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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Washington 86 New York 75

Again just some quick notes:

* Matt Barnes can do everything on the defensive end, but he’s a mess on offense. He drives to the hoop uncontrollably, and he doesn’t have Marbury ability to pass or finish. On one drive he panicked in the air and threw the ball right into Arenas’ hands. Gilbert was so shocked that he knocked the pass out of bounds. Matt gets rejected way too often for my tastes, especially after rebounds. If Larry Brown is going to leave him on the court at the end of the game, Barnes needs to become less aggressive. The Knicks don’t need to give possessions back to the other team.

* Trevor Ariza is a monster on defense. The guy is a ball hawk. He knocked the ball right out of one player’s hands, and another time Trevor ran away with an inbounds pass. Ariza fronted a post player and got up high enough in the air to tip the pass off the offensive player’s fingers for another turnover. Larry Brown went to Barnes for the final minutes, and I have to wonder if it shouldn’t be the other way around. While I think Ariza might not have Barnes’ man to man skills, he’s not as much of a liability on the offensive end. Unlike Matt Barnes, Trevor seems to know his limitations and doesn’t force the issue with the ball.

* The Knicks $100M centers were both in foul trouble early. Jerome James was terrible. It wasn’t bad enough that he committed two offensive fouls in less than 5 minutes, but he vigorously argued them even though neither was close to being debatable. Brown saw enough of him & yanked him for the rest of the game. Meanwhile Curry played well while he was in the game, but foul trouble and stupid turnovers kept him benched for most of it.

* This was almost a blessing, because I saw a good amount of Channing Frye, and I like what I saw. His range extends pretty far out, although he missed badly on a three point attempt. Despite his sleight build, he can rebound, especially on the offensive end. I’d be shocked if he won’t be one of the main scorers of the Knicks second team. They need to run the pick & roll with him more often.

* Quentin Richardson looked lost in the offensive set. I counted at least 3 times where he ended up too close to another Knick. Hopefully a few more practice sessions will help him learn the plays & space the floor properly. The good news was that Richardson made his damage inside. After a year in the Suns run & gun offense, there was speculation on whether “Q” would stay on the perimeter jacking up treys. But Richardson was rebounding & scoring from the paint.

* Marbury missed an easy layup with his left hand. The whole league must know he’s really weak with his left hand, which makes his scoring ability that much more impressive.

* Finally, I have to give credit where credit is due. At least twice Jamal Crawford took the ball to the hoop after a fake out. This is as big an accomplishment as any I’ve seen this year. I can’t recall a single wild shot from him, which is a step in the right direction.

20 comments on “Washington 86 New York 75

  1. tomverve

    I recall Marbury’s missed lefty layup as being difficult– it came on a contested fastbreak where it looked like Marbury picked up his dribble a step too early and had to overextend just to get to the rim. Ariza had the same thing happen to him in the game and it led to him missing a righty layup (not to mention Trev’s righty dunk muffed by the rim against Boston). Marbs is clearly better going to his right but I don’t think he’s terrible going to the left either.

  2. tomverve

    Also, is it just me, or was Washington’s run to break away in the 4th largely thanks to Jamal’s poor D? I recall JC entering the game and immediately Arenas hitting a banker and Hayes hitting two jumpers, all of them against Jamal.

  3. Big Fella

    Ariza and Frye have definitely earned themselves some more minutes. I think it’s weird that Ariza hasn’t been starting at 3 all along. Other than Zeke’s ability to make picks, I’m starting to worry that he’s as clueless as everyone in the media says he is.

  4. AmazingJason

    I’ve submerged myself too far heavily into the New York media and the Knicks internet message boards lately. At times, it feels as if every player and every move is being micromanaged to a point of mass hysteria. I guess I’ve gotten myself caught in all the hype and hoopla.

