Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

“Celtics 92, Knicks 86″ or “The Ten People You Meet at a Funeral” or “You Want Mike Woodson on That Wall, You NEED Mike Woodson on That Wall”

Boston Celtics 92 Final
Recap | Box Score
86 New York Knicks
Carmelo Anthony, SF 45 MIN | 8-24 FG | 6-6 FT | 7 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 22 PTS | -4

The guy who gives a 25 minute eulogy that goes nowhere and doesn’t leave anyone else time to say a few words.

Fair or not, the doubts will only get louder. Personally — and this is only personally — I don’t think Melo is overwhelmed by the moment or anything that neat and tidy. We’ve seen him rise to the occasion too many times to trot out such a tired excuse. The C’s know exactly what’s coming, they’re playing right up in his grill and stacking help behind his primary defender, and he’s continuing to shoot into it. The flaws of the design are, of course, compounded by a horrendous run of shooting even on wide open shots. But the plan has to change. Has. To.

Iman Shumpert, SF 29 MIN | 4-7 FG | 3-4 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 12 PTS | +3

The well-meaning kid who has a few innocently profound things to say but nobody takes them seriously.

He was pretty great tonight. He really bothered Pierce on the defensive end, attacked with aplomb, made a couple jumpers. Physically, he’s all the way back and he did his job.

Tyson Chandler, C 34 MIN | 3-5 FG | 2-2 FT | 11 REB | 2 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 8 PTS | +8

The pall bearer who supports 70% of the coffin so the other pall bearers can look like the weight is NOTHING to them.

Very good in the PnR game. The first option in the offensive set that has worked best for the Knicks all series. So, of course, he took 5 shots (and 2 free throws) tonight.

Defensively, he came out guns a-blazin’ but put himself in foul trouble with a really dumb recovery foul that had no chance of materially affecting a Brandon Bass layup. Then, after KMart followed suit, Tyson was forced to return to the game with far less of an edge; he focused on playing passing lanes and crashing the boards far more than defending tightly on the ball or contesting shots.

His offensive failings were largely Woody’s fault and his defensive failings largely KMart’s. But I can’t go above a B for someone who was simply not allowed to affect the game in the way he now (physically) looks capable of doing.

Raymond Felton, PG 44 MIN | 10-19 FG | 1-2 FT | 6 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 21 PTS | -8

The widower who is “Handling this so well” and “Amazing us with his strength!”

Our best offensive player tonight, our key offensive option all series. Pick-and-roll action with Felton on the ball has been the best thing about the Knicks’ performance this series; he’s made the right drive/lob/kick decision nearly every time and the simple fact of the PnR action has forced the Celtics to react very quickly from their base set of overloading on Melo. Woodson’s too smart not to know that this is the offensive approach that should (still, despite everything) win us the series. He needs to step up and demand it. And then step up higher and demand it louder.

Pablo Prigioni, PG 13 MIN | 1-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 3 PTS | +9

The foreign cousin who leaves to get the sandwiches and is never heard from again.

Our best offense happens when he and Felton play together. This is true even when JR Smith is in #PipeStrong #EAARRRRLLLLLL #PIPPPPPPEEEEEEE mode. So for Pablo to play 13 minutes tonight, in a critical, winnable game, with JR three steps slow and a foot-and-a-half wide, is utterly inexcusable for any reason shy of an injury.

He didn’t shoot well. He didn’t even play well. I don’t care: it was 13 minutes. Should have had 25.

Kenyon Martin, PF 13 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -13

The guy who only loosely knew the deceased but offends everyone by acting like they were REALLY close.

I love K-Mart. Love him for his brashness and not despite it. But he’s been a part of this team for a month, he ran his mouth quite a bit before this game, and then he played so recklessly that he marginalized himself through foul trouble for the second straight game. This resulted in Chandler playing through foul trouble and defending more tentatively as a result. All of the heat is gonna go to Melo and Earl (and maybe Woodson) but it should be remembered that KMart raised the stakes today. Raised the stakes, looked at his cards, and then promptly folded.

Steve Novak, SF 3 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -2

The deceased.

Get well soon. And while you’re at it find your jump shot.

Marcus Camby, C 1 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -1

The guy who shows up but nobody can remember who he is.

Jason Kidd, PG 21 MIN | 0-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | -14

The old guy that nobody can believe outlived the decease but nobody wants to say it out loud.

