Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Game Thread: Hawks vs. Knicks

No predictions at all for this game, which the Knicks currently lead 49-41 behind strong games by Bargs, THJ and Melo (who scared us all by clutching his hamstring earlier in the game).

Apologies for the late game thread. I just got home from a Christmas party and saw that we were thread-less. It is crazy snowy out here in NYC.

81 comments on “Game Thread: Hawks vs. Knicks

  1. Brian Cronin Post author

    Ha! True, but he got the And 1! This is definitely up there with the best first halves they’ve had all year. Doesn’t mean that they will pull the win out, of course, but that was a very strong start.

  2. Jake S.

    I don’t expect a rational answer to this question, but if he’s so obviously hurt, why play JR at all at this point?

  3. Kahnzy

    I think, and I don’t want to jump to any conclusions here, that maybe it’s the game threads that have been cursed. Game thread up, Knicks suck. Game thread absent, Knicks look like a professional basketball team. Maybe not a really good one, but it’s better than looking like the last place team in my rec league.

  4. Robtachi

    First half thoughts:

    THJ has made JR obsolete. I don’t know anything JR brings to the table that Timmy isn’t doing better right now, seemingly same body and athleticism, younger and cheaper. Even THJ’s inevitable slump can’t possibly be worse than JR has been since “the elbow.” If they could find any way to turn JR into anything, even a 2nd round pick, they should do it and roll with their young 2s. But y’know, Woodson.

    Melo again coming to play despite way too many minutes and tons of double and triple teams lately. See how different the offense looks when Melo commands all that attention and other guys on the team are actually, like, hitting a shot or two?

    Prigs’ unwillingness to shoot anything but wide open 3s has reached a comedic level. Can we start GIFing all the absurd times he passes out of easy scoring opportunities, a la Bargs’ defense? Love me some Prigs but, come on man.

    I’d feel so much better about this first half if they hadn’t blown it last night. We could’ve been very very cautiously optimistic about a potential 3-game win streak against their only legitimate competition for a middle seed in the eastern conference. 8-15 is… bad, but not the end of the world.

  5. Robtachi

    Hardaway has been mostly excellent all year, he has the exact same game. What am I missing?

    Great minds, etc.

    I’ll bet you a box of Krispy Kremes the explanation has the word “veteran” in it at least 3 times.

  6. Brian Cronin Post author

    What I like best about their performance tonight is that, win or lose, they showed up against a team that had embarrassed them in their last meeting. Just like last night. They’re showing some real gumption. I dig it.

  7. maxwell_3g

    bargs 18 footers looks so soft but his 3′s explode off the rim like the ball is coated with flubber. it defies logic

  8. JK47

    I don’t expect a rational answer to this question, but if he’s so obviously hurt, why play JR at all at this point?

    They are testing the theoretical limits of negative WS48.

  9. d-mar

    For the love of God, can someone please explain why JR Smith has played 24 minutes already in this game? He is utterly and completely useless out there.

    Please put in TH2.

  10. Kahnzy

    I may not be a highly paid basketball mind, but I think the Knicks may want to cover this Korver fellow.

  11. BigBlueAL

    Its incredible. The Knicks get a double digit lead and then allow 6 threes in the quarter. The easiest way for the Hawks to comeback is with the 3pter and the Knicks are inviting them to shoot it. So frustrating to watch.

  12. JK47

    There is no reason for JR Smith to see the floor in the fourth quarter. Just absolutely no reason whatsoever.

  13. The Infamous Cdiggy

    I understand that you can’t (well, shouldn’t normally) play anyone 48 minutes, but you just can’t roll with JR anymore tonight. He’s doing literally nothing. Split it btwn Timmay and Shumpert 65/35

  14. d-mar

    Shumpert looks like he has no interest in participating in the offense. He catches the pass, stands there, doesn’t take a dribble and then just passes it back.

    The guy is just lost.

  15. BigBlueAL

    This has been the most frustrating start to a Knick season Ive ever had to watch and many times lately Ive gotten to the point where Im like screw them and say to myself I hope they lose.

    But after Melo and Prigs’ 3pter I gave a fist pump and got fired up. You just cant quit this team, go Knicks!!! lol

  16. The Infamous Cdiggy

    So umm, Prigs has more than made up for that silly fast break layup pass/pass-up in the 2nd quarter.

  17. Kahnzy

    How much of this is the Knicks playing good basketball, and how much of it is Melo is just on another planet right now?

  18. Robtachi

    Bargnani never seems to miss on the pick ‘n’ pop. It should be a prominent feature of this offense at all times if they’re going to insist on playing him big minutes.

  19. The Infamous Cdiggy

    How much of this is the Knicks playing good basketball, and how much of it is Melo is just on another planet right now?

    He’s def hit some tough shots and has played manly tonight. Has taken it to the rack too.

  20. Nick C.

    So many good things: Melo not shooting like he is gassed in the fourth, forcing a boatload of turnovers, Amare continuing to look good, Prigs being a touch more assertive, THJ, and, and JR riding the bench in the fourth.

