Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

2011 Game Thread: Knicks vs. Spurs

For your game thoughts.

208 comments on “2011 Game Thread: Knicks vs. Spurs

  1. Robert Silverman

    I came this close to saying, “Firsties.” Ugh. I have become what I loathe.

    Go Nix!

  2. tastycakes

    Over .500 teams we’ve beaten: OKC, NOR, CHI (2x), DEN.

    None of the “elite” in the group, though boy were we close against BOS. We’ve got to win a few of these matchups against top tier teams *sometime* this year, so why not tonight?

    Gallo out is a bummer. I like the spiky-headed rooster.

  3. Spree8nyk8

    Robert Silverman: I came this close to saying, “Firsties.” Ugh. I have become what I loathe.Go Nix!  

    Free your mind! Saying firsties is not nearly as bad as complaining about saying firsties!

  4. Robert Silverman

    Too old to change, Spree. I’m pondering setting up some kind of a virtual porch that I can sit on with my e-Winchester and bellow at all you youngin’s, “Darn kids! Git the hell offa my lawn!”

  5. Doug

    All of my posts are generated by Mr. Burns’ room full of monkeys with typewriters. I can only write “BLURSTIES.”

  6. art vandelay

    Anyone else sick of moral victories this season (e.g. Boston, Miami, Orlando)…I agree it is time for us to catch a break against one of the top-top teams in the league….here’s to hoping it happens tonight!

  7. Robert Silverman

    I think Shawne Williams is the key. W/Gallo out, the Spurs are really going to pack the paint v. Stat. If Extra E (and Walker) can replicate Gallo’s shooting, it’d be a huge help — otherwise we’re looking at a 90 point night

  8. nfr213

    i think this is a strong lineup to bring at the spurs, ill be intrigued to see how the scoring is distributed.

  9. Brian Cronin

    It’s interesting how Pop is always one of the most emotional coaches. You know you have got to have “the goods” when he rips his players in the huddles more than almost all coaches, yet his players love him (Sloan does this, too).

    It’s quite a gift.

  10. Robert Silverman

    Landry Fields is exactly the player the Spurs would have taken in years past w/the rest of the league bewildered as to how they always find guys like him late in the draft

  11. Brian Cronin

    For all those who loved DeJuan Blair during the ’09 draft…

    Gotta especially love his lateral quickness. Those knees sure don’t seem to have a problem holding up.

  12. Brian Cronin

    Landry Fields is exactly the player the Spurs would have taken in years past w/the rest of the league bewildered as to how they always find guys like him late in the draft

    I practically guarantee you that the Spurs would have taken him in this draft, as well, had the Knicks not beaten them to it.

  13. Robert Silverman

    Duncan kvetches about calls as much as anyone (save Kobe)

    Watching him destroy the Nix in the ’99 finals still burns

  14. art vandelay

    Only chance Knicks win this game is if they continue to click offensively like this for all 4 quarters…which I honestly can’t see happening…..because it doesn’t appear as though they will win this one with their defense and certainly not by outrebounding SA.

  15. David Crockett

    Robert Silverman: This would be the perfect opportunity to get AR some mins  

    I agree, but I think AR committed the worst turnover in the history of basketball vs. Minnesota. D’Antoni may never forgive him.

    Also, hasn’t AR been banged up?

  16. Robert Silverman

    They maintained the lead w/Stat out — best thing about that quarter. Both teams will cool off soon

  17. cgreene

    I’d say the way MDA ran the rotations there that there are no plans to use Randolph or Moz.

  18. art vandelay

    Only chance AR has of getting off the pine in this one is if spurs go up 20 in 4th quarter…Dantoni obviously has about as much faith in him right now as Eddy Curry….I honestly think he will be traded perhaps before we see him play meaningful minutes again as a Knick.

  19. Robert Silverman

    NYK Ewing: This lineup makes no sense… Williams as our 5? Really?  

    Well considering he’s guarding Matt Bonner/McDyess, it’s not that much of a reach. Still, as the Grand Poobah of the AR fan club, I’d love to see him roll

  20. Nick C.

    That was a sweet play. Ronny with the O rebound close tossed to a diving Walker for an and one.

  21. Brian Cronin

    This is an insane game. The Knicks are making everything and yet they’re only up five.

  22. Jimmy C

    This entire game has been like the last five minutes in Hoosiers on perpetual repeat.

    FREE AR!

  23. cgreene

    Where do they find guys that shoot great from 3 and play solid D like Neal and Hill. They have like a factory of them.

  24. art vandelay

    Kind of reminded me a bit of the first half against the heat @ MSG (with more scoring)…hope it is not fool’s gold…first 5 minutes of 3rd quarter will be crucial

  25. Z-man

    We looked good on O and terrible on D. Then again, so did they.

