Wednesday, April 27th, 2011 at 11:25 am  |  12 responses

A Look Forward

Skyzoo takes on the future of the Knicks.

by Skyzoo

Wassup world, it’s Skyzoo checking in for week 2 of my Chain Link Champions blog series for SLAM. As stated last week, I’ll be here every Wednesday recapping the League’s events of the week prior, as well as chiming in with my views and takes on what’s been played. With that being said, it’s with great sadness that I begin to write the entry I didn’t wanna have to write: My beloved NYK’s are out of the Playoffs.

Off top, congrats to the Knicks for making the Playoffs for the first time in seven years. For the biggest city in the world (…”in the world Craig, the WORLD…”) to not have its professional basketball team in the Playoffs for seven years is mind blowing. So for the higher ups to put the pieces together to do so at the last minute and pull it off is admirable to say the very least. The city now has a team to be proud of and can openly rep without expecting a joke or laugh to follow behind it. Regardless of the outcome of the series, the reality of us being a top seed in the east is about two years away, at the most. Beautiful music.

The Chauncey Billups situation is a tough one. As a leader, finals MVP trophy owner, blueprint for “how to be a PG,” Chauncey is one of a kind. This is the guy who Russell Westbrook and Derrick Rose said they looked up to and learned everything from in the 2010 World Basketball Classic last summer. The guy who pulls Toney Douglas to the side while in a suit and shows him how to attempt to stop Rondo by using Andy Rauntins (also in a suit) as a guide during time out huddles. The guy who, is pretty much, “the guy.” The problem is, the Roses and Westbrooks who he schooled last summer were listening, and they’re 12 years younger than he is, with the calves to match. As dope as Chauncey is, I’m not sure if he can keep up with the Roses, DWills, Westbrooks, CP3s, Rondos, Jennings, etc. of the new PG-led NBA. At most, the higher ups will pick up his contract for one more year, but the reality is, we need another PG for a good five year stretch to youthfully and explosively run the team at the 1 spot. Thus where both the realistic dilemma and the sweetest dream both lie.

To me, this offseason is about changing the bench, completely. The biggest concerns for us as of now are centers, point guards, and a good shooting guard to start. I personally like Landry Fields’ game and think he had a great first half of a season, but he should definitely be a first option off the bench. As I said Sunday on Twitter (@therealskyzoo), I’d like to see an OJ Mayo type of player come over to the 2 spot. One who can run a little bit when needed and has some height, but is primarily a “shoot the lights out” type of player. Doesn’t need the ball on every possession, but can get you 16 pts/5 rbs EVERY NIGHT. Add that to Melo’s 25 pts/7 rbs and Amar’e's 24 pts/8 rbs, and that’s a pretty serious core to build around. In a perfect world, a Kendrick Perkins clone, worth 8 pts/14 rbs/4 blks per game who’s around 7-1 would be at the 5, and then, by the grace of the basketball Gods, CP3 chipping in 15 pts/12 asts/4 stls would easily have us on the road to the banners.

Bench-wise, keep Shawne Williams, Billy Walker, Landry Fields (who I’d move to the bench but bring in around eight minutes into the first quarter), Toney Douglas, Anthony Carter, and Derrick Brown. Everyone else GOES. Use the remaining four seats on two more back-up bigs (6-10-7-1 heighted players), another shooter, a la JJ Reddick, and a Greivis Vasquez-type of young PG. I actually wanted us to draft Vasquez, the 2010 recipient of the Naismith Collegiate award for best point guard in the nation (which was awarded to Jimmer Fredette this year). Memphis got the jump on us and picked up Greivis before our turn, and we drafted Andy Rautins, and THEN Landry Fields. Ironic, right?

So, a perfect world would and could look like this:

1) Chris Paul
2) OJ Mayo
3) Carmelo Anthony
4) Amare Stoudemire
5) Kendrick Perkins’ clone

Bench: Landry Fields, Derrick Brown, Toney Douglas, Anthony Carter, Shawne Williams, Billy Walker, Greivis Vasquez, two bigs (6’10-7’1) and JJ Reddick.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you put together a team. Or at least a dream.

So let’s pray that the Dolans and Walshs of the NYK world read rapper blogs. Til next week, see y’all by the Chain Links.

Sidebar: I had all types of intentions of covering the OKC/DEN, LA/NO, CHI/IND, ORL/ATL, MEM/SA and MIA/PHI series this week, but being that this was the Knicks’ first Playoffs in seven years, my blue and orange family deserved a full congrats and breakdown at once. “What you want me to do? I’m sorry!”

