Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

191 comments on “2010 Game Thread: Knicks vs. Clippers

  1. tastycakes

    My thoughts on the game tonight? If guys were short on jumpers the whole 4th quarter last night, and the Knicks are 1-5 in the second half of back-to-back games, and the Knicks have nobody who can guard real bigs like Kaman .. could be a long game.

    But it’s the Clips, so there’s hope!

  2. David Crockett

    This is going to be a long night. Clips are getting whatever they want. It’s already 16-8. The Knicks have 3 FGs and don’t look like they have a clue.

  3. David Crockett

    24-8. This game is already over.

    The team is pretty transparent at this point. They only run the pick and roll. Duhon can’t finish at the rim. Gallo is only going to shoot threes. Oh, and this team doesn’t run–at all.

    Jonathan Bender is getting off the bench to come in the game. And Nate can’t play? Is there any question that this is personal. I hope Bender does well — he’s hit his first 2 shots — but this is just an insult to my intelligence.

    D’Antoni is an asshole.

    What would the press say if Isiah did this?

  4. greatscott

    Bender and Nate play different positions. Nat doesn’t play defense and they had a winning streak with him on the bench. Stop with the personal attacks on Coach D. He is doing the right thing. Johnathan Bender has come into the game and he is looking like Amare Stoudamire.

  5. cbrooklyn

    no doubt this is personal between dantoni and nate, but at what point does he let it go?? im sure nate has learned a valuable lesson by now..let the guy PLAY!! geesh.

  6. Robert Silverman

    Toney Douglas and Mardy Collins in the game. And this is the worst offensive I’ve seen in a ong time. Bender missed a shot. I changed my mind. He sucks!

  7. Robert Silverman

    Satan is actually at the scorer’s table right now. I heard tell he has a killer crossover.

  8. David Crockett

    greatscott,

    sorry man. the company line on this just does not hold an ounce of water. the Knicks have, if anything, a glut at forward. they are short bodies in the backcourt. duhon–who clearly wore down from overuse last year–is playing mega minutes. i *might* have bought the notion of riding larry hughes while he’s playing well but now that he’s hurt d’antoni is not playing douglas or nate. that decision is–without question–hurting the team. as for nate not playing defense–chris kaman is handing david lee his ass on a platter. i love lee almost as much as owen, but lee’s ass on a platter is not an uncommon occurrence. not playing defense on this team is not a ticket to the bench… unless you’re nate. this is some “play the game the right way” mess that has simply gone way too far. nothing else.

    playing with a guy’s minute to make a point is one thing, but sabotaging the team’s chances at winning is a whole other thing. d’antoni does many good things but it has become increasingly clear that the guy is a diva on the order of larry brown. remember, he only came to new york because he was sooooo very insulted at the mere suggestion that his mediocre-at-best defense in phoenix might require improvement to be a consistent title contender that he left town in a huff.

  9. BigBlueAL

    So why is Duhon back in for TD?? Just let TD who is actually playing well tonight finish out the half and give Duhon a brake for once.

  10. daJudge

    I agree with David Crockett. I will say it again, the Coach is asserting power, not authority. Always dysfunctional and anathema to success in a team sport.

  11. marxster

    Just imagine how great it’s going to be after we turn this around. The more frustration we build up now the better it’s going to be…maybe.

  12. Robert Silverman

    David,

    I think you’re making a pretty assertive statement about MD’A (He’s a power-mad diva) that is based on circumstantial evidence. Honestly, we really don’t know the whole story behind Nate’s imprisonment in a basketball gulag and until we do, we’re all speculating here.

  13. David Crockett

    SeeWhyDee77,

    I am reminded of my favorite Doug Collins anecdote. He said that he tried to get tossed from a Bulls blowout by berating the referee, who finally told him “If I gotta stay here and officiate this mess you gotta sit here and watch it.”

  14. tastycakes

    Furthermore, the man is trying to build a playing environment and shape the ballclub into a team that is able to execute his vision of basketball. If Nate was really doing something detrimental to the execution of D’Antoni’s vision, D’Antoni would know a heck of a lot better than the armchair quarterbacks here!

    More to the point, if you believe that playing Nate would result in an extra win or two, who gives a shit? The coach needs to build a framework for future success, this year’s wins and losses are ultimately insignificant.

    Maybe D’Antoni is a big diva and it’s “just personality” that is keeping Nate on the pine. It’s his club and until the last two games, the level of play has been much better. Replacing him would do nothing but create further instability and chaos when the best thing for the Knicks would be to finish a season of mediocrity with some level of consistency and passion.

  15. irvin

    I hope Nate just refuses to play when D’Antoni finally relents, out of desperation as the losses mount. It would become a Marbury Chapter 2 which would result in D’Antoni getting the axe.

    Players around the league must be noticing D’Antoni’s diva behaviour. I don’t think anyone with competing offers will want to come to NY to risk falling out of favor with the irrational coach.

  16. Doug Chu

    irvin, did you know that feline AIDS is the #1 killer of domestic cats?

    more srsly, the Clippers have really eliminated the Duhon-Lee pick and roll game with Camby rushing out early to prevent the drive.

  17. marxster

    I have to say that I’m getting a bit tired of this “we want Nate’ horse…
    When Nate pulled some of his stunts early in his career he was certainly told about it (probably more than once) and that would have been the cue for him to get his act together, step it up and help this team win. He hasn’t done that though. He keeps performing circus stunts and that’s exactly what landed him on the bench.
    Going forward, Nate is not an answer to any of our problems and if this means we should ship him out, let’s do it. I feel that some of us are hypocrites; when we lose, people are expecting of D’Antoni to come up with answers; when he experiments to get something out of this bunch of losers we complain as well. Something’s gotta give.

  18. daJudge

    Also, why not shoot from the outside when you have a premier shot-blocker on the other team? Isn’t tonight the night they need to hit outside shots? This game planning seems irrational. What is the game plan? Oh yeah, show Nate and Darko who’s boss. Why not Darko matching up with Kaman? I’m really getting frustrated.

  19. SeeWhyDee77

    The one thing I don’t understand about this Nate situation is this: By all accounts, Nate’s behavior was worse last season. I understand that benching him would have left us dry in the backcourt then, but why not bench him for at least a game to teach him a lesson last season? Coach is damn near blacklisting Nate, and we’ll problee get nothing in return for him now. How does that help. This is officially Marbury 2.0. Good thing Nate is handling it like a good soldier and still just as active in practice and cheering/motivating the team from the bench. Nate has every reason to push his way out of NY. He has every reason to make this an issue, but he won’t-and that’s why I don’t think Nate’s attitude is the problem. Neither is his play on the court. For some reason, D’Antoni jus doesn’t like him and it’s not doing anyone any good right now.

