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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

2013-14 Game Thread: Knicks @ Bulls

One of the more (okay, one of the only) amusing things about this season has been how much the Knicks’ poor play has screwed over the TV schedulers, as they put the Knicks on national TV a lot this year and it obviously has not worked out well for them.

What looked like a great game when it was scheduled last year is now a pretty meaningless one. Luckily for the Knicks, the Bulls’ offense is not a great one so the Knicks should theoretically be able to hang around in this game and maybe even pull an unlikely win out.

Jimmer Freddette might play today. That’d be interesting to see, at least!

Let’s go Knicks!

60 comments on “2013-14 Game Thread: Knicks @ Bulls

  1. Brian Cronin Post author

    By “keep it close,” I of course meant a 23-6 run to start the game.

  2. Brian Cronin Post author

    It is unlikely, of course, but the #8-10 teams in the East are sooooooo bad that I still think they have a chance. Their schedule gets so much easier after today.

  3. Kahnzy

    Luckily for the Knicks, the Bulls’ offense is not a great one

    30 points with 2:30 left in the 1st. At this point, it’s just funny. I can’t tell, however, if my laughter is genuine mirth or the beginning of my sanity cracking.

  4. kronicfatigue

    The sad part is that they CAN make the playoffs. I hope they don’t as the last thing Dolan needs is that feather in his cap, but it’s not impossible to picture Atlanta continue their free fall and the Knicks to get “hot”. By hot, I mean beating the terrible teams, and then winning most of the games against teams like Brooklyn and Detroit.

    In a way, it makes their insistence on keep Woodson even more perplexing.

  5. d-mar

    Someone in a prior thread say the Knicks may allow the Bulls to reach 100 points, I think 120 may be more in the cards.

    This team has obviously thrown in the towel on the season, which is a complete disgrace.

  6. njasdjdh

    Their schedule gets so much easier after today.

    In 16 of the Knicks’ remaining 22 games after today their opponent has a better record than them. 13 of the Knicks’ remaining 22 games are on the road.

  7. njasdjdh

    I love you guys, but this idea that the Knicks can still make the playoffs is delusional. That said, it’s for the best because the last thing I would want is for them to make the playoffs.

  8. Thomas B.

    Their schedule gets so much easier after today.

    They play in the D-league after today?

  9. kronicfatigue

    In 16 of the Knicks’ remaining 22 games after today their opponent has a better record than them. 13 of the Knicks’ remaining 22 games are on the road.

    True, but is it really that hard to picture them winning @Detroit, vs Jazz, @Cleveland, vs Philly, @Boston, vs Bucks, @Philly, vs Cavs, @Lakers, and @Sacremento? That’s 10 of their next 12 games. They won’t, because “LOL Knicks”, but this current roster, trying hard, and with a better coach, could/should.

  10. ephus

    Expecting different results while the Knicks continue to do the same things is insane.

    This is NOT a good time to be a Knick fan.

  11. d-mar

    Van Gundy just suggested sagging off Noah and forcing him to shoot.

    I’m sure our genius coach is saying the same thing in the huddle.

  12. yellowboy90

    Well I said the Knicks should run zone and forget about man a few days ago.

    I love Noah and basketball fans outside of Miami and Boston probably loves him too or at least respects his game. The steal and dunk over Garnett/Paul? is one of my favorite plays from him.

  13. Thomas B.

    An atomic powered Dyson endorsed by Linda Lovelace doesn’t suck half as hard as this team does.

  14. Alecto

    True, but is it really that hard to picture them winning @Detroit, vs Jazz, @Cleveland, vs Philly, @Boston, vs Bucks, @Philly, vs Cavs, @Lakers, and @Sacremento? That’s 10 of their next 12 games. They won’t, because “LOL Knicks”, but this current roster, trying hard, and with a better coach, could/should.

    So what I’m getting is that if the Knicks were a completely different team they would be competent.

  15. d-mar

    The idea of playoffs is so laughable, as if there are any teams in the NBA that we’re actually better than right now and should beat.

  16. kronicfatigue

    So what I’m getting is that if the Knicks were a completely different team they would be competent.

