Knicks-Bucks Tonight

The Bucks, who are coming off a back-to-back, come to the Garden tonight. Between Michael Redd, Mo Williams, Charlie Bell, and Charlie Villanueva, the Bucks are a ridiculously potent three-point shooting team, which should pose problems for the Knicks' perimeter defenders.

Charlie poses with his pregame meal.

Other things:

- Good.

- More proof that the Knicks, while unsuccesful on the court, are certainly a charitable and wholesome bunch. Jamal Crawford looks goofy in that hat.

For some reason, I thought Santa was fat and jolly...

Anyway, enjoy your Saturday. Backatcha after the game. Later.


Well, that works out!

Breaking news at this hour. Knicks guard Steve Francis will be out indefinitely with knee tendinitis that's been plaguing him for awhile. I guess that was why he always looked like he was in pain. A few bits from the ESPN article:
"He had a difficult time getting up from the dinner table," Francis' agent, Jeff Fried, said, according to the Times. "He needs to be healthy to perform and help the team, and this is the way to do it."
Francis said he would accept coming off the bench, if needed, when he returned. "I'm worried about my knee more than anything," Francis said.
Well, how bout that shit, eh!? Just when we were worried which guard would have to begrudgingly take a seat when Jeffries is healthy, Francis comes out with a bum leg and a clear statement that he's ready to ride lumber. Kinda fishy? Maybe. Helpful? You know it. I'm very pleased with Francis' recognition of a problem, whatever it may be, and the favor he is most assuredly doing the team. Good stuff.

Way to take one for the team, buddy.

In other news Mr. Marbury is doing another good deed for the kids of New York.
Marbury made a gesture to remember his roots this week by donating 3,000 sneakers, a free pair to every varsity player in the city's Public School Athletic League -- where Marbury won a championship in 1995 with Brooklyn's Abraham Lincoln High.
Not to belittle anything, but is that 3,000 shoes...or 3,000 pairs of shoes? Either way, it's an amazing contribution by Stephon, and no matter what you think of his demeanor on the court, you've gotta applaud his business efforts. Let's not forget that, despite their reputations and their poor record, our current Knicks are a fine group of young men. We have a team that is unbelievably devoted to various communities, and is just about squeaky clean with the league and the law. Unlike the Blazers and Nets of old, the Knicks leave their shittiness on the court.

Anyway, last night's TNT NBA Thursday was pretty entertaining, but the real action was in that double overtime explosion of offense over in East Rutherford. I managed to catch the tail end of this on the YES network, marking the first time I've watched that channel in my entire life. Some solid games, though. (By the way, don't you think Sacramento needs a new logo and colors? Milwaukee and Toronto have gotten rid of the purple, so the Kings should follow suit. I'm thinking black and gold.)

Have you ever taken a good look at this? It looks like a 9 year old girl made it on MacPaint.

Anyway, Thursday's always the best night for basketball, and I'm looking forward to Ernie, Kenny, and Charles heading to New Orleans in a week. Should be fun.

Knicks are back in action tomorrow, taking on Milwaukee at the Garden. Until then, peace.

EDIT: One more thing from that Marbury article....
"The key component is that it's something that people need, not what they want," he said. "It's a difference when you want something. Like, 'Oh I want juice instead of water.' You need water to live. You can't go without water. This is what it is. This is a lifeline, a lifeline of supply to people to have an outlet of feeling good about themselves."


Knicks-Wiz Crumbs

A few things on the night off...

- Happy TNT NBA Thursday. Neither game (DET/DAL and MIA/SAC) is especially exciting, but I always relish the opportunity to watch basketball casually. Speaking of which, a friend of mine wondered today that, since the Knicks are so bad, why don't I just "get off the bandwagon?" My response was that the Knicks, for me, are no bandwagon. They are a fucking paddywagon. I am eternally and hopelessly chained to this franchise. No matter how poorly they play, I will continue to follow and hope. I'm sure anyone who's a diehard of a struggling team can relate to my paddywagon theory...right?

Knicks fans cringing in the back of the paddywagon. All two of us.

- David Crockett at Knickerblogger is as sad as I am about the last loss.

-Walt "The Baddest Man of the 70's" Frazier on Sports Bloggers Live (Via Detroit Bad Boys). It's a really great interview, with questions composed by all your favorite blogsmiths, and the always affable Clyde lending some fun answers. He's a great guy.

