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Saturday, November 1, 2014

2012-13 Game Thread: Knicks @ Sixers

Felton is back! And just when Prigioni was getting to be not so awful. It will be interesting to see whether Felton’s return–even in limited minutes–can help the Knicks find the offensive rhythm they had earlier in the season. I’m also going to pay close attention to how Felton and Shumpert play together since they comprise what really should be the team’s starting backcourt.

The 76ers (17-25) are 2-8 in the last 10 games and are struggling mightily to find consistent scoring. They are 28th in offensive rating at 101.7 points per 100 possessions.

The Hawes v. Chandler match up may be of interest. Hawes has a sold mid range jump shot. I’ve noticed Chandler struggles to defend those types. Lopez took advantage of that in the recent match up with Brooklyn. Hopefully the backcourt defense will improve with both Felton and Shumpert playing. Pressuring Holiday will make it harder for the Sixers to make shots.

81 comments on “2012-13 Game Thread: Knicks @ Sixers

  1. Unreason

    cgreene:
    I dont think Shump will be guarding Holiday.I hope so but assume he guards Turner.I mentioned last week upon Shump’s return that I hoped that he would guard primary ball handlers but he’s guarded a lot of 3?s.I think that’s a big mistake strategically.We need ball disruption.

    I’d like to see Shump on Holiday too. I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets the assignment for most of the game. Royal Ivy will be taking Richardson’s minutes and Ray can handle him.

    Melo’s defensive effort on Thaddeus Young might be as big a key to whether this is close or not. Young has stepped it up this year. I was at the Sixers-Hawks game in December. Young really surprised me. He did pretty much whatever he wanted.

    But obviously the Sixers are completely screwed without Bynum and the Knick’s advantages inside on offense should be insurmountable. Lavoy Allen and Hawes won’t even slow down Amare, Chandler or Melo if they give full effort. Perfect tune up opportunity for Ray and Amare. I’d like to see about 10+ PNRs with Amare as the first option to keep his come back momentum going. If they can get into a rhythm and Philly starts collapsing on everything, the 3pter parade can begin.

  2. BrokenJumps

    My first post here on KnickerBlogger.

    I’ve been reading Knicks posts here for a couple of years now (started the season you guys wrote the posts with the “Top Knicks of the Modern Era”, and I’ve been lurking ever since), and following the Knicks since Kenny Skywalker was rocking rims with 360s ;)

    Thought today, with the return of Felton’s is a good a time as any to get in the mix!

    G’luck Knicks!!

  3. Owen

    Welcome aboard!!

    Very interested to see how Felton re-assimilates. I find it hard to believe he is as important as our record without him would indicate. But it’s been a pretty stark difference. Excited to see an almost full lineup in action.

  4. custer

    Owen:
    Welcome aboard!!

    Very interested to see how Felton re-assimilates. I find it hard to believe he is as important as our record without him would indicate. But it’s been a pretty stark difference. Excited to see an almost full lineup in action.

    yeah the numbers definitely seem to show that he’s more important than shaky efficiency would suggest, it’ll be huge to have an element of penetration back in the offense

  5. Will the Thrill

    One of the worst calls of the season on that And-1 by Turner. How in the world is that a continuation? And how is there no travel?

  6. Juany8

    Stoudemire is looking pretty awesome as the main scorer off the bench. His post game looks legit so far.

  7. flossy

    Amar’e looking phenomenal, and not just in comparison to Chandler, who has been horrible tonight.

  8. hegotgame

    Damn, love how Stat is playing right now. He just stabilized the bench unit completely after it looked like their wheels were gonna fall right off. I know Stat can def play with Melo, but I think if he can anchor the bench as the post threat, especially to band-aid BadJR nights, we can be a far more dangerous team. He def delayed Melo’s return by about 2mins and that little bit of time, here and there, is gonna be key over a long season. As felton stabilizes, kidd gets more rest, shumpert gets back into shape… We’ll begin to see what this team could really be like. Lets hope for continued health.

  9. llcoolbp

    BrokenJumps:
    My first post here on KnickerBlogger.

    I’ve been reading Knicks posts here for a couple of years now (started the season you guys wrote the posts with the “Top Knicks of the Modern Era”, and I’ve been lurking ever since), and following the Knicks since Kenny Skywalker was rocking rims with 360s ;)

    Thought today, with the return of Felton’s is a good a time as any to get in the mix!

    G’luck Knicks!!

    Welcome aboard. I lurked for 5 years before posting last year. Even though I’m not a hardcore advanced stats guy, this site has become a staple of my daily routine.

