That Was *)(^%^! Awful!

Eddy Curry’s consecutive 20-point scoring streak ended at 11 games. The Pacers did a good job of being physical with him, pushing him just out of deep post position. They also did a good job of mixing up single and double coverage. I sensed from the telecast that Curry was frustrated but not so much that his effort level dropped off significantly from previous nights. (In fact I noted some pretty good defensive efforts one-on-one against Jermaine O’Neal, a vastly quicker player.) He just got outplayed. It’ll be interesting to see what he brings tonight versus Denver.

When Q-Rich left the game with back spasms (uh oh!), leaving Curry on the floor without shooters, he had little room to operate. I for one will be happy to see Channing Frye make his return, perhaps as soon as tonight. As poorly as Frye’s played so far this season he’s far more adept at hitting the mid-range jumper that David Lee routinely turns down when Curry passes out of the post. The foursome of Richardson, Lee, Frye, and Jeffries should ensure that the Knicks have a shooter and a rebounder on the floor with Curry to keep defenses honest and clean up his misses. Hopefully it will also ensure that we have seen the last of Malik Rose’s minutes.

Last night just belonged to the Pacers. To use my obligatory Clydism, they “bewitched and bedeviled” the Knick 2-3 zone, a defense that has worked well for the team (of course, “well” is relative here). If you saw the game though, particularly the 42 point second quarter, it was the Knicks’ offensive issues that led most directly to the run. The Knicks were scoring, but much of it was Jamal Crawford going 1-on-N. In the second quarter when Curry picked up his second foul and went to the bench the Knicks picked up the pace and went up 7. NY then proceeded to throw possessions away with poor shot selection and untimely turnovers leading to easy baskets for Indiana. When this team doesn’t score it inevitably loses concentration on defense. The Pacers, to their credit, shot the three-ball well from the outset, 12 for 23 on the night, and that’s with virtually an entire 4th quarter of garbage time. But, this wasn’t simply a hot-shooting night. The Pacers worked the ball to get any shot they wanted against the zone. Their best three-point shooters–Harrington, Jackson, and Granger off the bench–took shots over smaller rotating defenders. So even when the Knicks had good rotation, which was certainly not all the time, the defenders couldn’t really bother the shot.

Note: Steve Adamek reports that Marbury was benched due to a strained patella tendon, and coincidentally, for “not playing any defense.”

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Part-time blogger on the Knicks at and Seahawks at In my free time I hang out at the University of South Carolina and occasionally fill thirsty young minds with knowledge about various and sundry things related to consumer behavior and marketing.

44 thoughts to “That Was *)(^%^! Awful!”

  1. I’ve consistently been one of Marbury’s supporters since he arrived here. I really think he got a bad rap here that was simply unfair. His first year here he literally put us on his back and got us to the playoffs (albeit an embarassing showing in the playoffs ensued). I believe he’s always been one of the top +/- guys we’ve had…and while I understand he’s overpaid, etc I think far too much blame has been place on him.

    So it’s saddening to see how incredibly below-average he looks this year. He doesn’t have the quickness, burst or jumping ability that made him so effective…maybe he’s not fully recovered, but it’s really painful to watch him out there.

    And yeah, when we don’t have a shooter out there we have no chance. I too am excited than Channing will be back soon…even more possible lineup combos.

  2. Is it me, or does it seem that Marbury has lost his ability to score while driving? He seems to get a lot more shots blocked this year than I’ve noticed in previous seasons (82games says 15% of close shots – compared to 12% last year). He was never a good defender, and if he’s lost his main offensive weapon, then that $41M we owe him after this year is going to be painful.

