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Monday, October 20, 2014

2011 Game Thread: Knicks @ Nets

For your game thoughts.

92 comments on “2011 Game Thread: Knicks @ Nets

  1. Kikuchiyo

    I’m sure I’m not the only one who is GLAD that Amar’e isn’t playing. The man needs a week off, and now is the time to take it. The 6th see means very little compared to a rested team. Yes, I know he has an ankle injury, but that ankle should be 100% soon enough.

  2. BigBlueAL

    No DWill or Humphries for the Nets. Knicks should be able to sit Amar’e, Billups and Melo and still win tonight lol.

  3. tenebrous

    I don’t know feels like brickcity tonight. Skywalker, Extra E, DougyFresh, Carter, Dbrown need to step it up. JJ can u say Dunk. Mason should get some 3s up. Melo is feeling the pressure now that Amare is resting. In other news: Melo just chartered a plane for Nene, Birdman, KM, the pg and their 3point line is not deep enough 2 for some help tonight. The league is has no comment. Seriously, some D would be nice tonight.

  4. rohank

    Melo’s first step reminds me of Grant Hill’s first step – remember how quick Grant Hill was (circa Pistons era)?

  5. Jake S.

    I didn’t think that anyone matched up worse against Brook Lopez than STAT. I was wrong.

  6. llcoolbp

    none of the “big 3″ are on the court, the second unit is doing some work. Nice to see.

  7. llcoolbp

    28 minutes max for chauncey, and 34 minutes max for melo, that’s what i’m hoping for.

  8. KnickInSeattle

    I don’t mind that missed long one when we’re up this much.
    The Knicks are regaining their since of fun while getting better.

  9. d-mar

    OK, the time has come for everyone to get past the post-Melo trade angst, and just appreciate that we have an unbelievable scoring machine on our team. And a player who is also grabbing rebounds and playing some D. I know the anti-Melo’s are waiting for the first poor playoff game performance to let loose, but I for one am really glad he’s a Knick.

  10. llcoolbp

    Melo’s doing work on the boards tonight. He can be a a beast, not just offensively. Shoots so quick that the double team can’t even come. Makes you pay if they double with the pass. He is just a joy to watch for me. That’s the bottom line.

  11. DRed

    It’s also worth noting that Jeffries has exploded for 4 points so far. That last rebound and layup was a really nice play.

  12. massive

    The Knicks are looking great, albeit against a Nets team without two of its three best players. Looking like we’re getting that 6th win in a row tonight.

  13. KnickInSeattle

    Yep, getting the win.
    And, dare I say it on Knickerblogger, but they’re fun to watch these days…TD is my favorite, but most of the guys on the roster are endearing in one way or another, if not downright impressive.

  14. llcoolbp

    roger mason might as well put up as many shots as he can, he might never play again this year.

  15. tenebrous

    llcoolbp: roger mason might as well put up as many shots as he can, he might never play again this year.  

    He’s a really good player. I don’t know how you figure.

  16. Frank O.

    six in a row. a few blow outs. Great ball movement.
    Had to cede the computer to my son so he could watch netflix while I watched the game.
    Not only is it nice to get into the playoffs. nice to go in hot.

  17. Z-man

    d-mar: OK, the time has come for everyone to get past the post-Melo trade angst, and just appreciate that we have an unbelievable scoring machine on our team. And a player who is also grabbing rebounds and playing some D. I know the anti-Melo’s are waiting for the first poor playoff game performance to let loose, but I for one am really glad he’s a Knick.  

    While I still think we gave up more than we had to, there’s no disputing that Melo has played great lately. He is an awesome offensive machine.

  18. BigBlueAL

    Knicks now over .500 since the trade!! lol

    The Nets are horrible. Plus they dont have their 1st round pick this year and could lose Humphries as a FA. Gonna be a long next season (if there is one) for Deron Williams in NJ.

  19. Z-man

    I suppose I shouldn’t give a shit who we play in the first round, but I am strongly leaning towards wanting to play Boston. I honestly think they are ripe for the picking. That said, everything from here on is gravy. Would like to see a couple of first round wins.

