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Knicks Links 10/12/09

 

For a little mainstream media insight on the Knicks, you may want to read the LBE discussion with Mike Kurylo (KnickerBlogger.Net/True Hoop Network) and Chis Sheridan of ESPN. There was nothing earth shattering stated in the discussion, but I had to laugh at the opening by Chris Sheridan:

Good afternoon, Knicks fans, and it is a good afternoon because y’all are one day closer to the end of this miserable decade.

Perhaps the most interesting thing Sheridan said was that the Knicks were going after LeBron and Bosh and that they were competing against Miami for the assets.

I see them trying to get LeBron and Bosh, one through a sign-and-trade and the other in a straight up signing. That would be the expanded Plan A. I think Miami has sights on making a play for both those [g]uys too, maybe Boozer instead of Bosh if he stays in Toronto, and   [p]utting both of them alongside Beasley, Wade and Chalmers. a pipe dream, maybe, cuz they’d have to accept less than the max, but the Heat think they have a puncher’s shot at pulling it off.

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According to Marc Berman, “Darko Milicic would not return Mike D’Antoni‘s calls all summer. Milicic and D’Antoni did not speak until the 7-foot-2 center arrived in New York two days before the start of training camp.” 

Despite the belief that Milicic has strengthened the Knicks defensively, what he has done thus far is not very impressive.  He lacks consistency in terms of defensive effort.  D’Antoni thinks that Milici is simply not ready to play at his speed yet. "He’ll get his shot down when he gets comfortable," D’Antoni said. "He’s only been playing this style for two weeks. He knows how to play. That’s a key. We’ve sped the game for him. Everything’s going 100 miles an hour for him."

In Berman’s Milicic story, he also noted that D’Antoni said the Knicks did not miss Quentin Richardson’s leadership.

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The Knicks are selling Duhon and Lee as the Pick and Roll Dynamic Duo. In addition, check out their twitter on the second sidebar:

You’re Invited – Knicks Open Practice! This Saturday, Oct. 17 @ The Rose Hill Gym @ Fordham Univ. Admission is free. Doors open @ 11:15. 2 hours ago

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Jared Jeffries is going to be in the starting line-up instead of Danilo Galinari.  Chris Duhon, Wilson Chandler, Al Harrington and David Lee will also be in the starting unit. D’Antoni thinks Gallo is just in a minor funk.

Barbara Barker, of Newsday which is owned by Cablevision which owns the Knicks, stated that “Last year’s Knicks team was fun to watch, except when they were attempting to play defense.” 

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October 12, 2009 Posted by | Chris Duhon, Danilo Gallinari, Darko Milicic, David Lee, Jared Jeffries | , , , , | 3 Comments

Knicks Win First Pre-Season Game Over Nets 115-107

BOXSCORE

image Usually the preseason games don’t tell you much about how a team will fare in the regular season.  That is still true, except the Knicks preseason debut offered a bit more hope than last years managerial disaster when Stephen Marbury was still inexplicably in the picture and everyone was claiming it had no impact on the team. 

Yesterday, as the Knicks beat the New Jersey Nets in the first  game of the preseason, the major concerns were on the court and not the sidelines.  Thankfully, basketball is back and we did learn a few things that make us a bit more hopeful about how prepared the Knicks will be starting October 28.

— The Knicks will play more defense this year.  The defensive activity was a welcome sight after D’Antoni insisted that his team was playing defense by playing better offense last year.  The Knicks had five blocks by half-time and Harrington was among the players taking charges.  The Knicks still tended to roll out the red carpet for anyone driving through the lane from the top of the key.

Danilo Galinari seems healthy, but not well conditioned and not prepared to assume the mantle as a star (6 pts and 5 assts in 26 minutes).  He will need the season to learn the NBA game and how he fits into it. His strength is that he can shoot when he gets set and he still can pass well when he is out of control.  Late in the game, he missed the entire basket badly with two barely contested shots after he set his feet.  At least they haven’t said his back was the reason and the plus for him is that Newsday, which is owned by the Dolan’s, has already made his “intelligence” a headline when his play did not even earn a by line.  (Call me when Toney Douglas or Wilson Chandler get a headline for smart basketball play. LOL).

Jared Jeffries just won’t go away.  Jared is one of D’Antoni’s favorites although the fans don’t care much for him and his contract.  But as they say on Thomas the Engine, Jared is a useful engine.  He works as hard as anyone every year to improve. This year he added a three point shot which seemed as accurate as Galinari’s against the Nets as he hit three in a row (3 for 4 from tre arc).  It is clearly a matter of confidence, but if he can hit that shot with some regularity, he just stepped into Bruce Bowen territory.  Still, he has had such hard luck in training camps and pre-seasons that he should probably sit until October 28th at this point.

Toney Douglas (8 pts, 3 assts and 5 boards in 23 minutes) is relentless defensively although his man did get a step on him every once in a while.  He seemed to wear down later in the game and not to be as certain about his decisions. Two for nine shooting.

Chris Duhon (5 points and 4 assists in 25 minutes) was consistently the same as he was last year.  Not spectacular and a little reckless with the pass when caught off his feet..

Wilson Chandler (21 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals) has clearly been advised to be more aggressive to the hoop and with his shot.  You can see how the Knicks can easily resort to one-on-one play with Galinari, Harrington, Robinson and Chandler on the floor and each one pressing to make something happen.  Wilson was also aggressive on defense. 

— It is hard to believe that Al Harrington (23pts, 5 boards) may be the Knicks emotional leader. image Certainly he will be the scoring leader.  His shot is sweet and when he is hot, there is no one on the team better at shooting and creating his own shot – not even Gallo.

— We learned that Nate Robinson is getting $4 million this year.  Nate gets $4 mil and DLee gets $7 mil.  There is a little something wrong with that financial picture, but that is on Nate and his agent.

David Lee (20 pts, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals).–

— The Nets looked very young but they have some interesting talent in Chris Douglas-Roberts, Devin Harris, Brooke Lopez and Terrance Williams.  Let’s see if this coach can get them to adopt some winning ways.

Check Out The Game Time LBE for more insight.

October 5, 2009 Posted by | Danilo Gallinari, Jared Jeffries, Mike D'Antoni, New York Knicks | , , , | 26 Comments

Training Camp Round-Up

Good morning folks. This afternoon is the last training camp session and tomorrow is the beginning of pre-season with the Knicks’ first game against the Wanna Be Brooklyn Nets in Albany. (Talk about your geographic confusion). There have been plenty of eyes, some behind amateur but useful video-camera shots, in Saratoga watching the Knicks try to come together as a T.E.A.M. (Together Everyone Achieves More) to borrow a oft used acronym from Mr. Cooleyhigh.  Perhaps the best way to sum it all up is “the Knicks are a work in process.”

