Friday, March 30, 2007

3/30 - So here we are...

I haven't been posting as frequently lately. Before getting back to business, I am going to attempt to make some excuses about this matter:
  • School is winding down. With the end of the semester in sight, I have been turning a good amount of focus to my classwork, and this has led to missing a couple games. It has been hard to manage my time between the two.
  • Playoffs seem out of the picture at this point. Call me a pessimist, but this team is too decimated by injury to limp into the playoffs. With the talent that was on the roster 3 weeks ago, I would have thought the Knicks could stick it out. Marbury has been carrying the team, but he is wearing down, just like half the team...more on this later.
  • NO ONE reads my blog. I know off hand of less than 10 CASUAL readers of my blog. I have attempted to register it with many sites, but it has been constantly denied. Why this happens, I am noot sure, but I have an idea. I don't have enough content on the site. I have attempted to reach out to other Knicks fans for help, but no one has seemed up to the task so far. I have a good system going here, with articles, links, and video. This summer I am looking to take the site even higher, hopefully with some help.

I said it once I will say it again, this is a young site with a lot of potential. Anyone that has clicked the link on the right to visit Matthew Cerrone's MetsBlog knows what I mean. Three years ago MetsBlog has a weaker interface than I currently have, but Matt brought on some good people to help him along, and now it is one of the top five baseball blogs on the internet. My goal is nothing less.


The New York Knicks have went 2-6 since giving Isiah Thomas a multi year extension. Yes, they are riding a nice win courtesy of the Cavs, but this team has been decimated by injury. A few key points:

- Crawford's absence has killed Eddy Curry. The man that had a knack for finding Eddy in the low post probably won't get a chance to hit the court again this year (barring an amazing playoff appearance. To make matters worse, Curry is beginning to feel the burn of a full, solid season. He isn't used to surviving this deep into the season with this many minutes each game. He is visibly tired and has been complaining about calls to try to get some help from the zebras. It's not going to happen. Curry has taken a huge step forward this season, but he still won't be treated like a veteran. I hate to look to next year, but hopefully he has learned some key lessons to go into a monster year next year. P.S. Eddy - Drop 15-20 more pounds again, don't be lazy and slack off in the offseason.

- Q-Rich won't play again this season. Normally this would be bad news, but it's not. Richardson's back has been a sore subject for all Knicks fans. He sits out games periodically, and when he is on the court, he can't post up due to soreness. Finally, the problem that has plagued him for 2+ years will be addressed. Hopefully Q can have his surgery, go through rehab, and come back next year 100%, with the same fire that he jumped out of the gate with this year.

- Steve Francis is a cancer. It's obvious he doesn't want to be here, so the countdown has begun to the offseason. Francis will most likely end up being the biggest embarassment of Isiah Thomas' time as Knicks GM (yes, more than Jerome James). He was brought it to appease Larry Brown at the trade deadline last year, but has only shown flashes of his All Star years. He has complained about playing time (obviously jealous of Marbury), and miraculously returned to play just two days after declaring he would miss the season about a month ago. The sad part is, the entire league knows he will be bought out, so the Knicks won't be able to get ANYTHING for him. Maybe Kevin McHale in Minnesota would bite on something, but he will most likely be bought out...a complete waste of a year and a half.

- You have been invited to Renaldo Balkman's coming out party. The Incredible Balk has been playing great lately in the absence of Q-Rich and David Lee. Hopefully he works on a jump shot this summer and then we'll talk. If you're like me, you tend to tune into some Knicks Summer League games in Vegas. It should be fun watching Balk lead the Knicks young guns (including Mardy Collins and new acquisition Randolph Morris, more later).

- Speaking of David Lee, the Knicks free spirit is still rocking the suit on the bench. How much do you miss him?

- Randolph Morris. Yeah, we signed him fresh off an NCAA Tourney loss. It'll be interesting to see if he gets any significant minutes for the rest of the season. He saw 7 mins. against the Cavs and hit a FT. I'm only going to view it as an early draft to me next season.

- Speaking of a Free Throw, can anyone on this team hit one?


After a nice win, the Knicks get rewarded tonight with a virtual automatic loss to the Dallas Mavericks. The only slight hope will be if Dirk's injured ankle slows him down. Speaking of ankles, Steve Francis is nursing an ankle injury as well, and most likely won't play tonight. You know what, he most likely won't play in a Knick uniform ever again. I can't even express how much of a disgrace he is. That leaves the guard rotation at Marbury, Robinson, and Collins. You will have to shield your eyes when Jared Jeffries is forced to play at the 2.

