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Thursday, February 24th, 2011 at 8:50 am  |  81 responses

The Post Up: Melo Mania

All Knicks Everything.

by Adam Figman | @afigman

Last night I went to both the new-Knicks introduction/press conference and the actual Knicks game. And as a result, I didn’t watch any non-Knicks basketball. At all. But I think that’s alright, because it seems safe to say the one I attended was by far yesterday’s most “important” contest. So here’s the deal: I’ll write a long summary of what went down at 2 Penn Plaza—from the presser straight through the final buzzer—and then throw some links to the other action down below, with a mini-mini-recap accompanying each one. That way, those of you who need to get caught up can still do so, and all of the night’s action can be discussed in the comment section below, meaning that space can continue to act as the Internet’s best basketball-themed barbershop. Because, let’s be real: Y’all are the ones who keep these posts interesting on a day-to-day basis. And I appreciate that. Hugs all around.

Ready, break.

New York 114, Milwaukee 108

It all began at 5 p.m., when Knicks owner James Dolan introduced the new guys—well, Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups in person, Shelden Williams and Anthony Carter just by name—in front of a crowd of media members and MSG/NYK staffers. (The group definitely felt Knicks staff heavy, judging by the applause Melo received when he walked on stage.) Dolan said some kind words about the two (and promised that Isiah Thomas had zero to do with the trade), then Anthony and Billups answered some questions, and both stated they were very excited to be in the Big Apple. It’s always tough to tell how guys are actually feeling in that situation, as some don’t really want to be with their new teams, and others are understandably uncomfortable in front of the cameras and question-askers. But as Lang pointed out, Carmelo really did appear to be genuinely happy. ”I’m about to go upstairs and play in my first basketball game as a New York Knick in one of the best arenas in the world,” Anthony said. “I’m excited about that.” He wasn’t lying.

An hour or so later, the lights went down, the screams went up, and the new starting lineup was announced. Melo was brought out first, and the Garden welcomed him with chants, cheers, yells, and just about every other positive embrace imaginable. (There were, after all, tons and tons of audience members rocking newly-purchased No. 7 Anthony Knicks jerseys.) With Diddy’s “Coming Home” and then DJ Khaled’s “All I Do Is Win” blasting through the speakers, the small forward strolled out, gave a wave up to the rafters, and took in the love being showered down from all angles of the dimly-lit arena. Amar’e Stoudemire, who seems to have gained OG status despite only signing with the team months ago, was announced last. And yeah, everybody in NYC still loves that guy, too.

The Knicks came out with a big lineup—Billups, Landry Fields, Anthony, Stoudemire and Ronny Turiaf—but reverted to a small one within minutes, bringing in Shawne Williams for Turiaf. Despite Andrew Bogut’s presence, the Bucks aren’t super-threatening on the interior, so New York was able to go small for the majority of the game and not get punished for doing so. Before the contest, Coach D’Antoni stated that there was essentially no way to prep the new players with the team’s specific schemes, and said he’d really just tell them to “go out and play.” So the ball moved pretty awkwardly through the full 48 minutes, something that should change in the coming weeks. Following a pair of back-and-forth quarters, the Knicks took a slight 59-57 lead into the half.

After celebrating a group of Knickerbocker legends (Harry Gallatin, Dick Barnett, Earl Monroe, John Starks and Allan Houston) during halftime, the Knicks set the tone in the third quarter. With Melo cooling down (he’d end up scoring 27 points, but off 10-25 shooting from the field), they got strong production from combo guard Toney Douglas, who put in 23 and allowed Billups to get some rest without his squad missing a beat. Speaking of rest, we learned this much last night: With Melo and Stoudemire on the roster, the Knicks can (and will) have one go-to scorer on the court at all times—barring foul trouble. This is important. Moving on.

The Knicks could’ve and probably should’ve ran away with it late in the third and early in the fourth, but the Bucks overcame a poor field goal percentage (43.9) with a flurry of threes (11), which kept them competitive. John Salmons did plenty of that damage, scoring 27 and nailing 2 treys. But once New York got its starters back on the court in the middle of the fourth, Milwaukee’s fate was sealed. The Knicks might not have moved the ball very well, but they do know who their superstars are, and they did a quality job of getting them the rock in the final minutes. Melo converted on multiple one-on-one possessions, Stoudemire got to the line a couple times, and Douglas came through whenever called upon, as the Knicks held on late for the 114-108 victory.

