fame guard was always working to undermine Walsh, taking credit for signing Stoudemire and engineering the Carmelo Anthony trade.
Coaching at Florida International University is a sabbatical from his real gig as Dolan's buddy. Thomas reportedly worked out prospects for the Knicks and acted as a consultant, even if this was a violation of NCAA policy.
New York should prepare for Thomas' return. Their shrieks will be louder and more painful than preteens at a Bieber concert.

--Oly Sandor.
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Sunday , May , 29 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: D’Antoni losing Knick players?

One player said Chauncey Billups, especially after he got injured, did far more coaching on the bench and in the huddle during the playoffs than (Mike) D'Antoni, and "made a helluva lot more sense." In private, the Suns veterans -- excluding Steve Nash, perhaps -- similarly degrade D'Antoni.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat, the two teams in the NBA Finals, have shown that defense still wins championships.
Now run-and-gun offensive schemes entertain. Fans love it. And players post highs in points and assists. Then the regular season ends. And the playoffs begin.
In the playoffs, Coach Mike D’Antoni’s ‘Seven Seconds Or Less’ scheme gets exposed. The tempo slows; each possession matters.  
D’Antoni’s players soon realize they can’t win, or even be serious contenders, with his offensive approach. When on the sideline in Phoenix, his Suns could never get a key stop.
Steve Nash aside, he lost his players.
The same appears to be happening with the New York Knicks. The players are tired of the gimmicks and song-and-dance. They want to win. And now.
Winning comes through getting-stops. Not out-scoring opponents. So D’Antoni may get another short-term contract, but he won’t be on the sideline if the Knicks go deep in the playoffs.
For that, they’ll need a coach who values what players do in their own end.
--Oly Sandor.

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Thursday , May , 05 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

The Knicks’ dilemma: Sam Dalembert or Chris Paul/Deron Williams?

Carmelo Anthony has returned to the city, and New York may see another basketball homecoming of sorts. Sources close to Knicks president Donnie Walsh say he has targeted Kings 6-foot-11 shot blocker Samuel Dalembert as the likeliest free-agent catch this summer.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Really? That's the plan?

Reports indicate the New York Knicks’ top goal this summer is to sign a blue-collar center. And these same reports suggest the Knicks have targeted, wait for it, the one and only Samuel Dalembert.

Now Dalembert, despite having a limited upside on offense, could, in theory, cover Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire’s defensive shortcomings. So perhaps this isn't such a terrible idea.

However, the economic realities of the NBA, could pose a problem. Suppose they ink Dalmbert to a contract. Suppose Chris Paul and/or Deron Williams play out the final years of their contracts and both become free agents in July of 2012.

Would the Knicks have enough cap room after signing Dalembert to land Paul or Williams, two of the game’s best table-setter?

The answer: probably not. It could be Dalembert or Paul/Williams. If this is the situation, GM Donnie Walsh -or whoever else is running the Knicks- should think carefully about the club's plan.

Signing a mediocre center instead of a world class point guard is unforgivable.

--Oly Sandor.

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Friday , Apr , 29 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Billups stop-gap so Knicks can sign Paul or Williams?

As we’ve written here, keeping Chauncey Billups around is a no-brainer. He’s better than any point guard the Knicks could have gotten on the free-agent market with whatever cap money they’d have produced by buying him out _ an estimated $8 million, but under the soon-to-be-moot old labor agreement.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Picking up the option on Chauncey Billups’ contract was the prudent move.

Sure, he gives the New York Knicks a steady hand at point guard. And sure, he’ll be better with an off-season to get healthy and a full training camp.

However, this wasn’t about 2012. It was about July 1st, 2012. That’s when Chris Paul and Deron Wiliams, two of the NBA’s top point guards, become free agents.

Both would be open to signing a lucrative contract with the big market Knicks –if the numbers fit according to the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, which will hopefully be worked out soon.

So Billups is simply keeping the point guard seat warm for Paul or Williams. For now, he’ll do. There is, however, a fear he’s getting older and slowing down.

Of course, that’s what people were saying when Billups got sent to the Denver Nuggets in exchange for Allen Iverson. Soon, he rediscovered his game and was an MVP candidate.

The difference is time. It’s starting to catch Billups. Thankfully, for the Knicks, he should be good for another year.

--Oly Sandor.

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Monday , Apr , 25 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

D’Antoni on Rondo: ‘I’d like to see him on Minnesota’

D'Antoni on Rondo: "I'd like to see him on Minnesota and see how well he does." But quickly adds, "He's a really good player."


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Mike D’Antoni should’ve been worrying about his New York Knicks beating Rajon Rondo and the Boston Celtics.

