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P&T's Reflection Eternal 2007

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Hows it going, kids? Despite my current infatuation with the playoffs, I thought I might look back at the preview I did of this Knick season. Back in the day, I ran a blog called Your New York Knicks, and I started things off there with some looks at the new parts: namely two rookies, a free agent forward, and a different coach. Let's break some shit down...

Mardy Collins

What I said in October:

Don't know much about this chap, but he's built pretty damn well. The dude is like 6'5'' and is touted as a solid passer and playmaker, as well as a fine perimeter defender. Again, it's nothing extraordinary, but it fits. Also, if he gets really fat, we can call him Mardy Gras. Neato.
(Translation: I had know idea what the fuck I was talking about.) Anyway, Mardy's defense and rebounding this season showed a lot of promise, but his passing ranged from dreadful to routine, and his jump shot looks like a sea lion trying to choke a popsicle. And he didn't get fat.

Renaldo Balkman

What I said in October:

Senor Renaldo has just about the strangest build I've ever seen on an NBA player. He's like 6'7'' and change, kinda hunched over, and has a solid midsection with really lanky arms. That said, the kid is a fucking whirlwind. He's everywhere on the court, and when he grabs D-bounds, he has the ballhandling skills to take off and lead the break. With that kind of hustle and a little work on his shot, this kid could be a baller. Definitely gonna throw down some highlights in the year to come.
First, let me get out of the way that I spent the beginning of the season calling Renaldo "Predator" because of his I found him dreadlocked, hostile, and frightening. Not until I got to know Balkman's game did the moniker "Humpty" come about. That said, my appraisal of Ren was pretty accurate. His rebounding, dunking, and ballhandling were on display throughout the season, and he exceeded just about everyone's expectations. And about the highlights comment...Humpty threw down one of the dunks of the season about a month ago. Like many other Knicks, though, the kid needs a jumpshot.

Jared Jeffries

What I said:

Jeffers came at a pretty high price, but he's got an appropriate game for these Knicks. He runs well, and can defend the perimeter- a glaring hole last year. His wing defense is crucial since Curry, Frye and James aren't exactly elite shot-blockers. Perimeter players must be contained. The broken wrist is a setback, but from what I saw in the preseason he seems a good fit.
Dead wrong. More on this later, but the Knicks were not at all a running team. Without that, any role that Jeffries had on the defense (which wasn't all that significant) was completely nullified by his mind-numbing ineptitude on offense. And on the subject of perimeter D, I don't think Jared was even in the top three of Knick perimeter defenders this season. Not a fan.

Isiah Thomas

The big one. Here's what I said:

On respect:

Isiah commands more respect from the players. When push comes to shove, no one gave a shit about Larry Brown's championship ring. He had no respect for them- as mentioned previously- and, in return, they had no respect for him. If you've watched the preseason, you've seen the players chatting and smiling with Zeke on the sidelines. This may not seem like a big deal but it is. No fun, no try. Also, Thomas is the reason these cats are here (with the exception of Francis maybe), so why not show him some love? We'll see.
That, I think was the main reason Isiah got extended. There was very little in-fighting amongst the Knicks and Thomas (at least from what we heard), and it seems like these guys have the utmost respect for Zeke.

On the offense:

Brown was all about playing the right way or some shit. Apparently the Knicks were not. Isiah has said that he's about running and passing, with a little defense thrown in there. I'm skeptical on the defense part, but there's reason to believe that running and passing might add some wins to last year's total. (So that makes it....four?). There are numerous lineup possibilities that lend to a running game. Prepare to see 4 guards, 5 guards, or even 6 guards on the court, which isn't even possible. Frankly, the D can't get worse than it was last year, so we might as well cash in on the offense. If anything, it'll be more fun to watch. Nate got the opportunity to dunk like twice last year, which made me wanna kick Larry Brown in the trachea.
Nope. People were talking about this (including Isiah), but I think we all underestimated the role of Eddy Curry. The Knicks were a slow-down, post-up team with Curry on the floor, and ran the fast break only in Eddy-less third quarter stretches.

Anyway, I also mentioned Isiah's poor track record and his tendency to pretend everything's cool when talking to the media. Suffice to say that I had reason to be worried about those things, and I probably still do.

But then there's this:

Anyway, I have one huuuuuge hope for this season. Either this shit somehow works out, we break .500, make the playoffs, whatever, or we fucking tank. The prospect of 30 to 40 wins gives me indigestion. The worst thing that could happen is that Isiah loses just enough that everyone still thinks the Knicks suck, but wins enough that Dolan keeps him around. That just might be apocalyptic for the next few decades of Knicks basketball. Pray.
Aw shit. Really? Am I allowed to take that back? Those statements scare me now, but I hardly think the Knicks are headed toward the apocalypse. It was the injuries that kept us under 40 wins! Right!? I think I'm gonna go suck my thumb a little.

Anyway, that's our look back. I'd say of those 4 new guys, the only clear failure was Jeffries. 3 out of 4 ain't bad, right? In the upcoming days, we'll have some more review of the Knick season, and probably some more stupid/nonsensical looks back. That's how I roll. Now go watch some Playoffs. Peace.