96 thoughts to “2008 Thread: Knicks vs. Rockets 1/9/2007”

  1. Lee has done a really good job defending Yao. Like when Mase used to play Hakeem straight up. Effort trumps height. (Sometimes).

  2. don’t want this to slip away.
    Why is richardson on the court
    and how did they notknow where the shot clock was

  3. rockets by nine.
    Q is an empty shirt
    Gus just noted the bricks aren’t using the lineup that has been most effective

  4. “Why is richardson on the court”

    Yeah. The second Herb took over wouldn’t it have been great if he put Balkman in and Q out.

    He had his chance to be a folk hero for a quarter.

  5. “glad to see curry in and zach out”

    I give Herb credit for taking Randolph out during crunch time.

  6. During the ad I flipped over to the Celtics Bobcats game to hear Tommy Heinsohn scream “aaawwww! Get lost Kenny Mauer!!” when Mauer called a travel on Paul Pierce.


  7. How is Quentin Richardson seeing 20+ minutes? He’s at -15 – worst on the team.

    He does NOTHING. He hasn’t done ANYTHING all season.

    How is Malik Rose seeing 4th Quarter Minutes?

    God I can’t stand fatboy Randolph and fatboy Curry.

  8. “doubled his season scoring average.”

    A running motif against the Knicks (Gibson, Salmons, Brooks, etc…)

  9. i’m out.
    frustrating game.
    I believe the bricks got out of sync because they left Q in for too long and robinson, their hottest shooter, was riding pine…
    bad decision.
    Q is just killing them

  10. Just flipped back to the Celtics game to here Tommy Heinsohn say “you know Kenny Mauer ought to leave the league. Period.” When KG was called for a technical foul for slapping Gerald Wallace.

    He’s a more audacious homer than Ken “The Hawk” Harrelson.

  11. F#&*!
    Q is killing us! But then again, so is Zach. Scuola just killed them. Why take out Robinson and Lee??? I hate to say it, but when Zeke got thrown out, they immediately blew it. Frustrating.
    Weakside help from Frye would’ve been a lot more useful than Zach’s late turnovers…
    Let’s try:
    1- Nate
    2- Stephon
    3- Jeffries/Balkman
    4- Lee
    5- Crawford

    Jamal, Zach, and Malik can round out the the 9 man rotation. jesus, just do it, Zeke!

  12. I agree with all you guys about Q. What was he doing on the court in the 4th? If he can’t score, put Balkman in instead. And I’m really starting to hate Zach, he has no basketball IQ and plays little to no . I would actually take back Frye today as limited as he is. Do you guys think there were any GM’s competing with Isaiah to get Randolph? It really hurt the Blazers to lose him.

  13. “It really hurt the Blazers to lose him.”

    yep, crushing GS again in the first tonight, they’ve been my favorite team to watch so far this year (I started before the long winning streak). Frye doesn’t do much in the first three quarters, but he plays a fair amount in the fourth and has been a key contributor at times (easier to run this with Roy than Marbury, shockingly enough). they’re so loaded with youth (plus Oden and Fernandez coming next year) and everyone under contract for at least two more seasons, I could see them making a title run as soon as next year, definitely the year after (assuming Oden comes back even at 80 percent).

    so with Isiah making the trades to rejuvenate both Phoenix (Marbury) and Portland (Randolph), I wonder if he has any shot at League Executive of the Decade? :)

  14. What is wrong with IT is he on drugs. THIS LINEUP DOES NOT WORK! Try something else. Put in people who you haven’t put in. Sit people who don’t play D or put the effort in. He makes me so crazy. If we were in first place then keep using the lineup. But not now. At this point we are 9-25 we have 48 games left try something else.

  15. I think Isiah was planning on putting Lee, Crawford and Curry back in around the ten minute mark taking out Q, Rose and Zach. Unfortuanatly Herb kept Rose in too long and Zach and Q in way too long. I really think if we had brought back in our best players earlier in the fourth we would have been really close at the end, and maybe even won.

    At this point I do not know what is wrong with Q, his elbow seems better and his back does not seem to be bothering him, yet he cannot shoot the ball to save his life. We need to nail him to the bench until he gets his shooting touch back. If we want someone who cannot shoot to rebound and play defense at the three spot we have two players who are both better defenders, passers and rebounders in Balkman and Jeffries.

    I would prefer if Balkman got the minutes but even if it was Jeffries getting the increased minutes I would be happy because Q would be sitting. Q has not shot over 50% once this season, not in one single game.

    Also Rose has no business playing. I know Randolph’s playing time is going to remain high so we need to focus on cutting out other areas of bad production. It is Rose and Q. If Jeffries, Lee and Balkman got all of those minutes we would see much better offensive and defensive production.

    No one other than:

    and maybe Jones or Chandler (to get him experience)

    should see playing time.

  16. I really hate to defend Zeke, but here goes- I can understand the playing time for Rose. Yeah, he’s offensively inept on a Jason Collins level and defensively limited, but to put myself in Isiah’s shoes for a second I have to think I’m looking at a team whose bigs either are no better than passable defensively (Lee) or are actively dreadful partly for reasons of effort (Zbo, Curry).

    As a coach, what could I do to get those guys to show some effort and pride before the season is lost completely? Ignore for a second that the season is lost, and assume you’re as tunnel-vision nuts as Thomas is. With Malik Rose, despite his uselessness, you have a guy who’s best associated in the mind with the Spurs, who’s won a title with a team which is a byword for competency and effort. He’s pretty much the only threat and consequence Thomas has for Curry or Zbo- every minute Rose plays is an implicit statement from the coach to his other bigs that Rose may have half their talent (in his view), but he always tries and plays with his head in the game, so he’s going to get minutes. In essence, Rose isn’t so much a player as a walking rebuke, and seen from that perspective I can see his value.

    I got nothing on Qrich though. That guy’s done until he proves otherwise.

  17. Well, at least Isiah proved it’s not he who should be blamed, since he wasn’t there in the second half of the game. Still, I think there is one element that has been consistent throughout all the losing…


  18. I hate to say it, but the moment Isiah got booted from the game, everything went to crap. This was best signified by the obvious nil preparation coming out of Herb’s timeout. I’d rather Crawford jack up a 30 footer than have no one on the team realize that the shot clock is about to expire.

    Maybe Isiah is not as bad a coach as we thought. Let’s give him a 5 year extension, with a hefty performance bonus each time we miss the playoffs. How bout a special bonus each time we are a lottery team, yet have no 1st round draft picks?

    While we’re at it, let’s start collecting more ‘locker room’ guys. Is Bonzi Wells available?

  19. I have to agree with quite a few statements:
    1. Herb Williams is useless and has always had no clue. He is basically a Knicks mascot and should never be allowed to coach.
    2. Malik Rose was kept in for extended minutes to be the ‘coach’ on the floor as H. Williams is clueless and so somebody needed to be out on the floor. isiah has used Rose effectively this way in limited spurts so that he can remind people of their assignments and help out – which is hy he is a captain despite being a non-starter and playing limited minutes.
    3.Q Rich is having the worst season he has ever had- not just in terms of hooting but also little tings like passing the ball in bounds and covering his man off of screens. How many times do we see him expect for Curry/Randolph to help out on a pick and roll and not get it – you would think by now – he would stick with his man.
    4. The Rockets realized that the Knicks have no one to cover Yao Ming- I would have liked to see James play some minutes and use the Hack a Shaq strategy to wear out Yao Ming. Between Randolph, Jeffries, Curry and James and Lee – we had enough players to confuse the Rockets with multiple switch offs. Which meant that Lee, Jeffries and James would have covered Yao- and allowed Curry/Randolph to be on Hayes and or Battier.
    5. This is definitely Isiah’s team and the cohesion fell apart once he was ejected. His approach of patience with cajoling i starting to pay off and the way the Knicks are beginning to react – I think he has turned the corner with these guys.

