Two mornings afterwards the loss to the Wizards, I’m still struggling to come up with positives about the Knicks’ early performances. I suppose there’s some solace in the way they erased a deficit on Friday night (only to later relinquish the lead to Washington), and in retrospect, Antonio Daniels was a notable exception to New York’s indifference on defense. The New York Post’s Peter Vescey, however, isn’t nearly as charitable.
The Knicks are not only without a victory in two skirmishes coming into today’s fortuitous face off with the Baron Davis-less Warriors, they’re without rhyme, reason and rotation.
As Brown repeatedly and none too cryptically forewarns, a starting lineup has a way of working itself out. Without uttering a syllable, the same can be said about his team’s irregular rotation and, for that matter, an entire undermanned, 15-player roster.
In fact, the Knicks’ consecrated coach already began weeding his new Garden only three sterile halves into the season. Channing Frye, buried in Boston, suddenly was turned loose on the Wizards for seven points and nine rebounds in 18 minutes. Why the abrupt about-face regarding the team’s top draft pick? And, as long as we’re on the same touchy subject, why was David Lee attired in business casual when the season started?
I’m glad I asked.
Considering both rookie pawns distinguished themselves during the preseason, some of you might’ve found it odd Brown deactivated them at a time when it might make better sense for their adoptive parent/authority figure to be exhaustively encouraging.
Most basketball pedestrians never would’ve chanced shaking the confidence of Frye and Lee. Then again, most of us, I’m guessing, never coached an NBA and NCAA champion, or are Hall of Fame inductees. In other words, as always, I’m perfectly willing to extend Brown the benefit of any doubt re: roundball subterfuge, especially when it pertains to psychological strategy of this type. Surely there’s a method to his madness . . . I think.
Not to say that Brown isn’t making progress. He’s finished second twice in New York, so already he’s exceeded his resume in Athens.
Still, one step in the right direction isn’t going to satisfy Next Town Brown for long. If the Knicks don’t evolve more than glacially during their upcoming six-game (“Say No,” campaign James Dolan) west coast trip he look revert to his glory days in Detroit. You remember: No Darko, no Arroyo, no Delfino, yes Mayo Clinic.