40 Acres And A Mule , So What You Got Now Spike ?

40 Acres And A Mule , So What You Got Now Spike ?

By tophatal

So did I miss something with regard to patron who tried to suggest that Mike DAntoni while being a very good offensive minded coach simply didn’t have to to do anything as it related to his young New York Knicks’ point guard Jeremy Lin . Now I won’t seek to question this individual’s mindset but I have always been under the impression was simply in the process of improving a players’ game , be they a rookie or a seasoned veteran ! Over the course of his tenure DAntoni hasn’t developed any players who one would consider to have had a major impact on the league . Certainly not Steve Nash or Amare’ Stoudemire while both were players within the Phoenix Suns’ organization . And let’s get real here , though Suns made the playoffs under the former coach’s tenure _____ where they were simply exposed during their NBA postseason forays .


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Slide show for your perusal .

As begrudgingly as the Knicks are beloved as a major NBA franchise we have to look at the recent history of the organization to realize that the Dolan family and the front office executives have made blunders that have been to the detriment of the New York Knicks . James Dolan , the whose company MSG Entertainment Inc. of which the Knicks are a subsidiary is also enjoined with the New York Rangers another lumbering giant aimlessly meandering nowhere .

In what turned about to be something of an unraveling of sorts the Knicks’ season has imploded with the fact that Mike DAntoni offered his resignation to GM Glen Grunwald which was accepted by the general manager . Mike Woodson an assistant coach on DAntoni’s staff has been handed the reins to the sputtering Knicks. Losers in of eight of their last ten games the New York Knicks are stumbling as the season has just gone beyond its midway point. Lin along with teammates Amare` Stoudemire , Carmelo Anthony and J R Smith have simply lost all momentum . At 18-34 the Knicks are locked in a battle within the Eastern Conference for the eighth and final berth for a playoff spot alongside the Milwaukee Bucks . Anyone still convinced that Mike DAntoni has really contributed to the growth of the New York Knicks as an organization ? If so , then please explain succinctly as to your reasons why ?

Within the Atlantic Division the New York Knicks currently sit seven games behind the division leading Philadelphia 76ers (25-17). As this team falls further out of contention , the more you have look at this roster to simply realize that it is now filled with ill-fitting pieces . And while of this idiocy of ” Lin-sanity “ reverberated around the league with fans simply lauding the accomplishments of the young point guard I have to wonder why no one simply didn’t question the fact that the player was at best ill-suited to be leading this staff given the premise that many believe d Knicks to be capable of making the playoffs. Lin has so far committed over sixty-five turnovers through 17 plus games. And there are those who believe that Lin is solely responsible in the growth of his own play ? Shouldn’t the coaching at least be creating the semblance of assisting the Lin in becoming a better player ? Or is that simply naivete` on the path of the patrons who believe it’s simply down the player , himself ? Your thoughts on the matter at this juncture ? That being said many of the Knicks’ woes are solely due to the ill prepared and ill-equipped staff and the fact that Mike DAntoni just isn’t that good a coach by any stretch of the imagination. The guards on this Knicks’ roster includes Baron Davis , Smith , Lin and Mike Bibby . Did I miss something here ? This quartet alone on a good simply aren’t worth the money they’re currently being paid by this Knicks’ organization . And when adjudged against the other point guards within the Eastern Conference and NBA as a whole I’ll let you be the judge as to how productive and efficient the Knicks’ guard are said to be !

I can’t remember the New York Knicks being this bad since Larry Brown was coaching the organization several years ago while former NBA great …. Isiah Thomas was a SVP & Head of Basketball Operations for the Knicks . At the same any of you with a keen insight of the NBA will know also that Thomas also senior executive within the Toronto Raptors’ hierarchy . Let’s just say that Thomas’ track record as a front office executive hasn’t been one without episodes of hilarity. Thomas whilst an executive with the New York Knicks should remember also that he also had his problems off the basketball court . A former female employee within the Knicks’ organization sued not only Isiah Thomas and the franchise for sexual harassment but the plaintiff won her case and a multi-million dollar settlement. That’s the sort of track record that not even Herman Cain could aspire to match or even surpass . But then again , who knows with the former Godfather’s Pizza chain executive ? And you wonder this ass didn’t prove to be a success in his campaign to the Republican nominee to be the challenger to Barack Obama for the 2012 Presidential elections !

