New York Knicks

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Props Slaps
 7 years ago '04        #7421
Born_Loser|M 81 heat pts81
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Skywalker 2.0
 7 years ago '04        #7422
Born_Loser|M 81 heat pts81
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Alan Hahn

LeBron James made it clear he wasn't going to address any specific questions about free agency. But he did address the most glaring issue with one of his potential suitors this summer after the Knicks put forth a total sell-out performance on defense in a 124-93 loss here in Cleveland to LeBron's Cavs.

The Knicks gave up 66 points in the paint and 33 of Cleveland's 51 field goals were scored there. They attacked David Lee almost as if that was the game-plan, but also scored plenty of easy baskets by merely sprinting up the floor well ahead of the Knicks (22 fast-break points).

Lee played right along with the scouting report on the Knicks by not laying a hip on anyone when a shot went up. Anderson Varejeo hustled his way to six offensive rebounds in 16:17. There was very little physical contact Lee made in the game as the Cavs continually headed to the rim undaunted. He had two fouls in 33:12, one was a deliberate foul on LeBron as he attempted one of several fast break dunks.

Lee has to compete better here, but let's also acknowledge that it's become a well-known fact that he is completely out of position defensively as a center at the NBA level. And it seems LeBron is quite aware of that fact, not only because of the ease in which his team scored in this game, but also because it is obvious to anyone who has any idea about this game that Lee doesn't have the kind of attributes to survive as a undersized five-man: muscle, meanness or major hops.

So in a way, LeBron seemed to take all of this into consideration when he was cryptically asked if he could ever see himself playing for a team that cared so little about defense.

"I've yet to play for a team that doesn't like defense in my career," he said. "But it's not about individuals first. Individuals have to take the responsibility to guard the guy in front of him and that makes it a lot easier as a team."

In other words, when Eddie House started barking at Lee for not being there to stop Delonte West after he had just blown by House for a layup, the true issue from LeBron's perspective was that House didn't keep West in front of him.

But, yes, it would be nice if Lee had the type of personality that brought the wood every now and then, just to send a message. But that's just like hoping Al Harrington would be more interested in playing team-concept offense. Sometimes a player is what he is, no matter what you ask of him.

The main thing that people -- LeBron included -- need to remember is that the Knicks of today bear no resemblance to what the Knicks of 2010-11 will be. Of the nine players who were in this game for the Knicks, perhaps three (Danilo Gallinari, Toney Douglas and maybe Bill Walker) are expected back next season. Lee is not a given, considering that he will be getting offers elsewhere and may be more inclined to find a more stable environment, not to mention a team that has a legitimate center. Wilson Chandler should be included on the list but he did not play in the game because he was home tending to a personal family situation.

LeBron has a great situation here in Cleveland. The players around him are all ready, willing and able to play at a high level to match his standard. They follow his lead, willingly accept roles and emphasize the team concept. The environment within that locker room is as perfect as you can get. And that is all attributable to one player: LeBron.

Remove him from this equation, not for a few games, but for an entire season, and you will see that standard drop. It's only natural. Great players, the best of them, make the talent around them play to another level.

So don't believe that supporting cast is that great of a concern for LeBron when he does finally reach the point where he will consider New York. He's well-aware that the roster will be an empty canvas. He's also aware that whatever players they do build around him -- and specifically for him -- will immediately raise their level to meet his.

Like when Kevin Garnett arrived in Boston, LeBron and great players at his level believe their impact will be enough to change the culture.

* * *

* - Mike D'Antoni was asked if the slash-and-burn strategy to clear cap space for 2010 is worth suffering these losses for two very long seasons. "I'll tell you next year," he said. "I can't tell you right now. Right now it's pretty frustrating for everybody. This is what we're doing. We'll see how it works out."

D'Antoni has looked overwhelmed for most of this season dealing with a daily hailstorm of issues from complaining players worried about their playing time to criticisms for coaching strategy and, of course, his team's awful defensive efforts on most nights since about mid-January.

One thing fans need to understand is that his hiring was part of Donnie Walsh's 2010 Plan. D'Antoni was supposed to only add to the lure of New York, along with the Garden and Madison Avenue. His player-friendly system, his proven ability to coach and handle star players, were meant for 2010, not to coach an incongruent roster of expiring contracts without a true go-to player, a bona fide leader or any legitimate sense of collective loyalty.

D'Antoni knew coming into the job that these first two years would be a challenge, but what has to be concerning is how much has this experience tainted his image, if not his own self-confidence as a coach?

