There’s some seminal programming on Dolanvision this week ; Yule log from 9am-noon Xmas day, a full afternoon of classic games from the now-defunct ice hockey franchise known as the New York Rangers….and just to whet your appetitie, tonight’s schedule features 48 Minutes of Garbage Time, AKA the visiting Mavericks humiliating a listless Knicks squad.
(Dallas’ Josh Howard demonstrating to Stephon Marbury just how difficult scoring can when the opposition actually raises their arms).
Under Isiah, the Knicks’ already outrageous $88 million payroll has swelled to $103 million. The Blazers “ with an $81 million payroll “ are their closest competition. And it’s going to stay that way for a while. The Knicks aren’t scheduled to be under the cap until the 2008-09 season “ assuming they don’t sign anyone to a new contract. And that’s highly unlikely.
The team has traded away most of its young assets “ including last year’s first round pick “ in an effort to put a veteran, championship-caliber team on the floor. Only three players, Jamal Crawford, Mike Sweetney and this year’s second-round pick, Trevor Ariza, are under 25 years of age. Seven players on their roster are over 30. Overall, the Knicks sport the seventh-oldest team in the NBA.
Three of the Knicks’ highest-paid players “ Penny Hardaway, Jerome Williams and Shandon Anderson (who was bought out for $22 million) “ are no big longer contributors.
The Knicks’ highest-paid player, Allan Houston, is coming off knee surgery and his future remains unclear.
The Knicks’ roster remains pretty unbalanced. True to his roots, Isiah has stacked the backcourt with offensive firepower to the detriment of any real low-post game. Seventy percent of the shots the Knicks take are jump shots. Only one team, the Warriors, takes a higher percentage.
Isiah has traded away all of his expiring contracts, hurting his ability to get a deal done this season. Next season, he’ll be able to shop the expiring contracts of Hardaway and Tim Thomas. But is Isiah willing to be that patient?
The Knicks can’t keep pursuing players based solely on their marquee value. Isiah’s public pursuit of Vince Carter was the most glaring example of a philosophy gone awry. The last thing a backcourt-heavy team like the Knicks needed was Carter. The fact that he was willing to give up big men to get him only makes his pursuit of him more ridiculous.
Despite the 13-11 record, the team is just 2-7 against teams with a .500 record. They were swept out of the first round of the playoffs last season. While they might be winning the Atlantic right now, few expect them to get out of the first round of the playoffs.
The Knicks lack players with serious playoff experience. Despite having a roster with the third-most experience of any team in the league, very few of the players he’s added have any real playoff experience. His backcourt of Marbury and Crawford have a combined record of 3-15 in playoff games. Their starting small forward, Tim Thomas, has just one significant playoff run in his career. Their starting center, Nazr Mohammed, is 0-7 in his playoff career.
re: Shaq’s trenchant commentary from Monday Night Football’s promo-tastic plug for the Heat’s Xmas showdown with Showtime. Kobe’s a Corvette. Shaq’s a Brick Wall. Corvette hits Brick Wall, Corvette crumples. Fucking fantastic. How did this guy fail as an MC?