  20. BigBlueAL

    Just realized Knicks clinched a non-losing season!! First time since 2000-2001 season. Unbelievable lol.

  21. bockadoo

    tied with houston now. that would be a nice little bonus to add to getting to the playoffs. would like Deandre Jordan next year. Is that possible?

  22. SJK

    Just wanted to point out that Jared Jeffries is shooting 35% from the line this year. That is spectacularly awful. He must put no time into his offensive game. I mean, my 11 year old brother could beat him in a free throw competition. 35??? I just thought that was hilarious.

  23. massive

    We’ll see how hot we are in the playoffs after ending the season against Chicago and Boston. I sure hope we’re sizzling and go into the postseason 44-38. I think (more like hope) we’ll beat Chicago because they simply don’t have the offense to guard us, and if we can make Derrick Rose uncomfortable, he’ll shoot his team out of the game like he did on Christmas. Boston is just a different team in the 4th quarter.

  24. jon abbey

    bockadoo: tied with houston now.that would be a nice little bonus to add to getting to the playoffs.  

    actually tonight we clinched the swap being worthless, because Houston is out of the playoffs and all playoff teams draft behind all non-playoff teams, regardless of record. yay!

    I could have sworn that Landry Fields had more than two baskets (as the box score says), I would have said 4 or 5 if you asked me after the game. am I crazy?

  25. KnickInSeattle

    Landry looked very confident and energetic tonight…I too got the impression he was a big factor.

  26. MSA

    If we win the next 3 games and Atlanta lose their next 3 (they seem to be falling apart BTW) there will be a tie.

    Wich team has the tiebreaker?

  27. Max

    Z-man:
    While I still think we gave up more than we had to, there’s no disputing that Melo has played great lately. He is an awesome offensive machine.  

    No one questioned his offensive ability but right after the trade he played too much iso, now he’s playing more within the system and the results are very good.
    And his attitude is far better (14 rebounds? wow!).
    The way we disposed of the bad teams during this stretch is very promising too, that’s what good teams do, they beat lesser opponents without sweating too much (so the starters could relax).

  28. Z-man

    jon abbey:
    actually tonight we clinched the swap being worthless, because Houston is out of the playoffs and all playoff teams draft behind all non-playoff teams, regardless of record. yay!I could have sworn that Landry Fields had more than two baskets (as the box score says), I would have said 4 or 5 if you asked me after the game. am I crazy?  

    I remember hoping the 1st round picks we gave up in the Eddy Curry trade wouldn’t amount to much because we wouldn’t be a lottery team. At least that is not the case with this pick so far.

    Has anyone noticed that Felton’s and Chandler’s shooting numbers are way down since the trade?

  29. jon abbey

    MSA: If we win the next 3 games and Atlanta lose their next 3 (they seem to be falling apart BTW) there will be a tie.Wich team has the tiebreaker?  

    Atlanta has already clinched 5th, season series with NY/ATL was 2-2 and their conference record will be better no matter what.

  30. d-mar

    Z-man:
    While I still think we gave up more than we had to, there’s no disputing that Melo has played great lately. He is an awesome offensive machine.  

    While I winced every time another Knick player was added to the Melo deal, I’m pretty convinced at this point that we couldn’t have gotten Melo for anything less. He even mentioned after the game last night that “I thought I was going to be a Net” which indicates that when push came to shove, he would have signed with NJ and had no intention of entering free agency. I don’t think it’s 100% clear that Dolan made the deal, as popular opinion suggests, and I guess we’ll never know. But this idea that we got fleeced by the Nuggets and were negotiating against ourselves I think is misguided. Now I guess if you think we would have been better off just walking away and keeping the old team, that’s another argument, but maybe this is one of those rare deals that’s a win-win.

  31. flossy

    d-mar:
    While I winced every time another Knick player was added to the Melo deal, I’m pretty convinced at this point that we couldn’t have gotten Melo for anything less. He even mentioned after the game last night that “I thought I was going to be a Net” which indicates that when push came to shove, he would have signed with NJ and had no intention of entering free agency. I don’t think it’s 100% clear that Dolan made the deal, as popular opinion suggests, and I guess we’ll never know. But this idea that we got fleeced by the Nuggets and were negotiating against ourselves I think is misguided. Now I guess if you think we would have been better off just walking away and keeping the old team, that’s another argument, but maybe this is one of those rare deals that’s a win-win.  

