Coaches Corner – 2/27/12

27 Feb

Coach’s Corner

Observations and My Takes on the Sporting World

The Atlanta Hawks, with Jerry Stackhouse and Tracy McGrady, are the NBA equivalent of a nursing home.

The Hawks effort against the Knicks was pitiful.

I absolutely love Steve Novak.  Hey, NBA . . . don’t leave him open!  Novak is a cold assassin from downtown.

My only complaint about Lin-Sanity is the very awkward and bizarre warm-up hand slap between Landry Fields and Jeremy Lin.  I just don’t get it.  Could someone explain it to me?

Landry Fields has done an excellent job of driving to the basket since Lin has taken the Knicks over.

My man @DaveChazzer recently purchased the NBA package to watch the show that is Lin-Sanity.

“He is good for the league,” said @DaveChazzer.

Knicks and Heat game Notes

A lot has been made of the Knicks loss to the Heat.  What do I make of it?

Not much.  I would have loved to defeat the Heat on national TV, but it’s just another loss.  The Knicks fell to under 500 heading into the break.

Jeremy Lin didn’t play well.  Is he the player we have seen leading up to the Lin-Sanity or the 8 point  and 8 turnover point guard who played the Heat?

Lin is in the middle.  As I have pointed out before, Lin is a 14-17 point a game scorer while capable of dishing out 7-9 assists a game.

Despite not playing well, the Knicks were in the ball game and only trailed 51-47 at the half.

Steve Novak continued his fine outside shooting.  I love the discount double check celebration that Novak proudly displays to represent his Wisconsin roots.

The more I watch JR Smith, the more I like what I see from him as a Knick.  Put aside all the baggage that Smith carries with him, when motivated, the guy is a player.  He will be a key cog in the Knicks playoff run.

I have been critical of Iman Shumpert, but they could have used his athleticism against the Heat.

What will be Josh Harrelson’s role when he returns after the break?  The big man had developed into a valuable option off the bench because of his tough defense and three-point shooting.  Where will his minutes come?

D’Antoni plans to hold practices mini-camp style after the break.  It will be during these consecutive practices that a fluid rotation should be born.

So as we head into the All-Star break – how would I grade the Knicks team?

Here’s how I would grade each player:

Jeremy Lin – A

He would also get an A for the entire league.  Even my mother has Lin-Sanity.  His emergence has given the Knicks an opportunity to salvage their season.

Tyson Chandler – A

He is who he is.  As Coach Schott called him, he is the perfect teammate.  Chandler is quickly emerging as arguably their best player.  He is an excellent defender, tenacious rebounder, and a true leader.  His passion and intensity is good for the team.

Steve Novak – A

Say what?  Steve Novak an A?  Hell yeah!!  He is lights out from the three point line.  If opposing players leave him open in the corner they might as well start heading back on defense because he can flat-out shoot the ball.

The Discount Double Check!!! My son Andrew and I do it all the time when he scores.

Landry Fields – B


Since Jeremy Lin slept on his couch, Fields has also re-emerged.  He is much more aggressive and his drives to the basket have been a welcome addition.  He is also more active around the rim rebounding.

JR Smith – B potentially could be an A.  Smith has the capability to create his own shot.  His step back jump shot is deadly.  Smith is an excellent athlete and defender who just might be crazy enough to propel the Knicks deep into the playoffs.

Amar’e Stoudemire – C  Injureis and his brother’s tragic death have derailed STAT.  I still love STAT.  He came to New York last year when no one else wanted to.  He started the NY renaissance of New York Knicks basketball.  A healthy STAT will be needed for an effective playoff push.


Josh Harrellson – C  An untimely injury might have cost Harrellson a chance to get back on the court.  Harrellson provided low post defense and a decent three point shot.  But Harrellson will have to earn his spot back in the rotation with the emergence of Steve Novak.


Carmelo Anthony – C Injures have kept Anthony out of the line up for a considerable amount of time.  Anthony is still a scorer but this year questions have arisen about his value to teams.  Denver after the Anthony trade and the Knicks since.


Jared Jeffries – C  The Knicks big man off the bench has provided sparks at times.  His role is rebounding and playing defense, not shooting the ball.  Jeffries takes too many shots.


Tony Douglass – D  Since Jeremy Lin is moving on up to different Penthouses in NYC, Tony Douglass appears to be living in a dog house.


Baron Davis – INC  Before Jeremy Lin, the future of the 2011-2012 season depended on Davis.  With Davis working the rust off the first few games, we can’t properly evaluate him.  If Davis can come back to a half the player he was – look out.


Billy Walker- C Walker has provided a spark for the Knicks off the bench and as a spot starter.  Walker can knock down the three and is an athletic option off the bench for the Knicks.


