Season Recap: Why Predictions are Stupid, and Other Stories

Well folks, as the regular season winds down, I think that now is an appropriate time to look back on the season that was. Actually it’s more like the season that “is,” since the regular season hasn’t actually finished yet. I’m just really tired of regular season basketball right now. If you follow me on Twitter, you could tell that baseball has swallowed my attention, and that basketball, for now, has taken a backseat. Sure, playoffs are starting soon, like REALLY soon, but I couldn’t resist doing a recap now. I’m just way too restless.

Alright, so since none of you want to listen to me ramble on about baseball, I’ll start off by picking five stories at the start of the season, that didn’t quite pan out. Obviously I need to talk about the Miami Heat. No one has done that enough. And of course, I need to talk about Kevin Durant, since people were calling him MVP before the season started. I can’t NOT talk about the Lakers, they had a season that was unlike anyone could expect. The Spurs deserve some attention as well. And no recap list would be complete without Carmelo/Knicks/Nuggets on it. Continue Reading


N.Y. State of Mind

Losers of 6 straight, and 9 of their last 10 games, the New York Knicks are in a bit of a, “funk,” so to speak.  Acquiring a major talent in one, Carmelo Anthony, just before the NBA Trade Deadline, seemed to be the next big step, in “Righting the Ship.”  However, the Knicks have found themselves in a worse predicament than they were before the deal.  A lot of people, namely “fans,” are suggesting that maybe that was the wrong move to make, in acquiring Anthony.  They feel that blowing up the team, and trading away its young talent, was a mistake.  A record of 7-9, and falling to the 7th seed in the Eastern Conference, would also back those claims.  With the Knicks currently facing a potential playoff match-up with the Celtics, whom the Knicks are 0-3 against; the future doesn’t seem much brighter.

So who gets the blame in this situation?  We could point the finger at the Star Players, Melo & Amare, but they’ve performed consistently.  What about the bench…Or lack thereof?  Naaah, that’d just be a cop out of sorts and besides that only, consists of 3-4 players at max.  The finger can be pointed at the Front Office for making the deal, right?  Let’s face it; the Knicks weren’t exactly playing elite basketball prior to the trade.  Their record only stood, 2 games above .500, which isn’t saying much compared to where they are now.  There isn’t one specific, “Answer,” to the Knicks’ problems.  There are several things wrong with this team. Continue Reading


David Lee: the NBA’s hidden gem

Knicks PF/C David Lee has played way better than his reputation indicates.

David Lee had one hell of a game last night. Friday against the Golden State Warriors, the same team that surrendered 44 points to Mavericks rookie Rodrigue Beaubois last week, Lee posted a line of 37 points, 20 rebounds, and 10 assists. In doing so, he became the first player in the NBA to sport a 30-20-10 line since 1976. You know who did it that year? Arguably the greatest center in the history of the sport — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Obviously David Lee is a fantastic player stuck on a terrible team this season. With averages of 20.3 points, 12 rebounds, and 3.6 assists, he has been paved his path into the society of elite big men in the NBA — not that anyone would know.

Lee remains, too, one of the Association’s best-kept secrets despite his stellar play. And to think the Knicks nearly botched negotiations with him last offseason because he was holding out for money he deserved. Still, he probably would have been better off if they had.

David Lee is a free agent this offseason, and given New York’s go-big-or-go-home mentality, they will most likely lose out on re-signing its best player. So he’ll have an opportunity elsewhere, but he likely will once more not get the money he deserves; he is behind several larger household front-court players who have the opportunity to be free agents this center, namely Chris Bosh, Amar’e Stoudemire, and Carlos Boozer.

This notwithstanding, Lee deserves a yearly salary in the $12 million to $14 million range. He will be a 20-1o guy for years to come, and his jump shot only continues to improve — as does his PER, which stands now at 22.51 (representing a 3.5-point increase from last season’s mark). The most amazing thing about it? The 6’9″ Lee is playing out of position, having been relegated to the center position for the lowly Knicks, who have no one else to play the 5.

So where will No. 42 be playing next season? The three teams who feature the big men listed above  — Toronto, Phoenix, and Utah — will need a presence up front should their power forwards leave town. Furthermore, the Nets may be in play: they’ve suffered from Yi’s piss-poor production at the 4, and pairing someone like Lee who can stretch the floor a bit more with the low-post presence of Brook Lopez could prove very beneficial. Really, anyone could make a play for him.

It hurts to know that Lee will be underpaid according to his next contract, so he should try to sign something short term to spread his name around the league more. Nevertheless, he is going to provide significant production for whoever inks him for the 2010-2011 season, and he won’t be doing so in MSG. That could be a very good thing (if the Knicks flop in their free-agent pursuits) or a very bad one (if they manage to recruit LeBron or someone else).  But if he keeps filling up the box score like he did last night, NBA GMs will eventually take notice of his greatness.

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