    Blair is a beast! Turiaf and Amar’e with the dumb T’s.

  26. ess-dog

    You have to figure that if they keep up this pace, the advantage will be ours. Fields and extra e are lookin good. If Shawne gains some heft, he could be a stretch Kurt Thomas center. He has the attitude. I wonder if Blair would crack an MD’A rotation?

  27. tastycakes

    The Spurs color guy is about a million times better than the loathsome Sean Elliott.

    I think if we can load up 140+, we might have a shot at this one!

  28. TheXman

    Amare another failed attempt at boxing out against Blair, seriously. HE doesn’t produce enough offense when these plays repeatedly occur.

  29. cgreene

    Don’t understand why Amare isn’t going more aggressively to the hoop. Yeah he’s made a good % but way too many 15 footers.

  30. tastycakes

    Robert Silverman: The Spurs have four players I really despise – Parker, Manu, Jefferson and Timmy  

    Used to like RJ, then he became a Spur.

    At least they no long have Bowen and Horry. BARF

    Blair is the coolest Spur since Gervin.

  31. d-mar

    Poor TD, he’s got a bad right shoulder that’s supposedly pretty painful and it’s gotten slammed into twice this game.

    How about giving Duncan a T every time he has that astonished look on his face after a foul?

  32. Frank O.

    tastycakes:
    Used to like RJ, then he became a Spur.At least they no long have Bowen and Horry.BARFBlair is the coolest Spur since Gervin.  

    and no ACL in either leg

  33. latke

    Chandler is definitely proving his value this game. He’s scoring at will even when Stoudemire isn’t out there to draw the defense.

  34. Frank O.

    Man, what a game so far.
    I predicted that the Knicks would match up well and perhaps steal a win, but I admitted I was being very optimistic.
    Now that we are into the fourth with a lead, I’m starting to be hopeful.
    Bad way to be against a team with a defense like the spurs. So far the Knicks have made them look bad, but I’m worried.

  35. Frank O.

    Robert Silverman:
    Really? I wanted to throttle him when he was on the Nets  

    Can’t stand jefferson. He reminded me of that after his derisive comments about the Knicks. Arrogant bastard

  36. Nick C.

    tastycakes:
    Used to like RJ, then he became a Spur.At least they no long have Bowen and Horry.BARFBlair is the coolest Spur since Gervin.  

    Gervin was the coolest! Which is during statement of the year since he was the Iceman. Finger rolls and that jackknife shooting style. Many were the driveway games where O imagined I was him.

  37. Brian Cronin

    Manu sure does love taking ugly shots. But damned if he doesn’t end up typically making half of them.

  38. Robert Silverman

    Frank O.: manu is taking some bad shots.  

    He’s flopping/begging for a call. If anyone out there watches soccer too (and sorry to make nationalistic generalizations), the Argentinians do it all the time.

  39. Frank O.

    Robert Silverman: Never written this before – they need Chandler out there ASAP  

    Hey Robert: Not sure if you saw my comment before, but I loved your description of your visit to the garden. I think I posted my comment about it in the game thread after your post. Great read. thanks

  40. tastycakes

    Frank O.:
    Can’t stand jefferson. He reminded me of that after his derisive comments about the Knicks. Arrogant bastard  

    He still gets props from me for that block on Reggie Miller in the playoffs a million years ago.

  41. art vandelay

    as someone who lives in Buenos Aires and has for the past 3 years….I can attest to that, unfortunately!

  42. Frank O.

    Robert Silverman:
    He’s flopping/begging for a call. If anyone out there watches soccer too (and sorry to make national stereotypes), the Argentinians do it all the time.  

    You’re right.

  43. Robert Silverman

    Frank O.:
    Hey Robert: Not sure if you saw my comment before, but I loved your description of your visit to the garden. I think I posted my comment about it in the game thread after your post. Great read. thanks  

    Thanks Frank. More coming soon. Meanwhile, this is a crucial stretch — gotta maintain the lead

  44. massive

    Does anybody know why Splitter hasn’t gotten any minutes tonight? Has he fallen out of the rotation?

  45. art vandelay

    anyone notice how chandler is an OUTSTANDING finisher around the hoop…very underrated aspect of his game….toney douglas should take a lesson (though obviously it is more difficult for a guard)

  46. Brian Cronin

    The Knicks are making the Spurs look olllllllllllld.

    You think the Knicks will get credit from anyone if they win this one?

  47. Robert Silverman

    I mean, maybe he’s saving his starters b/c the Spurs play Boston tomorrow, or maybe he’s sending a message, but still. Wow.