Going back to Thomas’ somewhat lackluster record as an NBA executive , the fact that he would sign Allan Houston to an outrageous deal which many questioned the veracity of the contract at the time. This one of a multitude of idiotic deals that took on a life of it’s very own with an array of players who simply were either unproductive or simply didn’t live to expectations. Need I say anymore on the matter ?

Of the three most high profiled players on the current Knicks’ roster Carmelo Anthony , Amare` Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler are highest paid players accounting for over $57.5 million of the team’s overall payroll . The meager returns that the fans have seen at Madison Square Garden has me wondering when the shoe is going to drop and the Knicks’ front office realize that if you’re allegedly paying for top-notch , talent the dividends have to be a very good return on that investment . As of now , the trio have simply offered nothing the fans can actually be proud of . And last I looked , Lin face masks and t-shirts , while being rather something of a novelty simply doesn’t mean much if the team has now become lackluster and about as competitive as a damp squib !

If the Knicks were to miss the postseason once again then it would add to a barren stretch has lasted long enough for the Knicks’ fans to yearn for the return Willis Reed or Bill Bradley . And those revered Hall of Famers are not about to walk back into the ” hallowed ” and ” halcyon arena” known as “The Garden “ ….. Madison Square Garden . One of the most hallowed and revered arenas within the NBA and all of sports as a whole .

At this juncture it would be interesting find out what renowned director Spike Lee’s thoughts might be as the team’s slump has taken on a life its very own . Tonight the New York Knicks will play hosts to LaMarcus Aldridge and the Portland Trailblazers at their home venue. One of the primary ills for the Knicks has to be the very fact that their schedule has become extremely tough over the past two weeks and it’s certainly going to get any easier over the ensuing two and half months . Would it be remiss to suggest that the New York Knicks might seek to further add to their roster by way of a trade , with the trade deadline coming up on the 15th March , 2012. And it should come as no surprise that the Milwaukee Bucks have added to their roster by acquiring the Warriors’ Monta Ellis , with the duo of both Stephen Jackson and Andrew Bogut heading to the Golden State Warriors .

If Knicks should decide to become one of “movers and shakers ” while the rest of the NBA also looks to position themselves amongst the contenders look to play themselves into contention for a playoff berth . And for Mike Woodson being entrusted as the head coach by Glen Grunwald , it is now left to the former Atlanta Hawks’ head coach to quite possibly make some semblance of the Knicks’ now downward spiraling season . It’s going to take a remarkable effort by this team with what has to be extremely exceptional contributions from Carmelo Anthony , Amare` Stoudemire , Tyson Chandler , Jeremy Lin , Iman Shumpert , Landry Fields and Steve Novak , amongst others .

Now I could lambast the New York Knicks as an organization given their ineptitude in recent years but what would be the point ? It may or may not serve a purpose but one has to point out the flaws with an franchise , rather than continue show apathy . In large part that is simply what we will tend to see from the vast majority of sports’ fans , and it is certainly no different within the NBA landscape . For the Knicks’ fans out there I would like for them to succinctly explain to me how they view this latest episode in the franchise’s storied existence ? If the rumors are to be believed then the breaking point may well have been down to what is said to be the disintegrating relationship between Mike DAntoni and Carmelo Anthony . If there is any veracity to this at all , then it simply shows us once again where the power truly lies within the NBA ! It’s certainly not the NBA head coaches , team owners , league hierarchy or for that matter David Stern . It’s the power of the coddled NBA superstar whose demeanor as a self-absorbed individual can be the “nail “ in the ” coffin” of a head coach . And not far behind , the anvil and hammer represented by the NBPA (union) who can simply pound the hierarchy into submission , at will . Doubt my word ? Then ask yourself this question ….. who profited most from the latest collective bargaining agreement within the NBA ? The executive committee of the NBPA or the league hierarchy under the tenure of commissioner David Stern ? Your thoughts ?


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Picture gallery for your perusal .

Whether or not if you’re fan of the New York Knicks what do you envisage seeing coming out of this whole episode as it relates to the franchise ? Do you believe that DAntoni’s resignation was done to appease a player on this roster or simply down to the lack commitment by the players and that of the coaching staff ? Simply leave a comment as to your thoughts on this and any other pertinent points as it relates to the NBA .

Picture and slide show details below .


(1) Glen Grunwald the New York Knicks Senior Vice President of Basketball Operations and Interim Manager announces (R) Mike Woodson as the interim head coach of the New York Knicks following the resignation of Mike D’Antoni at Madison Square Garden on March 14, 2012 in New York City. Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images ….

(2) NEW YORK, NY – MARCH 14: Executive Chairman of Madison Square Garden & NBA Governor, James L. Dolan speaks to the media at a press conference to announce Mike Woodson as the interim head coach of the New York Knicks following the resignation of Mike D’Antoni at Madison Square Garden on March 14, 2012 in New York City. Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images

(3) Glen Grunwald the New York Knicks Senior Vice President of Basketball Operations and Interim Manager announces (L) Mike Woodson as the interim head coach of the New York Knicks following the resignation of Mike D’Antoni at Madison Square Garden on March 14, 2012 in New York City. Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images ……..

(4) FILE – In this Jan. 31, 2012 file photo, New York Knicks assistant coach Mike Woodson, left, reacts as he watches the Knicks defense while sitting next to coach Mike D’Antoni in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Detroit Pistons at Madison Square Garden in New York. A person with knowledge of the decision says D’Antoni has resigned. The person spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because the team had yet to announce the move. AP Photo/Kathy Willens ….

(5) Jeremy Lin (17) of the New York Knicks battles for a loose ball foul with Marcus Camby (23) of the Portland Trail Blazers and Raymond Felton (5) of the Portland Trail Blazers at Madison Square Garden on March 14, 2012 in New York City. Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images …

(6) Carmelo Anthony (7) of the New York Knicks looks on against the Portland Trail Blazers at Madison Square Garden on March 14, 2012 in New York City. Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images …..

(7) Mike Woodson the interim head coach of the New York Knicks calls a play during the game against the Portland Trailblazers at Madison Square Garden on March 14, 2012 in New York City. Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images … ….

(8) Jeremy Lin (17) of the New York Knicks and Carmelo Anthony (17) of the New York Knicks on the court against the Portland Trail Blazers at Madison Square Garden on March 14, 2012 in New York City. Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images …. …..

(9) The New York Knicks’ starting five — Dick Barnett , Walt Frasier , Bill Bradley, Dave DeBusschere , and Willis Reed (l. to r.) — rejoice in the dressing room after winning their fifth playoff game against the Milwaukee Bucks, by a lopsided score of 132-96, and with it their first National Basketball Association Eastern Conference title since 1953. The Knicks went on to beat the Los Angeles Lakers in the finals for their first-ever NBA championship . NBAE/ NBA Getty Images archives …….. ….

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Playoffs ? What Playoffs ? The NBA Playoffs Dummy Get With The Program

Playoffs ? What Playoffs ? The NBA Playoffs Dummy Get With The Program

Well this much is certain the NBA Playoffs have began to set about a number of surprises and then there have been the teams that you simply know have underachieved during the first round of the playoffs . The New York Knicks were summarily swept out of the first round with consummate ease by the Boston Celtics . And for those out there saying that the Knicks are a work in progress …….. here’s my retort for you the gestation period for a female pachyderm is a work in progress the New York Knicks are unadulterated friggin’ mess ! How this team was assembled by Mike D’Antoni and GM Donnie Walsh gives me every reason to believe that this organization now, is no better off than when former team President and GM Isiah Thomas was running the show the whole god-damn show ! And God knows, we all know how fu_cking bad that team was under Thomas’ tenure .


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Slide show for your perusal .

Throughout this series not once had this team chosen to even play a modicum of defense but yet somehow there were idiots out there joyous that the Knicks had actually made the playoffs because in their eyes it made the club relevant once again . I’m sorry but the Knicks were about as relevant within the NBA as I’d consider Muammar Ghadaffi to be a beacon of light to democracy within the Middle East and on the African continent ! Unfortunately for all of the talk of Amar’e Stoudemire being paired together with Carmelo Anthony had the makings of a dynamic duo . Let’s say had Batman and Robin been homosexual crime fighters they’d still be far more intimidating than this duo have been throughout this series . Contributions asides when a team built primarily around offense and not a lick of defense is being played, how the hell is anyone of the belief that the Knicks were actually in with a chance of even winning this series ? At no time was I even convinced that the Knicks could win the series , much less make it a competitive one. Much of the team’s malaise can laid squarely on the shoulders of D’Antoni and Walsh. I hazard a guess that with Chauncey Billups having a series he’d rather forget , I can only surmise that his career is now in its twilight years . From a Finals MVP to a non-descript passenger on a derailed passenger train is very much how I’d assess the Knicks’ foray in this postseason along with the lackluster performances of Billups .

Speaking of a team that could very well be on the cusp of being humiliated in the playoffs are the Orlando Magic . Stan Van Gundy for all of animated demeanor and being so vocal is completely adrift with a team that is simply overwhelmed by its surroundings. The moves made by the Magic at the trade deadline were meant to improve the offensive productivity and creativity of this team . Who would’ve thought that the Atlanta Hawks would have the upper hand in this series with the Hawks not only taking a decisive a 3-1 lead but also Jamal Crawford and Joe Johnson are actually outplaying the entire Magic front court by showing so much creativity and the tenacity to get the job done . The only player on the Magic roster who appears to be showing any proclivity in wanting to play with any aggression, happens to be the team’s All Star center Dwight Howard . Other than Howard there has been little contribution if any from anyone on this team.

Unfortunately the Magic are now on the hook financially for the contracts of Jason Richardson , Hedo Turkoglu , Gilbert Arenas and Quentin Richardson who collectively are owed a cumulative sum of $63 million over the next three years. I somehow get the feeling that GM Otis Smith and the front office executives within the Magic organization gambled heavily and that bet hasn’t worked ! In fact this whole maneuver has been an unmitigated disaster . If anyone was of the belief that this Magic team was remotely in with a chance of winning this series much less being taken as a serious contender for this season’s NBA title clearly hasn’t been watching this team play. Inconsistency has been their mantra and the very fact that they’ve been unable able to close out a game with any effectiveness during the regular season and then expect them to do the same in the postseason would suggest that they were in with a remote chance of actually winning this series . And clearly that hasn’t been the case as they’ve been continually outplayed and outcoached throughout the entirety of the series .

However what might be even more surprising is the mere fact that during last season’s playoffs the Orlando Magic actually swept the Hawks in a 4-0 series drubbing that is considered to be the most lopsided series’ victory that has been seen in the NBA in quite a while . Unfortunately game five to be played at the Amway Center in Orlando this Tuesday can be viewed as a series decider as the Magic are fighting for their very survival . A loss for the Magic and Larry Drew’s team makes their way into the Eastern Conference semi finals where they’ll meet the Chicago Bulls the number one seed in the Eastern Conference . That should be a which could very well prove to be thoroughly entertaining and at the same time somewhat suspenseful.

Another series which seems to be heading towards an unlikely outcome should things remain as they are . The San Antonio Spurs face a daunting task in trying to erase a 2-1 deficit against the Memphis Grizzlies . Coming into the series as the number one seed in the Western Conference . And the Spurs’ performances during this series if anything cannot be described as that of the best team in the conference or NBA record wise . It has been the Grizzlies led by Zach Randolph who have been playing like a team that on appearance has been playing like a number one seed . The Spurs have been playing below par and if anything they’ve been complacent in taking the Grizzlies far too lightly . Game four to be played tonight in Memphis will certainly let us know whether or not the Spurs are capable of erasing this deficit or whether or not the Memphis Grizzlies can push the number one seeds to the brink of elimination by winning what could very well be a very scintillating game .

San Antonio Spurs’ coach Gregg Popovich and his coaching staff will most certainly have to prove that these series’ results are no mere fluke . But if anything credit has to be given to the Grizzlies who in essence have shown us that they’re quite capable of knocking off a top seed . It has been pretty incredible to see this Spurs’ team labor throughout this series . Tony Parker has been inconsistent and while Manu Ginobli has struggled with injuries the Spurs’ bench has contributed little if anything to this series overall. The veteran presence of Tim Duncan and Antonio McDyess has made little difference as the Grizzlies have simply outran , out-thought and completely outplayed the San Antonio Spurs . Should they bow out of this series at this juncture it would be the earliest exit by the team in over five years.

As an ardent fan of the Spurs I must admit that I’ve been surprised by the lackluster effort that put forth by the team . If anything I expected a competitive series between the two teams . Excuses are the last thing I’m about to make for the Spurs should their be a monumental collapse because I do believe that teams that encounter adversity can learn something from it . And should it prove to be the case for the Spurs then hopefully Popovich and his coaching staff and in particular the Spurs’ players can learn something from this all.



Picture gallery for your perusal .

These series so far have been intriguing so far but there’s still a great deal to come . So if anything go ahead and enjoy what is left of the NBA postseason , so make of it what you will .

Alan aka tophatal ……………………..


Picture and slide show details below .

(1) NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 24: (L-R) Amar’e Stoudemire(1) , Carmelo Anthony(7) and Shawne Williams (3) of the New York Knicks celebrate a play against the Boston Celtics in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 24, 2011 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The Celtics won 101-89 . Nick Laham / Getty Images …..

(2) Carmelo Anthony(notes) #7 of the New York Knicks gets set to receive an inbounds pass as director Spike Lee yells at referee Derrick Collins #11 against the Boston Celtics in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 24, 2011 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Nick Laham / Getty Images ……

(3) Paul Pierce(34) of the Boston Celtics looks to go up for a shot against Amar’e Stoudemire(1), Ronny Turiaf(14) and Landry Fields (6) of the New York Knicks in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 24, 2011 at Madison Square Garden in New York City . Getty Images/ Nick Laham …..

(4) New York Knicks owner (C) Jim Dolan , General Manager Donnie Walsh and Head Coach Mike D’Antoni introduce new players Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups at a press conference at Madison Square Garden on February 23, 2011 in New York City. Chris Trotman / Getty Images North America ……

(5) Memphis Grizzlies guard Tony Allen, left, defends San Antonio Spurs guard Danny Green during the second half of Game 4 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series Monday, April 25, 2011, in Memphis , Tenn. The Grizzlies won 104-86 to take a 3-1 lead in the series. AP Photo/Lance Murphey …….

(6) Not looking good at all . San Antonio Spurs center Tim Duncan, left, and guard Tony Parker, right, of France, watch the final minutes of Game 4 against the Memphis Grizzlies in a first-round NBA basketball playoff series, Monday, April 25, 2011, in Memphis, Tenn. The Grizzlies won 104-86 to take a 3-1 lead in the series. AP Photo/Lance Murphey ….

(7) Stan Van Gundy of the Orlando Magic converses with his offense in the final minutes against the Atlanta Hawks during Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at Philips Arena on April 24, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images …….


. NB Game four was won decisively by the Memphis Grizzlies 104-86 to take a 3-1 lead in the best of seven game series with a semi finals’ conference berth awaiting the winner .