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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Will Getting Curry Back Do Much?

So, we are once again being told that Eddy Curry has worked his way back into some semblance of playing shape. He is back at practice and close to returning, media outlets are reporting, after having dropped significant weight on a plan implemented by team officials.

Somehow I doubt the longtimers here at Knickerblogger are going to jump up and down with glee over the prospect of a triumphant return from Curry. Certainly, healthy skepticism is in order when it comes to claims that Curry has finally turned the proverbial corner. Assuming that he’s lost the kind of weight implied in the article he’s lost it in a relatively short period of time. Rapid weight loss can frequently be an illusion, and lead to a yo-yo effect where people gain it back just as rapidly once they return to something like their normal lifestyles. (I’m looking at you Chuck Wagon.) You may be thinking, “Well, Curry is playing pro basketball. Once he loses the weight he should be able to keep it off just by playing every night.” Remember, Curry was reportedly in the 320s while he was playing. A second potential issue is that Curry was not just overweight. He was also injured (no doubt at least partially attributable to his obesity). Should he re-injure himself, how likely is he to stay on the straight and narrow path?

Having said all that, I’m rooting for Eddy Curry the person this round. I’d like to see him become the functional (if flawed) role player he can be. Like Darko Milicic, the days of hoping Curry will blossom into a star have long since past. His shortcomings as a player, have been well-chronicled on this site. So I won’t recount them, except to say that at his best he offers uber-efficient low post scoring. And that’s about it.

In most respects the Knicks don’t need Curry, at least in the sense that his performance–good or bad–doesn’t fundamentally change our fortunes. The time when his play determined the fate of the franchise has past (this June’s draft notwithstanding). So there’s really no reason not to root for him now. Isiah Thomas is gone and Curry has virtually nothing left but the tattered remains of what was once a promising career. (Well, that and millions in guaranteed money–but, you know what I mean.) So the only question left for him is can he pick up the pieces enough to just be a useful role player? Being unable to outplay your flaws isn’t shameful. Lot’s of guys never do. But you become a monstrous disappointment in my book when you loaf and eat yourself out of the league. Curry is playing to not be that guy, and really we should all be rooting for that. The evidence strongly suggests that this is just another start destined to run out of steam in a career full of fits and starts. But, on a team with very few compelling reasons to watch I can’t help but be intrigued. And even though I’m still skeptical, because Eddy Curry has burned me before, I’ll be rooting for the guy.

37 comments on “Will Getting Curry Back Do Much?

  1. Ike

    Nicely put, Dave. While I know Curry has been terribly frustrating for Knick fans hopes, in the end as has been reported elsewhere, Eddy has always come across as a stand up person.

    Given what he’s gone through off the court the past few years, that he may be showing signs of willingness, and that we seem to have so little to feel excited about right now, it’s hard to not root for the guy.

  2. Count Zero

    Nine games in and the most compelling reason to watch a Knicks game is…can Eddy Curry be an effective NBA bench player. Seriously? I think I already know how that one turns out…

    Right about now, Donnie is wishing he had retired and Coach D is thinking about what went wrong. Maybe I can take a Rip Van Winkle nap for 20 years and when I awaken, the Knicks will no longer be one of the worst franchises in all of sports?

    Sorry for the frustration and hopelessness — but the delta from watching the Yanks to watching the Knicks is just too much to bear.

  3. ess-dog

    Sadly, getting Curry back will not do much. The post defense will still suffer. The fast break will still be a reeeeaaaallllllly slllllooooowwww break. Perhaps the shooting percentage will go up trace amounts. The rookies and Gallo are the only hope for this group barring a miraculous trade.

  4. Thomas B.

    I have no choice but to be hopeful. I love this team, so I grasp at straws.

    Considerd putting this is an article but it is not good enough to step on the toes of the esteemed David Crockett, Ph.D. Nice work by the way.