    I’m calling him, Gregg “No Mas!” Popovich from now on

  48. Frank O.

    Not to say too much, but these were my two posts earlier today:

    I’m not as pessimistic about tonight as most. I think the Knicks will match up well with the Spurs.
    Contrasting styles.

    Spurs are winning with great defense. The Knicks have scored a lot of points on great defensive teams.
    The key will be: can the Knicks defense play adequately enough to offset a little dip in their O.
    Even without Gallo, the Knicks will probably score about 100, which is great against a team like the Spurs.
    The key, however, will be whether the Knicks 3 pt shooters will be good enough to keep the Spurs from packing in on Amare.

  49. NYK Ewing

    I’ll be the only Knick fan who won’t be surprised that our team will play better with Gallo out

  50. Brian Cronin

    Fields also answered the call

    Yeah, he upped his scoring, Amar’e upped his passing, Walker upped his “not sucking” – a lot of players did a little bit extra. It was awesome to see.

  51. Frank O.

    Brian Cronin:
    Yeah, he upped his scoring, Amar’e upped his passing, Walker upped his “not sucking” – a lot of players did a little bit extra. It was awesome to see.  

    heh heh…
    “‘not sucking'”

  52. d-mar

    Nick C.: OMG!!! How will the basketball “intelligencia” try to pooh -pooh this win?  

    How about this – “the Spurs were obviously looking forward to their titanic clash with the Celtics tomorrow and forgot to show up at MSG”

  53. Nick C.

    Brian Cronin:
    Yeah, he upped his scoring, Amar’e upped his passing, Walker upped his “not sucking” – a lot of players did a little bit extra. It was awesome to see.

    amen to that!

  54. Z-man

    One pattern I’ve noticed is that the Knicks seem to be able to turn up the D in the 4th quarter.

    BTW, WE WON ALL 4 QUARTERS!!

  55. David Crockett

    Frank O.: okay. the knicks just crushed the spurs, and all these guys are talking about is the spurs  

    They’re the story right now. Probably rightfully so. Actually, I don’t mind not being the story. As much as it’s possible in NY, I’m all about being under the radar.

  56. Brian Cronin

    Shawne Williams looked like a rookie down the stretch.

    That was weird. He played really well early on, but yeah, he looked lost in the 4th. Luckily, Toney, WC, Felton and Stat were amazing in the fourth.

  57. rama

    Man, that was satisfying. You called it, Frank O! I didn’t really think we’d take this one. These guys are competitors – them and us.

    And can we please cut out the “we played better without Gallo?” Yeah, it’s so much better when Walker gets more burn.

    One big difference was that Ray’s legs weren’t tired in the 4th because he actually got to sit for a few minutes. And of course Wil was a MAN out there. And Fields seems to have sailed right through that rookie wall. I watched him for a while just to see what he was up to, and he really is a good player already. Very solid. We cannot trade this kid.

  58. latke

    IMO the biggest difference in this game was that when the knicks went to their bench there was no fall off. In the first half they actually grew the lead.

  59. Frank O.

    David Crockett:
    They’re the story right now. Probably rightfully so. Actually, I don’t mind not being the story. As much as it’s possible in NY, I’m all about being under the radar.  

    I agree with your news judgment. but as a fan…

    Btw, webber made an astute comment. Says the Knicks showed what they can do when they are focused, but he said he guarantees they are more focused for the spurs than usual, meaning they need to put forward consistent effort with clear focus for every game.
    At the end of the day, this is one W.

  60. Z-man

    Brian Cronin:
    That was weird. He played really well early on, but yeah, he looked lost in the 4th. Luckily, Toney, WC, Felton and Stat were amazing in the fourth.

    Don’t forget Mr. Fields!

  61. Brian Cronin

    Don’t forget Mr. Fields!

    Oops, my bad! Yeah, he was great, too. Toney, though, has become a great rotation guy in the fourth. I love it. Soooooo much more under control now.

  62. tastycakes

    According to ESPN

    The Spurs allowed 128 points to the Knicks. That is the most points they have allowed in regulation since drafting Tim Duncan in 1997.

    Wow!

  63. jon abbey

    Frank O.:
    they need to put forward consistent effort with clear focus for every game.
    At the end of the day, this is one W.  

    yes, that’s true for every team in the league, but just shows that Mr. Webber isn’t paying much attention specifically to our boys, who are 17-6 since mid-November now, 17-3 against teams not named Miami and Boston (and that Orlando loss was tainted by the calls on Amare IMO). hard to say that’s a team not giving “consistent effort with clear focus”, one loss to a non-top team (Cleveland) in the last seven weeks.

    that had to be the best win for our boys since the Camby/Sprewell years, right? they ran a well-rested 29-4 team out of the building, making Pop bench his guys with 3 minutes to go. I’m having a little trouble believing I really just saw that.

