If you are still reading this article after that absurdly bold prediction in the title, I appreciate it. One can take a look at that heading and completely bash the article without even reading it but I can assure you that I have some facts, and opinions, to back it up. The beginning of the Knicks season has been absolutely atrocious to say the least and they hadn’t given their fans any signs of hope until recently. From James Dolan representing himself as the Jerry Jones of the NBA and the Knicks showing 0% of the team chemistry that won them 54 games and the Atlantic title last season, New York has been the laughing-stock of the league. So with their star player with basically one foot out the door, why do I feel that these horrid Knicks will turn it around? I’m glad you asked.
1. Texas Trip Turnaround
In the Knicks most recent 3-game road trip to Texas, every analyst predicted that New York would be manhandled from San Antonio to Houston and finally in Dallas. If you watched those 3 games you would know that was clearly not the case. Somehow, the injury plagued Knicks pulled off huge victories in San Antonio, which has been the hardest arena to play in during the 17 year Duncan Era, and Dallas, which is always a tough spot to succeed. They did lose to Houston but only because of the bonehead play from Mr. Weed himself, JR Smith. Regardless of the win-loss record from the 3 day trip, the Knicks were playing with a swagger that they had seemed to have lost since the end of the Celtics playoff series last year.
2. Iman Is Back!
Outside of Carmelo Anthony, every Knicks fan knew that for us to have a big season Iman Shumpert would have to live up to his potential. Obviously, in New York Knicks fashion, trade rumors surfaced involving Iman within 2 days into the season. That would rattle any athlete, let alone a 3rd year player who is entering his first full season after ACL surgery. Now I am not placing all of Shumpert’s early season woes on rumors but it definitely didn’t help. All of the energy we all saw last year seemed to have dissipated and the Knicks looked like they were stuck with a shell of the former Knicks Tape creator. If you don’t know what the Knicks Tape is, here is a video that was made prior to the 2012 season:
This was the type of swagger that helped fuel the Knicks all last season. In this most recent Texas trip, Knicks fans were delighted to see the artist formerly known as Iman playing like we knew he could. I expect the second half of this season to be huge for Iman to showcase his talents.
3. Getting Healthy is Key
Like most of the NBA, the Knicks have been hit hard with the injury bug. Every single player, except for Andrea Bargnani ironically, has been sidelined with at least one injury whether significant or not. As of this moment, only Felton and Prigioni are still hurt but rumor has it that Raymond will be making a reappearance soon. I honestly believe that if Melo, Tyson, Shumpert and (laugh all you want) Stoudemire can stay healthy, then the Knicks pose a tough matchup for anyone in the league. I wouldn’t mind if JR Suck goes down with a tattoo injury of some sort because he is the one player who just doesn’t seem to be able to get his shit together.
4. Bench Energy
Over the past 2 seasons, the Knicks have had one of the deadliest benches in the game. Their depth was so good that no one injury could really throw them off of their game. Somehow, all of their depth vanished in a season where it looked like on paper they had gotten deeper. Well, JR proved he really is just a punk with athleticism (yet Woodson still gives him way too many minutes), Prigioni wasn’t showing the comfort level he had last year and STAT and Kenyon were really showing their ages as the season began. Even the acquisition of Metta Worldpeace didn’t pan out the way New York had hoped, but recently Knicks rookies Tim Hardaway Jr and Toure Murry have provided that spark that has been missing all year-long. They add tenacity and Defense to a team that needs it oh so badly. Kenyon has began to show glimpses of the guy who went to back to back NBA Championships with New Jersey and STAT is finally giving us some of those skills he paid Hakeem Olajuwon $200,000 to teach him. As long as the bench can provide energy, the Knicks will win games.
Let’s call a spade a spade. The Atlantic division is a joke and no one should feel proud winning it but someone will and I believe it will be the Knicks. With Lopez out for the season Brooklyn doesn’t stand a chance and there is no way that Toronto will keep up this type of play, especially when they trade away Lowry. That leaves Boston and Philadelphia…enough said. I am not saying the Knicks will win the Atlantic because they are a great team, I am saying they will win it because the rest of their division is pathetic!
