“The NBA is BACK!!!! (DTS Podcast – #70)

The NBA is finally back!!

And for the first time in nearly a decade, we don’t know who will play in the NBA Finals.

It really is a special time.

ONE THING will always remain a constant though….

The KNICKS will be a DUMPSTER FIRE!!

And lastly, but most disappointing, the league will be without ZION WILLIAMSON for 2 months.

Don’t cry….he’ll lose 20 pounds….and his knees won’t cry anymore either.

That is all.

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel: Dave Talks Sports

Follow me on Twitter: @DaveEttinger2

Like my Facebook Page: facebook.com/DaveTalksSports

 

“ESPN’s NBA Power Rankings Are A Disaster!!!!” (DTS Podcast – #59)

ESPN released its NBA Power Rankings this week.

They might as well be backward.

But, as always, I fixed them in today’s DTS Podcast.

Leave YOUR NBA Power Rankings in the comment section below.

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel: Dave Talks Sports

Follow me on Twitter: @DaveEttinger2

Like my Facebook Page: facebook.com/DaveTalksSports

The NBA Has Multiple Personalities

Monday had it all.

The good. The bad. And the ugly.

An NBA season is often filled with more storylines than your Grandma’s soap opera. And this year, is no different. Monday exposed the many faces of the NBA.

The Good

Demarcus Cousins accomplished something that hasn’t been done since 1972. Just 46 years ago, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar posted a game with at least 40 points, 20 rebounds, and 10 assists. “Boogie” followed in “Cap’s” footsteps Monday night, posting 44 points, 24 rebounds, 10 assists, 4 steals, and 1 block.

What was the most impressive part?? Cousins’ historic performance fueled an epic comeback late in the 4th quarter — duh! With just 5:06 remaining in the game, the New Orleans Pelicans trailed the Chicago Bulls by 17 points. Cousins scored 9 of the Pelicans’ final 23 points, forcing overtime (114-114). Oh yeah, Anthony Davis fouled out in the 1st overtime, so Cousins singlehandedly won this game. Cousins went on to score 7 of their 10 points in double overtime, sealing a 132-128 victory over the Bulls.

The Bad

75. 75 points. It’s hard to score 75 points in an NBA game. But the Washington Wizards figured out a way. The Wizards (26-21), currently the 5-seed in the Eastern Conference, fell to the lowly Dallas Mavericks Monday night, 98-75. The Mavericks hold the 2nd worst record in the Western Conference (16-31).

Believe it or not, 75 points is not a season-low for the Wizards. They scored just 69 points against the Utah Jazz last month. As for Monday, the Wizards had just 2 players in double figures (Beal 18, Wall 11). You may want to shield your eyes before I rattle off their horrid shooting stats:

They shot 30.6% from the field, 21.9% from 3-point range, and 59.3% from the free throw line. Yikes!!

The Ugly

Do you know what you shouldn’t do?? You shouldn’t fire the head coach your superstar player really likes. At the very least, you should consult your franchise building block before making a major decision. The Milwaukee Bucks circumvented that conversation with Giannis Antetokounmpo and fired head coach, Jason Kidd, Monday. I’m not saying Kidd didn’t deserve to be fired. I’m not saying Kidd was doing a great job. But, I know Antetokounmpo liked Jason Kidd — a lot.

giannis-offered-to-svae-kidd

Upon hearing the Bucks were going to fire his head coach, Antetokounmpo called Kidd. Antetokounmpo simply asked, “What can I do? I’ll call the owners. I’ll call my agent.”

That doesn’t sound like a player who’s on board with his organization’s decision.

I’m not one to pander to a superstar’s every whim, but keep my 23-year old, superstar, top-10 player happy would top my to-do-list. I’m just sayin’. 

 

Is Demarcus Cousins’ performance the best of the year?? Why was Jason Kidd fired?? Post your thoughts in the comment section below. 

You can now find me on the Radio too. Download the TuneIn Radio App and search OWWR. I’ll be on live every Wednesday from 6:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M EST. I also broadcast every show on Facebook Live via my DaveTalksSports.com Facebook Page: http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports .

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like my page on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. You can also Subscribe to my YouTube Channel: DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading!! Now go tell all your friends!!

Best Individual Performance Of This Decade

Joel-Embiid

The Knicks made a 4th quarter comeback?!

“We’re on the air right now??….I don’t believe you.”

Is There Any Space Left On Tim Hardaway Jr.’s Back????