    Nice article on DeJuan Blair in the NY Times.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/13/sports/basketball/13dejuan.html?_r=1

    Monta Ellis not pleased with Don Nelson (has anyone ever?). http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/11/13/SP821AJJTJ.DTL

    Niether is Al Harrington, “Had I stayed with the Warriors any longer I felt for sure he would have ended my NBA career.” (I guess he does still have a career, technically.)
    http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/nets/hornets_firing_of_scott_predictable_P4m7ZD8G3lI7xYZeJpL9UK#ixzz0Wl33uTKc

    Knicks 1 loss away from worst start ever. Thankfully, the even more disfunctional Warriors are in town.
    http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/knicks/knicks_worst_start_loss_away_jGQnXyzskrKaCvLa7GiytI

  5. d-mar

    Ok, to be a HUGE optimist on Curry, IF (big if) he returns close to 2006-2007 form, he totally changes our offense. When he had his 20 and 7 year, teams were forced to double him, otherwise he’d bull himself to the basket and either score or get fouled. Theoretically, he should open things up for 3-point shooters like Gallo (wait, I think he’s our only 3 point shooter) I totally understand his defensive limitiations, but can our interior D really get any worse?

    OK that’s my blindly optimistic, desperate take on Curry. Let the bashing commence!

  6. Thomas B.

    “When he had his 20 and 7 year, teams were forced to double him, otherwise he’d bull himself to the basket and either score or get fouled.”

    …Or get called for an offensive foul, or fail to spot the double, or fail to pass out of the double, or miss the free throws, or bobble the ball, or make no second effort…..

  7. David Crockett

    Count Z,

    yeah. That’s where we are sad to say–still clearing the forest. In many ways I suspect you need a much larger sample of games to see whether a team can be good. The ’99 Knicks were really just gelling after the 50+ post-lockout games. On the other hand, bad teams are often bad pretty early (except of course when good teams get injured). Hard to see where significant improvement can come from on this team. We have the yungins’ Gallo and DoWhatToneyDouglasDo. We basically know who Lee and Nate are by now (though both are still in the “growth stage” of their careers). Nobody else on the roster is getting any better except at the margins, and a number of guys are in or entering the back end (Hughes, Duhon).

    Anyhoo, just trying to find ways to appreciate the journey cuz the destination is the studio audience in Secaucus rather than the stage. We’re stuck with Curry so we may as well root for him to at least be a tough cover. We know he can be that. Apart from that it’s good karma. :)

    Thomas B,

    at times like these I wish I had my doctorate in hoopology instead of marketing.

    One question to the Blair-backers. I haven’t followed it closely, but I thought the reason he slid waaaayyyy down the board was that he had a degenerative knee condition. Was that wrong? Did new information emerge? Just curious, because even folks who were not super-high on him had him pegged as a late lottery selection. But he was selected way late.

  8. GAx

    It’s basically at the point where ANYTHING Curry gives us is gravy, isn’t it? If he’s not pulling his weight on the court we can sit him like we did last year. If he does contribute, well, then he’s already a net positive compared to what we thought we’d get out of him last year. Sad that it’s gotten to this point with him and expectations, but we’ll take what we can get today.

    On Blair, I think he was just one of those players who can get a GM fired. Weighing his promise vs his cons on balance apparantly was too much risk for every GM but one, though by the time he got picked his draft position transformed him into this insane value pick. I don’t recall that the book on him was he had degenerative knees, but more that he’d ripped up his ACLs at such an early age with nothing left that he seemed like a ticking time bomb of a pick. Sort of like Szcerbiak right now mulling retirement because he has no more cartilage there. No GM’s want to eff around with knee/back problems, which incidentally is one of the primary reasons why I think people aren’t as high on Gallo as they maybe should be.

  9. KnickfaninNJ

    On the subject of Curry, it’s a good question whether he can keep his weight off and I doubt he will be a miracle maker for the team. However, the one thing that gives me the most optimism was watching an interview tape of him. All of a sudden, I got the impression, here’s a grown man, rather thinking this is a big kid. If he really has matured mentally that’s a very good sign.

    And to those who worry about his defense, remember he would replace David Lee in defending 5’s. That might not be so bad as you worry about. He’s a lot harder to push around by big guys than Lee is. And they might getting tired trying to keep him out of the paint in the offensive end. We can only hope. Any glimmer of hope in this dismal season is worth something.

  10. David Crockett

    d-mar,

    I’d say the super-optimistic ceiling for what Curry could theoretically add is the opportunity for some easy post-up baskets in the half court. NY is a jump shooting team and even good ones run hot and cold–and we are not a good one.

