Posts Tagged ‘Carmelo Anthony’

By Phil Bausk

“The Cold War isn’t thawing; it is burning with a deadly heat. Communism isn’t sleeping; it is, as always, plotting, scheming, working, fighting.”- Richard Nixon

It is kind of weird to think that the late Richard Nixon’s words referring to Communism bare such an eerie resemblance to the current events of the National Basketball Association and its 2011 Trade Deadline.

Over the past couple days, both the Knicks and the Nets have made Rasputia (First Norbit reference!!) type splashes at this year’s deadline. The Knicks were first to dive in by trading a sizable amount of their roster (Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Timofey Mozgov, and a few picks and cash) for Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Corey Brewer, and others. Usually after such a big splash, there are ripple affects, and these were expected to occur throughout the league over the next few days. Instead, the Nets made an even bigger splash, sending Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, 2 first round picks, and cash to the Utah Jazz for disgruntled PG Deron Williams, among other smaller pieces.

While both of these deals are good for each franchises on an individual level, it is hard to ignore the idea that the Knicks and Nets are going to now be in direct competition with one another, not only on the court (maybe a year or two down the road), but also in the war rooms, fighting for players to help fill their respective rosters. This is all assuming that Deron Williams agrees to some sort of an extension, keeping him in NJ/Brooklyn for the next few years.

While the Knicks are helped by their location and the team’s history, it has been let down over the past decade by management, and rumblings that Isaiah Thomas was involved with the Carmelo Anthony trade only further proves that perhaps the culture in the front office, while shifting, isn’t completely out of  the woods quite yet.  On the other hand, the Nets have Mikhail Prokhorov, as Bill Simmons calls him, the “Russian Mark Cuban,” or as I will refer to him from now on, RMC.

RMC has struggled in his first full year as the NJ Nets owner. He was unable to lure any big name name free agents this summer, though The Akron Scammer said his presentation was one of the best he saw. Along with the Scammer, RMC whiffed on Carlos Boozer and Chris Bosh, and ended up paying Travis “Where’s my GED” Outlaw $7 mil. a year over 5 seasons, perhaps one of the worst contracts in the league. He was then unable to get Carmelo from the Nuggets, even though his Nets had the sexiest package to offer to them.

This has a  remarkable parallel to the first half of the Cold War. While post-World War II Europe was being both reprimanded and reassembled, Russia and The United States proposed different approaches on how to go about this process. Russia wanted to spread its Communist influence, while the U.S. wanted to rebuild the democratic governments in Europe. This caused much tension between both parties, resulting in roughly a decade of speculation, with many skirmishes along the way, including the Koren War and the Warsaw Pact, which were significant moments, but in the long run, were ultimately unsuccessful, much like the Travis Outlaw and Anthony Morrow signings.

It was at this point that RMC duped us all and pulled his own version of the Cuban Missile Crisis, by swooping in out of nowhere and acquiring Deron Williams. By doing this he has moved his artillery in position, much like Khrushchev did in Cuba, and is pointing his ammo right at the heart of Manhattan. The next question is whether RMC will push the proverbial button, by signing a Dwight Howard type, or if he’ll emulate Khrushchev again, and become unsuccessful not only in signing another free agent, but in retaining Deron Williams.

It would be harder pressed to make James Dolan and Co. into looking like John F. Kennedy and any other U.S. presidents, but if I am going into this analogy, I really don’t have much of a choice. Dolan and GM Donnie Walsh have done a good job putting NYC basketball back on the map. Much like the American presidents, they have done well, but still have their critics, though I don’t think anyone is going to be gunned down at a state school over the ‘Melo trade. Their next task is to bring in one more piece to finalize the NBA trend of having 3 All-Stars to fill out a starting lineup, and banking on someone else to step up and play well (There will never be another Rajon Rondo, or at least a man who can capture my heart like he has).

