Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Bucks 119, Knicks 114

New York Knicks 114 Final
Recap | Box Score
119 Milwaukee Bucks
Carmelo Anthony, SF 37 MIN | 7-17 FG | 7-10 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 22 PTS | -5

Most of us’ve been unfortunate enough to have that one housemate – the guy you probably wouldn’t ignore if you saw him on the street after two years, but probably wouldn’t invite to your wedding, either – who spends most of the time eating everyone else’s groceries, drinking all the beer, and using all the laundry detergent, mostly because he makes the biggest money and pays for the Netflix and the blow and throws the best parties and most of the people who come over are there to see him. In fact, most of the time you wish he’d one day get arrested for tax evasion. But then, every once in a while, he’d make really delicious omelets when everyone was hungover. That’s basically Melo. What’s more, that was Melo TONIGHT.

After a solid first half in which he made quick, confident decisions and mixed up his offensive repertoire, the second found our beleaguered star comparatively blase — until his inevitable late-game flourish which, just as inevitably, came up short. Gotta make your free throws, kids.

Landry Fields, G 37 MIN | 9-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 3 AST | 18 PTS | +10

When he wasn’t tossing passes to his mom in the 17th row or handing fellow jawline-heavy Carlos Delfino the ball at half court, Fields was doing other stupid things, mostly. Yes, he also turned in a pretty heavy stat line, punctuated by continuous slashes, forays into the paint, and some of the most consistent rebounding we’ve seen in a while. But his cavalier passing is getting as bad as his piss poor perimeter rotations, which cost the Knicks at least 90 points tonight.

Amare Stoudemire, PF 37 MIN | 11-15 FG | 5-6 FT | 11 REB | 0 AST | 27 PTS | +11

This was just the worst 20-10 I’ve ever seen. Between Ilyasova and Gooden, Stoudemire had his ass torched repeatedly on D. He also bumbled a number of routine passes, which is pretty frightening, considering the rest of his body doesn’t seem to be functioning at too optimal a level, either. I would say Chandler’s absence “exposed” Amar’e tonight, but really, how do you expose a statue?

J.R. Smith, SG 18 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 3 PTS | -6

You know, when I first saw this Tweet, I took some semblance of solace in the fact that J.R. was smart enough to just go to bed early last night. But after watching his craptastic display — I even heard he sat on the bench and pouted during a stand-up huddle during a timeout — I’m thinking report of a pelvic and / or leg injury isn’t too far behind.

Jeremy Lin, PG 41 MIN | 8-14 FG | 3-5 FT | 1 REB | 13 AST | 20 PTS | +13

Lin has essentially become a microcosm of the Knicks writ large, incapable as he’s been of putting a complete game — encompassing both ends of the court — together. But Jennings going off on the Knicks isn’t exactly breaking news, so the least we can do is appreciate Lin’s solid offensive game of rediscovered range, smart transition plays, and some gutsy takes to the tin…. Jennings did kinda manhandle him, though.

Baron Davis, PG 31 MIN | 4-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 9 AST | 9 PTS | -2

Hey, if Bucks color guy Dolph Smormsky (Did I just make that up?) uses both “surfing” and “boulevard” in a sentence to describe your unique point guard style, what else is there to worry about?…. What’s that? The surfboard’s made of concrete and the boulevard is actually a river of fry grease?

Davis has had his moments. The problem is, there have been as many “wow, great pass” moments as there’ve been “you are not actually playing in a video game” moments. As many have pointed out, the Davis-Lin back court idea was probably doomed from the start. But barking at Stephen Jackson in the third quarter probably means he’s dead anyway.

Steve Novak, SF 21 MIN | 4-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 11 PTS | -18

You couldn’t have scripted it better: Former state-bred sharpshooter comes back to his old stomping grounds, his career renewed, ready to match Mike Dunleavy shot for Chitwoodian shot. Ehhhhhhhhhh notsomuch. Novak made some desperately-needed hurls, but unfortunately found his stroke a mere air rifle in a cannonade. Also: His defense and rebounding are the worst tandem of traits since “red hair, red eyes.”

Iman Shumpert, G 5 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -14

Considering how badly the Bucks burned the Knicks on perimeter rotations, not having Shump out there — even if only to get a few mits in passing lanes — isn’t the most encouraging of signs. Let’s just hope it’s not the knee, or, if it is the knee, that it’s simply a matter of soreness.

