The New York Knicks Suck

It’s almost 9:20. Larry Brown has gotten ejected from the game. I don’t blame him. I wouldn’t want to watch this game either.

The Knicks are down by 20 in the middle of the 3rd quarter. After tonight, they’ll only have won 1 of their last 10 games. Kobe Bryant is walking all over the court. I don’t blame the refs for not calling travelling. I don’t want this game to continue either.

This comes after an embarassing loss to the Atlanta Hawks. The last time the Hawks were good was 1998. In 1998, Iverson was only in his second year. Prior to the Hawks, the Knicks lost to the Sixers. Without Iverson.

It’s almost 9:40. They’re down by 30 points in the fourth. Tonight the Knicks have been unbearable to watch. In fact for over a month and a half, the Knicks have been unbearable to watch. It’s sad that the Knicks don’t even have some draft picks to make this season worthwhile.

I don’t know what else to write.

Babcock Loses Job

Toronto GM Rob Babcock was fired today, and it’s ironic that his former team is not even in last place in their division. The Knicks are below the Raptors in winning percentage, but somehow the Knicks are actually ahead in the “games behind” column. Unlike the Knicks, the Raptors don’t have the luxury of the league’s biggest payroll. Nor do they have a shoe-in hall of fame coach roaming their sidelines. They don’t have the advantage of being one of the biggest sports market in the US. Toronto has to recruit athletes for a winter sport in one of the colder cities in the league. Hell they don’t even collect the American dollar at the gates. And as of today, they’re still doing better than the Knicks.

Since Toronto has opened up the can of worms on firing GMs, I’d like to broach the topic on whether the Knicks should keep Isiah? Right now he’s put together a dubious roster that even Larry Brown can’t get to win more a third of their games. The only thing worse than Isiah’s judgment on NBA talent might be his understanding of the NBA’s salary cap. Just like the team Isiah has inherited, the Knicks lead the league in salary while remaining south of the .500 mark.

Thomas’ strength is his uncanny ability to spot talent in the draft, but he’s traded the next two Knick first round picks. The traded draft picks mean that Isiah won’t be able to use his greatest trait, but it also means he’s removed his second best trait. Look at the Knicks roster & ask who are the Knicks best assets? Personally I would choose Marbury, Frye, Curry, Crawford, Lee, Davis, and Ariza. All of those players except for Crawford were either drafted by the Knicks or acquired with draft picks. Marbury cost the Knicks their 2004 pick, a future 1st round pick, and the 30th pick in the 2003 draft (Maciej Lampe). Curry and Davis came to New York for the Knicks 2006 first rounder, the option to swap 2007 first rounders, two second rounders, and the 9th overall pick in 2003 (Mike Sweetney). Isiah’s track record sans drafting and using picks as bait has been unimpressive. Of his 8 trades, only 3 didn’t have the Knicks shipping away a draft pick, the inconsequential Weatherspoon/Norris swap, the controversial Nazr to the Spurs, and the ‘decision still pending’ Crawford deal. Free agency hasn’t been kind to Isiah either. Reclamation projects like Baker, Woods, and Butler have yet to bear any fruit. Even when given a little money to spend on free agents Thomas has gaffed with the knee slapping, side splitting (to everyone but Knick fans) 5 year deal to Jerome James.

Let’s stop for a second & think about this more objectively. Imagine we can clone the Knicks’ franchise, with everything remaining the same except they don’t have a GM. You’re the owner of a franchise with some promising young players that has mortgaged a bunch of its future draft picks and has the worst salary cap situation in sports. Would you hire a GM who has been successful in drafting players, trading draft picks, and has shown no ability in being able to reduce the salary cap? If the Bulls can turn it around in 2007 with a pair of first rounders and a load of capspace, the Knicks will only see one mid (Bulls ’07) and one late (Spurs ’06) first round pick so they won’t be able to take advantage of Isiah Thomas’ draft wizardry. Additionally, without those future draft picks, Isiah won’t be able to use his second favorite tactic: dangling picks in front of other teams looking to unload players (Marbury, Curry) that they’ve soured on.