    By the way, welcome back amare stoudamire. We missed you.

  10. BrokenJumps

    I’m loving the way the Knicks are turning out, rotation-wise. The idea of Melo, Shump, Felton and Chandler starting things off, with the backup of Amare, JR and Kidd kinda makes me giddy.

    …but all that being said, not liking the score right about now :o

    Oh, and thanks for the welcome, Owen and llcoolbp!!

  11. Will the Thrill

    It seems like we are doing even more iso’s with Felton back, he is pretty much playing the same role as Kidd on offense.

  12. Hubert Davis

    I think that was our worst half of basketball this season. Every player not named Amar’e Stoudemire was terrible.

  13. hegotgame

    damn. this is looking very ugly right now. Utter futility. We need to set way harder screens and attack the rim off that kind of space instead of iso. But at the same time ive seen ray and jkidd pass up some open shots we have created through melo doubles, only to pass it to a covered man. Basically destroying the offensive advantage when we create it. Super annoying. This team obvs like to play smaller and harrass the shit out of ppl. We need melo in so we can do some work in the post.

    If they had a healthy Bynum, bulls had a healthy Rose this would be a very different eastern conference picture. Knicks need to step up this second half.

    p.s welcome brokenjumps! I too am a recent lurker-poster transfer, good to see more lurkers come out ;)

  14. Unreason

    I wonder if they just didn’t respect them enough to take the game seriously. Pretty lazy performance. Ray clearly can’t cover Holiday. Melo settling instead of passing. I’ll be mystified if Woodson doesn’t put Shump or Brewer on him for most of the second half.

  15. BigBlueAL

    Just got home, checked box score and saw Melo 5 for 16 and JR 0 for 5. Didnt need to see anything else.

  16. Thomas B. Post author

    I know I’m getting ahead of myself here–I lack Brain’s optimism–but is this the worst loss of the year?

  17. Business Socks

    The Knicks are playing quite awful, but they can’t keep missing open threes this horribly right?

  18. max fisher-cohen

    Stoudemire is finishing really well. Defense is terrible as per usual the last six weeks. Anthony forcing things a lot. The issue, beyond the defense, is that the perimeter shooting is just falling apart. A big part of it is Shumpert and Stoudemire taking minutes from Kidd and Novak. If you’re going to have Amare, Felton, Shumpert and Tyson on the floor all at once, Anthony HAS to be a floor spacer or he’s going to be quadruple teamed with impunity.

  19. Unreason

    Thomas B.:
    I know I’m getting ahead of myself here–I lack Brain’s optimism–but is this the worst loss of the year?

    Hard to say. The quality of play is very similar to games vs the Rockets.

  20. Will the Thrill

    Uhhhhhh yup

    Thomas B.:
    I know I’m getting ahead of myself here–I lack Brain’s optimism–but is this the worst loss of the year?

  21. AnonymousODG

    Never count the Knicks out. They just need to take out Melo, Felton and Smith. They are a combined 5-31 right now. Maybe bring in Copeland, Prig and White.

    STAT better not get extended minutes. Woodson better keep on a lid on that otherwise his knees’ll give out before the playoffs.

  22. Hubert Davis

    Why are JR & Melo taking all the shots?! Woodson, man up and run the team through Amar’e for a half.

  23. hegotgame

    Alright. Somebody poisoned the knicks lunches todayt. This has to be by FAR our worst offensive game this season, and we’ve had some horrible outings. jr 0/7 shump 0/6 melo 5/20, felton 2/7, kidd 0/3….. WTF.

  24. Unreason

    max fisher-cohen:
    Stoudemire is finishing really well. Defense is terrible as per usual the last six weeks. Anthony forcing things a lot. The issue, beyond the defense, is that the perimeter shooting is just falling apart. A big part of it is Shumpert and Stoudemire taking minutes from Kidd and Novak. If you’re going to have Amare, Felton, Shumpert and Tyson on the floor all at once, Anthony HAS to be a floor spacer or he’s going to be quadruple teamed with impunity.

    I don’t get the impunity. Even if he’s down low, he can punish them by passing when it’s only a double team to whoever gets left open. He’s just not looking for it tonight for some reason.

  25. BigBlueAL

    Well after this game the Knicks will be 26-15 at the half-way mark on pace for 52 wins. The way they have been playing lately I will be beyond thrilled if they could match that record in the 2nd half and finish with 52 wins. Beginning to doubt they can win in the mid-50’s, right now I would guess they win exactly 50 games maybe??

