Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

“Knicks will be good on D–dammit!” Oh, and glad to be back

The fishwrap is reporting that D’Antoni went on an “unsolicited diatribe” about defense prior to last night’s 110-104 win over Philly. The new coach is, perhaps understandably, a bit bristly over his Marbury-like reputation for defensive indifference. His Suns teams were more average than bad defensively, and at least some of the criticism levied at those teams came because more than a few commentators–ex-players among them–don’t know enough to adjust for pace.

Still, I’d be a bit surprised to see the Knicks end the season above the median in defensive efficiency. Duhon’s addition will certainly help but really, unless Mardy Collins buys a jump shot from somewhere, no single defender on this roster is the equal of Marion, Raja Bell, (a motivated) Amare, and perhaps not even an ancient Grant Hill from D’Antoni’s Phoenix teams. One of the things I’m most ambivalent about with D’Antoni is his almost Isiah-like penchant for delusion. I like that he sticks up for his guys, but I worry a bit about how much of his own BS he buys sometimes. I also worry a bit about his sensitivity to criticism in a season that isn’t likely to go all that well.

At any rate, this pre-season ought to be fairly interesting for the Knicks. I haven’t seen the team play yet, but my impression is that D’Antoni is trying to figure out his rotations in real time and get guys used to playing in the system together. So he’s intent on playing his core group deep into games. And although pre-season games aren’t super important all things equal, they are (imho) more important for teams that haven’t won much and for teams with new players or a new system. The Knicks are all of the above.

Ahhh… it’s good to be back paying attention to basketball again. Now that Reyes, Wright, Beltran and Delgado couldn’t haul that heap of bloated corpses comprising the rest of the Mets into the playoffs, and my beloved Seahawks are pissing away Mike Holmgren’s final season in spectacular fashion, it just feels right to shift my focus back to my other collection of lovable losers (present company excluded of course). I will be keeping an eye on Missouri and a surprisingly decent Arizona football team, but as far as I am concerned it’s GO NEW YORK GO NEW YORK GO!!

Aw c’mon!
Don’t give it to Curry there! You know he’s gonna turn it ov–
Well, get back on D! Don’t–
Well dammit if you’re gonna foul him don’t let him lay it up too! Jeez!

Good times. Good times…

112 comments on ““Knicks will be good on D–dammit!” Oh, and glad to be back

  1. anthonybonner

    I’ve never believed that Jamal Crawford is a D’Antoni player because his shooting percentage has never been high enough. What about trading Crawford for cap flexibility or a useful player? At that point, the only wings that would be playing are all athletic and/or talented defenders: Duhon, Collins, Robinson, Richardson, Chandler, and even Marbury in limited minutes if he decides to keep quiet and play.

  2. Heri

    There you go again with your losing mind set. You make up for it by calling the coach delusional. I rather listen to coaches BS, (as you call it); and not to your losing mind set. The Mets have you choking along with them.

    Winning comes first in the mind, if you don’t believe; you can’t achieve. So, let the coach do his job and you, and the Mets should divorce before the heap of bloated corpses devours your mind completely.

    As for coach and I, we are aiming for the playoffs.

  3. ronnie

    Percentages have nothing to do with being a D’antoni player.D’antoni values versatility and thats why Crawford will excel in his system. People get too caught up with the scoring in the system but without a nash on the roster youve gotta be able to find seams in the defense where ever they may be.Because you are not gonna do well sitting one spot waiting on someone to set u up every possession.

    the one thing I see the knicks having a huge advantage in is the ability to run screen and rolls from everywhere on the floor.That is not something D’antoni had the talent to do in Phoenix . They are holding strong so far though as a team with a common goal cant really tell until they get that first smack whether they will lay down or not.

  4. David Crockett

    There you go again with your losing mind set. […] The Mets have you choking along with them.

    As for coach and I, we are aiming for the playoffs.

    Heri, perhaps I’m a masochist at heart, or just a closet Buddhist, but I’m not all that worried about coming into this season expecting the Knicks to be out of the playoffs. We can agree that attitude is important, but so too is realism and having the right expectations. Should the playoffs come around this year, hallelujah. But I’d be happy just to see this ship start sailing towards sanity, by developing young talent and an exciting brand of basketball.

    As for the Mets, I’ve been with them since ’79, so too late to divorce now. And their case may be somewhat instructive. The 2007 Mets choked. This bunch just lacked the bullpen to outlast the Phillies and Brewers. Some very good players’ value was more than offset by those “bloated corpses” I mentioned. The Knicks have a few decent-to-good players, but probably no one the basketball equivalent of Wright, Reyes, or Beltran. The Knicks also have an excess of bloated corpses though, and it’s just unrealistic to expect the team to run fast with corpses strapped to the collective backs of the few good players on the team.

    This season for me is about jettisoning as many of those corpses as we can (without taking on new ones). If we can do that I’ll be cheering as loud as anyone, and hey, the playoffs are certainly possible.

  5. Heri

    Coach D won’t be in the coaching elite till he wins some championships. He knows better than anybody that he won’t win a championship till his team takes defense seriously. He knows it’s not about winning 60 games, but about being in the last game and winning it.

    Right now he should know the interior defense is small and weak, at the same time it scores and rebounds. He must wait to see what Jeffries and Curry add to the mix of interior play. Trade winds will swirl once the values are up, haven’t you notice them raising?

    This will be a very good season for the Knicks, only two games into preseason and the same cast look and even act, (Marbury’s benching); like night and day in difference.

    We are headed in the right direction minus the trades and change. Outstanding!

    Mardy should be on the team. He plays good defense and Houston is really over.

  6. Heri

    I’m a Knicks fan and don’t feel delusion in the young talent of Chandler, Lee, Nate and Gallo whom all happen to be 24 and under.

    Mardy, Duhon and Jeffries are also very young.

    Curry, Zack, Crawford and Q are 28 and under.

    Marbury is my vet of 31, and D has his head spinning into a good year.

    How much younger you want us to be?
    12 strong, count them.

    forget Houston, Rose & James.

    .

  7. TDM

    Unfortunately, my watching of the game consisted of updating the box score in my office periodically. Can anyone enlighten me on the second quarter of play? Did Philly sit their first team for the entire quarter? It looks like Duhon was a different player from his first game. And what is the deal with Zbo? First game his dimes out 5 assists. Second game he pulls in 2 steals. Has someone put something in his drink?

  8. Reebok1303

    I can see how, if you are only looking at the box scores, it could be easy to feel a lot of excitement about the Knick’s preseason play thus far. But you have to remember that NY has played against Toronto on the second day of a back to back when they sat Bosh and O’Neill most of the game, and against Philly when they sat Dalambert and Brand, who were destroying Lee and ZBo inside, virtually the entire final three quarters.

    As has been mentioned previously, while the Knick’s bench has played respectably well thus far, and that is certainly something to be proud and happy about, our starters aren’t nearly good enough to compete with the other best teams in the East.

    That being said, I’ve absolutely loved watching the first two preseason games and haven’t been this excited about the beginning of a Knicks season in a very long time. If the franchise can achieve low to mid thirty’s for W’s, maybe a trade or two, resign Lee, and Wilson and Danilo getting some significant experience, I don’t see how this could not be a good year.

  9. BigBlueAL

    I can see how, if you are only looking at the box scores, it could be easy to feel a lot of excitement about the Knick’s preseason play thus far. But you have to remember that NY has played against Toronto on the second day of a back to back when they sat Bosh and O’Neill most of the game, and against Philly when they sat Dalambert and Brand, who were destroying Lee and ZBo inside, virtually the entire final three quarters.
    As has been mentioned previously, while the Knick’s bench has played respectably well thus far, and that is certainly something to be proud and happy about, our starters aren’t nearly good enough to compete with the other best teams in the East.
    That being said, I’ve absolutely loved watching the first two preseason games and haven’t been this excited about the beginning of a Knicks season in a very long time. If the franchise can achieve low to mid thirty’s for W’s, maybe a trade or two, resign Lee, and Wilson and Danilo getting some significant experience, I don’t see how this could not be a good year.

