Thursday, February 15, 2007

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.

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