    It’s kind of hard to seriously argue that trading everyone we did to get Melo was the Knicks’ only or even best option considering Deron Williams got traded at a steep discount about 10 minutes after our Melo deal went through. Just sayin’.

  32. d-mar

    Well, if you want to take Knicks management to task for not knowing that Williams was available as a fallback, then I would agree with you. But it doesn’t appear that anyone, including the Nets, knew Utah was looking to get rid of him until after the Melo deal went down.

  33. jon abbey

    if you think that was a “steep discount”, you should probably look at that deal again, especially considering it was basically a glorified rental of one season plus a handful of games.

  34. Z-man

    Obviously the value of both the Melo and the Deron deals depends on the new CBA and the salary cap going forward. I don’t think we got fleeced, but I would have been OK with the deal not being made for what ultimately paid. That said, I agree that there is a good probability that it could be a win-win, especially if Billups plays well and TD, Fields, Shawne and Walker continue to improve, or at least become at least valuable trade pawns.

  35. Frank

    jon abbey: if you think that was a “steep discount”, you should probably look at that deal again, especially considering it was basically a glorified rental of one season plus a handful of games.  

    seriously – i remember when i read about the trade and that they couldn’t sign him to an extension until after the new CBA, that I thought NJ panicked — got a great player – a player that I’d probably rather have on the Knicks than Melo — but there is probably an 80% chance they won’t make the playoffs next year, and probably >50% chance that D-Will will bolt, maybe even across the Hudson to the NYK. Then NJ will have gotten 1 year of D-Will and probably no playoffs at all in return for Devin Harris, the 2010 #3 pick, and 1 probably 2 lottery picks. This is called throwing all your eggs in one basket and hoping for the moon.

    The only way the Nets get better next year and sniff the playoffs is if they spend their cap space, which I think would take them out of play for Howard or Paul. Also, their best players (Lopez and Williams) also play the same positions as the marquee FAs in 2012. The whole thing just felt desperate and not well thought out.

    If they don’t spend their cap space, then they’ll be looking at the same team as this year post-DWill trade — and they were well below .500.

  36. Z-man

    jon abbey: if you think that was a “steep discount”, you should probably look at that deal again, especially considering it was basically a glorified rental of one season plus a handful of games.  

    Yeah, but he probably signs a max deal with us more readily since we would have been able to offer him the most money, and in the meantime could have acquired another piece, plus we would have had to give up less than we did. On the other hand, even if we knew he was available, maybe someone else offers something Utah wanted more than what we had, and we get frozen out.

    At least so far, Melo has held up his end by playing better than the doubters expected; he is clearly not a “one-trick pony.” One area where I think he has been unfairly judged is in his 3-pt shooting. Looking at his stats, his overall 3-pt pct. for the past 4 years is very good: .354, .371, .316, .374; His low career % is mainly due to his first 4 years. There is no reason why this can’t improve even more.

  37. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Z-man:
    One area where I think he has been unfairly judged is in his 3-pt shooting.Looking at his stats, his overall 3-pt pct. for the past 4 years is very good: .354, .371, .316, .374; His low career % is mainly due to his first 4 years.There is no reason why this can’t improve even more.  

    And this is something that I, along with Owen and Thomas B., I believe, have said at length: we overpaid for a player on the hope that he would be become an elite player. Not “continue” to be elite. Become. That his perceived value and actual value would begin to converge.That’s foolish. Joe Johnson and Rudy Gay got the same kind of deal.

  38. tastycakes

    Especially sweet is that we’re not swapping picks with the Rockets this year, ’cause they are out of the playoffs and we’re in!

    I was looking at the Derrick Rose lottery numbers the other day because I remember wanting him really badly and thinking we had a shot. We had the 5th worst record in the league that year and Chicago won with fewer ping pong balls. Shit luck. Westbrook went at 4, and I’d say I’d be mighty happy with him right now, though I think that kid Gallinari might end up being a pretty good player for the Knugs at #5.