Josh Harrellson, F 14 MIN | 2-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | -14

I don’t know if Jorts hits line-drive shots from the corner in practice, but it’s not working for him in actual games. He made a few solid low-post stops, and was active — as always — on the glass, but the sync and timing just isn’t there yet. Which seems to be kind of a thing with this team.

I will now remind everyone that Bob Silverman was “giddily optimistic” about Jorts starting opposite arguably the greatest power forward in the history of the NBA on Wednesday.

Five Things We Saw

  1. If you’ve never listened to them, the Bucks’ TV crew is quite the trip. They’re not Chicago / Cleveland bad, but they certainly have their fair share of guffaws and boners. Whether it was showing footage of Andrew Bogut snapping his ankle in half BOGUT WAS SITTING LIVE IN THE BOOTH, referring to Steve Novak as “the Lin to Lin’s… yang,” or just laying down the bunt on Baron Davis fat jokes, these guys were good.
  2. You gotta love Ersan Ilyasova. For a guy who spent most of last year being the village bicycle in thousands of fantasy leagues, the scrappy Turkish forward has asserted himself nicely in Andrew Bogut’s absence. Even when his Dirk-esque jumper isn’t being matched by timely rebounds — he had zero at halftime — his right-place, right-time instincts always seem to kick in. Tonight, that came in the form of out-hustling no less than three Knicks on a pair of late-game, late-shotclock Bucks misses.
  3. I tend to react fairly demonstrably when something doesn’t go the Knicks’ way. But when the uniquely college chant-y crowd’s 5-4-3-2-1 shot clock countdown with no less than 15 actual seconds remaining on the actual clock actually worked, forcing Melo into a fadeaway 18-foot jumper from the left wing, my brain couldn’t summon the power necessary to do anything more than turn to lead and drop my head and eyes downward.
  4. Given what he does, how he does it, and the consistency with which it’s done, the idea that Tyson Chandler is somehow “overpaid” rings about as hollow as a Treasury coffer. With both Tyson and Jeffries out, and Shumpert glued for the most part to the pine, there were just too many weird, alchemic lineups out there tonight, almost all of them just as bad on defense as the last.
  5. If it’s not the defense, it’s the offense. If it’s not the offense, it’s the defense. If it’s not the defensive rebounding, it’s the offensive rebounding. If it’s not the offensive rebounding, it’s the turnovers. If it’s not the turnovers, it’s the technicals. If it’s not the tehnicals, it’s the refs. All the while, players both emerging and returned after injury make gelling a twisted grail. A locker rebuilt into a circle suddenly can’t create enough corners and angles. All the while, excuses remain many, and accountability nil.

59 comments on “Bucks 119, Knicks 114

  1. ROUGH

    Difficult to take seriously a team that commits to defense only six (!!!) minutes before the end such a critical game, being down by 15 and having already given up 108 points. Chandler and Jeffries can’t come back soon enough! When this happens the D will be shored up, but won’t we go back to the old scenario that the one primadonna cannot play this way, the other primadonna cannot play that way, and so on and so forth?

    The Knicks are running out of time. Winning the division or at least getting to the sought 6th playoff spot seems like a daydream at this point. The Linsanity miracle gradually faded away. Can the Knicks hit upon another one, put their act together, and make a run in the playoffs? Iffff they make it to the playoffs, that is…

  2. Jacob

    Sharp stuff as usual.

    Sooting 55% and losing to the Bucks, a team coached by a drill sergeant… O Chandler, where art thou.

  3. formido

    Bizarre. I honestly don’t understand what you’re seeing Jennings “man handled” him. What? Lin forced him into two air balls, stole the ball directly from him a couple times and he was “man-handled”? Jennings was not driving past Lin for open layups or repeatedly stepping back for jumpers. He was getting points and assists off of picks and completely in the flow of the game, not some kind of one on one match up with Lin. Please point me to the player who is able to single-handedly stop other skilled poing guards from gettings assists and who can single handedly stop opposing guards even when they’re picked off. Honestly, this analysis is no better than opposing fans’ homers on ESPN message boards. Lin’s plus/minus was +13 and his presence is at least as important on the defensive end.

  4. formido

    Moreover, I’m getting pretty sick of the notion that getting steals is irrelevant to someone’s merit as a defensive player. I think Lin’s averaging 2nd or 3rd in the league in steals per game. Had 4 tonight. Getting 4 steals is not nothing.

