Crawful down the stretch

They gave it away. The Knicks played a great game until the last few possessions. Two very costly turnovers with under three minutes remaining in the basketball game, and the gap between the 8th and final playoff spot, and the New York Knicks is further widened.

You win together as a team, and you lose together as a team, but if you saw the ending of this basketball game, you had to notice the veteran point guard leadership of the recently acquired Mike Bibby, and you simultaneously had to notice the errors committed in the Knicks’ back court.

2:11 remaining in the game: Knicks are up 91-90. Crawford’s bad pass is intercepted by the Hawks.

1:20 remaining: Knicks are still up 91-90. Crawford is called for an offensive foul off some good acting by an apparently still moving Mike Bibby. Indeed a bad call, but in your home building you get those calls some times in the NBA.

0:54 remaining: Knicks are down 91-92 because Bibby threw up an alley to the impressive Josh Smith. Back on offense, the Knicks make a play that swings the ball around the perimeter to a wide open Crawford for a baseline three point shot–no good. Perhaps someone else should have taken the shot since Crawford’s shooting was off tonight. That sounds familiar to me for some reason.

0:35 remaining: Crawford buys Bibby’s pump fake out on the perimeter, Bibby hits a wide open 20 footer to make it 91-94.

The ball game was essentially over at that point.

Zach was a beast tonight with 24p 15r 1bl, but when Quentin, Lee and Crawford combine from the floor to make just 14 of 43 shots (32%), it is no wonder the team that was able to execute down the stretch came out of Atlanta with a victory tonight. The Knicks are doing a better job limiting turnovers, but this time around, the few turnovers they did commit, unfortunately came during the most crucial part of the game.

Knicks at Raptors

Good win the other night by our Knicks. Jamal got hot, Zach had another solid game, and Lee came in off the bench and produced. So we were able to close them out, but like so many of the defenders have said already, Jamal isn’t always going to shoot like that, so the keys to a victory today up in Toronto may be a little different. Jamal, when he gets going like that, is fun to watch however. As Gus Johnson would say, “Crawford has in-the-gym range!”

The game time tonight is slated for 6pm.

The Knicks have to take care of the basketball, play tight defense, and, like everybody’s been saying lately, move the ball. If they do these things, can they make it two on a row? In a few hours we find out.

I did get to see some of the #2 Tennessee vs #1 Memphis last night, what a great game. This guy Prince on Tennessee is just a heck of a competitor, they gave it 110% in terms of rebounding and defense and knocked out the undefeated Memphis to take their #1 ranking in the nation.

Derrick Rose looked like the real deal. We’ll see more from him during March Madness, but just going from last night, he can be a leader in the NBA. He had 24, 5, 5 and did whatever the game required him to do at that moment. Good ability to go coast to coast and finish at the rack, solid defense, got his teammates involved, can drive to the basket and take a hit, can pull up and stick the jumper, reminds me a little of D Wade. He might be a little short to play the two guard in NBA, but we’ll have to wait and see how his game translates at the NBA level. Dumars was a hall of fame two guard and he was the same height as Rose. Right now it looks like Rose or Beasley will go #1 and #2 in the draft, Beasley did had 44 and 13 last night, but his team also lost.

Free Wilson Chandler!

Trade Deadline is Today

Tough break last night getting blown out by 40 points after such a great ending just 24 hours prior, when the Knicks pulled out the overtime victory in D.C. Either there was no gas in the tank, or Philly just has New York’s number this year, blowing the Knicks out three out of four times on the season.

There were some positives in the game once you got passed the sting of the blowout. Wilson Chandler dusted off his warm-ups, cleared away the cobwebs and came in and shot 50% from the floor, including some nice drives to the basket. Chandler finished with 8 points and 1 block in 11 minutes of second half play. This kid never sees the light of day despite being the 23rd pick in the first round in 2007. I know he can help with some things, he is a shot blocker on a team with no shot blockers, and those nights when Q isn’t fully Q, I just wonder why Wilson doesn’t get an opportunity to test the NBA waters with his seldom utilized talent.

And Eddy Curry at least contributed offensively in the first half, finishing with 12 points 6 rebounds and 1 block in 24 minutes. Something is better than nothing, and we’ve been getting a whole lot of nothing from Eddy Curry lately. Unfortunately, Eddy’s scoring coincided with the early hole the Knicks dug for themselves, and once they went through that stretch of 4 straight turnovers, there was no coming back. What a difference a year makes. This time last year, I was so pissed Eddy was not on the all-star team, he deserved to be on there–he really was effective when we force-fed him the ball. Eddy is basically a non-factor when he isn’t the first option on a team. And most the NBA knows even if Eddy does get the ball everytime, he’s still not going to play defense on the other end of the court.

