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Tag: New York

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Knicks Stop Streak – James McKern

A Sunday matinee turned into an all you can eat buffet for the New York Knicks as they put their 7 game losing streak to bed.

The Denver Nuggets came into the Mecca following a 108-87 dismantling of the Indiana Pacers and looked to carry that winning feeling through.

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Mixed Bag

This article is my first take on nailing down a couple of completely random thoughts/suggestions about the upcoming 2014/15 NBA Season.

Not one thing you look at may make sense to you, and that’s perfectly fine because the assorted array of conclusions I’m about to write about are my own personal views.

Want to know why compiling these kinds of lists are so much fun?

To show you how much fun writing these lists can be, I’ve made a list to break it down.

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Is Phil Jackson on The Comeback Trail?

Widely regarded as the greatest coach in NBA history, with 11 titles to his name with MJ’s Bulls in the 90’s and Kobe’s Lakers in the 00’s, Phil Jackson’s NBA status is nothing short of legendary. Throughout his tenure as coach of two of the greatest dynasties in league history, Jackson remained an ever constant subject through both glory and despair, with his teams enjoying shining victories and humiliating defeats. His ever watchful, compassionate presence was to players as a father is to a son. Caring, nurturing and understanding whilst always ensuring lessons were being learned every day. Jackson’s success, as he claims, doesn’t stem simply from talent, but from the ability to connect with the people around him on a level unseen to the outside world. This why his nickname, The Zen Master, is synonymous with who he really is. A believer in accepting and understanding your surrounds, and not just focusing on oneself.

This is Phil’s pursuit of success and happiness, and one he’s been able to pass down to several of the NBA’s greatest ever players throughout the years.

Image Courtesy of ESPN.com

Image Courtesy of ESPN.com

Phil’s journey since leaving the Lakers in 2011 has been a rocky one. Dealing with his own illness, while being by his fiance Jeanie Buss’ side throughout her dear father, Dr Jerry Buss’ sickness and eventual death, and a potential new contract with the Lakers which for reasons largely unknown fell apart at the last minute. After retiring from NBA coaching, it’s hard to imagine Phil would’ve been subjected to the drama he’s seen since being swept by the eventual Champion Dallas Mavericks in the 2011 Playoffs. Yet here he is. Not only a celebrity in his own right, but still a very much sought after asset for every team in the NBA. A part of Phil must relish the spotlight, and one team has created a new opportunity for him to be a part of it. The team with which he began his NBA journey. The New York Knicks.

It has been written to death for a week now, by a thousand NBA writers, that the Knicks have extended a big offer to Phil Jackson which they are hoping will help propel them into the next era of New York basketball, and provide them with a new lease on life. It’s no secret that the biggest market in the NBA has been one of the great disappointments in the league for many years, with millions of fans being let down year after year because of poor decisions and bad financial management. Now more than ever, with a new team across the river in Brooklyn, it is important for the Knicks to start becoming a regular threat in the playoffs. No one is scared of the Knickerbockers, and they haven’t been for a long time. Can Phil Jackson change that fact? It’s a long shot, but one most Knick fans would agree is a chance they are willing to take. With several bad contracts on the books, no draft picks and a disgruntled superstar’s free agency looming, things are looking grim for the immediate future of this franchise.

Image Courtesy of ESPN.com

Image Courtesy of ESPN.com

What Jackson will do is encourage stars to sign with the Knicks in the future. It’s a well documented fact that he’s a fan of superstars, as they are him, and as it stands, there is little the Knicks have to garner the attention of players that they want to sign. The Carmelo Anthony factor is a big one for the Knicks, and now that the trade deadline has passed, they are banking on his re-signing come free agency. Should Jackson take the job, it will go a long way in helping ensure his signature stays in Manhattan. Be it the right move or not it is what the Knicks, and their fans, desperately want.

Jackson seemingly is ready to make his move and re-enter the NBA stratosphere. After the failed attempt to get back to coaching during last season’s tumultuous events in Los Angeles, it was expected he would resign to the fact he would never coach in the NBA again, even putting a fork in it himself at one stage. The decision by the Lakers to hire former Suns/Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni angered many involved with the Lakers including fans, players and even a Buss herself. Jeanie has since explained her distaste at her brother Jim’s decision to hire D’Antoni over Phil, but speculation also continues to circle that it was indeed her late father Jerry who decided against re-hiring Jackson. It’s neither here nor there, and the truth will probably never be known. All we do know, is that Phil Jackson was ready to coach the Los Angeles Lakers last season, and was snubbed. One could argue that snub not only upset Phil (he would argue it didn’t), but also motivated him even more.

Since the Knicks first extended an offer, the stories have been running rampant about whether Phil will indeed accept the job, or fall by the wayside once again. It has been said that Jackson wants full control of basketball decisions. It’s also been written that he wants to coach too. All this along with a huge asking price. Speculation of course, but similar terms were said to be in play during negotiations with the Lakers a little over a year ago. Whatever the price, you can be sure the Knicks would be happy to entertain him until he gives them an answer. Would Phil be successful in a front office role? It’s hard to say, but he was influential in the hiring of the now fired Detroit coach Maurice Cheeks last off season, after he extended his hand to the Pistons in the decision making process. Hardly a lynchpin by which to judge his future successes or failures, but an interesting point nonetheless.