The world's premier expert on style and grooming.

-Speaking of Clyde, I just found (and took the previous photo from) this page, which has a solid dictionary of Frazier's arcane vocabulary and numerous rhymes.

- Game recap from Live from Section 404. Speaking of which, there is no better halftime entertainment than little kids playing basketball on the Garden floor. It's magnificent.

- Any notion of this has not crossed my mind even once during Curry's recent statistical surge. I really hope he doesn't actually make the All-Star team, because that'd be kinda embarassing. Ugh.

- Finally, a fun little video of the 2001 McDonald's All-American Dunk Contest. Question: I love David Lee, but why the hell did he win this? Since when does one's ability to undress quickly affect their ability to dunk? James White got robbed.

That's all for today. Bucks on Saturday. Later.

EDIT: Here's to completely unrelated post titles! Oh well.
EDIT 2: Sheer coincidence but the Lee video was up at Knicks Central yesterday. So, props for that.


Wizards 113, Knicks 102

Jeez. The Knicks, who are now 0-3 in my presence this season, got completely disemboweled by the Wizards this evening. Some quick game notes (You'll notice that these tend to be shorter when they lose, cause I'm all sad and shit):

- The Knicks' defense was bad, but it wasn't THAT bad. Arenas and Jamison were just hitting every damn shot they took.

- Eddy Curry had just about the cheapest double-double of all time. He had about 7-8 Mittens moments, including two layup attempts from under the backboard. When he has these moments, I raise both hands and mime mittens, bunching up my fingers and wiggling my thumb. I think my entire section was doing it by the end of the game.

I'm gonna start bringing these to games.

- Where was Nate? He played 7 minutes, despite a fairly strong "We want Nate" chant in the fourth.

- If David Lee could somehow develop into a Antawn Jamison-ish type player, that'd be neat.

- Gilbert Arenas hit absolutely everything, including a 40 footer after a whistle, and two threes to beat the buzzers before each half. Fucking Hibachi.

Arenas makes chicken tempura for three Knicks.

- In the late third quarter, Humpty crashed into Arenas while chasing a loose ball. Renaldo pretty much climbed onto his back, swung his body around Gilbert's, and tripped him with both legs. Arenas got whistled for his fifth foul. I chuckled.

- In each of the last few games, I've kept thinking about Jared Jeffries. Think about some of the guys who've exploded recently: Jamison, Bosh and Prince all could've been guarded by Jeffries.

Anyway, the Knicks got completely out-hustled and out-classed by a superior team. I need some sleep. Later.

Knicks-Wiz Tonight

Hey. How are you? Nothing much to say today. Some things:

- An article from the Times on the Knicks' upcoming lineup issues when Jeffries and Frye are active. It is a problem. My thoughts:

IDEAL- Francis, Richardson, Jeffries, Lee, Curry
SOMEWHAT PRACTICAL- Marbury, Richardson, Jeffries, Frye, Curry

A benching would not sit well with Marbury or Frye, while I think Francis and Lee might be better at dealing with it. Nevermind the starters, the entire ROTATION is gonna be an issue for Isiah. It'd be tough to be in his dancin' shoes right now.

- I watched college basketball last night (which I rarely do). All I can say is that I want Marcus Dove of Oklahoma State on the Knicks someday. The kid is constantly pumped, and is everywhere on the court. Plus, he has a sweet name (although Mustafa Shakur is by far the greatest name in all of sports).

- An awesome video of the Knicks starting lineup intros from the 1994 Finals. Gives me chills. I can't wait for the day that the Garden is once again as packed as it was in this video. Also, I miss that starting lineup music. And laser-lite.

- Finally, and most importantly, the Knicks take on the Wizards (whose home page has dandruff and fruity music) this evening. Gilbert "Hibachi" Arenas is coming off a big game against the Mavs, meaning that fortune might tweak his mercurial shooting stroke for the sake of the Knicks. Please? Curry has his first real matchup in a few games, as Brendan Haywood and Etan Thomas are legitimate centers and can play a touch of defense. I will be in attendance, so expect a detailed recap when I return from the city. Peace.

EDIT: I don't remember which team it was, but during the OK State-Syracuse game, a player dove into the front row and got an arm covered in that nasty, processed nacho cheese. Does anyone have the specifics on this?


