Marbury continues to be of great interest to NBA fans, who remember his serious talent. But I don't know many Knicks fans who care about Marbury right now. I'm not going to lie, I came into this season hoping Marbury could rip the starting job from Duhon and would have a great year. I thought he could be explosive for this team and would have added to the on-court product. But now Donnie Walsh has changed the course of the Knicks and the perceptions of the Knicks fans. When Walsh dealt the top two scorers from the opening night roster, focus shifted far far away from anything Marbury could do for the Knicks in the last 65 or so games of the year. Knicks fans are by no means giving up on this season, but the allure of the future is strong. I named the blog Waiting for 2010 because even as I watch the Knicks this season, I imagine how players like Chandler and maybe Lee and Robinson will be able to contribute in 2010 when the Knicks sign some huge stars. I see Duhon dish out 22 dimes and I wonder if Duhon or Harrington are in the future plans at all.
Marbury and Knicks fans always knew this season was his last season in New York. When the Knicks made 2010 seem a lot closer then it is, all thoughts of Marbury for me dissapeared. I don't like typing about him, even though just 6 weeks ago I hoped he'd see 35 minutes a game. He's not a part of my team's future or present, and that is clear. I don't do much second-guessing or armchair coaching. I respect Walsh so far and his plan for the Knicks, and I like D'Antoni's plan to get the young Knicks used to his system. The Knicks have some things they have lacked in over 5 years, harmony and vision for the future. I truly believe the Knicks are a well-run team right now with a plan to achieve major success in the NBA for a long time and are making a 100% effort to win now as well. Marbury is not in those plans, so he is out of my thoughts and has been off the team in my eyes since he didn't get time on opening day or against the Bucks. If he didn't play then, he never was going to, so he is just a contract that needs to be resolved, nothing more, nothing less, and of no consequence to anything on the court unless the Knicks magically trade him away. There are hundres of stories on the Marbury situation with more insight then my blog can offer on the internet. I have nothing to add and no passion to offer on his situation. I wish him the best whatever happens, but I care 100 times more about how many minutes Eddy Curry will get when he gets healthy then what happens to Marbury, and Curry is very low on the list of the thoughts I have about the Knicks each day.
So, on to the quick game preview:
Preview: New York Knicks (+6.5) vs. Portland Trail Blazers, Tuesday, 7:30 pm ESTKnicks-centric stats match-up:
Note: 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: 104.3 points/100 (12th in the NBA)
Blazers defensive efficiency: 103.3 points/100 (16th in the NBA)
Knicks on defense:
Blazers offensive efficiency: 110.7 points/100 (2nd in the NBA)
Knicks defensive efficiency: 107.6 points/100 (26th in the NBA)
As you can see, the Knicks will have their hands full with the Blazers, who run an well-oiled offense and play average D. There are two ways you can look at this. Firstly, that the Knicks will get abused by the Blazers O, or secondly that having a sharp offense is kind of wasted on the Knicks, who don't play the most defense in the NBA by any stretch of the mind. Portland is not a great road team, as I mentioned in my last blog entry, but the Knicks may be outmanned down low at the Garden this Tuesday. I think Portland is a well-coached team who will not take the Knicks lightly, and should be able to defend the Knicks inside and score on the inside as well. I hear Robinson is doubtful and that Mobley will again wait to make his Knicks debut. Considering all of that, I'm going to go with the prediction of:
Portland 111-New York 101
(Record: 2-0 straight up, 1-1 against the spread)
Sorry I didn't get a Knicks fantasy preview out of this week, expect that feature to debut sometime this weekend! Enjoy the game Tuesday