Statesman is very busy these days and is out-of-pocket (unavailable), but this bud is for him (maybe I'll e-mail him about it later). You remember Statesman, the brother from another mother who believed that Larry Hughes was a useful engine; yes, that same Larry Hughes who has hit one shot all pre-season; the same Hughes who shot enough bricks to rebuild the imploded projects in St. Louis AND Chicago; the same Larry Hughes drought on by that managerial genius Donny Walsh, who needed to fill traded Jamal Crawford's shoes. Well, consistent with his personnel analysis misses, States has always dogged Jamal Crawford. While some of it was justified, Craw was still one of the better non-defensive, offensive talents on the Knicks these last three year. Now it appears that Jamal has found a home in Atlanta after being traded to the Atlanta Hawks from the dysfunctional Nellie-Warriors. Not only will Jamal make his home near his son who lives in the Atl during the school year, but he is also receiving great love from the coach and his teammates.
The Knicks chose to keep the impressive Marcus Landry over Joe Crawford and Chris Hunter. Crawford and Hunter was waived making Landry the 14th contract (including Mobley's) on the 2009-2010 version of the Knicks.
Landry (6'7", 215 lbs) the Rookie from Wisconsin who made great use of his time, clearly made a good impression on management and the crowd with his hunger, hustle and athleticism. Although, D'Antoni will go with a nine man rotation, don't be surprised if Landry must plug a hole sometime during the season.
(Has Peaceman gone rogue in that Sarah Palin tradition? Maybe. Or maybe he thought the attractiveness of the new digs or our recent Happy Happy Celebration at our most recent past address required no graffiti on the wall. Whatever the reasoning, my main (Peace)man's fanatical contrarian musings found a spot as a headliner at the old old Fanatics home in the name of "Keeping It Real." So here is the Peacman of old still in rogue. Since he is suppressing this part of his personality for the good of the team (ROFLMAO), we might as well bring Uncle FesterAlone out of the closet and share him with the rest of the public. Check it out.)
Cardiac Arrest- Chest Pain
Despite every effort to stay on a minumal positive note, we may have assembled the WORST KNICK TEAM in the History of the KNICKERBOCKERS! If you had stomach enough to watch the preseason game against Boston....yes, our worst nightmare has come to pass. This collective "Team" would not be favored to win the NCAA Big Dance and even money would not be a bad bet that they would not win the NIT.
If you watched the Boston Game, you could see D'Antoni was three beats away from what is called "Ventricular Fibulation" or in laymans terms ...the same thing that happened to Marbury's father two years ago! I'm as die hard a Knick Fan for life as you who may be reading this, however, being a fan does not mean I'm blind. Imagine watching the Boston rerun for 81 games this year? Imagine the Prozac you would have to ingest to save your sanity? I believe even D'Antoni won't be able to coach this plankton formation until 2010. I don't think his health will hold up or the memories of the Sun's will help him this year. Lebron James will not be coming to New York. If you want to save your sanity and believe that, fine! Just be ready for a bigger meltdown as we finish last in the league and get the #1 draft pick that Utah is drooling over, as James resigns with Cleveland. Walsh and D'antoni both need to go by mid season. We need someone with a vision of hope. We need to see some light at the end of a dark, dark tunnel! Most of all, we need someone to draft much better than what we did the last two years! Who will that person be?
MIAMI --Isiah Thomastold SI.com that he is "really hurt" over criticisms levied byMagic Johnson in a new book chronicling the careers of Johnson and Larry Bird.
"I'm really hurt, and I really feel taken advantage of for all these years,'' Thomas told SI.com. "I'm totally blindsided by this. Every time that I've seen Magic, he has been friendly with me. Whenever he came to a Knick game, he was standing in the tunnel [to the locker room] with me. He and [Knicks assistant coach] Herb [Williams] and I, we would go out to dinner in New York. I didn't know he felt this way.''
According to SI.com, the book details Johnson's contention that following his retirement in 1991, after he was diagnosed with HIV, Thomas started questioning the formerLos Angeles Lakersstar's sexuality.
In the book, titled "When The Game Was Ours," Johnson also describes his role in keeping Thomas off the 1992 U.S. Olympic Dream Team, according to SI.com.
"Isiah killed his own chances when it came to the Olympics," Johnson said in the book, according to SI.com. "Nobody on that team wanted to play with him . . . Michael [Jordan] didn't want to play with him. Scottie [Pippen] wanted no part of him. Bird wasn't pushing for him. Karl Malone didn't want him. Who was saying, 'We need this guy?' Nobody."
Thomas, now coaching at FIU in Miami, said he declined a chance to be interviewed for the book. He appears on at least 26 pages of the book, which Johnson and Bird wrote with author Jackie MacMullan, a former Boston Globe reporter currently with ESPN.com.
