Tagged: quentin richardson

If Only The Knicks Had Darko, Kurt Rambis, Or Both

We liked Marc Berman’s latest blog entry over at the New York Post so much that we asked him to come over to our site and expand on his thoughts (Note, this is a parody, Marc Berman did not write the entry below, but I’m in tune to his special brand of propagandistic muck-raking, so I know that if the Bermanator did write a guest spot for us, it would go a little something like this:)

Darko Milicic has exactly one more ring than Mike D’Antoni, so who would have been more crucial to the Knicks’ success going forward? The guy with the ring obviously. The second overall pick behind LeBron James and ahead of Carmello Anthony earned that ring playing a key role for the Detroit Pistons during their 2004 championship run. He averaged 4.6 minutes, 1.4 points and 1.3 boards. Without those contributions, the Pistons might not have even made the playoffs. But the Pistons, for some reason, gave up on Darko. What a waste. They traded him to the Orlando Magic where he averaged career highs in points (8) and rebounds (6.1). Then the Magic inexplicably gave up on Darko Milicic. Who knows why. Morons. He signed a free agent deal with Memphis, where the Grizzlies gave up on him. For some reason. I bet they wish they still had him, since now they are left with second overall pick Thabeet “patrolling” the paint. If only the Knicks had Thabeet. Alas, that’s a topic for another day.

Anyway…

Then after all those teams gave up on Darko, Mike D’Antoni made the inexcusable, indefensible coaching decision to give up on Darko. D’Antoni apparently thought Darko was lazy and mailed it in. There’s no credibility to that assertion. I know Tommy Dee routinely noticed that Darko was always the first player off the court after practice, but what does he know, he’s just a blogger.

What was D’Antoni thinking???

Sadly, since D’Antoni folded his hand, Donnie Walsh traded Darko to the Timberwolves, a team Darko has powered to a STAGGERING 1-15 record since the trade while averaging 7.0 points and 5.6 rebounds. THIS COULD HAVE BEEN OURS!!!! If Mike D’Antoni knew how to properly value his players the Knicks could be more like the 14 win Timberwolves, who astutely drafted Johnny Flynn and Ricky Rubio.

And Darko has found so much success in Minnesota because they know how to treat their players. In fact, Darko, who was pining to get back to Europe when he had to collect his mammoth game checks to do nothing in New York, now wants to stay in the NBA. But only if the team guarantees him the 30-35 minutes he’s earned by carrying them to a .062 winning percentage.

If D’Antoni only had a clue, the Knicks would probably have at least 50 wins by now, all due to Darko’s dominant scoring and boardwork. And if he never planned on using the guy, at least the Knicks could have still had Quentin Richardson, who is averaging a Darko-esque 8.6 points and 4.9 rebounds in a shade under 30 minutes for the Heat. Another chance at 50 wins squandered! Ugh!

Donnie put together a title contender for Mike D’Antoni. But D’Antoni didn’t play the studs. Darko? Banished! Hughes? Banished! Nate? Banished during Nate-gate (“haters” might say the Knicks had their best month in close to a decade during this time. But that is just a “fact”, which we don’t value over here at News Corp.)! Curry? Banished! Here’s what the Knicks could have been if not for that know-nothing D’Antoni:

PG: Duhon or Marbury

SG: Nate

SF: Hughes

PF: Darko

C: Curry

You mean to tell me that this squad wouldn’t have more than the 26 wins the currently mismanaged group sports? Please. The problem in New York isn’t the lack of talent of the players, it’s the lack of talent of the head coach, who should’ve played Darko at center for his added 5 boards instead of their current all-star center. Case closed. I’m smart.

Is Toney Douglas Mardy Collins 2?

Steve Adamek warned today that excited Knicks fans should heed the lessons of history and remember that somebody has to get stats on a losing team. I must confess that the first thing I thought of when Bill Walker started impressing us was Qyntel Woods (Jon and I called him good Q. Richardson was bad Q. Then we lost track of which was good Q and which was bad Q). In light of Douglas’ emergence, I, like Adamek, also thought of Mardy Collins, the nightly triple double threat on Isiah’s last team.

Two differences though. The first one is that with Toney playing well, the Knicks are, so far, winning. The Knicks barely won in Collins’ big month. The second, as Jon pointed out to me is that it’s a bit of an apples to oranges comparison. Here are Collins’ “impressive” numbers (courtesy of ESPN.com):

14 points, 6 assists, 7 boards. Wow. 44 minutes. 39% FG. In those games Collins surpassed the “Per 40″ or “Per 36″ number that is useful in equalizing stats for evaluation purposes. His per 40s were 12, 4 and 5. He also never had a PER higher than 9.54.