    Agreed totally. Just the atmosphere around the teams is 500X better than last year. Unlike last year where it got to a point where I wanted them to lose so Isiah would be guaranteed of being fired, this season Im just gonna watch to enjoy the games and not have any expectations. Just enjoy the new brand of basketball and another 10-15 wins over last season hopefully.

    Plus listening to Coach D’s press conferences compared to Isiah’s is a breath of fresh air and you can sense from reading the articles from even the writers covering the team what a difference it is with D’antoni and Walsh running things. This season should be full of just positives and no negative stuff like last year (assuming Marbury doesnt get out of line).

    Its not as good as when Riley and Van Gundy were coaching this team and the emphasis was on actually winning games and championships, but at least it seems with this regime we are headed in the right direction for the first time since the sad day of Dec 8th, 2001 when Van Gundy resigned.

  10. mase

    Anthony,
    Crawford is not a player who fits, Totally agree but I don’t know why. I would rather see nate start or dare I say it Marbury and see Collins back up duhon.

  11. Ray

    Crawford is here to stay unless we have a fire sale. D Lee is very impressive. If he hits that jumper all year i say we put up some money to resign him. Ifwe can get the money together then we make some trades to clear the space. Duhon passes well but he cant get into the lane like Starbury. Maybe if coach plays them together it will keep Starbury honest and encourage him to keep the ball moving. If he sees a hole in the lane he needs to drive. Curry can probably do well off the bench but he has to speed his moves up. Maybe shift him to power foward. Who knows what will happen. Z-bo has looked prettty good so far . Looks like hes having fun. Thats great becasue its going to increase his trade value as long as he behaves.

  12. daJudge

    Crawford is here to stay unless we have a fire sale. D Lee is very impressive. If he hits that jumper all year i say we put up some money to resign him. Ifwe can get the money together then we make some trades to clear the space. Duhon passes well but he cant get into the lane like Starbury. Maybe if coach plays them together it will keep Starbury honest and encourage him to keep the ball moving. If he sees a hole in the lane he needs to drive. Curry can probably do well off the bench but he has to speed his moves up. Maybe shift him to power foward. Who knows what will happen. Z-bo has looked prettty good so far . Looks like hes having fun. Thats great becasue its going to increase his trade value as long as he behaves.

    Crawford is here to stay unless we have a fire sale. D Lee is very impressive. If he hits that jumper all year i say we put up some money to resign him. Ifwe can get the money together then we make some trades to clear the space. Duhon passes well but he cant get into the lane like Starbury. Maybe if coach plays them together it will keep Starbury honest and encourage him to keep the ball moving. If he sees a hole in the lane he needs to drive. Curry can probably do well off the bench but he has to speed his moves up. Maybe shift him to power foward. Who knows what will happen. Z-bo has looked prettty good so far . Looks like hes having fun. Thats great becasue its going to increase his trade value as long as he behaves.

    Crawford is here to stay unless we have a fire sale. D Lee is very impressive. If he hits that jumper all year i say we put up some money to resign him. Ifwe can get the money together then we make some trades to clear the space. Duhon passes well but he cant get into the lane like Starbury. Maybe if coach plays them together it will keep Starbury honest and encourage him to keep the ball moving. If he sees a hole in the lane he needs to drive. Curry can probably do well off the bench but he has to speed his moves up. Maybe shift him to power foward. Who knows what will happen. Z-bo has looked prettty good so far . Looks like hes having fun. Thats great becasue its going to increase his trade value as long as he behaves.

  13. daJudge

    Sorry, I screwed up the first post. It is really interesting to compare the Mets and Knicks. I have been a Mets fan since 1968. I was at Shea when they won it all against Baltimore. I have been a Knicks fan for about the same time. I have watched both Knicks pre-season games. The Mets are a very, very talented team, who, without a bullpen, just about made it to the playoffs. Nevertheless, they didn’t make it and our fan expectations were reasonably higher than their level of success. We were all very dissapointed. How high should we set the bar for the Knicks? Our expectations will, in part, determine our level of enjoyment or frustration. Also, some mediocre teams are more fun to watch than some under-achieving talented teams. With this new crew, at a minimum I hope the Knicks are fun to watch and over-achieving as a group. PS–Cut Steph a little slack.

  14. mase

    i’ll say this about Crawford if he can reinvent his game under D’Antoni like he says he wants to, which would mean a total transformation from streetballer to team player/good-decision maker/defender, we have another all-star caliber player.

  15. Z

    “I’ve absolutely loved watching the first two preseason games and haven’t been this excited about the beginning of a Knicks season in a very long time.”

    Seriously– for your own mental health go back in the archives to all the excitement that was being posted about last October during preseason…

    Then remember how the regular season went from there…

    Then remember that the exact same lineup is back minus Fred Jones and that third string center who’s name escapes me. Has a new coach and a peripheral PG ever been worth a 20 game improvement in one year? Ever?

    Maybe.

    But probably not this year.

  16. Owen

    Z – I don’t think anyone who is statistically inclined in the slightest thinks there is any chance the Knicks will win even 40 games…

    But that doesn’t mean there is no reason to get excited. Maybe it was just my viewing of We Are Marshall in a drunken haze the other day, but I believe this qualifies as one of those seasons where, in the wake of a horrific catastrophe, winning isn’t necessarily everything. Armed with very low, I mean really really low expectations, I am prepared to enjoy myself this year…

  17. Z

    Z – I don’t think anyone who is statistically inclined in the slightest thinks there is any chance the Knicks will win even 40 games…
    But that doesn’t mean there is no reason to get excited. Maybe it was just my viewing of We Are Marshall in a drunken haze the other day, but I believe this qualifies as one of those seasons where, in the wake of a horrific catastrophe, winning isn’t necessarily everything. Armed with very low, I mean really really low expectations, I am prepared to enjoy myself this year…

    Okay. I’ll try my very best not to rain on your parade…

    But come December I’ll see you in the “I’m not watching another game until Zach Randolph is traded” club.

  18. Frank

    “I’ve absolutely loved watching the first two preseason games and haven’t been this excited about the beginning of a Knicks season in a very long time.”
    Seriously– for your own mental health go back in the archives to all the excitement that was being posted about last October during preseason…
    Then remember how the regular season went from there…
    Then remember that the exact same lineup is back minus Fred Jones and that third string center who’s name escapes me. Has a new coach and a peripheral PG ever been worth a 20 game improvement in one year? Ever?
    Maybe.
    But probably not this year.

    Normally I’d be inclined to agree with you – but in most cases a team hires a coach that is maybe 10-20% better (or not better at all) than the previous coach to coach a team that at least attempts to look professional out there. To be honest, I think Isiah may have put in one of the worst coaching performances in history last year, from managing personnel to x’s and o’s to completely losing his team 1 week into the season when he put stephon back in against the wishes of his team. So I think that at baseline, D’Antoni is a probably at least 50% better coach than Isiah, and the players are having fun and are motivated again. Maybe I’m drinking the Kool-Aid but I’m hoping for an Atlanta Falcons-like or Miami Dolphins-like revival.

  19. jon abbey

    “I think Isiah may have put in one of the worst coaching performances in history last year”

    what’s awesome is that this may be true, but Larry Brown’s year here was decidedly worse. I still can’t get over him starting different guys in their hometowns all season, what the hell was that?

  20. dave crockett

    “I think Isiah may have put in one of the worst coaching performances in history last year”
    what’s awesome is that this may be true, but Larry Brown’s year here was decidedly worse. I still can’t get over him starting different guys in their hometowns all season, what the hell was that?

