Well, Hey The Knicks Won – Thoughts On The Opener

Thoughts on the New York Knicks season opening win

Don’t forget that we cover the NBA and the New York Knicks here as well, especially after the New York Jets season will mercifully come to an end next week (most likely, there is still that .0005 percent chance they sneak in the playoffs). With that being said, here are some thoughts from their 106-104 win over the Boston Celtics at MSG today —

1. It is a damn shame that Iman Shumpert is already banged up with a MCL injury that will knock him out 2-4 weeks. He plays confident and is explosive with the ball in his hands. It looked like he could provide hope to a Knicks bench that is a major question mark moving forward but that will now be even more short handed.

2. Toney Douglas took 19 shots. Carmelo Anthony took 17. Amare Stoudemire took 11. Obviously that is a problem. Douglas needs to be more of a facilitator and do a better job of holding the fort down until Baron Davis gets back healthy and he can move into his more natural off-guard role. Landry Fields had a quiet 7 points and it is hard to imagine a scenario where his minutes won’t dwindle as the season moves on when Shumpert, Davis, and Mike Bibby are all healthy.

3. ‘Melo turned in a terrific performance (10-17 from the field, 37 points, 8 rebounds), playing like the superstar that he is. He is a serious contender for the scoring title in this system and put the team on his shoulders in the 4th quarter this afternoon. Stat was 8-11 from the field and finished up with 21 points.

4. Tyson Chandler: 6 blocks, beautiful. 3 rebounds? C’mon man.

5. A must Knicks follow on Twitter throughout the year (@MokeHamilton)

Two Months & Still No Answers: NFL, College Football, NBA

Justin breaks down what we have learned through two months of the college football and NFL season, along with a look at the NBA Lockout

Questions remain. Is Oklahoma the best college team in the country? Don’t bother thinking about it. They’re the most explosive offense, but as Oregon found out against LSU, great defense beats great offense every time in college football. Oklahoma will fear the LSU or Alabama defense if they so happen to meet in the BCS championship game.

They will fear it because it hits hard. See Jordan Rogers. They will fear it because it causes turnovers, whether through the air or on the ground. They will fear it because it keeps coming, and even after the ball gets thrown Landry Jones will still have to pick himself up off the ground and wait for the blue moon blitz.

Alabama put a beating on Ole Miss, as LSU did to Tennessee earlier on Saturday. The debate as to who is better comes down to the running game, because both quarterbacks are probably not even in the top 10 in the country. Now LSU gets the beauty of a quarterback controversy heading into the November 5th early SEC championship game.

To break this down to those who have not witnessed Alabama and how they go about outscoring opponents by 40 every weekend I have devised this 8 part script:

Part 1 – Let the opposing offense march down the field, giving a false sense of hope
Part 2 – Start to stop the run game
Part 3 – Take away the pass game
Part 4 – Introduce Trent Richardson to opposing defensive backs
Part 5 – With 21 point lead, take Richardson out of the game
Part 6 – Hit someone so hard on defense they stop looking for screens and passes over the middle
Part 7 – With 30 point lead, insert Eddie Lacy or Marcus Fowler
Part 8 – Enjoy victory

Oh Denard. Michigan is currently sitting at the great precipice of what may be the end to their season. How did Michigan fall apart against Michigan State? They couldn’t play their game. Their game that consists of power run, option run, screen pass, QB sneak, and repeat. Michigan always runs up scores in the first few weeks against subpar teams, but Michigan State knows their game plan, and as long as Denard Robinson is around that isn’t going to change much. He, unfortunately, cannot throw the ball. What some call back shoulder, some call luck.

So there you go. Alabama will be in the title game, LSU will destroy some Big 12/Pac 12 team in a bowl game as Alabama did to Michigan State last year, and Oklahoma will finally be exposed as the pass happy big brother to Oregon. Stanford will have to beat the elusive, speed first Oregon if they are going to get anywhere close to the BCS championship, all the while praying to god Oklahoma has some sort of huge slip up. Neither may happen, so we may again be wondering if the smartest team in the country can actually hang with either the Big 10 or SEC. After this season it won’t matter, so if they are going to do it, they better do it this year.

If Clemson survives the rest of their schedule, they will make a nice story, but the great matchup of an undefeated Georgia Tech against an undefeated Clemson is sadly not to be.

Don’t trust Oklahoma State. They are horrible on defense, and they will ultimately rely on the play of their quarterback and running back to put up 50 if they have any chance to make it through the Big 12 with only one loss (Oklahoma). Giving up an average of 27 a game is not a method for long term success.

