Tuesday, October 31, 2006

First 10 Games

Season Opener 11/1 - NYK @ Memphis Grizzles 8PM
Friday 11/3 - NYK @ Atlanta Hawks 7:30 PM
Home Opener 11/4 - Indiana Pacers @ NYK 7:30 PM
11/6 - San Antonio Spurs @ NYK 7:30 PM
11/8 - NYK @ Denver Nuggets 9 PM
11/10 - NYK @ Houston Rockets 8:30 PM
11/11 - NYK @ San Antonio Spurs 8 PM(at least we get them out of the way early)
11/13 - Cleavland (Lebrons i mean) Cavs @ NYK 7:30
11/15 - Washington Wizards @ NYK 7:30 PM
11/17 - NYK @ Miami Heat 7:30 PM

Knicks Release Rose

Knicks Release Rose

The Knicks have bought out the contract of veteran Jalen Rose, signifying his release. Rose became expendable with the emergence of Renaldo Balkman and the fine play of David Lee and Q-Rich. Rose’s only asset to the Knicks was his veteran leadership, however, playing poorly in the preseason and having a gigantic contract(like the rest of the team) has the Knicks saying peace. Jalen may land with another team but if he does not this might indicate the end of his career.

Friday, October 27, 2006

The Death of the Crossover Dribble

R.I.P. Crossover

So I was watching the Knicks/Sixers preseason game the other night and Steve Francis went to cross some 76er and got called for a carry. Yeah, it definitely was a carry I’m not arguing that. But after that the Knicks play by play announcer Gus Johnson explained that the Commish David Stern briefed the refs telling them that the "palming" violation will be called more often(all the refs bowed down to the Czar and said "YES MASTER"), that got me thinking this is the 2nd change in the NBA rule book since Allen Iverson the man who mastered the art of the isolation came into the league(the first was getting rid of illegal defense and letting the NBAers play the zone). Master Stern really just clearly hates the way Allen Iverson, Rafer Alston, and the rest of the "street" ball players play the game. Even though this is the way it’s played at every park or gym around the country. Come on watching Stephon Marbury cross Yao Ming and watching his big doofy legs buckle is histerical, that is a classic highlight that I will never forget. Is Stern too stern? Or does he have a point? Stern is just a little to stern. Implicating the zone is one thing but having the officials "keep a closer watch" on the palming violation is just ridiculous, let the players play the game the way this generation plays, it its not the 60s anymore, plus it's more exciting. Also bring back the hard fouls, enough of these ticky tack calls, they ruin the flow of the game.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Knicks Sign Cato

Knicks Sign Kelvin Cato

Isiah Thomas announced the Knicks have signed Center Kelvin Cato. This is a good signing considering there is no one else out there and they really can use the extra big body. Cato adds experience and toughness to the Knicks roster. Cato is a 6-11 275 pound NBA nomad that played for the Detroit Pistons last season.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Give Steph a Break

Give Steph a Break

Out of all the players that stunk up the Worlds Most Famous Arena last year Stephon Marbury receives the most criticism. Maybe its because he was brought to be the possible "savior" of a franchise in a downwards spiral. Maybe its because on former teams he’s asked to be traded a few times. Maybe he should have stayed in Minnesota. Maybe its because when times are bad he gets on his teammates a little to hard, yelling at them on the court for their stupid mistakes. Or maybe its because he’s a die hard Knick fan like me and you just dying at the fact that the Knicks just sucked last year. However, can you really blame Steph? Larry Brown his coach last year, did nothing but single him out THROUGH THE MEDIA all last season, as the reason for their losing. Maybe it was because Marbury thought he should play more of an Iverson role with the team, who knows. Marbury kept his mouth shut through the first couple of months, until like any of us after being singled out finally said F**k it, who are you? You don’t know me? So Steph lashed back at Brown, through the media, and the two went back and forth in the papers like Riley and Phil Jackson used to do back in the 90s with the Knicks/Bulls rivalry(the only difference with that is that they where on DIFFERENT TEAMS!!!). This was of course counter productive but Mr. Marbury is only human and a prideful one at that. The end result the Knicks suffering a terrible season, #3 having the worst statistical season of his career, and Larry Brown out after sabotaging the season, one of the reasons being that he singled out his best player. So now, with new coach that is on his side, same players with better chemistry, and with two point guards in the backcourt, Steph and the Knicks will muster up more wins. All I’m saying is give Stephon Marbury a break, he said he wants his "ashes sprinkled on Madison Square Garden" when he dies so he is obviously dedicated to winning. Bringing a Championship home to the Garden eventually is what he has always dreamed of……….so stay tuned.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Rookie Surprise