  3. I’ve noticed all season that Francis, of the two selfish-can’t/won’t run a team players, was at least showing some of his abilities – rebounding, getting to the foul line, and putting up better assists per minute stats. Marbury has been lousy and coddled this season…his drives are obvious and always getting blocked, his mediocre outside shot is still mediocre, he doesn’t make good choices and doesn’t play smart defense. Why shouldn’t he adjust to the system? He isn’t, and never was Jordon, so he should be able to play with a dominant big man, which all point guards USUALLY like playing with — which Frazier pointed out in his offer of an intervention in today’s papers. Marbury bores me cuz he seems awfully spoiled for a guy who otherwise seems like an OK guy — if he can’t play on a team where other players might actually get the ball, he shouldn’t play, cuz he is NOT the best player on the court at any given time. He’s a drag, and I’d rather have Francis at this point….

  4. The title is apropo for what happened with about a minute & a half left in tonight’s Knicks-Nuggets game. A brawl occurred & there are sure to be suspensions in the coming days. I’m sure there will be plenty of replays on every sports news show over the next few days, so there is no need to get into the details. In fact from a Knick perspective I don’t see any need to talk about it much at all. The fight wasn’t between two powerhouses or rivals. The game was over at the time of the fight. TYe loss of any games due to suspension (Collins, Robinson, or Jeffries) will probably be inconsequential of end result of the Knicks’ season. So who cares?

  5. Holy flurgin schnit!!!!!!

    Have you ever seen 10 players ejected on one play?!?

    Unbelievable. Simply unbelievable.

    During the 3rd quarter Nugget’s run I was griping on the utter lack of discipline on this team. Just a whole other level.

    Thomas is on ESPNnews right now.

  6. I’m glad to live in San ANtonio where there are a class group of guys playing ball.

    Carmello took a cheap shot, sure. And he will pay. But Isaih tries to justify the thuggery (cheap shot foul) because the Nugget’s starters were not pulled? Grow up.

    I’ve said it before. I would rather lose with the Spurs than win with any other team. Thankfully, I can have my cake and eat it too.

  7. Isiah did not justify the brawl. He DID justify the hard foul. I have seen his interview on ESPN. A VERY bad team was frustrated and reacted with a ridiculous foul. Let it go! It’s a stinkin’ layup in a blowout. Isiah is a no good coach/executive on a no good team.

    He could he have just said “no comment” or “this is an embarassment” or “this should never happen”? No. No matter. He will be out of the league at year end and we won’t have to listen to him cry anymore. But the Knicks will still be bad:)

  8. What were you watching? Isiah sucks, but I did not hear any justification for the foul.

    As for the Knicks, thanks for stating the obvious. Our team sucks. Our coaches suck. What else is new?

  9. I’m ashamed to be a Knick fan nowadays. Pride? Ego? Offended at being shown up? Try playing some DEFENSE, you jerks!

    The Knicks are a bunch of losers, including the coach – make that ESPECIALLY the coach – and they should be ashamed of themselves.

    Every last one of them should turn in his resignation, for the good of the team. And if they won’t do that, then I say fire Isiah, eat the contracts of everyone except Frye and Lee, figure out a way to make that idiot Dolan sell the team – and START OVER. That’s the only way to fix this abomination.

  10. Just saw the replay. Carmelo is indeed a bitch. Nate Robinson is a dick, but I’m sure you all knew that already. There are also suggestions that Thomas ordered Collins’ hard foul, which I certainly find believable. Isaiah is an embarassment.

  11. PROFESSIONALS…this is what these spoiled overpayed players are supposed to be…whaaah they left their starters on the floor…”We had surrendered, those guys shouldn’t even be in the game at that point in time.”…excuse me???? surrendered???why are you guys getting paid??? high school ball players dont normally surrender like that and THEY dont get the kind of unbelievable paycheck you guys get …they play because they love the game…hell for some schools…the pay you professionals get is more than the whole school budget
    if you cant play the game with respect for other players and respect for the game AND RESPECT TO ALL THE FANS the get off the court and let someone play for the love of the game and not the love of themselves or money
    i think im gonna start watchin college basketball more…they still play for the love of the game…and most of the time they dont act like 4th graders who cant get their way

  12. Pathetic. Isiah should be fired today for turning the team into a bunch of thugs and if the charges of him trashtalking Melo are proven I hope Stern suspends him for half the season. He’s already lipped off at Bowen and embarrassed himself. How about just coaching the team, Zeke?