The New York Knicks hosted the Utah Jazz Wednesday night. Despite coming off a 51-win season, the Jazz have struggled mightily early on this season. They’re averaging just 98.5 points per game (2nd worst in the Western Conference). Well, that didn’t stop them from jumping out to a 10-point lead at halftime (60-50). Hitting 10 three-pointers in the 1st half didn’t hurt. They finished with 17 three’s and actually shot better from three (48.6%) than from the field (43%). Rodney Hood led all scorers with 30 points, off the bench, including 6 three-pointers.

However, it would be the Knicks, led by Tim Hardaway Jr., who would storm back from a 12-point deficit to claim victory. Hardaway led the way for the Knicks with 26 points, 14 in the 4th quarter.

I like the way this Knicks team plays. They hustle. They give effort. And they PLAY DEFENSE!! That’s why they’re winning games. And so far, Frank Ntilikina has impressed. His defense is extremely sound for a 19-year old rookie. He still has his rookie moments, committing 4 fouls in just 20 minutes. Ntilikina is tied for 2nd in the league with 2 steals per game, despite averaging just 20.5 minutes per game. Did I mention he’s 19??

Knicks 106, Jazz 101

Best Individual Performance In Nearly A Decade

Trust the process they say. Well, Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons have my trust. I’ll tell you that right now. Simmons, as a rookie, is averaging nearly a triple-double. But last night, wasn’t about Simmons. It was about Joel Embiid. HOLY CRAP!! This was the best individual performance the NBA has seen since Kevin Love dropped 31 points and 31 rebounds on the world in 2009.

Joel Embiid’s Evening: 46 points, 15 rebounds, 7 assists, and 7 blocks (in just 34 minutes)!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

If Embiid had played another 10 minutes, he might have joined the exclusive quadruple double club. There have been just 4 men, since blocks and steals became statistics, to record a quadruple double.

Oh yeah, the Philadelphia 76ers beat the Los Angeles Lakers 115-109.

Something Stinks….

There are good teams in the NBA. And there are some REALLY bad teams in the NBA. The latter was on full display last night. Of the 22 teams in action, 10 failed to reach triple-digits, and 3 didn’t crack 90 points.

The Chicago Bulls have won just 2 games this season, and last night wasn’t one of them. They had just 3 players in double digits, scoring a putrid 79 points against the Oklahoma City Thunder. They should probably trade Jimmy Butler away….

The Sacramento Kings aren’t much better. They have 3 wins on the season, and dropped just 80 points against another bad team, the Atlanta Hawks. The Hawks put 126 POINTS on the Kings last night. The Kings had just 2 players in double figures, and only scored over 20 points in 1 quarter. Yikes!!

 

Which NBA game did you watch Wednesday night?? Tell me about it in the comment section below.

You can now find me on the Radio too. Download the TuneIn Radio App and search OWWR. I’ll be on live every Wednesday from 6:10 P.M. – 8:00 P.M EST. I also broadcast every show on Facebook Live via my DaveTalksSports.com Facebook Page: http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports .

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like my page on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. You can also Subscribe to my YouTube Channel: DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading!! Now go tell all your friends!!

 

 

 

Gordon Hayward Takes The Road Less Travelled

brad stevens

When everyone is running one way, are you willing to run the other way?? I bet you are if running the other way is smart as hell. That’s what former Utah Jazz star, Gordon Hayward did on Tuesday upon signing with the Boston Celtics. While every NBA star imaginable has been taking their talents to the Western Conference, Hayward packed his bags and headed East. This will help his legacy in a BIG way. Now, rather than having to get past the Thunder, Rockets, Timberwolves, Spurs, and Warriors to get to the NBA Finals (sounds fun), there’s only Big Bad Lebron James standing in Hayward’s way. Hayward may still come up short of reaching his first NBA Finals, but he certainly increased his chances. It’s all in the numbers.

The numbers that help Hayward sleep at night are the six 0’s at the end of his contract. $127,000,000 over 4 years (max contract). That’s what the Celtics have offered Gordon Hayward. This contract will cause a domino effect in Boston. The Celtics will need to pull the qualifying offer on that ugly guy they call Kelly Olynyk, waive Jordan Mickey and Demetrius Jackson, not re-sign free agents Gerald Green, Jonas Jerebko, and James Young, and trade either Jae Crowder or Marcus Smart. Those are the moves staring Danny Ainge in the face in order to clear the necessary salary cap space for Hayward’s contract. It sounds worse than it is, and it’s worth it.

