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Monday, December 22, 2014

2013-14 Game Thread: Knicks @ 76ers

Oops, I thought that this was a 7:30 PM start. My apologies!

Angus Crawford ads:

A tale of two streaks: your New York Knickerbockers travel to the Liberty City to confront the inimitable PHILadelphia 76ers. After that heartwarming home triumph over Indiana on Wednesday night, the Knicks have now strung together seven straight wins, and are officially 1-0 in the PHIL Jackson era. The Sixers, however, are approaching league history (in an unenviable way), as their questionable PHILosophical approach destines the organization for the likely PHILanthropy of majestic ping-pong balls. There’s hope that the Knicks’ ceremonially welcomed new President & Godfather can put his ample PHILology to good use, and reign in the focus of the team’s PHILogynists for the good of the on-court product. Okay, I’ll stop.

To prep for tonight’s game, I fired a few questions in the direction of Tom Sunnergren, an editor of Hoop76 (a fellow TrueHoop family member). Tom’s writing has also been featured on ESPN.com, and with Bleacher Report. Also, if you’re into analytics and love a serving of stuffed stat sheets with your morning coffee, I recommend you check out Tom’s piece on “big data,” from late January. You can follow Tom on Twitter @tsunnergren and, as his bio indicates, read him in any book store… provided they have wifi.

The Sixers’ loss in Indianapolis on Monday night was their 21st consecutive defeat, setting a new franchise record. The team is 3-32 since their four game winning streak was brought to a halt on January 4, and this streak is currently at 22, with only four more losses required to match the 2010-11 Cavaliers’ feat of 26 straight L’s. Will this ever end?

Tom Sunnergren: No. Someday, someday that isn’t quite as distant as it may feel to you and I right now–when we’re young and dumb, with so much promise and confidence–you might prop your grandson on your lap and tell him that you, when your hair was still black and your back straight, saw the Philadelphia 76ers win a basketball game. And then you’ll think back on it, through the fog of old memory, and maybe allow yourself a smile.

102-94 home loss to Chicago brought up lucky number twenty-two, but even that game had its moments of intrigue. Philly inched within one point late in the second quarter, while the game stood as their third single-digit defeat in their past four outings. ESPN Insider’s Kevin Pelton even termed it another “moral victory.” Does it mean anything to the fans that this understaffed team has shown a little heart and hustle?

TS: Yes. I think the fans and the city are unusually supportive of this sad sack bunch. Not supportive in the sense that they’re willing to spend money on the team–the Sixers are last in the NBA in attendance– or, I guess even watch the games, or buy jerseys, or even think idly about the franchise while waiting for a bus, but…you know, I’m not sure where I’m going here. I guess the answer is no.

Since the deadline deal sending him to Indiana, Evan Turner has recorded a PER of just 10.9, an individual defensive rating of 105.5, and has been an aggregate -38 thus far in a Pacers uniform. You wrote a compelling piece back in January explaining why it was the right move for the Sixers to hold onto Turner until the very last second at the deadline (which is exactly what happened), arguing that his play was steering the tank in the right direction. How pleasing (and vindicating) is it for Philly fans to see Turner enduring similar struggles even alongside the league-leading defense?

TS: I think there’s a bit of schadenfreude happening here, but it’s not as though fans are just relishing the experience of watching him struggle and suffer. I think most people– your interlocutor here included–wanted to see Evan Turner do well and were disappointed when he didn’t. To the extent any anti-ET sentiment that exists, it springs from that. I don’t think it’s personal. He’s not Terrell Owens.

The Knicks currently lead the season series against the Sixers 2-1. Any chance MCW and the gang can rid this historic stench and square the ledger at 2-2?

TS: No.

Enjoy.

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94 comments on “2013-14 Game Thread: Knicks @ 76ers

  1. Kahnzy

    ’bout damn time!

    Knicks defense is back to normal tonight. As in, “hahahaha…defense”

  2. Kahnzy

    Beating Indiana and losing to these jabronis would be the knicksiest thing ever

    +1 because you’re right.

    +2 because you used the word “jabronis”

  3. BigBlueAL

    This is some atrocious shooting. The worst part is almost all these 3pters are WIDE ASS OPEN.

