Monday, February 21, 2011


Carmelo. Gave up a ton, but the way you win championships in the NBA is with two stars. Now the Knicks have two of the ten best players in the league to build around going forward. Two days removed from The Johnnies' fourth win over a Top 10 opponent this season, the 2011 basketball revival in New York continues in a major way.


the gm at work said...

"I'd put money on his m*********in brains."

As one of the few people in this world who have seen "Stop Snitching" in its entirety, I can attest to the fact that Carmelo is straight-up gangsta and that his section of the video is probably the best out of about 2 hours of footage.

Anonymous said...


Big move for the Knicks. They gave up a lot of guys who had played well in New York. I think that Felton and Chandler are guys who especially benefit from playing in D'Antoni's system. They go to Denver, I think you'll see them coming back to earth a bit. Gallinari may end up being an excellent player, but he may just as easily fade away without the run and gun style he had grown accustomed to in New York.

So, yeah, the Knicks gutted their team, but they got an elite scorer in his prime. You really have to make those moves if you get the chance. The Celtics gave up just about everybody (minus Rondo and Pierce) for Garnett and that worked out pretty well.

The only problem is that you don't need two stars to win a championship these days. You need three. The Celtics and Spurs both had three. The Lakers had four legitimate threats each of the past two years (Bryant, Gasol, Odom, Bynum).

What's more is that once the Knicks sign either Chris Paul or Deron Williams in 2012 they will have leaped past the Celtics and Magic. The Bulls will be right there, especially as Derrick Rose continues to rise, but I imagine the Knicks top-3 will be better than whatever combination the Bulls put alongside Rose.

But what nobody is talking about is that the Heat aren't going anywhere. Not only do they have three All-Stars playing for them, but they have the best player and arguably another top-five player. A Knicks top-3 of Anthony/Stoudemire/Paul is not as good as James/Wade/Bosh. The only way New York surpasses Miami is if the Heat get hurt or the Knicks put together a significantly better supporting cast.

Are the Knicks contenders again? This year, no. Next year? Certainly and they will be in the coming years. But they still won't be the favorite in the East.

--the Gunn

Anonymous said...


The decision to pull the trigger on this trade is similar to my decision to roll on up to Portland every now and then.

Could I save a tank of gas and have an above average time in Boston? Yes, but to perform at a championship level sometimes sacrifices have to be made.

A few other things, first I read on ESPN that there is likely going to be some restructuring in the NBA salary cap that could

a) Create a harder cap (not sure exactly what that means but it's what I read) and make it difficult for the Knicks to have enough money left over to sign a D. Williams or C. Paul


b) Include a "Franchise Tag" similar to the NFL which would allow a New Orleans or Utah to keep those guys.

If either or certainly both of those things happen it might be hard for the Knicks to a secure a 3rd big time player. Again, this is just something i read not my own analysis. Either way, with those two guys you can definitely fill in around them and have a competitive team even if the other guys are mostly role players. It will also be interesting to see if Corey Brewer can contribute off the bench in the D'Antoni system.

One more question for Pat- is defense a concern in NY? Not that you lost a lot of great defenders in the trade, but more of just a general question since D'Antoni teams are typically not great defensively and you've just added another scorer that doesn't really defend very well. Don't get me wrong, as a guy that hates to get into a defensive stance and move laterally, I'm hoping they can validate the run and gun style. But I think that would concern me if they are going to try to come out of the East in the next few years.

Lastly Pat, great win for the Johnnies. I was running on a treadmill at the gym on Saturday when I found out they won and it definitely spurred me on to stay on the treadmill for a full three miles rather than saying "this is really boring" and quitting after 2.

Anonymous said...


I have no idea how DV does it--not only is running hard, it's boring as hell. Hat tip to him for not only the physical abilities, but the mental strength as well.

Also, anytime we can get you up to Portland is a good time.

Lastly, if these proposals you mention are part of the next CBA, what the hell does that mean for the teams that already have three max/near max contracts (Miami/Boston/Orlando, etc)? Are the grandfathered in? Or will they be subjected to a severe penalty?

