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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Ah… The Bittersweet Taste of Ambivalence

As you are no doubt aware by now, the Knicks have hired former Phoenix Suns head coach Mike D’Antoni to be their new head coach (4 years/$6 million per). Opinions are flying in from pundits, bloggers, fans, and onlookers. Opinions, it should come as no surprise, cover the spectrum. Some are excited. Others are disappointed. Personally, I am ambivalent about the hire.

I both love it and hate it.

Ambivalence: The condition of holding opposite feelings for the same person or object

Love. I’ve been begging the Knicks to run for quite some time. Although the current roster is missing Steve Nash the Knicks could increase their pace from a middle-of-the-pack 13th into the top 7 just by deciding to play faster. Running would maximize the strengths of the young core, Curry’s and Randolph’s loafing be damned. When pundits opine about how poorly D’Antoni fits the roster, they are usually referring to Marbury, Curry, and Randolph. But, Walsh is here precisely because these players really are no longer the core. They’re baggage. On the other hand, Nate Robinson, Crawford, Lee, Jeffries, Chandler, and Balkman could potentially thrive in an uptempo running game. And for what it’s worth, in the brief moments Curry has been healthy and in reasonable shape he’s run the floor well. He’s not a poor fit for D’Antoni’s system per se. Finally, the other thing I love is that it is relatively easy to find complimentary players for D’Antoni’s style at fairly reasonable prices. Raja Bell, James Jones, Anthony Parker, T.J. Ford, Kurt Thomas, and Boris Diaw were all basically considered minor acquisitions when they joined Phoenix or Toronto (Phoenix’s closest imitator).

Hate. On inspection the D’Antoni courtship is eerily like Larry Brown’s. Like Brown, D’Antoni has had some issues working and playing well with others. I’m not suggesting that D’Antoni is a drama queen on par with Brown, but basically D’Antoni put himself on the market because Steve Kerr bruised his ego. It’s ostensibly NY’s gain, but still troubling. I am concerned that D’Antoni’s tendency to bristle at criticism, a bit like former Mets skipper Bobby Valentine, is a potential land mine. If/when Walsh inserts a GM (perhaps Billy King) between himself and D’Antoni we could see history repeat itself. It’s quite possible that the messenger–the inexperienced Kerr–rather than the message was the problem for D’Antoni but it’s something to keep an eye on. I also think it’s legitimate to question D’Antoni’s willingness to hold his players accountable–particularly on defense. Amare Stoudemire is unguardable when he’s on, but he remains mostly an indifferent defender. I don’t expect D’Antoni to publicly humiliate his players but I do expect to see improvement in the “hustle” categories (i.e., steals, blocks, drawn charges, boards, deflections) from stars. A friend once told me that when one of your stars doesn’t defend–which is to say, gives effort on the defensive end–it is a direct reflection of his respect for the coach. I believe that. None of these are fatal flaws for D’Antoni, but they are precisely the kinds of flaws that could keep a championship caliber team out of the finals or turn an imposing rebuilding job into an impossible one.

A word about Mark Jackson. One routinely over-valued aspect of sports is coaching experience. Coaching is obviously important, but it’s so important few truly incompetent coaches ever see the light of day, Jerry Tarkanian’s brief foray into the NBA notwithstanding. The distance separating the best coaches from the worst is routinely offset by factors outside the coach’s control like injuries, relationships with players or management. Inexperience can be offset by the experience of others, like Avery Johnson’s staff in Dallas. I would like to have seen Mark Jackson offered the head-coaching job. He seems like the right fit for a bad team in need of a classic rebuild. But I don’t feel bad for him. This would have been a terrible first job. Having said that, there is little reason to believe that D’Antoni will be a complete disaster. He’s clearly a quality coach and he has players on the roster that do in fact fit his preferred style. NY should improve from horrible to mediocre just from competent management and coaching.

172 comments on “Ah… The Bittersweet Taste of Ambivalence

  1. o_boogie

    It isnt easy going from coach/gm to just coach overnight. It seems like Sarver did not take into consideration what kind of relationship Kerr and D’antoni would have. Donnie Walsh has been around too long to hire a high profile coach like D’antoni then bring in a gm he would butt heads with.

    Everyone seems to be assuming that D’antoni is a one trick pony and will try and implement a SSoL type system in NY (which wouldnt necessarily be a bad thing). But, the mark of a great coach is whether he adjusts his system to his personnel. Only time will tell.

    I do like that D’antoni is a players coach who uses a lot of positive reinforcement, which should help bridge the gap between cheeseburgers curry/z-bo and the team in the event we can get no takers in a trade.

  2. GiantKnickFan

    I cant blame D’antoni for leaving if he felt he was being undermined by Kerr. Kerr has already been known to be meddlesome.
    D’antoni im sure has a lot of pride and didnt have the support he did like when Colangelo was there.
    What i like is that there is now an identity and players do love to play in this system becuase its fun, up-tempo and more importantly he treats players like adults and lets them play.

  3. justin

    can anyone post the article on espn.com from the rumor section about the knicks tryin to lure lebron. thanks!

  4. David Crockett

    Few professional league coaches will implement a system without regard to personnel. So, I agree with you o_boogie. This notion that D’Antoni will be lost without a full-fledged “seven seconds or less” is a red herring. People are conflating “system” with “pace.” The two are related, but distinct. Phil Jackson’s been running the same triple post offense forever, but his 1996 72-win Bulls team was one of the slowest in the league while this 2008 Lakers team played the league’s 6th fastest pace–and that was mostly with Bynum. There’s no reason for D’Antoni not to quicken the pace, and he doesn’t need Nash, Marion, and Stoudemire to do it.

    As for the new GM, the names I’ve heard most frequently are Billy King and Bernie Bickerstaff. I’d generally be fine with either, as I think both have decent eyes for talent and neither is prone to doing something demonstrably stupid.

  5. caleb

    Why does Walsh (or any team president) need a GM? I’m just askin!

    As for Steve Kerr, he seems like a nice smart guy and I enjoyed hearing him on the broadcasts, but what had he ever done to qualify him for running a team?

  6. o_boogie

    Caleb:

    Kerr must have been considered desirable as he was situated under Jackson and Popovich as a player. Working in close contact with those two guys will turn anyone into a bright basketball mind.

  7. jon abbey

    “Working in close contact with those two guys will turn anyone into a bright basketball mind.”

    evidently not, as he couldn’t have screwed up Phoenix any quicker (with a lot of help from Sarver) if that had been his goal.

  8. PeteRoc

    0_boogie:

    IT played for hall of fame coach Bob Knight (and won an NCAA title), hall of fame coach Chuck Daly (and won 2 NBA titles), and coached under Donnie Walsh in Indiana (admittedly, I think he did a good coaching job in Indiana).

    If anything, playing for a good coach would seem to be a precursor for becoming a coach yourself. I agree with Caleb, what qualifies him to run a team?

  9. o_boogie

    I could only speculate why Sarver hired Kerr, but as I stated above, said logic was probably the deciding factor. He also seemed to provide somewhat competent info as a TV analyst, however I don’t believe that necessarily translates into running a team successfully.

  10. miik

    I don’t know how one can’t be elated about this hire. Yeah, he hasn’t won a championship, but not like any other coaching candidate out there has either. He’s far and away the most successful coach available, AND he coaches the most entertaining basketball in the league, to boot. Watching the Knicks will be fun again.

    As for the players not fitting D’Antoni’s system: The crap roster we have now doesn’t fit any system! No coach was going to make the current roster better or make those chumps play defense. That’s why Walsh is here. Significant roster changes will be made before D’Antoni even coaches his first Knicks game. At least the ship is finally pointing in the right direction.

    As for the criticisms that D’Antoni’s teams don’t play defense, I think they were more successful than given credit for. Nash is a subpar defender and players were constantly blowing by him and getting to the hoop. Nothing D’Antoni could do about that. On the otherhand, Bell and Marion were excellent defenders. If anything, people are disappointed D’Antoni couldn’t turn Amare into a better defender. That might be a vaild criticism.

    Mark Jackson might be a good coach somewhere, but I’m convinced it isn’t NY. I mean, as a player, he became one of the least popular Knicks I can remember, almost on par with Marbury. And, I’m convinced he would wear out his welcome just as quickly and spectacularly as he did after his rookie season because of his cockiness and sensitivity to criticism. He has too much bluster and pompousness to deal with the NY media.

    Hiring Walsh is already paying off.

  11. Ken

    This is a higher risk, but also higher reward, than hiring Mark Jackson. If D’Antoni can make it through the first two years with some good will left, then he will be a big success when the better players start to arrive. It’s shakey, but Knicks fans will be surprised how much more smoothly things run with Isiah gone.

  12. stingy d

    what if we pilfered baron davis for the expiring contract of marbury. just saying theoretically, good move/bad move?

    and curry will be fine because him and crawford have that esp guys. and crawford is gonna seriously light it up next year fellers.

    but jared jeffries is no good man. that guy has got to go. he is a liability beyond comparison. he might be charles smith waiting to happen- except he’s waiting to happen like 8 or 10 times per game.

  13. Thomas B.

    For those that don’t like this hire, like myself, we can take some solace in the idea that D’antoni’s style is good fit for guys like Robinson, Chandler, Balkman, Lee, and dare I hope Derrick Rose or Mike Beasley. So we would likely see more of the players we like and less of the players that we do not like. For the folks who worry about D’antoni’s history of not using the bench, that is only a bad thing when we see what is on the bench. If the young guys are benched that would be bad. Benching Randolph, the JJ’s, Collins, possibly Curry and Marbury might be a good thing.

    Speaking of the Starbury. I read he plans to come into camp in great shape and with the right attitude. Does anyone buy that? Has he not sold us this every summer since he arrived? The problem is not the way he comes to camp, his problme has always been how he responds to not getting his way. Of every coach the Knicks had in the Marbury era, Wilkens seemed to give him the most room to play his way. Wilken had little choice as there was no one else on the team who could score like Steph. Thomas tried but last year it was clear he was sick of Steph’s antics. If D’antoni is smart he will test Steph in the presaeson and not give him the chance to ruin the season with his poor attitude.

  14. caleb

    The last time D’Antoni got a head coaching job, the Suns traded Marbury 13 games later — so I don’t get the feeling that Mike is an admirer.

    But no matter — Marbury isn’t part of the long-term plan, anyway. He’s still the best point guard on the roster, though — hopefully he’ll play well enough that we can trade him at the deadline, for a draft pick, along with a contract or three that exprire by 2010.

  15. caleb

    I think Knick fans are just starting to emerge from a state of psychological trauma, terrified of the madman who was holding our team hostage the past four years. We were constantly on edge that he would do something to destroy our hopes even further, while at the same time we developed a sort of Stockholm Syndrome — accepting the basics of the situation, that current starters are the key players, etc.

    We’re just now realizing that it doesn’t have to be this way — if we have a better center than Curry, he’ll be replaced. If we have a better PG, he’ll play. If Renaldo Balkman (or David Lee) is sitting on the bench next year, we can know there’s a good reason — it’s not part of an evil plot or harebrained “strategy.”

    It will take time to rebuild, but sanity is back.

    Even in the short-term, like others have said, we shouldn’t be bottom-feeders next year. We have basically the same roster that won 33 games in 2006-2007, except the young guys are more developed, we have the draft pick and we have a competent coach…

  16. Z

    “[Kerr] couldn’t have screwed up Phoenix any quicker”

    D’Antoni talked Kerr into the Shaq deal. Doesn’t he deserve some credit for Phoenix’s demise too?

    “[Mark Jackson] became one of the least popular Knicks I can remember”

    Less popular than the guy he was traded for?!?

    “I read [Marbury] plans to come into camp in great shape and with the right attitude. Does anyone buy that?”

    Yes. He is going to be playing for his next contract. I think he’ll make Chris Paul look like Mardy Collins.

    “As for the players not fitting D’Antoni’s system: The crap roster we have now doesn’t fit any system!”

    Exactly. Who cares about the current roster. Walsh was brought in to undo the roster. We are more than a coaching change away from respectability!

  17. o_boogie

    It seems like oj mayo would have been a no brainer choice if we dont get a top-2 pick, especially with the d’antoni at the helm. do you guys think the benefits scandal will potentially change that and/or hurt his draft stock?

  18. Thomas B.

    From a NY daily:
    “So D’Antoni thought that instead of inserting an inexperienced, somewhat overmatched player in his starting five, why not just add another swingman? So unwittingly began Marion’s career as the smallest power forward in the NBA. But it worked like magic.”

    So what will that mean for the Knicks? A Lee, Balkman, Chandler frontcourt?

