Wednesday, February 28, 2007

2/28 - Wednesday's Links

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Yeah, that's right. Jamal Crawford's ankle has been giving him problems now for "about 2 weeks" he says. Doctors say it will require season-ending surgery. JC is going for a second opinion to see if he can avoid surgery, choosing rehab instead. In this case, he could be back 4-6 weeks, maybe until the playoffs (if that is reality for the Knicks).

Well folks, there's not much to say here. You lose your second leading scorer on the team, and a guy that can hit big shots for you. Someone needs to take over that role, but who would be the answer?

Nate Robinson will probably be the player that benefits the most in terms of playing time. Surely he will take senseless jump shots just like Crawford would. Isiah Thomas is fine with this. He has always allowed players to take bad shots, as long as they make them every once in a while. The question is if they will be making them. Crawford had a knack for it, but will Nate? He needs to grow up pretty fast and start contributing to this team.

Relando Balkman will probably also benefit. With more playing time going around (38 mins a game to be exact), Balk will have a chance to show his skills, especially the always helpful, rebounding the basketball.

Which leads to an idea. With Marbury beginning to shine, a quick Nate Robinson off the bench, and a high flyer like Balkman, the Knicks may finally be able to play some "run-and-gun." If we can find Balkman running fast on the break, look for some easier points. Curry will have to continue to be a monster.

It should be interesting, the first test being tomorrow in Boston. Hopefully it is a good rehearsal/warm up game to adjust to "life without Crawford."

2/27 - Tuesday's Links

2/27 - Knicks need to string some together

Well, since my last post the Knicks lost to the Nets in a game where they were winning at the half (depressing), and they beat the Heat last night in what was an all around good victory. With Boston and Golden State coming up, it's time to buckle down and win a few in a row here.

How 'bout Starbury last night? Hitting big threes and refusing to lose? Looks like the Marbury of old may be back. As I wrote in a previous article here, he has to start realizing that this team is his last chance to write his legacy. I'm sure all the attention on David Lee has affected Steph's ego a little bit. It was only a matter of time before the opportunity arose for him to take over a game. Who knew it would result in 18 4th quarter points.

Jared Jeffries has been more active as of late. It started in the Nets game, where his defensive effort kept the Knicks in the game late, but it was over at that point. I think he has finally realized his role on this team. Eddy Curry is busting right through the ceiling that some people have given him as a player. His rebounding and defense have improved, and he is really becoming an all around great center.

Sidenote: regardless of the Celtics game tomorrow, February 2007 will be the New York Knicks first winning month since December 2004.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

2/24 - A Win is a Win

It may not have been pretty, but the Knicks edged out the Bucks last night in a close one. Channing Frye made himself useful by hitting two free throws with .8 sec left to seal a win. Eddy Curry was held to 10 points thanks to some great ball denial played by Milwaukee.

I'm not really able to write a full post right now, I'm in between two shifts of a long day of work. Weekends are kind of a tough time to keep the site updated, which is why I've been thinking about bringing someone else on to contribute to the site. If you're interested, drop me an e-mail at Put "Live from the Garden" in the subject line, and tell me a bit about yourself. I'm looking for one or two people that know how to write (meaning no silly grammar errors), and love the Knicks. I only ask maybe two or three posts a week, especially on the weekend to pick up my slack. I'm currently looking to add this blog to a few other networks to generate some more hits, so the future looks bright. This is a young site, and I would love to work with someone who shares the same passion for the team as I do. Drop me a line.

Anyway, the Knicks take on the Nets tomorrow, and as we know, every game is important at this point. It would be nice to move to 26-31, but a loss still doesn't kill the season. This team really got lucky when D-Wade went down, but now they need to take the opportunity to make up some lost ground. I'll be back tomorrow afternoon with some links and hopefully a fresh new article. Stay tuned, and remember, drop me a line at my e-mail, or even in the comments after this post if you're interested in joining the team!

