Tuesday, October 30, 2007

New York Knicks 2007-2008 Season Preview

Player by player Preview of the Knicks '07-'08 season

Number - Player Name - Position - Height - Weight - DOB - College - Year pro
32 - Renaldo Balkman - F - 6-8 - 208 - 07/14/1984 - South Carolina - 2nd year as pro
Balkman is hurt right now and will miss the first week or two of the season. The Knicks will miss this crazy, wirey, energetic nut that plays every game like it’s his last. Renaldo might need to slow it down a little bit because he reminds me a little bit of the way a young Camby used to be. Yeah, Camby was great, but also devestated by injuries until he learned to calm it down a little bit but of course that was after the Knicks traded him. They also traded Mark Jackson and the draft rights for Nene but hey, they got Antonio McDyess and the draft rights to Frank Williams, oh wait never mind. All in all once Balkman is completely healthy he will be a great spark off the bench. Barring another injury you can put money on seeing him in the rookie/sophomore game this year come All Star break.

21 - Wilson Chandler - F - 6-8 - 220 - 05/10/1987 - DePaul - Rookie Season
I know you’ve heard this over and over again but when it comes to draft picks of Isiah Thomas, you can’t doubt them. Even though, many thought Wilson Chandler should have stayed in school considering he didn’t even lead his team to the Big Dance, you STILL can NOT doubt Thomas’ decision. Chandler does have serious springs and you can bet he will get his share of dunks when given playing time. Wilson apparently also has an endorsement with the shoe company "PONY," a full page add with him and legend David Thompson in the new "SLAM Magazine." That’s the first Knick in a long time to have a shoe deal that they didn’t create themselves. Chandler probably could see some playing time early on with injuries to Balkman and Jefferies.

25 - Mardy Collins - G - 6-6 - 220 - 08/04/1984 - Temple - 2nd year as pro

At the end of the Knicks horrible injury plagued ‘06-’07 season there was a lone bright spot. The bright spot was Mardy Collins. Over the last ten games of the season he averaged 14.7 ppg 5.8 apg 6.3 rpg and 1.9 steals pg. Which is amazing, even though the Knicks lost 8 of their last 10 but New York didn’t win many games last season anyway. He still needs to continue to work on his jumper because teams still don’t respect it. Collins is slowly becoming Mardy Collins and not that rookie who choke slammed J.R. Smith and got sucker punched by Carmello "hit and run" Anthony. If he continues to develop he could slowly steal the point guard slot as close as a year or two down the road.

11 - Jamal Crawford - G - 6-5 - 200 - 03/20/1980 - Michigan - 8th year as pro
Everybody in the league knows the book on Jamal now, try and push him around get him off his stroke by pushing him around and backing him down on D. Not anymore!! If you’ve caught a glimpse of any of the Knicks Pre-Season games you would have noticed a beefed up Crawford. His upper body has clearly developed over the offseason, he hit the weights hard. He is still the best perimeter player on the Knicks and needs to continue to stay consistent. If J. Crawford takes another step forward in his development and also stays healthy he will help the Knicks avoid another embarrassing season and also avoid making Steph cry again.

34 - Eddy Curry - C - 6-11 - 285 - 12/05/1982 - Thornwood HS (IL) - 7th year as pro
The monster in the middle, the unstoppable force lost a lot of weight over the offseason as well maybe it was running from burgerlers and not running to burgers that did it? Who knows what it was but it happened and hopefully Curry has the stamina to play the game. Although his new found health couldn’t keep him from a shoulder injury………already. However, the injury is not keeping him off the court because he is wearing a huge black brace. The brace doesn’t look comfortable and will definitly raise his body temperature which will make him fatigue quicker. However, the (soon to be snubbed again All Star) big center should put up big numbers again, the shoulder injury is not serious. I know what you’ve been hearing since the Knicks picked up Zach Randolph. Can Zach and Eddy play together? Will Eddy and Zach get along? Blah blah haters, haters. Eddy still needs to get his rebound numbers up for a man of his size, 7 boards a game is unacceptable(he has improved by 1 rpg over the last 3 seasons).

