Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Tonight’s 4 Factors (vs DAL, 12/10/07)

After each game this season, we’ll be taking a look at what the four factors have to say about the game– how the winner won and the loser lost. For an intro to the four factors, see A Layman’s Guide to Advanced NBA Statistics.

Knicks lose to Mavericks, 99 – 89

	Pace	Eff	eFG	FT/FG	OREB%	TOr
DAL	84.0	117.9	59.7%	28.4	21.9	10.7
NYK		106.0	43.9%	20.7	34.1	14.3

All things considered, the defense wasn’t too bad tonight. Not great or even good, but not awful either. The Knicks surrendered a high number to Dallas– 117.9 points per 100 possessions. But Dallas was the NBA’s 2nd best offense coming into the night, and tonight they only scored 3.2 points per 100 possessions above their season average. For a Knicks team that was dead last in defensive efficiency coming into the game, this is actually a pretty good showing relative to the norm.

By this point it might be trite to say, but it’s true– what let the Knicks down in this game was their inability to mount a consistent offensive attack. Dallas is one of the poorer defenses in the NBA thus far (allowing 110.3 points per 100 possessions, 23rd in the league). And yet the Knicks failed to capitalize, scoring only 36 points in the first half. It was only in the 2nd half when they put up 53 points– and not coincidentally, when Zach Randolph awoke from his mini-slump– that the Knicks made the game remotely competitive. What doomed the offense was simply inefficient shooting from the field– Curry (3-13), Richardson (3-9), and Crawford (6-22) being the main culprits.

The Knicks don’t have great perimeter shooting and the D is consistently bad, so at a minimum they must establish one of Curry or Randolph as a scoring threat in order to have a decent chance to win. Tonight they didn’t do that til the 2nd half, but by then it was too late.


4 factor stats were acquired using the ESPN4Factors script by Cherokee of the ABPRmetrics board. Firefox users can use this script (after installing the Greasemonkey extension) to see 4 factor stats automatically displayed in all NBA boxscores on espn.com.

103 comments on “Tonight’s 4 Factors (vs DAL, 12/10/07)

  1. Sly Williams

    I think that the defense was worse than it appeared. 1) Mavs outperformed their #2 offensive rate by 3.2 pts/100 poss. tonight
    2) If the Mavs had shot their usual FT%, they would have made 6 more points.
    3) Playing on the road, their expected EFF would drop. I estimate about 2 points (anyone know the normal effect?)
    4) Mavs cruised in 4th quarter, after starting the quarter with a 16 point lead – they only scored 20 in the 4th.

    I would call that an awful defensive performance.

    The new Knicks slogan should be: Regression to the Mean is our only hope!

  2. Brian Cronin

    I had courtside seats (corporate largesse rules!!) – it was not fun.

    So annoying (and not just because people kept walking in the aisles in front of my seats).

    In any event, one thing that really stood out for me was that the infamous “all big man” front court that Isaiah talked about weeks ago made its first appearance of the season tonight – and it was part of the Knicks’ best stretch of the game by far.

    The team is terrible, and their two best small forwards both have major problems (Q can’t shoot and Balkman is clearly hurt – did y’all see Howard absolutely BURN him one-on-one?), so why not give this lineup a look?

    Crawford-Jones-Lee-Randolph-Curry

    The Knicks can’t shoot from the perimeter, so they might as well go to an all “in the paint” offense.

    Finally – one uncontested three was right near me, and it was Q holding his head after getting hit, and not even ATTEMPTING to guard his man, who was open for three (and nailed it, of course). That was so irritating – I get it, Q, someone got away with a cheap shot – but if you don’t hear the whistle, keep playing!!

  3. Charles Oakley

    I had no seats. The Knicks are not getting a dime of my money while Isiah is still here. I recommend that we all do the same.

  4. Tirk Towitzki

    Q is clearly the smartest player on the team in terms of reading the play on offense and defense, but his lateral movement is awful, he can’t get off the ground and his release is too slow. I just don’t feel like he’s an asset on the court at all at this point, no matter how likable he is.

    Jeffries is… tall.

    With Lee, Balkman, Chandler and Morris I feel like we really can’t afford to give away minutes to these two guys who will have little to no impact on the future of the team. If we’re trying to showcase our veteran “talent” for trades, it’s obviously not working.

    Can someone explain to me why they haven’t cut Jerome James yet? Like, is there an economic reason? Is it an insurance thing, ie. if they cut him they won’t get reimbursed? What a waste of a roster spot.

  5. Charles Oakley

    James wasn’t cut because Isiah has squandered so much money and is out of life lines to ask for another buyout of another huge contract, having used his last lifeline in the payoff to Anucha.

  6. Ben R

    Q has no business playing and even less business starting. He never passes into the post, and is he the only person in the world who doesn’t realize he has a hurt elbow. He keeps shooting like all of a sudden he is going to start making them.

    Also why was Isiah putting Curry on Dirk at all. Even good defensive centers would get shredded by Dirk. Curry had no chance.

    I am not too disappointed because this is a game we should lose but still, Isiah needs to make a change. This season is really starting to get ugly.

  7. Z

    “This season is really starting to get ugly.”

    Starting to get ugly? The team was 2-9 after losing 8 in a row…

    I think the season got ugly in Phoenix and has stayed ugly since. The loss at home to Golden State and the one on Saturday to the 6ers were both much worse than today’s.

    “Jeffries is? tall.”

    And for all the negative stuff that can be written about all the players today, I’ll write that for the first time ever I understood how Jeffries can help the team. Dirk was on pace to score about 80 points after the first 8 minutes with Randolph and Curry on him. Jeffries is the kind of long defender that can effectively force Nowitski off his game. If only the game was closer, I think we’d be writing good things about Jeffries today for a change.

    If only…

  8. Ben R

    You are right it has been ugly for a long time. I am trying very hard to be an optimistic fan but I this is brutal.

    I agree about Jeffries, I think he has some usefulness, he is just grossly overpaid and should be behind both Lee and Balkman in the rotation. I like him as a ninth man to give us defense off the bench. I would much rather see Jeffries than Rose.

  9. cbrooklyn

    i’m really starting to think isiah is tanking this season,,,,why is nate (your best offensive player) and balkman(best defender) not getting minutes…it really doesnt take a rocket scientist to figure out that eddy “muffins” curry is just not helping this team AT ALL!! Even if he scores 20 pts his man probably has 50 pts, 15 reb and 5 blocks! WHY IS ISIAH NOT PLAYING HIS BEST PLAYERS????????? WHY??…SOMEBODY HELP ME UNDERSTAND…DO WE HAVE A 1ST ROUND PICK NEXT YEAR???

  10. TheMC5

    cbrooklyn: If Nate Robinson is the best offensive player on the team, I’d say the Knicks would be lucky to win 6 games over the entire season, much less 6 games at this early point.

  11. Gmal

    Brian, points in the paint is one of the most misleading stat when trying to build a winning combination. Phoenix was 26th ranked and Knicks were 2nd ranked last year in that category and as 82games.com states the best indicator for win % is how well defensively you hold the the other team from getting points in the paint.
    I realy think the booing at msg is low class, I can’t imagine any coach let alone a good one wanting to come to msg and have to put up with that knowing he will be rebuilding in the next couple of years.
    cbrooklyn – me also, there is no doubt he’s trying to tank this season. you tell me what other coach would put Curry on Nowitsky, please, and the giveaway – not playin Morris or Chandler when the team is out of it by the end of the3rd quarter or down 25 midway thru the 1st half.

  12. Kiyaman

    Now is the time to trade a first round pick.

    If Curry had the right frontcourt player to push him and guide him on the court then it would be a different story about his LARD ..ss giving a decent performance each night. Players like Kenyon Martin, Howard, Bosh, Rasheed, Artest, O’Neal, Josh Howard, and Prince would push Curry into playing better.

    The best trade the Knicks could make right NOW (at 6-14) is to Trade Q.Richardson with an unprotected first round pick for “Ron Artest”.

