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Friday, December 19, 2014

Bobcats 102, Knicks 97

Editor’s Note: The following recap was originally written for ESPN’s Daily Dime. As such, it has been written in as professional manner as possible, and without much in the way of crude jokes and jabs. I hope you’re OK with that.

There are few for whom the storied hardwood of Madison Square Garden has served as a more incendiary stage than Kemba Walker – UConn hero, Bronx native, bona fide Big East legend.

He just never thought he’d be playing the role of World’s Greatest Villain.

Buoyed by Walker’s 25 points, six assists, and five rebounds, the Bobcats outlasted the Knicks – and overcame their own late-game snafus – to eek out a 102-97 win Tuesday night, bringing Charlotte’s record to 2-2 and sending Knick Knation into full-blown early-season panic.

Y’all can click here to read the rest of the Dime lead, if you want. I’m gonna go back to feeling ill.

65 comments on “Bobcats 102, Knicks 97

  1. Jack Bauer

    That was B A D . Metta played well, but hopes for a turnaround are looking pretty grim with Chandler out. Now is the time for Woodson to prove he can get creative with this roster and at least get them playing better.

  2. MarcusRinaldi

    Can Metta jump anymore? While he scored a lot, I don’t like how he stops the ball on offense so much. It’s almost like having two Melos sometimes, he needs to move it around more. It feels like shumperts offense just disappears sometimes too. We need him to be more assertive and get his looks.

  3. coyle022

    player grades

    Melo: C-

    Metta World Peace : B

    Priggy Smalls: B-

    Amare Stoudemire: D

    KMart: C

    Andrea Bargnani:D+

    Raymond Felton: C+

    Steve Novak: WE MISS YOU STEVE

    Iman Shumpert: C

    Lil’ Cock: C-

    Udrih: INC

    Chandler: INC (PROBABLE INJURY DIAGNOSIS: LEG AMPUTATION REQUIRED)

    Aldrich: F- only because of that horrendous Westbrook-ian suit and the “Intelligence” glasses

    Murry: A+ would have won us the game

    Lil’ Pipe: A for helping tape down the ice on Chandler’s knee

    WOODSON: Dismissed from the University. Plaigarism, sexual harrasment in and out of the classroom, and drug dealing all in the same night.
    Seriously he deserves a MAJOR F. The switching may/may not be a good idea against “elite” teams, but why in the world are we switching EVERYTHING against the Bobcats? Head-scratching move when straight up, no – help, man to man D likely keeps them under wraps.

    As many have stated here, this ship be sinking. Just hoping that we A)make the playoffs and B) avoid a 1st round sweep.

  4. BigBlueAL

    I knew this was going to be a bad night after reading all of Woodson’s stupid pre-game quotes.

  5. coyle022

    SPORTSCENTER UPDATE ON TYSON CHANDLER: just heard the info. during Knicks highlight-apparently they think that it is a sprained knee. Not terrible news, and the (sort of) silver lining is that it happened in game 4. Maybe we will figure out who deserves PT and who doesn’t while Chandler is out.

  6. Brian Cronin

    Knee sprain is what the Knicks think it is (and it most likely is that) but we won’t know for sure until the MRI Wednesday morning.

  7. danvt

    Is it too late to get a refund on my league pass? Gosh that was awful. The Bobcats looked better and more athletic 1-10. I didn’t expect a championship this year but I did expect a strong team. Now, I’m not even sure about the playoffs. OK, breath into a paper bag, Daniel.

    Maybe now Woodson gets serious and goes with what works. Looks like Bargnani earned his reputation fully. Amar’e may be completely done. Those guys should be getting DNP’s right now. Maybe we should just do two pgs in both a first and second unit. Let Shump and Metta play the three. let Melo and Kmart play the 4, and Free Cole Aldrich.

    Little things that didn’t seem important now loom large. The 2016 1st round pick. Cutting Ike Diogu. Just a horrible organization that doesn’t deserve the best fans in the world. Maybe it’s too early to draw such conclusions but I’m miserable right now.

  8. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    … … …

    I’ll wait until mid-season to be crowned, yet again, king of predictions.

  9. flossy

    … … …

    I’ll wait until mid-season to be crowned, yet again, king of predictions.

    Oh really? You don’t want your medal right now, after 4 games?

  10. Hubert

    Watching the game last night, there was one thing I kept thinking.