  20. irvin

    It is not Nate only. It’s Darko, Marbury and now Hill.

    D’Antoni puts his ego ahead of the team’s best interests. That’s why it has taken him more than a year to realize that the 7SOL system is not something that fits this club. He is being exposed slowly.

  21. irvin

    How long will it take D’Antoni to realize that the Knicks can’t go far – Lebron or no Lebron – with Duhon as the perennial PG?

  22. SeeWhyDee77

    irvin I agree..when you have a decent interior defender-u HAVE to play him. Besides, Darko and Hill can both hit 15 footers. And Bender gets in the game before the both of them-after only practicing a week with the team? WTF??? He doesn’t hafta give them big minutes, but Hill needs experience and we need every chance we can get to keep teams from scoring in the paint.

  23. daJudge

    Marxster–I hope I’m not being a hypocrite, but the Knicks simply are not very good. The little talent they have should not be wasted on relatively minor issues. I’ve heard no major issues with Nate. Anyway, let’s win tonight either way.

  24. BigBlueAL

    Yeah Im pretty sure Lebron and Wade could give a shit if D’Antoni hates Nate. No max FA will be scared to play for D’Antoni because he might blacklist them. Gimme a break.

  25. David Crockett

    Rob,

    just about everything we do here is speculate. It’s sorta the nature of the beast. But all speculation is not equally valid, so let’s look at what we “know” — to the extent that we know anything.

    The “official” story about why Nate isn’t playing–much of it authored directly by D’Antoni–is that Nate is immature (can’t argue with that) and has a casual attitude toward defense (can’t argue with that either).

    My point is that those are reasons to limit a player’s minutes, but not to remove him from the rotation entirely. That just doesn’t hold water on a team that is *this* bad defensively. The fact that we need to look at some “behind the scenes” explanation for D’Antoni’s decision confirms that most of us don’t buy the “Nate doesn’t defend” official story. It also confirms that whatever this is about, it’s not about basketball. It may have started about about basketball but it’s not now.

    What’s so bothersome is that we’ve seen what running Chris Duhon into the ground gets us. He played 44 last night and is looking at another mega minute night. Even with Larry Hughes playing decently, the unwillingness to play a third guard (even if it’s Douglas) jeopardizes the very thing D’Antoni claims to be most interested in–winning right now. Additionally, even D’Antoni has acknowledged that guys are playing for their careers. I think he’s mucking with Nate’s and I don’t think it’s right.

    Look, we know that Nate’s immaturity (generally harmless though it may be) really, really grates at D’Antoni. The response to Nate’s immaturity shouldn’t be the same stuff from D’Antoni under the guise of “playing the right way”. I’ve seen that act, and it doesn’t lead to wins. Even the Bulls announcers last night wondered aloud what Robinson might do in that game as the Knicks got nadda, bupkiss from the bench.

  26. Thomas B.

    Welcome home my friends, welcome home. It’s good to be back here in misery where we all belong. Enough of this positive talk. No more of this on the right track nonsense. Awful is where we belong. Lets not dally; I hear Brand is available for a few expiring contracts and a 2012 pick.

  27. SeeWhyDee77

    BigBlue…my point in saying that Coach is blacklisting Nate is that we can get something in return for him if his situation was handled differently. Now, teams problee think Nate is a total ass becuz he’s pissing D’Antoni the “player’s coach” off. Thas all i’m sayin fam. SO what do we do, let a first rounder who has proven he belongs in this league and could fetch us something valuable in a trade walk becuz our great coach has an ego the size of Charles Barkley??? Honestly, D’Antoni can miss me with that BS becuz he IS hurting the team by doing what he’s doing. We need all the help we can get-whether it’s salary cap relief, draft picks, or on court help. And if we can’t use a player like Nate to get either one, then we are hurting-point blank. Other than that, I have no major problem with his decisions.

  28. BigBlueAL

    I fuckin love Gallo. Kid is 21, shooting like shit but instead of sulking like most of his teammates he gets more aggressive and scores 5 quick points and the Knicks are now on a little run.

  29. BigBlueAL

    nah 77 I wasnt referring to you, I was referring to Irvin saying that players arent gonna want to come to NY to play for D’Antoni because of what he is doing to Nate and what he did to Marbury, which is the stupidest comment I have read here yet.

  30. SeeWhyDee77

    gotcha BigBlue..I was jus tryin to go further into my problem with the Nate situation. No harm no foul. And I do agree with u that D’Antoni’s handling of Nate isn’t gonna make the LBJ’s and Wade’s of the world think twice b/c they absolutey love D’Antoni. Personally, I think that if Nate was an all star, D’Antoni would be practically hugging Nate’s nuts. Hell, no one complains when LBJ acts a fool. Why? Becuz he’s a star.

  31. BigBlueAL

    The refs must be confusing the Clippers with the Lakers with all the calls they are getting tonight.

  32. SeeWhyDee77

    I know Douglas isn’t in the game, but has anybody realized that after a wonderful Summer League running the offense, he has morphed into a point guard who doesn’t pass the ball?

  33. BigBlueAL

    Wow what a pussy call on Gordon. Jesus Christ the Knicks cant buy a fuckin call. Also someone tell Duhon a 3pter from 28 feet is worth the same as a 3pter from 25 feet.

  34. Doug Chu

    yeah I am with you there BB, what is the deal with Duhon launching all his 3′s from absurd distances? It is the most audacious thing.

  35. Doug Chu

    And just as we start talking up Bender again he bricks the long two short (but gets bailed out by Toney Douglas) and later gets the ball swiped away from him on the perimeter. Dude is still rusty.

  36. SeeWhyDee77

    since D’Antoni won’t do it..someone go tell Harrington that his home is 18 feet and in..not on the 3 point line. The occasional 3 is nice b/c he has that versatility, but doesn’t he realize that he’s not half the shooter Larry Bird was?

  37. d-mar

    Are we headed for one of those heartbreaking down the stretch losses? I was watching some show on ESPN about great last second shots – does anyone remember the last time the Knicks won a game on the last shot? I can’t – was it Lee’s tip vs, the Bobcats?

  38. SeeWhyDee77

    they could’ve let Will go with that one. Not much of a foul at all, if there was even one. I saw a 6’8″ guy defendin a 7 footer with his hands straight up and the 7 footer went into the 6’8″ guy. Foul on who? Referees…

  39. d-mar

    That call on Jeffries was one of the worst I have ever seen. Away from the ball with almost no contact. And will Gallo ever get a foul call????

  40. Doug Chu

    lol, WITHER IRVIN?

    Someone has to expose the horrible injustices suffered by Steph and Darko at the hands of Diva D’antoni.

  41. SeeWhyDee77

    too bad Davis has an unnecessary contract..he would be great as a Knick-as long as we didn’t have other players who needed the ball as much as he does

  42. BigBlueAL

    LOL tasty and Chu. Lebron will never come to the Knicks until Darko and Nate start getting playing time!!