    Would assume if the Knicks keep getting these types of open looks they will start making some and eventually pull away.

  4. d-mar

    Anyone who paid to see this game should get their money back – and an additional $100 for pain and suffering

  5. Kahnzy

    I would be unhappy if I paid 6 dollars to go to this game

    Are you kidding me? The Knicks just went for the 2-4-1. I’d pay 60000000000000 dollars for that any night of the week!

  6. yellowboy90

    To much March Madness watching. Amar’e and Tyson don’t have that problem so that’s why they are doing well. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Well, until I change my mind.

  7. Kahnzy

    STAT having another really solid game. Good efficiency; he even has a double-double by gosh

  8. Kahnzy

    I like to imagine a young Prigioni + young and athletic version of STAT would have been a blast to watch on a nightly basis.

  9. Kahnzy

    If Anthony David was to pick another night to have another “Holy shit, did you see his box score?!” kind of night, against Atlanta would be a swell game for him to do it.

  10. Kahnzy

    Another close game for atl. If they pull this out I’m going to vomit.

    If the Knicks D-League blows this, I’ll join you at the toilet.

  11. Brian Cronin Post author

    I don’t think Atlanta is who the Knicks should be worrying about anymore. Charlotte should be the target. I mean, sure, it’d be great if Atlanta lost out, but Charlotte seems more realistic.

  12. The Infamous Cdiggy

    Ehh.. me thinks although it’s nice for Son of Wood to give the regs a breather, but emptying the bench with a 15 point lead with over 4 minutes left? Now the lead is down to 7? With sloppy play on the offensive end?

  13. Brian Cronin Post author

    Great to see Indy putting a beat down on Chicago. Makes that win look even better.

  14. The Infamous Cdiggy

    I’m sorry, you don’t put your benchwarmers in with under a 20-pt lead with THAT much time left. You don’t.

  15. Thomas B.

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  16. maxwell_3g

    this is too funny. i think woodson was trying to prove that he is a calm zenmaster himself for the past 4 minutes. he is so pathetic

  17. The Infamous Cdiggy

    Hardaway is ice-cold from outside. Despite his highlight dunks, he shouldn’t be out there right now.

  18. Thomas B.

    In the last 5 minutes, the Knicks scored only 1 more point than any five of us on this thread could have scored if we suited up.

  19. kn1ckerb0cker33

    Ah Woodson. Never fails to amaze me with his decision making. When he called timeout, I had to see what everyones’ reactions (here) were.

    Edit: Kinda disappointed MCW’s shot didn’t go in.

  20. yellowboy90

    Phil should pull a Pat Haden(USC athletic director) and tell Woody to find another ride home.

    The guy fired Lane kiffin in the parking lot and wouldn’t let him on the bus to go home.

  21. Kahnzy

    thart worked out perfectly. 1) We won, 2) Woodson looked like a complete fool

    I suppose that’s looking on the bright side of things.

  22. BigBlueAL

    Cant imagine what the PJ-Woodson end of the season meeting will sound like. PJ just laughing in Woodson’s face???? lol

  23. The Infamous Cdiggy

    There’s just no way you can excuse this kind of coaching. There was absolutely no reason for this game to be close. NONE. We’re not good enough – this season – to pull that kind of shit. I bet the Sixer starters felt some sort of way about seeing the Knick benchwarmers lining up out there so soon and that lit a match under them. Our benchers had no clue on offense or defense. Let the starters finish stepping on their throats, get the lead to round 20 with under 3 min left, THEN try to empty the bench.

  24. yellowboy90

    Should I watch the ATL game? Do I really want to potentially watch ATL come back and blame myself for them winning?

  25. flossy

    Cant imagine what the PJ-Woodson end of the season meeting will sound like. PJ just laughing in Woodson’s face???? lol

    They could sell that video for like $15.99 on iTunes and I’d buy it.

  26. The Infamous Cdiggy

    Phil should pull a Pat Haden(USC athletic director) and tell Woody to find another ride home.
    The guy fired Lane kiffin in the parking lot and wouldn’t let him on the bus to go home.

    Cosigned

    …and:

    Does anyone else think Woodson should be investigated for point shaving?

    I do!!

