Friday, November 12, 2010

The Beginning of the End?

Optimism is waning among the Knickerbocker faithful. Tonight's game against the inexplicable Timberwolves could be a watershed moment of this young season. Lose, and the Knicks officially suck. Win, and they still may suck, but it wouldn't be official.

Anyway, I obviously expect a win, but judging from my peers on the Realgm forums, others don't agree. Here is a sampling of prognostications from other Knick diehards:

"I expect us to lose. And I won't even be upset anymore. Let's face it. Our New York Knicks have been losers for the past decade and it's not gonna change."

"Automatic loss, I won't even be mad either"
"Have a really bad feeling about this one..."
"We will get our asses handed to us.On a platinum platter. Served with a side order of Sebastian Telfair career highs of 26 points and 14 assists. It will happen."
"Loss. Blowout loss.
Followed by more D'Antoni laughing and lame excuses with his stupid accent."
"Another day, another loss."
"Another day, another game, another losing streak and another 30 win season."
So many naysayers and Negative Nancys out there in the world of Knicks fandom. Oh well I guess I'm a contrarian thinker.
Here are my notes from the awful loss to the Bucks. I was crying too hard to type watching David Lee dismantle his former team last game.
  • Maggette points to the sky after every made FT.
  •  Bucks can't miss Knicks can't penetrate the d. Bucks started 13-15 Taj Gibson then Blatche then Brand now Drew Gooden all kill Knicks in 1st. Trend?
  • Turiaf injured is bad news for the D.
  • Felton highlight alley oop to Randolph
  • Amare has a nice stroke from 3
  • Sometimes you can hear amare yelling stuff. Screamed Ahh shit after bricking a j. It's like Amar'e is mic'd up.
  • Does respect the game apply to guys screaming and one?
  • Bogut elbowed amare and amare started to pick a fight...Bogut must be thinking "scoreboard"
  • Problem with the NBA is the players are getting too good at tricking the refs. The new respect the game rule makes the refs less accountable for all their awful decisions.
  • Ohhhhh Landry fields throws down a one handed put back boomshackalacka. Unfortunately he showboated after the highlight play, despite being down 16.
  •  Nobody guards Amar'e elbow jumper.
  • Maggette fools ref flops for the charge on Wil.
  • God refs suck
  • Knicks offense sucks. Stagnant one on one
  •  Ugh Maggette king of the flops
  •  Bogut swats Amar'e then breaks, gets through the leg pass from Jennings for the monster slam, while Amar'e jogs behind
  • Fields is the only bright spot
  • Rautins sighting, hits moz with a pinpoint feed and drains a three off the curl!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Knicks after Six, 500 heading to Milwaukee

The Knicks come into tonight’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks with a respectable 3 and 3 record after 6 games. Last week the Knicks were 2-1, with wins against the Bulls (120-112)and Wizards (112-91), and a tough loss at home against the 76ers (95-106).

The game against the Bulls was a rare nationally televised game for the Knicks, and they rose to the occasion displaying the potential dynamism of their offense. They simply shot the lights out, and the Bulls, who are led by new head coach and supposed defensive mastermind Tom Thibodeau, could do little to stop the onslaught. If Thibodeau’s game plan was to stop Amar’e at all costs, then the Bulls executed their defense to perfection. The Knicks’ talisman shot an abysmal 5-21 from the field, committed 8 turnovers, and was blocked 4 times. Sounds like a recipe for disaster, but while the Bulls focused on stifling Stoudemire, the rest of the Knicks were shooting wide open 3’s, going 16-24 from downtown. 

Danilo Gallinari silenced the critics by scorching the nets early, and finished with 24 points on 11 shots. The Rooster hit all 4 of his 3 point attempts, showed some athleticism with a couple dunks, and also had a block, two steals, took a charge, and snagged 6 boards. Despite this crowfest from The Rooster, Toney Douglas was the star of the game. Toney did what he does, and did it some more, dropping a career high 30 points on 14 field goal attempts, and committed larsony 4 times. This was a great win, especially considering how the media loves the Bulls this year, and how little Amar’e contributed. 

I would be remiss if I did not mention the vicious two handed tomahawk jam that Derrick Rose threw down in this one. It looked like it could have been a move in Street Fighter or something. Also of note, The Bulls rookie head coach faced a dilemma when his bench squad staged a semi comeback in the fourth quarter, with Derek Rose and Joakim Noah on the pine. Thibodeau decided to stick with the scrubs, despite the Chicago crowd chanting “we want Rose!” I hope he was just spiting the fans for telling him how to do his job.

The Wizards then visited MSG, and John Wall wore some gilded shoes. Early on, it was the Andray Blatche show, as the chubby youngster did his best KG impression, swishing midrange jumpers left and right. Clyde pointed out his protruding belly, and it was lucky for the Knicks that Blatche is rotund and out of shape, as after the early barrage he went ice cold. Wall failed to impress for the Garden faithful, and looked out of sorts on his way to 13 measley points. The Knicks shot blocking has been a godsend this year, and they swatted away all comers and ended up with 11 blocks, led by Amar’e with 4. Wilson Chandler had the highlight of the day, make that the week, make that the year, with a vicious baseline one handed reverse slamma jamma over the giant JaVale Mcgee. The Knicks spread the wealth with 6 players finishing in double figures. The Wizards almost made a game of it behind some vintage chucking by Gilbert Arenas, but the Knicks held out. A good win over a team that they should beat every time.

The Knicks were riding high heading into the Sunday matinee against a Sixers team without their star, Andre Igoudala. The Knicks were up for most of the game after bouncing back from a hot start from the rejuvenated Elton Brand, but they blew the lead in typical fashion of the Knicks of yore, scoring just 15 points in the 4th quarter. The Sixers went to the zone, and as has been the case this whole season, the Knicks were baffled. Youngsters Jrue Holliday and Evan Turner impressed for the 76ers, and nobody on the Knicks really stood out. Also, combo guard Lou Williams looked like Paul Pierce, duping the foolish Knicks into questionable fouls with pump fake after pump fake. The Knicks have to learn to win these games if they want to be any better than mediocre.

All things considered, it was a good week for the Knicks. They went 1-1 over teams they theoretically should be beating, and 1-0 over a team that is theoretically better than them. Toney Douglas has grown into a bonafide scorer off the bench, and rookies Landry Fields and Timofey Mozgov are both contributing. The team is showing good chemistry, making the extra pass, and helping eachother on both ends of the court. Gallinari is seemingly back after his rough first 3 games, and Anthony Randolph has just been added to the mix. I can’t get over all the blocked shots I’m seeing by the Knicks. They still lead the league with 8 per game. Things are looking up, and that’s before you consider that Amar’e has yet to have a decent game. I expect a win tonight vs. the Bucks, but then again, I never expect the Knicks to lose.

Monday, November 1, 2010

3 Down, 79 to Go

The Knicks are 1-2, having beat the woeful Raptors, and lost to the imposing Celtics and Blazers. Let’s take a look back at the general themes that have emerged so far in this young season.

First, as always, the bright side of things.

Landry Fields

I just picked up Landry for my fantasy team. It looks like he is determined to hold on tight to his starting 2 spot. It has been said by many, but Fields just has a knack for the game. He knows where to be, knows his role, and makes the right decision. He is an opportunistic player, never stops looking for a lane to cut into, and is always flying after offensive rebounds. He already notched his first double-double. Fields also has played solid defense (he did get abused by Brandon Roy a little, but really, nobody could have stopped his midrange artistry). To sum up my blossoming admiration for Landry’s game, against the Blazers I said “why is Gallo in the game, take him out, put in Fields!” which is borderline blasphemy for me.

Timofey Mozgov

Against the Blazer Tim showed that he can play. He defended excellently against LaMarcus Aldridge, and swatted a few shots, all without fouling at an absurd rate. Sure he has made his share of rookie mistakes, and got a technical after he got called for a cheap foul, but like a fine wine, he will get better with age (and NBA experience).

Wil the Thrill

Wilson Chandler is loving the sixth man role. He is still playing starters minutes, and is getting into the game pretty quickly. Wil has been an all around stud, scoring with ease, resounding rebounding, and blocking shots. When Amar’e and the starters are on the bench, it’s been Wil or nothing on offense, and he has carried the Knicks through some sketchy offensive stretches. And he really looks great with his new look baby fro and beard.


The Knicks eked out a close win against a plucky Raptors squad, then battled until the dying moments against the veteran Celtics. They matched the Blazers the whole game until collapsing late. The point is they beat who they were supposed to, and nearly beat the teams they weren’t supposed to. Both losses could have gone the other way. The Knicks aren’t elite, but they gave the elite Celtics and quasi elite Blazers a run for there money. Sure it would have been nice to win, but you gotta take the crookeds with the straights right?


Last year there was swiss cheese defense, now there are NO EASY BUCKETS. The Knicks are #1 in the NBA in blocks per game, with 8.3. I mean…wow….


How can you not love Rice a Roni? He plays so hard and swats people so much. He can also dunk off of pick and rolls, and likes to make funny faces, dance, flex, and make Amar’e say “Roni is crazy!”

Dark Clouds


Yeah he is scoring a lot, but I think he was the culprit on a lot of those Blazer backdoor cuts that burnt the Knicks over and over. One time you could hear him yell “hey, what’s going on here” as the Blazers completed another backdoor layup. He has had some emphatic rejections, but needs to be more aware and guide the defense better. Also, he needs to recognize his limitations. Amar’e is not so good at dribbling, and it is painfully obvious to me, and opposing defenders, when a steal is coming. One or two dribbles should be his max. Also, Amar’e probably shouldn’t shoot contested 3’s, until he has proven he can nail some open ones. He has played decent, but needs to shoot a higher percentage from the charity stripe, and especially cut down on the turnovers.


Danilo has looked extremely bad. Preseason, I shrugged it off. The first game, meh just one game. Now it has been 3 games, and Danilo is shooting 20% and 18% from 3. My favorite player looks like a shadow of his formerly cocksure self, and I am afraid. Afraid Landry Fields and Wilson Chandler will take over most of the swingman minutes, and Gallo will drift into oblivion. Now, he is supposedly nursing a bad wrist, and also, it has only been 3 games, but whoa he looks bad. He is playing scared, and bricking shots he usually swishes. The Knicks desperately need a 3 point gunner to space the floor and open up some room for the pick and roll, and I hope Gallo will return to form. With an in form Gallo, no doubt the Knicks would be 3-0.

That’s really it for the dark clouds.

Let’s looks at some interesting stats from the first 3 games.

  •  Wilson Chandler is averaging 21 and 10, a steal and 3 blocks
  • Unfortunately, Wil is shooting 26% from downtown, and attempting 6 per game.
  • Amar’e and Landry Fields lead the team in 3 point shooting, at 40%. Not a good sign.
  • The team is shooting 68% from the line. Not good
  • The Knicks have the 2nd highest 3 point rate (3 pointers attempted/FG attempted), not surprising. Only the Magic shoot the 3 ball more often.

That’s all for now. Overall the first 3 games have been mildly encouraging, and mildly disappointing. We will surely learn more about the team this week, when the Knicks face off with the Magic, Bulls, Wizards and 76ers. They should get at least 2 wins.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Game 1: Knicks @ Raptors

It is finally here! Almost... Tonight the Knicks take on the Boshless Raptors in Toronto to open up the 2010-2011 NBA season. This is the first season of the D'Antoni/Walsh era where the emphasis is on winning and not clearing cap space and acquiring this blog's namesake (expiring contracts). Let's hope it starts off with a bang.

The Knicks will start new PG Ray Felton, Rookie SG (who is actually a SF) Landry Fields, SF Danilo Gallinari, new PF Amar'e Stoudemire, and new C Timofey Mozgov. 4 of the starting 5 are new to the squad, so this could be interesting.

The Raptors will apparently start the fab 5 of Jarret Jack (watch out, he's a Knick killer), DeMar DeRozan, Linas Kleiza, mauler/backstreet brawler Reggie Evans (kinda looks like Kimbo Slice), and Andrea Bargnani.

Kleiza is returning to the NBA after plying his trade in Europe last season. He now sports a beard and this will indubiously lead him to put up a career year. I'm thinking 18 and 8 for the Lithuanian.

Anthony Randolph sprained his ankle yesterday so he is out. Look for Douglas, Chandler, and Turiaf to get a bunch of time off the pine, and maybe Bill Walker will get some burn.

Anyway, obviously I think the Knicks will win. Let's say 115-101. Raptors got no D.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Opening Night Eve

It is Knicks Opening Night Eve, and once again I feel like a kid waiting for Christmas. It has been a long wait and hopefully the season will bring a modicum of success to MSG. I am not much for the business of prognosticating and predicting, and prefer instead to reflect and analyze on what has actually happened. So now that the real thing is on deck, it is time for the foolish crystal ball reading to end and time to let the games begin.

The new look Knicks have completed the preseason and there were many bright spots, but the realist in me must also acknowledge the potential dark clouds still looming over the franchise.

The Bright Side

Amare’s Leadership

Amar’e has come to NY and has taken over the Knicks. What we have seen from him so far is that he is embracing the chance to steer the ship, and wants to captain it to glory. You know about work ethic, shooting countless jumpers after practice, but in the Knicks training camp show on NBA TV, we saw that he is a vocal leader and is setting the tone for the whole team. Hopefully the culture of losing has been washed away and Amar’e can instill a new franchise wide attitude, and continue his winning ways in the NBA.

Young, Hungry Talent

The Knicks are among the youngest teams in the league, and there is a lot of competition for spots that hasn’t been present the last couple years. Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari may be the incumbents at the 2 and 3 spots, but Toney Douglas, Landry Fields, Andy Rautins, Billy Walker, Anthony Randolph, and (eventually) Kellenna Azubuike are desperate to prove themselves, earn a role in the rotation, and show they deserve big minutes. Nobody can relax and play laid back (Duhon) or chuck away ill conceived 3 pointers (Harrington), or suck at offense (Jeffries) and expect to play. Add in Mozgov, the mysteriously promising 7’1” Russian import, who by all accounts is a quick learner, astute, diligent and an elite athlete, and finally the Knicks have some promising prospects. These guys are scrappy and hungry, but they also have some skills. Gallinari, Douglas, Rautins, Walker, and Azubuike are all capable of shooting 40% from 3. Randolph could be a rebounding, shot blocking, slashing force like Shawn Marion, and Mozgov can protect the paint like David Lee (miss you) never could. The competition between these guys should raise everyone’s game to a higher level and create a more focused and determined vibe throughout the team.

A Real Team

The Knicks finally have got past the salary cap purging era of yesteryear, and now have built an out and out team. Nobody has to worry about being shipped out anytime soon(unless Carmelo or Chris Paul are involved), and the team can grow together knowing that they were brought to the Knicks for their skills and who they are as players, not for their cap number in the books. This is great from a fan’s perspective, as we can all cheer for the team and hope for this season, instead of pining for money saving trades and dreaming of the possibilities of the offseason. Also, the team’s chemistry will undoubtedly be better, since the players know they are in it together, playing for the team, and not just mercenaries playing for themselves.

Eddy Curry (Being Injured)

I think it is finally safe to say we have seen the last of Eddy Picante. It is sad, since he was once so awesome (I witnessed him score 24 points in a first quarter at the Garden a few years ago, and really thought he was going for 100.) But it is not sad, since he would not have helped the Knicks if he were healthy. Recently Coach D has mentioned that Eddy could resume basketball activities soon, but no worries, this just means his next calf injury is on the way.

The Moz

I love Europeans, actually, all foreign players, especially one’s over 7’. From Pavel Podkolzin, to Diop, to the Sene Train, to Darko, to the great Yao and Yi, I have a soft spot for mysterious big men from across the pond. Most of the time, as illustrated by the previous list, these guys crash and burn in the NBA, but this will not be the case for my main man Mozgov. This guy excels in the pick and roll, has a slick post game, is aggressive, strong, and fast, and blocks shots with ferocity. He seems to have the complete package (minus defensive rebounding) to be a solid if not excellent center, and as usual, my optimism is through the roof on this guy. Plus, just look at him…

Landry Fields

From an unheard of 2nd rounder, to a potential opening day starter, Landry’s stock has been ever on the rise. He is a do it all small forward, with a heady game and a knack for doing the right thing. He can shoot a little, skies to the rim for rebounds and layups, and has quick feet on the defensive end. The dude scored 22 ppg for Stanford last year, to go along with 8 boards, so he is capable of big numbers. The only downside to Fields is he looks very similar to Gallo on the court, with his number 6 jersey, fauxhawked dark haired dome and light skin; it is hard to tell who is who. Also, is he black, white, caublinasian? Anybody know?


The Knicks are going to challenge, disrupt, and block a lot of shots this year. Gallo, Chandler, Amar’e, Turiaf, Mozgov, and Randolph are all likely to block over a shot per game. No more swiss cheese defense! No easy buckets! Add Toney Douglas, Ray Felton, and maybe Andy Rautins pestering ball handlers up the court, and we may have an average, or maybe even above average defensive team.


Speaking of defense, Toney Douglas…The man is an idol for defensive specialists like myself, and he has shown a marked improvement on the offensive end as well. His shot has always been pure, but now he is finding rollers and orchestrating the offense with aplomb. Toney will play a much bigger role this year, either as the 1st guard off the bench or as the starting 2 guard. The backcourt combo of Felton and Douglas, although small, is tough, quick, and ferocious, and will be a joy to watch.

A Real NBA Point Guard

People may not be over the moon about the Ray Felton signing, but I love it. I myself play point guard, and watching Chris Duhon at the reigns of the team was absolute torture. Felton has shown he has a developing understanding with Amar’e, and also showed how he loves to push the pedal to the medal and get out on the break and get the offense going. He defends well, has an edge that New Yorkers tend to enjoy, and I think he will prove himself to be more than just a decent NBA point guard this season.

The Rooster

 How could I not mention Danilo Gallinari? Last year was essentially his rookie season, and he dropped 15 and 5. Now we get to see if The Rooster is just scratching the surface, peeling of layers of his onion, or if he is what he is going to be. I obviously think he will make another huge leap forward in his second full season. I predict game winners, frequent trips to the foul line, stifling defense, and upgrades in rebounding and assists. We’ll have to watch to find out what caliber of player Gallo is going to turn into.

The Dark Clouds

Lack of Rebounding

The biggest thing the Knicks will miss about David Lee is his incredible rebounding. Fans complain that he never boxed out, that he stole rebounds from teammates to stuff his stats, but the fact remains that David Lee was a force on the glass. Replacing Lee with Amar’e means the rest of the squad is going to have to pick up the slack in the rebounding department. In the preseason, the Knicks were dominated on the glass, illustrated by nearly being doubled in rebounds in a loss to the Wolves. It is a major cause for concern. Stoudemire, Turiaf, and Mozgov might be average rebounders. Gallinari and Chandler are decent, but could, and need to be better. Toney Douglas and Ray Felton will have to chip in. The one bright spot is Anthony Randolph, whose per minute stats show him to be a potential vacuum cleaner on the boards. It is a bit concerning that he did not crash the boards in the preseason like I expected he would… Double digit rebounds per game for Randolph would be extremely welcome, and beneficial to the team.

Lack of Cohesion

The Knicks added Felton, Rautins, Fields, Randolph, Stoudemire, Mozgov, Turiaf, Azubuike and Mason Jr. to the team. That’s 9 new players who will likely all play a role for this team. They return Douglas, Gallo, Chandler, and Billy Walker. Reports from the preseason say that while team chemistry is generally good, there is still a lot of uncertainty with regard to roles, tendencies on the court, and comfort level between players. In Real Training camp, we saw Amar’e hit a wide open Turiaf under the basket with a pass from the top of the key. Unfortunately, he hit Roni in the back of the head. I watched the 30 for 30 “Once Brothers” on ESPN, and what stood out to me the most was the footage of the Yugoslavian national team dishing. The chemistry was really like nothing I’ve seen before. Like Dino Radja said, they could have played with there eyes closed. When the defense thought Kukoc was about to lay it up, he’d drop off a dish to Vlade Divac. Divac would then dupe the defense, and lay off a pass to Petrovic, who would then find Radja for the dunk. To everyone it looked like the shot was going up, but the Yugoslavs knew where and when to find their teammates, and it led to easy buckets, and opponents with their shorts around their ankles. Team chemistry is something that grows organically, and the Knicks don’t and can’t expect to have it yet. We can only hope it develops, and soon.

Anthony Randolph

I like to look on the bright side and the bright side of Randolph is blinding as the sun. Unfortunately, his preseason play was very disconcerting. He may have skills and talent, but he doesn’t know what to do with it. He shoots out of rhythm, travels often, and never seems sure of himself. I have faith that Mike D will be able to extract the sweet nectar that is his untapped potential, and hopefully it will be soon. Since the ‘Bockers are so short on rebounding, it would be nice if Anthony could figure it out and slot in at starting center, since he is probably the most capable rebounder on the team.

My Season Preview from Last Year

Yes I believed the Knicks would make the playoffs, and win a few post season games at that. Obviously I was wrong. This year I have even more belief in the team than I did last year, but I also have an inescapable feeling that my optimism is delusional. Am I a homer? Of course, my love for the Knicks keeps me from truly being objective. But does that mean I’m wrong in my optimism? This is a sport, and in sports, crazy, unexpected things happen. I think the Knicks can grab the 4 spot, behind Miami, Orlando, and Boston.

Looking into my crystal ball

ESPN’s team of NBA experts had the Knicks finishing about 2nd in the Atlantic, and 7th or 8th overall. I’m sure we’d all be thrilled with this, but on the bright side of things, I think the Knicks can reach the dizzy new heights of 4th place. Of course it is the general consensus that The Heat, Celtics, and Magic will be atop the East, but after them it is a little more murky. The Bulls should be good, the Bucks are getting some love, and of course the Hawks can’t be looked past, but it is my belief that the Knicks can topple these teams, with a record of 49-33. A first round matchup against the Bulls will bring the passion of playoff hoops back to the Garden, and a second round meeting with the Heat will spread NBA fever throughout the greatest city in the world. Could the Knicks get revenge after being shunned by LeBron? It is unlikely, but possible nonetheless. I may be dreaming, but what better time to be optimistic than Opening Night eve?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The NYC Factor: Amar'e Gets it

For years, the Knicks have been missing a superstar and former Phoenix Sun Amar'e Stoudemire has arrived to fill that void. The Knicks have not had this good a player with this big of a personality since The Legend himself, Walt Clyde Frazier. Amar'e is primed to take over New York City, and he knows it too.

He simply has big things written all over him. He has a big social media presence, will be a major role model in the community, gives great interviews, and isn't afraid to be candid and honest unlike most cliche spewing athletes. He is an impressive, larger than life character, and he rides around in a custom Maybach (I'd love to hear what Clyde thinks of that). I just watched an MSG special on him, and some of the dunks he throws down will blow the roof off of MSG this winter. He is a nasty, mean finisher, and we all know New York Knick fans love players with an attitude. Amar'e set the trend and saw the big picture when choosing NYC and the Knicks, and set the precedent for future stars to call the big apple home. Don't be surprised when this guy starts popping up with major endorsement deals and is all over your TV.

The Knicks have a team full of charismatic, energetic, and entertaining players this season. Felton, Turiaf, Randolph, Gallinari, Stoudemire, and Douglas all are (or will surely soon be) fan favorites, and I think the chemistry on the court will be at an all time high. Stoudemire is showing his desire to lead the team to greatness, and seems committed to the mission and to the Knicks. It could all be PR stunts, but I really believe in his ability to become a leader. Maybe Steve Nash and the Phoenix vets were holding this back in Amar'e. He's a grown ass man now and is ready to lead a squad and become a Knicks and NYC legend. I just hope his defense is ready too.

Gonna Fly Now

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Knicks Should be a Playoff Team

The Knicks did not land LeBron, but they are an improved squad. This years roster has loads of potential and should be much better than last years team. Then again, I thought that about last years team vs. the year before that, so my optimism may be foolhardy.

That being said, for the first time in a while the Knicks vessel will be steered by a legitimate NBA starting point guard in Ray Felton. They finally feature a go to scorer who demands double teams (Amar'e), and are flush with sharpshooters (Gallo, Buike, poss. Rautins) and big men who can block shots (Turiaf, Timofey, Randolph).

The main key to the team's success is how quickly the team gels, and how the chemistry develops. Who will be the team leader? Will Gallo step up and make it his team, is Amar'e fit to lead, or is Felton going to raise the level of those around him and be the floor general Mike D hasn't had since Nash? Will the chemistry between Felton and Amar'e be there? Say what you will about Duhon but he knew how to find D Lee on the crucial pick and roll.

The way I see it, the team should be solid, and there are a few x factors that could vault them to near 50 wins. Last year I thought the x factor was Darko. If he would have turned out to be the shotblocking center to back up Lee, maybe the Knicks would have made the playoffs. Clearly he didn't work and the team faltered.

This year, the Knicks need to see Gallo step up yet again and assert himself as a star, and not disappear for weeks like last season. They need Felton to master the pick and roll with Amar'e. They need Randolph to be a rebounding and shot blocking force (which he has been in limited minutes). Lastly and maybe most importantly, the Knicks need to play solid defense as a unit. This year the team is full of hard working players who are committed to defending, as opposed to last year when we had role players with superstar attitudes. 50-32 may be a stretch, but it is not out of the realm of possibilities.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Three Comforting Thoughts for Knicks Fans

1. At least we will still be able to get cheap tickets on craigslist.

2. We have 2 of the most talented youngsters in the league, Gallo and Anthony Randolph, who are both 21 years young.

3. It is possible that there exists a "Lost" like alternate universe going on right now in which LeBron joined the Knicks and everybody goes to heaven.

Wait, so Walt was really young LeBron all along?!?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Moving on

Oh well, I can't blame LeBron for choosing to play with Wade and Bosh if they are really tight friends. It must have been an excruciating decision to make. The saga is over, LeBron chose to form the ultimate big 3, which will certainly have a spiffy nickname before long. Pat Reilly will unleash LeBron in the form of Magic Johnson of the showtime Lakers, and the Heat will win. I don't care about the Heat though, this is a Knicks Blog, and the Knicks are who I care about. Screw LeBron.

The news now is the impending sign and trade featuring David Lee. If Lee signed off on a lucrative offer to Golden State, then we may be hailing the arrival of some pretty intriguing players from the Warriors. Anthony Randolph has some serious skills, rebounding and blocking shots with aplomb, and could be see his potential tapped by the offensive mind of Mike D'Antoni. He was stifled on the bench by Don Nelson for unknown reasons. Also, Ronny Turiaf would provide a big defensive presence in the paint that the Knicks have been sorely lacking, and is a high motor player who will help make up for the rebounding vacuum left by D Lee. Kelenna Azubuike is a solid guard, who i believe can play some defense. With this trade the Knicks would have some depth and still maybe a few million more for a second tier free agent. It wouldn't make them instant title contenders, but it would be a good step toward building a solid team and softening the blow of LeBron's decision. Like i said before, I still believe the Knicks will turn out to be a playoff team next year and Amar'e is capable of elevating his game for NYC.He would have been huge in NYC. Oh well.

Our roster could shape up like this:

PG-Douglas, or FA's Ridnour, Felton, etc.


SF-Anthony Randolph

PF- Amar'e

C- Turiaf (think Joakim Noah role)

Not too shabby.

Lebron Day Diary

July 8th 2010. 8:02 PM: Today's date could be looked back upon as the day LeBron James signed for the New York Knicks. Think about that for a second. A New York Knicks dynasty could begin in an hour. The excitement at the garden on opening night will be unprecented. With LeBron, Amar'e, the Rooster, and Ill Wil as the top 4, the Knicks will perennially win 60 games and contend for the title. This is the most important day of my life...

The word on the street is that LeBron is going to the Heat, and MSG stock prices are tanking. I do not believe any of the rumors, because yesterday everybody said it was probably going to be New York. The modern sports media means we get rumors from anonymous sources that are very often not true. Every team has been rumored to be in the lead for LeBron at different points in this search, which may be a media ploy to keep every teams hopes up and thus keep viewers interested. I like twitter because you get a more personal relationship with the players, but I hate it for all the rumors that it leads to.

Despite the Miami talk, my gut says he is going to be a Knick. Broussard says 80% but says his gut says Cleveland. He basically just admitted his sources are not reliable and he thinks it will be Cleveland. Ugh i wish it was 9:09! Mike D'Antoni is on a plane, but he probably has Wifi and will be watching or at least he will be actively emailing. Donnie Walsh quipped that he is going to be watch a movie, but his blackberry will be buzzing right after the announcement.

