Monday, July 7, 2008

The New York Knicks- the rebuilding process

Isiah Thomas was a great GM for this team and I'll certainly miss his services. Ok, now that I have picked myself off the ground from laughing, let's talk about the Knicks and their rebuilding process. This past offseason has been a relatively busy one for the Knicks as they have hired a new coach and a new President, ending the Isiah Thomas 'error' as Knicks executive. The Thomas' era started with the disastrous trade for hometown product Stephon Marbury, and ended with him feuding with Marbury. It had a lot of bad moments in between, like the Anucha Browne Sanders case, the absolutely horrific signings of Jared Jeffries and Jerome James. I have a hard time deciding which of those signings was worse.

With the hiring of Coach Mike D'antoni and President Donnie Walsh, change is the main theme in MSG these days. Coming from Phoenix, D'antoni plans to implement the uptempo, breakneck system you saw Steve Nash run to perfection. Problem is, he is coming to a situation with a poorly constructed roster made up of a bunch of guys who you can essentially call 'losers'. D'antoni has led four straight 55 win teams in Phoenix in the gauntlet that is the Western Conference, while bringing a fun, productive style which many teams try to emulate. With all of that said, I have a hunch (I have no idea what makes me feel this way) that the string of 55 win seasons will end this season, as he is in the midst of possibly the worst roster in basketball. Put it like this, if D'antoni manages to win 45 games with this team, they should put a statue of him outside the Garden.

As far as the draft, Danilo Gallinari was the pick at 6 to the chagrin of the Garden on draft night, 95% of which had never even watched a clip of him, I bet. They booed, they chanted "U.S.A" and once again represented the city of New York so well. I am on the fence regarding the pick. I thought he was the best player for our team that was still left on the board. He is 6'10 (with room for growth), can shoot the ball from anywhere on the floor is a good ball handler. He has a very good offensive repertoire, and has huge upside. The main reason I am on the fence is described in two horrifying words--Frederick Weis. Remember him? The guy who the Knicks drafted over Ron Artest, the guy who Vince Carter jumped over and proceeded to 'teabag' in the Olympics. The guy who never played a minute of basketball in the United States. That pick still makes me shake my head.

The Duhon signing is one that I like because of the kind of player he is, a scrappy, hard nosed unselfish player. I don't really like him as a starter yet, but I think in time all of New York will warm up to him, if he improves his shot. The defense is there, the distribution ability is there, the effort is there. Now hopefully he can see a bump in his production because of his surroundings and the current system in place. Most importantly for all, this most likely means the end of the Stephon Marbury tenure. HALLELUJAH!!!!!

It's the beginning of a new era in New York, and hopefully for long suffering Knicks fans like myself, it will be a full 180 from the last two tenures. If it isn't, the Knicks might not matter for another 20 years.

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