  21. The Infamous Cdiggy

    I’d prefer they at least guard the perimeter and give up 2′s instead of 3′s this last minute plus

  22. Robtachi

    Anybody know where I can look up advanced and/or per 36 stats for specific chunks of games? Basketball Reference won’t let me refine those and only offers preset splits.

  23. The Infamous Cdiggy

    This isn’t really going to happen, is it?

    It did… JR benched in the 4th Q

    Or did you mean that we actually win a game? Either way, it’s a good thing.

  24. d-mar

    The Hawks committed a ridiculous number of turnovers, but I actually thought the Knicks D was pretty decent overall and forced a fair number of them.

    106 points doesn’t sound like a good defensive effort, but the Hawks were 15-32 from 3 point range, which is kind of ridiculous.

  25. Kahnzy

    It did… JR benched in the 4th Q

    Or did you mean that we actually win a game? Either way, it’s a good thing.

    I was actually talking about us blowing a 12 point lead inside of 30 seconds to blow the game at the end. Interestingly enough, all of our heroes were in the game at that point (Murray and Aldrich, for example). But thankfully time was on our side.

    I noticed JR’s benching. It’s. About. God. Damned. Time.

  26. ruruland

    When Chandler and K-Mart return I think it’s possible JR gets shut down for a few weeks. Physically and mentally, he’s not an NBA player right now.

    With the way THJ is playing, and the ability for MWp to pick up some of those minutes, it makes no sense to keep putting him out there and expecting some kind of positive contribution.

    It’s not a slump. He is not physically ready to play.

    He’s shooting under 34 percent from the field after tonight.

    Since 1983, only 18 players in the NBA have shot below 34 percent while qualifying for the minute per game leaderboard.

  27. The Infamous Cdiggy

    Hawks shot 40 for 66 (60.6%) including 15 for 32 from 3pt range and 10 for 10 from the ft line.

    Absolutely. The turnovers were prolly Reason #1 we won tonight, followed by Melo going a mainly 13-22 which was begat by Bargnani’s 11-16 which was begat by Prigs’ providing crafty PG play, finding Bargs on those pick n pops in the 3rd Q which allowed Melo not to play 40+ minutes tonight.

  28. The Infamous Cdiggy

    The Hawks committed a ridiculous number of turnovers, but I actually thought the Knicks D was pretty decent overall and forced a fair number of them.

    106 points doesn’t sound like a good defensive effort, but the Hawks were 15-32 from 3 point range, which is kind of ridiculous.

    They were active tonight, but the Hawks seemed to had been packing the paint (on offense) in the first half, and the perimeter D was soft in the second half.

    I was actually talking about us blowing a 12 point lead inside of 30 seconds to blow the game at the end. Interestingly enough, all of our heroes were in the game at that point (Murray and Aldrich, for example). But thankfully time was on our side.

    Yeah mane… I thought Son of Wood inserted the victory lineup (that’s what we should call them) about a half-minute too early. At least instruct them to deny the 3-ball at almost all costs. But hey, they won. My pizza and breadsticks will go down smoothly tonight.

  29. ruruland

    The ending to last night’s game was ugly, and Melo was horrible (and yes, his second half numbers have been pitiful this year, and I’m sure some of that is his minute-load and burden), but there’s been plenty to dream on since the Nets game (excluding the Boston loss).

    Even in the Cavs game, there were prolonged sequences of excellent ball movement and offense.

    If the Knicks can merely get league average play from the minutes currently getting doled out to Jr Smith, and Chandler returns, everything else stays as it is, a long winning streak is on its way. It’s coming.

  30. The Infamous Cdiggy

    Physically and mentally, he’s not an NBA player right now.

    I noticed JR’s benching. It’s. About. Got. Damned. Time.

    Amen! And Spiro noticed that JR was sulking on the bench too. Is it too much to ask for him to have a little freakin’ self-awareness and understand that he’s not getting it done right now and be a good cheerleader for his TEAMmates?

  31. Kahnzy

    Amen! And Spiro noticed that JR was sulking on the bench too. Is it too much to ask for him to have a little freakin’ self-awareness and understand that he’s not getting it done right now and be a good cheerleader for his TEAMmates?

    We need to send him to the Robert Sacre camp for highly paid professional bench-warming cheerleaders.

  32. ruruland

    I listened to that and felt it unfair. JR is more mentally and emotionally fragile than most players. He knows how badly he’s bombed this year, and I think it’s more of his disappointment in not coming close to pulling his weight after getting the best contract of his career.

    You see him talking to himself and trying to remain positive on the floor after series of missed shots/mistakes. Earlier in the year he’d get really animated. I’m not sure if he’s even been visibly frustrated the last couple of week. Normally when he’s playing poorly he’s getting into conflicts with players and officials.

    I did not read his body language as selfish, though that fits conveniently into the narrative.

  33. The Infamous Cdiggy

    If the Knicks can merely get league average play from the minutes currently getting doled out to Jr Smith, and Chandler returns, everything else stays as it is, a long winning streak is on its way. It’s coming.