    Yes this team needs two things in order to be mediocre enough to slide into the 8th seed: a competant coach and effort. If they had canned Woodson at the all star break, and replaced him with someone who could allocate minutes and come up with a passable defense, this team would be good enough make the playoffs.

    They’re running out of time, and have obviously given up on the season (the players, that is). Not sure if a new coach could get that dead cat bounce at this point, but it’s not IMPOSSIBLE. It could be in a week or two, but as of today, it’s still possible.

  17. d-mar

    I wish they kept a stat for dunks allowed per game, we’d be so far ahead of everyone else it wouldn’t even be close

  18. ephus

    Can we replace the remaining games of the season with a montage? Get a shot over-the-shoulder of Phil Jackson watching the futility and shaking his head?

  19. Alecto

    I wonder if we could win the D League

    With the way the Rio Grande Vipers play (109 possessions per game, 45 3-pointers attempted, only 3% percent of their shots midrange jumpers–Daryl Morey’s wet dream) I really doubt that.

  20. Thomas B.

    So glad we signed Shannon over Jimmer. The last thing this team needs is a floor space creating outside shooter.

  21. Kahnzy

    So glad we signed Shannon over Jimmer. The last thing this team needs is a floor space creating outside shooter.

    If even the Kings didn’t want him, I suspect neither did we. Don’t let his all-star level play against us fool you…he’s not very good. So actually…I guess he would have fit right in here.

  22. max fisher-cohen

    Fredette and Hardaway Jr. are pretty similar. The Knicks need two way players, and those don’t come cheap.

  23. JK47

    Knicks are now 2-12 over their last 14 games and have lost 6 in a row. Today they allowed 109 points to the #28 offense in the league.

    They may truly be the absolute worst team in the NBA right now.

  24. Thomas B.

    Brown is not helping the backcourt issue in any way. Anyone who has any shot of reducing Felton’s minutes should be here. I don’t think Jimmer is anything more than a fringe reserve, but that still makes him a whole lot better than Felton.

  25. d-mar

    If you Googled “career high vs. Knicks” would you get a recap of every game played this season?

  26. DRed

    Fredette and Hardaway Jr. are pretty similar. The Knicks need two way players, and those don’t come cheap.

    Jimmer, whatever similarities he has to Timmy is still superior to Shannon Brown. Adding Shannon Brown is absolutely pointless.

  27. Cock Jowles, #1 Nostradumbass

    Can anyone explain how Felton has not been suspended by the league or the team? The dude is facing felony weapon charges. What?

  28. Brian Cronin Post author

    Unless the incident actually took place at an NBA event (like Arenas having guns in his locker), the NBA has always taken the position of waiting for the legal process to decide what the situation is before they intervene with their own punishments. So Felton will not likely be punished for some time (and depending on how his case is resolved, there is a decent chance that he’ll never be punished by the NBA).

  29. Owen

    This season is beautifully ugly. It’s a nightmare masterpiece of obscene proportions. As a fan, I can at least take solace in being able to step back and admire how truly awful it is. Isiah trained my eye perfectly. 2013-2014 is the Night’s Watch of truly catastrophic NYK basketball seasons. Jim Dolan, you are our Rembrandt.

  30. max fisher-cohen

    @SJK

    It’s funny to read the comments of that article as everyone is like “no way the pelicans do that. Stoudemire is terrible. His contract is awful. yada yada yada.” Most people have no understanding of the salary cap. Trading Gordon and Evans for Stoudemire would be an absolute coup for the Pelicans. They’d cut $26 million in salary for 15/16 and another $10m in 16/17.

    This, fellow knickerbloggeristas, is why you should be praying Anthony leaves. Listening to his post game comments, there’s no way I see Anthony sitting through another season like this one, and the only way the Knicks can make changes is by going retro Scott Layden style. Evans and Gordon can be our new Shandon Anderson, Clarence Weatherspoon and Howard Eisley.

    Carmelo can be our new Allan Houston perhaps as well.

    In 2017, we can re-hire Isiah, and he can trade our first rounders for the next Eddy Curry.

    The cycle continues.

  31. hoolahoop

    Gotta give the knicks credit for this one. Not many teams could lose half way through the first quarter to a defense oriented team with one of the worst offenses in the league.

