Overall Game Grade: A
Grade inflation for a sloppy pre-season game which the Knicks won 92-83? Grades are all relative and sometimes irrelevant. In this instance the A represents the thrill of being able to see some NBA-type basketball finally. The Knicks-Nets game was sloppy at points but it was great to see the possibilities in action. I watched the game on YES and MSG. I may never watch yes again. Boring. Boring. Boring. But with the sound down the game looked good enough for a start.
Mike D'Antoni and Mike Woodson (aka Woodtoni): A
"Woodtoni", another Steadyism (term or phrase coined by Knick Fanatic Steady), reads better and funnier than D'Ant-Wood, but it does not reflect the fact that MikieD is still the HEAD coach. Certainly, this coupling is a work in progress which is certainly better than being a work in regress, which may yet happen, but for now they seem to be working together just fine. Woodson's influences are very apparent. Most notable is the usage of Renaldo who never appeared to be a D'Antoni favorite. It is clear that the offense is going to suffer initially, at least until the MikeSquare (yet another nickname for the two headed Mike) get a distributing point guard and everyone figures out how to maximize Stat around the paint.
Iman Shumpert: A-
Wow. In 25 minutes he had 16 points,two steals and two assists. He has the confidence of the dude on the playground or in the gym who knows that he is getting his stuff off and he is going to do damage no matter who is on the court. He is also willing to listen and learn. If that is a reflection of his work ethic, OMG. He is 6'5" and physical. He played in the ACC so I am surprised that Cooleyhigh, one of our ForceMDs (basketball doctors in the DC area) didn't have a word to share with us on him. He was breathtaking. Long, fast, quick, smooth shot.
Renaldo Balkman: A
Somebody (Balkman) has been working on his game. Still Tazmanic, Balkman led all scorers with 20 points and high energy. How ironic was it for Balkman to play one of his best NBA games on the day former sportswriter now MSG analyst, Alan Hahn had his show debut. Hahn, graded below, was one of the writers who perpetually questioned Balkman's basketball intellect. On D, Balkman still reaches a lot but he seems to know where he needs to be at all times on both sides of the floor. His baseline cuts on O may be very productive for this team. (If you want to see a nice collection of Balkman videos, check out the offerings from Peaceman in the comment section of the post-game post).
Josh Harrelson: B+
I have a feeling he is going to be a great utility man. He can bang and shoot. The Knicks need big bodies like his on both ends of the floor.
Jared Jeffries: B
His value increases with the acquisition of Tyson Chandler. Jeffries was the Knicks defense last year. He seems ready to continue that energy and aggression this year.
Tyson Chandler, Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony: B
It's only their first NBA game together so it was no surprise that the anticipation was more exciting than their actual play together. There is still much work to do. Tyson Chandler did not overexert himself, but as D'Antoni noted, the guards missed him on open cuts to the basket numerous times. It was great to see a Knick easily grab rebounds. Carmelo seemed more comfortable offensively than Stoudemire ( 3 for 11 for 10 pts w/ 6 boards and 3 assists). Finding Studdy and getting him the ball in his spots should be a priority. Their were times when he and Carmelo worked really well together. Also Stoudemire, who raised his profile by 1 full inch, looked good physically.
Toney Douglas: C
Very active but still very disappointing because we want him to play like a starting point guard, not a pretty good reserve two guard. You would hope that he would be further along by now with his point guard instincts. Part of that is attributable to the coaching staff for not giving him all the opportunities available these past two years. Nevertheless, Toney (5 pts, 6 boards and 5 assists in 30 mins.) must take responsibility for picking up his dribble far too quickly, not penetrating with greater frequency, and missing pick and rolls, lobs and fast break opportunities. He still has a chance, but the Knicks are probably not going to show the patience he needs to grow into the roll.
