WHO: New York (8-10) at Atlanta (11-6)
WHEN: 7:30 pm
Injury Report: Eddy Curry, Danilo Gallinari, and Cuttino Mobley are out. Nate Robinson is doubtful.
For Entertainment Purposes Only: Atlanta -10.5 215.5 o/u
- Tonight's game? Virginia Highlands.
- Tonight's game for the Knicks? This season's turning point.
- The best thing about this year's Hawks? Ball movement.
- Most valuable NBA franchise? The Knicks.
- Returning tonight? Jared Jeffries.
- Questions from What Would Oakley Do? My answers.
My question for WWOD?...
How do you feel about the Knicks essentially punting the next two seasons in pursuit of winning a competition (by which I mean free agency) that can't really control? If you feel good about this, how much of that is due to the status of the Knicks franchise and how much is due to your belief in the abilities of Donnie Walsh and Mike D'Antoni?
At this point, the next season and a half are strange things for Knicks fans to comprehend or envision. And, they were made far stranger by the fact that this team came out of the gate in as good condition as it did. Our expectations were irrationally ratcheted up after charging out to a 6-3 start. The team was pacing the Association in scoring, Zach Randolph was at his inexplicable and science-defying best and Jamal Crawford and Nate Robinson were providing the energy and marksmanship (with a marked improvement in discipline) from long range. These were things that we were not collectively prepared for.I don't know if you got to see any of that pre-trade Knicks squad but they were actually above average. They were not great. They were not even very good. But they could score a lot of points and were playing hard. Those two things made them better than mediocre. Which was a huge improvement over last year. And, "better than mediocre" during the regular season gets a team into the playoffs in the East. All of a sudden we had a playoff team on our hands.As a fanbase we were caught off guard by that. And, then further turned around by the deals that sent Jamal and Z-Bo out on the same day. Nobody wanted Z-Bo to stay but suddenly it was hard to see him go. Then the media machine took over and the "LBJ in 2010" campaign took over.We're back to rebuilding, which is what we wanted in the first place before we were seduced by the early returns of the 2008-2009 season. And, there is no doubt that this team desperately needs to rebuild if it is going to contend for a title rather than just settling for making the playoffs. The Knicks have needed to rebuild ever since 2000 when they eschewed that rout by trading away Patrick Ewing rather than letting him finish his career as a Knick and letting his contract come off the books naturally. Eight years later we're still paying for that move, fiscally and karmically.In that sense, I'm on board with this. I've never seen the Knicks win a title. And, I would like too. I'd imagine it'll be pretty awesome if/when it happens. It's got to be better than all those times I watched them lose in the playoffs. Right? And, I would gladly trade two seasons of uneven weirdness if it allows us to have a title contender two years from now. I think Knicks fans are savvy enough to see what's happening. Not only do we believe in Walsh and D'Antoni (although the debacling of the Marbury situation has already eroded some of my belief), there is also confidence in the quality of the 2010 free agent class. Even if the Knicks don't get Lebron (and odds are that the will not) they still could reasonably add Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Mike Miller and Steve Nash (who I really believe will sign with D'Antoni on the cheap to try to win a title before he hangs up the hightops) to a roster that will still include Wilson Chander (a young player worth keeping an eye on in tonight's game), Danilo Gallinari, Jared Jeffries, possibly Nate Robinson (or David Lee, whichever of the two gets extended) and whomever we acquire in the next two drafts.