Two Losses Exposes Two Knick Weaknesses

After starting off the season on the right foot with a win in Memphis, the Knicks have reverted back to their old ways. New York lost by 10 in Atlanta, and was embarrassed in their home opener with a 14 point loss against Indiana. Both times the Knicks had started off the 4th quarter within striking distance. Against the Hawks they were only down by 6, and against the Pacers Nate Robinson’s three pointer brought them within 1. Unfortunately the fourth quarter wasn’t kind to New York in either game, and now the Knicks are under .500 only 3 games into the season.

Just 3 days ago in my preseason preview I said:

The backcourt is undersized and the frontcourt doesn?t offer much help, which is a recipe for disaster.

And that’s exactly how the Hawks beat New York, by exposing their weak defense. Atlanta only made 4 of 14 from beyond the arc, but shot a dazzling 51% from 2 point range. The Hawks used their quickness to get past the Knick guards and there was no help from their teammates. Unlike the Memphis game, New York didn’t have a blocked shot from their big men. Only Jamal Crawford and Renaldo Balkman (in only 4 minutes) altered any Hawks shots. Not only did the Knick big men have problems with the Hawk’s guards and forwards, but center Zaza Pachulia used his speed in the paint to score 22 points.

A day later, the Pacers used another line from my preseason preview to defeat New York.

Between Marbury, Francis, and Jeffries the Knicks don?t have a reliable jump shooter to stretch defenses.

As I mentioned earlier, the Knicks started off the fourth quarter down by a single point. The Pacers went to a zone defense and the Knicks only managed 19 points in the final frame. Marbury & Crawford suffered the most, shooting a pathetic 3-18 (19% eFG). Indiana tried to funnel the Knick offense to Jermaine O’Neal who ended the game with 5 blocks. On the other hand when New York tried the same tactic on defense, Indiana moved the ball around until Harrington, Jackson, Armstrong, or Jasikevicius had a wide open shot. The Knicks allowed a healthy 8 of 19 from three point land to the Pacers, while only making 4 of 17.

So on consecutive nights, the Knicks lose in two different ways. The Hawks beat the Knicks’ defense on the inside, while the Pacers beat the Knicks’ offense from the outside. Isiah Thomas might be able to solve the Knicks defensive issues by giving more playing time to Kelvin Cato. Getting Jeffries back would certainly help as well, but until then Zeke might want to give Renaldo Balkman a closer look. Offense may be a tougher issue to solve. Getting Eddy Curry more touches could open up the offense, but ultimately Jamal Crawford has to stop shooting like Freddie Crawford.

Knicks 118 Grizzlies 117, 3OT

First Quarter

Damon Stoudamire killed the Knicks by blowing past Stephon Marbury, and Curry offered no help. Meanwhile Mike Miller was lighting it up on the outside. Francis is forcing up shots. The Knicks are down by 5 at the end of the quarter

Second Quarter

The Knicks start off the quarter with their small lineup. David Lee is the center, accompanied by Balkman at PF, with a 3 guard lineup of Crawford, Marbury, and Robinson. It’s obvious the Knicks want to run against the slow paced Grizzlies, but to do so New York must force stops on the defensive ends. When they grab a defensive rebound, they are able to run the court well. Unfortunately they’re only able to prevent Memphis from scoring about half the time.

Nate Robinson earned a technical under the new league rules on outbursts. Unless Robinson is a quick learner, expect to see more of this as he’s the most demonstative Knick.

With Curry back in, the Grizzlies are still penetrating the lane with their smaller guys. Eddy is too slow to help out. To my astonishment, the Knick announcers Gus Johnson & Walt Frazier state that Eddy Curry isn’t in foul trouble because the Grizzlies aren’t an interior team to challenge Curry. True they don’t have a post presence, but they’ve created a lot of plays by getting past the Knick guards into the paint and Curry hasn’t been there to help out.

On a Memphis possession, the Knick announcers say “a Gay turnaround jumper.” Chuckles heard in the KnickerBlogger household.

Quentin Richardson is on fire. Forget what I said about his shooting yesterday, at least for tonight. At the end of the half, he has 13 points on a perfect 5-5 shooting. Counting the 3-3 from the field, and I have his eFG at a remarkable 130%. Curry has quiet 10 points at the half as well, but also has picked up his 3rd foul. The Knicks are up 51-46 at the half.

