2015 Preseason Keys: Part 4

Although the NBA preseason games are officially meaningless, they contain indicators that may reveal what the regular season will be like. With the Knicks’ first game coming soon (October 8th), the good folks here at KnickerBlogger have put together a guide for the keys to watch for.


I’m not going to recap what I’ve done in the first three parts, because it wouldn’t go with this article. I’m not even going to link to them, because you can get off your arse and do it yourself. Actually you don’t even have to get off your arse, you just need to move your wrist a few inches, you know like you do every night in your mom’s basement.

You see here fellow Knick fan, part 4 is probably the only part that matters. The final thing I want to see out of these Knicks is balls. I’m talking about cojones, nuts, almonds, a pair, testicular fortitude, stones.

“But Mike, the triangle offense is a delicate and intricate system, which requires all players to think and react, and Carmelo Anthony isn’t normally known for his …


Listen I get it, the triangle offense is a big part of the Knicks 2015. The rotation is a big part of 2015. How much (or little) Andrea Bargnani plays is a big part of 2015. But the only time I want to see Andrea Bargnani on the court is when he does this. Actually I don’t even want to see that. I want to see him take Kevin Garnett and slam him onto the court. What the heck else is Andrea good for on a basketball court anyway? And this way he can start gearing up for his second career, like another ex-Knick Euro-center.

And that goes for everyone, including you Mr. Anthony. What do you think Anthony Mason would have done if someone mentioned his wife in a sexual nature during a game? Larry Johnson? Kenny “Sky” Walker? Dave DeBusschere? Really is there any Knick SF that wasn’t willing to throw down? Ok Tim Thomas, but ‘Melo — do you want to be in that camp?

I get it, the NBA is no longer the tough place it was in the 70s, or 80s, or 90s. Heck these days you can’t even step out of your chair and walk onto the court without being fined and suspended.

Hey Taj, way to fire up your teammates. *snore*
Hey Taj, way to fire up your teammates. *snore*

Look, I don’t need Jose Calderon to incite a riot. Having balls doesn’t mean punching someone in the chops at the smallest sign of provocation. It’s not cheapshotting the opponent and picking up dumb fouls. It certainly doesn’t mean showboating after a big dunk either. In fact I’d argue that screaming up into the cheap seats after a breakaway slam is the exact opposite of balls.

That means nothing. No NBA player was ever intimidated by someone overacting on an easy play. What I don’t want to see is this Knicks team being out-manned by the opponent. Playing defense. Hit the floor for that loose ball. Take a charge. Get physical when needed. Rebound. Sprint. Always be vigilant. Get on your teammates. Be accountable.

No more standing around when a defensive coverage was blown wondering what happened with your hands on your hips.

And finally, yes, if someone makes a comment that crosses the line, it’s time to put them in their place. It doesn’t matter if you’re the team’s best players. Shaq and Barkley. Bird and Dr. J. Jordan and Miller. See a pattern? Sure a team might suffer if their best player is sitting out a game or two for a suspension. But sometimes teams can react in a positive way without their star. And besides the NBA season is really long, and a few days of rest might be good for a player.

If you, Knicks player, are unsure what to do in an altercation, whether to respond with a little push or full out fisticuffs, I would gauge what just occurred and then follow the advice of Mike Ehrmantraut.

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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).

17 thoughts to “2015 Preseason Keys: Part 4”

  1. When I heard about Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Garnett and “Honey Nut Cheerios”, my mind immediately went to Slap Shot, when Paul Newman taunted an opponent into giving up a goal with a similar statement (plus discussion of her sexual preferences).

    Carmelo needs an equivalent of Charles Oakley. I nominate – Cole Aldrich. Strong rebounder (check), strong body (check), goofy hairstyle (check), strong defender (check). I don’t know if Cole owns a car wash.

  2. Although honestly part of my point was the greats don’t usually need an enforcer. Or at least if their enforcer wasn’t there, they took care of business. Shaq, Barkley, Bird, Dr. J, Hakeem, Jordan, these guys would put up when necessary.

  3. Might be asking too much of Melo. The way the league and the media is now, he’d get labeled a fake tough guy and suspended for a zillion games.

    What I hope to see more than anything else is smart basketball, especially from Melo. Even the 54-win team kinda slugged its way to the second round, and had the Celts swept until the JR brainfart.

    Clearly, Melo is not going to hold the likes JR accountable to playing and acting like a professional. That’s on the coaching staff. But Melo at the very least needs to lead by example.

    I’ll say this for Melo, last year he played with a lot of guts through a lot of minor nagging injuries. His dumb-ass coach let him burn himself out playing 40 MPG of iso-ball to the point where he had nothing left in 4th quarters. I saw zero evidence of Melo ever dogging it on the court, or being a distraction off the court. So that’s not a problem for me.

    I think Melo has more talent than b-ball IQ (and always will) but he’s not dumb as a player. He just doesn’t make other players smarter. He needs to be surrounded by smart players who are also good (and not ancient a la Rasheed, Kidd, Kurt, etc.) basketball players, and coached by a good coach. We got a glimpse of what Melo could be 2 years ago, but the coach was dumb and the smart players crumbled into dust.

    I want to see significant improvement in the IQ-level of our play, backed by hustle and a philosophy that the best players play and playing gritty defense always comes first. Calderon and Amare will never be good defenders, but at least play gritty and be humble when you are subbed out for defensive purposes for the betterment of the team.

  4. You shouldn’t be apologizing to me, DRed, and pals, Frank. You should be apologizing to all those who want to see the Knicks win more games than they lose.

  5. Hopefully it’s just a case of him showing bargs respect before benching him to show he got a fair shake. Or fish is a lot smarter than me. Because if he’s seriously considering bargs for the starting lineup that would definitely be a disaster. Unless we’re trying to tank. In which case, bring it on.

  6. The more minutes Bargs plays in the pre-season, the faster one of his elbows will blow out.

    Am I rooting for somebody to get injured? Why, yes. Yes I am.

  7. I’m rooting for Bargs to play a bit in the preseason, play like Bargs, and then get his ass nailed to the bench, because it will give me confidence that Fisher is going to play our better players more.

    If that doesn’t work, it’s time to start hoping for an injury.

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