Tag:New York Knicks
Posted on: July 8, 2010 5:48 pm
Edited on: July 8, 2010 7:50 pm
 

LeBrocalype: Everyone getting predictions in

Posted by Matt Moore
 Gary Parrish, Jamey Eisenberg, Pete Pistone, Mike Freeman and KB give the low-down on what they think  will happen .

A late roundup of predictions as we head into the Big Decision:

Ian Thomsen of SI can't understand why James would leave home and all that money .

Apparently the agents and GMs Brian Windhorst is talking to feel the same .

Royce Young says that his gut impulse is Cleveland, with Miami a red herring.


As for me?

James has already proven that his decision will likely not be based on where he has the best chance to win a championship, otherwise he would have dragged Chris Bosh to Chicago five days ago. It will not be based on where the best chance to market his future is, otherwise the Nets would at least be in contention. Right now the decision comes down to his home and family versus his friends. New York is hanging in the background, but they simply don't have enough to pull him through. So now we have the situation where James is weighing Cleveland and the people he's been around his whole life versus two of his good friends and a chance to do something phenomenal with the amount of star power they'll have. It's a difficult one. Maybe not so difficult as to require this much time and a major network special to decide, but a huge decision nonetheless.

At the end of it, I believe he'll return to Cleveland. Going to Dwyane Wade's turf? Not his style. Staying home and ruling the roost? That's what he does. That's how he rolls. He'll never have the power base in Miami with Pat Riley and Wade that he'll have in Cleveland. Never have the God-like state of adoration from the fans, who already have their favorite. He'll never be what he in Cleveland to Miami. If New York had managed to stay in the race a bit more, had had a few more things go their way, he would have landed in New York. But faced with this decision, he's going to do what feels right. With so many competing ideas, people most often turn to what they know to be true.

And LeBron knows he loves Ohio, and Ohio loves him.

The King returns to his throne.


Posted on: July 8, 2010 1:24 pm
Edited on: July 8, 2010 7:57 pm
 

LeBrocalypse: Dolan challenges/takes shot at LBJ

Posted by Matt Moore

 Alan Hahn was at the presser for the introduction of Amar'e Stoudemire today in New York, and caught this very interesting comment from James Dolan:

Dolan: "It takes courage to play where the lights shine brightest."

Maybe that's just a benign soundbite to fill the time. Or maybe it's a challenge to LeBron to accept his fate as the biggest star in the world and that he should embrace the responsibility of being that star. Or, it could be that Dolan expects him to go elsewhere and wants to get a potshot in at James for not opting for the Big Apple. Oh, what a tangled web you weave, Knickerbockers!



Posted on: July 8, 2010 1:11 pm
Edited on: July 8, 2010 7:58 pm
 

LeBrocalypse: The circus comes to Greenwich

Posted by Matt Moore

The Boys and Girls Club of Greenwich is having itself quite the day. Fox CT in Conneticut is there filing live reports and the sattelite trucks are already jamming the parking lot. Fans have arrived. I'm pretty sure I saw an elephant tap dance through one of the live shots. I thought I saw the bearded lady, but it turns out it was just Drew Gooden. (It was not Drew Gooden, I just made that up. See? That's how easy it is to start a LeBron rumor.)

ESPN has hired 10 off-duty cops for security . I'm sure that's going to be a fun job. If I'm the greater Greenwich area and I have access to either bottled water or cold beer, I'm heading down there to make a profit.

It's a ridiculous scene that we had to expect. I would anticipate we'll start seeing other news organizations filing reports from Greenwich soon. What would be great is if ESPN had a crew outside reporting from the scene outside of the scene that they themselves are hosting inside. It's meta, man. So meta.

Please make this day end soon. The hype is going to devour us all.



Posted on: July 7, 2010 3:42 pm
Edited on: July 7, 2010 5:59 pm
 

LeBron announcement may have New York ties

All of Cleveland, I want you to click away. Go read KB talking about Kevin Durant. Or the Browns. Something. But you don't need to read this, it will do you no good, and probably doesn't mean anything anyway.

Brian Windhorst of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer has indicated that where LeBron James holds his announcement about free agency tomorrow night will not be an indication of his decision . That said, along side the information about New York rising up the chart we brought you earlier, there's been an interesting wrinkle come out of the woodwork.

Frank Isola of the NY Daily News reports an uncomfirmed rumor that James is making the announcment from the home of Alan Houston. This vibes with what Windhorst also tweeted today about the announcement coming from Greenwich, Conneticut (Houston lives in Greenwich). Greenwich, if you didn't know, it widely considered a New York suburb.

UPDATE: Allen Hahn of Newsday reports the same .

