Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

2010-2011 Game Recap: Warriors 122 – Knickerbockers 117

One of the most entertainingly stupid games I’ve seen in a long time.
— Frank O.

How to sum this up for those that might have missed this sordid affair? Well, it’s a game the Knicks should have won, that for the majority of it, they should have lost, that for a second there in the final seconds, it looked like they might be able to win, but no, in fact, they lost. I’ll touch on the overall hi-jinks of our hardwood heroes, but first, a few in-depth thoughts regarding the sequence of plays that cost them the game. The ‘Bockers were up two (and, to be honest, really getting bailed out by the refs, even if they were canning their FT’s) when…

1:57: Dorell Wright makes 25-foot three point jumper (Monta Ellis assists) 114-113

For what seemed to be the umpteenth time, Curry beat Douglas/Felton off the dribble and kicked out to a wide-open shooter, to which the Nix wouldn’t or couldn’t close out. Okay. No worries. Let’s just execute on offense like we had been for the last 6 mins of the quarter. No prob!

1:36: Toney Douglas misses 25-foot three point jumper. Raymond Felton offensive rebound. Gallinari misses 25-foot three point jumper. Wilson Chandler offensive rebound. Gallinari misses 4-foot jumper 114-113

Just an AWFUL sequence. Yes, Toney was open, but he hadn’t hit a three since Chicago and they had been killing the Dubs at the line. Felton gets the board, but Gallo forces ANOTHER off-balance 3. Chandler gives them another chance and Gallo bricks a layup. Leading to this fastbreak…

1:05: Stephen Curry defensive rebound. Chandler blocks Reggie Williams’s jumper. Dorell Wright offensive rebound. Wright makes layup 116-113

Great play by Chandler to block the shot, but the rest of the team just gave up on the play. Guys, I know it’s frustrating that you really screwed the pooch on the last offensive sequence, but run back on d, pretty please? Okay, that was bad – but still time left, just keep attacking the rim. All is well. Remain calm!

0:49: Dorell Wright shooting foul (Amare Stoudemire draws the foul). Stat misses 2 free throws

Look, they’d made 27 or so in a row, but you have to have those. Lee then made one of two and Gallo forced a three, AGAIN. And that cued up the fat lady. Yes, Stat’s three that made it close, but Chandler was positively the last guy who should have taken the shot that could have tied it (even if he was 4-9 behind the arc at that point).

One minute and thirty-odd seconds of Dumb.

Powerful Dumb.

Dumb with a side of extra stoopid and a boneheaded chaser.

You know, I was born 10 years too late to watch/root for the Clyde/Willis teams, and lawdy it galls me. I so want to pull for a smart team. (And please don’t say the Rileybockers. They played like a bunch of crazed dogs [as Lawrence Taylor might say], but watching the head-scratching things they’d do to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory caused me to literally put my head through the wall on one occasion.) Tonight, for every good thing the Knicks did, they did something so gut-punchingly awful that one could easily forget what the good thing might have been. F’rinstance. Stat hit a bunch of tough shots and finished with what looks like a pretty cran-tastic line (33 points on 15 shots, 10 rebounds, 3 steals), but he turned it over six times (and I’m surprised it’s only 6), all of them on unforced errors – dribbling the ball off his foot, hands of stone on the pick and roll – and of course the two bricks from the line at the end. Gallo was driving to the lane and playing solid D, but…he forced some terrible treys at the end of the game. Toney Douglas made some tough runners as they were coming back in the 4th, but…he too couldn’t buy one from downtown and played some uncharacteristically flimsy defense (going under screens, dumb reach in fouls), especially v. Stupendous Stephen Curry (Seeing him for an entire game for the first time, I gotta say that he’s wicked good. Better than I thought, even. I’m so pissed that he’s not a Knick. Effing Warriors. Anyway…) And Chandler…gap-toothed Willy, one might be tempted to call him from here on out…27 pts, .40 3FG%, and 3 blocks notwithstanding, on the final play he definitely had time to get the ball back to Stat or even swing it to Gallo in the corner for the final shot (MD’A said as much in the post-game presser, but it doesn’t excuse the fact that he did take the shot.)

So how is one to feel? Are you pleased that they did so many things well? Or appalled that they continue to play utterly sans IQ (Save for Landry Fields. Landry, you complete me) and seemingly get stupider at the end of games (see Portland, last week). Do you marvel at Felton’s guts/clutch play? Or groan that he’s worse than Duhon on the Pn’R?  Whither these fledgling Knicks?

And we couldn’t have a wrap-up without mentioning our homeward angel, David Lee. Nothing we saw tonight we hadn’t seen time and time again over the past five seasons, but his absence certainly has made my heart grow fonder. David, we hardly knew ye.

One more thing.Those new GS unis are damned pretty. I’m sorely tempted to break my piggy bank and buy one w/a certain “un-athletic” PF/C’s name and number stitched on the back.

116 comments on “2010-2011 Game Recap: Warriors 122 – Knickerbockers 117

  1. nicos

    About the only positive I’ll take from this game is that it looks like the Knicks have figured out how to get Amar’e some space- the last few games he’s been getting much better shots- too many turnovers tonight to be sure but as Robert points out most of them were unforced rather than the result of just recklessly driving from 23 feet out.

    Also, Robert points out that the Knicks did get a lot of calls but my god, Ellis and Curry were pretty much constantly taking swipes at the ball all game long- they both had 4 fouls but could have easily fouled out.

  2. Z

    Steph Curry completes me the way Landry completes Fields. It was my first good look at him and man, it is too bad Donnie couldn’t find a way to jump in front of the Warriors in that draft. He’d be the best Knick draft pick since 1985.

    When he goes through puberty he’s going to be a killer ball player.

  3. steveoh

    I watched this game with the sound off in a bar. It’s amazing what you pick up when you’re left alone with your thoughts.

    When Steph Curry or Monta Ellis had the ball in their hands, it felt poetic. I might as well have heard jazz playing. It looked so easy and creative.

    When Felton or TD ran the offense, it felt like gruntwork, and I might as well have been hearing jackhammers. It looked so pedestrian and difficult.

    Maybe that was just a one-night thing. But I’m thinking it’s probably not.

  4. BigBlueAL

    Riley’s Knicks did drive me nuts but Jeff Van Gundy’s Knicks were the exact opposite. Their offense was just as ugly and brutal to watch but his teams never for the most part blew games late and I dont know how many times they would win games they had no business winning. If I remember correctly I believe one of his Knick teams had the best record in games decided by 3pts or less one season, something like a ridiculous 16-5 or close to it.

    Of course it helped having 4 go-to guys down the stretch in Ewing, LJ, Houston and Spree plus those teams always knew what to do and never panicked or looked lost on defense or offense down the stretch of tight games, they actually seemed to enjoy those type of situations.

  5. nicos

    Worth mentioning that this was the second game of a back to back and while no one logged that many minutes against Milwaukee, tonight everyone on the floor in the last two minutes besides Gallo set a season high for minutes played. Not an excuse for how they played opening the second half but no surprise they struggled late in the game.

  6. BigBlueAL

    Just realized all 3 home losses Knicks had a lead with under 5 minutes left in the game in all 3 games.

  7. Robert Silverman Post author

    BigBlueAL: Just realized all 3 home losses Knicks had a lead with under 5 minutes left in the game in all 3 games.  

    Very true. But do you look at the Portland/Philly/GS flops and think, “Lost it in the last 5 mins. They’re close to winnning!” or, “lost it in the last five mins. Good teams don’t blow games like that. We’re screwed!:

  8. Nick C.

    You know what killed me after Dorell Wright hits the three the sets they ran were bring in up and everyone stand at a diffferent spot from the 3 point contest. Literally a guy at each spot behind the arc. If its 10 seconds left down 3 OK but a minute left down 1. Mind bogglingly stupid. WTF did they pay Amare a MAX contract for?????? And then they get the board and same thing. Maddening. Five years of watching Jamal stand around and dribble between his legs b4 heaving up and off balance contested shot and now this is the close out. At least I can root for these guys the tank fo rleBron and Zeke teams were detestable.

  9. rrude

    I think, “This looks a lot like what I have been watching the last several years.” Undisciplined players jacking up bad shots with the game on the line and missing. Porous defense, and the sense that the coaches hope the players do something right instead of feeling confident about it. While I am once again starting to assume they won’t. Losing is a hard habit to kick apparently.

  10. Kikuchiyo

    I just want to know who I speak to about getting my Tuesday and Wednesday nights back. If it helps, I saved my receipts….

  11. Frank

    Positives:

    – wow does Landry Fields really look like a player. He is far more athletic than any of the pundits gave him credit for preseason. Hollinger’s page still says he’s a “middling athlete” and “subpar foul shooter” (who is now shooting 80% albeit only on 10 FTs). I thought defensively he got beaten a few times but hey, he’s a SG/SF trying to guard Monta Ellis. For what it’s worth, Ellis was held to well below his season average.

    – Amare – two missed FTs notwithstanding — really has been playing a lot better. After his 5-21 stinker against the Bulls (a game we actually won), he has 91 points on 57 shots — that is good by any standard. He’s averaging nearly 2 steals per game and is averaging 2 blocks/game in that period too.

    Meanwhile – does anyone think he should take more than 0.9 3’s game? He really has nice form on that shot and is generally left wide open when he stands at the top of the key. As long as he doesn’t shoot more than, say, 2/game when wide open, I think he should let it fly.

    – Felton – yes, the offense seemed to stagnate at the end. Yes, he still doesn’t seem to know what to do in the PnR yet. He had some lanes yesterday and just made some inaccurate passes. But even so, he’s averaging 16.6 p/40 and 9.3 a/40 on a TS of 55.7. Tough to imagine that we could have expected more #wise. I think by mid-season, assuming D’Antoni can coach up the PnR, we might really have something. If I’m D’Antoni, getting Amare the ball in PnR (as opposed to flinging it to the 3 point line like they have been doing lately – probably reacting to teams packing down on Amare) has to be the major emphasis in practice.

    Negatives —

    – Gallo – still no body control when driving. Does it seem like he’s just flinging it up at the rim hoping to get a foul just about every time he gets there? I’m not sure that body control in traffic is something that can be taught, unfortunately. He had 7 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals, but he REALLY needs that shot to come around. This offense is completely different when he’s hitting from 3.

    – Interior defense – wow, did we miss Turiaf. Anyone know how long he is out for? This is a game in which I wish Randolph had played more. Mozgov is not a good matchup for Biedrins and Lee — I thought Randolph could have played a lot more.

  12. irvin00

    I think we have reached the point where blaming the players is no longer an option. This group is different, but plays the exact same basketball as last year. And the year before. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

    The Knicks urgently need a coach that can develop the available talent. D’Antoni has shown a reluctance (or inability, but I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt) to employ a system where the current roster’s abilities are exploited. This team can’t rely on the 3-point madness at the heart of D’Antoni’s system. That, coupled with the lack of ball and player movement, the lack of offensive rebounding, the lack of an interior defense, the favoritism (Duhon, Gallo) makes the Knicks into the 30-win team of years past. And all that is the result of bad coaching. The time has come to accept the obvious.

