Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Déjà Vu All Over Again? Knicks Fall to Cavs 119-115

Down two points with the ball, it appeared that it was Carmelo Anthony’s time to display the clutch gene that has sports analysts raving about his late-game scoring. After posting an extremely efficient 29 pts on 16 shots, the stage was set for him to cement his place as the closer in NY. However, instead of taking one of the long two-pointers he is known for, (as he is often berated for early in games, and celebrated for when they are buzzer-beaters) he made the superior basketball decision to drive to the basket, but failed to see Samardo Samuels slide over and was called for an offensive foul with 1.8 seconds left. And after two Luke Harangody free throws, the game was over (the Knicks’ third excruciatingly close loss to the Cavs).

However, the real problem is that the ‘Bockers should never have been in that position in the first place. Give some credit to the Cavaliers: two back-to-back three-pointers by Anthony Parker and Baron Davis in the last minute gave them a four point lead they ultimately wouldn’t relinquish, but those shots came after the Knicks blew twelve point leads in both the first and fourth quarters. After promising that they would be much more focused after the disappointing loss to the Cavaliers last week, the leads seemed to lull the Knicks into relaxing defensively. The inability of Amar’e Stoudemire to score on putbacks after consecutive offensive rebounds was also distressing, although his stat line of 41 pts on 50% shooting was only marred by 5 turnovers.

So, is this game cause for concern? While the Knicks 0-3 record against the Cavs will certainly loom large if it is the difference between being the 6th or the 5th seed (or 6th vs 7th), I don’t think so. The Knicks actually won the rebound battle 39-37, and shot 54.5% from the floor, essentially what they shot in the Hornets game. However, the Cavaliers shot an incredible 57.1% from 3- perhaps somewhat attributable to weak D from the Knicks, but unlikely to be repeated either way. One key sequence that went against the Knicks that won’t be mentioned but was likely equally responsible for the loss: Melo being called for a charge earlier in the final minute as he passed out to Shawne Williams, who splashed the trey but had it waved off. Carmelo’s decision making is unlikely to be as poor in the future as it was tonight, too. If there is one positive to the statistical analysis that has been done on him, it is his phenomenal percentage relative to other stars in clutch situations, and he is more likely to shoot a jumper than drive, making it unlikely he’d be called for a charge again.

All in all, tonight was disappointing, but not something which is worth being too upset over. Chauncey will soon be back from his thigh bruise, hopefully improving our end-of-game execution, and our PNR defense has to get better (it can’t get much worse.) A Knicks fan’s final piece of consolation? It’s rather unlikely we’ll meet Cleveland in the playoffs.

142 comments on “Déjà Vu All Over Again? Knicks Fall to Cavs 119-115

  1. tenebrous

    They fall? No sir. They were stumped on and I think they’re bringing in the catipilers to scrape the off

  2. latke

    there are no excuses for this performance, just as the Lakers had no excuse for losing to the cavs. Watching the game, it was pretty clear that the Knicks took the night off on defense. Back in college, I used to play basketball every day. During that period, once I was warmed up, I could go “around the world” twice without missing. Any decent shooter could make the kinds of threes that we were giving up to the Cavs. These were “set your feet, get your fingers on the seams” shots. At best, Cavs players had to throw a headfake then sidestep to get all the time in the world to shoot. The only tough three I can remember the Cavs making was the banker that Davis made.

    This game was painfully similar to watching early Heat games. You could see the knicks were like the daughter of a drug kingpin on her quinceanera, just oozing with that sense of entitlement, that sense that the whole world revolved around them.

    And that’s fine.

    Amare probably figured when he came here “with this knick roster, I’ll have to play hard,” and so he did.

    Now that he has a superstar buddy, the two of them will have to for the first time have some sort of accountability. They will have to recognize that wins don’t gravitate towards them like they’re the biggest planets in the universe. And as the Heat have, they’ll learn to play hard every night. A game like this can only propel them in the right direction.

    At that point, we’ll start to get a true picture of how far this team can go.

  3. latke

    tenebrous: They fall? No sir. They were stumped on and I think they’re bringing in the catipilers to scrape the off  

    are you a poet?

  4. tenebrous

    didn’t know they won the rebound ballet great … So then they were stumped on by clev and by the reffs … great job d stern … great job md for not walking away or having a meeting with d stern … ok so next game let’s were football gear and laser foul calling equipment that has not been probably invented as of yet

  5. tenebrous

    wow thanks for that this would most def allow me to be more calm on my 3s which I only started making lately … As far as how far they will go hmmmm without taking any charges like the cave probably just back home

    latke: there are no excuses for this performance, just as the Lakers had no excuse for losing to the cavs. Watching the game, it was pretty clear that the Knicks took the night off on defense. Back in college, I used to play basketball every day. During that period, once I was warmed up, I could go “around the world” twice without missing. Any decent shooter could make the kinds of threes that we were giving up to the Cavs. These were “set your feet, get your fingers on the seams” shots. At best, Cavs players had to throw a headfake then sidestep to get all the time in the world to shoot. The only tough three I can remember the Cavs making was the banker that Davis made.This game was painfully similar to watching early Heat games. You could see the knicks were like the daughter of a drug kingpin on her quinceanera, just oozing with that sense of entitlement, that sense that the whole world revolved around them.And that’s fine.Amare probably figured when he came here “with this knick roster, I’ll have to play hard,” and so he did.Now that he has a superstar buddy, the two of them will have to for the first time have some sort of accountability. They will have to recognize that wins don’t gravitate towards them like they’re the biggest planets in the universe. And as the Heat have, they’ll learn to play hard every night. A game like this can only propel them in the right direction.At that point, we’ll start to get a true picture of how far this team can go.  

  6. latke

    tenebrous:
    A self proclaimed poet sorry don’t know what that means  

    You go about writing things in your own way, and sometimes it’s poetic. I like it.

  7. citizen

    latke:
    are you a poet?  

    tenebrous:
    A self proclaimed poet sorry don’t know what that means  

    Poet tenebrous certainly is…the William Topaz McGonagall of Knickerbloggers, one might say…

  8. endyendy

    Ah, I think we can learn a lot of things from this game; Carmelo is a horrible player and this trade was possibly the worst deal ever made in professional sports, Amar’e is selfish and lazy, D’Antoni may be the worst coach in the league, the Knicks have no chance of winning even a single playoff game, they are an afterthought and will continue to be one for the next decade, the best-case scenario is a lockout to prevent Knicks fans from having to suffer through the season, you were never your mother’s favorite, and your dog died.

  9. tenebrous

    latke:
    You go about writing things in your own way, and sometimes it’s poetic. I like it.  

    Thx latke!!!!!!!!…..!!!!!!!!!!

  10. tenebrous

    I blame Dolan for knocking out the NBA tv channel when the Knicks r on both what gull

    endyendy: Ah, I think we can learn a lot of things from this game; Carmelo is a horrible player and this trade was possibly the worst deal ever made in professional sports, Amar’e is selfish and lazy, D’Antoni may be the worst coach in the league, the Knicks have no chance of winning even a single playoff game, they are an afterthought and will continue to be one for the next decade, the best-case scenario is a lockout to prevent Knicks fans from having to suffer through the season, you were never your mother’s favorite, and your dog died.  

    endyendy: Ah, I think we can learn a lot of things from this game; Carmelo is a horrible player and this trade was possibly the worst deal ever made in professional sports, Amar’e is selfish and lazy, D’Antoni may be the worst coach in the league, the Knicks have no chance of winning even a single playoff game, they are an afterthought and will continue to be one for the next decade, the best-case scenario is a lockout to prevent Knicks fans from having to suffer through the season, you were never your mother’s favorite, and your dog died.  

  11. tenebrous

    citizen: Poet tenebrous certainly is…the William Topaz McGonagall of Knickerbloggers, one might say…  

    From the picture def not him … Than again one can’t really judge himself

  12. dubisaweapon

    I know it feels like the sky is falling, but at least we’re not the Heat who gave up a 15 point to us, a 24 point lead against Orlando, and now just lost to the Spurs by 30.

  13. tenebrous

    it’s a conspiracy lb bosh wade stat and melo all want to b on the same team … great … now who’s playing d … hold on cavs r

    dubisaweapon: I know it feels like the sky is falling, but at least we’re not the Heat who gave up a 15 point to us, a 24 point lead against Orlando, and now just lost to the Spurs by 30.  

  14. Jim Cavan

    latke: You could see the knicks were like the daughter of a drug kingpin on her quinceanera, just oozing with that sense of entitlement, that sense that the whole world revolved around them.

    Well said, sir.

    Thank Christ I was out all night. I’d chalked it up to fate that we’d roll over these clowns on our home floor. But after all the shit Melo talked leading up to this game, I seriously can’t believe it went down like this.

    True, none of us should be flirting with the ledge. But it sure as hell likes flirting with us.

  15. Peter87

    Wow, both the Knicks and this blog have taken a significant downturn. I’m taking an extended vacation from both.

  16. tenebrous

    Peter87: Wow, both the Knicks and this blog have taken a significant downturn.I’m taking an extended vacation from both.  

    sorry to hear that

  17. Owen

    Tenebrous – that is sixteen posts already in this thread to 11 from everyone else. Try to contain yourself if you could and make a few carefully thought out posts so you don’t ruin the experience for everyone else. Thanks.