  20. Brendan:

    I think Rose was in there because the Bricks were burning fouls against Yao.
    The fact of the matter was that Lee was the most effective defender against Yao last night, fronting him.
    The problem was that Lee had five fouls fairly early in the fourth, so they had to be careful with him. He also was playing very solid offensively.
    Curry was simply getting embarrassed by Yao. There were at least three dunks in Curry’s face that simply were silly.
    Although his rebounds and points weren’t as high as in other games, Lee probably had one of his most complete games last night against a tough opponent. For a period of time he really had fair control over the situation with Yao.
    I am stunned, however, that Q is getting any time. His defense is atrocious lately; his shooting woes are well-documented.
    And Crawford and Marbury missed a lot of defensive assignments during the game that helped Alston get off. There were some key uncontested threes that just broke their backs.
    I got the feeling that Herb was asleep on the bench. I’m sorry. As much as I like Herb and think he’s a class act, I don’t see him making many smart basketball moves.
    Lee and Robinson were clearly affecting the game.
    The ball simply stops moving when you have Marbury, Crawford, Q and Randolph on the floor at the same time. That Q has the gall to take a late three-pointer the way he is shooting was just crushing.

    And as good as Curry was the night before, his showing last night was very soft. He was 5-10 with 14 points and one block, but he had only 4 rebounds and got stuffed a few times by Yao. Big as he is, he’s not a real solid leaper, and with no real jump shot or moves other than power moves, Yao at 7’6 can shut him down.
    And his weak defense was so bad that he had to be removed simply to save face.

    This is where Jeffries can play a bigger role. He’s 6’11 with a significant wingspan, some quickness, and some defensive smarts.
    He could play at center.
    Lee should be the starting PF. He simply is a more complete player than Randolph, who is an utter liability defensively, and his offense isn’t very good either.
    Balkman should be playing small forward.
    Robinson, I think, is a more complete 2 than Crawford. He shoots better, generally, and from 3-pt land, creates as well as Crawford, and plays tough D, despite the fact that his size hurts him. Crawford simply cannot or will not defend, and length won’t help that.
    Marbury is playing decent basketball, although his defense is sporadic. I get the sense that if the team slumps, he slumps. He’s simply not going to lead. He gets down on his teammates.

    C – Jeffries
    PF – Lee
    SF – Balkman
    SG – Robinson
    PG – Marbury

    All of these folks play hard, they’ll be tenacious, and they’ll play together.
    If you need to inject offense, you can bring Crawford, Randolph or Curry from the bench.

    But these three together leaves the Bricks vulnerable defensively.

    I’m sounding like a broken record, but this is an appeal to Zeke.
    If you’re reading this blog: Dude, you have play your young guys.

  21. Zbo shipped out?? I’d dig that. Im readin that mcgrady might be on the other side of this deal.
    Sounds a hell of alot better to me.

  22. No way, how the hell could that be possible. What is the complete deal supposed to be? This sounds like heresy right now.

  23. McGrady would be another nightmare “me-first” guard who requires the ball.
    He’s another guy that has fallen on his face where ever he goes.
    Yes, he’s a strong individual talent, but he doesn’t tend to make his team better.
    One could argue that the Rockets have been a better team in his absence this year.

    I’m so tired of the Bricks going after offensive guys, who are poor defenders and poor team players.

  24. John Canzano from the Oregonian is reporting:

    NBA source told me via telephone on Wednesday night that Zach Randolph is on the trading block, and that he’s likely to end up in Milwaukee. Keep an eye on that, if you need a sideshow. I don’t know about you, but when I think of Z-Bo going to Milwaukee, I keep seeing the Hoops Family going down the street, headed to the Shotz Brewery, arms linked, doing the “schlemiel-schlamazel” while singing, “There is nothing we won’t try, never heard the word impossible…”

  25. I’ll take any idiotic deal to get ZBo out of here, as long as it doesn’t and a contract that goes beyond 2011.

  26. Im not talking about that. It’s the fact that (if this is true, and its only T-mac we’re taking on) the Knicks somehow found a way to get rid of Zbo AND take back a contract for someone whose ends sooner, AND more importantly, ends in 2009-2010, yeah THAT year. Nothing could be worse then ZBO so far. From a personnel standpoint, yeah we have all me-first guards, but at least we’d now have the best me-first guard in the league lol.
    Im talking about the contract though, it ends sooner, AND we got rid of ZBO, that would be almost nothing short of a miracle.

  27. My only question would be who would Milwaukee be willing to give up? There is no way they will give us Redd. Maybe Mo Williams, but I don’t want that scrub anyway.

    Can we just give them ZBO for a draft pick and one of their D-Leaguers?

    I know it won’t match salary wise…and I don’t follow the Bucks…but who do they have besides Redd and Williams that are making ZBO money?

  28. I think this guy got on this Bucks blog got it pretty much right:

    John Canzano of the Portland Oregonian is reporting that “an NBA source” tells him that Zach Randolph is about to be traded to the Bucks. Come on, now. That’s ridiculous.

    Besides not fitting on the Bucks, besides not being the type of player the Bucks need, besides being a major character risk and potential PR nightmare, Randolph’s salary makes it almost impossible to come up with a trade.

    There isn’t much positive to say about Randolph’s game except that he scores and rebounds. He is a legitimate 20/10 guy, and there aren’t too many of those around. However, he is one of the worst defensive players in the league, an awful passer, and not much of a shot blocker.

    And then there’s the Marbury factor — Randolph carried the Blazers to the number one pick in the draft last season, and this year somehow the Knicks are actually worse for having acquired him while Portland is suddenly the hottest team in the league. Randolph is the type of player who puts up big numbers but doesn’t help a team win all that much — you can get scoring from almost anyone, but it takes a really special player to give up as many points on defense as he does and still stay on the floor.

    Of course when you bring up Randolph, there’s always the matter of his entourage — the “Hoops Family” made up of hometown friends and hangers-on and the variety of legal issues he has had in the past. Suffice it to say that Randolph is the sort of potential PR risk that Kohl would not want to be a part of.

    Now, how exactly are the Bucks supposed to work a trade? Randolph makes $13 million this year and has four years remaining on his contract. Gadzuric and Simmons for Randolph works, but they also have 3-4 years left on their contracts. So why would either team make that trade? The Knicks already have about 5 small forwards so Simmons doesn’t really fit and Gadzuric is just a role player, and they would be stuck with those players for years. The Bucks wouldn’t save any money and would add a player at the position currently manned by Yi — who is the financial future of the franchise. Michael Redd straight up for Randolph? No freaking way. If you are trading for Randolph then you are suffering under the delusion that you are ready to win now. You wouldn’t then trade away your best perimeter player as well.

    Maybe the Bucks are thinking they could move Yi to small forward. If that was true, then why hasn’t he played any small forward in the last few weeks with Mason out and Simmons ineffective?

    This is a rumor that has no legs, no matter what Canzano’s “NBA source” has to say about it. It’s just a chance for him to make a snappy Laverne & Shirley reference in his column.

    But if the Bucks do get Randolph, I’m not renewing my tickets next season.

  29. Damn…I got my hopes on the prospect of putting ZBO on a plane to Milwaukee.

    But you never know…stupider trades have happened before. Just look at our team.

  30. All this talk about ‘me-first’ players that provide offense but fail in every other aspect of the game has me thinking…

    What is the dream team?

    I think it would be something like:
    C: Eddy Curry
    PF: Zach Randolph
    SF: Corey Maggette
    SG: Tracy McGrady
    PG: Rashad McCants (there’s no actual PG in the league that can score, yet is a complete and utter failure at improving teammates…well maybe Rafer Alston)
    Bench: Kevin Durant, Ben Gordon, Vince Carter, Jamal Crawford, Rashard Lewis, Ricky Davis, Bonzi Wells, Wally Szczerbiak

    Honorable Mentions: Kevin Durant (too young to condemn him…yet), Shaq (too old to condemn him), Peja Stojakovic (just not good anymore), Antoine Walker (ditto)

    Did I miss anyone? There are plenty of other guys who fit the bill, but would be considered ‘specialists’ and are role players (ala Kyle Korver)

    I’m pretty sure this squad would score 130pts a game, but give up 150. Notice that most of these players are on lousy teams.