    I know it’s only been two games, but I’m beginning to see the potential for the Knicks to be similar to last year’s Chicago Bulls. They have the dominant low post option in Curry, size/length/rebounding in Frye, a developing defender in Ariza, and a dominant scorer/playmaker in Marbury. Granted, they don’t have a Duhon to run and defend the point, but LB is sure to be craving that type of player to start alongside Marbury. My early assessment is that Crawford lacks the basketball IQ to really man the PG position the way LB wants him to.

    A starting rotation of Curry, Frye, Ariza, Q-Rich (when healthy), and Marbury (all playing 30+ minutes) has the potential of being a solid unit on both ends of the floor. Hopefully, Curry can improve his defense and rebounding as his tenure progresses. Meanwhile, Frye, Ariza, and Q-Rich can cover for his shortcomings on the glass.

    The second unit would comprise of Davis, Taylor, Barnes, Crawford and Nate. IMO, Taylor is a fantastic option off the 2nd unit with his shooting and post-up ability (kind of like Corliss Williamson), and he has played pretty decent defense so far this year, as well as last year with the team. As for Crawford, I think the best bet with him is to unleash him as a scorer in the vein of a Ben Gordon, until he’s developed to the point of deserving starter’s minutes.

  5. KnickerBlogger Post author

    Another thing the Knicks don’t have in common with the Bulls is a guy like Chandler. Other than James, they don’t have a guy in the paint that can block shots. But James’ propensity to foul & turn the ball over make him un-playable late in games. Chandler is also a fantastic rebounder, and the Knicks don’t really have one of those.

    Who is the Knicks best rebounding big man? I’d probably say in order: Butler, Davis, Frye, Lee, Rose, Taylor, James, and Curry. Maybe Frye and Lee are better than Antonio, but the Knicks are really weak on the glass.

    One other point, Maurice Taylor has looked fantastic on the defensive end. I can’t tell how many charges he took the other night, and I think he had a strip. I’d think he might keep some of the rookies on the bench if he keeps up his inspired play.

  6. James Hoffa

    The funny thing is we actually killed the Wizards on the glass 59-35! that’s big – but we couldn’t make any shots.

  7. Kareem

    I am not a Knicks fan, but I enjoy the discussions on this site. It is because of the fact that I think the people on here are great fans and loyal that I say this: the Knicks stink and will continue to stink as long as Isiah Thomas is the general manager.

    Yes, they have some pieces and some decent young players but I’m just not seeing the potential for a championship caliber team. Maybe they could be a 4th or 5th seed if everything, and i mean everything breaks right in the next couple of years, but that’s it.

    To compare them to the Bulls, well… actually let’s do that.

    The Bulls have young pieces with a lot of potential who have already proven to be good NBA players like Hinrich, Chandler, Duhon, Sweetney, Deng and Ben Gordon. All of these players were lottery picks except Duhon and all of which are signed at a good cap number. It is not unreasonable to think that any of these players (again, except Duhon) could be all-stars and main contributors on a championship caliber team. The Bulls also have a favorable cap situation where they can add a star player if one becomes available either through trade, or sign and trade in free agency.

    The Knicks on the other hand have a number of young players who either have not estabished themselves yet, at best could possibly could be role players on a good team, don’t play defense, or are so absurdly overpriced they handcuff the team (Butler, Frye, Robinson, Lee, Ariza, Crawford, Curry.)

    Additionaly, the Knicks have also overpaid their veterans by so much (Mo Taylor, Malik Rose, Jerome James, and Quentin Richardson, Marbury) that their is no hope to drasticaly change the roster for the near future.

    So all of this is to say that it’s time to quit fooling yourselves and commit to really helping out the hometown Knickerbockers by calling for Zeke’s head. It starts with the fans and I can promise you it’ll be a lot more fun to watch a real GM blow up this roster and begin the process of working towards a title than to suffer through another decade of hopeless mediocrity. I mean really, this organization sucks and it’s a shame becuase their seem to be a lot of good fans out there.

  8. Ted Nelson

    Premature to say anything about the Knicks: only four players remain from the start of last year and even those players are playing under a new coach. A slow start should have been anticipated; I just hope that the players and organization both show some patience.

