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Saturday, August 2, 2014

2009 Report Card: Eddy Curry

When the Knicks acquired Eddy Curry, he was supposed to be the future of the franchise. Although there were signs that he would never reach that level of play (namely every stat but fg% and pts/36), his size and flashes of scoring lead many to believe in his potential.

In 2009 Eddy Curry had his most disappointing season, playing a grand total of 12 minutes and scoring only 5 points. Immediately after the season ended, Curry vowed to get in shape, and immediately began twittering about his work out regimen. In the weeks since, his private trainer “leaked” that Curry lost 30 pounds, and Eddy appeared before the Knicks brass at the summer league. It appears that Curry is doing what he does best. He appeals to the optimist in Knick fans, while producing almost nothing.

Report Card (5 point scale):
Offense: 1
Defense: 1
Teamwork: 1
Rootability: -87
Performance/Expectations: 1

Grade: F

Similarity Scores:

I’ve decided to look at his 2008 season, since he barely played in 2009.

z-Sum FLName Year Tm PER TS% eFG% PTS ORB TRB AST STL BLK TOV
.000 Eddy Curry 2008 NYK 15.0 .578 .546 18.4 2.6 6.5 0.8 0.3 0.7 3.0
.132 Craig Smith 2009 MIN 16.9 .599 .562 18.4 2.4 7.0 1.9 0.8 0.5 2.6
.161 Mike Jackson 1975 VIR 13.9 .584 .528 17.7 3.3 8.1 1.5 0.8 0.3 3.8
.171 Wayman Tisdale 1990 SAC 18.1 .565 .525 21.5 2.3 7.3 1.3 0.7 0.7 1.9
.172 Hakim Warrick 2008 MEM 16.2 .555 .512 17.5 2.5 7.3 1.1 0.7 0.6 1.7
.184 Armen Gilliam 1990 TOT 16.6 .565 .515 18.9 3.1 8.9 1.5 1.0 0.8 2.7
.184 Othella Harrington 1999 HOU 16.1 .559 .513 15.9 2.9 9.8 0.6 0.2 1.0 2.4
.185 Zan Tabak 1996 TOR 12.4 .554 .543 13.9 3.2 8.6 1.7 0.6 0.8 2.7
.196 Orlando Woolridge 1985 CHI 19.5 .608 .554 22.6 2.0 5.6 1.7 0.7 0.5 2.3
.198 Frank Card 1970 WSA 15.3 .556 .528 17.4 3.1 9.5 1.8     2.9
.198 Ike Diogu 2009 TOT 20.3 .611 .534 19.9 4.4 9.4 0.5 0.5 0.5 2.0

All of these players are 6-9 or shorter, except for 7 footer Zan Tabak. Curry is 6-11, but plays small due to his lack of rebounding & blocked shots. In this list Curry is the second worst rebounder, the worst passer, and second worst at coughing up the ball. There aren’t a lot of good players on this list, which speaks volumes for those aspects of Curry’s game. [And yes, Virginia had an ABA team.]

For fun I ran the similarity scores for Eddy Curry in 2005, his last year as a Bull. For irony’s sake I’ve included the 11th person. (Note Ike Diogu’s 2006′s season is the most similar to Curry, but I excluded it because in 2005 it wouldn’t have happened yet.) Not a whole lot of franchise centers here.

z-Sum FLName Year Tm PER TS% eFG% PTS ORB TRB AST STL BLK TOV
.000 Eddy Curry 2005 CHI 16.3 .583 .538 20.2 2.3 6.7 0.7 0.4 1.2 3.2
.132 Bill Cartwright 1980 NYK 17.9 .608 .547 20.4 2.2 8.3 1.9 0.5 1.2 2.5
.152 Lorenzo Charles 1986 ATL 11.5 .587 .557 16.1 1.7 5.1 1.1 0.3 0.8 2.4
.170 Tom Chambers 1982 SDC 15.0 .553 .525 18.7 2.8 7.5 2.0 0.8 0.6 3.0
.183 Rasheed Wallace 1997 POR 18.4 .588 .565 17.8 2.3 8.0 1.4 0.9 1.1 2.2
.184 Joe Barry Carroll 1981 GSW 16.4 .534 .491 19.1 3.4 9.4 1.4 0.6 1.5 3.0
.200 Tim McCormick 1985 SEA 14.7 .606 .557 16.5 3.3 9.0 1.8 0.4 0.7 2.6
.209 Gary Trent 1997 POR 16.8 .569 .536 16.6 2.9 8.0 1.6 0.9 0.7 2.4
.214 Eric White 1988 LAC 15.2 .597 .536 18.2 3.2 6.3 0.9 0.7 0.3 2.1
.222 Walter Berry 1987 TOT 16.8 .561 .531 22.7 3.1 7.0 2.4 0.9 0.9 3.5
.224 John Wallace 1997 NYK 13.0 .571 .521 14.9 2.3 7.1 1.7 1.0 1.1 3.5
.229 Mike Sweetney 2005 NYK 16.4 .592 .531 15.5 4.0 10.0 1.0 0.6 0.7 2.6

73 comments on “2009 Report Card: Eddy Curry

  1. Kikuchiyo

    Sure, sure, sure. It all makes sense.

    Still, I find Eddy strangely root-for-able, in some ways. Not -87; more like -30, or maybe even 2.

    More research needs to be done on the question of how bad Zach Randolph is for teams. Maybe we’ll find out this year. Eddy seemed fairly comfortable (offensively) in 06-07. And I actually liked to watch him score. Z-Bo changed everything. And, personally, Eddy had one of the worst years a human being can have. I’ll give him a chance or two.