Take a look at Isiah Thomas’ track record. Outside of the draft, Isiah’s acquisitions have been risky gambles. Some have turned out reasonably well (Nazr Mohammed, Jamal Crawford) while others have gone from harmless wastes of time (Vin Baker, Tim Thomas, Qyntel Woods) to the downright bad (Jerome James, Quentin Richardson, Malik Rose, Penny Hardaway). The rest are muddled with cap and trade implications (Eddy Curry, Stephon Marbury) that make it hard to judge whether or not they were worth it. In baseball terms Isiah Thomas might be a Dave Kingman, Rob Deer, or Pete Incaviglia. Someone that hits for a low average, but is always swinging for the fences. Continuing the metaphor, the Knicks have a runner on third with two outs in the ninth inning of a tie game. In this situation, Isiah Thomas is not the man you want at the plate. I’d rather have a slap hitter that can get that run home, than the guy who is going to strike out trying to put two on the scoreboard. Translating back to basketball, today’s New York Knicks need a guy that can dump some salary and grab some useful guys that can fill the rotation. As far as I’m concerned, Isiah Thomas has shown he’s not that guy.

Life Without Marbury

And you thought the Knicks’ season couldn’t get any worse? The Knicks 6 game win streak ended when the hapless Raptors crushed them by 29 points on Sunday. Then New York lost to the Minnesota Timberwolves. At home. On Martin Luther King Day. Although the loss was their 22nd of the season, the worst aspect of it was the injury Stephon Marbury suffered. The early reports are that Stephon will likely miss the next 5 games due to a shoulder injury. While Marbury has been a lightning rod to those looking for an individual player to blame the Knicks recent woes on, it’s indisputable that he’s the best player on the team. Nate Robinson and Jamal Crawford will try to fill the hole left by Marbury, but their absence will leave another hole for someone else to fill. To be successful in this stretch, the Knicks will need another guard to step up & produce.

Quentin Richardson

Richardson showed some life in the Knicks last game, but on the season he’s been as dependable as a newborn puppy dog on a white couch. Injuries have kept Quentin out of the preseason, and his back has kept him out of a handful of games this year. Q is shooting an appalling 41% eFG%, way below his 48% career mark. He’s scoring at a rate of 11.5pts/40min, which places him behind granite statue Jerome James & troubled child Qyntel Woods. With Marbury out and the trade deadline a month away, now would be an ideal time for Richardson to snap out of his season long coma.

Qyntel Woods

At one point in his career, Woods was considered a decent prospect. NBADraft.Net heaped praise upon praise on Qyntel comparing him favorably to Tracy McGrady. Meanwhile the USAToday said he was good enough to possibly go 3rd overall in the 2002 draft. Woods played reasonably well his first year in Portland, posting a 11.2 PER as a 21 year old rookie. However that was the high point in his career. Portland released him after a turbulent sophomore season, and Miami sent him packing after a 3 game tryout. While Woods’ physical ability is intriguing, he’s regressed since his first year and time is running out on the 24 year old. It isn’t often that players get more than 3 chances to make it in this league, and Woods could extend his NBA life with a productive 5 games.

Penny Hardaway

Hardaway has been on the disabled list since December with an injured knee, which is the NBA’s version of “nudge-nudge, wink-wink, say no more!” If Penny is interested in rejoining the NBA as a player, now might be a good time to do so. Unlike the two mentioned above, Hardaway has had experience running the point, which could aid the Knicks since Robinson is more of a shooting guard. Penny can still play some defense on the perimeter & has good court vision with the ball. Unfortunately he suffers from Lavor Postell‘s syndrome: he can’t shoot a lick & doesn’t know it. Penny’s career eFG% as a Knick is 44.6%, which is 10 points lower than his heyday in Orlando. If Hardaway is given the opportunity, he should do a December 30th Scott Skiles impersonation & set up his teammates as much as possible.

Trevor Ariza

Although more of a small forward, Ariza is agile enough to play shooting guard as well. Last year he was the lone bright spot on the team, but this year he’s been the forgotten man in Larry Brown’s rotation. His problem is simple, he’s a liability on offense. According to 82games, Ariza is connecting on only 26% of his jump shots. While Brown has no problem putting players on the court out of position (see Lee, David – starting small forward) he doesn’t like having a black hole on offense. Remember this is the same coach who took Ben “my offensive game should be limited to tip ins and alley oops” Wallace, and encouraged him to shoot more. Ariza becomes the dark horse candidate to contribute more, because his main focus is defense and the Knicks will need more offense with Marbury out.