Consider that Doc Rivers, who had some success previously as a coach in Orlando, was on the verge of being fired in Boston before the trades for KG and Ray Allen changed everything.

* - It was pretty much an awful night for everyone in a Knicks uniform, except for Bill Walker. He had a career-high 21 points and made 9 of 14 from the floor with five rebounds in 35:24. The Knicks really like the potential of Walker, who will continue to get plenty of looks as the season winds down. It could be enough to earn a contract for next season. One observation: Walker definitely needs to cut his body fat before next season. He's solidly built, but very loose in the cage. For a player with a history of knee issues, that kind of extra weight is detrimental.

* - Speaking of which, Eddy Curry will start seeing burn once he's cleared to play. D'Antoni a.ssured this when asked about it before the game. "We'd like to get him back to where he's playing and have him finish out the year strong," D'Antoni said. "That would be really good. That would definitely be the plan."

Curry seemed mildly amused by the fact that he was asked to react to D'Antoni's promise for playing time. Remember, Curry was livid when D'Antoni pulled him from the rotation in December when Curry was trying to play his way into game shape and it negatively impacted the offense. D'Antoni had told Curry he would stay with him through the process of getting his game back, but then couldn't afford to give him those 5-to-10 minutes a night when they caused such a problem in the offense.

Of course now the wins and losses don't mean as much, so if Curry slows things down, it doesn't have as much of an impact.

"He said it," Curry replied of D'Antoni's new promise. "Coach doesn't lie so, he said it."

Can you just feel his excitement?
 7 years ago '04        #7423
Born_Loser|M 81 heat pts81
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Alan Hahn

CLEVELAND - When Tracy McGrady was traded to the Knicks on Feb. 18, LeBron James sent him a congratulatory message. McGrady responded via e-mail, "Well, I'm in the Big Apple, so I'll see you here next season."

James could only laugh. Anything more or less would have revealed too much information and that's something LeBron has protected carefully during the last two years, as the will-he-or-won't-he debate has reached Brett Favre levels.

McGrady, as several of the game's top stars, won't even venture a guess on James' plans. Even if James wins a championship here for this title-starved town, McGrady doesn't think it's a given James will stay.

"It could go either way," McGrady said before last night's loss to the Cavs. "On one hand, he could say, 'I gave y'all what y'all never had. What y'all wanted.' On the other hand, he could say, 'Well, I've been here for seven years and I've tried and it just didn't happen and I want to start fresh.' It could go either way. I don't know. Nobody knows what the guy's thinking . . . His own circle doesn't know."

James' teammates can't venture a guess, though there are theories. Mo Williams would like to believe that it would be tough for James to leave if the Cavs win a title. Antawn Jamison, who recently was acquired from the Wizards to bolster a championship run this season, hopes that is true. He has two more years on his contract.

From the moment he joined the Knicks - who are owned by Cablevision, which also owns Newsday - McGrady openly has talked about James and the prospect of playing with him at the Garden next season. He said Monday that he is a fan of James and believes the feeling is mutual. He recalled seeing James as a high schooler in attendance at his playoff games in Orlando. Now McGrady finds himself watching with awe.

"The things that he does on the basketball court are unbelievable," McGrady said. "He is a rare talent. A guy that can be 250 [pounds], 6-8, damn near faster than most of the guards in this league, very powerful. I mean, God just . . . said, 'I'm going to make you the perfect basketball player with the perfect body and everything.' He oughta be on his knees every night thanking the Lord because he has a gift."

Curry will play

Mike D'Antoni said Eddy Curry, who had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Jan. 18, will get minutes once he is cleared to play, which could be in about a week. "We'd like to get him back to where he's playing and have him finish out the year strong," D'Antoni said. "That would be really good. That would definitely be the plan." Curry was frustrated in December when D'Antoni pulled him from the rotation while he tried to get himself into game shape. Curry, who has one year left on his contract, wasn't sure if he would be back as a Knick next season. "I hope so, I don't know," he said. "It's kind of early to tell. We'll see what happens."
 03-02-2010, 01:56 AM         #7424
IAmazeMyself 
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Thread is officially dead, R.I.P.
 7 years ago '04        #7425
Born_Loser|M 81 heat pts81
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Fans are frequently tripped up by the idea of cap room. The premise is pretty straightforward – there's a salary cap, and if the team's payroll is at or above this amount, they don't have any money to spend on free agents. But if they're below it, they do. In practice it's not so simple. Teams below the cap have less cap room than it might appear, and can actually be considered to be over the cap. Let's take a look at how all this works.

