Life Without Marbury

And you thought the Knicks’ season couldn’t get any worse? The Knicks 6 game win streak ended when the hapless Raptors crushed them by 29 points on Sunday. Then New York lost to the Minnesota Timberwolves. At home. On Martin Luther King Day. Although the loss was their 22nd of the season, the worst aspect of it was the injury Stephon Marbury suffered. The early reports are that Stephon will likely miss the next 5 games due to a shoulder injury. While Marbury has been a lightning rod to those looking for an individual player to blame the Knicks recent woes on, it’s indisputable that he’s the best player on the team. Nate Robinson and Jamal Crawford will try to fill the hole left by Marbury, but their absence will leave another hole for someone else to fill. To be successful in this stretch, the Knicks will need another guard to step up & produce.

Quentin Richardson

Richardson showed some life in the Knicks last game, but on the season he’s been as dependable as a newborn puppy dog on a white couch. Injuries have kept Quentin out of the preseason, and his back has kept him out of a handful of games this year. Q is shooting an appalling 41% eFG%, way below his 48% career mark. He’s scoring at a rate of 11.5pts/40min, which places him behind granite statue Jerome James & troubled child Qyntel Woods. With Marbury out and the trade deadline a month away, now would be an ideal time for Richardson to snap out of his season long coma.

Qyntel Woods

At one point in his career, Woods was considered a decent prospect. NBADraft.Net heaped praise upon praise on Qyntel comparing him favorably to Tracy McGrady. Meanwhile the USAToday said he was good enough to possibly go 3rd overall in the 2002 draft. Woods played reasonably well his first year in Portland, posting a 11.2 PER as a 21 year old rookie. However that was the high point in his career. Portland released him after a turbulent sophomore season, and Miami sent him packing after a 3 game tryout. While Woods’ physical ability is intriguing, he’s regressed since his first year and time is running out on the 24 year old. It isn’t often that players get more than 3 chances to make it in this league, and Woods could extend his NBA life with a productive 5 games.

Penny Hardaway

Hardaway has been on the disabled list since December with an injured knee, which is the NBA’s version of “nudge-nudge, wink-wink, say no more!” If Penny is interested in rejoining the NBA as a player, now might be a good time to do so. Unlike the two mentioned above, Hardaway has had experience running the point, which could aid the Knicks since Robinson is more of a shooting guard. Penny can still play some defense on the perimeter & has good court vision with the ball. Unfortunately he suffers from Lavor Postell‘s syndrome: he can’t shoot a lick & doesn’t know it. Penny’s career eFG% as a Knick is 44.6%, which is 10 points lower than his heyday in Orlando. If Hardaway is given the opportunity, he should do a December 30th Scott Skiles impersonation & set up his teammates as much as possible.

Trevor Ariza

Although more of a small forward, Ariza is agile enough to play shooting guard as well. Last year he was the lone bright spot on the team, but this year he’s been the forgotten man in Larry Brown’s rotation. His problem is simple, he’s a liability on offense. According to 82games, Ariza is connecting on only 26% of his jump shots. While Brown has no problem putting players on the court out of position (see Lee, David – starting small forward) he doesn’t like having a black hole on offense. Remember this is the same coach who took Ben “my offensive game should be limited to tip ins and alley oops” Wallace, and encouraged him to shoot more. Ariza becomes the dark horse candidate to contribute more, because his main focus is defense and the Knicks will need more offense with Marbury out.

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Mike Kurylo

Mike Kurylo is the founder and editor of His book on the 2012 Knicks, "We’ll Always Have Linsanity," is on sale now. Follow him on twitter (@KnickerBlogger).

79 thoughts to “Life Without Marbury”

  1. This injury couldn’t have come at a worse time. The kids have definitely hit “the wall,” and it was readily apparent in the team’s performance on the boards against a weak-rebounding Minnesota team. The wheels were spinning but guys weren’t getting very far.

