Boos or Not, Knicks Have a Strong Draft Night

It's clear Donnie Walsh had more than one plan for the night

Draft night reactions can wind up being prescient or silly. Look at the reactions of Jets fans over the years to the team's picks and you'll see that fans can sometimes smell a stinker coming a mile down the road. You can also see Eagles fans booing Donovan McNabb, because they wanted Ricky Williams of all people, and realize that hype can color thinking a million different ways.

You don't need to rely on football drafts to tell the story. Listen to Knicks G.M. Donnie Walsh discussing a couple of picks from his time with the Pacers.

"They booed Chuck Person who was the Rookie of the Year. They booed Reggie Miller. I could keep going on. The players all have to prove themselves."

There's no denying that the Knicks wanted to get a point guard. Walsh said as much following the draft. He was smart enough not to be left without a backup plan if that happened, and that backup plan was to pick players well suited to Mike D'Antoni's offense.

Jordan Hill can run the floor, he can run the pick and roll and make a midrange jumper. Toney Douglas filled up scoresheets in the ACC and can score in a variety of ways. Both guys, although Douglas in particular, are defensive upgrades for a team that didn't play much of it. If David Lee and Nate Robinson do depart as restricted free agents, Douglas and Hill should slide into their spots without much trouble.

That's good planning, but it doesn't mean that this is the end of the manuevering by Walsh or the Knicks. The situation in Minnesota will be monitored closely as the T-Wolves try to figure out if Ricky Rubio will be part of their team next season. If things remain as they are, though, the Knicks appear to be a better team today than they were yesterday. That's the most important plan of all.

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to and in addition to his duties for

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