Memo to Isiah: YOU Drafted David Lee

To: Isiah Thomas
From: Brian Cronin
Re: David Lee’s success

Isiah, it has come to my attention that perhaps you do not realize that it was you, in fact, who drafted David Lee with the 29th pick in the 2005 NBA Draft. You traded a good center to acquire the draft pick, and you made a very nice pick, choosing a player that 26 other teams turned down, while Lee is not a better player than the majority of those 26 other players (28 if we count your picks as well).

You did a good job.

Last year, Larry Brown was not willing to play David Lee much, which was a negative against Larry. Remember how much you disagreed with Larry, Isiah?

If you play David Lee more, he will play well, and you will both

A. Get credit for a great draft pick


B. Make Larry Brown look bad for not playing David Lee more last season.

21 minutes in a game your team barely lost (1 minute LESS than Jared Jeffries and his 4 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist and four personal fouls), in a game where Lee still managed to net 9 points and 9 board (FIVE of which on the offensive glass) is just inexcusable.

You do a good job motivating your team, Isiah. Last year, this game would have been over by the beginning of the fourth quarter, and would likely have been a lackluster 20 point loss. This year, the players try harder for you. And do you know which player seems to try really, REALLY hard?

David Lee.

Remember him?

You drafted him. YOU get credit if he does well.

Please play him more.

You will not regret it.

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23 thoughts to “Memo to Isiah: YOU Drafted David Lee”

  1. I totally agree.

    David Lee is already one of the most vocal leaders on the team.

    Jeffries needs to sit down and be the 6th man, at best. At least until he can prove himself.

    PLEASE, I siah… PLEASE

    It could have made the difference last night!

  2. Couldn’t agree more. Anyone watching this year knows that David Lee has been our best player. never liked the Jeffries signing and I hate it more and more every game. I’ve yet to see this great defense that he supposedly plays (he’s not a bad defender, but he’s not exactly Ron Artest either) and on offense he is a major liability…plus he’s not much of a rebounder.

    At what point do we try to go with our best 5 players and go Marbury, Richardson, Lee, Frye, Curry? We all know that Lee is going to struggle defensively against a lot of the small forwards, but this big lineup could cause some problems for opposing teams as well.

  3. “In the end I do not see the racist argument as legit, leaving the reason Lee does not play a bigger mystery.”

    So we are diverting from a very plausible and obviously in my opinion likely possibility of racism, to an Alice in Wonderland mystery alternative theory. Thanks but I’ll take the former hypothesis, and frankly, I don’t see how the foundation isn’t impliedly obvious based on this season with regard to the “emotional” comment.

  4. you all do remember when Isiah was playing and he said that Larry Bird would be “just another player” if he was black, right?

  5. agree, i’ve been calling for this all year.

    Isiah is all messed up. He doesn’t play Lee for most of the game and just has him in at the end. Well, Isiah, why do you have him in at the end to put back that missed shot and give the Knicks the lead with 5 ticks left?

    Um, because he’s better than Jeffries.

    Then, why the hell is he on the bench for most of the first three quarters?

    Isiah is not only making the wrong decision, but it’s not even because his reasoning is bad. It seems to me that he knows Lee is better than Jeffries.

    I think Isiah is just playing Jeffries over Lee while knowing that Lee is better.

    i hate Isiah.

  6. Is anyone noticing that Crawford is missing way too many open shots and 3’s!!!If he connects on 45%or more of his shots,we become better on offense!3 for 10 from the field is UNACCEPTABLE!!!!!!!

  7. according to this site the Knicks are 11th in overall offense and 26th on defense …curry and marbury have to play and so does crawford to a large degree .

    That leaves less room for poor or inconsistant defensive players meaning Lee , Balkman, & Frye who are young players still learning the league in varying degrees.

    The more consistant defensive players in Quentin richardson and jared are going to play more because the team needs more defensive and basically all the defense it can get.

