Careful What You Wish For
The sky is falling at a super-sonic rate above Madison Square Garden. The New York Knicks have plummeted to two games below .500, dropping 8 of their last 9 games. Certainly not what anyone was expecting following the blockbuster trade to bring Carmelo Anthony and Company to New York.
Across the spectrum, from fans, to beat writers and bloggers, to Knicks management, there’s a call for patience. They need time to figure one another out. There hasn’t been sufficient time to practice. The players are overworked and tired. The coach isn’t putting them in a position to win. There are a myriad of excuses being served up quicker than Taco Bell Drive Thru in an effort to keep everyone from panicking. The truth is the Knicks and most of their fans panicked a long time ago. Listen to Stephen A Smith on his radio show just before the trade deadline. (seriously, listen to the audio before you read any further)
It’s funny how disrespectful Stephen A was of the Knicks players who were shipped off to Denver and Minnesota . Scrubs! The Cleveland Cavaliers without Stoudemire! “The urgency of the moment has arrived!” I’m not trying to pick on Stephen A Smith. I actually enjoy his work and find him to be very entertaining. But he represented a large faction of fans leading up to the deadline. Donnie Walsh would have been run out of town if Carmelo Anthony was bypassed. The Knicks were absolutely hopeless without him.
Meanwhile, the scrubs that were sent to Denver have pushed them to a 12-4 record since the trade and Anthony Randolph went off for 31 points and 11 rebounds for Minnesota a few nights ago. Compare that to a 7-11 record for the Knicks and it’s easy to see who got the best of the deal in the short term. The only problem is the Knicks seem to have long term issues. The personnel doesn’t match Coach Mike D’Antoni’s system. Will he be able to teach old dogs new tricks or will the players be learning a new system under a new regime? This and many more questions remain unanswered. A superstar was supposed to clean the mess up. Instead the mess has piled up higher with every 4th quarter collapse and lackluster effort.
It’s difficult to imagine them turning it around in time to make a strong push in the playoffs (if they even make it), but there will still be apologists that claim despite the ticket prices being raised immediately, as if the Knicks have won 18 championships already, and the Knicks own marketing campaign proclaiming the slogan, “You, Us, We, Now,” that this move wasn’t made for instant gratification. This move was for the future. What you’re hearing now is the collective “I told you so” from those who felt that Carmelo Anthony wasn’t worth giving up half the team, being drowned out by those who are willing to concede this year for the promise of years to come. The promise we’ve been hearing for way too long. Is it too much to ask for a “superstar” to play as hard as he can NOW?
Looking into that uncertain future, I can only see more coveting of “superstars” that may or may not decide to take their talents to Manhattan and won’t necessarily put them over the top. I’ll toast to that! Big 3 Cheers and marketing schemes for everyone! Hip Hip Hooray!
Note to yourself, Aaron" The Post agrees that the "sky is falling" at MSG. See story referenced in right sidebar.
That is some solid frustration and it is cracking me the hell up. This piece sounds like every word I have been breathing for the past three years. I can't say I disagree. The Knicks wasted two years of basketball chasing after LeBron in the most idiotic fashion. The result? Epic fail. Obtaining Stoudemire as a consolation was not enough. His eventual demise, as the only star, was inevitable. And truthfully, so was the mediocrity of the players who left the Garden for Melo.
What was the combination of Felton, Chandler, Mozgov and Gallo doing before the trade? Securing a playoff spot, just to lose in the first round. The Knicks are still going to do that. However, they were never going to be a good defensive team. Never. They were never going to be championship caliber. Never.
The Knicks did exactly the same garbage they were doing for two years: gutting the team. The exception is that this time they got their man and a little more cheaply than they got Mozgov and Felton for, which was two whole seasons of horrible basketball.
I did not like this trade, mainly because it was a stick-up by Melo and the Nuggets. But it's done and I believe our chances of getting to a championship are much better with him than without him. If I can suffer through two lousy years of the Walsh era, I certainly can suffer through 16 seasons of the Dolan era, especially if it leads to the firing of Mike D'Antoni. Then I would have to say that this trade was the best in the last two years.
"Meanwhile, the scrubs that were sent to Denver have pushed them to a 12-4 record since the trade and Anthony Randolph went off for 31 points and 11 rebounds for Minnesota a few nights ago."
A-Dud, I wouldn't call the ex-Knicks scrubs, however, it's not like we traded Derick Rose (Felton) and Dirk (Gallo) for Melo & Billups. You make a great point to fire the coach for AR doing so well in Minny while he couldn't get off the bench here. You really are reaching with your rant of "The Scrubs have pushed Denver to a 12-4 record." Your Stating that Lawson, JR Smith, Birdman, Kenyon, Nene, Afflalo, all have little to do with Denver's record? If you're teling me that Felton, Gallo and Chander are some future Stars then we just have to agree to disagree.. because they were NOT even close to what they are being made out to be here .. they were and are flawed rotation players who are being used to their advantage by their current coach. It just goes to coaching and the importance of it.