    You know, he really embarrassed himself. It’s just that the other parties embarrassed themselves even more. To even think about it is migraine-inducing.

  21. Owen

    That clip of Randolph dribbling madly around the top of the key was killing me….

    I hope they don’t shut him down, I really enjoyed it….

  22. pat

    david lee is gunna be an all star this year…i fuckin guarantee it

    im a david lee fan myself, but come on, he is gonna make the allstar team over the likes elton brand, chris bosh, kevin garnett, dwight howard, shawn marion? no.

  23. Italian Stallion

    I’m thrilled that Lee isn’t afraid to take the jumper anymore. I’m giddy that he’s actually hitting them. So after spending a lot of time in the off season trying to temper the enthusiam for him here because he didn’t have that particular skill yet, I’m ready to join the fan club. However, I do think the enthusiam is a little ahead of itself. He should score more because he’s going to take more shots. It will be easier for him to get to the basket now they they can’t sag off him. Finally, the faster pace should pad his stats. However, I doubt he’s going to average much more than mid teens and I don’t think he’s going to make the all star team this year.

  24. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger)

    However, I doubt he’s going to average much more than mid teens and I don’t think he’s going to make the all star team this year.

    I agree. Although I think mid-teens for rebounds is quite impressive, but Lee isn’t good enough to be an All Star. This year, if everything goes as planned, Lee will probably get a ton of minutes & play some very good basketball. However I think his defensive contributions are his achilles heel. He’s not a bad defender, but he’s average at best. Looking at pat’s list of All Star PF/C candidates, Bosh, Howard, Brand, Garnett, Marion, and Lee – it’s clear that Lee is the worst defender of the bunch. You could add Rasheed Wallace and Jermaine O’Neal to that list as well.

    I’m afraid that this year will be more of the same with the perception of Lee. Some will see him as an All Star, while others an average starter. The truth will lie in between.

  25. cbrooklyn

    thats good stuff ssom…..definitly watchin…thats better than watchin the msg postgame show..lol

  26. Thomas B.

    To continue the praise of SSoM.

    I never noticed the uncanny resemblance Coach D has with the Pringles mascot. Nice catch.

  27. Owen

    I don’t know if I see Lee averaging mid teen rebounds playing a ton of minutes next to Randolph. I think 12 would be a best case scenario. And he almost definitely won’t make the all-star team. He won’t be scoring enough for most people, and they won’t be noticing how efficient he is. And he won’t be playing for a playoff team.

    Garnett and Brand are the top two power forwards in the East. But if Lee comes out this year and averages something like 17-12 with 60+ ts% he will at least make a case he is the third best. Bosh will probably win that argument though. That would leave him the fourth best power forward in the East this year. Okafor will be in that conversation also I guess if he is at full speed.

    Of course, I suppose people are going to judge him as a center, Other than Dwight Howard, I don’t know which Eastern conference center will post better stats than him (Bogut? Dalembert?). Perhaps he could sneak in that way.

    Lee doesn’t have the defensive impact of a real center though, so I don’t see that happening.

    Either way, it’s clear to me that barring injury Lee will be at least a top 50 player in the NFL by any statistical measure you care to pick, whether its adjusted +/-, PER, WP, etc.

  28. Z-man

    Either way, it’s clear to me that barring injury Lee will be at least a top 50 player in the NFL by any statistical measure you care to pick, whether its adjusted +/-, PER, WP, etc.

    Is Lee moonlighting as a tight end?

  29. dave crockett

    Either way, it’s clear to me that barring injury Lee will be at least a top 50 player in the NFL by any statistical measure you care to pick, whether its adjusted +/-, PER, WP, etc.

    Because that’s how much of a complete badass D-Lee is. He’s gonna be top 50 in WOW, PER, and DPAR. :)

  30. Owen

    Lol, yeah, watching the Giants game….

    I love how people have finally come around to the fact that the Giants have the best offensive line in football on the night that they get outplayed by the Cleveland o-line, which is just dominating right now…

  31. Z-man

    Seriously, I could see Lee becoming sort of a Dave Cowens type of center if his offensive game keeps coming around. Not that they are dead ringers for each other; Cowens seemed to have a lower center of gravity to stand his ground defensively against bigger centers, while Lee kinda gets pushed around by good post players. One thing I like about Lee is his self-awareness. If he senses a weakness in himself, he commits to strengthening it. He looks bigger, stronger and faster than he did last year, which puts the center situation in play if he could just work on his D.

    Cowen’s shooting % stats are not as good as Lee’s, but he was a very polished offensive player with a great inside-outside game. Great passer, too. Only Cowens, Pippen and Garnett ever led their team in all 5 major stats for a season: Pts, rebs, assts, steals, blocks. Pretty good company!

  32. jon abbey

    I don’t think Lee can make the All-Star team this year, but I do think he has a chance to lead the league in boards, especially if he and Curry play together a fair amount.

  33. Owen

    Jon – You know, it’s possible. With Lee’s talent, and the high pace the Knicks will play at, it isn’t out of the realm of possibility he leads the league in boards. But it would be very helpful if Dwight Howard decided to take the year off.

    People have compared Lee to Cowens, and anytime you are getting compared to a hall of famer, its a good thing. Lee is as good a rebounder as Cowens if you adjust for the faster pace they played at in the 70’s. And even when you adjust for the fact players back then weren’t as good shooters, Lee is a lot more efficient offensively. Cowens has a big edge in passing and apparently from his reputation, defense.

    I have made the argument that Lee could end up in the hall of fame, I think here, and certainly in live conversations. I know it sounds completely ridiculous, but if Cowens can get there, I don’t know why Lee can’t. Same thing goes for Debusschere and others….

    The problem is that he will toil for at least two more years in pretty much total obscurity before his chance to make an impact on a winning team rolls around, and that’s in the best case scenario. He could have to wait until he is 28-9 to play with decent teammates. Really the only way he could do it is if Lebron ends up on the Knicks and they roll to 3-4 titles, with everyone seeing Lee’s value on national television 25 times per year.

    They need to resign him, I am going to have an aneurysm if they don’t…

  34. Thomas B.

    I don’t think Lee can make the All-Star team this year, but I do think he has a chance to lead the league in boards, especially if he and Curry play together a fair amount.

    Agreed, but what are his Pro-Bowl chances?

  35. Z-man

    Jon – You know, it’s possible. With Lee’s talent, and the high pace the Knicks will play at, it isn’t out of the realm of possibility he leads the league in boards. But it would be very helpful if Dwight Howard decided to take the year off.
    People have compared Lee to Cowens, and anytime you are getting compared to a hall of famer, its a good thing. Lee is as good a rebounder as Cowens if you adjust for the faster pace they played at in the 70’s. And even when you adjust for the fact players back then weren’t as good shooters, Lee is a lot more efficient offensively. Cowens has a big edge in passing and apparently from his reputation, defense.
    I have made the argument that Lee could end up in the hall of fame, I think here, and certainly in live conversations. I know it sounds completely ridiculous, but if Cowens can get there, I don’t know why Lee can’t. Same thing goes for Debusschere and others….
    The problem is that he will toil for at least two more years in pretty much total obscurity before his chance to make an impact on a winning team rolls around, and that’s in the best case scenario. He could have to wait until he is 28-9 to play with decent teammates. Really the only way he could do it is if Lebron ends up on the Knicks and they roll to 3-4 titles, with everyone seeing Lee’s value on national television 25 times per year.
    They need to resign him, I am going to have an aneurysm if they don’t…

    While nobody would be happier than me if Lee made it to HOF as a Knick, I wouldn’t count on it. The comparison to Cowens was for an ideal that Lee has the raw materials to pursue (but probably not achieve.) Despite his smallish size, Cowens was immediatey a star center. He was drafted 4th, was rookie of the year, and in his 3rd season (72-73) at age 24 he was league MVP and all-star game MVP. He was a polished offensive player from the get-go and an all-NBA defender several times, also starting early in his career.