Friday, February 23, 2007

2/23 - Friday's Links

Here's an awesome highlight video urging a playoff push. It includes highlights from all the best games of the season, plus David Lee and Nate Robinson's All-Star weekend. (hopefully it doesn't get taken down):

Thursday, February 22, 2007

2/22 - The X-Factor

With D-Wade going down until who knows when, and the Magic performing sub-par as of late, the Knicks are still sitting in the 10 spot in the East looking up with a slim chance of sneaking into the playoffs. Yes, I know I'm being unrealistic, after all, this team is 24-31 and showing no signs of a fire that will lead a march down the stretch. However, as long as there is a slim chance, it's my job to speculate about it.

So with 27 games remaining (including a should-be win tomorrow with the Bucks at the Garden), someone needs to step up on this team. Marbury has been performing good enough to know his role: get the ball to Curry, take your shots when necessary. Curry, I don't even need to talk about, he's our stud. David Lee will do what he does best down the stretch. Q-Rich has probably been our best two way player: consistent on offense, solid on defense, but his knees are a big question mark. Crawford, well, he's JC...who knows what you'll get each night.

So now I present to you, our top three candidates for the X-Factor, someone who can step up and sneak this team into the playoffs:

3. Renaldo Balkman. I know it sounds ridiculous to throw someone on this list who doesn't even play a single minute for some games, but this kid has proved himself on the court. He plays hard on the defensive end, and is always looking to create on offense. Look at last night's game in Philly: after he almost single handedly led the team back into the game, he walked off the floor clapping and urging the team to get their act together. This is a ROOKIE we're talking about. As much as the Incredible Balk was criticized on draft day, he has a bright future with this team. He has fire, and Isiah should see this. Even 15-20 mins a game could make him the new David Lee. Bring it.

2. Channing Frye. So my current most-hated player on the Knicks survived the trade deadline. After a superb rookie season (even being considered in Rook of the year talk before he was hurt), Frye has done NOTHING to improve his game this year. If the kid would develop a hook shot off of a two step move from the baseline, he would be unstoppable. But we know it won't happen. To be effective, he needs to play defense. He can't guard any player that is his own size because his is SOFT. Get him in the gym and have Mark Aguirre hit him with those pads, slap him around a little bit. Do you think Eddy Curry's improvement came out of nowhere? Hell no! Aguirre knows how to make people into a low post player, he even helped Mike Sweetney out, who hasn't done anything since leaving NY. If Frye can just average around 16 and 7, and play decent defense, it would help the team in a big way.

1. STEVIE "THE FRANCHISE" FRANCIS. Sometimes I forget Stevie is on this team. I mean, were talking about a former all-star here. He seems to be healthy now, but all he contributes is turnovers and bad jumpers. I just don't get it. What happened to the dude? I truly think he has lost his competitive edge, his ability to take over a game. Some people thought that Francis might even push Marbury out of New York once he got here. Well it's obvious Steph has been putting in the work, Francis hasn't. He's coming off the bench for God's sake, and barely playing! He needs to stop being a wuss and drive the lane, get to the line. That's what he made a career out of. If Francis can suddenly come alive and have a good streak of games, who knows what could be possible.

- Honorable Mention: Nate Robinson. If Nate took some time away from rehearsing his big dunk for the dunk contest next year, he might also be able to contribute something to this team. He showed last year that he can take over a game, but most of the time it's during a game that becomes a loss. He needs to consistently hit threes, and if that happens, the Knicks have the shooter they need.

Will any of these things happen? Probably not. The useless Jerome James and Jared Jefferies will take minutes from Balkman, Frye will continue to shoot 18 footers, and Francis will likely fake an injury and head back to Houston for rehab. I'm simply giving you a "what if." By the way, if I'm starting to get negative on this site, I apologize, I'm just being honest.

See you tomorrow with some links and a brand spankin new article...I DON'T LET YOU DOWN. Tell your friends...fresh takes, every day, here at "Live! From the Garden"

2/22 - Most Boring Deadline Ever

Well, it's a little after 3pm, and although some deals take some time to make their way out, it appears that this has been the most boring NBA trade deadline ever. With big names like Vince Carter, Jason Kidd, Mike Bibby, Ron Artest, and Lamar Odom floating around, not one team could make a blockbuster deal. I guess we have to keep in mind the Iverson deal that happened earlier this season, one of the bigger mid-season deals the NBA has seen. Still, for all the hype, especially the Kidd to LA hype, what a disappointment.

