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Thursday, April 24, 2014

D’Antoni’s Words Meaningless

Over the course of evolution, mankind has developed language in order to convey thoughts, ideas and feelings. Probably minutes after the first formal language, man discovered using words to mislead others or to hide their true intention. This probably first occurred when Uga asked Grog if the lion skin she was wearing made her bottom look like a hippopotamus’. Deception is used in language by everyone, so it should be no surprise when a public figure does it.

Yesterday D’Antoni tried to defend his benching of Jordan Hill by saying he liked rookies, just not the “bad” ones. Minutes later he followed with “I love Toney Douglas”, which is ironic since D’Antoni ignored the rookie for the 4 months of the season. Although if you really wanted to make sense of his words, you probably could make a case. Perhaps earlier in the season D’Antoni didn’t love Toney Douglas, but now he does. And when he says the Knicks couldn’t play the 6-11 Hill because the team was in the ‘playoff hunt’, it doesn’t mean the Rockets, who really are in the playoff hunt and play Hill 16.4 minutes a night, have to adhere to the same criteria.

Perhaps I’ve been burned too often in life, but I tend to look at people’s actions more than their words. It’s easy to say what you want someone to hear, it’s more difficult to consistently go against your principles. So that D’Antoni claims that he loves rookies or that Hill was a “bad” rookie and the Knicks were in a playoff race, really doesn’t mean those are the his true feelings. Instead it’s more significant to look at what the Knicks coach actually did. Obviously early in the year D’Antoni didn’t see much value in these players. One was traded and the other all of a sudden has become a valued contributor (and starter). The real reasons we probably never know.

Ultimately his job as coach is to appropriate the playing time to the best interests in his team. And with these two rookies it appears that he failed at his task. When the team was suffering from poor point guard play and a lack of a big center, D’Antoni went with Duhon and Harrington. So he can laugh when the press asks him about liking rookies, and point to his record with Amar’e Stoudamire. But if you’re trying to prove you play rookies more than the average coach, and your best example is a future All Star that just about every coach would have played, then perhaps your actions are speaking louder than words.

49 comments on “D’Antoni’s Words Meaningless

  1. Nick C.

    It’s the one thing I hate about D’Antoni. Maybe he has secret reasons for doing what he does and so has to just blurt whatever comes to mind, somehow I don’t think so.

  2. Thomas B.

    Actually among Cro-Magnons a hippopotamus booty was prized as a sign of fertility. So Grog probably told the truth.

    I think the truth is that he wasn’t prepared to teach the rookies all they needed to be regular rotation players. Also he wasn’t prepared to face scrutinity for playing them ahead of vets, even though both Hill and Douglas seem more effective than either Hughes or Jeffries. Although, I don’t buy the second of the arguments because D sure didn’t mind letting Duhon be the least effective starting point in the NBA for 4 month. It took getting rid of nate and allowing Duhon to become a modern day Jerrod Mustaf to get Douglas regular playing time. He wasnt afraid of scrutinty then.

    His handling of Marbury showed me from he could not be trusted to speak the truth.

  3. rrude

    Not sure Houston playing Hill is that significant. They need a big body since they traded Landry, and they have significantly better talent across the board to cover for Hill’s flaws. Their style and/or system is more team oriented (they have one) and Hill’s natural place as a role-player is easier to fulfill.

    The Knicks lack talent, needed a rookie to be better than a role player, and their system (to the degree that they have one) quickly degenerates into one-on-one talents given their lack of a true point guard and D’Antoni’s inability to enforce sharing the ball (or anything else, really).

    As the Knicks were about to fall apart last night, Toney hits a three and starts celebrating. In the middle of it he realizes they are getting beat down floor, but too late, easy bucket. This is exactly what Nate Robinson was guilty of, right? Why is this happening again with another player? Because the coach isn’t communicating that winning is a priority, and isn’t holding players accountable in a way that communicates to them.

    D’Antoni’s coaching style is, have good players that come in and play the right way. Maybe he should take a permanent position with a Dream Team and skip this low level stuff altogether.

  4. Caleb

    I would agree – there’s no reason to pay any attention to what a basketball coach says. Unless you are on the team! Seriously, they have nothing to gain by being candid; it can only blow up in their face when they go back to the locker room.