Lucky to get out alive?

[Today’s article comes from guest blogger Gabe Farkas. Gabe is a contributor on the APBRmetrics discussion boards, a native New Yorker, an avid Knicks fan, and he won’t be upset if (when) you disagree with him. Gabe is also currently pursuing a MA in Statistics from Columbia University.]

?Best win of the year? is how Walt Frazier described last night?s come-from-behind victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers during the post-game recap.

?Lucky that LeBron went cold at the right time? is how I?d be more inclined to phrase it.

Most of the talking heads last night and this morning attributed the win to the Knicks becoming ?defensive monsters in the fourth? and Jamal Crawford?s 26 point effort off the bench.

I beg to differ just a little bit. The Knicks managed to escape Cleveland with a win despite still exhibiting all the inconsistencies that Larry Brown was supposedly brought in to correct. We?ve all seen this self-combusting behavior once too often recently. Don’t get me wrong; I’m happy to see the Knicks win a come-from-behind game, and I thought at times their defense was ever-so-slightly reminiscent of the team circa 1994. On top of that, Stephon Marbury is finally learning how to play under Brown’s style. But, the team wasn’t without its faults. I kept a running log of the game, and I?m feeling frisky enough to break out some highlights (and lowlights) for analysis and discussion:

First Quarter

With about 7:30 left in the quarter, Jerome James was already in foul trouble, and the Cavs were off to a 13-3 start. A minute later, Jamal Crawford launched the first of what would be many long jumpers during the game.

A little past midway through the quarter, Crawford dished to Quentin Richardson who hit a 3-pointer to bring the score to 13-8. Normally this is no big deal, considering that Q-Rich led the league in 3?s made and attempted last year, but what?s interesting to note was that he did it with LeBron closely guarding him. One might have thought that LBJ considered this a personal affront, since he proceeded to take the Cavs? next three shots down the floor (not counting a missed tip shot by Drew Gooden, whom we?ll get to later), missing a jumper and a lay-in before finally making a driving layup.

In the meantime, Crawford seemed to think he was in a Usage Rate contest with LeBron, continuing to shoot almost every time he touched the ball, and even being called for a carry.

One positive is that it seems Larry Brown has finally convinced the team to at least make an effort on defense, after being ranked 25th last year in Defensive Rating. This is especially true for Mo ?Allergic to Rebounds? Taylor, who drew a charge on Ira Newble with 30 seconds left in the quarter.

The other bright spot in the quarter was Channing Frye, who hit his 3rd jumper of the game with 3 seconds left, bringing the Knicks to within 3. Channing has been coming on strong of late, and is shooting 74% from the field in January coming into the game.

Second Quarter

With 9:40 left in the quarter and Cleveland maintaining their lead 28-24, LeBron finally comes out for a rest, and is replaced by Luke Jackson, who virtually defines the term ?Replacement Level Player.? One might think on offense the Knicks might try to exploit Jackson, no? Well, if one thought that, one would be right. Almost immediately, Jamal Crawford hit a jumper with Jackson in his face, followed by Luke coming back down the court and bricking a 12-foot jumper of his own. Larry Brown definitely has the team understanding match-ups better, challenging the seldom-used Jackson right away.

On the other end of the court, Cleveland?s offense sputtered without James on the floor. Around the 8-minute mark, with the shot clock winding down, Luke Jackson passed up a wide open jumper to Eric Snow, who forced up a miss as the shot clock was expiring. In a well-executed fast break that is becoming increasingly common for the team, Marbury nicely finished a lay-in to put the Knicks up by two, prompting a Cleveland timeout.

At this point, with LeBron resting, the only player keeping Cleveland in the game was Drew Gooden. During a 2-3 minute stretch in the first quarter, he had 2 blocks and 4 offensive rebounds. By around halfway through the second quarter, he finished off a fast break to put the Cavs back up by two, and already had 10 points and 9 rebounds.

Crawford continued to force shots, and LeBron hit a jumper on his first touch after coming back in the game, then missed a jumper and began hearing boos. Seriously though Cavs fans, he?s LeBron James ? do you really need to boo every time he misses a contested jumper (although, he was 5-15 at this point)?

