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2008 preseason

Yes, they can't build any momentum, nor can they close out games, but the Knicks still have a legit chance to earn that last playoff spot.

So let's not lose sight on that fact. I am a relatively positive person, but let's keep in mind that we're talking about playing "well" enough to win 10-12 more games.

It's the sad state of affairs that comes with being a Knick fan since the millennium.

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According to Newsday, Wilson Chandler will be available for Wednesday's opener against the Heat.

"...Wilson Chandler (knee) returned to practice yesterday and is on track to play in tomorrow night's season opener against the Heat at the Garden. Said D'Antoni: "He's ready to roll..."
No word, yet on Danilo Gallinari, who could be a game time decision.? Maybe the team thinks his first taste of action should come on the road, instead of a possible hostile Garden, with the team's first road game Friday night in Philly.

Tags: 2008 preseason, Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler
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Hoopsworld's Joel Brigham recently did his annual predictions for the upcoming season, and took the opportunity to highight your Knicks.

Among his league-wide opinions, Brigham notes:

  • The New York Knicks will win over 30 games this year (compared to 23 wins last season).
  • As much as the Knicks would love to trade Zach Randolph, nobody's going to want to eat his contract.?As a result, he'll still be on the roster by year's end.
  • Danilo Gallinari is going to look more and more like a bad pick as the season progresses.?My best guess is he'll float somewhere in between injury and mediocrity.

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With the news that Ewing Jr. has been officially cut, Internet forums everywhere are buzzing with dejected fans confused by the decision.

Fans believe this should not have been an issue about money, since none believe Jerome James deserves to be in a Knick uniform. And poor Anthony Roberson, I hope the kid gets to play a few minutes to see what he can do.

Clearly Donnie Walsh isn't concerned about the fans reaction, afterall he could easily have dumped James by telling Jim Dolan that he wasn't his problem. But we know Walsh is a patient man, and thus is allowing James to waste another year rotting on the bench.

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So I guess I'm about to be shocked.

It appears, based on several reports, that Donnie Walsh has decided to keep Anthony Roberson at the expense of fan favorite Patrick Ewing Jr.

Clearly, this move makes little sense on the surface, based on the performances of the two, Roberson couldn't hit a shot and barely played, but Walsh must feel a 6th guard makes more sense than cutting Jerome James or keeping the project in Ewing.

Tags: 2008 preseason, Patrick Ewing Jr.
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Video courtesy of realknicks.com

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So today's the day for final cuts, a reminder of the days when your coach would post the names of the team on a piece of loose leaf taped to the gym door then run for the parking lot.

As I said before, it will be no surprise for Ewing Jr. to make the team, and his performance the other night against the Nets had the Garden buzzing.

Tags: 2008 preseason, Patrick Ewing Jr.
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From Chris McCosky at the Detroit News:
?You might have read in some of the New York papers that the Pistons were keeping an eye on the Knicks to see how Zach Randolph fits with Mike D'Antoni's system. The presumption being that if the Knicks look to move Zach, the Pistons would be interested. Trust me, the Pistons are not interested -- not now, not later. The Pistons' scouts have known Zach for a long, long time and they know his talents and warts as well as anybody. Bottom line: There's too much baggage and too much contract for the Pistons to take that risk.?
Well, I know one team that is interested in how Zach Randolph can help them win games ? the Knicks. Donnie Walsh is clearly intrigued by Zach?s talent. If he wasn?t, he would have GIVEN him away to the Clippers. As for his baggage, I think that it might be time to give that a rest. Following Zach on a daily basis last season, I never got the feeling that his ?baggage? was hurting the team. Some reputations never die I guess. Sorry Zach, but I guess you made your own bed on that one.

The bottom line is that the Knicks will progress this season with Zach Randolph donning the orange and blue. Walsh will not give him away and thus will only deal him in the right deal. Donnie Walsh understands that he was brought in here to win basketball games. If he believes that Z-Bo will help, then Z-Bo will stay. If the Pistons will never have interest in dealing for him, then so be it.