    I wouldn’t get too carried away about Jordan Hill. I would have liked to see more of him, but can’t argue that he’s a better player than Al Harrington or David Lee – his real competition for minutes. Even with his sizzle in Houston he barely cracks 50 for TS%, with solid but unspectacular numbers on the boards, and on defense.
    I think it was more your standard “coach’s goal is to win now; GM & Knickerbloggers want to think long-term.”

    In broad strokes – I think D’Antoni is willing to trade the benefits of squeezing more from the roster (good matchups, maximizing individual strengths, (maybe) long-term development) — for the benefits of a tight rotation (good flow and chemistry, more minutes to the top players).

    Jared Jeffries is something else… and I do think D’Antoni is over-prone to play guys who fit his style, instead of finding ways to use the guys he does have — for example, taking advantage of Milicic, who might give the team something it doesn’t have, for a few minutes a game. I’m willing to throw in the caveat that none of Milicic’s coaches have wanted to put up with him, so I have to think there is something about him not obvious to someone on the outside…

  5. BK

    So Knickerblogger has become just like the tabloids in the way it’s parsed D’Antoni’s latest comments,and interpreted the way the rookies have been played. So disappointing. No wonder I never come to this site any more. Such superficial analysis.

    *Maybe* if some nuance were applied to analysis, we might look at how ready the rookies actually were when the team had a reasonable chance of contending in December and January. And when I say “ready”, I mean how well said rookies could handle their defensive assignments and keep the offense flowing relative to their veteran counterparts. The answers might still lead to some variation of the points made in this screed (like “Duhon sucks”), but they would also illuminate the issues the coaching staff had to face and make it clear it’s not a pushbutton “play the rookies and good things will happen”.

    That’s not to say I agree with all the coaching and lineup decisions. Impossible to do so with the ups and downs the team has had. But I constantly see this from critics who want it both ways: they want the team to win, but they also want optimal development of the team’s young resources, and fail to see the contradictions and tradeoffs in their bipolar reasoning.

  6. Mike Kurylo Post author

    “Actually among Cro-Magnons a hippopotamus booty was prized as a sign of fertility. So Grog probably told the truth.”

    Perhaps Uga’s booty was not of such said size…

    “As the Knicks were about to fall apart last night, Toney hits a three and starts celebrating. In the middle of it he realizes they are getting beat down floor, but too late, easy bucket. This is exactly what Nate Robinson was guilty of, right?”

    No – I thought he was calling out defensive play number 3. It couldn’t have been lollygagging since Toney hasn’t won a slam dunk contest.

    “So Knickerblogger has become just like the tabloids in the way it’s parsed D’Antoni’s latest comments,and interpreted the way the rookies have been played. So disappointing. No wonder I never come to this site any more. Such superficial analysis.”

    Ouch.

    “That’s not to say I agree with all the coaching and lineup decisions. Impossible to do so with the ups and downs the team has had. But I constantly see this from critics who want it both ways: they want the team to win, but they also want optimal development of the team’s young resources, and fail to see the contradictions and tradeoffs in their bipolar reasoning.”

    Perhaps you’re not lumping me in this group, but I don’t see giving Douglas and Hill some playing time contradicting with winning now. In fact I’d argue that the two go hand in hand. If playing Douglas over Duhon is bipolar reasoning, then call me Van Gogh.

    And for the record I’ve been arguing that giving time to Douglas/Hill is not only beneficial to the team now but also in the future. The team’s biggest needs have been production at the point and size/defense on the interior. I don’t see how playing both of them, even just 10-15 minutes could have made the team worse.

  7. Mike Kurylo Post author

    “So Knickerblogger has become just like the tabloids in the way it’s parsed D’Antoni’s latest comments,and interpreted the way the rookies have been played.”

    And actually my point is exactly that: don’t parse D’Antoni’s words. Judge him by his actions instead.

  8. Thomas B.

    “So Knickerblogger has become just like the tabloids in the way it’s parsed D’Antoni’s latest comments,and interpreted the way the rookies have been played. So disappointing. No wonder I never come to this site any more. Such superficial analysis.”