If James were returning home, why would he make the announcement from the home of a former Knicks? Even if an alternative rumor Isola suggests, that the announcment is coming from a Boys and Girls Club in town, is correct, why would James announce from a New York suburb that he's returning to Cleveland? Why not stay home and make the announcement from Akron? Or if he's headed to Miami, why not from South Beach in Dwyane Wade's home?

Maybe just to mess with us.

It's not out of the realm of possibility that James is dropping hints to throw people off. There have been no indications outside of these types of ancillary indications that James is considering anything but Miami or Cleveland, and mostly just Cleveland. Throw in the fact that Windhorst also reported (again, via Twitter) that James is filming segments around Akron for part of his website, and you have a perplexing look at what's going on.

James may have a plan in place, a decision made, he may not. But the way things are shaping up, one thing's certain. The speculation won't end until 9p.m. EST tomorrow night.

-Matt Moore



Posted on: July 7, 2010 10:35 am
Edited on: July 7, 2010 11:02 am
 

If Bosh goes Heat, what does LeBron do?

If the numerous reports out there are accurat e, and they've been confirmed by just about every major outlet on the planet, then Chris Bosh is joining Dwyane Wade on South Beach for one heck of a party. But as the tango starts up in Miami (it takes two, you see), we're going to have to turn our attention almost immediately back to where our eyes have been glued all along.

What does LeBron James do now?

With both of the significant power forward options off the market assuming Bosh is a done deal, James' decision becomes somehow simpler and more complicated. Our own Ken Berger reports that he's a near-lock to announce he's returning to Cleveland tomorrow during his one-hour ego boost. But James has to be taking a good long look at his options before committing to anything.

LeBron was expected to be the catalyst, but instead Joe Johnson recommitted to the Hawks first, then Amar'e Stoudemire didn't wait for James to decide where he was headed before jumping into the center of MSG. Now Bosh is teamed with Wade. James may want to return to Cleveland, to stay home, to be the hero, but he's got to look at a roster that won 120 games plus over the past two years and still didn't make the Finals and get a little nauseous thinking of having to compete with Orlando, Boston, and now Miami and whatever the Knicks pull off (if anything). Which means James' camp has to be exploring his options, which right now are thus:

Take less money to join Wade and Bosh in Miami. Wade and Bosh are almost definitely assured the max deals (Wade from Miami, Bosh in a sign-and-trade). So it's natural for them to take those deals which means James capitalizes on his enormous celebrity and forms a super-team the likes of which hasn't been seen in decades in the NBA thanks to the salary cap. He guarantees himself multiple rings but also sacrifices home court advantage in terms of market and under the circumstances, looks like the third wheel. James is no third wheel. As important as winning is to James, not giving up his leverage in his attempt to become a global icon is more important, and going to Miami would mean sacrificing stock in that. Still, the allure of a super team has to weigh heavily, especially when combined with the beach and tax situation in Miami.

Head to New York to join Amar'e.
James comes into the world's biggest market as the difference maker alongside Amar'e Stoudemire. All of a sudden New York is the free-agent destination and the team can fill out the roster with quality players while working towards the future. Still, the core roster behind Stoudemire is as shaky as it is in Miami, only without the All-Star duo and only Amar'e instead. The money would be amazing, but the basketball might suffer. It would be an incredible risk, but one with a huge payout.

Head to Chicago with Rose and Noah.
The Bulls have the most ready team to compete over the next decade and with James they would elevate to a whole other level. Noah provides strength low and Rose is one of the most up and coming point guards in the league. He would have his name next to Michael Jordan, for better or worse, and operate in a major market. The team would be ready to contend and could likely snag Carlos Boozer or David Lee to help with low-position scoring. For whatever reason, the Bulls have slipped out of most talks.

Stay home.
The option most are predicting, and have from the start. Our own Ken Berger reports that's the most likely scenario . But James is looking at Antawn Jamison, who did not deliver last season in any way, shape, or form, and Mo Williams as his running partners while the rest of the league gets younger, the Heat become a powerhouse, Boston maintains, Orlando maintains, and the Lakers still rule the roost. But Cleveland is home, and James may feel that his presence will always generate the ability for teams to improve. Maybe the Cavs can pull a rabbit out of a hat. What's strange is the most likely scenario also seems like the most risky. The Cavs are a lock to not be terrible in the future. But they're also a heavy favorite to be not be considered a true contender unless significant changes happen.

Wade and Bosh may force James to reconsider his decision, either way. The options are largely the same as they've ever been, but the pieces have now moved into place. In a little over 24 hours, James will have to publicly declare what's most important to him , with the whole world watching.

-Matt Moore

(Graphic: Roland Liwag)
Posted on: July 7, 2010 9:34 am
Edited on: July 7, 2010 9:44 am
 

Reports: Bosh to Miami

The next significant piece may be falling into place, and it's good news for Miami.