  19. Thomas B.

    “I think Knick fans are just starting to emerge from a state of psychological trauma, terrified of the madman who was holding our team hostage the past four years. We were constantly on edge that he would do something to destroy our hopes even further, while at the same time we developed a sort of Stockholm Syndrome — accepting the basics of the situation, that current starters are the key players, etc.”

    LOL! So true, so very true.

  20. Ess-dog

    After this hire, grabbing Derrick Rose in the draft would just seem like the stars aligning. I think he could really push the pace that D’Antoni wants. If we can’t get him, Bayless would be a good 2nd choice. OJ will be a nice player, but he’s a replica of Steph which we don’t need! And just let Steph walk after next year. Then I would package Zach and Jamal or Nate for a big (but shorter) contract than Zach’s and another draft pick (20-30 range.) I would let Mardy go. Work the Curry/Lee frontcourt til we can find something better. Chandler/Balkman at the 3. Steph @ the 2 (just like Larry Brown wanted.) And our new point guard. Nate or Jamal off the bench. Maybe a little Morris or Jeffries here and there. Voila! Build from there…

  21. caleb

    I was too harsh on OJ a few weeks back, but I don’t think he’s good enough to go #3. Number 5 is sort of a strange spot — after Rose & Beasley, the next several guys have many question marks and probably wouldn’t go higher than 5 or 6 in a typical draft. So trading down would be a good option.

    But if we DO stay at #5, I like Bayless better than Mayo. Pros: Bayless might have the skills to play PG in the NBA; he was a much more efficient scorer in college. Cons: Mayo is a much better defender.

    Lopez would be the safest pick. #5 seems a little high, but he’ll at least be a decent 7-foot NBA starting center. They don’t grow on trees. He’s very skilled and a good passer, high priorities in D’Antoni-Land. He’s not a dominating player, but then he just turned 20 so I think he has a lot of “upside,” to use a cliche.

    (if we somehow get a second draft pick, I think Robin Lopez would be terrific pick, in the 2nd half of the first round — a genuine center who can run the floor and had 2.3 blocks a game in just 24 minutes)

    But if Donnie Walsh will take my call, I’d lobby for Anthony Randolph. He hasn’t had the exposure, but even though he’s just 18 he played very well as a freshman… at 6’11 he could play anything in the frontcourt… at the high-end, a Kirilenko, or a taller Shawn Marion with more of a post-up game. At the low end, maybe Andray Blatche…

  22. Ted Nelson

    “If anything, people are disappointed D’Antoni couldn’t turn Amare into a better defender.”

    I think that’s a big part of the criticism of his defensive coaching. Yeah, Phoenix was average (not at the bottom of the league) in terms of defensive efficiency, but I think the criticism is: you’re great offensively & mediocre defensively, what should you try to improve??? Why didn’t you improve?

    I don’t know if that’s fair or not, though, it’s hard to argue with 60 win seasons and deep playoff runs.
    My only reservation is that D’Antoni had zero NBA success pre-Phoenix. I think that because the Knicks’ roster is probably closer to the Nuggets’ roster he coached than the Suns’ rosters he’s had, wondering whether D’Antoni is a one trick pony is a legitimate concern.

    Not saying he won’t adjust or find success in NY, but I think it’s a legitimate concern (especially if you’ve never met the man).

    “what if we pilfered baron davis for the expiring contract of marbury. just saying theoretically, good move/bad move?”

    I’d say bad move. Davis is maybe a top 10 PG (off the top of my head), but that’s not really someone you screw up the cap situation for. He’s also getting a bit older with an injury history.

    “For the folks who worry about D’antoni’s history of not using the bench, that is only a bad thing when we see what is on the bench. If the young guys are benched that would be bad. Benching Randolph, the JJ’s, Collins, possibly Curry and Marbury might be a good thing.”

    I think we’ll see Robinson, Lee, and hopefully Balkman plenty and Chandler if he learns the word pass. I sort of doubt D’Antoni came to NY with the idea that Curry, Randolph, Marbury, and Crawford were actually a great combo that just needed a better coach, but nothing would suprise me anymore.

    “Even in the short-term, like others have said, we shouldn’t be bottom-feeders next year. We have basically the same roster that won 33 games in 2006-2007, except the young guys are more developed, we have the draft pick and we have a competent coach…”

    I think the Knicks could maybe challenge for the 8th seed next season. A good rookie and a good trade, a few other teams fail to live up to expectations and maybe they challenge for the playoffs. I’ve basically thought that way since the last time they made the playoffs, though, and bottoming out and getting another high lottery pick might be good. Ricky Rubio is Nash-like wizard with the ball (without the outside shot) and could lead the NBA in steals, he has buyout issues but is eligible for next year’s draft.

    “It seems like oj mayo would have been a no brainer choice if we dont get a top-2 pick”

    Yeah, Crawford and Mayo running around shooting jumpers is exactly what we need: miss as many shots as you can in 7 seconds or less. At least DLee would surely be the best offensive rebounder in the league…

    Seriously, I think Mayo has the character to be a difference maker at the NBA level, but I don’t know why he’s a great fit for D’Antoni’s system. I think Bayless is a better fit (ala Leandrinho). Mayo has as good a chance as being a 20 ppg 40% fg% SG as he does of being an All-NBA SG. I wouldn’t mind him, but I’m not sure he’s a no-brainer.

    “After this hire, grabbing Derrick Rose in the draft would just seem like the stars aligning.”

    Rose would be amazing, but Beasley also might be able to play a Shawn Marion role. Depends on how dedicated he is defensively.

    “the next several guys have many question marks and probably wouldn’t go higher than 5 or 6 in a typical draft”

    I don’t know, Bogut went ahead of Paul and Williams. He may not be, but Lopez could be as good as Bogut. Taking a center (especially a “soft” one) high scares me about as much as taking a QB high, though.

    “But if Donnie Walsh will take my call, I’d lobby for Anthony Randolph. He hasn’t had the exposure, but even though he’s just 18 he played very well as a freshman… at 6?11 he could play anything in the frontcourt… at the high-end, a Kirilenko, or a taller Shawn Marion with more of a post-up game. At the low end, maybe Andray Blatche…”

    Or a Jonathan Bender. That might scare Walsh off, but who knows.

  23. Frank O.

    I think Walsh is recognizing what most people on this blog have recognized for more than a year:
    The Knicks’ core is Lee, Balkman, and Robinson, and that Crawford, Chandler and even Jeffries will fit well into a running system as well.
    Play your best five players. None of this sixth man crap.
    And anyone expecting Marbury to be with this team very long is smoking some good stuff.

  24. caleb

    I think Jonathan Bender would have been a very good pro if his knee had held up, but then who knows…

    Bogut is much more physical than Lopez, but not as versatile a scorer… But that’s a decent comparison. If Bogut had been drafted #5 behind the guys you mentioned, no one would be complaining. I think Lopez will be around that level. I call him a safe pick because when you’re 7 feet tall with decent skills, at least you can play in the NBA — there’s less risk than a guard, who could be out of the league before you know it.

  25. jon abbey

    “D’Antoni talked Kerr into the Shaq deal. Doesn’t he deserve some credit for Phoenix’s demise too?”

    not really, because the real problems came before that, giving away Kurt Thomas in the offseason was huge. if they’d just kept him, not only would they have two more number 1s now, but they wouldn’t have had to roll the dice on the corpse of the Diesel.

  26. retropkid

    D’Antoni is going to find/attract some talent from Europe… New York should be very attractive to European players and we have Frederic Weis-phobia institutionally….D’Antoni can change that.

    Our roster will look very different in two years,regardless of the rook we pick up this year in the draft — Mayo, Love, Rose, Beasley, Lopez — any of them is can help right now.

    The best news is that the Knicks will be less painful to watch, the games will be up-tempo..and there is nobody left to hate other than Dolan…

  27. Z

    “there is nobody left to hate other than Dolan…”

    Even with Ghandi as coach, I’d still find it impossible to root for Zach Randolph.

    And Marbury has turned me off more in the past four years than even Isiah did.

    I see it as one down and two to go…

  28. Z

    Jon– true about the source of the Suns 2008 problems. My point was really less about your comment, and more to the Knickerblogger family of posters that condemned the Shaq trade as:

    “…we all, more or less, agree that this is a horrible trade for the Suns, trading the better, younger player on a team with the best record in the Western Conference for an older, worse player who, as a kicker, is not just injury prone, but currently injured. What I wonder, though, is this such a bad trade that it is even worse than any Isiah trade?” (2/6/08)

    Many of those who “all agree” that the Shaq deal was worse than anything Isiah had ever brought upon the knicks are excited by the hiring of the main culprit of the deal.

  29. caleb

    Even if its true that d’antoni was a force behind the shaq trade (“defeat is an orphan”)I don’t see it as a big concern, since he won’t be running personnel here. Unlike kerr, We have a pro in that job.

  30. T-Mart

    “and bottoming out and getting another high lottery pick might be good. Ricky Rubio is Nash-like wizard with the ball (without the outside shot) and could lead the NBA in steals, he has buyout issues but is eligible for next year’s draft”

    Lets hope this is this years strategy. Esp in light of having no pick in 2009 we really gain a lot more by tanking this season, continuing to develop our young players, getting another fabulous pick, and then putting our cards in order to win in ’09. (as opposed to eaking out the 8th spot).

  31. Danisrob

    If we don’t get a top two maybe trade down and try get Kevin Love, great fit for D’Antoni’s system, and maybe a point guard later on?

  32. dave crockett

    “Many of those who “all agree” that the Shaq deal was worse than anything Isiah had ever brought upon the knicks are excited by the hiring of the main culprit of the deal.”

    I started to bring that up, but decided against it because the bigger sin is Stoudemire’s utter unwillingness to defend for an entire series. That’s what lead to the Shaq deal in my opinion (and the Kurt Thomas acquisition before that). The specifics of the deal have been done to death, but what lead to it is a legit bone to pick with D’Antoni.

    Shawn Marion was right. D’Antoni bent over backwards to accommodate Stoudemire. I don’t think Marion’s public spats were about Nash so much as Stoudemire. Marion played out of position defensively to accommodate Stoudamire. Marion called D’Antoni on it and coach figured he could cover up with Grant Hill and Boris Diaw–oops.

    As Caleb mentioned, without power over trades this may be less a problem in NY. But then maybe it will be. We don’t know how well D’Antoni will work with any new GM–especially since D’Antoni is Walsh’s hire and not the GMs.

  33. jon abbey

    also the context of the Shaq deal is important to keep in mind, clearly Steve Nash’s window of being a superstar was closing quickly. them going out so quickly this year is on Nash as much as anyone, as with Marion gone and not able to cover for him on D anymore, he wore down way more quickly and was absolutely abysmal in that last game.

    anyway, we don’t have to worry about that here, because with no window at all, you can’t have a window closing… :)

  34. Matthew

    Based on Jackson’s career as a commentator, I’d have to think he’d be a terrible in-game coach. His comments are not very insightful. So if he’s a good coach, it only happens after a lot of gameplanning and practice. He’s not going to notice what the opponent is doing to his team and adjust. Because his commentator is nothing but the most vague cliches out there.

  35. Ray

    Listen guys. Smell the Mayo with me. This kid is going to get bigger and stronger in time. He will work hard, shoot the J and play Defense( MAde the PAC-10 All Defensive Team). Craw does not play D like Mayo. His D will create stops and turnovers .
    Then with his handle he can ignite the fast break. Im talking crazy highlights here. Hes going to grow into a real quality NBA player. How high his star flies i dont know. We’ll have to see but id hate to be the team to pass on a great one. I know the Clipper want him but we can get him at 5 or wherever we draft. He locked down Rose head to head and did the same to Bayless. You tell hm to go and get um and thats what he does. Very coachable and can turn on the the scoring machine at will. Imagine him and Crawford trading 3’s and then Mayo locking the D up on the other end. You dont think that will be contaigious? You dont think this kid has a chip on his shoulder with Rose getting all the hype????? HE coming into the league with something to prove and he will get it done. Hopefully with the Knicks.

  36. oboogie

    “If we don’t get a top two maybe trade down and try get Kevin Love, great fit for D’Antoni’s system, and maybe a point guard later on?”

    “Kevin Love is way too slow and unathletic to play in D’Antoni’s system.”

    Kevin is THE BEST at outlet passing, which is the perfect way to initiate a fast paced offense. I can see him flourishing under D’antoni.

    If you need proof: http://youtube.com/watch?v=QGAY_kHrMok

  37. jrock

    i think the mayo might be rotten – i’m sure ya’ll saw the amount of press about the USC scandal – hi-def tv’s in his dorm room, a range rover, etc. we don’t need someone that’s been coddled in their high school and college career and never been held accountable. character counts, and for all of mayo’s skills, i don’t think he’s got his head screwed on straight enough to be a consistent difference maker.

