Knicks 88 Trail Blazers 94

	Pace (Poss)	Eff	eFG	FT/FG	OREB%	TOr
NYK	81.2 (89.7)	96.7	40.4%	12.8	34.7	15.4
POR			106.4	47.1%	15.1	19.1	6.8

Ouch that shooting percentage just jumps out at you. If it weren’t for the Knicks tremendous advantage in rebounding, this one isn’t even close. The main contributors on the glass were David Lee (15 REB, 6 OREB), Zach Randolph (13 REB, 1 OREB), Renaldo Balkman (10 REB, 7 OREB), and Nate Robinson (8 REB, 1 OREB). The offensive rebounding of Lee & Balkman either exposed a Blazer weakness under the glass, or punctuated their strength to create second opportunities. Amazing how Randolph only managed one offensive rebound. Combine that stat with only 2 free throw attempts and you can really see how much loves that jump shot from 18 feet. Jamal Crawford just killed them on offense 6-27 with 1-11 from behind the arc. That’s 10 missed three pointers. Ugh I cringe at looking at my fantasy team’s FG% this morning.

They kept the Blazers under their shooting percentage for the season, so it was a good defensive effort there. Seeing how Balkman got a season high 30 minutes, that shouldn’t be surprising. Or maybe it’s the lack of Curry & Marbury? Or the addition of Fred Jones? Not sure, but the Knicks need more defensive efforts like this.

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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).

62 thoughts to “Knicks 88 Trail Blazers 94”

  1. they lost this game for the same reason they lost against LA and GS – whent he game gets close they dont have a set they feel comfortable running to get a good shot… thats Isiahs fault.

    But, the team is full of one dimensional players and might be more effiecient in a Inside out or fast paced game. So i see where Isiahs coming from and why he doesnt install more complex offensive sets.

  2. since I don’t think it’s been mentioned here yet, there was a stat flashed during the game showing that David Lee leads the league in percentage of his shots getting blocked, close to 15 percent, 3 percent more than anyone else. Okafor was second and Duncan was fourth, FWIW, but still not something you want to be in the league leaders in.

  3. Good effort on the glass and defense by the Knicks, tough loss, but another great win for some young Blazers who continue to impress, especially when it counts, and overcoming there own weaknesses in height and experience. Freddy Jones is a keeper for sure–wish we had him back in Portland. Zach–ughh–his line just reminds me of his days in Portland, and so does the big L. You know he is the only Blazer to lead the team in points and rebounds for four consecutive seasons? And, all-star appearances…zero. That says something about Zach–so does showing up late to the games, only getting one offensive rebound, and no assists, blocks or steals. Obviously, he jsut hangs in the paint on D, getting easy defensive rebounds, and increasing the opponents fg%–which is exactly why the Knicks lost to a team they outrebounded…

    Sorry for the negativity, but you have my sympathy, and I know you Knicks fans have the will and power to force change on your franchise a lot faster than we in Portland could.

  4. ouch Thorn’s comment said it all. discouraging to see that his concept has such logic and legs: That Zack’s high defensive rebounding numbers reflect his flabby-minded tendency to stand in the defensive paint, or not contest, or be badly enough beaten so that he is in a better position to rebound from behind.

    it’s terrible for a man to have such skill, agility and talent and be such a malingerer on D. Since his arms obviously lack any muscle and weigh nothing, it should be much easier for Slim to raise them in just a token gesture of opposition, but he is clearly thinking about donuts whenever he doesn’t have the ball. rebounding simply represents another chance for him to touch it, so he is instinctively drawn to the act. his offensive problems are well-known here.
    (side note: Z has that unfortunate body structure of a slender enough man with an eternally chubby boy’s face. doesn’t even appear to be poorly conditioned, as far as gas and motor. i wonder how such a physical imprisonment has affected his mind.)
    and lastly: Heavens but Z has no delicacy with his too-deliberate spinning maneuvers down low! am i correct in feeling that he may be among league leaders in haphazard, forced and unlikely post shots? kind of flailing, and predictable at that, of course. rather like a very skilled pick-up player down there sometimes and i am serious. not enough touch, always trying to bank it though, and predictably dedicated to shooting it in general)

    yeah and Jamal felt awful last night i could tell. but lord the man needs to know when is enough. yes that jumper is there all day bc nobody can stop his bakes but it’s a hard one and the fool needs to get to the hole where he can probably loft an improbable tear-drop or fail to see his team-mate half the time. it kills me to see him pull up time after time, and not develop a better, more explosive extension to the basket when he drives for that matter. what’s all that floating business? Jamal treats the NBA like his circus.

