Tagged: Philadelphia 76ers

Knicks Met With Andre Miller

Frank Isola of the Daily News is reporting that the Knicks met with Andre Miller today at the team’s training facility but made no offer to the free agent PG.

According to Isola, Miller is seeking a salary greater than the mid-level exception and would likely be obtainable only via sign-and-trade, perhaps for incumbent starter Chris Duhon.

This news seems to fly in the face of recent reports coming out of Milwaukee that have the Knicks preparing a full midlevel offer for Ramon Sessions in the next few days. It’s certainly possible, though, that both reports are true and that the Knicks are looking at both players and met with Miller merely to keep the lines of communication open between the parties.

Berger: Knicks Receptive to Miller Trade

Ken Berger of CBS Sports is reporting that the Knicks do indeed have interest in acquiring PG Andre Miller from the Sixers in a sign-and-trade for incumbent starting PG Chris Duhon.

Contrary to reports earlier today, Berger is reporting that it’s Miller’s agent who has been working to orchestrate a deal. Since Duhon is already under contract, that makes much more sense, although I suppose it’s possible that both agents are working on a change of address for their clients.

Berger says that the Knicks would only be willing to offer Miller a 2 year deal. I’d presume that it’d be for something in the neighborhood of $15 million.

Sixers 116, Knicks 110

The Knicks weren’t bad at all tonight but they weren’t quite good enough either as they hung tough on the road and got more great play from their bench. The truth is (and I don’t think this is controversial), the Sixers are the better team right now and the Knicks didn’t have enough answers down the stretch, particularly for Andre Miller and Andre Iguodala.

The Knicks were right there in the fourth quarter and had a narrow lead midway through the period but they couldn’t hold it due to a combination of careless ball-handling, reckless shot selection and too many fouls that put the Sixers in the bonus too early in the period. By the time the Knicks got their bearings again, time was running out and they were down by 6.  A couple of times they got within 2 points but just couldn’t get enough buckets or enough stops to take back the lead.

Once again, the bench severely outplayed the starters as no starter netted a plus in their plus/minus rating for the game. In fact, the best plus/minus ratings posted by any Knick starter tonight were achieved by Chandler and Duhon at -8 (and Chandler only played 19 minutes). At some point, the starters need to pull their weight. They can’t keep putting the team behind the 8-ball every night and then hope to get bailed out by the bench.

That said, the Knicks once again got an outstanding contribution from the bench despite having to go without Danilo Gallinari. Presently, the Knicks’ plan is to hold Gallo out on the second night of back-to-backs and in this game the Knicks did seem a man short. Gallinari might well have been the difference between a win and a loss.

A few more odds and ends:

  • With the Knicks trailing 100-98 in the fourth, Duhon had a terrible and costly sequence. First, after getting a step he drove the lane but then just flipped up a careless layup at the basket hoping for a foul. He didn’t get the call and on the Sixers next trip down the court he played lazy defense committed a dumb foul himself to put Andre Miller at the line where he knocked down both shots. That was a pivotal moment and it gave the Sixers some much needed momentum.
  • One of these days, David Lee needs to get a body on someone. He’s great at going after the ball and obviously he racks up the rebounds but, too often, he doesn’t box out, especially on the defensive glass, and taller or more athletic players just go up over the top of him to grab the offensive board or get a put-back. Dalembert was able to do this to Lee several times tonight (including a costly instance with time winding down in the fourth). I love his effort and energy, but at some point a big man needs to get physical.
  • Al Harrington just has to take smarter shots. I like Harrington though I recognize that he’s flawed (not as athletic as he looks, dribbles too much, listless defender etc.). He’s got heart and balls and the Knicks can use more of both. Also, when he’s right, he can keep a team in a game. On the other hand, when he throws lazy passes or just flips guarded three pointers up at the rim, he can take a team right out of a game too. At some point, he’s got to rein in his shot selection and start showing more discipline in the offensive system.

We should try not to lose sight of the big picture though. The Knicks played very well on the second night of a back to back even in losing. And because they’re playing so much better, expectations are naturally higher. After all, if Gallinari was available tonight, they might have won this game. Still though, if the Knicks are going to make noise later on this season, they’re going to have to figure out how to execute down the stretch so they can pull out a few of these close roadies.

Two Observations

Another tough loss for the Knicks tonight. In the third quarter they went into the tank just enough to render the fourth quarter comeback too difficult to complete. Also, Nate’s perplexing slump continued and its now stretching beyond his shooting to other facets of his game. All the misses are clearly getting to him and he’s just thinking way too much out there. Nate needs to get his mojo back. At any rate, here are two things that occurred to me while watching the game tonight:

  1. Danilo Gallinari is going to be just fine, thank you. And by that what I really mean is, I hope he’ll be fine because, oh man, does this kid have some intriguing skills. Rooster flashed the sweet jumper, good energy and aggression, some okay defensive fundamentals (especially considering the low expectations), and an outstanding handle for a man of his size. The play where he blew past his man and then flipped a wrap-around dish to Lee (in point of fact, Gallo should’ve taken the shot himself) was especially impressive. Very excited to see him once he’s built up his stamina and found a rhythm. Hopefully then he’ll be able to assert himself like he did during that summer league game.
  2. Chris Duhon really needs to work on a floater. He’s great at using a screen or a change of pace move to get his man on his hip, but he’s not quick enough to blow by and he’s not strong enough to power through contact. As a result, when the pass isn’t there, Duhon isn’t able to convert on his own nearly enough. And since he struggles to finish around the hoop, opposing defenses focus more of their attention on defending the screeners and shooters because they know Duhon won’t make them pay for cheating. A nifty little tear drop would solve his finishing problems making both he and his teammates much more dangerous.