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Thursday, April 24, 2014

2010-2011 Game Recap: NY 98–Tor 93

Right before the start of the game, I  told my wife how this moment is the best part of the season. It’s the time where you can learn about the team and the team can surprise you in all sorts of ways good or bad.  It’s nice to wonder how things will play out.  Now that they have played out–for at least 1 of the 82 games–let’s take a look at what we learned about this team.

I was interested in everything but took special note of the rookies Mozgov and Fields.  Mozgov didn’t surprise at me all picking up a foul within 32 seconds of court time (10 seconds into the first defensive possession).  He picks up his second about 3 minutes later and didn’t play again until the second half.  At the start of the second half, I made a Pop-Tart and I wondered if Mozgov would be done before the Pop-Tart. Mozgov won but not by much.

My initial impression of Fields was that he looked tentative in the early going. In time it became clear that Fields wasn’t tentative, he was simply picking the right spot to contribute.  His line: 30 minutes, 11 points, 4 reb 4-8 Fg (3-6 3fg).  He didn’t pick up any assists but he balanced that by not turning over the ball. He didn’t force anything on offense. He out played DeRozan and was only mildly abused my Kleiza. I’d say a very good introduction.

Stoudemire was a mixed bag 19 pts on 7-16 fg with 10 rebounds.  When he got deep he was great. But when he had to catch the ball outside the paint and either dribble to the basket or take a shot beyond 15 feet, nothing good came of it.  Stoudemire turned the ball over 9 times. I’m pretty sure only one of those was an offensive foul.  Then there was one that Jack knocked off his foot late in the 4th.  The rest, all bad ball handling.  Here is a sample of my in game notes:

For all his talent, I’m starting to see some things I do not like in Stoudemire.  He does not rebound well, he is a bit sloppy with the ball, and his face-up defense is not impressive.  He also takes the ball outside the paint and tries to dribble into the paint.  It really hurts the half-court offense.

Stoudemire still catching the ball too far out and then dribbling to the hoop, nearly turned it over.  Another Stoudemire dribble drive turnover.

Hate to say it but the half court offense is far less sloppy with Stoudemire on the bench. 3:50 left to play Stoudemire catches in the paint, turns and scores.  Felton got him the ball where he needs it to be effective and we got a good shot out of it. 1:45 to play, Stoudemire has to dribble into the paint and it leads to a turn over for Jack. When will they learn?

So with Stoudemire, they need to get him the ball deep in the paint so he doesn’t have to  do so much to create his offense. I blame Felton for this. Felton needs to learn when to give Stoudemire the ball.  You don’t just give it to Stoudemire then let the magic happen.

That aside, Felton played well I thought. 15 pts (6-14 fgs, 1-4 3fgs) 6 rebs, 6 asts, 1 stl, 3 turnovers.  He looked great getting to the hole.  The only real problem was giving the ball to Stoudemire out of position and taking more 3 pointers than I thought he should.  But in this offense, there will be threes for all.

Gallinari’s game? Meh. 12 points (3-9, 2-5) 6 rebounds.  I watched the way Bargnani played and I wished Gallinari would get to that level.  I’m starting to think he won’t get there.  An example of the different approach: when Toronto was making a run in the 2nd, Bargnani faked a three, lost his defender took two dribbles closer and nailed a long two.  In the 3rd Gallinari faked a three, lost his defender, took a step to his left, made sure he was still behind the arc, then missed a three. ‘Nuff said.

The bench was fantastic led by a surprisingly effective Chandler (22 points, 8 rebs).  Douglas played very well and Turiaf did help the defense with 4 blocks and 2 steals.  My wife upon seeing Turiaf: “What is up with that Col. Sanders beard of his?”  Walker was awful.  Walker’s problem: he is only useful if he is shooting well, which he did not do (0-6 fg, 0-2 3fg) 2 rebounds, 1 turnover and zeros everywhere else ( I wanted to start him at the 2, what was I thinking?).

