First time post on P&T. Been lurking for a few months. I'm a Knicks fan since the early sixties (Richie Guerin and Johnny Green). Been through Bad News Barnes, Hawethorne Wingo, Spencer Haywood, and Bob McAdoo. I remember the Willis Reed seventh game, I was sitting in a run-down enlisted man's bar on a firebase somewhere in South Vietnam, listening to the game on Armed Forces Radio. Even under those God-foresaken circumstances, the Reed entrance sent chills down the spine of every sad-sack soldier sitting on a barstool in the middle of the jungle. So much for the brief stroll down memory lane.
So, we're in the playoffs. A couple of thoughts. First, we're in it to win it. I'm not interested in "getting to the second round" or moral victories in the first round. This team's got the pieces, if Woodie can figure out how to put them together. Who knows what the future brings? The chances of having the same bench depth next year are slim to none. STAT may be on the edge of decline, Chandler's no spring chicken. Forget about next year; that will come soon enough. We need to go for it this year. Second, I don't care who we play. A champion's gotta beat the best. My Giants went through GB, SF, and NE to win the Super Bowl. Whoever takes the court, beat 'em. The idea of trying to get the better team in the second round rather than the first when we might have Jeremy back is loser talk. Even if Jeremy makes it back for the second round, it's wishful thinking to expect that he's going to have any significant impact on the Knick's play. He won't be 100%, he'll be rusty, and I expect he'll throttle back on his aggrssive, break-neck style initially until he regains full confidence in his knee. I don't see Lin as a factor until at least the conference finals, so we're gonna have to get through the first two rounds one way or another without him.
So who leaves the starting lineup now that STAT is back, Fields or Shump? Fields has never been the same player he was early in his rookie year, except in brief spurts, since Melo showed up. Don't know what the deal is betwwen those two. You could make the case that Shump has earned the starting spot over Fields with his energy and fearlessness, although he still has to learn a bit more about shot selection. Fields is only a nominal starter at this point, since Woodie seems uninclined to play him in crunch time, or any other time except for a few minutes at the beginning of the first and third quarters, even whe he gets hot early. But my opinion is Landry stays in the starting lineup for his occasional gluey peformances, and Shump moves to the bench. Shump then adds more energy and an additional scoring threat to the second unit, and then maybe has more in the tank for some fourth quarter lock-down on the other team's hot hand like he was doing during part of Linsanity. If we move Fields to the bench, I think we lose him.
Anyway, my boss actually wants me to do some work on a Friday morning , so I'll just end things here, and see what, if any, comment my thoughts might stimulate.