Monday, November 20, 2006

Knicks host Rockets




Well we've seen some ups and downs the past two games. I know that my MO thus far has been to kill the Knicks and Isaiah Thomas showing as much mercy as the principles of one Sensi John Kresse allows, however, I would lose all credibility as a journalist, a person, and a bowler if I didn't give credit where credit is due. This years Knicks team is far more interesting to watch than last years. Yes they are still a $122MM disaster of epic proportions. Yes they have two shoot first pass 23rd guards starting in Marbury and Francis, yes they are still on the hook or Allan Houston's life sucking $19M on their salary cap this year, yes Eddie Curry looks like he participated in Shawn Kemps 1995 offseason workout regimen of Krispy Kreme's and infomericals HOWEVER the one thing I will say is that this team does play hard.

The smartest thing Isaiah has done this year by far is allowing his energy guys to come off the bench the minute he sees the starters go stagnant, which unfortunately is usually 7 minutes into the game. The bench play of Nate Robinson (still don't like him), David Lee (who is the white Charles Oakley), Jamal Crawford and Renaldo Balkman, keep the Knicks in every game by literally running the opposing team off the court. If only Channing Frye would grow a set of balls and Eddie Curry would introduce his lumpy ass to a stairmaster and a salad, maybe the starters would build a lead just in time for the bench to come in and extend it. Maybe.

Tonight the Knicks take on former coach Jeff Van Gundy who couldn't win Most Eligble Bachelor in an leper colony and Yao Ming who is sure to take a huge asian styled deuce on Eddie Curry today. Look for Isaiah to tap Celvin Cato and Jerome James early to guard Ming. If Isaiah is smart he will wasted 12 fouls between the two of those corpses and allow Curry to guard someone else and stay in the game longer thus increasing his chances of being more effective and also working off this chewed bubble gum like ass. A win/win situation as far as I am concerned.

That's it for now Knicks fans, those two of you remaining. I will post at least once more prior to Thanksgiving. Stay tuned.

The Lord

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

I hate them already and its only November

Well, we are 8 games into what is already a miserable Knicks season and I am filled with more hatred than a white supremacist at a Russell Simmons comedy show. The Knicks are 2-6 and 0-3 at the Garden making basketball in New York City as relevant as curling in Arizona. The latest loss against laboring Cavs was paticularly disappointing because there were several awful personnel decisions made by Lord Isaiah Thomas which I think could have prevented the loss.

First, why would an awful Stephon Marbury, who up until the 4th quarter had 6 points be in the game when it is becoming abundantly clear and the crunch time back court should be Nate Robinson (who I still don't like but at least he plays hard) and Jamal Crawford who like Jack Bauer works best when the clock is ticking down, let's also not leave out Quinten Richardson who has been the best player on the team so far this year. No instead Isaiah must have gotten caught waiting on his chicken fingers and spicy honey mustard sauce (by far the best honey mustard is served at the Ranch One in the Garden) and forgot to place Starbury and his $14 sneakers on the bench. Instead Marbury air mails a wide open three pointer with the Knicks trailing 94-97.

Second, the fact that Eddie Curry gets any playing time in the second half continues to defy rational thought. Is it not obvious that once again he is out of shape due to what most would call a lack luster offseason workout program. This is not a guy who has any fire or desire to excel at his position. He figures he runs a few wind sprints, lifts a few weights and then heads out for his Crave Case and all will be fine. He labors up and down the court and his soft midsection prevents him from bodying up opponents who pin him deep inside the paint and his only recourse is to foul. Which of course explains why he is constantly in foul trouble early and often.

Isaiah should start Curry in hopes of him catching fire early, and by early I mean ten minutes or so into the first quarter. If that happens, keep him in and feed him the ball. If not, I think he sits down and David Lee gets the rest of his minutes with Frye and Jeffries (when he returns next month). That is the frontcourt and once Isaiah comes to the realization that Eddie Curry will be no more than what he is today, and that yes we would rather have had the second pick in the draft, he will be better off, and maybe the Knicks will be too.