Toney’s last 5 games:

14 points, 4 assists, 2.5 boards. Pretty nice for a rookie playing in just 28.2 minutes. If you adjust for minutes played (caveat: I’m not good at math), Douglas has per/40 averages in his last 5 of 17.4 ppg, 5 assts, and 3 boards. He’s also a far better shooter than Collins. And his PER is already a 15.

It is tempting to get excited about guys like Douglas, who appear to be playing so well when the season is in the tank. I was excited about Collins too and to a lesser extent, good/bad Q (Woods). It is also equally easy to dismiss end of season contributions as “somebody need[ing] to score”. The difference though is deeper in the numbers. Compared to Collins, Douglas looks more legitimate.

Knicks Sure to Get Darko This Week?

Marc Stein is reporting that there is basically a deal in place for the Knicks to land Darko Milicic in exchange for Q (this apparently has been in the works for some time).

The Grizzlies aren’t just entertaining the idea of parting with the No. 2 overall pick in Thursday’s draft. They’ve also engaged in advanced discussions with the Knicks that should put former No. 2 overall pick Darko Milicic in New York by week’s end … unless Memphis winds up needing Milicic’s expiring contract in another draft-related trade.

Sources say that the proposed swap would send Milicic to the Knicks for swingman Quentin Richardson and cash. Milicic is scheduled to earn $7.5 million next season in the final year of a three-year deal he received from the Griz in 2007; Richardson has a player option for next season at $8.7 million.

If the teams go through with the trade, Milicic would join his fourth team since Detroit infamously gambled on him in 2003 with the pick immediately after LeBron James … and right before Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade. But it’s believed that Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni hasn’t been able to kick his long-standing interest in seeing what he can get out of the perpetually, uh, casual 24-year-old. Despite his unquestioned standing as one of the biggest draft busts in league history, Milicic would have to be considered an intriguing one-year rental for the go-go-go Knicks given his length, mobility, passing skills and age.

Wouldn’t he?

Good deal if it happens. Let’s face it, Q is pretty much useless at this point and Darko is just 24. On a one year rental it is worth it to see if D’Antoni can help Darko shed the bust label like he did for Boris Diaw.

Donnie Darko? (Or Darko Miliknick?)

We previously told you to be on the look-out for the possibility that the Knicks could be chasing Darko. Darko has an expiring deal and would thus provide low-risk shotblocking (John Hollinger points out that he has the ninth best shotblocking rate amongst centers, though is below average in almost every other way), some rebounding, and size.

Darko’s time in the league is just about up unless he can somehow revive his career. Darko could be a good fit in this system since his Euro game makes him a decent passer and a solid shooter as well.

Mike D’Antoni’s offense seems like the ideal fit. Remember, Boris Diaw looked like a stiff until D’Antoni showed everyone how to use him. Now he’s a solid contributor. He fills a need up front too. It just makes some sense.

Now word is that Donnie offered Q for Darko. We’re not surprised…in fact, we called it. Even though the deal was rejected, I do expect Darko to be a Knick next year.

(Note, Donnie also offered the Grizzlies $3 million for the 27th pick…I wonder who Donnie has eyes for down there).

Interesting Milicic quote:

“I will find the referees, murder them and then [expletive] their daughters”.

Knicks 128, Wizards 122

The Knicks only had 10 turnovers, of which Duhon had the majority (6). Quick shots off of lots great ball movement are hallmarks of Mike D’Antoni’s offense and executing the way the Knicks did tonight minimizes the opportunity to turn the ball over. This is in stark contrast to what has happens when the Knicks resort to one on one sloppiness and over-dribbling. That style is conducive to turnovers and blowouts. The longer you hold the ball, the longer the D has to set up, and the longer you have to turn the ball over.

Super hot shooting doesn’t hurt. No amount of quick, crisp passes and open shots will lead to wins when the shots aren’t falling, and the Knicks shot 54% tonight.

It is getting harder and harder to argue that the Knicks shouldn’t keep David Lee as he expands his overall game, continuing to play himself into a monster contract. At the same time, I’d say he’s still not worth more than $10 million, and the more he plays like this, the more value the Knicks will be able to score in a trade. I’m talking established players and high draft picks now instead of undeveloped talent. I’ll just say that I’m thankful Isiah isn’t in charge because Lee would get the max under the former regime.

The Knicks are on a 2 game winning streak and might be only 2.5 games out of the 8 seed if Milwaukee loses tonight.

The only criticism I have tonight is that the Wizards shot 60% from the field (55% if you remove Nick Young’s 13/17, still too high a percentage.) You won’t win many games giving up that percentage if you aren’t playing the Wizards. Having a shot blocking power forward or center would help matters immensely.

Good game from Q-Rich today who was hot beyond the arc, made some nice passes, and played great D. Jeffries also had a nice game, making lots of hustle plays, keeping rebounds alive, keeping the ball moving, and not messing up the flow of the offense. He was +17 tonight in 32 minutes. Lee’s +/-  in a 30 point scoring game, by way of comparison was zero.