Wanted Dead or Alive

Knicks take on Bruce Bowen and the Spurs tonight, and if there's one thing I know, it's that Isiah Thomas is all about loyalty and revenge. Expect to see some downright chippiness, and hopefully the ankle-twisting of Cal State Fullerton's finest. I'm gonna be very disappointed if Isiah doesn't instruct his boys to get some payback.

Pounding the Rock knows what's up.

Same Knicks, Different Day

Well, you certainly can't complain that the Knicks are unpredictable. Our beloved scoundrels manage to lose in just about the same way every time. Last night's game in Houston was no exception. Easy layups and wide open threes were once again the poison of a Knicks team that hit its shots and kept track of the ball on the other end. The fact that the Knicks shot a decent 43% and only had 9 turnovers, yet still lost, tells us that that whole Suns' concept of simply running and out-gunning the other team might not apply here. It's time to settle down a little bit and eliminate those open shots. Credit has to be given to Yao Ming, as well. I've never been a fan of his, but god DAMN did he bring it last night. He had a monster game and looked truly dominant down low.

Yeeeeeah...That can't happen.

Another point of concentration has to be the way the team starts games. Isiah, from the game recap seems completely unconcerned with such.
``I am really proud of how hard we fight and I told my players that,'' he said. ``Right now, we don't need to focus on losses because if we keep playing hard, we are going to get better as the season goes on.''
Isiah needs to reach a little farther back in his memory. The Knicks have, in 5 of 6 games, fallen behind early, a fact that can be attributed primarily to lack of effort. This needs to be addressed. Playing hard for 12 minutes doesn't qualify as solid effort, and doesn't win games.

On the positive side, the platoon of guys that Zeke sent at T-Mac did a pretty good job at settling him down. I was also pleased to see Kelvin Cato getting some minutes on Yao, as well as attempts to go small with Balkman, Lee, and Rose. If anything, there should've been more of this. Finally, Nate's dunk off of a Marbury (Crawford?) miss was among the sickest things I've ever seen in my life. If someone can find a video or photograph of this, I beg of you to alert me. It'll surely be on Friday's Courtside Countdown, but I don't know if I can wait a week to see it again.

Anyway, the thoroughly battered Knicks have to take on the Spurs tonight. As I mentioned, the key to staying competitive in games like this, is to start the 1st quarter with the same kind of energy that's been keeping the games close in the fourth quarter. Hopefully the movement and flow that was evident at the end of last night's game will carry over into this one. Let's do this.


La Di Da Di, The Knicks Like to Party

Finally, the day has come. You've heard it in the Garden and on commercials, and now you can bring it into your home. That's right, Doug E. Fresh's "Take Me Home", the Knicks remix that debuted in 2001, is finally available to download. For those of you who are feeling befuddled and empty for never having heard this song, the lyrics go a little something like this (off the top of my head):

(Sung to the tune of John Denver's "Take Me Home, Country Roads")

Chorus:Take me home, take me home
To the place I was born
New York City, East New York now
Take me home, take me home

Then comes the hot fire of Mr. Fresh. Again, from my own memory:

East side crew, West Side crew/ True New Yorkers wear orange and blue
Uptown crew, Downtown crew/ True New Yorkers Wear orange and blue
Brooklyn crew, Harlem crew/ True New Yorkers wear orange and blue

Repeat Chorus.

Anyway, that's the gist of the song. It's on just about every Knicks commercial now, and they play it at least twice during every game. It pains me to see a rap legend like Doug E. Fresh having his career come to this. I'm considering forking over the 99 cents, if only to feel like I'm helping him get out of this lowlight of his career.

This kinda goes along with this post from the Basketball Jones, about team marketing slogans. An investigation of NBA team theme songs might be similarly entertaining.

Knicks-Rockets Tonight

The Knicks take on the sizzlin' Rockets this evening down at the Toyota Center. This is a statement game for the Knicks, as the Rockets are a talented, healthy team. The hot shooting of Crawford and QRich is gonna have to continue, as Yao and T-Mac are surely gonna fill it up for Houston. One thing to look for is the matchup on Yao. I assume it will be Curry's job at the beginning, but expect to see former Rocket Kelvin Cato or even Malik Rose in there to spell the foul-prone starter.

Here's an article about Crawford's newfound touch, from the Star Ledger. My favorite part is this gem from Steve Francis...
"I don't want to jeopardize my career for one game," he said. "You have to be smart about certain situations."
Take your time, buddy. Seriously. No rush. Take a vacation.

By the way the over-under on number of times that Walt Frazier says "Skip to my Lou" tonight stands at 5.


