Review: New York Knicks 121-109 New Jersey Nets
Oh snap! Knicks win an Atlantic road game for the first time in what feels like 5 years without Nate Robinson or much from Lee. Al Harrington is a beast, and he looks to be rounding into form better then anyone expected. We all know how rusty Harrington looked vs. the Cavs in his first game back. Since then all Harrington has done is drop 25 or more 5 out of 8 games, hit at least 2 threes in every game, and grab an average of something like 8 boards with only 2.5 turnovers a game in the fast paced Knicks style. Harrington dropped 39 on the Nets, and he is taking over the role of Randolph AND Crawford to the best of his ability. Al Harrington is going to be an even BIGGER part of the Knicks O if Lee is out for a game or two, he may run the pick and roll play that leads to Lee's easy buckets. Can Harrington actually make the Eastern Conference All Star team???
Tim Thomas also went into beast mode during Harrington and Thomas' homecoming to the great landfill that is New Jersey, dropping a season high 26 with 5 threes made, leading my fantasy baskeball team's bench to a strong night. Duhon had a double double, Jefferies continued to turn the ball over a lot and look silly on the court, and Q Rich continued to miss a lot of shots
The story of the night from where I sat, however, was Wilson Chandler. This kid is a stud! 24 points on 10-12 shooting and 9 boards. This goes with his 11-12 shooting night he had earier this season. And Chandler is not a guy that gets dunks or even many driving lay-ups. By my unofficial count, Chandler got 3 layups, a tip, shot 5-6 on mid range jumpers, and 1-2 from the arc. Chandler has one of the nicest mid-range jumpers in the league, it looks better then even Randolph's looked when Randolph was on. Now Chandler will force his shot when he is covered and he is known to throw up the occasional ugly airball, but frankly I remember a lot of other current NBA superstars forcing their shots when they were young. Chandler is going to be a good one. He might put up 20 a game next season, and I don't think that is too wild of a guess considering the current makeup of the Knicks 2009-2010 roster.
The girl that works the Nets sideline is HOT! This deserves mention.
Also of note, Cuttino Mobley retired. I wish him well with his health issues. But, check this out....
Psst! Hey Donnie Walsh!This is the section where I usually will take the Knicks next opponent and suggest a legal NBA trade that is feasible for both teams and achieves the Knicks primary objectives moving forward, which are to move Eddy Curry, move Jared Jeffries, or maybe get something for Marbury. But today, we will discuss the significance of Cuttino Mobley's medical injury retirement. Because Mobley retired and never passed his physical, the Knicks only have to count something like 1.5 million against the cap both this year AND next year. This actually will put the Knicks at 60 million dollars of cap room next season. Now that is still just over the cap, but if Harrington opts out after this season (10 million owed, but if he keeps dropping 20+ a night in NY, he could attract some serious interest after this year to the tune of 16 million plus), the Knicks suddendly find themselves with cap room in 2009-2010. Would the Knicks use it? Maybe. They could use it to lock up David Lee and/or Nate Robinson to cap-friendly but larger deals, or even make a run at Nash if he opts out next season, which I think might just happen. Why get Nash when you have Duhon? Well, have you seen the Kidd/Barea lineup Dallas uses? It looks good to me, I really like it. We all know Nash is super unhappy and may opt out after this year, and if the Knicks could lock him up for 4 years at reasonable terms (hometown discount? He does live in NY in the offseason), Nash could help attract star players in 2010. Hey, you heard the idea here first!
Preview: New York Knicks (+3) at Sacramento Kings, Saturday 10:00 pm ESTI know the following things about the Kings. Their announcers are horrible. The girl that works their sidelines I used to think was about as hot as the NBA had until I saw the Nets girl Wednesday. Kevin Martin can score. That's about it.
Nah, ok, I'm kidding. John Salmons is having a really good year, the Kings have some clowns in the post, and I think Mikki Moore is on that team. Now that's about it.
Knicks-centric stats match-up:Again: Since the Knicks are a team that runs the D'Antoni offense, posting typical team offensive/defensive stats is pretty silly. I will use offensive and defensive efficiency, a.k.a. how many points a team scores and allows per 100 possessions. Hopefully this will give people a better idea on how teams will stack up against the unique style the Knicks offer.
Knicks on offense:
Knicks offensive efficiency: 103.4 points/100 (18th in the NBA)
Kings defensive efficiency: 109.9 points/100 (29th in the NBA)
Knicks on defense:
Kings offensive efficiency: 101.0 points/100 (22nd in the NBA)
Knicks defensive efficiency: 106.8 points/100 (24th in the NBA)
The Kings don't stop anyone, and they don't score. The Knicks never win the rebounding battle, but there might be a first time for everything. The Kings have a huge advantage of being at home, because when is the last time you remember the Knicks winning two straight road games? Well, it's the New York Knicks, with the emphasis on the New. Not only is this a game the Knicks can win, this is a game the Knicks MUST win if they expect to compete for that 8 seed this season. I think they can and will. Nate and Lee are questionable, but the Knicks showed they got plenty of offense without those two, and with them, it only gets easier. I'll predict..
Knicks 118-Kings 111 (season record: 4-1 straight up, 2-3 ATS)
Thanks for reading!