First the basics: the NBA has a "soft" cap, which means teams can be over it and still function – albeit with restrictions. In fact, a team being over the cap (especially during the season) is far more common than being under it. There are mechanisms called exceptions which allow teams to sign players or make trades while they are over the cap. For example, the Mid-Level exception allows teams over the cap to sign a player or players for up to five years starting at the league average salary. Another well known exception is Bird rights, which allow teams to re-sign their own players while they are above the cap. See question 19 of my FAQ for a complete list of these exceptions.

The system is designed so that teams may have either cap room or exceptions, but never both at the same time. In order to accomplish this, the league applies the following rules:

• When a team is below the cap, they add additional amounts to their team salary. This includes the value of any unused exceptions, the scale amount for any unsigned first round draft pick, a cap hold for any free agent to which the team has Bird rights, and a charge for any roster spots otherwise unaccounted for. This keeps the team from using its cap room on other teams' free agents, spending right up to the salary cap, and then using their exceptions and Bird rights to spend above the cap. A team really has cap room only when their payroll and all these extra charges add up to a value that is below the cap. See question 14 of my FAQ for a complete list of cap holds and roster charges.

• An exception is a mechanism that lets a team function while they're over the cap – a concept that doesn't apply when the team is below the cap. So if the team is ever far enough under the cap that their payroll plus all these added charges are still under the cap, then they don't get their exceptions. If they start out above the cap per these rules and they later drop below the cap, then they lose any unused exceptions.

• A team can renounce its exceptions or free agents at any time. By renouncing an exception a team gives up its right to use that exception, but potentially gains an equivalent amount of cap room (if the team is under the cap without the exception). When a free agent is renounced the team clears the player's cap hold off their books, but gives up its right to sign the player using the Bird exception.

Let's look at an example to see what this all means and how the rules prevent a team from having cap room and exceptions at the same time. We'll use the Knicks as an example, and a.ssume the cap comes in at $53 million this summer.

Assuming Eddy Curry picks up his option for next season (which is a given), the Knicks will have four players under contract – Curry, Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler and Toney Douglas, totaling $17.78 million. They also have Bill Walker signed through 2011-12, but his contract is not guaranteed as long as he is waived by July 7. Since the Knicks will be trying to sign free agents this summer, Walker will likely be waived.

Sergio Rodriquez will be a restricted free agent if the Knicks make a qualifying offer for $2.34 million. If they do, this amount will count on the Knicks' cap. Let's a.ssume for this example that the Knicks extend Rodriguez a qualifying offer and make him a restricted free agent.

The Knicks will have eight unrestricted free agents this July, and these players also continue to count against the team's cap until the player re-signs, signs somewhere else, or is renounced. The exact amount of a free agent's cap hold depends on his previous salary and the type of free agent he is – see question 30 of my FAQ if you want all the details. The Knicks' unrestricted free agents (with their cap hold amounts) will be Tracy McGrady ($23.61 million), Al Harrington ($15.04 million), Cuttino Mobley ($14.25 million), David Lee ($10.5 million), Chris Duhon ($7.84 million), Eddie House ($5.87 million), J.R. Giddens ($1.10 million) and Jonathan Bender ($0.85 million). In all, a whopping $79.06 million will be added to the Knicks' cap to account for these players.

Finally, the Knicks also have two trade exceptions from deals they made near the trade deadline – one valued at $2.48 from the Jordan Hill trade, and another valued at $0.79 million from the Darko Milicic trade. In all, $3.27 million is added to the Knicks' cap to account for these trade exceptions.

Add up the players under contract, the qualifying offer to Rodriguez, the cap holds for their free agents, and the value of their trade exceptions, and you get a total of $102.45 million. But wait, there's more! Since this total is higher than our $53 million cap, the Knicks also get their Bi-Annual ($2.08 million) and Mid-Level (approximately $5.73 million) exceptions. This brings their total to approximately $110.26 million.

Let's stop a moment to reflect on the dichotomy – the Knicks will have $17.78 million in actual contracts, yet their cap figure will be well over $100 million.

Here is where you might say, "Wait a minute! I thought the Knicks were supposed to have nearly enough cap room to sign two maximum free agents." The answer is that they CAN have enough cap room to go after free agents like LeBron James, but they won't be able to do so unless they first do some maneuvering.

