Sep 25, 2013; New York, NY, USA; President and CEO of cablevision systems corporation and executive chairman of The Madison Square Garden company James Dolan looks on during a press conference to announce the 2015 NBA All-Star weekend in New York City at Industria Superstudio. The skill competition will be held at the Barclays Center and the All-Star game will be held at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

New York Knicks: Back-to-Back Losses to Close 2013

The one thing I like about James Dolan is I believe he sincerely cares. He loves his New York Knicks; he just doesn’t know how to manage them. He means well and tries to do the right thing but he is not basketball savvy enough. When it comes to running a team, he is the anti-George Steinbrenner.

George would have fired the manager, traded for anyone. With George, winning was not the only thing, it was everything.

Dolan does not know how to win. Whoever his advisers are, they are wrong. James, fire your advisors and get new ones.

Marc Berman of the New York Post reported, “Masai Ujiri sat in the press room at Air Canada Centre minutes before tipoff Saturday night, dining on pasta and pizza. Ujiri may as well have been dining on the Knicks’ carcass.”

This New York Knicks team is a flawed team. Many have called the pickup of Andrea Bargnani a bad trade; it was a fair trade, a decent trade. The Knicks traded, or really unloaded Marcus Camby (out again with the same injury as last year), Steve Novak (saddled to the bench in Toronto) and two second round picks. Picks, that you can always buy. In return we got Bargnani.


Bargnani is a good player, just not great player. His ego works with Carmelo Anthony’s. He knows it is Anthony’s team and he respects that. That is hard to find in today’s NBA world. Many considered Bargnani an upgrade over Chris Copeland, who remains on the bench in Indiana.

However Mike Woodson does not know how to utilize him and in my opinion probably doesn’t like him. The other night he was lambasted by reporters for only having three rebounds. Yet, Tyson Chandler only had two rebounds and nothing was said.

Chandler played 27 minutes. Enough said. Bargnani played only 18 minutes yet, he scored 12 points with those three rebounds.

A player, any player, cannot be a star if they are not utilized properly. During this evening he started the game 3-for-3, but after six minutes he was taken out of the game. When a player has rhythm, why take him out? Woodson does this continually with every player except J.R. Smith. Why?

If a player is in rhythm let him play if he is not take him out, this is basic coaching Woodson does not employ.
Woodson thought he could make Smith a star.

Well coach think again. Money has not helped Smith. He is a good guy with a lot of talent, but he is not a star. Smith has to be used as a sparkplug, a scorer. He is a taller, more expensive Nate Robinson.

At the end of the day, it wasn’t the Bargnani deal that crippled the Knicks, it was the Anthony deal.

Toronto once again beat the lackluster Knicks who now own a 9-21 record, 12 games below .500, five games behind a first-place team trying to tank. A team that offered the Knicks a gift of their point guard, Kyle Lowry, who the Knicks could have traded for Raymond Felton (injured), Metta World Peace (injured) and a draft pick or player. A 2020 draft pick may have done it. Six years from now if we are still in the cellar, who is going to care anyway?

If we would have made that trade you would have another real option for Anthony. You would have swept the two game series with Toronto and been a game out of first place. You would have had a real point guard.

Please, reporters and fans, don’t even try to sell me on Toure’ Murry. Nice young man, he will one day be a good bench player. I watched him in Vegas, he was good, not great, and I don’t think he ever scored 20 in a game in Vegas. The two best players in Vegas were Jeremy Tyler and Tim Hardaway Jr. Murry can help but will never be a star. His brain dead play, his flagrant foul, at the end of the game turned a six-point lead, into an 11-point lead.

Dolan doesn’t get the point. You need a point guard to win. He could have stolen Lowry, yes stole. Even if you give up a draft pick how long will it take for them to score 32 points with 11 assist and help you win your division in any year? Hardaway is being looked at as the steal of the draft; he was not a lottery pick and is one of the best rookies this year. But Woodson never liked rookies, Copeland, Lin, Fields, Hill, etc.

The Knicks drafted Michael Sweetney No. 9 overall in the 2003 NBA draft, but he only lasted two seasons in New York and just four years in the league overall.

2005, #8 Channing Frye, # 30 David Lee. I loved David Lee, but not the Knicks as they let both of these picks, both productive player leave for nothing.

2006, #20 Renaldo Balkman, #29 Marty Collins. Both now out of the NBA

2007, #23 Wilson Chandler, traded in Anthony trade, playing good this season.

2008 # 8, Danilo Gallinari, traded in Anthony trade, rehabbing from knee surgery. Solid player.

2009, # 8 Jordan Hill, now playing with Lakers now. Struggled in NBA until coach Mike D’Antoni took him under his wing and gave him the opportunity.

2010, #38, Andy Rautins, “one and done” currently out of NBA. Pick #39 Landry Fields, now locked on Toronto’s bench after they overpaid for him. The Knicks were smart not matching this offer.

2011, #17, Iman Shumpert, who sits continuously in Woodson’s doghouse. If a player was ever poorly developed and mismanaged, this is the player. Shumpert showed glimpses of being a star till Woodson stole his confidence.

2012. # 24 Tim Hardaway Jr., who has the chance to excel in the NBA please read Iman Shumpert, as currently he is not given the playing time he deserves or the opportunity.

Dec 27, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks head coach Mike Woodson reacts against the Toronto Raptors during the first quarter of a game at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

So, Dolan, do you get the point? Who cares about a draft pick in 2019, 2020? We, the fans, care about now. Who of the above could score 23 then 32 with 11 assists on two consecutive nights? Since your team can’t draft anyway, why not buy Lowry?

In Lowry you are getting a proven No. 1 draft pick, a proven, experienced player for an unknown commodity. Felton and MWP are good guys who won’t be missed if the Knicks begin to win. So in essence you are trading a No. 1 pick for a No. 11 pick. Felton and MWP will not be back with the Knicks next year anyway.

Dolan, the way to beat Ujiri, is to beat him, not to lose to his team. You could have won the division and his team could have tanked. Now he is five games ahead of you in the worst division in basketball. Now if he wins GM of the year, you did it for him by not stealing Lowry. Dolan you need to get the point, your team is letting you down.

Your coach is a great man, a good coach doing a bad job. If Anthony leaves you made all the wrong moves. You could have saved the season instead of worrying about saving face. The only way you win, is to win. This is not a winning team. Staying pat with a bad hand is just not good poker.

Dolan, you need to get the point.

The Knicks return home for the first game of 2014 on January 7 against the Pistons. Get your New York Knicks tickets from Vivid Seats while they are still available.

Dr. Eric Kaplan is a Bestselling Author
Follow him on twitter @drekaplan


Next Knicks Game Full schedule »
Wednesday, Oct 2929 Oct8:00Chicago BullsBuy Tickets

Tags: Andrea Bargnani Carmelo Anthony James Dolan Mike Woodson New York Knicks

comments powered by Disqus