For years, people who saw the good in two of our main scorers, Jamal Crawford and Zach Randolph, were ridiculed on this site and others. Zach was supposed to be a "black hole," Jamal a "chucker."
Clearly, both had flaws. Every player does, even the so-called greats. Because the Knicks were a losing club, both of these players' flaws were simply magnified, rather than being overlooked. They became scapegoats.
The reality is that both Crawford and Randolph have, and had, heart. They both have clutch ability and are fearless, no matter the opponent. Crawford, in fact, is probably one of the most clutch players in the league. Randolph is a fighter. They're not perfect, but they can create their own shots and score in bunches.
However, because the Knicks have spent almost a decade without a real center to help the Knicks beat teams on both ends, i.e., following the process of scoring the ball with a stop on the other, these players' efforts were all for naught. Crawford or Randolph would score, only to have the Knick "bigs" allow easy layups on the other end.
Knowing this, I stated, if you recall, around the start of the Damn-phony era, that we should keep both of these guys, that all that they needed was a big man who could block shots and rebound, to provide defensive stability in the middle (the most important area to have good D). If we could have gotten a center with an offensive game, I felt it would have made us that much better: an elite playoff team.
To that end, I suggested we draft Brook Lopez.
People either ridiculed this suggestion or ignored it for their obsession with Gallinari.
And what now?
Crawford was recently being talked about, on NBATV, as someone that should have been an all-star (Webber said he deserved the honor ahead of Joe Johnson). He essentially has the sixth-man of the year trophy on lock; and his clutch will make the Hawks deadly in the playoffs, since Johnson is prone to choke. His team is now second in the East. They're well on their way to a huge improvement over their previous record.
Zach is an all-star on a Memphis team that's rolling, after having been left off of the all-star ballot. I think that speaks for itself. Memphis has already doubled their previous season's win total. The only difference between that team and this one is Zach.
The common denominator with both guys' success is they're both playing with competent centers: Al Horford (ATL) and Marc Gasol (MEM).
Until we learn to support the good players that we already have, while getting rid of the nonredeemable, e.g., Curry, Duhon, Larry Hughes, etc., instead of playing the same failing lineups, which we then arbitrarily purge of all its members, even the decent ones, we will continue to stink.
Crawford and Randolph have proven that.