    One thing Brown might consider, beyond juggling the lineup yet again, is slowing the pace just a bit. The Knicks are currently running the 8th quickest pace (only about 4 per game possessions behind league leading Phoenix).

    Now is an especially good time to begin shifting the offensive focus away from the guards and run the offense inside out. Eddy Curry’s improving conditioning coupled with David Lee’s emergence as the team’s best low post feeder (truly a lost art) and top per minute offensive rebounder might be the way to go. Without Marbury I worry about the team’s ball handling and continuity. (Lost in the current losing streak is the fact that the Knicks have become less turnover prone recently; largely based on Marbury’s improved play.)

  2. Of course, if the defense doesn’t improve then none of this other stuff matters.

    Defense: I’m definitely in favor of it.

  3. I attended the Raptors/Knicks game in Toronto last Sunday and Marbury was nothing short of outstanding (13 assists and one turnover, 18 points, and 100% from the line) It was the Knicks abysmal D, which let guys like Calderon penetrate at will and Rose shoot uncontested mid-range jumpers, that put the game out of reach. While we will have to find an offensive replacement for Marbury, we have other guys who can score. The offensive void is less of an issue than improving our defense, as opponents have been able to penetrate at will or use a simple pick and roll to get an open shot. Another worrysome problem in Marbury’s absence is that whoever fills in for him will undoubtedly have a higher turnover rate, on a team that is already second in the league in turnovers at 16.6 per game (Celtics are #1)

    BTW KB, it was a six-game win streak, and
    my word was “Stark”…that and the upcoming game vs. Chicago made me think of THE DUNK!!!

  4. Mr Crockett – can you elaborate on what a “low post feeder” is? I have something in mind, but I’m not quite sure.

    Also, KB – I think next to the Eric Neel and Kevin Pelton quotes, you should have one that says:

    “Right after I’m done with Bill Simmons, I’m gonna kick that Knickerblogger’s ass!”
    –Isiah Thomas


    I suspect we’ve already contacted Atkins and I wouldn’t be shocked to see him playing in the Detroit game. He’d hit the ground running for Larry.

    If anything, this injury is the moment for Quentin Richardson to turn around a disappointing season. Or for Qyntel Woods to turn around a disappointing career. I’m pretty sure they’ll get the minutes…

    and my word to post was “vulva”. makes me think of the starks dunk, too

  6. Missed last night’s game, saw the highlights, nice clutch 3 from JC, looked like Ariza gave Gordon a bit too much space on that last shot though…

    Anyway it looks like to me that we aren’t really getting it done in the fourth. If you look at:

    it shows that we a fourth in the league for blowing fourth-quarter leads with 37%. On the other hand we only have managed to overcome a deficit in 22% of the time. That’s slightly misleading in that I’m sure we have been down more times, and by more points, at the end of the third that we have been ahead.

    At any rate, it is a bit worrying, especially when you look at teams like the Nets, who have yet to blow a fourth quarter lead. I guess again it comes down again to D, so hopefully we can maybe make a trade for a defensive minded player on the perimeter especially, because basically we are getting torched there.

  7. I want to go on record and say Trevor Ariza didnt lose that game for us it was LB(the man you have to love to hate) and his overinflated ego who made the defensive switch on Gordon that wound up costing us the game…He didnt use Ariza at the end of regulation wy then?
    also Craw just hit a big shot and wasn’t going to let us lose the game. That decision was suspect by LB and now we’re in detroit without Marbury.

  8. furthermore, we missed a chance for a 2nd OT against a team that we needed to beat more than any other team, ImHO.

  9. Mr Crockett – can you elaborate on what a ?low post feeder? is? I have something in mind, but I?m not quite sure.

    * that’s one of those things that i don’t think you can adequately capture with stats. (perhaps you could chart contested/fumbled post entries.) some guys just have a knack of entering the ball into the post at the right time, at the right angle, with the right amount of zip or touch.

    i think lee does it exceptionally well. marbury, on the other hand, does not. think back to the phoenix game (the one in early december on espn). marbury and crawford both pounded the ball into the floor and without moving themselves to create good entry angles. consequently, our size advantage was created.