As the final buzzer sounded, chants of “Mehhhh-Lohhhh, Mehhhh-Lohhhh” echoed through the arena, and as I was thinking and my dude Adam Fleischer tweeted, it sounded a little too taunt-ish, like they were trying to force Anthony to miss a free throw or something. It should probably be more like “Mel-Oh! Mel-Oh!” But, anyway, with “STAT and Melo” (or “Yeah Carmelo”—they’re really just blending together at this point) blaring from the arena’s speakers, the fans exited the World’s Most Famous Arena with smiles of hometown pride across their faces. Stoudemire said it in July, and Anthony said it (with slightly different wording) just a few hours earlier, but “The Knicks Are Back” took on an entirely new meaning by 11 p.m. EST last night. It might not be the complete truth just yet, but it’s a whole lot closer to it, and for Knicks fans, for the time being, that’ll do.

Philadelphia 117, Washington 94

The Wizards aren’t very good at winning on the road. The Sixers, meanwhile, have been doing that winning thing a lot recently: They’ve now defeated four of their last five opponents.

Toronto 118, Chicago 113

I’m just gonna be honest with you: I have no idea what happened here. Nor do I believe these box scores, recaps and highlights that are insisting that the Raptors defeated the Bulls. No way.

Houston 124, Cleveland 119

Kevin Martin and Chase Budinger (!!!) both scored 30, leading the Rockets over the Cavs, who managed to lose despite shooting 51.6 percent from the field and 80 percent from the line.

Indiana 102, Detroit 101

Brandon Rush drilled a game-winner with 5.4 seconds remaining. Swag!

Sacramento 111, Orlando 105

The Kings rebounded from a tough loss to the Heat by shocking the Magic. Afterwards, Dwight Howard (31 points, 17 boards) ripped on his teammates, and deservedly so: Losing to squads like the Kings is a no-no for wanna-be championship contenders.

Memphis 104, Minnesota 95

The Grizz overcame another Kevin Love double-double (15 points, 11 boards) and Michael Beasley’s awesomely blown-out fro to grab the victory.

San Antonio 109, Oklahoma City 105

The Spurs are on top for a reason: They beat other good teams. Like the Thunder. Like last night.

Phoenix 105, Atlanta 97

The Suns have been quiet as of late, if only because they’re one of the few groups who seems to be staying out of the trade rumor mill for the time being. For all of our sakes, hopefully that changes today. And yeah, they beat the Hawks last night. Channing Frye dropped 20.

Dallas 118, Utah 99

Don’t think anyone could blame the Jazz for losing their focus after the wildness of the past 48 hours. The Mavs came out red hot during the second half and earned the W.

L.A. Lakers 106, Portland 101

Kobe Bryant decided the Lakers weren’t going to lose, so they did not. He scored 37 and put his crew on his back, leading L.A. to an overtime victory.

New Orleans 98, L.A. Clippers 87

Blake Griffin went for 21 and 13, but got no help, as the Clips fell to the Bees in New Orleans.

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  • Ken

    RIP Baron Davis.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wayno

    Greg Monroe went for 27, 12, 1, and 1 on 11-17 shooting last night…dude has shown some flashes of greatness this season. Glad Detroit drafted him. He’ll be the 2nd best big in the draft unless Cousins gets too crazy…then he’ll be first.

  • Bruno

    as many people been saying … Kobe is REALLY done

  • MUBWAR

    Yes the raps beat the bulls. Amazing game. it was worth that 80$. Rose was cold the first 3 q and then he put on that mask that says ”we ain’t losing to some hockey fans”

  • MUBWAR

    and the newly acquired JJ was the ish against his former team. Talking to booz all night

  • Riggs

    The refs were calling some BS ticky tack fouls on the knicks, but the surprising thing is that the knicks were actually playing a semblance of defense. Dudes were pressuring, throwing hands in passing lanes, trying to defend the middle (although they gave up the baseline too many times) but the refs were bailing out the bucks for no reason. Knicks need a big man, and one who can rebound preferably because their rebounds were horrible, guys were just look at the ball.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    Should Bulls fans be concerned that their team gave up one it’s highest points against totals of the season with the incredible Joakim Noah back in the lineup against one of the leagues worst teams……coming off the All-Star break where both teams were rested? Nah……why worry, right?