  18. CRJoe

    endyendy: Ah, I think we can learn a lot of things from this game; Carmelo is a horrible player and this trade was possibly the worst deal ever made in professional sports, Amar’e is selfish and lazy, D’Antoni may be the worst coach in the league, the Knicks have no chance of winning even a single playoff game, they are an afterthought and will continue to be one for the next decade, the best-case scenario is a lockout to prevent Knicks fans from having to suffer through the season, you were never your mother’s favorite, and your dog died.  

    I thought it was MY job to be the utterly pessimistic…

  19. Brian Cronin

    Awful loss, but eh, again, the team still needs a lot of time to gel together. If they’re still losing to teams like Cleveland eight-ten games from now, then I’ll be concerned. It’s not like they’ve had tons of time to practice together.

  20. BigBlueAL

    Sorry, I finally created a Gravatar account and was trying out different Knicks pics to use lol. Couldnt find my original Allan Houston and Latrell Sprewell pic which was my avatar before when wordpress had their own avatars.

    I was gonna go with a pic of Amar’e or Melo but figured now is not a good time with all the hate they generate around here nowadays lol.

  21. joengai

    this is retarded. the knicks did indeed ruin my weekend, but honestly, i can guarantee a win against the hawks. the knicks always play down to their competition. im sure if we played the cavs in a playoff series we’d sweep em.

  22. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    The Knicks had fewer offensive rebounds AND turnovers, so it’s little surprise they lost. Nothing like having one player (Carmelo) whose TO total is equal to half of the entire opposing team’s. He’s an All-NBA first teamer, for sure.

    (I’m not going to get over how bad that trade was.)

  23. daJudge

    Any constructive ideas out there to improve our defense? I’m not talking about simply working harder or getting a Center—more from a system p.o.v. within the team as it presently exists. Any trends associated with losing to Cleveland three times?

  24. Doug

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: The Knicks had fewer offensive rebounds AND turnovers, so it’s little surprise they lost. Nothing like having one player (Amar’e) whose TO total is equal to half of the entire opposing team’s. He’s an All-NBA first teamer, for sure.(I’m not going to get over how bad that signing was.)  

    Substitute “Amar’e” for “Melo” and you’re talking about the first game against the Bucks where the Knicks lost by 27.

  25. Max

    Carmelo Anthony to the press before yesterday’s game:
    “Tonight is a payback game, man, last Friday’s game, it left a bitter taste in my mouth and the team’s mouth. And we remember that. We hold grudges.”

    Please let’s enter the clowns… ooppsssss, one wears number 7!

  26. erobes

    Good point. 29 points on 16 shots, this game is definately on carmelo. If only wilson chandler had been here. Jesus christ guys.

  27. Frank O.

    At some point the whining is a bit redundant.
    It was a loss. Everyone expected this team to take 10-15 games to come together.
    It started slowly for the first knick team earlier this year. I think they started 3-8. The whining was pretty profound then.
    The other thing is the analysis of the performance so far has just sucked. ‘I told you so’ is not analysis. A weekend ruined is just…well, that’s on you. It’s basketball. Don’t be a diva here.
    Talking over an over about what AR is doing is silly. He couldn’t break the lineup here. Minni is terrible and he’s putting up something there.
    Carmelo blew that last shot, but had a very efficient scoring night.
    The Knicks played without Turiaf and Billups. Let’s be honest, we all knew this trade left the Knicks thin. If you lose two starters, you’re going to struggle. You lose your only true point guard and only true center, you’re going to struggle regardless of the fact that Amare and Carmelo accounted for 70 points.

    But where they lost and where they continue to struggle is in defending the PnR when it involves a strong shooting PG.
    Davis killed the Knicks as did Jameer Nelson the other night. The Knicks are having trouble switching on those, leaving the gunner open from three.
    Last night, you would have much rather force Davis to dish the ball down low than to give up the open threes.
    This frankly is on Amare and it’s on the coach. I think it’s still early for this team, defensively. Scoring comes naturally to these guys. D, especially team D, requires that a team be on the same sheet, and Jeffries just walked through the door.
    Hahn had a great breakdown of this PnR problem of the Knicks. He’s harder on the Knicks than me. He says the D after six games should start to come together. I think that is overly optimistic.
    Check out his article. It looks like something someone here would write…but some folks are too busy whining lately.
    http://bit.ly/hNbUVI

  28. Jim Cavan

    I think we’re just going to have to accept the fact that defense will be a game-time decision for the rest of the season. When they want to clamp down, they can, and do. But then they play a team like Cleveland — for the third time missing a key starter — and they just think they can coast.

    But at least we know they CAN play D when they want to, as evidenced by the games against Miami, most of the Orlando game, and New Orleans. I just hope they finally realize they can’t coast through a game and expect a win, even against a team as horrible as Cleveland. You’d figure they’d have learned that the first two times.

  29. tenebrous

    Frank O.: But where they lost and where they continue to struggle is in defending the PnR when it involves a strong shooting PG.

    now we know how valuable Felton was or is I don’t think we’ve ever seen a player (Felton) go over screens so
    Much Felton said it was the strategheld the Knicks to go over the screens earlier in the season discussing the Knicks defense. The current team (I guess) did not get that memo.

  30. daJudge

    Excellent post Frank O. Totally agree on the whining. Tedious and sophomoric. You’d get tee’d up for it in the NBA. Let’s get back to constructive dialogue and douse the torch songs.

  31. latke

    Frank, it’s hard for me to buy that Billups would have made a difference, unless you think it would have helped spiritually (which I would buy). Our offense was dominant. All we needed was a little more D, and surely Douglas is a better defender than Billups.

    I appreciate you’re trying to stay optimistic, but I think they coulda gotten blown out last night, and it still should shouldn’t affect your outlook. It’s going to be a learning process for this team. I agree with Brian. I can accept them being really inconsistent for another few weeks. After that, they have to at least win the games that they’re supposed to.

  32. massive

    The Knicks have a good team. Remember last year how we had Atlanta’s number? Cleveland just plays us hard. Of course we shouldn’t have blown the lead, but I’m very encouraged by the efficient scoring night Carmelo had. I don’t get the complaints, really.

    Excellent post in 42 though, Frank.

  33. chrisk06811

    Here are my thoughts on last night, good and bad. I’ll try the good first.
    1. Anthony Parker looks like a decent backup point guard, for 12 – 15 minutes per night. he plays hard.
    2. I think if Billups was playing, no way he lets us lose that game. I couldn’t say that for Felton.
    3. How is it we played NO defense last night, yet we just waived a guy who was picked up to be a defensive stopper for the mavs, a team that is 45-16? Do we really prefer billy walker off the bench? Makes no sense to me.
    4. We HAD to trade AR to make the deal work, so I could care less what he does. We did not have to cut brewer and sign Derrick Brown. Brewer would have played last night and contributed.
    5. If we play orlando, Howard is going to go to town on Jeffries, and there’s absolutely nothing we can do about it.
    6. It counts as 1 loss. the miami win counts as 1 win. BUT….playing that “we don’t back down from anyone” commercial w/ the miami game highlights 5 times after that loss really hurt.

  34. d-mar

    Thank God some rational posts, I was ready to delete knickerblogger.net from my favorites.

    This loss was really, really hard to take, but to put it all on the Melo trade is ridiculous. Which defensive specialist exactly did we give up in that trade? And his decision to go to the basket on the last play was the right one, just a heady play by Samuels to draw the charge.

    Defense is obviously a big concern, but think about playoff basketball – do you think we’ll see the Knicks D from last night or from the Miami, Orlando and NO games? Not to say we can coast the rest of the season, but if the Knicks biggest problem is playing down to the competition, I can live with that in the short term. I would rather have lost to Cleveland twice and beaten Miami and NO than the reverse, as weird as that sounds.

  35. fushknicken

    Few thoughts. First, the Knicks offense looks great, invincible at times. Set plays seem to be working out, Melo and Stat looking way more comfortable than in the Bucks win and first Cavs loss. Looking forward to seeing more of it, it is really fun to watch.

    Defense looks terrible, I really think the Knicks are switching and trapping way too much, and guys are out of position all the time. So many mismatches for the Cavs last night, Amare guarding Davis and AC one-on-one on Samuels for example. If we can fix that or learn to play a zone (I think the Syracuse 2-3 set up is perfect for the Knicks) we’ll be fine.

  36. endyendy

    1. Just tell him not to take any threes.

    3. To be fair to Walker, he’s shown signs of life on the defensive end lately, and D’Antoni likes guys who can shoot. Brewer cannot.

    5. That’s true, but we lose to Orlando when we let the other guys go off on us. It’s a classic case of let the main guy get his, stop the rest. Or against the Cavaliers, just stop no one.

  37. Count de Pennies

    I tend to subscribe to the theory that the Cavs’ baffling mastery of the Knicks is the result of some kind of weird, watered down basketball karma. A morality play written, produced, and directed by the Basketball Gods for their own amuesment.

