Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

2013-14 Game Thread: Knicks v. Bulls

Happy Amar’e-ween!

Game two, y’all! A brief trip to the land of hog-butchers and heady winds. It is also All Hallowe’s Eve, which means the Knicks will be sporting their brand-spanking new orange duds and the Chicagoans will be resplendent in their black alts! Orange + Black = CANDY!

Speaking of which, Amar’e Stoudemire gets his turn in the aged PF/C wheel tonight, and earlier today, he voiced his views on this evening’s merriment (Halloween, not the game, to be clear). They are…interesting. Here are some thoughts o’ mine over at our interweb pals, The Classical:

And then there are the more fervent types—a thing we never saw in our old UWS Halloweens—that screech spittlingly that this is a night that celebrates (somehow) both PAGANISM and SATAN, and that there’s something something truly dark-sided in a kid wearing a plastic Dark Knight mask. Presumably even the crappy ones your Mom got at Woolworth’s with a shirt/smock with words like, “Batman! POW!” printed on the front.

One individual I did not expect to be a part of this particularly American madding crowd is the Knicks hobbled 100 million dollar PF/C, Amar’e Stoudemire. For one, as recently as two years ago, STAT seemed to get as much of a bang out of dressing up as the rest of us.

Evidently, that’s no longer the case. Earlier today, he released this Ghostbuster-y anti-pumpkin logo via Instagram with the caption, “As the Children of Israel (Jacob) we must separate ourselves from anything pagan. #BlessedBeTheCreator #YHWH #GodBody”

Two, outside of all the nifty things he does on the court, Amar’e Stoudemire’s clearly an inquisitive, spiritual guy. His ongoing quest to plumb the depths of his (possibly apocryphal) Judaic roots, his trips to Israel, and so on, but I never associated The Chosen People™ with anti-Halloween jeremiads. Execute a quick Google search and you’ll see that for the Orthodox/Conservative set, it is verboten.

The argument(s) seem to be partially out of some sense of misplaced jealousy that Purim doesn’t get the publicity it should combined with the same finger-wagging about encouraging Paganism/mischief making/children acting like…well…children that forms the basis of the non-Semitic version:

“Let me tell you about a wonderful Jewish holiday: once a year, our children dress up as sages, princesses, heroes and clowns. They drop by the homes of our community, visit the infirm and the aged, spreading joy and laughter. They bring gifts of food and drink and collect tzedakah (charity) for the needy. You guessed it—it’s called Purim, when it’s customary to send mishloach manot—gifts of food—to one’s friends and even more gifts to those in hard times. Flip it over (October instead of March, demanding instead of giving, scaring instead of rejoicing, demons instead of sages, etc.) and you have Halloween.  There you have it: a choice of one of two messages you can give to your children.”

In that context, I guess it’s easy to fathom STAT raining on everyone’s parade. The fact that it took a couple of years for his understanding of his newfound religion to take full, glowering flower explains the wacky bearded good timer-y of the recent past.

Oh, and after a fairly successful run with the two-PG look (whodathunkit!), because Chicago is ‘big’, Son of Wood will also go ‘big’ with this starting quintet:

That’s just awesome. You have to assume that Woody was he possessed by an evil spirit/Lucifer. Hmm, maybe STAT was on to something after all…

Okay, Knickerblogger-backers, all your brilliant insights and jejune wordsmithery can be uttered here. Go Knicks!

247 comments on “2013-14 Game Thread: Knicks v. Bulls

  1. coyle022

    I think it’s just ridiculous that Woodson is starting Bargs. Why not Metta? Bargs will almost have the opposite effect of “going big” against the Bulls because he is the softest 7 footer in the league.

  2. nicos

    Someone ought to tell Amar’e that the Bulls are a bunch of Golden Calf worshipping pagan idolators. Between that and the Phoenix flashback orange uniforms Amar’e might go for 50!

  3. Z-man

    May the pagan gods of hamstrings not exact vengeance on RayRay tonite. Seriously, this is one of those games where coming through it healthy is a win. Even if we only lose 20 games this year, you would tend to pencil this in as one of them. W or L and injuries aside, my hope is that:

    Chandler outplays Noah (he’s been smoked by him several times in recent meetings)
    Shump has an all-star performance on the big stage
    Bargnani doesn’t suck (15 and 5 with a couple of 3′s would be OK by me)
    Amare scores at will for 20 minutes
    TH2 nails some big 3′s
    We compete for 4 quarters

  4. Spree8nyk8

    Does anyone out there actually think that we could max out Melo and still build a winning team? Because for the last couple of months I’ve been pretty stuck on the thought that if he’s not going to take a pay cut to stay that we should probably let him go, but I hate not keeping an open mind.