    What Curry needs is a HOF power forward to do all his rebounding, shot-blocking, and intimidating. And maybe a HOF point guard to get him the ball. Perhaps an all-star shooting guard to spread the floor. And, yeah, about 30-40 fewer pounds on his body.

    But, given that, he’d be a beast!

  2. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Sometime after his young daughter died, I began to feel for Eddy Curry. It’s not his fault that the Players’ Association guarantees contracts from inept FOs to terrible players. It was a terrible 2008 for Eddy Curry, to be sure.

  3. cavjam

    Isn’t there hypnotherapy which would compel Eddie to see the basket as a plate of ribs? Seems the only way there’ll ever be passion in attacking the rim.

  4. nickatnight

    “What Curry needs is a HOF power forward to do all his rebounding, shot-blocking, and intimidating. And maybe a HOF point guard to get him the ball. Perhaps an all-star shooting guard to spread the floor. And, yeah, about 30-40 fewer pounds on his body.”

    LMAO.

    If the Knicks had all that, we wouldn’t have to worry about 2010 cap space and the fact that no one wants Eddy’s salary. We could make Eddy the mascot for two years and still make the playoffs. ;-)

  5. Brian Cronin

    Great analysis, Mike, although I would agree with Kikuchiyo that it’s not that hard to root for Curry – the dude did have a pretty darn rough year last year in his personal life and seemed to handle it pretty well.

    And he doesn’t seem to be a jerk (his former assistant’s comments notwithstanding).

    I’m not saying that he’s easy to root for (he’s not), but I could see not actively rooting against the guy.

  6. Reebok1303

    Off topic, but frankly talking about Eddy Curry puts me in a sour mood anyway….

    Nash has officially agreed to an extension in Phoenix for 2 yrs @ 11 mil each. http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=4341269

    This leaves the likes of Luke Ridnour, Derek Fisher, Rafer Alston, Shaun Livingston, Anthony Johnson, J.J. Barea, Travis Diener, T.J. Ford, Steve Blake, Chucky Atkins, Eddie House, and Mike James as the unrestricted fa pg’s in the much ballyhooed FA class of 2010 – which means, without a draft pick next year, we might be best off just resigning Duhon….

    Also, for what it’s worth, Rondo, Lowry, Mario Chalmers, Sergio Rodriguez, Jordan Farmar, Speedy Claxton, and our hero Mardy Collins are all restricted fa’s.

    I guess this explains the thinking behind as possible Sessions signing. I would have loved Kidd here in NY, and signing Rondo next off season is only slightly more likely than getting LBJ, so it looks like the clear third, and much more likely, option has to be Sessions.

  7. Mike Kurylo Post author

    Knick fans *have* to root for the guy at this point. His contract is the key to 2010. Without a healthy & scoring Curry, we’re stuck with him & the specter of the past.

  8. Vittorio De Zen

    Great piece. Probably one of the funniest Eddy Curry articles I’ve read, if only because the jokes are so easy at this point. Straight up facts and analysis show all that you need to know in this case, heh.

  9. Frank O.

    The only way the knicks are going to get a guard is through a trade. And we don’t have much to offer.
    I don’t the MLE is going to get Sessions.

    I’m spending most of my good hopes on the Knicks shedding contracts. There are nice to haves and likelihoods, but the only certainty for the knicks is that they need to lose some contracts and keep the team reasonably competitive while doing so.

    I expect Jeffries and Curry will get a bunch of minutes early in the season, in situations where their productivity is significantly boosted, and then the Knicks will trade them for expiring contracts and lesser players, very much like they moved Randolph and Crawford.
    Funny how both didn’t stick even a calendar year with their new teams.

  10. cgreene

    I am very down on the team and the game plan right now. Someone cheer me up. Curry just does not have the mental makeup to play in the NBA. We all know it. Maybe D’Antoni can get his numbers up a little and he will be “in shape” but no one’s gonna want him at $12M going into the big FA market. We haven’t signed our best player or, frankly, our second best player from last season. We have no 2010 pick. I am usually the optimist but if Ramon Sessions is what is getting us excited then…

  11. Reebok1303

    I am also a believer in WOW and according to this http://www.wagesofwins.com/Top152009.html Sessions doesn’t look like a terrible guy to grab, considering he is 23 and should still be improving, would be the cheapest of those pg’s to lock up long term, and is relatively easy to acquire.

  12. cgreene

    I appreciate the link. Nice analysis. Ok so let’s say I can get excited by Sessions. What is he worth? Full MLE for 4-5 years as SSoM suggests? Do we eat into the 2010 cap for that? I don’t see Mil wanting Lee in an S&T at his ask and I don’t see Lee agreeing to go to Milwaukee at below his ask. S&T for Mobley’s expiring/insured? Don’t we think the Bucks match an offer sheet? This all is watering down my enthusiasm. Plus the longer he sits there the more teams will take a peak. Portland? They want a true point. Why aren’t they doing anything?

    The other thing that has me pessimistic is the amount of stock we are putting in Gallo becoming a star. People on this blog are talking about him like there’s a legit chance he could have Dirk-esque impact (albeit with a different game). Really?? Lot to put on the back (pun def intended) of the 20 year old Italian with 28 games under his belt.

  13. Thomas B.

    Nice work..comparable to Sweetney. Is that good or bad? I think bad since if we just kept Sweetney we would not have lost those two picks and futher ruined the cap.

    I think you kinda have to root for Curry. To me Curry is that big, dull kid, playing little league whose divorced dad comes to his games and yells at him for dropping that routine fly ball. The kid with terrible acne, his mouth always agape, and his swing always coming at least two seconds after the ump calls “strike.” The poor kid has so little going for him that you root for him out of sheer pity. He is not a bad kid, he could be decent if someone could reach him although you suspect no person ever will. But you root for him because he reminds you of the loser in you, the one you put to bed when you found your nitch, when you found a little success.

