Grading the Knicks as players and gang fighters.
This is my grades and my opinion on each player on the roster. Thank goodness they only have 14. I will also comment on them as gang members. I grew up in the East New York section of Brooklyn in the 60's and have some experience with gangs, although they were not like the gangs/thugs of today.
Stephon Marbury - Grade C, I think he has all the talent a basketball player needs but is lacking between the ears. It would have served him well if he played a few more years in college. He's undisciplined and never learned to play defense. He cannot operate if he has to think, he plays best just running the floor. That is not what you want in a point guard for a team that has championship aspirations. He's not a thinking man's player, he's a flick the switch and go type guy. In his defense I think he is trying to change, I think he realizes his style of play is not a style but a limitation. I have a feeling he is very frustrated and confused, his basketball fantasy world has become a reality. He is not Starbury but just another talented street player who cannot grasp what's necessary to be a champion. He would be hanging out on the side trying to pickup every bodies girl friend.
Steven Francis - Grade D, He's basically a clone of Marbury but a better scorer. He plays out of control and turns the ball over way too much to be an effective PG. Time and time again I see him ball hawk and over dribble. When he doesn't have a shot after he already drives to the basket he dumps it off, giving up on the play. Bad passes and clueless about fundamentals like DEFENSE. He's going to end up as a backup on a good team to fill time for the starters. He too would be working the chicks looking for the one's that said no to Marbury.
Nate Robinson - Grade B minus, He has really done everything you would want from a midget basketball player. He is a spark plug ad can get the team going. He needs work on his defense and to play under better control. I don't think he will ever be a starter but a great player to come off the bench for years to come. I hope he will always be a Knick. He needs to learn to control his emotions and channel them better, he needs to grow up and mature and I believe he will. I'll say this if I had a street gang I would want him in the front when the rumble broke out.
Marty Collins - Grade Incomplete, I haven't seen enough of him to comment. From what I have seen I believe there is potential to be a very good backup. He seems to understand the game and his role. That role will be as a backup PG/SG to play defense, spell the starters and not make mistakes. Just solid fundamental basketball is all that's needed from him and I think he will deliver in time. He could be in my gang anytime but can he take a punch?
Jamal Crawford - Grade B, He can certainly shoot and score with the best of them. But he makes some dumb plays, unnecessary fouls and turnovers, dribbles too much and needs work on his passing. Plays out of control sometimes but has gotten better. He is a defensive liability with the bigger stronger SG's and that's one reason Larry wanted him to play PG. As a SG he doesn't have the body to start on a defense orientated team. He's better coming off the bench as instant offense and to spell both guards as a primary option before Nate. But then again he needs time to get into his rhythm so what do you do with him? I think some time spent in Golds gym would help to get him a starting job at SG. He has just enough height at 6' 5". He would stand behind the gang and throw rocks at the other gang.
Quentin Richardson - Grade B+, I like this guy, he's a man. He's mature, doesn't complain and does what he has to do. I can see him get frustrated some times but who wouldn't with this team. I don't think he's a natural 3, he would be better dropping a few pounds and playing the 2, sometimes swinging to the 3. He's 6' 6" and that's small for a SF these days, he's very strong especially in his legs and that's great for a low post player, which he really is. But he can also shoot and hit the 3. He plays defense very well and I have seen him shut guys down. But he's just a little too small to be the starting SF. I like him as a swing either starting or coming off the bench but getting a lot of playing time. He reminds me of somebody's father looking to try and stop the rumble.
Renaldo Balkman - Grade A, considering everybody was killing Zeke about this pick I feel it was the correct choice. He is everything you want in a pro basketball player. He has the height and span to play both forward positions and a nose for the ball. He plays close to the basket with a lot of energy and is not afraid to bang inside with the bigger bodies. He uses his long lean body to get position rather than bulling his way in. Very athletic and smart. He will get better and better, if he can hit the 15 ft jumper consistently he will be a starting SF in this league. Give him a year or two and he will delivery and become the steal from that draft. He always has a positive attitude and seems to just love being on the court, gives 100%!!!!!. He has very good ball skills and I wonder if he could play PG, yes I know that's strange but why not? He's the kind of guy that would sneak around the side and take out the toughest guy on the other gang while he wasn't looking.