  27. Z-man

    Well, we went from despair to renewed hope in 15 minutes. We don’t cough up a game despite the dumbest coaching I have ever seen, and Atlanta cooperates by losing to a lottery team at home. Woo-hoo!

  28. Kahnzy

    Atlanta cooperates by losing to a lottery team at home.

    A lottery team with the next Tim Duncan.

    Assuming he staves off injuries anyway. He strikes me as a bit fragile.

  29. BigBlueAL

    If the Knicks win their next 3 games like they should by the time they go to Phoenix next Friday night they could very well be only 1 game back in the loss column behind both Charlotte and Atlanta when you look at both of their schedules for the next week. At worst should be 2 games back in loss column of both.

  30. danielbubbs1

    big blue al, here’s hoping, but the schedule turns brutal for the knicks then, and really eases up for the other teams….game at a time, just hope we’re alive controlling destiny by the final 2 games.

  31. Z-man

    Did anyone else hear Breen say that Charlotte “already has the tiebreaker” against us? Isn’t it possible that we could tie them but have the better conference record?

  32. danielbubbs1

    durant is the obvious mvp, veering towards near a unanimous level…and he’s surpassing lebron as the best player in the game, he has blood in his veins that lebron doesn’t, which would be more obvious to everyone sans ray allen’s 3 in the finals that “solidified” lebron’s status.

  33. Brian Cronin Post author

    Did anyone else hear Breen say that Charlotte “already has the tiebreaker” against us? Isn’t it possible that we could tie them but have the better conference record?

    Yeah, that was a weird comment by Breen. The Knicks clearly can still pass them for best conference record.

  34. BigBlueAL

    The schedules do get alot easier for Atl and Char but only being up 1 or 2 games puts a helluva lot more pressure on those games than being up 3 or 4 games.

    All the Knicks can do is put pressure on them to have to win those games. So far so good.

  35. maxwell_3g

    as someone who a) loves the knicks and b) despises the heat, Im really hoping we can somehow get the 7th seed. I do not want us beating up on Indy for Miami in the first round. i would much rather take it to the Heat

  36. Owen

    LOL @ Trautwig & Hahn’s bit.

    What did they say?

    Missed this one, figured it was a lock. Clearly shouldn’t be so cavalier….

  37. Brian Cronin Post author

    I had this as a toss-up/leaning loss for them, honestly. New Orleans has been playing well recently with how great Davis has been. But yeah, it’s definitely very good to see them lose it.

  38. lavor postell

    @ Cronin

    Tyreke Evans has actually been playing really well since the All-Star break in addition to Davis. He’s just bulling his way to the rim and either finishing or drawing contact. If he misses Anthony “Pippen/Duncan/KG” Davis is their to clean up the mess. I think Gordon gets moved this summer because his contract is easier to move and Evans is showing way more signs of life.

    Was watching the SF Austin-VCU game since I had money riding on SF Austin. Possibly the best cover of my life. Down 4 with under 10 seconds left and no timeouts they they go down the floor and hit a kick out three plus an absurd foul. Game goes to OT and they close out a 2 point win. Definitely worth watching the end if you get a chance.

    Oh and Durant was insane. Reggie Jackson with 25 points, 12 rebounds and 10-10 free throw shooting was pretty ridiculous too.

  39. KnickfaninNJ

    I think first tie breaker with Charlotte is probably head to head record not conference record, so Trautsig could be correct.

  40. Brian Cronin Post author

    It is head-to-head but they’re tied at head-to-head (and don’t play again) so it next goes to better conference record (since they’re not in the same division).

  41. Brian Cronin Post author

    The Reggie Jackson restricted free agent offers after next season are going to be nuts. I honestly think it makes more sense for them to just move Westbrook at that point, since they can’t keep both (well, they can’t keep both and still be the cheap losers that they are, that is). But that’s a problem for future OKC to deal with, of course. They can’t worry about that now.

  42. Kahnzy

    I understand rooting for Charlotte to lose is more realistic than Atlanta at this point, but I kinda like Charlotte. That’s a team that went from the worst record in League history just a couple of years ago to the playoffs…now that has as much to do with how bad the conference is this year as anything, but still. Plus, I like the idea of Patrick Ewing as this age’s “Big Man Whisperer” and Al Jefferson is having a helluva year for himself (plus he’s totally admitted he came to Charlotte for the money, which I actually find to be rather refreshingly honest).

