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Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Eddy Curry Study, Pt. II

It’s only been 12 games, but it looks like Knicknation has turned on Eddy Curry. Posts on various message boards show New Yorkers’ disdain for their “center of the future.” At UltimateKnicks, a post was titled “I’m done with Curry….” and it was met with no resistance. One Knicks4Life poster started a thread two weeks ago called “The Eddy Curry Watch” and went from the opinion “Got to admit, he looked pretty good out there” to “I’m done defending Curry” in two weeks. Even on RealGM, where the hardcore optimists take up residence, posts are proclaiming “Curry has got to go.

However there are still a few people that are still optimistic on Curry’s future.

“We’re not asking Eddy to dominate the league at 23 years of age. That’s a tall task for anyone. I don’t remember too many 23-year-olds coming in and dominating, regardless of how long they’ve been in the league. Twenty-three is still 23.”

You might expect that quote to come from a body-painted rabid Knick fan on a message board, but instead those words come from Knicks President & Coach Isiah Thomas. That quote comes from the New York Daily News along with this tidbit:

Still, [Isiah] has made a Ewing-esque guarantee about Curry’s future, and yesterday named some other top-tier big men in arguing that the sixth-year pro will take as long as they did to develop. Those names included Yao, Jermaine O’Neal – whom Thomas acquired and coached in Indiana – and one guy whose number hangs from the Garden rafters.

“I saw Patrick Ewing in the gym (Saturday) night,” Thomas said. “I remember Patrick at 23. Do you remember what the Knicks’ record was when Patrick was 23? … I’m just saying, it takes awhile.”

While I don’t expect Isiah to badmouth one of his own players, I don’t think Thomas should expect Knick fans to swallow his words hook, line & sinker. Let’s look at the facts and discuss whether Eddy Curry is similar to Jermaine O’Neal, Yao Ming, and Patrick Ewing? Curry turns 24 in a couple of weeks, which means last year he was 23 for a majority of last season. So let’s look at our 4 players at the age of 23:

OFFENSIVE STATS
Ewing  20.0 pts, 22.5 pts/40, 47.4% efg, 52.6% ts%
O'Neal 19.0 pts, 20.2 pts/40, 48.0% efg, 52.1% ts%
Y.Ming 17.5 pts, 21.3 pts/40, 52.2% efg, 58.6% ts%
CURRY  13.6 pts, 21.0 pts/40, 53.8% efg, 58.3% ts%

Curry’s scoring and shooting percentages are right up there with the other three, only his points per game lags behind. Since that’s a function of his minutes, let’s look at some of his other stats to see why he’s not getting the playing time the other 3 received. We’ll use the stats per 40 minutes to even things out, since the minutes per game are radically different between the 4.

OTHER STATS (per 40 minutes)
Ewing  10.2 REB, 2.3 BLK, 3.9 TO, 4.3 PF
O'Neal 11.2 REB, 2.5 BLK, 2.6 TO, 4.0 PF
Y.Ming 10.9 REB, 2.3 BLK, 3.0 TO, 4.1 PF
Curry   9.2 REB, 1.2 BLK, 3.8 TO, 5.1 PF

It’s clear from the fouls that Eddy can’t get more minutes, however it’s not just the fouls that keeps Curry on the bench. He lags behind all 3 in rebounding, blocked shots, and fouls. Only Ewing’s high turnover rate keeps Eddy from running the table. Curry’s blocked shot rate is especially damning. The Knicks current center’s blocks shots at half the rate of the others. This confirms eye witness testimony of Eddy’s poor defense. From these numbers, it’s obvious that Curry is poor in areas vital to the center position, which is the primary reason he doesn’t receive more minutes.

Curry’s backers say that his poor defense, high foul rate, & lack of rebounding are a factor of his age. Unfortunately this statement is in direct contradiction of the evidence above. Ewing, Yao, and Jermaine O’Neal were all good rebounders, had their fouls under control, and were dominant in the paint even at the tender age of 23.

Thanks to basketball-reference.com, we have another way to judge a player’s potential. Similarity scores look at a player’s stats, then finds other players that had similar numbers. For example if you wanted to know if Chris Paul is likely to be good, one way would be to look at the players that were most similar to him. Good news for Hornet fans, as Paul’s most similar are Stephon Marbury, Mike Bibby, Isiah Thomas, and Gilbert Arenas. Meanwhile Garnett’s comparables at age 23 predicted a Hall of Fame career: Bird, Duncan, Webber, and Ewing. And how do our four players match up?

Most Similar at Age 23
Ewing: Jermaine O'Neal, Keith Van Horn, Pau Gasol, Derrick Coleman, Tim Duncan
O'Neal: Patrick Ewing, Pau Gasol, Derrick Coleman, Bryant Reeves, Shawn Kemp
Y.Ming: Ralph Sampson, Rik Smits, Pau Gasol, Jermaine O'Neal, Georghe Muresan
Curry: Jeff Ruland, Mitch Kupchak, Sharone Wright, Jamaal Magloire, Leon Douglas

At 23 years old Ewing, O’Neal, and Ming compared to All Stars and/or players that were very good early in their career. On the other hand, Curry’s most comparables leave a lot to be desired. The one thing they have in common is they were all washed up by the age of 28.

For those that aren’t into statistical methods, there are still other ways to judge a player’s value.

Awards by the age of 23
Ewing: All Star, Rookie of the Year, All Rookie Team
O'Neal: All Star, Most Improved Player, All NBA Team (3rd)
Y.Ming: All Star, Rookie of the Year, All Rookie Team
Curry: None

Just as the statistics predicted, Patrick Ewing, Jermaine O’Neal, and Yao Ming were acknowledged by their peers for their fine play. All three became All Stars before the age of 24, and all three were given some other award. And again Curry is the odd man out, lacking in any kind of hardware.

So what do all these facts tell us? First that Curry’s age isn’t an excuse for his lack of development. Just using the players Isiah chose, we’re able to show that 23 year olds can play at a high level. Ewing went to a four year college, Yao Ming came form another country, and Jermaine O’Neal skipped college. Despite coming to the NBA from different routes, all three made their mark by the age of 23. Second Curry’s lack of college experience isn’t an excuse either. Just like Curry, O’Neal came to the NBA out of high school. Before age 23, Jermaine O’Neal played in only 5076 minutes compared to Curry’s 6683. Despite Curry having a season’s worth of minutes over O’Neal, Jermaine was the one to become an All Star. But O’Neal isn’t the only player to accomplish this. Dwight Howard is only 21, and is poised to become one of the East’s best centers. Toronto’s Chris Bosh appeared in his first All Star game at age 21. While Isiah Thomas might be throwing out names like Ewing, Yao, and Jermaine to make Curry sound like a promising young player, it’s clear no matter how you look at it that Eddy Curry will not become a “league-leading center.”

