Happy Holidays from Knicksdefense

dsc_4780_a.jpg

To everybody celebrating the holidays, be it Christmas, Kwanzaa, Ramadan, Hanukkah or any I may have missed:

Hope you are enjoying time with your friends, family and loved ones right about now. Wishing peace, love and harmony for all the people of the United States, and all the nations of the world.

Happy birthday to my brother Bilz.

Cheers from Starburyfan and Robin

 

Knicks, Bulls, Heat… Bottom of the Ocean?

standings1.jpg

A lot of ground to cover boys.  Not saying it is impossible, but the knicks need to start winning on the road and the knicks need to start having winning streaks larger than two, more often than twice. Atlanta and Indiana are surprise teams so far.  57 games to be played, but the urgency is on now.  Please, no more 5 or 8-game losing streaks.

Nets@Knicks

Very encouraging signs last night. I’m serious, I’m looking beyond the win-loss aspect of the game. Coach Thomas was experimenting with the lineup, exactly what we had been hoping for, and Jared Jeffries is showing he can contribute in Quentin Richardson’s absence (get well soon Q) there was even a Wilson Chandler sighting! Looks to me like the kid can play, hope he gets more PT to prove it. Fred, Zach and Jamal took most of the shots and as a result scored most of the points. Despite Fred and Jamal both playing over 40 minutes, the starting backcourt only totaled two turnovers. That is a world of improvement in itself. Improved stability and simplicity should be what the knicks strive for with each game.

The defense still sucks, but at least we are starting to cut down on the turnovers. The Knicks got blocked 15 times and yet only blocked 2 shots the whole game. How did Hinrich have three blocks?

Mardy still can’t shoot, but at least he’s getting PT. Nothing worse for these young players than rotting on the bench. And with Mardy, you know he’s still going to run the offense and make plays defensively, despite not being a factor when it comes to scoring the ball. A lot of these guys just need time coming back from injuries. I don’t think Lee is 100% himself yet either, nor is Q or Jeffries.

Two best shots of the night for me were the Jeffries three pointer and the high-arching shot Zach hit near the end of the fourth from far out on Ben Wallace. Zach has range. Hopefully Balk or Lee is in the game to clean up the long rebound just in case. Best defensive play was Balk’s block at the top of the key in the fourth quarter.  Was it me or was that dunk by chandler something the team sorely needs?  We need some above the rim players in the game.  Our PF and C do not often operate in that stratosphere.

Looking forward to tonight’s game against the nets at the garden. If you remember in the preseason match against the Nets on October 26th, Jeffries was dominating the first five minutes of the game before he went down with the injury (was it Richard Jefferson that he banged knees with?), so hopefully tonight he can avoid the injury but continue the recent improved play. Nets have their three-headed monster back in terms of being healthy, so it should be a good one.

It is sad what is happening to Eddy Curry. He’s one of the nicest kids on the team, and the Randolph trade basically put him in a position to fail. Thanks Glen Grunwald. The way I see it, at the NBA talent level, you could give almost anyone 20 shots a game and they’ll average close to 20 points–if not more. What’s more important is this: at the end of the game, is your team is in a position to win? I’ve heard it said recently that good teams find a way to win and bad teams find a way to lose. This was another game we let slip away, but we can still become a good team with nearly 60 games left in the season.

Free Wilson Chandler!

Free Renaldo Balkman!

Sonics@Knicks

kevin_durant.jpg

Any doubt since Oden is out, that this young man will be the next rookie of the year? Al Horford may give him a run for his money in the second half of the season, but Kevin Durant is a safe bet to be one of the front runners by the end of this season. I haven’t seen much of his game in the NBA, but I did catch many of his college games last season on ESPN, and they were all phenomenal. He’s a pure scorer and is averaging 20.3p 4.6r and 1.3bl in his rookie campaign thus far. It gets boring to hear Charles Barkley saying every five seconds on TNT how this guy needs to put on weight at 6’9″, 215lbs, but I can only imagine his game would improve once he does.

A lot has been made about the roll the Knicks fans at the garden have had in the team’s recent struggles. The home crowd should cheer for the home team, I believe that, and I’ve never booed any of the games I’ve been to, even when they got blown out up in Boston earlier this year or when they were killing Marbury at this time last season at the Garden. Seems everytime they’d interview Marbury after one of those games, he’d always have the same response: “that’s New York. They’re going to boo if you don’t bring it,” if I can paraphrase last year’s Stephon.

If you want to show the Garden crowd how to really support the home team, check out this link, there are some good deals there on tickets for the Seattle game.

Stephon probably isn’t ready to play yet, but I don’t question by now, he wants to go out there and help the team win some ball games. Randolph shot his way out of his slump last game, so we’ve got one of our two big guys ready to step up and play basketball. Hopefully Eddy Curry isn’t too far behind… Maybe now that Malik Rose has been moved to the IR list, Chandler may actually get some minutes this month. He could be good for the knicks, last time I remember him in a Knicks jersey it was against the Nets in the preseason and there were some encouraging signs he can contribute at the NBA level. Crawford must really try to shift his focus on getting the other players in the starting five going, I’ve seen him do it before, so I know he is capable of finding his rhythm without it being to the detriment of the team.

Kurt Thomas will be back in the Garden, that should be interesting, and the Sonics have other weapons in Chris Wilcox, Earl Watson, WallyWorld, Delonte West, and former Knick guard Gerald Wilkins’ son, Damien, who is putting up solid numbers as a starter for the Sonics in his fourth year in the NBA. Oh, and watch out for the other rookie, Jeff Green, he’s a baller too.

Seattle comes to New York at 5-17, having been blown out by the Bulls 123-96 in the first of a back-to-back on the road.

A holiday heads up from Knicksdefense.com

Check it–promo coupon codes for the defenders who wish to see a knick game this month at MSG.  Tell them ol’ starburyfan sent ya, they know me over there :D

Here is what you have to do if you want to save money on a game this month.  first go to ticketmaster.com and look for the following knicks home games during the month of December.

Use the code SIXERS when purchasing tickets and get $60.50 tickets for $20 and $44.50 tickets for $10.

Ten dolla seats–use code PAINT for the following games:

Monday, December 10th vs. Dallas Mavericks at 7:30pm

Wednesday, December 12th vs. Seattle SuperSonics at 7:30pm

Monday, December 17th vs. Indiana Pacers at 7:30pm

And of course your average defender is smart enough to know, just because you buy $10 seats doesn’t mean you have to stay in $10 seats.  Act like you know!

Jason Kidd: out sick or deserted the team?

When I first heard Jason Kidd was to miss the Knicks-Nets game because of a migrane, I was reminded of Steve Francis who also had migrane problems for a few seasons with the Houston Rockets.

Now it seems in the article below that the thought is being put forth that Kidd intentionally sat out last night because he wasn’t given the contract extension discussion he was seeking.

Assume it is true that he chose not to be there for his team: is it that much different in principle than Marbury leaving the team for one game last month for personal reasons?

You ask your average sports fan and they’ll tell you who’s who: Kidd is the winner who makes everyone better, Marbury is the malcontent who makes a team suck, that’s the image that has been ingrained over the years, fair or unfair.

This recent article by Fred Kerber of the Post tells me things may vary from the usual public opinion when it comes to Kidd. Reminds me of the shocking articles people wrote on David Robinson when he was petitioning for his last sports contract. For once, NBA’s model citizen was uncharacteristically painted as selfish by sports writers.

Also, now that I think about it, Vince Carter’s exit from Toronto was anything but graceful: he seemed to be playing bad on purpose to facilitate a trade, take a look at his numbers just before and just after his move to the Nets. Yet the dude makes the all-star team every single year so his image was not damaged by his successful scheme to get out of Toronto.

Bottom line, public perception in the NBA isn’t always very accurate or usually fair for that matter. I doubt LeBron, Carmelo or Durant will all be viewed in the same light as they are now in ten years; more than one of them will probably win the title, yet one of them may be relabeled a “Dominique,” a great player statistically but not a “champion.” Nique is still one of my favorite players ever, by the way.  Hopefully the newer generations (people like Jason Horowitz) realize how good of a player he was.

