By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
Are Knicks Finally On The Right Track?
NEW YORK—-Well head coach Larry Brown did say that it will take a while before the team gels. Brown not wanting to put too much pressure on his team was thinking that in the second half things would turn around. Brown never one to play rookies in the first realized that the team he inherited from team president Isiah Thomas is a very young team with little to no (as in winning) NBA success let alone Playoff success. And that chorus unfortunately includes former All-Star Stephon Marbury who is a 10-year NBA veteran and to date has never been on the winning side of a Playoff series.
But, there are a few bright spots on this team of young hopefuls. For one, the team is not devoid of talent. There are some promising pieces to this very expensive puzzle. Some of the pieces that lack true NBA talent for what they’re being called upon to do make up for it with exictment and edge of the seat play. That label would belong to the diminutive guard, Nate Robinson who has been somewhat stellar in his ball handling of late as Brown inserted him into the Knicks starting line up against the Bulls. Coach Brown and staff do not think Robinson to be a true NBA point guard so the fact that he has him out on the floor during crunch time in the fourth quarter with Jamal Crawford and Marbury does say a lot.
Curry and Frye as mentioned in this column not too long ago add something that the Knicks haven’t had in eons. And that is a true center with talent and a power forward with athletism, length, a jump-shot, shot blocking ability and youth. And for all those Charles Oakley enthusiast, he was never a complete power forward in that realm. He was a great rebounder and a gritty defender; but when it came to offense, his jumpshot would work only in the first three quarters. The 4th quarter and in a tight situation Oakley would get short arms. And he had absolutely no post up to speak of whatsoever. He much like what another promising rookie, David Lee is now for the Knicks. But, Lee is much more athletic than Oakley.
Trevor Ariza, although frustrated over his lack of consistent playing time judging from his surprisingly effective rookie season is very promising. He has star quality written all over him once his body catches up with what he needs to do as a small forward in the NBA.
In the end, this Knicks team is one that Brown craves. Why? Because he can do what he does best to willing contributors; and that is teach the sweet science of the game of basketball.
GAME NOTES: The Knicks snapped a four home losing streak to the Bulls with a 109-101 victory. Jamal Crawford led the Knicks with 28 points off the bench which included 23 in the second half. He along with Ariza took part in the play of the game when Crawford fed Ariza with a blind over the head pair to which Ariza chin nearly hit the rim for a 4th quarter, game tying dunk that sent the crowd into a frenzy. Channing Frye was named, Rookie of the Month. He along with Hornets guard Chris Paul are running neck and neck for Rookie of the Year honors. Frye also chipped in 21 points, making it his 5th 20 points and over game.