    And no, Carmelo will not want to come to this mess. No top player will want to. It’s a pathetic myth anyone wants to play for D’Antoni – (hey folks, these guys can see what we see and more!). Amare is here because he was not going to get 100M anywhere else. Joe Johnson, Lebron, Bosh, etc., all took less money to play elsewhere; Carmelo will do the same.

    D’Antoni needs to be fired before this bunch of talented young players is turned into a group of losers. There is no reason or time for another wasted season.

  13. tastycakes

    Not to nitpick too much, Irvin, but Joe Johnson signed in Atlanta for $20M more than what Amar’e got in NYC.

    And LeBron and Bosh leaving money on the table had nothing to do with D’Antoni, it had to do with them being crazy enough to actually sacrifice real money to play on the same team, hard as that may be to accept.

    I know you’ve been on a Fire D’Antoni crusade for like the last 18 months on this board, and I can’t deny that you have some good points, but the “excuse” that this team has only played 8 games together IS actually relevant. They’ve been in a position to win every game they’ve played but 1. It is, in my mind, *conceivable* that a group of guys that does not have a ton of experience playing together will actually take time to reach their potential. It’s been 16 (?) games counting preseason, and I’d like to see things gel more quickly, but my hopes and dreams have not yet been fully crushed.

    You accuse D’Antoni of nepotism regarding Gallo, is that about the draft or playing time? I’m not sure who he should be playing in Gallo’s place. Furthermore, the kid is 21 and is what he is: far from an all-star, a pretty good shooter who has an unnerving tendency to disappear. Seems to me Mike D was happy to put him on the bench earlier this season when he had some bad games.

    I’m of the camp that coaches don’t really make a huge difference in this league. My disappointment in D’Antoni is more that his reputation is staked on being a great offensive mind, and when I look at the Knicks offense, they look predictable and too-often stagnant. But ultimately, the players play the game and I hope they step it up and make this season a good one.

  14. JK47

    What are the team’s strengths and weaknesses?

    PG is probably a slight weakness. Felton is putting up decent stats but it seems every night we’re up against a superior PG. TD is a nice combo guard but we really lack a good traditional backup PG.

    At SG we have the emerging Fields, who looks like a keeper. Other than him we have the one-dimensional Walker, the no-dimensional Mason and the oft-injured Azubuike. So SG is pretty iffy overall.

    SF is supposed to be a strength but Chandler and Gallinari have been maddeningly inconsistent. I’m souring very quickly on Chandler, who seems to be dead set on becoming the new Al Buckets. Chandler is playing like an Isiah Thomas Knick– chucking with no conscience with poor efficiency.

    At PF we have Stat and Randolph. I think we could use another banger on the roster, but PF is probably the least of our worries right now.

    At C there’s the injury-prone Turiaf and the occasionally useful Mozgov. Turiaf has been terrific on the defensive end but doesn’t rebound and is a backup on a good team. Mozgov is a project.

    Looking at the cold, hard reality of it, we need to upgrade at several positions. We’re gonna need some patience with this bunch.

  15. Nick C.

    JK I’d pretty much second what you wrote. By the way what is up with Walker 0-0 in 2 R 1 A in 10 minutes. For a guy whose main (only) skill is as a 3 point shooter, that is absurd. To my memory he passed up one open look. What was he doing out there???? Anyone.

  16. irvin00

    @13

    I have not been on a “Fire D’Antoni crusade for like the last 18 months on this board” as can be easily seen from my posts. But I’m glad you admit I have some good points.

    I am of the school of thought that a coach can have a deep influence on a team, based not only on the trainnig/preparation, but also by managing in-game situations, substitution patterns, player chemistry, role assignment, defensive/offensive schemes, etc.

    A coach could easily alienate his players by showing clear favoritism (Duhon and now Gallinari).

    A coach could change the result of close games with poor decisions (Chandler taking the three last night)

    I could provide a clear example of every point, but I’m sure you get the idea.

    And yes, I do think D’Antoni should be fired, because he is the wrong type of coach for this bunch of players. Please, notice I have never said D’Antoni is a terrible coach or D’Antoni can’t coach. I have always said him and his system are not a good fit for the NY Knicks as currently configured.

    The results over 2+ seasons confirm my observation. Different seasons, different players, same coach, same result.

    That said, I respect your opinion and ask, without sarcasm or ill intentions: do you think a point can exist where YOU could be convinced D’Antoni is not a good fit and needs to go? If so, what would it take for you to reach that conclusion?

  17. irvin00

    BTW, many fans are very disappointed by Chandler’s play (based on his demented 3-point shooting). While it is a valid complaint (I have criticized him myself), I think the person doing the most damage to the team is Gallo – when his game is ON (every six games or so) good things happen for the Knicks.

  18. Frank

    irvin00: @13I have not been on a “Fire D’Antoni crusade for like the last 18 months on this board” as can be easily seen from my posts. But I’m glad you admit I have some good points.I am of the school of thought that a coach can have a deep influence on a team, based not only on the trainnig/preparation, but also by managing in-game situations, substitution patterns, player chemistry, role assignment, defensive/offensive schemes, etc.A coach could easily alienate his players by showing clear favoritism (Duhon and now Gallinari).A coach could change the result of close games with poor decisions (Chandler taking the three last night)I could provide a clear example of every point, but I’m sure you get the idea.
    And yes, I do think D’Antoni should be fired, because he is the wrong type of coach for this bunch of players. Please, notice I have never said D’Antoni is a terrible coach or D’Antoni can’t coach. I have always said him and his system are not a good fit for the NY Knicks as currently configured.The results over 2+ seasons confirm my observation. Different seasons, different players, same coach, same result.That said, I respect your opinion and ask, without sarcasm or ill intentions: do you think a point can exist where YOU could be convinced D’Antoni is not a good fit and needs to go? If so, what would it take for you to reach that conclusion?  

    I agree with you that the results so far are not good for D’Antoni. That being said – I give him a complete pass for the last 2 seasons — he had a bunch of mercenaries that didn’t care (other than DLee) and a mismatched roster that had no chance of being any kind of a contender.

    This year – we’ve played 8 games. Overall, I think going into the season, I think most of us probably would have guessed we would be either 4-4 or 3-5 at this point given our games against POR, CHI, MIL, BOS. And so that’s what we are. While it IS D’Antoni’s fault that sometimes plays are not well run at the end of games, it is NOT really his fault that the team’s primary 3 point shooters (Gallo/Douglas) are having a HORRIBLE start to the season – two guys whose career 3 point% is 39+ and are shooting 30-32 this year. We’re not shooting any more 3 pointers than any D’Antoni team has shot — Phoenix was in the top 5 in 3 pointers attempted every year he was there (~24 3’s taken per game) and we are taking 25.1/game this year.

    Re: at which point where I could be convinced that D’Antoni needs to go or is not the right coach – give it 1/3 of a season. This team has all new players – they DO need time to gel. If by Christmas Chandler is still throwing up 10 3’s game and Felton/Amare can’t learn to run the PnR, then I will agree with you. But give the man some time. We were never going to win the championship this year anyway – I would just like to see steady improvement.

  19. Frank

    Just to add on – some here were just killing Amare for how bad he looked at the start of the year — but he has really turned it around the last 4 games (50% of our sample so far). 91 points on his last 57 shots is GOOD. 33 and 10 with 2 blocks, 3 steals, 3 assists, and a block is GOOD. 4 games from now we could be 7-5 and seeing kumbaya here. So let’s just give it some time before we fire D’Antoni 8 games into what is really his 1st season.

  20. massive

    @16,

    I don’t think its fair to say D’Antoni favors Gallo. He sat him when he was playing horribly. Stoudemire, Chandler, Felton, and Douglas have all logged more minutes than him. Danilo Gallinari on the court isn’t making things worse, and when he’s shooting well, we’re 3-1. His TS percentages against Toronto, Chicago, Washington, and Golden State were .558, .880, .595, and .579 respectively. The problem is that Gallo isn’t featured enough, and all those bad shots Will is taking shouldn’t be his shots, but spread around to the more efficient guys this year (Fields, Gallo, Douglas, and Walker).

  21. DS

    @14 – “At PF we have Stat and Randolph. I think we could use another banger on the roster, but PF is probably the least of our worries right now.”

    I don’t know if Randolph is still recovering from his injury but I cannot understand why the Knicks’ coaching staff lets him play unleashed basketball. How hard is it to tell the guy we need you to do nothing other than hustle, rebound, play defense, and try to get wide open looks on offense? They should tell him to play like a young DLee or Noah.

    Am I oversimplifying the problem?

  22. marxster

    I think Felton’s problem with the pick-n-roll is huge. In my opinion it explains why Amare has a lot of turnovers in some games. If you give the guy the ball when he’s surrounded by 3 defenders, chances are high that he’s going to turn it over (although I admit that he doesn’t protect the ball well).

    If you have an effective pick-n-roll going, turnovers are certainly going to go down. (His turnover rate in 7 years with Phoenix was around 2.62 – since he started with the Knicks, it’s at 4.50).

    Felton hasn’t played that badly, it’s just so concerning that he misses blatantly obvious opportunities for pick-n-roll.

    David Lee said that it took him time to develop timing with Chris Duhon before their pick-n-roll started to work. Let’s hope this will get better.

  23. ess-dog

    DS: @14 – “At PF we have Stat and Randolph. I think we could use another banger on the roster, but PF is probably the least of our worries right now.”I don’t know if Randolph is still recovering from his injury but I cannot understand why the Knicks’ coaching staff lets him play unleashed basketball. How hard is it to tell the guy we need you to do nothing other than hustle, rebound, play defense, and try to get wide open looks on offense? They should tell him to play like a young DLee or Noah.
    Am I oversimplifying the problem?  

    Agreed. And I also don’t know why he gets pulled after 3 minutes because of one bad defensive rotation. It’s not like everyone else was playing perfect defense! I mean, if AR doesn’t get minutes in this game, then when does he get minutes?
    Re: Chandler, I really hope they’re showcasing him for a trade.

  24. irvin00

    @19

    “I agree with you that the results so far are not good for D’Antoni. That being said – I give him a complete pass for the last 2 seasons — he had a bunch of mercenaries that didn’t care (other than DLee) and a mismatched roster that had no chance of being any kind of a contender.”

    Not entirely true. For example, last season he had Douglas (56 games, 20 minutes per), Chandler (two full seasons, playing 82 and 65 games, averaging 34 minutes per game) and Gallo (1 full season last year of 81 games at 34 minutes per game). They were all playing major minutes along with David Lee. And they are all playing major minutes this season. So, it is not “10 new guys” on the floor and last season can’t be discounted entirely.

  25. mase

    im really not very happy with Felton thus far!

    cant we trade our youngs for a PG that can effectively and intelligently play p n r bball? where the hell is Rubio?

  26. DS

    @24 “Re: Chandler, I really hope they’re showcasing him for a trade.”

    Well the Clippers ARE starting Ryan Gomes at small forward. Maybe they’d send us Minnesota’s first rounder (top ten protected from the ’05 Sam Cassell trade) for Wilson.