    If you have to make predictions, I agree that the Bulls are not the best choice as they are built around defense. Maybe Portland or Boston or, Philly or, even everyone’s sudden favorites, Golden State. There are some obvious disparities here as well, but all these teams, to varying degrees, have some nice young players combined with veterans.

    But if you’re going to compare Knicks and Bulls, there are several flaws in your logic:
    -Is being a four or five seed really stinking? I guess the Bulls stink.
    -Those Bulls’ prospects will sign fat contracts (whether Paxson low balls them into leaving or not) in the near future, just as many of the Knicks’ contracts will expire.
    -I think you overvalue the Bulls young players considerably (at this point). They have a ways to go. Calling Sweetney, in particular, a future All-Star is a stretch.
    -If Curry proves to be a top post scorer, is his contract “handcuffing” the team? By the same logic, if Chandler doesn’t improve his defense to an elite level or do something, anything on offense isn’t he handcuffing his team?
    -There is no reason to expect that the Knicks cannot make significant changes to their roster in the coming years: they have about $60 million in expiring contracts over the next two years, and they have some prospects of their own who are showing some signs early. Isiah has not been too shy to take a chance or overspend thus far, why be bashful now?

    Make no mistake, the Bulls are in a more enviable position. However, it took them the better part of a decade in the lottery to build this team while the Knicks did it in a year and a half making the playoffs one of those years. We?ll see whether (or maybe I should say to what degree) the Knicks impatience comes back to haunt them, but anything might happen over the next couple years. In fact, if current trends hold every Bull will be a Knick in a few years or maybe only the ones who don?t play defense: so we?ll get Gordon and Nocioni (lol).

  9. Ricky

    Quick note to knick fans.

    If you look at September’s schedule, it is rough. ROUGH. A 2-12 record to start shouldn’t surprise anyone. I’m not saying this as criticism, but just making a point about having realistic expectations.

    It’s almost a given that we’ll start off with a bad record and the media will start tearing apart the team from top to bottm. I, for one, don’t plan to write off LB, the new guys, Isiah or the team after one month. Especially when you consider how they’ve played so far. 0-3 sucks, but they haven’t been terrible in every aspect. Any one of those games could have been one with minor-ish tweaks (better effort in OT, higher FG%, hitting FTs). These things are fixable but will take time.

  10. Kareem

    What I’m saying has nothing to do with the Knicks being 0 and 3 and everything to do with the lack of growth potential on the roster. And to answer your question Ted, yes being a 4 or 5 seed stinks if it’s the absolute top of your teams potential. I honestly believe that expectations are so low right now for Knicks fans that the big picture is being missed.

  11. Seth

    I’m starting to see issues with Larry Brown, leaving the fact that he’s pretty much braindead when it comes to time and roster management, the guy’s already starting to suck. I think for a coach to be succesful with a young team he has to be one of two things: a. really companionable and understanding with the players or b. a hardass. LB will never be the former, and really hasn’t lived up to his reputation as the latter in my opinion. I think Herb Williams, who has earned the players’ respect with demonstration, not reputation, would be a much better fit at the head coaching spot.

  12. Ted Nelson

    What can really be said about a team’s “growth potential”? (Or what’s it worth to say it?) What was the Pistons’ “growth potential” when they traded Grant Hill for Ben Wallace? Did you see a team lead by Stackhouse, Big Nasty, and Ben Wallace winning a championship 3 seasons later? What was the Heat’s “growth potential” when their core consisted of Caron Butler, Eddie Jones, and Brian Grant? Conversely, how great was the Magic’s potential when they went out and got T-Mac and Hill. Why were two teams willing to give Juwan Howard $20 million a year? Growth potential. Why was Kandiman the #1 pick in the draft? Growth potential.

    The Knicks certainly don’t look like a championship contender as is, but how many teams do? The fact is that the Knicks have some good young players (including the Bulls leading scorers from the last two years) and the opportunity to make some changes over the next couple years, we’ll see if those changes are more Darius Miles or Kevin Garnett, more Jerome James or Eddy Curry.

