(and da Bulls can block Zach Randolph, too)

Before the Knicks’ Eddy Curry did his best to make Luol Deng and Andres Nocioni look like defensive All-Stars in last night’s 101-96 loss to Chicago, Isiah Thomas preceded his benching of the sluggish center with an uncharacteristic rip job. Either Zeke was injected with truth serum during shootaround, or he’s doing everything possible to destroy what little trade value Curry has left. From Newsday’s Ken Berger :

Asked about benching Curry in his hometown against the team that traded him, Thomas said, “We’re trying to win a basketball game. It’s my hometown, too.”

There’s certain things that he probably won’t ever be good at doing,” Thomas said before the game. “We want to make sure he keeps doing the things he knows how to do well and make sure he continues to do them well.”

Such as? “He scores well, and he may not ever be a great defender or great rebounder,” Thomas said. “But he’s a great scorer, and we’re going to use that.”

Others have come to the same harsh realization about Curry, including the coach down the hall, Scott Skiles, who refused to answer a pregame question about the source of Curry’s struggles.

Curry said afterward that he’s not confused about his role, but he admitted he’s struggling mentally and hinted that he needs to sit down and clear the air with his coach.

“He don’t have to send a message to me,” Curry said. “He can come talk to me. We have a good relationship, and it’s definitely good enough where if he’s got anything he needs to say to me, he can definitely say it to me and I know I can go to him.”

But Curry seemed taken aback when informed of Thomas’ pregame comments, which contradicted his recent prodding of Curry to impact games with his defense and rebounding. “I’ve got to always believe that I can be better than what I am,” Curry said.

While Texas have their hands full with Texas State, one of my pestering instant message colleages wonders “How impressive is Nebraska’s 88-79 win over Oregon?” That depends on whether or not you think Nebraska’s football team could’ve held their Ducks counterparts to 80 points.