Blazer/Knicks Pre-Game Whatever

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Team stats for Tonight’s game:

Team Four Factors
89.7   108.1



30.9 27.2   110.9


15.4 26.6 24.7
18.5   13 14 29 2 6   26 23 30 14.5


Team Four Factors
87.3   106.1



29.2 23.5   111.0


15.6 26.5 26.1
29   21 22 20 7 20   27 25 29 13


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Mike Kurylo

Mike Kurylo is the founder and editor of His book on the 2012 Knicks, "We’ll Always Have Linsanity," is on sale now. Follow him on twitter (@KnickerBlogger).

56 thoughts to “Blazer/Knicks Pre-Game Whatever”

  1. I heard he’s still out. The way the Knicks play this season I would rather he’s around – we have a fantastic talent for blowing opportunities when the other team is at half-strength (even when full-strength is pretty lousy to begin with).

  2. Blazer/Knicks Pre-Game Whatever

    I love this title Knickerblogger. I feel like in light of the ridiculous way this season has transpired, this title reminds me of the scene in Major League when Harry Doyle and his assistant are hammered pounding a bottle of Jack Daniels announcing the game all whatever juuuuust a bit outside. haha.

  3. Thanks for the link, man.

    Randolph is definitely, out by the way. He’s a tough matchup but the Knicks tend to stumble against shorthanded teams. We’ll see how that turn sout.

  4. Saw this about Lee on Hooped up

    ?He looked good,? Isiah Thomas said about David Lee who is recovering from a leg injury.

    Thomas said Lee is now close enough to make a game-time decision on whether to play. The Knicks are home to Portland on Thursday and at Cleveland on Friday.

    Thomas said Lee ?worked out and did everything in practice today.?

  5. The good thing is that Lee isn’t really a shooter so, as long as he’s healthy enough, he should be able to jump in and perform immediately, without worrying about rhythm and whatnot. Or not. Who knows.

  6. i think the thing to worry about with Lee, tho, is that so much of his game is based on his lift. getting up off the floor for boards, finishing strong on the break…if his leg is at half-strength i can’t imagine he would be effective.

  7. Yeah, that’s true. I was more talking about once he IS healthy. Some guys struggle even after they’ve healed, just because they’re timing and rhythm is off.

  8. But getting Lee back is probably worth 3 wins the rest of the way, if he’s at full strength soon.

  9. It was certainly the most disappointing loss Dan. Gosh that hurt.

    The killer for the Knicks in this game is that defensively, even when the guys are playing hard on defense they just aren’t good one-on-one defenders. When teams are smart with the basketball they’ll find a good open look against a team that has to rotate to protect weak defenders. Portland’s young backcourt of Jack and Roy kept the Knicks off-balance all night with the screen roll, dump downs to Magliore, and good perimeter shooting. What I like most is their basketball IQ. They don’t do stupid things with the ball. They never telegraph passes. They never kill their dribble without having somewhere to go–yet they don’t over-dribble it either (ahem… I’m looking at you Stevie). New York was never able to take anything away defensively.

    Offensively, Curry had another frustrating night. Teams are simply refusing to be beaten by him. I’d love to see two things from NY going forward.

    1. Move without the ball on the weakside – everything’s a struggle right now because nobody is moving. Even though I’m one of the main people saying that Curry’s got to be a better passer out of the double-team, I have to say in his defense, a lot of people are standing around watching while he gets doubled by two big people.

    2. Pick up the ^(^*^%&%$&*!!! pace – For as good a rebounding team as the Knicks are they don’t run nearly enough. About the only guy that consistently looks to push is Renaldo Balkman. That’s just not right. For the life of me I don’t understand why NY isn’t a better fastbreaking team. For years Charlie Ward was pilloried by Knicks fans, and by their current starting point guard, for walking the ball up the floor. This team walks the ball up the floor 80+% of the time. That makes no sense when you have two players, Jeffries and Balkman, that cannot help in the halfcourt and another constantly facing doubles. There’s not nearly enough emphasis placed on trying to get easy buckets.

