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 (12:00 PM)
Hey guys, I'm here. Let's chat.
Peter Littman (New York)
The Nets have made many changes this offseason to their roster. Will the "Core Four" take them to the playoffs? If so, how far?
Jared Zwerling (12:02 PM)
Absolutely. 3rd to 5th seed in the East. I'd say semifinals for now, but it depends on their first-round matchup. I think the Knicks can beat them in the first round if they have home court. To me, the Garden experience always offer an advantage.
Richard (San Antonio,Tx)
Jared the team that the Knicks put together for this season are they good enought to win the east.Also Which player do you think was the best pickup and why?
Jared Zwerling (12:03 PM)
Win the East? Over the Heat? Uh no. To me, it was Raymond Felton. You need a solid starting point guard in this league, and he played very well in New York in 2010-11. He admitted he was out of shape last season in Portland, but he said he's already training hard. I like what I'm hearing. I think he can get back to that level he was at two years ago. He's only 28.
Richard (San Antonio,Tx)
Do you think the Knicks are going to be good at the power forward spot after stats comes out of the game.Who will replace him when he comes out?
Jared Zwerling (12:05 PM)
The Knicks are likely looking to fill their final roster spot with a backup power forward. But keep in mind that Mike Woodson doesn't get caught up in strict position players. Camby, Novak and maybe even Copeland could step in for Amare, for now. I really like what I saw from Copeland during summer league -- the ability to score in the post, fight for rebounds and shoot the three. But, again, we'll see who, if at all, that final pickup is.
Mike Pascale (Anaheim ca lakers)
Do you think Carmelo and stodimire will do better since they have a new coach.. And do you think Allen iverson will ever have a comback
Jared Zwerling (12:10 PM)
I don't see Allen Iverson making a comeback. He thrived as a scorer, not a point guard, and he's too old to create off the dribble. So I'm not sure how serviceable he would be. Carmelo and Amare's play together offensively is always the big question mark. I don't think they'll ever really be on the same page in that department, because they're both midrange scorers at their core. But I think Woodson has to alternate Melo and Amare out of the post. Melo thrives there and Amare is working with Hakeem Olajuwon this offseason for a reason. I think Tyson will be the main high pick-and-roller because he's not as seasoned in the low post as Amare -- but he's great in that play call because of his size and mobility. Overall, defensively is where Melo and Amare really have to make a difference. They need to bring it consistently on that end of the floor.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
By Looking at the 2012-2013 NBA Schedule what will be the Hardest Team that the New York Knicks will face?
Jared Zwerling (12:11 PM)
Ummm let me think. The Heat. That was an easy one.
ian capell (New York)
How will Felton fit into this team and do you think this team can finally mesh together and become a contender. also who do you think is bether brooklyn or new york
Jared Zwerling (12:13 PM)
Felton, like I just said, says he's getting after it and really looking to get into top shape for this season. That's his biggest hurdle, but once he crosses that, he should be a valuable addition in New York. Just two seasons ago, he was playing like an All-Star, and he's still only 28. Right now, I'm going to go with New York because they're better defensively. Both teams will be able to score more than 100 points per game. Contender? Well, that's for the Heat to decide.
Brewer or Smith as the starting SG? I'd rather see Brewer and have Smith be the instant offense guy off the bench.
Jared Zwerling (12:15 PM)
Brewer. He's a better defender, and you never want the opposing team's best guard going off early. You can't allow confidence to take over. Disruption and frustration is key. However, I do think Smith improved defensively under Smith, but he's more of a scorer. The Knicks should have plenty of that in the starting five.
Do you think Kidd will be suspended?
Jared Zwerling (12:15 PM)
I haven't heard anything as of now.
why does the media keep reporting that melo and lin had a poor relationship? seems to be the opposite from what all the players are saying on both sides. other sources back up that sentiment too.
Jared Zwerling (12:18 PM)
I didn't get into that. I tend to think that stuff is more speculation, people looking for a story. From my account, I did hear that Melo supported Lin getting playing time at the start of Linsanity. They did seem friendly off the court when I was around them, and those I know who are close to Lin say he didn't have a problem with Melo. Also, they had dinner together in Los Angeles, along with Woodson, in June to discuss the upcoming season, and Woodson kept saying Lin would be the starting point guard.
There seems to be little difference from last year's roster. Is there any reason to believe the Knicks' upside is any more than a low playoff seed and easy out for one of the conference's top teams?
Jared Zwerling (12:19 PM)
Little difference? Let's see: Felton, Kidd, Camby, Prigioni, Brewer, Thomas, Smith and Copeland. Change represents more than half of the team.
