2008 Game Thread: Spurs vs Knicks

Wilson Chandler to start. Boy Isiah doesn’t like to break that second team up. Either that or there’s still something going on between him and Balkman.

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Mike Kurylo

Mike Kurylo is the founder and editor of KnickerBlogger.net. His book on the 2012 Knicks, "We’ll Always Have Linsanity," is on sale now. Follow him on twitter (@KnickerBlogger).

66 thoughts to “2008 Game Thread: Spurs vs Knicks”

  1. It’s a sad state of affairs when the two leading scorers in the game are Bruce Bowen and Fred Jones.

  2. like ive said all year on the other blogs, fred jones desreves to be resigned for a portion of the midlevel exception, the guy gets it and plays hard both ways and doesnt have an ego

  3. Hard to argue with that. He’s scored in double-digits the last 3 games. Speaking of 3, he’s lighting them up tonight. 4-5.

  4. i really think dolans not firin isiah anytime soon bc of the extension he just signed. so i think hes giong to give a respectable coach a shot to coach this team with a few minor changes – buyn out marbury, gettin rid of curry, gettin rid of a SF to let chandler play, and loosing some payroll. as much as we think isiahs leavin, hes really not. he has put a lot of talent togethr on this team, and is only a few moves away from having a pretty solid team.

    but, as far as the trade deadline, i think he needs to stand pat unless a great deal is offered to prove to the rest of the league that hes not dumb and desperate the way he has been in the past. that will help him gain some respect within the league. hes a relatively young gm and is learnin from his mistakes – al gm

  5. sean–if dolan’s not firing isiah any time soon, then who is this respectable coach you speak of who is going to get a shot?

    Its this sort of potential blowout over an elite time that disgusts me. Thankfully I know they’ll manage to squander their enormous lead and all will return to normalcy.

  6. probably not jvg actually… bc of dolans past history with him, but marc jackson is a possibility along with the raptors young assistnat going to be a good coach int eh league

  7. Sean, do you think IT and MJ could coexist given their past history? IT called him out in the media for telling the truth (i.e. they stink)about the knicks.

  8. Mark Jackson would be my pick – guy’s got confidence, one of those players who was not athletically gifted, was successful because he was smart.

  9. Another great game for Balkman brings up the question why he is not playing more. By comparison with ZR:

    Zach: 35 min., 13 pts., 10 TR (3 off), 2 ass., 2 steals, 4 to, 4 pf, 4-13 shooting.

    RB: 20 min., 12 pts., 6 TR (4 off), 1 ass., 2 steals, 1 to, 1 pf, 3-5 shooting.

  10. OT= time for us to really show san antonio our grit and experience. They won’t know what hit them, the senile old fools.

  11. Is it hilarious or depressing that Mardy Collins just took 2 important shots in OT, with predictable results?

  12. quote of the day, before the game:

    Coach Isiah Thomas said before the game that had a few plays gone differently, “We could easily be sitting here with a seven-game win streak as opposed to a seven-game losing streak.”

  13. I think that for the rest of the season, Isiah should be replaced by a lab rat who was rewarded with a food pellet every time the knicks scored a point and electrocuted everty time the other team scored. We would probably have 5 to 10 more wins.

  14. I just want to know why, for the Finley shot Crawford and Randolph were out there instead of say, Jeffries and Collins.

    And why the only “plays” Isiah alled down the stretch were isolations for Crawford.

    Because he’s an awful coach, silly…

  15. Wow this team really does find creative new ways to lose games… what the hell happened? I saw Chandler started only to play 9 minutes, Craw and Zach were typical, we blew a huge lead and lost on a bad defensive mistake by Balkman. How depressing. I’m guessing we’re stuck with Zach and Craw. And Thomas. I don’t know if I can keep paying attention. The novelty of this freak show team is wearing off. Now it’s just ugly. Eddy-Curry-eating-a-ham-sandwich-nude-on-a-ninety-eight-degree-day-ugly.

  16. “lost on a bad defensive mistake by Balkman.”

    Not really. Balk was picked by Duncan, leaving Zach to run at Finley. If that’s Jeffries instead of Zach, better chance at a miss. Or perhaps the coach TELLS his perimeter defenders to stay on the perimter, where they should be, instead of collapsing and hoping for help on the wings.

  17. There’s just no chance that IT knew the Spurs have run that same play many times before. Much less that he could devise a plan to defend it.

