Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I'm taking Reggie Miller's side

I'm sorry Pat. I'm sorry John. I'm sorry Charles. And, Spike. Oh, Spike. I'm so sorry. But Reggie Miller, that unfortunate looking washed-up former basketball player with a gargantuan and more talented sister, knows what he's talking about when he says that:

"Right now, [the Knicks] are a league-wide joke. It's sad because they are an historic and iconic franchise. But people think they are late night comedy jokes."

This quote appeared this morning in an article by Frank Isola in The News. And while it is no surprise at all to see Cheryl, err, I mean Reggie gathering attention unto himself at the expense of the Knicks, it is quite unusual for me to be in complete agreement with him. It pains me. Right in my neck. Nevertheless, this emaciated and soulless, one-dimensional jump shooter cum mediocre television analyst makes some keen observations when it comes to the Knicks:

"You always want your best player, which is Stephon Marbury, and head coach to get along. When Steph steps on the court, they've got to get on the same page. They've got to right the ship. It's disturbing. He flies home, flies back to L.A. The team votes (for him) not to play. Those are things that can destroy a team. You've got to make an example, but he plays him 40 minutes. What is that saying?"

This snippet from Isola's article offers a glimpse into the wide-open expanses of Miller's mind. It is important to remember that Reggie is well-versed in the troubles of being coached by Isiah Thomas. Our local problem was his local problem during some of his last seasons in Indiana, when he was regularly buried on the bench by Isiah during crunch time. Of course, to Zeke it made perfect sense to keep such an assassin, whose only good minute per game was likely the last one, as far away from the ball as possible during the fourth quarter. Such strategy is one of the many reasons why those Pacers never won a playoff series.

Lupicas, Thomsens & Bermans. Oh My!

Or, What The World is Saying About the Knicks

-Ian Thomsen, over at SI, wrote yesterday that things aren't nearly as bad for the NYK as it seems. He (who still admits to picking them 6th in the East) contends that their is enough talent on the roster for this team to overcome this early season skid and still vie for a playoff spot. I tend to agree. And it terrifies me. Not because I don't want to agree with Thomsen. He's a smart fellow. Rather, it terrifies me that this team is definitely capable of stringing together enough wins to keep Isiah Thomas patrolling the sideline. They've got enough talent to win some regular season games by making making a minimal amount of clutch plays. That much is certain. The team may keep Isiah around, but Isiah will hold the team back. He is not a good in-game coach and he has clearly mishandled his best player. If even half of the stories are true And, while Thomas deserves credit for his talent evaluation (i.e. drafting), he has been a disaster as a coach and as a team architect. This team deserves better. The fans deserve better. And, it seems like the team will have to lose in the short run before they can win. So, therefore it terrifies me that I agree with Thomsen.

-Frank Isola at The News marvels at Isiah's turnaround with Steph.

-The mathematically talented John Hollinger explains how the Knicks main problem is their offense and NOT their defense.

-Knicks rate 28th out of 30 teams in the latest Power Rankings over at SI.com.

READ OF THE DAY: there's a great piece by Howard Beck in the NYT about the Marbury/Garnett breakup. It's both a reminder of what could have been and that Garnett's HUGE contract is what caused the '98 lockout. Great work.

Your Local Listings

[I've created a sort of TV guide in an attempt to keep the burgeoning readership of What Would Oakley Do? informed about the latest developments and to create some sort of plan for myself. So far I like doing the Starting Five each and every morning. Like a well Irished coffee, it gets us all going first thing.]

The Listings

Daily Knicks Fix: Pre-Game, Post-Game and the occassional In-Game commentary on each and every contest. The Knickerbockers will always be the focus in this space and the glue that holds the rest of this together. But man cannot live on Knicks alone (trust me, I've tried) so they'll be some diversity. It's what Oakley would want.

Monday
AM:Starting Five/ Monday Morning General Manager/Lupicas, Thomsens and Bermans. Oh My!
PM: The Attic (new feature debuting this coming Monday)/ Around the Internets*

Tuesday
AM: Starting Five /The Better Half / Lupicas, Thomsens and Bermans. Oh My!
PM: College Footbal & Baksetball/ Around the Internets*

Wednesday
AM: Starting Five / Lupicas, Thomsens & Bermans. Oh My!
PM: Fantasy Atlantic, The Beautiful Game, Around the Internets*

Thursday
AM: Starting Five / Lupicas, Thomsens & Bermans. Oh My!
PM: What If...(new feature debuting tomorrow), MLB Hot Stove, Around the Internets*

Friday
AM: Starting Five / Lupicas, Thomsens & Bermans. Oh My!
PM:You Know What Really Grinds My Gears? (new feature that willl be debuting this Friday), Around the Internets*

Saturday/Sunday:
Knicks posts and anything else that catches my attention will be posted in a haphazard way without any concern for the time of the day.