The Knicks did a great job with the give and go early on.  They scored or drew a foul on 5 of 6 of those plays in the first half.  They took advantage of the lack of shot blocking on Toronto, but in the second and third, they abandoned that play all together.  I’m not sure why.  When they got away from that play the ball movement really suffered. Only 12 assists for the game, 15-17 free throws and 7-24 3fgs. I don’t like seeing more threes taken than free throws taken but I better learn to adjust.  The rebounding was not good. My game notes again:

Awful sequence with5 minutes to play in the first.  Reggie Evans gets an  offensive rebound with three Knicks around him. Stoudemire with a poor block out and a weak one-handed rebound attempt. Evans gets the ball and then Stoudemire just walks away to complain about a push in the back.  Evans then finds himself alone under the basket and is so surprised he blows the easy lay in.  This rebounding is really going to hurt this team.

Yes they out rebounded Toronto 49 to 45, but keep in mind that Toronto is really bad at rebounding outside of Reggie Evans.  The Celtics will not repeat such mistakes. 

Mistakes aside, the Knicks did manage to pull out a win on the road in a game where they blew a 16 point lead.  When they needed to get a few good shots, Stoudemire got deep in the post and provided the offense needed. D’Antoni deserves some credit for moving Chandler to the bench. The play from the reserves was  a key factor in the win. There are some things to build on here but I fear a much more sobering view of the team may be available to us after the Celtics game.  We can talk about it then.

47 comments on “2010-2011 Game Recap: NY 98–Tor 93

  1. Brian Cronin

    Heroically, the Warriors were able to hold on for a win against the Rockets in spite of David Lee’s non-assertive 17 points, 15 rebounds, 6 assists and 1 block on 6-11 shooting (5-6 from the free throw line) (he also turned the ball over 3 times and had 3 fouls).

  2. Thomas B. Post author

    BC, put that line in perspective please. It’s Golden State, they scored 132 points in a regulation game. Ellis had 46. Curry 25 and 11. They played the entire game with the turbo button pressed or Game Genie codes or something. Hell, Luis Scola had 36 and 16. Luis Scola!

  3. SJK

    It’s possible, if not probable, that a lot of STAT’s rust today was a result of his limited pre-season minutes. It looked like he was forcing things and he didn’t seem to be in the flow of the offense. Whenever he got the ball, everything was stagnant. However, his play should improve as the season goes on.

  4. SeeWhyDee77

    My take?? Impressed with Fields, Chandler, and Felton. Turiaf came up BIG. Rooster is looking more and more one dimensional…he has indeed caught John Starks Syndrome. U know-when a good offensive weapon falls in love with the 3 pointer. Stat…well as Thomas B says-needs to get the ball in better spots. Even still he is gonna be tough for opposing defenses to work with. Believe it or not..i’m not worried by Mozgov’s performance yet. After all, this is his 1st meaningful game in the NBA…and it came against an “unconventional” 5 in Bargniani. He’ll problee look a lil better against the C’s. It was only the 1st game but it looks like we will get some stops this season. But as heady of a PG u think Felt would be after playing at UNC and then playing under LB for a couple seasons, u would hope that he would get the ball to Stat in better positions to score more often. As talented as Stat is, he’s a horrible ballhandler. But it’s 1 of 82, it will get better, I have no doubt.

  5. nicos

    Thomas B.: Hell, Luis Scola had 36 and 16.Luis Scola!  

    And who was guarding Luis Scola?? I watched the second half of the Warrior’s game and Lee played pretty well on O (though getting the ball out of those guards hands will be a season long struggle I think) but Scola repeatedly back him down for easy scoop shots in the paint. Scola’s not bad but Lee’s D was still awful.

    On Bargnani vs. Gallo- I get your point- that play by Gallo kind of annoyed me as he should have just taken the shot in rhythm and worried less about where his feet were. That said, Bargnani takes too many long 2′s, doesn’t take advantage of his size when he has a mismatch, and doesn’t finish well around the rim. His offensive game does look smoother than Gallo’s but the results aren’t any better.

  6. BigBlueAL

    I just saw a few player interviews from after the game and every single one of them basically just talked about defense and rebounding. Who is coaching this team, Jeff Van Gundy?? lol

  7. KnickfaninNJ

    SeeWhyDee77,

    I am not sure the rooster is looking so one dimensional. To my eye, he missed a lot of three pointers early but did other stuff and defended reasonably. It’s true he wasn’t so great at the other stuff, but at least he was trying. Last year he would have just camped out at the three point line or passed the ball to someone. Can anyone else comment on what he looked like last night?

