June 10, 2023

Maybe the ill-fated New York Knicks needed the Toronto Raptors to get their season straightened out. You look at the Knicks 9 and 19 record and say the season is lost. But then you see that the Raptors are only 3 games ahead of them in the Atlantic division. With back-to-back games against Toronto, New York could conceivably be 1 game out of first place by Sunday.

After getting embarrassed on Christmas Day without their leading scorer Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks did something they have lacked all year. They came out of the gate strong. Tim Hardaway, Jr (who should be getting more playing time with Raymond Felton on the shelf again) nailed a 3-pointer to give the Knicks an early 9-4 lead. It would be the start of a long-range barrage, something they utilized successfully last year.

Andre Bargnani, much maligned for his poor shot selection and on court decisions, added to the 3-point party, extending the Knicks' lead to 20-12. Amar'e Stoudemire continued his stellar play off the bench with 5 points as New York took a 25-18 first-period lead. The defense, which has been non-existent all season, allowed the Knicks to take a 10-point lead (30-20) after another Hardaway 3-ball. They would go back and forth for the rest of the second period and suddenly Toronto took the lead 37-36 after a Terrance Ross basket.

Missing Anthony for the second game in a row, the Knicks needed consistent scoring from all. They got it from Beno Udrih (7 points) and 6 more from Hardaway giving them a 10-point lead (64-54). Then it was Deja vu as the New York fans began to see what they have seen all too often at home and on the road this year. They would fall apart as Toronto cut the lead to 5 (71-65) to close the third period.

The New York Knicks took 19 shots in the last period and made only five. Meanwhile, Toronto, without two ex-Knicks Landry Fields and Steve Novak (who had every reason to come back and haunt them) were outpaced by five players scoring in double figures, led by DeMar DeRozan with 25 points. Adding to that, Jonas Valanciunas' 16 points and 18 rebounds put the dagger in the Knicks having them fall to 4 and 12 at home.

"I thought we had good shots. We had some good looks," said head coach Mike Woodson. "We just didn't make shots."

He then talked about playing guys extended minutes due to the absence of Anthony.

"I played guys on long stretches based on the fact we were short-handed. They got us a lead. I'm not using excuses. I thought maybe the legs, maybe set in at the end and shots just were not falling."

What is falling is their season right in front of them. They had a chance to make a move with a rare win on their home court giving them an opportunity to get closer on the road Saturday night. It's not even the halfway point of the season. If they keep going in this direction, they will be right up there with the Nets, Yankees, Mets, Giants, and the same old Jets.

J.R. Smith, and brother of Chris Smith, not a happy camper according to his Instagram post

New York Knickerbockers President and General Manager Steve Mills announced today that the team waived guard Chris Smith, the brother of Knicks shooting guard, J.R. Smith. In Smith's place, the Knicks signed forward Jeremy Tyler of the Erie BayHawks, the 10th Gatorade Call-Up from the NBA Development League this season.

As reported in the New York Daily News, J.R. Smith admitted that he "wasn't happy" that the Knicks waived his younger brother earlier this week.

Speaking for the first time since the Knicks decided to cut Smith to create a roster spot for Jeremy Tyler, J.R. Smith declined to discuss the Instagram message he posted that read: "You know the sad thing about betrayal. It never comes from an enemy."

Nowhere in the message does Smith refer to the Knicks, but it was posted amid reports that Chris Smith was about to be released.

Chris Smith, 6-0, 200-pounds, signed with New York on September 10, 2013, and appeared in two games, playing two minutes. He was assigned to Erie on November 18, 2013, where he played six games before being recalled on December 17, 2013.

Tyler, 6-10, 250-pounds, has averaged 18.0 points, on 47.8-percent shooting, and 10.2 rebounds over 31.0 minutes in six games (all starts) with the BayHawks. He originally signed with New York on August 6, 2013, after playing for the Knicks' entry in NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, NV, and was waived on October 25, 2013, while recovering from a broken right fifth metatarsal.