After tonight, next three games:




All winnable, all must win if we're serious about the playoffs.

We are 31-40, One and a half out of the 8 spot. It's now or never.

I'll be back soon, I promise (and by soon I mean Sunday/Monday)

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

3/21 - No Big Surprise / Wed.'s Links

Well, no shocker last night as the Knicks fell to the Mavs. Bad play all around I thought. Curry's decent numbers don't reflect his terrible free throw shooting, and the whining he did up and down the court all night. Balkman had a decent game to follow up his stellar play on Sunday, but still showed Knick fans he has a lot to learn before he will become a legit player. Steve Francis was nowhere to be seen again, besides his bad passes and bad shots as usual.

If Crawford and Q are out, and Marbury is not shooting out of his mind, this team is going to fail. There isn't one shooter present on the court (okay, maybe Frye) who can knock down jumpers to stretch the defense. Why do you think Curry was harassed all night in the paint? The Mavs were playing off the perimeter and GIVING those shots to the Knicks. Look how many times Balkman had open shots...that's a smart team knowing who can and can't shoot. The Knicks have one of their infamous back-to-backs starting tomorrow with the Thurs/Fri matchups being the Blazers and the Cavs. I'm starting to get nervous. Can we say that this Blazers game is the 15th must win of the season so far? haha...

I need to study for a test tomorrow, so here's some links:


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

3/20 - Tuesday's Links

3/20 - VOD - Starbury as Stephen A. Smith

In case you haven't seen it yet, here is a clip from the end of Stephon Marbury's new talk show where he impersonates Stephen A. Smith. Smith was reportedly angry when he first heard about it, but later admitted it was funny when he finally got a look at it. I didn't realize Marbury had a funny side.

3/20 - Back for the home stretch

Well I'm here. I was on Spring Break last week and I worked a lot, which caused me to be away from my apartment and computer. I apologize to those who have come to support the site, and now I'm back.

With that said, what's been going on with the Knicks?

This team has continued their up and down ways, losing to the Raptors and the Hornets (pathetic), only to come back and beat the Raptors by 20 on Sunday afternoon. Now the best team in the NBA, the Dallas Mavericks, come into the Garden looking to avenge their humiliating loss to the Knicks last season. New York has improved since then, but so have the Mavs. So let's look ahead to the game that could turn out to be a real smackdown, with hopes that the Knicks have another miracle in store.

No D-Lee and no Q-Rich still. Q's back problems have become a real pain in the rear for Knicks fans lately. Not only have other teams figured out he can no longer post up like he used to, but his own team isn't even sure when he'll be able to play. On another note, I am really starting to miss David Lee. If it wasn't for Stephon Marbury stepping it up and putting this team on his back, the Knicks would be dead in the water without Lee's energy.

Steve Francis was starting to grow on me a bit, but then I remembered how much I despise him. Despite contributing some nice assists, Francis still makes decisions with the ball that make Jamal Crawford look like Steve Nash. Passing into traffic, jacking up bad jumpers, and whining on the court are just a few of the things I will not miss from Stevie after he is bought out in the offseason. Here's to hoping he can continue to at least do minimal things to help this team down the stretch.

My main man Balkman is coming off a sick 15 and 12 against Toronto, and his confidence continues to rise. I still remember draft day when every analyst called Isiah an idiot for drafting him. I bet every GM out there wishes they would have gave him a look. Balkman will be key tonight on the defensive end, hopefully shutting Josh Howard down. Big task for the rookie...

Speaking of defense, Jared Jeffries needs to have the game of his life tonight, most likely guarding Dirk Nowitzki. Jeffries has shown some nice snapshots of play on the defensive end, but he'll need to dig as deep as he can to at least hold Dirk under 20.

I'm not stressed out about tonight's game. I have forced myself to look at it like a loss, that way a win would be the most exciting thing ever, if that makes any sense. With that in mind, this is one game where I really miss Jamal Crawford. It's the type of showdown where you expect him to take bad shots, maybe go 6-18 from the field, only to hit the game winning jumper as the 4th quarter expires. Maybe Marbury can have this superstar type of game tonight.

The Knicks are only a half game out of the 8 spot, with positions 7-10 currently all separated by a half game or less. The upcoming six games are ugly:

Tonight vs. Dallas
Thursday vs. Portland
Friday @ Cleveland
Monday 26th vs. Orlando
Wednesday 28th vs. Cleveland
Friday 30th @ Dallas

With the exception of Portland, those are all quality teams. The Knicks are going to need to prove their talent in this stretch, or else they could easily go 1-5 in the next six. You have to figure they need to go .500 for the rest of the season to at least have a shot, so this could be the beginning of the end for this team. I sure hope not.

Have fun watching tonight, and I'll leave you with this unselfish quote from Renaldo Balkman, courtesy,

"I get the guys going and that's what I want to do," Balkman said. "I might go out there and get one rebound or I might not even score a basket."

Monday, March 12, 2007

3/12 - VOD - It's been a crazy year...

This highlight video of the top 10 buzzer beaters from this season really reminds me of how exciting of a season it has been. You never know what to expect when watching a game. (Some of these are just from the end of a quarter). Enjoy!

3/12 - Monday's Links

3/12 - The Isiah Era Will Continue

Various New York papers have reported this morning that James Dolan has given Isiah Thomas a multi-year extension to continue his stay as the Knicks coach and general manager. Dolan feels that the team has made enough progress to live up to his preseason ultimatum, and the Isiah Era will continue.

I feel that this is a good decision. Sure, Isiah has done some things to make Knicks fans cringe, but the team has made progress from last season. There is still a long way to go before I say he has done a good job, however. With the Knicks in the hunt for the playoffs, this decision should have been made after the season was over, especially with the Eastern Conference being as weak as it is.

In the same respect, there really are no other options. All the players on the team love and respect Thomas, and it is unknown what their reaction would be if he was not around next season. We all saw how Stephon Marbury reacted to Larry Brown's reign, who knows how he would deal with a new coach. Eddy Curry already stated that he would want to leave the team if Isiah was not back next year. I can't see any coach stepping in at this point and earning the team's respect. Isiah has built this team to what it is, and he will surely manage the situation until the final whistle.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

3/11 - Video of the Day

So here it is, Steve Francis hitting the game winning shot last night against the Wizards. We'll see how long this video stays up before the NBA gets to it. Hopefully they will post a version of their own (a legal one).

3/11 - So, Steve Francis still plays basketball?

Just when most NBA fans forgot that Steve Francis still played in the league, he hit a three pointer at the buzzer to propel the Knicks over the Wizards; a game that was played in Washington, one of the hardest places to win in the NBA.

I'm not going to write too much about this today, but there are a few things that have been bothering me. For one thing, if Francis misses that shot, that is an embarassing loss. The Knicks were missing free throws down the stretch AGAIN! As some of you may know, this really bothers me since I feel there is no excuse for a professional basketball player to shoot below 80% from the line.

Also, good for you Stevie, but chill out. His celebration after the shot was uncalled for. He jumped on the scorers' table and folded his arms like he just hit a shot to win the NBA Championship. Dear Steve, this shot was the first positive thing you have done for the Knicks since coming here a little over a year ago. Don't let it go to your head. There's a long way to go here, which brings me to my next point.

At printing time, the Knicks are currently tied for the 8th spot in the Eastern Conference!!! I really think this win could be the one to bring this team to the next level. We have two games against Toronto coming up soon, and I want to win both! It would be a huge statement to take down the Atlantic Division leaders TWICE towards the end of the season. This team might actually begin to look legit.

Sorry this was an all around terrible posting with basically no structure, but it's the weekend. I'll be back tomorrow with some new stuff. Now get back to the tv and wait for those NCAA brackets to come out. P.S. - I'm picking Texas...shhhh....

Thursday, March 8, 2007

3/8 - Thursday's Links

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

3/7 - A few late tidbits of info:

Over at Knick Knacks tonight, Mike Dougherty has some thoughts and observations going into Saturday's game. You can click the link to read the whole post, but among other things he says:
  • The Knicks paired off in the beginning of practice today to work on free throw shooting. The players have come up with a game to go along with it, similar to golf. I hope this isn't a similar tactic to Isiah's slam dunk contest he has in practice sometimes. It will be a waste of time if the players don't take it seriously.
  • Looks like David Lee might miss ANOTHER game! He left practice early today as well.
  • Nate Robinson has returned to the team after the passing of his stomach ailment. He is noticeably lighter and looking to get his diet back on track. No word on whether or not he'll be ready for the Wizards.
  • Stephon Marbury would really enjoy some help from his teammates, as he admits he is feeling a bit tired from carrying the offensive load.

3/7 - Wednesday's Links

3/7 - Video of the Day

I decided to start featuring a video every once in a while courtesy of YouTube. It could be a blast from the past, or something current.

Today we look back to last year, and revisit Nate Robinson's legendary block on Yao Ming:

3/7 - How Ironic...

With less to a second to go against the Seattle Sonics last night, the Knicks were down by 2. Stephon Marbury, already with 39 pts, was at the line for two FTs that would tie the game. The only player who showed any signs of life last night made the first, and missed the second. Final Score 100-99, Sonics.

What can you say to that? Marbury has been playing out of his mind in the past few weeks, he even hit 8 three's in this game. You can't blame him for going to the line and missing ONE FREE THROW that would have tied it. If anything, it represents how the entire Knicks season has went. It all comes down to Marbury. The guy that got you to this position in the game is expected to seal the deal (or at least send it into overtime), and he can't. How Ironic...

If you were the type of person who was looking to place the blame on someone, you could start with Jared Jeffries, who went 0-4 from the line. There's 4 points. While we're at it, you might as well fault the whole team performance from the line, going a horrendous 24-38. The Sonics only made it to the line 10 times, but they made 9 of them. It's simple basketball right there. Ray Allen, Rashard Lewis, and Earl Watson did most of the damage for the Sonics, even taking shots on a prayer that were well defended at times.

I'm not going to say "this is the end of the season" again. We should know by now that this kind of crap is just going to continue. The Knicks are now 10th in the East, one game out of 8th. Indiana continues to collapse at 7th, and Orlando seems likely to fall out of the 8 spot. New Jersey is the wild card at the 9 spot, but they don't seem like they want to live up to the talent on their team. David Lee (and hopefully Nate Robinson) will be back this Saturday to travel to Washington to take on Agent Zero and the Wizards. After beating a few bottom-feeding teams, and losing to a few as well, it's a real test for the Knicks. I don't feel very good about the game.

The good thing about Lee coming back is that Channing Frye's minutes will be limited once again. I can't express how frustrated I am watching this joker on the court. All he does is take those damn 18-footers, and even when he could dribble up a few feet because he is open, he refuses to! His defense is pathetic, he is always a step behind, and he is soft. If you look at our top pick the past two years, Balkman is so much more intriguing than Frye. It seems as though Frye has hit his ceiling, while Balkman continues to impress every game. His defense has been stellar, and he is slowly integrating himself into the offense. Hopefully he can go into the gym this summer and shoot 1,000 jump shots a day. He'd become deadly.

You have to give a guy like Malik Rose credit. He has been such a quiet yet important part to this team all year. His energy and defense off the bench last night really helped spark a comeback. I'd like to see some of Frye and Jeffries minutes go to him.

The Garden won't be quiet even though the Knicks won't be there for a while. The Big East Tourney starts today...GO 'CUSE!!!


Monday, March 5, 2007

3/5 - Monday's Links

Sunday, March 4, 2007

3/4 - Wait, they won a back-to-back?

How amazing is Stephon Marbury? I didn't get a chance to watch the Knicks down the Atlanta Hawks last night since I was working, but I caught the highlights. It is so inspiring how he is carrying this team on his back right now. The guy just refuses to lose, I think he's getting tired of it. His points keep going up, and every time I think he's going to slow down, he pushes himself even further. I am completely baffled over how he is shooting lights out from three point range as well.

When we, as fans, looks back at this season in a few years, regardless of wins and losses, we will be able to pinpoint it as the season Starbury grew up. For most of the season, he sat in the back seat and let Eddy Curry take the wheel. Instead of being selfish, it was his goal to push him every night, force him to play to his ability. All the while, he went around telling anyone that would listen that Curry deserved to be an All-Star. He realized that the only way this team was going to ge successful was to feed the big man the ball.

The results were mixed. Curry was having a phenominal season (and this blogger will tell you that yes, it was deserving of an All-Star appearance), but the Knicks were missing that extra piece. A player who you could count on night in and night out. A player kind of like...oh wait...Stephon Marbury was still on this team! When Jamal Crawford went down, it was his time to shine. Crawford was always there to take the big shot, and Marbury never complained that Isiah wasn't calling on him to take it. With JC out for the season, Steph has answered the call.