58 comments on “The Eddy Curry Study, Pt. II

  1. KnickerBlogger Post author

    (Some stuff that is relevant, but didn’t make the cut)

    The Knicks brought in Eddy Curry to become a “league-leading center.” They paid a high price to get Curry (including 4 draft picks and 3 players), and to keep Curry (6 years $60M). At this stage it’s clear to most that the Knicks aren’t going to get what they expected. It’s not clear if Isiah Thomas is predicting a high ceiling for Curry because Thomas actually believes it. It’s possible that Isiah’s position doesn’t allow him to admit Curry’s faults publicly. However his treatment of Curry as coach is starting to hurt the team. Isiah still trots out Curry with the starting 5, and attempts to play him as much as possible. In tonight’s loss against the Rockets, Isiah went to Curry repeatedly to start the second half, despite Yao’s repeated dominance of Curry. In the game before, Thomas left Curry in despite being beaten to rebound after rebound by Boston’s Ryan Gomes. The Knicks are 10.3 points per possesion worse with Curry on the floor.

    Isiah Thomas has to be careful how he handles this situation. He’s defending Curry by comparing him to other great players, but by doing so he’s putting unrealistic expectations on Curry. The more Isiah compares him to the better players in the league, the more the fans will expect that from the Knicks’ center. Some fans never forgave Ewing for not being the most dominant player in the league. Complicating things is the 4-8 start and the play of David Lee. Not only is Lee perfomingly well statistically, but his scrappy style of play is endearing to the fans. In the short term Isiah may think he’s defending his player, but he might be causing more damage in the long term if the fans come to resent him.

  2. bishop

    I agree with everything you said but for your personal correction Yao Ming did not win rookie of the year. Amare Stoudemire took that award. Other than that you are on point with what you said and i’ve personally had enough of Eddy Curry.

  3. Count Zero

    KB: Excellent point in the 2nd paragraph! Isiah’s Curry defense is indeed a double-edged sword.

    I think part of Curry’s problem is that his attitude (or “perceived” attitude) is totally infuriating. Last night’s game was infuriating not because Ming dominated Curry (Ming is dominating everyone right now), but because Curry takes it like a pxxxy.

    Right now, I think Frye is looking better and better as a C — he was actually pretty good at manning the middle last night, shutting down the lane on penetration, etc. Even JJ has been looking better than Curry lately. Curry’s play and foul woes make him ideally suited to being part of a team’s second unit. Unfortunately, we don’t really want him on the second unit because he would likely destroy the energy level which has made that unit so effective.

    Even when Curry is doing the one thing he does well, scoring in the low post, his inability to kick the ball back out when double- or even triple-teamed is part of the reason why no one wants to give him the ball to begin with. Honestly…this guy just doesn’t show any improvement, or any ability to learn new skills. He does one thing well and he seems to be convinced that that’s good enough to keep him in the NBA and wealthy.

  4. Kevin

    Totally agree, well except it only seems like Curry is 10.3 points worse per possession.

    Even the chart above will give the Curry fans (fan?) hope as he is close to the other guys. The above comparison is the most favorable to Curry because defense wasn’t included. Ewing had not developed an offensive game and was a good defender.

    As you mentioned with Ewing, the problem for a few years was what he did compared to what we thought he would become. Eventually he was recognized for what he was. Curry, strangely, is benefitting from the same gap between reality and expectation. The talk is that he is young and he can become a dominant guy in the post, nobody can stop him, blah blah blah, etc.

    Eventually, and this may be sooner rather than later, people will realize that Curry is not getting better and that he is no longer young and turn, turn with a vengence.

  5. thepalerider

    I think Curry’s problem is similar to a lot of young players in the league now. He just does not care. He sort of fell into basketball and dosen’t even seem to love the game like say a David Lee. If he just a 1/10 of David Lee’s or Malik Rose’s heart he’d be an all-star. You just can’t make some people want to be successful. Curry is what he is, what is more frustrating is Isiah refusing to admit he made a mistake and continully let him go out and hurt the team. Nate Robinson had more blocks on Yao in one game then Curry has in two games.

  6. miik

    Wow. Great analysis. Comparing Curry to Ewing, Yao or O’Neal is statistically alarming. But, on a competitive (non-measurable) level it’s not even close. All you have to do is watch. Even Yao with his super nice guy demeanor always showed a ton of heart and competitiveness at that age.

    Most frustratingly, all of the centers Eddy was just compared to made things happen, either through good defense and rebounding, second-chance points or taking advantage of mismatches. Curry does none of the above. If he isn’t featured in the post, he completely disappears from the game. But, has featuring Curry in the post won the Knicks a single game since he’s been here?! Just the opposite really. During the last two losses, it seemed that Isiah’s insistence to repeatedly feature Curry in the third quarter lost the Knicks both games.

    It’s time to end the Curry comparisons and just stop making him the focal point of the offense. Put him on the second unit. Frye is finally coming around. Start him at center and Lee at PF, even if it means Lee has to guard the opposing team’s C (like he did against Yao last night). Maybe, best case scenario, Curry is instant offense off the bench against a softer opposing second unit.

  7. gb

    The new president that comes in after Isaiah is going to move Curry to some contending team that is going to LOVE him.

    They’ll plop him on the bench and bring him in to decimate the second string centers of the opposing teams.

    He might even win sixth man of the year when that time comes.

  8. Marc R

    Put me in with the crowd that is done with defending Curry.

    He actually hasn’t even been in foul trouble for the last few games, but he has still been ineffective. Although it doesn’t seem that Curry has a lack of passion, judging by his demeanor when he gets a b.s. foul call on him, he just doesn’t seem to react quickly enough or have the right instinct to be a good rebounder.

    I agree that he should move from the starting lineup. He would eat up backup centers, get some easy baskets from Nate’s drives, and it would take him out of worrying about early foul troubles. Isiah could just send him in there and tell him to cut loose and not worry about foul trouble.

  9. Alex

    I’m not ready to turn on Curry. Last nights performance isn’t a fair indication of what he’s capable of. I think everyone can agree that right now, Yao is the most dominant big man in the league, so as far as i’m concerned, he gets a pass (for last night only). Yao is killing everyone. This is the first year you can truly say Yao’s been dominant and that gives me hope for Curry.