The Big East, whom I love like Gilbert Grape, will not exist in five years, so no point in getting sentimental about teams like West Virginia and Rutgers and Syracuse.

The Big 10 championship will be ugly. There will not be many points scored, and if it ends up as Michigan State against Wisconsin, look for something truly hideous.

TCU can’t pass and they can’t stop the pass, so the temporary love affair from analysts is most likely over. Someone print up posters of Kellen Moore and Justin Bieber side by side. I love Boise State, and will until I am cold and rotting. They average 14.5 points against, so I can love the defense and let Kellen sling it all over the field.

As I stated previously, the South Carolinas and Floridas are sadly not going to be a part of the SEC championship. I have a respect for Florida’s defense, and I have unabashedly announced my fascination with both Marcus Lattimore and Jadaveon Clowney. Despite this, they are a rung below the machinelike efficiency of both LSU and Alabama.

Anyone care about the Sun Belt? No? Good.

On to the NFL. Who’s the best team in the AFC North? The Ravens. They are what the Jets wish theywere. Greatest linebackers and safeties of their generation, an All Pro defensive tackle, and a running back who is the lighter/faster version of Shonn Greene. The Patriots are probably going to meet them in the AFC championship, but as we all know, defense wins in the playoffs. Can’t Wait.

NFC North? Packers. There are few things that can beat the Packers, save for some ridiculous pressure and or speed that no defense has at the moment. Aaron Rodgers will run circles around the rest of the NFC north for the rest of the season. God help any NFC team that happens to run across the Packers indoors the rest of the season.

What will happen to the weirdest team in football? Carson Palmer will probably throw for 150, two interceptions, and two touchdowns this weekend. They will not sling it out, accuracy is key when you’ve got Bush and Mcfadden in the backfield. 3rd and 4. That is until Moore and Heyward-Bey get loose and Carson Palmer says to himself, “hey now, these guys can run better than the guys in Cincinnati!”

The only question is, would Carson have fared better with AJ Green and Jermaine Gresham than he will with Kevin Boss and the two burners on the outside?

At this point, I must make my confession about the NFC East. The Redskins are a QB and a receiver from the playoffs. They should do well in this year’s draft, probably ending up with the 16th pick and finally getting the offensive help to add to one of the NFC’s best defenses. If they can get a big fast receiver and a first round quarterback, they may actually stand a chance against the overhyped Eagles and the under-hyped Giants.

As a Jets fan, it makes me sad to realize that the Giants are a better built organization. Just look at the first round picks:

Hakeem Nicks, Jason Pierre Paul, Mathias Kiwanuka, Antrel Rolle, Aaron Ross

The offensive line: Four Pro Bowls. Defensive line: Four Pro Bowls. They have consistency that most teams envy. They will make the playoffs this year and the rest of the ALL STAR teams (Cowboys, Eagles) will have to deal with quarterback inconsistency that makes Eli Manning look like Peyton.
Enough love for the NFC East. I feel sick.

There is a sad end to all of this, the NBA

The NBA will not have a full season this year. It will probably not have even half a season. If there is a season, it will be weird, short and as exciting as the last 6 weeks of college football.

We already missed the Heat vs. Knicks, Thunder vs. Mavericks and to keep the list going would make every NBA fan seethe with rage. As the NFL taught us, it isn’t over till its over but this time it feels like it’s been over since the beginning. And now the players are talking about a ten game world tour, something you wouldn’t do unless you have little to no hope. Here comes the NBA equivalent of the XFL, and it will not last. Even the most diehard fans will feel cheated.

The Abyss Of The NBA Lockout

TOJ at SB Nation New York on the just how ugly the NBA Lockout could get

A few other NBA notes…

1. Yao Ming announced his retirement today. It is shame he could never reach his potential in the NBA because of health concerns. He still was an important international figure for the league but we will always have to wonder how good he could have been at 100 percent. Let’s hope another big man, Greg Oden, can eventually find a way to stay healthy on the court.

2. I love this quote from Knicks second round pick Josh Harrellson “I’m gonna protect our star players. Amare, Melo, and everyone. I will be there and have their back.” … that is the type of attitude this team needs.

3. It has been exactly a year since LeBron made “The Decision”…you have wonder what would happen if he could do it all over again.

