Renaldo Balkman For DPOY (oh yeah and Knicks 119 – Denver 112)

I like to see myself as a person that’s grounded. Someone that doesn’t get exceedingly excited on trivial matters, or get swept up by things that are over hyped. I think I’m a realist, and from the feedback I get I’m probably right on that issue. Some people think I’m too liberal with my assessment of the team (and Isiah Thomas). On the other hand I’ve been called a Knick-hater by the most loyal of the orange and blue.

So I say this with all seriousness: Renaldo Balkman could win “Defensive Player of the Year” one day.

Last night’s Knick game started as a clinic on how not to play defense. The halftime score was 66-60 Denver, and neither team seemed interested in stopping their opponent. The Knicks shot 60%eFG, only to be topped by the Nuggets at 61.5%. New York did turn the ball over 12 times, but most of it was throwing the ball away, easily seen by Denver’s 4 steals. Barely noticed on the stat sheet was Renaldo Balkman, who played just over 5 minutes. He only scored 2 points, and had a +/- of -6 (thank you NBA for keeping track of that in real time). By the end of the game, Balkman had 11 points and 4 rebounds in 27 minutes. Hardly game changing stats. But make no mistake about it, Renaldo Balkman gave New York the keys to victory.

Balkman spent most of the second half defending against Linas Kleiza and Carmelo Anthony. Kleiza had torched the Knicks in the first half, hitting all 5 of his attempts, 2 from beyond the arc. In the second half, he shot only 3-8. Balkman used his closing speed and long reach to force Kleiza into two bad three point attempts, blocking one of them near the end of the third quarter.

Knick fans know the team has serious issues preventing opponents from scoring from downtown. In their first two games, the Knicks allowed the opposition to shoot greater than 50% from three. Last night, Denver started off hot from downtown, nailing 5 of 6. But with Balkman playing 22 minutes in the second half, Denver managed only 1 of 10 three pointers. Balkman has amazing quickness to recover to the outside, phenomenal leaping ability, and superb length. I don’t think I’ve seen many defenders that can reach the outside and block the shot of an open shooter standing behind the arc. Bruce Bowen can’t do it. Ron Artest can’t either. The only comparison I have is Andrei Kirilenko. It’s funny because at some point last year KnickerBlogger writer, and USC employee, Dave Crockett received flack for using the same comparison. Watching Balkman, the analogy is apt.

But Balkman isn’t just your run-of-the-mill skinny shot blocker. Balkman’s most impressive work of the second half was on Carmelo Anthony. Due primarily to the work of Balkman, Anthony shot 2-9 in the second half with 3 turnovers. Against Anthony, Balkman bodied him up, usually on the blocks, and forced him into uncomfortable situations. Balkman blocked one of Carmelo’s layups in the third quarter, and forced Anthony to cough the ball up with a critical charging call in the fourth quarter. The latter play was partially due to Marbury reaching for the ball, but Balkman anticipated the spot Anthony would turn to and hit the floor convincingly when contact was made. It was the type of play that Artest or Bowen excel at. Strong physical defense combined with the intelligence to know when to hit the floor.

Good defensive players usually excel at only one area of defense. There are the skinny shot blockers like Kirilenko, Camby, and Gadzuric who aren’t physical enough to be effective man defenders. On the other hand there are good man defenders that don’t block shots well, such as Jason Collins, Bruce Bowen, and Kurt Thomas. However Balkman seems to encompass both attributes, which makes him a particularly strong defender. If he can ever get enough minutes and stay healthy, I could see Balkman could competing for a DPOY.

Liked it? Take a second to support Mike Kurylo on Patreon!

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).

79 thoughts to “Renaldo Balkman For DPOY (oh yeah and Knicks 119 – Denver 112)”

  1. If he got the minutes he would definitely be a candidate.

    Too bad he probably won’t get the minutes.

  2. I’ve been a Gamecock fan since the early 70s, remember (barely) the great teams they had then, but I recall much more clearly the teams that Balkman was a part of. He was always long and gifted defensively, but he never concentrated on off-the-ball play as he has with the Knicks. More often than not he was a turnover machine, especially in the 2002 NCAA first-round loss to Memphis.

    Let’s all hope that IT memory banks this one — the Knicks are simply better when he is playing. He’s not a direct boon to the offense, but his defense and transition impacts the game and transfers to the offensive end. He is a wonder to watch.

  3. And I’ll add that he’s made for the NBA game — a supreme complimentary player. I remain hopeful that his shot will come and get some defensive respect.

  4. On top of everything you mentioned, Mike, Balkman also has a great knack for playing the passing lanes without gambling excessively. He will always dig out a steal or two but you won’t see him getting burned going for a steal often.

    Plus, he is a monstrous defensive rebounder for a small forward. He really brings the whole package on D. Last season as a rookie he averaged 11.1 rebounds, 2.1 steals, and 1.7 blocks per 40, which are almost Olajuwon-esque numbers. Coming from a small forward.

    Combine with his ball handling/passing/finishing ability and you have a really unique player.

  5. Q happens to be struggling at the exact same time Balkman is ascending. Seems to make for an easy decision if this keeps up since Isiah has way less invested in starting Q than other players.

  6. If Q is still hurting and it looks like he is then we’ve been fed a bunch of bs up to now and I wouldn’t doubt it going on what happened last year with Craw and Lee.
    Problem with putting Taz in the starting lineup instead of Q is that the other team will not respect his outside shot and gives them an extra man to collapse down on Knicks bigs. Thats why Q he shot 3 or 4 times from 3 land early in the 1st. he made 1 of 3 but is always a threat, it opens it up for the pt guard to either drive or feed it down low.

  7. So opposing teams will not respect Balkman’s outside shot if he starts, but they will if he comes off the bench?

    So far Balk has done a pretty good job masking his lack of a jumper. He is not a threat to hit a J but he can still be dangerous by driving or setting someone up with a pass.

    Ultimately it doesn’t really matter if he starts or not, as long as he gets true starter minutes.

  8. Since Marbury and Crawford are both 3 PT threats and ZBo can shoot from the outside, its not a problem to have Balkman in the starting lineup. Kurt Rambis never hurt the Lakers when he was a starter.

    Im all for it and it makes alot of sense. Qs best role is as an off-the-bench swingman. His injury prone status makes him better suited for 22 minutes a night not 35.

  9. Ahh, well, let’s see

    his rebounding is at 14.27 vs 16.7 per 48
    His assists are at 1.94 vs 2.9 per 48
    His TS% is at 66%
    His Points per 40 is up to 19.45 from 17.2
    His Turnovers are less than 1 vs. 2.6 per 48

    As you say, small sample size. And very clearly he needs more playing time no matter what.

    My subjective impression (yes, I do have them sometimes) is that in a bunch of the games I have watched this year, preseason included, I have felt Lee looked a little uncomfortable. He seems to have some trouble getting into rhythm and finding his role on the court. But every game he has pretty much figured out how to contribute effectively.

    I do think Randolph is going to cut into Lee’s rebounding numbers significantly. But great rebounding is something you can’t have too much off.

  10. “So far Balk has done a pretty good job masking his lack of a jumper. He is not a threat to hit a J but he can still be dangerous by driving or setting someone up with a pass.”

    Last night he did something that impressed me, but it won’t work every time. Due to a double team, Balkman received the ball in the corner, wide open. As usual a defender rotates out to him and runs at him in order to make him rush the shot. Balkman squares up to shoot… and fakes the shot driving to the hoop. It worked great that time, but after a few games, opponents are going to catch up and let him take that shot.

    What did impress me was the play where Balkman had the ball in the lane and two defenders collapsed on him. Renaldo did a wrap-around-the-defender pass to Curry for an easy layup. People talk about how Balkman’s lack of a jumper hurts the offense, but how many forwards on the Knicks would have made that pass? Q? I don’t think so. Jeffries? Never in a million years. Malik Rose? A good passer, but not that good. David Lee? I love David and he’s a good passer as well, but I wouldn’t bet on it. Zach Randolph? Not likely.

    My point is – there’s more to offense than just hitting a jumpshot.

  11. I think Balkman defensively best compares to a shorter young Ben Wallace. That’s appropriate, because Wallace was a DPOY candidate in his prime.

    He can’t block shots on the weak side like Wallace, but he’ll get his blocks straight up; he’ll also be able to body his man (like Wallace), and grab a few steals, too.

  12. “…because Wallace was a DPOY candidate in his prime.”

    Not to nitpick, but I would say he was more than a candidate, given that he won the DPOY award four times.

    Ok, that’s nitpicking. I watched Bowen the other night. I would much rather have Balkman on the court.

    Did anyone see what Nash did to Ray Felton last night. Looked to me like a very dirty play. It seemed like he intentionally stuck his foot in there….

  13. I think something is going on here.
    There are players on the Knicks who in past years were exploited because the team’s parts were so weak.
    Curry as a rebounder/defender/scorer had fairly limited support in recent years. I think that affects a guy.
    But this year, with Randolph and Lee contributing, and the guards scoring, Curry is not required to do so much, so he can concentrate on doing certain things well. I believe as a result his defense and rebounding will improve.
    Offensively, he already is benefiting from the presence of other scorers on the team. His shooting percentage is ridiculous.
    Same goes for Balkman. Everyone keeps talking about his jump shot. Last year his jump shot was an issue because the Knicks lacked outside scoring and really had only one low post threat.
    This year, Crawford, Randolph, Robinson and Marbury all are shooting well from the outside. With four guys who can score 20 + on any given night, you don’t need Balkman to shoot from the outside.
    So what if the defender is now free to collapse?
    Collapse on what?
    Collapse to Curry? Well that still leaves Randolph or Lee or Marbury, or Crawford, or Robinson as sound scoring options. They can’t double all of those threats.

    Balkman’s jumper is an issue on a team that lacks scorers. We don’t lack scorers.
    We lack defenders.
    As we saw last night, Balkman is a catalyst.
    He not only can shut down a great scorer. His defense mobilizes his teammates to play harder on D. And his defense creates offensive opportunities.
    There is no weaker moment as when a team fails to score and is falling back. Denver was falling back in the fourth quarter because of the defensive presence of Balkman.

    We always knew this team would score this year.
    What we didn’t expect was the Knicks to be capable of a defensive stand that seemed less an anomaly and potentially more the norm.
    Something happened in the fourth that the team could build from.
    One thing was clear, the Knicks again swooned falling behind by double digits when the starting five was out there. The Knicks surged when when Balkman and Lee were out there.

    I don’t think right now Lee should start over Randolph, but the Knicks must find a way to increase his minutes because his presence out there is important.
    I do think that Q should lose his starting job. Even at his best, he never had such a cathartic affect on the defense that Balkman has shown.
    He doesn’t have Balkman’s length, speed, quickness, or, surprisingly, his ball handling ability.

    Two other things have gone right also.
    Both Marbury and Crawford are scoring and distributing, and playing under control.
    When we were all concerned that these folks need the ball and as a result could they work together, we didn’t realize that such a high octane offense has many possessions.

    Crawford is scoring

  14. Of all days to post the 2008 updated stats! I was feeling great about the Knicks’ improved defense, but I see the squad is still near the bottom in virtually all of the defensive Four Factors.

    I hate to rain on the parade, but really Knickerblogger is to blame on this one.

  15. Alec, in addition to his D, Balkman is insanely good on the break, leading it and/or finishing it. he’s a superior, unique athlete along the lines of Shawn Marion or Anthony Mason or Dennis Rodman (not equating any of these, all have/had unique skill sets, just saying that even in a league filled with superior athletes, the occasional one stands out as a level above). the Kirilenko comparison Mike made is probably the closest as of now.

  16. Major knicks fan from the otherside of the pond.

    Stayed up just to watch the knicks. Man did i suffer as a result.

    Anyway one thing that struck me was the physical condition of the team. Sure i have seen photo’s and highlights but since we get one game a week here i hadn’t seen the knicks play a live game before.In comparison to the players in the premier league (soccer)over here the players are nowhere near in shape! Save the key defenders :- Lee and Balkman. I know the game is much more centered around physicality and strength on the inside but perhaps this is a cause of some of the defensive problems.

    Having said that the offense was goood!

    Crawford looks like a new man and his understanding with curry is valuable.

    I think this team has the ability to be very good. None of the starting five are natural defenders but the do at least look to be trying although it is strikingly similar to watching rookies learning to play the game because it appears to me that is exactly what they are doing right now … learning to play defense.

    Great blog by the way! Keeps me informed when all you get here is highlights from nba.com and they all hate the knicks anyway.

  17. And yes DPOY!!!!!! He does everything! I think it is key to our chances we have a guy that can frustrate the leagues best scorers. It will definately keep us in games where we may normally have been destroyed.

  18. Right now Lee & Balkman are playing just over 15 percent of the total minutes (combined, just under 40 minutes/game). If they were both getting starter’s minutes (say, 70 minutes combined), our team defense would not be anywhere near the bottom of the league. Lee isn’t anywhere close to the defender that Balkman is, but relative to the players they replace (Randolph/Curry vs. Q) I’d guess the impact is similar.

    If we somehow became an average defensive team, with this offense, we’d actually be pretty good.

  19. Balkman probably the most appreciated Knick by posters here…almost unanimous.

    Watch the Knicks go 4-1 … but the 10 game stretch from there will tell us alot more than the first five…

  20. See watching the postseason NIT has its rewards! I liked the Balkman pick at the time because I saw the guy do some of the same things for South Carolina at the 2006 NIT finals. I thought at the time, he’d be a serviceable player in the NBA, maybe a second-round pick but when the Knicks grabbed him, I didn’t go crazy, a pick in the 20s some times is a low-risk, high-reward and this is what we’re seeing here.

  21. A few posts ago I called Ben Wallace a “One trick pony” because he had no offense and great defense. I was universally blasted by my fellow posters. After watching the way Balkman creates offense with his defense, I think I see what the posters were trying to show me about Wallace.

    Balkman blocked two shots that lead to fast breaks, which we converted. His steals and general disruption of Carmelo forced turnovers that reduced the Nuggets time to set up a defense. I still think Wallace is a one trick pony but I do see how great defense can impact the offense.

    Balkman’s energy was just infectious. I really thought the team, Curry especially, fed off Balkman’s energy. I have not seen Curry that active on defense as he was in the 4th quarter. I listened to the game on NBA audio pass and I was shocked to hear Gus Johnson say “Blocked by Curry!! Curry pinned Camby’s shot to glass!!”

    Alec,

    If you have read this far down…

    I’m a Knick fan living in DC too. Its not easy but thank goodness for league pass and audio league pass. I think Gus Johnson is one of the best radio broadcasters around. I love the way he gets all choked up with excitement. He was classic last night. Anyway to your point about the Kobe trade, I dont think Curry and Crawford are enough. I think the Lakers would insist on Lee because he has the most upside of any player on the team. I do not want to give up Lee, so I dont think its going to happen. Besides i think the Bulls will close this deal once they can include Nocioni in the deal. Gordon, Thomas, Nocioni and a few picks is a better deal than Curry, Crawford, Chandler, and picks. The Ny deal is better if Lee is involved, but I dont think Isiah is going to give up a 24 year old double double machine, an emerging post player, a 25 point per game scorer, and draft picks to get a unhappy 30 ppg player. I think that is too much.

  22. Crawford 24.7ppg 7 ast 27 years
    Lee 10pts 7.3rb (in only 24mpg)24 years
    Curry 18ppg 7.3rb 25 years
    Chandler (we dont know yet)20 years
    1 maybe 2 draft picks

    for

    Bryant 30.5ppg 7.3 reb 4.5 ast 29 years old (11 year pro).

    I think you are putting alot of eggs in that one basket. I’m not sayinf Kobe isnt worth that, I’m looking at what is left.

    C Morris?
    PF Randolph
    SF Balkman
    SG Bryant
    PG Marbury

    reserves
    Robinson
    Richardson
    Collins
    Jeffries

    I dont think this team is much better than what we have now. Morris hasnt shown he can be a solid defender, rebounder or scorer. So that leave a huge hole at center. When you consider Kobe gets a 15% trade kicker and will surely want an extention, the Knicks will have a cap number of 93.567 million this year and 98.756 next year. Kobe will surely want an extention at about 22-24 million, plus you have to extend Robinson, and Morris to kep your tope reserve and center. Plus Richardson and James have player options for 2009/2010. Even if you let Marbury go, after the extensions you have a cap number over 8o million. You can bring in any free agents other than by way of midlevel exemptions. You wont be drafting because you gave up picks for Bryant.

    One knee surgery and this entire stack of cards comes down. Besides the team post Bryant trade cant beat the Rockets, Spurs, or Mavs. So why bother? You end up with Kobe, Randolph, Balkman and role players. Id that any different than Kobe, Odom, Walton and role players? No, it is not.

    If the Lakers would take Curry and Crawford, sure do it. But adding Lee and Chandler leaves you too thin.

  23. One further note on Howard Beck of the NYT. He wrote a long article on the game last night, and didn’t mention Renaldo Balkman once. The guy is lost in space as far as I am concerned.

    No Kobe please. See the Kobe/David Lee thread for reasons why, in triplicate.

    Garnett being rejuvenated? He has been putting up best in NBA numbers for the last 6-7 years. He just looks rejuvenated because he is surrounded by better players.

    Curry had such a huge fourth quarter last night. He had five rebounds in the last nine minutes, a clutch block, a couple hustle plays, and a few huge baskets. It was an explosion I haven’t really seen before. And watching it live, he actually looked like the dominating, athletic center he is touted as. That was the most game changing I have ever seen Curry.

    However until the fourth, he was having a pretty bad game. Four turnovers and three rebounds in his first 25 minutes.

    Eddy Curry’s ts% through the first three games, 59.5%, is actually below what he posted last year. His FT% (4-16, yup, you read that right), is killing him.

    I have a theory of basketball quanta I am hashing out, basically that a player’s value is fairly constant, even if his stats change. Curry is the foundation of this theory, and this is a good example. He pushes his fg% to 65%, but his ft% drops to 25%. Not that they are connected, but mysteriously, if you look at his stats throughout his career, improvement in one area seems always to be matched by a decline elsewhere in the boxscore.

    Mr Black – When I look at the Detroit Pistons I see a few things. They won fewer games after Wallace left. The Bulls won more last year.

    Also, looking at 82games, it seems to me the Pistons captured 1% less offensive rebounds on one end, and allowed 1% more offensive rebounds on the defensive end last year. That seemingly tiny difference is actually very significant in my book. It’s a big swing I think.

  24. “Mr Black – When I look at the Detroit Pistons I see a few things. They won fewer games after Wallace left. The Bulls won more last year.”

    Owen- I see that reversing this year. Bulldont look good, Pistons look pretty good.

  25. Alec,

    Kobe makes 19.45 mill

    Curry makes 8.9, Jamal makes 7.9, Lee makes .990, Chandler makes 1.01 that comes to 18.8. So that works. Sure Adding Bynum still works but if the Lakers would not trade Bynum for Kidd or include him in a deal for O’Neal, why would they add him to this deal? They would not. They would play him at PF beside Curry. Or they would have him back up Curry and Lee at the C and PF.

    Kwame Brown cant be included becuase he makes 9.2 million and that would throw off the deal unless we added someone like Rose. NOBODY wants Rose. I see that you refernced the trade machine, did you actually try using it? Because Kobe, Brown for Curry, Crawford, Lee, and Chandler doesnt work even with the Knick’s trade exemption (Frye).

  26. Great win last night.
    Just wanted to comment on this new Kobe talk.

    I was one of those that thought we should trade the kitchen sink for Kobe, but now that I think about it, I’m not so sure. As much as I love Kobe’s game, I think right now we are built to possibly win for a good 5-8+ years with all the young talent we have. We would completely eviscerate that by trading Curry/Crawford/Lee/Chandler and draft picks. And, the only thing IT does very well is draft, so we would lose the future as well.

    If we could get Kwame in addition to Kobe (they are not giving up Bynum and Kobe at the same time), we really would have a great lineup of Kwame, Randolph, Balkman, Kobe, and Marbury with Nate and Q off the bench. But our interior defense would really be in trouble the second Kwame gets in foul trouble, which is most seconds of the day.

    But the biggest problem I would have is that after this whole A-Rod fiasco, I am very wary of the big ego on the team. Right now the Knicks are relatively (with emphasis on relatively) ego-less. There are no great players on the team and no one that requires a huge amount of attention compared with the others. Even Marbury has really bought into the team concept. I think that is good for team dynamics. If you look back at the last few champions, you have Detroit which is famously all-for-one, the Spurs and ego-less Duncan, Miami with much lower profile Shaq and good-guy Wade. The last time a huge ego won was Kobe during the Shaq years, when their combined talent was so overwhelming that they couldn’t be stopped. That would not be the case if Kobe came here in the proposed trade.

  27. “But NY wants to win now!”

    This mentality is exactly why we are not winning now…

    (oops, I forgot: our .667 winning percentage puts us on pace for 60 wins. We are a win now team!)

  28. Alec,

    Okay, that works. Now tell me why the Lakers would take back Q’s salary for the next three years, not to mention the bad back, when Kwame’s 9 million come off the books in June? That package still isnt better than anything the Bulls can offer. Alec, I wont Kobe too but not at the expense of crippling this team. If Kobe was 26, sure give up everything then rebuild around him. But at 29, we may not get enough around him to get it done before he is 34 and past his prime. I appreciate the creativity and positive thinking but i dont see how it can happen, or that it should.

    I agree with Frank. I was ready to throw in the kitchen sink for Kobe back in July, but now i am curious as to where this current group can go. I think the team could make some noise if they can learn to play team defense. There is some hope that can happen. Look at Dallas. Three years ago everyone called them ‘Allas’ because they had no ‘D’. But Avery johnson has helped them focus and play good team defense. They have not changed personnel significantly and I cant say that any of the starters are great man to man defenders but they do play solid, if not great, team defense.