  5. Seems to me that the starting lineup they had for this game, plus giving Balk some serious minutes may just be there best, If it werent for Jamals dreadful night it would be a victory.

    Screw it let Curry rot, if he aint scoring he aint no good, As much as I like Q, he has been dreadful this year. I like what I saw, this starting lineup has everything you need, bench is a little thin, but hell make Curry your sixth man.

  6. jon,

    i wonder what would happen if the number was adjusted for % shots taken close. i suspect lee and okefor have higher % of such shots than duncan.

  7. I blame this loss on Isiah’s late game coaching. It seemed pretty clear that Jamal was stuggling at the end of the game. He had missed 7 shots in a row. So what do we do with the last minute and thirty seconds, run three isolation plays for Jamal. On top of that he did not attack the basket one of those times instead opting to do his step back fadeaway all three times.

  8. Watching these western conf teams is a revelation. Every team is young and talented with a stud or two and good shooters all over the place. How nice would it be to watch Deron or Brandon night in and night out, not to mention Kobe and Baron Davis and Stephen Jackson (very underrated in my opinion). We spend lots of time bemoaning our big men, but it is more and more apparnet to me that our biggest weaknesses are at the skill positions. Even when Jamal gets you 30, it’s at great cost. He is clearly not a starter on any of the teams we played so far on this trip.

    This trip has proven that while it’s fun to watch the young guys compete, but we are not a last 3-minutes type of team, especially on the road. I thought that Lee and Balkman were outplayed by Aldridge and Outlaw in crunch time because the latter two are true scoring options when D is clamped down. Case in point: if Jamal pass to Lee or Balkman to take the tying shot like Roy did to Outlaw, what probably happens? Clank, or swing it to make someone else force it up as 24-second clock expires. I also noticed that Roy’s putback of his own miss was right over the great rebounder and defender Lee and that Outlaws shot was over the great perimeter defender Balkman.

    True, we were one Jamal jumper away from a win, but it was disturbing to watch how we lost the lead so perdictably in the first place. Nate, Zach and Jamal were putrid on O, but they were basically going 3 on 5.

    Hopefully Nate and Jamal will have something left in their home town tonight.

  9. “How nice would it be to watch Deron or Brandon night in and night out, not to mention Kobe and Baron Davis and Stephen Jackson (very underrated in my opinion).”

    I can’t recommend League Pass enough. a steady dose of just Knicks is enough to kill anyone’s love for the NBA.

  10. I pin this loss completely on isiah. Where is it written that in the last fewminutes of the fourth quarter that the only play the knicks can run is an iso with jamal? It’s one thing if he’s been good the whole game but what about Nate dribble drive or post up with zach or anything? Especially with jamal being guarded by Roy who really looks like a solid player. Sheesh.

    Jamal looks like he’s starting to wear down a little. Isiah really needs to cut his minutes back.

  11. what was up with zach’s shot clock violations on two straight possessions? is he in his own world? did nobody tell him how much time was left? also, i think i saw him give up the ball on offense twice all game, and one was to save the ball after a bad pass to him.

    outlaw was super impressive. there was that one play when lee went to double someone on the perimeter and couldn’t get back in time. outlaw drove in for a dunk. zach barely moved to help. i guess that’s his game.

  12. I HAVE BEEN THINKING ABOUT CURRY COMING OFF THE BENCH FOR MONTHS NOW
    IF THE STARING LINE UP WAS CRAWFORD,Z-BO,LEE,BALKMAN,AND NATE
    NOW YOU HAVE CURRY,JEFFRIES,JONES, JAMES, AND Q COMING OFF THE BENCH.
    THERE IS NO DOUBT THE KNICKS MUST MAKE A MOVE TO AQUIRE A ALL AROUND PLAYER. BUT THE EFFORT AND ENERGY WOULD BE THERE IN ALL OPENING MINUTES OF EVERYGAME LET THE TEAMS WEAR DOWN A BIT THEN THROW CURRY IN ATLEAST NOW THE GAME WILL SLOW DOWN TO HIS PACE. PLUS HES A HUGE DEFENSIVE LIABILITY. PUT HIM IN SPARATICLY AND USE HIM AS YOUR SECRET WEAPON YANK HIM EVERYTIME HE PUTS UP MEDIOCRE EFFORT

  13. Amen to league pass….

    Cwod = The shot clock was broken in Portland, they head a reserve clock in the corner, and zach couldn’t see it…

    I don’t think Lee and Balkman were the problem in crunch time. Balkman had two late buckets, one of a tip, one of a nice pass by Jamal. And he played superb defense. I think it’s just bad coaching and a bad night for jamal.

