Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Heat 87, Knicks 70

Miami Heat 87 Final
Recap | Box Score
70 New York Knicks
Steve Novak, SF 22 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -22

This is part of a much longer debate, but I remain confounded as to why there were a grand total of zero plays run to free up Novak tonight, especially considering he was fracking starting. I know of one at least — the curl/screen thingy that worked so well in the Minnesota game. Granted, that’s a D’Antoni set, but you’d hope it hasn’t been wholly banished from the playbook. More on the play calling fiasco later.

Carmelo Anthony, SF 43 MIN | 7-23 FG | 7-9 FT | 8 REB | 2 AST | 22 PTS | -25

Things I wish you could place a wager on: The tabloids/fans/blogs will go into a teeth-baring, blood-curdling frenzy worse than a rabid wolverine that’s been cornered and is being repeatedly jabbed at with pointed sticks while they gleefully shred Melo to chum, eviscerating him, his entire New York career and everything he stands for based solely tonight’s performance. You (and I don’t mean you, KB readers. I love each and every one of you individually and as a a collective whole.) But for the rest of youse, you do possess something vaguely resembling a cerebral cortex, Oui? If so, you may not be aware of this, but this cortex-thingy can be used to store and then recall events that happened in the past. Like ten days ago, f’rinstance, when Melo was just the bee’s knees/the greatest thing since pre-sliced bread/a combination of tender, sensitive long-lasting sexual intercourse with a stunningly beautiful, intellectually compatible, funny and caring woman who after said act of love, got up and made you a delicious meal, like a pasta carbonara or something as opposed to grabbing a handful of Wheat Thins or some leftover Domino’s pizza (the bane of Jim Cavan’s existence), and then turned on a Knicks game (A good one from the days of Linsanity yore) that she’d amazingly remembered to DVR for you whilst you both lolled in bed in a sea of post-coital bliss. That’s how good he was a mere fortnight ago, remember? Think about that when you’re ripping him a new one by the e-watercooler.

That said, I’m not in any way excusing Melo’s putrid play tonight. He wasn’t good. Period. His shot was Game One-like. He forced the action, coughed up and/or massaged the ball like it was the fictional female described above and looked positively skeert to drive to the tin whenever LeBron was defending him. But yeah, there’s going to be so much bile spewed over the next two days, were it to be dumped in the Atlantic, It’d raise the sea level enough to obliterate the property values of most of Manhattan’s waterfront real estate. I’ll still read all of it, mind you, because…I dunno. Because I will.

Tyson Chandler, C 38 MIN | 2-6 FG | 6-10 FT | 15 REB | 0 AST | 10 PTS | -14

Even though I’d probably find myself buried in his abs if I even attempted it, I really want to go hug Tyson and pull a Robin Williams in ‘Good Will Hunting.’

Bob: It’s not your fault.
Tyson: [Softly, still staring off] I know…
Bob: No you don’t. It’s not your fault.
Tyson: [Serious] I know.
Bob: No. Listen to me son. It’s not your fault.
Tyson: I know that.
Bob: It’s not your fault.
[Tyson is silent, eyes closed]
Bob: It’s not your fault.
Tyson: [Will's eyes open, misty already] Don’t fuck with me Bob. Not you.
Bob: It’s not your fault.
[Tyson shoves Bob back. Bob goes flying across the room, re-shattering the glass on the fire extinguisher. And then, hands trembling, Tysonburies his face in his hands. Tyson begins sobbing. Bob is covered and blood, but still manages to crawl over to Tyson and put his hands on Tyson's midriff. Tyson grabs him and holds him close, crying]
Tyson: Oh my God! I’m so sorry! I’m so sorry Bob!
[Tyson continues sobbing]

And…scene!

Anyhoo, Tyson’s final numbers are more or less indistinguishable from any of the yeoman, DPOY-level efforts he put forth throughout the season. It didn’t really do a jot of good when LeBron/Wade started raining death from the perimeter, but this loss just ain’t his fault.