  10. “consequently, our size advantage was created.”

    i should have said: consequently, our size advantage was *negated*

  11. OK, so you mean someone who feeds *into* the low post, not someone who feeds *from* the low post. That’s what I wanted to clarify.

    In that case, is the implication that Lee, a SF/PF, is feeding from the high post or the wing?

  12. ariza definitely gave too much space on gordon’s jumper. can’t really get a handle on why he’s not a great defender — he has all the physical tools.

    i’m thinking that one prerequisite for being a great defender is having a feel for the game, an understanding of clock and score . . . some intangible quality. whatever it is, ariza doesn’t have it. i wonder if it’s teachable. i remember watching him try to guard ray allen (not an easy task for anyone) during the seattle game, and he would defend well for 23 seconds, and then drop his hands and allen would raise up over him for a jumper as the shot clock expired; or he’d play the drive instead of the jumper, which is a death sentence when you’re guarding ray allen. not sure what it is, but i think that may be a reason why LB has him inactive much of the time recently. he’s just not improving on the defensive end, and he’s a liability on offense.

    it’s too bad, because they guy has a set of tools that could be really useful. but, he’s not actualizing them.

  13. Mase who would you put out there to guard Ben Gordon – Nate, Ariza, or Richardson?

    Hindsight is 20/20. You just have to give it to the Bulls who played a great game.

  14. Does anyone think the Knicks have a chance tonight against the Pistons?

    With AD potentially sitting out the contest and Marbury a definitie no-go, I think it’ll be extremely difficult. Plus, Detroit is absolutely rolling lately.

    This is a link to Doing Lines

  15. I have one serious question…Is there a worse NBA Defensive player than Jamal Crawford. Gordon goes off for 36 and the game winner against “J.C. Bricks” and looks like he never broke a sweat.

    STARKS…..we miss you sooooooooooooooooo much.

  16. KB,

    “Mase who would you put out there to guard Ben Gordon – Nate, Ariza, or Richardson?”

    Why those three? where’s Crawford?
    He’s bigger, longer and as quick as Gordon but the main reason is that he hit the 3 to put us there so its his game to lose. Also, offense sparks defense for him but thats Larry Brown b-ball.

    “Hindsight is 20/20. You just have to give it to the Bulls who played a great game. ”

    I agree they played a great game but so did we.
    I think we were out coached in the end.

  17. Another interesting question is how will the Knicks fair and who’ll step up in AD’s absence? He’s played well at times this season, but the Knicks are over 19 points better when he’s on the bench. I’m interested to see if they’re a better team without him or not. After Detroit tonight we’re looking at four very winnable games.

    Steve: Ariza isn’t an amazing defender, but he’s also 20 years old. Have some patience.
    Mase: Take it easy on LB. I think he’s proven that he knows a thing or two about how to win basketball games.

  18. using that +/- data can be tricky, especially with a team like NYK, which has had so many different combinations, guys coming and going with injuries, periods of success and periods of poor play.

    seems like AD has been playing better of late, and Frye has struggled to retain the form he showed early. might be a case of a rookie hitting that wall around 35-40 games. it’s pretty common — guys never play more than that number of games in a year in high school and college, and when they hit the pros, they get tired around this point in the season. luckilyi, it doesn’t appear to be affecting nate, who is a ridiculous freak athlete, or lee, who didn’t see minutes early in the season.

    let’s hope frye gets his second wind, fast! i’m optimistic that NYK will get back on the winning path when steph gets back next week vs. sacto. i’m still holding out hopes for 38 or 39 wins and a playoff thrashing at the hands of the detroit.

  19. Steve:
    A) Tricky doesn?t mean it can?t be analyzed.
    B) I wasn?t “using” or analyzing the data to draw any conclusions, mearely pointing out a fact.