    We spent most of the summer arguing the AB trade. And the pro-AB side (of which I was a member) was all based on the assumption that Toronto just used him wrong and we were going to use him to his skills (which are limited, but do exist).

    So I’m watching this game, and it just hits me over the head like a brick. RuRu knows more about how to use AB than anyone in our organization. No one looked into his efficiency as a spot-up shooter. No one thought we were going to make the trade pay by using him in a way to get the best out of him. No one thought of him as a better Novak.

    We brought him here to provide size. T We brought him here to *reprise* the role he had on Toronto, not to change it. We gave a 1st round pick to have him reprise that role. We’re that dumb.

    We have an organizational failure, and it permeates every level. The further we get from the Donnie Walsh era, the more fucked we are. Woodson *is* going to get fired (because he can’t solve the problem and Dolan will not be patient), but not even for the right reasons. I don’t like him, but the next guy *is* going to be worse because Dolan will be the one hiring him (Donnie hired Woodson, I believe).

    There’s only one solution. We have to kill James Dolan.

  11. Nick C.

    The fall behind by double digits, rally valiantly, fall short pattern is disturbingly familiar. But it’s 4 games so I’ll leave it at that. On a team that was starving for rebounds wouldn’t it make sense to get Aldrich off the bench since from the numbers that were shown on this board he is actually good at that? Amare I will worry about in a week. He always looks like crap, to my memory, for his first few games. The meshing, gelling, etc. stuff is old and also is a creepy refrain from the past. Give it a few weeks and see if having JR Smith return helps, if nothing else by reducing misses of the athletic looking, fluid but so far unproductive THJ.

  12. Brian Cronin

    On a team that was starving for rebounds wouldn’t it make sense to get Aldrich off the bench since from the numbers that were shown on this board he is actually good at that?

    Aldrich wasn’t active, so they couldn’t use him last night. I presume he will be active Friday (although hopefully Chandler will somehow be ready to play by then).

  13. Nick C.

    Watching the game last night, there was one thing I kept thinking.

    We spent most of the summer arguing the AB trade. And the pro-AB side (of which I was a member) was all based on the assumption that Toronto just used him wrong and we were going to use him to his skills (which are limited, but do exist).

    So I’m watching this game, and it just hits me over the head like a brick. RuRu knows more about how to use AB than anyone in our organization. No one looked into his efficiency as a spot of shooter. No one thought we were going to make the trade pay by using him in a way to get the best out of him. No one thought of him as a better Novak.

    We brought him here to reprise the same role he had on Toronto. We gave a 1st round pick to have him reprise that role. We’re that dumb.

    We have an organizational failure, and it permeates every level. The further we get from the Donnie Walsh era, the more fucked we are. Woodson *is* going to get fired, but not even for the right reasons. I don’t like him, but the next guy *is* going to be worse because Dolan will be the one hiring him (Donnie hired Woodson, I believe).

    There’s only one solution. We have to kill James Dolan.

    I saw Zeller drive and dunk and thought “wasn’t that supposed to be a skill that made Bargs such a rare unique diverse talent and here Cody f’in Zeller is doing it” I think perhaps the Bargas talk and hypothesizing was all just that and nothing more. I still haven’t gotten any infor on whether everyone shoots better spotting up or if this is some unique skill that Bargs has but then again I don’t expect to.

  14. Brian Cronin

    We brought him here to provide size. T We brought him here to *reprise* the role he had on Toronto, not to change it. We gave a 1st round pick to have him reprise that role. We’re that dumb.

    Either way was dumb.

    Bringing him in to play the same role is dumb. But giving up a first round draft pick to have a slightly better version of Steve Novak to play the Novak role would be dumb, too.

  15. Hubert

    2 Melos, now that would be scary……the day ball movement died

    I’m sure Woodson will play a Felton-JR-MWP-Melo-Center lineup before it’s all said and done, because SIZE!

    That will be something.

  16. cgreene

    Allow me to pile on to the Woodson fiasco. All this tough love that he is giving to Shumpert with threatening to start JR and not be encouraging to him I believe as hurt his confidence. He’s a fiery kid who plays with swag. Woodson is deadening his fire instead of maximizing it.

    I believe that the Knicks are planning to trade Shumpert. I would not be surprised at all if he is gone by Christmas. Just a gut.