    Yes, the site must stop driving driving away its key demographic: people named after fast food joints. I guess that’s why I no longer see posts from past regulars like “McD”, “R. Bees”, “C. Phill A.”, “N&Out”, and our favorite female poster “Wendy.” C’mon BK, give us another shot. The GOTME project is worth a couple flame broiled whoppers is it not?

    BTW, I’m just kidding with you.

  9. Ted Nelson

    Whatever his reasons and whatever you think of him, D’Antoni blurting out that Hill is a “bad rookie” was petty and unprofessional. A mistake. Even if he HATES Jordan Hill and what Hill said REALLY pissed him off, he should have taken the higher road. A 22 year old kid said something about him trying to justify why he wasn’t playing in NY but was now playing on a much better team. No reason for him to insult the kid. No need to motivate him before he plays your team. He could have taken a veiled shot while still looking like the bigger man by saying something like, “In my opinion it was not in our best interest to have Jordan in the rotation.” If D’Antoni really just thought Hill was bad, end there (certainly don’t say you didn’t play him because Darko and Jared Jeffries were better players). If he thought he didn’t work hard enough, he could throw that in there without being mean.

    It surprised me, because I think it’s totally out of character for D’Antoni. Not really a big deal, but a small mistake.

    One thing he couldn’t really say was that Jared Jeffries was playing largely to raise his trade value. Not sure if that was or was not the case, but makes a little sense. Raising Hill’s value may have been just as valuable to the organization, though, and D’Antoni was adamant about how much he liked Jeffries starting in his introductory press conference.

    D’Antoni wasn’t the Sun’s head coach until 1/4 of the way through Amare’s SECOND season. Amare was already Rookie of the Year and 3rd in MPG the season before D’Antoni took over.

    “Not sure Houston playing Hill is that significant. They need a big body since they traded Landry, and they have significantly better talent across the board to cover for Hill’s flaws.”

    It’s not just that they’re playing him, but that he’s playing well. That he’s gone from taking 60% jumpers to 27%. Clearly D’Antoni wasn’t maximizing the guy’s value, for whatever reason. (Not being willing to play two big guys together probably has something to do with it…)

    “D’Antoni’s coaching style is, have good players that come in and play the right way. Maybe he should take a permanent position with a Dream Team and skip this low level stuff altogether.”

    LOL

  10. Ted Nelson

    “Even with his sizzle in Houston he barely cracks 50 for TS%, with solid but unspectacular numbers on the boards, and on defense.”

    Such a small sample size that it’s almost irrelevant, but his TS% is .561 in Houston. One bad game and he’s below 50%, one good game and he’s above 60%… 17.7 reb% is very solid, but again the sample size is tiny.

    (His being strong on the offensive glass also takes away maybe 1/3 of the reason you might play Jeffries ahead of him… the other 2/3 being defense and b-ball IQ/savvy… and however smart Jeffries may be his goofiness cost the Knicks as many millions of TOs as his contract cost them dollars… so the only reason to play Jeffries ahead of Hill becomes defense where Jeffries is certainly more versatile but I’m not sold he’s better. Hard to argue he’s as better defensively than Hill as Hill is offensively than him.)

    Really, I think this thread should be in large part about why Jeffries was playing ahead of Hill… Like with Duhon this season, there was no where to go but up. There may have been some growing pains, but the team might be much better right now. If nothing else the Knicks might have been able to trade Hill and ONE pick to Houston, instead of two.

  11. cgreene

    Allow me to qualify the following by saying that I think D’Antoni’s coaching has left a lot to be desired and his main failure seems to be the lack of adaptability. There are a lot of ways to play the game and personnel should dictate.

    That said, D’A was in a VERY tough spot as it pertained to rookies this year. #1 he would have been royally panned had he let vets with expiring contracts languish on the bench as they needed playing time to prove their worth for new deals. It would have crushed the locker room and (the less spoken issue) it would have hurt the team’s image with veteran players around the league that they wanted to get in future years. I truly believe that.

    #2 D’A was absolutely right when he said he had better players ahead of Hill at the 4,5 w Lee, Harrington, Jeffries and Gallo sometimes rotating to that spot. Coupled with his short rotations, a winning streak in December/Jan, Hill showing up to camp out of shape those seem to be very valid reasons not to play the kid early in the year. Were he still on the team one must believe he would be getting a long look these last 20 games.

