Tagged: tim thomas

Grading the Deals: Dan’s Take

Donnie Walsh has two objectives, and they can conflict with one another. The deals should be examined through that lens:

1. Improve the 2010 cap situation. This deal didn’t do anything to the cap situation. Wilcox expires at the end of this year. If he proves himself, maybe Donnie re-signs him on the cheap. Think of these last months as a tryout. Alternatively, maybe Donnie just lets him walk.

Hughes expires in 2010. He doesn’t have a future with the club, much like Harrington.

Since the deals don’t effect the cap one way or the other, the grade on this objective is: N/A.

2. Stay competitive. The Knicks gave up a role player and three pine warmers for two guys who will contribute. Thomas didn’t get a lot of minutes, but he knew his role in his second stint with the Knicks and didn’t try to do too much. He had a successful half season in this go around.

However, Hughes and Wilcox will certainly trump the production Thomas offered, especially if Hughes can continue to shoot at a career high percentage from 3. He can be a volume gunner like Q was when he was at his most effective with Mike D’Antoni’s suns. Wilcox will run the floor, throw ’em down on pick and rolls, and do some resounding rebounding (look at his per 40s). Don’t be surprised if Wilcox starts to look like David Lee with his scoring and boarding (would you argue that Wilcox should earn $10+ million).

Anyway, the Knicks clearly upgraded their talent and competitiveness, and from that perspective the trades were a success. A.

OVERALL: Overall the first objective is more important than the second. In the end, making the playoffs as an eigth seed this year definitely takes a back seat to getting LeBron. The Knicks tread water in this regard. Overall the balance is still positive: B+

Latest Trade Buzz: Knicks Deal For Hughes

ESPN’s Marc Stein and Chad Ford are both reporting that the Knicks have traded Tim Thomas and, yes, Jerome James (!) to the Bulls for Larry Hughes.

It appears there’s more to come as Marc Stein is also reporting that the Knicks are going to complete a trade with Oklahoma City for Chris Wilcox. It’s believed Malik Rose will be going to Thunder.

Neither of these deals are official yet and it’s possible all the details are not yet in. In fact, Marc Stein speculated that the trade might actually be a 3 way deal between the teams. We’ll do some Knicks FanBlog analysis later when all the facts are in.

More on this as it develops…

UPDATE 2:03

It’s now been confirmed that the Knicks are going to complete two separate trades:

One with the Bulls for Larry Hughes. In that one it appears that the Knicks are sending back Tim Thomas, Jerome James and Anthony Roberson to the Bulls.

And another one with the Thunder for Chris Wilcox. There the Knicks are sending out Malik Rose and a some cash.

UPDATE 4:18:

DAN L: There was some confusion as to a rumored Nate Robinson and Jeffries trade for Kenny Thomas. That’s a silly offer from the Kings and the Knicks turned it down. I suspect that the Knicks would’ve agreed if the Kings offered their or Houston’s pick, but the Kings were being selfish. I would’ve really liked the Nate deal if there was a first rounder involved.

We’ll offer some perspective shortly.

Reason 4,197 Why Isiah Thomas Was a Great GM…

The Knicks drafted Channing Frye with the 8th pick in the 2005 draft. Frye got off to an auspicious beginning before having a much more ordinary sophomore campaign, but that’s not the reason why Isiah is great.

Isiah traded Frye, along with Steve Francis’ expiring contract (which he acquired in exchange for Trevor Ariza and Penny Hardaway’s expiring contract) in exchange for Zach Randolph and Fred Jones. Randolph had a fairly uninspired Knick tenure but Donnie Walsh dealt him, rather suddenly, to the Clippers 12 games into this season for Tim Thomas and Cuttino Mobley.

Now (bear with me here), in the same 2005 draft in which Isiah selected Frye, the Lakers’ Andrew Bynum was available. Isiah passed on Bynum and Lakers’ GM Mitch Kupchak scooped him up at 10. Since that time, Frye has slowly begun to flame out while Bynum is gradually evolving into an All-Star caliber center.

Today, though, the Lakers found out that Bynum will be sidelined for up to 3 months with a serious knee injury that resulted from a freak collision with Kobe Bryant. Meanwhile, Tim Thomas is healthy and active.

Thus when the Knicks face off against the Lakers tonight, they’ll be without their 2005 lottery pick, but the Knicks will have Tim Thomas. So you see, that’s only the latest reason why Isiah was a great GM.

Can’t Knock Knick Bench

Say what you want about the Knicks, but it’s impossible to ignore the high level of play coming from their bench in recent games.

