Saturday, November 15, 2008

My thoughts on the Knicks through nine games

Sitting at 6-3 the Knicks look leaps and bounds better than last season. They look like a respectable basketball team in many different respects, and look like a well coached basketball team.

So far my thoughts on the team as a whole:

-Wilson Chandler is a baller. The young man can play, and he looks to have a promising future as long as Coach D'Antoni is running the show. His athletic ability, his shooting ability have impressed me. Also, he is a nice rebounder who has a knack for the ball, and he can bang down low. D'Antoni has compared him favorably to Shawn Marion. That speaks volumes (though I do think Marion is very overrated, look at what he did with D'Antoni in Phoenix.

- Chris Duhon is a good distributor. Throughout the course of the season I think he will have to contribute more offensively, but right now he is finding open man, and playing good defense. He has proven to be a good signing thus far.

- When Jamal Crawford is going well, there aren't many guys in the league who I'd rather have with the ball in his hands in a big spot. That being said, that doesn't happen too often, but right now he is going well. He is shooting the lights out, and looks confident as ever shooting the three.

-Defensively, the Knicks are still a work in progress but they are playing better in that department as well. The effort is there, and the teamwork is there. Guys are covering for each other and communicating on the court more than I've seen from these guys recently. The lack of size upfront is hurting the team right now, but the effort on that side of the court is definitely there and that is a good sign.

- I think once Jared Jeffries comes back, David Lee will start to be phased out of the rotation a bit. I, for one, hope they trade Lee and get some value for him while they still can. While I like the guy's hustle, his defense is subpar and his offensive game still leaves a lot to be desired. In the offseason he will be commanding 10+ million, and paying that for an energy player with a limited offensive game is a bit short sighted. I trust that D'Antoni and Walsh will do the right thing.

- Zach Randolph is playing excellent ball right now, averaging 20 PPG and 12 RPG. He has all the talent in the world, no one ever questioned that, but he tends to phase out his teammates with his lack of passing and general attitude concerns. I see that Donnie Walsh knew what he was doing when he didn't just give away Zach in the offseason for a cup of cold coffee and a half eaten donut from the Clippers. Hopefully Zach continues on this pace so the team can rid themselves of the contract and potentially get a decent player for him.

Right now the Knicks look like a team on the rise, but it is still early. The teamwork, the offensive production, and the coaching have all been excellent and that is a great sign. Much like with the Jets, it seems as if times are a changing with the Knicks. Hopefully they can keep it up and bring playoff basketball back to the Garden

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