You Can Teach An Old Dog New Tricks ………….. But Can Someone Teach The Knicks How To Win ?

You Can Teach An Old Dog New Tricks ………….. But Can Someone Teach The Knicks How To Win ?

With the vast majority of the teams now within the NBA having but a mere 12 games left before the culmination of the regular season a number of the teams in question are looking to make that final push to place themselves within the playoff picture. That may well be all well and good but there are some teams thought to be certainties who are now turning their runs into something of an unmitigated disaster. I’ve simply looked at the New York Knicks since the acquisition of Carmelo Anthony and Lord knows as bad as this team was before the trade they’re simply appear to be getting worse by the very second . This team is now two games under .500 and in their last 10 games they’ve posted an abysmal 3-7 record . How anyone can believe that this Mike D’Antoni coached team can actually do something within the playoffs is beyond me.


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Slide show for your perusal .

I know the saying is ………..”God don’t like ugly ” but truth be known I think that God would want to bitch slap the Knicks back into last week if not further back that’s for sure ! Anthony as much as he’s said to have contributed to the team and the excitement at Madison Square Gardens I am now beginning to think that GM Donnie Walsh may not have made a blundering mistake but I do believe that he gave up way to much for a play whose game is so one dimensional . Apart from Anthony you now have a player in Amar’e Stoudemire whose early season performances may well have seen him viewed as a viable candidate for the league MVP this season . Unfortunately with the Knicks’ play having fallen off …… literally off side of a cliff I’m not so sure that the NBA writers around the league will still look upon his candidacy as a viable one.

Though I do believe that the New York Knicks will indeed make the playoffs that’s if the remainder of their season doesn’t implode I can’t see them being beyond a 5th or 6th seed within the Eastern Conference . They’ve simply not played consistently enough over their last dozen or more games to be even considered legitimate contenders within their division much less the conference. Ahead of them in the standings within the conference are Chicago Bulls , Boston Celtics , Miami Heat , Orlando Magic , Atlanta Hawks , Philadelphia 76ers with the Knicks , themselves holding down the seventh seed in the standings followed by the eighth seeded Indiana Pacers over whom the Knicks hold a 3 1/2 game lead.

That cushion should afford the New York Knicks to comfortably play themselves back into some semblance of consistency but the team’s inherent problems stems from the fact that defensively they just leave a great deal to be desired , it has and will always be their Achilles’ heel and lead to their inevitable downfall . And it is one of things that I continually find annoying about Mike DAntoni as a coach as he seemingly refuses to address the situation as to his team’s lack of defensive capability. He simply seems to remain under the impression that the team can outscore an opponent at will and that is clearly not the case given their 7-3 record over their last ten games.

The one great advantage perhaps that the team has is that in Anthony and Stoudemire they do have two prodigious scorers and with Stoudemire’s rebounding prowess on both ends of the floor it gives them somewhat an evenness and sense of fluidity. But herein lies the caveat to this team it doesn’t help if no one else is prepared to pick up the slack as and when needed. And while the fans seem to be in awe of the Knicks’ alleged relevance once again within the NBA , it could become something of a short-lived renaissance should they not even have a comfortable run in the playoffs. Doubt my word , wait watch and see if it doesn’t all pan out as I envisage it will ?

One of the more surprising stories of the season I feel within the Eastern Conference apart from the Chicago Bulls and the play in particular of Derrick Rose has been the mini resurgence of the Philadelphia 76ers ( 76Eers ) who are now coached Doug Collins . Who knew that there’d be an life after the abrupt retirement of Allen Iverson from the organization ? President & CEO Ed Snider along with GM Rod Thorn , his Exec VP Ed Stefanski and Manager Tony DiLeo seem to have lifted this team out of the rubble after its implosion last season when the team finished with a 27-55 record within the Eastern Conference . This season the Sixers will exceed that mark having already posted their thirty fourth win of season and they now sit at 2 games over .500 with a 37-34 mark within the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference .

Much of the team’s improvement this season rests squarely with Doug Collins and is coaching staff where he’s ably assisted by lead assistant Michael Curry . But it has also been the veteran leadership now being shown by Elton Brand in leading this young roster and we’re now beginning to see Andre Iguodala finally flourish and actually show some of that potential that many have felt that he long had. But if anything it has been a collective effort by the team as a whole where they now sit in their present position of being the sixth seed in the East and where there’s a growing confidence amongst the younger players such as Jrue Holiday , Marreese Speights and their rookie first round draft pick Evan Turner who’s showing the promise first on view as a member of Thad Matta’s 2010 Ohio State Buckeyes team .

From my own perspective I can’t see the Sixers going deep into the playoffs should they still retain their seeding up until the culmination of the regular season . A potential first round match-up against the LeBron James led Miami Heat may well have the smell of an upset but unless the Heat come out ice cold then I can’t see the Sixers parlaying that first round series into an outright upset ! And even though I have my own doubts about the Miami Heat I for one can’t see James , or Erik Spoelstra , much less Heat team President Pat Riley letting that scenario rear its ugly head at the AA Arena at the beginning of that series. If that were to happen then the Heat would be booed out of the arena by their very own fans and they’d be ridiculed for such an inept display were they to lose the series.

Now as the regular season winds down it’s going to be interesting to see how the fates pan out for both the New York Knicks and Philadelphia 76ers . One on appearance seems to have over achieved whereas the other seems to be unsure as to its immediate future in terms of its play , goals and expectations. This much is certain failure for the Knicks and they’re still going to be thought of as the NBA’s answer to the New York Mets ……….. just a bunch money laden wannabes ! Both organizations’ only real claim to success has been to boast about their history rather than anything that they’ve achieved in recent years . Can't really put it anymore succinctly than that !



Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thought if any do you have as to the postseason for either the Knicks and Sixers ? And what expectations do you have as to that of the other prospective teams vying for a playoff spot ? Simply chime in with your thoughts on this and any other topic as it relates to the NBA .

Alan aka tophatal …………………… ……….

Picture and slide show details below .

(1) New York Yankees’ Bernie Williams performs the national anthem before the New York Knicks play the Orlando Magic in an NBA basketball game on Wednesday, March 23, 2011, in New York. AP Photo/Frank Franklin II …..

(2) Orlando Magic’s Dwight Howard (12) loses control as he drives past New York Knicks’ Chauncey Billups (4) during the second half of an NBA basketball game on Wednesday, March 23, 2011, in New York. Howard scored 33 points as the Magic won the game 111-99 . AP Photo/Frank Franklin II ………….

(3) New York Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony, right, shoots over Orlando Magic’s Quentin Richardson (partially obscured) during the first half of an NBA basketball game on Wednesday, March 23, 2011, in New York. AP Photo/Frank Franklin II ……….

(4) New York Knicks’ Amare Stoudemire (1) drives past Orlando Magic’s Ryan Anderson (33) during the first half of an NBA basketball game on Wednesday, March 23, 2011, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II …………

(5) Philadelphia 76ers’ Thaddeus Young, right, reaches for a rebound against Atlanta Hawks’ Josh Smith in the half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, March 23, 2011, in Philadelphia. Philadelphia won 105-100 . AP Photo/Matt Slocum ………….

(6) Philadelphia 76ers’ Elton Brand, center, goes up for a rebound between Atlanta Hawks’ Josh Smith, left, and Zaza Pachulia, of Georgia, in the second half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, March 23, 2011, in Philadelphia. Philadelphia won 105-100. AP Photo/Matt Slocum …….

(7) Philadelphia 76ers guard Evan Turner, right, drives to the basket against Sacramento Kings center Samuel Dalembert , left, during the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game in Sacramento, Calif., Friday March 18, 2011. The 76ers won 102-80 . AP Photo ……………..


NBA News

New York Knicks roster

Team stats

Team Splits

New York Knicks’ schedule


Philadelphia 76ers’ roster

Team stats

Team Splits

Philadelphia 76ers’ schedule


NBA stats Daily Leaders

Stats shown below also show avg’s per game

NBA Leading scorers

NBA Leading rebounder

NBA Leader in assists APG

NBA Leader in Double-Doubles

NBA Leader in Free Throw Pct

NBA Leader in Pts/Reb’s/ Asst’s

NBA Leader in steals

NBA Playoff Picture


Santana ……………… “Samba Pa Ti”


Busty English model … Lucy Pinder


Bare necessities were never ever one of Lucy’s problems !