    Go figure, but it seems San Antonio, Dallas, Detroit, and the other elite teams, seem to have none of these type of guys, despite managing to win a bunch of games, and in some cases score a boatload.

  31. Notice: I have a habit of typing words in all caps as a device to add emphasis. Generally, people accomplish this by using italics or by underling the text. However, this site does not provide the option of using the aforementioned emphasis tools. If you find words typed in all caps distasteful, you may consider skipping this post rather than bashing me for sharing my thoughts in a manner that you find unappealing.
    End of notice.

    I do not understand why the Bucks, which are well stocked with young, talented, and inexpensive big men such as Bogut, Yi, and Charlie V, would want to bring in Zach Randolph. Zach would slow the development of players like Bogut and Yi. Plus he will cost the Bucks more money in total than their current crop of young big men. I can only speculate that the Bucks have doubts about potential of Bogut or Charlie V. They seem high on Yi.

    The Bucks may want to move Williams and Dan Gadzookie since they are under contract for at least 4 seasons. Williams has not been a bad player, but the Bucks may be dissapointed in his ability to feed the big men.

    While is see very little reason for the Bucks to bring in Randolph, I thought it would be fun to propose a trade that results in the Bucks getting Randolph and the Knicks getting Tracy McGrady.

    Knicks send: Knicks get:
    Zach Randolph McGrady
    Balkman Novak

    Bucks send: Bucks get:
    Dan Gadzuric Zach Randolph
    Charlie Villanueva Balkman
    Mo Williams Carl Landry

    Rockets send: Rockets gets:
    McGrady Gadzuric
    Carl Landry Charlie V.
    Steve Novak M. Williams
    Fred Jones

    Jones would be waived by Houston to keep the team at 15 contracts.

    Why make this trade?

    Houston needs a PG. Niether James or Head is really getting it done. Williams is a beter shooter than their current PGs. Houston needs big man to play defense, rebound, and spell Yao-Ming. Mutombo is retiring and Gadzookie is an effective replacement. Charlie V give Houston a second forward that can score or a trade chip during the off season. Yes, Houston is taking on some salary, but if you include Jones’ expiring deal, the Rockets have 14 million in expiring contracts. That means they can absorb the hit.
    The trade allows Houston to make Yao-Ming the center of the offense, as he should be.

    Despite the talent of Bogut and Yi, the Bucks have troble scoring in the post on a consistent basis. Zach has the skills to plug that hole, plus he rebounds very well. His defense is terrible, but that would help him fit in on the Bucks. The Bucks also get to shed to long term deals that are not providing the return they hoped for (Gadzookie and Williams). Bucks do get a hustling forward in Balkman, who plays a similar style to Derrick Mason. Carl Landry is a cap consideration.

    The Knicks make this trade to fill the small forward hole currently occupied by Q-Rich. Moving Zach also allows Lee to become the full time starter at PF. The Knicks need something to keep them interesting. If this happens, the Knicks would have 2 22 million dollar players on the team. Wow. I think the Knicks have the most to lose in this deal. 8 million for Q’s balky back is one thing, but 22 million for T-Mac’s. I would keep my fingers crossed. This deal does’nt send the Knicks into a longer period of salary cap hell. McGrady’s deal is a year shorter than Zach’s. So with Marbury off the books next year, the Knicks could be under the cap by the start of the 2010/2011 season. Which is when two great players could opt out of current deals. Those players being Wade and James.

    I think it is highly unlikely that Houston could accept so little back for McGrady, but with many teams over the cap the number of suitors is low. Houstonmay have to tke what they can get. The Knicks have no problem eating contracts so I say what the heck.

    If it’s there for you Thomas, I say go for it.

    P.s. I don’t use firefox, so give me a break on the speeling. Thank you for reading.

  32. Knicks should trade Zach for Elton Brand. Even though he is hurt we dont need him for this season. He would be a great compliment for Curry. He is a dbl-dbl guy who plays defense. The Clippers should try to get some value for him now because he will be opting out of his contract after the season. This is the hometown boy Isiah should have traded for. One of the only Duke players that I like. Hell if we could get Brand and Magette for Zach, Jones, Balkman, Collins and Chandler do it.

  33. I agree with TMart – the deal mkes no sense. In addition- it would be better to do a deal directly with the Rockets n that sense. Randolph for McGrady – the salaries are the same, basically (Zach at 15M and TMac at 22M).

    Except that McGrady will be a free agent in 2010- which means signing an extension (read 21M/year for 3 years – he will be 30 next year).

    The Rockets would benefit tremendously having the 6’11 Randolph pulling down 10-12 rebounds and chipping in 15 points a game. He doesn’t have to play a ton of defense with Battier and Yao Ming. In addition- with Scola, Ming and Randolph, Hayes as the front court and a blossoming Luther head,Aaron Brooks with Skip to my Lous Alston and they will probably have to give up Jones and Rose (expiring contract)- Would try HARD to get Q rich moved insead and hewill expire after next year so why not. However- I can see the Rockets definitely preferring Jones (expiring conract and M. Rose).

    The rockets get two expiring contracts , a young PF who will really help them in rebounding -so Scola/Battier can play small forward and a godd backcourt player/defense guy in Jones.

    The Knicks get a question mark star who has been injured every year for the last 4 years- who could be a star (again) or could get injured and play 25 games a year fo the next 4 years.

  34. The Rockets would not benefit from having Randolph. I really doubt that any teams are foolish enough to think that having Randolph on the roster will help them win games after the way the Randolph/Frye swap has turned out for both teams.

    The Rockets only trade McGrady away if they are convinced that they can’t win with him and are going to start over again with Yao as their franchise player. If that’s the case, the key to the deal would be Marbury’s giant contract, as it is 1 year shorter than McGrady’s. The Knicks would probably have to take on Alston’s 4 year deal as well, while sending out Fred Jones’ expiring contract and Balkman.

  35. If any team would take Randolph for anyone other than a player with a longer, worse contract (and even then, I’d consider it – see Martin, Kenyon) then I’d take it.

    Simmons/Gadzuric would be heavenly.

    Gadzuric actually can block a shot, and Simmons has a little trade value, so they could probably flip him for a second-rounder/garbage backup at a position the Knicks don’t have a gazillion players already.

    But forget whether Simmons/Gadzuric are good players or not, it would rid the Knicks of Randolph, which is the key, as he is just a terrible team player, and Simmons/Gadzuric is a combo I might have traded Francis/Frye for, as well, so that’s a plus.

  36. “If any team would take Randolph for anyone other than a player with a longer, worse contract (and even then, I’d consider it – see Martin, Kenyon) then I’d take it.”

    I’m not convinced there is a worse contract out there than Zach Randolph’s.

    Zach Randolph comes with his contract which makes it the worst in the league.

  37. I am pretty sure neither Gadzuric, McGrady or Simmons ever got 22 rebounds in a game. The rockets do need rebounding severely and soon cap relief. McGrady singed for 21 mil or so a year going on 30 with what appears to be chronic injuries -is not the best for the rockets at the moments.

    Even Yao has said (after the game) that guys have more confidence because they don’t have to defer to McGrady and always run iso’s for McGrady when he has the ball. McGrady is a talented player but the flow of the game stops when he gets the ball. McGrady would halt the development of Brooks/Head who are turing out to be good shooters and developing into important pieces for the “team”. In addition – if Bonzi Wells ever find his stroke -then they are even more dangerous.

    Randolph is in his first year with the Knicks and both have yet to find a a happy medium. The rockets would benefit from another rebounder- he had always averaged 10 rebounds a dame -and as I said before – with Yao in the middle and Battier/Hayes playing defense – Randolph can focus on his strenghts – rebounding and scoring. It is good for the Rockets because they do need stregth and length at the PF positon – Chuck Hayes at PF shows how desperate that need is – as he is no Barkley/Maxiell and would be better at SF.

    As for the ever ready and always negative critics – may I remind them of the famous line by Kareem in airplane ‘you tell your Dad to run up and down the court for 40 minutes with the big guys’.

    I am sure that most of you have played organized ball at least at the high school if not college level so your critcisms may be more valid than a casual fan who is more into the mental mastrubation that fantasy leagues and ‘real’ gms present (what is ‘real’ about it – I will never know). Therefore I am quite sure that you have a deeper understanding and respect for talent -talent – that gets you to in the first round and into the NBA and keeps you in the NBA.

    Randolph has game and at 26 – he can become a better all round player. he was asked to shoot and rebound then – and quite frankly Portland is playing a deceptive game of salary dumping – because they are no where near profitable – and haven’t been so for the last 3 years. Orlando -was the hottest team last year similarly and we saw what happened in the playoffs with them- and I will go on record saying the same applies to Portland this year.

    Gadzuric is older – has played less minutes (een on an equally BAD NBA team) – has less points, less rebounds and inthe last three years has not avveraged close to 1 block a game- puh-lease. As for Simmons at 6-6-making 9 mil a year (?!?!?) do we ‘really’ need “another” small forward when Balkman can’t get minutes- and a another big contract. Where do you guys come up with this stuff- ??

    No wonder you guys think Isiah stinks-

  38. How could you call Zach one of the worst defensive players in the league? Seriously look to his left and you’ll find the worst defensive player in the league. Sure once he grabs the ball he’s not giving it back unless he gets triple teamed but still that’s what every Knick other than Lee does . I have no clue where him being terrible on defense comes from, Zach is a mediocre defender, nothing more, nothing less, Eddy is the terrible one. Zach works on D, Eddy is just lazy and lost on the defensive end. But I guess people just look at how they were semi decent before all the injuries last year and now they’re the worst with pretty much just adding Zach so they think it’s his fault, when really Eddy has just regressed and Steph just doesn’t want to take over games anymore when he still could. Steph needs to be more selfish when everyone else is playing badly.

    Also Nate could someday be the Knick starting pg, he’s the best shooter we have and is getting better at passing while not turning the ball over and Like Breen says he could be a good defender someday because he’s so strong and quick.

  39. Brian is right that ANY trade which dumps Randolph for a shorter contract would help the Knicks’ situation… as long as we don’t give up any younger assets.

    If the Bucks for some strange reason actually like Randolph, I could conceive of a deal like THomas B.’s taking place… except – check this out – maybe the Bucks would trade Yi to Houston (instead of Williams), throwing in Simmons or Gadzuric or whatever other bad salary they have.

    But it’s hard to imagine McGrady coming back here – of course it would be nice, but I wouldn’t give up Balkman or Chandler or Lee or anyone else who might be on our team in 3 years when we have a shot at being good.. TMac will be out of the league by then; he’s a walking injury.

  40. Anybody who thinks Randolph is going anywhere is completely and totally deluded. Unless we get even worse.

  41. It’d be pretty hard for Gadzuric to get 22 rebounds, as he is a backup. He HAS had 20 boards in a game before, though.

    In any event, Gadzuric and Simmons are not good players, but to get ANYthing for Zach Randolph would be a blessing.

    But, as big baby points out, it seems unlikely that any team out there would actually trade for him. There’s a reason the Knicks gave up so little for him.

    However, maybe the rumors are true. I sure hope they are.

  42. Zach Randolph is a terrible defensive player. Terrible. Opposing players drive the lane on the Knicks with impunity, time and time again. We’re last in the NBA in shot blocking (by a mile) and last in the league in FG% allowed. Curry and Randolph are a pitiful defensive tandem, lacking in both instinct and effort. The guards are no great shakes either, but as long as Curry and Randolph are both getting major minutes, this will always be a bad defensive team.

  43. A lot of the time it seems like Randolph doesn’t help out on defense because he doesn’t want to give up his rebound position, which is about as bad as defense can get.

  44. Defense starts on the perimeter, when you have slow guards(steph) or guards that just aren’t good defenders(jamal) you need a good blocker like Camby or Okafur in the middle, Eddy is the exact opposite so yeah even though he has a lot to do with it, the guards should get blame as well. Zach isn’t going to be protecting the hoop anyway, you got pf’s standing around @ the 3 pt line in todays nba, he can’t be helping protect the hoop.

  45. Caleb – your right – after all Gadzuric is being unjustly denied his shot at stardom. I mean he is just a victim of being on an overly talented team blessed with rebounding and shooting – that he is relegated to being a back up – even if it is a bad team. Where as Zbo- got all the breaks for 5 + years = after all he is a no talent bum -who can’t play defense , is selfish and talentless- it’s just that he won the lottery for the last five years IN A ROW- to average a double double in competitive basketball. (yes – I know caps- after all emphasis and emotion – is too emotional. Who wants emotion in a any sport based on competition.

    I know when I played played ball at the college and high school level – I would always point out with proper humility (of course) that hey- I only averaged a double double for 4/5 years of my playing days – because I was on a bad team. Can’t play defense, am selfish and got all the honey’s in my dorm room EVERY night because after all – I am just a ‘VICTIM” of circumstance- which in this case – was phenomenal luck for like 8 years of my life including high school.

    I am sure that many of you have the same problem. Good salary which 99 percent of your peers and 100 percent of people who don’t know you – think you don’t deserve. And they are right – after all – most of us – don’t deserve anything we get – I mean- after all – if we had to deal with the best – every night for half – a year- it wouldn’t wear us down and most importantly – since we are such GREAT A$$ kisser in terms of keeping and getting our jobs – hey we would NEVER e criticized. After all – wit ll these years of puckerig up and learning to be diplomatic – we have made being talented and confident — a purely tertiary thing.

    Now I know most of you – don’t know what this feels like . After all – very few people actually have to struggle in the insanity of constant competition -day after day – like a porn star – except instead of your lips or T$TS your being replaced for other skills.

    But hey – it’s too bad – we should bring the trade thing to the private industry or even government. I would love to go to my next boss – and say I increased profitablity by 30 percent everywhere I have been – and just cause people thing I am selish and not a team player – doesn’t mean I shouldn’t get paid. If I was Tracy McGrady or Shaq – I woud say – screw the salary – pay me in percentage – like you pay ole white guys – wh NEVER made the all star team or rode the “magic” bus for 2-3 championships by Byron Scoot or James Worthy.

    But – hey don’t and can’t play professional ball at that level for sure- Lazarus may be resuurected but not my ball skills. So – I hustle – ad I let people thik I am ‘really’ smart with specious, facetious and of course alway critical, derogatory, disparaging and most importantly ( the greatest guide in success) when all else fails go Bourgeoisie. After all – we ALL know thats the safest key to success – job or not.

    Hey let me father, cousin, brother all be coaches – although we have NO talent – can’t shoot , never RAN sucide till midnite or actually practiced till my legs wouldn’t stop shaking till I passsed out. After all- the Van Gundy’s, Nelson’s etc are all the best players the world has ever seen and HAS ACTAULLY earned their respect by merit.

    After – all thats what America is about – being based on Merit. Ask the Van Gundy’s (they are such great coaches and they made it on their own), Donny Nelson, Rick Carlisle – wow – did he ever work his way up the ladder.

    There was a quite frustrated quote on – I think- the NY post – blog. He was absolutely livid – about how the NYC fans – are such A$$holes, and ignoranouses. I meanthey would rather have 10 years of going to the playoffs with lousy teams – and going to finals ONCE. Then put up with three 20-20 game winning seasons and get a good core t deal with.

    But it is NYC- the home of Enron fiasco (Arthur Anderson), Citigroup and basiocally the capital of fraud- so why should we expec less from their fans. After all – are’t we all a bunch of retailers who rip people off.

  46. iyamwutiam – excellent counter to a point that nobody made.

    Nobody is denying that Randolph is talented and could be a good player if he applied himself, what is being said that he is not a good player(“good” and “talented” are entirely different things) and has shown no signs that he is ever going to try to be a good player. He’s a talented player who plays terrible basketball.