  27. Frank O.

    I’ll add my two cents:

    1. Robert, if you’re not a writer in real life…I hate you.
    2. Also, I’m flattered by the quote, but couldn’t you have cleaned it up just a bit? :)
    3. A short story: in the 80s while trying to find money for college, I worked with a woman in a kitchen. She was in her 50s and I was maybe 19, and she took me under her wing. We had this other dude working in the kitchen too. He was pleasant enough, but really messed up a lot. Well, this woman, who never liked to say bad things about people, turned to me one morning after this dude (his name elludes me this many years later) messed something up again and said, “He mean well, but he not that bright.” :)

    That’s this Knicks team. They try hard on D, and they can do certain things well, but they don’t understand why those things are right and how it fits into the context of a good defense. To whit:
    Challenging shots is good; leaving your feet too much, not so good. Challenging the dribble is good; slapping wrists, not so good. Hustling around, over, picks, good; running through them, not so much. Defending the paint, good; forgetting perimeter shooters, not so much.
    Same thing on offense. Shooting open jays good; shooting beyond your range, not so much. Penetrating good; running threw a defender standing in one place for more than two seconds, bad. Shooting in first seven seconds, good; shooting without your guys under the boards, meh. Passing off a PnR, good; bouncing the pass off the 6’9 roller’s feet or shins, dumb. Shooting before the shot clock expires, good; shooting before an arbitrary count down from the opposing team’s fans, very, very, very dumb.

    I belabor the point, perhaps, but these are just a few of the types of things your New York Knicks do fairly often. Many of these mistakes are so very fundamental. That is hard to blame on D’Antoni.
    I mean, every one of the Knicks players have played ball for a goodly amount of time. Even the rookies have enough time under their belts to tell them these are stupid things to do. And, yet, this crew seems to lack the IQ to avoid such errors, especially in crunch time. Although I’m told that statistically every moment is the same, which, frankly, is little comfort.

    Now, I have a theory (and I realized I suffer from rose-colored wishful thinking. My wife tells me this…) and it is grounded in the idea that when you are thinking too much about what you are doing in basketball, you do stupid things. The Knicks still are thinking about how to play together, and so if some of their players are not that bright to begin with, thinking too much will accentuate the underlying stupid. But eventually playing together will become instinctive, and so I’m hopeful they will be less stupid.

    Now, Landry Fields, an Ivy West graduate (although, I confess knowing some stupid people at Columbia), seems to have an underlying brightness that permits him to think and still generally not make too many mistakes out there. Granted, he’s not being asked to do as much as others, but most rookies make mistakes that he appears to avoid.
    I think Amare, actually, is pretty smart. I’m convinced, however, that Felton is thinking too much about how to use him, and I’m not yet convinced that Felton is bright. Nonetheless, he’s thinking about hitting the PnR, it’s not just happening naturally. He isn’t seeing lanes. He is bouncing balls off Amare’s shins, and feet, or simply causing the bounce pass to reach Amare too low to the ground. Or he’s simply not making the pass at all.

    Gallo still seems overwhelmed by the game…or maybe it’s just that he’s Italian (disclaimer: I’m half Italian). If I see him fall away or to the side on another 3, I’ll just scream. I, personally, think his body control is okay going to the hoop. His gangly-ness, I believe makes him harder to guard while going to the hoop. But again, attacking is a thought process to him, and in a league where forwards and guard are quicksilver, silky smooth explosive freaks, Gallo is just going to continue making that oh-so-stunned-what-just-happened-please-call-a-foul-hope-nobody-noticed face many, many more times.

    As for the rest:
    Douglas – dumb
    Walker – dumb
    Turiaf – smart
    Mosgov – Russian
    AR – dumb
    Chandler – dumb
    Mason – comical/sad, like a clown

    I probably am overemphasizing the relative intelligence of the players. Sure, Ted will offer a Ted-ism along the lines of “you don’t know these guys, so unless your practicing with them, you can’t know they’re dumb…,” and he’s probably right.

    But there have been an extraordinarily large number of unusually stupid things happening among the blue and orange. And judging by the brooding, headshaking, hand-wringing, downright-what-the-fuck-are-they-doing reactions from the usually effervescent D’Antoni, I suspect he’s speaking to these guys about this stuff, and they’re just not getting it.

    Again, maybe it’s just that they’re thinking so hard and trying so hard and so, generally, young and earnest.
    But alarms went off in my head when two different players on three different occasions in one game rushed a shot because the fans counted down.
    There’s no definition for that kind of dumb, although Robert could write the hell out of it, and define it just fine. :)

    Oh, and wasn’t it something watching Lee play Amare to a standstill last night for 25 percent less salary? :)

  28. ess-dog

    DS: @24 “Re: Chandler, I really hope they’re showcasing him for a trade.”Well the Clippers ARE starting Ryan Gomes at small forward. Maybe they’d send us Minnesota’s first rounder (top ten protected from the ’05 Sam Cassell trade) for Wilson.  

    That would be AMAZING but it would likely be their own pick if they still have it. But only a playoff team would want to rent Wil for the rest of the year. Someone that needs bench scoring. I would trade him straight up for Taj Gibson.

  29. Ted Nelson

    DS: Gallo:Dirk = Charles Smith (1991):Karl Malone  

    Where did the Dirk comparisons even come from with Gallo? They’re games are not all that similar, except that they’re tall Europeans who can shoot. It’s like comparing Anthony Randolph to Kevin Garnett or Landry Fields to Grant Hill and then getting upset when they don’t live up to the highest possible expectations in their first few years in the league.

    DS: They should tell him to play like a young DLee or Noah.

    Am I oversimplifying the problem?  

    I also think they could be using him a lot better, but I would call this an oversimplification to an extent: Lee and Noah are not just “hustle” players… getting to and finishing at the basket are skills. Lee and Noah were much more polished/skilled players both coming into college and the NBA. But yeah AR needs to play better, and I think he needs to be used better also.

    JK47: Looking at the cold, hard reality of it, we need to upgrade at several positions.

    And some patience… These are mostly young players. *Hopefully* the Knicks cream the Wolves and the mood on the board goes right back to everyone being excited to finally have some potential and irvin00 can shut the hell up about firing D’Antoni for reasons that often stand in contradiction with reality and easily demonstrable facts.

  30. mase

    frank,
    i dont think these guys are as dumb as you make them out to be. I think its the style of play that D’antoni demands, in contrast is making them look dumb. also, i think you are commenting on their demeanor.

    …and on that list you excluded Amare. he is making a lot of mistakes ;since he is the face of the team he has got to be held accountable for stoopidity, ie. dumb turnovers, missed 2 clutch freethrows, got beaten down court while arguing a clean block by Bogut only to get posterized.

  31. irvin00

    The current Knicks team can not afford to get rid of Chandler. They would lose 70 games. It’s much better gor the coach to to deemand that Wilson stop shooting all those 3’s and condiers either driving to the basket (he has been very good at that) or passing the ball.

    I’ll ask the question that nobody has asked:

    What if Chandler is not taking all those 3’s on his own? What if Chandler is just conforming – like a good soldier – to D’antoni’s general strategy?

    It’s hard to believe that a team would decide to jack up so many 3’s without the Coach’s encouragement.

  32. irvin00

    Sorry for the many typos :-)

    The current Knicks team can’t afford to get rid of Chandler. They would lose 70 games. It’s much better for the coach to demand that Wilson stop shooting all those 3?s and considers either driving to the basket (he has been very good at that) or passing the ball.

    I’ll ask the question that nobody has asked:

    What if Chandler is not taking all those 3?s on his own? What if Chandler is just conforming – like a good soldier – to D’antoni’s general strategy?

    It’s hard to believe that a team would decide to jack up so many 3?s without the Coach’s encouragement.

  33. irvin00

    I knew it (and announced it). Ted Nelson was not man enough to stay away from my posts as he promised! But that’s ok – it makes the blog more entertaining :-)

  34. chrisk06811

    I’ll take 3-5. We’ve only been blown out once, and we’ve lost to a few good teams.

    Felton hit a few clutch shots last night. Amare’s 3 was clutch. Chandler hit one or two. The guy played without a tooth.

    The thing I don’t see in this thread…..we got all Mark Price from the line last night. If not for the FTs, we’d have been blown out.

    My personal thoughts are that Douglas is over his head. I think when Azubuike comes back he will take a bit of the pressure off. If we cut down Douglas / Fields / Felton’s minutes to make room, those guys can focus on what they do…Douglas can focus on D, Fields can be mr energy, etc.

    Randolph is also key. He simply needs to get his game grounded to be productive. Between he and Mosgov, we have a few months to build one productive player. I wouldn’t hate these 3’s so much if he were under the rim focussed on crashing the O boards. That’s what people do when I shoot.

    The goal this year is to make the playoffs. If we beat MINN tomorrow, we’re on pace. If we lose to Minn, I become a Nets fan. So, we have a few months to get cohesive, play near 500 and prepare for our run. Even playing well in the first round would make this a successful year. The young guys need to be evaluated, and they need to play to do that.

  35. Ted Nelson

    As much as it’s become the thing to do to criticize WC for shooting too many 3s, hard to do it about last night. He was 4-10 from 3, got to the line 7 times… generally had a good game. I agree that he shouldn’t be taking 10 3s in a game, but if there’s a time when I can live with it it’s when it’s in 41 minutes, TD, Gallo, Fields, and Walker go a combined 0-14 from 3, and he makes 4 of them.

    Also think criticizing Gallo for being one dimensional can stop at some point. Despite the fact that on the surface he looks like crap, I’m pretty happy with his season to date. The 3-pt shooting is very likely to come around at some point (unfortunately that doesn’t even have to be this season… but eventually I think he regains it)… His rebounds and FTAs have both improved slightly to date over last season, though, which is encouraging. If he keeps the peripherals up (or improves them) and starts scoring, should be a nice season. Probably not the break-out we were dreaming of, but a solid improvement.

    Frank O.: I probably am overemphasizing the relative intelligence of the players. Sure, Ted will offer a Ted-ism along the lines of “you don’t know these guys, so unless your practicing with them, you can’t know they’re dumb…,” and he’s probably right.

    No, they seem pretty dumb :) There are some points in the post I disagree with, but I definitely agree that the Knicks are not playing smart basketball. Not sure they have to be smart to win 41-ish games, though, just less dumb…

    Mase, while I think the coaching has been questionable, some of these things clearly have nothing to do with the system and would be dumb mistakes in any system.

    I do think Frank O. is overstating it if he’s implying that these are fixed qualities, but the last few games… pretty bad. I think TD and Gallo are pretty smart basketball players who will figure it out. TD may never be a “real” PG, though, and Gallo may lack confidence or have some mental thing impacting his shooting… I don’t know. Walker has at least been a smart scorer to date, so hopefully he gets back to that. Despite his high school scouting reports, the guy just does not have the skill to handle the ball.

    It does seem to be a collective (b-ball) IQ issue… and maybe that is something that gets worked out over time. I can’t really assign blame in one direction (or a few directions) or excuse anyone at this point… we’ll have to see how things play out.