  64. Frank O.

    Thomas B.: BTW Chandler is playing better than Carmelo Anthony this year.  

    we were talking about this about two weeks ago. WC is by far more efficient than melo.
    It was their head to head game when both guys scored 30+, but WC did it with 17 shots and melo with 29 shots.
    WC is become a top forward, period.

  65. Robert Silverman

    Toney Douglas played a nice game as well. Really solid D, got whacked around and didn’t back off.

  66. Frank O.

    jon abbey:
    yes, that’s true for every team in the league, but just shows that Mr. Webber isn’t paying much attention specifically to our boys, who are 17-6 since mid-November now, 17-3 against teams not named Miami and Boston (and that Orlando loss was tainted by the calls on Amare IMO). hard to say that’s a team not giving “consistent effort with clear focus”, one loss to a non-top team (Cleveland) in the last seven weeks.that had to be the best win for our boys since the Camby/Sprewell years, right? they ran a well-rested 29-4 team out of the building, making Pop bench his guys with 3 minutes to go. I’m having a little trouble believing I really just saw that.  

    You’re right. they are 5-5 over the last 10, with losses to miami twice, the celts, Orlando and Cleveland.
    But they also beat chicago, spurs, Okla, and Denver and indiana.
    We all thought if they could play .500 ball through this tough stretch, we’d be happy. But they are getting some good wins.

    And this one happened without Gallo. I don’t like when gallo disappears. I think that hurts them. they need everyone to be productive.

  67. Brian Cronin

    Toney Douglas played a nice game as well. Really solid D, got whacked around and didn’t back off.

    Definitely. Him playing like a point guard is so big for the Knicks.

  68. Frank O.

    Oklahoma is showing their youth tonight.
    Some dumb shots down the stretch, with durant chucking a 3 from 28 ft. And Zach Randolph gets 31 and 15, going 11 for 20 from the field, and burying some clutch FTs down the stretch for the Griz.

  69. ess-dog

    I just can’t believe that Amare and Wil scored basically at will against the best team in the NBA (more or less.)
    Yes the bench was excellent 2 games in a row (must’ve heard the trade talk) even Walker, who actually D’d up pretty well tonight.
    The white towel at the end was annoying. Let us get a real win Pops! Aside from that, amazing game all around. If Turiaf was a healthy version of himself I would be really psyched, but I can’t help but feel that he will be limited throughout the season.

  70. Frank O.

    They were more aggressive, they were hungrier than we were and they just wanted it more.
    popovich

  71. Frank O.

    pop
    they are not a dangerous team. they are a good team. Any team could be dangerous. this is a good team

  72. Rmush

    exciting win, what can i say! i am happy that with this point differential against the best team out there we will be able to move up in Hollinger’s power rankings. his math was first killing Knicks because of lighter opponents and then for low point differential and i think this will finally do the trick.

    the starters shot a great 63% FG and 89.5% FT today and i believe this is the main reason we won. you cannot lose a game while shooting like that be it the Spurs, Boston or whatever!

    also the need for a ball handler and another solid big man is apparent from what the bench did. they combined to a decent 24 pts, but then 3/13 on treys with a you don’t want to know total FG%!

    dear Mr.Walsh, please forget about Carmelo, but bring us some bench help please! oh, btw Splitter today is not even close to his European self. what did you do with him Pop! maybe you should hand him to us and get Mozgov instead!

  73. Frank O.

    Pop
    They played their ass off. We started sloppy and they maintained that.
    I wouldn’t say there is a line outside looking to buy our defensive playbook.

  74. d-mar

    In a way, I hope Felton doesn’t make the All Star game, I think he could use the time to maybe stay in bed for 72 hours or so! Have you ever noticed that he pushes the ball hard after EVERY made basket by the opposition? And you see the look on opposing players faces like “oh shit, I just made a spectacular shot, and now I’ve gotta hustle back on D…AGAIN” The guy’s energy is just unbelievable, I really hope his tank doesn’t hit E at some point.

  75. Frank O.

    ess-dog: I just can’t believe that Amare and Wil scored basically at will against the best team in the NBA (more or less.)
    Yes the bench was excellent 2 games in a row (must’ve heard the trade talk) even Walker, who actually D’d up pretty well tonight.
    The white towel at the end was annoying.Let us get a real win Pops!Aside from that, amazing game all around.If Turiaf was a healthy version of himself I would be really psyched, but I can’t help but feel that he will be limited throughout the season.  

    I think both the Celts and Miami are flat out better than the Spurs.
    I know the Spurs are good, but the east is pretty tough this year at the top

  76. BigBlueAL

    That Pop postgame press conference was classic.