Third Quarter

One promising tidbit from the MSG announcers, they state that Isiah Thomas doesn’t care about how many points the Knicks give up per game. All he is concerned with is opponent FG% and the point differential. Although I would have been happier with eFG% and points/possesion, I’m satisfied that Isiah Thomas understands that pace can affect per game averages.

During this quarter he has two goaltending calls. Up until this point Eddy Curry is just about useless on defense, until now. His first block of the game is a vicious rejection of a Roberts attempted dunk. Curry’s big size allows him to land standing. Marbury lets 10 seconds run off the 24 second clock for Curry to make it up court. The replay shows Eddy just standing there after the block. Maybe Eddy is just as shocked with the block as the rest of us. It’s not all bad for Curry as he has grabbed a bunch of boards, and is the Knicks second leading scorer at this point. He has a double-double on the stat sheet. With a moderate defensive game, he’d be an All Star.

Rookie Renaldo Balkman looks nervous. Off a steal, Balkman has a few steps on the rest of the Grizzly team, but attempts to pass the ball to a trailing teammate. The ball sails out of bounds.

By the end of the quarter, the Knicks are up by 11.

Fourth Quarter

The Knicks looking to keep their lead come out charging. Unfortunately charging is illegal in the NBA. New York’s offense is all charges and forced shots. Curry earns his fifth foul, which sends him to the bench. Before he does, one of the Memphis forwards spins around right past him and dunks. It happened so fast I wasn’t sure if it was Warrick or Gay.

Almost unbelievably, the Knicks blow the lead and the game is tied at 89. David Lee preserves the tie by blocking a shot with 20 seconds left to give New York one last possession. Crawford has the ball for the last shot. He lets the clock down to a couple of seconds before attempting a three point shot. Walt Clyde Frazier hits the nail on the head when he calls the play “stupid.” Let me count the reasons. First, why not move the ball around to find an easy shot? Second, why not give it to Curry who was back in the game for the final 20 seconds? Third why not drive to the hoop & hope a double team opens a teammate or draw a foul? Finally, why a three point shot when you only need 1 point to win?

Memphis outscores the Knicks 29-18 in this quarter.

Fifth Quarter

Curry is back in and helps turn the tides for New York with his defense. With 3 minutes left, Eddy blocks a Lowry drive with authority. The block leads to a Knick fast break that Marbury finishes up by spinning past a defender and draining an open jumper. If Eddy could just do that more often…

Francis fouls out, and the Knicks replace him with David Lee. Lee is obviously rewarded for his blocked shot in the fourth quarter. Lee has an up & down quarter, as most of the action surrounds him. He commits a charge on the offensive end, but then a rebound and a quick outlet pass leads to another Marbury fast break. Lee’s contrasting quarter continues when he gets his shot blocked by Rudy Gay, forcing a shot clock violation. However Lee tips in a Crawford miss to give New York a 1 point lead.

On Memphis’ last possession there is a Kelvin Cato sighting. Cato replaces Curry as a defensive specialist, but the Knicks still end up fouling Memphis. Miller proceeds to miss both free throws, however New York allows Warrick to get the rebound, and fouls him with a couple of ticks left on the clock. Warrick hits one of two, and the game goes into double overtime.

Sixth Quarter

Quentin Richardson is keeping the team afloat. Curry tips in a missed Nate Robinson shot. I’ve said some negative things about Curry, but it’s been about his defense not offense. Eddy Curry has been out there for over a quarter now with 5 fouls, but the Knicks are ignoring him on offense. And it’s a damn shame. Marbury & Francis are both relegated to the bench with 6 fouls. Instead of forcing the ball in to the Knicks best option, the guards are taking shot after shot from outside. A few times Curry has decent position in the post, but the Knick guards either ignore him, or swing the ball to the other side. Both Crawford and Nate ignore Curry time after time.

Everyone is tired, including bloggers following the game. KnickerBlogger puts his pen and notepad aside with his cramped hand, and instead of keeping notes he reserves his energy for yelling at the tv.

Despite having the lead for nearly 4 minutes in the quarter, Memphis ties the game with less than half a minute. The game goes into triple overtime.

Seventh Quarter

Good news for New York, the Grizzlies start off the 7th quarter by missing their first three shots. The bad news is that the Grizzlies start off with 3 offensive boards, and end the possession by having Eddy Curry foul out. Channing Frye, the prodigal son, re-enters the game. Crawford finally hits a shot to make him 4 of 21. Maybe John Starks needed 3 more shots in 1994?