  38. daaarn

    I’ve already moved on from the coaching situation if only because I know the team won’t be going anywhere anyway next season, as rebuilding/reconstruction hopefully commences in earnest (but if Billy King’s hired, all bets are off).

    Personally, I’m looking toward the draft now. Since I doubt the Basketball Gods are on our side, I’m expecting us to keep the 5th pick (and if we fall, then I know they hate us). That automatically disqualifies us from Rose, and puts us in the thick of the undersized combo guard rally (Mayo, Gordon, Bayless). I don’t see any of them really developing into a pass first 1, and I don’t think we need another shoot-happy scorer, so I’d suggest trading down a couple spots and nab Augustin or maybe even Love. However, I’m not particularly sure on either of those 2 tho, b/c they’re either undersized, or not as athletic, but I think they’re skilled and have a good enough work ethic to at least contribute constructively to the team.

  39. David Crockett

    Boy, the next few weeks for this couldn’t be more interesting or more uncertain.

    * Who will join D’Antoni’s staff? Did Walsh subtly suggest that a defensive-oriented coach might be a wise move?
    * Who is the right GM to work with D’Antoni?
    * Will NY trade down in the draft if their pick is outside the top 2-3? (I’d guess the probability went up substantially with D’Antoni’s hiring.)
    * What will the team do with Herb Williams?

  40. Duff Soviet Union

    “think the mayo might be rotten – i’m sure ya’ll saw the amount of press about the USC scandal – hi-def tv’s in his dorm room, a range rover, etc. we don’t need someone that’s been coddled in their high school and college career and never been held accountable. character counts, and for all of mayo’s skills, i don’t think he’s got his head screwed on straight enough to be a consistent difference maker.” Look, EVERY college player worth his salt gets these kind of “benefits”. Every single one. I don’t know why these “scandals” are even considered news anymore. Wake me up when a highly rated college player actually is playing for free. Just one of the things I hate about college basketball. At least the NBA admits their players are millionaires. OJ Mayo might be a bust but it won’t be because of this shit. If you looked through bank accounts etc of other players I’m guessing you’d find the same stuff anywhere.

  41. W.C.

    The difference between the Shaq trade and anything that Thomas did is that you could at least make a case for it.

    Nash is getting old and the Suns legitimately only had this season and next to win it all. Losing Thomas put the Suns in a no win situation. So it made some sense to take a major risk on another big man. They weren’t risking the future at all because they only had 2 more years to win it all anyway and they still have Amare for the rebuilding period that starts after Shaq and Nash are done.

    It didn’t work, but it doesn’t matter. They would not have won if they didn’t make a move anyway.

  42. caleb

    “We don’t know how well D’Antoni will work with any new GM–especially since D’Antoni is Walsh’s hire and not the GMs.”

    I’m just curious — has Walsh specifically said he’s going to hire a GM? What, then, will Walsh do? Crunch the numbers on pricing season ticket plans? Pick curtain colors for the luxury suites?

    I guess he was fine with a power-sharing agreement in Indiana, but it seems like he left at least in part because he was sick of it.

    How do you think job duties would be split, between Walsh and a GM?

    re: Love, he’s a good player and well worth it to someone in the second half of the lottery, but he’s too small to play center, too slow to play SF and too whatever it is to guard anyone… I don’t think he’ll ever be as good as Lee or (gulp!) even Randolph. I expect he’ll be throwing those beautiful passses somewhere else.

    re: next year — Of course it would be better to have another high pick, but I oppose tanking on principle. Anyway, it’s hard to predict without knowing what the summer brings, but I’d be surprised if we’re in the bottom 5 again — I’d guess we’ll fall somewhere between the 10th and 15th worst record*…

    *Unless Marbury is injured again and/or traded and not replaced with another point guard. Then… we’re just an injury or a few bad breaks away from another 23-win campaign.

  43. caleb

    “They would not have won if they didn’t make a move anyway.”

    hmmm… they were #1 in the West before the trade, so I don’t know you can say that for certain. It’s true, the closing schedule was tougher, but you never know… If they’d held one of the top 3 spots, they’d have been playing Denver, Dallas or Houston in the 1st round, and probably avoiding the Spurs altogether.. .

  44. Ben R

    If we do not get a top two pick what about trying to trade it to Toronto for Calderon.

    Calderon split time evenly with Ford in the playofs and I see Toronto not wanting to give him the 10 mil+ that he will demand. I think a Rose+#5 pick sign and trade for Calderon would work pretty well.

    He is the closest player to Nash and other than Paul and Williams the best PG under 30 in the league.

  45. Latke

    calderon won’t demand 10 million. Maybe 8. Can the knicks really make a move for a starting point guard with marbury still on the team?

    I can’t really understand what you’re trying to say in that last sentence, but there are several other pgs besides paul and williams who are better than calderon – Baron Davis, tony parker, arenas.

    I really hope we go after sergio rodriguez in portland. He’s not getting any real burn bc Jack and Blake are the first 2 pgs. Portland might consider swapping our, say #6 for Rodriguez and mid first rounder. They have too many players on their roster. Rodriguez comes cheap, and can backup marbury for a year.

  46. Ben R

    Rodreigez could be gotten easier than that. He has no place in Portland anymore.

    Also I would take Calderon over Arenas, or Baron Davis anyday and I would say Parker is about even.

  47. cwod

    Yeah, Calderon is seriously ridiculous. I think in April he had 66 assists and one turnover.

  48. TheTruthSquad

    Kerr was playing for Arizona and he and Sarver became buddies then. Btian Colanglo when Sarver bought the teaqm and he wanted his buddy Kerr so he forced Brian out and Kerr in, the next year. Kerr wanted to run the Suns from the bedroom of his mansion in San Diago and that pissed D’Antone off. So, Kerr told Mike he was the boss and to shut up and do as he was told.
    Kerr and Sarver will bring in an assistant coach for about 2 mil so Sarver will save 2 mil over what he was paying D’Antone and Kerr has complete control of the Suns. And D’Antone is happy with his 6 mil in New York working for a GM that is not a dumb ass

  49. Thomas B.

    Caleb said:

    “He’s listed the five NBA fan websites he thinks are “consistently good.” Something is missing, or maybe Owen just hasn’t been posting enough…”

    Or maybe you have been posting too much :-). Just kidding buddy.

  50. bud

    The only things that matter are acquiring talent now and facilitating the acquisition of talent in the future. D’Antoni doesn’t matter.

  51. Owen

    “The only things that matter are acquiring talent now and facilitating the acquisition of talent in the future. D’Antoni doesn’t matter.”

    That might be exactly why he matters, he might be the guy to attract better players.

    I don’t think he will make much of a difference with the players we have now, but it at least acts as a bit of a palate cleanser after Isiah…

  52. Z

    “I’m just curious — has Walsh specifically said he’s going to hire a GM? What, then, will Walsh do? Crunch the numbers on pricing season ticket plans? Pick curtain colors for the luxury suites?”

    Yeah– Isiah was president/GM until he became coach as well and hired Grunwald to effectively serve as GM. Was Grunwald fired along with Thomas? Checketts, when he ran the zoo, was also responsible for the Rangers, the Forum, etc…, all stuff presumably out of Walsh’s jurisdiction. I’m not sure what purpose a GM would serve except to bring in another name brand to attract potential free-agents…

    “What will the team do with Herb Williams?”

    The reason I’m up right now posting is because I can’t sleep without the answer…

  53. Ted Nelson

    “I’m just curious — has Walsh specifically said he’s going to hire a GM? What, then, will Walsh do? Crunch the numbers on pricing season ticket plans? Pick curtain colors for the luxury suites?”

    I suppose that, at least during the “rebuilding” period, Walsh would make the actual personnel decisions, but the GM would oversee the day to day operations. Walsh is, what, 70-something? Even with a reputation for hard work, I doubt he has the energy anymore (or wants) to spend 8+ hours a day running the basketball operations and also rebuild the team/make the important decisions. After a while, once the team is “rebuilt,” it might transition into more of a Larry Bird/Donnie Walsh dynamic.

    “re: next year — Of course it would be better to have another high pick, but I oppose tanking on principle. Anyway, it’s hard to predict without knowing what the summer brings, but I’d be surprised if we’re in the bottom 5 again — I’d guess we’ll fall somewhere between the 10th and 15th worst record*… ”

    I’m also not necessarily for tanking and have argued many times (based on the experience of other organizations, including Walsh’s Pacers) that you don’t have to bottom out to rebuild.

    Bottoming out does seem to be back in fashion now after a string of strong drafts (after going out of fashion after a string of weak drafts). Hell, even Atlanta finally got an impact player in the top 3. Theoretically, I think you can rebuild successfully using a few different strategies involving either bottoming out or becoming competitive right away (some luck and timing is involved, but it’s not like you have to be the 72 win Bulls to get home court in the east).

    I do agree that with D’Antoni at the helm and the Knicks’ offensive “talent” it’s hard to imagine them among the league’s bottom 5, unless:
    1. There’s a complete “chemistry” meltdown between D’Antoni and the fat, lazy, stoner NYKs. Unlikely considering D’Antoni’s reputation, but possible given the roster’s complete lack of dedication. D’Antoni’s going to have to walk a thin line between easy going but motivating and frat house NYKs.
    2. Walsh/D’Antoni make a collaborated effort to trade / cut / bench all the veterans.

    “If we do not get a top two pick what about trying to trade it to Toronto for Calderon.”

    Interesting idea. The Raps seem pretty intent on keeping Calderon. However, if the Knicks overpay in terms of compensating Calderon (taking on big long-term contracts for borderline all-stars…) and in terms of players (maybe Colangelo likes someone in the top 5-8 more than Calderon?) maybe they could get him.
    Should they? I don’t know. On the one hand, Calderon isn’t someone I would blow the post-2010 cap situation for and Toronto is likely going to fight to keep him. On the other, he’s a very good PG who could be a nice complement to a “franchise player” like, say, Beasley. Especially under D’Antoni.

    So, I guess I might be more attracted by Calderon if the Knicks actually did get a top 2 pick, used in on Beasley, and somehow still managed to land Calderon (basically by overpaying).
    In terms of trading a 5-8 pick for Calderon, I’m a bit ambivelent. You don’t risk drafting a total bust, but you also give away what is likely the Knicks’ best short-term chance at adding an All-NBA type player and risk medium-term mediocrity if Calderon ends up as your “franchise player” surrounded by Lee, Robinson, Chandler, Balkman, maybe one or two of the vets, and new acquisitions that don’t pan-out as well as expected.

    “Portland might consider swapping our, say #6 for Rodriguez and mid first rounder.”

    Trading down from a likely top 5 pick to likely #13 for a 3rd string PG who has only shown one NBA-caliber skill? Don’t get me wrong, I like Rodriguez and think he could be a good fit in a young, reuilding version of the system D’Antoni used in Phoenix, but I don’t think you have to give up that much for him. Portland has openly expressed the desire to acquire one PG who combines the strengths of Jack, Blake, and Rodriguez. Maybe the Knicks could help them in that search in a three-way trade, or maybe if D’Antoni/Walsh aren’t high on Balkman or Chandler Portland would take them?

    “That might be exactly why he matters, he might be the guy to attract better players. I don’t think he will make much of a difference with the players we have now, but it at least acts as a bit of a palate cleanser after Isiah…”

    Not only do I think he’ll attract Bostan Nachbar-types (sarcasm), but I also think he might be the best guy to make a few of Randolph, Curry, Crawford, and Marbury attractive in an inseason/end of 08/09 trade.

    If you’re going to motivate those guys, telling them they can shoot almost as much as they want is the way to do it (less so Crawford, who’s already fairly motivated and seems to thrive in a structured system, like LB’s, I mean it could be scary to encourage him to shoot more).

    For example, imagine Marbury is averaging 20 ppg and 8 apg in his contract year, maybe a team like Cleveland gives the Knicks expiring contracts and a 1st and/or an attractive player (Gibson, Varejao). Maybe, best case scenario I know, if Randolph or Curry is putting up 20 ppg on an 8th seed the Knicks can get a Jason Richardson-Brandan Wright kind of deal for him…

  54. GiantKnickFan

    Ideal situation- Somehow land Derrick Rose which may take the #1 pick. The only way hes not #1 is if the team whos picking there really doesnt need a PG. If we land 2-5 and cant get Rose, trade down and jettison one of our undesirables (Randolph, Jeffries, Q, Curry). Draft Bayless, Mayo, Lopez and Westbrook is a dark horse for me because hes a freakish athelete and a legit shut down defender and is also a big time finisher.