  36. Frank O.

    irvin00: Sorry for the many typos :-)The current Knicks team can’t afford to get rid of Chandler. They would lose 70 games. It’s much better for the coach to demand that Wilson stop shooting all those 3?s and considers either driving to the basket (he has been very good at that) or passing the ball.I’ll ask the question that nobody has asked:What if Chandler is not taking all those 3?s on his own? What if Chandler is just conforming – like a good soldier – to D’antoni’s general strategy?It’s hard to believe that a team would decide to jack up so many 3?s without the Coach’s encouragement.  (Quote)

    I respect everyone’s opinion on the blog. Different view points are educational and informative.
    Having said that, after 8 games with a team that has 10 new roster players, including a PG, all of whom never played together before, I think it stretches the bounds of credibility to say firing the coach of this brand spanking new team is ridiculous.

    Respectfully, I just think your calls for firing D’Antoni this early in the dawn of a new team deserves some introspection on your part.

    I acknowledge I’m probably too tough on the collective intellect of the Knicks (let’s face it, I’m having a little fun at their expense, but who the fuck am I, right? And this is a form of entertainment.), but even if at the end of the day D’Antoni gets fired, I don’t feel you have any right to claim you had some great insight here. It’s simply a baseless call at this point to fire a coach who probably learned the first names of players shortly after the summer league, let alone how this mix of different skills sets and levels should play together.
    It’s like a blindfolded guy hitting a jay from half court over his shoulder and claiming it was a skillful shot.

  37. Frank O.

    Ted Nelson: I do think Frank O. is overstating it if he’s implying that these are fixed qualities, but the last few games… pretty bad.   (Quote)

    Absolutely. I don’t think these are fixed qualities at the heart of it. Dumb things are happening at an extraordinary rate, but I believe once these guys stop thinking and starting doing more instinctive things, this could be a 41+ win squad, albeit with an only slightly better team IQ.
    I say again, I realize I’m having a bit of fun at their expense to emphasize a point, but there have been some moments.
    I sometimes have moments like that with my 16-year-old son. Like, “in what world did you think doing that…was going to work out well?” But he’s a very smart kid, who happens to suffer from teenaged brain-damagedness. :)

  38. Frank O.

    Frank O.: I think it stretches the bounds of credibility to say firing the coach of this brand spanking new team is ridiculous.

    I meant:
    I think it stretches the bounds of credibility to say firing the coach of this brand spanking new team.

    the is ridiculous was another thought, that I deleted.
    Apoligies

  39. Frank O.

    Frank O.: I meant:I think it stretches the bounds of credibility to say firing the coach of this brand spanking new team.the is ridiculous was another thought, that I deleted.Apoligies  (Quote)

    Shit.
    I think it stretches the bounds of credibility to say firing the coach of this brand spanking new team is necessary…
    Apologies

  40. Frank O.

    Hey Mike:

    I sometimes wish we had a function that would allow us to delete our own post if we find an error and want to fix it, or in fixing an error make another error and want to fix that, or….
    you get my drift.
    In the virtual world, we should have the ability to cover up our own dumbness. :)

  41. Mike Kurylo

    Just an FYI I’ve banned Irvin, yet again. Other than the troll/baiting, of his last 10 comments (of more than a couple of words) 8 have been about firing D’Antoni. I checked back in 2009 before he was banned the other time, and of his last 10 posts, 8 were about firing D’Antoni (Back then he was baiting Jon Abbey). You know if he picked the name “RabidDantoniHater” I might have let it slide as comical relief/totally biased opinion. But perhaps the clincher this time was his denial “I have not been on a “Fire D’Antoni crusade for like the last 18 months on this board”.

    For the record, I don’t care if you think D’Antoni should be fired/kept is doing a good/bad job. But if that (and trying to get the goat of other readers) is the only thing you say time & time again (perhaps to the point of not even realising it) then you’re really not adding anything. I could easily replace that with a script that every 2-3 days says “D’Antoni is doing a bad job in my opinion, and I think he should be fired” without losing anything substantial.

  42. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    When Mike K. swings the ban-hammer I get a tinge of excitement all over my body.

    It makes me wish he could, a la Lost Highway, suddenly wake up in bed with James Dolan’s wife (sorry Mrs. K!) and make a similar play on Isiah, Muffins Curry, and — heh — Mike D’A.

  43. Frank O.

    Mike Kurylo: Just an FYI I’ve banned Irvin, yet again. Other than the troll/baiting, of his last 10 comments (of more than a couple of words) 8 have been about firing D’Antoni. I checked back in 2009 before he was banned the other time, and of his last 10 posts, 8 were about firing D’Antoni (Back then he was baiting Jon Abbey). You know if he picked the name “RabidDantoniHater” I might have let it slide as comical relief/totally biased opinion. But perhaps the clincher this time was his denial “I have not been on a “Fire D’Antoni crusade for like the last 18 months on this board”. For the record, I don’t care if you think D’Antoni should be fired/kept is doing a good/bad job. But if that (and trying to get the goat of other readers) is the only thing you say time & time again (perhaps to the point of not even realising it) then you’re really not adding anything. I could easily replace that with a script that every 2-3 days says “D’Antoni is doing a bad job in my opinion, and I think he should be fired” without losing anything substantial.  (Quote)

    Well played

  44. Frank O.

    Mike Kurylo: Just an FYI I’ve banned Irvin, yet again. Other than the troll/baiting, of his last 10 comments (of more than a couple of words) 8 have been about firing D’Antoni. I checked back in 2009 before he was banned the other time, and of his last 10 posts, 8 were about firing D’Antoni (Back then he was baiting Jon Abbey). You know if he picked the name “RabidDantoniHater” I might have let it slide as comical relief/totally biased opinion. But perhaps the clincher this time was his denial “I have not been on a “Fire D’Antoni crusade for like the last 18 months on this board”. For the record, I don’t care if you think D’Antoni should be fired/kept is doing a good/bad job. But if that (and trying to get the goat of other readers) is the only thing you say time & time again (perhaps to the point of not even realising it) then you’re really not adding anything. I could easily replace that with a script that every 2-3 days says “D’Antoni is doing a bad job in my opinion, and I think he should be fired” without losing anything substantial.  (Quote)

    If only I could block as easily a few editors I know

  45. ess-dog

    Mike Kurylo: Just an FYI I’ve banned Irvin, yet again. Other than the troll/baiting, of his last 10 comments (of more than a couple of words) 8 have been about firing D’Antoni. I checked back in 2009 before he was banned the other time, and of his last 10 posts, 8 were about firing D’Antoni (Back then he was baiting Jon Abbey). You know if he picked the name “RabidDantoniHater” I might have let it slide as comical relief/totally biased opinion. But perhaps the clincher this time was his denial “I have not been on a “Fire D’Antoni crusade for like the last 18 months on this board”.
    For the record, I don’t care if you think D’Antoni should be fired/kept is doing a good/bad job. But if that (and trying to get the goat of other readers) is the only thing you say time & time again (perhaps to the point of not even realising it) then you’re really not adding anything. I could easily replace that with a script that every 2-3 days says “D’Antoni is doing a bad job in my opinion, and I think he should be fired” without losing anything substantial.  

    I had a feeling Isaiah, er, Irvin would be banned soon.

    Speaking of Him, Donnie’s having hip replacement surgery. And on cue, the Daily News says that Isaiah (the bogeyman?) could come back… mwahahahahahhhh….

  46. Z

    Thanks Mike. I too support diversity of opinion, but I also think it is important to protect the loyal and contributing readers and posters from growing sick of one or two people and abandoning the blog altogether.

    Other than Irv00 it’s been really Kumbaya around here. In the last two days Frank O. got both an lol and a :) from Ted Nelson!

  47. Mike Kurylo

    Z: In the last two days Frank O. got both an lol and a :) from Ted Nelson!  

    I suspect there’s a percentage of my followers that come here ONLY to see the dialog between those two. Although in a perfect world I would send both of them to a brevity class.

  48. Nick C.

    Z- its amazing how everyone is pretty much on the same page …. whats the word for it when a group of people survive a catastrophe together and on a basketball level the last decade of NYK qualifies.

  49. Mike Kurylo

    Frank O.: Hey Mike:I sometimes wish we had a function that would allow us to delete our own post if we find an error and want to fix it, or in fixing an error make another error and want to fix that, or….
    you get my drift.
    In the virtual world, we should have the ability to cover up our own dumbness. :)  

    Just installed one, but I don’t think it works with the latest version of WordPress. Do you see anything like ‘Edit this comment (20 minutes left)’? (not sure if I don’t see it because I’m an admin…)

  50. Frank O.

    Mike Kurylo: Just installed one, but I don’t think it works with the latest version of WordPress. Do you see anything like ‘Edit this comment (20 minutes left)’? (not sure if I don’t see it because I’m an admin…)  (Quote)

    I don’t see it. Is there a place to go to download the newer version?

  51. Mike Kurylo

    Frank O.:
    I don’t see it. Is there a place to go to download the newer version?  

    Seems the app isn’t compatible. Trying another one, but I have to contact the author. I’ll see if I can make this feature available.

  52. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    I know that it’s very important that Mike K. keeps his press credentials (who else is going to ask questions that aren’t “Do you feel this team has the heart to make the playoffs?” and “What do you think of ____ and ____’s Twitter feud?”), but if Isiah is rehired, can we put together a long, comprehensive open letter to Dolan listing the failures of his franchise over the last decade? If the rehiring actually happens, the NBA apocalypse actually MAY happen: we might actually HOPE for a lockout in 2011.

  53. Frank O.

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: I know that it’s very important that Mike K. keeps his press credentials (who else is going to ask questions that aren’t “Do you feel this team has the heart to make the playoffs?” and “What do you think of ____ and ____’s Twitter feud?”), but if Isiah is rehired, can we put together a long, comprehensive open letter to Dolan listing the failures of his franchise over the last decade? If the rehiring actually happens, the NBA apocalypse actually MAY happen: we might actually HOPE for a lockout in 2011.  (Quote)

    Honestly, I’d seriously consider becoming a Wizards fan…wait…
    Why can’t I live in a city where the team is good?

  54. ess-dog

    Well, at least we know we’re getting Melo next summer. He’s playing well so far. Maybe we can trade one of our kids for a true defensive center (God, am I already looking forward to next year?)
    But seriously, we knew the roster was incomplete. If we’re 15 – 25 half-way through the year, I won’t be surprised. Randolph, Gallo, Douglas, and Fields all need to get a lot of reps.
    And I would trade Chandler asap. Or at least give some of his minutes to the (younger) kids.

  55. Robert Silverman Post author

    Frank O.: I’ll add my two cents:1. Robert, if you’re not a writer in real life…I hate you.
    2. Also, I’m flattered by the quote, but couldn’t you have cleaned it up just a bit? :)   

    1. I am a playwright in real life. You don’t have to hate me, Frank!

    2. Quote all gussied up. I aim to please

  56. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    I’m guessing that Chandler and Curry might be a good combo for a trade. Think Kevin Love’s contract is for sale?