Hayward is a very solid small forward. At 6’8″, he scores, rebounds, and plays defense. He is an outstanding addition to the Celtics’ roster. Check out his stats here. This signing does a few things. First, it reunites coach and player. Hayward played under Celtics’ coach Brad Stevens at Butler University. Stevens was the coach at Butler from 2007-2013, until he made the leap to the NBA. Second, it brings the number of teams that can actually compete in the NBA to 7:

Golden State Warriors

The Warriors are still the team to beat. Kevin Durant just took a $9 million pay-cut to keep their team intact, so I like their chances.

*Key Players – Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green

Spurs

The Spurs roster doesn’t look as formidable as it once did, but my days of doubting Gregg Popovich are over.

*Key Players – Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge

Minnesota Timberwolves

This is a very young but very interesting team. Don’t be surprised if in 2 years the Timberwolves are representing the Western Conference in the NBA Finals.

*Key Players – Karl-Anthony Towns, Jimmy Butler, Andrew Wiggins, and Jeff Teague

Oklahoma City Thunder

A walking triple-double and one of the best two-way players in the NBA sounds like a good combination to me.

*Key Players – Russell Westbrook and Paul George

Houston Rockets

How many point guards does it take to screw in a lightbulb?? Apparently 2.

*Key Players – James Harden and Chris Paul

Cleveland Cavaliers

Will this be the year Lebron’s NBA Finals streak comes to an end?? I wouldn’t bet on it, but the Celtics just made the road a little more bumpy.

*Key Players – Lebron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love

Boston Celtics

And last, but for the NBA’s sake, hopefully not least, the Celtics. Does the addition of Gordon Hayward make them the best team in the Eastern Conference??

*Key Players – Isaiah Thomas, Gordon Hayward, and Al Horford

I still believe the Warriors will complete the 3-peat next season, but the NBA’s super teams are multiplying, setting up a more watchable NBA season. So, we’ve got that going for us….

Do you think the addition of Gordon Hayward makes the Celtics a legitimate contender?? Tell me what you think in the comment section below.

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like my page on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading!! Now go tell all your friends about me!!

 

It’s About Damn Time

All I have to say is thank god the Utah Jazz are terrible. It is also nice that Raymond Felton decided to take charge again out there on the court. In a hefty 42 minutes, Felton played a very effective basketball game. He had 19 points on 8 of 12 shooting from the field. To add to his offensive efficiency, he added 4 assists and 3 steals. With Felton, as it often is, his success goes beyond the numbers. He needs to be a leader on his team. The offense needs to run through him not in spite of him. Even when Carmelo Anthony returns, Felton needs to continue to be the orchestrator for the Knicks offense. When Felton turns up the intensity and starts attacking the basket it opens up the court for everyone else. As I pointed out in the 2nd half of their game against the Los Angeles Clippers, Felton seemed to turn his game up a notch (nice to see but too little too late). He did carry that same energy over to Utah with him, and the Knicks got a HUGE victory. While Felton had a solid game (did I mention Raymond Felton played well last night?), the Knicks showed a nice balance throughout the entire game. J.R Smith added 20 points, and Chris Copeland, in his 9th start of the season, added 14 crucial points. Now that the Knicks finally won a game, they also get the added bonus of coming home. The rundown short-handed Knicks went 1-4 on this brutal 5 game road trip. They have been riddled with injuries and inconsistent play for weeks now and nothing can cure their symptoms better than a home cooked meal. Knicks fans are hopeful that Carmelo Anthony will return to action soon, and we are still awaiting an official report on Tyson Chandler’s status. The word on the street is that Chandler has a slight bulging disc in his spine, and should be fine in a weeks time. My advice would be to hold Anthony and Chandler out for as long as they have to in order for them to be ready for the playoffs. I know that winning the Atlantic Division is a big deal, but they will need their two best players at full strength to make a run in the playoffs (no matter their seed). As I mentioned earlier, the Knicks will head home for a much needed night off and will enjoy a good night sleep in their own beds. They jump back into action Wednesday night at 7:30 P.M. against the Orlando Magic. Even without their three best players, I’m predicting another win by the Manhattan Nursing Home All-Stars. I mean another win by the New York Knicks, sorry sorry. Enjoy the game everybody!

