Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Game Recap: Knicks 98, Hawks 107

New York Knicks 98 Final
Recap | Box Score
107 Atlanta Hawks

Four Things We Saw

  1. It’s been an eventful day for the Knicks. First Metta World Peace let it be known, through Twitter, that his agent was working on a buyout from the Knicks. Then, his brother Daniel Artest went off on the Knicks organization, calling Woodson a puppet and “trash as a coach”, calling Dolan “the worst owner in sports” and claiming that the Knicks PR team had him in their office to tell him that his tweets were a distraction. Soon after Metta announced he was seeking a buyout, it was also reported that Beno Udrih was also working on getting out of his contract. Here’s what Woodson had to say before the game:

    Assuming Woodson is correct and this is all about playing time (that does sound reasonable) then it seems pretty clear that, if the Knicks management is willing to let guys out of their contracts due to not being in Woodson’s rotations, then they must be supportive of their current coach. If that were not the case, wouldn’t they let the players know that change was coming? I think we can safely assume that Woodson will remain the coach of the Knicks, at least through the end of the year.

  2. Let’s talk a little about Udrih first. In his limited minutes Beno has not been particularly good, there is no question about that. Even though he hasn’t been particularly effective, take a look at this comparison:

    Beno-Felton

    While Beno has not been good, Felton is having a season that’s about as helpful as a leaky nuclear power plant (Chernobyl or Fukushima, your choice). Fun fact: Fukushima, like Felton, is still spewing forth toxic radiation. try to avoid eating Pacific Tuna for the next hundred or so years. And like the deadly events in Japan, Feltushima is still starting games and playing major minutes–a crime that should result in someone being dragged before the Hague. If you were in Udrih’s situation, you would be pissed off about not getting playing time, too. You’d be even more pissed off when your coach calls you out to the media for poor play, while constantly defending his dumpster fire of a starting point guard. I don’t blame Beno at all. Get out and never look back!

  3. Today’s game agains the Atlanta Hawks, this happened:

    Mike Scott: 30 PTS on 14 FGA – Career high in points
    DeMarre Carroll: 24 PTS on 14 FGA – Career high in points
    Jeff Teague: 28 PTS in 12 FGA – Not a career high, but still…

    The Knicks were absolutely demolished by the Hawks’ perimeter players, with uncontested drives to the basket and open 3 pointers for all. This has been an issue all season. The Knicks could really use a player that can guard folks on the perimeter. Maybe a veteran player who had made a name for himself for his tenacious defense. That’s the kind of guy that the Knicks should pick up now that they have some open roster spots. I hear that Metta World Peace may be available. That guy would be perfect for this team!

  4. I guess I should get to this game that I’m supposed to be recapping. The Knicks lost, despite being up 17 in the 3rd quarter. There’s a surprise. I haven’t done many recaps this year, yet I still feel like I’m just repeating myself in each one. Even when they win, the flaws of this team are obvious enough that you can’t ever get too optimistic. And now the organization as a whole has once again showed glimpses of its inner workings and it scares the hell out of me. Being completely capped out, the only hope for this team competing this year and next was going to be contributions from veteran minimum players, such as Udrih and Metta, but now why would anyone voluntarily choose to ship out with the H.M.S. Poop? It makes you wonder if there is anything that could ever happen to this team that may serve as a wake-up call to our beloved owner to change his ways. I don’t even feel like giving grades tonight, except for one:
Mike Woodson

His nonsensical rotations and devotion to shitty players has bitten this team in the ass way too many times this season, yet management still has his back. There is nothing worst than being completely impotent to help make changes to something that is beloved to you, but that is exactly what is being made clear to the fans. The Knicks management is in control and there is nothing you, or I, can do to make them change course.

Rather than ending on such a down note, I’ll leave you with something a bit more lighthearted. Beno Udrih and I not only have a similar last name, but we are the same height and weight. If I were an NBA player I would be Beno Udrih:

Kev as Udrih

I’ll miss you Beno and Metta! Best of luck to both of you, wherever you may end up!

60 comments on “Game Recap: Knicks 98, Hawks 107

  1. Brian Cronin

    He’s not the reason the team lost (not exactly) but it is so sad to see an opposing player routinely abuse a Knick defender like Teague (and Oladipo yesterday) did to THJ. It was just embarrassing. He literally could not stay in front of them.