He’s like that old guy because he was “here” but he wasn’t really Here, if you know what I’m saying.

J.R. Smith, SG 36 MIN | 3-14 FG | 5-6 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 14 PTS | -8

The cousin who sneaks in a flask to “take the edge off some of these intense emotions” and inevitably proceeds to overindulge. This leads to an uncomfortable episode in which he usurps the eulogist in mid-speech, tells patently inappropriate stories about the deceased’s sexual history and controversial political views, and finally vomits directly into the casket during what he expected to be a dramatic “Addressing the departed” moment.

I have absolutely nothing else to add about JR Smith’s game tonight.

Mike Woodson

I’ve been pretty high on Woody lately. I am on the record saying that I had him 3rd on my not-even-remotely-existent CoY ballot. So please know that, when I say what I’m about to say, I’m not saying it with an agenda, I’m not saying it rashly, I’m not saying “I told you so.”

If the Knicks lose this series behind 2 more games of ineffective, iso-heavy offense, Mike Woodson should be fired.

Let me be clear about my meaning. Woodson shouldn’t be fired if we lose this series just because we lost this series. The losing would be incidental and would surely have to do with any number of factors relating to talent, approach, luck, psychology, experience, etc. etc. etc. He won 54 games this year with an oft-injured group and that means more than any 7 game stretch possibly could.

But…

We now have 5 games worth of evidence that speaks to exactly what kind of offense works against the Boston Celtics (a team that has trouble with the pick and roll, that is using the woefully under-qualified Jason Terry on the resurgent Raymond Felton; a team that has overloaded on Carmelo Anthony and collapsed into the lane to the point that it is essentially DARING the Knicks’ role players to beat it with threes) and what kind of offense does not. The things that are working — Felton/Chandler pick-and-roll, penetrating guard play, two-point-guard lineups, inside-out three-point shooting, catch-and-shoots for Melo and enough Iso to create foul trouble and screw up the defense’s spacing — are largely the things that have worked all year. And yet, when our most common lineups are on the court, Iso sets for Melo and (tonight, at least) creation of looks for an aboslutely overwhelmed JR Smith are the order of the day.

Mike Woodson has a smarter basketball mind than I do. He knows what works and what doesn’t. He KNOWS that sending a cold Melo into traffic against a team that’s BEGGING for the Knicks to do precisely that doesn’t make for a well-designed offense. He MUST know. And, I guess, that’s why I’m worried.

There’s a scene in “A Few Good Men” where a character — Col. Matthew Markinson — chooses to take his own life rather than testify at court-martial about his role in the death of a young soldier. While Markinson hadn’t committed a crime, he’d stood idly by while his superior officer ordered a disciplinary measure (called a “Code Red” in Sorkinese pseudo-military jargon) that ultimately ended in the soldier’s death by asphyxiation. Consumed by his guilt, Markinson puts a bullet in his temple, leaving behind only a suicide note addressed to the victim’s parents. The note concludes thusly:

“The truth is this: Your son is dead for only one reason. I wasn’t strong enough to stop it.”

If the Knicks win Game 6 or Game 7, whether it’s behind a pass-and-move offense that would do the ’73 team proud or a 60 point iso-heavy explosion from Melo, all will be forgotten, most will be forgiven, and the slaying of the once-mighty Celtics will be all that endures from this week.

But, if the Knicks season dies at the wrong end of an unprecedented playoff comeback, and if the murder weapon is a bunch of ill-advised hero-ball in place of the offensive style that we’re now 80-some games into KNOWING works better?

I won’t care who ordered the Code Red. The New York Knicks season will only be dead for one reason. Because Mike Woodson wasn’t strong enough to stop it.

One Thing We Saw

  1. This post-game video of Jordan Crawford saying…well…something to Melo that nearly led to a fight will get a lot of airplay the next couple of days. I know no more about it than you do and won’t pretend to. I’m presenting it here without comment.

60 comments on ““Celtics 92, Knicks 86″ or “The Ten People You Meet at a Funeral” or “You Want Mike Woodson on That Wall, You NEED Mike Woodson on That Wall”

  1. BigBlueAL

    Melo has missed his last 15 attempts from 3pt range and is 18 for 59 overall in his last 2 games. Not good.

  2. mr.JayP

    The assessment of woody is spot on. Its obvious what works and what doesnt, a change has to be made, or a wrinkle needs to be implemented. Something.