    Yao is 26 and playing on a team with 1 other scorer. Pretty much the whole knicks roster is made of scorers. Curry, Frye, Richardson, Francis, Marbury, Crawford, Robinson. Any given night, any of those guys can lead the team in scoring. Put Curry in Yao’s situation, where it’s a clear one/two attack and he’s going to thrive as well. I think the bigger problem for curry is the style of play. So, in this situation, looking at Curry’s numbers aren’t really all that fair. This ‘analysis’ is comparing Curry’s numbers to Ewing, O’neal, and Yao. In those cases, those players were the clear cut NUMERO UNO (or dos) scorers on the team. This year, NY has five players averaging double digit scoring. Two more players are 9.9 and 9.8. Frye is at 7.3, and you know he’s going to be at double digits by seasons end. This means there is a legitimate chance the knicks could have 8 players averaging double digits. Thats pretty balanced. Actually, that’s amazing. Has that ever happened before? I digress. My point is, this team is built around depth, balance, and sharing the ball. You’ve all heard the mantra. Is Curry going to average 24ppg and 10rbg like Yao? Nope. Why? Not because he sucks, but because the ball isn’t going to be put in his hands the majority of the possesions like it is with Yao. Is he going to average as many minutes as Yao? Nope. Not because he sucks, but because we have a very good player in David Lee coming off the bench, not to mention two highly servicable centers. You think Van Gundy WANTS to play Yao so many minutes? He doesn’t have a choice.

    The fouls:
    COME ON!!! You’ve seen that a LOT of those offensive fouls are total BS. I’m going to say that as many as 50-60% of the offensive fouls are garbage. Players today don’t take pride in playing hard defense. So, what do they do? FLOP!!! I’ve seen way too many situations where Curry turns baseline and the defender throws himself(herself) backwards like his chest exploded with minimal contact. OFFENSIVE FOUL!!! This is a totally GAY way of playing. Now, that’s not to say he doesn’t charge, but at least half the time, it’s theatrics on the defender.

    The Awards:
    So now we’re judging players potential on what awards they received.
    MVP – Did anyone on this planet ever figure Nash to get an MVP? No, but he got two of them. In his thirties.
    ROY – Mike Miller and Damon Stoudamire both got it. I’m somehow not impressed. Should be removed from analysis.
    All Star – I still say he’s young and all star appearances are skewed. How many times was Vince voted to an all star game when he clearly didn’t deserve it.
    Rebounding:
    Yao is 7feet 6inches tall. He’s got a clear advantage here. However, I make no excuses for curry in this regard. He’s got to want it, and I don’t think he does. I don’t expect him to rebound like Lee (Lee is just uncanny. I really love the knickname ‘shallow waters’ kenny smith gave him. He has a sense for the ball like Rodman), but he does have to put in a LOT more effort here.

    So, while this analysis looks good on paper, you have to take into account the way the team is made up. How the scoring was distributed across the team. For example, when Ewing averaged 20/10, who was backing him up? Was it another good scorer? Wasn’t one of Patricks problems that he played TOO many minutes during the regular season and sometimes didn’t have enough for the playoffs? Did Ewing have to deal with the amount of flopping Curry deals with?

    This analysis is limited to hard numbers which kinda make sense, until you take ALL factors into account. The problem with this analysis, is that people read the numbers and don’t put any thought into it, which makes it dangerous. People look at it and go…”Wow, great analysis. You can’t argue with numbers. I’ll make my own judgements based on this”. Look deeper people. Curry’s numbers are going to go down because of the makeup of the team. I hate to repeat myself, but when you’ve got 8 guys contributing, instead of 2 or 3, the numbers are going to be different. What i’d like to see is for this analysis to include all those factors.

  10. thepalerider

    So what was Curry’s excuse when he was in Chicago? Was he not one of the main options there? They were building the team around him before he had the heart problem. It’s time to face the facts he’s a medicore center and will never be much more.

  11. Alex

    Before he had the heart problem, he was having what all the experts at ESPN and SI called a breakout season. He was ‘realizing his potential’. That’s another thing, I don’t think most people realize what a struggle it is to get your weight down after you are forced to not excersize at all for months. Give him time. What other big man would you want that’s availabl? Nazr Mohammed? Jackie Butler? He’s the same as curry, all potential. 33 year old, non scoring ben wallace. He’s sure doing great for the bulls. Oh, FYI, Dwight Howard and Chris Bosh will never be available.

  12. mase

    I have this haunting feeling that for Isiah to save his job he will be forced to trade one or two of the young guys(Lee, Nate, Frye) to move one of the contractural behemoths….O NO!

  13. fishmike

    that was my advice. Just cool it for awhile.. tell him you will contact him when your ready. You already did your part. His part is about showing over time.

    Eddie is a fat basketball player. Its not fair to expect every NBA bigman to be build like Zo, Amare or Deke. Our own Ewing was never cut like those guys. But there is built and there is broke. Eddie’s weight and lack of conditioning affect his game and his fundamentals…
    He doesn’t jump for and fight for many rebounds because he’s winded.
    He doesn’t fill the lane on fast breaks.
    He bring the ball down (where it can be stripped) because he needs to momentum to make a vertical move.
    He doesn’t move well laterally on defense.
    He doesn’t move at all on defense.

    I don’t want to turn this into a trash Eddie festival. He’s a 23 year old post scorer that draws fouls and scores with an exceptional FG%. That’s the good.

    The bad is his dedication to basketball and being a winning basketball player must be questioned. If your not in shape your not giving 100%. If you not giving 100% you cant consistently win at this level. If you can consistently win at this level no team should be building around you. Certainly no team should surrender a pair of unprotected lottery picks to acquire you.

    Watching sweaty Eddie lumber around while less “talented” players out play him off the bench is tough to stomach.

  14. gb

    In all fairness, Eddy should be given till the end of the season before calling for his head. But he should be moved while you guys can get some good value for him. He won’t be your cornerstone.

    In all fairness the other way, Andrew Bynum in his second year has already shown more big man zeal than Curry /ever/ has.

    And Dwight Howard shouldn’t even be mentioned in the same sentence as Curry. It’s an insult to him.

  15. Peter H

    I think the most difficult thing for Curry is that defensive skills are usually a function of athleticism. Things like blocked shots are a result of long arms, good vertical and instincts. Unfortunately he really only has 1 out of the 3.

    I think his youth and his ability to finish has led folks to vastly overrate his true ability as it masks his other less measurable qualities like hustle and defense. People automatically think that the right person could ‘teach’ him how to do these things when in actuality, it’s really the opposite. People can learn how to shoot jumpers with consistency more than they can learn how to defend NBA caliber players.

    That said, the future doesn’t look bright for Curry but stranger things have happened. I’m willing to keep an open mind about his future but if he continues to get 30+ mpg at this rate of production, the Knicks are doomed.

  16. GodSaveTheKnicks

    The bottom line is. We can’t get rid of Curry.

    So we may as well put our karmic good will behind him and root that One of These Days, he will get in shape, play his heart out for 40 minutes, and take his head out of his arse.

    I will have none of this “cut and run” nonsense. The American people want Victory.

