Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Not Larry's fault
By John W. Schmeelk

Another Knicks article.

I'm sorry but I can't help myself. It's like those contestants that sing on American Idol that are so bad you can't look away. Except nothing about the Knicks are funny, unless you are Ben Valentine or Lance Meadow. Deal with it and laugh it up. This one, thankfully, will be brief.

There’s been a lot of chatter going around in various newspapers and talk radio shows that some of this should be blamed on Larry Brown. On the surface the argument can be made. He has not settled on a rotation and doesn’t adjust to the players on his roster, stubbornly trying to do things his way. The team could be better under a coach like Herb Williams.

But let’s imagine for a moment he coached this team like Lenny Wilkens, and they win 35 – 40 games tantalizing fans with their potential to get better if only they gained better chemistry and played a little more defense. It would also convince Dolan and Isiah to stay the course, thinking this may actually work some day. That is not good for the team. In fact, that would be worse than what’s going on now.

At least this season leaves absolutely no doubt as to what this Knicks team is, trash. Garbage. To quote Beaver Dam Baron Aaron Goldhammer, “poopy pants.” The players on this team do not have the will, nor the mental fortitude to win. They do not commit on defense, and they cannot play together on offense. Look at every single team that won the NBA championship in the history of the league. Each and every one does at least one of the two and most do both. It isn’t Larry Brown’s formula the players are resisting; it is the one and only formula for being a good team in this league. Therefore, it is not Larry Brown’s fault. I would be more upset with him if he altered his style and allowed this team to be mediocre. At least he hit rock bottom, and is still dropping.

Has Larry Brown lost the team? Sure as heck looks like it. But it is not his fault. Blame the players. Blame the guy that brought them here. Don’t blame Larry Brown for trying to get them to play basketball the winning way, the ONLY way to really be a winning team.

Now here’s what Brown needs to do the last 25 games of the season. Bench everyone who refuses to play defense. If that means playing a seven man rotation with all the big money guys on the bench, so be it. Play Eddie Curry 40 minutes a game regardless of foul trouble. Get his overweight rear end into shape and let him work on his post-up game. Play him so many minutes you are actually punishing him. Sit Marbury out the rest of the year with his bad shoulder. Play Lee, Frye, Woods, and Robinson more minutes. It’s time for Larry Brown to take a stand, and lay down the law. They are already losing every game by 25. In all seriousness how much worse can it get? It’s to the point where you embarrass these high priced athletes so badly they either look like fools and are laughed at by their peers or change their ways. This would also set a good example for the young players. I hate the fact Channing Frye and the others might get jaded by the atrocious veterans on the roster.

Fire Thomas.

Let the Coach have full reign with the roster the rest of the year in terms of playing time.

Hire a smart basketball guy in the offseason to balance Brown’s penchant for giving up on guys fast, and making too many changes.

Don't sign or trade for anyone with more than two years left on their contract.

Go from there.

In the hole the Knicks are in, even with all this you’re still looking at about two years of rebuilding. If what Poppovich says about Brown is true he won’t quit on the team. Even if he does, at least you know this group will never ever ever win in this league, no matter the coach. In the end, at least the Knicks can say they learned something.

Yay for moral victories.


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