  10. Same play on defense every frigging time: someone sets a pick near the top of the key, Knicks can’t get through it so they double whoever has the ball, then he passes to someone wide open for the jump shot or cutting to the basket for a dunk or layup. It’s like groundhog’s day.

  11. It’s obvious in games like this that the Knicks have not solved their coaching issues. Thomas has the Knicks playing hard, but that’s about it. The defense is terrible; the Knicks weaknesses on that end are ones that can not necessarily be negated by good coaching but they can be minimized so they’re not as easy to exploit. The Knicks coaching staff should take a long look at how the Suns play defense and see if any of it can be applied to their team.

    Offensively…well, Dave Crockett seems to have outlined the major issues with the Knicks offense already. There is just not enough movement, not enough team play.

    But yeah, at least they’re playing hard. Though I think it’s sad that the Knicks are at a point where that is a reason to celebrate.

  12. Slightly off topic:

    Isn’t the swap of first round picks optional for Chicago? I’ve been known to be wrong about these little details but that’s my recollection.

    If so, is anyone thinking that perhaps Chicago will just keep its original pick rather than swap for NY’s unless it can move NY’s pick in a bid for KG? Right now, Chicago doesn’t need to get any younger and it looks like the Knicks are going to end up with a late lottery pick or just out of the lottery almost no matter what.

    If Chicago can’t move NY’s pick for value I could easily see Paxson concluding that it’s not worth paying a premium to get a player at #13 when you could get just as good a player at #23 for less money in this draft. This draft appears to have that kind of depth.

  13. It’s not that big a $$ difference – hard to see Chicago turning down a shot to move up 10 spots in the draft.

    One thing from last night’s game: I love Jarrett Jack. He would be PERFECT for the Knicks. Tough D, smart, knocks down outside shots. Blazers also have Sergio Rodriguez, so I wonder if there’s anything we could offer, to pry Jack away. (Frye? Rose($$)? Crawford?

  14. Too bad we didn’t him (Jack) instead of Robinson when we had the chance. I know that hindsight is 20-20 but for all the praise that Isiah gets for his draft picks, he definitely could have made better decisions for all of his picks from the last two years, save for Lee.

  15. Thanks for the research, Nick… as Knicks fans sometimes it’s worth reminding ourselves where we really stand.

  16. As for Isaiah’s draft picks, I agree that sometimes we act as though he’s perfect on that score. But I can’t knock him too hard for Jack. Nate Rob is solid for a #21 – better than Crawford, in my book. (Altho in hindsight…)

    Looking at the last few years:
    #20 Balkman – amazingly, a steal. You can argue that he would have been there later, but if you believe in the guy (over Rondo or Williams, say)then why take the risk?

    #29 Collins – not much here, but you can’t expect much from a 29.

    #8 Frye – jury’s out. Last year, he looked like a top-five pick. This year, more like a borderline first-rounder.

    #21 Robinson – Seems about right. I’d like to see him get more minutes, find out what he’s really worth.

    #30 Lee – a steal.

    #43 Ariza – great pick. Oy.

    Overall, not perfect but a very good record.

  17. Actually wasn’t Nate a “throw-in” on the Q deal and don’t let his one hot night cloud your judgement on Nate.

  18. I don’t think the jury is out on Frye at all. He’s never been a post player and I doubt that will ever change. He’s never been much of a rebounder and that is not typically something that improves very much over time. He lacks the bulk to be a great post defender and the instincts to be a great help defender. He’s a solid back up big man with a nice mid range shot. I’ve never thought he would be anything more than that.

  19. Nick, I’m not talking about Isaiah’s wheeling n dealing skills. (although insisting on a throw-in is a good move, no?) I’m judging him on what he does when he gets the pick. And Nate is a better player than Crawford in every way except being a playmaker.

    xDuck, the average career for a lottery pick probably lasts about 10 NBA years. That means you’d expect your #8 pick to be, approximaely, the 80th-best player in the league (over the course of his career).. the #3 guy on a .500 team. It seems like Frye is in the ballpark. Last year, you’d have predicted a bit better – this year, worse – but still a functional NBA rotation player.