    These last two games are giving me flash back of woody’s ATL days.

  3. Brian Cronin

    The Rockets are showing what it is like when one team can’t miss from three – it makes it so you can beat any team. Harden and Garcia are 9 for 14 from distance!

  4. Brian Cronin

    Also, I used to like Garcia well enough as a player, but I never thought he’d be coming up this big. Holy shit.

  5. BigBlueAL

    So apparently the Warriors are better w/o Lee and the Rockets are better w/o Lin. The Nuggets arent better w/o Gallo. Thats why I always loved Gallo and miss him the most!! lol

  6. mr.JayP

    Scott brookes is just pulling a “Pass the Ball to Tucker” routine.

    Having westbrick out kinda exposes him on the offensive side.

  7. maxwell_3g

    well done K-Mac. Your Woody analogy may be the best that I have heard all year. not sure i agree that prigs should get 25 minutes though. shump was great tonight, and if he plays 31, they are not really 25 for prigs (unless you dont want kidd to play at all). got to stick with melo and jr for better or worse, just need to utilize them better if your woody.
    also, i wasnt nearly as impressed with tyson tonight. i thought garnett kind of owned him

  8. maxwell_3g

    BigBlueAL:
    So apparently the Warriors are better w/o Lee and the Rockets are better w/o Lin.The Nuggets arent better w/o Gallo.Thats why I always loved Gallo and miss him the most!!lol

    i endorse this message 1000000000%. i miss that guy

  9. palefire

    I came here for some catharsis. This post was good. My take: I have not really been able to access my deep Knicks feelings for a very long time. There was one moment in a series against the Celtics a couple of years ago. Chauncy was the pg. It was close. I was on my knees. And got crushed. The problem with the Knicks isn’t just that they have died of heartbreak on many ocassions. It’s that there is always some sort of knuckleheaded obtuseness to the scenario, which is then compounded by the fact that it is New York. For example the great emotional dysfunction that hovers over the modern Knicks era is the dynamic between Patrick and… everyone. But the fans most of all. I would like to move past all that. I had thought this series, this year, would be the Ewing Catharsis. But the other day I was in a state far, far away from New York and saw, on a bar TV, some special about that last awful game against Indiana, the one where he missed the finger roll. I hated seeing that. I have been traumatized by the slumped shoulders and dissapointment in his body in the moment after it rolled out ever since it happened. And now I had to relive it. Here is the thing about this series: I do think we will win. I would almost bet it will be next game. But the downside is so enormous. Kenny Smith – from Queens! – told an anecdote about Spike Lee calling him up, blurting out something about the Celtics going fishing, and hanging up. The implication was that Spike is an arrogant, entitled prick. ie a New Yorker, ie a Knicks fan. Kenny seemed sincerely grossed out. He really sold it. And he is from Queens! We have a lot of karma to overcome. But you know what? Felton is tough. Kidd is tough. J.R. Smith is fragile bit so, so talented. I am glad he is a Knick.You are right about Melo and iso- yes it is on Woodson, who right now looks like the East Coast George Karl re playoffs. But really, Mello. Come on. Work with us. Also, re KMart: ditto in all respects. V funny re our foreign…

  10. DCrockett17

    Off the top of my head I don’t recall the Cs getting many easy looks in the 4th. They got some makeable looks but nothing really close to the rim that’s not contested.

    No one is happy about NYs lack of ball movement. If Woody is brave enough to get Cope in for Melo for about 15 minutes we’ll win.

  11. mr.JayP

    DCrockett17:
    Off the top of my head I don’t recall the Cs getting many easy looks in the 4th. They got some makeable looks but nothing really close to the rim that’s not contested.

    No one is happy about NYs lack of ball movement. If Woody is brave enough to get Cope in for Melo for about 15 minutes we’ll win.

    Green was pretty open on those back to back 3′s that murdered our come back momentum.

  12. er

    haha on the melo 3pt stats….seriously damn. But hopefully hes watching my man Jimmy Harden

  13. yellowboy90

    er:
    haha on the melo 3pt stats….seriously damn. But hopefully hes watching my man Jimmy Harden

    Yimmy came up big

  14. nicos

    Nice recap Kevin. I would have put an exclamation point on it but I’m too depressed. My only quibble is Kidd deserved a D at best- he was a big negative on offense. The Celtics are slumping so far off of him that it just clogs up the middle. Outside of a couple of tipped balls he gave them nothing. As Steve Kerr mentioned the Knicks have to push the tempo a bit- they’re letting the C’s settle right into their defensive sets and not getting the offense started until 12 seconds are left on the clock. I know you have to dance with who brung you and that Kidd and JR have earned the chance to be on the floor but it’s the playoffs- that leash needs to get a little shorter.