  43. BigBlueAL

    77, I have been one of Duhon’s biggest critics this season but give him credit he has been playing similar to how he did at beginning of last season the past 10 games or so.

  44. cbrooklyn

    bender is rusty , but looks like he could contribute something to this team…hey ..better than curry..

  45. d-mar

    That was like the Bulls game in reverse!

    If you switched David Lee and Anderson Varejao, how good would Lee be? Maybe we’ll get to see it next year…

  46. d-mar

    And it looks like the Curry showcase is over. That performance in Chicago was eye-opening to say the least.

  47. SeeWhyDee77

    Duhon has been playin his tail off recently. I just wish we had a backup for Duhon that we could trust for 15-20 minutes a game, becuz Duhon’s not that bad of a PG, he just plays a shitload of minutes which usually fatigues him or magnifies his weaknesses

  48. Sandy

    How sweet it is…to win at the Garden

    Both teams are wildly inconsistent. The Clippers have more talent, but history is working against them. One good season in like 30 years. Wow, Bender makes Curry look terrible. I was hoping Curry would get some burn so Dunleavy…the only coach/gm on Isiah Thomas level… might think about trading for him and starting him at the small forward. Anyway, good win. I’m looking forward to the Bobcats and Bulls at home. Lets get some revenge!

  49. SeeWhyDee77

    d-mar..I agree. It is time that everyone gives Lee his due. He’s not a great defender, but if he can perform like this consistently w/o a star to make things easier for him, imagine what he can do with him. He’s definitely better than Sideshow Bob.

  50. SeeWhyDee77

    and when I say “everyone”, I mean everyone around the league. That guy’s an all star, and he has been ever since he started gettin consistent minutes.

  51. Sandy

    D. Lee is certainly our most consistent player. Don’t think he is quite an All-Star right now. He will probably need to the ride the cottails of a superstar to get an all start nod or be a part of a strong winning team. Still love the guy, but would you put him ahead of Howard, Garnett, Lebron, Bosh, Granger, or even Lopez. Prob not yet, but maybe down the line for D. Lee.

  52. BigBlueAL

    Hilarious tweet from Fake D’Antoni:

    “Gallo told me that late charge he took he learned from Jeffries. I made him promise that was the only aspect of Jeffries’ game he’d mimic.”

  53. d-mar

    Brandon Jennings tonight 5-21 from the field. I think it’s time for all of us to climb off of the bandwagon for a while, he could be pretty good long term, but it’s becoming obvious those early season explosions were an aberration and teams have all made adjustments.

  54. Robert Silverman

    “They’re going to make a comeback in this game. I gotta feeling…”

    I’d like a nice small bouquet of props from the forum for stating this when they were down 18 in the 2nd.

    Pretty please?

    And David Crockett w/r/t your “D’Antoni is a diva!” Theory – of course what we do here is speculate. What we also do is analyze and evaluate the various talents (as they were) of our team, based on empirical, first-hand evidence, both visual and statistical.

    You can certainly make the statements you made about MD’A, but your only evidence in making that assertion is the fact that Nate isn’t playing. From that, you make the leap that one, D’Antoni so personally dislikes Robinson that he’s willing to undermine the team’s chances for success and two, D’Antoni has made the decision to bench nate to assert his power, not because he thinks it’s beneficial. The problem is, the evidence — wins and losses, individual player stats — suggest that benching Robinson outright has, in fact, led to improved play by the Knicks.

    Now, you could argue that the recent turnaround is unrelated to Nate’s benching. Duhon’s dramatic improvement, Jeffries’ effectiveness, etc. could be listed as factors unrelated to Robinson and that they’d be playing even better w/Nate in the rotation.

    All these are valid conversation points.

    But calling the coach a power-mad egotist who’s willing to lose just so he can show ‘em who’s the boss? That’s where I say you’re going too far.

  55. jon abbey

    you can’t stop Jonathan Bender, you can only hope to contain him. seriously, how impressive is it to come back after 4 years away, even at the age of 28, and immediately look like one of the best athletes on the floor? that blocked shot in the first half was studly.

  56. Peter87

    One of my favorite Simpson’s moments: (bear with me, I’m going somewhere with this):

    (Homer trying to teach Bart to putt): Keep your head still and follow through.
    (Bart hits a beautiful, straight putt which hangs on the lip)
    Homer: Well, that didn’t work. This time, try moving your head, and don’t follow through!

    Half the people here seem to think D’Antoni is too soft, too much of a player’s coach, and the other half think he is a petty, vindictive egotist. When they’re losing. Four wins, and he’s a genius. A loss, and he’s an idiot again. A win, and he’s not so bad…

    Come on, people! This blog is better than that! Even if you don’t like what Walsh and D’Antoni are doing, at least they made a plan and are sticking to it. As every chessplayer knows, even a bad plan is better than no plan at all (see: Isaiah Thomas era). The only better plan I have seen suggested here is basically “use a crystal ball to see into the future, and make all the best draft picks”. Of course, anyone who could do that would be a great GM, but would probably be better off going to Wall Street.

    I think they deserve until the beginning of next season for a real evaluation.

  57. Brian Cronin

    I do agree that it’s ridiculous to judge his decisions solely on whether they win or lose. I think his decision regarding Nate is poor, whether they win or lose.

    And you’ll note that my comments about D’Antoni are the same whether they win or lose.

    D’Antoni can be a petty and stubborn guy and still be a good coach. I mean, we all remember Pat Riley, right?

    I think D’Antoni is a good coach (and he’s a wonderful asset for attracting top free agents), but that doesn’t mean that he can’t do petty and stubborn things, because he can and he does.

  58. BigBlueAL

    You are absolutely correct Brian but you are being rational about it, there are people here who actually believe D’Antoni’s handling of Nate, Darko and Marbury will actually hurt the Knicks when signing FA’s!! Its stupid comments like that which are what Peter87 and myself at least are referring to.

  59. Brian Cronin

    By the by, I was at the game and I sure picked a good one to attend, huh?

    It was fun to see my fiancee actually sort of give a shit about the game. Heck, she cheered louder at Lee’s tip-in than I did!

  60. daJudge

    This is my last entry on Nate. However, I respectfully disagree with Robert Silverman: “You can certainly make the statements you made about MD’A, but your only evidence in making that assertion is the fact that Nate isn’t playing. From that, you make the leap that one, D’Antoni so personally dislikes Robinson that he’s willing to undermine the team’s chances for success and two, D’Antoni has made the decision to bench nate to assert his power, not because he thinks it’s beneficial.” I am not concluding that Coach is asserting power over Nate simply because he is not playing him. That would be irrational. The evidence I am reviewing is that Nate was playing at least as well as most of the team. The Knicks could use his help. Coach clearly reacted negatively to some of Nate’s antics. The benching is also very lengthy and a huge deviation from his prior role. Perhaps you are not looking at this type of evidence. I do agree that I don’t know what is in the coach’s mind, but my conclusion is not based on the fact that he is benched. Anyway, I’m done with this issue. On another matter, it was really cool to see what Bender did last night. I don’t remember any player returning after 4 years and looking like that! Go Knicks.