    #3 For TD the story was different. I think D’A messed up that one. TD brought defensive intensity and scoring ability which were both sorely needed at guard. He also had more basketball maturity being 37 when he graduated from college (haha). BUT one can still see that TD cannot run the PnR. His assist numbers are very low for a 1 and he seems slightly more suited to the 2. He still could have helped us win games.

    I would prefer to call D’Antoni defensive rather than disingenuous. Wouldn’t we be if we were him? Whether or not he plays rookies is the least of our problems if he proves unable to just be a better coach next year… albeit with better players.

  12. Robert Silverman

    I concur with cgreene. Yes, it was a silly thing for the coach to say (And it’s important to note that MD’A didn’t specifically/literally say that Hill was a bad rookie. He said he doesn’t play bad rookies in general), but I’m surprised at the degree of venom/criticism coming his way.

    It’s a tired cliche, but the NY Media/Tabloids is a wholly different animal than what you’ll get from the likes of the Arizona Republic. You can’t make an offhand comment/phrase something poorly and assume that it won’t be repeated ad naseum and/or blown all out of proportion. In contrast, Phil Jackson’s always been so good at this b/c, well, he spent 14 years in NYC as a player.

  13. SJK

    I’m sorry but there is virtually no way Kobe will leave LA. They built that team around him, he has Gasol, Bynum, Artest, Odom, and a deep bench. Why would he leave that for Wilson Chandler, Gallo, and TD. The idea that the team doesn’t want to commit financially to success is ridiculous. Yes, it took them a while, but they resigned Odom to a nice contract this summer and they signed Ron Artest. Even if they didn’t want to pay Ariza and thus lost out on him, his agent was asking for a huge deal for that kind of player (upwards of 8 million, I think). It’s also not like he’s playing in some small town with no publicity. He might opt out of his contract this summer, but if he does, i doubt it will be to sign with the knicks. He’ll probly just sign a new contract with the Lakers. I just don’t see it happening. Bryant has been a Laker his entire career, that’s not going to change.

  14. BK

    Alright, I came on too strong, and I’ll give my bipolar self several lashes because I owe too much to what this site taught me about sports analytics, along with Pelton and Hollinger. Throwing stones at Mike because I didn’t like the tone of something — or at least not presenting my argument in a more reasoned manner — was stupid and hypocritical.

    However, I encountered this item this morning along with about five other items about the game and the D’Antoni explanation about playing rookies. One item researched D’Antoni’s actual track record in playing rookies, and (largely) backed up his claims beyond the Amare one (which was actually inaccurate). Another item went beyond the “career high for Hill” storyline to note how Lee abused Hill for much of the game. Even the Daily News was more measured in separating the questionable comment from the actual explanation for not playing Hill.

    With that said, my reaction was like Ted’s and cgreene’s: just a questionable, borderline unprofessional slip for a normally media-savvy coach around a sensitive topic. Won’t hurt him that much now, might hurt him a lot more down the road as the media knives get much larger and sharper after this summer. Hill’s usage in lineups and his development while in NY seemed about right to me given the circumstances. Douglas may be a more contentious subject, but he also made many defensive mistakes as recently as a few weeks ago, and has hit the roll man in the paint on the pick and roll no more than six times by my count this year. Duhon in December and Nate in January and most of February were safer choices while this team had a pulse.

    Most of the comments here since my post have done well to parse out other possibilities and motivations behind why Hill, in particular, may not have gotten playing time. I think he benefits in Houston from having better and more defensively savvy teammates that can protect him. I didn’t like giving him up in the trade personally, but what’s done is done.

    Thomas, I don’t eat whoppers, but the GOTME posts were fine and easily worth a couple of Chick Fil-As, my fast food of choice when I want to clog my arteries. And that is a compliment.

    As far as Cronin’s cheap shot, it’s the right of this site to be opinionated and snarky, but running game threads making fun of the coach because of the way he uses your pet player — even when the team is winning the game — and you get called on it. Sorry you find that hard to deal with.