  14. Was LaMarcus Aldridge really a +29 for the game? How can someone be +29 in an overtime game? I guess he had a quiet but highly significant impact on the game…

  15. see Isiah today says he’s completely happy with Zach Randolph, that he’s “given me everything I could have expected.” I believe the league would be within its rights to test Isiah for signs of hallucinogen use.

    Last night’s game was the usual maddening mix. They played great for three quarters, passing, defending, Lee and Balkman and Robinson playing well. (The ESPN announcers repeatedly asked: Why isn’t Lee playing 35 minutes per game? Why isn’t Balkman playing 20? GOOD questions, no? The knicks are playing .300 ball–what possible reason is there not to play those who hustle hardest) Then the game gets close.

    Then Isiah’s notion of coaching is to STOP doing everything that’s worked and hand the ball to Crawford, and let him put it three times between his legs and hoist four consecutive 27 footers, all of which he missed.

    Nor do I buy this notion that Isiah does not run sets because his team isn’t built that way. If a team can’t run a set play, a single set, then really it’s not an NBA team. And the architect of such a “team” should be collecting unemployment checks.

  16. “see Isiah today says he’s completely happy with Zach Randolph, that he’s “given me everything I could have expected.” I believe the league would be within its rights to test Isiah for signs of hallucinogen use.”

    hehe, he said some of his guys should be on the All-Star team also, but sadly wouldn’t name names when pressed.

    you have to keep laughing, otherwise you’d have to cry.

  17. I do cry…

    The rest of Isiah’s hallucinogenic quote was: “[Randolph’s] points and rebounds is what we needed. Guys who can score 20 and 10. When Channing develops, he’ll be a guy who can score 20 points and 10 rebounds, but so we got one now.”

    Interesting considering the Knicks as a team are scoring 3 pts per game less this year than last, and their team rebounding numbers are the exact same. If Isiah really diagnosed the problem with last years team as scoring and rebounding, and not something a little less glamorous, like say DEFENSE, then he is even dumber than Jim Dolan.

    Especially if he really thought Frye would develop into the player he says he will. Definitely worth having that player now, rather than in the future…

    I wish reporters would ask him for evidence to support his arguments. Like to prove that Curry’s scoring and Lee’s rebounding, both down this year, wouldn’t be up like last year if the trade hadn’t happened.

    The rest of his defense of the Randolph trade:

    “When we traded Steve, we weren’t getting a lot out of him. And giving up Channing, we gave up a quality player and a quality person, a young player who I think is going to have a tremendous career. We got back a player who’s already developed, who’s already putting up 20 and 10 every night. So on paper, I thought it was a good trade for both teams. And winning-wise, we’ve had our difficulties, but it hasn’t been because of Zach.”

  18. jon, that % of shots blocked stat is no big deal. Someone (Harvey Pollack?) used to keep track of that stat and the guys who led were usually undersized or unathletic big men. Karl Malone led it a couple of times, Shareef Abdur-Rahim “dominated” it and it didn’t stop them from being excellent offensive players (yes, I do think Shareef was an excellent offensive player. It was his defense that was the problem).

  19. Channings not going to be a 20 ,10 guy. No way…plus theres no room for him to develop in Portland once Oden comes back. He’ll be coming off the bench for a long time unless he leaves Oregon. With the Knicks winning streak and now losing streak it looks like we’ll be picking around 5 or 6 in the lottery…. OJ MAYO anyone?

  20. Was just trolling through 82games, Crawford, Richardson, Curry is the eleventh worse trio in basketball this year….

  21. Donte Green if we are at 5 or 6…Magic says Knicks are in the playoffs, if that happens I like Thabeet or Hardin from Cal

  22. Thomas needs to turn on the filter and stop saying stuff that makes people think he has gone ga-ga. Zeke strikes me as a dreamer, you know somebody who thinks they can climb every mountain. That’s fine and looking at his life; he did do that.
    Problem is, he thinks he can translate this to everybody. So we get a parade of talented underachievers in here, all of whom he thinks he can “fix” and turn them into all stars. So far most of his experiments have not really worked out all that well. His fire, his passion for the game- that is a huge part of what makes great players great. But not everybody has it.