As of right now, RMC and his Nets have the upper hand in managerial/political decision making, but the Knicks, much like America at the time, has a better product on the court. They have history on their side as the NBA superpower, and will use whatever resources it may take to keep it that way. We all know how the Cold War turned out, as things in Soviet Russia dissolved, and America was back on top of the world. Does RMC have what it takes to make this Cold War end differently? Or is he going to be remembered as that crazy Russian owner whose money meant nothing in a league where the salary cap is going to be at an all-time low?

Only time can really tell us how this NBA feud is going to conclude, but one thing is for sure, there is a renewed hatred of those over in Jersey, and you can be the feeling is mutual. Better yet, does this Cold War turn into a Civil War when the Nets make their way over to Brooklyn, and start referring to themselves as the Brooklyn New Yorkers.

There is so much left to be answered, and so much time for it all to be answered in. This tension between both clubs is going to last for a few years, and it is going to feel like a few decades. Perhaps Russia would still be the Soviet Union if RMC were around 50 years ago.


By Aaron Tobinhess

As you may recall, last Wednesday night at MSG, the Knicks laid a major egg against a Clipper team that was 3-18 on the road entering that game. They looked lifeless, played no defense and, in typical Knicks fashion, shot poorly from the three-point line, and didn’t stop hoisting.  They were down as much as twenty points at one point in the third quarter.  Did I mention, this was a game against the Clippers?  It was just downright embarrassing and every player and coach should feel like crap because of the way this game unfolded (I know they made a comeback in the fourth but that doesn’t make me feel any better and it shouldn’t to any Knick fan out there).

Late in the forth quarter, as the fans grew more and more upset with the team’s performance, they chanted “WE WANT MELO, WE WANT MELO.” Fans at MSG never hide what they feel, nor should they, and hell, the Knicks fans should want Melo.  Stars win in the NBA and the Knicks have a chance to land a Star, a bona fide star for that matter, and scoring machine, in Carmelo Anthony.  Melo wants to be a Knick.  That much is clear.  So I ask the question, WHY THE HELL IS THE DEAL NOT DONE ALREADY?!!!! And if it’s not done, there should already be serious strides to get the deal done.

Carmelo Anthony sent the Knicks a wake up call this week.  He said if he is not traded than he will “strongly consider” singing the three year 65 million dollar extension because of the potential lockout and change in the CBA.  Here is the thing though, he isn’t signing that extension.  That deal has been on the table for 5 months now and if he wanted to sign, he would have done so by now.  The same logic goes for the trade to the Nets.  If he wanted to be a Net (and I don’t know why anyone would want to be a Net), it would have been done.  He wants to be a Knick.  That’s it.  The report with the Lakers is crap; same with the report with him resigning.  All of that chatter is designed to do one thing, to get the Knicks to sweeten their offer to Denver.  So I now pose the question (and at this point getting exceedingly frustrated), what is holding the Knicks back? (I would do the bold caps lock move again but it’s getting old)

The reported deal from this past weekend, involving the Knicks, the Nuggets and the T-Wolves, had the Knicks giving up Wilson Chandler, Fat Eddy Curry’s expiring contract plus his tabs at Wendys, McDonalds, Burger King, Subway etc. and Anthony Randolph (going to the Wolves for a first round pick, which would in turn, be sent to the Nuggets) for Carmelo Anthony.  Now I know he wants out but if I am Denver, why the hell should I even consider that?  That trade is garbage.  Denver needs to get something back in return or they hold on to him and hope money ultimately will win out (and it usually does) and he will stay.  Reportedly, the Knicks are unwilling to deal two of these three players to get Anthony; Landry Fields, Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari.  Read those names again and tell me it doesn’t make you want to punch something knowing that not giving up two of three, not all three but two of three, is holding this up.  It makes me sick.  I have news for you Knicks fans, Carmelo plays the same position as Chandler and Galo.  Chandler is a restricted free agent this summer and Galo the next.  If they sign Melo, Chandler is gone and Galo is gone too because the Knicks envision forming there own trio involving Chris Paul or Deron Williams in the summer of 2012.  So why are they so reluctant to trade Chandler and the Retarded Chicken? As much as I like Landry Fields (my favorite Knick right now), even he is replaceable.  Ama’re needs help.  D’Antoni is running him into the ground right now and the results (a .500 team) isn’t good enough to justify the youth movement and the Knicks standing pat.  Now I know the trade deadline is 2 weeks away and deals have a tendency to get done at the last minute, but this deal needs to happen to give the Knicks energy for the rest of the season and to keep the dream of their own mega trio in tact.