  5. Brian Cronin

    Difficult to take seriously a team that commits to defense only six (!!!) minutes before the end such a critical game, being down by 15 and having already given up 108 points. Chandler and Jeffries can’t come back soon enough! When this happens the D will be shored up, but won’t we go back to the old scenario that the one primadonna cannot play this way, the other primadonna cannot play that way, and so on and so forth?

    Yeah, exactly. They need Chandler for defense, but bringing Chandler back means that we go right back to seeing STAT/Lin/Melo not be able to coexist. Not fun.

  6. Jim Cavan Post author

    formido: Moreover, I’m getting pretty sick of the notion that getting steals is irrelevant to someone’s merit as a defensive player. I think Lin’s averaging 2nd or 3rd in the league in steals per game. Had 4 tonight. Getting 4 steals is not nothing.

    …. But I gave him an A-!

  7. Will the Thrill

    It isn’t irrelevant, but it really isn’t a big part of defense. A bad defender can average a lot of steals (Lin, Iverson) and very good defenders can average a small amount of steals. Just like blocks don’t come close to telling the entire story of a post-defender. Amare has averaged a lot of blocks over his career, but has always been a piss-poor defender.

    formido:
    Moreover, I’m getting pretty sick of the notion that getting steals is irrelevant to someone’s merit as a defensive player. I think Lin’s averaging 2nd or 3rd in the league in steals per game. Had 4 tonight. Getting 4 steals is not nothing.

  8. ROUGH

    Jim Cavan: …. But I gave him an A-!

    And that was more than enough. Lin is a very promising PG, but has a long way to go. He’s been abused by almost every serious PG ever since he got on the scout reports. Let’s get real.

  9. Will the Thrill

    Grade looks a little low for Amar’e, considering he was the only real big man for the Knicks tonight other than Harrellson who didn’t play much. He had a very efficient night from the field and looked good in the pick and roll. Admittedly, he wasn’t good on D, but is he ever?

  10. jon abbey

    how did no one mention the funniest thing in the game: whenever Larry Sanders scores, the announcer gave me flashbacks to Hank and Artie.

    “and now, because he’s being guarded by a man who never saw a rebound he wanted to jump for, LAR-RY SAN-DERS!”

  11. formido

    I suppose it’s just the good old confirmation bias. You’ve decided Lin is a bad defender, so the bad plays really stand out to you. Kind of the same way everyone points out any “horrible” Lin turnover, even though you can watch any Suns game, as I do regularly, and see Nash make several ugly looking turnovers, but the AP recaps don’t mention his turnover number, every…single…game.

    Last week, Nash had a 7 possession sequence where he dribbled off Chris Paul’s toe, dribbled off his own toe out of the bounds, and outran his dribble at the top of the key and left it dead to be scooped up by a defender. They were all super ugly. A rookie would have certainly got pulled on the first one. He had 6 turnovers in the game, but they won and no one said boo.

    Go back and watch it on League Pass. And remember the power of confirmation bias.

  12. Brian Cronin

    On the bright side, being the #8 seed in a lockout-shortened season (where the team was supposed to be a lot better than #8) worked out once before! And it might even be against Miami once again! In fact, I think that there’s a legitimate scenario where they could play Miami in the first round, Atlanta in the second (Atlanta being the #5 seed in this scenario) and then Indiana in the Conference Finals (#6 seed Indiana defeating #2 seed Chicago in the semis) before facing the San Antonio Spurs in the Finals!

    And losing in five games, of course. ;)

  13. Will the Thrill

    There is no way that the GM ISN’T looking for possible trades before the deadline, right? It is just hard to believe that we can keep this going with both Melo and Amar’e. I have nothing against Melo, but I sincerely believe that if we traded him for somebody like Josh Smith or somebody with a reasonable contract, we would be in a much better position to build ourselves toward a championship. I am leaning towards trading Melo just because I know we will able to get better talent in return for him (nobody wants Amar’e). My hopes are that if we just have one of them (Melo, or Amar’e) we can build around their strengths and gain flexibility in the process.

