Richardson Should Sit

During the Knicks offseason, there has been a lot of conjecture on who will be in the starting lineup. Marbury’s continued presence makes him a threat to Chris Duhon at the shooting guard spot. Should Duhon have an awful preseason it’s possible that he could lose his job to Marbury or even Robinson. There have been questions surrounding the front court, with Lee, Randolph, Curry, and Jeffries being discussed as starting options. Due to the injuries to Curry and Jeffries, it appears that Lee and Randolph will be the starters. This has been strengthened by the pair’s strong play in the preseason.

Meanwhile it was just assumed that the small forward spot would be handed to Quentin Richardson. Although he was coming off a poor year, Quentin’s familiarity with D’Antoni’s offense made him the front runner to start. Two of Richardson’s competitors for the swingman spot were eliminated when Jeffries was injured and Balkman was traded. The only SFs left on the roster were Wilson Chandler and second round pick Patrick Ewing Jr. Chandler is just old enough to buy a beer legally, and Ewing is already on his third team before he’s played a single game.

However the stats show that Richardson isn’t the best candidate for the the position. Looking at Q-Rich’s career, it appears that his production has been erratic and diminishing over the last few years. His yearly PER has been 16.5, 17.4, 12.5, 15.1, 13.6, 9.6, 14.3, and 8.5. It seems that Quentin was a productive player in his first 4 years, but has been a poor player over the last 4 years. The big question mark concerning Richardson has always been his health, and it seems obvious that injuries have reduced him to a below average player.

Luckily for Knick fans, greenhorn Wilson Chandler may be ready. Three games isn’t much to go on, especially preseason ones, but so far Wilson Chandler is outplaying Richardson on a per-minute basis.

Name Min Reb Ast TO Stl BS BA PF Pts TS% eFG
Chandler 73 11.3 3.0 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.0 3.0 21.2 52% 51%
Richardson 50 5.0 1.4 1.4 1.4 0.7 0.0 4.3 15.1 46% 46%

It’s uncertain what Chandler will do in his second season if given extended minutes. His rate stats weren’t bad in limited minutes last year, but his shooting percentages were low (48 TS%, 46% eFG). Unfortunately it’s pretty clear what Richardson will give the Knicks. As I said earlier three games isn’t much to judge a player. But given that Richardson is a veteran coming off 4 poor years, and is the only player on the Knicks familiar with D’Antoni’s offense, you’d expect better in preseason. At worst the rebuilding Knicks should give Chandler a majority of the minutes, and use the opportunity to gauge his development.

So far D’Antoni doesn’t seem to be afraid to make changes. He’s installed Duhon as the starting PG, and toyed around with Jared Jeffries at the 5 spot. Curry isn’t likely to regain his starting spot either. D’Antoni has spoken highly of Chandler, so it’s possible that he may make the switch. If he doesn’t then Chandler may get his chance eventually. During his tenure as a Knick, Richardson has missed an average of 26 games a year. Given New York’s low depth at SF, it’s likely that Chandler will be starting at some point this season.

Draft Measurements Are Available

caleb Said:

Draft news — NBA has released official measurements and athletic testing results from the Orlando combine.

http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/draft2008/insider/columns/story?columnist=ford_chad&page=CombineResults-080603

On first glance I didn’t see any huge surprises. Except, Patrick Ewing, Jr. registered the highest vertical jump of anyone in the camp. (like DJ Strawberry last year).

Of the top guards, Mayo, Gordon and Bayless all had great vertical jumps. (Mayo an inch higher)

Gordon was very strong, outlifting most of the forwards. Mayo and Bayless did fine for their size.

Gordon was almost the fastest player in camp; Bayless a step behind and Mayo was middle of the pack on the sprints.

Brook Lopez is extremely slow and isn’t very strong, either. DeAndre Jordan isn’t much better.

Anthony Randolph (6?10, 197) is about the skinniest person ever, except maybe Shaun Livingtson. That’s either a) bad — he’ll break like Shaun Livingston; or b) great — he was a good college player despite being excruciatingly skinny, so when he puts on weight he’ll be unstoppable!

An even better source for the measurements: http://www.draftexpress.com/nba-pre-draft-measurements/

If True, Walsh Move a Step Forward

Although there has been no official word, a few different sources have reported that the Knicks have hired Donnie Walsh to oversee their franchise. Walsh isn’t the sexy move that Colangelo or West would have been, and his tenure in Indiana isn’t without it’s flaws. However for the Knicks in the Dolan era, playing it safe shows a marked improvement.

Since Dolan took sole possession, many of the the Knicks moves have been risky get rich quick schemes. Some of the hallmark transactions include trading for Glenn Rice, Antonio Mcdyess, Stephon Marbury, Steve Francis, Eddy Curry, and Zach Randolph. If these deals have one thing in common, it’s that each one failed to account for the Knicks long term future. Rice was exchanged in favor of Patrick Ewing’s massively expiring contract. McDyess was gotten in lieu of the #8 pick (Nene). Meanwhile the rest took away the Knicks financial flexibility, not to mention four first round picks and a few young players. But despite surrendering all this, New York finds itself at the bottom of the league hoping to lose games in order to get a better draft pick.