Of course the process is the “How Do We Get To 2010 Without Looking Like Absolute Fools Process”  and that is a difficult assignment which Donnie Walsh has handed off to Mike D’Antoni this preseason.  D’Antoni has taken the task with the same positive energy he usually brings to the job, but we perceive that Mike has changed a little bit – he is no longer verbally rigid about sticking to his “offense is defense” philosophy which he (and Newsday) kept trying to sell us last season.  Now he has embraced bringing a defensive set to the minds of the players; the next step is to bring the players a defensive mind-set, but this is a process.

This year D’Antoni has made defensive pressure a part of the training camp drills, although it is hard to see the impact of those drills in the available film footage (Check out Alan Hahn’s valiant camera phone effort).  The defensive pressure is also not one of the elements noted much by the blogging eyes in Saratoga.

One of the things most Fanatics understand is that you can’t tell much about the upcoming season from training camp, but you are given some tidbits to help your analysis. It is particularly hard to determine how good players or different combinations of players are because they are all training against players who formed one of the worst teams in the NBA last year.  At this time last year we were concerned whether Jamal Crawford would find his shot which seemed to vanish until the end of pre-season and whether Zach Randolph would be able to adapt to the D’Antoni philosophy of ball movement from player to player not from Zach to Black Hole. (At the beginning of the season both Randolph and Crawford were able to adapt as the Knicks got off to a strong start before the leading scorers were caught in a salary dump, to the dump, to the dump.)

The Eyes Have It

Knicks Fans have a number of eyes at Training Camp this year including Tommy Dee of  The Knicks Blog, Alan Hahn of Newsday, Mark Berman of The Post, Seth at Posting and Toasting, and Frank Isola of the Daily News (he really offered very little observation and insight in the on-line version of the Daily News). 

According to most of these gentlemen, Friday night, the 4th night of training camp, was the most impressive as the players came out and played with considerable intensity. “The energy was awesome and regardless of what people think about this being a lost season I’m here to say that these guys are ready to compete and ready to win,” wrote Tommy Dee.  Dee’s enthusiasm is always nice, but not everyone there associated the evenings effort with the Knicks’ state of readiness for the NBA season.

Earlier, we provided you some video from T&P.  The Knicks Blog also has been providing nice multi-media coverage through the SNY-TV network. The following is their Training Camp Day 4 Video.

 

 

Regarding the intense Day 4 scrimmage according to Dee, “The best five, offensively, in terms of flow was Darko, Lee, Will, Hughes and C-Du. I’m very interested to see if that continues. They have obvious synergy, but it could be just tonight.”  Alan Hahn was more impressed with a different combination. He wrote, “The best lineup for the blues included a huge group of Gallinari, Jeffries, Lee and Milicic. That group moved the ball beautifully and seemed to have great chemistry at both ends of the floor. Milicic ran the floor well and, along with Lee, dominated the boards.” Seth at T&P added that Duhon came to life after Robinson’s squad of youngsters, including Toney Douglas, experienced some success in both trash talking and b-balling.

It’s a process.

Playa, Playa, Play On

Jared Jeffries – Jeffries remains one of the most consistent players on the Knicks.  He is a hard worker and a valuable tool. Unfortunately, Jeffries is often the poster child for offensive disabilities and his contract is one of those in the way of cap space security for fans afraid we won’t be financially prepared for the free agent shopping spree this upcoming summer.

According to Hahn, on the third night of training camp most of the players looked like their legs were dead and their shots were flat, but the “most fittest players such as Nate Robinson, David Lee and Jared Jeffries didn’t show it as much, but everyone else was clearly feeling it.”  I know, I know: Jeffries shot didn’t look as bad because it is almost always flat or a knuckleball, but I like Jeffries because he is a hard working T.E.A.M  player. By Friday night Hahn wrote, “Jeffries has looked very good in camp. He is even finding some consistency and confidence in his previously wayward shot. Not to say he’s a legit scorer, but Jeffries is trying hard to show he won’t be a liability on offense.”

Toasting and Posting wrote, “Brace yourself. Jared Jeffries has been one of the best players on the floor throughout camp. I’m serious. It was cute at first, but Jared made it clear tonight that he’s determined to be a factor. His outside shots continued to fall, and he put the ball on the floor for difficult finishes with either hand. On the other end, Jeffries hounded guards in the backcourt, then raced back to legitimately swat a few people under the basket. My friend (a Celtics fan, I’m afraid, but he appreciates the Knicks) said, without a hint of sarcasm, "he looks like Kevin Garnett out there". It was a sight to be seen.”

It’s too bad that almost every year Jeffries starts the pre-season like a gangbuster and gets injured or so it seems.  Let’s see if he makes it into the rotation on October 28th against the Heat.

Darko Milicic –Milicic, 24, is already in his seventh season. My question is not “How did he become a bust?” It’s “how many rookies has coach Larry Brown destroyed or misused in his career?”    By Friday night, Milicic dominated the boards and ran the floor well, according to Hahn, although he seemed to get hurt a couple of times, once when Toney Douglas landed on his head. Milicic understands that he can help the Knicks improve by rebounding and blocking shots.  "There’s a lot of scorers on this team, scoring is not a problem here," he said. "So I will try to help in other ways; try to rebound, try to block shots. All of this stuff is going to make this team better and get a couple of more wins, maybe for a playoff spot.”

Eddie Curry – Maybe he really is hurt.  Sometimes I regress to my conspiracy theorist days in college and I feel like Eddie Curry is not really hurt, but his conditioning is so bad that the coach does not want the rest of the world to see him practice publicly before he puts a big for sale sign on his Knick-neck.  But, he did practice the first day and he was wearing a boot while working out in the pool by the third day.  This brother is just a mess right now.  Put him on your prayer list please.

Danilo Galinari – Since he was drafted, I have been comparing his game to Jamal Crawford’s which is what I saw in the Euro-tapes.  I was not at all surprised that D’Antoni tried Gallo at the 2 spot which is a slightly better place for him, but according to Berman, “[e]ven D’Antoni admits – for all of Danilo Gallinari’s shooting grace – he still can’t create his own shot.”  That takes a chunk out of my Crawford comparison because Jamal can create his own shot with ease although the shots are not always easy to look at.

Seth at T&P was not impressed with Galinari’s speed on defense. “I think I buy the idea of Danilo Gallinari acting as a shooting guard on offense, but I’m not so down with his matching up that way on D. Gallo matched up with Nate Robinson and Marcus Landry (the latter of which isn’t nearly as ridiculous, but still) at times, and had trouble keeping up when he got screened or lost on the break. At one point, a frustrated Gallo objected to some physical positioning by Landry, and simply shoved him out of bounds with two hands. The guy’s got fire, but I wonder if throwing him out there against guards maximizes his talents.”