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=U-s8d7rDyJQ IAMORANGE4EVER

    Winning and grinning! lol

  • http://blog.mysanantonio.com/spursnation/2011/02/23/what-the-spurs-and-thunder-said-after-the-game/ Anthony

    Riggs, if you want BS fouls and if you have League Pass, watch the flagrant foul by Colison on Parker with 3:55 remaining in the 2nd qtr. The double technical foul on Duncan and Durant was beyond stupid. And Pop and Scott Brooks were together near the scoring table laughing at the whole situation. About the game: It was a weird one, and it’s the kind of game you’re just happy you walk away with the victory, it was really 50/50.

  • HAMMER

    The ghost of reggie miller lives n MSG. Talk about a flashback. Exact same play, just didn’t go in this time

  • http://www.slamonline.com Jahmai

    You can’t sit on that Raptor loss too long, it was a terrible defensive game, everyone knows it, but they got the Heat tonight. Rose said postgame: ‘Thank god, we have a game tomorrow so we can come out hard and show that we can play defense.’ So that shows you the mentality of the Bulls, and let’s not kid ourselves, we all know the Bulls are a very good team, the biggest reason why their no 3 in the East right now WITH all the injuries they’ve had. Drose 32 and 10, yeah, he’s pretty good.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Jahmai

    * very good defensive team.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Jahmai

    BTW, those Melo chants, I thought they were awesome, the Garden chanting your name, must be awesome, they even stuck around when Melo was doing his post-game interview on the court to chant: Melloooooowww, Mellooooowww, I thought he was going to cry for a second.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    Uhm…yeah….I’m sure they’re going to shut the Heat down tonight.

  • http://blog.mysanantonio.com/spursnation/2011/02/23/what-the-spurs-and-thunder-said-after-the-game/ Anthony

    Eboy is trying a Phil Jackson just before tonight’s game, expect angry Bulls fans at your door at any minute now.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    Anthony….to be honest, all I’ve heard for weeks now is how incredible the Bulls have been without Noah and when he comes back, how they are potentially the “class” of the East. Last night told me that they have more problems WITH homeboy in the lineup and after tonight, there’s a very real chance they will be 0-2 with him back and continue on with their lousy away record once they leave the United Center again. D-Rose may be the MVP, but buddy needs to learn how to lead his team on the road…where there going to spend the majority of their playoff lives, if anyone wants to take them serious. ESPN doesn’t fool me with their insistance that says different.

  • MUBWAR

    They have no chance against the Heat. Just because we loss to them without the King, a fuzzy DWade and Chris left in the 3rd q. Let’s see that D TT.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    there=they’re

  • http://gmail dirty frank

    STELO

  • HAMMER

    The ghost of reggie miller lives in MSG. Talk about a flashback. Same exact play, just didn’t go in this time

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    I just read that Kevin Love got traded to the Wolves? Anyone hear anything about that? WTF!

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    To the Thunder?

  • JTaylor21

    The Bulls are a very good team but if they want to take the next step and become a great team, they gonna have to start winning on the road. They have been below average on the road so far losing to sorry a** teams numerous times, that’s not a good look for a team everyone thinks might sneak out of the east. Also apart from his great rebound skills, decent passing skills, and average shot-blocking ability, what makes Noah the juggernaut everyone thinks he is?

  • http://www.slamonline.com Stepfan

    Jeff Green panicking last night pissed me off. Desperation three ball/hero ball. You got to find KD in the closing moments.

  • http://google c_cantrell

    you read he got traded to the thunder??

  • http://www.slamonline.com Jahmai

    @Eboy, I NEVER said the bulls are going to shut the heat down, you were trying to fire up Bulls fans because of a bad loss, and it worked :P but I was just defending them and saying they’re a good defensive team. That’s all.

  • Riggs

    whoa whoa whoa….what?

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    I did….some guy with a good reputation for rumors just put it out….but there’s nothing anywhere else about it. I think it may have been some moron’s tweet that set it off, but damn if that was the case, the Thunder would be murder.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Jahmai

    If the thunder get Kevin Love they would be insane, we all know K-Love is going to leave one day, nobody stays in Minny and he and Westbrook are obviously good friends, and the Thunder would be a great fit for him, just imagine, Westbrook, Harden, Durant, Love, Kristic/Ibake (for small ball). That may be WCF.

  • MUBWAR

    oh my…Love for underachieving Jeff Green. that would be murdaaa. Where Ja Rule when you need him.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    Jahmai….I didn’t hear who the Thunder would have to give up, but I would imagine it would have to include Ibake and Green. I don’t believe it….but that would be even crazier than Deron moving.

