From 0 to 40mpg in Seven Seconds or Less: Mozgov’s coming out party

Walking to the Garden last night from the train, I couldn’t help but think the game would underwhelm due to a diminished roster, thinking Stoudemire wouldn’t play, Chandler wouldn’t play, Williams definitely wouldn’t play.

I stand corrected.

I actually mentioned it in the previous post. Is Turiaf going to be New York’s Wally Pip?

Mozgov delivered on some of the promise that Donnie Walsh had seen in him last night. Some of us saw it during the world basketball summer games, when Mozgov was posting up the likes of Lamar Odom and swatting Russell Westbrook and making some of us think he was starter material. He wasn’t ready yet, and Mike D had to shorten the rotation to get the chemistry right.

Back then, even D’Antoni was praising Mozgov, calling him the most athletic player on a team that features plenty of world-class athletes.

D’Antoni can be prone to hyperbole. In a preseason game against the Wizards, D’Antoni called rookie John Wall the fastest player in the history of the NBA.

D’Antoni doesn’t mean these things; he’s merely trying to make a point. Mozgov isn’t the best athlete on the team, but he can hang with some of the best athletes. Wall may not be the fastest player in the NBA right now, but he was going to be the fastest player on the court that night.

I was surprised how quickly the Garden went from booing the Russian to chanting his name in the 4th quarter. That time is usually reserved for MVP chants for our captain Amar’e Stoudemire, yet despite the high output from Stat tonight with 33 points, tonight’s game at the Garden was special for several reasons.

The Knicks proved they could still get a victory over a lesser team despite not having their full rotation suit up. Wilson Chandler plays a big role in New York’s usual attack, and Shawne Williams has been a pleasant surprise off the bench this year, providing the best three point shooting in the NBA and playing tough defense against some of the biggest scorers in the NBA.

We had several players step up tonight in their absence. Danilo Gallinari stepped up and doubled his output, scoring 29 points and sinking four three pointers.

For the Pistons, Mt. Vernon native Ben Gordon was absolutely on fire. He had in-the-building range on his jumper tonight, and I can’t say I’m all that surprised: when Ben was a Chicago Bull he very often had big games at Madison Square Garden, a few were buzzer beaters I attended, unfortunately.

The night belonged to Mozgov though, and I’m happy for him. I think Anthony Randolph could have had a similar night had he been giving the same opportunity, and one can’t help but wonder what kind of player we have with one of the other untapped players for the New York Knicks this season: Andy Rautins. I’ve seen his quickness, ball-handling, cleverness, hops, and three point accuracy and wonder if/when Rautins will get his Wally Pip moment to shine.

In the mean time, the between time, Turiaf, I think you have more time to rest those knees up for the playoffs. One game doesn’t tell us all we need to know, but some of us saw this coming a long time ago when it comes to Mozgov. None earlier than the master, Donnie Walsh.

Extend Donnie Walsh right now damn it!

Speaking of Donnie Walsh, he is on the verge of hiring a high level consultant not named Isiah Thomas. Mark Warkentien will be one of Donnie’s guys, not sure in what capacity, but an interesting hire considering any future possible trade negotiations with Denver going forward.

Also, peep this article and check the quote from Detroit’s post with regards to Landry Fields. That would be the second opposing coach going on record to praise the rook, the first one being Larry Brown. Why do people think Knick fans are unaware of Landry Fields? Some of us have been cheering for him since before the season started, before open practice, saw his potential in the summer league, Spike Lee, sit down, your ass did not discover Landry Fields, Donnie Walsh did. There are people that sit in my section that have had custom Landry Fields hoodies since the beginning of the season, so, no, you did not discover Landry Fields.

Any praise for Fields can be directed towards the man in charge, Donnie Walsh, thank you.

Detroit Pistons (17-28) @ New York Knicks (24-22)

Check out NBA.com’s standings, hasn’t been updated in days.  The Knicks are 23-21 in their books, having won one in a row…

So, our boy the enforcer, Shawne Williams gets a one game for this? A misfire left that might have connected on teammate Landry Fields’ face?

I was feeling that lineup with Shawne Williams. We got tougher. Gallo and Mozgov can learn from Shawne.

I didn’t respect how the papers added insult to injury when mentioning the fight, they were sure to add that Shawne has had problems with drugs and the law. Before Shawne beat out EW2 for the final spot in the preseason, Donnie Walsh warned Shawne that this is probably his last opportunity in the NBA all things considered, and I thought Williams was doing a good job this year, no need to dig up dirt on a guy that may not be in the NBA for much longer if one more bad thing happens.

I like that Shawne didn’t back down, stood his ground against Starving Marvin, and I think Shawne adds a toughness to our team that isn’t always there with Wilson or Danilo. Speaking of Gallo, I thought this was a good play. Too bad he disappeared in the second half, as usual.