13 - Jerome James - C - 7-1 - 285 - 11/17/1975 - Florida A&M - 8th year as pro
I’m not going to waste my time writing something on this bum. However, why didn’t the Knicks keep (supposedly) promising rookie out of Syracuse Demetris Nichols and simply buy out this doof already? The funny thing is Jerome doesn’t care he’s laughing all the way to the bank with this Ha, ha, hahahaaa.

20 - Jared Jeffries - F - 6-11 - 240 - 11/25/1981 - Indiana - 6th year as pro
Speaking of horrible free agent pick-ups Jefferies has to be nubmer 2 on that list. He can’t stay healthy and is a decent defender at best, not nearly as great as advertised. Jared’s horrible jumper and absolutely no talent offensively has forced me to give him the nick name "The Black Hole." He is "The Black Hole" because once you give it to him on the break, he stops turns around, travels, or passes the ball off effectively ruining nearly every fast break. Also, that dumb founded look he always has on his face doesn’t help his cause at all, considering he doesn’t even look like he knows what he’s doing. He is currently injured(WHOO HOO!!) with a sprained knee he suffered in the final Pre-Season game against the Nets

2 - Fred Jones - G - 6-2 - 225 - 03/11/1979 - Oregon - 6th year as pro
This former Pacer/Raptor/Blazer played the first 4 years of his career with Indiana and was drafted by the man himself Isiah Thomas. So naturally he has to become a Knick. He did win the slam dunk contest a couple of years back and can get up there. He is also is a decent defender. For a man that is on his 4th team in 3 years the odds are not on Freddie’s side to last.

42 - David Lee - F - 6-9 - 240 - 04/29/1983 - Florida - 3rd year as pro
The MVP of the rookie/sophomore game last year and the future of the franchise. A great stat (according to "Sports Illustraded") D. Lee is the first player since Dennis Rodman in ‘93-’94 to average over 10 boards a game (10.1) coming off the bench while playing in a minimum of 25 games…..WOW. If you are mentioned in the same breath as The Worm when it comes to rebounding then you have to be pretty damn good. He would have been the 6th man of the year last year if it weren’t for a late season injury to his right leg. Lee seems to have fully recovered from his injury playing very well in the Pre-Season and looking like his old self. He still needs to add that jumper into his game in order to become a complete player. However, even with no J, Lee’s basketball IQ is off the charts and he will average 10 boards or more a game this year, again. Hey Larry Brown, maybe you should’ve played this guy alittle more when he was a rookie because he might’ve developed a J by now. Oh yeah, you coached for the money that year, nevermind I hope you, Larry Brown continue to fade into oblivion. Sorry for that, this is David Lee’s paragraph and he will be the 6th man of the year this year hands down if he can stay healthy.

3 - Stephon Marbury - G - 6-2 - 205 - 02/20/1977 - Georgia Tech - 12th year as pro
Steph oh, Steph where has your mind gone? Over this off-season many have questioned your sanity and your desire to win. From comments like "I don’t care ‘bout no ring" and when his contract is up, he wants to play in Italy. ITALY?!?!?!?!?!? I am still a supporter of Marbury and always have been but even I think he has a little more screws loose then we all envisioned (scroll down to see interview on show "Mike'd Up"). Bottom line you know what you’re going to get out of him. He is not going to dominate the rock like the old "Starbury" and he is no longer, and vocally ok with, not being the number one option. Enough is enough and from the words of the Knick legend Patrick Ewing on "The Boomer Esiason Show" on MSG (yeah I’ll admit I watched it, I couldn’t sleep ok?!?) "he needs to stop complaining all the time" and just play ball.

