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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Open Thread 10/1/2008

Z-man – Oct 1st, 2008 at 10:10 am

Mike,

How about a new thread on training camp?

Based on Hahn’s column, some cause for optimism….my thoughts on camp thus far:

1. Jerome James lives! Imagine if he can actually contribute this year? Funny how he is the only one on the roster to have even an outside chance of filling a gaping void on this roster (interior defensive presence).

2. If D’Antoni is only going to play 9-10 guys, lots of players are going to ride the pine, especially if Steph is in the mix. Mardy looked good in Vegas, but the only guy he can possibly beat out on paper is Duhon and D’Antoni probably won’t let that happen. So, as it stands:

Lee, Zach, Jamal, Q, Wilson, and Nate are guaranteed to be in rotation. That’s 6.

Steph, Curry, Duhon and Jefferies are probable.

Gallinari will probably be phased in as Steph is phased out?

That leaves Houston, James, Mardy, PEJ, Grunfeld, and Rose on the outside looking in.

Two people need to be cut or traded to get to 15. I would hope they wuld initially be Rose and Grunfeld, unless James gets hurt or otherwise reverts back to form, in which case I would keep Rose and eat James’ contract. If Houston can give 5-10 minutes a game of spot duty every other game, he’s worth keeping around, as he also fills a void as a 3-point specialist. I don’t see the void that either Rose (what has his supposed locker room leadership meant since he’s been here? Zero.) or Grunfeld fills this year; PEJ has athleticism and could develop into a defensive presence, his presence as a 15th man could help chandler and gallinari develop their offensive games during practice. Mardy is worth keeping as insurance against injuries to Duhon and to take Steph’s roster spot when that time comes.

55 comments on “Open Thread 10/1/2008

  1. Z-man

    Dang, I knew I forgot somebody.

    I don’t see Roberson as a rotation player, but who knows? If I were D’Antoni, I would see Roberson and Houston as vying for 1 roster spot, if that.

  2. Thomas B.

    Daaarn makes a good point. 3 players have to go. Well, 2 players and Danny Grunfeld. Is it too late to stash PEJ oversees for a year?

  3. Bob Cook

    AH, THE SOFT BIGOTRY OF LOW EXPECTATIONS

    With my fan-dom dating back to the circa ’70 glory days, I pretty much abandoned paying attention to the Knicks when the century flipped through, say, 2004. The all these new interesting players showed up via expensive trades (Curry, Crawford, Q, Marbury, even Z-bo and many others who we hardly had a chance to meet) or via the draft (Lee, Frye, Robinson)
    So…each of the past four years I was optimistic for various reasons and I watched only to be cruelly humiliated as we could sure dole out money but not win any games.

    But this year, I’m cured!

    Marbury, identified as a sort of basketball ebola virus and who, indeed, has brought a losing spirit to all his NBA employers is still with us and is causing dissension before even camp begins. Z-bo, who was identified as a strain of drug resistent tuberculosis causing rampant losing last year is still with us and wouldn’t work out with the team off season. Well, why should he, he’s got his virulence down pat. And Curry apparently put on 50 lbs of solid cholesterol during the summer and began throwing up during his first lay-up drill so will be excused from camp. And how about our #1 pick? At age 20, his back is done for. At least guys like Q-Richardson, Larry Johnson and Kiki Vandeweigh had the decency to play well for a few years before becoming medical casualties. Maybe we can trade Gallinari for the rights to Frederick Weiss.

    But wait! Jerome James is moving better than ever before! What’s Direc TV’s number?

  4. daaarn

    Daaarn makes a good point. 3 players have to go. Well, 2 players and Danny Grunfeld. Is it too late to stash PEJ oversees for a year?

    That’s what I was thinking when I realized Roberson wasn’t listed. If it was only 2 players to be cut, it would be a pretty easy decision, but now that it’s 3, it’s a bit trickier. Walsh seems to be treading carefully when it comes to contracts, and his history seems to indicate that he’s hesitant to just buy out players and would rather trade them for something. That means he’s likely to cut the players with the least value (ie- un-guaranteed contracts), and that could be PEJ. Hopefully he’ll bite the bullet and buyout one of the other sad sacks on the pine, but I don’t know.

