Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

2015-16 Game Thread: Knicks @ Thunder

The Knicks are in Oklahoma City to play the Thunder tonight. Luckily, in a major piece of good news for the Knicks, Kevin Durant will be out for tonight’s game – he is still recovering from an injury. Without Kevin Durant, the Thunder are not a bad team, but they are a very beatable team, as so much of the squad’s success is built around the two man game of Westbrook and Durant.

This isn’t to say that tonight will be an easy win, of course, as Westbrook is an extremely strong player who happens to play a position that the Knicks have some trouble with. If they can’t stay in front of Mo Williams, how will they stay in front of Russell freakin’ Westbrook? So except Westbrook to get a lot of points.

But other than that, the Knicks should be right in this thing. I think they have a very good chance of taking this one and if so, that will mean that they will be over .500 13 games into the season. That’s kind of awesome, right?

Let’s go Knicks!

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204 comments on “2015-16 Game Thread: Knicks @ Thunder

  1. dtrickey

    Ha ha there is a very real chance Westbrook goes huge tonight. I would love to see Grant get a lot of minutes on Westbrook, just for the simple fact that he can get a feel for how a very good scoring 1 get the job done. I would love to see Grant start making the most of his penetration, and what better person to see do it than Westbrook.

  2. ptmilo

    Langston has never been accused of choking a 19 year old at a club in NYC. Westbrook and JR Smith have a 50% accusation rate this week alone.

  3. DRed

    Remember when Russ came back from some injury last year and basically beat the Knicks by himself by the end of the first quarter?

  4. ptmilo

    a man called sam dalembert started that game for us, which makes it seem like it must have been about 12 years ago

  5. Owen

    That turnover was atrocious but whatever, Westbrook bricked it. But the iso, brick, iso, travel sequence was a little brutal.

    Still expecting good things from him of course.

    Rebecca Harlow freaks me out a little bit, not sure why…..

    My wife already doesn’t like her too…

  6. vincoug

    @10

    I’m pretty sure that’s because Westbrook is a crazy person and takes things like accidentally not high fiving him personally.

  7. ptmilo

    both lineups are horrible right now. langston and morrow should just stop play and have a 3pt shootout until the starters are rested.

  8. Owen

    It’s bizarre Sasha is getting any minutes anywhere. And that he even considers life living after seeing Sugarpova walk out of his life.

  9. ptmilo

    please let this be the inflection point of KOQ and grant moving back ahead of sasha and seraphin in the rotation

  10. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Yeah, how Waiters is on the Thunder mystifies me…

    They’ve got experienced decision-makers in the front office! They have inside information and years of experience and instinct! You just don’t get his upside!

    /Z-Man-baiting sarcasm

  11. d-mar

    Anyone else get Comcast? They’re fighting with YES and dropped the channel. Fortunately, the Nets are unwatchable anyway.

  12. Brian Cronin Post author

    The only way the Thunder can win without Durant is for Westbrook to have unreal games. Luckily, this looks pretty darn real so far!!

    And yeah, Waiters…wow…

  13. Owen

    The difference in length btw Rolo-KP and frontcourts I can remember is just startling. I am thinking of the immortal Lee-Curry defensive pairing in particular.

  14. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    The OKC color commentator just said “the fruits of their reward.” Is he talking about J.C.? That’s some Psalm 127 ish right there.

  15. Jp

    If the knicks can limit OKCs second chance opportunities they migth be able to get out of there with a win.

  16. MarvsTeeth

    OKC played terribly and are losing by 4. Not feeling real good about this one.

    The law of the 2015-16 Knicks is that no matter how well or poorly anyone plays, Knicks included, it will come down to the 4th quarter.

  17. Frank O.

    I actually think the Knicks have shown pluck. KP has played mediocre, and Melo had a down start, they gave up 11 O boards and yet they lead by 4.
    See what I did there?
    Half full cup, baby.

  18. Frank O.

    Remember this OKC team averages 110 a game. They have 64 going into the fourth.
    Very nice effort so far. D has been very good. Calderon having an excellent fame, as is Gallo.
    That last shot felt a bit like last tear’s empty headed place. Nice it went in but stupid tactically.

  19. Frank O.

    Suddenly, stupid play. Charges. Backing off with seconds left on shot clock. Melo losing track of the clock. Calderon becoming a matador.

  20. Brian Cronin Post author

    On the one hand, don’t get me wrong, when the Knicks are hitting threes like this, they’ll beat anyone. So I shouldn’t knock the Thunder.

    On the other hand, holy shit, how awful is this Thunder team when Durant is not on it and Westbrook isn’t having, like, an ungodly game? I mean, I guess you can’t knock them for that (“When their MVP player is hurt, they’re not that good” isn’t saying a lot), but still, daaaang.

    Still, the end result is great for us! So I’m loving it!

  21. thenoblefacehumper

    A lot of ugly ISO possessions down the stretch here but they’ve worked to an extent so hard to complain

  22. yellowboy90

    The one time Fisher doesn’t want to bring in Lance. smh. Lance for Lopez would be real smart right now.

