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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.

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

Knicks Revivalism (Part 2: Divine Numerology; Arm Chair Joe Questions; and to Hang Ten at the Tides Crest or Wipe Out Amidst a Tsunami of Immense Expectations)

[As the Knicks draw ever so closer to the Sanctified date indicated by the 2010 Plan Cult Holy Trinity, resident blogger Orange and Blue throws some lime in that 2010 koolaid and dares to question the logic of the Holy Trinity Franchise Orthodoxy!]

Hang Ten at the Tides Crest . . . or a Wipe Out at the Tsunami on the Horizon?

Three is the Magic Number and Good Things Come in Threes, heck if you use numerology to size up what number the sacred day 2010 produces, … ta da it produces the number 3! Hey if you spell out the names of the three members of the Knicks 2010 Plan Cult Holy Trilogy: Donnie Walsh (11); Lebron James (11); and Alan Hahn (8) you get 11+11+8=30 but in numerology is actually 3. Whoa! This ain’t coincidence people, … there are magical forces at work in the universe beyond our control fating the fortunes of Walsh, Hahn and James together in a cosmological equation beyond our understanding. No Doubt about it! The 2010 date as day of jubilee is indeed on its way!

Tatoo Part 2

“THE PLAN,” getting ready to Hang Ten at the Tides Crest…?

OBTW “The Plan” = 7 + “Tatoo” = 5… 7+5 = 12 = a numerological … 3!

Ain’t the Plan Lovely?…

Back to reality and some spiking of that 2010 Koolaid with a dose of questions and some unheeded reality. As noted previously, the 2010 Plan Cult Holy Trinity represents a shifting of the tide for the Knicks organization. However, does that tide in and of itself usher in a whole different set of imbalances detrimental to the building of a contending NBA Franchise. Currently the Franchise’s actions, or lack thereof, indicate that management may have key free agents expire when their contracts are up without possibly obtaining anything in return. Additionally, the Franchise option not to secure an up and coming buck to address the team’s need at point guard, where such a move may have provided the organization with an additional value added asset when exposed to the current system of play. Lastly, the current head coach’s, failure to address the need for adequate coaching on the defensive side of the ball, while insisting on a style of play that devolves into an overreliance on three point shooting and long jumpers is a model that has consistently failed to succeed against more defensively oriented coaching models. More importantly is the understated nature of the gamble at play in 2010 and the great stakes for the Franchise should 2010 not materialize as ideally expected. At stake in the latest “Win Now” gamble, and make no mistake 2010 is “Win Now” on a studder step, may very well be the slow but steadily replenished cupboard of talent nursed to fruition over the span of time after the Scott Layden regime. What may be deduced from assessing the possible flaws, actual miscues and high stakes gamble at play resulting from management’s dogged stated fixation with “the plan,” suggest that the organization might just as easily Wipe Out as it just may Hang Ten when the 2010 Tsunami of inflated expectations comes to the shores of Knicks Fate.

Tatoo In Agony

Maybe NOT!…

Maybe NOT!!!

Squandering Assets and opportunities?

I. LoveLee hand, DeadLee hand, drifting Nates and fleeting fates

The contract plights of RFAs David Lee and Nate Robinson, in which both waited till the week before the beginning of the 2009-10 training camp to secure one year offers beyond the qualifying minimum[1], could result in a scenario whereby the Franchise may fail to retain either player when they join the pool of unrestricted free agents in 2010. The Franchise’s failure to secure both players in a manner which may have provided them fuller trade possibilities, namely by resigning either or both in the summer of 2008, may prove to be an important miscue when one considers the importance of young capable talent in today’s NBA. It is important to remember that an absence of talented trade assets is a situation experienced by the Knicks in it’s recent past under the Scott Layden Regime[2] and addressed, in part, by the succeeding Isiah Thomas Regime. Although Thomas’ efforts to cycle limited and undesirable players for questionable young talent via trades that stripped the Knicks of draft prospects in 2007 and 2010 failed, Thomas’ drafting acumen did yield the Franchise several popular and capable talents in the trio of Lee, Robinson and Chandler. Back to the point. Young capable talent, when acquired at a relatively reasonable cost, are important assets in the league because they may be used as resources that facilitate sound trades to acquire talent in return. By sound I mean not the lopsided variety entered into by Isiah Thomas in his wayward trade efforts to revitalize the barren talent cupboard left to him by Scott Layden.

A valid question then is Could David Lee and or Nate Robinson have been resigned in the summer of 2008 when their value, prior to heavy minutes in the “[ ]”Antoni system, was still low and conjectural[3] instead of inflated and debatable? [4] The resigning of Lee and possibly Nate when their value was conjectural rather than debatable would have allowed the franchise to have either or both available and as preserved trade assets. Perhaps a contract offers at a more reasonable price scale with increases prior to 2010 and a decrease in salary for 2010 coupled with a team option in the 3rd year and a player option in the 4th year would have preserved the Franchise’s option to exercise a trade of either one or both Lee or Robinson without the required permission that must accompany one year contracts of players acquiring Larry Bird or Early Bird Rights.[5] Such an arrangement could also have allowed all parties better options long term to test and use value as new outside free agent streams opened up in succeeding years beyond 2010. It should not be forgotten that much discussion of both David Lee and Nate Robinson has continued to be inextricably tied to possible cap reducing moves for the summer of 2010 and in particular as trade inducements to help facilitate trades with current Knicks’ undesirables Eddy Curry and Jared Jefferies. Additionally the retention of Lee and Robinson would have given the Franchise additional trade assets for the purposes of acquiring outside talent in return, since very few upper tier talents just leave their franchises without that franchise obtaining something in return, should the 2010 pool have dried up or not flowed as expected. Lastly despite the many articles written in the NY Press regarding Robinson’s supposed immaturity and Lee’s player limitations both have shown the professionalism lacking from franchise Albatrosses Eddy Curry and Stephon Marbury. Namely, both Lee and Robinson have consistently shown improvement to their overall games by addressing voids in therein. Moreover, Robinson’s relentless offensive abandon for a player his size and Lee’s willingness to play out of position on defense, contribute to making both players far less gambles had they been resigned in the summer of 2008 than either Curry or Marbury were due to both players histories with their prior teams. With all that said did Walsh’s failure to secure Lee and Nate in the summer of 2008 signal the squandering of a Lovelee hand potentially turned Deadlee should Nate and Lee exit the franchise for nothing in return?

II. Penny Wise Pound Foolish? A buck stopped but not here as common sense yields to timid purse strings

As the summer of 2009 developed, it became increasingly clear to the Knicks and many amongst their fan base that the current solution at point guard was insufficient. The organization indicated as such through their pursuit of various point guards available in the 2009 summer free agent market- e.g., Jason Kidd, Andre Miller, Ramon Sessions-and the drafting of rookie point guard Toney Douglass. As Jason Kidd, thankfully, decided to spurn the Knicks and Andre Miller secured a deal with the Trailblazers, Ramon Sessions reportedly remained the main point guard in the Knicks cross hairs. As articulated by Tommy Beer of Hoopsworld, Ramon Sessions presented the Knicks a point guard prospects with a good combination of height, strength and upside.[6] Also as Beer points out, while not fully seasoned, Ramon Sessions’ two year stint in the NBA with the Bucks clearly demonstrated the young pure point guard’s upside- e.g., Sessions 15.1 PPG, 7.6 assists, 4.2 boards, and 1.3 steals per game average as a starter in 37 games for the Bucks. Additionally Ramon Sessions per 36 minutes per game production, in the half court oriented Bucks offense, in terms of assist and scoring exceeded[7] that of Chris Duhon’s whose production benefited from exposure to the “[ ]”Antoni up tempo style of play. [8]

As the summer sailed along numerous reports emerged of Walsh’s mythical patience at play, craftily waiting out Sessions. During the summer of 2009 the Bucks organization made offseason moves that pointed to their lukewarm interest in matching offers made to Sessions above the qualifying minimum. As the New York Sports Daily’s continued their boisterous speculation that the Master Turtle, like an apex predator was awaiting the perfect time to pounce over the free agent point guard, Sessions services were snatched up by Walsh protégé, David Kahn, who signed the RFA to a contract offer totaling 16 million dollars over four years, which the Bucks failed to match.[9] The moment which many NY Sports reporters, and fan boys, so brazenly claimed was Walsh’ for the taking in which Walsh supposedly had the up an coming and relatively inexpensive point guard where Walsh wanted him, became just more hot air.  Because Sessions was secured to manageable contract, which the Knicks easily could have exceeded, Sessions’ services and possible value increase while in the “[ ]”’Antoni  offense was squandered. For a team, such as the Knicks seeking a point guard capable of better directing the “[ ]”’Antoni offense, and with a skeleton crew possibly entering into the summer of 2010, the failure to sign an affordable and talented player with a combination of physical tools and potential to address an important aspect of the team’s offensive scheme may just result to be another Penny Wise Pound Foolish Move on the part of the 2010 Cap Space Cult.

