Monday, December 17, 2007

Pre-Gaming: Knicks vs. Pacers

Remember when this was one of the hottest tickets in town? Knicks versus Pacers! The NBA on NBC! Remember when? Now, the team is sending out emails letting everyone know that tickets can be had for the low price of ten bucks (password: PACERS).

This was arguably the truest rivalry of 1990s Knicks teams since it actually saw both teams emerge victorious at various points. After all, MJ's Bulls beat the Knicks and the Knicks beat Riley's Heat. Meanwhile Reggie just slayed the Knicks a few times even though the Blue and Orange came out on top most of the time.

Tonight's biggest storyline is the return of Stephon Marbury. How does he look? Is he ready? I hope he gets a warm welcome from the crowd tonight. I'll be doing my part. Other than that, keep on eye on Curry. Can he put together back-to-back good games?

Meanwhile, the Pacers are a .500 team thus far who can't win two in a row. All-Star PF Jermaine O'Neal is still top-flight but PG Tinsley was recently involved in a shooting that has assuredly put the team under a microscope in Indy. They won their last game and are 1-9 on the road so I hope they stay true to previous form tonight.

Knicks Versus Pacers

The Good:

The Bad:

The Ugly:

Around the Internets in Eight Minutes

-There is one and only one Gus Johnson and he even makes the Knicks listenable.

-If this trade rumor is true than Herm must have liked what he saw yesterday from Chad.

-NJ is the hot spot for high school hoops.

Lupicas, Thomsens & Bermans. Oh My!

-Apparently, one-time Isiah devotee, Jermaine O'Neal, is a long-time devotee. In today's News O'Neal places the blame for the Knicks' struggles squarely on the players and reiterates his belief that, "Isiah is a great coach."

-The News is also the hotspot for all of your Malik Rose news. The aged and undersized power forward missed Sunday's practice because he couldn't make it through the snow. I was out on the roads in the wilds of the Tri-State area and that excuse is clearly nonsense. Of course, everyone knows that. Rose, who has asked to be left inactive on game day, wants the same buyout offered to several former teammates.

-Jerome James still owns sneakers? The Post claims that the most indicitave blunder of the Thomas regime has designs on playing some defense once he returns from injury.

Monday's Starting Five

1. The Miami Dolphins. They have won a game this season. Cleo Lemon tossed a short pass to Greg Camarillo over the middle and this wide receiver whom most people have never heard of dashed over fifty yards down the field to defeat the Ravens in overtime. Understandably the Dolphins celebrated like they had just completed an undefeated season rather than like a team that just broke up the no-hitter that the league was throwing at them. Of course, this was all made possible because Billick played not to lose at the end of regulation and then the uber-reliable Matt Stover actually missed a field goal attempt in OT.

2. Arsenal. The Gunners were 1-0 winners over Chelsea in the latest installment of their London derby. Arsenal captain William Gallas put the home side ahead to stay with a clinical header after Chelsea keeper, Petr Cech badly misjudged a Fabregas corner shortly before halftime. In a predictably physical affair 10 yellow cards were handed out and John Terry was awarded one of those for a late clattering of the ebullient Fabregas. However, he was at the recieving end of such a tackle by Eboue, who was shown yellow himself for the trouble. The win leaves Arsenal up 1 point on ManU and 6 and 7 points ahead of Chelsea and Liverpool respectively.

3. Rich Rodriquez. The West Virginia football coach is about to sign on with the University of Michigan. The WVU alum passed on the big bucks that Alabama offered last season but he could not pass on the Big House in Ann Arbor. This is a HUGE blow for the Big East as West Virginia has gone 32-5 over the last three seasons and gave the conference a team that was nationally respected. It'll be interesting to see if Rodriquez brings his style of offense to Michigan or if he leaves it with Noel Devine and Co. in Morgantown.

4. Andy Pettitte. This Texan is far more savvy than his friend and mentor Roger Clemens. By stepping forward and "confessing" his two-time HGH use Pettite has taken control of his involvement in the Mitchell Report brouhaha. The public has taken him at his word in spite of the fact that there is no better reason to believe him now than there was a few years ago when he flat-out denied ever using any PEDs. Nevertheless, being forthcoming (even with falsehoods) is a far better PR move than obfuscating and admitting nothing. Roger should take note.

5. Stephon Marbury. After missing the past four games and five of the last seven games while mourning the death of his father, the beleaguered point guard returned to practice yesterday and plans on playing tonight when the Knicks take on the Pacers at the Garden. The Knicks have struggled without their point guard and by all accounts Steph has been struggling mightily as well ever since his father was felled by heart problems during a Knicks game on December 2nd.