  13. Kareem

    Ted, if your point is that we can’t evaluate the potential of growth for any teams I have to disagree with you. I would venture to say good GMs disagree with you as well based on the moves great franchises make. In any sport, you want to have players whose salaries will not impede you from getting the kinds of players you need to win a championship. The Knicks ONLY have these players and have been operating this way for a while. They have very few viable trading chips to make their team better. This is why they suck and have sucked for years. Allen Houston, Tim Thomas, Jerome Williams, Latrell Sprewell, Moocie Norris, Malik Rose, Eisly, Shandon Anderson, the list goes on and on and on of guys the Knicks have had who are not great and overpaid.

    Did I think that a team with Lamar Odom, Dwayne Wade, and Caron Butler all signed at reasonable numbers had a chance to grow? Of course. The point is, that although nothing is ever certain or static, you make the best decision you can at the time and hope for the best. This is why you could never fault a team like Orlando for bringing in Tmac and Grant Hill. Of course, it didn’t work out, but sometimes those are the breaks. The Knicks make impulsive, bone-headed moves to satisfy an impatient fan base. Unlike the Magic, who had their best player’s career effectivly ended by an unforseen injury the Knicks consitenly create their own problems with awfull decisions. Just look at the Sweetney for Curry trade and Jerome James signings from this offseason to see how screwed this team really is. And this is why, even though they spend massive amounts of money they can’t even make the playoffs. It ain’t rocket science.

    And to answer your question as to how many teams look like championship contenders… well I’d say there’s about 7 or 8. Then there’s a second group like the Bulls who are a couple of moves away or having some players develop from joining that group. You also have teams like the Bobcats or Hawks who aren’t locked into shitty long term contracts and therefore have the flexibility to sign players, trade for players, and land top lottery picks.

    Then there’s the Knicks who stand alone. No other team is even close to having so many overpaid, shitty players that other teams want. And it’s due to the same thinking that you’re championing that lands the team Jerome James and perpetuates the cycle further and further. Look at the Nuggests for god sakes! They were tapped out in bad deals around the same time the Knicks were. They took the route of blowing up the roster, losing 70 games, and rebuilding. Now they’ve got a strong roster and are in the hunt. The Knicks? They took Antonio McDyess.

    Nuff said.

  14. Ted Nelson

    As long as you can have a Tony Parker, Amare, Dirk, Manu, or AK-47 fall your way in the draft, sign someone like Ben Wallace or Brad Miller after the draft, sign someone like Chauncey Billups or Antonio McDyss with the MLE, or send Dale Davis for Jermaine O?Neal or Jalen Rose for Ron Artest and Brad Miller or Odom, Butler, and Grant for Shaq, it?s hard to evaluate where a team will be in the future.
    I?m not sure which salaries are impeding the Knicks from getting the kind of players who help you win championships. These types of players can be had for Brian Grant, Lamar Odom, and Caron Butler, for Jalen Rose or Dale Davis, at the MLE, late in the draft, or undrafted all together. Currently the Knicks have several contracts set to expire in the near future and several talented young prospects, if that kind of player should become available the Knicks figure to be in good position to get him.
    One of the trademark moves of great franchises is to find great talent before it matures or has a chance to be showcased in the proper environment. Whether Isiah has done this or not, it?s certainly what he?s tried to do over the last year and a half. As most rebuilding plans are scheduled for three years, a year and a half from now would be the proper time to check back and see if he got it right. Rocket science the fact that the Knicks made the playoffs two years ago and are far from eliminated this year is certainly not. Lest we forget the starts of Miami and Chaicago over the last two years.