  2. d-mar

    I feel pretty stupid, I predicted Shelvin Mack or Cartier Martin would have career nights, and instead it was Mike “Great” Scott with a routine 30 point performance. Dammit.

  3. nyk8806

    I think all the guys who have career highs against the knicks this year should have asterisks next to the statistic, noting that it was basically against a bunch of poorly-coached, overgrown high school students.

  4. chrisk06811

    if this was the same Mike Scott that I worked with in college, and once won a burping contest……that dude is legit.

  5. mase

    What’s sad is that Murray is our nest perimeter defender with iman out and we all know that story… I don’t get Woodson , he seems to get it, idk. He has lost the team obviously

  6. mase

    This just in: THJ is, on the whole, not very good.

    I thought he was the future, our greatest asset! UntradeBle

  7. BigBlueAL

    The thing about THJ is that you can see he is trying hard on D but he is very bad at it right now and he seems to get down on himself and very frustrated when he lets someone score on him or he fouls them. Problem is there is obviously nobody on the coaching staff and roster who can help him out to make him a better defender.

    He has even mentioned several times after games how much he needs to improve on D. Its almost as if he is crying out for help but nobody on the team can help him lol.

  8. Jack Bauer

    Dumpster Fire – that seems to sum up the season as a whole rather nicely. Woodson is like the guy pouring gasoline on the dumpster fire…. How ugly can this get ?? ……stay tuned

  9. Brian Cronin

    The Melo GIFs are priceless. http://ftw.usatoday.com/2014/02/carmelo-anthony-can-still-only-continue-to-shake-his-head-at-the-knicks/melo-7/#main

    Yeah, I remember that moment well. It really did stand out.

    It is so bizarre that this guy is going to opt out and then re-sign with this team. He really doesn’t make any sense. I’d understand it if he wanted to re-sign with them next year if they could concretely show him “Look, we’re signing Players A, B and C so please come back.” But to opt out and then re-sign (at a discount) on the hope the Knicks are going to somehow hit a home run in 2015 (or at least lots of doubles)? How does that make sense? How does it make any sense to opt out and re-sign when you can just play next year and then see what the Knicks can do? What benefit does Melo get out of opting out and then re-signing with the Knicks for a discount? I get opting out and signing somewhere else, but not opting out and re-signing with the Knicks, and yet that seems to be definitely what he will do. If he opts out and re-signs, 2015 will be a “lost year” either way, so why not just opt in? Why? What is his reasoning?

  10. massive

    I think Melo wants badly to be the guy who brings a title to New York City. He’s friends with D Wade, a guy who has a county in Florida named after him. That’s the kind of love and admiration I think he seeks. That, and I think the franchise has already handed him the keys to the car. They’re basically going to let him pick his teammates, and how could anybody turn down that level of control.

    The truth is no other team that can sign him offers him a clear shot at winning a title. None of them. I think he’d rather build in New York than go and be seen as another failed Knick era. I don’t think he’s given up here.

  11. JK47

    I get opting out and signing somewhere else, but not opting out and re-signing with the Knicks, and yet that seems to be definitely what he will do. Why? What is his reasoning?

    I don’t know, but somehow it makes perfect sense to Ruru.

    To me, it’s obvious he’s going to walk when this season is over.

  12. JK47

    If he’s willing to take a pay cut to win with the Knicks, why wouldn’t he be willing to take a pay cut to win somewhere else?

  13. Brian Cronin

    But that’s my point. I have no problem with the idea of “I want to win in New York” or “I like that they have given me the keys to the kingdom” or “I want to play in the biggest markets only” or whatever. Those are all fine with me. But what I don’t get is why opt out if that’s his reasoning? If he wants to be a Knick so bad, then just keep his current contract! He’s already under contract with the Knicks for next season. Why opt out? What benefit does he get out of opting out?

  14. Jake S.

    He’s had a monster season, and he can secure another 5-year deal without worrying about his fraying rotator cuff or a fluke injury in 2015 affecting his max (or near max) earning potential. What’s the mystery? What am I missing?

