KnicksNow - Max: Welcome back to KnicksNow.com, at this time we welcome back MSG Network studio analyst, former Knicks beat writer and NBA columnist for Newsday, Alan Hahn.
Alan, did you expect that the Knicks would have so many injuries to it's key players? Also, why isn't Jeremy Lin playing tonight?
Alan Hahn: Good afternoon. Doing this from MSG Studios via my iPad so bear with me! Let's get to the questions!
AJ, no one expects injuries. It is terrible luck what the team experienced, from Chandler's flu to Iman and Baron knee injuries and no one could have predicted Amar'e and his hand injury. Just bad, bad luck.
As for Lin, he is not ready. Trust me, I've watched him closely in scrimmages and workouts recently. I don't know how he could help them against a team like this right now. He doesnt have the explosion in the legs nor the confidence to drive, both are big parts of his game.
Hello Alan, do you think JR smith and Novak will show up tonight? Their presence has not been felt in the prior 4 games. It will be needed to win game 5 and make history.
Alan Hahn: Good question, Wilton. JR has struggled with his shooting in this series and Novak has been blanketed by the Heat and they just aren't letting him get free enough to get clean looks from downtown. JR simply needs to find his touch, but Novak has to figure out how he can get free from the Heat D. Can he run off screens? We'll see.
alan what do u expect from td?
Alan Hahn: Toney has all the ability to be effective. Remember, he BEGAN the season as the team's STARTING point guard. Amazing. To think the player everyone had confidence in as a starter is now suddenly a fourth string backup that has everyone concerned is a major drop. Toney should be able to pressure Chalmers on the ball, but what's more important for TD is to make shots when he has them and don't turn the ball over.
Do you think Mike Woodson would consider using a zone to force the heat into more jump shots?
Alan Hahn: Great question, David. I've been wondering this all season. So I asked. I was told that the team did practice some zone before the playoffs and it really did not look good. There wasn't enough time to fine tune it and so they scrapped the idea. I believe packing it in is the one way to get this team out of its comfort zone and make them settle for perimeter shots. But if the Knicks can't play it effectively, it could be a disaster, too.
Who do you think the knicks must re-sign this year? Also who should they try to get in the free-agent market?
Alan Hahn: I think Jeremy Lin is at the top of the priority list, though I have to admit I'm wary of giving the full mid-level exception to a player who has yet to play a season's worth of NBA games and has never played in the postseason. I think the market will set his price and the Knicks will have to decide from there. After that, they should try to keep Steve Novak, but, again the market will set that price.
alan, in your opinion how you think the Knicks will do tonight?
Alan Hahn: My gut tells me the series ends tonight. To win on the road, especially in Miami, is extremely difficult when the team you're facing is very good at getting whistles. I'll stop there about the officiating.....
But my heart wants to see them battle and push this to a Game 6. Because that will make things interesting...for the Heat. PRESSURE.
how much longer do you think knicks should ride Landry Fields? Its been 1.5 seasons and it looks like hes still on the decline. You think this is it for Fields?
Alan Hahn: No because you need players on the roster and he fits under the cap. I still believe Landry has enough talent to help, but I can't deny he's been in a swift decline. I believe confidence, not talent, is his greatest issue.
Alan, Do you think Harrelson will get more playing time tonight?
Alan Hahn: I think he'll stay in the role we saw in Game 4. I think the starters, especially the frontcourt, will play the bulk of the minutes facing elimination. But Harrellson does have six fouls and the NBA allows you to use five of them before they kick you out of the game. My advice to Jorts is to use them. And use them well.
Hey Alan! The Knicks did some great things in the second half offensively to free up Amare. Can we expect to see more of that tonight? My biggest knock on Woodson since his ATL days was his basic iso offense, but he showed some creatvity in that game. What do you think?
Alan Hahn: Yes, getting Amar'e free, especially with Miami focusing so much on stopping Melo, is such a big part of this. You almost completely forget about Amar'e as a scorer sometimes with Melo putting up 40 points, but he can be a major factor if Melo is a decoy. I don't believe Bosh or Haslem can defend him on the move. The issue is getting Amar'e moving and having a guard who can feed him on the move. Bibby actually is very good in pick-and-roll. We'll see.
Do you think we have a chance on getting Nash?
Alan Hahn: I don't, no, unless Grunwald has another trick up his sleeve. Nash will command more than the mid-level I believe.
Alan, is there any certain reason we haven't seen Gadzuric or Jordan this series to back up Chandler?
Alan Hahn: Gadzuric isn't in great shape. Jordan is very, very inexperienced.
What veterans do you see coming to NY next year IYHO?
Alan Hahn: Sorry, too early for me to answer that with intelligence. Check back with me. I'm too focused on the playoffs right now.
Is Amare still rocking the cornrows?
Alan Hahn: Yes. He takes them out to wash his hair he said. That's why at practice he's looking fuzzy. LOL
Will we ever see a day when the Garden paint returns to the classic blue?
Alan Hahn: I'm working on it....
Why did the Knicks drop Walker if Gadzuric isn't game ready?
KnicksNow - Max: Alan's got time for just a couple more questions. Keep sending them in.
Alan Hahn: Good question, John. In hindsight, they could really use Walker now. But the feeling before the playoffs, with Jared's balky knee, was they needed some depth and experience in the frontcourt.
Do you see the Knicks resigning JR smith next year? Or he will opt in for another?
Alan Hahn: I believe JR will opt out to become a free agent. He should get more than $2.5M in the open market. I don't see him staying with the Knicks, but you never know.
Tyson has been great defensively but hasent done much on offense. I think the knicks need to get him more plays on offense. What you think Alan?
Alan Hahn: The Heat have done a great job keeping a body on Tyson on the offensive glass and not allowing him room to set up for the lobs. He's not a post-up guy so you need to get him moving like Amar'e and have him finish around the rim. He catches lobs better than bounce passes and the Heat have been very good at thwarting that.
KnicksNow - Max: Thanks to Alan for joining us on KnicksNow.com today. Catch Alan on MSG Network TONIGHT for Game 5. Alan, any closing words?
Alan Hahn: Thanks everyone. Keep the faith. I just wish the Knicks were at full health so we could really see how these teams would match up. Maybe next year...