Knicks-Lakers tonight. Another opponent coming off a hard-fought game the previous night, and another opponent that, despite a much better record than the Clippers, has struggled against the better teams in the league. The Knicks, at 26-25, would seem to default into that category for the time being.
You don’t need me to tell you about the Lakers; we’ve all seen them enough times. Here are three things the Lakers have more of than the Knicks:
- Kobe Bryants
If you’re like me, you arrogantly spout off about Phil Jackson’s triangle offense without actually knowing what it is. Thus here is an excellent primer on the triangle from the incomparable Sebastian Pruiti of nbaplaybook.com. The article includes a commenter who apologizes for nitpicking but explains, “I simply have a lot of passion for the triangle!” Don’t we all, though?
Anyway, in honor of facing the two Los Angeles teams this week, and since you already know everything you need to know about the Lakers, let’s go TMZ with this game preview and hit some tangentially Knick-related gossip:
- As far as tonight goes, Ronny Turiaf remains doubtful with a sprained ankle. He didn’t practice yesterday, and it looks like it will be up to Tim Mozgov to control the Lakers in the paint. I think I just threw up in my mouth a little bit. Meanwhile the Lakers have no significant injuries to report aside from Matt Barnes, who has missed the last month.
- Mike D’Antoni wishes fans would stop chanting for Carmelo Anthony. I do too – it’s disrespectful to the players on the court. This isn’t tennis or golf, and fans do have the right to chant as paying customers – but as long as the players are giving maximum effort there will be a line that shouldn’t be crossed. To me, that line is publicly demanding some of them be shipped out.
- Nothing new on the Carmelo rumors, although I enjoyed this week’s revelation from ESPN’s Chris Broussard that the Nuggets and Lakers had opened up Bynum-for-Melo negotiations. The story was shot down immediately in about eight different places, and of course I wake up the next day and ESPN is still running with it as its lead NBA story. Good to see ESPN hasn’t missed a beat from the LeBronathon.
- The other facet of the Carmelo story that developed this week was the possibility of acquiring Chauncey Billups, either with Anthony or in a separate deal, with either likely involving Raymond Felton. Billups boasts a team option for next season and the most outdated nickname this side of Starbury; overall, he wouldn’t appear suited to get a Mike D’Antoni squad up and down the floor, but he runs a team that plays as fast as the Knicks do, and with more offensive efficiency. I’m not Billups’ biggest fan, but I wouldn’t mind seeing him here in the right deal knowing we could cut him loose at any time.
- Amar’e Stoudemire was probably hoping for some TLC at home after the Knicks’ recent struggles, but it turns out it’s his turn to break out the Haagen Dazs and run the bubble bath. After disappointing sales for Basic Instinct and days of speculation, Stoudemire’s probable-maybe-hopefully-for-his-sake girlfriend Ciara has been dropped from Jive Records. Apparently they didn’t market it so good! Basic Instinct sold just 40,000 domestic copies, and given how bad the singles were I’m not exactly…speechless. See what I did there? Because “Speechless” was one of the bad singles? Should I move on? Anyway, Cici and her bedazzled Atlanta Braves cap will crotch-grab their way to another label that has bigger plans for them. There’s always room for a gorgeous girl who can dance. For now, though, Amar’e should have his hands full on consolation duty; sounds like an enviable assignment.
- In other Knick chick news, Michelle Trachtenberg, still rumored to be dating Danilo Gallinari, has finished her shoot for the cover of Maxim’s March issue. See the cover and a saucy gallery and interview here. Kudos to Maxim for recognizing that by dating Gallo Trachtenberg by definition becomes the most beautiful woman in the world. It’s a lot like when Clyde made a joke about Blake Griffin’s Oklahoma basketball team being outscored by its football team. After Clyde laughed uninterrupted for five seconds, then tried to stifle himself before letting out another chuckle, suddenly I wished I had come up with that!
If you think that each word of this blog ought to be devoted to the Knicks and not its extended family, please let me know and we’ll never gossip like 14 year-old girls again. Although you have to admit, it was sort of fun. Enjoy your Friday afternoon, and stay positive.