    I did say last night that I didnt think Gallo would be missed that much. Of course never did I expect this!!! Still, lets hope Gallo is back in 2 to 3 weeks and is healthy when he returns.

  77. Frank O.

    BigBlueAL: That Pop postgame press conference was classic.I did say last night that I didnt think Gallo would be missed that much.Of course never did I expect this!!!Still, lets hope Gallo is back in 2 to 3 weeks and is healthy when he returns.  

    I hope we have some guys who push him. He needs to be pushed. You cannot afford to have a position go dark when you are in the thick of it. He goes dark too often

  78. Frank O.

    BigBlueAL: That Pop postgame press conference was classic.I did say last night that I didnt think Gallo would be missed that much.Of course never did I expect this!!!Still, lets hope Gallo is back in 2 to 3 weeks and is healthy when he returns.  

    and pop was hilarious

  79. bockadoo

    Ya know why WC is so good now? He’s HEALTHY. Maturing over a few years and nagging injury free. Even his bad games now he’s scoring 15 and playing good D. TDDWTDD is a very solid player who has been slowed by nagging stuff. Stat is just a great, great basketball player who is unstoppable. He’s better than DeBusschere, Oakley…best PF in Knicks history. Felton is tough as nails. Fields is smart, doesn’t need the ball to score and does the little things. Gallo hasn’t played well yet this year. When he comes back and gets hot, we’ll be that much better. It’s time for us and the rest of the league to just accept the fact that this is a good team with good damn players, AND a good coach. We should now expect to win. Maybe I’m overreacting because we shot so well, but still, this team is talented, and only needs a defensive rebounding big man to play 15 minutes a game, and we can go pretty dang far. No injuries though – if Stat goes down, then forget it.

  80. daJudge

    #168–Pop rested his guys to send a message. The game was not at all important given the Spur’s record, but the message was. Smart man. Also, not to Knit pick, but the Knicks already beat Boston—it was an error by the Garden time keeper. Epithet on my grave–“.7″. Anyway, awesome game tonight. Great B-Ball in NYC. I’m gonna make a few assumptions just for feedback. Let’s say, for argument’s sake, Wilson is a keeper at the three, even if Melo is available. Just go with me. Also, say Ray is your one, for now and the near future. Let’s keep the Rookie of the Year at the two. Love him. Amare is the MVP, or at least one of the top 4/5’s in the league. Right??? I’m leaving Gallo out for now, but no diss. intended. Maybe all of our efforts should be focused solely on a back up 1 and a Big. Is it possible that we are that close? Who though????

  81. Thomas B.

    Frank O.:

    At the end of the day, this is one W.  

    Respectfully….
    It is one of twenty wins in early January.
    It is one win against the team with the best record in the NBA.
    It is one win that showed this team can run with the best.
    It is one win I thoroughly enjoyed.

  82. Frank O.

    Thomas B.: Frank O.:
    At the end of the day, this is one W.  Respectfully….
    It is one of twenty wins in early January.
    It is one win against the team with the best record in the NBA.
    It is one win that showed this team can run with the best.
    It is one win I thoroughly enjoyed.  

    Agreed.
    My only point is if the Knicks could bring that kind of intensity every game this team could go deep in the playoffs.
    i still think they are a little inconsistent game to game.
    It’s a minor, minor complaint.
    Not trying to downplay a great victory.
    I felt they stood a good shot.

  83. Frank O.

    And this was the one game my wife got to tired to finish…hee hee.
    I’ll fill her in in the a.m.

    Nite all!

  84. daJudge

    My wife, who is witchy (sorry), predicted St. John’s last night and the Knick’s tonight. Weird. Might be the best back to back in NYC hoops in a long while.

  85. maurice lucas

    Chicago is locked in as the 3rd seed in the Eastern Conference. Chances are the Knicks will face them in the 1st round of the playoff. I like Knick’s chance

  86. Brian Cronin

    Chicago is locked in as the 3rd seed in the Eastern Conference.

    No they’re not. They can finish as low as #4, and in fact, if the #5 seed has a better record than the #4 seed, the #5 seed will have home court advantage, so really they’re only “locked” into the #5 seed.

  87. TheXman

    Just wanted to make a point, I liked Fields effort still at the end, defending open shots and getting rebounds even when the game was pretty much over, gotta love this kid.

    I would say Knicks got fairly lucky, a lot of point blank shots could’ve gone in for the spurs towards the end. I know Duncan missed an easy one, Parker missed that layup in which he later got fouled. It was much closer than what the score indicates.

    Will was posting it up and attacking, prob could’ve attacked even more. He’s too strong inside against most small forwards and too fast against PFs.

    Surprisingly, Knicks outrebounded the Spurs by 1!