  17. Larry

    I am afraid that Curry’s problems are more then just mental. He seems to have poor lateral movement and just doesn’t seem to have good balance. He can’t adjust himself once he gets moving so whenever a defender gets between him and the basket he either gets an offensive foul or just stops and throws up a weak shot. He doesn’t have the ability to turn the other direction or do an up and under once he gets moving. His only strong moments are when he gets the lob or a cut to the basket when the guard is penetrating so there is nobody to avoid running into between him and the basket. These physical limitations are things it seems that he can’t overcome even on nights when he is motivated. He just will never be a great center in the mold of Patrick, Yao or Shaq. Hopefully, with the right coaching and more work on his footwork he can be a decent contributor for a few years and not make us all cringe when he is on the court. The Knicks are stuck with Curry for a while so I think the best thing they can do is try some new assistant coaches to work with him. Maybe they can lure Patrick into a part time job working with Curry at home games and NY practices the way the Lakers have Kareem working with Bynum.

  18. Dan Panorama

    This booing Curry does seriously have to end though. Curry’s expectations are absurdly high for reasons completely out of his control – mainly that Isiah gave up way more than he needed to while basically bidding against himself to get him. In addition, Isiah, fearing for his job, tried to build up Eddy as the next Ewing, which while it may sound great before he’s played, quickly turns the entire fan base against him when they find out he’s not Ewing and ain’t never going ot be Ewing. It’s not his fault – blame Isiah. Booing him at the rate the garden is doing is a big part of our abysmal home record which is an embarassment for new yorkers.

  19. Hudson River

    If Curry dominates second string centers he may become more confident in himself. He should go in for almost the same amount of minutes just against the backups, who won’t hurt the knicks with their scoreing, his limitations will be more suttle.

    Why does Isiah have this big issue with playing Lee and Frye together, everytime one goes in the other goes out. I’ve seen 2 possetions with them very involed in the offense, a missed frye jumper which D. Lee rebounded, and a Frye lay-up off a Lee pass. Both very impressive, but why does Isiah not see this. They supposedly have a good friendship, and the knicks could deal with some chemestry.

  20. George M.

    What Larry and Fishmike said about EWING and CURRY’s conditioning are 100% ON THE MONEY!!!I believe EWING could only help matters,and CURRY’s conditioning needs to be looked at,DEFINITELY!!! If he was a few pounds lighter,his overall game would almost certainly improve!!Nate was AMAZING,wasn’t he???With Zeke calling for a SUNDAY practice,their effort improved against Houston.I’m sure that if they hate unscheduled practices,I think their overall efforts will continue to improve in games,don’t you ?????

  21. KD

    This whole column was fantastic, but the last paragraph of your comment, KB, knocked it out of the park. Great work.

    In a way, Curry’s best chance at a solid career would be on a team like Chicago’s 04-05 outfit. One that knew his limitations, one that went to him in the 1st and 3rd quarters and didn’t expect much else, and one that had sound rebounders (Chandler) and defenders (the late Antonio Davis) to help. Not saying those Bulls were much better with Curry on the floor, but I felt back in October of 2005 that this trade was the worst possible thing for Curry’s career (not even taking into consideration the Knick price and pressures that would follow), and I still feel that way.

  22. Count Zero

    Alex — I think you have some good points. I certainly agree that awards/recognition (or lack thereof) shouldn’t be grounds for judgement. And the Knicks are definitely a balanced team on the O end of the floor.

    BUT…I also think you’re cutting him a bit too much slack. Given your point that the Knicks have half a dozen guys who can put the ball in the basket, the fact that Curry seems unable to learn to find the open man out of a double (or triple) team is particularly annoying. When he draws three defenders and still tries to bull his way to the hoop — well, that offensive foul call is gonna’ come no matter what because that’s the way that gets called. After 6,000+ NBA minutes he’s got to learn to recognize the double team and find the open shooter. I have seen him do this a couple of times in only one game this season — it’s absolutely killing him.

    Even worse, it borks up the entire offense because as a result, the guards become loathe to throw it into him…because they know he won’t give it back when he’s supposed to. Being that the Knick guards have a proclivity for selfishness to begin with, the last thing we need to go with them is another ball-hog in the low post.

    If you watch for this is in games, you will see that this cycle is perpetrated at some point in almost every game. Curry forces his game in the face of a double team several trips down the floor in a 2-3 minute span. The guards stop feeding him soon afterward and decide it’s better if they put the ball on the floor and go 1 on 1. I know — their frustration with him shouldn’t carry over to the rest of the team — they should continue to swing the ball around the perimeter, look inside to Frye or Lee or whoever else is in the game — but that isn’t what happens. Their frustration with his role in the offense leads them to abandon the correct way to play.

    Watch the next game and see if I’m lying or not — when that inevitable moment comes in any Knick game where they get totally out of the offense and start playing 1 on 1, shooting bad perimeter jumpers, etc. — you will likely find that it follows right after a bout of Curry playing black hole in the post. It’s a direct result of the guards losing confidence in the inside game. If it happens in the first or second quarter, it lasts for the rest of the game and the Knicks lose. If it doesn’t happen until late in the third or fourth, they likely win, or at least are in it to the end.

  23. Dan Panorama

    Right on the money, Count, it’s no coincidence that the offense collapses once Curry starts jacking up easily blocked weak layups with three people on him.

    When it comes to the inside game it should start and end with Frye and Lee. Lee is nothing short of great at moving without the ball and can cut to the basket with ease if the guards are quick enough to spot him – and they’re getting better as they trust him more and more. Frye is adding some decent post moves and would actually work with Curry pretty well if Curry kicked it to him occasionally for the open jumper out of those double teams.

  24. TDM

    I agree that Ewing could help Curry contend with the other bigs in the league. Yao’s rep around the league was that he was a softy with no mean streak. Correct me if I’m wrong, but hasn’t Ewing been working him the past couple of seasons? It looks like it has finally paid off, because Yao is finally realizing the promise that everyone saw when he first came into the league.

    I think Ewing could do the same for Curry if given the opportunity.

  25. KnickerBlogger Post author

    Alex,

    There are multiple flaws in your reasoning.

    First Curry has already been the first option on a team, the 2005 Bulls. His stats during that ‘breakout season’ (as you call it): 16.1 pts, 5.4 reb, 0.9 blks. Those rebounding numbers are pathetic. Second Jermaine O’Neal’s 2002 season was filled with multiple scorers. Reggie Miller, Jalen Rose, Brad Miller, Al Harrington, Ron Artest, and Jamal Tinsley. 6 players on that team scored in double figures, yet Jermaine O’Neal still averaged 19 points per game.

    But most importantly, it looks like you didn’t even read the article. My main point was Curry is not at fault for his scoring, but lack of doing anything besides scoring. The Knicks’ balanced offense (which is what your comment centered around) has no effect on Curry’s lack of rebounding & defense.

  26. KnickerBlogger Post author

    TDM – did you see Yao’s stats above? Even in his first season Yao didn’t have issues with his rebounding/defense.

    If you look at Ming’s yearly per-minute stats, his rebounding & defense doesn’t increase. Only his scoring does.

  27. Alex

    Yeah. you’re right. Lets get rid of a 6’11” 285lb center. Especially since he’s 23. You can’t get better once you reach 23 years old. So the knicks should dump him since it’s CLEAR that a 23 YEAR OLD has no hope of getting better.

