There is growing talk that the option for Billups will not be picked up. Which is kind of interesting since only a few weeks ago Billups was being discussed as a long-term solution at PG.
Either way it seems fairly clear to me that Billups is not the long-term answer at PG and the team needs to really start moving forward next year. In the short-term, Billups is clearly taking a while to adapt to D’Antoni and vice versa. But, even if D’Anton and Billups end up on the same page, Billups is past his prime and his skills will only diminish over the next few years. A better solution would be to pair Toney Douglas up with maybe a less expensive veteran PG or with another developing PG who has the speed to keep up with the fast PGs the Knicks encounter night after night.
Of course, once the Knicks decide to buyout Billups this trade will look even more lopsided as they will have given up a young and developing PG, Raymond Felton and received very little in return. The Knicks, however, need to be realistic and know when it is time to move forward.
The Knicks need to concentrate on building around Amare and Carmelo this off-season and if they keep Billups they will have little cap space to work with as Billups would get $14MM if his option is picked up. They would get $11MM off the cap if they let Billups go ($14MM – $3MM buyout for Billups) and they could use that money to add some much needed size and depth.
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The Knicks cannot even beat the Bobcats. Are they are going to win another game this season? Do they have a legitimate shot at an epic collapse? I think the only reason the Knicks are going to make the playoffs at this point is because with 9 games to go even if they lose every game they may still end up with the 8th seed. So here is a basic recap that you could use for any game lately:
- This game was close but then the Knicks lost control of the game in the _______ (insert quarter).
- _________ (insert name of superstar) had a really poor shooting night tonight and was noticeably upset at himself for how he played.
- The Knicks had a ton of trouble containing ___________ (insert name of mediocre player from the other team) who had one of his best performances of the season.
- Coach D’Antoni inexplicably gave _______ (insert name of crappy bench player) a bunch of minutes tonight while unexpectedly sitting ________ (insert name of crappy bench player) for much of the game.
- The Knicks overall looked confused on __________ (insert word: defense or offense) for long stretches tonight.
- Hopefully, the Knicks will be able to get their pizazz back in their next game against _________ (insert name of next opponent who will clobber them).
This is just getting awful. The only explanations that make sense any more is that the team is doing this on purpose to get rid of D’Antoni or that Ashton Kutcher, with the Knicks help is going all out for the new season of Punk’d.
Download Episode 50
Man this team is tough to watch. It is like the same old awful show night after night. I don’t even know what to say. And, the 4th quarter was a disaster. So I am going to focus only on the positives. Here are 10 positive things about tonight’s Knicks game:
- Not a single player died from radiation poisoning during tonight’s Knicks game.
- If the Knicks keep playing this way they will have more time to spend with their families this April.
- Bucks fans visiting MSG for their first time had a fun night.
- Jay gets to update his Knicks Effect column (Brandon Jennings: season high 37 points).
- Jared Jeffies only was allowed to play for 2 minutes tonight (I would knock the 18 minutes Anthony Carter played but he was +10 on the night).
- Amare scored more than 13 points…YAY!
- The Knicks defense held the Bucks to only 102 points which would have produced a win in most of the pre-Carmelo games so NICE LOCKDOWN D.
- Knicks fans who missed tonight’s game didn’t really MISS tonight’s game (to rip-off Office Space).
- With 13 total assists tonight, the Knicks refused to fall for the conventional wisdom that a good offense involves passing.
- Anthony Randolph had 24 points and 15 rebounds tonight…way to finally show off that potential!
I GUESS THIS WASN’T AS POSITIVE OF A LIST AS I HAD HOPED…DOHHHHHHHHHHH
It is halftime in the Minnesota-Dallas game, Anthony Randolph has played 19 minutes and has 23 points and 6 rebounds. Thank you Mike D’Antoni. You are truly a coaching genius.
If the Knicks don’t pick up Billups and his 14MM contract then DeAndre Jordan would be a great guy to go after. He could clog the middle and really help us on the boards. Who else would you guys like to see the Knicks go after?
The NY Post reports that the Knicks are confident their problems can be fixed. It would have made for a more interesting story if the Knicks said “yeah, there is no way we can fix this, we were thinking of just burning down MSG for the insurance money.”
While the Knicks are playing poorly right now it is pretty obvious that everyone is overreacting. But, we should all get used to article after article about this. At least, Lebron feels our pain. I am guessing this will be a rather long off-season with constant discussions about whether the Knicks are going to be able to fix their problems.
Are the Knicks just not getting a lot of sleep? It is as if this team fell asleep once again in the 4th quarter. Throughout the first 3 quarters the Knicks seemed to have their act together. They were not making as many mistakes on defense, they actually moved the ball on offense (well some of the time) and Ronny Turiaf actually shot the ball FIVE times. Then the 4th quarter started and the Knicks started rushing shots on offense and just playing sloppy defense. Some points from tonight:
- While Turiaf is clearly no match for Dwight Howard, he is still their best guy covering him, so why did he only play 19 minutes?
- Was Amare imitating Carmelo’s Detroit game? Though in the 4th Carmelo and Amare had a couple of pick and roll plays where they looked completely in sync and Knicks fans could only dream of the possibilities.
- I am thinking of putting a picture of the pre-Carmelo trade Landry Fields on a milk carton.
- The Magic had 14 more rebounds than the Knicks tonight. Knicks google phrase “boxing out”.
- Billups slow tempo style on offense is not to be watched while operating heavy machinery.
- Why does Jared Jeffries even put his hands up on offense?
- Does Stan Van Gundy tell Hedo Turkoglu and Brandon Bass that they played awesome tonight or does he rip them for ONLY having very good games against the Knicks?
- At least the Knicks are clearly the best sub-.500 team in the NBA this side of Cleveland.
Check out the box score from last night’s Wizards game. What happened to the roster. You have to feel a little bad for John Wall.
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.