    Of course any potential impact he might have as a post up player is limited by his well-chronicled flaws–offensive fouls, silly turnovers, limited court vision. (And that’s not even getting into defense, rebounding, etc.) Until we see him play, even with a trimmed down physique, we have no reason to believe those aspects of his game have improved.

    One thing that could potentially play in Curry’s favor is that the last time he played significant minutes for this team it was a much worse passing team. I’m still convinced that a decent passing team can offset at least some of Curry’s turnover-related flaws, namely offensive fouls and other turnovers. Curry has very good hands I’ve always thought, and superb quickness. His problems generally started when he put the ball on the floor. During the Marbury era he was asked to do that far too much for his own, or anyone else’s good. Marbury would telegraph post entries 8 bounces away from the basket with the clock running down.

    The nature of D’Antoni’s offense will reduce his touches. He’s not going to be a focal point, but rather, could be useful in certain matchups. Perhaps better passing reduces his turnovers 5%, 10%? I’d take that.

  11. Z

    Hopefully Eddy spent the last 2 years working on just one thing: passing out of the post when he’s double teamed. That is the ONLY way he can help this team– Catch it and pass it to Gallinari for 3.

    Unfortunately, back when he used to play basketball, Curry’s passing was even worse than his rebounding, defense, and fouling. So I think we’ll probably see a lot of turnovers, fouls, and missed openings, just like the old days. (Mike’s pessimist voice is stuck in my head!)

    “in the end as has been reported elsewhere, Eddy has always come across as a stand up person.”

    His Limo driver may beg to differ.

  12. Mike Kurylo

    “One question to the Blair-backers. I haven’t followed it closely, but I thought the reason he slid waaaayyyy down the board was that he had a degenerative knee condition. Was that wrong? Did new information emerge? Just curious, because even folks who were not super-high on him had him pegged as a late lottery selection. But he was selected way late.”

    Well if you’re not using numbers Blair didn’t seem to be all that impressive. A 6-6 power forward who’s a bit overweight and he has no ACLs. That’s a no-brainer right no a traditional scout, right?

    As for Curry helping the team, again I’ll say that as a backup and a non-focal point of the offense, he’ll be a positive contributor. You could do a lot worse at backup center. But if the Knicks give him 35+ minutes and force feed him the ball every time down, no thanks.

  13. DS

    No. The answer to the title of this article is no.

    I LOVE this site. But to grasp at straws about how the Curry deal has not been some kind of unqualified disaster is pretty ridiculous. This team has been missing far more than Curry at the height of his game could possibly provide. The only other time I’ve shook my head while reading this site is the unforgettable “Would You Trade David Lee for Kobe?” debate of 2007 in which we seemed split 70/30 in favor of Lee. I rely on the posters on this this site for keen, new perspective when I see the occasional conversation like this it’s like finding out there is no Santa Claus.

    How’s this for an interior D upgrade: replacing Curry’s (albeit, slightly less) fat ass with Noah and Aldridge by undoing that asisnine trade?

    In the one year in which Curry averaged almost 20 a game (which was prob. Isiah’s goal for the year) the team won 1 more game than they did last year. He’s had a big role on one only team that wasn’t terrible but they also had Ben Gordon, Hinrich, Deng, Chandler, and AD.

    God, I hope I’m wrong, but come on!

  14. DS

    BTW – Did anyone read the Times piece on D. Walsh?

    “Walsh is already being second-guessed for picking forward Jordan Hill over point guard Brandon Jennings, who has excelled for the Milwaukee Bucks, in this year’s draft. It is too early to issue final results — or even first-semester report cards — on their careers. Yet Walsh’s defense for bypassing Jennings was that he was not familiar enough with his game because he played last season in Italy, even though being aware of draft prospects falls within his job description.”

    I really hope that part is inaccurate… didn’t Gallinari play in Italy?

  15. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    David,

    I (among others) have said numerous times that the risk in taking Blair at #29 (or purchasing a pick in the second round, ideally) was low to begin with: most second-rounders don’t get much burn, are not very good, and/or are out of the league in a few years.

    If the Knicks chose Blair in the beginning of the second round and he gave them three solid years before his knees turned him into Grant Hill, would he be any less valuable than a player who played 5-6 minutes a game at a sub-15.0 PER for those years?