  18. Just curious when ya’ll shut the tv off? For me it was in OT, when the Knicks were down by 4 and Isiah took out Lee & Balkman. Yes they had a 4th quarter collapse, and yes Balkman was at fault for the OT bucket. And yes the team was struggling on offense. But it was the Spurs, and these two were a large part of while they were in OT to begin with.

    Whenever the game is close & late and Zach/Curry is on the floor together, you can turn the tv off. The pair just aren’t good and Isiah the coach just can’t see it.

    My favorite part of the night was when Kenny Smith was talking how you can’t have Lee/Balkman on the court because it’s like playing 5-4. And right on queue the pair grab a bunch of offensive rebounds and score on easy baskets. The more I watch the Knicks, the more I think that ex-players that understand the game (Walt Frazier) are in the minority to the players that don’t understand the game (Kenny Smith, Isiah Thomas). I would love to do a study on it, but I would bet dollars to donuts that coaches with little/no NBA playing experience do better than their NBA brethren. I think NBA players have so much talent that many of them don’t understand the true intricacies of the game. Something about can’t seeing the forest for the trees.

  19. Mike K.

    TV off, unplugged, and pushed outside after Manu’s layup to but the spurs up four during the first 40 seconds of OT. I knew the Spurs were too good to blow it and Knicks to bad to salvage it.

    I wondered how they would snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. This one just blew my mind.

    I did like DL knocking down the mid range jumpers. His form looked great. He never forced one up either.

    The reason i like Lee is that he is a worker. He always plays hard but playing hard is not the same as being dedicated to improvement. Just look at the way he improved his ft% from his rookie year. I think he is much better conditioned than in his rookie year as well.

    It really is for the best that they lost this game. I am sick of them getting my hopes up with the occasional well played game.

  20. I think you nailed it Mike K. Zeke is a “players” coach. He wants to be one of the guys instead of a disciplinarian or teacher. His belief (like many ex-players) is that you just pass down your knowledge of “winning ball” and put the atheletes on the floor and let them “just play”. It never works unless you are a head and shoulders more athletic team than the other. In the NBA where everyone is a fantastic athelete (except Curry) you have to out-think the other team, same in any professional sport.
    I would love to see a game where Curry, Q, and Randolph are all injured and Zeke can’t use them at all. What would he do at the end of the game?
    How did Chandler do?

  21. I was at the game and I definitely saw Lee canning those jumpers. If he had made his last one right before the half, the Garden really would have been rocking. Was in my Lee jersey. Definitely a great experience when your favorite player performs when you go to MSG.

    Isiah was just killing me last night. The last six minutes, then overtime, was one insane decision after another, as noted above. The knicks could barely organize a good inbound play. They turned the ball over twice late coming out of timeouts at the offensive end with a chance to put some distance between them and the Spurs, once on a bad pass, once on a Curry offensive foul. Credit it where it’s due, Jamal Crawford could not shake Bruce Bowen.

    This Crawford end of game isolation stuff is just killing me. All these close games lately, we have seen a lot of it. In the last seven game stretch I feel like there have been 25 instances in which the same thing has happened. Iso to Crawford above the foul line, crossover-jumpshot-miss.

    The possession last night that made me lose my cool was at 83-82. Ugly isolation jump shot by Craw, Leebound Happens. Ugly jumpshot by Jones, Leebound Happens. Ugly jumpshot by Craw, and the ball is coming the other way.

    Also, 22-35 from the line, terrible, although we did hit four in a row at the end.

  22. I love it when Isaiah calls timeout and then Crawford dribbles for 23 seconds and launches a prayer. Makes you wonder how Isiah passes the time during the TO – “Jamal, ISO, Jamal, ISO, Jamal, ISO.” It’s been said before, Thomas has no clue when it comes to X’s and O”s coaching.

    I was also at the game, and what a depressing end to what started out as a really fun evening. Rowdy Fri. night crowd, about to beat the defending champs, and by the end of OT boo birds again. The Knicks have become the poster boys for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, they just do it in different ways each night.

  23. I hope you guys aren’t paying for tickets, because if you are, you’re part of the problem.

    and yeah, Kenny Smith has really started to get on my nerves lately.

  24. Mike K. really captured it for me…the former elite players who gm/coach have real blind spots compared to former role players or non players. IT got off the bus (along with NJ native Kelly Tripuka) his rookie season with an intensity that transformed the formerly lowly Pistons and he didn’t let up until he retired. None of the current Knicks who have been blessed with the same physical skills as IT have that intensity. The Knicks’ top three players — Lee, Balkman and Nate (talent but height challenged) — have that intensity. It’s been a few years now and any dummy can see that IT is not going to instill that intensity with this group (Larry Brown was on the road to doing that but there were other issues…). Both sides — players and coaches — are sitting back waiting for the other side to step up.