The San Diego, CA-native, was originally selected by the Charlotte Bobcats in the second round (39th overall) of 2011 NBA Draft before having his rights traded to the Warriors. He holds career averages of 3.6 point and 2.5 rebounds over 10.1 minutes in 63 games (23 starts) over two seasons with Golden State and Atlanta. He played professionally in Israel (Maccabi Haifa) and Japan (Tokyo Apache) for two seasons after leaving San Diego High School following his junior season.

Carmelo Anthony surpasses Kobe Bryant and Bernard King finishing the night with a Madison Square Garden 62-point pro basketball scoring record

As if the New York Knicks didn't have enough problems both on and off the court. In losing their 5th straight game Wednesday night (3rd in a row at home) during this 8 eight game home-stand, they found out that Andrea Bargnani would be out indefinitely after tearing a ligament in his left elbow during an ill-fated dunk attempt against Philadelphia. Additionally, there had been reports of bickering between the players and head coach Mike Woodson during the losing streak that began after getting routed by the Brooklyn Nets in their annual Martin Luther King Day matinee game.

Even the jovial Carmelo Anthony did not have his usual wide smile on his face during pre-game warm-ups. Also, there was none of the usual joking with the opposing team and engaging with the stars sitting in their high-priced courtside seats. Not tonight. Melo had a focused, stone cold face prior to tip-off motivated by a pre-game video courtesy of his childhood idol Muhammad Ali.

So when they faced the Charlotte Bobcats without Kemba Walker, New York had a chance to stop the losing streak and see how they would adjust without the player they brought here to help the offense.

Woodson decided to go with a small line-up starting three guards in Raymond Felton and Pablo Prigioni along with Iman Shumpert. Carmelo Anthony, at the power forward spot, hit 8 of his first 10 shots (18 points) getting the Knicks out to a 30-21 first quarter lead.

It was the most points any Knick has scored in a single quarter this year. It was just a start of big things to come for the Syracuse alumni.

If there had been one constant during the losing streak, it has been the Knicks inability to make the defensive switch allowing the opposition open looks from 3 point range. That aspect reared its ugly head in the second quarter when Jennaro Pargo came off the bench to nail 3 straight 3-pointers cutting the Knicks lead (38-34) to four points. But Carmelo, who didn't sit until after the 4-minute mark of the second quarter, showed why talks of trading him are outright ludicrous. He finished the half scoring 37 points (most of any player in the NBA this season for a half) and brought the sellout crowd to their feet draining a half-court 3-pointer as the buzzer went off.

Said Anthony of the shot, "when I made the shot, at the half, I told myself the zone was there."

New York went into the locker room with a commanding 67-46 lead. Lost in the Melo madness was little-used Jeremy Tyler who also had the crowd screaming with 2 dunks. The first off a missed shot and the second on an alley-oop from J.R. Smith.

It would only get better for the torrid Melo in the third quarter. Connecting on 7 of 9 shots lifted his game total to 56 effectively taking out the Bobcats all by himself. The only thing left for him to accomplish was setting the record for most points scored at the World's Most Famous Arena. Mission accomplished.

Carmelo Anthony surpassed both Kobe Bryant and Bernard King finishing his night with a bank shot at the 7:32 mark for his 62nd point as the desperate Knicks needed a win as badly as New Yorkers need warmer weather.

Naturally, after the 125-96 win, the talk was all about Carmelo Anthony and his record-setting night.

Said Woodson, "he was shooting so easy and making just shot's all over the place."

It wasn't the first time Woodson has seen Anthony as locked in as he was. "I've been in that position a few times in the last two years with Melo where's he's got on a nice roll early. I was probably the one that cooled him off. This time I just elected to let him go."

Carmelo Anthony walked to his locker accompanied by his young son, not looking like he scored 62 points in only 38 minutes. He didn't miss a free throw (10-10) and hit 6 of 11 three-pointers. The night still felt like a dream.

"It really didn't sink in yet," Melo started. "It still feels surreal to me. The way we played came within the realm of the game, the flow of the game. It really hasn't sunk in yet."

"Coming into the game I had a different kind of focus. Guys were asking me what was wrong before the game. There was nothing really wrong. It was just for some reason I was just locked in from the beginning of the game," he continued.

