Jan

30

 It's been a long time since I considered what we might learn from basketball . Like most former Knick fans, I was so turned off by the surly and ugly play of Patrick Ewing, including his bumping of teammates when they didn't give him the ball for the crucial shorts, his inability to get a rebound after a shot, and the depth from the basket he shot from , that when he didnt accept my proposal to trade places with "Doc Greenspan", I called it a day.

But I recently tuned in to a few Knick games to see the structure of what makes a team that bad, with their record 14 wins of 44, as if they're that bad you might learn from them in other fields. I found that there is a general air of malaise that surrounds the team. They like to come out to the scorer's table en masse as if for a gang rumble, and q loves to pick fights with people twice his size, the coach likes to bump referees, and if you beat them too bad they threaten you with a locker room brawl, to say nothing of the elbows. This general air of viciousness always leads to losses in basketball or markets.

The Knicks on paper, man for man are a good team. But as Clyde says, they pick the wrong time to take their shots. They fire from 100 feet out when the opposing team is sure to get the rebound, and the game is on the edge. They run around madly trying to find an isolated player from Downtown with no inside game. The movement to high risk trades to bail one out at the close is sure to lose.

There is no rudder to the team. The big men are fighting with each other and the coach. When Curry scores, he doesn't bother to go back to defend. They chew each other out in public with the coach shaming the players, and vice versa. A movement from one market to another, from day trading to long term, from big margin to low margin is sure to cause the same results as the Knicks.

The off court antics of the Knicks show that they are deeply disturbed. They seem to hang on to each other for fear that word about their shortcoming might lead to wholesale losses in litigation say in the harassment front. The fans are admonished to go crazy at the games, but when they berate the coach, they are thrown out. The inability to accept censure and to get feedback from what you're doing wrong is a sure sign of failure.

They use up their energy with fruitless movements and attempts to improvise plays while their opponents conserve theirs while waiting for the tried an true that is part of their game plan.  Indeed, the Knicks seem to have no steady game plan, even to the point of not knowing who they are going to put in the game at any time. When they do score an unusual short, like Balkman's three against Los Angeles, they get so excited they use up all their energy in congratulating themselves. Anyone who talks about their great wins in speculation is like the Knicks and destined to fade like a shooting star.

The woe of the Knicks is typified by their captain. He's a man paid a few hundred thou a game, but after being out for 4/5 of the season, and paid, he's suing for the one game he didnt show up for after a heated converse with the coach where the coach may or may not have told him he didn't care if he showed up or some such. Like Ewing, the captain is an egomaniac, as typified by his remarks to the intern about whether or not she was going to go into the truck, immediately, and his wild shooting from outside with no rhyme or reason to it.

Any team that has a loose cannon like that for a captain who takes shots that are so non-percentage because they disrupt the flow of the whole team, is designed to slip into the nether world.

They have a tendency to fall apart at crucial moments which is typical of a team that has a flimsy foundation. Time and time again, they can bring the game close, but when the other team tried harder near the end, the Knicks fall apart and lose by a few points. The market that can't make it big by near the end of the period is likely to move the other way.

I don't know too much about basketball, never having been good at using the left of the jump, so I would appreciate more erudite analyses of the technical aspects of what's wrong with the Knicks and how it can teach us what not to do


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