  23. ruruland

    They aren’t running the GD offense through Lopez. Westbrook made a total freelance play on a simple hand-off.

  24. yellowboy90

    4th qtr Melo has been awful this year.

    Also, did Fisher leave in Lopez and take out KP. He is so smart. smh.

  25. Frank O.

    Ruru, they’ve been doing that pass to Lopez all night. Westbrook freelanced because they’ve been doing it over and over.

  26. yellowboy90

    DId Fisher actually keep Calderon on defense instead of putting in Gallo after a timeout? this coach is on another level

  27. d-mar

    Holy shit, you guys are ridiculous. The Knicks were 7 point underdogs and you’re acting like they should be cruising to victory. And yes Melo did miss 2 foul shots, but he also made a huge jumper and grabbed a huge rebound.

    Calm down!

  28. ptmilo

    i think if we play that game 100 times and everything is identical except the same players taking the same 3s reshoot, we lose 99. but we won the only one that happened, so ring it up.

  29. Brian Cronin Post author

    Gave em every opportunity to beat us. And we still won. I’m glass half full on this one.

    Yeah, come on, better to celebrate the wins when they get them! I am thrilled that they’re actually over .500. They’re not a particularly good team, but over .500, baby!!

  30. er

    This team is good defensively. But they were beaten like government mules on the thunder offensive glass.

    A lot of crunch time shot making as well which is nice

  31. The Infamous Cdiggy

    Mannnn could they have made those last few minutes any tighter??
    You know what tho??? Fuck it. They won. Let them eventually learn how to run their offense in late-game pressure situations and gain confidence and reps while winning some of ’em.

    They got the win in OKC. Yeah no Durant, but Westbrook didn’t go complete HAM. That’s a feather in the cap. 6-5, 3-game win streak during a brutal early schedule.

    Let’s all take that and call it a night… lol.

  32. Starks

    yeah win is a win. Calderon’s playing better overall and the addition of afflalo has helped. Need more Gallo though. I remember Zinger got burned a few times by Ibaka, but when you look at the box score he played him about even.

  33. Brian Cronin Post author

    Hey at least we are good enough this year to win games we don’t play great. Last year? Lose by 20.

    Oh, totally. This is by far a loss last year.

  34. Brian Cronin Post author

    In Dion Waiters shot selection we trust :).

    Oh man. Freakin’ Dion Waiters. Wow, what an awful basketball player.

  35. Frank O.

    I don’t think it’s fair to say the Knicks are not a good team or that they were terrible tonight.
    They played a tough team, with a guard coming off two 40 pt games, on OKC’s home court.
    They played excellent D most of the night and held them to 20 points below their average. They had trouble executing down the stretch, but Melo and Afflalo hit key jumpers, Lopez made two important free throws and they played well enough to hold off a furious surge by the home team.
    Contributions from Thomas and DWill were key and Cakderon held his own most of the night against Westbrook.
    Really, did anyone truly believe they would get the W?

  36. ruruland

    OKC went 11-4 at home w/out Durant, playing a grueling sked (losses to SA, Dallas, Houston and LAC)

    It beat Portland, Chicago, Miami, Atlanta at home without KD.

    Don’t be fooled by the naysayers, that’s a very good win.

  37. mokers

    Hey in order to blow 4th quarter leads, you need to have a fourth quarter lead. Better to have led then lost than to have never led at all. But yes nice that they can still grind out some of these wins. I think fisher has been ok overall, but some obvious bad decisions toward the end. Had a few chances to go offense/defense and missed them. Why we didn’t foul up three is another mystery. But really this team is in no position to complain about ugly wins especially on the road. A win is always a nice way to start a road trip

  38. Brian Cronin Post author

    Hey in order to blow 4th quarter leads, you need to have a fourth quarter lead. Better to have led then lost than to have never led at all. But yes nice that they can still grind out some of these wins. I think fisher has been ok overall, but some obvious bad decisions toward the end. Had a few chances to go offense/defense and missed them. Why we didn’t foul up three is another mystery. But really this team is in no position to complain about ugly wins especially on the road. A win is always a nice way to start a road trip

    Oh definitely, you certainly shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth. A win is a win is a win is a win. You hope to get more of them than losses. Three in a row is pretty damn sweet. I have no complaints.

  39. massive

    OKC is not a good team anymore. They really miss Thabo and James Harden, and Ibaka is officially a pumpkin. If KD misses extended time, the Thunder will miss the playoffs again. OKC has zero ability to draw free agents and they haven’t drafted well in quite some time. I think KD leaves them and Russ follows suit in 2017. They’re done.

    Great win either way. We were in control most of the game, but we need to do better when it comes to ending the fight early.

  40. Brian Cronin Post author

    I think KD leaves them and Russ follows suit in 2017.