    Last night Ron Artest stats vs the Bucks were 11-pts, 7-rbd, 5-ast, 4-blk, 1-stl. And this is what Artest NBA Game is like on a consistent basis, he exploit his oponents weakness in so many areas.
    This is Q.Richardson third season as a Knick, and he has never given us Knick-Fans any stats like Ron Artest produce in so many areas of the game, inwhich is expected from the average NBA SF-position.

    If Marbury & Crawford assists together only adds up to “9-assists” per game, than it would be WISE to play them with a SF that average 4 to 5 assists per game. That’s a Start at putting chemistry in your offense.

  13. Owen

    Artest was 5-16 from the field and 1-2 from the line with three turnovers also.

    I like him as a player, loved him when he played at St Johns. He would be just what our defense needs. But I don’t see how he will be helping us at the offensive end. Career ts% of 51%, the same as Jamal Crawford. And he likes to shoot….

    And as was mentioned many times during the various Lee-Artest debates, I am not sure how he would improve our “chemistry.

  14. jon abbey

    “The best trade the Knicks could make right NOW (at 6-14) is to Trade Q.Richardson with an unprotected first round pick for ?Ron Artest?.”

    this is the worst suggestion I’ve ever seen on this site, unless by “Ron Artest” you mean Dwight Howard or Chris Paul. that “unprotected first round pick” is going to help NY way more than Artest would.

  15. Pete

    I get tired of the “let’s trade for Artest” remedy for the season. Is he even available? I’ve heard nothing to suggest that Sacramento is looking to give him away. What do the Knicks have to offer? Why would the Kings want a broken down Q?

  16. JustFoundOUt

    If we’re going to trade for Artest — an idea I like — I think it’s going to have to be a three-team trade. Something like Randolph to Chicago, Ben Gordon plus a couple of other expiring contracts to Sacto, and Artest and a shitty contract to new york (thomas, maybe). Chicago should throw in a pick too to us. I think it works all the way around — we relieve our logjam at power forward and get someone who can play defense, Chicago replaces an inconsistent outside scorer with someone who can score down low (and thabo is probably better than gordon at this point anyway), and Sacto gets a lot of expiring contracts (and can trade gordon to a contender).

  17. bmj320

    No one is taking Q and his bad back. Isiah was a fool to get him in the first place. Maybe the Knicks should target Magette. 20pts, 6-7rebs and 4asts. There is no doubt Curry needs to be moved. Why is Chandler getting no PT? Isiah doesn’t have a clue. Lee is not a small forward. I really hate this team. No chemistry =no wins.

  18. Roshi

    What’s really starting to piss me off is the lack of effort that this team displays almost every night. I can tolerate a bad team that is trying to find its identity or give young players opportunities to develop, but the Knicks truly look like they give up on the game at the first sign of resistance from the other team. Is there no pride anymore?

    What the Knicks are missing is a team leader; someone who will get in the face of the other players and demand effort/professionalism.

    Just a thought: If the Knicks continued in this fashion for the next 5 seasons with Dolan and Isiah at the helm, would it be out of the realm of possibility for Commissioner Stern to take the team away from Dolan, make all the current players free agents, and auction the franchise off…just completely start from scratch as an expansion team.

  19. Ess-dog

    Zeke’s in a real pickle (5 or 6 actually) but let’s focus on the post players: Curry’s the only true center aside from Morris, but clearly we need to get him out of town asap. But then we’re stuck w/ 2 power forwards in Lee and Randolph, neither of which play shut-down defense. Lee seriously can’t defend the 3 spot so he’s a PF. We could start both but we need someone to shut down KG, Howard, Rasheed etc. at the center spot and maybe create a little offense. Noone on the team can do that right now (Which is why we should’ve traded up to get Sean Williams.)
    Personally, I’ve given up on Curry, Steph, and Q. And Jamal needs to be more consistent but could benefit from a shot blocker. Look how much better Atlanta has gotten w/ Horford and J. Smith swatting away shots. What about Bibby and Brad Miller for Curry and Q and Rose and maybe Nate? Any shot at that? Then sit Marbury the rest of the season. Start Balkman. Feed the ball to Z-bo and Bibby and Crawford can shoot from the outside. Miller is a stopgap but can play D and we can work on Morris. Lee as 6th man, the Depaul kid can get some minutes at the 3. We’ve got to get rid of the bad apples.

  20. Frank O.

    The Knicks should be considering trading Randolph, Curry, Q and Crawford for expiring contracts and draft picks.
    Time to blow this team up.
    We have young talent that can play.

    Crawford and Randolph could yield a couple expensive expiring contracts. Wouldn’t teams that need scoring do it?

    Why has this not been considered since the Knicks are on pace to win 25 this year?

    Sincerely, can someone explain to me why the Knicks simply won’t hold a fire sale, trade some of there expensive scorers for crap expiring contracts and begin to get financially healthy?
    This team is so bad, it can’t get worse.
    Then you let your young talent play ball.
    In a year or two, you shed Marbury, Rose, and a few others, and whatever you picked up for role players like Crawford, Randolph, Curry, and Q.
    If this is implausible, please tell me why?
    I apologize of this sounds naive.

  21. Frank

    Frank O. — unfortunately you are a real fan of the team and Isiah is only interested in saving his butt. He doesn’t care about the long term health of the team — he just wants to somehow squeak into the 8th spot of a putrid eastern conference and thereby justify more chances to completely bury what dignity is left in the NYK logo.

    I agree with you completely about blowing the team up– this team has NO CHANCE of competing for a title, so what are we doing? We have the highest payroll in the league and probably one of the 5 worst records in the last 2 years. That is horribly pathetic return on Dolan money.

    Here’s what I think we should do with our players:

    Curry – 3 years left on contract – he’s gotta go although his heart (both physical and figurative) issues might make getting rid of him difficult. Overall though 9M for somebody of his post-scoring prowess is reasonable.

    Randolph – trade him– any chance the Lakers would give us Kwame, Farmar, and Turiaf for him? Doubt it but worth a shot… I think he’d actually be quite good on that team with Bynum playing defense , Odom distributing, and Kobe taking the rest of the shots. Zach was downright dominant last night in the 4th, just wonder why he can’t do that more often.

    Lee- keep – cheap and can play

    Balkman – see Lee

    Chandler – cheap, maybe can play, keep

    Crawford – actually I’d like to keep him as a 6th man and 4th quarter spark — he’d be great in that role and his contract is reasonable.

    James – don’t even bother buying him out, just let him sit “injured” and let him go when his 2 years are up.

    Collins – cheap, irrelevant

    Jefferies – keep, salary is reasonable, can play defense against guys like Dirk, LeBron, etc. Can someone teach him to not twirl the ball with his left hand on his jumper. He has the ugliest rotation I’ve ever seen. Makes me want to ignore everything David Thorpe writes on ESPN.

    Fred Jones – keep, at least he looks like he tries on both ends of the court.

    Marbury – keep and let him contract slide off the books after next year.

    Randolph Morris- he’ll be gone after this year. I doubt he will ever amount to much. If he can’t get on the court with this team, what team CAN he get on the court for?

    Quentin Richardson – no one will ever take him and at least he boards and tries to play defense. When his arm is healthy he’ll start shooting better.

    Nate Robinson – keep him – or else my wife won’t go to games anymore– he’s her favorite player.

    Malik Rose – I’d be willing to resign him after his contract is up just so we can watch him act out famous movie lines. He always wins.

    Will that get us under the cap in 2009? who knows. But I’d like to see a 2008-2009 lineup of

    PG: Marbury
    SG: Q
    SF: Balkman
    PF: Lee
    C: Curry

    6th man: Crawford
    7th man: Derrick Rose (if not starting)
    Bench: Chandler, Jefferies, Jones, Nate, Kwame

    Turiaf (who is actually not bad) and Farmar can join JJ on the inactive list.

    Pipe dream I know, but that’s what we’re left with this year…

  22. Get More Athletic

    I feel like this has been mentioned, but putting curry/randolph on dirk is a prime demonstration of Isaiahs incompetency. Every other coach knows in the league knows to put a small guy on him then to double in the post. Instead he puts the slowest fattest greasiest players in the nba to get abused. Also the Crawford 1 on 4 play should be burned

  23. Roshi

    Isiah would rather expose himself to the garden crowd than make Lee and Balkman permanent starters.

