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Knicks may solve center problem with… Kwame Brown?

Jun 27, 2011, 8:10 AM EDT

Kwame Brown

The Knicks need someone to protect the rim and play some defense as a big man. Ronny Turiaf tried but he is a great backup, not the answer.

However they really want to preserve their cap space for potentially getting another superstar in 2012 — hello Dwight Howard or Chris Paul (new CBA willing) — so they are not going to make a run at key center free agents Samuel Dalembert or Marc Gasol this summer, according to the New York Post.

Rather they are looking at Kwame Brown as a short-term fix. Yes, that Kwame Brown. If that sounds desperate, here are the other guys on their list according to the report: Tony Battie, Kurt Thomas, Joel Pryzbilla, Aaron Gray ,Theo Ratliff and .Greg Oden.

Kwame is an offensive wasteland with Roberto Duran’s “manos de piedra” but he can defend man-on-man, just don’t expect actual help defense. And yet, he may be the best option on that list.

The best part of this is the Knicks will bring in Brown or Thomas or Pryzbilla then somehow Mike D’Antoni will again be blamed for the crappy defense the Knicks play. As if Phil Jackson and John Wooden as a tag team could make a good defense with those guys at center and Carmelo Anthony on the wings. Personnel matters.

  1. starks3 - Jun 27, 2011 at 8:23 AM

    Last time I checked the Heat’s big men sucked, and they got to the finals just fine this year.

    • philtration - Jun 27, 2011 at 1:31 PM

      I guess every team in the NBA should just grab the worst center they can find because you have figured out the secret formula to getting to the Finals.

      Tell me this…. if having a worthless big man is ok then why have the Knicks sucked for so long?

  2. jizzojames - Jun 27, 2011 at 8:26 AM

    Personnel does in fact matter.. Amare Stoudemire even has medocre defense, but it is better than Melo’s.. Carmelo is one of my favorite players, and a good one but defense is his downfall. Kwame is a body, and if nothing else you can get 6 fouls out of him.. The knicks’ chance of getting a Dwight Howard or a Chris Paul maybe slim to none, especially with the new collective bargaining agreement coming, so they may want to look deeper than Kwame if they can. Either way the Knicks’ organization w/o a sure coaching position and no real defense equals no real post season chance anyway..

    • philtration - Jun 27, 2011 at 1:33 PM

      He is a body and you can get 6 fouls out of him?

      Since when did having a bust player that can put you over the foul limit become an asset in the NBA?

      • jizzojames - Jun 28, 2011 at 9:05 AM

        Since fouling hard changes the pace of the game, and the fact that you have a better chance at making players such as your Dwight Howard, and formerly Shaquile O’neal, and even Rajon Rondo earn their points at the stripe. Fouling senselessly will get you over the limit, but its clear you’ve never heard of a “Smart Foul”. Even players like Lebron and Wade aren’t great free throw shooters, so 6 “smart fouls” comes in handy.

  3. themanchine - Jun 27, 2011 at 8:39 AM

    I think Kurt missed that game in Miami last year, and game 1 of the playoffs, when Melo & A’Mare played D. It’s not only personnel, but also effort (and the “Coach” making sure they give it) that matters.
    This group of personnel has the ability. Do they have the desire full-time, and not just when the spotlight is on?

    • louderthanwords1 - Jun 27, 2011 at 9:57 AM

      Your picking 2 games out of 80 plus games. Any NBA player can play good defense for a game or 2 just as any player can get hot for a game and have an offensive explosion.

      • leearmon - Jun 27, 2011 at 10:07 AM

        Considering they (Amar’e & Melo) haven’t played anywhere near 80 games together I think your rationale is a bit off. And this “help” defense is a bit exaggerated. While Amar’e is by no means an good defensive player, he did finish among the league’s best in blocks, the majority of which came from “help” defense. Douglas, Jeffries and by all accounts Shumpert are good to very good defenders (jury still out on the rook). And if Lawrence Frank actually takes the defensive head coaching job in NY who’s to say the Knicks wont become average. Remember those Suns teams in the Mid 2000’s with arguably the worst defensive player in recent history (Steve Nash) was middle of the pack. Will this team become the ’04 Spurs? Of course not. But can they be 15th in the league or so, giving them a chance at a playoff run? Possibly.

  4. ac0117 - Jun 27, 2011 at 8:44 AM

    I would get Theo and let him block some shots or something… I would take any1 on that list over Kwame… then again I’m a wiz fan

    • goforthanddie - Jul 3, 2011 at 7:49 PM

      “then again I’m a wiz fan”
      You’re also obviously smarter than anyone who thinks Kwame is the answer to anything.

  5. diablito0402 - Jun 27, 2011 at 10:22 AM

    I guess heat aint the only team picking up bumms, well then again thats all they can afford, at least knicks fans dont cry and make excuses like all heat fans
    big ups for that….

    • LPad - Jun 27, 2011 at 10:33 AM

      To be fair, other than Gasol only thing available are the bums or an injured Oden.

  6. LPad - Jun 27, 2011 at 10:27 AM

    There are a lot of teams/players that couldn’t play D or play it well until the right coach came along. For example, the Celtics and the Mavs. In fact, all of the elite teams this year play D. Except the Lakers, but their problems only deal with the pick and roll and the lack of athletic point guards. If D’Antoni can’t get these guys to be an average team defensively then he needs to go. Management has indicated they want a good defensive team, the fans expect a good defensive team (most fans grew up watching great D whether it was from the 70s, 80s, or 90s), the players say they want to be a good defensive team. D’Antoni should demand it. If a player isn’t playing good D sit them. All year, we seen him sit players because they weren’t playing well offensively, but I haven’t seen him do it for defense. Why not? Doc Rivers, Carlisle, Tibs, Stan Van Gundy, Scott Brooks, Pops, Nate McMillian, etc. will do it.

