When Eddy Curry made his sason debut with 2:38 remaining in the first half at Dallas last night, the Knicks were leading by 11 points. When the half ended, their lead had dwindled to two points and the Mavericks were well on their way to their eventual victory. Curry had help during those crucial 158 seconds, but he made it clear that there are miles to go before he can help the Knicks do anything positive.
Curry couldn't get up and down the floor in time to help on offense or defense. There was a sequence when Dallas' James Singleton muffed two layups and grabbed two rebounds, in large part because Curry was taking the scenic route back to the defensive end of the floor. When he finally did get there, he was so winded that he couldn't do anything except foul Brandon Bass.
Conditioning wasn't Curry's biggest problem, however. Curry told the New York Times that “just remembering the plays” caused him more trouble than anything else. Fat, dumb and lazy was no way to get through Faber College, and it won't serve you all that much better in the NBA.
That's an overly harsh assessment of Curry, obviously, but it remains very difficult to see how Curry can fit into the current Knick system. Mike D'Antoni, with one eye on generating enough interest in Curry to facilitate a trade, has said that Curry will work out. He uses Shaquille O'Neal's experience in Phoenix last season as a touchstone. O'Neal put up decent enough stats, but the team seemed disjointed and washed out in the first round.
There may not be any reason to harbor any hopes of a winning turnaround for the Knicks this season. That impressive win against the Celtics stoked the idea that they could, but two losses to follow stemmed that happy tide. Curry's return won't turn things back the other way. He has to play to get traded, but until he's traded the team will suffer from his inclusion in the lineup.