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Friday, November 30, 2007

Boston Massacre: Celtics Humiliate Listless Knicks

What happens when a group of players who are willing to work together and sacrifice goes against a group of players who are not willing to do those things? "It has been a total embarrassment for the Knicks," Marv Albert intoned with his distinctive vocal delivery during the third quarter of Thursday's Boston-New York game. The Celtics led 65-31 at that point en route to a 104-59 victory. That is the second lowest scoring output by a Knicks team in the shot clock era--and it would have been the worst if not for a buzzer beating three pointer by Nate Robinson at the end of the game. TNT ran a startling graphic that showed that Boston outscored New York 42-7 to open each of the first three quarters of the game (14-3; 16-2; 12-2); as Keith Olbermann would say, the Knicks' starting five could have simply gotten a roll of stamps and mailed in their performance.

Knicks Coach Isiah Thomas told TNT's Craig Sager that the first half was the most selfish half of basketball he had ever seen, which could quite correctly be interpreted as a swipe at starting point guard Stephon Marbury, who finished with four points, one assist and three turnovers in 21 minutes; amazingly, things actually got worse for the Knicks in the third quarter and shortly after Albert's comment Thomas benched his entire starting lineup in favor of his "energy" group: Renaldo Balkman, Jared Jeffries, Nate Robinson, Fred Jones and David Lee. That quintet usually makes up in hustle what it lacks in talent, though it is of course an exercise in futility for that unit to try to match up to the Celtics--who have both talent and energy; on this night, though, even the "energy" group suffered a power outage and the Celtics pushed their advantage to 74-35. Boston led 82-41 at the end of the third quarter and as late as the 4:50 mark of the fourth quarter the Celtics had twice as many points as the Knicks (97-47).

Individual statistics don't really mean much for either team in such a lopsided contest. For the record, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce led Boston with 21 points each, Kevin Garnett had eight points, 11 rebounds and four assists in less than 23 minutes and Eddie House scored 15 points, all of them coming on three point shots. Robinson ended up with 11 points after his late heave, the only Knick to reach double figures. Zach Randolph (four points) shot 1-10 from the field and Eddy Curry (four points) shot 2-11 from the field; it is difficult to imagine two All-Star caliber post players performing any worse than they did.

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posted by David Friedman @ 7:36 AM

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At Friday, November 30, 2007 5:46:00 PM, Blogger vednam said...

I was hoping the Knicks would be able to silence some of their critics this year, but it looks like that is not going to happen.

It is certainly Isiah's fault for putting together this group and not being able to get enough out of them as a coach. However, I wonder how much the New York "win now" mentality may have influenced his many questionable decisions as GM. It seems like Knicks fans have never wanted to endure a rebuilding process, and perhaps the pressure (and desire) to come in and be an immediate savior is what caused Isiah to take his chances with so many talented but ultimately flawed players. They could have let the bad contracts from the Layden era expire and then rebuilt the right way, but there has always seemed to a need to turn it around overnight. With a bad roster with bad contracts, the most the Knicks could do right away was take their chances on the Eddy Currys and Jamal Crawfords and Stephon Marburys of the league. Looking at the type of team Isiah Thomas led in Detroit (tough, defensive minded, unselfish), I find it hard to believe most of the current Knicks players fit Isiah's description of the "right kind of player."

 
At Saturday, December 01, 2007 2:39:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...

Vednam:

I have steadfastly maintained that the biggest flaw in Isiah's rebuilding plan is his reliance on Marbury as the point guard. I believe in Isiah's ability to draft well and I believe that he is a good coach but the apparent blind spot that he has regarding Marbury is going to spell doom for Isiah in New York. With any kind of halfway decent point guard, the Knicks could contend for the eighth playoff spot right now with the talent that they have at other positions--but it is hard to ever see that happening with Marbury on the team.

 
At Saturday, December 01, 2007 9:43:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

reggie
the knicks suck because isiah and james dolan and marbury they need to get rid of all of them and start form scratch, this was once a proud team now they are a oke marbury not a winning point guard lee a hustle player crawford shoot tooo much randolph and curry play the same position it is crazy on everything. they have no bench they are alot of selfish guys and bad contracts

 

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