Posts Tagged ‘Blake Griffin’

By Phil Bausk

All-Star weekend in Los Angeles and all eyes are on an LA Clipper?!?!?! Donald Sterling is rolling over in his grave…Well maybe not yet,but I am sure a lot of Clips fans have already combined funds to buy him a cemetery plot as far away as LA as possible.

Blake Griffin will be the main attraction this weekend in Saturday night’s Slam Dunk Contest, though the buzz around Justin Bieber’s Celebrity game debut may overshadow all news, including that revolution going on somewhere in Africa. (I say the over/under on “Never Say Never” commercials tonight is 8.5.)

Griffin, who has been spoiling fans with highlight reel dunks all season long, will be going against himself Saturday night. Serge Ibaka, Javale Mcgee, and Demar Derozan do not offer much competition (though maybe someone can sneak a W past him), and Griffin is expected to perform a one man show, as The Akron Scammers of the league continue to shy away from the Dunk contest (Lebron, remember when you said you guaranteed you were going to be in it? We should’ve seen “The Decision” coming from that point on.)

While the Dunk Contest has struggled in recent years, mainly because Gerald Green is playing somewhere in Russia now, there is still a certain amount of excitement that surrounds it. While odds are nothing crazy is going to happen, there is a certain theatricality that we hope to experience when it comes in each Saturday night of All-Star weekend. Dwight Howard offered us with some excitement for a bit, but then he claimed he was done with the contest as well, yet he still contends he is a better dunker than Blake Griffin. So let me ask you Dwight, How are you NOT in  this year’s contest to prove your point? I don’t care about the dunk counting graphic ESPN throws up once every few weeks. I would much rather see you prove your point on the floor Saturday night. Sure you have won a dunk contest, but again, the competition wasn’t too stiff.

Either way, our expectations as fans for Blake’s performance tomorrow night are extremely high. Will he meet those expectations? Who knows, but the fact that there is enough excitement to generate interest in this year’s dunk contest is definitely a step in the right direction. Maybe Blake will ask Timothea Mozgov to come help him with a dunk, where Blake ends up breaking Mozgov’s face and spirit, and Griffin is standing triumphantly on top of the backboard being showered with roses. Either way, now that the spotlight is off of Kobe Bryant in La La Land, I am sure he can cheat on his wife without any repercussions. (Does that huge diamond ring he bought her in Colorado a few years back count as a repercussion?)

Outside of the Dunk contest, there are a few other intriguing events that will take place this weekend. Tonight, there is the Celebrity basketball game followed by the Rookie-Sophomore game. I think the time line of events for those things unfold pretty predictably. Jimmy Kimmel and Bill Simmons, the two coaches for this game, will get thrown out for being super annoying, while Justin Bieber brings in the 12-17 year old demographic to cheer him on every time he touches the ball. Michael Rapaport will do his best Brian Scalabrine impersonation, missing corner three pointers, and annoying everyone who comes within 20 feet of the basketball court. The final score of the game won’t matter, but the fact that we will get to see Jason Alexander stand right next to Bill Walton will give the older crowd a flashback of that Danny Devito and Arnold Schwarzenegger flick, “Twins.”

Moving forward we have the Rookies against the Sophomores. This game is a pick up game with some of the most athletic guys in the league and has created some exciting moments. I remember Jason “White Chocolate’s” Williams’ elbow pass to Raef Lafrentz, and no Nuggets and Celtics fans, Lafrentz didn’t dunk the ball, and I am pretty sure he never has dunked a ball in his adult life. Kevin Durant’s performance a couple of years ago was memorable, as well as David Lee’s 14-14 from the field exhibition. I expect to see a lot of nice alley oops with the amount of talented big men in the game, and I wouldn’t be surprised if John Wall doesn’t break a few ankles on the way to the MVP award for the game.

Saturday night is really where the fun beings. Due to the fact that the team shooting competition is really just a time filler, I am going to move on to the Skills Competition, brought to us by the classy people of Taco Bell. I love this event because it tends to have the most overall talent than all of other competitions. Chris Paul, Stephen Curry, Derrick Rose, John Wall, and Russell Westbrook will square off against one another, going through an obstacle course that would probably take players like Sebastian Telfiar and Howard Eisley the entire weekend to complete. I believe Stephen Curry is going to come out on top of this one because his team has the nicest jerseys, and his eyes can make you forget all about life’s troubles (It doesn’t hurt that he could be mistaken for Miles Austin’s son).