  • http://slamonline.com Kap

    Clutch Bryant is back. Guys are really gonna regret saying Kobe was “done”.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Royal

    I really thought LA was going to lose last night…. But Kobe and Pau both came up big in the clutch. I think the Lakers had to set the record for most ally oops giving up in one game… It seemed as if Dre and Rudy threw like 4 a piece

  • http://www.slamonline.com Jahmai

    Yeah, If I was the Thunder I wouldn’t mind giving up Green if it meant getting Love, but Ibaka, we don’t know how good he could be yet, but still Love fits Presti plans, build around a young core, the Westbrook-Love connection is already in place and Love looks like a nice guy to me so he’d fit right in, but he could make them a future powerhouse and with future I mean, starting now.

  • http://slamonline.com Kap

    I think Kevin Love is the most overrated player in the league. He’s not much of a back to basket player and wouldn’t really be more effective than Jeff Green. IMO

  • Taylor

    FYI, MSG is 4 Penn Plaza.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Looks like my Bulls are back to losing against sh*tty teams again.
    Since they didn’t put forth any effort against the freakin’ Raptors last night, eff it, I’m not putting forth any effort in defending them against the Heat fans or talking them up today.
    The Heat are gonna crush the Bulls tonight.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    Enig….let’s not be silly. Their effort is going to be better tonight, no doubt, but they have to figure out a way to get better on the road. That’s the most real thing I can say. Just like the f*cking Heat need to figure out who to not blow leads late….it’s a shi*ty quandry.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    At least I can take solace in the fact that Rose will be lacing up the adidas Justin Beibers.
    That oughta give him an edge for sure. SMH.

  • Allenp

    Zach Randolph. That is all

  • http://www.slamonline.com Jahmai

    Rose will be ready, at home games vs Lakers, Spurs, Celtics and Heat he came up big every time. I love the Bulls and I think the Heat will win, but Drose will be ready.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    REGULARS…..round up, who ya’ll think the Heat will sign, TJ Ford, Baron Davis, Troy Murphy, or someone else in the next couple weeks? I heard Murphy is their preference, but he is more likely to sign in Orlando, anyone got anything to add?

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Troy Murphy.
    Why is Orlando his preference? Cause of their style of play?
    Makes sense I guess. Dude is a shooter.

  • T-Money

    E: I’m hearing Miami is interested in TJ Ford after his buy out. The eff?! The last thing we need is a pg who can’t shoot! He won’t have the ball in his hands and we have the two best wings in the whole league at going to the hole.

  • T-Money

    I’d love Troy Murphy in Miami. Always thought he was a decent player and he’s got enough bulk to be an Okur-type center. You’d bring him off the bench behind Damp. My first choice would be Dalembert if Sacto decides to buy him out (unlikely). I don’t want TJ at all.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    I heard he wants to actually play for a winner, and is worried about getting stuck on the bench in Miami or Boston… even though I think Miami would be ridiculous with Bosh and Murphy, double double bigs that you can’t help off of, with LeBron and Wade on the court, scary. But they would make my little sister look like shaq in the post so….maybe sitting is a legitimate concern.

  • MUBWAR

    In all honesty, the Heat need a point guard who has amazing assist to turnover ratio and that doesn’t take as much shots as Rio. Calderon would be my choice but bdiddy can do the same and a better shooter.

  • T-Money

    Calderon can’t D up. It’s impossible to turn the ball over a lot as a pg in Miami anyways, everybody is at 1 TO a game or less. Are the Cavs buying out B-Diddy? I could see him being motivated to play with Miami.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    No thanks to Baron. Meh to TJ Ford. On the fence about Murphy (if he doesn’t want to play in the spot where he’d get the most minutes, f*ck him). Hopefully that the Maloofs get f*cked up on expensive vodka and buyout Dalembert sometime in the next few days. Hope that a guy like Bibby or Watson get bought out. That’s where I’m at.

  • MUBWAR

    Ahh no T, when Lebron and Wade are controlling the ball against good defensive teams(Boston, Chicago..) there is way too many turnovers. And both these guys are averaging well above 3 t.o. a game. They need a solid distributor like Calderon and a big like Dalembert.