    No elite coach is going to come into this situation. We’ve all read about the dysfunction and the fact that IT is going to be fired. The smart talent will wait until he’s gone and come in under a new gm. IT is not going to fix this cluster f__k.

    Makes me nuts when he takes Balkman out of the game.

  25. Marc Stein of ESPN says there is a rumor the Knicks and Bulls are talking a Ben Wallace (3 years left @ 15 million per) for Q (3 years left @ 8 million per) , Malik Rose (2 years left @ 7 million per) and Fred Jones (1 year left @ 3 million per) Swap.

    Now, what does that do for us? Now we have Curry for 3 years and Wallace for 3 years at center….Both totally over-paid and logjam the center position. I guess Morris isn’t good enough to crack the rotation? It does open the SF position for Chandler. But we don’t address the need at PG.

    I am baffled why this trade would even be considered. 3 years of Wallace at center can’t be good.

    The only way this works is if they find a trade for Curry for a PG or scoring SF.

  26. a smart coach won’t work for a terrible owner either, note that Spagnuolo just passed on the Redskins job because Daniel Snyder, the closest thing the NFL has to Bozo Dolan, would be the one signing his checks.

    like I said above, the one thing we can all do is not pay for any more Knicks tickets until Dolan is gone. anytime you buy a ticket, you’re implicitly condoning the situation IMO.

  27. Wow, so we’d have Wallace, Zach, Lee and Curry down low? Ridiculous! And like him or not, we need Fred in the backcourt. That would only work if we trade Curry or Zach shortly thereafter.

    Would love to get rid of Q though…

  28. Jon Abbey, I wish you and other posters would stop with the knee jerk “why do you go to games, you’re part of the problem” posts. I’ve had season tickets since 1985, and there are definitely times I’ve thought about giving them up, but my son still enjoys going to games and so do I on occasion. This whole notion that if we all mass boycotted Knicks games things would change is ludicrous. The Bulls fired Skiles and were still selling out games at the time. Laurence Frank keeps his job and no one goes to Nets games.

  29. Can someone tell me why, up 3 points, the Knicks DID NOT DEFEND MICHAEL FINLEY AT THE 3 PT LINE?

    Seriously, does Isiah have no idea how to coach?

  30. “Jon Abbey, I wish you and other posters would stop with the knee jerk “why do you go to games, you’re part of the problem” posts. ”

    sorry, I’ll never give this up. by continuing to buy season tickets as if everything is OK as far as you’re concerned, you are part of the problem. that’s not “knee jerk”, that’s a simple fact.

  31. Jon,

    I respect your feelings about Dolan — there is no question he is the root of the Knicks’ problems and it offends me that somebody so stubborn and clueless continues to run my beloved franchise into the ground.

    However, I doubt there is any amount of financial pressure you can reasonable hope to put on Dolan so that he will sell the team. New York is a basketball crazed city with over 20 million people in the greater metro area, and Madison Square Garden seats 20000. Even at the Knicks’ peak of awfulness (now, the back end of the Layden years) you’re still going to sell out games and have people showing up, buying Lee and Robinson jerseys, paying for Cablevision so they can watch the Knicks, whatever.

    Fact of the matter is, James Dolan can afford to own the Knicks indefinitely if he so chooses. His ability to own them is not even predicated on the Knicks succeeding in any fashion. I wish it wasn’t true, but until the city of New York gets serious and organized about ousting Dolan, nothing is changing with Jimmy D. I, for one, just hope he gets bored and tries to find himself a new hobby. Maybe he could try space tourism, I hear it’s a blast.

    I’d rather continue to root for my team. Someday they may get lucky — look at the Celtics. Danny Ainge was destroying that franchise and he got flat-out lucky, having just enough assets to swing the Allen and Garnett trades. But it’s not like he had some master plan up there.

    And if I’m in NYC and want to go to a game with my Dad, I’m going to go.

    I’ll tell you, 5 more years of this, and I may be a Brooklyn Nets fan.

    Or living in Austin, maybe there’s a version of the Spurs after Duncan, Parker and Ginobili retire that I can get behind. I hate those guys.

  32. that’s all true, although I never quite buy the “if it wasn’t me, it would be someone else” line of reasoning. the fact is if it is you, you need to at least understand and accept that you’re helping to financially support this dreadful organization (I’d personally consider cancelling my MSG if it was an individual pay station, but as it’s on basic cable, I don’t think it matters).

