2012-13 Game Preview and Thread: Knicks v. Wizards

Kyle Weidie @Truth_About_It of the fine Wizards blog Truth About It.Net asked KB to share a few thoughts on this evening’s game between the Knicks (10-4)  and the Wizards (1-12).

Here to provide the DC Council Opening Statements for Washington’s 14th game of the season against the Knicks in New York are TAI’s Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It), guest Dion Black, who writes about the Knicks for the ESPN TrueHoop blog Knickerblogger.net, and TAI’s John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend), who bookends the post with his game prediction.

Read the entire post here.  Go New York. Go New York. GO!

Knicks Morning News (Friday, Nov 30 2012)

  • [New York Times] Short-Handed Spurs Fall to Heat, 105-100 (Fri, 30 Nov 2012 08:39:04 GMT)

    When Gregg Popovich gives his best players a night off to rest, it’s not uncommon for the San Antonio Spurs coach to get letters from upset fans.

  • [New York Times] Warriors Take Down Nuggets in Wild Finish (Fri, 30 Nov 2012 07:29:26 GMT)

    The Golden State Warriors had to survive a video review after the final buzzer on Thursday but prevailed 106-105 in a thriller against the Denver Nuggets in Oakland.

  • [New York Times] Warriors Hold Off Nuggets 106-105 in Wild Finish (Fri, 30 Nov 2012 07:27:03 GMT)

    If there were ever a time to praise the benefits of replay, Warriors coach Mark Jackson found it.

  • [New York Times] On Pro Basketball: As Nets Rise, Celtics’ Division Dominance May Be Waning (Fri, 30 Nov 2012 06:01:45 GMT)

    The Celtics have dominated the Atlantic Division for the last half decade, but with the Nets on the rise, that could be coming to an end.

  • [New York Times] Stern Says Spurs Will Be Penalized for Resting Stars vs. Heat (Fri, 30 Nov 2012 06:00:18 GMT)

    Commissioner David Stern said San Antonio would be hit with “substantial sanctionsâ? for not playing four players in a loss to the Miami Heat on Thursday.

  • [New York Times] Knicks’ Chandler Is Becoming a Force on Offense, Too (Fri, 30 Nov 2012 06:00:18 GMT)

    Center Tyson Chandler, who has hit 32 of 36 shots in the past six games, is leading the league in field-goal percentage and is averaging a career-best 12 points a game.

  • [New York Times] Celtics’ Rajon Rondo Suspended 2 Games for Melee (Fri, 30 Nov 2012 06:00:18 GMT)

    The Celtics guard Rajon Rondo was suspended for starting a shoving match with the Nets’ Kris Humphries that escalated into a melee with other players.

  • [New York Times] Commissioner Riled by Spurs Move to Rest Top Players (Fri, 30 Nov 2012 05:05:27 GMT)

    NBA Commissioner David Stern vowed to punish the San Antonio Spurs for sending Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Danny Green home early rather than play in Miami on Thursday against NBA champion Heat.

  • [New York Times] Allen, Heat Top Short-Handed Spurs 105-100 (Fri, 30 Nov 2012 04:57:30 GMT)

    The NBA plans to make San Antonio pay for resting four starters.

  • [New York Times] Commissioner Stern Riled by Spurs Move to Rest Top Players (Fri, 30 Nov 2012 02:59:35 GMT)

    NBA Commissioner David Stern has vowed to punish the San Antonio Spurs for sending Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Danny Green home early rather than play in Miami on Thursday against NBA champion Heat.

  • [New York Times] NBA Vows to Sanction Spurs for Resting Regulars (Fri, 30 Nov 2012 02:06:41 GMT)

    The San Antonio Spurs will be punished by the NBA for their decision to send four top players home and not make them available to play in Miami against the Heat on Thursday night.

  • [New York Times] Off the Dribble: The Nuggets’ Split-Personality Backcourt (Fri, 30 Nov 2012 01:44:44 GMT)

    At times, Andre Miller and Ty Lawson are fantastic as a pairing, but it is difficult to see how they complement each other in the Nuggets’ offense.

