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Monday, September 1, 2014

Game Thread: Knicks @ Wizards

If the Knicks are ever going to win a game, it really has to be tonight. The Wizards played last night in Toronto. The Knicks haven’t played since Wednesday. Two thirds of the Knicks wins this season have come on the road (see what I did there?). Plus, most importantly, last night’s games against Toronto showed the Knicks exactly how to beat the Wizards. Let John Wall get his and just keep the other players from beating you. This is the first team the Knicks have played in a while without an imposing frontcourt, so the Knicks should do well by going small.

This really, really has to be a win. Especially with the West Coast swing happening (and Portland and Los Angeles both having such imposing power forwards).

Let’s go Knicks!

127 comments on “Game Thread: Knicks @ Wizards

  1. Kahnzy

    Problem with letting Wall get his for the Knicks, is that could mean a very efficient game for Wall if we’re gonna give him all of these layups as we’re trotting back on D.

  2. Brian Cronin Post author

    He had a really efficient game last night, as well, though.

    I love when Bargs gets off to a hot start. It usually means he will have a good game on offense.

  3. BigBlueAL

    Knicks defense never ceases to amaze me with their awfulness. Easy layups and jumpers at will for the opposition.

  4. cgreene

    I am absolutely for the strategy of letting wall shoot as many 18 footers as possible. They will stop going in.

  5. cgreene

    By the way the shots that Metta takes. That’s coaching plain and simple. Woodson says you can’t take those shots or you are benched.

  6. Jack Bauer

    10 points on 5-5 shooting +3 rebounds, maybe Amare has a little gas left in the tank after all…..

  7. cgreene

    Melo is such a beast on the glass right now. It’s nice to watch. One of the best rebounders in the league for his size.

  8. EB

    cgreene
    November 23, 2013 at 7:58 pm
    Melo is such a beast on the glass right now. It’s nice to watch. One of the best rebounders in the league for his size.

    Definitely. He has 4 boards plus I’ve seen him fight to make 2 more go to the Knicks.

  9. Jack Bauer

    Does Woodson know he has some young legs on the bench in Murray who might actually be able to say in front of Wall, who is killing them right now?

    Free Murray !

  10. BigBlueAL

    Its even more hilarious how simple an offensive set you need to run to get an easy basket vs the Knicks D.

  11. ephus

    Does anyone have the plus/minus for the Melo/Stat/Bargnani combo? Despite the warnings, it did not seem to bad on defense.

  12. DRed

    Bargnani 18 minutes, 7 points on 3-9 shooting, and 2 rebounds and lots of comically inept defense on the pick and roll. If only there were some other player on the roster we could even try at center.

  13. Jack Bauer

    EB: Lets see, Woody ” knows he has Shumpert who can stop Wall,” so he plays him 12 minutes. He can’t stop him from the $&;/-^%#’ing bench.

  14. Owen

    Bargnani 18 minutes, 7 points on 3-9 shooting, and 2 rebounds and lots of comically inept defense on the pick and roll. If only there were some other player on the roster we could even try at center.

    Really the definition of fool’s gold. Drains a couple threes, hoists up a few midrange shots from about 9 feet in the air. You think, this guy is amazing.

    Then he misses 7 straight shots…

  15. Owen

    I got to say, getting rid of Woodson with Chandler out just seems a little unfair. I don’t really see a new guy making a big difference. Although if you did do it so that the new guy could catch a tailwind off Chandler’s return and start off with a positive narrative, might be good.

    The Sixers are pretty amazing. They seem to be in the game most every night. MCW is putting up some unbelievable lines. Four steals already against the Pacers….

  16. d-mar

    Knicks have 5 FT’s after 3 quarters. And this isn’t a complaint about the refs, we just fire up jump shot after jump shot without any attempt to go the basket.

  17. BigBlueAL

    Wow, Knicks will be shooting FT’s for the final 10 mins of the game. Hope they can take advantage of this.

  18. BigBlueAL

    5 point swing. JR cant finish a one-on-one fastbreak layup and the Wizards come right back with a 3pter.

  19. Owen

    And then sure, yeah, just leave Jan Vesely totally open trailing the fast break….