Toney Douglas – One of the most significant developments is that D’Antoni has already penciled Douglas in as Duhon’s back up. (Berman). This is not a surprise.  What was a surprise is that D’Antoni had practically written the rookie off as unprepared for the NBA after the Summer League.  "He didn’t have a good summer league, and it was a quick judgment and maybe made a mistake on," D’Antoni said. "He’s a lot better than I thought. He might have ran out of steam at the end of the week, and I judged him on that not being ready. Give him credit though. I showed him things he had to work on and he did."

Toasting and Posting noted, “Toney Douglas continues to impress me on defense. As an athlete, he’s unspectacular, but he’s determined to bust his ass to stay with his assignment. It’s especially refreshing to see someone get over a screen now and then.”

As I mentioned earlier, you are likely to see Douglas and Robinson on the floor together often, especially to improve the tempo of the game.  I would also not be surprised to see Douglas, Robinson and Duhon on the floor at the same time with perhaps Gallo, Jeffries or Chandler.  This combination puts Duhon in the best position offensively as he can pop the tre and play for the drive instead of concentrating on being the distributor.  It’s a small group, but until Milicic is ready, the Knicks’ best units will be smallish.

Al Harrington – Harrington is reportedly looking pretty active and aggressive, particularly on offense where he is also passing the ball around and driving to the rim which is when he is most effective.  Seth wrote, “Al Harrington, who continued to abuse every defender in his path (and a ref or two as well). I believe the word that Al’s added muscle over the summer, because he’s willing and able to bully his way to the basket and finish strong. The outside shots are falling, too.”  Solid play from Harrington will make it tough for D’Antoni to settle on a definite 8-10 player rotation.

We will get a better understanding of what all of this means when the pre-season starts tomorrow. I understand that O&B is going to try to pull together an LBE for tomorrow afternoon.  Stay tuned.

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DON’T FORGET TO ENJOY O&B’s INSIGHTFUL AND LONG LAP ON KNICK REVIVALISM

ALSO, DON’T FORGET TO ROCK THE VOTE FOR THE DANCE-SPIRIT TEAM

October 3, 2009 Posted by | Al Harrington, Chris Duhon, Danilo Gallinari, Darko Milicic, David Lee, Donnie Walsh, Eddie Curry, Jamal Crawford, Jared Jeffries, New York Knicks, Toney Douglas, Zach Randolph | , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Knicks Got Sixty-nine (69) Issues And (Hopefully) Bitching Ain’t One

oung-and-the-restless Knicks-logo Knicks fans love their basketball, but just as important as the play on the field is the drama that surrounds our home  team.  When teams like the Oklahoma Thunder and the Toronto Raptors have poor seasons from the beginning it can be easy to lose interest.  But the Knicks always have some drama going on either on the court,  in the locker room or outside of MSG.  Each year seems to have many great story lines to follow; and watching the Knicks is like watching a soap opera or at other times a situation comedy.

This year, like every other, there are many story lines to follow to hold one’s interest.  We have identified the following 69 issues or story lines that we will follow closely this season. Of course, the Scriptologists among you probably already know the resolution to most of these plotlines.  If any of you have more story lines, please share them in the comment section.

AS THE KNICKS’ WORLD TURNS

1. Will Danilo Galinari’s back hold up for 70-82 games?

2. Will Thrill Will earn his name and show more aggression consistently?

3. Will Toney Douglas become the starting point guard by the All-Star Break?

4. Will Eddie Curry ever get into “Seven Seconds Or Less” shape or revert to “Fat and Overweight” shape?

5. Will D’Antoni emphasize defense more this season or officially remove the “D” from his name?

6. Will the Knicks be in the battle for the 7th to 8th playoff spots or the NY lottery in January?

7. Will David Lee agree to a trade by February?

8. Will Darko go crazy in front of the camera again?

9. Will Walsh trade Jared Jeffries this season?

10. Will Walsh trade Larry Hughes this season?

11. Will Al Harrington or Nate Robinson be the spark plug off the bench?

12. Will the starting unit ever be Douglas, Robinson, Galinari, Lee, Chandler?

13. Will David Lee and Nate Robinson earn their million dollar bonuses and make the playoffs?

14. When the Hawks visit the Garden will Jamal Crawford receive an ovation?

15. When Jamal Crawford plays the Knicks, will he score 30 or more points or will he be guarded by Douglas?

16. Will Nate Robinson enter the All-Star Dunk competition?

17. Will Nate Robinson jump over Yao Ming to win the Slam Dunk competition?

18. Will the Scab Refs have jobs after the All-Star Break?

19. Will Toney Douglas shoot over 40% from under the arc?

20. Will Darko Milicic run the floor and play defense or rub his butt on the bench all season?

21. Will Larry Hughes hit a shot when it means something?

22. Will Larry Hughes be traded before David Lee?

23. Will David Lee continue to be the Knicks double-double man?

24. Will David Lee be forced to guard centers again?

25. Will anybody get sued by a chauffer this year?

26. Will the Newsday writers quit because of the humiliation of being told how to report on the Knicks?

27. What will Stephon Marbury do to get attention during the season?

28. Will the New York press go “goo goo ga ga” over LeBron when he comes to New York again?

29. Will Ron Artest, Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum humiliate the Knicks?

30. Will the Knicks get 40+ wins?

31. Will D’Antoni return to the 7seconds or Less offense or continue to emphasize the pick and roll?

32. When Galinari drive to the hole, who will he kick out to for the tre?

33. Are there enough balls for a unit including Harrington, Hughes, Galinari and Robinson?

34. Will FIU make it to the NIT?

35. How many times will LeBron tell the press he is not leaving Cleveland during the season?

36. How many times will LeBron tell the press he is going to test the free agency market?

37. Will Ratner have enough money by December to save the Atlantic Yard project?

38. Will Chris Duhon shut down Brandon Jennings for punking him?

39. Will the Knicks be able to trade Eddie Curry this year?

40. Will the truth about Eddie’s alleged knee injury last year be revealed as pretext for being out of shape?

41. Will Rasheed Wallace, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen embarrass the Knicks at MSG?

42. Will the Knicks keep looking for a point guard during the season?

43. Will the Knicks continue to be without an All-Star Game participant?

44. Will Nate Robinson agree to a trade to the Western Conference?

45. Will Carmelo Anthony, Birdman, Chauncey Billups and K-Mart get pimp slapped by the Knicks?

46. Will Allen Iverson and Zach Randolph try to show off in the Garden and succeed?

47. Will Wilson Chandler and David Le be too much for Blake Griffin?

48. Will the press continue to treat Nate like garbage?

49. Will Wilson Chandler develop an inside game?

50. What will be Jeffries shooting percentage from under the basket?

51. How will D’Antoni use defenders like Douglas, Chandler, Jeffries, Hughes and Hill?

52. Who will complain about lack of minutes first, Darko or Curry?

53. What will Q-Rich do when he gets to the Garden?

54. Will Hill develop a consistent, strong inside move by the playoffs?

55. Will the incentive laden contract give David Lee incentive to play defense?

56. Will anybody take a charge besides Jeffries and Galinari?

57. Will someone assume the role of enforcer for the Knicks?

58. Will Stephon Marbury come to see the Knicks play in NY or LA?

59. Will Newsday ever write anything critical of Knicks management?

60. Will David Lee be able to guard Shaq while Chandler guards LeBron?

61. Will Curry’s former chauffer file for arbitration or bail on the entire process?

62. Will Newsday, which is owned by Cablevision which owns the Knicks, continue to have the most positive spin on the Knicks in New York?

