Hawks 114 – Knicks 101

Y’all may not realize it, but the turning point in yet another Knicks’ loss came with about 1:30 to go in the 2nd quarter. You see, I went over to my Pop’s house to watch the tilt v. Atlanta. Like your humble correspondent, he’s a long-suffering fan (he used to rock me to sleep when I was a wee ‘bairn while listening to the ’72-’73 team march to the championship). For reason’s that are a mystery to us both, some grand karmic disorder is set in motion when we watch the game on the teevee together. We’re just plain old bad mojo. So, when he descended from his studio right before the half (shameless plug: www.burtonsilverman.com), the planets aligned in the worst possible way. In my notes I scribbled, “Close out the half well. Break their spirits! March to Xanadu on a road of their bones!” But alas, ‘twas not to be.

A big turning point came via our beleaguered PG’s utterly boneheaded play w/10 seconds left, Knicks up 9. Whether he was seized by the furies or what, he launched an ill-advised trey w/6 seconds still on the clock, leading to a long rebound and fast break finish for the Hawks.

So, instead of being up 11 (or 12, but at a minimum 9) at the half, suddenly the lead is a manageable 7 and the fine denizens of Atlanta walk into the lockerroom clearly pondering some variation of, “Gosh golly. We’ve missed a ton of easy shots. There’s no ball movement on offense. We’re getting torched by Toney Douglas of all people and the Knicks are easier to psychologically topple than a 2 year old’s blocks. Sweet!” I’d assume Mike Woodson impressed them how fortunate they were to find themselves in such a situation, but I’m not entirely convinced that Mike Woodson is a sentient being. Seriously, did he move the entire game? Now, it’d be easy to blame C-Du (Or MD’A for continuing to start him) for this dire turn of events. But personally, I think it’s me and my Dad’s fault. If we were true fans, we would have switched to watching the ‘Top Chef’ marathon. Being selfish, we stayed glued to the set until the inevitable conclusion.

My glib thoughts on my family’s psychic powers over basketball games notwithstanding, here are some thoughts on our hardwood heroes:

AL HARRINGTON – It’s amazing to me how he can look like an all-star (or at least a more motivated Tim Thomas) for one half and then seemingly forget all the things that led to his success in the other. He’s great off the dribble v. traditional PF’s/C’s and can post smaller players. When he overdribbles, the rest of the team stands around and watches, mainly because they know the ball has a better chance of escaping the gravitational pull of the sun than Al’s clutches and/or he launches contested jumpers. And how did you miss that dunk? Did the ghost of Tree Rollins emerge from the ether and swat it away?

CHRIS DUHON – Boy is he a mess. He’s got zero confidence in his shot right now. As a result, teams are sagging on the pick and roll and severely reducing Lee’s effectiveness. He’s turning the ball over at an alarming rate and making some godawful decisions (see above). I can only assume he hasn’t been benched b/c MD’A is worried that another setback will send his self-esteem below Emily Dickinson’s. But honestly, he’s a liability on the court right now.

DAVID LEE – was playing an inactive/listless game for him even before sitting early in the 3rd after his old college chum Al Horford decimated him in the low post and repeatedly beat him down the court. I was probably as stunned as the rest of you to see him Charles Smith a series of put-backs in the fourth. I think I even summoned my inner Bill Walton and bellowed, “Throw it down, big man!”

LARRY HUGHES – I refuse to live in a world where Larry Hughes is one of our best players. For the most part, he makes good decisions w/the ball, hits the open jumper, plays the best perimeter d on the team and gets a real bang out of sending a closing defender hurtling towards midcourt w/a headfake on foul-line extended 3’s. He did chuck up a couple of heylarryhughespleasestoptakingsomanybadshots.com specials in the 2nd half, but for the most part, played well. And he certainly didn’t warrant a benching.

TONEY DOUGLAS – Hit some clutch shots. Penetrated at will. Played good defense. Got a little shot-happy in the 4th when the game had gotten out of hand, but anyone who’s watched the last 3 games (and if you have, I’m sorry that you’ll never get those 7.5 or so hours of your life back), has to realize that he’s playing well enough to warrant starting at PG. Granted, he did start tonight, but having him guard Johnson was a recipe for disaster that was only averted when JJ took half the game to get warmed up/decide to play.

