Chat with Ian Begley
Welcome to ESPNNewYork.com! On Wednesday, New York Knicks writer Ian Begley stops by to chat about the team.
Begley has covered New York sports since graduating from the University of Richmond in 2005. He has covered the Yankees, Mets, Giants, Jets, Knicks, Nets, Rangers and Devils for ESPNNewYork.com. Prior to writing for ESPN's New York site, he worked for the New York Daily News.
Send your questions now and join Begley Wednesday at noon ET!
Ian Begley (12:00 PM)
Hey, what's up guys? Hope everyone's doing well. Huge game for the Knicks tonight in Milwaukee. The Knicks could have a one-game lead when it's over -- or they could be out of the playoffs. Let's dive right into it
Deven (New York)
Is this officially Carmelo Anthony's team now? What are your thoughts?
Ian Begley (12:01 PM)
Hey Deven, I think Anthony's responded well since Jeremy Lin and Amare Stoudemire have been out. He's scoring around 30 points per game and shooting close to 50 percent from the floor in the last eight games. The problem is this team doesn't have a consistent secondary scorer right now.
Deven (New York)
If the Bulls-Knicks meet in the playoffs this year, do you think the Knicks can pull off the upset?
Ian Begley (12:03 PM)
Do I think they can make it competitive? Sure. Do I think they can take a game or two off of Chicago? Yup. But taking the whole series with a healthy Rose is going to be tough. Look at what happened in the paint last night.
Raj (Buffalo, NY)
Hi Ian. Can you tell Landry to stop shooting threes for me? Seriously. He needs to take the ball to the basket more often, that's where his strength is.
Ian Begley (12:04 PM)
Hey Raj, You're right. Landry's done a great job getting to the bucket. It's weird because he was knocking down the three with better frequency last season but it just hasn't been there this year. It's interesting that Woodson goes with JR over Landry consistently late in games.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Who do you think will be a perfect fit to coach the New York Knicks & should be the Head Coach for the 2012-2013 Season?
Ian Begley (12:06 PM)
Honestly, Chris, I don't know how you feel but I really like the job Woodson's doing. The defense, for the most part, has been stellar. And we've seen how crucial that is to playing winning basketball. And the offense before Lin and Stoudemire went out was humming. With both of those guys out, Woodson's made the proper adjustment in getting the ball to Anthony. I think he's proved that he's more than capable.
Curtis moore III Milwaukee wisconsin [via mobile]
Wat iz ur thoughts an feelings on lamar odom joining the knicks an do u think it will work?
Ian Begley (12:07 PM)
Hey Curt, I actually like the idea of Odom on the Knicks. I think he will respond well to being home and he proved in LA that he can be a great complimentary piece as the Lakers' sixth man. What do you guys think?
What has Mike Woodson done to make the Knicks so good?
Ian Begley (12:09 PM)
Simply put Bobby, he's gotten them to buy in on defense. I don't know why this didn't happen under D'Antoni, because Woodson was the assistant coach the entire year. I think Melo bought in because he was happy with the coaching change and the rest of the guys were shocked by the changed and forced to play harder (minus Tyson Chandler, who has been playing hard all yr).
Devon (Bronx, NY)
I understand Melo is playing his best basketball yet, but do you think Mike Woodson's iso playcalling for melo is forcing the other players to become a bit stagnant? Open shots weren't available like on Sunday...what do you think?
Ian Begley (12:10 PM)
Couldn't agree more. I think it has less to do with Woodson's play-calling though and more to do with the Knicks' lack of a secondary scorer.
dan patino (new york )
it makes the most sense for amare to come off the bench when he comes back, why wouldnt woodson do that?
Ian Begley (12:12 PM)
For the same reason Joe Girardi didn't want to take Derek Jeter out of the leadoff spot when he was struggling early last year -- the public reaction would create a massive headache for him.
With a healthy roster, these Knicks play better basketball without Amare. Agree or Disagree?
Ian Begley (12:14 PM)
Disagree, in part. I think certain units are better without Amare. I think Carmelo Anthony is better without Amare. But I think the Knicks are lacking a secondary scorer without Amare. So the need for another scorer is glaring when Stoudemire is out. I think you saw a glaring example of that last night
Should I risk getting injured to help my team get into the playoffs or should I roll the dice on Melo and the crew?
Ian Begley (12:15 PM)
Haha. Come back 100%, A'Mare. And start talking to the media again!
Deven (New York)
Hi Ian. I watched an ESPN video of you talking about Isiah Thomas returning the Knicks organziation. Really? Please tell me this won't happen.
Ian Begley (12:23 PM)
There is no explicit sign that this will happen, but don't be surprised if it does Deven. Remember, James Dolan tried to hire Isiah in Aug 2010. The NBA put a stop to it because Isiah was coaching in college at the time. Isiah has been an unofficial adviser to Dolan for the past three years, helping in the recruitment of Amare Stoudemire and LeBron James. And he's not coaching anymore, so he's free to take the position.
Deven (New York)
How bad is Jeremy Lin's knee?
Ian Begley (12:27 PM)
Great question. We've been told that the surgery was a success and that Lin is on schedule for a return in six weeks. It's strange though because Grant Hill, who is 38, had surgery 17 days ago and is supposed to return to the court next week. So maybe the knee is worse than the Knicks are letting on? Or maybe they set the timetable at more than six weeks to be conservative?Who knows? Either way, the fact that Hill is expected to return so much sooner than Lin raises red flags.
Why does JR Smith constantly take bad shots? And does the rest of New York hate when hes on the floor as much as I do?
Ian Begley (12:29 PM)
Haha. Jason, I'm sure you've seen J.R. play before he came to NY. So you can't be that surprised that he's taken some questionable shots. This is his MO and it has been since he's come into the league. Great talent, but questionable shot selection. The Knicks sorely need Smith to step up though because they need a secondary scorer with Stoudemire and Lin out.