Landry Fields: B-
Now is the time for him to find the rhythm he will need playing with the Fantastic III. He and Shumpert bring different speeds and levels of athleticism to the table, but Fields has shown he can play the 4th man role without the ball. Poor shooting (2-12 for seven points) this game, but he hit the boards(7), gathered a couple of steals (2), and a couple of assists (2). He continues to demonstrate good energy. I'm guessing that he will improve.
Mike Bibby: C
Five points, three assists, two steals. I don't know. He's just not the answer. I can't pinpoint it yet, but I'm just not feeling Bibby. Real analytic huh? Some of you know what I mean. He plays smallish and without consistency on the three, he's really just filling time until he can collect his pension. Sorry, but today was a C and this is probably not his mid-season form, so we expect him to improve at least a little.
Just got back from the open practice.Kind of liked what I saw.These guys seem to like each other, good start.Douglas has a ways to go, but it is doable, but then BANG, along come news that Baron Davis signed for the 2&1/2 mil exception.How hurt is this guy and what are his expectations?If he wants to help and is healthy he could do a lot.If he has a top dog mentality he could fyck up a fragile situation.Disregard NJ games, there is only 2/5ths of a team there.They need to get Stern to be their GM too and Howard might appear.Nice things happening in our pleasantly renovated space., but these guys are still strangers to each other.Shumpert has ability but is very raw, needs time to hone his game.Harrelson, very strong hands,Josh the Stripper?and likes to shoot the 3.Doesn't look bad either, plus he likes to bang.While people are trying the ball slows down too much, the usual suspects guilty here, guys start watching instead of screening and cutting.D'eadWood combo is strange.Woodrow is out there exerting a lot wore than defensive authority.It looks more like he's co-coaching than assisting.Chandler made a few nice interior passes our guys haven't seen in a while.He was also missed on a few rolls he made after screening.That movement was a pleasant surprise.He seems to know how to play.Now if that is catching...?Offensive ball movement has to grow.The ball is still stopping too much in non-productive spots.Weak side is not making moves but watching.P&Rs being missed with regularity.However the D has potential.Chandler is a legit shotblocker and covers a lot of makeup ground.If he holds guys accountable we will improve.All in all I'm hopeful, but can D'eadwood survive a weak assed opening?We can beat bad teams, but good ones...?
Hahn acts like he actually played this game without a hockey stick.He should stick to the game he knows.Kiki knows bball.Why exactly is Hahn there?
Source says Baron Davis' deal with NY is - predictably -for one year with the $2.5 million exception the Knicks were limited to.10 minutes ago via TweetDeck Reply RetweetFavorite@sam_amickSam Amick
Knicks may have to run offense through Melo and perhaps Fields rather than Tony D or Bibby. I am hoping that D'Antonio will gradually enable Shumpert to play the point. He seems to have a good handle, sustains his dribble much better than TD, and penetrates on drives that can enable his own shot or pass off to others. He strikes me as the real deal--an aggressive, up-tempo player, who can energize his team and alter positively the flow and dynamics of a game. Steady needs to give us a nickname for this guy.
I was also impressed with Taz (see my comment re: Peaceman's thread below) and the 2nd round draft choice, josh Harrellson. He twice snatched, or more accurately, tore the ball out of opponents hands. He can shoot from outside and takes up his share of space in the middle for defense and board work. JH seems comfortable as a solid backup center or perhaps power forward. Interesting that D'Antoni or Wood-Toni gave him floor time ahead of Jerome Jordan--who saw no burn in the 1st preseason game.
I agree that Fields contributes in many ways, but ssems to hesitate or lost confidence in his outside shot---a mental matter that needs an adjustment. He might try reading some Zen-Buddhist stuff to relax (as O & B) recommended in the LBE (see below) or perhaps try George Leonard's "Mastery: The Keys to Success and Long-Term Fulfillment"-- a useful read no matter what "Field" you choose to endeavor or even if your first name is Landry.
Overall, I liked the potential I saw on the floor, but the team is still very much a work in progress that will need time to jel if it is to excel. LGK
Ricky Rubio's debut. Nice passer.