  15. nicos

    Also, while the Woodson critique is well-deserved, at least he’s not Scott Brooks. That hack-Asik was a total embarrassment- he basically told his team that he didn’t think they could overcome a 10-12 point deficit with 5 minutes left. I don’t think they’re winning a championship with him as coach.

  16. mr.JayP

    nicos:
    Also, while the Woodson critique is well-deserved, at least he’s not Scott Brooks.That hack-Asik was a total embarrassment- he basically told his team that he didn’t think they could overcome a 10-12 point deficit with 5 minutes left.I don’t think they’re winning a championship with him as coach.

    LoL no way they winning a chip with him at the helm.

  17. Brian Cronin

    While it was douchey of K-Mart to suggest that they wear black to tonight’s game, it was even dumber for his teammates to agree with his dumb idea.

  18. er

    Brian Cronin:
    While it was douchey of K-Mart to suggest that they wear black to tonight’s game, it was even dumber for his teammates to agree with his dumb idea.

    i think it was only him and the smith bros…..they never showed anyone else

  19. yellowboy90

    WHy play so well off the ball then stop? I get Boston started making a run but dang. Also, when Felton gets it going why go away from him for a post up?

  20. er

    All of a sudden the “boring” predictable playoffs have gotten interesting. 6 (3-2) series. Pretty cool

  21. mr.JayP

    Brian Cronin:
    While it was douchey of K-Mart to suggest that they wear black to tonight’s game, it was even dumber for his teammates to agree with his dumb idea.

    He was trying to get his team amped. It just didnt work.

    Game 6 adjustments IMO

    Pierce should only be guarded by JR and Shump.

    more felton on offense.

  22. er

    yellowboy90:
    WHy play so well offthe ball then stop? I get Boston started making a run but dang. Also, when Felton gets it going why go away from him for a post up?

    woody needs to adjust. (stop me if youve heard this before) more melo ball handler pnr, more melo off ball like the first quarter.

  23. mr.JayP

    er:
    All of a sudden the “boring” predictable playoffs have gotten interesting. 6 (3-2) series. Pretty cool

    For sure. i wanted our series to be boring tho :-/

  24. er

    chuck finally made a good point though, when he mentioned the games will be every other day now

  25. Brian Cronin

    All of a sudden the “boring” predictable playoffs have gotten interesting. 6 (3-2) series. Pretty cool

    Totally. I don’t think we’ve ever had so many series go to 6 games after starting 2-0 in NBA history.

  26. yellowboy90

    er:
    chuck finally made a good point though, when he mentioned the games will be every other day now

    That’s what I’ve been thinking about and how that may help the Knicks. Knicks really do not do well with 3 days of rest. Also, it would be nice for the Cs to be tired.

  27. jon abbey

    Brian Cronin:
    While it was douchey of K-Mart to suggest that they wear black to tonight’s game, it was even dumber for his teammates to agree with his dumb idea.

    easy to say after the fact, of course.

  28. Brian Cronin

    It was a douchey idea even if they won. I’m all for shows of solidarity, but wearing black because you’re going to “bury” the other team? That’s dumb. Besides, if they were going to do a show of solidarity, it should have already happened by now, like when the 1992 Knicks all wore the same color sneakers or when the Knicks (I forget which year) all shaved their heads.

    It was a dumb joke by Martin that should have ended as a dumb joke by Martin.

  29. er

    Brian Cronin:
    It was a douchey idea even if they won. I’m all for shows of solidarity, but wearing black because you’re going to “bury” the other team? That’s dumb. IF they’re going to do a show of solidarity, it should have already happened by now, like when the 1992 Knicks all wore the same color sneakers or when the Knicks (I forget which year) all shaved their heads.

    finals year was the baldies i believe

  30. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    jon abbey: easy to say after the fact, of course.

    That’s every argument on this site. The Rockets go down 3-0; WP superstar James Harden is a 2nd fiddle masquerading as a go-to guy on a team not made for playoff success. Now it’s 3-2 and the spin will change.