    It was a low-risk, high-payoff prospective move, and Walsh balked. We all have to suffer the consequences of seeing his freakish rookie box score night after night. When his knees explode (a la Kyle Broslovsky), everyone can say “I told you so.” Until then, it’ll be me, Jon Abbey, et al. in the chorus.

  16. Ted Nelson

    I think d-mar is right about Curry’s *POTENTIAL* impact on the Knicks offense, and as he also says the interior defense can’t get much worse. Of course, Thomas and David are also right about his constraints. There are two reasons not to be optimistic at this point: 1. this is Eddy Curry we’re talking about, 2. I’m starting to feel like Mike D’Antoni couldn’t coach his way out of a paper-bag.

    This is not a good NBA team, but–like the Larry Brown Knicks–this is also not one of the absolute worst NBA teams in terms of talent. Yet, they look like it. To me, that’s on the coach. Here are the major problems I see (listed them before, but they got deleted once and posted them on a dead thread once):

    1. Offensive Rebounds: The Knicks OReb% is last in the NBA, even with a bottom 10 eFG% which should create more opportunities for ORebs. His strategy of running 4 or 5 guys back on D as soon as the shot goes up is smart on a team that converts a lot of shots (like his Suns teams…). A team that misses a lot of shots (like the Knicks) and has some good rebounders needs to try to keep possessions alive on the O glass. Owen also made a good point that it’s easier to fast break when you don’t have to worry about the other team getting an offensive rebound: only one or two guys have to wait around for the uncontested rebound while 3 or 4 guys fly down the court. The Knicks defense is bad enough that teams are able to carve them apart in transition even when they get back.

    2. 7 Seconds or Less: Does anyone think that encouraging guys with poor shot selection and low b-ball IQ to shoot as quickly as they can is sound strategically?

    3. Interior D: Not playing any sort of a defensive center on what is a solidly below average defensive team is hurting them. Although their defense really hasn’t been that bad this season given the talent level. I can’t say that giving Darko or Hill more minutes would help the team, but the offense can’t get much worse so I don’t think it will kill them to move Lee to the 4 even if it doesn’t fit in with the great D’Antoni system.

    4. Offensive motion: Letting guys who are good scorer stand around with a great play-making jitterbug like Steve Nash to create for them and very strong passers for their position at other spots (Joe Johnson, Boris Diaw, Grant Hill… all better playmakers than Duhon and none of them PGs) is one thing. With bad scorers and few play makers, you need to play smarter than the other team. You need to move, make the defense work, and get good looks.

    5. Hands-off coach style: A hands-off approach when you have little on-court/locker room leadership on the roster and a bunch of low b-ball IQ guys? Might as well kept Isiah around. With this sorry group I’m in favor of a coach who runs mostly set offensive plays and gets in players faces when they screw around.

    6. Player development: He said in Phoenix that his job is not to develop young players… I don’t know his exact philosophy or methods (i.e. maybe he means that they need to put in the work to “develop” themselves), but the Knicks definitely need their young guys to develop one way or another.

    If I were confident in D’Antoni’s coaching I would second David that he will be used in a way that better suites him: quick, easy baskets. However, D’Antoni has been lost so far this season. The real measure of a person is what they do when they get knocked down, so I’m interested to see how D’Antoni reacts to this horrid start. Does he make any adjustments? Does he give up? Does he stubbornly hold fast to the 7SSOL offensive philosophy that doesn’t seem to fit this roster?

  17. Ted Nelson

    I think that Blair’s fall definitely had a lot to do with the knees. He was impressive at Pitt, advanced stats or not. A rebounding machine and one of the best players in probably the best conference (some even argue the best conference ever). Other solid undersized PFs are usually at least taken by the very early 2nd: guys like Carl Landry.

    By the early 20s I have to figure your chances of getting a decent NBA player are 50% or lower. And according to everyone and their mother this was “such a weak draft.” So, by the 20s a projected 4 years of strong productivity on a rookie deal should be very attractive. As Owen has pointed out previously, the issue is when you go to sign him to a second deal. If his market value is, say, $8 mill per long-term (like a Malik Rose) and you have real doubts about his knees, then just let him walk. In this draft particularly the bigmen who went directly before Blair were: BJ Mullens, Taj Gibson, DeMarre Carroll, and Jeff Pendergraph… Maybe all those guys turn into good players for a decade plus, but they weren’t exactly sure shot draft prospects.

