Game Thread- Knicks at Jazzes

The well-rested Knicks are in the Beehive State this evening, to take on the injury-riddled Jazzes. Utah is without Carlos Boozer and may be without Andrei Kirilenko and Mehmet Okur. This is a tough game either way. With Okur and Kirilenko, the Knicks face shooting big men who pose matchup problems. Without those two, the Knicks might revert to their tendency to underprepare for shorthanded teams. Let's not forget Deron Williams, either. His unbelievable clutchness in the last meeting between these two teams was overshadowed by the game winning layup from Stephon Marbury. He is extremely talented and very dangerous down the stretch.

Anyway, it's a difficult but winnable game for the Knicks. They need to come to play right from the beginning, and make a point of feeding the big man. Eddy Curry will be matched up with Jarron Collins, who is half of a decent NBA center. For a much better preview, I reccomend you check out Father Knickerbocker. Keep your eye on the Utah injury report as the day progresses.

This is a Game Thread, so post all your comments about the game, chicken pox, Beau Bridges, crabcakes, and Yahtzee as the day progresses. The more the merrier. The game is a late'un (9 p.m. EST), so I might not get a recap up until tomorrow morning. We shall see. Go Knicks. Peace.


Friday Crumbs

Everyone's got their name for a gaggle of short, unrelated links, be it "thumbtacks", "bullets", or "explosions". I guess mine have become "crumbs". Anyway, here are some things floating around the internet on this glorious Friday afternoon...

- Found in TrueHoop's aforementioned bullets, Isiah Thomas on homosexual players. Basically, he has no problem with it and would do anything in his power to accomodate such a player. Good. Eddy Curry originally wouldn't comment, then said he wouldn't have a problem. Jamal sounded accepting but said it might be awkward. Whatever. At least they aren't afraid of any "gayness" being brought upon them.

- Newsday's Johnette Collins on Stephon Marbury's recent resurgence. Thanks...Johnette. (By the way, I don't know if I've ever mentioned it, but I turn up a lot of Knicks articles on Knicks Online's "headlines" news feed. Very useful.)

- Finally, here's a pretty solid video of 10 minutes of Knicks highlights from the early part of the season. Worth a watch.


That's all for today, kids. The Knicks finally have a game tomorrow night, as they begin their Left Coast trip in Utah. Back with a game thread and such in the afternoon. Peace.


Knicks in the Hot Zone!

No, this is not the Knicks-only porno you've been waiting for. NBA.com has a relatively new feature called "Hot Zones" which gives you color-coded splits for a team/player's shots on all parts of the floor. I took the liberty of perusing some Knicks' "Hot Zones" and here's what I saw:

- The Knicks are best under the basket. They suck at the top of the key and the left side of two-point land. The Knicks are best suited shooting threes from the right corner.

- Jamal Crawford: Jamal shoots his best three-point percentage from the corners. He also shoots a fantastic percentage on the left side of the outer paint, and he's predictably better at floater shots than layups/dunks. He's not so hot from dead center in 2 or 3 point land.

- Eddy Curry's is fairly uninteresting. He does tend to shoot much more on the right side of the outer paint, and with more success. The hot spot is expectably right under the basket. He's also a sizzling 1-1 from 18 feet out on the right side.

- Channing is the opposite of Jamal. He's coldest from the corners and his best 18 footer is from dead center.

- Jared Jeffries probably shouldn't shoot much.

- David Lee VERY rarely leaves the paint. Considering that he hits 65 percent of his shots under the basket, it's hard to argue.

- Marbury's best three pointers are from dead center and from the left corner. Unlike Crawford, his shots under the basket fall with much more success than his floaters from the outer paint.

- Q's best threes are from the right side. He shoots poorly from dead center and from the outer paint area.

- Nate's much better from the right side than the left, but should probably just go to the hole.

So yeah. Not much novel information, but it's a cool little instrument they made. Check it out if you're interested and want some exact numbers, and let me know if you find anything else telling or worthwhile. Peace.