  8. Frank

    I said it yesterday and I’ll say it again – I think Felton and Amare are allergic to running the pick and roll together. Not sure that is Felton’s fault — as soon as he brings it up the court, the two of them go to one side and Felton dribble handoffs to STAT near the 3 point line. That must be coming from D’Antoni – they don’t even attempt to do anything else!

    And in Gallo’s defense — he is 3 full years younger than Bargnani, and is really only playing in his 2nd NBA season. This is Bargnani’s 5th season. That being said – Gallo gets fouled every time he drives — gotta do it more even if he has no body/ball control when he gets near the hoop.

  9. Kevin McElroy

    Anyway nice recap and our assessments seem to agree on most counts. I do think douglas looked bad though: a man w/o a position. Once the roles are ironed out and gallo is hitting his shots, this could be a very solid group.

  10. Thomas B. Post author

    I did not think Douglas looked bad. He took a few bad threes but that is par for the course on this team. I thought Douglas played well and he didnt grind the offense to a halt like Stat did on a number of occasions. I cant say he looks better than Fields. Perhaps he only looked good to me compared to Walker who was just awful out there. I don’t know 5-9 4 rebs and 1 turnover in 27 minutes is fair to good for a reserve 1/2 I think. I cant beat on him too much for the 0 assists as the overall ball movement was poor last night. Tamayto, Tamahto.

  11. Thomas B. Post author

    Hey the Knicks sit atop the Atlantic division! I’m taking a screen shot of that as I may not see it again.

  12. Ted Nelson

    Just to keep beating the David Lee drum one last time (and it’s not that I want Lee back instead of Amare or am upset with Amare, it’s that it ticks me off to have people incorrectly remember Lee and basically call him a glorified Eduardo Najera when the entire offense was run through him last season and the offense was average)… The argument I’ve seen a bunch is that Lee cannot do what Amare does scoring the ball. However, I’m not sure Amare can do what Lee does running an offense and rebounding either. He was a dive man in Phoenix, and the first game the Knicks try to dump the ball and let him do work… he turns it over 9 (NINE) times. If you give him the ball at the top of the key every possession and hope your offense runs smoothly, you are probably going to be in for a bad time. Rebounding I also just don’t know that Amare has Lee’s skill, though he gave a strong effort last night. Running an offense and rebounding absolutely are skills, I don’t understand why people assume anyone can do them.

  13. iserp

    I don’t think Gallinari was too unidimensional. He did post up a couple of times, and drove to the rim another couple. But sometimes he seemed not involved enough, i want him to ask more for the ball and try to create.

  14. Ted Nelson

    SJK: It’s possible, if not probable, that a lot of STAT’s rust today was a result of his limited pre-season minutes.

    I would say that it is not at all probable. He murdered the Raps in the pre-season. And limited minutes would only come into play late in the game if he was sucking air. I would say it was just chance and/or how he was used in the offense/his crappy play. It’s as if he’s intentionally trying to not play in rhythm with the rest of the offense and create every opportunity for himself. Some people literally think this is great, but I’d rather he try to score in the flow of the offense more often than not. I can’t believe that between Amare and Heat in Game 1, America’s best players still think basketball is all about 1-on-1 play…

    SeeWhyDee77: Rooster is looking more and more one dimensional…he has indeed caught John Starks Syndrome.