I'm even more disappointed that Isiah Thomas didn't do anything. I originally wanted him to keep the team intact, but after some of these big names made their way out, I wanted him to pull the trigger. Vince Carter was out there, and Isiah didn't make a play. While he was on Stephen A. Smith's show, you could clearly hear his phone ringing off the hook in the background. I hope that his obsession with Jamal Crawford was not a reason that deal wasn't made. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and assume the Nets wanted David Lee.

I'm more surprised that Jason Kidd isn't a Laker. LA was reportedly offering players, cash, and TWO FIRST ROUND PICKS. Why GM Rod Thorn would disagree to that is beyond me. Kidd is old, and getting a return like that would really go a long way in rebuilding a team.

So now what? Isiah has built this entire team himself and has been forced to coach them. There wasn't even an indication that he was accepting offers at the deadline. This team isn't winning now, and I don't see them winning in the future without a couple more pieces. So why hold on to a guy like Channing Frye, who serves no purpose on this team and doesn't even fit into the offense? Remember last year when reports said we could have included Frye in a deal for Lamar Odom or Kevin Garnett? Remember that Isiah and many of us fans shot it down and said Frye's upside was too high? That makes me laugh my ass off now. The guy has actually REGRESSED as a player, it's pathetic. He is so soft it is unbelievable.

Last night Frye had a chance to make an impact, filling in for David Lee, who was out with the flu. How does he respond? 20 mins, 4 pts, 4 rebs. Horrendous. I thought for sure we'd drop his ass today, he is completely useless. It makes me sick how high his value was at this time last year, and we didn't do anything.

There's only one solution that explains all of this. Owner James Dolan must realize there is nothing else to do right now except let contracts expire, draft young players, and wait for big time free agents. Today really cleared this up in my head. As angry as I am that the Knicks didn't make a splash, I see the logic. Isiah is here to stay, Dolan wants him here to see us through this mess. He has a chance to dig himself out, especially since the last three years have been one big mistake. It's like the team is starting over again. It just kills me that so many years have already been wasted, and next season is probably a bust as well.

Right now it's all about waiting I guess. One some salary is freed up, New York will be able to attract big time free agents to come to the Garden again. For now the fans need to deal with this below average squad full of underachievers, who will fight the rest of the season to get that 8 spot, probably only to stumble, fall short, and get a pat on the back from Isiah: "At least you tried, we'll get em next time."

I'm gonna go puke.

2/22 - Trade Day Continues

It's a little after 1pm here on the east coast, and so far we have had two deals in the NBA:

The Hawks have acquired Anthony Johnson from the Mavs for a second round pick

And Portland has acquired Fred Jones from Toronto for Juan Dixon

So as you can see, no blockbusters yet. The Vince Carter to New York rumors are still flying around today, but it's likely nothing big will go down there. However, a new rumor of Channing Frye going to the Lakers for Lamar Odom has come up. The Lakers are desperate to get Jason Kidd, and would use Frye in a deal to obtain him. I'm not sure how serious this is, because if NJ wants Frye, why wouldn't they just deal with us straight up? BRING US CARTER!!!

I'm going out to take care of some errands, I should be back right around the deadline. Keep in mind some deals don't make their way out until around 4pm due to official business done right at 3pm. Be back with more.

Another thing to note: Isiah Thomas is scheduled to appear on Stephen A. Smith's radio show around 1:30pm, so obviously he is not working the phones too hard. Looks like this almost kills a chance of a deal somewhere.


Yes, it's like Christmas for some of us basketball fans. Every year the trade deadline rolls around, we expect a blockbuster deal to change the landscape of the NBA. Last year, the Steve Francis deal happened the day before, and the only deal to go down on deadline day was a swap that involved Earl Watson.

Here's hoping something big happens today. It seems like a name somes out of nowhere involving the Knicks every year, like Kevin Garnett last year. This year it's Vince Carter. Rumor has it a couple GM's around the league reported talks between the Nets and Knicks. The only problem is that every team wants David Lee, and Isiah doesn't want to part with him.

I'll keep it short for now. It's about 10am here right now, I'll be back if anything happens in the next 5 hours. I have to write a paper today, so I'll be at the computer all day anyway.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

2/21 - The Season is Over...

Yeah, it's not officially over, but after a disgusting loss to the bottom-feeding Philadelphia 76ers, this team doesn't seem prepared to improve. David Lee was out of the lineup with the flu, and the Knicks couldn't find anyone else to take his place. Crawford was horrendous, and I forgot Channing Frye was in the building for most of the game.

Mike Breen interviewed Isiah Thomas before the game, who again echoed his own statement of no trades. He claims he is happy with the group he has, and that they are playoff ready. I don't know how you could be happy with a player like Channing Frye (drafted two years ago #8) who has regressed in improving as a player, and for some reason only knows how to shoot 18 foot jump shots. How can you be happy with a guy like Jared Jefferies, who you touted as a defensive force, who does absolutely nothing to help the team. He killed the late momentum by the Knicks when he committed a charge on one end, only to follow it up with a foolish foul at the other end.

Again, a three-point shooter lit up the Knicks, as Kyle Korver basically did whatever he wanted on the court thanks to Jamal Crawford's lack luster defense. Eddy Curry had a good game as usual, but didn't get any help. One bright spot was the rookies Renaldo Balkman and Mardy Collins working well on the court together, especially Balkman, who seemed to be the only player on the court who wanted to turn their late run into a win.

So after dropping to 24-31 tonight, is Isiah still content with this team? Steve Francis barely played tonight, get rid of him. Some foolish GM will probably bite on a former all-star who contributes nothing on the court besides turnovers and bad jump shots. What about Channing Frye? He is a one dimensional player who hasn't shown any desire to refine his game. I'm sure some team out there thinks they can turn him into a low post monster. They don't know the truth, he is SOFT. It's pathetic. We have David Lee, there's no need for some dainty loser who seems lost in the low post.

To me, it seems as though the simple answer would be to drop the coach himself. Isiah has babied his players all year, patting them on the back after a loss with a "we'll get 'em next time" mentality. Well there is no next time when you can't manage to beat a team like Philly, who has nothing, absolutely nothing, to play for the remainder of the season.

The sad truth is that Isiah will be the last one out. Owner James Dolan is scared to make a move, so this team will be in his hands through the summer, and at least into next season. So now what will the coach/president do? Maybe the idea of a trade should be revisited. There are still a few things that can be done to have one last shot:

  1. Make a trade tomorrow. Something needs to be done to overshadow this embarassing loss. Move Channing Frye and/or Nate Robinson. Neither one of them fit into this team's rotation. Try to get a slashing forward or a pure shooter.

  2. Trade or buy out Steve Francis. Just get rid of him somehow. Trade him for an expiring contract and a second round pick. All he does is take away minutes from other players and make foolish decisions on the court. I'm sick of him pretending to want to be here, because he obviously doesn't, and I don't want him here either.

  3. Start David Lee. What else does the kid need to prove? He is pulling down double digit rebounds off the bench every damn night. His scoring has improved, and he knows what to do with the ball when he gets it. Pull your head out of your ass Isiah, no one cares about his so called energy off the bench, which leads me to my next point.

  4. With Frye gone and Lee starting, Balkman moves up into the rotation. He is slowly becoming the David Lee of last season, lifting this team up off the bench. He plays hard every time he is in the game, time to reward the guy with minutes and stop giving them to Jared Jefferies. Hopefully the trade acquisition is a scoring guard or forward to replace Francis, and now you have a solid rotation.

  5. Nine man rotation: Starting five: Marbury, Q-Rich (in his real position of SG), Rashard Lewis (example), Curry, and Lee. Off the bench we have Crawford (in the role that made him the MVP of the Knicks last year), Balkman, Jefferies, and Rose/James/Collins.

Of course none of these things will happen, Isiah will keep doing ridiculous things like starting Jerome James, and the Knicks will miss the playoffs again. There are less than 18 hours until the trade deadline. Please give me a reason to keep caring about this team.

Be back tomorrow. Sorry I forgot about the links today. Hopefully this rant will do for now.

Here's one link thanks to the only person who comments on my blog, simply known as "V". Jason Whitlock, also known as the fat guy who is on PTI sometimes, seems to have been one of the only people to trash this past All-Star Weekend. Check it out, and thanks to "V" for the link.

2/21 - So Far So Good...