III. Lost in a mess of Seven Seconds or Less and the 2010 Cap Space Cult Tunnel Vision: the unheeded overtures of Defense wins Championships and No Rebounds no Rings

As opportunities are lost and assets possibly squandered in the dream world tunnel vision that is the 2010 Plan, often neglected are the possible limitations with the Knicks’ current style of play. As previously noted the acquisition of Mike “[ ]”Antoni at the coaching helm is a move that was a significant improvement in many ways from the former listless coaching tenure of the Isaiah Thomas era. However, if the ultimate goal for the franchise is to eventually contend for and win an NBA Championship, then the current style of play, with its nonchalant approach to the defensive side of the ball, and apparent failure to bolster coaching on that end, may well prevent the franchise from its stated objective. During the 2008-09 season the Knicks were ranked 28th out of 30 teams in scoring defense, yielding 107.8 points per game, and 28th out of 30 teams in field goal percentage defense, allowing opponents to connect on 47.98% of their shot attempts.[10] Certainly the absence of a presence in the middle of the paint to anchor the defense would help but the problems affecting the Knicks defense may be as much philosophical as they are a reflection of the franchise’s absence of an interior presence. The current approach towards the defense is exemplified in  “[ ]”Antoni’s simplistic player personnel preference approach to bolstering the team’s defense to the current exclusion of any wholesale improvement in the team’s overall coaching approach on that end, which would require either a greater attention to coordinating and orchestrating that side of the ball or acquiring an assistant capable of effectively directing defense. For instance, although “[ ]”Antoni may be credited with favoring players prepackaged with a defensive mindset, “[ ]”Antoni’s failure to properly direct or acquire such a director on that end indicates a general  unwillingness to craft an orchestra on defense for the grand stage. During the course of the 2008-09 season opportunities existed to enlist the services of Mark I’avaroni, Bill Lambieer and even former Knicks defensive standout Charles Oakley but no move was made by the organization to acquire either named coach or personnel.  Ultimately, could it be that the simple valuation and acquisition of individual defenders without acquiring defensive oriented coaching to improve and provide cohesiveness and structure on that end, hints at a neglect of the defensive side of the ball[11] that rivals, former Eagles coach Buddy Ryan’s self destructive spurning of his offensive players during his tenure with the formidable NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles teams.

In addition to the concern with the teams defense, less mentioned is the Knicks shortcomings in the area of rebounding. Although the Knicks were ranked 8th in total rebounds per game the Knicks ranked 26 out of 30 teams in rebounding differential giving up 4 rebounds more per game 46.1 than secured 42.1. Lee in 2008-09 Season ranked third in the league in rebounding pulling down 11.7 rebounds per game. With David Lee’s possible exit in the summer of 2010, in order for the 2010 Caps Space Cult to carve out further Cap Space[12] for Le Saviour, the remnant Knicks roster may well end up without any proven rebounder approaching Lee’s ability. That scenario could likely lessen the scraps of talent on the Knicks roster when the Franchise invites the King or their next “Saviour” onto the Garden.

All Eggs in a Basket with some large holes in it, … or …

Going to a shoot out with plenty of ammo but not enough men?

While much of the talk about King James emphasizes his aspirations as a mogul and not just icon, often lost in that conversation is King James’ serious aversion to losing and desire to reach the leagues pinnacle by winning a championship. The most instrumental example of the Kings’ unwillingness to readily accept defeat was on display during his recent playoff appearance against the more balanced Dwight Howard led Orlando Magic team, when King James refused to shake Hands with the victorious Magic team that had eliminated the Kings Cavaliers in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals. With that as the backdrop is it possible then that King James would so readily bolt an average team on an organization that has attempted to improve the product on the Kings behalf for a possibly gutted Knicks team that could be without its best rebounder, a scorer off the bench, and direction at the point. Would James, leave a team ranked near in the top five to ten in most defensive categories[13] for a team that ranks near the bottom in those same categories. Also consider that the 2010 market is not simply the Knicks play pen that the local press paints it out to be as there will be other potential buyer’s, many of which may possess either a combination of comparable cap room or a fuller set of complimentary talent or both. [14] With the possible holes in the Knicks roster that may result from the Franchise’s effort to maximize every bit of cap space for LeSaviour, why would James, or any upper tier free agent for that matter, merely go for only a bigger salary if the supporting cast offered by other teams may generally be better constituted than the remnant supporting cast the Knicks stroll out in 2010?  Lest everyone forget that Superstars generally need sidekicks and a capable team around them in all aspects of the game.

Lebron1

Lebron2

The Stakes at Play

As stated earlier a tide has turned for the Knicks Franchise as they have shifted from overpaying for players whose production would not yield results towards an end game of entering into and succeeding in post-season play to an agenda of obtaining cap space flexibility to secure star caliber talent in the upcoming free agent wave. But no matter how lovely the plan might appear it is nonetheless a gamble and yet another variation on a creature that has been fostered by New York’s win now mandate- 2010 will be only two full regular seasons and three summers removed from the end of Isiah Thomas’ regime. With a team that may well lose two of it’s own key free agents and has passed on acquiring talent that could address a key component of the offense, not to mention the important task of improving the team’s play on the defensive end, the stakes at play in this gamble might leave the franchise without their long sought out Savior and possibly with another empty cupboard. Should the Knicks not “Hang Ten” and rather wipe out on the wave of 2010 free agency, it will be the fan base who will finally have to come to terms with the Tsunami of heightened expectations fed to them by the local sports media.

Surf's Uptsunami

UpsideDownMMP_800x692

U2’s Staring at the Sun

Waves that leave me out of reach
Breaking on your back like a beach
Will we ever live in peace?

‘Cause those that can’t do
Often have to
And those that can’t do
Often have to preach

To the ones
Staring at the sun
Afraid of what you’d find
If you took a look inside
Not just deaf and dumb
[you’re] staring at the sun
[you’re] not the only one
Who’d rather go blind


[1] David Lee’s deal is reportedly worth 7 million dollars in 2009-10 season with incentive clauses that could increase the value of the contract to 8 million. http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news?slug=ys-leeknicks092409&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

The increase in David Lee’s contract to a maximum of 8 million would occur only if the Knicks make the playoffs in the 2009-10 season.  Nate Robinson is reported to have signed a one-year deal worth more than the 2.9 million qualifying offer the Knicks are required to extend to Robinson by league rules.

http://www.newsday.com/sports/david-lee-re-signs-with-knicks-1.1471520

[2] For a thorough discussion of the Knicks’ dearth of talent under the Scott Layden regime and the Herculean efforts of Isiah Thomas to revive the Franchises’ talent base, See http://www.cosellout.com/?p=128

[3] An article suggested that the 2008 offseason negotiations to resign Lee would have had to have started at about 6 million per season at minimum. See New York Post article “’Shaky’ Deal: Lee Status with Knicks Up in Air: by Marc Berman (last updated 7/14/08 at 6:46am)

http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/knicks/shaky_deal_U1LbMN5E8MR9IkRPsPgBvO

[4] David Lee’s production per 36 minutes per game in “[ ]”Antoni system of play increased Lee’s scoring average by 4.07 points per game from 12.43 PPG to 16.5 PPG, his rebounding average per 36 minutes per game increased by .5 per game from 11.1 RPG to 11.6 RPG.

Nate Robinson’s statistical production in terms of points per 36 minutes also improved by about  4 point per, from 16.733 PPG to 20.7 PPG, while in the “[ ]”Antoni system of play. Robinson’s assist per game per 36 minutes increased by 1.6 per game, from 3.3 APG to 4.9 APG with his turnover remaining steady 2.2 TOV to 2.3 TOV with “[ ]”antoni.

See Player Statistical Reference at Basketball Reference.Com

http://www.basketball-reference.com/

[5] See Coon, Larry (2005); “NBA Salary Cap/Collective Bargaining Agreement FAQ”

http://members.cox.net/lmcoon/salarycap.htm, last visited September 28, 2009

In particular read answer to question80. When can a team trade a free agent it signs? Do they have to keep him forever?

[6] See Tommy Beer’s Hoopsworld.com Article entitled “Knicks: Sessions Makes Sense in New York!” (last updated 8/4/09 at 9:04am ET)

http://www.hoopsworld.com/Story.asp?story_id=13500&print=yes

[7] Ramon Sessions per 36 minutes per game scoring and assist average is 15.3 points per game and 7.9 assist per game.

[8] Chris Duhon’s per 36 minute per game scoring and assist average during the 2008-09 NBA season with the New York Knicks is 7.0 assist per game with 10.9 points per game. That figure represented a .725 assist per game increase from Duhon’s 4 year career assist total of 6.275 with the Bulls and a 1.225 point per game increase from Duhon’s 9.675 points per game average while with the Bulls.

[9] Associated Press “Sessions to fill Rubio’s Shoes in Minnesota,” Krawzcynski, John, September 15, 2009. http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5g1I0RUcT7zvlTBR0Id4REm7h2FfgD9AO2HPO0

[10] http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/statistics?stat=tmcompare&season=2009&seasontype=2&league=nba

[11] To D’antoni’s credit he recently recognized that he did not properly emphasize defense during the 2008-09 NBA Season. D’antoni has set a goal to have the Knicks in the top half in defense for the upcoming 2009-10 Season. Via Twitter (Marc Berman, New York Post), September 29, 2009.

[12] Note that unless a Team renounces their rights to a player, that player’s salary is counted against the team’s payroll at a percentage relative to the particular type of free agent that that player represents.

Since, David Lee negotiated a contract with the Knicks above the Qualifying Minimum of his Rookie Scale Contract he will become a Free Agent in 2010 not on a Rookie Scale Contract, which would place his cap hold at 150% of his current salary, 7 million annually, or a 10.5 million cap hold on the Knicks 2010 Salary Cap. The Knicks could clear that cap hold by renouncing David Lee’s rights. However, once renounced in that particular situation the Knicks cannot undo that renouncement even if they wipeout against the 2010 Free Agent Wave. See Questions 14, 29, 30, and 32-34 in Coon, Larry (2005); “NBA Salary Cap/Collective Bargaining Agreement FAQ”.

[13] Cleveland Ranked first in scoring defense limiting their opponents to 91.4 points per game. They ranked 2nd in defensive field goal percentage limiting their opponents to 43.0% shooting. Cavaliers ranked 7th in shot blocking averaging 5.3 blocks for contest. The Cavs also ranked 3rd in rebounding differential outrebounding their opponents by 3.3. rebounds per game. http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/statistics?stat=teamstatreb&season=2009&seasontype=2

[14] Assume Salary Cap in 2010 = 57,000,000.00

** Indicates key player in team’s possession

The list below points to teams who will likely have significant cap space in order to be players in the 2010 free agent market. The cap space estimates are rough estimates and do not take into account the cap space hold rules noted above in footnote 12 or other rules applicable to determining Salary Cap Space that can be found in questions 14, 19, 20 and 35 of Larry Coons Salary Cap FAQ

Information regarding team salary commitment scenarios and salary cap space alternatives in 2010 extracted from tables found at Hoopshype Team Salaries and Payroll page found at http://hoopshype.com/salaries.htm

Cavs in 2010

(Cap space in 2010 not considering cap hold figures)

– $25,346,007 when James test free agency

– $8,196,764.00 should James not opt out- not likely

(Notable Players, possibly, still on Roster:)

– A. Varejao, M.”Williams, D. West, D. Gibson, J. Moon.

(Key Expiring Contracts or Players possibly electing to exercise Player Options)

– **L. James, S. O’Neal

Knicks in 2010

(Cap space in 2010 not considering cap hold figures)

– $35,099,217.00

– $29,664,176.00 retaining both W. Chandler and D. Gallinari

(Notable Players, possibly, still on Roster)

– Wilson Chandler, Danillo Gallinari, Jordan Hill, Toney Douglas, Eddy Curry, Jared Jefferies.

(Key Expiring Contracts or Players possibly electing to exercise Player Options)

– D. Lee, N. Robinson

Rockets in 2010

(Cap space in 2010 not considering cap hold figures)

– $17,339,518.00 assuming Aaron Brooks retained by Rockets

(Notable Players, possibly,  still on Roster)

– Yao Ming, Shane Battier, Trevor Ariza, Aaron Brooks.

(Key Expiring Contracts or Players possibly electing to exercise Player Options)

T. McGrady, L. Scola, Y. Ming

Heat in 2010

(Cap space in 2010 not considering cap hold figures)

– $51,190,760.00 D. Wade Opts out and team options exercised retaining M. Beasley and M. Chalmers

– $34,041,517.00 should D. Wade not opt out (not likely) and the Heat retain M. Beasley and M. Chalmers

(Notable Players, possibly,  still on Roster)

– M. Chalmers, M. Beasley.

(Key Expiring Contracts or Players possibly electing to exercise Player Options)

– **Dwayne Wade, U. Haslem

Bulls in 2010

(Cap space in 2010 not considering cap hold figures)

– $19,330,174.00 in cap space with only J. Noah and D. Rose retained.

– $13,073,368.00 in cap space for 2010- assume J. Noah, D. Rose and T. Thomas retained by Bulls

(Notable Players, possibly,  still on Roster)

– L. Deng, K. Hinrich, J. Salmons, D. Rose, T. Thomas, J. Noah

Kings in 2010

(Cap space in 2010 not considering cap hold figures)

– $21,759,595.00  no team option exercised and no qualifying offer tendered

– $18,953,707.00 if S. Rodriguez retained with qualifying offer

(Notable Players, possibly,  still on Roster)

– K. Martin, A. Nocioni, B. Udrih, F. Garcia, T. Evans

Clippers in 2010

(Cap space in 2010 not considering cap hold figures)

– $17,907,455.00 assuming E. Gordon and A. Thorton are retained by Clippers.

(Notable Players, possibly,  still on Roster)

– B. Davis, C. Kaman, B. Griffin, E. Gordon, A. Thorton

Nets in 2010

(Cap space in 2010 not considering cap hold figures)

– $39,176,520.00 not retaining RFO and not exercising team options to retain named players

– $25,010,456.00 in cap space retaining RFO with QO and exercising team options on named players

(Notable Players, possibly,  still on Roster)

– D. Harris, B. Lopez, Y. Jianlian, J. Boone, S. Williams, C. Lee, C.Douglas-Roberts

Blazers in 2010

(Cap space in 2010 not considering cap hold figures)

– $18,365,374.00 Blazers extend QO to L. Aldridge and exercise team options retaining G. Oden, J. Bayless, R. Fernandez and N. Batum

– Blazers will likely resign Brandon Roy effectively limiting their participation in the 2010 market.

