Saturday, January 12, 2008

Of Inscrutability and Regime Change

While the possibility of understanding the why? or the why not? is closed to us given the inscrutability of the Dolan mind and the Thomas ID, it is still healthy and logical to hope for and anticipate the when?. After all, at some point Isiah Thomas will either give up his job or it will be taken from him.

And, this morning's papers are wonderfully full of speculation that the when? could become a now!

In the Post, Marc Berman reports that Isiah has confided in someone (who apparently isn't very trustworthy if he is talking to Berman) that he is considering leaving the bench and that the only players on the roster that he likes are Crawford, Butch (Lee) and Sundance (Nate).

In the News, Frank Isola reports that Jimmy Dolan may actually have seen enough of the Thomas to bring about his own Regime Change in the Garden. According to another of these untrustworthy confidantes that proliferate in the Garden, Dolan has admitted that a change must be made and that he is gearing up for it. Isola also relays, from his source, that folks have been coming to Dolan and the Garden brass in droves to throw their hat in the ring to be Thomas's replacement.

Of course such stories appear weekly, if not daily, in the tabloids and on the internets as rational sportswriters and hopeful fans assume that each misstep must justly be the final one permitted, that each new crack stepped on will surely be the one that breaks our mothers backs. And, each night the PA announcer speedily announces Isiah Thomas as the HC of the NYK.

That being said, these reports feels all the more real given the width and the breadth of the insanity and inanity that lately flowers in the Garden. This has gone past the point of just being a bad basketball team (which is a forgivable sin) and has become something much more.

The Mourning After: Knicks vs. Raptors

Before, we move on to the latest debacle, let's take a look back at three of the keys to the game pointed out in yesterday's Pre-Gaming column and see how our boys fared.

1. Chris Bosh vs. The Knicks frontcourt: Bosh put hung forty points on Eddy, Zach and co. last night. That's percentage points shy of doubling his season average. I had claimed that holding him under 27 would have counted as a moral victory. In light of last night's heinous effort I guess that holding Yao to just 36 was actually the moral victory. Oops.

2. The Zach-Hole. In his defense, he didn't ruin too many trips to the offensive end of the court with his inability to pass the ball. In fact, Zach actually finished the game with more assists than points. Let me repeat that, ZACH RANDOLPH finished the game with more assists than points. Of course, that only happened because he was benched for arguing with his coach in full view of the Garden crowd, James Dolan and countless television cameras. The Zach-Hole only played ten minutes in the first half and not at all in the second, finishing with 0 points, 2 assists, 1 rebound, 1 personal foul and 1 turnover.

3. Calderon vs. Marbury. While the Raptors undeniably controlled the game Steph kept Calderon relatively in check from a number standpoint. Both players finished with 8 assists, Calderon had 9 points while Steph had 13, Calderon had 2 rebounds while Steph had 4 and Calderon had 1 turnover while Steph had 2. In other words, this matchup was mostly a wash and wasn't the deciding factor in the game. For that, see #1.