The Glory-torium is now open in the basement of this blog, check your cynicism at the door. Knock three times and give the doorman the secret words, "In Phil We Trust".

Ladies and Gentlemen: The Gloritorium

Barbara Barker: "Son devastated. J.R. and Iman were his two favorite players. Not sure what that says about me as a parent." 01/05/15

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Ruminations Before the 2015 Trade Deadline

Three players are on their second 10-day contracts.

Galloway is learning to become a high-value NBA point guard.  He will be given a contract to the end of the year and maybe longer.  NBA guards take 3 to 5 years to fully season.  Galloway is playing at an accelerated pace.  Assuming no injuries hamper his development, he's going to be one of the truly fine point guards in this league for years to come.

Lou Amundson, as I described in an earlier post, is a Phil Jackson player.  He hustles, he bangs, he's tenacious.  He's going to get signed for the rest of the season.

Lance Thomas, again as I described in an earlier post, too is a Phil Jackson archetype player.  A Captain Obvious description of Thomas is that he hustles, he's a glue player, he's not afraid to mix it up.  He'll be signed for the rest of the season as well.  Thomas is a bit of a tweener and somewhat redundant but in small ball line-ups it matters little.  He has shown flashes of scoring ability as well.

Injuries in Portland to both Aldrich and Batum make it a prime destination for Amare Stoudemire to contribute should he request a buyout.

Otherwise, the teams that likely believe they are still in competition for playoff berths or who need obvious hardening of their rosters appear to be;

  • Detroit - SVG just lost Jennings for the season
  • Indiana - their tradition of making the playoffs with Charlotte in striking distance must make them re-evaluate what they'll need
  • Charlotte - hanging on to that last playoff spot with a dubious roster
  • Houston - though securely in the playoff mix, they may be the weakest team in the bunch
  • Clippers - like Houston, a weak team that's gotten weaker with the addition of Austin Rivers who will become the fall guy for any playoff woes
  • Phoenix - battling for that final playoff spot
  • New Orleans - battling for that final playoff spot
  • OKC - battling for that final playoff spot
Calderon, Prigioni, and Larkin are all available.  

Augustine will step in for Detroit but he's a limited player.  Prigioni would be a good fit for SVG if they were making a playoff push and they have a second rounder (40) to offer.

Prigioni for Houston's #42 or OKC's #47 are worth exploring.

Prigioni for Phoenix's Reggie Bullock might be worth exploring as a trade for a risky talent. Prigioni is an inexpensive PG in the event they move one of their pricier players.

Acey  and THJ are two other players who can be moved.

It is almost certain that Bargnani is bought out.

Assuming he and Stat are no longer here and no trades are made, two roster spots will open up.

If OKC is willing to package Reggie Jackson and Jeremy Lamb for a combination of talent, the Knicks obvious interest in Jackson is fulfilled and OKC is not left empty handed this summer.

Maurice Harkless or Jeremy Lamb might be available under a trade exception.

Knicks lose to Hornets

It was an exciting game and a winnable game.  Thomas, Amundson, and Galloway all played well.

Carmelo sat this one out and Kemba Walker was out for the Hornets.

Something I think this game showed was that critics of this Knicks team are over-the-top in calling it Melo and a bunch of D-Leaguers.  Truth of the matter is that the Knicks are no more unworthy of being given respect than Philly, Orlando, or New Orleans.  The Knicks have had no fewer injuries to their starting lineups than any other team.

ThE Knicks play hard and deserve far more respect than the MSM and their social media critics give them credit for.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Knicks Beat Philly and Orlando

10 day contracts shine

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Knicks Beat New Orleans

Amundson, Galloway and Thomas play well and get extended.

Melo also plays as does Stoudemire.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Knicks After London

Having wished Amare Stoudamire farewell in our last post, let's get real about what the Knicks will need to do going forward.

It's a New Dawn!

