New York Knicks Fail Sunday Test

The New York Knicks still can’t get past the Boston Celtics

The New York Knicks lost a heartbreaker today in Boston, 115-111 in overtime. Despite being a deeper, more athletic team that should be running the aging Celtics off the court, the Knicks could not get the job done. Until they start winning games against playoff caliber teams on the road, they are going to flounder between the 7 and 8 seed and set themselves up for a likely first round exit.

When it came down to it, Paul Pierce was just a little more clutch than Carmelo Anthony. Rajon Rondo was much better than Jeremy Lin, who now has two ugly performances in the last three games against big time Eastern Conference opponents and Amare Stoudemire just wasn’t good enough…again.

The talent is there. The depth is there. The mental toughness and ability to consistently win big games is not yet.

Jeremy Lin must protect the basketball. Between him and Baron Davis, who does seem to finally be getting his stroke back, the Knicks can’t sustain so many turnovers from the point guard position. It is hard to get on Carmelo Anthony too much for today because of how many big shots he hit down the stretch but they still need more from him on defense and in the leadership department. Amare must be more physical on defense around the rim and has to start finishing at the basket especially if Tyson Chandler’s wrist becomes a bigger issue.

There were positives today, notably Iman Shumpert who was terrific at both ends of the floor, especially on defense. If he has a few more performances like he did today, it won’t be long before he is in the staring lineup. The rookie isn’t shy in a big spot and is a great offensive weapon when he is attacking the basket.

The Knicks remain what their records says they are, a .500 team who now has two tough road games coming up in Texas against the Mavericks and Spurs. We know how brutal the upcoming schedule is but the clock is ticking on the Knicks making their move to catch Philadelphia.

They couldn’t get the big road win they needed today, hopefully they will be up to the challenge on Tuesday.

Black Spring – NFL Combine & All Star Clownery

Justin breaks down the NFL Combine and what we learned from the NBA All-Star Game

Tequila is not for the faint of heart. Neither is getting whipped with a belt about 20 times as a crowd of drunken lunatics scream for more. Both things happened in conjunction Friday night at the always classy Coyote Ugly, so my attempt to cover the start of the 2012 NFL Combine was simply reduced to me trying to put enough meat in my body that blinking felt like an Olympic exercise while I heard Mike Mayock and Bucky Brooks ramble on about Indy without Peyton, the beauty of the 3 cone drill, and the various difficulties of switching guards to tackles and back again.

Still, I carried on. The best thing about the combine is the back and forth that ex-players and analysts have about the combine being worthless, pointless, having nothing to do with football, yet glancing over the fact that the newest iteration of the hideous workout uniform combined with super HD cameras create an almost uncomfortable level of voyeurism as GM’s and coaches stare in the stands like they’re at some bizarro slaughterhouse or bull auction, scanning each player for body fat, wobbly knees, nose hair, tattoos, and for the Raiders – telekinetic ability. And when they’re done looking from afar, they bring them into a room with various astrological charts, gypsy psychics, polygraphs, Rorschach blots and Friendly’s style color ins.

That’s the process. So who WON the combine? RG3! The great hope for whatever god awful franchise he goes to. While Griffin can run, throw, run, run, and throw a deep ball pretty good, he played at BAYLOR. Baylor. You know what I know about Baylor? That Phil Taylor is from Baylor. And they play against some of the worst defenses in college football. Not the biggest challenge for a quarterback who is going against corner backs, linebackers, and defensive lineman that aren’t even being invited to the combine.

Before going further, I’ll admit I’ve developed an SEC bias when it comes to skill players. AJ Green, Julio Jones, Trent Richardson, Patrick Peterson, Morris Claiborne, Mark Ingram etc. etc. Why the bias? Because it’s been proven time and time again that the new conference of power is the SEC, and it’s not even close. The PAC 12 is great except for the fact that they have Washington, Utah, Arizona, Arizona State, and Oregon State. The Big 12 is full of “traditional” powers that have weakened substantially and the Big 10 is old power that may or may not see some sort of resurgence in the next 10 years. Go watch Michigan State vs. Alabama in their bowl game two years ago.

But does the combine even matter any more? The combine, like the NBA and NFL all star games, is slowly being taken over by player agents, as many agents for prospective first round picks advise their players not to even bother with running or throwing. There is no upside they say, except to satisfy a bunch of analysts that have absolutely no effect on that players draft status. Too much money to risk, too little incentive to perform.

