Knicks have same problem as other teams in sports.
It's chemistry and working with the cap.
I think the fans have a certain mentality that with every sport you can just put this guy here and that guy there. Like the players are little pieces to some game. Little regard to their real position and ability.
I think because of contracts and the cap management does that too. Not so much the coaches but owners and GM's do that.
That said, I see a lot of teams without chemistry. I see a lot of teams who rely on free agents to put them over the top. Some times it works but most times it fails miserably.
I have a saying "Free agents don't win, they fill-in". In that I mean you build a team with a core of players you developed through drafting or trading for them early in their careers.
The team that come to mind is the Yankees, they are a perfect example of a team who won with it's core players. They used free agents to fill in certain places that were weak. Some of those FA's came through for them, most didn't. But it's a crap shoot and you can't rely on it and it's not sustainable. Most of them have their moment in glory and that's it, as with Schilling at Boston. He won it for them and has done nothing since.
The Yankees have dropped money, tons of money and came up short. Cashman is a smart man and is changing the way the Yankees are run, he's going back to what Michaels and Watson did when Steinbrenner was suspended. As soon as he came back they went to that formula of signing the big free agent and have come up short every year. Those high priced free agents have done nothing. Including A Rod and "The Big Eunuch" (I know it's unit, if you don't know what a Eunuch 'pronounced u-nik' is look it up..he he he) who were traded for but represent what a free agent's mentality is.
To me free agents are players looking for the biggest pay day period, as with Zito. They are not really interested in winning or anything other than money no matter what they say. There is the exception and a player will take less money for a better fit and maybe a chance to win.
The NY Giants football team had the same problem this year. A team cannot win signing aging injury prone veterans. They break down and it's too much of a crap shoot to pencil them in and say we solved all our problems now.
The Knicks have been trying to do that for years with FA's and trading for aging broken down veterans and rejects.
We signed Jefferies because we needed defense off the bench. He was perfect for that so why did Zeke try to use him in the starting line up? His big contract that's why. How could you start a guy like Lee making 10 times less money over Jefferies?(Isiah should have started Lee) That made Jefferies feel he has to play outside his abilities and start shooting 3 pointers and score, that's not his game and he was benched. But it was the pressure of the contract and Zeke let that happen. He should have defined Jefferies role and he didn't.
For that matter how could you start a lower first round draft pick over a higher. Again Lee is ahead of Frye in the learning curve at the power forward position which is his more natural position, Lee was one in college and Frye was a center. There we go again trying to put players in positions they are not comfortable in or not suited to play. It takes time to make that transition.
Again we tried that with Marbury and Francis and Q at the 3. Q is a swing 2-3 and maybe better off the bench. Francis was a reject who got dumped because he's a cancer. Van Gundy knew it right away and sent him packing.
Marbury has proven not to be a leader, everywhere he went the team struggled and got better when he left. So what made them think he would be different here? In his defense he is trying to change now and it's not easy after so many years to completely change your mentality and playing style. But he is doing it and I give him credit.
What made Zeke think James who did nothing his whole career would suddenly turn into Patrick Ewing because he had one good playoff series?
I understand the Curry thing. He is still young even though he has 5 years in the league. He is the same age as Frye believe it or not. So that is looking like a good move, but it was a very risky one. I'm not sold on Curry yet, his biggest problem is something that maturity will correct and that is effort.
I think the only way for the Knicks to be successful is to stop this trying to make players fit roles they are not suited for. They also much rid themselves of the last cancer and that is James. I think they have the core of players and have to stick to a rotation. Let the guys play and get comfortable with each other and their new positions.
The starting lineup should be:
Rose and Collins.
The only way that line up will work is if they learn to help each other on the defense. Lee has to adjust to the 3 and Frye to the 4, plus they can swing when Curry is out. You have enough guys on the bench who are skilled and if we have match-up problems we can go to Jefferies and Q. Cato is a good backup center and Nate is instant energy and offense. Q can also score in the low post and shoot the jumper, even 3 pointer. Jefferies can shut down any 2-3-4 who is tearing the team up. Balkman needs some more time and is developing nicely, once he gets a jumper he will be great. I see great chemistry there now. It's just a matter of time, playing and working together with a system.
Zeke knows what he's doing and I think he realized his mistakes. There were many!!!! But he is fixing it and I commend him on that. Once James is gone they can sign or draft the best player available and not worry about what we need. I think we have enough talent and depth to compete with anybody. It's the time involved. Those powerful teams that just win have had their core playing together for years........I hope when our core has been playing together for a few years we are in their league. I think we will be if we stay the course and stop messing around with chemistry and that plug and play mentality. We have to have a core to get to that level and we haven't had one since the Ewing years.
We do have some needs but I don't think there are any players in the NBA right now that would make us a better team. Maybe worth a few wins this year but not long term solutions.
Please no more washed up me first players and so called saviors. I had enough of that.
Our needs are there and it includes a point guard, some more beef in the middle at PF or C just to bang a little and not worry about scoring. Also a scorer/shooter off the bench even if it's a center who plays outside. If those players are veteran role players or younger draft picks it makes no difference. The core is here and let's stay the course and enjoy watching this team develop.
Last edited by bigdaddybluesman : 01-10-2007 at 09:29 AM.