The game was not competitive.

So it is a matter of hours before the trade deadline is here, and I have absolutely no idea if the Knicks will make a move. Rather than try to cook up a homemade rumor, I’d like to know who you think the Knicks should keep on their roster beyond 2008. Although I like quite a few players on the Knicks, Zach, Nate, Lee, Renaldo, to name a few, I don’t think there should be any players that are off limits if you can somehow get back young, defense-oriented players, because that to me has been their greatest problem this season, the abysmal defense that allows the opponents their choice of going to the hole for an easy bucket, or shooting wide open j’s all day. The knicks must try to address this issue either by 3:00pm today, or come draft day in June.

The Knicks are on the clock.

Knicks at Sixers

Check out the picture of Eddy Curry on the Knicks home page and tell me, that was the best they could do? That photo is very harsh.

The five guys that played outstanding team basketball last night: Nate Robinson, Jamal Crawford, Zach Randolph, Quentin Richardson (keep it up!), David Lee. that sounds like a starting five in the east to me, but with Eddy Curry reportedly on the market, look for Lee to continue to come off the bench since his production is basically independent of starting or coming off the bench.

Apparently nothing more happened between Nate and Zach after the drink/towel-throwing incident on the bench–winning can have that healing effect on a team.

I think Zach is starting to play better defense. He’s not going to block many shots, but he’s at least staying with his man and sometimes even forcing steals. Now if the knicks could just improve their zone… I won’t say it. There are 29 games left to play, and the Knicks are 16-37. just take it one game at a time.

Disrespectful words

Some people have understandably objected to the use of certain offensive words other people have been using on this public forum. It was never my intent for free speech to be abused in this way.

To show respect towards all bloggers, there must be a banned words list, there is no way around it. There is no age cutoff for this website, no parental guidance on this website.

As of right now, there are only two words on the banned list, and they are variances of the same word.

This is a serious matter. I want all the people who have been offended by reading any objectionable words on this website to email me these exact words [ knicksdefense at gmail.com ] so that we can take care of this problem once and for all. This is your opportunity so speak up now, or forever hold your peace.

I will somehow communicate with you the final list of banished words so that people know which words are off limits. Once the list is in play, all posts containing these words will automatically be deleted. Furthermore, if the blog software accidentally screens you somehow although you are not using any offensive words, those posts will also be deleted, and not recovered. The best thing to prevent this from happening is to never use the banned words to begin with. That’s just the way it goes with software, as many of you have complained previously when this software was implemented before.

Trying to circumvent this rule by coming up with alternate derogatory words in other languages is just as offensive, so please don’t try it, it is still disrespectful.

Saturday Night All-Star Festivities

Overall I’d say it was an entertaining evening throughout, the skills contest, three point shootout and the dunk contest.

Watching Chris Paul move through that obstacle course, I thought he’d definitely win because the guy is so quick and precise with his maneuvers, but it ended up being being Deron Williams who took home the trophy with the the best skills. Good for Deron.

I couldn’t believe that the Spurs won that team shootout game because they had Tim Duncan and David Robinson anchoring their team. Those guys always could score. And Becky Hammon impressed me with her range as well.

I was a bit disappointed in the three point shootout because I thought Kobe Bryant was going to be competing, yet they still had some great shooters going at it: Dirk, Peja, Kopono, Daniel “Boobie” Gibson, Rip Hamilton and Steve Nash. Turns out Kopono hasn’t been playing much at all this season, but he still shot the ball lights out the best of the night and congrats to him for beating out all the other great shooters. Lord knows he’s been a knicks killer in the past with that jumper.

In terms of creativity and athleticism, the dunk contest was great. Lots of new and innovating things were tried, especially the behind-the-backboard dunks. But I’m getting pretty sick of the judges fudging up the scores. I knew without a doubt that Dwight was going to win before anybody even tried a dunk because he got robbed last year and the judges probably felt guilty about giving the sticker on the backboard dunk a 45 or whatever BS number they gave it last year.

The judges absolutely do not know what is going on, and only got maybe 30% of the dunks right in terms of scoring. Even Magic Johnson said it best, “three of us never dunked it before,” although he was joking, I do think that certain people got robbed with low scores.