Image Courtesy of FoxSports.com

Image Courtesy of FoxSports.com

Phil’s interest in the NBA since retiring is indicative of his everlasting love of the game, and an example of how hard it can be to let go. Wise move or not, Phil Jackson wants back in the NBA, and the Knicks are providing him with that opportunity. Whether he takes it or not, is a whole other story. Can his attitude towards basketball and life in general be an asset to the struggling Knicks, or will it make no difference at all? These questions are worth pondering, and you can be sure Jackson will be doing just that, but the simple fact he is even considering it tells us all we need to know. The Zen Master is ready to make his return. Which team is lucky enough to accommodate it, remains to be seen.

As mentioned earlier, Phil Jackson’s view on life and all it holds is incredibly important to him, and in turn the decision making process. You can be sure that his eventual reconciliation will not only revolve around himself, but also his family, his friends, the players he’ll work with, colleagues and probably even the weather. Being in touch with who he is, and surrounding himself with who and what he needs to be successful is probably the most difficult aspect of any choice he eventually makes.

We’ll keep you updated with any developments.



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Melo’s Career At The Crossroads – Ryan O’Connell

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After plenty of promise and lots of bravado, the New York Knicks off-season came a touch earlier than expected this year. The Knicks and their fans talked a mean game all season, but in the end, they were unceremoniously eliminated from the playoffs.

The Indiana Pacers, who, with their stingy defense, ball movement and level-headed play, were the antithesis of the Knicks, defeated them in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, sending New York’s finest home at least one round earlier than anticipated.

The Knicks weren’t really expected to be an elite-level squad in 2012/13, but their play early in the season, and then again late in the regular season, fooled many people – including the Knicks themselves – into believing that they were a great team.

They weren’t.

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NBA Nation Australia’s Roundtable – Featuring Tom Read, Alex Young and Terry Goldfain

It’s been some time since our last roundtable, so this week we’ve decided to bring in a couple of new contributors as well as a familiar face or two to discuss some of the recent hot topics in the NBA. We’ll be looking at everything from the Warriors playoff hopes, the Thunder’s challenge without Westbrook, The Knicks chances of taking the East, the Boston Celtics troubles, injures and Jason Collins’ recent news. To kick things off we welcome back Tom Read from the #BelieveTheHype podcast, as well as SidelineAgenda.com contributor and all round sports nut Alex Young, and Houston Rockets/NBA social media commentator Terry Goldfain to the party along with regulars from NBA Nation Australia Nick Caro and Sam Monaghan. Lets go!

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J.R. Smith Takes Out Sixth Man of The Year

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The 2012/13 Sixth Man of The Year Award has been a bit of a two horse race for the majority of the season. Jamal Crawford made a fantastic case to take out the honor, having had a career year playing alongside Chris Paul and Blake Griffin at the Los Angeles Clippers, however it was New York Knicks shooting guard J.R. Smith who voters felt contributed most off the bench for his team during the season. Smith, who has also had a career best year with the Knicks was instrumental in helping the Knicks claim the number two seed in the East behind Miami and has provided serious spark for a team that was looking down the barrel only  a season ago. Smith has always been one of those players that has the ability to be as brilliant as he can be disastrous, but 2012/13 told a different story. While averaging a career best 18.1 points and 5.3 rebounds per game, Smith also held his opponents to an average of 12.3ppg while on the floor. His shot selection is something that has always been questionable and hindered his ability to score with fluidity, but he changed that during the course of the season and improved his overall shooting percentage to 47.3% in an average of 30 minutes per game with the Knicks. Going forward it will be interesting to see how Smith progresses, whether he can continue to play at this elite level and where he ends up. Former 6th man James Harden famously left the Thunder for a starting role at Houston before this season started after claiming honors at the end of last season. Will we see something similar in the case of J.R.? It’s hard to tell, but what we do know is that the Knicks have plenty to thank him for considering the success in season 2012/13.

Nick C.

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Above: J.R. Smith shot chart 2012/13



5 Things We Learned…

A new season, a new feature over at NBA Nation Australia!

Each week, we will share the 5 things we learned about the NBA from that week’s pool of games. A light hearted yet serious look at the good, the bad and the random that the NBA throws up at us each week.

Five random things that have us talking here at NBA Nation Australia HQ and Five things we think you guys will enjoy reading about…every week.

So here we go. The first list goes like this.

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Defensive Player of The Year – Tyson Chandler

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Amare Stoudemire Punches Fire Extinguisher, Hurts Hand After Game 2 Loss To Miami

Amare Stoudemire has reportedly punched a fire extinguisher casing outside the Knicks locker room immediately following his sides loss to the Miami Heat in Game 2 of the Playoffs today. It’s been said that Stoudemire left the venue with his left hand heavily bandaged and the news that he had received stitches.

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The Pride Of New York

Anthony, Stoudemire, Lin, Davis and Chandler. These are some of the names that dominate headlines around the world of basketball. They are some of the faces and figureheads of the world’s greatest game. They play their hearts out night after night for one of the NBA’s most famous and respected ball clubs. But for all their mightiness, are the New York Knicks the leagues most disappointingly dysfunctional team? Should they, for all the time and money invested in building a championship team, be performing at a higher or more consistent level?

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