The Knicks won a laugher tonight and played their third strong game in a row. True, the Grizz are a bad, lifeless team (how disappointing is Rudy Gay?) but these are the games that playoff teams win handily and from the first quarter on, the Knicks pounded on the Grizzlies like they ought to.

As has been the case over this recent stretch of good ball, the bench contribution was the single most important factor in the Knicks’ success. Yes, David Lee racked up yet another double-double (19 pts 14 rebs, +7) and Duhon had another strong game (15 pts, 7 assists, 0 To, +3) but check this out:

  • Al Harrington, +36
  • Nate Robinson, +32
  • Danilo Gallinari, +22
  • Tim Thomas, +23 

Crazy right? 

Duhon and Lee were the only Knick starters that netted a plus in their plus/minus rating. So the Knicks actually lose this game to the Grizzlies (that they won by 20!) without the dominating performance from the bench.

And while it’s very promising that Harrington has finally found his place and that Nate has found his groove again, you can’t overlook the obvious: The biggest difference between the Knicks’ bench over the past three games versus the preceding 39 is the addition of Danilo Gallinari. He only played 17 minutes tonight before fouling out and still managed to rack up a whopping plus 22(!) for the game. He just flat-out makes his teammates better and he makes the Knicks’ bench strong enough to overwhelm their opponents’.

With Rooster as a reserve and the rest of the bench playing this way, the Knicks are very, very dangerous. They might even be a playoff team.

Thunder 107, Knicks 99.

Ugh. What a waste of two and a half hours of my life. These Knicks are maddening and if you follow them you have to expect to be perplexed. It all started with the same sloppy, unfocused play that the team has exhibited during their recent stretch of poor play (by the way, at some point it stops being a recent stretch and turns into “most of the season”). The ball didn’t move for most of the game. Just guys jacking up contested shots.

In a game like this it is apparent how badly the Knicks miss having a go to scorer, especially in the post. Yes, I miss Zach Randolph, though I’m not sorry the Knicks traded him. I know Heri, I’m a man of contradictions. Anyway, lets see what Eddy Curry can do. I have a feeling he really could have helped tonight. He’ll be an inside option so the team doesn’t always have to live and die on threes and contested jumpers. How sad is this pining for Eddy Curry. He makes Oliver Miller look like Calista Flockhart:

Watching the team try to score inside is just sad. They either got rejected (the Thunder had eight) or just fumbled around and forced it. The futility inside was especially harmful considering the awful outside shooting. The last several games it seems like Nate can’t hit the side of a barn. Indeed, over the last five games hes shot 24.5%, which is atrocious. The Knicks aren’t going to win a lot of games with their best outside shooter shooting that poorly.

No excuse to fall behind by 23 to the Thunder who only managed to beat four other teams this entire season. The Knicks have the dishonor of being the fifth. That’s what happens when you let your opponent shoot 52%, even though the Thunder had no business making some of those shots (Jeff Green, I’m looking at you).

The fact that the Knicks mounted a comeback that they couldn’t finish makes the loss that much harder to handle. They ran out of gas with about 8 minutes left and could never recover. Even if the team won though, I wouldn’t have been too happy with it.

None of the players look like they did when the team was playing well. What happened to Duhon? He was up there in assists to turnovers for a while. Now it seems like 4 turnovers is the minimum for this guy. As mentioned, Nate completely lost his touch. Chandler still isn’t demanding the ball and taking it to the paint. This is a guy that made KG look like an amateur, but cant get to the rack against Robert Swift, Chris Wilcox, Jeff Green, or Joe Smith? Lee put up nice numbers but it seemed like he was the main test subject of a Desmond Mason rejection experiment, and when the team needed offensive boards the most while mounting their fourth quarter run, he was nowhere to be found. Lee was -25 for the game and when Tim Thomas (!) was +21 in relief.

On the plus side, it seems like D’Antoni might be realizing that Jeffries is a net liability out there, as he barely played in the second half. How do you have a system premised on spacing the floor using good shooters when you start a guy who couldn’t throw a pebble into the East River? I’d rather put Air Bud at center, he’d look better on offense bouncing balls into the basket off his snout. If you are going to wear Allan Houston’s number your jumper should look like you’ve at least played pee wee ball. My jumper looks nicer than Jeffries’. I play ball against my girlfriend (she’s a great player…the Knicks should start her at center if they can’t find Air Bud) from time to time and she’ll tell you that I can hit 60% or 70% of my foul shots…Jeffries can’t (not that he took any tonight).

