Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Friday, October 31, 2014

2012-13 Game Thread and Preview: Knicks @ Spurs

The New York Knicks (5-0, 2-0 away) visit the San Antonio Spurs (7-1, 3-0 home).  I’ll just come right out and say this; I’m still not sure I’m ready to trust what I see from the Knicks so far.  It’s not that I lack faith in my team, or that I think this is a fluke in any way–the advanced stats confirm this team deserves the record it has.  I guess it’s just after a solid decade of being pretty bad, and an off season full of seemingly classic Dolanism, it seems strange that the team finally looks like a strong, well balanced team.

A buddy of mine on Facebook said “Dion, (that’s my real name) so I guess the Tebow aura of winning despite stinking has spread to the Knicks.”  My response, “Tebow may have won in Denver but his stats made it clear that he was defying the odds. I’m not sure that is the case with the Knicks.”  It was this conversation that helped me realize that I hadn’t looked at the Knicks stats at all this year.

SRS Pace Off Rtg Def Rtg Pts/Game Opp Pts/Game Diff
Knicks 16.7 (2nd) 91.3 (24th) 113.3 (1st) 96.2 (1st) 103.4 (2nd) 87.8 (1st) 15.6
Spurs 4.4 (6th) 92.4 (16th) 104.6 (9th) 100.3 (9th) 96.6 (18th) 92.6 (9th) 4

I really don’t want to use the word “dominant” at this point, but the numbers make an outstanding case for that.  The Knicks are—statistically—the most efficient team on both the offense and defense.  And perhaps this is the source of my cognitive dissonance with regards to this team.  The numbers tell me the team is efficient on offense, but the roster has names like Anthony, Smith, Brewer, and Felton.  I’ve never associated those names with “efficient”.  The names I associate with “efficient” are Duncan, Parker, and Ginobili.  It is kind of odd to see the Knicks–albeit only 5 games into the season– combining a slow pace, highly efficient offense, with top tier defense much as the dominant Spurs teams have done.  It will be interesting to see if the Knicks can continue to find success against the standard bearer Spurs.

Maybe I’ll start to believe.

What to watch for:

1. The other guys

The headliners for the Spurs continue to be Duncan and Parker, but the team is getting solid contributions from starters Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard.  Green has been an incredibly efficient scorer (63.6 TS%, 62.1 eFG%).  The one thing I noticed about him is that the vast majority of his scoring chances come via an assist.  He struggled against the Lakers when he was forced to create offense for himself.  He is taking advantage of cuts, ball movement, and the pick and roll.  Because he is knocking down his open shots, but not creating many shots on his own, the Knicks would do well to keep a defender near him.  Don’t lose Green on screens and back cuts.

2. JR Smith

Outside of Smith, the Knick reserve core has not contributed very much thus far.  Both Novak and Wallace have been little more than one dimensional shooters, which wouldn’t be so bad if they were making the shots.  Pablo Prigioni reminds me of The Rock’s original WWE persona, Rocky Maivia.  Rocky Maivia’s shtick was that he was always smiling no matter what because he was just happy to be there.  Pablo, I’m happy you are here but I think you’d be happier if you made a few shots.  Anyway, if Smith struggles, there may not be anyone else to provide scoring off the bench.

 

182 comments on “2012-13 Game Thread and Preview: Knicks @ Spurs

  1. daJudge

    Thomas B, thank you for the preview. BTW, I wish my name was Dion. I don’t love my first name, my middle name is freaking Lester, my Hebrew name is actually emasculating, so let’s move on…

    Anyway, back to the Knicks, what is interesting and encouraging to me is that both teams pace is so slow. But the Knicks not only score more, but hold opponents to less on defense. That’s like an old school Giant’s Football defensive attack with slow, but really effective scoring! Also, the Knicks have not had a sweet offensive game yet. SA’s point differential is pedestrian. So maybe it is SA’s record (not the Knicks) that is deceptive. Relative to the bench, perhaps Novak will have a break out game. Who knows, but Jon I am actually optimistic. Of course my optimism is probably a dark omen. Over and out.