  5. Z

    “Is it too late to stash PEJ oversees for a year?”

    Is it too late to stash Marbury overseas for the year?

  6. Thomas B.
    Daaarn makes a good point. 3 players have to go. Well, 2 players and Danny Grunfeld. Is it too late to stash PEJ oversees for a year?

    That’s what I was thinking when I realized Roberson wasn’t listed. If it was only 2 players to be cut, it would be a pretty easy decision, but now that it’s 3, it’s a bit trickier. Walsh seems to be treading carefully when it comes to contracts, and his history seems to indicate that he’s hesitant to just buy out players and would rather trade them for something. That means he’s likely to cut the players with the least value (ie- un-guaranteed contracts), and that could be PEJ. Hopefully he’ll bite the bullet and buyout one of the other sad sacks on the pine, but I don’t know.

    overSEAS Tommy, not oversEEs. Yeah, I hate to give up young guys that might be able to contribute on the cheap. PEJ could be a defensive stopper, clearly not a star or top contributor, but teams need guys willing to do the dirty work. I would say cut Rose and James, but you might need Rose’s expiring contract if a chance to get a good player comes along. I don’t think Dolan wants to pay James 12 million to go away. I guess if Houston makes the squad, then Roberson wont be needed. If Marbury is not waived, then Grunfeld, and PEJ are the likely cuts. Lets watch a few of the preseason games. The answer may present itself.

  7. Italian Stallion

    From Hoopsworld:

    Bulging Disc?: So word is that New York Knicks draft pick Danilo Gallinari has been suffering from a bulging disc in his back, and that treatments over the past few weeks have included not one, but two Cortisone shots. This is really not good news for the Knicks. While it is possible with intense “core training” that Danilo can prepare his body to manage this kind of injury, that’s off-season work. Experts HOOPSWORLD has spoken with point to the fact that bulging discs rarely get completely better and flare up more often than not, saying that surgery is often the only way to insure this is not a recurring nagging injury. There is no doubt that the manner in which this injury was managed in the off-season is questionable, now that the words bulging disc are floating around, this could be a significant setback for the Knicks and their promising Italian star. More as this story evolves.

  8. Brian Cronin

    The only thing keeping me from freaking out about the Gallinari thing is the fact that the players taken after him haven’t exactly been thrilling anyone (except for the guards who had absolutely no place on the Knicks).

  9. Italian Stallion

    Brian,

    I know what you are saying, but I’m totally sick about this. I keep hearing he’s a terrific shooter. We saw he has some handle. Even Lee said he’s got terrific skills and a “work hard attitude” that will probably lead to improvement over time. I hope he can play a little this year. If he needs surgery I hope he can get it in the off season.

    He and Chandler are the only two things I was looking forward to this season.

  10. nj hoop

    I’m just happy to see 2 guys running this team who are open, honest and won’t BS the press and the fans. Plus they’ve got some pretty good basketball IQ between them. All of the above things were missing during the Isaiah regime. I like hearing that the players are all ears, eager to learn, etc. There’s no doubt we’ll struggle big time this season, but at least I won’t have to hear some nonsensical BS coming from smiley face Thomas after every loss. It’s a start…

  11. daaarn

    cant we put Jr in the D-League?

    He would still take up a roster spot. Anyone we designate for assignment in the D-League has to be on the roster.

  12. Z-man

    Another good Hahn post, more cause for cautious optimism.

    http://weblogs.newsday.com/sports/basketball/knicks/blog/

    I wonder if D’Antoni’s uptempo/motion style of play will get players into better shape, which will make them more capable of playing good D. It will be interesting to see what effect this has on Zach’s lazy ass while we’re still stuck with it.

    That being said, I couldn’t possibly be more down on Eddy Curry. How dare he show up fat and out of shape after the year he had last year. He has absolutely no commitment to winning. To me, he is more of a cancer than Steph or Zach.

  13. Ben R

    The only thing that could save this offseason, other than moving Randolph before the season starts, is signing Lee to a long term extention before November.