    He believes that point production is the only thing that matters, but he is forgetting that the run-and-gun teams that outscore opponents, Phoenix and Golden State, have point guards in Nash and Baron that are capable of managing the pace of the game, distributing to teammates, and taking over when necessary. Needless to say, Marbury does not have these qualities.

    As far as Crawford goes, I agree that he should be a sparkplug off the bench ala Ginobli. He is the most potent offensive weapon on the Knicks, but at this point it’s obvious that he can’t carry the team and is an undisciplined shooter. It seems unfathomable to me that despite being a veteran, he has never figured out how to be a team player. You see flashes of him getting to the rim at will and occasionally making a brilliant no-look pass, and then he goes and burns twenty seconds off the shot clock only to launch a fade away three. He still looks like a rookie who has tremendous potential, but hasn’t learned his strengths/weaknesses. I still think that Crawford could be an all-star if he was in the right circumstances.

  24. njhoops

    Most meaningful stat of the night:

    Blocked shots:

    Mavs 9
    Knicks 0

    And the Mavs are one of the worst defensive teams in the NBA this year. Not only does it show that our D stinks, but that we’re soft taking it to the rim as well.

  25. Flitzy

    TO START OUT i actually hate the Knicks, cannot stand them, but i live here so i follow them. And im more sick of people saing they have a talented team theyre just not cohesive….THEY DO NOT HAVE A TALENTED TEAM!!! where do people see this..compare the top 1, 2, or 3 players to any other team in the league, (Assuming Steph, Eddy and ZAch?) and they are AT most better than 5, With Philly (andre Miller, Iguodola and Dalemebert—ill take them) Milwaukee (mo williams, redd and bogut – ill take them) Minnesota (Jefferson, Foye, and McCants/Craig Smith/Telfair/Brewer–sad thing is i probably take them), Seattle (Durant Wilcox and Wilkins) and Portland (Not Counting Oden—Brandon Roy, Aldridge, and i guess Travis OUtlaw)…..They are in no way better than all 5 of these teams, building a team around these groups of 3 and even playing currently with most of them is a better situation then the knicks…they are such an absolute joke its literally unreal.

  26. Roshi

    Talented in a sense that they have a lot of ball vacuums that can score in 1-on-1 situations. Once the ball goes to Curry, Randolph, or Crawford the possession is over.

    By the way, I’d say that the Knicks top-3 are Marbury, Randolph, and Crawford. Crawford has to be considered a better player than Curry. Not that I put much stock in fantasy stats, but it’s rather telling that the ‘Eddy Curry Line’ is the benchmark for anemic performance.

  27. Owen

    Roshi – You have to pay royalties to me for mentioning the “Eddy Curry Line” on this blog. I have the patent for its use here….

  28. Frank O.

    jon:
    I disagree. Curry, Randolph and Crawford would be valuable role players on other teams.
    There are plenty of teams out there that need offense, and that’s what these guys provide.

    They’re marketable, not obscenely priced and have shown an ability to take games over.
    Curry, even with his dismal scoring of late still is averaging more than 15 per game, with limited touches and a high shooting percentage.
    Crawford, on any given night, could explode, which is useful in the 6th man role. John Starks made a career on it.
    And there are teams like Chicago, and the 76ers, to name two, that could use a scorer/rebounder like Randolph.
    You ship those guys out for matching expiring contracts, and you approach getting under the cap in a shorter time frame.
    This trying to win now strategy is a joke. The rationale for trying to win now is the pressure you face in NY if you are not winning.
    But this team won’t win better than 30 games this year at the current pace. So if you are going to lose anyway, at least put a young team out there that plays hard, which would at least give the fans something to be hopeful for, and move the team to a more viable financial plan.
    To predetermine that other teams won’t want to pay Crawford $9 million as a role player that on any given night could light the place up is self-defeating and, well, silly.
    And the East has seen that Randolph, given the right circumstances, is an absolute monster.
    Curry is the toughest sell, but I bet there are some teams out there that would take a scoring center to double with a defensive center or power forward.
    Curry could work on a defensively minded team that needs a guy who can score efficiently.

    But the idea that this assembly of misfits is going to turn a corner is utterly implausible at this point.

  29. JK47

    Curry and Randolph is a horrific frontcourt. Marbury and Crawford is a horrific backcourt. And Quentin Richardson sucks.

    This is why we’re losing 70% of our games. These guys are not good players.

  30. Matt

    I’m a Blazers fan but I read this site every day because 1) Your team is like a train wreck (and I know the feeling well) and I can’t look away; but more importantly 2) This is some of the best basketball discussion that I’ve found on the NBA blogosphere, and it is endlessly entertaining.

    But those of you who are advocating trading Z-bo as a “scoring role player on a good team” — there’s a reason you guys were able to get him for a team cancer and an anemically bad forward. Nobody else wants him. Now you see why WE didn’t want him either.

    But keep your chins up…or barring that, at least keep up the morbid self-deprecating commentary, because it’s hilarious.

    Matt

  31. Mr. Black

    Does anyone thing the Lakers would want to take Randolph?

    Randolph and Odom have similar salaries.

    Randolph might even play well next to Bynum.

    Is there anyway the Lakers would do that?

  32. Ben R

    I think Curry actually has alot of value. He is still the player opposing teams gameplan against. He is just being grossly misused in NY. He is a very efficient player. He actually scores more than one point per possession used. The only other Knick this year to do that is Lee.

    Not alot of players score more than a point a possession. I think that if Curry had a good point guard he could easily average 25 points a game while still keeping his TS% around 60%. He has also really cut down his turnovers so on the right team he would be a monster.

    Can you imagine him somewhere like New Orleans next to Chandler with Paul getting him the ball or in Chicago next to Wallace or Thomas with Heinrich feeding him.

    I think his biggest problem is if not being fed the ball he disappears on offense. As for him being a black hole, he does not waste possessions, he scores more per possession used than every other Knick except Lee.

    I know his defense and rebounding are horrible but again on the right team he would be a monster. Because of that I think he still has more value than any other Knick, except maybe Lee.

    Randolph and Crawford still have positive value as well. I bet Randolph could net us someone like Odom or Dalembert and Crawford could at least get an expiring maybe even a veteran like Andre Miller straight up.

    I do not like most of our players but other than Marbury, Jeffries, James and Richardson all our players have at least a little value.

    We just need better management trying to move them because Isiah will never bring in the kinds of players we need, so any trades would be lateral at best.

  33. Owen

    “Can you imagine him somewhere like New Orleans next to Chandler with Paul getting him the ball or in Chicago next to Wallace or Thomas with Heinrich feeding him.”

    I don’t need to imagine it. I actually saw it when they were both playing for a horrible team in Chicago.

    Curry really hasn’t changed that much since those days. Just his minutes have changed. He was a bit more efficient, scored a bit more, turned it over a bit more last year, but basically same same but same…

    I am as up for trade speculation as the next guy, but really, I don’t think there is anyone who would trade us a good player for Randolph or Curry.

  34. Mr. Black

    Matt,

    Welcome to Knickerblogger.net. We are glad you enjoy the site and we look forward to reading Blazerblogger.net. Oh wait, no one cares about the Blazers. With all the coffe shops, cpu geeks, and free WiFi I would expect Blazerblogger.net to up and running. Maybe if the good people of Portland spent less time getting high down on Lovejoy St.

    That was low. I only said that because I am jealous of the Blazer’s All-Star talent. Oh wait, they have no All-stars either.

    Okay, now I am just being mean. Look I’m sorry. It’s just that my team hasnt won a championship it thirty years. You cant relate to something like that. Do you know how terrible it feels to go thirty years between banners? Oh wait, you do know.

    Well, at least you guys have ben spared a spanking at the hands on Jordan. Ow right, you were not spared that either.

    Matt we have so much in common. We should just be friends.