    *Marbury’s contract might be very valuable come trade deadline, might be able to nab a good player a la Pau Gasol. Or we can just let it come off the books instead of trading him now unless we wanna just get rid of him if we get Rose.

    Randolph Morris and Mardy Collins’s future’s also look bleak

  55. o_boogie

    “Ideal situation- Somehow land Derrick Rose which may take the #1 pick. The only way hes not #1 is if the team whos picking there really doesnt need a PG. If we land 2-5 and cant get Rose, trade down and jettison one of our undesirables (Randolph, Jeffries, Q, Curry).”

    I cannot see myself being a knicks fan for much longer if we pass up the opportunity to take beasley.

  56. Brian Cronin

    I hope Herb Williams will stick around. I think he might, as well (although probably not).

  57. Ted Nelson

    “I cannot see myself being a knicks fan for much longer if we pass up the opportunity to take beasley.”

    Yeah, I would be miserable watching Rose fly down the court and hit Chandler/Balkman/Curry with an alley-oop pass or Nate with a wide open 3… I don’t even think I could bring myself to watch.

  58. o_boogie

    Ted:

    I was referring to “If we land 2-5 and cant get Rose, trade down”.

    Obv, Rose is best case scenario. However, passing up Beasley with #2 would be a mistake.

  59. Owen

    “If you’re going to motivate those guys, telling them they can shoot almost as much as they want is the way to do it.”

    That makes sense to me….

  60. Ted Nelson

    “I was referring to “If we land 2-5 and cant get Rose, trade down”. Obv, Rose is best case scenario. However, passing up Beasley with #2 would be a mistake.”

    Oh, missed that. I absolutely agree.

  61. GiantKnickFan

    “Passing up on Beasley would be a mistake” I disagree. Hes very mechanical, isnt very athlete, isnt very quick. Hes a crafty, smart player but i dont see domincance in him. There are also question marks about his work ethic and desire a la Eddy Curry. I understand almost all these prospects have minor red flags but i dont see how Beasley would fit in an up and down game.

    If we can swoon another team to fall in love with him, id rather use him to unload contracts, maybe get a good solid player and move down a couple spots. I wouldnt be terribly upset, but again i dont see dominance, there are good prospects in the draft that can fit the system and help our cap.

  62. tastycakes

    News conference with D’Antoni and Walsh today at 1pm EST.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=3393484

    Reinsdorf: “He said nothing had to be done over the weekend. I also said if this proceeds to where we want to make an offer, we don’t deal with coach’s agents. He said that’s not a problem and that money wasn’t the most important thing anyway. He said he wanted a job where he was going to be happiest. He said he didn’t want to coach the Knicks.”

    Boo-hoo. If I were a Bulls fan right now, I’d be pissed. That franchise has got some questionable management in charge. (And to think: they could have possibly traded Deng and change for Kobe??)

  63. caleb

    There’s been a lot of whispering about Beasley’s “character” — anyone know what that’s about?

    He’s also not known for defense.

    Still, playing in a big-time conference, he led the country in scoring AND rebounding as a freshman — no one’s ever done that. People talk about Derrick Coleman, but a) Beasley is a better player as a frosh than Coleman was as a senior; and b) Coleman was pretty good, even if he was a jerk and not a #1. I think if not for the “character” talk Beasley would be the consensus #1… on the court, he looks awesome.

    Rose, on the other hand… I don’t think there’s been a PG since Magic Johnson who’s been drafted #1. Rose is a terrific prospect, but is he the best PG prospect ever? Or the best PG in 28 years?

    I’m fan, too, and Rose is a perfect fit… but if we somehow won the lottery, it wouldn’t be crazy to take Beasley… then try and trade Lee or whoever for a high-level PG prospect, like Westbrook or Mike Conley.

    With #1 or 2, you can’t lose…

    p.s. Someone was talking about Sergio Rodriguez — that guy is thrilling to watch, and D’Antoni would love him. You can’t really compare him to Portland’s other PGs… he’s only 20 or 21; he’s the potential star. Of course he might not pan out; he doesn’t play D and maybe never will… but if my man Anthony Randolph is off the board, I’d definitely trade #5 or 6 for Rodriguez and #13…

  64. TDM

    Sorry for the off-topic post, but the Daily News (Mitch Lawrence) is reporting that D’Antoni is “expected” to try and trade Marbury for Diaw and Barbosa. If that happens, you can kiss any chance of flexibility in 2010 goodbye. What a colossal error that would be.

    Marbury will have incentive to perform for the first time since he came to NY, because he’s playing for his next contract. Not to mention, he’s off the books 2 years sooner than either Diaw or Barbosa. Why strap the cap with role players thru 2012? It just wouldn’t make any sense.

  65. jon abbey

    Barbosa is one of my favorite players in the league to watch, and both he and Diaw are only 26. I personally think it’s a pipe dream that this team will ever get under the cap, to me it’s about as likely as the Yankees not having the top payroll in the game. more and more I think that the only way LeBron will come to NY is for the midcap exemption, and I don’t think that that’s totally out of the question. if you keep in mind what an awful job Cleveland has done in assembling talent around him, and if Walsh makes his main goal to build a great cast of supporting players over the next couple of seasons (as opposed to clearing cap space, which may not even be possible), I could see LeBron signing up for that.

    anyway, both of the Phoenix contracts are very lengthy, but neither is so prohibitive in and of itself, I’d definitely seriously consider that deal if it was a real option. I don’t see what Phoenix gets out of it, though, Barbosa is their second best not-ancient player behind Amare, not sure what the cap flexibility would be going towards for them.

  66. GiantKnickFan

    Barbosa is ok, but sometimes he gets in a bad funks, doesnt see the floor well for others. But he would be an upgrade over Marbury, and the thought of going with Barbosa then Nate off the bench would be crazy running with 2 of the fastest guys in the league.
    Diaw is dynamic and a good team player, sometimes isnt aggressive enough. The one positive is his defense, he can actaully play it. So maybe it isnt a terrible idea but we gotta somehow get randolph off the team, its a long shot at best but possible IF Kerr really wants to move away from the run and gun, those are 2 likely victims..

  67. TDM

    I’d prefer someone that plays defense like Raja Bell. Plus, his deal is a year shorter.

  68. bud

    Those are roll players who couldn’t put Amare Stoudemire, Shawn Marion, and Steve Nash over the hump. We don’t need or want those players on our team.

  69. caleb

    I like both those guys’ games but neither is worth $9 million per (through 2012) — or tying up the cap that way. I’d rather have the flexibility to bring in different $9m+ players, in a couple of years.

    I also think Nate could develop into a Barbosa-level combo guard, or close to it.

  70. caleb

    “the thought of going with Barbosa then Nate off the bench…”

    Despite what I said a second ago, it might be worth it just to watch a lineup of Nate, Barbosa, Balkman, Lee & Diaw running down the court a few times…

  71. jon abbey

    “Those are roll players who couldn’t put Amare Stoudemire, Shawn Marion, and Steve Nash over the hump. We don’t need or want those players on our team.”

    well argued, maybe we should hold out for Horry or Cassell.

    we’re about fifty levels away from competing for a title, both those guys would certainly upgrade our rotation IMO. I don’t really see a salary match with Marbury there, though, those two guys by themselves wouldn’t be enough.

  72. Frank

    Just interested to see what people on this board have to say about this Doc Rivers statement from SI.com today:

    The Celtics have blown a two-game lead and return to Boston for a crucial Game 5 Wednesday against the One-Man Cavs even though That Man has been shooting 25.6 percent (20 of 78). “You think LeBron [James]’ struggling?” said Rivers. “He had 21 points, 13 assists, 6 rebounds. He probably forced 15 fouls. We don’t look at that as LeBron struggling. You only look at field-goal percentage; we don’t. we look at the way he’s playing his total game and he’s making plays.”

  73. GiantKnickFan

    anybody watching the D’antoni press conference coming up? I wonder if someone will ask him flat out if he wants marbury gone and curry/randolph…

  74. TDM

    One of D’Antoni’s strengths is disarming the media. He won’t bite on any questions regarding specific roster changes.

  75. Dave V

    And it begins…

    New York Daily News is reporting D’Antoni wants to trade Marbury for Diaw and Barbosa. According to HoopsHype, they are signed through 2011 with combined salaries of 16 million and then each has a player option for 2012. That would screw any hopes of getting under the cap in 2010. Their cap number would be around 69 million through 2011 not including David Lee.

    This would be the same kind of win-now move with no long term goal that got us into this mess in the first place. Don’t do it Donnie!!!

  76. tastycakes

    Mitch Lawrence is one of the least trustworthy sportswriters in the NY media. Why the hell would Phoenix make that deal? If they were truly rebuilding, why would they move two of their younger and more versatile players? If they’re just trying to shuffle the deck, why aren’t they trying to get something useful? (Obviously you would only trade for Steph’s expiring contract, nobody is foolish enough to expect him to win ballgames for them next year).

    I’m realizing how ridiculous the Daily News / Post guys are from the way they are trashing the D’Antoni deal.

    Look, there is no guarantee that D’Antoni will work out, but he was one of the best available and he’s clearly a very, very smart basketball guy.

    The thing that makes them all look retarded is their assertion that “D’Antoni is terrible for this Knicks team.” It’s like making the argument that a Democrat can’t win the White House without Ohio and Florida. Guys, THINGS CHANGE. The Knicks aren’t gonna be running Steph and Curry out there next time they sniff the playoffs. The team is obviously broken as constructed. A creative coach like D’Antoni will work with Walsh to figure out the right pieces to assemble to get this team moving in the right direction.

    I would be afraid of quick fixes, to be sure.

  77. Thomas B.

    I think Nate can be better than Barbosa.
    I think Wilson Chandler is a great fit for the D’antoni offense. Ditto Lee.

    Do NOT bring in Diaw and Barbosa. Get some draft picks and bring in Gallinari and Rubio for a 1/10 of the price.

  78. Ted Nelson

    “Hes very mechanical, isnt very athlete, isnt very quick. Hes a crafty, smart player but i dont see domincance in him. There are also question marks about his work ethic and desire a la Eddy Curry.”

    Eddy Curry never dominated a college season. Never had the chance/need to, but Beasley already seems to have proven that his basketball IQ and desire are way ahead of Curry’s.
    Most of the character questions were asked coming into college, and he did about as much as he could (short of a deep tourney run for KState) to answer them.

    As far as his athelticism, I think you’ll find yourself in the minority there. He averaged 1.6 bpg and 1.3 spg to go with his scoring and rebounding numbers. Here are some excerps from NBADraft.net´s profile:

    “A fabulous athlete with an NBA ready body…”
    “His length, quickness, jumping ability and strength combine to make him one of the most difficult match ups …”
    “he not only has a quick first step, but also a very long one that allows him to get by people at will …”
    ” A strong personality with great confidence who never gets down on himself. There are few doubts about him becoming a bigtime impact talent at the next level …”

    If he puts in the work I don’t think there’s any reason to doubt that he’ll be a dominant scorer, whether he has the personality/work ethic to dominate the whole game is a question mark in my book. However, in the worst case I see him as a taller Carmelo Anthony.

    “Rose, on the other hand… I don’t think there’s been a PG since Magic Johnson who’s been drafted #1. Rose is a terrific prospect, but is he the best PG prospect ever? Or the best PG in 28 years?”

    If you had a do over, would you draft Kidd over Big Dog? Paul or Williams over Bogut? Bibby over Olawakandi? PGs don’t go #1… doesn’t mean they shouldn´t.

    “p.s. Someone was talking about Sergio Rodriguez — that guy is thrilling to watch, and D’Antoni would love him. You can’t really compare him to Portland’s other PGs… he’s only 20 or 21; he’s the potential star.”

    I’m not saying I don’t like him, but I’m not sure Portland would require so much to give him up. Not only doesn’t he defend, he also can’t shoot. If the rest of his game never comes around he’s a more exciting Brevin Knight, or maybe a Jason Williams. He played 8.7 mpg last season behind Steve Blake, I think he’s fallen out of favor in Portland.

    However, Portland is trying to get Rudy Fernandez to take a HUGE paycut (especially after you factor in the exchange rate) from what he could get from say CSKA Mockow, or even Barcelona or Madrid. Getting him to take that paycut and then trading the only other Spaniard on your roster might not win him over.

    Speaking of Spaniards, Juan Carlos Navarro is a free agent and could be a great fit in D’Antoni’s system. I don’t know if he’s going to turn down millions for the second straight year to stay in the NBA, though.

