Four Games in and I’m Already Counting Moral Victories

Not a good sign. Especially as .500 makes it long trip away from the team’s sight.

Still, watching the team close within one was totally awesome to see.

Just that the rest of the game was a blight upon my eyes.

Please someone tell me that it is just, as John Hollinger said in his chat today, that Frye is just not in game shape yet.


Speaking of moral victories, when both Mardy Collins AND Malik Rose are important parts of the comeback – you know you got something weird going on.

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38 thoughts to “Four Games in and I’m Already Counting Moral Victories”

  1. Whatever’s wrong with Frye seems to be in his head. He second guesses himself visibly, and isn’t showing much fire at all. He needs to get out of his slump by getting to the basket some.
    Easier said than done, I guess.

  2. How can you say Collin’s contributing to the comeback is “something wierd?” Collins is a nice combo guard with strong defense and a capable offensive player.

    I would rather Thomas develop a talent like Mardy’s then continue to nurture over paid and under performing bubblegums like Marbs and Franchise.

  3. It’s amazing how well you can do when you give a crap.

    Effort/hustle problems aside we are in desperate need of a consistent outside shooter. A Battier ‘glue’ type of guy because whenever someone penetrates there are a million guys contesting the shot and against teams that can defend the paint we are screwed. Getting bailed out by foul calls are good but it often turns into a turnover/charge/bad looking contested shot for us *cough*crawford*cough*. Balkman if he can get a jumper could be that guy but that won’t help us this season if ever. Jeffries will provide the same when he gets back so there is no help there.

    I am hoping for a Rashard Lewis or, pray to the almighty basketball gods, a Ray Allen trade. Short of that we are in for much of the same as last year as teams sit in a 2-3 zone while crawford and francis have a contest to see how many people they can shoot over. That’s the other problem we have, we don’t move the ball well enough to break a zone. Seriously, why would anyone bother going man against us?

    If there is one bright spot is that if Frye was producing like he was last year we could be sitting at 2-3 or possibly 3-2 right now. I think we can all agree if Frye doesn’t break out of his funk soon this could get really really bad.

    i’ve been a big fan of your work by the way for a long time. keep it up.

  4. A fortune (one might say ‘the future’) was spent on obtaining Eddy Curry. His rebounding stats are up, but he’s still not taking over games and carrying the team to wins.

    That there’s chatter about Frye and Marbury and Francis seems to show that it really isn’t expected anymore…

  5. I don’t know about trading for Lewis or Allen, or any established player for that matter. Teams rebuild by taking on young projects for small salaries, and by stockpiling draft picks. Most teams succeed with organic talent. I’d rather see a movement in this direction than any further spending of money.

  6. I was thinking some combination of curry/crawford or francis would get it done but I wasn’t saying it would be good long term for us. For right now, an addition of Ray ray or Shard would put us in the playoffs or at the very least make our offense watchable.

    At this point, I’ll take anyone who knows what they are doing though.

  7. I’d also like to add that the Kings and Pacers rebuilt/retooled through trades/free agency. I do agree with you though that by and large the draft is the way to go.

    It can be done however. We have some nice pieces but in Isiah’s mandate to get more athletic he totally forgot about anyone who could shoot. I’m thinking maybe Isiah’s worst move was trading away Keith Van Horn.

  8. Come on folks. This is the last year for moral victories because the Bulls are getting our pick anyway, so let’s give them a bad pick. To really turnaround the Knicks, there needs to be an indifference. The booing, that doesn’t help the Knick players and it gives Isiah ammo that the Knicks are still relevant. Dolan still buys into that BS. The real solution is to let the Knicks be bad (apparently the 2nd to worst team isn’t bad enough).

    Dear Mr. Dolan, the cost/benefit tradeoff is to lower salaries and lower ticket prices. Not good for cablevision, but it gives you another year to buy them back for less money.

    During this rebuilding stage, hire Brian Cashman as a consultant for his frank views and fire anyone that thinks this is a bad idea. Yes, this may impact some of your buddies (yes men), so just reassign them where they can do less damage. Finally, when things become manageable, bring in a real GM (Jerry West) who can actually make a difference. Ever wonder why Phil Jackson (an ex-Knick) never seriously considered coaching this team? Mr. Dolan, if you never asked yourself this question then you are at least 50% responsible for this mess.