Apparent First Round "Flop" turns to First Round Shock

One of the most impressing things about the Knicks this preseason is the outstanding and surprising play of one of their first round picks, Renaldo Balkman. Balkman has been running around getting a lot of boards, getting steals, dribbling up the court, dribbling behind the back, pushing the ball, he honestly looks amazing. However, this is the preseason and opposing coach’s can pick up on his game in film and learn how to shut him down. So I wouldn’t get to excited about his outstanding performance but he is winning over a lot of fans, including myself who killed the pick draft day. I guess the basketball world has to learn to trust Isiah Thomas’ judgement(when it comes to draft picks). When he was a GM for the Toronto Raptors he drafted such stars as Damon Stoudemire, Marcus Camby, and Tracy McGrady. So Mr. Thomas get ready to say a big “I TOLD YOU SO” when Balkman becomes a fixture on the Knick bench. Balkman has the heart and determination of Jerome Williams and the wiry explosiveness of Marcus Camby. The skies the limit for this rookie who will surprise opposing teams throughout the league, even though he could get pushed around due to his 208-pound frame. Renaldo Blakman is another reason why there is cause to be optimistic this season about my New York Knicks. Due to the apparent team chemistry this year displayed in the preseason(i knoooow it is preseason), I can honestly not wait for this season to begin November 1st.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Undefeated Preseason so Far

Undefeated in Preseason so what??……It means something

When the Knicks beat the Celtics at the Garden Tuesday night with a 116-108 victory, nobody in New York really noticed or cared. Everybody in New York was watching the New York Mets lose to the St. Louis Cardinals in game 5, and rightfully so. However, you can not call these preseason games "meaningless" because they are far from meaningless. I’ll refer back to 1997 when the New York Jets coming off a dreadful and embarrassing 1-15 season in 1996 under former(douche bag) Head Coach Rich something or other(not worth mentioning his last name even tho its burned in my memory). The coaching legend Bill Parcells took over and after the Jets win a preseason game he is asked in the press conference if this was in fact a meaningless game. Parcells then exploded on the reporter and said "define meaningless game" and he is right from a team that won 1 game the previous season even a "meaningless" win means something. It turns out he was right in the season opener at Seattle playing the Seahawks the Jets blew the Sea away from the hawks 41-3. The Jets went on to go 9-7 and barely miss a post season birth. Now, the Knicks are in a similar predicament, they pretty much had a season last year like the Jets did in ’96, so any kind of positive showing is important and a win means a lot. Don’t worry I'm not getting ahead of myself, I do not think the Knicks are going to win 60 games this season (scroll down and look at my season predictions) however, .500 is not out of the question and big seasons in 2007-2008, and 2008-2009 are not impossible. Maybe, just maybe I’m getting ahead of myself and being a bit optimistic, but to borrow a quote from the show/movie "Damn Yankees" "We gotta get better cuz we cant get worse."

Monday, October 16, 2006

INJURY TO JEFFERIES

INJURY TO KNICKS PROJECTED STARTING FOWARD


Jared Jefferies the Knicks lone free agent pick up in the offseason found out Monday that he fractured his wrist in the Knicks/Nets preseason game at the Garden Friday night. He had an MRI on his wrist on Sunday and he will miss at least 3 to 6 weeks. Note to Isiah Thomas......START DAVID LEE.......IF YOU START LEE HE WILL HAVE THOMAS SAYING WAIT WE SIGNED WHO...WAIT WHATS HIS NAME JEFF WHO?

New York Knicks 2006-2007 Season Preview

New York Knicks Season Preview
2006-2007
By Alex Benesowitz

Head Coach – Isiah Thomas – You might call him an overspender as the GM and President of Basketball Operations, and you might say that he has a quick trigger with Knicks players trading them just months after acquiring them. However, one thing you can’t say about him is that he is a bad head basketball coach. In his 2 years as a head coach with the Indiana Pacers in 2001-2 and 2002-2003 seasons he went to the playoffs both years, and also won over 50 games. He was only run out of town when fellow basketball great Larry Bird fired Thomas because of personal vendettas. Something you can count on is that Isiah Thomas will be ready to coach this team. He will not sabotage the season to make some quick cash at the end of a long career, like our previous coach, Larry Brown. Another thing you can count on is that the players will know their role on the team (not starting one night putting up 15 and 8 then sitting on the bench in street clothes the next night with no injury).

Projected Starting 5

Starting PG – #3 Stephon Marbury – As a die hard Knicks fan I still love the move of bringing Steph in here to play PG for his favorite team growing up. That’s like me starting for the Knicks……….that would be insane. Last year was bad but you cannot put the blame squarely on his 6-2 205 pound shoulders. It’s a little weird how you can go from scoring 20 pts and at least 8 assists a game for 7 straight years to averaging 16 and 6 it can’t be entirely his fault, most of the blame has to go to Larry Brown and some to Isiah Thomas. He’s not washed up by any sense of the imagination he is only 29 years old (Stephs got at least 4 years of solid ball left in his legs). However, not being able to establish a solid comradery with his fellow players last year with everybody not knowing their roles because of constant lineup changes, and constant trades, hurt his stats and the entire teams performance considerably.