    Any thoughts?

  5. Unreason

    Seeing Tyson in form yesterday has me eager to watch his go at Noah and hopeful that he and Amare will be fierce in protecting the rim against the attack Rose is sure to bring.

  6. Will the Thrill

    Chandler is being guarded outside of 15 feet. This means that the paint should be wide open right?!

  7. Will the Thrill

    Is Metta good at anything on the offensive end? He should really just stick with open 3′s. It looks like he thinks he has a responsibility to score and be a playmaker.

  8. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Derrick Rose is clearly a good player but boy he sure misses a lot of shots.

    Shh, Brian. Remember: it is more important to make several difficult shots than it is to make lots of easy-looking ones.

  9. BigBlueAL

    Im liking the halfcourt defense alot but man the offense looks awful. No spacing, total opposite of last season. I actually miss JR already lol.

  10. Owen

    Btw, i love the debrief on Amare’s feelings on Halloween. That is actually awesome, had no idea he was so into his Judaism…

  11. Owen

    Wow, Amare.

    That might be one of the worst outings I have ever seen from a power forward. Boozer just tore him up.

    Suddenly 1000 minutes for Aldrich seems pretty plausible.

  12. Brian Cronin

    And we thought we had to worry about Bargnani’s defense…

    I think the worry was always the fact that we knew that they already had to worry about STAT, so adding someone similar seemed like an odd idea.

  13. Brian Cronin

    I love how it took less than 1 and a half games before Woody realized how idiotic his Woody/STAT time share plan was.

  14. bidiong

    Sloppy ball from both teams so far. Too many turnovers on our side though. Pablo isn’t as pesky this evening.

  15. yellowboy90

    What did he do? was it because Gibson asked for a call? How is a ref 25 ft away going to see something a ref 5 ft away doesn’t see?

  16. d-mar

    As great as the Bulls defense is, they are really offensively challenged. I just can’t see them getting past Miami in the playoffs.

  17. Owen

    Alright, some make up calls.

    Apparently the Refs just wanted to get Bargs off the court as much as i do…

  18. cgreene

    I’d say the Knicks (errr Shump) look quite susceptible to the back door. That’s rookie shit. And Woody is absolutely right to bust him HARD about that.

  19. yellowboy90

    People complaining about Bargs but Shup has looked worse to me. Overplaying and giving up buckets to everyone he has guarded. Then he settles for a J while being guarded by Gibson.

  20. DCrockett17

    I see Felton is back to his penguin passing ways. Bounce passes at feet and telegraphing looks through the heart of the defense. Sigh.

  21. ephus

    For everyone who was decrying Amar’e as a defensive sieve and an offensive hole, I give you Andrea Bargnani. Three offensive fouls and a red carpet for the Bulls to the rim.

    If he is not healthy enough to play, he should not play.

  22. d-mar

    Marv redefining the term “facial” as there was no one near Gibson on that dunk. He really does hate the Knicks.

  23. BigBlueAL

    The offense is embarrassing. At this point I would settle for all ISO Melo because at least he always gets a shot off and doesnt turn it over. This is ridiculous.

  24. Brian Cronin

    Well, one of the major things we were worried about this season was that they would not protect the ball nearly as well as they did last year (when they were one of the best all-time). And so far…well…you know.

  25. Owen

    Might have worth a delay of game warning with three knicks at that end of the court. Bulls turned that around on us after the Hardaway layup.

    We could use JR back.

  26. DCrockett17

    @55

    On Bargs’ offensive fouls… the first illegal screen was a first week of the season call. The second was on Felton for going before he was set. The elbow was legit (and the refs called the same foul on Gibson). There’s plenty to complain about with Bargs’ offense, but those screen calls were no big deal.

  27. Brian Cronin

    It is fair to note that JR was likely the third best Knick last season and he’s not here right now. The team will look a lot better with him on it.

  28. Owen

    The turnovers are insane. I think the refs are somewhat responsible. I don’t know if they are cracking down on screen setting or something but the fouls on Bargnani were sort of ridiculous….

  29. ephus

    I did frame-by-frame advance on the Rose half court pass on the break. He traveled. Clearly came back down on his right leg before he released the pass. Good play by Shumpert. Bad call.

