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.