Knicks-Nuggets Recap

Alright, now that I've had a night to sleep on it, let's talk about last night's game. I didn't catch the whole thing, and seem to have missed the part where Crawford got 35 points. I'd like anyone who caught that part of the game to let us know, in the comments section, how that crazy kid scored that much.

Anyway, some notes:
- Fact: We just won a game against a team with at least one talented center.
- Fact: Eddy Curry played 13 minutes and did just about nothing except pick up 5 fouls.
- Opinion: Malik Rose doesn't look bad when his only role is to play defense. He can guard a wide range of big men.
- Opinion: Curry wouldn't have been able to guard Kenyon Martin, had he been healthy.
- Observation: Kelvin Cato looks to be in decent shape. He can get off the ground pretty quickly.
- Question: What do we do with Curry now? (I'm NOT saying that he should be benched or traded based on one game. I'm just saying that perhaps we need to amend his role on the team?)

There's just no place for Eddy's interpretive dancing.

- In my mind, Frye's struggles are entirely mental. You can't just lose your shooting touch and your moves like that. I wonder if he has a bad relationship with Isiah, because his decision-making, shot selection, and body language do not look good at all. I think it's the guards' responsibility to get him back in his flow. His midrange touch is vital to opening up the court.

- I mentioned it last night, but that Crawford shot was the earliest turning point in this young Knicks season. Let us recall: Crawford dribbles away the clock for a few seconds, then steps out to about 30 feet and tries to throw an over-the-shoulder cross-court pass to no one in particular. The ball is easily picked off by J.R. Smith, but Crawford snaggles it back from Eduardo Najera on the fast break. I make a noise that sounds something like a whale miscarrying. Crawford, in a 4 on 2 situation, with 4 seconds left, releases a fadeaway 30-foot three pointer. A foreign creature bursts out of my chest, "Alien" style. The shot somehow connects. I cry and laugh at the same time. J.R. Smith narrowly misses a tip-in off an Anthony free throw, and the Knicks are victorious.

Moments like this make me wish I hadn't eaten that fourth burrito.

What if that play went differently? Crawford made an idiotic pass and took one of the stupidest shots of his entire career. If he missed that shot, the New York Media would have Crawford, Isiah, Channing Frye, Channing Frye's mother, Mark Wahlberg, and all of Sly and the Family Stone on the chopping block. Not one person would be spared from the fury. Knicks fans and writers alike would be gnashing their teeth at the inexplicable follies and misconceptions of this Knicks team. When that shot went 'splash' it momentarily preserved this Knicks season as we know it.

So let us rejoice and look forward. The season is young, and the Knicks have shown flashes. We've certainly had our share of excitement so far. Rockets on Friday, kids.

Finally, check out these game-related posts from other sites:
Nugg Doctor
Yay Sports


Boy oh Boy!

Man, if Crawford missed that inexplicable three at the end there, I woulda stayed in my room for the next 3 weeks, slowly growing a beard and eating Skittles by the light of my lava lamp. Not only did he almost throw the ball away, but he put up a retarded three in a 4 on 2 situation. I guess when you're hot, you're hot. The Knicks looked a lot better this evening, against a fairly talented team. Carmelo Anthony is crazy good. What they say about him improving over the summer looked truer than ever.

Anyway, Crawford had his breakout game....Channing Frye, where you at!?

It feels good. More in the morning.

Knicks-Nuggets Tonight

Hey. Plenty of news. China reports that Steve Francis will miss some time with that ankle sprain. In related news, if I ever cross paths with Bruce Bowen, I'm gonna throw a box of Good & Plenty over his head, and when he jumps to catch it, I'm gonna put two bear traps under his legs. Bitch bastard.

I wouldn't waste the good candy on catching a Bowen.

Anyway, the Knicks take on the Gold Lumps of Denver this evening. As is the case with most teams, Denver's guards should be a problem. Especially so, because the Nuggets have some depth at the guard position, with Andre Miller, Earl Boykins, and J.R. Smith all fleet of foot and threats to hit the jumper. I was gonna say something about Marcus Camby meeting with his former teammates, but uhhh....not one of these guys played with him in New York. Kinda weird. It'd be funny if somehow this confused him.

"Watch out for Latrell."

My powers of prediction are pretty good when it comes to the Knicks, and I'm gonna venture a guess that this is the game they finally come out of their shell. They don't have the defensive liability of Francis, and the Nuggets are juuuust dysfunctional enough that they could shit the bed.