  88. maurice lucas

    Brian Cronin:
    No they’re not. They can finish as low as #4, and in fact, if the #5 seed has a better record than the #4 seed, the #5 seed will have home court advantage, so really they’re only “locked” into the #5 seed.

    Chicago will win the Central Division by a mile, hence grabbing the 3rd seed, even though they might have a worse record than Atlanta or Orlando. I am assuming they won’t catch the Heat or the Celtics. Do you agree?

  89. Brian Cronin

    Chicago will win the Central Division by a mile, hence grabbing the 3rd seed, even though they might have a worse record than Atlanta or Orlando. I am assuming they won’t catch the Heat or the Celtics. Do you agree?

    They certainly will win the Central, but that does not guarantee them a top three seed, only a top four seed. And if the #5 seed finishes ahead of them in the standing, the #5 seed would have home court, so effectively they would really be the #5 in that scenario.

  90. maurice lucas

    Brian Cronin:
    They certainly will win the Central, but that does not guarantee them a top three seed, only a top four seed. And if the #5 seed finishes ahead of them in the standing, the #5 seed would have home court, so effectively they would really be the #5 in that scenario.  

    Check this out http://hoopedia.nba.com/index.php?title=NBA_Playoffs_Format

    I would think that by winning the Central, Chicago will grab the 3rd seed no matter what and will play the team with the 3rd best record among the remaining 5 playoff team, which likely will be the Knicks. It is possible that the Knicks, being the 6th seed will have a better record than Chicago, hence will have home court

  91. Brian Cronin

    Yeah, the current set-up is designed so that instances where the top two teams in the conference are both in the same division (which certainly could happen with Orlando and Miami) will be the top two seeds overall. Basically, they don’t want any scenario where the teams with the best records play each other in the second round (which is exactly what happened one year when Dallas and San Antonio were 1-2 in the West, but played each other in the second round as a #1 seed/#4 seed).

  92. Ben R

    Amazing game. I think the one bright side to Gallo’s injury is it will really give Walker and Shawne extra burn which should pay dividends come playoffs. They should ease into their roles more and gain some confidence.

    Good to see Shawne do a little more than just shoot the 3. He looked like a rookie late but he’s played less than 2000 minutes in his career and barely played at all last year so there will be growing pains.

    Now I know we have a hard stretch coming up but I hope this game puts to bed the talk of our schedule and hoping to stay above .500. We are a good team. Teams worry about us. We can win any game and are equal to or better than all but the top 5 or 6 teams in the league. We have two games against Pheonix coming up, those should be two easy wins, Portland and Houston those are two teams that will be lucky to be .500 at seasons end. Those are games we should win. The next four games are hard but we should go 2-2. 3-1 if do well 1-3 if we don’t. But then we have three games against teams we should beat. I fully expect a .500 or better month and this is our hardest month of the season.

  93. d-mar

    Re: Chandler – the thing that’s impressing me most about his game is his decision making. How often do you see him barrel into a defender, dribble into traffic and lose the ball or make a dumb pass? He shoots 3’s at the right time, takes the ball to the hole when he sees an opportunity and beyond that is a solid defender, sometimes having to guard the 4. I just can’t say enough about this kid, he has truly blossomed into a special player.

  94. Frank

    @197 – couldn’t agree more. If there’s anything that stands out about WC’s game nowadays, it’s that he plays totally under control. Maybe 1 bad shot per game as opposed to 4 or 5 in previous years. In preseason we all hung our hats on Gallo or Randolph becoming the 2nd best player on this team, but now we pretty much have to say that STAT is option 1 and WC/Felton are 2a and 2b.

    What I also loved about this game is that it didn’t take some crazy 3 point shooting to get us the win – in fact, we only shot 29% from 3. We definitely made a bunch of long 2’s, but so many of the buckets were within 10 feet or at the rim, and even the long 2’s were excellent shots (ie. Felton shooting from 18 when Parker went way under the screen). We obviously are not going to shoot 42 of 64 on 2 pointers very often, but still, this performance did not have a “fluke” feeling to it like the crazy 3pt-bomb-fest in Chicago did earlier in the year.

    And re: Randolph — I’d love to see more of him also, but who is he going to take minutes from? We only have an 8 man rotation right now, which seems to be working pretty well. Shawne is shooting 6736356% from 3. Douglas is suddenly playing great, and plays a different position anyway. And putting him in for Walker would probably mess up floor spacing. The only place I see him getting minutes is at the 5, and right now between STAT and Turiaf, that position is playing well too.