    Mannn I hope so. We need at least average guard play too on both sides. Korver, Mack and Williams shot 12-25 from downtown tonight. In total, they shot 17-31.

  34. ruruland

    Part of that is just bad/lack of hedging by the Knicks bigs, which Chandler will help with, along with contesting guards late in the shot clock and still recovering to rebound position.

    Chandler isn’t much of a rim protector compared to the elite guys, but opposing guard’s shouldn’t be putting up quite the gaudy numbers when he gets back.

    Teague had a terrible game, btw.

    It’d be interesting to calculate what the Knicks record could be if they had gotten league average production in Felton/Jr’s minutes. I’d imagine they’ve cost the Knicks at least 4-5 games.

  35. The Infamous Cdiggy

    I get all of that Ruru, I do. I’m just asking if it’s too much to put the team’s success (a win in what’s been a very bad start of the season) above your own struggles?

    He knows how badly he’s bombed this year, and I think it’s more of his disappointment in not coming close to pulling his weight after getting the best contract of his career.

    Wait until that particular narrative starts growing legs.
    Personally, I agree with the notion he’s not 100% mentally and physically, and because he is who he is, he has a tougher time dealing with it than others. That said, I still think it’s fair to expect certain things out of a professional ballplayer.

  36. BigBlueAL

    Well to put a positive spin on the recent couple of weeks the Knicks have won 4 of their last 7 and blew a double digit 4th quarter lead last night so it really should be 5 of their last 7. Stat is looking great and Prigs is now getting the minutes he deserves plus Woody seems to finally be cutting JR’s minutes. Knicks have 4 very winnable games before the Christmas day game vs OKC. At the very least hope they win 3 of these next 4 games. Also Chandler should be returning soon.

  37. Brian Cronin Post author

    Great win! I think that this was the best win of the season. Also, I love how the Knicks seem to be in the Hawks’ head. That could very important if the Knicks/Hawks end up as the 4/5 or 3/6 match-up.

  38. The Infamous Cdiggy

    Holy crap. Portland at 131 with five and half minutes left.

    21-37 from 3. Wow.

    MCW not playing again. Is he really hurt/sick, or does anyone think maybe Philly realized, “Hmm this MC-Dub kid, who knew Syracuse would finally churn out a legit (of recent memory) NBA PG? And he’s helping us win, for heaven-sakes? Yeah we better figure out how to slow this down so we stay lottery-bound.”

  39. ephus

    The sweetest sentence that I heard tonight was, “Hawks double Stoudamire in the post.” If he commands the double team, that creates opportunities for ball movement and open shots for others.

    Bargnani was extremely efficient tonight and aggressive on the boards, including the offensive end. He has figured out that he should go to the dotted circle if his man leaves to double and move towards the offensive board.

    I do not think the Knicks ran the Melo/STAT PnR once tonight. I would like to see that make comeback on Monday night.

  40. Brian Cronin Post author

    MCW not playing again. Is he really hurt/sick, or does anyone think maybe Philly realized, “Hmm this MC-Dub kid, who knew Syracuse would finally churn out a legit (of recent memory) NBA PG? And he’s helping us win, for heaven-sakes? Yeah we better figure out how to slow this down so we stay lottery-bound.”

    Simmons had a great line about how they must be treating his sore knee by poking it with a rusty nail.

  41. bobneptune

    @70 ruru wrote:

    “It’d be interesting to calculate what the Knicks record could be if they had gotten league average production in Felton/Jr’s minutes. I’d imagine they’ve cost the Knicks at least 4-5 games.”

    Why would anyone expect to get league average play out of Felton who has 1 above average season out of his 8 year career and a career WS/48 of a crisp 0.068 and Earl who sports a below average 0.093 cAreer WS/48 over 9 seasons and who is coming off major knee surgery and has a ‘predilection ‘ for burning the candle at both ends?

  42. flossy

    Isola reporting JR and Woody had argument during Bulls game and JR taking just 1 shot last night was in some way a protest to Woody’s criticizing his shot selection during the Bulls game:

    http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/basketball/knicks/knicks-coach-woodson-chided-day-one-shot-night-article-1.1548120

    Boy, that’s stupid. It would be really nice if Woody learned to fall out of love with JR Smith right about now. The way Tim Hardaway Jr. has been playing, I wouldn’t want either JR or Shumpert to feel like they have guaranteed playing time coming to them. Tonight was a good start.

  43. Tony Pena

    The way Tim Hardaway Jr. has been playing, I wouldn’t want either JR or Shumpert to feel like they have guaranteed playing time coming to them

    His Defense was worlds better today. Like, the Defense you think he could play and should play with his athleticism, something I didn’t think I could see this season. I’ll eat crow, the Knicks nailed that pick.

  44. Brian Cronin Post author

    I know I shouldn’t be, but I honestly am surprised to see JR turn on his biggest fan. Man, that’s disappointing behavior from JR. Really disappointing.

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