    Just like Melo’s perception. Just like every other shitty argument on this site. If they win by 1, the stupid all-black gesture is justified. If they lose by 1, it’s not.

    Stupid.

  31. jon abbey

    Brian Cronin:

    It was a dumb joke by Martin that should have ended as a dumb joke by Martin.

    actually i believe it is connected to the 2011 Mavs’ title run, so maybe it originated with Chandler or Kidd:

    “Keeping with a secret tradition that began in earnest before Game 4 of Dallas’ second-round sweep of the Los Angeles Lakers, every Mavs player conspired to wear something black to work on Sunday”

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/playoffs/2011/columns/story?columnist=stein_marc&page=nowitzkigame6-110613

  32. jon abbey

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: That’s every argument on this site. The Rockets go down 3-0; WP superstar James Harden is a 2nd fiddle masquerading as a go-to guy on a team not made for playoff success. Now it’s 3-2 and the spin will change.

    the spin doesn’t change, the reality sometimes changes. LeBron was a bit of a choker in clutch situations for a couple of years before last season, he managed to change that starting in game 6 of the Eastern Finals when he absolutely had to. A-Rod was the same, he broke through a lot of mental blocks in 2009 (with the help of multiple therapists). one of the beautiful things about sports is you get a continual influx of new data to help try to settle disagreements.

    FWIW, my opinion on Harden is the same as it’s been all along, before the series, mid-series, and now. he played great tonight, but was very lucky that Westbrook got hurt and that his teammates picked him up in game 4 so that there could even be a game 5.

  33. Brian Cronin

    The key word there is “secret,” right? If it was something that the team did secretly as an in-joke amongst teammates, that’s a whole other thing than Martin trying to rub it in the Celtics’faces and giving the Celtics bulletin board fodder by his offhand remark and then having the Knicks actually follow through with it in a very public fashion. Adding to the silliness of it all, they didn’t wear black in Game 4 (where they also should theoretically have been “burying” the Celtics) and not even all of the Knicks wore black in Game 5! Also adding to the silliness is that after coming up with the idea, Martin wouldn’t even address it after the game. Isn’t that the height of foolishness? Talk some shit, lose and then refuse to talk about your shit-talking after the game. “I will only answer basketball questions.” Dude, you brought it up! You can’t bring something up and then act like you only want to talk about basketball.

  34. Brian Cronin

    Yeah, the Rockets thing is a bit unfair since there’s no way this series is not already over if Westbrook was healthy. It is not like the Rockets made some big change, the Thunder just lost their second best player after Game 2.

  35. UK_Pete

    Long time reader from the UK here but first time poster!

    First of all thats a really good recap. Game wasn’t broadcast over here last night but have watched all the others up until this point.

    I agree wholeheartedly with regards the Woody stuff but surely Melo has to be culpable also. Can he not see that his shot is off? Is he not aware that moving the ball around the perimeter has consistently lead to the Knicks best offence? It really irritates me. I know he is the star and the comment about him exploding for 60 is exactly right, we would all froget it and go back to loving him but there comes a point where he needs to realise that he is harming the team. 8 for 24 and 10 for 35 is just horrible.

    I originally guessed at a six game series but I think we are going to 7 now! Still believe we will do it though, there is too much talent on the roster not to get one more game off the washed up C’s!

    PS. What happened to Novak? Hopefully means Copeland will see some time now!?

  36. BigBlueAL

    Brian Cronin:
    Yeah, the Rockets thing is a bit unfair since there’s no way this series is not already over if Westbrook was healthy.

    But according to some here Westbrook isnt very good and they are better off with Durant shooting alot more. More shots for Kevin Martin too.

  37. jon abbey

    I didn’t see much of tonight, but Durant has looked really exposed to me since Westbrook went out:

    game 3: great 1st quarter, 7-21 over the final three quarters as OKC held on for dear life
    game 4: great shooting numbers, but was scoreless for seven minutes after re-entering the game with nine minutes to go, OKC loses.
    game 5: 1-8 from 3 point range, OKC loses.

  38. Brian Cronin

    game 4: great shooting numbers, but was scoreless for seven minutes after re-entering the game with nine minutes to go, OKC loses.

    If you watched that game, that was on Brooks. The Rockets dared the other Thunder to shoot and Brooks decided that they should just take the open looks (and they did so poorly). Durant eventually just insisted on having the ball and that’s when he scored five points in a row to bring the Thunder within a point blank Ibaka layup from sending the game to overtime.