  18. Frank O.

    I think the thing that has most thrown D’Antoni is Duhon’s play. Duhon is D’Antoni’s guy, and now that guy is sucking badly. And he’s the guy at the one position that really runs the D’Antoni offense.
    You simply can’t run the point in this offense with a guy that is no threat.
    On the other hand, it looks like Jeffries managed to fool another coach in the preseason. He played hard, scored some points and seemed competent…and then the season started.
    Lee is basically Lee this year, but he’s not playing much in crunch time, and I suspect it’s because he’s become a real liability on the defensive end. His scoring is a bit up, his rebounds a bit down. I think his free-throw shooting is off by almost seven percentage points, tho. Lee’s offensive numbers and boards would be even better if he played more in crunch time. It’s just hard playing a guy that gets used so often.
    He may be the biggest beneficiary of a Curry return. Lee simply can’t guard centers, and doing so has completely screwed him up when guarding PFs.

    On Curry, I agree with whoever said he can’t really hurt a team that’s this bad. But if the Knicks can get a very efficient 20 points and 7 boards from him, it takes a lot of pressure off some of those shooters on the perimeter, and likely would create some open shots (if he can pass out of doubles…).

    I made a case a while back that having been through all the personal problems Curry has been through, remember the home invasion, his ex getting killed, his baby there, we all would be hard pressed, money or not, to function at our best. Depression, confusion, fear…it’s all there.
    But his commitment to losing weight has been real. The man has lost almost a small person in weight. He’s been pulling two and three-a-days.
    And he was pretty explosive at 320 and even 340. If he’s under 300, he could be pretty dangerous.
    And clearly on D, his weight loss will help his reactions. But he will need time because he hasn’t played pro ball in more than a year.

    Still, I think having him in the game will give the Knicks a low post threat they currently lack. It will help.

    Last, Robinson will be back soon. I think his enthusiasm, his energy, likely will make this a more dangerous team. I would love to see a back court with Robinson and Douglas. I think they would be gritty and tough, and with an inside threat like Curry could be, it could be real interesting.

    I don’t expect this to be a winning team, but at least they would be competitive.

  19. Ted Nelson

    “Ted do you think the Knicks got tricked and got the D’Antoni Denver version? :-)”

    I think the Denver and Phoenix versions were basically the same. I mean I’m sure that D’Antoni learned from his first NBA coaching experience and over his time in the desert, but he was the right coach for the right team in Phoenix. A lot of it was serendipitous, but Colangelo deserves credit not only for assembling all the talent but also for building a running team and giving it a running coach.

    At the same time as I think D’Antoni is doing a lousy job, Frank O. is right that lousy play from a few players is also a big problem. It does seem that D’Antoni needs an MVP PG for this offense to work… which makes it a pretty lousy offense in my opinion. It would also be nice if he got off the Wilson Chandler is a future All-Star bandwagon. Not like there are tons of other options, but at some point maybe his talks could go from “everyone shoot the ball whenever they have it and see the rim” to “everyone not named Wilson Chandler shoot the ball whenever they have it and see the rim.” Or, you know, maybe he could actually try coaching basketball.

    “it takes a lot of pressure off some of those shooters on the perimeter, and likely would create some open shots (if he can pass out of doubles…).”

    He cannot pass out of doubles… come on. I do think he can create some more open perimeter shots, though, if D’Antoni finds a way to incorporate him into the offense effectively. Unfortunately, I’m not sure how much better a passing team this is than the Knicks team where Curry was a “borderline All-Star.” The key is to get Curry some easy, quick baskets where he doesn’t have time to get doubled or turn it over some other way. If he’s getting easy baskets the defense is going to account for him and shots will open up. I’m not so sure the Knicks have been lacking for open shots so far this season as much as they just haven’t been making their shots, though.

    “I would love to see a back court with Robinson and Douglas.”

    The way Duhon is playing Hughes is the only obstacle to that being the Knicks only backcourt combo.