    In Act I, we are introduced to the Cavs – children of the rust belt, ultimately betrayed by their faith in the durability of an older economic system. They once innocently believed that native son LeBron – if not moved by love of childhood hearth and home – would at least be motivated by the opportunity to remain with the one team who could reward him with the mostest boodle. But – as we all now know – their trust in the greed of the modern professional athlete was to be trumped by a new paradigm they had not – and could not have – anticipated.

    In Act the Second, attention is given to the Knicks. In our little morality tale, they are tasked with the role of slick big-city hustler with an eye forever fixed on the main chance. That eye beheld the new paradigm – the verisame one that so cruelly bitchslapped the unsuspecting Cavs – and liked what it saw. Displaying all the sophistication of a diner at an old school Chinese restaurant (“We chose one from Column A and one from Column B…hey, where’s Column C?”) they quickly moved to turn the new world order to their advantage.

    Thusly, the stage is set. Now, if this were a big budget Hollywood production written by a team of hacks and directed by Ron Howard, Act III would climax with the spurned Cavs raining down a biblical vengeance on LeBron and all his South Beach acolytes. Sadly, the Basketball Gods seem to have little taste for the blatantly obvious. Nevertheless, justice must somehow be served in Act III; the karmic books must be balanced somewhat – if only a little.

    Enter the Knicks…

  38. daJudge

    fushknicken and others—I was thinking about the 2/3 zone ( and other zones) when I wrote my post earlier. Problem with the zone is that it often leaves open three pointers available. This is already an evident problem with the Knicks. Maybe the biggest issues for D is the lack of communication on the screens, poor doubling, and lack of rotation on the double. With the screens, it’s basically switch or fight through them. It’s seems like simple stuff, but if it is not executed properly, there are big problems and many open looks. As pointed out by Latke, most proficient hoopers can bury an open look. I guess my only point is that the defensive articulation is as important as the offensive execution. Perhaps the later is more developed at this point because of our skilled offensive players and our Coach’s philosophy. The jelling process may take longer relative to defensive efficacy. My only concern is whether this particular coaching staff will be able to stir the pot in that regard.

  39. tenebrous

    @ Doug, not sure

    About brewer: md just said brewers agent asked for brewer to b released since md could not give definitively say to the agent that brewer would or would not b in the rotation in a major way. brewer could b the next ariza but we don’t know

    About: zones: I like zones not sure what is 2/3 zone but hey y not it keeps the legs fresh for rebounding and offense I would try the zone for parts of the q

    @ 54 great write up – but cava r cave and cavs if they win a championship they will still be the cavs

    - im gonna go on a limb with this one: there is nothing wrong with lb trying to become a man and leave his house and make a nest in another place – even if lb doesn’t EVER win a championship that alone is a good move. What wasn’t a good decision is the the anticipation “led-up” the he dragged everyone into

  40. MoogSM

    On one hand, the Knicks were missing two of their starters and have only been playing together for two weeks.

    On the other hand, the defense was pathetic. D’Antoni likes to think that having guys who are interchangeable defensively (like Jeffries) allows them to switch, but all the switching leads to really soft defense. You never see these guys fighting hard to get through a pick, it’s just switch, allow penetration, and then the kick out for an open jumper or three.

    The truth is, this team is not a D’Antoni team. This is not a SSOL team. You put a defensive expert like a Thibodeau or another hungry young assistant coach in charge of this ship and the offensive is still humming but they start being accountable defensively.

    Also: I’ve seen Carmelo get called for that same damn charge too many times! Everyone sees you galloping down the lane. If you’re not going to pull up, up go a little to the left or the right — see LeBron or Wade — and you’ll get both the basket and the foul call. He’s a scorer all right, but he’s a terrible decision-maker, and he’s shown few signs of improving in that aspect. That doesn’t bode well for our future.

  41. The Infamous Cdiggy

    Hello everyone. Long time listener (ummm reader), first time caller (used to listen to WFAN alot). Quick intro: I grew up on the 90′s Knicks and I loved them dearly. PE and Oak were my boys. Starks drove you nuts but I still got love for him. I couldn’t play a lick of b’ball, but when I called myself trying to play, I emulated the Knicks D.

    I know b’ball is technically a non-contact sport (ha!), and the rule changes over the past decade allows for better offense creativity, because hey, scoring sells. I’m still learning some of these advanced stat stuff that some of the more established posters on here have a good grasp of, but I dig the eFG and TS% stuff. All that said, games like last night, specifically late in that 4th quarter, makes me queasy. Where was the perimeter D? No pressure on the PGs – I saw B.Davis and Sessions both make plays at will, just like J.Nelson did two games ago. Someone mentioned the poor switching on the high screens, but I saw poor defensive rotation/unnecessary doubling on players that aren’t what you call world-beaters. Cavs pass the ball a bit, they get an open J on the outside… over and over. Pathetic.

    That said, it’s a bad loss but not a killer. And I know the Melo trade (while I believe they prolly gave up one guy too many) isn’t mainly about this year, and the coach deserves to be afforded time to get the team to gel. I understand ISOs are the rave on offense, but I did NOT like what I saw from Melo and Amare’s ISOs in the 4th Q Can’t we at least have some perimeter/backdoor movement for some good drive-and-kick opportunities? I’ll have some patience… but I can’t stand watching quick/scoring PGs carve our D up like holiday turkey.

  42. hoolahoop

    No question, cohesiveness, discipline, and fundamentals are enormously important. However, last night’s loss had nothing to do about the team taking time to gel. The knicks blew the game in the last few minutes.
    Turning points, shifting momentum, and defining plays influence the outcome. TD’s tunnel vision, stupid play, driving into three cavs and turning it over at a crucial point in the game with two minutes left was a knife in the gut. MDA yanked him and the knicks never stepped up.

    Why isn’t it taking Denver time to gel?

  43. fushknicken

    @56 I’m no expert, but seems to me the knicks are doubling too much. On the screen they consistently trap. I know we tried that earlier in the year and it didn’t work, but right now we’re getting killed by our defender’s slow help rotation. If Baron Davis takes a bunch of 3′s I’m ok with that, I’m not ok with Samuels and Hickson dunks and layups because the rotations are late. Parker corner three is because whoever is guarding him gives help to the inside, closeouts are way too late. If we’re going to switch and double that much, we might as well implement a zone because we’re basically in one anyways, except that a patient team can pick us apart. I’d rather switch with TD on the perimeter than with Amare, so why are we in man anyways? Lets trade our dunks and layups for their 3′s and long 2′s and see what happens, at least we’ll be 2-3 feet closer to close out. We’re way too in-between on what we’re doing on D, if we had 2 or 3 guys who could guard all 5 positions, like ye-old suns, we might be ok rotating as much as we do, but we don’t have the players to switch this much, just my two cents. I bet D’antoni makes a change, I’m really really impressed with him so far in the post-melo era, he’s doing an incredible job.

  44. fushknicken

    Sorry, meant to say
    “Maybe we should go under the screen, I know we tried that earlier in the year and it didn’t work, but right now we’re getting killed by our defender’s slow help rotation.”

  45. outoftowner

    This is a very interesting article on True Hoop, and very relevant I think to the Knicks’ current situation:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/25914/mark-cuban-hopes-to-lose-and-lose-badly-someday

    It talks about the “mediocrity treadmill,” the space between being good enough to contend and being bad enough to get a top lottery pick. I think its all the quick fixes over the last ten years that have had the Knicks stuck in this middle ground. We’re really the poster-franchise for the mediocrity treadmill.

    Reading the Sloan Conference posts is a little depressing as a Knicks fan. This stuff is light years ahead of Jim Dolan.

  46. dsulz

    fushknicken: @56 I’m no expert, but seems to me the knicks are doubling too much. On the screen they consistently trap.

    It seems to me like you’re on to something here, fushknicken, but I’d tweek it slightly. When we trap out on the perimeter, sometimes it really works! If you went back to the tape in the Miami game our trapping was key to our defensive success down the stretch. But I think you are getting at something important, which is our defensive INFLEXIBILITY. A good defensive team is like a good poker player: sometimes they come hard, sometimes they sit back and wait for you to try and beat them, their defense is CREATIVE in the way that it keeps the opponent guessing. This, I think, is the answer to the well-we-played-good-defense-against-why-can’t-we-against-the Cavs which has understandably pre-occupied a lot of the comments on this blog. We can hustle on defense, and we often do, and we have a few tricks up our sleeve defensively that can rattle another team’s offense (sometimes even very good ones). The problem that we have is when the other team breaks our defensive strategies. We saw it with Jameer on Tuesday and with Davis last night: what was so frustrating about both of those games was that we didn’t just get beaten effortlessly on defense, we got beaten IN EXACTLY THE SAME WAY OVER AND OVER AGAIN, and it’s because we don’t adjust. Good defense doesn’t just mean hustle and toughness. It means having the flexibility to make quick changes when one or more opposing players have “figured out” the defensive sets–whether through switching players, changing looks, or whatever–which make the other team beat you some other way. This is the characteristic of a team that doesn’t just want to play defense, but one that is COMFORTABLE playing defense. Just a thought.

  47. Mike Kurylo

    hoolahoop: Why isn’t it taking Denver time to gel?

    Because it doesn’t fit the narrative.

    Hence why my eyes automatically roll when I hear a cliche like that. Has anyone proven that it takes time for players to gel? Rasheed Wallace played 22 games his first year for the Pistons, and they went 18-4 in that stretch. I can hear it now “But Rasheed is a defensive guy, and ‘Melo is an offensive guy, in a new system, and he can’t find his lucky socks…gasdfja asd” Sorry hard to type with my eyes pointing at the ceiling.

    I can buy that any team can lose a few games. But let’s not put on auto-cliche on, especially when we don’t know them to be true.

  48. Mike Kurylo

    outoftowner: This is a very interesting article on True Hoop, and very relevant I think to the Knicks’ current situation:http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/25914/mark-cuban-hopes-to-lose-and-lose-badly-somedayIt talks about the “mediocrity treadmill,” the space between being good enough to contend and being bad enough to get a top lottery pick.I think its all the quick fixes over the last ten years that have had the Knicks stuck in this middle ground.We’re really the poster-franchise for the mediocrity treadmill.Reading the Sloan Conference posts is a little depressing as a Knicks fan.This stuff is light years ahead of Jim Dolan.  

    I watched that Cuban conference about losing. Was very interesting.

  49. latke

    In most drafts, you can trade a top 5 pick for a star (if you wanted to). It’s free value. Almost all top picks exceed the price of their contracts. Again, plain and simple good value. The key to winning is knowing when you have enough value on your team to cash in some or all of your value/potential players for stars.

    Look at the Bulls for the last ten years. They have been masters at playing the value of the draft. A couple of times they’ve gotten into 40 win territory and then traded away or not resigned their young players because they knew they didn’t have the pieces: They traded Brand for a pick. They traded Curry for 2 picks. They let Chandler, Gordon and Crawford walk. This summer, they decided they had enough talent to win and made their free agent splash. Even though they didn’t get the best FA out there, the caution they used in building gave them some leeway.

    IMO the knicks made all the right moves from when Walsh started through free agency 2010. If they had signed to big FAs last summer, bird rights would have allowed them to resign chandler this summer and Gallo next. They could have been really powerful and really deep. The Carmelo deal was plan C. They already had mad loot committed to Amare (which I figure Walsh did hoping to lure a 2nd FA). Trading STAT would be politically unacceptable, so they had to cash in and hope for the best. Afraid of what the CBA would do to player movement and doubtful that Carmelo would come as a free agent, they gave what they had to give in order to bring him in.

    In an ideal world, it’s a risk I doubt Walsh would take, but if they hadn’t gotten ‘mel and 2012 didn’t work out, we’d be looking at another several years of mediocrity. Politically, the knicks couldn’t take that risk. This pairing is a long shot to win a title, but it at least guarantees a competitive team, and if we get a few breaks, then we could end up as contenders.

  50. jon abbey

    Rasheed and Gasol both came to teams that were already very good and had intact cores, and almost as importantly, neither acquiring team gave up a major piece, not comparable situations in any way to NY gutting their team multiple times over the last two seasons.

  51. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Every additional possession will net a decent team another .8-1.0 points. Let’s not forget that Carmelo has never been good at creating possessions, just using them. So yeah, this team is going to gel into a #7 seed that sometimes shoots the deep ball well but can’t rebound or keep possession of the ball.

    The Cavs, guys. Owners of the all-time worst losing streak.

    In NBA history.

    Ever.

  52. jon abbey

    the recent team that gelled amazingly fast was the Celtics when they got Garnett and Allen. they got lucky in that the All-Stars available at the time perfectly complemented their already existing core (and of course that a former Celtics legend was the other GM).

    in our case, not only do Amare and Melo and the other players have to adjust, but so does D’Antoni (as he’s already said).

  53. hoolahoop

    Latke, you’re analysis is well thought out, but falls short on variables. Yes, the knicks could have rolled the dice and missed getting melo in free agency. However, the story doesn’t end there. For starters, they could have shaken the branches and perhaps could have picked up Deron Williams – at a much cheaper price than Melo. The knicks had a lot of young, interesting pieces to offer in return. We’ll never know. Even if they did not get D. Williams, you can be assured that there are always, ALWAYS, opportunities that present themselves. Williams, Perkins and Melo are all examples of that. So, had they sat tight and remained on strategy something good would have likely presented itself. Watch what happens in the next six months. they’ll be more surprising moves involving big name talent.
    I was against the Melo trade all along just for that reason. The knicks probably would have been better off waiting for the “right” pieces rather than the “now” pieces. Ironically, the best part of the deal was Denver forcing the knicks to take Billups.
    Also I enjoyed watching the team we had. The young, home grown hardworking guys they assembled that ran the floor were much more entertaining.

  54. dmull

    I only caught the last quarter of the game, but I will say this much: A) It was very fluky that Cleveland won the game, the Knicks kept them at arms reach and then when they fell asleep a bit they hit some improbably shots at the perfect time and the Knicks just ran out of time.
    B) If Billups is playing the end of the game would have unfolded a bit differently. Cleveland astutely had Anthony Carter’s defender run to double up Melo everytime he touched it down the stretch…with no real concern of Carter hitting a J (he actually hit one or two in the fourth) the defense was much different. Having multiple scoring threats on the floor definitely helps.

    There are some really level headed people on this site. There are also some really crazy people leaning to one side or the other. I just don’t really see how some people are unwilling to give a team we’ve been waiting on for a decade more than a couple of games to figure it out?

  55. daJudge

    Very interesting dsulz on defense issues. I need to read that a few times. Mike K, are you saying that the notion that a team with new players needs time to adjust to perform at a high level is a red herring? IMO, this seems like a basic concept. You are usually so measured, I find that position strikingly odd. I think there must be something sinister going on at this site which is insidiously being transmitted through the key board. (LOL)

  56. tenebrous

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: Every additional possession will net a decent team another .8-1.0 points. Let’s not forget that Carmelo has never been good at creating possessions, just using them. So yeah, this team is going to gel into a #7 seed that sometimes shoots the deep ball well but can’t rebound or keep possession of the ball.The Cavs, guys. Owners of the all-time worst losing streak.In NBA history.Ever.  

    Yeah but they’re quicker than NY. If md had these guys for a minute he would put quicker guys and younger guys on the floor a la dbrown and even AndyR. Have no idea y md (or Dolan) r not playing Andy. They r not looking long term to the detriment or benefit of the fans. My rule is md should give melo and stat no more than 35 min and build trust with the rest if the team. Have people play and let us fans enjoy. The team seems systematic and not organic. change something md. read the above and perhaps don’t.

  57. BigBlueAL

    The reason the Nuggets are “gelling” quickly is because all they are incorporating is a backup PG and a new starting SF basically.

    I mean they have won 3 in a row with Chandler starting and Felton as the backup PG. No Gallo and no Mozgov. They still have their starting C, PF, SG, starting a PG who was the backup PG before the trade and still using the same 2 backup big guys.

    Lets see where Denver is at after their next 7 games since 6 of them are on the road including a trip through Florida.

  58. latke

    hoolahoop: there are always, ALWAYS, opportunities that present themselves.

    I agree. I just don’t think Walsh had the latitude to continue to play the variables. You have to admit that everything else is probabilities. While there seems to be a star that becomes available every year, there are also 29 other teams in the NBA, and many of them will make a play for said star. There’s no guarantee that these stars end up in NY.

    Furthermore, Chandler was expiring this summer, Gallo next year — they become less valuable the closer they get to having contracts that match their values. With Amare on our team, we weren’t going to end up with a bad enough record to get the kind of draft pick that matters to a team trading its star (even if we could have this year, that pick would be Houston’s).

    I still would have rather kept the team intact and bet on the development of young players over the development of one player who is already in his prime and whose team has only advanced out of the first round once (not to mention the $7 million-ish we would have had in cap space this summer AFTER resigning Chandler and the max space we would have had in 2012). Maybe that money only would have gotten us more Raymond Feltons though. You never know.

    The thing is though, I don’t think the move was insane, and that’s where the politics come in: Carmelo is a bigger name and will get us more wins this year and probably next than we would have had by keeping our guys together. He also doesn’t rule out playoff contention. I can see how these kinds of factors could make a questionable move seem necessary. And again, I do believe it has a chance to yield a championship, just a smaller chance than before. You have to remember though that in either situation the odds of a championship were miniscule.

  59. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Ty Lawson wasn’t the starter before Billups left. The difference is that they had an awesome point guard to take the place of another awesome point guard. We got nearly the same player that we had in Wilson Chandler, only he shoots over double-teams instead of passing out of them.

  60. dsulz

    daJudge: Very interesting dsulz on defense issues. I need to read that a few times.

    Thanks. I left out some words in my post, so in one or two places I’m not really making any sense. But let me provide an analogy: I’m a teacher. When I began teaching I had a very specific idea of what a well-managed classroom looked like, and several strategies to help me keep the classroom well-managed. The strategies were mostly effective, but I remember in that first year, the sense of sheer panic that could overtake me when things didn’t go as I planned and my strategies weren’t working. That’s what I see the Knicks going through right now with Orlando and Cleveland. Their defense worked really well for several quarters, but then when the other teams adjusted and found its weaknesses, the Knicks didn’t adjust back. I’ve heard people on this blog say that the Knicks get up by ten points or so and then try to coast. I don’t think that’s true at all. At a certain point, the other teams figure out a way to exploit your defense. If you’re comfortable as a defensive unit, your response isn’t to panic or try to do the same thing but harder. Instead you counter-adjust, throwing something at your opposition that now THEY have to find a solution for.

    As I continued teaching, I stopped having such a rigid view of what well-managed classroom looked like. Teaching began to feel more natural: you have a plan for success and when things come up that you don’t expect, you make the necessary adjustments on the fly, confident that your improvisations will lead you to your larger goal. The Knicks aren’t there yet. They may never be. But their recent collapses aren’t about effort. They’re about comfort and flexibility as a defensive unit.

  61. Mike Kurylo

    daJudge: Mike K, are you saying that the notion that a team with new players needs time to adjust to perform at a high level is a red herring? IMO, this seems like a basic concept. You are usually so measured, I find that position strikingly odd. I think there must be something sinister going on at this site which is insidiously being transmitted through the key board. (LOL)

    If you can find any cliche or common wisdom that I’ve taken at face value, feel free to let me know. Especially one so far reaching and apparently not true in at least two examples (actually I would say they failed miserably).

    jon abbey: Rasheed and Gasol both came to teams that were already very good and had intact cores, and almost as importantly, neither acquiring team gave up a major piece, not comparable situations in any way to NY gutting their team multiple times over the last two seasons.

    My point isn’t to say that the Knicks didn’t give up more than those other teams. If that’s why New York isn’t doing great at this moment, then that makes 1000 times more sense than it takes time for players traded mid-season to gel, yes?

  62. BigBlueAL

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: Ty Lawson wasn’t the starter before Billups left. The difference is that they had an awesome point guard to take the place of another awesome point guard. We got nearly the same player that we had in Wilson Chandler, only he shoots over double-teams instead of passing out of them.  

    Ive actually been very surprised at how much Felton is playing. He has been horrible on offense but he is still playing close to 30 minutes per game and when he and Lawson are on the court together Felton still handles the ball for the most part.

    BTW I know Lawson wasnt the starter obviously, I mentioned that they now have a starting PG who was the backup before so it wasnt that big of a transition.

    Also please stop with the whole Melo is only slightly better than Wilson Chandler. Even this season in what is by far Chandler’s best season of his career he is still below league average in WS/48. I get the whole Melo is severely overpaid thing. You want to continue to harp on that its fine because its a very valid point. But dont try to diminish him by calling him basically the same player as Chandler. Chandler is going to have to have a few seasons similar to this one to just be in that conversation because his first 3 seasons are nowhere near as good as any season Melo has had.

  63. BigBlueAL

    If the whole taking time to gel thing is bogus than why did the Heat start off 9-8 then all of a sudden started destroying the league??

    Granted their current play now resembling their 9-8 start probably puts that reasoning into question. I do think though and admit that I would assume the whole time to gel thing would make sense on offense yet that hasnt been the Knicks problem. Their problem remains the same as it was before the trade which is bad defense, although aside from the 1st game vs the Cavs the Knicks rebounding has actually been pretty good. I believe they have outrebounded the other team 4 out of the 6 games so far since the trade.

  64. daJudge

    dsulz–I’m with you, but I was thinking more about football. If a team doesn’t make adjustments, they often lose. These are professional, opportunistic and superb athletes. So I guess my concern is with the Coach’s adjustments on D. I’m optimistic that Coach is a real pro and will be able to perceive and adjust. By the way, I think your teaching analogy is spot on and pretty much how it is in this world in many endeavors.

  65. jon abbey

    Mike Kurylo: My point isn’t to say that the Knicks didn’t give up more than those other teams. If that’s why New York isn’t doing great at this moment, then that makes 1000 times more sense than it takes time for players traded mid-season to gel, yes?  

    every situation is different, but it’s not how much you give up, it’s how much you give up of the guys currently contributing to your team.

    maybe not a huge distinction, but for instance, if the Nets were a title contender before the D-Will trade, they probably wouldn’t have taken long to gel with him, as they didn’t give up much in current assets to get him (Humphries is playing much better than Favors this year).

    also, there is no way in hell NY could have traded for D-Will, even with the Melo package plus Fields plus Douglas plus Charlie Sheen’s little black book. we could not match the package NJ gave them.

  66. daJudge

    Sorry Mike, I don’t get what you’re saying. I’m not being a wise guy, but I don’t know what you mean. What I was trying to say is that I like what you usually post and I didn’t understand your position. No big deal, but are you saying that since the phrase ‘it takes time to gel’ is a cliche and, because it is often repeated, it is not valid? Or, are you saying that since sometimes teams do not need to adjust to new players, the whole notion is stupid. Anyway, if this is just too dopey for you do not feel compelled to respond at all. It’s all good. I’m going to watch the Johnies. Go Storm.

  67. tenebrous

    At the beginning of te season assuming all Knicks players were healthy my starters would have been: 5 curry 4 mazgov 3 stat 2 Galo 1 randolf: guess its a video game … now probably and bc no other alternative 5 jj 4 tu 3 stat 2 melo 1 bilups also would give melonand stat a chance to play the pnNDEA melon brings it up and bilups the last shot option and would require jj and Tu shoot layup dunk in other words score as well … Melo has court vision when he’s running the point and everyone is expecting his pass as well – potentiallythis team can b extremely exciting if melonruns the point – nothing ventured nothing gained

  68. Mike Kurylo

    BigBlueAL: The reason the Nuggets are “gelling” quickly is because all they are incorporating is a backup PG and a new starting SF basically.

    Sure and Cleveland just lost one SF.

    Denver lost an All Star, who was their leading scorer, and a very good point guard. There are probably a few thousand ‘Melo Knick jerseys right now.

    I mean they have won 3 in a row with Chandler starting and Felton as the backup PG. No Gallo and no Mozgov. They still have their starting C, PF, SG, starting a PG who was the backup PG before the trade and still using the same 2 backup big guys.

    Lets see where Denver is at after their next 7 games since 6 of them are on the road including a trip through Florida.

    Perhaps. Again this is my point – it seems much less than a team needs time to gel than teams win or loss due to a number of elements including home/road, opponent strength, who went out the night before, randomness, etc.

  69. Mike Kurylo

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: Ty Lawson wasn’t the starter before Billups left. The difference is that they had an awesome point guard to take the place of another awesome point guard. We got nearly the same player that we had in Wilson Chandler, only he shoots over double-teams instead of passing out of them.  

    Chandler could also block shots and, finally after a few years, hit threes at the league average rate.

  70. Mike Kurylo

    daJudge: Sorry Mike, I don’t get what you’re saying.I’m not being a wise guy, but I don’t know what you mean.What I was trying to say is that I like what you usually post and I didn’t understand your position.No big deal, but are you saying that since the phrase ‘it takes time to gel’ is a cliche and, because it is often repeated, it is not valid?Or, are you saying that since sometimes teams do not need to adjust to new players, the whole notion is stupid.Anyway, if this is just too dopey for you do not feel compelled to respond at all.It’s all good. I’m going to watch the Johnies.Go Storm.  

    What I’m saying is that it’s an easy way out to blame the Knicks woes on just “it takes time to gel.” Considering that other All Stars who went to new teams didn’t take time to gel, I don’t think it’s a valid reason for New York. There are lots more valid reasons on why New York isn’t just blowing teams out of the water right now (or more realistic – have as good an offense as they did prior to the trade).

  71. BigBlueAL

    Hey Mike, will you be writing some sort of recap on the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference from this weekend??

  72. Mike Kurylo

    BigBlueAL: Hey Mike, will you be writing some sort of recap on the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference from this weekend??  

    Due to outside circumstances, I was not able to attend this year. I did watch a chunk of it on Friday online. Some really good stuff. But unfortunately I’m not qualified to do a summary.

  73. Spree8nyk8

    Mike Kurylo:
    What I’m saying is that it’s an easy way out to blame the Knicks woes on just “it takes time to gel.” Considering that other All Stars who went to new teams didn’t take time to gel, I don’t think it’s a valid reason for New York. There are lots more valid reasons on why New York isn’t just blowing teams out of the water right now (or more realistic – have as good an offense as they did prior to the trade).  

    Really Mike? What allstars would that be? Because the only example you listed was where basically one guy went to a new team. We traded out half our roster and you are calling “needing time to gel” a myth? Really? This is a typical hater attitude willing to shape any situation to fit your argument.

    How about Miami? Are they instantly cohesive? Cause it sure doesn’t look like they are. I really just don’t get these kinds of attitudes. I don’t see anything to gain from it. You can’t undo the trade. And sorry dude but the team was not better before it. I mean just because a few teams got off to a good start with new players does not mean that it’s the rule. It’s definitely the exception.

  74. JK47

    We got nearly the same player that we had in Wilson Chandler, only he shoots over double-teams instead of passing out of them.

    Let’s not get all misty-eyed over Wilson Chandler’s awesome passing.

    Career AST%
    Carmelo Anthony 15.5
    Wilson Chandler 9.2

    Gallo’s AST% is even lower– 7.3 for his career.

  75. latke

    Spree –

    If we were talking about whether it was a good idea to have traded Ewing, would you be upset? I’m not saying (and I don’t think Mike is either) that I’m not rooting for this team to succeed, but I don’t see any harm in discussing the evidence. We’re powerless either way…

    Miami was not instantly cohesive and it’s becoming clear now that maybe they aren’t the super-team we thought they were, mostly because they have a lot of skill redundancies on their team and a god-awful bench. IMO if the Heat traded Bosh right now for the package the Knicks sent to Denver, they’d be a better team. It would give them the depth they need in their starting lineup and off the bench.

  76. daJudge

    Mike, thanks for the clarification.
    Latke–good call, but “evidence” is information that tends to prove the issue asserted by the proffer. It is not admissible if it is overly prejudicial for many reasons related to logic. The question becomes what point you are trying to prove through the proffer. Come on, be honest….not enough admissible evidence yet on any relevant issue here. Many of the posts are emotional reactions from dudes who otherwise claim to be empirical. Very knee jerk and ironic indeed from a site that prides itself on valid data. Sorry, but that’s my view.

  77. jon abbey

    Indiana loses again, we have a six game lead in the loss column for the 7 spot, 22 games to play.

    with Miami’s rough upcoming schedule, they are looking like the #3 seed, Chicago #2. it would be a good essay topic here to talk about who we match up ‘better’ with, since we have a 4-2 record against the two combined so far this year.

  78. Z-man

    Mike, while I agree that the “takes time to gel” excuse might be overused here, I think your trade comparisons are weak. We not only turned over the rotation part of the roster, we are incorporating a new point guard and a new #1 shooting option into an offensive system not consistent with their talents. More importantly, we are doing so at nearly the 60-game mark in the thick of the first legit playoff chase for this team in years. Furthermore, this team was never thought of as a finished product by any objective observer, it is clear that they need a big or two and more talent/depth at PG.

  79. Mike Kurylo

    latke: If we were talking about whether it was a good idea to have traded Ewing, would you be upset?

    I think you hit the nail on the head here, with the word “upset”. It seems that the pro-Carmelo camp is overly defensive since the deal went down. What was the expression used a few days ago? “Excusatio non petita accusatio manifesta.”

    For 7 years, this site has been about talking about evidence. Part of that has been being critical of the Knicks, because if you don’t look at all the angles, you just become an echo chamber. Now all of a sudden, because the Knicks trade for a second All Star, KnickerBlogger.Net is supposed to turn into X.com and only cheer for the team?

    I could understand if people who were against the Carmelo trade were using weak examples to back-up their claims. Is it not reasonable to conjecture that the trade for him wasn’t the best move NY could make? Does admitting that you think that automatically make you a “hater”?

    Even though I don’t think this trade was great for NY, I welcome the pro-Melo fans. In fact this blog would fail without them. But I don’t think being critical of this deal means that person is a “hater”, and I’m sure I could come up with slurs to describe people who are for the deal, so I choose to stoop to such a level.

    Look, there is nothing as Knick fan that I want more is for this trade to work out and this team to start kicking ass in the East. Although Carmelo’s scoring first style isn’t what I like as a player (and this goes back to my pre-stat/early days of basketball), I would love it if he started to score in bunches, made his teammates better, and swishing some buzzer beaters. Heck surpassing Orlando and knocking them out of the top tier would be awesome if we did so before Dwight Howard signed his next deal. But I’m sorry if I’m not there yet. If/when it happens, I’ll cover it…

  80. Mike Kurylo

    Z-man: Mike, while I agree that the “takes time to gel” excuse might be overused here, I think your trade comparisons are weak. We not only turned over the rotation part of the roster, we are incorporating a new point guard and a new #1 shooting option into an offensive system not consistent with their talents. More importantly, we are doing so at nearly the 60-game mark in the thick of the first legit playoff chase for this team in years. Furthermore, this team was never thought of as a finished product by any objective observer, it is clear that they need a big or two and more talent/depth at PG.

    It sounds like most of your comment is “these guys don’t fit”, “we traded away too much”, and “the team still needs depth”. I agree with these three statements, and the last two are decidedly different from “this team just needs time to gel”. Even the first isn’t precisely that.

  81. jon abbey

    Mike Kurylo: Now all of a sudden, because the Knicks trade for a second All Star, KnickerBlogger.Net is supposed to turn into X.com and only cheer for the team?
    I could understand if people who were against the Carmelo trade were using weak examples to back-up their claims. Is it not reasonable to conjecture that the trade for him wasn’t the best move NY could make? Does admitting that you think that automatically make you a “hater”?
      

    well, I think part of the problem is that the anti-Carmelo crew (FWIW, I’m pretty agnostic on the issue, as I think our nonexistent window for a title closed when LeBron said no) now can’t be proven wrong unless NY somehow wins a title, but IMO we weren’t winning a title either way.

    the Curry deal was clearly and demonstrably a gigantic mistake, Walsh’s botching the 2009 draft was instantly and obviously a disaster, but this one is much harder to judge IMO, especially with the spectre of a secret deal with Chris Paul possibly having been made already. I am making/have made my peace with the deal, even though I’ve never been a Melo fan, because I honestly think this is our best chance to try to compete while Amare is still in his prime.

    the part that’s a little hard for me to understand is that despite Melo’s flaws, he’s still probably one of the four best Knicks in the post-Clyde/Reed era. Bernard King, Ewing, Amare and Melo, and two of those guys have gotten here in the last eight months. are they going to lead us to a title? almost certainly not without a top 5-10 quality player also signing up, but there’s a good chance that this will help with that possible acquisition (and to preempt the question, depending on how the CBA turns out, there are ways around the cap). the thing is we weren’t going anywhere without him, so we might as well see where we go with him, since he’s on our side now.

  82. jon abbey

    I hit the Ted Nelson character limit, a bit rambling for me, but that’s where I stand.

  83. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    By the way, all that talk of how a player like Nene couldn’t be as efficient without a Carmelo? So far, tonight:

    23 minutes
    19 points on 11 shots
    14 rebounds
    2 blocks
    1 steal
    2 assists

    Yeah. He’s been on a f___ing TEAR since Carmelo left. Small sample? Sure. But if Carmelo’s impact were that great (on a shooter with a TS% of .670 this season), Nene would have declined immediately.

    All this talk of Carmelo’s unmeasurable value is total bullshit.

    The only good thing that can come of this trade is Chris Paul, and even then, we still have to suffer through Carmelo’s ridiculous contract for the next four years.

  84. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Spree8nyk8:
    This is a typical hater attitude willing to shape any situation to fit your argument.  

    Actually, your argument is tantamount to: “Prove that it doesn’t exist,” which, of course, is fallacious. There’s very little evidence that putting bad players next to good players makes them also good players. That’s just the way it rolls, dawg.

  85. tenebrous

    Jan Abby – I think what people r saying is that melo is not on our side. That all he wants is his next scoring title. will he change who know? Do we want him to change – who knows? IMO we need strong character and melons 1.

    I guess the new “statistics” (or ways to judge a player) r one of tech fouls. Recruit the players with the most tech fouls stat melo (we already have two) howard (does cp3 have tech?) etc and u have ur self hard-nosed possible champions (how many tech does koby has or jdog would have had with the new rules.

    Not sure what’s better ask them to b themselves or ask the to stop whining clamplaining and just win hmmmmm what a conundrum

  86. dmull

    @102 – Pretty much summarizes how I feel…though I actually do like Melo…I just can’t understand what direction people thought we were going in and how disillusioned they might have been about that core somehow leading us to a championship.

    @105 – 23 minutes? Really? And what Nene does without Melo, to me, is irrelevant. Nene is very good for what he is. But he is also extremely limited and precisely the type of player that a lot of the advanced metrics tend to overrate…I know, I know, most here only believe that the advanced stats identify overrated players (MELO PE#1)…but guess what, they also overrate a lot of players….

    And I’d love to have Nene here in NY…and I bet he still puts up really good efficiency numbers in Denver….and I also bet he is still a very limited player.

  87. BigBlueAL

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: By the way, all that talk of how a player like Nene couldn’t be as efficient without a Carmelo? So far, tonight:23 minutes
    19 points on 11 shots
    14 rebounds
    2 blocks
    1 steal
    2 assistsYeah. He’s been on a f___ing TEAR since Carmelo left. Small sample? Sure. But if Carmelo’s impact were that great (on a shooter with a TS% of .670 this season), Nene would have declined immediately.All this talk of Carmelo’s unmeasurable value is total bullshit.The only good thing that can come of this trade is Chris Paul, and even then, we still have to suffer through Carmelo’s ridiculous contract for the next four years.  

    No mention of Chandler’s 3 for 13 for 7 pts tonight so far?? lol just teasing you.

  88. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    dmull: @102 – Pretty much summarizes how I feel…though I actually do like Melo…I just can’t understand what direction people thought we were going in and how disillusioned they might have been about that core somehow leading us to a championship.@105 – 23 minutes? Really? And what Nene does without Melo, to me, is irrelevant. Nene is very good for what he is. But he is also extremely limited and precisely the type of player that a lot of the advanced metrics tend to overrate…I know, I know, most here only believe that the advanced stats identify overrated players (MELO PE#1)…but guess what, they also overrate a lot of players….And I’d love to have Nene here in NY…and I bet he still puts up really good efficiency numbers in Denver….and I also bet he is still a very limited player.  

    If he’s limited, DMULL, then I want that kind of limited player. Sure, he’s limited in that he’ll probably never crack the Sportcenter Top 10, nor will Charles Barkley soberly (hah!) argue that he is, in fact, deserving of an all-star berth (which I’d argue he’s not, still, by any statistical measure).

    Look: the dude is so limited he took 14 shots and scored 25 points. Who cares how he does it?

  89. BigBlueAL

    “Look: the dude is so limited he took 14 shots and scored 25 points. Who cares how he does it?”

    Someone on the Knicks last night took 16 shots and scored 29 points :-)

  90. hoolahoop

    Everyone’s counting Miami out and calling it a failed experiment. They’re in their second skid and still 43-19, just three games behind the Celts. Sure, there was a breakdown in the loss to the knicks, but i saw some real brilliance in that game. Their defense is suffocating and their switches are smooth. And of course, Lebron and Wade are Lebron and Wade. If they finish the season strong they’ll have a great chance to win it all, and would probably sweep the knicks.

    The problem with the melo trade is that they gave away the guys that brought us out of the ten year drought, guys that we drafted, guys that were young, hardworking and learning, guys that played exciting basketball. Gallo and gang were easy to root for. We gutted our team for an overpaid superstar who decided he wanted to be on the big stage and have his staggering contract as well. Now, we’re supposed to fall in love with this guy at first site even if he kills our chance to get to the promised land.

    CP3 – overrated. So what happens when he comes here and the knicks are still a four seed. Then, we’ll hear about their lack of depth. After thirty seven years I’m sick and tired of hearing hollow excuses.

  91. dmull

    @111 – Uhhh, yeah, thunderous dunks and blocks never make the Sportscenter Top 10…huh????

    Again, I said I’d love to have Nene….

  92. latke

    jon abbey: upset

    very well put. That 2009 draft thing — I hate looking back at drafts — hindsight is 20/20 — but it definitely is sobering. Players picked after jordan hill:

    Brandon Jennings, Jrue Holiday, Ty Lawson, Rodrigue Beaubois, Taj Gibson, Darren Collison. Not only that — I believe Walsh said his guy was stephen curry, who was taken 1 pick before Hill, and Walsh couldn’t pull something off to make sure he got his man.

  93. jon abbey

    latke:
    very well put. That 2009 draft thing — I hate looking back at drafts — hindsight is 20/20 — but it definitely is sobering. Players picked after jordan hill:Brandon Jennings, Jrue Holiday, Ty Lawson, Rodrigue Beaubois, Taj Gibson, Darren Collison.Not only that — I believe Walsh said his guy was stephen curry, who was taken 1 pick before Hill, and Walsh couldn’t pull something off to make sure he got his man.  

    you can pull up our live chat log from that day, there’s no second guessing going on. we were, pretty much to a man, FURIOUS, and for exactly the above reason.

    what’s more is that NYC is theoretically a town that will go crazy with a great PG, but we haven’t had one to cheer for in what seems like decades. that was a draft where he absolutely had to take a PG, he had numerous quality choices, and he just choked.

  94. taggart4800

    But he hasn’t done bad since with what you must concede are very limited resources.
    Through all of this trade process you could tell things weren’t playing out in a way conducive to Donnies usual MO. There were outside influences, most of which were vastly overblown but then again there is no smoke without fire. Donnie has done a great job to get us here and he got us great pieces that were cheap, had value, fit the system and had massive potential. I truely feel for the guy as he must have beleived that against all odds and the large anti knick sentiment in the press he had put them in a fantastic position to sign Melo in the summer and have a very competitive team the following year.

    What will be extremely interesting will be his ability to perform the same remarkable feats between now and september to repair the damage caused by other peoples decision making. I am sure he is not at all enamored my the idea, but his moves between now and september could seriously salvage an altogether sub-par deal. He has made great moves in the past and he will make them again, but finding a high caliber C and PG is tough without a lottery pick IMHO.

    Its interesting to talk about the success of the former knicks because I want them to do well, collectively they were much more rootable than the current knicks. However Denver was a team built over some time and they have gathered some very good pieces one of Donnies moves was to employ the man that was involved in gathering those pieces. Plus they are in a honeymoon phase now where both the old knicks and existing nuggets both have a point to prove, once that magic wears off and teams sort out their defensive schemes then we will see where they are at.

  95. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    BigBlueAL: “Look: the dude is so limited he took 14 shots and scored 25 points. Who cares how he does it?”Someone on the Knicks last night took 16 shots and scored 29 points :-)  

    And also lost more possessions than he created.

  96. Kikuchiyo

    hoolahoop:
    CP3 – overrated.   

    Wow, no. Maybe he’s injured or in a very bad situation professionally, but a healthy, engaged CP3 is as good as a PG gets. (Yeah, it’s possible he may never be healthy again, though.)

  97. taggart4800

    I know we have gone over this before but what are the knicks picks for this year? Do we have multiple second rounders?
    If you haven’t looked at the lower prospects in this years draft then I suggest you do, i’m no expert but there are some intriguing prospects in the late first and second rounds. Is this because the marquee guys are scared of the Lockout whilst those that are underated maybe see this as a chance to raise their stock?
    Europeans always get good write ups because they are unknowns but the prospects are there. We are projected as drafting Charles Jenkins which seems pretty good to me. I always liked the look of Nickola Vucevic from USC but I couldn’t find him on DraftExpress draft board.
    I am fairly confident that we could find some useful players in this draft. Would be good if we could buy a couple of second round picks or a late first.

  98. hoolahoop

    I think all of the melo trade detractors are, in fact, rooting for melo. When he fails to deliver or the knicks come up short because of the exact reasons that we deplored the trade before it happened (no center, no b-up PG, no defense, ball hogging and chucking) it’s easy to get annoyed. Then, to look over at Denver at the players we had, the players we liked, and watch them run the floor, dee-up and win, rubs salt in the wound. Eventually, melo will be a full fledged knick for us all, but for me that will take a little time, or a little success.

  99. Z-man

    Mike Kurylo:
    It sounds like most of your comment is “these guys don’t fit”, “we traded away too much”, and “the team still needs depth”. I agree with these three statements, and the last two are decidedly different from “this team just needs time to gel”. Even the first isn’t precisely that.  

    It is a stretch to interpret what I said as “these guys don’t fit.” They are not ideal for SSoL, but they might fit together in some way, given time and a couple of key personnel moves. It is clear to almost everyone, even people that love the trade, that the team is incomplete as it stands and needs depth, and while I feel that we gave up too much, that is not germane to the conversation. The point you are refuting is whether the team is pretty much what it is or whether they will get somewhat better than they are right now (without personnel moves) given more time to practice and play together. It is ridiculous to expect them to play at the level that the Lakers, Pistons, or Celtics did in the examples you cited. It can and should be expected that they will improve with more practice and more games under their belts, within reasonable limits. Anyone who thinks that the team will gel into a contender this year is misguided, but that is not what I am reading in to the vast majority of the posts here. Pessimistically, you can project that they are as good now as they will ever be; optimistically, you can project that they will develop some chemistry over time and play better than they are playing right now, but still be at best a second-round out. If you are saying that to project that once this team (as is) gels, it will be a serious title contender, is nonsense, I totally agree.

  100. massive

    I seriously feel sorry for Chris Paul. He’s withering away his prime years on a team with no hope, when he’s the best point guard of the last 3 generations (counting the Rose/Wetbrook/Curry generation). I want to believe that getting him here will make us instant contenders, but in order for that to happen, we’ll likely need to keep Fields, our pick this year (hopefully a Nene type 5 or a Shawn Marion type 4), Turiaf, Douglas, and hopefully Derrick Brown has some game. This is something I don’t see the next CBA allowing to happen, unless Amar’e and Melo’s deals shrink (or don’t count against the cap past a certain number).

    Hopefully Amar’e learns how to rebound and defend late in his career like Pau did to become a top 10 player, Melo learns how to score on an all-star level TS% like Monta Ellis did, and Chris Paul can remain as good as he is if he comes here, because I don’t see us having much of a bench to contend with teams out west (Dallas and San Antonio come to mind).

  101. chrisk06811

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: Ty Lawson wasn’t the starter before Billups left. The difference is that they had an awesome point guard to take the place of another awesome point guard. We got nearly the same player that we had in Wilson Chandler, only he shoots over double-teams instead of passing out of them.  (Quote)

    Chandler doesn’t shoot over double teams because chandler doesn’t GET doubled teamed, except at that tatoo parlor

  102. Jim Cavan

    Very interesting thread. I felt like I had to weigh in on the whole “gelling” thing…. Gelling. Such a weird word. Gelling. Gelling.

    Anyway, while I agree with Mike that you can’t simply fall back on this argument and use it as an excuse or crutch, I don’t agree that, after 6 games, it’s gotten to that point. Yes, the Pistons went 18-4 after they acquired Sheed, but they also started out 4-3. After getting Wilt in a blockbuster deal back in the summer of ’68 — and even given a whole training camp to get acclimated — the Lakers started off 4-4. And that’s not even mentioning the Heat’s already well-known 9-8 start this year.

    Now both of those teams went on to have significant win streaks, and both reached the finals. Obviously none of us expect the latter to happen this year, but there’s no reason why the Knicks couldn’t rattle off a significant win streak along the lines of what we saw after this year’s 3-8 start.

    If two weeks from now we still find ourselves floundering at .500, I think then you have to start to explore the other two possibilities mentioned, namely (a) we gave away too much and lack the necessary depth to seriously contend, or (b) the pieces just don’t fit as well as we’d hoped.

    But after 6 games, I still think it’s a legit case to be making.

  103. GHenman

    I think six games is too small a sample size to make any real conclusions about the trade. I don’t think there’s anything we can do to be contenders this year. If we can pick up an adequate center this off season, there’s no reason we can’t be contenders next year. Is there?

  104. tenebrous

    2 games 4 games 6 games 10 game 15 games 100 games who cares? It’s hard enough to win in ny. Wining in ny (or for ny) is harder than wining anywhere else. Knicks have been getting better each year and than dolen (whoever) makes a trade which is the worst for us fans so our dissatisfaction is pretty warnted. having said that if there is no benefit (financial) to catch a certain seed for the playoffs for the players than the players probably dont care either hence just making the playoffs this year is an upgrade and hence a continuation of the last two years. 30 wins in ny is like 60 wins anywhere else. a Loss in ny is like 2-3 losses anywhere else. The fact that the stars, at least, want to play here is not good enough for us (fans) but if there is no incentive to clime up in the standings why should they (especially stars) risk an injury (since it takes more to win in ny). Koby and udon probably would not have has the same success if they playedfor ny

  105. Frank O.

    latke:
    very well put. That 2009 draft thing — I hate looking back at drafts — hindsight is 20/20 — but it definitely is sobering. Players picked after jordan hill:Brandon Jennings, Jrue Holiday, Ty Lawson, Rodrigue Beaubois, Taj Gibson, Darren Collison.Not only that — I believe Walsh said his guy was stephen curry, who was taken 1 pick before Hill, and Walsh couldn’t pull something off to make sure he got his man.  

    to Jon abbey’s and latke’s point about the 2009 draft:

    It can be argued that Walsh’s front office team hadn’t gelled yet for that draft. He still had some Isiah people in the front office. :)
    ISIAHHHHH!!!!!
    But I thought I’d find some links between the draft, gelling and Isiah. Cheers

  106. Frank O.

    I also think the knicks are not really running the SSOL thing right now. It appears to be a downgraded hybrid.
    Meaning D’Antoni is adapting to the players he has, something many folks have asserted, over and over again, that he was too stubborn to do.

    on another note, as good as Boozer is, he’s not as athletic as he used to be. Maybe in another year it will come back, but he’s not as explosive as he once was.

  107. latke

    Talk about deja vu — the heat must be feeling it for real. Again, they go into halftime ahead by a good amount (9 points today), and now they are down 4 to the bulls early in the 4th quarter.

  108. d-mar

    I’m really torn who I’d rather see in the first round, Chicago or Miami. We’ll be solid underdogs either way, and we have no idea how both will finish the season. It’s almost impossible to comprehend Miami not getting out of the first round against anyone, but right now they just don’t look that formidable. And Chicago is playing defense at a Celtic-like level, but I think offensively, they still have issues.

    I guess what this means is it’s probably irrelevant whether we get the 6 or 7 seed.

  109. Z-man

    “If two weeks from now we still find ourselves floundering at .500, I think then you have to start to explore the other two possibilities mentioned, namely (a) we gave away too much and lack the necessary depth to seriously contend, or (b) the pieces just don’t fit as well as we’d hoped.”

    I still don’t get this train of thought. This move was not made to rescue this season, it was a move to build a legit title contender for the next 4 years and beyond. Anyone who can look at this roster as currently constructed and conclude that we are any better than a 45-50 win team has no understanding of the game. I don’t see anyone saying that we are any better than that for now, so how much gelling are we expected to do this year?

  110. BigBlueAL

    d-mar: I’m really torn who I’d rather see in the first round, Chicago or Miami. We’ll be solid underdogs either way, and we have no idea how both will finish the season. It’s almost impossible to comprehend Miami not getting out of the first round against anyone, but right now they just don’t look that formidable. And Chicago is playing defense at a Celtic-like level, but I think offensively, they still have issues.I guess what this means is it’s probably irrelevant whether we get the 6 or 7 seed.  

    Yup. D’Antoni said the same thing yesterday basically, talking about he doesnt care about seeding just about making the playoffs and playing their best basketball come playoff time.

  111. Jim Cavan

    Z-man: I still don’t get this train of thought. This move was not made to rescue this season, it was a move to build a legit title contender for the next 4 years and beyond. Anyone who can look at this roster as currently constructed and conclude that we are any better than a 45-50 win team has no understanding of the game. I don’t see anyone saying that we are any better than that for now, so how much gelling are we expected to do this year?

    I should qualify my statement by replacing “you have to start exploring the two possibilities” to “you can start exploring them”. It was simply a reference to earlier posts positing different reasons for the new team’s 3-3 start aside from our inability to “gel”. Furthermore, I didn’t mean to suggest that this team as currently constituted could contend this year. That’s stupid. Replace “contend” with “make noise in the playoffs”, or even “get out of the first two rounds”.

    I do however think “this team as currently constructed” is absolutely a 50 win team, although probably not much more than that. If you believe that, then I don’t see why we can’t close out these last 22 games going 15-7. That would be around the clip of a 50-win team, after all.

  112. latke

    Z-man: I still don’t get this train of thought. This move was not made to rescue this season, it was a move to build a legit title contender for the next 4 years and beyond.

    Z-man, I really don’t understand how you can say this. Our old team was built to win in “the next 4 years and beyond.” This team has a much smaller window. The way things look now, we will likely peak next year. Who’s going to replace Billups’ productivity? Unless you mean we are going to acquire a 3rd star, but we lack the young assets to offer a good deal in a trade, and the cap space to sign one outright.

    So the only argument I can see for this team being much more than its current incarnation (or whatever it looks like after it has “gelled”) is if you believe that there’s some backroom conspiracy to bring a 3rd star here, which is about as speculative as it gets.

  113. Z-man

    latke:
    Z-man, I really don’t understand how you can say this. Our old team was built to win in “the next 4 years and beyond.” This team has a much smaller window. The way things look now, we will likely peak next year. Who’s going to replace Billups’ productivity? Unless you mean we are going to acquire a 3rd star, but we lack the young assets to offer a good deal in a trade, and the cap space to sign one outright.So the only argument I can see for this team being much more than its current incarnation (or whatever it looks like after it has “gelled”) is if you believe that there’s some backroom conspiracy to bring a 3rd star here, which is about as speculative as it gets.  

    This is not what the “braintrust” and many other observers believed. They concluded that this team would simply not contend for a title in the next few years as they were constructed, and that none of Gallo, Chandler, Moz, Felton and AR projected to anything more than fringe all-stars, if that. So if by “built to win” you mean have a winning record, make the playoffs, etc., then I agree. However, if you mean “seriously contend for a title” then that is a huge leap of faith about our old team; in fact, they have had a losing record since that great run at the beginning of the season.

  114. Z-man

    Also, why do you think this team has a much smaller window? Are you assuming that when Amar’e and Melo are 32 and 30, respectively, that they will suck and be completely valueless? That Gallo would be healthy and willing to sign for a reasonable deal when his RFA days come up? That Felton wouldn’t regress? That Moz is a legit NBA rotation player? That our 2014 draft pick would be worth more in a future deal than now? That AR would live up to his potential?

    We still have 2 #1 picks in the next 3 years, a very good young SG in Fields, 3 good young rotation players in TD, Shawne, and Bully, and Billups’ expiring contract. Can we pick up a solid 7-footer to man the paint and rebound? A decent PG?

    It’s way too soon to judge this deal realistically. No matter what, Melo-haters and Melo-trade haters will bemoan this trade until it proves otherwise. I can live with that, but to judge anything on whether they went 3-3 since the trade, or 6-0, or 0-6, or lose in the first round this year, or make it to the 2nd round, is way premature. If they miss the playoffs this year, or if they reach the conf finals, then we can talk about whether the trade surpassed or fell short of reasonable expectations for this year, but not beyond.

    For now, we can all agree that no amount of gelling is going to patch up the hole they have in the middle.

  115. Brian Cronin

    you can pull up our live chat log from that day, there’s no second guessing going on. we were, pretty much to a man, FURIOUS, and for exactly the above reason.

    what’s more is that NYC is theoretically a town that will go crazy with a great PG, but we haven’t had one to cheer for in what seems like decades. that was a draft where he absolutely had to take a PG, he had numerous quality choices, and he just choked.

    That really was one of our best moments, wasn’t it?

    We were all clamoring for Lawson and Blair and that ended up being right on the money.

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