Howard Beck from the NY Times has written an interesting piece about the Knicks lack of a real roster. It is fairly obvious to anyone that takes a glance at this roster that the Knicks do not have a full roster. Not even close. While I am happy to have Carmelo on this team, there is no way you can trade half of your roster for him and expect to immediately start winning. Essentially, the Knicks traded 4 players (Moz, Felton, Chandler & Gallo) for 2 players (Melo & Billups, and this is an aging Billups). The Knicks already had the depth of Sarah Palin prior to the trade and now they are at least 2 players weaker. Most of the other players acquired in the trade should not even be on the roster next year and the only one that should be on the roster next year (Corey Brewer) was released in a rather baffling move.
This team has some good building blocks with two stars in Melo and Amare. Landry has been a fantastic find and he is just a rookie who will continue to develop. Toney Douglas is also only in his second year and it looks like he will continue to get better. Billups can provide some veteran leadership and should continue to help Douglas (though I would argue that they may be better served by cutting him and using his $14MM to help build up the bench). After that, there is not much on this roster. One of D’Antoni’s goals for the rest of the season should be to figure out what else he has on this roster but I think he is starting to worry too much about his job (and he has good reason to worry). Hopefully, Walsh or whoever runs this team next season can get us at least two thirds of a roster instead of half a roster or this team is not going to do much next season either.
The only positive about this game was that the Knicks would have won if the game was only 3 quarters long. I am not even sure if the Knicks outplayed the Celtics for the first 3 quarters or if the Celtics had a bet going about how long they could toy with the Knicks before putting them away. Here are my tips for the Knicks going forward:
- On defense everyone gets a guy and you HAVE to stay with that guy unless there is a switch and then BOTH players must switch, NOT just one of the two players. And, when there is a switch at least one of those players should announce his plans to switch out loud.
- If your name is Amare (and sometimes Carmelo) and you are being covered by multiple players that means that MULTIPLE PLAYERS ON YOUR TEAM are open and you should probably try to find one of those open guys.
- When the other team shoots, no matter how pretty the shot is you can’t just stare at the ball, you HAVE to find a player on the other team and stand near him (even better if you can try and box him out).
- If Ronny Turiaf or Jarred Jeffries have the ball on offense within 15 feet of the basket and no one is covering them then they are required to shoot the ball even if they think shooting will result in an allergic reaction.
- The fans are no longer allowed to chant M-V-P at STAT until he plays defense for an entire game.
- When you are on offense and you pass the ball to a teammate PLEASE don’t then walk over to that teammate and bring your defender with you (I wish I was only talking to Amare).
- Every game a lucky fan should get to sit in Andy Rautins’ seat on the bench, wear his uniform and basically pretend to be Rautins. D’Antoni should not be told about this promotion and we will all wait to see how long it takes him to notice.
- Derek Brown should introduce himself to D’Antoni every game at half time.
So, Derrick Brown is annoyed because he has not had very much playing time. Not a shocker that he is upset. I guess when he signed with the Knicks he did not think to ask whether he would actually play. I am just really frustrated with D’Antoni.
So I noticed there’s been a lot of players who seem to do really well against the Knicks lately. I decided to do a little research and find out how many players have had their highest scoring game this season against the Knicks. The list got big enough that I decided to call this trend the Knick Effect (formerly the Golden State Warrior Effect). So far this season 22 players have benefited from the Knick Effect.
Brandon Roy – 10/30 – 29 points
Taj Gibson – 11/4 – 18 points
Gary Forbes – 11/16 – 19 points
Derrick Brown – 11/23 – 12 points
Tayshaun Prince – 11/28 – 31 points
Rodney Stuckey – 11/28 – 29 points
Brook Lopez – 11/30 – 36 points
Andrea Bargnani – 12/8 – 41 points
Goran Dragic – 1/7 – 17 points
Ben Gordon – 1/30 – 35 points
Elton Brand – 2/4 – 33 points (Is this the Elton of 2005)
Jameer Nelson – 3/1 – 26 points
Quincy Pondexter – 3/2 – 14 points
Luke Harangody – 3/4 – 18 points
Al Jefferson – 3/7 – 36 points
Derrick Favors – 3/7 – 16 points
Tyler Hansbrough – 3/13 and 3/15 29 and then 30 points
Carlos Delfino – 3/20 – 30 points (career high)
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute – 3/20 – 19 points
Brandon Jennings – 3/25 – 37 points
Anthony Morrow – 3/30 – 30 points
Ed Davis – 4/5 – 22 points
Stephen Graham – 4/8 – 12 points
The list almost doubles if you add the 2nd highest game of the season:
Blake Griffin (44 points)
Trevor Ariza (21 points)
David Lee (28 points)
Amir Johnson (22 points)
Jerryd Bayless (23 points)
Paul Pierce (32 points)
Zydrunas Ilgauskas (14 points)
DeAndre Jordan (17 points)
Randy Foye (29 points)
Beno Udrih (29 points)
John Salmons (27 points)
Dahntay Jones (18 points)
DeMar DeRozan (36 points)
Thaddeus Young (25 points)
and let’s not forget Kevin Love’s epic game (31 points and 31 rebounds).
So that’s 37 players that love playing the Knicks. Over 50% of the games played since the Melo trade have had Knick Effect games as well. That’s something to keep an eye on. It seems like more than a coincidence at this point. At first I was thinking that maybe the Knicks pace had something to do with it, but if that were the case then wouldn’t the list be full of normally high scoring players like Kobe, LeBron and Nowitzki? How come a good portion of this list is filled with names like Pondexter, Forbes and Harangody?
I guess the point is the Knicks need to learn to play some defense and they need a big man. That was a lot of research to make that quite obvious point. Now I am going to go watch tape of the games to figure out how the Knicks could be better on defense…oh wait, I am probably just going to open a can natty light and try to forget how much I love this team.