Let's first look at how they might gain as much cap room as they possibly can. Suppose they renounce McGrady, Harrington, Mobley, Lee, Duhon, House, Giddens and Bender, and that they withdraw their qualifying offer to Rodriguez (prior to July 23). The cap holds for all of the aforementioned players will come off their books, reducing their cap amount by $81.40 million. At this point they will have only four roster spots spoken for, so they have to incur a roster charge for eight additional spots. A single roster charge is equal to the rookie minimum salary ($473,604 this summer), so the Knicks' cap is charged a total of $3.79 million. All told, their team salary is reduced to $32.65 million -- but since this total is below the $53 million cap, they lose their exceptions. Their Mid-Level, Bi-Annual and trade exceptions drop off the books, removing another $11.08 million. Their actual team salary is therefore $21.57 million if they renounce everyone they can renounce.

With a $53 million cap and a $21.57 million team salary, the Knicks will have about $31.43 million in cap room. If they sign a player like LeBron James for $16.57 million, they will then have just $15.33 million to fill out the rest of their roster – and they will have no exceptions and no Bird rights to any of their free agents. Fortunately there are alternative strategies.

One alternative might be to clear as much cap room as possible while hanging onto David Lee. If we go through the same process as before but leave Lee's $10.5 million cap hit on the books, the Knicks team salary would be $31.60 million, leaving them $21.40 million to spend on free agents (note that they would have seven roster charges with this scenario, not eight). After signing a maximum free agent for $16.57 million they would be left with just $4.83 million to fill out their roster, but they would still have David Lee's Bird rights. They could, for example, sign a free agent for $4.83 million, then sign Lee for any amount up to the maximum, and finally fill out the rest of their roster with minimum salary contracts.

A third strategy might be to take advantage of temporarily being over the cap, which gives them the use of their exceptions. If they first sign two players with their Mid-Level and Bi-Annual exceptions, and THEN renounce their free agents, they would have $25.59 million in committed salaries, and six roster charges totaling $2.84 million, giving them a total of $28.43 million, Their trade exceptions would drop off the books, and they would be left with $24.57 million in cap room. After signing a maximum free agent for $16.57 million they'd have $8.00 million left for the rest of their roster – but they'd have a free agent signed to a maximum contract, players signed with their Mid-Level and Bi-Annual exceptions, AND an additional $8 million in cap room to show for it.

A fourth option would be to use their Mid-Level exception, then renounce all of their free agents except Lee. This would leave them with $23.51 million in salaries, Lee's $10.5 million cap hold, and six roster charges totaling $2.84 million, for a total of $36.85 million. They would have $16.15 million in cap room – slightly less than they'd need for a maximum offer to LeBron James, but perhaps they could adjust for this by spending slightly less than the full $5.73 million to sign a mid-level player. Spending $5.31 million on a mid-level player would leave them with enough cap room to give the maximum to James. So all told, with this scenario they'd keep Lee, sign a maximum free agent such as James, sign one additional player for slightly less than the mid-level, and still have to fill out the rest of their roster with minimum salary players.

Note that while a team can never have cap room and exceptions at the same time, the Knicks are in position to be one of the few teams that has both in the same offseason.

Also note that there is no specific date by which free agents need to be renounced. They can put off renouncing their free agents until the last moment, which keeps their options open as long as possible. Renouncing is only necessary when they need to clear the cap room to sign a free agent. This means they can come to a verbal agreement with a player, then renounce their own free agents, and finally sign the player with their newfound cap room. If they strike out in the free agent market, they can still come to terms with their own players.

The only exception to this is their restricted free agent, Rodriguez. As long as their qualifying offer is outstanding, Rodriguez is free to accept it. If he does, the Knicks are locked into a one-year contract with him for the amount of his qualifying offer. If they feel Rodriguez is worth the risk, they can leave his qualifying offer on the table. If not, then they don't have to submit a qualifying offer at all (which would make him an unrestricted free agent rather than restricted). They can also walk the middle ground – submitting a qualifying offer, but withdrawing it if they need to reclaim the cap room. If they decide to withdraw it, they must do so by July 23 – after that date, the qualifying offer can't be withdrawn without Rodriguez' consent.