  2. steveoh

    I’d be somewhat ecstatic if we pulled out one of the two, but if we lose both, I’d understand.

    (I would think Miami or any team in the world would privately feel the same way if they had San Antonio and Memphis back-to-back).

  3. Thomas B. Post author

    daJudge:
    Thomas B, thank you for the preview.BTW, I wish my name was Dion.I don’t love my first name, my middle name is freaking Lester,my Hebrew name is actually emasculating, so let’s move on…

    DaJudge, thanks for saying so. I’m sure your name isn’t as bad as you think. And Lester is pretty cool.

  4. Z-man

    I would think of it as Les, as in Les kick some ass tonite!

    Is Leonard gonna blow a kiss to THCJ every time he makes an efficient play?

  5. daJudge

    That’s right Z-man. Les kick some ass. Duncan has apparently been playing great. Les see how we do against him. Hope Chandler is healthy and top shelf tonight.

  6. Robtachi

    If you made your Jewish parents proud like I definitely didn’t, Lester the Investor is an awesome nickname.

    Anybody miss Landry Fields yet?

  7. Juany8

    Melo has become a fantastic passer, yet he’s getting no credit for it whatsoever. Kind of ironic if you think about it

  8. Brian Cronin

    Raymond Felton seems like he’s shooting A LOT.

    So long as he’s hot, I’m totally cool with it. It’s when he is not hot and keeps shooting that worries you. Hopefully tonight is a hot night!

  9. David Crockett

    End of 1st

    NYK 33
    SA 31

    Looks like SA is getting better shots on the whole. We need to close out on shooters harder. Make SA put the ball on the floor.

  10. Nick C.

    Apparently the Knicks didn’t read the preview on Danny Green on the first two plays. Astute write-up.

  11. Juany8

    Woodson really has designed a beautiful offense. I urge everyone to go read Hoopchalk’s write up on the Knicks offense, the Knicks are doing something I’ve never seen which is set screens of the screener… (JR setting a pick for Chandler before Chandler sets a pick for Prigs) It’s creating absurd amounts of open space right now. Are we all sure D’Antoni is the genius?

  12. Juany8

    It’s so fun to watch Melo just destroy defenses this year. They have to send constant double teams since no one can stop him from getting to the rim now that the team has floor spacing and quick passing. This offense is scary, and the defense is going to be top 3 all season long. If Novak can play defense like this, I have some hope for Amar’e, EVERYONE on this team is playing absurdly

  13. Juany8

    David Crockett:
    Right now, NYKs are getting better shots.

    This is what happened the last 2 games. The Knicks started a bit slow, then the other team kept making tough shots to keep the game close and competitive. Every other game this season, the Knicks shut the other offense down in the second half, holding them under 40. If this game keeps up like this, I don’t see that streak changing.

  14. Robtachi

    Felton just loves that 18-footer from the right elbow, but it doesn’t love him. In fact, its got a restraining order out on him.

  15. massive

    Nick C.:
    If JR keeps it up all season this will be a scary good team.

    I wanna nickname Mike Woodson “The Headcase Whisperer” for the job he has done with JR and Melo.

  16. Nick C.

    Not the best end to the half, but they’re playing well and down only two. It’s a sign of how far the team has come that down two at the half to the Spurs is more ho hum than the best half of the season.

  17. Will the Thrill

    hahahaha how did Melo coax them into making that call by running his elbow into Green’s face.

  18. Nick C.

    I know he has been getting to the line a lot this season, but Melo seems to get no whistles in his favor on 50-50 plays.

  19. Nick C.

    Considering it seemed like they didn’t make a shot all quarter down 4 when they were down two at the half is great.

  20. ephus

    I am afraid I may be a jinx tonight. Turned on the game with four minutes to go in the third and nothing has gone right since then.

    I love rabbits.

  21. jock cowles

    Will the Thrill:
    Was it the coaches who wanted to make Novak’s release faster? Look what that did to Fields lol

    I hope not! Should be spending time working on his defense/rebounding. Which has been a bit better.