JARED JEFFRIES – First of all, you can’t wear a headband, Jared. Really, you just can’t. It looks awful. Second, for every nice play you make that doesn’t show up in the box score (drawing charges, moving w/o the ball on offense), it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll make one play that turns Knick fans’ collective brains into a substance resembling guacamole. To wit: 4th quarter, 3 on 1 fast break, Nix trying to cut the lead to 6, you’re undefended and you fumble away a perfect bounce pass like the ball was covered with Crisco. “He went to Jared!” isn’t just an annoying marketing slogan for a diamond company, but a cry that emerges from Knick fans between the hours of 7:30 and 10pm.

MIKE D’ANTONI – Um Mike. When the other team’s getting on a run. You can like, call a time out and stuff. Like in the 3rd quarter and you were up 5 (thanks to Toney Douglas doing what Toney Douglas do). When suddenly, your team misses 11 of 12 shots from the field and the other team goes on a 12-0 run. You can like, call a time out then or put in different players and stuff. I’m worried about you, Mike. You are starting to take on a Zeke Thomas-like expression in the 4th quarter these days. It’s a combination of utter despair combined with the vague hope that you might come down with a mild case of the Ebola Virus on the way home, thus freeing you from your contractual obligations to coach this ‘team,’ as it were.

Ok, I’m done being snarky. The boys played well enough to win for stretches, and then just well enough to lose for the rest of the game. Poop.  I (and the rest of us stalwarts) will be back on Fri. night when we get to pine for one Curry that never was (Stephen), and wait for another Curry that might possible be (Fast Eddy).

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Robert Silverman

Hey, did you know that in addition to banging the keys here and occasionally for the NY Times and at ESPN, Robert is a playwright, an actor and a wand'ring mendicant/gadfly? He also once wrestled a bear...and lost.

41 thoughts to “Hawks 114 – Knicks 101”

  1. Great recap. Duhon’s performance is just baffling. No matter all the regressing to the mean, “he isn’t that good” talk, shooting 25 percent on the season and making lackluster passes is sub-D-League bad. It’s like someone drugged him.

    I like Douglas, but I think there’s going to be a learning curve in turning him into a real point guard…he’s really a short combo guard, very good at that so far, but very used to looking for his shot first.

  2. Few thoughts:

    1) we have to sit Duhon as soon as Nate comes back, and not let him on the court until he gets his head together. He might be the worst player in the NBA right now.

    2) we can talk about how Gallinari needs the ball more, but to be fair, if you watch him, he doesn’t come GET the ball. 80% of possessions he is sitting in the corner. Presumably some of that is by design so he can get a kickout on a drive, but who is driving the ball at this point? If I’m the other team, I’d rather have Duhon drive all the way to the rim and brick a layup then leave anyone uncovered.

    At one point in the 4th yesterday, they actually ran a play for Gallo — picking off his man to get him an open 3 at the top of the key which he nailed. He needs to want/demand the ball, and D’Antoni needs to scheme more to get him more shots. I understand that the offense is predicated on ball movement and letting whoever is open take the shots — however, when 2/5 of your starting lineup can’t throw the ball in the ocean (Chandler and Duhon) and 1/5 is Larry Hughes (who in fairness is playing reasonably well), maybe we need to switch things up.

    3) I guess this is what our team looks like when Nate is not around to rescue us with both his energy and his ability to create. D’Antoni’s system is also predicated on having a real PG to distribute — we have -1 point guards right now, since Duhon is a real negative at this point.

    4) what’s with David Lee being benched for most of the 4th quarter the last 2 games?

    5) Starting lineup when Nate comes back should be:
    PG: Nate
    SG: Hughes
    SF/PF: Gallo
    SF/PF: Chandler
    C: Lee
    Bench contributors – Douglas for the guards, Harrington for the SF/PFs, and Jefferies for C. And Darko needs at least 10 min/game. I don’t want to see Duhon again. This is not that small a sample size – we’ve already played more than 10% of the season. And he has no future here so what is the point? He hasn’t played well since the first half of last year, so really this is about 50 games of very poor play.

  3. Nice recap. I think we do need to address Toney Douglas’ assist to turnover numbers. He played 59 minutes over the last two game, he compiled 2 assits and 5 turnovers. 5 turnovers for a rookie point in nearly 60 minutes of play at the pace the Knicks move is not bad, but the two assist is tough. To his credit, he played more of an off-guard last night. Still I’d like to see better ast numbers from him than the 7.3 AST-r. Duhon is shooting poorly but his 33.6 AST-r (6th in the NBA) leads the team.