  14. Brian Cronin

    The thing is, let’s say they can even get Dwight Howard for Melo and Chandler (while taking Hedu back). Amar’e would be lost in that scenario, too! It’d be worth it because, well, you know, Dwight freakin’ Howard, but still…

  15. Will the Thrill

    We know Nash is a poor defender also. When you can provide evidence that Lin is an even average defender besides steals, then I will definitely believe you. Point guards on other teams have done amazing against him while he’s been in the lineup. I like the dude, and like him more than Baron Davis, but I can’t bring myself to say that he is even an average defender. He is probably not on the level of horrific as Amar’e is though.

    formido:
    I suppose it’s just the good old confirmation bias. You’ve decided Lin is a bad defender, so the bad plays really stand out to you. Kind of the same way everyone points out any “horrible” Lin turnover, even though you can watch any Suns game, as I do regularly, and see Nash make several ugly looking turnovers, but the AP recaps don’t mention his turnover number, every…single…game.

    Last week, Nash had a 7 possession sequence where he dribbled off Chris Paul’s toe, dribbled off his own toe out of the bounds, and outran his dribble at the top of the key and left it dead to be scooped up by a defender. They were all super ugly. A rookie would have certainly got pulled on the first one. He had 6 turnovers in the game, but they won and no one said boo.

    Go back and watch it on League Pass. And remember the power of confirmation bias.

  16. jxbeirne

    I think Shumpert deserved to get an “Incomplete” tonight. He only had minutes in another dimension.

  17. ROUGH

    Will the Thrill:
    There is no way that the GM ISN’T looking for possible trades before the deadline, right? It is just hard to believe that we can keep this going with both Melo and Amar’e.I have nothing against Melo, but I sincerely believe that if we traded him for somebody like Josh Smith or somebody with a reasonable contract, we would be in a much better position to build ourselves toward a championship.I am leaning towards trading Melo just because I know we will able to get better talent in return for him (nobody wants Amar’e).My hopes are that if we just have one of them (Melo, or Amar’e) we can build around their strengths and gain flexibility in the process.

    It’s not a matter of talent anymore. This was the case two months ago (hence, the need to free salary cap space). But miraculously, the Knicks now do have talent. It’s a matter of putting the pieces together. That will be second miracle, it seems.

  18. Brian Cronin

    Yeah, Steve Nash is also a poor defender. What a weird argument to go with overall. “Lin isn’t a poor defender, Steve Nash had a bunch of turnovers this game I saw.”

    Lin is a fine player, but come on, defense is not what he’s bringing to the table.

  19. Brian Cronin

    Gotta give Otis Smith credit for just flat out going for it with the Dwight Howard for Ibaka/Harden offer. It obviously wasn’t there, but wow, that’d have been a great trade (as far as having to trade your star goes). That’s probably better even than Melo/Chandler, when you factor age into it.

  20. nicos

    Amar’e got killed on the glass but how many times did the Knicks perimeter defenders completely lose track of their men? Dunleavy got wide open shot after wide open shot, Ilyasova (who was mostly guarded by Melo, not Amar’e) got wide open looks, Delfino too- the Bucks were 13-26 from three and most of those were wide open. Some of that was because guys were pinching in to help Amar’e and Lin on Jennings in pnr’s but most of it was just crappy defense- Novak being at the top of the list. Harrellson managed one defensive rebound in 14 minutes and while he was okay in the post he offered zero help defense. Novak- one rebound in 21 minutes and I’m not sure there was a single play where he knew who he was guarding. I’m okay with a C for Amar’e given those two late turnovers and his poor rebounding (though it’s not like anybody besides Fields and Davis were actively trying to get to the defensive glass to help him out) but he outplayed everyone besides Fields and Lin so a whole lot of grades should be lower.

  21. Jake S.

    Brian Cronin:
    Gordon coming off of a knee surgery? I’d pass.

    I thought it was just a bone bruise. In that case, I wouldn’t do it either. The answer is that they need to figure this out, some way some how.

    Anyone see Melo in the post-game? Curious to hear if he was as cavalier as he’s been of late.

  22. Will the Thrill

    Being able to play and conform to your team’s strengths is a talent in my book. We definitely lack that kind of talent on this team.

    ROUGH: It’s not a matter of talent anymore. This was the case two months ago (hence, the need to free salary cap space). But miraculously, the Knicks now do have talent. It’s a matter of putting the pieces together. That will be second miracle, it seems.

  23. ROUGH

    nicos:
    Amar’e got killed on the glass but how many times did the Knicks perimeter defenders completely lose track of their men?Dunleavy got wide open shot after wide open shot, Ilyasova (who was mostly guarded by Melo, not Amar’e) got wide open looks, Delfino too- the Bucks were 13-26 from three and most of those were wide open.Some of that was because guys were pinching in to help Amar’e and Lin on Jennings in pnr’s but most of it was just crappy defense- Novak being at the top of the list.Harrellson managed one defensive rebound in 14 minutes and while he was okay in the post he offered zero help defense.Novak- one rebound in 21 minutes and I’m not sure there was a single play where he knew who he was guarding.I’m okay with a C for Amar’e given those two late turnovers and his poor rebounding (though it’s not like anybody besides Fields and Davis were actively trying to get to the defensive glass to help him out) but he outplayed everyone besides Fields and Lin so a whole lot of grades should be lower.