Tonight the Knicks face the Wizards at the Garden. The one and only positive thing I can muster about this team is that they have yet to be blown out and embarrassed on the court, aside from Isaih's bantering with Bruce Bowen. They are showing a knack for keeping it close in the final quarter, but this team is too young, too inexperienced, and has an enormous lack of on court veteran leadership to have the savvy to win come back games. The only chance we have is a quick offensive start and pray the momentum doesn't swing.

The starting lineups for tonight's game:

Washington

PG - Arenas
SG - Stevenson
SF - Butler
PF - Jamison
C - Haywood

New York
PG - Marbury
SG - Francis
SF - Richardson
PF - Frye
C - Curry

Stay tuned today for more NBA related news as I discuss why I think the Jazz will win the West, why I think the Heat are in trouble and also why Reggie Evans looks like the alien who gave birth in Enemy Mine

Thursday, November 09, 2006

What I think





I think Kevin Garnett will be wearing a Lakers uniform by 2008

I think Kobe will realize he needs Garnett in 2008 if he is ever going to win another NBA Championship



I think Larry Brown getting $18 million dollars for phoning in the 2006 season is more than fair given that fact that all in he is getting approximately $2.5M a win.

I think Gregg Popovich should stop trying to pretend he is a North Carolina alum and shut his trap regarding Brown's settlement. Pop or "Crumb Cake Face" as he is called was quoted as saying "I hope its not a precedent. Just because someone said its not a precednet, I don't know if legally it means its not a precedent." .......ah.......right...got it.

I think that the Heat are not as good as everyone thinks

I think the Nets are much better than everyone thinks

I think that Andrew Bynum has looked awesome...so far....

I think Doc Rivers should go back to broadcasting

I think Mike Fratello should follow him

I think the new ball is for homeless people

I think Chris Kaman is homeless

Hope you enjoyed the first edition on "What I think" if you didn't well I hope you fall down a flight of stairs or get trapped in a house fire.

The Lord

Knicks beat Nuggets and George Karl Face



Wild ending to last nights Knicks-Nuggets game as Jamal Crawford finally awoke from his slumber and torched Denver for 35pts hitting the game winning jumper over Eduardo "El Guapo" Najera with 3.7 ticks left. Overall however it was a typical sloppy, turnover prone, defenseless effort by the Knicks first team and their front court of Channing Frye (4pts, 5rebs) and fat Eddie Curry (4pts, 2rebs) were once again horrendous and found themselves doing the fake enthused clap when their replacements, Renaldo Balkman and Malik Rose entered the game and helped spark the Knicks in the first half.

I won't sit here and pretend that I liked the first round pick who looks like Walter Marek from No Escape, however I will say that after watching him in the preseason and the first five games of this season, he's 1) in excellent condition 2) hustles more than anyone else on the team 3) plays as hard as possible 4) always makes something by way of a steal, rebound, or like last night a great shot block on a fast break by Andre Miller. Isaih may have unearthed a diamond in the round and you can see why he wanted a player like Balkman on a team where hustle is a not in abundance.

Stayed tuned for more NBA fodder later, as for the Knicks they head to Houston to face handsome Jeff Van Gundy and the Asian Bill Wise at 8:30 on MSG. For all your college basketball info please check out the link to bball talk Deuce's blog whose ball sack is better maintained than the greens at Augusta.

Any questions can be sent to v_gabriele@yahoo.com, please keep your comments to yourself.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Knick Spurred 105-93




Last nights contest at the Garden turned out as expected. The Knicks came out with as much life and mock as Stephen Hawking in a kickboxing match and dug themselves into a 23 point hole in the first half. This forced Lord Isaiah to dig deep into his bench exhuming the bodies of Mardy Collins (wasted draft pick) Malik Rose (Duncan's sparring partner when with the Spurs) and Kelvin Cato (it's like the tallest fan getting to play for a few minutes). I can't kill the second unit as they actually showed some life and rattled the Spurs and inspiring a group that should be singing Christmas carols in a morgue this holiday season. The Knicks, prompted by the bench players and Quentin Richardson, the only Knick to show some improvement from last season, went on a 20-2 run and even brought the game within 1 point with 4:00 minutes left until Marbury jacked up a three and missed igniting a finishing San Antonio run.