Our own Ken Berger reported last night that an executive close to the talks between the Big 3 free agents (LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh) has indicated that Chris Bosh will be joining Dwyane Wade in Miami in a sign-and-trade. That's followed by a report from ESPN's Chris Broussard this morning indicating sources have confirmed Wade and Bosh announcing their decision to join the Heat Wednesday afternoon.

This will send tremors throughout the NBA as without Bosh, LeBron James will likely be rejoining a Cavaliers team that has won 60 games the past two seasons but has failed to win a championship and now returns with no significant changes to their roster outside of a new head coach in Byron Scott.

But more importantly, it signals Miami as a rising contender to the Eastern title. Miami will have enough room to sign auxiliary free agents to put support around the superstar duo. But the question will be how much. Miami will need to arrange for a sign-and-trade agreement that sends either Mario Chalmers or Michael Beasley out if they want to be able to have the flexibility to really improve the roster around this new monster combo to the point of contention. And as Ken Berger tells us this morning, that's not necessarily a done deal.

While the Raptors are prepared to move forward with sign-and-trade scenarios sending Bosh to Miami, the duo's agent Henry Thomas had yet to sign off on any finalized trade agreement as of Wednesday morning, two sources involved in the process told CBSSports.com's Ken Berger .

So now we wait to see how the rest of the pieces unfold. Will this deal get done, with Miami having one of the most formidable combinations in the league... and not much else? How will they put a contending support core around the two? What will James do, faced now with no significant superstar additions if he doesn't leave Cleveland? What else does Pat Riley have up his sleeve? Where does Chicago turn if they miss out on all three of the top free agents in this class, after working so hard to clear space, despite having the best collection of talent? The big questions are starting to be answered, which means the rest could be coming in a flood over the next few weeks.

-Matt Moore

Posted on: July 7, 2010 2:58 am
 

LeBron James follows the trend of control

Mr. Young brought you the news that LeBron James is hosting a little dog and pony show to announce his decision on Thursday. James, Bosh, and Wade will share a conference call Wednesday to discuss their plans and possibly coordinate the checkmate moves. The storm clouds are gathering, as one might say.

But let's take a moment and recognize the apex of a movement in cultural interactions between celebrities and their fans. As is often the case, trends in sports and sports personalities reflect the ongoing evolution of our cultural landscape, and King James, he is reflectin'.

Over the weekend, Joe Johnson's agent, Arn Tellem announced without announcing on the Huffington Post that Joe Johnson would be accepting the max offer from the Hawks to return to Atlanta. Tellem was able to give what the Johnson camp wants to expound as his motivations and intentions regarding the decision to re-sign with the Hawks. He painted the picture that Johnson wants painted, and that's the lead story. By controlling the story, shaping it and putting it in a public forum, Tellem took the power away from the small army of reporters that broke news of the extension offer throughout the week prior.

This follows a year where we saw the best and worst of social media interactions with athletes. Some NBA players stuck their foot in their mouth, Michael Beasley famously posted images of himself with marijuana on a nearby table (later confirmed to not be his house). But on the flip side, the Oklahoma City Thunder embraced Twitter and saw their public image soar, particularly Kevin Durant. Dwyane Wade reached out and communicated, as did Chris Paul. By reaching out and communicating up front with their fans, these players made themselves even bigger and did so on their own terms without the risks involved in third party conversations and interviews.

Which brings us to LeBron James' actions throughout the week. First his website appeared revamped, with talk of "finding out first." Rumors of James intending to announce his free agency decision via the website were later debunked . Then the Twitter account opened. Don't think there's been a radical shift in policy with James? Consider that the reporter who's followed him his entire career is completely baffled by the opening of James' Twitter account. That, along with the announcement of the live announcement represent a drastic change in the perception of James by those that have been with him the longest. The stakes have changed. And the playing field has changed alongside with it.

The key to this is the ability to control the message. Instead of having every angle, feeling, and angle about his business decisions laid out by reporters around the media sphere and the world wide web (it's an information superhighway, you know), James has the opportunity to lay out his decision in the most dramatic way possible, while raising money for charity. He raises his profile, puts himself on the map in a way never before seen. He'll never be Jordan, but he can market himself bigger. What's striking is that by doing so, he's somehow moved the importance of this operation from what his decision is to the announcement itself.

It doesn't matter where James goes. It's how he announces it. The man is having an hour on the most powerful sports television entity in the world, selling his own advertising, and donating it to charity, only furthering his image. There will be backlash, because that's what happens when you market yourself. It's self-aggrandizement, but you should also recognize that it's proof of the power of controlling your own message, of honing and delivering it on your own terms. More so than going to New York or Chicago or staying home and being the hero, it's the process of his declaration that gives this moment its weight. It's false dramatics, but then, this is sport. We turn athletes into Warriors and games into legends. We're not above this behavior, James is simply harnessing its full power.