Up next is the 3 point competition, where defending champ Paul Pierce will try to fend off teammate, and new 3-point King, Ray Allen and repeat, which would put him in a class with the infamous Jason Kapono, something I am sure Pierce has been spending his entire career trying to do. Also participating is Kevin Durant, along with James Jones, Dorell Wright, and Daniel Gibson. Gibson may be auditioning for other teams this weekend, while Wright and Jones may just be looking for a little more cash to spend at the strip club. At the end of the day, I think Ray Ray will take it, as this has been his year so far, and in a year where he passes Reggie Miller for the most 3-pointers of all time, how can he not win this event?!?!?

Last, and certainly not least, is the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest. Now the easy thing to do would be to just pick Blake Griffin, put the bet in on, and forget that you even made that simple of a bet. Well I think Blake, who has everything going for him, is going to LOSE tomorrow night’s contest. I think Washington Wizard’s Javale Mcgee is going to pull off the upset, and be the Justin Morneau to Blake Griffin’s Josh Hamilton in the 2008 Home Run Derby.  Mcgee plays for the Wizards, a team that clearly doesn’t spend much practice time going over plays and defensive assignments. Mcgee, an athletic 7 ft Center out of the Dwight Howard mold, has probably been practicing a few dunks, and will have John Wall there to assist him. I think Mcgee will surprise everyone by  taking this contest, and then much like past champion, and former high school crush Gerald Green, he will be forgotten about as soon as March rolls around.


By Aaron Tobinhess

Thursday night, February 3, 2011, the NBA All Star reserves were named before the Miami Heat, Orlando Magic contest.

No real surprises for the Eastern Conference as all four Boston Celtics deserved to be selected; even the biggest tool and third wheel in the league deserved a nod as well. I am a big Knick fan but any one who really thinks that Raymond Felton is more deserving than Joe Johnson is crazy. Look at Felton’s numbers for the last month. To quote Denise Green, he is who we thought he was. (an average point guard whose numbers look better playing in D’antoni’s system).

After a commercial break, the Western Conference reserves were named. Manu Ginobili, Russell Westbrook, Deron Williams,  and Dirk Nowitzki were all very deserving. That leaves only three spots left.  Blake Griffin, Pau Gasol and Tim Duncan. WTF? Really? No Kevin Love? Is that a joke? The only guy since Moses Malone to average 20 points and 15 rebounds a game (that happened 25 years ago by the way) not being selected by the coaches? Really?

Now I understand that teams with the best records will get multiple All-Star selections. Teams should be rewarded for having great seasons and, in the end, sports are all about wins and losses.  Shitty teams will not get recognized at the NBA’s mid season classic. That’s just the way it is. However, when a player, no matter how garbage his team may be, does something so extraordinary, he must be rewarded. This season, that man is Kevin Love. He is averaging 21 points and 15 rebounds a game and has had a double-double in every game since early November. In addition, he is shooting 40 percent from three-land this season; just ridiculous.

The Western Conference is loaded with talent this season, and guys like Monte Ellis, LaMarcus Aldridge, Steve Nash, Tony Parker and Zach Randolph are all having great season and would have been all-stars in the Eastern conference, but Kevin Love is having a better season than all of them. His biggest problem is that he plays in Minnesota, the Siberia of the NBA, according to Bill Simmons. The team is so bad, and the fact that he goes out and busts his ass every night for a shit team that has no chance to win is pretty amazing. It is not his fault his GM drafted two point guards back to back in the draft; neither of which were Steph Curry or Brandon Jennings and signed Darko for 20 million dollars (the outrage). It is not his fault that his second best player is a druggie castoff exiled from Miami. It is not his fault that his team can not seem to play a full four quarters and actually close out a game.  It is not his fault the Wolves have about 6 average small forwards on the roster that can not hit threes. What Kevin Love is doing this season is remarkable.

The only argument against Love is that he gets sick numbers for a bad team. That might be true for scoring numbers, but definitely not rebounding numbers. Rebounding, something that I am allergic to, is all about smarts and hustle. He would put up monster rebounding numbers on any team.  He would grab 12 rebounds a game if he played for the Lakers. His rebounding numbers since he has gotten into the league have been off the charts (over 13 rebounds a game per forty minutes each of his first two years where he didn’t get nearly enough minutes). Lastly, why doesn’t that argument hold true for Blake Griffin?  The Clippers suck too and Love has better numbers than Griffin (for the record, I think Griffin is the one of the five best power forwards in the NBA and definitely deserves to be in the game, but so is Love).