Unlike the last quarter, the Knicks spend most of the 7th trailing the Grizzlies. Crawford begins to redeem himself for a poor shooting night and blocks a shot. In a wild series, Frye nervously passes the ball off a referee & in the confusion David Lee is left free under the hoop. The Knicks retain the ball, and find Lee for an easy bucket.

With less than a minute left, Nate Robinson forces shot with 3 guys on him. It’s blocked, but Robinsons ends up with the ball and calls a time out. Again Nate drive to the hoop with 3 defenders trailing. However he’s fouled, but only hits one of two to leave the Knicks down by one.

Again Crawford comes up with a defensive play by stealing the ball. Crawford hits Richardson on the ensuing break, and Richardson is fouled. Despite the positive results, I’m not happy with the play. Crawford gave the ball up way too early, causing Richardson to leave his feet further from the hoop. Every basketball player learns not to give up the ball too early when you have a 2 on 1 advantage.

Richardson sinks both, and the Knicks have to make a big defensive stand to keep their one point lead. Like Cato three quarters ago, there is a Mardy Collins sighting. New York plays smart on the last possession, and it saves them the game. First they used up half the clock before committing their last team foul. Second was the fabulous defensive effort by Richardson on Mike Miller. The Grizzlies inbounded the ball to Miller on the extended elbow. Miller dribbled towards the paint, and Richardson stayed right with him, even when Miller showed an elbow on a turn around dribble. When the Grizzlies forward attempted the final shot of the game Richardson held his ground, never leaving his feet. It was a textbook defensive play, and gave the Knicks the game.

Post Game Thoughts

New York’s problem was going away from the offense. It served them well for 3 quarters, but they abandoned it shortly afterwards. Instead of moving the ball, the last 4 quarters consisted of one guard either settling for a jumper or driving madly to the basket. I’ll say it again, it was a serious mistake for the Knicks to ignore Curry in the extra quarters.

Channing Frye was the forgotten man. He didn’t look comfortable, only shot 2 of 10, and almost fumbled away the ball in the second overtime. Fortunately Lee looked fabulous. His rebounding was sorely needed, and while he had his bad moments, he made a lot of plays that led to the Knicks’ win. He’d be the player of the game, if it wasn’t for Quentin Richardson.

Richardson played phenomenally well. I won’t expect him to hit 10 of 13 every night, including a perfect 5 of 5 from downtown. However if tonight is any indication, it’s possible that Richardson is back to his productive self. Quentin also played tough defense and hit those clutch free throws to give the Knicks the game for good.

Knicks 2007 Season Preview

For the most part, the Knicks are starting off the 2007 season with the same roster that they ended the 2006 season. So instead on dwelling on each player or position, I’d like to concentrate on how the Knicks are going to be different in 2007.

The New Guys

Although the same lovable group that lost a whopping 59 games will be back, there are a few new cast members. Isiah Thomas sought to revamp the small forward position in the offseason. Thomas signed Jeffries from the Washington Wizards and grabbed Renaldo Balkman with his first pick in the draft. Both players are lanky perimeter defenders that can play a variety of positions. Neither are a threat on offense, although Balkman can move without the ball and finish close to the hoop. In case you’ve been in a coma since June and have never seen Renaldo Balkman, you can identify him by looking for the skinny version of Brian Grant. Jeffries will start the season on the IR, which means that the rookie will see a little more playing time early on.

The Knicks also drafted Mardy Collins. With the depth they have at guard and Collins’ lukewarm preseason, he’ll have first row seats to all 82 Knick games. Just last week the Knicks signed Kelvin Cato. The 6-11 big man will attempt to push Jerome James to the bench which should be easier than actually pushing Jerome James to the bench.

The Class of 06

The Knicks only improvement won’t just come from their new acquirees. The Knicks trio of Frye, Lee, and Robinson look to improve in their sophomore season. In the future, if any of the three are going to the mid-winter classic, it will be Frye. Last year Frye started off hot, but lost confidence on his jumper mid-season, passing on wide-open shots. He looked healthy this preseason, physically bulking up and adding a post up game to complement his outside touch. But Frye also added a mental aspect to his game, taking a bigger role in the on the court leadership of the Knicks.

