Well, if not today, then certainly by Tuesday in Los Angeles.
That is when Steve Francis is due to rejoin the Knicks as the new backup point guard. Things should get interesting. Francis was quoted in the Daily News as saying, “What we’re doing right now, I don’t think it would be right for anybody to try to break the camaraderie and the way we’re playing as a team,” Francis said. “Even without me, we’re playing great basketball.”
I dunno about “great basketball,” but it certainly is nice to see Francis (at least publically) say all the right things about coming off the bench. Coach Isiah Thomas is not exactly forthcoming about what his rotation plans are, but I am beginning to get the impression that Thomas wants to create an official “second unit,” so while most of us thought that Francis was going to be receiving Nate Robinson’s minutes, it appears instead that Thomas may look to pair the two (Francis and Robinson) as a bench guard unit. Seems like an odd decision, and I really wonder what this means for Jared Jeffries.
Renaldo Balkman is already basically done for with this new rotation, but while Jeffries could be the small forward in a “second unit” team of Francis, Robinson, Frye, Lee and Jeffries, I don’t see that happening, do you?
Especially with how awesome Lee looks while playing with the starters. His talents seem to be wasted a bit being paired with the bench guys. In addition, I would think the biggest benefit of having Francis play off the bench would be that Thomas would have a point guard in the game to pound the ball down to Curry, even when Marbury is off the court.
As a side note, if the Knicks win one of their next three, they will enter the All-Star break with the same amount of wins that they achieved all of last year. I think that’s more a knock on Larry Brown’s job last year than it is is a sign of improvement, but, well, it’s an interesting factoid, at least.
Three tough road games, though, to think about.