Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Knicks (Part 1)

The Knicks…they’ve been around forever, and have had some great players, and moments (like the 1970 champ…). But it doesn’t seem like many people talk about them…They were good in a few eras, sure, but they were AWFUL in others…The early 50s were a good time, Harry Gallatin, and the McGuire’s' (Dick…the passer, and Al, who lasted a few years in the NBA and was the scrappy one, who once proclaimed “I can stop Cousy” and then continued to foul him six straight times down the floor)….then the awful late 50s and 60s….then there was the legendary Willis-Frazier teams…then on and off as a decent team through the 70s and early 80s…then there was a pretty good Ewing era….then there was the Isiah era. Some teams were great………….Others? Not so much.

(1) 1970 New York Knicks (60-22) vs. (60) 1963 New York Knicks (21-59)

This is the iconic, legendary 1970 Knickerbockers. Not only did New York love them because of their exquisite passing and top notch cohesive togetherness, they also had their iconic “Here comes Willis” moment after Willis tore a muscle in his thigh that is critical for movement, then comes back two games later and fires up the Knicks team, and leads them to a title. Reed had 22-14 during the year, and had Walt “Clyde” Frazier at point, razzling and dazzling for 21-6-8, while Dave DeBusschere provided defense and 15-10-3 a night. Dick Barnett had 15-3-4, Bill Bradley had 15-4-4, and Cazzie Russell averaged 12-3-2…and they were missing Phil Jackson! Incredible team…they will tear up the rest of the Knicks.

The worst team in Knicks history…pretty amazing it is only 59 losses (though it is a shorter year…). Richie Guerin had 22-4-4, Johnny Green had 18-12, and Gene Shue had 12-2-3…Tom Gola (12-5-4 in 52 games) and Willie Naulls (17-9 in 23 games) both played only limited action.

(2) 1993 New York Knicks (60-22) vs. (59) 1961 New York Knicks (21-58)

This is a really good team, but they couldn’t get past Chicago. We see do Patrick Ewing (24-12) this year, while John Starks had 18-3-5. Charles Smith had 12-5, Anthony Mason had 10-8, and Charles Oakley provided an intimidating force down below, averaging 7-9. Greg Anthony had 7-2-6, Ronaldo Blackman had 10-2-3, and Doc Rivers had 8-3-5. This is a pretty deep team…doubt they win the Knicks tourney, but not very bad….

Some memorable Knicks on this forgettable team (of course, they aren’t really remembered too much because of the quality of the Knicks teams from then…). Richie Guerin had 22-8-6, while Willie Naulls had 23-13…Dick Garmaker had 16-4. Carl Braun made a short 15 game appearance, and he was gone by the next year (he’s off to Boston…).

(3) 1973 New York Knicks (57-25) vs. (58) 1964 New York Knicks (22-58)

This is the other champ…not as legendary as the previous champ, but still relatively memorable. Frazier had 21-7-6, DeBusschere had 16-10, Reed had 11-9, and Bradley had 16-4-5. This team saw Earl the Pearl Monroe (16-3-4) added, as well as Jerry Lucas (10-7-5). Phil Jackson was back, and had 8-4…Nothing really to say, every praise was mentioned in 1970…

Richie Guerin was traded to St. Louis for the year. Bob Boozer had 18-9 in 49 games, Len Chappell had 17-10, and Bill McGill had 16-6…Tom Gola made an appearance of 9-6-4. 

(4) 1994 New York Knicks (57-25) vs. (57) 2008 New York Knicks (23-59)

I don’t know…May or may not be as good as last year…I’d say not. Ewing improved to 25-11 though, and Starks had 19-3-6. Charles Oakley had 12-12, but Charles Smith (10-4) played only 43 games, and Doc Rivers had only 19 games….Derek Harper came over in a trade and had 9-2-4 in 54 games.

The worst year of the Isiah era…So many overpaid “stars”….Jamal Crawford had 21-3-5, but Stephon Marbury, who formed a blackhole backcourt, played only 24 games. Zach Randolph (18-10), and Eddy Curry (13-5), were the overpaid/weight big men on the team. David Lee was a minor bright spot, he had 11-9, while Nate Robinson had 13-3-3. But we can’t forget get that Quentin Richardson was on the team! 