    That and a metro card will get you crosstown.

  30. JK47

    I agree that THJ looks pretty good, and I hated the pick when they drafted him. He looks like he has a pretty well-rounded game actually.

  31. ruruland

    The hyperbole from all angles is pretty grating.

    Down 3 to the Bulls in Chicago on a b2b playing with mostly new lineups in the second game of the year.

    Fuck it’s already about as annoying as I can handle.

  32. ruruland

    “Brutal to watch but only down five.”

    No one knows why you watch and share your thoughts about how bad it all is.

  33. Owen

    Brutal to watch but only down five.”

    No one knows why you watch and share your thoughts about how bad it all is.

    No one knows why you think acquiring Bargnani was a good idea…..

    This is ugly basketball Ruru. That’s what I am saying. But we are in the game, which is a blessing. Which is what I am saying.

    Probably should wait to jump on me until I deserve it….

  34. ephus

    I’m fine with the Knicks going to the half down five.

    I really am horrified watching Bargnani right now.

  35. nicos

    If the Knicks can quit turning it over and letting the Bulls get out in transition they can win this game- the Knicks half court defense has been excellent.

  36. DRed

    3/10 Knicks with more points than shots, which is not super dope. Bargnani is unsurprisingly the worst player on the floor whenever he’s out there. I’d like to see us try some Beno in the second half instead of Hardaway. On the plus side, Carmelo’s passing looks much better this year than last. And Tyson looks like 2011 Tyson on defense. Is Aldrich even available tonight? I’m already sick of Bargs, and it’s only game 2.

  37. ephus

    And I was not opposed to the Bargnani trade. I thought he could provide an upgrade from Novak on offense and more bulk and athleticism on D.

    This version of Bargnani is a downgrade from Novak. Hopefully, he improves as he gets further from pneumonia. Otherwise, I (and the Knicks) were wrong.

  38. iserp

    I like the options that Bargnani gives us in attack. Still horrified by the turnovers, but i think he’ll do less along the season. And he hasn’t been that bad on defense, even if he is no Chandler, he was there contesting shots.

    OTOH, Amare has not looked good. Perhaps in an ultra-defensive lineup with him providing scoring, but he still hasnt a defined role and looks lost.

  39. Jp

    The game is watchable, its the two idiots commentating who are annoying as hell. They spent a whole half telling us how bad the knicks are and are going to be.

  40. JK47

    Bargnani was actually doing okay defending Boozer, then Stat came in and Boozer turned into prime Karl Malone. Stat looks worse than Bargs right now, but Stat is a very rhythm-dependent player, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see Stat get in a groove and deliver some production at some point.

  41. johnno

    I’ve watched Bargnani closely since the preseason started and I disagree with most of you. I think that he is a better than average one on one defender and a decent help defender.

  42. ruruland

    Dred sees Melo’s increased assists and thinks he’s passing better.

    Melo is being used much differently so far this year than he was last. That’s the difference. He didn’t become a better passer.

    The Knicks have cut down dramatically on isolations with Melo and not coincidentally — so far — we’ve seen a big uptick in turnovers and decrease in 3-pt shots.

  43. ephus

    In the third quarter, Bargnani has come back strong on offense. He has made two shots that Novak could not attempt.
    And Novak could not draw a foul on a show and tell.

    On D, he is an AWFUL help defender. Just watch his slow rotations lead to dunks and layups.

  44. Brian Cronin

    Are you going to actually ever make a comment yourself or just comment about what other people are or are not commenting? This meta-commenting from you is pretty silly.

  45. EB

    Bargs is a great help defender when he can get to the spot, he just is never in the spot.

    I’ve been waiting for this kind of shooting though. It seemed odd that he couldn’t/can’t shoot despite his career numbers

  46. yellowboy90

    I think Shump has look the worst so far. Melo has shot bad even though he did have 3 qtr ending heaves

  47. Brian Cronin

    This lineup with only 1 guard has been awful tonight.

    No JR, but yeah, I don’t get it either.

  48. BigBlueAL

    Chandler defensively so far this season (its early I know) has been amazing. Hopefully he can stay healthy and keep this up for the entire season.

  49. Owen

    Yeah, don’t think we are going to beat the Bulls in the bruising frontcourt dept….

    Strange lineup

  50. yellowboy90

    JK47 October 31, 2013 at 9:56 pm

    No run for Beno, and very little run for Pablo, so the ball movement is pretty sorely lacking.