    That would just about make up for giving away Balkman and not moving our baggage.

    Please Walsh do the right thing.

  14. Brian Cronin

    In the Times article, Owen, I thought the parenthetical at the end of the piece was being used to describe Curry. ;)

  15. retropkid

    if Houston makes the squad, it’s a pretty bad sign. He’s ancient, was never quick, didn’t play a lot of tough D, can’t help the team in the future, and was never a leader. Other than that, great addition!!

    No matter how great Marbury may look in camp, I support Duhon as starter for now (oh Mardy, please surprise us all, show some confidence, leadership and a jumper, please!) — if Marbury wants to make all his money, he can do it from the bench….he’s a loser, and shouldn’t get a lot of burn no matter how much talent he has. But I sympathize with the club in not wanting to just pay him to go — take a seat pal, far end of the bench…

  16. Owen

    Lol, yeah, bacterial infection, the same thought crossed my mind….

    How much do I love Lee? Seriously. It’s really ridiculous at this point. He might be the only NBA player I could take a quote like this at face value from.

    “We’ve got until Nov. 1, or it’s going to happen next summer, or the summer after that,” Lee said. “More than anything, more than the money, I’d love to be a Knick a long time.”

    I thought I had the old man crush under control, but with him signed to my fantasy team for 1.6 million, with D’Antoni installing a fast paced offense that should bump his statistics by 20%, with Curry looking ready to disappear completely, phew, well….

    is it hot in here?

  17. James

    Serious personal gripe:

    This training camp I’m hearing in the media statements like “Knicks trying to get rid of Marbury etc etc…having difficulty etc etc…may have to keep him for a while etc etc…Marbury however is in the best shape of his life”

    Ok, good for him. He worked out this summer. But why are we praising him for that? He’s a professional – he should have done that every year.

    Nothing to do with this being a contract year right?

    Don’t even get me started on Jerome James…

  18. Thomas B.

    Hey Daaarn,

    On the topic of which three players may get cut, it seems that Roberson and PEJ have been the least stellar performers (I’d throw in Curry but he has been sick). It makes sense if they get cut because they are the cheapest options.

    http://weblogs.newsday.com/sports/basketball/knicks/blog/2008/10/i_feel_pretty_good_actually.html

    They say Mardy has looked good, but hell James has looked good in practice. Maybe Mardy just wasnt in great shape last year. I’m gonna reserve judgment, for now.
    —-

    I’m starting to feel some cautious optomisim. Could it really be possibly that we wont be the worst team in the Division this year? Could we finally make it back to the middle of the pack? Dare I hold out hope for a..a-I dont think I can say it- a playoff game? Where is jon abbey, he normally snaps me back to reality with some snide, yet poignant comment.

  19. TDM

    Does NY really need Allan Houston taking up a roster spot anyway?

    I think so. I’d rather see Houston taking up a roster spot than Big Snacks, Collins, Roberson or Malik. Malik is a good locker room guy, but so is Houston, and he obviously can still shoot the lights out, which is something that Malik never brought to the table. Sure, I’d like to give Collins the benefit of the doubt that he was out of shape or injured last year, but who is he going to play ahead of? Craw, Duhon, Marbs, N8? Not a chance.

  20. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    I’m starting to feel some cautious optomisim. Could it really be possibly that we wont be the worst team in the Division this year? Could we finally make it back to the middle of the pack? Dare I hold out hope for a..a-I dont think I can say it- a playoff game? Where is jon abbey, he normally snaps me back to reality with some snide, yet poignant comment.

    That’s just crazy talk. Just look at our division:

    Boston – Just came off championship season
    Toronto – Young players should improve (Bosh) + they added Jermaine O’Neal
    Philadelphia – Young team just nabbed Elton Freakin Brand
    New Jersey – Rebuilding.

    The only team we have any chance with is the Nets. We’re not even the 3rd best team in our own division. Any talk of playoffs this year is just silly.

    Repeat after me: “This is a rebuilding year. It doesn’t matter how many games the Knicks win.”

  21. retropkid

    This is a rebuilding year. It doesn’t matter how many games the Knicks win.