    If the Knicks can accomplish that, they can be very good given thier inside outside balance. I am now of the mind set that we should wait this thing out and see where it lands.

  29. Kwame is an asset to many teams because his contract expires this year, so they can dump a long-term contract and get under the cap this summer. (A little bit of post defense is a bonus, but not worth $9million!)

    It’s not worth much to NY, because we’ll be capped out either way.

    LA isn’t trading Bynum and Kobe in same deal – they either trade Bynum for a veteran to pair with Kobe now, or auction off their superstar and build for the future.

    See the Lee/Kobe thread for details, but most of the trade proposals here are ridiculous, with us giving up way, way too much.

    Our current roster certainly has problems, but I’d rather have it than LA’s.

    My best offer for Kobe would be something like Curry, Crawford, Chandler or a pick, and someone like Q or Jones’ expiring deal to make salaries match. Take back a bad Laker contract, like Vlad.

    If they’d prefer, they can have Randolph.

    I still prefer the offer we talked about this summer – Curry and another asset or two (like Chandler, Morris & a pick), for Bynum (and whatever it takes to make the deal work).

  30. Alex – I don’t know about the Pistons. I think both the pistons and the cavs could be pretty mediocre this year. The Bulls are struggling because Wallace is hurt right now. Once he gets healthy they should be ok.

    I agree with Caleb. The proposals are ridiculous. The Lakers either wont take them, of we give up too much.

    The Lakers should be pretty good this year. I see them being a 6-7 seed.

    The problem with Kobe is that he wants to play with a superstar caliber player. He looks around the league and sees the good teama have at least two great players. Nash and Marion. Duncan and Ginobili. Nowitzki and Howard. He knows that to do well he needs to be paired with a player like that.

    But finding a great, cheap, complementary superstar, someone you can pair with a guy on a max contract without going over the cap, and who will be nearly as productive, that’s the hardest trick in the book.

    It’s just not going to happen. There is no team Kobe can move to that will be better than the once he is on.

    If you want to give up Curry Crawford and Chandler plus trash, thats great with me. But the Lakers would never take that.

    The other bottom line, Kobe is not getting younger, and he has a lot of mileage on his tires, much more than Jordan did. It’s a bad move for the Knicks to bring him here….

  31. Here’s a totally irrational, utterly unsupported, emotion-based response to the Kobe talk.

    I don’t want him on the Knicks

    Just as I never could have rooted for Jordan back in the day or Barkley or Reggie “Ferengi” Miller had they somehow been traded to NY, I just don’t like the guy.

    And it’s not about his “arrogance” or the rape accusation or anything I can in any way define. I just can’t see myself pulling for him in orange and blue.

    Honestly, I’d rather lose with this bunch of horribly flawed, mismatched players because, I LIKE Curry/Marbury/Crawford. Three years of pulling for this group makes them feel like
    my” guys. And yeah, if Isiah has photos of Mitch Kupchak in a skimpy lil’ policewoman outfit beating Phil Jackson over the head with a warm squash and therefore is able to get Kobe in exchange for Jerome James, Jared Jeffries, Malik Rose and a CD of James Dolan covering Eliot Smith songs, sure I’d probably be somewhat happy.

    But it’d feel fundamentally WRONG. Anyone else feel that way? (Or am I just a masochist)

  32. Ken – I know exactly how you feel. A big part of me would be sad to see Kobe on the Knicks, no matter who we traded him for.

    As for the team, if Crawford can maintain his current efficency we could easily maintain our position as a top three offense. I believe that Crawford has possibly turned a new leaf. This is not just a case of hot shooting, he is actually playing alot more aggressivly. So far this season he has 24 free throws and only 12 3 point attempts.

    In contrast he has only had more free throws than 3 point attempts once in his career and that was in the year under Larry Brown which many of us agree was his best season. Also it was only more free throws by a fairly small margin. (357 free throws, 293 3 point attempts)

    If Crawford can continue to shoot twice as many free throws as 3 pointers he could be a very very good offensive player this year.

    So if we move Balkman to the starting lineup so we can improve our defense while maintaining this current offensive efficiency, we could be a very dangerous team this year.

    I cannot believe how high I am on Crawford right now, I have been calling for his head for a long time.

    Owen – Curry is better this year he seems to want it more. I think we are going to see more strong quarters like the end of the Denver game. Also 7 turnovers in three games is pretty outstanding.

  33. Ben – You are right about Crawford. I like the idea of his ratio of 3pters to fts.

    As for Curry, we will see. It’s a bottle of Cristal for Jon Abbey if he is above average according to Dr. Berri…

  34. Ben R.
    I feel the same way about Crawford. He has surprised me.
    There were a couple shots that made me cringe last game…through Gus, but on the whole, he’s simply playing better. A really astute observation about his free throws v. trays.
    But his defense is utterly the worst. I have to say, I can’t remember seeing a weaker, more careless defender. Really pathetic.
    Like Caleb and Owen, I now think a move for Kobe is silly.
    I have written in the past that I thought a Kobe trade would be worth a lot. But, frankly, after watching the Knicks play together for a few games, I’m inclined to want to see how this group develops.
    Something seemed to finally click in the fourth period. Balkman triggered something.
    It reminded me of when jeffries, early after his return from injury, was talking on D and getting people involved. For about 10 games there, he was effective and was even picking up baskets around the hoop.
    My hope is Balk’s impact is less fleeting. Eddy saw something in himself he hadn’t seen before.
    There appears to be a lot of trust among the players, evidenced by the number of assists. The ball is moving. There is less 1-on-1.
    I’d rather watch young players develop and identity, and cheer for the college-lke enthusiasm of the young guys, than have a hired me-first gunner arrive on a gutted soulless team again trying to find an identity, but doomed to fail because the new guy is the identity…
    I can’t wait to see Lee and Balkman and Curry and Randolph and Crawford and Marbury and Robinson hoof it.
    Just like a good book unfolding page by page, I’m ready for a nice,long read with this crowd.
    Screw Kobe.

    But the D needs to continue to progress.
    Now if only Isiah would just resign…:)

    By the way, I have one thing to say to those who think the Celtics are the team to beat in the east:
    Doc Rivers.
    I loved doc as a player, but he is a terrible coach.

  35. Man, Boston is just killing Denver tonight. I think boston is up by 40 at the start of the fourth.
    Either the knicks just wore out the Nuggets or they are simply not very good this year…

  36. …or the Celtics are just that good. I think they are going to do this to a lot of teams this year.

    They were doubling the Nuggets at halftime. Ouch.

  37. you can’t take much out of a game where one team played the night before and the other didn’t, especially when the rested one is at home. Boston is good, though.

    on an unrelated note, Atlanta has an absurd amount of raw talent, Marvin Williams is starting to put it together now. I have to say there aren’t many teams in the East I see us matching up well against, but I guess we’ll see starting Friday.

  38. Balkman did launch a couple of threes in his first few games wit the team if memory serves. He did not make them but his touch didn’t seem that bad to me. He was a nightmare at the free throw line last season but looks more comfortable this year. I think in time he’ll shoot well enough to keep defenses honest, if, and this is a big if, Isaiah gives him the minutes and the freedom.