So concerning the combine, what’s the counterargument against the pro day passing against the combine passing for quarterbacks specifically? Think about this. Is a quarterback prospect going to have his college players to throw to when he gets to training camp? Is said player going to tell his offensive coordinator “I’ve never really thrown back shoulder throws, so let’s just keep things simple and maybe I can work on that stuff in the next off season”? Having something that tailored to a players skill set is almost comical when you talk about a guy who is going to be a first round pick, so he sure as hell better be able to make every throw, even if it’s with a set of scrubs in a flag football game.

So the freakshow is over, and it’s time for the truly insane to come out with 4398 mock drafts, but before that, a brief note on the NBA All Star Game. I don’t care if it is a clown-show at heart, things got SERIOUS in the 4th quarter. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook made me weep tears of joy as they drained 3’s from the corner and dunked like they were in the Colosseum scene from Escape From LA. And to cap off my childlike joy Lebron James FAILED. Again. But I’ll say this, it’s the All Star Game, not the Finals. Oh, about that.

I’m still trying to come to terms with the perceived mental weakness of James coupled with the most athletic physique to ever play basketball. Maybe he will win 2 or 3 championships, but the Kobe and Jordan era is over for good, and no one will ever challenge them again, especially when the best players are on a team consisting of 3 of the top 10 players in the league that was artificially created to win a championship in the cheapest and most sacrilegious method in the history of sports. CHEATING THE SALARY CAP SYSTEM.

As I’ve said all along, Miami has no soul. So if they want to ever get to that mountain of the immortals, they better win 7, and they better start this year.

New York Knicks Second Half Preview – Championship Contenders?

TOJ previews the second half of the season for the Knicks. Are they championship contenders?

Nobody loves football more than me but in terms of the New York City, straight up, there is nothing that gets people more excited than when the Knicks are playing well. This is a basketball town that is starving for a team to take seriously and this season they have it…in a big way.

17-18 isn’t good enough at the All-Star break. Yet let’s remember a few key realities, this team has not had a single second to practice together as the unit they will be in the second half of the season. These first 35 games have been a mish-mash of: playing without Carmelo Anthony or Amare Stoudemire, being led by three different primary point guards and having new additions like JR Smith and Baron Davis learn on the fly.

The fact that the Knicks play one game between now and March 4th is a godsend. They could have a mini-camp and get some type of cohesion going. They may be 17-18 but they are 3.5 games out of first place in their division and 3.5 games out of the 6 seed in the East. Without question, the primary goal is to avoid a 7 or 8 seed and match-up with Chicago or Miami in the first round. There is no reason the Knicks, as currently constructed can’t accomplish that, they have the ability to assert themselves as the third best team in the Eastern Conference and work towards being on Miami and Chicago’s level.

We saw last night, the Knicks are still a clear cut behind Miami. That is okay and understandable. Hopefully, they aren’t worrying about getting on that level until the 2nd round of the playoffs or the Eastern Conference Finals. Right now it is about proving they are better than the 76ers, Pacers, Hawks, and Magic and I believe they are, especially once they get some practice time under their belt.

March is going to provide quite the test for this team. Their schedule is nothing short of brutal. 17 games from March 4th to March 31st, with at least 10 of them being against sure fire playoff teams. They need to come out with a 10-7 or 11-6 record and make their move up the standings.

There are no excuses for this team. Amare Stoudemire needs to pick his play up and be the All-Star power forward he has been his whole career. Carmelo Anthony needs to be the top five player in the league he is capable of being. They have more than enough of a supporting cast now, led by one of the best centers in the NBA in Tyson Chandler, a rising star at point guard in Jeremy Lin and a deep, high-powered bench led by JR Smith, Steve Novak, Iman Shumpert and Baron Davis.

Is this a team a championship contender? You are damn right they are. They are going to get into the tournament and once they do, anything can happen especially with the players on their roster. There is no reason this has to be a Cinderella run from the 7 or 8 seed, this team should be able to claw their way to a 3 or 4 seed and gear up to take down one of the big boys of the East in round two. Chicago can be beat in a 7 game series. They don’t have a second scorer. Miami can be beat in a 7 game series. LeBron James will disappear the bigger the moment gets and they don’t have a half-court offense…even though they play some kind of defense as we learned all too well last night.

