“Keep Ya Head Up”
Firstly, let me state clearly that any and all words that come out of my mouth relating to the NBA contain a heavy, at times ridiculous, bias towards the Knicks. But like P.Diddy… Can’t stop, won’t stop.
Let me also say this – if I ever see Lebron in the street, he better watch out. My death stare will be so intense, who knows what will happen. Basically, he took everyone for a loooong ride. He knew all along what he was going to do, yet he had Chicago, Cleveland and New York fans believing he would come to them, especially New York fans. We put up with Stephon, we put up with Isiah, we even put up with trading away enough draft picks to select a whole new team, because there was the hope of Lebron. Well, that’s done and dusted.
Now, let me address my NBAMate colleagues (after what they said here):
J.O - The Chris Paul/Carmelo Anthony thing is not so ludicrous to suggest, Chris Paul even mentioned it in a toast at Carmelo’s wedding in New York on the weekend, right in front of the Nuggets owner!
Ant – How did we pay $100m for an upgrade of 15%? David Lee cost Golden State $80m which means we paid $20m more for Amar’e. $100m take away $80m (tell me to slow down if you need) equals $20m. That means Ant, we paid $20m for a 15% upgrade.
Now let’s look at this a bit closer.
David Lee was one of my all time favourite Knicks, I’ve followed him for every game since we drafted him. I bragged about him to friends. I watched his game dramatically evolve. I have a lot of love for D Lee, but Amar’e brings a different style of game to the floor. David Lee nets around 20 points per game, Amar’e 23. David Lee gets his points from jump shots (improved out of sight), put backs and pick and roll plays. He would be lucky to draw a double team though, very lucky. The offense Mike D’Antoni obviously feels comfortable running depends on open spot up shooters. Without double teams, this is clearly a hard task. By adding Amar’e down low, this will make life much easier for Danilo Gallinari, Toney Douglas, Bill Walker and co. Perhaps we won’t get extra points from Amar’e that will blow our mind, but he will create more openings for our perimeter players, without a doubt.
Next, the same team as last season you say? Let’s check the roster:
Toney Douglas (only received court time in the last 2 months of the season)
Andy Rautins (new to team)
Jerome Jordan (new to team)
Landry Fields (new to team)
Billy Walker (only played 27 games after coming across in the Nate Rob trade)
Raymond Felton (new to team)
Amar’e Stoudemire (new to team)
Anthony Randolph (new to team)
Ronny Turiaf (new to team)
Kelenna Azubuike (new to team)
Timofey Mozgov (new to team)
Eddy Curry (7 games last season)
Leaving two actual rotation players from last season’s team:
Wilson Chandler & Danilo Gallinari
Who just happened to be the two most consistent players to put on the blue, white and orange.
Chris Duhon, gone. Al Harrington, gone. TMac, gone. Jared Jeffries, gone. Nate Robinson, gone. David Lee, gone.
Same team as last season? Yeah, spot on buddy. And before it is argued it is the same ‘calibre’ team as last season, that shall only be proven at the end of the year, but I guarantee you we will improve. Harrington and Duhon caused so much devastation on-court last season that the upgrade to Felton and whoever steps in Harrington’s minutes will be massive. Beliiiiieve dat.
Robd – New York, laughable? Funny coming from a Pistons fan. I could leave it at that, but I won’t. Let’s just remember your big splurge in free agency, Benny G and Charlie V, how’s that working out? The one thing people seem to forget about Amar’e? He has swagger. That just so happens to be a very valued currency in NYC. Dude is going to bust his balls. Amar’e was one of the league’s most potent player post-All Star break, and let’s not forget that, averaging 27 & 10 for the home stretch of the season! If you were going to miss out on Lebron/Bosh/Wade, which all but one team did, you’d at least be happy to add a 27/10 big man, right? Apparently not according to you guys.
As for trying to replicate the offense, it’s not gonna be that far fetched, now that we have some actual shooters on the squad and a point guard who can get up and down the floor. Chris Duhon tried, and was actually successful for a few weeks when the Knicks were one of the more entertaining teams two seasons ago. The result? Z-Bo and Crawford looked so good we actually got to trade their humongous contracts. That was Mike D offence. Then we ended up with Albert Harrington and Larry Hughes and things deteriorated. I fully expect our offense to be one of the bright stories of the league this year. I agree with you that we won’t be serious contenders, of course, but we are in a far greater position than you may realise. We now have young assets, and still have cap flexibility for 2011-2012, with Felton signed for just 2 years, EC coming off the books, Mozgov having just 1 of his 3 years guaranteed and so on. Carmelo, Paul, Parker, the options are limitless. With Amar’e here, players now have a better reason to come to New York, and with Miami Thrice guys will be figuring out ways to get together and take them down. No one is planning to do that with Charlie V. Trust me.
P.S Expect several texts/IM’s/tweets/wall posts when Amar’e torches you guys.
Jobba – I appreciate the support. The past few weeks were crazy, I would go to bed late and wake up early, checking Twitter for any clues from the NY beat writers, and reading every NY/Lebron related article possible. On, “The Decision” day I was all kitted out in my Knicks gear, ready to streak. As I threw my Knicks beanie at the TV when Lebron muttered something about South Beach, my heart snapped, my fiancée become scared, and I screamed a word I hadn’t in a long time. But, moments later, I remember I’m a Knick fan for life, and got over it. Again, thanks for considering my personal well being Jobba, always a top bloke But the support was only needed for that day. There is NOTHING this Knicks team can throw at me that will upset me, considering the history of this ball club. Every year for the past 9 seasons I have said, “well, at least we’ll be ok next year” only to be surprised. It would take A LOT for me to be upset with this team.
P.S Thanks for Felton, the Bobbies should struggle again, and the world shall go back to normal.
Ash – Overpay for a scrub like Felton? Well, if we didn’t get Felton you’d say we have no PG, so that’s a wash. We got Felton on a 2-year deal, so what we pay him does not really make a difference. I believe we got him for $7-8m. Not the end of the world, considering Channing Frye got $30m for his latest deal.
Randolph will melt? Well, only if his mind-game playing psychotic coach Don Nelson was part of the trade. Nothing else required to say on this one. Nellie done lost it.
David Lee and Curry leading you to the playoffs? Nice thought, but definitely not going to happen. Who is going to play defense on that squad? David Lee’s strengths are rebounding, outlet passing and working the pick and roll. His most glaring deficiency? Man on man defense. He lets people shoot so he can set up for the boards. Golden State traded away Turiaf and Randolph, two guys who actually bring it on defense, for a guy who doesn’t. You didn’t need more points; you need less on the other team
And that’s a wrap.