    People act as though Lee is a finished product , no he isn’t in fact Thomas still has to develop him too, and just like Frye and balkman can be benched or have their minutes limited for not providing what is needed for them to be a complete player , the same is true for Lee, I’m not 100% sure of this but I am pretty sure Cliff robinson was his man on that fateful play last night, not curry’s and he jumped over Curry’s back while Curry was trying to box out someone else .

    These kind of breakdowns happen when players dont have the experience or the defensive awareness to be where they are supposed to be.

  8. Hey Mel,that still doesnt’t answer the question about Jamal’s inconsistency from the field!Shooting less than 40% from the floor is killing this team!I’ve seen him miss too many wide open shots and 3’s early in games!!!Those misses keep costing us down the stretch.If he improves to 43% or better,we have a better chance of winning games with the rotation as is!!!!!!!

  9. Mel even though I would love for Lee to start you are right about the balance of offense & defense. I think Isiah is no ones ally except for whoever will bring him some wins. I think he might be trying to get Jared going to trade him. Benching him will not help his case. Let’s give Isiah a little more credit.

  10. Balkman & Lee provide what Jeffries brings for cheaper. Don’t be surprised if Jared is moved with Francis & co. for salarydump.

  11. Who the hell is going to take on Francis and Jeffries? No one is going to take those deals. The only GM dumb enough to take on those contracts is coaching the Knicks.

  12. any win is a good win at this point, especially with the thoroughly incompetent Violet Palmer singlehandedly killing the flow of the game and fouling out Frye and Curry, more than a few acting jobs. it’s all going to fall part pretty quickly if Steph has to miss much time with that knee, we got a little preview when he had to leave, three straight turnovers on the press.

  13. Marbury looked like he’d be missing some time. By the way, that was one of the worst-officated games I’ve ever seen on both ends of the floor.

  14. yeah, it defies mathematical probability how often I’ll be watching a game, see a dreadful call, look to see who the ref is, and it’s good old Violet. sometimes I wonder if she does more than one game per night.

  15. That’s why I was irritated to see ESPN Magazine do a feature on her, like she was just a normal ref.

    How do you just ignore the fact that she is known as one of the worst refs in the entire league?!?

  16. one other aspect of the Lee/Jeffries “who starts” discussion that I haven’t seen mentioned anywhere: Quentin Richardson had by far his best season for Phoenix in 2004-2005 when he was the 5th option on offense, he led the league in threes made for the season. when Joe Johnson got hurt in the playoffs and Q became the 4th option, his effectiveness went way down. with Lee out there instead of Jeffries, Q is going to be open that much more, that will give us a lineup in which every player is capable offensively and make it decidedly harder to double Curry as much as most teams have been doing.

    I understand the offense/defense balancing argument, but sometimes you need to make the other team try to match up with you, not vice-versa. maybe Lee or Frye will have trouble marking some opposing small forwards, but almost every team is going to have a very rough time trying to rebound against a front line of Lee, Curry and Frye, not to mention the way Q has been pulling down boards from the 2 guard spot. START LEE NOW!

  17. one of the things that I keep noticing about Lee, which is really starting to bother me is that he never contests shots.

    Last nights game alone I saw 3-4 occasions where a shooter went up right in front of him and Lee barely lifted his hand, let alone jump, to contest the ball.

    That sort of poor effort doesnt really fit Lee’s personality (hustler, rebounder…), but I have seen this same thing in other games.

    My point is that maybe Lee is a fantastic rebounded, but Isiah wants defense and he needs Lee to start making more of an effort there as well. Till he does, I think 25min a game is about right…

  18. I love David Lee, and sure he could use more burn, but let’s put it in perspective. He’s not buried on the bench; he’s getting 30 minutes a game, more than Frye or Jeffries (26 each) and almost as much as Curry (34).

    And even though Lee is an animal (in a good way!) he does have limitations. Most obviously, he’s totally overmatched trying to defend small forwards and has a shooting range of about 8 feet. To his credit, he knows his limitations.

    I’m a big DL fan and I think he’s got All-Star potential, but right now he’s about the same player as Reggie Evans… maybe a little better, but not much.

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