    Anyhow back to the Zeke is a dreamer point. Those guys may make great motivators, but man to have one lead the front office, choose players? He needs somebody of opposite character to put the breaks on when Zeke gets into the whole “I think Eddie Curry can be the centerpiece of the team” rave. You know somebody to bring him back to reality (uum Zeke, look – Eddie Curry’s stats are more like Chris Gatling’s than Pat Ewing’s). You can’t pick all the underdogs all the time, they don’t all pan out.

  23. I just gotta comment on the Shareef/Randoplh comparison–other than numbers there’s none. Shareef was a class act who did everything to help carry talentless teams or be a team player (but maybe you should compare their shot block/steals/assist numbers–I’m guessing those are dramatically different). Zach is a class clown at best who does everything wrong, sacrifices nothing for his team, and destroys chemistry. Okay–so that was an emotional rant, but I loved Shareef as a Blazer and Zach still makes me wretch on any team…

  24. I think we can now stick a fork in this season. This is the what, third year in a row that the season is done before the Superbowl? That is sad.

    I spotted some draft talk on the post. If we have the 5th pick do we take Roy Hibbert? I have heard great things about Donte Green but we need a center that can block shots and play some d. Perhaps we can trade Curry to get a solid point or another pick.

    In a way we are getting something we need. We see some improvements with the team but they are winning enough to screw up the draft position. We really need a top flight point or a defensive minded center.

  25. Abdur-Rahim wasn’t in Portland very long, 2600 minutes over parts of two seasons.

    I stick by my post, it’s not a coincidence his teams never made the playoffs while he was the main guy (the first nine years of his career), same as Zach, and both are/were sieves on D.

  26. I think I’m actually all for us losing at this point to improve the draft position. That’s really all we’ve got right now. Maybe we can make a trade or 2 for some expiring contracts and draft picks. It’s time to go the way of the Grizzly. Definitely have to take Beasley if he’s there, but I like Hibbert too. He can block shots and step in right away b/c he’s older. We really need both! I’d like trade Zach for a 9-16 pick and expiring contracts. Then get Beasley or a good pg and a big man later on, maybe Lopez. Maybe even trade Jamal for a pick/expiring contracts. Start it over. I would say Curry too, but c’mon, he has no value. Our only real “players” are Nate, Lee, and Balkman. That’s a 1,3, and 4 (all as roll players.) Now look for a 2 or 5 that can be a superstar someday through the draft. It’ll be a slow process and we’ll need some luck in the lottery, but it’s the only way…

  27. Jon, you’re right on the numbers and results. Hope I didn’t sound know-it-allsy in my response–I was writing late last night…With Abdur Rahim It was more of a chemistry and character thing…his attitude was good for the team and community. For so long, we in Portland who know hoops, were just sick to our stomach for years with the ‘wrong’ kind of players and management…Whitsitt, Pick-your-jail-blazer, and a Billionaire owner who has no clue about how to build a team–even though he fell in love with a team that epitomized that idea (aka, Clyde and company)–but thought he could buy one…now Paul Allen’s finally learned. It still amazes me that a guy like Isaiah, or other great players, struggle so hard to be good coaches or managers…anyway, good discussion everyone! Go Giants!

  28. The only things that would keep Beasely out of the top 2 are a federal indictment and double micro fracture surgery. Odds are that the Knicks will fall between 3-6 if things stand pat. So they wont likely be able to draft him. Minny just past the Heat record wise, which is good since they need Rose or Gordan. It might be hard pairing Beasely with Jefferson.

  29. Now that the Lakers picked up Gasol to play with Bynum, they have a very good 5-4 set, maybe the best in the West. Would a WC team be crazy enought tp try to combat that by picking up Eddy Curry from the Knicks?

    There are not many teams that would want him. Jerry Sloan and the Jazz are too bright to fall for that. Houston doesn’t need a center. Would the Suns bite? Maybe for the matrix but Amare would cost you Curry, Lee, and a swap of first rounders this year.

    I don’t know, i’m just so bored with this team. I welcome almost any change.

  30. Bad enough to be an NBA laughingstock, but not bad enough to get a top-three pick. Except, of course, in the year in where we traded away our lottery pick for the legendary bust named “Muffins.”