  • [New York Times] Off the Dribble: Nets Say Brook Lopez Will Miss 2 Games With Sprained Foot (Fri, 30 Nov 2012 01:44:29 GMT)

    Brook Lopez missed nearly all of last season after breaking a bone in the same foot, but this injury does not appear to be related, based on the initial report from the team.

  • [New York Times] Mavericks to Sign Veteran Guard Fisher (Fri, 30 Nov 2012 00:59:17 GMT)

    Point guard Derek Fisher signed a contract with the Dallas Mavericks after passing a physical.

  • [New York Daily News] No Kidding, Prigioni points the way for Jason-less Knicks (Fri, 30 Nov 2012 05:33:16 GMT)

    Nicholas Prigioni never asks his father how many minutes he played or how many points Carmelo Anthony scored. The son of a point guard always asks the only question that matters. “Did we win?â? Pablo Prigioni says. “That’s what he asks. If I say no, he starts to cry.â?

  • [New York Post] Prigioni to see more minutes (Fri, 30 Nov 2012 04:16:45 -0500)

    With Jason Kidd expected out again tonight when the Knicks face the pitiful 1-12 Wizards, Mike Woodson may have found answers in Milwaukee about forging on without the future Hall of Famer.
    The Knicks coach, who cancelled yesterday’s practice, may decide to give the temporary starting-forward slot to 3-point…

  • [New York Post] Knicks’ early 3-point barrage just a mirage (Fri, 30 Nov 2012 03:42:12 -0500)

    Five minutes into Monday’s Knicks-Nets, it was painfully evident that this was going to be another one of those games â?? one starved for pace, purpose and a better floor plan.
    Dribble it up â?? slowly â?? spread the floor, try to get a shot off before the shot clock told â?? and…

  • [New York Post] Source: Stoudemire eyes returning for Christmas (Fri, 30 Nov 2012 00:41:24 -0500)

    Amar’e Stoudemire’s goal is to return around Christmas, with mid-December no longer a legitimate possibility, according to person familiar with the Knicks power forward’s thinking. The person said Stoudemire hasn’t begun running on the court following his surgery on Nov. 1.The Knicks’ timetable of six-to-eight…

  • Should the Spurs Be Sanctioned For Resting Their Four Top Scorers?

    Gregg Popovich rested his top four scorers tonight against the Miami Heat (Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Danny Green), sending them home to San Antonio to prepare for the Spurs’ next game against the Western Conference leading Memphis Grizzlies.

    NBA Commissioner David Stern had this to say, “I apologize to all NBA fans. This was an unacceptable decision by the San Antonio Spurs and substantial sanctions will be forthcoming.”

    Do you think Popovich’s actions should be punished?

    Do you think Gregg Popovich should be punished for resting his top four scorers Thursday night?

    • No (82%, 291 Votes)
    • Yes (18%, 66 Votes)

    Total Voters: 357

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    Knickerblogger on HuffPo Live: A Linsanity Debate

    So, a few days ago Marc Lamont Hill published an article about Jeremy Lin that I differed with. As a result, I made some fairly, incendiary 3AM tweets, offered to write a rebuttal for the Huffington Post, and somehow this resulted in my appearance this afternoon on a HuffPo Live Debate with Mr. Hill and a few other peeps.

    You can watch it here: Robert Talks About Jeremy Lin, gets all kinds of madz

    (Yes, I need to learn to look directly into the camera. And maybe stop twitching/gesticulating wildly. I just hope I didn’t look fat. Did I look fat? DidIlookfat? DIDILOOFA!!!!!)

    Knicks Morning News (Thursday, Nov 29 2012)

  • [New York Newsday] Wisconsin's own Steve Novak stars as Knicks roll to big win in Milwaukee (Thu, 29 Nov 2012 00:16:45 EST)

    The Knicks didn't wilt without Jason Kidd. They prospered.