  20. hey ted,

    sorry bout that — i wasn’t trying to invalide your post. i just wanted to add to the dialogue. i’m as curious as you about how the team will respond without AD.

  21. “i wasn?t trying to invalide your post.”

    correction: “i wasn?t trying to invalidate your post.”

  22. i’m not going to speak for anyone, but i’m not sure what other conclusion can be made from the current situation other than this: the knicks suck big time without marbury.

  23. Yeah, Steph is turning into the new Lennox Lewis: everybody thinks they suck until they’re gone, and then the rest of the bums show up…

    And to think I was getting all excited about the 6 game winning streak. Not to say that they aren’t the same team when they’re losing as when they’re winning or anything, but they’ve definitely lost any momentum/confidence that they might have built up. I did myself a favor and tuned out the last 3 games.

    It’s funny how he’s getting some good press now that he’s injured, but not so much when he was playing so well.

  24. Don’t judge Steph too quickly. He’s always had heart — he’s always wanted to win, badly — he’s just never found the soul.

    Think about how stupid it would seem to look to Allen Iverson to be the heart and soul of Philly back in, say, 1997. Or, Chauncey Billups as the heart and soul of *anybody* five years ago. LB has a way of teaching these guys how to win. I think Steph may have finally found his mentor.

    Fear not, Knicks Nation. Marbury will be back Wednesday, NYK will play well, and they’ll start a new winning streak. (Although that home game vs. Kobe Bryant could get ugly) Let’s hope they can keep him under 100!)

  25. If Steph is still injured vs. the Lakers, Kobe might drop 150. The Knicks perimeter D has been looking worse than the Raptors with Steph out.

    I know this is a Knicks blog and all, but that 81 point game was just insane. I’ve been critical of Kobe in the past (mostly for his asinine behavior off the court), but I’m converted…I gotta say I’m a fan now. Maybe people will give him the respect he deserves.

    I’ve never bought the whole “selfish player” routine. Not all teams are capable of playing like the Spurs or the Pistons…teams that more or less SUCK, like the Lakers and the Knicks. When your team is down and playing crappy, that’s the time to let your star player take over; hopefully LB has realized through Steph’s absence that he needs to give Steph at least 20+ shots a night for the Knicks to win.

  26. Yeah, no doubt about it, Kobe is pretty amazing. I guess its been known for a while but people are very critical of him as a player basically because they don’t like him as a person. Fair enough, but I think over the last few seasons he has shown himself to be the most clutch player in the game, I mean he has the ability to make long threes to win the game, which is something even Jordan wasn’t capable of. I think right now we have to start talking about him as the best player in the league, almost without doubt.

    Another ring or two and we could be talking about him as the best ever.

  27. totally disagree. no way kobe is better than mike. big difference between putting the ball in the bucket and winning. no way any winning player would ever get into a powerplay and force his team to jettison a teammate like shaq.

    “Another ring or two and we could be talking about him as the best ever.” we won’t ever have to worry about this question, because kobe’s not winning any more rings. he makes his teammates worse, and guys — no matter how good their individual skills — can’t win titles by themselves.

    when kobe drops 50 on a good defense team in a playoff game (like mike used to do with unfortunate regularity against the knicks, all the while keeping teammates in the flow of the game), then maybe he will have accomplished something.

  28. ESPN is reporting the Artest for Peja swap is done. I thought they couldn’t be traded straight up because of salary. No word on who else, if anyone, is moving.

  29. holy crap. here’s the new latest from espn:

    Artest Trade To Kings Off

    Ron Artest’s saga in Indiana continues on. The Pacers tried to trade Artest to the Kings for Peja Stojakovic, but ESPN’s Jim Gray reports the deal is off because Artest turned it down.

  30. “totally disagree. no way kobe is better than mike.”