63. Will Mike Breen continue to regale viewers his claims that Robinson is immature?

64. Will the New York media return to the days when black athletes had low basketball IQ’s and all the white athletes were geniuses, according to the press?

65. If the Knicks make the playoffs will Robinson and Lee share a part of their bonuses with teammates?

66. Will Chris Bosh or Joe Johnson become the Knicks’ new targets as “Saviors?”

67. Will the players make progress on the CBA?

68. Who will become the team leader?

69. Will opponents continue to enjoy their visits to the garden?

 

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September 28, 2009 Posted by | Al Harrington, Chris Duhon, Danilo Gallinari, David Lee, David Stern, Donnie Walsh, Eddie Curry, Isiah Thomas, Jordan Hill, Larry Hughes, New York Knicks, Stephon Marbury, Toney Douglas | , | 5 Comments

ESPN ANALYSTS FIND OBVIOUS TRENDS AMONGST KNICKS

image ESPN’s top NBA analysts Ric Buecher and John Hollinger combined their skills, tools and observations to find trends within the Knicks. The analysis is tucked away in the Insider which requires a subscription for this “insider information.”  Unfortunately in this case, it seems that their combined effort is no more than common sense.

First they determine that the player “trending up” is Wilson Chandler.  Hollinger expects Wilson’s player efficiency rating to increase slightly but not drastically.   He writes:

Chandler will start at small forward again and has a good chance to build on last season’s numbers since he’s only 22. It’s unlikely his playing time will increase much this season, especially if Danilo Gallinari is healthy, so any uptick in Chandler’s numbers will have to come from either finding more shots or converting more of the ones he takes. Either is possible, but we’re talking about incremental shifts here with a gradual build. He’ll probably lift his percentages a bit and average around 15 points per game, which is solid. Just don’t expect the moon based on a superficial reading of last season’s numbers.

The player thought to be trending downward is Darko Milicic.  He believes that Milicic is little more than good trade bait around playoff time:

What? You thought Darko would be reborn in Gotham? Let’s curb the enthusiasm. The Grizzlies traded Milicic to New York for Quentin Richardson, and Milicic will serve as the backup center and provide one of the few sources of defense in the basket area for New York. He’s a good option to bring off the bench for 20 minutes a night for that reason, but he may get lost in the Knicks’ run-and-gun approach. Additionally, he doesn’t have the skill level to finish pick-and-roll plays, the bread-and-butter of New York’s half-court game.

According to Bucher, Jordan Hill is the “name to know” which is translated to mean that Knicks hopes may rest on his shoulders as much as Danilo Galinari’s.  However, he expects little from the raw forward.

Most rookies have an easier time if they can play a role alongside an established star. The Knicks don’t have any bona-fide stars, but their post players, Lee and Al Harrington, have strengths, meaning they won’t yield easily to the rookie. Hill is not going to outrebound Lee, and Hill showed no signs in the summer league of having a superior inside-outside game to Harrington’s. So what does he do to make his mark?

Chances are, he won’t. He’ll be just another guy in the rotation, much like Gallinari. And that won’t help Walsh that much.

As I see it, these are all safe observations and predictions that tell us little about how the Knicks will fare this year.  The key to the Knicks is how well D’Antoni will be able to institute his offense (and whether they will play any defense).  I was cracking up earlier this morning because last year I spent a little time on the Fix, where Chris Duhon was treated like a God, criticizing Duhon and Walsh because their actions dismantled D’Antoni’s offensive scheme and turned it into a half-court pick and roll offense.  The only way that changes is if the conditioning and mind-set of the bigs handling the ball on in-bounds or rebounds and the guards bringing up the ball change their mind-set and move the ball (not themselves) quickly up the court.

Consequently, D’Antoni will be looking to Danilo Galinari and his guard corp to direct the offense. As, I  will write later, Galinari is being put in an awfully difficult challenge but what you must like about him is that he has a great competitive mentality which is an important part of what makes a great player.  Still, the Knicks are probably asking too much of him, his conditioning and his understanding of the NBA game.  With so much weight on Galinari it is highly likely he will “peeter out” by the all-star break.

Regarding Chandler, we all expect him to play better and hopefully with more anger and aggression.  However, the problem regarding Chandler is that the D’Antoni staff must begin to maximize this kid’s skills.  He has the ability to have a nice inside game, but turning him into a three point shooter will ultimately hurt his game and confidence.  We can expect the local Beats to pound on his image by interpreting his laid back, deferential and youthful approach to the game as having a “low basketball IQ.”  (That term rankles me coming from the Beats who understand the game far less than most of the players and have a paper trail of prognostications and observations to prove it.)

D’Antoni’s handling of Curry and Milicic will decide how quickly he can get the team to play consistent ball with each other.  No one really expects much from Curry who will probably not be in D’Antoni game shape.  That would require D’Antoni to alter his “game” for another season. I am not very familiar with Milicic’s game although I have reviewed a lot of tape.  I haven’t seen him get the opportunity to demonstrate all those skills he supposedly has, so I reserve judgment for the moment.

As mentioned before, the key to the Knicks will be the guard corp and whether someone can step up and displace Duhon from the position of titular point guard.  All eyes are on Toney Douglas as the player who hopefully will trend up and be able to direct D’Antoni’s offense.  He showed an ability to play the up-tempo game during the summer league where almost all the games were horse races from end-to-end.  Otherwise, we may see another season with major in-season trades that can disrupt the teams’ flow.

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Although, I sorta kinda follow ESPN’s power ranking, they really don’t tell you much more than how certain analysts think a team should be ranked. Very subjective.  However, they are still decent entertainment.

This year the Knicks start off at number 26 in the power ranking, under the Nets and above the Wolves, Grizzlies, Bucks and Kings.  We’ll see.

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DON’T FORGET TO ROCK THE VOTE FOR THE DANCE-SPIRIT TEAM


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September 27, 2009 Posted by | Al Harrington, Chris Duhon, Danilo Gallinari, David Lee, Donnie Walsh, Eddie Curry, Mike D'Antoni, New York Knicks, Toney Douglas | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Can Galinari and Curry Fulfill Your Fantasy? Hoopsworld Thinks So.