  35. jon abbey

    you’re an idiot to be making fun of Portland, they have one of the best young talent bases in the league, and that’s without Oden and the upcoming lottery pick they’ll have this year. they’re one of the five most exciting teams in the league to watch right now, as opposed to our boys, who sit dead last in that category, just one of many.

  36. Ess-dog

    Nice, Black. But the fact remains, that if a Blazer fan will come out of his hole to talk smack, it means we’re a REALLY REALLY BAD TEAM. Maybe we need to put Randolph on the 2nd team: Start Curry and Lee. Start Crawford and force him to feed Curry every play. Get Curry 25 shots a game. That’s the only way we can up his trade value. Also, Randolph can pad his stats against the 2nd teams of the east and up his trade value. See who bites around the trade deadline… that’s all we can do.

  37. Z

    “Curry, Randolph and Crawford would be valuable role players on other teams…They?re marketable, not obscenely priced and have shown an ability to take games over.”

    They are all obscenely over priced if they are nothing more than role players who may have the ability to take over a game.

    “Does anyone thing the Lakers would want to take Randolph?”

    The Lakers could have had Randolph at any point before the draft and they opted not to take him, even when it became obvious KG wasn’t coming to LA and JO’s price tag was too high, and the Laker franchise and fan base was demanding management make ANY trade at all to prove there was a pulse in the front office.

    The Lakers are even off to a decent start, which makes Kupchack look good for not biting on Randolph in the first place. (I think LA is a good trade partner, however, and a Curry for Kwame deal is certainly workable. In fact, if Frank O. is right about Curry and Crawford having value, it is in LA. ( maybe Curry + Crawford for Kwame + Vlad Rad. + future picks (but it will take a new GM in NY for that to happen, and even then it probably won’t happen))).

    Mr. Black– Portland will have the last laugh on you…

  38. tastycakes

    Eh, Portland is exciting? I never cared much for LaMarcus when he was at UT; dude’s game is pretty vanilla. Brandon Roy also has no flair and IMHO is somewhat overrated (yeah, rookie of the year during one of the worst classes in recent memory).

    And Greg Oden still hasn’t played an NBA game and given his history, you have to be seriously concerned about his durability. I’d hesitate to anoint him the next Duncan.

    So while I might prefer their situation to the Knicks, since they have more flexibility and a clearer, smarter strategy coming out of the front office, it’s not like they have anything legitimate to gloat about right now. If Oden is an all star next year, then things obviously have changed.

    Folks saying the Knicks need to be blown up are absolutely, 100% correct. The problem is that nobody wants our garbage players. Even the ones that “could be good role players on a good team” are generally carrying bad contracts. With Billy King out and Kevin McHale rebuilding, who exactly is the next Knicks GM going to trade with to GET those expiring contracts? It’s possible, but it obviously has to be the clear strategy, and Isiah is too much of a stubborn asshole to change course.

    Which is why the fans booing, to express their displeasure at Isiah’s job (and Steph’s, and Eddy’s, and whoever else has sucked recently) is their RIGHT, because it is the only hope right now for convincing Jimmy Dolan to make a change!

    Actually, not showing up to the home games would be a better way to convince Dolan to make a change, but in a city as basketball obsessed (and populous) as New York, fat chance of that happening. I love the Knicks even as I despise them and wish upon wish for new management to come in and install some sanity and common sense.

  39. birchnbrook

    It is all nicey-nice and feely-feel good to talk about “trading” various Knicks. Unfortunately, one of the most hideous aspects of the smiling weasel’s reign of error is that every single supposed “player” he brings in becomes immediately untradeable, at least until their last, expiring year, and there are none of those other than Freddie J right now. No one wants the Marbury contract;
    the Crawford contract – have you seen the last 2 years of it;
    the Malik Rose contract;
    Q’s contract is uninsurable and therefore untradeable;
    Curry has the heart thing, and is therefore untradeable;
    Portland traded Z-Bo’s deal for essentially a back up, so that tells you a lot;
    Jeffries? Please;
    Big Snacks? Yikes;

    Bottom line – the only guys with tradeable contracts are the rookies, and it is almost impossible to trade those deals.

    Zeke has brought in poison – nothing but poison.

    And one more thing – my pop psychology seems to tell me that Dolan, being a reformed druggie/alcoholic, is loyal because of his experience with people who may or may not have stuck with him when he was “down and out.” When things are really bad, you learn who your friends are. So when things are really bad with Isiah, you have to stick with him – in Dolan’s warped view of things, no matter how bleak things look.

    Unfortuntately for Jimmie boy, the smiling weasel has demonstated over and over he is utterly incompetent and cannot recover from the hole he has dug for himself. Sucks for us.

  40. Owen

    “The most hideous aspects of the smiling weasel?s reign of error”

    very nice turn of phrase there….

    So, things are officially bad here?

  41. jon abbey

    “Eh, Portland is exciting? I never cared much for LaMarcus when he was at UT; dude?s game is pretty vanilla. Brandon Roy also has no flair and IMHO is somewhat overrated (yeah, rookie of the year during one of the worst classes in recent memory).”

    have you watched them this year? Travis Outlaw, Martell Webster, Jarrett Jack are all fantastic athletes, especially the first two, and Steve Blake and James Jones are good glue guys. add Aldridge, Roy, Oden next year, and another lottery pick, and they’re as promising a franchise as there is in the league right now.

    also, they’re playing pretty much all kids and still are two games ahead of our not-so-beloved losers.

  42. jon abbey

    “Zeke has brought in poison – nothing but poison.”

    yeah, I was thinking about it today, it’s like Marbury, Crawford, Curry, and Randolph are all different kinds of cancer in the same person, it’s impossible to know which to treat first.

  43. Z

    “my pop psychology seems to tell me that Dolan, being a reformed druggie/alcoholic, is loyal because of his experience with people who may or may not have stuck with him when he was ?down and out.?

    Good explaination for the way Dolan is treating the Isiah situation.

    I think that because of the special (for lack of a better word) culture that NY breeds, this is a city where the GM and the coach should be two different people because that allows an owner to back one and fire the other (a la Grunfeld v. Van Gundy, 1999). Dolan, if for no other reason to silence the mob, needs someone to throw to the wolves. Since he is immensely loyal to Isiah, he needs a scapegoat. Tossing Glen Grunwald or Jeff Nix to the angry villagers will be laughed at.

    Dolan and Isiah should know. Isiah already tried the superfluous “it’s all Dick Helm’s” fault scapegoating when team Titanic I started sinking three years ago.

  44. Gmal

    You guys shouldn’t get down on Matt, I heard that they had to do MRI on his brain.. It’s a good thing they found nothing. :)
    Best thing we have going is the potential to draft Rose, Mayo or Hibert. Let some other team pick up our problems and thier contracts for expiring contracts or #1 picks for a change, if they don’t we have to eat them or let them expire. its not a good scenario but we are gonna be bad the next 3 years any way and the best way to maximize that is keeping our first rounders.

  45. JustFoundOUt

    Actually, I think that would be a fun game: Name the most exciting thing about the Knicks. Some proposals…

    Nearly $40 million in expiring contracts after the 2008/2009 season!

    Our stars could be “useful role players on a good team”!

    They finally managed to settle the Anucha Brown Saunders case!

  46. GMus

    Summary – I love basketball, have been a Knicks fan for years, my son is 11 and also enjoys the sport, I live 3 blocks from the Garden and under current circumstances I’d never, ever take him to a game. Save us!

    ps – this is terribly sad

  47. Brian Cronin

    By the by, the block shots were really ludicrous.

    Q and Nate driving to the basket on Diop – yeah, THAT was going to work out.

    And then not even go HARD to the hoop, but trying layups!! Of COURSE he’s going to block them, dummies!

  48. Brian Cronin

    And yeah, one of the most aggravating things about this Knicks squad is that, other than Lee and Balkman (and I guess Chandler and Morris), no Knicks are even trade-able.

    Isaiah could wake up tomorrow and try to trade all his starters so he could just blow up the team and start over – and he would be UNABLE to.

