The New York Knicks have decided to stick with Chauncey Billups for the 2011-12 season, picking up a team option for the final year on his contract.
Knicks President of Basketball Operations, Donnie Walsh, said the following:
“We have made a decision to keep Chauncey Billups for the upcoming 2011-12 season. Chauncey, Amar’e and Carmelo are a great nucleus, as we continue to look to improve our team going into the off-season. Chauncey is an extremely talented and experienced point guard — we are very happy to have him back.”
A lot of questions arose about what direction the Knicks would head this offseason after their dismal performance in the playoffs. Most of those questions have been directed at Mike D’Antoni’s coaching philosophy, how it is not an effective way to win championships and how an up-tempo point guard is needed to run that sort of offense. With all due respect to Chauncey, his game doesn’t really complement the run and gun style of this system which leads me to believe that there could be a possible coaching change in the near future or a trade.
This is why bringing back Chauncey is a very good move by New York, it gives them a number of options in what they can do in the future and he is possibly the best point guard available in this year’s free agent class. One is to stay with D’Antoni and trade for a high-octane point guard or other pieces needed to run that system, another is to make a coaching change to complement their star players or New York’s management could do a combination of both, bring in a new coach that will compliment new players. I don’t want to read too far into Walsh’s statement but it doesn’t sound like the Knicks are done with making changes just yet.
Personally I don’t think Billups or Carmelo are a good fit for the D’Antoni seven second offense, both have had more success in the half court rather than in transition and getting up quick shots. Therefore when Walsh looks to continue to improve his team I’m picking that it will be to compliment his star player’s style of play.
I am very interested in seeing what happens next.
Until next time..
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Game 3 was a must win for New York, having an 0-3 deficit is not the ideal situation to be in the playoff and with Amare Stoudemire back in the line-up things looked like they might go the Knicks way on their home floor.
This wasn’t the case, the Boston Celtics came out firing in the first quarter creating a 17 point margin with four minutes to go in the period. The Knicks then went on a run of their own to cut the lead to 7 at the first break. In the second the two sides went back and forth with New York never really being able to make a good enough run to make any sort of stand, it was 52-44 to Boston at the main break.
The second half was all Boston, behind the hot hand of Paul Pierce and Ray Allen and the Celtics floor General Rajon Rondo. The fact that the Knicks defense was virtually nonexistent also helped contribute to the defending Eastern Conference Champs offense. Pierce finished with a game high 38 points on 14 from 19 from the field, while Allen had 32, making 8 from 11 threes. Rondo set a Celtics’ playoff record with 20 assists, he also had 15 points and 11 rebounds to complete his triple-double.
Boston is comfortably in the driver’s seat going up 3-0 in the series. If the come out and play this way the rest of the playoffs they will be very hard to beat.
Until next time..
It may be another heartbreaking loss to the Celtics but the New York Knicks aren’t at a complete loss. With Billups injuring his knee late in Game 1 and Amare having to leave Game 2 in the second quarter due to back spasms, New York still shows that it can compete with Boston.
Behind a scoring outburst made by Carmelo Anthony, 42 points on 14/30 shooting, along with 17 rebounds, he really carried the Knicks. With a KG hook shot and an Anthony turnover late in the fourth quarter Boston was able to escape with a three point win.
So should the Knicks be worried about going into Game 3 down 0-2? Well yes, the next game is a must win for New York, history shows that there is no way back from 0-3, no NBA team has done it before. But Game 3 at home looks to be more promising, Stoudemire saying that he will be back in the line-up and the possibility of Billups making a recovery improves their side. It is a must win game for the Celtics as well, going up 3-0 will all but cement the series. In their previous two games Boston has just been able to come away with a win even when the Knicks weren’t at full strength.
We’ll see what happens in Game 3, my prediction is New York by 7 but Boston wins the series in six.
Until next time..