An 82 game NBA season can have a lot of ups and downs and can often be very unpredictable. While a lot of people don’t put to much emphasis on the early season, I find every game as important as the next and think that you can see a teams true colors right from the get go. I have always had a huge passion for NBA basketball. I mean I am such an NBA nerd that my family was introduced at my Bar Mitzvah to the “We Are the New York Knicks” theme song. So in this article I have decided to take the majority of things that have been happening around the NBA through the first fifth of the season and break it all down. There have been some predictable outcomes so far but there have also been some great new surprises.
I’ll start with the topic I am most proud to talk about; the standings. While everyone could have predicted that the Miami Heat, Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs would be among the leaders in the their respective conferences, no one would have been able to foresee who would be on the top of the East and West at this point in the season. Right now, my New York Knicks are on top of the Eastern Conference with a 12-4 record while the Memphis Grizzlies sit on top the the Western Conference with an NBA best 13-3 record. Both of these teams have come out of the gates determined to place themselves among the perennially elite teams. Other surprises thus far include the great starts by the Brooklyn Nets (11-6) and the consistently awful Golden State Warriors (10-7). The Nets and Warriors are two franchises that haven’t seen much success in their past but this year seems to be a redeeming light for them both. On the negative end we have our usual bottom dwellers like the Wizards, Raptors, Kings and Hornets but I am positive that no one expected the Lakers to be an abysmal 8-10 or even the Rose-less Bulls, who had the best record in the NBA last year, at 8-8. The Lakers fired Coach Brown and hired the much maligned Coach D’Antoni, who is off to an embarrassing 3-5 start. He might be more hated in LA then he was in NY and I know Phil Jackson is just sitting back laughing.
On to my favorite aspect of the game; the statistics. If I started by asking who are the top 4 scorers in the NBA, I am pretty sure that most people would be able to guess it correctly even if they haven’t been following this season too closely. Kobe, Melo, Durant and Lebron always find themselves among the scoring leaders but the real surprise is the 80 million dollar man who now ranks fifth in the NBA in scoring, James Harden. Harden is proving that he is an elite scorer when he’s not shadowed by Durant and Westbrook. When it comes to dropping dimes, no one in the league does it as well as the man I said would finish this season as the NBA MVP; Rajon Rondo. Rondo is averaging a staggering 12.9 assists per game and had a ridiculous streak of 37 straight games with at least 10 assists until he decided to body check Kris Humphries Kardashian which resulted in him getting ejected. The surprise name in the top 5 in assists has to be Greivis Vasquez. You might be asking yourself who the fuck is that. He is a 2nd year Venezuelan man out of Maryland and plays for the lowly Hornets. Vasquez will soon be a household name and can be connecting with the Unibrow for years to come. There are a lot teams that don’t value rebounding the way I think they should. I mean my Knicks have the best record in the East but they are among the bottom 5 teams in rebounding so there are ways to win without it. Having said that, I am a firm believer that if you want a Championship you need to rebound. Someone with a team that stands a chance this year needs to trade for Anderson Varejao, who is averaging an NBA leading 15.4 RPG, because I haven’t seen a player attack the glass the way he does since Dennis Rodman. Zach Randolph is 2nd in the NBA with 13.3 RPG and he is doing most of his damage on the offensive boards. I feel Randolph has not been getting his proper accolades because in my mind he is the main reason the Grizzlies have the best record in the NBA.
The final topic I want to talk about is my picks for the end of season awards thus far.
MVP: Rajon Rondo – I picked him before the season started and I am sticking with him for the time being. Rondo is averaging 13 PPG, 13 APG, 5 RPG and he is shooting an impressive 50% from the field. The Celtics aren’t nearly as good as they used to be, but Rondo is showing signs that he is only getting better every time on the court. For my Knicks fans, Melo was #2 on my list for MVP so far.
ROY: Damian Lillard – I talked about this rookie out of Weber State before the season started stating that he is the 2nd best rookie behind Anthony “Unibrow” Davis. Since Unibrow has been plagued with injuries, Lillard is my current front runner for rookie of the year. Damien is averaging 19.1 PPG, good for 11th in the NBA, to go along with 3.3 RPG and 6.3 APG. His connection with Lamarcus Aldridge will only get stronger and Portland will be a relevant team once again some time soon.