(Key Expiring Contracts or Players possibly electing to exercise Player Options)

** B. Roy, T. Outlaw, S. Blake

Hawks in 2010

(Cap space in 2010 not considering cap hold figures)

– $25,896,303.00 in cap space with A. Horford Retained

(Notable Players, possibly,  still on Roster)

– J. Smith, J. Crawford, A. Horford

(Key Expiring Contracts or Players possibly electing to exercise Player Options)

– **J. Johnson

Thunder in 2010

(Cap space in 2010 not considering cap hold figures)

– $26,730,214.00 in cap space with K Durant and W. Wesbrook retained.

(Notable Players, possibly, still on Roster)

– K. Durant, R. Westbrook.

Suns in 2010

(Cap space in 2010 not considering cap hold figures)

– $26,180,796.00 A. Stoudemire exercises Player Option

– $24,313,476.00 A. Stoudemire Opts out and Suns Retian R. Lopez

(Notable Players, possibly,  still on Roster)

– J. Richardson, S. Nash, L. Barbosa, R. Lopez.

(Key Expiring Contracts or Players possibly electing to exercise Player Options)

– **A. Stoudemire,

Grizzlies in 2010

(Cap space in 2010 not considering cap hold figures)

– $20,196,987.00 Team options not exercised on OJ Mayo, M. Conley nor extend QO to R. Gay.

– $6,404,998.00 Grizzlies exercise team options on OJ Mayo, M. Conley and extend QO to R. Gay

(Notable Players, possibly,  still on Roster)

– M. Gasol, H. Thabeet, Z. Randolph, OJ Mayo, R. Gay, M. Conley

TWolves in 2010

(Cap space in 2010 not considering cap hold figures)

– $35,494,200.00 no team options exercise – really about $31,494,200.00 b/c of Contract with R. Sessions

– $28,152,448.00 team options exercise on K. Love and C. Brewer – really $24, 152,448.00 same as above.

(Notable Players, possibly,  still on Roster)

– A. Jefferson, R. Gomes, K. Love, J. Flynn,

October 2, 2009 Posted by | David Lee, Donnie Walsh, Isiah Thomas, Mike D'Antoni, Nate Robinson, NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement, NBA Draft, New York Knicks, Scott Layden, Training Camp, Uncategorized | 9 Comments

D’Antoni: “If We Lose, We Lose. . . .”

 

D'Antoni On Losing in 2009

 

Check out the following video of Training Camp Scrimmages courtesy of Posting and Toasting.

 

October 1, 2009 Posted by | Mike D'Antoni, New York Knicks | , | 20 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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GULLIBLE’S TRAVELS: The Knicks’ 2010 Plan; Do You Believe That?

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

NEW YORK KNICKS’ STATE OF THE MOTHER FU*KING UNION

image[A CooleyHigh Joint.  Did you think we ignored this powerful LAP (long ass post)? Naaaw, we were just waiting for the right time to elevate it for R&R. As usual, Cooley’s got a dream of his own and a powerfully edgy but positive view of his fave BBall team.  Let him know what you think.  Are you buying his dream? Let’s Go Knicks.]

MONEY, MONEY, MONEY. IF IT DON’T MAKE DOLLARS IT DON’T MAKE SENSE…..

To millions of fans across the country, professional sports instills a sense of civic pride and identity. They provide a common ground for all parts of a community: black and white, old and young, rich and poor, urban and suburban.

This combination of emotion, history and entertainment makes sports a business unlike any other (Mass consumption & Multiple impressions is the name of that Flava). The suave people of New York City don’t congregate around the television or fill OUR HOUSE, or Citifield, The New Yankee Stadium, or Arthur Ashe’s Stadium, to watch the Financial Sector make transactions at Prime Time; Nor do Peeps pulling for the DEADSKINS from the District gather in great numbers to watch the Supreme Court. But rooting for our BELOVED KNICKS when they play the Boston Celtics is a natural communal activity (In OUR HOUSE, on MSG, bars, feeds beaming across state lines, even Oceans…).

This hypnotic connection between cities, fans and home-town teams is what makes it so difficult to see those teams PIMPED by conglomerates like the ultimate packaged good.

Every Fanatic posting on the thread knows Cablevision is one of the nation’s leading Media & Entertainment companies. Tapped into somewhere near a third of NYC Metro Area populace and beyond (this site is Prima Facia Evidence of their reach with the majority of fanatics posting from outside the zone; consuming their product for intel and providing your own intel as they data mine the hell out hooked BBALL junkies like US FANATICS; links pasted all over the thread acting as a distribution channel for F**KING Free; You remember how OUR TOP DAWG couldn’t even get a press pass this summer–What the F**K; purchases of merchandise; YOU KNOW YOU MOFOS HAVE A KNICK JERSEY HANGING IN YOUR CLOSET;) with their cadre of services on a myriad of platforms.

GENTS, IF IT DON”T MAKE MONEY IT DON”T MAKE SENSE… ARE YOU WITH ME SO FAR….

Now you my Brother from another Mother kicked me up to the PREMIER SUITE because my retort supplied a rosy proposition and assessment of OUR BELOVED KNICKS (KFFL). I spit smack with the best, but the GAME is fluid and we got to get down to the bear bone facts. The Lil General didn’t bolt from the bargaining table involving the REFS because he working from a position of weakness. Rather from a position of protecting the Profit Margin under the guise of hanging on to BRAND simultaneously. One loose Cannon who GAMED the system with the NBA’s major partner the Gambling Complex made this clear cost saving move possible. He’s got a group of chips that don’t really define the PACKAGED GOODS, and they slipped up because they didn’t police their own, and Mass Consumers are ambivalent about the official any GOT DAMN way… The MOFOS every Fan loves to hate. SO FU*K THEM! And, Lil general will come out smelling like a rose and this shall pass. The move indicates that Lil General has done his DUE DILIGENCE; he’s mined the data, and common sense prevails. The sport is going to see a flattening of the margins if they can contain cost. Got too. My astute BRUDDER that moves the Instruments with great flair, said it earlier, saturation has reared its ugly head, and in this current economic matrix being OVEREXPOSED has its perils….

NOW WHAT THE HELL DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH TURTLE WAX WASLH AND THE COMPOSITION OF OUR BELOVED KNICKS…YOU DAWGS STOP YELIING IN THE FANATIC CHAMBER, CAUSE THAT’S SOME IGNORANT SHYTE…LOL LOL LOL GET TO THE POINT MOFO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

With Cablevision’s decision to spin-off MSG and its assets. THE SHEETS GOT TO MEET FANATICS. MSG has been sniffing around the District and other Metropolitan areas looking for land or prospective rehab facilities to create NEW ENTERTAINMENT SHOPS. What data made MSG ever consider to expand beyond the Apple. MOFOS LIKE US! The Consumption template says it is worth the risk. LIL General moved TURTLE WAX WALSH back to his origins, and the FUN, RUN AND GUN Coach, so they could run the LOAD, RINSE, SPIN STRATEGY so we POINT TO A SAVIOUR, that will keep US consuming whether by HOLDING OUT HOPE or by SHEAR ANGER AND FAN DISGUST. This a PACKAGED GOOD gents and our consumption is EMOTIONAL (Our Fanatics Posts, PRIMA FACIA EVIDENCE). The mere ILLUSION of BRON, WADE, MAMBA, or ANYBODY donning a KNICK UNI does the TRICK, don’t matter YOU GOT TO BELIEVE and you do that by SIMPLY DOING NOTHING. I Think they call it being PRUDENT. Especially when you’ve been advised you WILL WEAR A CEMENT SUIT AND END UP IN THE EAST RIVER IF YOU DON’T PLAY THIS HAND AS YOU’VE BEEN TOLD. This is Organized Business Baby… Don’t get it twisted Officials, Management that is not vested, and the tremendous product itself DON”T MEAN SHYTE. They’re nothing but a bunch of over paid punks Black, White, European, Asian, Hispanic, making THE SHORT END OF THE CHEDDAR IN THIS EQUATION AND THINK THEIR THE DEFINITION OF OPULENCE. That SHYTE is laughable!