    With all the Eddy lost this year, it would have been easy for him to quit. To come into camp 75 pounds to heavy. But he is trying, and as long as he does, I’ll root for him.

  14. d-mar

    ESPN is reporting that Q is heading to Minnesota in a trade involving Telfair and a bunch of other stiffs. So he’s been traded 3 times in about a month; if I were Q I would stick to month-to-month lease commitments. Can you imagine the conversations with his wife -

    “Uh, honey, I’ve got some news…”

    “Oh no you did NOT get traded again!!”

  15. Frank

    I root for Curry also, mostly because I see a lot of myself in him when I watch him play basketball. This is not a good thing.

    I’m a terrible basketball player, but I am made worse by the fact that I’m really a watcher — ie. when the ball goes up and bounces around the rim, I think to myself “Wow, someone should go get that rebound”. And then I watch someone else on the court, who, while I’m thinking that, is thinking “MY BALL” as he rips it away from someone else.

    Unfortunately, I get that same feeling about Eddy — that unless provoked, he’s just a watcher. I think it’s probably ok to do that if you’re Chris Duhon, but if you’re the man in the middle being asked to clean the glass, it’s definitely not ok.

    And I’m not sure if that’s something you can teach.

    That’s why I like what little I’ve seen from Jordan Hill so far — he at least seems to have that “MY BALL” mentality.

    Meanwhile, I feel for Q — to go from NY –> Memphis is bad enough, but then to get rescued by LA… and then get traded to Minnesota. Ouch.

  16. Frank O.

    Have you noticed how most of the league views Knicks players?
    I mean, Q was considered a leader on the Knicks…
    Which I always thought was ridiculous.
    And now he’s a piece, doomed for the rest of his career to be that salary that rounds out a trade.
    Sad, really, because he’s supposed to be in his prime.
    He was getting injured, I think, in part, due to the extra weight he was running with…

  17. Ted Nelson

    I would be happy if the Knicks sign Sessions and the Bucks don’t match (not so much if the Knicks take back Gadzuric in a S&T, unless they move Jeffries or something). I’m not as enamored with him as some Knickerblogger posters, because he has absolutely no jumper and is just not a scorer. If he can continue to produce as he has been and become at least a mediocre outside shooter, though, he could be a good piece for the Knicks and/or a good trade chip at $6 mill per.

    In a way he reminds me of Jamal Crawford: all he has to do is develop consistency on his jumper… still waiting. He is a “pure PG” and playmaker though, so the Crawford similarity really isn’t there. Just reminds me of the frustrating years of waiting for Jamal to “get it.” If Sessions plays 2 seasons for the Knicks and is still a miserable shooter then his trade value will be pretty low.

    You’re basically betting on him as a playmaker/defender (Jason Kidd-light so to speak). I haven’t seen much of the Bucks lately, but they were worse defensively with Sessions out there and better with Ridnour… not a good sign. Maybe he becomes a competent scorer, but I don’t think you can bet on it. He and Duhon might complement each other well, leaving Toney Douglas to play the 2. I would mostly be happy to create a trade asset in either Sessions, Duhon, or Douglas.

  18. Ted Nelson

    “Have you noticed how most of the league views Knicks players?”

    I kind of thought that we viewed them the same way…

  19. Frank O.

    Bulls cut Roberson too.

    Ted: Not universally. There is an undercurrent of optimism and hope on this site, which is normal for fans. But some of the hope appears to be a bit desperate, and I’m sure I’m guilty of the same.
    All the hope about Q early last year. All the folks who still argue the Knicks shouldn’t have traded Zach or Crawford.
    And what about that kids who was allegedly a shooter in summer last that the Knicks let go…?

    It just seems like a fair number of folks see some of these folks as way more talented than they were.
    Balkman was another one. He is a piece on another team,and not a big one, but folks adored him here.

    I’m sure I’m being too hard on this, but it just struck me.

  20. Thomas B.

    So Q-Rich is now a blunt? Every GM in the league is taking a hit.

    Walsh: “Yo, you got to hit this.”

    Chris Wallace: “Yeah, I’ll take a hit. Oh this is some good sh*t.”

    Mike Dunleavy: “Word, I’ll hit some of that too.”

    David Kahn: “Mike, why you being a Bogart? Pass it here.”

    * Offered for satircal purposes. Say no to drugs.*

  21. rayhed

    Hey Mike K,

    I’m a huge fan of your analysis and the website, but any time devoted to discussing Eddy Curry is a waste (im in a summer job for college so i got nothing better to do)

  22. cwod

    “All the folks who still argue the Knicks shouldn’t have traded Zach or Crawford.”

    I don’t see too many of those types around here. Check The Post or Daily News.

  23. JoMo

    @ Thomas B,

    The Eddy Curry comparisons to the little leaguer made me incredibly sad. Sad enough that I’m now going to be pulling for him … for at least the first 5 minutes of his playing time this season before i start screaming obscenities at the TV.

    And in regards to your Q analogy, i believe the dialog would go something more like:

    Walsh: “Hey, this went out and i dont have a lighter. Nor do I even want to invest any energy in trying to find one, so you guys can have a go at this if you like. And if even if you get it lit, I must warn you that there’s a lot of dust in there because i found that shit underneath my dresser while i was cleaning.”

    but yes, say no to drugs.