  • [New York Newsday] Mike D'Antoni regrets leaving Phoenix for Knicks job (Thu, 29 Nov 2012 00:10:08 EST)

    New Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni said Wednesday in an ESPNLA.com story that he regrets leaving Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns for the Knicks in 2008.

  • [New York Post] Reserves, Melo lead Knicks past Bucks (Thu, 29 Nov 2012 04:54:38 -0500)

    MILWAUKEE â?? As the final seconds melted away Wednesday night at Bradley Center, Carmelo Anthony shook each player’s hand on the bench. “Good bounce-back, good bounce-back,” he congratulated each of them.
    Indeed, the Knicks were a lot sharper in Brew City than Brooklyn as they recovered emphatically from Monday’s…

  • [New York Post] Knicks No. 1 in merchandise â?? sort of (Thu, 29 Nov 2012 04:30:47 -0500)

    MILWAUKEE â?? The NBA’s announcement the Knicks are No. 1 in merchandise sales in its latest study for the first time since 2004 may need a big, fat black-and-white asterisk. The figures are based on sales at the NBA store and online store from April through Thanksgiving weekend.
    Another reason…

  • [New York Post] D’Antoni said he regrets leaving Suns for Knicks (Thu, 29 Nov 2012 04:09:25 -0500)

    MILWAUKEE â?? Regrets? Mike D’Antoni has a few.
    In a candid bombshell interview, D’Antoni told ESPNLosAngeles.com he never should have left Steve Nash in Phoenix and come to New York for the Knicks’ rebuilding program.
    D’Antoni said the whole plan of breaking down the Knicks for two…

  • [New York Daily News] Melo, Novak sizzle as Knicks shoot down Bucks (Thu, 29 Nov 2012 06:58:12 GMT)

    Blown dunks aside, the Knicks, and in particular their bench players, were nearly flawless in Wednesday’s 102-88 win over the Milwaukee Bucks that improved their record to 10-4. Novak, who made five 3-pointers and one layup, finished with 19 points.

  • [New York Daily News] Chandler: Knicks need Kidd later, not now (Thu, 29 Nov 2012 06:13:35 GMT)

    Jason Kidd’s importance to the Knicks was underscored when his teammates couldn’t score without him in overtime against Brooklyn. The Knicks simply function better with Kidd on the court.

  • Knicks 102, Bucks 88

    New York Knicks 102 Final
    Recap | Box Score
    88 Milwaukee Bucks
    Kurt Thomas, PF 4 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -4

    I for one am in full support of these four-minute honorary starts, even if Kurt hasn’t made a shot since the Polk administration. It’s almost comical, really, waiting to hear what a slightly short-handed Woodson’s going to do lineup-wise, only to hear him burp out something about “waiting to see what the other team’s gonna do,” when we all know perfectly well he’s going to start Kurt Thomas and then yank him within half-a-quarter for being a slightly more mobile version of a taxidermied sperm whale.

    Carmelo Anthony, SF 30 MIN | 9-18 FG | 8-9 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 29 PTS | +13

    Who knows how much longer Melo can keep this shit up, but another 95 or so games would be tit. Once again the opposition took a “let’s throw similarly sized bodies at Anthony and hope something works” with Tobias Harris and Marquis Daniels being the most oft doom-summoned. To which Melo responded with measured murder – treys, takes, and trips to the strip as regular reward.

    Really the most encouraging number on the ledger was 30, as in minutes played – something that will hopefully become more of the norm as we hit a relatively smooth patch of season stretch over the next few games.

    Tyson Chandler, C 27 MIN | 4-4 FG | 9-10 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 17 PTS | +16

    Emboldened once again with a shot chart vaguely resembling a clump of popcorn chicken breading, Tyson’s 17 points on FOUR field goal attempts paced the ‘Bockers beautifully – particularly during the late second and early third quarters. That makes 32 of his last 35, for those of you keeping score at home (I’ll wait here and knit you some new drawers while you read that again). Through 14 games, Tyson is on track to smash last year’s record breaking clip of 68% from the field, and solidify his legacy as one of peerlessly freakish efficiency. The low-post rotations were much quicker; the hands lathered in tar; the energy palpable. On his way out of the stadium, Tyson could be found eating the feebler, more helpless attendees without chewing, which in all honesty is about as close as you can get to a salad in Milwaukee.