But enough ranting about Jeffries. You all know my thoughts on him. The only guy who looked OK out there tonight was Harrington, though that possession with a few minutes left where he lost the ball and slapped it around on the ground for 5 seconds until the shot clock basically expired was infuriating.

Well, on to Dallas, Houston and New Orleans. Which team will show up? The one that lost to the worst team maybe ever, or the one that beat the best? Just keep in mind that Boston also lost to Golden State this year and they’ve been slumping.

Anyway, has anyone seen Ricky Rubio play this year? Blake Griffin sure looks good (and would mitigate a loss of David Lee via trade by the way).

Knicks vs. Pacers: Post-game thoughts.

More of the same problems plauging the Knicks.

1. Unforced turnovers. 21 tonight. In the beginning of the year when the Knicks had success the ball moved crisply and the shots came early in the possession, thus minimizing opportunities to turn the ball over. No Zach and no Jamal limit the opportunities for quick offensive scores. The unforced turnovers are the worst though, as there is no excuse for them.

2. Poor shooting and poor shot selection. The Knicks shot 43% tonight which is by no means impressive. But take away Lee’s 12 for 15 and the Knicks shot 35.6%. Pitiful. Since outside shots are a huge part of the offense for the current team, when the shots aren’t falling, wins will be hard to come by. When Curry comes back maybe the Knicks will get some higher percentage baskets on trailers (if he can make it up the court) or off crisp ball movement in the half court set.

3. Lack of depth. No Tim Thomas tonight. Trying to rely on Roberson to play meaningful minutes. There is just no depth on this team. However, this will definitely change and it will change soon. Curry and Gallinari will be back soon enough and I predict another face lift around the trade deadline.

4. Jeffries. Jeffries had another up and down game. He had some nice defensive plays, including four blocks but he could only manage one point as a starter. That isn’t going to cut it.

I know lots of you are going crazy and accusing the Knicks of tanking. I understand your frustration. It is very frustrating. But I am confident that you cannot judge until 2010. I suspect you’ll be very happy around then and all will be forgiven for the 2008-2009 season. This season and this loss will be a distant memory.

Finally, the Knicks ARE playing to win the game but they just don’t have the talent or the depth. Blame management for that if you want, but this is part of a plan that will take time to implement.

Discuss.

Knicks vs. T-Wolves: Next Morning Thoughts

The game was ugly. Period. The Knicks came out lifeless with no passion. Everyone already knew – but Al Trautwig reminded us with every opportunity – that the Knicks don’t play any D. The result is that they are put at risk when the offense isn’t clicking, like last night. Sometimes you eat the bear, sometimes the bear eats you.

The problem is that it will eat you way more often if you don’t come with that “fire and desire”. I think the Knicks will turn things around. They’ve gotten complacent, having convinced themselves that they are “good” after hanging with the Suns and Lakers and beating the Kings and Nets. Prior to this swoon the Knicks won most of the games they were supposed to win, and I think they will recapture the passion they need to get that going once again. Mike D’Antoni is too good a coach for the Knicks to let go of their pride altogether, despite that Marc Berman might have declared the Knicks dead. (and so what if they are? There is a plan here. More on that later today.)

Thoughts on players:

Duhon: Gus Johnson said he was sloppy all night, not just after getting hit, but the hit definitely affected his play and he got sloppier after it.

Nate: Nate can’t do it himself. He was great, skying for rebounds, providing offense, and with a few notable exceptions, staying in control. He and Lee are the guys who will always play with passion and intensity. The rest of the players need to match it.

Chandler: Played a good game, but didn’t assert himself. That seems to be the kind of player he is. He stays within the flow of the game and takes what comes to him. However, with his talent he can certainly afford to get assertive and try to carry the team a little when they are slumping. We haven’t seen too much of that from him yet.

Harrington: Didn’t seem like he put up 26 points but he did. He looked a little plodding and it seemed like his game was off. Sometimes I think he’s an all-star, sometimes I think he’s fancy Tim Thomas.

Lee: More of the same. Another double-double, another poor defensive performance. He hustles and has energy. That’s why he would be such a great piece for a contender or next to a center who plays D. It is apparent from watching him that he sincerely tries to play good D. He just can’t.

Jeffries: Jeffries should never shoot. I counted at least three ugly, disgusting attempts by Jeffries to create his own shot, that resulted in horrid bricks. He is valuable on the boards and on D, but the only thing he should do on offense is make safe passes and tip-in misses.

Tim Thomas: Any team with Tim Thomas on it is not a winner.

Roberson: Way to miss another shot and get yanked. He’s filling that role wondrously.