I am not much of a fantasy basketball fan, but it is clearly a huge activity that provides interesting analysis of statistical info.

D’Antoni’s Knicks typically receive favorable outlooks before the pre-season because fantasy players know that a few players on the Knicks will have excellent offensive statistics.  In his series identifying the best fantasy draft prospects and “sleepers” for every team, Tommy Beer of Hoopsworld, points to the potential of Danilo Galinari and Eddie Curry.

He writes:

With the Sixers, Nets, Raptors, and Celtics previews already complete – that leaves just one Atlantic Division squad remaining: The New York Knicks. Despite their poor win/loss record, the Knickerbockers are coached by the one and only Mike D’Antoni, which means they are guaranteed to provide some fantasy fireworks….

Again, I’ll attempt to select a couple of players from each squad that, for one reason or another, may currently be undervalued relative to their projected production and draft position.  Sometimes this is an All-Star caliber player that I believe should be drafted a round or two ahead of his commonly assumed ranking.  Or possibly a former stud that will be returning from an injury and could potentially be flying slightly under the radar.  And of course we will be searching for those elusive “sleepers;” players drafted in the very late rounds, or scooped off the waiver-wire, that end up as integral parts of championship-winning fantasy teams…


******

Danilo Gallinari: We’ve all been there before: It’s the last round of the draft and you are looking to take a flier, hoping that you’ll be able to cash in on a lucky, late-round lottery ticket.  Well, this season, Danilo Gallinari is a name to consider with that last pick…

The stage is set for another weird, unpredictable season in NYC.  GM Donnie Walsh has made it abundantly clear time and again that he is steadfastly focused on clearing out cap space for the “Summer of 2010” free-agent class.  Thus, the majority of the players currently on the Knicks roster won’t be a part of the organization this time next year.  While the Knickerbockers will obviously try to win every game they play this season, Walsh and D’Antoni also have to keep an eye on the future as well.  That means developing and showcasing the talent they view as building blocks of the franchise.  Thus, expect to see Wilson Chandler to get plenty of playing time and shot attempts.  However, we got a healthy dose of Chandler last season when, as a 21-year old in just his second NBA season, Chandler averaged 14.4 points and 5.4 boards. He also set a team record last year, as he became the first Knick ever to average over 33 minutes per game at the ripe age of 21.  So don’t expect Wilson’s production to go unnoticed by other GM’s in your league.

On the other hand, Gallinari, coming of a disappointing rookie campaign marred by a debilitating back injury, qualifies as a legit sleeper.  He played in only 28 contests last season, and averaged a scant 15 minutes per game, but he did show some positive signs.  In particular, his efficiency was noteworthy.  He shot 44.8% from the field, and impressively canned 44.4% of his three-point attempts and 96.3% of his free-throws.  Moreover, the Knicks love this kid – Check out these comments from D’Antoni (via John Schuhmann, NBA.com): “What we’ve seen of him and what we know of him as a person, a leader and all that, we think he can be a top-level player in this league,” D’Antoni said. “He’s definitely one of the best shooters in the league, without a doubt. He’s 6-10, knows how to play and is a better defender than what most people think.”

Of course, the biggest question mark regarding Gallo is his back.  If he can stay healthy, I feel confident the Knicks will give him every opportunity to play extended minutes.  Yes, New York currently has plenty of wings on the roster, but how many of those guys are the Knicks truly committed to long-term?  Expect D’Antoni to lean on Danilo, especially in the second half of the season, as the Knicks fade out of the playoff picture.

Eddy Curry: On a related note, the Knicks would LOVE to see Curry show up to training camp in shape and play well this season. As I outlined in an article earlier this summer, Curry’s 2009-2010 season is vital to the future of the entire franchise.  Per the piece, Donnie Walsh would be overjoyed if he found a team willing to gamble on Curry and accept his cap-killing pact.  But the only way there is even a remote chance of the Knicks moving Curry’s contract would be if Eddy played well over the first few months of the season.  And believe it or not, the idea is not completely far-fetched if Curry can somehow come into camp in shape and motivated.  It was just two winters ago that Curry looked like he was on the verge of blossoming into a dominant NBA center.  Back in December of 2006, Curry averaged 21.6 points and 7.9 rebounds per game.  As the calendar flipped to the New Year, Curry’s rampage continued.  In January of that season, he scored over 22 points per night (while shooting a remarkable 63.3% from the field) and chipped in 6.6 boards.  During that stretch, he ripped off eleven straight 20-point games (the first Knick since Patrick Ewing to accomplish such a feat – no other Knick has done it since).  In February, he was averaging up over 20 PPG and 7 boards once again – and the buzz around New York City was that Curry deserved to be named to the All-Star team.  That 2006-2007 season, Curry led the NBA in ‘points in the paint.’  And he finished fourth in the league in field-goal percentage at 57.6%, just ahead of Amar’e Stoudemire and Carlos Boozer.  Eddy Curry was just 24 years old.  In recent NBA history, how many other 24-year old true centers have averaged 19.5 points and 7 rebounds per game over a full season?

We all know the nightmare that has been Curry’s career and personal life in the time since the end of that ’06-’07 campaign, but word out of the Windy City is that Eddy has lost plenty of weight this summer and is looking to revive his career.  Well, Mike D’Antoni and Donnie Walsh will give him every opportunity to do so.  If Curry plays even decently in the preseason, they will hand him the starting center gig and hope for the best.  We shall keep an eye on the situation and see how it plays out…

Basketball Space Filler copy copy

September 23, 2009 Posted by | Danilo Gallinari, Eddie Curry | 49 Comments

Lee’s Looking To Get The Hell Out Of Dodge, Gallo Is Ready To Play and Nate Just Wants To Sign His Contract

Training camp starts on September 28th. Nate Robinson is still not signed.  David Lee wants to get paid so he is still seeking a sign and trade.  (I can hear an insulted Lee now: “Let me get the funk out of Dodge.”  You go boy!).   And Gallo is ready to go to work. It’s getting close.

We are naming the week of September 20-25th “Knicks Spirit Week.” In commemoration of that week, this blogger will dedicate himself to saying only nice things about the Knicks’ dismal prospects for next season.  I am going to ignore the top half of the half-empty glass and the soot at the bottom third and only look at the top of the juice.  I am going to look at the sun and ignore the burning sensation on my skin.  I am going to be Mr. Positive in a sea of negativity.    I have already prepared our posts for the selection of our own Old School Dance-Spirit Team and a special instructive post for Knicks Fanatics to help you through the doldrums, the ups and downs and downs.

By the way, I am rooting for all of the Knicks, but I will be spending extra energy rooting for Gallinari because I like underdogs and Gallo is an underdog of a rooster.

Basketball Space Filler copy copy

Just a little programming tease.  Mae West has already submitted her portfolio for the Fanatics Spirit Team along with 20 other ladies who plan to cheer you up next season.