    And yes, he averaged a double double…who cares? That doesn’t make him a good basketball player. Scoring and rebounding are the easiest things for a basketball team to replace, if the Knicks didn’t have Randolph they would still be just as good at either of them, and Randolph contributes nothing outside of those two categories.

    As a side note…am I the only one who thinks it’s interesting that adding Randolph has actually made the Knicks a worse team on offense and on the boards? He hasn’t even helped the team get better at the only two things he does well.

  47. I don’t get it, iyamwutiam, is Zach Randolph, like, your dad or something?

    If you are not related to the dude, then you’re taking legitimate (and really, rather TAME) complaints about the guy waaaay too personally.

  48. “Defense starts on the perimeter…”

    I have always disagreed with this. No matter how good your perimeter defenders are, they are going to get beat. It’s the help defense from the big men that make or break your defense.

  49. If Zach Randolph were more than an average player his old team wouldn’t get dramatically better when he leaves (or maybe it was signing Steve Blake). His new team wouldn’t get worse. This doesn’t mean it’s all his fault, or that he’s a bad player, but it’s hard to argue he’s really good. Factor in the huge salary for years to come, and that’s why we;’re eager to dump him.
    (well, the main reason).

    If Gadzuric and Simmons never played a minute for us, so what? Curry would play a little more… David Lee, who’s better than Randolph, would get more minutes… our overall record probably wouldn’t be any different. I’ll be generous (to Zach and his pals) and say we might get 2-3 games worse.

    Or imagine this: it’s the summer of 2010. LeBron and a million other premier free agents are looking for offers… but we can’t sign anyone; we’re over the cap because we’re paying Zach Randolph $17 million that season. At that point… what would you give to have him just retire?

  50. Iyam – You are giving me flashbacks to Jersey J. What exactly is your point here? It seems like you think the Knicks would come right if it weren’t for all the Doubting Thomas’ at the Garden and here on Knickerblogger holding them back.

  51. Normally I look at the stats for evidence of a player’s usefulness, but sometimes you just need to do an idiot check…

    iyam…when you watch Knicks games and Randolph is on the court, does he appear to be helping the team win or does he appear to care entirely about compiling his own pts/reb numbers. Just look at David Lee’s face when Randolph doesn’t provide help defense, or wastes 20 seconds of the shotclock, getting in position to put up a running hook.

    Secondly, How do teammates perceive him? It seems to me that Lee, Balkman, Robinson, Jeffries, and a few others have a good cameraderie (i.e. slapping each other on the ass after a good play), yet I never see Z-bo involved in such cavorting. At the very least, he’s a locker room cancer.

    Poor record aside, it just seems that the players are unhappier this year and a lot of that has to do with adding another bad apple.

  52. iyamwutiam – I agree that Curry, Randolph, and Crawford can improve and become better players, but the possibility is very low. I think this is the reason for the difference of opinion between you and so many people on this board.

    Curry has been in the league for 6 years now and hasn’t shown that much progress. I know last year he had career highs but that’s because he not only played more minutes but also was made the focal point of the offense. After six years, it seems unlikely that he’s ever going to get that much better. Don’t get me wrong, I would love for him to get better, but I just don’t see it. I think his attitude is also a problem because he goes out there and doesn’t show much emotion and it makes me feel like he doesn’t care that much. All I see from him is get the ball down low, go up for a weak layup, get blocked, and then turn to the ref looking for a foul.

    I can’t defend Randolph at all. I know that he’s a 20/10 guy, but the real problem is that he’s not a team player. He’s selfish, plain and simple. He doesn’t look to pass first and that’s why the offense becomes so stagnant when he’s in the game. Once he gets the ball, no one moves or rotates because they know he’s just going to take a jump shot. Can he get better? There’s a chance he can, but the attitude he’s shown thus far doesn’t make it seem likely.

    Crawford has been in the league for about 6 years too and he still hasn’t shown any improvement in his game, except for the one season under Larry Brown. He looks to shoot first also and his shot selection is still incredibly poor. I know that he can score 50 a game, but that doesn’t happen often and I would rather have a more efficient player who scores less than an inefficient player who scores more.

    These are a few reasons why IT needs to go as coach and GM. He’s assembled shoot first players who don’t pass and who don’t defend. IT also does a very poor job in assessing a players weakness or weaknesses, as can be seen in Jamal Crawford. Instead of continuing what Larry Brown did to make Crawford a more efficient shooter, he lets him run wild. It doesn’t look like anyone on the Knicks has any idea what their role on the team is. They look so dis-jointed out there and it really shows in how they play.

    I read a rumor in the NY Post today that Jerry West and Jerry Colangelo are waiting for Dolan’s phone call to take over GM responsibilities of the Knicks. I’m not expecting this but I’ll keep my fingers crossed. I really feel that the next GM has to come in with a plan of what he needs to do. Dump salary, pick up this free agent, buy out this player, etc. I know it’s a pipe dream, but I want Lebron James in a Knick uniform in 2010, as I’m sure everyone wants. If I was the next GM, this is the plan I would follow. Do whatever is necessary to ensure that this happens and hopefully have enough of a supporting cast to make this a successful team for the next 7 years. Well, this rant is over and I will say that I feel much better now.

  53. Owen Said:

    January 11th, 2008 at 9:53 am
    “Iyam – You are giving me flashbacks to Jersey J. What exactly is your point here? It seems like you think the Knicks would come right if it weren’t for all the Doubting Thomas’ at the Garden and here on Knickerblogger holding them back.”

    I think there is a distinction between between just coming out and saying he is the worst player etc versus taking time to understand the situation.

    Zach Randolph is a direct result of having to move an even bigger salary (Francis) who isn’t even getting minutes in his beloved Houston. No- one was biting on Randolph because as has been pointed out – he makes a lot of money and had some ‘issues’. The issues were mainly fodder because of his salary.

    Portland made a mistake signing him to that salary, as did Indiana with Croshere, etc -the NBA is full of giving huge contracts to guys who are not well rounded players. Our mistake was Francis -and as I pointed out earlier -Francis and J. Rose are basically the same players as Crawford and Marbury- so they both had to go – one via buy out for 30 million or so and the other in the randolph trade.

    I am not saying don’t trade Randolph – but don’t trade him for 30 something year old back ups – just for salary issues. The Knicks have lived with salary cap issues for close to 20 years and so another year or so is not going to kill them. In addition – why trade a potentially good player for not ever going to be good players like Jason Williams, Dan Gadzuric etc on the downside.

    It is his first year with the team-it has been pointed out by players (Alston among others) that the problem is not with the post players but with the guards. Randolph is having a hard time -figuring out his role- and for now – Isiah has done the best thing – making him the back up center to give Curry rest. I as a Knick fan am strongly against making any trades when it looks like we are desperate to get rid of someone and get an even worse deal. IF Randolph has a good year next year- we will get much better trades.

    It takes players a year or so to adjust to a new team – especially if they are not role players but expected to be part of te rotation and getting 20-30 minutes a game. Iverson/Odom/ Turkolu -are some examples and the transition is even harder when the ‘team’ itself is in transition.

    If you watch the games- silly mistakes and huge lapses of concentrations by Lee, Crawford, Richardson etc (like inbound passes, forgetting to stick with their man off a curl -making the post guy look bad) show that they are still -yes still- trying to learn a system. They get confused and don’t know when to switch to a perimeter game and when to switch it back inside. It is like a new driver- they are very jerky- not all of that is Randolph.

    As for Portland – James Jones has made a huge difference to that team – more than any player -also Sergio Rodriguez. The same can be said for almost any team -who finds a guy who can shoot the 3 or a 15-20 footer consistently. Like Fischer for the Lakers, Finley for the Spurs ad Ray Allen for the Celtics.