    Your list of players dates back 5+ years and only one of those players remains with the team (physically anyway). Some points about the Knicks ?bad? contracts:
    1) Many will come off the books in the next few years and were acquired in an attempt to upgrade the talent on a team with virtually no athleticism.
    2) The others belong to players possessing a significant amount of talent: Marbury, and Crawford (I can?t call Curry or Q overpaid if they stay healthy).
    3) The Knicks current roster (players actually on the roster) is at around $94 million. Next year?s roster could be at around $70 million. In three years the Knicks have the ?growth potential? to have a core of Marbury, Curry, Q, Ariza, Crawford, Frye, Lee, Nate, Rose, and James for under $60 million, or around the league average.
    So you?re left with Jerome James. In reality, he?s eating a whole 10% of the salary cap, which a grand total of 7 teams in the league are currently under. Austin Chroshere and Jonathan Bender both make more than James, and the Pacers still manage. Rasho, though more productive, makes more, as did Rose, and the Spurs do alright for themselves.

    The Nuggets went in the opposite direction as the Knicks, and at the moment they?re a #8 seed that has to sign Melo to a max deal and faces the possibility of losing one of the best young bigmen in the game this offseason: Nene?s defensive adjusted +/- over the past 3 years is better than maxed out team-mate K-Mart and Tyson Chandler.

    7-8 teams that have a reasonable chance at winning the Championship this year? I count four. Then some borderline teams like Dallas, Phoenix, or Houston who might have a chance if some unproven guys step up. For a team like Houston you could say that Yao and T-Mac have the talent to step up and be championship caliber players, Rafer Alston has the potential to be good, Swift has the potential? Potential, sounds familiar. Dallas, Cleveland, Chicago, etc. just need time to develop, the truth is that the same could be said for any team. It’s really a matter of opinion whether you’d rather be sitting waiting like the Hawks or trying to be good even though you can’t be great, as a fan I’ll take the competitive team any day.

    Odom’s deal was reasonable and Crawford and Curry’s deals are not?
    Only because Odom has now realized his potential while Crawford and Curry have not yet done so (and it?s true that they may never do so). Also, recall that when Odom arrived in Miami the team started 3-11. If the Knicks finish the season strong and Crawford shoots around .425/.430, creates for team-mates and plays adequate defense suddenly 8 million doesn?t seem so high. If Curry puts up 17 points, opens up the perimeter, and is average defensively and on the boards 10 million is a deal.

    “you make the best decision you can at the time and hope for the best”
    Couldn?t have said it better. I?d say that signing a 22 year old who is already a solid low post option falls under this category. I’d also say that trading scraps for one of the top 3-5 PGs in the league falls into this category. Trading a 32 year old jump-shooting PF signed until he?s 36 to get Q and Nate, also. Using two solid, but aging, bigmen and scraps to get a young combo-guard with Jamal Crawford?s ability, again. Using a decent bigman approaching free agency to get a leader and 2 1st rounders, yep.

  15. Kareem

    – The Nuggets are in far better shape than the Knicks. That’s hard to argue. Not only are they currently more competitive and have younger talent, but they are in a better cap situation as well. I’d rather be worrying about how to re-sign Carmelo than how to dump Jerome James.

    – You’re talking about Eddie Curry like he’s some kind of answer, but here’s a classic case of the Knicks being wastefull and impulsive. They gave up a young player who was comparable to Curry in Sweetney and for a guy that is a MAJOR health risk and then gave him a huge long term contract. I could not think of a stupider move.

    – Jerome James is not the only waste on this roster. Malik Rose, Maurice Taylor, Q Richardson, Crawford, Curry, Penny Hardaway, and even Marbury are making well more than their production merits.

    Think about it… if the Knicks spend more money than any team in basketball and that money is tied up in these guys, yet the Knicks still suck and didn’t even make the playoffs last year, doesn’t it stand to reason that these players are making more than they are worth?

    Or, let me ask you this… Their magical run as an 8 seed not with standing, the Knicks have not been a title contender since Pat Ewing quit being a dominant force. Why is this? And, in light of the James, Richardson, Crawford, Rose, Taylor, and Curry moves when they could have easily just waited for cap relief what is different about what they’re doing now?

