Knicks 2010 Season Preview Part 1

With the 2010 season nearly upon us, it’s time to go into season preview mode. We’re going to kick it off with a look at the players in a 4 part series, followed by more Knickly goodness. We’re going to run right up to the start of the season (save for a weekend breather). So here we go…

Chris Duhon – Point Guard

What the Numbers Say
Pre All-Star game: 12.5 ppg, 8.0 apg, 3.4 rpg.
Post All-Star game: 8.6 ppg, 5.6 apg, 2.1 rpg.

What the Team Says
“Donnie was exploring everything, which he should,” D’Antoni said. “But there was never any doubt Chris would be the point guard.”

What the Player Says
“He (Obama) talks the whole time. He’s never quiet…can’t guard me!’ Just random talk,” Duhon replied. “He knows the game. He’s like a point guard out there, and so he’s always telling guys where to go, what to do, very vocal.” Who won? “Oh, I won – he may be running for president, but I’m not going to let him win, not going to take it easy on him. I don’t take it easy on anyone.”

What My Gut Says
There really isn’t one facet to his game that one can identify as his strength (save possibly his Vulcan mind meld with DLee on the pick and roll). Seriously, what does he actually do well? He’s an average on the ball defender, average shooter, below average finisher, average passer, and average floor general. But like the numbers show, he was playing solid ball before his 2nd half collapse (possibly due to playing close to 40 mpg in the 1st half, or possibly due to his rumored proclivity for nocturnal activities and whatnot) And, he is tight with the POTUS, so he’s got that going for him, which is nice.

Nate Robinson – Combo Guard/Freak Show

What the Numbers Say
Per 36 minutes, in 08’-09’ Nate was the best rebounder under 6 feet in the history of the NBA (4.7 rebs/36).

What the Team Says
“That’s why he [Robinson] got a one-year contract,” D’Antoni said of the exuberance that often gets the better of Robinson on the court. “That’s why we won 32 games…As soon as we get it and he gets it, then we’ll win, get in the playoffs and guys will find homes…”

What the Player Says
Here’s a sampling of Nate’s finer tweets. They’re pure absurdist poetry gold:

“I wish they spelled seattle like this Ceattle that would be sick, and spell tacoma like this Wackcoma lol inside joke for @theyknwwhotheyR”

“If u could have any famous person make u a peanut butter and jelly sandwich who would it be? Me Stacy Dash all day lol”

“August Ruah might be one of the best movies I’ve ever watched, and I watch hella movies!!!”

“If I was in the movie harry potter I would rep tweepndorph”

“I got a snickers commercial 4 yall, super man and kryptonate R walk n down da street watch n a old lady at the park dunking, so I steal the Ball from the old lady jump over her as iam in the air superman fly’s outta no where I throw the oop he dunks on her, superman and Kryptonate a freak of natchew !!! LoL”

What My Gut Says
Oh lawdy. I think Nate’s the bee’s knee. Mainly because, even though I can barely jump over a phone book, he invites all us 5’9″ guys to dream our dreamy dreams of being able to dunk a basketball. What can one say that hasn’t already been said ad nauseum? He’s an unreal athlete. He’s got a Napoleon complex. He’s immature. He’s underrated. He’s overrated. He’s a “Call of Duty” addict. He’s the real-life Cal Naughton Jr. to Will “Shake n’ Bake” Ferrell. More so than the dunks or the whirling dervish-type drives to the hoop, it’s his bounding and astounding that blows me away, as is evidenced by the above stats. Will he “mature” (aka average 3 steals/game)? Will he stop getting on the refs for every single call?

Toney Douglas – Combo Guard

What the Numbers Say

Translated Stats: 0.392 Win% | 0.491 TS% | 21.5 Usage | 5.7 Reb% | 0.40 Pass

Randy Foye (97.2); Keith Bogans (96.7); Courtney Alexander (95.2); Chris Quinn (94.9); Morris Peterson (94.1)

Douglas comes out as similar to shooting guards as point guards, but he’s not an exceptional scorer at the NBA level and he’s already 23. Pass.