    Not to be a pessimist, because I tend to be overly optimistic about any and all moves since isiah’s removal, but things are definitely not looking up. I second all of cgreene’s comments in that we’re REALLY banking on 2010 without having any semblance of successful moves in free agency thus far, the lowering cap, and the hope that gallo’s injury isn’t seriously debilitating down the road. I mean, we picked up Hill and Douglas in this draft – but we also got darko and are now pursuing another PG. Where are the talks of acquiring a solid 2 (really dont think chandler fits that mold)?

    I dunno, i just get the feeling that next summer will end with everyone collectively slapping their foreheads in frustration, or everyone shrugging in resignation when we land a single decent player, still rendering mediocre.

  24. cwod

    When we snag Joe Johnson next off season, that’s when I stop following the Knicks.

    I might not be a basketball fan in a year. That’s a scary thought.

  25. Z

    Four teams in three weeks. Not bad. Not even Tim Thomas has managed that.

    As for Curry, sure he’s had a rough year which makes one tend to want to give him a pass on rootability and other basketball grades, but the murders, the foreclosures, and the allegations of homosexual harassment and antisemitism all happened AFTER he showed up to work out of shape, squished a medicine ball when he sat on it, and saw less court time than Jerome James.

    Totally agree with KB’s assessment. (Except the performance/expectations grade. I think most people expected him to suck, and he did. I’d say that’s worth at least a two).

  26. Frank O.

    ESPN is teasing an insider story saying sessions to Knicks. anyone ableto see that story? I’m not in…

  27. Frank O.

    Dan D’Antoni says Sessions is great at keeping a flow to the game. Says he is hard to rattle.
    Says he could improve his shot from 15 to 18 feet andif he can expand out to 3pt, there is no reason would couldn’t be in the same conversation as Chris Paul.
    Says he mans up well on D, but noted he can be a bit of a floater.

    Dan D’Antoni in general seemed very high on Sessions, which means likely his brother is, too.

    He’s a great penetrator, gets to the line well, and is an excellent passer.

    Probably relaying something everyone else has already seen. Didn’t think the Knicks had a shot, til now,so I’m late to the game on him.

  28. Brian Cronin

    ESPN is teasing an insider story saying sessions to Knicks. anyone ableto see that story? I’m not in…

    That tease was a joke – all it was was repeating the standard “Knicks to offer him the MLE” story. That’s it.

    Such a dumb headline.

  29. Ray

    Some of you need to stop whining about the Knicks and stick with your team through good and bad. If such and such happens and you leave the knick boat we wont miss you. Good times are bound to come. Sessions is our man…go get him Donnie.

  30. jon abbey

    “Some of you need to stop whining about the Knicks and stick with your team through good and bad. If such and such happens and you leave the knick boat we wont miss you.”

    there’s no right way or wrong way to root for a team, and the Knicks have earned nothing from us over the last decade except condescension and waiting for the inevitable other shoe to drop. “good times are bound to come”, but we may all be dead of old age first.

  31. cwod

    “alanhahnKnix can offer Sessions a starting role. Clips can give more $$. (Here we go again). Bux are in love with BJennings enough to move on…”

    So we have a real shot at this guy? Hmm.

  32. d-mar

    Man, if we got Sessions it would make missing out on Kidd and Hill VERY easy to swallow. Then you have a core of Chandler, Gallinari, Sessions and maybe Lee and it gets interesting. The only issue is how is Donnie gonna deal with his agent with a straight face (his name is Chubby Wells-wasn’t he on the Little Rascals?)

  33. Caleb

    Mike D’Antoni himself did an on-cam interview saying nice things about Sessions — apparently he coached him back in AAU ball. I’m sure the Knicks are interested — but it’s hard to see the Bucks not matching the MLE. It would have to be a sign and trade, and not sure how that flies unless Lee is involved… and then does Walsh really consider it? Maybe if the Bucks threw in next year’s draft pick… but then it’s hard to imagine the Bucks taking the expensive route over the cheap one. I guess the Knicks could just make the offer and hope the Bucks are too broke. It’s not like we’re missing out on some other FA. That would probably postpone the big FA moves until 2011… I’m still interested to hear what Walsh meant a few weeks ago when he said he had “something up his sleeve” in terms of clearing cap.

    And I’m not sure why people are so worked up about the summer – last year was the first summer in years we didn’t make an idiotic deal to push the horizon out even further, so we’re ahead of the game, there. I don’t like the Hill pick but it might turn out ok and at least we haven’t made things worse.

  34. jon abbey

    “And I’m not sure why people are so worked up about the summer – last year was the first summer in years we didn’t make an idiotic deal to push the horizon out even further, so we’re ahead of the game, there. I don’t like the Hill pick but it might turn out ok and at least we haven’t made things worse.”

    this is not a high enough bar, especially with no first round pick next year. with the cap constraints, this draft was maybe our best opportunity to add assets in this entire three year cycle, and Walsh seemingly butchered it badly, hence the anger

  35. Thomas B.

    @ Jomo,

    Howling laughter at that. The inability to get Q lit or keep him lit for more than 5 games a year is a much funnier discussion.

  36. Mike Kurylo Post author

    If the summer is getting you down, check out the Knicks section of this power ranking: http://thehoopdoctors.com/online2/2009/07/summer-2009-nba-power-rankings/ – The author uses his “eager eye for sports” to give some good insight on the Knicks.

    By the way, does an “eager eye” mean that it doesn’t stay fixated on one thing for a long time? Perhaps an eager eye is one that turns the television on 2 hours before game time in anticipation?

  37. Caleb

    Yeah, don’t get me wrong – the season looks bleak. The Jazz are probably getting a top-5 pick, unless Gallinari is way, way ahead of schedule. I’m just saying we sort of knew this year was a lost cause anyway… I lobbied for Lawson at #8, too (how could they ignore us?) but more likely than not there was no one at #8 who would have been a game-changer. You’ve got to stockpile young, cheap players but the draft itself is overrated – once you get your financial house in order you find yourself with all kinds of options — and we seem to be on the way.