    KB, yes I read your incomplete article. My response is that it reeks of negativity and all around silly comparisons. All I’m saying is the game has changed and I’m not ready to dump someone with this kind of potential, like most people are saying should happen. So he didn’t get ROY. Gasol got it and he deserved it. So he hasn’t made an all star team. There happen to be better centers out there. He’s not the BEST center, and I never said he was. But you are comparing him to ESTABLISHED centers. And I’M not the one that said he was having a breakout year, the experts said it. Once AGAIN you fail to provide complete information, and here’s how… You’re comparing O’neals WONDERFUL 2002 stats to Curry but you aren’t posting how many minutes he played. His numbers were great, but he’s playing 10mpg more. Anybody who plays a lot more minutes is going to have better numbers. AAAAND, like I said, JO was THE go to guy. Reggie Miller had already publicly said, “This is Jermaines team”. The baton was passed. And you’re still talking about Yao’s defense and rebounding? Do you watch Yao play defense? He doesn’t even jump to block shots. He’s 7’6″ dude, that’s a clear advantage. You may as well compare david lee’s rebounding to Nate’s. Please stop comparing Yaos defense/rebounding to Currys.

    Again, who would you rather have, that’s was/is availble over Curry? The draft picks? You’re still banking on potential. How may top draft picks ended up TOTAL busts? If you’ll remember, Olawakandi was drafted number 1. He came into the league with much of the same talk as Oden is getting. Again…who would you rather have RIGHT NOW that was/is available? I don’t really expect you to have an answer for that KB.

  28. Brian Cronin

    My goodness, Alex, that is some extremist positioning there.

    Pointing out the flaws in Eddy Curry is exactly that – pointing out the flaws in Eddy Curry.

    This is a place to examine the Knicks, with a slight bent towards statistical analysis. So to come here, get statistical analysis, and then get upset because it’s not positive analysis?

    The Knicks are 4-9!! And not only that, but Brian Maniscalco JUST wrote a POSITIVE statistical analysis entry!!

    So really, man, this just may not be the blog for you if you don’t want to hear bad things about the Knicks, because there are many bad things about the Knicks – and we WILL continue to point them out occasionally.

  29. Scott

    There is no comparison to Patrick Ewing.

    QUOTE OF THE DAY – ?Absolutely the greatest New York Knick ever. A guy that I owe a tremendous amount for making me the player that I am today and it was a joy playing with him. Just an unbelievable warrior, a tremendous leader, great teammate, and a great, great man. ”
    — Mark Jackson

  30. Hudson River

    Numbers can evaluate a players preformance, but not his potential. The difference between Eddy and the other guys on that list is Eddy Curry is not mentally tough, or focused enough. If one watches Eddy Curry he simply isn’t tough enough to be effective in the league.

    I’ve been trying to find out, but i would love to see each players PPG normally and against Eddy Curry, because it definatly feels like everybody (such as Zaza Palichula who put up 22) has been outscoring Eddy. No matter how much potential one has, when they give up big numbers to whoever they match-up against they don’t deserve to play. The other 4 players on the court can score the ball, and Cato can vastly improve both on his man defense and help.

    You won’t find it anywhere, but i’ve counted for 5 games this season, Eddy Curry’s goaltend to block ratio is just over 2 to 1. That speaks for itself

  31. Count Zero

    Alex – I don’t think you’re totally off base — as you correctly point out, All-Star caliber centers aren’t just lying around on the ground waiting to be picked up. And you’re also right about the fact that at 23 Curry still has time to become a great player.

    But I think what you’re missing is that the Curry negativity (here and everywhere) is a direct function of certain aspects of his game and personality. You don’t see him making hustle plays (like Nate, Frye, Lee and Balkman). You don’t see him owning up to mistakes and telling his teammates: “Yo – my bad. I should’ve kicked that ball back out to Q.” This leads us to believe (perhaps incorrectly) that a) Curry doesn’t care and/or b) Curry doesn’t get the fact that he’s making bonehead plays at the rate of 10+ per game.

    Since the first part of becoming a better player is recognizing your mistakes (once you understand WHAT you did wrong, you can LEARN to do it right!), it’s alarming to me that he doesn’t even seem to acknowledge that he is continually making mental mistakes. If that acknowledgement doesn’t come soon, then you can definitely bet that he isn’t going to get any better/stop making those mistakes. Frye and Lee definitely recognize when they make a mistake. Same with Balkman. Nate less so but at least he seems to listen when somebody tells him about it.

    I think most of what of what you’re hearing here is our frustration and even exasperation with the fact that a VERY talented Eddy Curry just doesn’t seem to “get it.” This goes beyond his work ethic, his stats or his lack of awards — it’s more a matter of his inability to conceptually understand the NBA game. Once you start to become a low post scoring threat, you can count on the fact that teams will start to double team you when you get the ball there. It’s automatic. Now you have to become adept at recognizing the open man that results from that double and getting him the ball. Until you prove you can do that, teams will double and triple you every time you get the ball. Once you prove you can do it (cf. Shaq, Duncan, O’Neal, etc.), then your game will open up again because you become dangerous as a passer out of the double team. If you never learn to do it, your days as a consistent scoring threat are over because every team knows how to shut you down without paying a price for it.

    Like everyone else, I would love it if the light bulb suddenly went on inside his head and he started to show me signs of improvement. Unfortunately, as of right now, I wouldn’t bet on that ever happening.

  32. Alex

    Good move Brian. Ignore EVERYTHING else I said in my post and focus on the fact that I said KB’s post was negative. Brilliant. I’m not “getting upset” about statistical analysis (I’m not getting upset at all, actually). I’m pointing out that it’s flawed and incomplete, which it is. If you skew the numbers, they are naturally going to APPEAR *MUCH* better/worse. So, Brian, how about focusing on something else I posted…If the knicks shouldn’t have gone after Curry, and they should get rid of Curry like a lots of people are saying around here, then who should they have gone after? What other good centers were/is available?

    Count Zero, you made one of my main points exaclty in your third paragraph. What is the difference between all those guys that learn from their mistakes and Curry? They all went to college for 4 full years. Now, I read in a few of these posts (KB) that should have nothing to do with his progress/development/hustle/etc., but it clearly does. They teach hustle and work ethic in college. They teach you NOT to make those mistakes in the first place. Why do you think Stern changed the rules? Cuz he’s an idiot? Aaaaannnndddd, at 23, sometimes it takes a while to learn from your mistakes. That’s clearly the case with him. Do you REALLY think he’s going to be lowering his shoulder 5 years from now? He’s NEVER going to learn to pass out of the double team. Never is a long time my friends. There’s no issue with ‘mental toughness’. He’s a young kid with bad habits that lead to stupid mistakes. If he were 28 or 29, i’d be right there with everyone else screaming ‘OFF WITH HIS HEAD’, but at 23, he’s still got a year or two to turn things around. He is starting to. For example…Last night, he took a couple of 12-14′ jumpers(made one). Did he do that all season? It’s clear someone told him he’s got to augment his game and I believe it’s going to happen. It’s going to take time. I defy anyone to come up with a better big man that was available at the time, or a better big man who IS available now. Sure the knicks overpaid, but that’s what you gotta do to get a big body. Does anyone on this planet believe Dampier is worth what the Mavs paid him? And Cuban is one of the smartest owners in the league. When we start referring to his potential in the past tense, I’ll jump on the bandwagon with everyone else.

