New Pre-Game 90 Second Rule

Sometimes I just don’t get what the NBA is thinking.  There is a new 90-second pre-game rule, which gives players 90 seconds to return to the court after introductions.  The NBA says it’s to speed up the games.  They are going to ignore all of the fouls that could be no-calls resulting in free throws that slow down the game.  They’re also going to ignore how long it takes for free throws to be taken.  Can’t do away with TV times outs either.  So now we’ll miss out on awesome pre-game rituals like this

and this

Why is this a problem?  Especially the Ellis/Maggette dance.  I’d watch an entire half hour of that.

Brewer Close to Returning

It’s been reported that Ronnie Brewer is close to returning, and my in fact return to practice today.  Amar’e is also supposed to return to the starting lineup for Fridays game against the Raptors.  Knicks fans may actually get to see the starting lineup in action before the regular season starts.  Should we be excited that the Knicks starting lineup may be in tact by Friday or depressed that having all of our starters play in the same game is exciting news?

Preseason: Notes on Knicks vs Wizards

It’s hard to take anything away from a preseason game, but I’m in basketball withdrawal so I’m giving you my two cents anyway.

  • Last season the Knicks averaged somewhere between 1/2 and 1 3/4 total point guards.  This year we have 3.  Felton was slimmed down, Kidd is still a savvy veteran and the oldest rookie in NBA history Pablo Prigioni, at 35, looked very good.  He hit 4/8 from 3 point land and had a few nice dishes.
  • Chandler looked more involved on offense.  A few more games like that and teams will have to make sure they always keep an eye on him, which may cut down on double teams from Melo and Amar’e.
  • Should I even mention how much better Melo looks without Amar’e?  OK, I won’t mention it.
  • If you listen to the show you probably know Jay isn’t a huge fan of the refs.  Well this game I saw a flop by Novak called as a block and a few flops by Wizards players with no whistles at all.  There was actually a play where a player flopped on JR Smith and Smith assumed he’d get called for a foul and stopped playing.  I like the non-calls and the block calls on flops.  Good start refs!  Now lets see how those are called when the Knicks play the 3 evil stepsisters from Miami.
  • I’m officially hoping John Shurna gets the last spot.  I need to see more of that wacky shot of his.

Episode 148: Preseason

Jay and Marc are getting excited as preseason has officially begun.  Soon we can stop the speculation and talk about things that have actually happened.  For now we comment on preseason, how far this group can go, the expected tempo of play, why Jay defends the Celtics and more.  Download Episode 148

A league without fouls

No Foul

The year: 2013. Thanks to the new penalties instituted by the NBA in October of 2012, all flopping has been eliminated from the game. But these rules didn’t go nearly far enough. Players have responded by diminishing their core strength and maintaining a high center of gravity, increasing their chances of falling over legitimately. Gregg Popovich has pioneered the “reverse screen,” intended to channel the on-ball defender into his check at a high speed. Dirk Nowitzki now spends entire offensive possessions on one leg, and Nike has teamed up with Dwyane to market the first set of high heels for basketball, the “Pump Fakes.”

Massive discontent with this state of affairs led to the recent ouster of David Stern as commissioner. He has been replaced by Jeff Van Gundy, whose first act was to abolish the foul in the NBA. These rule changes have paved the way for a new superteam, destined to dominate the postseason for years to come.

STARTERS:
Gilbert Arenas
J.R. Smith
Metta World Peace
Kevin Love
Jordan Hill

RESERVES:
Jason Kidd
Tony Allen
Stephen Jackson
Gerald Wallace
Jason Smith
Kevin Garnett
Andrew Bynum

The starting backourt of J.R. Smith and Gilbert Arenas is the best in the league at containing dribble penetration. Continue reading

The Ballad of Rasheed Wallace: What the Knicks Off-Season Tells Us

In case you missed it, the New York Knicks signed Rasheed Wallace. Thirteen year old Jesse would be ecstatic with this move. Truth be told, I wore number “30″ for ‘Sheed when I played basketball in middle school. The big question, despite my teenage joy, is what does this mean? Despite the fact that Wallace is out of shape and currently boxing to get ready for the NBA season (anyone familiar with Rasheed’s past finds that sentence hilarious), the Knicks are still counting on him. They keep saying that they’ll need him for the playoffs, but I’m not too sure. Let’s take a look at this and try to answer the question: “Why did the Knicks sign Rasheed Wallace?”

Option 1) They thought he’d be fun to have around.
This is fair. I’m sure Rasheed will be fun to have in the locker room and could keep the players happy. He’s a generally gregarious guy who, despite his many indiscretions early in his career, is a pretty well-liked player. Maybe that’s why the Knicks gave him a contract?

Option 2) He has good numbers in the playoffs.
His main playoff years, with Detroit (he played a strong majority of his playoff games with the Pistons), were not terribly great. This is mostly because of the Pistons team strategy back then (gauge the other team’s eyes out, er, keep the games low scoring) and less of a problem with him. He does have experience, though, having played 177 postseason games in his career. That experience can’t hurt, I guess.

Option 3) He is buddies with Mike Woodson.
This is the one that’s actually right. The two are close and, with Rasheed being closer to Woodson’s age than most players (Wallace is 38), it’s possible Woodson just wanted to hook up a friend.

The fact that the nepotism that plagues the Knicks carried over to Coach Woodson is an absolute shame, but hopefully it doesn’t come back to bite the Knicks in the ass. I would’ve rather had Scotty Machado to challenge at the point or another aging Euroleague star, but I guess he’ll do.

Written by Jesse Schneiderman.  You can see more of his work at The Cult Jar and you can follow him on twitter at @thecultjar and @JesseOneT