    Beno has been a turnover machine so I don’t expect him to see time against the Bulls. He needs time once he gets acclimated later though.

  51. JK47

    Amar’e in the game for literally one second, fouls Boozer for two free throws.

    And now the Bargs-Stat singularity is happening, so this should be a 20 point Bulls lead very shortly.

  52. ruruland

    4 point play on that bad call. Probably swings the game right there. (Don’t need the lecture on how every play is the same, thanks).

  53. ephus

    On Bargnani as a help defender, when he helps at the post, he is really bad at getting back to his man. He is even worse at getting back to the man left open when the Knicks rotate.

    He also plays D with knees straight and hands at waist level.

  54. JK47

    This is a painful game to watch… Knicks are not completely out of it, but not close enough for the game to be really compelling. Refs are not helping the situation.

  55. Brian Cronin

    This is just my own personal bias, likely, but I think the league allows too much arm protections on players. Hinrich’s practically wearing armor out there.

  56. Owen

    Can you have a clear path if no one is in possession of the ball? I would have thought no. That seems to be what the ruling was. Don’t know the rule though….

  57. Brian Cronin

    Unless the Knicks go 3pt crazy in the 4th this game is over.

    While they likely should take some threes, I don’t think they need some crazy offensive show to come back. They have a whole quarter to go. It’s only 10 points.

  58. Owen

    Thibodeau reminds me of Cheney, only more sinister.

    Maybe one of the hamsters he likes to eat got caught in his throat….

  59. Brian Cronin

    This game is for the taking. The Bulls are so sloppy. The problem is that the Knicks are similarly sloppy.

  60. ruruland

    Knicks are so far ahead of where they were defensively last year. Generally just more energy, scrappier, makung plays on a lot more loose balls. Ball pressure excellent. Rotations hit and miss.

  61. cgreene

    He is a net negative so far bc of offense but there is nothing wrong with Bargnani’s man to man D or his effort on the boards. He’s not allowing O rebs the way Amare does.

  62. Brian Cronin

    This is awesome. Thibs should have taken a timeout at about three different points during this run and he failed to. What a moron. Awesome!

  63. yellowboy90

    Yeah baby. I feel like I need a little old scholl Toni Braxton to start playing.

    “Don’t break my Heart”

  64. cgreene

    Chandler is a difft guy than last May but can he sustain it. Managing his minutes is more important than 5 – 6 wins in the reg season.

  65. d-mar

    Great effort by the Knicks tonight, win or lose. Chandler looks like his 2011-2012 version, which is just huge for this team.

  66. Brian Cronin

    The Bulls are sloppy with the ball. The Bulls can’t hit free throws. The Bulls can’t hit threes. I know they have a great defense, but how are they presumptive title contenders?

  67. yellowboy90

    I Know its early but people were questioning why Woody declared so early that THJR would get minutes.

    Looks like Woody saw something

  68. Brian Cronin

    I hope this means the end of three forward lineups going forward. The team is so much better when they have a legitimate 2 guard in the lineup.

  69. yellowboy90

    Melo getting post happy but it did lead to a 3pt attempt by Felton which he was clearly fouled on but no called. I think a little Felton/Tyson PnR would be nice with Shump, Melo, and Hardaway spacing the floor would be nice.

    Out of the Time out I see the little 3man weave or the triple pick coming.

  70. ruruland

    Remember how thoroughly the Bulls beat US last year.

    This version of the Knicks much better equipped to play the Bulls style.

    This reminds me a little of the Spurs win on a b2b early last season.

    Even if WE lose it’s definitely a moral victory (Jerry Jones).

  71. david

    It’s almost as if you surround Anthony and Chandler with guys who can shoot, the offense looks good.

    The most effective lineup in the finals last year was the lebron Birdman Allen battier chalmers/cole group. This lineup is our (admittedly worse) version of it

  72. ephus

    Steve Kerr is blind. That ball was thrown out by Rose without being touched by a Knick. The refs missed the foul on Rose, but that cannot be reviewed.

  73. Brian Cronin

    One is better than none! Let’s just hope that the Bulls’ embarrassing collapse continues for the next 10 seconds!

  74. ephus

    Strong D by Knicks. Better shot by Rose. Knicks have 5.7 seconds to get the ball through the hoop. I would put Melo and Chandler in a PnR, with Hardaway, Felton and Shumpert as the perimeter shooters.