    And if he was worried about LB’s friends running it up on him, he never should have backstabbed LB. What goes around comes around.

  13. I’m also not even sure the Nugz were running it up. They’d had a crap road trip and wanted to get some confidence back. I have nothing against them for wanting to keep a 20 point win a 20 point win rather than have it drift to a 6 or 8 point win in garbage time.

    Complete and total embarrassment.

  14. The Isiah era will be over very soon. My only hope is that the Bulls don’t end up with Greg Oden because of Isiah’s rank incompetence. That’s all there is left to root for– fewer ping-pong balls to the Bulls. This team will be lucky to crack 30 wins.

    Acquiring Marbury, Francis, Robinson and Crawford, all shoot-first guards who play no defense, was beyond clueless. Failing to lottery-protect the Curry draft picks was inexcusable. Ordering a cheap-shot flagrant foul against the NBA’s leading scorer in a game that was already a blowout loss… well, it was sad and predictable. Isiah is a punk and he has assembled an unlikable, punk team in his image.

    When all is said and done, Isiah will deserve everything that will be said about him. He will have richly earned the title “Worst GM in NBA History.”

  15. The Bulls obviously wanted nothing to do with Curry when he was a free agent and no one else really did either. If Isiah was as shrewd as he thinks he is, he wouldn’t have given up anything more than cap filler. Giving up two lottery picks was beyond ridiculous.

    And then to insult the fans by talking about this nucleus as if it’s three years and one veteran away from championship contention is a headscratcher of the highest order. Believing even 5% of the crap Isiah shovels at him makes Dolan amongst the dumbest executives of all time.

  16. My bad– the flagrant foul of course wasn’t against Anthony. Still, it is becoming increasingly clear that Isiah ordered the flagrant foul that went against Smith, as if that’s some way to get “respect.” Get your overpaid, crappy team to play some ball, Isiah. That’s how you get “respect.”

  17. Nate Robinson incited the whole thing by immediately pushing up against Smith. If he didn’t do that, probably nothing would have happened. Nate is bad energy. His shot selection is selfish and rediculous, and he never stops trash talking. He’s exciting an a player, but an awful guy to have on a team that’s truly trying to become champions.

  18. I don’t really want to say anything about this brawl, but just point something out. When Jared Jeffries is about to come back, Steve Francis has to ‘sit out’ to ‘rest’ his ‘injured knees.’ Then, when Channing Frye comes back, Quentin Richardson has ‘back pain.’ And now some players are going to be suspended for a time. How convenient for Isiah: he doesn’t have to pick a starting lineup out of the nonsensical crap roster he made!

  19. There is absolutley no reason in the world to intentionally commit a flagrant fout from behind on a fast break. That action can injure a person for life, let alone end his basketball career. If you get beat, leave it at that. Flagrant fouls are first blows to a fight. How could you not expect the player that’s fouled to not get in the face of perpetrator whose action can easily ruin his life. Putting the blame on Smith is assanine.

  20. Flagrant fouls followed by face-to-face jawing happens all the time. Whether it was Nate or Isiah’s commands, the Knicks decided to turn this run of the mill scrap into a brawl. They should be ashamed.

  21. The blame here is on Isiah. The flagrant foul was clearly premeditated and ordered Buddy Ryan-style. Isiah is a disgrace. As bad as a GM he is, he’s perhaps even a worse coach. His smug, dickish performance at the press conference was just further proof that Isiah is an ass. Hoolahoop is exactly right– Collins could have easily torn Smith’s ACL with that foul, and for what? To soothe Isiah’s ego?

    This whole thing of “they were embarrassing us in our house” is the part that really pisses me off. The Knicks are what, 4-11 at home or something? They embarrass themselves on a regular basis. They have been stinking up MSG all season. I didn’t think it was possible for this team to become MORE of a laughing stock, but there you go.