Knicks-Grizz Crumbs

Just a few pics and posts related to last night's game...

Awesome recap atLive from Section 404. If you're a Knicks fan, djsunyc does a detailed recap for every home game and I highly suggest you check it out.

Brian Cronin at Knickerblogger is excited but not too excited with last night's win.

And some more pics from last night (Yahoo doesn't get all the AP photos up quick enough for my recaps)

More documentation of the legendary Lee-Cardinal streetball shootout:

Young kids will reminisce on that cold winter night when Lee and Cardinal simply couldn't miss, a night that will be forever remembered in streetball folklore.

Anyway, that's it for today. The Wizards come to town tomorrow night. Adios.


Knicks 98, Grizzlies 90

The Knicks resisted a late charge by the lowly Grizzlies and held on to win 98-90. Eddy Curry led the team with 26 points and 15 bounds before fouling out, and had his overall best game as a Knick. The guys nearly shat the bed towards the end, but some stops and a few tough shots from Richardson and Marbury enabled the Knicks to hold on. Game notes:

- Curry had several Mittens moments (fumbled a few passes and shanked some alley-oops) but I was impressed with his effort overall. David Lee was a damn monster in big minutes.

- Kenny Smith's catchword of the night was "recognition", and I can see where he's coming from. At times the Knicks seem to lack not only effort, but an understanding of their situation and the appropriate way to adapt to it. There were a few lapses in recognition late in the game, but I'd say overall the effort and understanding were present.

- Two things for non-MSG viewers...There was a shot of Malik Rose playing with Nate Robinson's toddler son before the game. Also, a view of the announcers showed that Kenny Smith likes to eat Twizzlers during the broadcast. Thought you might wanna know.

- Marbury isn't really an alley-oop guy is he? Francis and Crawford like to set it up for Lee and Curry, but Marbury's strictly a bounce pass guy. Either way, both he and Francis did a nice job facilitating the offense this evening.

- Possible nickname for Crawford: Chilly Bones? Exhibit A: He's really friggin' skinny. Exhibit B: He can go terribly cold in his shooting stroke. Exhibit C: He always has to warm up his hands by blowing into them when he's at the free throw line. Just a thought.

- Pau Gasol took a page out of Cuttino Mobley's book and wore a scarf on the sideline.

This better not be a fucking trend.

- Humpty's got some new hair going on. He kept the dreads in the back, but decided to cornrow the part that's in front of his headband. It looks positively retarded.

- Thought for a new All-Star contest: The NBA Olympics. Obviously, this is impossible because of the injury risk, but wouldn't you like to see which guys could win the 100m dash, the high jump, or the shot put? Tony Parker and T.J. Ford come to mind for the running. I believe Rodney Carney was a high jumper in high school, and Nate Robinson can certainly get up there. Hypothetically, who do you think would compete in this?

- David Lee and Brian Cardinal had an old-fashioned streetball shootout for a few minutes in the fourth quarter. Cardinal said "you got served" with a few jumpers in Lee's face, and then Lee was all like "yo, yo, yo" with some fancy moves around the basket. Shit was tight!

Brian Cardinal shows the great defensive positioning he learned on the playgrounds of Tolono, Illinois.

Anyway, the Knicks managed to do just too little to win comfortably and easily. They looked good for most of the game, but left some doubt as they were unable to completely put the game out of reach for some time down the stretch. Like Kenny Smith said, it's all about recognition, kids. We've gotta understand when the momentum might be shifting, when patience is needed, and who the hot shooters are. Rekanize. Goodnight, everyone.

Knicks-Grizzlies Tonight

The Knicks take on Memphis again tonight. A few things before we talk about the game.

-Great post from The Big Lead at the recently assembled and thoroughly awesome NBA Fanhouse. The recent surge of Eddy Curry is discussed, with his stats laid out for all to see. It is mentioned however, that the Knicks have a losing record since he's been playing well. From the post:
The problem, of course, is that Curry's resurgence hasn't translated into victories (2-4), but when Frye (ankle) and Jeffries (wrist) return from injury by January 1 – and by the grace of the Big Man upstairs, Steve Francis is dealt for six crayons, a blanket, and two boxes of Wheat Thins - it's not out of the realm of possibility that the Knicks could make run at the playoffs in the historically-bad Eastern Conference.
Does anyone have any real evidence behind that last rumor? Steve's been playing ok but you can't pass up that trade. The crayons could be relegated to the D-League, while the blanket is solid trade bait and the Wheat Thins are a great prospect at point guard. This post has me excited for a deadline blockbuster.