    Isaiah seems to be making really good decisions about who plays when so I’m optomistic. I don’t think people should be so quick to bag on Q though. He’s a good player on both ends. Meanwhile, if Renaldo keeps doing what he did last night, he’s gonna get alot of burn.

  39. Jon, Atlanta really is good – still very young, but I think they’ll squeeze into the playoffs this year, with lots of room to grow. They’re probably one big trade away from being a serious team – but they are loaded, if they want to hit the trade market. Josh Smith, Marvin & Horford are all natural power forwards, with Childress & Johnson at the 2/3… need to trade some of that for a big time point guard. The fans liked the Acie Law pick, but they’ll soon see they’re misguided :)

    People here hate Billy Knight more than NY’ers hate Isiah, so not much faith he’ll get it done.

  40. bynum is not being traded. kobe is available, but bynum is not, think about that… strage. (the bulls need to trade deng, t.thomas, nocioni, thabo, & picks for kobe today. that would get the trade done and leave the bulls with hinrich, gordon, kobe, smith, wallace as a starting five – that team is not 0-4 – more than enough O & D to get it done in the east.)

    the laker the knicks need to trade for using lee, balkman and filler is lamar odom. playmaking, threes and boards. it would allow nate to play off the ball at point and give the knicks a serious backline. nate, crawford, odom, z-bo, curry.

  41. “the laker the knicks need to trade for using lee, balkman and filler is lamar odom. ”

    arguably the worst suggestion ever made on this site. I wouldn’t trade Balkman for Odom straight up if they made the same salary.

  42. “after watching the Knicks play together for a few games, I?m inclined to want to see how this group develops.”

    There is hope for the old Frank O.!

    Re: Crawford “But his defense is utterly the worst. I have to say, I can?t remember seeing a weaker, more careless defender. Really pathetic.”

    If you were to watch only Jamal the entire game, it’s really interesting to see just how bad on D he is. Not only does he go around screens– he takes the scenic route. He gets lost, and before he can pull over to ask directions, his guy is shooting a wide open three.

    For somebody so thin and quick, he should be able to fight through them.

    But his offense, through 3 games, is certainly refined. I hope he keeps it up.

  43. “the worst suggestion ever…” two bench players for a top 20 talent, i think not. odom would have that team humming as a point forward in isiah’s offense. he’s a three threat and great rebounder from the 3.

    maybe 5 years from now it becomes a bad deal depending on development, but that’s only maybe.

  44. ?the laker the knicks need to trade for using lee, balkman and filler is lamar odom.

    “arguably the worst suggestion ever made on this site. I wouldn?t trade Balkman for Odom straight up if they made the same salary.”

    jon (abbey)– I thought you had made the original statement. I was wondering what brand of crack you had started smoking.

    Glad you cleared your name and set the record straight.

  45. none of the knick guards are distributors. lee can’t play the three and will seeing minimal playing time with a healthy zach at the four. balkman can’t shoot the three or otherwise and doesn’t board, so he’ll be seeing spot minutes as well. explain why this is the worst/crack smoking trade suggestion ever?

  46. hahahaha, Lamar Odom may be a top 20 talent, but if he was really anywhere near a top 20 player, the Lakers would be a lot better than they actually are.

    you’re talking about sacrificing the future for someone who’s proven that he’s not a franchise player, and he’s not even a good second option. the only guys NY should even consider trading Lee or Balkman for (let alone both) are genuine franchise players, of whom there are maybe 15 in the league, or a top 10 PG in their prime.

  47. wow there is someone making suggestions that are worse than mine.

    Lee AND Balkman PLUS filler for odom? Where do I begin…

    I think odom makes about 13 million. Lee and Balman together dont make 3 million, so you need to find 10 million in filler to make the money match. I tried this trade on espn trade machine, with Q as the “filler” and here is the result…

    “The Knicks are over the cap, and their incoming salaries are greater than 125% plus $100,000 of their outgoing salaries. They need to cut $177,671 from the incoming trade value to make this trade successful.”

    Right after that ESPN provided the following…

    “Trade Machine has been online for nearly a year, we have recieved millions of trade proposals, some good, some bad. But this trade is by far the most idiotic thing we have ever seen. Do you realize how much crap we had to put up with until KG was finally traded? We nearly hung ourselve when we saw ‘Andrei Kirlinko and Jarron Collins for KG’. But that trade looks like pure gold next your attempt.”

    “We didnt put this thing online for you to screw around with it. Perhaps we should hve included a warning: ‘Alcohol impairs your ability to make trades. Trade responsibly. Please do not drink and trade’.”

    “I mean really man what were you thinking? Odom is almost always hurt, so in some way it is fair to include Q but why give up two effective and affordable players to get one overpaid small forward? Go to your room young man and dont you come out until you learn how to make proper trades. Just you wait until your father gets home from work!”

    Anyway, dont get mad at me, I just cut and pasted what ESPN wrote.

  48. balkman will never be a franchise player. lee will never be a franchise player. period. i’m thinking odom as the fourth/fith ‘scoring’ option, but as far as what the knicks need; ball movement, distribution, rebounds, etc… his shit puts them over the top.

    AND, go read your own analysis as to why balkman is not starting or getting starting minutes… and you wouldn’t trade him straight-up even if they were making the same salaries? do you watch pro ball? understand team needs. understand complementary players. zach’s good face up out to 15-18 feet, curry is low post, nate/crawford are scorers who would benefit playing off the ball. odom does not need to score to be effective, it’s assists and boards – and that is exactly the type of player the knicks don’t have. who’s the small forward of the future over there.. jared jeffries? please. again both of those players (lee, balkman) are bench players on a bad team. odom is 27 and coming into his prime.

    besides, the lakers aren’t doing this deal unless a kobe trade happens first – they know what they got. after that, it’s a steal if the lakers go into rebuilding mode, get him.

    odom will be back on friday-ish. seriously watch his game and picture him at the three with nate/crawford/(odom)/z-bo/curry. that’s a kick-ass first five.

    re: “…and he?s not even a good second option.”
    kobe sucks the air out the room… odom defers way too much to kobe. his shit is unstoppable.

  49. The Knicks seem to be a pretty good offensive team but a terrible defensive team….why on earth would they want to trade their best defender for more offense?

  50. I don’t necessarily think Lee and Balkman for Odom is a good trade (especially from a cap perspective) but I don’t think it’s as ridiculous as many people on this board think. He’s only 27-28 years old, plays EXCELLENT post defense (remember the Dream Team from a few years back — all the commentators were saying he was the only one playing defense), can block shots, rebounds extremely well from the SF position (9.8 RPG last year), averages between 4-6 assists per game for his career, and can shoot respectably from anywhere on the court. That’s not even talking about his lack of ego and his unbelievable ball-handling ability for a 6’10” guy.

    And he’s a NYC guy and a lifelong Knicks fan — I’d love to have more guys that just love wearing the uniform and will sacrifice to help win games (it’s taken Stephon a few years to get there lol).

    Honestly, I’d probably trade either Lee OR Balkman plus filler for him — Lee and Balkman bring much of the same thing to the table and you can never have enough guys like Odom who really are multifaceted players with no ego who can pass, rebound, defend, and handle the ball well.

    Ahhhh, not even 9 AM and I can feel the flames coming already!!