  57. Ted Nelson

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: if Isiah is rehired, can we put together a long, comprehensive open letter to Dolan listing the failures of his franchise over the last decade?

    Could do it even if he doesn’t re-hire Isiah…

    ess-dog: Maybe we can trade one of our kids for a true defensive center

    Out of curiosity: like who for who?

  58. Degree_Absolute

    Anyone know how long Turiaf is out for? Despite many agonizing minutes of searching, I can’t find any timelines. His D was sorely missed last night and my gut tells me we would have won with him in the lineup.

  59. Frank O.

    There have been a lot of Turiaf complaints early in the seasons despite his very respectable 3 blocks, 8.8 points, 1.5 steals, 5 boards and 4 assists per 36, plus a TS% of 65 and an eFG% of 65.
    He’s probably benefiting from D’Antoni’s system on offense and playing next to Amare.
    But the greatest impact has been on defense. Last night the Knicks gave up a jaw dropping 74 points in the paint, or about 61 percent of GSW’s total scoring.
    Prior to that, they averaged giving up well under 50 percent.
    Clearly, a defense anchored by Amare at center will be far more porous, despite STAT’s strong defensive showing so far this year.

    As I said before last night’s game, Turiaf should be asking many on this blog, “How do you like me now?”
    :)
    Can he sustain it? I think he might because of D’Antoni’s offense, and because he, STAT and AR all block shots, making them a formidable defensive mix.

  60. tastycakes

    irvin00: @13I have not been on a “Fire D’Antoni crusade for like the last 18 months on this board” as can be easily seen from my posts.

    [..snip..]

    That said, I respect your opinion and ask, without sarcasm or ill intentions: do you think a point can exist where YOU could be convinced D’Antoni is not a good fit and needs to go? If so, what would it take for you to reach that conclusion?  

    Sorry, didn’t mean to miscategorize your opinion. I have this feeling we got into it over D’Antoni a long long time ago, but maybe that was somebody else :)

    Anyway, if this team is under .500 at the halfway point, I’d like to see a change. It’s unrealistic to expect anything to happen at the moment — the season is very, very young. I do feel like it’s appropriate to give D’Antoni a mulligan on the last two years given the situation the franchise inherited from Isiah, but hey, everybody is impatient as heck, and if we’re not .500 after 8 games, the season must be over, right?

    I think the players are better suited this year to play D’Antoni’s style and to play winning basketball, but as you’ve noted yourself, if a guy like Gallo can’t hit his 3’s, the ‘system’ is probably not going to work. Chandler firing up a bad shot in the final seconds .. do you blame that on Mike D or do you blame it on Ill Will?

    A “must win” game against Minny coming up tomorrow. That’s one we really should take.

  61. nicos

    Frank: Positives:- Felton – yes, the offense seemed to stagnate at the end. Yes, he still doesn’t seem to know what to do in the PnR yet. He had some lanes yesterday and just made some inaccurate passes.But even so, he’s averaging 16.6 p/40 and 9.3 a/40 on a TS of 55.7.Tough to imagine that we could have expected more #wise.I think by mid-season, assuming D’Antoni can coach up the PnR, we might really have something. If I’m D’Antoni, getting Amare the ball in PnR (as opposed to flinging it to the 3 point line like they have been doing lately – probably reacting to teams packing down on Amare) has to be the major emphasis in practice.

    Agree completely. He hasn’t run the P&R well but Amar’e’s only really been rolling to the basket for the last four games so I think it’s way to early so say he can’t run it. While the Knicks offense has been stagnant at times, I’d put that on D’Antoni rather than him- it’s not like he’s been Marbury pounding the ball for 15 seconds before initiating the offense. Short of grabbing Gallo by the jersey and towing him around the court to get him to move his feet or just taking the ball out of Chandler’s hands when he gets tunnel vision I’m not sure what he can do to get the offense moving. He’s been very good in transition, both scoring himself and dishing. Is he an all-star? No- but he’s been more than competent pretty much playing exactly to the level of the contract they signed him to. I do think his shooting number might dip a bit but I won’t be surprised to see him wind up averaging 9+ assists for the year.

  62. Z-man

    Still hurting over the last 3 games. Can’t believe we couldn’t pull at least one of them out of the fire. I m still clinging to the hope that this is a young bunch that is still trying to gel.

    I am shocked that Gallo is shooting so poorly. He is definitely culprit number one.

    The 3-pt craz has to come to an end. GS is a much better 3-pt shooting team than us and they only took 10. Didn’t the sme thing happen last year?

    Why do we commit so many offensive fouls?

  63. rama

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: When Mike K. swings the ban-hammer I get a tinge of excitement all over my body.It makes me wish he could, a la Lost Highway, suddenly wake up in bed with James Dolan’s wife (sorry Mrs. K!) and make a similar play on Isiah, Muffins Curry, and — heh — Mike D’A.  (Quote)

    Ha!

  64. Ted Nelson

    Z-man: The 3-pt craz has to come to an end.

    If the Knicks were making their 3s at their career marks or what you’d have reasonably expected coming into the year (not necessarily their career marks depending on sample size, development, and other factors), I really don’t think you’d be saying this. Last night Gallo, Douglas, Fields, and Walker went a combined 0-14… That’s just not something I expect to happen much. They go even 2-14 and maybe the Knicks win the game. They shoot 36% and go 5-14… probably an easy win for the Knicks…

    In both the Sixers and Bucks losses, the Knicks barely took more 3s than their opponents. I think 3-pt volume is a lazy explanation for why the Knicks are losing.

  65. Ted Nelson

    They actually have a debate on ESPN about whether Chris Paul or Deron Williams is better… this is why ESPN’s main content is such a joke. Maybe Bucher had to take the Williams side (for the sake of having an argument), but his argument is that Deron is taller so he’s better… What a joke.

  66. Robert Silverman Post author

    Ted Nelson: They actually have a debate on ESPN about whether Chris Paul or Deron Williams is better… this is why ESPN’s main content is such a joke. Maybe Bucher had to take the Williams side (for the sake of having an argument), but his argument is that Deron is taller so he’s better… What a joke.  

    Anyone w/an operating limbic system knows that Paul is better. The only question would be how well they’ll age. Historically, small, quick PG’s tend to fall off a cliff starting at 30-31 (Isiah, Archibald, Kevin Johnson, Marbury) whereas the bigger ones (Kidd, Billups, Magic) can be productive into their mid-late 30’s. Though considering Paul’s jumper/court-vision, he could certainly continue to play at an all-star level as he ages even if he lost a step or two, like Nash and Stockton have done in recent years.

    You’re right. It’s still not much of a thrilling point-counterpoint debate. Then again, Ric Bucher has a tiny, liquid-filled nubbin at the top of his spinal column where his cerebral cortex should be. So the chances of a Lincoln/Douglas-esque debate when he’s involved is pretty slim.

    eric8476: what was the song that played during david lee’s tribute?  

    I was going to write about that, actually. Not sure what it was, but it was some seriously treacly, muzak-type stuff.

  67. massive

    Ted Nelson: They actually have a debate on ESPN about whether Chris Paul or Deron Williams is better… this is why ESPN’s main content is such a joke. Maybe Bucher had to take the Williams side (for the sake of having an argument), but his argument is that Deron is taller so he’s better… What a joke.  

    Yeah, I just finished reading that. It really is a joke. Broussard really blew him out of the water with that one. He really tried to say that Chris Paul has a better supporting cast…the same one he didn’t have making the playoffs over the Clippers. He even said top 4, implying that there might be 3 (THREE) point guards in the NBA better than him, or on the same level. I’m sort of upset that I read that.

  68. d-mar

    I think the number one issue for the Knicks right now is Gallo, hands down. Before the season, I believe most of thought that the keys for the Knicks this season were the performances of Gallo, Felton and Randolph. Randolph has obviously been a non-factor, but I’m not sure how much impact he was expected to have, while Felton, IMO, has pretty much met expectations. Gallo, on the other hand, has had 1 1/2 good games out of 8. Everyone is pulling for the guy, we put his every move under a microscope and when he does something as innocuous as diving for a loose ball, Breen will inevitably say “that’s the kind of intensity the Knicks need from Danilo Gallinari” Brandon Tierney on 1050 still believes in the guy, and staunchly defends him against his critics. I have a good Celtic fan friend in Boston who thinks very little of Gallo, and calls him Peja-lite, and I defend the guy till I’m blue in the face.

    My question is this: if you were a fan of any other NBA team, and watched Gallo play a few times a year,what would you think of him? Does he ever do anything to make you say “Wow!” other than get hot from 3? I think we have so much of our Knick passions invested in this guy, that we may be overlooking that he just may not be that good. As someone pointed out earlier, he looks really awkward driving to the basket, his D is just average, and if he isn’t hitting 3’s, what exactly is his value?

    I REALLY hope I’m wrong about all this, I really do, and I guess it’s too early to write him off, but at some point we may have to acknowledge that he’s just an OK NBA player. Maybe I’m just feeling particularly gloomy operating on little sleep and seeing the Knicks start out at home 1-3.

  69. Robert Silverman Post author

    Yep. Gallo’s had a lousy stretch shooting the ball to start the season. But, in every other facet of his game, he’s actually improved. It’s hard to see when he bricks all his 4th quarter shots like he did last night, but look at his peripheral #’s.

    He’s hitting over 90% of his FT’s, and getting to the line 5.2/36 as opposed to 4.0/36 last year

    He’s grabbing 5.8 rebs/36 as opposed to 5.2/36 last year

    His steals/blocks are the same but his turnovers are down and even with the shooting slump, his PER and WP48 are actually up and he’s scoring only 0.5pts/36 fewer than last year. In short – when the shots start dropping (and they will), we’ll all start gabbing about how it’d be criminal to deal him for Melo.

  70. d-mar

    A few bloggers have posted asking about Knicks tix. I’m a season ticket holder, and I have 8-9 games for sale. They’re pretty decent seats (2) and normally I just sell them for face value through the subscriber site, but I’d be just as happy to sell them for face to some true fans (true fans with paypal that is!)

    If you’re interested, send an email to knickstickets2010@yahoo.com and I’ll let you know what games are available, seat location and price.

    Thanks!

  71. Shad0wF0x

    Defense aside, I think the main problem is their inability to hit open 3s. Its one thing to take a bad contested 3. Its another to have a play and/or good ball movement to get that open 3….only to completely miss it. Free throws were also a problem, but it seems like fixed that. Hopefully that FT efficiency will stay.

    FTM/FTA (FT%)
    Raptors [WIN] (15/17, 88.2%)
    Celtics [LOSS] (18/27, 66.7%)
    Blazers [LOSS] (14/25, 56.0%)
    Bulls [WIN] (19/27, 70.4%)
    Wizards [WIN] (12/18, 66.7%)
    76ers [LOSS] (25/35, 71.4%)
    Bucks [LOSS] (19/21, 90.5%) One of the only redeeming factors of that game
    Warriors [LOSS] (38/43, 88.4%) I’m not really going to blame the loss on this since they did a pretty great job.

    For now it seems like the FT% issue hopefully has been resolved.

