Tag Archives: Tom Brady

The Patriots way of doing things

NFL: Miami Dolphins at New England PatriotsThe Patriots are headed back to the Super Bowl.  Again.  For the seventh time in 16 seasons, the combination of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady are going to be playing in the final game of the NFL season for the right to be the best QB-Coach tandem in history.

It got me to thinking about the teams I root for as a fan and how unlike they are.  I’ve often wondered about the Patriots dynasty and I came up with a few key areas that the Patriots excel in that other teams may not pay much attention to and I figured I may as well post this in hopes that someday an executive of one of the teams i root for will accidentally end up on this site and read this and listen.  And if you did end up here, don’t mind how snotty that last sentence sounded.

  1. The Patriots treat EVERY player the same–  I read a piece by MMQB’s Jenny Vrentas that details why the Patriots are who they are.  Its one story after the other from people who have been in the Patriots organization who have seen and witnessed Bill Belichick riding Tom Brady in practice, in the film room and everywhere else.  The moral of the story: if Tom Brady can be yelled at, you can too.  This is a great way to show the rest of the room that nobody is saved embarrassment.  If you missed a play, a tackle, a receiver, you’re going to hear about it and he doesn’t care what supermodel you date!
  2. Everyone is expendable if you don’t fit the plan– Jamie Collins was being hailed as one of the most athletic LB’s in the game a week before the Patriots decided to shock the football world and trade him.  But its just another example of the Patriots constantly evaluating themselves.  In the middle of a 14-2 campaign, its practically unheard of to ship out a starting linebacker for a draft pick but that’s exactly what Belichick did.  Why?  He was freestyling in coverage too much and not following the game plan.  Ask Lawyer Milloy who was cut one week before the season.  Milloy had started 106 games since his rookie year in 1996 and led the team in tackles the year they won the franchise’s first Super Bowl in 2001 but coming off a down year statistically, the Patriots tried to restructure his contract.  When he refused, the Patriots released him sending a message to the team and the league that the Patriots would not be held hostage by a player because of salary reasons.  How about trading Richard Seymour in the middle of his prime to the Raiders?  Or trading Mike Vrabel, a team leader because his best years were behind him but still getting value in return.  How about letting the most clutch postseason kicker of all time go because he wanted more money and the Patriots didn’t feel the kicker deserved more money?  Safe to say if Belichick doesn’t value you anymore he won’t hesitate to move you for future considerations.
  3. The Patriots believe the culture they preach-  It starts with the owner and continues with the coach and the QB.  The three most important heads of the Patriot institution believe in the absoluteness of the Patriot way and it has paid off.  Nevermind the years Brady was left without quality receivers because the Pats refused to pay top dollar for any free agent or the fact that he refused to pay his own free agents if he thought the price was too exorbitant.  Tom Brady has been underpaid his entire career and that’s not for any other reason than that’s what he’s asked to do and sacrifice for the sake of the team.  If you aren’t willing to sacrifice for the team, forget about being on it.
  4. The organization has a plan and finds players to fit that plan, even if it means reinventing itself- The Patriots have found themselves on the cutting edge of defense and offense.  They went after athletic tight ends in the 2010 draft, when they picked Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez and employed them in various ways in order to gain a physical advantage.  When injuries befell the secondary, Belichick had Troy Brown play corner during the season.  Belichick knows how to game plan but is a terrific evaluator of talent.  For years he’s played 3-4 and 4-3.  He’s had run first offenses and now pass first offenses.  He’s done everything to stay ahead of the competition even if they weren’t fair.  But he does it because he wants to win and has an insatiable competitive drive.
  5. The Patriots have seen it all before- No team seems ready for the final minutes of games than the Patriots because they pay attention to every tiny detail.  Preparation is the key to success- an old proverb that only the wise pay attention to.  The Pats execution in the waning minutes of halves and games are a testament to how they are coached up to respond in these situations.  You can tell the teams that are prepared for the two minute drills and those who aren’t.  The Patriots seemingly always get them right even if the results aren’t there.  Why?  Because Belichick has been preparing for every single scenario since he began coaching and he teaches his team to do so as well.  Whatever the drill, the Patriots are ready.

