Controversy abound when Larry Brown left the Pistons for the New York Knicks. The Knicks and their high salaries were the perfect challenge for Brown, and sure enough it hasn’t been easy. Brown is so adamant about not playing rookies that he hardly played 1st round draft-pick Darko Milicic while he was in Detroit. In New York, he doesn’t have much of a choice: it’s either inexperienced rookies or overpaid veterans.
Some of their rookies have been playing great. Channing Frye has come out of nowhere to emerge as the Rookie of the Year favorite. Frye’s game basic: shooting from the outside and collapsing to the glass. But he does it so well and prolifically that he has been the best big-man for the Knicks so far. Nate Robinson isn’t a good defender but is pretty speedy to the basket. A very impressive stat is that New York only takes only 8.7 3-pters a game, impressive because it’s sometimes hard to control all those rookies.
Other moves have been a failure thus far. Jerome James has done pretty much nothing aside from growing out since he’s been in New York. Quentin Richardson’s sole purpose it to hit 3’s, but with the Knicks shying away from the outside shots, Richardson has been completely worthless. And while Nate Robinson and Jamal Crawford are good scorers, they’ve done a horrid job handling the basketball with an NBA high 17.5 turnovers a game.
There have been rumors that the Knicks are in talks with Minnesota for Kevin Garnett. That would be the only possible move to warrant Isaiah Thomas keeping his job. As Elgin Baylor has showed us, great basketball players don’t make great executives. Thomas is carrying on Scott Layden’s legacy of bad moves. At Center, getting Jerome James for 6 yrs $36 million was one thing. But then he pursued Eddy Curry, and got him for $60 million, and now James is coming off the bench. Why draft Nate Robinson when you already have Jamal Crawford? So much money goes to Richardson as well. Not enough faith has been placed in the Knick youngsters.
New York has a ton of players to cover the five positions. Whether they are the right five is another tale. The Atlantic Division that is currently tied with the Nets and Sixers is wide open. The Knicks can make a move if they improve several things. Turnovers committed can be squelched if Marbury and Crawford aren’t allowed to go off on their own all the time. Next year should be better for them. As to this one, it’s unlikely. New York needs to win 25 at home to even have a shot.