(5) 1997 New York Knicks (57-25) vs. (56) 2006 New York Knicks (23-59)

An OK team…Ewing had 22-11, Allan Houston had 15-3, Larry Johnson had 13-5, and Charles Oakley had 11-10. Chris Childs had 9-3-6, and John Starks had 14-3-3…nothing really to say, it’s not that interesting of a team…

Actually, I’d say THIS is the lowlight of the Isiah era…This is the first Curry year, which obviously isn’t a good thing…He had 14-6 (yep, that’s the big debut in NY…), while selfish stars Jamal Crawford (14-3-4), Stephon Marbury (16-3-6), and Steve Francis (11-3-4)…Not to mention that they spend an incredible amount of money on Jerome James (3-2…5 mil), until they decide they want Curry…Other big moneymakers…Allan Houston, 19 mil when he isn’t playing, Marbury made 16.5 mil, Antonio Davis (5-5) makes 14 mil, Maurice Taylor makes 9 mil for 6-3, and the traded Penny Hardaway made 15 mil….

(6) 1953 New York Knicks (47-23) vs. (55) 1986 New York Knicks (23-59)

A really good team from the 50s…they really were good then, but one time they lost because they made a basket, but the ref didn’t see it go through on a foul……….and they he misses some free throws and they lose. Another year, MSG was booked, so they had to play in the 59th Armory, where they never did good…Two finals loses accounted to flukes, I guess….Check out this team though: Harry Gallatin (12-13) was great (remember, this is the dead ball era…), as was exciting Carl Braun (14-3-4). Nat Sweetwater Clifton (one of the pioneer blacks, one of the first ever in the NBA….) had 11-11. Connie Simmons had 11-7, Ernie Vandeweghe had 12-6 (you know his son Kiki…), while the McGuire’s played pretty well, Dick had 7-5-5, while Al had 6-3-3. Max Zaslofsky (who was more into stats than winning at this point) had 12-3…Pretty deep, and pretty good team.

….This is Patrick Ewing’s rookie year, and it is pretty insignificant…He had 20-9 in only 50 games…and Pat Cummings played only 31 games…Gerald Wilkins had 13-3…

(7) 1995 New York Knicks (55-27) vs. (54) 1987 New York Knicks (24-58)

Ok team I guess…Ewing had 24-11, Starks had 15-3-5, Charles Smith had 13-4, Derek Harper had 12-2-6, and Charles Oakley had 10-9, while Anthony Mason had 10-8….

Not really great….Ewing had 22-9 in year two, Gerald Wilkins had 19-4-4, and Bill Cartwright had 18-8, while Bernard King made a 6 game comeback…but he signed off in Washington after the year.

(8) 1969 New York Knicks (54-28) vs. (53) 1985 New York Knicks (24-58)

The makings of the 1970 team are shown here…In fact, the magic was happening at the end of the year, after Walt Bellamy (15-11) and Howard Komives (9-3-4) were traded for Dave DeBusschere, which not only got Dave, but it got Willis Reed at center, and Walt Frazier starting at point. Frazier had 18-6-7, Reed led them with 21-15, Cazzie Russell added 18 points in 50 games, and Dave had 16-11. Bradley had 12-4-4. 

The unstoppable Bernard King…one of the best scorers ever, probably top 10 all time. No one could stop King at his peak during 1984 and 1985…yeah, they didn’t win much this year, but it can be partly attributed to King (33-6-4) going down with a knee injury (and would never be the same) after 55 games (ironic that that is the minimum to qualify for the scoring title…). Pat Cummings had 16-8, and Darrell Walker had 14-3-5, but it wasn’t enough to get them CLOSE to .500…

(9) 1971 New York Knicks (52-30) vs. (52) 2010 New York Knicks (29-53)

Another great team, but they couldn’t get past Baltimore’s talented team….Of course they eliminate them once they acquire Earl Monroe…Frazier had 22-7-7, and Reed had 21-14 this year. Dave had 16-11, Dick Barnett had 16-3-3, and Bill Bradley had 12-3-4.

NOT MORE 2000s!!!!!!! Lee had 20-12, Al Harrington had 18-6, Wilson Chandler had 15-5, and Danilo Gallinari had 15-5, while Tracy McGrady came over in a trade and averaged…..9-4-4…

(10) 1989 New York Knicks (52-30) vs. (51) 1960 New York Knicks (27-48)

Ewing had 23-9, while Mark Jackson had 17-5-9, Johnny Newman added 16 points, Gerald Wilkins had 14-3-3, and Charles Oakley had 13-11.

Decent team…Richie Guerin had 22-7-6, Willie Naulls had 21-14, and Carl Braun had 13-3-5, three Knicks scoring stars…Kenny Sears had 19-14. Pretty good team for 27 wins….May even beat 1989 (doubt it, but it’s a possibility…)

Part 2 coming right up!

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