    This year was sort of a mystery – it’s very rare for a guy his age to get that much worse. Maybe all that muscle he put on last summer slowed him down, or maybe he’s not getting the right coaching advice – it seems like he’s allergic to the free-throw line. Disturbing.

  20. Last night was a rancid atrocity. Francis and Marbury went 9 for 32 or something. Only Robinson and Balkman performed ok, actually Francis’ ten rebounds were nice, and Lee’s five rebounds in ten minutes were encouraging. But a terrible loss to a terrible team playing without its best player.

    Eddy Curry once again had an equal number of turnovers and rebounds (4), and got dominated on both ends by Magloire, whose rebound total of 16 actually exceeded Curry’s career high.

    Curry had this to say after the game:

    “I’m trying to stay within my game and what I know I can do,” Curry said. “It’s tough, because I can’t really establish myself. Every time I catch the ball, I have guys on me. We have to make shots and make the defense pay for doubling me.”

    And I found this on true hoop, citing another blog…

    Barrett adds a great little detail about an exchange between Eddy Curry and Blazer Assistant Maurice Lucas:

    The Blazers had [Jamaal] Magloire on Curry, and doubled him with LaMarcus [Aldridge] every time he touched the ball. New York had difficulty adjusting. At halftime, Curry even told Lucas, Blazer assistant coach, to “stop doubling me.” It was a lighthearted exchange, and Lucas responded with “we’re going to triple you in the second half.”

    The first qoute troubles me a great deal. First, it shows he really really doesn’t like getting double teamed. Hopefully, the rest of the NBA will hear what you said Eddy and keep one guy on you from now on.

    Second, it shows that Fast Eddy thinks that by commanding double teams he has accomplished some absolutely crucial part of the offensive production process, and the rest is up to the other guys on the team. I dont like that attitude.

    Eddy, when you get outrebounded by five members of your own team, and Jarret Jack and Brandon Roy use your lane as their own private commode, dont try to throw the blame elsewhere.

    Obviously, a lot of people played badly, but it bothers me to hear our “star” talk like that…

  21. Caleb – don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying Frye is a bust or anything along those lines. The only players taken after him that I would have preferred were longshots at best(Bynum and Green) and he was a good pick for the Knicks. I’m just saying that we already know what to expect from him; Kurt Thomas offense along with average defense and rebounding. So in that sense, the jury really shouldn’t be out. We’ve seen what he can do. He has his role and he plays it well and I’m sure he will have a long NBA career.

    I don’t think his decline is really puzzling; he’s a jump shooter, but he doesn’t have three point range so he doesn’t extend the defense at all. If teams leave him open, he kills them. Take away his jumper and he doesn’t have much else available to him, and that is what teams are doing. Coaching has something to do with it in the sense that it’s the coaches job to find a way to get his players looks that they can make.

  22. ?I?m trying to stay within my game and what I know I can do,? Curry said. ?It?s tough, because I can?t really establish myself. Every time I catch the ball, I have guys on me. We have to make shots and make the defense pay for doubling me.?

    Not to defend Curry’s play, which was to use your phrase rancid, but I don’t think I’m going out on a limb when I imply that his last sentence is directed specifically at Steve Francis.

    For me, that gives it a slightly different connotation. Your criticism of Curry is valid but allow me to take a stab at translating his comments:

    “That [inaudible grumble] is hard to play with because when I pass out of the double and re-post he’s only on crossover #3 of a 5 crossover routine. Now, the extra defender is sitting in my lap. He’s a ball-stopper that can’t feed the post without 18 hesitation passes, practically inviting the double team and destroying any chance I have to split it before I even touch the ball, and his shot–comes and goes. I see why Van Gundy couldn’t get him away from Yao Ming fast enough.”

    Not that I’m projecting or anything…

  23. “Knicks sign Randolph Morris.”

    Wow! I was going to suggest that he’d be an excellent 2nd round addition as a shot-blocker/rebounder.

    As an educator, one that is not pollyanna about kids leaving school early, this nonetheless makes me cringe.