    There were at least two times last night that Wilson Chandler was able to get layups just from taking advantage of the defense. Therewas on sequence where the ball movement allowed Wilson to throw a quick fake and then drive. He was able to do that because the defense was not set thanks to the ball movement. Wilson is at his best on offense in transition and slashing when the defense is nit set. But with the ball movement on this team so stagnant, he does not have a chance to play to his strength.

    Wilson, no make that D’Antoni, needs to realize that without ball movement, his players cant score. The only person who can create his own shot is Harrington, but as RS points out when Al has the ball the guys know that light has a better chance of escaping a black hole, than they have of touching that ball again.

    Suggested fix: Start Douglas with Hughes in the backcourt. Darko, Lee, and Gallanari up front. The defense of this unit is much better than the opening night line up. Move your transition unit to the second team. Duhon, Robinson, Chandler and Harrignton. And tell that unit to push push push. Each of those players are stronger in the transition game than the half court, while the fist team plays better half court than running. You have to have complimentary players on the floor at the same time.

    Anyway, nice recap.

  4. Frank, David Lee has the worst adjusted +/- among all the Knicks thus far this season…and frankly, it shows. Defensively, he’s being punished every which way possible, even by guys like Horford (who is good, but not exactly Yao or Shaq), and even when he has a zone to help him with covering bigs.

    I guess this begs the question of why Darko isn’t playing more. I get the feeling the coaching staff doesn’t like how passive Darko is on offense (and prefers Jeffries’ versatility), but I would be fine with using him more.

    I hope Duhon is benched too, but keep in mind that Nate wasn’t exactly tearing it up to start the season — he was just as awful as anyone else. I think Duhon’s been given a leash the size of Texas simply because no one else (seriously) attempts to see the floor the way he does (and yes, that’s ripe for many jokes at present). Everyone else plays with a sort of tunnel vision and can’t seem to find angles on a pick and roll the way a decent PG does. (I hoped Gallinari could be a point forward but he’s a long way from that right now).

    But yes, Duhon should sit at this point.

  5. Nice recap.

    One other point on Harrington. Man he has some bad hands. They’re not Jared Jeffries bad–Jared may have the worst hands in the entire league–but he’s constantly losing the ball on the way to the rim. He does all the things a tweener has to do to be useful. He can take bigger guys off the bounce and he can post. But gosh he fumbles a lot of balls.

  6. I wonder about Darko myself. Does Coach D have some aversion to playing a more traditional center b/c even with Phoenix it was pretty rare for Voskuhl or Pat Burke (not that either is all that but neither is Darko) to even get a few minutes of court time. Another thing on Lee his reb seems to be when I checked a few days ago holding up defnsively but way down (like maybe 1/2) offensively. I don’t think I’ve seen even one “garbageman” play from him this year, which I don’t think is necessarily a good thing.

    and ditto JJ and Duhon need less floor time, but I noticed (as did Thomas in his way) that yesterday was the first game (I think) where Toney had more than 1 assist. A nitpick, true buyt still he’s supposed to be a PG.

  7. Nice recap, strong stuff…

    Nick – I agree, D’Antoni is trying to turn David Lee into David West, in my view, a jumpshooting finesse offensive 4. And that’s a recipe for disaster.

  8. Nice recap. Really, one of the most entertaining reads I think I have had on this site from a pure writing standpoint.

    One thought:
    You know all through the later part of the preseason it was quite clear D’Antoni was running this team into the ground, and it was showing up in games. Guys were dragging.
    I get the sense that this team’s energy problem very well may be because they have noodle legs. I mean, the first thing that happens when the legs are weak is the shot goes.
    This is a team that can score. They scored all last year. But this squad is having trouble draining open shots and finishing around the basket.
    And we have all watched David Lee perform now for years, and this year, he’s a different guy. No one used to beat that guy back on D and he has always been tenacious on the boards. But he isn’t running well, he isn’t crashing the boards as well, and he isn’t finishing his shots as well.
    And Duhon did play well in the first half last year and then started to flag when he started to get too much burn. So this year, D’Antoni runs, by all accounts, and epic practices in preseason, and then Duhon almost immediately plays a 55 minute game. And he can’t finish a shot, period, and his defense is lackluster, too, and passes are retarded.