  51. It’s not that Odom is a bad player, I really like his game. He just isn’t what the Knicks need. They don’t need someone who can handle the ball; Marbury, Robinson and Crawford are all capable ball-handlers. Odom doesn’t run an offense better than Marbury does. He doesn’t rebound better than Lee. He doesn’t defend better than Balkman. All of the skills that he brings to the table are already here, and he would make the Knicks perimeter defense even worse.

  52. xduck pretty much nails it. It also bears reminding that Lee is our best player. Since Kobe seems to have some beef with Odom, why don’t we offer a straight up trade with Zach Randolph. (As if ZenMan would go for that). But you could tweak at the edges – throw in Morris, or Chandler if they were sending back a draft pick.

    How about:
    Knicks ship Zach, Chandler & Crawford to LA.

    Lakers send Odom, a draft pick & Javaris Crittenden.

    Our starting five wouuld be Marbury, Nate or Q, Balkman, Lee & Curry. Odom would play starter’s minutes off the bench, split between the 3 and 4.

    Or, in my permanent fantasy, the Lakers take Curry instead.

  53. “[Odom] a top 20 talent”

    Here are the top 30 players ranked by PER last year. Pick the 11 that Odom is better than. Honestly I can’t find one.

    Dwyane Wade
    Dirk Nowitzki
    Yao Ming
    Tim Duncan
    Kobe Bryant
    LeBron James
    Kevin Garnett
    Pau Gasol
    Manu Ginobili
    Carlos Boozer
    Gilbert Arenas
    Steve Nash
    Tracy McGrady
    Amare Stoudemire
    Elton Brand
    Zach Randolph
    Chris Bosh
    Michael Redd
    Carmelo Anthony
    Chris Paul
    Vince Carter
    Shaquille O’Neal
    Paul Pierce
    Ray Allen
    Tony Parker
    Chauncey Billups
    Dwight Howard
    Baron Davis
    Shawn Marion
    Rashard Lewis

    10 more players not included in the above list that I would probably rate above Odom: Iverson, Camby, Kidd, Okafor, Deng, Gerald Wallace, Jermaine O’Neal, Artest, Josh Smith, Iguodala.

  54. Off the top of my head, from that list I’d say he’s better than Rashard Lewis, maybe Randolph, maybe Pau, maybe Mike Redd who is an awesome scorer but the worst defensive starter in the league, per 82games. Maybe Carmelo, but that could be me channeling Dave Berri.

    Seriously, Odom has a nice game but he’s not better than David Lee who comes at 1/13 the price. You build a great roster with value… only add the overpaid slobs when it’s time for a title run.

  55. “I don?t necessarily think Lee and Balkman for Odom is a good trade (especially from a cap perspective) but I don?t think it?s as ridiculous as many people on this board think.”

    Not only is it ridiculous from a talent standpoint and a cap standpoint, but it’s ridiculous from a team standpoint. Our strength right now is our bench. Let’s say we trade Lee & Balkman for Odom. That means our bench is now: Q-Rich, Nate, Jared Jeffries, Malik Rose, and 2 rookies (Chandler & Morris). When Q-Rich gets hurt, you know Jeffries & Rose are going to get the bulk of the minutes. Just thinking about that makes me hope June will come quickly.

    How about from this perspective: how good would the Lakers be with Anybody-Kobe-Balkman-Lee-Bynum? Then how is that a good trade for us?

  56. “how good would the Lakers be with Anybody-Kobe-Balkman-Lee-Bynum?”

    2009 NBA Champions, still on the rise.

  57. The Knicks have three key reserves, Lee, Robinson, Balkman. They are effective, affordable, and crucial to any success this team will have. There is no good reason to trade two of our top three reserves, two of which could be starters on this team, for Lamar Odom.

    I’m not saying I dislike Odom’s game, I just dont think it is a good trade. I might be okay with getting Odom it if Isiah made the trade for Odom instead of Randolph. Then you start Lee at PF, Odom at SF, and Curry at C. That would be okay because we get to keep Lee and Balkman.

    I dont not believe that Odom can replace the value of Lee and Balkman. Those guys are our best rebounders and defenders on the bench. Since defense and rebounding is not exactly the strong point of the starters, it makes no sense to move those two.

    Sure, Odom is a solid defender, but he is not good enough to replace Lee and Balkman. Plus Odom has had health issues to rival Q. He has one more year left on his current deal so you probably have to extend him at a price greater than what you would pay Lee and Balkman. Two years from now you will pay Odom about 11-14 million. At he same time Balkman will be in year four of a rookie contract and Lee will be in the first year of his 6 year 46 million extention. That is still cheaper and more productive than Odom.

    I just do not see how he helps the team.

  58. OK – I didn’t say it was GOOD trade to send Lee AND Balkman, just not completely ridiculous. But I WOULD consider a Lee OR Balkman + salary filler trade. Now looking at the trade machine, it’s nearly impossible to find a combination that LA would agree to as it would probably involve sending albatross players like Rose and JJ1/2. But I am just talking about the principle of the trade. I really just don’t know how much we would lose by trading ONE of Balkman or Lee away. They both bring energy, rebounding, intangibles. To be honest, I’d probably rather keep Balkman who plays better D, can defend multiple positions and handle the ball like a guard.

    And I know we are just talking 3 games into the season right now, but it is not at all clear from those games that Lee is the “best player on the floor” for our team. In fact, I’d say right now Curry, Randolph, Crawford, and Balkman probably have had more of a positive impact on the game than Lee. And when you are talking about Lee as “so good I wouldn’t trade him for Kobe”, there is no way that one shouldn’t be able to tell that just by watching ANY game. I mean, is there ever any doubt who the best player on the floor is when you are talking Kobe, Duncan, Wade, Garnett, or even Ben Wallace back in his Pistons days? I know you guys will say these are all top 10 talents, but Lee has clearly been exalted to that level on this board.

    I love Lee as much as the next guy but our sample size for him is VERY small (1+ seasons) and it seems more likely that he will come back to earth and be an above average to very good 6th man than that he will turn into the 2nd coming of Dennis Rodman (who beyond his rebounding also was an absolute stopper on defense). So it COULD be argued that trading Lee when his perceived value is SO high might be the best time.

    Now back to Odom — what I love about his game is that he does everything pretty well — and I thought that is what everyone wants in a basketball player. With all the complaining about Curry’s 1-dimensional game, I am surprised that people are not more excited about a player that does EVERYTHING well and with no ego or need to take 20 shots/game. I think he is quite similar to Tayshaun Prince, maybe not quite as good a defender and free throw shooter but definitely a better rebounder and ball-handler.

    Would people on this board (as a matter or principle, not talking about salary issues) trade Lee or Balkman for Prince? I’d do that trade in a heartbeat.

    And caleb– who’s going to score on the Anybody-Kobe-Balkman-Lee-Bynum team? Kobe would get even more double teams than he’s seeing now and no one else on that team can hit an outside shot. It’d be a good rebounding team, a reasonably good defending team. But every NBA champion I can remember has had at least 2 if not 3 major scoring options (and the ones that had 2 had 2 hall of fame level players):

    SA — Duncan, Parker, Ginobili
    MIA – Shaq, Wade
    DET – the whole team minus Ben Wallace
    LAL – Shaq and Kobe
    HOU – Olajuwon, Drexler, Cassell
    CHI – Jordan and Pippen
    DET – Isiah, Dumars, etc.
    LAL – Magic, Kareem, Worthy, etc.