6th Man: Jamal Crawford – The 12 year veteran out of Michigan is arguably off to his best start of his career and is one of the main reasons why the LA Clippers are an impressive 11-6. Crawford is averaging nearly 18 PPG off the bench and every time he enters the game he brings the type of electricity that makes teams more fearful of the reserves than the actual starting lineup. With more consistency, JR Smith can give Crawford a run for his money.
Coach of the Year: Lionel Hollins – His Grizzlies record of 13-3 speaks for itself, but the former Portland Trailblazers star has his team buying into his philosophy that is perplexing any opponent that faces them. Grizzlies are super efficient on both the offensive and defensive ends and Hollins is the main reason why. My boy Mike Woodson would definitely be second on my list for COY followed by the Nets Avery Johnson.
It’s been a great season so far, especially for my Knicks, and I look forward to what the nest few months will bring. I’ll make sure to keep everyone posted.
Houston, we have a prob’lin’! The past 24 hours has been an absolute roller coaster ride for the New York Knicks organization. Just one day after Jeremy Lin signed an offer from the Houston Rockets, which he heard from multiple sources in the Knicks organization that they would match, the Knicks went out and made an impressive sign-and-trade that brought former PG, Raymond Felton, back to the Garden. This surprising turn of events came as a shock to everyone, including Jeremy, who has stated multiple times that he wanted to return to the Big Apple and prove he wasn’t a fluke. Well, after the acquisition of Raymond Felton, it looks like the Knicks and the NBA’s biggest story from last season are going to part ways. Whether you were a huge fan of Jeremy Lin, like myself, or you thought he was a one-hit-wonder, the decision by the Knicks to let him leave was a smart one.
No one can deny the positive impact that Lin made not only for the Knicks organization but for the entire NBA last season, but the offer the Houston made to him was way more than he was worth. Even the Knicks, who spend money without thinking all the time, was able to see that it did not make sense, monetarily speaking, to retain Lin and his massive contract. The deal was for nearly $25 million over a 3 year span, but $15 million of that would be paid in the 2014-15 season. The problem with that deal is that the Knicks would be so far over the cap that the luxury tax would make Lin’s deal in his final season worth upwards of $30 million. That number is absolutely astronomical and no PG in the NBA is worth it.
I loved the Lin story in New York and I would have enjoyed seeing it come to fruition over the next couple of years, but I have to admit that I am very happy the Knicks are finally making winning decisions rather than publicity building ones. No one can say whether or not Jeremy will be a better player than Raymond Felton or not, but what I can guarantee is that no matter how well Lin plays he will never be worth what Houston is paying him. Lin can be great, but with Felton you know exactly what you are getting.
Felton was the Knicks starting PG for half of the 2010-11 season before he was one of the four players traded to Denver for the acquisition of Carmelo Anthony. While Raymond was with the Knicks, they were an above .500 team and Amare Stoudemire was playing his best basketball EVER! Felton was one of the main reasons that Amare was able to go on his franchise best 8-games with 30 points or more streak. No one wanted to see Felton leave, but no one could dispute the pick up of Anthony as the right decision. The two are now united in what is coming together as one of the better and more experienced teams in the NBA.
The Knicks recent offseason acquisitions should draw much different sponsors, like AARP, Depends and Viagra, because their roster is filled with a bunch of aged veterans. Kurt Thomas, turning 40 in October and currently the oldest player in the NBA, Jason Kidd (39), and Marcus Camby (38), represent some of the new, but very old, Free Agent pickups during this offseason. On top of those dinosaurs, the Knicks are the front runner’s to acquire the second oldest player in the NBA, Grant Hill. With Lin out and Felton in, this group of veteran’s look poised to compete with the best-of-the-best.
Coach Woodson, who just 3 days ago guaranteed Lin would return to the Knicks, says that they have built a win now team. That hasn’t been the thought since their 99-00 team that went to the NBA Finals, coincidentally featuring Kurt Thomas and Marcus Camby in their primes. Maybe the Knicks can convince their assistant GM, Allan Houston, to suit back up and make a call to former teammate Latrell Spreewell, so they can have a 99-00 reunion.