    Either way to be honest at this point I could give a crap what the final win total is as long as they finish with a 2/3 seed. If 48 wins is good enough for a 2/3 seed then I will be happy with that. I still hope they win at least 50 games since we havent enjoyed a 50 win season since 1999-2000 and 50 wins has always been considered a solid regular season for any team.

    Knicks still have a pretty easy 9 games left before the All-Star break so would hope even after tonight’s debacle they can win 6 or 7 of those games. If they do so they will be in excellent shape going into the final 32 games of the season to hold on ti a 2/3 seed.

  26. max fisher-cohen

    @Unreason — I agree that he should be passing, but he’s an off and on passer. From watching the guy the last two years, he passes quite well out of the post when guys are hitting (or when he thinks guys will hit) from outside. Otherwise, he just tries to attack the double team. That’s why the early lineups were working so well. Novak, Kidd, JR (who was shooitng like 70% from three in the first few weeks)… It’s easy to give up the ball when those are the recipients. Tonight, that’s not the case. It’s a lot harder to convince yourself to pass when it’s Shumpert and/or Felton the 6ers are leaving instead of Novak and Kidd.

  27. Thomas B. Post author

    Okay when you look like my Sunday morning old man rec league on offense, something has gone horribly wrong.

  28. AnonymousODG

    STAT needs to sit down now. He’s already played 20+ minutes. Woodson, stop being an a-hole and listen to your team doctors’ advice.

  29. Hubert Davis

    Are we going to do that thing now where we go on a run, come up short, and burn ourselves out for tomorrow’s game?

  30. Thomas B. Post author

    Here is the problem. When Chandler, Shumpert, Kidd, Felton, and Melo are on the floor, and Melo isn’t able to score you have no chance to create offense.

    Look I like Shump. I know he just got back, but last year he was one of the worst offensive players in the NBA and I’m not sure how this team can absorb one more guy who can’t score in the line up.

    And I don’t mean to pick on Shump because Brewer has been bad, JR is in a slump, White is showing as much flight proficiency as a Boeing dream liner.

    But the offense can’t all come from Anthony. It just can’t.

  31. Brian Cronin

    I know I’m getting ahead of myself here–I lack Brain’s optimism–but is this the worst loss of the year?

    Hehe, I like the typo. ;)

    Anyhow, this is right up there with the worst loss of the year. The Honey Nut Cheerio game was also pretty darn brutal. As was the Memphis game. But yeah, I think this probably is it, with everyone back healthy to get blown out by a mediocre team? Not good.

  32. BigBlueAL

    Brian Cronin: Hehe, I like the typo. ;)

    Anyhow, this is right up there with the worst loss of the year. The Honey Nut Cheerio game was also pretty darn brutal. As was the Memphis game. But yeah, I think this probably is it, with everyone back healthy to get blown out by a mediocre team? Not good.

    They are still missing Camby and Sheed so everyone isnt back healthy. Stay optimistic Brian!! :-)

  33. Thomas B. Post author

    Brian Cronin: Hehe, I like the typo. ;)

    Anyhow, this is right up there with the worst loss of the year. The Honey Nut Cheerio game was also pretty darn brutal. As was the Memphis game. But yeah, I think this probably is it, with everyone back healthy to get blown out by a mediocre team? Not good.

    Freudian slip perhaps.

  34. max fisher-cohen

    @BBA, it’s going to be close. Atlanta is falling apart with health issues, and I don’t really buy BKN (they’re in the post coach-firing surge mode, just like NYK last spring.) I think Chicago though will end up with like 53-55 wins though as long as Noah & Deng stay healthy (a big if considering the absurd minutes Thibodeau plays them), and Indiana will probably be in the 50-52 win range.

    The most important factors IMO will be Woodson and Felton. Felton is just too critical. If he can’t start shooting well again, this team is going to be a .500 team at best. Woodson has to make sure the rotations are right. There are a lot of 1-dimensional players on this team, so if he doesn’t keep the floor balanced so Melo doesn’t go into ISO mode all game while maintaining a half-decent defense.

    If those things happen, I think Melo will play smart like he did early on, but I just don’t see Melo as having the mental fortitude to be the player the Knicks need him to be to be a very good team unless the rest of the team, skill-wise and personality wise, encourages him to.

    I’d say 3rd seed is the most likely with 4th and 5th seed being more likely than a 2 seed. The problem is, there is a big difference between 2nd seed (vs. Milwaukee or Boston in 1st round, and a likely win), and 3rd seed, which would mean Atlanta, Indiana or BKN. Indy and BKN have played us tough, and ATL is likely to be a tough matchup in teh same way Houston (or Jrue Holiday) is. They have a lot of speed at the guard position.