  32. hoolahoop

    It’s funny to read the comments of that article as everyone is like “no way the pelicans do that. Stoudemire is terrible. His contract is awful. yada yada yada.” Most people have no understanding of the salary cap. Trading Gordon and Evans for Stoudemire would be an absolute coup for the Pelicans. They’d cut $26 million in salary for 15/16 and another $10m in 16/17.

    Explain to me why the knicks would want to do that.

    I know I’m somewhat alone on this, but in my eyes, Amare is not the horrible player everyone says he is. He’s a productive scorer around the basket and has been hitting his elbow jumper. His defensive weakness is exaggerated, and offset by his scoring – in spite of the misleading +/- numbers. Besides, he’s gone after next year.

  33. ephus

    Here is the fear.

    1. If Carmelo stays, it will be part of a tacit deal to ship out Amare and bring in new talent. As much as Ruru has said that Carmelo plans to come back and take next year to recover from nagging injuries, it’s hard to believe.

    2. If Carmelo leaves (especially without a sign and trade), the Knicks’ current roster would be hard pressed to win 20 games with Popovich, Jackson and the ghost of Holtzman coaching. I fear Dolan trading Stat for JSmoove/Jennings or the Pelicans’ duo to try to stay ahead of the Nets in the NY marketplace.

    This is not a good time to be a Knick fan.

  34. DRed

    Explain to me why the knicks would want to do that.

    To prove wrong everyone who thought our backcourt couldn’t get any worse? also, because points

  35. Brian Cronin Post author

    Atlanta lost.

    It is not that I think that the Knicks will make the playoffs, as obviously their odds are extremely long. However, under normal circumstances, I would have officially written them off about a week ago. Making up five games in 26 games is next to impossible, let alone the current 6 in 22 games. However, these are not normal circumstances.

    Check out the following theoretical records for the rest of the season. Which ones sound impossible?

    Atlanta 8-16
    Cleveland 9-12
    Detroit 10-13
    Knicks 13-9

    Really, besides the Knicks suddenly having a winning record out of nowhere, the first three records seem downright likely.

    So I think it mostly comes down to whether the Knicks have officially just given up. I wouldn’t be surprised if they have. But I wouldn’t be surprised if they haven’t. And if they haven’t then 13-9 is doable. Hell, 14-8 (and an outright victory over an 8-16 Hawks team – 13-9 would be a tie with Atlanta) would be doable.

    Speaking of giving up, doesn’t Danny Ferry strike you as the sort of GM to take the Hawks’ recent woes as an excuse to give up the current season and try to get a lottery pick in the deep 2014 Draft and then come back strong next season with a healthy Horford and Millsap? We may have seen the last of Millsap for the 2013-14 season, in which case 8-16 might be generous (not to mention perhaps Jeff Teague might also suddenly develop knee problems and need to be shut down, as well, wink wink nudge nudge).

  36. njasdjdh

    Brian,

    Which games do you have the Knicks winning to go 13-9 or 14-8? These games strike me as near certain losses: @ MIN (better team, on the road), @ CLE (similar quality team, on the road, they have a good PG), vs IND @ PHX @ GSW vs WSH @ MIA @ TOR @ BKN vs TOR (self explanatory). That’s 10 losses right there without getting into the toss-ups.

  37. Brian Cronin Post author

    Phoenix almost lost to the aforementioned Atlanta tonight while playing at home.

    And sure, if the Knicks can’t beat Cleveland then they’re not going to make the playoffs, but that’s the rub, ya know? The last time the Knicks played the Cavs the Knicks destroyed them. So I don’t think it is fair to say one way or the other regarding their chances with the Cavs. We’ll just have to see how they do.

    As for the other games mentioned, it’s hard to call Brooklyn an automatic loss. Same with the games versus Toronto (I’d allow that there’s no way that they win both games against Toronto, but one is feasible). Indy, GSW and Miami are automatic losses, I agree, but I think any of the others are winnable games (although sure, I’ll lean toward Phoenix, Minny and Washington being very likely losses).

    The Mavericks are better than all the teams mentioned other than Miami, Indiana and GSW (and possibly Phoenix and Washington) and the Knicks were right there with the Mavs. And that was without Shump.