LeBron James is on the verge of a decision which will impact the next half-decade in the NBA. He could win multiple titles or walk away empty handed. He could destroy Cleveland or save it. He could resurrect New York, rise in Jordan's shadow, claim Brooklyn as his kingdom, or bring the party to South Beach. But in reality, regardless of his decision, he's making history. He's bringing the power of individual control to a new level, and capitalizing on the full weight of his business potential. For years, he's discussed wanting to be a global icon. It turns out that where he plays may not be the key to accomplishing that. Instead, his method for revealing his decision could be the launching pad towards finally reaching that particular atmosphere.

-Matt Moore
Posted on: July 5, 2010 8:00 pm
Edited on: July 5, 2010 8:16 pm
 

Did the Knicks win in Amar'e vs. Bosh?

Now that the signing of Amar'e Stoudemire by the Knicks has been agreed upon (though it can't be finalized until Thursday), we have to look at several angles. But how Stoudemire will fit on the Knicks is a question that has yet to be answered, because there are other max free agents in play for the Knicks. We can't look at the impact for Amar'e without knowing who could really be playing next to him (KB has some info on a possible sign-and-trade for a Knicks point guard ).

But what we can look at is if the Knicks made the right decision, committing close to $100 million towards Stoudemire. Amar'e comes with tremendous explosiveness and top-level scoring ability. But he also comes with significant questions as to whether he can play elite level defense, or even acceptable defense, and if he's a good enough player when he's not on offense. So the question is, would the Knicks have been better off if they'd managed to get Chris Bosh?

I took a look at the numbers on each player defensively via Synergy Sports . Synergy Sports tracks every moment of every NBA game and brings you an in-depth look, possession by possession, on how players do not only overall, but in certain situations. For example, their key stat is PPP, points-per-possession. It factors how many points are scored with a player as the primary defender, and then divides by the number of instances a player was in that certain play scenario. It factors turnovers, free throws, and points to bring you how many points per each possession a player gave up overall, and in certain possessions.

I looked at four specific play types breakdowns for Bosh and Amar'e in comparison: overall, pick-and-roll man (guarding the player providing the pick and rolling (as opposed to the ball-handler), isolation (pretty simple, one-on-one defense), in the post, and spot-up (off a pass in a catch-and-shoot situation). The results were pretty surprising.


Play Type Amar'e PPP Bosh PPP
Overall .86 .89
Pick-and-roll man .76 1.13
ISO .95 .65
Post-up .89 .84
Spot-up .84 1.03


Right off the bat, Amar'e Stoudemire allowed fewer points per possession last season than Bosh did. The first thing that you'll say is that the Raptors' defense was a crime against basketball. And you're absolutely right. It's certain that Bosh's defense was impacted by how terrible the rest of his team defended.  But the individual play types are kind of startling in terms of where he was good and where he was bad. The same can be said for Stoudemire. Pick and roll being the biggest alarm bell if you're a team out there still looking at Bosh as your signature big. Stoudemire, despite being known as a terrible help defender, was ranked 18th in the league overall as a pick and roll defender, one of the more complex defensive sets requiring combination and knowledge of where your teammates are.

But Stoudemire certainly struggled in ISO situations. If you put him straight up on a player, he gave up .96 points per possession, a far cry from Bosh's .65. And there were nearly twice as many instances of ISO defense versus pick-and-roll man situations. At the same time, help defense is something you can account for, and switching assignments is something Mike D'Antoni can do to alleviate a situation where Amar'e is getting taken repeatedly straight up.

How about the post-up numbers? I had anticipated a huge advantage for Bosh in this area, with a more physical reputation and Amar'e's notorious softness. Yet Amar'e is still allowing less than .89 in the post, and Bosh is at .84. A difference of .05 points per possessions? Not exactly what I would have expected.

Finally, spot-up, which deals with recovery, is probably the most affected by the Raptors' terrible defense. Bosh was repeatedly having to overcompensate to help his teammates, meaning his man was open for jumpers as he tried to cover too much defense to recover. It's a terrible mark for Bosh at 1.03 while .84 is reasonable for Stoudemire.

The big takeaway here is that Bosh is a better defender, no doubt. But the separation is not one where you would feel the Knicks made a horrific mistake in getting Stoudemire. Stoudemire's defensive numbers match up favorably with Bosh, both play in high-possession systems last year, and both have issues in various defensive sets.

Many will claim that the Knicks got the rough end of this choice between Bosh and Amar'e. But if the evidence from last year is any indication, the Knicks may have gotten a better deal than the consensus believes.


 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com