  54. Curry has improved- it was incoceivable that e woudld have 4 blocksin a game – even Chicago – 3 weeks ago. He is moving around -and his conditioning is getting better- he still has a ways to go – but his defense is a little better. I am hoping that by next year -he will recognize double/triple teams better and pass the ball to the appropriate player.

    Marbury/Q Rich and Crawford have all failed to deliver on their promise. Q Rich being the most flagrant offender.

    But if we look at the roster – there is not a single franchise player on this roster- including Lee. Unlike Denver, Celtics, Golden State, Detroit, Dallas, San Antonio, Houston, Orlando, Phoenix etc.

    Someone mentioned the word Blueprit a couple of times. Isiah has clearly stated what his blueprint is : young, versatile players- Marbury does not fit, Q has shown it was terrible gamble, Crawford may find a role-and he has improved-by making him the PG often times he has shot less- there will alaways be times when he jacks one up and you can see isiah roll his eyes when that happens.

    However- from just 3 years ago- this team is younger (by far), is becominng more versatile in terms of Lee/Robinson/Jeffries – possibly Chandler. Will have cap space in two years if we just sit tight (a lot of cap space actually).

    In the meanwhile- if Curry and Randolph do ever jell than look out. As for defense- defense is a ‘team’ thing. One can not simply blame Curry or Randolph. If one player is only going to play defense – then you are giving up offense (as the Spurs did – till Bowen learned to knock down the wide-wide open shot. Ben Wallace never learned and Detroit basically said at the next level -playoffs – he is a liability and moved on.

    The Larry Brown fiasco has to be taken into consideration – regardless of what people say- and also the facts bear this out- that this was not an Isiah move. See – with the Falcons/Miami etc – any coach/gm wants full sway – and complete control – that was not going to happen with Isiah – as he does not have the sway of a parcells or Gibbs. He was signed to a three year contract- which tells you something right there! The extension happened last year!!

    Mabury has been quite disappointing – and this year between realizing he will not be extended and the death of his father – his lack of leadership, play etc have cost us atleast 5-10 games. The rest of the guys basically fall in to ‘expected’ categories.

    Everyone knew that getting two post players to effectively share the ball would be difficult and take time. Everyone – most of all – Isiah knew we needed a shooter- and i am sure – he is regretting letting Nichols go- but most importantly having faith in Q Rich to be healthy and most importantly effective.

    The team is losing – but as far as I am concerned over the last 5-7 games they are defintiely playing better than they were the first 20 games.

    It is not going to happen overnite- I would stay away from the let’s just Randolph for ANYONE – cuz I have been waiting for the Knicks to be good for like 7 years mentality. I would stay away from the mindset – that Isiah doesn’t know what he is doing. Lee/Robinson/Cury have all borne him out- they are good players- not all -stars maybe -but definitely good. Jeffries is coming on this year – it took him a year atleast to be more comfortable and he is actually working on his shot – as seen by him taking the short jumper and having a hugely embarrassing whiff- but -he is working on it and like Bowen – in a few years – he will have that shot.

  55. “Curry has improved- it was incoceivable that e woudld have 4 blocksin a game – even Chicago – 3 weeks ago.”

    I don’t see how this indicates improvement when his career high is 6 blocks in a game and he did that 4 years ago.

    And I disagree that we can’t blame Randolph and Curry for their defensive deficiencies. Defense is a team effort, but that doesn’t mean we can’t single out individuals who are not pulling their weight. Curry and Randolph don’t even try to play good defense.

  56. Curry’s game in Chicago isn’t that impressive when you think about the fact that Chicago is one of the worst teams in the league and were playing with Luol Deng. If Curry put up the same stat’s from the Chicago game against one of the elite teams I would say that’s something. I don’t think it’s completely Curry’s fault. I believe the coaching staff has to be blamed b/c it doesn’t seem like they focus on his shot blocking or interior defense. It seems that they’ve been working on his offensive game only.

  57. For the 2010-2011 season, assuming these players pick up their options, the salaries of Randolph, Curry, Crawford and Jeffries alone will be $35.5 million. Factor in Lee and Balkman no longer on rookie contracts, plus this year’s and next year’s first round picks, and we’re at $50 million easy, with 7 roster slots left to fill. The salary cap this year is $55 million and league attendance is basically flat so it’s not going up more than 1 or 2 million a year.

    Draw your own conclusions.

  58. iyamwutiam:

    I agree with you about the Bricks’ guards. Guard play defensively and offensively has just sucked. No question.

    But Zach and Curry must be the worst center/PF combo in basketball.
    Zach only rebounds and scores (only 45 percent from the field) and Curry only scores (64 percent).

    Defensively they are not just bad; they are pathetic. Utterly horrible. To whit:

    Zach averages
    BPG – .1 (career .2)
    SPG – .8 (career .7)
    TO – 3 (career 2.8)
    APG – 1.7 (career 1.5)

    Curry averages
    BPG – .6 (career .7)
    SPG – .3 (career .3)
    TO – 2.21 (career 2.3)
    APG – .6 (career .6)

    As you can see from these stats, which really reflect what you do on defense and for your team, not only are they incredibly poor to non-existent, they also show virtually no change from their career totals, meaning they aren’t improving at all and in some cases they are slightly worse.

    Remember, these guys are the Bricks’ interior defenders. They are averaging 28 to 32 minutes per game.

    Zach literally doesn’t block almost any shots. Eddy isn’t much better.
    Neither player appears to pass much at all.
    Neither gets many deflects or steals.

    This is just horrid basketball, and it basically is the same or slightly worse than their career averages.
    They aren’t getting better at this point. Most players that have been playing five or six years basically are what they are statistically.

    The fact that someone could spend more than a dozen paragraphs rambling about Zach’s usefulness is mystifying to me.
    And whether or not one has played that game is immaterial. I am not an accountant, but I know when I have a shitty accountant, and I fire him or her.
    It’s not about gelling with Zach. He has always played horrid defense. He has always been a terrible team player. Gelling for him means that the team acquiesces to his need to dominate the ball, and then that team begins to suck, and suck mightily.

    Our poor center/PF defensive play is only accentuated by weak guard play.

    Make no mistake: it is not easy be as bad as the Bricks are. Their failing is that Isiah has not recognized that individual performance is less important than team performance at the NBA level.

    The Bricks suck on the perimeter.
    The Bricks suck in the paint.
    The Bricks’ offensive is dull and rife with one-on-one play, whether it be Zach, or Crawford, or Marbury or Curry.

    Isiah needs to put the best team on the court. His best team is:

    Jeffries at center
    Lee at PF
    Balkman at SF
    Robinson at SG
    Marbury at PG

    On this team you have defense, hustle, two creative, penetrating guards who can shoot the three, a hustling, energetic, scoring and rebounding PF, a defense-minded SF who is strong on the boards, and a defensive-minded center with length and leaping ability.

    On this team the ball would move around.
    Defense would be played.

    Clearly mistakes will be made by such a young team, but it sure is better than assembling a bunch of selfish stat guys, who don’t win.

    How can anyone defend anything about this team? They’re on pace to win 20 games.

  59. On the one hand, iyam will say, “I played this game, and it’s about more than fantasy stats.” Then in the next sentence, he’ll say “Randolph averages 20 and 10!”

    Randolph is the ultimate fantasy-stat player; his whole existence is predicated on taking lots of shots so he gets 20 points, and standing around on defense so as to not give up his rebounding position so he can get ten boards. It’s the emptiest 20 and 10 you’ll ever see.

  60. Jeffries doesn’t do much of anything so I dunno about him as our starting center, but this sort of points out the problem…

    if you have Curry, Marbury and Robinson (or Crawford) on the court at the same time, you have three players whose main value by far is scoring… they need the ball in their hands. If Marbury and Robinson are shooting, Curry offers very little, and vice-versa.

    Randolph at least is a good rebounder, which lessens the problem (i.e. he can get the rebound when Marbs or Robinson misses), but then he’s either takes minutes away from the best player on the team, or else plays center, weakening the defense even more.

    There’s no real solution… the best this roster could ever be is .500, probably not even that.

