Francis in the Knicks backcourt with Marbury defies all logic. If they start Crawford at the 3 for laughs, they would have the all-turnover team. If the three play the way they're capable of, there are going to be a lot of balls being thrown out of bounds.
But, to be the contrarian once again, Isiah may be onto something... Stay with me for one paragraph, I swear I'm getting somewhere. The Knicks are in salary cap hell and gave up draft picks to the Bulls for the next two years (might be just next year). So, there's no incentive to give up on the season. Isiah committed the team to winning the next two years by trading for Curry and giving up his picks. The team is already in salary cap hell and hopefully Isiah says to himself that this is the last time he'll take on a bad contract. From here on out, he needs to let the contracts of Taylor/Rose expire and live with what this team can do. Francis is on the books for 3 years. The kids will develop, he needs to sit tight until 2009.
I am of the minority that thinks the players are there to win. People complain about Stephon all the time, but honestly, the guy would start for 20 teams in the league and he does pass the ball contrary to public opinion (8.2 assists/3.2 turnovers for his career). He makes dumb decisions 3/4 times a game, but for the most part, he's damn good. Francis is a bigger knucklehead, but after his two awful years in Orlando, I think he's ready to listen. He already has been willing to move to the 2 and he's hit rock bottom. Nobody wants the guy and he knows he has to change. If Brown is the coach everyone says he is, he should make this work. He has two of the most talented guards in the NBA with a plethora of options at the three (the two Q's play D and Jalen does a little of everything) and two young post-men in Frye and Curry. He also has depth with James, Taylor, and Rose up front. They aren't great players, but it's enough to get it done. Francis is small for the two, but he's athletic enough to D-up. These players are all flawed, but they all also have enormous talent in certain areas. A great coach should be able to put these guys in roles that hide their weaknesses and draw on their strengths.
The Pistons with Carlisle had a bunch of flawed players as well. Billups was considered a bust and not careful enough with the rock. Hamilton was a one-dimensional scorer without 3-pt range and bad defense. He would also get abused on the block when bigger guards posted him up. Ben Wallace was a re-tread from Orlando who had no offensive skill. Yet, he made it work. It's time for Larry to make it work without "his guys" for once.
Posted by Eddie at 2/22/2006 12:33:00 PM