    DeBusschere was also very polished at both ends and an all-NBA defender at PF. He is a more favorable comparison to Lee in terms of career trajectory, but again, the dominance on D is not there for Lee. Dave D was regarded as the best all-around PF (or in the top 2-3) of the late 60’s-early 70’s. This is not true for Lee yet, and if some of the new guys (e.g. Beasley) develop, it may never be true.

    The biggest gap is clearly on D, where Lee still looks average at best. I suspect Lee knows this and will improve, just like he seems to have improved everything else.

    Still, to even be having this conversation is encouraging, isn’t it?

  36. Owen

    “Still, to even be having this conversation is encouraging, isn’t it?”

    I guess so. Then again, it’s me you are having the conversation with. I don’t know how encouraged you should be. I am not the most objective person on this subject. (although I like to think I am obviously)

    When you hear it from someone else that is when you should really be encouraged.

    Re Cowens and Dave D.

    It’s amazing to me that Cowens won the MVP with a 48% ts% in a year in which Wilt led the league in rebounding and had a 69% ts%. Something seems a bit off there. I guess Wilt only averaged 13 points per in his last season, so maybe that makes sense, but better than Lew Alcindor/Kareem, I don’t know…

    It’s such a different game these days…

    And do you think Dave D. would have made the HOF without that mid career trade from Detroit to New York? I never saw him play either, but I wonder what would have happened if he hadn’t had the chance to showcase his talents alongside Walt Frazier, Willis Reed, Bill Bradley, etc….

  37. Ted Nelson

    IS,

    We’re all probably being over optimistic (I know I am), but Lee hit a better % of his jumpers last season than Randolph. I’m sure his jumper is much improved, but some of us have been saying that Lee has a decent jumper for a while (and using various stats to back it up). I’m not sure why people were so quick to dismiss Wilson Chandler’s chuck-fest as just following Isiah’s orders, but never thought that Lee was passing up jumpers at Isiah’s orders or a personal belief that it wasn’t his role.

    Owen,

    While it’s an absolutely best-case/ one in a billion chance, I do see what you’re saying about David Lee making the HOF. Mostly, I guess it’s pretty subjective and can be slightly random who makes it, and if he’s lucky enough to find himself in a situation where he’s one of the better players on a dynasty team he’s got a shot.
    By the time Lee’s eligible, advanced stats might be a bit more respected, which could (potentially, in the dream scenario that he’s up for consideration) help Lee’s case. This is, of course, assuming that a lineup of, say… interior defender x, Lee, Gallinari, LeBron, a solid starting/All-Star G + a strong bench goes out and wins a few rings in the next decade… If he’s putting up 17-12 on those teams then maybe he makes a few All-Star and All-NBA 2nd/3rd teams, even then the HOF is a long-shot I guess.
    As far as career tragectory, I think one guy to consider is Steve Nash who made his first All-Star team in his 6th season at 27. He was a mid-1st rounder who entered the league at 22 and struggled his first few years in the league, but displayed a very strong skill (outside shooting vs. Lee’s efficient scoring/rebounding combo). He worked his ass off, and eventually became respected as a strong starter and borderline (2 time) All-Star type on some contenders in Dallas. Then he jumped to Phoenix at 30 and became a 2 time MVP under D’Antoni. I have to assume that punches his ticket to Springfield…
    In comparison, in the best case, Lee might break out under D’Antoni and be a good player on a mediocre-to-bad team, and then get the shot in the arm to become considered an elite player if/when the Knicks build a contender. Nash isn’t considered a strong defender (largely the opposite), and while bigmen tend to be judged more on their D maybe Lee is adequate on a strong all-around defensive team.
    (By the way, Nash was talking about Toronto after his contract expires… a 35 year old Nash probably isn’t the recipe for a ring, but maybe he rejoins D’Antoni in NY after things fall apart in Phoenix. Doesn’t he have a house in NYC? LeBron and Nash in 2010?)
    Even if I’m slightly dilusional, there are reasons to be excited about being a Knicks fan.

  38. Italian Stallion

    Ted,

    Regarding Lee’s reluctance to take jumpers last year….

    I read a quote late last season where he stated he was just starting to realize that he was hurting the team by not taking some of those wide open mid range jumpers. It was certainly his choice.

    Also, I thought some of his outside shooting stats were not really mid range jumpers in the 15 foot range – which is what he really needed.

  39. T-Mart

    “In the most bizarre moment of practice yesterday, Eddy Curry burst the exercise ball while sitting on it. Curry tumbled to the court, appearing to scrape his elbow.”

    In the post today, LOL, fat ass.

  40. Z-man

    <P
    And do you think Dave D. would have made the HOF without that mid career trade from Detroit to New York? I never saw him play either, but I wonder what would have happened if he hadn’t had the chance to showcase his talents alongside Walt Frazier, Willis Reed, Bill Bradley, etc….

    Absolutely he would have. I had just started following basketball in 1966. There were only a few teams in the league and the Knicks would play detroit 6 or 7 times a year. DeBusschere and Bing were the marquis players for Pistons and DeBusschere was portrayed by Marv Albert as a great all-around player, and in particular, a defensive monster. He routinely had great games against the Knicks. When I heard about the trade bringing him to the Knicks, I felt even more excited than I did when the Mets signed Gary Carter (You’re a Mets fan, right?); in other words, he was the missing piece to a championship team. He had hall-of-famer written all over him even before he got to the knicks.

    You could argue that his stats actually suffered by moving to such a well-balanced great team. None of the starters ever came close to winning the scoring crown during those years, not even the great Earl Monroe, because of how unselfishly the team played.

    I always thought of Dave D as being a very good shooter, and was surprised to see his low % stats. You never got the impression that he was anything but an all star on both ends by watching him. Many of his shots were relatively deep on the perimeter, 18-22 foot range, and he was pretty consistent. Not many perimeter shooters had high percentages back then (Bill Bradley is another good example). In any case, he was one of those players that the stats did not do justice to (even more than Lee), especially as a lock-down defender (he made the all-defensive team perennially from its inception in 1969, and probably would have been for many years before that)and a versatile, highly skilled offensive player. Lee has a ways to go before he reaches the stature in the league that DeBusschere had back then.

  41. mase

    saw this on another site, wanted to share:

    “Jake (New Haven, CT): Do you think Crawford will thrive in D’antoni’s system? What kind of numbers do you expect him to put up? If not Crawford, who do you think will fare best in the new system (Nate Rob…)?

    John Hollinger: I’m not sure why everyone is pointing to Crawford as a guy who’ll blow up under D’Antoni. Isiah played him 40-plus minutes and let him do whatever he wanted; that’s the ceiling folks, it’s not getting any better than that for him. Playing fast doesn’t mean guys with terrible shot selection automatically blossom. Actually, the guy I think will do best compared to last year is Randolph.”

  42. DS

    I saw that Hollinger quote. I hope he’s right – Zach has looked like a key cog in the offense in the tiny sample size that we’ve seen so far. More importantly, we all hope his trade value sky rockets.

    But in Hollinger’s own PER forecasts he doesn’t show Randolph improving from last year.

    2008-09 Projected PER: 18.03
    League Average Comparison: +3.03
    2007-08 PER: 18.04

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/hollinger/rankings?pos=-1&start=45

  43. Owen

    Zach Randolph has posted a 52% ts% in the first two games. So far to me he looks like the same kind of offensive cog he was last year.

    Re Dave D., again, I have no idea. Never saw him play, but the legendary defensive prowess of Dave Debusschere was frequently brought up in my household growing up, especially when Charles Oakley and Anthony Mason were on the floor. My parents actually went to the Willis Reed game just before they got engaged.

