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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New York’s return to the playoffs was brought to an end today, Boston was able to complete their sweep over the injury stricken Knicks. The Celtics were too strong tonight holding their opponents to 34% shooting from the field. Carmelo Anthony was the game high scorer with 32 points, however it was no match for the Celtics even attack with five players in double digits lead by Kevin Garnett, 26 points 10 rebounds, and Rajon Rondo, 21 points 12 assists. Boston now has a week off and will be waiting for Miami Heat in the next round.
The Heat, unlike the Celtics, weren’t able to conclude their series in Philadelphia today. The 76ers were up early in this game, with their lead extending to 16 points in the second quarter. Powered by LeBron and Dwyane Wade the Heat charged back and were up by one, 47-46 at the main break. From there on the game went back and forth with either team not able to take a commanding lead. 76ers had possession and a one point lead with seconds left and the shot clock running down Lou Williams pulled up for a three to give them a four point advantage with 8.1 to go. The series moves back to Miami for Game 5 where he Heat will look to close it out and meet Boston in the next round.
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..