  33. KnickerBlogger Post author

    Alex, It’s obvious at this stage you’re not interested in hearing anything negative about Eddy Curry. And it’s obvious that none of us are getting your points. So why don’t you table the subject until you feel that Curry realises his potential or you decide to jump off the bandwagon.

  34. Knicknack

    Alex, I agree with you also, I have made many observatons about this blog and it’s more negative than positive.

    But, omparing one player to another tells you what about the player? That one didn’t play the game since childhood, that the other played everyday until 3a.m.

    There is only one Patrick Ewing, one Yao Ming, and one Jermaine O’Neil. I wish there were more, but we have the one and only Eddy Curry. Is that a good thing? I think it will be, Curry has the greatest opportunity in that he doesn’t have to be the go to man right now. Sure we all want him to be, but he’s not and now the knick organization has to develop his tools. This should have been done in Chicago, but they didn’t.

    Well, I have to get back to work, I’m sure KB will paint me with the same brush he painted you with as he has done before.

    And yes KB, I do look for the good in any situation, dealing on what’s wrong is what the organization focuses on. I support my Knicks until I die.

  35. KnickerBlogger Post author

    Knicknack said “And yes KB, I do look for the good in any situation, dealing on what?s wrong is what the organization focuses on. I support my Knicks until I die.”

    That’s fine, and I do have a deep appreciation for fans that stay true to the team (and it’s players, coaches, and owners) even through the worst of times.

    However I resent the fact that I’m called negative. I do my best to stay with the facts, and the truth is the facts don’t look good for Eddy Curry. I can’t in good conscience be positive about Curry when everything else (stats, comparables, how he looks to the naked eye) tell me otherwise. I have a duty to the readers of this page to report things as they are, not as I wish they would be.

    I would love nothing more than to unearth a study that shows guys like Curry will breakout. I’d love nothing more than to write about the Knicks in a positive light. But the reality is, the Knicks have been bad over the past few years. Had blogs existed during Patrick’s reign, I would have plenty of great things to say about the New York Knicks.

    So understand that if you’re talking about Curry in a positive light without any facts, I won’t be able to let that pass (that was the crux of this article – Isiah was saying some unrealistic things about Eddy – which I felt the need to address). This is a web site with a slant towards the facts, not a home for hometown fans to talk about their love for the team.

    And I, and this site, will be here when and if Curry becomes a valued contributor to this team. So feel free to give me a big “I told you so” when his production matches your vision.

  36. Ben

    I see a couple of flaws in your statistical analysis. First Reb and Blks are not good indicators of defensive prowess.

    Look at Samuel Dalembert his rebounding and Blocks are off the chart but he is actually a defensive liability because he is a bad man defender. Or look at Rasheed Wallace he is widely considered one of the best defensive players in the league and his career reb and blk numbers (per 40 mins) are 8.0 and 1.5 compared to Curry’s 8.6 and 1.5.

    Now Curry is a mediocore rebounder, and a mediocore shot blocker. But his stats in rebounding and blocking while not likely to improve much they are not terrible, just mediocore. Fouls and Turnovers are on the other hand likely to improve as he gets older.

    I will admit Curry is a terrible team defender. While not too bad on man defense he is always slow to rotate or slow defend the pick and roll. While a good defensive team can hide these problems like the Bulls in 2005 a poor defensive team like the Knicks actually magnify them.

    Luckily these are things that good coaching can fix. I do not think Curry will ever be Ewing, Yao or O’Neal but I do believe he can be a borderline all-star and very solid piece on a good team in a couple of years if properly coached.

    I am not ready to give up and I think if we are patient he will eventually pay dividends.

  37. Raskolnikov

    And of course, there’s the most idiotic move of the offseason, which was letting Jackie Butler go for relatively peanuts and putting all the eggs in Curry’s basket.

  38. KnickerBlogger Post author

    Good points Ben. Although I would disagree that Curry is a good man defender. He certainly has size, but seems either too slow physically or too slow reaction wise to stay with other centers. Cato & Jerome James are certainly better man defenders.

  39. Alex

    Knickknack, you’re a man after my own heart(that is, if you are a man at all). And it’s nice to know I’m not the only person who has merely been the voice of opposition to get critisized.
    Oh KB, you’re such a silly person. I have no problem with hearing negativity about Curry. If you read ALL my posts, all they are saying is that he’s not THAT bad, and that he’s young, and that he’ll get better. Go ahead, take a look. I think you are the one that doesn’t want to hear anything remotely positive about him. And maybe I’m being overpositive but I think 16.1 pts, 5.4 reb, 0.9 blks in only 28.7 minutes is far from ‘pathetic’. I guess everyone would rather him average 6pts and 10reb like Big Ben. By the way, Big Ben didn’t become the rebounding machine he is until he was 25. Anyways…

    It’s quite easy to be a better man defender when you play close to zero offense. I play with a bunch of my older brethren every Wednesday. I’m a pretty balanced player, but when I’m playing on a team with scorers and I don’t have to shoot at all, my defense goes up about 150%. This is purely a function of saving energy for one end of the floor. Now, I’m not trying to make excuses for Curry (or paint him in a POSITIVE light), but at 285/290lbs playing both ends of the floor is tough. Cato and James play one end of the floor for the most part and they pretty much get a breather when NY is on offense. Watch, you’ll see. How many plays do they actually run for those two. That’s why they don’t get that many minutes, because their offensive liability far outweighs Curry’s defensive liability. GREAT two way players are an absolute rarity. I have no doubt that if Curry didn’t work to post up most times down the floor, he’d play better defense a la Cato. Again, I’m not trying to be positive, I’m just observing like everyone else.

    It’s clear that every person on this blog that bashes Isaih, and bashes Curry, and bashes Isaih for picking up Curry has no answer for what better big man was available now or then. Who’s not going to pay for a 6’11” 285lb 23 year old center with ‘pathetic’ numbers like 16.1 pts, 5.4 reb, 0.9 blks. Silence ensues.

  40. KnickerBlogger Post author

    Alex, according to your ‘logic’, Curry’s offense is hurt because the Knicks have a balanced offense that doesn’t make him the ‘NUMERO UNO’ option, while his defense is hindered from working so hard on the offensive end. But you’re not making excuses for him, or painting him only in a positive light.

    And I’m the silly one?