    C’mon now, everybody — just say it, one time. You’ll feel better. And it’s true.

    I know it’s early, but I like the kids the Nets brought in…they will probably lose a ton of games, and ultimately they probably need to move Vince to a contender if they can….but it’s an interesting contingent as they prepare to be Brooklynites…

  22. daaarn

    Hey Daaarn,
    On the topic of which three players may get cut, it seems that Roberson and PEJ have been the least stellar performers (I’d throw in Curry but he has been sick). It makes sense if they get cut because they are the cheapest options.

    Ah nertz. I have no qualms about letting Roberson go, but like many others, I have a nostalgic attachment to PEJ. That being said, I think it’s still early, so I think PEJ can turn things around, it’s just whether that’ll be enough to convince management to buyout one of the veterans.

  23. Z

    “This is a rebuilding year. It doesn’t matter how many games the Knicks win.”

    True, Mike– but wouldn’t you say the short term goal is making the playoffs in 2010 so as not to lose a lottery pick to the Jazz?

    If so, then a step backwards in 2009 would not exactly work towards that goal.

  24. daaarn

    “This is a rebuilding year. It doesn’t matter how many games the Knicks win.”
    True, Mike– but wouldn’t you say the short term goal is making the playoffs in 2010 so as not to lose a lottery pick to the Jazz?
    If so, then a step backwards in 2009 would not exactly work towards that goal.

    I find it kinda funny that one of the main reasons us fans want to make the playoffs in 2010 isn’t really b/c we want to win, but b/c we don’t want to give up a lottery pick. Just another day in the life of today’s Knicks fans…

  25. Z-man

    This is a rebuilding year. It doesn’t matter how many games the Knicks win.
    C’mon now, everybody — just say it, one time. You’ll feel better. And it’s true.
    I know it’s early, but I like the kids the Nets brought in…they will probably lose a ton of games, and ultimately they probably need to move Vince to a contender if they can….but it’s an interesting contingent as they prepare to be Brooklynites…

    kid,

    I definitely DO feel better than I did before Isiah got his due, but I felt pretty good at this time last year.

    I expect this team to win 30-40 games and to be in realistic contention for a playoff spot into April. More importantly, I hope not to see many stinker games like last year when either hardly anybody tried or nobody knew what the hell to do or the game plan was boring and predictable.

    As an example, I went to the N8 45 pt game vs Portland last March. The result was an overtime loss, but the shorthanded, outmanned team left it all on the floor. As a fan of the game, I could say that while the better team won, the Knicks gave me my money’s worth.

    I feel optimistic that while the team will lose their share of games, the losses will not be as exasperating as in the past.

  26. foliveri

    “This is a rebuilding year. It doesn’t matter how many games the Knicks win…”

    The idea that D Lee might start,
    that Marbury might come off the bench,
    that the Knicks actually have a true point guard,
    that the coach isn’t a complete, foul idiot, and
    that the GM isn’t a complete, foul idiot,
    all are baby-step reasons to feel better.

    Having said that, D’Antoni and Walsh need to address a lot of problems before this team goes anywhere.
    And there still is the Dolan “issue.”

    And can someone tell me how it is that Marbury lost 25 pounds?
    I mean, how much muscle did he need? He was already arguably the strongest point guard in basketball before he bulked up. He never seemed fat, but it would explain why he was having so many problems with his legs.

  27. jon abbey

    Where is jon abbey, he normally snaps me back to reality with some snide, yet poignant comment.

    heh, yeah, what Mike said. it’s pretty hard to figure out many teams worse than us, and I think D’Antoni not changing his system to fit this wildly different group of players could end up being disastrous, at least until they’re able to upgrade the personnel somehow.

    at this point, all we’ve really added is Duhon, who’s a solid rotation player and easily our best PG but not really a quality NBA starter and Gallinari, who’s a short-term question mark for numerous reasons until proven otherwise.