    There is absolutely NO market out there for Marbury, Crawford, Q, Curry, Rose, Jeffries, James and Randolph – at least not in terms of getting something to help the team in the future (in the sense that yes, they COULD trade Randolph for, like, Larry Hughes, etc.)

    Randolph perhaps has the best chance, but even he would be highly unlikely.

  49. Donald Trump

    Lots of speculation about possible trades but they omit one crucial factor IMO. A lot of teams won’t deal with the Knicks while Thomas is at the helm. Do you really think that the Lakers and Bulls, for example, are going to do ANYTHING to help IT get out of this mess? If they can dump some more of their garbage in NY they will, but a real trade. Forget about it.

    It’s not the Knicks they have a problem with, it’s Thomas who is despised by a lot of the current gm’s. The clueless gm’s who would deal with IT have teams devoid of talent.

    I was dead wrong about this team. I thought it would gell and that they would rally around IT. Still believe they are immensely talented but no heart. Gm’s are seeing that and won’t bring any of the poison into their locker room.

    Another year of this and then the team can start to make moves. It’ll take a different gm though. What worries me is that Dolan is isolated from the rest of the league. He’s the buffoon that no other owners talk to. Not sure he gets how hopeless this is.

    Fine if he sticks with IT this year but doing so next year would be armageddon.

  50. Steve D

    Everyone needs to stop talking about getting Rose for next year. If any of the past season’s tanking situation have shown us anything is that the Lottery is just that, a lottery. There is no rhyme or reason to how the spots will turn out.

    As well, who’s to say that one player can even help this team! For all we know Isaiah will keep whatever young phenom riding the pine while Crawford jacks up 25 foot fadeaways and Marbury throws passes into the front row.

    As much as everyone is hating on Zach Randolph I feel a lot of his poor shooting and early troubles have more to do with the paint being filled up by the fat body of Eddy Curry. Zach single handedly almost got us back in the game against Dallas. When he actually is able to get the ball on the block he is very effective.

    I think Zeke needs to go with the metality that he starts either Curry or Randolph and work the other one into the game. Giving each of them lesser minutes at different points of the game will keep each of them fresh while at the same time keep them out of each other’s way. At the same time this gives opportunity to complementary players like Lee.

    A lot of the teams issues are poor coaching and mismanagement of the little amount of talent that we do have

  51. Matt

    Sorry to Mr. Black and to Ess-dog, I meant no smack. Between Qyntel’s dog-fighting (damn good thing for him he wasn’t a star NFL quarterback), all the pot-smoking and gun-brandishing and attempted-referee-assaulting (thanks ‘Sheed), and flagrant disrespect of the management and fans, the case can easily be made that the Blazers of yore were more of an embarrassment than these Knicks. I most definitely feel your collective pain. Just wanted to clarify that and reiterate that this is a top-notch blog. I’ll be crawling back into my hole now.

  52. Mr. Black

    Dear John Abbey:

    “You are an idiot to make fun of Portland.”

    Look John Abbey, everything I said about Portland is true. I just spent a week in Portland on business. Believe me, as Triumph the insult comic dog would say: “They are begging to be pooped on.”

    Best young talent in the NBA? I say thee Nay!! Look to the East, my son.

    Josh Smith, Marvin Williams, Acie Law, and Al Horford are better than Portland’s top four young guns of Webster, Jack, Aldridge, and Roy. Jack has regressed, Webster hasnt lived up to the billing, Aldridge is solid, Roy is Josh Childress with a more polished offensive game. And for as much as I love Greg Oden, we still dont know what he is going to be until he steps on the floor.

    When Portland make a championship run, I will take back what I said.

  53. Mr. Black

    Dear John Abbey:

    “You are an idiot to make fun of Portland.”

    Look John Abbey, everything I said about Portland is true. I just spent a week in Portland on business. Believe me, as Triumph the insult comic dog would say: “They are begging to be pooped on.”

    Best young talent in the NBA? I say thee Nay!! Look to the East, my son.

    Josh Smith, Marvin Williams, Acie Law, and Al Horford are better than Portland’s top four young guns of Webster, Jack, Aldridge, and Roy. Jack has regressed, Webster hasnt lived up to the billing, Aldridge is solid, Roy is Josh Childress with a more polished offensive game. And for as much as I love Greg Oden, we still dont know what he is going to be until he steps on the floor.

    When Portland makes a championship run, I will take back what I said.

  54. Mr. Black

    “can we trade curry and randolph to the wnba? after all, they?ve got tits. ”

    LMAO

    I dont know about that, I think Curry and Randolph are too attractive to play in the WNBA. The girl moght get jealous.

  55. teddd

    Just to comment on the Zach/Lakers possibility mentioned earlier.

    I do think that the Lakers passed on Zach in the off season in large part because they spent the entire summer trying to land first KG and later JON. So yes, that door might actually be open now. But are they going to give up more than Kwame’s expiring and perhaps one of their young PG’s? Honestly, I can’t see them giving up Odom. And it’s also possible that a defensive minded coach like Jax wants absolutely nothing to do with Zach and prefers Kwame.

    And as for Portland Mr Black, there isn’t a single team in the NBA with a better base of young talent. People have been forever impressed with Chicago’s base of youngsters and it’s not even in the ballpark. And they’ve secured good players who are also good guys instead of knuckleheads this time around. Not to mention they’ve got another high pick on the horizon due to Oden’s knee. They are going to be a serious threat to win several titles over the next 10 years. I think that you’re letting emotion take over common sense on this one.

  56. Caleb

    A couple of things I would add to the trade talk…

    1. Don’t underestimate the value of $$. Knicks have basically unlimited budget; most teams don’t. If they have a player with a big contract running through 2010, and they can dump him for Marbury whose deal ends in 2009… at least 25 will see that as extremely valuable. It doesn’t mean we’ll get Kevin Garnett.. but we could get a decent, if overpaid player. (or a total loser plus a draft pick)

    1a. When pursuing this strategy – don’t take any contracts lasting beyond 2010. Up to then it doesn’t matter… our flexibility… but if we don’t take longer deals, we could be a serious player (in free agency or trades) that summer.

    2. Randolph is hardest to move because his contract is longest (through 2011). Jeffries, too, but his deal is smaller. You might get a desperate team like the Lakers or Bulls (or even Dallas, for someone like Dampier – but I don’t think his contract is any shorter).

    3. Now that Curry’s been healthy a few years and his contract is getting shorter, I do think he has some value. Unfortunately, that leaves us with two power forwards and no centers. Plus, better to trade Zach for reason #2.

    4. It doesn’t matter if GMs hate Isiah or not. If a trade makes sense, they’ll do it.

    If there’s a silver lining to all this, aside from our draft position, IT being an idiot is probably driving down the price on extensions for Lee & Robinson.

  57. Caleb

    p.s. love Josh Smith & Horford; Williams will never meet the hype of #2 but he’ll be pretty good… Acie Law – forget it.

    As for Portland… it all depends on Oden. If he ends up basically healthy, they’ll be awesome. If he’s Sam Bowie, they’re just another floundering young team.

  58. Sly Williams

    I am not sure if there will be a thread for the game tonight, so will post here. (where my Knicker?)

    Knicks have a chance tonight to win their first game by more than 10 points. They play Seattle, one of 2 teams that might be worse than Knicks so far, in MSG. Seattle played in Chicago last night, while the Knicks were resting.

    Looks like a needed Knicks blowout win tonight. Yeah, you my Knicker.

  59. Sly Williams

    “I just noticed that Q?s TS% is 39.0. What do you think is the all-time record?”

    Depends on your cutoffs. Moe Becker in 1946-47? (.215)
    Nikoloz Tskitishvili pulled a .374 a few years ago.

  60. Frank O.

    Oh, man.
    Sly Williams just set us all up for another BIG Knicks loss.
    My only hope is that Isiah finally gets desperate and gives up on his starters…at least Q and Curry.
    I suspect Crawford and Randolph have done just enough to stay on the court, but not enough to lift the Knicks out of the cellar.