    +1 D is a team job!

  24. hoolahoop

    JC, you’re a good writer, but your player grades are about as good as you maintain Amare’s defense is.

  25. JK47

    Chandler’s value to this team is Kay immense. The Knicks are a really, really bad defensive team without Chandler, probably a bottom-5 team defensively. With him, they’re a top 10 defensive team. He’s the best player on the team by a mile.

  26. hoolahoop

    formido: I suppose it’s just the good old confirmation bias. You’ve decided Lin is a bad defender, so the bad plays really stand out to you.

    News Flash: LIN is a bad defender. Very bad.

  27. Brian Cronin

    He’s the best player on the team by a mile.

    Most definitely. Let’s just hope he is fully healthy when he returns. The team needs him to be able to catch passes.

  28. Brian Cronin

    Speaking of Nash, no one gives a shit that he’s a poor defender because he is such a great offensive player. If Lin plays every game like he did tonight, he’ll be a star in the NBA, poor defense and all (not to mention that he might be able to improve his defense as he goes along).

  29. 8missedYet

    Lin’s on ball defense suffers because he plays too much help defense. That adds to his steal numbers but let’s his man get an open shot or lane to the paint. Without Chandler or JJ, Lin gets no help in the paint.

    He does put in the effort and will get better with experience. Also other point guards are putting in an extra effort against the new kid in town.

  30. Brian Cronin

    I thought it was just a bone bruise.

    That was their story they told the media. It was really cartilage damage. He had surgery a couple of weeks ago.

  31. nicos

    Something else worth mentioning is that despite being down 15 mid-way through the 4th they certainly didn’t give up on the game (in Dallas as well). Part of me says that reflects well on D’A because they clearly don’t quit when they get down. The other part of me isn’t so charitable towards the coach but I’m not jumping on the fire D’A bandwagon yet- and probably won’t as I really don’t think Woodson is any kind of long-term answer as a head coach.

    Also, Jim- even if I gripe about grades sometimes I really do enjoy your recaps Grading is a thankless task- especially after disappointing losses where everyone is ticked and looking to vent- at least it gives everybody something to argue about.

  32. Brian Cronin

    Yeah, while I like D’Antoni, my number one reason for wanting him to stick around is to keep Woodson from being the head coach. I only want D’Antoni replaced with an upgrade. Otherwise, why bother?

  33. nicos

    Brian Cronin:
    Speaking of Nash, no one gives a shit that he’s a poor defender because he is such a great offensive player. If Lin plays every game like he did tonight, he’ll be a star in the NBA, poor defense and all (not to mention that he might be able to improve his defense as he goes along).

    Agree completely, and he did make a much better effort tonight in trying to get over screens which I think is the biggest issue for him.

  34. max fisher-cohen

    Brian Cronin:
    The thing is, let’s say they can even get Dwight Howard for Melo and Chandler (while taking Hedu back). Amar’e would be lost in that scenario, too! It’d be worth it because, well, you know, Dwight freakin’ Howard, but still…

    Yeah, Melo complements Howard much better. Lin would also struggle or at least be much less valuable in a Howard-based offense.

    Someone posted something about how huge an impact Novak has had when on the floor with Lin. The problem with Novak, of course, is that he can’t do anything but shoot.

    Imagine having a near-Novak level shooter at SF who played excellent defense. To me, a Melo for Danny Granger (38% three point shooter) trade is just a no-brainer. Indiana plays at a slower pace and has difficulty scoring. They also have the defensive pieces to hide Melo’s defensive mediocrity. The other guy who could fit that same role is Nicolas Batum, but I don’t even know if Portland would bite.

  35. nicos

    max fisher-cohen: Yeah, Melo complements Howard much better. Lin would also struggle or at least be much less valuable in a Howard-based offense.

    Someone posted something about how huge an impact Novak has had when on the floor with Lin. The problem with Novak, of course, is that he can’t do anything but shoot.