In summary, even a seemingly straightforward concept like cap room has nuances that can get very complicated. As outlined here, these nuances provide teams with options, and a crafty GM can navigate these options to make the best moves that will equip his team for the upcoming season and beyond.
 7 years ago '04        #7426
Born_Loser|M 81 heat pts81
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Anthony Rieber

The big man could dress for Wednesday night's game at MSG against Detroit

Eddy Curry of the Knicks

GREENBURGH, N.Y. - The morning after a 31-point loss to the Cavaliers, the Knicks went through a hard practice. That wasn't much of a surprise.

The surprise was the big man huffing and puffing in the middle of it all. Eddy Curry, out since Jan. 18 left knee surgery, made his return to practice and could dress for Wednesday's game at the Garden against the Pistons.

Coach Mike D'Antoni said he was not expecting to see the 7-foot center on the court on Tuesday. D'Antoni didn't seem to have much use for Curry when he was healthy, but the Knicks' deadline-day dealing has left them with a small lineup and in need of some size on the floor.

"If he keeps making progress from this point, it should be pretty shortly he should be on the court," D'Antoni said. "We do need a big body. We need him to be productive. I'm sure he needs it too. We all have mutual interests. That will be our goal, to try to do that in the next 20 games or so."

Curry, who did not speak to the media on Tuesday, talked to reporters on Monday in Cleveland.

"I think I'm close, I think I'm close," he said Monday. "I'm on the court now shooting, doing a little bit of light running, so I don't think it'll be too much longer . . . I'll come back as soon as I can. As soon as I can play without hurting the team, I'll come back."

Curry has appeared in seven games (62 minutes) this season. He has one more year on his contract at $11 million. Asked on Monday if he felt he had a future with the Knicks, he said: "I don't know. I hope so, but I don't know. It's kind of early to tell. So we'll see."

D'Antoni said Tuesday's "spirited" practice was not a punishment for the team after the poor showing in Cleveland.

"We'd still be here if I was punishing them," he said. "They understood that we gave up a little bit. We just felt like it was too big of a monumental task and didn't compete hard enough. Tomorrow night we're going to have to show we have a lot of f!ght left in us."

If not, it could be unpleasant at the Garden. Knicks fans have been patient with the long-term plan, but could the focus turn to the job D'Antoni is doing?

"I haven't had a good year, that's for sure," he said. "What's fair is fair."

Notes & quotes: Wilson Chandler, out for personal reasons, will rejoin the team on Friday, D'Antoni said . . . Former Nets coach Lawrence Frank watched practice with team president Donnie Walsh.
 7 years ago '04        #7427
Born_Loser|M 81 heat pts81
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Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni says he'll definitely play center Eddy Curry when he's ready to return to the court.

Many believed that New York would buyout Curry's contract in order to save $1 million in cap space.

"I don't know. I hope so," Curry said of remaining with the Knicks. "But I don't know. It's kind of early to tell. We'll see what happens."

The Knicks don't have a traditional center on their roster.

"When he's ready, he'll play," D'Antoni said. "It should be a good opportunity. I think it's a huge head start on summer."
 7 years ago '04        #7428
Born_Loser|M 81 heat pts81
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Howard Beck

In the digital age, despair travels many avenues — through airwaves, tweets and blogs. Every electronic artery was clogged Tuesday morning with Knick fans wailing over their team’s humiliating 124-93 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Knicks and Coach Mike D'Antoni, above, are headed for another 50-loss season with a roster of castoffs and marginal players.

On talk radio, the angst was particularly pronounced, as hosts and callers howled about the Knicks’ lack of competitive spirit and their disregard for defense and, frequently, about their coach, Mike D’Antoni.

It was a day for bloodletting, and the exasperation was understandable. Fans were warned two years ago that a messy demolition was coming. But the process has been more unsightly than anyone anticipated, team officials included.

D’Antoni opened the season aiming for the playoffs but instead will likely be saddled with his second 50-loss season. Fans can reasonably debate D’Antoni’s coaching philosophy and playbook, but these issues will not truly be relevant until the Knicks have a roster designed to win games. The current roster is not — a fact that is often lost amid the anguish.

Since he took the reins in 2008, the team president Donnie Walsh has pursued a singular goal: to clear salary-cap space. He has purged the roster of nearly every contract that extends past 2010, and as a consequence, has purged the Knicks of their best players.

What is left is a disparate collection of aging veterans (Al Harrington and Eddie House), reclamation projects (Tracy McGrady and Jonathan Bender) and still-developing prospects (Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler).

Most of the Knicks’ players were acquired only because their contracts expire in July. Just two players are guaranteed to be back next fall — Gallinari and Chandler — and the Knicks will keep David Lee if they can.