This is a time unlike any other in recent Knicks history and it is unique because of the constraints the NBA imposes on rebuilding teams.  Announcers like Reggie Miller don't get it.  Miller mocks the idea that the Knicks should 'tank' and points to recent lottery history that indicates that the teams with the most losses don't necessarily get the first dibs at the most highly rated talent.  The argument is specious in that the process of tanking is about getting a maximum amount of lottery balls that improve your chances to win. And every lottery is different and every ball matters, like it or not - wherever one places in the final draw.  Criticizing the Knicks mercilessly for doing the obvious is just bad journalism.

Secondly, prior to NY and the Lakers contending for lottery position, these commentators cried not a tear when NBA teams tanked for sheer profit.  The Knicks have nothing to apologize for.

So Phil Jackson has indicated that fans and media need not act surprised at whatever moves come next.

A Rebuilding Strategy

Let's speculate that Carmelo Anthony is not traded and let's speculate looking forward to the lottery and taking this year's team into account. We can project three fairly certain roster spots.

Anthony and most probably the draft pick and Cole Aldrich will occupy three of the roster spots.  The big question going forward is whether or not the Knicks build to win sooner or whether Phil embarks on a full rebuild around that core rather than concern himself about wins.  I think it is obvious from his recent comments that the days of the Knicks trying to bandage a dead horse with yet another star pretending to ride that horse are over.  I fully believe we are in a rebuild mindset that precludes quick fixes.

The speculation that follows is a personal strategy that I think the Knicks may follow before the trade deadline.  And I'm going to stick my neck out to say that while it certainly appears that Phil Jackson is obsessed with clearing salaries for summer cap space I'm going to assume that cap space is an asset that he may be willing to apply to acquiring appropriate, otherwise inaccessible talent before the trading deadline.

Prior to the trading deadline there are some opportunities that the Knicks could pursue based simply on the playoff and cap space karma the the league is immersed in.

One of the positions the Knicks are in dire need of addressing either through the draft or free agency is PG. Three potential candidates may become available in Free agency who are of interest. Reggie Jackson, Goran Dragic, and Cory Joseph.  Dragic and Joseph are unlikely to be traded as they are still valuable assets to their respective teams.  Depending on the Knicks priorities this summer either may get serious attention.

The most intriguing of the three before the trade deadline remains Reggie Jackson. Jackson's role in OKC has become unstabilized since the Waiters acquisition.  Playing time has dwindled and his relative importance to the team has diminished. Unsurprisingly, he's in a funk and indications are that he would welcome joining the Knicks next season.  Is there a potential trade?

OKC could use a hardening of their bench and cap relief wouldn't hurt either.  And because Jackson will be becoming a free agent, competition to acquire him will be constrained.  All of this works in favor of the Knicks.

Reggie Jackson?

Would Prigioni, Acy and Bargnani and the money saved be enough to acquire Reggie Jackson and Perkins?  Assuming OKC acquires Brook Lopez, Perkins becomes expendable because of Steven Adams and Prigioni . OKC can cut Bargnani and add Acy as a SF backup.  Prigioni may be the wily vet they need off the bench.

Aaron Afflalo?

Afflalo is having a very bad year and Denver is cutting bait on their players.  While the SG position is not the highest priority, Afflalo is one of the players that Anthony seems to have a professional high regard for. A trade that could work would involve Bargnani for Afflalo and Denver's late second round pick.  Here, NY eats Afflalo's contract for next year which dampens the cap space available  this summer.

Calderon for Jason Terry?

A Calderon for Jason Terry and the return of our second round pick is a popular rumor.  IMO, it could happen. Calderon gives Houston a much stronger second option of the bench.

Saying Goodbye and Thanks to Stoudemire

As I speculated at least a week before the MSM began to talk about it, the Knicks turned a corner in which losing games is far more important than winning games.  Tightly coupled to this state of affairs is the fate of Stoudemire and Prigioni, veteran warriors who no longer have a reason to play their hearts out.

After the London loss, nothing could be clearer than the fact that Stoudemire no longer has a compelling reason to endanger whatever he's got left in the tank (no pun intended) in meaningless games that can't and shouldn't be won.  In fact, taking minutes away from the youngsters would be the harm.

