January 05, 2012
1. For new fan favorite Iman Shumpert to be playing instead of, it seems, former fan favorite Toney Douglas, who was booed when he checked in for the rookie for during the fourth quarter of the New York Knicks' 118-110 home loss to the Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday night.
The full-throated support of Shumpert — who scored 18 points on 10 shots off the New York bench, repeatedly attacked Charlotte's defense and was the only Knick worth cheering for large swaths of the contest — makes sense. The "vociferous boos" (as MSG color commentator Walt "Clyde" Frazier called them) of Douglas, as Seth Rosenthal wrote at the great Knicks blog Posting and Toasting, "were pretty upsetting, but not unwarranted."
2. For Douglas to be Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Steve Nash or any other initial-caps Pure Point Guard they've long dreamed of having run the pick-and-roll controls of Mike D'Antoni's offense. Which is to say, for him to be something that he's not, has never been, and in all likelihood will never be. The responsibility of running the team continues to wreck Douglas' overall game; he missed 11 of 17 shots and five of six 3-point attempts against Charlotte, posted four turnovers to mitigate his five assists, and frequently looked like he was playing in quicksand, struggling desperately to get something positive going but instead sinking deeper and deeper.
3. For something, anything, to make them believe that Landry Fields (a -21 in 25 minutes of floor time last night) is going to return to his 2010 first-half form, that the 2010 first half actually was his "form," and that he's still even capable of being something other than the skittish sinkhole he's seemed since the Knicks traded Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Timofey Mozgov, three draft picks and $3 million for Carmelo Anthony, Renaldo Balkman and three guys who don't live here anymore.
4. For the switch-everything-and-avoid-doubling defense that came to the Garden with Mike Woodson, the former Atlanta Hawks head coach and current Knicks defensive assistant (a title he maybe hasn't earned), to sometimes result in something more promising than a litany of easily orchestrated big-on-small and small-on-big one-on-one cross matches that leave the mostly overwhelmed pieces of an already defensively challenged New York roster trying to check offensive players they have little chance of successfully covering.
5. For even a glimmer of concerted and sustained effort on defense — on the basic principle of staying in front of your man for at least the duration of time during which he is your man, system be damned — and maybe a level of engagement that could prevent the Bobcats, who ranked right near the bottom of the league in offensive efficiency heading into Wednesday night, to score at an eye-popping rate of 120.4 points per 100 possessions, which is about 10-points-per-100 higher than the league's absolute best offenses typically post.
8. The serenity to accept the things they cannot change (like anything related to the team's effort or general comportment), the courage to change the things they can (like not immediately calling for D'Antoni's head on a platter because a thin, porous team with precious few playmakers is playing like it is thin, porous and has precious few playmakers), and the wisdom to know the difference.
9. For Friday night's match-up with the 0-6 Washington Wizards to be something other than a cause for embarrassment.
10. A pony. I mean, as long as we're asking for stuff ...