    Seriously?

    REALLY!?!?!?!?!!?

    That will be the Knicks defense gif of the night on Deadspin….

  20. Jack Bauer

    The Nets are sucking & Rose is out indefinitely so the #3 seed in the east is there for the taking, and they are losing to Wizards? Just awful.

  21. BigBlueAL

    So glad we bend over backwards to make JR happy. He has certainly repaid the Knicks with his play this season.

  22. Owen

    Think we can add that John Wall drive, with Barg turning his back at the perfect moment, to our highlight clip….

  23. Kahnzy

    I think Id rather have Isiah coaching this team right now. Certainly couldnt be any worse.

    So help me God, if he comes back I’m going to blame it on you.

  24. d-mar

    Well, we said coming into this season that we needed to keep pace with the Nets, and so far, we’re doing a great job of that!

  25. cgreene

    I actually feel a little badly for Melo at this pt. I mean he handled the free agency poorly but he’s too good and plays too hard to deserve this.

  26. cgreene

    Now we have to deal with the fact that Dolan won’t fire Woodson because in his first interview in a decade he said he wouldn’t. There is no end in sight.

  27. DRed

    You know who sucks at playing basketball? Bargnani. Not that he’s the only one who sucks on this team right now, but watching him not rebound and stand there watching people drive to the rim for 82 games is going to be the death of me.

  28. chrisk06811

    An optimist would say we are playing without two starters. A pessimist just finished watching back to back episodes of “storage wars”

  29. ruruland

    If things keep going in this direction for a few weeks, I think there is a chance many Knicks fans get their wish and Melo asks internally for a trade.

    I think he’d like to tough it out in NY, but I can’t imagine him wanting to miss the playoffs this year with the prospect of it happening again next year.

  30. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    But why can’t he just will the team to victory? After all, his floor spacing should make everyone around him better. This man is a max player, dammit!!!!!!!!

  31. BigBlueAL

    I thought Melo knows it will look bad to leave NY and that he will take less to stay?? Now he will ask to be traded by the deadline?? LOL

  32. DRed

    Obviously, people who think Chandler is really valuable are idiots. This team is clearly more talnted than last seasons, but for some reason we can’t win. It’s a puzzle.

  33. Brian Cronin Post author

    The sad thing is you’re wrong.

    What loss was worse? The Charlotte one? They lost Chandler during that game, so I give them a little leeway with that one. The Hawks loss was embarrassing, but the Hawks are better than the Wizards (the Pistons are, too).

  34. Brian Cronin Post author

    If things keep going in this direction for a few weeks, I think there is a chance many Knicks fans get their wish and Melo asks internally for a trade.

    I think he’d like to tough it out in NY, but I can’t imagine him wanting to miss the playoffs this year with the prospect of it happening again next year.

    Seriously? I dunno. He’d have to agree to opt in, I would imagine, for any team to give up a lot for him, no? He can just leave at the end of the season if he really wants to leave. I don’t think he’ll push for a trade.

  35. ruruland

    . “I thought Melo knows it will look bad to leave NY and that he will take less to stay?? Now he will ask to be traded by the deadline?? LOL”

    I don’t think the plan was to miss the playoffs this year. That’s all I’m saying. I still think the Knicks have a good shot of turning it around. I really thought they’d win this game.

  36. DRed

    Honestly, ruru-when is the last time you thought we’d lose a game? This team stinks right now. We should expect to beat like 2 or 3 teams in the NBA on the road.

  37. Brian Cronin Post author

    The horrible thing is that this loss did not feel horrible.

    This is not a good time to be a Knick fan.

    While you’re right that it is worrisome that this loss did not seem that much out of the ordinary, it still seemed sort of out of the ordinary, so I still have hope for the team.

    I think we’re seeing that Chandler, just like last year (outside of an inspired stretch by K-Mart that effectively ruined him for the playoffs), is pretty much their entire defense. In fact, I think Chandler’s efforts last year were a bit underrated. He just didn’t have the support (and then he got hurt and was awful, but I mean before then). The year before he had Fields guarding threes, Jeffries, Lin (not a standout defender but better than any other current Knick point guard defensively) and a healthy Shump guarding twos and they were amazing. Take away those other four guys and he couldn’t do it all. Take away him, too, and no one can do anything.

