Thursday, November 29, 2007

New York-Boston Preview

Knicks at Celtics

Words can't describe how incredibly excited I am for tonights Knicks at Celtics game. I am a huge C's fan but I don't get their games every night so I watch the Knicks on MSG and I have become, well, fan is too strong a word so I'll go with: supporter who is emotionally invested in the team. Now as a Boston fan I suppose I should hate all New York teams but I can't hate the Knicks for several reasons:

-Los Angeles is the Celtics true rival so they are the team I hate (until Kobe and Rhodey Alum Lamar Odom leave)

-The Knicks are a virtual non-threat to the Celtics this year.

-Walt "Clyde" Frazier does the teams announcing and I get giddy every time I see/hear him. If you don't know who Clyde is then A) kill yourself and B) keep reading because I'll elaborate on this later.

ANYWAY what better way to commemorate this historic (and by historic I mean first of four games this season) event by writing an excessively long preview of the game, complete with full projected stats and other random predictions. We'll start first with a breakdown of each team's roster, player by player, in reverse order of importance. (Note: this is probably going to be unwieldy and very amatuerish so don't expect Shakespeare).

The Visiting New York Knicks: (parenthesis indicate experience)

15. Wilson Chandler-F- 6-8, 220, DePaul (R)

An athletic forward who has played only about 20 minutes this year. According to ESPN's Jon Hollinger he plays pretty much like fellow Knick Renaldo Balkman. Do not expect to see him tonight.

14. Jerome James-C- 7-1, 285, Florida A&M (7)

I don't think this fatso has played all year. Here's Hollinger's take: "Big Macs: $7.64. French Fries: $1.83. Slurpee: $4.29. Getting paid $30 million on the basis of four good playoff games: Priceless. James remains the shining symbol of the waste and excess of the Isiah Thomas era in New York, fading further out of the rotation while appearing utterly content to cash checks at the end of the Knicks' bench." FAT PEOPLE!

13. Randolph Morris-C- 6-11, 260, Kentucky (1)

Actually he probably should be the bottom man on this list but I don't feel like moving everything around. He's played 5 minutes total this season. When the time it takes you to jerk off is greater than the total number of minutes a basketball player has played all year that tells you that they probably won't see the floor. I put in that off-color joke because I am 100% sure that no one is reading this. Cock! Balls! Seriously I will mail the first person to comment on this post a dollar. No joke. (good through Friday at 5)

12. Malik Rose-F- 6-7, 255 Drexel (11)

Umm... He's averaging about 1 point and 1 rebound per game. He's a pretty tough defender who is a major liability on the offensive end of the floor.

11. Jared Jefferies-F- 6-11, 240, Indiana (5)

Jefferies missed the first part of the season with a knee injury but has played decent as off late. He comes in every now and then to spell the bigs. Bonus points because I think his Indiana team beat Duke in the tournament a couple of years ago.

10. Mardy Collins-G- 6-6, 215, Temple (1)

Collins started a couple games at point when Marbury went Dave Chappelle on his team. However, instead of making the most of the situation he got hurt and hasn't played much since. He's a pretty strong guy for a guard so he rebounds well.

9. Fred Jones-G- 6-2, 225, Oregon (5)

The former slam-dunk champion joined the Knicks this offseason. He is very athletic and can score but is a poor shooter. As Jon Hollinger points out he had the worst non-layup 2-point FG% of anyone in the league last year.

8. Renaldo Balkman-F- 6-8, 208 South Carolina (1)

Balkman is a high-energy player who can be a defensive stopper for the Knicks. He annoyed the crap out of 'Melo when the two teams squared off earlier this year and was big reason for the NY victory. He has recently missed a couple games with an ankle injury but is back, providing Isiah with good defender/rebounder.

7. Nate Robinson-G- 5-9, 180 Washington (2)

Nasty Nate stole the slam dunk contest from Andre Iguodala a couple years back and hasn't done much since besides tackle J.R. Smith into the stands. Nate is lightning-quick and has a decent outside shot. He is one of the Knicks top scorers on a per minute basis. He backs up Marbury at the point and should receive some decent minutes tonight. Just for the hell of it here's the video of him rejecting Yao last year:

6. David Lee-F- 6-9, 240, Florida (2)

David Lee became the white Paul Millsap after Millsap out hustled him in last week's NYK-Jazz game. However that rarely happens. David Lee tries so hard all the time he's going to have a heart attack by the time he is 30. Lee is a terrific rebounder, especially on the offensive glass, who cleans up a lot of the Knicks garbage. I saw him take an outside jumper just once. As is expected he is not very athletic so he isn't a great defender but it is entertaining to see him play every minute of every game like its Game 7 of the Finals, especially compared to Easy Eddy Curry.

5. Quentin Richardson-F- 6-6, 235, DePaul (7)

Q-Rich is a pretty good player, when he's on a good team, but he isn't. He's pretty boring to me for some reason so I'm just going to quote Hollinger on this one: "Richardson is one of the league's strongest wing players, and a very good leaper when he can power up off two feet. Those factors make him an outstanding rebounder for his size, so even though he's 6-5 he can overpower other wings under the basket. He's also a strong post player, though the Knicks haven't indulged this facet of his game since they don't really need another guy on the blocks."

