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MavKikiNYC
02-21-2004, 09:16 AM
Marbury gets his first real genuine welcome to the Garden, and Thomas gets to re-think his eugenics-based theory of GMing. Just wait until the NYKs get booted in the first round.

Interesting post-note about a supposedly verbally-agreed to deal between NYKs and Spurs for Kurt Thomas and Malik Rose, which the NYKs eventually backed out of. Malik and Pops......can't y'all just get along?


As Knicks Exhale, Utah Blows Past Them
By LIZ ROBBINS

Published: February 21, 2004

When the trading deadline finally passed, the Knicks on the block and off it exhaled, knowing this was the roster that would head into the playoff stretch run.

But last night in Madison Square Garden, the Knicks did not resemble a team; they were more like a collection of flimsy but expensive cardboard cutouts wearing name tags on their jerseys.

They were so relaxed, they watched the Utah Jazz hustle from the opening tip and humiliate them in every facet of the game. The Knicks tumbled to a 92-78 loss that drew the first real Garden boos in more than a month.

"We didn't come out tonight," said Penny Hardaway, one of the recently acquired Knicks. "I guess we just expected everything to go well because it had been. We struggled tonight because we weren't familiar with each other. You can always play hard, but we didn't do that."

The confusion among the new players aside, this game turned on effort — or the lack of it — and the Jazz pounced on the Knicks' carelessness.

"We can't lose games like that at home," Hardaway said. "No matter what, you have to play hard. I think we just came out way too soft from the beginning. They took us from the beginning and they never looked back."

With Allan Houston still out while he rehabilitates his knees, the players assembled by Isiah Thomas, the Knicks' president of basketball operations, could not shoot last night. They could not even score standing still, without defense.

The Knicks missed 12 free throws and turned the ball over 17 times, resulting in 23 Jazz points. The Jazz outrebounded the Knicks by 16.

Stephon Marbury scored 21 points to lead the Knicks, but he went to the bench with two fouls with 8 minutes 13 seconds to play in the first quarter. The Knicks stalled from there. In the third quarter, when the Knicks missed 8 of 16 free throws, Marbury was 5 for 10 from the line. He found nothing positive about the game, which was on his 27th birthday.

"We played hard in spurts," Marbury said with a shrug and a smile, and then added, "I have to make something up."

The newest Knicks, Tim Thomas and Nazr Mohammed, were poor substitutes for Keith Van Horn. They had no rhythm and were still trying to remember the plays while fitting into the action on the floor.

Michael Doleac, whom the Knicks traded to the Hawks on Sunday, was claimed off waivers last night by the Nuggets. And last night the Knicks' pick-and-pop power off the bench disappeared.

"We can make the excuses about new guys, but just playing hard, that effort will get you the rebounds," Hardaway said.

But Hardaway was not immune to the lack of effort; instead, he symbolized it. In the second quarter, he had a chance to dunk on a breakaway but instead opted for a layup that he missed.

"I was going to dunk the ball," Hardaway said. "For some reason I just relaxed. I just tried to lay it in and I missed. And that's something that's not me, especially on an open break."

On Tuesday the Knicks beat the Detroit Pistons when Marbury and Hardaway were clicking. Last night the Knicks had no one else to bail them out, and Coach Lenny Wilkens had no answers on the sideline.

"The first half it was like we were playing in sand," he said. "We came out very flat."

He knew that with the addition of Thomas and Mohammed on Monday, the team would struggle at times.

"I didn't think we would drop that far," Wilkens said. "We dropped way back in executing and decision-making."

The Jazz came into the game having lost three straight games on the road and owning just seven road victories this season. By the time the third quarter ended, the Jazz led by 17 points and the Knicks had scored just 50 points.

Utah's Andrei Kirilenko had a game-high 23 points, and Jazz players were routinely open under the basket..

The Knicks scored just 11 points in the first quarter, when Kurt Thomas shot 1 for 6 and Tim Thomas was 2 for 6.

"It's just one of those games, every team goes through it, hopefully it's out the window for us for the rest of the season," Tim Thomas said.

Shandon Anderson was one of the trade candidates, but he remained with the team and is starting in Houston's place. "This is the team that we're going to finish the year with," said Anderson, who had 11 points. "We have to start getting used to each other."

