Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Those Selfish Knicks
Take a 26-32 Knicks team, remove scoring leader Jamal Crawford (ankle stress fracture) and rebounding leader David Lee (sprained ankle), and you apparently get a team that can't pass.
Click on the screen capture to the left and you'll see that the Knicks played the entire first half of tonight's game in Boston against the Celtics (14-42) without dishing a single assist!
This shouldn't be too surprising, considering that their point guard, Stephon Marbury, is one of the most notorious "shoot-first, pass-rarely" point guards of all time. He's never averaged 10 assists per game during his decade in the league. His last two Knicks years are far worse than that PG benchmark: 6.4 per game last season and a measly 5.5 per game this year.
Other guards on the Knicks' active roster include Steve Francis (probably out for the season with a bad knee), Mardy Collins, a rookie (picked after the immortal Renaldo Balkman) up from the D-League, and Nate Robinson, a mini-Marbury who is so far in Coach Isiah's doghouse that the Knicks only started one guard against Boston. Thomas-signee Jerome James must have been the two-guard in the lineup - he played exactly one minute in the half.
So we're through the third quarter and the Knicks now have four assists! Their first of the game came from Eddy Curry, and their second and third from Channing "They Go To A Lake Of Fire And" Frye, both of whom average zero-point-eight (0.8) assists per game. Marbury finally got on the assist scoresheet with 0:24 left in the period.
As repulsive as the '06-'07 Knicks have always been, this game is historically fugly. The record for fewest assists by a team in a game is three, last accomplished in 1976. Fewest assists by both teams in a game? Ten, which only happened once, in 1956. The teams have twelve after three quarters - thanks to Celtic Rajon Rondo's six assists - so we're not going to match the record tonight. But hopefully the NBA will add tonight's game to their "NBA Encyclopedia" so we can fondly remember these Knicks and Celtics for all posterity.
The most ridiculous part of this story is that three minutes into the fourth quarter, the Knicks were actually up two points before being outscored by 10 the rest of the way. Say it with me: Fire Isiah!