Ten games into the season and it appears that the Knicks are who we thought,….the Knicks of the 21st century. Donnie Walsh, the GM brought in to oversee the rebuilding and put his stamp on the franchise, is using a strategy that he hopes will appeal to the Super-Star ego. Come to New York and lead this team with less talent than an expansion franchise back to glory and your place in basketball history will be forever cemented. Donnie believes that the Stars of today are so self-absorbed that they have forgotten that Kevin Garnett spent the prime of his career being “The Man”, but could only get past the first round of the playoffs once, due to a weak supporting cast. Will LeBron or Wade take 30 million less then what their current teams can offer to play with the foundation that Walsh is creating? If not, then does signing a Joe Johnson or Chris Bosh level player to compliment the supporting cast justify two years of losing? Do the Knicks currently have the organizational leadership and on-the-court talent to visualize a bright future? To answer these questions we must separate the Wheat from the Chaff.
Donnie Walsh: The basketball equivalent of George Clinton or Mick Jagger. When you see the present day Clinton or Jagger you realize that they are not what they were, and they are attempting to live off their past. You wish that they would retire. Like Clinton and Jagger, Walsh has not had a hit since the 80s, (Reggie Miller). We now have enough information to evaluate Donnie’s performance.
Donnie has hired a coach, signed Chris Duhon, the D-Leaguer Anthony Roberson,(‘Lives’ was reading Roberson scouting report and thought it was on Jennings), made trades, and sat through two drafts. Give Donnie credit for unloading Jerome James, but the other guys have been traded again, proving that there was a market for their talent. Selecting Danillo over Lopez was crime, and Hill over Jennings is an abomination. A Super-Star would find it more appealing joining Lopez & Jennings, compared to Danillo & Hill.
It appears that this version of Donnie is CHAFF.
Mike D’Antoni: Staying with the music comparisons Mike D’Antoni has to be the baskeball version of Millie Vanelli. Just as Millie Vanelli received acclaimed and credit when someone else was responsible for the hits, it is obvious that Steve Nash made seven seconds or less successful. D’Antoni appears to be a ‘System’ coach that is unable to make adjustments that will allow his team to succeed. He has demonstrated that he is not strong on the Xs and Os, nor has the ability to use his time-outs wisely. Without having guys that fit into his ‘System’, D’Antoni has proven to be CHAFF.
Nate Robinson: Has ability to put numbers on the board, and also provide instant scoring off the bench. Douglass will get some of his minutes, and I look for N8 to be traded during the season. Has trouble feeding the post, so he excels in D’Antoni’s perimeter passing offense.
Al Harrington: The Knicks most accomplished offensive player. One dimensional, and would be a good addition as a sixth man to a team in the playoff hunt. Plays a selfish brand of “I’m getting mine” ball, but would be a good 20-25 minutes a night addition.
Dave Lee: King of least relevant double-doubles. Plays atrocious defense that diminishes his rebounding ability. Zeke was right, not a starter, but a 25-30 minute a night guy, off the bench.
Conclusion: The Wheat are sixth men, on quality teams.
Jared Jefferies: Does none of the little things, and even less of the big ones. This years’ version of Malik Rose. The burning question is what does he contribute?
Chris Duhon: He has proven that he is a good BACK-UP, unfortunately the Knicks are trying to convince the public that he is a starter. His confidence was lost this summer when the Knicks paraded every point-guard that was not signed into their offices. Walsh gets the blame for the signing and confidence erosion.
Darko: Memphis gave him a starting job and he lost it. Did anyone think that Detroit, Orlando, & Memphis made a mistake.
Larry Hughes: The injuries and need to play in a more traditional system make Hughes a bad fit. Jump-shot is erratic, but plays defense, passes & rebounds, but doesn’t do either on a consistent basis.
Eddie Curry: If you depend on Eddie you will lose every time. Nine years is enough. No heart, no boards, no defense
Chris Wilcox: Some said he would help the Knicks more than Hughes. It took D’Antoni two-weeks to put him at the end of the bench. Knicks did not resign.
TOO EARLY TO TELL:
Danilo: He’s Channing Frye with a deeper range. He does not rebound, play defense, or get physical. A 6.11 stationary shot.
Wilson Chandler: Has been damaged by poor coaching and position switch. May never play his true position in NewYork, because team is committed to seeing Danilo succeed at small forward.
Jordan Hill: DNPs are an indication that Walsh and D’Antoni’s did not agree on selection. D’Antoni plays his guys, Danilo played in early games last year without training camp, and a bad back. Duhon was GIVEN keys to the car without earning it last year. Raw, but active. Needs to play
Toney Douglas: Good player, more of a scorer than a point. Will be solid player, not a star.
Carl Landry: Active, but does not have a great shot. Not D’Antoni’s kind of player.
Conclusion. There is more Chaff than Wheat, while the wheat lacks a starter. The late Jimmy V once said “Things will either get better or worse, but they will never stay the same” How can a team loaded with Chaff and unproven commodities attract LeBron OR Wade?