    I guess I’m saying this team, even this team, is uncharacteristically bad. Something just doesn’t feel right.

    And could it simply be that D’Antoni ran them so hard that they are simply flat out tired?

    I mean, young guys, who have played basically consistent basketball (Lee, Robinson) are shadows of themselves right now. That isn’t normal by any statistical analysis. As we always say, after a time, guys are what they are. But these two good players “aren’t.”
    I simply have to believe that fatigue is a major factor in this team being so flat.

    I predict that they will start to improve when they run through a part of the sked where they are getting a bit more rest.
    And, well, there now is “skinny” edy.

  9. Owen, what evidence is there that the coach is “trying to turn David Lee into David West”? I’m not being contentious or reflexively defending the coach (since he just declared that Duhon is still “his point guard”, which means my forehead is caved in from having banged it against a table for the last half hour).

    I agree Lee has been too jumpshot happy, but I see that as a function mainly of other teams taking away Lee’s options on the roll more aggressively and forcing Duhon to either shoot or pick and pop w/Lee (with the bad results we’ve seen). But D’Antoni’s staff worked with Stoudamire in Phoenix to develop a good outside shot and that never stopped Nash from getting Amare a good diet of dunks, just meant that there were more options. The jumper is just one more option, it doesn’t necessarily become the preferred mode of offense (as it does with, say, LaMarcus Aldridge in Portland).

    I think D’Antoni would be happy to see Lee continue to get his share of inside shots, but other teams aren’t giving those to him. Also, with Duhon’s minutes having been cut in recent games, the other guys (Hughes/Douglas/Gallo/Wil) aren’t as adept at feeding him.

  10. Can we now state with authority that the biggest mistake of the Walsh / D’Antoni tenure was NOT drafting or trading for a PG in the offseason?

    If I have to watch Duhon at the the point for 72 more games I may have to give up NBA basketball altogether…right now, this looks like one of the worst teams I have ever seen. I know they’re not this bad, but they are unwatchable at the moment.

    And I’m also left wondering what Darko did to get into the doghouse…

  11. What is it about the Knicks that turns coaches into mush?
    I mean, D’Antoni isn’t the first knicks coach to bring a new lineup card in each night…or made mystifying 4th quarter decisions…
    I don’t get it.

  12. It was only a matter of time I guess. The Knicks ineptitude has seen its first casualty. Sorry Byron!

  13. While I was penning the write-up of last night’s sordid affair, I intermittently watched MD’A’s ex (The Suns) take on the now-Byron Scott-less Hornets.

    Watching Nash run SSOL after suffering through the Chris Duhon experience was both thrilling and nauseating. I mean lawdy, Nash always, and I mean ALWAYS makes the right decision w/the ball. It’s not so much the no-look passes (though those are there too), but rather that he plays the point w/such efficiency. No wasted motions. No over-dribbling. No need to draw attention to himself (though, paradaoxically, that’s what ends up happening) He’s the Platonic ideal of a PG & it’s just a pure pleasure to watch.

    And we have C-Du.

    Just t’aint fair!

  14. I wouldn’t be surprised if Duhon gets a DNP tomorrow. Can we all remember how successful the pick and roll with Lee was for most of last season? Then coaches realized that Duhon is absolutely no threat to score and goodbye pick and roll. I hope that maybe Douglas is able to step into that role, because his jumper so far this season actually looks pretty solid. I also like the backcourt of Hughes and Douglas because it’s very disruptive on defense, but I understand neither of them is a real PG (but who is on this team?)

    It would be poetic justice if tomorrow night’s game ended in a tie.

  15. Bk – Other than Lee’s falling offensive rebounding rate and the increasing number of jumpshots he has taken since MD’A’s arrival, I don’t have that much to back that observation up. I don’t know, when I watch the games I just find Lee operating a lot farther from the basket, both at the beginning of the possession, when he often initiates from the top, and at the end of the possessions, when he is often spotted up for an outlet pass, than he was in his first three years on the Knicks.

  16. It does seem like Lee is on the outside more often, which is especially irritating when Gallo is also there.

  17. What do you want Lee to do, post up??? Did you see him try to post up Jamario Moon?? He dribbled the ball of his foot, went back to get and tried to drive by Moon and wound up taking the ugliest looking fadeaway that had no chance at going in. This was against Moon who is a twig and he couldnt post him up.