Either way, get excited New York City the next few months should be fun.

New York Knicks: Are All The Pieces Falling Into Place?

Could the discovery of a point guard put all the pieces into place for the Knicks?

I want to expand on a point made by Rob Celletti in his Thursday article. Here in the aftermath of Jeremy Lin seemingly cementing his place in the New York City headlines for the rest of the basketball season, with a thrilling 38 point, 7 assist performance en route to the Knicks fourth straight victory, this one over Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers.

The discovery of a point guard changes everything for this Knicks season. Mike D’Antoni’s system can’t function without a point guard, much like the Green Bay Packers offense couldn’t function without a quarterback. Lin appearing out of nowhere, gives the opportunity for the Knicks to run out a deep, well-balanced line-up with everybody set up in their proper roles.

When everybody returns, Amare Stoudemire will have a point guard to who can execute the pick and roll, which will make his game that much better. There is much hysteria about Carmelo Anthony fitting in, but he is too smart of a basketball player not to recognize the advantages of having a playmaking guard like Lin, as Kobe Bryant pointed out yesterday. Tyson Chandler is already playing at an All-Star level at center.

Landry Fields can remain in the starting line-up and has been playing much better. He is confident again on offense and is strong on defense. More importantly the Knicks now have the makings a strong second line, which is an absolute must in this shortened season. If Baron Davis returns healthy, him and Iman Shumpert provide an explosive backcourt off the bench. Shumpert is now free to embrace the role of defensive stopper and an aggressive offensive player who attacks the basket. Jared Jeffries, for all the grief he receives, is an excellent defensive and intangibles player to bring off the bench. Steve Novak and Bill Walker provide 3 point shooting wings, who can score in spurts. If there is an injury, Toney Douglas, Mike Bibby, Renaldo Balkman, and Josh Harrellson (when he comes back) provide emergency depth players who have experience.

There is no denying the league is wide open this year. If you get into the playoffs anything can happen, especially if you are ten deep. The Knicks might have just stumbled into that, with the emergence of Lin as a starting point guard, Novak as a sharp shooter off the bench, Shumpert back in his proper role, and Fields playing confidence again.

The show continues tonight in Minnesota and then with a very manageable slate of games next week, which could see the Knicks finally get back to and over .500.

New York Knicks: Important To Win Ugly

It was important for the New York Knicks to win ugly last night but can they keep rolling against the first place Sixers tomorrow?

I made it out to Madison Square Garden for the first time this season to see the New York Knicks take on the Charlotte Bobcats. The Knicks have been inconsistent en route to a 5-4 start, however last night they showed an ability to win despite Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire having an off night and the bench providing no scoring. Mike D’Antoni coached teams generally don’t win games where they score 91 points but the Knicks found a way yesterday.

Their recent three game winning streak hasn’t came against an impressive slate of opponents, which will make it interesting to see if they can raise their overall level of play with a tough four game stretch on the way, starting tomorrow night against the first place Philadelphia 76ers.

The consistency on defense needs to be better but they do seem to be trending in the right direction. Tyson Chandler is starting to have a trickle down effect on the rest of the roster and had a monster night with 13 rebounds, 3 steals, 3 blocks and 20 points to boot. As a team, the Knicks came up with 11 steals last night, which helped them manufacture points in the open court to compensate for their half court struggles.

Iman Shumpert made his second straight start at point guard and you really can’t say enough about the rookie so far. I am not sure he can keep up such an impressive pace for the entire season but Shumpert runs the offense like a seasoned veteran and provides a ton of energy to the Knicks on both sides of the court. His contributions have helped mask the struggles by Toney Douglas and Landry Fields, who both aren’t playing with any confidence at the moment.

Nobody is sure how the Knicks will handle the return of Baron Davis, which is rumored to be approaching by the end of the month. Yet, whatever starting line-up the Knicks eventually settle on, they need more from their bench. At the moment, they are relying on Mike Bibby and Bill Walker to knock down shots on a consistent basis, which is a risky proposition.

The goal for the Knicks should be to gain home court advantage in the first round, especially with the Atlantic Division there for the taking. Tomorrow night against the Sixers is a big chance for them to make an early season statement by defending their home court against their top two competitors for a division title since they already knocked off Boston.