2Mae West copy

September 16, 2009 Posted by | Danilo Gallinari, David Lee, Nate Robinson, New York Knicks | 46 Comments

GULLIBLE’S TRAVELS: The Knicks’ 2010 Plan; Do You Believe That?

Gullible's Travels

I have been searching high and higher throughout the blogoverse (the ever expanding blogosphere) for our friend Gullible Fanatic. I wanted to ask him personally, face to face, whether he actually believed all that he had been hearing the last two years about how the Knicks would reboot their fortunes by creating cap space for the Big Spend in 2010.

In my deepest and most melodic Gil Scott Heron voice, I want to ask “Do You Believe That?” I even wrote down how I would start the conversation with Gullible who is known to get a bit irate if  you challenge what he calls “faith in Knicks management”:

Hey, in this summer of our malcontent

Where the objective is not to be underspent

and we build a team of players for rent

To fit under the cap by twenty-ten (2010)

They sell us this line w/ little dissent

“Our fortunes will change when LeBron gets in

Or Wade or Bosh is  our cap-space occupant”

Do you believe that?

Do you believe that the stars will go where they can win,

Or do you believe they will agree to start all over again?

While we commit the unoriginal sin

Of building from without (a team)  instead of from within

Do you believe that?

Well, I know Gullible will laugh at me and dismiss my concerns as impatience when I finally catch up with him.  He believes that any move is acceptable so long as the ultimate goal of cap space is achieved.  Nevermind that cap space does not take the court.  Nevermind that the Knicks are unlikely to have enough cap space to give a max contract to a franchise player and attract solid support players.  Nevermind that under the current CBA, championship contenders are not built through cap space — they are built by manipulating the cap rules, through the draft and trades.  The evidence is abundant and clear.

Do You Believe That?

Do You Believe That?

Gullible will probably ignore me and continue to insist that the Knicks will get lucky and David Kahn will help us build our team by generously forking over Slicky Ricky Rubio to run the offense.  I will ask Gullible what happened to the false belief that  Mike D’Antoni would attract free agents like Jason Kidd, Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant because they liked working with him? Gullible will probably  say that Donnie Walsh didn’t really want those guys.  I’ll ask him “Do you believe that the flirtations with Stackhouse and Tinsley were smart? He’ll ignore me and tell me to focus on the draft of young potential potentates JHill and Toney Douglas.

Nevertheless, I must catch up with Gullible to help synchronize Knick fandom with reality, because only together can we begin to put pressure on our team to build a winner the right way.  Yes, I too may be Gullible (or Gullible’s cousin) to believe that Knicks management will care what I say about their strategy, but I do know that alone I have no impact. Our only chance for change is to unite with all the Gullibles to put force behind our demands for a winning strategy.

So, I continue my search of Gullible Fanatic.  Gullible moves quickly, both figuratively and actually.  We all know that he changes his opinion at warp speed so that it fits his pro-Knick management conclusions (i.e. Knicks offer Kidd a contract which invades 2010 cap space. “Great move Walsh.” Kidd rejects the offer. “Great move, Walsh didn’t want him anyway”).  Gullible also moves from one blogstation to another rapidly, but he leaves a trail of stench as wide as an asteroid tail.  I’m on it.

My first stop was the “gottaread at least once in a while” Knicksfansite Posting and Toasting where we find Lord Seth pining over the positives he found in Gallo’s 412 minutes of professional ball.  danilo website cock Gullible was definitely here and he had a crater-type impact.  Apparently, he dropped some magic dust on 84% of 514 poll voters  who stated  that they had faith in Gallo as a star player in the 2009-2010 Knicks roster.

Strangely, I understand how they can believe that Gallo will be a star this upcoming season, despite coming off major back surgery in April and not playing real ball over the summer; despite him not possibly being in D’Antoni game conditioning; despite not really having a rookie season; despite not playing with his 2009-2010 teammates for an extended period to develop chemistry, I can understand why they would have faith that Gallinari would be a star this year.  Anybody that can shoot a perfect form Wii jumper like the Rooster  should have no problem averaging 24ppg, 6rpg and 5apg in his first real NBA season.

Somehow, I think Gullible had the advantage since I was trailing him.  It occurred to me that  he was trying to make me a believer when he took me to this impressive Gallo summer league interview.

It was only an interview,  But. I thought that if Gallinari could play as good as he sounded there was a chance that Lebron would want to play with him, Chandler and whoever else the Knicks could afford with left-over cap space. How can you not cheer for Gallo, I thought?

I think I accidentally ignited  the random search engine when I thought about cheering because it lead me off course, at hypertense-warp speed, to a cheer-leading squad, that was not the Miami Heat Dance Crew. This is how they do what they do in New Jersey.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “The NJ Nets Senior Citizen Hip Hop Te…“, posted with vodpod

I looked into the New Jersey crowd and I didn’t see anyone who looked like Gullible.   In fact, I didn’t really see anyone because most of the Gullible Nets fans were in Brooklyn waiting for the new stadium to be built.  Perhaps that explains why the Nets dance team looks so mature in anticipation of when the move will actually happen.

I asked the computer to take me to a more thrilling dance team, but perhaps I should have been more specific.  Somehow I ended up in a prison in the Philippines  stuck in the middle of a Michael Jackson tribute.

That was definitely a thriller, but Gullible was not there either.  Perhaps, if I go back in time, I thought, I could catch Gullible.  I told the computer to take me to the 2009 NBA draft where I knew Gullible would be, waiting for the Knicks to draft Ricky Rubio or Stephen Curry despite much evidence that it was not going to happen.    I fell right into the Green Room with Louisville swingman Terrence Williams, a good friend of recently media-convicted traffic menace Nate Robinson.

Terrence Williams, Twill, Nets #11 draft pick 6-6 Swingman

I enjoyed Twill’s guided tour through the draft where he was picked at the 11th spot by the New Jersey Nets, (I wonder how he’ll like the Dance Team), but I could not find Gullible because there were so many disappointed look-a-likes when Curry and Rubio left the board before the Knicks drafted Jared Hill.  I think Gullible snuck out through the press room where they were serving brownies, cheese and alka-seltzer water.  Still, it was amazing to see all these  young boys right before they were to become millionaires.

As Jony Flynn expressed, the draft is such a special time, a culmination of a lot of hard work and dedication.  Unfortunately, given all the accolades and good fortune these youngins are facing now, it is inevitable that someone on the bus is eventually demonized by the same media that promotes and exalts them.

From our friend RichyRich at “the best damn sports comedyblog, I found the list of most hated athletes and amazingly the top eight are either black or Latino, which led me to real world redemption for one of the most hated athletes of all-time — Jack Johnson.