If the Knicks fail to get a top 10 player who genuinely wants to be there (unlike The Akron Scammer), heads should roll in the Knicks organization.  Now Anthony will not help the Knicks most glaring weakness, defense, but he rebounds very well for a small forward and is money in the fourth quarter.  The Knicks will have there closer and Ama’re will be free to roam the high post and drive to the basket knowing he won’t be triple-teamed anymore.  He will be fresher at the end of games and in the playoffs. This doesn’t make them a serous threat for a title now, but it puts them in place to be and it would scare the shit out of anyone who would play them in the first round.

I have never been a fan of James Dolan, but if he feels he needs to get involved to make this happen, he should.  The Knicks need to get this deal done because I have a strange feeling that if Melo isn’t traded here, he isn’t going to be here at all and that would be a disaster.  The Knicks have a chance to build something great for the next five years that will put them and the Miami Heat battling for titles (the Celtics and Lakers will both be too old.  Same with the Spurs).  You can find role players through the draft and via free agency to compliment stars but make no mistake, the stars need to be in place and if its the Knicks are unwilling to part with Danilo Gallinari in addition to Wislon Chandler, well then Donnie Walsh has really lost his mind and the ultimate disaster will happen when Isiah Thomas returns to the front office (just the thought gives me a migraine).  As a Knicks fan, I am waiting anxiously as the trade deadline approaches hoping and praying this gets done because if not, it will set the franchise back another decade.

By Phil Bausk

I looked outside my window this morning from my penthouse in the East Village (Alright ,its a 3 bedroom flex apartment with a kitchen that John Goodman could get stuck in), and I noticed more lovely snow on the ground. Over the last month or so, the city of New York has been pounded with heavy, white snow. Subways have been stopped, buses are virtually non existent, and fat people, including myself, have been racking up the points.

There are a few great things about the snowfall. Firstly, all the attractive women who have to cover up now on a daily basis seem to have more of a reason to show more skin at the gym. It makes for a much more interesting lunch break, and gives me something to look at while I am eating a Subway sandwich on the exercise bike. Secondly, with the commute to work being such a pain, I have had days in my office where I am alone without any supervision. This has led to some outlandish Gchat and Facebook conversations, which have no business being discussed by anyone. In addition, there has been the welcoming of hot chocolate to the company’s coffee machines. While it’s not going to wake me up, it gives me a small reminder about why I love winter in New York.

Finally, as I looked out my window, a growing concern came across my mind. Was I ever going to get my mail from random athletes across the country?!?!?!? I know the Post Office prides itself on delivering the mail in any sort of weather conditions, but I was worried that the vast amounts of snow that had been falling was going to deter my mail carrier from making her way to my lobby.

Well, it took over a month but I finally got my second batch of random letters from athletes. Whether they are staying at the W hotel or the Holiday Inn express, athletes need to ask a random schlub like myself about how to handle their personal and professional lives because as many of us can see from today’s media, they still love to show off their either comically large, or frighteningly small wangs.

Q: “Have I not made it painfully obvious that i NEVER want to play in New Jersey? Trade after trade falls through, I keep hinting how playing at home in NYC is the dream, and my friends, Brooklyn is not Manhattan. Is there something wrong with me? Or should I just suck it up, accept the trade, and waste 6 months of my life?”

C. Anthony Denver, CO

A: Mr. Anthony, I really am not sure what to tell you. The best advice I can give you is that whatever you decide to do, whether it be play out your contract in Denver, or bully a trade to New York, just do it with class. We all saw the backlash that occurred with The Akron Scammer, and you don’t want to follow in his selfish footsteps.