He keeps draining big threes and cutting to the basket like he's 25 again. (He just turned 30). All of the sudden, the Knicks are one game out of the #8 spot currently being occupied by those pesky New Jersey Swamp Rats, and the roller coaster ride that is this season continues.

I feel like I've posted 5 "The Season is Over" posts and another 5 "Knicks poised for Playoffs" type posts. I also feel like the Knicks (at 28-33) have been five games under .500 all season. At this point we should be accepting nothing less than winning 2 out of every 3 games and hoping the Nets, Heat, or Pacers fall down. So here's a look at the next 4 games:

This Tuesday, vs. Sonics in the Garden:
Another one of those "They'd better win this if they're serious about the playoffs" games. But we all saw what happened to the earlier ones against Philly and Boston. All I can say is, they'd better get this one. Ray Allen is always dangerous in the Garden, watch out.

This Saturday, @ Washington Wizards:
Not good. The Wizards are one of the top teams in the East, it will be a tough game to pull out. I'm predicting loss here.

NEXT Wednesday the 14th @ Toronto Raptors:
Double Ouch. The surprise Atlantic Divison leaders have been playing well under the radar all year. It would turn some heads if the Knicks could take them down. For some reason I feel good about this game. I'm going win, but don't ask me why...

NEXT Friday the 16th, vs. Hornets in the Garden:
Solid Western Conference team. I'm gonna be a homer though and say win because the Knicks have been lights out in the Garden lately.

So if the Knicks can go 3-1 over this stretch, we're looking at 31-34. It may seem like a lot to ask, but this team is going to get David Lee and Nate Robinson back. No excuses this time. By the way, if Steve Francis can play like he did last night, that would probably help.

Sometimes we forget we have an All-Star like Stevie coming off the bench. Maybe he can finally get his ass in gear and contribute something to this team, because so far his career as a Knick has been pathetic. If the guy can find any ounce of pride in his 6'3, 210 lb. body, maybe we might actually have a shot here.

Fact of the day: First time Stephon Marbury and Steve Francis have both scored 20+ in the same game since being with the Knicks. That's a full year folks.

See you after the game on Tuesday to weite my next "Season is Over" article. Just Kidding.
I'll be back tomorrow with some links. Sorry about the slow weekend again. I'm still looking for some help if anyone is interested.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

3/1 - Not Lookin too Hot...

Life without Crawford doesn't look like it's going to be easy. After going down by as many as 23, the Knicks led by one in the 4th, only to lose to the worst team in the league, the Boston Celtics. Granted, the Knicks were playing without Steve Francis, David Lee, and Nate Robinson (all expected to play tomorrow) but still, it's the Celtics.

Stephon Marbury continued his stellar play as of late, but no one else on this team seems to be playing anymore. Eddy Curry was shown up by young Al Jefferson, who schooled the Knicks up and down the court. Mardy Collins saw extended time due to the injuries, but did little to help the team.

There's not much else to say at this point. Reportedly Marbury openly wept when Jamal Crawford told him he would be out for the year. You have to feel for a guy like Marbury, who has matured so much in the past year. This team looks like they have given up, and playoffs are now a pipe dream.

I don't see any reason they can make a run and sneak into the playoffs right now. Yes, Jared Jeffries is starting to show signs of life, but it doesn't matter. Anyone who thought this team would be okay without JC was just being stupid. The only person who could possibly take his place scoring wise is Quentin Richardson, and he seems uninspired. Sure, he's putting up points, but he needs to carry the team, and I just don't see that happening. He is playing lazy on defense again, and settling for the three ball.

Channing Frye is another name that I bring up on a daily basis. GO TO THE BASKET!!! He is too slow and too dumb to get any sort of rhythm going's pathetic. I won't even talk about the horrendous defense he played last night.

The only way the Knicks will win down the stretch is if Eddy Curry dominates every single game. He had an off night last night, and you saw what happened. My mentality towards games is changing for the rest of the year. Instead of watching and rooting for a team pushing for the playoffs, I'm going to be watching the Knicks just for recreation.

It's just sad that it's almost time to look towards the offseason again. Another year wasted. Thank you Isiah Thomas, see you next year since this team's owner refuses to let you go.