  17. Frank O.

    Honestly, this isn’t a personnel issue; it’s a coaching issue.
    Woodson keeps screwing around with line ups. He needs to shorten the bench.
    Amare can’t get any rhythm playing once every three days. Melo can’t develop any chemistry with his teammates as people shuffle in an out. AB still isn’t comfortable being something he’s not. And Shump is trying to do too much.
    The only guy on the team who is being asked to be who he is is Chandler, and it showed in his play. And now, like last year, he clashed with an attacking guards knee and he’s hurt.
    My point is that Woodson is screwing with team chemistry.
    The whole team is out of sync.
    Settle on a rotation, nine players.
    Right now, Woodson seems overmatched. He had the entire preseason to sort out what he had. Now we’re four games in and he’s still struggling.
    We’ve seen this with him before and he eventually settles. But he appears to be over-thinking it.

  18. Hubert

    I’m trying to give Woodson the benefit of the doubt. He seems to feel that the Felton-Prigioni lineups, while effective, were gimmicky and would get found out in the playoffs and wants to build something that has a greater chance of long term success. Let’s give him that for a second.

    What does he see that we’re gaining by going away from it? What can he see from these big lineups besides size? I spent the night trying to figure that out.

    Like playing TH2 over Pablo in the 3Q. At least there I can see he was thinking “I’m going to switch every play, and I want Shump and TH on the floor to switch onto Walker”. It was a bad logic, but I get it.

    What can he see from these AB at the 4 lineups other than straight tallness? One thing about last night (and Sunday) that was abundantly clear is those lineups are slow. Flat-footed and slow. Everyone is going to run circles around them.

  19. Hubert

    BigBlueAL November 6, 2013 at 2:16 am

    I knew this was going to be a bad night after reading all of Woodson’s stupid pre-game quotes.

    Those were tough to hear. It was caveman logic.

  20. KJG

    Point on Bargs… We thought he might thrive, or at least be ‘value-add’ now that he’s on a team where there’s less weight on his shoulders… But it seems like he’s completely lost out there with all this said weight dispersed around him… He has no place on the floor, he reacts slow, he cant move. His mid-range J is all that’s working if and when the other guys realize he’s on the floor… It’s one extreme to the other and he is failing in both. I don’t think there’s a happy medium. This team looks, simply put, dead. Complete 180 from last year and its hard to explain…

  21. Hubert

    cgreene November 6, 2013 at 8:24 am

    Allow me to pile on to the Woodson fiasco. All this tough love that he is giving to Shumpert with threatening to start JR and not be encouraging to him I believe as hurt his confidence. He’s a fiery kid who plays with swag. Woodson is deadening his fire instead of maximizing it.

    I believe that the Knicks are planning to trade Shumpert. I would not be surprised at all if he is gone by Christmas. Just a gut.

    I don’t think Shumpert is lacking confidence at all and I think the reason he isn’t looking as good has more to do with the lack of space, ball-movement, and ISO-heavy offense.

    But I do fear that he will be traded. Dolan is going to demand that Mills do something, and we only have one real asset to trade. The Shumpert for some journeyman trade is coming.

    Unless he fires his agent and hires CAA (come on, Shump, just do it!).

  22. Bruno Almeida

    So maybe people who actually watched Bargnani were right, instead of guys who only looked at synergy stuff?

    So surprising. He’s a terrible offensive player who can sometimes hit spot up or post up shots, and he’s the worse big man on defense I’ve ever seen.

  23. massive

    This game was honestly a shame. We play the Bobcats again on Friday, and if we don’t blow them out by 30, then I don’t know what to think of this team and their resolve. We got out rebounded by 18 last night. Carmelo Anthony played 45 minutes. This team just needs to figure it out and fast.

  24. Brian Cronin

    One thing I’d like to see us hopefully avoid is mocking any posters, especially when they’re not even here to defend themselves. We really don’t need to make this such an adversarial process. “Take that, Poster X!” Just make your points. You don’t need to bring other posters into it (not mentioning anyone in particular, as I’ve seen it from plenty of folks).

  25. d-mar

    Re: Bargnani – watch our offense when he’s in the game. He gets the ball at the top of the 3 point arc, holds it over his head, and then gives it back to the PG, also standing outside the arc. So we burn 5-6 seconds off the clock for what? If his strength is spot up shooting, why aren’t we running plays that capitalize on that? And if he’s being guarded by someone 4-5 inches shorter than him, shouldn’t he be able to get his shot off at will?