Melo was thrilled to give Knicks' fans something to be excited about, particularly after all the losses-- setting a scoring record at Madison Square Garden and getting a win--- the atmosphere in the arena was electric.

"There's no better feeling than having that feeling like tonight here on your home court. The fans, I haven't heard them like that since last year. It was good to get that feeling back."

Scoring 62 points and setting the record for most points scored by anyone at the World's Most Famous Arena will get that kind of reaction.

On Biggie Night, the Nets get their first win of 2017 and their first win in three months

On so many levels it was Biggie Night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Sunday, as the Brooklyn Nets took on their cross-town rivals, the New York Knicks. At the top of the evening, the Barclays Center celebrated the life of Christopher Wallace aka the Notorious B.I.G aka Biggie Smalls, with a remembrance. A Brooklyn-born rapper, Wallace, was murdered 20 years ago this week. Voletta Wallace, Biggie’s mom; and Biggie’s children T-Yanna and CJ Wallace; Faith Evans, Wallace’s former wife; P. Diddy; Lil’ Kim; and Brett Yormark; CEO of the Barclays Center, were part of the on-court ceremony before the game.

Ms. Wallace said tonight’s game was her “very, very first professional basketball game.” In her remarks, she also said, "I have to remember what my son said in the past, Brooklyn, we did it."

And, that my friends, kicked off the evening for the Brooklyn Nets as team Black and White got its first home win in over two months beating the New York Knicks 120-112. Yes, Brooklyn, you did it! The Nets last home win was on December 26, when Randy Foye’s buzzer-beater dashed the hopes of the Charlotte Hornets. This was the same game that Jeremy Lin re-injured his left hamstring, which resulted in Lin missing the next 26 games.

Lin struggled early tonight with a 0-9 start. However, late in the fourth quarter, when the Knicks had trimmed its 22-point deficit to down to five, Lin dropped a 3-pointer pushing the score to 109-101 with 4:58 remaining. Lin also converted a three-point play with 3:25 giving the Nets a double-digit lead.

“I think I was still out West for the first three-and-a-half quarters,” Lin said about his performance. “And gladly I was able to show up a little bit; felt like I was letting my team down. I don’t know, just wasn’t doing what I needed to do, but I just tried to stay aggressive and just try to keep my mind just on playing…”

Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson wasn’t quite as hard on Lin as Lin was on himself.

“I thought he hit a huge three off the dribble,” Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson said about Lin’s late game contribution. “They’d been going under all night and to have the kind of moxie to take that shot, that was big. His ability to get to the free-throw line in the fourth quarter is huge. I think it helps when it’s not Isaiah (Whitehead) and Spencer (Dinwiddie) first-year guys kind of handling the ball at the end of the game. To get a guy that has been in the league and has done it before, it’s huge for us.”

In the victory for the Nets, Brook Lopez came in on fiyah!!! He scored 25 points, two assists, six rebounds, one block, and one steal while shooting eight of seventeen from the floor and six of nine from deep in 28 minutes.

“I think we were shooting with a lot of confidence and making them,” said Lopez. “Our team did a very great job of sharing the ball. It started with the penetration, attacking the basket and that opened a lot of things up for us. When we kicked out, we swung it around the perimeter until we had an open look and we shot with confidence.”

Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 27 points on 10-of-26 shooting. Although the Knicks lost, Anthony joined an elite NBA club that many Knicks fans could care less about considering the team’s record. Anthony is one of three players to have scored over 10,000 points on two different teams (Denver, New York); the other two are Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Milwaukee, Lakers) and Elvin Hayes (Houston, Washington).

Brooklyn shot .500 from 3-point range tonight on 19-of-38 shooting from the distance. Lopez was a perfect 5-for-5 from behind the arc to start off the game. The Nets’ 19 3-pointers marked a season high (previous high: 17 made 3-pointers; done three times this season, most recently on January 21, 2017, at Charlotte).

"I don't know what the thinking was to start of the game," New York Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek said. "We gave Brooklyn wide-open shots. They kept making three after three. There were one or two of those pressure threes. It was like practice shots for Brooklyn."

