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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Tuesday / November 12.
  • By JOSH NEWMAN & ADAM ZAGORIA

    NEW YORK — The Knicks will face a critical choice in the 66th and final game of this lockout-shortened season.

    Do they want to play the Miami Heat or the Chicago Bulls in the first round of the playoffs beginning this weekend?

    Logic says the Bulls are a better matchup in part because of Derrick Rose’s injury status, but in order for the Knicks to face Chicago and finish as the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference they would need to lose Thursday at Charlotte — losers of 22 straight games — and have the Philadelphia 76ers win at Detroit.

    Dan Hurley’s rebuilding of Rhode Island continues.

    The Rams on Wednesday received a commitment from former Rice forward Jarelle Reischel.

    The 6-foot-6 Point Pleasant Beach High product chose the Rams over VCU after earlier considering Iona, La Salle and Boston College. He had visited VCU and Rhode Island.

    “The coaches and the opportunity to be part of something special with the guys coming in, we have a chance to be really good,” Reischel told SNY.tv. “It’s also close to home, something I couldn’t pass up. VCU is a first class program that did a wonderful job recruiting me as well.”

    NEW YORK — Speaking with the media for the first time since having his own interim tag removed Tuesday, Knicks GM Glen Grunwald enthusiastically endorsed interim coach Mike Woodson but declined to say whether Woodson will return next season.

    “Woody’s done a fantastic job,” Grunwald said before the Knicks beat the Chris Paul-less Clippers, 99-93, at MSG. “I can’t give him enough credit for the job he’s done. Normally coaching changes don’t result in such a dramatic improvement in a team’s performance so I think that speaks very well of him.”

    Kyle Anderson got his MRI results back Wednesday afternoon and they weren’t good.

    The 6-foot-9 UCLA-bound point guard has torn ligaments in his thumb and Dr. Marc W. Urquhart of Bayonne, N.J., suggested surgery, which could keep Anderson out of action for three months.

    “Dr. Urquhart says he has torn ligaments in his thumb and after reading the MRI and seeing the MRI he believes he needs surgery,” Kyle Anderson Sr. told SNY.tv Wednesday. “We respect his opinion and judgment but are still going to have a second opinion.”

    GREENBURGH, N.Y. — If there was any chance of John Calipari becoming the next head coach of the Knicks, it may have disappeared Tuesday when the franchise named Glen Grunwald executive vice president and general manager.

    With the low-key Grunwald now firmly in control under owner Jim Dolan, it appears unlikely that Calipari or Phil Jackson would come aboard as coach, since both men are thought to want control over the entire organization.

    Grunwald also has a strong relationship with interim head coach Mike Woodson, his former Indiana teammate, and it may only be a matter of time before Woodson’s interim tag is lifted as  well.

    By JOSH NEWMAN

    Special to ZAGSBLOG

    GREENBURGH, N.Y. – In all likelihood, the Knicks, as the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference, will be bound for South Beach and a date with the second-seeded Miami Heat this weekend in the first round of the playoffs.

    That may be the likelihood, but it is not a certainty as the Knicks prepare to take on the Los Angeles Clippers at Madison Square Garden tonight in their home finale.

    For as long as the No. 7 seed isn’t a certainty and the No. 6 seed, not to mention avoiding the Heat and Chicago Bulls in the first round, remains a possibility, that is what the Knicks’ focus will be on.

    The St. John’s recruitment train rolls on.

    Having received commitments this week from Orlando Sanchez, Marco Bourgault and Max Hooper, the Johnnies are hoping to host another group of recruits this weekend.

    That group includes Arizona transfer Josiah Turner, San Francisco transfer Justin Raffington, former Johnnies commit Darrick Wood and uncommitted big man Philip Nolan.

    Exactly how many of them will visit should be confirmed later today (Wednesday).