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook athttp://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

I Aint Mad At Cha

The New York Knicks lost their 4th straight game on the road Sunday afternoon.  However, I can’t really yell at my favorite basketball team today.  They put forth a solid effort against a superior Los Angeles Clippers team.  By the way, Chris Paul is really really good at basketball.  I know everyone knows that, but I felt the need to reiterate that point.  If it wasn’t for Lebron James or Kevin Durant, Chris Paul would be the MVP of the league this year.  His defense is extremely underrated and his patience with the basketball is second to none.  While his defense Sunday was stellar on Raymond Felton, I found it funny that Felton waited until the game was just about out of reach to start playing hard.  Felton scored 8 of his 16 points in the 4th quarter, and he looked good doing it.  He was shaking and baking and taking the ball to the rim with authority.  If only someone, ahem like the coach, had told him to attack the basket in the 1st quarter maybe the Knicks would have had a chance in this game.  The Knicks never had a chance to win this basketball game though, however they never quit.  They kept fighting until the final buzzer, and that is the kind of effort they need to sustain when Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler return to action.  As for the game yesterday, there isn’t much to figure out.  The Knicks starting lineup consisted of Kurt Thomas, Kenyon Martin, and Chris Copeland.  That’s all you need to know to figure out how this game played out.  The Clippers defeated the Knicks 93-80, but not without putting up a fight first.  The Knicks played a tough physical brand of defense yesterday (just ask the Clippers front court if they like Kenyon Martin).  I think Kenyon Martin is really funny by the way.  Every time there is a questionable call against him, he looks at the referee and his eyes do the talking.  So now that we’re assuming that Kenyon Martin’s eyes can talk they say, “Come on man, you know you’re making that call because my name is Kenyon Martin, not because that was a foul.”  Anyway, it was an impressive feat to hold the Clippers high powered offense to only 93 points.  The only problem was the Knicks “C” squad was only able to muster up 80 points (and that included 12 3-pointers).  This game, if for nothing else, should be a nice confidence boost for Steve Novak, Jason Kidd, and Chris Copeland.  All hit 3 3-pointers, and kept their team within striking distance throughout most of this game.  Unlike everyone else in the world, I am not jumping ship on the Knicks, not just yet.  Their success depends entirely on the health of Tyson Chandler and Carmelo Anthony going forward obviously, but I see the Eastern Conference as a toss-up outside of Miami.  If the Knicks get healthy and hot at the right time, they could still make some noise in the playoffs.  For now, they will have to make do with the roster they’ve got.  We will see if they can finally win a game against a desperate Utah Jazz team on Monday night.  This is the final game of their tough 5 game road trip.  The Jazz haven’t been playing too well as of late, but they need a win to keep pace with the Lakers for the 8th and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.  You can watch the Knicks take on the Jazz Monday night at 10:30 P.M. on ESPN.

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook athttp://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

Carmelo’s Return Spoiled

Wednesday night marked the first game for Carmelo Anthony in Denver since being traded from the Nuggets.  The Denver Nuggets traded Anthony for a host of players and draft picks to the New York Knicks back in 2011.  When it comes to players being traded, sometimes you have players that become a cancer in a locker room or bring more drama to a team than a daytime soap opera.  However in Melo’s case, he and the Nuggets were in mutual agreement that it was time to move on.  Carmelo had always wanted to come back home and play in the city where he grew up, the one, the only, New York City.  At the same time, the Denver Nuggets found a way to get numerous promising young players and future draft picks in return for Anthony.  The trade turned out to be a win-win situation.  With that being said, I have never been more embarrassed for an entire fan base than I was for the IGNORANT Denver Nuggets fans that were in attendance Wednesday night.  From the second they introduced Carmelo Anthony to the starting lineup, they booed him.  As if that wasn’t bad enough, they booed him every single time he touched the ball.  To that I say, ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?  And to make matters even worse, when Melo left the game in the 3rd quarter due to a banged up knee, the fans felt it was necessary to chant, “Where is Melo?”  Really?  Does that make you feel better?  This is not like Lebron James’ situation, where he left his team high and dry and they reverted back to the horrible team they were prior to his arrival.  It is not like Melo left the city he grew up in to chase the money.  NO, he wanted to come home and play basketball in the greatest arena on earth.  Now I know that fans aren’t always as smart as they let on, but I thought they were going to get this one right.  While everyone was wondering what kind of reception Melo would get from the crowd, I kept saying they have to cheer him.  For all he did for this team, they’d be the dumbest fans in all the world to boo him.  Well, if the shoe fits…….  So clearly, the fans that filled the Nuggets arena are classless and don’t understand anything about the NBA.  They clearly can’t look at Carmelo’s career as a Denver Nugget objectively and say, man he was great, he took us to the playoffs literally every year he played here (including his rookie season).  Say what you want about Carmelo Anthony’s game.  Tell me he’s not good enough to win a championship.  Tell me his style of play is not conducive to the “team” mentality.  You can even tell me he doesn’t have the work ethic of a Lebron James or a Michael Jordan.  But don’t tell me he didn’t give the Denver Nuggets everything he had for 7+ seasons.  Don’t tell me the Nuggets would have been a playoff team 7 years in a row without him.  And, you definitely can’t tell me that he wasn’t the reason you came out to the arena to watch the team every night.  So to all the Denver Nuggets fans who booed and heckled Carmelo Anthony, I say go back to school because you obviously don’t have any class.

