Concerned Canadian

Written by Steve Musil (atsc08@gmail.com)

The Canadian dollar has dropped steadily over the last few months. The unemployment rate rose slightly in Quebec, and there’s a Federal election in October. Right now main my concern is the Knicks.

I am and always will be a Knicks fan. It started at the age of 11, when I was predominately taller than the kids in my class, and I was told I should give basketball a try. I was horrible at first. All I could do was rebound due to my height advantage, but that was mainly it. Then in 1991, I remember catching a Knicks game on television. I was infatuated immediately. Ewing, Mason, Starks, Jackson, the X-man, Wilkins. I mean c’mon! They were gritty, they had heart, they had swagger, and a cool as ice coach in Riley. They were my team immediately, and my basketball religion. I did everything I could to get better after that, and modeled my game after Ewing and his gang wherever I could.

I have never wavered from this team, and I am not about to. I’m frustrated though and like many among me, probably have more disdain towards ownership and the shall we say “questionable” choices that upper management have made in the last decade or so. We need to (and will be) better next year. How much? Time will tell. But as much as we the fans need it, the NBA needs it, and the people of NYC certainly and deserve it.

The whole debate over whether you can make it in this league without a superstar came up a lot this season with the Hawks success. But in the end, they showed us that you do. Not having a go-to-guy to stop a 10-0 run means something. We have arguably one of the 5 best scorers in the league. I’m a Carmelo fan, and I am not here to slight him. He’s doing something I only dreamed about doing while making fade away jumpers in my driveway and on the high school courts. But Jared Dudley didn’t need to apologize for his comments on ESPN radio. A top 5 guy takes on the responsibility to garner results. Last season (or half season) that didn’t happen.

But I don’t think just because he is 31 and coming off surgery he should be written off so fast, as I’ve been hearing so much of lately. In fact, I think Carmelo will have a great year and prove his doubters wrong. He just needs help, and lots of it.

In theory everything starts and stops with him, but it also starts with the choices to be made in the next couple of weeks/months, and I hope it’s not a swing and a miss like the first few of the We’ve got a lot of holes to fill on this team, and I hope to see some filled with those of veteran Three seasons ago when things were looking great, 54 wins great, we had veterans to fill the role that according to Chauncey Billups, Anthony apparently lacks. That of a locker room “leader”. Then we went away from it. Why?

With a #4 pick, Hardaway, Galloway and Early, we need someone who can be there to mentor the young guys who remain with the team. We lost so many games last season by 2 or 3 possessions. We need guys who can come off the bench and give us 12+ quality minutes with hopefully a couple of offensive boards/put backs, blocked shots, strong defense, and make the hustle plays to save a possession. That could of been the difference in countless games (among many other things, I know).

That is why I wouldn’t even offer Bargs the vet’s minimum just because he had some good offensive games when he finally played last year. Bargnani finished the season with a -5.28. One of the worst among centers. He does not rebound well, and is a liability on the defensive end. I’m not in the locker room, but I don’t think he’s holding it down with his presence. We gave up so much for him in that trade that it’s time to end the misery and move forward.

So much to be hopeful for. A lot to look forward to. A couple more weeks, and we’ll finally have some answers to so many questions. And on October 27th, I hope it’s the start of something new and exciting. The start of a winning era for all of us who bleed orange and blue.

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