    I cant believe all the hoopla to get Darko more playing time, man we have hit rock bottom. I mean Im sorry but if David Lee turns Al Horford into Patrick Ewing than that is more an indictment on David Lee’s pathetic defense.

  18. Great read over at Freedarko regarding our Knicks (and the Warriors) and long-suffering fandom

    Interesting piece, although I think it terribly undersells Gallo (and either oversells Chandler or undersells Lee, I’m not sure which, as the two are mentioned as comparable, which is far from true).

  19. Well, I don’t know. To be honest, it isn’t impacting his scoring that much. His ts% fell just 1% last year from the year before and his scoring is currently up 5 points per 36 from two years ago, while his turnover rate is unchanged from two years ago.

    So for all my sturm und drang, not that much has changed in the numbers. He is still scoring very efficiently and he has raised his volume significantly, even adjusted for pace. From a numbers perspective, it’s really only his offensive rebounding that has suffered, I think because of something that Ted pointed out on the previous thread, the Knicks rarely crash the offensive boards, preferring a full scale retreat after the shot goes up.

    But what do I want to see from Lee? I don’t know, x and o’s aren’t my specialty, more motion, more back cuts, more operating around the hoop, more chances to position himself for an offensive rebound.

    And re Moon, that guy is one of the best defenders in the NBA…

    At the end of the day it’s not Lee’s offense that is the issue, as even I have to admit…

  20. The player on the Warriors I’d be geeking to snag is Anthony Morrow. Cheap, very good spot up shooter, always hustles. And right now he’s buried behind Ellis, Curry, Jackson, Azubuike, et al.

    And yes, while Ellis has a long contract, he’s an actual, you know, asset instead of a liability like JJ n’ Fa(s)t Eddy.

    What about this mega-deal?

    Stephen Jackson
    Monta Ellis
    Speedy Claxton (expiring)

    Eddy Curry
    Jared Jeffries
    Chris Duhon
    Wilson Chandler

    The Warriors dump all their bad contracts/squabbling guards. The Nix get an actual backcourt and have the same cap space for next season. Plus, Jackson and Ellis can be traded if it doesn’t work (unlike Curry n’ JJ)

    Then NY’s rotation is:

    PG Ellis/Douglas
    SG Jackson/Hughes
    SF Gallo
    PF Harrington/Hill
    C Lee/Milicic

  21. Anthony Morrow is a sweet sweet shooter and I would love to see him as Knick but that trade is never happening…

  22. That trade idea really does work.

    Especially as the Knicks should be able to re-trade Ellis (what are the restrictions on re-trading a guy?).

  23. so, in this trade, we offer a bowl of turds and get back a solid back court?
    you’d have to find the dumbest GM around to take that deal, and he’s coaching a Florida college team.

  24. Monta Ellis is one of the most entertaining guys in the league at his best, but he’s never going to be a top two guy on a championship contender, and I think if he actually had much trade value, he’d already be long gone.

    we need Joe Johnson minimum as a sidekick, and I’m personally holding out for no less than LeBron and Chris Paul (I’ll grudgingly accept Wade also as the sidekick, or Dwight Howard if he somehow became available). if you’re going to go this route, the point is to try to win titles.


    (this note inspired by the new Bill Simmons book, in which the highest Knick in history in his well argued alltime player rankings is Clyde at #32.

    NY deserves better, the last time the Knicks won a title I was six years old, and LeBron is already at #20 and rising. people need to have faith, CC and whoever else will reel him in. if you ever lose faith because of media idiocy, go to his Wikipedia page and check out the picture. until that picture changes or he signs elsewhere, I’m staying optimistic.

    and after he comes, Curry and Jeffries will expire the next season and Chris Paul will follow. and then the Garden will once again be rocking into June, as it once was and as it should ever be.)


    seriously, only like 7-8 more months, stay strong. :)

  25. Yeah he has Ewing #39 all-time and says the same bunch of crap that Ewing haters say which is all bullshit.

    Ewing is clearly the greatest Knick ever and Im sure he wouldve loved to have played with an entire starting lineup of fellow HOFers like the 1973 Knicks championship team had.

  26. i think simmons was correct in placing frazier before ewing..ewing could never take the knicks all the way even when jordan was out of the league..he got dominated by hakeem in 94

  27. “so, in this trade, we offer a bowl of turds and get back a solid back court? you’d have to find the dumbest GM around to take that deal, and he’s coaching a Florida college team.”