 

These may seem like very simple things but its very difficult for other organizations to mirror them because they aren’t built with firm beliefs and ideas as the Patriots are.  They believe in something and go about operating under that truth-whether you agree with them or not.  These 5 examples aren’t meant to encompass every reason why the Patriots are successful, but it is meant to be a starting point, a manual to teams who are trying to get better.  Who better to follow than the team going to yet another super bowl after making yet another conference championship game and after winning yet another division.  It all seems easy, but that’s because the Patriots way makes it look easy.

 

 

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Headlines 1/14/13

After I posted an article about how bland the Divisional Round of the Playoffs usually are and writing a lengthy article about maybe one or two games you should be watching, the Divisional Round of the playoffs went and shut me up good.  We’ll get to Saturday’s games at some point today, but for now, its the Atlanta Falcons hosting the San Francisco 49ers after they squeaked by the Seattle Seahawks yesterday 30-28.  Nick Eaton of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer writes that the future is bright for Seattle despite the loss thanks to the play and (the hopeful) continued progression of rookie QB Russell Wilson.  Meanwhile, Nick Schultz of the Atlanta Journal Constitution writes that the Falcons decided to take every single fan on a rollercoaster ride of emotions on Sunday without any pause to give fans rest, but they finally did it.

In Beantown, Tom Brady and the Patriots once again dominated the Houston Texans and won 41-28 thanks to some unlikely heroes for the Pats, namely Shane Vereen.  Opportunity knocked and Shane Vereen, aka next man up, answered the call for the Pats writes Michael Whitmer of Boston.com.  Tania Ganguli of the Houston Chronicle writes that the Texans will have a ton of what ifs as they dissect this season.  In other news, JJ Watt said its customary, home or away, for him to spit on the field and wipe the spit with his feet.  It just so happened that his spit landed on the Pats logo which caused a pregame stir. Jackie Mac of ESPNBoston wrote that perhaps that Monday Night win wasn’t a fluke, and the Pats are just that much better than the Texans.  There was bad news for Pats fans, they will be without superstar TE Rob Gronkowski for the remainder of the playoffs thanks to him reinjuring his forearm and this time breaking it.  Now comes the fairy tale that is the Ray Lewis thank you tour coming into town.

I’m not going to really delve that deep into the Pats/Texans game because I, and from the looks of it, most NFL fans knew what the result was going to be.  When the Texans Daneal Manning ran the opening kickoff deep into Patriots territory, I thought for a brief moment that maybe this day would be different, but that was quickly erased from my mind when the Patriots held the Texans to 3 points.  You can’t settle for three points playing against Tom Brady when you get that deep.  You have to convert and you have to score and the Texans just couldn’t do it and that told you all you needed to know.  When the Pats went up 7-3 and then 10-3, it felt like 35-3 and you just never got the sense that Matt Schaub was going to lead the Texans back.  The Texans just don’t have that many offensive weapons.  Yes, their defense was missing a few key pieces but this league is about match ups and the Patriots are just a terrible match up for the Texans.  Their defense got enough initial pressure but it was based on blitzing and against Tom Brady you can’t send an extra defender on the blitz because he’s the best QB at reading coverage and finding the one on one or one on none match ups and exploiting them.  The stats tell you the story.  He gets better when the blitz and pressure are put on him.  You have to get pressure from the front four and the Pats offensive line has been doing a brilliant job of getting that pressure on.  

The Ravens will be more of a challenge thanks to the talents of Haloti Ngata and Terrell Suggs and Ray Lewis being there at LB.  But according to ESPN Stats and info, Tom Brady has the quickest release in all of the NFL at 3 seconds.  The key for the Ravens will be to get pressure from the front four and hope that coverage holds up long enough to keep them honest.  The Pats being without Rob Gronkowski will help the Ravens but as the Texans found out, the Pats have more secret weapons stashed away for them to use and they know how to use it.