  22. ephus

    Knicks started the comeback when I played Madonna + Psy doing Gangnam Style on Youtube. Hopefully that broke the jinx.

  23. jock cowles

    1. My Jason Kidd love affair has officially begun

    2. If we lose by 3…..what a ridiculous member’s bounce for Manu

  24. BigBlueAL

    Im pleasantly stunned right now. Thought when they got down 12 it was time to pack it in and rest for tomorrow. What an amazing, feel-good win tonight. Just great.

  25. David Crockett

    ephus:
    Good things happen when your PG breaks down the defense and gets into the lane.Great finish by Chandler.

    If you’re Parker and gamble on the steal you better get it.

  26. ephus

    Anyone else have visions of Duncan hitting the 3 against the Suns in the playoffs when he let that one go?

    Great victory.

  27. Frank O.

    People keep saying they beat teams down players, but the Knicks are down Amare and Shump.
    They don’t get frazzled.

  28. David Crockett

    BigBlueAL:
    Im pleasantly stunned right now.Thought when they got down 12 it was time to pack it in and rest for tomorrow.What an amazing, feel-good win tonight.Just great.

    Defense never let Spurs run away and hide. Made them keep hitting shots. Didn’t turn it over much on our end. Ball kept moving. Melo got a number of hockey assists tonight; none bigger than the one leading the JR’s big triple.

    Great, great win.

  29. David Crockett

    Frank O.:
    People keep saying they beat teams down players, but the Knicks are down Amare and Shump.
    They don’t get frazzled.

    Were the Spurs missing anyone?

  30. ephus

    As the Wonder Pets would say,

    “This Is Serious!!”

    Knicks have served notice to the league that they are a real threat.

  31. yellowboy90

    The play off the game to me and there where many to choose from but Melo pausing at the 3 then driving to pass it to Felton and Felton to Smith. Old Melo may have jacked up a 3 but he was the hero tonight because he didn’t.

    Felton. My Man in Denzel voice from Training day.

    I said Melo had to be a play maker before the game and he did but Felton, My Man.

  32. DRed

    rohank:
    This was AMAZING. Everyone better get A+s in the recap lol.

    Except Carmelo. I had to say it.

    I’d still give Melo a B+. Great effort all around.

  33. llcoolbp

    carmelo taking only 12 shot is a big story. last year he would have jacked up 25 shots and gone 6-25. He did the little things and played within himself today. I finally trusts the personell and the coach.

  34. yellowboy90

    Big ups to Woody for going back to the double screen with Melo, Tyson and Felton again and again and again.

  35. jock cowles

    25 and 7 for Felton. Kidd was definitely the hero, but there’s no chance for a comeback without good ol’ Ray Ray.

    Yet another reason the Knicks somehow made the right call on Lin.

  36. jon abbey

    the Spurs were missing Neal, but pretty much healthy.

    amazing comeback win, November hoops doesn’t get much better than that. Felton and Kidd were awesome, Kidd is invisible a lot of the time he’s on the court, but has an uncanny sense/ability to take things over for a crucial few minutes.

    disappointed with Novak still, a little underwhelmed with Chandler (but what a follow slam to essentially ice it), but really tough to complain about anything after that. Peter Vecsey with the final word on Twitter:

    “5-0 Knicks up 5 on Spurs in SA after 23-6 spurt. This is what Lakers have to look forward to after D’Antoni quits. ”

    :)

  37. rohank

    DRed: Except Carmelo.I had to say it.

    I’d still give Melo a B+.Great effort all around.