  61. SeeWhyDee77

    There are 2 columnists’ articles that I do not enjoy reading. Marc Berman and Frank Isola. But today I read an article where Isola actually had a good idea. He suggests sending Curry to the D League for a bit. Clearly, a 5 minute spurt here & there isn’t helping him..or the Knicks. Maybe if he gets some real gametime in, albeit against inferior competition, he’ll play better against NBA competition. The dude’s just not ready to play right now. That could be a double bonus. Get Eddy ready without affecting on court chemistry, and it could open minutes up for Hill. What does everybody think about that?

  62. irvin

    BigblueAl is the typical irrantional fan/groupie – incapable of stepping back and looking at the situation with objectivity in his mind. He mindlessly accepts the oft-repeated “fact” that somehow D’Antoni is a magnet for top free agents. Where is the evidence of that? Where is the evidence that any top free agents are anxiously waiting to sign with the Knicks? There is no guarantee that Lebron will be here or even that the Knicks will be in a position to sign two top free agents. There are quite a few variables at work here.

    D’Antoni is clearly a good coach, but he has made – and continues to make – quite a few mistakes in NY. He has been petty, vindictive. He has coached badly on masny, many occassions. He has shown favoritism. And – my most important point – he is coaching for today, without regard for the future of the franchise (the young players in a bad team are always the hope for a better future).

    Those who blindly praise D’Antoni must remember that the Knicks haven’t been a decent team under his direction. Yes, things are looking a bit better…for the last seven games.

    But i guess it is easier to attack the messenger, as all cowards do. Pretty lame – BigBlueAl. .

  63. IMissWillis

    In a team sport basically controlled by only one person, the coach is always going to get more credit and blame than he deserves (See Phil Jackson and Lawrence Frank). My point is that, hard as it may be, we need to be patient. Walsh and MD’A would be the first to admit that their work is not done. I mean for pete’s sake, Lee makes only 500k more than JJ and even more alarming, 500k less than Darko (a player who has flat out said he is not going to be in the nba next year). Furthermore, there are only 2 players on the Knicks’ roster that MD’A should definitely want moving forward in Lee and Gallo. After them its a stretch in justifying why anyone else on our roster should be a starter. So lets have a little more patience/respectful analysis and a little less childish bickering amongst ourselves.

  64. irvin

    IMIssWillis wrote:

    “So lets have a little more patience/respectful analysis and a little less childish bickering amongst ourselves”

    I agree.

    We should be able to express our opinions without fear that a group of regulars will resort to personal attacks only because those opinions don’t conform to their fantasies or misinformed beliefs.

  65. Frank O.

    I’m so over the Nate stuff.
    It’s not like they were winning with him out there.
    I respect loyalty, but when Nate comes in he plays his own game, and the whole team dynamic, in my opinion, changes, and not for the better.
    And this team is playing defense, which is something Nate does not do.

    I’m for giving D’antoni the chance. He has given some good explanations for why Nate doesn’t play. And Walsh said yesterday until Nate learns to play within the system, he’s not going to play.
    We simply don’t know how often Nate freelances, or breaks a play to do his own thing.
    And judging by pregame, he still goofs off too much.
    I’m over it.
    By all accounts the Knicks have been playing better lately.
    They are not a great team, but their defense has improved significantly with this rotation. And Bender, in his first game back, looked solid.
    Now we’ll see how his knees act…
    D Lee is becoming better. I’m happy to see it.

  66. Ted Nelson

    I wouldn’t say that the D’Antoni criticism is just reactionary impatience. A lot of the criticisms are long-term trends and the same things people mentioned when he first got here. It’s only natural not to criticize a coach after a win and to criticize him after a loss. After a 4 game win streak you just look like an ass if you’re criticizing him. There are some legitimate criticisms of D’Antoni. We’ll see whether the positive ends up outweighing the negative or vice versa. The only real thing he’s got going for him so far in his career is winning a lot with a very talented team in Phoenix and not be Isiah Thomas… he is certainly not above criticism.

    Duhon really doesn’t play that many minutes and didn’t play THAT many minutes last season, either. He’s playing 35 mpg… Plenty of stars pay 40 mpg. I don’t really understand the whole Duhon plays too much rationale. If he wears down playing 35 mpg, then he’s got to get in better shape. There are 44 players in the NBA averaging more MPG, including teammate David Lee and most of the All-Stars around the league.

    I was very outspoken against the Nate benching when it happened. I don’t really have anything to add that I didn’t say then. The one new question I have is whether Nate can EVER get back into the rotation. Publicly Nate is mostly doing the right things to handle the benching. If he’s also doing the right things in practice you have to wonder if he can ever earn his way back into the rotation… If the whole thing is that the guys who deserve to play get to play and, just say, Nate is killing it in practice and not playing, what’s the message there?

    The handling of the Nate situation could indeed impact the thinking of FAs like LeBron and Wade in either a positive or negative way. It’s not to say that they’ll be worried D’Antoni will bench them, but it shows a lot about him as a coach and a person. If the Knicks keep winning maybe it reflects well on D’Antoni that he doesn’t take any crap and puts winning first. If LeBron (who acts a whole lot like Nate… always messing around before games and during stops in the game) and Wade are fans of Nate and don’t feel that the treatment he’s getting is fair then it may reflect poorly on D’Antoni. Not that they’re afraid they won’t play, but that some of their teammates who they want out there won’t play. If some of us here are questioning whether D’Antoni is putting his ego ahead of the team’s best interest then what is to say that some players around the league don’t feel the same way? Players with huge egos don’t necessarily want to have to compete with a coach’s ego.

  67. Ted Nelson

    Frank O.,

    The problem I have with your logic is that guys like Harrington, Chandler, and Hughes also go out and play their own game and ruin the team dynamic by jacking up ridiculous shots they have a low probability of making. They’ve gotten the benefit of the doubt, though. They all got it together during the hot stretch, but if everyone’s shots are falling it’s pretty easy to look like you’re playing within the team dynamic. I don’t get to see practice, so I don’t know what goes on there. If Nate’s doing alright there it would be nice to see him get a few minutes at some point to see if he’s learned from being benched. If benching him is a teaching tool, then you’d think you play him soon to see if he gets it. I think more people may be speaking out against the the benching now in part because they thought it was a shot-term teaching thing.