    Excited to find out who we play! Let’s face it, Miami and Boston both definitely want:

    A. To play Philly in the first round, not NYK. Philly isn’t terrible, but they don’t scare those guys.
    B. To have home-court against the other in the second round.

    So I expect the two of them are playing to win from here out, will be interesting to watch tomorrow’s BOS @ MIA game, see how that plays out. I think if BOS wins, we’re getting MIA, which is my personal preference, because I want to make Erik Spoelstra cry when Melo pulls an Allan Houston in Game 7. I can still dream!

  39. d-mar

    Our last game against Boston could be really interesting, because we may have the chance to determine our 1st round opponent by either winning or losing. Of course, that’s assuming we are locked into the 6th or 7th playoff position. It’s all a little dizzying, but I would think if we are in the 6th spot and Boston is tied or one game behind Miami, they’ll go all out to win and play Philly in the 1st round. And maybe we let them so we can play the Heat.

    The possibilities are endless, but either way I can’t wait until next weekend and NY KNICK PLAYOFF BASKETBALL!!

  40. latke

    food for thought: It’s hard to argue with the notion that the ex-knicks are a lot less important to the Nuggets’ current success than the old nuggets who stuck around. Gallinari missed a lot of games, and chandler’s primary value has been in his defense. Felton has been up and down, and Mozgov has hardly played. That means that what was really going on with the nuggets pre-trade — the reason they were only a bit above average — was because of ‘melo distractions. I also think health was a problem early in the season — Chris Anderson and K-Mart missed a lot of games.

    So, how good could the Nuggets have been if Melo hadn’t decided to demand a trade, if he was playing with the intensity and commitment he’s played with here? If Karl had been able to get him to play more off the ball, to play in an offense more centered around Nene? With Afflalo’s emergence, K-Mart’s renaissance… Don’t you think Denver could have been a real contender?

  41. Z-man

    The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    And this is something that I, along with Owen and Thomas B., I believe, have said at length: we overpaid for a player on the hope that he would be become an elite player. Not “continue” to be elite. Become. That his perceived value and actual value would begin to converge.That’s foolish. Joe Johnson and Rudy Gay got the same kind of deal.  

    I have to disagree in that I don’t think that Joe Johnson (ever) and Redy Gay (not yet at least) are in the same class as Melo as a player, especially offensively. One thing that stands out is their usage rates…Melo’s is a lot higher than either JJ or Gay, and so Melo is therefore a bigger part of what happens on the floor, dollar for dollar. His shooting stats since coming to the Knicks are way above JJ or Gay. JJ has been a truly awful playoff performer by virtually any measure, despite playing the same number of playoff games as Melo, Gay is not playoff-tested at all, and it remains to be seen whether he can sustain his efficiency at a higher usage/volume. JJ is older and past the point of hoping that he will improve.

  42. danvt

    “And this is something that I, along with Owen and Thomas B., I believe, have said at length: we overpaid for a player on the hope that he would be become an elite player. Not “continue” to be elite. Become. That his perceived value and actual value would begin to converge.That’s foolish. Joe Johnson and Rudy Gay got the same kind of deal.”

    To me, the thing about Melo is that I’ve never seen him on a losing team. He’s been the best player on a team that plays, the Spurs four times, the Mavs four times, the Lakers, etc. and he’s been in the playoffs every year. Perhaps, the lack of “efficiency” is due to the fact that he takes some very suspect shots, just, sort of, “having fun” out there. It may be that when it’s time to win, he gets down to business. I’m sure there are stats to debunk all of this, so have at it, but, it seems, to the “naked eye”, that the guy wins and has a flair for the dramatic.

  43. Z-man

    He’s clearly talented enough to be an elite player. He’s certainly a top-10 talent, and if he can harness that talent, he is capable of being elite. What I like is that at age 26, he has the physical tools to improve things that are not a function of talent: shot selection and defense. He never really had anything to prove in Denver, like he does now. I am still waiting to hear what it wlii take for THCJ, Owen and Thomas B. to change their mind about him being an “elite” player. Give us some reasonable benchmarks, guys, taking into account what Melo physically is, and isn’t.