    I can see at least one strong similarity between Lee and Debusschere. Debusschere never played on a winning team in Detroit. They actually won 45 games the year after he left, which was the year Bob Lanier arrived.

    I know Debusschere was a great player. But you have to think it helped his reputation a lot that he got traded to a team where he got to play alongside Reed, who posted a 55% ts% in 69-70 when the Knicks won 60 games and an NBA title, and Walt Frazier, who posted ts%’s of 56%, 57.5%, 55.6%, 57.6%, and 53.4% during the Knicks glory years.

    I think if you put Lee alongside a modern day Willis Reed and Walt Frazier, he definitely might have a shot at the HOF. That would be a team that would win a lot of games.

  44. Italian Stallion

    are there any trade possibilities at all for curry????

    Would you trade you this big tub of lard given his contract?

  45. daaarn
    are there any trade possibilities at all for curry????

    Would you trade you this big tub of lard given his contract?

    or the fact that he has a heart ailment?

  46. daaarn

    i think we’re all but stuck with curry until his contract expires or a team wants to do a straight up salary dump in the future

  47. Jcon

    But the positives outweigh the negatives by a mile IMO. The ball movement, activity on OFF and D (activity doesn’t equal quality), and continued development of Lee, Nate, and Chandler.
    Plus most of the breakdowns on D were guys getting lost on screens not lack of energy.

  48. Captain Merlin

    How about Wilson Chandller going 5/6 from three? I never figured him to be that decent of an outside shooter–even in preseason play.

  49. Italian Stallion

    That was a disappointing game. It’s not so much that they lost. It’s that to me they looked like losers every step of the way. They kept making mistakes on key possessions after closing the gap! That’s an important intangible sign of the type of mental weakness that causes teams to lose a lot of close games. I think that’s one thing D’Antoni is trying to change, but it didn’t look good tonight. Same old Knicks.

    The defense was absolutely horrible. He also has to do something about that.

    At this point it’s pretty obvious to me that Chandler is better than Q Rich. He can do more things on offense and can really board for a SF/PF. He belongs in the starting lineup, if not now, then in a couple of months after he learns to control himself a little better. I think that’s the best sign so far for the long term. He’s a legitimately very good prospect and will get better as time passes.

    If we could only get to see some of Gallinari. Then we would really know if we have another serious long term prospect.

  50. jon abbey

    yeah, Chandler needs to be starting over Q, the sooner the better. they still have plenty of scoring/energy off the bench, and even more once Gallinari is healthy. make the move, D’Antoni.

  51. ray

    The good ting about Chandler is that hes so young and you can really see his growth. Q will get hurt soon enough and Wil Chand will be stepping in in now time? Danillo….where the hell is he? Is he paralyzed? Give me a break …get that kid on the court and lets see what he has got.

  52. SSoM

    Chandler’s the first big off the bench at the moment, that’s why he’s not starting. He can’t start until Jeffries comes back or Curry gets in shape, whichever comes first.

  53. Reebok1303

    “I’ve absolutely loved watching the first two preseason games and haven’t been this excited about the beginning of a Knicks season in a very long time.”
    Seriously– for your own mental health go back in the archives to all the excitement that was being posted about last October during preseason…
    Then remember how the regular season went from there…
    Then remember that the exact same lineup is back minus Fred Jones and that third string center who’s name escapes me. Has a new coach and a peripheral PG ever been worth a 20 game improvement in one year? Ever?
    Maybe.
    But probably not this year.

    Seriously, you quoted half a sentence from a three paragraph post painting me as an over the top optimist, when what I was really talking about are very realistic expectations. Honestly, none of the things I mentioned in my post are impossible, or even that improbable, based on how the team’s roster is currently situated and their most recent performances on the court.

    “If the franchise can achieve low to mid thirty’s for W’s, maybe a trade or two, resign Lee, and Wilson and Danilo get some significant experience, I don’t see how this could not be a good year.”

    First, if they reach 33 wins, ie. the low to mid thirties, and the number of victories I would be happy about personally, that isn’t a jump of 20 wins. I have no idea where you pulled that number from but I certainly didn’t mention it. Second, if the Knicks can ship out a player or two at the deadline for future assets that would make all Knicks fans happy and is the reason we were happy about Donnie being hired in the first place, right? Resigning Lee, especially if he can produce improved counting stats like pts and rebounds, should be an absolute priority right now based on what people will be prepared to offer him next summer. Plus, Wilson already looks like he is ready to step into the rotation and get some serious minutes, and I’m sure D’Antoni will not be against giving his guy Danilo a shot as soon as he is healthy.

    And finally, I wasn’t around here last year for the preseaon so I certainly can’t speak for anyone else on this board, but I do feel that if you enter a season with NO hope or enthusiasm then what is the point of being a fan? There isn’t a single thing wrong with getting excited about changes being made that you think will help your team, even if they turn out to backfire. I mean, we aren’t the one’s who are making the decisions anyway and our job is certainly not to stay objective, so if we are wrong then it doesn’t make a difference.

    That being said, I would love to hear everyone else’s opinions for what the Knicks need to achieve this year in order for them to have had a successful season.

  54. jon abbey

    Chandler’s the first big off the bench at the moment, that’s why he’s not starting. He can’t start until Jeffries comes back or Curry gets in shape, whichever comes first.

    they can use Gallinari there also, the interior D is going to be dreadful no matter what they do. but I guess that’s true, so hurry back, Danilo.

  55. daaarn

    hopefully Danilo feels good enough to see some action soon. then again, i’d rather see him take his time (even go in for some surgery now if it’s warranted), instead of trying to play thru pain.

  56. BigBlueAL

    I think its painfully obvious this team has to get rid of Marbury before the season starts. There is no way in the world he will last the entire season w/o becoming a distraction if he is going to continue to just play barely 20 minutes a game and go scoreless. Just part ways with him and be done with it, obviously with Nate and even Mardy Collins playing decent there really is no need for Steph.

    I would say the same thing for Curry, in fact with everyone clamoring for trading Zach its obvious now that Curry is the one who should go but that seems to be a tough trade to make.

  57. Owen

    Any comments on Lee’s play? 7 assists, that has to be a record for him, preseason or no. Brand seems to have been held in check…

    I would have liked to have seen Wilson Chanlder sinking 5-6 from 3…

  58. Ted Nelson

    Nice game from Randolph and a decent game for Chandler (I know he was 5-6 on 3s and had 10 boards, but he was also 2-9 from inside the arc with only 2 FTAs). Hope it’s a sign of things to come and they can keep it up.
    Lee consistantly getting minutes and touches is an encouraging sign, as is Crawford limiting his FGAs.

    At this point my scourn for inefficient scorers has turned to Nate Robinson, who I’ve been assuming would get it going but has been pretty dismal through 3 preseason games: 48 points on 45 FGAs… and like the rest of the team last night (besides Lee and Curry) he squandered a good shooting night by not getting to the line. While 21 points on 18 FGAs is hurting the Knicks the 21 points part probably looks good to a lot of teams with thin benches. Up for an extension and presumably one of the more tradable Knicks, I’m starting to wonder if they shouldn’t move him to a team desperate for backcourt depth/scoring.

    Philly giving most of their starters more minutes and winning demonstrates Jon Abbey’s point, but I’m still fairly encouraged. Brand and Igoudala were both pretty ineffective, and not every team has Andre Miller and Thaddeus Young to step up when their 2 top scorers have an off night. Of course, Dalembert also hurt the Knicks in limited minutes. It’s still a good sign that they kept their effort up and moved the ball after falling behind to a better team.

  59. jon abbey

    Owen, Lee looked solid although he had his hands full with Brand. some of those assists were very pretty, too bad you missed the game.

    Nate will be fine as soon as he figures out his place in this offense, he’s one of the least of our worries.

    Philly is probably one of the worst matchups in the league for NY right now, as they have both the athletes to run with us and the size inside to kill us.