    My last rant/prop. Granted most don’t get this, but cheers to Pat, aka the rat to others. Mr. Riley never quit on the Knicks, the Knicks quit on him. Thanks for respecting NY and not slinging the mud and congrats with Miami. Btw, the GM position is open in 2 years. Why not 1 year? If you look at Dolanipedia, significant improvement is defined as moving from the 2nd worst to the 4th worst in the NBA.

  9. How can you say Collin?s contributing to the comeback is ?something wierd?? Collins is a nice combo guard with strong defense and a capable offensive player.

    It’s more that the Knick comeback was keyed by quite literally their last two players on the depth chart. That’s pretty weird.

  10. Yeah, while everyone made fun at Brown starting Malike 30-something times last year, it was startling to see how “professional” he was even though his final stat total wasn’t off the charts. I mean, he shut Duncan down a lot, but even when he didn’t, you UNDERSTOOD at least what he was attempting to do. As bad as it is, it seems likely Rose deserves 20 minutes a night on the floor, as he’ll force some of his co-players to play like professionals.

    As for Collins, I was kind of in the Hollinger camp, thinking he was another oversized point guard in the Reece Gaines mode who wouldn’t do well in the NBA — but he played better in that stretch last night than I think Gaines has ever played in the NBA! I don’t know how good he is, but when he was on the court you felt he was a point guard, which no one, especially our beloved Nate, seems to want to do on this team. Francis’ injury may be a blessing to Thomas; he can use Collins w/o officially benching anyone…

    Poor old Jackie Butler didn’t even get activated for the game against the Knicks? If Larry Brown was still coaching the Spurs, he would’ve started him!

  11. The way undersized Malik played Duncan just shows how limited Curry is defensively. I can think of few players as big as Curry that are as invisible on the defensive end. As bad as he is in the half court, he’s worse in transition, getting outrun by the 5 down the middle time after time.

    The Knicks’ starting five is one of the worst defensive teams you’re ever going to see. Marbury and Francis, even when they try (which isn’t often) can’t stop penetration and Frye and Curry are barely above hopeless when the ball gets into the paint.

    The problem starts there.

  12. PATIENCE!!! I know it’s hard to be patient with this team, but i’m telling you that this early struggle will only make this team stronger.

    Right now you have 2 starters and your 6th man slumping. Steph, Frye and Jamal. If you look at their production it’s easy to see why we’re losing. Then add to the fact that we aren’t getting any defense from our starting unit and that just makes it worse. In order to win, we have to have an efficient offense, cuz to start games we have a poor defensive unit. Especially without Jared.

    If you think about it tho, there’s no reason to feel that Steph, Jamal and Frye won’t get it together and start playing better. They’re playing so bad right now that I can’t imagine them playing the entire season this poorly. Steph seemed to snap out of it a bit later in the game, so maybe he’s ready to come out of it. Jamal has always been streaky, so I expect he come around. Frye’s mental slump is a bit more serious.

    Still there’s good news. Curry has looked better so far. Q is back. Nate and Lee are playing well and we got some nice moments from Balkman and Collins.

  13. Marbury is a complete waste on defense. He just lounges out there, never hustles. Also our big men never get blocks because they never have chances. Crawford, MArbury, & Robinson ALWAYS leave there man to help on driving guards. This leads to the kick out three. That’s just killing us.

  14. Not to beat the proverbial dead horse Nixluva, but I’ll say it again…

    You can’t run on offense (which is what Zeke and Marbury kept claiming is what this team would do as soon as LB was gone) unless you get stops on defense and grab defensive rebounds.

    Since this team can’t get stops when it needs them, it will never be able to run as much as it needs to run in order to win. In the half-court (as everybody else has already pointed out) it’s offensively handicapped by the fact that there is no consistent spot-up jump shooter.

    Either Marbury or Francis has to be traded for a jump shooter…preferably a kid with potential. Crawford is another story…he has definitely taken two steps backward under Zeke. As for Frye…no pick and roll = lost. This kid has no idea what his role in the offense is right now. Hopefully, the light bulb will go on soon.