    “Barbosa is one of my favorite players in the league to watch, and both he and Diaw are only 26. I personally think it’s a pipe dream that this team will ever get under the cap, to me it’s about as likely as the Yankees not having the top payroll in the game. more and more I think that the only way LeBron will come to NY is for the midcap exemption, and I don’t think that that’s totally out of the question. if you keep in mind what an awful job Cleveland has done in assembling talent around him, and if Walsh makes his main goal to build a great cast of supporting players over the next couple of seasons (as opposed to clearing cap space, which may not even be possible), I could see LeBron signing up for that.”

    I more or less agree with you Jon.

    Except, there’s no way LeBron is taking the MLE in 2010. A sign and trade would likely benefit him and Cleveland a lot more. There will be 29 teams making offers, and it’s likely that if he’s dying to get out of Cleveland (not sure he is) he and the team could agree on a package that would send him to NY (Knicks or Nets), LA (Lakers or Clippers), Chicago, or Boston.

    “I don’t really see a salary match with Marbury there, though, those two guys by themselves wouldn’t be enough.”

    Phoenix has a bunch of guys with small contracts they could trade or sign-and-trade.

    I don’t know that Kerr would go for this, though. I know Phoenix is cheap, but they went all in last season and this season with the Shaq deal: why would they trade away their supporting cast for an expiring deal and a washed up PG? Maybe if the Knicks throw in Lee and/or Balkman and/or Chandler they think Marbury replaces Barbosa and one or two of those guys replace Diaw, but who knows.

    Also, even if D’Antoni favors this deal, it’s Walsh’s call. If he thinks cap room is the most important thing, I’m sure he doesn’t get bullied into it. On the other hand, after getting a win-now coach I could see Walsh pulling the trigger on this deal.

    I wouldn’t be opposed.

    “I think Nate can be better than Barbosa.
    I think Wilson Chandler is a great fit for the D’antoni offense. Ditto Lee.
    Do NOT bring in Diaw and Barbosa. Get some draft picks and bring in Gallinari and Rubio for a 1/10 of the price.”

    I also agree with this logic, although I don’t think Gallinari and Rubio are particularly comparable to Diaw and Barbosa.

  79. Owen

    “interested to see what people on this board have to say about this Doc Rivers statement from SI.com today:”

    In the two games at Cleveland Lebron posted win scores of 8 and 10, not up to his usual standards, but not terrible at all, especially considering the defense he is playing against. Hi fg% has been terrible, but he has managed to make a very solid contribution nonetheless….

  80. GiantKnickFan

    I dont want to sound like i think Beasley is Keith van Horn. But he doesnt have the explosiveness that the true elite players have. The ability to simply will your way to the rim and rinish with authority. Rose has it, OJ Mayo has the upside as well. But Beasley is limited in his overall scouting grade. We’re talking about a franchise player here, im not sold hes that. Hes a productive player with a wide range of skill sets, very similar to lamar odom. Odom is a good player, but through the course of his career odom has shown that at his best hes a#3 option, not a #1 like Kobe or even #2 like Gasol. he cannot handle the load of a #1. Again u want these players on your team but not as impactful and dominant like Rose and Mayo can be with the ball in their hands like Lebron,Kobe,Paul, etc etc.
    Thats the case i make for passing on Beasely. I dont think it would be a terrible pick, but not a franchise lifter

  81. o_boogie

    if i were a boston fan id be very worried after last night. lebron’s dunk at the end of the game is the kind of play that could swing the whole momentum if the series. lebron just needed a self-refresher that he is the baddest mofo on the court.

  82. caleb

    Ted, I agree with your assessment of Beasley… too many people look past the obvious — in actual basketball games, he’s just dominated. I know, NBA competition is far better than college, but other NBA players were in the same situation once — and few, if any, performed as well as Beasley.

    re: PGs going #1, I pretty much agree with you. (although you maaaaaybe could argue that Mutombo or pre-injury Grant Hill was the best player in the Kidd draft)… my point was just that Rose is not a no-brainer over Beasley — I love him, but he’s not a once-in-a-generation prospect, IMO.

    re: Rodriguez, I can only hope he’s fallen out of favor enough to be traded. He definitely has big holes in his game — he’s not a good player right now — but he’s only the age of a college soph or junior so he should get a lot better. He’s already a spectacular playmaker. IMO he’d be a lottery pick this year, and if we somehow got him along with the #13 pick, it would be a solid deal.

    http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/players/hollinger?playerId=3025

    We could wait on Ricky Rubio, but he’s pegged as a top-3 pick next year… anyone willing to start a twin-towers of Jerome James and Randolph Morris next season, to try and get in the lottery mix?

  83. Dave V

    Can anyone think of a potential trade that could happen where the knicks trade a contract that expires this year like Marbury or Rose to a team for a contract that expires the year after and draft picks? The team would basically be selling the draft pick to the knicks to save money.

    That would give the knicks an extra pick now, but still alow them to get under the cap by 2010.

  84. TDM

    “I look at the roster and that’s the roster I’m going to win with,” D’Antoni said.

    I knew the Knicks were getting a media savvy coach when they signed D’Antoni. I just didn’t know they were getting a comedian as well.

  85. Thomas B.

    Diaw and Barboso part II

    I am on record as a big no to Diaw and Barbosa for Starbury. But I would bring them in for the following:

    Zach Randolph even up.
    Q. Rich and either of the JJs.
    ——————-

    Ted Nelson,

    Excellent points. I don’t think Diaw and Barbosa are comprable to Gallinari and Rubio either. I just threw out two names that play the same positions and have the skillset to run D’antoni’s offense.

    There are many instances where a PG should go ahead of a less talented big man. This year’s draft is one of them. The only teams that should take Beasely over Rose are Memphis and Minny becuase they have good point prospects. Jefferson/Beasely front court could be very nasty.

    Well come May 20, we will have a much better picture on who we can pick. 7.6% chance at #1 18.4% chance at #2. Thats not bad, but it could have been better if not for that ridiculous 3 game win streak to close out the season.
    ————–
    Just a thought: Everyone says D’antoni can’t win with this roster. If the roster isnt good enough for the coach, then why didn’t I hear people say the same about Thomas? Yes, I know he put this together so he is to blame. But if he coached the Suns, could he do as well as D’antoni (a couple of 2nd round ousters)? It seems that a built in excuse for D’antoni to struggle is not afforded to Thomas (not that he deserves it).

  86. Jcon

    “I look at the roster and that’s the roster I’m going to win with,” D’Antoni said.

    I knew the Knicks were getting a media savvy coach when they signed D’Antoni. I just didn’t know they were getting a comedian as well.

    What do you expect him to say though…”These guys suck, we’re going in the tank?”

    Who knows who’s going to be here and who’s not, he’s got to come out positive.

    One thing that stood out to me: It was only D’antoni and Walsh up there, no Guitar Jimmy. That is a good sign.

    Just a thought: Everyone says D’antoni can’t win with this roster. If the roster isnt good enough for the coach, then why didn’t I hear people say the same about Thomas? Yes, I know he put this together so he is to blame. But if he coached the Suns, could he do as well as D’antoni (a couple of 2nd round ousters)? It seems that a built in excuse for D’antoni to struggle is not afforded to Thomas (not that he deserves it).

    Remember everyone had the Knicks as a playoff team last season. I think we are underestimating the level to which this team quit on Zeke after he reinstated Marbury. The Sixers made the playoffs with running style and not alot of talent. I think we can be competitive. And if the wins don’t come, we know that Walsh is working towards getting under the cap (I don’t think he’ll trade Marbury) for the 2010 free agents and you know who.

  87. Dan Panorama

    On that trading Marbury for a pick and contract that expires before 2010 idea….I was having similar thoughts myself recently. Is there any way a team could be persuaded to take Marbury’s expiring contract but also a longer, but much cheaper, albatross like Jeffries in exchange for contracts that expire pre-Lebron? Is there any team with a cheapskate owner or a 2009 free agency plan that might want to cut a net 17 mil or so in salary RIGHT NOW and is willing to hurt their cap situation a bit in the longer term to do it?

  88. o_boogie

    “Is there any team with a cheapskate owner or a 2009 free agency plan that might want to cut a net 17 mil or so in salary RIGHT NOW and is willing to hurt their cap situation a bit in the longer term to do it?”

    Sarver of the suns will do anything to save a penny, including SELLING rajon rondo for cash.

  89. caleb

    “Is there any way a team could be persuaded to take Marbury’s expiring contract but also a longer, but much cheaper, albatross like Jeffries in exchange for contracts that expire pre-Lebron? Is there any team with a cheapskate owner or a 2009 free agency plan that might want to cut a net 17 mil or so in salary RIGHT NOW and is willing to hurt their cap situation a bit in the longer term to do it?”

    Sacramento is the obvious suspect — they have about $30 million in crap 2010 contracts (Kenny Thomas, Brad Miller, Shareef) and a lottery pick to go with ‘em.

    Wizards have about $20 million in expiring 2010s (Etan Thomas, Haywood, Daniels)…

    Clippers have at least $16 million worth in Mobley & Tim Thomas (yikes!)

    Sonics have at least $13 million worth (Watson & Ridnour)

    Oklahoma City & LAC lottery picks this year are probably too high for them to give them up, though.

    We could also see if any of these teams would be willing to take on an albatross like Randolph — Sacramento has been hot and heavy for David Lee; would they go for something like this? Would we?

    Kings get: Randolph, Lee
    Knicks get: Kenny Thomas, Shareef, #12 pick

  90. jon abbey

    what we need is for the Smiling Weasel to be fired and somehow hired by someone else as a GM (HA!). then we’d maybe be able to move some of these deals, otherwise I don’t see it.

  91. caleb

    Marbs will probably have more value at the trade deadline anyway, instead of coming off an injury — also by then, more teams might be willing to either pay him for a few months, to make a playoff push, or take him just to clear salary, as they start rebuilding (like the Suns)

  92. Thomas B.

    Dan P,

    I think Denver and Miami are locations that would buy into mortgaging the salary to get an immediate return.

    I understand that Miami would love to rid itself of Blount, Parker, and Banks. And they could use a low post scorer like Randolph. Rose, Wade, Marion, Randolph, and Haslem could finish 8-6 in the East. That trade saves us 10 mill when LBJ starts looking for suitors.

    Denver needs to do something to make noise out West. A mistep (including inactivity) this offseason and they could easily be overtaken by Portland and/or Golden State. Who knows how much longer AI can keep playing at that level. The window is small and they need to make a move to stay in contention.

  93. TDM

    “Is there any team with a cheapskate owner or a 2009 free agency plan that might want to cut a net 17 mil or so in salary RIGHT NOW and is willing to hurt their cap situation a bit in the longer term to do it?”

    Indy: Marbury / Jeffries for O’Neal / Foster

  94. njhoop

    Can someone enlighten me on how the LeBron situation works in 2010? If he opts out of his contract, does he go to the highest bidder or do the Cavs have the right to match any offer? In other words, if he wants to come to NY, and we have the cap room, is it a done deal?

    Thanks guys.

  95. jon abbey

    “Can someone enlighten me on how the LeBron situation works in 2010? If he opts out of his contract, does he go to the highest bidder or do the Cavs have the right to match any offer? In other words, if he wants to come to NY, and we have the cap room, is it a done deal?”

    yes, he’s unrestricted if he opts out. so if he wants to come to NY badly enough, theoretically we don’t even need the cap room, he could sign for the midcap and be instantly embraced by all of NYC as a savior.

    or maybe we could split the midcap between him and Chris Paul, who will also possibly be hitting thee market that summer… :)

  96. Thomas B.

    Caleb,

    Washington might not be a bad place for Steph. The Wizards need help at the 2. But do they have enough salary to send back. Even if they sent Thomas, Heywood, and Daniels that is only 17 million. They need to add 3.5 million to come close enough, unless they sent back a pick.

    Second problem is that would put them about 5 million over the luxuary tax threshold assuming that they keep Jamison at 9-11 million next year. So they would pay out 5 million in luxuary taxes to clear 21 million the following year.

  97. Count Zero

    What a great thread! So many ideas…so many ifs. Amazing what even a slim ray of hope does for us Knick fans, isn’t it? =)

    I think to myself: If we can’t get Rose, can we trade down to a pick that will land Westbrook or Augustin? I really like Westbrook a lot as a dark horse. And while my initial instinct is that Augustin is too small, does that matter in a D’Antoni system? Augustin smells like a D’Antoni PG to me…

    Or should we be thinking Lopez? Big man…lots of potential…would Curry be a monstrous PF on offense with Lopez next to him?

    So many thoughts…I’m glad I don’t have to make the decisions over the next few weeks.