After all, D’Antoni’s Knicks were trailing their series 3-0 when he spouted off on whether Rondo could succeed without The Big Three on a weaker squad like the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The sideline boss had to field a team without starting point guard Chauncey Billups. Instead of preparing a solution like, say, inserting veteran Anthony Carter earlier on, D’Antoni provided bulletin board material for Rondo.

Know this: Rondo would be a player in The Frozen Tundra of ‘Sota -or anywhere else, for that matter. He’d pile-up assists with Michael Beasley, Kevin Love, and anybody else.

And Rondo makes his squad go, as demonstrated by his 21 points and 12 assists in game four against the Knicks. Now his Celtics are going to the second round after sweeping D’Antoni’s Knicks.

--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , Apr , 23 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Glen Davis on Amar’e’s core insult: ‘I’ve never had abs’

Glen Davis laughed off the latest barb from Amar'e Stoudemire. The rail-thin Knicks center, who brags about his low body fat, had said Davis' "core wasn't as tight as it should be."

The 6-foot-9, 289-pound Celtics forward took that as a sly way of pointing out that he is chubby. Davis leaned back in his seat next to the court at the Garden and patted his round stomach."I've never have had abs, no abs," Davis said with a laugh. "I am not gonna worry about that. Never in my life have I had abs, ever, even when I was a little baby."

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Glen Davis doesn’t have abs. In fact, the portly post admits he’s never had a ripped stomach.
The Boston Celtics’ star is openly defending his body shape because Amar’e Stoudemire mocked his core to reporters. Stoudemire has six-pack abs. Davis does not.
Davis does have a championship ring, though. His team does have a 3-0 advantage in their playoff series against Stoudemire’s New York Knicks.
Most importantly, Davis has his priorities right. Stoudemire does not.
For instance, Davis is laughing off Stoudemire’s latest insult, worrying only about closing out the series, and not saying anything at this stage that will end up on the Knicks’ bulletin board. There's no comment about Stoudemire being 'easy to defend'.
Meanwhile, Stoudemire is foolishly engaged in a personal duel. It doesn’t matter that he isn’t healthy. It doesn’t matter that his team is a game away from their cottages at the Hamptons. He’s acting a fool by running his mouth.
Of course, it’s ironic to see Davis showing maturity. His nickname is Big Baby. And he once missed weeks with a broken hand because he and a ‘friend’ had a physical encounter after a night of drinking.
Perhaps people learn. And perhaps people get sidetracked. Stoudemire will have time to think this over when his season soon ends.

--Oly Sandor.

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Wednesday , Apr , 20 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Video: Swizz Beats, Amar’e, and Melo Perform Go-New York-Go remix

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Gee, think New York is excited about being back in the playoffs?

Well, New York native, rapper, and producer, Swizz Beats has re-done the classic anthem ‘Go New York Go’ to celebrate the Knicks return to the second-season. And he gets help from the team's two superstars.

Watch the clip and get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

 --Oly Sandor.

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Wednesday , Apr , 13 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Chris Paul unhappy about rumors he’ll join Jordan’s Bobcats

Paul's comments on Twitter indicated he felt as though his words were taken out of context.

"Come on now people," Paul tweeted, "I did 3 different interviews about the Jordan Brand Classic this morning and was asked if Michael Jordan had influence on free agent signings and I said at the end of the day guys want to win...they askd would I want to return home and I told them I'm focused here in NO and that's the future and anything can happen...Hate when people try to turn things around just to make it a story.. #slowdown."

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: North Carolina’s prodigal son is tired of discussing a possible return home.

Chris Paul isn’t pleased with reporters for speculating he’ll leave the New Orleans Hornets for his hometown Charlotte Bobcats, who are owned by Michael Jordan.

Like most modern day superstars, he voiced his displeasure on what else -twitter.

Paul joining the Bobcats isn’t so far-fetched: he’ll be the prize of the 2012 free agent class, he already has a business relationship with MJ through Brand Jordan; Charlotte is still home.

However, Paul is unhappy with the Hornets because the league-owned franchise lacks the resources and market size to pay and attract co-stars. Of course, Jordan’s Bobcats have the same problem.

Both franchises will be hard pressed to win a championship –even if the new Collective Bargaining Agreement creates greater parity for the league’s have-nots.

So, why would Paul swap the Hornets’ problems for the Bobcats’?

He’ll surely try to partner with friends Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire. The New York Knicks would then form the newest super team, and the Paul brand would benefit from such a massive market.

Paul migrating home to Charlotte is unlikely. Instead, expect a migration up north.

-Oly Sandor.