  38. JoMo

    I think I’m more disappointed because I thought Hill was drafted as a trade-able asset, and then I watched him play and said “oh god, no one is going to want this guy (at this stage anyway).”

    Caleb, I agree about this summer being a modern rarity in that we didn’t push the horizon further away, but I have to agree with Jon Abbey in that that sets the bar way too low for any sports franchise. I think there’s some kind of clever euphamism that revolves around someone taking 3 lbs of shit out of 5 lb bucket and is still left with 2 lbs of shit, and that stinks.

    Of course not all is lost. If Gallo’s development is even *slightly* ahead of schedule, that means we now have a player who can give us 25-30min a night, that actually has a well-rounded basketball IQ – and that alone, in conjunction with his terrific shooting – should make us a great deal better.

    Plus, I feel like I’m the only one holding onto the desperate optimism that Darko is going to redefine his career this year. At the very least we picked up SOMEONE who will make players at least remotely wary about driving to the basket – outside of the concern that eddy curry might in fact eat them whole, much like a blue whale eating 4 tons of krill.

  39. Frank

    “Yeah, don’t get me wrong – the season looks bleak. The Jazz are probably getting a top-5 pick, unless Gallinari is way, way ahead of schedule.”

    Do you really think so? We changed over just about our entire roster last year in the 1st year of a new system and still ended up only as the 8th worst team. And we were 14-14 with Gallinari playing at 50% with a bad back. Wilson has another year under his belt. Gallinari will presumably be healthy. Our biggest weakness (amongst many), which was inside defense, will hopefully be better with many more big bodies inside. Duhon presumably will not be asked to play 43 min/game and so hopefully won’t break down later in the season. Granted, a lot depends on what happens with Nate and Lee, but I would be horrified if we were worse this coming year than we were in 2008-2009. I don’t think we’ll make the playoffs but I think we’ll contend for the #8 at least.

  40. Caleb

    if we re-sign Lee and Robinson…

    PG is about the same.

    SG is the same or worse, since Crawford won’t be around for 20 games.

    SF should be better, with Chandler, and maybe a lot better depending what happens with Gallo.

    Lee is always the same.

    The other bigs – IMO Hill, Milicic and maybe Curry is a modest upgrade over Jeffries and no one. Pathetic, I know.

    So basically you’ve got the same team, with some upside in Chandler and Gallo. On the downside, we’re probably trying to trade rotation players (Harrington, Duhon, Hughes) for future picks. At least I hope we’re trying! But short-term that doesn’t help.

    Looks like a 35 win team to me, pending trades. And if Lee is gone, that’s <25.

  41. Caleb

    I mean, if everything went right… re-signing our FAs… Chandler and Gallo making big strides… Hill being an actual player… no major injuries… I could see the Knicks hitting .500.

  42. Frank

    Did you just say SG is the same or WORSE since CRAWFORD won’t be around for 20 games? I seem to remember a lot of “addition by subtraction” posts around the time Crawford and Randolph were sent packing.

    I think PG will be stronger this year between a more rested Duhon and maybe 10 min/game from Douglas. Obviously we’ll be better if we sign Sessions.

    I think SG will be the same or better, since Hughes similarly puts up terrible shots but at least plays defense. Nate being gone will hurt though.

    I think SF will be much better with Chandler having another year under his belt and Gallinari actually being healthy. And we’ll have Harrington for a full year rather than 2/3 of a season or whatever it was.

    PF obviously depends on whether or not DLee is back. I hope he is. I assume Gallo and Harrington will play some time here as well. Hill maybe 10-15 min/game?

    C can’t be worse can it? DLee can play PF rather than be undersized all the time. Jefferies won’t be injured for a big part of the year hopefully.

    I dunno – I think the worst (but unfortunately most likely) scenario I can envision is that we end up with 30-35 wins again and Utah ends up with a mid-late lottery pick. The ceiling is probably 40-42 wins and a sniff at the playoffs.

  43. Z

    “The Jazz are probably getting a top-5 pick”

    The 2007-2008 Knicks– the worst assemblage of players to wear the Blue and Orange EVER, with the feuds, the scandals, the trials, and Zach Randolph’s shot selections couldn’t even manage a top 5 pick.

    This year’s team is going to be worse than that team ?

  44. Caleb

    Maybe I’m just pessimistic about the DLee talks. If he’s back, they should be as good as last year which won’t get the Jazz into the top 5.

  45. Caleb

    “I seem to remember a lot of “addition by subtraction” posts around the time Crawford and Randolph were sent packing.”

    My favorite topic!

    Aside from that, Douglass is fine #29 pick but he probably isn’t better than Duhon OR Robinson – at least, not right away – so it’s hard to see how the Knicks will be better at PG. At SG, not only is Crawford gone but Hughes is on the bad side of 30…

    I guess Douglass could be good enough for serious minutes, Nate could play SG and we would have an unconventional i.e. tiny but productive backcourt. More likely, an injury here or there exposes how thin we are. And if Nate is in Greece – forget it. (Unless Sessions is a Knick, which would change the picture, of course)

  46. Thomas B.

    Caleb said:

    “I mean, if everything went right… re-signing our FAs… Chandler and Gallo making big strides… Hill being an actual player… no major injuries… I could see the Knicks hitting .500.”

    You sound like me from a year ago. I bet Mike the Knicks would win 35 games (I said 40 but he spotted me 5 games and I still lost). He never held me to the wager though.