Everyone else is a rental, and some are playing that way: forcing ill-advised shots, padding the box score and playing for their next contract.

In free agency, market value is more often tied to statistics than the win-loss column. So players are less inclined to set good screens, make the extra pass, block out or cover for each other on defense.

This was the obvious risk in a.ssembling a team of mercenaries, although Walsh and D’Antoni tried hard to dismiss it last fall.

Walsh introduced more chaos at the Feb. 18 trading deadline, when he acquired six players in three deals. Four of the newcomers are now playing major roles, which means that half of the rotation has been turned over in the last two weeks.

Nearly everyone carries an asterisk. Sergio Rodriguez, the new starting point guard, was a third-string reserve for the Sacramento Kings before they traded him. McGrady, the new shooting guard, has hardly played in the last year after undergoing major knee surgery.

Gallinari, the promising young forward, appears to have hit the rookie wall in his first full season (after missing most of last season because of injury). Chandler, the other top prospect, is still refining his game.

The Knicks’ leading scorer on Monday was Bill Walker, a 2008 second-round pick who had played sparingly for the Celtics. The rotation also included House, a notoriously streaky 3-point shooting specialist; Bender, who came out of a four-year retirement in December; and Toney Douglas, the 29th pick in 2009.

Last month’s trades helped the Knicks clear enough cap space to sign two stars this summer. But the deals also robbed them of their most dynamic scorer (Nate Robinson) and their defensive linchpin (Jared Jeffries). Their lineup is small and easily outmuscled.

Chandler, who is the Knicks’ best interior defender, was absent Monday.

So the Knicks — in D’Antoni’s words — were outclassed and outplayed, which should not be that shocking. The Cavaliers are playing for a championship, while the Knicks are playing for July 1.

Of course, some degree of hustle and dedication is still expected, which is why the Knicks are despondent and their fans are coming unhinged.

On Tuesday, D’Antoni admitted that the Knicks “didn’t compete hard enough.” Lee called it the third-worst loss of his career.

It was surely a low point for D’Antoni, too. In Phoenix, he enjoyed mostly good times — 60-win seasons, deep playoff runs and a roster stocked with all-star talent. Now his acumen is being questioned daily by impatient fans.

“I haven’t had a good year, that’s for sure,” D’Antoni told reporters on Tuesday. “What’s fair is fair.”

But Walsh did not hire D’Antoni to coax 40 wins from a 20-win lineup. He hired him to recruit LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, who both sing D’Antoni’s praises, and to coach a roster built around all-stars.

It is possible that James, through his mocking laughter Monday night, was revealing a total disregard for the Knicks. More likely, he was showing a disregard for the current Knicks, the ones who will be long gone by the time he meets with Walsh and D’Antoni in July.
 7 years ago '09        #7429
Ricky Towel 127 heat pts127
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 7 years ago '09        #7430
Ricky Towel 127 heat pts127
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full size new york siths:

 7 years ago '04        #7431
Born_Loser|M 81 heat pts81
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Donnie Walsh is considering the currently available free-agent big men, one of whom he could sign to help fill the Knicks' gaping hole in the middle.

"There's some pretty good big guys, been checking on them," Donnie Walsh said.
 7 years ago '04        #7432
Born_Loser|M 81 heat pts81
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Bill Walker received his first NBA start on Wednesday in New York's 128-104 win over the Pistons.

Walker finished with a career-high 22 points, and his seemingly endless stream of powerful dunks dazzled the Garden crowd.

“I always thought I could play on this type of level,” Walker said. “It just took awhile for me to get the opportunity.”


SKYWALKER 2.0
 7 years ago '04        #7433
Born_Loser|M 81 heat pts81
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If the Knicks aren't able to sign LeBron James this summer, coach Mike D'Antoni likes Joe Johnson.

D'Antoni likes Johnson as a fallback option and considers him a nice piece to build around, sources told the New York Post.
 7 years ago '04        #7434
Born_Loser|M 81 heat pts81
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Knicks forward Al Harrington doesn't think free-agent-to-be LeBron James will sign with the team this summer, and according to a report in the New York Post he is not in the minority.

"A lot of teams would love to have him and the Knicks are one of them," Harrington told The New York Post.

"But if he's as loyal as he says, I would think it's very hard for him to leave, especially because he's home.