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Monday , Apr , 11 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Amar’e: ‘I always play better in the postseason’

"That's the whole goal now," Stoudemire said. "I always play better in the postseason. I want to be 100 percent healthy to keep that trend going. The good news is it's getting better by the second. I'll play sooner than later."


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Amar’e Stoudemire has never lacked confidence.

The New York Knicks’ superstar expects to play his best during the playoffs, which may or may not occur.

On the one hand, Stoudemire has always excelled in the second season, posting massive scoring and rebounding numbers with his old squad, the Phoenix Suns.

While the Suns never won the championship or even made the NBA Finals, they did have some inspired runs to the Conference Finals.

On the other hand, the new-look Knicks, despite improved play, are still awkward. The Carmelo Anthony-Stoudemire combo is a work in progress, and poor chemistry is a concern at Madison Square Garden.

However, Stoudemire must first get healthy. He’s currently in a walking boot to speed up his recovery from an ankle sprain.

So confident or not, playing his best basketball or not, Stoudemire and the Knicks will face serious challenges this playoffs.

--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , Apr , 09 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Carmelo Anthony believes Deron Williams will re-sign with Nets

Williams' contract expires after next season, and the Knicks could have the cap space to sign him. Anthony said. "I haven't seen it but he's going to be in New York too, so you'll see a lot more of that -- the competition thing. We got another Subway Series coming."


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Takes one to know one.

New York Knick Carmelo Anthony is in the best position to know the future of New Jersey Net Deron Williams. Both are part of a small clique known as superstars.

And superstars do talk. They travel in the same circle, and often have inside information on fellow superstars before media, agents, or fans.

Anthony believes Williams will re-sign with the Nets next summer, meaning the Knicks may give Chauncey Billups another short-term deal or chase Chris Paul, who will be an unrestricted free agent.

However, there’s another reason Williams may stick with the Nets: the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The league’s financial system will change. The days of the superstar laden team could be over, especially if there’s a hard cap with no loopholes.

The Knicks may have no choice but to pass on adding a superstar floor leader like Williams or Paul. So 'Melo may end up being right. Just not for the reason he thinks.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
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Tuesday , Apr , 05 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Amar’e: Pau Gasol ‘is still soft’



HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Amar’e Stoudemire, tell us how you really feel.

To make matters worse, Stoudemire went on to say that Pau Gasol's finesse game isn’t an issue because Los Angeles Lakers like Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom cover him with their length.

Ouch. Talk about an insult.

Here’s my issue: Stoudemire hasn’t won anything in the NBA. He has no rings. Perhaps he should tone down the rhetoric.

Sure, Gasol has a better supporting cast, running with four All-Star calibre players: Ron Artest, Kobe Bryant, Bynum, and Odom. And sure, Gasol isn't the toughest customer on the low block, either.

However, the purple-and-gold weren’t contenders until they stole the Spanish sensation from the Memphis Grizzlies in a blockbuster trade three years ago.

So he has the upper-hand on Stoudemire. With the Lakers’ soaring, Gasol –soft or not- looks positioned to continue his winning ways this playoffs.

Where will Stoudemire’s New York Knicks finish?

-Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

Biggest Surprises and Fails for 2010-2011
Monday , Apr , 04 , 2011 J.N.

Biggest Surprises and Fails for 2010-2011

The season is almost over. It is time to look back and reflect on the positives and negatives. The hype before tip-off was through the roof. There was a lot of anticipation on new rivalries and storylines to be played out. Will the South Beach trio work out? How will Blake Griffin play? Is Steve Nash’s window closed? Are the Lakers still the team to beat? Kevin Durant got the MVP? The Chicago Bulls are 4th seeders, right?

Read More
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Sunday , Apr , 03 , 2011 Andrew Flint

Rumor: Amar’e and Ciara?

Knicks star Amare Stoudemire has set his sights on Grammy-winning singer and model Ciara. New York's hottest sports hero has been spotted dining out with the stunning songbird in recent weeks, and on Monday night, the pair shared dinner at STK with a group of 15, including fellow Knick Carmelo Anthon and his wife, LaLa Vazquez. Link HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call:  It’s nice to know Amar’e Stoudemire’s on-court struggles haven’t impacted his off-court game. Not one bit, in fact. Standing Tall and Talented is no longer with Amber Rose, the model famous for being with Kanye West, and is reportedly wooing Ciara, the R&B singer who many also describe as easy on the eyes. Stoudemire apparently met his newest love interest through LaLa Vasquez, Carmelo Anthony’s wife and the best friend of Ciara. Clearly, Stoudemire and Anthony work well off-court, helping each other with the females. If only they could recreate this chemistry on-court for the inconsistent New York Knicks. Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
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Thursday , Mar , 31 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Isiah liked ‘helping the Knicks’ sign ‘Melo and Amar’e

Which brings us to whether Isiah, on behalf of his good friend, Knicks owner James Dolan, was instrumental in helping New York land 'Melo and Amar'e. So I ask him: Was that you? He takes a long time to answer. "I do have a lot of friends," he says carefully. "And I am asked to advise in a lot of different scenarios. Players, coaches, and ..." A very long pause. "I won't comment on the Knicks situation, but I do like helping the Knicks, and I do want them to do well."