    I really want to believe the Knicks can have a decent season but all the optimism has been beaten out of me. Its funny because had we drafted Curry, I would feel much better about this season. Nothing about this off season has given me a reason to say “We can be better this year.” Maybe if Eddy was closer to 280 with a strong knee… oh well.

  47. Thomas B.

    Caleb said:
    “Maybe I’m just pessimistic about the DLee talks. If he’s back, they should be as good as last year which won’t get the Jazz into the top 5.”

    It could if the Clippers and Wizards improve and every other teams stays about the same. The Wizards probably won’t drop 50 Ls next year. Arenas will be back they are better at the two now (Stephenson was awful last year).

    What team(s) look the worst going into this season? Any ideas on who could end up with the worst record? I think the Kings could do it.

  48. Mike Kurylo Post author

    The one interesting thing I find about preseason talks is that fans tend to talk about their team improving without respect to the rest of the league. Lots of teams improved this offseason. Lots of teams have young players developing. Lots of teams expect to get production out of their draft picks. Comparing the 2010 Knicks to the 2009 NBA seems unfair.

    I like the Darko trade. Toney Douglas grew on me, although I’m skeptical of Hill. If nothing else Gallinari should give the team more minutes this year. Who knows maybe Morris Almond will make up for Von Wafer? And hey maybe we get Sessions. But are any of these improvements enough to give the Knicks 9 extra wins to be a .500 team? If you think so, then you’re betting on a lot of things to break in New York’s favor.

  49. jon abbey

    as Caleb said, it’s impossible to talk about results next season without knowing whether D-Lee and Nate will be back. if neither of them are, NY is not going to win many games.

  50. Caleb

    I don’t think the Knicks will win an extra nine games — just that’s in the realm of possibility. Say, if Gallo plays starter minutes as well as he played the first 500 of his career. And Hill isn’t a total stiff.

    I find it almost impossible to try and count which teams have improved…it’s easier to compare your team to last year, and ask: are you better? It’s not like the NFL, where you might be better but have a worse record because your schedule is that much tougher.

    Barring trades, there’s not much reason to think the Knicks will be *worse.* None of the key players are old (except Hughes, sort of) and no one had an unrepeatable, fantastic season. They didn’t lose depth so they’re not more vulnerable to injuries. The same or a little better seems like a good prediction — hence, 35 wins.

    The biggest wildcard is that a) we don’t know if our best player is coming back; b) we don’t know if our 2nd-best (or is it 3rd?) player is coming back; c) several of our rotation players could be traded for nothing except future picks.

  51. Caleb

    The Kings seem like a good bet for worst… but the Bucks might have the inside track, if Sessions leaves. The Nets without Carter – there’s a contender. Memphis has names but I predict they will still be awful. Ditto for Minnesota…

  52. Z-man

    I’m not sure whether we will win more games, but I would argue that the chances of improving are very good.

    First, Eddy gave us nothing last year, so his contribution has nowhere to go but up.

    Second, Darko is better defensively than anything we had in the middle last year, and 2009-10 is a pivotal year for him. I would be surprised if he doesn’t turn into a nice player for us.

    Third, I saw some good things out of Hill in the summer league. His stats, though modest, were pretty consistent. I thought he played pretty well offensively against McGee (who looks like a much improved player; nice to have Mom as a coach!) and made some better and stronger moves to the hoop. His reactions look slow, especially on D, but I think he has more upside than some here do. We will learn a lot about him when we see what kind of shape he is in when he reports to camp.

    Fourth, I don’t think it is a stretch to hope that Douglas will be a solid backup PG sooner rather than later. He has a great handle and much better court vision that I expected. His work ethic is a huge plus and hopefully there will be some bonding between him and Hill during the next couple of months.

    Fifth, I see no reason not to anticipate better things from Chandler and Gallo next year. Obviously, their recovery from surgery is key, but they should support each other at SF (more minutes for Gallo = less for Chandler, which is a good thing.)

    Sixth, Duhon is not going to play as many minutes (especially if we get Sessions) which will make him both better and less important, if that makes any sense. I’m not sold on Duhon as a starter, but we did get 32 wins out of him last year with an everchanging cast of characters.

    Seventh, Lee and Nate are not gone yet and the offers are not exactly rolling in. If we lose Nate and get Sessions, that’s could wind up being a positive, especially if Douglas can learn to shoot well enough to merit SG minutes (my guess is that he will be practicing beaucoup NBA 3′s in coming months.) If we keep Nate, he should continue being who he is… an explosive but undersized combo guard who can’t be guarded but can’t guard anybody.

    Harrington, Hughes, and Jeffries are what they are, but we could wind up depending on them less and less as the season wears on. If they hang around.

    All in all, this seems like a far more balanced team than last year. If we sign Lee, we are going into the season without the Steph distraction, the Eddy debacle, the dependence on Zach and Jamal, the complete lack of interior D, the Gallo injury, a brand-new coach and system, etc. We probably will not be a .500 team, but I am optimistic that we will see a more palatable team than last year.

  53. Z-man

    Hahn discussed the possibility of a sign and trade involving Sessions for Duhon. Seems to make good sense for both teams.

  54. madgrinch

    the knicks were 6-5 when they dealt zach and jamal and were 14-14 in the games danilo played in .

    when the knicks have people D’Anotni can work with , he can coach very well…i wouldn’t underestimate the knicks having a surprise year.

    they are deep inside with eddy, darko , jeffries, hill, Lee possibly and harrington.

    they will have chandler improving and gallinari will be much better .

    duhon was excellent until he burnt out , i see no reason not to expect him to play well again , nate came on in the 2nd half of the season , they have some depth and defense in douglas and hughes.

    there are alot of positives to look forward to.