    Raymond Felton, PG 32 MIN | 5-10 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 7 AST | 12 PTS | +12

    How exactly does one bounce back from 40-plus minutes of running around the house like a child sticking quarters into electrical sockets? By the homeowners putting plastic plugs in all the outlets, basically. After an opening sequence punctuated by an early shot-clock brick followed by Jennings beating him down the other end for an easy chip, it looked like Ray was headed for an evening ending with being tagged and donated to a local dairy farm. As feed.

    Instead, Felton dialed it back the perfect number of notches, taking what the defense was giving while doing an admirable job – particularly in the second half – of keeping Jennings from going through with his usual put-our-faces-in-a-blender routine. Of most encouraging import were the four steals, three of which (by my count, anyway) came by way of plundered passing lanes. All told, Ray did what most professionals – regardless of trade – should be expected to do: Forget about the bad game or failed sale or missed shipment or accidentally sending a porn link in a mass email to clients and fight back, damnit.

    Ronnie Brewer, SG 31 MIN | 1-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 2 PTS | +4

    Getting your fingers stapled together doesn’t sound very pleasant, but big ups to Ronnie for fighting through it anyway. The jumper was a hair flat, and he got caught and beat on a few early mismatches, but Brew’s 31 minutes – the most in quite some time – were eminently encouraging if for no other reason that it means his knees probably aren’t on the verge of melting.

    Rasheed Wallace, PF 15 MIN | 2-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 5 PTS | 0

    So long as we’re solidly above .500, we’ll probably force ourselves to tolerate these mostly defense-free, 2-for-some-number-greater-than-ten outings, because sooner or later you know Sheed’s going to do something incredibly stupid or funny — or both. Like, say, catching a pass on a cut and trying to dunk from the free throw line. To his credit, even Sheed himself seemed to realize what he’d just done, immediately demanding to be taken out and re-retiring from the N.B.A. for the next 35 minutes. We just have to come to grips with the fact that Wallace will be an adventure every time he’s out on the floor, and that – like most adventures – timely heroics will seldom come free of slips off the cliff.

    Steve Novak, SF 40 MIN | 7-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 19 PTS | +13

    Oh man, I’m almost too giddy to even type this. First, remember that our Marquette-whelped marksmen made his name on this very court. That, coupled with the requisite parental presence (Steve’s dad, Mike, wore this sweater, with which I’m determined to swathe my firstborn), meant this had all the makings for a breakout performance. Nineteen points (including five triples), a handful of solid defensive stints, and one steal-into-fast-break-layup-with-no-one-near-him-he’s-almost-seven-feet-that’s-ridiculous later, it’s sure seems like Steve’s latched himself back to the tracks.

    Or perhaps he just read this.

    Chris Copeland, SF 11 MIN | 2-5 FG | 1-2 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 5 PTS | +3

    CHRIS COPELAND ANAGRAM FUN: PILCHARD SCONE

    Pablo Prigioni, PG 28 MIN | 4-5 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 7 AST | 11 PTS | +11

    It seemed like Pablo hadn’t hit a three since the ’04 Olympics, so what a relief to watch his two early tries from deep fall true. Prigs’ first half play was so solid, in fact, that he was actually tapped for the halftime interview with Tina Beervase (Cervasio in English?). Which, I mean, I’d listen to Pablo talk all day, every day – even if his interpretory struggle face is that of a man being explained in detail how he owes $450,000 in back taxes. Priggy continued his excellent second unit orchestration during the final frames, in the process regaining a confidence that seemed to be lately waning. A career-high seven assists (that still sounds really funny) later, Woody might yet have a stopgap solution for when Ray decides to drop acid right before tipoff.