EDIT: More related to the previous post...Charles Barkley: "Kenny knows. I know. We've played with gay players before." Both Charles and Kenny had some interesting and fairly reasonable things to say about the John Amaechi business. They both pretty much expressed that a gay player in the locker room would not be a problem at all to them. They care more about skill and personality than sexuality. It's good to hear.

It's TNT NBA Thursday...

...and it's gonna be a good one. Lakers-Pistons followed by Bulls-Kings. What's more interesting to me, though, is if, and in what regard, the TNT crew talks about the Tyrus Thomas deal and, more so, John Amaechi's coming out. (I'm also interested to see if MSG discusses this, or even interviews players, in their next telecast on Saturday).

I haven't said that much about either of these issues because, frankly, I don't have that strong of an opinion on either one. (I don't mean to equate them, by the way. They're both recent.) I think Thomas' statements more reflect the state of the Dunk Contest than they do his personality. As far as Amaechi goes, I hope he's happy, and I hope we don't have to hear so much about things like this in the future. For some really interesting takes on that business, I highly reccomend checking out posts at SLAM, Clipper Blog, and Free Darko.

Some more Knicks-related things (although John Amaechi was part of the Clarence Weatherspoon deal and Tyrus Thomas was selected with the Knicks' draft pick. It all comes back to NY.):

You know he's gay, but did you know he was a Knick?

- Positivity (and a much better picture of Lee's black eye) over at Father Knickerbocker.

- Eddy Curry wants out if Isiah Thomas ever gets fired. (Mittens got CLAWS, yo!)

- Nate Robinson is immature, or something. Isn't it odd that the smallest guy around (supposedly) acts like a little kid? This is disappointing to hear, because I love Nate's game and I really thought he was proving himself earlier this year. He'll come around.

That's all for today. Enjoy tonight's games and I'll be back tomorrow. Jazz on Saturday. Peace.

EDIT: Now that I look at it, I might've worded that bit about Amaechi badly. I didn't mean to say that I don't want more NBA guys to come out of the closet. I merely meant that I hope it's not such a controversial occurrence.


Knicks-Clips Crumbs

Here's whats floating around the internet after last night's magical surprise...

- Russ Bengtson and Jake Appleman of SLAM with their game notes. If I could somehow have their job, that'd be neato.

- The Father Knickerbocker recap.

- Henry Abbott was in the house with David Thorpe.

- I'm trying to find photos of David Lee's god-awful shiner from last night, and this is the best I can do. You can't really grasp the sheer blue, pulsating nastiness of the thing, but you get the idea...

- One win on this road trip would put the Knicks at their win total for all of last season. Larry Brown is not a competent coach.

That's all for today. The Knicks don't play again until Saturday. Which means I might have to go back to posting strange videos for a few days. Hmmm. Back tomorrow. Peace.

EDIT: I just read an amazing article by S.L. Price about Jim Dolan, Isiah Thomas, and the Knicks management in Sports Illustrated. Put simply, it's a must-read. Really interesting stuff and a brilliantly written piece.

EDIT2: My Wizznutzz Arenas shirt came today and it's SWEET.


Knicks 102, Clippers 90

Well how about that, folks? In decidedly un-Knickslike fashion, the 'Bockers turned a double-digit deficit into a double-digit lead to surprise the visiting Clippers. The Jerome James experiment was an outright failure, as James picked up two quick fouls (callllled it) and ended up playing only 7 minutes. Meanwhile, the Clippers were hot like the fire in the first half, as Elton Brand couldn't be stopped and Tim Thomas douched his way to a few threes. A complete scrapping of the James plan, some good ball movement, and the Clippers' sudden collapse helped the Knicks flip the script in the second half, as they glided to a 12 point victory. Long-ass game notes:

- Pre-game- Both Curry and James were all smiles about starting together. Conspicuous (oh snap...nailed that spelling on the first try) absence, however, of both Lee and Frye in the interviews.

- Clyde: "The last time the Knicks saw Elton, they were Branded." You know how they made that show, "Ali Rap"? Well, you know where I'm going with this.

- Long-time Clippers announcer, Ralph Lawler (picture your grandpa), has something he calls "Lawler's Law". Basically, he's come to the conclusion that the team that first reaches 100 points will win the game. This has proven a 34-1 success rate for the Clips and a 36-3 success rate with the Knicks. Yeah, it's kinda obvious, but anything to make the old guy happy.

Lawler is also the league leader in bedtime stories and prunes eaten per game.

- The beginning of the game was eerily similar to the Knicks-Heat debacle, as it took a 10-1 run by L.A. before Isiah finally called timeout.

- One thing about having Jerome James on the floor is that it makes it far too easy to double Eddy Curry. At least when Chan's starting the opposing power forward has to respect his jumper. A defender can leave James in a heartbeat without worrying about any offensive threat.

- In the first quarter, James kinda hip-checked Sam Cassell and got called for the foul. Cassell came up flappin' his gums like he always does, and nearly got into it with Jerome. Now THAT would be an interesting fight. Who's your money on?

- Eddy appears to have a new tattoo. It's mostly obscured by his jersey, but the word "Never" is clearly visible on his chest. Maybe I just haven't noticed it before.

- Pet peeve of mine: So-called "Knicks fans" whose sole attention to the Knicks is reading the papers occasionally and then parroting the whole "Marbury is so selfish" schtick. Anyone who's watched the guy play this year knows that he's busting his ass on defense and really trying to distribute the ball while playing through pain. I bring this up because the oral surgeon who was pulling my wisdoms on Friday was talking with me about the Knicks (as I gave in to anaesthesia), and threw in a few "Marbury's such a ballhog", etc. kinda comments. Had I not been slowly rendered unconscious, I woulda given him an earful. If he really watched any games, he'd see things like Marbury in a 2-on-0 setting, dishing to the slashing QRich because he knew Q was struggling. Since he's been relatively healthy, Marbury's been playing some fantastic ball.


- Eddy Curry is 5th in the league in free throws attempted.

- Mike Breen pointed out that Richardson can really contribute even when he's missing his threes. It's true. He grabbed 7 boards, played some solid D, posted up smaller guys, and hit shots down the stretch.

- The artist formerly known as Tim Thomas came out guns blazing, throwing down an aggravatingly impressive dunk in David Lee's face. Replay showed that Tim, in fact, elbowed Lee in the eye whilest dunking, leaving Dave with a nasty shiner that's gonna stick for at least week. The thing swelled up something awful. Lee put up 16 and 10 anyway. (Has anyone seen Beerfest? Maybe they should hit David in the face again everytime the black eye starts to go away, as a good luck charm?)

Don't ice it...embrace it.

- The Knicks, who were down by 10 at half, started off the third quarter on a 17-2 run. Brand started bobbling passes, Cassell got selfish, and the threes weren't falling for L.A. It was a magical quarter.

- Another key to the third quarter success was Steph's realization of "Hey...hold the phone...Shaun f'ing Livingston is guarding me!" Steph overpowered the wiry youngster for some inside baskets.

- When Steph picked up his fifth foul, Nate dilligently provided him with a scowl towel as he hit the bench. Atta boy.

- David Lee has a very good understanding of mismatches. He bullied Quinton Ross and Cuttino Mobley on numerous occasions. He also bakes a mean peach cobbler.

What can't Dave do!?

- Eddy was 13-16 from the line.

- The Knicks, including the previously ice-cold Q, started hitting their threes in the fourth. That really sealed the deal.

- In one of Madison Square Garden's darker moments, the entire crowd did The Wave for a solid minute. (Who am I kidding? I love The Wave.)

- Satisfying the crowd's chants, Isiah put Nate in with 30 seconds left. Nate's got the heart of a champ.

- Doug Christie was seen doing some really complex hand signals after the game. He wouldn't happen to have an overbearing wife, would he?

