Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Goodbye-ee Part 2: Moz and Curry

Because we’re sentimental bastids, Kevin McElroy and I are teaming up on a three-part series talking about the Denver Four/Minny Two, as they shall heretofore be known. We’ll look back fondly (and at times, not so fondly) at the careers of the sextet of ‘Bockers that were summarily dispatched to the Rocky Mountains/Great White North. No analysis of the merits of the trade, mind you (I think that dead horse has been soundly beaten), just nostalgia and sweet/semi-sweet farewells

We continue with two of the tallest (and widest) Knicks, Eddy Curry (via Kevin) and Timofey Mozgov (via Robert)…

EDDY CURRY

Want to stop a room of NBA fans? Try saying the words, “Franchise Center.”

The basketball lexicon abounds with reductive two word labels that brand players for ease of filing. Usually, these classifications are commentaries on style and can accommodate vast gulfs in player quality; Chris Paul and Mike Conley are both “pure points,” Dwyane Wade and CJ Watson both “combo guards,” Dirk Nowitzki and Linas Kleiza both “stretch fours.”

But “franchise center” – that one is all about impact. Even to a basketball illiterate the words “center” and “franchise” so immediately juxtaposed would suggest the foundation and focal point of an entire organization. To an NBA lifer, the phrase suggests all of those who have worn it in the past, from Bill Russell, for whom the term should have been invented, down through Wilt and Kareem and Moses and Shaq. No last names necessary.

The thing about franchise centers, though, is that there aren’t that many of them. That’s what makes them so valuable. And that’s what makes otherwise rational NBA executives – people who wear suits and ties and read stats and scouting reports and make complex managerial decisions with millions of dollars at stake – go a little bit crazy at the scent of one. But simple math cries, “Beware.” Plenty of players that look like franchise centers – 6’10” and up, some meat on the bones, the suggestion of athleticism – come through the league. The number of these men around whom a franchise should be built – well, go to Springfield, Mass. and find out for yourself how small it is.

In 2005, Isiah Thomas believed he smelled a franchise center. Believed it so much that he looked past documented heart problems (both literally and colloquially). Believed it enough to send the Bulls Antonio Davis, Mike Sweetney, and two unprotected first rounders (maybe you’ve heard of LaMarcus Aldridge and Joakim Noah?) for the right to pay $60 million over 6 years to a light-footed 23-year-old behemoth who had never displayed a shred of ability to rebound, defend, block shots, pass, run the floor, or hit a jumper. His entire game – his ENTIRE GAME – was as follows:

1. Catch ball deep in post (too far away from the rim and he’d send it right back from whence he got it).

2. Stick massive rear end into defender.*

3. PUSH.

4. If double-teamed, disregard teammate left open by help defender.

5. Gather and Spin (with surprising grace).

6. Bank shot/finger roll/dunk. Make roughly 5 in 9 times, get fouled 3 times a game.

7. *****CHECK OUT FOR INDETERMINATE PERIOD OF TIME WHILE OTHER TEAM/TEAMMATES HAVE BALL******

8. Get ball back, repeat steps 1-6.

*He really was the NBA’s answer to Kim Kardashian in terms of relying on an uncommonly large butt to make people look past the disparity between his talent and his earnings.

So now, way too long into this thing, it’s probably time to finally mention Eddy Curry by name. But this isn’t entirely about Eddy Curry. Because almost every franchise has an Eddy Curry – a big, promising would-be franchise center who was missing one ingredient in the recipe. Some weren’t strong enough (but Curry was). Some weren’t quick enough (but Curry was). Some were too soft, others lacked touch, some simply couldn’t stand up to the pressure. Eddy Curry had none of these problems.

Eddy Curry grew up in Chicago. When he played for his high school team, scouts caught the same scent that Isiah later would (Franchise Center!) and put him at or near the top of every list of the best prospects in the 2001 high school class. Made him Illinois’ Mr. Basketball. Made him a McDonald’s All-American. Eddy Curry skipped college, entered the draft, and went 4th overall to the Chicago Bulls. He’d probably been big and athletic enough his whole life for this to be desired, even expected, of him. Maybe he even started to see basketball as less a game than a foregone conclusion. Maybe he just didn’t see what the big deal was all about.

