Thoughts on the Knicks Season

After watching the Knicks get swept in the first round of the playoffs this year, I couldn’t hold back my hatred for Mike D’antoni and other Knicks for their lack of effort and at times lack of skill (See Bill Walker‘s 0-11 game 2).  But after I realized what the Knicks were working with I can only be encouraged for next season, if there is a next season.

The Knicks have two players that can flat out score, in Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire.  Melo kind of got thrown into the fire in the middle of the season, and the long drawn out process of his eventual trade to the Big Apple, while Amare was carrying a team right around the .500 mark.  It took some time and I don’t think that things were fully figured out this season on how to get Carmelo involved in a system where constant ball movement is key.  Add an entirely new point guard not used to playing pick and roll basketball and there wasn’t much hope for a successful second half of the season.  However, the Knicks made the playoffs and as we all know everyone has the same record going into the playoffs.  After the Knicks lost by a combined score of around five for the first two games I was encouraged, but knew without Chauncey for the rest of the series New York would be in trouble and they were.  The Knicks pitiful bench was exposed, we found out Toney Douglas can’t play the point, Bill Walker averages three offensive fouls a game while trying to dunk, and Landry Fields wasn’t ready for the big stage.  At some points in both games three and four it seemed as if the Knicks bench was uninterested.  If you look around the league at bench players, most of these players are jumping off the bench at ever basket their team makes, not the Knicks.  It’s not like these players are proven veterans or former twenty point scorers, they’re closer to D-League sixth men.

The Knicks need to add a real center to their lineup to allow Amare to go back to his real position at power forward.  They also need a true sixth and seventh man off the bench, as well as some cap space to sign Chris Paul, by picking up Billups’ option he will be an expired contract coming off the books in 2012.  I hope the Knicks keep around Donnie Walsh, get rid of Jared Jeffries and make a smart move in the draft this year.  As Carmelo Anthony stated today “A lot of players want to come to New York” and hopefully that is the case.

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New Balance 1500

What color do you think of when you hear the word Spring?  If you said green, then you’re right on line with New Balance and their latest 1500 creation.  This sneaker has an all white midsole and the outsole is comprised of gray as well as some green.  Moving up from the sole, the upper part of the sneaker is suede, leather, and mesh, perfect for the warm weather.

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NBA Playoffs First Round

I could go into every game and talk about it but I figured I’d spare you the five extra minutes of time, and rather go ahead and discuss the more intriguing games for this years 2011 NBA playoffs.

Starting out in the Eastern Conference;

Celtics vs. Knicks – Basketball is back in the Big Apple but defense isn’t.  As a Knicks fan I’m ecstatic they’re back in the playoffs and have two and a half superstars to do it, too bad defense in Mike D’Antoni‘s system is an after thought.  If the Knicks could play ten more minutes of solid defense I think they would be one of the toughest teams in the league, but they don’t and Amare is lazy.  I think the Knicks play competitive for the entire series, but only win one game.  Celtics win the series four games to one.

Maybe the Knicks should bring back the shaved head

As far as the East goes I think that is the only intriguing match-up, but I think it could draw the most attention for a first round series in either conference.

Denver vs. Oklahoma City – Denver’s success has been blown out of proportion ever since they dealt Carmelo to the Knicks.  The quality of teams that they’ve played and beaten haven’t been nearly as tough as the beginning of the season.  I like Oklahoma City to finish this series in five games.  Durant will be too much for Wilson Chandler or whoever George Karl puts on Durant, and when the game is close who are the Nuggets going to give the ball to?  I like the thunder here four games to one.

Bring back the Sonics

Portland vs. Mavericks – Here we go again, the Mavericks will fail to get out of the first round for another year.  Portland is one of the most underrated teams in Basketball and easily have the most underrated player in Lamarcus Aldridge.  Portland also has one of the best home courts in basketball as well, and I don’t see the Mavs as a dominant team to put Portland away early.  This series will be the only series in the first round to go to seven games, and I believe Portland wins the series four games to three.

What will Mark Cuban do this off-season?

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Ronnie Fieg season has returned–Time to Start Saving Up

The man Ronnie Fieg has delivered some heat for the sneaker nation over the years and this spring is no different.  Fieg just released his collabo with Clarks.  This drop is a ‘Desert Boot’ and since it’s made out of a top grain rawhide called nubuck the color tends to be blue and almost gray depending on the light.  Look for these to drop on April 8th, and expect much more from Ronnie Fieg this Spring.