Yes I have seen his game for quite a few years. He should've stayed in China where I could forget he still plays basketball!
Ian Begley (12:31 PM)
Ha. Tell us how you really feel.
Ian Begley (12:36 PM)
BTW guys, here's a great take by John Hollinger on why Tyson Chandler deserves defensive player of the year honors: http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/story/_/page/PERDiem-120411/nba-chandler-leads-hollinger-all-defensive-team
Anyone you could see the Knicks targeting in the draft and buying a late first or second round pick to get?
Ian Begley (12:38 PM)
I really really like Iona's Scott Machado as a potential backup PG. I think he'd go second round, so there's a possibility that he could land with the Knicks
Ian:What has happened to Novak's shooting? I know teams are starting to defend him better, but he missed a few threes last night that were wide open.
Ian Begley (12:41 PM)
Good question Andrew. One of the things that's affected Novak is a lack of consistent, quality looks at the basket. With the Knicks going away from ball movement and more toward isolation with Lin and Stoudemire out, Novak's looks have been sporadic. So I think he has a tougher time getting in rhythm. Tough spot for him. And, as long as Lin and Stoudemire are out, the Knicks will probably continue to go ISO, which will likely limit Novak's looks.
Ben (Yancey St)
is there any hope the knicks can get outta the 1st round IF they make the playoffs?
Ian Begley (12:44 PM)
Unless Derek Rose is out, I don't think the Knicks have a chance. Chicago showed last night that they can simply dominate the Knicks on the boards. And when Carmelo Anthony isn't on the floor, the Knicks offense looked stuck in the mud Tuesday. That's a bad sign for the Knicks if these teams hook up in the playoffs.
Joey G (NJ)
Which first round playoff matchup do you think is better for the knicks, playing Miami or playing Chicago?
Ian Begley (12:46 PM)
Im going with Chicago Joey. Two reasons: I think the Knicks are better off with Loul Deng guarding Anthony than they are with LeBron James guarding Anthony. I also think that the Knicks can adapt to the Bulls' slow-it-down pace well. With Lin and Stoudemire out, the Knicks have run a ton of isolation sets, which matches Chicago's grind-it-out pace. So New York wouldn't be affected there. What do you think?
josh (Long Island)
what record do you think the knicks need to clinch a playoff spot?
Ian Begley (12:49 PM)
I think 34-32 will get it done, assuming they win tonight. Lose tonight and I think they'll need to go at least 6-2 to get the eighth spot, because Milwaukee will have the tie-breaker based on head-to-head match ups. And the Bucks have an easier schedule from here on out.
Hey Ian, any chance Fields loses his starting role?
Ian Begley (12:50 PM)
Not at the moment. Honestly, I don't think it matters much that he starts. It's more important to play in crunch time and that's where Woodson tends to go with J.R. Smith over Fields. I think that's a bigger indication that Woodson likes Smith's offensive repertoire better than Fields'
And as far as giving Woodson the job again next year, I like what he's done to this point. they're now 12-4 with him as coach, and you can just see that the Knicks have really stepped up the effort on defense. however, all it would take at this point is a late season "collapse" and the knicks missing the playoffs to have people not wanting him back next year. Agree?
Ian Begley (12:51 PM)
Totally agree, Joe. He needs to make the playoffs to have a legitimate shot to get the job. If he wins a playoff game or two, that boosts his candidacy even further. But he absolutely needs to get in
GEsco (Chesapeake, Virginia)
Did Grant Hill have the same type of knee surgery as JLin? I really feel he will be back early. Its showing right now how bad we need a PG and some one to drive to the basket and create.
Ian Begley (12:53 PM)
They had the same injury and surgery in the same area. Though I don't know about the severity of the injury. Logic dictates that Hill's was less severe than Lin's but I didn't go to med school, so I really don't know. I tend to think Lin will be back sooner than six weeks so we'll see... They sorely need a PG
Matt B (Uptown NYC)
It looks like there's been a lot more perimeter playing lately. Is this because of the increased Melo iso plays or point guards that can't create and set up plays? I miss the pick-and-rolls with Chandler getting big on the basket.
Ian Begley (12:55 PM)
A little bit of both Matt. The Knicks don't have a point guard that can turn the corner on the P & R the way Lin did. Baron doesn't seem to have the mobility right now. Shumpert has the speed but hasn't had enough time to refine his ball handling to make the play work effectively on a consistent basis. So that's why you're seeing more perimeter looks and less chances for Chandler around the basket.
Devon (Bronx, NY)
We got outworked on the glass again. I know we are missing Amare a great deal, but he is not a great hustle player like Noah, Gibson and Boozer are, should our focus be narrowed down to intangible plays (loose balls, fighting over screens, offensive rebounding, boxing out) rather than just a second scorer?
Ian Begley (12:58 PM)
Those hustle plays should always be a focus, in my opinion. Players should be focused on that no matter the situation or the amount of injuries the team is dealing with. But the glaring lack of a secondary scorer is really hurting them. Carmelo Anthony is doing his part on offense but they need a second threat to keep defenses somewhat honest. Hasn't happened so far.
j.armas (north bergen, nj)
STAT looked good before the game .. moving well and shooting.. i see him playing real soon.. any word on his return??
Ian Begley (1:00 PM)
He has looked pretty good. I think they'd like to see him in a practice to give him a chance to take contact, but that may be hard with this schedule. Woodson hasn't given any indication on Stoudemire's return, other than to say he thinks he's out tonight
Ian Begley (1:01 PM)
Alright guys, that's it for me today. It was great chatting with you guys. You know your stuff and are very passionate. Thanks for stopping by. Let's do it again soon....