    And tonight, while obviously it was not his best game, it was far from a bad game.

    Game 3, though, he definitely struggled throughout a good chunk of the game (before hitting the game-winning shot, of course).

  39. BigBlueAL

    jon abbey:
    I didn’t see much of tonight, but Durant has looked really exposed to me since Westbrook went out:

    game 3: great 1st quarter, 7-21 over the final three quarters as OKC held on for dear life
    game 4: great shooting numbers, but was scoreless for seven minutes after re-entering the game with nine minutes to go, OKC loses.
    game 5: 1-8 from 3 point range, OKC loses.

    Its not a matter of Durant being exposed its about the fact that Westbrook is pretty damn good and important to that team regardless of his TS%. There are many people who think he holds the team and specifically Durant back which is nonsense.

    Also Kevin Martin is shooting 30% in the playoffs and Sefalosha 38%. But they are efficient and should get more shots but with Westbrook out now that aint exactly working out good for them so far.

    Durant is still playing great but he certainly looks a bit out of his comfort zone right now having to handle the ball so much and basically having to go ISO for all his points. He is still putting up amazing numbers but he looks frustrated as hell on the court and obviously the team isnt playing as good right now though it has nothing to do with his play.

  40. Brian Cronin

    More proof the public as a whole are morons. ESPN had a poll asking what is the most likely option – Knicks win in 6, Knicks win in 7 or Celtics win in 7. 70% chose Celtics win in 7 (Knicks in 6 and Knicks in 7 tied at 15% apiece). Ridiculous.

  41. Nick C.

    Brian Cronin:
    While it was douchey of K-Mart to suggest that they wear black to tonight’s game, it was even dumber for his teammates to agree with his dumb idea.

    What was un-manful was the post-game at his locker. He gets asked. While being asked he is hoarsely whispering. When the question is finished he says in regular voice “like I said if you wanna talk about basketball.” He and the team might try and take their own advice. Woodson could open his eyes and coach based on what is happening in front of him.

  42. Brian Cronin

    Yeah, that was likely the worst part of it all. That he wouldn’t even discuss it after the fact. Very much a case of wanting to talk the talk but not wanting to walk the walk afterwards. JR, to his credit, totally owned it.

  43. Juany8

    It was always silly to suggest the Thunder were still a good team without Westbrook, they should still finish the Rockets, but since after game 1, the Rockets have actually outscored the thunder even though they lost 2 of those games. An odd bounce here or there and it’s 3-2 Rockets going back home. Durant only looked good after Westbrook went out when he was getting an open lane for awesome dunks over all the Rockets. Now that they’re showing some pride (especially Asik, who people laughably said wasn’t worth his contract before the season) the Thunder offense is terrible. Imagine Melo just dribbling up to the 3 point line and going 1 on 5 as everyone watches. That’s what Durant is doing right now

  44. Nick C.

    Wonder if they are regretting the Harden for Martin swap right about now. Not so much for any game to game results, but because Harden can take up some of the responsibilities that were Westbrook’s, whereas Martin can’t.

  45. Hubert Davis

    Great write up, Kevin. I’d like to continue your analogy and use it to defend Woodson, though:

    Col Markinson died in vain. This note:

    “The truth is this: Your son is dead for only one reason. I wasn’t strong enough to stop it.”

    was wrong.

    There is nothing he could have done. Maybe that night he could’ve stopped it, but Col Jessup was a madman and the culture of the military is to follow orders. All Markinson could have done was delay the inevitable.

    So what, Mike Woodson has 5 games of evidence re: what works and what doesn’t. Carmelo Anthony has TEN YEARS! And he still does it the wrong way!

    18-59 is unfathomable. Particularly when one of your teammates is currently unstoppable. Carmelo Anthony has made this stop being about the Knicks and be all about himself. This is not the team we were all year. It’s disgusting, ball-stopping garbage that only a complete egomaniac would think is the right way to play.

    What can Woodson do? I’d argue he has one move: Bench Melo for an extended period and let him watch Felton tear this team apart. But is that realistic in today’s NBA? That kind of move would get him fired. Letting his superstar shoot him out of a playoff series will never get a coach fired.

    Jason Kidd is out there for crying out loud. You don’t think he knows this shit ain’t going to work? No one can stop Melo/Jessup because he is in control and he has lost sight of the big picture and made it all about himself.

