SAVED FROM SHAQTIN’ By Arthur George-Special to BASN JaVale McGee is reclaiming...
Fit For A King??
The minute the clock strikes 12:01 on July 1st the romancing of “the king” will begin…well, at least the legal version of it will have begun.
And what is meant by the legal version is the version where a team wouldn’t be faulted for tampering by saying something about another teams player while they’re still under contract.
Ask Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban for his advice on what to say and what not to say in this case. He’s looking at a 6 or 7 figure fine for putting his two-cents (pardon the pun) into a LBJ question.
The Knicks are in position now to add at least two max players to their roster. Contrary to what a few of my esteemed colleagues the Knicks are not devoid of talent.
People talk about a point guard, well the last I checked Cleveland didn’t have a great point guard either. And no, Mo Williams is not a prototype point guard; he’s a little guard that can shoot, that’s it, he’s not by any means a floor general.
That being said anybody that knows the sport knows that LeBron has the ball in his hands 80 to 90 percent of the time on offense.
In fact, one could make a case that LeBron is the best playmaker in the game today: and that’s whether he’s playing point guard or point forward.
So what the Knicks would need at point guard for their roster to work with LeBron is a capable ball handler and premium shooter.
Second year man Toney Douglas may be able to handle that spot plus he’s turning into a pretty good defender. One thing is for sure, no one would be able to question how hard he works before and after practice.
This also brings to mind the Chicago Bulls who many sports pundits are saying LeBron should go. Why should he go there with Derrick Rose manning the point spot?
Rose is an Iverson type clone point guard with exceptional athletic ability. He dominates the ball but he’s not a dominating passer by any stretch.
He’s a capable floor general and not the type to be able to play off the ball for 80 to 90 percent of the time on offense.
And with Rose not having a wet jump shot the defense can always sag off of him when plays are run off of him.
Joakim Noah in the middle certainly made major strides this past season and was just as worthy of an All-star nod as his former University of Florida alum, David Lee.
But, Noah isn’t the second coming of Wilt Chamberlain with his offensive game. LeBron going to the Bulls they will be much better than they are now, but a championship will still be a far reaching endeavor that will take time.
Now again for the Knicks, their roster has a bit more intrigue. They have a young, smart, and energetic and long jump shooter that is learning do a lot more with the ball then he’s given credit.
Danilo Gallinari is a very good player to be so young and he’s a legit 6-foot-10. He’s not as bad, in fact he’s better on defense then people realize.
Like legendary Larry Bird who wasn’t known for astute athletism, Gallo plays smart position defense but with quick anticipating hands.
Very rarely has he been abused on defense this past season. And his heart is unquestioned, during a 3 quarter stretch against the Denver Nuggets at home Gallo and perennial All-star Carmelo Anthony went toe to toe.
Carmelo scored the most points overall, 38 points but Gallo’s team won and he exploded for 17 points in the quarter and finished with 30 points.
The wildcard in the recruitment process as well as on the court could be center Eddy Curry. If anyone is watching this years or any other year’s Playoffs you would know that without a competent big man in the middle: defense or offense, your team isn’t going to go very far.
If LeBron gets a hold of this Knicks team and bonds with Curry during the off-season (as has been recently reported that they are scheduled to work out this summer) and instills the confidence in him that he hasn’t had in New York since the days of Thomas reign you might get a beast in the middle.
Memo to Coach Mike D’Antoni and GM Donnie Walsh, make nice nice with Curry and include him in the offense and you might just get the prize you’re looking for.
And if Chris Bosh were to join LeBron on the Knicks then you’re really looking at a much more talented team then the Bulls and domination in the Eastern Conference for season’s to come.