Answering The Call: An Early Look Around The NBA

Justin takes an early look around the NBA

The NBA started, on Christmas, what was an unbelievable set of games. First game. Celtics, aging yet gaining BRANDON BASS? Rondo plays like he’s on fire. Ray Allen can still drop 3’s, and BRANDON BASS? WOW. They can still play. Just don’t watch them any time on a back to back. Which will be a lot. Jajuan Johnson and Etwaun Moore will have their hands full trying to sub in throughout the back half of the season. But for reasons I can’t explain, the Celtics can still throw up points and shut down opposing offenses for long stretches of a game.

Given, the Knicks had Iman Shumpert trying to shut down Rondo, Mike Bibby and Baron Davis didn’t play and to be honest, the chemistry of the Knicks is about 10 games away where it needs to be. But if the Knicks can figure out a good combination of Davis, Bibby as the starting point guards, Toney Douglas coming off the bench and Iman Shumpert putting time in between shooting and point guard, the rest will take care of itself.

As if the world wasn’t going to end, it looks like Miami is going to have a legitimate point guard out of Norris Cole, their first round draft pick out of Cleveland State. Cleveland connection? Who knows. Do they deserve it? Of course not. Miami should not get draft picks for the next 3 years and give them to the 76ers. Lets see. Udonis Haslem is healthy. Shane Battier is one of the smartest basketball players in the league (went to Duke), Mike Miller is focused, and the Wade/James duo looks like they added a few tricks and shed a few pounds over the lockout. Go watch the workouts between James and Durant if you want an explanation for some of what happened yesterday.
Miami singlehandedly set the Mavericks about 10 games back. Which means they aren’t going to take over the West like everyone thought they should after a championship a la the Packers in the NFL.

To be fair to the Mavericks, they have one of the wildest rosters in the NBA. Vince Carter? Seriously? Lamar Odom is a legitimate 6th man, Delonte West is going to have his meddle tested unlike his time with both the Celtics and Cavaliers. He will knock down 3’s, but don’t trust him as an everyday playmaker. Shawn Marion and Brendan Haywood are getting old and Jason Terry is going to be a one trick pony by the end of the season. I trust the Mavericks to make it out of the first round of the playoffs, but they already look worn out after a ridiculous run which got them a ring last year. Scratch that if it happens to be Oklahoma City they face in the first round.

Best showcase of the day? Oklahoma City meets Orlando. Kendrick Perkins may be the scariest dude in the NBA, and despite Dwight Howard’s Iron Man physique, Kenrick ain’t taking shit from nobody. He’s calling out his own guys, namely Thabo Sefelosha, and busting up everyone from Anderson to Turkoglu. Perkins knows the show revolves around Harden, Westbrook and Durant, so he’s there to do the dirty work. Add the regular efforts of Ibaka and Maynor, the Thunder are probably the most complete team in the West.

On a side note, the Magic are going to crumble under the pressure of moving Dwight before the trade deadline. If you take Dwight off this team, you’ve got a bunch of old guys, a couple 30 something veterans and some B level talent. They need to get something big and at least a first round draft pick if they’re going to try and compete next year. Need I remind that the Knicks and the Heat both have their big 3 for the next five years in place?

The last game of the night was probably the best illustration of the next five years in the NBA. Steph Curry and Montae Ellis trying to bring David Lee and the other Warriors to the playoffs. There are no all stars besides West, but there will be 3 by the end of the year. It’s going to be tough, but the Warriors will be in the top half of the league by the efforts of Ellis and Curry alone. They’ve got a bright spot in their draft pick Thompson, and if Rush can help through the stretch they might even creep into the playoffs.

The Clippers are the most hyped team in the NBA, which is probably going to be their downfall. If either Blake Griffin or Chris Paul get hurt, it’s going to be tough to compete with the rest of West on a nightly basis. I do like Chauncey Billups splitting time with Paul to keep him healthy, or sliding into the 2 guard, but Mo Williams is going to have to prove something if he wants to see significant time. There’s too much ego to split up time evenly between the 3, but splitting Chauncey and Mo at the 2 while occasionally sliding Moe into the point on Chauncey’s nights off will help ease the transition.

I’m gonna try and watch the Nets on a nightly basis, which is good because I need something to remind me that not all basketball is good basketball. Sticking to the primetime games is probably sufficient. Even at 66 games, the season seems too long.

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.