  75. JK47

    Not a great look there at the final shot, and a tough loss, but it’s hard to feel bad about this one. Knicks played pretty well. Defensive improvements could really be for real.

  76. Brian Cronin

    Going forward, though, that lineup (with JR in place of Hardaway) will be the Knicks’ best lineup at the end of games (with JR and Artest switching offense/defense).

  77. ruruland

    Having a chance to beat what should be a 55+ win team at home on a b2b is all you can ask for. Defense great so far. Tons of positives.

  78. ephus

    Oh well. Knicks almost stole that game. Derrick Rose made the most important shot of the game. ‘Melo got an open look from 3. It rimmed out. Chandler could not tip it in.

    Lots of positives to take from this game. Most importantly, Chandler/Melo plus three guards is the Knicks best line up. Felton/Shumpert/Hardaway/Smith/Prigioni will compete for those crunch time minutes.

  79. BigBlueAL

    Knicks last FG came with 4 mins and 9 sec left in the game. God awful offense down the stretch. Offense cost them the game tonight.

  80. d-mar

    Yeah this one was penciled in as an L a long time ago, but still a heartbreaker. I wish Woody could come up with a final play other than pass it to Melo for the contested heave.

    What exactly does he say to them during the timeout “Ok pass it to Melo and stand around, everybody got it? I repeat…..”

  81. DRed

    Chandler, who was a manimal all night is the goat while Rose, who sucked, gets to be the hero. no justice. big picture, losing by one in chicago on a back-to-back is not so bad at all.

  82. nicos

    The Knicks are going to have to figure out what to do when Chandler (and to lesser extent Felton) are off of the floor. No surprise that there’s no bench cohesion yet but they’re going to need to develop some or else the starters are going to get worn out.

  83. ruruland

    Melo is all but guaranteed to get a decent shot with five seconds left. Trying to execute something cute in that time frame against a great defense is much riskier.

    He’s one of the greatest last second shooters of all-time, even with this slump. If you hadn’t seen all of them or most, I’d understand a bit more.

    He’s made that shot SO many times.

    If you had 15 seconds, I’d agree.

  84. Brian Cronin

    I guess Im the only one who doesnt believe in stupid moral victories lol.

    Moral victories are fine when you’re not a good team. I don’t get them when the Knicks are supposed to be as good as the Bulls.

    I mean, I totally get feeling worse about some losses more than others, but come on, these guys are supposed to be competing for their division and one of the top seeds in the conference, they shouldn’t need moral victories.

  85. yellowboy90

    johnno October 31, 2013 at 10:58 pm

    Didn”t a bunch of guys on this site want to dump Chandler?

    I still do sometimes when I see the ball go through his hands on passes not above his shoulders.

    But he really played well. Doing a much better job guarding the paint.

  86. Owen

    Seriously, Noah effing fouled Chandler on the last play. Ridiculous no call.

    He was holding on to his arm. Totally outrageous.

  87. DRed

    Offense was pretty terrible all around tonight. I’m not sure what the answer is, but we need to get better shots.

  88. ephus

    It was a clean look by Melo. He paused for a beat, which caused the defender to get back on his heels, and got the shot up in time for their to be a tip opportunity.

    I have no problem with that last shot. Just wish it had gone in.

  89. Brian Cronin

    That woulda been sweet if we had a replay of that Easter shot a few years ago

    That was one of the most beautiful shots I can recall from a Knick. There was no doubt it was going in the moment he took it.

  90. d-mar

    I hear what you guys are saying about Melo’s shot, it wasn’t awful, but there were almost 6 seconds left in the game. It just seems to me that there’s enough time to execute an actual play, maybe a high screen or something going to the basket.

  91. er

    Offense was pretty terrible all around tonight. I’m not sure what the answer is, but we need to get better shots.

    Hey only 3 more games before our buddy Earl returns. I still want timmy to get burn though.

  92. BigBlueAL

    I dont care about the final miss from Melo, cant really hope for a much better shot with less than 6 secs left. I care about the previous 4 mins where the Knicks had 0 fg’s.

  93. nicos

    The Knicks look like they’ve traveled back in time to 11/12. Excellent defense, suspect offense. I think they’ll get the offense figured out as long as Melo’s poor shooting is just a blip rather than lingering injury issues.

  94. BigBlueAL

    Knicks should hopefully win next 3 games before hosting the Spurs on Sunday Nov 10 at noon (JR returns). Maybe Spurs sit players that day lol.