With 2:00 left in the quarter, Mo Taylor drew an obvious charge (what would have been his second of the game) against LeBron that wasn?t called, followed by Steph hitting a trademark jumper with help from a Taylor screen, and then Taylor drawing a much-less-obvious charge against Eric Snow. Hmmmm, so there is such a thing as star treatment. Better break out my old VHS from Game 6 of the ?98 Finals.

Breaking down the half, both teams shot poorly (40% for New York, 36% for Cleveland), and didn?t pass effectively (7 assists on 45 FGA for the Knicks, 6 on 44 FGA for the Cavs), although the Knicks held the advantage on the glass, 29 to 22.

Third Quarter

LeBron started off the quarter by hitting 3 quick shots. Suddenly I was worried. Then, Eddy Curry drew a foul on Ilgauskas (his 4th), causing the Cleveland center to head to the bench. After seemingly exploiting match-ups well in the first half, I was wondering if the Knicks could do it again without Cleveland?s defensive presence in the middle.

Well, their next three shots were a driving layup by Nate Robinson, a turn-around in the lane by David Lee, and an impressive stutter-step jumper by Stephon over LeBron. 54-53 Knicks. So far, so good.

But, while Lee has been fairly impressive lately (shooting 88% from the field in January), his inability to deny LeBron the ball and/or keep him from taking easy shots allowed Cleveland to stay in the game. After LBJ nailed another jumper over Lee at around the 5-minute mark for a 62-56 lead, Lee was finally (mercifully) pulled and Q-Rich came back in the game.

However, LeBron went 3-5 for the quarter after the defensive switch, with Cleveland running the same screen play several times in a row due to New York?s inability to successfully defend it. At this point, LBJ seemed to be taking over. The Cavs strung together a 15-3 run, and Jamal Crawford forgot what it means to hold the ball without shooting, although at the time Walt Frazier euphemistically deemed it ?creating havoc.?

72-67, Cleveland after three. For the quarter, LeBron was 6-8 for 14 points. The Knicks still held an edge in rebounds (37 to 31), but also had more turnovers (11 to 8). Surprisingly, Crawford was shooting a respectable 6-13, while LeBron doubled him up, going 13-25 so far in the game and single-handedly keeping his team in front.

Fourth Quarter

Entering the quarter, Eddy Curry was 2-6 from the field, having played only 13 minutes, despite Zydrunas Ilgauskas sitting most of the 3rd quarter. The Knicks went to Curry early, and he responded by hitting his first three shots of the fourth quarter, even posting up Ilgauskas and calling for the ball the third time around, receiving a nice entry pass from Nate Robinson.

Speaking of Robinson, this seems like a good time to touch on the Knicks substitution patterns. Although their substitutions have been somewhat perplexing all year, Larry Brown seems to be settling in on a steady rotation. One thing that I?ve noticed is that he likes to sub Nate for Steph fairly early in quarters, and then bring Marbury back in with plenty of time left. Tonight was no exception, as Nate entered the game with 10 minutes remaining, assisted on an aforementioned Eddy Curry shot, and then went back to the bench at the 8:21 mark.

Midway through the quarter both teams hit a lull in offensive productivity. For Cleveland, it was a case of LeBron going cold, and only Mike Wilks? first 3-pointer of the season saved them from being scoreless for a stretch of over 5 minutes. For New York, the ineptitude was a group activity, with Frye, Curry, Marbury, and (especially) Jamal Crawford all participating.

With his shot struggling, LBJ still managed to impact the game through his defense, forcing a bad pass turnover from Crawford to Q-Rich on a potential fast break opportunity by cutting off the passing angle. In fact, LeBron didn?t score his 2nd point of the quarter until making the first of two free throws with less than 4 minutes to go in the game, and the Knicks having reclaimed the lead 83-82. Q-Rich was doing a much better job containing LeBron than David Lee, but the team as a whole was communicating and utilizing help defense adroitly to contain James.

Channing Frye capped off a 10-1 run with another jumper with 3 minutes left, giving the Knicks a 5-point lead, and making New York 7-16 from the field in the quarter, compared to 3-14 for Cleveland. Apparently, as LeBron goes, so do the Cavs.

The only player keeping the game close for Cleveland was Drew Gooden. During the next Knicks possession, Frye was stripped on a dribble-drive by Gooden, but luckily got the ball back and was fouled. This forced the Knicks to in-bound the ball with only 3 seconds left on the shot clock, and Gooden pulled down the rebound after you-can-guess-who missed a hastily-shot layup (Hint: _amal _raw_ord).