The Nets made 14 threes in tonight’s first half, which marked a new franchise record for 3-pointers made in any half. The previous high of 13 in the second half was on December 16, 2013, against Philadelphia.

Nets starters helping out Lopez in the double-digit range were Rondae Hollis-Jefferson who scored 14 points and 11 rebounds; Jeremy Lin and Caris LeVert each scored 13 points.

The Nets’ bench outscored the Knicks’ bench 53-28 tonight and has scored 50+ points in nine of its last 10 games.

Off the bench with more than 10 points for the Nets were Trevor Booker with 14 points and nine rebounds; Quincy Acy, a relatively new pickup for the Nets, added 12 points and six rebounds; while Isaiah Whitehead chipped in 10 points.

In the win, the Nets also out-rebounded the Knicks 55-43 tonight and also edged New York 18-13 in second chance points and 21-12 in fast-break points.

With a win against the Knicks, the Nets hope to make it two-in-a-row, as they take on Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday. Good luck.

Porzingas and Knicks bench lead the comeback to beat the Nets

On a day when Carmelo Anthony was relegated to the bench during the fourth quarter and Derrick Rose was inactive because of an injury, the New York Knicks staged a come from behind win with the use of Kristaps Porzingas, Willy Hernangomez, and Sasha Vujacic.

Porzingas scored 19 points and 12 rebounds and 12 of his points came in the fourth quarter. Hernangomez had 16 points and 16 rebounds and Vujacic added 12 points and made team history with his effort by converting a pair of four-point plays in the game.
Anthony has had better days; he scored 15 points by the third quarter (26:39 minutes), but on 6 of 22 from the field.

“It was tough, trying to get it going and muster up some energy from somewhere,” Anthony said in a postgame locker room interview. “But our second unit and our guys that came in off the bench picked it up for us, so we liked that. Today was a big day for us to get this win, especially after coming off a back-to-back and for guys to step up – for guys like Sasha (Vujacic) who haven’t been playing that much lately to come in ready when his number was called. Billy (Hernangomez) played extremely well tonight. And then K.P. (Kristaps Porzingis) also had a great game, so for those guys to pick it up like that and get us to a victory, we needed every piece of that tonight.”

The Knicks fourth quarter push was not lost on Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson.

“They picked up their intensity, picked up their heat, picked up their heat on the ball,” Atkinson said during a postgame presser. “We turned it over, we didn’t get the type of shots we wanted and then I thought they started getting second and third shots. And it’s tough to give any team in the NBA multiple shots at the rim, multiple possessions, and so I think that’s the story of the game really, story of the fourth quarter – us turning it over and then not being able to control the defensive boards. ”

Brooklyn Nets center and de facto team captain, Brook Lopez, thought the Knicks made better use of their second point chances.

“They hit some big shots,” said Lopez about the Knicks. “And, I think we were working hard, they just, they definitely made a lot of opportunity off their second chances throughout the game and that was definitely the key in the last five minutes down the stretch.”

Brooklyn Nets forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson led all Nets scorers with 16 points, eight rebounds and three assists pretty much echoed Lopez’s thoughts on the outcome of the game.

“We could have done a better job of coming together, staying poised and doing what we did in the third quarter,” added Hollis-Jefferson. “I feel like there were a couple of times when I made mistakes, I mean we all made mistakes, but there are things we have to try and limit during the stretches where teams are making a run. And we can limit it from a 12-2 run to like a 4-or 6-2 run, and that’ll benefit us.”

Nets top scorers included Bojan Bogdanovic with 15 points and seven rebounds, Trevor Booker scored 12 points and eight rebounds; and Lopez and Caris LeVert each added 10 points.

The Nets fell to 9-40 overall and 7-18 at home with tonight’s loss. Next up for the Nets on Friday will be the Indiana Pacers at 7:30 p.m. at the Barclays Center.

The Brooklyn Nets closes out its preseason with an eye on progress, development, and improvement

Instead of starting this article at the beginning, I am going to start at the end of the first half of last night’s Brooklyn Nets’ preseason game against the New York Knicks.