  16. James Hoffa

    Using the example of the Nuggets, they had good fortune. Supposing Detroit had the foresight to pick Melo, then the Nuggets presumably would have picked Milicic. Then where would they be now? Some teams, like Atlanta, Clippers etc have had plenty of room under the salary cap and get high draft picks just about every year. Look how far its got them – I know the Clippers look OK this year, but after how long?

    Overall I think Thomas has made quite a few good moves, but two were complete stinkers – wasting the mid-level exception on JJ and swapping Nazr for Rose and Taylor. Surely there was a better player than JJ available? Did we really need two more pf’s (especially when we went out and drafted 2 more)? Why did we trade our best one (KT)? A line-up of Curry, KT, Ariza, JC and Starbury is a lot more balanced than what we have, you’d have Nazr, Frye, Barnes, Robinson and Davis on the bench, maybe we could have signed a decent point guard back-up with the mid-level exception…

    Pointless dwelling on what might have been I know, but it goes to show that Isiah has been inconsistent and incohesive in his team restructuring. I don’t feel that he has made nothing but bad moves on a move-by-move basis, but rather the sum total of his moves has been what has let the team down.

  17. Ted

    James: I agree that the Knicks would have been wiser going after a number of players than James.
    Nazr, however, was traded for Rose and two firsts (David Lee and one more this year), and Mo Taylor was aquired for Vin Baker, Moochie Norris, and a 2nd rounder.
    The reasoning behind trading Thomas was that he’s already 32 and locked up until the age of 36, he clashed with Marbury, and while he is an excellent rebounder his offensive game is limited to mid-range jumpers.

    Kareem: I?m not arguing that the Knicks don?t overpay for their roster at the moment (of course they could be paying $60 million less in two short years). What I am arguing, however, is precisely that things are different now than a few years ago. The post-Ewing Knicks featured players who were aging, unathletic, and/or generally lacked talent. Today?s Knicks are overpaid, but they have youth, athleticism, and talent: ?growth potential? if you will.

    My point is that if some of these players come close to this ?growth potential? suddenly they might not be so overpaid. Paying $60 million for a 3-6 seed in two years doesn?t sound too bad. Isiah has taken some big risks, but they have not been without possible rewards.

    For example:
    If in 2002 the Wizards had given Larry Hughes $8 mill a year over 7 years, instead of $5 mill for 3, they would have looked pretty stupid for 2 seasons. But last year they would have looked much smarter when they had Hughes locked up for 4 more years well below the 12 or 13 mill a year he?s getting in Cleveland. If Crawford can shoot a decent percentage on a winning team and play average defense, suddenly $8 mill a year might not be overpaying.

    If the Knicks start winning some games, it stands to reason that Curry?s scoring ability will be a big reason why. I?m not saying he?s Shaq or Tim Duncan, but he?s already one of the game?s best low-post scorers at 22. The heart condition was a calculated risk. Without it there would have been at least a dozen teams interested in Curry this past offseason: inside scoring is one of the most valuable, and scarce, resources in the NBA.

  18. Kareem

    The idea that the Knicks have players with a bigger upside, growth potential, whatever, is noted, but it’s also not totally true. Yes, Curry has potential to improve and to a lesser extent so does Crawford. However, you are still missing the point about paying far over market value for players. When these players don’t live up to expectations you end up with contracts you can’t move that are albatrosses. This is what prevents the Knicks from going after players like McGrady or Shaq when they become available… even their good players are so far overpaid they’ll blow up any other teams salary cap.

    – Also, before you get too excited about Eddie Curry, please remember that not only did the Knicks overpay, but he has a heart condition that could take him out of play at any time. Without seeing his full medical report, maybe it’s not fair to pass judgement, but based on the way the Knicks do business vs. the Bulls and the rest of the league, I think it’s safe to say they’re probably assuming too much risk out of desperation.

    – Also, the Nuggets didn’t get “lucky.” They cleared a ton of cap space, made solid trades and FA signings, and lost enough along the way to get a top 3 pick. That’s the way you do it.

