Knick Previews From Elsewhere

Normally I’m not much for mainstream analysis, but I really like this article. Some tidbits:

Last year was a big turning point in the career of Zach Randolph in terms of slimming down and tapping into his potential, and now he’ll be in the NBA’s largest market with a chance to show the world what he feels they’ve been missing…

David Lee is going to need at least as big, if not a bigger role than he had last year… Thomas has been astoundingly against starting David Lee in the past and may very well continue to ply his services off of the bench, but as of right now he is their best, and most sensible, option at the small forward spot. He is an exceptional rebounder – especially on the offensive end – and he is an obscenely efficient shooter at 60%. Should he not be tabbed to start for the Knicks look for Renaldo Balkman or Quentin Richardson to man the spot, each bringing a very distinct look to the position, be it defense and hustle or shooting and rebounding. No matter what, Thomas has options here and just because someone starts the season here doesn’t mean they’ll end it here…

[Crawford] would be one of the most attractive trade targets if only his contract wasn’t in the $8 million per year range because teams like Orlando and Minnesota could desperately use his backcourt scoring. As it is, he is forced to stick it out another four years in New York blue and orange…

Curry has demonstrated an almost stubborn approach to development and commitment as an NBA player. To watch the Knicks last year was to watch the most reluctant 20 point per game scorer in the NBA operate. Curry looks utterly unconvincing in the role of franchise player, regardless of what his stats would lead you to believe. He was literally force-fed the ball for every minute he was on the court, most big-men’s dream, and he still looked to pass out or over-dribble too much. Combine that with the fact that he is laughably disinterested in rebounding for someone his size, and I don’t even know if he’s even been asked to play defense given how bad he is at it and this guy starts looking more and more unattractive as a centerpiece all the time.

Grade: B

Despite no cap room and a huge payroll, Isiah managed to land an All-Star caliber player (Randolph) without giving up too much. But if the chemistry isn’t right, it could backfire.

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Mike Kurylo

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

24 thoughts to “Knick Previews From Elsewhere”


  2. Chemistry is the elephant in the Garden.
    Don’t be surprised if Randolph’s and Lee’s performance so outpaces Curry that they start eating into Curry’s minutes.

    This may be a radical view, but if Curry doesn’t show more energy – on offense, defense and the boards – his minutes could drop to 25 or 20 per game, and you likely will see a Lee, Randolph, Balkman front for big parts of the game.

  3. THat’s not radical at all – I think it would easily be our best frontcourt lineup. I think Curry would do well as a scoring “role player” in 20 or 25 mins.

  4. Curry doesn’t fit at all and we don’t need him. isiah doesn’t acknowledge it yet but he went in a completely different direction from last year in acquiring Z-Bo.

  5. “if Curry doesn?t show more energy – on offense, defense and the boards – his minutes could drop to 25 or 20 per game”.

    Not to bring the Larry Brown conversation to this thread or anything, but I’m not so sure that Isiah, as coach, will cut Eddy’s minutes for anything. More than all the other transactions Isiah has made, it is the Eddy Curry trade that his name is going to be tied to. Last year Isiah declared Eddy the untouchable franchise player that the offense gets run through on every play. If Brown was still coach, he would be able to handle Curry’s minutes much more objectively than Isiah can. I’m not sure I’d go as far as to say that Isiah’s interests are conflicted, or that he doesn’t want the team to succeed, but there is a seed in my head that tells me Isiah would rather have Curry succeed over the team– Curry to be an all star; Curry to average 23 a game; Curry to make third team all NBA, all while the team scrambles for the 8th seed, rather than cut his minutes, play a more productive lineup, and win the Atlantic. Maybe the acquisition of Randolph shows an abandonment of Curry, but I think it’s more likely that Isiah sees Eddy and Randolph being a 1-2 interior punch, and Lee is more expendable in his eyes than Curry.

    Or maybe not. I’m just become highly skeptical of the GM/coach (as the Malik Rose thread attests…)

  6. bball retards…you guys don’t see that we’ll go beyond first round post season. Your love affair withthe great white hope blinds you from seeing the real grit breeders. Your vibes is as low as the Knicks record..could you be contaminating them? YEPPA grow up and learn the game..thats why the call it a game, retards.