Obviously the loss of Jared Jeffries hurts as he would have brought some intangibles that this team sorely lacks. To me that was punctuated when early in the game Eddie Curry and Channing Frye (0 pts and benched the entire second half) both went for a rebound and let the ball go out of bounds. Curry turns and yells at Frye who sheepishly walked away. This team has not yet jelled and I don't care what feel good stories came out of training camp and proving old Larry "Leakey Crotch" Brown wrong, etc etc. This team needs to stick up for one another and encourage each other on the court. Curry is one cheeseburger away from masquerading as latter day Shawn Kemp. His conditioning is atrocious and we are watching someone slowly waste what should be a very promising career. Frye on the other hand looks great as far as bulking up goes, but it is painfully obvious that he spent more time in the weight room than on the court which is the main factor in his horrendous start.

Almost as pathetic as the game was the so called celebrities who now have courtside seats. In the old days it used to be Spike, Jack, Brokaw, Diddy. Now we have Lana Ali and Bobby Bacala from the Sopranos. These two wouldn't be able to touch a ticket below the 300 section in the 90's, now they are the marquee names. If I didn't have a family to think about I would have killed myself right then and there.

The Knicks hit the road for a brutal three game road trip at Denver, Houston and a rematch with the Spurs which brings about the realistic chance of them returning home to the Garden on the 13th with a record of 1-6 to face LeBron and the Cavs. Sound familiar Knick fans??

If you have any questions/comments send them to v_gabriele@yahoo.com

Monday, November 06, 2006

Knicks vs. Spurs 11/6/06


Tonight the Knicks return to the Garden to face the Spurs coming off their awful performance against the Pacers on Saturday. It doesn't get any easier with SA coming into town with Duncan, Ginobili and Parker. The Spurs are coming off a good win against what will be a surprising Toronto team with Duncan scoring 13pts in the 4th quarter in route to a 103-94 victory. The Spurs have owned the Knicks having won five of the last six meetings with the Knicks.

Tonights game is important in the fact that the Knicks at least need to show some life coming off a bad loss. Let's face it, this team is not in the top half of the league, they are coming off a 20 win season, another coaching change, a lost lottery pick to the Bulls and have every sports reporter within a 20 mile radius critiquing every move made on and off the court this year. Those are the facts, they need to live with it. If Isaiah is going to miss the playoffs this year, which seems highly likely, the only thing he will have to stand upon is the ability to say that his team came out and played hard night in and night out. This is one of those nights. Show some progress, I would like to see players like Nate Robinson, David Lee and even Renaldo Balkman play better in their 60th game than they did in their 6th game. That would show me two things: 1) Isaiah is able to coach them up on the fundamentals of the game which has clearly been lacking the past few years and 2) they have enough respect for their coach to work on their games and also buy into the system that is currently in place.

The starting lineups for the game tonight look like this:

PG Parker Marbury
SG Ginobili Francis
SF Bowen Richardson
PF Duncan Frye
C Oberto Curry

Injuries:
Jared Jeffries (wrist) Out
Jermone James (foot) Questionable
Parker (ankle) Day to Day

Welcome All My Friends to the Show that Never Ends

Friends, ex lovers, underground midget porn producers, and Republicans who actually feel a sense of optimism this Election Day Eve, it is I, your purveyor of all things Knicks and while I understand that right now Knicks fans are in hiding much like Cleveland Indians fans were in Major League, I feel a need to reach out to those making their last stand at the Alamo. I have to begin by introducing myself. I am a 27 year old white male who at one time in my life, actually followed all 82 games of the Knicks season with the intensity of John Mark Carr at a Christmas Pagent. Those were the glory years when Knicks didn't wonder about whether or not we would make the playoffs, but instead if we were good enough to get past the Bulls (Jordan/Pippen), Heat (Mourning/Hardaway), or Pacers (Miller/Smits) to get to the Finals. I vividly remember when the Knicks were actually under the salary cap and signed three marquee free agents - Larry Johnson from the then Charlotte Hornets, Chris "I never committed a foul EVER" Childs from the Nets who were the equivalent of Tim Allen's movie resume and Allan Houston.