  35. BigBlueAL

    max fisher-cohen:
    @BBA, it’s going to be close. Atlanta is falling apart with health issues, and I don’t really buy BKN (they’re in the post coach-firing surge mode, just like NYK last spring.) I think Chicago though will end up with like 53-55 wins though as long as Noah & Deng stay healthy (a big if considering the absurd minutes Thibodeau plays them), and Indiana will probably be in the 50-52 win range.

    The most important factors IMO will be Woodson and Felton. Felton is just too critical. If he can’t start shooting well again, this team is going to be a .500 team at best. Woodson has to make sure the rotations are right. There are a lot of 1-dimensional players on this team, so if he doesn’t keep the floor balanced so Melo doesn’t go into ISO mode all game while maintaining a half-decent defense.

    If those things happen, I think Melo will play smart like he did early on, but I just don’t see Melo as having the mental fortitude to be theplayer the Knicks need him to be to be a very good team unless the rest of the team, skill-wise and personality wise, encourages him to.

    I’d say 3rd seed is the most likely with 4th and 5th seed being more likely than a 2 seed. The problem is, there is a big difference between 2nd seed (vs. Milwaukee or Boston in 1st round, and a likely win), and 3rd seed, which would mean Atlanta, Indiana or BKN. Indy and BKN have played us tough, and ATL is likely to be a tough matchup in teh same way Houston (or Jrue Holiday) is. They have a lot of speed at the guard position.

    No Lou Williams is a huge blow for Atlanta although with the way the Knicks usually guard the 3pt line cant imagine how many 3’s Korver will be hitting against them lol.

    Kevin mentioned this after one of his recaps of a Knicks loss and I totally agreed with him and now you about Woodson. I think it really will come down to his…

  36. BigBlueAL

    Knicks now have a 5 game homestand against Atl, Orl, Mil, Sac and Det. For the love of God please win at least 4 of 5 and really they should win all 5. Anything less than 4 wins and it will definitely be all out panic mode lol.

  37. nicos

    Did Melo really need to play 39 minutes tonight? Also, when your top five guards go 4-28 with a assist/turnover ratio of 1-1 you’re in a lot of trouble.

  38. d-mar

    When you have 2 guys logging 45 minutes combined and scoring a grand total of 1 point on 0-14 shooting (JR and Shump) you’re not gonna win many games against even the worst teams in the NBA

  39. Unreason

    Thomas B.:
    Here is the problem.When Chandler, Shumpert, Kidd, Felton, and Melo are on the floor, and Melo isn’t able to score you have no chance to create offense.

    Against a team with interior D as as weak these Sixers, it doesn’t take a Philip Marlowe to detect that Raymond-Chandler PnRs are the novel solution to that mystery. (sorry)

    I agree with your main point about Shump though. I like him a lot. But, like Brewer, I think his potentially significant value as a role player depends on Woodson’s ability to develop schemes that allow them only a couple of options and make those options they can execute with confidence. I think that’s basically what Chandler has; a very limited offensive repertoire but one that ends up being a strong asset rather than a liability because he sticks to what he does well. Both Shump and Brewer seem by turns overconfident and confused and in many half court sets end up doing a miserable kind of hot potato panicking reminds me of TD that I suspect only encourages Melo, JR and Felton’s worst tendencies.

  40. nicos

    I hope the “Carmelo has to play the four” guys were watching the game because his interior rotations were non-existent (Chandler’s too in the first half).

  41. Brian Cronin

    at least Melo kept his 20 point streak alive. that’s the most important thing….to him.

    Oh come on, while obviously he clearly does appreciate that he will soon have the Knick record for consecutive 20 point games, does it ever look like he is pressing to score for the sake of scoring? No way.

  42. BigBlueAL

    At 26-15 this is the best record the Knicks have had thru 41 games (half-way mark of the season) since the 96-97 team who were 29-12 thru 41 games (finished 57-25). The 99-00 and 00-01 teams both were 25-16 thru 41 games (they finished 50-32 and 48-34).

  43. Kurt

    Unreason in 71: interesting point in contrasting Chandler to Brewer/Shump.

    I was thinking that it’s much much easier to integrate a limited but hyper athletic big man than it is to integrate shooting guards who can’t shoot or pass.

    Brewer is good on cuts and Shump can drive. But ultimately, when a defense doesn’t respect their shot it ruins offensive spacing. You can have Chandler serve as the roll man or hang out on the weakside for dishes for dunks. But you can’t use either Brewer or Shump in the pick and roll or “hide” them in the same way.