    You need to clear the jam by dumping these bad long-term contracts at any price, even if it takes us from being a 25-win team to a 20-win team (I don’t think it would even make that difference, but still…)

    None of this is to say our players are bad people, or don’t work hard, or even that they don’t try hard, just that they are limited basketball players, and not well-matched.

  61. A couple of things about Randolph. Though I believe he is a selfish player that makes teams worse because he dominates the ball, only looks for himself, and is a cancer, I am going to ignore that and just look at his numbers.

    Zach Randolph is a high volume scorer that is less efficient than all of our other high volume scorers. He is not just less efficient this year but has been consistantly less efficient.

    True Shooting Percentages:
    Year – Zach Jamal Steph Curry Nate Lee
    04-05 51.1% 52.1% 57.5% 58.3%
    05-06 48.3% 54.4% 53.2% 60.4% 51.2% 60.7%
    06-07 53.7% 51.7% 53.9% 60.3% 55.2% 65.2%
    07-08 49.9% 51.6% 53.0% 56.7% 53.9% 58.7%

    As you can see over the last four years, this year included, only once would Zach have been a better offense option than Jamal and he never would have been a better option than Steph, Curry Lee or Nate. On top of that he has even been less efficient than the players he replaced only besting Frye and Francis once each over the last four years.

    True Shooting Percentages:
    Year – Zach Frye Francis
    04-05 51.1% —– 52.1%
    05-06 48.3% 54.1% 53.4%
    06-07 53.7% 46.4% 57.0%
    07-08 49.9% 52.1% 41.1%

    So it should come as no surprise that his 15.2 shots (second most on the team) would make us less efficient.

    Also his rebounding while looking great on paper does not seem to really help the teams he is on as much as one would think.

    New York in the two years prior to Randolph’s arrival and this year:

    Year – oreb% – dreb%
    05-06 – 31.2% – 72.8%
    06-07 – 31.0% – 74.0%
    07-08 – 30.5% – 72.6%

    As you can see Randolph’s arrival has had no real impact on New York’s rebounding. In fact this year we are worse, although just a little, than we have been in the two previous years. New York was a great rebounding team before his arrival and is still great, but no better, after his arrival.

    Portland is a little worse but again the impact of his departure on thier rebounding has not been great. They are worse than last year but about equal to the year before that.

    Year – oreb% – dreb%
    05-06 – 26.6% – 68.2%
    06-07 – 28.2% – 73.0%
    07-08 – 25.8% – 70.4%

    As you can see Portland was a mediocre to bad rebounding team before and is still a mediocre to bad rebounding team.

    Randolph even going by the numbers does not fit on the Knicks. Add to his rather inefficient numbers the way he alienates teammates, disrupts offensive flow and plays terrible defense and you have a player that is not only not worth his huge contract but not even worth the roster spot he occupies.

    Simmons and Gadzaric while overpaid and nothing more than role players could be valuable role players and I would take two potentually valuable role players over Zach anyday of the week.

  62. Frank O. – That lineup you suggested would have a problem scoring points. Only two players are good scorers and they are both perimeter players. Also while defensivly that team would be better than the one we have been trotting out there it would still be average at best.

    Marbury, Robinson and Lee are at best average on defense and Jeffries while a good defender would be outmatched at the center position too often and his defensive prodution would suffer. Also Jeffries is no better of a shot blocker than Eddy so he would not help the team that way.

    I would suggest keeping Eddy out there to open up the perimeter for Marbury and Robinson so at least we could be a good offensive team while being a poor defensive one.


    That seems like the best combo of offense and defense, at least until we can bring in some better defense at the guard and power positions.

  63. “You need to clear the jam by dumping these bad long-term contracts at any price”

    Caleb– would you package Crawford and Lee to Cleveland for Larry Hughes and a protected pick?

    Or Randolph, Lee, and Jones to Sac for Abdur-Raheem, Thomas, and Artest?

    Or other trades that sacrifice the young talent to get rid of the contracts that extend past 2010? A month ago I would have resisted such a move, but if a new GM came in a cleaned house, I’m at the point where I’d support it.

    Since I nominate you as Isiah’s successor, should he ever be terminated, I’m wondering where you stand on the issue.

  64. That’s pretty definitive, Ben. Those numbers seem to reflect what I see with my eyes when it comes to Randolph. And right now he is in his prime; we have him under contract for an eternity. Certainly one of the very worst contracts in the NBA. The Knicks are like an all-bad-contract All-Star team:

    C Eddy Curry $8.9M
    PF Zach Randolph $13.3M
    SF Quentin Richardson $8.1M
    SG Jamal Crawford $7.9M
    PG Stephon Marbury $19.0M

    That’s $57.2 million just on those five guys alone. The bench of the all-bad-contract All-Star team has these guys:

    PF Malik Rose $7.1M
    SF Jared Jeffries $5.6M
    C Jerome James $5.8M

    Wow, that is a lot of bad contracts. None of those eight above guys are really good NBA players at this stage of their careers. I really wouldn’t want any of them on my team if I was starting from scratch.

    Yep, Isiah’s a dumbass, all right.

  65. I agree the contracts are horrible. As for dumping them I think it is a waste of time. We would have to give away talented young players or picks to be able to get under the cap and then we would be left with a bad team that could not attract any free agents worth the players and picks we would have to dump to be able to afford them.

    I would say trade Randolph as soon as possible and then buy out James and maybe Q Rich, and then keep Curry and Crawford until we can trade them for value because they are not harming the team in my opinion. As for Jeffries I would keep him because he is a player that I think is valuable for 15-20 minutes a game off the bench. He is grossly overpaid but that does not mean he is not useful.

    Marbury and Rose expire soon so just let them finish their contracts.

    I think Lee, Nate, Balkman and our picks are more valuable than cap space. So I would not trade them to clear salaries.

  66. “I think Lee, Nate, Balkman and our picks are more valuable than cap space. So I would not trade them to clear salaries.”

    These three guys cost us a lot of cap space (Malik Rose, Q, and Jalen Rose respectively) so I hope you are right.

    It is strange that Isiah not only paid so much money to buy the Balkman pick, and endured huge amounts of criticism for drafting an unknown with it, only to refuse to play him.

  67. I would have no problem trading anyone.

    Zach Randolph – No D, black hole on offense
    Quentin Richardson – Overrated D, cannot shoot (30% FG), 11th or 12th man caliber
    Eddy Curry – Worst frontcourt defender in the entire league, cannot rebound, cannot pass, offense becomes stiff and turnover prone when he’s the go-to-guy, he’s probably a 20 mpg backup on a good team.
    Jamal Crawford – Terrible defender, low percentage shooter, should be a Eddie House-type guard off the bench
    Stephon Marbury – Loser, selfish, quitter, suffers from a mental disease
    David Lee – Overrated, cannot shoot or defend, a career backup
    Nate Robinson – A smaller Jamal Crawford but a better shooter
    Jared Jeffries – A taller Quentin Richardson
    Fred Jones – 11th or 12th man caliber
    Renaldo Balkman – An anorexic David Lee with better perimeter D
    Malik Rose – 11th or 12th man caliber
    Jerome James – 11th or 12th man caliber
    Mardy Collins – A career backup
    Wilson Chandler – Probably a career backup
    Randolph Morris – Who knows but probably a career backup

  68. Ben R.

    I realize that team is defensively focused, but the Bricks’ scorers are still members of the team. If you’re not getting the points, you bring in Curry or Randolph or Crawford.
    But at least the other team doesn’t get to jump right out to a 12 point bulge.
    And frankly, the scoring team isn’t scoring that much.
    Last game the Bricks went 0-12 before they made their first basket and were down 10 zip.
    The scorers keep creating mountains for the subs to overcome.
    I’d rather run a solid defense oriented team out there. Also, I’m not entirely convinced that Lee wouldn’t be a good scorer given the chance to be among the teams top three scoring options.
    I also think we have seen some solid play from Jeffries of late. Clearly, he’s not going to be an offensive player, but you would have Robinson to stretch the defense with his outside jumper and he and Marbury to penetrate. And then you have Lee, who has become a fairly effective scorer, and could get better. All reports I read are that he has become a much better shooter than his in game stats show to date. But people who watch him practice say his low post and mid-range is improving noticeably.

