Knicks Central

The Knicks’ Obsession with Former All-Stars

Paul Pierce’s ankles were asking to be broken.

If we’re being objective: we have a 36-year-old basketball player, who although is extremely technically skilled and productive, is not quite the picture of youth and athleticism, matching up against a 23-year-old explosive, quick guard in Iman Shumpert. 

At this stage in their careers, Iman Shumpert is everything that Paul Pierce is not. We need more Iman Shumperts on the Knicks. We need more players who can start a new era, who can help us try to forget all these years waiting. We need players who can win another championship for us in the coming years and the not so distant future.

What we absolutely and unequivocally do not need, however, are players like Paul Pierce. We don’t need former All-Stars or Defensive Player of the Year winners like Kenyon Martin or Metta World Peace; we don’t want veterans who were simply assets at their long-passed peak. We want the future All-Stars and MVPs, the players who you take a chance on because of their athleticism, or their potential, or their raw talent. 

This is a concept that the Knicks have struggled with for years, practically since their conception, and is a strategy that few teams have yet to fully grasp. In this scenario, Paul Pierce is the Nets. The win-now, extravagantly-spending Nets, whose sleekness and novelty haven’t quite worn off yet. The Nets are a prime example of a team adopting the win-now strategy, and although they fared better than the Knicks this season, no one can say they lived up to expectations. 

The win-now model simply doesn’t work.

If you plan for such a small window of time for your team to be successful, with many of your players teetering on the edge of injury or even retirement, chances are that your expectations will not be met. Chances are that something will go wrong, that the team will simply not be strong enough to succeed. 

We don’t want to be like the Nets. We don’t want to be the win-now team. We should be planning for the future, like Oklahoma City did, or Cleveland has, or even Golden State.

And yet every year the Knicks succumb to the win-now model. Why, you might ask? It’s quite straightforward: the Knicks are simply afraid of being bad in such a demanding market like New York City. So instead of undergoing a rebuilding season, they load the roster with aging, former stars, who they sell to the public as immediate contributors to the team. But in the end, it usually doesn’t end up being any more successful than it would have during a rebuilding year, and they don’t have any potential assets (or picks) for the future.

This is why Paul Pierce’s ankles were broken. Paul Pierce and the Nets are the epitome of the win-now team. Former stars don’t succeed in the long run - it’s the future stars that prevail. So although Paul Pierce may become a Hall of Famer, it’s players like Iman Shumpert who have a place in today’s future of basketball. 


I was right..

Knicks aren’t making the playoffs this season. Pretty depressing. I guess there’s always the draft - oh wait, we don’t have any picks this year, do we? Wow. Really disappointing, Knicks. You’ve really outdone yourselves this time.

Melo will probably sign with the Bulls or something this summer. Good for him. He definitely deserves better than this corrupted operation some people call a basketball team.

This season epitomizes being a Knicks fan. You have to take the bad with the good, and hopefully someday the good will eclipse the bad. One thing we are, though, as supporters of this beloved, corrupted organization, is loyal. You will not find more honest, hilarious, and loyal fans in any other NBA franchise. So despite our cynicism, despite the seemingly constant disappointment and craziness, I will always be proud to be a Knicks fan.

I guess I’ll see you next season, Knicks. Stay crazy - but try to make the playoffs next time.


YEAH KNICKS!

Warning: this post contains extreme cynicism. Sorry for the negativity, but things must be said.

Dear Knicks,

You are six games away from successfully completing one of the most disappointing and pathetic seasons of all time. As a lifelong fan, I can’t quite say that this is the first time you’ve let me down, but the effort you put into destroying whatever faith we had left in the Knicks organization was truly impressive, especially since we had such high expectations for the season. I’d like to give some quick insight into how you did it.

1. James Dolan just being himself, and not being able to recognize a good deal (see Lowry for Felton, Metta, and a 2018 pick; a 2014 first rounder for Shump; and god knows what else) if it slapped him in the face. Not to mention the supremely incompetent Steve Mills, whose hiring was perhaps the most perplexing (and stupid) move this season.

2. Mike Woodson’s inability to make executive coaching decisions, manage his players, and put blame on them when warranted (see the multitude of J.R. incidents, particularly in the first half of the season). Beno Udrih is a testament to this, and we can only wonder how much influence J.R. truly has.

3. RAYMOND FELTON. He slightly redeemed himself in the second half of the season, but I am entirely done with pretending that he isn’t one of the worst point guards in the NBA, at least most of the time. We need someone young, quick, and athletic to play point guard, and frankly, Raymond Felton is none of those things.

4. Can you say injuries? Tyson Chandler has only played in a grand total of 52 games this season. His numbers are down, and he isn’t nearly the defensive monster he used to be. Meanwhile, Metta World Peace was bought out before the year ended - especially surprising after all the excitement preceding his arrival. Kenyon Martin seems to have fallen off the face of the earth. Who knew a sore ankle took four months to heal? Not me, that’s for sure.

5. No defensive presence whatsoever. None. That’s right. A team with two former defensive players of the year and a supposedly up and coming perimeter defender can’t play defense to save their life. I mean, you’d think NBA players would have the ability to get over a screen without having to switch every two seconds. Evidently not. The Knicks are playing lazy basketball, plain and simple, and the abundance of injuries hasn’t helped much in this respect.

