Chat with Jared Zwerling
Welcome to ESPNNewYork.com! On Friday, New York Knicks writer Jared Zwerling stops by to chat about the team.
Zwerling has covered the Knicks for ESPNNewYork since 2010. He is also an NBA contributor to ESPN.com. Prior to ESPN, Zwerling worked for Sports Illustrated, CBS Sports and started his career with the NBA in 2004, upon graduating from New York University.
Send your questions now and join Zwerling Friday at noon ET!
Jared Zwerling (12:01 PM)
Hey guys, let's get this chat going ...
Jason(New York) [via mobile]
Based on how the knicks are playing, can they beat the Heat? And how?
Jared Zwerling (12:04 PM)
This is, of course, what it ultimately comes down to. In the Knicks' three wins against the Heat this season, they showed how they can beat them: light it up from 3-point range. That's the offensive key. Melo will get his, Smith should get his, but will the team's ball movement be effective and lead to open shots -- and made shots? Those are the keys. Defensively, Chandler and Martin need to be 100 percent healthy. Camby should play as well. The Knicks will have to show that old-school toughness against LeBron and D-Wade's constant attacking, but while also conserving fouls. D-Wade's health is something to watch. At this point, Smith has the potential to out-do him in that matchup if both teams meet. That will be a huge boost to the Knicks.
Are the Knicks at all worried about Carmelo and 2014 free agency?
Jared Zwerling (12:05 PM)
Seriously? This is not even up for discussion right now.
Ryan (Florida) [via mobile]
The Knicks are going into a hostile environment. Do you think they take home game three and possibly complete the sweep?
Jared Zwerling (12:07 PM)
Yes, I think they can. The Knicks have already won two games in Boston this season, and now Kevin Garnett is a bit more banged up. I see this game being more competitive heading into the fourth quarter, but I give the nod to the Knicks because of their depth at point guard, and that includes Smith's ability to score off pick-and-rolls. The Celtics simply don't have enough backcourt play. They are obviously missing Rajon Rondo, and I believe the Knicks' speed -- and, of course, Melo -- will overwhelm them, once again, down the stretch.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What College Basketball Players do you think would be a Perfect fit for the Knicks?
Jared Zwerling (12:08 PM)
Not sure of names at this point, but a big guy who gets dirty down low defensively and on the boards. That's what Woodson will be looking for. As he likes to say, "That's the makeup of this veteran ball club."
Word is that Smith will test free agency. Do the Knicks have a chance to keep him?
Jared Zwerling (12:11 PM)
That's obvious. But while I think he could fetch up to $7, $8 million a year from a bottom-feeder, I think he remains in New York because of his close family ties, connection to Melo and Woodson, being on a contender, more visibility and his increased endorsement opportunities. He's starting to make some good money off the court. Smith could very well start next season in New York. That's not out of the question either.
Ed (Queens Village)
Do Knicks go in there thinking we need to take one or go for sweep? In your opinion series going back to NYC?
Jared Zwerling (12:12 PM)
I don't think it will go back to New York. The Knicks have more versatility on their roster on both ends of the floor. The Celtics without Rondo complicates so many matters for them. Basketball can be an easy game to comprehend sometimes. Teams need a great floor leader to win; it's as simple as that. The Knicks have Felton playing exceptionally well, Prigioni is solid and Kidd, as Doc Rivers said, "beats everybody with his brain." Enough said.
Whats wrong withy Tyson? Will Camby get any minutes (non garbage time) this postseason?
Jared Zwerling (12:13 PM)
Chandler had the flu, which Melo spoke about on Thursday, and he lost some weight. Chandler is confident he can play more minutes and be more effective in Game 3.
Jared, Knicks are playing great overall! why do you think that they usually have mediocre first halves and what do you think Doc Rivers may have up his sleeve tonight?
Jared Zwerling (12:17 PM)
I think you're overlooking the fact that the Celtics are a damn good defensive team (but offensively, they're really missing Rondo, of course). It's not just the Knicks having mediocre first halves, but I do think they need to avoid too much isolation basketball and spread the ball around better off pick-and-rolls. When Felton has taken over point-guard duties in the series, good things have happened.
Games one and two have been a tale of two halves. First half of games have been competitive, second half not. Give us your take on what's been going on in the second half. Is it more due to Boston's struggling O, or the Knicks' strangling D? The Knicks' O doesn't have much to hang its hat on from the 4th quarter of game 2.
Jared Zwerling (12:20 PM)
Both. Better pick-and-roll sets for the Knicks, featuring Felton, Smith and Melo; the Celtics wearing down and missing Rondo; the Knicks' perimeter rotations improving in the second half to force the Celtics into more contested jump shots; the Knicks having more speed in their backcourt in transition off of steals and defensive rebounds; the size mismatches have favored the Knicks. Those are just some of the factors.