    As for my proposal to blow up the team and trade away Curry, Randolph, Crawford, Jeffries and Marbury, I could give two shits about the talent we get back. I’m interested in amassing expiring contracts.
    I would hope that a fire sale could clear $40 million a year off the cap by 08 or 09.
    The talent we get back is immaterial to me. The Knicks suck. They will continue to suck. Even limping into and 8th seat sucks. 8th is not a plan! When did getting an eighth seed become a plan?
    They are not in a position to make good trades. They have no leverage.
    I’m proposing a good, old fashion fire sale. Get back a bunch of expiring contracts, and plan on picking high in the draft.
    Next year, the Knicks lose those contracts, draft some sound young folks, and in the meantime they ride on the backs of Lee, Balkman, Robinson, Jones, Collins, Morris and the remaining dregs.
    Our young guys get some experience. The Knicks clear some cap space, and in three years, they potentially have one of the most interesting young teams in the NBA.
    And if you want that sixth man on the court, PLAY the young guys. People at the Garden want to see and will cheer for the young guys as long as they play hard and show heart.
    The Knicks used to be good at marketing themselves. How is it that Lee is clearly the most popular player among the fans – and his play somewhat justifies that popularity because his efficiency is better than virtually every other player on the roster – and he gets fewer minutes this year than last?
    That’s just stupid.

  61. Owen

    Caleb – The answer to your question is Anthony Carter. Among players who played 1000 minutes in the modern era he has the lowest ts%, 35.9 for the Heat in 01-02.

    It takes good players to win in the NBA, and we only have one, David Lee, and many or most of you would disagree, perhaps with good cause, about how much of a dominating star he can be.

    To be a great team in the NBA you need a few great players. Everyone knows who those guys are. And teams don’t really give them up in order to clear salary. It just doesn’t happen very frequently.

    Garnett recently was the rare case, but I think it was almost the exception to prove the rule, and in Jefferson the Celtics had the perfect trade good.

    People are not generally aware of this I think, but Jefferson and Garnett had exactly the same ts% and rebounding averages last year. Garnett was better than Big Al in assists (3.8 per 48) and Pf’s (2 per 48) while committing .5 turnovers more.

    They got good value for giving up one of the best players in the game.

    I look around the league, say at a team like the Raptors. They picked up Anthony Parker from a team in Israel. He has played a lot better than Q. His adjusted +/- was off the charts last year. He can shoot from outside, great defender, low turnovers. They picked up Jamario Moon, who has been a very competent role player. And they found Calderon, who is arguably the fourth best point gaurd in basketball. Add in a good high draft pick in Bosh and a decent free agent signing in Ford (hurt last night), and you have a pretty good team.

    At the end of the day, Isiah Thomas, is not going to make anything of these kind of sensible decisions.

    He’s got to go….

    Lol, my frustration is particularly intense today, I think that quote about the fans being the problem is really getting under my skin…

  62. Sly Williams

    “Sly Williams just set us all up for another BIG Knicks loss.”

    I haven’t been blamed for a Knick loss since… well since Isiah blamed us fans a couple days ago.
    Dolan should pay the fans not to lose games.

  63. Frank O.

    Owen:
    It’s getting under your skin with good reason.
    Said with a smile or not, what Isiah said showed a shocking lack of understanding of his team and its performance.
    Yes the fans boo bad play. But good play is rewarded in the Garden like few other places. Fans are so desperate to cheer that they go nuts when the Knicks made what was clearly going to be a failed push to beat the Mavs. No one in their right mind through the Knicks would win that game, even when it got to 7 points difference. Someone said from the mid-3rd on it was garbage time for the Mavs. Very true.
    How many times did Nowitzski have absolutely no defender on him? How often was his shot unopposed. He’s arguably the best player in basketball and Knicks defenders somehow lost him?
    And with all that, the Knicks fans were going nuts as Randolph made his push.
    And how was it killed? The same as always: a bad pass turnover. A virtually uncontested layup.
    Done and done.

  64. Frank O.

    Watch Durant tonight.
    I’ve got a bad feeling. Crawford is going to want to make a statement tonight, but it won’t be a defense.
    Because Durant is soft, Crawford is finally playing against a guy weaker than him.
    Expect a ton of bad shots, like 22-25 shots from Crawford. He’ll barely shoot 40 percent.
    And Durant, facing Gumby on defense, will probably put up 30+.
    Isiah won’t use Balkman to shut down Durant like he did in the summer league because either he is hurt or Isiah is too stupid to put him on Durant.

    Lastly, I hope I wrong…btw. It’s just a feeling. I thought the Knicks would at least split with the 76ers…

  65. Frank O.

    Watch Durant tonight.
    I’ve got a bad feeling. Crawford is going to want to make a statement tonight, but it won’t be a defense.
    Because Durant is soft, Crawford is finally playing against a guy weaker than him.
    Expect a ton of bad shots, like 22-25 shots from Crawford. He’ll barely shoot 40 percent.
    And Durant, facing Gumby on defense, will probably put up 30+.
    Isiah won’t use Balkman to shut down Durant like he did in the summer league because either he is hurt or Isiah is too stupid to put him on Durant.

    Lastly, I hope I’m wrong…btw. It’s just a feeling. I thought the Knicks would at least split with the 76ers…

  66. jon abbey

    Mr. Poop,

    “I just spent a week in Portland on business. Believe me, as Triumph the insult comic dog would say: ?They are begging to be pooped on.?”

    so is anyone quoting a Conan O’Brien prop.

    “Best young talent in the NBA? I say thee Nay!! Look to the East, my son.”

    I didn’t say this, I said one of the best young talent bases in the league. it’s obviously true that Atlanta also has one, although they don’t have a franchise player in the league of Oden (assuming he comes back close to the same, blah blah blah).

  67. Caleb

    “I could give two shits about the talent we get back. I?m interested in amassing expiring contracts…. I would hope that a fire sale could clear $40 million a year off the cap by 08 or 09.
    The talent we get back is immaterial to me…. I?m proposing a good, old fashion fire sale. Get back a bunch of expiring contracts, and plan on picking high in the draft.”

    Frank O., I think you underestimate how hard that will be…

    The other teams WANT the expiring contracts – they’re not giving them away for Zach Randolph.
    I doubt we could trade any veteran on this roster for an expiring contract, and to make a difference by summer 2009 we would have to trade at least four of these guys: Curry, Randolph, Crawford, Q, Jeffries and James.

    hahahahahahaha! That’s all the other GMs laughing.

    IMO 2010 is a more realistic goal. We’ll suck and get the draft picks in the meantime. This year’s pick will be high. In 2009, addiing a good rookie and a real coach who actually plays the best players, I think we could easily be around .500.
    In 2010 we owe the pick to Utah… but in theory we could have financial flexibility to make trades or even sign FAs.

    And Owen, I think Balkman is an above-average (“good”) player when he’s healthy.

    Randolph might lurch over the bar by the end of the season.

    Chandler… c’mon, let’s see what we have!

  68. Owen

    Knicks fans have to be the most knowledgeable fans in the world. The way the Garden reacts to bad plays and good plays, my sense is that it’s not like that in other places. Just the fact that the Garden crowd cheers every time David Lee gets off the bench, it tells you something.

    There are fans out there that offer unconditional love, Golden State, and that’s great. But this is New York, the center of the basketball world.

    The bottom line is we know and appreciate good basketball better than anyone, and it’s been a long time since we have seen it played by our team.

    It’s going be interesting tonight, the 29th worst offense/19th defense, against the 26th and 30th.

    As bad as the Sonics are, our exp w/l is actually worse.

  69. jon abbey

    Owen, you hit on the problem precisely:

    “To be a great team in the NBA you need a few great players. ”

    this is where the Knicks fail. they have no shortage of depth, of guys who could be in a NBA rotation on most teams, but their best few players are much inferior to everyone else’s. Isiah’s way of trying to solve this, instead of hoarding draft picks and waiting for the rare great player in a deal to come along, was to trade for pretty much every flawed impact player that he thought could maybe all of a sudden fix the career-long holes in their game.