    If you have a guy who can’t defend but can score, when he’s in the game you need to figure out ways to get him in position to score. I really question Woody’s offensive creativity sometimes.

  26. Hubert

    Bruno Almeida November 6, 2013 at 9:00 am

    So maybe people who actually watched Bargnani were right, instead of guys who only looked at synergy stuff?

    The people who looked at the synergy stuff watched him play, too.

    Maybe the problem is that the coach doesn’t know what “the people who looked at the synergy stuff” do. The whole point put forth by “the people who looked at the synergy stuff” was that if we use him differently, we might be able we expect a different outcome.

    The fact that we are using him the same way Toronto did was not something anyone on the pro-AB side expected.

  27. massive

    Bargnani’s problem is that he is an absolutely horrible rebounder. It’s not the spacing; it’s the fact that he got 2 rebounds in 20+ minutes last night. If he’s coming into the game for a power forward or a center, then either he has to rebound or somebody else has to do it. I thought we had the rebounding on this team to make up for his lack in that area. Apparently we don’t. The man is a putrid 5, a terrible 4, and a below average 3. That’s where he needs to be played; the 3. You put him out there with Melo at the 4 and Chandler at the 5, and you might have something. But under no circumstances do you want Bargnani to be playing center. He’s terrible there. I don’t care about the spacing. Who cares about how well you space the floor in your possessions if you have less of them? That fundamental understanding is not being displayed by the guys in charge, and that bothers me. 2 rebounds for a guy who plays all of his minutes in the pivot? That’s just disgusting. And I was really optimistic about Bargnani coming into the season. He does have a .549 TS% this year, so that’s decent. He’s also a good post defender. He’s probably harder to score on, one on one, than Chandler because he gets his hands up and base set immediately compared to Chandler, who just sorta gets scored on because he’s going for the block. It’s just that his rebounding and team defense, the most important parts of being a pivot, are the worst I’ve ever witnessed.

    But to act like Bargnani is the only problem is a lie. We got the turnovers down, but we can’t keep fouling the way we do. If we stop fouling and stop playing Bargnani, we’ll be fine.

  28. Owen

    “Honestly, this isn’t a personnel issue; it’s a coaching issue.”

    It is a personnel issue. Chandler is our only great player. Melo is our only very good player. And right now he looks terrible. Prigioni is probably our next best player and he is only good for 20 minutes a game.

    As someone pointed out in the game thread we currently own the most expensive frontcourt in history (has to be right?) between Melo, Chandler, Stat, and Bargnani. And we might very well get no production from that going forward with AB nullifying the good Melo does.

    4 games in and this season feels like the most Knicks season ever. Hard to believe it got this bad this quick.

    It will get better, I think. But it’s looking pretty ugly at the moment….

  29. johnno

    All I can say is that I am very happy that, yesterday afternoon, I didn’t come up with some bright idea like, “Hey, maybe I’ll go on stubhub and take the kids to a Knick game tonight.” That was tough to watch on TV. I can’t imagine how pissed I would have been if I had dropped hundreds of dollars on tickets. I don’t mind watching my team get outplayed; what I can’t stand watching is watching my team get “out-tried.” Seriously, did anyone look like they really felt like playing a basketball game last night?

  30. er

    Owen i wholeheartedly disagree. The cost is of no consequence. Amare should not even play he looks 10x worse than Bargnani. The problem is simply playing rotations and switching constantly on D. In the last 3 Knick games the Knicks won 6 quarters and tied 1 quarter out of a possible 12. Obviously something isnt working in a few spurts of each game

  31. er

    All I can say is that I am very happy that, yesterday afternoon, I didn’t come up with some bright idea like, “Hey, maybe I’ll go on stubhub and take the kids to a Knick game tonight.” That was tough to watch on TV. I can’t imagine how pissed I would have been if I had dropped hundreds of dollars on tickets. I don’t mind watching my team get outplayed; what I can’t stand watching is watching my team get “out-tried.” Seriously, did anyone look like they really felt like playing a basketball game last night?

    Yep the second chance points were ridiculous

  32. er

    The elephant in the room is also JR. He was the second leading scorer last year and would cut down thj mins

  33. Owen

    So we are back to saying Chandler is great and Melo is good…….ok then

    I have never said anything different. Melo won a scoring title. But he remains easily the second best player on this team.

  34. Owen

    Owen i wholeheartedly disagree. The cost is of no consequence. Amare should not even play he looks 10x worse than Bargnani.