Deven (New York, NY)
Why have the Knicks stepped it up in the second half of this series? In the first half, they look lost out there on the court and by the second half, they're more focused.
Jared Zwerling (12:20 PM)
See my previous answer.
Colin (New York)
if the heat play knicks, what would have to change for them to have a chance
Jared Zwerling (12:26 PM)
Chandler to get healthier, first of all. He knows the Heat very well from the 2011 Finals. 3-point shooting as well, the Knicks' main poison in three wins over the Heat this season. I think tonight in Boston will speak volumes about this Knicks team, coming into a very hostile environment. They've been a pretty solid road team, and Miami is arguably the toughest place to play in the league now. The Knicks have the right veteran makeup on both ends of the floor. It'll come down to health, moving the ball and making shots, and locking in with their perimeter rotations and halfcourt traps early in games.
Will Cope and/or Novak be a factor in any playoff game/series?
Jared Zwerling (12:28 PM)
The Knicks have been looking to attack the Celtics' bigger size with more guard play, and that size advantage has worked out well. It's tough for Woodson to play both Cope and Novak at the same time because they're more defensive liabilities. I think they'll be effective at times, no question. It just depends on matchups. If the Knicks play the Heat in the ECF, I could see both of them helping out with their 3-point shooting.
Any chance Woodson cuts Novak out of the rotation tonight? He has been pretty much useless on offense this series and his defense is awful
Jared Zwerling (12:28 PM)
No, that won't happen.
If the knicks lose the next two in Boston do you think game five becomes a must win for them?
Jared Zwerling (12:31 PM)
The Knicks won't lose both games in Boston. They're a better team and have just as much playoff experience, if not more. With Chandler improving and saying he'll add more in Game 3, that's also a promising sign. On the flip side, Rondo will still be sidelined. You've seen how much they miss him down the stretch. The Celtics haven't had as much offensive juice. Where is that going to come from?
If the Knicks and Pacers were to end their series' early, would the second round start right away or would they wait until the entire first round is complete?
Jared Zwerling (12:31 PM)
I could see it starting next Wednesday.
Boston had to be the worst match up for a 1st round series not because their just good but Melo seems to try to do too much. He feels obligated to put the team on his back right from the beginning and I think it's hurting the offensive. Thoughts?
Jared Zwerling (12:31 PM)
The Knicks are up 2-0, so there you go ...
Interesting roster moves recently. Adding Q-Richardson, Earl Barron and dumping the other big guy who came and went so fast I can't even remember his name. I know there are more important issues, but what do you think overall about these moves and what's the deal with Earl Barron. Feel for the guy. 18 rebounds and forgotten again....
Jared Zwerling (12:32 PM)
Barron is injury insurance, it's as simple as that.
Sean (New rochelle)
Do you think the knicks will look to move amare in the off season? I I don't want him to go but his contract hurts more than helps at this point
Jared Zwerling (12:34 PM)
No, no movement. Bad contract basically.
Now that were in the playoffs do you think pablo prigioni's game will take a hit? He does so many things well but now that teams have to play him in consecutive games for example they know about him trying to steal ball on inbounds and that when he drives he never looks to shoot.
Jared Zwerling (12:36 PM)
He's better suited defensively. Felton has proved he needs the ball in his hands more offensively. His aggressiveness and speed off pick-and-rolls -- and in the open court -- have been huge against the Celtics. And that should carry over well to the following series.
S W E E P !!!
Jared Zwerling (12:39 PM)
Jared Zwerling (12:43 PM)
BREAKING NEWS: Russell Westbrook will undergo surgery for a meniscus tear in his right knee, and he is out indefinitely. WOW!
Did you find it suspicious that Doc gave up with 4 minutes to go, did he say why?
Jared Zwerling (12:46 PM)
Garnett got hurt, and he still had key guys playing down the stretch.
I predicted Knicks in 5, everybody who thought this was going to be a seven game series is suddenly now on the bandwagon!
Jared Zwerling (12:48 PM)
I initially had Knicks in 5.
So Kidd and Camby signed 3-year contracts with the Knicks before the start of the season. Are they really going to be around this long?
Jared Zwerling (12:49 PM)
I think Kidd has more longevity, not sure about Camby. We'll see ... They want to keep at it.
If both Anthony and JR Smith go into foul trouble against Boston who steps up? Felton? That could work for this round, not if the Knicks play Indiana next.
Jared Zwerling (12:50 PM)
Felton and then Copeland will have to play more.
With Russell Westbrook out, all we need now are injuries to Paul George, LeBron James, Tim Duncan and Chris Paul and the knicks would be the favrotes to win it all this year :)
Jared Zwerling (12:53 PM)
Unreal how many star players have gone down recently ...
Jared Zwerling (12:54 PM)
Hey guys, thanks for your time. If you have an additional question or thought, hit me on Twitter @JaredZwerling ... Talk soon!