In 2005, Eddy Curry was diagnosed with an irregular hearbeat, deemed to be the result of a congenital cardiac condition. He was then shipped – like any other asset – from one team that had probably told him more times than he could remember that he was their “Franchise Center” to another team that was sure to tell him the same.

By The 2008 – 2009 season, the honeymoon was long over, Knicks’ fans having decided that Curry was an irredeemable bust who would never validate the price the team had paid to acquire him and the years they had sunk trying to make him into something that he quite simply wasn’t. D’Antoni, seemingly in agreement with his supporters, gave Curry a grand total of twelve minutes that season.. Watching Curry on the bench every night, he seemed like he was over it, a maddening development for fans who watched him sit there game after game, week after week, smiling from ear to ear while collecting paychecks for what seemed like nothing. And all the while the Knicks lost far more than they won. We were miserable and Curry, seemingly, wasn’t. We saw this as betrayal of the highest order.

On January 25, 2009, Eddy Curry’s ex-girlfriend and baby daughter were found murdered in a Chicago apartment. Curry was granted a leave of absence from the team, disappeared for a couple of weeks, never really spoke publicly about what had happened. During what must have been the darkest moments of Eddy Curry’s life, we never saw him suffer, never witnessed the pain that surely consumed him. Unsympathetic as we were throughout his struggles on the court, why should he have trusted us with a piece of him that was so much more important? What had we done to earn that?

I don’t know Eddy Curry. I was in the same room as him once – covering a 120-112 Knicks’ win over the Bulls early in this season. A matchup between the two franchises that had told Curry he was their future and eventually given up on him. Curry didn’t play in the game.

I entered the Knicks’ locker room for the first time in my life. A businesslike throng of reporters moved from stall to stall, interacting with players who looked anxious to leave, but accepting of the fact that this was part of their work. The environment was disarmingly professional. Just another job for everyone involved.

Eddy Curry sat in the corner. No reporters wanted to talk to him. He sat on a bench that was too low for his massive frame, his knees higher than his chin for the length of his legs. He wore that grin, ear-to-ear. He fiddled with his phone and patiently waited for the crowd to dissipate. You got the impression that his face would have looked the same regardless of the game’s outcome. He looked transplanted from a high school study hall or a college dorm room.

We spent six years with Eddy Curry on our team, the Franchise Center that we’d waited for, that we’d been told to expect. But he never saw what we saw. He was a big kid that was built like the basketball star he never cared about becoming. He knew pain and he knew loss that exceeded by far the loss we felt every time we saw him come up short of our expectations.

We complained because it seemed like he didn’t care. We complained because he’d robbed us of the Franchise Center to whom we were so sure we were entitled. But he knew something that we didn’t know, something we would have gotten mad if he’d tried to tell us. Eddy Curry knew that no matter how bad it got, no matter the frustration and the defeat and the wasted potential, that it was only basketball. It was only a game.

TIMOFEY MOZGOV

I’ll admit it, I have a deep personal fondness for backup bigs, (and before you can say, “Gosh Bob, are there any ex-Knicks you don’t have a deep personal fondness for, wait till I rip Gallo a new one [just kidding].) The ones who seem ill-equipped to play professional basketball if they weren’t 7 plus feet hold a particular soft spot, possibly because, even though I’ve got little to no game, I still think, even in my late 30’s, that I’ve got a major growth spurt left in me that would allow me to don the orange and blue someday.

Timofey Mozgov appeared this summer, really out of nowhere, at the end of the interminable “Decision” a tweet came over the wire saying that Walsh had signed a big Russkie that no one had heard of, save for Givorny at Draftexpress.com who had him way up on some semi-obscure list of available un-drafted Euro League free agents.

