It was fortunate for the Phoenix Suns that interim NY head coach Herb Williams was working with Paul Westhead’s old Loyola Marymount playbook this evening.

(the Suns’ Steve Nash, undaunted by the challenge of the self-proclaimed best point guard in the NBA, Stephon Marbury)

Rejoice, Knicks fans, the dull old days of free personal pan pizzas whenever New York held the opposition below 80 points are forever a thing of the past. And if nothing else, tonight’s loss established for once and all that Jamal Crawford really needs is 70 shots or more a game to really get into a rhythm.

Peter Vescey used this morning’s NY Post column to cast doubt on Larry Brown’s chances of coming to MSG.

From what I hear, the Knicks shouldn’t count on Piston owner Bill Davidson allowing Larry Brown to work somewhere else in the NBA next season, regardless of how much his franchise might stand to profit in terms of compensation, should Brown not want to coach anymore in Detroit.

Why would anybody assume such a thing? Don’t be jumping to conclusions just because Brown tried to package himself in the Elden Campbell-Carlos Arroyo trade.

Sixer chairman Ed Snider permitted Brown to skate away from his contractual obligation, no strings attached, as a reward for a job well done, because he stayed longer than anyone imagined (six seasons) and because he had trusted friend (then-GM) Billy King pleading his case to let him go. Most important, it was in everybody’s best interests.

Think about it ” why would Mr. D turn over one of his team’s most treasured assets to Isiah Thomas? Once they were as close as father and son, but Thomas abruptly plunged out of favor just as Davidson was about to appoint his pluperfect point man to run the Pistons, a fragrant financial deal that included part-ownership.

The story of Thomas’ looming ascension to the throne was leaked to (long since deceased) beat writer Corky Meinke, and Davidson accused Thomas of being its source. That made no sense at all, because he had nothing to gain and everything to lose by it splashing into print. On the other hand, other influential people within the organization, either on the verge of suffering a power outage or in danger of not getting the surge to which they felt entitled, were in the exact opposite position.

Still, if Davidson and VP Joe Dumars were willing to risk their reputations by doing the unthinkable to secure Brown’s hallowed services (it took a sauteed set of onions to dump Rick Carlisle after two straight 50-win, Central Division titles, notable playoff infiltrations) why would they be foolish enough to sign off on Larry’s latest address form ” New York, New Jersey, New Guinea, wherever?

Then again, it occurs to me, why would Brown be remotely tempted to babysit Stephon Marbury?

It’s not as if he vaguely enjoyed coaching him in the Olympics, sponsoring him solely as a favor to Thomas.