Baron Davis, PG 27 MIN | 2-5 FG | 3-3 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 7 PTS | -16

On the Twitter, the anti-Baron sentiment was approaching villagers-with-pitchforks-and-burning-torches-approaching-Dracula/Frankenstein’s-castle-level hate. Personally, while I’m as frustrated as the rest of the madding crowd by his unconscionable gaffes, inability to run the point and atrocious defense, I just find it sad. I really can’t imagine what it must be like to be suddenly robbed of gifts that one has possessed since birth, unable to perform a craft that has been the raison d’etre of one’s existence for more or less one’s entire life. Think about it. As you may know, I dabble in things artistic. It’s been a lifelong obsession — a craft that I’m still working on (and hopefully improving upon) on every day. But if I woke up tomorrow and found that something that came as naturally as breathing was suddenly gone? Christ on a cracker, that’s true agony. Like Macduff said, that’s some, “Horrible, horrible. Tongue nor heart cannot conceive nor name thee,” ish right there.

Landry Fields, G 34 MIN | 3-8 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 9 PTS | -15

Nine points and four boards. This has gotta be Landry’s best effort in the post season to date, right? So that’s something. I mean he actually went two for two from the line for the first time since the William Howard Taft administration. Bright spots, I’m looking for them.

Mike Bibby, PG 18 MIN | 2-4 FG | 2-3 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 8 PTS | +3

Maybe it’s just me, but when Bibby went crashing to the floor off of a pick in the 2nd quarter, all I could think of was the old “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.” late night commercial featuring the world’s hammiest horrid, bent, aged crone. (That said, she’s still a better actor than LeBron. STOP COMPLAINING, you petulant child! If you had your way, the refs would treat you with greater deference than the British Crown received prior to the signing of the Magna Carta. Where was I? Oh yeah…) Bibby performed decently for a player without a pulse. Yay.

Jared Jeffries, PF 14 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | +4

Even if his gamey joint made it possible for him to play more than 900 seconds, I wouldn’t advise it at this point. Without Stoudemire, the Knicks just can’t afford to have a player the Heat can wholly disregard on the offensive end.

J.R. Smith, SG 39 MIN | 5-18 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 12 PTS | -8

A pretty ugly final line, but he did as good a job defending Wade as any Knick has this series (including Shump) and the shots he took were, for the most part, decent looks. Considering the ghastly efforts of the other cagers in white, I really didn’t mind the occasional fadeaway 20-footer. And then of course there’s this. Save for the repeated chants of “Asshole, asshole…” by the MSG faithful directed at LeBron (that asshole), Earl’s ridonkulous dunk was one of the few grin-worthy moments of the evening..

Moral victories. Also something I’m on the lookout for.

Josh Harrellson, F 5 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | +8

Jorts looked capable during the breif stretch when New York outplayed Miami. Oddly enough, the goofy Harrellson/Jeffries/Smith/Fields/Bibby quintet had NEVER played together as a unit before tonight (and actually extended the lead). I thought/ hoped Son of Wood might go back to them, say at the start of the 4th when Melo’s fumes were running on fumes, but alas, ’twas not to be. More on this later.