    Again, it is unlikely that they can make up such a large margin in so few games, but with the East being so spectacularly bad, it is not inconceivable. Currently, Hollinger’s playoff odds give the Knicks just a 5% chance, but it also gives the Hawks an 84% chance of making the playoffs and that does not sound accurate, especially if they start shutting guys down. I’d give the Hawks about a 50% chance of making the playoffs. The Cavs about a 20% chance, the Pistons about a 20% chance and the Knicks a 10% chance. In other words, I think the odds are very, very much against the Knicks, but under normal circumstances I’d give them basically a 0% chance. The shittiness of the East (and the Hawks in particular) make this at least a shot in the dark.

  38. Frank

    I didn’t watch the game at all yesterday but from ESPN-NY here’s what Jeff Van Gundy said:

    So Van Gundy…suggested the Knicks keep Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Jeremy Tyler, and blow up the rest of the roster, filling it with players who are “hungry” enough to win in the NBA. (We’d add Toure’ Murry to the list, but we understand Van Gundy’s point).

    “You’ve got to get some hungry guys … some durable, hungry guys to surround Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler, who are the foundation for your team. If you just do that, [get] guys who are hungry, durable and can shoot a little bit, at least when you lose you can feel good about yourself,” Van Gundy said.

    Sounds like someone is telling management what he’d like them to do.

    I just pray that JVG wants this job and that Dolan can swallow his pride, hire the guy, and give him real authority in the organization. I pray that Denver gets the #1 pick in the draft and gets Wiggins or Embiid or someone that would truly embarrass Dolan into having a Woody Johnson moment – step back and let the basketball people run the show.

    I think if you want to keep Melo, you have to sell 2015-16 as a character-building and culture-change year. We are going to establish an identity, and it will be completely different than what the Knicks have been known for since Van Gundy left. Go to the D-League and find John Starks and Anthony Mason 2.0. Since no one will trade for Felton or JR Smith, let them play but then give them the Beno-treatment if they don’t play defense or do stupid stuff like JR always does. Waive them both the following year using the stretch provision. Let Amare expire and ride off into the sunset. Don’t make stupid trades just to squeeze into the 8th seed next year.

    But most important – to change the culture you can’t hire another CAA stooge. It has to be someone independent that can put his stamp on the franchise.

  39. Frank

    Also – while it’s tempting to me to have Dolan keep Woodson and this flaming wreckage of a roster around another year for the entertainment (and draft) value of a 70 loss team, I think that it’s not the right move long-term. In order for all our cap space in 15-16 to be as valuable as it could be, the culture change has to be underway and visible to all prospective FAs in order for them to want to come. Who would want to walk into a dispirited, gutless team with a new coach and unknown team culture (other than the loser atmosphere we’ve had for a decade+ now)?

    Mills is in a very delicate situation now. You have to decide whether or not you want to try and keep Melo. If you do, then you absolutely can’t tank 2014-15 because he won’t want to stay for that. If you don’t want to keep Melo, then you have to work out a S&T with no leverage or let him walk for nothing. Then you have to find a coach who is willing to preside over a huge tank job — the best one for that purpose is already the coach, but keeping him is probably a mortal insult to the fan base. If you lose Melo and change coaches, what kind of real coach wants to coach Amare/JR/Felton/Bargnani? No one.

    And then you still have to deal with James Dolan as your boss.

    I do not envy Steve Mills at all. (Actually I’d love to have his job but man, he’s got a very difficult road ahead).

  40. Donnie Walsh

    But shouldn’t the Celtics be in the playoff conversation too then? I mean, they’ve actually gained ground on the Hawks during their “free fall”. All the Knicks have done is match the free fall shot-for-shot.

  41. DRed

    All the Knicks have done is match the free fall shot-for-shot.

    Playoffs? Playoffs? I’ll be happy if we win another game. We can free fall with any team in the NBA outside (maybe) Philly. Shit, we lost to the Hawks. Nobody loses to the Hawks. We blew a 17 point 3rd quarter lead to a talentless team that is trying to lose, and wound up losing handily. You think just any old team can do that? We’re seeing something special here.