    Or Reggie Miller syndrome, or Peja Stojakovic synrome… you know, when a player is an amazingly good shooter. Danilo is not starting to look this way, he’s been this way since he got to the NBA. He’s definitely looking LESS one dimensional: last night he had 6 rebounds, 4 FTAs, 1 each of blk, ast, stl… not great but not a one dimensional night either. He actually averaged more 3PA/36 each of the last two seasons than last night. It wasn’t a particularly good game for him, but he still had a TS% of 56. I’d like to see him do more AND the team get him the ball more, but I can live with these games when others are stepping up.
    The problem I saw was that when Wilson Chandler was having a hot night he and/or the team started to think he was LeBron or Kobe or something… Early enough in the shot clock he was taking long 2s and driving with his head down, while there were plenty of other scorers on the court. There are still those plays when as the shot is going up you already know he’s probably going to miss because it was an awful decision to shoot. You turn a couple of late WC/Amare iso type plays into ball movement and I like the Knicks’ chances a lot better. After watching all time great players like MJ and LeBron take over games people start to think one guy HAS to take over a game late and you HAVE to score on iso plays. Sometimes the defense forces you into those situations… but definitely not Toronto’s defense: they are awful defensively. The Knicks seemed to be actively seeking out those iso and 2-man situations late instead of pushing a weak defense. They would have 2 or 3 guys standing within a few feet of each other… which you learn is a bad idea in like 2nd grade. Amare and Felton (and D’Antoni maybe) might as well have handed the ball to Jarrett Jack on those two possessions. He was able to make those steals because the Knicks had no spacing and everyone in the building knew Amare was going to the basket and shooting.

  15. Ted Nelson

    My point in that last run-on paragraph is that late in the game Gallo and team offense were forgotten, while Amare and WC forced the issue too much and Felton basically enabled them to be dumb. (Amare’s 3 baskets in a row or whatever not withstanding… there he forced the issue in space and took mostly decent looks, though that one bank shot was pretty incredible. I mean after that run basically. No spacing and bad shots against a bad defense…)

  16. DS

    The Knicks’ shot blocking was awesome to see. I think Kenny Albert said they equaled their season high in game 1. Not that surprising, but a very positive change from last year.

  17. DS

    Sorry for the triple post but I just have to add that I think Turiaf has been playing great. It was obvious to me while watching the game last night that he would have the team’s best +/- for the game which he also did 3 times during the pre-season… you have to start feeling pretty great about a bench of Chandler, Douglas, and Turiaf.

  18. knickfan2010

    I’m just gonna say it. Ray Felton’s short arms are really not ideal for making good entry passes. In fact, everytime he makes a one armed entry pass it makes me nervous. There were a few entry passes to Amare at the top of the key where on a 15 foot bounce pass, the bounce would come at the 5 foot mark, leaving the ball vulnerable for a steal for the remaining 10 feet in the air. Don’t we learn the bounce pass in like 3rd grade gym? Amare doesn’t seem to be happy with where he gets the ball (not really cause he just wants the ball) and how he gets the ball. There were a couple he needed to lose position in catching the pass, I could just see him missing Nash already. It’s only a matter of time before Amare pulls a Kobe and barks at his team for all their mistakes as well as his own. Why they don’t run the pick and roll, I don’t know. I don’t know why Ray shoveling the ball to Amare, at the top of the key is the default offense. Maybe Felton doesn’t really know much about running an offense, despite the “legendary” Larry Brown tutoring him. Amare is gifted when getting the ball rolling to the basket with some momentum. It seems obvious, but i’m hoping Ray Ray might read this. Also, why can’t we have Blake Griffin? Nobody on this team goes strong to the ball. It reminds me of how Eddy Curry would go up for a rebound and then catch the ball on his descent with his hands by his chest, as if he really wished David Lee would clean up the mess instead. It’s ridiculous. That said, good win for the Knicks.

  19. knickfan2010

    Also, two players that are unwatchable. Mosgov, stop going for steals and just play straight up defense. Roger Mason, if you’re only job is to hit the corner three, stop shooting from anywhere else, stop bricking all your shots. This can’t fly under the radar, he has no use, get rid of him.

  20. Nick C.

    Geez its only the first game of 82…as an examble remeber all the “sky is falling, blah, blah, blah” about the Jets after week 1 and the Giants after week 2 or 3. Now look at them.

  21. dmull

    Watched the replay last night as I was working, so I’m not sure if the emotion of watching a game 1 win on the road was not blocking my brain, but I thought both teams looked pretty miserable. Even as the Knicks made a run to go up double-digits in the first half, it wasn’t as if it was something they were doing. The Raps basically stopped playing and started missing wide open shots. Turiaf made some weird plays, which I think is probably in large part due to the softness of the Toronto middle.
    I really think the Knicks will be better than expected this year. But watching last night I thought it looked like a team that took advantage of playing a weak team (a positive sign) but ultimately doesn’t understand it’s identity yet and is sure to stumble early on.