  24. As Isiah pointed out, it does seem that Curry waits for the double team after he gets the ball instead of immediately attacking the hoop. Hopefully he can reverese course on that.

  25. people keep saying that Curry misses Crawford, but he really misses David Lee, the doubleteam is coming from the second big man, which they can’t do when Lee is in the game, because he’ll dominate the offensive boards.

    he hasn’t been playing well lately (clearly), but for me the test is next season when they’re hopefully back to full strength. he’s made big strides this year, staying out of foul trouble and commanding constant doubleteams, now he needs to build on that and take the next step next season

    I like the Randolph Morris thing, I had no idea he was a free agent.

  26. Perhaps Steve Francis can’t feed the post. And Marbury went 6-22. He goes 10-22 and we probably win. I suppose you can credit Curry for a lot of open jump shots which only Robinson seemed able to hit last night.

    I myself prefer an offense where you can consistently get high percentage looks. Layups, dunks, short bank shots, the like. Other centers in the league, I wont name names, they seem a little more adept at dishing and swishing around the hoop than Double Trouble Curry. Basically this idea of an offense built around your center using double teams to generate jump shots by your perimeter players, it’s sort of troubling.

    Also, the evident glee of the Blazers assistant in throwing doubles at Curry, it bothers me that they seem to like doing it so much.

  27. “Basically this idea of an offense built around your center using double teams to generate jump shots by your perimeter players, it?s sort of troubling.”

    Yeah, that kind of thinking reminds me of the mid-90’s Knicks and Rockets. Thing is…Eddy Curry is not Hakeem Olajuwan or Patrick Ewing, and the Knicks do not have the shooters that either of those teams did.

    And you’re right that Francis has trouble feeding the post; he had trouble getting it into the 7-5 Yao Ming, I doubt he’ll find it easier to get it into the Curry.

  28. The main problem with this type of offense for the Knicks, is that we don’t have any shooters around Curry. Sure, he has his own problems, but the main problem is mismatched parts. To make that offense work you need guards who are shooters, not scorers. Marbury, Francis, Crawford & Robinson would ALL look better on a team that got its high percentage shots by running, not hoping for an open look off a double-team.

    The Knicks rebound well enough to run a lot, but Curry is the piece that doesn’t fit. Even if you think he’s terrific (I’m in Camp So-So) he would be more valuable to another team. I’d see what the market is.

  29. Randolph Morris seems to be a somewhat similar player to Curry, three years younger and probably not as skilled, but similar strengths and weaknesses (very good post scorer, not in the best shape, a bit on the slow side).

    so if Isiah could deal Curry as part of a package for a genuine superstar (doubtful, those guys don’t go on trees), he’s got a possibly adequate alternative now.

  30. This team is driving me crazy.

    After rooting for the team for 20 years, I am ready for them to move to another city and change the name so I can forget about them.

  31. Jon – Trade Curry and anyone on the team other than David Lee for a superstar? Sounds great! But I wonder who might make that trade.

    I love this snippet from the NYT and Curry:

    “Curry scored more than the Knicks? other four starters combined, and Thomas showed little patience with his lineup. When the Cavaliers opened the second half with an 11-2 burst and took a 17-point lead, Thomas benched everyone but Curry.

    ?You really know it?s going bad when they bring a whole new cast in,? Curry said. ?But I think it was deserved. The unit we had out there, it wasn?t clicking, for whatever reason.?

    Lol. That just sounds so bad to me. “It was well deserved.”Way to be a team leader.

    Curry btw had four turnovers in the first quarter, and six overall. He actually just caught Igoudala for third in the league in turnovers. He trails Nash by just seven, so second place is still within reach. He’s been on a very healthy pace this month, recording 56 rebounds and 38 TO in ten games. If Charles Barkley was the Round Mound of Rebound, what is Curry? The March Spray of Giveaway? Someone needs to come up with something good to celebrate such statistical profligacy.

    This team is going to come apart at the seams if they continue having to run the ball through him. Getting him his touches, which may still be our best strategy, is going to kill Francis and Marbury. They are really not happy, (not that I care, they stunk)

    The Marbury and Francis qoutes in the NYT sound ominous. Here is the NYT and Starbury:

    “Marbury suggested that the Knicks are finding it tough to get Curry going again while still keeping everyone else in rhythm.

