Friday , Mar , 31 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Start spreadin’ the news: NY a lock for No. 1 pick

(Sports Network) – Somewhere in the New York Knicks front office a calendar
has a red circle marked for April 19th.

That particular date will not only be a possible loss to the New Jersey Nets,
but the end of a disastrous 2005-06 season. It will also be one day before
head coach Larry Brown can start fixing the mess he and president Isiah Thomas
created.

New York has made some head-scratching moves which “lifted” the squad to a
19-51 record so far this season and left the Knicks out of the playoffs for
the fourth time in five years.

The experiment with Jalen Rose and Steve Francis turned sour, while the
relationship between Brown and Stephon Marbury is almost as ridiculous as the
Terrell Owens soap opera in Philadelphia.

Those distractions led to poor play on the hardwood and it showed
mercifully in Wednesday’s 123-98 loss to the Boston Celtics. Mind you,
the Celtics have something to play for, but pride was thrown under the subway
for New York.

The Knicks allowed 40 points in the first quarter and 71 by halftime en route
to their sixth consecutive loss. Eddy Curry had 20 points and eight boards for
the Knicks, who have dropped eight of their last 10 contests.

Brown, a bespectacled basketball genius, will rise again and have the Knicks
playing better basketball someday. It just didn’t work out in his first gig in
the Big Apple.

He and the rest of the Knicks will have to take baby steps when they open a
home-and-home series with the Philadelphia 76ers at Madison Square Garden on
Friday night.

After the home-and-home series, the Knicks will face a few Eastern Conference
powers such as Washington, Cleveland, Indiana, Boston, Milwaukee, Detroit and
New Jersey.

By the time April 19th rolls around the Knicks should have already
solidified their chances in receiving the first overall pick in the NBA Draft.

NYK