  15. Gorky

    This is kind of related. I wanted to take a look at Darko’s stats as a starter in Minny’s tanking of the end of the season. I remember he had a good game recently and people started complaining about D’Antoni again. So I thought if I averaged his stats from his 8 starts and looked at /36 min stats, they wouldn’t look so good. But they are pretty good.

    In 8 games started for Minnesota: 25.2 mpg, 7.9 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 1.25 apg, 0.6 bpg, 29 of 51 from the field (6.4 fga/g, 57% fgm)

    And /36 min: 11.25 p/36, 9.1 r/36, 1.8 a/36, 0.9 b/36.

    Aside from the blocks those aren’t terrible stats.

  16. DS

    I’m glad that this site keeps posting even during slow news periods; that’s one of the hallmarks of a good blogger. I do wish people would hold off on judging D’Antoni until he gets better players but oh well.

    Speaking of the T-Mac/Hill trade;. Chris Sheridan, who I like if only because he’ll often give me SOMETHING to read about the Knicks and USA Basketball seems to think that Walsh would only give up as much he did in that deadline deal in exchange for cap space, if he knew more than he letting on about what Free Agents will be willing to sign w/ NY this summer.

    It’s circular logic to say Walsh is correct for doing something because he wouldn’t do it if it was wrong to BUT perhaps Sheridan himself has inside info. or just has a good feel for this sort of situation that outsiders like me can’t appreciate and his analysis is spot on. i.e. there’s hope to get some big free agents to NY!!!

  17. d-mar

    DS – I saw that Sheridan piece, and while my initial reaction was to get a little excited, I think Walsh would have done the exact same thing whether he had inside info or not. I think we all agree he had to go “all in” this year, even if that meant letting Morey squeeze him. I’d love to believe Donnie knows something we don’t about LeBron or Wade, but I still think the most likely scenario is Johnson and Bosh, which wouldn’t be all that bad.

  18. ess-dog

    Maybe coach D’s venting some frustration playing out the string?
    Regarding Hill and Douglas’ minutes, let’s not forget that this season was basically a crude puppet show: a sequence of meaningless events to distract us until next year. 10 extra minutes per game for Hill and Douglas wouldn’t have changed that (sadly.)
    So for now I’m going to choose to believe that Walshtoni has some insider info on The King and just look forward to Him arriving later this summer, all the while cheering on Douglas, Gallo, Chandler, Walker, and Lee (even though he will probably be in a Raptors uni next year) until then.

    “and our favorite female poster”

    Mike, has a woman ever even been to this site by mistake?

  19. ess-dog

    Here’s a question I would like to pose:

    What would be more beneficial to the Knicks in your opinion?

    1. Buying out Curry at the end of the year and saving 1-2 million to use towards 2010 free agency (or to buy a 1st rounder if Walsh prefers) and then use the rest for a free agent in 2011.

    or

    2. Holding Curry’s contract until the trade deadline, Feb. 2011 and trying to trade his expiring for a great player (best case scenario, Chris Paul, more realistically, someone like Pryzbilla.)

    Of course a lot depends on what will/might/could possibly happen this summer but… thoughts?

  20. Owen

    Kobe to the Knicks? That could be controversial around here….

    I don’t think my evaluation of D’Antoni has changed in the slightest since he arrived. Good coach, great guy, still perhaps a superb free agent recruiting tool, we shall see. But there has been zero outperformance. The roster has done pretty much exactly what you would have expected given the talent involved. If you want evidence that superstar coaches matter, New York in the last two years is not the place to look.

    And I think it’s fair to say that a lot of personnel decisions have been made in the last two years based on finding players to suit 7SOL that were pretty questionable. Certainly, other teams have upgraded their roster pretty significantly and pretty cheaply in the past few years. I was just reading Simmons on the Bucks. They have won 39 games this year with Salmons, Bogut, Delfino, Mbah a Moute, Ilyasova and Jennings as their core. Other than Bogut all of those players could be on the Knicks right now.