100 Days And Counting: The Nightmare of the NFL Lockout

I’ve heard talk of shortening the baseball season. Please don’t do that. I need something to sleep to. Baseball is the old man’s game, Played by people who generally have little to no personality. How can you have a personality on a baseball team? A fist pump after a strikeout? Not flashy enough. An occasional dirt kicking at the umpire? Why don’t we mic up the managers when they go out there for a good verbal throw down? Cliff Lee is about as exciting as Bingo at the Community Center, and I’ve never actually heard Roy Halladay speak…that’s baseball in a nutshell. If anyone still thinks Ozzie Guillen is edgy or interesting…I’ve walked through the Lower East Side and heard more truth, insight and rage in less time.

50 game NBA season? Maybe I can actually watch the Nets get themselves out of the running by game number five. Boy, that first week is going to be a blast though. I can predict with certainty that Indiana, Memphis and Oklahoma City are going to take big steps forward. There will be ten teams that have the potential to win the whole thing: angry Kobe, revenge of D-Rose, rise of Durant, the long sad story of Dwight Howard and the gondola singer that is Stan Van Gundy. the NBA may be one of the few sports that could actually benefit from a shortening of the season.

Football. It is hard to even type out. I’ve played so many hours of Madden my fingers begin making audible and hot route ps3 controller movements when I am sitting on the bus. I can’t do it anymore. every game brings me to tears (of joy or sadness I have yet to determine).

There are certain conclusions I can draw about what has happened so far in the off-season. The Bengals will never be good, not with their current owner at least. I would rather watch Cincinnati at the college level. Terrell Owens is done. Tiki Barber is a smiling joke who thinks using the term depression rights all the supreme wrongs he has committed throughout his miserable post football existence. The Giantswill yet again put out a defensive line that makes grown men feel like children, even if Osi isn’t there.

Sometimes I dream of a Jets/Giants Christmas Eve game, freezing at the Meadowlands, 10 below zero, screams coming from every direction, and then it happens: Woody Johnson and the Mara family come out to the 50 yard line, microphones in hand and begin to explain why there will be no game after the coin toss. The lights go dark. “revenue sharing model…cost efficiency with regard to player/owner incentives…rise in advertising and broadcasting costs.” It is a two hour speech and at the end, the players walk back to the locker room, handcuffed to each other as to not even throw a pass or run the ball. There is silence all around. There will be no more fun.

NBA Draft Reaction: Knicks Surprise, Nets Get Steal, Kemba Hungry

TOJ at SB Nation NY with an interview with Kemba Walker on his thoughts on going to Charlotte and being passed over by 8 teams.

A closer look at Knicks picks Iman Shumpert and Josh Harrellson

Thoughts on the Nets trading for Marshon Brooks

Shumpert wasn’t initially a popular pick because he isn’t a big name guy and it seemed like a reach considering where he was being projected to be drafted. However, considering he won’t have the pressure to come in and immediately start, there is no reason he can’t develop properly behind Chauncey Billups while competing with Toney Douglas and Landry Fields for minutes. Shumpert has plenty of potential, especially to develop into a quality defender at 6-6 and with a 42 inch vertical.

Harrellson provides some much needed size at 6-10, 275 pounds. He doesn’t exactly have the strongest competition to make the roster, as the Knicks are thin on big men, so he may have a chance to stick.

Personally, I loved the Nets trade to get Brooks. They needed to provide a scorer in the backcourt with DeRon Williams and Brooks has a high ceiling, with the potential to develop in a star as the Nets move to Brooklyn.

NBA Draft: Where Will Kemba Walker End Up? Other Draft Rumors

TOJ at SB Nation NY on where local product Kemba Walker could end up in tonight’s draft.

The draft rumor mill is in full swing —

  • Walker could go anywhere from the Raptors at number 5 all the way to the Pacers at 15.
  • Despite Cleveland having the 1 and 4 pick, they are expected to be active for a third lottery pick. Good for them attempting to expedite their rebuilding process.
  • Tony Parker, Steve Nash, George Hill, Jonny Flynn, Monta Ellis, Andre Iguodala, and Eric Maynor are all names being thrown in around in trade rumors. However, I don’t expect the Knicks to make a move for a veteran.
  • There is such a wide range of players the Knicks could end up with at #17, it is hard to project. I wouldn’t be shocked if somebody like Jimmer Fredette or Walker fell to around 14 or 15, if they made a splash by moving up. However, I’d personally rather see them trade up to get Chris Singleton, who will probably be off the board by number 9.
  • It sounds like Cleveland is just about locked into Kyrie Irving with the first pick but Minnesota with the 2nd pick? Well, that is anybody’s guess…could be Derrick Williams, could be Enes Kanter, or they could trade out.