    I’ll be happy to see the Knicks grab either of their spots, but I’d prefer it be Atlanta’s.

  43. BigBlueAL

    Knicks beat the Cavs and they will only be 1 below .500 vs the East. Atlanta and Charlotte are barely over .500 vs the East so making up the conference record tiebreaker is very doable.

  44. lavor postell

    If OKC loses in the conference semis or sooner this year they could definitely trade Westbrook. Could definitely see a trade to LAL if they land a top-5 pick. A sign-and-trade with Indiana for Lance Stephenson, Watson and their 2016 first rounder?

  45. Brian Cronin Post author

    I am unclear about sign and trade rules, but I’m pretty sure you can’t package a sign and trade player with other players. So it’d have to be just Stephenson, and that’s not enough. Heck, I dunno if Indiana necessarily even wants to do that.

  46. lavor postell

    Hmm interesting. I was just spitballing, but if they were to look at trading Westbrook they’d have plenty of suitors and offers to entertain. They are in a really good position since he has 3 years left under contract after this.

  47. Brian Cronin Post author

    Oh yeah, I totally agree. He’s a very good player so they’d be able to find plenty of people willing to trade for him (at that point he’d have two years left on his deal, which is awesome for a small market team who would be afraid of getting him with just a year left).

  48. yellowboy90

    Would they really trade Westbrook to a Western Conference team like they did Harden? I’m not a big fan but Rondo for Westbrook. Injury for injury? A pg that will have no problem getting KD the ball and who’s contract expire the same time as Reggie Jackson. So they can make an easy transition if they want to.

  49. lavor postell

    If the Harden trade should tell us anything and if it’s true that they offered Washington Harden for the No. 3 pick (Beal) than it’s that OKC values lottery picks extremely highly. Westbrook to the Lakers would give them that opportunity without taking on any salary as well since the Lakers will be way under the cap. Let’s say for argument’s sake the Lakers land the No. 3 pick. I can definitely see OKC making that deal straight up if they come up short of a WCF appearance this summer. LAL appease Kobe who has been an open admirer of Westbrook and his tenacity in the past and if they don’t splurge the rest could be patient and land Love next summer as well.

  50. Brian Cronin Post author

    The difference is that the Thunder were highly motivated to deal Harden (they likely should not have been, but eh, them’s the breaks) while Westbrook doesn’t really become an issue for them until after next season when they will have to deal with other teams trying to sign Jackson away (and while Jackson obviously is not going to make huge money, he’ll make enough to push the Thunder into the luxury tax if they match). So I could definitely see them trying to do a deal with a good lottery pick as the centerpiece, but I think they’d need more than just a lottery pick. Plus, I don’t believe that the Lakers are allowed to deal this year’s lottery pick.

  51. Brian Cronin Post author

    Oh, something just occurred to me when I was thinking about the Lakers’ lottery pick. The Knicks, Celtics and Lakers have never all missed the playoffs during the same season. That’s got to be a good sign, right? Even though it is clearly a meaningless stat, I have decided to view it as a sign!

  52. AbuJaFar

    The tiebreaker over the the bobcats would be incredibly hard to clinch, since charlotte still plays philly and orlando twice as well as boston and cleveland once, where as the knicks only play playoff-teams in the east after cleveland on sunday.
    Technichally tiebreaker is still undecided though

  53. GoNyGoNYGo

    @yellowboy90 + @TheInfamousCdiggy

    Hardaway is showing how one-dimensional he is. He averages 0.8 assist an 1.6 rebounds, 0.5 steals per game. He plays little defense. Yes, he’s 36.5% from beyond the arc, and that’s what most people focus on, but he offers little else. Right after Woodson is fired, the Knicks need to trade the kid for a real point guard.

  54. Owen

    The tiebreaker over the the bobcats would be incredibly hard to clinch, since charlotte still plays philly and orlando twice as well as boston and cleveland once, where as the knicks only play playoff-teams in the east after cleveland on sunday.
    Technichally tiebreaker is still undecided though

    Good point….

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