The Nets ended the first half leading the Knicks by two points, with a score of 57-55. If you have watched the Nets in previous seasons since coming to the Barclays Center, you probably noticed a different style of play on the floor. The Nets under new management, general manager Sean Marks, and head coach Kenny Atkinson, have mandated and are stressing a new culture of “team” over “I” or “me” translating into unselfishness. Watching the Nets during the last two games, the team’s buy-in to the new system is apparent. Guys were playing unselfishly, the ball moved around, it was definitely team ball. In addition to the two-point lead at the half, the Nets led the Knicks in most of the measurable metrics that matter: field goal percentage 52.6 vs the Knicks 48.9 percent; three-point shots 46.7 vs the Knicks 20 percent, and the Nets made 91 percent of their free-throws compared to the Knicks 64 percent. However, the Knicks did outscore the Nets on rebounds; by half-time, the Knicks out-rebounded the Nets 20-18, which was a sign of things to come.

So, where did the Nets breakdown happen?

The Knicks took a nine-point lead in the third quarter on fast breaks, gaining 49 percent field goal shooting over the Nets’ 46 percent. The Knicks also out-rebounded the Nets; ending the third with a rebound score of 38-24, picking up 18 rebounds in the third quarter to the Nets’ four.

This was not lost on Atkinson.

“I think I said it before, I think rebounding is an issue right now and I think transition defense is something we need to work on, Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson said at the Nets post-game press conference. “They had a fair amount of fast break points so those are some areas we have to get better at.”


Brooklyn Nets guard Jeremy Lin led all scorers with 24 points and 10 assists. However, unlike the Knicks, the Nets only had two starters in double digits; the other being center Brook Lopez who supplied 12 points.

The Nets other double-digit scorers came from the bench Joe Harris scored 15 points, Bojan Bogdanovic added 12 points, and Justin Hamilton chipped in 11 points.

Carmelo Anthony led Knicks scorers with 21 points. Starters Courtney Lee dropped 15 points and five rebounds; and Joakim Noah supplied 12 points and six rebounds.

Both benches contributed 59 points; coming off the Knicks bench in double digits were Justin Holiday with 14 points, Kyle Quinn added 13 points and seven rebounds, and Mindaugas Kuzminskas chipped in 10 points.

“I was proud of our guys at the end,” Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek said about his secondary line. “They ended up putting their starters back in I think with a nine or 10-point game and when they went out it was eight points.”

Even in the loss, Atkinson complimented his players, as he should have.

“I complimented them on their effort and despite the record, I think we’ve made progress,” Atkinson told the media. “And that’s going to be our message all year, progress, development, improvement. We obviously have areas we have to improve in but again, 10 new players and I like a lot of stuff I see. I think where we are right now is be a little bit more consistent. And that’s the tough part in the NBA over a 48-minute game, to do it longer than the other team. So that’s the overall positive message.”

The Brooklyn Nets are now focused on the regular season. The Nets first regular season game is against the Boston Celtics in Boston on Wednesday, October 26 at 7:30 p.m. The Nets open up at home at the Barclays Center against the Indiana Pacers on Friday, October 28 at 7:30 p.m.

Perhaps, the fans will give Thaddeus Young a warm welcome when he hits the hardwood for the Indiana Pacers.

The Nets dealt Young to the Pacers on NBA Draft night for Caris LeVert, the No. 20 overall pick and for a future second-round pick. Levert did not play last night because he is out with an injured left foot.

Was Carmelo Anthony’s comment not worded properly, or, did he mean to throw shade at Jeremy Lin?

People are all in a tizzy over the following comment that New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony recently made regarding his former teammate, Jeremy Lin, who is now the starting guard for the Brooklyn Nets.

“He is the face of that franchise — believe it or not.

He came up, they paid him and now the ball is in his hands.

So now he’s one of the franchise players over there.

What do you want me to say about that?

I’m happy for him, excited for him to see how it’s going to work out, turn out over there.”

Are people reading too much into this story to generate a Knicks-Nets rivalry? Also, I know it’s preseason, and it is a very small sample size, but how do the Brooklyn Nets look?