  • Riggs

    @Enigmatic: The adidas justin beiber’s….you just messed up that sneaker forever for me :(

  • T-Money

    Calderon won’t be doing any of the distributing. He’d be completely useless because the ball will not be in his hands. Name me the playmaking point guars that MJ and Pip played with. Or Kobe. Or Bron. Or Wade. That’s not the type of PG you want to pair with these guys. You want the Hinrichs, the Aaron Brooks, the Delontes. Agreed on Dal tho.

  • T-Money

    I would gladly take Mike Bibby. 44% from 3.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    I would like Brooks too, but he’s so small, it’s almost a negative.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    T-Money that’s who I forgot, my money is on Bibby to Miami, he surely will seek a buy-out from Washington, he has 1-1/2 years left, about 8 mill total. He also fits what Miami needs, a PG who can hit clutch shots that won’t make mistakes. But defensively, he is so bad, would he even play against teams like Chicago, & Boston?

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    The Heat are pushing for Nene again…..Miller, Anthony and Pittman…part of a three team trade. Denver still seems to want too much.

  • http://www.fiba.com Darksaber

    7 Mavs in double figures, Roddy back, Peja shooting well (that won’t last), and now talk of Cubes going after Tayshaun…..
    Ohhhdon’t u dare get my hopes up, Dallas.
    (please, Puhleeze do not sign JR, my head would explode)

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    Don’t worry, Dark….only you will fell that the Mavs will compete with the Lakers and “Clutch Bryant” if a move like that can be completed and the team keeps playing well. They have that whole “benefit of the doubt” aura of invincibility, remember?

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wayno

    Tayshaun would be a great fit in Dallas. Solid D, lots of playoff experience and he’s very efficient.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    Tayshaun to Mavs just got shot down.

  • http://www.slamonline.com KulchaKris

    I know very few Wizards fans comment here, but I think John Wall’s post-game comments say it all. Minimal effort and professionalism from a number of players. Of course, Ernie chooses to trade two of the few high effort guys on the team, which is akin to re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic. Maybe Mike Bibby will prove a good mentor for John Wall. Oh, and day two with no disparaging Laker/Kobe remarks from JTaylor. The apocalypse is nigh!

  • http://www.slamonline.com KulchaKris

    But EBoy picks up the slack!

  • JTaylor21

    Kobe’s very……

  • http://slamonline.com Kap

    clutch

  • http://slamonline.com jTaylor21

    handsome

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    ghey

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wayno

    r@pey

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    I can’t believe people doubted Chauncey. He was a great acquisition for the Knicks. And of course, the Knicks now have a legit All-Star alongside STAT.
    However, I don’t like the idea of Anthony shooting 10-25 while Stoudemire gets only 13 shots… Granted, Stoudemire did foul out, but this move only works if Melo is willing to share the ball.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Also, Toney Douglas is the man. He’s going to be a vital sixth man to the Knicks–and he proved last night that he can step up when needed. He’ll be fine. The Knicks have plenty of depth.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wayno

    @ Teddy – I think that NY getting Billups is a very overlooked part of this trade. He’s going to be great for them. He already has chemistry with Melo, he’s a vet, and he’s a proven winner. Anyone saying that swapping Billups and Felton was a wash needs to watch Billups play. He’s definitely an upgrade for them. They also will be sporting a pretty big lineup (minus a center).

  • HAMMER

    Billups: Derek Harper re-incarnated for the Knicks

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    ^without the defense.

  • LakeShow

    awwwwwesome

  • HAMMER

    Tru. Not as good as harp was, yet still solid

  • HAMMER

    Kendrick Perkins for Nenad Krstic and Jeff Green!? Just doesn’t make sense 4 the C’s. Perfect sense 4 the Thunder no doubt. Don’t understand what C’s r thinking on that one

  • http://slamonline.com Saviour

    KB24 owned the last 2 mins of regular gametime against PT…he quite literally GOAT’d the tie and let the team take it home. Big.

  • http://www.slamonline.com The Ambassador

    Kobe was doing horrible in the begging taking quick shots in the begging but came through in the end Kobe being Kobe!!!

  • TRIMEGADON

    good deal for the C’s. they get a strong back up for pierce who obviously will need it after the injury of daniels who was not something special after all, and they get to fill the gap of perk who wasnt even there for first half of the season with krstic who is a good overall center…

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Knicks need to keep the crew-neck jerseys! Classic!

  • Armando

    @Teddy-the-Bear: Hear, hear! A million times better than their regulars. Those Knicks throwbacks are perhaps the best looking uniforms in the league.

  • http://nicekicks.com Meloman2.0

    IM LOVING THIS for Melo

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