    I maintain that it’s not the approach that was the problem as much as it was the execution. for instance, two weeks after Isiah got the job, he traded for Steph, and we all know how well that’s worked out. but not too long after that, Baron Davis was essentially given away by the Hornets because of his contract and health reasons. GS was smart/lucky enough to land him (and have him not only stay healthy but somehow blossom even further back home in Cali), and also smart/lucky enough to deal Dunleavy/Murphy and their mammoth deals for the ticking time bomb that’s Stephen Jackson plus Al Harrington.

    so, a similar strategy, but one that’s obviously working far far far better in GS (11-3 since Jackson’s suspension ended so far this season) than it has for Isiah.

  70. JustFoundOUt

    Does anyone think we could actually get cap space for Randolph or Q? I can think only of one team that might be willing to give us contracts that expire the year after this one: Cleveland. They are desparate for help right now, as they are worried about losing LBJ and they sense there is a window. Maybe we could pry the completely useless Donyell Marshall and Eric Snow for Randolph? Their contracts exire a year earlier. Maybe Drew Gooden instead one of those guys.

    The thought that those trades might actually make a little bit of sense just made me depressed.

  71. Owen

    Jon – Ah, the rare moment when we totally agree. And I can’t even spoil it with a mild rebuttal. Dead on.

    You do have to be lucky. Look at Orlando. Dwight Howard is turning into the best player in the NBA, imho. In two years, he almost certainly will be that. There is just a massive difference between getting a top pick like Howard, and a top pick like Kwame Brown or Olowakandi, and to be fair to NBA GM’s, it’s pretty hard to tell the difference when they are 18.

  72. Z

    Since the dim light at the end of the tunnel is that we will be free of many of our crappy players and their huge contracts in 2010, I have a question:

    Is LeBron able to opt out of his deal in 2009?

    I thought it was 2010, but Vescey said in the post the other day he can escape in 2009.

    Since the team’s strategy (since it has blown it twice already) should be to target James with all it’s resources, it would be nice to know what year he is next available to the center of the basketball world/world’s largest sports market.

  73. Brian Cronin

    Yeah, Frank, I think Caleb is spot on.

    As of right now, the Knicks cannot GIVE away Marbury, Crawford, Curry, Q, James, Rose and Jeffries, and they most likely couldn’t even give away Randolph.

    MAYBE Randolph – but in that case, if the Lakers offer Brown’s expiring deal, the Knicks should jump on it.

  74. Frank O.

    AS for places that we might be able to claim an expiring contract, I was thinking the Lakers, 76ers and Cleveland.
    All three teams need offense and I believe all three have a contract or two to shed.
    Frankly getting Brown back from the Lakers for a Randolph or a Curry wouldn’t be terrible.
    Which, as Owen noted, is pretty depressing that that trades sounds good to me now.

    By the way, Jason Williams wrote and article – here, http://www.realgm.com/src_twoplusthefoul/170/20071212/the_chicken_or_the_egg/ – that pretty much nails the Knicks on the head.
    He points out what has been written here dozens of times, that Isiah’s first team is purely ball-hogging offensive players and team two is defensively-minded energy guys.
    He correctly points out that simply mixing them up, starting Randolph, Lee, Balkman, Jones and Marbury would be a better balanced starting five, and pairing Curry and Crawford on team two would make it a potent combination with defense-minded Jeffries, Richardson and Robinson.
    It makes sense.

  75. Frank O.

    Love this characterization of Curry:
    “But the worse part about Curry is that his production is so bad he actually manages to acquire more turnovers than assists, blocks and steals COMBINED officially making him the league?s most useless player?by far.”

  76. Caleb

    “AS for places that we might be able to claim an expiring contract, I was thinking the Lakers, 76ers and Cleveland.”

    I believe the Sixers are the only team in the league that actually has cap space this summer if they do nothing… so scratch that one off the list.

    Lakers, maybe… I wouldn’t even think about it if I were them, but you never know.

    Cleveland is a good idea but they’re kind of loaded in the frontcourt, with Z, Varejao and Gooden… so don’t think they’d want Curry or Randolph. I dunno – would they take Crawford for Snow or Marshall, or Ira Newble? Do we insist on a draft pick, too? That’s all-out dump mode… might be better options down the road.

  77. Frank O.

    Caleb:
    I really think we should be in all out dump mode.
    Is there anyone among the starting five the fans wouldn’t want to dump?
    I think the Knicks cap issue is of the utmost importance, and they have not come to terms with that. Neither have a lot of fans. Everyone keeps saying money isn’t important to the Knicks, but the fact of the matter is the only deals the Knicks can make in this state are ones where their side is always overloaded with risk: aging players; troubled players with upside; simply troubled players, etc.
    So before the Knicks start thinking they are too good for some of these trades, they aught to think again. They are the fool on the subway with a $100 spot hanging from their back pocket waiting to get picked.
    If losing Crawford for an inferior player that has an expiring contract is the cost, so be it. If we give up Randolph for Kwame “upside” Brown, fine.
    Otherwise, the Knicks are roadkill with no hope of ever getting out of this mess if the current course continues.
    Isiah should pinch his nose and dump these misfits.

  78. Brian Cronin

    That’s the thing, Frank, I’d be totally down with a “dump players” idea, but except for MAYBE Randolph for Brown, there isn’t anyone out there that the Knicks CAN dump these players to.

    They all have such onerous contracts, or health issues.

  79. Owen

    Really enjoyed my sports section today.

    They had an interesting piece comparing the Rangers and Knicks. It’s not just Garden management that makes you awful, apparently, although really that has only been true for about two years on the ice.

    But Jaromir Jagr had a great qoute:

    ?Hockey and basketball, it?s different,? said Jaromir Jagr, the Rangers? captain. ?In basketball, I would say it?s about one guy if you want to have a successful team. He?s on the court all the time. He?s got the ball all the time. He can be the difference. It?s different in hockey, where you have to have a team.

    ?I think they?re just waiting for the one guy.?

    I couldn’t have said it better. The one guy in Lebron James, and he is not arriving for three years.

    Also, given the entirely sympathetic view of the Rangers, kind of made me wonder, maybe I should become a Rangers fan for the next couple of years? But Dolan wins either way I guess.

    Finally, the full article on Isiah’s comments to the fan at courtside about how we need to be better fans. Contained the hilarious tidbit that wehn Boomer Esiason opened up a Knicks complaint line on his radio show, it resulted in the phone system getting knocked out repeatedly all day.

  80. Mr. Black

    teddd said:

    “And as for Portland Mr Black, there isn?t a single team in the NBA with a better base of young talent. People have been forever impressed with Chicago?s base of youngsters and it?s not even in the ballpark. And they?ve secured good players who are also good guys instead of knuckleheads this time around. Not to mention they?ve got another high pick on the horizon due to Oden?s knee. They are going to be a serious threat to win several titles over the next 10 years. I think that you?re letting emotion take over common sense on this one.”

    Uhhhhhh No! It has nothing to do with emotion and everything to do with production. Webster does not shoot as well as he should. For the past two years he has looked like a bust. Jack’s assist/to rate is not good. Oden hasnt played on second of NBA ball. Roy is a rookie of the year in a year when seemingly noone wanted the award. I like Aldrige, I cant argue with 18 and 7.

    But line it up against Atlanta…

    Horford v Aldridge I would rather have Horford. He rebounds a ton and has a nice inside game. He could score much more with more touches.

    Marvin Williams v. Roy is a push. Marvin has much more potential than Roy. Roy is very good at what he does and he has the more polished offensive game. Marvin can score and rebound. Roy is a bright player that reminds me of Richard Hamilton with more aggression.

    Josh Smith v. Martell Webster: The aptly named Webster comes up short in his head to head with Smith. Smith does alot of everything. He rebounds, scores, and defends. Josh Smith is the new Shawn Marion. Imagine him playing with a great point *ahem Chris Paul ahem*, he would put up Shawn marion numbers easy.

    Childress beats Outlaw. Law and Jack are even.

    I cant include Oden in the discussion because have nothing to judge him on. Any discussion of the Blazers young talent has to be done without including Oden beacuse we dont know what he will be. I am big enough to revisit this in a year, when we see something from Oden. But for now, we can only talk about what each team has. Right now, Atlanta has Portland beat.