Author: tophatal ...........

An avid sports' fans that's all !!!!!

15 thoughts on “You Can Teach An Old Dog New Tricks ………….. But Can Someone Teach The Knicks How To Win ?”

  1. In what universe am I suppose to take the Knicks seriously ? They can’t play a lick of defense but yet D’Antoni is trying to deflect away the glaring flaws in this team with regard to them playing any form of defense .

    ‘melo and Chauncey (background) along with D’Antoni, Walsh(GM) and team owner James Dolan .

    He’ll (D’Antoni) soon realize the depths on ineptitude when they make an exit in the playoffs .

    tophatal ……………..


    1. chappy

      I know it took Van Gogh several years before he produced his finest work and that was with the advent of him severing off one of his own ears. Personally I think that someone ought to cut off D’Antoni’s balls as well as that of Walsh’s in rushing this trade because even if they make it through the season and into the playoffs I believe that they’ll make a quick exit !

      This Knicls’ team was built to win and with the immediacy of making an impact now not next year. It’s the same with Riley and the Heat because from a financial standpoint they couldn’t stand losing money hand over fist on the basketball operational side .

      Van Gogh self portrait …….. it’s alleged it took him some time complete ?

      Never mind the fact that Billups’ best years are behind him instead of ahead of him. As it is now that they haven’t a decent backup point guard on the roster . They got rid of Felton which was a major mistake on Walsh’s part .

      Next year they ( Knicks ) mightn’t even be fifth or sixth best team within the conference because I believe that the Sixers will improve especially with that young nucleus of players there . And don’t underestimate Doug Collins as a coach because given the right set of circumstances he can damn well turn water into wine . He’s a thinking man’s Larry Brown . Collins doesn’t brow beat the young players where as Brown does, but what he does do , is to teach them the nuances of the game and how to improve their allround play . Something that not everyone will say that Brown was able to do except at the college level . When he won with the Pistons that was with an experienced team that’d been together already for almost three years if not more.

      tophatal …………….


  2. Van Gogh was schizo…kept hearing voices, so….much like the Knicks I hear….by the way, send me Lucy, I’ll teach her my winning ways!


    1. al clements

      But that still didn’t stop him (Van Gogh) from producing some master pieces over the course of his career !

      The Knicks have been a constant mess and they haven’t been the same since they allowed Pat Riley to leave the organization rather than giving some additional power. But yet they allowed Isiah Thomas to come in assume an executive position and then lose a sexual harassment case and millions of dollars because of it all . The front office of the organization then and now has about as much common sense as the members of Congress and the Senate combined !

      Ripe juicy melons waiting to be squeezed and then sucked .

      I know what you’d like to do to Lucy Pinder and at your age you needn’t feel ashamed . I’d do the same thing to her as well ! Well that’s without the cameras watching that is ……LOL,LOL,LOL !!!

      tophatal ……………………..


  3. I left you these very same comments re: the Knicks over at my site, Al.

    I think even if they lose in the first round, D’Antoni keeps his job. After all, the ink on Carmelo’s jersey is still dry.

    Right now the Knicks are a seven seed, which means they’ll end up playing someone like Boston. Nobody expects them to win that series.

    I will say this. If the Knicks fail to MAKE the playoffs, he may be in trouble. But if they do get in, play hard and lose in the first round, I think his job is still safe. Seat might be hot, but he’s safe.

    You’re also giving Dolan too much credit. As if he’s actually paying attention or gives a shit.


    1. Chris Humpherys

      You don’t think James Dolan and Walsh were the architects of the trade for ‘melo ? Cablevision Dolan’s company needs all the revenue it can get and that comes with the prime asset within MSG’s makeup and that’s the Knicks because sure as hell if there’s an interest in the Rangers then it must be coming from the blind or mentally challenged ! Who actually watches the NHL nowadays ?

      Dolan watches the games from his executive suite and he’s very much like Heat owner Micky Arison as he delves in when he needs to especially when it comes to the financial aspects of the organization .

