Not a lot of people know that Seven Seconds or Less actually refers to the rest of Mike D'Antoni's coaching career after he is fired in this coming offseason..
Minnesota Timberwolves (5-15...according to the NY tabloids) vs. New York Knicks (12-9)
The New York Knicks have won nine of out their last ten games after beginning the season with a 3-8 start. They are in search of a 5th straight win when the Timberwolves come into Madison Square Garden tonight. They are also looking to avenge the historic beat down that Kevin Love and the Wolves gave to the Knicks when they came into Minnesota back on November 12th.
Even though the game was not invented there, the city has won fewer titles than San Antonio and the Knicks have only made the playoffs once in the last nine years, New York City is known to some as the epicenter of professional basketball. Rucker Park. Spike Lee. Madison Square Garden. These are icons of the basketball world much in the same way that cardiology centers, Colonel Sanders and Kentucky Fried Chicken are icons of the culinary world.
Because of its history, the Knicks will likely trade for every player you like or ever will like at some point in the future. And regardless of who that player is, the only thing you'll get in return is Wilson Chandler and a copy of Donnie Walsh's upcoming book, "Where Am I and Who Are All These People: The Story of Running Basketball's Best Franchise." In this book, Walsh recounts his greatest moves, such as drafting Carl Landry in the second round of last year's draft and signing LeBron James to a multi-year contract.
Before we trade them Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love, let's break down the matchups:
Darko Milicic vs. Amar'e Stoudemire
Over the last four games, Amar'e Stoudemire is averaging 34.3 points and he had a season-high 16 rebounds in Sunday's 116-99 win over the Toronto Raptors. After hearing all summer and all November that he was an overpaid non-superstar, STAT apparently wants to prove that he belongs in the "best player on a contender" discussion. About Stoudemire, coach Mike D'Antoni observed that, "He's got broad shoulders and we jump on them a lot of times."
First of all, Amar'e, I don't think a restraining order against D'Antoni would be the worst idea you've ever had. That being said, he's had some nice stats but he hasn't gone up against Darko Milicic in nearly a month. In their last game, Darko held Stoudemire to a season-low 14 points. Milicic also leads the NBA with 55 blocks.
Darko Milicic has kept up his strong player over the last few weeks and is giving a big middle finger to all of the reporters, critics and even some Timberwolves fans who continue to lack faith in the Big Manna. They say the hard headed always have to feel it to believe it, and tonight, Amar'e Stoudemire and the rest of the New York Knicks will become believers once again.
Winner: Darko Milicic
In the above photo, Danilo Gallinari is playing some of his best defense of the season.
Kevin Love vs. Danilo Gallinari
I'm surprised Danilo is going to step back into this building after last game. After yours truly predicted that Kevin Love would grab 30+ rebounds, and Love dropped a 31/31 on "The Rooster", I would have thought that Danilo learned his lesson. Apparently not. What are you going to do for an encore, Kevin?Surely, I wouldn't be crazy enough to predict that Love could top that performance. Or would I? I think Love wants 40. I think Love can get 40. And I don't think there's a single thing Danilo can do about it. I'm fairly certain that instead of "The Rooster", Danilo's nickname should be changed to "The Turkey".
Kevin Love is going for 25 points and 40 rebounds tonight. Put it on the board. And Spike Lee will be forced to give another standing ovation like he has done in the past for guys like Kobe, LeBron and Michael (none of whom actually played for the Knicks). Kevin Love will be the best player on the court tonight by a wide margin.
Winner: Kevin Love
Michael Beasley vs. Wilson Chandler
Michael Beasley is a game-time decision for tonight but I think he plays. He's got too much heart to sit on the sidelines. Unless he sits, in which case, he's is nobly giving playing time to some of our others in order to foster player development and team cohesion. What a hero.
Meanwhile, has Wilson Chandler done a single thing to convince you that he is a quality basketball player? Wilson Chandler is like the movie Morning Glory. You see a lot of advertisements and hype about it. But you know exactly how that movie is going to go and you know that its not going to be very good.
Michael Beasley, on the other hand, is like the movie The Expendables. Sure, you know what you're getting there, too. But in that case, you're getting a good ol' fashioned shoot 'em up that will leave you pumped up. Beasley might not score 30 tonight but that doesn't mean that he couldn't have scored 30 if he had wanted to...
Winner: Michael Beasley
I knew it would happen. Wesley Johnson's breakout game. I guess he was waiting for Cleveland because he wanted to draw a comparison between himself and LeBron James. Okay, fair enough Mr. Chosen One. I underestimated your marketing savvy. Well played.
Now that the Wolf is out of the bag, Johnson is ready to stop playing around. He's going to build up his rep to the point where in 4 years, he's going to have to announce on ESPN's "The Decision II" that he's taking his talents to Lake Calhoun Beach. As I've said before, Wesley Johnson is the best Wolves' draft pick since Kevin Garnett and anyone who is still questioning the pick between Johnson and DeMarcus Cousins is either a Sacramento Queens fan, one of Cousins' former prison-mates or a blood relation of Cousins or John Calipari.
Landry Fields has been one of the biggest surprises of this season and won the Rookie of the Month award for November. Okay, who hasn't won a Rookie of the Month award? My sister's dog has won a Rookie of the Month award. Get back to me when Landry Fields starts breaking some records at a true institution of basketball like Syracuse University. What? Fields didn't even go to Syracuse? Probably couldn't get in, the hack.
Winner: Wesley Johnson
Point guard Ricky Rubio is ready to change the future of one of these two teams.
Ricky Rubio vs. Ricky Rubio
Sure, he might not be like anybody else. But Ricky Rubio is a lot like himself. And there are two versions of Ricky Rubio who might come over to the NBA next season.
Version 1: Loves cold weather. Has a Siberian Husky dog named "Pooh." Thinks of David Kahn as his funny uncle who wears ugly sweaters at Christmas. Has posters of Terrell Brandon and Troy Hudson on his wall. Wants nothing more than to move into a loft in St. Louis Park, eat some bacon-flavored popcorn at the Icon movie theater, ride the rollercoaster at Nickelodeon Universe and hang out with guys like Joe Mauer and Jared Allen.
Version 2: Wants to move to New York. Likes shooting small animals. Favorite movie is Children of the Corn. Once took over a house in a California suburb and began communicating through the television sets to Craig T. Nelson. Will become involved in a sexting scandal with Miley Cyrus, Haley Williams and Hillary Duff.
We'll see which Ricky Rubio comes over next season. New York tabloids would bet on Version 2. But I'm putting my money on Version 1. Although, the sexting scandal might qualify for both versions.
Winner: Miley Cyrus, Haley Williams and Hillary Duff
The Knicks can't even get their cheerleaders in sync. How do they expect their players to ever be on the same page? Unless that page is on the back of the Manhattan phone book with "Missing" at the top.
The Knicks haven't been good in a long time. They might not be good for a much longer time. Last time, the Wolves and Kevin Love made history. Tonight, they'll add to that history. Expect a blowout of epic proportions.