You don’t waste cash on retreads, you don’t make moves for BULLSHYTE POINT GUARDS NAMED SESSIONS, and you don’t pay DLEE OR N8 a RAISE for what they’ve given you in return. YOU SELL THE DREAM FANATICS. It might seem trite, probably more ESOTERIC, but the SHYTE WORKS. ASK BARRY, THE POTUS!

SORRY! There will be no moves FANATICS cause YOU NEED THAT DISTRACTION, YOU WANT THAT DISTRACTION, AND IN THE END YOU DON’T CARE WHAT THEY DO YOU’RE ADDICTED TO THAT DISTRACTION… IF they make a deal! It is because it MAKES THE SHEETS MEET. IF IT DON”T MAKE MONEY IT DON”T MAKE SENSE….

So FANATICS, I prefer to SELL MY OWN MOTHER FUCKING DREAM, and that is we can win with what we got. I’m DREAMING OF career seasons for DARKO, ECURRY, BIG AL, GALLO and CREW, cause it makes me FEEL GOOD cause I AM A MOTHER FUNCIING JUNKIE LIKE THE REST OF YOU, and in a few weeks I’LL NEED MY FIX LIKE ANY OTHER GOOD KNICK/FANATIC JUNKIE WOULD. I like millions and millions of other people got that have my PACKAGED GOOD. Man I got so many JONES and NEEDLE MARKS (Yankees, Giants, Lakers, Tiger, Serena and Venus, Theatre, Museums, Movies, Dining Out, and the list goess on and on…Remind me to never let you mofos see my feet, cause that’s my secret lever for pleasure.) CAUSE IF IT DON”T MAKE MONEY IT DON”T MAKE SENSE…

HOPEFULLY FOLKS WILL CONTINUE TO BUY MY PACKAGE GOODS SO I CAN KEEP UP MY HABITS…. A Brother got to stay on his grind!

Repeat: IF IT DON’T MAKE MONEY, IT DON’T MAKE SENSE!

God Bless KnickAmerica and God Bless the New York Knicks!

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September 27, 2009 Posted by | David Stern, Donnie Walsh, Mike D'Antoni, New York Knicks | , , , | 10 Comments

Knicks Revivalism (Part I the 2010 Plan Holy Trinity)

[In keeping with Knicks’ spirit week resident blogger Orange and Blue offers his take on the divine nature of fandom and offers a positive take on the first year’s work of the new regime. Stay tuned for Part Two in which O&B questions the trajectory and moves, or lack thereof, of the new regimes. So join in and get ready to receive and  in Part 2 question the Spirit,… the Holy Spirit and Sacred Trinity of Knicks Sports Fandom!]

Fandom as Religion and Knicks Fans Messianic Dreams

Fandom is a quasi religious phenomena because of what it often entails- e.g., adoration, faith and loyalty, and zealous commitment throughout the team’s rising and waning fortunes. Examples of the quasi religious nature of fandom in general can be found in the shrines that adorn many a fanatics home, the idolization (and demonization) of players and personalities linked/associated with the team’s fortunes, and the shared and general belief amongst fans that their team, (despite their objective plight), will defy odds in any particular game, season or undertaking to carry the fanbase to the miraculous and euphoric. In the electronic age the religious experience of fandom has blossomed into different denominations as a result of the proliferation of team oriented weblogs-both corporate or private, sponsored or independent.

For the legions of Knick fans, fandom has not been an easy endeavor. With the Franchise’s last championship occurring over 35 years ago and the last championship run occurring during the 1998-99 season, the term “long suffering” has become an ever more apropos term for a fanbase whose arid plight can be likened to the Israelites march through the desert.  In the doldrums of a long championship drought, Knick fans, (and the organization as well), have searched for and sought out a Savior to lead the franchise to a championship resurrection. From the mid 1980s through the end of the century the drafting of center Patrick Ewing was supposed to usher in a return to glory but the teams at Ewing’s disposal at best came within a game of that much hoped upon return. The turn of the century then saw the Franchise pin it’s hopes, (and extend or acquire disproportionate contract offers), on the deteriorating Knees of Shooting Guard Allan Houston, and later upon the questionable character of Point Guard Stephon Marbury. Also, throughout the 1980’s into and through the turn of the century the Names of Knick adversaries such as Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant also figured prominently in conversations about a potential Knick messiah.

“The Knicks Holy Trinity” and Revivalist Mythology for Popular Consumption

Lebron-Hahn-Walsh1

I. A Franchise’s Downward Spiral

As 1973 slips into the distant memory, the sole decade of championship contention during the 1990s appears ever more like an oasis in a vast wasteland of organizational ineptitude. But for many Knicks’ fans the recent decade at the turn of the century came to represent the worst era of franchise futility- or at least the most dubiously publicized period. For instance, personnel decisions made during the first decade of the turn of the century, (a veritable what not to do for the potential Arm Chair GM), mired the organization in bad contracts and coaching and managerial instability, which at best ended in buyouts and settlement agreements but at worst tarnished the organizations public image under the glaring ravenous lens of the local sports media hawks.

II. A Revival

But just as the Franchise approached an apparent nadir, and Knick fandom was on the verge of losing its religion, a new vision of redemption emerged onto the spotlight of Broadway for the popular consumption and sedation of legions of fans. The new vision of the franchise’s championship resurrection easily became monumental orthodoxy cast in the form of an unassailable holy trinity. That holy trinity has come to encompass the persons, personalities and essences of Donnie Walsh, Lebron James and Newsday’s sports blog coverage of the Knicks.  This holy trinity captures the spirit of the times and marks a turning of the tide against the organizational failings and imbalances since the turn of the century.

In the Knicks holy trininty, “[ ]”onnie Walsh represents the Father Figure.  Cast as a wise and timeless figure, sort of like the creator gods of many religions, it is “[ ]” onnie Walsh who is assigned the task of recreating the Knicks into a Championship contender.  According to popular belief, “[ ]”onnie Walsh’s mythic creational/transformational powers come from a vast well of experience that imbues his managerial decisions with an other worldly patience necessary to carry out a master plan for the franchises resurrection.

Walsh Ressurection

If “[ ]”onnie Walsh is the Father of the Trinity, then Lebron James is the incarnate personification of the long desired franchise savior. As basketball’s king on earth, King James, is considered the chosen one, the one who will carry Knicks fandom to the promised land of an NBA Championship that has alluded the Franchise for over 35 years.  King James has to date certainly matched and or exceeded the hype that surrounded his entrance into the NBA, by displaying the legendary greatness attributed to him, during dramatic playoff performances against the Pistons and Magic, and by carrying an average Cavaliers’ team to the top seeding in the 2008-09 NBA Playoffs.

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But what would the Knicks resurrection and the return of its rumored savior be if the Zeitgeist of the ever-drawing moment did not find itself in the hearts and minds of Knicks fans. To that end a trinity is nothing without it’s Holy Spirit, which is inblognated in the Cablevision bought and owned, Newsday Sports Coverage of the New York Knicks.  Newsday’s coverage of the unfolding “resurrection” is spearheaded by the highly popular reporter/blogger Alan Hahn.   Hahn’s abilities as a prolific blogger, coupled with his careful consideration to his fan base of bloggers and overall affable personality has helped Newsday’s blog the Knicks Fix become one of the more important sources for disseminating the message, spirit and belief in the inevitable return of a Knicks’ Messiah and coming of a 2010 Championship resurrection.