For those of you who did not get MSG, check out Hahn for yourself.
Ok, I am close to being set on the KFB line-up for this season. It's looking good, I think. It looks something like this:
Sundays at 7:30 pm Knicks Fanatics Radio Show hosted by Peaceman and O&B
Funky Fanatic Fridays Featured music selection leads to Knicks article dump
Game Days -- 66 Live Blogging Events hosted by Peaceman, O&B and Lives
Pre-game analysis by Ciaran Gowan
Articles by Peaceman, Ciaran, and O&B
More regular features to come. I'm still testing stuff out, but I want you to know what you can expect in addition to the lively discussions and fellowship amongst the Fanatic Family. I'm working on some free ticket contests amongst other things.
I must also mention that the LBE was fun to read. I see Post Up Prince, Steady, Peaceman,, O&B, JerseyLucas. Next time we look forward to the likes of DLT JSmoove, Hassan, and our old head regulars to join us.
I doubt that I can make the Christmas Game fellas. I'll be in Chi-town away from my bat cave. If I can get to a computer and away from family, I'll join you. Otherwise, I'll have to miss the first game of the season. Still, I expect the LBE to be JAMMING.
I watched this game on both Yes and MSG. It was our old friend, Alan Hahn's debut as a regular in-studio analyst for MSG. I meant to give him a grade too. I think I would give him a "B." I know you folks don't remember but I predicted his ascension two years ago. So, I am not surprise that he continues to rise. He looked good on the screen but was trying a little bit too hard to sound more knowledgeable than Kiki which he clearly is not. He had some good observations but seemed a little long in his comment and a bit alpha-doggish.
However, it is only a pre-season debut and like Shumpert he should get better and fit in with the flow better.
Don't you think? Don't hate, just because you don't have that job.
@Peaceman what is Source saying about the China Lockeout Stars? IT bears to keep in mind the Restricted One that continues to thrill all those who pay to watch him play. Steady not covetous but Just Bloguin.
A new nickname will not be necessary for Number 21. He is The One for whom we have been waiting. He is playing at Mecca and his name is Iman. Can IT do any better? As most in LaFamilia know, an Imam is a spiritual adviser of the Islamic belief systems. Recall when Iron Mike was inside, he referred to his Imam. Thus the Imam at Mecca fITs. He DOES this and so shall the NYK.
@Lives The T-Wolves look like a dangerous team. They've got the right X-checker on the sidelines meaning that they will play the right way. And what about that Love kid? Could someone remind us how IT went down when he came out? That team has a real bright future.
Steady loving the ones we've got.
@Lives Yes ..he really is an exception passer! However, he has got to be on a team that has multiple scoring options as he's "Rondo 2" ..that is a compliment as well as my true summary!
@Lives DefinITely alpha-doggish @Lives and scheduled to be clammed/moderated by an equally Alpha-producer upon reading you here. @Peaceman Seems like the kHahn at Newsday came close to a mea culpa to Taz! What he's got to UNfuhgetabout is that though he played a lick-a-ball, he never got a "cack" or papers (as in a contract from a professional team). You gotta show respect to the playas who play to the end, got papers, and don't depend on Cablevision, which owns MSG and also owns Newsday, for a paycheck. No Veil of Hippocrates here....
Steady as a ring-a-ling-ding.
@Lives Hahn has a better perspective on basketball than most of the N.Y. mainstream sports media types in the NY Post and D. News. But his rise at MSG is a result of his affiliation with Newsday which is owned by Cablevision, which also owns MSG. If Dolan likes you, you are thereby advantaged and have "Great Expectations."
@Lives I wish Hahn well. He was never a true Hater like Isola and Berman. However, his "low IQ remarks about Balkman deserve an apology! " Tazman gets his points of rebounds and hustle! Nothing low IQ about doing the dirty work. Taz is also one of our better defenders..by far!
@Steady No clear NBA rules on that.. however.. if there's not..we'll take JR Smith in a heartbeat!