    • quinninin - Jun 27, 2011 at 1:35 PM

      Your comment is stupid, celtics started playing good D when they Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, not when Doc Rivers took over. Doc was there before KG and Ray got to Boston.

      And the Mavs go Tyson Chandler and Jason Kidd who are great defensively. Also Shawn Marion is an underrated defender. It wasn’t just Rick Carisle, but getting players who are committed to Defense.

      Sorry to break this to the Knicks fans but Melo has never cared on the defensive end, played zone in college at Syracuse, and played no d in Denver. Not going to magically change because you bring in a good coach.


      • damp1015 - Jun 27, 2011 at 2:13 PM

        Things can change, as do times. Melo can change, but he needs to be willing. The coach can effect this whether you want to believe it or not. A coach has to instill these values in a player to help them grow into a better player. A player does not learn how to be a Michael Jordan just by playing the game. They are coached into it, but the player has to possess skills and dedication.

        I am a Knicks fan so I am hoping to find some defense this coming season. The Knicks need to want to play that way, and I think it will develop. I hope Iman can help with this also.

        We also need a big because Turiaf cannot handle it. I love it that he takes the beatings in there, but he just cannot do it.

      • LPad - Jun 27, 2011 at 2:52 PM

        There are plenty of things that prove your comments wrong, here are a few:

        Doc’s Orlando teams also played D.

        Marion was a part of D’Antoni’s Suns teams, so he’s example of it isn’t always the players fault a team isn’t good at D.

        Ray Allen was never considered a good defender until he got Boston. In fact, he was coached by George Karl (just like Melo) when he was in Milwaukee and they were bad at D too. Funny that only Karl’s Sonics teams were great at the defensive end.

        Also, playing zone in college has no bearing on how you approach the defensive end. Plenty of players played zone in college and are good defenders in the pros.

      • quinninin - Jun 27, 2011 at 3:46 PM

        Questionable on Doc’s Orlando teams being good defensively, 99-00 they were good but also had some dude named Ben Wallace. Truth of the matter is you need players who make the other defenders on your team better (KG, Tyson Chandler, Ben Wallace). Unless the Knicks get a true stopper on the backline or a solid wing defender they wont be elite. Yes coaching matters but if your players dont want to play defense you cant scheme up something to hide that. In the playoffs coaches will pick on the person who isnt playing d all day long, and twice on sundays.

        As for Ray Allen not being known as a good defender, he has always been a good defender, just not on good defensive teams. No one would ever put Ray Allen pre Boston in the same category of Carmelo Anthony in terms of defensive prowess. Allen has always been all effort all the time, not so much with Melo on D.

      • LPad - Jun 27, 2011 at 4:44 PM

        No, you do not need elite defenders to be an above average defensive team, which is what the Knicks goal is to be. Yes, it helps to have a Ben Wallace, but it isn’t necessary. i.e. look at the Larry Brown and Larry Bird Pacers teams.

        Yes they had the Davis boys, who were good, but they weren’t elite defenders. They only had two good perimeter defenders in Travis Best and Derrick McKey (and I don’t think McKey was around when they went to the Finals). To play good defense, you need a good scheme and players committed to the scheme. They don’t have to be good defenders (i.e. Mark Jackson, Reggie Miller, and Chris Mullin), they just have to give a good effort night in and night out.

        The point I was trying to make is that D’Antoni will sit you (no matter who you are) if you don’t execute his offense. He needs to sit players that don’t execute his defense or give a good effort night in and night out.

        Quinninin, you can keep pretending that other coaches don’t sit players that give a good effort and follow the defensive game plan or that you need an elite defender to be an above average defensive team or that Melo is a cancer that never played defense even in college (even though most ‘Cuse fans will tell you that the zone was extremely long and active the year he was there and that he was a part of it) if you want, but the fact is that a lot of scouts and front office people question D’Antoni’s schemes and ability to coach defense. Steve Kerr fired him because of it. Donnie Walsh (the architect of those Pacers teams and who understands defense) told him to hire a defensive assistant to coach the D.

  7. LPad - Jun 27, 2011 at 10:31 AM

    One more thing, part of the problem is D’Antoni’s preference for going small to push the pace offensively. For example, he would play Felton and Douglas together for significant parts of the game. But, would not send help when one of them got posted by a significantly bigger guard. Or he would put Shawne Williams at the 4 and ask him to guard a Howard or a Brook Lopez without help.

  8. mogogo1 - Jun 27, 2011 at 7:18 PM

    Can a team’s window close before it was ever really open? I thought Melo and Amare together was the start of a major turnaround. I figured there’d be some more big free agent signings in the future, they’d complete a successful rebuilding project, and Donnie Walsh would help them put the disaster that was Isiah Thomas behind them. Now, Walsh is gone, Isiah is still apparently on their speed dial, the arrival of more top free agents is sounding less likely, and things are so bad Kwame Brown is now a part of the equation.

  9. dysraw1 - Jul 4, 2011 at 4:46 PM

    KB isnt such a bad pick up, i mean he doesnt come close to what anthony randolph is gonna become. but hey thats water under the bridge. as for money mike, if he wants to make it in this town, he better find some defensive help. im talking coaching and players. to many times this last season he was unprepared.

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