Alan Hahn

III. The Trilogy and “The Plan” in 2010 as a Turning of the Tide

Collectively the trinity represents a shifting of the tide for the Franchise against mistakes of prior Knick regimes at the turn of the century. For instance the hiring of “[ ]”onnie Walsh, as the Head of Basketball Operations, signaled the end of a free wheeling era that reached it’s Zenith under Isiah Thomas.  That era can be said to be marked by numerous gambles in terms of acquiring talented yet highly priced players, either: 1) who were high risk due to character issues; 2) whose statistical production did not significantly improve the organization’s opportunities to engage in and succeed in post season play; 3) whose presence resulted in roster redundancies that negated the player’s value and cut into the development of younger players. Moreover the acquisitions of several of the highly priced yet non-impact talent on the Knicks rosters came at the high cost of lost future draft picks, that were traded away in the hopes that the talent acquired would flourish under Zeke’s management and influence, where they previously had faltered or exhausted their welcomes with their prior teams. To Walsh’s credit the greater part of his first full year as Head of Basketball Operations witnessed the jettisoning of high salary, yet low value per production players such as Zach Randolph and Jamal Crawford. Walsh’s first year also witnessed the jettisoning of Knicks’ team Mascot Jerome James and the eventual dismissal of Brooklyn legend turned pariah, Stephon Marbury.

The shifting of the tide away from talented yet risky players and generally low value per production players, to an objective of targeting proven Star free agents suggested the organization had quite possibly learned certain lessons prominent in the management war rooms of the teams that had dumped their undesirables onto the Knicks roster.   To that extent the fascination with acquiring a player of Lebron James’ caliber in 2010, a/k/a “The Plan”, signals not merely a fan boy fantasy but also a partial revelation of what it might take to resurrect a moribund NBA Franchise. Thus for the Knicks Franchise a proverbial veritable lightbulb is finally turned on to illuminate the organization’s trajectory to a vision of acquiring a talent/saviour that many expect will lead the Knicks to a light at the end of the tunnel.

The Plan

Additionally, Walsh’s acquisition of Head Coach Mike “[ ]” Antoni, infused an upbeat atmosphere into the downtrodden lockeroom, while providing the players discipline and direction (on at least one side of the coaching equation). “[ ]”Antoni’s presence also signaled to the team that playing time, (with the exception of Stephon Marbury’s quarantine),  was not a given but would be earned by performance on the court and in practice. The Wally Pip Rule alluded to by Isiah Thomas, the formerly conflicted head coach and president of basketball operations, became a reality with the franchise under a separate head coach and Management. Notably, the Knicks in “[ ]”Antoni’s, first year at the helm had better balance on the line up between offensive and defensive players and youthful and veteran players on the court- e.g., the willing to utilize defensive reserve Jared Jefferies more frequently and to utilize him on opposing team’s point guards, the insertion of talented sophomore Wilson Chandler into the team’s regular rotation, the insertion of fan favorite David Lee into the starting line up.

As the franchise was steered towards an improved trajectory, Franchise ownership also directed their efforts to better controlling/combating the negative coverage of the Franchise by the local sports media outlets.  The Change in the Franchises media policy, from an iron curtain preventing reporter access to a more open approach signaling a détente with sports reporting entities was one step taken to change the Franchises image in the eyes of the local sports journals. The greater move however, involved the purchase of Newsday by Cablevision, which also owns the Knicks- and according to some even Alan Hahn. In a war for the hearts and minds of Knicks’ fans the purchase of Newsday represented the acquisition of a veritable Tokyo Rose/Axis Sally megaphone casting pro Knicks spin via Alan Hahn’s sports coverage of the Knicks as both reporter and blogger. The change in the Knicks media policy when coupled with the partisan voice cast in the Franchise’s favor by Newsday has quickly influenced other corporate Knicks’ fan blogs, which similarly disseminate the inevitability and certainty of the Knick’s Messiah’s return in 2010- see SNY’s Knicks Blog.

Tattoo

Aint “THE PLAN” Lovely?…

September 25, 2009 Posted by | 1973 Championship, David Lee, Donnie Walsh, Isiah Thomas, Jamal Crawford, James Dolan, Jared Jeffries, Lebron James., Michael Jordan, Mike D'Antoni, NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement, New York Knicks, Newsday, Patrick Ewing, Scott Layden, Stephon Marbury, Trevor Ariza, Uncategorized, Zach Randolph | , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

JARED JEFFRIES EXPECTING A GOOD YEAR WITH KNICKS

 

Even Jared Has Highlights Folks

 

One of the hardest working Knicks, Jared Jeffries, is still with the team to much chagrin outside of MSG, but Jeffries expects to have a better year this upcoming season.  While at his charity event at Twin Lakes Recreational Center in Indiana, Jeffries told a Hoosier Scoop reporter that after being plagued by a broken fibula he suffered last season, he expected this year to be better.

Last year I was hurt,” Jeffries said. “I had to deal with my injury for the whole year. I think this year’s going to be good. It’s going to be a really good opportunity for me.

Jeffries, by all accounts a nice guy, is in a very precarious position this upcoming season and he may face significant fan animosity if he and his contract are not traded prior to the February trade deadline.  Although Mike D’Antoni has praised Jeffries for his work ethic and the defensive flexibility he adds to the roster, many fans see the former Hoosier as the worst offensive player on the team and a major impediment to the Cap Space Cometh 2010 Plan. 

Unfortunately, the long but thin Jeffries has never been an offensive threat and is injury prone.  Last year he was inconsistent and often appeared to have two left feet when trying to score beneath the basket. He averaged 5.3 points in 23.4 minutes per game and played in only 56 games.  One could compile quite a blooper reel of his missed shots next to the rim.  But on a team with many scorers, Jeffries offered the best defensive presence in the paint and his length and speed allowed him to guard the 1-3 positions relatively effectively. 

Still, in this year before the Season of LeHope, Jeffries’ contract takes up $6.9 million of salary cap space next year.  With the salary cap expected to be around $50-53 million, the Knicks will need that roster spot and salary slot to be emptied or replaced with an expiring contract. The additional dollars, almost $7 million, if added to the Knicks’ salary cap space would give the Knicks a greater opportunity to get a franchise player AND an adequate support group.  While moving Eddie Curry’s contract ($11.3 million in 2010) would be more favorable to the 2010 Plan, at this point in Curry’s tumultuous career, it seems more likely that Jeffries could be moved faster.

It’s hard not to wish the best for Jeffries, who would probably be a nice piece for a good team, but a lightning rod for fan discontent for a team like the Knicks, which seems destined for another poor season while leaning on the hopes of improvement next year. 

               $$$CAP$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$PACE$$$$$$$$$$$

Hoopsworld has a little piece that purports to determine what would make the season a bust for each of the NBA teams.  For the Knicks it states: 

The New York Knicks season would be a bust if…  The Knicks squander the cap space the team has created for the summer of 2010.  New York has several talented, young players on this squad as the organization looks to the future, including first round draft pick Jordan Hill, Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, David Lee and Nate Robinson.  A playoff appearance this season is almost entirely out of the question but the future is bright in the Big Apple with a young core and a proven commodity in Mike D’Antoni coaching the squad.  While 2009 is likely a wash, patience in the key for Knicks fans with cap space a plenty and a tremendous free agent class coming available next summer.

Unoriginal?  I know.  If you’re interested, the full story is here.

          $$$CAP$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$PACE$$$$$$

There is No Way Knicks Can Be Worse Than Last Year according to Liam Martin at NESN.com.  Before breaking down why Darko and Curryo will make the Knicks better, Martin opines:

At first glance, not much has changed: The core remains Chris Duhon and Al Harrington, with David Lee and Nate Robinson still negotiating new contracts or exits. Mike D’Antoni remains at the reins, meaning the club will continue to shoot first, ask questions (or play defense) later.

And the culture, by all signs (i.e., Robinson being arrested for driving with a suspended license, then tweeting about it as the arrest was ongoing), hasn’t changed much, either.