4. Jamal Crawford-G- 6-5, 200, Michigan (7)

Jamal genuinely tries hard, I think, so that makes him different than most of his teammates. He is a good outside shooter who can catch fire, as evidenced by his 52 point game last year. He is a good ball-handler (haha) and can slash to the basket, but doesn't very often. Hollinger said something about poor shot selection but whatever, I'm moving on.

3. Eddy Curry-C- 6-11, unquantifiable, Thornwood HS (IL) (6)

Eddy is a large man. That being said he is a killer scorer in the low post but does little else. He doesn't pass, rebound, or block shots. He rarely hustles and stinks at the line. When he wants to play hard he can be very good but he usually is content to score 18 points using his baby hook shot. He came in this year a little slimmer and has turned in two very-quality, high-effort games this year against the Nuggets and the Jazz (coincidentally, or not so coincidentally, those were Knick wins at MSG). If Curry hustles and stays out of foul trouble he can be a surprisingly good player.

2. Zach Randolph-F- 6-9, 260, Michigan St. (6)

Z-Bo was acquired for cents on the dollar this offseason from Portland because the Blazers didn't want him withing 100 miles of Greg Oden. He has struggled off the court with some legal issues but he can be a killer when his head is on straight. Z-Bo is a great rebounder who has a very good low-post game but also has range out to 20 feet which makes him hard for typical big men to defend. He can also create of the dribble. However he is a total non-factor defensively, other than rebounding. This is shown in his grand total of 1 (one) blocked shot this year, which is pretty impressive. Zach missed 3 games earlier this year because of the death of his beloved grandmother.

1. Stephon Marbury-G- 6-2, 205, Georgia Tech (11)

This Coney Island native has been an enigma wrapped in a paradox, shrouded in a mystery his entire career but especially this season. He left the team for a game this year because he reportedly got into a fight with Isiah over playing time. He has a big ego and is a large part of the reason the Knicks struggle with chemistry. That being said, I am a huge Starbury apologist and I think he is misunderstood. If you don't think so read this NY Times article about what he was doing back in NYC after he left the Knicks. On the floor Marbury is still very talented. He can shoot, create of the dribble, and pass but he has been affected with the defensive malaise from which the rest of the team suffers. He has stepped up his defense since returning to the team. He is #1 on this list because if Steph is playing well and hustling on defense they can be very good but when he isn't watch out, they stink. Note: this game is a semi-reunion with former teammate KG.

The Homestanding Boston Celtics:

14. Brandon Wallace-F- 6-9, 203, South Carolina (R)

The new employee # 8. I'm pretty sure he's in the D-League right meow.

13. Gabe Pruitt-G- 6-4, 170, USC (R)

Pruitt could be in the D-League too but I'm too lazy to check. Oh wait, he just got called back to the team. Just in time too. It was a shaky couple weeks without the third-string, rookie, rail-thin point guard.

12. Scott Pollard-C- 6-11, 268, Kansas (10)

Scotty is rocking a mountain man look that only Mumphis' Pau Gasol can rival. Otherwise Pollard brings little else to the table. He is brought in by Doc to goon it up and spell Perk or KG so they don't get in foul trouble. Bonus points for mouthing "hey kids, do drugs" into a TV camera during a telecast while with Cleveland.

11. Leon Powe-F- 6-8, 240, California (1)

Why couldn't the Celtics keep Ryan Gomes!?! Now we're stuck with this undersized power forward who brings little else besides rebounding and athleticism to the table. Here's another free dollar opportunity (good through Friday at 5). Thats two dollars total!! (one dollar per person max though)

10. Big Baby Davis-F- 6-9, unquantifiable, LSU (R)

BIG BABY! There is no other player I enjoy watching play more than Big Baby. He is 100% entertaining all the time, even when he plays poorly. Why won't Doc play him more. Oh well, Glen brings energy, decent scoring and rebounding to the table along with tons of hilarity. I am very, very excited to see him attempt to guard Eddy Curry. The parquet floor may collapse.

9. Brian Scalabrine-F- g-9, 235, Ginger U. (6)

Scal leads the C's in Tommy Points. He can shoot decently from the outside and does everything else OK with the exception of looking cool because he certainly does not. You know how Larry Bird said he was insulted when he was defended by a white guy, well I think I would be offended if Scalbrine guarded me in a pick up game.

8. Tony Allen-G- 6-4, 213, Oklahoma St. (3)

Tony Allen has dropjaw athleticism and can be a real pain to opposing players. He tore two knee ligaments last year dunking the ball after the whistle was blown. Here's Hollinger's take: "Allen is basically a 6-4 version of Charlotte's Gerald Wallace. He's a potent slasher who can get to the rim thanks to a zippy first step, and he's a thunderous finisher in transition. He can't shoot at all -- he made only nine long 2-pointers on the year -- but he makes free throws and generated a lot of shots even though defenders played way off him." He's questionable for tonights game.