FIU had no immediate comment. Thomas' spokesman said the remarks were accurate. Thomas was scheduled to be available to reporters later Thursday night at an alumni event.
The book comments by Johnson are the latest salvo in a strained relationship, once made famous by the pre-NBA Finals kiss and a pair of crowd-pleasing 1-on-1 battles in the final moments of the 1992 NBA All-Star Game.
Last fall, Johnson said he would not recommend Thomas for any other NBA jobs, after Thomas' rocky stints with both theIndiana Pacersand New York Knicks.
"I wish he would have had the courage to say this stuff to me face to face, as opposed to writing it in some damn book to sell and he can make money off it," Thomas said to SI.com.
Thomas also told SI.com that he did not question Johnson's sexuality, adding that Johnson "acted and responded off some really bad information that he got."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
The Knicks, who at one point were running away with this game, barely held on with their reserves to keep the New Jersey Nets winless for the pre-season. See the video highlights here.
A few notes worthy:
The Knicks (9 steals and 4 blocks) will look much, much better this year defensively which can win them some extra games. You can see and hear that they are talking and moving a lot on defense, although they still tend to roll out the red carpet and watch opponents fly through the lane wistfully.
Tony Douglas (6-9, 13 points) found his stroke and so did Chris Duhon (21 points including 3 buttery tres), who I maintain is suited largely for the 2 spot in this offense because of his penchant to throw the ball away and to avoid driving all the way to the hoop.
The Knicks had a lot of dead space in their offense, as in times when play was very sloppy and unproductive.
Galinari (2-8 with 7 points) looks nice when he hits that shot. Galinari looks bad when he misses full construction which he has done quite a bit this pre-season. He always seems to draw a foul on his drives. At oen point he was the victim of a monster block as he got into his jumper. Not a very fast release, but he is young and works hard.
Not a bad performance for the end of a back-to-back, even considering we played the lowly Nets. We'll be better than them this year. How much better can they be with Devin Harris on the floor? I'm not sure.
This just in: Jared Jeffries made it through pre-season without any injuries although he was wacked pretty hard during ine lay-up
Wilson Chandler (headed towards Vince Carter-light status) was a little more aggressive; he went 4-5, scoring 11points, and grabbed six boards in 21 minutes.
Chris Douglas Roberts (CDR) is off the chainizzle. 26 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals. And he looked even better off paper. Very active, strong, elusive and fearless. Combined with Terrence Williams, Devon Harris and Robin Lopez , the Nets have a nice young nucleus. Skip To My Lou looked o.k. The Nets suffered his 4-11 shooting but with his 9 points, he had 8 assists, 4 rebounds and 1 turnover in 32 minutes.
Joe Crawford suffered a DNP and may be the causalty of Marcus Landry's good play and Larry Hughes' contract.
Check out the Live Blogging Event. This time we made it through the entire game with production and commentary by Orange and Blue, JayBee, PostUp Prince and Tman. We had a cameo greeting from our neighbor, DanL, at Knicksfanblog. Orange and Blue has committed to producing and leading the season opener on Wednesday, October 28, 2009 at 7:30. Hope to e-see you there.
Mike D'Antoni has decided to end morning shootarounds on home game days because he thinks the extra time to rest (or do whatever) will be healthier for the players and allow them to better prepare to run his system. Instead of getting to the Westchester facility by 10am for shootaround, now the players can get to work in Midtown Manhattan at 3:30pm to prepare for the game.
The morning shootaround has been employed by NBA teams since it was installed by Bill Sharmon in 1971. Although the Celtics have also decided to dispense with the monring shootaround, after looking at the causes of Danny Ainge's recent heart attack, other teams like the championship contender Magic consider it a critical part of their game day preparation. Their shootaround preparation is described as follows:
The Magic's home shootarounds typically last about an hour-and-a-half and Van Gundy said the sessions allow him and his coaches to prepare their players specifically for that night's opponent. Magic players usually spend about an hour on the court, with coaches devoting at least 45 minutes to go over that night's defensive schemes. The other 15 minutes focus on Orlando's offense.The team will watch 15 minutes of game film after they finish on the court. Then, the big men and perimeter players will meet separately to review the individual tendencies of the guys they'll face that night.Don't expect Orlando players to start lobbying for any changes to their routine."I think we need the shootaround," point guard Jameer Nelson said. "It gets guys out of the bed, gets them going. You have a routine. I think it helps us out during the course of our day."
Any fitness or health nuts out there know which way is the right or winning way?