    Imagine having a near-Novak level shooter at SF who played excellent defense. To me, a Melo for Danny Granger (38% three point shooter) trade is just a no-brainer. Indiana plays at a slower pace and has difficulty scoring. They also have the defensive pieces to hide Melo’s defensive mediocrity. The other guy who could fit that same role is Nicolas Batum, but I don’t even know if Portland would bite.

    Another option might be Melo for a package centered around Luol Deng and Taj Gibson- I think Deng is overrated and overpaid but he’s a fantastic wing defender who can shoot the three (42% this year). And Taj Gibson would be great on the second unit- an upgrade from either Jorts or Jeffries. I think the Bulls might do it- they could really use a reliable second scorer to go along with Rose. You’d probably have to throw in some spare parts to make the salaries work but it’s doable. Would I do it if I were the Knicks? It’s a better fit for this year but if D’A goes and you start running a different system you might wind up kicking yourself.

  36. nicos

    One last thing on Amar’e- those last couple of turnovers were killers but he still had the equivalent of two Tyson Chandler games in one on the offensive end- 27 pts with a TS of 76%. And for the year- despite how horrible he’s looked at times- his scoring efficiency in the pnr is now exactly the same as Chandler’s.

  37. Brian Cronin

    That’s the thing – I think we could all envision a scenario where Lin and STAT turn out to be a good pairing on offense. But then you have Melo as, what, a support role? It’s a total waste of his talents, but at the same time, if you go away from the Lin/STAT combo, it is also a waste of what Lin and STAT can do together on offense. Then you add in the fact that as good as Lin and STAT might be on offense, they team is hurt just as much on defense. So you play Chandler, who is great. But then STAT has Chandler in the middle blocking him from where he wants to play on offense and you can’t bring Chandler out from the middle because he can’t hit outside shots. At the same time, Chandler has great pick and roll skills, so if you don’t use them you’re wasting his offense skills also. It is so aggravating that they couldn’t put together a roster that makes sense together.

    I agree on the Deng/Gibson thing that it would make sense, but only if D’Antoni is the coach.

    What’a funny is that the STAT/Lee trade people joke about a lot really does make a lot of sense, perhaps with Dorrell Wright thrown in (someone would have to be thrown in to make the salaries match)? The Warriors are one of the few teams that might be desperate enough to trade for STAT, and it is not like David Lee is a bargain, either, so maybe Golden State would like to deal his big contract. Lee and Chandler is a great offense/defense pairing, and Lee is the type of player who can excel outside of being the primary option.

  38. GoKnicksGo

    hoolahoop: News Flash: LIN is a bad defender. Very bad.

    I can’t understand why someone would come to a board just to constantly bash a rookie when he’s the best player on an inconsistent team. When he first started playing you were in disbelief and commented on how “funny” he looks. Then you were calling for Baron cause of his turnovers. Now you’re saying his defense sucks… I seriously think you have the Lebron hate syndrome. Except Lebron is hated for a reason…this kid is just a rookie with no reason to be hated….other than the obvious one. You’re either a troll…or something else.

  39. bommmbo

    B- for Melo ? Come on !!! I’m coming to a point i wish he could be sent to the Wizards for free. It would be so fun to watch him, Javalee and Andray play together. And the Knicks would be a lot better.

    Did you notice that every time he screams “Get Out” to another Knicks it means that he blew up the rotation. It’s killing me. What’s the point in scoring 30 points if you allow 31. You’re still loosing.

    One last thing, i loved the touches Amare got in that game. When was the last time you saw Stat get so many dunks on pick and rolls ? Yeah that’s right in Phoenix. I’m not even sure he shot one outside shot tonight (even refusing one late in the game, wich he should have taken instead of passing it to BD)

    I love to write your posts after every game so keep up the good work. Last time i commented was to say that the Knicks and the Paris football are back, last year. Well, PSG might win the championship for the first time in 16 years in a few month. I can only wish the same for the Knicks.

  40. Lightning

    I do think that you seeing Lin’s defense of being bad is a bit of confirmation bias. He made a couple bad plays, but most of the time he forced Jennings to take tough jump shots with a hand in his face. Also, a couple of times he shaded him towards help only for the help defense to simply stand still looking dumb. Lin’s been burned a couple of games, but this one wasn’t one of them.