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Are the New York Knicks for real? Are they really having disgraced coach and executive Isiah Thomas talk to players?

The answer is yes.

Yes, Knicks owner James Dolan still consults Thomas – the financial mismanagement, poor trades, Stephon Marbury fiasco, Larry Brown disaster, sexual harassment suit, and other indiscretions don’t matter.

Yes, Dolan overlooks Thomas’ flaws and failures. Just like Dolan overlooks Donnie Walsh bringing the Knicks back to respectability.

Here’s a scarier thought: Thomas could be 'helping' the Knicks full time next season. Walsh doesn't have a guaranteed deal for 2012. Thomas, of course, is available, and would be willing to lead 'his' signings of Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire.

Dolan may let Walsh go and say yes to Thomas, giving one of the game’s most tarnished individuals a second chance at running this classic franchise.

Thomas leading the Knicks was a nightmare. Somehow, Dolan believes a sequel will be better. And yes, this is 'for real'.

--Oly Sandor.

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Wednesday , Mar , 30 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Knicks to replace D’Antoni and/or Billups?

The way the Knicks have struggled with Chauncey Billups running Mike D'Antoni's offense has rival executives wondering whether one of them -- or both -- won't be back next season.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The coach and coach on-the-floor could soon be out of work.

There are rumors the New York Knicks will cut ties with sideline boss Mike D’Antoni and point guard Chauncey Billups at season’s end.

Like all things New York Knicks, it’s complicated.

D’Antoni’s future is linked to executive Donnie Walsh. Unbelievably, Walsh, who brought the Knicks back to respectability after years of dysfunction under Isiah Thomas, may be pushed out at year’s end.

This would trickle down to the bench. D’Antoni was Walsh’s choice. And the 'Seven Seconds or Less' guru is protected with Walsh in the executive suite.

Walsh wasn’t the choice of owner James Dolan, though. He was the choice of Commissioner David Stern, who ‘suggested’ Dolan hire the veteran executive after Thomas’ shenanigans and tomfoolery became too great a black eye for league head office to ignore.

Dolan, who resents being told what to do, may re-hire his buddy Thomas. And ‘Zeke’ would then replace D’Antoni with his guy on the sideline.

This brings us to Billups. He has struggled to appease the club’s two scorers, Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire.

Billups is slated to earn $14 million in 2012; however, he can be bought out for $3.7 million. Expect the Knicks to exercise this clause –especially if the muscular table-setter can’t become Mr. Big Shot down the stretch or in the playoffs.

Of course, this doesn’t mean Billups won’t be back. The club could buy him out and re-sign him for considerably less money. Or, player and team could simply part ways. Nothing is set in stone.

There’s a famous saying ‘Only in New York’. Perhaps this should be revised to ‘Only in New York with the Knicks’.

--Oly Sandor.

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Tuesday , Mar , 29 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Stan Van Gundy: ‘We don’t give a damn’ about New York, Miami, and ESPN

"With Miami at the beginning of the year and New York since the trade, it's like, because so many people are interested in what happens with LeBron (James), (Dwyane) Wade and (Chris) Bosh and now with Carmelo (Anthony), Amar'e (Stoudemire) and Chauncey (Billups) you guys think our overwhelming (concern) is 'what's happening with Miami and New York?' Quite honestly, we don't give a damn," Van Gundy said. "We don't. I don't care. We're just getting ready to play them.

Van Gundy clearly had an issue with the media's obsession with the Heat and Knicks. "It's not all Miami and New York," Van Gundy said. "I know to ESPN it is, but to the rest of us, we actually think some of the rest of the teams matter."


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Sometimes it’s not what Coach Stan Van Gundy says, but how he says it.

Take last night’s tirade against the Miami Heat, New York Knicks, and ESPN. There was no need to bluntly state he doesn’t ‘care’ or give a ‘damn’ about two of the league’s high profile clubs and television partner.

Van Gundy could have instead said there are several strong teams in the NBA, including the Heat and Knicks. We worry about all of them.