Jared Jefferies - Grade Incomplete, I haven't seen enough of him as a Knick. I like his toughness and intensity. He can play any position and brings the kind of effort this team needs especially on defense and the boards. I see him as being a more accomplished version of Balkman and Lee but cut from the same cloth. He is really missed in Washington, they made a huge mistake letting him go. I would want him covering my back in a fight with another gang anytime.
David Lee - Grade A-, This guy reminds me of the old Knicks from the 60-70's. A Dave Debushere type. He is tenacious around the boards and uses his body well not just to over power but getting position to make something happen. He will only get better as he works on his craft. He has to learn to hit the 15 foot jumper and better defense but he has the tools and the mentality. I wish his arms were a little longer and maybe another inch or 2 in height. But he has all the intangibles to be a starter and even go to the all star game someday. He is a winner and I would want him behind me in a fight, he will look mean and fight like a junkyard dog.
Channing Frye - Grade C+, It's hard to rate this guy. He's a bit of an enigma. He has all the tools and shows flashes of them but has been inconsistent. As soon as he starts getting it going he gets hurt. I think he's very smart and works really hard. But he's having trouble adjusting to the pro game. I have 100% confidence that he will emerge as an elite PF and be a 19 point 8 rebound a game guy and future all star. He works hard on the court trying to do everything, maybe too much. He seems to get down on himself, he wants to be the man but is not ready. I think Curry is in his way and they don't play well together. I would send him out to try and talk the other gang out of the fight or make the arrangements for the war. He would stand there and root us on as we battle and get more rocks for Crawford. When he did finally get into the melee he trips and breaks his nose in the fall. But I really like the guy and want him in my gang anyway.
Malik Rose - Grade B, nothing was expected from him but he hustles and plays tough. He shows no fear and gives 100% when in there. It's hard to believe he and Marbury both have 10 years in the league. His only problem is poor passing, he makes too many turnovers and try's to do things he can't anymore. He's the guy that goes after the one that pulls the gun and takes him out while getting shot.
Eddy Curry - Grade A/F, it depends on which Eddy shows up. The little Shaq gets an A and is dominating, the little Eddy boy gets an F and is nowhere to be found. He needs WORK and needs to work. I can't believe this guy has been in the league 5 years. He's very frustrating to watch and is so inconsistent. I don't know if he will ever reach close to his potential on a consistent basis. He might be holding back other players from reaching theirs while we wait. He can score inside but needs to learn to kick it out to the open man or cutter once he's double teamed. He holds on to the ball too long trying to figure out what he wants to do. He needs work on his defense especially giving help and clogging up the middle. That should be no problem with his size and athleticism. His free throw shooting is abysmal and he doesn't do enough to overlook that. Needs work on rebounding, boxing out, help defense, oh in other words just about every fundamental aspect to basketball. He's the type of guy that one of the little guys from the other gang runs up to, jumps in the air and knocks him out with a haymaker.
Jerome James - Grade F, he has all the athleticism you need in a guy 7' 1" tall but hasn't got a clue how to use it. No upside and no future with this team or in professional basketball. Send him home with his pot of gold and call it a day. Zeke was desperate for a big body and made a huge mistake. In the gang he would be sitting on a bench cheering us on enjoying the show while he eats all the pizza we ordered and makes eyes at one of the guys sisters. The guy finds out about his sister and beats the hell out of him after the war.
Kelvin Cato - Grade Incomplete, he looks like a good serviceable backup that should get playing time instead of James. From what I saw he knows how to play, unspectacular, but knows how to run the floor and play. In the gang he quietly takes out his guy and fights well.
Well the Knicks won the gang war, they thought that when the other gang ran away. Little did they know it was a ruse and the other gang broke into their headquarters and stole all the money and their best looking girl with it.
Last edited by bigdaddybluesman : 12-18-2006 at 01:08 PM.