And it wasn’t a, “Come to camp and let’s see what happens-type contract,” it was a 10 million/3-year deal (though year 3 was non-guaranteed). That’s some serious coin for an international man of mystery but thanks to the interwebs, we all got a whole heaping of grainy clips of a big mofo who seemed to excel in the pick and roll and loved dunking on cats named Pyotr and Alexei. Later in the summer, we actually had a chance o check him out in competition v. whatever iteration of “The Dream Team” the US trotted out and he looked…well…pretty darned good. But more importantly, now that the Cold War is over, Russian stereotypes are far more amusing/cuddly and less “Death will rain down upon you and bring an atomic/apocalyptic hell-scape/dystopia.” (As a former Reagan-baby, the notion that Yakov Smirnov prevailed over Joseph Stalin is still kinda unfathomable.) Even better, Timo was/is a blogger. And like most Russian novelists, brevity wasn’t his strong suit (just like your humble correspondents). Now, given this was run through a google translator, this is probably way less funny than in the original, but it did lead to quotes like this.

Plus, not to sound like Rob Schneider’s annoying early 90’s character (I’m shocked they never produced a godawful movie like “Night at the Roxbury” or “It’s Pat!” around that guy), but he inspired a litany of pun-tastic nicknames: The Moz, Mozzie Bear, Mozgov on the Hudson, The Mozgovernor, Tim O’Fey  (like Tina Fey. Get it?) – this stuff just writes itself.

After a solid camp and preseason, to the shock of many, Timmay! Was named starting center on opening night. Similar to Anthony Randolph, he struggled early, botching even the simplest of entry passes, displaying hands of unobtanium, and racking up fouls and nonplussed reactions to said calls, like he’d just heard they were rationing Vodka in Red Square, galore. The nadir came at the start of the Nix 13 -1 stretch in LA. It’s still the highlight of the year in the NBA, due to Blake Griffin’s utter supercalifragilisticexpialidocious-ness and the fact that it involved Timofey’s face firmly planted in his nether regions. Insane dunk + Groin joke = Awesome. That’s as much of a truism as death and taxes. It even inspired one Youtuber to make a seriously involved Rocky IV clip/mashup of the event.

At that point, one could very logically make the assumption that we wouldn’t really see much of our beloved Commie expat the rest of the year, given Coach Mike’s predilection for undersized lineups and downsized rotations. But lo! Like Toney Douglas last year, Moz kept working on his game (and clearly, his confidence in said game) and in late January he erupted with a monster line versus, granted, an underwhelming Pistons outfit – 23 points 9-15 shooting, 14 rebounds, and 40 mins of PT without fouling out. He finished with aplomb/boisterous dunks on dump-off passes, rebounded well, and was a defensive presence for a team in serious need of one. He even heard “Moz-Gov!” chants wafting down from the rafters via the Garden faithful.

I mean, think or a moment about his career trajectory. It’s truly one of the oddest in recent league history. He went from being an unknown (at a time in NBA history when due to the influx of International players and the Internet, there really are no “undiscovered gems,”)  to starting for a decent team, (even if his output was more reminiscent of Dwayne Schintzius as “Ivan” in “Eddie.” Skip ahead to 7:37 of this clip. Yes, you can watch the entire film, “Eddie” on Youtube. Why someone uploaded it is utterly beyond me.) to being the key component in a mega-trade. Seriously, would anyone have guessed at the beginning of the year that Timofey Mozgov would be the only thing standing (for better or for worse) between the Knicks and Carmelo Anthony? Ironically, if he hadn’t started playing well of late, there’s no way Denver would have insisted he be included in the smorgasbord that was shipped out west (But w/o Mozgov’s improvement, Dolan Thomas Walsh probably would have probably had to include Landry Fields in the deal, and I’d rather not even contemplate that nightmarish “what if?” scenario. Who knows how deep that rabbit hole goes).

But unlike the first big outlined in this article, Moz evokes no great sadness or solemnity. He’s a solid backup who inspires even more solid jokes. With luck, he’ll turn into Marcin Gortat in Denver (and still be better than any Knick big not named Amar’e). So, in honor of one of the more surreal Knick stints, I’ll leave you with The Moz’s own words about the first road game in Chicago:

“So this bull, and after him the whole herd ran and kaaakkkkk. In general, transport in half bull pleased us – scary. Scary much!”

