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 8 years ago '04        #7421
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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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.
 8 years ago '09        #7422
Ricky Towel 128 heat pts128
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 8 years ago '09        #7423
Ricky Towel 128 heat pts128
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full size new york siths:

 8 years ago '04        #7424
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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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.
 8 years ago '04        #7425
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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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
 8 years ago '04        #7426
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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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.
 8 years ago '04        #7427
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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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."
 8 years ago '04        #7428
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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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.
 8 years ago '04        #7429
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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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.''…
 8 years ago '04        #7430
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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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."
 8 years ago '04        #7431
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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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.
 8 years ago '04        #7432
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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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.''
 8 years ago '04        #7433
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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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."
 8 years ago '09        #7434
Ricky Towel 128 heat pts128
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[video - click to view]

 8 years ago '04        #7435
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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Alan Hahn

David Lee shook his head and forced a grin. Only in New York, he said, will a player get criticized after putting up 23 points, 18 rebounds and two blocked shots.

But the number that leaped off the stat sheet in Friday's 102-96 loss to the Raptors here in Toronto was the 62 points in the paint the Raptors scored -- and that was with Chris Bosh out of the lineup because of a stomach flu.

It's been an issue all season, something Mike D'Antoni has lived with because of what Lee has been able to do on the boards and on the offensive end as an all-star this season. But even D'Antoni seemed disturbed by it tonight, when Toronto got to the rim on several occassions down the stretch to put the Knicks away.

"We didn't stop 'em and I didn't think we had the necessary gumption to get up in 'em, get a little man-to-man and stop 'em," D'Antoni said, placing the blame on the lack of perimeter defense more than the absence of anything at the rim.

D'Antoni did address that part a little later when he said, "We don't have a lot of resistance. That's a little bit our size. We're a little size-challenged down there, but at that point you've got to take a challenge and I don't think we took the challenge of stopping them."

Lee pointed to his statistics -- 15 defensive rebounds, for one -- and said "I do all I can out there . . . At 6-9 playing center, I do the best I can to contest shots down there. I can't be there for every shot. I do my best and I guess that's all I can do at 6-9."

I asked Lee if he ever considered putting a stop to the green line down the lane by offering up a hard foul early in a game to send somewhat of a message -- not only to the opponent but to his own teammates who are letting people by.

"I guess one of us could do that," he said. "You got a Charles Oakley think going there or something? I don't know what to say to that. Then we get two or three fouls on me and then we have 6-7 playing the five, and they continue driving the ball.

"I definitely see your point," he continued, "and I'm not opposed to that. But, you're right, it's definitely a weakness of our defense, it's a weakness of our team, that we're not big at that position."

It's probably kind of too little, too late at this point. Lee had much better support when 6-10 Jared Jeffries was on the team and playing next to him in the frontcourt. But with Jeffries gone, Lee has 6-8 Wilson Chandler and 6-9 Al Harrington (who contests even less than Lee) as his paint partners. Eddy Curry, a 7-footer, will be back in the lineup next week (expected to play against the Spurs in San Antonio on Wednesday), but even at full health Curry was hardly much of a defensive presence.

It's obviously an area the Knicks will have to address this summer with free agency (or trades).

As the questions about the interior defense and the points-in-the-paint allowed continued, Lee then said, "If you're looking for somebody to blame, I guess you can blame me for the defense. I'm doing my best down there at 6-9 and I'm going to continue to try to get better and control the paint better and it is what it is. A lot of times I'm playing against a guy that is five or six inches bigger than I am and 50 pounds heavier. And part of my other challenge is if I leave to go block a shot every time, then my man is on the boards and it goes from a 6-9 guy boxing out to a 6-4 guy rotating down and boxing out. So we've got problems with that as well."

As the cameras turned off and moved on to other players in the room, Lee then said, "I know I'm going to get hammered for this no matter how I answer the questions. So it is what it is."

Clearly, Lee won't have to deal with this much longer. He'll be a free agent this summer and whether he re-signs here or goes elsewhere, he'll do so as a power forward.

"In the past, the biggest issue with me in playing the four was the fact that I couldn't shoot the jump shot," he said.

Obviously that issue has been resolved, as evidenced with his much-improved mid-range game this season.

"But we have, what, 21 games left?" he said. "I'm going to battle at the five spot for 21 more games and we'll see what happens."
 8 years ago '08        #7436
AC_89 200 heat pts200
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Lee dont play much defense but hes right
 8 years ago '04        #7437
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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Jeff Van Gundy thinks the two New York area teams are on the verge of improvement as both prepare to approach a deep free-agent class with significant cap room.

The close of this season could mark the end of a rough re-building phase that fans of the Nets and Knicks have had to endure.

"On April 14, it’s over. The pain is over," Van Gundy said.

"Without question, they did the right thing," Van Gundy said about the teams' decision to dump salaries in an attempt to lure top free-agents. "Both places will get somebody good, really good — if not this year, then next year or the year after. They were stuck in that torturous place of mediocrity: 32 to 43 wins if they maxed out their talent and they had kept the same talent."

Van Gundy feels the current Knicks' roster has a low ceiling given their lack of size.

"I’ve always thought that the Knicks, as far as from a pure talent standpoint, people have overrated what they’ve had," Van Gundy said. "They’ve had some pieces. But they have absolutely no defensive presence in the middle. And if you don’t have any shot-blocking or any basket protection, it’s impossible to be good defensively. And if it’s impossible to be good defensively, then you’re limited how good you really can be."
 8 years ago '07        #7438
Truth B T0ld 3 heat pts
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Video of Gallo getting ignored on offense


[video - click to view]


whether its intentional or not is up for interpretation, but its been happening all season long...
 8 years ago '07        #7439
Truth B T0ld 3 heat pts
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Lack of playing time a mystery for Knicks rookie Douglas

As the Knicks play out the string and look at players for next season, rookie guard Toney Douglas still is out of the picture.

Douglas did not play for the second straight game in last night's disgraceful 113-93 loss to the Nets after he played just the final three minutes of the rout over the Pistons on Wednesday. Considering Donnie Walsh forked over $3 million to buy the Lakers' first-round pick to take Douglas at No. 29, his lack of playing time is baffling. Douglas has played in 36 of 62 games.

Across this miserable season, coach Mike D'Antoni periodically has talked about taking a closer look at Douglas, but it has been mostly talk. After the Tracy McGrady trade, D'Antoni said he wanted to play Douglas more because "we have serious decisions to make over the summer."

D'Antoni's failure to make Douglas a staple of the rotation and his remark about summer decisions are indications that he does not know if Douglas is part of the future.

The Knicks could include Douglas in a sign-and-trade over the summer to open up for salary cap space. Douglas is year one of his two-year rookie contract.

"I'm not really surprised," Douglas told The Post. "It's a business. I just feel I'll be ready when he calls my name. I can only control the things I can control -- working out, always being in the gym. When I get there I'll make an impact. The other stuff is out of my control. Whatever other decisions the coach makes, it's on them."

Douglas' work ethic and positive attitude have helped him gain favor with the coaching staff. But his lack of a point-guard mentality hurts him as a small guard. Douglas was touted for his defense, but D'Antoni's philosophy is to judge players on offensive skill.

*

Eddy Curry (left knee surgery) will make return to action on Wednesday in San Antonio, D'Antoni said.


back to back 20 point games as a starter only to get benched for the season... gotta love Mike d's rotations


Last edited by Truth B T0ld; 03-07-2010 at 04:48 PM..
 8 years ago '04        #7440
Born_Loser|M 100 heat pts100
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The Knicks, according to sources, will make a strong push to sign free agent Marcus Camby this summer.

"He only has great memories of New York," Camby's agent, Rick Kaplan, said on Friday in Toronto. "But he's having a great time in Portland. He really enjoys that team."
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