  15. Jim, I join you in applauding Rose. He’s really not much as a player but he made it to the league by knowing how to maximize his ability through effort and intelligence. Pulling the chair out on Duncan twice? That’s because he knew Duncan and knew what was coming.
    Brian, more than weird I think it’s the touch of grey to the silver lining of the dark cloud that was last night’s game. And I have my fingers crossed along with you for Frye, he’s been scary bad.

  16. I was there last night and let me tell you something. Give the ball to Curry and let him get at least 15 shots a night. Even during the come back it was all Malik Rose who would get a turnover on Duncan and then Marbury would come in and pop it. Malik had some good post moves and Nate drove here and there, but there was no passing. The Spurs would pass around 3-4 times per possession while the Knicks would drive and get bailed out by fouls.

    The Knicks are and were the more athletic team last night and when they tried they played well, the problem is that the starting unit doesn’t gel. There needs to be a big change in the starting unit.

    I do think that the Knicks need to trade Crawford, and I say trade him only because he is the only one who people may even want for a pass first point guard. Even the back up point guard for the Spurs was killing the Knicks.

    The guards Marbury and Francis don’t guard anyone and then Curry who is foul prone as it is committs a foul. Lately in order to stay out of foul trouble he moves out of the way. So it was Frye who was getting in foul trouble.

    The offense should be run through Curry and Frye. Pick and rolls and post ups, then have Marbury or Francis slash towards the basket. Get a PG on the roster!

  17. I went to Temple and watched every game Mardy played with the team. Although his style can appear lackadaisical at times that’s not from a lack of effort simple his manner of carrying himself on the court.

    Mardy is a lockdown defender, a decent jump shooter with better then average range and keep in mind Temple usually leads the nation in fewest turnovers allowed.

    At Temple Collin’s was surrounded by no supporting cast and still managed to keep the Owls competitive.

    I couldn’t agree more that the Knicks need to leave the marquee talent alone, get rid of the guys they have now and start developing young players and stockpiling as many picks as possible. As inept as Thomas has been he has shown a propensity for solid draft picks… of course the recent play of Frye discredits that a bit.

  18. Why do marbury/francis/crawford insist on going under the screen on the perimeter? This is basic defense 101. The only way you go under the screen is if your teamate is going to pop out and switch. That’s clearly not going to happen. Do we really want curry/Frye/Lee guarding Tony Parker at the top of the key? So I ask again…Why do marbury/francis/crawford insist on going under the screen on the perimeter? Because they’re lazy. When the knicks began that comeback, one of the things they were doing was getting over the screen and preventing penetration. I say start Nate and let Starbury(*snicker, snicker*) and Franchise(NOT) take turns starting at 2 guard.

  19. I like Nate’s energy too, but his defense is just as horrible as the stars. Rose, Lee, Collins were the guys doing the dirty work on defense. Robinson was a sparkplug and energizer, but he got burnt on screens and picks a lot last night too, and he often abandoned his man in overeager attempts to help others. I really don’t think Robinson can defend for 30 minutes a game in any meaningful way, never mind his passing rate, which is WORSE than it was last year…

  20. I agree with Jim, Nate leaves his man way to much. Frye just looks lost, plus he has lost all confidence.

  21. Alex
    No, I agree sometimes he’s helping (that’s exactly what I said in my post in fact), but I disagree (as was the main point in my initial post, too!) in you leaving him off of the shameful reaction to screens list. He’s been downright terrible on the screens, as well, in my opinion…I agree, he’s playing w/ more energy than the other guys, fair enough. But you don’t think he’s been amateur hour on the screens?

  22. I don’t mind Malik Rose on defense, it’s when he tries to do too much on offense that kills me. Remember Rose shot a pitiful 37.5% eFG and a posted a 10.3 PER last year. I can’t stand it when he tries to work inside. Looking at 82games, Rose had 20% of his close shots blocked. That’s double either Frye or Lee. I’d take Malik Rose, but someone tell him to only shoot when no one else is within 10 feet of him.

    We wouldn’t even be having this discussion if Frye were playing well on offense.

