Movin’ On Up

Knicks Bricks has a fancy new home! Sorry to move twice in two weeks, but we feel like the wordpress in the URL makes us look like amateurs (we know we’re amateurs, but still). We’ll keep the party going at www.knicksbricks.com.

Come check out the new site, and be sure to share/like our links on facebook and follow us on twitter @knicksbricks for blog updates and random thoughts. The more you do, the closer we can get to quitting our day jobs.

Wall Street vs. Main Street

Amar'e chatting up Tommy Hilfiger

Kevin Durant dresses like Urkel, if Urkel were a point-scoring domination automaton

Tonight the Knicks and their bloated, misspent payroll come stumbling into Oklahoma City one gave above mediocrity, despite having played one of the league’s easiest schedules thus far. They will face a young, sleek Oklahoma City squad that has burst out to a 10-2 record, despite the media-created drama surrounding their star players, Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant. However, in many ways this game feels like an allegory for the Main Street vs. Wall Street/Red State vs. Blue State/’Muurka v. America/Live within your means vs. Get Rich Quick divide that has been going on over the past few years. A player-by-player look at how these rosters were constructed paints a clear picture of the philosophies of each front office and their relative success. Unfortunately, it looks like the Bockers will stagnate, having been locked into their current mediocre roster, while the Thunder will continue to grow and compete at the highest level.

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Ish Happens – Player Movement NYC to the Bay

Last night the Warriors announced that they were releasing Ishmael Smith, and I couldn’t stop thinking about all the Knicks connections.  Sounds pretty weird for a guy who wasn’t rosterable on a 3-7 team, but trust me the Knicks of the past, present, and future are strongly connected. Read more of this post

D-League Showcase Recap

Unless you suffer from a crippling and compulsive addiction to basketball (in which case…Hi, my name is Mike and I’m a hoopsaholic), you probably had no clue that the NBA’s D-League Showcase was going on this week in Reno, Nevada. The point of the expo is that the D-League rounds up all its teams to play in one place during a condensed period of time, so that NBA scouts can scour the minors for bodies to help round out their rosters, while enjoying the added bonus of avoiding a trip to Sioux Falls or Canton (only in the D-League can Reno be considered a desirable destination).

We’ve been slightly (read: totally) negligent here in covering the showcase because we’ve got, you know, jobs and wives and what not, and I think it’s safe to assume that: a) 70% of the hits on this site come from the Knicks Bricks writers checking to see if anyone has posted anything new and b) the other 30% don’t give a shit about the D-League. Having said that, we figure it’s better late than never. As I wrote earlier this week, the Knicks may want to consider using their newly acquired D-League affiliate, the Erie Bayhawks, to get some of their young pieces some burn, and using the rest of the D-League to round out the roster in the meantime. Assuming the Knicks need two things on the roster as it is presently composed, size and consistent 3-point shooting from the guards, let’s take a look at some of the D-League players who might have drawn the Knicks’ attention this week:

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Not Gonna Happen

Last week’s “news” that the Knicks were “willing” to trade Amar’e for Dwight Howard was preposterous when it broke.  A useless news item for a slow news day.  After last night, there cannot be a scintilla of truth to the rumor.  It’s deader than dead.  Consider it “Mike Bibby dead”  before Mike Bibby rose again in fulfillment of the scriptures.

WTF Amar'e?

As the BakeShow stated earlier, last night was an epic Amar’e fail.  1-7 from the floor.  6 points. 3 rebounds.  2 Turnovers.  4 fouls.  Compare that with Howard’s performance which was historically great.   Maybe Amar’e has taken the rumors to heart and is sabotaging any potential for a trade.  Or maybe Amar’e spent too much time reading about the Myths of Greece and Rome at Bridge Street Books during the lock-out and not enough time shooting jumpshots.

Whatever it is, Amar’e hasn’t looked like himself lately.  And Dwight Howard continues to be Dwight Howard. An absolute beast.

As far as I’m concerned, Amar’e has bought himself some time.  Where would the Knicks be if Amar’e doesn’t sign in the summer of 2010?  But Knicks fans are not known for being very patient.  And Knicks fans know the team took a risk in signing Amar’e.    His contract is uninsured.  He has had microfracture surgery on his knee.  And let’s not forget about the eye issues that require him to wear hipster-goggles.  But what was NOT expected is  utter futility on the offensive end from a guy that takes up one quarter of the team’s payroll.  At some point, Knicks fans are going to turn on Amar’e unless he turns up his production.

And when that happens, maybe the Amare-Howard trade rumor can go back to being just a preposterous story.

Game Recap: Grizzlies 94, Knicks 83: A Grizzly Performance

What is there to say, other than the Knicks appropriately walked into FedEx Arena and really mailed one in?  A 94-83 drubbing that wasn’t even as close as the double digit score would indicate due to a 31-19 4th quarter in the Bockers favor, the Knicks put up a horrendous performance against a 3-6 team without Z Bo.  The Knicks shot 37% from the floor, and while the defense was strong at times, in general, it was a terrible and lackluster performance.  The Knicks came out flat from the start, Amar’e picked up 2 fouls in the blink of an eye and the rout was on, with the cherry on top of that awful start being a horrendous 2nd foul on Melo with under a second to go in the first on Rudy Gay.  It was that kind of night.  The Knicks did a decent defensive job, outside of repeatedly getting torched by Gay and OJ Mayo, who put up a very efficient 26 and 18 respectively.  For the Knicks part, Melo played well prior to first hurting his wrist, then spraining his ankle (more on that in second), and had a nice little Baltimore battle going with Rudy Gay until his injuries.  Fields and Bill Walker were the lone bright spots, as Landry played a strong controlled game, somehow ending up with +9 +/- in that sea of garbage, while his fellow starters posted horrendous numbers.  Bully Walker shot 4-7 from deep on his way to nice 14 point performance.

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Game Preview 11: Knicks (6-4) at Memphis Grizzlies (3-6)

Not so fierce

After an ugly but encouraging win against the upstart 76ers, the Knicks travel to Memphis to take on the Grizzlies at the FedEx Forum tonight. The Knicks are catching the Grizzlies at a good time. Despite emerging as a playoff darling last spring, they have struggled to recapture that magic in the early going and have since lost leading scorer Zach Randolph for two months (I thought he was going to be a steal for 12 dollars in my fantasy auction, but alas, not so). The Knicks are thus well-positioned to take this one, and in doing so, extend their winning streak to five games. I have to admit, the last clause of that last sentence felt very strange to write.

But before Knicks fans get too confident, a closer look at their respective schedules show how misleading their records can be to date. Memphis’ strength of schedule is sixth overall, with recent losses coming at the hands of the Lakers, the Thunder twice, the Bulls (in embarrassing fashion on New Years Day), and a youthful, better-than-expected Utah squad. The Grizzlies have won every game they should have. Meanwhile, the Knicks continue to benefit from the league’s weakest schedule. On the second night of a back to back I hope we don’t get caught tired, or looking ahead to a tough match-up in OKC this Saturday. These are the kind of games the Knicks need to prove that they can win.

Key match-up: Has to be Melo-Gay on the wing. I agree with everything AC said about Melo and hope he plays within the offense a bit more. Gay’s athleticism should be a challenge, hope he can be contained.