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Pre game Q&A with Knicks Fanatics

altBefore the Knicks series, fellow bloguiners at Knicks Fanatics asked me to do a short Q&A collaboration post.

I thought it would have been good to have a piece written in a proper english once in a lifetime, so that's the final outcome:

Do you consider Sixers as a real "competitor" for a playoffs spot or not?

The Sixers are certainly a competitor for a playoff spot, if for the simple and mind-burning realty that the bottom half of the Eastern Conference is not that good. The Nets, Raptors, Wizards and that thing they call a team in Cleveland are all shot to Hell's green room just waiting to make an appearance on the draft lottery show.

Detroit, the Bucks and Indiana, now that the youngin's have been freed by embattled GM Larry Bird all have a chance to improve and challenge for the 8th and 7th spots, but the 76ers are just more talented and more cohesive than those wanna bes. These next two games are very important for the Knicks playoff positioning, especially since the Sixers beat us in the previous contest.

These middling teams are the ones we can build our record and some consistency on.  If the Sixers fail to play for 36-48 minutes, they will not beat the Knicks. The Knicks know the Sixers are key to their success.  We expect they will come to play the entire game which is what got them to this point.

Sixers4guidos is...uh, well, an italian blog. How would you rank the season of Guido, pardon, Danilo Gallinari so far? What does he need to work on to improve?

Since returning from his injury Danilo "The Rooster" Gallinari has improved significantly because somebody or somebodies finally realized that the strength of his game is not "shooting."  In Europe, as a youngster he was the go to guy to win games. He was a scorer and a creator who started out with the ball in his hands. He didn't stand on the arc like he was waiting for a taxi or to be hit by a meteor. He created. 

Now he seems to have the green light to do drive to the basket where he can stay focused and employ his considerable European acting skills to get to the line. The decision to drive totally opens up his game and keeps him relevant when he is on the floor (more after the jump).

With that being said, he is still a sixth man. He remains very inconsistent, most importantly on the defensive end.  Although, he is not a quick defender and is sometimes totally disinterested, his lateral movement and energy are fabulous when he feels a challenge.

He always gets up for the Carmelo Anthony's and Dwayne Wade's of the world, but he cannot shut them down which is required in a defensive scheme which is not really based on sound defensive principles. In other words, without proper rotation and help there is only so much he can do and expending so much energy might be one of the reasons he rarely plays well offensively for more than half the game.

Would you trade for Iguodala? Is there any possible deal with the Sixers that you think can help both teams?

No. We need a big and an additional point guard. We don't need your wings; we got our own Rooster.

Stoudemire is a good-but-severely-overrated, one-dimensional player that gets a lot of hype because he plays (well this year) in NY. Please elaborate, or deny :-)

"Severely over-rated" is a painfully tortured overstatement. Amar'e Stoudemire has been more than advertised, because he has improved as a leader and player. It is not his fault that most teams in the NBA aren't smart enough to defend him appropriately enough to slow him down. Amar'e is bold, resolute and extremely strong.

He certainly has his weaknesses, but he is absolutely the most important reason the Knicks have been playing so well. Whatever hype he is getting, he deserves which has surprised a lot of Knicks fans. Tell Sixers fans not to be jealous.

What's the latest update about the relationship between D'Antoni and Knicks' fans? D'Antoni and NY media? 

D'Antoni is on the inevitable trajectory towards crash-burn.  SSOL (seven seconds or less) bball makes the Knicks more fun and exciting than they have been in years.  However, once Knicks fans taste consistent winning, they will be even hungrier for a the main course, championship. 

As Knicks fans gather together in the admission that D'Antoni cannot deliver a championship, the fans will be fit to eat their young, cannibalize their loyalty to be free to win and finally chew up and spit out the coach for a better chance at the Larry O'Brien cup. In other words, they will devour all and whoever they can to taste a championship -- It may take a couple of years, but D'Antoni is toast.

You might want to check my answers to their questions also. Thanks to LIVES & crew for doing this, let's enjoy the mini-series now !!