    Well I wasn’t saying he is better than Mike yet at all. He certainly has the potential though and I don’t believe he is any more selfish than Mike. For instance MJ took 28 shots per game in 86-87 when he didn’t have decent teammates, just like Kobe now. Do you think Kobe would take so many shots if he had say Artest (like MJ’s Pippen) and other decent role players? I don’t think so. Basically he is carrying his team to the playoffs, and that 81 was scored in a game where his team was down by quite a bit at halftime. Not too mention that he’s only 27, by which time MJ had only 1 ring.

    As for the whole Shaq thing, a big part of it was that LA didn’t want to be burdened with the killer contract Shaw was demanding…look at him in Miami now.

    I suspect that in the years to come a whole lot of people are going to be changing their minds about Kobe and the Shaq trade also.

  31. Oh, if you’re letting my comments get through, then I’ll say this: I understand the offense many of you take to my comments. As a fan, sometimes we defend our team and hope for the best even against logic. That being said, come on now… let’s get serious.

  32. And for the talk that Kobe is better than Mike… let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. First he’s gotta be better than Duncan, James, etc. One big game does not a career make and we’re talking about a guy who chose to be a one man gang for a .500 team instead of winning titles. Same thing always bothered me about Marbury. I never could respect these guys as players once I saw they only wanted to win on their terms as the “star.” Any guys who can’t play with Shaq or KG should be dragged outside and shot, not lauded as great individuals on terrible teams.

  33. Who would you most want to have with the ball in their hands with the game on the line? Duncan, maybe, James, no way, Kobe, hell yeah. Duncan has Manu, Parker, Bowen, Finley etc, James (the Cavs record is comparable to the Lakers) has (injured) Hughes, Ilgauskas, etc. Kobe only has Odom, who is mediocre anyway.

    Imagine if the Lakers had Artest and a decent rebounder – they’d be straight-up reminiscent of the Bulls – I think they’d be challenging in the west for sure.

    Even Steve Kerr said yesterday that Kobe is the best in the league, the Lakers are playoff-bound but his supporting cast is nowhere near as good as MJ’s. I’m still not saying he’s better than MJ, but if anyone today can be mentioned in the same breath, its him.

    Who’s to say that Shaq is such a great guy anyway? He has a much nicer public persona, but its hard to tell otherwise. Shaq getting traded was more about the ownership than Kobe.

  34. As for the Knicks, I think we need to make a move fast. What I can’t really understand is, especially whilst Marbury has been out, is how come we can’t get Curry the ball more? Is it his positioning? Poor entry passes? I don’t know for sure but you’d think they’d look to dumping it into him every time.

  35. Not to mention how according to Vecsey we declined Ratliff & Patterson for Penny – it shows the bad press about money etc has got to the ownership. Patterson would fill the vacuum at the 3 and provide D on the perimeter, whilst Ratliff would provide some D inside.

    I know each of those players has 2 years as opposed to Penny’s 1, but it seemds like a decent deal to me…much better than if we end up with Rose.

  36. Kerr had it right the first time. What is wrong with people that their opinions change sooo drasticaly from day to day??? So if Nowitzki scores 100 tomorrow does that means he gets to be MVP?

    Let’s put it this way, you could out any group of players with Tim Duncan and his team would never miss the playoffs as Kobe’s did last year, or be swimming around .500 even as the Lakers are this year. The first title team Duncan won with was nothing outstandng. A limited Robinson, a serviceable Elliot, and nothing. The presence Duncan brings on defense is enormous and he also has a huge impact on the glass. This is not even a worthy conversation. I also wouldn’t say the Lakers have that much less talent than the Cavs and the Cavs have a better record than the Lakers. If Kobe were clearly the MVP/best player in the NBA, this would be more clearly reflected in his teams’ perfromance.

    I don’t care if Shaq is nice or not… I’m not concerned about personalities. My problem is with any player that would rather score 81 points and be around .500 than put his ego aside, play second fiddle, and win titles. That’s the true mark of a loser.