In addition to his sick rebounding stats, his offensive game has gotten better. He has nice post moves and has a great pick and roll/ pick and pop game. Did I mention he is hitting forty percent from three this season?  He has three 30 point-20 rebound games. No one else in the league has one, and still this guy isn’t an all star?  In Reggie Miller’s voice, are you kidding me?

Love’s candidacy begs the question, who on the Western Conference should you knock off? The Spurs are 40-8 going into tonight’s game so they have to have 2 guys right? Parker loses out because the plethora of great points guards in the West, even though he is the second most deserving Spur.  Tim Duncan doesn’t even play 30 minutes a game. He is averaging 14-9 this season.  He is not an all-star this year; and I don’t care how good the Spurs are this year and how great Duncan has been over his career. You can make the argument that the Gary Neal, DeJuan Blair, George Hill combo is just as valuable as Duncan this year (I do not believe that but still). Anyone playing under 35 minutes a game isn’t an all-star.  As Charles Barkley says, “this isn’t a lifetime achievement award”.  Cynics would then argue, but KG and Duncan have the same numbers and no one questions KG’s selection. KG ISN’T BLOCKING A GUY AVERAGING 20+-15 FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 1982-1983.

The second guy I would question is Pau Gasol.  Let me be clear, Pau Gasol is tremendously skilled.  He has all the tools, but he is so grossly overrated this season. He plays like such a pansy and disappears in the fourth quarters of games.  Gasol defenders will claim that Kobe dominates the ball way too much. Watch the tape of the most recent game against the Celtics. Gasol was getting pushed around by Kevin Garnett all afternoon.  If you are a superstar, you don’t get pushed around in a big game.  Superstars impose their will and are aggressive.  If Gasol was really a superstar, he would demand the ball late in games.  And, this is for all the Celtics fans out there; if KG doesn’t get hurt 2 years ago (an injury that takes two full years to heal) and Perkins doesn’t get hurt in game seven last year, The Celtics could have easily gone for a three-peat, which means Gasol is just another talented, all-star level player and not a “superstar” (which he has proved he isn’t). Plus, he hasn’t been the Lakers second best player this season.  That honor goes to Lamar Odom; another all-star snub. Back to Love though. There is no doubt he would still grab 11-12 rebounds a game if he played for the Lakers or the Miami Heat.  Now if he played with either of those teams, he would not get as many shots and score as many points, but he would still average 17 a game. 17-12 is better than Gasol and Chris Bosh this year.

The reality is that Yao Ming was voted by the ten million Chinese people who don’t watch basketball and is out with an injury.  That opens a spot for another All-Star selection. David Stern can rectify the situation by selecting Kevin Love as a replacement and start Duncan (legacy) at Center. NBA, please show this man some Love.

By Michael Goldberg

For the past 2 weeks I have been called crazy. Why is that you ask? I may as well the lead advocate for Blake Griffin as MVP.  I have heard things like: “no chance”, or “ he won’t win it as a rookie or playing for clippers” or “Gary Busey has a better chance of getting his life together than Blake Griffin does of winning MVP.” Even betting sites such as thought it was impossible, putting the odds of Griffin winning MVP at 200-1.

Here we are 2 weeks later, and after Griffin dropped an NBA season high 47 points against the defenseless Indiana Pacers, he has thrust himself to the forefront of the MVP conversation. Yes, Gary Busey is still insane and the updated odds now stand at 20-1. To all you haters: SUCK IT. Griffin is averaging 22.5 ppg 12.8 reb and 3.4 assists, while shooting while shooting almost 53% from the field. He has been getting better every month and is in the middle of a double-double streak that stands at an incredible 27 games.

Griffin is an amazing and rare talent in the league, with athleticism only matched by the Akron Douche Bag. What makes Griffin so special though, aside from his ability to shit on Timofey Mozgov’s face, is his hard work and dedication to be the best player he can be (picture Mark Madsen, but with elite NBA skills and athleticism). The “Poster Child” as he is now called, handles the ball with ease, passes out of double teams effortlessly, and goes hard after every loose ball and rebound.  He has also resurrected Baron Davis from the dead, making his contract tradeable. He has taken a leadership role with the very young and exciting Clippers team and has them headed in the right direction for the first time ever.