  21. taggart4800

    I too have stopped coming on here but its not because i dislike the work of those who contribute. I kinda thought that the whole reason for a blog was for people to voice their opinions in a forum that allows them to do so. This is attractive to most people because for the most part their wives coudn’t care less what Bill Walkers TS% as a celtic compared to being a knick. Surely the whole reason you came on here to voice your own opinions with people of similar interests?? Very odd. Sorry BK, i’m sure you are a stand up guy, but go easy next time yeah…
    Anyway, as for D’Antoni. I’m not going to sit here and say that he is the answer to the Knicks problems, far from it. I think he has become petchulant and and rather disinterested. While this is perhaps understandable i also think it is unprofessional. Even with good talent i thought his coaching was ok. To use an anology, his coaching abilities put him on the same plane as Rudy Gay, Johnson and David Lee. Undoubtably good, but never are they going to carry you to a championship. Dream Team comment did make me laugh and i thought it was spot on.
    However, we may all be jumping to conclusions me included. When you actually analyse the roster, even from the start of the season, there is very little talent there. This i think is highlighted by the fact that Bill Walker HAS come in and improved his play with the Knicks. Even the Pacers have Granger, Murphy and Hibbert. We have Lee…Chandler? and Gallo? but i don’t think you can put him in that catergory yet. So maybe its fairer to say he isn’t doing a bad job with a very average roster. The keys for me next season, as i think he deserves another seaon, are for him to prove he can be adaptable and to display some end of game savvy. He does seem to struggle in that regard.

  22. jaddddd1

    “What would be more beneficial to the Knicks in your opinion?

    1. Buying out Curry at the end of the year and saving 1-2 million to use towards 2010 free agency (or to buy a 1st rounder if Walsh prefers) and then use the rest for a free agent in 2011.
    or
    2. Holding Curry’s contract until the trade deadline, Feb. 2011 and trying to trade his expiring for a great player (best case scenario, Chris Paul, more realistically, someone like Pryzbilla.)

    Of course a lot depends on what will/might/could possibly happen this summer but… thoughts?”

    I like option 2 much better. The $1-2 million for an extra player (which means we’re signing a veteran minimum guy) or buying a draft pick (how often do late 1st rounders work out as solid rotation players?) is much less valuable than an $11 mil expiring deal at the deadling or $11 mil in cap space in summer 2011, IMO.

  23. gbaked

    with regards to Mike D playing rookies. Its important to realize that by seasons end, DWTDD (a rookie) will have started about 1/4 of the teams games at PG. No small thing. I really believe that if Hill was still here, he would be getting major burn right now.

    Also to note, that as a rookie, playing with guys like Battier and Ariza (Awesome defenders both) makes it much easier for a guy like Hill to succeed.

  24. massive

    It is just me, or have the knicks been playing harder as of lately? They’re probably in some weird trance.

  25. rohank

    Gallo playing AMAZING. Apparently he ASKED to guard Melo. THATS what i like to hear!

    Al with timely shooting, Lee with a block, as Clyde said, “all the Knicks with the Knack”. Who are these guys!?

    On a side note: I am watching this game on NBATV Fan night and the 3 of them (webber, mchale, and some other guy) are basically taking this as a joke. From what I can tell they’re like “i can’t believe the fans picked this game”. AND ITS AMAZING! Oh and I am so mad at webber – he’s such a f***ing tool. All he does is say about how the Knicks suck and Gallo is foolish for asking to guard Melo. Wow…

  26. DRed

    To be fair to C-Webb, the Knicks do suck.

    I’m terrified that Al Harrington will play like this for the rest of the year and sucker us into bringing him back.

    Still, have to love that Danilo and Toney played well tonight. I really hope we get some good players for next season-it would be great to see games like this more than 3 or 4 times a year.

  27. tastycakes

    That was a great game. Didn’t even know it was happening, but turned on the TV and there it was in HD glory on NBATV. Haven’t watched since Toney Toney started getting playing time.

    I love C-Webb. McHale, on the other hand, is a giant doofus. No wonder he nearly ran the T-Wolves into the ground.