What I would tell you to do is play out your contract and be graceful in your departure from the Nuggets. Play hard every night and try and get that team back to the playoffs. While a first round exit is more than likely, if you go out fighting, the fans will not resent you and in less than a year, you will ultimately get your wish. While talks of a CBA agreement could hurt the amount of money you could get in a contract with the Knicks, your star will shine greater in the bright lights of NYC and you will make that money back faster through advertisements and appearances. This would also start a great rivalry in the east with the Heat and the Knicks, a rivalry the NBA could use. I am sure David Stern has already put this in motion by telling Mikhail Prokhorov to get the hell away from the Nuggets front office or he’ll divulge some interesting information to the Russian CIA.

Q: “Where should I play? I’m a winner, I have the tools to succeed in this league, and I have the weirdest shaped head of any player in the league. Someone should want to pick me up right? Just because I alienated one of the best coaches in football and gave up on a group of 52 guys doesn’t mean I should be penalized right?

V. Young Anywhere but Tennessee

A:It is athletes like Vince Young that piss me off, even more so than guys like the Akron Scammer and company. Vince has a decent amount of talent, as he was blessed with the ability to run, throw, and shove guys in a nightclub, yet he takes it for granted by being an immature and selfish “man,” who tries to bully others into giving into his ways. While his college coach Mack Brown will tell you he was the perfect teammate, I am sure a lot went down on the Austin campus that we do not know about.

Many athletes are able to go out and have nights of debauchery without us hearing much about it. They can also get into spats with their coaching staff and work through it, with us forgetting about it until the next guy does the same thing. VY is on strike 2 as I am concerned and if he isn’t careful, he could end up going the ways of the Akili Smiths and the JaMarcus Russells of the world. The one thing VY has going for him is his ability. While he may not put up the greatest numbers, he finds ways to win games. Vince, just do what your coaches ask you, and if you have a problem with him, don’t go crying to the owner (Who clearly has problems of his own), but use your big paycheck and see a therapist, it’s alright, most of the country does it anyhow.

Q: Dude, after we beat the Jets on Sunday, I am so excited to to down to Dallas and check out the college chicks out there. I already have my 2 Super Bowl rings, I still haven’t gotten my Texas tail. I already asked Mike Wallace to be my wing-man, but he says I’m too pushy.

B. Roethlisberger Pittsburgh, PA

A: Way to go man! One more sexual harassment accusation and you’ll become the only QB with 2 Super Bowl rings or more that won’t be invited to any Post-game parties (Except for maybe Jay Cutler, he just looks like a douche). Firstly, beat the Jets and secondly, No means No.

Q: What should I buy first after signing my new contract? A new car, a house for my momma, or Brian Cashman’s love?

R. Soriano,  Scarsdale, NY I am sure

A: In order to succeed in NY, all you have to do is have a 4 ERA, set up the game for Rivera, and not accidentally cross swords with Jeter, though I’m sure ARod would just say it “slipped.” Do those things, and Brian Cashman will only lose 40 percent of his hair.

Q: I think I finally get why David Stern made players go to college for at least one year. But hey, I’m still making more than Blake Griffin and Kevin Love.

M. Webster, Minneapolis, MN

A: You make more money than they do for now Martell…. And yes, you are right, players like you should’ve gone to college for at least a year. It is obvious to see how both the NCAA and the NBA have benefited from this rule change. So many players from Webster’s era jumped to the NBA to make a quick dollar, when they could’ve refined their games and becomes players with a longer shelf life. If not for the dumb GM’s (KAHHHHNN!!) of the world giving players like Webster and Travis Outlaw big contracts, these guys would be regretting their decisions every day. There is a whole list of guys like Darius Miles,  Kwame Brown, and others who jumped too quickly to the NBA.