  44. Z-man

    Who would you sign to a max 4-year deal right now? Here’s how I see things:

    No-Brainers, worth way more than max:
    LeBron
    Howard
    Durant
    Gasol
    Wade (possible age/injury concern?)
    Griffin

    Most likely worth it:
    Rose
    Westbrook
    Deron
    Bosh
    Amare
    Melo

    Still real good, but too old:
    Kobe
    Nowitski
    Pierce
    Garnett

    Injury risk?
    Paul
    Roy

    Worth consideration, but not quite (or not yet):
    Love
    Gordon
    Noah
    Rondo
    Tyreke
    Bogut
    Wall
    Josh
    LaMarcus

    Max is too much:
    Gay
    Monta
    Zach
    Granger
    Joe Johnson
    Martin
    Boozer

  45. Z-man

    So, by this subjective count, there are only 12 players who at this point in time are worth long-term max money. You can debate Amar’e and Melo, but there is nobody below them on the list that I would trade them for straight up at 4 years of max money.

  46. latke

    good question, Z-Man. I look at it as current value is important, but at least as important is who’s going to give you the most value across the duration of a 6 year contract and to a lesser extent beyond that (since bird rights will likely allow you to keep him), so a lot of older players/injury risks aren’t on the list (sorry amare).

    Here are my top 25: 1) Lebron 2) Howard 3) Durant 4) Griffin 5) Williams 6) Wade 7) Paul 8) Rose 9) Horford 10) Love 11) Aldridge 12) Bynum 13) Westbrook 14) Ibaka 15) Noah 16) Pau Gasol 17) Anthony 18) Gallinari 19) T. Chandler 20) Gordon 21) Cousins 22) Bryant 23) Bogut 24) Parker 25) Holiday

    Around 25 it starts getting murky. I coulda put any number of guys there (I had and deleted Bosh, stephen curry, and james harden).

  47. Shad0wF0x

    @74

    I’m assuming that this isn’t necessarily about max contract.

    You said that injury risks aren’t listed but Bynum is there? Bryant is not only 32 but a high school NBA 32. He’s a great player but that effective for another 6 years? I think Michael Jordan’s Washington Wizards stint was when he was 38-41. So I’ll give Bryant the benefit of a doubt since I think that he has reached Jordan’s level a number of times.

    What about Rajon Rondo?

  48. gransoporro

    I’ve been to Denver for work 3 weeks ago and been told something about “the deal”. I just pass it on as I am not an expert: it makes sense to me but I am no expert.
    When they were sure Melo was going, Denver went in rebuild mode and packed Billups with him (and that we knew). They preferred initially draft picks, but their scout reports convinced them to go for “auditioning”. They wanted Chandler to audition for 6th man (JR Smith is FA, I assume), Felton for PG and Mozgov for Andersen. Mozgov is also an insurance policy in case Nene leaves: to be traded for a veteran. If Denver keeps both Nene and Andersen, Mozgov will likely be traded to the Nets (to attract the Brighton Beach crowd).
    The reason Denver got this much is because they kept asking for Fields or no deal.
    Denver really wanted only Gallo and Fields, the rest was needed to fit into the trading rules and to audition for next year positions.
    They are surprised as well as any other of the success, they think it is due to the depth of the rotation (seems reasonable to me: how deep do they have to go to have a player similar to Turiaf or Douglas?).

    As I said, it made sense to me but then again I can be gullible…

  49. Z-man

    latke:
    good question, Z-Man. I look at it as current value is important, but at least as important is who’s going to give you the most value across the duration of a 6 year contract and to a lesser extent beyond that (since bird rights will likely allow you to keep him), so a lot of older players/injury risks aren’t on the list (sorry amare).

    Here are my top 25: 1) Lebron 2) Howard 3) Durant 4) Griffin 5) Williams 6) Wade 7) Paul 8) Rose 9) Horford 10) Love 11) Aldridge 12) Bynum 13) Westbrook 14) Ibaka 15) Noah 16) Pau Gasol 17) Anthony 18) Gallinari 19) T. Chandler 20) Gordon 21) Cousins 22) Bryant 23) Bogut 24) Parker 25) Holiday

    Around 25 it starts getting murky. I coulda put any number of guys there (I had and deleted Bosh, stephen curry, and james harden).