However, it was too little, too late for the Cavs, who were outscored 25-12 in the 4th quarter. LeBron was 1-6 in the fourth, his only field goal a meaningless layup with 17 seconds left and the game already decided.

Final score: 92-84 New York

Game Breakdown

As I mentioned at the beginning, Jamal Crawford?s 26 point, 10 rebound, 4 assist effort was considered by many as stat line of the night. However, what you?re not seeing are the 4 turnovers (a team high), no steals, and 9-21 shooting (42%, decent but not great). In fact, if you use the “Game Score” version of John Hollinger’s PER, as outlined in his Pro Basketball Forecast, Crawford?s output didn?t pace his team:

Name GameScore

New York
S. Marbury 20.7
J. Crawford 16.3
C. Frye 9.7
E. Curry 5.1
N. Robinson 3.6
Q. Richardson 3.2
D. Lee 2.2
A. Davis 1.2
M. Taylor 1.2
J. James -1.6

L. James 25.4
D. Gooden 13.4
D. Marshall 5.8
Z. Ilgauskas 3.9
M. Wilks 1.7
I. Newble 1.2
A. Henderson 0.1
E. Snow -0.2
L. Jackson -0.7
D. Jones -2.3

Marbury seems to be finding his groove lately, and this game was no exception. Shooting 8-12 from the field and 6-6 from the line, he scored 22 points, and had 5 rebounds, 5 assists, and only 1 turnover in 43 minutes. For whatever you?ve read about Stephon?s proverbial head-butting with Larry Brown, he?s still the best player on his team and his production is closely linked to the Knicks? success as a team.

For Cleveland, it was the LeBron show and not much else. His 36 points were one less than the next three Cavs combined, and his 7 rebounds, 7 assists, and only 1 turnover were also impressive. Gooden?s rebounding (he led all players with 12) and Donyell Marshall?s 3-pointers were the only other numbers in Cleveland?s box score worth mentioning. Fortunately for the Knicks, a team defensive effort (with noteworthy man-to-man defense by Q-Rich) was able to keep LeBron in check in the fourth quarter while the offense mounted a comeback. Perhaps it?s a clich? at this point, but I saw shades of MJ circa ?88 in LeBron during this game.

Despite the victory, the Knicks still displayed some of the inconsistencies and poor decision-making that have plagued them throughout the year. Call me jaded, but I?m not ready to celebrate unabashedly after one win. That said, there were definitely a few positives to take away from the game:

– the Knicks made a concerted effort to stop LeBron from penetrating as much as possible, forcing him to settle for jumpers, demonstrating their renewed efforts on defense
– Jerome James getting to the free throw line early, after going only 5-10 all year (!)
– seeing all 3 Knicks rookies on the floor at the same time for a decent stretch of the 2nd quarter (the positive outpouring from Robinson, Frye, and Lee deserves a column all to itself)

A Few Reasons 2006 Will Be Better for the Knicks

[Today’s article comes from David Crockett. Dr. Crockett is the lead researcher of optimism at KnickerBlogger.Net industries.]

As poorly as the Knicks have played in spots they really aren?t quite as bad as they look.

In all seriousness, this team should be a bit better than its current 8-21 record (as of January 4th) based on its Pythagorean formula, which projects wins and losses based the two most direct determinants of winning (i.e., how much you score and how much you give up). If I?ve calculated it correctly the Knicks should have between 13 or 14 wins rather than their current 8. [KB’s Note: There are different ways to calculate expected win% using points for/against. David has chosen: g*pf^2.37/(pf^2.37+pa^2.37), while the stat page uses (G*(PTS^14/(PTS^14 + oPTS^14)) which has the Knicks at 10 expected wins.] The difference between actual and projected wins is often referred to as ?luck,? or perhaps more precisely the difference is in little things less directly related to winning than scoring or defense. Often, whether those little things go in your favor can be pretty random. (A good example from football is recovering fumbled balls. Jumping on a lose football is pretty much a 50-50 proposition but it can have a huge impact on winning or losing a game. Over time it evens out but it at a given moment it can really hurt or really help.)

