The Basketball Chronicle
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From the out set of the playoffs it is perfectly clear some teams don't have a shot, period. The Hawks, Bucks, and this year Lakers team don't have "him". Who or what is him ? Good question. Chris Andersen a.k.a. "Birdman" of the peacock, tattoo, arm flapping Miami Heat forward. Birdman has a particular role to play and he has flourished in doing so. His ability to disrupt plays around the rim either with a block or key rebound usually sends the crowd into euphoria. The whole Birdman thing is great as well. It's amazing how so many teams go on year after year with no enforcer, the one guy who will do the dirty work without being concerned for his own stats. From his Denver Nugget days Birdman has stood out as this "cartoonish type of person" but even better than just the gimmicky aspect of it all is the fact he is a good basketball player. Other guys in the league have a similar role, Tyler Hansbrough in Indiana is "Birdman" like but he doesn't have the extra that goes along with it. Reggie Evans of the Brooklyn Nets is another guy that has similar traits in his game, but again there is no crowd raising appeal here. These guys will get a nice cheer from the home crowd, but nothing like the euphoria of Birdman. Fortunately for the New York Knicks they signed Kenyon Martin off the couch and he in only a matter of weeks has become a fan favorite, doing his Kmart "thing". One thing working for Kmart, fans in the New York metropolitan area are familiar with what he brings to the table. Everyone remembers a younger Jason Kidd throwing lobs in the air and Kmart coming out of nowhere to slam it home. The blocks,rebounds and overall nastiness of K-Mart is something this new Knick team has lacked. Chandler is a good finesse defensive player but teams don't fear his presence in the paint. Martin is liable to take ones head off or block a shot into the 5th row. Not since Mase, Oakley, and co have the Knicks had such an interior presence in the paint on defense. Stay thirsty my friends...

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