    I am not really saying it’s of consequence. It’s just classic Knicks to have the most expensive frontcourt in history and barely be getting anything from it for the the next few games.

    Melo will come round. Chandler will get healthy. It will be ok. Just amusing….

  35. thenamestsam

    I have to say after a loss like that getting a recap without the normal double dose of vitriol and scorn left me feeling a little empty, but nice recap nonetheless Jim. Always nice to see the Knickblogger writers getting some well-deserved shine from the outside world.

    And that concludes the nice things I have to say, because try as I might I don’t have a single positive thing to say about the performance last night. I thought the Minnesota game would be a bit of a wake-up call, but it doesn’t seem to have worked because the team was totally flat last night. No effort on the glass or on D until the game was already slipping well away from them and the offense looked every bit as disjointed as I’ve quickly come to expect this year. I mean seriously how many guys on that Charlotte team did you have to do a double-take to even remember who they were? This Knicks team may very well not be as talented as we thought, but giving up a 64 point first half to that team is not a talent issue. Even without Tyson and JR this team has far more than enough talent to deal with Charlotte at home. The team simply wasn’t ready to play, not in terms of their focus and mentality, and not in terms of their strategic preparation.

  36. Frank

    So we are back to saying Chandler is great and Melo is good…….ok then

    I have never said anything different. Melo won a scoring title. But he remains easily the second best player on this team.

    They’re both great players, but on this particular team, Tyson (doing what he had been doing this year, doing what he did in 11-12) is more indispensable than Melo. That said, it doesn’t really matter who’s “better” — truth is, this team is going nowhere unless we have both a healthy Carmelo Anthony AND a healthy Tyson Chandler.

    If God forbid Tyson has an ACL or something that puts him out for the year — I honestly wonder whether we should just blow the thing up now. Watching the play it didn’t look that bad, but people have torn ACLs with less traumatic-appearing injuries. The fact that x-rays were “inconclusive” makes me worried. Those things are basically always negative right after the injury unless there is stuff torn off the bone or if there is a fracture.

  37. er

    I have never said anything different. Melo won a scoring title. But he remains easily the second best player on this team.

    I agree. You never did waiver from that. I disagree with you but you have been consistent.

  38. hotdamn

    Sucks for Metta that THIS is the chance he’s getting with his beloved Knicks. Sucks for Melo that the team around him is falling apart. Sucks for us fans that we’ll probably be stuck with Melo and JR for the next 4 years — with no draft picks to make up for the years when this team is an abject failure. What next….Isiah on the sidelines? FML.

  39. Hubert

    Owen November 6, 2013 at 9:53 am

    “Honestly, this isn’t a personnel issue; it’s a coaching issue.”

    It is a personnel issue.

    It’s a coaching issue, and a personnel issue.

    Really, it’s an organizational issue.

  40. Hubert

    johnno November 6, 2013 at 9:58 am

    All I can say is that I am very happy that, yesterday afternoon, I didn’t come up with some bright idea like, “Hey, maybe I’ll go on stubhub and take the kids to a Knick game tonight.”

    That hurts, Johnno. On the bright side, the tickets were just $45. And I don’t have kids!

    Tickets are going to be cheap this year, so we’ve got that going for us. I actually almost bought a half-season ticket package. It would have been $6,000; and I’m not one of those people to whom $6,000 isn’t a lot of money. I came really close (was going to get a seats in the new bridge) until a friend talked me out of it. I am buying that friend a really nice something for the holidays.

  41. hotdamn

    Hubert…good point. The only good thing going for real fans…is that fake moneygrubbing scalpers are going to get their asses handed to them if the team continues to stink up the newly renovated Garden. Maybe Nets fans will start filling up the Garden when they travel for the battle of the boroughs like Knicks fans used to at Izod. Our owner’s worst nightmare.

  42. Hubert

    By the way, call me crazy, but I didn’t leave that arena thinking we didn’t try hard. I didn’t think effort was the issue. They beat us to spots on the court because they were faster and more athletic than us, IMO. On offense, we looked lethargic because the game plan was all-iso-all-the-time, which involves a lot of people standing still.

    MWP and Shump, in particular, played hard. And Melo played 45 mins!

    I wish it was effort, because then the solution would be easier.

  43. JK47

    If Chandler has to miss time, which seems a certainty, you just know what “plan b” is: Andrea Bargnani, starting center, getting 30+ minutes of burn. Because, you know, “big” and all.