As for the game, it was pathetic.  Man I get tired of using that word.  As I stated earlier, Carmelo Anthony left the game in the 3rd quarter due to his knee acting up again.  Carmelo Anthony is clearly not 100%, and they need to rest him so he’s healthy for the playoffs.  If a player is going to suit up, they need to be able to give it their all, every night.  And right now, he can’t do that.  Will having his knee drained solve all of his problems?  I don’t know, but I sure hope it does.  A very scary moment came in the 2nd quarter when Tyson Chandler went down after banging knees with Corey Brewer.  As of now the Knicks are calling it a knee contusion.  When asked about it after the game, Chandler said it shouldn’t be a problem and hopefully we’ll see him in uniform Thursday night.  Thursday night they continue their tough road trip against the Portland Trailblazers, and it would serve the Knicks well to have Chandler in there to slow down LaMarcus Aldridge (he’s pretty good).  If you haven’t figured it out by now the Knicks got blown out for the second straight game.  They lost the game 117-94.  While Melo and Chandler left the game and Raymond Felton’s woes continued, there was one positive to be taken away from Wednesday nights shellacking.  Iman Shumpert showed us that he can actually score the basketball.  Since always, I’ve been preaching that he is wildly underrated on the offensive end and once his knee is back to 100%, he will show the world that he can shoot.  Last night was a prime example of that.  Shumpert scored 20 points on 8 of 10 shooting from the field (which included going 4 for 5 from 3-point range).  So being the glass half full guy that I am (haha), let us take away only the positive (yes that’s positive in the singular form because there was only one) from last night’s game.  Other than that last night’s game was a complete and total disaster, and I’m not sure it can get any worse for the New York Knicks.  They need to pick off 1 or 2 of the 3 games remaining on this road trip and crawl their way back to New York with some confidence.  Luckily for them, the Utah Jazz are playing like the worst team in the galaxy right now, and that is where they finish their road trip.  But first, they will be in Portland Thursday night to take on the Blazers.  You can find that game on TNT at 10:30 P.M.  Personally, I can’t wait for them to finish this road trip so I can start going to bed at a reasonable time.  But hey, it’s not all about me now is it?

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook athttp://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

No Superstars No Problem

On a night where the Knicks got some devastating news, they stood up against adversity together; as a group. For those of you who haven’t heard, Amar’e Stoudemire is having a procedure done on his knee that will cause him to miss at least 6 weeks. It is the same procedure he had done on his right knee, only this time it will be done on his left knee. This news comes at a time where Stoudemire’s game was finally in full swing. He was showcasing possibly the best stretch of offensive efficiency of his career, and he finally looked like he was “getting” it defensively. However, with Carmelo Anthony already sidelined with a bum knee, the Knicks would be without both of their stars Saturday night. To that they said, no problem. They went ahead and mopped the floor with the Utah Jazz. They beat them by a score of 113-84. As usual, the Knicks started out slowly finding themselves in an early hole, 11-4. Before you knew it the Knicks went on a 15-0 run, and the rest is history. It truly was a team effort as the Knicks had 5 players in double figures. Kenyon Martin filled in very nicely in Amare’s absence, and the Knicks could use more solid play from Martin the rest of the way. Steve Novak also added 5 3-pointers. The best part of this victory was the style of defense the Knicks played. Each and every member of the Knicks was swarming around the ball and forcing turnovers left and right. It is that style of play that the Knicks must continue in order to make some noise in the Eastern Conference (especially when Melo returns). With Carmelo out of the lineup it seems that the Knicks will have to turn to J.R. Smith as their leading scorer. As long as Smith can continue to attack the basket, he should be up for the task. The problem with Smith is when he becomes a ball handler or confuses himself with Steve Novak, he gets into trouble. For example, when he dribbles too much, he makes poor decisions. And when he decides to strictly be a shooter, we get to see the ugly side of Smith’s game. He is far too streaky to carry a team like the Knicks on his back while shooting 10 or more times from outside the arc. All in all it was an inspiring performance the Knicks put forth against the Jazz. Not only did they show the rest of the league they can win without their two stars, they showed that they can demolish a playoff contender. We shall see if the Knicks can continue their solid play Monday night at 10:30. The Knicks will be in Golden State to take on the Warriors. This is the first game on their treacherous 5 game road trip.