  41. hoolahoop

    GoKnicksGo: I can’t understand why someone would come to a board just to constantly bash a rookie when he’s the best player on an inconsistent team.When he first started playing you were in disbelief and commented on how “funny” he looks.Then you were calling for Baron cause of his turnovers. Now you’re saying his defense sucks… I seriously think you have the Lebron hate syndrome.Except Lebron is hated for a reason…this kid is just a rookie with no reason to be hated….other than the obvious one.You’re either a troll…or something else.

    You got me mixed up with someone else – I never made those statements (and I’ve beena knicks fan forever). I don’t hate Lin. He’s a good kid, bur we’re discussing pro sports, not nicey nice with your little sister in the backyard. Lin’s defense still sucks.

  42. Gamecockerbocker

    Brian Cronin:
    That’s the thing – I think we could all envision a scenario where Lin and STAT turn out to be a good pairing on offense. But then you have Melo as, what, a support role? It’s a total waste of his talents, but at the same time, if you go away from the Lin/STAT combo, it is also a waste of what Lin and STAT can do together on offense. Then you add in the fact that as good as Lin and STAT might be on offense, they team is hurt just as much on defense. So you play Chandler, who is great. But then STAT has Chandler in the middle blocking him from where he wants to play on offense and you can’t bring Chandler out from the middle because he can’t hit outside shots. At the same time, Chandler has great pick and roll skills, so if you don’t use them you’re wasting his offense skills also. It is so aggravating that they couldn’t put together a roster that makes sense together.

    I agree on the Deng/Gibson thing that it would make sense, but only if D’Antoni is the coach.

    What’a funny is that the STAT/Lee trade people joke about a lot really does make a lot of sense, perhaps with Dorrell Wright thrown in (someone would have to be thrown in to make the salaries match)? The Warriors are one of the few teams that might be desperate enough to trade for STAT, and it is not like David Lee is a bargain, either, so maybe Golden State would like to deal his big contract. Lee and Chandler is a great offense/defense pairing, and Lee is the type of player who can excel outside of being the primary option.

    Also I wouldn’t have to buy any new jerseys, because the last two Knicks ones I’ve bought are STAT’s and Lee’s. Smiles all around.

  43. daJudge

    Thanks for the recap Jim. Not always a pleasure, but always appreciated. I am basically fine with the grades. Aside from the things that are starting to become obvious even to me about the problems with the team’s make-up, some things really have me swinging. (1) The Knicks played horrible, horrible D—until the end of the game. Rather than just stinking on D, it is almost worse that they could turn on competent D when pushed to it by the game clock. This stuff makes me start to really dislike our team. (2) Given the fact that two of their three best defensive players were out, why would you even consider benching Shumpert? During the game I was sure that he must have been injured. Otherwise, the move makes no sense to me. (3) Same scenario. Why not play a young large 7 foot Center who was just called up?

  44. limpidgimp

    Lightning:
    I do think that you seeing Lin’s defense of being bad is a bit of confirmation bias. He made a couple bad plays, but most of the time he forced Jennings to take tough jump shots with a hand in his face. Also, a couple of times he shaded him towards help only for the help defense to simply stand still looking dumb. Lin’s been burned a couple of games, but this one wasn’t one of them.

    +1. That’s what I saw as well. Jennings hit some tough jumpers, but most of the time Lin had a hand in his face. On penetrations, he forced Jennings to the left, and Jennings would take that, but no help from Amar’e and company after that. In that last play, Jennings went right and Lin was right up on him, forcing Jennings to throw up a prayer.

    There are a ridiculous number of incredibly talented PGs in the league right now. Any starter going up against them gets burned now and then. But when Lin gets burned, there’s that confirmation bias that he’s a poor defender. Lin has played poor angles and has gotten lost in screens a lot, but the dude is trying and has certainly been getting better at it and will figure it out. (Unlike Amar’e, who sometimes does not even put his hands up when a slasher goes into the lane. Sigh.) If you were a good PG in the NBA, you’d be annoyed too — “why are there endless Lin highlight videos on youtube but not videos of me even though I’m better than this rookie? I’m going to torch him.”

  45. Gideon Zaga

    Hehehehehe.

    hoolahoop: You got me mixed up with someone else – I never made those statements (and I’ve beena knicks fan forever). I don’t hate Lin. He’s a good kid, bur we’re discussing pro sports, not nicey nice with your little sister in the backyard. Lin’s defense still sucks.

  46. Gideon Zaga

    Lin is no dofferent from Melo on defense, Lin loses his man on help D and so does Melo, Melo’s a little better on ball but bad off ball as Lin is also good off ball help D. The only thing Lin does better than Melo is transition D so yeah overall yeah i think its not a stretch to say he’s a bad defender.