    Back to the 3P% issue. In the 3 games that the Knicks have won this season, they went

    – Toronto 98-93 3P (7-24, 29.2%) FT
    – Chicago 120-112 (16-24, 66.7%) Ok, with this one I think it’s more of a fluke than anything. I don’t count on this happening a lot.
    – Washington 112-91 (12-29, 41.4%) This is what I’d like to see from the team realistically.

    Now if we apply 3-point % from the Washington win to the games that they lost

    – Boston 101-105 (9-27, 33.3%) –> (11-27, 40.7%)
    Could have won this game 107-105. The main culprits were Gallinari (0-3) and Chandler (1-7)
    – Portland 95-100 (7-28, 25.0%) –> (11-28, 39.2%)
    Would have won at 107-100. Gallinari (0-3) Felton (1-4)
    *I didn’t see the Portland game so I don’t really know how many open 3s were missed.
    – Philadelphia 96-106 (3-19, 15.8%) –> (7-19, 36.8%)
    Win at 108-106. Basically the whole team is to blame, Gallinari (2-6) Felton (0-3) Douglas (0-4) Chandler (1-5)
    – Milwaukee 80-107 (5-19, 26.3%) –> (8-19, 42.1%)
    Still would have lost at 92-107. This is the only game so far that the Knicks shot below 40% (37.8%). Gallinari (0-2) Chandler (1-4) Walker (0-3)
    – Golden State 117-122 (7-31, 22.6%) –> (12-31, 38.7%)
    Potential victory with 132-122. I can’t blame Chandler in this game since he hit at the 40% mark (4-10). I’m blaming Douglas (0-7) and Gallinari (0-5) for this one.

    When you exempt the Milwaukee debacle, the Knicks lost only by an average of 6 Points. For the most part, if they managed to hit 2 or 3 more 3PA, the game would have been tied or they would have taken the lead.

    I know there are a lot of problems with the team, but I think missing those setup 3s would have prevented the team from finishing with the lead.

  72. Ted Nelson

    Robert Silverman: The only question would be how well they’ll age. Historically, small, quick PG’s tend to fall off a cliff starting at 30-31 (Isiah, Archibald, Kevin Johnson, Marbury) whereas the bigger ones (Kidd, Billups, Magic) can be productive into their mid-late 30?s. Though considering Paul’s jumper/court-vision, he could certainly continue to play at an all-star level as he ages even if he lost a step or two, like Nash and Stockton have done in recent years.

    Yeah. Although I am a huge member of the Chris Paul fan club, the knee scares me long-term. That debate was pretty centered on the here and now, though, from what I got. Bucher scolded Broussard for talking about career to date.

    I am thinking that Paul has the skill-set to be one of the 30s survivors… However, I’ve seen some lists of guys with no cartilage in their knees, or whatever is wrong with his knees, and that’s also an early retirement club.

    massive: He even said top 4, implying that there might be 3 (THREE) point guards in the NBA better than him, or on the same level. I’m sort of upset that I read that.  

    Utter insanity… The guy is just amazing. I really hope for the sake of all NBA fans that his knee(s) hold(s) up.

  73. BigBlueAL

    I must admit seeing how much the Heat are struggling it makes it alot easier to see and realize that the Knicks with lesser players are struggling with basically the same issues in terms of integrating a whole new team and needs time to gel just like the Heat need.

  74. ess-dog

    I also agree that Gallo is the key for the season (unless we get Melo.)
    The reason, simply, is that he is the player that has the potential to be our 2nd best player (barring some miracle from Randolph.) Right now that player is probably Felton, who should really be our 4th or 5th best player.
    As Robert ably showed us, Gallo has mostly improved minus his outside shot. And there’s really very little precedent of people forgetting how to shoot, barring a major injury. Hell, he might have grown an inch this offseason which would be enough to throw a shot out of whack for a while. Who knows?
    But when he gets it back, we’re probably looking at a 17 PER, .140 WS type of player for the year, just as a guess. Something between good Indiana Artest and good pre-contract Deng. That would be a huge boost to this team. It would probably have made at least 2 of those losses into wins.
    I’m going to hold out hope for that, but really WC needs to shoot less so Gallo can shoot more. I hope WC goes back to the bench next game.
    And at this point, I’m in favor of starting Turiaf. I know his hot streak won’t last, but he’s the best we have right now at center.

  75. massive

    @87,

    Yeah, their situation is similar to ours in terms of struggling early on. The announcer just stated that when James Jones is on from deep, then the Heat are a completely different team. That’s pretty much that same thing with Gallo. Mike Miller, who was supposed to be a big contributor for them, is out until January. That’s identical to our Azubuike situation. That being said, I hope we can get out of this funk sooner rather than later.

  76. nicos

    I wouldn’t put it all on Gallo- Other than Fields and Turiaf (and maybe Felton) everybody’s been pretty inconsistent. D’Antoni hasn’t exactly covered himself in glory either. If I was picking one guy in these last few games it’d be Douglas- struggled shooting, given up too much penetration by constantly over-playing the ball, hasn’t been able to run the offense well when playing the point- He shown that at times he can be the best player on the court and hopefully we’ll see a lot more of that going forward. As it is, if Chandler, Gallo, and Douglas only play well once every three games it doesn’t matter hoow good Amar’e is, the Knicks we be a sub-.500 team.

  77. jon abbey

    I haven’t posted here much since LeBron decided not to come, and have missed the last few games since I’m overseas until next week, but not sure how anyone can blame D’Antoni too much when the guys who need to be the second and third best players on the team (Gallo/Randolph) have given NY virtually nothing so far. unfortunately I’m not sure that Gallo will get consistently better until the Carmelo situation is resolved, I honestly think part of his awful performance thus far is that he desperately doesn’t want to be traded.

    on the other hand, it is pretty stunning that D’Antoni was considered the best offensive coach in NBA history in his prior job (!!!!). he has certainly not impressed thus far, and that’s being very generous.

  78. Nick C.

    Nice breakdown Robert re: Gallo but, but, but 5.8/36 rebounds is pretty underwhelming. I didn’t realize he got to the line that much even if he is the official tech shooter that was probabaly the case last year. Hopefully its a real improvement and not just skewed by last games 9/9.

  79. kburt8

    ess-dog: there’s really very little precedent of people forgetting how to shoot  (Quote)

    Roger Mason Jr. anyone?

    Joking aside, I can’t say I disagree that Gallo will figure his shot out sooner rather than later.

  80. Ted Nelson

    Nick C.: 5.8/36 rebounds is pretty underwhelming

    That’s pretty solid for a wing player, and the point is that he’s improved from last season. He’s not a bigman. Gallo’s reb% so far this season is 9. LeBron’s career mark is 10. Pierce and Rashard Lewis are 9.6. Durant and Kukoc, 9.3. Igoudala, 9. Granger, 8.9. Hedo, 8.6. Artest, 8.4.

    I don’t know where you’re coming from or if you are trying to compare him to Dirk (which I think is a mistake), but your SF having a reb% of 9 is in no way underwhelming. It puts him right in there with pretty good company.

    Gallo rebounded even better in the pre-season, which (though meaningless) is encouraging since it’s been more than just 8 games.

    Nick C.: Hopefully its a real improvement and not just skewed by last games 9/9.  

    Who knows where his actual FTA/36 lie long-term, but it’s hard to watch the games and not appreciate that Gallo has become much more active trying to take the ball to the hoop and trying to create a bit off the dribble for teammates.

    Of the Knicks’ technical FTAs this season… Felton has taken 5, Mason has taken 2, and Gallo has taken 1 (which he missed)… Pretty tough to call his their “official tech shooter.”

    If Gallo had hit just 2 more of his 3PAs this season, just 2, he’d be shooting 38% from 3, have a TS% of 56.5, and 16.5 pts/36.

  81. Nick C.

    well Ted you’re right about the techs, my bad. On the rebounding he isn’t a swing man/wing man or a F/G, so I expect more or else he is really just Peja-light or Rashard Lewis (which is not bad as a ceiling but you can always hope for more). Durant was sort of a surprise on that list, except for him and Lewis the rest of those players have spend considerable time playing guard which in theory should reduce rebounding percentages and you give their career numbers vs., presumably, Gallo’s high water mark.

  82. stratomatic

    I think every Knicks fan understands that Wilson Chandler is a poor 3 point shooter, but I think he’s been getting a bit of a bum rap on this forum.

    Wilson has issues with shot selection. He clearly takes some 3 pointers too early in the shot clock when a better option might still become available and also shoots some ill advised shots in coverage instead of moving the ball. He has to stop that because he’s hurting the team. But it’s not nearly as bad as it looks.

    1. At the start of the season Wilson was told to develop a “scorers mentality” off the bench (multiple press reports). D’Antoni thought the team needed another aggressive scoring punch off the bench to replace Harrington and gave the job to Wilson. Wilson didn’t just decide to shoot a lot of 3s and jumpers again because he’s an undiciplined fool. He was told to shoot them. He has the green light. It’s on the coach.

    2. The reason the Knicks are being forced to shoot so many 3s and jumpers is that defenses are trying to take away the #1 scoring option (Amare) by playing zone or stacking the middle. It’s no accident that Amare’s TS% is PATHETIC relative to his norm and he’s turning the ball over so much. He’s often trying to force his way inside, but there’s nothing there. That’s also the reason why Wilson is NOT slashing as much as he did last year so successfully. There’s nothing there a lot of the time.

    3. The average FG% from both 10-15 feet and 16-23 feet in the NBA is about 40%. So if a defense is totally stacking the middle and forcing a team to shoot from the outside, even a bad outside shooter like Chandler is usually better off shooting a 3 pointer than most others are shooting a mid range shot. A 3P% of 30% like Wilson’s is equal to an eFG% of 45%. That’s better than the mid range option for the average NBA player. It’s a horrible scoring option, but it’s the better one.

    4. It’s not so easy to say Gallo, Douglas, Walker etc.. should be shooting more 3s instead. Defenses also know that Gallo would be a better option. So they take it away when they can and try to force the worse option to shoot when possible.

    5. Other than his outside shooting, Wilson is rebounding better, getting to the FT line more often, blocking more shots, and consistently defending the best player at 3 positions well this year. Those are the things we’ve been hoping for.

    So there is no reason to gang up on him because he’s not Ray Allen. He’s a solid role player that’s still improving. He’s just being asked to do more than he’s equipped to do right now and the makeup of the team is partially forcing it.

    In summary, I think the problem here is that the Knicks need to move the ball and space the floor better so Amare and Wilson can get inside more often, do what they do best, and the team doesn’t have to settle for so many poor jumpers. Until Gallo AND SOMEONE ELSE whose strength is 3 point shooting (perhaps Azubuike eventually) step up and punish defenses CONSISTENTLY for sagging off and playing zone, the floor is not going to be spaced properly.

    When we start doing that we can all stop yelling at our TV when Chandler throws up a brick or Amare turns the ball over trying to do too much.