    Also, if the concern is that Nate hurts the offensive dynamic then use him strictly as an Eddie House type of instant offense guy who comes in when everyone else is flat and only stays in if his shots are falling. The Knicks are not talented enough to let a player with Nate’s ability just rot on the bench.

    I also disagree with your assessment that this team is playing good defense. They’re still the 23rd defense in the league. Nate is not a terrible defender, just not a good one. I don’t think there’s any evidence that Nate makes the Knicks worse defensively.

    “And judging by pregame, he still goofs off too much.”

    LeBron is always messing around before games. It’s about getting it done on the court.

    “By all accounts the Knicks have been playing better lately.”

    Correlation does not equal causation. Just because the Knicks have gotten it together without Nate doesn’t mean they wouldn’t be better off giving him another chance.

  68. Ted Nelson

    And I don’t believe that D’Antoni calls many plays, so I’m not sure you can accuse Nate of breaking off plays. Certainly early in the season, when Nate was playing, the plan seemed to be to have no plan.

  69. Frank O.

    Ted:

    You comparison of Nate with Lebron I think is poorly chosen. I get your point, but Lebron can goof off because he makes others better and he wins games in many ways.
    Nate takes the Knicks to the playoffs even, I’m okay with goofing. Otherwise, do your pre and be ready to play.
    Harrington, Chandler and Hughes each of good size at their position and match up. Nate does not have that margin for error. He is radically undersized and that has a multiplier effect on a team that struggles on D. Nate must come further than others to be acceptable at the NBA level. It is the nature of his size.
    Every single one of Nate’s coaches has complained about his silliness. Every one. D’Antoni is the only one that has been willing to call him out about it. And he has several 55 game winning seasons. How many does Nate have? Finally a coach is willing to challenge a player and impose some discipline, and people start to squeak.
    We will have to agree to disagree on him, man. This is about a bench player on a bad team.
    For two years, I have heard people complain that a coach has never settled on a rotation. From Larry Brown and Isiah, to early D’Antoni.
    Now he settles on a rotation, and people complain that the rotation is too tight. Well, as much as I don’t like Harrington’s game – you can look it up, I have been a critic – he is a better player than Nate. At times, he plays all star level ball.
    Nate has his strengths, and shows bursts of good play, but he also is enormously immature, and there are times when he lags. Say what we will about Harrington, but the dude always plays hard.
    More to the point, at the guard position, which is where Nate plays, Hughes has outplayed him, and Douglas is a more complete player, believe it or not. Douglas can be a very tough defender.
    The reason the Knicks have sucked for all these years, the main reason, is because they play poor defense. Well, it’s not great, but their season defensive rankings are poor, but over the past 10 games, it is middle of the NBA, which is to say, much better than it has been.
    They have been playing better because D’Antoni has settled on a rotation. Nate didn’t make the rotation. It may not be just because Nate is on the bench. It may be because certain players are getting more minutes. D’Antoni says that Jeffries is the real beneficiary of Nate being off the floor. And judging by the tough loss the other night, Jeffries has become very important to this team. As soon as he left the floor, the Knicks interior defense collapsed. Jeffries has become the defensive glue. Frankly, the Knicks need him on the floor doing his intangible thing, which has become more than intangibles. He blocks shots, steals, rebounds and always plays the toughest scorer on the other team. He does things Nate simply does not do.

    And Nate can’t function well just getting five minutes a game as Douglas does. D’Antoni, I think, made a good point, that Nate isn’t that kind of player. He needs to be out there getting in a groove. Five minutes a night won’t do it for him.
    D’Antoni doesn’t call plays but his offense runs schemes, If Walsh isn’t lying, and I don’t think he is, Nate isn’t playing within the team scheme.

  70. Frank O.

    Sorry about the sloppy note. I forgot to edit myself and I’m a bit tired from shoveling and playing with my son in the snow today.
    But thinking it through, I have one thought more Ted:

    I know Lebron James and Nate isn’t Lebron James. You simply can’t compare the two.
    :)

  71. BigBlueAL

    Irvin, where were you last night during the 2nd half?? You post like crazy during the 1st half when the Knicks are getting killed just ripping D’Antoni left and right, yet you stay quiet the entire 2nd half and even after the game until today. Not just me but a bunch of people as soon as the game ended called you out.

    I have no problem with your opinion because many others share the same view but are way more rational about it. You sound like a troll with your comments during games. If you post more like you did today than great but coming with your outlandish comments during the games like you did last night is a bit much and like I said others besides myself called you out after the game by name even, I referred to your comments but never called you out by name because I dont want to get into a hissy-fit with you because I know things like that ruins blogs. As a Yankees fan I know because many blogs get polluted by trolls, especially stupid Mets and Red Sox fans posing as Yankee fans which makes the blogs especially during games unbearable to read.

    We are all frustrated, loyal Knicks fans here and to me this is BY FAR the best Knicks blog on the net and enjoy the educated banter we have here. Lets agree to disagree and hope whatever decisions D’Antoni makes in the end turn out to be the best for the team.

  72. BigBlueAL

    BTW apparently the NY Times will have an article tomorrow talking about Nate’s agent wanting Nate out of NY. Shocking.

    Cant say I blame him though obviously.

  73. Z-man

    I thought D’Antoni should have played Nate vs. Chicago. That being said, It is nice that we know what to expect going into games and that the team isn’t a sideshow anymore.

    This is not a unique situation, btw. Harrington and Hughes both went through this before getting here. T-Mac is dealing with it now.

    Maybe Nate will become a better, more professional player because of this, maybe not. Maybe the Knicks play better recently with him, maybe not. Personally, I like the high bar set for professionalism for a once-proud franchise that has been a laughing stock for so long.

  74. irvin

    BigblueAl wrote:

    ” If you post more like you did today than great but coming with your outlandish comments during the games like you did last night is a bit much and like I said others besides myself called you out after the game by name even, I referred to your comments but never called you out by name because I dont want to get into a hissy-fit with you because I know things like that ruins blogs.”

    “calling out” is the stuff of ghetto thugs or teenagers. I just stopped reading the blog, because the personal attacks are a turn off for me.

    In any case, just relax. My opinion should not be that important to you. BTW/ many of the same points I made last night were made by Ted Nelson today in a very good post. I hope he doesn’t get you and the few others riled up.

  75. BigBlueAL

    I probably respect Ted Nelson’s opinion more than anyone else here, and thats with the fact that during the summer I thought he unfairly singled me out as an unfair David Lee critic.

    I think the problem was that this is a game thread and while commenting during the games it should just be about the actual game. Game threads, at least during the actual games, is not really a time to go off on other things regarding the team. We were all frustrated with the way the 1st half was going and having you just go off on D’Antoni for not only not playing Nate but Darko and Hill as well along with bringing up for some reason the Marbury episode was just too much to handle at that time. Although to be fair if you are going to kill his coaching during the 1st half of the game then you should be accountable and at least show up when the team actually wins the same game with a great 2nd half. Doing what you did and then not be around during the end of the game gave ammo to the people who were still around to call you out at that time.