  47. Gamecockerbocker

    There’s no way around it… Lin is definitely a poor defender. Still, other than Shump Shump, how much better are any of the guys who could replace him in the starting lineup.

  48. george from brooklyn

    Jim, generally love your insights, but how do you provide a summary of this game with no mention of MDA. Shumpert is benched because he lacked focus ?, yet Smith sulks on the end of the bench and Melo plays “ZERO” defense, and Harrelson, your only inside defender is sitting as well, do the Bucks get the Jennings miss if Jorts is in the game…NO ! MDA has lost control of this team and unless Chandler takes over, Knicks fans hearts are broken again !!

  49. limpidgimp

    Gamecockerbocker:
    There’s no way around it… Lin is definitely a poor defender. Still, other than Shump Shump, how much better are any of the guys who could replace him in the starting lineup.

    I thought the conversation was not about Lin’s general or past performance as a defender, but specifically whether he was, as Cavan said, ‘manhandled’ in the game against the Bucks.

  50. Nick C.

    Nice write-up as always. I am totally on board with #5 especially the last sentence …”excuses remain many, accountability nil. “

  51. The Infamous Cdiggy

    What happened to Lin in Boston and Miami was a manhandling. Jennings had 25 and 10 dimes, but I didn’t see where he totally abused Lin, especially in the 4th quarter.

    Lightning:
    I do think that you seeing Lin’s defense of being bad is a bit of confirmation bias. He made a couple bad plays, but most of the time he forced Jennings to take tough jump shots with a hand in his face. Also, a couple of times he shaded him towards help only for the help defense to simply stand still looking dumb. Lin’s been burned a couple of games, but this one wasn’t one of them.

    cosigned.

    limpidgimp: +1. That’s what I saw as well. Jennings hit some tough jumpers, but most of the time Lin had a hand in his face. On penetrations, he forced Jennings to the left, and Jennings would take that, but no help from Amar’e and company after that. In that last play, Jennings went right and Lin was right up on him, forcing Jennings to throw up a prayer.

    There are a ridiculous number of incredibly talented PGs in the league right now. Any starter going up against them gets burned now and then. But when Lin gets burned, there’s that confirmationbias that he’s a poor defender. Lin has played poor angles and has gotten lost in screens a lot, but the dude is trying and has certainly been getting better at it and will figure it out. (Unlike Amar’e, who sometimes does not even put his hands up when a slasher goes into the lane. Sigh.) If you were a good PG in the NBA, you’d be annoyed too — “why are there endless Lin highlight videos on youtube but not videos of me even though I’m better than this rookie? I’m going to torch him.”

    cosigned again and +1

    We all need to remember that Lin is – for all intents and purposes – a rookie learning on the fly. Not so say criticisms aren’t…

  52. The Infamous Cdiggy

    …aren’t warranted or valid, but I’m just saying.

    Another thing I’ve been pondering: We know how much Lin’s emergence has changed the complexion of this team, but what about going forward beyond this year? Someone in another thread argued that there are/aren’t 15 PGs in the league now who are better. You may say there probably are 15 better PGs right now, but the huge asterisk to that is the NBA is filled with talented PGs right now. Think about it: we have a lottery pick-level point guard with good size, good first step, a jump shot, passing skills and a high IQ. We now have seen his deficiencies, but if we know it, he definitely knows it (seems he has high self-awareness). Can’t you get a little giddy thinking about how he can improve in a couple years, let alone one year?

    Let’s say Lin is the real deal, and he, within 12-24 months, unquestionably places himself within the top 15 or 12 PGs in the league. We can agree that legit PGs and Cs are the hardest to find (right?) – do we continue to look at this team through the prism and Amar’e/Melo, or dare we say “you know, we have a (potential) top-10 or 12 PG and one of the best centers in the league – maybe we need to look at the construction of this team differently”?

    Is it completely crazy to give credence to that line of thinking?

  53. Z-man

    Amare’s defense was at an all-time low last night. I just don’t get how the coaches don’t light into him, especially Woodson. The way he never challenges a guy who beats Lin, etc. on the perimeter is just sickening. He looks confused, like a deer in the headlights. That’s on the coaches. D’Antoni won’t go after Amare after he had his back, so it’s on him to fix the problem. If he doesn’t, he deserves to get fired. The switching makes me sick as well. Robert, bring the old avatar back, quick!!

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