  37. Nowitzki, well if he scores 100 I think everyone would have to consider it, but he didn’t did he? And he’s not going to, either. As for Duncan having nothing, A “limited” Robinson is a 15/10 player with 2.4 bpg! I wish we had some “limited” players like that! Not to mention that having 2 big men of that quality is extremely rare and imposing, both defensively and offensively.

    Also, the point about personalities is important, as probably the main reason people don’t rate Kobe as highly as they should is because of his aloof, arrogant persona. This has a huge bearing on people’s perception of him. When Kobe was playing alongside GP, Malone & O’Neal he averaged nearly 10 less shots per game than he does now – showing he is not as selfish as is made out. Plus for a “loser”, he alread has 3 rings – which you can’t simply put down to O’Neal – remember O’Neal never won anything without Kobe either.

    To put it simply, if he had Pippen, Rodman, Kukoc and Ron Harper (who was a 20ppg scorer before he went to the Bulls) circa 1996 alongside him, the Lakers would certainly be the best side in the West and would definitely challenge the Pistons.

    Love him or hate him, selfish or not, Kobe is simply the most versatile scorer, the most clutch player and simply the best player in the league. No one else could do what he did the other night.

  38. Wow, it’s amazing no one was saying this until after one game where he scored a ton of points against the worst team in the league (besides the Knicks that is). Does one regular season game against the Raptors mean that much? Everybody please, let’s keep some perspective here.

    I don’t care about any of these guys personalities. My only judgement is on them as players as it pertains to winning. And I will reiterate: My problem is with any player that would rather score 81 points and be around .500 than put his ego aside, play second fiddle, and win titles. That?s the true mark of a loser. I can never respect a player like that, and I think if you’re looking at what the guys have done apart, Shaq ALWAYS wins. Kobe, in a year and a half on his own (as well as when Shaq was hurt with the Lakers) has never shown that kind of ability to carry a team.

    I think any reasonable person who hasn’t gotten totally swept up in the “moment” realizes Duncan is a far superior player and to compare Kobe to Jordan is like saying Oasis is as good as the Beatles after their first album.

  39. Well, I still didn’t say he was as good.

    3 rings is a start though and there’s a long way to go in his career.

    Anytime someone steps up and drops 81 you have to pay attention, as Vince Carter said it “doesnt matter, summer league, pickup game, PlayStation, thats a lot of points”.

    In that game LA was down by more than 10 and the game was only decided late in the 4th, so its not like he didn’t care about winning.

    I think one thing you have to say about Kobe is that he is dedicated to winning, I’m sure all his teammates would attest to that – even if he lacks faith in those teammates.

  40. Oh yeah, Shaq had Dwyane Wade, a top 10 player alongside him.

    Do think LA would trade Shaq for Kobe right now? No way.

  41. The MVP of the league right now has to be Nash, not Kobe, Shaq, Nowitzki, Wade, or any of those guys.

    It took me a long time to come around, but to me an MVP has got to be more than piling up points. If so, Alex English would have a ton of MVP awards! Nash makes mediocre players better, which is a hard thing to do. Boris Diaw? Raja Bell? Marion is solid, but not a superstar. The Suns are a tough tough team, and if Nash ever goes down with an ACL, that team would be a train wreck.

    I don’t like Nash, but damn if he’s not the MVP of the league right now.

  42. I understand that this isn’t what they mean, but sometimes i like to think about the MVP literally. What player is the most valuable to their team in this league? The guy who, if injured, would cause the entire squad to tank? Marbury?
    Say what you want about the man, but the Knicks have really looked miserable without him. The ball movement is horrible, the shot selection is worse, and for some reason the defense is gone. Kobe is probably a better candidate, come to think of it. McGrady maybe.