  15. Brian Cronin

    He has said specifically that he doesn’t care about the money. He says he doesn’t care about the security that he has already made more money than he’ll ever need. So if you think that he’s just lying when he says it is not about the money, then fair enough, as yes, opting out and re-signing with the Knicks for the Super MAX is his best bet financially. I never had a problem with that approach earlier in the season when that was the only thing I could think of to explain him opting out.

    But that would be going contrary to everything he has said recently and I tend to believe him (I am wary about how much of a discount that he’ll give the Knicks, but I think he legitimately is prepared to take less money than the max).

    So if you take away the financial benefit (and again, he has said that you should) then what reason does he have for opting out and then re-signing with the Knicks at a discount?

  16. BigBlueAL

    Every player in every sport will take the longer term contract as soon as possible. Its that simple. Especially in a sport like the NBA where so many players recently have been tearing their ACL’s.

    Sure you can say who cares if he tears his knee next season he would still get the same contract in the summer of 2015 as he would this summer but tell that to him and his agent. Remember Melo will be 30 soon, he isnt Rose or Rondo who are still in their mid 20′s. Melo also has played a ton of games and minutes over his career, Im sure he wants to lock in that 5 yr contract as soon as possible. Cant really blame him to be honest.

  17. Jake S.

    No, I believe him when he says it’s not about the money and that he’s willing to take a discount. But Melo, like any player, owes it to himself to get as much as he can (or nearly as much as he can) while he’s still healthy. I think he understands that an injury next year could threaten his ability to get that final long-term contract. Signing with the Knicks for 5 years at, whatever, 21 million per is still a lot of money — considerably more than what he’d make if he got himself hurt playing out his existing contract.

  18. Brian Cronin

    Every player in every sport will take the longer term contract as soon as possible. Its that simple. Especially in a sport like the NBA where so many players recently have been tearing their ACL’s.

    Sure you can say who cares if he tears his knee next season he would still get the same contract in the summer of 2015 as he would this summer but tell that to him and his agent. Remember Melo will be 30 soon, he isnt Rose or Rondo who are still in their mid 20?s. Melo also has played a ton of games and minutes over his career, Im sure he wants to lock in that 5 yr contract as soon as possible. Cant really blame him to be honest.

    But again, he’s specifically said he doesn’t care about the security of a long-term deal.

    I have absolutely no problem if he was to say he wanted the security of a long-term deal. He’s certainly earned it.

    But he’s saying the exact opposite. So if set aside the security of a long-term deal, why would he opt out and re-sign with the Knicks?

  19. Jake S.

    Where are you getting that he’s not interested in the security of a long-term deal? As far as I’ve read, he’s only said he’s willing to take less money.

  20. Brian Cronin

    “I’m going to make money. I have money. I’m good if I want to retire right now.”

    Plus “As far as the money, it don’t really matter to me.”

    If that’s his position, he can’t then say “but I need to make sure I lock in my money as soon as possible.”

  21. thenoblefacehumper

    Still not watching until Woodson is fired. Did I miss anything unusual?

    Mike Scott had a career high. So no, not at all. Business as usual. Giving up a career high to Mike Scott is a big part of what we do here.

  22. BigBlueAL

    Ive learned not to really believe everything athletes say lol. I dont think he necessarily cares about getting a full max contract which is why he says he doesnt care about the money. I do believe that at this point he probably wouldnt care about signing for 5 yr 100 mil instead of 5 yr 129 mil if he truly believes it will help him win.

    But in terms of security Im sure he wants to secure that 5 yr contract as soon as possible. So does his agents too I bet.

  23. BigBlueAL

    Its also pretty obvious he always intended to opt-out this summer. He said so before the season even started. So he isnt looking at the opt-in as an option and seemingly never has.

  24. Jake S.

    I hear what you’re saying, but I think you’re giving Melo too much credit for an off-the-cuff hypothetical. Money might mean “less” to him, but he still wants a long-term deal.

  25. Brian Cronin

    So basically, you’re saying that his decision could only make logical sense if he is concerned about locking in the 5-year deal as soon as possible?

    That’s what is fascinating to me about this – is there a way to make logical sense of his various stances if we take everything he says as truth? Are his various stances reconcilable with each other? I can’t seem to get them to all line up.