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Investopedia.com defines a sunk cost as ?a cost that has been incurred and cannot be reversed.? When making decisions for the future and deciding on whether to invest in a project, generally sunk costs are ignored as they cannot be recovered. Therefore, they should not affect management?s decision making.

Jerome James has two years and close to $13 million left on his current deal. In my opinion, James is also the 16th man on a roster that must be cut down to 15 by tomorrow. Barring any other moves by Donnie Walsh, James should be cut by tomorrow, nearly three years too late. His contract is the equivalent of a sunk cost.

Now before I get questioned by all of the financial wizards out there, I understand that the Knicks have not incurred the cost of James? final two seasons as those two seasons have not been played yet. I also realize that James has the potential to provide value to this team (honestly, the only value I see him having is being an expiring contract at next season?s trade deadline). So don?t take my comparison of James? contract to a sunk cost literally. But in any case, the Knicks owe that money to James, whether he will be sitting on the bench or home on his couch.

James has not been in shape since he was brought in here. His signing was a mistake in the first place. Last season, James played in two games and logged a total of five minutes, or in other words, less than the amount of minutes that Pat Ewing Jr. and Anthony Roberson each played in this pre-season alone. Speaking of this pre-season, James did not play a single minute. I can go on for hours about this, but simply put, Jerome James does not have a spot on this team. Contract issues aside, this debate over who will fill out the roster would never even be mentioned. In the future, Roberson, a shooter, and Ewing Jr., an athletic swing man who brings passion and good karma to a team that desperately needs both, will each add value to this team. I am not sure how much value, but I can assure everyone that they will each provide more than James. Now it is not my money, so it is easy to say this, but I hope that Walsh makes the best roster decision for this team in a basketball sense, not a financial sense. Walsh may make a trade in the next day which will alleviate this roster glut?. but all else remaining constant, I think it is time for James to go.

Tags: 2008 preseason, Donnie Walsh
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Kudos to Bob Raissman of the News for noting that Mike D'Antoni and Donnie Walsh have seemed to break owner Jim Dolan's policies that caused, among other things, the firing of Larry Brown. Raissman wonders if the practices are proof that Walsh and D'Antoni have the keys to the basketball kingdom at the Garden.

"...The arrival of Mike D'Antoni and Donnie Walsh may already be changing the "culture" around the Knicks. Either that, or James (Guitar Jimmy) Dolan has yet to begin paying attention to his basketball property.

The regular season hasn't even started and D'Antoni already has singled out players (Eddy Curry could fill two uniforms) while Walsh is talking publicly about David Lee's contractual situation.

Tags: 2008 preseason, Donnie Walsh, Mike D'Antoni
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We're with Alan Hahn on this one, it just makes sense that Donnie may pull the trigger on a deal that opens up a roster spot allowing for both Anthony Roberson and Ewing Jr. to make the team without having to buy out Jerome James. So Mardy Collins may be the guy, based on the fact that he's been playing so much (and pretty decently) during preseason. We'd think Malik Rose's contract has some value, but the team needs him based on the painfully lame effort of Eddy Curry thus far.

"...I'm holding out for a trade here before Monday night. Donnie Walsh has to have one move up his sleeve to free up a roster spot..."
It may be as simple as Collins for a second round pick, or for a late first, although what team(s) would be in need of his services?

New Orleans- They've yet to replace Jannero Pargo, and may be happy with Mike James as CP3's backup, but they are rather thin at guard. Not sure they part with an assured late first round pick for Collins, but Mardy would be a good fit in the Big Easy.

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First of all a thumbs up goes to a guy called Ken, a loyal season ticket holder since the 1969 who I met at the game last night, and his nice comments about what we do here at TKB. This thing will turn around soon enough my man, keep rooting and thanks for reading...

Two plays in particular last night validated what I've always thought about guards playing defense. Great defense turns into offense.

Jamal Crawford, who broke out last night for 30, made two plays that allowed him the ability to generate his offensive game.

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With apologies to Anthony Roberson, your competition for the last roster spot has a leg up on you, and did all along. It would be like putting the gloves on and stepping into the ring with Laila Ali.

The organization, headed by Donnie Walsh, loves this kid and I'm happy the fans get to see why. As I've said before, stats are way too often misleading and when you take a look at Ewing Jr.'s output on paper at Georgetown, he should be in law school somewhere right about now.

But what few people saw, and is becoming clearer day by day, is a kid who was sold on the concept of team ball, by a coach who's father taught Jr's dad to be great.

Tags: 2008 preseason, Patrick Ewing Jr.
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So the good news is that Jamal Crawford got Mike D'Antoni's message, the bad news is that he was alone tonight.

Crawford was solid offensively to a tune of 30 points and showed some signs defensively, but his teammates couldn't put the ball in the basket and watched as the Nets built a 20 point second half lead and held off the Knicks' late rally.

Eddy Curry was again a non factor and felt the wrath of his coach. During the third quarter a lax Curry allowed a put back and a disgusted D'Antoni called time out and immediately benched him.

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We'll have ours soon enough, but in the meantime enjoy Mike from knickerblogger.net's overview for he coming season including a spot on take about Jamal Crawford.

"...Time will tell if Jamal will progress under D?Antoni, or if he?ll be the same frustrating off-balance shot taking player he?s been for the last 8 years. Considering the Knick coach doesn?t need his skill set on offense, and will expect more from Jamal on defense than the previous Knick coaches it?s possible that Crawford will see a reduction in minutes this year. Certainly Crawford isn?t likely to average the 39.9 minutes per game he played last year, and that will hurt his per game averages..."
Jamal needs to show that he has other facets to his game than just pulling up off the dribble. Is he playing possum or will he shine under D'Antoni?
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Danilo Gallinari impressed both the coaching staff and himself yesterday after finally taking part in a full workout with the team. The 6-10 forward responded better than expected physically and did not rule out the possibility of playing in the team's opener according to Newsday.

"..rookie Danilo Gallinari participated in his first full practice yesterday and performed well in the scrimmage. The 6-10 forward, who missed training camp while recovering from a bulging disc, said he felt better than expected. He will not play tonight against the Nets in the preseason finale but left the door open for a debut in Wednesday's season opener. 'I think I have some chance,' he said. 'We'll see..."
Interesting that a player with a high IQ who's well-suited for this system doesn't take long to learn the plays and step in. It appears there will be no D-League for Danilo, nor should there be...

In case you forgot the summer league...

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Finger point to 7secondsormess.

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Sources tell TKB that the Knicks will in fact wait on David Lee's extension, as was reported in today's Post.

We had learned that Walsh had decided on extending Lee, but we were curious as to why he would choose to add contract past 2010 this early.

Walsh is again displaying patience, which it makes sense, and we've been told that there is no tension between Lee and the team. The same can be said about Nate Robinson.

Tags: 2008 preseason, David Lee
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With the news that Danilo Gallinari is ready to practice I have to say I'm actually pretty nervous for the kid. But based on his background and his confidence, I think he'll handle the fans of NY quite well.

So I ask fans to give the kid a little time, he's sure to struggle, but he will play minutes this year. Plenty of them. He's a big part of the Knicks future, but don't hold him to unrealistic expectations.

Let the kid show off his basketball IQ and his silky smooth jumper. Don't treat him like you did on draft night.

Tags: 2008 preseason, Danilo Gallinari
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With Halloween around the corner I harken back to two years ago when I was Flavor Flav, constantly telling people that their "time was up."

No clock for you.

Well, I wish the Knicks made cuts like Flav did, because Jerome James deserves to not get a clock. He hasn't played one minute this preseason, and you can't drop a player like Patrick Ewing Jr. or Anthony Roberson for the sake of James. Moreover, you can cut James and Roberson and give Allan Houston time to get healthy.

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This is a pretty strong blog, but this drawing pretty much sums up the plight of the Memphis Grizzlies. Apparently Darko is still miffed he's suffering the 1% odds of not being in NY and could use a hug, while Rudy Gay flies from above.

Matt Moore elaborates:

"...In my mind there's a deathmatch going on between Hakim Warrick and the more traditional Grizzlies offense and Darko Milicic and some sort of hybrid mutant demon Mark Iavaroni is contemplating at the four spot. Both ideas have their merit.

Tags: 2008 preseason, Eddy Curry
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In a shocking quote to the NY Post, Jamal Crawford admitted he just doesn't take preseason that seriously.

Sweet.

"...(Jamal) Crawford had a terrible first half last night off the pine, with no points, no assists, no rebounds, going 0-for-2 on 3-point shots, missing the rim entirely on one them and mishandling an easy pass.

Tags: 2008 preseason, Eddy Curry
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Any good vibes the Knicks took from New Jersey yesterday faded as the World Champion Celtics game in and locked the Knicks up starting from jump getting out to a 20-point first half lead.

But the real concern is not who was in the starting lineup, it was the health of Wilson Chandler who hurt his knee landing awkwardly on a rebound. It's the same knee he injured last April, ironically against the Celts when he collided with Rajon Rondo. After the game Coach D'Antoni tried to laugh off the prospects of it being serious by saying, "it's not my knee, so I don't know" when asked by reporters if he thought the injury was serious. He did say that Chandler could have an MRI.

As far as the game is concerned one has to wonder about the lineup D'Antoni threw out there. He started Chris Duhon with Marbury and Nate Robinson (25 points) along with Chandler and David Lee. The back court simply didn't click and Duhon was ineffective posting 3 first quarter turnovers. D'Antoni was asked about Jamal Crawford not starting and he admitted it "may not have been the wisest decision."

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WHEN: 7:30PM

WHERE: MSG

WATCH: MSG-TV

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The following entry was submitted by the one and only John Maloney. As always we welcome guest's rants, so contact us below to submit an entry.

Stephon Marbury, September 25th

"I'm not coming off the bench here in New York?

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With a well-balanced offensive explosion, the Knicks jumped on the Nets at the Swap early on their way to 67 first half points. Nate Robinson led the way with 17 points in the half on his way to a game- high 26.

Offensively, this team is clicking on all cylinders and based on the hundreds of shots the players put up in practice, they're stroking outside shots in an impressive fashion.

I?m impressed with the ingredients," the coach told reporters including yours truly yesterday at the team's open practice at Pace University. "We?ve got the offense down pretty good. We?ve had signs of good things.?

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WHEN: 7:30PM

WHERE: Tha Swamp

WATCH: MSG

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Anthony had ZBo singing last night, literally, it's about 15 minutes in and pretty hilarious. To be fair, Zach is a good dude with a bad contract, but to this point he's been very impressive so far this preaseason. There is little doubt to me it's due to the lack of Eddy Curry next to him.

ZBo talks about the biggest difference between this year and last year, and dealing with the rumors about being dealt and the team's relationship with Stephon Marbury.

You'd also be interested to be hearing what's on his I-Pod.

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11:30 Great action during the "Rolling Knicks" wheelchair game, which took place prior to practice. These individuals are simply inspiring.

11:45

Plenty to talk about here on a day that has been pretty well-received by the fans. My guess us that a few thousand fans have come meaning a new era has begun.

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Stephen Jackson, the outspoken guard/forward for Golden State had some interesting quotes about Stephon Marbury the other day, which were commented by Steve Adameck of the Bergan Record.
"...Any deal would almost certainly start with Jersey guy Al Harrington, who's making $9.2 million this season and $10 million next. Plus, he played for Donnie Walsh in Indiana.

More components would still likely have to be shuffled to make the deal work, but even though there's nothing on the radar screen about this now, if the Warriors get out of the box slowly (quite possible) it's a scenario worth revisiting at some point. Marbury would also come off Golden State's cap after this season (and Harrington off the Knicks' before the Summer of LeBron).

Then a Steve Jax-Steph repairing can blow up the Warriors real good...:"

Fans of this site know that I feel Harrington is the ideal D'Antoni forward, but the more I see Wilson Chandler, the more I want to see him get major minutes. That said, it'd be tough to pass on Harrington. I think it would depend on the overall plans for Gallinari, and if they can find a taker for Eddy Curry.
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A Patrick Ewing Jr. sighting made the night for me and my scout's eye was validated by his put back flush on Big Baby.

As you know I've been on Ewing Jr's bandwagon for a while and I know what you're thinking, "he's not as good as Balkman!"

At this point no, but his pull up jumper off the bat was very impressive (it wasn't a walk, it was a jab step!) and his overall skill set gives him a better ceiling than Balkman in both my opinion and the opinion of Donnie Walsh.

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Alan Hahn spoke to Mike D'Antoni, who mentioned he's contemplating using the D-League to get Danilo in shape before he makes his NBA debut.

Mike D'Antoni said the D-League was a possible destination for Danilo Gallinari, at the start of the season, if anything to get him extended minutes in game action to help him better prepare for his debut in the NBA lineup. The Knicks' affiliate in Reno is coached by Jay Humphries, who was on D'Antoni's staff in Phoenix and will run the D'Antoni system.

Another potential D-Leaguer could be Patrick Ewing, Jr., though D'Antoni also mentioned the idea of sending Ewing, Jr. to Europe for the year. They would retain his rights until next training camp. Same goes for Dan Grunfeld.

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Just as an update to Tommy Dee's previous post, everyone can expect the big three of Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce to play in tonight's game against the Knicks.? According to Coach Doc Rivers in this morning's Boston Herald,

?My thinking is they?re (his regulars)?going extremely hard in the practices, and in the games they?ve played they?ve gone extremely hard. I?m going to play them probably their most minutes (tonight at home against the Knicks). They?ll play a lot.? . . .

Personally, I am pumped to see the Knicks play tonight, especially with the big three playing.? How better to guage the progress of the team than to play against the best team in the league.? Pre-season records do not count.? Rather the pre-season is meant for practicing and gearing up for the regualr season.? Tonight's game will help prepare the Knicks for the regular season.

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WHEN: 7:30PM

WHERE: TD Banknorth Garden

WATCH: MSG

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Both Marc Berman and Mitch Lawrence had stories on the Marbury/Duhon situation and I'd like to take the time to set the record straight.

Why don't beat writers understand what a point guard's job is? If they did, they'd know that Duhon is the clear choice to start at the one for the Knicks this season.

If you want your offense to revolve around passing first and solid ball movement, you choose Duhon. If you want a ball dominating offense with a lot of standing around, start the game with Marbury or even Crawford for that matter at the one. If you want to watch opposing guards drain open jumpers because your guard refuses to get over screens, pick Marbury. If you want solid defensive pressure, great help defense and charges, Duhon's your guy.

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Via The Crawford Files..
"...First things first . . . let's talk about the report that's making some national headlines.

The headlines read, "Crawford Doesn't Want Marbury Around." So if you read the story that came out in Marc Berman's blog, he goes on to say that while a writer was in front of Stephon's locker when Steph got out the shower, that there was some sort of argument and I'm in the background telling people to watch those guys argue.

Problem is the story WASN'T TRUE!!!

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Via ESPN's Chad Ford
TRADE SCENARIO ( INSIDER ONLY)

Erick Dampier to New York for Eddy Curry

Why the Mavs would do it: With DeSagana Diop back in Dallas, what the Mavs really need is another low-post scorer. Curry has the ability to deliver that, while Diop can deliver the defense.
Why the Mavs wouldn't do it: Mark Cuban used to be a spendaholic, but lately he's tried to be more frugal. Curry has two more years left on his contract than Dampier.

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Mike over at KnickerBlogger.net notes the staggering numbers between Wilson Chandler compared to Quentin Richardson. Richardson appears to be the starter despite clearly being outplayed.

"...However the stats show that Richardson isn?t the best candidate for the the position. Looking at Q-Rich?s career, it appears that his production has been erratic and diminishing over the last few years. His yearly PER has been 16.5, 17.4, 12.5, 15.1, 13.6, 9.6, 14.3, and 8.5. It seems that Quentin was a productive player in his first 4 years, but has been a poor player over the last 4 years. The big question mark concerning Richardson has always been his health, and it seems obvious that injuries have reduced him to a below average player..."

Yes, Chandler is the better player right now, by far, but D'Antoni trusts Q and loves Chandler's energy off the bench. Chandler will also finish EVERY game, so whether he starts or not really makes little difference at this point in his career. He's averaged 24 minutes, and expect that number to steadily increase and expect Chandler to be inserted into the starting lineup if the Knicks show a propensity to start 1st quarters sluggishly.

NameMinRebAstTOStlBSBAPFPtsTS%eFG
Chandler7311.33.01.51.51.51.03.021.252%51%
Richardson505.01.41.41.40.70.04.315.146%46%
Tags: 2008 preseason, Wilson Chandler
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The Knicks will hold an open practice this Sunday at Pace University in Pleasantville. Doors open at 10 and practice starts at 11. Yours truly will be on hand so stop by and give me a pound.

Click here for directions to Pace.

Tags: 2008 preseason, 2008 Training Camp
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Despite the fact that he has looked a little lost in the first couple of games, Mike D'Antoni still thinks Jamal Crawford will thrive in his offense despite the fact that he's not a great shooter.

"He's not a terrific shooter," D'Antoni said. "He's not an Allan Houston type. He's a volume kind of guy, but I haven't given him that kind of space yet. If he doesn't average between 18 and 22, I need to go back to the drawing board. He's that good. He makes great decisions with the ball.
The coach is right, Jamal's not a great shooter. The fact is he needs the dribble to get into any sort of rhythm to be effective. It is that idea that has plagued the Knicks offense in the past, the fact that Jamal has to create one-on-one to get his shot off.

I wonder where this will lead to. Will D'Antoni call more isololation sets for Jamal to get him going? How will that effect the overall flow of the offense, which has done a tremendous job of learning to move the ball in a short period of time?

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As we've said time and time again, NBA games are won in the half court in the 4th quarter, and tonight with the impressive inside-out performance of Andre Iguodala (18 points) and the creativity of Andre Miller, the 76ers proved too much for the Knicks down the stretch in the team's home preseason opener.

Plenty of positives for Mike D'Antoni, including a solid all around performance by Wilson Chandler who finished with 20 points (5-6 from 3) and 10 rebounds. In fact, and this speaks to the quality of both young players, I think Iguodala is a rubbery version of Chandler.

"I thought we ran out of gas toward the end," D'Antoni said. "But if we continue to play like this and practice like this, we'll be fine."

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By my count, in the first quarter alone of the Knicks/Sixers game, 10-11 possessions where either team's guard got over a ball screen, the result ended in either:

a) a missed shot

b) deflection out of bounds

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Marc Berman is adamant about the fact that Allan Houston is done, but I'm not buying it.

What puzzles me about Berman's notion is that there is no rush to make a decision on Houston, just like there was no rush to exile Marbury. Apparently he thinks not giving a shooter a chance to make the team over a 5th or 6th guard like Anthony Roberson makes sense.

"...Nobody knows for sure why he attempted a second comeback," Berman wrote on his blog. "He has never been able to articulate it to where it makes sense..."
I can tell you with great assurance Allan's comeback has as much to do with helping this team off it as he would on it.? He told me at media day how important he felt restoring the pride of the jersey was to a group that seemed to lose focus on that fact. He, of course, knows performing on the court and leading by example will go a long way in doing that. And if he can't do that, he's been guaranteed a front office spot.

Tags: 2008 preseason, Allan Houston
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WHEN: 7:30PM

WHERE: Madison Square Garden

WATCH: MSG

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Alan Hahn informs us that Allan Houston will sit tomorrow night and on Friday in Boston due to that pesky quadriceps. This is bad news for Houston who is trying to compete for a roster spot. The injury is not related to his knee, but you have to wonder about H20's chances now.

There is a chance D'Antoni sticks with him on the roster at the expense of Anthony Roberson, because Houston can still play his way into shape. He's not a rotation player so there's little reason to rush him, but if the team suffers an injury to a guard, they may need Roberson to contribute.

You can bet that if he knows he can't do it, the ever-classy Houston will step aside for the roster sake of a young player, and move into the front office.

Tags: 2008 preseason, Allan Houston
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