How are the Knicks gonna find playing time for all these players?
Jared Zwerling (12:22 PM)
The Knicks can go nine deep. Look at how the Spurs did it last season. Plus, with some of the ages on the roster, I imagine some day-to-days and things like that. The key is that the Knicks are healthy, deep and clicking come playoff time. If that means resting guys here and there during the season against the Bobcats and teams like that, then so be it. The shortened season killed the Knicks last season, with guys not being ready and also rushing back from injury. That's something the team is definitely going to be monitoring this season, I guarantee you that, to prevent what happened last year.
Really like what the Knicks have done, but still need to fill back up PF spot. Who are the likely candidates?
Jared Zwerling (12:23 PM)
Possibly Kenyon Martin, D.J. White and Andray Blatche. Those are the top three guys to me for around the veteran's minimum.
First couple games are going to tough, whats your thoughts on the schedule?
Jared Zwerling (12:24 PM)
I don't get into that like a lot of other people. At the end of the day, you play teams a certain amount of times -- just like every season. To me, it doesn't matter when you play a opponent. A lot of people get stuck on when the game is; on Christmas, opening night, whatever. The key is to win. The top of the East -- the Heat, Celtics, Knicks and Nets -- is too competitive to get caught up in the schedule. Just win and especially beat teams you know you can beat. There are plenty out there in the league today.
James (New York)
Jared, as a Knicks fan, I still feel wounded by the decision not to sign Jeremy Lin. I simply don't trust the higher ups after a move like that. Can you tell me some good news to cheer me up?
Jared Zwerling (12:25 PM)
I believe in Felton.
are the knicks adding a pf?
Jared Zwerling (12:25 PM)
That's definitely a position on their radar.
How do you think Woodson will rotate the guards when Brewer, Smith, and Shump are all healthy?
Jared Zwerling (12:26 PM)
Shumpert should start in February/March if all goes well. Brewer can backup Melo. Smith can back up Shump. The Knicks are primed to be one of the deepest teams in the league this season.
Could Andray Blatche be a good fit in NY?
Jared Zwerling (12:27 PM)
If he's mature. He's a talented player who thinks like a teenager at times, on and off the court.
Drew (New York)
Should we be concerned that the Knicks only really have two shooters in Novak and Smith?
Jared Zwerling (12:28 PM)
You're overlooking Felton (45.9 percent from three in the second half of 2010-11) and Kidd (third all-time in 3-pointers made). Also, Melo can knock it down when he's open.
Can You Predict some players stats
Jared Zwerling (12:30 PM)
Starting five = Melo - 25, 6 rebounds and 4 assists. Amare - 18 and 8 rebounds. Felton - 15 and 7 assists. Chandler - 10 and 10 rebounds. Brewer = 8 and 4 rebounds.
More interesting game this season Lin back to MSG or Melo Back to the Pepsi Center?
Jared Zwerling (12:31 PM)
Seriously? Lin back at MSG. Are you kidding?
Whats the latest on Shumperts rehab, also do you think think that not matching houston's offer sheet on Lin (also Fields)shows any signs of them wanting to give him big bucks in his next deal?
Jared Zwerling (12:32 PM)
Shumpert likely back in January. You can't even talk about big bucks for Shump until he plays again, and even weeks after that. It's way too early for that discussion.
How do you think Prigioni's game fits with the NBA and do you expect him to play significant minutes?
Jared Zwerling (12:33 PM)
At times, 10 to 15 minutes per game. I don't envision significant minutes early in the season. Those will belong to Felton and Kidd.
In your opinion will competing in the Olympics have any effect on what shape Melo and Tyson will be in to start the season?
Jared Zwerling (12:34 PM)
No man. They would train and play in the offseason anyway. So the Olympics gives them an even greater edge, competing against the world's best -- and that includes their star teammates in practice. You can't ask for better season preparation than that.
Jared, you mentioned NYK filling that last roster spot with a PF. Why not a SG/SF wing player who can shoot and spread the floor? Even with the signing of Brewer, depth is a concern with Shump's injury, and the lack of shooting from the wing is still there with Brewer/White. Also, Melo can take some of those PF minutes.
Jared Zwerling (12:36 PM)
Because the Knicks are weaker at PF right now. At SG/SF, you have Melo, Brewer, Smith, Shumpert and White. At the true PF position, you only have Amare and Copeland, and his contract is not guaranteed. Novak is really more of a shooter, even though he has a PF frame. And Camby and Thomas are more centers.
Will JR shot the ball better this year?