  98. Dan Panorama

    Caleb — I love D-Lee, but that’s a pretty good deal with Sacramento. Either way, we may not be able to extend Lee’s contract and stick with our plan to get under the cap depending on how well he plays. Denver’s contracts are some of the only ones in the league even worse than Randolph’s (Martin, Nene) so I’m not sure what they could give us.

  99. retropkid

    “Remember everyone had the Knicks as a playoff team last season. ”

    Uh, no, not quite everyone….some of us predicted them to come in behind the Bobcats, and miss the play-offs…thank god it came true, Zeke is dead!

    Nobody will take Steph off our hands, we own him for the year…pray that he wants to keep playing in the NBA, and that this is the year he tries to show big value…in 2010 he is gone, we have his cap money, and the excitement really begins — some core of our guys stays and hopefully improves, we add through this year’s draft, then free agency…and we have a real club again!

    And you heard it here first: We will all be writing about an insane quote from Zeke taking credit for building the foundation for what ultimately becomes a contending team….D’Antoni and Walsh may bust a gut laughing when he says it…

  100. caleb

    “The Wizards need help at the 2. But do they have enough salary to send back. Even if they sent Thomas, Heywood, and Daniels that is only 17 million. They need to add 3.5 million to come close enough, unless they sent back a pick.”

    They only need to be within 25%…

    I have Steph making $20.8 million, and Thomas (6.9), Daniels (6.2) and Haywood (5.5) = 18.6. Which would work. Wiz could even substitute Songaila (4.3) for Haywood…

    http://www.shamsports.com/content/pages/data/salaries/index.jsp

    ESPN trade machine won’t check it, since Marbury technically has a trade restriction in his contract.

    re: Sacramento, I would really hate to lose DLee — but packaging him and Randolph for a pick would probably clear our 2010 cap space in one fell swoop… Even if we’re stuck with Curry, we’d only be committed to:
    Curry $11.3 million
    Crawford 10.1
    Jeffries 6.9
    Chandler 2.1
    this year’s pick @$3.0
    next year’s @2.5

    that’s just $35.9 million… enough room to extend Nate & Balkman and still have enough for a max free agent.

  101. ben bow

    i thought of a really good trade that i think we should try. we would trade nate robinson, and jarret jeffries to indiana for jamaal tinsley. indiana would go for it because tinsley has his injury problems, and they would get a good young PG with nate. we should do it because jamaal tinsley is a pass first PG like we need. if he can get over the injuries we will be great. next, we draft a good center with our pick. we run a quick fast paced lineup with D’antoni as our coach. also it would be cool having 2 jamals.

    1.jamaal
    2.jamal
    3.balkman
    4.lee
    5.brook lopez?

    as a backup, we have wilson chandler. we would need to draft a pg with our second round pick to be a backup in the backcourt. last, we would use randolf morris to back up lopez. we would have a really young, quick team that would improve alot.

    1.jamaal (draft pick)
    2.jamal (draft pick)
    3.balkman (chandler)
    4.lee (chandler)
    5.lopez (morris)

  102. MJG

    Re: D’Antoni’s desired trade

    If I was Steve Kerr, I would take that deal yesterday. Get rid of 2 bloated contracts for a 1 year deal in Starbury? Slam dunk. He can line up at off guard and shoot all he wants, and after 1 year *both* Nash and Starbury are gone, plus you’ve already gotten rid of Barbosa and Diaw. Only albatross left is Shaq, who would still have 1 year remaining. You are in a much better position to look at the various available free agents in this scenario. It’s a smart move and I think Kerr realizes that they were *never* going to win a championship with their lineup, D’Antoni excuses notwithstanding.

    It also kind of makes sense for the Knicks, because what the hell, as long as the owner is willing to go that far over the cap, there’s no way this is a downgrade in terms of personnel.

  103. Jcon

    “re: Sacramento, I would really hate to lose DLee — but packaging him and Randolph for a pick would probably clear our 2010 cap space in one fell swoop… Even if we’re stuck with Curry, we’d only be committed to:
    Curry $11.3 million
    Crawford 10.1
    Jeffries 6.9
    Chandler 2.1
    this year’s pick @$3.0
    next year’s @2.5

    that’s just $35.9 million… enough room to extend Nate & Balkman and still have enough for a max free agent.”

    Unfortunately I don’t see any way we keep DLee..He is our most coveted asset right now and when he and Nate become restricted F/A’s there are going to be some hard decisions to make in terms of getting under the cap.

    Also calling randolph an Albatross is a insult to Albatrosses: $17,333,333.00 thru 2010-11. I Doubt DLee is enough of sweetner to make that happen…If Walsh can unload Randolph in responsible way in regards to our 2010 cap position he’s even better than I think he is.

  104. caleb

    The thing about Lee, even at $10 million a year it’s not easy to find someone that productive — so I’m pretty sure we’ll be signing him to a big extension, unless we trade him for a younger, cheaper player or pick

  105. TDM

    “it would be cool having 2 jamals”

    Well, since that is our ultimate goal, obviously, perhaps we could send the rights to Frederic Weis to Dallas for Jamaal Magliore; and then get Steady Eddy and Wilson Chandler to change their names to Jammal and Jaamol, respectively. Then, our starting five would be:

    1. Jamaal
    2. Jamal
    3. Jaamol
    4. Jammal
    5. Jamaal

    Wow – live to dream . . .

  106. Ray

    Ill move D. Lee to Sac for an extra pick. We can pick up some good quality at #12. Leave Diaw and Barbosa in Phx. We dont need them here. I think we also need to get a pick for next years draft too. Its supposed to go to Utah or something. Thats either 09 or 2010. We shouldnt worry so much about the cap and LeBron. LEBRON is going to Brooklyn. Mark that down in stone. When LeBron came out during introduction at the all star game he threw up the Rockafella sign. Thats when i knew id see him in Brooklyn in 2010. Jay-Z has him in the pocket. So forget about him. If our PG situation in not worked out long term by then we may need to shoot for CP3 or Deron Williams. Both of those guys are all world talents. This roster needs to be shaken up and we need some draft picks. Im wondering if D’ Antoni has his eye on Gallinari??

  107. Latke

    except there’s very little chance that hte nets will BE in brooklyn when 2010-11 season starts. They haven’t even started building the arena.

  108. Dave V

    “On that trading Marbury for a pick and contract that expires before 2010 idea….I was having similar thoughts myself recently. Is there any way a team could be persuaded to take Marbury’s expiring contract but also a longer, but much cheaper, albatross like Jeffries in exchange for contracts that expire pre-Lebron? Is there any team with a cheapskate owner or a 2009 free agency plan that might want to cut a net 17 mil or so in salary RIGHT NOW and is willing to hurt their cap situation a bit in the longer term to do it?”
    “Kings get: Randolph, Lee
    Knicks get: Kenny Thomas, Shareef, #12 pick”
    I’d be all for packaging one good young player like Lee with a bad contract like Randolph as long as we would only be taking back contracts that expire in 2010. I think if we get out of a bad contract, and get a good draft pick with out hurting the team it’s a great trade. It is almost worth it even if we got nothing good back.

    I think that there could be a cheapskate owner who wanted to save about 20 million, then we could send them Marbury (owed 20 million) for a player or players worth 40 million over the next 2 seasons plus a good draft pick. It doesn’t help the team get under the cap sooner (but it wouldn’t hurt either)

    I can’t find a team with the right combination of a cheap owner, contracts that expire in 2010, and a draft pick they would move.

    I think Seattle would be cheap enough, but their draft position is too good and they don’t really have matching contracts.

    Suns are definitely cheap enough. How bout this… Raja Bell and pick their 1st rnd pick for Rose.

    Anyone know which owners are notoriously cheap?

  109. Dan Panorama

    Yeah the whole Brooklyn move is in serious doubt right now…..Jesus, if Philly made the move for Randolph that link is proposing then Donnie Walsh would get a tickertape parade before we even made the playoffs under him.

  110. Jcon

    “If our PG situation in not worked out long term by then we may need to shoot for CP3 or Deron Williams. Both of those guys are all world talents.”

    I think Lebron is actually more realistic than CP3 or Deron. The Hornets are never, ever letting go of the guy that saved basketball in New Orleans. Ever…Plus they are $2 Million under the cap with most of their core already tied up.As for the Jazz they are only $3 MIllion over the cap, and will probably free up space by moving AK47 to make a run at Deron.

    I live in Brooklyn and I’m telling you; I don’t think that the Arena is going to be completed by 2010, they haven’t even broken ground yet. You think Lebron wants to go to NJ? If the Knicks are there with the cash, they have a great shot at him.

  111. Matthew

    Uhh, I don’t get how some people thought Durant should have gone #1 over Oden, but Beasley, who had an even better freshman year than Durant, is being picked at #2 behind a tweener guard.

  112. TDM

    Crazy thought for the day:

    Anyone think that Detroit would consider trading one headache for another? Wallace for Randolph. Wallace is 2 years shorter, and is disgruntled playing center, he could move back to the 4 with Curry at center. Randolph would provide the low post scoring DET needs, and is 7 years younger so they can keep their core in tact for another run.

  113. ben bow

    TDM: thats is a sweet trade. if i was detroit i’d do it, and as the knicks i would too.

  114. Latke

    no way detroit does that. The two may appear the same, but in a lot of ways they are opposites. Randolph doesn’t play any D, Wallace is a top tier defender (duncan even cites him and camby as the two best defenders on him). Wallace avgs 1+ steals and blocks, while randolph avgs a total of one between the two stats. Wallace is content to play a game where he only gets 5 or 10 shots, randolph throws a hissy fit if he doesn’t get something near his 20 and ten. It’s like comparing stephon marbury to chauncey billups…

  115. Frank

    Yikes there is no way Detroit makes that trade. I daresay Wallace is superior to Randolph in every possible way, from defense to shooting to post play to shorter contract. Wallace is by far the most important player in Detroit’s frontcourt. that one’s not close.

  116. TDM

    With regard to Wallace’s D, my thought was that the development of Maxiell (sp?)into a solid front court defender could minimize some of the gap left by Wallace’s departure.

  117. Matthew

    TDM: But what’s the benefit, for them? Extending the window isn’t necessarily an outcome of that trade, you never know the effect of trading for an inferior player can have on a team (see Suns, Phoenix).

  118. jon abbey

    back to David West/David Lee for a second, I’ll be surprised if David Lee ever has a game in his career on the level of the one West just played, especially in such a crucial situation. 38 points, 14 boards, 5 assists, 5 blocks, and he guarded Duncan one-on-one quite a bit.

    after the game, West said: “I was reading Knickerblogger at the hotel the other day, and Caleb’s comments got me all fired up. maybe now he’ll give me some respect.”

  119. Ben R

    I do not think chasing cap room should be our goal. We should be smart in the future with our money, but players like Lee are too valuable to trade for cap room. I would sooner cut Randolph than trade him and Lee for bad contracts and a #12 pick. I think putting all our cards on the possibility of luring a free agent in 2010 is a big mistake. What if LeBron and Paul decide to stay with their teams and all we end up with is a Rashard Lewis or Joe Johnson quality free agent instead of the superstar people seem to think we can get. That would make jettising Lee and probably other assets to make the room look very foolish.

    As for improving this team the player I think we should make a move for is JR Smith. He is a free agent and is a bad fit next to AI. AI really needs a guard who can share PG duties to maximize his potential, like Crawford. I say we trade Crawford to Denver for a resigned Smith and maybe something else like their pick or Kleiza. Or I would be happy to use the midlevel on Smith and just trade Crawford to the highest bidder.

    (Smith 25.5 pts per 36 with a 60.3% TS% last year)

  120. MJG

    David West is blowing up right now. Might be seeing the new James Worthy and the end of the Spurs run. They actually look flustered.

    Question: What is the worst possible scenario for David Stern? My friend and I were laughing that it would be a Utah-Detroit finals, with Utah winning in four straight, all blowouts. That would make him hang himself, I think…

  121. jon abbey

    “What is the worst possible scenario for David Stern? ”

    how about teams using indoor fireworks before the game, then a key player on one of the teams having a reaction to the thick smoke and having to leave the game four minutes in and not return?

    or, how about if the national TV feeds insisted on using “innovative” camera angles that quite often leave the viewer incapable of seeing what’s actually happening?

    or, what if the All-Star game uniforms were different colors on each side, rendering the entire game unwatchable?

    oh, wait.

  122. Owen

    Phenomenal game from David West. Monstrous. Win Score of 27, which is higher than anything Lee has ever had. It’s also higher than anything West has had in the past two years, so basically a career game in the most important contest in his professional career to date.You got to hand it to him.