Finally, here's this article from USA Today, with some comments by Isiah. The man sure does love to talk, doesn't he?


Basketball Without Borders?

Quick post today, as I'm still reeling from that Spurs loss. I generally don't like reading things without pictures, but this article from the Houston Chronicle notes that U.S. Ambassador John Bolton took the U.N. Security Council to last night's game.

Highlights include David Stern- who gets off to foreigners- greeting the guests.
NBA commissioner David Stern, no stranger to diplomacy, handed out caps from both teams to the ambassadors."We think that basketball is the international language," he said, "It brings people together."
Is he saying that basketball is the preferred language at the U.N.? I did not know. I always thought it was Esperanto or something.

" Jump shot. Slam dunk, halftime, double dribble? Mateen Cleaves."

Bolton himself had a fine quip, stating that watching the Knicks was like "negotiating in the Security Council". I really wanna see the Security Council now. When I watch the Knicks I am extremely profane, break television remotes, and fart a lot. If the U.N. is anything like this, then someone get me a baby-blue helmet STAT.

Finally, there was someone there named Wang Guangya Wang. Which is a fun name.


Spurs 105, Knicks 93

This game can be only be described in phases. The Knicks looked entirely different through different portions of the game.

Act One- The Beginning:
-The guys just aren't starting games well. It seems like no one wants to get the basket except for Richardson. Marbury and Francis make absolutely no effort to do anything and Frye still looks like a big pussy.
-I'm pretty sure that if they ran the 3 point contest with Marbury, Francis, and Richardson on D, guys would still put up big numbers. In fact, they might do better.

Spurs guard Ethan Hawke burns Stephon Marbury

Act II- The Downfall:
-Shit just gets out of hand. Francis goes down and the threes start raining, particularly from Brent Barry aka "Bones" aka "Hieronymus Bosch" and the dirtiest player on earth, Bruce Bowen. (Bowen is the culprit on Francis' ankle turn. Clyde said that there was "no malice" but Bowen cleary stuck his foot out to undercut Stevie. Francis stuck the shot anyway. Fuck you, Bruce.)

Did you know that Brent Barry won the 1996 Slam Dunk contest?

Act III- Monday Night Football
- At 8:30, disgusted viewers everywhere switch to Monday Night Football. Come to the conclusion that Maurice Morris is a cool name, and that if they were his friend, they'd call him MoMo.
- Watching the Knicks get ravaged might actually be better than watching Seahawks-Raiders, viewers casually turn back to MSG.

Act IV- Awakening-
- Discover that Knicks have cut the lead down towards the end of the half-with the help of...Malik Rose!? and... MARDY COLLINS!? MARDY COLLINS GOT HIS FIRST MINUTES AND I WASN'T THERE TO WATCH!? FETCH ME THE HEMLOCK, CAUSE I'M DONE WITH THIS WORLD.
- Momentary quiet as Collins steals the ball and takes it back for the and-one. Mardy for MVP, bitches.
-Knicks down by 13 at the half.

Act V- The Reality-
-The novelty of the second unit wears off quickly, and the Spurs get up big with a barrage of threes and layups
-The starters return, but still suck

Act VI- The Fakeout-
- I finally give up and go upstairs to check my fantasy stats, only to accidentally see that the Knicks have cut the lead to 7
- Race downstairs, and step on my dog on the way
- Knicks cut it to one but don't have me fooled. I swear, I'm not excited at all.
- Yup, told you. Marbury misses a stupid three and it all collapses from there. Game.
- Return upstairs, apologize to dog.

- Once more, do not be fooled by Curry's numbers, because he's playing awfully. He only gets cheap rebounds, and doesn't even LOOK at his shot after he puts it up. It looks like he's kidding or something. Oh, and on the rare occasion that he gets an O-bound, he shot-puts it at the bottom of the backboard almost immediately.
- WOW. The Knicks are taking bad perimeter defense to new levels. Frye and Curry are horrible down low... but good god are the guards bad outside.
- Francis eventually returned--in a suit and tie. Has anyone ever seen this before? I don't think I've ever seen a player have a game-ending injury, but return in street clothes. Bizarre.
- Collins looked good in his minutes. I like his effort.
- Did I mention that I don't like Bruce Bowen? I bet he steps on his dog on purpose. And hits people in the nuts.

"Grab the balls, Bruce!

Finally, and most importantly, I really fear one thing. I fear that that last run towards the end of the game might fool the Knicks. Granted, it was a fantastic run, but it must not eclipse the fact that the Knicks are playing horribly and without effort. Isiah finally showed the balls to put his foot down during this game, and I hope he doesn't back off because of this little run.