    Atlanta needs a better coach.

  81. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger)

    “I couldn?t have said it better. The one guy in Lebron James, and he is not arriving for three years.”

    I remember a few years ago the Nets were waiting for Tim Duncan to be a free agent so he could team with Kidd. How did that turn out?

  82. Z

    ?AS for places that we might be able to claim an expiring contract, I was thinking the Lakers, 76ers and Cleveland.?

    I believe the Sixers are the only team in the league that actually has cap space this summer if they do nothing? so scratch that one off the list.”

    The only teams that would trade expiring contracts for long term deals are those that have a) surprised themselves with strong starts and have the illusion of a legit shot of contending this year; b) teams with slow starts that fancied themselves contenders; c) teams on the cusp of contending; d) teams that have a very small window for success; and e) teams with bad GMs.

    These teams would be: a) Orlando, LA Lakers, New Orleans, Washington; b) Houston, Chicago, Cleveland, New Jersey, Dallas; c) Golden State, Utah, d) Cleveland, Denver, Boston, LA Lakers, Phoenix; e) New York.

    Because of the fact that we don’t have much substance in our fire sale, and the market is small, there sadly isn’t much to Frank O.’s (and mine!) desire to cut and run.

    And as for teams under the cap next summer, I think Charlotte stands to be about $25 million under, Chicago has committed abut $20 million less than the cap allows, Philadelphia will be about $16 million under, Atlanta $14 million, and Golden State will be $8 under.

    The teams that will be $0-5 million under are Washington (post Arenas opt out), Miami, LA Clips, Utah, Sea, SA, Orl, Tor, and Minn.

    The teams that will be over are: NY, Cle, Por, Bos, Dal, Phx, Det, Hou, Ind, LAL, Mil, NJ, NO, Sac, and Memphis.

    Miami has $23 million in expiring contracts; Minnesota has $20 million; Golden State has $18 million; Chicago has $16 million; Washington has $16 million; San Antonio has $16 million(!); Charlotte has $16 million; Orlando has $14 million.

    This is the landscape of the league until next summer. Obviously, the Knicks can’t compete with these teams because all of them have assets more valuable than anything the Knicks can offer.

    The good news is, there aren’t many major players entering free agency next June, so the Knicks have a picked a good year to be rediculously capped out.

    That said, Kwame’s expiring contract is actually less valuable (especially to the Knicks) as a contract like Wally Szczerbiak’s, Raef LaFrenz, Mike Bibby’s, or Stephon Marbury’s.

    Now is not the time for a fire sale. Wait until the deadline, and more importantly, the trade deadline NEXT season.

  83. jon abbey

    “I remember a few years ago the Nets were waiting for Tim Duncan to be a free agent so he could team with Kidd. How did that turn out?”

    LeBron to NY is a bit different, if only because he wears a Yankee hat at every opportunity, including to a ALDS game in Cleveland.

    we’re grasping at straws, but really what else do we have at this point?

  84. Z

    ?I remember a few years ago the Nets were waiting for Tim Duncan to be a free agent so he could team with Kidd. How did that turn out??

    Even if it’s only a 50% chance, it’s still a better shot at building a winner than doing it the Isiah Thomas way.

    Besides, Duncan isn’t a self-marketing materialistic egomaniac, and even if he were, New Jersey doesn’t quite fulfill that in a guy the way New York does…

  85. Owen

    KB – Fair enough. Let’s just say I look forward to paying a really good player what we are paying Zach Randolph right not.

    I am being overly negative. We could improve through the draft. That is usually how it happens actually. If we pick up Hibbert or Rose, and either turn out to be the real deal, I would have real reason to be optimistic about 07-08.

    I hope it’s Hibbert. Another Georgetown big has sentimental appeal to me, and I think that’s where we need the most help.

  86. Mr. Black

    I think Jason Williams’ article at RealGM is the best roster analysis I have read this season. It is clear that Curry and Randolph dont work well together. It is clear that the starting unit needs rebounding and defense. By benching Curry, Crawford and Richardson for Lee, Balkman, and Jones you get the defense and rebounding you need. I’m not worried about Balkman’s lack of a jumper because his jump shot has been as good as Q’s lately.

    What the Knicks really need is a front man rotation of Lee, Curry, Randolph and Jeffries. Curry and Randolph should never be on the floor together. Lee should start with Randolph. Curry comes in when Randolph needs a blow. Jeffries comes in when Lee needs a blow ( no more than 8 minutes a game because Lee should play no fewer than 34 minutes per game).

    Lee makes the engine run because he covers the weak points of both Curry’s and Randolph’s games. We all know Curry struggles on defense and rebounds. Lee fixes this problem. W

    e see that Randolph struggles when he must consistently catch the ball on the high post (Randolph likes to vary his moves between low post moves, drive across the lane, and face up shooting0. With Curry on the bench Randolph has more room to operate and his offensive game improves. Randolph is not a great or willing passer. Lee is a good passer and will help overall ball movement.

  87. Owen

    It’s amazing we were 11th in defensive rebounding two years ago, ninth last year, and 24th so far this year. We added Randolph, who is without question an excellent defensive rebounder, but have gotten much much worse. Kind of strange and unexpected…

  88. Caleb

    “I really think we should be in all out dump mode…”

    Agreed… BUT

    “I think the Knicks cap issue is of the utmost importance… Before the Knicks start thinking they are too good for some of these trades, they ought to think again… If losing Crawford for an inferior player that has an expiring contract is the cost, so be it.”

    My point is that dumping Crawford now doesn’t help anything, unless we can dump another 3 or 4 guys, too. It doesn’t matter if we’re $40 million over the cap rather than $50 million. As we approach summer 2010, it gets more urgent, but we can give it time, let other teams get desperate enough to offer draft picks or players with SOME value.

    Not to mention, Crawford and our other deadweight will appreciate in value, if only because they become more like short-term rentals rather than long-term albatrosses.

    “there aren?t many major players entering free agency next June…”

    You’re probably right, since no one is in position to offer $$, but if anyone had cap room, there are a ton of stars who would opt out – Elton Brand, Gil Arenas, Shawn Marion just to name 3 off the top of my head… plus all the guys who didn’t sign extensions, like Deng & Okafor and my fave, Josh Smith.

    Owen, I know you’re a huge Hibbert fan but I don’t think he’s a top-of-the lottery prospect.. I see an upside more like Brad Miller.

    And re: LeBron, it’s a mistake to put all your eggs in one basket. If he wants to come to NYC he’s just as likely to sign with his pal Jay-Z and open the new arena in Brooklyn. (I just read that because of construction delays, it won’t open until, ta-da, fall of 2010).

    BUT it doesn’t matter… there will be other great players available that summer. Dwyane Wade, f’rinstance.

  89. Caleb

    “It?s amazing we were 11th in defensive rebounding two years ago, ninth last year, and 24th so far this year.”

    yeah, sort of weird…

    but we’ve just been awful everywhere. last in the league in defensive efficiency, 26th in offense.. phew.

    Q is probably the biggest reason, being as bad as he is for 30 minutes a game, but it’s really across the board. Curry, Crawford & Lee are the only guys playing near the level they did last year (for better or worse).

  90. Caleb

    “And as for teams under the cap next summer, I think Charlotte stands to be about $25 million under, Chicago has committed abut $20 million less than the cap allows, Philadelphia will be about $16 million under, Atlanta $14 million, and Golden State will be $8 under.”

    I guess I forgot about Charlotte, but most of this cap space will be used up by re-signing guys… it doesn’t count the big contracts for Josh Smith & Childress, or Deng or Gordon, or Okafor… I guess some of those teams might let their guys walk away, but it’s a big risk… what if none of the name FAs opt out? Guessing there could be lots of back-alley dealings and secret handshake promises, just before the opt-out window.

  91. Z

    “I guess I forgot about Charlotte, but most of this cap space will be used up by re-signing guys? it doesn?t count the big contracts for Josh Smith & Childress, or Deng or Gordon, or Okafor?”

    I think Philly is going to use their space to re-sign Andre Igudala…

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