47 comments on “Goodbye-ee Part 2: Moz and Curry

  1. TDM

    I may be missing something but if the Knicks wanted to clear a roster spot and weren’t really interested in Brewer, why not just buy out Curry and keep AR, or trade AR for a first rounder?

  2. Nick C.

    Nice article. Scott Skiles summed Curry up best when asked how he could improve his rebounding “jump.” With Mozgov it was nice to see his development from not being able to catch to beign able to catch and convert. Also I liked that he seemed to clog up the paint on defense somethign old fat lazy Curry and his friend ‘gotta get in postion for the rebound’ Zach could never be bothered to do.

  3. outoftowner

    In addition to the accomplishments listed above, Mozgov also launched the most entertaining player blog perhaps in league history, and got a drive-thru wedding with his girlfriend in Las Vegas.

    There will never be another Timofey Mozgov.

  4. Owen

    Strong to quite strong. The Curry section was fantastic. So was the Mozgov section actually. Very much enjoyed it.

    It is sobering to think that Eddy Curry = Joakim Noah + Lamarcus Aldridge. I’ll remember him fondly for being the ultimate statistical scarecrow, the most turnover prone, worst rebounding big man in the history of the modern NBA and the most perfect possible foil to David Lee anyone could have ever created.

    “Plus, not to sound like Rob Schneider’s annoying early 90’s character (I’m shocked they never produced a godawful movie like “Night at the Roxbury” or “It’s Pat!” around that guy)”

    You need to familiarize yourself with Deuce Bigelow: Male Gigolo. It’s a classic. Little known fact, a young Timofey made his acting debut in it in drag (with a little overdubbing)…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AnKnjXUe3Uw

    And, my favorite scene…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCVTs4Wetg0&NR=1

  5. bob cook

    As he’s also a Denver refugee, I am moved to comment on Gallo. I’m wondering if we’re not better off with Shawne:

    Both would be bench players in light of the arrival of Anthony. OK, Stat would play some at 5 but we want to move away from that.

    Both had great resumes coming into the NBA. Shawne just got lost in the wilderness of money, youth and fame. If he’s truly grown up, his athletic and basketball potential should equal Gallo’s.

    Shawne is the better 3 ball shooter. This is a great skill coming off the bench.

    Neither rebounds well but Shawne looks like he can do a bit better in traffic. Gallo’s had so many more minutes that it’s hard to judge this point but it’s true that for a husky 6′ 10 guy, Gallo’s a terrible rebounder.

    The thing that I’ve always noticed about Gallo is that he has slow feet. So it’s hard for him to stay in front of his man. Last year, he used to get some blocked shots via good timing but despite the fact that the Knicks have become a great shot blocking team, Gallo seems to have given this up. Shawne had two blocks in the Miami game.

    Gallo’s the better free throw shooter by 10% and he has figured how to get to the line a lot via faking the three and then lumbering to the basket, strong. Because of his foot speed lack, he lumbers and so, when he gets fouled he never makes the bucket.

    Again in limited time, Shawne can go to the hole with superior foot speed and also will take the short jumper off the fake at times.

    Anyhow, Shawne needs to develop more but wouldn’t it be great if this was addition by subtraction.

  6. Adam L

    We had to send out Curry’s contract in the Melo deal to make salaries match, and I guess Minny saw how desperate we were so they made us pay up with Anthony Randolph just to make them willing to take Curry’s contract. They also helped by sending two 2nd rounders to Denver.

    But the way I read it is that Denver wanted Brewer, but we demanded to get him. That probably cost us Mozzie right there. Denver wanted Brewer, we said no, so they responded with “ok, give us Moz”. And that just drives me nuts. Its the 1,000th piece of evidence that Dolan was running this trade and not Donnie. Of course, the most important piece of evidence is that both Dolan and Kroenke said so.

  7. Dan Panorama

    Curry piece is truly fantastic — that last paragraph really summed up how I’ve felt about him and his many tragedies these last few years. It’s amazing how much drama and aggravation one crappy center can generate in six seasons, even when he’s not playing in the last three.

  8. Caleb

    I think you have to squint real hard to see Shawne Williams as better than Gallo. Or close your eyes.. or switch their names.. and bodies..