NBA Draft Preview: Will Knicks Make A Major Move?

A whole mess of NBA Draft Coverage

TOJ at SB Nation NY on why the lack of elite talent should make for an eventful night tomorrow

The Knicks plans for the 17 pick remain up in the air

Could the Knicks deal for a veteran point guard?

Personally, I don’t think the Knicks will make a move for a veteran point guard. I am not crazy about the thought of trading Toney Douglas for Jonny Flynn, as I think Douglas is already comfortable with the system and can the hold the fort better for another year as Chauncey Billups’ backup. Flynn has injury concerns and hasn’t been anywhere near as productive the past two years as Douglas.

Even though his scoring would be exciting, the Knicks can’t be giving up assets to move up to obtain Jimmer Fredette. They can’t afford another major defensive liability. If they are adamant about going with a scorer, I’d rather see them go with Marshon Brooks who has more potential to develop into a somewhat decent defender.

Considering their need and who will likely be available, Chris Singleton out of Florida State probably makes the most sense for the Knicks. If he is gone, I don’t have a problem with them looking to Alec Burks or Josh Selby, who Carmelo Anthony is apparently pushing very hard for as fall-backs.

Let’s Make A Musical: Thoughts On The NBA Finals And The Psychology Of Enjoying Failure

It says something that almost every person that despises LeBron came out with long proclamations that make no sense, seeing as how he is 26 years old. That’s correct. 26 years old. People are so forward with their claims that they proclaim he will not even achieve a single championship.

Did he shrink under the pressure? Sure. But to say that the pressure put on LeBron James and the pressure put on Michael Jordan are even in the same ballpark, would be insane. Is LeBron James Michael Jordan? No, he’s Lebron James.

With social media and the amount of press generated on a daily basis, Michael did not have to deal with articles about teammates having sex with his mother or girlfriend. He did not have 4,000 bloggers on his back because he was stuck with a horrible franchise, a horrible owner, and let’s face it, a rather small town mentality that looked like 4 year olds stuck in the bodies of 34 year olds. Remember, someone in Cleveland had to OK that witness poster.

Was Miami the answer? Probably not, but to leave Cleveland was a PROFESSIONAL decision. Because, let’s look at this, any other field of work would not even create one article of scorn, much less complete hatred. So to do something that was NOT illegal, and create a movement to burn and destroy pictures of someone, it makes fans look like religious fanatics and not sports fans. LeBron is not a religion, and it’s your fault as a fan for treating him as one.

Do I think the bracelet with King James on it is ridiculous? Hell yes. Do I think that over the top preseason stunt was too much? Hell yes. But guess what? Other people were involved in that besides LeBron James. Business people. The same people who decided to turn Miami upside down in creating LeBron burgers, hotel suites, and other sick twisted merchandising opportunities.

To all the people that got offended by him talking about his postgame comments, go check what he said today. He knew he isn’t better than other people. He plays basketball, he doesn’t cure cancer. And he didn’t steal your 401k. For anyone to think a basketball player is the highest form of humanity, they really need to get a grip on reality. As a sidenote, try getting told you suck for about 20 times and not getting at least a little upset. To be honest, I am shocked he didn’t reach across the table and choke Gregg Doyel.

So lets move on to Dallas, shall we? Dirk was a man amongst boys. There is absolutely no way to dispute that. He was a German romantic hero. He didn’t have the physique, the look, the speed. Yet he had one of the greatest shots of all time. A shot you can’t teach. His shooting coach could write a book, do a movie, and create an entire school, but he probably wont, which only adds more to the mystique.

Jason Terry was a New York Jet. He talked and walked. Actually he ran, right to the basket. It made Rex Ryan weep.

Dallas deserves everything they get, and Lebron deserves some of what he gets, but when your joy is in others failures, try for a moment to imagine being the close relative of someone like LeBron, when you have no public voice, no defense, just the continuous cackling of the deranged hate-mongers everywhere you go.

As a final note, to look at the childish mentality of all of Ohio, look at the governor, who after the Mavericks won, named them honorary Ohioans. Wow. You really showed LeBron. Don’t scorn us, or we will pass resolutions. Why don’t you just go Harry Potter and make it a fine to speak of LeBron James in public?