Right now I feel optomistic, but I'm not getting my hopes up. The possibility is good enough for me right now. If it doesn't happen, we will move on and try to build a playoff team for the upcoming season. Sure it will be disappointing if the Knicks are shunned, and especially so if the Heat land LeBron. I still believe the Knicks will turn out to be a playoff team next year and Amar'e is capable of elevating his game for NYC.

This is the Optimistic Knicks Blog after all.

8:57 PM

Just went for a jog in Central Park. I couldn't just sit here and wait around for the announcement. Everyone apparently still says Miami, but my stance remains the same. My gut says LeBron still, but I'm getting a little sad thinking about the chance that me might say Miami or Chicago or Cleveland and not New York. If indeed the King says no to the Knicks, I hope at least he goes somewhere surprising like the Clippers, the T Wolves, or get sign and traded somewhere out of the blue.

9:00 PM OK shit shit gotta watch this it's starting. This is so lame I wish LeBron never did this stupid special. It is so dramatic but it is drama for the sake of drama. Maybe he is so undecided about what he wants to do, he had to set this huuuuge deadline to force him to make up his mind. Let's see what happens, the announcement should come within 10. My head is going to explode.

9:13 PM

They said the announcement would be at 9:10!!! Ugh dirty rotten liars! This better not drag on for much longer. I can't stand all these predictions. Broussard is waffling saying his mind says Cleveland, his sources say Miami, ugh. This is lame, but the big M Night Shyamalan twist is coming up!


Jim Grey and Lebron! Here come thes big...vitamin water commercial with headless LeBron! F! The announcement must be soon, ESPN be damned.

9:22 No more Stuart Scott please...

9:23 How is Jim Grey asking LeBron any questions besides "What'll it be LeBron?"

9:26 This is the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen. These questions should be for after the reveal, not before. He has to answer everything without spilling the beans...F this.

I hope he picks the Knicks!

9:27 PM


Friday, May 14, 2010

Thank You Celtics!

Wow, what a game the Celtics played last night to oust the favored Cleveland Cavaliers and LeBron James. The Celtics were dominant, and straight up stifled the Cavs offense. LeBron tried his best, but every avenue to the lane was cut off, nobody else on his team wanted the ball, and Coach Mike Brown could not figure out a way to get things going for his team. The Celtics imposed their will on the game, shared the ball, played with gusto, and as Doc Rivers adamantly urged, they did it "Together".

The Cavs were simply outplayed, and I was rooting hard for the Celtics, which made me feel a little dirty. By the end of the game I had to remind myself I was a Knicks fan again, and it was time to rejuvenate my hatred for the Celts. I think this embarrassing series loss is the best thing Knicks fans could have hoped for. The media storm will only continue to brew and build, and will easily surpass Brett Favre levels of endless, repetitive, uninformative rumor mill hype. Until July 1st (and likely for a while after), the world will only be able to speculate, and we will. As your optimistic Knicks Blogger, I am confident that last night's result will lead to the beginning of the LeBroKnicks, and it is very exciting.

Here are some more thoughts about the game and what it may mean for the future:

  • KG was great. I thought he was washed up, but he put on a throwback display last night. 11-19 shooting, 22 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assists, 0 turnovers and great defense. Kevin Garnett #5 Of The Boston Celtics Goes

  • KG's jumper was pure all night
    • LeBron's triple double was the most underwhelming I've ever seen. Granted I haven't seen many, but he just seemed flustered the whole game. He would try to turn it on, show a noticeable extra pep in his step, then turn it over and resume his sulky, underwhelming play.
    • LeBron frequently didn't try on defense after he or a teammate screwed up on O.
    • Antawn Jamison and Delonte West seemed petrified to screw up. This is not a good way to play hoops. They were so passive and indecisive, and just wanted to hand off the ball to LeBron as quickly as possible. LeBron played poorly, but he needed some help. Mo Williams tried at least, but it wasn't enough. The team shot 38%...
    • The last point makes me wonder how The Rooster, Ill Wil, Toney Douglas and whoever else may team up with LBJ next season will be able to handle the pressure of playing with the King. Gallo was reluctant to shoot when the likes of Al Harrington and Chris Duhon wanted the ball. Will he keep developing his aggressive play sharing the court with the almighty LeBron? It seems to be quite a burden trying to help get a ring for the King.
    • I believe Mike D'Antoni would have been able to figure out a way to get LeBron some better looks.
    • Hat tip to Bill Simmons for getting the New York Knicks chant going when LeBron was at the charity stripe. Last night was like a Bizzarro world where Boston fans chanted for the Knicks and I was giddily rooting for the Celtics.
    • Shaq's next career move should definitely be to the WWE. He debuted his would be signature move, the Diesel Drop, on Kendrick Perkins last night. This move is basically a belly flop to the face. Perk is so badass he wasn't even fazed though.
    • One possession, Big Baby had the ball on the elbow, guarded by Big Z. Rondo, who clearly didn't like what he foresaw, could be heard shouting emphatically for the ball. Big Baby ignored his phenomenal point man, pump faked and recklessly and fruitlessly drove to the lane for a missed layup. The ensuing trip down the court, while a player on the Cavs shot foul shots, a Celtic off-screen (presumably Rondo) was berating Big Baby for the selfish play. Big Baby flipped, on camera, and started pounding his chest in frustration and shouting in a steady crescendo, clear as day for a primetime national audience to hear "I F#$*ed up, I F#$*ed up, I F#$*ed up, I F#$*ed up!!!!" Ok psycho...                          
    • Rondo is an amazing point guard and one of my favorite players. His combination of defensive tenacity, court vision, shaking and baking, swooping and ooping, and driving and thriving is quite impressive. Imagine if he had a jump shot and could hit free throws...21 points, 12 assists and 5 steals for the rangy, raging Rajon.