Iman Shumpert – C  Inconsistent and ill-advised shooting has this grade lower than what it probably should be.  Shumpert is an excellent defender who has used his athleticism to carve a spot in the Knicks rotation.

Mike Bibby – F  Has not provided anything to the team.  Should be waived.

Jerome JordanINC  You can’t grade what you don’t see.  Jordan is a 7ft that hasn’t cracked the lineup.

Overall, I would give the Knicks a team grade of C.  Prior to Jeremy Lin, it would have been an F.  Since the emergence of Jeremy Lin it would be an A.  Hence the C.

What can we expect the second half?

The Knicks will emerge as the number three seed in the East.  If the team can gel, they are a legitimate contender in the Eastern Conference.

Granted, I live in San Antonio, Texas now, but I have been stumping for the Spurs to gain national recognition all year.  It now appears that is the case.

Tony Parker is legit.  My son, Andrew, said that Reggie Miller called Parker the best point guard in the NBA.  His performance at the All Star games skills competition might have propelled his name into elite status.  If not, Parker will continue to do what he does each night.  That is put up excellent numbers and win.

San Antonio Express News reporter and San Antonio Spurs insider, Mike Monroe wrote on Sunday, February 26, 2012 that Tony Parker deserved to be In the MVP discussion.

Where are you now Chris Dudley? 

The career journeyman recently ran for governor of Oregon in 2010.  I think he was the first big man that I referred to as a stiff.

Dudley holds the NBA record for consecutive free throws missed (13) and in 1989 actually missed five foul shots on one trip to the line because of three lane violations by the opposing team.

Kudos to New Jersey Net Anthony Morrow who sported a vintage Drazen Petrovic throw-back jersey during the three point contest.

“Petro” was an excellent three point shooter who played with a passion that made the Nets watchable.  A team that consisted of Kenny Anderson and Derrick Coleman, Petrovic was clearly their best player.  A real crowd favorite, Petrovic averaged 22 points per game during the 1992-1993 season.

I still remember watching channel 9 news and Russ Salzberg reported the news in 1993 that Petrovic had been killed in a car accident.

I am very impressed with what is going on in Cleveland, Ohio with the Cavaliers.  Kyrie Irving took control of the team from the beginning of camp and hasn’t looked back. Antawn Jamison and Ramon Sessions and Anderson Varejao have made the Ohio fans forget LeBron James.  More importantly, Cleveland is only two games behind the Boston Celtics for the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Every time I watch Kevin Durant play, I am more and more impressed with the 23 year old super star.  It’s hard to find a weakness in the game of the 6’10 former Longhorn.  It’s really not fair to the rest of the NBA that the Oklahoma City Thunder have Durant on their team.

The NFL Pro Bowl should take notes from the NBA and MLB all-star weekends.  While the most creative dunkers in the NBA did not participate in the dunk contest, the weekend overall is enjoyable.  I enjoy the MLB all-star weekend better than the NBA weekend, but the NBA has made the weekend the place for celebrities.

 @TJ_Yakes (The Texan’s starting QB) asked his twitter followers which all-star game had less defense – the NBA All-Star game or the NFL Pro Bowl?

Did anyone see how bad Cee Lo Green was sweating when they showed him at the All-Star game?

Russell Westbrook – Wow.  His dunk in the second quarter of the All-Star game was how I always envisioned myself dunking, if I could.

Hats off to Coach Jim Boeheim and the Syracuse Orange basketball team.  With a 71-69 victory over UCONN in Connecticut, the Orange have a ridiculous 29-1 record.  While she is not as hot as Steve Lavin’s wife Mary Ann Jarou, Boeheim has a very pretty wife.

Derrick Paul (no relation to Chris Paul) wants more love to be shown to the Orange.  The Orange, led by leading scorer Kris Joseph, has a very deep and talented team.   Their depth makes them a legitimate contender to win the national championship but their lack of rebounding could be their Achilles.

Keep an eye on DaJuan Coleman, a 6’9 senior in high school who has committed to Syracuse next year.

My boys and I are currently working on a major league baseball preview.

I am going to try to throw some Midwestern USA sports talk to D Kline for following me on twitter.

Follow me @Yankeetodd1

1 Comment

Posted by on February 27, 2012 in Basketball, Coaches Corner, Sports, Yankee Todd


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One response to “Coaches Corner – 2/27/12

  1. 1OfficeDown

    February 28, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    Did you really just write that Parker became an elite point guard by winning the skills competition? Let’s not overrate the value of cheap tv publicity. I personally believe he took his game to the next level when he married then divorced Eva.

    I know you don’t claim to be impartial, but you grading the Knicks might not reflect well on your journalistic integrity. J.R. Smith gets a B? That’s a high water mark for him on any report card…ever.

    I enjoy the NBA talk, though.


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