What with the Knicks apparently having a sale on their players- "All leading scorers must go! Have a free former all-star point guard! Unused this season!" they were at least clever enough to get something back in return that could actually help them out sometime in the next two seasons.
They received, as you must know by now, Tim Thomas and Cuttino Mobley from the constant shipwreck known as the Clippers and Al Harrington from the Warriors.
Though they did lose Jamal Crawford and Zach Randolph who were playing surprisingly well this season, the team were actually thinking when they made these trades.
Cuttino Mobley: Though he hasn't been cleared to play yet because of this mysterious heart condition (let's hope he is well either way) and he is obviously past his prime and probably won't be getting too many all-star votes this year, he is a veteran who can bring some much needed leadership to the Knicks and contribute well knocking down a three here and there. The type of guy who would have a huge game in a critical game five of a playoff series.
Tim Thomas: He obviously lost all motivation when he signed with the Clippers back in 06. But remember how successful he was during his half-season with Phoenix in that season, and how influential he was during those playoffs. Putting him back with Coach D'Antoni may just spark some enthusiasm from the forward.
Al Harrington: Now that his "injury" has cleared up Harrington has been immediately re-energizes and is making his mark on his new team. People seem to forget the kind of talent that Harrington actually has. It was shown not all that long ago in Indiana and Atlanta where at times he was "the man." He always seemed young to me then. He seems a lot older now.
Again he is a player who fits well into D'Antoni's offensive system, but is also a very gifted defensive player.
It's actually how he made his name all those years ago if you remember.
Ok so they are the most recent new guys...and if we look back a little further, Chris Duhon also arrived in NYC.
Duhon who came from the guard-loaded Bulls was not a favourite by the time he left Chicago. He had fallen out withhis former coach in Scott Skiles and basically lost the will to play hard anymore.
He has been a great floor general for the Knicks so far though. Point Guards always seem to thrive in the D'Antonisystem...well the ones who get played at least. And Duhon appears to be no different. I think a 22-assist game kind of proves that.
Quentin Richardson, in my opinion, is a very good player. He could go for 30 on any given night and not to respect his offensive skills would be foolhardy. Again, he is a player who in the past seems to lack effort and just shoot the ball when it reaches his fingers.
Another guy who was brought in after being successful elsewhere, in this case Phoenix. Another guy who didn't replicate that success in the Big Apple. (something i like to call Knicks Syndrome).
But again, in this new system he seems to actually care about winning a few games and is rejuvenated.
Stephon Marbury. I know the story. You know the story. If you want to know my thoughts, check the article I wrote about it before. You most likely have your own thoughts about it. There is no need for further speculation here.
Though one thing we will talk about that is the result of the Stephon Marbury saga: How little the media is talking about Eddy Curry. The Knicks behemoth had almost been entirely forgotten this season.
I believe the Knicks are officially saying that he is rehabbing an injured knee, but everyone knows how infuriated D'Antoni was when Eddy turned up out-of-shape to training camp. With Randolph already gone, once the Marbury situation is resolved expect Donnie Walsh to move onto Curry as his next project.
Nate Robinson is going to a fan favourite forever. No question. They love him. Why? Because of his stupid hops or Yao Ming highlights? They are part of it yes, but the main reason is that he plays hard, every night.
Nate may sometimes have bad shot-selection or become abit too attached to the highlight stuff, but you can't knock his effort. A nasty groin injury has forced him out of action recently, but before this he was a huge spark for the Knicks.
David Lee is the same. Fan favourite. Pure Hustle. You have to love this guy. For the hustle. For his perfect performance in the sophomore-rookie game. For his hair. You just have to love him. There really isn't anything else to be said about him. He is a major piece of the Knicks puzzle.
Wilson Chandler, despite being buried on the bench for his rookie season, has made an impact so far and is showing that he has some worth to this team. Hopefully he can continue to provide that oh-so-special scoring blast off the bench in the same way that Eddie House does for Boston.
The Knicks still have a lot of trouble around them. Marbury. Curry. The Lebron talk. And, even though they made a good start to the year,the Knicks have just slipped out of the East's 8th playoff spot, sliding behind Toronto. Now let's face it, i think it was just a miracle that they were there in the first place.
They still lack height, in fact the only seven footer on the roster is Jerome James. (Who is the teams' captain by the way...who knew?) And they still need to all adjust to new players and to the added heat from the media thanks to Starbury.
But if they can figure it all out sometime before April, they do actually have the talent to begin scrapping with New Jersey, Miami, Philly and Toronto for those last two playoff spots.
But you only do that if you win games.
A Knicks playoff berth would be the first since 2004 (And that was a sweep to New Jersey) , and would drive the fanbase nuts, win or lose. D'Antoni and Walsh would be heralded as heroes and finally, people might actually be able to say...
"2010? Let's do this season first!"
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