  7. IT has a lto invested in Eddy Curry, and might be deluding himself into thinking he’s better than he is. But I don’t think he would hesitate a minute to sit Curry if he thought it would help the team – he knows his job security depends more on W-L than Curry’s numbers.

    I also take his public comments with a grain of salt – unlike Larry Brown he knows there’s nothing to be gained by embarrassing players in public. If he ever trades Curry, IT will be singing his praises until the moment he sticks in the shiv. “Son, you’re going to Memphis.”

  8. G.M. or Coach? Isiah have to do one to the fullest this season.

    Why is Isiah Thomas logic about the performance of David Lee so negative?

    What did Frye do in his rookie season so appealing to Isiah that David Lee did not do last season to make Isiah put Frye in the Starting lineup? what must David Lee do to get into the Starting lineup?

    I say this because of Isiah Thomas “Decision Making” last season. Every NBA Coach wished they had a Guard Lineup of Marbury, Francis, and Crawford, with a fast push the ball up court 3 point shooter in Nate Robinson.
    There was no reason at all that Marbury & Francis should have been on the court at the sametime in the first half of the season. They should have been each others backup.

    The samething goes with Eddy Curry and Channing Frye, every NBA Coach would’ve LUV to have Frye backingup Curry in their rotation.
    Under Coach Larry Brown it was recognized that Curry & Frye had the same Big-Man Game, only thing differ was one had an inside game and the other had an outside game. But both played the Center Positions the same from the baseline to the paint (Conflict of interest together).
    And the same exact thing with “Marbury & Francis” but a BIGGER “Conflict of interest” on whom is the better (Franchise) PG. “I am the BEST PG in the NBA!” this challenge still lives on in the NBA (oponents and teammates).

    Having Curry & Frye backup each other, and having Marbury & Francis backup each other would have been a great rotation of players on this Knick Team. But the Icing on the Cake was at SF with Q.Richardson & Balkman backing each other up (both added defense & Rebounding).

    The two Players that was supposed to LOG in the majority of playingtime last season was David Lee and Jamal Crawford (They were the Leading Rebounder and the Leading Scorer).
    Their was no way that Marbury or Curry should’ve lead this Knick Team in minutes played if Frye & Francis were put as their Backups (all four players would have had to play defense).

    Last season the Knicks were an above .500 team with two Centers (Curry & Frye), two SF-(Q.Rich & Balkman), and two PG-(Marbury & Francis).
    Coach Isiah had an easy task last season by just matching the three positions above and Running with them all season long untill the MESHING process took affect in midseason.
    Marbury, Q.Rich, and Curry “VS” Francis, Balkman, and Frye.
    These were SIX players that would be needed in the rotation in the Post Season games.

    Throughout the regular season last year the Knicks had PF-Malik Rose & David Lee with some spearing peremeter defensive minutes for Jared Jefferies.
    The Knicks had SG-Nate & Crawford with some spearing peremeter defense minutes for Jared Jefferies.

    Injuries last season was not the reason why the Knicks did not have an above .500 season it was Head Coach Isiah Thomas “SAVE-FACE” poor decision making coaching. Which lead to an entire season without any chemistry minstered to high contract player$ that are hard to trade.

    The perfomance of Q.Richardson, David Lee, and Jamal Crawford last season should not have been put as 2nd Fiddle to anyone on the Knick Roster they were the best TRIO on the team.

    Will Head Coach Isiah Thomas put on his coaching cap this 2007-8 season and start out fresh his second season coaching this Knick Team with an 8-Man rotation that Click together for 3-quarters to WIN, so the other teammates could get some garbage playingtime here and there?

  9. No way Curry can be a franchise guy if you have Randolph scoring as much, and rebounding too.
    Unless Curry’s play justifies it, I’m convinced that Randolph and Lee will make it impossible for Curry to get 30 mpg.
    Balkman also will force a reduction of minutes for Q at SF, and increase Q’s minutes at SG. Crawford will have to split his minutes with Q and Marbury at the guard slots. The loser there will be Robinson, who will be lucky to get 10 mpg.
    The Knicks will need Q to shoot for high percentage from the perimeter. Crawford will need to take fewer shots, and fewer crappy shots with the scoring the Knicks have. That will help him.