I’m torn in the other game about what to say.  On the one hand, yes Seattle has nothing to be ashamed of.  They played their butts off, and they almost won the game.  But how can you ignore all the mistakes they made in the first half?  That first half put them in such a terrible spot going into the second half that if they had just played a bit better, they would’ve won.  Had they taken the three points in the first quarter, they would’ve won.  Had Wilson just thrown the ball away and left a few seconds on the clock and kicked another FG, they would’ve won the game.  Thats six points they gave up due to stupid playcalling (by rule you always take the points on the road no matter what) and by terrible clock management (had no timeouts to get the FG team out and Wilson took the sack).  That second half was enough to convince me that Seattle is the better team of the two, but the first half shows how much work they have to do.  Down 14-0 against the Redskins and 20-0 and then 27-7 against the Falcons put the Seahawks in a bind but they showed mental toughness and resiliency, two huge attributes to have during this time of year, that show that next year they won’t come as a surprise to anyone and there are lessons to grasp at here.

If I’m the Niners, I watched that second half and started licking my chops.  The intermediate areas were open all day for Wilson and he wisely took what the defense gave him.  There’s no doubt that they are wiping the sweat off their brow because going against the Seahawks may have been a tougher task but they will gladly take the away game against the Falcons over a home game against their division rivals.  The Seahawks know the Niners and would’ve easily been a tougher match up but the way Colin Kaepernick played Saturday, it may not have mattered who played against the Niners on Sunday.  

Yes Matt Ryan exercised demons on Sunday, but not before making Falcons fans sweat.  There was a sequence in that game where you saw all the confidence flushed from his face and him saying over and over again in his head “this is not happening.  Not again.”  I felt bad, but then he came with :31 seconds left and threw two beautiful passes to set up Matt Bryant’s game winning field goal.  I hope all the head coaches who think icing the kicker is a solid strategy watched Sunday as Matt Bryant shanked the first attempt.  I’ve never been a fan of the icing the kicker strategy as it is used in the NFL because making a kicker think about it is fine, but you call the timeout well before he gets to attempt a practice field goal.  You’re giving the guy a mulligan.  If you want him to think about the field goal then as soon as it seems like the team is lining up for a FG attempt you call the timeout.  Let him sit and stew about it and give him one shot at trying to make it.  That’s the best strategy and I hope that we end this silly strategy of icing the kicker as he’s taking his first shot at it.  But making the guy kick a pseudo practice FG is stupid and basically negates anything you were trying to accomplish in the first place.  Either you give the guy confidence that he will hit it, or you give the guy a better understanding of what not to do when attempting it for real.  

The Knicks ended their three game slide by defeating the New Orleans Hornets 100-87 Sunday thanks to 27 points from Carmelo Anthony.  Next up is a trip to London to take on a good young Pistons team.  That may be what the doctor ordered according to Jared Swerling of ESPNNY.com.  Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News writes that the Knicks feasted on a young Anthony Davis who didn’t do anything spectacular on Sunday.  Postgame was fun thanks to Amare’s revelation that he’s been on a vegan diet for the last three months and Carmelo Anthony was fasting for fifteen days. Nate Taylor of the New York Times writes that the Knicks were calling this a must win game for the and for several stretches, they played like it.

So Carmelo has been fasting for fifteen days huh?  Is it coincidental that he and the Knicks would get off to such slow starts or are there other reasons?  Who knows, but atleast we have another theory now to go with because I was lost.  Yes, the Knicks were playing some of the better defensive teams in the NBA in Chicago and Indiana and Boston this week, bu still, their offense seemed to play every bit the age Knicks fans were afraid they would wind up playing.  I said a few days ago that the Knicks are somewhere between the 18-5 team that shot out of the gate to begin the season and the team that struggled these last three games.  They weren’t as bad as they showed in Indiana, but they may not be as good as they showed in their early season win streak.  Look, the Knicks have a ton of talent and with Iman Shumpert’s return (he’s set to make his season debut against the Pistons on Thursday), I’m sure the Knicks will look better.  But then again, the Knicks are also hoping to get Rasheed Wallace back and Marcus Camby back and Raymond Felton back, so the never ending line of excuses for why the Knicks are playing so poorly won’t end with a Melo fast.  They aren’t at full strength.  I’m not going to judge the Knicks until they are whole, but at what point will they be whole again?  With this team, and its age, they are a fragile bunch.  Camby seems to get injured a ton and there’s no real timetable for Wallace’s return unless a day to day gives fans an exact timing on the healing process.  They are an old team with tons of veteran guidance but if they don’t have them playing what’s the use?

