There are rumors swirling right now. Baron Davis is rumored to have a setback. Mike D’Antoni’s job is reportedly on the line tonight. With a loss tonight, the Knicks may be propelled into full crisis mode. And they haven’t won in Boston since 2006.
Here is what to watch for:
- Fast break. Fast break. Fast break. The Knicks HAVE to stop the fast break tonight and they need to try and get their bench into fast break situations. The Knicks did a decent job on the fast break last night against Derrick Rose but were still outscored in transition 12-4. Obviously Rajon Rondo kills the Knicks in transition and if the Knicks are gonna win they need to at least slow him down. Offensively, the Knicks anemic bench has to score more than 6 points. I think the best way for them to do that is to get out and run to get some easy baskets.
- Speaking of benches, Boston’s has improved and the Knicks’ has regressed. The addition of Mickael Pietrus and the emergence of young players Avery Bradly, Greg Stiemsma and Ju’Juan Johnson have helped spark Boston’s resurgence. Meanwhile for the Knicks, Bill Walker, Renaldo Balkman, Toney Douglas and Jared Jeffries have spearheaded a largely pathetic and unproductive bench. Douglas is the main culprit. Jeffries is not a scorer and Balkman and Walker are who they are but Douglas carries the role of bench scorer and he has failed miserably this season. Not only has he not shot well, 25% from outside the arc and 32.3% overall, but his defense has suffered and he is unable to handle the ball and get others involved. Until he breaks out of his funk, the Knicks bench will continue to suck and help them lose games.
- Who guards Ray Allen? It will be interesting to see if the Knicks decide to assign Fields, who has had mixed results guarding Allen, or Shumpert to chase around the 36 year old alien. Allen always kills the Knicks will his pinpoint shooting and if the Knicks are going to win tonight they cannot let him splash 3’s all night. The Knicks perimeter defense struggled last night against Kyle Korver, the lesser skilled white version of Ray Allen, and that killed them early in the game. The Knicks gotta lock down Allen from the start in order to slow Boston’s offense down.
- I really hope these rumors about D’Antoni being fired if the Knicks lose tonight are false. Dolan has never been one to fire coaches mid-season but I am not sure that Dolan is calling the shots. Isiah Thomas and CAA are heavily involved in the Knick organization and both parties are big fans of Mike Woodson. I think it would be foolish to place this one game ultimatum on D’Antoni because if the Knicks lose tonight I don’t think it will be because of D’Antoni. I thought he coached a very good game last night and I expect him to do so tonight. Now if he puts Jeremy Lin in the game early in the 3rd quarter then maybe the Thomas family will have some justification to fire him but I really do think D’Antoni is the man to get the Knicks out of this slump. Again, he coached an excellent game last night and you began to see the offense gel a bit more. Obviously it is only one game but I think it could be a sign of things to come.
- The big story nobody talks about is Bill Walker coming back to Boston to face his old team… Just kidding. Nobody cares about Walker, he sucks.
- Will Balkman rock the weird braided pony tail again?
- Over/under for the Knick bench tonight. I predict they score 10 points tonight. I wouldn’t be surprised if they score less and I am praying to god they score more.
And now, an open prayer to Jesus Christ regarding the Knick bench:
Hello Jesus. I’d like to start by thanking you for dying for our sins. However, with all do respect I think you forgot to help a few people and I would like to point them out to you. The New York Knicks bench has been cursed all season with horrid play and anemic effort. So I pray to you to please help us desperate Knick fans. Please Jesus, help Toney Douglas dribble the ball better. Fix his color blindness and allow him to throw the ball to the guys in blue and orange. Please give him the ability to understand that you don’t always shoot on the pick and roll and that there is a roll man who is usually open. Please give Renaldo Balkman a paper towel so he can wipe the butter off his hands for when he drives he always loses the ball. Please Jesus, guide Mike Bibby to the fountain of youth so that he no longer plays defense like Betty White. Please Jesus, give Steve Novak some semblance of athleticism so that maybe he won’t be a complete defensively liability when he’s on the floor. Give Jeremy Lin the ability to shoot the ball. If nothing else, please please please help this last man. I would be forever grateful if you could somehow insert a brain into Bill Walker’s skull. I know this is a heavy task to ask of you Jesus but I cannot take it anymore. I can’t take the turnovers and the stupid fouls. He has never understood that you cannot push the defender out of the way on a dunk. He does it all the time and each time I wanna punch my roommate in the face (actually I want to do that anyways). I do not even ask that you get him to cut his hair and not look like Rasheed Wallace’s demented son, just please give him a brain. In conclusion, I do not ask for much Jesus. I just ask that you help these pour souls that call themselves “professional basketball players”. Thank you Jesus, for everything and I hope you can help these poor souls as they are absolutely pathetic and useless in their current forms. Oh and if you could leave that Tim Tebow guy alone and let him suck, that would be awesome too. Amen.