    Now, Bynum may end up being a solid scorer, but that will probably not come to fruition until Kobe’s 34 or 35. Even in the best of circumstances the Anybody-Kobe-Balkman-Lee-Bynum team probably still loses to the Spurs, Suns, and Mavs, not to mention the Celtics for the next few years. And then Kobe’s body starts to break down even more.

    Man, if people at work knew how much time I spend on this board…

  59. any chance we can forget about trades for a while and see if this team can actually play? if you keep changing the core, you’ll never have a chance to really see that.

  60. jon abbey — absolutely agree. all this talk above was just hypothetical on my part — I really do just want to see what this team can do. Just was reacting to the backlash against your bizarro counterpart jon.

  61. Frank,

    You lose money and lots of it. Lee and Balkman’s salary vs their production is a very good value. Odom’s production vs. salary is not nearly as good.

    Anyway, like you said Balkman or Lee would mean adding 11-12 million in salary. We dont have player or combination of players that the lakers would want. But if we are playing fantasy land, yes i would take Odom for Q and the JJ of your choice, I’ll even throw in Collins because i am a sport.

  62. “I really just don?t know how much we would lose by trading ONE of Balkman or Lee away. They both bring energy, rebounding, intangibles.”

    I don’t believe they bring any intangibles, except to the extent that it is difficult to quantify Balkman’s defensive impact – which, to the naked eye (or the +/- counter) – is huge.
    The other contributions are easily measured, and huge. They are great rebounders (top 3 or at their position, in the league, if you believe the per-minute stats), good passers (measured by assists), good ballhandlers (measured by excellent TO rates), and extremely efficient scorers.

    Frank – please don’t take this as a personal jab – I’m only continuing this thread because it touches on a larger point. “Intangibles” is just another word for “not famous” or “not 25 ppg.”

    “And caleb? who?s going to score on the Anybody-Kobe-Balkman-Lee-Bynum team?”

    Kobe, mostly. And Bynum (especially in another year or two). And Anybody. And Lee, who’s putting up 16 points/40 as our backup PF, while shooting over 70 percent. It would be a young team, so no championship until next year.

    ?so good I wouldn?t trade him for Kobe?

    I don’t argue that Lee is a better player than Kobe. But Lee + other guys you can get for $20 million is easily more valuable than Kobe. The proof is in the Lakers’ mediocrity.

    The argument against trading for Odom is similar.

    I wouldn’t trade either of those guys for Tayshaun, either. I believe the Lee/Balkman talent is about the same (maybe better, maybe not), but 3-4 years younger and much cheaper.

  63. point taken on the salary issues which of course are important — there is no argument about value per dollar of all our young guys. I was just trying to defend Lamar Odom of whom I’m a big fan.

    That being said, let’s enjoy our .667 winning percentage now and hopefully we won’t need to make any major moves. I like the way the team is playing and am actually excited to go to the games. Maybe I can actually break even on some of the tickets I can’t use (unlike last year where I couldn’t even GIVE them away!).

  64. The musings on this board are sometimes amusing as hell.
    Someone makes a somewhat silly trade proposal and reaction to it spreads like a wildfire.
    Suddenly everyone has a trade idea for the Knicks.
    I’m the first to point out flaws in the Knicks as currently constituted.
    But what caleb, jon abbey and others say is absolutely true:
    The core of this team is it’s bench. Balkman, Lee, and Robinson bring energy intangibles, exuberance and skills that the first five currently lack.
    They also are pushing the front five to be better.
    I would bet a lot of money that Marbury is playing better ball right now because for the first time he’s looking over his shoulder at a 5’8 guard, who shoots better than him from the arc, is a more deadly penetrator, is genuinely quicker and comparably strong, and has developed into a better passer. Marbury needs to play better now, if he wants to continue to play.
    And Balkman is simply overtaking Q, who is a step slower. And lets face it, Q was a good defender on a team that didn’t play defense last year. That probably elevated the perception of his contribution.
    And Lee is an ideal 6th man because he brings energy, because he’s effective without the ball, because he is willing to play defense, and because he makes the other big men on the court better.
    You break that up and bring in Odom and what you get is a good player, who does several things well, but also will be overshadowed by Curry, Randolph, and Crawford and Marbury.
    Do you really think he can be content in a situation like that?
    Balkman, Robinson, and Lee all are making minimum salaries and are young, and, hence, more willing to fit into this dynamic.

    Another intangible that cannot be underestimated: these guys all appear to like each other and have the benefit of largely having played together now for two years. Randolph is the new guy, but his hustle and forcefulness has helped him to fit right in.
    If they continue to battle as they have already shown this year in their two wins, this team can build off the character I think they showed when they stood up for each other in the Denver fight last year. In an odd way, it brought them together.
    It was shameful in some ways; but after the fight, they became a more cohesive unit.

    The Knicks may have some answers this years to questions that were obvious last year. As someone mentioned in one of the recent strings, before their injuries, they looked like they stood a real chance at a winning record.

    Now, they have two guys capable of getting a double double every night. A center, when guarded one-on-one, is unstoppable, a SF who can light the garden with his defense and energy, a two-guard who while playing virtually no defense, can score at will and get to the line every time he touches the ball, and a point guard who finally is playing as if he has something to lose.
    You also have a 5’8 point guard, who arguably is the toughest son of a bitch in the garden.

    I don’t know. I don’t think this is a time to even contemplate change for change sake.
    Our weakest link is Isiah. I personally find his mere presence offensive.
    But he has drafted exceedingly well. He seems to engender loyalty from his players that most coaches lack, and we have a potentially strong future with the Knicks’ young talent.

    And I think we need to get salary cap healthy. That is essential, and doable now that we have the talent we do. This team will get less expensive in a few years, and the franchise will be healthier for it in the end.

  65. Frank O.

    What is it about Isaih that you dont like? He really seems to be the best coach the knicks have had since JVG left.

    Like you said he has drafted tremendously well. No busts since coming to the Knicks. And lets remember he only made one lottery pick, Channing Frye. He turned that into the double-double machine of Zach Randolph. Ariza was a great pick for a second rounder. Lee we already know how well that has turned out. Robinson has gotten high praise from you. Collins does several things well. I cant wait to see what Chandler can do. We all wanted to find a way to keep Nichols. So the talent evaluation has been excellent.

    Now you CAN complain about the free agent signings. His best mid-level exemption signing was this year, when he signed nobody. Yeah it looks bad, but look around the league there have been awful free agent picks ups all over.

    -Larry Hughes
    -D. Marshall
    -Damon Jones
    -Mike James
    -Speedy Claxton
    -Nene Hilarous
    -Bonzi Wells
    -Marcus Banks
    -Nazr Mohammed

    I am sure there are more, well three of them are on the Knicks Jerome, James, and Jeffries. Huh? What do you mean, “that’s one person”? No way, no pro ball player could be that out of shape. My god your right! Its not a Jerome AND a James, its just Jerome James. Jermome James IS one person. God help us all! Enough comedy at Jerome’s expense.

    The trades have been good too. Now before you start whining about Francis, just remeber that we gave up next to nothing to get him AND he turned into Zach Randolph when the world thought we would be stuck with him. The crawford trade is looking much better. We got Lee, Robinson, Balkman, and Lee by trading for draft picks. We got Curry, whom for all his flaws, looks alot better playing next to a solid rebounder like Zach.

