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Thursday, April 28, 2011
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
After a crushing sweep at the hands of those evil Boston Celtics, the unbelievable ride of a season that was the 2010-2011 New York Knicks is now over. From that deflating 3-8 beginning, to a playoff push with a killer pick-and-roll of Felton and Stoudemire, to the big trade, then a long losing streak full of doubt, into another high heading into the playoffs, the season was a rollercoaster of emotions. And of course, the playoff excitement, only to be swept. A rollercoaster ride indeed.
However, after a 41-41 prediction in the preseason outlook (Five Keys to Knicks Season 2010-2011), a 42-40 finish is greatly accepted, and hopefully, an indictment on where things are (finally!) headed. The “You. Us. We. Now.” promotion was one to re-connect the fans with the product, and not only has the Knicks done that, but they have created a sense of interest for the next few years.
With that said, let’s take a look at the off-season decisions that the New York Knicks face, and some personal opinions on where the team should take the roster.
Carmelo Anthony: Retain – Ummm, is this even a question?
Renaldo Balkman: Release – Let’s find a way to get Balkman out of New York for the second time ASAP. Maybe a trade of Balkman and $3M for a second round pick? Who knows, maybe we can find another Landry Fields.
Chauncey Billups: Retain – Obviously, as I write this, Billups’ $14.2M has been picked up. Regardless, Mr. Big Shot should be brought back no matter how high the price tag. The reason? This team needs a veteran point guard that has been around the block, and that can manage two superstars. Also, who’s out there as an alternative? Jarret Jack? Sebastian Telfari? Hey, for one year, I’ll take that chance.
Derrick Brown: Retain – For a waiver wire signing, Brown showed a lot of athleticism and ability to step out and knock down the three ball. I’m very intrigued, and I’m not the only Knick fan.
Anthony Carter: Release – I absolutely hated Anthony Carter when he was part of that Miami Heat team, led by Pat Riley, that battled my Knicks teams of the past. However, Carter is another guy that is intriguing because of his experience, leadership, and toughness. If no options are out there, bring Carter back as the 10th-12th guy off the bench. However, upgrading at the backup point guard position is a critical need for this team.
Toney Douglas: Retain – Douglas is slowly becoming a great player, and will continue to do so under the tutelage of Chauncey Billups. What he is not, is a true point guard. We learned that this post-season. Still feels good to say that.
Landry Fields: Retain – Really, I want to release the post trade-Landry Fields, and retain the one before the trade. Fields really was exposed in the playoffs, and it is becoming more apparent that Fields misses Raymond Felton, who allowed Fields to simply fill the lanes, which he excelled at. Nonetheless, Fields is still a steal, and hopefully will look to improve on his Cinderella rookie season.
Jared Jeffries: Release – I really like Jared Jeffries, I really do. I know that is contrary to popular opinion, but the Knicks needs to get away from decent players, and begin filling the bench with guys who can win now. After all, with Stoudemire and Carmelo, the 4-5 year window has begun. No more waiting. Time to go for it all.
Roger Mason: Release – A great veteran. Mason really showed up own after D’Antoni stopped messing with him (see:D’Antoni). However, when it comes to Mason, see the above explanation of Jared Jeffries.
Amar’e Stoudemire: Retain – No question. The man that started this revolution. The Knicks are back!
Ronny Turiaf: Retain – Only because I don’t think there is much option. With a $4.3M player option, Turiaf most certainly will pick up the option, especially with a lockout looming. Although, Turiaf is a solid interior guy whenever he is healthy. Of course, that is whenever, he is healthy.
Bill Walker: Retain – Walker has a lot potential. a very athletic and solid defender when motivated, and can rebound the basketball. Now if D’Antoni can get him to stay aggressive, and quit settling for so many perimeter shots…
Shawne Williams: Retain – It is quite amazing the story of Shawn Williams. Remember when everyone ripped Waslh and D’Antoni when they selected him over Patrick Ewing Jr. out of camp? Well Williams developed into the best player off the bench, and also my favorite New York Knick. Tough, gritty, and knocks down the three with consistency.
Shelden Williams: Release – Williams had a few decent games, but he is not the Knicks answer in the front court. The Knicks need more athletic and agile big men to fill out this roster.
Donnie Walsh: Retain – The guy is one day going into the DP Hall of Fame as I’ve said so many times! The architect stays! And oh yeah, give him full autonomy Dolan!
Mike D’Antoni: Retain – Here is the biggest wild card of them all. All the talk about firing D’Antoni needs to stop. The guy has had 63 players over the last 3 seasons. He has had his teams blown up in the middle of each season. And he has never had an opportunity to work with a group he knew was not just here as trade bait.
However, on the other hand, D’Antoni has shown this year that he needs help on coaching and stressing the defensive side of the ball. He has also shown a continuing habit of benching and playing guys for no apparent reason. For most of the season, Roger Mason rode the pine, until he decided he’d dust the veteran off for a run. Irony may have it, in the closing game of the Knicks season, with the entire season on the line, D’Antoni put Mason in the game. Too confusing.
D’Antoni, gets the keeper tag here, but next year, all excuses and training wheel-ridicule must come to an end. It’s time to improve. It’s time to produce. It’s time to win.
Man…the season is over, but it feels good to have such high expectations again. Can’t wait for next season.
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
It’s something very simple. Something very minuscule. Something often overlooked, and for some, often taken for granted. On Friday, I will get to see something that I haven’t seen for seven years. A sight that at one time seemed like a sure thing. However, for yours truly, it is something that I now appreciate, and on Friday night, when I see it again, I will never take it for granted ever again. I am talking about that simple NBA playoff logo on the floor of Madison Square Garden.
Casual readers here at the DP and DP devotees know how much the I love my New York Knicks, and how much the last seven years has caused me so much misery and pain. However, this year, the sky is now clear, the W’s are on the board, and finally, playoff basketball is back in the Garden again.
[Blog side note: And while we’re on this topic, let me just say, from this Knicks fan, and probably them all, thank you Donnie Walsh. Someday, you will be immortalized here at the DP (if that validates anything), and yes, Jimmy Dolan, if you fail to exercise the option to keep this man around, please trust, you will again be the favorite for 2011 Idiot of the Year. Just blogging.]
Now, the first two games in this opening series against the hated Boston Celtics have been hurtful. Yes, downright heartbreak. As Mike Breen stated during game 2, “Knick fans almost forgot how exhilarating playoff games can be, yet, how crushing the losses can be as well.” Yet, I’ll admit, its the type of hurt I’ll gladly accept.
Afterall, nothing can be worse than what Isiah has put us through, right?
Nonetheless, as we come home down two games to the Celtics, I cannot wait for game three in Madison Square Garden. I cannot wait to see the bright lights on that stage, to hear the roar of that Garden crowd, and to feel the goose bumps when the introductions are made.
Nothing will ruin Friday night.
Not these Celtic fans that apparently live in New York and have very little knowledge (or allegiance for that fact) of the Celtics prior to Pierce, Garnett, and Allen.
Not the fact that Stoudemire and Billups are doubtful.
Not even spoiled Lakers fans (and “Lakers” fans) that take logo for granted.
And hey, maybe not even a another crushing loss.
Nope. On Friday night, that logo will be back on the floor of the Garden. A simple sight that represents so much for Knick fans.
Where we’ve been. Where we are. And Where we are going.
Saturday, April 16, 2011
Friday, April 15, 2011
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Sunday, April 10, 2011
|During the good times for Manny Ramirez|
Wednesday, April 06, 2011
First, it was Friday Night Lights (Set to conclude this summer), and now it is the drama series, Lights Out.
Yours truly doesn’t have many appointment-like television besides sports and pro wrestling, but Lights Out slowly became that kind of viewing for me.
For those of you who aren’t aware, Lights Out was a drama series about a former World Champion boxer, Patrick “Lights” Leary, and his comeback to reclaim his thrown amidst various struggles financially, physically (a battle with pugilistic dementia), supporting his family, and dealing with the inner workings and underground deals that happens in the world of boxing.
Like many other boxing shows/films, Lights Out at first was compared to the ever-so-popular, Rocky Series. However, even as a fan of Rocky, Lights Out presented a product that had much more depth than Rocky ever had. Rocky, which usually presented the character of Rocky Balboa as a standup guy with an immense heart that goes through the same struggle-train-overcome scenario, the character of Lights Leary, like many characters on the show, is very deep.
Lights, the former world champion who now suffers from pugilistic dementia and is financially broke from the mismanagement of his manager/brother, looks to get back into the ring to secure the futures of his family, especially, his little girls. Along the way on his big comeback, Lights does many wrong things such as dealing with organized crimes and shelving his dignity for a big pay day. The line, “sometimes people do wrong things, for all the right reasons” is one that comes to mind from the series. Especially the eyebrow raising and jaw dropping line to his wife after he defeated "Richard “Death Row” Reynolds to regain his thrown:
“Who won the fight, Theresa?”
The other characters are also very deep, including Lights’ wife, Theresa, his brother, Johnny, and the always entertaining crooked promoter, Barry Word. And we can’t forget the character that was around for two episodes, but ultimately grabbed viewers like no other series, in Ed Romeo.
And how about the fact that a boxing film/series that actually presents the fights in real time, and not just highlights? It’s the little things like that that set Lights Out apart.
While highly acclaimed by critics, and absolutely loved by its viewers, the series performed very low in the ratings. Another similarity to another favorite and exiting series in Friday Night Lights. Yet, shows like Jersey Shore and other junk reality, mindless drivel television remains on television. Not throwing daggers, just blogging.
Ultimately, Lights Out will be highly missed. A show that actually produced great drama, great writing, and even better acting is gone forever.
Later this year, I’ll probably be writing another post like this as we turn out the lights on Friday Nights.
And as I write this, I just saw a commercial for “Mob Wives”.
Yeah, the art of television doesn’t exist anymore.
Tuesday, April 05, 2011
Sunday, April 03, 2011
Ever since this wedding has been put together, I’ve slowly realized that I had to actually invite family and friends. Yeah, I know, imagine that, huh? As we move closer to the fall, my realization has grown into concern.
My family, the majority who are of West Indian decent from the island of St. Vincent, are not your average, or even basic for that matter, type of family. Unlike most, the family connection line within my family is very broad and limited at best. And while I won’t lie, like many families, there are a few fall outs that have caused a lack of connection, with the main reason being simply due to geographic proximity.