    The problem with West remains that he turns in to many 2-11, 4-15 shooting performances. But I must admit, when he’s hot he’s unstoppable, kind of like me in Tecmo Bowl….

  123. Ted Nelson

    re: Wizards

    Haywood just had a career year and Grunfeld was recently quoted as saying something along the lines of: we’re adding two players for next season in Arenas and Etan Thomas (coming off injuries) and we think we can compete with anyone in the NBA.
    I mean they won 43 games without their best player and back-up big. They’re looking to win now, not rebuild. I think you’d have to overpay to get Haywood, and they have Daniels, Nick Young, DeShawn Stevenson, and Roger Mason (free agent) at the 2: it’s not a strength, but I also don’t think it’s a huge weakness.

    Even if they want an upgrade at the 2, Marbury’s a huge question mark (even more so at a position he’s never played) and is Marbury going to fit next to Arenas? I would assume that a defender like Stevenson, a defender/facilitator like Daniels, or a young off-guard like Young is a much better fit than trying to bring back the Marbury/ Francis backcourt.

    Etan Thomas is one guy they’d probably move, and I doubt they’d hesitate to move Songaila.

    ———————————————-

    re: Trading Lee to move Randolph

    Wouldn’t do it for the #12 pick. Patience is the key; that was one of Isiah’s major shortcomings. Eventually you’ll come across a team willing to give you something “attractive” (something that helps the Knicks accomplish their goals of putting together a winning basketball team and gaining cap flexibility) for Randolph.

    I don’t mind Brad Miller and would trade Randolph for something like Miller and SAR in a second. Too bad Artest hasn’t worked out better for Sacto, or they would probably see a similar opportunity in Randolph.

    ———————————————-

    “If I was Steve Kerr, I would take that deal yesterday. Get rid of 2 bloated contracts for a 1 year deal in Starbury? Slam dunk. He can line up at off guard and shoot all he wants, and after 1 year *both* Nash and Starbury are gone, plus you’ve already gotten rid of Barbosa and Diaw. Only albatross left is Shaq, who would still have 1 year remaining. You are in a much better position to look at the various available free agents in this scenario. It’s a smart move and I think Kerr realizes that they were *never* going to win a championship with their lineup, D’Antoni excuses notwithstanding.”

    If Kerr, after the Shaq trade, believes that they can “*never*” win a championship, then he’s probably out of a job.

    I really don’t think he’s looking to rebuild, and I also believe that he thinks they can win the title: that they just need a new coach/strategical adjustment after the Shaq trade.

    Whether Sarver would force him to make the trade is another question…

    ———————————————-

    “Anyone think that Detroit would consider trading one headache for another? Wallace for Randolph.”

    NO. I know they played together, but Joe Dumars is not Isiah Thomas.

    “Randolph would provide the low post scoring DET needs.”

    They have as good a chance as anyone to win the East, do they really need a low-post scorer with zero D??

    “It’s like comparing stephon marbury to chauncey billups…”

    Basically… if Marbury had several years left on his deal.

    ———————————————-

    “I do not think chasing cap room should be our goal. We should be smart in the future with our money, but players like Lee are too valuable to trade for cap room.”

    Agreed. Cap room is a means to the end of building a winning team, not an end in itself.

    Cap flexibilty, not the cap room to sign a top-flight free agent, should be the goal. With a gun to their head, a team is likely to pull a sign-and-trade rather than lose their star straight-up. If the Knicks have some good players with reasonable contracts they can make a sign-and-trade happen.

    Furthermore, even in NYC you’re unlikely to attract a top-flight star to a losing team with no complementary pieces. If LeBron (or whoever) wants to go to a big market or a storied franchise, he can also choose LA, Boston, or Chicago. If those teams are offering LeBron the same money to play for a contender right away, I don’t see him deciding to sign up for a rebuilding project just to get the endorsement money that playing in NYC would provide him.

    It’s been hashed out many times, but not that many top free agents leave home. If LeBron stays in Cleveland (literally his hometown) or joins his budy Jay-Z, is moving Chris Bosh south of the border or convincing Wade to leave Riley, Marion (maybe), and Miami’s lotto pick more attractive than building a winning team right now? Let’s say you attract one of those big free-agents to an otherwise marginally talented team and they suffer a career ending or at least career changing (think Penny Hardaway, Grant Hill) injury. You’re screwed. Orlando is a perfect example of this. They might have won the east with McGrady and Hill together, but without Hill they were mediocre.

    I certainly want Walsh to be responsible with the cap, and would hope he hesitates before trading expring contracts, but I would much rather see a deal that sends Randolph for a few players some with shorter contracts and some with equal/longer contracts.

    ——————————————–

    re: the Barbosa/Diaw rumors

    Barbosa’s about as efficient a shooter for a combo-guard as you’re going to get (far more efficient that NateRob to date, although you could argue Nate will improve under D’Antoni), lightning quick, and paid like Jared Jeffries. His assist-rate and rebound-rate could be higher, but while there are complaints of TOs his TO-rate is lower than Manu’s.

    Diaw’s making $9 mill per and can’t shoot. Defensively he’s good, but I don’t know if he’s much of an improvement on Balkman/Chandler. His other big strength is his passing, which would give the Knicks something they’re more or less lacking in the front-court.

    Overall, I would say it, like the rest of the Knicks’ offseason, depends on the lottery order. If the Knicks get Rose, I would be all for the deal. Barbosa and Diaw overlap with some of the Knicks’ other players, but why not add an efficient scorer to the backcourt and an athlete on the wing to complement your lightning quick PG and compete for the playoffs from year 1?

    If the Knicks end up with Bayless it seems like he and Barbosa would overlap too much. Ditto for Anthony Randolph and Diaw. Would remind me of an Isiah offseason: bringing in Frye, Curry, and James because he wanted a 5 and figured one of the 3 had to pan out…

    With someone like Beasley or Mayo I don’t see how adding another scoring combo-gaurd or athletic wing-defender really makes that huge an impact. Could be an upgrade, but might not be worth the cap space.

    The deal would free the Knicks up to trade Crawford and/or Robinson and Balkman and/or Chandler… Obviously only trading Crawford might have a positive impact on the cap.

  124. o_boogie

    “Anyone think that Detroit would consider trading one headache for another? Wallace for Randolph.”

    No way. Wallace is the MVP of that team. Wallace is one of maybe 3 people in the league who can stymie howard, kg, duncan or amare. Wallace always comes up with clutch shots. His 3 pt shooting also helps spread the floor by opening the paint and allowing for easy opportunities for hamilton billups and prince. when they won the championship in 2004, obtaining rasheed was the move that put them over the top.

  125. z-man

    Earlier in the year, we were debating whether Lee was a top-50 player in the league (not best value, but actual player). Some folks on this blog (the usual suspects) had him ahead of guys like Rip, D-West, Tayshawn and Turkoglu. I wonder if they are seeing the light yet, particularly in regard to the first two. Rip apparently just became the Pistons all-time leading scorer in the playoffs and elevated his game to compensate for the loss of Billups. Lee could never post a stat-line or have the impact on a critical playoff game that West had last night. Prince makes game-changing plays and scores game winning baskets. Turkoglu was clearly the focus of Detroit’s defensive game plan and still had a major impact on the games. All in the intense spotlight of the playoffs.

    Putting Lee in a league with these guys is a joke, let alone above them. He’s more in a league with guys like Millsap, Turiaf, and Varijao. He’s an all-star rebounder who is below average at everything else.

  126. caleb

    No change on the David Lee front.

    Congrats to David West, who was — obviously — fantastic last night. What jumps out is his defense. IMO, that is what gives him a small edge (right now) over Lee. Even with his game last night, his overall playoff numbers are pretty much identical to the regular season — his rebounding is down about 10%, but scoring is actually very slightly higher and very slightly more efficient — that’s more impressive than it sounds, because almost every player’s production actually goes down in the playoffs, due to tougher defenses.

    I wonder if West is a genuine late bloomer — as Owen pointed out, that was the greatest game of his life. This season was a career year in every category, and if he can kick his game up yet another gear, it would put him in a new category.

  127. miik

    Sheed is one of the smartest big men in the game and one of the best defenders. What he did last night in the 4th quarter against Howard is all you need to know. The front court pairing of him and Sabonis was incredible. Speaking of which, can you imagine Sabonis in the D’Antoni offense? Best passing big man ever. One can dream.

    I don’t think Lee gets packaged and shipped out with Zach simply because they’re both PF’s. Maybe if it’s a multi-team deal both would be involved, but otherwise we’re more likely to package Nate with Zach, or even Jamal (who has some value).

    Also, the Knicks have some runners, but not too many outside shooters. The Phoenix offense thrived on long jumpers. Until Shaq arrived, everyone could hit from outside. Guys like Balkman and Lee (both of whom I really like) and Curry (who I can’t stand) are really going to have to get comfortable shooting jumpers or they’re going to have problems.

    I absolutely want nothing more than to see Zach gone, but his ability to hit from outside and on the pick and roll might make him fit in decently (unfortunately). He does have the ability to hit from outside. He just has to make quicker decisions instead of doing a million jab-steps.

    I think Nate could potentially be a 20 and 7 guy for D’Antoni – if he doesn’t get traded.

    Of course, this is all predicated on D’Antoni running a Phoenix-like offense and not pulling a Pat Riley – who abandoned Showtime when he came to the Knicks.

  128. Ted Nelson

    I don’t necessarily have him ahead of those guys, but it’s hard to say the following about someone who’s never been in the playoffs:
    “Lee could never post a stat-line or have the impact on a critical playoff game that West had last night.”
    Let’s wait and see what the guy’s capable of if and when he gets to the playoffs.

    Lee’s not the scorer that West is, but I don’t see why he couldn’t have a really efficient 20 point/ 20 rebound playoff game.

    Lee is also younger than everyone you list by 3 years. Three years ago, when he was 24, David West scored 6.2 ppg on a team whose season leader in points was LEE NAILON.

    “Turkoglu was clearly the focus of Detroit’s defensive game plan”

    Yeah, Dwight who? Rashard who? Jameer who? Hedo is the new LeBron: he beats teams 1 on 5. Oh, wait, they lost in 5 games.

    “He’s an all-star rebounder who is below average at everything else.”

    This is patently false. There’s no need to exaggerate so much to make your poitnt that Lee hasn’t proven nearly as much as someone coming off a 30+ point 14 rebound playoff game. Lee is average as a passer, and I would say as a defender (he’s certainly one of the best Knicks defensively). He’s a really efficient scorer who moves well without the ball, gets himself open, and knows spacing.

    Furhtermore, you shouldn’t just group all of those players together just because they rebound well and aren’t all-stars. Turiaf, by the way, is a poor rebounder.

  129. caleb

    http://www.delawareonline.com/blogs/2008/05/should-sixers-go-for-zach-randolph.html

    “this person thinks that Philly can somehow trade cap room for a player under contract to someone else? back to the drawing board, my man.”

    Strictly speaking, they can’t trade cap space, but the writer is correct in pointing out that since Philly is about $11 million under the cap, they only have to send back $4 million in salary, to take on Randolph’s $15 million deal. (Unfortunately, this doesn’t look like the “official voice” of Sixer management!)

    This is why cap flexibility is so valuable, as Ted says…

    “Cap flexibilty, not the cap room to sign a top-flight free agent, should be the goal.”

    If we’re under the cap in 2010 (or any time), it’s not LeBron or bust… we’d also be in position to take on a big contract (i.e. a star, not a Randolph) in a trade.

    It’s also why you don’t take on Diaw or Barbosa. They’re nice pieces and would make us better in the short run, but you don’t get cap flexibility by paying $18 million to players who are at best the 4th and 5th options on a top-tier team.

    Ted,
    I hope you’re right that patience re: Randolph will pay off, but I think you’re underestimating how hard it will be to move him.

    As far as free agents not changing teams, it’s just supply and demand. Very few teams have had cap room, therefore big-name FAs don’t put themselves on the market. When Kobe was a FA, the only team with cap room was the Clippers. Not surprising he stayed a Laker.

    But it’s clearly changing — teams are putting a higher priority on cap space, which is why it’s so hard to relocate Randolph or Curry, and why you see deals like Gasol and Garnett trades. You can see that several teams are pretty close to the cap now, and by next summer a growing number will be under it. With more bidders, more players will shop their services and more will change teams. Players know it — that’s why LeBron and Wade signed shorter than max extensions, knowing that the landscape in 2010 would give them options.

    The rules are still tilted towards players staying — current teams can offer an extra year, which amounts to about a 20 percent pay bump… but that’s a lot less incentive than there was the last few years, when the only alternative for stars was to take the mid-level, at a 50 or even 80 percent pay cut.

