It’s hard to imagine another player of Chandler’s quality becoming available at this point in the season – and he’s available in most Yahoo (11% owned) and ESPN/NBA.com (2.6% owned) leagues. One note of caution, though… for some reason, ESPN classifies Chandler as a “can’t cut” player – despite the fact that he hasn’t played a single game this year. If you do claim him and he is forced to stay in China until the CBA playoffs are over, you might not be able to unload him.
Smith has reportedly drawn interest from the Clippers, Knicks, Lakers, Bulls and Thunder. A decision could come soon; his team was just eliminated from playoff contention.
Wilson Chandler has suggested that he intends to sign with Denver when freed from his obligations in the Chinese league. Aaron Brooks’ status is less certain; his likeliest destination is still Phoenix, but the Suns are deep at the point and owner Robert Sarver has a reputation for being cost-conscious. Or cheap – whichever you prefer.
Just posted to Rotowire – this week’s fantasy NBA waiver recommendations. To the surprise of no one, I led with Jeremy Lin:
Now, I don’t want to be accused of irrational Knick-fan exuberance here… the “MVP” chants at Madison Square Garden last night were a little much. And I don’t think Lin compares with other top point guards in terms of talent alone. But he’s got a quick first step, excels in the pick-and-roll game, and is very good at finding teammates cutting to the basket. That makes him an excellent fit for Mike D’Antoni’s offense. And as a bonus, he’s better-than-advertised on the defensive end.Lin is a must-add in just about any fantasy format, but you’ll have to act fast. He’s taken in 46 percent of Yahoo leagues and 48 percent in ESPN/NBA – but he was close to zero before the weekend.
For the first three quarters of last night’s game, Carmelo Anthony was absolutely awful. In the final quarter and overtime, he hit some remarkable, “I do this” shots. But even as he was keeping the Knicks in the game, he was showing, once again, that he’s become their crutch in key situations.
The Knicks remind me of a baseball lineup that has become too reliant on the three-run home run. When Anthony was off the floor, particularly in the second quarter, they actually looked like a Mike D’Antoni team for a while. They moved the ball. They got open shots. But when Anthony came back in, the rest of the team meekly took a back seat.
You can blame ‘Melo all you want for taking too many shots (30 last night), but don’t lose sight of how eager his teammates are to pass him the ball and get out of the way. The screen-grab above is a great example. It was the closing seconds of the first overtime. The game was tied. The Knicks were coming out of a time-out… and every life form in Madison Square Garden – down to the rats and roaches in the deepest recesses of Penn Station – knew Anthony would be taking that last shot. So George Karl was able to send three defenders at Anthony – leaving Toney Douglas and Landry Fields completely uncovered. Anthony still tried to get a shot off against that triple-team… and lost the ball out of bounds.
Why are the Knicks so willing to let Anthony carry the load?
Coaching is part of the problem. I’m not suggesting Mike D’Antoni is drawing up plays that say, “Give the ball to ‘Melo and get out of the way,” though it might look that way at times. D’Antoni built his entire career and reputation preaching ball movement and smart basketball – I don’t believe that he’s drawing up the constant isolations.
But D’Antoni did contribute to the situation by announcing that he was going to use Anthony as a “point forward” this season. The results on that experiment are in, and it is a resounding, lab-up-in-smoke failure. Anthony is a pretty capable passer, but he doesn’t have the mentality to initiate the offense; he always thinks the best play is the one that ends with him taking a shot.
Of course, D’Antoni put ‘Melo in that role out of necessity. Interim general manager – and that “interim” title seems more and more out of place as time passes, doesn’t it? – put together a deeply flawed roster that started the season without a point guard. If Grunwald and Knick management really thought Toney Douglas would be up to the task of running the team for the first month-plus of the season, they badly misjudged his capability. If they knew the team would struggle until Baron Davis was ready to play, they basically wrote off the first month-plus of the season. At the very least, they should have signed another veteran guard, rather than wasting roster spots on the likes of Mike Bibby and Steve Novak.
I thought the Knicks would miss Shawne Williams most, but the decision to let Anthony Carter walk looks like Grundwald’s biggest off-season flub.
And what about Amar’e Stoudemire’s role in all this? He seems just as willing to defer to Anthony as the rest of the Knicks. In last night’s game he had just nine shot attempts – less than Anthony, Iman Shumpert (16), Landry Fields (14) or Toney Douglas (10). Chris Sheridan summed up STAT’s disappearance well, saying, “Stoudemire looked to become less engaged, but that was only after he set picks and rolled to no avail. On countless other plays, Anthony didn’t use his screens.”
Is Stoudemire pouting because he knows he won’t get the ball? Or just frustrated because he sees how bad this team’s offensive chemistry has gotten?
“Maybe I need to not take so many shots. I don’t know. There’s just a bunch of stuff that goes through my mind. Just [trying to figure] out ways to make other guys better. Should I pass it more?”
‘Melo… let me speak for millions of Knick fans in answering that question with a resounding, Marv Albert-esque YES.
That said, I’m glad you see what’s wrong. Now you know… and if an entire childhood spent watching cartoons taught me anything, knowing is half the battle.
I’m sure I speak for a lot of Knick fans when I say, “I miss Gallo.”
I do not, on the other hand, miss Al Harrington… as much as Matt Moore might try to convince me otherwise. Yes, Al Buckets is playing very well for the Nuggets this season, and is a legit candidate for Sixth Man honors. That doesn’t change the fact that he’s also a ball-hogging mutton-head who will make some shockingly selfish plays at times (like the two-on-one he butchered last night). The Nuggets can get away with playing Harrington in an important role because just about every other player in their rotation are capable and willing passers. Harrington’s act would never work on the Knicks… or on most other teams. I wish him well, but I’m still glad he’s gone.
Bill Walker played very well in the second quarter, but didn’t get much run after that. Way to stick with the hot hand, Mike.
Watching the MSG broadcast, it really looked like Andre Miller stepped out of bounds before launching that desperation three. Steve Novak, from the Knicks bench, seemed to think so as well.