The Knicks won't push Amare out if he decides to stay but the organization is classy enough to let him go.  That will probably happen soon.  Nothing precludes Stat from returning as a free agent signing for next year and his years of service with class and integrity ensures that the door will always be open in NY should he decide to join the organization in other capacilties.

The first Knicks lottery will be his as we wish him well in picking the playoff team he can join to get himself a ring.

Knicks Crushed by Bucks

Humiliating loss in London.  Stoudemire and Anthony suit up and add nothing to the game.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Phil Jackson's Refreshing Mea Culpa

Phil Jackson addressed the media and fans yesterday to admit that the team was badly underperforming and that he was accepting responsibility for that unfortunate reality.  I needed no such explanation.

Years ago, I realized that there is a hard-core cohort of boo-birds who will ruthlessly disparage the Knicks and their management the second their immediate gratifications were unfulfilled.  And on other forums I've had personal correspondences with some of them.  They tend to fall into the category of opportunists, profiteers, and beleaguered true believers.

Opportunists buy ticket packages which can be split to scalp a few that pay for the package granting the opportunist a free ride into the games of choice.

Profiteers buy one or more season tickets with the sole intent of profiting.  Sometimes this may even be an informal syndicate of individuals who buy blocks of tickets.

The true believers bleed blue and gold and want to win no matter what.

And tickets at MSG are not cheap.

All three of these groups have long dictated the way the Knicks managed their team.  That is a system of selling entertainment based on "stars".  A friend of mine calls it the Star-Phuck system when a terrible movie is released featuring a well known star playing a lead character who is no different from the well-known star's own persona.

For well over two decades the knee-jerk reaction to a team disappointment was to trade for a Star-Phuck player - any well-known, available start or former star will do.  That patch is guaranteed to keep ticket prices high and scalping profitable.  Of course it never helped the Knicks actually win anything but the minute the howls went up in the media and amongst the fans, the trade lines heated up.

A nasty consequence of this predictable behavior was that CBA agreements were crafted to cash in on New York's spending habits - luxury tax it's called but it is little more than fiscal extortion for dubious talent exchanges.  As time went on, high-profit, big city teams were further removed from any avenue of correcting poor team performance by denying young draft opportunities to these teams.  The lottery as exercised these days is little more than a sophisticated money-laundering scheme.

Big city teams can ill afford not to win basketball games.  This is why the Knicks under Phil Jackson seem like such a radical departure from the Star-Phuck formula.  Jackson was obligated to sign Carmelo Anthony last summer but one cannot help but sense an ambivalence in doing so.  Yet Jackson fully understood the necessity for a marquee player whose well publicized salary is the make-believe justification in NBA vernacular to charge high ticket prices.

Look! We have a "star" - cha-ching!

Star in hand, Phil Jackson underestimated the bad karma that had finally reached critical mass when he took over.  He reasonably expected a team continuity that could win just enough games to make the playoffs.

We know that hasn't happened much to our and Phil's disappointment.  He need not apologize to the fellow KnickMeccans here.  However, the same loud, self-serving cohorts who for decades have managed to influence Knicks management that yet one more star can save the season are finally being ignored.  This year's Knicks team will not be concerned with losing games but instead concentrate on learning how to play selfless team ball and how to win that way.

In New York that fact is never a foregone conclusion until now.  I'm grateful Jim Dolan is not interfering with this turn of events.  We are finally changing direction.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Knicks Crushed by Hornets

Long offensive stretches without hitting a basket will do that to a team.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Knicks lose to Wizards

Galloway Debut


Ye Newe Glory-torium

Here, dear readers, is the final resting place of all weary Knicks fans. Yes, here is where one comes when the Triangle refuses to have three sides, when biting one's lip from losing to win later is one loss too far,or when said fan simply hits 'rock' bottom. In short, "the ship be" eternally "sinking" here. Welcome aboard, rearrange the deck chairs as you please.