And fast.

REBOUNDS

At the trading deadline, San Antonio proposed a deal to trade MALIK ROSE for KURT THOMAS. According to a person with knowledge of the negotiations, the teams had made a verbal agreement, but the Knicks decided not to complete the deal. The San Antonio News Express reported yesterday that negotiations had broken down. Rose has five years and about $32 million on his contract, and Thomas has said he will opt out of his contract this summer. "At the end of the day, I thought it was much more important to keep him," ISIAH THOMAS said last night of Kurt Thomas. "No disrespect to anybody, it just wasn't right for us."

Shaq Attack2
02-21-2004, 09:32 AM
Marbury gets his first real genuine welcome to the Garden

What are you referring to?

MavKikiNYC
02-21-2004, 09:54 AM
Originally posted by: Shaq Attack2

Marbury gets his first real genuine welcome to the Garden

What are you referring to?

The Knicks tumbled to a 92-78 loss that drew the first real Garden boos in more than a month.

MavKikiNYC
02-21-2004, 10:10 AM
NEW YORK FANS BOO MARBURY IN LOSS
Guard struggles on birthday as Jazz trounce Knicks, 92-78
The Associated Press

Updated: 11:13 p.m. ET Feb. 20, 2004NEW YORK - Stephon Marbury had an unhappy 27th birthday, getting booed at Madison Square Garden in a Friday night fiasco.


Facing a Utah Jazz team that exposed their new weakness, the New York Knicks played one of their worst games of the Isiah Thomas era and lost 92-78.

“I never would have wished for this, but it happened — and it happened on my birthday,” Marbury said.

Andrei Kirilenko scored 23 points, Sasha Pavlovic moved into the vacated starting shooting guard spot and scored 16, and the Jazz opened a big early lead and were never threatened in the second half.

Marbury scored 21 and Tim Thomas moved into Keith Van Horn’s old starting spot at small forward and struggled on both ends of the court. He shot 4-for-11 and scored 17 points, 11 coming in the fourth quarter after the game had already been decided.

The Jazz employed a zone defense for long stretches and dared the Knicks to beat them from outside, and New York couldn’t do it as Allan Houston (sore knee) missed his ninth consecutive game.

“We always play teams that way. If we keep teams from getting layups and we get layups, that’s to our advantage,” Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said. “We know if we can’t handle them in certain situations, we’ve got to try and make them shoot over the top.”

The Knicks recently had two other strong perimeter shooters, but Van Horn and Michael Doleac were traded last weekend for Tim Thomas and Nazr Mohammed — the last of a flurry of moves by the new team president. Isiah Thomas had some company for this game as Cablevision chairman James Dolan watched the game alongside him near the midcourt tunnel.

The Knicks, who shot just 38 percent, scored 28 points in the fourth quarter — matching their first-half output — to make the final score somewhat respectable.

“We played hard in spurts,” Marbury said before stopping himself. “I don’t know, I’m trying to make something up. We just didn’t have it tonight.”

Utah, coming off lopsided road losses at Miami and Orlando, snapped a three-game losing streak using a new starting lineup.

Jarron Collins replaced Greg Ostertag at center for the first time this season, and Pavlovic took over the spot formerly held by DeShawn Stevenson, who was traded to Orlando on Thursday for Gordan Giricek.

Giricek played only the final 2 minutes, while Ostertag had 16 points and seven rebounds.

“Usually when changes are made they’re made with me first, but I’ve grown accustomed to that,” Ostertag said.

Utah held New York to 11 points in the first quarter, with Penny Hardaway providing a glimpse of what kind of night it would be for the Knicks by missing a breakaway layup late in the period.

The Knicks had 10 field goals and 10 turnovers at halftime when they trailed 43-28, and Marbury missed his first three free throw attempts in the third quarter as the crowd grew restless.

It was 67-50 after three quarters, and Ostertag met no resistance as he scored on a layup off a pass from Kirilenko with 9:33 remaining to make it 76-56.

“No effort! Must be a big birthday party tonight,” a heckler yelled at the Knicks.

It certainly wasn’t a party for them in their own building.

“We came out way too soft in the beginning. They took it to us and never looked back,” Hardaway said.