Dwight Howard Seen with Nets…

… Dancers.

Yeah, not what you were expecting.  Don’t look into this too much, but realize that Howard to the Nets is a serious possibility.  Along with the Knicks and Lakers, the Nets would present the best opportunity for Howard.  Dwight would be the man in Brooklyn, something he wouldn’t have anywhere else.  Deron Williams would be there, but Howard would be the main superstar.  He could be what Jason Kidd was for the Nets in the 2000s.

Also, the Nets would be pretty damn good with him.  They’d have Humphries and Deron Williams, and could likely attract some valuable swingmen to fill out the roster.  It’s going to be exciting to see the Nets good again.  I have a feeling they may make the playoffs as soon as next season if they have a decent offseason, with or without Dwight Howard.  But to take that next step, they’re going to need to get that second superstar.  I have a feeling Howard may be that guy.

I’ve said it all along, and I’ll say it again.  Dwight Howard and Deron Williams would be a better duo than Stat and Melo.  If the Knicks add a third star, they’ll obviously have a better core than the Nets.  But if the Nets were to acquire Dwight tomorrow, they may just be better than the Knicks right now.  I’ve always said if I were to start a team tomorrow and had to pick one player to be my franchise guy, it would be Dwight Howard.  “D12” is a once-in-a-generation talent at center, which in my opinion is the NBA’s premium position.

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Donnie Walsh Returning?

The Knicks are considering a two-year extension for team president Donnie Walsh, with the matter expected to be resolved in the next two weeks, a person familiar with the organization’s thinking told CBSSports.com Sunday night.

Walsh, 69, has an option for the 2011-12 season to be exercised by April 30, but the more likely scenario is a two-year extension that would keep the architect of the Knicks’ revival at the helm through the critical next phase of the rebuilding plan. If the option is not picked up, Walsh’s contract expires June 30.

“It’s basically going to be Donnie’s call whether he wants to come back,” said the person with knowledge of the organization’s intentions.

No final decisions have been made on Walsh or coach Mike D’Antoni in the wake of a 4-0 first-round sweep completed Sunday with a 101-89 loss to the Celtics, and sources cautioned that several issues could complicate both situations. For one, neither Walsh nor D’Antoni has been given a clear indication as to their respective statuses, which explains why D’Antoni took some off-guard with his postgame comment Sunday, “I don’t know what the future holds.”

I think this is the right move, but eventually Allan Houston will be the next General Manager of the Knicks.  Hopefully Donnie can land Marc Gasol this offseason and Chris Paul next season or next offseason.  Since Donnie is aging, a two-year deal seems perfect.

Stoudemire and Billups will be Game Time Decisions

The Knicks will not decidewhether Amar’e Stoudemire and Chauncey Billups will play tonight in game 3 until game time.  The general consensus seems to be that Stoudemire will play, but that Billups will not.

If the Knicks are going to come back and win this series, they need Stoudemire to be out there even if he isn’t at 100 percent.  I’s a tough call if Billups isn’t a 100 percent because his injury may make it impossible for him to guard Rajon Rondo.  If that is the case, the Knicks may be better off with Toney Douglas.

WE PLAYOFFS NOW

It’s been a while, but somehow, someway, the Knicks are in the playoffs.  The past few seasons have not been easy.  Here’s a trip down memory lane.

Knicks to Trade Stat or Melo for Howard?

From Real GM:

It wouldn’t be shocking at all if the New York Knicks make a play for Dwight Howard next season, perhaps offering either Amare Stoudemire or Carmelo Anthony at trade deadline.

Howard can become a free agent after the 11-12 season, and the Magic will be nervously waiting for the NBA’s most dominant big man to make a decision.

If they don’t want to wait and risk losing him without compensation, the Magic could listen to trade offers for Howard next season.

Don’t get this at all.  Why would the Knicks trade Amar’e or Melo for Howard?  They’ve worked this hard to lock up two stars.  The goal is to bring a third, not to just have two.  I ultimately think Howard will go to the Lakers and I think Chris Paul will come to The Garden.  I wouldn’t rule out Paul teaming up in Orlando with Howard, but I see Paul going to New York and Deron Williams staying in what then will be Brooklyn.

I love Dwight, but he's not worth trading for if it means giving up Stoudemire or Anthony.

 

The Knicks are a Joke

“Amar’e and Melo need time to learn how to play together.”

“They haven’t had a practice yet since the trade.”

“They have no size.”

“Fire D’Antoni!”

“This trade wasn’t made for this season.”

Really?

Knick apologists are hilarious.  They’ve been making excuses for the past ten years.  But there’s no excuse for how the Knicks are playing right now.  This team is playing with no heart.  We all know Melo isn’t Lebron, but he can at least turn up the level of his game in the last five minutes.  When other teams kick into second gear late in games, the Knicks sit back and play with no sense of urgency.

And don’t blame the coach.  Yeah, he sucks, we know.  But in the end it comes down to the players to play defense and make shots.  Yeah, a good system helps, but that’s not why the Knicks are playing so poorly.  I’d love to see him fired, but he’s not the problem right now.  And who else would you hire?  Sometimes the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know.

The Knicks have lost six out of their last seven.  There are no excuses when you have two superstars.  And Dolan is raising ticket prices?  Are you kidding me?  The Melo trade doesn’t even look good right now.  It may be a long time before the Knicks hang a banner at the newly transformed MSG.  And I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I wholeheartedly believe they’ll be beat to a championship once again by the Rangers.

 

A Rant About Mike D’Antoni’s System

I, admittedly, have never played or coached in an organized basketball league.  I don’t know a lot about coaching in the NBA, nor do I or would I ever claim to.  But every fan can see that there is something wrong with this Knicks team.  It’s not the players, as the roster has a lot of talent on it.  It’s not even Mike D’Antoni himself, as the Knicks do have some fantastic nights.  It’s D’Antoni’s system that is the problem.

The way the system is set up, there are three things wrong with it.

1) You need to shoot well in it, as the fast-tempo leads to a weak defense.

2) You almost have to go small in it, as big centers can’t run up and down the court as much as smaller, athletic players.

3) Because your defense is so poor, you have to hope the other team is cold.  If they are hotter than you, you can’t win.  However, you can be hotter then them and still lose because they played defense and you didn’t.

Make sense?  Can this system win a championship?  Maybe.  Once the Knicks can build a team as they wish in the offseason, I can see them being a lot better (and more consistent) then they are now.  But who knows, maybe this team gets hot and wins a championship this season.  Or maybe they get swept out of the first round.  You never know what’s going to happen with these Knicks, but buckle up and enjoy the ride.

Like I’ve said before, this rebuilding process was never about making the second round of the playoffs.  It’s about the parade down the Canyon of Heroes.  If Mike D’Antoni can win the Knicks a championship, he will be looked at as a legend.  If he doesn’t, his legacy won’t be nearly as great.  As a matter of fact, many will look at D’Antoni as the reason the Knicks didn’t win a title with Stat and Melo if they don’t win one.

Time will tell what D’Antoni’s legacy will be, but for now Knick fans have no choice but to put their faith in him.

The stars are in place, now the pressure is D'Antoni.