    6 years is a different question, it knocks Wade and Paul way down the list, imo. That said, would you really trade Melo straight up on the same (roughly $85 million for 4 year) deal for: Horford, Love, Aldridge, Bynum, Ibaka, or Noah? Not me. I also don’t think that Gallo, Cousins, Bryant(age), Parker or Holiday belong on the max list at this point. Bosh is better than these guys, and is probably on the wrong team, I think he doesn’t stay in Miami for long.

  50. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    With last night’s insane performance (I mean, really, 10 FGM in a row is impressive — but 3PT?), Ty Lawson is now 10th in the league in eFG%.

    His salary? $1.5M.

  51. Z-man

    The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    With last night’s insane performance (I mean, really, 10 FGM in a row is impressive — but 3PT?), Ty Lawson is now 10th in the league in eFG%.

    His salary? $1.5M.

    Yeah, that draft will haunt us for a long time. It could have been worse, at least TD is a good rotation player…

  52. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    I don’t even care about the record. Most NBA players are capable of a ridiculous night — see Brandon Jennings, he of the .436 career eFG%, scoring 55 in his 7th game as a rookie. It’s that he’s such an efficient player, and so cheap!

  53. massive

    I may be crazy, but I think we’re going to watch Melo become an elite NBA player in New York. Him catching that block in transition against New Jersey gave me so much hope. Like Z-man says in 71, all he needs to improve on to become elite is shot selection and his defense. If he becomes an above average defender and buys into D’Antoni’s system, we’ll have a legit max superstar in New York. It’s clear he has the talent to contribute in every aspect of the game, so the question should be “will he do it,” not “can he do it.”

  54. Z-man

    The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    I don’t even care about the record. Most NBA players are capable of a ridiculous night — see Brandon Jennings, he of the .436 career eFG%, scoring 55 in his 7th game as a rookie. It’s that he’s such an efficient player, and so cheap!

    Granted that he is two years older than CP3 was in his sophomore campaign, but their stats are not that far apart at that point, Paul has a couple of assists more but Lawson is more efficient:

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=0&p1=lawsoty01&y1=2011&p2=paulch01&y2=2007

    Scary…can Lawson be that good?

  55. bob cook

    When we were on the losing streak, aside from my calls to the suicide bad trade hot line, it seemed that we’d f’ed up again. Bear in mind that Isaiah was for getting Melo. And the media was also getting us wondering about Mike D as coach (Billups can’t play that style).

    But then we win 6 inarow.

    Melo is playing better than I’ve ever seen and it hits me that he likes MD’s system. So let’s review the trade. We gave up Gallo, a nice player, but one who hadn’t blossomed as we hoped. Not “the best shooter I’ve ever seen.” (-Mike D-). I liked Felton a lot. Many said that he’s just not that good but was hot early in the season (all star talk). Dunno. I think he could have been a fine pg for the medium/long term. Chandler was playing great (talk of best 6th man) but he’s gone next year anyway for cap reasons. Like D Lee. And much as I wanted Mosgov to be what Mike said he’d be, fuhgeddiboudit. He had one nice game. The guy is just not athletically there. We need a big who can actually catch the ball. So, I’ll take Melo for Gallo/Felton. But we ain’t winning nothing this year but what about next year?

    Egad, we have a draft choice. When did that last happen? Fields has clearly hit that rookie wall and will clearly be way better next year. We need a point guard and center and I think that the attraction of Stat/Melo/big apple should permit us to get there.

    So woo hoo.

  56. ess-dog

    Z-man: Yeah, that draft will haunt us for a long time. It could have been worse, at least TD is a good rotation player…

    Hey at least we’re not the T-Wolves. They added about 27 point guards and traded the best one they drafted in Lawson. SMH.

  57. MSA

    I think we have to thank the basketball gods for not drafting Lawson.

    The Knicks would have sent him to the Rockets for free for a chance to get Lebron.

    THAT would make me piss…

  58. nicos

    Z-man: Granted that he is two years older than CP3 was in his sophomore campaign, but their stats are not that far apart at that point, Paul has a couple of assists more but Lawson is more efficient:

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=0&p1=lawsoty01&y1=2011&p2=paulch01&y2=2007

    Scary…can Lawson be that good?

