On This Date: Knicks post 28-0 run in 3rd quarter to beat Raptors

November 22nd 2017:  The New York Knicks post 28-0 run in 3rd quarter to defeat the Toronto Raptors 108-100 in MSG 

In a – quite recent – flashback, the Knicks took a 11 point halftime deficit and went on a historic 28-0 run to defeat the Toronto Raptors.  The win put the Knicks at 10-7 to start the season.  According to Ian Begley, the 28-0 run was the longest run – at the time – since 2009.  The Knicks outscored the Raptors 41-10 in the third quarter. Continue reading →

On This Date: Trey Burke explodes for a career high 42 points

March 26th 2018: Trey Burke explodes for a career high 42 points

Only months after joining the Knicks roster, Trey Burke exploded for a career high 42 points and 12 assists in a 137-128 loss against the Charlotte Hornets. Burke scored 42 on 19-31 from the field and 3-9 from three. Burke hit shots from all over the court, including layups, threes, and a midrange shot which he hit at a ridiculously high 57% from long 2.

Burke joined the Knicks roster in January after the team cut Ramon Sessions. Rather than joining the Oklahoma City Thunder, Burke decided to sign with the Westchester Knicks to further develop his point guard skills. One of the biggest knocks on Burke’s game to that point was whether he could be a rotation point guard on a competitive team. After having a stretch of solid offensive outputs since the All Star Break, he received his first start the day before against the Washington Wizards.

Burke averaged 13 points/game and 50% from the field with the Knicks in 36 games in the 2017-18 season. He was not able to maintain the high efficiency this season as his FG% from long 2 regressed from 57% to 43% and consequently decreased his overall FG% to 41%. The three headed PG rotation with Emmanuel Mudiay & Frank Ntilikina also reduced his opportunities with the team. The Knicks traded Burke to the Mavericks in the Kristaps Porzingis trade.

 

On This Date: Knicks trade Willy Hernangomez

February 7th 2018:  The New York Knicks trade Willy Hernangomez to the Charlotte Hornets

The Knicks traded Willy Hernangomez to the Charlotte Hornets for Johnny O’Bryant and two 2nd round picks in 2020 and 2021. Willy requested a trade a few days earlier after being stuck on the bench behind both Enes Kanter and Kyle O’Quinn. To add insult to injury, the trade occurred only a day before Kristaps Porzingis, Willy’s friend dating back to the Sevilla days, tore his ACL. The Knicks immediately cut O’Bryant, who’s now playing for Maccabi Tel Aviv in the Euroleague.

After making the All-Rookie 1st team in the 2016-17 season, there was hope that Willy would become the starter for the Knicks. However, those plans derailed once the Knicks traded Carmelo Anthony for Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott, and the 2018 Bulls 2nd round pick that turned out to be Mitchell Robinson. Immediately after the trade, Willy had to compete with Enes Kanter & Kyle O’Quinn for minutes at the center position.

Unfortunately, Willy was not able to separate himself from Kanter to receive minutes. The Knicks valued Kyle O’Quinn’s defense to garner minutes regardless. Kanter, however, came into camp in the best shape of his life and showed to be a better offensive threat. Willy did not come into camp in tip-top shape.

Upon hearing of the trade, many fans had mixed reactions. Some thought that Hernangomez would have been an integral piece to our core and that we should have traded O’Quinn or Kanter instead. Others were more giddy about the 2nd round picks acquired and weren’t too high of Willy’s lack of defense and his trade request. (he was a backup after all)

In retrospect, this trade ended up as an overall win for the team. It’s far less likely that Willy will blossom the way Rod Strickland did when traded to the Spurs. Since he requested a trade, it gave the front office no choice but to trade him. For Steve Mills, it meant giving up on a player that he personally scouted when visiting Porzingis before the 2015 NBA Draft. The Knicks regained 2nd round picks in 2020 and 2021 that they ironically had given up to acquire Hernangomez in the 2015 NBA Draft.

Seeing a need at the center position, the Knicks drafted Mitchell Robinson who will likely have a higher ceiling and potential than Hernangomez. Willy’s received sproadic minutes in the 2018-19 season including several DNPs. He’s been decent on the offensive end, but inconsistent on defense.

On This Date: Day 2 of Linsanity and KP’s devastating ACL injury

February 6th 2012: Jeremy Lin makes his first start and helps beat the Utah Jazz

Day 2 of Linsanity gives Jeremy Lin his first career NBA start on way to a 99-88 Knicks victory. Lin put up 28 points, 7-9 from the free throw line, and 8 assists. He continued to dazzle fans with his uncanny ability to drive into the paint and make acrobatic layups. Near the end of the 4th quarter, Lin hit a three at the end of the shot clock and stuck his tongue out and gave us a signature wink.