Great athleticism, tremendous upside, and a nutty wheat taste.

- An interesting list of the 20 greatest foreign ballers from Jones on the NBA. As he did with the American white guys, I'd say this list merits a worst foreign player list. There's plenty of choices for that one.

Oh, hells yes.

Anyway, the Knicks play ummm...Mike Miller? and the Grizzlies tonight. (The Grizz don't really have a frontman without Pau, do they?) This is a must-win. The Knicks nearly lost to the Grizzlies in the season opener, but Memphis is pretty much the worst team in the league without Gasol. It's a perfect chance to get the Garden crowd back on their side, so they better pull it out. Or else. Recap later.

EDIT: Tas and Skeets took the Knicks to win in today's Book It. Take that as motivation, Knicks. Win this one for yourselves, win it for me, but most of all win it for The Basketball Jones.


Your NYK For the Ears

Ryan McNeill at Hoops Addict has one of the finest podcasts out there, and he was kind enough to have me on his show for a recap of the Knicks-Raptors travesty. If you don't already subscribe to this podcast, certainly do so, and go check it out either way.

Sunday Lookalikes

Chris Duhon vs. Count Chocula

I want to eat your cereal!

Raptors 103, Knicks 100

Well, the Knicks crapped away another inexplicable loss at home. This may be the worst loss of the season, as the Garden was really electric and Eddy Curry had one of his better games as a Knick. As Knickerblogger has pointed it, the guys absolutely must start getting wins at home. Their defensive intensity has to pick up, and they should not be falling to teams like the Raptors. A few game notes:

- Chris Bosh is really talented, and really improved. He seems to have worked on creating his own shots, and as Kenny Smith said, he's kind of like "a small forward in a power forward's body". The kid's scary good.

- Speaking of which, the Knicks had 3 announcers in the booth last night. Mike Breenonhand did the play-by-play, with Clyde and Kenny Smith sharing the color duties. I was a little dubious, but it worked out ok. Clyde sounds upbeat no matter what, whereas Kenny is kinda pissy and pessimistic, so the dynamic is fairly entertaining. I can definitely see Kenny cracking jokes and criticizing the team while Breen and Clyde point over their shoulders at Jim Dolan and feverishly motion for him to shut up.

- Humpty threw down some some absolutely ridiculous dunks. Two of them were straight up posterizations of Bargnani in the first quarter. If the Knicks are on the break, Balkman has gotta be the go-to finisher. I don't think I've seen him blow a dunk yet.

"I'm sick wit dis, straight gangsta mack, but sometimes I get ridiculous"

- As is often the case with the opposing team, the Raps kept hitting these little fluky shots that really screwed things up. The Knicks defense was mediocre for most of the game, but early on and down the stretch, guys like Bosh and Ford put down some tough shots. For some reason, teams can close out the Knicks in the Garden, but not on their own home courts. Weird.

- Steve Francis had a solid first half, really limiting himself to point guard duties and garnering 7 or 8 assists. I'm starting to think that he should be starting at point guard. In fact, I'm positive.

- By the way, why does Francis always look like he's in pain? He's constantly grimacing and grabbing parts of his body, but doesn't usually have to sit down. Either he's a real trooper or a real drama queen...I can't tell.

Steve Francis: Warrior or Wuss?

- Especially when Frye returns, the Knicks could benefit from just running the pick and roll to death. It can get Frye open jumpers, the guards to the basket, and Curry some dunks and layups. They have the right personnel to do it, so why try anything else in the halfcourt set?

- This is the first game in which the Knicks have scored 100+ and dished out 20+ assists and still lost. Probably because the Raptors had 103 and 21 of their own.

Anyway, this was a disappointing and frustrating game for the Knicks. This homestand must be a salve for the inexplicable futility at the Garden, so games like this cannot happen again. A nice blowout in which they hold the other team to 70 points would really make me feel better right now. For more (and more of the same) on this game, listen to the Hoops Addict podcast coming later this afternoon. Ryan's got a great show over there, and he has one of his most brilliant and profound (not to mention handsome) guests on today to talk Knicks-Raptors. Take a guess who it is. Backatcha later, kids.