  22. Yeah Isiah sucks as a coach but when the Knicks would do this under Reilly?s reign, every fan was pumped up. Teams knew they would not embarass the Knicks at MSG even if they embarassed them on the scoreboard. It didn?t even have to be considered showboating for Oakley to knock someone on his ass. You drive into the paint, you?re going to get hit. Try to showboat, you?ll be hit hard.

    I might agree with you if the Knicks weren’t one of the worst teams in the NBA, and if this wasn’t at the very tail end of yet another blowout loss at home. The way the Knicks play– poor defense, little intensity, poor teamwork– they do not deserve nor do they receive “respect.” Calling for a cheap shot flagrant isn’t going to make anybody respect this team, it is just going to make the team into even more of a joke.

    The Oakley-Ewing-Starks Knicks could actually, you know, play basketball. This team hasn’t earned the right to say “not in our house.” Fouling a guy on a breakaway layup at the end of a blowout does not make you tough, nor does it make you smart.

    Maybe this incident will toughen the team up and in turn make them take some pride in being tough (ie plaing defense.)

    Yeah, sure. Good luck with that. These guys couldn’t play defense if their lives depended on it. All this incident is going to do is plunge the team deeper into chaos. The only positive I can take out of this whole thing is that perhaps it greased the skids for Isiah just a little bit more.

  23. The Mardy foul was bad, but it wasn’t that bad. He didn’t foul JR in the air (which would’ve been much worse). And he didn’t push JR in the back into the first few rows. Yeah, Collins should have wrapped him around the waist instead of the neck and head. Still stupid, but compared to the old NBA that I remember and old Knicks teams, it just wasn’t that horrible. Remember Isiah getting his eye opened up on a rediculous foul by the Mailman?? That was dirty. Or the old Knicks-Heat fights?? Those were bad.

    That said, I don’t blame JR Smith for jumping up and wanting to defend himself. JR wasn’t going to fight anyone until Nate started swatting away. I do think Nate really escallated the situation. He just wanted to get it on. And as for Carmelo, his actions are the most pathetic to me. Things were pretty much settled down, he wasn’t reacting to anyone in his face, he had time to think things through, but he totally had to make sure Collins got his. Even if it meant skipping away like a scared puppy when Jared went after him. If Jeffries got to him I think things could’ve really gotten bad.

    Isiah comments really made no sense, though. How about being concerned about your own team, not who the Nuggets have out on the floor. It’s their perogative to have whoever they want playing at that time of the game. And, how’s giving a hard foul at the end of being blowout going to show your team is tough when you’ve already given away 117 points because your team plays defense like a bunch of cupcakes.

    I guess the worst part (and most inexcusable part) of the fight for me is that it wasn’t even in the heat of the battle because it wasn’t even a game at that point.

  24. You got it miiiik. The foul wasn’t NEARLY as hard as all these people are complaining about. I think all of you who are talking about torn acl’s, broken this and that, career ending injuries, death! (okay, I made that last one up, but that’s how it sounds.) aren’t looking at the foul by itself. It was a hard foul. He didn’t foul him from behind. He was running adjacent to him and threw his arms over his shoulders, hard. It wasn’t even really that bad, Smith just fell hard. Watch the replay. That wasn’t anything close to something that could end someones career. I don’t think it was his intention to commit a flagrant foul hoolahoop. It was his intention to commit a HARD foul, and there is nothing in this world wrong with giving a hard foul. You people are looking at the whole situation and blaming the foul. Look at the foul seperately and you can see it’s not as bad as some are making it out. The escalation afterward is what was terrible. The brawl was terrible…the hard foul was just a hard foul. That would be a flagrant 1 if Smith didn’t go down, but since he fell the way he did and it *looked* like Collins pummeled him, it was a flagrant 2.

  25. I guess the worst part (and most inexcusable part) of the fight for me is that it wasn?t even in the heat of the battle because it wasn?t even a game at that point.