5 - Randolph Morris - F, C - 6-11 - 260 - 01/02/1986 - Kentucky - 2nd year as pro (Sorta, Kinda not really a rookie)
After playing a couple of games last season after he played for Kentucky just weeks before, Morris looked like a scared little boy. Hopefully he is not a reincarnation of Channing "Softy" Frye, but he has a pretty similar look on his face the majority of the time. Bottom line he needs to grow up and stop going to frat parties back in Kentucky and driving home drunk. Stay in New York train as hard as you can because barring injury he is going to be sitting right next Jerome James all season long.

?? - Demetris Nichols - G-F - 6-8 - 215 - 09/04/1984 - Syracuse - Rookie
Supposedly has a nasty J. All Syracuse fans rave about his talent. The Knicks have 15 guaranteed contracts and did not want to buy out Jerome James, so they made an under the table deal with Nichols’ agent. The deal was to have him play over seas for a year and then the Knicks will pick him up and sign him to a contract. Nichols heard about this fired his agent after the Knicks cut him, and now he has signed with the Cleavland Lebrons, so look for this to blow up in Isiah’s face.

50 - Zach Randolph - F - 6-9 - 260 - 07/16/1981 - Michigan State - 7th year as pro
The Knicks big splash this offseason was trading Channing "Softy" Frye and Steve Francis for Randolph, Fred Jones and Dan Dickau. You either love or you hate this draft day move. Critics say you can’t have two big men in the middle blah blah. Zach can play on one side Eddy can dominate on the other. Randolph can shoot the J and Curry can not. They are similar players but not as similar as everyone who doesn’t know what they are talking about says they are. Randolph might not average 20 ppg again but he will get close and he will average a double double once again.

23 - Quentin Richardson - F, G - 6-6 - 235 - 04/13/1980 - DePaul - 8th year as pro
Without a doubt the Knicks best perimeter defender and when healthy the heart and soul of the team. He can still hit the 3 with consistency. He is currently listed as the starting small forward but who knows if his back is going to hold up for the entire year. The Knicks need his attitude and mouth on the court without him they are clearly not as good. When Q-Rich and Crawford went down last year so did the Knicks’ playoff hopes.

4 - Nate Robinson - G - 5-9 - 180 - 05/31/1984 - Washington - 3rd year as pro
This energetic, immature spark plug can either light up the Garden or have Knicks fans light up their spliffs. He needs to play a little more under control (which he is starting too) and stop pounding his chest when he hits a 3 to pull the Knicks within 14 points. Robinson was the MVP of the summer league but you can not look to deeply into that because the summer league is generally for rookies and second year guys dying for a roster spot. Nate the great is still one of the most popular Knicks and will be here for a couple of years barring a trade. However, if he does not mature quickly Mardy Collins will be the next starting point guard of N.Y. in a couple of years not Nate Robinson.

31 - Malik Rose - F - 6-7 - 255 - 11/23/1974 - Drexel - 12th year as pro
The oldest player on the Knicks roster and the "Father" of the Knicks squad (and biggest and most vocal cheerleader). He is the only player on the Knicks with championship experience which is why he is still an asset to the team.

HEAD COACH - Isiah Thomas (College - Indiana)

Mark Aguirre (College - DePaul)
George Glymph (College - Benedict)
Dave Hanners (College - North Carolina)
Herb Williams (College - Ohio State)
Brendan Suhr (College - Montclair State)

Greg Brittenham (College - Nebraska-Kearney)

Roger Hinds (College - Brooklyn College)

Anthony Goenaga (From - Long Island University)

Prediction - There is no reason why this Knicks squad won't make the playoffs. They are loaded with talent but also loaded with baggage. New York should have the me against the world mentality after a wild offseason with the civil suit against the Knicks management. However, if they don't make the playoffs there is no way Isiah Thomas should stay part of this organization. The Knicks should finish somewhere around .500 and could get as high as 6th in the conference, most likely though they will finish 8th or not in the playoffs at all.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Jordan, Nichols and Russell Waived

The Knicks have made their final cuts trimming their roster down to 15. The obvious players were cut with no surprises. Demetrius Nichols was the only player out of the 3 that had a real shot of making the squad, even though Jared Jordan played very well.
Season Preview will be posted in a couple of days. Once the season starts expect regular posts.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Houston Comeback Cut Short

According to ESPN.com Allan Houston officially ended his comeback attempt.


