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Previewing the Atlantic Division: New York Knicks Edition

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2008 Record: 23-59

2008 Record Vs. the Celtics: 0-4. That includes this game, which was awesome for so many reasons:

1. It was one of those games where the final score was not indicative of how much of a blowout it was. And the final score was 104-59.

2. Isiah Thomas somehow lasted the season. I have no idea how.

3. The score was 104-59.

Departures: Renaldo Balkman, Randolph Morris

Additions: Chris Duhon, Danilo Gallinari, Patrick Ewing Jr. (Listed as Patrick Ewing on the roster. Not sure if that's harder than Jr.), and Anthony Roberson. Right now said roster lists 17 names. I'd guess that Fred Jones (free agent) and Jerome James (buyout candidate?) won't be back. Yet I don't know if Ewing Jr. can play. Something to watch. Oh by the way this is the point where your friendly BullsBlogger from Blog-A-Bull demanded that I remind everyone how bad Duhon is. Okay that didn't happen. But it could. Seriously, they do not like Duhon over there.

Key Story Heading into Camp: I'm tempted to go with something Stephon Marbury related. But it's all about Mike D'Antoni. Can he turn around the Knicks? Will they play like the Suns? Should he have taken the Bulls job? Do Curry and Randolph give him nightmares? Will he clean house? Is he allowed to clean house? Does his mustache hold magical powers?

X-Factor: Let's not kid ourselves. I wasn't going to do a New York Knicks preview in the Stephon Marbury era without including my favorite YouTube clip of all time. It's coming. In the meantime let's remember that Marbury could play a role if healthy, motivated, and right. That's a lot of ifs. And that hypothetical role is not what you'd want from a guy making $20+ million. Still a role nevertheless. Yet now that I'm halfway through this I have to admit I really want to see what D'Antoni will do for Jamal Crawford. He's an under the radar scorer and not just when Kirk Hinrich is guarding him. If I ever pulled off that move in a pick up game I'd immediately follow it with an O.J. Mayo style ball toss. Initially my teammates and opponents alike would be outraged as I walked around waving to a non-existent crowd. Eventually they'd come around.

View From the The Other Side:
I caught up with Seth from Posting and Toasting and asked him what fans of the NBA had to know about the Knicks. His response:

"How about the fact that we do, actually, have guys that fit Mike D'Antoni's style of offense? People are distracted by New York's rather portly frontcourt, and fail to notice the surplus of fine athletes beneath the surface. Newcomers Danilo Gallinari and Anthony Roberson are lights-out shooters who can run the floor aptly, while Wilson Chandler and Patrick Ewing Jr. are two athletic freaks who can attack the glass and make game-changing plays. Sure, there's some dead weight at the top of the rotation, but we've got plenty of talent ready to break out in the upcoming season.." Seth from Posting and Toasting

I imagine that aspects of that will make the media guide. The whole "some dead weight at the top of the rotation" probably won't. But I have to admit I've been in the "D'Antoni with the Knicks makes very little sense" camp. So I'm intrigued. And if you're wondering, I never recovered from the trade of Shawn Marion, his subsequent tanking as a fantasy basketball player after I refused to send him away in a deal for a much more productive player, and the disintegration of the wildly entertaining Run and Gun Phoenix Suns. I haven't even remotely processed it yet. True story.

Random Point of Information: Do I owe you a YouTube clip? YES SIR!

Stephon Marbury reaction to Zach Randolph (7/1) (via MSGOnline)