Man, reading some of those analyses of the Knicks 4th quarter collapse against the Celtics was tough, yet illuminating. After a day passes, you realize that, as disappointing as it is, the Celtics are experienced down the stretch and very good on both ends of the floor. Watch and learn, Knickies, watch and learn.
It seemed that Landry was relied upon a lot - perhaps a lot more than he used to be in the days of Gallo and Chandler. Relied upon to handle the ball, relied upon to shoot, relied upon to guard Paul Pierce. As Landry as he is, I'm sure he will be able to handle this kind of stuff in the coming years, but maybe it's a bit too soon to be foisting more responsiblity on him.
Without the option of playing Chandler at the 4 late in games, they're forced to play a player with less offensive confidence, or a player with less ability to guard a 4.
Also, Felton over the course of the season developed a clue of how to lead the team into the crunch zone but Billups doesn't quite know what to do yet, and Douglas hasn't learned how to not screw up under late game championship level defensive pressure. Teams now realize these weakness and are exploiting them. So what can we do? I propose some solutions.
Normally I would suggest playing a frontcourt of Extra E, STAT and Carmelo at the end of games. Extra E's can poop as well as Fields and he's a bit more versatile and better defensively. But with E's finger causing constipation, I think that it might behoove them to shut him down for a little while and see if they can get that finger right. Without the ability to poop, Extra E becomes Jeffries-esque.
I think it's time to get Bully back in the rotation. Even though he's not known as a great defender, I'd rather see him on a guy like Pierce late in the game. I like Bully's pride and swagger, and I think at this point, he's got a bit more experience than Fields or Extra E. Bully can poop, but I think he can also do a couple of other things, and he has enough size to guard a small forward. Something about it just feels right. I hope his knee is OK.
Another thing about Bully - amongst the post-trade holdovers, he's the biggest Carmelo fan, right? I think Bully may be the bridge that brings Melo fully into the fold. Just a feeling.
Other than that, I think they need to start and finish with Turiaf. And they need to pass it to him if he's wide open at the foul line. Turiaf can do something with the ball in that situation. He can drive, he can pass, he can get fouled. Heck, if the other team is concentrating on stopping Amar'e and Carmelo, and he finds himself with an open elbow shot, shoot that shit. That's a decent shot toward the end of the game. Turiaf certainly has offensive limitations and isn't the best rebounder, but he's the best we've got right now, and instead of wishing someone else was there or wishing he was someone else, we should just trust him and work with him. Plus, I think Ronny's a bit down in the mouth about the trade. Let's tell him how much we need him.... through the magic of song!
I know that you and Gallo were the besties,
But here's something you really need to know,
Dude you're Michael Jordan next to Jeffries,
And we're passing you the rock at the elbow.
Your presence on the D-end is hypnotic
But we need your help on O in crunch time too.
Now that you've received your new orthotic
It's time to do the shit that Ronny do.
Your life is like an epic, regal saga,
but you'll never be a master of the poop.
But think, my friend, way back to old Gonzaga,
and occasionally put that thing into the hoop.
Hm. Didn't plan on that but there it is. Bully, plus involve Ronny in the offense.