Tag Archives: nba

NBA SEASON PREVIEW & PREDICTIONS: 2014-2015

By Tommy Rothman

The 2014-2015 NBA season is upon us, so it’s time for my annual New York Knicks Memes season preview! Read and enjoy! Feedback is appreciated, of course.

Section 1: Regular season. Section 2: Playoffs. Section 3: Awards & Accolades

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Knicks Slammed in ESPN “Franchise Rankings” (REACTION)

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Analyzing the Knicks’ qualifications

By Tommy Rothman

ESPN has just released their yearly “Ultimate Franchise Rankings” list, which ranks the 122 teams in the NBA, NFL, NHL, and MLB on a 9-category scale. The rankings implement both statistical data and survey responses from fans. (Link at the end of this article)

The Knicks were ranked 121st on this year’s list, ahead of only the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs and directly behind the NBA’s reigning cellar-dwellers, the Milwaukee Bucks. Rounding out the bottom 5 were the NFL’s Oakland Raiders and the MLB’s New York Mets. The NFL’s New York Jets and the NHL’s New York Islanders also finished near the very bottom of the rankings.

The Knicks ranked last in both “Fan Relations” and “On-Field Player Effort + Off-Field Player Likeability,” second-to-last in “Affordability,” fifth-to-last in “Ownership,” 112th in “Title Track (championships won and expected during life expectancy of fans who responded),” 108th in “Coaching,” 91st in “Stadium Experience,” and 8th in “Bang-For-Buck,” leading to their ultimate ranking of 121 out of 122.

The Ownership ranking jumps out at me a bit. For one, the NHL’s New York Rangers rank much higher in Ownership, despite the fact that, unless I am mistaken, Knicks Owner James Dolan is also the owner of the Rangers. The Rangers also rank much higher in Fan Relations, which seems odd, and they are also significantly higher in Stadium Experience, despite the fact that the Knicks and Rangers share a stadium.

In addition, James Dolan has one vastly under-appreciated trait: his ability and willingness to spend money. Dolan is ranked as the 118th best owner. The Wilpons, who own the Mets, are ranked 119th. As a fan of the Mets, I can testify to the fact that the Wilpons’ tight pockets have sunk their franchise into the pit of despair and it is unclear when, or if, they will spend the money needed to put the Mets back into contention. Of course, the NBA has a cap and the MLB does not. But James Dolan wants to win. Many NBA owners make decisions that hurt their teams to keep their payroll low and stay as far away from the luxury tax penalties as they can. Dolan is willing and able to open up his wallet and, with so many owners who cannot say the same, I think he is deserving of a higher ranking than 118.

As for Player Effort and Off-Field Likeability, it’s hard to look at this when considering “Franchises,” because a team’s roster is one of the things that changes most often, as opposed to ownership, organizational philosophy, pricing, stadium experiences, etc. While certain players put in despicably low amounts of effort this past season, the most glaring examples are no longer on the team, and the Knicks aren’t particularly unlikeable off the court compared to some teams (for instance, all 32 NFL teams).

When it comes to Stadium Experience, the Knicks should probably be higher. Their arena is legendary. Things are pricy, but if you’re in the stadium it means you have and are willing to spend money on the Knicks (although the horrible affordability ranking is completely valid). The entertainment is good, the food is good, the atmosphere is terrific, and it’s right in the middle of Manhattan, rather than a swamp in New Jersey.

The Knicks are probably rated too highly in Bang-For-Buck, if I understand the category correctly. It seems that it is based off of how well the team turns the fans’ money into wins. The Knicks haven’t been very successful, and they certainly reel in a lot of money from their fans. So I would have thought that category would be lower… I’ll look into that a bit more.

I don’t think of the Knicks as having the worst Fan Relations in the league, but it depends how you look at it. The demand for tickets, merchandise, and everything else related to the brand is very high for the Knicks. Thus, they don’t need to be handing out free seats and hot dogs and t-shirts and jerseys, because people are willing to buy them. If you’re running things right in New York, you don’t have to be nice to make money. In a business, kindness is plan B (The aforementioned Wilpons are on plan B). However, the Knicks are not very open with the fans from a management and PR perspective, which is frustrating, even if it is somewhat understandable. I wouldn’t put the Knicks last in this category, but I wouldn’t put them very highly either.

As for Title Track, the Knicks are ranked far too lowly. A team in a huge market (again with the exception of the Wilpons) has an advantage over other teams in its ability to lure in, spend on, and retain top talent. Due to the salary cap, the shaky reputation of the front office (even with Phil Jackson and Derek Fisher— whose low coach rating can’t really be debated against without further evidence— newly on board), the Knicks aren’t as well-positioned as a big-market, properly-owned, non-capped team like the Yankees are to win a title. But they definitely have an edge over more than 7 teams.

Knicks fans are a bit disgruntled these days, and in an entertainment industry, the company charging through-the-roof prices isn’t going to be the most beloved when the survey responses roll around, even if people are willing to pay those prices. But their ranking as the 2nd-to-worst team in American Sports seems a bit harsh.