But there are pros to the cons — pros, perhaps, that suggest only the Knickerboxers will win more than 32 games, but pros nonetheless.

August 30, 2009 Posted by | Donnie Walsh, Jared Jeffries, Mike D'Antoni | , , , , | 30 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

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.

____________________________________________________

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

WALSH SPEAKS ON THE UPCOMING DRAFT

Donnie Walsh Transcript

compiled by Ricky Henne, NYKnicks.com


Posted Jun 22 2009 3:oo p.m.


Knicks President of Basketball Operations Donnie Walsh addressed the media on Monday, just three days before the 2009 NBA Draft. Below is a transcript of what Walsh had to say regarding the draft, the Knicks and the NBA in general.

Question: Why would you have (Jrue) Holiday in twice?

Donnie Walsh: I just wanted to take a final look at him, because I’ve seen him but I wanted to make sure everybody saw him, scouts and coaches.

Question: How much of a fear is it, I mean obviously there have been a lot of guys who have gone from being freshman to being good NBA players, but is that something also for guys like him that are in that same boat?

Walsh: Yeah, but there’s a lot of them. So is it a fear? No, not if you think that he can project into being a good NBA player. So in the case of most of the guys that are in this draft, that’s what is being done. But it is a jump of faith to try to predict a guy into a certain level, because you are going on what is his potential and if you feel good that he is going to reach it.

Question: Is there something you didn’t see from Holiday the first time that you wanted to?

Walsh: No. I saw him play in the regular season so I have a good feel for him. But going into the draft, you start watching the way the draft can go and you want to make sure. So there wasn’t anything earth shattering, it was like, well, why not let him come in again. And his agent said fine. Most of these kids are going to go to the NBA Draft, so they are on their way anyway.

Question: Are you aware of the smokescreens that are out there now, and the teams ahead of you? I mean, Washington is talking about seven players…

Walsh: Yeah I know.

Question: So do you see games being played, especially because there is a lot of parity in this draft?

Walsh: Yeah, I think that’s true. The only player right now is (Blake) Griffin. You know where he’s going and after that, all the way down past us, you have no idea who is taking who. And I think its to a degree because there is parity. There’s also at this point most teams got a guy that they want to take, and they don’t want anyone else to kind of figure it out. And we have a few teams that are traditionally like that at the top of the draft, and have been for a while.

Question: So do you have to have a plan A, B, C, D…

Walsh: Yes, of course. That’s what we’ll do.

Question: Is that what looking at Holiday a second time is?

Walsh: That’s part of it, but I think we also have until Thursday night and we need to spend it exactly on that to be sure that if this, this and this happens, where are we?

Question: When he talks about smokescreens, is that what people talking about (Hasheem) Thabeet and (Ricky) Rubio falling out of the top four is? Or are you pretty confident that they won’t be around when you pick eighth?

Walsh: No, I’m not.

Question: So you are confident or you aren’t that they will be available?

Walsh: I’m not confident that they will be in the top four.

Question: So they could slide down your way?

Walsh: Yea, they could. I mean, it’s possible. I’m not saying it’s going to happen, but you are hearing all this stuff and reading all this stuff. It could happen.

Question: Is this the most in flux a draft has been that you can recall?

Walsh: Not really. I mean, I think they are all like this. People are afraid of teams jumping ahead of them. They figure out, ‘Oh, ok if I want this guy he’s going to stop at four, then I have to get three” and then a trade at the last minute (could happen).

Question: Do you understand why Rubio might slip? Is it because of his situation with the buyout, he hasn’t worked out for anyone…

Walsh: I think it’s effected (Brandon) Jennings as well. They are not here, you don’t hear a lot about them, in Rubio’s case he didn’t work out, so you either really have to want him, because he is not in the news so to speak as much as the other players. And I think Jennings was that way too. That’s why he’s working out a lot. I’m sure he’s impressing some teams.

Question: Did you ask or want Rubio to come in?

Walsh: Probably back, but not now. We are down to it, and we know he’s a good player.

Question: But earlier in the process…

Walsh: Well when we started, I probably wanted to get him in.

Question: So you won’t meet with him?

Walsh: I don’t need to.

Question: Is he still number one on top of the board in terms of point guards?

Walsh: I don’t know. You have to ask the guy whose got two. (laughs)

Question: So on draft night you will have a scenario of someone trying to get up to number two…

Walsh: Yeah, those things happen in the draft. I’m not saying you don’t talk about them now. It’s also in the draft, you might get a call five minutes before you pick or five minutes before they pick.

Question: Do you think there will be any less of that because of the parity?

Walsh: I think there’ll be more than that.

Question: Given the depth of the draft at point guard, do you think it’s likely that’s where you end up?

Walsh: No, I don’t. The players that are at our pick, and the player we think is best for us, that’s who we’ll pick. We haven’t picked out a position that we need to get in this particular draft.

Question:Are you thinking that (Stephen) Curry and Tyreke (Evans) just might not be there at eight?

Walsh: I think that there are a lot of guys that might not be there so I have to be ready for who is there and what we’re looking for. There are good players.

Question: The player that you draft, could he impact the free agents, particularly the top free agents that you have?

Walsh: It depends who it is to be honest. There are some guys that are ready to play right now, and there are some that are very young and need time. The draft isn’t something you can grade the next day. You have to wait to see how you do. There is LeBron James and Michael Jordan, but in most cases, players need time.

Question: Last year, it was the first time working with Mike (D’Antoni). His system isn’t traditional. Do you look at that when you are picking?

Walsh: Yeah, I think you always do that. You always have a coach who has a style, so you try to pick for that style, but not 100-percent. If the guy is good enough, you figure he’ll fit in to his style.

Question: Do you want another number one pick because you don’t have one next year?

Walsh: I’d love to have one but people aren’t running around offering.

Question: Are you shopping for one, or even a two?

Walsh: Yeah I mean you always ask, but people are very reluctant to do that because they don’t know how they are going to be next year.

Question: There is talk with the way economy is, teams might be selling off picks. Have you seen any of that?

Walsh: No. I haven’t seen anything like that. We kind of talked to some people we thought would, and they haven’t yet.

Question: How far down in the draft would you go if you got a pick for next year to make it worthwhile?

Walsh: This year, I think you will be able to pick players 20-30, who while they haven’t got the cache of some of the players that are picked before that, so I think once we get the draft down and we are pretty close to it, you might be able to get a really good player at 20-30 if you get the right pick.

Question: Is there a market for your players? I mean a good market?

Walsh: I’m not sure. Because I probably value them more than other people.

Question: You’ve been asked about your players I presume.

Walsh: Yeah, there are some who do and some who don’t.

Question: When you talk about what you need and talk about point guards, it seems you like a scoring point guard?

Walsh: That’s not true.

Question: So what do you feel like you need from that position right now.

Walsh: I think a guy that can play a fast tempo. And I’d like a guy who can defend too, so those things. But someone who can play a fast tempo, because that’s what we want to play.

Question: Some say after that the players after one, they all seem kind of the same. Is this not a mediocre draft? Are you saying it is a decent draft?

Walsh: Well I think there are good players in the draft, so in that regard, there will be good players where we are so in that sense it is a good draft. You know, you have to wait two or three years to find out how really good it was. There are some years you go in thinking it’s not a really good draft, and you wake up two years later and these guys are starting, one through 20, and you think ‘Wow, that was a good draft.’

Question: When you evaluated Curry and he talked so much about wanting to be here, how much of a factor is that to you? Just the fact that he’s talking about it, what do you think of it?

Walsh: Well I’ve heard that from a lot of players, and so I like that. I like it better than someone who says he doesn’t want to be here. (laughs)

Question: How different is it this year in New York compared to your first year in the draft?

Walsh: It’s the same. I mean, I’ve told you guys I think you’ve got to get good players when you have this kind of opportunity. So that’s what I think. We have to pick the right guy.