The Clippers currently stand 6 games out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference; however, they have won 10 of their last 14 games including wins over the Heat, Lakers, and Nuggets. This team is on a roll and with the bottom half of the Conference looking wide open, they have a chance to sneak into the playoffs and make some noise.  If they make the playoffs , the man who has turned around a franchise in just his first year deserves the MVP for what he has accomplished.

Granted, the Clippers do need to make the playoffs for this argument to hold true, but the race is the most wide open it has been in years. The Heat’s gayer version of Three’s Company pretty much guarantees that none of them will win, Derrick Rose is putting up some great numbers but has been helped out with outstanding play from Starvin Marvin, the Ugliest Creature in Basketball, and lastly, the guy from star trek with the really weird forehead. Durant has made noise in OKC, but Westbrook has been playing almost just as well, and then you have the Hebrew Hammer in NY who has been playing well over his head, however the outstanding play of Wilson Chandler and Raymond Felton have contributed almost just as much as he has. Lastly, there is Dwight Howard, the guy is an absolute monster who just dominates the paint, but the team was in a tailspin before the acqusitions of Gilbert Arenas, Jason Richardson, and Hedo Turkoglu.

Not to say this list is void of deserving players, however, if Blake Griffin leads his team to the playoffs he will have done so with the least help and if his trends continue up like they have all season, he will end with the most impressive stats as well. He single handedly brings fans to the stadium and is the most exciting player in the league today. Blake Griffin for MVP!

By Phil Bausk

Game 4 of the 2003-2004 NBA Playoffs. That was the last time there was a big event at Madison Square Garden that didn’t involve the New York Rangers, Big East basketball, or Dave Matthews (Frankly, other concerts don’t count as a big event. You know it’s a big event when 3 out of every 4 people on Facebook have a status about it and DMB takes the cake on that one).

Last night’s game between the New York Knicks and the Boston Celtics was one of the best sporting events I have ever attended in my young life. MSG was rocking, and there was a great scene during the pregame introductions where fans held orange glow-in-the-dark thundersticks, illuminating the Garden, and creating a tremendous atmosphere. The Celtics won this thriller on a game-winning, mid-range jumper off the hands of Paul “The Truth” Pierce. The Knicks nearly won it at the buzzer, as Ama’re Stoudemire hit a 3-pointer, but it was just milliseconds after time had run out.  The crowd was excited, the players were excited, but more importantly, the media was excited.

This was the sort of game that basketball in New York needed. The Knicks needed to be tested by one of the best teams in the league. The country needed to see how the Knicks would react in the spotlight. But what New York basketball really needed was  a reason for Knicks fans to begin to loathe the Celtics, other then the obvious Boston-New York dynamic (There were a few “Boston Sucks” chants dispersed amongst the crowd. Remember when that used to be true? For the past decade, Boston has an upper hand on this Boston-NY rivalry, but that’s for a separate article).

The Knicks faithful got their catalyst to hate the Celtics, when Pierce spent all week denying that the Celtics and the Knicks were a legitimate rivalry. He even said that the Knicks and Celts will probably become a rivalry when he is out of the league. Pierce is known to be brash when it comes to making public statements, and the platform of a Knicks-Celts rivalry probably made him salivate. He knew he could go a few days refuting the idea of a rivalry, only to come to the Garden and play his heart out, hit the game-winning shot, and then bow to the crowd at center court, infuriating the entire borough of Manhattan.

It was easy to tell from the start that this game meant a lot to both teams. While it meant more to the Knicks, both morally and in the standings, the Celtics refused to be beaten by a team they didn’t see as their equal. Pierce, who may be the most arrogant athlete in Boston sports history, appeared to play his heart out. He continually drove to the hoop, demanded the ball in crunch time, and ultimately won a game for the C’s that they maybe shouldn’t have won.

This is what I, as well as every other Celtics fan, love about “The Truth.” He gives us 110%. There are few athletes in sports who have as much talent as Pierce, and go out and compete like he does (Luckily there are 3 more of them are on the Celtics in Allen, Garnett, and Rondo). He may run his mouth a couple times a year, but Pierce either backs it up, or will try his best to do so.

