Today's Knick game is the half-way mark providing more questions/strong opinions than answers. Our lucky 1.7% turns out to be REAL lucky adding intensity on how to build around Rose. We watch the game today with many questions. Is Hinrich a key to help Rose or a key trade piece to get someone else to help Rose? Is Gordon a great fit with Rose, a great 6th man or not necessary? Can any more can be written about TT's minutes? I anticipate today's game will trigger a new nuance to the TT debate. Will Noah develop into a serviceable center? The other side of the trade debate is who do we want? Who is the piece Rose needs? Boozer, Jermaine O'Neal, David Lee, Brad Miller, etc? Do we do a salary dump hoping for 2010? There is one issue that we all agree. We just don't agree on how to do it. How do we best get rid of Larry Hughes? Sam Smith 1/ 16/2009 thinks Hughes will not be traded until next year because it provides the Bulls leverage to maximize return. Note the highly intelligent question from you know who.
Hughes, as well documented in your Ask Sam column, appears to be the primary site for the virulent cancer of selfishness spreading to other Bulls. There appears to be almost unanimity to trade Hughes to get inside help. In your Ask Sam column you make great points as to why we should be cautious before pulling the trigger for Kaman, Brad Miller, Dalembert, etc. I desperately want to rid us of the Hughes cancer. However, the more I realize the risks of these trades I wonder if it might be in the Bulls best interest to wait a year before the February 2010 trade deadline to trade Hughes. What are there advantages/disadvantages waiting until before the February 2010 to trade Hughes for some inside help? The consequences of obtaining Ben Wallace haunt this team.
It is probably what will occur. The Bulls have made it clear they are not going to take on bad contracts or extra money for Hughes, which is why there isn't anything going on. I know the temptation to get someone out and behind you, but like the Knicks with Marbury, it may be best to be patient. At some point, you might be able to use Hughes' money in a deal and next season as an expiring contract with the free agent class of 2010, his contract could actually prove a big asset. So you cannot panic with that, and as many scenarios that come up, in the end I don't see Hughes being dealt this season.
The Knicks: The Knick beat writers, desperately looking for a story have migrated from Marbury to Danilo Gallinari. His 15 minutes and 6 points against Pilly two nights ago somehow make him the headline story in the New York Post, the New York Daily News and Newsday. Duhon's back is bothering him requiring him to leave the game against Philly. The New York Times confirms that the Knicks may be turning to Nate Robinson or Anthony Roberson if Duhon cannot play. The New York crowd via The NY Daily News drools at what could have been if they got Rose.
Playing in his second game after a 2-1/2 month absence due to a back injury will be the Knicks' Danilo Gallinari, a rusty, unproven talent trying to catch up to the rest of the 2008 draft class. Then there's the head of the class, the Bulls' Derrick Rose, the odds-on Rookie of the Year.
If Duhon cannot play the Knicks could really benfit from Marbury. Ooops that train has left the station as Marbury, the poster boy for selfishness, continues to negotiate his buyout.
The Game: These type of games get me nervous. The afternoon Martin Luther King Day crowd tends to be energized. The Bulls track record with games they can win only end up giving me a headache and heartburn. Rose should be able to drive to the basket against the legendary Knick defense. Even with Duhon out the Knicks thrive on being the underdog. Watch out for Nate Robinson, particularly if he gets going early. Lee has been terrific, Chandler and Al Harrington blow hot and cold. Harrington, in particular is a streaky shooter who got hot against Philly with 26 points 7-19. 7-19 is hot for Harrington.
Blogging with the enemy: New York has arguably the best coverage of their team and basketball via the competitive media with New York Post, New York Daily News, and The New York Times. There is also Knicksblogger.net. [ed. note: and P&T!]
TV/radio: Noon Monday; WGN-Ch. 9, WMVP-AM 1000.