  42. max fisher-cohen

    @Brian –

    You’re picking low end expectations for ATL and CLE (your DET seems about average) and very high end expectations for NY. So if you put the odds on each of these events occurring, they’d be something like this IMO

    NYK: 10%
    DET: 50%
    CLE: 25%
    ATL: 25%

    And I think those are pretty darn generous odds in terms of how they benefit NYK, when you combine them all, you get a 0.3% chance all these things happen.

    @Frank,

    I think Mills SHOULD be thinking be thinking about (most) of the things you’re talking about, but I also doubt he is. His job right now is most likely simple: do all you can to keep Melo. If Melo walks, so be it.

    I strongly disagree with your point about tanking. The Knicks are not going to suddenly reinvent a reputation they have worked like freakin’ Leonardo Da Vinci on the Sistine Chapel to craft — night and day for 14 years now — in one season. To convince smart free agents that things have changed, things actually have to change. Dramatically. Like the Knicks have to BUILD a supporting cast that is cheap enough so that you can sign multiple good FAs and deep enough so that you’re not relying on guys like Toney Douglas and Landry Fields to be integral pieces.

    That takes time.

    If the Knicks don’t do that, there is a great chance that summer 2015 will look just like summer 2010. 2015 is looking really freakin similar assuming Melo leaves: a team with one good prospect (Gallo/THJ), one okay prospect (W. Chandler/2015 pick) and limited future draft picks (NYK already had traded 2009, 2010 and 2012 picks back in 2010. They already traded 2014 and 2016 now.), and about $11m in cap space locked into bad player(s) (Eddy Curry in 2010, Felton & JR in 2015).

    Doesn’t mean NYK has to be go through a four year rebuild. It just means putting all your eggs into a dream of signing Kevin Love is a recipe for a HUGE let down.

    If there has ever been a year for any team in all history to tank, it’s 14/15 for the…

  43. Zanzibar

    For the first time in my life I’m rooting against the Knicks; I don’t want them to make the playoffs. I think Atlanta and Charlotte are far more deserving than Detroit, Cleveland and the Knicks. Atlanta FO made some good signings and have had some rotten luck in losing Horford and then Millsap. Detroit may be the only franchise dumber top to bottom than the Knicks. But the Knicks in particular are the worst because they’re not just dumb but the organization’s hubris is unbearable (e.g., CAA relationship and all its ramifications). Here’s hoping Nets do well in playoffs, we continue to stink, and Dolan does some real soul-searching this summer.

  44. Frank

    I strongly disagree with your point about tanking. The Knicks are not going to suddenly reinvent a reputation they have worked like freakin’ Leonardo Da Vinci on the Sistine Chapel to craft — night and day for 14 years now — in one season. To convince smart free agents that things have changed, things actually have to change.

    First of all, I agree with you re: the tanking. We are a team that needs to tank.

    That said — to do that, you have to believe that Dolan et al. will buy into not just a one year tank but probably a 2-3 year tank like the first 2 D’Antoni years (which did not end well obviously). That would mean letting Melo walk without any resistance and hiring a placeholder head coach to oversee the tank (hi Herb!!). To do it right, you probably have to avoid doing what we did in 2010 after LBJ went to Miami, which is throw too much money at the wrong FAs. Kevin Love is NOT coming here to this organization the way it will be perceived in 2015 if we tank away 2014 — and as far as I can tell, Love is the only player really worth a max contract in 2015. Aldridge isn’t worth it. Rondo isn’t worth it. Tony Parker is never leaving the Spurs. etc. etc. That means we would probably have to sit on the cap space we have in 2015, use it like Philly and other teams have used it to absorb 1 year bad contracts from teams in return for other assets like draft picks. Then in 2016 you could go after Durant. But 2015 we would suck too (with no draft pick in 2016 to make it worth it).

    The problem is — everyone has a clean cap in 2016 and everyone will be going after KD. After 2 years of tankerooni, why would KD want to come here? If we strike out on KD, we still have no 2016 pick, and we still don’t have a foundation head coach and system in place.

    That’s why I sort of think the best way forward is to reload, not completely tear down.

  45. DRed

    I understand the hope that Dolan will do some real soul searching over the summer if we miss the playoffs and Melo skips town, but Dolan has proven very resistant to reality. I mean, Isiah. And we’ve had one good season in over a decade. Dolan doesn’t fucking get it, and I really doubt Melo leaving is going to set him off on the road to Damascus. If anything, it is likely to lead to us trading Stat and Bargs for more terrible contracts.

