12.26.07

Tonight’s Knicks Lineup : Top Secret

Posted in Basketball at 1:28 pm by

Newsday’s Ken Berger can’t tell us exactly who will take the floor for the Knicks tonight in Orlando, but odds are pretty good there will be at least 5 players in uniform.

The Knicks walked into Amway Arena this morning apparently unaware of Isiah Thomas™ plans for the starting lineup tonight against the Magic. Thomas said there will be changes, but wouldn™t say what they™ll be.

œWe™ll make a change, Thomas said. œYou™ll see at game time.

After an uncomfortable give-and-take with reporters about what those changes might entail, Thomas allowed some news to slip out. Not only did he acknowledge for the first time that Stephon Marbury has filed a grievance over being docked one game™s pay for leaving the team in Phoenix on Nov. 13, but he stated that the organization is fighting the former starting point guard on that grievance.

œOur position is as it is, Thomas said.

œAs what? I asked.

œIt™s a fine, he said.

Asked if there has been any reconsideration on the Knicks™ part with respect to the docked pay, Thomas said, œNo.

As for the lineup changes, Thomas said his decision wouldn™t be altered by the fact that the Knicks haven™t had a full practice with the new lineup.

œAll these guys have played together before and they™re familiar with each other, Thomas said.

At the center of the change is expected to be struggling center Eddy Curry, who sat slumped over at his locker this morning with a sweatshirt hood pulled over his head. Curry said he wasn™t sick or down, but he looked like he would rather be anywhere in the world other than the visiting locker room at Amway Arena.

œI ain™t heard nothing, Curry said. œWhat™d he tell y™all?

Informed that Thomas said there would be changes but wouldn™t specify, Curry said, œI™m not even thinking about it. If it happens, then I™ll take it from there. But right now I™m not even thinking about it.

Magic coach Stan Van Gundy, who also has contemplated lineup changes with his team having lost seven of nine, scoffed at Thomas™ attempt at secrecy.

œI don™t think them catching us by surprise on a roster move will have much to do with anything, Van Gundy said.

Hardly satisfied with pointing the many reasons why Eddy Curry and Zach Randolph in the same starting five doesn’t-fucking-work, the New York Times’ Howard Beck reports that Nate Robinson and Wilson Chandler have traded lockers. Beck cites “the chaos, the congestion and the cameras” of the assembled tri-state media “staking out the Knicks’ burly big men”.  Seems like a wise move — if N8 were trampled to death, Stephon Marbury might be on bereavement leave for the remainder of his contract.

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