  60. Italian Stallion

    Philly is probably one of the worst matchups in the league for NY right now, as they have both the athletes to run with us and the size inside to kill us.

    In other words, Philly has a really good team. ;-)

  61. joeyd

    I don’t know if I see Lee averaging mid teen rebounds playing a ton of minutes next to Randolph. I think 12 would be a best case scenario. And he almost definitely won’t make the all-star team. He won’t be scoring enough for most people, and they won’t be noticing how efficient he is. And he won’t be playing for a playoff team.
    Garnett and Brand are the top two power forwards in the East. But if Lee comes out this year and averages something like 17-12 with 60+ ts% he will at least make a case he is the third best. Bosh will probably win that argument though. That would leave him the fourth best power forward in the East this year. Okafor will be in that conversation also I guess if he is at full speed.
    Of course, I suppose people are going to judge him as a center, Other than Dwight Howard, I don’t know which Eastern conference center will post better stats than him (Bogut? Dalembert?). Perhaps he could sneak in that way.
    Lee doesn’t have the defensive impact of a real center though, so I don’t see that happening.
    Either way, it’s clear to me that barring injury Lee will be at least a top 50 player in the NFL by any statistical measure you care to pick, whether its adjusted +/-, PER, WP, etc.

    D’antoni has to coach the all star team for dlee to make it, if that happens that means we are in first place in the conference and we all would be just giddy at that point

  62. joeyd

    I think its painfully obvious this team has to get rid of Marbury before the season starts. There is no way in the world he will last the entire season w/o becoming a distraction if he is going to continue to just play barely 20 minutes a game and go scoreless. Just part ways with him and be done with it, obviously with Nate and even Mardy Collins playing decent there really is no need for Steph.
    I would say the same thing for Curry, in fact with everyone clamoring for trading Zach its obvious now that Curry is the one who should go but that seems to be a tough trade to make.

    al, its preseason, he is supposed to just play 20 mins per game, and when we trade curry and he lands on a team that gives him 15 shots per night he will avg 20 per game, he is arguably the most efficient big man scorer in the league. If he only jumped at an opponents shot once in awhile. He and dlee were very good together 2 years ago before isiah decieded to add zbo and blow the chemistry up.

  63. joeyd

    the need to go list

    3. zbo/curry , can only use one of these guys
    2. duhon, im just not a believer, would rather nate and mardy get the minutes
    1. q rich, i like him, but really, what does he do again, we needed him when we got him, but now he gets in the way of the young guys, would have rather kept balkman and let balkman, chandler and galinari play that spot. q rich doesnt hit open shots, doesnt help the defense, he is just useless. does anyone else see this?

  64. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Walsh has tried to move Randolph and/or Eddy Curry instead, but he isn’t having any luck. If we get to late January or February and Randolph and Curry are both on the roster, Walsh is going to have to include Lee to sweeten the package. That’s a steep price to pay for the mere chance to lure LeBron to New York. But if he caves and pays Lee, the Knicks are basically stuck with the same crappy team until 2011. I don’t think Walsh — or the Knicks’ long-suffering fan contingent — has that much patience.

    Anyone see this? If we have to continue to pay for Isiah’s mistakes by giving up our undisputed best player, I will jump ship.

  65. daaarn

    Trading Lee to get rid of Randolph or Curry would really suck. I mean, hey, I’ve been drinking the “maybe we can lure LeBron” Kool-Aid, but even I have limits (and despite my delusions, deep down I’m doubting we’ll get LeBron). I would rather keep Lee and suck till 2011 than lose him for (what I believe) a minimal chance at getting LeBron or cap space a year earlier.

  66. Mama Collins

    even Mardy Collins’ mom wouldn’t play him over Duhon.

    Oh that’s not true at all jon abbey. I would start my Mardy before that pointy nosed former blue devil. My Mardy can do it all. He could score 20 a night if they just let him take 40 shots. But my boy is a distributor, not like the chucker yall got from Chicago. Now you stop picking on my boy.

    And the rest of you, check out my link. Be a dear and join my son’s fan club. Mama is gonna make a sweet potato pie for the first person to join.

  67. mase

    “the need to go list

    3. zbo/curry , can only use one of these guys
    2. duhon, im just not a believer, would rather nate and mardy get the minutes
    1. q rich, i like him, but really, what does he do again, we needed him when we got him, but now he gets in the way of the young guys, would have rather kept balkman and let balkman, chandler and galinari play that spot. q rich doesnt hit open shots, doesnt help the defense, he is just useless. does anyone else see this?”

    where exactly do u expect them to go, noone wants them?
    this is a rebuilding year since its clear that d’antoni doesnt have the right players for his offense and Walsh cant turnover these unwanted contracts/players. It will be the 2009-2010 season before we can actually have the pieces in place, as a knick fan its a bummer.

  68. Captain Merlin

    I saw the same article, cock jowles, and was thoroughly dismayed. As part of the noted “long-suffering fan contigent” who supposedly don’t have the patience for what re-signing Lee would incur…well….I just don’t feel that way at all. If worst came to worst I would rather trade Zbo and a 2012 first rounder for the cap space than achieve the same amount by letting Lee go.

  69. joeyd

    Just curious, it seems like most of us knickerbloggers, agree that isiah sucks. But i would look to take the time to rate him as two distinctly different isiahs if i may.

    I feel like the tunnel isiah did well for us knick fans. the team he inherited was completely horribly, capped out, and supposedly the roster couldnt be turned over because of the contracts. But tunnel isiah turned it over and made the playoffs in his first year. You can all hat marbury now, but he made the knicks relevant again, he and keith van horn clicked that season.

    And then you have the draft picks, pick after pick after pick, tunnel isiah scored!! frye, lee, robinson, balkman, collins, chandler!! Isiah has set this team up with a future. His 2 biggest problems as gm was overkill, continuing to add veteran players instead of allowing the young guys to get the minutes. if you look at most of the young stars around the league, they were able to get minutes and develop. The second problem with tunnel isaih was coaching hires and fires and his deep seeded wanting to return to the bench as . . . . . . “bench isiah”

    I dont even have to go into the details on this one, i will say though, the worst coach i have ever seen!!!! he was horrible in indiana, and the way that ended, left the urge for him to prove himself. The countdown was on as soon as he become tunnel isiah, soon he would return to the bench.

    but i say all this because the man still deserves credit for what i think was a very good with player personnel. perfection in the front office is rare, but at the end of the day, we are much better now than when he got here. and fyi, he isnt fired!! and i think he is still involved, anyone with a draft record like his is useful

    so my grade

    tunnel isiah, B
    bench isaih, can we go lower than F ?

    by the way, keep him away from the ugly girls in the office

  70. joeyd

    even Mardy Collins’ mom wouldn’t play him over Duhon.

    jon, duhon is developed, mardy is not, would rather mardy take his lumps in the rotation than a rent a player with no upside. I dont think he is a better defender than mardy, his vision is lacking, his shooting is inconsistant. he has proved this, lets let mardy prove what is defencies are

  71. Thomas B.

    Are the Knicks right now a better team than the Wizards, which is short two starters-one of whom is their top scorer? Just wondering.
    ——-

    jon abbey has been talking about the below average Knick starters for some time. He claims that with the possible exception of Lee, every Knick starter is below average. Well 3 games into the pre-season we are starting to see support for jon’s position. Last night the starters posted a -60 combined. Saturday they managed a +3, and -41 in the opener. The reserves have yet to post a combined negative +/-. The starters’ average plus minus through three games is -32.6. That is not good. The reserves average + 27, and boast a higher plus minus than the reserves of the opposition. This would be great if the starters could play something close to even with the starters from the opposition. But they can’t, so we will likely lose a good number of close games. In fact,

    So what is the culprit? I think it is the complete lack of interior defense. Combine that with a starting five that lacks the firepower to make playing defense irrelevant (2006-07 Suns-who did have better defensive players than the Knicks btw). It is easier to score inside the paint than outside of it. If the Knicks can’t keep teams out of the paint, they will continue to lose games. We need better defense from the starting unit. While the ideal solution involves players that are not currently on the Knick roster, my suggestion for the current roster is to move Chandler into the starting lineup, and if Jeffries were healthy, make him a starter as well.