    J.R. Smith, SG 18 MIN | 1-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | +2

    @netw3rk was the first to point this out, but it sure as shit seems like there’s a direct correlation between Earl tweeting post 2AM and the next day’s game beginning with three fouls in less than two minutes of court time. Plus, dude just can’t hit the broad side of a thong these days — this after arguably the greatest stretch of his eight year career (this still weirds me out to no end). But give J.R. props for not forcing the issue; five shots in 18 minutes does not a chucker make, and his fresh legs down the stretch (more on this later) helped thwart a number of Milwaukee possessions at a time when a couple more buckets could’ve made this one a barnburner.

    James White, SG 4 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | 0

    garbage time burn > burn garbage time

    Five Things We Saw

    1. So the three point shooting was pretty effective (11 of 21 for the orange and blue vs. 5 of 13 for the Yucks). More importantly, they were generated– with few exceptions – within the flow of the offense, with only a handful of hoists coming at the tail end of the shot clock. Obviously anything north of 40% is probably not sustainable in the long term. But the discerning approach most certainly is, which in many ways is the product of the kind of spacing that’s been lately forgotten in the face of tempting old habits. Not tonight, however – almost all of our looks were clean, and so too was the snap of the nets.
    2. The word’s long since gotten out that the Knicks are really into anal (sorry), and the early bushels of backdoor buckets only hammered (sorry!) this point home. BUTT (SORRY!) The Knicks finally said “no mas,” denying many a Buck cut during the third quarter run. Now, “always see the ball” is, like, the second thing they teach you in youth basketball right after “Velcro your shoes” and “stop sucking your finger,” but that’s precisely where the Knicks have gotten burned these past few tilts. Tonight, by comparison, the ‘Bockers finally had their heads on swivels and their arms and hands outstretched, which led to a number of poke-aways, outright swipes, and killed possessions.
    3. For as maligned as he’s been during the recent 3-4 swoon, Woodson orchestrated some pretty stellar in-game adjustments tonight. First, he took Thomas out after four minutes, which, I mean, give the man a roast beef sandwich for that one. Whether by design or blind-ass luck, Woody’s second quarter unit of Prigs, Brewer, Novak, Cope, and Sheed was surprisingly effective. Then – and this one was probably the strangest / most pleasantly surprising of all – Coach decided to start Novak at three for the third quarter, a brilliant move meant to capitalize on Novak’s solid start and home floor feel. We’ll have to see whether this kind of creative flexibility holds going forward, but I for one think much of the criticism heaped on Woodson thus far has been a bit misguided, if only because he – like every other coach – needs to figure out how to sketch a still life before he can go all Picasso with lineups and matchups.
    4. LOL so the Nets and the Celtics totally got into a fight tonight. I still haven’t seen anything beyond this 40-second video clip, but it sure looked to me like KG and Rondo were the real instigators in this one. Obviously when I first saw this on Twitter I was all like “EVEYRONE FIGHT PICK UP A CHAIR GO FIND SCALPALS IN THE TRAINING ROOM GOUGE OUT EYEBALLS!” – though sadly it doesn’t look like anyone will get anything more than a five game suspension. Still, not sure how I feel about the Celtics stealing our rivalry thunder like this.
    5. I won’t lie, I thought we were doomed in this one – Jennings always seems to have our number, and the Bucks look pretty fleet-footed out of the gate. But getting back to first principals – defense, discerning shot selections, and generally not pissing ourselves at the first sign of trouble – ultimately won out. With three eminently winnable games (Buzzards, Suns, and Robertcats) ahead of our next tough stretch, nabbing our first road win in four tries, combined with the ‘Zards winning their first game of the season at home against Portland earlier tonight, hopefully means less of a chance for a Friday letdown…. Oh, right, about that: the Knicks went and scoured the city subways and found a bucket drummer named Randolph Robert to do the song. So we’re all set.