Anyway, this was one of my favorite wins of this Knick season. They finally turned a bad start completely around, and stifled a hot team. I'm impressed. It's the Knicks first streak in a long time, and now they head out west to play Utah on Saturday (Christ...what are we gonna do until then!?). Sleep easy, everyone. Back tomorrow. Peace.

Game Thread- Knicks vs. Clippers

Your New York Knicks are at home tonight to take on Doug Christie and the Los Angeles Clippers. L.A. is in the midst of a long East Coast swing, and is coming off a win in Boston and a blowout loss in Toronto. Elton Brand spray-farted on the entire Knicks roster the last time these teams played, dropping 32 points to go with 8 blocks. Thus, the most important storyline of tonight is the continuing Jerome James affair, as the loveable oaf will have the onerous duty of covering Brand. ClipperSteve (How did his parents know he was gonna be a Clipper fan? What a fitting choice of name!) at Clips Nation believes that Brand will either take James outside or simply push his belly out of the way and drive to the hole. It's certainly possible.

For what it's worth, today's Times article about the rotation move does provide a little bit of explanation, and quotes Channing Frye saying all the right things, which is good. It also makes Jerome James sound like a pretty cool guy, which I like. Hooray.

One thing I've remembered in the last day or two, is that with this squad, starting does not equal minutes (S≠M). David Lee, for instance, averages more minutes (30.6) than both Frye (26.3) and Jeffries (23.1), who traditionally start over him. If Jerome does a shitty job, then those opening minutes will be the only ones he plays. Should be interesting to see how this goes.

Anyway, this right here is a game thread, so post all your comments about the game, trail mix, Chris Kattan, backgammon, and tangerines as the night progresses. Now that my laptop is fixed, I'm actually gonna have it in front of me while watching the game, so I'll be able to respond to your comments as they come. Game notes coming later tonight. Go Knicks. Peace.


The Jerome James Quandary

Yo yo yo. Hope everyone had a great Super Bowl Sunday. I, for one, did my first real eating in 3 days (I had my wisdom teeth pulled on Friday). After 2 days of scrambled egg-gumming and water-drinking, I ate enough food to compensate for the 48 hours of deprivation. It was glorious and obscene.

Anyway, now that that petty distraction is out of the way, the sports world can focus on more important news. Namely, Isiah's benching of Channing Frye for Jerome James. Yes, James' starting spot against the Magic wasn't a clerical error or some cute little trick. Isiah is actually putting the guy into the rotation. This inexplicably cuts into the minutes of Channing Frye AND David Lee, which is a bit puzzling to us Knicks fans.(EDIT: Brian Cronin at)Knickerblogger sums the thing up very well.
Folks have been clammoring for Lee to get MORE minutes, and not only has Isiah managed to avoid putting him into the starting lineup, but now he’s going to be receiving LESS minutes!! Saturday, Lee played his fewest minutes in two weeks. I don’t mind going to the defensive-minded James for certain matchups, but less minutes for Lee is annoying.

And Balkman is just completely buried now.
There is of the course, the possibility that Isiah is trying to showcase James before the trade deadline. Says The Cavalier,
There’s a chance Zeke is just trying to showcase James so he can trade him. Unfortunately, the only person dumb enough to fall for this is Isiah himself. Thus, a space-time paradox thingie.
Yup. (Click that link, by the way, for some hilarious photoshop action).

My take? Isiah probably is trying to showcase James, but no other GM takes Isiah seriously. Jerome could come out hitting threes, dunking from the free throw line, delivering babies, and resurrecting the dead, and other teams still wouldn't call. That's just Isiah's place in the league. I hope this phase doesn't last long, though, because James has no place in this rotation. The Knicks have the rare burden of being too stacked. They somehow have too many guys at four different positions, thus making the minutes-played distribution extremely precious. I've always been pretty easy on Isiah, but if this move somehow alienates Frye and/or Lee, it's gonna be a fucking disaster. Careful, Isiah. Caaaareful!

The Knicks are back home tomorrow to take on the Clippers. I'll see you then. Peace.


Sunday Lookalikes

Lenny Wilkens vs. Smokey Robinson

P.S. Bears.