    That difference in assist % is huge- Lawson’s is very average, Paul’s at 21 is already All-Star level. And Paul is an all-NBA level defensive player and Lawson is below average. Not saying I don’t like Lawson but he’s not in Paul’s class- he’s a terrific scoring point but not an elite play-maker- he’s probably got a few all-star games in his future but not the hall of fame. Also, even if we had drafted him there’s no guarantee he’d still be here- we had to include Hill to get the Rockets to take Jeffries to clear cap space. And if we don’t have room for two max guys it’s doubtful Amar’e ever signs here.

  59. latke

    I find it astonishing that Thibodeau is still playing his starters for really heavy minutes despite the fact that they have locked up the #1 seed.

    They are playing for absolutely nothing. SAS is still 2 games ahead of them, so they won’t end with the top record. They are locked in at the #1 seed and 2nd best record. What if Rose rolls his ankle?

  60. d-mar

    Flipping back and forth between the Masters and the Heat-Celtics (and watching McIlroy implode is really tough), I’m vacillating again on who I’d like to play in the 1st round. The Celtics were outrebounded 24-10 in the 1st half – 24-10! – and there’s something that’s just not right about that team right now. I really think if you stop Allen from shooting 3’s you solve a big part of their offense. Now of course there’s the other side that says they’re playoff tough and will find a way to win, but I’m starting to lean towards wanting to play them. Plus, the way Wade slices and dices the Boston D makes me think he could do the same to us and it would be a foul shooting and 3 point fest for the Heat.

    But maybe Boston comes back in this game and I’ll change my mind yet again!

  61. BigBlueAL

    d-mar:
    Flipping back and forth between the Masters and the Heat-Celtics (and watching McIlroy implode is really tough), I’m vacillating again on who I’d like to play in the 1st round. The Celtics were outrebounded 24-10 in the 1st half – 24-10! – and there’s something that’s just not right about that team right now. I really think if you stop Allen from shooting 3?s you solve a big part of their offense. Now of course there’s the other side that says they’re playoff tough and will find a way to win, but I’m starting to lean towards wanting to play them. Plus, the way Wade slices and dices the Boston D makes me think he could do the same to us and it would be a foul shooting and 3 point fest for the Heat.

    But maybe Boston comes back in this game and I’ll change my mind yet again!

    I wanted no part of the Celtics before, now Im praying the Knicks play them lol.

  62. massive

    There is no way in hell I want to see LeBron James in the 1st round of the playoffs. Bring on those Celtics!

  63. d-mar

    Miami is one up on Boston, and plays at Atlanta and Toronto to end the season. You gotta think the Heat won’t falter and will win both, so if we do want to play Boston, we need to hold on to the 6th seed.

  64. Frank

    Z-man: Granted that he is two years older than CP3 was in his sophomore campaign, but their stats are not that far apart at that point, Paul has a couple of assists more but Lawson is more efficient:

    Scary…can Lawson be that good?

    LOL – except for the fact that Paul scored more, assisted more, stole more, got to the line more, all while being on a team with maybe one player that could start on the Nuggets (David West – who is 1% above average at best) — except for all that they’re about the same. Oh wait, there’s that defensive awesomeness that CP3 brings as well.

    I love Lawson, but he went from shooting a very pedestrian 36.9% from 3 to shooting 40.7% from 3 in one night. If that’s not an outlier I don’t know what is.

    It’ll be very very interesting to see how the Nuggs do in the playoffs. Right now they are playing great, but teams without superstars just don’t do well in the playoffs. In essence, how they do this postseason is a referendum on the choice that Walsh/D’Antoni/Dolan made — is having one or two superstar-ish players greater than having 4-5 above average guys. Presuming they play OKC that’s a tough draw – Perkins changes that team completely. I kinda think Denver will lose in 5-6 games.

  65. Brian Cronin

    Yeah, it’s hilarious that the one team that the Nuggets match up horribly against is almost certainly the team they’re going to play in the first round. Oh well, too bad for them.

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