    Gallo broke his toe during his 30-point night, btw. They’re saying a week to 10 days, but that sounds optimistic..

  9. Jim Cavan

    Outstanding writeup Robert. The Curry piece in particular throws into high relief how confounding an enigma he really was. And, as someone who lived through an entire fantasy season of 19 points and 5 boards with 4 turnovers (I waited too long for a Center — whatdoyawant?), even I thought he’d maintain that level of serviceability — albeit disappointing serviceability — for at least a couple years.

    As for Moz, we hardly knew ye. But he above all our ex-pats I think will be the most intriguing to follow. Judging by his blog, post-game quotes, and awesomely bizarre wedding, he seems like a genuinely interesting and intelligent guy. Hopefully he continues to find himself in Denver.

  10. Matt Smith

    It’s funny… a lot of the media panned the Knicks for using Mozgov as the deal-stopper (Simmons in particular), but his inclusion in the trade made me go from liking the trade to absolutely hating it.

    Maybe my purchase of a non-refundable Mozgov jersey (that I had to get customized since I guess the market just isn’t there yet Mozzie) had something to do with it. But someone who’s 7’1” and rushes to box out as soon as the ball goes up has a special place in my heart…

  11. hoolahoop

    I realized there could be life after Gallo when he was sidelined and Shawn Williams stepped up big, especially knocking down all those three’s. The question is whether he can be consistant. I’ll miss Gallo. He was one of my favorite knicks, perhaps my most favorite, and I’ll always follow his career from hereon in. But I must admit, he always seemed to be overrated.

  12. Jim Cavan

    Wow, we’re really cornering the market on 6’7″ – 6’10″ Forwards. That’s 9 on the roster by my count.

  13. DS

    Jim Cavan: Wow, we’re really cornering the market on 6’7? – 6’10? Forwards. That’s 9 on the roster by my count.  

    I think MD’A ideal roster is 2 true points, a large two guard, and 12 forwards.

  14. latke

    Excellent awesome read, Mr. Silverman. How come you didn’t go talk to Happy Eddy in the locker room? I wonder if he’ll every play more than a few games of pro ball again. I never disliked him, even though I was frustrated by him.

    Apparent we signed Derrick Brown off waivers from Charlotte. He was the 40th overall pick in the 2009 draft. Done of his stats are great, but WS/48 likes him (about .1 on his career).

  15. Jim Cavan

    @21&22

    I guess his Phoenix teams were built in a similar way. Let the grand experiment begin anew.

    Apparently Hahn tweeted Brown comes “highly recommended” by Felton. Let’s just hope that wasn’t a conversation had while he was walking out the door.

    D’Antoni: Thanks a lot Ray for everything you did, we really appreciate all you brought to the table and everyone is sad to see you go. Good luck in Denver.

    Felton: Yeah.

    D’Antoni: Hey Ray, before you go, is there anyone out there we should be looking to grab?

    Felton: Uhhhh…. yeah….. Derek Brown. He’s great. Really, you should go grab him.

    D’Antoni: Wow, thanks Ray. We’ll definitely look into that. Just do me a favor and let these security guards escort you out, ok?

    Obviously it’s too early to judge, but it certainly seems like a curious signing from a distance. Then again, I remember seeing glimpses when he was at Xavier and remember being somewhat impressed. Still really young with some upside I think. And I’m sure Ray’s recommendation was legit.

  16. Kevin McElroy

    Latke,

    Hard to emphasive how imposing Curry looked in person. Like even in a room full of giants he was a different kind of specimen. Didn’t really have any great questions that came to mind and kind of felt like I should just leave him alone. Plus Toney Douglas had made like a million threes and I wanted to talk to him and STAT.

  17. Frank

    RE: Derrick Brown – Draftexpress, NBADraft.net, Hollinger, and the Charlotte Truehoops site all seem pretty high on him — so maybe they think Jefferies is a good enough add in the frontcourt and they are taking a flyer on a guy with potential. Doesn’t seem like Troy Murphy is considering the NYK and Gadzuric may not get bought out, so this is a pretty reasonable pickup I guess.