    As optimistic as I would like to be about a terrible organization and poor team like the Warriors coming to town… they are a better running team than the Knicks and the Knicks are going to play right to that strength. I hope I am wrong, but this could be ugly.

  20. Robert Silverman

    A bit of an aside — does anyone else think that SlimFast Eddy at his current weight really resembles an XL Plaxico Burress? (Facially, that is. Not in the, “Eddy’s been metaphorically shooting himself in the thigh for years,” sense)

    I personally dig the goatee he’s rockin’. Makes me think of Artis Gilmore.

    Whether Curry’s more aesthetically pleasing, I’m agree w/David. I’m pulling for the guy. Not just b/c Walshtoni might be able to dump his contract, but b/c lawdy he’s had a rough couple of years.

  21. Count Zero

    Good post Frank.

    However, the PG problem isn’t going to get better unless Duhon suddenly remembers how to play basketball. While I wouldn’t mind Douglas and Robinson getting the bulk of the minutes at guard, I don’t think the D’Antoni offense can run without a true playmaker.

    The failure to use our lottery pick to acquire a PG (in a draft that was loaded with them) was the worst mistake this team has made since Zeke left. Using the 29th pick on Douglas wasn’t that bad a move (although I hear the Blair argument, I don’t really agree) — using the 8th pick on Hill when we knew we had no pick in 2010 was freakin’ criminal. I was pissed when we did it, and I’m still pissed about it now.

    If they had been all gung ho on Sessions, I might have understood it — but the organization was apparently in a drugged state that concluded they were good with Duhon at the point for now. It’s like they kept picking up PGs to examine in a curio shop, then putting them back and saying, “Ours is nicer. Let’s save our money for a rainy day.” Grrrrrr…

    Imagine Jennings, Robinson, Gallo, Lee and Will on the floor…mix in some Curry Lite, Douglas, Harrington and Hughes…still not a playoff team, but at least it would have some potential to lure a FA or two in 2010.

  22. Z

    “It does seem that D’Antoni needs an MVP PG for this offense to work… which makes it a pretty lousy offense in my opinion.”

    When recruiting Duhon to come to the Knicks, D’Antoni said “all I need is an engine to run my system.” He probably didn’t really think Duhon was the perfect guy for it, but there weren’t any other options available (besides Marbury), so its forgivable that he turned the keys over to him back in 2008.

    But now that the engine is completely broken, leaving D’Antoni with a lot of useless parts, it all comes back to the same recurring theme here at Knickerblogger, which is: Why didn’t the Knicks draft a PG this summer?!?

    Everyone knew Duhon was a stop-gap, but a stop-gap to what? Of all the storied Free Agents available in next summer, the top free agent PG is going to be Chris Duhon!

    So the only hope of improving the position is praying for a trade partner, or through the 2009 draft: A weak draft rich in PG prospects!

    In all fairness, Brandon Jennings can be great and win rookie of the year and it doesn’t hurt me much as a Knick fan. Less than a few months removed from the Marbury saga, Jennings seemed WAY too similar in game and in personality.

    But much more than letting Jennings (or Blair) get away, I have come around on the frustration of losing out on Lawson. He’d be starting right now and looking real good (and making D’Antoni look a lot less foolish!)

  23. ess-dog

    hey where is the best place to watch/listen to the knicks games online? (I feel like I’m asking about the best block to get mugged on!)

  24. Owen

    “I LOVE this site. But to grasp at straws about how the Curry deal has not been some kind of unqualified disaster is pretty ridiculous.”

    Who is not saying it was an unqualified disaster? Most people on this site thought it was a probable disaster when it happened. Have you read The Eddy Curry Study?

    “Armed with this data it’s clear that Eddy Curry will remain a “Baby Shaq” and never become the real deal. The safe money is that he should be able to reduce his turnovers enough to become an offensively productive center. Unfortunately he’ll never be strong on the defensive end, either in rebounding or blocking shots. Now is this the definition of a “league-leading center” that the Knicks front office had in mind when they gave away a couple of first round picks and signed Curry to $60M? That’s something New Yorkers can debate about for the next few years.”

    Dave – Very very nice piece. On a personal level, I am rooting for Eddy too. It’s possible that the Curry human interest storyline might end up being the one satisfying thing about the season if he can come back and be above replacement level (something I have my doubts about.)