  95. er

    The Knicks look like they’ve traveled back in time to 11/12. Excellent defense, suspect offense. I think they’ll get the offense figured out as long as Melo’s poor shooting is just a blip rather than lingering injury issues.

    I completely agree. Its weird with Melo its like on some shots his great form just goes away. I dont get it

  96. DRed

    tossing it to melo at the 3 point line and hoping is not a good play. Obviously, we should have done more on offense in thhe other 47 minutes, but that’s a really low percentage play.

  97. Owen

    Am I the only one that thought that was a horrible no call at the end. Noah literally had Chandler’s arm trapped. He would have converted that miss otherwise.

    I am angry.

  98. cgreene

    It’s not a moral victory. But they showed some positive signs. The defense has been excellent in both games. Tyson looks great. Bargnani had a short run of exactly what we are looking for in the 2nd half. The best lineup is already obvious so it will be hard for Woody to eff that up. THJ is an asset. And Melo hasn’t played well and JR hasn’t played. And by the way the Bulls D has something to do w our bad O. I mean several people who aren’t idiots are picking them to win it.

  99. ruruland

    Dred, there are no high percentage plays with 5 seconds left. If you try to execute something and you’re off by a hair, it’s a desperation heave. It’s hard to not get confrontational about something like that.

  100. BigBlueAL

    I am angry cause it was a game they let slip away. The Bulls right now with a still rusty Rose are vulnerable, they wont be this bad in the future. Hopefully the Knicks will be better too obviously but beating the Bulls for them is hard regardless. They are now 1-9 vs them since trading for Melo (1-8 when he has played).

    We know how competitive the Top 5 in the East will be, losing games like tonight sucks especially when they were 6 secs away from winning. Playing as bad as they did offensively down the stretch makes it more frustrating. Hopefully they take care of business the next 3 games (home vs Wolves, home and away vs Bobcats) then JR returns and the schedule gets difficult for the rest of November.

  101. er

    Dred, there are no high percentage plays with 5 seconds left. If you try to execute something and you’re off by a hair, it’s a desperation heave. It’s hard to not get confrontational about something like that.

    yea ppl overreacting over the shot are wrong imo. Theres only so much you can do. It was a clean look and Melo is paid the big dollars to hit that shot.

  102. JK47

    My big hope for the Knicks this season was that they’d be an improved defensive team, with Chandler returning to form, Shump staying healthy for a full season, Pablo doing his pesky thing and MWP bringing his physical defensive game to the party.

    So far, so good. The offense is probably not gonna be what it was last season, but I’d rather watch a team with good offense/good defense than a team with great offense/mediocre defense.

  103. Owen

    I didn’t have a problem with the final shot. Clean enough look Some of Melo’s shots before it didn’t exactly fit the bill, especially that backcorner fadeaway. Melo played a decent game. Quick hands and filled the boxscore despite the missed shots.

    Still, angry about that Noah no call but that never gets called I guess. Frustrating because that putback was there..

  104. er

    So far, so good. The offense is probably not gonna be what it was last season, but I’d rather watch a team with good offense/good defense than a team with great offense/mediocre defense.

    Yep……but if we can get some offensive continuity look out

  105. PabloPepperoni

    There are no moral victories but they showed me a lot today. Now imagine what they could be when they don’t have to play Melo/Stat/Bargs at the same time?
    I’m ok with the knicks not bursting out of the gate provided they learn from these experiences and Woody stop giving Bargs so many minutes as the season progresses. If Woody can find a way for the Knicks to tread water without Tyson on the floor, the Knicks will overachieve. Preserving an effective Tyson while still playing winning basketball will be the knicks’ biggest challenge.

    Also, howdy y’all.

  106. BigBlueAL

    Just realized the Knicks have had some real bad luck with opponents hitting game winning floaters from the right baseline lol.

  107. mokers

    My big hope for the Knicks this season was that they’d be an improved defensive team, with Chandler returning to form, Shump staying healthy for a full season, Pablo doing his pesky thing and MWP bringing his physical defensive game to the party.

    Chandler coming back to form is a really great development.

    I really wonder how long Woody will take to realize Bargnani t the 5 with Melo or STAT at the 4 is just not going work.