Birthday cake. That was the second best dunk of the night. Highly impressive. That should have been a 50, no doubt about it, because it was new, innovative, athletic. They gave it a 46.

Don’t get me wrong, Dwight deserved the title, but I doubt one of his 50’s was even a real dunk, but a throw down from above the rim.

Anybody have any predictions for today’s all-star MVP? I’m going to guess that Kobe wins it, because I think the west will get the W with Kevin Garnett out with injured abdominals. If the east wins, probably Dwight or LeBron will get the trophy.

Knicks Down Time

Well they finally pulled it off, congrats to the Knicks for breaking their losing streak against the Bucks. I thought for sure once Crawford lost the ball during the isolation play at the top of the key, that the Knicks would give the game away because that has been their M.O. this season. Yet we do well in that building, and it was this time last season that Eddy Curry hit that three point shot at the buzzer to push overtime, Eddy came away with a career high that game of 43 and the knicks got the victory as they did this past Saturday.

With the next game slated for Wednesday night in Boston, the Knicks can rest up for a few days and meditate on how they were able to close out the Bucks on the road Saturday night. The Knicks have let so many games slip between their fingers, if they could figure it out immediately, the playoffs would still be a remote possibility.

I honestly don’t take much pleasure in watching other NBA teams when the Knicks are off. We have NBA league pass in our home, but that is because my brother is an Orlando Magic fan, otherwise, there would be no reason to have it, I only follow the Knicks.

But I have no problem watching NCAA division I basketball, and with the Knicks at the bottom of the Atlantic Division, I am going to try these last few weeks before March Madness to keep track of the up-and-comers with scheduled TV appearances. If trends continue, the Knicks may be in a position to draft one of these young talents.

As of 02-11-08, these are the top five projected lottery picks listed on nbadraft.net. I wouldn’t read too much into projections at this time, but it does give us an outline to lookup some televised games.

Michael Beasley 6′ 9″ 235lbs SF from Kansas State Wildcats (freshman)

2-13 on ESPN2 versus Texas Tech 9pm

2-20 on ESPN versus Nebraska 9pm

2-25 on ESPN versus Texas 9pm

3-1 on ESPN versus Kansas 9pm

Derrick Rose 6′ 3″ 195lbs PG from Memphis Tigers (freshman)

2-23 on ESPN versus Tennessee 9pm

DeAndre Jordan 7′ 0″ 250lbs C from Texas A&M Aggies (freshman)

2-16 on ABC versus Oklahoma State 3:30pm*

2-18 on ESPN vesrus Texas 9pm

3-1 on ESPN versus Oklahoma 2pm

3-5 on ESPN2 versus Baylor 9pm

3-8 on CBS versus Kansas 4pm*

Eric Gordon 6′ 4″ 220lbs SG from Indiana Hoosiers (freshman)

2-16 on ESPN versus Michigan State 9pm

2-19 on ESPN versus Purdue 7pm

2-26 on ESPN versus Ohio State 7pm

Brook Lopez 7′ 0″ 260lbs C from Stanford Cardinal (sophomore)

2-16 on ABC versus Arizona 3:30 pm*

*check your local listings

Pacers at Knicks

New post for tonight’s game which starts at 7:30pm.

Feels like summer outside today, that’s not something I’m used to in February in NYC.  Hey, I’m not complaining.

Quite a few trades have been going down the past week, none of which involve the Knicks, of course.

Shaq’s quote today was that he told Nash, “I won’t let you down,” in their discussion on the phone.  I remember Shaq praising Steve Nash during Steve’s Dallas days, saying then that Nash was one of the most exciting players in the league, now the two are teammates.

Right now the knicks are at the bottom of the ocean.  That’s not Isola talking, that’s damn truth when you look at the standings.  I respect peaceman for his unwavering belief that this team is still in it, but the time for results and wins was about two weeks ago.  Right now the knicks need to reel off about seven in a row to be significant again for the LAST playoff spot.

Just bloggin’

Go Giants!

yo, just wanted to say Go Giants and wish everyone a fun superbowl today.  I’m not really a football guy, but I do think New York deserves some glory so I’ll be rooting for the home team today and hope that we can overcome that 12 point spread that vegas is predicting right about now.

Let me know what time the barbecue starts so I can stop by for a plate.  If you see a green honda civic in your driveway that’s just starburyfan saying whats up!  Enjoy the game homies.