There is no denying that the Knicks have made some unconventional but possibly great moves this offseason. Without question, the Knicks have one of the deeper teams in the entire NBA and they now have the proper championship experience that is required to win. Let’s just hope that they work on their player’s not making bonehead moves during their free time like Jason Kidd did last night while getting into a car accident and then arrested on a DWI in the Hamptons.
Farewell to Jeremy Lin and hello to a new Knicks look that can hopefully bring winning back to NY.
The NBA draft is upon us and the now the owners and general managers must duke it out with negotiations and trade talks to see who can obtain the hot commodities in this years draft class. Even though there are 60 picks between the two rounds of the draft, all of the focus goes to that first pick. Sure there have been some great players that didn’t get drafted #1, maybe even the greatest ever in Michael Jordan, but there is no denying that the #1 pick can redefine your franchise if chosen correctly. Who could forget the all time #1 draft pick busts like Michael Olowokandi and Kwame Brown who left their respective franchises, the Clippers and Wizards, in the crapper as they provided no help whatsoever to turning their teams around.
My favorite basketball player of all time, Patrick Ewing, was the #1 pick of the 1985 draft and he led the Knicks to 15 consecutive playoff runs. Now Ewing never won the NBA MVP award but there have been 11 #1 picks that have. Oscar Robertson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (6 times), Bill Walton, Magic Johnson (3 times), Hakeem Olajuwon, David Robinson, Shaq, Allen Iverson, Tim Duncan (2 times), Lebron James (3 times) and Derrick Rose have all proven that their upper management knew what they were doing when they called their names as the #1 pick. The second that the #1 pick is said aloud at the draft, his face instantly becomes the forefront of a franchise that has clearly been struggling based on their ability to get that #1 slot.
This years draft contains what people are calling one of the best players of all time and he hasn’t even stepped out onto the professional hardwood yet. Anthony Davis has critics drooling as people are just trying to figure out how he can translate his college dominance to the NBA level. There have been comparisons made between Davis and Duncan, which is pretty high praise because Duncan is one of the greatest players ever. As I stated before, when Davis’ name gets called tonight as the first pick of the draft, he will be the new face of the New Orleans Hornets organization. With that being said, there is only one person I can compare Davis to right now and that is one of my childhood mentors, Bert.
If you didn’t notice from the above picture, Davis sports one of the thickest unibrows ever. He looks absolutely ridiculous and for some reason to this day he still hasn’t had it fixed. Maybe he was a huge Sesame Street fan and his unibrow is an ode to Bert, whose unibrow is without question the best ever. Maybe he wasn’t a fan of Bert and maybe he just had a huge interest in the “Surrealist Art Movement,” where the person with the most recognizable unibrow, Frida Kahlo, was a major contributor.
Regardless of his reasons, Anthony Davis must fix this atrocity immediately. Sure there is some symbolism behind that brow of his. I mean the prefix “uni” does mean “one,” and Davis is about the be the #1 pick of the draft, but is that enough reason to walk around like you have a giant Caterpillar permanently sitting on your forehead. I think not, and if I was Monte Williams and the rest of the Hornets organization I would force him to have that taken care of on a daily basis. I really hope that the Hornets don’t turn around and try to embrace that hideous unibrow and make it a trademark like the Thunder fans did for James Harden’s beard. I mean I can just see it now, the Hornets handing out stick on unibrows that all the fans can wear during home games that would make their stadium look like it was filled with products of incest.
I think Davis will be great and I look forward to seeing who else will get picked in tonight’s draft, but if Davis doesn’t want to be ridiculed on a nightly basis, he better fix his hairy situation.
P.S. I apologize to anyone with a unibrow that may have been offended by this article. I do not feel that all people with unibrows look like products of incest…just most of them.