After taking down the Magic last night in a sloppy game, the Knicks are one step closer to getting serious about this season. (24-30) Like I said earlier, three wins to start off this half would be a great boost. On another note, with 28 games remaining, the Knicks have now officially won more games than all of last season.

I read an article yesterday that quoted Isiah saying there is a "zero percent" chance of a trade happening in the next 2 days. Of course, this could all be some strategy to curb the media, but at this point it may seem legit. Isiah would like to prove that he can win with the same team Larry Brown had last year. When the whole team is healthy, as they are now, we have seen what they can do. At this point, a trade might only happen to dump a big contract, like Jeffries or James.

Speaking of trades, this Jason Kidd to the Lakers business could really benefit the Knicks. While we are looking up at the Nets from the 10th spot, it would be nice to have them eliminated by trading their floor general. They will be nothing without Kidd. Marcus Williams isn't ready, and even if they get Andrew Bynum in return, he's too young still to dominate. They may be deciding to look to the future, but their future still won't be as good without Kidd. Thank You in advance, Jersey.

Channing Frye really came through in the last minutes of the game last night. If the Knicks want to make this happen, he is one man that needs to be on his game. At first, I wanted to trade Channing. He seems to be the most tempting piece, and he really hasn't shown me any extreme improvement since last season. With the emergence of David Lee, Frye seems expendable. Now I am reconsidering a bit. With the talk of a trade, Frye seems to be playing a bit more agressive, putting in extra effort for rebounds and trying to do some damage in the low post as well. I really wish it was someone's job on the team to punch him in the face before every game, because he needs something to fire him up. I still think the kid has no drive, someone needs to light a fire under his ass.

Well, tonight's game is the second game of a back to back, which usually spells doom to this team. The one thing you can't forget is that it's against the Sixers. I won't deny Philly has talent, and Andre Miller has done a superb job running the floor with what he's been given. However, this is the type of team you HAVE to beat if you are serious about making a run. I still won't forget the fact that last year's atrocious Knicks somehow ran off a six game win streak. Anything's possible.

I've been getting excited about games again, and I'm already pumped for tonight. Hopefully this team won't let me down. I'll be back later today with some links.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

2/20 - Tuesday's Links

Okay, there we go. I'll see you after the game, be it tonight or tomorrow.

2/20 - The next 48 hours

With Thursday's 3pm Trade Deadline rapidly approaching, many are wondering if Isiah Thomas will pull the trigger on a deal. So called "inside information" floating around the web states that Isiah is not picking up the phone, just waiting for it to ring.

The way I see it, waiting for the phone to ring might not be such a bad thing. There have been some players on the Knicks that have not been utilized much this season, and a few other teams may find a role for him on their bench. Here's a look at some plausable scenarios that could occur in the next couple days:

- The hot rumor of the week, a deal with Seattle. "Reports" say the Knicks are looking to move Channing Frye and Seattle native Nate Robinson to the Sonics for Rashard Lewis. A few things are suspicious about this rumor. For one, both sides deny that a phone call has even been made. Another interesting note is that Seattle would be foolish to give up such an immense talent. We'll see what happens, but maybe a deal could be done instead to bring in Ray Allen instead, a New York favorite.

- Steve Francis and the Cavaliers. The Cavs are desperate to gain some help for LeBron to transform a playoff appearance into a playoff run. Francis would be just the type of veteran leader they could use, but it would probably cost them Drew Gooden, one of their top rebounders, and maybe Eric Snow.

- Malik Rose and just about everyone. It's been no secret that Rose has been fairly unhappy with his time in New York. He is the consummate professional, and would never admit this to the media, but the truth is he would rather play a bigger role on a team that has a chance at the playoffs. Bringing in another player could make him happy, but the Knicks don't care if he is happy. Pretty much every contending team has been rumored to seek his services, the latest being his old team, the San Antonio Spurs. Most of these rumors are just talk, however, as it has been unclear what San Antonio could offer in return.

One thing worth nothing is how these "trade rumors" come about. As I have scoured the internet for basketball news, I have read articles by major newspapers in many NBA cities. Most of these trade proposals start with a journalist writing, "Maybe the Knicks could look to move (insert Knick player here) to (insert NBA team here) for (insert player here), that would really help the Knicks make the playoffs." This system was followed to a tee in one of the articles I linked to yesterday when fabricating the rumor of the Rashard Lewis trade.