    Welcome to the hell that is Isiah Thomas.

  31. Re: Western conference teams – people on this board have talked about trading Randolph to Denver. That seems like the only reasonable partner to me. ]

    As far as the draft goes, I’m all about Rose… but Hibbert could be nice too. Knowing Zeke, we’ll end up with Mayo, which is the last thing we need.

  32. hehe, it just keeps getting better. this is Jerome James yesterday, not LeBron, in case you were confused:

    “I’m hoping that either they use me or move me,” James said. “I’m not trying to disrupt the team. I know I’ve been injured. I’m not looking to be moved right now. We can make a playoff push. But the summer is always there. Do it then. If they aren’t going to use me, move me.”

    the only way you’re getting moved is with a forklift, my man.

  33. Its a perfect time right now to blow things up. All the losing teams are catching up to the Knicks except for Miami and the Grizz. Knicks are stuck on 14 wins. If im the GM…id be dumping salary and acquiring picks and upside guys. I was watching Jazz vs the Wizards the other day and Andre Blatche was playing really well on both ends. He does need to be more agressive goin to the hoop but he can shoot,block shots and score. He is missing playing time and confidence. Somebody like Tayshawn Prince would be great to have also. Im just throwing names out there. Then we build from the draft and midlevel exception. I think by seasons end we’ll be picking anywhere from 2-5….im sure the injury bug will hit us eventually. I think Zeke is gone at seasons end. We’ll get a new coach and a new GM (WEST). Things will begin to look better.

  34. James has been hurt, and I know he has limitations as a player but if he is healthy he needs minutes because he does have, well Eric Dampier type of skills which immediately would make him the best center on this team. With Curry out I was really surprised that James did not get some run. Why pay a guy $30 mil. and not play him?

  35. “id be dumping salary and acquiring picks and upside guys.”

    repeat after me a thousand times slowly: NO. ONE. WANTS. OUR. VETERANS.

    “a new GM (WEST)”

    yeah, he really worked wonders in Memphis.

  36. “yeah, he really worked wonders in Memphis.”

    There is always something negative to say about anybody isn’t there? Would you rather have an unknown entity with no baggage and no positives to go along with their lack of negatives?

    I mean, come on– Red Holzman coached losing seasons six out of his last seven years. Is that really what he should be remembered for?

    Joe Torre shouldn’t have been hired by the Dodgers? He couldn’t win a world series for seven straight seasons despite having double the payroll of nearly every other team and hands down the best player of his generation?

    Whoever the Knicks do hire to replace Isiah there will certainly have a blight on their record to point to. Jerry West’s accomplishments with a huge market franchise outweigh his less impressive tenure with the Grizz. He is as obvious a choice to run the Knicks as any.

    If he even wants to run the Knicks, that is.

  37. just saying he wasn’t anything special at his last job, and you can throw in that he turns 70 in a few months. sorry, he’s not my idea of a savior, although literally almost anyone would be an upgrade at this point. we don’t need a big name (ahem, Larry Brown), we need someone young and hungry.

  38. “yeah, he really worked wonders in Memphis.”

    Z , I assume you like Isaiah Thomas better or am I not aware that you are a candidate for the job. Anyone that comes in will be able to make improvements. Dont forget he selected Kobe in the draft straight out of High School and know about Championships. Theres a lot of things that go into being a successful. Sometimes you come into a situation that isnt ready. Like Zeke coming in right after Layden who screwed us for years with his contracts that he gave out. It locked up our cap space for years. So you know what im getting at…change is good. Experience is better. As far as wonders go…there are none in New York basketball right now.

  39. “Anyone that comes in will be able to make improvements. ”

    exactly, it doesn’t have to be a big name 70 year old.

    “Dont forget he selected Kobe in the draft straight out of High School ”

    actually, Charlotte did, he traded Divac for him.

  40. “Z , I assume you like Isaiah Thomas better or am I not aware that you are a candidate for the job.”

    Sorry Ray. I have no idea what you’re talking about.

  41. Not being a football fan nor a New Yorker, I’m going to assume the Giants won today, meaning everyone is busy celebrating and no one cares about the Knicks anymore.

  42. How does Jerome James, a guy who has not played meaningful minutes since…well maybe never, have the nerve to say “play me or move me?” He can barely squeeze into his uniform. He cannot stay healthy. He care nothing for conditioning outside of getting central air in his home. The Knicks would love to move him.