Starting (I guess you can call it shooting guard) SG – #1 Steve Francis – It was just a few years ago when Stevie Franchise was considered one of the best players in the NBA. It was just a few of years ago when Steve Francis gave (Wince) Vince Carter a run for his money in the slam dunk contest putting on a tremendous display of athleticism (that is widely forgotten). It was just a few years ago that he was paired up with then rookie Yao Ming, to hopefully bring the Houston Rockets back to the promise land. Then Jeff (The man) Van Gundy saw he can get T-Mac (and lets be serious who wouldn’t make that move?) Trading Francis and his boy Cuttino Mobley to Orlando for Tracy McGrady. Then Francis’ career seemed to go into a downward spiral. Despite averaging a career high in assists in his first season in the O, things where not going well. In his second season in Orlando, the losing in Magic land continued, the trading away of his best friend Cuttino Mobley and the fact that his former team Houston was clearly on their way to consistent playoff appearances haunted him and "the Franchise" clearly wanted a new franchise to play for. So can you really blame him for not going back into a game at the end of the 4th quarter, when they were getting blown out of the water once again? I sure as hell can’t. Awesome!! Let’s bring him to NYC where he can relish in the spotlight with (washed up) coach Larry Brown and bring the Knicks back to prominence……yeah right……well not last year at least, not with LB as coach. He didn’t start the 6-3 200 pound perennial All Star at times (cuz of his constant lineup changes) stabbing Knicks fans in the heart and wondering why did you lobby for this trade in the first place? All and all Steve Francis will be fine, with him and Marbury in the back court scoring won’t be the problem, and hopefully winning more that 30 games won’t either but D-ing the bigger guards of the world will be a consistent issue.

Starting SF – #20 Jared Jefferies – It’s a little difficult to understand how as a die hard Knicks fan since birth, I can get excited about signing a ANOTHER free agent, with a ANOTHER big contract, with the name Jared Jefferies. The man has never averaged more than 7 points and more than 5 boards in a season, but hey here’s $30 million dollars. Yeah, he’s supposed to be a shut down defender and all this crap but expect David Lee or Quentin Richardson to take his starting spot come mid season. It’ll only take that long to lose it because Thomas will be stubborn to give up on his new acquisition, (and you can’t blame him for that Isiah is human). I really hope I’m wrong and he turns into Bruce Bowen all of a sudden but I highly doubt that. He is the Jerome James signing of this season.

Starting PF – # 7 Channing Frye – This soft touch big man has an outside jumper that reminds me of Charles Oakley. Oakley would consistently knock down the open jumper when getting the kick out from Patrick. Frye can do the same, and he has the talent to end up being better then the great Oak man. The only problem with his sick jumper is that opposing coaches quickly picked up on this and shut him down a lot of times. He has also yet to develop the part of his game, where he can create his own shot. Whether it’s with his back to the basket or facing the basket. Channing has a tremendous upside, with a mature showing. I’m eagerly anticipating the rest of his career. All he needs to do is develop that mean streak that all great big men have and he will be a fix in the Knicks lineup years to come.

Starting C – #34 Eddy Curry – This 6-11 285 pound monster of a talent big man just needs to get in shape. If he gets in shape and stops smoking that chronic he will be one of the best big men in the league. He can’t be that lazy this year. I also understand he had heart problems last year in the off-season that forced him to be out of shape, but this year he has no excuse. With a new coach that’ll actually give him consistent minutes and with a consistent lineup, the time is now for Curry to perform or he will just be nothing but trade bait.

Reserves

SG/PG - #11 Jamal Crawford – The little wiry, exciting, 6-5 190 pound guard, is a great talent, with a nasty crossover and a John Starks three point shot (if he’s on he’s unstoppable). Crawford also has a knack for taking the big shot, not only taking the big shot but hitting it as well. He won nearly a third of the games last year with shots in the final seconds, one notably over Chauncy Billups to beat the powerful Detroit Pistons. Crawford will relish in his role as the 6th man coming off the bench, he is the perfect player for this role. He will provide a spark that hasn’t been felt on the Knicks bench since the 90s, when Anthony Mason and John Starks won 6th man of the year awards, in consecutive seasons. Jamal Crawford will oooh and aaahh the Garden fans as usual this season.

SG/SF – #3 Quentin Richardson – This Larry Brown favorite is a very good defender with a decent 3 point shot that is perfect for coming off the bench. The knock on Q last year was that he lost his 3, however, his 3 point percentage only dropped a couple of percentage points. The difference was he didn’t have Steve Nash to make him look good, Nash can make Raja Bell and Leonard Barbosa look like solid NBA players pretty much he is just Nashty. Bottom line, Q-Rich will be a good spot defender and might end up starting at some point this season, mainly for his defensive abilities.