  28. jon abbey

    wouldn’t you say the short term goal is making the playoffs in 2010 so as not to lose a lottery pick to the Jazz?

    this is silly, we’re going to lose the pick regardless, so it really doesn’t matter where we finish in terms of that. I guess on one level it’s less depressing if you lose a lower pick, but honestly this should have no bearing on anything at this point, except one last fuck you from Isiah lingering around a few years after him.

  29. Italian Stallion

    I like the idea being floated of Lee at C and Randolph at PF.

    Right now, I’m hoping the starting lineup is Lee, Randolph, Crawford, Duhon, and Chandler. I’m not sure we have enough efficient scoring with that team (I guess the new system will be tested otherwise we are going to see a lot of poor quality shots from Randolph and Crawford), but I think that might be the team that has the most potential to win some games.

  30. retropkid

    “I feel optimistic that while the team will lose their share of games, the losses will not be as exasperating as in the past.”

    Z-Man — completely agree with you, this team will be easier to root for without question. The style of play alone should make the Garden more fun. And no Zeke!!!! Woot!!!!

  31. Thomas B.

    Thats just crazy talk. Repeat after me: “This is a rebuilding year. It doesn’t matter how many games the Knicks win.”

    What’s crazy talk? The stuff about jon abbey or the tiny little part of me that wants to hope?

    And exactly why can’t you grow the product AND have some fun while you do it? Maybe it does not matter, but that does not mean I have to accept losing. I can want to grow the product while reaching for success. It is not even all that far fetched when you consider that ATL got into the playoffs by default. You can’t win games while rebuilding? I don’t see the two as mutually exclusive options. Rebuilding ? finish in last place.

    Maybe I am the only person brave (stupid) enough to say what you secretly harbor. Maybe I am the only one not to succumb to the negativity that comes from 8 years of failure. Perhaps I am the only one who hopes that a team everyone picked to finish dead last can roll up its sleeves and fight its way into contention.

    Where is your hope people? Have you people ever watched the Bad News Bears (the original)? Major League? The Replacements (God help you if you have)? Do you believe in miracles?

    You can have your low expectations if you want to, but I am going to believe.

    I believe Marbury can be a dominant player again.
    I believe Chandler is going to be special.
    I believe Robinson has matured.
    I believe Lee is the real deal.
    I believe D’antoni knows what he is doing.
    I believe poor coaching and non existent leadership caused this team to underachieve the last three years.
    I believe Jerome James will be a valuable… nah, I don’t believe that.

    If Allan Houston can return to play again, like a Phoenix reborn from its own ashes, then why not the 2008-2009 New York Knicks I ask? Why not the Knicks?

  32. Thomas B.
    Where is jon abbey, he normally snaps me back to reality with some snide, yet poignant comment.

    heh, yeah, what Mike said. it’s pretty hard to figure out many teams worse than us, and I think D’Antoni not changing his system to fit this wildly different group of players could end up being disastrous, at least until they’re able to upgrade the personnel somehow.
    at this point, all we’ve really added is Duhon, who’s a solid rotation player and easily our best PG but not really a quality NBA starter and Gallinari, who’s a short-term question mark for numerous reasons until proven otherwise.

    That was neither snide nor poignant. You dissapoint me.

  33. Thomas B.
    Just look at our division:
    Boston – Just came off championship seasonToronto – Young players should improve (Bosh) + they added Jermaine O’NealPhiladelphia – Young team just nabbed Elton Freakin BrandNew Jersey – Rebuilding.
    The only team we have any chance with is the Nets. We’re not even the 3rd best team in our own division. Any talk of playoffs this year is just silly.

    I am almost sure there was some blogger on Hawkblogger.net saying the same thing about ATL and look what they pulled. I give you Boston, and Philly will be solid even if we still dont know how well Brand will play off the leg injury. He is a near 30 year old undersized 4 (I’d love to have him) but I dont know for sure what he will be in Philly.

    I dont trust the Raptors at all. O’neal has not been healthy for about three seasons. Why would anyone think that would change? They still dont have a 2, the health of the 5 is questionable and they dont have a deep bench. Sounhd like a lock to me.

    Sure you could ink Boston, Detriot, Cleveland as playoff teams. You could pencil in Philly and Orlando. But I would not call any other team in the East a lock. So why cant the Knicks be the team that does just enough to get in?