Rankings aside, the Knicks, of course, are the most valuable team in the NBA, and had the highest revenues last season. The fans who responded to the survey, and all other fans, are spending, and as long as the cash is flowing, the only thing for the Knicks to truly be worried about is their pursuit of a title.

You can read the rest of the rankings here.

Postgame Reaction: Knicks Beat Raptors To Stay Alive… For Now

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The Knicks (34-45) beat the Raptors (46-33) by a score of 108-100 in Toronto. 

Carmelo Anthony led the way for the Knicks, scoring 30 points, grabbing 8 rebounds, and notching 3 steals.

Amar’e Stoudemire was fantastic as well for New York, pouring in 24 points and pulling down 11 boards. 

Iman Shumpert had another solid game, with 11 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 steals.

It was nice to see Carmelo have one of his usual games tonight, after having 2 awful games against Washington and Miami. His shoulder looks much healthier after 4 days of rest. 

Stoudemire’s resurgence has been the best story of the 2nd half for this Knicks team. After all he has fought through, seeing him get back to being a force on the offensive end is inspiring. Hopefully he can finish the year strong, and contribute again next season. 

The Hawks won last night. This simplifies things. If the Knicks go 3-0 (against the Bulls, Nets, and Raptors), and the Hawks go 0-3 (against the Heat, Bobcats, and Bucks), the Knicks will make the playoffs. In any other scenario, the Hawks would make the playoffs. If the Knicks go 2-1 and the Hawks go 0-3, or the Knicks go 3-0 and the Hawks go 1-2, the two teams would finish tied. But even though they split the season series 2-2, the Hawks have the tiebreaker (which is ridiculous, but I’ll write about that later). So if the Knicks lose again, or the Hawks win again, it’s all over.

 

We need the Heat to help us out by beating the Hawks tonight. Then we need to keep the pressure on Atlanta by beating the Bulls tomorrow. 

-Tommy Rothman

Knicks’ Jeremy Tyler to host a Night Of Awareness for Hailey’s Hope Foundation (Info & Invitation)

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In January, shortly after Jeremy Tyler signed with the Knicks and around the same time he let me do an interview with him, Jeremy’s first child was born 3 months premature. Jeremy’s son, Jeremy Junior, spent months in the hospital fighting for his life, but, fortunately, was allowed to come home to Jeremy and his girlfriend Sukey.

 

On Saturday, Jeremy will be hosting “A Night of Awareness” to benefit Hailey’s Hope Foundation, a charity that supports families with critically ill babies in the New York area. HHF reaches out to families in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, helping pay non-medical costs such as gas, lodging, and meals, and by offering care packages, calling in and checking up on families, educating parents, working with doctors and nurses, and funding clinical research.

 

Jeremy is hosting this event to bring awareness to the foundation and the alarming number of premature babies being born every day.

 

The official invitation:

Experience an unforgettable evening with Jeremy Tyler of the New York Knicks and his NBA friends to benefit Hailey’s Hope Foundation.

 Join them as they celebrate and raise money for Hailey’s Hope Foundation’s programs that support premature and critically ill babies and their families in New York-area Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs).

 Jeremy Tyler will share his personal journey and connection to the cause and honor Hailey’s Hope Foundation’s leaders. Guests will enjoy a buffet-style dinner, music, great auctions and more.

Tickets are $40 each (cash bar) and can be purchased at the link below.

Ticketshttp://www.haileyshopefoundation.org/?post_type=event&p=2016

Event Schedule

6pm-7pm – Cocktail hour, buffet-style dinner, silent auction open

7pm-8pm – Charity introduction, living testimonies, end silent auction

8pm-9pm – Introduce Jeremy, personal connection to charity, share his story introduce teammates, high-profile guests and thank everyone for coming.

After 9pm – We will have a DJ performing, open format, but that will not be affiliated with Hailey’s Hope program.

 

If you cannot make the event, but still want to support the cause you can donate in honor of Jeremy Tyler and Sukey Rowan: http://www.haileyshopefoundation.org/how-to-help/donate/

 

 

Help support Jeremy and this great charity! And check out the interview we did with Jeremy back in January!

-Tommy Rothman 

 

 

 

Melo Speaks About His Future and The Future of The Team

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Speaking Friday to the media gathered in New Orleans for All-Star Weekend, Carmelo Anthony basically said the following.

 

  • His first choice is to remain in New York for the rest of his career.
  • He is willing to take less money to help the Knicks with the cap going forward, but only if he likes the plans they set out in front of him.
  • He will be meeting with the Knicks’ Front Office soon to discuss roster plans going forward.
  • Mike Woodson will be at practice Monday in Memphis.
  • He knows he will not be traded before Thursday’s Trade Deadline.

 

Given that Melo seemingly calls a lot of the shots, this is a very telling series of statements. 

-Tommy Rothman