  18. taggart4800

    He is a very MDA player by the looks of things. Seems to have put work in on his body and shot. Both Brown and Jeffries are sensible moves this close to the end of the season, both are professionals and will want to prove their worth with the possibility of claiming a regular spot in the rotation after the season. Signing a guy with legitimate big man size off waivers or from the D-League could lead to a wated roster spot if said big man never lives up to his potential as he can’t play any other position. Its attractive but unrealistic to expect a pick up to play enough effective minutes in the absence of Turiaf at C.
    My only criticism would be that it shows a lack of flexibility from MDA on his style of play, but then maybe he shouldn’t waiver too far from that this close to the playoffs.

  19. ess-dog

    I seem to remember Derrick Brown having a pretty good game against us this year. His shootings not all that bad. Maybe he’s an ok defender? Makes me think that the Balkman experiment might be over already but I guess we’ll see.
    I’m excited that we’re probably going to a 10 man rotation. Actually, this team seems like an easier team to create a rotation for. There is a clear hierarchy in player talent. It’s really about plugging people in around the main cogs. With the last team, no one was really sure who was better than who after Stat. Now it’s clearly Stat, Melo, Billups, Fields and some players.
    We’re probably looking at 4 guards, Billups, Fields, Carter, TD. 4 forwards, Melo, Shawne, Walker, Jeffries, and two centers, Stat and Turiaf. Not sure where Brown fits in though.

  20. Caleb

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/b/brownde04.html

    No one should bet on his being an impact player, but for a #40 pick (still 23 years old) Derrick Brown looks pretty good. Pure SF – not a tweener. Based on his limited minutes – 1,023 in his career so far – he’s a good rebounder for his position, and reasonably efficient, although not a 3-point shooter. He’s got a decent rate of steals but no idea if he can defend.

    We’ll wait and see – I would look at the waiver wire like a draft – get the best player available. They’re probably sitting on the bench for an emergency, not plugging a need.

  21. Caleb

    Interesting – Kendrick extends in Oklahoma City. I’d wondered if Boston was hoping to bring him back next year, and just thought he was too injured to help this season. Guess not.

    The contract number are encouraging, if you think the Knicks should be shopping for a center. Terms were not reported, but in Boston Perkins wanted 4 years for $30 million, while the Celtics were offering 4 years for $22 million.

    $7 million for a guy who defends and rebounds like that is pretty good.

  22. Brian Cronin

    I found it very interesting when I saw Perkins note that he had talked to his agent about signing with OKC next season. When I heard that, I thought, “Okay, I guess he’s going to be in OKC for good.” Perhaps Boston knew Perkins was planning on signing with OKC no matter what, so they figured they should get something for him now, particularly since

    A. They had done well without him

    and

    B. The two teams they needed Perkins for (Lakers/Magic) might not even face the Celtics in the playoffs!

  23. latke

    Kevin McElroy: Latke,Hard to emphasive how imposing Curry looked in person.Like even in a room full of giants he was a different kind of specimen.Didn’t really have any great questions that came to mind and kind of felt like I should just leave him alone.Plus Toney Douglas had made like a million threes and I wanted to talk to him and STAT.  

    Oh, you wrote that part. Sorry I called you robert then! Nice job to you.

    I feel like of all the players that have passed through NY, Eddy Curry would make the most interesting protagonist of a novel (at least the Eddy Curry I imagine in my head). He has that combination of serious flaws, drama, and good-naturedness to give him depth. You’re never quite sure how much he understands about himself and his flaws, if he, as you write, just has bigger fish to fry, or if he is just sort of shrugging his way through life.

  24. Caleb

    latke:
    I feel like of all the players that have passed through NY, Eddy Curry would make the most interesting protagonist of a novel (at least the Eddy Curry I imagine in my head). He has that combination of serious flaws, drama, and good-naturedness to give him depth. You’re never quite sure how muchhe understands about himself and his flaws, if he, as you write, just has bigger fish to fry, or if he is just sort of shrugging his way through life.  

    IMO it’s hard to top Stephon Marbury as a literary character, from our 2000-2011 rosters.