@Lives "What was the combination of Felton, Chandler, Mozgov and Gallo doing before the trade? Securing a playoff spot, just to lose in the first round. "
I love how it's a forgone conclusion that the Pre-Melo Knicks would have lost in the first round. I'm not saying they would go deep in the playoffs but if it's all about matchups then they had a chance to make some noise. Did they not beat the #1 seeded Chicago Bulls twice? Did they not beat the Heat? Who knows if they could have won in a series but can you say that they have anything more than a puncher's chance now? That's why this trade is a miserable failure. They didn't get better. They got flashier and more marketable.
@Peaceman Actually, while the 4 players who went to Denver aren't the sole source for the Nuggets success, Melo's absence coupled w/ soldiers who are not distractions and who follow the marching orders of a more balanced two sides of the ball coach like Karl is what is making the Nuggets better. Chandler can play D, he is a very good player on both ends of the court. He is playing for his contract. Felton is playing for the next team he will suit up for, Gallo will develop now that he is no longer miscast as simply a eurosniper. The success of the Nuggets goes to it's coach and to the control of the team and organization that was regained w/ sour Melo's packaging to the Knicks. Nuggets got willing players in return. The Nuggets run depth, youth, and a fast paced unselfish attach a la D'Ontoni. Except, Karl coaches both sides of the Ball. D'ANtoni can't get that out of Melo, STAT is no longer asserting himself as a leader over vetrerans like Smelo and Billups. The team is once again rudderless!
Madison Avenue Gardens Knee Jerk Depseration once again has set the Knicks up for a let down. A let down b/c more was sold w/ two Stars at the Garden. I never bought it. But I do at least expect consistent defensive hustle and effort even if scheme wise the team has a long way to go w/ the current coach- who IMHO should go. But I digress. The let down is for now ... unless ... the Garden's bigger structural flaws continue to be what sets the pace for the building of the Knicks on the court. That would be a path to disaster!
@AaronHodges As for forgone conclusions, I'm not sure what makes your speculation that they would have done some damage in the playoffs better than mine that they would not, but I am certain that playoff basketball and regular season basketball are two different types of ball. First of all, the tempo of the game changes and there was no guarantee that the Mozgov Knicks would have beaten the playoff versions of the Heat and the Bulls. The Knicks were still defensively incompetent and sieves in the paint. There is absolutely no guarantee that they would have done better than these Knicks in the playoffs (assuming these Knicks still make the playoffs).
One thing I am positive of is that this trade is not a miserable failure yet. To conclude it's a miserable failure after 19 games at the end of a season is very short-sighted. It's a failure because the Knicks are not better than they were a couple of weeks ago? Who would have expected that to happen instantaneously? It is exceedingly clear that the team must be rebuilt around Melo and Studdy. It was also exceedingly clear that the team you guys are whining about losing needed to be reconstructed in order to seriously contend for a championship instead of being an inconsistent offensively flashy team.
I applaud Walsh for having the guts to gut the unsatisfactory team it took him two agonizing years to build.
@AaronHodges @Lives Yeah Madison Avenue Garden and their minions worship flashy Names and sell jobs. Melo is no Superstar. Amar'e showed more leadership and resolve coming to lead the young cast that was too readily jettisoned. Carmelo blinked and allowed the Nuggets to set the terms. Lebron closed the door on speculation on what he would do early in his last season w/ the Cavs not allowing the Media hype to get to him. Melo is soft in the head! How he ran from Jefferies when they were not teamates suggest he is soft in the heart! If Jerry West himself says that there are only a handful of superstars in the NBA and does not point to either Melo or STAT as one of them, then the Knicks overpaid.
Sadly the roots of all this calamity runs deeper through the core of what Madison Square Garden is. More on that later.
@Orange_and_Blue @Peaceman You guys are giving our "scrubs" perhaps too much credit for Denver's current success, which as O&B points out is the result of many factors. Perhaps the most critical is that the main pieces have played together for 2/3 of a season in a similar offensive style. Defensively, all of the guys we traded were energy guys and in shape, so Denver can play basketball for 48 minutes which as we learned when the Knicks were doing well, is not something most teams do. What is happening with Denver now, was not going to happen if the Knicks held on to Chandler, Gallo, Felton, Mozgov and Randolph. Randolph would not be playing. Mozgov, who is not playing now, would still be alternated as our starting center. Gallo would be starting, instead of Chandler. In Denver they are both starting. The Knicks would not have been as good and tenacious as the Nuggets are now if we kept those guys.
Certainly, we would not be as bad as we are now, but this is like a training camp. It will allow us not to suffer through this same garbage at the beginning of next season, when we can reasonably expect not to be one and undone in the playoffs.