The college game today is now more popular than its ever been, with twice as much TV time as it had during the early 2000s. Players like Jared Sullinger are polishing their  games so that they can contribute right away once they are drafted, which will hopefully lead to longer and more productive careers. It also allows  them to play on a better platform to help introduce themselves to the public. Not every high school star is going to be publicized like the Akron Scammer was, and the college game is the perfect place for them to showcase their talent. Assuming things stay the way they are, I can’t see Mr. Webster and Mr. Outlaw getting nice contracts after their current ones run out. Odds are they will be replaced by similar players, who had the benefit of attending college for at least one year.

Q: Can you void retirement papers?

B. Favre, Set of Wrangler Commercial

A: I am not sure, but I don’t put it past you to figure out a way how.

Q: Yo, Can I sell you my dirt bike?

R.Rogers, Durham, NC

A: I am not  touching that one, but there’s a 5% chance that I’ll buy it.

Q: When will people realize that I am the best quarterback in the league? Do I need to do a bunch of crappy commercials with a thick southern accent? Do I have to marry the hottest woman on earth, grow out my hair, and throw up a stinker against the Jets? Or do I have to hope a horrible catastrophy strikes my city so I could lead my team to the promised land?

A. Rodgers, Green Bay, WI

A: Frankly Mr. Rodgers, yes, I think you need one of those things to happen to you in order for you to get into this conversation. Obviously from a career standpoint, you aren’t at the same level as these guys. But right now, if I was picking one quarterback to win a game for my team, I find it hard to pick against Aaron Rodgers. He avoids pressure, has a strong and accurate arm, and makes pre-snap reads just as well as anyone. Even if he leads the Packers to a Super Bowl victory this season, he will not get as much credit as he deserves.

A good idea for Rodgers would be to get a list of the companies Peyton Manning is a sponsor for, and offer his services to their rival company. Next, he should go bald, marry the ugliest chick he can find, but treat her like a queen so the public can see what a nice guy he is, kind of like what Roger Federer is doing (At least I hope). Finally, while there’s not chance of a levee breaking in Green Bay anytime soon, perhaps a cheese famine would suffice as a catastrophe for that part of the country. Families would be forced to eat regular hamburgers as opposed to delicious cheeseburgers. Quesadillas would just be pita bread and chicken and Lunchables would go out of business. Barack Obama could come to town to offer his support, knowing that there isn’t much to do. Finally, this could lead to Rodgers going on an award show, and saying directly into the camera, ‘Barack Obama doesn’t care about white people.”

By Phil Bausk

After one of the more hectic off-seasons in  the history of the NBA, it is weird to think that we are already nearly halfway done with the season. As the NFL playoffs have distracted many of us from what’s going on in the NBA, there will come a point soon where all we will have to watch is basketball. Starting in February, football season will be over, leaving us with basketball and hockey. Clearly hockey doesn’t count for anything, which means we have to substitute it with something people will actually watch like College Basketball. So until April, when baseball season starts and most Americans are still so bored by baseball that they would rather spend time with their families, there is really only one sport to watch, basketball.

Well before we can look into our crystal ball and see what is going to happen in the world of basketball, lets take a look back and see what has transpired so far in the first half 2010-11 basketball season.

NBA 1st Half MVP: Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls

I am sure a lot of New Yorkers are going to say that Ama’re should be the first half MVP and he definitely has a case for it. However, Derrick Rose has been playing at an extremely high level this season. He is the main reason the Bulls have been able to get to a 25-12 record, despite missing many games from players such as Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah. In addition, Rose has to spend an inordinate amount of time with Brian Scalabrine. This has to to be the toughest task that Rose has faced in his young career. Imagine sitting on the team flight to LA getting ready to player the Lakers, and some big, red-headed doofus takes a seat next to you to try and talk to you about his daily observations. While Timofey Mozgov surely presents a similar problem for Ama’re, Scalabrine has a track record for this sort of thing. Listening to Scalabrine talk is almost like looking at a two legged dog and wondering why it hasn’t been put down yet. Rose deserves more credit than he has received for both his play on the court, and his patience off the court.