    But if you need a scorer to come in the game, Curry, Randolph, and Crawford are available for the infusion.

    And, as I have written here several times, the lineup I propose will only get you to playing .500 ball the rest of the way. They still are weak, but the young players will get valuable experience and it will be entertaining to watch them.

  69. I’m sorry but I take major umbrage to saying that David Lee is a terrible defender.

    Anybody who is willing to throw their body on the floor and work his ass off can be a solid defender. The problem is he is surrounded by awful defenders on a terrible defensive team. If you were to put him on a solid defensive team with clearly defined roles, there’s no doubt in my mind that he could be at least a solid defender.

  70. Well, to be fair, if the players were as bad as Sergio claims, than we would win maybe 5 games the entire season.

    I have trouble with a few things…

    I’d like to think that Eddy Curry is a bit too offensively talented to be a backup, especially considering the number of teams lacking a low post presence. I certainly can’t think of a backup center anywhere near his level of scoring skill. There are backup centers that specialize in defense, such as Zo, Diop, maybe Kwame, but they don’t offer much on offense. With that said, I’d probably rather have Kwame or Diop than Curry, but that’s because we desperately need defense.

    Jamal Crawford is a very similar situation to Curry. How do you utilize a player with immense offensive skills, but lacking anything else? I have to think that a real coach would get Crawford to play defense and choose better shots. To compare him to Eddie House is ridiculous though. House is a catch and shoot guy, whereas Crawford can manufacture his own shot and can generally get into the paint with his speed and ball handling. There aren’t many guys in the league who can do that, and most of them are superstars. The closest comparison to Crawford is Ben Gordon, who is effectively used by the Bulls as a 6th man offensive sparkplug. I think Crawford is built for this role. However, it often feels that he is capable of so much more, and under the right direction would be a borderline all-star. Maybe I’m just crazy, but once a game Crawford takes his man off the dribble and scores in a way that probably only 10 players in the league can match.

    I agree that David Lee is a bit overrated and is probably no better than Paul Millsap. However, he is exactly the kind of glue guy that championship teams need to put them over the top, so I wouldn’t jettison him. Balkman might become one of these types as well.

    You say Mardy Collins is a career backup. Personally, I think he’ll be out of the league in a few years. He just plain sucks.

    How can you call Chandler a career backup? For all we know, he could be a superstar one day. Unlikely, but you don’t know what you have until you give him some minutes. In most cases, I would say that the reason he doesn’t play is because the coach can tell in practice that he’s not ready. Needless to say, I question Isiah’s judgment of what players deserve PT.

    Beyond these objections, I have no problem trading everyone. With that said, many on this board have suggested dumping these players for absolutely anything. I’m not sure we should be looking to trade bad players with bad contracts for bad players with worse contracts.

  71. “How do you utilize a player with immense offensive skills, but lacking anything else? ”

    Immense? Crawford’s TS% has generally been below average. He doesn’t shoot well enough from three, doesn’t go to the foul line enough…

    “David Lee is a bit overrated and is probably no better than Paul Millsap.”

    I don’t quite know why you would say that. There are a lot of guys in the NBA that play Lee’s role, utility forward, and none of them are doing it as well as he did it last year. His numbers are a bit off this year, but not by that much. And he seems to be developing as a defender. I was impressed with how he has played Ming and Howard this year.

    And I think he is really coming on of late, his +/- numbers in the last five have been stellar. I especially liked that +10 he posted in the 10 point loss to the Kings, on a night where Randolph was a -25. Not that that means much, but certainly the Knicks have a persistent trend of doing better with him on the court. It helps to have a player out there who doesn’t need to shoot to be effective.

  72. You need to clear the jam by dumping these bad long-term contracts at any price”

    Caleb– would you package Crawford and Lee to Cleveland for Larry Hughes and a protected pick?

    Or Randolph, Lee, and Jones to Sac for Abdur-Raheem, Thomas, and Artest?

    Or other trades that sacrifice the young talent to get rid of the contracts that extend past 2010? A month ago I would have resisted such a move, but if a new GM came in a cleaned house, I’m at the point where I’d support it.

    Since I nominate you as Isiah’s successor, should he ever be terminated, I’m wondering where you stand on the issue.”


    Good questions…

    I would not make either of the trades you throw out there.

    I look at it this way…
    – I generally agree with Ben that our young players are more valuable than cap space. We can revisit this in 2010 when we know how good they really are, and what specific deal might clear the space, and who might be available.

    – Be patient. Nothing we do now will change anything meaningful before 2010. Opportunities come up. It’s not ludicrous to think that in the next 2+ years, some playoff team desperate for a scoring boost will be willing to take Randolph (or one of the others) for another bad but shorter contract. No need to sweeten the pot… yet.

    – To get under the cap by 2010, we only really need to dump Randolph, or two of the others. We don’t need to clear out all 4 bad deals.

    – We should use our ability to take on 2009-2010 salaries without affecting our cap situation. For example — next year we could trade Malik Rose to someone, for a bad 2010 deal plus a draft pick. Like Cleveland, for Hughes. Or Milwaukee for Bobby Simmons.

    – Here’s a partial list of the 2009-2010 deals that other teams could trade… either for an expiring Marbury/Rose deal plus a pick, or for one of our ridiculous 2010-2011 contracts (Randolph, Curry, Crawford, Jeffries):
    Ben Wallace, Larry Hughes, Tracy McGrady, Stephen Jackson, Cuttino Mobley, Kennny Thomas, Udonis Haslem, Darius Miles, Earl Watson, Luke Ridnour, TJ Ford, Mehmet Okur, Etan Thomas…
    Sure, most of those guys are overpaid slobs, but they can sit on the bench while we enjoy our draft pick or freed up 2010 cap space.

    In the meantime, no one on the roster is untouchable, but I put a pretty high value on Lee, Balkman, Chandler and even Robinson.

    – Even with his numbers off from last year, David Lee looks like an above-average power forward, at least a top 50 or 60-player in the league, and still just 24. A top 50 player is what you’d expect with a top 5 draft pick… so to give him up for any less, is a bad move. Lee is probably even more valuable than that, because his skills can complement almost any team – unlike Curry, for example, who’s dramatically worse when Randolph is on the court. Other than a top 5 pick, I might accept a David Lee deal that filled a need with a really good young veteran (say, Devin Harris).. or was a relatively high pick, like #10, and also cleared cap space.

    – I’m a really big Balkman fan — I think he’s the kind of talent you get in the later part of the lottery. If Bruce Bowen is the 4th best player on a multi-championship team, Balk could easily be the 3rd of 4th best guy on a playoff team. That would make him well into the top 100 players in the league. That said, if someone else wants him and we could get a lottery pick — why not? Another reason to see if Chandler can really play; if he can, we have two valuable pieces.

    – Same for Chandler. Obviously no one really knows if he can play, but it’s not a bad sign that he’s sitting on the bench — he’s only 20. The only guys who can really play NBA-level at that age are the Garnetts, the LeBrons, maybe the Andrew Bynums. I don’t think Chandler is at that level but it’s stupid to give up on him before we have a chance to see. He looked good in the summer, and I read a few articles from the stat gurus last spring — based strictly on stats he was a legit top-15 pick.

    – I think Nate is worth about where he was picked… Personally, I love the guy, love watching him play and hope he stays. From a strictly objective standpoint, he’s expendable. he’s probably the best offensive guard on the team but that’s not saying too much, and he can’t play D or really run the point. That said I wouldn’t give him away… But if we could trade, say, Malik Rose & Nate to Cleveland, for Larry Hughes and a protected pick, I’d do it.

  73. Last line is typo.. Meant to say: I’d do a trade of crawford and nate for hughes and pick.

    Or jeffries and (expiring) jones for hughes.

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