Muhammad Ali may have lost his battle with Parkinson's disease, but in death, he is still the people's champ

In this episode of What's The 411Sports, the panel of Keisha Wilson, Mike McDonald, and guest panelist, New York Amsterdam reporter, Vincent Davis are talking about:

Heavyweight champion boxer and humanitarian Muhammad Ali's legacy
The latest debacle facing the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, and even though Hope Solo doesn't want to participate and cyclist Tejay Van Garderen doesn't want to participate because his wife is pregnant, it's not the Zika Virus
The New York Knicks hires Jeff Hornacek to be its new head coach
Canadian professional basketball player and 2013 NBA No.1 overall draftee, Anthony Bennett, worked out with the Brooklyn Nets at mini-camp and reports say he looks good
New York Mets third baseman David Wright on the Disabled List
New York Yankees' first baseman Mark Teixeira hit with injury bug, torn cartilage in right knee

Keisha Wilson puts former NY Giants Lawrence Taylor's wife, Lynette Taylor on the bench, and Judge Aaron Persky goes in the dog house for only giving Brock Turner, aka the Stanford Rapist, six months in jail for his rape conviction.



Brook Lopez won the battle of the brothers; Thaddeus Young had 19 points and 11 rebounds, and the ghost of Joe Johnson returned

The Brooklyn Nets took advantage of New York Knicks minus forward Carmelo “Melo” Anthony on Wednesday night and beat the Knicks 110-104, snapping a season-high 10-game home losing streak. It was the Nets’ third straight home victory over the Knicks.

In a game with lots of story lines, first is Nets’ interim coach Tony Brown’s first victory overall. Brown inherited the interim coach position on Sunday when former Nets head coach Lionel Hollins lost his position.

Perhaps, the Nets going into this game believed that they could win, Melo or no Melo, considering they have won five of the last six games against the Knicks. Perhaps, it was a new head coach with a new philosophy and new demeanor, but the Nets seemed to play with more energy and more swagger.

Bojan Bogdanovic came off the bench in the first quarter on three-point fire; knocking down 3 three-pointers in three minutes 11 seconds of play. Overall, Bogdanovic scored 14 points and four rebounds in just under 23 minutes of playing time.

Nets center Brook Lopez won the battle of the brothers, as he was more productive than his brother Robin Lopez. In 29:32 minutes of play, Brook scored 20 points, five assists, and eight rebounds to Robin’s nine points and 12 rebounds in 30:40 minutes of play.

Brooklyn Nets forward Thaddeus Young had 19 points and 11 rebounds, and Shane Larkin, who didn’t start in place of injured Jarrett Jack, put up 17 points, five assists, and two rebounds. Joe Johnson, who is still the subject of trade rumors and looked like the Joe Johnson of previous seasons, he made two key jumpers in the final 2 minutes and finished with 14 points, seven rebounds, and six assists. Point guard Wayne Ellington chipped in 10 points, two assists, and two rebounds.

The electricity in the air at the Barclays Center was palpable. Celebrity row actually had celebrities. R&B singer Maxwell was in the house promoting his upcoming concert with rapper Nas. New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz, who was cheered at the opening of the Barclays Center, was roundly booed; probably by disappointed Giants fans. Even former Knicks player Andrea Bargnani got booed, but surprisingly, not Shane Larkin another former Knick. At times, there was a battle of the fans, as Knicks fans made their presence known. Nets fans may have been outnumbered, but most of the evening, they were not shrinking violets.

"Games like this, it's going to help turn our fan base around," Brown said. "If we continue to play in this kind of fashion, we'll fill the seats, but we've got to show them first. It'll take time, but tonight was a good start."

In defeat, Knicks forward Derrick Williams came off the bench and led all scorers and tied his career high 31 points. Other Knicks players scoring in double digits were Arron Afflalo with 18 points; Jose Calderon added 16 points and wonder-kid Kristaps Porzingis, who shot just 5 for 17, chipped in 12 points and 10 rebounds.

"On nights like this when we don't have (Anthony), I can't have a shooting night like this," Porzingis said. "I've got to step up. I've got to score the ball more."

Looks like the stars aligned for the Nets.

Next up for the Nets will be the Portland Trailblazers on Friday.

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