    I also agree about Ainge and the Celtics, but they don’t have a toxic owner. could you imagine if NY was in Boston’s precise roster situation and Garnett vetoed the deal to NY because he didn’t want to work for Dolan? I could see that kind of thing happening going forward with players, I think we’re already at that point with coaches and GMs, as mentioned above.

  33. “sorry, I’ll never give this up. by continuing to buy season tickets as if everything is OK as far as you’re concerned, you are part of the problem. that’s not “knee jerk”, that’s a simple fact.”

    Why stop there? If you watch them on tv you’re part of the problem. As well as buying any Knick gear. Or any company that advertises during the Knick games. Personally I think season tickets are just a small part of the problem.

    Even if you didn’t buy the tickets and you grab a few hot dogs you’re part of the problem. Same if you watch the game with a Heineken in your hand. Or if you go to mall and buy a Lee jersey.

  34. well, we all have our own lines, and I addressed the TV issue already in the post before yours. I don’t do any of the rest of that stuff, if that helps my position at all (I went to one game last season, free tickets, didn’t buy anything there, no games so far this season. I don’t really know who advertises on Knicks games as I usually watch on DVR and fast forward through all of that.)

  35. and none of those other things are the same or close to the same as writing a check for thousands of dollars to the Knicks each year, sorry.

  36. Give it up people, King abbey is never wrong.

    Forget Colangelo, john abbey for Knicks’ GM!

    abbey abbey he’s our man, if he can’t do it no one can!

  37. “and none of those other things are the same or close to the same as writing a check for thousands of dollars to the Knicks each year, sorry.”

    I don’t think the Knicks make more on season tickets than the other things combined. I would imagine each individual sponsorship cost more than a season ticket package. If you wanted to make a difference, I would imagine putting together an online protest, emailling a few sponsors, give them bad publicity and hope a few cancel their ads. That would more likely hurt Dolan than trying to chase away a season ticket holder, esp. those that have held those seats before Dolan owned the team.

  38. Well of course I made a mistake, I’m not jon abbey.

    I was hoping you’d pick up the “john” and write exactly what you did. Man you are so predictable.

  39. Force of habit, see my dad’s name is John. The only “jon” I know is that loser who can’t get a date in the Garfield comics. But i am sure he has nothing in common with you. :-)

  40. actually, I’m happily married, but maybe you can try to stick to Knicks-based content?

    Mike, I wasn’t even going so far as to try to chase away season ticket holders (although I am all for that, it probably wouldn’t matter much). I just really find it hard to understand why anyone is paying to see NY at this point, given the overall situation. but there are plenty of things I don’t understand, I’ll just add this to the list.

  41. Jon, I was just kidding around with you. I wasnt getting personal. You have to admit, you do make yourself an easy target. As do i when i spell your name incorrectly.

  42. Espn.com reports talks of Ben Wallace to the Knicks for Richardson, Jones, and Malik Rose. Bull get addition by subtraction, plus some salary reductions this year and next year. Knicks get a big that is aware of the concept of defense. Any thoughts?

    Honestly, this reminds me of the Antonio Davis trade in 2006, except Wallace is younger than AD and a better defender. I would still make the deal just to rid of Richardson and perhaps a veteran like Wallace can light a fire under Eddy Curry. But unless Z-bo is also moved then it is less time for David Lee.

    Wallace’s contract ends after 2009/2010, so we don’t add a lengthy contract. This basically comes down to the Knicks paying 14 million to Wallace in 2009/10 in exchange for the Bulls paying Richardson 9.3 million in 2009/2010.

    It really does not matter since with Marbury out for the season we have no hope of a playoff run (Jon, I am being sarcastic so whatever you are thinking of typing about Marbury putting us in the playoofs, put it on ice please).

  43. “playoofs” (noun, adj.) – a word that describes a state of existence in which a team that is decidedly not good enough to make a playoff bracket continually professes it’s inevitable entry into said playoffs (see 2004-8 New York Knicks.)
    “Isaiah’s talking about us making the playoofs again”

  44. I was at the game, too, and it was painful to watch. I think the game really turned when Isiah refused to insert either Balkman or Jeffries in the third, and instead only using the waste of space, Mardy Collins.

    I’d rather have, like, Robert Pack play the point than Collins. Boy, is he useless.

  45. Tomas B:

    You are part of the reason why outsiders who come to this website are sometimes shocked by the high-end analysis provided by the over-whelming majority of posters. However, you appear to have developed some brand of message board induced man-crush on Jon Abbey. Considering the at times target rich environment for criticism created by posters not falling within the aforementioned over-whelming majority, your quasi-crusade against one poster is silly to a point devolved to a level of play-ground grade crush material.

