Blog Entry

Friday 5 with KB: Smart moves

Posted on: January 6, 2012 2:51 pm
By Matt Moore

In this week's edition of 
the Friday 5, we find out if canning Westphal was the right move, if the Hawks need to detonate it, and who's in the trade market. You can follow Ken Berger on Twitter @KBergCBS

1. All right, so Westphal's out, Keith Smart is in. Was committing this early to Smart the right move for Sacramento?

KB: Yes. First, you need someone with knowledge of the roster/overall strategy and relationships with the players. Smart has established both. Second, and more important, you can't ask Smart to sit in the first chair without the backing of the organization -- particularly when the DeMarcus Cousins fiasco has such a tenuous hold on the locker room. With no security, Smart would have no juice. With no juice, he'd get run over by Cousins in a hurry. Another point: No self-respecting coaching agent would allow his client to be thrust into an interim situation without some assurance that the organization was backing him. As with all coaches, if it doesn't work out, you can always fire him later.

2. Atlanta actually was playing pretty well until Thursday when all of America decided they were the worst team in the history of everything. Is it time to blow up the Hawks?

KB: I'm really trying to stay away from knee-jerk overreactions in this shortened, chaotic season. So much of what we are watching is atypical and very difficult to evaluate given the circumstances. But in the long run, I don't see the Hawks going anywhere positive with more than $120 million locked up in Joe Johnson. The cynic in me wonders if the ownership group was thinking, "That won't be our problem," and now that they haven't been able to sell the team, well, it's their problem.

3. If Andrew Bynum keeps playing like this, it has to make L.A. hesitate on a trade for Howard, right?

KB: No way. Dwight Howard is Dwight Howard.

4. Give me a team that might get active in the coming weeks in a desperation trade to save the season.

KB: I'll give you three. It seems that the Warriors will be involved in almost every trade scenario out there. They're being super aggressive. The Wizards are in a bad place, obviously, but I'm not sure what trade possibilities could help them in the short term. (Though if I were Ernie Grunfeld, I wouldn't be too comfortable.) And as I mentioned in Postups, don't be surprised if the Knicks look to break up the Melo-Amar'e tandem if things really go south.

5. What are your New Year's NBA resolutions?

KB: No more hotel lobbies unless I'm getting Marriott points.

Since: Dec 18, 2006
Posted on: January 7, 2012 6:04 pm

Friday 5 with KB: Smart moves

Can't understand why some people are bashing Melo. Without him, the Knicks would've only won maybe 1 game so far this season. If there's anyone to blame in NY, it's the head coach. What has D'Antoni done to make the team better? Nothing. The team is scoring but the problem is they can't stop anyone from scoring on them because the head coach doesn't know how to preach his players to play defense. The Knicks got exactly what they wanted, a team to score lots of points and to sell tickets as far as winning is concern, that's not too important that is why D'Antoni is the coach in the first place.

Since: Aug 7, 2008
Posted on: January 7, 2012 9:38 am

Friday 5 with KB: Smart moves

The Knicks ownership got exactly what they wanted with Carmelo and Amare: they are selling out the Garden every night as the ticket prices go up and their marketing/television contracts will also show that. Melo and Amare sell tickets and will make they playoffs every year. Now whether they win the title or not, the ownership still makes money so in a way I dont think they really care about the title, just the money

Since: Mar 15, 2008
Posted on: January 7, 2012 6:55 am

Friday 5 with KB: Smart moves

Shut up nohiphop, who gives a fuck about nicknames? You're just wishing you had your younger days back, people get old and die, get over it.

Since: Oct 16, 2011
Posted on: January 7, 2012 4:30 am

Friday 5 with KB: Smart moves

Noles506 is right. The Knicks really screwed up trading for Melo. I think the Knicks should have held out last year and just waited. Seriously, no one else was going to sell the farm for Melo. I believe they could've gotten him for free. Now imagine that roster: Felton, Gallo, Chandler, Melo and Amare. I could see that team becoming scary with some playing time together(if Melo bought into the team dynamic). What I don't understand is that they traded Felton away knowing they would get Billups, then they go and dump him like a piece of trash. I realize that they got Chandler with the money they would've paid Billups  but now they don't have a good PG at all to help both Melo and Amare get their shots. I think the Knicks organization has done a terrible job and have acted as their own stumbling block towards becoming a playoff contender. I don't believe that Melo and Amare will be able to coexist. Amare needs a really good PG to be truly effective (ala Steve Nash) and well Melo is just Melo. I would take Felton/Amare pairing over Melo/Amare pairing anyday.

Since: Dec 17, 2011
Posted on: January 6, 2012 10:23 pm

Friday 5 with KB: Smart moves

I don't see the Hawks going anywhere positive with more than $120 million locked up in .
  Yeah that's too bad for the Hawks, tough break there.  Some real genius contracts out there.


Since: Jan 13, 2011
Posted on: January 6, 2012 8:37 pm

Friday 5 with KB: Smart moves

The amazing thing to me about NBA exec's is that they so seldom seem to know what makes players great. For instance, a guy like Steve Nash makes everyone around him better, so Stoudemire was going to be able to feed off that to bring the most out of his talents. By the same token, Melo makes no one around him better, and to some degree makes those around him play less than they're capable of. Both Melo and Stoudemire have talent, but how they affect those around them, and how those around them affect them has everything to do with whether the team succeeds. Now add to that each player is almost diametrically opposed to what they need to succeed, and you have the Knicks as they are today. The right point guard could go a long way toward smoothing that all out, but as it stands now, that point guard doesn't play for the Knicks.

Since: Apr 30, 2008
Posted on: January 6, 2012 7:00 pm

Friday 5 with KB: Smart moves

I would absolutely get rid of Stoudamore or Anthony. (Sorry I am an older guy - i cant use gay little nicknames liek "Melo".  Give me Dr. J or the Iceman if you want nicknames, or Chocolate Thunder. In my era you had to actually do something - i.e. win, before you were recognized by simply your name. )  Too similar styles, bad chemistry on that team and that combo is a big part of it.  Plus they are perpetual whiners.  And they both are so inconsistent anyway, that is why the Knicks are always such a mediocre sad-sack bunch.  They have had maybe 4 or 5 good teams since I graduated college when Frazier, Bradley, DeBuesschere, etc. were all still there.  I mean really, I can count them on one hand - '84 with Bernard King who was awesome, couple years with Riley, maybe one or two with Van Gundy and Pitino and that is it.  Why don't the Knicks just move?  The Cleveland Browns will win a Super Bowl before the Knicks win a title.

Since: Jul 5, 2010
Posted on: January 6, 2012 6:54 pm

Friday 5 with KB: Smart moves

Amare for Howard????

Amare's from central Florida, and Orlando is gonna be hard pressed to find a better replacement for D12.

And noles when is Colangelo gonna get axed?  Can someone get him NBA 2k12 so he can learn how to run a f****** franchise?     

Since: Apr 15, 2008
Posted on: January 6, 2012 6:35 pm

Friday 5 with KB: Smart moves

You really think after the Knicks tried there butts off to get Melo & Amare they are going to turn around and deal them off at a more than likely loss? I don't think so!!! No one is going to give up a king's ransom for them. They will never get back what they gave up in the Melo deal!!! Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton & Gallinari sure would look good out there with Amare!!!! I am a Raptor's fan and though my team has made some bad moves.. I am glad the Knicks are in a complete mess. 

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