  43. Nash is overrated: top player, great vision, great passing, great shooter, yes, but woeful in defence. If Kidd was never MVP, why should Nash be? Kidd at his peak was as good as a distributor, far better defensively, an amazing rebounder for his position ans whilst not as good a shooter he could make key buckets. I honestly think everyone is so happy to see a white North American play well so they overrate him. Basically he’s like Eminem, very skilful, but more popular than he would be were he black.

    As for Marion for only being solid, he is far more than that…if 21 points, 12 rebounds, 2 blocks, 2 steals isnt amazing I don’t know what is. Marion is probably the most underrated player in the league – and his stats and play have been killer since before Nash. Kurt Thomas is good, Diaw has been a revelation and Bell is solid. For sure Nash is a top player, but MVP? No way. A team with 2 all-stars should have an equivalent record to the Suns right now.

    As for last season’s “amazing” turnaround, remember Amare was injured most of the season before, so last year they basically got Amare, Q & Nash, but Nash basically got all the credit. Not to mention the suns were pretty good the year before that in Amare’s rookie year, with Marbury as the point the Suns only got knocked out of the playoffs by eventual champs the Spurs, 4-2.

    Not to hate on Nash, but if you took Kobe away from the Lakers, they probably would struggle to win a game. If you took Nash away from the Suns, they would still win some games.

  44. You have to keep in mind that only Jordan won with out a true center.

    Bill Cartwright? Bill Wennington? Luc Longley?

    Kobe had Shaq.

    No one has won with out a dominating big man. Jordan had Pippen that is a fact, but how good was Pippen once Jordan was no longer around? He never did get over the hump right? Even on a very talented Blazer team and a Bulls team that was within a call of getting past the Knicks.

    The truth is that Jordan revolutionized the game because it took the concept of building your team around a big man away. Gone were the days of Kareem, Olajuwon, Ewing and a bunch of shooters and slashers. Now you had the triangle offense that gave everyone the ball and your center was reduced to passing the ball out of the post.

    So when and if Kobe wins with out a big man in the middle then I will give him respect. Until then let him hoist is 30+ shots and lead the league in scoring. He won’t be getting a ring.

  45. Good point; I have to agree Kobe would have to win without a dominant big man to be considered is Jordan’s league. Don’t discount Dennis Rodman or Horace Grant though – both were excellent rebounders and perfect role players for the Bulls.

    TO know how good Pippen was though, all you need to do is look at the 93-94 season where, without MJ, the Bulls won 55 games, he averaged 22ppg, 9rpg, 3 steals and 5.6 apg! The Bulls nearly beat the Knicks in the playoffs too, and remember we came within a couple of points of the championship that year.

    Give Kobe a rebounder like Rodman/Grant and a offensive/defensive/rebounder/point forward like Pippen (there is none however, and Odom is quite a few notches below Pippen) and the Lakers would be one of the top teams, if not #1.

  46. anybody have any idea why LB yanked david lee, not only from the starting lineup but also from the rotation?

    DNP – coach’s decision.

    the only thing i was able to read from the knicks terrible beat writers (who continuously miss important subplots and sometimes the real story) is a partial quote from LB about how “the veterans are playing better.”

  47. young T,
    I respect your comments but the Lakers dont have 2 allstars on their team?

    In fact, one can argue that you can’t build a team around Kobe for the reason that he can’t share the spotlight hence the .500 record in a so-so division. There is no championship ring on the horizon different than Nash and Billups(I realize I left out saying that Billups is definately a strong candidate as well).
    As for the Eminem reference about being more popular than he ‘should be’ cuz he’s white, I ask who are you to decide who should and should not be popular?

    How long before Lamar wants out and realizes his potential somewhere else?

    Im not a Kobe hater because he is the best show in town; he’s not getting the MVP vote from me he’s the scoring champ IMHO.

    Kidd should’ve won at least one MVP already, agreed.

    Marion is more than solid also agreed but much better with Nash, remember when Nash was out hurt?

  48. yeah, i think it’s ironic that Kobe is getting credit for the things he’s able to do w/o a supporting cast when he (at least in part) is the reason that he doesn’t have a star to play with.

