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Knicks Links for October 7, 2009

 

Good morning Gents.  Preseason is in full swing adding that much needed compliment to football season and whetting that round-ball appetite. There’s a lot happening; let’s check some of it out.

brook-lopez-nets Apparently, the Nets did not think much of the Knicks defense as a true test for their center Brook Lopez who spent the first half being rather abusive of the Orange and Blue in the paint with 19 points in 12 minutes.  The Nets and Lopez are hoping that more teams double team him and present him with a greater challenge during the pre-season to hasten his development.

“I don’t know how many teams are going to do that,” Harris said of single coverage. “And obviously they’re playing smaller than most teams are. If that’s what we can get, I’m definitely more comfortable doing it. If we get a layup with him I’ve got no complaints about that.
“He’s going to start to command a double team more and more the better he gets. It’s respect for him, but it’s something we have to work on. It’s our job to space the floor so he can get what he wants in the post.”

That’s when teams will start sending extra defenders.

And the Nets are eager to see how Lopez responds.

“It’s something we’ll have to work on, and see what kind of gauge that he has,” Harris said. “He’ll get better more when he sees it.”

“I just hope they never figure it out,” said Nets forward Bobby Simmons. “The truth is, if he continues to dominate under the basket, the farther we’ll go this year. If he’s making plays, you play through him.”

Following The Beats

 

Surprise! The Beats are reporting that Eddie Curry will not be ready for the first game of regular season and that he will not be cleared to practice or play until he is in shape good enough so that he does not injure himself.  According to the Daily News, “Knicks president Donnie Walsh revealed Tuesday that Curry won’t be available to even practice with his teammates until the team’s medical staff is confident that he can go through a full workout without getting injured.”

"When we feel he can get out there and play without pulling something then we’ll bring him back," Walsh said following the team’s practice, minus Curry, in Greenburgh. "I don’t know how long it will take. . . .

"The kid is doing everything he can," Walsh said of Curry. "I have faith in our training staff."

In today’s Post blog, Berman seemed to take some delight in pointing out that GM’s around the league haven’t caught on that the Knicks are a bit more relevant than in the recent past.  The Knicks were not favored answers in the annual GM poll results just released although they were considered one of the four best teams in the league to watch.

The Knicks were barely mentioned in the 60-question GM poll released today on NBA.com.

Mike D’Antoni wasn’t even rated among the top six for best coaches. David Lee came in third place on the question: "Which players does the most with the least.” He got 7.1 percent of the vote. The Knicks were tied for fourth place for "team most fun to watch” (7.7 percent).

The Post also offers a little feature on Duhon in which the point guard repeats earlier assertions that he is ready to play and was not phased by the Knicks efforts to improve at his position over the summer. "I’m more comfortable with everything," Duhon said after yesterday’s practice in Greenburgh, "the coaches, the players, the whole organization. It’s easier for me to go out and be myself."  Personally, I don’t see why he should be phased – last year he had a great opportunity and did the best he could with it.  This year he is getting paid far more than he should and he has a chance to prove himself again.  He will not get $7 Million from anyone else after this.

Baseline Chatter:

Walsh confirmed publicly, to Peter Vescey,  that his draft target was Stephen Curry, not Rick Rubio.

At dinner Friday night I asked Walsh who he would have selected had he been able to acquire the fourth or fifth spot in last June’s draft: Curry or Ricky Rubio?

"Curry," he answered without a pause. "Not only is he a great shooter but he can get his shot on anyone. Opponents look at his baby face and figure they can manhandle him. Meanwhile he tore up every top-rated guard he went up against at our workout, including Tyreke Evans, who might be the best player in the draft next to Blake Griffin."

So Montel Ellis has changed his mind about playing with Stephen Curry after seeing him play as a teammate. (Perhaps he should have kept his damn mouth shut in the first place. Does Nellie inspire verbal recklessness?). See Fanhouse’s Monta Ellis On Stephen Curry:’He’s Better Than I Thought He Was.’

He is from upper-state New York, but he brings that NYC swagger to the game: look out for Jonny Flynn.  He had a bizarrely successful outing against the Milwaukee Bucks as he scored 14 points on 14 for 15 shooting from the charity stripe and added 7 assists in 26 minutes.  This might be a fun team to follow as Flynn weaves in and out of the paint around screens from his bigs, Love and Jefferson, and they all benefit from Rambis’ installation of the triangle.  Watch these guys.

 

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October 7, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 10 Comments

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

BOXSCORE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Check Out The Game Time LBE for more insight.

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

KNICKS V. NETS LIVE BLOGGING EVENT TODAY AT 2:00 PM

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October 4, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 8 Comments

Training Camp Round-Up

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

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

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

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

The Eyes Have It

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

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

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

 

 

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

It’s a process.

Playa, Playa, Play On

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Basketball Space Filler copy copy

 

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

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

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

Knicks 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

Expectations Grow As Galinari Joins First Unit In Training Camp, Day 1

 

It appears that Coach D’Antoni could not be more excited with the prospects of his 2008 draft pick, Danilo Galinari who opened training camp with an offensive flourish as he played with the “first unit.”  Howard Beck, of the New York Times reported, that Galinari played with the projected starting lineup of Chris Duhon, David Lee, Al Harrington and Wilson Chandler, as he showed off his ball handling and finesse in scoring and passing.

However, Seth at Posting and Toasting was a bit more measured about Galinari’s play during the scrimmage, reflecting points I made before Galinari was drafted about him being Jamal Crawford’s replacement.

Gallo kept moving well in the full-court scrimmages, and continued to show off his offensive repertoire. He wasn’t all that active off the ball, but after a catch he wasn’t just settling for jumpers. There were a couple nice fakes and dribbles for short jumpers, a spinning lefty layup (that rimmed out), and a couple vicious dunks, including one complete facial on Jordan Hill (prompting David Lee to put his thumb to his forehead and yell "The Rooster!"). As for the jump shot, Gallo wasn’t quite as automatic as he’d been in practice. He missed a few early, and angrily ripped the bandage off his right hand following one brick. It’s not like he was shooting poorly, though. Anything less than perfection from the field surprises me when it comes to Gallinari. I did get a chance to see the cut on his hand up close and it ain’t no scratch.

Even more notable from the first day of training camp is D’Antoni’s admission that he underemphasized defense last year.  This year he opened training camp with a defensive exercise and promised more focus on defensive goals, if not schemes.   "They think they can outscore people, we score so easy,” D’Antoni said. "They have to take it more personal. We’re going to keep banging that drum. I hope they get to a point where they’re not thinking, ‘I hope I’m hot tonight’ but, ‘I hope I guard my man.’ We got to get that mentality. If we get there, it will translate into a lot of wins.”

September 30, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 9 Comments

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

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

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

AS THE KNICKS’ WORLD TURNS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

9. Will Walsh trade Jared Jeffries this season?

10. Will Walsh trade Larry Hughes this season?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

22. Will Larry Hughes be traded before David Lee?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

30. Will the Knicks get 40+ wins?

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

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

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

34. Will FIU make it to the NIT?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

49. Will Wilson Chandler develop an inside game?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

67. Will the players make progress on the CBA?

68. Who will become the team leader?

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

 

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

ESPN ANALYSTS FIND OBVIOUS TRENDS AMONGST KNICKS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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!

Basketball Space Filler copy copy

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