    If he is serious, then negotiate a buyout. Infact, just say relase me outright for .10 on the dollar. He has already stolen 15 million from the team. If you want out that badly, just say keep the change and head out the door. I’m sure the Spurs, Dallas, or Boston will clear a roster spot for you. Sh*t, you couldn’t get back on the globetrotters at this point.

    Idiot.
    ———–

    The Knicks should only take Hibbert if they cant get into the top three. Otherwise Beasely, Rose, or Gordan. Oh and that kid from Texas, the 7 footer has some potential. So the Knicks should only go after Hibbert if they pick below 4. I hate resorting to draft talk this early in the year.

  43. Roy Hibbert is not a lottery-quality pick, much less a top-5 guy. He’s done a great job turning himself into (probably) an NBA-level player, but he is painfully slow and robotic, and not a great rebounder for his size. He’s a pretty good passer for a big man, decent defender (down low — he’s not gonna guard anyone in the high post)… basically, a functional center. If we picked up a second pick in the 20s, that would be fine, but I hope to God we don’t take him with our lottery shot.

  44. Caleb,

    I would much rather have Rose, Gordon, or Beasley. But if the Knicks fall between 5-7, those players won’t be on the board. Based on what may be left, Hibbert may be the best choice. You don’t take Hibbert with a top five pick, let me be clear, I am not suggesting that. But if it is between Hibbert and OJ Mayo, I think you take Hibbert. He is not flashy or fast but he does play good help defense, his rebounding is much better that Curry’s, he blocks shots, and he has shown a great work ethic. But I am in DC and I root for the Hoyas, maybe my bias is showing.

    Can we agree that a point and a defensive big man are the team’s most pressing needs? If the Knicks pick 5th and Brook Lopez, Hasheem Thabeet, J. Bayless, Donte Greeen, OJ Mayo, and Roy Hibbert are left who do you take if you are GM of the Knicks and why?

  45. I think that the recent post showing that the Knicks are ranked 30th in defense highlights the fact that we need a dominant defender. Not simply a good defender (Hibbert), a dominant one like Thabeet. Granted, if we get the first or second pick, then we should probably get the best player available (Rose or Beasley). But outside of that, Thabeet is the guy, no matter where the pundits have Hibbert and Lopez going.

  46. I found this on 82games:
    http://www.82games.com/trios0708.htm

    Crawford, Richardson, and Curry make up one of the worst threesomes in the NBA. The folks at 82games said that if your worst threesome is part of a starting unit, you need to shake things up. Amen to that.

    Best threesome is Crawford, Robinson, and Lee. This backs up what many have said: Lee and Robinson need to start, Curry and Richardson need to sit.

  47. “Can we agree that a point and a defensive big man are the team’s most pressing needs?”

    Yes — although at this point in building the roster, “best player available” is a reasonable approach…

    “If the Knicks pick 5th and Brook Lopez, Hasheem Thabeet, J. Bayless, Donte Greeen, OJ Mayo, and Roy Hibbert are left who do you take if you are GM of the Knicks and why?”

    I have not watched enough college ball this year to know my draft stuff — but I’ve seen enogh Hibbert & Thabeet to say that they are not lottery-level guys, in my opinion.

    I’m sure there are lots of players (mostly freshmen) I’ve never heard of, or barely seen, who are actually worth a much higher pick.

    Of bigs, I can’t say anyone (besides Beasley, if he counts), really impresses me. Maybe Darrell Arthur, maybe Kevin Love, and they aren’t centers.

    Of points, I’m a fan of Ty Lawson and Darren Collins… though I hear Augustin is having a great year. But even while I like those guys, I can’t say any of them is a top-5 talent… maybe second-half of the lottery.

    For what it’s worth, from the two games I’ve seen, I like OJ Mayo a lot more than most posters here. One of the ESPN scouts recently pegged OJ as the next Bruce Bowen — pointing out that while he can’t run the point, he defends well, especially for a freshman. Can’t say that for anyone in our current backcourt.

    Also… here’s an interesting take, with a big grain of salt: projections based strictly on stats from the first half of this season:
    http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/draft2008/insider/columns/story?columnist=hollinger_john&page=DraftRater-080131 (you need an Insider subscription)

    I would expect a lot of shift in these rankings, as the season goes on, but as of now… they have Beasley 1st… Blake Griffin 2nd… Love 3rd… Hibbert 18th. Thabeet 339th.