    Philly turned it around without huge changes in players last year. The coach found a way to make it click. I think this coach can do the same.

  34. jon abbey

    comparing last year’s Atlanta team to this year’s NY team shows virtually no understanding of the NBA. that Atlanta team was one of the three most athletic teams in the league, NY is probably one of the three least athletic teams in the league (again, really glad we gave away Balkman). they won games on freaky athleticism and youth, they don’t really have too many great basketball players in the traditional sense. NY can’t do that.

    if you’re really harboring notions of NY making the playoffs, do me this favor. go through the league and list the single best player on each team. I guess for us you have to say Lee, who’s not even sure he’s going to start. even if he does, he’s got to be in the bottom few on that list, that makes it very tough to win close games in crunch time.

    anyway, good luck with your optimism. it’ll be gone soon enough.

  35. Thomas B.

    comparing last year’s Atlanta team to this year’s NY team shows virtually no understanding of the NBA. that Atlanta team was one of the three most athletic teams in the league, NY is probably one of the three least athletic teams in the league (again, really glad we gave away Balkman). they won games on freaky athleticism and youth, they don’t really have too many great basketball players in the traditional sense. NY can’t do that.
    if you’re really harboring notions of NY making the playoffs, do me this favor. go through the league and list the single best player on each team. I guess for us you have to say Lee, who’s not even sure he’s going to start. even if he does, he’s got to be in the bottom few on that list, that makes it very tough to win close games in crunch time.
    anyway, good luck with your optimism. it’ll be gone soon enough.

    Well, you covered snide. I’m still waiting for poignant.

    So Atlanta’s success was a product of their athletic ability and not the mediocre comp in the East? I think that statement says more about your understanding of the NBA than mine. ATL’s athletic ability could not get them to .500 in a very weak conference. They were the default winners. The Bulls had very athletic players. Thomas, Gordon, Deng, ect. Where did they end up? They were a product of disfunction, just as the Knicks have been. The new system gives the Knicks a chance. Hell the D’antoni system made normal guys look like world beaters.

    NY does not need great athletes in this system. They just need great offensive talent, which they do have. They also need a coach to prepare them for games, which they did not have last year.

    The Knicks dont have nearly the talent to win 50 games, but they can win 40 (if they play to optimal levels) and that could put them in contention for a playoff spot in a conference that is still pretty weak.

    Teams win titles, not players. A great player can get you to a conference final (LBJ). So the list the best player on each team statement makes no sense to me. This isnt MMA its the NBA, 5 guys on the floor not just the 1 best.

    NY will be better caoched than a great number of teams in the East. Dont underestimate coaching. Bad coching took the Bulls from preseason contention to the lottery. It also took Philly froma predicted 4th place finish in the division, to a playoff berth. In such a weak conference, good coaching and a good system can let NY do what ATL did, albeit in a different way. If the Knicks were in the West I would not even dare to think it.

    But hey, time reveals all.

  36. Thomas B.

    Mike K,

    I have a bone to pick with you about calling this a “rebuilding” year. This is not a rebuilding year. It is a repairing year. Rebuilding starts by a removing the old parts that you did not want. Unless Balkman, Fred Jones, and the draft rights to Weis count as removing old parts, then we still have not begun rebuilding. Just because expectations are low, you are not rebuilding. This is the evaluation part, this year tells you what you should keep. Rebuilding requires destruction. When was this team blown up?

  37. jon abbey

    again, if you think Chicago’s collection of athletes were anywhere near what Atlanta had last year, you need to watch more non-Knick games.

    I also am not totally convinced about D’Antoni being a superior coach. he had dominant talent in Phoenix, which dovetailed perfectly with his system. we’ll get a much better idea of how actually good a coach he is with NY.

    “Hell the D’antoni system made normal guys look like world beaters.”

    who exactly? guys like Marion, Stoudemire, Nash, Joe Johnson are all All-Star talents with or without D’Antoni. anyone else, it’s not hard to put up better than expected numbers when the opposition needs to focus on that many legit stars.

