The New York Knicks honored the 1983-84 team on Wednesday, and a couple of guys gave their takes on Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis.
The 1983-84 New York Knicks—known for their defense—were led by head coach Hubie Brown and star forward Bernard King. When the team came together at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday for a reunion, Brown and King riffed on a couple of the biggest topics involving the current state of their former employer.
King talked Carmelo Anthony. The Hall-of-Famer was specific when talking about the past, present, and future of the controversial ten-time All-Star.
According to Ian Begley of ESPN, the two stars share a friendship.
“That’s a very tough position to be in,” King said before the Knicks’ 105-88 loss to the Miami Heat on Wednesday night. “I know that Carmelo loves it here in New York. I know that he came back here when he was traded — and particularly when he was re-signed — with the idea that they would be in the position to win a title I can’t imagine what that must be like for him, having to think about potentially leaving New York and going somewhere else and pursuing that goal. Not that he wants to leave New York; he wants it to happen here. But you have to wait and see. But I feel for him every time I watch him.”
Anthony is in a tough position.
He does love New York and wants to win there. That’s going to be his legacy when he inevitably leaves.
Not that he won, but that he was loyal and gave the fans everything he had.
“I’m just disappointed that he hasn’t had the cast around him that really would take him to the next level and meet that desire of winning a championship,” King said.
King pointing out the number of head coaches and teammates isn’t a revelation, but it’s something that doesn’t get mentioned enough. Has any star had success with such a lack of continuity?
Hubie Brown won 919 games as an NBA head coach with three teams ((Hawks, Knicks, Grizzlies) in 13 seasons. He knows what he’s talking about when it comes to basketball.
On Wednesday, he spoke about sophomore star Kristaps Porzingis. Brown praised the unicorn and gave some expert analysis on where the youngster needs to improve.
“We haven’t seen this type of athleticism or shooting ability of a player 7-3,” Brown said. “Now, the improvement must come in body strength — upper and lower. Meaning, can he hold the post-ups in that when he gets to the post? Because right now, his post-up game is below-average. He’s got to work on his post-up game.
The post-up game is the most obvious are where Porzingis needs to improve. According to NBA.com, he’s second on the team with 160 post-up possessions.
The 21-year-old isn’t doing much with those opportunities. He’s shooting only 37.0 percent with his back to the basket, putting him in the 32nd percentile of efficiency in points per possession.
“We all know that he can shoot the 3s. He’s got the midrange shot. He’s a good kid, he’s going to listen to [and] do everything that you want. But the body has got to get stronger. He’s got to get a better game with his back to the basket so they can play him at the 5. And they can run him in and post him up out of transition as well as out of set plays. Right now, that’s not part of the mix. All of this is there — why? Athleticism. Quickness. The fact that he has an excellent touch. He plays the glass as good if not better than any big man ever over 7-foot — the glass, he plays it perfectly. So the talent is there.”
Porzingis is improved from three-point range (35.6 percent) from last season’s mediocre mark of 33.3 percent. You can argue he’s taking too many (309 attempts) for someone shooting the league average.
Per NBA.com, he’s 41.1 percent on mid-range jumpers. That’s on 270 attempts.
Basketball-reference.com says Porzingis has played 41.0 percent of his minutes this season at center. Brown is right, though. He isn’t ready to guard fives yet.
Brown also commended the Latvian’s attitude and eluded to his superior work ethic. We’ve heard all about what a high-character kid he is.
“He’s going to learn. You see he’s learning the hard way. But don’t you love his attitude? His attitude is fantastic. Most of the time he says all the right things. And I’m a big fan, mainly because he’s going to be big, and he’s going to be big for a long time.”…. Bill Cartwright, also on hand for a reunion of the 1983-84 Knicks team, says it’s ‘preposterous’ to think that the Knicks’ issues are a result of the triangle offense. “You’re scoring plenty of points (in the triangle). You’re scoring 105… You’re giving up 108. So is your problem really offensive? Is it really? It’s so preposterous that you’re even talking (about offense)…. Why are you talking offense? That confuses me. It really does,” he said.