"If it was a different city, maybe not as much a connection, but at the end of the day, he generates every single thing for this whole state. It would be tough for him to make that decision to leave."
 7 years ago '04        #7435
Born_Loser|M 81 heat pts81
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Steve Adamek

Let’s do a little exercise. Let’s undo all the deals that got the Knicks to where they are today, 20-39 as this is written, but with enough salary-cap room to sign two max-contract free agents this summer, if they want.

Let’s bring back Jamal Crawford for Al Harrington. And bring back Zach Randolph and Mardy Collins for Tim Thomas and Cuttino Mobley.

You’d undo those deals (from November 2008) right now, wouldn’t you?

Let’s even undo the cap-neutral deals of a little over a year ago. Jerome James, Anthony Roberson and Tim Thomas return for Larry Hughes. And Malik Rose makes it back for Chris Wilcox.

Bring Quentin Richardson back and undo this past summer’s deal that brought Darko Milicic to New York.

And finally, undo the ones the Knicks just made. Get back Jared Jeffries, Nate Robinson, Jordan Hill and Marcus Landry. Give back Tracy McGrady, Sergio Rodriguez and the rest.

Oh, and Mr. Vaseline Man can return from his sneaker-sales trip to China.

So basically here’s what you’ve got. Crawford, Randolph, Richardson, Rose, Collins, Jeffries, Robinson, James, Mr. Vaseline Man ... In other words, pretty much the 2007-08 roster.

Which went 23-59.

This is what some folks think the Knicks should’ve done, though. Held onto most, if not all of those players. That way, they figure, the Knicks might’ve put up a legitimate playoff run this season. Maybe finished seventh or eighth.

And then, because of those players’ contracts, they could’ve done the same thing next season. Seventh or eighth place. One (round) and done, most likely.

Meanwhile, they would have no chance to take a run at the best player of this generation, as well as some of his subordinate superstars.

If that’s what you would’ve preferred _ Crawford, Randolph, Vaseline Man, et al, still in Knicks’ finery this season, then you’re a fan of mediocrity.

For that’s the most it would’ve accomplished. Mike D’Antoni would’ve had to coax 15-20 more victories out of that group than Isiah Thomas did. Could he have done that? Could Red Holzman have?

This was the choice: Cap room plus what this and last season brought. Or mediocrity. A crack at LeBron James and Co. Or Zach and Jamal, f!ghting for eighth place.

Mark Cuban says it all the time: To be real good in this league, you have to be real bad. San Antonio is living proof: bad enough to get David Robinson a generation ago, then bad enough again (when Robinson got hurt) to get Tim Duncan. And the Spurs may just now be falling out of the championship picture, more than a decade after they got Duncan.

It’s the reason why the Nets could get good quickly after this season. Win the draft lottery and get John Wall. Add a top-flight free agent or two. Mix in Brook Lopez and Devin Harris or trade Harris for more talent.

The Knicks can’t get that good that fast without salary-cap space.

The other way, trading for high-salaried, presumably talented veterans (who just happened to be losers) didn’t work. Creating cap space 14 years ago to sign Allan Houston and (OK, a mistake) Chris Childs, and trade for Larry Johnson ... worked. And although Houston was the fallback position from the star they really wanted, Reggie Miller, both went to the same number of NBA Finals thereafter: one.

Remember that if the Knicks end up with Joe Johnson this off-season.

All that said, has MD’A done a good job this season? No.

Has Donnie Walsh done a good job putting together a roster capable of making the playoffs this season? No.

But that wasn’t the point. This roster isn’t put together to make the playoffs. It was put together to maximize salary-cap room in the hope it would make a playoff run.

The latter didn’t happen. The former did.

But if the latter seems more preferable to you, then whine about trading Randolph (who probably won’t make the playoffs again), Crawford (who finally will, for the first time) and all the others. And dream of that scintillating race for seventh or eighth you’re missing out this season. And next.

And forget about LeBron or D-Wade or Chris Bosh or anyone else who might make this team more than a playoff bottom-feeder going forward.

Feel free to whine about missing out on mediocrity.
 7 years ago '04        #7436
Born_Loser|M 81 heat pts81
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Marc Berman

TORONTO – Raptors power forward Chris Bosh, whose missed the last six games with a sore ankle, was supposed to make his return tonight vs. the Knicks. But he missed the morning shootaround with an upset stomach and the free-agent-to-be might be a no-show for the game and the Raptors have struggled without him.

While it's been a.ssumed Bosh is going to leave Canada this summer, Raptors president Bryan Colangelo, one of the more congenial NBA executives, told New York reporters this morning don't bet on it.