So, who do we have suiting up tomorrow for the TMac is back game?

Amar’e hurt his knee and is doubtful, also thanks to Starvin Marvin Williams.

Chill Will was out last night with a soar calf muscle, will he be available against Detroit?

Considering how much D’Antoni refuses to use the bench Donnie provided him with, what would the lineup look like without the aforementioned players?

PG Felton
SG Fields
SF Danilo Gallinari
PF Stoudemire?  –what if he is out with a soar knee???
C Turiaf

Bench: Douglas and Walker only.

I’m betting Chandler gets called back into the lineup, but what if he can’t play due to injury? We’ve got guys like Anthony Randolph, Timofey Mozgov, Andy Rautins, waiting in the wing for their Wally Pip moment in the season, could this finally be it?

Detroit has lost two in a row and has only won five games on the road this season.

Maybe Herb Williams should suit up.  Would D’Antoni agree to play him?

Oh yeah, KG punches Frye in the nutsack and steps underneath him a la Bruce Bowen. Dirty ass KG. If I were Frye I would have punched KG in his face.

Glad neither Frye, nor Nate is still on this team.

New York (24-21) @ Atlanta Hawks (29-16)

Looking good in that jersey, STAT!  Way to come to New York and put the team on your back and bring the Knicks back to life.

Hey, when does Raymond get his? I believe he was on course but now his numbers are down and shooting a low fg%. He still got probably the most crucial rebound last night in the great win against Miami. So far, my two favorite home games of the season are the Denver game and the Miami game. What I love about this season is I’ve never once heard any chants for Melo, even though they sell the t-shirts outside the garden after the game, #15 Melo in orange and blue, nobody buys them, not because we don’t like Melo, but because we are fans of the team that Donnie Walsh has assembled without anyone else’s assistance.

We are a solid road team and I believe we’ll show up tonight against ATL, despite it being a back-to-back on the road, we are running on adrenaline, Amar’e was just vindicated with the first all-star starter since Ew in ’92.

I think a big part of last night’s victory has to do with Gallinari. The way he draws contact is crucial to staying in the game. We need to get to the line, and when Amar’e only gets to the line four times last night, Gallo at least gets there. We have plenty of weapons in Fields, Chandler, Williams, but Toney and Raymond need to continue to look for Gallo, particularly in the second half where he is known to disappear.

With Fields, who needs Lee?  With Shawne Williams, who needs Jared Jeffries?  With Felton, who needs Duhon or Marbury?

I didn’t hear a word of what TNT thinks of our team, I prefer it that way. If I thought I needed their expertise I’d be TIVOing their bullshit. Earnie is okay, Kenny the Jet, I was a fan until Charles signed on, then Kenny had to change to accommodate Barkley’s drunken, gambling, shit-talking, hillbilly from Alabama bullshit. We walked by the three after the game and there were all kinds of true Knick heads out there letting Barkley know how New York City feels about his alcoholic gambling ass. Never won a chip either, I heard he didn’t like to practice at 100%. That’s why MJ showed his ass up twice in the finals.

ATL is no joke, 29-16, they’re one of the three teams we might be able to catch. Preview article by the Knicks can be found here.

One hour til showtime

image

Time to hit the city.

They need to hit the boards, take it to the hole, and play some semblance of defense.

The corner threes are a must–Chandler, Walker, Williams, will you make them?  They’re going to be there, wide open.  As Clyde would be quick to remind, the easiest three on the court.

I hope Amar’e knows what to do if LeBron guards him.  LeBron did a good job on Amar’e last time, kept him out of the paint.

The first time we played them we competed with them for a half, second time we stayed competitive through three quarters.  Will tonight finally get us over the hump with Bosh out?

The biggest crock I’ve read since Isiah Thomas once again starting undermining Donnie Walsh this season

My second favorite Knicks beat writer, Alan Hahn, starts today off with some tabloid that is beneath him:  We should thank LeBron James for Carmelo Anthony’s insistence on next playing for the Knicks.

LeBron gets no assist except for the casual fans that wouldn’t have bought season tickets unless they thought LeBron was coming.

The die hard remains very much aware of LeBron’s decision not to come to New York.  I think he said it best about NYK when he said:  “it’s not about saving franchises.”

Leave that to a real man, LeBron.

With regards to Carmelo’s New York state of mind, do you really think LeBron had any influence?  Its not like Melo was born and raised here, went to Syracuse, grew up with Bernard King as his hero, married a girl who loves New York to death and can’t wait to return…

>>>

You think Amar’e Stoudemire shovels his own snow when in NYC?  Peep the custom varsity jacket.  Amar’e fans know the peninsula represents his Central Florida origins.