I’m looking forward to this road trip especially playing against the Pistons who are figuring things out as of late.  Their record doesn’t reflect the young talent they have that’s starting to flourish.  Greg Monroe is a very good center.  Andre Drummond is a rebounding machine and has tons of untapped potential as a finisher in this league.  Brandon Knight can turn into a very good point guard though I think his ceiling is limited.  The Pistons won’t be a lay up win for the Knicks and so they will have to take this next game seriously and win.  Getting Shumpert back will be helpful but the Knicks constantly having to work guys back into the rotation is tough to gain any kind of consistent play.  The Knicks will play better once they have everyone healthy and whole and will be able to wear teams out without wearing their own team out.  Jason Kidd has played 30 minutes or more in 10 of their last 14 games.  That kind of heavy workload consistently does not bode well for the elder statesman.  Here’s hoping that Felton gets back sooner and Shump can hold down the fort as he’s recovering as well.  

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Daily Rounds 12/19/2011

After being away for two days, I come back to you to bring you Tebow down to earth, the Jets and Giants limping into their showdown on Christmas Eve.  The Baron Davis experiment.  And some fun links to get you through yet another Monday.  ENJOY!

On a day where neither team could ill afford a let down game, BOTH New York area football teams gave their respective fan bases the kind of game that can come back to haunt

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them in their quest to make the playoffs.  The Giants lost at home to the Redskins 23-10 while the Jets got blown out in Philly 45-19.  Gary Meyers said yesterday’s performance was indicative of so many Tom Coughlin teams.  They face the indignity of elimination at the hands of the Jets if they win and the Cowboys beat the Eaglehan city-wide pride.  If that’s not enough for you, in yesterday’s post game press conference Antrell Rolle called out his teammates who didn’t partake in practice during the week and Tuck answered by saying “its easy when you do it with another man’s body”.  

Here it is for Giant fans.  Win the next two games and there’s no discussion.  The Giants will win the division.  Lose next week and then beat the Cowboys and hope the Eagles lose one of two and they win the division.  EITHER WAY, that week 17 matchup comes up to be huge.  I dont know what to say about yesterday’s effort by either team but I will say this.  I’ve never been a fan of Antrell Rolle and the microphone together, but yesterday he said something that needed to be said.

I get that Justin Tuck is hurt and if he is.  If he’s really hurt, then he needs to sit out some games.  Tuck has shown me NOTHING through the last six games that he’s played that would lead me to believe he has much of anything in the tank and that’s probably due to his neck stinger.  He’s been called out all year by former teammates and now by current ones.  That has to be troubling to the defensive captain and frankly, I dont care.  Tuck has been sensitive and sissy like when it comes to addressing concerns regarding his health.  Look, I’m not a medical expert but if he’s really hurt then he needs to be handled that way.  He needs to sit out and not take up space.  He’s a valuable member of the defense but NOT at 60% which it looks like he’s playing.  Offensive linemen are handling him on one on one situations and yesterday’s game he was being tossed aside like a rag doll and the Giants were not getting any kind of pressure.  No Osi, and virtually no Tuck which leaves ONLY JPP as the real threat for the defense and he again was the only guy who seemed to play like he cared.

Rolle’s astute observation aside, this coverage unit is a liability at this point.  They were horrendous in tackling as well.  Prince Amukamara fell for virtually every single move that any receiver he was facing was throwing at him.  The kid will get better, but he was being burned at every available turn and deserved the half time benching knowing that this was basically a game they HAD to have.