  19. Ted Nelson

    There are two points on which my opinion differs from yours
    1)that the Knicks good players are necessarily overpaid (although Curry, Crawford, and Marbury certainly are if they do not improve certain aspects of their games)
    2)and, more importantly, that other teams are so much smarter than the Knicks

    Besides Marbury (who signed his deal under a different CBA) other good Knicks players might be well paid, but not receiving anything more than their fair market value.

    First you have Frye, Robinson, Lee, Ariza, Barnes, and Butler, obviously all getting far less than they’re worth to the team.

    Curry: Curry’s health is an issue; of course even healthy players suffer career ending injuries. Tyson Chandler has also had a health problem. As recently as a year ago there was speculation that his back would limit him for the rest of his career. One year of good health and solid defensive productivity was enough to change opinions in the Bulls’ organization and around the league. If Curry can keep his PER around 18 once he’s in shape enough to play 30/35 MPG he would have earned more than $10 mill per on the open market next offseason.

    Q: Again you have a health issue, but Q was regarded as a good value when he signed with the Suns, after one year in an offensive system that asked him to sit behind the three point line and launch shots suddenly he’s overpaid (according to the media).

    Crawford: No one doubts that a player of Crawford’s talent warrants as much as he’s making and probably more. The problem has been that throughout his career he has played out of control on O, and hasn’t played D at all. The question is whether or not Crawford can get his game (shot selection, decision making, and defense) under control. A combo-guard playing on a winning team who can create his own shot as well as any player in the league, create for teammates, and isn’t a defensive liability is easily going to get $8 million as a free agent.

    That’s really the point: the way that business is done in the NBA is if you’re overpaid but contribute on a winning team you’re far from untradeable, overpaid on a losing team and no one wants you. The two franchise players to change hands recently didnt bring that much in return. The Lakers took Brian Grant back for Shaq and the Magic took Steve Francis (who’s the same age as Marbury) for T-Mac.

    A few years ago Dale Davis and Jalen Rose brought the Pacers Jermaine O’Neal, Ron Artest, and Brad Miller. After only a season and a half losing in Chicago, Rose was worth Antonio Davis. Dale Davis stayed in Portland for four seasons, but needless to say he would never have brought them a player of O’Neal’s caliber.

    Another example is contrasting the trade values of Antawn Jamison and Nick Van Exel. While Jamison was worth only Van Exel and scraps (most of them overpaid) when traded along with Fortson and Jiri Welsch as the best player on a losing team, after one year as the sixth man on a winning team suddenly he’s worth a #5 overall pick and Jerry Stackhouse. Van Exel, on the other hand, went from being worth (a devalued) Jamison and two decent role players to being worth Dale Davis’ expiring contract after only one season on a losing team.

    Although it is ill-advised, overpaying free agents is hardly a practice in which the Knicks are alone.

    It wasn’t me who said the Nuggets were lucky. Drafting consists of the skill to identify strong players but being lucky enough for those players to still be available is a big part of it. However, I will say that the Nuggets are looking at paying somewhere around $70/75 million starting in the next couple years if they hope to keep together their current team, a team that I would not pick to ever win a title without some upgrades. So, while they took a far different approach, they’ve overpaid some guys all the same and in a few years we’ll see if the results were any better.

  20. Kareem

    I actually think the Knicks have reasonably good talent, but I think it’s fair to say where we disagree the most is on the way they do business. I understand there’s a need to fill the seats in NY, but the Knicks missed and are missing a golden opportunity. If they could bite the bullet and just suffer through 2 or 3 lean years while getting under the cap they’d have a shot at some really high draft choices. I thought this opportunity was clear when Thomas took over. Then he went and started the whole Scott Layden process over again by creating a mediocre team. Yes, the talent is an upgrade over the Howard Eisly/Shandon Anderson years, but I’m not sure by how much.

    Personally, I’d rather have spent those years getting high draft picks and having a clear salary cap. Or, to put it another way, the more reasonably priced guys you have, the more you can sign! Their is just too much potential for guys to not pan out and to get stuck with a bad team full of bad contracts with these Knicks.

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