  22. Ted Nelson

    knickfan2010: Amare doesn’t seem to be happy with where he gets the ball (not really cause he just wants the ball) and how he gets the ball.

    I don’t know if that’s true… To me he seemed all too happy to get the ball a step in front of the 3-pt line and just bull-rush the basket (pass and reset if you’re not happy and it’s early in the shot clock…), but hopefully he was unhappy and just had to live with it.

    knickfan2010: Maybe Felton doesn’t really know much about running an offense, despite the “legendary” Larry Brown tutoring him.

    At some point I think you have to assume something is by design. I would put a good deal of the blame on D’Antoni at some point. Felton is never going to be Nash, but that doesn’t mean he has to hand the ball to Amare at the 3 point line to invite a double-team, or that Amare needs to then proceed to bull rush the basket with an Al Harrington-esque everyone sees it coming spin move.

    knickfan2010: lso, why can’t we have Blake Griffin? Nobody on this team goes strong to the ball.

    Can you really say that after game 1? Everyone seemed to be going strong to the ball, from Amare to WC and Gallo to the guards… It might be a problem all season, but last night I would not say rebounding aggression was a problem. Even after a whistle had blown the Knicks were aggressively going after rebounds the Raptors ignored, which might be a good sign. Amare even got in Reggie Evans’ face over a rebound that didn’t count after a whistle.

    knickfan2010: Also, two players that are unwatchable. Mosgov, stop going for steals and just play straight up defense. Roger Mason, if you’re only job is to hit the corner three, stop shooting from anywhere else, stop bricking all your shots.

    It was just one game… give them a little chance. Neither is likely to set the world on fire, but Mason will hit some shots and Timo played good defense in the pre-season.

    dmull: But watching last night I thought it looked like a team that took advantage of playing a weak team (a positive sign) but ultimately doesn’t understand it’s identity yet and is sure to stumble early on.  

    Very possible… Boston will be much more of a test. I don’t know if they’re “sure to stumble early,” but they’re not going to win every night for sure. Especially not when they make some of the mistakes they did last night against good teams. There were plenty of encouraging things, too, though.

  23. TDM

    DS: @11 Thomas – “Hey the Knicks sit atop the Atlantic division! I’m taking a screen shot of that as I may not see it again.” The Knicks are also the #3 rebounding team in the league. Make sure you hang onto that image as well.http://espn.go.com/nba/team/_/name/ny/new-york-knicks  (Quote)

    They are also #1 in shotblocking.

    Regarding the comparison of Gallo’s and Bargnani’s performances last night, I’m not sure what the point is. Now that Bosh is gone, Toronto was primarily running its offense through Barg. Their respective roles on their teams are completely different. They both played roughly the same amount of minutes, however, Barnani’s usage rate for the game was double that of Gallo – 30% to 14%. Gallo took 9 shots, only one of which was within 20 feet of the basket. Bargnani took 21 shots, only 4 of which were more than 20 feet from the basket. Personally, I thought Gallo played a fairly efficient game and hopefully as the year progresses, he will improve and become a more rounded and agressive player. That said, he is not going to carry the load for this team this year.

  24. Thomas B. Post author

    @25 TDM,

    It was more the style of play and approach to scoring that struck me. I understand that Bargnani will get more looks for Toronto than Gallinari will but Gallinari seemed to settle for quick threes. He made one good move to the hole then two nice moves on the high block. Bargnani seemed not to settle as much as Gallinari. Bargnani was more active, he moved without the ball well, scored inside and outside. He was more agressive and he got them back in the game. I think Gallinari could be just as effective if he was more agressive and didnt just settle for threes. I am ready to see some growth from him, and I didnt see much of it last night.