  23. a big problem is that mardy is really the only point guard on the team. nate rob has been really impressive. yeah, he doesn’t pass, but he also gets to the hoop at will. and he gives a crap on defense. not that he’s great at it, and he’s undersized, but he tries. and that’s half the battle.

    marbury, crawford and francis don’t give a crap on defense. that’s a huge problem when they’re taking much of the minutes.

    we can’t run if we can’t stop anyone.

    at times, with marbury, francis, crawford and curry on the floor, that they’re the worst defensive team i’ve ever seen, with a complete lack of defensive principles we all learned in high school and, worse, with a complete lack of effort to make up for it.

    jeffries can’t get back too soon.

  24. Jim
    Ignore me. I’m looking for bright spots in a very bleak lineup. I pumped myself all summer that they could compete. I had visions of Marbury running the pick and pop with Frye draining 15 footers all night. Crawford and Curry connecting with that baseline spin alley-oop endlessly. Francis only occasionally overdribbling and breaking someones ankles for comic relief. Nate and Lee coming off the bench and providing energy. Malik Rose NOT taking that baseline jumper he couldn’t hit for his life last season. I even bought into the whole…Jerome James worked out all summer and came to camp in shape tripe. I had it all planned out. It was going to be wonderful. MSGHD 2 to 3 times a week. Knicks in 60 on Wednesdays because I play ball from 8 to 10 that night. It was supposed to be awesome. Now, Quentin Richardson is their best player? The horror…the horror…

  25. it’s a bad sign when TONY PARKER almost single handedly out-assists your entire team (10 for Parker, 12 for the Knicks) – and it’s even worse a sign when your team is composed of 50% point guards.

  26. Ammad, yes it would be nice if Curry got 15 shots or more per night but its not like a deli where you can take a number and order shots. Curry stands in the post, he almost never fights for position and calls for the ball. Watch Curry, I did for the third quarter against SAS and he’s only kinda looking for the ball.

    His lack of aggression on the defensive end is matched by his assertiveness on offense. The question for Curry isn’t what he will do with 15 to 20 shots per night, but will he work to get 15 to 20 shots per night.

  27. Here’s a weird thought – might the Knicks just be better off going back to their 2004-05 offense?

    I mean, their offense wasn’t that bad that year, and they’ve added a lot better offensive players since then, right?

    So why not just let Marbury be “Starbury.” Until Curry and Frye get better, Marbury is still the team’s best player, so why NOT give it a shot with Marbury doing his “bring the ball up court and then decide what I want to do with it.”

    This will feature the return of the pick and roll with Frye.

    There may be a regression with Curry, but that should be addressed by Curry ASKING for the freakin’ ball – if he actually fought for position, you can be sure Marbury WOULD find him.

  28. Isiah quote

    “I’m a fighter myself and I want people who are going to fight and compete,” Thomas said after Monday’s loss. “And if you’re not going to fight and compete, then I’m the president and we can give you a pink slip, too.”

    Am I the only one sick of hearing him talk about how he’s a fighter?

  29. Does anyone remember last season when it was rumored that the Lakers had offered Andrew Bynum straight up for Frye? At the time, it sounded ridiculous. However, Bynum has been great all season and had a 20/10 last night against Minnesota. Meanwhile, Channing Frye has been playing like Carol Channing.

  30. I thought the Knicks were trying to get the Lakers to package Bynum WITH Odom for Frye, with the Lakers fully willing to do Odom for Frye, but not willing at all to part with Bynum.

  31. I am not one to start spouting trades but do you think that LA would still do Frye + Francis/Marbury for Odom because that would solve almost all of our problems.

  32. Lamar odom is not the kind of person who solves all of a teams problems. he does not have the dedication or the basketball I.Q. to be part of a good team. sure he can be phenomenal every so often, especially when he is the only person with more than 4 years experience and a decent game on the court. he was exactly that with KB24 out, but he cant produce like he did consitently.
    The knicks sould not continue to look for one person to solve all their problems. the perpetual change is one of the things creating most of those problems. the knicks should stick it out, and try to make a trade in the off season, to just unload a lot of guys.

  33. I know this is not on topic, however, I just wanted to ask fellow NYK fan…


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