For over 900 games, Pierce has played his heart out for a wide-range of Celtic teams. He and Antoine Walker (who should ask Pierce for a place to stay) helped carry a below average Celtics team to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2002. This was just 18 months removed from the famous stabbing incident, in which Pierce was stabbed 11 times outside of a Boston nightclub (I’d love to see the Akron Scammer come back  from that).

After that team fell apart, Pierce still played hard for a Celtics franchise that wanted to trade him. In classic Pierce fashion, he expressed his displeasure through the media, but continued to try and win games for the C’s. This situation reached a tipping point when Pierce sat out most of the 2006-2007 season due to “significant injuries.” This was a rare occurrence in his career in which Pierce let his emotions get the best of him and let it effect his play on the court. It was Pierce’s frustration with Danny Ainge and management that led to the acquisitions of Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen.

While last night’s game was just another notch on Pierce’s belt, it proved once again that when you need a last second shot, there are few guys in the league you would rather go to than “The Truth.”

Doesn’t this quote from Pierce give you all the confidence in the world in him?

“I love these type of environments,” Pierce said. “It’s rare when you get these type of environments in the regular season. There’s only so many games you circle on the schedule, where you say, ‘Hey, this is going to be a playoff-type atmosphere, a playoff-type game.’

On the other side of the ball, the Knicks have to be happy with their efforts. While they didn’t come out on top, they have earned the respect of the Celtics, and with another strong showing against the Miami Heat on Friday, they can cement themselves as a legitimate playoff team. While they aren’t at contender level yet, and have a lot of work to do to get there, this team that GM Donnie Walsh has put together has pumped life, not only back into the Garden, but into the streets of New York.

Orange and blue are now making their way back into the wardrobe of New Yorkers. There are Stoudemire, Gallinari, and Felton jerseys being worn around the city, as opposed to seeing old school Patrick Ewing and John Starks throwbacks. The Knicks are like that girl in high school who wasn’t all that attractive back in the day, but when you have your mini reunions after college, you start to see that she wasn’t that bad looking in the first place. All she needed was some time away from home, better looking guys in college to make herself want to appear more attractive, and four years of becoming a “seasoned veteran.”

I plan on attending more Knicks games this season (and seeing Blake Griffin poop on another New York Knick’s head), and hope that the Garden can maintain this level of enthusiasm. While it may take a few more games like last night, things are definitely looking up for basketball in New York.

As for Pierce, it’s a shame he doesn’t get as much credit as deserves for the career he has put together so far. If he plays long enough, which I doubt, he can become the all-time leading scorer for the Celtics. He WILL pass Larry Bird on that list, and while he will never be compared to Bird or other past C’s, he has cemented a spot in the Pantheon of great Boston Celtics. Whether you like him or not, there’s not denying that Paul Pierce is nothing but “The Truth.”

By Jesse Schneiderman

My earliest memory of the New York Knicks is Game 7 of the 1994-95 Eastern Conference Finals. I sat there, nine years old, in my blue Patrick Ewing jersey and matching shorts, as my hero drove to the hoop and missed the same finger roll he had made thousands of times before. The game was over. That was my indoctrination into this remarkably dedicated fan base.

For the next fifteen years, I watched as we trotted out lineups featuring Jerome James, Malik Rose, Mike Sweetney, Chris Wilcox, and Renaldo Balkman. I sat through press conferences introducing “the future of the Knicks;” first relying on a tandem of speedy guards named Marbury and Francis, then mortgaging the future (and multiple draft picks) on a fat, slow, center with a heart problem (both literally and figuratively), who couldn’t rebound. We watched in horror this year on July 7th, as our reason for sticking around for the last two years seemingly vanished, taking his heart-breaking talents to South Beach. Suffice it to say, we had been defeated. So much so that I celebrated after the Utah Jazz made their selection in this year’s NBA draft; rejoicing as the last remaining relic from the disastrous Stephon Marbury debacle was selected. I wasn’t alone.