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Kobe on the Market (for real this time)

Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss has been denying he was going to trade (the best player in the league) Kobe Bryant even since his comments he made this summer. However, one game into the preseason he took back his statement and said he would entertain offers for Kobe........WOW!! It has been 3 days since he made those comments and Kobe has not practiced since, hmmmmmmmmm. So now the big question where is he going to go? Dallas and Chicago appear to be the front runners but you can bet your last dollar Isiah has been on the phone with the Lakers.

Now I know what you are thinking how are the Knicks going to offer more then Dallas or Chicago? Well a trade to Dallas is unlikely because they are in the Western Conference and they would have to face Kobe 4 times a year and in the playoffs, even though it is known that Dallas owner Mark Cuban would trade Dirk the jerk for Kobe(definitely the best player available for Kobe).

Then there is Chicago who is loaded with young talent because of trading Eddy Curry and receiving three 1st round picks and more that the Knicks gave them. However, Kobe has a swollen head and going to Chicago would mean he would often be compared to Jordan and would always have to answer questions like, are you the best Bull of all time? Or comments like you never won as many as Jordan in Chicago did. With the "You can't win without Shaq" quote that admittingly bothers him, why would he want to add another one to nag at him?

Then there is the Knicks who don't have much to offer but overpaid players and draft picks. I know what you're thinking now, why would he want to come to the Knicks? Well remember a couple of years ago when Kobe was a free agent and almost signed with the Clippers? Kobe visited with the Knicks and the idea of playing in the greatest city in the world and in the most famous arena in the world was veeerrrryy intriguing to him. The Knicks of course where not able to offer him more money then the $5 million dollar salary cap exception because they are obviously way over the cap, so Kobe respectfully said no and ended up staying with the Lakers. New York City and L.A. are the largest markets in the country and coming to NYC will keep Kobe in the limelight. If the Knicks have the slightest chance to get Kobe right now, no player on the Knick team is safe, except Zach Randolph and Marbury(Marbury only because they wouldn't want him). Trade Eddy Curry, Jamal Crawford, David Lee a couple first rounders for him. There is no way the Lakers will get equal value for Kobe Bryant but maybe if they get a 3rd team involved, it could make the deal more attractive. The Knicks are dying for some good press after the embarrassing sexual harassment case(to see my take on that http://knickscentral.blogspot.com/2007/09/isiah-on-trial.html#links). All in all I know I'm dreaming and if they ever did trade for Kobe I would probably be as surprised and happy as you. However, Kobe in New York would be a dream for the NBA and NY where basketball is loved more then anywhere else in the world.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Curry Might Miss Entire Preseason

According to Father Knickerbocker--------> http://mvn.com/nba-knicks/ Eddy Curry might miss the preseason. Click on the link and find out the story.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Allan Houston Returns

After months of thinking if he should come back, or if he even could come back after a 2 year absence from the NBA, Allan Houston has officially returned to the New York Knicks. Houston was contacted by several teams inclulding New Jersey to make a comeback from his knee surgery. He seriously thought about joining the Nets, however, Houston is back home and it would have been odd and excruciating to see him in a Nets uniform. He chose to return because he wanted to go out on his own terms. Houston said,"After my wife and I were blessed with the birth of our fourth child last week, I realized that New York is where I am supposed to be, and the Knick uniform is the one I want to wear. I have seen the Garden in some of its best moments, and I truly believe that this team is on the verge of experiencing that again. This team is hungry and energetic. I hope to contribute in the weeks and months ahead." If Allan Houston can be a shade of his former All Star, 20 ppg self it could prove as a steal for the Knicks. It bolsters their bench at the 2 and obviously gives them a solid 3 point shooter(when you have the kind of jumper Houstons has you don't lose it in 2 years off). Maybe the Knicks should also think about bringing back his former coach Jeff Van Gundy if Isiah is not able to turn this around.

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