    This all could change, because I suspect the Knicks have another big trade coming their way. They have too many players.

  10. I dont have a clue on what the Knicks organization was doing when they gave Isiah Thomas that extension to his contract last midseason.
    It very scary now in Knick-land this September because Isiah have to make a TRADE to reduce the roster. And in Isiah trades the Knicks always come out with the shortest end of the trade. Although, Isiah is 100% on drafting.
    This past draft Isiah picked a much needed player for this Knick Team in the 2nd round of the draft in 6.8 Demetris Nichols, a BIG-SG that has great peremeter-defense and great shooting range (A Syracuse Product).
    SG-Nichols could give Q.Richardson a relief at the SG position so Q.Rich could consentrate more on the SF position with Balkman Backing him up for the majority of playingtime at the SF position to keep Q.Rich from his back injury flaring-up this season.

    But …. then again anything could happen to this Knick roster when Isiah trade to reduce the roster from 17 players to 15 players.

  11. “He was literally force-fed the ball”

    pretty sure this isn’t really true, although it does make for a funny image, a la ‘Clockwork Orange’, with Curry strapped down in the lane and his mouth pried open…

  12. I think the fact that Curry was “force-fed” the ball is a valid point. At first I was thinking that every post player is fed the ball, unless they dribble up the court and proceed to post their man up. In fact, most scorer other than the PG are “fed” the ball.

    Then I realized we’re still left with the “force” part of force-fed, which would seem to be the more important part. The Knicks offense seemed entirely too predictable and static last season. I think “force” is a pretty good word to describe the Knicks trying to get Curry the ball.

    I think one of the reasons we all love Lee and Balkman so much is that the Knicks’ game plan last season basically implied letting the other team score almost at will; then on the other side of the court concentrating so hard on getting Curry the ball that if they couldn’t or he got the ball in a position where he couldn’t score/ was effectively defended/ double+ teamed, there was no offensive plan left. Judging from Isiah and Curry’s rips at the team’s jump shooting the intention of the plan was for Curry to kick it out and get guys wide open jumpers. This makes a lot of sense, but I see some obvious problems with the plan. 1. There were apparently no jump shooters last season, yet the only ones brought in were Randolph and Nichols. Maybe a healthy roster plus these additions will be enough? 2. Curry has shown no ability to pass over the last 6 seasons. 3. No one moves away from the ball much except for Lee and Balkman. It’s hard to get open for Curry to pass to you if you stand in one place, hoping the defense will forget about you is probably not enough.

    Anyway, I think we all love Lee and Balkman because they were the only break we got from this flawed plan. The two were basically the only Knicks who received some minutes and had both the effort and skill to be effective defenders. They moved away from the ball to get themselves in a position to score. Maybe it resulted from their inability to hit jumpers (although I remember someone posting Lee’s numbers on jumpers from last year and his rookie year which showed that he was not only far less effective on jumpers as a sophmore, but also took far fewer of his shots in the form of jumpers) but it seemed to work.

    Anyway, I didn’t even check what context this term was used in and clearly have no life.

  13. yes, it’s the word “literally” that makes the sentence incorrect, not the “force-fed” part. you could replace “literally” with “incessantly” and you’d be all set.


  14. Wow….

    Los Angeles Times –
    Kobe Bryant has a supporter for his vendetta with Lakers management, and it comes from an unlikely source, The Los Angeles Times is reporting.

    Head coach Phil Jackson made his views clear this week in a series of interviews that, in subtler tones, were just as indelibly damaging as Bryant’s tagging spree of several months ago.

    Like Bryant, Jackson said that a member of the Buss family misled him.

    “We were promised by Jim Buss we’d have big changes,” he told Petros Papadakis and Matt Smith on their KLAC radio show. “We’ve yet to see that. We’re still looking for that.”

    Like Bryant, Jackson intimated that Andrew Bynum might be more valuable as trade bait.