What do you think fanatics and friends? D'Antoni is still considering what group of players to include in the starting unit. It appears that David Lee and Chris Duhon are definitely inked in as starters for the beginning of the season leaving the other three slots open. Wilson Chandler is likely the third starter which leaves the final two spots to Al Harrington, Nate Robinson, Danilo Galinari and Jared Jeffries. D'Antoni has already said that he is not starting Milicic, so expect to see either David Lee or Jared Jeffries play the 5. Harrington has made it clear that he believes he should be in the starting line up.
One Beat suggests that Harrington is the team's most complete player (which I think is false), but the trith of the matter is that Harrington is practically defenseless and is as much of a black hole as the pre-D'Antoni Zach Randolph (yes, he is probably a black hole as a Grizzlie but for a hot-minute he did well in 'Antoni's system). The ball does not move as well with Harrington in the line-up and Harrington does not race up the court with consistency. He can score though. But he doesn't fit as well. In my opinion, Nate Robinson is the most complete and dangerous talent on the Knicks and the most important one to 'Antoni's system. If D'Antoni wants to get off to a strong up-tempo start, he will begin the games with Nate Robinson and Jared Jeffries, in my opinion.
D'Antoni has admitted, as I advised during the summer, that Galinari is a rookie and needs to be brought along as such, so don't expect him in the starting lineup until later, like the all-star break.
Assuming that Chris Duhon, David Lee, Wilson Chandler and Jared Jeffries are in the starting unit, do you think that Nate Robinson or Al Harrington should start? If you think that there will be a different unit entirely let us know what it will be and why. I look forward to hearing why Jared Jeffries should be coming off the bench.
The most interesting thing about this game was that the Tel Aviv coach would not leave the game when he was tossed by the replacement refs until he was threatened with a forfeit. The ESPN report is here and the New York Times details the role of the Rabbi in trying to restore peace at Mid-Court.
Regardless of the merits of the ejection, do you think the striking referees got a little chuckle out of this one? Someone should interview the regular refs to find out how they would have handled an international incident during a charity game.
Overall, in my opinion the refs handled it the way they should have. But, clearly folks had a different take on the significance of this exhibition/NBA Pre-season/Charity/Community Building Game.
Rabbi Yitzchak Dovid Grossman -- founder of the charity game's beneficiary, the Migdal Orh orphanage -- said "I said to [the official], 'This is not a regular game, this is a game for the children and the children are watching and I don't want the children to see a picture of a fight. I wanted the children to see a picture of peace.' The kids are watching and it's very important that they see he is forgiven . . . But he said this is the law. And you must leave. What can I do? I tried. I tried to make peace."
Perhaps there was not a lot you could take from this game, but, and I don't want to say I told you so (yes I do), D'Antoni is seriously considering starting Nate Robinson. He claims it's because of the energy Nate brings, but that is only partially true. D'Antoni would like to run his offense and the only way he can run it right now is with David Lee and Nate Robinson on the floor. Lee and Robinson together start the uptempo play immediately. The ball moves quickly either after a made basket with David Lee tossing long passes up-court or a series of quick curls and pick and rolls to free up an open man mid-range or to the hoop. Then the Knicks are off and running and have set a tone which is never set by having Duhon stroll up the court.
Is D'Antoni starting the game through David Lee? It seems that the first offensive plays of the game are either for Lee or Nate. Lee is very quick to take the early shot. So much for D'Antoni not liking Lee's game.
Does anyone notice that the strongest unit consists mostly of players who were here before Walsh and D'Antoni? Lee, Robinson, Jeffries, Chandler plus Duhon. It's a decent unit for a few reasons. First they have been together for a few years and there is great chemistry. Second, Nate on the floor frees up Duhon to play combo guard and takes the ball out of his hands. Duhon is a nice three point and mid-range threat. No one is afraid that he might score on a drive to the basket. Third, Lee seems to be the only big on the team who knows how to make an up-court pass. (C'mon Chandler). And Jeffries is just energetic and disruptive, these days more often in our favor than not. Fourth, when D'Antoni brings in the new youngin's, Douglas, Gallo, Landry, Milicic (will he stick?) and old head Harrington, he does not lose the energy level he wants.
D'Antoni is a stubborn coach, with terrible endgame skills, like his predecessor, but I think he might have this one figured out.
Larry Hughes, Statesman's boy, is done which is why he was on the bench in Chicago last year. Done. If Gallo does not improve his scoring (not shooting) he will be practically useless for most of the season. I feel for Gallo like I felt for, now get this Mets fans, Greg Jeffries. Jeffries was supposed to be a hitting wonderkund, the natural. He could hit, but no where near as perfectly as the hype had him. He entered such slumps under the pressure that I found myself rooting for him after every pitch. The press had turned on him because they were overzealous in selling him as the best hitter ever to come out of the minors. Heaven forbid that Gallo is just a decent shooter -- but I won't say I told you so before he was drafted. No, I won't say that.