Knicks battle Nets across the river in Jersey

The New York Knicks (5-11) will face the New Jersey Nets (9-9) for the first time this season tonight at the Izod Center (Meadowlands for the old school) in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

New York may or may not have Stephon Marbury available to start at point guard, since he is still mourning the loss of his father Don Marbury. If Marbury is out, look for Mardy Collins or Nate Robinson to get the nod.

Nets point guard Jason Kidd is in a duel with Cavs forward LeBron James for near Oscar Robinsonesque triple-double averages (Kidd: 11.3p 8.7r 10.4a, James: 30.7p 7.6r 8.1a) and the Nets also have Vince Carter back in the lineup, so it would be an accomplishment for the Knicks to get their first road victory of the season against this Nets ball club. Over the past five years, the Nets have simply dominated the Knicks.

NBA.com has the preview article of Knicks-Nets 2007 round I here.

>>>

In a related story (NJ basketball), I checked out the brand new Prudential Center in Newark last night at a Seton Hall-Saint Peters college basketball game. The new arena sparkles, none of the sticky floors or crappy seating of MSG and infinitely easier to get to than the Izod center via public transportation. Of course the Knicks are supposed to be getting a new building of their own, one of these years (behind the post office/future Moynihan station) but if the Nets franchise continues to struggle securing the Brooklyn Railyards property as they have been, the Nets are invited to move into this new building which seats 18,500 and currently hosts NHL’s NJ Devils. Regardless of where they end up, once the Nets move out of the Izod Center, that arena will probably be demolished.

dsc_4871_a.jpgdsc_4883_a.jpgdsc_4884_a.jpgdsc_4887_a.jpgdsc_4894_a.jpgdsc_4899_a.jpgdsc_4911_a.jpgdsc_4915_a.jpg

Rest in peace Steph’s dad Don Marbury

Orange and Blue gave me the news, that Stephon’s dad has passed away. I’m sorry to hear it. My condolences, thoughts and prayers go out to the Marbury family during this tragic time of loss.

>>>Orange and Blue

ALERT ALERT! NEWS FLASH!

Seems like tonight after the game the locker room was closed to all for a certain amount of time, perhaps around 20-30 minutes. At first some in the NY sports circles were speculating that Thomas and Marbury had had a nother rift and the locker room had blown up b/c Marbury left the locker room soon thereafter w/o talking to any reporter.

Again random speculation was at the cusps of spinning the closed locker room and Stephon’s quick exit w/o talking to reporters into another huge player coach meltdown.

Do any of you want to know what actually happened?

Stephon Marbury was informed shortly after games end that his father had passed away.

Yes that’s right Marbury has had a personal tragedy.

My condolences to you Mr. Stephon Marbury.

I thought I’l let you guys know in the event the media is still speculating, since I got my infor from listening to the Brandon Tierney show “The Audible.”

Whatever problems criticsm, doubts you may have about Marbury the player understand the loss of a father or mother to a son or daughter is a very heavy personal tragedy.

Good night all.

Orange and Blue

Phoenix Suns come to the Garden tonight to face the New York Knicks

This is another big game for the Knicks to prove themselves against a top team in Phoenix, who come to the garden from out West with a 12-4 record.

It will be the usual suspects for the Suns with Nash, Amare, Hill, Barbosa, and Marion, guys that either have been all-stars or will be all-stars in the near future.

The Knicks have proved that they can compete against teams at home that have previously blown them out on the road, so I anticipate a closer game than the debacle in Phoenix where Marbury went AWOL in November.  Hopefully the knicks can keep their home winning streak alive tonight and make it four in a row–it all depends on defense, turnovers, ball movement and free-throws.

night and day?

what’s the difference between:

a laughing stock and a respected basketball team?

jeckle and hyde?

a playoff team and a lottery team?

the Knicks team that won last night and the Knicks team that reached a new low against Boston?

Milwaukee and Utah are decent teams, so how is it that we can beat decent teams but not show up at all against the top team? It is a mystery to me, even if Boston has blown out some of their other opponents this season as I have expected they would.

The Knicks have won three of the last four, three in a row at home, but have also been blown out more than once in their past five games.

So will the real New York Knicks please stand up?

Please stand up. Please stand up. Please stand up.

But seriously, I’m not sure exactly what NY has for a basketball team this season. Yes there are some great individual talents on the squad, but as a team, is it the playoffs, or is it a bust?