PG – #4 Nate Robinson – Nate the great leaper displays an outstanding love for the game and a love for life. His constant smile is something that is great for any locker room to keep players loose. He also gave Knicks fans the only thing they could be proud of all year by winning the Slam Dunk Contest by dunking over fellow shrimp Spud Webb. Even with his 5-9 (yea right he’s gotta be at most 5-6) stature he’s not afraid to bang it on opposing players……because he can. He performed great at times especially hitting the game winning three pointer in the corner over Allen Iverson. The man that was once dubbed as just a "highlight reel" by Larry Brown (the last person to be dubbed a "highlight reel" just got inducted to the hall of fame named Dominique Wilkins) might end up, in the future running Steph outta town, but for now he’ll be a solid bench producer.

SF – #42 David Lee – Another promising young player on this underachieving roster, David Lee was one of those players starting one night, then after having a solid performance, he’s in street clothes the next game. He managed to put together a solid season considering his inconsistent playing time even though his stats don’t show it. This hard nosed, high flying white boy has a pretty damn good jumper too. He also won a Slam Dunk contest in college so he can get up there. Lee can play the 3 or the 4 and with his great summer league performance he may slowly work his way into the starting lineup.

SF, SG, PG – #5 Jalen Rose – Jalen is a solid veteran that can pass the ball as well as defend. This former Fab 5 point guard can run the offense off the bench in an emergency or play the Scottie Pippen role of Point Forward. He can also be brought in to D the big guards that Francis and Marbury might have trouble with not because of their defensive abilities just there lack of height. Jalen will never be the same player he was in his Indiana days he’s getting up they’re in age, but he should be a solid role player with valuable playoff experience just in case, the Knicks surprise everybody and sneak in.

C- #31 Jerome James – I couldn’t tell you how many times I watched this dude last year and screamed at the T.V. "Hey fat ass get on a fuckin treadmill!!" After one amazing playoff series with Seattle, James put up All Star numbers, sooooo the Knicks signed this overweight, lazy 280 pounder to a fat contract. He’s supposed to be an intimidating shot blocker like he showed flashes of last season when he was healthy but he was never healthy. Unless this guy stops getting hurt and gets in shape he’ll remain the worst signing in Knicks history.

PF – #13 Malik Rose – This solid savvy verteran brings a winning attitude and toughness to the Knickerbocker lineup. A hard-nosed good rebounder who plays with a lot of heart is a good player to have on their team. He also brings Championship experience to this veeeeeeery young inexperienced roster. Hopefully, his experience can bring them more wins this season.

PF – (Rookie) #32 Renaldo Balkman – This rookie was booed on draft day by the Garden fans in attendance at the 2006 NBA Draft. However, he is supposed to be the new junk yard dog who runs around with tons of energy. If he wants to be a successful power forward in this league he needs to put on a little weight. Also if he can consistently be that garbage man the Knicks have lacked for years, as well as provide energy off the bench he’ll be able to stick around or just simply turn into trade bait.

PG/SG – (Rookie) #25 Mardy Collins –
Supposedly Collins is a very good passer with a weak jumper. Solid fundamentals at defense coming from Temple, which has a great defensive heritage. He’ll probably only get playing time this year if one of their gaurds go down but for all intents and purposes he’s a work in progress.

SG – #6 Qyntell Woods – One of the only things I was proud of as a Knick fan last year was Woods’ 360 dunk that was number 1 on Sportscenters Top 10 (Yup it was one of those years last year). Other than that Woods got some burn at the end of last year as a late season pickup but it’s not likely he’ll make the roster, but who knows.

The other players on the Knicks Preseason roster who are most likely to get cut are Rookies #21 Milone Clark a 6-4 guard, #9 Elton Brown a 6-9 power forward, #45 Paul Miller a 6-10 250 pound center who might have an outside shot of making the team due to his size, and the 7 foot underachieving Lottery Pick #55 Nikoloz Tskitishvili if he reaches some of his potential he could make the squad because of his size……psh yeah right.

Season Prediction

The Knicks can back into the playoffs with the 8th seed based on talent and hunger to improve on last years dreadful performance alone. They have to get better because they cannot get much worse. Projected record around .500, 42-40 with the 8th seed of the playoffs, but with that record in the Eastern Conference that could get them as high as 6th.

Projected Team Leaders

Points – Steve Francis – 18 Points per game
Rebounds – Eddy Curry – 9 Rebounds per game
Assists – Stephon Marbury – 8 Assists per game
Steals – Stephon Marbury – 1 Steal per game
Blocks – Channing Frye - around 1 Block per game
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