The Knicks kick out the jams in their first game of the 2008-2009 season tonight against the Heat. A prolific leader, Olympic gold medalist and 2006 NBA champion Dwayne Wade will be suiting up against the Knicks, as well as Shawn Marion and rookie Michael Beasley.
I believe in fresh starts. This is still very much the previous guy’s team, but we’ve got a new point guard in Chris Duhon, a Wilson Chandler that actually gets playing time (and is doing something with said PT) and a new front line assembly in David Lee and Zach Randolph. Where they were once seemingly mutually exclusive, they are now starting together and showing signs of what Clyde likes to call “cohesion.” Gallo may be a factor later into the season, but I doubt it will be tonight.
The Knick defense probably still blows, but the Knicks are going to put the ball in the basket, especially the seattle boys Jamal Crawford and Nate Robinson, the latter of which led the Knicks in scoring during the preseason.
The odd guys out from last year are probably going to be Stephon Marbury and Eddy Curry, but maybe one of two can be moved soon so that they can play for somebody else. All signs indicate they may not be key players in Mike D’Antoni’s system.
I have night class tonight so I’ll have to TIVO the game, but feel free to post any key observations on the game on here. Sometimes watching a TIVOed game is better than live because you can go right through free throws and commercial breaks. The key is not to talk to anyone who knows who won the game before you get home.
Howard Beck of the New York Times has a nice article out on the recent concerns of Donnie Walsh and the New York Knicks.
The Knicks still need to get down to the maximum number of players of 15. Currently they have 16 on the roster, but some of their 16 are old, washed-up expensive players that nobody wants.
Beck thinks it is down to Anthony Roberson and Patrick Ewing, with Ewing the likely candidate to be waived.
I bet it is Roberson, but wished it was Jerome “worthless for 13 million dollars” James. James has arguably been the worst Knick in decades and, for the most part, symbolizes some of the previous regime’s expensive and easily-avoided mistakes over the past four years.
If Eddy Curry isn’t careful he could be headed along that same sad path.
“It’s uncanny how he shoots the basketball,” D’Antoni said. “It’s ridiculous. Everything that goes up, you know it’s going in.”
He’s talking about Allan Houston. The last person to speak of Houston with such glow? Rudy T. when he was coaching the 2000 Team USA that brought home the gold (same team with Vince Carter jumping over 7’2″ Fred Weis).
The difference of course being that Houston has leg problems now at 37 that he did not have at 29 on Team USA. Those must have been great times for Houston, going from the Finals appearance in 1999 to the gold medal in 2000. I believe he had a child shortly after the Olympics as well.
If D’Antoni is bright enough he may be able to use Houston the way some of these career spot-up shooters like Craig Hodges, Steve Kerr, Dennis Scott were able to contribute in such a one-dimensional way.