This is essentially the same message. Except there’s no controversy.

Only Van Gundy can’t help himself. He loves headlines. He loves sound bites. He loves taking shots. Most importantly, he loves being the star of the show.

After all, no other coach, player, or league employee would have the stones to compare Commissioner Stern to the tyrants in North Africa and the Middle East.

The timing of such a statement was especially poor. Currently, that entire region is unstable and NATO is involved in a mission in Libya.

Clearly, Van Gundy missed ‘Media 101’. Or he doesn’t care. Either way, his act is tiresome. The Magic’s sideline boss better continue winning because he isn’t making friends.

--Oly Sandor

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Tuesday , Mar , 29 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Howard for Anthony or Stoudemire?

It wouldn’t be shocking at all if the New York Knicks make a play for Dwight Howard next season, perhaps offering either Amare Stoudemire or Carmelo Anthony at trade deadline.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Did you enjoy Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire battling Dwight Howard last night?

According to the Orlando Sentinel, the main characters in yesterday’s epic battle between the Knicks and Magic could switch places. Reports indicate the Magic would consider sending Howard to the Knicks for Anthony or Stoudemire.

A few thoughts:

1) The Howard rumors will continue to fly because he can opt-out of his contract at the end of 2012 and become an unrestricted free agent.

No matter how much Howard tries to defuse rumors, the feeling is he wants to bolt Orlando for a larger market. Like Los Angeles. Or New York.

The Magic have a dilemma. They could try re-signing Howard and risk having their top player as an unrestricted free agent without compensation.

(This would decimate the franchise. See the Cleveland Cavaliers. See the Toronto Raptors.)  

Or the Magic could concede that re-signing Howard would be tough in today’s era of super-teams and move him. Cutting their losses would bring back some assets.

(See the Denver Nuggets. See the Utah Jazz.)   

2) Anthony and Stoudemire are an awkward pairing. Their partnership doesn’t seem natural. Given time, things will improve. The supporting cast will be upgraded; a training camp together will make a difference.

Here’s the question for Knick fans: would Howard with Anthony or Stoudemire be superior to Anthony and Stoudemire?

3) The new Collective Bargaining Agreement to be negotiated between players and owners this summer could sideswipe all plans.

Small market owners may try to eliminate the super-team trend that’s permeating the NBA. They could gain the ability to keep star players by using an NFL-style franchise tag.

So the Magic could hang onto Howard –whether he likes it or not- by slapping him with the franchise player tag.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

Nuggets vs. Knicks; Post Carmelo Trade Who Is “Winning”?
Monday , Mar , 28 , 2011 Paul Eide

Nuggets vs. Knicks; Post Carmelo Trade Who Is “Winning”?


Charlie Sheen will always be “Winning” depending on whose opinion you value, but the Knicks and Nuggets success or lack thereof can easily be gauged by glancing at wins and losses.
We’ve been hearing about it for weeks since the trade went down. But detached from any emotional response and based on cold, heartless raw data who really got the better of this deal?
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Sunday , Mar , 27 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

LeBron and Wade developing chemistry with pick-and-roll play

Wade is controlling the ball late in games, which lets LeBron James be used in a simple pick-and-roll. James has been accustomed to playing with the ball in his hands in crunch time, but it appears Wade and Erik Spoelstra have convinced him to try something new. “I think he's starting to see that this can open up his overall game, and he's going to want to do it more," Wade said last week.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Talent isn’t enough in the NBA. Teams must also have chemistry.

Chris Bosh, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and the Miami Heat learned this the hard way, with their up-and-down year.

So have the New York Knicks, who broke up a squad with established chemistry to acquire the talented but sometimes difficult Carmelo Anthony from the Denver Nuggets.

Credit the Heat for trying new things, though. Against the Philadelphia 76ers, James acted as a screener and ran several pick-and-rolls with Wade.

This is a welcome change from the Heat’s steady diet of predictable ‘iso’ plays and one-on-one attempts at the basket.

Doug Collins, the coach of the Philadelphia 76ers, is right: this option will work. James as a four-man setting picks will be tough to prevent from rolling to the basket or slipping the screen.

Opposing defenses will be helpless. If defenders try to switch on the screen, James and/or Wade will have a clear mismatch, which should lead to a scoring opportunity.

If defenders try to show and adjust to the screen, James and/or Wade will have an advantage, which should also lead to a scoring opportunity.

The Heat would be wise to run more of these sets. Variety is important in basketball, and a two-man game involving their best players will upgrade their mediocre half-court offense.

After all, chemistry, not talent, is the key to winning in the NBA. It seems James and Wade are learning.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.