Busy reviewing books by authors crazy enough to spend an entire football season’s worth of their precious time on Earth with the New York Jets, our regular 12-packer took a brief respite this week. I’ve been told before that, facially, I look like Joba Chamberlain, so here’s my best effort in relief:
1. The Kyle Lowry trade talks. My advice to the Knicks would be this: Do not cave. Kyle Lowry is a nice player; a good point guard. But the league is filled with good point guards (which makes it pretty amazing that the Knicks are in such dire need at the position). With Tyson Chandler due to come back and the Eastern Conference in shambles, the Knicks can actually still make the playoffs. And since they don’t have their first round draft choice, they might as well try and win games. At this point in the season, I’d stick with what you have and revisit Lowry, if he’s still with Toronto, or look elsewhere for help at the trade deadline.
2. Stop the presses, but the Knicks fanbase seems to mostly be agreeing with owner James Dolan’s refusal to include a first round pick in a deal for Lowry. Even if Dolan’s mentality was simply that he didn’t want to be perceived as being “fleeced” by Masai Ujiri again, who cares?! Whatever progress Dolan makes, even if it’s simply dumb luck or through flawed, paranoid reasoning is progress, right?
/Chugs bleach in February after Dolan trades Shumpert, Hardaway, and all 3 eligible first round picks for Andre Miller.
3. Call me when Masai Ujiri’s teams win something.
(Okay, I know that’s unfair, and I am admittedly bitter. He’s proven to be capable of dropping a bad contract onto another team and getting a return of young players and picks for a star player. But to win in the NBA, you need a roster with legitimate star power. I’m interested to see what shrewd moves Ujiri makes in the future that gets a team real, championship-caliber star power. Because although he left the Nuggets with a lot of assets, they do not have a championship-caliber roster at the moment. )
4. The whole “the Knicks need a point guard” thing has brought Jeremy Lin’s name back up. I’m not going to comment on Lin further because I’ve decided to move on from him, but the one thing I’ll say is that there wasn’t that much chatter about him last season, when the Knicks were winning. It seems like a lot of fans were holding on and waiting for the time for the Knicks to return to being a laughingstock so they could grumble about Lin. Letting him go wasn’t a great move, but let’s move on.
5. The Knicks’ two most used five-man lineups both have very solid, positive net ratings (11.3 and 10.8, respectively). That’s kinda sorta odd for a team that’s 6-15. Guess the other zillion lineups Mike Woodson have used haven’t fared that well.
6. I don’t have the time to quite look this up across the entire league, but the Knicks’ back court has to be one of the least efficient, no? Each of their three top guards have terribly-low PER’s Raymond Felton’s is 11.8, J.R. Smith’s is 9.0 and Iman Shumpert’s is 10.8. All three of these guys are having, to be nice, sub-par seasons. Couple that with Chandler’s injury and Carmelo Anthony’s struggles with close games on the line, and you get yourself at 6-15.
7. Heading into tonight’s game at Boston, the Knicks will try to win their first game of the season when they have exactly one days’ worth of rest. According to NBA.com, they are 0-9 in such games this season. Theyre’ also 3-2 on the first game of a back-to-back, and a not so bad 2-3 on the second game. But 0-9…they’e sort of due, right?
8. Mike Woodson mentioned that with Felton out, he may give Toure Murry some playing time. Although this is an unofficial metric, this would give the Knicks the lead in the NBA over the past decade in “Holy Crap We Suck So Let’s Try the 15th Man”.
9. But seriously, could playing Murry hurt, at all? Offensively, he’s not a great passer so I don’t think the ball would move as much as we’d all like it to (unless he’s on the court with Pablo Prigioni, a back court I can talk myself into in about eight seconds…yeah, I already have), but defensively he has to be, by default, the Knicks’ best option for handling a good point guard. He’s rangy, young and athletic, which is exactly what Raymond Felton, Pablo Prigioni and Beno Udrih all are not.
10. If Murry starts getting some serious burn, and the Knicks are still losing, and Tyson Chandler has yet to return…can we all please start up the long-overdue #FREEALDRICH movement? I want to see this happen.
11. The Knicks and Rangers are a combined 8-18 at Madison Square Garden this season. Is it too early to believe in a Curse of the Chase Bridges yet?
12. Based on Wednesday night’s commercials, the music for tonight’s Friday Night Knicks broadcast will feature Pearl Jam. If anything can turn this season around, it’s Lord Vedder.