Sidebar 2: My Duck Down records fam are doing another NBA 2K contest for MC’s to be on NBA 2K12. As an NBA 2K alumni (2K11), it’s an extremely dope feeling to be both on and in a video game. Get with it at www.duckdown.com for more details on how to be involved.


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  • RunNGun

    A perfect Knicks world would look like this: Chris Paul, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, and Amar`e Stoudemire. The second unit would be: Ricky Rubio, Monta Ellis, Landry Fields, Kevin Love, and Nene. Other bench warmers: Toney Douglas, Wilson Chandler, and Turiaf. MAKE IT HAPPEN WALSH!

  • http://slamonline.com The Black Rick Kamla

    lmao at the Friday after Next reference…I agree for the most part man, but more than anything there needs to be a shift in identity. If I’m a Knick fan, I want a Tony Allen. I want a cat thats just look the opposing 2-3 in the eyes and let him know this entire game is just gonna be ugly. I personally look at guys like Ronny Turiaf and even Shelden Williams as capable bigs that could benefit this team greatly with good minutes if there was any type of culture of defense preached in that locker room……. on another note, I was thinking the other day about Kemba Walker in NY. An energy guy off the bench in that same vain of a Nate Robinson but maybe closer to a Darren Collison. Blazing speed, danger on every break…Toney Douglas does his thing, but It’d be nice to have a little more ‘juice’ so to speak from that 1-2. Great entry Zoo, I’ll be lookin forward to these

  • http://www.blockmuzikradio.com DJ Rhude

    Dope read and as a Knick fan I pretty much agree with your sentiments



  • Jono

    Stern <3 Rose. Stern <3 Durant. Thus, Rose v Durant in 2011 NBA Finals.

  • MikeC.

    I’d keep Turiaf. He was excellent in his role with the Lakers, which was to sit at the end of the bench, cheer really hard, wave towels like battle flags, and foul hard in limited minutes. Turiaf is a decent reserve big, he just gets eaten up by starting bigs. He’s a backup 4, not a starting 5.

  • MikeC.

    Sidebar about Shelden Williams – that dude is a didick. I went to the Grizz-Knicks game in March and he and Balkman were the only Knicks who wouldn’t sign autographs before the game. Well, Melo wouldn’t sign but he posed for pics with some little kids. Amare signed for a few people. Landry Fields and Andy Rautins signed for everyone. Even Jared Jeffries, who looked like he’d rather eat broken glass than sign autographs, signed for a few kids. Every Knick signed or took some pics except Williams. He just walked past everyone and ignored a little kid in a Duke jersey. Didick.

  • MikeC.

    Balkman didn’t sign because nobody that I saw asked him, so he gets a pass. Obscurity has its benefits.

  • brawn

    there is no realism to this at all. the knicks most likely arent going to be able to pull in a third super star (CP3 type) player next year. They wont have anything to give NOLA in return except chauncey. The most important steps for them to take this year is use the mid level exception to sign a true pass-first point guard (ridnour) and/or a rebounding center/pf (dalembert maybe). Another recommendation would be to trade a player (toney/landry) or cash & their 17 draft pick to move up in the draft. If we can get one of the better college point point guards in the draft, no need to sign one in free agency. Just get a solid center. Point guard and Center are top priorities for the Knicks. Shooting guard could be found easily. Get rid of shelden williams, balkman, rautins, turiaf, for sure. Trade them for something. Keep A. Carter, Billy Walker, and Shawne Williams as reserves. Toney Douglas and Landry can be used as trade chips or kept, either way, but definitely not starters. Im really happy with where NYK has gotten this year and even if they make a few dumb moves this year its fine. As long as were relevant im happy.

  • freezaburn

    Sky-Forget B-Ball when yo next album dropping you a breath of fresh air for the game. I really am listening to the power of words as a found this blog–CLASSIC

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  • http://allsportseverything.com/ Sdotrenee

    nice! i agree, it was def refreshing having the knicks matter again!

    but one of the knicks’ biggest issues that you didn’t address is coaching. we need to get d’antonio out of here. we need a defensive minded coach that can prepare us to compete against the heat, bulls, and celtics, all teams known for playing D. D’antoni isn’t that guy. i think that’s what frustrated me most about the knicks this season. d’antoni had no idea how to adjust mid-game and it showed.

    yes, we’re still a couple of players away(pg and center) but I think coaching is a larger issue.

    also, when we traded half of our team away for Melo, our 3 pt. game went away with it. We need to add a 3 pt. threat back to the team.

    unfortunately this lockout is going to stall everything, so it might be a while before we see the next moves made by Dolan and Walsh.

    dope read.