    ?We haven?t been all on the same page, one game, yet,? Marbury said. ?We?re making a conscious effort of getting Eddy the ball right now and we?re doing that.?

  32. Wow. Respect for using the word “profligacy”.

    I think that Curry sucks and I will be glad when he is no longer in a Knicks uniform.

  33. I?m a little worried that the Morris signing fits Thomas? strategy of adding talent without worrying about building a cohesive team: Morris is pretty Curryesque in terms of A/TO.

    On the other hand, he does represent an improvement over Frye and Curry in terms of rebounding, shot blocking, and overall defensive potential. Morris has improved every year, has played against top college competition, and had 2 big games in the tourney. Despite his infamous draft whiff, Morris is actually supposed to be an intelligent guy with a decent basketball IQ. If nothing else, he spent three years under Tubby Smith.

    So, the Knicks first ?offseason? move might meet two of the three criteria laid out by Dave Crockett in a previous thread:
    1. defense: check, although not perimeter D
    2. bball IQ: check, although he won’t do much for ball movement
    3. perimeter shooting: well, not exactly

    The real positive I see is that the Knicks effectively added another first round pick and solid prospect for free. Of course, this is typical Isiah: last year he also added Steve Francis “for free.”

  34. Francis wasn’t for “free”, he gave up Ariza and he’s on the cap for two more years. Jalen Rose is maybe who you’re thinking of, we got the pick for Balkman in that deal and only gave up cash.

  35. sarcastic or not, it makes no sense in the context of your post. it would make sense as a sarcastic remark with a different example, hence my post.

  36. I got to throw some qualitative analysis in there, keeps Jon happy. But also the crap Curry says really rubs me the wrong way. Mostly because I hate his stats, but still…

    Things are really heating up on the basketball statistics front. Dan Rosenbaum has really gone after Berri. Lots of fireworks. They had a nice piece about the controversy on True Hoop.

    I think Berri’s evaluations are generally pretty accurate. I dont think Curry, Iverson, Gordon, and quite a few other players are as good as they generally are considered. And I can believe that players like Camby, Wallace, Lee, and Chandler deserve more credit than they generally get. Scoring isnt everything.

    On the other hand in the case of a player like Bruce Bowen, the formula probably doesnt give him the credit he deserves. The guy plays the third most minutes for the Spurs, who are the best defensive team in the league, and he has the third worst rating among players with more than 2000 minutes this year. I have trouble believing Bowen is that bad. But that’s one of only a few exceptions. Generally i think Berri’s system works extremely well.

  37. yeah, nothing more riveting than people talking about people analyzing hoops using half-assed stats. so glad you feel compelled to continually keep us posted on that silly little world.

    Randolph Morris will be in uniform against Orlando on Monday according to this:

  38. How can anyone not like the Randolph Morris deal? He’s only 20 years old (21?), the money is minimal – there’s nothing to lose and he might turn out better than advertised.

  39. I wonder how long this has been in the works, and if it has anything to do with why Isiah (inexplicably to me, at the time) let Jackie Butler go. we sure did sign him quickly, especially for a guy who was free to negotiate with any team in the league. one of the stories today said that this was the reason they’ve been keeping the 15th roster spot open, so it’s not like it happened overnight.

    the only thing we lose is this secondary salary exemption, which you can only use once every two years. we still have the full mid-cap exemption every year, though, although given the recent track record with that, it might be nice if the league forbid us to use it.

  40. Jon:

    There’s really no need to respond to people in such a condescending way. Like the majority of people who comment on this site, I’m well aware of the Knicks transactions as well as all the transactions from around the league.

    Maybe I explained it poorly or you misundertood it, but the point of my post was that while Morris is a nice prospect and adds another talented player to the mix, he has some of the same strengths and weaknesses as Curry and Frye. This is not the first time Isiah has added a redundant piece. Basically Isiah has stock pilled high usage low efficiency guards who can?t run an offense, don?t play defense, and can?t get the ball to the high efficiency bigs who don?t defend and can?t seem to either pass or hold on to the ball when they do get it. This is clearly not how you build a team. Hopefully Morris can at least break the trend by providing a defensive presence inside.