    Hopefully Shump’s shooting practice during his injury comes out over the next few weeks. But it’s much more difficult to set up a drive in today’s NBA when the defender closes out hard. Just look back to when Gallo was with the Knicks. He’d get the ball open behind the three point line and the defender would be so terrified of his open three that he’d easily drive and penetrate and get fouled. In contrast, any semi-competent defense nowadays can stop a non-shoot slasher. Exhibit A: Tyreke Evens. Exhibit B: Austin Rivers (wish I could have exploited third degree connection to convince Demps not to draft him).

    One side thought: I remember reading about some team using a 4-2 pick and roll (the 2 screening for the 4). When Chandler is out and Melo is playing the 4, Shump might be a really good screener for Melo. He’s tough enough to screen 4’s, he’s athletic enough to convert oops, and, if there’s a switch, he can easily exploit a 4.

  44. Kurt

    My concern isn’t that Melo’s being selfish. Based on Ruruland and other more astute Melo observers, my concern is something else:
    Last year, when the team wasn’t doing well, Melo would see things break down and take it upon his shoulders to score. Most of the year, Melo trusted his teammates enough to score within the flow of the offense, which in turn made him highly efficient. I’m afraid that when Melo sees Who Shot? JR and others missing, Melo feels the need to press. Him feeling the need to press and not trust his teammates to score is much more of a concern for me than a desire on his part to be the scoring leader.

    One other note: I know I’m a biased STAT fan (he is a fellow, if only honorary Hebrew, as well as being classy and cool), but I thought he had a few good rotations. I didn’t see the whole game, but I noticed that after getting blazed (stronger than “burned”) on a pick and roll, he followed up by playing the same roll play well. He used a weak hedge that was close enough to his man to go back but yet strong enough to allow the ball handler’s man to switch back. Baby steps…

    : Oh come on, while obviously he clearly does appreciate that he will soon have the Knick record for consecutive 20 point games, does it ever look like he is pressing to score for the sake of scoring? No way.

  45. BigBlueAL

    Ive read that JJ Reddick is on the trading block and you always hear Korver’s name too. Too bad the Knicks I assume have no chance of trading for either of them cause man either one would be freaking awesome for this team.

    Maybe Allan Houston should try another comeback and try to give us a good 10-15 mins a game lol.

  46. Kurt

    BBA: why are you stopping at Houston? in “The Art of a Beautiful Game,” Ballard gets Suns GM Steve Kerr to shoot cold and hits most of his 3’s…

  47. BigBlueAL

    Kurt:
    BBA: why are you stopping at Houston? in “The Art of a Beautiful Game,” Ballard gets Suns GM Steve Kerr to shoot cold and hits most of his 3?s…

    Houston is my 2nd favorite Knick ever after Ewing and he still works for the team so its an easier connection lol.

    Plus Houston is 6’6 so while he wasnt as good a defender as Harper, Starks or Spree he wasnt that bad either. I remember a game in 1997 or 1998 when JVG put Houston on Gary Payton cause he was killing Childs and Ward with postups and Houston actually shut him down in the 2nd half. Also unlike Kerr if needed Houston can get his own shot.

    If Allan Houston played in a D’Antoni type system he wouldve been amazing. He spent way too much time having to go one-on-one and taking a bunch of tough mid-range jumpers. If he wouldve stuck to just mostly shooting 3pters and driving once in awhile like he did playing with Grant Hill in Detroit his efficiency wouldve been alot better for his entire career. Playing for JVG didnt help his overall shooting % thats for sure.

    He still finished his career as a 40% 3pt shooter while making almost 2 per game and also shot 86% from the FT line for his career. He also had enough memorable games that he will probably always be my 2nd fave Knick ever, although if Melo can deliver a championship or at least a trip to the NBA Finals he might push Houston down to 3rd on my list lol. Nobody will ever replace Ewing as my favorite Knick ever though.

  48. BigBlueAL

    Since earlier I mentioned previous Knicks team records thru 41 games I was curious and wanted to look at Riley’s teams and this was pretty amazing, the 1992-93 Knicks who won 60 games were “only” 26-15 thru 41 games. They went 34-7 over their final 41 games!! Im pretty sure this year’s team wont be able to match that feat lol.

    The 1993-94 Knicks who won 57 games were 30-11 thru 41 games so they actually were on a 60 win pace.

  49. Brian Cronin

    You know I love JVG (as does Al), but yeah, that dude did not understand the power of the three nearly enough. Allan Houston shot waaaaay too many long twos.

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