  108. xduckshoex

    The Knicks late game playcalling is always puzzling. I can stomach the isolation on the last shot but I really wish a screen would have been set for him. On the possession prior to that I like running the pick and roll but Melo should have been the guy with the ball running his man off the Chandler screens, and when Melo had Noah on him the previous possession he should not have tried to take him one on one from the three point arc because that’s not the mismatch it is with other centers. Noah has proven over and over again that he is more than capable of sticking with the best wing scorers for short stretches when the Bulls really need it.

    And Bargnani is the worst thing to happen to the Knicks in a long time. That might sound like hyperbole but I’ve seen more of Bargnani than most Raptors fans even have and I can say with confidence that he is among the worst help defenders I’ve ever seen and even when he is hitting shots his offensive game doesn’t help enough to make up for it. He sets terrible screens, has no idea where he should be on offense a lot of the time(spots up inside the arc way too often) and has no idea where his teammates are when he starts making his move. We’re going to see a lot of games like tonight, where Bargnani is -9 in a close loss.

  109. PabloPepperoni

    Bargnani is also incredibly clumsy with the ball in his hands. Shaky handle and fumbles his passes. That third quarter was painful to watch. I was just thinking to myself [well at least Tyson is getting rest...well at least Tyson is getting rest]

  110. ephus

    And Bargnani is the worst thing to happen to the Knicks in a long time.

    Impossible. Bargnani basically took Novak’s spot. He cost Novak, a mid-First Round pick in 2016 and a couple of conditional second round picks. His money comes from the Dolans, and does not clog the cap in any year that the Knicks might have had flexibility.

    No matter how badly Bargnani plays, he cannot compare to:

    1. The Eddy Curry experience;
    2. The Isiah Thomas pre-mature extension;
    3. The Larry Brown meltdown;
    4. D’Antoni vs. ‘Melo;
    5. Chris Duhon, second half of the year;
    6. Starbury vs. D’Antoni;
    7. Starbury/the Truck/Anucha Brown Sanders;
    8. Sprewell vs. Dolan; and
    9. The series of post-Ewing trades (2000 – 2005).

  111. mase

    Anyone notice how hot bargs got in the beginning of second half and then melo needed to get his shot going and couldn’t hit. He took bargs out of the game

  112. ruruland

    duckshoe, Melo beat Noah to the help and had a wide open Chandler under the basket. That was the right play, just the end was poorly executed.

  113. xduckshoex

    @Ephus – A lot of the things you mention happened when the team was mired in mediocrity. Adding Bargnani is the kind of move that can take a team from being a borderline contender back to mediocrity, to me that’s much worse.

    Novak would be better for the Knicks. He’s actually better defensively and he has an elite level offensive skill even if he doesn’t have much outside of that.

  114. PabloPepperoni

    “Chandler coming back to form is a really great development.

    I really wonder how long Woody will take to realize Bargnani t the 5 with Melo or STAT at the 4 is just not going work.”

    I feel like Woodson knows already but is just trying to make the delusional realize how terrible he really is. I can’t believe the number of times I’ve heard “I’m actually in the minority. Bargnani is a really good pick up for the knicks.” The only thing Bargnani is worth is 6 fouls and rest for Tyson. Even Jason Collins would be a better option

  115. xduckshoex

    duckshoe, Melo beat Noah to the help and had a wide open Chandler under the basket. That was the right play, just the end was poorly executed.

    Well Chandler was only open because everyone(including Chandler) was getting ready to rebound once Melo went up for the shot. I don’t think we can say Chandler was open because the Knicks ran the right play.

    Situational set plays is one of Woodson’s strengths, the Knicks should have a few go to plays that they run in situations like that.

  116. ruruland

    That wasn’t any play at all. It was a failure by the Bulls to match-up in transition, which Melo recognized and wisely took advantage of.
    A guard had Chandler inside and for most centers in the NBA it’s a post-up without a big in the paint.
    Chandler was incredible tonight. He’s off to a super start. But he assumed when Melo drove the shot was going up, even as his man left him to seal off the drive.

  117. xduckshoex

    Steve Novak is not better defensively.

    Sure he is. Bargnani can body up big men well enough but he’s so much worse at everything else. Novak is by no means a good defender, but I don’t think Knicks fans quite grasp how bad Bargnani is yet. Novak can actually follow a defensive scheme and rotate somewhat effectively, Bargnani has zero clue what to do. Did you see Chandler actually maneuvering Bargnani around on defense tonight because he didn’t know where to be? That’s not because he’s new and doesn’t understand yet, you could see that throughout his career in Toronto.