  95. Frank O.

    @198
    Yeah, Frank, I don’t see any time for AR. We are no longer a team focused on player development. Good teams in the thick of a playoff hunt don’t spent a lot of time fretting about developing players. Those guys get shots when players go down. Otherwise they sit in a row in little plastic seats and cheer.
    AR had a shot at making the lineup earlier and he was unable to sort out his game enough to beat out any of the bigs.
    I think we have been in a player development mode as fans for so long, it takes time to adjust to the new normal.
    Now, if STAT goes down, the Knicks will have trouble, but most teams not named Dallas that lose their star suffer for it.
    Early in the fourth last night, there was an element of inevidability to the Knicks win.
    I disagree with a poster who said there was an element of luck to the game.
    That SA missed a few shots at the end wasn’t just luck. The Knicks were pressuring the ball. Also, the Spurs shot 53 percent from the field. That’s a pretty high rate. The Knicks play took SA out of their game. SA showed how out of sorts they were by turning over the ball 16 times, which the Knicks turned into 24 points.
    the Knicks blocked 4 shots, stole the ball nine times, had 26 assists and out rebounded SA by 1. The Knicks also shot 55 percent, but only 29 percent from 3, far below the team average of 37 percent.
    There was no luck here. The Knicks played a complete game and stifled SA’s offense in the fourth, holding them to 20 points. They won by 13 and scored 128 points against one of the best defensive teams in the league, and currently the team with the best record in the league.
    But having said that, the Spurs are not the Celts or Miami or the Magic. This was a great win, with the Knicks three top scores accounting for 87 of the Knicks 128 points.
    No luck. They out played and hustled SA

  96. Doug

    Frank O.: @198
    Yeah, Frank, I don’t see any time for AR. We are no longer a team focused on player development. Good teams in the thick of a playoff hunt don’t spent a lot of time fretting about developing players. Those guys get shots when players go down. Otherwise they sit in a row in little plastic seats and cheer.
    AR had a shot at making the lineup earlier and he was unable to sort out his game enough to beat out any of the bigs.

    If AR is going to develop, it looks like it will have to be in practice. I know Andy Rautins is being groomed to be the backup point of the future in this manner. I really, really hope that Randolph’s attitude towards his current status is more like Mozgov and Rautin’s.

  97. Doug

    Meanwhile, I’m still mystified as to how DeJuan Blair is so nimble and explosive with no ACLs. How long can it possibly last? He’s so huge and so quick at the same time. It reminds me of R.A. Dickey pitching without a UCL in his elbow.

  98. Caleb

    I was going to respond to the Anthony Randolph posts but thought – “what a stupid way to headline my comment, after such a great game!”

    I’m not shocked to see the Knicks win – they’re a good team, playing at home, with some ok matchups – but I am shocked they won while shooting 8 for 27 on 3s. They made up for it by outrebounding the Spurs – which is pretty surprising – and only turning it over 6 times. If I’m Popovich, I’m pissed – those numbers show a lack of energy or effort, IMO.

    Pulling the starters? That’s just thinking long-term – he’s always limited their minutes, in-season. Why burn your guys out and risk injury for maybe a 5 percent chance of winning? Especially when your key guys are old an injury-prone.

    @198-199
    I agree that the Knicks should stay in win-now mode, not player development. And the way it shakes out, the best players (save Felton) are all forwards. Stoudemire, Chandler, Gallo and probably fields are better than Randolph right now.

    But… hard as it is to argue against a guy with a 70+ TS%, Randolph now is probably as good or better than Shawne Williams (not talking potential, I mean now). He’s a lot better at some things. he’s also better than Bill Walker. There are times when it’s best to have the shooters on the floor, and times when the smart move is put Randolph out there. He’s miles better than Timo, although not as thick when we just need a big body.

    All in all I think Randolph should probably see minutes even in an 8-man rotation, especially when Gallo is down. Definitely in a 9-man, and definitely when Turiaf is out or limited.

  99. Frank O.

    @203
    Caleb, I often find myself convinced by you on any number of basketball topics.
    I kind of see what you are saying about Randolph, but I think the difference is that Williams and Walker are better for the Knicks right now than AR is only because they are less mistake prone.
    One thing I have enjoyed about Williams, and to a much lesser degree Walker, is the ability to play within themselves. They have no illusions of what their place in the Knicks scheme is. AR has not yet shown the maturity to recognize that he shouldn’t be trying to force a shot off the dribble in this offense. This team finds good shots.
    He’s not a good shooter right now. What he is good at is maybe shot-blocking, rebounding and maybe getting some garbage points off the O-boards.
    Williams plays within himself. Walker has shown himself lately able to also play within himself. Fields is the perfect guy.

    The problem is AR has great potential and he can see that, and he isn’t willing to relegate his actions to a limited role.
    He could be one of the guys on Minnesota because they sucked. On and old Knicks team, he also could have been an al harrington type.
    But on this team, he’s barely an eighth man.

