Monday, November 12, 2007

The Choke Artists

No, the title above is not for a new show premiering on Fox tonight, but it is the perfect description of our New York Knickerbockers. After the Knicks dropped an embarrassing 75-72 decision to Pat Riley's Miami Heat (who happened to be without Wade), Knick fans around the world are starting to realize like Chicken Little did that the sky is indeed falling.

Before I really get into this post, I just want to say that I will not tolerate anyone who says "its ok that we lost because we were without Zach Randolph." NO! No more excuses. Even without Zach, who couldn't attack (thanks to Mr. Clyde Frazier for getting that stuck in my head), this Knicks team had to win last night if they wanted to at least show a possibility of differentiating themselves from last season's team. However, they were handed the keys to the car and they proceeded to drive the car right off the fucking cliff (one of the few times you will hear Jack Bauer curse in a post, bookmark this).

Words cannot truly explain this team's futility right now to make the plays that are needed to close out games. Stephon Marbury still can't execute when the game is on the line. Jamal Crawford still can't be a consistent player for the Knicks. Eddy Curry still can't play defense. The list goes on and on..

Yes, after only 4 games I started to wonder why the hell David Lee was only getting 23 minutes a game. Last night, I got my wish as Lee was the starting PF since Zach was in Indiana to attend his grandmother's funeral (obviously this wasn't the way I wanted Lee to get his minutes). David did not disappoint with 14 points and 14 rebounds despite a bad shooting night. Here's the thing about Lee, even if he gets off to a bad start in a game or has a bad shooting night overall, as long as he gets 30 minutes or more, he will essentially always give you a double-double. He is not a guy that needs 15 shots to be effective but he will still find ways to make an impact on the game like he did last night.

That is precisely why my good friends, Isiah should either get Lee 30 minutes a game or just trade him while his value is still sky high. As much as I like David Lee, it makes no sense to keep him on the roster if you only intend on playing him less than 25 minutes per game. Is giving Lee more minutes going to solve all of the problems? Hell no. However, giving some of Curry's minutes to Lee will make this team better, guaranteed. Lee and Randolph make for our most productive frontcourt by far. Unlike Curry, both of them rebound and both of them put at least a little bit of effort on the defensive end.

In my opinion, the biggest problem this team has right now though is the poor guard play. Stephon can still be an offensive weapon but his defense (which was surprisingly average last season) has been absolutely terrible so far as evidenced by 100 year old Penny Hardaway blowing past him at one point last night. Crawford has also been bad on the defensive end and while his offense can be spectacular on some nights, it is way too inconsistent for a team that aspires to start him while hoping to be a very good team at the same time.

To be fair, we don't have anyone on the bench that is any better. Nate is hurt right now so he really can't be counted on (as soon as he is 100% again though, I will be demanding that he gets more minutes). Mardy Collins is a good defensive point guard but his offense can be a big liability right now. Plus, the kid really needs to learn how to shoot free throws. Fred Jones is also a good defensive guard but like Mardy, he doesn't give you anything on the offensive end. I still can't fathom why we cut a rookie like Demetris Nichols to keep Jones on this roster. Excuse me, I think I'm going to go throw up right now....

Actually, when you think of it, that could be the motto for the Knicks this season.

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