--the Gunn

Patrick said...

gunn -

lots of good stuff. i'll try to go point by point. before i do, the most important thing here from a knicks perspective is that they are closer to being championship ready today than they were yesterday.

as far as some of the guys they gave up benefiting from d'antoni's system - no doubt. leandro barbosa, boris diaw, and quentin richardson, anybody? it's no secret guys get a bump playing for d'antoni, and look better than they would most other places. i would order it chandler, felton, and then gallinari in terms of the most likely candidate(s) to be affected by this. i personally think gallinari is going to be a top-25ish, make a few all-star teams kind of player because of a rare blend of size, skill, and increasing athleticism, but that's just my opinion.

the knicks gutting their team. on paper, yes. but mosgov barely played. so that leaves gallinari, chandler, and felton in exchange for billups and chandler in terms of impact players. fields and STAT stay consistent. so the lineup goes from felton, chandler, and gallinari to billups, carmelo, and turiaf along with the aforementioned two. at worst, that's a lateral move, and i'd rather have the carmelo grouping. the knicks didn't have any depth anyway and they still don't. they also weren't contending seriously this year and they still aren't. but they are, in my opinion, a better team this year in addition to the most important thing, which is going forward. in terms of the future, they likely weren't going to be able to keep chandler beyond this year anyway and felton only has one more year and was something of a transition piece. so that leaves gallinari, mosgov, randolph, and a 1st round pick as what they were really giving up. considering they got more back than just melo, these are pieces you give up to get melo.

on needing three instead of just two stars, i'm not so sure. it's definitely one way to go, as the celtics and spurs have shown us. but there are others. saying the lakers had four is definitely generous, and in my view inaccurate. odum and bynum, as well as artest, were role players for kobe and gasol. great role players, no doubt. but role players nonetheless. they are not guys you can put on other teams and ask them to be a 1 or a 2, the way you could pierce, garnett, allen, duncan, parker, or ginobli. and that's really the test. so the last 4-5 years tell us that there are two ways to win championships in the nba: have three stars, or have two stars with a terrific supporting cast. the knicks are in a position to go in either direction, and considering that the lakers outlasted these "three stars" teams the past two years, in addition to potential collective bargaining restraints on putting together a team with three max guys, the knicks will have to think long and hard about going the lakers route.

tying that into the last point, if they don't, and go the three star route with chris paul or deron williams (which i would say is more likely, especially considering the fact that both of these guys play point, ideal to put alongside scorers like amare and carmelo), they may not be better than miami. they also might. lebron and wade might be better than anybody the knicks would have in that scenario, but with paul/williams, the knicks might have a more cohesive/balanced group. and we know how important cohesion/balance are in the game of basketball. and then there's also the option, again, of trying to build a deeper supporting cast than they would have. but the most important thing that can be said on this topic is, even if they aren't better, if the biggest concern i have in the nba is whether or not the knicks are better than the heat in the east entering the season, then i'll be in good shape. because if you're good enough to be in that conversation, then you're likely good enough to steal four games from them in june, and that's all that really matters.

Patrick said...

bandi -

thanks on the johnnies. what's going on with them this year is some of the most fun i've ever had as a sports fan.

as far as the new CBA, i alluded to it in my first comment which i guess i was writing as you posted yours. it's definitely a concern for the knicks getting a third star. if they can't, then like you said, they'll just have to build the team around amare/carmelo in a different way. that's still a good spot to be in.

regarding defense, i think it kind of is what it is. like you said, they didn't give up any real defenders and they aren't getting any guys known for their D back. i think we're going to find out just how far an uptempo, lot of offense, little defense team can go. although i think d'antoni, especially under walsh, has realized more and more that there is room for balance. he can play his style offensively and still have guys out there who can defend. landry fields is the perfect example of this. i think as the knicks (hopefully) move further and further towards contention walsh will try to build a supporting cast with this balance and d'antoni will try to utilize it effectively. they were already going in this direction this year. that's a good thing.

Anonymous said...

I've been doing the treadmill thing for about three/four months now. My suggestion is to interact more with it- intervals, inclines, etc. I've been doing an interval workout and it has been great but in the past have found steady running to be about as exciting as a day-night Colby-Bates doubleheader.

I suppose, regarding the trade, it has all been already said. I would point out that LeBron is overrated but he can prove that himself over the next decade. The key here is that the Knicks now have a guy who can take the ball and win games when things are not bouncing their way. That is the difference between a 48-win team and a 55-win team, the difference in a gritty road loss and a character-building win in enemy territory, and the difference between winning three games in a playoff series and going home or taking a fourth and moving forward. Championship teams win games they should not- wait until March Madness when all the Final Four teams will point back to a 'shining moment' for this point to really get driven home.