All in all, a strange-ass game, with enough folly to make me pull my hair out, but enough flashes to give me hope. Figures.

ESPN Power Rankings

The first of Marc Stein's Power Rankings are in, and the Knicks are second to last. It's hard to argue this, as the Knicks really haven't had a meaningful win yet. I have vague recollections of unbelievable play in the first three quarters of the Memphis game but I honestly can't remember back that far.

By the way, I've got a new nickname/likeness for Renaldo Balkman which I think I'm gonna save for the Sunday lookalikes. I can't believe I hadn't thought of it already.

Monday Night Madness

Yo yo yo. We got some Knicks action this evening, as the San Antonio Spurs are coming to town. The timing of this game brews within me a great dilemma. First, let me explain that I am extremely superstitious when it comes to the Knicks. If you haven't already gathered such, I don't do this site just for fun, I am truly a diehard Knicks fan. Accordingly, my actions surrounding televised games are rather radical. Generally, I will not get up from my seat during a game, save for halftime, when I pee and usually have a quick snack. I snap at anyone who speaks to me during the game, and frequently cause damage to myself or my surroundings when things don't go well. Lastly, I absolutely will not change the channel under any circumstances, save for the discovery of a live pterodactyl. If, and only if, there is the breaking news of a pterodactyl sighting, I will flip to CBS. As of yet, this hasn't occured. That's just me. Oh, and I also have to wear shoes. I don't know why.

If you see this, do not hesitate to call

Anyway, the television (wouldn't that be the noun of televised?) of tonight's game conflicts with that of Monday Night Football, one of my favorite programs ever. The Knicks will assuredly lose this evening, as the Spurs always quickly and mercilessly shit on them. So, the notion to flip back and forth between MNF and the Knicks' demise has crept into my conscience. I do run the risk of cursing the entire Knicks' season if I flip back and forth, but certainly won't miss anything good. I'm still up in the air.

If it somehow is a close game, I'll surely watch. I really really hate the Spurs. The recent upsurge of "They're not THAT boring" statements from sportscasters is dead to me. They are that boring, a fact that is only magnified by their constant presence on national television, which is another post for another time. Anyway, save for Tim Duncan on occasion, I don't like watching a single player on San Antonio. Bruce Bowen is far and away my least favorite player in the league, and the rest of the team is either monotonous or obnoxious. I love nothing more than watching the Spurs lose. So there.

This just warms the cockles of my heart

Moving on, I reccomend that you check out the following...
The Cavalier's thoughts on Isiah and Marbury

An article from Chris Mannix at SI. (Note to Chris: It's been three games, brotha! Chill out! The Suns and Mavs aren't lottery bound and the Sixers ain't gonna win the championship, so why are the Knicks already so decidedly fucked?)


Shaking in the Garden, the Fear Within You Grows

I've never been a proponent of the layup line. At the professional level, what need is there to practice a completely uncontested lay-in? I just think time could be better spent warming up some tough shots that you might need to hit during the game.

Well, in the Pacers case, the layup line came in pretty fuckin handy. Harrington, O'Neal, Granger, and Jackson could walk to the basket as they please and literally finger roll the ball right off the backboard. It was inexplicable. Seriously, consider this. How often do you see a layup in a half-court set? It's pretty rare. Well, the Pacers must've had between 8 and 10 of them last night. It didn't help that Curry was getting out-rebounded by the Pacers' guards. Don't look at his stat sheet, cause the only boards he pulled down were cheap ones, off of threes and open-court misses. Anytime an important rebound went to the Knicks, it was Francis or Richardson doing the job.

Yup, that's Curry getting outrebounded by the Slug Lady.

On the other end, the Knicks' offense was motionless and pointless. Basically, they passed the ball around the perimeter for 15-20 seconds, and then either attempted a contested 3 or tried to hit Curry for a shot out of position. People were dropping passes (Curry) and throwing passes away (Marbury) like it was nobody's business. Whatever happened to the get-out-and-run fast break offense? I was disgusted.

It's tough to determine whose fault this is. Marbury was riddled with boos throughout the game, and at least one "Fire Thomas" chant sounded from the upper rows. Both certainly had performances to be criticized, as Marbury looked lost and Thomas didn't seem to attempt any sort of scheme with the offense. I think it's tough to decisively point a finger this early in the season. It doesn't look good, though.

No caption needed.

For more analysis, check out this article from Knickerblogger.

Sunday Lookalikes

Marquis Daniels vs. the Slug Lady Thing from Monsters Inc.

Separated at birth.