     Rajon Rondo #9 Of The Boston Celtics Lays
    Rondo Penetrating and Devastating
    • I am very upset Rajon Rondo signed an extension this year. I wish the Knicks had a shot at a Rondo and LeBron pairing. Wow that would be an unstoppable pair.
    • Tony Allen had one of the most amazing dunks I've ever seen. He pulled his arm so far back behind his head before throwing it down. That guy is both amazing and terrible at the same time. Check it out. Boomshakalaka
    • Seriously, has there ever before been a time when a guy gets 27, 19, and 10 with 3 steals and a block and it is considered a bad game. LeBron just did it. 9 turnovers helps illuminate what a struggle it was for LeBron. He must have just thrown a pass to the wrong team 3 or 4 times.
    • Did this game make me want LeBron a little less? Yes. But he is still by far the #1 target and the best player in the league.
    • Finally, down 9 with a little over a minute to go (I think), the Cavs decided not to foul, and to give up hope. They most likely were going down, but this collective quit by the team was curious and rare to see. It would seem as though they accepted defeat well before this point in the game, and you would hope that LeBron would be able to lead them out of such a mindset, but he seemed to be resigned to the fact that they were going down as well. It is this lack of fight and passion in the face of defeat that is the biggest reason I think LeBron is about to kiss Cleveland goodbye. His teammates gave up, and he had no faith in them in this big game. I think the damage is irreparable, and he will be a Knick.

    Cleveland Cavaliers Forward LeBron James Listens
    Lebron has a lot of pondering to do...

    Saturday, March 27, 2010

    Knicks Stink vs. Suns

    The Knicks played the Phoenix Suns last night and really stunk up the joint. Playing in front of a lifeless and half full Phoenix crowd, the Knicks brought no energy or focus on defense and were diced and sliced by Steve Nash and were absolutely dominated by the Phoenix big men. The Knicks lost 132=96, so nothing really important happened in the game, and it was clear from the start, it would be the Suns' night.

    All that really matters right now are the young players and guys who might be on the Knicks next season, so that'll be my main focus.

    Toney Douglas looked lost out there. He is having some downs but the ups will come and it is important that he gets some experience as the season comes to a close. He needs to learn to run the pick and roll better, and he needs to learn to pass it to Gallo when he is wide open for 3.

    Gallinari seemed to have got the message that he is a star in the making, and played with a vigor that is rarely seen from the Rooster. Hopefully his little duel with Carmelo Anthony lit an inextinguishable fire in Gallo to be the best. He didn't shoot well but he just moved with more gusto, ran the court like the wind, and fought hard on the glass. He finished with 16 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks, not his best night by any means but I thought he looked good.

    Bill Walker made one of the most ridiculous dunks I've ever seen, but unfortunately stepped out of bounds right before it happened. It is sad but record of this dunk may be lost forever.

    JR Giddens has one ugly looking jump shot, but he sure can play some D and slash to the hoop.

    TMac's knee was disagreeing with him and he had to leave the gamet. I really am pulling for him to regain his health but it isn't looking good. Then again it wasn't looking good for Grant Hill a while back, so it's possible.

    Watching this game made me wish I was in Phoenix, where it was 75 and sunny, but also made me glad to be a New Yorker, after witnessing the Suns pathetic fans. The place was half full, and dead quiet, in a win, for an incredibly entertaining team, that is also about to lock up a playoff spot. It was sad. Can you imagine if the Knicks had a team like that? MSG would be a madhouse 41 times a year, and even better in the playoffs. Knicks fans are the best. Unfortunately the Knicks are not.

    Lastly I have to mention Robin Lopez. That guy looked really huge, really funny, and really good. He is going to be a solid center for a long time. I can only dream that one day he will be reunited with his brother Brook and form the most comical and dominant twin towers combination the league has ever seen.