NCAABB  1st Half Most Outstanding Player:  Kemba Walker, UConn Huskies

Walker has had a monster year for the Huskies. His season is better than many previous UConn guards such as Ben Gordon, Richard Hamilton, and Ray Allen. The Big East is quietly becoming better every year and I am sure no one knows that better than Jim Calhoun and his Husky team. Walker has led his team to wins over Michigan State and Kentucky, and was the main reason for their latest victory in Texas. There is a certain swagger to being a part of some of college’s premiere programs in college basketball. UNC, Duke, UConn and others carry themselves differently from the teams that aren’t quite there yet. Walker embodies this characteristic every time he walks out onto the court. He struts around the court with a Tony Stark like confidence before every game, but still maintains the same focus Charlie Sheen seems to have every time he meticulously destroys a hotel room. Walker and the Huskies will make a big run in this years NCAA tournament and he will garner much consideration for player of the year.

The First Player To Try (And Fail) And  Replace Lebron James In Cleveland: Jared Sullinger, Ohio State

It is obvious that the Cleveland Cavaliers are going to finish the year with the worst record in the NBA. The loss of Anderson Varejao for the season is the final blow to an already miserable 2010-11 season. I would say the people in Cleveland have something else going for them but the Browns stink, the Indians made zero moves this off-season, and The Akron Scammer is on his way to a number 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. Assuming the ping pong balls fall the right way for the Cavs, they will get the number 1 pick in the draft and have a tough selection to make.  Jared Sullinger has been dominating the Big 10 so far this season, giving us shades of Greg Oden, only without the noticeable limp and the wear and tear of Father Time.  Sullinger would fit perfectly alongside JJ Hickson and Varajeo as a big body who can score in a lot of different ways and even play some defense if necessary.  If he is the first pick overall, there will be lofty expectations for him to try and replace LBJ, but he will fall short, no matter how good he becomes at the next level. Sullinger could have a very solid NBA career, but if he is unable to turn that Cleveland franchise around, hell be remembered no more than guys like Tyrone Hill or John “Hot Rod” Williams.

As for the rest of the NBA and NCAABB seasons, here is a list of 10 predictions that I think will occur over the next few months:

10. The Memphis Grizzlies will trade OJ Mayo and snag the 8th spot in the Western Conference

Both before and after his recent scuffle with teammate Tony Allen, Mayo has missed a couple games and has performed miserably in the ones he has played in. Meanwhile, Allen has been playing out of his mind, averaging 3 steals per game over his last 6 contests. The Grizzlies are getting back to the formula that helped them become a decent team last season. Let Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph control the paint on the offensive side of the floor, and pressure the wings on defense to force turnovers. Rudy Gay and Allen have done a great job on the defensive side of the ball and will help the Grizzlies make it it to the playoffs, where they will be swept by some team with uglier jerseys.

9. UNC SF Harrison Barnes will break out during ACC play

Barnes, who was projected by many to be next year’s number 1 pick in the NBA draft, has struggled so far in his short college career. He has struggled with his decision making and his ability to consistently put the ball in the basket, the two things he was recruited to do. There is still a lot of the season left, and while I do not expect Barnes to put up Evan Turner and Kevin Durant type numbers, I do not expect him to keep putting up Brian Scalabrine type numbers (if you’re counting, that’s two). ACC play generally opens the door for a lot of scoring, fast paced basketball, a lot different from the slow paced Big 10 games I suffer through once a week or so.  Expect Dick Vitale to be raving about Barnes come ACC tournament time.

8. The Knicks and Celtics will face each other in the 1st round of the NBA Playoffs

Bill Simmons tweeted this today, but I have been thinking about this for quite some time now. The Celtics are doing what they always do. They win a ton of games, get beat up a bit, rest their stars, let the Luke Harangodies of the world dominate, and then end up with a 3 or 4 seed in the playoffs. The Knicks are playing at a very consistent level, one synonymous with a potential 6 seed, which is where they stand right now. This would make for a great series, and I am sure David Stern is smiling somewhere with that same smug look he had when fielding questions about The Akron Scammer this summer.