Question: Have you seen Rubio play in person?

Walsh: No. I saw him on TV and all that, and I’ve watched a lot of film on him. A lot.

Question: But your people have.

Walsh: Yeah, I’ve got a European scout who is from people. We have people.

Question: How much do you blame the player or the agent when he decides he doesn’t want to work out?

Walsh: I don’t blame the player. Usually it’s the agents strategy and it either works or it doesn’t.

Question: What’s the strategy?

Walsh: The strategy is to get him picked by the teams the guy wants him to get picked by.

Question: Do you think New York is one of those teams that people wouldn’t mind…

Walsh: Well because we are at eight, not at the beginning but maybe at the end. Who knows? I’m not part of that strategy.

Question: What is your opinion about the one-and-done rule? Would you like to see high school kids be able to come out?

Walsh: I’m probably at the other end of the stick. I thought we had a great farm system. And it was free. But it is what it is now. The NCAA.

Question: Do you think there would be less scandals…

Walsh: Well I’m not going to comment on that because I am not in that world anymore. I just think that when guys went to college for four years, when they came out, they were ready to go to the pros. They receive great coaching, they receive a college degree. So when they come into this world they were ready. We as teams now, we have to make up for that when they get here. We’re doing the best we can. We’re fasting getting to a point where we can do it well, but it wasn’t traditionally so what an NBA team did when it started.

Question: Being that you want to compete sooner than later, are you more apt to go with a player who can contribute right now than a player who might be a project and might take a year?

Walsh: It depends who it is. It really depends on how good I think he can be eventually. And that can be an older guy or a younger guy. You have to look at that.

Question: There are a few small point guards in this league. How important is height as a fact for point guards?

Walsh: Well I would like them to be bigger than smaller, but there are obviously some smaller point guards who are making an impact on the league. I think a lot of that has to do with the rules on the perimeter, so they are not counted out just because they are smaller anymore.

Question: Do you think it’s easier for them to get along in today’s NBA than it used to be?

Walsh: Yeah, I do. I think the floor has opened up a lot. It’s very hard to guard some of the quickness that’s coming into the league particularly with smaller guards, without putting your hand on them and that’s a foul now. Back when I started they could pick you up with one hand and that wasn’t a foul. (laughs) But yeah, I think its better.

Question: Is this your last lottery pick in New York?

Walsh: I hope. Well I’ll say this, whether I was in New York or Indiana, I hope this is my last lottery pick. I never like being in the lottery.

Question: As the Celtics and the Lakers have proven the last couple of years, if you take on salary, there are big time players available if you want to make a trade. Do you think that will happen again this year given how many teams are trying to cut costs?

Walsh: Yeah, I think the guys you think can make a difference to take you from a losing team to a winning team, people will make the investment. But if its close, they might night.

Question: Do you think there are teams that are willing to take on salary anymore?

Walsh: Yeah, I do. I mean, I think there will be, if they see its going to push them up into a winning team. Because if you have a winning team, then you fill the stands and you make a lot more money. And I think that’s the way those teams think. And they want a chance to win the playoffs.

Question: Do you have a better feeling about the David Lee situation today than you did when the season ended?

Walsh: Absolutely not, because I’m not allowed to talk to him or his agent. I mean, I can say hello and that kind of stuff, but no I don’t. I won’t know that until July 1.

Question: How is (Danilo) Gallinari’s recovery?

Walsh: Good, from what I’m told. He went to a photo shoot for the league I think, so I haven’t seen him in about a week. But all the reports I’m getting back is that the operation was a success, and whatever remains to be done is more rehab, and then I have to talk to him to know exactly, but it doesn’t seem to be a big obstacle for him. The doctor is at the point where she’ll let him go play now. But I haven’t talked to her. But he’s close.

Question: Can any pick you make be influenced by what you might possibly want to do later in the summer in free agency or trades or whatever?

Walsh: Well, you are always influenced by what you need and what you might do. So yes, those things could come into it. I’m at a stage now though where I’m trying to see who is the best player for the team, and I’m assuming if you do that, then those things will be there.

Question: Any sense of what the chances are you are going to stay at eight at this point?

Walsh: No, I mean, how many trades get done in the draft? Whatever that percentage is, that’s what it is. Everyone wants to move up all the time.

Question: How confident are you after this offseason ends that you can make the playoffs?

Walsh: Well look, that’s what we want to do. Confident? Well I won’t be confident until we do it. I mean, we’ve got to go out and do it. You can go out and talk about it all you want, but the idea is to try to get to that. And I talked on my first day here, that the most difficult thing will be last year and this year because you’ve got to be very careful with what you’re doing if you have a strategy, like trying to stay under the cap?

Question: How’s Eddy Curry?

Walsh: He’s doing well, from everything I’ve heard. I did see him one day on the day of the Chicago thing, I went up to Detroit and watched him work out. And he’s working very hard, he’s losing weight, and he’s starting to get his body to look like an athlete’s body again. I have to give him credit for working as hard as he can work to try to do it.

Question: When you watch the Finals and you see how the playoffs shook out, bigs are valuable. You have one that a couple of years ago was in the conversation to be an all-star…

Walsh: Yeah, and bigs are valuable in the playoffs. That’s when they are at their best and you really need them, because they can distort the game. And he’s a low post player. Now, at the four and sometimes at the five, you get guys who are standing outside shooting. But when you get to the playoffs, that isn’t as dramatic as having a guy they have to double-team and have to worry about all the time. So you always want that.

Question:What about Jonny Flynn?

Walsh: He’s a guy, who even in college, if you catch him on the right day, even in these workouts, this guy, if teams want a certain type of point guard, then you go for him.

Question: What about Sacramento and all the talk about them and what they might do?

Walsh: Well they are the eye of the storm right now. Everyone is trying to figure out what they are going to do, and it will be different tomorrow.

Question: Hypothetically, if Rubio is sitting there are eight, is it a slam dunk that you would take him?

Walsh: It depends who he is with. I can’t predict who he will be with. But I think there are other players who are on his level. He has experience, a great game, flair – but like most players in the draft he’s got some things he does better than most NBA players and he some things that he doesn’t do. And I can’t think of anybody in this draft that doesn’t fit into that category. That’s where he is. He’s like 6-foot-4, 6-foot-5. That’s a big guard.

Question: Is that what you like most about Holiday, that he is a two-way player?

Walsh: Yeah. I mean, he’s a good player. And he is good defensively, yeah.

Question: Of the guards, is Evans the most explosive going to the basket?

Walsh: Well, he is one of them because he is powerful and he has a great handle. If he gets kind of an opening, he is very strong so he gets there. There are a couple who get there one quickness, he gets there because of that. And he can pass too. If you help off on him, which you are probably going to have to do, he will get the open guy.

Question: Is he a combo guy? Is he more of a two in your mind?

Walsh: No. I think he can play both, but he will be a point guard eventually in the NBA. You can post him. I think he weighs 215.

Question: Does he have to work on his shot a little bit?

Walsh: Yeah, but I didn’t see – all these guys that I heard couldn’t shoot, that would be the quote, I didn’t think they were that far away. So I think all these guys they are saying that about, they will get better in the NBA because most players once the concentrate on being a pro and are shooting all the time, they get better. And their form, these guys forms at this point, they are not bad. I mean, he shot it well when he was here. He was hitting threes. He shot it very well.

Question: Are there questions about Stephen Curry defensively?

Walsh: Well, I think you have to have a system for all these players, and to me, a guy like Curry is smart enough to figure it out and learn how to play in the NBA defensively.
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Fanatics Pre-draft Scouting Report: Jonny Flynn

June 22, 2009 Posted by | Brandon Jennings, Donnie Walsh, Jrue Holiday, Mike D'Antoni, NBA Draft, NBA Lottery, New York Knicks, Rick Rubio | , , , , , | 21 Comments