- This bullet is New York-focused and for good reason: most of the good vibes going towards the Knicks these days has automatically been correlated to head coach Mike D'Antoni. His "seven seconds or less" offense is still a work in progress and the schedule has been favorable because of short-handed teams, but the Knicks have something else thast has carried them over: small forward Wilson Chandler.
It has been quite a while since the Knicks have had the sort of athleticism at the three-spot on both ends of the floor; arguably since Bernard King was dropping 800 points on those sorry New Jersey Nets squads in the early eighties. This is not to say that Chandler will suddenly have his name in the Hall of Fame or even the MSG rafters, but he's been the young, dynamic two-way player that the Knicks have needed for years. He played well late last season, but it is this season in which the NBA fans will get to know what he's all about. Fourteen points a game, just under 6 rebounds and a block in 28 minutes may not sound like much, but Chandler has a solid repetoire to work with: spin moves to the basket, very good size to defend shooting guards and small forwards, plays the mid-range game and he does not turn the ball over much when he's on the court.
A friend said he could be an All-Star in this league. Let's start with early candidacy for Most Improved Player of the Year honors.
- Someone seriously needs to sit Daniel Gibson down and talk with him about his hair.
- That Atlanta Hawks - Boston Celtics game Wednesday night was as good as it gets. It was the highest rated game in the history of the Boston area Comcast SportsNet affiliate. As commented here in Fang's Bites, I wonder if this was because Celtics fans were expecting fireworks because of that epic first-round playoff series last year or because the Hawks are the point of intrigue.
- Something that may have slipped under the radar: is the Ginobili rule taking effect as players and referees are mindful to not flop or are the officials just letting these guys play through?
- Eleven and a half years ago, the Washington Bullets renamed themselves into the Wizards because owner Abe Pollin wanted to shed a name with violent connotations, considering the rising homocide rate in DC. While this idea may not stem from a similar civic duty, can we have a new campaign for the Oklahoma City Thunder? Well, maybe it's not the name, but the kalediscope of colors make themselves look more like the junior Knicks than their own team.
There should also be a contest for the Charlotte Bobcats, but that's for another day.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
It's still very early in the NBA season, but a few quick observations: