Home > Essays > Essay: Are The Knicks Acting Orderly?

Essay: Are The Knicks Acting Orderly?

Adorned in a one-of-a-kind, never-before-seen lumberjack/superhero ensemble, and armed with a brand new orange head band fastened to a matching flannel cape, last week Baron Davis crashed through the New York Knicks’ glass ceiling, swooped in, and saved what had promise to be the single worst backcourt a would-be-contender has ever placed in uniform.

“Saved” might be too certain a word: Nobody who lacks a defibrillator in the trunk of their car can resuscitate Mike Bibby, and even then you’re dealing in risky business; at last check, Toney Douglas—he of irrational decision making, overrated defensive abilities, and unexplainable self-confidence—is still scheduled for major minutes; Iman Shumpert, 6’6” and with 0 games of professional experience, barely qualified as a sturdy floor general at Georgia Tech last season; and Landry Fields’ transparency to that of a ghost during the latter half of his rookie year managed to erase all good will he’d previously placed on the table.

This incapable personnel forced Mike D’Antoni to venture towards a potential experiment involving Carmelo Anthony’s turn at playing point forward. A situation that would surely end in self-destruction. Anthony was born a scorer with dreams of doing so in New York City since he was a child. Telling him to facilitate for others in his first full season headlining Madison Square Garden might be sold if this were the Olympic team, but enabling guys like Landry Fields, Toney Douglas, and Steve Novak just isn’t the same cache.

As the responsibilities of a superstar mount on his shoulders, there’s a chance Anthony would revert back to his more traditional role of go-to shooter. In order for this to happen though, the team would need another ball handler running the offense. The Miami Heat get away with this, but they have LeBron James, the greatest point forward of all time, and Dwyane Wade, a top three finisher in the league.

The circumstances involving Carmelo—who should instead be focusing on becoming a dominant two way player—combined with the Bibby, Douglas, Shumpert Hindenburg in waiting, makes adding Davis’ talents a humongous help. Because he plays point guard, yes, but also, his ability to create plays off the dribble will be welcomed on a team that’s starving for the efficient freestyler. If he can recover from a back injury that was serious enough to prevent any team to bid on his services, Baron Davis will allow the Knicks to bypass the Carmelo experiment altogether with his dependability at running an offense when he wants to, (and by all accounts he’ll want to be playing under the brightest lights), and the fact that he’s five times as talented as every other option on the roster.

Apart from Davis, here’s what the Knicks have clogging their backcourt, and until they fix it, claiming them to be contenders would be incorrect.

Landry Fields: As a rookie second round draft pick, he spent the first half of last season surfing an unimaginable wave of glory. By the time Carmelo Anthony came on board and more responsibilities were placed on his shoulder, Fields wiped out. Gnarly.

Mike Bibby: A cadaverous spot shooter who, at times, enjoys dressing up like a traffic cone.

Iman Shumpert: The athleticism is awesome. The hype is real. The reality is unknown. Facts about Iman Shumpert’s game translating to the pressures of a playoff bound Knicks team are impossible to find, and in all likelihood he’s too young to handle it.

Toney Douglas: His literal matador defense against Rajon Rondo in last year’s postseason might be explained by what was then a lingering shoulder injury, but that’s only something his mother would use as an excuse. On offense, Douglas is more inconsistent than the Keurig my roommate purchased for $2 at a yard sale.

This is what they had on board after letting Chauncey go, and here’s both the indirect and direct result of New York’s shape-shifting three-team sign-and-trade with Dallas and Washington.

New York Receives: Four-years and a reported $58 million worth of a 29-year-old Tyson Chandler,  hope of changing their longstanding identity as an embarrassment to all things defense, and Mike Bibby.

New York Loses: Chauncey Billups, Chauncey Billups’ expiring $14.2 million contract, the one-time Amnesty Provision, Ronny Turiaf, Shawne Williams (inadvertently in part due to Tyson’s contract), any rational thought as to who plays point guard in a Mike D’Antoni coached offense, and, once again due to Chandler’s monstrous contract that’s unconsciously eating cap space as we speak, the dream of obtaining Chris Paul.

If it weren’t for Davis’ bad back scaring everyone away, the Knicks might look a little foolish in spite of their good intentions to better their ball club. Thankfully, the bearded crusader will attempt to save the day in what could end as a dual case of redemption. For Baron, the situation presents itself as a golden one in that he can finally shed a reputation as one of the league’s great underachievers. For the Knicks, they’d be released off the hook for obnoxiously using their amnesty clause on Chauncey Billups, hanging their coach out to dry, and placing the future of the franchise on the wobbly knees of two injury prone big men.

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