    Hollinger, Berri and one other guy I can’t remember all did projections off the stats of last year’s draftees, which turned out reasonably well.

  48. “Roy Hibbert…he’s done a great job turning himself into (probably) an NBA-level player, but he is painfully slow and robotic…basically, a functional center.”

    Sounds like the second coming of Jerome James (but on a rookie contract)…

  49. I’d say Hibbert is a better passer, and he’s in better shape – i.e. he actually tries when he’s on the court. But it’s not like he’s ever gonna be 60 percent of Alonzo Mourning.

  50. The key is to trade for an extra draft pick in so we can stockpile young talent a la Portland. I think we should be able to move Zach or Curry before the deadline for a draft pick and an expiring contract. Maybe the Wallace deal isn’t so bad for us? We could get Wallace (albeit at a steep price, for a long time) and the Bulls 1st round draft pick for Z-bo and Mardy Collins. This seems like a pretty fair trade for the struggling Bulls who need low post scoring. I would also love to do Curry for Lowry straight up, but I don’t think Memphis would fall for it. The Hawks might make a trade for low post scoring. Maybe Curry for Childress? Maybe Z-bo to the Sixers for Miller and spare parts? Just throwing out ideas to get those 2 the hell outta dodge…

  51. Agree we should look to trade for picks… But it’s a tough sell. No way the sixers do that deal – if they trade miller its to clear salary. We’d be lucky for the bulls to trade wallace for zbo straight up (and it might be worth it), much less throwing in a draft pick.

    Hawks, tho… They probably would trade childress, bc they have jj, smith and williams ahead of him… And they won’t want to match a real offer… And they actually were interested in curry when he was a FA…. BUT… They’ll have other offers for childress; my guess is we’d have to take back speedy claxton to get them to bite… And I don’t think it’s worth it..

    Not inconceivable that orlando might be interested, but I don’t think they have anything we want…

  52. “Not inconceivable that orlando might be interested, but I don’t think they have anything we want…”

    Arroyo, Garrity, Dooling, Battie, 20th+ pick…

  53. True, true..altho I think I’d just waive those players.. It’s worth trading just to clear our 2010-2011 payroll.do any of those guys make enough to match salary? Grab the pick for our trouble?

    Atlanta seems more likely, if they ever settle the ownership lawsuit.

  54. Yeah, Orlando might bite, but that’s a big contract to take on for what would essentially be a 6th man for them… unless they have a real bad contract they want to dump (see Kwame.) I would take their draft pick and Arroyo and a bad contract for Z.

  55. Or how bout this? Best buds Curry and Crawford go to Cleveland for Larry Hughes and Damon Jones and a first round draft pick…

  56. What would it take to make the math work on this?

    Curry to orlando…

    Arroyo, Hughes and cleveland’s pick to to ny…

    Crawford and fred jones to cleveland..

    Orlando would need to send out at least 9m worth of contracts, to either ny or cleveland… Assume we’d waive the players… Do they have the guys to make it work? (Redick, for example)

  57. Why on Earth would Orlando want or need Curry? When your backcourt is Nelson, Bogans, Evans, Arroyo and Dooling and your center is Dwight Howard don’t you think there are more pressing needs?

  58. They might not — obviously, depends on whether Orlando likes Curry at all. It actually makes a little bit of sense — that’s a lot more than you can say for most “potential” trade partners.

    The draw for Orlando, in theory, is getting a 25-year-old center with a strong post game. They think they’re ready to contend right now, or at least next year, so they’re less worried about the long-term financial commitment (they’re gonna way capped out anyway, between Lewis & Howard & Nelson’s likely extension). I’m not a Curry fan by any stretch, but unlike here — w/Zach — at least his TYPE of game complements Howard. Dwight can play PF; he doesn’t need plays run for him, his D can cover Curry’s weakness. Curry would only take minutes from Brian Cook and one of their crappy wing players (since Lewis would play more at the 3).

    We could also pitch a trade of Crawford for Orlando’s pick and any combo of their salary junk (like Tony Battie & JJ Redick).

  59. Unfortunately, Isiah can’t be the one to trade Curry for Battie and Dooling. His successor would have to do it. Isiah paid too much for Curry to dump him for salary relief. He has his entire (substantial) ego wrapped up in his acquisitions.

    I was really hoping to have a new GM by Feb. so that the deadline could actually bring a meaningful deal. As it is, we’ll probably have to live with Randolph, Curry, et al until at least this summer…

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