IF the Giants and Jets won yesterday, Saturday’s game may not have meant as much.  The Giants have had plenty of games like that where they could’ve won.  They were on their way to victories over Seattle, the Niners and the Eagles.  Three wins that IF they had back, they could’ve clinched the division by last Sunday.  But the Giants have not played a full game where all three facets of the team have come together.

Speaking of three facets of the team not coming together, the Jets got beat up and down by the Eagles who by the way aren’t done in the NFC East race either.  SHOULD they win out and all three teams wind up with an 8-8 record, yes it will be the Eagles winning the division by virtue of a better divisional record and making all the experts look like geniuses.  Thankfully there is a very remote chance of that happening but yes, that CAN happen.  So don’t rule it out completely.  In fact, I think that’s probably the most likely scenario given how the Eagles absolutely HANDLED the Cowboys in their first meeting and how the Eagles have looked in the past two weeks: you know like the dominant team everyone expected them to be.  Either way the biggest take away from this game for the Jets: they had better fix the secondary immediately.  I mean the third level where the safeties are.  Brodney Poole is a liability in coverage and they have NOBODY there to match up with the tight end.  David Harris doesn’t have the speed and Bart Scott has quietly had one of the worst seasons of his career.  The Jets will have to figure that out quickly.  They are now in a tie for the Wild Card.  The Jets control their fate.  Win out and they are in.

All in for Saturday.  It will be interesting to see how this goes.

In the other major game yesterday, the Tim Tebow led Denver Broncos were brought down to earth by competition that they were not better than yesterday.  The Patriots, coupled with the Jets loss, also clinched the AFC East crown for the 9th time in 11 years.  What happened?  Greg Bedard says that the defense, which sunk to depths they didn’t know existed, changed the course of the game.  Dan Shaughnessy said that it was just routine for these AFC assassins.  Tebow time didn’t get a chance to start up thanks to a few costly turnovers says Don Banks of SI.com.  Judy Batista of the New York Times said that yesterday restored order to conventional wisdom that says that Tim Tebow and the Broncos can’t be successful.  Woody Paigesaid that despite the luck that seemed to hover over the Broncos for the last two months wasn’t there at Mile High, the Broncos still received help thanks to a poor showing by the Raiders who lost a lead and the game against the Lions.  Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post hit the nail right in the head when he said

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“while Tebow has earned the right to operate this team in 2012, the offense must evolve to the point where Denver can play more than one way.”  Finally, Mike Silver of Yahoo Sports said it best: Tim Tebow learned a valuable lesson at the hands of the master.  

Look, nobody’s a bigger fan of this guy than me.  As a football fan I’ve never seen anything like Tim Tebow.  I think that goes for everybody else.  But I saw this coming a mile away.  But those who want to point to Tim Tebow as the reason they lost may want to think again.  Yes, this showed that Tim Tebow can NOT keep up with a high flying offense.  This showed that unless they work out his throwing motion and develop him more as a pure pocket passer, the Broncos won’t be able to sustain good performances against good teams.  But let’s forget all that for a minute.

In a span of 9 offensive plays, the Broncos fumbled three times.  Twice they were recovered by the Patriots and they scored 10 points off those turnovers.  One of the fumbles also resulted in a three and out which wound up being a field goal.  That’s thirteen points that the Broncos GAVE the Patriots.  Take those points away, and its 16-14 heading into the half.  Then you put that seven on the board from the third, the Patriots are up 21-16 heading into the fourth quarter.  Imagine that game going into the fourth quarter with Tebow just a touchdown away from winning it.  You have to entertain the possibility because when the team is close, they believe.  They have unending faith.  That’s what I’ve seen from the Broncos in those fourth quarters.  They have undying faith that they will win the game and so that quarter could’ve gone either way.  If the Patriots had gained the momentum and not put that 20 spot in the second quarter, the Broncos and Patriots go into that fourth and it turns into a different game.  Who knows, the Patriots may have won but yesterday was not a shoot out.  No.  Yesterday was not about Tom Brady and the Patriots scoring more points than the Broncos by just sheer machine like efficiency.  No, it was the Broncos giving them opportunities deep in their own territory and now giving the offense a chance by keeping it close.