Tonight we find out if Amar’e made the starters on the All-Star team.  I hope they give something out to the fans at MSG to commemorate the first Knick starter since my favorite Knick ever, Patrick Ewing. Then again what could be a better gift than to beat the Heat? Difficult, but not impossible.

Miami Heat (31-13) @ New York Knicks (23-21)

They won’t have Bosh, but Wade will play along with LeBron.

Want to read a great preview article on the resurgent Knicks? Check this one out.

Johnette Howard, bless you.  You seem to understand how good of a job Donnie Walsh has done putting this team together in New York.

Donnie Walsh BETTER be extended, you better believe it, Dolan.

I’m completely impressed by the amount of snow we have seen here this winter.  As I write this, I can hear the snow hitting my windows hard.  Hopefully the Knicks hit two windows hard tomorrow night at the Garden.

Washington Wizards (13-29) @ New York Knicks (22-21)

image

The Wizards have the type of front court players that have been giving the Knicks fits lately: The kind that has a pulse.

Donnie Walsh has been interviewed lately as saying the team has improved over the last two losses. I’d be inclined to agree with that assessment, however when you live by the outside shot, you die by it, and I can’t help but wonder why we won’t play Mozgov and post him up a little, get some easier shots than Felton shooting up bricks every other time down the court like Jamal Crawford used to do.

At least they woke up and smelled the coffee with respect to Gallinari in the first half. If I’m Felton, I don’t let players like Stat and Gallo disappear in the second half, I find a way to get them involved, not look for my own shot, no matter how open they are leaving me.

Douglas actually played better last game for the NYK at the PG, just bloggin’.

Everybody slumps.  The good thing about this group is they don’t give up, not like those other recent Knick teams where you can tell they were mailing it in, this Knicks team, despite the poor shooting and the sparse rebounding, fights to the bitter end against any opponent.

Thing is, must it end so bitterly as it did in Oklahoma City?

Is Carmelo pulling a LeBron?

According to this guy, he is.

Yet I see a difference between the two respective escape plans. Carmelo seems to be saying to Denver, and mind you he didn’t say this, ‘my heart is set on New York, I’m not settling for anything else when free agency comes. I’m not like LeBron who listened to offers from six teams before miraculously waking up on the right side of the bed on the day of the decision. I’m going to New York, and if you want to get something for me as my foot’s outside the door, trade me now, or forever hold your peace.’

These are the guys that handled Chris Bosh’s exodus from Toronto. They got a couple of picks from Miami after the fact, but essentially Bosh left Toronto with nothing.

Will either franchise ever be the same again?

Denver has a tough “decision” to make. It is not on Carmelo. It seems to me, Carmelo’s already made his “decision.” He’s not wrong to want to go elsewhere, he is being up front about his intentions, the antithesis of LeBron’s decision-making process.

It could be a tactic by the Russian to get New York to start its bidding

Denver continues to be a bunch of amateurs mishandling the inevitable collapse of their rocky franchise, I’m wondering if we can trust New Jersey’s word that they’ll no longer actively pursue Carmelo Anthony.

People think Carmelo is not the answer to New York’s problems.

Donnie Walsh originally wanted to pair up Amar’e Stoudemire with LeBron James.

I think Carmelo Anthony with Amar’e Stoudemire would be far more deadly of a combination.

If they want to do business, I think Wilson Chandler and Fields, plus a draft pick and Curry is as close to fair market value as New York should offer.

If they don’t want those pieces, we should just keep them and sign Carmelo Anthony in the summer.

We should not continue to make counter bids, effectively bidding against ourselves.  Carmelo isn’t going to sign with Chicago.  If he is a true Knicks fan, he grew up hating Chicago’s guts just as much as most of us did.

If Amar’e is the franchise, only Gallinari is untouchable on this roster, but I trust Donnie more than any President the New York Knicks have ever had.

Fields is great, but to call a second round rookie who averages 7 shot attempts per game untouchable when you’re talking about a potential hall-of-famer in Carmelo Anthony is stretching it.

Today is the last day for all-star voting, by the way.  Be sure to vote in Amar’e, Danilo, and Raymond and write-in Fields or Chandler, depending on who you like more.  They may both be shipped out by the trade deadline, but hopefully not…

Chandler, Fields, and a first round pick? Denver already said no?

image

Good thing Carmelo is going to wait out the season. I find this hard to believe, especially since we have yet to acquire the pick in exchange for Randolph.

Of course it is more difficult to come up with picks when the previous regime traded them all away for busts like Eddy Curry and Stephon Marbury.

Carmelo should not be compared to LeBron about this free agency hoopla, he has been very up front about his desire to play in New York, and this is Denver’s final opportunity to get something back for him.  He is doing this the right way, as is Mr. Walsh, a class act the Garden sorely needed.