While Lee & Robinson will likely be role players this year, both have shown improvement over the summer. The Knicks have found a good use for Lee’s strong rebounding skills, even letting him man the center spot in the small & quick lineups when possible. With Frye’s ability to shift to center, expect to see David Lee as the Knicks primary big man off the bench. Meanwhile Robinson’s lessons over the summer (pass the ball more) seem to have finally sunk in. For Nate to succeed at this level, he has to learn that he can’t take the ball to the hoop with two (or more) guys on him. In the preseason Robinson passed out of double teams more, and his assist/minute ratio showed improvement.

The Quick

Setting aside the tabloid stories surrounding Madison Square Garden, the most frequent topic about the Knicks new season is Isiah Thomas’ offense. Isiah is going to institute his own invention called “The Quick”, which is a combination of Tex Winters Triangle Offense, Bob Knight’s Indiana Offense, John Wooden UCLA Offense, Bill Walsh’s West Coast Offense, Jacques Lemaire’s Neutral Zone Trap, George Washington’s crossing of the Delaware, General Patton’s Operation Fortitute and every successful strategy ever used.

Zeke’s offense does has some advantages with this roster. Taking the ball out of the point guard’s hands will mean that Marbury & Francis won’t be fighting over point guard duties. Additionally it’ll mean that the two shooting happy PGs won’t be able to dominate the ball. Unfortunately, it can’t hide all of New York’s roster flaws, especially when looking at the starting 5. Between Marbury, Francis, and Jeffries the Knicks don’t have a reliable jump shooter to stretch defenses. While Crawford and Robinson can provide that role, Isiah will have a tough decision to make in the fourth quarter of tight games. Will he sit Francis (or Marbury) in order to keep a sharp shooter on the court? Richardson will start the season at SF, but he still isn’t the shooter he was on the West Coast. Quentin shot a paltry 40.4% eFG this preseason with a cheek slapping 13% from beyond the arc. If Richardson can find his stroke he’d be an integral part of the Knicks’ offense, but if he’s going to shoot like that, the Knicks would be better off with Balkman getting the major minutes in Jeffries’ stead.

The Defense

At one point this was the core of the franchise, but you haven’t heard much regarding how the Knicks are going to improve on defense in 2007. Due to Jeffries’ injury, the Knicks starting 5 on opening night will be Marbury, Francis, Richardson, Frye, and Curry. Not exactly the 1994 Knicks. The backcourt is undersized and the frontcourt doesn’t offer much help, which is a recipe for disaster. On defense, the small forward spot should see an improvement with the additions of Balkman and Jeffries. Should Cato make his way into the rotation, he’ll add a defensive presence as well. Unfortunately those three won’t be enough to make up for a lack of defense from the rest of the roster.

The Outlook

Knick fans are looking forward to this season, because it couldn’t possibly be worse than last year’s fiasco. With a promising core of young players in Frye, Lee, Robinson, and Balkman, New York should generate some excitement on the court this year. The results are mixed on Isiah’s coaching tenure in Indiana, so it’s hard to judge how much of an effect he’ll have on the team. On offense the Knicks lack a true superstar, but they do have a few guys that can contribute in a positive fashion. While most pundits are keying on the development of Eddy Curry, the key might be on the improvement of the Knicks other young big man, Channing Frye. If Marbury can return to his pre-Brown form (very likely), Frye can improve on his first season (likely), Francis can give the production somewhere between his 2005 & 2006 season (possible), and Curry can cut down on his fouls and turnovers (not outside the realm of possibility) then the Knicks should have a good offense. Throw in the continuing development of the bench (Crawford, Robinson, and Lee) and they’ll overcome the lacking of a scoring superpower.

But before Knick fans start readying their tents for an outdoor overnight playoff ticket sale party, there is still the matter of the weak Knicks defense. New York is going to have to outscore their opponents every night, because I don’t see this team shutting down their opponents for extended periods of time. With just about the same roster, the Knicks only won 23 games last year. I don’t care if Larry Brown had a pin filled voodoo doll of each of his players, ultimately it’s the players that earned that record. History shows that teams don’t just all of a sudden win 15-20 more games without a massive talent overhaul.

A realistic estimate for New York’s win total is in the 30-something range, which is still a large improvement. While there will be a lot of talk surrounding the Knicks offense and how the different players mesh with each other, pay attention to the Knicks’ defense. That’ll be the key for their 2007 season.