    I think that adding Francis last year is a decent comparison, not in terms of the deals that brought them here, but in terms of their additions to the Knicks? roster. Francis? a talented player but brings nothing to the roster that isn’t already there between Steph, Nate, Jamal, and Q. Adding Balkman is not really comparable as he brings a skill set that no one else on the team has.

    On the whole, I?m high on the signing because, more than anything, I?d like to see the Knicks address their defense and this might be a step in that direction.

    Also, given Isiah’s draft record it would be nice if, as you suggest, this is a player Isiah Thomas is actually high on and didn’t just bring in because he’s available.

  41. right, all of that made sense, it was just the “for free” I was taking issue with. I didn’t think I was being condescending to you, apologies if I came across that way. with Owen, it’s intentional.

    wow, Vince Carter just tied the Nets game at the buzzer with a slam over his head on an air ball from deep.

  42. The Knicks have one of the toughest end-of-season schedules in the conference and there’s a real chance that 3-4 teams (one in the east, three or more in the west) will pass them. No way the little bulls don’t swap picks with all of the talented length in this draft. Y’all want to trade Lee and we’d work something out.

  43. Hey can anyone give info on Kentucky Junior Randolph Morris and will he help the Knicks?

  44. oh I scrolled up and saw the other posts. But Can Morris help? Does that make Curry expendable? He’s an atrocious rebounder and has been struggling offensively of late. also his post passing skills leave much to be desired.

  45. Jon –

    I appreciate it, but I think it’s best if we stick to our roles on this board. My job is to be condescending to you and write excessively long posts about stats and the WOW which get ridiculed by you and others.

    Your job is to to defend Eddy Curry using qualitative analysis. This means heavy referencing of all the double teams he commands, comments about how no one can feed the post or hit a jump shot other than Jamal Crawford, and feigning near complete ignorance of the fact that he can’t rebound for crap or play defense at all.

    It also requires near total amnesia regarding Eddy’s quest to overtake those players ahead of him, the league leaders in assists and steals, and the league’s second leading rebounder, in order to capture the turnover title this year.

    And given his statline this last month during the playoff push, I would say you have a lot on your plate.

    Eddy Curry’s “March” to the Lottery

    15.8 ppg on 46% fg,
    40/81 from the line,
    5.6 rebounds
    .6 blocks
    1.2 assists
    .2 steals
    3.8 turnovers!

    Defending Eddy Curry is a huge job Jon, and apparently someone has to do it. That someone is you. I don’t envy you the task, and given how much work it will be, I would definitely urge you not to waste your time condescending to me or anyone else.

  46. Owen, obviously Curry is a poor rebounder and defender, how many times do we have to go over the same blindingly obvious point?

    what you seemingly fail to realize/accept is that every single team in the league would love a low-post scorer, it’s a very rare commodity, and Curry is among the best handful of those. obviously he still needs to develop in numerous other areas of his game, but it’s just as obvious that he’s made serious strides this year. you choose to ignore those, and regard a 24 year old center who’s under constant doubleteams as a finished product with zero chance of improvement from here. I prefer to wait and see how he develops next year. as I’ve said since early this season, I’ll be a lot harder on this team next year, once they’ve had a full year to play together and regroup from Larry Brown.

    anyway, I certainly am not defending Curry blindly, but you go way too far in attacking his game and his potential impact on the team, especially with the right people around him.

    but more to the point, everyone here has heard all this a million times from you already, why can’t you stop, or at least slow down? did Curry sleep with your sister? why don’t you go after Francis, or Frye, or Marbury, or always hurt Q? there are no shortage of targets on this team, your focus on Curry is obsessive and annoying.

  47. Curry is the focus of criticism because he seems to be the focal point of the team, and is in many ways the poster child for what is wrong with these Knicks. Almost everything negative that you could say about this Knicks team applies to Curry as an individual as well.

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