    I think big picture, it’s still an A+ in my book. Forced a 24-second violation, making the easy pass, 12 boards. His off night wasn’t a function of him, but the Spurs’ game plan. Plus, just in case he reads this blog, it’s positive reinforcement ;-)

  38. llcoolbp

    jon abbey: the Spurs were missing Neal, but pretty much healthy.amazing comeback win, November hoops doesn’t get much better than that. Felton and Kidd were awesome, Kidd is invisible a lot of the time he’s on the court, but has an uncanny sense/ability to take things over for a crucial few minutes.disappointed with Novak still, a little underwhelmed with Chandler (but what a follow slam to essentially ice it), but really tough to complain about anything after that. Peter Vecsey with the final word on Twitter:“5-0 Knicks up 5 on Spurs in SA after 23-6 spurt. This is what Lakers have to look forward to after D’Antoni quits. ”:)

    pete vecsey is an ass but that is pretty funny.

  39. DRed

    Earl has been really fantastic so far this year. Let’s hope it’s b/c he’s stopped partying and not just a fluke.

  40. BigBlueAL

    Ive been trying to fight the urge to start believing that a trip to the NBA Finals is possible. 6 games out of 82 means nothing in the big picture and there will of course be some ugly losses and a bad losing streak here and there.

    But damn doing something we havent seen around here since the 1993-94 Knicks is bringing back those feelings I had in the 90’s (at times irrational) where I always thought we could win it all lol

  41. Tony Pena

    BigBlueAL: Ive been trying to fight the urge to start believing that a trip to the NBA Finals is possible. 6 games out of 82 means nothing in the big picture and there will of course be some ugly losses and a bad losing streak here and there. But damn doing something we havent seen around here since the 1993-94 Knicks is bringing back those feelings I had in the 90?s (at times irrational) where I always thought we could win it all lol

    +1
    Grit & Defense. Great call on that daJudge, perfect style for this team.

  42. DRed

    What’s up with Camby not playing? The one weakness with this team this year is we’re getting killed on the boards.

    I still can’t believe we won in San Antonio with Melo scoring 9 points. I’m completely on board with the Woody era now. The man has done a masterful job getting the Knicks to buy into a team first concept.

  43. max fisher-cohen

    I’m getting ready to say I was wrong. I still worry about STAT ruining it, and I still feel like the 3s are fools gold, but the fools gold keeps buying us wins, so I don’t know. Kidd did shoot 40+% from three a couple seasons back. If he keeps killing it like this, then maybe 40% from deep is realistic.

  44. d-mar

    Besides hitting two ultra-huge 3’s in the 4th quarter, Kidd also had 2 steals and 3 blocks. The man just knows how to play.

  45. jon abbey

    I remember being mocked here last year for being excited about the Walker hire:

    ===========================

    Peter Vecsey ?@PeterVecsey1

    At what point does Darrell Walker receive some recognition for being the technician behind the Knicks’ defensive stance?

  46. jon abbey

    d-mar:
    Besides hitting two ultra-huge 3?s in the 4th quarter, Kidd also had 2 steals and 3 blocks. The man just knows how to play.

    three ultra-huge 3’s in the 4th!

  47. jon abbey

    Faried has incredible energy game after game, it’s very impressive. but most of the rest of Denver looks pretty awful, losing to Miami without Wade and Chalmers.

  48. BigBlueAL

    jon abbey:
    Faried has incredible energy game after game, it’s very impressive. but most of the rest of Denver looks pretty awful, losing to Miami without Wade and Chalmers.

    Plus the Heat are playing the 2nd of a back-to-back.

  49. EB

    WTF is going on?! Melo and JR are team players, the knicks are 6-0. Are we still getting sympathy for Sandy? did Woodson sell his soul? is the CAA writing a script? Have we entered the twilight zone?

    My brain is breaking with joy

  50. BigBlueAL

    First Lin earlier in the week and tonight Gallo miss big wide open 3pters late in the game vs the Heat.

  51. nicos

    What the heck is up with Ty Lawson? 0-7? And how did Karl only manage to play McGee 21 minutes when he playing well?

  52. Tony Pena

    Fuck it, I’m not holding back.”There’s a reason why they’re (6-0). They lead the league in steals. They lead the league in lowest points allowed. They lead the league in 3-point percentage. It’s a hell of a team.” – Spurs coach Gregg Popovich

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