One recipient of Lin’s 8 assists was Tyson Chandler. While Chandler continued to be a defensive presence, Lin rewarded him with scoring opportunities on the pick and roll. Another recipient was Steve “Discount Double Check” Novak. Novak received several passes from Lin that led to wide open threes. Novak scored 19 points off the bench on 5-8 shooting from three. Beginning with this game, Novak continued to receive consistent minutes off the bench and served as a major three-point threat.

The most important story outside the victory was the absence of both Carmelo Anthony & Amare Stoudemire. Melo only played 5 minutes before pulling his groin. The injury sidelined him for the next 7 games, which represented the entire tenure of Linsanity. Amare was away from the team following the death of his brother in a car crash.


February 6th 2018:  Kristaps Porzingis tears his ACL.

In what nobody knew would represent Kristaps Porzingis final game in New York, the 7′ 3″ unicorn tore his ACL after landing awkwardly following a dunk on Giannis Antetokounmpo. Due to the graphic nature of the injury, we decided not to post the video. The dunk had put the Knicks ahead by a point. The injury itself put a damper on the game and the remainder of the season.

KP’s friend Willy Hernangomez witnessed the injury firsthand on the Knicks bench. The Knicks traded Willy the next day as part of a busy trade deadline that involved acquiring Emmanuel Mudiay.

The injury put the Knicks in position to refuse an extension offer to Porzingis in the offseason. Had he stayed healthy, it’s possible he would have tried to negotiate a designated rookie extension which would have allowed him to earn a higher percentage of the cap based on performance criteria.

Once it was clear he would miss most of the 2018-19 season, there was no way for him to meet any of the performance parameters that would lead to a higher salary, and therefore, the Knicks could theoretically offer him the same extension offer in 2019 as they could have in 2018. It therefore made sense for them to wait to see if he returned healthy and maintain cap space from his reduced cap hold. Whether this strategy frustrated Porzingis is yet to be fully reported. And whether the injury cast doubt on the Knicks willingness to offer him a max contract has also not yet been fully reported.

The Knicks traded Porzingis just before the one-year anniversary of the trade after he provided the front office with a 4-team list of teams where he preferred to be traded and threatened to rehab in Spain if not traded by the deadline. It appears that both sides were ready to move on, as the Knicks were considering offers for Porzingis before he officially made it clear that he wanted out of New York. Of course, it was no secret that Porzingis was unhappy, so the Knicks were not surprised by what they learned in the meeting requested by him and his brother before the trade.

On This Date: Knicks fire Don Chaney

January 14, 2004:  The Don Chaney era ends

The Don Chaney era came to an end on this date as Isiah Thomas fired him shortly before their impending game against the Orlando Magic. After going through a morning shootaround, Chaney and assistant coaches Brendan Malone & Lon Kruger received notice that they were relieved of their duties.

The news came of no surprise to Chaney, outside of perhaps the timing of the firing. Despite serving as an assistant coach under both Don Nelson and Jeff Van Gundy, Chaney wasn’t able to replicate their success. He was 72-112 in the 2+ seasons as head coach of the Knicks. He took over the interim coaching duties after Jeff Van Gundy suddenly resigned. Chaney inherited a roster of aging veterans, fringe youth players, and injury-prone players. Both Marcus Camby & Antonio McDyess missed significant chunks of games with injuries during his tenure.

At the time of the firing, the Knicks were 15-24. Despite rumors of hiring Chuck Daly & Mike Fratello, Isiah instead selected Lenny Wilkens as the new head coach. Wilkens, a Brooklyn native, returned home after the Raptors fired him at the end of the 2002-03 season. Wilkens had moderate success as the Knicks head coach with a 40-41 record and a playoff berth in his first season. He resigned midway during the 2004-05 season and ultimately retired from coaching.


January 14, 2018:  Knicks call up Trey Burke

The Knicks called up Trey Burke from the Westchester Knicks on this date. Burke initially signed with the Knicks during the preseason, but was waived only a few days later. Rather than playing overseas or with the Oklahoma City Thunder, as originally rumored, Burke decided to hone his point guard skills with the Westchester Knicks.

After having a solid rookie season, Burke gradually fell out of the rotation between his stints with the Jazz & Wizards. Knowing that his success in the NBA would hinge on his point guard skills, he found an opportunity in the G-League as a prime opportunity to develop. While in the G-League, Burke averaged 26.6 points, 2.7 threes/game, 5.5 assists/game, and 1.9 steals/game.

Burke had a sizzling start to his Knicks career, including a 42-point game against the Charlotte Hornets. Burke has had a rough start to the 2018-19 season after suffering strings of DNPs and a mild MCL sprain. Despite the minor setbacks, his stint in the G-League will forever ingrain the work ethic needed to earn minutes in the NBA.