The Good News, and the Bad News…

First, the bad news:

Rasheed Wallace, a key factor to the Knicks’ early success in November and December, will have surgery and is out for the remainder of the regular season and possibly the first week of the playoffs.

This is the problem with investing in old players, something Glen Grunwald apparently failed to consider when he signed 5-7 players age 35 or older.

This is a young man’s sport.

Woodson is no help on this matter, he believes veterans win in this league.  Yes, veterans win, if and when they are healthy.

Jason Kidd, Marcus Camby, Prigioni, Rasheed Wallace, Kurt Thomas, add to the list now the newest old Knick, Kenyon Martin.  This is sick.

Now, the good news:

The Knicks will advance past the first week of the playoffs.  The Knicks have time to fall and re-ascend the eastern conference standings.  The Knicks need only get healthy and hit their stride when the playoffs near.  We are months away from the playoffs, approximately 30 games away from the playoffs.

The Knicks need to figure this out.  The days of being a top defensive team are long gone.  The days of wide open 3-point shots are over.  Novak is not a factor, don’t play him.  Felton needs to regain his athleticism.  Shumpert too.  The Knicks need to step up and redefine how they are going to win.   The Knicks don’t rebound the basketball.  J.R. Smith isn’t the same player, nor is Stoudemire, though the latter appears to be headed in the right direction.

Melo needs to step up and be the leader of this team.  That doesn’t necessarily mean take more shots, rather get the team playing well together again.  This has never been Melo’s forte as he is a volume shooter, but if the Knicks are going to make any noise against top teams Miami, Indiana, Brooklyn, and anyone in the West, the Knicks must start and end the conversation with Melo, the MVP candidate that needs to start figuring out how to make the players around him better than what they currently are:  a .500 basketball team with pipe dreams of being a championship caliber team.

To Trade, or Not to Trade?

What do you think, should the Knicks make a move before Thursday’s 3PM soft deadline? I say soft because I can remember years (Isiah years) where the deadline would be 3PM then they’d announce a trade at 10PM at night.

I think the most obvious concerns are two issues any team would feel they need to improve upon:

we don’t rebound the ball well enough
we don’t play as good defensively as we did the first month of the season

Shumpert, Camby and Rasheed. How much will any of those guys give up down the stretch?

Would you trade J.R. Smith? Especially lately with his streak shooting that would make a NBA finals John Starks blush?

If you ask Melo, he says no trades.

Well, who is to say someone else won’t get hurt between now and the end of April?

We need to have depth charts at each position in case anyone else goes down.

What’s up with Amar’e, he was balling there for a minute, but is now reverting.

Amar’e is untradeable considering his contract.

I say no trades. What say you SaipanKnickster?

Why Kidd still isn’t coming off the bench

Shumpert is back, or back in the starting lineup at least. He hasn’t regained his old form from last season having fought back from the ACL tear. He’s starting at the three right now. The back court remains Jason Kidd and Raymond Felton.

Why is this?

The Knicks are almost completely healthy. What would your starting five be if they were all in shape and full strength/explosion?

I would have Felton at the one, Shumpert at the two, Wallace at the three, Melo at the four and Tyson at the five.

Okay Wallace at the three is stretching it, but Melo and Stat are better off not starting together, which brings me to this point:

Kidd is still starting because, although he is burning his candle at both ends with all these extra minutes we’d do better to use in the playoffs, he doesn’t turn the ball over. Melo is having an MVP year at the four, and so that leaves the three spot for Shumpert. Shumpert in my eyes is a two, but we don’t have another three because Smith and Novak are bench players, and Brewer has proven to have a busted jump shot.

I trust Woodson enough to figure out the rotations and chemistry. The Knicks are not a good rebounding team, and so if they’re to win consistently, they need to minimize turnovers. Stoudemire, despite being a huge factor these past 8 or so games, is a high turnover player.

I hope Kidd doesn’t get burned out before the playoffs arrive. We’ll need his playoff savvy when Felton needs a rest, Prigioni is not yet consistent enough still adjusting to the NBA game.

Yes…

It has been some time since a post of great length has been written here.

How are the Knicks doing?  Still atop the Atlantic Divison, I see.

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Brooklyn is right there, and Boston has won three in a row now that Rondo is out for the season.

Since Miami lost last night and the Knicks won, the Knicks are now just 1/2 games behind the Heat for first place in the Eastern Conference.

And we still don’t have our full team.  Not until Camby and Rasheed Wallace return will we have all of our weapons at full clip.

Shumpert has returned to the lineup, but perhaps not to his previous form, which will take time on the court to regain from injury.

Felton is playing and is driving and dishing, that’s great to see, because Kidd and Prigioni, as much as I like them both, they don’t have that explosive quickness to get in the paint.

Work has been depressing and discouraging for me lately, but on the bright side the Knicks are playing well without having to rebound very much.

The Rudy Gay trade was surprising, but I understand it was mostly a financial decision.  Memphis was kicking butt with that lineup.  I know Gay and Z-Bo weren’t the best of teammates in terms of locker room, but they made it work.  Now both will probably win less with their reconstructed teams.

I feel like we have not yet seen the full capabilities of the Knicks this year.  I also wonder if Grunwald/Isiah will be tempted to make a move before next month’s trade deadline, perhaps get a backup center (K-Mart) or even a 4th string point guard (youthier).

Shout out to those who still read here.  Saipian, Bilz, Edward, and anyone else…

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