The New York Knicks have their sights set on getting at least
one bona fide superstar this summer. They already may have landed
Tracy McGrady, following an impressive Knicks debut, tries to
help his new team snap a six-game losing streak Monday night
against the Milwaukee Bucks at Madison Square Garden.
New York (19-35) made three salary-shedding deals prior to
Thursday’s trade deadline, creating about $32 million in salary cap
space to prepare for a free-agent spending spree in July with
LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh expected to headline the
The Knicks acquired McGrady in a three-team, nine-player deal
Thursday, as his $22.5 million contract expires after this season.
However, the seven-time All-Star has claimed he’d take a big pay
cut to stay in New York. He’ll have to prove he can come back from
microfracture knee surgery that kept him sidelined for all but six
games for Houston this season.
McGrady, a two-time scoring champion, made a strong case that
he’s well on his way to a full recovery, scoring 26 points on
10-for-17 shooting in a 121-118 overtime loss to Oklahoma City. He
was in the starting lineup for his first game in a Knicks uniform
and played 32 minutes, but McGrady was on the bench for nearly all
“He kind of ran out gas towards the end,” coach Mike D’Antoni
said. “Not having played all year, a couple of years almost, 26
points, kind of not bad.”
His debut put a charge into Madison Square Garden, and there
should be another one Saturday as the Knicks honor the 40th
anniversary of their 1970 championship team.
Maybe the presence of those players can inspire New York to snap
its season high-tying six-game skid, which started with a 114-107
home loss to the Bucks on Feb. 5.
The Knicks haven’t endured a seven-game losing streak since Feb.
29-March 10, 2008. They’ve dropped six of seven to Milwaukee
(26-28), including both matchups this season.
David Lee can’t be blamed for New York’s recent struggles. The
center had 30 points, 10 rebounds and six assists Saturday, and
he’s averaging 25.0 points and 11.2 boards during the losing
streak. Lee had 32 points and 15 boards against the Bucks earlier
Milwaukee, winner of five of seven, is also looking to continue
getting production from a new addition.
John Salmons, acquired from Chicago in a three-player deal
Thursday, had 19 points with seven assists and five rebounds
Saturday while making a key steal late to secure a 93-88 win over
Charlotte. That came a night after Salmons had 19 points and hit
the winning 3-pointer in a 91-85 victory at Detroit.
“He’s been a proven scorer in the NBA and we know what he’s
capable of and that’s why we traded for him,” said center Andrew
Bogut, who had 18 points and 13 rebounds against the Bobcats. “He
knows how to make plays, just look at the steal at the end of the
game. That’s really a four-point play and put the game away for
Brandon Jennings might welcome another meeting with the Knicks
after scoring 22 points and handing out eight assists against them
Feb. 5. In six games since, the rookie guard is shooting 30.6
percent while averaging 12.0 points and 4.3 assists.