  46. it does defy probability how we somehow don’t have one of the top 50 or so PGs in the league.

    It’s sad.

    I don’t mind the guy getting a couple of minutes here and there, as the Knicks only have three guards, so Crawford and Jones have to get a rest sometime, but boy, is it painful to watch.

    But the idea that Isiah would go away from Balkman and Jeffries directly after watching them help carry the Knicks in the second quarter…so sad.

    On a positive note, Chandler looks like he may be a good player. Still quite raw, of course.

  47. I like my David Lee jersey, I like Jon Abbey’s orneriness, I like Thomas’B’s, analysis, I like Hasheem Thabeet’s line today, 24, 15, and 6 blocks (15,10 and 5 in the first half), and I like the idea of a Ben Wallace trade, although I would like it better if Curry or Randolph were going the other way.

    Wallace would provide something we don’t have. And really, we are screwed no matter what for the next three years, so what’s the difference?

    Chandler has showed me nothing yet. He has nice form on his jumpshot, likes taking it, is athletic on the perimeter, but looks very raw at this point….

  48. I like Wallace…hes plays D and he rebounds. I cant be mad at that. Oh look Q Rich is alive with his trutsy orange headband. What a joke. Zach has been playing hard man I cant be mad at him either. Hes just hardly been making his shots. Dont know what to say anymore. Just want the season to end already.

  49. I honestly hate that trade. My first reaction: Isiah Thomas bailing out the Bulls again. There’s an old saying: “Fool me once shame on me. But the fool me can’t get fooled again.” Chicago is hurting with Wallace on the roster/cap. Why would we grab him without doing something to help our team?

    And if you think Ben Wallace is the one cog this team needs to get over the hump…

    And no grabbing Ben Wallace then trading Lee & Balkman for Artest isn’t going to do it either…

    (Trying to cover all the bases here.)

  50. Hate the trade? Interesting….

    I don’t know. We need a big man.

    It’s hard to say. If you think that Thabeet, or Hibbert, or Love, or some other college big man can come in and contribute right away, then its a bad trade. But its only a four year contract. It would expire when most of our other bad deals expire. So it doesn’t seem to be that damaging.

    I guess I have to think about it.

    One problem we hsve right now is that we can’t trade Curry, since we have basically no other center. I think Wallace would give us more flexibility in that respect.

  51. Even as crazy as Isiah Thomas is (and he is quite crazy), there’s no way even he makes that trade without first having a trade in place for Curry and or Randolph.

    If that is the case, then I’m all aboard.

    Otherwise, it would be sheer lunacy (to keep all three, that is).

  52. I think a scenario where we swapped Curry for a point guard, and a package of players for Wallace, might work out pretty well.

    Really the only hope for the next two years is some miraculous drafting I think, that some player we get, either at point guard or center, turns out to be a star. From what I can tell, no collegian definitely fits the bill, but you never know.

  53. the Wallace deal is Isiah at his most prescient if it goes through. obviously he’s got inside knowledge that as of next year, the NBA will be switching to a platoon system: 10 men on the court at all times, 5 on each end of the court, no one crosses halfcourt. so he’s setting up an offensive squad of Curry, Randolph, Chandler, Crawford and Nate, and a defensive squad of Wallace, Lee, Jeffries, Balkman and Collins. forget about LeBron, we just need this one little rule change to go through, and we’ll be an instant contender.

    Steve Kerr also found out about this, by the way, hence that Shaq deal.

  54. I don’t like the Wallace deal either…

    Not that it’s horrible… giving up three guys who don’t really matter, for a player who will improve us a little bit. Contract only runs through 2010, so it’s a wash.

    But there are two downsides:

    1) Jones (this year) and Rose (next year) actually have trade value because of their expiring contracts — not to mention that Jones can actually play a little. If we trade them for Wallace, we’re not trading them for young players or picks who would be more valuable than Ben, in the scheme of things.

    2) In the short term – this year, maybe next – Wallace would actually make us better, and hurt our draft position.

    But anyone who thinks Wallace is a big impact player for us, or anyone, is living in the past… he’s shooting 36 percent and barely outrebounding Renaldo Balkman. Defense still beats the hell out of Curry but even that seems to be fading fast..

  55. T-Mart,

    First of all his name is “jon abbey” with lower case letters! You get his name right! Don’t you every disrepect my abbey again. :-)

    Second, are you jealous?

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