The truth is, no one really knows what is going to happen, unless a GM comes out and specifically targets a player. The Steve Francis trade came out of nowhere last year, maybe a similar one could occur this year.

Back later...maybe after tonight's game: MAGIC @ KNICKS, 7:30

Monday, February 19, 2007

2/19 - Today's Links

2/19 - All Star Break Ramblings

I wish I could start this off like plenty of other sports journalists on the web and in the papers by saying, "Let me tell you about my weekend in Las Vegas." Unfortunately, I wasn't invited to All-Star weekend, I was forced to witness the festivities from my living room. Although this weekend's events themselves missed out on a little bit of punch, I have to say that Vegas looked like a great time. As a matter of fact, would anyone be opposed to having the game there EVERY year?

It was great to see studios set up in from of casino fountains, and have live look ins to celebrity parties (by celebrities I mean TNT and occasional Knicks commentator, pompous ass Kenny "The Jet" Smith). I could have done without the Wayne Newton montage that started off the game though.

The weekend started off with a bang. New York's own David Lee scored the MVP of the Rookie/Sophmore game with 31 pts. and 11 rebs. I was talking with my brother on the phone who brought up an interesting point that went something like this: "Gee Chris, Chris Paul is making David Lee look like a beast. Stephon Marbury should take a page out of his book and figure out how to get Lee the ball more often."

Yeah, that sounds great and all, but guess what...everyone seems to forget about a little thing called defense for these three days every year. If you're the Knicks, you may forget about that pesky "D" word for an additional few days throughout the season as well. Regardless, D-Lee put on a spectacular show, he obviously went to Vegas to showcase his talents a bit.

The dunk contest was basically terrible this year. Nate Robinson got robbed of his crown by that Celtics scrub Gerald Green. I will say, Green's dunk from Paul Pierce off the side of the backboard was out of control, but his second round dunks really sucked. When he jumped over that kitchen counter or whatever that ridiculous box was on the court, I wasn't impressed. What a stupid prop to throw in for a dunk. Nate's first dunk was the best of the night I thought. He got it on the first try and he got UP! Too bad he had another "My legs are tired so this dunk will take 15 trys" dunk as his last, or else I thought he could have defended the title. Oh well Nate, you now have a full year to devote to strictly training for the dunk contest, because I'm sure you won't use that time for...oh, let's say...attempting to practice hard, become a true point guard, and contributing to the New York Knicks.

There's not much I can really say about the All-Star game itself. To be honest I didn't even watch the whole thing because it was a blowout early. I did love how Shaq missed about 3 EASY dunks in the first five minutes. I would have been interested to see how Eddy Curry matched up against him in an All-Star scenario. After help defense would be sliding over, E-City could go to town on that old man.

The Knicks play tomorrow (Tuesday) night at the Garden against the Orlando Magic. We can only hope that Dwight Howard is tired from this weekend in Vegas (oh wait, he is super religious and doesn't party...crap). Regardless, I'm sure D-Lee and Nate will come back a bit rejuvinated and ready to help boost this team into the second half. It would be nice if they could build on some momentum early, as we see ORL, PHI, and MIL before the weekend. Running off three wins and going to 26-30 would be nice.

I'm going to put up some daily links right now, and I'll be back tomorrow, either before or after the game.

Friday, February 16, 2007

2/16 - Today's Links

Alright, that's it for today. Hopefully my late night article on Marbury will be enough to wet your whistle for today. I'm headed out into the snow here in Buffalo to make my way home for the weekend. I'll be back probably Sunday/Monday for some thoughts on the All-Star weekend. I hope you all enjoy the game as well as the events. Don't forget to root for our boys David Lee and Nate Robinson. Oh, and what are the odds Eddy Curry pulls a Tonya Harding on Dwight Howard outside the arena?

Later folks.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

2/15 - Twilight of a Starbury?

A lot has been said of Stephon Marbury over his 10 plus seasons in the NBA: He is selfish. He doesn't show up some nights. He is uncoachable. This may be how many in the media write his legacy. One thing is for sure, Steph knows it's time to write his own legacy.