  25. ess-dog

    One thing that stands out to me is that, finally, THIS is a “D’Antoni” team.
    Clearly the halfcourt offense needs a lot of work, but this offense was built to run. Blocks, steals, and defensive boards all lead to fast break points and we’ve heavily improved in blocks and steals. And last night we shot 29% from three, thanks to some slumping players and/or nerves. If we can maintain our defensive effort while improving our three-point shooting, we will be a troublesome club to play against. But we really need Gallo, Walker, Fields, Douglas and even Chandler and Felton hitting those open 3′s.
    Our halfcourt needs to improve if we want any shot at playoff basketball, but we have some time to work on that. Familiarity will help.
    Boston will be a nice test. Can’t wait to see what Gallo can do against Pierce. We’ll really need Mosgov’s beef against their frontline, but I think we’ll be able to poke away and swat a lot of balls from those old men.
    Also looking forward to the Gallo/Batum matchup against Portland…

  26. TDM

    Thomas B. – “My wife upon seeing Turiaf: ‘What is up with that Col. Sanders beard of his?’”

    I actually thought for a moment that the Knicks had signed Jimmy McMillan from The Rent Is Too Damn High Party for front court depth.

  27. Frank O.

    Last night during the game I noted that it seemed weird Amare was getting the ball so far outside the paint. He clearly doesn’t protect the ball well, which is compounded when he dribbles into a double-team.
    Ted is right that he tended to be a diver with Phoenix and Nash knew how to use him that way. That may be a detail that Felton and Amare need to work out. Perhaps they will adjust against the Celts.
    One thing about Amare: he got only two blocks (only), but he also forced a bunch of shots to be altered. He got 10 rebounds, three offensive.
    He has a confidence that has been lacking on the Knicks. You get a sense with Amare that he will close hard and well. He, like the rest, kept emphasizing defense.
    D’Antoni emphasized that defense will save this team as they figure out how to create offensive flow with these players.
    The thing that hurt the Knicks, aside from Amare’s turnovers, was Walker 0-6, Mason 0-3, and Mosgov 0-1, which amounted to 24 minutes of utterly ineffective ball.
    There was one play where Mosgov inexplicably walked into a defender. You couldn’t call it a moving pick because he just walked over the guy! Hard to teach to dumb…I hope he’s not dumb.

    —–

    Another thought:
    The more I watch Amare, the more I think it was way better getting him than if the Knicks landed Bosh.
    I’m also convinced that Lee plays a better all around game than Bosh. In fact, I believe Lee in Miami would be a far better fit with Lebron and Wade because he understands how to live off the land and play in the flow. Bosh doesn’t do that as well.
    In a game with two guys on his team putting up sick numbers last night, Lee still managed to get 17 points, 15 rebounds, 6 assists and a block. I guarantee he didn’t have one play run for him.
    And he’s playing on a completely new team. He’s glue, PLUS…super-glue. A new nick name?:)
    In fact, I think this is the year we will see Lee eclipse Bosh.

    Which leads me to my last point:
    Landry Fields reminds me a little of Lee, albeit in a different position. He knows how to play in the flow. He makes plays when you need them. He plays better defense than Lee, although he’ll never be able to bang for boards as Lee can.
    But don’t be surprised if the kid in two years is putting up 18 or better and 7 or 8 rebounds, plus 6 assists, which, if I’m not mistaken, are Grant Hill-like numbers. IN fact, Hill may be a better comparison for Fields. He’s that talented. I think Fields is for real.

  28. Frank O.

    My favorite comment last night:

    When the MSG gal, Cervasio, asked Turiaf about the Knicks blowing a 16 point lead, he smiled at her and said something along the lines of, “This is the NBA. Every player is good. We knew they would make a run.”
    He’s seems about as likeable as his reputation.

  29. Jafa

    Although not everyone on this blog likes Melo (looking at you HCJ), Melo just said publicly “it’s a time for change”:

    http://www.realgm.com/src_wiretap_archives/69802/20101028/melo_its_a_time_for_change/

    Article also states that he does not want to go to a gutted team and is not overly concerned about potential lost earnings by become a FA, wanting more control of his destiny. I am salivating at the possibility of the Knicks with Melo and everyone we currently have (minus Eddy that is) next year.

    @31 – I was thoroughly impressed with Turiaf’s demeanor and response to that question. Also like what he brought to the game last night.

  30. BigBlueAL

    Knicks currently have the #2 rated defense in the league, #17 on offense. What year is this, 1994??

