Let it be known that there are plenty of Knicks fans who believe that the Knicks would have been better served if Renaldo Balkman was retained (if favor of let’s say, Mike Bibby) upon the signing of J.R. Smith. However, Balkman, aka “Taz” for Tazmanian Devil which reflected his frenetic playing style, who was in his second tour with the Knicks since being drafted by Isiah Thomas, was a fan favorite but never a favorite of Mike D’Antoni’s. Balkman’s biggest problem was that he was not a three point shooter, but he was always the potential that the Knicks could bring far more energy to the game if he were given a chance. He, like Jeffries, was a bundle of energy and something good always happened on the court with Balkman, despite mistakes on offense. In his short appearances during the pre-season and garbage time, Balkman showed us that he remained ready to play. There should be little doubt that Lin would have take advantage of his speed and constant hustle as he has turned around players like Fields and Novak.
It is unfortunate for Balkman that D’Antoni was not forced into a box where he had to play Balkman as he was forced into a box to play JLin. Most of the time, D’Antoni who admittedly makes his major rotation decisions based on his gut, not his eyes, seems to make his best decisions when he has fewer options. Perhaps that is how most of us make our best decisions, but Balkman was an obvious choice over Bibby despite our dearth of point guard talent.
At least JR Smith has the type of energy that Balk has with scoring skill too boot. Still, we will miss Taz and will root for him to get the chance to prove himself somewhere else in the NBA. Good luck Bro.