  49. prediction: the trading deadline passes, and the knicks don’t take on any more big salary (i.e. jalen rose). in the offseason, dolan sends zeke packing and starts shopping for a new GM who will get rid of marbury.

    i remember dolan shipping off sprewell because he wanted to clean up the roster and acquire “character” guys. NYK ended up with nice guys like scott layden, michael doleac, clarence weatherspoon, and howard eisley.

    i suspect he won’t put up with this sexual harrassment business, and will want to clear out what appears to be a pretty toxic environment. (all the losing isn’t helping zeke either.)

  50. Mase, the Eminem reference is not a slight on Nash or fans or anything, it just is what it is. I mean, most fans and sportswriters are of white, Anglo-saxon descent, so if a white, anglo-saxon player is a high-quality player, which Nash is, then its likely he’s gonna be real popular. Its not a racist thing or anything, its pretty natural in fact for people to support one of their own, like the Chinese love Yao. So basically I think Nash is a bit overrated, even though he is a top player and probably the 2nd or 3rd best point in the league.

    As for this year’s MVP; if you choose the best player, then its Kobe easy, followed by LeBron.

    In terms of importance to his team, how well his team is playing etc, then its Chancey Billups. His team is 35-5! He is clutch, he makes his teammates better, han defend, score and dish. If you take any argument that people used to give NAsh MVP last year and apply it to Billups, then Billups should be MVP.

    Nash shouldn’t even be in the discussion.

  51. young T.,
    …pistons are 35-5 for a lot of reasons.

    “nash shouldnt be in the discussion”
    riiiiight! because he’s white, I got you.

    If Amare was healthy and playing up to form there would be 2 teams vying for 70 wins.

    MVP is not an award for the best black player.

  52. “Best black player” means pretty much the same thing as “best player”, for better or for worse, frankly, although this is besides the point. I just feel, that whilst Nash is a superlative player and I would love to have him on Knicks, I feel that he is somewhat overrated due to his being white.

    Frankly Nowitzki is having a better season than Nash right now, take him away from the Mavs and Dallas would be nothing. Point is, Nash ain’t even the best white player this year, so race aside I don’t think he should be considered an MVP candidate. To me, it feels like people need validation of his MVP award last year, when deep down they know he’s overrated, so they talk about him being MVP again.

    If Nash is so valuable, how come Dallas improved by 6 wins after he left?

  53. Its simple; Nash is a small, one-dimensional point guard who can’t defend who was last year awarded MVP despite averaging 16ppg and 11apg. Statistically, Scott Skiles at the same age, 28, is nearly an exact match. John Stockton, on the other hand, averaged 17ppg and 14.5apg at the same age. Jason Kidd was a better player, taking the Nets to the finals twice a couple of years back without players the calibre of Marion or Stoudemire, but he never got the award either.

    I just think its getting ridiculous now; Marion is an unbelievable player who does everything, he’s kind of like a Scottie Pippen who rebounds better and is more athletic though not the distributor Scottie was. He is that good.

    Anyway, I don’t care about his race, but I just can’t help but feel the fact that he is white influence his standing in the eyes of the predominately white press and public. I’m not saying people are being racist, its just in the same was Asians love Yao Ming – its natural.

    On the other hand, maybe its just the lack of “pure” point guards today that earned him the nod. Regardless, I dont think he should have been MVP last year or should be this year.

  54. Young T – as Chinese-American, I gotta agree with your comments about Yao/Nash. Race has always been a big factor in fan favorites. Why do you think white people still talk about Rocky Marciano? ^_^

    There’s a reason why Yao leads the All-Star voting even with a “toe infection” (whatever that is), and the Rockets playing worse than the Knicks. (Incidentally, I gave my all-star nod to Camby, who actually deserves it.)

    The MVP/All-Star awards are just a popularity contest with no legitimacy whatsoever.

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