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DJ Muro / Kinetics / Adidas Ultrastar XL

Gucci, Gucci, Gucci, every Mondays a Friday.”  Well not really, I wouldn’t believe a rapper who has an ice cream cone on his face either.  As far as the sneaker goes, looks like another DJ has teamed up with a sneaker company to create a gucci inspired colorway.  We first saw this when DJ Clark Kent and Nike brought this colorway to the Nike Dunk. The base of the sneaker is black stitched leather along with a white shell toe, reminiscent of the days with Run DMC.  Based on personal preference the laces that come with the sneaker are either red and green or black.  Look for these to hit stores April 9th.

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Nike Lebron 8 V2 Low “Sprite”

Just when you thought Kobe Bryant was the only one enjoying a sprite after a game of pick-up basketball, Lebron joins him with Nike’s latest colorway in the Lebron 8 family.  The colorway is Sprite inspired and comes with a treasure blue colorway similar to the entourage release, and adds a touch of neon green on the inner lining as well as the swoosh and extended air bubble.  Now what really matters, what do you think of the latest from Nike and Lebron?

Props to nicekicks and Complex Magazine for the picture.

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My NBA MVP Candidates

Here are my NBA MVP candidates for the 2010-2011 season.

1. Derrick Rose – Talk about a player who has had to deal with different players around him, this guy has had to play with eighty different lineups.  With Carlos Boozer unable to stay on the floor as well as Joakim Noah, Rose has needed to adapt.  Add in eight new players to the team and the Bulls are at the top of the East and destroying any team in their way.  Derrick Rose is the guy who runs the show in Chicago and if he doesn’t win the MVP this year I assume Tim Donaghy is back with the NBA.

2. Amare Stoudemire – Amare has embraced the New York culture and isn’t afraid to say what’s on his mind when his team isn’t doing well including singling out Carmelo Anthony.  He has made the Knicks a legit contender and hopefully that doesn’t get lost with the addition of Carmelo.  If he could put together some type of defensive game he would be an absolute force.

3. Kevin Durant – Once Durant learns how to close out games he will be a three or four time MVP when it’s all said and done.  He plays defense and at some points in games he is nearly unguardable, not bad for a player that couldn’t bench 185 pounds during his private workouts.

4. Dirk Nowitzki – Quietly Dallas is in third place and nobody cares.  They have committed to defense for the first time this year and with the addition of Tyson Chandler it’s hard for teams to drive the paint.  Dirk is doing what he always does and getting less recognition, if Dallas was able to advance past the first round in the past few years I think Dirk would be getting more attention this year.

5. Dwyane Wade – Clearly Lebron isn’t the reason the Heat have had success, it’s Wade.  Lebron hasn’t been able to close out games, yet Wade has been consistent the whole time.  Once he lets the team know it is his team the Heat might start to beat some tougher competition, for now they will take a back seat to the Celtics and Bulls.

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Upset Specials

It is tournament time and I have filled out about fifty-seven brackets and have come up with my most bold and confident upsets, if you’re looking to win your pool then you probably shouldn’t listen to these picks, but here they are anyway.

(9) Villanova vs. (8) George Mason – I don’t believe the George Mason hype, and I think Villanova is more battle tested being from their Big East battles.

(12) Clemson vs. (5) West Virginia – West Virginia isn’t that good this year, and I believe Clemson is physical enough inside to pose a threat to West Virginia’s average big men.

(11) Marquette vs. (6) Xavier – I’ll take conference over conference in this game and give it to Marquette.

(9) Tennessee vs. (8) Michigan – Michigan shoots a ton of threes and only hits about thirty percent of them.  Bruce Pearl usually comes up with a pretty good game plan for the Tournament.

(11) Missouri vs. (6) Cincinnati – Missouri’s sixty minutes of hell and full court pressure will be too much for Cincinnati’s guards.

(13) Belmont vs. (4) Wisconsin – Belmont plays eleven players that can score, Wisconsin scores about 17 ppg.  I’ll take Belmont.

(12) Utah St. vs. (5) Kansas St. – Just a hunch.

Is Obama making a bracket this year?

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What Talents Did Lebron Take to South Beach?