I remember the days when Doc Rivers, Derek Harper, Greg Anthony and Charlie Ward actually attempted to run an offense and play defense. When Oakley or Mason taking a charge wasn't looked upon as grandiose effort to the tenth power, but expected of them. I remember the inside out game between Ewing and Starks and how each fan lived and died with the streakiness of the only man who actually looked better wearing the nose protector mask than without it. I remember watching Charles Smith who was listed at 6'10 barely able to dunk a ball but nontheless displayed some moxy on the court.

I also remember when the Knicks played like men. When during a Martin Luther King matinee game at the Garden Greg Anthony jumped off the bench in street clothes and mixed it up with the Phoneix Suns. When a Knick was pushed it was returned or the infamous Riley rule of no easy layups allowed EVER.

But like the 5th season of the Sopranos, all good things come to an end. The day the Knicks jumped the shark could be traced to the hiring of Scott "I look like Niles from Frasier" Layden, however I would have to say that even though Layden gave two contract extensions to Don Chaney for merely sitting on the bench in utter confusion, he would have never put together the mix of players that currently comprise the Team Titanic roster. And if you don't believe me, think of it this way:

The last time the Knicks resembled a semi competitive ball clube they sported a starting lineup that looked like this:

PG - Stephon Marbury
SG - Allan Houston
SF - Keith Van Horn
PF - Kurt Thomas
C - Diekembe Mutombo

Now you had two talented guards in the backcourt, a small forward who on any given night could throw in 20 and 10, but could always be penciled in for 16 pts and 8 reb, a power forward who could hit the elbow jumper, play defense and provide some general nastiness with his cross eyed stare and a center who had razors for elbows and pull down rebounds. Let us also not forget Dr. Doleac who ran the pick and roll with Marbury like Syndey Dean and Billy Hoyle.

My point is this team could complete, had some balance and could match up with most NBA teams starting five. This all changed on November 27, 2005 when Garden President Steve Mills introduced Lord Isaiah Thomas as GM and President of Basketball Operations. Then, my friends, all hell broke loose.

This blog will serve three purposes; 1) to monitor the Knicks as they go through their 2006-2007 season 2) keep those of you left who still consider the NBA a viable alternative to weed, Root Beer and a little D&D in your parents basement with a contingent of your mutant friends who couldn't get laid in a monkey whorehouse with a bag of banana's and 3) provide those few remaining Knick fans who still list their names in the Yellow Pages my very own "Compass of Stablility" which will be my own attempt to help right the ship based on factual information I have compiled. I am going to put myself in the position of President of Basketball Operations, the current title that Lord Isaiah Thomas holds and has been in the past 3 ½ years with the New York Knicks. I will outline a strategy for what I think the makeup of the team should be, piggy backing on teams that are successful as well as adapting to the changing landscape of the league. The next step will be to look at the current roster and decide who fits that makeup and who doesn’t. Finally, what players are available through the three main components (via trade, free agency or draft) that fit the previously established criteria and most importantly, ensuring a healthy salary cap situation in the long term.

I think we will have a good time with this, I strongly encourage anyone who is interested in any of the three topics at hand to please participate, ask questions, make comments or simply send me pictures of your girlfriends/wives.

I will preview tonights game vs the Spurs in my next post, until then, if you don't hear from me in 3 hours....wait longer.

The Lord

Send all questions/comments to v_gabriele@yahoo.com