  130. jon abbey

    “Strictly speaking, they can’t trade cap space, but the writer is correct in pointing out that since Philly is about $11 million under the cap, they only have to send back $4 million in salary, to take on Randolph’s $15 million deal.”

    are you sure? I’m pretty sure that’s wrong, that the salaries exchanged still have to be close to matching regardless of cap space, unless there’s a trade exemption changing hands.

  131. xduckshoex

    According to Larry Coon’s salary cap FAQ: “Teams under the salary cap may make trades as they please, as long as they don’t end up more than $100,000 above the salary cap following a trade. But if a team is over the cap, or they are under the cap and a trade would take them more than $100,000 over the cap, then an exception is required. “

  132. Thomas B.

    How does the trade excemption work? What are the rules for trade that involve teams under the salary cap?

    Last year GS sent Jason Richardson to Charlotte for a draft pick (Brendan Wright). JR made 11 million. Wright made 2.3 million. I don’t think any other players changed hands, maybe there was a trade exemption. But I think the rule about salaries being within 25% applies to teams that are over the cap. Charlotte was way under the cap so they could absorb JR’s salary. I think thats how it works.

  133. Ted Nelson

    “but his ability to hit from outside and on the pick and roll might make him fit in decently (unfortunately).”

    I don’t know if that’s unfortunate: it might raise his trade value. (Not that he’s shown that he can hit from outside with much efficiency.)

    Caleb,

    -If you show teams that his personal productivity can lead to team success he’s movable, but I don’t know if that’s possible. If not, there’s a good chance there’s eventually going to be a team with, say, 3 completely useless guys making 5-7 mill per each. Potentially, the Knicks could cut one or two, keep one or two, save some $, and improve their roster. Who knows, though.

    -Barbosa is only making 6.1 mill next season and will only be making 7 at the end of his deal. I think it’s fair to say that’s at or below market value, we’ll have to see what Monta Ellis gets this offseason.

    -You make a strong case that the free agency landscape is changing, but we’ll have to see. There’s still a lot of incentive to stay with your own team or work a sign-and-trade if you’re a real, honest-to-god max player. Also, I know NYC is attractive, but the more teams have cap-room the less valuable your own cap-room is.

    “are you sure? I’m pretty sure that’s wrong, that the salaries exchanged still have to be close to matching regardless of cap space, unless there’s a trade exemption changing hands.”

    A trade exemption is created in the case that a below the cap team takes on more salary than they give out: Seattle moving Rashard Lewis and GS moving Richardson would be examples.

    ——————————–

    BTW, as far as the ongoing Lee debate, I checked out the jump shooting eFG%s of Jeffries, Collins, and Balkman on 82games. They were at .267, .302, and .141 in 07-08, respectively. So, there’s no reason to group Lee (.405 on jumpers) in with those guys anymore.

  134. Brian Cronin

    Note that no one was posting, “Man, West went 2-11 in a game where San Antonio evened the series, with four turnovers! David Lee could do better than that!”

    Because it’s silly to pick a single playoff game (especially as Lee has never gotten a chance to play in one) as “proof” either way.

  135. caleb

    “How does the trade excemption work? What are the rules for trade that involve teams under the salary cap?”

    Teams that are under the cap can do pretty much whatever they want, as long as they stay under.

    As far as exceptions, the GS/Charlotte trade is a good example. Both were under the cap, so salaries didn’t have to match. Golden State sent out about $10 million more in salary (Richardson), than it took back. This gave them a “trade exception” — meaning they’re allowed to make a separate trade in which they take on $10 million, without sending back ANY salary. We could give them Jamal Crawford for nothing.

    There is a limited time frame to use the exception — I think it’s 12 months. Golden State hasn’t used theirs, basically because they’re on a budget and need the $$ to give extensions to Ellis, Biedrins and possibly Baron Davis.
    There are also a few other wrinkles, e.g. you can’t split the exception among multiple players.

    At least, I think that’s how it all works… Larry Coon explains it better.

    re: Barbosa, I don’t think he’s overpaid, but I also don’t think it’s all that hard to find someone just as good, if you have the money to spend… I’d rather keep our options open. Diaw at $9m when we already have a bunch of forwards, would be more ridiculous.

    p.s. Don’t anyone forget we have Malik Rose’s expiring $7 million contract, to help out some budget-conscious team with a draft pick. (doesn’t matter who we get back, as long as their contract only has 2 years left).

  136. jon abbey

    huh, I didn’t know that about trading and teams under the cap, thanks for the info.

    “it’s silly to pick a single playoff game (especially as Lee has never gotten a chance to play in one) as “proof” either way.”

    yes and no. everyone has bad games in the playoffs, almost no one is capable of the kind of game West had last night under those circumstances. the rest of the team had two baskets combined for the first quarter and a half, he kept them in it singlehandedly when no one else on the team could buy a hoop, including CP3.

  137. Ted Nelson

    Anthony Johnson scored 40 points in a playoff games last season. Granted, the Pacers lost and were playing the Nets not the Spurs.

    “almost no one is capable of the kind of game West had last night under those circumstances”… So David West is almost the best player in the NBA?????

  138. jon abbey

    it wasn’t just the points, Ted. 14 boards, blocks, 5 assists, helping force Duncan into a 5 for 18.

    “So David West is almost the best player in the NBA?????”

    no, he isn’t consistent enough. but when we look back on these playoffs, I’m guessing that will be one of the top 10 games by any single player, and that’s a pretty elite list.

  139. retropkid

    “no, he isn’t consistent enough. but when we look back on these playoffs, I’m guessing that will be one of the top 10 games by any single player, and that’s a pretty elite list.”

    That’s right. West has been up and down…but WAY up when he’s been up — last night was easily the best game of his career, nice step up on a big stage. Huge factor in two wins, making Duncan look old and a little slow on the uptick…. Surprising that San Antonio was so lousy in Q3, I am assuming this goes 7 now and that should be a whale of a game…

  140. Billy W.

    I’m hesitant to be optimistic, but I imagine that one of these three things could probably happen (though likely not more than one).

    1. We land a top-two pick (a curse on you, Clippers). We are then exciting to watch and on the path to redemption.

    2. We are able to find a taker for Randolph by trading down in the draft etc. (provided option 1 doesn’t occur).

    3. Marbury, in his contract year/when he’s healthy, decides to wake up and play semi-ok, up-tempo basketball. This would either mean that he could work in D’Antoni’s system and then be allowed to expire or that we could trade his contract mid-season for somebody awesome.

    I think #2 is the most likely scenario and might even be the best long-term choice of the three…thoughts?

  141. Latke

    no one’s taking marbury as anything except an expiring contract, no matter how well he plays next season. But he is a huge expiring contract, so he could net you something good.

  142. Ess-dog

    OK I’ve got to chime in-
    As far as the Sixers go, yes, they actually seem like a prime destination for Randolph. I’m not as down on Randolph as many… I just don’t like his contract, and we have a younger, cheaper version playing behind him (Lee.) And Randolph would fit perfectly in Phillie- they have a defensive minded center who doesn’t need the ball, a pass-first point guard, A go-to star who would be the first option, and athletic swingmen. Zach wouldn’t have to provide much D, he could rule the post, and Reggie Evans could come in when they really need some D.
    There would probably have to be a 3-way trade though. Maybe Sacto gets involved, unloads some junk and gets Balkman, maybe we get a draft pick somewhere.
    This is not an impossible scenario.
    Of course, we have to see how the draft shakes out first. If we get Beasley, Zach definitely has to go (and Lee stays on the bench or is traded.) Then we must trade for a guard. I like Barbosa, but not Diaw. We could probably find a better pure point, like TJ Ford (I think he’s worth a risk.) If we get Rose, we’re set at point. Then maybe we play Steph at the 2 for a year and let him go. I can’t see us getting anything good for him in return that would be worth ruining our cap situation (maybe like a Shawn Marion if he demands a trade? Nah, would never happen.) I would like to get McCants from Minnie somehow. I think he could develop into a great 2 guard. If we’re at the 5 spot, maybe take a chance on Lopez. He and Lee would be a little soft but fun to watch in the open court. Then you can shop Fatty McGee.
    Ah! Spring! So much potential…

  143. Ray

    Now is we could get rid of Zach by trading out of our draft slot and at the same time land Westbrook I think that would be a excellent situation. As soon as Westbrook finds a consistent jumper hes going to be a real threat. Hes a super athlete and very explosive and can lock down anyone on D. Sky is the limit for him. That would be great if we could do that. Hopefully David Lee is at home looking at David West and seeing how much his game can grow if he puts in that time. West has emerged into a superstar and thats great to see. I also wouldnt mind JR Smith being here is we could find a place for him. He can definitely run and gun I just dont know where he would fit. Id also love to pick up an extra pick in this draft where so that we could maybe add some depth or a European with a big upside. Walsh must have a plan by now or some kind of idea of the direction he wants to go in. Should be interesting.

  144. TDM

    Who was the guy that did all of the anagrams for the Knicks last season?

    We need an update for Donnie Walsh and D’Antoni.

  145. o_boogie

    the only situation philly goes after z-bo is if they cannot acquire elton brand through free agency.

  146. Owen

    Michael Dantoni = Malice Nation

    Don’t know quite what that means though…

    Rondo is having a tremendous game. Lebron is having his best scoring night, but no boards, and only one more assist than turnovers. Some defense those Celtics have.

    The home team will be 19-1 if they can hold on…

  147. Thomas B.

    Wow a request for anagrams. And jon abbey said no on cared. Ha! I had not even thought of doing some for the new coach. Looks like the posters beat me to the good ones. I like michael dantoni because the word dolan is within the letters.

    Dolan mini teach

    Dolan iceman hit

    I hint, Dolan came

    O cant lead him in (into the playoffs, not with this roster)

    A thin demonic L.A. my fav

  148. Thomas B.

    I did Donnie Walsh weeks ago all I remember is “Handles wino”

    One more for the coach….

    Animal ethic, No D

  149. Owen

    Doug Collins is driving me insane with his discussion of how many points Kobe scores on his shots. Just absolutely batty. Doesn’t make any mention of free throw shooting.

    That was a great game, Utah had a very good chance to win. It’s been amazing how many road teams have blown great opportunities to win, (Orlando Magic I am looking at you).

    The Lakers will have a good shot to win a title this year. But they are going to be downright scary next year with a starting lineup including Bynum, Gasol, Odom, and Bryant. If Bynum comes back playing like he did this year, and if Ariza gets healthy, you have to think they have 65-70 win potential…

  150. Ted Nelson

    “it wasn’t just the points, Ted. 14 boards, blocks, 5 assists, helping force Duncan into a 5 for 18.”

    The overall effort was exceptional, but I think it’s a little much to say that almost no one else could have done it. I can think of dozens of NBA players who could explode for one game like that in the playoffs. West has looked good, if inconsistent, this postseason, and he’s really solidified his status as an All-Star level player.

    The fact that West scored only 12 pts/36 minutes as a 24 year old (in only 30 games) seems to bode pretty well for David Lee. West’s worked really hard to improve his game, but it’s a bit of a coincidence that Chris Paul’s arrival in 05-06 coincides with West’s scoring numbers jumping from 10 and 12 pts/36 in his first two seasons to 17 pts/36 in his third…

    BTW, haven’t checked all the posts, but did anyone see Lee saying he’s working out with Steve Nash this offseason and D’Antoni is perfect for what the Knicks are trying to do?

  151. Z-man

    David West hardly played as a 23 and 24 year old (less than 20 minutes per) so its hard to say how much he would have developed with DLee-type playing time. Once he got Lee-type minutes, his PER was consistently around 18-19. Lee showed little progress this past year compared to 2006-2007 and actually regressed in some areas, notably blocking shots, geting his own shot blocked, and man-defense. His perimeter shooting when left wide open is erratic at best (stats on this aspect of his game are as misleading as Zach’s 20 and 10 stats) and he is often virtually dared to shoot by defenders who lay off of him. His offensive moves are mechanical and predictable, and IMO will always be, keeping him from ever being a top-notch PF in this league. I would consider trading him while he is still coveted before his next contract makes him less of an asset than he is at his current salary.

  152. Sports fan

    Jackson would’ve been a bad hire. The team mirrors Jackson. The players on the roster are perfect for his slow, plodding, lethargic offensive style. Fastbreak and Jax were antonymns. After all Doc Rivers, Derek Harper and dare I say Charlie Ward and Chris Childs seemed to play much faster than Jackson. The team was indifferent on defense, the same approach Jax took.

    Moreover, he’s a terrible analyst on ABC.

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