Thursday, November 18, 2010

Breaking News: Knicks in Rebuilding Year

The Knicks have now lost six of their last seven, and if it wasn't blatantly clear going into the season, despite being big spenders on the free agent market over the summer, New York is in a rebuilding year.  Their starting lineup consists of two rookies (Landry Fields and Timofey Mozgov) and third-year Danilo Gallinari who played his first full season last year because of rookie injury problems.  It shows. 

The decision making on the floor and shot selection, particularly down the stretch, is poor.  Bursts of energy and up-tempo offense matched with high pressure defense are not sustained.  To be fair, it's early in the season and the Knicks are relatively better off now than they were at this point last season.  I'm not a huge fan of D'Antoni (at least with this group of players) but I'm also by no means singing the "hey hey, ho ho, Mike D'Antoni's got to go" song like a lot of Knicks faithful.  Give these guys a bit of time to fit together and they could very well compete for the 7th or 8th playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

The worst thing that could happen, however, is if Donnie Walsh succumbs to the building pressure and trades away valuable assets (draft picks or young talent) for a short term solution.  Some are calling for Steve Nash to be brought in.  I love Steve Nash, he's an elite point guard, and the increased possiblity of playing pickup soccer with him at Sara Roosevelt Park in New York City would skyrocket if he came ot the Knicks. 

But New York is in their current position because of overreacting and looking for short-term solutions.  The main targets of the organization need to be Chris Paul or Deron Williams either via trade or through free agency after the 2012 season.  It absolutely hurts watching second-year standout Brandon Jennings run the up-tempo Milwaukee Bucks while we watch Jordan Hill... oh, wait.  We don't watch Jordan Hill.  With drafting young talent, there is a bit of luck involved.  For every two or three first round picks teams usually find one future franchise cornerstone (aside from the 1990s Dallas Mavericks). 

The Knicks do not have that luxury because they notoriously trade away all their draft picks.  It made sense as a way to clear cap space for a run at LeBron, but enough is enough.  Stop trading the draft picks (especially since they are most likely lottery picks) and focus on building a team from the ground up, supplementing with role players and perhaps even a superstar brought in via free agency or a beneficial trade.  I'll cheer for the Knicks regardless of their record if they stick to a long term plan to contend on a consistent basis.   


Anonymous said...

I agree it's a rebuilding year for the Knicks or as Donnie has said, the clock has started. They spent years cleaning up the mess that Thomas left them (who has to be one of the more delusional people on the planet) and now we have some good young talent, a bona-fide superstar, but we don't have an identity.

I'd give them team until January to play with all the parts and find a solid rotation. They're doing surprisingly well on a West Coast trip so here's to hoping they can bring that momentum back to the Garden.

Ferris said...

Here's to hoping, was glad to catch the last 5 minutes of the game last night to watch Stoudemire, Felton, and Gallinari come up big down the stretch.

There is definitely some young talent that just needs to meld together - on any given night some of the younger guys have amazing individual perforances (Landy Fields vs. Denver, Gallinari vs. Sacremento, Felton vs. Golden State).

And having Turiaf back has made a hell of a difference - if nothing else just for the extra body in the rotation. Who would have thought that he'd be the most valuable (on the court) asset the Knicks received in the sign and trade for David Lee? Definitely expecting Randolph to be sent on his way post-December 15th.

Ferris said...

Wait, I take that last comment about Randolph back:

" . . . I ain't really proved nothing in this league yet, so like I said, I've just got to earn his (D'Antoni's) trust while I'm on the court and just keep on the build,'' Randolph said. "It's a long season. I've shown in spurts what I can do, and whether or not I can play in this league is not the question. It's just a matter of me learning and being smarter with how I play.''

After watching the rotating door of players with entitled attitudes sit on the bench last season (Nate Robinson, Larry Hughes) it's refreshing for a young player to have a mature attitude about his evolving role on a team.

More on Anthony Randolph from Alan Hahn here:;JSESSIONID=B061909514B700CEB072.2987?site=newsday&view=knicks_item&feed:a=newsday_5min&feed:c=knicks&feed:i=1.2480108)

MC ENTIRE said...

Knicks are looking good. Turiaf is making a big difference, Gallinari is making shots and getting to the line a lot, Douglas and Felton are a solid young backcourt, Fields is not playing like a rookie, and Amar'e is playing like he should, but needs to cut down on turnovers.

They have a chance to get to .500 and i'm going to say that by Dec. 31st they'll be above .500