Big step: Eddy Curry plays a little

By Henry Abbott

It wasn't the flashiest performance of the night, but it was meaningful. After a summer of losing weight, and early season of injuries and ridicule, Knick big man Eddy Curry checked into an NBA game tonight with 1:32 left in the first quarter.

The miserable Knicks were down five to the Pacers at the time. Just two minutes later, the Pacers hadn't scored again, and Curry knocked home his first bucket of the season which gave the Knicks their first lead of the game.

In 12 minutes of play, Curry finished with 10 points, on four shots, to go with four rebounds, three turnovers and four fouls. The Knicks were plus-nine while Curry was in the game, and beat the Pacers by seven to double their win total of the season.

It may not seem like much. But remember, when Eddy Curry was nothing but a bad contract, the Knicks' future was dicey. If he's a productive player, whether the Knicks trade him or keep him, then the Knicks get to choose between keeping him as a post player to pair with a premium free agent, or trade him for an expiring contract (and the cap space to sign another top shelf free agent next summer).

For Eddy Curry, the biggest player on the NBA's biggest-market team, any production is big production, and this game was a promising start.