So, it seems like all that is missing is Hockey. Well, my apologies go out to Brian Marker. He is the Hockey fan that I know. Please pass along my apologies to the one (and only) Hockey fan that you may
(or may not) have in your lives.

*Please send links if you come across anything while wasting time at work.

The Better Half

(ESPN has Erin Andrews, FOX has Pam Oliver, ABC has Michelle Tafoya and What Would Oakley Do? has Becca. Please join me in welcoming our first-ever sideline reporter/guest columnist. "The Better Half" will appear in this space each and every week and will feature the best, brightest and prettiest sports-related musings in all of the land in an attempt to explain what our girlfriends and wives are thinking when we ask them if they want to order wings before the Giants game starts.)

The Better Half
Episode Three
An Open Letter to Colt Brennan


Dear Colt Brennan,

Now, I know that you never did anything to me, my friends or family members. And I’m told you’re a good player. But after watching you play football on television this past Friday night I decided that I do not like you. At all. In fact, my dislike quickly metastasized into hate as I watched you strut around like you’re the bee’s knees.

I became even more disappointed with you and your face after I got a good look at the rest of your team, the Hawaii Warriors. Those guys play hard. They are brutal. They make professional football players look like lazy pansies who drink tea and crumpets. In fact, I think all the players were actual warriors in a past life. No, I mean actual warriors, like the ones in history books, with chain-link armor and long scraggly beards. The rest of the Warriors are 100% terrifying and have given me a newfound respect for football, football players and the state of Hawaii. It may have just been the whole drum/face-painting/culture thing they have going on, but nonetheless, this was zealousness bordering savagery.

But Colt, you’re different from your teammates. I mean, you “play hard”, sure, but your attitude, your style, your mien, it puts me off, Brennan. You have the all-American good looks of a David Wright, but lack the gracious, genuine, and humble charm. You just saunter along the sidelines like your farts don’t stink. Like you’re too cool for school. But I’m almost positive you have stinky farts, and I know that you are currently enrolled in college, most definitely a type of school. You give off a repulsively smug air that doesn’t warrant the title of a Warrior. And for someone who “watches a lot of football”, I find that kind of sideline behavior tacky, and unattractive. I don’t care that you are a good player. And even though I don’t know what the Heisman award is, I am sure that you shouldn’t win it. Well, unless it is some kind of award for douchiness. Then, you get my vote.

Good luck!

Love,

Becca

Chocolate Unicorn Elves vs. Rainbow Warriors

My neighbor Karl has some harsh words for the teams vying for a spot in the BCS title game. Oh, and for Eli Manning:

Wednesday's Starting Five

1) Lebron James scored eleven points in overtime (and 38 overall) as the Cavs edged the Celtics 109-104. As far as November goes this is a pretty big statement game in the Eastern Conference. Some Ray Allen doppelganger missed two free throws at the very end of regulation (23 ticks left) that could potentially have won the game for the C's. I say it must have been a doppelganger because the real Ray Allen shoots 89% from the charity stripe. Of course, it would have been nice if the Cavs would have chosen to hang this loss on Boston at time when the Knicks were the next team to roll into town. Thanks.

2) Simeon Rice was cut by the Colts yesterday. This guy must be d-o-n-e. I've heard his name about four times this season and every time it seems like someone else just released him. Dancing with the Stars and autograph signing at Tampa area card shows beckons...

3) Kobe (35) leads Lakers in scoring. Durant (25) leads Sonics. Lakers win. Sonics lose. No surprises. The alleged sexual criminal (that is Bryant and not Durant) passed former Knick great Bernard King for 32nd place on the all-time scoring list.

4) Arsenal actually lost a game. Yes, they had already qualified for the next round in the Champions League. But the Gunners 1-3 loss at Seville marks the first time that they've stepped off the pitch without that winning (or, at least, that tying) feeling since April. That is 28 games.

5) Boomer blames Archie (yesterday). Reese blames Eli (two days ago). Eli stares and looks mildly confused (everyday). The little guy has been (rightfully) getting raked over the coals after that 4 INT game against the Vikes. Eli currently ranks 24th in QB Rating, 27th in completion percentage, 26th in yard per passing attempt and is tied for last place (with 2 others) for most interceptions thrown. On the bright side, he has the 10th most touchdown passes.