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Knicks Links 10/12/09

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BOXSCORE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Check Out The Game Time LBE for more insight.

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

Did Rubio Con A Kahn Or Was Minnie Marburied Again? Part 3 of 3

Kahn-Rubio Torn Apart

KHAN’S MOVE FOR RUBIO — A CLASSIC GAMBIT

David Kahn’s move, to draft Ricky Rubio despite his immediate inavailability, was right out of Red Auerbach’s playbook.  In 1978 on draft day, the Celtics had both the 6th and 8th first round picks.  Auerbach was widely criticized for using the 6th spot to draft Larry Bird as a “junior eligible.”  Bird had already been in college for four years but had one more year of eligibility left which meant Red had to wait a year for Bird.  He used the 8th spot to draft Division 1 star Freeman Williams, who never played for the Celtics but was involved in a major trade; the exchange included #31 1981 pick (Danny Ainge).  Owning the 8th spot allowed Auerbach to take the risk, but in order to retain Bird’s rights, Auerbach had to reach an agreement with Bird before the next draft.  Eventually and reluctantly Auerbach agreed to pay Bird  $650,000, the highest rookie salary ever at the time.  Auerbach was confident, but the success of the move was not certain.

Without such a bold move, it is highly unlikely that Bird would have been the greatest Celtic of all time.  Perhaps, he would have been a Knick.

And lest we forget, another General Manager “genius” Bob Bass was criticized for using the #1 pick in 1987 to draft David “The Admiral” Robinson although he had two years of a naval commitment to serve after graduation. The Spurs faced a special quandary which led to speculation that Robinson might not sign with San Antonio within a year and attempt to force free agency so that he could be courted by the Lakers or the Knicks.  Didn’t happen.  David Robinson became one of the greatest Spurs ever.

David Kahn is less a fool than fans with short memories or no historical reference.  Kahn was very clear when he released Kevin McHale that he was in rebuilding mode and that it would take a couple of years to bring the team back to contention.  He does not need Rubio now.  He can build his team patiently, with “all deliberate speed” and wait for Rubio to mature as a person and a baller.  The odds are greater than not that Rubio will increase in value in two years – he will add bulk and probably a jump shot. This will happen on someone else’s Euro, not his dime.  Rubio also won’t require mommy to move to the states with him. (I admit that when I moved from Chicago to Jersey at age 18, I wanted my mommy to come with me. . . .but, then I got there. . . LOL).

Immediately after the Rubio deal fell through, Kahn was still working to build his team his way.  Within two days of his heartbreak, Kahn pushed the Knicks and Clippers out of the way to sign young point guard Ramon Sessions who had been a free agent in waiting for most of the summer. With a more seasoned young guard, Kahn and Rambis will get a better idea over the next couple of  years how their high octane offense is going to work with Flynn and a guard who can shoot better than the Spaniard.

This summer, in three moves, Kahn potentially, if his dual point guard offense works, has solidified his back court for five years, very inexpensively.  Jonny Flynn has a four year contract with two consecutive team options beginning in 2011.  Rubio becomes available via buyout by 2011. The Wolves hold his NBA rights until one year after he discontinues playing pro ball for another team.  Sessions has a four year contract which carries until 2012-13. 

Every pick is a risk, but the rewards regarding Rubio are promising. Kahn has created numerous options which include using Rubio’s rights in a future trade or developing two solid points in Flynn and Sessions and eventually trading one of them for a missing piece.  For now, the Wolves may be more of a threat to enter the 2010 draft lottery than the Western Conference playoffs, but with a young core of Jonny Flynn, Al Jefferson, Ramon Sessions, Kevin Love and Wayne Ellington, their development should be exciting to watch over the next couple years.

 

WOLVES’ DEEP IMPACT ON KNICKS

Kahn has been a thorn in the Knicks behind all summer, since he traded for the fifth pick.  It was rumored that Walsh and the Knicks were trying to move up in the draft in order to secure either Rubio or Stephen Curry.  Although it was believed that Walsh would be happy with Jared Hill falling to the Knicks, everyone knew the Knicks needed a solid back-up/soon-to-be-starter to work with or replace Duhon to operate D’Antoni’s offense.  By drafting both Flynn and Rubio, the Knicks felt forced to a less satisfying option and remained in a quandary regarding how to address the point guard issue.

Nevertheless, the Knicks smartly purchased a late first round pick from the Lakers and turned it into a solid ACC guard, Toney Douglas, who many expect will be a pleasant surprise as a team leader, floor conductor and scorer.  This is a great opportunity for him to step up and fill the void that Walsh could not.

