The Other Side: New York Knicks
Contrary to popular opinion, the New York Knicks have not petitioned the league to forfeit the next two seasons until they can convince a big-name superstar to make Madison Square Garden home. But ever since making those salary-cap-liberating trades to get rid of Jamal Crawford and Zach Randolph, the Knicks have slid from being a .500 basketball team to one that is destined to make another lottery selection. The Knicks have gone 8-16 since they traded Randolph to the Los Angeles Clippers and their fans are dreaming about LeBron James wearing the 2-3 in the 2-1-2 in 2-0-1-0.
The Knicks (14-22) return home on Wednesday after a 1-3 road trip that started with losses to Oklahoma City, Dallas and Houston, but concluded with a surprising 101-95 win against the New Orleans Hornets. In their last home game, the Knicks beat the Boston Celtics, 100-88. Eight of the Knicks' 14 wins this season have come against teams that currently have losing records, and they have been partially responsible for getting two coaches fired this season.
The Sacramento Kings fired Reggie Theus after a home loss to the Knicks on Dec. 13, and the Wizards, of course, canned Eddie Jordan after they lost to a seven-man Knicks team on Nov. 22. As you might expect with a Mike D'Antoni team, the Knicks rank sixth in the league in scoring average (102.8) and 28th in opponents' points per game (106.3).
Here is what you should know about the Knicks before they face the Wizards in a home-and-home series beginning tonight:
1. Eddy Curry Is Having Problems On and Off the Court
What? You thought controversy would leave the Knicks once Isiah Thomas and Stephon Marbury were jettisoned? Eddy Curry has taken on the role of making headlines without actually playing. After missing the first 34 games with a persistent knee injury, Curry made his season debut last week in Dallas and got two points and two rebounds in three minutes. The workload was too much, because Curry was forced to sit the next two days with further complications. Now, Coach Mike D'Antoni has said that Curry won't play for him until he slims down. (Curry is hovering around 300 pounds.)
Further complicating Curry's life, his former limo driver, David Kuchinsky, slapped him with a shocking lawsuit in which he is seeking $5 million for sexual harassment and racial discrimination. Kuchinsky claims, among other things, that Curry exposed himself and made lewd comments on at least two occasions. Curry has stated that the allegations are "absolutely false; just incredible."
2. Mike D'Antoni Is Underrated
Leave it to incomparable ESPN The Magazine columnist Bill Simmons to come up with a really intriguing and provocative premise. In the Jan. 12 issue, Simmons wrote a column stating: "With the possible exceptions of Dr. James Andrews, Isiah Thomas and Dick Bavetta, as well as the inventors of SportsCenter, cocaine and the JumboTron, nobody randomly altered the course of NBA history quite like Mike D'Antoni." He followed with a very compelling argument that concurs with my thoughts on Steve Nash. My favorite line in the article is when he discusses D'Antoni's "seven seconds or less (SSOL)" offense and says the reverse acronym for SSOL is LOSS.
3. David Lee Might Stick Around -- or Get Traded
The Knicks haven't hidden their desires not to squander all the cap space they'll have in 2010. Frank Isola of the New York Daily News wrote that David Lee's days with the Knicks could be numbered since he is up for an extension this summer. But Newsday's Alan Hahn wrote that Lee's recent play has forced team president Donnie Walsh to think about rewarding Lee with an extension anyway.
Either way, Lee is having a solid season. He ranks fifth in the league in rebounding (11.1) and field goal percentage (57.3) and averages 14.9 points. He had 24 points and nine rebounds against the Hornets, which snapped a string of eight consecutive double-doubles. Lee has recorded a double-double in 23 of his past 27 games.
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