Tagged: celtics

Knicks 108 Celtics 103

The Knicks looked really good tonight. Particularly impressive to me were Nate, Gallinari, Harrington and Lee.

Nate played great D, coming away with 5 steals. Coach D’Antoni always said he could lead the league in steals.

Lee was at his hard-working best putting up the type of numbers we probably take for granted with 19 and 16.

Harrington had questionable shot selection but at least his shot was on for the most part and he hit the boards.

Gallinari was his old confident self and had his best game as a Knick, though it was a preseason game. If Gallo is consistently on like this the Knicks can make some noise. And nobody question his D. This kid is no slouch and is not intimidated by stars or scared to mix things up physically.

What most impressed me about this game though was the Knicks effort. They didn’t let up, from Chandler and Nate diving for loose balls, Chandler sprinting back on D to stuff Kendrick Perkins in spectacular fashion, to Lee and Harrington fighting for boards, the Knicks did not lay down. I want to see this effort continue, even if chemistry is tested by consecutive losses.

***

Other notes:

-Jeffries had an OK game, but let’s not get too excited. I’m still convinced that when Jeffries has a game that is not atrocious, some in the media have a tendency to react as if he’s a world beater and the difference between making the playoffs or not. The fact is that those who defend him are probably viewing his contributions in the context of his past awful performance, when he failed to so much as catch passes cleanly, when he shot predominantly horrendous bricks, and when he dribbled it off his foot more often than not when he put it on the floor. And make no mistake, this year’s version of Jeffries does plenty of those things, but is slightly improved. The fact that he can now hit a jumper a bit more frequently does not make him a valuable player, though I certainly hope that other teams think so around the deadline.

And this is plain to see to anyone who is really watching. I don’t care who signed Jeffries, e.g., that he is a relic of the troublesome Isiah era that causes Knicks fans to cringe. What I see on the court today is a barely mediocre to bad basketball player who damages the continuity of the team’s offense with his poor hands, handles, and still below average shot.

Answer me this: In each of the last 2 games, Jeffries has taken 10 shots when some of those could have gone to Nate, Harrington, Gallinari, Duhon or Chandler. Are you comfortable with that? Keep in mind that two games ago he hit 2 of them and that tonight he hit 4.

There are about 8 or 9 more valuable Knicks, and in fact, during games (not during practice) an empty chair on the bench is arguably more valuable. Some people don’t see that, but I’ll let them continue to make the case that the career 5 point, 4 rebound forward is the key to the Knicks’ season.

-Duhon made some really bad decisions with the ball in the 3rd quarter, both sloppy passing and bad shots.

-For all of the “sky is falling” coverage the Knicks were getting in some circles when they were 1-2 this preseason, I somehow doubt that we’ll see something more “fair and balanced” from News Corp. now that the team is 4-2.

Marbury Madness Strikes Boston

Marbury hasn’t even signed with the Celtics yet, but already the infection is starting to take its toll. Let’s start a list, which I will update as things inevitably digress in the future.

1. 2/26/2009: Is it just a coincidence that Gabe Pruitt, whose spot in the rotation Marbury will certainly take, drank himself into a stupor and got caught behind the wheel on the same day Marbury obtained his freedom from the Knicks? I contend, no.

2. 2/26/2009: Marbury hasn’t played a game for the Celtics but already they’ve turned into losers awaiting his arrival, folding to the Clippers 93-91.

3. Stay tuned.

Sunday Scattershot.

1. Alan Hahn reports that the Knicks might look at Jannero Pargo. Pargo played with Duhon in Chicago years back. Signing Pargo would continue the importing of players from those wildly successful late ’90s, early 2000s Bulls teams that has served us so well:

  • Jamal Crawford
  • Eddy Curry
  • Duhon
  • Jalen Rose
  • Antonio Davis
  • JYD

2.  The New York Times speculates that just mentioning that Marbury might join their team has sent the Celtics into a tailspin. I don’t doubt that.

3.  Tommy Dee says “[s]igning Lee doesn’t screw the Knicks if they can move Eddy Curry”. I’ve been saying that for a while now. Since the salary cap increases every year, and Nate is looking like he won’t even command the entire mid-level, the Knicks can sign Lee to about a $12 million dollar contract (salary structure be damned) if they can figure out a way to move Curry, preferably Curry AND Jeffries.

UPDATE:

4. GO BLUE!

50 Losses Might Be the Only Way to Be Truly Great

We all know that the Post is a muck-raking rag. That comes from its muck-raking management issuing edicts to its muck-raking journalists and editors. Marc Berman will stop at nothing to manufacture a story. According to Steve Adamek, Berman tried to I believe that it was Berman who tried to box Mike D’Antoni into a bad situation by asking him if he’s willing to lose 50 games for the sake of the long term plan.

I don’t recall anyone asking Isiah if he was willing to lose 50 games, though teams under his reign almost always did. My point with that is, at least there is a plan here.

D’Antoni told reporters:

“I think that’s one area, plus there’s no guarantee we wouldn’t be on the same pace if we didn’t make the trades. When made the trades, everybody knows the reasons, keeping the team competitive and we have longer-term goals and plans and objectives.
“Really, that doesn’t enter into the discussion. We’re just going to continue on with what we want to do to get the Knicks at the championship level that they deserve to be. We’re not going to waver from that. It’s not going to be like, in the short term we’ll worry about this. We’re not going to waver from what we said at the very beginning and I’m really comfortable with that.”

Basically, Mike D’Antoni took a roundabout path to yes. He said the Knicks have a long-term plan to be special. Not a short term ambition to be OK.

Let me be clearer than Mike D’Antoni: YES! IF STICKING TO THE PLAN MEANS THAT THE KNICKS WILL LOSE 50 GAMES THIS YEAR, THEN THE KNICKS SHOULD BE WILLING TO LOSE 50 GAMES.

Of course, I hope the Knicks don’t lose 50 games, but look at any contender and how they got to be that way. The Celtics for example won 24 games the year before they picked up KG and Ray Allen. The 24 win season followed several other mediocre years, during which they stocked up on guys like Al Jefferson, Ryan Gomes, Delonte West, and Sebastian Telfair.

The Spurs had to be bad before they got Duncan in 96-97, winning just 20 games before winning the lottery.

The Cavs history is just one big losing season with dashes of mediocrity and first round exits.

Somebody tell me what the Knicks were up to prior to Walt Frazier and also prior to Patrick Ewing…

The list goes on. Almost every good team went through a rebuilding phase to become a contender. The Lakers are the only exception, remarkably having missed the playoffs just five times in their history.

In the NBA you are rewarded for being good with championships and you are rewarded for being bad with draft picks. Still, you can mess it all up with bad management. For instance, you could already be bad or mediocre, then add salary to the point of being capped out, and give away draft picks in exchange for limited, losing players.

The only way to come back from a scenario like that is to completely reset. The Knicks embarked on the above described scenario for 8 years. They are fortunate that it will probably only take them 2 years (one and two-thirds now) to reset.

Update: Jon informed, me, and he’s right, that Steve Adamek never said that it was Berman that asked the question. I just assumed that, figuring, who else could it have been. So I can’t tell you whether it was Berman or not, and if it wasn’t, I apologize.