  38. Owen

    Bargnani is really an atrocious defender unless someone is trying to back him down, where I guess he is reasonably decent (feels bizarre to say even that.) Just comically bad. He might be the least athletic guy in the NBA.

    Don’t know what to say about the rest of the game. Chandler would make a huge difference? We miss him?

    Melo should have torn this team apart. He was ok. Just can’t seem to get himself up to his peak form….

  39. ruruland

    “Honestly, ruru-when is the last time you thought we’d lose a game? This team stinks right now. We should expect to beat like 2 or 3 teams in the NBA on the road.”

    I usually don’t post when i’m pessimistic about a game, just given saturated this board can get with that stuff.

    This team is playing poorly. Obviously Chandler is one of the best centers in the game and incredibly important, but I think the poor point guard play and bad shooting from capable shooters are the biggest issues and compound problems that have existed for some time (transition defense).

    It’s really difficult to make up for that production/efficiency differential at pg when you’re not shooting well.

  40. hoolahoop

    “If things keep going in this direction for a few weeks, I think there is a chance many Knicks fans get their wish and Melo asks internally for a trade. “

    Well, if Melo demands a trade, I just hope he drives a hard enough bargain to gut the roster of the next team, too.

  41. ruruland

    “Melo should have torn this team apart. He was ok. Just can’t seem to get himself up to his peak form…”

    They were double-teaming most of his sweet spots (elbow and right wing), and in pick and roll. Game asked him to pass, which is what he did and why his usage was so low.

  42. DRed

    Replacing Tyson Chandler with Andrea fucking Bargnani is a tremendous negative. Yeah, PG is a problem, but swapping one of the best centers in the league with one of the worst is going to mean losses.

  43. ephus

    The Wizards were doubling Melo immediately on the entry pass (not even waiting for the catch). Melo moved the ball and no one made the shots.

    On defense, Gortat had at least four offensive rebounds in the 3rd quarter. And Webster was left open for multiple 3s.

    Outside of Stat’s first half, there was nothing good about this game.

  44. ruruland

    Yeah, Dred, I don’t think anyone thought Bargnani would thrive over a long period of time as the lone rim protector.

  45. max fisher-cohen

    This stretch has given me a lot more respect for Melo. A lot of scorer types see the team struggling and compound it by going into “I’m shooting 35 shots no matter what” mode. Melo is still taking some bad shots, but with how much space everyone but JR (who is struggling with his shot) needs, you really have to have bullet fast ball swings or else you get Shumpert or World Peace or Prigioni or Udrih hesitating and then putting the ball on the floor, which is not something you want from them. Bargnani too seems to really struggle to shoot threes when the defense is nearby or when the ball comes to him from the side, forcing him to refocus on the rim. Point is, Melo is doing what he can on offense and rebounding like crazy.

    The Knicks need someone to anchor the defense, and right now Woodson is being moronic in not playing Aldrich, and they need someone to keep guys in their roles and get them comfortable taking shots when they’re not totally wide open. Those are two things Woodson can control, and while I don’t think replacing Woodson even with a good coach will solve the major problem of are we building towards a contender (in fact, in the long term, it might encourage the Knicks to make more poor decisions), I do think that Woodson is basically doing everything wrong that he can, and I think he’s cost the knicks at least a couple wins.

  46. Kahnzy

    What loss was worse? The Charlotte one? They lost Chandler during that game, so I give them a little leeway with that one. The Hawks loss was embarrassing, but the Hawks are better than the Wizards (the Pistons are, too).

    I give no leeway to losing to Charlotte at home. That SA shellacking was pretty mind blowing (SA is a great organization, and they showed that they’re leagues ahead of us). The T-Wolves blitzed us early and often. But a loss is a loss, by one point or 30 and you are what your record says you are. Right now our record says we suck. It’s going to be very interesting to see whoever wins the Atlantic getting 4th seed even though whoever it is could very well have a losing record. The league may want to reconsider that rule at that point.