New Addition to the Knicks “Pay To Not Play” Auxiliary

According to the New York Daily News, Isiah Thomas and Jalen Rose are working out a buyout of the remaining one year/$16 million left on Rose’s contract.

This will now make it a staggering $52 million that the Knicks will owe on the salary cap this year for five players who will not play for the Knicks this year (Allan Houston, Jerome Williams, Shandon Anderson and Maurice Taylor are the other four…you can stretch it to 6 players and $58 million if you want to argue that Malik Rose is essentially paid to not play as well).

However, seeing as how this money is already spent, I think it probably does make more sense to cut Rose loose than to keep him around. Unlike Malik, Jalen Rose likely would not be a good influence on the younger players, and like Malik, he wasn’t going to play any significant minutes, so if this can free up a roster spot for another player, then that’s okay by me.

What’s intriguing about this the most to me is who is the Knicks back-up small forward until Jeffries comes back? Is it Renaldo Balkman? Or David Lee?

Or will we see Jamal Crawford at the 3 in a three-guard lineup?

Zeke vs….Greg Anthony?!?

Marty Burns had a great bit today at CNN/SI about Isiah Thomas going off on Greg Anthony today about Anthony’s comments regarding the Balkman pick on draft night.

Don’t get me wrong, I sympathize with Zeke in the sense that I, too, thought Anthony was way off base (I think I even mentioned it here at the time), in that, whether the Balkman pick was good or not, Anthony wasn’t giving the pick enough thought, choosing instead to just make knee-jerk comments that amounted to “I never heard of the guy, so he must be bad.”

Therefore, I was okay with him saying “This so-called former Knick, on draft night with millions of people watching, had the audacity to take me to task on a player that I’m pretty sure he had never seen before in his life, But he stands on national television and talks about a kid he has absolutely no idea about. I’m just glad that all of New York doesn’t think like Greg Anthony.”

I think it’s probably better to let sleeping dogs lie, but that comment was pretty fair, I think.

However, Isiah then followed with “Greg Anthony should never ever be in a position to question myself on anything about basketball. I do remember the kind of player he was. I’ll leave it at that.” That was way too much, highlighting a problem Isiah seems to have where he seems to personalize criticisms way too much.

Apparently, he peppered shots at Anthony throughout the press conference. Here’s Burns on it:

When asked whether he could see Balkman someday defending LeBron James or Tracy McGrady, Thomas replied, “Wait a minute, hold on now … you can run him out there but he’ll probably get stepped on a little bit … Unlike Greg Anthony, I do have respect for others.”

When asked about the Knicks’ dismal season a year ago, and what role all the injuries played, Thomas said, “We all were in a funk last year … Greg Anthony was in a funk.”

Later, when talking about Balkman’s ability to handle the ball, a reporter jokingly asked if he had a better handle than Greg Anthony. “Most definitely,” Thomas said. “Greg could only go left.”

Nuts, eh?

Anthony wouldn’t comment, which is good on him!

By the by, speaking of Balkman, Marc Berman had a line in his blog the other day that I thought was a bit much, where he stated that what Thomas SHOULD have done was draft Marcus Williams at #20 and Balkman at #29. Now, clearly, we all would have liked that, but that’s taking for granted that Balkman was not going to be picked, which (while not saying he officially WOULD have been picked) is something Berman should have at least made clear he was assuming. You know, something like, “It was likely Balkman could have been available at #29, so Thomas should have drafted Williams at #20 and Balkman at #29.” Without the qualifier, it’s not giving the facts, I don’t think.

Four Questions About the Knicks’ Four Factors

Sorry this is up so late today gang. Things got busy at work. You know the drill.

While we are still in something of a Knicks news black hole I thought it might be interesting to pose four questions to the readership about the upcoming season that call for rampant speculation. We’re all good for that, right?

But, to provide this post with at least the thin veneer of being at the analytical forefront of the sports blogosphere I’ve organized the questions around Dean Oliver’s “Four Factors”. Let’s restrict this round to offense mostly–just to see how this goes.

Question 1 (Shooting): In 2006 the Knick effective FG% was 48.1%, 22nd in the league. Denver was 15th last season at 48.8%. Will the Knicks increase their eFG% to 48.8% or better in 2007? Why?

