Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Knicks and Nets Battle in New Jersey for Final Time

From the desks of:

Next Stop  ~  An Inner-City Rivalry!




Thirty-five seasons of the New York/New Jersey interstate rivalry conclude tonight.  For this will be the last time the Knicks will tip-off against the Nets in New Jersey.  The next time the Knicks visit the Nets for a road game, they will be hopping on a bus headed to Brooklyn for a game in Barclays Center.

Barclays Center ~ View from Dean Street at Sixth Avenue

For the Nets, this will be a rather inglorious final clash between these teams in New Jersey.  Deron Williams will miss tonight's game with an injury.  And the Nets have since been eliminated from playoff contention after a regular season; that outside of surprisingly good play from some of their most junior members; is worthy of little words.

For the Knicks, in order to unleash the greatness of Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks needed to be torn apart along the perforated edges first.  In the Melo System, apparently there is only room for one star.  Namely, the Media has reduced Amare Stoudemire, and Jeremy Lin, to mere flickers of light now.  And with Melo being the dominant force of gravity in the Knicks's universe, Landry Fields has also apparently been swallowed up by a black hole.

Then again, a rook name Iman Shumpert has carved out his own way no matter who's on the court.  And thank goodness for him.

Melo is right where he wants to be now; out from under Mike D'Antoni.  And say what you will about how the team has played under Mike Woodson, Melo is The Man right now due to a simple matter of attrition.  The same problems the Knicks had before, will be revisited once Amare comes back, or, tries to come back, and will worsen should the Knicks still be playing by the time Jeremy Lin gets back.  In the mean time, with everyone out of his way, including Mike D'Antoni, Melo is free to rule his world as he sees fit.  Because outside of a guy like Amare, Melo's team mates know exactly where their bread is being buttered right now.

That's not to say Melo hasn't been doing everything he can to help his team win lately; to include playing defense.  He has.  My thing is he just chose not to do it for D'Antoni.  Don't get me wrong, I think Mike Woodson is far better for the Knicks than D'Antoni and his stubborn commitment to his system were.

But I wouldn't be true to myself if I didn't keep dumping on the Knicks in spite of them throwing Boston a resounding beating Tuesday night.  One night for me doesn't suddenly cloak the prior facts that when the team did well, Melo didn't.  And When Melo did well, the team didn't.  Like I said, it took the elimination of a few players from the floor in order for the real Melo to stand up.

He's standing tall all right.  And leading the Knicks - his way.  And that's where I have a problem.

And I will say to you now - the Knicks aren't nearly this successful without Tyson Chandler.  Not even close.  If his knee doesn't hold up, the Knicks are done, post haste.


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