    In the end, it really doesn’t matter so long as he ends up as a Knick on a reduced salary. I’m just looking at it from a sort of academic sense. I’d love to know what his thought process is. Like, does he seriously care about winning a championship as his top priority? If he does, how could he stay? Stuff like that.

  26. thenoblefacehumper

    That’s what is fascinating me about this – is there a way to make logical sense of his moves if we take everything he says as truth?

    I would say so. I don’t think him saying he doesn’t care about money is tantamount to saying he doesn’t care about the security of his NBA career, financial or otherwise. He’s willing to take less money, but he wants to know he’s definitely going to get paid for the next 5 years. I don’t think that’s necessarily a contradiction, but I see where you’re coming from.

  27. Jake S.

    I think a long-term contract at a slightly reduced rate, assuming he’s telling the truth about this, is reconcilable, yeah. He’s looking out for himself and the organization, however nominally.

  28. Donnie Walsh

    It’s easy to assume that Carmelo Anthony is set for life. But we’ve seen plenty of folks make “$100 million” in the NBA and end up broke. Anthony doesn’t seem like one of those guys, but still, a player only banks about 20% of his salary, once the govenrment, agents, managers, and lawyers are paid their dues.

    Plus, even if he doesn’t care about money, the people that made him rich in the first place do, and they will remind him of that every day of the week. He owes them a lot more than he owes the Knicks and their fan base.

  29. Brian Cronin

    So the money does matter then?

    That’s what I’m getting at. If we ignore what he says, then sure, it makes perfect sense to want to lock in the big bucks.

    But if we believe what he says, then the money doesn’t matter.

    Either way, though, what’s his top priority? Winning a championship? Seems unlikely, as he certainly won’t end up in Phoenix or a place like that that has a much better chance of winning a championship than the Knicks do (stay a Knick and hope Dragic signs with you in 2015 or, you know, go play with Dragic right now along with a strong young team with loads of draft picks plus room for at least one more free agent even after signing a max player). So it’s, what, winning a championship so long as it is in one of the big markets in the NBA? Or is it simply “play for New York for better or for worse”?

    I’d be fine with any one of those answers, but his various stances support each and neither.

  30. Jake S.

    Max money doesn’t matter. Money always matters — I think one would have to be pretty ingenuous to read Melo quite that literally (you’re not, from what I’ve read on this site).

  31. Frank O.

    Melo saying he would opt out before the season’s start was dumb.
    Him saying it now is his attempt at leverage. He is using what he has to push the Knicks. But I have said from the outset: if he can take less here, he’ll be willing to take less elsewhere. It means the Knicks ability to pay him a max contract will have little effect on his staying.
    And sometimes the most obvious outcome is the likely outcome. I can see no reason on this team to stay. The only thing the Knicks can offer him is the ability to pick his favorite coach. The players, however, cannot be changed unless Dolan is willing to pay enormous luxury taxes.
    For the first time since the early Marybury days, they’ve lost me.

  32. Frank O.

    I think it was a huge mistake standing pat with this team. They should have moved Melo and Chandler and amassed as many draft picks as possible.
    But Dolan inc is worried about short term. He’s sunk a billion into MSG and he doesn’t want to see empty seats. Problem is the Knicks are irrelevant again. Soon they will have lots of empty seats.
    Stupid management. Too insular to understand how bad things are. We’ve seen this before. Donnie Walsh was a breath of fresh air, and then he had to leave.
    Now we have a lousy coach, a GM who has a terrible history and an owner who is utterly inept.
    Add to it a roster that is so lacking in depth and talent that there really is no hope of fixing this until the end of 2015, and there is no evidence this management team can get it right then.

  33. Zanzibar

    Brian, here’s the logic which ties it all together:

    (1) Melo will not opt in due to risk of injury and/or performance drop-off. That would have ramifications for where he could play and how much he could make.
    (2) His top priority is location. Just like 4 years ago, he and his wife want to be in LA or NYC.
    (3) So long as Kobe is there, Lakers are in worse shape than Knicks for the next 2 years plus he could only make up to 96m. And Lakers might not even want Melo, preferring to hold 2015 cap for Love. Knicks are better option money-wise and competitive-wise.
    (4) Clips won’t trade Griffin and Jordan having career year. Also owner very sensitive to luxury tax and Melo would be limited to up to 96m as well. Low odds of Melo ending up in Clipperland this summer.
    (5) The logical option for him is the Knicks where he can make about 115m, be in NY, and have some hope for 2015. If winning were his highest priority instead of location, he would have forced a trade at deadline to Chicago for Mirotic and draft pick(s). He’d be in much better position for 2014 plus he could be paid up to 129m. You said it earlier: So it’s, what, winning a championship so long as it is in one of the big markets in the NBA?

    That said, there are some events which could change things. If Clips implode in playoffs, maybe Melo trade becomes a real option. If Love forces trade this summer to Phoenix and Kobe takes medical retirement, Lakers become much more attractive.

  34. Zanzibar

    Presuming Melo is staying, we should have traded THJ and 2018 pick for Lowry at deadline. THJ’s problem on defense is his lateral movement which I’m not sure is fixable. Shump’s a much better defender and maybe better spot-up shooter. When I looked at box scores +/- , Shump always seemed to have the best +/- on the team. I also remembered, however, Landry Fields’ +/- was similar. Herring’s latest piece makes it clear that it’s not just a statistical fluke. Lowry/Shump/Melo/Chandler/JR plus Amare/Prigs/Tyler/Bargs used properly would be very competitive in 2014. In 2015 we shop for Hibbert or Gasol and another wing.

    Speaking of 2014, I think Heat may break up this off-season. Bosh could bolt for his hometown Mavs 4yr/75m deal. Battier and Allen are in decline and would be tough to replace. If you’re LBJ, do you really want to stick around and hope Wade stays healthy? Bulls amnesty Boozer and trade Rose for Lowry in 3-way to free up cap and sign LBJ. Lowry/LBJ/Butler/Noah/Gibson #1 defense. mle, 2m tpe, plus trade involving dunleavy/mirotic/snell/draft pick would strengthen bench. Only issue would be money – paying Boozer’s salary plus luxury tax

  35. kronicfatigue

    If Melo’s top priority was to win a championship in NY, he would have pulled a Rickey Henderson and allowed Knicks to trade him at deadline with a handshake agreement that he’d opt-out and then resign in NY. I don’t know anything about about salary caps and luxury taxes, etc., but there’s a way for Melo to have left NY this season, and return next season right? Something involving terms like “Mid level exception, sign and trades, etc?”.

    That would have been the BEST route for Melo to win a championship in NY. Even if it only added a low draft pick (b/c the team trading for him would be getting a rental). Heck, maybe the team trading for him only takes on a bad contract (Felton).

    That didn’t happen.

    I kinda believe Melo when he says he doesn’t care about money, if his definition of money is “max money”. I think he could give a discount. The next question is WHY would he give a discount. To win a championship? or to win a championship in NY specifically. And if it’s the latter, is it because “The only way this horrible owner can construct a championship team is if he gets to severely underpay me”.

    And even if THAT’S the case, it’s still not likely the Knicks can be a championship team.

  36. ephus

    There was virtually no way for Melo to get back to the Knicks if he had left in a trade. Stat/Bargnani/Chandler/JR are 55 million next year, which leaves no cap room for anyone else. The biggest offer the Knicks could make would have been the MLE – 5.5 mm x 4 years – less than his guarantee for next year.

  37. Owen

    Melo’s position doesn’t make sense. I think he really doesn’t know what’s going to happen or exactly what he wants to do but wants to make himself look as good as possible in the meantime.

    You can’t be a Knick working for Dolan and have winning a championship as your #1 priority.

  38. iyasin

    Every game a guard burns us either throughout the game or in the 4th….going back to- Philadelphia-Evan Turner, Milwaukee-Brandon Knight, Memphis-Mike Conley, Sacramento Jimmer Fredette, NOP- Eric Gordon, ORL-V. Oladipo , and then of course Jeff Teague yesterday….and I could go back further. If you look at each of those games, they were all close or very winnable. Felton and THJ can’t guard anyone. There’s the problem with Woodson and his damn lineups. You can’t play 2 horrible defenders at the same time…especially if they’re both going to be guarding…guards lol. I think you have to play Prigioni with one of them (even though Prigioni often has his own defensive woes) but Felton and THJ are terrible defenders. Woodson basically plays 2 open doors at the same time. Plus they foul. Ugh I can’t. I can’t deal with this. I need a drink.