    I don’t think he is as good as those guys for the Knicks right now but long term he’s a Knicks BFF. :)

  100. Caleb

    @204 In many ways I agree with you! Surprise!

    But I’ll add a few thoughts… one is that AR’s mistakes are basically on one thing: shot selection. Which, as you say, is bad. But not as bad as many people seem to think. As a 19-year-old and a 20-year-old, he had TS% of 50.6 and 52.1.. Not good, but respectable. Wilson Chandler didn’t break 52 until his 3rd season.

    He did it over nearly 2,000 minutes, so I’m pretty confident that’s more his true efficiency, as opposed to the grotesque misfire rate he’s shown in his 104 New York minutes.

    The rest of his game is fine. He makes some head-shakers, like that pass to no one that pretty much got him benched. But his TO rates in Oakland were 12.9 and 10.7. (Bill Walker’s rates have been 18.2, 8.7 and 13.5; Shawne Williams’ are 11.2, 10.8 and 7.4. Our buddy Mozgov has a TO rate over 25). With a little court time I don’t think his decision-making (other than shot selection) is really an issue.

    I can live with the head-shakers (in limited minutes, of course) since he also brings a lot of good things to the table. You don’t get those 1-2-0-0-1-0 lines you get from Bill Walker. AR is one of the best per-minute shot-blockers in the league and he’s by far the best rebounder on the Knicks.

    So…. as long as Shawne Williams hits 65 percent of his 3s, sure, make him the first option. And Walker is ok. But there are plenty of times when the Knicks are getting reamed on the boards, or could use a long defender (like when Turkoglu and Ryan Anderson smoked them the other night). On those nights AR could push the team into the win column.

  101. Ben R

    Caleb – I too would be looking to give Randolph some or all of Walker’s minutes but it’s not completely cut and dry. Randolph is not a great defender so in all reality he won’t make us much better on the defensive end, plus his lack of an outside jumpshot really limits his role on this team. Walker can play 2-4 on the Knicks, Randolph can play 5 and maybe some 4. But D’Antoni wants at least 3 if not 4 or even 5 shooters at all times and Randolph is not there. Walker might not be a great offensive player but his threat of making a three still helps spacing.

    Turiaf gets play because he is a very good defender and his passing ability limits the damage he does to spacing. He is also a weapon on the pnr. I think Randolph has to be able to either score consistantly on the pnr or hit outside shots, otherwise he does too much damage to the offense.

  102. Caleb

    @206 I think you have to define players by who they defend. Walker is 6’5 and doesn’t rebound so he’s really a small 3, or a medium-sized 2. Randolph at this point in his career is still a small forward, even if he rebounds well and will end up as a 4 (a la Josh Smith). He doesn’t have the lower body-strength to guard a traditional center. Maybe he plays 5 in a small-ball lineup. Josh Smith is actually a pretty good comparison – he started his career as a great shot-blocker but only a so-so overall defender; as he got older, smarter and stronger he became an excellent all-around defender. Of course we can only cross our fingers.

    I agree with you on Turiaf, although IMO his total failure to clean the glass leaves him more in the “good” category than “very good.” But AR does not play the same position, and he can guard players Turiaf can’t. For spacing reasons I would generally avoid putting them on the floor at the same time, anyway. To give AR minutes I’d shift them from Williams & Walker, and maybe lighten the minutes load slightly on Chandler and Gallinari.

    I don’t expect that to happen because D’Antoni simply prefers a short rotation – he always votes for continuity, over matchups. (Popovich is an example of the opposite approach). There’s something to be said for both.

  103. Ben R

    Caleb – I normally agree on defining players by who they defend rather than their offensive role but I think with D’Antoni you can’t do that. D’Antoni will march out four SFs and a PG if he likes the matchups it creates on offense. The reason I was lumping AR as a 4/5 in this system is because of his role on offense. D’Antoni will only ever have 1 or 2 players that cannot shoot from outside on the floor at a time and he prefers only one. So instead of position D’Antoni seems to see the world as three types of players PGs, shooters and non-shooters. So AR falls into the non-shooters category with Amare, Turiaf and Mozgov. AR is not taking Amare’s minutes so the only person he steals minutes from is Turiaf or Mozgov. Mozgov is not playing so really the question isn’t Walker or AR it’s Turiaf or AR and I would prefer Turiaf at this point.

    I think in the future AR will get better with his jump shot and we will see him in a role similar to Chandler’s but that will probably be next season more than this season.

    As for rotation I actually prefer a short rotation as well but not by playing the starters into the ground but instead by giving your top 2 or 3 reserves major minutes.

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