  41. Ben

    I do not think Curry is a good man defender I just don’t think he is a bad one. In other words he is not a liability defending his own man. He seems to do an okay job on most centers. The only ones that really give him fits are centers that play on the perimeter and huge mutant chinese ones.

    But do not misunderstand me he is still a defensiver liability because of his help and team defense.

    If one day he can even become an average help and team defender and reduce his turnovers and fouls by a little he will be a great player. Not a hall of fame one like Ewing or Yao (most likely) but a top five center in the NBA nonetheless.

    One other note about Curry is that he is a pretty good offensive rebounder. In fact he averages more offensive rebounds per 40 mins for his career than Ewing.

    Also at 23 while Curry averages about the same amount of points per 40 mins as Ewing, Yao, and O’Neal did at 23 he does it on alot less shot attempts:
    Pts per 40 FGAs per 40
    Curry 21.0 12.8
    O’Neal 20.2 16.7
    Yao 21.3 15.2
    Ewing 22.5 18.4

    This shows that Curry is incredibly efficent in his scoring averaging an impressive 1.6 pts per shot attempt, and all of that while shooting only 63% from the free throw line.

    There is something there we just have to hope that Isiah and Eddy can figure out how to get it all to come together.

  42. Alex

    *sigh* Oh boy. KB…KB…KB…Yes he’s on a balanced team, but he still comes down the court every offensive posession and attempts to post up, unlike the other centers on the knicks who you say are better man defenders. This doesn’t make any sense to you? That Cato and James don’t work on offense so they have plenty more energy for defense? No? *sigh*

    And to answer your question, yes, you are the silly one.

  43. KnickerBlogger Post author

    Alex, Did you see last night’s game? It took 7 Knick possessions before Curry attempted to post up. In the other 6 plays, he either stayed on the perimeter attempting a pick (which no one used) or stood on the weakside as the play happened on the other side of the floor.

    Curry’s defense is as bad in the first quarter as it is in the last. It has nothing to do with his work on the offensive end. David Lee works much harder on the offensive end always fighting for rebounds, and still is able to play passable defense. Curry’s lack of defensive & rebounding has everything to do with bad habits and poor footwork.

    Basketball is a game of two halves. If you can’t play both ends, then ultimately you’ll find your way to the bench. If Curry’s offense tires him out so much that he’s useless on defense…

    Alex, this is like most of your other comments. They’re anecdotal and sound pretty good, but are false and/or contradict themselves.

  44. Alex

    I like you KB. You’re funny.

    Contradict myself? You’re right. It’s a contradiction that Curry works a lot more on offense than Cato and Jerome James. Is this not true? How is this a contradiction? Do you actually play ball or just watch and critique the game?

    I’ll go back to another of my posts where I said when I’m playing, and I don’t have to play ANY offense (like Cato/James), my defense is at least twice as strong. Again, this is merely a function of applied energy. Is his footwork poor? I never said it wasn’t. Does he have bad habits? Duh, i’ve been saying that as well. But the comparison was to James and Cato. If those two played the same offensive game as Curry, their footwork is going to suffer also, just from being tired. Kb, we’re pretty much in agreement, but I think I’m looking at his situation from a players standpoint, where you’re focusing almost totally on the numbers. If Curry came in, in the last 90 seconds of the quarter like James/Cato, purely for defensive purposes (like james/Cato)…ah, nevermind. As a player, specifically Curry, who is VERY big and somewhat out of shape, he knows he can’t go 100% on defense, cuz then he’s not going to have it on the offense. He’s not Ron Artest, who’s an incredible physical specimen. David Lee, as you alluded to, is 60 to 70 lbs lighter than curry, plays less minutes, and that’s his game. He’s a scrapper and I love him for it.

    Next time you’re out playing (that is, if you do at all), bring a knapsack with a 25lb plate. Take a foul shot, then run the length of the court back and forth 10 times. Take another foul shot. It’s not going to be too tough. Now, do the same thing with the knapsack and the plate. You’ll probably shoot an airball. Or, pick up the biggest or best guy on the other team, give 100% defensive effort, then see what you’re going to have on offense. This is not anecdotal, this is experience and common sense. I don’t understand why you don’t get this. Actually, you probably don’t get it because you either don’t play ball, or you’re one of those freaks of nature like Artest or Garnett that have the ability to go out for 48 minutes with 100% intensity.

    Now, since we’re bashing comments, I’m going to point out what’s wrong with yours. You’re way too absolute in your analysis, and I’m willing to bet it’s because you don’t actually play too much ball and don’t really understand the game from a players perspective. You use terms like ‘always’, and ‘never’ and ‘constantly’ and ‘everything’ and ‘nothing’. Lets look at your last post and you’ll see what I’m talking about…

    KB says: “It has NOTHING to do with his work on the offensive end.”
    I disagree it has ‘nothing’ to do with it. It’s surely a contributing factor. The player that focuses on offense most of the time down the court isn’t going to have the same amount of energy on defense. I really don’t understand why you can’t get this. Almost all basketball players do that. It’s called picking your spots. I’ll say it again. GREAT two way players are a rarity. In the NBA you’re *usually* very good on offense OR very good on defense. Of course, there are exceptions.

    KB says: “If Curry?s offense tires him out so much that he?s USELESS on defense?”
    I don’t think he’s ‘useless’ on defense. He could improve greatly, but he’s far from ‘useless’.

    KB says: “Alex, this is like most of your other comments. They?re anecdotal and sound pretty good, but are false and/or contradict themselves.”
    HMMM. Not to be anecdotal or anything, but I don’t see anything I said that was false. Okay, maybe I exaggerated and said he comes down and posts up ‘EVERY’ possesion, what I should have said was most. As for contradicting myself, i’ve been pretty steady in what I’ve been saying, which is…He’s not NEARLY as terrible and pathetic as you’re saying. He’s young and has time to fix his bad habits (which I guess you don’t believe, according to your ‘analysis’), and I’m not ready to just give up and fold on a 23yo 6’11” 285lb scoring center, before he’s even in his prime. Yep, I’ve been pretty steady on those points.

  45. KnickerBlogger Post author

    I think I found the distinction. I’m not ‘giving up’ on Curry. Well that depends on your definition of ‘giving up.’

    If ‘giving up’ on Curry means thinking that he’ll won’t become a “league-leading center” then yes I’m ‘giving up’ on Curry. Curry isn’t in the class of Jermaine O’Neal, Yao Ming, or Patrick Ewing (all of who Isiah has compared Curry to) because they were further developed at the same age.

    If ‘giving up’ on Curry means taking him out of the starting lineup for a player that better fits the Knicks starting 4, then yes I’m for ‘giving up’ on Curry. Eddy might take the demotion as a signal and start addressing his deficiencies. Cato and James are better defensive centers, and the Knicks rank 23rd on defense. Besides, David Lee is playing phenomenally, and deserves a starting spot (one he’ll get now without benching Curry with Frye hurt).