    Exactly. In a crucial game against a heated rival, I get it. In a meaningless blowout loss during a meaningless blowout season, it’s just stupid. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Especially since the flagrant seems to have been premeditated. Grow up, Isiah. You suck.

  26. As much as I don’t like Isiah, I have a hard time believing HE was the one to call for the foul. He said in the press conference that “we had already surrendered”. I have never, in all my years of following sports, heard a coach say that, Sure I’ve heard the “we didn’t give 100%” or “we lost our focus”, but never “we surrender”. I’m sure management is happy to know their $$ is working hard for them. And even if he did tell someone to give a hard foul, so what. Baseball managers have pitchers throw 90 miles per hour projectiles at people all the time. To those who said that George Karl can do what he wants, that is true but I’m sure in basketball, like every other sport, there are unwritten rules. Leaving your stud starters in a blowout is probably one of them. The only positive that may come from this is I have forgotten how bad the Knicks are for a few minutes. Sad but true.

  27. As much as people are bashing the Knicks’ characters, it seems to be that not one Knicks player threw one punch (maybe Nate who threw a slap in self-defense after being grabbed by Melo, and later might have punched J.R. Smith after he assaulted him). When Nate had the chance to swing at Carmelo at midcourt, he did not (although Melo still ran away… again). After Channing Frye was thrown to the ground by Melo, he did nothing. After Mardy Collins was punched in the face, he did nothing. Jared Jeffries reacted, but he also calmed down after being restrained.

    The fact is that the Nuggets (particularly Smith) displayed extremely poor sportsmanship by leaving in players and running up the score and I think it was deserving of Collins’ foul, which I think was a solid, though hard, old school foul from an old school player (Collins). Given the circumstances I didn’t consider it a cheap shot. If the Knicks had done nothing people would say they have no heart.

    Let’s not forget last year’s playoffs when Reggie Evans sucker punched Chris Kaman in the nuts. Besides looking at Isiah, lets also examine George Karl: after letting his ego get in the way with the Bucks, he’s now leading another underachieving team on which two players have thrown (extremely embarrassing) sucker punches.

    As for Nate Robinson, I’ve been very impressed with his composure and general improvement this season. His push was uncalled for and deserving of a foul and maybe an ejection, but J.R. Smith coming back at Nate swinging was when this turned into a brawl. Of course, it was rather embarrassing when Nate caught his fist and then proceeded to body slam him (in self defense mind you).

    I don’t know what to say about Carmelo. It wasn’t just that he punched Collins while his hands were down and ran (one of the more embarrassing things I’ve ever witnessed in professional sports), he also shoved Nate in the face twice, shoved Collins in the face, and threw Channing Frye to the ground, proceeding to stand over him imposingly while Frye kept his composure, put his hands up, and gave Melo a look like “what the hell are you doing?” If Melo doesn’t receive an Artest like suspension I would be very dissapointed. He was certainly running around like a mad man, ala Artest.

  28. There’s a difference between knocking a guy on his ass and commiting a flagrent two. Mardy Collins commited a flagarent, but not a flagrent two. His intentions weren’t to hurt J.R., and thats why he wrapped him up near the floor so he wouldn’t go flying into the stands.

    Nate was admittedly immature with his actions, and deserved to be thrown out, with possibly a five game suspention. Mardy Collins might’ve deserved a 1 game suspention. The rest of the knicks on the floor (David Lee, Channing Frye, Jared Jefferies) did absolutely nothing. I don’t have an issue with them being thrown out because it didn’t affect the outcome of the game, but if they get suspensions i will be very upset. Melo probably deserves 8-10 games for his actions, but we are kidding ourselves if we think the NBA’s leading scorer, and part of the big three of ’03 was actually held accountable for his actions.

    George Karl’s players do seem to take cheap shots (Reggie Evans nut shot, Melo’s punch and run), and Isiah probably did tell Mardy to hack JR. I blame the coaches to an extent, but ultimantly it was each player’s personal choice to either be involved (JR, Nate, Melo) or not (David Lee, Channing Frye). They are humans and lose control of themselves the same way somebody with a 5 or 6 figure salary would, but they are also role models. JR, Nate and Melo have all lost respect from this fight, which is more important than their salaries.