It took a racially motivated conviction to defeat and destroy the career of flamboyant and culturally defiant boxer Jack Johnson, the first African-American world heavyweight champion.  Now Congress is poised to erase that defeat from the record books.  The Senate and the House passed a concurrent resolution encouraging the president to give Mr. Johnson a posthumous pardon for his conviction and one year prison sentence for violation of a law prohibiting the transportation of a woman across state lines for immoral purposes — in his case, having sex with a white woman.

Once again, I could not find Gullible, but I found redemption.  With that theme in mind, I felt a kind heart towards the Knicks.  It may take another five years, but my team will be a contender again.   There is nothing wrong with faith, but I still believe that some use faith as an excuse for rejecting  responsibility for one’s Fanaticism.   It is still my responsibility as a fan to tell my team that my faith and fanaticism deserves honest nurturing, care and love from the targets of my affection.

So, I will head back to Knicks.com and leave the following message for Gullible and Donnie Walsh.  Build my team, but I don’t want . . .

“No Scrubs”

A scrub is a guy that can’t get no love from me
And is also known as a buster
Always talkin’ about what he wants
And just sits on his broke no game ass
So (no)

I don’t want your low numbers (no)
I don’t want to give you mine and (no)
I don’t want to meet you nowhere (no)
I don’t want none of your time and (no)

[Chorus:]
I don’t want no scrub
A scrub is a guy that can’t get no love from me
Hanging out the passenger side
Of his best friend’s tryin to steal a ride
Trying to holler at me from a winning team
I don’t want no scrub
A scrub is a guy that can’t get no love from me
Hanging out the passenger side
Of his best friend’s

tryin to steal a free ride
Trying to holler at me from a winning team

But a scrub is checkin’ me
But his game is kinda weak

PEACE.

________________________________________________

Previous Related Posts:

NATE ROBINSON TWITS APOLOGY FOR FAILING TO PAY TICKET LEADING TO SUSPENDED LICENSE

Where Am I? Another Fanatic Hit By A Turtle

KNICKS SO-CALLED 2010 PLAN COULD STAY ON POINT WITH A LITTLE “WHITE CHOCOLATE”: A JASON WILLIAMS/CBA DISCUSSION

RIP Van Donnie Tourtoise’s 2010 Tunnel Vision Conundrum!

THE BOOK OF FANATIC PAUL ON WALSH, D’ANTONI, LOPEZ and the DOGGED DAYS OF PRESIDENT OBAMA

August 22, 2009 Posted by | Danilo Gallinari, Donnie Walsh, Jonny Flynn, Michael Jackson, Mike D'Antoni, Nate Robinson, NBA Draft, NBA Lottery, NBA Summer League, Rick Rubio, Stephen Curry, Toney Douglas | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

THE BOOK OF FANATIC PAUL ON WALSH, D’ANTONI, LOPEZ and the DOGGED DAYS OF PRESIDENT OBAMA

OR     

Well, I may be back on the East Coast but I am feeling the heat as I respond to over 200 personal and business emails and re-adjust to some familial responsibilities. Las Vegas  was crazy fantasy fun, but now back to reality, which means it may be another day before I offer a new post.  But thank goodness for the Fanatic Family which is the heart of  it all anyway.  I just read Paul’s response to Statesman’s query about his comparison of Lopez and Bynum (and Walsh v. Isiah).  While I find a lot to disagree with in Paul’s remark, as usual it is well stated and provocative.  Therefore, we elevate his comments to the Penthouse for further illumination and discussion.  Peace and Blessings.

“Statesman, thanks for your comprehensive response. Your question to me is: Paul what Sound logic or reasoning do you base the Frye over Bynum, was more devastating than Roosta over Lopez?

My quick answer your question is: i think Bynum is a slightly better player than Lopez, and i think Gallinari will be a considerably better player than Frye.

Here goes:

1) I think Lopez & Bynum are both fine players

2) I think Gallinari has more potential than Frye on both sides of the ball

3) Despite their very different career paths, Bynum is a year older and is a better career shotblocker, better eFG% shooter, has better PER, and is a better rebounder than Lopez.
http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/b/bynuman01.html
http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/l/lopezbr01.html

4) Your point on Bynum’s injuries are noted & valid. Bynum’s a good 20-25 pounds heavier than Lopez, which is both blessing and curse. I did not think Lopez would be a particularly athletic power forward nor a dominant center, and would develop into a better version of Michael Doleac. His solid rookie season was a revelation, and provides a wonderful foundation for the Nyets to build upon.

5) It’s unfair to simultaneously criticize a GM for both trying to upgrade, and not doing enough to upgrade. If Walsh trades Duhon for Miller or Sessions, you criticize him for signing Duhon in the first place. Does he need a mulligan? If he stands pat, he’s not being aggressive enough. It’s a lose/lose script for Walsh.

6) Walsh wasn’t the “lets increase the talent level around here” G.M. – that was Isiah Thomas. Zeke steadily increased our talent level for five years, sometimes with extreme ingenuity. It didn’t work. Walsh is clearly more on a Moneyball-type “productivity per cap dollar” mission.

7) D’Antoni was clearly brought in here to dazzle & distract us while Walsh dismantled a completely dysfunctional, mismatched & overpaid roster. It’s my belief that he agreed to do it under the condition that we draft Gallinari – that CERTAINLY would have been a deal-killer for me, but Wlash/Dolan opted in. Knicks fans aren’t trying to hear “rebuilding” after the failures of the Layden & Thomas Eras, most are crying out for the quick fix. Easier said than done – not every team has a dump trade (Gasol, KG) or a Ewing-type draft miracle up their sleeves.

Walsh has done a decent, if not spectacular, job of getting rid of our worst problem children. D’Antoni did NOT have a good year last year, and probably needs a drastic improvement in Season 2 to avoid a parting of ways. But it wouldn’t have made sense to bring in a Skiles-like defensive taskmaster to a squad that had Zach / Marbs / Craw / Eddy / Nate, would it?

And the 2010 LeBron plan, if it ever truly was more than a smokescreen, is clearly shot to hell…it was always predicated on TWO max free agents conspiring with each other to revitalize NY. Now we may not even be able to afford ONE max contract! You’ve rightfully pointed out that LeBron won’t come here just to play with Gallo, Chandler, Hill & Toney plus a roster of minimums & undrafteds. Nevertheless, our way out of this revolving door is to begin accumulating assets that produce more than they cost. If we accumulate talent at a premium cost, we doom our younger & low cost players to supporting or bit player roles, where they will never shine or have an opportunity to grow while our premium assets depreciate.

Yeah, religious extremists of all types generally suck. I don’t recall posting or thinking Obama was a terrorist, but let’s just say i am bitterly clinging to his wish that he be judged after his first 1000 days rather than his first 100. He’s had a pretty awful start, virtually across the board thus far, but there is still plenty of time to turn things around. If only Waldotoni had that luxury!”