  38. Owen

    “I also am not totally convinced about D’Antoni being a superior coach. he had dominant talent in Phoenix, which dovetailed perfectly with his system. we’ll get a much better idea of how actually good a coach he is with NY.”

    That’s right, his ability will be one of the more interesting things to talk about this year I think….

    Personally, I think D’Antoni looked at his cards in Phoenix. He knew Shaq, Nash, and Stoudemire weren’t enough to get it done. Not with the Hornets, Lakers, and Jazz out there. He knew they weren’t going to get back to where they were a few years ago, and knew the 7 seconds offense wouldn’t work with Shaq. And he bailed, making a lot of money in the process and moving into pretty much a no – lose situation here in New York.

  39. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    Thats just crazy talk. Repeat after me: “This is a rebuilding year. It doesn’t matter how many games the Knicks win.”

    What’s crazy talk? The stuff about jon abbey or the tiny little part of me that wants to hope?

    And exactly why can’t you grow the product AND have some fun while you do it? Maybe it does not matter, but that does not mean I have to accept losing. I can want to grow the product while reaching for success. It is not even all that far fetched when you consider that ATL got into the playoffs by default. You can’t win games while rebuilding? I don’t see the two as mutually exclusive options. Rebuilding ? finish in last place.

    Maybe I am the only person brave (stupid) enough to say what you secretly harbor. Maybe I am the only one not to succumb to the negativity that comes from 8 years of failure. Perhaps I am the only one who hopes that a team everyone picked to finish dead last can roll up its sleeves and fight its way into contention.

    Where is your hope people? Have you people ever watched the Bad News Bears (the original)? Major League? The Replacements (God help you if you have)? Do you believe in miracles?

    You can have your low expectations if you want to, but I am going to believe.

    If anyone is invited to a party by Thomas B. where all the guests are wearing similar clothing, I would advise against drinking the kool-aid.

  40. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    NY does not need great athletes in this system. They just need great offensive talent, which they do have. They also need a coach to prepare them for games, which they did not have last year.

    The Knicks dont have nearly the talent to win 50 games, but they can win 40 (if they play to optimal levels) and that could put them in contention for a playoff spot in a conference that is still pretty weak.

    The Knicks could win 40 games next year? Name one team in the history of the NBA that had a 17 win improvement where the team in question’s best off season acquisition was a player of Chris Duhon’s production.

  41. Z-man

    NEWS FLASH: Jeffries is out for at least 6-8 weeks with a fractured fibula (see Hahn.)

    I think this is a blessing in disguise. Jeffries is fool’s gold, a terribly flawed b-ball player that has no place in a starting lineup. D’Antoni was going to start him at center. Now he almost has to start Zach and Lee up front in preseason.

    If he goes on the injured list, does that open up a roster spot for, say, PEJ?

  42. daaarn

    NEWS FLASH: Jeffries is out for at least 6-8 weeks with a fractured fibula (see Hahn.)
    I think this is a blessing in disguise. Jeffries is fool’s gold, a terribly flawed b-ball player that has no place in a starting lineup. D’Antoni was going to start him at center. Now he almost has to start Zach and Lee up front in preseason.
    If he goes on the injured list, does that open up a roster spot for, say, PEJ?

    Who gets cut/bought out then?

  43. Thomas B.

    “If anyone is invited to a party by Thomas B. where all the guests are wearing similar clothing, I would advise against drinking the kool-aid.”

    When the spaceship comes to bring we believers to a higher plane of human understanding, you’ll be sorry you doubted me.

  44. Thomas B.

    The Knicks could win 40 games next year? Name one team in the history of the NBA that had a 17 win improvement where the team in question’s best off season acquisition was a player of Chris Duhon’s production.

    I cannot. But what does that have to do with anything? That absence of proof does not prove absence. Maybe it never happened before, so what. Why can’t this be the first? Why can’t the stars align? An 8 seed had never beaten a 1 seed in a best of 7 series, until it happened. Before that, everyone said it could not happen because it had not happened yet.