For years, sports commentators and analysts have been drilling athletes, owners, coaches and commissioners with professional and personal questions trying to dig up the most interesting dirt that would interest the public. The problem is when the questions are below the belt and the interviewees fights back to avoid further embarrassment from the interviewer. No one is more famous for their outlandish questions and lack of regard for privacy than the former ESPN host of “Rome is Burning,” Jim Rome. This morning was just another moment for Jim Rome to put someone on the hot seat and listen to them squirm as they try to avoid his probing questions that come off more like an interrogation.
Luckily for the listeners of Rome’s radio show, as well as NBA fans around the world, his guest for the morning was NBA Commissioner David Stern. Since taking over as Commissioner for Larry O’Brien back in 1984, Stern has made it a point to be up front and in the public eye, letting the fans know that the NBA is in good hands. Stern was clearly not prepared for the accusatory question that Jim Rome had ready for him. Rome went on to probe Stern with an accusation that the NBA had fixed the Draft Lottery to favor the NBA owned New Orleans Hornets. Stern firmly responded by asking Rome if he’s still beating his wife. Now Rome has never been formally accused of domestic violence, but Stern clearly was pissed with Rome’s question.
The question is 100% warranted based on the fact that New Orleans is owned by the NBA and the odds that they would win the lottery were a slim 13.7%. I personally don’t think that the lottery was fixed, but with the nullified trade that the NOH’s made involving Chris Paul with the LA Lakers before the season started and then the Clippers trade going through just days later for the before mentioned Paul, made the NBA’s involvement with the team seem slightly suspect. Regardless of whether Rome was right or wrong in this instance, I am just glad a person like Rome finally got caught by some bad Karma. Rome’s fame escalated for an incident on his show in 1994 when his guest was NFL Quarterback Jim Everett. Rome had referred to Everett as “Chris” (after Chris Evert the female tennis player), suggesting that Everett was scared of being hit. When he was a guest on the show, Everett warned Rome about repeating the insult. Rome continued his taunt, causing Everett to overturn the table between them and shove Rome to the floor while still on the air. Here is the interview between Rome and Stern and you can determine whether David’s aggressive responses can compare to Jim Everett’s temper tantrum.
Let us know who you feel is in the right or wrong in this situation.
About 2 months ago, Anthony Davis partied on the streets of New Orleans after leading his Kentucky Wildcats to the NCAA Championship. Now, it appears he will be packing up and moving to the city in which he enjoyed his greatest conquest. The New Orleans Hornets, who finished last season with a 21-45 record, the 4th worst in the NBA, had a 13.7% chance of capturing the 1st draft pick. However, the ping-pong balls fell in their favor, and now the Hornets will have a chance to grab Davis, the obvious choice for the first pick. Last offseason, the Hornets traded away their biggest star, Chris Paul, as he demanded a trade and the team obliged. This offseason, Hornets fans will have an opportunity to rejoice as they will replace some of the star power they lost when Paul went to the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Charlotte Bobcats came into the draft with the greatest chance of capturing the #1 pick, as their record-setting 7-59 record landed them a 25% chance of scoring the grand prize. Michael Jordan has received a lot of criticism as the owner of the Bobcats, and adding a player like Anthony Davis could have done wonders to move their franchise in the right direction. So far Jordan’s NBA owner career has been much closer to his baseball career than basketball playing career. Obviously Jordan’s gambling addiction didn’t help the Bobcats win this lottery, but Charlotte did grab the #2 pick, and might focus on drafting Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Anthony Davis’s teammate in college. If you pair MKG with Kemba Walker, another NCAA Championship winner, the Bobcats might have a reason to be hopeful for the future.
The Washington Wizards were able to secure the third pick in the draft, even though they finished the NBA season with the 2nd worse record, which gave them a 19.9% shot at the #1 pick. I believe they will take Andre Drummond, the Center out of the University of Connecticut. The 6’11, 275 pound 18-year-old is great at running the floor and has a lot of raw talent that can be turned into an excellent all-around offensive game in a few years. Jon Wall should love playing with Drummond, as Wizard fans hope the combination of a young and promising PG with a young and promising Center will allow DC to finally compete.
Picks 4-14 were then determined by last seasons records. For a complete list of who is picking where in the first round, check:
Tell us what you think about tonight’s lottery and who you want your favorite team to draft on June 28!