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Evident Progress [Mar. 12th, 2007|10:25 pm]
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[theconvictor]
[mood |shockedincredulous]
[music |"Panama," Van Halen]

Isiah Thomas had to demonstrate "evident progress" this season as the coach/GM of the Knicks in order to save his job. Of course, that begged the question as to what "evident progress" entailed. Well, now we know.

Thomas Shows 'Evident Progress'; Earns New Deal.

Apparently, "evident progress" means:

- Going 29-34 despite playing in a weak conference and despite having the highest payroll in the league where you're spending more money on players who are no longer on the roster (like Allan Houston, Jalen Rose, and Jerome Williams, among others) than some teams are spending on their active roster. But hey, they have 6 more wins than they did all of last year. Way to go Isiah! I smell Coach and GM of the Year.

- Barely clinging onto the #8 seed in the playoff race. Of course, I'm convinced that some Division-I teams could go .500 in the East and secure home-court advantage in at least the first round. The Kings, Sonics, and Warriors would probably be battling it out for the #1 seed if they were out East. Sure, the Knicks probably overachieved this year. I thought they would be threatening the '73 Sixers' mark for worst record of all time. Just because they weren't as terrible as most people thought they would be doesn't mean we should be erecting statues of Isiah outside MSG just yet.

- Injecting a sense of toughness and physicality, much like the "Bad Boys" teams in Detroit. Of course, by doing so, he helped trigger the biggest brawl of the year and nearly submarined their season in the process. Plus, his continued encouragement of Nate Robinson, the biggest little showboater and poor-sport in the NBA, is a lot like a Sith Lord tutoring his pupil. I always thought that Ron Artest crossed the line from intense but controllable complementary player to full-blown psychopath during his time in Indiana with Thomas as his coach. Don't be surprised if Nate lies down on a scorer's table or asks for time off to cut a rap album in the near future.

- Thomas has brought out the best in the likes of Eddy Curry, Stephon Marbury, and David Lee. Well, considering that Eddy Curry and Stephon Marbury were high lottery picks and believed by many to be future franchise players when they entered the NBA, I don't really see too much to brag about here. Plus, who is Eddy Curry competing against in the East? Shaq's been hurt for most of the year. Ben Wallace is a shadow of the player he was in Detroit. Zydrunas Ilgauskas has the mobility of an elephant. I don't even know who starts at center for the Celtics, Wizards, Hawks, and Nets. Other than Jermaine O'Neal, Dwight Howard, and Andrew Bogut (and that last one is quite the stretch), there's no one in the East who should be able to stand up to Eddy Curry. So, my question is, why isn't the guy averaging 25 and 10? He's at 19.3 and 7.1. 7.1 rebounds a game? When you're 7 feet and 280 pounds? And Marbury's supposed renaissance? He's putting up 15.8 ppg and 5.5 assists a game. He's not scoring. He's not passing. But hey, he thinks he's better than Steve Nash, so I guess that counts for something. As for David Lee, he's been great. Oh, Isiah tried to trade him for Darius Miles last year. He should be fired (or forced to explain himself) just for coveting Darius Miles in the first place.

- No sexual harassment suits since he became coach. Well, that's true. Thank goodness for small favors, I guess.

After last year's disaster, any kind of improvement would have probably been enough to show the kind of "evident progress" that James Dolan was looking for. Just like if you survived the Bubonic Plague, then smallpox is no big deal. Congrats New York fans. You're stuck with Isiah for at least one more year. If he continues to show this kind of "evident progress," then you should be planning that championship parade sometime in 2028.
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