The Knicks’ bizarre mixture of talent will be taking on an even more bizarre turn over the next couple of weeks, as Isiah Thomas announced yesterday that he will not only be keeping Jerome James (who appeared as though he was starting to specifically counter against Dwight Howard and Tony Battie) in the starting lineup, but that he is also planning on Steve Francis returning to the Knicks’ rotation as the backup point guard.
Neither move fills me with much enthusiasm, as James’ minutes, while designed to turn Channing Frye into a scorer off the bench and take Frye away with Curry (which I have no problem with), seem to also serve to lower David Lee’s minutes. Folks have been clammoring for Lee to get MORE minutes, and not only has Isiah managed to avoid putting him into the starting lineup, but now he’s going to be receiving LESS minutes!! Saturday, Lee played his fewest minutes in two weeks. I don’t mind going to the defensive-minded James for certain matchups, but less minutes for Lee is annoying.
And Balkman is just completely buried now.
Meanwhile, the return of Francis is frightening to me. As a backup guard, Francis is clearly a significant upgrade, talent-wise, then Nate Robinson, but how can Francis possibly be okay with only playing 15 minutes a game? However, if he is willing to swallow his pride, then I suppose it is good news. He’s extremely useful if Marbury were to be unable to play.
Thanks to Jon Abbey for reminding me to check today’s Post (I only picked up the Daily News, and it was awful – why do I keep reading it each Sunday? Lupica always just aggravates me).