7. Butler will miss this year’s NCAA Tournament

Last year’s March meshuganas are struggling so far this year in the Horizon League without star Gordon Hayward. The only way they can  get in this season is if they win their conference tournament.  A lot of the major conferences have numerous good teams who will have impressive enough resumes to push themselves into the tournament, rather than mid-major schools with sparkling win loss records. Either way we won’t have to look at some really young coach making us seem like all of our life accomplishments are nothing compared to his.

6. The LA Lakers will NOT make it to the NBA Finals

This is a team in trouble. The Lakers haven’t had this much drama within their organization since back in the Shaq and Kobe days. The Zenmaster’s family is growing apart as Ron Artest clearly has his own mantra in mind, and I am sure it has very little to do with peace and love. The Spurs, Mavericks, Jazz, and Thunder are all legitimate foes to the Lakers and at least two of them will stand in the way of the Lakers path back to the finals. I am just hoping something really crazy happens, like Artest calling Pau Gasol an ostrich and then chasing him around the court with a tranquilizer gun. (Is that really more crazy  than him attacking an entire arena?)

5. Michigan State will MISS the Final Four

This is something that doesn’t happen too frequently. While they have a similar team to last year’s squad, Michigan St. has struggled this year due to a deeper Big 10, and inconsistent jump shooting. Tom Izzo’s teams always play great defense and are not unfamiliar with going through scoring slumps. They tend to make shots when they need to, and win games by minimal margins. After their most recent loss to Penn State, it is obvious that a lot of work has to be done by Izzo and his coaches. Don’t expect to see the Spartans wherever Duke may be, come the end of March.

4. Carmelo Anthony will NOT turn any team into a title contender in the next 2 years

Well it seems he’s either going two places, New York or New Jersey. If he were to go to the Knicks, I don’t see him bringing much more than what they already have. The Knicks are the highest scoring offense in the league. Their offense is also efficient, as it is currently in the top 11 in FG%, 3PT%, and FT%. While Melo will bring them a crunch time scorer, he will not help on the other side of the ball, the one area where the Knicks need to improve on vastly. I am pretty sure a team of me and 4 friends can go out against the Knicks tonight and put up an 80 spot. Perhaps in 2 years or so, the Knicks will develop a player or two to become their stoppers, or they will sign someone to do that job. Until then, the Knicks will be a very good playoff team, but perhaps nothing more.

In New Jersey, Melo would bring a lot of excitement to a franchise struggling to put people in the seats. Their roster would take on a whole new look, and the Nets would become a playoff team in the Eastern Conference. However, their roster would not have the look of a championship contender for a few years. They would need to build through the draft and make a splash or two in the free agent market (Calling Chris Paul). Melo would give them the centerpiece that the team has been looking for since Jason Kidd skipped town, as Brook Lopez is no more than a secondary player and is not able to carry a team with the likes Devin Harris. I am pretty sure that means he can’t do it on his own either.

3. Duke will repeat as National Champions, Kyle Singler will get a statue in front of Cameron Indoor Arena

There really isn’t much competition for Coach K and crew this year. After Duke, the next best teams in college are Kansas, Ohio State, and Syracuse. Kansas and Syracuse both struggled with the mediocre Michigan Wolverines, while the Buckeyes are led by freshman and role players, not the best mix for a National Championship (Jared Sullinger is no Carmelo Anthony). Duke should be able to cruise as a number 1 seed throughout the tournament and they should start seeing some real competition by the time they reach the Elite Eight.  Another title would cement Kyle Singler’s legacy at Duke, not only as the ugliest white basketball player of all-time there, but also as one of the oddest looking winner’s of the Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player Award.

