Game Notes: Knicks 92, Bucks 99

After getting stuck late at work, I turn the game on with 9 minutes left in the 1st. Breen welcomes me with one of his classic euphemisms: “Calderon and Vujacic haven’t gotten into rhythm.” That’s his way of saying they suck.

Giannis recovers to the perimeter to block a Derrick Williams three. These long wings are the future of the league; their length allows them to shrink the court — a great counter to the three point shooting that widens it.

Breen has brought up the Knicks’ great team free throw shooting the last few games. He just did it again. The 2010/11 team was the last Knicks team to shoot over 80% from the charity stripe and they played a lot of small ball. Interesting they’ve been able to do it here with mostly bigger lineups.

“Lance Thomas is a good defender.” – Mike Breen. That’s code for “I’m not sure why this guy is on an NBA roster.”

Technical free throw on Plumlee. If only we had Calderon in to get us an additional .05 points (as long as Melo wasn’t in.)

Vujacic back in to play with the bench. Short leash for Grant… (Vujacic would go on to play 27 minutes, second only to Galloway among guards. He wouldn’t score until the final seconds.)

The absence of Carter-Williams is probably a plus for the Bucks. He can’t shoot and doesn’t have the quickness to abuse the Knicks’ slow guards, and most of the Knick guards don’t need real defensive attention, which is MCW’s only plus skill at the moment.

Late 2nd quarter, and the Knicks cut it to four. Is this the biggest Knick run with both Vujacic and Calderon on the floor?

Carmelo taking the technical free throw with Calderon in the game! Derek Fisher, you lied to Chris Herring.

Porzingis hits a wide open three to cut the lead to three!

Porzingis is the best Knick in this game so far. Rebounding, drawing fouls, making plays on defense…

Wow, MSG using per-36 stats to hype up Porzingis.

Could they have fit every Kobe made field goal this season into the promo for the Laker game?

Another miss from Monroe and another layup for Lopez — still happy we didn’t get him.

Late 2nd quarter, and Vujacic and Calderon are still scoreless. (They would remain scoreless for the first 47 minutes of the game and finish a combined 1-8 and -24.)

There’s a New York Lotto ad with a guy taking a wine bath for its health effects. I wonder if this was inspired by Amar’e.

Greg Monroe misses consecutive point blank layups. Still happy we didn’t get him.

After Porzingis’ second slam put-back, Monroe thinking, “so that’s what being able to jump gets you.”

Porzingis playing center! Is this the first time this season? This will be his position. I’m sure of it. Usually, you play the biggest position that you can defend, and Porzingis can be a plus defender at the 5.

Melo has shot okay so far but it seems like all his points are coming from the offense. He’s really struggling to create space in isolation. We’ll see if Fisher recognizes this and doesn’t go ISO Melo late in the game (assuming it stays close).

Knicks finally tie the game on a long two from Lance Thomas early in the 4th.

Bucks score 4 straight. Knicks answer with 4 of their own. Will Fisher bring back the starters?

Shot clock violation because the Knicks have to get it to Melo down the stretch :-(.  6:30 remaining.

Never grab John Henson’s jersey repeatedly. He’ll swat your comeback away with his awkward offense.

Box score tells me Porzingis has 9 offensive rebounds. Good job, KPZ.

Robin Lopez FINALLY comes back in with 1:40 left. for Porzingis? Come on. So he missed a couple shots. He’s your best player. Still, noteworthy that Fisher is bending rotations dramatically based on who’s playing well unless the player who isn’t playing well is Vujacic.

Fisher brings Grant back in, and Breen insinuates that he shouldn’t have taken Grant out. Immediately after, Grant draws a foul on a semi-transition drive.

I really thought the Knicks were going to win this game.

“If you’re losing, you might as well lose with rookies.” -Clyde

That’s why I love you, Clyde. You don’t sanitize the truth.


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In addition to writing for Knickerblogger, Max teaches English at Tallahassee Community College and writes short stories. He recently finished a feature screenplay, and he is working right now to raise the funds to film it. You can check it out on Kickstarter.

22 thoughts to “Game Notes: Knicks 92, Bucks 99”

  1. I just got home from work… guess the Bucks play quite differently with Giannis and Jabari back in the mix.

    Looks like I’m getting to the point at which I care more about Porzingis’ performance than the final score.

    This should have been a winnable match-up, though.

