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Another Game in Texas Tonight

Just a quick aside about a couple of things that caught my eye from another NBA game that took place in Texas tonight. 

As one-sided as the Clippers game in San Antonio figured to be, the Knicks game in Dallas figured to be every bit as bad.  Dallas was riding a league high 13 game winning streak; New York had lost 17 of 21.  And like the Spurs-Clippers series, the Mavs have completely dominated the Knicks in recent years, with Dallas winning 15 of the last 16 meetings including a 50 (!) point win in New York earlier this season.  The Knicks had not won in Dallas THIS CENTURY. 

So it was sure to be a blowout in Dallas tonight.  And indeed it was, only not the one everyone expected.  The Knicks beat the Mavs 128 to 94. 

I have two points, tangential to the Clippers.  One is that you just never know what's going to happen.  You think you know, and most of the time that's exactly what happens, but every once in a while something crazy happens.  And that's why we'll probably keep watching the Clippers during these final 15 games - because something crazy might happen.

The other point has to do with the Marcus Camby trade.  The Knicks leading scorer tonight was Bill Walker, a 2008 second round draft pick who'd been unable to crack the Celtics rotation in a season plus in Boston.  The Knicks were able to get Walker AND J.R. Giddens AND a second round pick from Boston for Nate Robinson - a player who didn't figure into their future at any rate.  I refuse to believe that Nate Robinson was worth more than Marcus Camby on the NBA's trading floor.  And certainly Travis Outlaw and Steve Blake are more established talents and more likely to help a team this season.  But who cares?  They've got expiring contracts and the odds of them re-signing with the Clippers this off season are slim regardless. 

I'd MUCH rather have Walker or Giddens, big time college stars who've not gotten much burn in the NBA - who also happen to have team options on their contracts.  If Outlaw or Blake go on a tear to end the season, all they're doing is driving up their price on the free agent market, making it less likely they'll be any long term benefit to the team.  If Walker or Giddens starts to light it up (as indeed Walker has), the Knicks can exercise their option and retain one or both on the cheap.  If not, they are gone for coveted cap space, which is something the Knicks and Clippers have in common. 

Walker is shooting 60% as a Knick, averaging 10 points per game and has topped 20 on 4 occasions.  Oh yeah, and he's 22.