    This shows a fundamental difference in how we see things. You, as a stat head, trust in what you can measure. You trust numbers and history. That’s great. I’m sure it serves you well at a table in A.C., as well as other parts of your life.

    I put my trust in faith. I believe that as long as it is possible, it could happen for me, or my team. 99 to 1 odds. I see that as “If I do this 100 times, 1 of those times should go my way.” Hence, I am a God awful poker player, but I know that so I don’t play for anything more than fun.

    I cannot provide any proof that the Knicks will win 40. It is just my faith in them. And yes, I am well aware that it makes me sound like I should be standing on a soap box in Times Square, wearing a sandwich board sign which reads: “The end of the Knicks’ losing ways is near” while I mutter to myself about why Elvis hasn’t called back yet.

    I’m okay with that.

  45. Thomas B.

    The Knicks could win 40 games next year? Name one team in the history of the NBA that had a 17 win improvement where the team in question’s best off season acquisition was a player of Chris Duhon’s production.

    Though I am well aware that you will find someway to refute any team I offer, I owe you an attempt.

    1. 97-98 Pacers went from 34 wins to 53 with the only on the player of note added being a past his prime Mullin. Mullin averged 11 ppg that year, which is near double Duhon’s career ppg average of 7. So this one does not count I’m sure because Mullin even in his declining years outshines Duhon.

    2. 91-92 Cavs went from 33 wins to 57. The biggest addition to this team the rookie Brandon, who that year, contributed numbers-7 ppg and 4 ast- similar to Duhon’s career averages. I’m not checking their respective per 40 stats. I’ll save you the trouble of refuting this offering by pointing out that the Cavs struggles the prevous year were due to Daugherty and Price injuries. Furthermore, Price played fewer than 20 games. The Knicks did not have a similar injury issue last year because Marbury played in 24 games and is not a good a point as Price anyway.

    Its always tricky answering a loaded question, but there you go.

  46. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    Thomas B. – well said. On one hand I feel bad stamping all over a fellow Knick fan’s hopes in preseason. On another hand I don’t agree with Knick fans being unrealistic with their expectations. New York has this reputation of being a city where you can’t rebuild a sports team. And if New Yorkers are talking about playoffs after a 23 win season, then we’re buying into that stereotype.

    So I’m willing to put my blog where my mouth is. I’ll give you a 5.5 game leeway and set the over/under at 34.5 wins. If the Knicks go over, I’ll give you one day to blog about whatever you want. How’s that sound?

    Oh and btw – I’m the world’s worst gambler. I’ve never walked out of a casino with more money in my pocket. I came from a family of gamblers and tend to stay clear of gambling endeavors (fantasy sports not included).

  47. Thomas B.

    Mike K.,
    Thanks. Don’t feel bad about stomping on my hopes. In truth, we have little to no reason to think this year will be any better than the previous year. So your expressions of skepticism at me for saying the Knicks can win 40, are well rooted in 7 consecutive seasons of awful play. I invited the response.

    That is very stand up of you to put your blog where your mouth is. I’m not sure what I can offer if the Knicks dont make the over. Tell you what, I’ll do some stat research of your choice if the knicks dont get the over.

    I’m almost rooting aginst the Knicks now. I’m much more at ease reading other folks’ ideas and just giving a thumbs up or thumbs down. Blogging is not as easy as it looks I’m sure.

    On the other hand, jon abbey would have a heart attack (non fatal of course) seeing a person of such limited baskeball knowledge blogging here. You know, I think I’d like to see that (non fatal of course).

    jon, keep your asprin handy and grab a glass of red wine.

    Lets go Knicks!

  48. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    That is very stand up of you to put your blog where your mouth is. I’m not sure what I can offer if the Knicks dont make the over. Tell you what, I’ll do some stat research of your choice if the knicks dont get the over.

    How about if the Knicks make the under, you write a blog on the topic of my choice?

  49. Thomas B.
    That is very stand up of you to put your blog where your mouth is. I’m not sure what I can offer if the Knicks dont make the over. Tell you what, I’ll do some stat research of your choice if the knicks dont get the over.

    How about if the Knicks make the under, you write a blog on the topic of my choice?

    Its a deal.

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