    As long as all three of their Big Three play, they’re still a very good team, so I think KD re-ups for another year and then heads to free agency with Westbrook. They just aren’t very well set up to handle any absences of their three big players. Just like last year, unless Westbrook scores, like, 40 points, they’re kind of fucked. I know he thrives under the pressure, but it must be nuts to know, “I have to score 40 or we’re probably going to lose.” He still does so enough that they still win their share of games. We saw glimpses tonight late in the game of how transcendent he can be. He seemingly wiped out most of the deficit in a manner of seconds.

  41. GoNyGoNYGo

    Note to self: Get a bottle of Pepto Bismol before I watch the next Knick game. There ain’t nothing easy in Knickland. This is a game we should have lost. We got a lucky win.

    What got to me was how Fisher mismanaged the last two minutes of the game. First, I disagree having Calderon guard Westbrook in crunch time. Galloway must be there to cover. So Fisher has Calderon out there and instead of getting the ball to the NBA all-time best free throw shooter or to the better ball-handers, the Knicks inbound to the big men??? What’s up with that?

  42. massive

    Have you seen Serge’s advanced numbers? That .109 WS/48 to go along with a sub .500 TS% lead me to conclude that Serge Ibaka is no longer the top 5 power forward he once was

  43. er

    @195 i strongly disagree. The Knicks were raining threes all night and played great defense. There is nothing lucky about that.

    In the fourth Robin Lopez was throwing the ball all over the place and Russ hit a crazy three to make it close. To say that the Knicks should have lost that game reeks of pessimism.

    If the Thunder won that game then THEY could have said that

  44. Z-man

    This win was entirely due to the genius of Phil Jackson, greatest basketball mind ever. At least, east of Portland.

  45. massive

    Here is where I stand on the Thunder:

    I was watching Kevin Durant’s document about his off season, and the part that stands out to me is where he’s taking you through the process of the Pau Gasol recruitment. He was texting Pau every day. When Pau signed with Chicago, Kevin was hurt because he knew Pau along with Russ and Ibaka had a chance to win an NBA title. The truth is Pau + OKC > Pau + Chicago, but Pau chose Chicago because they’re in a bigger market. Oklahoma City has added a total of zero free agent acquisitions of a bona fide difference maker. The organization also hasn’t drafted a difference maker since James Harden (or Ibaka; whichever guy came last). Oklahoma City, as constructed, cannot beat Golden State or San Antonio. If Houston gets their shit together, OKC would lose to them, too. The Clippers are better than them right now despite Chris Paul’s 6 foot stature. If I’m Kevin Durant, I’m looking at an organization that cannot put better pieces around me through either the draft or free agency and I’m realizing we don’t have enough to win. The same way LeBron and every superstar who left their first team realized it is the same way KD will. He will walk in the off season after OKC either misses the playoffs entirely or gets ousted in the 1st round. Russell will surely walk or be traded for assets after that. OKC was fun while they lasted, but their inability to draft as of recent and their inability to attract free agents will be the determining factors.

  46. Brian Cronin Post author

    I was watching Kevin Durant’s document about his off season, and the part that stands out to me is where he’s taking you through the process of the Pau Gasol recruitment. He was texting Pau every day. When Pau signed with Chicago, Kevin was hurt because he knew Pau along with Russ and Ibaka had a chance to win an NBA title. The truth is Pau + OKC > Pau + Chicago, but Pau chose Chicago because they’re in a bigger market. Oklahoma City has added a total of zero free agent acquisitions of a bona fide difference maker. The organization also hasn’t drafted a difference maker since James Harden (or Ibaka; whichever guy came last). Oklahoma City, as constructed, cannot beat Golden State or San Antonio. If Houston gets their shit together, OKC would lose to them, too. The Clippers are better than them right now despite Chris Paul’s 6 foot stature. If I’m Kevin Durant, I’m looking at an organization that cannot put better pieces around me through either the draft or free agency and I’m realizing we don’t have enough to win. The same way LeBron and every superstar who left their first team realized it is the same way KD will. He will walk in the off season after OKC either misses the playoffs entirely or gets ousted in the 1st round. Russell will surely walk or be traded for assets after that. OKC was fun while they lasted, but their inability to draft as of recent and their inability to attract free agents will be the determining factors.

    I am not saying that he’ll stay with them long term (although I wouldn’t be surprised if he does), but I think either way he signs with them for one more year, as it sets him up for an insane payday in 2017, at the same time Westbrook will be a free agent, so if they leave together it won’t be him leaving and he’ll still have one more year with Westbook where, who knows?

  47. Brian Cronin Post author

    @195 i strongly disagree. The Knicks were raining threes all night and played great defense. There is nothing lucky about that.

    Yeah, the Thunder were certainly not good, but with the way they were hitting threes, the Knicks likely would have beaten 90% of the teams in the NBA tonight. That doesn’t mean that Fisher called a good game at the end, though, of course, as I agree that he did not. At least it didn’t kill them like some of Woodson’s end of game “game-calling” (or whatever it was that Woodson did at the end of the games. I dunno if you can fairly call it game-calling).

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