After coming home to New York about three years ago, Marbury has struggled to find his identity. The excitement that resonated throughout the Garden the first time he donned a Knick jersey lasted for a time, even into a brief (and by brief I mean swept in four games) playoff appearance. It seemed as though this thing might work. The former great PG, Isiah Thomas, would mentor the PG he traded for, obviously living vicariously through him. It didn't quite work out that way.

Marbury didn't care to listen to Lenny Wilkens (who would), and sure as hell didn't care to listen to Larry Brown. Brown came in with a "my road or the high road" mentality, and Marbury wouldn't take that philosophy in his house. The same house he dreamed of playing in one day as a kid. These were his streets, and the team would go as he would go.

That didn't work either. Brown and Marbury fought publically, and the Knicks went 23-59. So it was time for Isiah to step in, i mean, be forced to step in. Say what you will about Isiah, the man presents a calm on the bench. So far this year it hasn't worked very well, but the players trust him. His in-game decisions are usually questionable, even ridiculous at times, but the team has shown improvement, albeit still below their talent level.

The key to this rebuilding was supposed to be Stephon Marbury. Isiah evisioned him as his own second coming, 20 pt. 8 assist man who could lead the team deep into the playoffs. Countless excessive contracts and bad decisions hindered this for three years, possibly the late prime of Marbury's career. With these lost hopes in the past, we move to the present day.

Marbury has accepted a different role with this team. After being booed by the same crowd that watched him grow up at Lincoln High, Coney Island, Steph decided to rethink his game. What was the result? Eddy Curry. Marbury realizes E-City is his last chance to make a splash in the playoffs. He has said countless times he believes Curry is an All-Star, and praises his play after each game. Different attitude than the old Starbury, don't you think? He now looks to Curry in the low post, not caring about points, settling for 4 if it gives the team a win.

His knees are bad, his toes are crooked. He is an old man by NBA definition, but now it is the twilight of his career. After launching the "Starbury" brand, featuring ALL items under $15 (including the shoes he wears on court), he has been accepted into the hood again. His new mission is to show children it isn't all about money. Soon he will premiere his own interview style television show, discussing topics with NBA stars like Kobe Bryant.

These moves have led the city of New York to reach out to Marbury. They both feel the same pain, they have lived it together. Steph has overcome adversity his whole life, much like many New Yorkers. Now the fans are looking for one more flash of greatness. Can he lead this team back to the promised land, even if for a brief period? Time will tell. For now, instead of looking at the failures in Marbury's career, we should remember the great moments he has provided. For bringing that swagger back. Maybe he has a little bit of magic left in him.

I hope so, beacuse Steve Francis sure doesn't.

2/15/07 - Knicks Links from Cyberspace

Today's Links:

- David Waldstein at the Star-Ledger explores a Drew Gooden trade.

- Marc Berman at the NY Post looks back at Eddy's all-star snub, and is confused about Jerome James' starting role.

- More from Berman : did Phil Jackson have a chance to coach the Knicks?

- ESPN Game Recap from last night.

- writes a GREAT article looking back at the trade that brought Eddy Curry to the Knicks.

2/15/07- Into the break we go...

After going down by 31 points, and at one point in the 4th cutting the deficit to 9, the Knicks lost last night to the Warriors 101-120. It looked like the Knicks we got used to seeing earlier this year, going down big early and trying to crawl back in the late stages of the game. It was a game reminiscent of last season, with the Knick starters playing inadequate basketball, only to hand the blowout to Nate Robinson, who had 23 last night. Maybe he was trying to gain some attention for the event he's REALLY been practicing for, the Slam Dunk contest this weekend. I couldn't even believe he remembered how to play half court basketball, considering all I've heard about Nate lately has been his attention to the dunk contest, and a planned dunk involving David Lee. Maybe if he focused more on practice and team basketball, he would get more playing time to show off his talents.

Steve Francis really crapped the bed last night. In a game where Marbury was worn out from the emotional one-point win vs. LA last night and nursing an injured foot, Francis seemed to be lost. I was shocked to look at the box score and see he led the team with 9 assists, however he did have 4 turnovers and just 2 points. The best free throw shooter in the NBA didn't make any effort to get to the line either, a tactic that could have slowed down Golden State's run-and-gun offense. Instead, Stevie settled for bad jump shots and careless passes.

