OK, Having watched the end of the game last night,
I like Melo. It's fun to watch him play. I think he's good. I haven't been super- frustrated by his presence. He can be pouty and pissy, but his smiley side seems to be dominant. His defense can be Allan Houstony at times, but can be Sprewellesque at times. His offensive game seems to combine the best of both of those guys. I'll take it.
Billups, I like too. He's got balls and veteran craftiness. Drawing the foul on the three pointer was crafty indeed.
Still, pre-trade, I was thinking that given the Knicks position, with Melo only wanting to extend with the Knicks and the Nuggets faced with losing him for nothing, that we were looking at a Gasol to the Lakers or Vince Carter to the Nets or Garnett to the Celtics type of deal here. Deals like that can propel teams very quickly to championships.
Imagining for a second that, calling Denver's bluff, we could have traded only Gallo, Curry, a pick, and Randolph for Melo. If that happens, you're effectively replacing Gallo with Melo, still have Chandler, and still have Felton. Basically the same team, chemistry pretty much intact, with a serious weapon added.
That didn't happen. So we have a lot of holes and a strange leadership question at the point.
But I see some good stuff. Between Chauncey and Toney, I see some good camraderie and some good complementary skills. Also I see playmaking ability from Carmelo. I see Shelden WIlliams being able to provide something absolutely essential to this team.
Assuming they make the playoffs, Toney's going to play big minutes, and he'll make dumb mistakes. But he'll get experience and Chauncey feedback. Landry needs a training camp to re-integrate his skills into this new team, and he won't get it until after the playoffs are over. Just be as Landry as you can and we'll have to fix it next year.
This team has more holes and I think with NBA basketball, no matter what awesome players you've got, you're still defined as a team by your weak links. I think we've taken a step back in order to have the chance to climb higher - there's risk involved with this, particularly messing with your point guard position, and it feels shitty because it's kind of like going back to the unbalanced, frustrating teams of the 10 years of hell.
But the good news is, I like the guys they got. I don't think Melo is Marbury. Knick fans are not going to let him get away with bad habits at the defensive and teamwork end, and I think he's generally got a positive attitude and will work to improve those areas of his game.
Chauncey may be here next year and maybe not, but in the meantime I think he'll make some big plays in the playoffs and he'll impart some essential wisdom to Toney.
And this team desperately needs a guy like She-will to be She-will, and I think She-will have no problem doing that.
So, a wise man once said, it is what it is, and it's not bad. Still a fan. Will root for the Knicks when they meet the Nuggets in the finals this year.