  2. The 2010/11 team — small ball. Interesting they’ve been able to do it here with mostly bigger lineups.

    Looks like I accidentally deleted part of a sentence. I meant the last Knick team to shoot over 80% was the 10/11 team.

  3. Looks like I accidentally deleted part of a sentence. I meant the last Knick team to shoot over 80% was the 10/11 team.

    I edited it in for ya!

  4. That put back by Zinger was beautiful, and he let them know about it afterwards, nice. These put back slams by him are becoming a regular thing which is awesome. Sasha and Calderon are an opponents dream backcourt. Fish needs to not have them on the court together as much. This was a winnable game, but it’s early. I am still reasonably optimistic that they won’t suck this year.

  5. “Subtle changes are Calderon, Vujacic, Thomas and Seraphin never stepping on a court again.”

    Ha, yes I second that!

  6. How Knicksy is it that Dallas almost certainly wouldn’t trade Felton for Calderon without a sweetener?

  7. How Knicksy is it that Dallas almost certainly wouldn’t trade Felton for Calderon without a sweetener?

    Ha! Pretty damn Knicksy.

  8. It wouldn’t be a terrible idea to pick up Jabari Brown and use him on the second unit with Grant, freeing up Galloway to start along with Afflalo. Phil are you listening?

  9. 6 games into the season and we could really use a RoLo trade I think. If he’s going to be doing his best Andrea Bargnani impersonation on the boards, I want him gone. Plain and simple. Especially if trading him meant we could get a guard back, I’d definitely do it. Start Porzingis at the 5, move Melo to the four, play Afflalo at the three and Grant/Galloway as your starting guards. Lopez isn’t bad, he’s just out of place for the triangle offense it seems.

  10. A couple of things struck me about tonight’s game…

    1. Zinger was great for three quarters, but holy shit, what the hell was up with him in the fourth? I’ve never seen him look nervous like that before. And against the Bucks? So weird. My wife hasn’t been following the Knicks this year, so she came in while I was watching the fourth and I told her she had to check Zinger out. And it was kind of funny, I was telling her, “Just watch, he’s going to do something cool.” And then he, well, didn’t. Not a big deal, of course, it was just odd to me to see him so out of sorts in the fourth. Especially since he was so good the rest of the game.

    2. Thomas and Sasha are fascinating to watch, because they don’t really do anything. It’s just weird seeing these, like, placeholder guys out there.

  11. RoLo isn’t getting a ton of boards, but the team is rebounding pretty well. I’m not enough of a masochist to watch these games closely enough to discern the effect of RoLo’s boxing out ability, but perhaps it’s greater than “none.” I like Porzingis at the four right now. He’s playing well there.

    Sasha has been terrible, and I think we’ve all seen enough of him at this point, but he has been less insufferable on a personal level than he used to be. He used to be the kind of player that would make you want to punch your flatscreen just because of the stupid look on his face but these days he’s just a generic sucky player. So we got that going for us.

  12. You think the Warriors would trade Curry for Carmelo and a 1st round pick? Superstar for superstar. I see equal value there.

  13. “You think the Warriors would trade Curry for Carmelo and a 1st round pick? Superstar for superstar. I see equal value there.”

    Is this serious?
    They wouldn’t do that trade if we threw Zinger and grant in

  14. Porzingis is #2 in the league in total ORebs and #4 in OReb%. Who woulda figured?

    He at a TS% of .495. Great call on the over-under number for now, Mike!

    He looked gassed and tentative in the 4th. Six games in 10 nights a factor?

  15. Melo looks horrible. Also looking out of sorts. Also not looking tradeable.

    How about Melo for Noah straight up? Would Chicago do that? We don’t really need Noah. Melo and RoLo for Noah and McDermott? Noah and Hinrich?

    Melo and Fisher for Noah and Hoiberg?

  16. I was hoping Houston would fall in love with this Capela kid and trade Dwight for ‘Melo. Dwight would come off the books this summer and a Dwight-Rolo-Zinger front court would be silly and fun. It won’t happen, obviously, but a guy can dream.

  17. I think Zinger ran out of gas in the fourth. He look exhausted from the moment he came back in. He spent three quarters moving like prime Kirilenko and the fourth quarter in the Greg Butler olympics.

    Every game Grant reminds me more and more of Derek Harper. Can he improve his shooting enough to get to Harper’s ‘pretty good’ level?

    Jeez, Lopez. If you could have peeked at Rolo’s stat line through six games in October and asked who it was, it would take about six seconds to say Derrick Williams. Or maybe the unexpected return of Jason Smith.

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