Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Jerome James: Auditioning or Something Else?

Tonight's game against the Lakers marked the 4th straight start for Jerome James. In those 4 games, his minutes dwindled down in each start going from 15 to 7 to 4 and now 1 mesmerizing minute against the Lakers. In the first game against Orlando, he actually helped the team to a win. But since that game, it has been difficult to understand why Isiah has him in the starting lineup. The easy route to take on this is that he is simply auditioning James to other teams. There are always teams out there looking for big men and in today's game, $5 million a year is not a bad price to pay for a big body. If the Knicks can unload James for an outside shooter, backup pg, or a defensive three, then they would be in a better position to make a push for the playoffs.

The other theory I have is maybe the auditioning is part of it, but the bigger part is Isiah has decided to put someone like James in the starting lineup to take the pressure off of Frye and Jeffries. Both of these players only seem to degress when they are in the starting lineup. They also cause problems for the team on offense and defense. Frye for his lack of post defense and Jeffries for his lack of offense from any range. With Isiah usually going with a different lineup to start the second half, this seems to be the most logical explanation. I think most people agree that the start of the 3rd quarter just feels different psychologically compared to the beginning of a game. Obviously, most people have been yelling for Lee to start, but I think Isiah has proven that he plans to keep Lee as his sixth man. It doesn't really matter anyway as Lee usually ends up being on the floor at the end of the game. I really think Isiah will keep this lineup until he sees Frye or Jeffries take a step forward and become a vital part of the lineup. Let's just hope that happens soon..real soon.

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