2. The Boston Celtics will defeat the Dallas Mavericks for the NBA Championship

Yes, I am a homer and will be picking the Celtics to win the championship until all of their players can’t walk and smell like cabbage. The Celts are built for the playoffs and I think the Miami Heat are one year away from completely dominating the East. The Mavs on the other hand are in a bit of a tougher situation. This prediction is only assuming Dirk Nowitzki comes back from his knee injury and can play in the playoffs. They are extremely well balanced with him, even without Caron Butler. Their defense has been at its best since they made the finals in 2006 and I think they have enough to fend off either the Lakers or Spurs in a 7 game series. Either way, the Celts need to send Scalabrine (that’s three) a ring because the guy clearly doesn’t have much going for him in life and can always use a pick me up.

1. Lawrence Frank will NOT read this blog

I have spent years of my life trying to get his attention. Whether it be screaming his name at games, or showing up to his two-story colonial house in the suburbs of Boston, Lawrence Frank has done his best to ignore me. I made this site as an homage to him, but so far there has been no feedback on his part. I set the bar low, hoping that maybe he will call me and tell me to stop driving by his house as he goes out to get his mail. 5 months have gone by and still no phone calls. Maybe a text message to deter me from rummaging through his garbage for something he may have held. 3 months and no text message. I still have time before the season is out to get him to notice me and I will do what it takes to make that happen. Until then, I guess I’ll have to settle for a half eaten orange, or a never used  coach’s clipboard.

By Jesse Schneiderman

With the 39th pick in the NBA draft, the New York Knicks select…. Landry Fields, University of Stanford.” I groaned. The Knicks needed a scoring guard, someone who could help Amare score and keep the team afloat, but they passed on Lance Stephenson, Willie Warren, and DaSean Butler. They really could’ve used a big man, yet didn’t take Solomon Alabi, a true man in the middle with defensive potential, who could help on the boards. New York seriously is going to struggle on the defensive end, so why not take a stopper like Devin Ebanks? I thought all of these things, then a thought crossed my mind that made me shiver: I missed ‘Zeke. Isaiah was fantastic in the draft. He specialized with these late picks where he found gems such as, Wilson Chandler, David Lee, Nate Robinson, and Trevor Ariza. He would’ve killed it here.

Seven months later, sign me up for the church of Donnie (or synagogue, I take him as the Conservative type). The Landry Fields pick is the best in years by anyone in the NBA draft, not just the Knicks. The man whose presence was absent in the 64-man draft guide given to attendees on the night of the draft every year has given the Knicks solid play at the 2-guard and everything they needed.

Scoring? He puts in over 10 points a game and makes over 35% of his threes, helping  stretch the floor and give the Knicks the staple of their offense – their three point prowess. They’re second in the league in attempts per game and in the top ten in three point percentage.

While “Strawberry” Fields could never play center (he stands around 6’7), he provides some much needed “big man” stats. He grabs 7.4 rebounds a game, tying him with Marc Gasol, and putting him ahead of the likes of Brook Lopez, David West, Samuel Dalembert, and He Who Shall Not Be Named But Took His Talents To South Beach. Fields plays fewer minutes than all of them. No guard ranks higher than him on the rebounding list, and the only other one in the top 40 is Dwayne Wade. Safe to say his rebounding has eased the burden created by the lack of having a true center on the roster.

The Knicks are not known for their defense, we all know that, but Fields has quietly become a fantastic defender, averaging over a steal a game. He constantly matches up against quicker shooting guards but, due to his off-the-charts basketball IQ, he still harasses them. Landry guards like that old guy in a pick up game. He annoys opposing guards, hand-checks, gets in the way, and at the end of the day is a super-effective defensive player.

Throw all these together, along with number 6’s team-leading plus/minus per minute numbers (his is at .117, the next closest are Wilson Chandler with .075 and Amare with .051), and Rabbi Walsh hit a home run. With more picks like this one, and the season the Knicks are having, they’ll be competitive for years to come. And if Fields falls out of favor with coaches, fans, or other players, Denver does like him a whole lot (you didn’t think I’d get away without mentioning ‘Melo once, did you?).

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.