  39. Hubert

    Melo’s onlychance of ever winning a title in NY is pulling a Wade and getting LeBron to join him. All they have to do is each opt in for one more year and then they can spend the rest of their careers kicking ass and wining titles together in NY. I think LeBron is way too smart to tie himself to the incompetences of our front office, though.

  40. stratomatic

    You can’t be a Knick working for Dolan and have winning a championship as your #1 priority.

    That’s the bottom line to it.

    In order to win a championship you need a front office that values players correctly, that knows how to fit them together properly, and that hires a coach that gets the most out of them. The Knicks have none of that.

    The fact that we have Amare and Melo as our 2 maximum players and Woodson as our head coach says it all. That fact that we kept JR Smith after his meltdown in the playoffs given his track record says a lot all by itself!

    It’s no accident that San Antonio remains a force even though they have aging stars. They’ll either remain a force or rebuild quickly once their big 3 are gone.

    It’s no accident that wherever Pat Reilly goes so do championships.

    The bad part about this is that in order to put together an organization like that, you need an owner with enough intelligence and understanding to recognize the right people to hire and then be smart enough to step to the side and let them do their job. Dolan is neither capable of recognizing that kind of talent nor willing to let them do their job.

  41. Hubert

    On the bright side, there is currently no evidence that Steve Mills is a bad GM. Maybe we have a better guy in place. I was impressed by our restraint at the deadline and the lack of any future-crippling trades.

    Am I the only one who thinks Melo is destined to replace Wade as LeBron’s sidekick once Wade wears down? 2015 seems like the perfect time, too. It will probably happen in Miami but I give it a .01% chance of happening here.

  42. mase

    I’m reading this late night debate about melo you had here, it sounds like winning a championship is not Melos top priority, I agree. But is that a bad thing ?

    I mean look what the quest for a ring has done to lebrons popularity, he is hated in Cleveland and a lot if other places. Now with wades age and health/ career dwindling down lebrons is in a tough position again.

  43. mase

    Contd

    There’s is something to be said about ones character if he rides out the tough spots. Reminds me the old Barkley commercial ‘I am not a role model’… Guess what you are a role model whether you like it or not! Maybe having a ring isn’t the bigger picture and it’s not all about you being on mt. Rushmore of NBA greats, it’s about other people feeling like they are great too!

    “Can’t we all just get along?”

    Idk if melo is going to fly the coop, would anyone blame him? I wouldn’t.

  44. Brian Cronin

    I’m reading this late night debate about melo you had here, it sounds like winning a championship is not Melos top priority, I agree. But is that a bad thing ?

    No, I have no problem if he just wants to play for the Knicks and that’s his top priority. All I’m saying is that his actions don’t match his stated positions, which makes him an interesting guy to follow during this whole situation. As you said, it sounds like winning a championship is not his top priority but he says that it is.

  45. mase

    Yes I agree his actions and words contradict eachother. Part of that is following the advice of his agent in gaining leverage for future contractural negotiations and part of that is him saying he is not decided either way to re sign,.

    I may add If I were Vegas and setting odds on him resigning id say making the playoffs would way heavily on making those odds. Right now it’s 50-50.

    I don’t think he knows what he is doing you are correct.

  46. stratomatic

    I don’t understand why any rational wealthy person would want to play for the Knicks regardless of whether their priority is winning a championship or not. I’m not super wealthy, but there’s almost no chance I could stomach working for Dolan, CAA, and the rest of the Knick cesspool no matter how more I could make. I’d rather work for the Spurs, Celtics, Rockets, Mavericks, Trailblazers etc…

    I’m 55. I can tell you from experience there comes a point in your life when you are financially comfortable that you no longer want to deal with any nonsense. The priority becomes having a hassle free existence working with people you like and respect and where there’s some chance of success doing what you love. For a guy like Melo (who is already rich), he should be at that stage.

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