  44. Frank

    Tyson out 4-6 weeks with non displaced fibula fracture. I’d count that as lucky. Looked to me like possibly ACL or more complicated fracture.

    looks like we better hope K-Mart and Cole Aldrich are ready to play. Because they’re going to play A LOT.

  45. ephus

    On Bargnani and rebounding, the Sportsvu stats show that Bargnani simply does get many rebounding opportunities. Thus far this season, he has averaged 3 rebounding opportunities per game (and grabbed 2 rebounds per game). I get that his perimeter game means that he will not get many offensive rebounding opportunities, but I want to watch more closely to see how he ends up more than 3.5 feet away from defensive rebounds so consistently. I do not think he is leaking out early.

    Last night, the Knicks grabbed only 22 defensive rebounds and allowed Charlotte 16 offensive rebounds. It’s really hard to get a “stop” when every missed shot by the opposition is a 50/50 ball. This is part of defense that Bargnani (and the rest of the Knicks) have to improve.

  46. er

    On Bargnani and rebounding, the Sportsvu stats show that Bargnani simply does get many rebounding opportunities. Thus far this season, he has averaged 3 rebounding opportunities per game (and grabbed 2 rebounds per game). I get that his perimeter game means that he will not get many offensive rebounding opportunities, but I want to watch more closely to see how he ends up more than 3.5 feet away from defensive rebounds so consistently. I do not think he is leaking out early.

    Last night, the Knicks grabbed only 22 defensive rebounds and allowed Charlotte 16 offensive rebounds. It’s really hard to get a “stop” when every missed shot by the opposition is a 50/50 ball. This is part of defense that Bargnani (and the rest of the Knicks) have to improve.

    Those offensive boards were a killer. Now that Tyson is out with a broken leg Melo needs to avg 10-15 rebs a game :(

  47. Hubert

    We were a strong defensive rebounding team last year when we were smaller. 4th in the league in DRB%.

    But, you know, those kind of stats are still up in the air, right Coach? Better to have taller players than players who rebound when they’re on the court.

    Remember, this is a guy who, over the summer, stated that we already have a top 10 defense because he prefers points per game to all those crazy pace-adjusted numbers. So why would he think that we actually were a good Defensive Rebounding team?

  48. thenamestsam

    Tyson out 4-6 weeks with non displaced fibula fracture. I’d count that as lucky. Looked to me like possibly ACL or more complicated fracture.

    The Knicks…where lucky is your starting center and (arguably) most indispensable player only missing 4-6 weeks. You have to laugh or you’ll cry.

    Knicks need to keep their heads above water during this stretch. At least this should force Woody’s hands with a lot of two PG lineups and Melo at the 4 b/c the front line is looking super dicey at the moment. Amare/Bargs need to find their game ASAP or this could head south quickly.

  49. hotdamn

    From what I’ve seen — on offense on during rebouding opportunities — Bargs just stands straight up. The dude doesn’t know what a defensive position looks like and he has no leverage. When is Herb Williams going to pull an Incognito on this guy — get in his face and tell him to play with fire/desire?

  50. JK47

    4-6 weeks of no Tyson Chandler means this team is going to be too far underwater to compete for a decent playoff spot when he gets back. He’ll miss 15-20 games, My guess is that the Knicks win at best a third of those games. So probably a 5-10 to 7-13 type run coming up. Add our current 1-3 record to that and you’re looking at somewhere between 6-13 and 8-16 to start the season.

    Then when he comes back, are the Knicks any good anyway? If you start off 8-16 you need to go 42-16 the rest of the way to make it to 50 wins. Nah gah happen.

  51. DRed

    Look, Bargs isn’t going to ‘find his game’. This is his game. He’s a mediocre (at best) player on offense who is almost amazingly bad at defense and rebounding. He’s not going to be a better Novak. One, because he doesn’t play the same position, and two, because he has no elite skills. Novak was about as one dimensional as it gets (I guess he can get credit for never turning the ball over), but he was great at that one thing. Bargs is more versatile, in that he can drive, draw fouls, run pick and pops, but so what? Those are means to an end-putting the ball in the basket efficiently. In a few very limited circumstances it might be better to have Bargs on the floor than Novak, but Novak is much better at putting the ball in the basket on offense in general than Bargs is.

  52. Frank O.

    “Honestly, this isn’t a personnel issue; it’s a coaching issue.”