  46. Frank

    So like I wrote above, I think what this franchise needs to do is rebuild from the top down. Dolan isn’t going anywhere but maybe, just maybe, he has been humbled enough by this experience to realize he’s not good at being a GM (I know, dream on!). So let Mills be the money/contracts and trade negotiation guy. We really have no idea what he can do — but he can’t be worse than Dolan and Grunwald were. Let Warkentien and John Gabriel find talent in the draft, D-League, internationally, etc. since they almost certainly had something to do with all the relative diamonds in the rough that have come through the last few seasons.

    But then in terms of team construction, we need to have a new voice and vision and that vision needs to start yesterday.

    Hire Van Gundy. Give him a 5 year contract worth $35MM. Tell him he can play or bench whoever he wants, whenever he wants. Get his input on what kind of players would excel in whatever system he wants to run. Re-sign Melo and try to get him to take a contract starting at ~18MM with a pay cut in 2015-16 (and then raises thereafter) x 5 years. That will signal to the team, the fans, and to the league that Melo is all-in on getting this franchise back on top. Start breaking all the bad habits from day 1 of training camp. Those whose habits won’t get broken get a seat on the bench, and that includes Melo.

    2014-15 will be a preparation year — not a tank year. Maybe we’ll make the playoffs, maybe we won’t. The Eastern Conference will still stink, and I think a JVG defense with these same players is still probably a top-12 defense.

    2015 – sell JR and Felton for whatever you can get, or waive them via stretch provision. Let Bargnani and STAT walk (obviously). See if Tyson will come back at a steep pay cut (i.e. less than MLE) — if not, sayonara and pass the torch to Jeremy Tyler.

    I think this is the way forward without having to go through another 3-4 year of hopeless losing.

  47. d-mar

    I know that LeBron’s free agency in 2010 was a once in a generation event, but Dolan allowed Donnie Walsh to come in and tear down the roster to allow the Knicks to make a run at LBJ. And in the meantime, for whatever reason, fans kept coming to the Garden to watch the likes of Al Harrington, Toney Douglas and Chris Duhon.

    Not saying I trust Dolan to generally make intelligent decisions (because idiots normally don’t do that), but I don’t think he wants to put a 40 win team on the court next season and sacrifice all flexibility for 2015 and beyond.

  48. cgreene

    I agree w the posters who say Dolan will not change. I would bet dollars to doughnuts that Cal is the coach and one of Jennings, Gordon, J Smooth is on the team next year.

  49. DRed

    Dolan allowed was forced to hire Donnie Walsh to come in and tear down the roster to allow the Knicks to make a run at LBJ

  50. nyk8806

    Hopefully after this summer’s inevitable epic fails and/or disappointments, we’ll have (once again) reached the center of the earth and can truly sink no lower. We will then again have our expectations reset to a level that the organization might conceivably deliver. That’s why last season and Linsanity were so much fun – we had such low expectations for those squads that any success, however fleeting, was like an oasis to a parched man wandering through the desert for over ten years. So, you can hardly blame some of us for thinking we had the real deal, even if it was just a mirage.

    In some ways, this train wreck was cathartic – we’re about to be back at zero. No expectations, no hope. The worst that can happen is we continue to scrape bottom, but even then, we’ll no doubt have pockets of success to smile about. Those of us who are also Mets fans have a lot of practice in this regard.

  51. Hubert

    Frank I agree with you wholeheartedly.

    For one thing, tanking isn’t as grand a strategy when 12 other teams are doing it. And Dolan HATED the first two years under MDA, so we’re not going back to that.

    Changing the culture is huge. I wish we would offer Van Gundy the job RIGHT NOW (and the fact that we haven’t leads me to believe we won’t) so he could get a head start.

    Otherwise why would Melo stay or anyone else want to come here? It’s not THAT hard to change a culture with a good coach. Amar’e came here and made this a place people wanted to be withing three months (unfortunately he made it a place that Melo wanted to be and Melo demanded that we trade all our assets for him, but I digress).

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