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On Second Thought, New Topic

But what does the trade mean for New York this season. Al Harrington, Cuttino Mobley and Tim Thomas join the team, replacing Jamal Crawford, Zach Randolph and Mardy Collins. Mobley will take Crawford's spot at shooting guard, and means Robinson will have to handle the point guard duties that Crawford was able to supply. Mobley's game is more catch-and-shoot than offense-initiator. Harrington brings his athleticism to coach Mike D'Antoni's system and should thrive in the power forward role. But then again, we said that in Golden State. Lee looks like he'll be the starting center and should get more minutes -- he played 40 on Friday. Thomas will back up at both forward spots and was a productive member for D'Antoni for the final 26 games and playoffs in the 2005-06 season.

The Warriors get rid of the unhappy Harrington in what appears to be an amicable divorce despite some nasty feelings revealed in recent weeks. Crawford is an ideal fit. He was the leading scorer on a Knicks' team that plays a similar style to Golden State. A combo guard, who loves to shoot, Crawford has the ability to help others succeed and takes the pressure off Stephen Jackson, who has been the de-facto point guard until now. Jackson should get less assists as a result. And Monta Ellis can concentrate on things he does well, like score, when he returns to health. Crawford's shooting opportunities should be decrease some when Ellis is healthy, but he'll continue to get enough looks to be an effective fantasy scorer.

And what about the Clippers. Los Angeles is foundering at 2-10, and while it's probably too early to publicly admit giving up on the season, you got to think they're eyeing an exit plan. Coach Mike Dunleavy is saying all the right things about finding time for Randolph, Chris Kamanand Marcus Camby, but the math doesn't add up. Those are nice big men to have, but Kaman and Randolph are going to have trouble existing in the same space on the court. And each is too valuable to be reduced to under 30 minutes. Kaman's name came up in trade talks earlier this year -- the Bobcats were rebuffed -- and it would make sense for the Clippers to deal him instead of Marcus Camby. A team in refurbishing mode will part with the player with the most years left on his contract. That's Kaman, who's signed through the 2011-12 season. Camby's contract comes off the books after 2009-10. Another shoe is going to drop, it's just a matter of when. The Bulls would be a likely suitor for the Kaman. They need the low-post scoring threat, and the Bulls have some depth to offer in a package. The Clippers aren't looking for a slow rebuild. A big move here, a big move there, some minor pieces coming back, and voila! They could be contending next year, with Baron Davis, Randolph, Camby, Al Thornton and some reliable depth (Andres Nocioni?, Thabo Sefolosha?). This year, the deal can give Eric Gordon some development time. Ricky Davisstarted the first game post-Mobley, but Gordon played more minutes and was a plus-7 in Friday's loss to the Sixers.

It must have been tough for Thunder general manager Sam Presti to fire Carlesimo. The two worked together in San Antonio, and Presti hand-picked Carlesimo when he was given the reigns to the SuperSonics. But after a 20-win season in Seattle, the team was off to a 1-12 start in OKC and are on a 10-game losing streak, in which it has lost each game by 14 points on average. Ouch! In five of the past nine games, they've trailed by at least 30 points. The team had appeared to have given up. It's last in scoring while 25th in points against. They're last in field-goal percentage while 21st in defensive field-goal percentage. And 27th in assists while being first in turnovers. They aren't helping each other, they aren't shooting, they aren't defending. I haven't watched too much of the Thunder this season. The one game I did watch -- it was cute as the OKC announcers got real excited when the Thunder drew within eight points only to lose by 21 -- the 42-percent shooting Rockets shot 50 percent and drove the paint at will. There wasn't a whole lot of effort happening defensivley. Interim coach Scott Brooks takes over beginning with Saturday night's game in New Orleans. There isn't much he can do to turn around the team's fortunes immediately. He can tweak the lineup some, moving rookie Russell Westbrook into starting lineup ahead of Earl Watson, but that's a long term move. Doing away with the Johan Petro/Robert Swift as starting center experiment would a place to start. Getting Nick Collison and Chris Wilcox on the floor more will help, but playing defense is about attitude as much as x's and o's. This team just needs time to get Westbrook, Kevin Durant and Jeff Green -- it's three leading scorers -- playing together.