      Do you actually think that the Magic’s owner Rich De Vos actually knows anything about the game much less watches the team that frequently ? I’d dare say he’s more concerned over the sales of his Amway brands around the globe !

      tophatal …………..


    2. Chris Humpherys

      By the way what has Walsh done over the course of his career as a GM by way of tangibility in terms of success ? Other than bringing in the likes of Smits and Miller with the Pacers they’ve not exactly been a success have they ? Hardly a ringing endorsement of success albeit that they made an NBA Finals appearance with the duo .

      tophatal …………..


    1. Chris Humpherys

      Friggin Stevie Wonder could’ve gotten the deal done ! It did boil down to the fact that Nuggets’ GM Masai Ujiri this was his first time in making a major deal of any sort and his naivete and inexperience showed. But then again what should you expect whose only previous experience was working within the moribund Raptors’ front office . He might as well been working as a dog catcher because being a mid level executive within that organization is akin to being a dog catcher ! I mean you tell me what the Raptors have done in the last few years apart from being a damn eyesore to watch ?

      Chris , melo has done nothing for the team but provide offense what about defense ? Or don’t you believe that a team needs to play that in order to win ? Much like in the Gators’ demise against Butler in OT !

      tophatal …………..


    2. Chris Humpherys

      Landing ‘melo may well have been a no brainer ! But I look at this way it’s like getting a Porsche and then realizing that the engine while it purrs great when you need to rev it out at the top end there’s nothing there ! And that’s what the Knicks are getting not only from ‘melo but the team as a whole . And like I said what has Donnie Walsh done over his career that really impresses you that much ? When you can answer me that then we can debate the topic further !

      Just because he landed the Flying Dutchman in Rick Smits and Reggie Miller it doesn’t make an astute GM by any stretch of the imagination .

      tophatal ………………


  4. Knicks are a work in progress. Outside of Amare, their bigs are trash. Not gonna go anywhere when you have Shawne Williams,Jared Jefferies, Anthony Carter, and Sheldon Williams breaking in minutes. Their bench is awful. All they have is Toney Douglas. The Sixers, in my opinion, is a very athletic squad, but athleticism can only take you so far. They need a few more pieces to contend, but with Doug Collins as head coach, they should be in good hands……..for Philly’s sake…


    1. jgome

      I concur with everything you’re saying concerning the Knicks ! This trade in essence for the front office was more about trying to keep up with the Jones’s in terms of what the Heat did and also from a financial standpoint.

      Stoudemire is having a career season but all ‘melo has brought to this team is his scoring and not much else . And if anyone is of the belief that Billups is still the player who won the Finals MVP when the Pistons beat the Lakers in the 2004 Finals they need to come off the damn crack pipe . He’s a mere shell of himself and he’s proving the Knicks as a team isn't heading anywhere but quite possibly with a first or second round exit in the upcoming NBA playoffs .

      The Knicks’ bench couldn’t score in a room filled with hookers even if they were giving it away for free ! They couldn’t hit this collectively if there was a $1 million on the line !

      The Sixers are for real and if they can find any semblance of consistency then they could shake up the playoff picture given the fact they’ve got Doug Collins as a coach.

      tophatal ………….


  5. I personally think the Sixers are staged for a first round exit this year, but who knows. I’m just hoping my Spurs can hold on to the top seed, Pop keeps resting everyone when we are barely ahead. Blair needs to step it up, looks as if hes lost his confidence just a tad since McD has overtaken him in the starting line up.


    1. jgome

      The Sixers may well not make it through the first round but it’s all about having one’s core group of players healthy and that’s why I’m worried about the Spurs at present given the loss of Timmy Duncan .

      My melons are ripe for the picking much like the Sixers !

      If he’s (Duncan) missing for latter part of the regular season and then the opening rounds of the playoffs the same fate that could befall the Sixers could very well happen to the Spurs . Granted we’ve got players on the bench who’ve contributed but the postseason comes down to veteran experience and play more than anything else . And that’s what the team has with league and Finals MVP winner in Duncan .

      These are always in need of a massage much like the ego of LeBron James .

      tophatal ……………….


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