    BTW nobody was “calling you out” to fight or anything so please dont take it like that. If you are going to kill D’Antoni during a game because his team is getting killed you gotta expect some pay back if they actually come back to win the game in the end. Hey in the end we should all be happy since the Knicks won last night!!!!

  76. irvin

    BigBlueAl wrote:
    “I think the problem was that this is a game thread and while commenting during the games it should just be about the actual game. Game threads, at least during the actual games, is not really a time to go off on other things regarding the team”

    Instead of criticizing me, you should follow your own advice. At 8:36 (comment 20) you’re talking about the Nate situation.

    **************

    In any case, I’m not a D’Antoni hater. My comments are based on reality: as you can see from the NY Times article and many other sources and fan comments, the consensus is that Nate is immature and deserved the initial benching, but it has now gone personal.

    This new development puts D’Antoni on the hot seat: either he plays Nate and thus acknowledges it was personal or he stays the course and we have a Marbury II, as I mentioned last night. Either way, Mike D’Antoni’s reputation as a “players’ coach” is suffering a lot, because many of the top players don’t think the punishment is justified. Dwight Howard – among others – is on record as saying so.

    What happens if Lebron and Wade re-sign with their teams and Harrington, Huges and Lee are gone (all very good possibilities)? How long will it take for D’Antoni to develop the young “supporting cast” for the couple of free agents that he might get?

    The average fan is under the impression that everything will be perfect in 2010. I doesn’t seem so easy to me. That’s why I think D’Antoni is harming the franchise by neglecting the young players’ development.

  77. BigBlueAL

    The only young players the Knicks have are the 2 rookies, Gallo and Chandler. Gallo and Chandler get plenty of minutes. Now I would like to see Hill and TD get some minutes but Hill from his cameos clearly is not ready to contribute meaningful minutes. Last night I got upset and commented when TD was pulled quickly in the 2nd quarter for Duhon when I thought TD was playing well and thought Duhon shouldve gotten the rest of the half off.

    When they were 1-9 we all said heck if they are gonna suck just play the rookies more. But give D’Antoni credit because for now he has righted the ship and is trying to make the playoffs and we cant fault him for that. Now if come March the Knicks are out of it then he better play the rookies significant minutes but for now you cant fault him for playing the veterans and trying to win. Although I do believe even now there should be 10-15 minutes per game for TD.

  78. BigBlueAL

    BTW my comment about Nate was just stating that if Nate wasnt going to play in the 1st half of last night’s game then there is no hope for him getting back into the rotation and obviously his agent agreed with me. Problem for Nate is despite the horrible 1st half D’Antoni stuck to his guns in the 2nd half and the Knicks won for the 5th time in 7 games w/o Nate.

    Now isnt exactly the best time for his agent to spout off though considering all D’Antoni has to say is look at the team’s record since Nate was benched.

  79. jon abbey

    “This type of story has the potential to scare FA’s away”

    yeah, I’m sure they’re going to rely on this over their first hand experience with D’Antoni on the Olympic team and elsewhere. whatever you think about Nate’s benching (to me it seems like D’Antoni’s been proven right thus far), thinking that it’s going to have any effect after this season is insane. we may not get LeBron, but this situation will have absolutely nothing to do with it.

  80. Brian Cronin

    Nate’s agent actually cited the Chicago game, not the Clippers one. Which makes sense, as we all noted that that was the spot where D’Antoni made it pretty clear that Nate was never going to play for this team.

  81. marxster

    On another note…Is anyone concerned about the T-mac rumors? I’m not so sure that we should take on another player with questionable health.
    From what I understand is that we’d have to give up a number of pieces to get him but I’m not sure I would take that chance. Any thoughts?

  82. Sandy

    Damn…I think we can all agree that this is the kind of publicity that the Knicks need to avoid. I was ok with D’Antoni’s initial benching of Robinson, but I do believe, if Nate worked hard and shut his mouth, he should have given him the chance to work himself back into the rotation. I do think not playing him against Chicago was a bit more unrelated to basketball that D’Antoni lets on. I do understand that Nate has not been playing the way D’Antoni has wanted, and D’Antoni has all the right to teach him a lesson, but Nate is a vet just like any of the other players on the team. He deserves a chance to regain his minutes. The last thing I wanted to hear is a trade request coming from his agent. This will solidify D’Antoni’s beliefs and can only end in an ugly manner if it persists…ala marbury.

  83. irvin

    Jon Abbey wrote:

    ” thinking that it’s going to have any effect after this season is insane. we may not get LeBron, but this situation will have absolutely nothing to do with it.”

    It doesn’t take a genious to figure out that Lebron, Wade or any other superstar will not be personally worried that D’Antoni will bench him. The point is that they will not want to come to this circus: a bad team with a nasty coach and fans expecting an immediate switch of fourtunes. Lebron knows perfectly well that if he comes to NY as it is, they would immediately go the playoffs…only to exit in the first or second round. And then? Another rebuild? How many more years will D’Antoni need to settle on a starting rotation and a system that will fit his players?

    Many not-so-bright fans don’t realize how bad the situation is, but I’ll provide a clue: we have reached a point where benching Jeffries is a reason to panic, instead of celebration.

    Think – if you can – about that one.

  84. Brian Cronin

    On another note…Is anyone concerned about the T-mac rumors? I’m not so sure that we should take on another player with questionable health.

    Don’t worry about T-Mac.

    It’s a game of Chicken.

    The Rockets would love to get Harrington/Mobley for T-Mac, but the Knicks will never trade for T-Mac unless Jeffries is going back to Houston along with those two.

    Each team is waiting for the other to blink, and I’m pretty darn certain that Walsh will not be the one blinking, so it’ll either be no T-Mac, which is fine, or T-Mac for a deal that sends Jeffries off the team, which is great.

  85. J Weezy

    of course it would be a reason to panic…he has played some of the best defense this team has seen in god knows how long. I also dont understand why you call D’Antoni “nasty” Irvin? Do you have a personal relationship with him or something? Has he done something to spite you in his tenure with the Knicks? What behavior of his qualifies for the adjective nasty. Nasty to me is the old woman next door that lives with 18 cats lol. Also, with the current roster we have now with Lebron added is easily a top 4 seed in the East and can easily escape the first round and that i have no doubt about. To be honest I think that if lebron joined this years team the knicks and the cavs would essentially trade places in the standings.