When the Knickerbockers landed Amare Stoudemire and he proclaimed “the Knicks are back,” we immediately scoffed. We had heard this one before. The Knicks were back when ‘Zeke (Isaiah Thomas) unveiled Marbury and Lenny Wilkins; the three point guards and their million dollar smiles were supposed to “take over the East.” Unsurprisingly, they didn’t. Two years later, the World’s Most Famous Arena was disillusioned with failure and I was wearing my “Isiah Thomas ruined my favorite team and all I got was this stupid 6 year/$72 million contract” t-shirt to games (and getting sympathetic high-fives from my tortured brethren). Then the Knicks started this season, their season of redemption, at 3-8. Fans were clamoring for Coach Mike D’Antoni’s head on a platter, justifiably. “We’ve been told to wait two years for this?!” was the collective consciousness. After changing his vaunted offense around so that plays can develop on the wings, capitalizing on the outstanding three-point shooting this club boasts, D’Antoni’s squad won a game. Then a few more. Now we are here, with the Knicks sitting 16-9 as the darlings of the NBA. Will this continue? Should Donnie Walsh deal for Carmelo Anthony? If not, what’s next? These are the questions hanging over the head of every New York basketball fan nowadays. Let’s address them one at a time.

The Knicks probably won’t be able to keep this up, at least with the team as it stands right now. Landry “Number 65 in your playbooks, number 1 in your hearts” Fields is an actual contender for rookie of the year (or at least he would be without Blake Griffin “Mozgov-ing” the entire league), he has to regress a little bit as the season goes on. The guy we were most excited about acquiring for our beloved David Lee was Anthony Randolph, but he has been relegated to ball-boy duty and it looks like he’ll be traded, while the most productive guy from the deal (Roney Turiaf) has knee problems. In addition, Amare can’t score 30 every night. Something needs to be done to keep this up.

Which brings us here; Should the Knicks still trade for Carmelo given this torrid start? It’s too soon to tell. If they keep up this pace, then maybe not. If they regress a bit, as I’m predicting, then of course they should. Any time you can add a perennial All-Star like ‘Melo you need to do it, but with one caveat as they need to find a shooter. If the deal goes down as predicted (‘Melo to Knicks with Big Fat Eddy Curry, Danillo Gallinari, and either Wilson Chandler or Landry Fields going to Denver, plus a draft pick acquired for presumably dealing Anthony Randolph), then the ‘bockers will be without shooters. Luckily, the answer to that question is on the roster, albeit not the active one, in Kelenna Azubuike. When the sharpshooting third piece of the David Lee deal gets healthy, the Knicks will have a legitimate shooter to replace Gallinari. That way they can still spread the floor, play the high-low post with Anthony and Stoudemire, and leave room for potential all-star point guard Raymond Felton to keep his pick-and-roll hand strong.

The other option, of course, is to wait until free agency. Assuming there will be no lockout (which is a pretty big assumption), the Knicks will almost certainly land Carmelo in the open market. They could use Eddy Curry’s contract to try and acquire a pair of players from the Memphis Grizzlies, O.J. Mayo and Marc Gasol. Mayo is unhappy and the Grizzlies are openly trying to trade him, and Gasol is a restricted free agent at the end of the year. The Knicks will just need to Denver to sign-and-trade ‘Melo if they don’t have the cap space. Who says no to the following deal?

o       New York acquires O.J. Mayo and Marc Gasol.

o       Houston acquires Anthony Randolph, Hasheem Thabeet, and Memphis’s 2012 2nd round pick.

o       Memphis acquires Landry Fields, Patrick Patterson, Eddy Curry’s expiring deal, and the Rockets 2010 1st round pick

This would give the Knicks some more shooting and a solid perimeter defender in Mayo, and an intelligent big man to pair with Stoudamire in the post. Houston gets Randolph and, for the small price of Patrick Patterson, gets a former number 2 overall pick plus a second rounder. Memphis saves money and gets two young stars plus a potential lottery pick. It makes perfect sense.

The bottom line is this: the New York Knicks are relevant again. After defeating the Denver Nuggets yesterday, Knicks’ fans can finally hold their heads high. What the Knickerbockers don’t need right now is a panic move. Don’t sell the farm for a backup point guard or a big body, that’s what characterized the ‘Zeke era and got us into trouble in the first place. For Knicks’ fans right now only one thing matters, something that hasn’t been the case for the better part of a decade: we’re winning. We have that. The Garden is rocking again, the city is buzzing about the potential of the playoffs, and the team is gelling perfectly. While Donnie Walsh sits in his ivory tower trying to figure out his next move and D’Antoni’s boys continue to reel off 130-125 wins, at least we’re relevant. That’s more than we’re used to.