    The only real move is to let Melo figure it out on his own, which is probably why Woodson was at a Yankees game the other night. There isn’t a damn thing he can do. He’s probably told Melo 1,000 times. Melo’s teammates have probably told him 1,000 times. It’s up to Carmelo Anthony now.

    I think we’ll win this Friday, but how we win is important. We can win a title if Melo trusts his teammates & we play team ball. We’re fucked if Melo makes it all about him.

    Same old story,…

  46. ephus

    I want to see the Knicks run a LOT of 1/4 PnR. Have Chandler/Martin run a secondary pick on KG. Make KG run through body blows (legal) for 32 minutes.

    MAKE THE BASTARD QUIT. END HIS CELTIC CAREER ON THE BENCH, SUCKING WIND FROM AN OXYGEN TANK.

    That will be a great time to be a Knick fan! I’m too upset with other stuff to engage in rational discourse right now.

  47. Hubert Davis

    Brian Cronin:
    More proof the public as a whole are morons. ESPN had a poll asking what is the most likely option – Knicks win in 6, Knicks win in 7 or Celtics win in 7. 70% chose Celtics win in 7 (Knicks in 6 and Knicks in 7 tied at 15% apiece). Ridiculous.

    I would imagine that most Knicks fans were not on ESPN.com last night and most Celtic fans were. That’s all that indicates.

  48. Hubert Davis

    Juany8:
    Imagine Melo just dribbling up to the 3 point line and going 1 on 5 as everyone watches.

    It’s easy if you try.

  49. flossy

    Brian Cronin:
    Yeah, the Rockets thing is a bit unfair since there’s no way this series is not already over if Westbrook was healthy. It is not like the Rockets made some big change, the Thunder just lost their second best player after Game 2.

    By the same token, you can point out how screwed the Knicks would be if Rondo were healthy for this series. I don’t see the point though–you can’t choose how healthy your opponent is.

  50. Juany8

    Nick C.:
    Wonder if they are regretting the Harden for Martin swap right about now. Not so much for any game to game results, but because Harden can take up some of the responsibilities that were Westbrook’s, whereas Martin can’t.

    You don’t assume that a guy that’s never missed an NBA game will get injured at the worst possible time. Thunder weren’t winning it all with just harden and Durant anyways, they would just have a good chance of making the finals

  51. Juany8

    Hubert Davis: It’s easy if you try.

    Congratulations, you just admitted that Durant is the same player as Melo without Westbrook. Glad we got that out of the way

  52. Hubert Davis

    I won’t argue that point, Juany. I said as soon as RW went down: “let’s see KD put up those fancy efficiency numbers now that he has to do it like Melo does: alone.”

    BUT…

    Melo is indefensible right now. He’s *not* alone. Ray Felton is playing lights out. KD would be smart enough to not go 18-59 over two games if he had a teammate playing as well as Ray is.

    I’m going to post the carnage on the other thread.

  53. johnlocke

    Nice recap. Thought Kidd should also have had an F along with Woody and JR. Kidd played like Landry Fields without his ability to drive, passing up open shots and being useless on offense. Woody deserves an F for leaving two players in the game for soooo many minutes who were basically losing us the game (JR and Kidd)when he had other viable alternatives (Shump, Prigs, Novak). JR ….don’t need to repeat how awful he was in every single facet of basketball last night– shooting, decision making, dribbling, defense and court awareness were all lethargic. I just don’t trust this guy as the #2 guy on a contender ..and believe he’ll ultimately be our undoing.

  54. tastycakes

    I was positively livid last night, with a day’s clarity I feel better (well, not suicidal) about the events.

    5-22 from 3 point land. 8-22 (36%) would have won the ballgame. Oh, and Celtics shot 50% from deep. The buckets weren’t falling, that’s the only difference in the past two games from victory. Otherwise the ‘bockers are doing enough of everything else and getting more than enough from Felton, Shump, Prigs, Kidd, and Chandler to put them into position. So hope the role players stay strong and the shooters find their stroke and we’ll be OK.

    Game 4 was the way tougher loss, 1 damn free throw from Melo might have made the difference.

    Melo obviously has a giant choker tag waiting for him if the Knicks can’t pull out the series. Still in good position though, got to stay positive.

  55. smokinjoe

    Appropriately enough, reading JR Smith description in the company bathroom. .caused me to in- appropriately laugh out loud

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