  29. “And I never really understand why whenever something like this happens in the NBA the first thing out of peoples mouths is ?spoiled?, ?overpaid?, ?thug?, ?thuggery?, ?unprofessional?, ?disrespectful?, etc. Why don?t we hear this when it happens in baseball? Hockey players fight EVERY SINGLE NIGHT.” Gee, wouldn’t have anything to do with the fact that most NBA players are black and most hockey players are white, would it? No, that’s crazy. There’s no racism in America.

  30. Karl shouldn?t have pulled the classless move of having his starters in that late in the game.

    I’ll say it again– you don’t like getting beat, try playing harder. Period. Crying about getting beat and committing cheap shot fouls just because the better team left their starters in is just weak. The Knicks are atrocious at home– the fans very well know the team stinks. Being petty and playing dirty isn’t going to make anybody “respect” this team.

    If this was a tough, hard-nosed defensive team I could accept it. But they play no defense for 43 minutes, and then get all pissy when they get scored on? Come on. Isiah pulled a Buddy Ryan here, complete with the threat to Anthony before the flagrant happened. It was a punk move by a punk coach.

    If you want a “tough” team, maybe you should avoid filling your roster with the softest players in the NBA. That’s the most surefire way to make sure good teams don’t show you up.

  31. No, it’s not a black and white thing. If Michael Jordan, Magic, or David Robison was involved in a fight I wouldn’t call them a thug. It’s how you present yourself. Nate Robison acts like a thug and needs to go. Larry Brown warned us about Nate’s antics.

  32. Think of it this way, if this was baseball, and the team was down by 15 runs, top of the 9th, and the other team is still bunting to get the runs across, I would expect any pitcher to buzz the next hitter. Is that worse than what Mardy did after JR just pulled off a 360? Nope. Sure they’re running up the score, but stop showboating in the process. Alex is right, it is an unwritten rule.

    All in all, i hope mardy, jared, isiah gets 1-3, JR and nate to get 5-8 and carmelo to get at least 10-15. Fact is, when emotions are high after something like a flagrant foul, you can expect at least some kind of trouble. But sucker punching someone, is something the league, for whatever reason should hope never allow to happen again, because those things are really what would escalate a full scale brawl. Just imagine what if Jared actually got to carmelo.

  33. Mardy’s foul was hard, and probably uncalled for. But I do not blame the brawl on him, in fact it was heartening to see a knick make that kind of statement. The nugs have been layin it up all night, let them sit on their ass.

  34. Man, fuck Mardy Collins. What has this guy done to prove himself that lets him get any sympathy? What cred has he earned that he can draw on from playin 2 minues a game that he absolutely has to pull that flagrant-two BS in the last minute of a game to defend the knicks rep? Guy’s a bad seed and should have no future with the Knicks. If we don’t want to be embarassed by teams in the last minute we should WIN THE DAMN GAMES AND PLAY SOME DEFENSE.

    Also Carmelo is a coward and will never fully live this down. His reputation as a fugazi is going to be floating around for the rest of his career. Oh, I’m sorry did I just snitch on the guy? I really should stop that.

  35. That’s classic. The Knicks don’t want to be disrespected in their own house.

    Get rid of the malcontents and acquire guys who love playing basketball – the type that would play even if they weren’t getting paid.

  36. I remember when the no-lay-up rule was staple to Knick’s basketball. Remember the John starks headbutt, and there was no way Charles Oakley allowed you to stroll down the lane. And the Collins foul wasn’t as bad as any of the “old school” Knick fouls were.

    What took place after the foul was unexceptable by all involved. You don’t see that type of action or reaction on the street courts because there aren’t any security guards on the court to keep you from getting killed.

    I miss the days when a team would come into the Garden and fear driving the lane. We did this with a great defensive team, but still let you know that the lane had a toll and you will pay the price to drive this lane.

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