Knick Players Discovering Their Roles

NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 07: Roger Mason Jr. attends the opening night of

Is it possible that Roger Mason Jr. has been the key for the Knicks' winning streak? Perhaps, because he seems to be best used by, as seen here, being off the court. (Source: Yardbarker.com)

New Buckets writer, Antony Marino, believes your New York Knicks’ current winning streak is due to everyone, particularly Roger Mason Jr, finding their roles:

I apologize for my recent lack of productivity. I awoke this morning to the unmistakable stench of smelling salts and the discomfort of a full beard. Doctors told me I had been in a deep coma since Blake Griffin’s dunk, but that I had fared better than Mr. Mozgov who was now eating his meals through a straw. Luckily, middling-grade vodka has been Timo’s primary means of sustenance for years, but the experience of drinking it through a straw has been harrowing nonetheless.

So where do we stand, Knick fans? The last time we spoke, we talked about players fulfilling certain roles to perfection. Each player was performing his given task with gusto, including Roger Mason Jr. (uncoordinated pariah).  Over the course of last week’s disastrous losing streak we lost sight of what made us a decent team at the season’s outset. Our ball movement was non existent, Felton looked lost in the pick and roll, Amar’e was trying to create off the dribble, Chandler was taking horrible shots, D’Antoni was stubbornly playing Amare for long stretches at the 5, Gallo stood in the corner like an emo kid forced to play little league and Roger Mason Jr. kept arriving to games on time. It was an abject disaster, and we optimists felt more squeamish with every loss, every minute, every play and every spectator hospitalized by a Roger Mason Jr. 3-point carom (God I hate you Roger).

Since these dark days, the Knicks have shown cause for tepid excitement from their loyal followers. As with any D’Antoni offense, ball movement is essential and Raymond Felton is finally making a clear and concerted effort to get Amare the ball on pick and rolls. Turiaf has shown uncommon court vision and “I just free based a can of 4loko on a trampoline” enthusiasm as a starter. Toney Douglas’ once lost jumper has now been found and Danilo Gallinari is getting to the line at will. Muuuuch better gentlemen. But I must ask, what has caused this great awakening?

The only substantive changes in the Knicks team that had lost six straight games and the one that has currently won three [Editor's note: now four. Sorry, didn't get to post this yesterday.] straight are that Ronny Turiaf is a starter, Roger Mason Jr. has been rightfully relegated to Azkhaban (soon to be Azubuike) and team toxologists are now aware that Wilson Chandler’s bite is venomous. Such minor alterations, and yet the team looks totally different on the floor. How is this possible?

Certainly the Knicks have benefited from playing weak Western Conference foes (you could argue that we owe the Golden State win to Chandler’s murderous fang/ floss-fobia), but road wins are road wins and there are certainly signs that improved on-court chemistry has finally taken hold. With the soft underbelly of the 2010 schedule coming up, the Knicks need to show that they have learned something from this successful Western jaunt. Keep the ball moving, keep Gallo involved, keep a center on the floor and keep Roger Mason Jr. off the team plane. Now let’s take care of business.

Topics: Amare Stoudemire, Antony Marino, Blake Griffin, Danilo Gallinari, New York Knicks, Raymond Felton, Roger Mason Jr, Ronny Turiaf, Timofey Mozgov, Toney Douglas, Wilson Chandler

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  • http://www.shattertheglass.com bgalella

    The Knicks did the right thing by cutting the rotatation down, as much as I hate to see Anthony Randolph sitting on the bench, it was the right move.

  • opt1primo

    5 WINS IN A ROW, IT’S BEEN FOREVER SINCE WE DID THAT. KEEP MOVING THE BALL, LOOK FOR YOUR SLASHERS, MOZ IS ALWAYS OPEN DOWN LOW….MORE 2′S LESS 3′S AND WE WIN MORE GAMES UNTIL MELO GETS HERE, THEN WE TAKE IT ALL…..

    • http://bucketsoverbroadway.com Alex David, aka Short White Boy

      It has been forever. I think lately they’ve actually had a far better mix of 3′s and going to the hole. But I dunno about looking for Moz down low more often…

      And Brendan, yeah, I agree, it’s a bummer that Randolph can’t play/produce, but it’s been the right move to sit him.

  • JD

    Why the hell did they sign Roger & draft Andy???

    They both look like scrubs (no offense) and the team already has better options at the 2 in Walker, Azubuike and Douglas?

    Why must this team always have a Chris Duhon on the roster every year? Why?!?

    • http://bucketsoverbroadway.com Alex David, aka Short White Boy

      I’m not a fan of either of those two, but I can understand why the Knicks got them. With Andy they were hoping for a polished player who could come in and contribute right away, a la Landry Fields. It was a second-rounder, and most of those guys never make it in the league, so I’m just impressed that they hit a solid double with Landry. I mean after John Wall and Blake Griffin, it’s not a leap to say that Landry’s the next best rook.

      In terms of Roger Mason, well, I wasn’t a big fan of the signing at the time (although for some reason many other Knick fans were). However, with Azubuike injured and neither Walker nor Douglas having shown that they can produce consistently for a full season, Walsh took a gamble that Mason could return to his old shooting form. But he’s been awful. And Walker’s torrid shooting in the final 20 games of last season turns out to have been for real.

  • sage

    I hate that he doesn’t play Walker more. With the minutes he’s unloading on the starting 5 Mike is going to end up burning this team out or getting someone injured … hell Tony D and Felton are already battling injuries!

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