Most teams in the NFL won’t do that and can’t recover from that.  And that in the end is the point folks.  Let’s start looking at this team from a reasonable point of view.  Let’s not differentiate them and put them in a different class.  That they are not.  The premise behind that is wrong and is what gives talk show heads so much to talk about.  Yes, everybody is different in their own special way.  But Tebow should not get more credit for running this unconventional (by pro-standards) offense anymore than Tom Brady gets overvalued in my estimation for the Patriots Super Bowl victories.  Yes, he won them but let’s be real, he never led touchdown drives to win games, he led drives that ended up in field goals and Adam Viniatieri kicked the Patriots into history.

The fact is, this is JUST another NFL quarterback.  He’s JUST another second year QB.  And that’s how he should be evaluated.  Free from the emotion of what he represents.  He’s a great story but every story has an end.  Was yesterday the end?  I dont know.  Tebow has proven that he can answer the critics and the critics have no answers for the way he seemingly pulls games out.  No one can dispute ths 7-1 record but most want to dispute the fact that he is a viable NFL Quarterback.  But they are looking at him from the narrow minded view point of traditional drop back passers like Tom Brady.  And that’s how they should be.  There is no comparative player in this generation.  Even the Fran Tarkentons weren’t built like Tebow.  No way could Fran ever have pulled off that 9 yard TD run that Tebow pulled off in the first quarter.  But if the Broncos ever needed a wake up call from this hallucinogen that the Tebow saga has had them on, this was it.

Brady was simple.  Brady was precise.  Brady was everything we expected.  He was probably the anti-Christ in this game but he was the anti-dote for the Broncos.  They need to wake up from this dream that everyone has been swept up in.  Yes he’s a great player but there’s work to be done and now most are beginning to see it.  There’s a game against Buffalo next week IN Buffalo that will surely have people ranting and raving about him again.  The Bills have packed up and gone home and then they finish off the season against the Chiefs.  Those perfect season ruining Chiefs.  They are in the drivers seat thanks to the Lions beating the Raiders in comeback fashion.  The Broncos need only win out and then its the playoffs and if Tebow has proven ANYTHING is possible.

But yesterday was their first taste of something real.  Every week seemed to have something set up so that they would be victorious.  The Bears minus Cutler and Forte.  The Vikings minus Adrian Peterson. The Jets minus an offense and oxygen to the head on that final play.  The Broncos had victories seemingly served up and give them credit, they accepted the hand outs and rode the wave.  But anyone who didn’t see yesterday’s game coming was drinking heavily from the communion wine.  Tom Brady was not going to let Tebow have the crown and all the fun.  Brady reminded us all that it takes more than just one man to win games.  He passed, he scored and the entire Patriot team came together for that win and now they stand at 11-3.  Masters of their own fate and able to win out and get that first round bye.  Of course they will need Pittsburgh to lose tonight.  But yesterday was a dose of reality for a Bronco team that needed it desperately.

If the Broncos want to win, it will be imperative that they improve Tim Tebow.  He has all the intangibles and he’s got all the stuff that people like you or I can’t see or explain.  Now its time to see tangible results.  Things that can help the argument:  Tim Tebow is a good NFL Quarterback.  Lord knows that most Tebow-supporters have prayed for that day to come.