July 21, 2009 Posted by | Andrew Bynum, Brook Lopez, Chris Duhon, Danilo Gallinari, Donnie Walsh, Isiah Thomas, New York Knicks | 40 Comments

IS GRANT HILL JUST TEASING THE KNICKS? (YES, IT TURNS OUT)

Update: Looks like I am posting this one, which I started early this morning but could not finish, too late as Grant Hill has made his decision to stay with the Suns for a one-year $3 million contract, with a player option on a second year for $3.24 million. It also sounds as though he expects Nash and Stoudemire to return for at least another year.

Word is that we have a 50/50 chance of picking up Grant HillThose are not bad odds considering the major theme of this free agency period is that most of the top free agents are looking to get paid to play for title contenders which has knocked the Knicks out of consideration.

Grant Hill claims he’s serious about the Knicks and he is mulling over two offers from Donnie Walsh, one for a one year 5 million contract and the other for a two to three year $10 million contract which seems to go against Walsh’s assertion that the team would focus on obtaining cap space and not space fillers at the end of their career like Hill.

Grant Hill may like the Knicks, but there is competition for his services in BeanTown and like other free agents he is more likely to play for a team that can be competitive.  He like other players know the truth – playing in New York for the next two seasons will be like waiting for the train towards retirement or another way station.  Unless Hill is swayed by money only and that famed (and overrated by New Yorkers) desire to play more than two games a year in the Garden, he will be a Suns or Celtics at the end of the free agency period.

Of the three teams, the Celtics would offer the least amount of money — $1.9 million biannual exception. Danny Ainge said the Celltics are strongly considering Hill. Doc Rivers, a friend and neighbor of Hill’s, is excited about the possibility of adding Hill to the Celtics which must be the favored team to come out of the Eastern Conference next year with the addition of Sheed and the rehabilitation of Garnett.  (Cleveland needs more physical presence in the front court – Artest would have been perfect; ariza would have helped.)  Plus Ray Allen is also a friend of Hill’s. His sales pitch to Hill is the one that has been winning over free agents all summer:  ‘If you ever want to win a championship, you want to win it in Boston because you become a god, you become a part of a legacy and you won’t die with the fans. It will always be everlasting. You can be with other cities and win it, but nothing like here.’ ’’

At 36, Grant Hill, a class act, is still considered one of the better free agents. But even his agent says he is at the end of his career and that Hill received very respectable offers for a near retirement player.   Last season Hill averaged 12 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 2.3 assists while starting in 68 games for the Suns, a team which missed the playoffs amidst a post-D’Antoni restructuring effort.  As noted above, Hill sounds like Nash and Studamuffin will return so that they can complete “unfinished business.” In addition to a sense of loyalty, I am sure the hiring of Alvin Gentry who is very familiar with The D’Antoni-Iavoroni Way, also convinced Hill that he had a chance to do something special by finishing his career in Phoenix.

If you don’t know the story of Grant Hill, it is well worth investing some time into.  Here is a man that suffered from ankle injuries for several years which kept him from playing for the Orlando Magic with Tracey McGrady, a very anticipated matchup.  As Hill was on the verge of overcoming the hardship of his injury, he discovered that his wife Tamia suffered from multiple sclerosis. He and his wife persevered through those difficuties: He is successfully concluding his career and her disease is in remission.  (As an art lover, I must also note that Hill is a great collector of African American art and his collection was turned into a book and travelling exhibition).

Despite all the good character things about Hill, Walsh’s pursuit of him makes little sense to me. On one hand, he has a lot to offer youngsters on the team.  But what the heck was Alan Houston for?   On the other hand, (the one that controls the dribble) Hill will join a  2-3 (shooting guard-small forward) core which may include Nate Robinson, Larry Hughes, Toney Douglas, Morris Almond, Al Harrington and Danilo Gallinari. That’s far too many players.  Makes no sense.  The time needs to be given to the younger guys.

Well, as noted, Hill decided to go back to the Suns. New York fans who believe in 2010 need to wake up.  It appears that Stephon Marbury is right again – free agents aren’t that interested in coming to New York except to extort more money from their favored teams.  If the lesser lights like Kidd and Hill won’t come to New York because they want to win; why would Wade or LeBron?  And don’t you get the sense that these free agents know that 2010 is not happening in a major way in New York.

What’s plan “B” Mr. Walsh?  You better tell Newsday so they can sell it for you before that option falls apart too.

BUZZER BEATERS. . .

Al Harington tells fans that he likes the result of the Knicks’ draft and that he believes the team can make the playoffs with a full season under D’Antoni..  .  .   .
Funny how last year, Stephon Marbury suggested in a New York Post Blog that he was probably going to Europe at the end of his career and many responded to his comments as incredible and him as crazy.  But the man knows this business and could see the handwriting on the wall – in order to get the type of contract he wanted, he would need to seriously consider another market.  Now, after the Celtics offered him a low veteran minimum deal of $1 million, Marbury is talking to European teams about joining them for next season.  Karma? Reaping what you sow? Maybe. But it could also be that this guy knows the extent of this window of financial opportunity.  It is closing and there will continue to be real life after basketball. . . .Alan Hahn of Newsday keeps lobbing a spit ball with Chris Mullin’s name on it into the Knicks front office despite Walsh’s insistence that he is not looking for help.  Not sure what the addition of Chris Mullins would mean, but perhaps Chris is a better talent evaluator for D’Antoni’s system than Walsh.  I have no idea but his fight for power against Crazy Nellie can be seen as a positive or a negative. . . .Cavalier Assistant John Kuester, and not Avery Johnson, will be coaching the Detroit Pistons.  Apparently, Avery Johnson is still entitled to $8 million in buyout money coming from Mark Cuban and  Dallas Mavericks after getting fired there following a first-round playoff defeat in 2008.  The other contemporary NBA Lil General and Dumars, who is not afraid to change coaches, could not agree on contract terms.  Avery wanted four years.  Dumars did not want to pay Avery $4mil per.  Dumars did not want to give more a two million, two year contract especially since he is still paying the fired Mike Curry five million over the next two years.  Dumars explained this by stating that his current team is not a title contender yet and does not require a $4 – $5 million coach just yet.  He likened this team to the one at the start of the Rick Carlisle period.  Unfortunately for the Knicks, this hiring does not necessarily free up a playoff spot because Kuester is considered a good offensive-oriented coach and he will find a way to maximize a squad that includes Tashaun Prince, Rick Hamilton, Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva.

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Related Previous Posts:

Knicks Pick Up Jordan Hill At 8, Toney Douglas At 29  And Milicic At The Q

Knicks Depth Chart; Where Do We Go From Here?

July 10, 2009 Posted by | Al Harrington, Danilo Gallinari, Donnie Walsh, Mike D'Antoni, Nate Robinson, New York Knicks | , , , , , | 15 Comments