    I would like to see Chandler replace Richardson, and JJ replace Randolph. Why Randolph instead of Lee? Because Lee does not waste possessions with bad shots and over dribbling, the way Zach is prone to do. Becuase you lose a good deal of scoring with JJ on the floor, you need to counter balance that with more efficeint play and some semblence of interior defense.

  72. Italian Stallion

    joeyd,

    His draft picks are looking a little better given the improvement by Lee and the emergence of Chandler (Robinson was part of trade). But I can’t see how you can give him good grades for his handling of personnel. He should have allowed the bad contracts he inherited to expire or tried to move them for picks when possible. Instead, he kept thinking short term in his efforts to improve the team immediately. He overpaid for a bunch of players, took on some terrible contracts, traded good draft picks for mediocre players, and mismatched the talent badly.

    I’ve argued that trades also tell you something about a GM’s ability to evaluate talent, not just his draft picks. I still think that’s true to some degree because you are still weighing the relative talents of NBA players vs. potential draft picks. I’m willing to give him some benefit of the doubt in that area, but overall he was a failure as a GM and terrible failure as a coach.

  73. Italian Stallion

    Thomas,

    I didn’t think there was any debate regarding jon abbey’s opinion of the starters. I think it’s fairly obvious he is right.

    I like moving Chandler into the starting line up, but I think the Jeffries for Randolph move could cause some problems on offense that replace the problems with interior defense that “might” be solved. I agree with your view of Randolph, but if anything he has looked a little better this year. Plus, I think we HAVE to keep his trade value high so we can move him.

    Yes, the Knicks may be better than Washington because of all the injuries.

  74. Thomas B.

    tunnel isiah, B
    bench isaih, can we go lower than F ?

    I think you need to go even further by breaking tunnel Isiah into draft Isiah, free agent/trade Isiah, and management Isiah.

    Draft Isiah, probably a B thanks to great finds in Lee, Chandler, and Robinson. Frye started off okay but tapered out. I’m not sure we will ever know what we had in Balkman, well we know we had something ohter than Marcus Williams. Ariza was a nice 2nd round find too. No all-stars (yet) but no bombs (yet). He gets extra points for the non lottery finds of Chandler, Lee, and Robinson.

    Free agent/trade Isiah. D-. Would have given a F here but he squeaks by with the lowest possible failing grade due to some of the trades (Richardson and Rose) coming with draft picks that became two of our best young players. But I think outside of that, nothing worked out. We all regret the Curry and Randolph deals. We all knew the James signing was a huge mistake before he ever picked up a ball for us-has he done that yet? Jeffries has been much like James but with some hard luck injuries. At least he stays in shape. Marbury strapped the cap and lost us a pick. Curry did the same and cost us two picks.

    Manager Isiah. F He could not keep a coach on the bench for more than a year. He gave away draft picks like M&Ms on October 31. He keep eating more bad contracts. Trading for bad vets. He let Marbury run amok. He used the MLE like a toddler finding his Dad’s loading handgun. Worst of all he kept selling the nitwit Dolan that he could spend his way out of this mess. Sure, he came to NY with a poor salary outlook and rotten players, but he made it worst by not waiting it out.

    Had he not made the Marbury/Hardaway move, we would not have traded Hardaway for Francis. That means no Francis to send for Randolph. And Larry Brown might have stuck around since he would not have marbs to drive him nuts.

    Had he not made the Curry trade, we could have used the two lottery picks he gave up to Curry to improve the team enoung to make the Randolph trade.

    By keeping draft picks and developing young players, who could have complained? Rebuilding teams lose. But when you spend 121 million and have nothing to show for it?

    Anyway, a B, D-, and F average out to a D- for Tunnel Isiah. Add that D- to the F you gave him on the bench and we have pound for pound the worst executive/coach in the history of basketball. He even suplants the awfulness that was M.L. Carr in Boston. Think about this, while Isiah was screwing up the Knicks, Elgin Baylor won an executive of the year award. Elgin F*CKING Baylor. For years the poster child for GM longevity in the face of producing nothing. Yet Isiah made him look like Jerry Colangelo!!

  75. Thomas B.

    Thomas,
    I didn’t think there was any debate regarding jon abbey’s opinion of the starters. I think it’s fairly obvious he is right.
    I like moving Chandler into the starting line up, but I think the Jeffries for Randolph move could cause some problems on offense that replace the problems with interior defense that “might” be solved. I agree with your view of Randolph, but if anything he has looked a little better this year. Plus, I think we HAVE to keep his trade value high so we can move him.
    Yes, the Knicks may be better than Washington because of all the injuries.

    I actually did agree with jon on that, for the most part. My stance was whether the above average bench balances the below average starters. I think a 1-2 record says “No” the bench is not enough. I was sharing the stats to support our back and forth on the subject.

    Look, this is as close as I can get to giving jon props without going into shock.

  76. Thomas B.
    even Mardy Collins’ mom wouldn’t play him over Duhon.

    Oh that’s not true at all jon abbey. I would start my Mardy before that pointy nosed former blue devil. My Mardy can do it all. He could score 20 a night if they just let him take 40 shots. But my boy is a distributor, not like the chucker yall got from Chicago. Now you stop picking on my boy.
    And the rest of you, check out my link. Be a dear and join my son’s fan club. Mama is gonna make a sweet potato pie for the first person to join.

    Oh damn, the Mardy Collins fan club is still waiting for its first member. Oh that is sad.

  77. Italian Stallion

    I thought Mardy looked like a good backup prospect late in the season two years ago. Last year he started out with an injury and never really got going, but this year he looks a lot better again. I hope they keep him on the team and use him in spots. He has some good qualities. He’s big enough to guard some of the taller PGs and even some SFs out there. That’s something Robinson can’t do.

  78. Ben R

    I actually think Mardy has looked good so far this preseason. He has more confidence which I think will help the turnovers and has been attacking the basket, which makes up for his mediocre jumper.

    His stats through three games:

    30 mins 7-8 fgs 2-2 fts
    16 pts 4 rebs 3 asts 1 stl 2 tos

    I think he has a long way to go but seems to be playing with a confidence he did not have all of last year. If he can simply; limit his turnovers, make over 70% of his fts, and keep attacking the basket he should be a valuable player off the bench.

    Also if D’Antoni really favors talent over contract, age, etc, then Chandler should get the starting nod soon. I would actually prefer Mardy, Chandler and Gallinari getting all of Q’s minutes. He does not look good and last year he was horrendous.

    If Walsh does not see Lee’s value now and extend his contract he is an idiot. Lee is playing great and has been far and away our best player so far. He is our leading scorer, second leading rebounder, and has 10 assists in three games. His value should skyrocket this year and he will cost alot more next summer. Also extending him would put an end to all the Lee as sweetener rumors that are just plain dumb.

  79. Brian Cronin

    Regarding the “Lee as sweetener” rumors that Chad Ford is helping perpetuate, I am of two minds on it…

    1. Chad Ford foolishly thinks that it is a real possibility

    or

    2. Chad Ford is just repeating what other teams foolishly think the Knicks will do.

  80. Z-man

    On another note, both Philly and Toronto look very good. While the West still has the clear edge, I think the balance of power in the NBA is less lopsided than last year.

    Could Speights wind up being the steal of the draft? He was very impressive in both games.

    Dalembert’s offensive game looked better than I remember it. Are the Knicks just bringing out the best in everyone?