    Going off a rough estimate I’ve probably seen 80% of the games Bargnani has played in the NBA to date(I live an hour from Toronto and have lived with a Raptors fan for almost 6 years) so I’m a lot more familiar with him than most are. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a worse help defender in my life. David Lee laughs at his defensive awareness.

    The debate surrounding Bargnani among Knicks fans is interesting to me because the same conversation was happening amongst Raptors fans from around 2008-2011 with a pretty fair split between “he’s not THAT bad/he has SOME skills” and “he is almost entirely useless” which ended with almost all of them thinking something really close to the latter. I have a feeling this one isn’t going to take as long to get to that point, Knicks fans tend to have higher standards.

  118. PabloPepperoni

    @xduckshoex To your point, Novak was usually able to guard the opposing team’s worst offensive player without much cost to the rest of the team. It’s why Synergy statistically ranked him so high as a defensive player despite all that was obvious to the naked eye. When Bargnani is playing 4 or 5, there’s no way you can get away with that without easy buckets. Novak usually guarded bad perimeter players and let them either hit open jumpshots or usually got help. A defensive nothing of a big is far more costly to a team.

    Also, Novak is a better offensive player for the time he spends on a court. He’s not going to take bad shots and he’ll keep the ball moving if the shot isn’t there.

  119. BigBlueAL

    Trading for Bargnani should not have the type of negative impact it could have as long as Woodson doesnt play him. There really is no need to force feed Bargs playing time. I could care less if trading for him was a waste of a roster spot. Plant his ass on the bench if he sucks period. No need to have to justify the trade.

  120. ruruland

    I don’t think you realize how bad Novak was defensively, and also how frequently he was the culprit of defensive breakdowns and missed rotations.

    His inability to dribble and move at the same time often put teammates in poor situations on offense.

    Bargnani will create more plays, rebound more, defend opposing posts better, defend in isolation better, be roughly equal to Novak in team defense.

    He won’t hit shots at nearly the rate Novak did, but if he can be in the 560-70 TS range with a that sub 10 to %, he’ll be better than Novak was last year.

    NOVAK COULD NOT GET ON THE COURT IN THE PLAYOFFS despite horrific shooting everywhere else. He was ABSOLUTELY worthless on both ends of the floor.

  121. ruruland

    Dude ,just stop. Novak played about 60 percent of his minutes at power forward last year, just as AB is likely to this year.

  122. BigBlueAL

    Bargs has 3 rebs in 42 mins this season. He should not be guaranteed playing time, just like Udrih isnt and KMart and Stat arent (although for physical reasons). I dont mind having him on the roster, he got hot in the 3rd quarter and Im sure he will have a bunch of hot shooting stretches like that. But to me he should be given minutes sporadically and when he has earned them not given minutes so he can find his game or whatever like Woodson was saying after last night when he said he has to give him more minutes to help him find his game.

    This team has more than enough depth and currently is healthy enough that force feeding Bargs minutes could cost them games early during the season. He will definitely get playing time because of injuries to Chandler/Stat/KMart so again I dont think he should be gettting DNPs the rest of the season. But right now with the entire front court healthy he shouldnt be getting that much playing time IMO.

  123. Brian Cronin

    Bargs has 3 rebs in 42 mins this season. He should not be guaranteed playing time, just like Udrih isnt and KMart and Stat arent (although for physical reasons). I dont mind having him on the roster, he got hot in the 3rd quarter and Im sure he will have a bunch of hot shooting stretches like that. But to me he should be given minutes sporadically and when he has earned them not given minutes so he can find his game or whatever like Woodson was saying after last night when he said he has to give him more minutes to help him find his game.

    This team has more than enough depth and currently is healthy enough that force feeding Bargs minutes could cost them games early during the season. He will definitely get playing time because of injuries to Chandler/Stat/KMart so again I dont think he should be gettting DNPs the rest of the season. But right now with the entire front court healthy he shouldnt be getting that much playing time IMO.

    You know you and I are simpatico on this point. If he can help the team, great, let him show he can help the team. Guaranteeing him minutes on such a deep team seems foolish to me.

  124. xduckshoex

    Guaranteeing Bargnani minutes is indeed foolish, but I don’t think the Knicks sent a pick for him, paid his trade kicker and agreed to pay him $10 million a season to have him sit the bench. It’s long been suspected that Bargnani’s playing time in Toronto was at the behest of management, I wouldn’t be surprised if something similar happened here.

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