    Timo is the leading contender for a comedy film script – I’ll stick with my casting pitch for Will Ferrell.

  25. ASyrett19

    Reality show pitch: Mozgov and JR Smith as roommates. Highest rated show in NBATV history.

  26. Nick C.

    Brian Cronin: I found it very interesting when I saw Perkins note that he had talked to his agent about signing with OKC next season. When I heard that, I thought, “Okay, I guess he’s going to be in OKC for good.” Perhaps Boston knew Perkins was planning on signing with OKC no matter what, so they figured they should get something for him now, particularly since A. They had done well without himand B. The two teams they needed Perkins for (Lakers/Magic) might not even face the Celtics in the playoffs!  (Quote)

    That sorta kinda brings the trade up from making Zero sense to 2% sense. And then they traded Erden to Cleveland. Nenad Kristic and the husks of the O’Neals … crazy.

  27. Caleb

    Nick C.:
    That sorta kinda brings the trade up from making Zero sense to 2% sense.And then they traded Erden to Cleveland.Nenad Kristic and the husks of the O’Neals … crazy.  

    I dunno, it was a risky move, but they basically traded defense (which they have a lot of) for offense (which they don’t have much of). And, trade a guy who was having health issues and might not be 100 percent for the stretch. Side issue: trade a guy they think wants to leave, for a guy they might keep long-term.

    Even if Jermaine never makes it back, Shaq has been good for 20-25 minutes a game and Garnett can play center the rest of the time. Murphy will help on the boards.

    But yes, it’s a gamble..

  28. Frank O.

    I think Mosfov could make a list of the top 40 knicks of the past decade…which is sad.
    But I thought and still think he’s going to be an important contributor to some team.
    He seems to have his head in the right place and he is very athletic.
    I know I’m off the reservation with this, but I suspect he will be a third or second tier star in the NBA someday, IMHO.

  29. TheRant

    Thanks for the melancholy writeup on Eddy Curry, Kevin.

    Curry did do one thing of great value for us — on December 20, 2006, against Charlotte, David Lee couldn’t have hit his infamous 0.1-of-a-second, double-overtime-winning tip-in without Eddy Curry up at the foul stripe as a decoy.

    If you watch this video, you can hear Clyde saying that “it has to be Curry,” and you can see Lee’s man eying Curry for just long enough to give Lee 0.1 seconds of daylight between them.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q99sL_g3jvo

    Seems like Eddy’s whole life has been spent as a decoy. Sad.

  30. Caleb

    @43 this is kinda weak – even if Brewer really is a great defender the Knicks have Balkman, who at least the last time he was in NY was an excellent defender himself. And, compared to Brewer, who is a much better rebounder, a better offensive player and making less than half the money.

  31. Brian Cronin

    What gets me about the Abbott article is that Brewer (as I’ve written recently) seems to be the epitome of non-advanced stats. You know, stuff like “He was a winner in college!” and “He looks good out there!”

    His advanced stats make it pretty clear that yes, whatever value he does have does come on the defensive end of things, but he is such a bad offensive player that his good defense is not so good that it makes up for his horrible offense.

  32. Nick C.

    TheRant: Thanks for the melancholy writeup on Eddy Curry, Kevin. Curry did do one thing of great value for us — on December 20, 2006, against Charlotte, David Lee couldn’t have hit his infamous 0.1-of-a-second, double-overtime-winning tip-in without Eddy Curry up at the foul stripe as a decoy.If you watch this video, you can hear Clyde saying that “it has to be Curry,” and you can see Lee’s man eying Curry for just long enough to give Lee 0.1 seconds of daylight between them.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q99sL_g3jvoSeems like Eddy’s whole life has been spent as a decoy. Sad.  (Quote)

    He also hit a three at the buzzer on a designed play. It was the high point of Isaih’s coaching career.

  33. josofo

    i liked curry game. he got good enough towards the end to when his abillity to score helped r team out more than his bad rebounding and bad pick and roll defense killed are team.

    1 of those worse games for curry was when we played the kings. brad miller smoked him on pick and rolls and ron artest who plays like small forward not center stopped curry in his tracks offensivly. curry had no chance scoring on him

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