  83. gbaked

    under 10 games
    4th youngest team in the league
    10 new players
    new main star
    new point guard
    biggest stage in the world (with crazy expectations)
    2 rookies in heavy rotation
    1 player with under 1 month playing American basketball
    1 player with under 2 years playing American basketball
    (not to mention living in America)

    beat a very good team at their place
    lost some good games to some good teams (I am sorry but GS was a fun bball game)
    lost 1 game to a bad team

    There are many positives and a bunch of negatives. Remember how Doc Rivers was the worst.coach.ever. before he wasn’t?

    Give Mike D a season here to get this team together. No need to start screaming about getting a new coach, as there is no coach out there that can come in and get these guys a championship.

    That is what gets me the most about the lack of patience. What on earth do people think will happen if we did fire Mike D so soon. A) it would prob freak out any potential FA targets, as he is very much respected around the league. B) it would really mess with alot of the young players heads. c) it would prob really piss off STAT. d) it really wont do anything but set us back.

    Mike D has been though some real tough times with us, and he deserves some time to get all these new players going.

    Negativity breeds negativity. We the educated Die Hard fans should be supporting these young’uns, not harping on the first 8 games, which have all had many really great things in them.

  84. Ted Nelson

    Nick C.: On the rebounding he isn’t a swing man/wing man or a F/G

    Yes, he is.

    Where did people get the notion that he was a bigman? There was/is a hope maybe he would/will develop than part of his game, but he’s never shown it. He was a wing in Europe. He is a wing in the NBA. I listed a bunch of good-to-great wing players that his rebounding this season compares with. You really expect more? Do you expect AR to be KG, Fields to be Grant Hill, Toney Douglas to be a Gary Payton/Ray Allen hybrid, Timo to be Sabonis and the Knicks to be the Bill Russell Celtics? Someone’s absolute ceiling is not a *realistic expectation.*

    Nick C.: he is really just Peja-light

    Why “light?”

    Nick C.: the rest of those players have spend considerable time playing guard which in theory should reduce rebounding percentages and you give their career numbers vs., presumably, Gallo’s high water mark. 

    Why do you presume that’s his high water mark? That’s an unfounded assumption. Maybe it is, or maybe it’s the tip of the iceberg. It’s 8 games.

    When was Granger a guard? LeBron? Kukoc? Hedo? Artest? Just because you have guard skills (which Gallo also has to an extent… outside shot, solid handle, passing ability that may develop) it doesn’t make you a guard. Gallo has played as much a guard role as anything at times with the Knicks. It’s hard to camp a guy out at the 3-pt line and expect 10 reb/36…

  85. Frank

    BigBlueAL: I must admit seeing how much the Heat are struggling it makes it alot easier to see and realize that the Knicks with lesser players are struggling with basically the same issues in terms of integrating a whole new team and needs time to gel just like the Heat need.  

    Can’t agree more. In fact, nothing picks me up after a bad Knicks loss than watching LBJ/Wade/Bosh stink it up again. I know it’s early and they are essentially playing with a brand new team this year, but I’d start worrying about this team if I were a Heat fan. Watching Wade stand at the 3 point line like Bruce Bowen while LBJ does his LBJ-Cleveland thing is a total waste of Wade’s talent — and I’m not sure that’s going to change. Only one guy at a time can do what those two both are best at. For all the talk about Mike Miller being the missing piece — the two guys getting most of the playing time in his place are Eddie House and James Jones, and those guys are shooting 40% and 49% from 3 point range, respectively. Can’t imagine that Miller will add much more, although is a better passer than either of those guys.

    Anyway, I’m loving watching them struggle. Hopefully it lasts.

  86. Nick C.

    Ted, I got the notion he was a big man form the fact that he is listed as 6’10”. The guard business is gleaned from boxscores over the years, (Artest, Granger and well to a lesser extent Hedo) they may be arbitrary. I don’t think camping out by the 3 point line on offense has any effect on defensive rebounding which is the bulk of all rebounds. As the high water mark should have been amended to read high water mark to this point in his career since you are using it as his comparison point for other players career numbers (its the equivalent of taking Mike Pelfrey’s April ERA and using it to compare him with assorted other pitchers using their career ERA or ERA+). All I’m getting at is that he is a meh rebounder, which is to me disappointing.

  87. Ted Nelson

    stratomatic,

    I think you make some good points. It’s the nature of the beast, but people are lashing out at WC to an unfair extent.

    Putting WC in the Harrington role was an awful idea. As were some other ideas from the early season. By-and-large WC has calmed down a bit shooting so much, though, (not against GS of course, but before that)… he just hasn’t calmed the 3PA down at all.

    No one is saying teams were not packing the middle. Everyone has seen it. We’ve been talking about it all season. That doesn’t mean, however, that Wilson Chandler should lead the team in 3PA. I have no problem with good shooters talking a lot of 3PA… WC is just not a good shooter. You acknowledge that the Knicks need to move the ball, yet you don’t agree with chastising WC for stopping the ball so often for bad shots? That’s illogical and contradictory to me. One reason the Knicks don’t have good ball movement is that WC is dribbling about like a chicken with his head cut off and forcing terrible shots. It’s a major reason, actually. (Another major one is that no one not names Landry Fields moves off the ball, again that includes WC. Another reason is the 2nd unit D’Antoni insists on playing all together, again that includes WC.) There are plenty of reasons to criticize WC.

    stratomatic: Defenses also know that Gallo would be a better option. So they take it away when they can and try to force the worse option to shoot when possible.

    Defenses know that all good-to-great scorers are good options. They would always like to take those options away. Good teams don’t just say “let’s stand around like morons and have our worst shooters heave it towards the basket instead of passing the ball.” They work as a team to get the best looks. The Knicks are standing around like morons and giving the shots to less effective shooters.

    stratomatic: That’s better than the mid range option for the average NBA player.

    The Knicks don’t have to choose between a WC 3PA and another player from mid-range. Their roster is stacked with theoretical 40% 3P shooters. Let those guys shoot their ways out of slumps within the offense. Don’t let WC hi-jack the offense for long stretches in an Al Harrington way. I didn’t mind Fraggle given the circumstances (bad team), but that is no one’s idea of the perfect situation.

    stratomatic: He’s just being asked to do more than he’s equipped to do right now and the makeup of the team is partially forcing it.

    You can’t just excuse him completely from all responsibility for his actions. D’Antoni doesn’t call every play from the sideline. Just because he gives him the “green light” doesn’t mean he is happy with all of WC’s decisions.

    stratomatic: When we start doing that we can all stop yelling at our TV when Chandler throws up a brick

    Again, I disagree with your logic. “I can’t get inside effectively, so I’ll throw up a terrible shot.” That’s not his only option. “I will pass the ball.” “I will attack and draw a foul.” These are also options that better players would pick. I agree people are going too far to criticize him at times, but you are going way too far to just deflect all blame for anything he does from him. By that logic no player is responsible for anything they do on the court… their coach told them to do it.

  88. Ted Nelson

    Nick C.: I got the notion he was a big man form the fact that he is listed as 6’10?.

    Height is not the only determinant of position. Skill set is far more of a determinant. Charles Barkley was not a SG because he’s 6-4… LeBron is not a PF because he’s 6-8. Most of the players I list fall somewhere between 6-8 and 6-11, so even if you want to go by height that is unfair to call them guards. Kukoc actually finished his career at the 4. Lewis is at the 4. Hedo is playing the 4 right now and played some there in Orlando on a Finals team. Artest was a DPOY at the 3. LeBron has largely played the 3. I don’t know what box scores you’ve seen where these guys are guards.

    Nick C.: I don’t think camping out by the 3 point line on offense has any effect on defensive rebounding which is the bulk of all rebounds.

    Fine. So then guarding perimeter players. Same difference. Still mostly camped at the 3 pt line on both sides of the ball. He plays the 3 for the Knicks. It’s unfair to compare him to bigmen. You wouldn’t say Nate Robinson is a “meh” rebounder because even Eddy Curry gets more boards…

    Nick C.: As the high water mark should have been amended to read high water mark to this point in his career since you are using it as his comparison point for other players career numbers

    We don’t have his career numbers, though. We have little idea of what they will be. Certainly we don’t expect anything extremely different from to-date, but there’s a lot of variability. What we know is that he is on record saying he worked on strength and explosiveness all offseason, he is only 22, and both this pre-season and season his rebounding has been noticeably better.

    Nick C.: All I’m getting at is that he is a meh rebounder, which is to me disappointing.  

    Can you really look at a list that includes possibly THE TWO BEST players in the NBA along with other All-Star caliber players and say “meh??????????????” I can’t.

  89. Frank

    Ted Nelson: One reason the Knicks don’t have good ball movement is that WC is dribbling about like a chicken with his head cut off and forcing terrible shots. It’s a major reason, actually. (Another major one is that no one not names Landry Fields moves off the ball, again that includes WC.

    Not sure if you saw D’Antoni’s quotes today about why the offense is not working, but he actually specifically picked out Landry Fields’s constant cutting to the basket (presumably sometimes inappropriately) as a DETRIMENT to the offense because it ruins spacing.

    I’m no basketball x’s and o’s expert, and presumably D’Antoni is. Ted- I’m not asking this to be confrontational at all so please don’t take it as such – but do you have any formal basketball training (ie. did you play in at least high school or college or have you coached at any level)? The reason I ask is because as a casual-to-obsessive fan who never played organized ball, I hear/read all kinds of stuff, and buzzwords/phrases like “moving without the ball”, cutting to the basket etc. are generally accepted as always being good things —
    just interesting to hear from D’Antoni that Fields is cutting too much, moving at the wrong times, and that is one of the major reasons the offensive flow has been so bad.

    For instance — I read this article by David Thorpe, and as interested as I was in reading it, I really have no idea what he is talking about, ie. the difference between fans who think they know what they’re talking about, and actual professionals who actually DO know what they’re talking about.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/miamiheat/post/_/id/801/david-thorpe-looks-at-the-heats-offense

  90. Nick C.

    Ted, I can’t win discussing anything with you. Gallo shoots 3s=Gallo is almost exclusively a perimeter defender. So Gallo rebounds almost as good as Lebron or Pierce but not quite as good = he is of their caliber. Just how are Lewis (who now starts along Ryan Anderson) and Turkoglu both 4s playing 36 minutes for the same team??? None of those players are considered great b/c of their rebounding, so its an irrelevant point of reference. Its OK to say Gallo is not a great rebounder for a 6’10” forward, who cannot bring the ball up nor can he initiate the offense or at least ahs not done so to date. It doesn’t mean he sucks…its just not a strong point.

    and finally I’m not entirely sure Eddy Curry outrebounded Nate.

  91. Degree_Absolute

    What do you guys think about D’Antoni’s comment that Fields needs to cut less to the basket? I feel we have heaped a lot praise on Fields for his refreshing tendency to not just camp out behind the arc like most of guys seem to do (Jared Zwerling on ESPN NY also praises him for this). Do you agree that his movement without the ball is impeding the pick-and-roll as D’Antoni more or less implies?