(Pre-draft number crunching via The Basketball Prospectus/Kevin Pelton)

What the Team Says
“He’s a lot better than I thought. He might have ran out of steam at the end of the week, and I judged him on that not being ready. Give him credit though. I showed him things he had to work on and he did.” – Mike D’Antoni

What the Player Says
“We just out here having fun and do what Toney Douglas do” — Toney Douglas

What My Gut Says
Though the Pre-season/summer league offers a relatively small sample to judge from, my digestive track says he’s Chris Childs 2.0 (which is not necessarily a bad thing) – a tough, solid defender at PG. Not the greatest floor general/court vision. Streaky shooter from deep. If as the stats suggest, he could be similar to Randy Foye, I’d be tickled. And he has a swell t-shirt commemorating his penchant for addressing himself in the 3rd person.

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7 thoughts to “Knicks 2010 Season Preview Part 1”

  1. Robert – excellent start to Knicks preview, and based on Nate’s wacky tweets, he should definitely have his own reality show.

    Duhon – it’s true, if you’re describing him, you would say “he’s a really good ______ ?” Average in basically all facets of the game, but he is what he is and he’s our guy, for this season anyway.

    Nate – unfortunately, we really do need him to come up big (no pun intended) this year to be a respectable team. He does jump start the offense, and I can see why D’Antoni is considering starting him, as there are way too many games where we get in a 25-12 hole by coming out and playing like we’re asleep.

    Douglas – great comparison to Chris Childs, and I would be fine if he reached that level. I like what I’ve seen in the preseason, and it never hurts to have a pit bull coming in off the bench. I hope he drops the third person crap, though.

    Looking forward to the next entries. I’m sure Gallo will generate a lot of discussion.

  2. Great preview, can’t wait to see the other installments. I really hope Duhon’s problem was just minutes (it would make a ton of sense, of course) and he’ll be fine with Douglas and Nate spotting him more.

    And speaking of preseason projections: last call for Knickerblogger fantasy league on yahoo! League ID is 210135 (2010 Starts Early).

  3. I have to say that I am less optimistic now than I was prior to the preseason. So much is riding on Gallo, yet he looks very much like he did with the bad back last year, i.e. stiff and slow. I would almost bet that his back is still a problem.

    I also think that the reality for Duhon is somewhere between his first half and second half last year, and likely closer to the latter. The league has adjusted to the pick and roll, denying the pass and forcing him to go to the basket.

    Nate is a sensationally talented player. I like the message that D’Antoni is trying to drive through his thick skull… that his attitude has already cost him over a million bucks and may cost him many more millions if he doesn’t pull himself together and act like a pro. He is the only player we have that can totally disrupt the other team’s game plan… if he’s hitting his shot and playing under control.

    I think Douglas is going to get better and better. A master wordsmith he is not, but he can play on my team any time.

  4. I think the Knicks need to bite the bullet this year and start Nate for better or for worse. Yes he’s a great 6th man, but he’s possibly our 2nd best player! He needs to be on the floor, despite his defense (which could be improving.) It would/will get pretty scary if Nate gets hurt though. Maybe Tony D can play some 2 guard in a pinch.
    No one’s that excited about Duhon. I think if he plays at the level of an “average NBA starting point guard” we will be lucky. I would start him, Nate, Chandler, Lee and Darko. Darko’s shotblocking can help make up for Duhon and Nate’s D. Gallo will eventually takeover for Chandler, Harrington can be the 6th man, Jeffries will play a bit of everything, and Hill and Douglas should get some backup minutes. My fear/thinking is that D’Antoni will start Jeffries at C/F with Lee to showcase him (and he’s been playing better and can play D.) Maybe this is not much worse than Darko, but it’s a pretty weak front line. Darko at least has muscle.
    Back to the guards, if Nate straightens out, I could even see him playing the point when Lebron gets here because of his 3 pt ability and how he gets to the basket.

  5. “Back to the guards, if Nate straightens out, I could even see him playing the point when Lebron gets here because of his 3 pt ability and how he gets to the basket.”

    Essdog, love your optimism on LeBron. We can only pray…..

    I kind of like your idea of starting Darko. As I said above, we have a bad habit of starting games really flat, and a lot of that has to do with the other team scoring at will. You put Nate out there for offense and Darko for D, and maybe it works. Or maybe not…

  6. Toney Douglas finally had a nice game – against Alston, not Devin Harris but still a good thing. If he can start hitting that jumper then I will start feeling really good about that pick.

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