  81. nj hoop

    What really bothers me about this team is their total lack of commitment on the defensive end. Last night Philly players got whatever they wanted inside and out, shots were rarely contested and when the Knicks needed stops, they got none. I know it’s preseason, but bad habits are bad habits. As much as the Suns were a run and gun team, they still had guys who could play a little D, and a guy in the middle who would at least challenge shots. I think someone said it before, last night’s game may be a sign of what’s to come – try and outscore the other team, hoist up a ton of 3’s and fail to close out a tight game. That’s my less than optimistic take on the season to come.

  82. Owen

    The Lee as Sweetener thing isn’t going away. He is our only marketable asset. Anyone have insider? Apparently the inimitable Chad is “weighing the pros and cons of a deal with Dallas,” but I can’t click through…

    In college, Speights rated very highly on at least one statistical metric I know and love. And he looked good in both games against the Knicks.

    Chandler has looked good. I like his ability to rebound and was shocked to see him draining 3s on Knicks in 60. But I am definitely going to believe it when I see it concerning his shooting efficiency.

    The same goes for Mardy. When he does it over a reasonable sample in real NBA games, I will reassess.

  83. Brian Cronin

    Here ya go, Owen:

    Erick Dampier to New York for Eddy Curry

    Why the Mavs would do it: With DeSagana Diop back in Dallas, what the Mavs really need is another low-post scorer. Curry has the ability to deliver that, while Diop can deliver the defense.

    Why the Mavs wouldn’t do it: Mark Cuban used to be a spendaholic, but lately he’s tried to be more frugal. Curry has two more years left on his contract than Dampier.

    Why the Knicks would do it: Curry doesn’t fit into Mike D’Antoni’s up-tempo style and his contract is a burden. Dampier has a team option in the summer of 2010 so the Knicks could get his contract off the books and be further under the cap when they make a run at LeBron. The bigger bonus is that they probably wouldn’t have to include David Lee in this deal.

    Why the Knicks wouldn’t do it: They’d be paying Dampier for the next two years and don’t really need him.

    I think much less of Ford after seeing this trade scenario.

    For the Knicks, it actually makes sense, but the Mavs would never in a gajillion years make such a deal.

  84. Ted Nelson

    joeyd,

    I would not make that distinction. Getting swept in the first round doesn’t make you very relevant, and he traded KVH for Tim Thomas and Nazr Mohammed that first season… The team was pretty weak and capped out when he took it over, just as it was when he was “reassigned.” The opportunity cost of the Isiah years is huge.

  85. Ted Nelson

    Thomas/IS,

    If he plays better than Q, I certainly hope Chandler gets more minutes (whether he starts or not). I can’t stomach anymore playing bad vets ahead of better youngsters.

    I don’t know if Jeffries is the answer to the interior D problem, but I guess he’s worth a try. It’s not like he’s going to play 48 mpg, Randolph will still get his run. Randolph had two of his most efficient years early in his career when he was fighting for playing time. Some incentive might light a fire in him.

    nj hoop,

    I think it is more or less a sign of things to come, but if that’s the case at least they’ll be in games… At the same time they might be able to outscore enough bad teams to contend for the 8 seed, if not at least they haven’t given away their 09 pick.
    I am hoping for some in-season improvement, as players learn from D’Antoni and he finds his rotation. Also, Toronto and Philly potentially have the 2 deepest/most well-balanced frontcourts in the East. Against teams with a replacement level player or two in the frontcourt rotation, Lee/Randolph might be able to score enough to make up for their shortcomings.

  86. Ted Nelson

    Brian,

    It’s a stretch to think that anyone would trade more than junk for Curry (if that), but if anyone I could see Dallas.
    First, I’m a little confused by Ford’s statement, “lately he’s tried to be more frugal. Curry has two more years left on his contract than Dampier.” In fact, according to hoopshype the opposite is potentially true: Curry can opt-out after this season or next season while Dampier is locked in for more money and 3 seasons. (Making him unattractive for the 2010 plan, but there’s probably a team out there besides the Knicks desperate for an interior defender.)
    Curry is also 7 years younger than Dampier. I doubt they like Curry, but if they do the deal makes a potentially fading team younger: Dampier’s 35 and making $13 mill in 2010/11.
    Perhaps most importantly, this is Mark Cuban and Donnie Nelson we’re talking about. These guys role the dice. Juwan Howard? done. Juwan Howard for 1/2 the Nuggets? done. Toine and Tawn? done. Give Dampier this huge contract? done. Gerald Green? done. They’ve mellowed out, but if they have a rough start and Curry works his way into the rotation… maybe they go back to their old ways. It’s still not likely, but I wouldn’t say out of the realm of possibilities.

    So, it’s almost definitely a wild rumor invented by Chad Ford. But like the Knicks being over .500, any thing’s possible in the preseason. If they moved Dampier somewhere else for a wing, I’d consider Curry-Stackhouse to advance towards the 2010 goal.

  87. jon abbey

    “What really bothers me about this team is their total lack of commitment on the defensive end. ”

    this isn’t going to change much, so get used to it. we don’t have the personnel to play much D, and for all the gibberish D’Antoni spouts about his Suns teams playing underrated D, they mostly really didn’t.

  88. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger)

    this isn’t going to change much, so get used to it. we don’t have the personnel to play much D, and for all the gibberish D’Antoni spouts about his Suns teams playing underrated D, they mostly really didn’t.

    D’Antoni’s Suns finished between 13-17th in each of his seasons. Considering they were the best offensive team in that span, and pundits said they played no defense, I’d say that’s underrated D. To put that in perspective for Knick fans, New York didn’t finish above 25th in defense during that same span.

  89. Owen

    Curry for Dampier huh?

    That would be a nice trade for the Knicks if you leave aside salary cap considerations. Dampier can play defense and rebound at least. A frontcourt of Lee, Randolph, and Dampier would be decent…

  90. Italian Stallion

    Here ya go, Owen:

    Erick Dampier to New York for Eddy Curry
    Why the Mavs would do it: With DeSagana Diop back in Dallas, what the Mavs really need is another low-post scorer. Curry has the ability to deliver that, while Diop can deliver the defense.
    Why the Mavs wouldn’t do it: Mark Cuban used to be a spendaholic, but lately he’s tried to be more frugal. Curry has two more years left on his contract than Dampier.
    Why the Knicks would do it: Curry doesn’t fit into Mike D’Antoni’s up-tempo style and his contract is a burden. Dampier has a team option in the summer of 2010 so the Knicks could get his contract off the books and be further under the cap when they make a run at LeBron. The bigger bonus is that they probably wouldn’t have to include David Lee in this deal.
    Why the Knicks wouldn’t do it: They’d be paying Dampier for the next two years and don’t really need him.

    I think much less of Ford after seeing this trade scenario.
    For the Knicks, it actually makes sense, but the Mavs would never in a gajillion years make such a deal.

    I think there’s little chance of this deal happening, but I have read very positive comments from Cuban about Curry on a couple of occasions. He actually likes him. Though that was awhile ago.

  91. mase

    how about Dampier for Jeffries and Jerome James, am i getting greedy?
    gives us 2 roster spots and a defensive big plus shorter contracts!
    gives them nothing!

  92. Brian Cronin

    Holy crap, Ted, you’re right.

    I apparently should not have trusted Chad Ford to get something as simple as what each player’s contract entailed correctly.

    Yeah, this trade is way more reasonable from Dallas’ end now knowing that Ford completely botched the whole “Dallas has a team option on Dampier in 2010.” That’s the only thing making him attractive for the Knicks, the fact that he would not be on the books for 2010-2011, but Ford was wrong, the Mavs do not have a team option for Dampier – it’s guaranteed.

    That really irks me that Ford got something like that wrong (unless, of course, all the other sites out there that list player salaries got it wrong and Ford, somehow, is correct – in which case, my apologies).

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