    Re Lawson and Jennings – We are going to be feeling a lot of frustration about passing on those guys for years I think…

  25. Robert Silverman

    Technically, they did draft a PG — Toney Douglas. Leading up to the draft, I really wanted Rubio or Curry and barring either of them dropping, I wanted Walsh to trade down and take Lawson (assuming that was even possible. The Hill pick made (and makes) me nervous. He just didn’t vibe right. Granted, my “insights” are a lot less stat-based than most of the folks on KB, so I certainly can’t point to any specific reason/set of numbers, just a bad vibe. The fact that he was, according to many of the draftniks, the consensus “highest value player” left on the board, also made me wanna run for the hills.

    W/r/t Jennings, there were a ton of warning signs – the fact that he bailed on the Eurocamp when Walsh went to see him being the biggie. I can understand the logic behind passing on him. If we can all reach back into our collective memory banks, Stephon Marbury looked like a future hall of famer for his first few seasons before he imploded. Kenny Anderson looked like he was going to have a monster career. Same for Damon Stoudamire. Bigs (in general) take longer to develop. E.g. – Jermaine O’Neal, Joakim Noah, Marc Gasol, Al Jefferson, Kendrick Perkins.

    All I’m saying is that Hill may turn out to be a stiff, but it’s way too early for hand-wringing

  26. d-mar

    As a final point on Curry’s return, how could he hurt us? By disrupting the flow of our offense (has our offense ever flowed)? By hurting our interior D? I’m looking forward to him being on the court, with the caveat that we may see the stumbling, bumbling, fumbling Curry (apologies to Clyde) until the rust wears off.

    On another note, LeBron changed his number from 23 to 6 in deference to Toney Douglas.

  27. Owen

    “On another note, LeBron changed his number from 23 to 6 in deference to Toney Douglas.”

    That’s funny…

  28. ess-dog

    I hope Toney has a chip on his shoulder about the NY/Steph Curry love affair and is up in his jock all night. Is Beidrins out tonight? If so this is a highly winnable game (we should only lose by 9.)
    Of course whatever Toney does what Toney do to Curry will be negated by Duhon trying to defend Ellis.
    I also hope Hill gets some burn tonight. He’s someone I’m trying to let myself have a touch of optimism about despite the fact that Lawson and Jennings are freely roaming the league w/o Knick jerseys…
    I mean, if any game is going to be entertaining this year, it will be this one, right?

  29. Brian Cronin

    I just came up with a crazy scenario!!

    Curry plays so well that he decides he’d rather be a free agent at the end of the year, and opts out of the last year of his contract!

    From a financial sense, it might actually make some sense, depending on how well he plays.

    A half-way decent back-up center can easily make 5 years/$25 million. So Curry would be giving up $5 million this year to make $20 million over the next four years. Curry could be a guy who’d prefer the security of knowing he did not have to work for a new contract.

    Hmmm…nah, still too crazy of an idea!!

    Oh well.

  30. Robert Silverman

    Ok, I know that Don Nelson’s a certified JEENYUS and everything, but why is he starting Stephen Jackson at PF? What’s he got against Anthony Randolph? If there’s any team/GM (unless Isiah gets another NBA job) that we can fleece, it’s the Dubs.

    I’d do a Lee for Randolph/Morrow + Claxton’s expiring in a heartbeat. Heck, I’d even throw in Chandler. Don’t get me wrong, I’m as much of a Lee-fanboy as any Knickerbloggerista (except Owen), but that’s a trade DW’d have to do, right?

  31. ess-dog

    That’s not a very realistic trade Robert. Two prize youngsters on the cheap for a soft on D, short center who is free to roam after the year?

    If they are trading, it’s Cap’n Jack and maybe Monta. Maybe they would sweeten a deal w/ a rookie but i doubt it. I could maybe see a Jackson/Morrow for Jeffries/Lee/Chandler deal, but even that’s a stretch and f’s up our 2010 plans…

  32. ess-dog

    The GM is now Larry Riley and he’s obviously a good drafter, but yes Nellie is a horrible coach and is alienating all of his players. I can’t imagine why he hasn’t been fired? Not just for being a dick, but his schemes are ridiculous too…

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