Of course ?coulda, shoulda, woulda? is the sad lullaby of losers. Still, it is hard to deny that in addition to a number of completely self-inflicted wounds the Knicks have also been genuinely unlucky in the early part of the season. They?ve played a ton of road games against a killer schedule.

What can the Knicks build on in the New Year?

The Schedule Gets Kinder. Through November and December the Knicks spent a lot of time on the road. In those two months the team had only four sets of consecutive home dates. One negative impact of playing so much on the road is lost practice time spent traveling. January will mark the first month where the Knicks will play the majority of their games at home. They will have four sets of consecutive home dates in January alone. Apart from the crowd noise, the home cooking, and all that jazz, Larry Brown will have the opportunity to practice and teach which should pay some dividends in the spring.

Of course the cynic in me responds that with all the time the fans at MSG spend booing them the road may not be so bad for the Knicks. Certainly, the Knicks will be dogs in most of their home dates going forward. Still, for a young team trying to find itself home is probably the best place to be.

The Four Factors (Offense). Any longtime reader of knows that KB?s stat page allows the reader to sort teams by Dean Oliver?s four factors most closely associated with winning (i.e., shooting, turnovers, rebounding, and free throws). Offensively, in two of those areas (rebounding and getting to the free throw line) the Knicks are among the best in the league. Conversely, the Knicks are the highest turnover team in the NBA and in the bottom five in eFG%.

As I alluded to in September (see Question #2) the question of style/tempo would be an interesting one for Larry Brown. Fortunately, he has allowed the Knicks to play the seventh quickest pace in the league at 92.6 possessions per game (Phoenix is 1st at 95.6). Given the makeup of the roster I believe this is the right call. Unfortunately, at this point the Knicks aren?t any more efficient now (103.2) than they were last season (103). But, one could change the framing of that statement and argue that the current Knicks have managed to match the offensive output of last year?s version despite only intermittent production from an out-of-shape and hobbled Curry, an unstable rotation filled with rookie starters, and perhaps most importantly with a knack for getting to the free throw line. So going forward one reason to suspect that the offensive efficiency will improve is that Curry is getting closer to game shape. One reason to suspect that the Knicks will cut down on turnovers is that the rotation is beginning to stabilize. Also, adding David Lee to the starting lineup, even out of position at small forward, brings better ball handling and passing to the frontcourt than Quentin Richardson or Trevor Ariza.

The Four Factors (Defense). Interestingly, the Knicks are also good in two of the four areas on defense. First, the positive. This Knick team forces turnovers. At just over 17 per game the Knicks are 6th in forcing turnovers in the league. It?s easy to overlook this aspect of their game since they give all those back plus some. Also, they currently rank 12th in defensive rebounding (where only 1.1 offensive rebounds allowed per game separates them from #5 San Antonio). The Knicks do a very good job of limiting their opponent?s second shots. Now, the not so good. The Knicks are among the worst in the league at eFG defense, allowing over 50% eFG. Thus, not surprisingly the Knicks are among the most charitable teams in the league sending opponents to the FT line almost 29 times per 100 FGAs.

How can the Knicks improve on defense? Well, for starters they could stop turning the ball over on offense so doggone much. Cutting down on easy baskets won?t turn them into the 2004 Pistons but it could, even with no other improvements, move them out of the bottom quarter of bad eFG defense teams. A quick look at appears to confirm this. The Knicks allow by far the largest percentage of opponent?s shots early in the clock (37% of opponent shots come at 0-10 seconds) and yield the highest eFG (55%) on those attempts. This is most likely the accumulated impact of turnovers and poor transition defense.

Let?s hope for all our sakes that the Knicks have resolved in the New Year to be smarter with the ball, to get back on D, and keep getting to the line. If so, 2006 may be a happy year indeed.

Suns 133 (3OT) Knicks 140

Being a bit under the weather, I was unable to watch the entire Knicks game. Luckily the Knicks outlasted their opponents in triple overtime. It’s probably better that I feel asleep in OT, because I don’t think it would have been good for my health to watch such a tense game.

So I leave it to my readers to make their own discussion here. You can rub in how good any of the overtime quarters were. You can talk about Curry hitting two free throws to send it into OT. Maybe you’d like to discuss Frye’s monsterous dunk, or how to convert mpg into aviator gif’s, since I did capture that on my PVR. I’ll even leave it to you to discuss the suspension of Jerome James. Let’s try to stick to yesterday’s events.