7. Eddie House-G- 6-1, 175, Arizona St. (7)

Eddie is a terrific, albeit, streaky three point shooter who can catch fire. He serves as the teams back up point guard, kind of. He is a poor defender so when his shots aren't going down there is little reason for Doc to keep him on the floor.

6. James Posey-F- 6-8, 217, Xavier (8)

Umm.... Posey is the Celtics best perimeter defender and can shoot from the outside. Here's Hollinger: "Once upon a time Posey was a strong finisher in transition, but increasingly he's relied on spotting up on the wings for 3s for the bulk of his offense, to the point that he's pretty much one-dimensional these days. Don't expect him to put the ball on the floor, but that's OK -- he's not a good ballhandler anyway. He'll get some scraps on putbacks, as he's become an increasingly active rebounder in recent seasons. Posey's defense is better than his offense. He's active in passing lanes and at 6-8 can use his length to bother shooters. However, he defends the 3 much better than the 2, as quicker wings tend to blow by him off the dribble."

5. Kendrick Perkins-C- 6-10, 264, Clifton J. Ozen HS (TX) (4)

Perk has been thrust from relative obscurity to a major part of one the NBA's elite teams. He isn't a great scorer but rebounds well and plays hard on D. I like this excerpt from Hollinger a lot: "Perkins stayed in the lineup [last year] primarily because of his post defense. A bruising, physical defender with a warrior mentality, he makes up for a lack of height at the center position because of his wide body and intensity." If anything he is more intense this year, he has to be other wise KG would rip his heart out at midcourt.

4. Rajon Rondo-G- 6-1, 171, Kentucky (1)

Rondo is fast as lightning and is a good perimeter defender who forces a lot of turnovers. He can get to the rim at will but seems to have his shot blocked every time he gets there. He also is not good at shooting the ball. I have no idea why he was allowed to shoot in overtime against Cleveland. I don't think anyone does.

1.A. Ray Allen-G- 6-5, 205, Connecticut (11)

I can't say enough about Jesus Shuttlesworth I really can't. He has the sweetest jump shot in the NBA and is surprisingly capable off the dribble. He can finish with gusto as well. I'm still wondering how he missed those two free throws against the Cleve. He has hit two buzzer beaters already this year so I can't be too upset. DAGGER!

1.B. Paul Pierce-G/F- 6-7, 235, Kansas (9)

Paul is hardcore, he's been stabbed. He is a terrific scorer who can score from anywhere, deep, mid range, even in the low post. (If you couldn't tell that I'm running out of gas then you have serious mental problems).

1.C. Kevin Garnett-F- 6-11, 220, Farragut Academy HS (IL) (12)

I am seriously frightened of this man. He has been an absolute beast this year although I was surprised to find out that so much of his offense relies on his jump shot.

Predictions (besides pain)
Boston 104 New York 86

Projected Stats-
New York Rebs. Asst. Stl. Blk. Pts.
Starbury 4 6 1 0 14
Crawford 3 4 2 0 16
Q-Rich 6 3 1 0 9
Z-Bo 11 1 1 0 19
Curry 6 0 0 1 14

Boston Rebs. Asst. Stl. Blk. Pts.
Rondo 2 8 3 0 9
Jesus 3 4 2 0 17
The Truth 5 5 2 0 24
The Big Ticket 17 3 1 2 25
Perk 9 1 0 1 12

Other Random Predictions:

-Z-Bo's lack of hustle getting back on D is obvious at least 3 times.

-KG grabs a billion rebounds

-Marbury shoots less than 35% from the field

-Isiah has that puzzled smirk on his face midway through the 2nd quarter.

-There is no way the Celtics lose. Put every cent you have on C's -12.5. Oh and take the over (208) in the Houston-Golden State game.

Bonus Stats:

NY 4-9 95.8 102.3 4-3 0-6 W2 2-8
BOS 11-2 102.8 91.2 7-0 4-2 L1 8-2

I know I never got to Clyde, I will soon but I don't have the energy to do him justice.


Marv O'Brien said...

You ranked Big Baby behind Scal? I think its time to stop sniffing glue. Also, how can you talk about David Lee without mentioning my man crush on him? I would give this preview a failing grade if not for the remarkable use of graphics. Oh yeah, BIG BAY-BY!

Doug the Punter said...

I based the Big Baby/Scal thing on minutes played but now that you mention it I was probably wrong. ALSO, I have no reason to mention your man crush on the white Paul Millsap as it probably wouldn't add anything. ALSO, I owe you a dolla

Maggie said... roommates are anxiously awaiting the real world update...

Doug the Punter said...

Tell them to sit tight. I'm like 5 episodes behind so I need to catch up. Hopefully I'll have them up by Wednesday (or at least some of them). Recaps of episodes 1 through 12 are on my old blog.

Doug the Punter said...

Maggie, I also owe you a dollar