  55. nickatnight

    I’m going to have to be a little more skeptical than the consensus here about how much Gallo and Chandler are going to contribute this year. I’m a pretty big fan of both players and think both will develop into solid starters in time. However, for young ambitious studs like these, the time to improve is in the summer because they aren’t playing games, on the road a lot, practicing with the team, nursing aches and pains etc…

    Chandler was instructed to work on his ball handling and passing this summer. He was just gearing up when he had surgery. He has been off the court all summer and is still a few weeks away. It’s going to take a few weeks after that just to get back in shape. How much better can he get this off season? I’m hoping for the best, but I think we are only going to see a slightly better version of the Chandler from last year to start this season. That version wasn’t even an average starting player.

    The story is similar with Gallo. He didn’t do anything for a long time because of his surgery and is just doing some drills and shooting now. I realize he was less than 100% last year, but I have to call “BS” on the 50% estimate. We are probably going to see a slightly better player, but not much. Hopefully he’ll fill the stat sheet a little better than last year becausae all he did last year was shoot the light outs (not that I didn’t love that much) .

  56. ess-dog

    Just look at our division alone:

    Boston: got even better with ‘Sheed and addition by subtraction of Stinkbury.

    Toronto: huge upgrade with Borat and young Derozan + Jack.

    Washington: Arenas is back with Miller dropping bombs and Foye from ‘Sota. Plus an improved JaVale McGee.

    Philly: Elton back in shape. Lou Williams and Jrue sharing the point spot with Dalembert back to cause us fits.

    NJ: ok, not so great, but arguable a better young core than we have right now (even with Sessions.) Harris and Lopez and someone else should shake out as a quality player.

    We just don’t look very good on paper compared to these teams right now. We could stay ahead of the Bullets if they don’t work things out over there, and Jersey is pretty young, but really we are on par with those two teams (at best.)
    If a clutch player emerges, we could sniff .500, but more likely I see 35 wins.

  57. cgreene

    Here’s the thing about Lee in terms of next year’s team. There are 3 options. He plays for the QO, he signs with the Knicks long term or he is signed and traded. 2/3 of that = Lee will be a Knick this year or the last option DW is getting something he likes in the S&T. Either way the talent level should be good for next year. The worry is that he takes the QO and walks in 2010 for nothing and we have no pick. That means we lost the team’s best player and didn’t even replace that loss with another 1st rd pick. That would be a disaster in my eyes.

  58. cwod

    I don’t know. Remember when many people thought the Raptors would be really good last season? Or the Bulls the season before that? We have no idea how much teams have actually improved, if at all.

    Yeah, Toronto added Hedo, but have you looked at their roster? Who’s going to rebound? Humphries? And how good is Hedo anyway?

    With all that said, I think we’re favorites, along with NJ, for last in the East. Lee would make me feel better about our chances at the 8th spot. Our projected starting five makes me cry.

  59. TDM

    If Lee and Nate are back, and as a team the Knicks are healthy (and Curry can keep the alternative lifestyle sexual harassment suits to a minimum), I’d guess that we would be a better team with Darko helping on D and better depth at pg.

    That said, the story I saw indicated that the Knicks were set to offer Sessions a “long term deal” at the MLE. Is that crazy for an unproven talent?

    Also, as an aside,does anyone else think Nash isn’t worth close to 11M per? Seems pretty steep to me.

  60. AY

    You figure the top teams in the East look something like:

    1. Orlando – stacked
    2. Cleveland – as long as Lebron’s healthy
    3. Boston – reloaded
    4. Atlanta – everyone’s back + older
    5. Miami – young guys like Beasley developing, maybe Boozer
    6. Chicago – Deng’s healthy
    7. Detroit – should be competitive
    8. Toronto – Hedo should add something

    Then, you have a few teams that should be competitive for the 8th spot:

    9. Washington – Arenas, Foye, Butler, Jamison, McGee (I said it)
    10. Philadelphia – made it last year
    11. Knicks?
    12. Charlotte – each year a little bit better

    Last, the teams that don’t have much hope, barring surprises:

    13. Indiana – maybe the least interesting team in the league
    14. Milwaukee – no RJ, rookie point if Jennings gets to play
    15. New Jersey – dumping salary

    Realistically, the Knicks will likely struggle to win more than 32 games or so, particularly as the Knicks management seems as interested in playing the young guys (which I agree with) than playing expiring vets like Harrington, Hughes, et al. We also may showcase Jeffries and Curry to try to trade them away, which might not pay off on the court.

    In many ways, this might be the most frustrating year because we don’t even have the silver lining of a draft pick to make a poor record this year mean something. Free agency will be the equivalent of this year’s draft, when we’re daydreaming about who might sign as opposed to paying attention to Chad Ford’s draft stock updates after the Knicks are out of it.

    Not that I’m pessimistic in the big picture – I’m one of those guys who thinks that Lebron’s coming to New York to become the richest athlete in the universe. I always look back to Shaq going to L.A., how L.A. went bananas doing all this stuff to pave the way, and then he went there! It’s like they knew it was going to happen all along, probably because they did. I feel like the same thing is going to happen for us.

    But yes, this year’s going to be rough in all likelihood. Count me in for Sessions, and I bet Milwaukee doesn’t match. $$$

    Did anyone notice how quickly Duhon has become just another vet with an expiring contract? The genius of Donnie Walsh. Sessions, on the other hand, better pay off if we give him the 5-year plan.

  61. Z

    It really doesn’t matter how many games we win next year. We’re playing for nothing– not even lottery position. It’s a total freebie of a year. Develop the young guys, get the old guys off the books. Win a few here, lose a lot there. No pressure.