  47. Kahnzy

    Also, I think the tendency on this board crying out for Aldrich and/or Murray as if they’d be some sort of end-of-bench saviors is fairly indicative of how bad things are. Granted we just went through 2 straight seasons where the last guy on the bench turned into a productive rotation player (or international sensation), but hoping for a third straight season where someone out of the D-League comes in and solves all our problems is a bit of a stretch. Maybe Aldrich and Murray form a potent 1-2 defensive punch and propel our defense to top 10…I wouldn’t place that bet though.

  48. DRed

    I dont’t think Aldrich is an obvious solution. I think Bargnani is obviously horrible. So why not at least try Cole?

  49. Kahnzy

    No, I hear the argument; how much worse could it be, right? I’m just saying that I think it’s a bit unrealistic to expect much, if anything. It would be great and I’d be cheering for them just as loud as anyone, I’m just not gonna pin this season’s hopes to them, that’s all.

  50. AvonBarksdale

    Hey guys take it easy on Woody remember he wasn’t brought here to teach effort….or give pep talks or dictate stuff or make changes during the game or manage minutes or inspire or do a lot of stuff like adjustments and working with the rooks of this world he was brought here to see what amare bargs melo in one lineup could do defensively and to make sure no one drives in the paint when the opposition is in the penalty for about 10 minutes why the fuck would we exploit a weakness or take advantage of an opportunity when we have layups to relinquish. i watched the lakers game the other night and i watched D’Antoni coach during the actual game it was bizarre he let the refs have it now i’m not saying being demonstrative constitutes actual strategy/intellect but damn those scrubs are inspired and going hard…he is still stubborn in his ways but there can be no doubt woody is way more stubborn especially concerning his rookies/bench players…Linsanity would not happen under Woodson and right now we need some Murray/Shump/Prigs/Melo/Martin – Aldrich/Amare/MWP/THJ/Beno with Bargs in the mix for MWP/THJ/AMARE minutes and no more gambling for steals across the board we aren’t good enough defensively to gamble with these shitty rotations..i’m losing my mind we suck so bad.

  51. Zanzibar

    Before Felton went out, Bargnani had been plus in these 2 lineups as the center:

    (1) Bargs-Melo-Shumpert-Felton-JR (+24 overall for 70 minutes total) This unit had the highest number of minutes and second highest plus value of all lineups (+6.3/game only slightly below +6.5/game of a Chandler lineup without Bargnani).

    (2) Bargs-Melo-Shumpert-Felton-MWP (+3 overall for 24 minutes)

    So Felton goes out with injury, pretty logical to maybe insert your backup PG into at least that 1st lineup. So let’s check how many minutes that modified first lineup was played against Wiz and Pacers:

    Bargs-Melo-Shumpert-JR-Prigs Wizards-ZERO Minutes; Indy-ZERO Minutes

    Well how about Beno Udrih instead of Prigs: Wizards-ZERO; Pacers-8 minutes going +3

    OK well what about that second lineup using Pablo? Wizards-ZERO; Pacers-ZERO

    And finally, Beno in that second lineup? Wizards-ZERO; Pacers-ZERO
    ————————————————————————-
    Does this make any sense to you in a supposedly stats-driven organization? A major effort has been to determine in what type of lineup Bargs fits best. There’s some logic and stats which suggest the type of lineup. Seventy minutes is a fairly large sample size. Don’t you have to at least try that lineup against the Wizards having Shump guard Wall?

  52. Donnie Walsh

    If things keep going in this direction for a few weeks, I think there is a chance many Knicks fans get their wish and Melo asks internally for a trade.

    But, what about his legacy??

    I don’t know why Jowles is laughing, Chandler produced like half of the Knicks wins last year.

    …And Chandler has produced half of the team’s wins this year, too!

  53. Jack Bauer

    DRed
    November 23, 2013 at 10:00 pm
    This team is clearly more talented than last seasons, but for some reason we can’t win. It’s a puzzle.

    Agree 1000%.
    Also Aldrich and Murray may not be saviors, but isn’t it possible they might help? What would it hurt to play them for a few minutes instead of Bargs poor imitation of a center on D and watching the opposing PG blow by ours over and over. They struck gold before w Lin & Copeland, maybe they can do it again.

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