  86. greatscott

    Coach D is not nasty. Note Lee and Gallo never have a problem with the coach. The only people who have problems are those who have had problems with every coach they have ever had. Robinson even had problems with his college coach. Robinson’s college coach couldn’t wait to get rid of Robinson. Now Robinson could have chosen to learn from this and try to improve but now he is demanding a trade. He will never learn. Same thing with Marbury. He caused problems with every coach. It took one coach, Coach D, to stop these two jackasses. As a free agent, I would respect that and want to play for Coach D because I am not a jackass. If I was a jackass, then maybe I would not want to play for him. Hughes was out of the rotation for awhile but he stuck with it and benefited from it. Nate could have done same, stuck with it and in the end he would have gotten back in and been a better player because of it. But, no, he wants to pack his bags and leave. That’s his loss because the Knicks are over 500 with him on the bench anyway.

  87. jon abbey

    “Many not-so-bright fans don’t realize how bad the situation is, but I’ll provide a clue: we have reached a point where benching Jeffries is a reason to panic, instead of celebration.

    Think – if you can – about that one.”

    1) you come across as an asshole in pretty much every post. if this is intentional, OK, but just giving you some feedback.

    2) here’s a clue back at you: somehow Jeffries has miraculously developed into the game-changing defender Isiah hoped he could be when signing him. he guards everyone from Chris Paul and Rajon Rondo to Chris Kaman, there are only a few people in the league capable of that. his play in the third quarter a couple of games ago (don’t remember which one) was on the level of Artest or Kirilenko at their best, it’s so rare that a perimeter defender can control a game, but he did and he dominated.

  88. d-mar

    “Lebron knows perfectly well that if he comes to NY as it is, they would immediately go the playoffs…only to exit in the first or second round. And then? Another rebuild? ”

    I don’t know why I’m bothering with this, but if LeBron were to join the Nets today, they would instantly become an Eastern conference contender, just as the Cavs are now with a shaky supporting cast. Plus, the Knicks have cap room beyond 2010.

    Maybe we should all just agree not to respond to a certain poster….

  89. SeeWhyDee77

    greatscott..I wouldn’t necessarily call Nate a jackass. Thas a bit much. Especially when u say “Nate could have done same, stuck with it and in the end he would have gotten back in and been a better player because of it”, just like Hughes did. Up until Nate’s agent requested a trade, Nate has been a good soldier about it. He didn’t play at all the past 8 games, but he has continuously been the first person off the bench to congratulate his teammates or cheer. And by all accounts-he has worked his ass of in practice and kept his mouth shut. Here’s my opinion, a player’s ego causes the supposed “attitude problem”. MJ, Bird, Magic and others had it. LBJ, Wade, Melo, Kobe and Howard has it today. The only difference between those guys and Nate is they are the best players on their teams and are perennial all stars-so coaches put up with their quirks. Nate’s a hell of a player, so he should have an ego. But he should also mature with experience. The fact that he hasn’t mouthed off about his benching shows me that he has a matured in some ways. When u have a player that brings the things Nate brings on the court, how do u not find a need for him? This is why alot of us say this thing between Coach and Nate is personal. I’m a Nate fan, but I realize he’s not our savior-he’s just a piece to the puzzle. And if we are not gonna use that piece, we should trade him for another one. Problem is, this situation is making Nate look very bad. Who’s willing to trade for him for reasons other than cap relief at this point? See what i’m sayin? Nate is the most dangerous offensive weapon we have, and arguably the best player on the roster, but he gets no run even when he’s being a good soldier. So it doesn’t take a genius to see whas goin on here.

  90. Ben R

    One big thing to note about the Nate benching is the emurgence of Douglas. It is still early in his career but so far he is scoring as many points off the bench as Nate does and doing it with a TS% that is 3% higher than Nates career best and almost 5% higher than Nates career average. He is not nearly as good of a rebounder or passer but seems to be a much better defender and might be an elite level defender once he learns the ins and outs of playing defense in the NBA.

    Since they are both small combo guards there is only room in the rotation for one of them. I am not sure what kind of player Douglas will become, but right now, playing the way he is and considering he is not on an expiring contract I understand why he is getting minutes over Nate.

  91. J Weezy

    “Maybe we should all just agree not to respond to a certain poster….”

    LOL, I throughly enjoy reading his remarks and the comments that follow from the “Not-so-bright fans” as irvin so elegantly put it. I’m going out on a limb here but maybe hes just a disgruntled Nets fan. Anyways i hope we can get some value for Nate or even pull a rabbit out of the hat and ship him with Jeffries, who I must say has definately increased his trade value this year

  92. Ted Nelson

    Frank O.,

    I’m not comparing Nate and LeBron in any way other than that they goof off. LeBron’s little throwing up the chalk routine or his posing in front of the camera before games??? It’s completely bush league and if he weren’t the best player on the planet people would laugh in his face. Nate is no where near as flamboyant as LeBron, but he’s also no where near as good.

    Because he’s small he cannot act a certain way? Is height really what we’re using to judge players? If you’re the right height for your position you can act however you want, but if you’re short you have to be serious?

    Nate has come further than others and is by any measure acceptable for NBA play.

    “And he has several 55 game winning seasons.”

    All with one very talented team. In his 2 full seasons outside of Phoenix he’s a combined 20 games under .500.

    greatscott,

    I can’t believe you are comparing Nate to Marbury. Publicly Nate has done all the right things. He’s cheered on his teammates and said that he needs to prepare better and play better in a press conference.

    d-mar,

    You (and just about everyone else) are seriously underestimating Cleveland’s supporting cast. They are a defensive team. The Knicks would not become the #4 defense in the league simply by adding LeBron to this roster.

  93. daJudge

    Not to exactly change the subject, but I’m moving on…How about tonight’s game? I’m actually excited to see Bender play a little and maybe get another win. Any predictions on his minutes or points. Maybe we get the sophomore jinx. For a long time, looking for diversions like this is the essence of Knickfandom. Makes me think of a song–”I’m a loser baby, so why don’t you kill me?”

  94. irvin

    Jon Abbey wrote:

    “Many not-so-bright fans don’t realize how bad the situation is, but I’ll provide a clue: we have reached a point where benching Jeffries is a reason to panic, instead of celebration.

    Think – if you can – about that one.”

    1) you come across as an asshole in pretty much every post. if this is intentional, OK, but just giving you some feedback.

    *************

    I guess you can’t.

    :-)

  95. irvin

    J Weezy writes:

    “I… dont understand why you call D’Antoni “nasty” Irvin? Do you have a personal relationship with him or something? Has he done something to spite you in his tenure with the Knicks? What behavior of his qualifies for the adjective nasty?”

    1. The way he has handled the Marbury situation – playing the guy all pre-season only to banish him when the season began. Marbury is scum – I won’t dispute that, but D’Antoni could have been honest with him (and banish him) from the very beginning.