    If ‘giving up’ on Curry is trading him tomorrow for nickels on the dollar at the first opportunity, then no I’m not ‘giving up’ on Eddy Curry. Personally I’d like to see Eddy gain some confidence on second stringers (he had a good day against Malik Allen the other night) work on his help defense and practice boxing out.

  46. Duff Soviet Union

    KB says: ?If Curry?s offense tires him out so much that he?s USELESS on defense??
    I don?t think he?s ?useless? on defense. He could improve greatly, but he?s far from ?useless?.

    No, he’s useless.

  47. Hudson River

    He gave up 17 to Malik Allen, Didn’t even try on Ryan Gnomes, and also gave up 22 to Zaza Palichula earlier this year… yea he’s not only useless on defense, but hes useless on the boards.

  48. Knicknack

    Hey Alex, Yes I am a man, and also a weekend baller. I think you hit the nail on the head with KB. I noticed he didn’t answer if he’s a player or a couch coach. Since I play and coach little leauge ball, I like you sympathize with the player. And I have never compared one player to the next.

    As you I have repeatedly pointed out the teams weaknesses and Curry’s inability to demand the ball, move his feet on offense or defense. But, his learning curve has to be greater since he hasn’t lived for the game.

    Stats can be deceiving as you and Ben have pointed out. So, I look at the player as that player. Not how “at 23 so and so did this”, that’s not fair to either player.

    The players I coach have never played organized ball in their life, I have the pleasure to teach them the game. That’s what’s it’s all about, learning to play the the game and within your game.

  49. Seth

    I agree that it’s a little bit misleading to compare Curry to O’Neal or Ewing, but I also think it’s misguided to compare him to…yourself. The man plays basketball for a living. Such flaws and gaping holes in his game are inexcusable in any light. And like a few others said, if anyone thinks Curry is anything more than “useless” on defense, then they don’t watch much Knicks basketball. Either way, I think both Alex and KB make solid arguments. Such is the befuddling nature of Curry.

  50. Hudson River

    I think the better O’Neal to compare Eddy Curry to is Shaquille. Jermaine O’Neal is a high-leaping, skinney PF, Yao is 7’6 and thin, and Ewing was a defensive minded center first and formost. Eddy is offensive minded and huge just like Shaq, the only issue is Shaq was athletic and could run the floor from high school(people forget he looked similar to Amare or Dwight Howard). Shaq filled out but still kept his forward quickness and speed. Eddy Curry has always been huge, and relies on his size and only his size to score. Eddy Curry is an example of a enormous, semi-cordinated, man who plays basketball, not a basketball player who happens to be enormous.

  51. Ben

    Curry’s quickness and agility for a man his size is his greatest strength. He has a similar amount of speed and quickness as Shaq. That is why so many compared him to Shaq when he entered the league. On offense what Curry lacks compared to Shaq is his footwork. Shaq’s footwork is fantastic. Also Curry was not always large in fact before he filled out he actually wanted to be a gymnast. When he was drafted by Chicago he could do a standing back flip.

  52. Pradamaster

    Alex, correct me if I’m wrong, but the whole premise of your objections to the column seem to be based off the idea that Eddy Curry isn’t that bad compared to what alternatives there are out there, and that it would be foolish to get rid of a 23 year old center because he isn’t as good as Ewing, O’Neal, or Yao.

    Reading KB’s column, not once did he advocate dumping or getting rid of Curry. That doesn’t seem to me to be the point. He only referred to places where others advocated getting rid of Curry in the column itself.

    The main point was that KB was responding to Thomas’ comments comapring Curry to JO, Yao, and Ewing. He wasn’t making the comparisons. He was instead analyzing the truth of Thomas’ comments and trying to guess whether Curry can actually reach the level of those stars. The historical analysis clearly shows that he is way behind those three in terms of development and has a ways to go, which is only compounded by his lack of a work ethic.

    Could Curry turn it around? It’s conceivable. But it doesn’t seem likely. This was the main point of the article. Not once did KB make a judgement call on whether the Knicks should even be bothering with Curry or whether he should be in the starting lineup until the comments thread. The main point simply was that it is very unliekly that Curry is going to be the star center that Thomas says he will.

    I agree that basing judgement off all-star appearances and awards is misleading, but that’s only a small caveat. The main point of the article is sound and is supported well, in my opinion. I think many of your comments miss the overall point, and while this is not to say the issues you raise aren’t important and intriguing, they’re mostly objections of points that KB never really implied in the first place.

    Also, as a fellow blogger, I somewhat resent your implication that KB doesn’t understand the game because you think he doesn’t play it. Who are you, Joe Morgan? The overall implication bothers me to no end. John Hollinger and David Berri never spent much time playing the game, but their statistical analysis adds a completely new way of looking at the game. Their analysis broadens one’s perspective of the game and has incredible value in the field. It doesn’t matter that they were not competitive players like the analysts ESPN keeps hiring. Their work has changed the way I think of the game, and the fact that they didn’t play the game doesn’t mean they can’t contribute to the way we think of sports.

    I think some of the points you raised were interesting, but your bashing of KB was off-base.

  53. Count Zero

    Well said Pradamaster. I don’t think any of us are advocating trading Curry for “nickels on the dollar” as KB put it. We just don’t agree with Isiah’s predictions about Curry becoming one of the “elite” big men in the NBA.

    I think part of the Curry “lightning rod” effect can be attributed to the fact that he represents the Knicks in microcosm — overpayed for him, great potential, little realization of that potential, doesn’t seem to improve with coaching, inability to function well within a team concept.

    As someone pointed out in the press recently, for all the LB dissing that went on during the summer, the Knicks have exactly the same record they had last year at this point…Marbury is in the doghouse…and the Coach is complaining about lack of effort. Hmmmm…sound familiar? They are on pace to win all of 27 games this year, and given this week’s schedule, they will likely be 5-13 on Saturday morning.

  54. Andrew

    > than 20 points last four games
    He makes some knucklehead offensive fouls although alot of it is bs that didn’t use to be called in the Ewing era (especially when Riley was coaching)
    But … but … consider the f …ing point guards who can’t not only don’t make entry passes (because they take low percentage jump shots) … but … make terrible entry passes with Curry out of position … there were a couple of passes today when crawford drove to the basket, drew the defenders and passed for dunks … that is the role of the pg … throwing the ball to Curry 20 ft from the basket and asking him to score isn’t his strength …. it is too much to ask for an assist …
    we all laughed when marbs criticized ward saying we would never win a championship while ward was pg … but we may never even get to .500 with current cast of pg ….. makes you [cringe as I say this] almost long for f @#@#@# in Chris Childs / Chollie platoon

  55. Andrew

    Also, believe it or not, we have best road record in eastern conference and [I think] have now won more road games than we did all last year. Time for the fans to get behind the team and stop carping … if we were 500 at home as well we would be in 3rd place in the east

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