Thoughts So Far

Well, this is not exactly according to plan.

Having watched the first two games in their entirety (a rare occurrence for me, but possible thanks to being on vacation at my folks' house), I have some observations.

Toney Douglas is not ever going to be a point guard. C'mon people. I love Toney, and he's a decent ball handler but he's a shooting guard. He can score, but he needs to be set up in rhythm. He can also drive and create his own shot on occasion, but he's not the one doing the creating for others. He's an unselfish guy and willing passer - he's just not very good at it.

Landry Fields doesn't really create his own shot much, but he can score a bit if set up correctly. He's also a willing passer, but isn't that good at it yet. Last night, he tried to create stuff, and failed spectacularly on several occasions. But he tried, because no one else was trying.

The Knicks are full of guys like this. Guys that can score and are unselfish and like to pass but are not in command. Carmelo and to a lesser extent Stoudemire can score all by themselves, but absent any kind of ball movement or efficient use of the team's other scoring resources, decent defenders can get them off their rhythm.

Shumpert looked pretty good in the Celtic game because he at least was brash - but I don't know if he has any idea about how to get the guys the ball in the right situations where they can score. Bibby is OK, but even in his prime he wasn't quite a pure point. So the Knicks, as feared, are woefully, woefully inadequate at point guard. I mean, Josh Harellson was dribbling the ball around the perimeter. WTF? I happen to think that Jorts can be a decent player if set up in the right situations. I'm beginning to sound like a broken record.

Remember when the Knicks had Sprewell and Houston and it seemed like such a great idea to play them at the 1 and 2? They did it once or twice, and it kind of looked like the Knicks look now. No one's in charge.

The other thing I don't understand is why every missed shot seemed to fall directly into the epicenter of a group of 4 Warriors. It seems that the Knicks never ever send anyone in to attempt to get an offensive rebound - while the Warriors had a couple of guys hanging around and still managed to avoid getting fast-breaked by the Knicks. I thought Chandler would help here, and perhaps his brain-fart game of fouls kind of limited the Knicks in this regard. But Jeez - I don't know how the Knicks lose the offensive rebound battle every night and expect to win. It's maddening. It's like they conceded that battle in order to take away the fast break - but the Warriors just got every rebound and played half court and it started to work - partially because Monta Ellis, for all his high volume shooting, has more point guard/leadership skills in his left pinky than DWTDD (God bless 'im) has in his entire body.

Solution: 1.Jerome Jordan, in his limited spin, seemed to have a surprising nose for the bouncing ball, and he's not going to be out-lengthed by too many guys. If he's going to grab boards like that, it seems useful to put him in the center rotation. Jorts seems to like rebounding but then again he's a bit undersized and out-athleticed, perhaps.

2. Spin Lin. Obviously this guy must be kind of a marginal talent if he was released by two teams in one shortened pre-season. But on the Knicks, the guy simply can't be worse than Douglas at running the point. If he can develop a sense of where to get guys the ball, the Knicks need that so badly right now that it's worth giving him some spin. I think I'd go with a Lin/Douglas/Bibby rotation at the 1 and 2 right now, and use Jordan, Balkman, Novak, and Fields as the rest of the bench. Maybe run Jorts out there if Chandler's in the game to guide him.

I mean, they are going to be sloppy and inexperienced with each other, but you have to have someone on the floor that's going to show some ability to knock the defense on its heels and create some rhythm opportunities for the scorers we do have. Otherwise this is going to get real depressing real fast.

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