    2. The way he is handling the Nate situation. It’s obvious to everyone that this is not a regular benching for bad behaviour. This is personal and D’Antoni went as far as saying (in answering why he wouldn’t play Nate when the team desperately needed a scorer): “I’d play Satan if it helped the club win” – you interpret that any way you want.

    3. The way he is gambling with the team’s future by not giving the rookies a few consistent minutes. In exchange for what? To go from 27 wins to 33 wins this year?

    4. The blatant favoritism he shows for certain players (Duhon). That’s will eventually result in a divided locker room.

    Those are, in short, my reasons.

  96. greatscott

    I guess another whining player demanding a trade is doing the right thing. Marbury and Robinson are similar because they both lack professionalism and maturity and teams get better when they leave. The Knicks go on a 4 game win streak without Robinson and they are 6-3 in the last 9 games. Also don’t forget the Phoenix win where Nate did virtually nothing. I know he’s talented but the clown didn’t make the team win.

  97. tastycakes

    Irvin,

    1. In a perfect world, the Knicks would have cut ties with Marbury from Day 1 of the Walsh / D’Antoni era. They didn’t, because they didn’t want to throw away $18M (or some such ridiculous amount of money). I am guessing there was pressure from the Dolans to at least give him a shot at playing, but when it became clear to Mike what a raving lunatic Marbury was, who can blame him for what transpired next? And on Marbury’s side, why should he abandon any amount of money from a contract of that size? This type of contract dispute is ultimately meaningless. The sports media gets itself all lathered up about such disputes, but the idea that they are poisonous in any way, or affect the team’s play, or affect whether or not free agents come to New York is pretty weak sauce, IMO. Seriously, fuck Marbury. Who cares how he was treated? He was the worst kind of cancer.

    2. Maybe take D’Antoni at face value? If he really thinks Nate is not conducive to the Knicks winning, and has no plans for Nate to be a part of the Knicks’ future, then isn’t this a perfectly rational course of action? To me, it doesn’t seem like such a horrible thing that other players have reason to believe D’Antoni will take extreme measures if they don’t take their jobs seriously. Lets face it, early this year, it looked like there wasn’t a Knickerbocker around who cared about playing winning ball. They have turned around and become a competitive team, which is good. Nate was always a bright spot on a terrible team, but at this point, I don’t care. Time to move on.

    3. I agree, I would like to see the rookies get more burn. Any burn. My expectation and hope is that when the Knicks have played themselves out of playoff contention around Game 60, we’re going to start seeing more rookie play. I’m not sure that just throwing the rooks out there, even if it costs you ballgames, is really the right idea. A coach tries to create a winning environment. At the moment, our coach doesn’t think Nate helps the team win, and he doesn’t think the rookies help the team win. Perhaps he doesn’t believe the rooks should feel any sense of entitlement, and wants them to bust their asses to prove they belong. Or maybe he feels that they’re both marginal NBA players and that they screwed the draft. Who knows? I’d like to see some change here.

    4. The Duhon thing is silly. Who else are you going to play there? We don’t have another point guard! Duhon was absolutely pitiful over the first month of the season, but sometimes you just have to let guys play through rough stretches. Especially when there is no great alternative. If you bench Duhon and marginalize him, and his replacement is no better, how does that help anything? Look, Duhon is a marginal NBA point guard, who in his best stretches looks like an average NBA point guard. It’s a bad situation and clearly not a permanent one. The team is loaded with role players. Maybe some of them will actually be around to play roles when we get a couple of stars on the team, someday.

    Also, yes, it’s ridiculous that suddenly we are all in love with Jared Jeffries. As a consistently outspoken critic of his (lack of) game, I have to admit that he has been playing good, winning ball of late. But I also think, after watching this loser “play” for the last couple of years, that he’s in a hot streak and we’d be lucky to jettison him if anybody is foolish enough to think he is the real deal.

    Free agents will come to New York because: MSG / NYC is a great place to play / the Knicks offer them the highest contract / they believe Mike is a great coach. So if your contention is that players secretly don’t think Mike is any good, fine, but it’s certainly not the impression one would get from the press. I also think it’s a huge logical leap to assume that any of your points are somehow utterly damning and that a star player who wants to play in New York is going to be scared into a different choice as a result.

  98. Ted Nelson

    greatscott,

    Not every player who requests a trade is the same. Nate said the right things in the press conference after being benched, he’s continued to be the Knicks #1 cheerleader on the bench, and his agent sat down with Donnie Walsh… Nate did not whine for a trade. The big question that I cannot answer is what goes on in practice. If Nate is doing everything right in practice and just literally does not have a chance to work his way back into the rotation, then I have no problem with him requesting a trade. It appears pretty obvious that Nate’s ability to create for himself and others on offense could help this team, yet he’s not getting any chance. The fact that D’Antoni really doesn’t believe Nate could help an inconsistent offense with a bunch of bad shooters is a bit confusing. The interpretation that there is no logic in that sentiment is what’s leading so many people to feel that this is a personality thing. And in that case he’s not eating Vaseline, he just clowns around a bit. On a lot of good teams–San Antonio and Cleveland, for example–joking around is a big part of the team chemistry.

    Nate Robinson is clearly not a franchise player who is going to lift the team on his back on both sides of the ball and win consistently. His ideal spot is as a 3rd or 4th guard who can bring instant offense and energy off the bench.
    Is Nate being benched really the reason that Duhon started playing basketball? Is it the reason that the Knicks started shooting the lights out? It may have sent a signal that motivated guys, but I personally don’t see benching Nate as addition by subtraction. A lot of people have pointed to defense, but their defense is still not good and I have a hard time pointing to the PG defense and saying that is the reason the Knicks are winning. I would even argue that Duhon is better off guarding SGs most nights, he simply gets lit up by quick PGs.

  99. ess-dog

    Thank you Tastycakes. Let’s just let Mike D finish out the season before a public hanging. I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt after 25 games and inheriting a junk team from the worst GM in the history of the league.

  100. d-mar

    “You (and just about everyone else) are seriously underestimating Cleveland’s supporting cast. They are a defensive team. The Knicks would not become the #4 defense in the league simply by adding LeBron to this roster.”

    Maybe not, but I’m pretty sure we would win as many games as the current Cavs team.

  101. Ted Nelson

    There’s obviously no way to say either way. The Knicks probably can’t bring in LeBron and bring back most of these guys, so we’ll never really know.

    Here’s my speculative look at it, though. The Cavs are the #4 defense and #10 offense in the NBA so far, and tied for the 3rd best record in the league (2 games behind LA for first). The Knicks are the 23rd defense and 20th offense. I could definitely see LeBron lifting the Knicks into the top 10 and maybe even top 5 offensively, but defensively they still would have no interior presence and pretty mediocre talent. I don’t think they’d crack the top 1/2 of the league.

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