Question 2 (Turnovers): New York was dead last in the league in 2006 at 19.5 turnovers per 100 possessions, more than a full turnover behind next-to-last Boston. The Clippers were 15th at 15.9 per 100 possessions. Can the Knicks keep their TO’s to 15.9 per 100 or fewer?
(Okay, almost certainly not but do you expect to improve in this area? How much?)

Question 3 (Rebounding): New York was 4th in the league in offensive rebounding percentage (31.2%) in 2006. At least three reserves who contributed double-digit rebound rates (Qyntel Woods, Mo Taylor, and Jackie Butler) are gone. Replacing them are Jared Jeffries–who was the basic equivalent of Taylor on the boards last year–along with uber-rebounder David Lee, and possibly rookie Ronaldo Balkman. Will the Knicks be able to remain a top 5 team on the offensive glass?

Okay, so I lied. I will ask one defense-oriented question because getting to the FT line, the fourth factor, is kinda boring.

Question 4 (Defensive Rebounding): Unfortunately the Knick prowess on the offensive glass did not translate to defense. The Knicks lacked the knack for keeping other teams off the boards. [Read that last sentence in Clyde’s voice. It’s almost like watching MSG.] They allowed a respectable 27.2% of opponent misses to be rebounded, good for 13th. The Heat lead the league at 23.6%.

The team’s unwillingness to rebound on the defensive end may be the singularly most inexcusable aspect of their play last year. They already were a high turnover team that didn’t shoot especially well or play good defense. However, there doesn’t seem to be much reason why a team can pound the offensive glass with the best of them but remain mediocre on defensive glass–other than “want to”. It was the widest disparity between offense and defense among the four factors for the Knicks in 2006. So, can Isiah inspire this bunch to become a top 5 defensive rebounding team? Why or why not?

Alright, have at it…

Jeffries’ Injury An Opportunity

Just last week I praised Jeffries for stabilizing the Knicks defense, and this morning reports have hit the news of the Knicks swingman breaking his wrist. Jeffries won’t likely be around for the Knicks opener on November first’s game in Memphis, but he should be back by December first’s game in Detroit. The injury will cost the Knicks wing somewhere between 3 and 6 weeks, and CNNSI has taken the opportunity to bash the Knicks by covering the news with the title: “It’s always something – Jeffries’ broken wrist leaves Knicks scrambling again.”

Scrambling? Hardly.

As I commented yesterday the Knicks have a glut at SF, and Jeffries injury could be an opportunity for any of the Knick small forwards.

Quentin Richardson is coming off his worst season, but so far this preseason he’s looking like the Q-Rich of old. He’s been the first or second guy off the bench for Isiah, so it’s possible that Richardson might inherit the starting job. With the Francis-Marbury backcourt, the Knicks sorely lack an shooter to keep defenses honest. Quentin’s career 3 point shooting percentage is better than any of the Knick starters, so if he’s found his touch he might be able to help spread the floor. However Isiah might like the Knicks’ chemistry with Richardson sparking things off the bench, so Richardson’s early season success might work against him.

If Isiah Thomas wants to keep the same style and balance he has with his starters, then Renaldo Balkman would step into Jeffries role. Like Jeffries, Balkman earns his keep everywhere else on the court save for shooting. A draft day chuckle for pundits and fans alike, Balkman has shown in summer league that Isiah is an excellent evaluator of incoming talent. Keeping that talent (Butler) and evaluating guys already in the league (everyone he’s traded for) is another story. Starting Renaldo Balkman would not only give the Knicks a high energy player, but would be a nose thumbing to all those who critisized the pick.

There are three problems with starting Balkman. The first is that he’s not exactly the man-to-man defender Jeffries is, and with the matador defense of starters like Marbury & Francis the Knicks really need someone to clamp down on their man. The second is that Balkman is still a rookie & will be prone to rookie mistakes. Finally giving a player of Balkman’s freshman status major minutes may rankle the veterans on the team. So if Isiah wanted to keep Quentin Richardson as a candidate for NBA’s 6th man of the year, and not throw Balkman to the wolves, plan C would be Jalen Rose. Rose is likely to be burried on the Knicks bench this year, but it’s possible that Isiah could find a use for his ball handling talents in his “Quick” offensive scheme.

So while Jeffries injury isn’t the ideal situation for a Knick team looking to win now, it’s certainly not the disaster that CNNSI would have you believe.