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

Melo Jr. Gives It His All

Well apparently the Knicks didn’t get the memo about Kevin Durant.  He is a beast in the 4th quarter!  Durant scored 12 of the Thunder’s 20 points in the 4th quarter and they won the game 95-94.  J.R. Smith and the Meloless Knicks gave it their all against one of the best teams in the league, but it just wasn’t enough.  J.R. Smith did his best Carmelo impression last night scoring 36 points on 29 shots.  He played a good game off the “bench”, but he couldn’t beat the Thunder by himself.  Raymond Felton and Amar’e Stoudemire both added 16 points, but the offense was pretty inefficient as a whole (they shot 40% from the field and 32% from 3 point range).  Believe it or not, the Knicks actually had a 6 point lead heading to 4th quarter, so it makes sense that they got outscored by 7 points in the 4th quarter (haha, figures).  That leads me back to my original point.  Kevin Durant is the best player in the NBA that is not named Lebron James.  The Knicks obviously didn’t realize that.  They should have been double teaming Durant in the 4th quarter and forced someone else to beat them.  Outside of Durant and Westbrook, no one else on the Thunder took more than 7 shots.  If you had doubled them and forced Serge Ibaka or Kevin Martin to beat you, I bet you would have had some success.  Unfortunately, the Knicks decided to go one on one with Kevin Durant, and he killed them when it mattered most.  I have to put most of the blame on Coach Woodson.  Mike Woodson keeps preaching that it doesn’t matter who starts games, it only matters who finishes games.  Well Mike, you continue to screw up the lineups at the end of games so what exactly are you talking about?!?!  How you don’t have Amar’e Stoudemire in against the Heat down the stretch is beyond me.  Plus last night he did the same thing with Tyson Chandler sitting him for 5 and a half of the most crucial minutes of the 4th quarter.  How many times do I have to hear about the questionable moves and substitutions from Woodson before someone questions him as a great coach?  People think because the Knicks have a good record that he must be doing a great job, but I’m here to tell you that their record could and should be even better.  Woodson needs to pull his head out of the sand and start managing his roster properly.  For starters, I like Kurt Thomas, but send him off to the nursing home already.  Secondly, James White should be a star in the D-League, not A STARTER on an NBA roster (let alone on a good NBA roster).  The next step for Woodson is to get Melo 100% and bring he and Amar’e back to the starting lineup together.  This will infuse some instant offense into the starting lineup and will keep them from getting down early in games.  It will also bring some size into the starting lineup, and while Amar’e is not a great rebounder, he’ll certainly grab more boards than James White or Kurt Thomas.  Everyone questions Amar’e’s defense, but everyone’s defense on this team is questionable besides Tyson Chandler.  At least Amar’e is trying on the defensive end, which is more than you can say about Steve Novak.  Is he not the worst defender in the NBA?  I defy you to find a worse defender in the entire NBA than Steve Novak.  Woodson should leave J.R. in his role as the 6th man, because it would make no sense to have 2 “Carmelo’s” on the floor at the same time.  If Woodson continues to bring Jason Kidd in as the backup point guard, Kidd can manage Smith’s personality and mold him in to a well-rounded basketball player.  As for size, defense, and toughness the Knicks have Chandler and need to hope and pray that the combination of Kenyon Martin and Marcus Camby can help in those departments.

Let me get back to last night’s game.  The Knicks should take only positive notes away from this loss to the Thunder.  Think about it this way, did anyone in the world besides a completely biased Knicks fan think they were going to win that game last night?  No chance in hell.  I personally thought they were going to lose by 10 points.  The fact that they had a lead heading into the 4th quarter and only lost by 1 point without their top scorer is an impressive feat if you ask me.  It would have been a nice game to steal since they have an insane schedule in March, but they should feel good about themselves moving forward.  The Knicks have a much needed day off on Friday, but will be right back in action Saturday night at home against the Utah Jazz.  Maybe we’ll see Carmelo Anthony back in uniform by then.  Either way, tune in to MSG @ 7:30 P.M. to watch the Knicks beat the Utah Jazz.

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well.  Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports.  Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!