    This team is younger, more versitle, and has a much better upside than when Scott Layden left. Layden left this team in a hole that would takes years to dig out of. I compare it to the condition of the Bulls after the last title in 1998. It took them 7-8 years before they got back to a Championship level. Thomas is at the halfway point of that 7-8 window and things seem to be on the right track.

    I think Thomas gets blamed for the futility at MSG even though he is not responsible for the turmoil following our last run to the Finals (1999).

    Please tell me what you dont like about him and please try to be detailed and objective.

  66. There’s plenty to beef about when it comes to IT’s GM’ing (overpaying, treading water, mediocre trades, bad gambles) but enough was said here over the summer; I won’t rehash.

    I’m not sure why people complain so much about his coaching. Yeah – DL should be getting more minutes – but we’ll see how that plays out over the season. Isiah seems to adjust reasonably well to what he sees (talking about allocation of playing time, which I think is more important than Xs and Os and specific game prep). Individual players develop their skills. There is obviously a lot of team cohesion. He’s no coaching genius, but he’s no Mo Cheeks.

  67. Mr. Black:
    This is the best I can do to justify my thoughts on Isiah as GM and as coach.
    I offer this list of transactions…
    Now I know some will say, well this trade led to this trade, etc., but Isiah couldn?t have seen those future trades. No one can. So these trades were made all on their face.
    An example of a trade that led to something else would be Mohammed leading to Malik and picks that got us Lee and Collins.
    Amassing picks isn?t a bad idea, especially when drafting is your strength, but Thomas and Mohammed we?re mediocre players, traded for mediocre players. And throughout the record has been horrible.
    Each move kept adding salary and making the potential of getting under the cap more distant.
    I don?t buy the crap that the Knicks don?t have to worry about the cap. It?s crap. Being way over the cap puts the Knicks in the weaker position in every trade. It also makes any move the Knicks hope to make exceedingly complex.
    Isiah uses the 7-8 year argument about improvement, but I hardly want to use the failures of bad organizations be the bar for Knicks’ performance.
    I haven’t even mentioned the coaching changes…
    But here are some of the moves that Isiah made that were either flawed or downright stupid and destructive for the franchise.

    December 30, 2003
    Traded forward Clarence Weatherspoon to the Houston Rockets for guard Moochie Norris and forward/center John Amaechi
    (Not sure what he was accomplishing here other than seeming like he was doing something shortly after having been hired as GM. Not the first move I would want on my record.)

    January 5, 2004
    Acquired guards Stephon Marbury and Penny Hardaway and center Cezary Trybanski from the Phoenix Suns for forwards Antonio McDyess and Maciej Lampe, guards Howard Eisley and Charlie Ward, the rights to guard Milos Vujanic, a first-round pick in 2004 and a conditional first-round pick.
    (paid top dollar for a guy that had done nothing and still has not helped a team do anything. McDyess left and was productive. And, hey, Penny got us Francis.)

    February 16, 2004
    Acquired forward Tim Thomas and center Nazr Mohammed in a three-team trade involving the Milwaukee Bucks and Atlanta Hawks.
    (Another trade that accomplished little on its face)

    March 13, 2004
    Signed forward Vin Baker
    (Do I really need to say anything about this?)

    August 19, 2004
    Re-signed free agent forward Vin Baker.
    (Huh?)

    August 3, 2005
    Signed center Jerome James, who had been with the Seattle SuperSonics.
    (A disaster trade made based on a couple playoff games)

    February 23, 2006
    Acquired guard Steve Francis from the Orlando Magic for forward Trevor Ariza and guard Penny Hardaway.
    (Some could blame Larry for this, but Zeke is the GM. It?s on him.)

    August 9, 2006
    Signed forward Jared Jeffries, who had been with the Washington Wizards.
    (The Wiz let this guy go. Should have known something was amiss. He’s done nothing for the Knicks, except take minutes from David Lee.)

    October 31, 2006
    Waived guard-forward Jalen Rose.
    (Expiring contract might have been useful.)

    Those are the transactions…

    Now, he’s also terrible at setting up defensive schemes, makes poor starting lineup choices, he’s weak in game clock management and his end-of-game strategy often appears to be let Crawford dribble the clock down then foist up a prayer.

    But what finished it for me with Isiah was the harassment case.

  68. “What is it about Isaih that you dont like?…Please tell me what you dont like about him and please try to be detailed and objective.”

    Mr. Black– there have been extensive discussions on Isiah’s regime all summer. Instead of restating the case against Isiah, I’ll simply direct you to the archives. Though I agree with Frank O. on the improper method of rebuilding the team has taken over the past four years, I’d rather not rehash the argument, simply because it is a conversation for the off-season, and now that we are back in battle (at the risk of sounding trite) I’d rather try supporting the troops…

    Until the next fireable offense, of course.

  69. “I?m not sure why people complain so much about his coaching. Yeah – DL should be getting more minutes – but we?ll see how that plays out over the season. Isiah seems to adjust reasonably well to what he sees (talking about allocation of playing time, which I think is more important than Xs and Os and specific game prep). Individual players develop their skills. There is obviously a lot of team cohesion. He?s no coaching genius, but he?s no Mo Cheeks.”

    he did a pretty lousy job overall last year, the jury remains out on this year only three games in. I like that he picked an eight man rotation and is sticking to it, though.

  70. at 23 renaldo is basically scottie pippen at 23 without the jumpshot…which at that stage really didn’t have 3 point range.

    how many players can rebound at a rate of 10-11+ per 40 min., play lockdown defense, can help defend with either block shots or quick handed steals or even with his leaping ability, play pg as balkman did very well in summer league(pippen didn’t start playing pg until after phil jackson got there ) and simply spark a team with energy and hustle , start a fastbreak , run the break with the ball in his hand or finish a fast break with equal ability.

    there aren’t many people in the history of the game who can legitamitely claim that …of course pippen could do all that and drop 20 on you as well, in a myriad of ways…but once you take halfcourt scoring out of the equation at 23 , you have 2 pretty similar players.

  71. Owen,

    i was just posting about their comparative abilities, not their stats, pippen was used as a 2/3 while balkman a 3/4 , so their stats are of course not really going to match up.

    but guys whom his stats are far closer to( guys like david lee or dennis rodman in their rookie years) cant handle the ball like balkman can , lee certainly cant run or defend like him and , neither of them could run a team or handle the ball like renaldo ,rodman didn’t even get to the nba until he was 25 in 2 years balkman should be a much better player by then in all facets of his game making any comparison between the 2 ill fitting at best.

    its a mixture of being able to play in the defend, rebound and handle that set him apart , alot of players can do 1, some can do 2, very few can do all 3 as well as balkman can

    and i do agree he should be playing more especially when Q isn’t hitting his shots.

  72. Wouldn’t you say that Pippen was a pure small forward? He always seemed that way to me. He wasn’t a 2 at all. The Bulls actually had a 2 most of the time he was in Chicago.

    I think actually that Balkman to Pippen is an excellent comparison. Pippen was not a very polished offensive player when he came into the league, and really never excelled strictly as a scorer.

    Vecsey had an article on Balkman in the post, comparing him to Rodman, but Rodman was an interior player. Well, I remember him that way, although I guess in his earlier days he was more of a perimeter type. Balkman is a unique player, but he actually isn’t that tall, only about 6’5, so I wouldn’t expect him to be defending bigs in the post like Rodman could.

Comments are closed.