It appears that while Walsh is playing checkers, jumping over pieces without taking any, Kahn is playing chess like a GM (grandmaster or general manager, pick one).  Kahn who had touted running a two guard up-tempo offense, immediately went after free agent Ramon Sessions, who was looking for an opportunity to save him from lesser contracts with the Knicks, Clippers or Bucks.  The Knicks had been very interested in Sessions, but refused to reel him in with a multi-year deal.   Throughout the blogosphere, hyper-hopeful Knicks fans were hypothesizing that Walsh, with his patented “patience”, was waiting Sessions out.  But the truth has been revealed and it was Sessions who was being patient.  Clearly lacking confidence that they could create more cap space by eventually trading Jared Jeffries or Eddie Curry, Walsh just watched as Sessions walked out of the free agent corner he was supposedly trapped in into a 4-year, $16 million deal. (Compare that to the 2-year $13 million dollar deal Walsh gave Chris Duhon to scare away Marbury).

Kahn’s move is being interpreted by some as a sign that he has given up on Rubio and will eventually trade his rights to the Knicks.  This is not necessarily so, nor is it necessary.  In fan imaginations, New York is the penultimate venue for big time“athletepreneurs”  and the place every one wants as a home. Some Knicks fans will be pining ad nauseam for OPP Rubio for two years, longer than the lap dance they are giving OPP LeKing of Akron.   In this case, the reality is that Rubio’s only way into the NBA is through Minnesota, unless he sits out a year which makes absolutely no sense.  Consequently, the only way Rubio becomes a Knick, even with covert interference by the commissioner, is with the blessing of Kahn.

Kahn has shown that he doesn’t give a damn about how the Knicks develop their team.  He is clearly focused on building the Timberwolves. Any harm to the Knicks probably is not personal, just collateral damage from the maneuverings of a general manager who understands that to build a contender you start the team core with homegrown youth, complimentary trades and expert use of exceptions to the salary cap.

On second thought, Kahn’s moves may help Knicks fans by demonstrating how being “patient but proactive” is a better strategy than what their team is employing now.

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Previous Related Posts:

Did Rubio Con A Kahn or Was Minnie Marburied Again? Part 2 of 3

Did Rubio Con A Kahn or Was Minnie Marburied Again? Part 1 of 3

Chapter One Of Rubio Buyout Story Coming To A Close

Timberwolves GM Refutes Story Of Rubio Contract: “No Team in any league has reached a deal.”

Rubio Reportedly Will Sign Six-Year Contract With Regal Barcelona

Fanatics Pre-Draft Scouting Report: Ricky Rubio

IS BRANDON JENNINGS PLAYING THE MEDIA (AND US) WITH RUBIO DISS?

Brandon Jennings says F*ck the Knicks and Chris Duhon Ain’t Gettin it Done

September 7, 2009 Posted by | Donnie Walsh, New York Knicks, Rick Rubio | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 42 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

Knicks’ Depth Chart: Where Do We Go From Here?

PG Chris Duhon Toney Douglas
SG Larry Hughes Nate Robinson
SF Wilson Chandler Danilo  Gallinari Al Harrington
PF David Lee Jared Hill Darko Milicic
C Jared Jeffries Chris Wilcox Eddie Curry

Above is the New York Knicks’ current depth chart. Unlike much of the speculative press, I will assume that Walsh wants to sign both David Lee and Nate Robinson for the upcoming season. It makes a little sense to sign the homegrown talent to give the product stability until you figure out what your new talent can do. It may also make a little sense to work the year with 13-14 contracts instead of 15 to help insure that the team remains significantly below the cap by the following year.

Nevertheless, the roster still looks like a mess. Unless a point is signed, Toney Douglas may be the pleasant surprise of the year. The other major story lines so far are about players rehabbing physically (Danilo) and emotionally (ECity). We ask can Chandler develop while playing with placeholders such as Hughes and Harrington?

This is not looking too good much better than last season so far. Tomorrow creeps at its petty pace from day to day. 2010 where are you?

June 29, 2009 Posted by | Al Harrington, Chris Wilcox, Danilo Gallinari, David Lee, Larry Hughes | , , , , , , | 13 Comments

NBA TOP 10 – 3 Avril 2009 Video

Vodpod videos no longer available.


Welcome, to the new home of Knicks Fanatics.  We’re dedicated to providing a comfortable multi-media home to a band of brothers and sisters who love to love their Knicks even in a down economy or a period when the fortunes of the Knicks seem upside down with little upside.   It is a place where every view is welcome — welcomed to get slapped around as we collectively mine for the truth and undermine the lies. This is the spot where the debates get hot and heavy and sometimes pseudo-personal, but it is all out of love for our home team.

The bottom line is that this is the thinking fans’ site.  We have fans of all different persuasions including those persuaded by the pedestrian analyzes often promoted by the MSM (Mainstream Media).   Whatever you believe, bring it and be ready to support it, because we’re just like the 2008-09 version of the Knickerbockers — when we are on our home court, we don’t play.

In any event, I hereby christen this blog with some gems from the NBA Video Store.  Enjoy.  Let’s rock ‘n roll folks.

April 12, 2009 Posted by | Boston Celtics, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments