Monday, November 3, 2008

Weekend At Jimmy's

Or, What Transpired with Jimmy Dolan's Knicks This Weekend:

Knicks 87-116 Sixers
When I learned that Marbury was going to be inactive during Friday's game in Philly I wrote: 
"It's one thing not to put Marbury into a game when points are being scored freely. But what happens when the Knicks play a better team (sort of like Philadelphia) with a non-rookie point guard (sort of like Philadelphia) and the sailing isn't so smooth? What then?"
What then? Well, then the Knicks get rolled by the Sixers in a game that would fit right in on the 2007-2008 low-light reel. The Knicks were listless. After fielding five players with 16 or more points in the season opening win over Miami, the Knicks didn't have a single scorer notch fifteen points just two nights later. With Marbury nattily attired on the bench, Chris Duhon played 34 minutes and shot 1-8 from the floor, including 0 for 3 from three-point range. The former Duke captain did have six rebounds and seven assists but he's not the answer at the point guard spot. His assists are the result of him being a conscientious ball mover and not because he is a play-maker. His assists occur when he passes the ball to Zach Randolph on the wing, who then shoots a long jump shot. They're not seeing-eye bounce passes that create buckets. Duhon's assists are a product of the game and not a product of the player. This ability to play the game in such a way still puts Duhon ahead of Mardy Collins in the point guarding ranks. Collins notched zero assists in 13 minutes. The continued inactivation of Marbury puts the game in the hands of these two players.

Knicks 87-94 Bucks
This was a four-point game when the third quarter got underway. It wasn't a particularly exciting or engaging game. But it was close. Until it wasn't. The Bucks scored the first 12 points of the second half and never really looked back. Quentin Richardson fought valiantly to keep the home team in the game (he scored 28 points and pulled down nine rebounds) but he was adrift in a sea of futility. The Knickerbocker futility on Sunday night may have best been displayed in a sub-forty-stretch when the team missed a jump shot and three layups. Chris Duhon, meanwhile, had 3 assists in 37 minutes. That it is not a productive use of one's time. Especially considering that the power forward formerly known as the Zach-hole had three assists in 34 minutes.