  28. nicos

    Gallo in the 3rd and Toney in the 4th very, very encouraging! Douglas can flat out score and while he’s had some late game turnovers he’s also hit a bunch of big shots. That step back jumper over Nene was an all-star kind of shot- if he can hit that consistently along with the three he has a chance to be really good. And nothing has been more encouraging to me than Gallo showing the ability to get to the line- it looks like he’s broken through the “rookie wall” and is playing with a ton of energy. I have to say I had gotten a little down on him through Jan. and Feb. when he just looked listless.
    Harrington alternately really good and really awful so no surprise there. And Lee looks as if he’s committed to working harder on the defensive end to close out the season- it’d have been nice if the effort had been consistent all year long.
    Also, I’m pretty surprised that Lawson has fallen behind Anthony Carter in the rotation- he must be really struggling defensively.

  29. Brian Cronin

    That really was a blast.

    You have to love how Gallo really gave Melo all he could handle on both sides of the court! That was striking. Hopefully Lebron was watching the game tonight on NBATV.

  30. Brian Cronin

    By the way – Gallo? Make more free throws! It’s insane how this guy isn’t a more accurate free throw shooter.

  31. Brian Cronin

    Just in general.

    How the heck he isn’t better than a barely 80% free throw shooter is beyond me. His stroke looks so good I honestly don’t quite get how it doesn’t go down 90% of the time.

  32. Z

    “How the heck he isn’t better than a barely 80% free throw shooter is beyond me. His stroke looks so good I honestly don’t quite get how it doesn’t go down 90% of the time.”

    I used to say the same thing about Allan Houston his first year with the Knicks. That year Houston shot 80.3% from the line. A few years later he led the league at 92%. I predict Gallo will follow the same career FT arc.

  33. nicos

    I think the key for Gallo the last few games is that he’s taken it strong right at the defender rather than his previous habit of twisting to avoid contact (or trying to get a +1) and throwing up a crazy scoop shot. If you want to consistently get to the free throw line you’ve got to take it straight to the rim- there’s some contact on almost every drive to the basket so you have to force the official to blow the whistle. I think if Lee tried to finish at the rim more often he’d get a lot more calls- he gets bumped/hacked on drives all the time but too often he’s throwing it up off glass while moving away from the basket and unfortunately, officials don’t seem to want to blow the whistle on those types of plays. That said, it was very nice to see the Knicks have a couple of questionable calls go their way for once!

  34. kaine

    First time for me in New York
    First time for me at the Garden against the sixers…and man, what a joy to see Gallo and Douglas.

    Live, Harrington just makes you want to puke…bad iq, easy shots fumbled…but he still has a great body, strenght, agility. If only santa gives him a brain…

    I still like Tmac game…but the guy doen’st have the legs anymore

    for the rest of the season gallo must be the number one offensive option.

  35. d-mar

    I’m feeling a WHOLE lot better about this team than I did a couple of weeks ago. They’ve beaten some quality teams (Dal. Atl. Den. and should have been Hous.) and Gallo and Toney have stepped it up. If the worry was that FA’s would be discouraged from coming here for lack of a supporting cast, I think that’s been mitigated – not totally -but somewhat. Plus Chandler hasn’t even been playing.

    I wish all this summer’s FA”s could watch games like last night and see how passionate and enthusiastic Knicks fans are rooting for a team in a meaningless game, and imagine what they would be like for a meaningful one.

  36. Garson

    Agreed… I think our “worst case scenerio” for next year looks a lot better as well. the writing on the wall suggests that Joe Johnson wants to play here next season regardless if Lebon plays. If we dont get lebron , Wade or Bosh then i dont mind waiting till 2011 to spend the extra dough , as long as we put a playoff calibur team on the floor next season. Can the below team make the playoffs?

    PG Douglas
    SG Johnson
    SF Chandler
    PF Gallinari
    C Lee

    After Currys contract comes off, Paul or Melo would look like viable options , and would make us a contender for years to come.

  37. taggart4800

    A lot of ifs in this statement. But IF Chandler, Gallo, Douglas and Lee develop together and if they could get it done with the addition of Johnson and Paul i think a championship would feel a whole lot more satisfying. I for one would love to see Wade and LeBron here but it does feel a little bit like buying a high class hooker. Sure it would be amazing but its not like closing a girl you met at a bar. Just not quite the same…
    Just putting it out there in the universe

  38. Ted Nelson

    Taggart,

    I can see where you are coming from, but if it’s a Pau Gasol type of deal why is Chris Paul any different than LeBron/Wade?

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