  31. ess-dog

    Jafa, saying HCJ “doesn’t like” Melo is like saying Glenn Beck “doesn’t like” Hillary Clinton…

  32. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    @ 31

    Apparently Turiaf has forgotten that Adam Morrison still collects a paycheck. To be fair, though: it’s easy to miss him when he’s wearing a suit and sitting down for 48 minutes.

  33. Frank O.

    Man, I read that Melo story, and he really holds the cards.
    If he truly wants to make NY happen, he can.
    No team will trade for him if they know he wants to be a Knicks player.
    Doesn’t matter what the Nets have over on the Knicks, if he doesn’t want to go to NJ, they won’t make a move.
    That puts Denver in the position of having to make a deal with the Knicks. But the Knicks don’t want to gut this team to get Melo, and Melo doesn’t want a gutted team either.
    That leaves Denver in a weak trading position with the Knicks, who could just wait Denver out and get Melo in free agency.

    So Denver is faced with a choice, deal with the Knicks and what they are willing to trade, or lose Melo for nothing to free agency.

    Am I missing something?

    Unless, Melo is willing to go to NJ or Chicago…but both teams have tried to work something with Denver and failed. I’m guessing that part of the problem was Melo’s luke warm attitude toward anywhere by NYC.

  34. Frank O.

    @35
    HCJ, ooph. :)

    He also has Curry on his own bench. Maybe he’s just being nice, which again fits his rep.:)

    The Pharaoh…

  35. Ted Nelson

    Frank O.: who could just wait Denver out and get Melo in free agency.

    ***If*** Melo makes it “public” (as in a credible leak to NBA GMs, or at least Walsh) that he’s planning on going to NY only then this may be the best course of action. Why trade even a small asset if you can just sign the guy in the offseason, and especially if you think the new CBA will be a better time to sign him? It would be nice to get him sooner and lock him up, I can see that. I’d probably be patient, though. I mean if it’s LeBron or Howard… I’m all in right now. If it’s Melo… I’m more inclined to wait it out.

    Frank O.: But don’t be surprised if the kid in two years is putting up 18 or better and 7 or 8 rebounds, plus 6 assists, which, if I’m not mistaken, are Grant Hill-like numbers. IN fact, Hill may be a better comparison for Fields. He’s that talented. I think Fields is for real.  

    I like Fields and the Lee comparison makes some sense, but comparing him to Grant Hill is about like comparing AR to KG or Cito Culver to Derek Jeter… it’s quite frankly unfair to the kid as well as Grant Hill. Grant Hill was amazing before injury. He was All-NBA 1st or 2nd team every single season for 5 years after his rookie year, and won ROY that year. It’s really tough to say “don’t be surprised if Rookie X is All-NBA first or 2nd Team every season… Even if you’re looking at a #1 pick.

  36. kburt8

    Completely unrelated to the thread, but I was just browsing through the store and there’s not much Knick related gear in there. Any chance of a Knickerblogger T-shirt design contest to kick off the new season and get some fresh merchandise in there? What are your thoughts Mike et al.?

  37. d-mar

    Frank O. – that’s a great point about substituting Lee for Bosh, he would be in hog heaven playing with LeBron and Wade, esp. with the way he finishes around the rim.

    When we first got Felton, someone posted that he’s one of the fastest PG’s end to end in the NBA, which I found hard to believe based on his build. But there were a few times last night where he really burned it and got all the way to the rim from one end to the other blowing past 3 or 4 Raptors. I feel good about Felton as our PG; sure there are others in the NBA I’d prefer, but I think he knows his role and in D’Antoni’s offense, can push the ball quickly up the court after misses and make things happen.

  38. danvt

    Ted,
    I agree that Lee has some skills Amar’e doesn’t and really can’t argue the validity of them being fairly evenly matched as far as statistics are concerned. I feel that the difference between them is that Amar’e has a wider range of ways he can score and more spots on the floor he can score from. That’s important because, as teams adjust to a players game, a player needs to show that he can adapt. This puts the team in a better position. Wouldn’t you say this is a small yet significant upgrade for the team? Amar’e’s adaptability?