    TDM– Nash may not be worth $22 mil based on his productivity, but he is a name brand that help sells the Suns product and I am sure a cheap organization like Phoenix recognizes that he’s worth every penny from a business perspective. Plus, he’s been loyal and has earned every penny he’s made from them thus far, so I think its a totally fair deal, even if he’s not an elite player by the end of the deal.

  62. Ted Nelson

    Why does Harrington always get lumped in with the scrubs? I don’t appreciate how he hijacks the offense, but he’s not a bad basketball player. In fact, he’s one of the Knicks’ best players (sad, I know).

    Z, I think you hit the nail on the head with the Knicks in 2009-10: who cares how many games they win? I also agree with Caleb that it’s pretty hard to say who got better and who got worse. For example, if the Sixers let Miller walk this offseason I think that offsets most of the improvement from a healthy Brand.

    I think Nash is worth $11 mill per. He’s one of two or so NBA players left on the roster Steve Kerr has massacred. I don’t think it’s just business: he’s the best player on their team.

  63. Z-man

    “Why does Harrington always get lumped in with the scrubs? I don’t appreciate how he hijacks the offense, but he’s not a bad basketball player. In fact, he’s one of the Knicks’ best players (sad, I know).

    Z, I think you hit the nail on the head with the Knicks in 2009-10: who cares how many games they win?”

    Ted,
    I think it matters somewhat because free agents are watching us as a potential team with which to sign. If we stink too badly again, it certainly doesn’t help, especially when there isn’t a draft pick as consolation.

    I agree that Harrington is not a scrub, but I don’t expect him to be around past this year or to improve, which is why I lumped him in with Jeffries and Hughes.He competes directly with Chandler for minutes, and probably with Gallo as well. If everyone is healthy he may need to accept a supporting role. Wasn’t his refusal to do so the problem with him in GS?

  64. Ted Nelson

    Z-Man,

    Saying, “who cares how many games [the Knicks] win?” was an overstatement on my part. I mean, for one, I care. And you’re right that a winning season would be best for prospective free agents.
    The point I was trying to make was that it’s unrealistic to expect the Knicks to have a winning record this season. It could happen, but I don’t think it’s likely. So, what might matter more than the difference between 31 and 33 and 35 and 37 wins is how they are perceived: as an up-and-coming squad with good young talent and a well-run org., or as the same old Knicks of the past decade… 37 wins would help a lot more with that perception than 31, but they can still build momentum while losing games. 21 wins would be a different story, but I don’t expect them to be that bad.
    Another point I was trying to make is what were people expecting this offseason? We haven’t even seen the 2 draft picks play one minute in the NBA, but they’re both somehow disappointments to a lot of people… I wasn’t thrilled with the draft strategy, but it’s got my support until we see what Hill and Douglas can actually do (plus what the guys drafted behind them can do). A couple of posters are mad that the Knicks are “waiting for next offseason” and the chance at some of the best players in the game. I just don’t see what the Knicks could have done this offseason to dramatically improve their lot. A desperate trade involving Gallo for Vince Carter maybe? Walshtoni have been actively trying to eat 2010 cap space by signing a Jason Kidd or Ramon Sessions. The only thing I can (maybe) fault Walsh for this offseason is not getting the #5 pick (if it’s even true that he could have gotten it just by offering WC…)

    I wasn’t singling you out on Harrington. Just seems like he’s always lumped in the “maybe they HAVE to play him category.” I’m not as worried about the glut at forward as some, since D’Antoni successfully used a forward heavy rotation in Phoenix. The Knicks’ talent level is not comparable, but it still comforts me.

  65. jagermeister

    A winning season seems far-fetched at this point, but it will be interesting to see how it plays out. Players in contract years generally “wake up” and play with potential we didn’t even know they had, so perhaps with as many expiring contracts on our roster knowing that there will be plenty of teams with 2010 cap room, we’ll get more than we expect out of these guys as they play for their next deal.

  66. mase

    let’s groom Douglas as the PG of the future and forget Sessions, his 3-pt fg% is a joke. how would that work under D’antoni?

    Andre Miller on the other hand would make us a lot better in the short term and possibly playoffs but we would probably have to move Duhon to get Douglas minutes.

    what will Donnie do, ie. Sessions vs. Miller(assuming either are possibilities)?

  67. Caleb

    Miller can’t hit 3s, either… but that doesn’t worry me too. Both those guys have been effective withOUT a 3-point shot. It’s like complaining that David Lee isn’t a great jump-shooter.

    I’m sort of guessing the Knicks prefer Miller, if he’s willing to sign… Sessions takes up 2010 cap room, so unless they really love him that’s probably a backup plan.

    Still waiting to see what Walsh has “up his sleeve,” as he floated a few weeks ago re: his cap space…

  68. nickatnight

    In isolation I don’t mind that both Sessions/Miller aren’t good 3 point shooters or that Lee doesn’t have a mid range game. However, I worry a lot that Sessions/Miller aren’t, Chandler isn’t but thinks he is, Jeffries isn’t, Lee isn’t, Hughes, Harrington, and Duhon are good but irratic and not so good midrange, that none of our big men can shoot from the outside, and that several of the above make frequent poor outside shooting decisions.

    I think a major component of our new system is floor spacing and consistent 3 point shooting. So unless Gallo is healthy and becomes one of our highest usage players, I see a problem with the addition of Sessions and subtraction of Duhon without adding a really good SG.

    I’m in favor of getting Sessions because he’s young, has upside, and is a small upgrade. I am just also in favor of getting a real SG if we make him the the PG .

  69. Caleb

    Sounds like Sessions is a longshot but he’d be the right kind of backcourt partner with Nate as starting SG — a ballhandler and distributor on offense, with decent size (6’3) who can handle some 2-guards on defense.

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