Colangelo's actions at the trade deadline – where he admitted to having almost no conversations about trading Bosh – was the clearest indicator.

Asked if he looked at the Knicks as a threat, Colangelo said, "There's a handful of teams who have the ability to sing him outright. We still remain the most viable option to get the most money and the most years. That's not changing.''

Tracy McGrady will play point guard again tonight. McGrady admits Toronto is a special place – having been drafted here by Isiah Thomas - he can think of a few reasons why he would want to leave Oh Canada, taxes being one. McGrady said his rookie year here was difficult, as a teenager living in a foreign country, in a cold environment having been raised in Fla.

--

D'Antoni touted Eddie House as someone whose added a leadership element to the locker room coming over from the powerhouse Celtics.

"He's come in with mentality coming from Boston where they've been world champions, he talks it up,'' D'Antoni said. "It doesn't take a whole lot. Sometimes it takes one or two pieces to change it.''…
 7 years ago '04        #7437
Born_Loser|M 81 heat pts81
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After two difficult seasons in New York, Mike D'Antoni remains confident in his own coaching gameplan and the team's strategy of building a winner through free-agency.

"I’m 100 percent sure the way we want to play will win," D'Antoni said in response to a question about his quick-paced style of basketball. "I think we’ll win a championship this way. Now, not today. But that’s where we want to get to."

D'Antoni admitted that he came in thinking he could turn the Knicks around right away.

"Didn’t happen. Underperformed a little bit, no doubt about it," he said. "Again, all we can do is keep slogging away and keep trying to get better and understand where the plan’s going and we’ll have a good shot at it for next year."

D'Antoni appreciates the support Donnie Walsh has given him in taking the blame for the Knicks' poor play.

"That’s awful nice of him, first of all, and that’s why I came here, because I have so much faith in him that we can get the job done together. There’s nobody out of the boat; everybody’s in the same boat."
 7 years ago '04        #7438
Born_Loser|M 81 heat pts81
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Alan Hahn

Donnie Walsh and Mike D'Antoni aren't allowed to discuss potential free agent targets until July 1, but Tracy McGrady can say whatever he wants. And McGrady hasn't filtered anything when it comes to talking about attracting other stars to New York.

After all, there's something in it for him, too.

One of those possible targets, Chris Bosh, wasn't at this morning's shoot-around here in Toronto because of what team officials said was an upset stomach. Bosh has missed the last four games with a sprained left ankle, but there was a chance he would play.

So Bosh avoided having to address the 2010 subject -- I don't know if you've been around, Chris, but the Knicks cleared enough cap space to possibly target TWO max contract players -- but McGrady was happy (as always) to offer his opinion.

"He's been here for quite some time now," McGrady said of Bosh. "He's personally been successful. The team really hasn't done that much. Maybe he wants to start out fresh with another franchise, or maybe he's doing it for tax reasons -- I'm not speaking of Chris Bush, I'm just saying the individual that wants to move on. There are different reasons why a guy wouldn't want to play here."

* * *

* - McGrady will start again at the point. Wilson Chandler has returned to the team after tending to the death of his grandfather in Michigan, but will likely come off the bench, which means Al Harrington will remain in the starting lineup.
 7 years ago '04        #7439
Born_Loser|M 81 heat pts81
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$40,638 | Props total: 2138 2138
Bryan Colangelo told New York reporters he doesn't expect Chris Bosh to leave the Raptors.

Asked if he looked at the Knicks as a threat, Colangelo said, "There's a handful of teams who have the ability to sign him outright. We still remain the most viable option to get the most money and the most years. That's not changing.''
 7 years ago '04        #7440
Born_Loser|M 81 heat pts81
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$40,638 | Props total: 2138 2138
Knicks center Eddy Curry says that he's "real close" to returning to the floor.

He won't play on Friday night against the Raptors, but the New York Post writes that he could play on Saturday against the Nets.

Curry has been out since Dec. 17.

"I really don't know," he said. "It's really all about the next day and seeing how it feels and if I'm able to respond and go out there and put in extra work in the morning. Just kind of take it day by day. I'm real close and I don't want anything crazy to happen."

New York coach Mike D'Antoni believes that Curry needs to put in a few more practices.

"I think he needs a few more practices," the coach said. "It's tough at this time of year just because we have three games the next four nights. But if he keeps coming on and there’s no setbacks, I would say sometime next week maybe."
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