    In the trade GS would be saving about 50 million in salary b/c of the length of Ellis & Jackson’s contracts. Yes, we’d be giving them the pu-pu platter and taking back good players (w/bad deals – Isiah redux?), but the money saved might make it worth GS’s while.

  28. Yeah so because Olajuwon outplayed Ewing in the 1994 Finals that means Frazier was more clutch because he had 3 HOF teammates in 1970 and 4 HOF teammates in 1973 when he won titles.

    Considering this is a statistical website the stats make the case for Ewing a no-brainer. I like Simmons but he basically just ripped Ewing for the same nonesense about Ewing not winning a title. Amazing he gets ripped for that yet Barkley, Malone and Stockton its just a footnote and people almost feel sorry for them because they couldnt win it all yet when it comes to Ewing its because he wasnt clutch.

    Also talks about how the stupid Ewing theory and how much better the Knicks played w/o him. Its amazing that he based that on the final 4 games of the East Finals vs the Pacers in 1999. The Knicks really played great w/o Ewing in the 1999 Finals, and God knows what wouldve happened to the Knicks prior to 1997 when his supporting cast wasnt exactly littered with offensive threats if Ewing ever wouldve gotten hurt. How have the Knicks done since Ewing was traded away????

    Like I said I like Bill Simmons and enjoy his writing but its bullshit like that about Ewing that feeds into this unfair criticism of Ewing. After what has happened to the Knicks after Ewing was traded they should freaking build a statue of him outside of MSG after realizing how great a player he was and how much the franchise has suffered since he has left because they havent come close to having a player as good as Ewing leading this franchise.

  29. “First of all, you can’t wear a headband, Jared. Really, you just can’t. It looks awful. ”

    He can’t wear anything, he looks horrible regardless. He should never play, never dress. Just keep him sealed in a crate.

  30. Not for nothing, but #39 among all NBA players ever sounds pretty impressive.

    But yeah, 17 spots higher for Frazier seems too much.

  31. “Considering this is a statistical website the stats make the case for Ewing a no-brainer. I like Simmons but he basically just ripped Ewing for the same nonesense about Ewing not winning a title.”

    It’s hard to assess Frazier’s stats, since he played in a much different era. And I think the following chart probably underrates Ewing somewhat, given that it divides the credit for some of the best defenses of all-time equally, rather than giving the lions share to Ewing and Oak.

    However, I don’t think it’s any kind of lock that the stats back you up on this one. At least this one metric shows that Ewing was decidedly a second tier superstar. A great player, but definitely a cut below. I loved Ewing growing up but to be totally honest, I think 39 probably overrates him.


    And actually, having glanced through Ewing’s B-ref page at his other advanced stats, the other metrics, PER, Win Shares, O and D rating, say the same thing as Wins Produced.

  32. sometimes you have to look past stats. in game 7 who is more likely to carry his team….frazier and ewing? and its not fraziers fault that he played for a very good team. if it wasnt for michael jordan ewings knicks never would have even sniffed the finals. im a huge knick fan and ewing is my favorite all time knicks, but im just being a a realist. ewing is still a top 10 center and definately someone i would love to have on todays 2009 knicks team but c’mon barkely and malone were both better overall players than ewing. last point, its not his fault that the franchise made probably the dumbest move of the 00’s by trading his massively expiring contract for garbage in return. if ewing is remember for anything its taking the knicks to the finals and falling short and that perception is hard to get rid of

  33. “Not for nothing, but #39 among all NBA players ever sounds pretty impressive.

    But yeah, 17 spots higher for Frazier seems too much.”

    7 spots higher, 32 to 39.

    and it’s somewhat impressive, until you realize that Dave Cowens is #31. NY has never had a player as good as Dave Cowens? how sad is that?

    here’s a pic of the sneakers LeBron wore last night, special Yankee tribute ones:


  34. I want to know what kinds of drugs turned Jon Abbey’s frown upside-down…:)
    His hope speech was practically ebullient.

  35. 7 spots higher, 32 to 39.

    Oh, so it was!

    That makes a lot more sense.

    As to the “who could carry you on his back in a Game 7” question…I think both players could (and did) do just that.

  36. What’s the general consensus on the Simmons book? Is it worth plunking down 16 fitty on Amazon?

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