    I think there are other similar upgrades on the team. Also related to the Lee trade, we have two big long defensive oriented centers as opposed to one undersized player. Felton will improve us over Duhon, not as dramatically as Chris Paul, but significantly.

    So I don’t think anyone really thinks Amar’e makes Lee look like Najera. I also think you can see the difference between players with the naked eye. I do appreciate the reality checks that you provide because sometimes a players athleticism (or style), or lack thereof, belies their true importance. However, a lot of times what you see is what you get. I remember thinking the Knicks got the better player when they drafted Bill Cartwright in the same draft as Bird and Magic. It didn’t take advanced stats for me to realize that, though Mr. Bill was pretty good, he did not measure up. Not that that’s analogous to Lee, it’s just that all it takes is a black and white TV and that sinking feeling of watching your team get beat to know who the better player is.

  39. Ted Nelson

    danvt: Wouldn’t you say this is a small yet significant upgrade for the team? Amar’e’s adaptability?

    I agree that Amare is better, at least IMO. I just take exception to people saying that Amare is way better or that his “clutch” “finishing” is going to save the franchise because other grown men are “scared” of him.

    danvt: I also think you can see the difference between players with the naked eye.

    Often yes, but there are a lot of errors your brain (or mine) will make in terms of selective memory and it’s just really hard to tell the different between, say, a 30% and 40% 3P shooter (1 make every 10 attempts… that might span 3-5 games even for a decent shooter) let alone a 55% TS% guy v. a 60% TS% guy. The subtleties are often impossible to catch, and even sometimes really huge differences (a 40% 3P shooter is a great shooter, a 30% 3P shooter should refrain from taking more than the occasional 3, for example). Basketball is in a lot of ways a game played on the margin, where a 100+ possession game can be determined by 1 point. In that case .01 pts/possession basically determines the game. Most games aren’t 1 pt games, but there’s still a lot of subtlety.

    When I watch a game with no reference to the box score it’s really hard for me to quantify how many shots a guy has taken, let alone made let alone other more obscure stats. I think Kevin’s feelings about 9 TOs being a surprise are totally normal and the same thing happens to me all the time…

    danvt: it’s just that all it takes is a black and white TV and that sinking feeling of watching your team get beat to know who the better player is.  

    Who the better team is…

  40. Mike Kurylo

    kburt8: Completely unrelated to the thread, but I was just browsing through the store and there’s not much Knick related gear in there.Any chance of a Knickerblogger T-shirt design contest to kick off the new season and get some fresh merchandise in there?What are your thoughts Mike et al.?  

    I have something I’m working on…

  41. Sparks with Starks

    Mike Kurylo: I have something I’m working on…  (Quote)

    How about some gear that doesn’t rip on LeBron? The ‘Bron-bashing’s getting old, imo. The guy was a free agent and decided to go somewhere else. Big deal. Happens all the time.

    By the way, I think he’ll show very soon that he’s the Alpha Dog of that team.

  42. Frank O.

    @39

    Ted: I agree the Knicks should be patient. And they need to be kind of quiet about their trade discussions in my view because you don’t want to disrupt they team you have while your looking for better things. There’s always a chance you don’t get him and then you have a few disgruntled folks on your team who feel slighted.
    And Melo is not one of the top five guys in the league, although he will be one of the to FAs.
    I think if you can get him sooner, you should, but not in a way that you give up the house.

    Regarding Fields, I agree that I’m out there a bit with Grant Hill. But they are similar in size, Hill has him by an inch. Hill also plays small forward. He has played one game afterall. But this kid has something.
    Both guys come from great schools. Both played in college for four years. Both come into the league with high basketball IQ.
    Hill’s senior year at duke he averqged 17 ppg, 1.9 steals, 7 rpg, and 5 assists.
    Field’s line: 22 ppg, 1.6 steals, 9 rebounds, and 2.8 assists.
    Of course PAC-10 isn’t the ACC, especially in the years Hill played, but we’ve already seen people underrate Fields because of the PAC-10.

    It’s a reach right now, Ted, I know, but the similarities are worth nothing.

    BTW, Grant Hill is one of my very favorite players of all time. Silky smooth, classy and smart. Really a great player.

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