Jared Zwerling (12:38 PM)
He'll have more defined roles, considering how deep the Knicks are. Towards the end of the season, with the team injuries, he was asked to do more and he got a little carried away in the offense, and didn't play smart. So I would say in this system, he should shoot the ball better. He should get more open looks with Felton and Kidd running the point, and, of course, with Melo penetrating.
WHose gonna be starting at the 2?
Jared Zwerling (12:38 PM)
As I mentioned, Brewer likely for now.
joe (new york)
how big of a mistake or not was letting lin go? and was there anyway we could've got anything in return for him?
Jared Zwerling (12:41 PM)
I was definitely surprised. I don't think the Knicks anticipated such a high offer from the Rockets, but they did sign Felton, who's a little bit better than Lin right now. With the Knicks being in win-now mode, Felton can prove to be a great addition. While there's some surprise and obvious fan anger to what happened, there's some positive to take out of the whole thing. And, of course, Kidd is in New York, too. He'll be one of the best point-guard backups in the league, if not the best.
Whose our 6th man? Kidd or Smith?
Jared Zwerling (12:41 PM)
Smith or Camby to start the season.
Knicks interested in Delfino? Is it realistic?
Jared Zwerling (12:42 PM)
I don't think so.
Jared, I've seen you go on record to say you just can't see the Knicks beating Miami in the playoffs. I understand the if's of the situation ( Amar'e, Melo/Amar'e meshing, health, PG play) but if those if's do happen, I do think the Knicks are a more talented and deeper team than the Heat and we have a major advantage in the front court. The key to beating Miami is to get physical with them and take away lanes to the rim. They're not that great of a "Team". Why do you feel there is no way Knicks could beat Heat in a series?
Jared Zwerling (12:45 PM)
Look, there's always a chance. But the Heat will be a better "team" this season. Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis will help that. You'll see even better floor spacing and passing. And the Heat aren't physical? They definitely were against the Thunder. The Knicks are a deeper team than last season, but the key is who's healthy at the right time. We'll see. Also, the Knicks' roster is half new, so that's something to watch as well. The Heat are entering the season with basically the same cast of characters.
is carmelo going to play a lot of pf this season?
Jared Zwerling (12:46 PM)
I see him playing more out of the post. Woodson put him there and he excelled. He's got the strength and quickness to do a lot of damage that close to the basket, so why not?
If the Nets get very close to getting Howard in January, could the Knicks step in to try to acquire Howard instead? If Nets get him then Nets and Heat to much for NY
Jared Zwerling (12:46 PM)
The Knicks are not getting D-Howard.
Why are so many people saying Brooklyn is better than NYK? After Deron and Joe Johnson, there's not much.
Jared Zwerling (12:48 PM)
Well, they have a solid frontcourt, especially after re-signing Humphries, and scorers off the bench. They'll be a tough out. With Deron Williams and Joe Johnson in the backcourt, they'll not only get theirs, but because they're such great playmakers and passers, their teammates will look good. Don't count them out, but I do think because the Knicks are better defensively, that makes them the better team entering the season.
Has Jr smith played any basketball this off season it seems as if he only tweets about playing golf and going out to the clubs in vegas?
Jared Zwerling (12:49 PM)
Haha it does appear that way. I do know he was working out with renowned pro trainer Idan Ravin in Los Angeles and playing pickup games on UCLA's campus. Melo, Chris Paul and his bro, Chris, joined him.
Who do you thonk NY is targeting for that 15th spot? Maybe someone overseas again?
Jared Zwerling (12:50 PM)
A power forward most likely. Not sure about overseas.
Charles (San Jose)
Why do you think half of one season is more representative of Felton's shooting ability than the rest of his career?
Jared Zwerling (12:52 PM)
Well, he's shot around 32 to 38 percent from downtown in his career. He's an above-average 3-point shooter to me. You don't want to leave him open.
A.J. (Las Vegas)
Where do see Novak getting minutes and how many can you see him playing?
Jared Zwerling (12:53 PM)
Around 25 minutes per night.
are the knicks after kmart or amundson? if not what are some names at pf they might target?
Jared Zwerling (12:54 PM)
I think Amundson is too expensive, but the opportunity to backup Amare, in New York, for a playoff team, could all be attractive factors. Right now, the Knicks only have veteran's minimum contracts to offer.
Jared Zwerling (12:56 PM)
Guys, I have to run a few minutes early. Please send me your questions via Twitter @JaredZwerling ... I'll be more than happy to answer them. Thanks for your questions and insights. It's always great chatting with you. Sorry if I didn't get to your question, but like I said tweet me. Thanks again!