6. Andrea Bargnani. It physically pains me to admit that I was hesitantly optimistic about his arrival, thinking naively that he would “space the floor” and “bring players like Roy Hibbert out to the three point line.” Well, guess what? He hasn’t spaced the damn floor, and Roy Hibbert doesn’t have to come within ten feet of him, because Andrea Bargnani cannot shoot a basketball. Don’t even get me started on rebounding. We all know he shudders at the mere mention of the concept, which basically sums up his woeful contribution as a seven-foot basketball player. Yup. Seven feet tall. Can’t quite wrap my head around it either.

So congratulations, Knicks! You probably won’t make the playoffs in one of the weakest Eastern Conferences of all time. Hey, wait, at least you hired Phil Jackson! Hopefully he’ll slap some sense into you. Or maybe he’ll resign. Probably the latter.

There’s always next year!

Sincerely,

Knicks Central

P.S. Sorry if I’m completely wrong and by some miracle you do make the playoffs. I want that to happen just as much as the next person. It’s just that you haven’t left me with any good reasons to make that leap. Good luck - you’ll need it.


Game Preview - Knicks vs. Bucks

Tyson Chandler is back! His rehab process went well, so he’ll be on the floor at tipoff tonight in the orange and blue. We have a great opportunity here, as the Bucks have the worst record in the league, so we should be able to take advantage of their weaker roster.

Beno Udrih will probably be getting the start, as Felton and Prigioni are both out with injuries. This should lead to some additional playing time for vastly underplayed Toure’ Murry, whose perimeter defense and court vision complements Udrih’s style of play.

Chris Smith, however, is also back, getting called up from the D-League. He’s been a streaky scorer for Erie. (Reminds you of anyone?) We are in need of some point guard depth, so it can’t hurt too much.

Let’s get this win tonight - this is the start of a winning streak.


We’re back! Knicks 113, Nets 83

Killed it tonight. Shumpert was once again at his best form, possibly his best ball of the season; Felton came out of a slump; Melo dialed down the isolation; Amar’e showed some of his old explosiveness; and Bargnani provided some key shots (and dunks!). Ball movement was the best it’s been all season, and the defense was top-notch, holding the short-handed Nets to 83 points. This is the basketball we were seeing last year. These are the Knicks we root for. This is the team we love.


Those orange uniforms are looking pretty fresh out there. I guess the Knicks decided to do something logical for once - orange uniforms on Halloween.

The game itself is pretty tough, grit and grind as it always is with the Bulls. We’re only within eight, so a comeback is definitely in the cards. 

Let’s look for a win to make it 2-0!


Roster Cuts

The preseason and summer league came with some intriguing prospects for the New York Knicks. Jeremy Tyler, an undersized yet active on the glass center, Ike Diogu, an offensive oriented power forward with great hustle, and Toure’ Murry, a combo guard with a good handle, court vision, and defense all seemed like excellent options.

You’re asking who the Knicks decided to keep; who would, with a little time and effort, become a bright future. Today, Steve Mills and James Dolan answered that question for you: Toure’ Murry, Cole Aldrich, and none other than Chris Smith.

Keeping Murry on the roster was undoubtedly the right decision. Aldrich has good size and rebounding instincts, so retaining him wasn’t a bad move. But Chris Smith, who just happens to be J.R. Smith’s brother, is not by any measure an NBA player. The only redeeming aspect of his game is his defense and hustle, but his offensive game is unbearable to watch. Remember that kid on your travel team who was really terrible but he got insane amounts of playing time because he was the coach’s son? Or he had connections? That’s Chris Smith.

Murry and Aldrich aren’t bad players. Murry was easily the most impressive throughout the games he’s played for the blue and orange. His combination of size (6’5”), perimeter defense and hustle, excellent handle, and court vision make him a player that you just can’t pass up on. Aldrich, at seven feet tall, has good court instincts and can get things done in the paint. With Jeremy Tyler out with a foot injury, bringing him in was probably the right decision.

But honestly, Knicks, where are we going with Chris Smith? He’s undersized for a point guard, doesn’t have good court vision, and can’t shoot for his life. He has a jumpshot uglier than Shawn Marion’s. (Maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration.) It’s clear that the only reason he didn’t get cut is because his brother just happens to be a key player known as J.R. Smith. But is it really worth pleasing J.R? Is it worth having one of the worst players in the NBA representing New York in that orange and blue? No one should have this kind of influence.

All we should hope as Knicks fans is that Dolan and Mills get some sense knocked into them and waive him in favor of another big man. Once Tyler’s healthy, he could jump right back into the picture for our squad. Chris Smith needs to be the one booted out of that picture.

In a week’s time the Knicks will be taking the floor at Madison Square Garden, and Toure’ Murry, along with Tim Hardaway Jr, should be the unseasoned player in the spotlight. Murry will be the one proving to everyone - analysts, fans, fellow teammates - why he deserves to play in the NBA, all under the bright lights of the world’s most famous arena.


realkingfish:

I give Tyler Hansbrough a lot of shit for being: 1) awful; 2) a danger to others; 3) unaesthetically pleasing; and 4) un-aged.  But I have to give him credit for his deft understanding of self-preservation here. 

Think Ron Artest doesn’t make the Knicks tougher?  Last year withIndiana Hansbrough cannonballed around like no one would put him in his place.  This year?  Well, the video speaks for itself.