    It is a personnel issue. Chandler is our only great player. Melo is our only very good player. And right now he looks terrible. Prigioni is probably our next best player and he is only good for 20 minutes a game.

    As someone pointed out in the game thread we currently own the most expensive frontcourt in history (has to be right?) between Melo, Chandler, Stat, and Bargnani. And we might very well get no production from that going forward with AB nullifying the good Melo does.”

    Owen, respectfully, you’re wrong-headed on this one. The core of this team won 54 games last year and was one of the best in the east. Certainly they’re not the best, nor do they have the best and most efficient contracts.
    But in the context of this start, it is not a personnel issue.
    Your assessment of Melo is cost based, which is fine, but not terribly relevant to the discussion. That is sunk cost. He is one of the best small forwards/power forwards in basketball. Whether he is a max guy is irrelevant.
    But he and Chandler are potent and have shown themselves to be so. Amare is coming off injury and seeing little time and AB is entirely new to the team.
    This team is underperforming and it’s the coach’s fault right now.
    I respect your opinions, but it gets tiresome over time reading you hammer players over an over particularly when these are sunk costs.
    Chandler is one of the best D centers. Melo is one of the best scoring forwards. And he has shown greater depth in his D and boards work.
    Amare is a work in progress. But with our guards and our front line, this is not a sub .500 team. At a minimum, based on personnel, they are around a 50 win team, give or take a few.
    If you want to do a cost benefit analysis, fine. But it’s simply crap to suggest Melo isn’t a great player. To claim Prig is better than Shump or MWP, or JR for that matter is silly and unnecessarily derisive.

  53. Brian Cronin

    Tickets are going to be cheap this year, so we’ve got that going for us.

    Pretty much the only good news about this is that exactly. I can finally afford to go to Knick games again!

  54. Frank

    To claim Prig is better than Shump or MWP, or JR for that matter is silly and unnecessarily derisive.

    lol Frank O – I agreed with you up until here. Right now, in this moment, I think it’s highly debatable whether or not Prigioni is better than Shump or JR. I think MWP is definitely a better player, but on Nov 6 2013, I kinda think Prigioni is better than Shump AND JR. Shump and JR have higher ceilings than Prigioni, but in terms of doing the things that help you win games, Pablo’s pretty darn good. His +/- numbers have always been better than either of those 2. And for all of Shump’s defensive talent, he still fouls WAY too much, gets other teams into the penalty, etc. For all his size, shooting ability, and handle, he still turns the ball over way too much, and has no idea how to move the ball within the offense. And JR? All the talent in the world but has barely proven that he can focus it into something useful.

    Don’t get me wrong – I love Shump. He’s probably my favorite Knick, and over the next few years his development will probably determine the team’s success more than any other player’s development. But he’s still a work in progress, and isn’t nearly as polished overall as Pablo is.

  55. massive

    I’d like to take this time out to say that Shump Gawd is currently posting a .602 TS% on a usage of 18.1%. If that’s still a work in progress, I’m really excited for his future. Shump’s scoring game looks really polished right now. That’s a player we need to give the ball.

  56. Frank O.

    Frank: I routinely agree with you, so the odds were we’d eventually find a place to disagree.
    Pablo is terrific. Love having the guy, but his usage and minutes are significantly less than Shump’s.
    But Prigs TOV% this season is 35.7% (2.1/36) v. Shump’s 12.8% (1.8/36). And Shump’s usage is more than double that of Prigs.
    Pablo has not taken care of the ball this season. He’s been a bit of a nightmare. His D is pesky, but he has not protected the ball.
    There is a reason the Knicks are averaging 18 TOs per game right now. Prigs is one of them. Felton is at 14.9% (2.5/36).

    I think you’re wrong on this one, man.

  57. Frank O.

    One more point, Frank:
    Add Shump’s high TS% and eFG% this season (prig’s is higher, but he take 2 shots per game), he simply better, more productive, more prolific and exceptionally efficient given his usage.
    He’s also a formidable defender, who happens to be at this moment one foul per game above his career average.
    Prigs also is two assists per game off his season average.
    In the end, Shump is way better, and probably way more important. IMHO.

    Now I will revert to the mean and begin agreeing with you again. :)

  58. Frank O.

    One correction: it’s an overstatement to say Prigs is not taking care of the ball. He’s not taking care of the ball better than Shump.

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