By John Schmeelk
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I wrote the other day that it was Murphy’s law for the Knicks on Saturday against the Heat. I was prophetic without even knowing it.
Seriously, what’s next?
Is the team bus going to roll over Carmelo Anthony’s foot? Maybe food poisoning for Baron Davis? A roller coaster season became even more ridiculous Monday night when Amar’e Stoudemire punched a small fire extinguisher case, shattered some glass and cut his hand. If reports are correct, he probably won’t play on Thursday. It sounds like a joke. For Knicks fans it’s just a sad, sad truth. They should be used to it be now. This is truly a fan base and a franchise that simply can’t catch a break.
First allow me to point out that Stoudemire is an idiot. Everyone gets mad and does stupid things. I’ve punched walls before. But you can’t punch glass. When there’s so much at stake a player cannot put his health or his team at risk because of his temper. It’s beyond selfish and stupid.
There is something more ridiculous, however, and that’s reporters trying to figure out what Stoudemire was mad about. Theories abound: he’s mad because he didn’t get enough shots, he’s mad at Carmelo and it proves the two hate each other, he’s mad at Mike Woodson. Anyone ever think that maybe he was just mad the team lost and are down 2-0 to the Heat?
Nah, that wouldn’t make a very good story.
Frankly, Stoudemire only has one person to be mad at: himself. Even though he didn’t get the shots he should have, Stoudemire did not use all that anger and energy to help the team in other ways. His help defense and pick-and-roll defense was the for the most part bad, just as it always is. He looked more like a photographer than a player on several rebound attempts in the middle of the game, not even trying to box out or go for the basketball. If the playoffs really mean so much to Amar’e he should have worried more about hitting the glass during the game than punching it after the game was over.
I’m usually pretty analytical in these blogs, and take a pretty measured look at how the Knicks can adjust from a basketball standpoint to win games. But when I woke up this morning and read about Stoudemire, I lost it. As someone that has rooted for the Knicks since the very early nineties, the franchise’s recent stream of bad luck is eye-opening.
I’ll work backwards from the “you’ve got to be kidding me” Stoudemire punch:
– Iman Shumpert, with no contact on a very basic cut blows out his meniscus and ACL. His season is over and his career in jeopardy.
– Tyson Chandler, the team’s heart and soul who has played through bruises all season gets the stomach flu right before the playoffs and is ineffective in the first game, assuring defeat.
– Jeremy Lin, after finally giving the Knicks a real point guard, tears his meniscus and misses the rest of the regular season and the first round of the playoffs.
– Stoudemire tweaks his back, preventing him from developing chemistry with Carmelo Anthony.
– Anthony gets hurt to start the season, making him ineffective and putting the Knicks in hole to start the season. Those injuries led to poor play and a bad relationship with Mike D’Antoni, which eventually forces a coaching change.
– In an offseason that the Knicks revamped their entire season, there is a lockout and condensed season, making it impossible for chemistry to develop with the lack of training camp and in-season practices.
– The same lockout does not allow Stoudemire to rehab with Knicks trainers and doctors, and it takes him months for him to look like his old explosive self.
– In warm-ups before Game 2 against the Celtics, Amar’e tweaks his back on a layup and he is never the same, giving the Knicks absolutely no chance of beating the Celtics in the first round.
– At the end of Game 1 of the 2011 playoffs, Chauncey Billups hurts himself and has to miss the rest of the series with the Celtics.
I can keep going, but we would be here all day.
Now, some of that stuff is self-inflicted, but the fans still have to deal with it. Every time the Knicks give their fans hope, something happens and it is snatched away just as fast. If Stoudemire is truly out for the series, this season is over and the team will go out with little more than a whimper.
It shouldn’t surprise Knicks fans. It’s just another chapter in a book full of misery, bad fortune, blown ACLs, back injuries, whining superstars, Isiah Thomas and fists punching through glass.
Knicks fans deserve better, but it doesn’t look like it will get better anytime soon.
You can follow me on Twitter for everything Knicks, Giants, Yankees and New York sports @Schmeelk. (And yes, Ill actually have a basketball blog up tomorrow, not another whiny one like this.)
What’s next for the Knicks? Vent away in the comments below…