  92. Degree_Absolute

    Degree_Absolute: What do you guys think about D’Antoni’s comment that Fields needs to cut less to the basket? I feel we have heaped a lot praise on Fields for his refreshing tendency to not just camp out behind the arc like most of guys seem to do (Jared Zwerling on ESPN NY also praises him for this). Do you agree that his movement without the ball is impeding the pick-and-roll as D’Antoni more or less implies?  (Quote)

    *of our guys

  93. Degree_Absolute

    Also, Turiaf is out again tonight. There is no reason not to expect that the Wolves will kill us in the paint tonight.

  94. Nick C.

    maybe the Wolves have shot their load for the week Beasley had @ 46 (yes 46 on 31 shots in regulation) last game or the game before and Love had a 20-20 the game b4 that. :-)

  95. Ted Nelson

    Frank,

    I did play in high school, but not beyond that. I would not at all consider myself an expert on coaching basketball. I also have not studied tape of the Knicks games one bit outside of watching them real-time. I hope D’Antoni is a mastermind and turns this into a top 10 offensive team. I really, really hope he at least knows more than I do.

    Didn’t read the Thorpe article, but there are going to be disagreements even among people who do it for a living. Especially on the most complex stuff and especially when people are stubborn and convinced that their way of doing things is the right way.
    Plus, I also think there’s an element of “don’t tell me how to do my job” and “we must always be right because this is what we do for a living.” I work in finance and accounting, but if I miss a simple addition error and a basketball coach (or more likely a salesperson or something) is in my office and tells me “hey Ted, 2 + 5 does not equal 8″ the proper response from me is not “hey basketball coach, stick to what you’re good at because my math is better than yours and I do this every day.” Maybe I can show the coach that the decimals are hidden and the true sum rounds to 8… but maybe I was just wrong and made a mistake. Basketball is not, in my estimation, rocket science. It’s just a game.

    If D’Antoni really thinks Fields is the problem, my opinion is he’s going to struggle with this team. What do I know? That’s just my opinion *if* he really wants everyone standing around while Wilson Chandler runs the offense. I really hope that’s not what he’s saying and that’s not his ideal, though.
    It does seem pretty obvious that D’Antoni wants people standing around, but hopefully there is at least a degree of motion involved or I can’t see this working out. This is what he did with Q or Joe Johnson or others in Phoenix. Stand there, space the floor, and when the ball comes to you hit the J. The problem that everyone but D’Antoni seems to recognize, though, is that they were spacing the floor for Steve Nash, not Raymond Felton or Chris Duhon. That he had a string of really good shooters in Phoenix that are not the norm. That the passes they were waiting for were from Nash, not Felton and not Duhon. That Marion was not so effective only because he took an occasional 3 and drew out a bigman, but because he go to the basket and finished really, really well. That the Knicks roster is not the Suns roster.

    My opinion–for what it’s worth–is that the Knicks are killing themselves because 3 or 4 guys are uninvolved in the play and the guys who are involved are not good creators. The one or two guys are routinely attacking packed-in defenses designed to make the Knicks beat them with outside shooting. If those 3 or 4 guys are getting the chance to take jumpers and making them at a high rate, ok. When they’re not I really don’t like the offense the Knicks are falling back on: it’s not an argument that hitting 3s won’t open up the offense (it will… and it will also put efficient points on the board), it’s an argument about what you do when those 3s aren’t falling. Against the Bucks in particular the guy who had the ball and maybe the one other guy who was playing a 2-man game with him just looked utterly frustrated and confused. They were often effectively going 1-on-3 or 2-on-4 with the Bucks dictating where on the court they could go. There are lanes to cut. I think it was Milwaukee where there was a wide open cutter with a clear path to the basket on one possession (don’t remember who… but this was just a blatant example), but TD had his head down doing some fancy dribbling moves and totally missed the opportunity. If D’Antoni wants to talk about killing spacing, also, the original strategy of having Felton hand the ball off to Amare on 75% of the possessions and draw the PG into Amare’s area was just awful and directly led to a bunch of TOs where quick little guards stripped Amare and made him look like he’d never played basketball.

    I don’t know what D’Antoni’s plan is. No idea. If this is it, though, and he wants *less* movement off the ball… I don’t know how it will work unless the Knicks shoot really really well from 3 every night. I hope he’s saying something like Fields needs to pick his spots and not get over-excited. That Fields’ problem is not that he’s moving off the ball, but how he’s doing it. I would really prefer he find a way to incorporate Fields’ strengths into the offense and encouraging others to do some of what he’s doing. I realize that some of his success *may* be coming at the expense of the team’s overall efficiency, but he is still scoring at a TS% of .642 on the season while Chandler is scoring at a TS% of .509… If D’Antoni is saying he’s happy with Chandler and unhappy with Fields…

  96. Ted Nelson

    Nick C.: Ted, I can’t win discussing anything with you. Gallo shoots 3s=Gallo is almost exclusively a perimeter defender. So Gallo rebounds almost as good as Lebron or Pierce but not quite as good = he is of their caliber.

    This is not my point.

    Gallo is primarily a perimeter defender because he is. He plays the 3 for the Knicks. He should, therefore, fairly be compared to other 3s.

    I never said that Gallo is nearly as good as LeBron or Pierce or KD. The point is that if those rebound rates are good enough for the best players at his position, why are they not good enough for Gallo? If he were a Balkman type and rebounding was supposed to be one of his strengths, ok… He is not, though.

    Nick C.: Just how are Lewis (who now starts along Ryan Anderson) and Turkoglu both 4s playing 36 minutes for the same team???

    They played fairly interchangeably at the forward spots if I remember correctly. Lewis was the primary 4 and Turk the 3, but their roles were somewhat amorphous. Ryan Anderson, by the way, plays 12.3 MPG. It’s great that he’s honored as the starter with Q being horrible and Pietrus being horrible and fighting with the coach, but he’s a bit player.

    Nick C.: None of those players are considered great b/c of their rebounding, so its an irrelevant point of reference.

    Is Gallo supposed to be a great rebounder? I think the best players at his position in the league are a good point of reference. Who else do you want? Melo = 9.7. Deng = 10.7. Butler = 9.5. Q = 10.1. Peja = 7.8. Do I really need to provide a list of every SF ever to play in the NBA to satisfy you that I have provided relevant references?

    My point is that if you’re getting the 18+ pts/36 at a high TS% that Gallo seems clearly capable of now and certainly in his prime, why are you so concerned about slightly below average rebounding? Mostly because you have mis-labeled him as the next Dirk would be my guess.

    Nick C.: It doesn’t mean he sucks…its just not a strong point.

    Who said it was? The point made was that he has improved so far this season. That he’s become a respectable rebounder for a 3 and might even be able to build on that. His rebound% is right in line with the rest of the league’s SFs so far this season.

    He’s not a guard, but he’s also not a PF. He’s a SF. Not sure why this concept is so difficult. I have provided a bunch of examples of SFs who do not bring the ball up the court of initiate the offense and still do not rebound much better than Danilo. Very few SFs do bring the ball up consistently and initiate the offense. LeBron James is not exactly a fair reference to compare all SFs to in any way other than to say he’s way better than them.

  97. Nick C.

    but all I originally wrote was that 5.8 reb/36 was underwhelming and you went on and on and on and on as if this was the crime of the century. I ‘m glad you had Gallo pegged as a good to great jump shooter who may or may not rise to the level of average at anything else while others thought there could be or was more to his game.

  98. Ted Nelson

    Nick C.: but all I originally wrote was that 5.8 reb/36 was underwhelming

    I don’t think it’s underwhelming if you consider it in the context of SFs. That’s my whole point. Look around the league at all the SFs and a reb% of 9.1 is pretty much right there with them. Maybe a bit on the low end, but marginally so. And just as maybe this is flukishly good for him, maybe he continues to improve. Maybe he even gets to pre-season form where he was at more like 7.5 reb/36 as I remember.

    Nick C.: while others thought there could be or was more to his game.  

    Who thought he would suddenly become a great rebounder, though, and based on what? When a guy has a full season at a reb% of 8.2, is it really reasonable to think the next season he can grab 50%+ more rebounds to become the best rebounding SF in the entire league? And when WC has made the transition to a more respectable PF reb%, do the Knicks really need it?

    Even a SF who is really known for his rebounding like AK-47 is at a career mark of 11 and has only been above 10 one season since moving from PF to SF… It’s just not fair to expect much more than a reb% of 10 from your SF. The Knicks have bigger concerns that the 1% of rebounds Gallo hasn’t grabbed so far while on the court… starting with his shooting…

  99. Frank

    Ted Nelson:
    If D’Antoni really thinks Fields is the problem, my opinion is he’s going to struggle with this team. What do I know? That’s just my opinion *if* he really wants everyone standing around while Wilson Chandler runs the offense. I really hope that’s not what he’s saying and that’s not his ideal, though.

    I don’t know what D’Antoni’s plan is. No idea. If this is it, though, and he wants *less* movement off the ball… I don’t know how it will work unless the Knicks shoot really really well from 3 every night. I hope he’s saying something like Fields needs to pick his spots and not get over-excited. That Fields’ problem is not that he’s moving off the ball, but how he’s doing it. I would really prefer he find a way to incorporate Fields’ strengths into the offense and encouraging others to do some of what he’s doing.   

    I think D’Antoni meant what you said in the 2nd paragraph – that while Fields moves well without the ball, that sometime he cuts/moves in such a way that it ruins the spacing necessary to run PnR correctly.

    Here’s the link to the NYPost article–

    http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/knicks/cut_it_out_kid_7z1dvIkrfKhsNhGBPstyiP

  100. Ted Nelson

    Frank: Here’s the link to the NYPost article–

    Interesting…

    The Fields thing seems fairly logical, though he might be taking it a little too far (or the author of the article might be anyway). Again, haven’t watched the tape, but Fields’ cutting does not seem to be the #1 problem offensively… Maybe I’m wrong, though. Seems more like a marginal thing to me. When you lose by only a few points I guess even a marginal thing can help, though.

    I also think it’s interesting that D’Antoni/Amare point totally to “spacing” without mentioning stagnation/motion… wonder if this is implied in what they’re saying or they just mean standing around in better spots. By and large it seems like the average possession is just guys standing around. Maybe they need to move a little to create open passing lanes, or maybe D’Antoni is just not happy with their standing around positioning… Hope it’s more of the 1st, but what do I know.

    What D’Antoni points out that they have to actually hit 3s is probably his best point. I don’t know the specifics of what they’re referring too, though, so we’ll see if they make some adjustments and they work (and not against the Wolves, but a real NBA team).

    Seems like guys are waiting for outlets, though maybe not in the best spots. When a guy just stands at one spot on the 3-pt line it’s fairly easy to collapse on Felton/Amare/WC and also block his passing lanes. Hopefully D’Antoni is implying this when he talks about “spacing.”

    And, again, bad spacing is not an excuse for chucking up horrible shots early in the shot clock. Late in the shot clock, sure. Early, though, re-set the offense and get better spacing… “My teammates spacing is bad, so the only thing I can do is heave up a bad shot” just doesn’t work for me. You can argue that it’s irrelevant when the spacing is good, but I don’t really think it is. Against tough defenses (especially in the playoffs, which is hopefully the goal here) you have to make good decisions.

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