Baron Davis will join the New York Knicks and make it official by today.  Marc Berman says that the initial diagnosis of 8-10 weeks was meant to scare off teams that may have bid for the Baron’s services.  Knicks medical staffers took a look into his medical reports and decided that he would be able to play in about a month.  Davis only wanted to play for three teams: his hometown Los Angeles Lakers, the Knicks and the Heat.  All three of those teams would NOT have been able to bid during the amnesty auction due to their cap situation.   Also contained within this report is that the Knicks still have the veteran’s minimum of $1.4 mil to dangle and perhaps Al Thornton will be a good fit as they have spoken to his representatives.  In this report, Berman (who’s been the biggest news scooper this side of Alan Hahn for Knick fans) also says that Spike Lee began to plant the seed early on for Tyson Chandler’s free agent welcome to New York.  Mitch Lawrence is a little less than enthused by the Baron Davis signing, saying that it speaks more to what the Knicks don’t have than their trust in what Baron Davis DOES have.  

I’m in the latter category.  The Knicks have a solid core.  Yes, I don’t like Mike Bibby because he’s a liability on defense.  Then there’s Toney Douglass who’s a liability on offense.  Then there’s Imam Shumpert who outside of one impressive preseason game has nothing to show for himself.  And so the Baron Davis experiment begins albeit only by around MLK day as the Knicks are telling it.  The Knicks are a promising team.  They have a front court that makes others drool but their second team is a huge question mark and in a shortened season where they will need to rest their guys especially Amar’e for long stretches on those tough back to back night games which will be early and often, the hope here is that something pans out from that second group.  They will be counted on.  Which is why teams that are 8-10 deep are probably assured of the most success while teams that are top heavy will find the road the hardest.

The Knicks are top heavy.  Unless they get some scoring from Bill Walker and Bibby turns back the clock some, and the rookie shows more than just flashes in a preseason game, the Knicks will be woefully thin and they will be forced to play games where they will need huge performances from their superstars to maintain.  The Knicks don’t have that much size but if what we saw from Jorts Harrleson is true, then the Knicks may have some depth on the other end.  D’Antoni after the Nets game made a very interesting point: Carmelo Anthony may be their best passer.  Which tells you what you need to know.  The Knicks will lean more on Anthony to lead the team.  Amar’e is the heart and soul of this team and we give him that.  He’s the guy who came to NY when no one else would.  He led the renaissance last year.  But Carmelo is by far the best player on the team and he needs to take that next step in his evolution.  Running the offense through him will be better and give the Knicks more opportunities.  The best pick and roll I saw from the Knicks was the one he and Amar’e ran and that’s the kind of easy offense the Knicks can have when those two superstars are working in tandem.

I will get more into that in my season preview on Friday.

But this move was made, in my opinion, more as an indictment of what we don’t have than what we do have in the back court.  Baron Davis comes with huge question marks, bad back not included.  There are questions of chemistry.  Of work ethic.  Of motivation.  His defensive ability.  Of his overall ability declining.  But talent like his comes along rarely.  When motivated, Davis is a beast.  A threat to throw down 20 points dish out thirteen assists including four or five wow alley oops to willing partcipants: Amar’e and Melo (though you may want to add Shump to that list because he looks like an athletic freak too).  BUT the big question is which Baron will show up and how often will good Baron be the one that puts on the uniform and how long this love fest will last.

I’m not holding my breath.  My hope is that Toney Douglas improves as the season progresses and Shump has a monster season and proves the Knick draftniks right when they drafted him so that Davis’ presence will only be peripheral and not in the main view of the Knicks vision which currently is on a championship.

Howard Beck of the New York Times says that a New York rivalry can be revived at the drop of a Dwight, i mean Dime should the Nets make a huge acquisition themselves.  The Clippers deal for CP3 shows how quickly a city can come alive for that. 

Mark Heisler wrote one of the funniest mock letters to Donald Sterling pleading with him NOT to mess this up.  

Sending out a Praise God for the news of Celtic Jeff Green who had an aortic aneurysm treated thanks to a last minute check up.  The condition will sideline Green for the season, an unfortunate set back but wonderful news considering what could’ve been had they not discovered it.  

Ben Bolch looks at the fascinating life that IS Metta World Peace.  Thug.  Humanitarian.  Bench player for the Los Angeles Lakers.  

Just click this link Lebron Haters and enjoy.  Thanks Dallas Fort Worth Telegram.  

 

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