During Walsh’s tenure, the Pacers rarely went for the big move. The early ’90s Pacers were built primarily through the draft. Reggie Miller, Rik Smits, Antonio Davis, and Dale Davis were taken in successive years. Meanwhile the early ’00s Pacers were constructed through shrew trades. Walsh paid pennies on the dollar for Jermaine O’Neal (Dale Davis) and Ron Artest (Jalen Rose & Travis Best). These deals are the antithesis of the recent New York acquisitions.

Compared to Walsh, Scott Layden and Isiah Thomas were inexperienced, impatient, and incompetent GMs. Fans were happy at the trade deadline this year when New York didn’t make any deals. Not because the team didn’t need to move players, but because Isiah Thomas didn’t have a chance to further damage the team. With Walsh at the helm, New Yorkers won’t hold their collective breaths anytime the ESPN ticker announces a Knick trade. If Donnie Walsh assumes the helm, he will be the first capable GM in the James Dolan era. And that’s a small step forward for a franchise wrapping up its 8th straight losing season.

Knicks Resign Allan Houston

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but is thought to be in the 6yr/$100M range.

Official press release:

NEW YORK, October 10, 2007 ? New York Knickerbockers President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach Isiah Thomas announced today that guard Allan Houston has been re-signed as a free agent after a two-season absence from the court.

“After much thought and prayer, I have decided to return to the NBA as a member of the New York Knicks. I have worked extremely hard in the last year and a half to accomplish my dream of playing in the NBA again,” Houston said.

?After my wife and I were blessed with the birth of our fourth child last week, I realized that New York is where I am supposed to be, and the Knick uniform is the one I want to wear. I have seen the Garden in some of its best moments, and I truly believe that this team is on the verge of experiencing that again. This team is hungry and energetic. I hope to contribute in the weeks and months ahead.

?Thank you to all of the Knick fans and those that have supported me. I will always be a Knick, and I am committed to helping this team compete for a championship.”

Originally retiring on Oct. 17, 2005 following training camp two seasons ago, Houston is the team?s fourth leading scorer in franchise history during the regular season (11,165) and eighth leading scorer during the playoffs (1,139). Only NBA legends Patrick Ewing, Walt ?Clyde? Frazier and Willis Reed have scored more points during their regular season careers with the orange and blue. On Oct. 4, 1999, he was named a team captain, and held that title for six seasons. He was selected to be a member of the 2000 and 2001 NBA All-Star teams and was a member of the Gold medal-winning United States team at the 2000 Summer Olympic Games in Sydney.

On May 16, 1999, the Louisville, KY native authored one of the most memorable shots in club history with a game-winning runner at Miami in the closing seconds of Game Five in the first round of the 1999 NBA Playoffs. After defeating the Heat, the Knicks went on to defeat the Atlanta Hawks in the conference semifinals and Indiana Pacers in the conference finals to make their first NBA Finals appearance since 1994.

The preseason roster is now at 20.

$11.6M

Folks, I’ve spent the last 2 days trying to find how I feel about the verdict. I’ve probably written about 2,000 words, and deleted 1,900 of them. Today I spent about 15 minutes being interviewed by a local newspaper, and what appears in print doesn’t really capture what I feel. I’m sure I said each one of the words, but they seem to be out of context and don’t represent my feelings. Since not saying anything on this blog seems to put me in the same league as Joseph Goebbels I guess I have to publish something, whether I like it or not.

Often I crave to see the inside of sports. I loved the HBO series on the KC Chiefs. But in cases like this, I can’t look away quick enough. I don’t like to see the ugly side to sports. I’m sure I’ve cheered for players whose morals were lacking. Patrick Ewing found adultery to be acceptable. Houston and Ward’s publicly aired their bigoted views. Larry Johnson had at least 4 children out of wedlock. I cheered heartily for Latrell Sprewell, even after he choked his coach. Yet these acts didn’t stop me from openly rooting for these people. I didn’t do this because of their morals, but rather because of their athletic ability.

What the Knicks did was reprehensible and is a black eye on the organization. It’s certainly a low point for MSG which has put the team in a slow and painful nose dive since gaining full control in the summer of 1999. Today during my phone interview I was asked if I was embarrassed by the team. Flummoxed, I said that I wasn’t embarrassed because I wasn’t the person behind the actions. But in the end, I find that I am embarrassed. Although I’m not responsible for what goes on in the front offices of the Garden, since I support the team I am represented by their actions. While no one became a Knick fan because of their progressive stance on feminism, if the organization performs unseemly acts it projects onto their fans. In a way, what the Knicks did was give all their fans a black eye.