    “There’s incredible pressure for that kid to step up and produce this year,” he told the radio hosts, later adding, “He hasn’t had the kind of success that generates the kind of press he’s had.”

    Finally, like Bryant, Jackson talked about the need for the Lakers to repair the relationship torn apart by Bryant.

    “I think actions are going to have to speak louder than words…” he told The Times’ Mark Heisler. “It’s going to take some mending and other people in this organization have to be part of it, too.”

  15. Kobe has a completely legitimate beef with Lakers management and ownership. If they had the opportunity to trade Bynum for Kidd, and turned it down because of financial issues, which is the only possible reason you could turn that trade down at this point, then Kobe has every reason to be incensed.

    One could easily argue Jason Kidd was statistically the best basketball player in the league last year. He averaged eight rebounds per game as a point guard, which is ridiculous. He is a great defender. Put him on the Lakers instead of Andrew Bynum, who is also on the list of players not as good as Samuel Dalembert (yet anyway), and you have a team that is legitimately capable of winning an NBA title. I wouldn’t say that team is better than the Spurs, Suns, and Mavericks, but they might be as good, and they would be incredibly exciting to watch.

    The Lakers with Kidd would have the most productive guard tandem, by an enormous margin, in the NBA. You would have a near superstar in Lamar Odom at the PF. And you would have a very capable and productive complementary player in Luke Walton at the small forward. If you can get average production from Brown, Evans, Turiaf etc in the frontcourt, and from Vujacic on the wing, which is more or less what they all offered last year, that is a very dangerous team.

    It’s not surprising to me that Kobe and Phil are pissed. This is a team that actually is a Bynum trade away from being a legit contender, and they won’t do it because of money and the possible emergence of Bynum, which is probably two years away if it happens at all.

    Bynum will be only be 20 this year in his second season. It took Kobe four years to reach his potential, and that was as a wing player. It’s difficult to imagine Bynum being dominant, and if he gets there 3-5 years down the line, then you are trying to win the an aging Kobe.

    If you care at all about winning championships you have to make that trade. And it certainly does seem like the Buss’ don’t care, or care more about the bottom line.

  16. here is my amazing knicks lineup. we rly rn’t that bad

    point-mardy collins for 20 min, nate for 20
    SG-crawford for 20, nichols for 20
    SF-balkman for 30, lee for 10
    PF Z.Randolf for 20, lee for 20
    C curry for 30, randolf for 10

    i think thats a powerful lineup.
    once marbury jeffries and james get over thier shitty contracts we will have money to maybe get a good point, and we could trade away people like nate and crawford, who both suk. i think the lineup i said could be a 500 team or so, and once our young talent of balkman lee nichols collins and morris-who wont play much this season- will be even better. we could even get a good free agent now that we would be finally under the salary cap. we could also trade away curry and randolf, which i’m all for.

  17. that rotation is completely unrealistic
    first of all, its 40 minutes a position, those are college numbers, nba is 48 per.

    More realistic would be

    pg marbury 34 robinson 14 mardy filling in against big points like kidd. cric from la

    sg crawford 32-36 balkman 8-16 more against big 2s robinson playing minutes against smaller twos. nichols getting wrap up time only until later in season HE is a second round rookie!!

    sf q 28 to ease back stress, balkman 12 to 20,
    jeffries to fill in if balkman in as a 2, chandler to get time at 3 and 4 over season as fillin when first 8 in foul trouble or if injury ensues

    pf randolf 32 lee 16 chandler as fillin if injury
    or foul trouble, jeffries can play here if weight up, morris in emergency
    c curry 32 lee 12 morris 4

    that creates a basic 9 man rotation
    mar 34
    cr 34
    q 28
    z-r 32
    cur 32
    lee 28
    balk 20-28}minute distribution depends on matchups
    n8 14-28}
    jeffries/morris 4-8 depending who is playing better

    might seem to be ok to go with 8 and up lee’s minutes, however when you do actual substitutions, need a 4 to 10 minute guy for 4/5 as lee can only sub for one front courter at a time.

    If collins shows well, could give him some marbury minutes in some games to reduce stress on marbury’s knees

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