The Scouting Report: New York Knicks

(AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

(AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

Probable starting line-up: Jose Calderon, Iman Shumpert, Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire, Sam Dalembert.

Key additions: Executive Phil Jackson, head coach Derek Fisher, Jose Calderon.

Key departures:  Tyson Chandler, Raymond Felton.

Injuries: Andrea Bargniani, Cleanthony Early

The New York Knicks are bad. They’ve lost seven games in a row and they are only ahead of the 76ers (tanking) and the Pistons, who are disappointing their coach almost every night, in the standings.

They traded away Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton for Calderon, Dalembert and reserve guard Shane Larkin. The trade also brought back some rare currency in Knicks-land: draft picks. Phil Jackson picked Cleanthony Early from Wichita State and Thanasis Antetokounmpo, the older brother of Giannis who plays for Milwaukee aka “The Greek Freak.” Thanasis is in the D-league and that unfortunately may be the most exciting thing about the Knicks this season.

The triangle offense, in large part, hasn’t gotten the best reviews. Although I have not watched a ton of Knicks games, I’ve seen them run the triangle through undrafted rookie Travis Wear enough times to know things aren’t going great.

They lost a heartbreaker to the Charlotte Hornets in their previous game thanks to a game-winner from Charlotte’s Kemba Walker. Carmelo still puts the ball in the hoop at 23.2 points per game and is still one of the toughest scorers in the league.

Outside of Anthony, the Knicks also have Amar’e Stoudemire and J.R. Smith who have the ability to get shots. Tim Hardaway Jr. can also get hot if given the opportunity. Worst of all for the Knicks, has been their luck and performance in close games.

According to, the Knicks are 2-12 in games that are within five points with five minutes or less to go in the game. Only the Magic have played in more close games and the Knicks have the worst winning percentage in the league in such games.

The bounces haven’t gone New York’s way this year. Calderon has only played in 8 games as he dealt with an injury and Early is going to be out for some time. They took the Cavs down to the wire at home before losing on a buzzer beater at Charlotte.

For a quick Knicks update, I recommend the latest BISCASTBALL from Corbin Smith with Knicks blogger Robert Silverman.

The Blazers have a major advantage tonight. But the first game of an Eastern Conference road trip can prove to be tricky. Portland is undefeated against the Eastern Conference so far this season and the Blazers have won their last two trips to Madison Square Garden.

If they can contain Anthony and get stops with consistency, they shouldn’t have too much trouble. The Knicks defense has been atrocious all year and are missing the rim protection of Tyson Chandler. But the Knicks do have a lot of talent that can beat you on the right night, especially if Portland is cold from the field again. The “right night” has just been hard for the Knicks to find so far this season.


Erik Gundersen

Erik Gundersen

Erik Gundersen is the Trail Blazers beat reporter for The Columbian. He's a graduate of the Allen School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon in addition earning a degree in Spanish. He's covered the NBA for four seasons. You can also occasionally find his work on's NBA section for their TrueCities series. He also fist-bumped with Kanye West once. Follow @BlazerBanter on twitter for more Blazers and NBA news.

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