One plus from the loss was seeing Renaldo Balkman get some quality minutes (25 to be exact), putting in13 points, 7 boards, and 4 steals. Nice...maybe Isiah will finally see that his energy leads to team success. His defense played a key role in the attempted comeback.

Stephn Jackson decided to play tonight, and contributed 36 for the Warriors. On another note, Monta Ellis is a baller. Clyde mentioned on the broadcast that he reminded him of a young Marbury. He can penetrate and score, and his dishing is coming around. Impressive showing from the second year man out of high school. He's only 21 and is sure to be the Warriors PG of the future.

So what is the status of the Knicks going into the All-Star Break?

At 23-29, the team still needs to look towards the positive. Miami is holding the 8 spot at 26-26, but they are sure to move up. You have to look at teams like Orlando (27-26) and and Chicago (29-25) as teams that might strugle down the stretch. It won't be easy though. The Knicks need a couple 4 or 5 game win streaks to make up some lost ground in the second half.
The trade deadline is one week from today. Will the Knicks make a move? The consensus around the league is no, but then again Steve Francis surprised us all last year. The only names I've heard circulating are Drew Gooden (highest possibility), Ray Allen, and Ruben Patterson. All of these deals would likely involve Channing Frye, and Isiah has said he is happy with the team right now. With this in mind, the possibility of a trade seems doubtful.

I honestly don't see this team making the playoffs right now. Every time they raise some eyebrows around the league with a big win, they follow it with a disappointing loss. Barring a HUGE move on the tradefront to acquire a scoring, rebounding forward (ahem, Kevin Garnett), this team is looking at .500 ball the rest of the year and missing the playoffs. Yes, the schedule does get easier the second half, but as the Knicks get better, so do other teams. They aren't the only ones trying to make a playoff push you know. 29 other teams will be looking for wins, even scrub teams that would love to put a stop to a New York team's efforts.

Well, enjoy the break, I'm looking forward to the game. I'm sure I'll catch Nate's try at defending his dunk title, but I doubt he'll win this year after Iguodala's screw job last year. Plus, Kobe is a judge, and everyone hates Nate now. I'll be back with more posts, and I'm also going to start putting up link posts to Knicks stories for the day in an effort to get increased attention to the site. Wishful thinking, I know.

2/14/07 - Playoff Push?

I know it's been a while since I put something up here. I was busy working over winter break, and I'm just now getting settled into my school schedule (as a matter of fact, this post is therapy away from a long day of studying today). BUT, I'm back now. Over time time I've been away, the Knicks have been playing slightly better ball, and slowly climbing the ladder, even of going back down a couple rungs every few games. Now that the All-Star break is coming this weekend, it's time to get serious. The Knicks face the Golden State Warriors tonight, looking to go into the break at 24-29, a confidence boost that might help make a serious run towards the playoffs for those bottom two spots.

The entire team is healthy now, for actually the first time ALL SEASON.
Steve Francis seems to be silencing his critics as he tries to slowly ease into his old ways....Eddy Curry. Enough Said...

Jamal Crawford is spotty.....Marbury surprises you at times, bringing back memories of his Brooklyn style ball.
Basically, it's the same rollercoaster we've been used to all season. However, there has been a slightly better effort on the defensive end (there's still a long way to go) and Marbury is beginning to learn that Eddy Curry is the only chance to spark a career revival. I love Steph as much as the next guy, but he's losing a step. His ability to take over a game is gone, and he knows that. It is time for him to get his teammates involved, and just run the offense. This is a role he is slowly coming to accept.

To compensate for his offensive shortcomings, Marbury has upped his effort on defense. Last night against the Lakers, Marbury did an outstanding job in key moments of the game, playing ball denial on both Lamar Odom and Kobe Bryant on separate occasions. Of course Kobe got his points, but he never took over the game. He didn't even get a chance to take the last shot.

The Knicks should look at TONIGHT'S GAME as a MUST WIN. the momentum of winning 4 of your last 5 before the break would really carry over to the second half. Maybe this team has finally found his identity, even if it took team owner James Dolan telling the team Isiah Thomas' job was safe. At this point, he might be the only man to lead the way. He dug the hole, he might as well help build the ladder to climb out.

Back soon...


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