Now that the Heat are crying and the public is rejoicing in their failures, it’s time to think where this Heat team might end up at the end of the season.  For some reason the Heat are getting a pass because new players were added to a team, and the team faced some injuries.  Maybe instead of adding two players that have the same type of game, and an overpaid forward that looks like Ru-Paul, Pat Reilly should have looked elsewhere when assembling his team in the summer.  I guess nobody cares about the Bulls and the league’s outright MVP Derek Rose. Rose had to play without all-star forward Carlos Boozer, then once he came back Joakim Noah went down, and not to mention the eight players that were added to the Bulls roster.  But no, let’s concentrate on the team that had their championship celebration before the season started.

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J. Kidd 2.0

With “these pretzels are making me thirsty” and the slow expansion of this blog, I’ve asked someone who is more well versed in the “Ets” subject matter.  This guy bleeds Jets, Nets, and Mets sports, and I asked him to write a post regarding one of his teams since he was there opening night at the Nets Arena in Newark.  He felt the electricity of the building and I wanted his take on the new look Nets, the future, and the atmosphere.  Without further adieu; Mr. Ets…

Basketball was back in New Jersey Monday night. Deron Williams made his home debut for the lowly 17-42 (now 43) New Jersey Nets. But you know what? it didn’t feel like one of the ordinary games I’ve gotten accustomed to over the past 4 years. For some reason it felt special. Brook Lopez was still soft (producing the quietest 28 and 10 game I’ve seen) The $35 million dollar man Travis Outlaw still looked lost, Damien James and Kris Humphries were still overachieving by allowing their hustle to overshadow their lack of basketball skill, and Johan Petro is still horrendous and should never step foot on an NBA court, however always seems to get 15 minutes a night for the Nets. But something was different. You could feel it. I knew it, the crowd knew it, everybody in the arena except for Travis Outlaw knew it.

There’s something special about having a premier point guard on the team you root for. Your team. Maybe I was too young to appreciate the transition of Stephon Marbury to our Lord and Savior Jason Kidd, but god I learned to appreciate it Monday night. I was brainwashed for the past 3 plus years thinking we got the better of the JKidd-Devin Harris trade. Harris was a young promising guard and Kidd was an older, past his prime disgruntled star who wanted badly to be apart of a winner again. Kidd took us as far as he could and it was time for a change. Harris started off well but lately has always been injured and when he did find his way onto the court he was a walking turnover. I’ll give him credit for the fact he always threw his body around and took some shots, but you were lucky to get 19 and 7 from him once a week. He didn’t make the people around him better the way Kidd did. There was no excitement in the arena when Harris was running the show.

Enter Deron Williams. Yes, 0-3 to start his Nets career but you could feel it Monday night. Billy King stole this kid from Utah. There arent many STUDS at the point who can change a franchise the way Deron Williams has the potential to do. After watching Chris Paul last night get shown up by Toney Douglas I don’t even know if I wanna put him in the category anymore. Deron, Derrick Rose, Rondo maybe? (lets see how he does when the big three hang it up.) Not many. Kidd and Nash are past their prime. But Williams is special. Watching him live brought back so many memories of the Jason Kidd years. You take those Kidd years for granted, when its gone for a while you forget how truly special they are. In just 1 home game Deron Williams is reminding New Jersey what happened when they acquired a hall of fame point guard as well as the potential for it to happen once again. In just 3 games, he set an NBA record with 47 assists (probably could be in the 60s if Travis Outlaw could hit an open shot). Imagine if he had decent NBA caliber players to pass to what that number would be? Scary. Yes, I know the Nets need to resign him after next season, but you know what? Who cares. I’m enjoying every game he wears the red and white. But who wouldn’t want to play with this guy? Thanks to the Russian Mutant Mark Cuban, the Nets have the assets to acquire talent this summer (i.e David West), as well as young chips (Brook Lopez, 3 first round draft picks, expiring contracts) to attract another blockbuster deal at the midway point next season (Dwight Howard anyone?).

Melo works for New York. I thought he’d work for New Jersey, he wouldn’t have. He didn’t want to be here. Billy King’s plan B is gonna ultimately be better than his plan A.  With our billionaire owner, as well as the Brooklyn vision, we can convince Williams that the Nets are where he wants to be. He can pick his players, he can run his point, and hopefull, eventually he can lead us one step further than Jason Kidd ever did. And then, in the end his Number 8 can hang along side Number 5 in the Barclays Center.

(Just first please do something about that horrendous hair and beard.)

 

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