Five Things We Saw

  1. If the Knicks had any hope of making this series competitive, they absolutely, positively, Smurfily HAD to prevail tonight, a game that was ripe for the taking. For the first say 23 minutes, we got to see all the reasons why the wags continue to doubt Miami’s greatness. It was like the Heat were bored or had spent Wednesday night in a series of hoity-toity clubs that I could never gain entrance to, hob-nobbling with the beautiful people and were still sweating off the booze. Granted, the Knicks’ defense was far superior to anything we saw in Florida, but Miami was equally to blame. And If Battier/Miller had been nailing the wide-open threes the Knicks permitted (as had been the case in the first two games), the Knicks would have been down double digits at the half, instead of nursing a slim lead. I’m pretty sure I’ve said something quite similar to this in the past, so pardon me if I plagiarize myself, but when Miami knocked an eleven point lead down to four at the half, I scribbled in my notes one word: TOAST. After so many years of watching this team, you can tell when their opponent is about to go on a soul-killing, berzerker run. It was just a question of when and how. I just KNEW that LeBron would go gonzo when he got back in the game. Not only because he got seven minutes of nap time in the 3rd, but because the officials had the temerity to blow their whistles in his general direction. [Robert clutching his pearls] Oh the humanity! It’s not that dissimilar to the manner in which Michael Jordan (Giant asterisk: I’m not equating the two, just noting a similar tendency) would take a personal slight like a questionable call and use it to fuel his inhuman competitiveness. For reasons that I can’t even begin to explain at this moment, when James does it, it feels petty and peevish as opposed to a glorious exhibition of athletic prowess. I hate them both. In any case, back to my bad vibes. It’s not that psychic or sumthin’, it’s just that I’ve seen this play before and I knew that our Willy Loman of a basketball team wasn’t getting out of the last act alive.
  2. All in all, this was just a brutal game to watch. The Knicks are a battered team right now in every sense — physically, emotionally, psychically, existentially…everything about them screams, “Please stop. I just want this to end. It’s been a long-ass season and we put up the good fight but we’re done.” I kinda think the Knicks should start Toney Douglas on Sunday. That would just about make the nut, symmetry-wise, and bring this deranged, creakily-built roller coaster back where we started. Either that or they should emulate the brilliant strategery employed Coach Bill Murray in the movie, “Meatballs.” Right before the opening, tip, the North Star ‘Bockers should grab the shorts of the vile, rich, smug kids from Camp MoHeat, and jerk them down to their ankles. While the men in black are cringing it embarrassment and struggling to pull their nut-huggers back up, the North Star ‘Bockers will bolt off the court and onto their waiting Yellow School Bus, where they rejoice in mock triumph and absurdist glee. Why not. It’d be better than another doom-struck, torpid affair like tonight.
  3. I’ve really dug a great many things Mike Woodson has done since he took over. The players clearly like him and want to perform well for him. (As much as I love the cat, that certainly wasn’t the case with Mike D’Antoni. Without a doubt, by mid-March, it was fairly clear that for whatever reason(s) (Melo-haterz, that’s your cue to sing), he’d lost the team). Plus he’s done an admirable job with the defense (with heaping mounds of credit due to Tyson Chandler, but still). Tonight, I started to seriously reconsider whether he’s the man for the job going forward. We’ll all have plenty of time to dissect the roster and opine on what the master plan might and should be, but for your humble correspondent, a BIG ingredient in a Chip-worthy coach is the ability to adapt and/or change gears. I’ll admit that the weapons/tools at his disposal tonight didn’t allow for the greatest degree of flexibility/adaptability, but for Dog’s sake man, do SOMETHING. Even when they went up, they were relying on Bibby and Fields hitting big outside shots. Does that seem like a trend that was likely to continue? Again, X’s and O’s aren’t my strong suit, but I’m saw the same sets time and time again. That worries me. I can’t say with any confidence that Saint Phil will descend from whatever Sufi monastery he’s built in Montana to save us all, but even if he’s not, I’m more willing to consider other worthy candidates than I was a week ago.
  4. As we’ve all been duly reminded, since the Knickerbockers found themselves on the losing end of their 13th consecutive game, they’ve set the record for the longest streak of post season futility in the NBA. Not good. To truly understand the length of time we’re talking about, were’s some funning that was said on the Twitter about what the world was like in the year 2001…

    Lebron didn’t have to wear a headband to hide his hairline.
    Adam Sandler could make people laugh.
    Enron stock traded at $62.50 a share
    Tupac Hologram was just Tupac
    You carried a beeper
    Facebook didn’t exist
    Tiger Woods had not even been to a Perkins Restaurant.
    Kate Upton was 8…you sick pervert
    Chris Bosh was still nestled under his mother in her nest waitin to hatch.
    Britney Spears was still attractive
    Ted Williams head was still attached to his body
    Sega Dreamcast was the top video game system
    Shawn Kemp only had 2 illegitimate kids
    Angelina Jolie was dating Billy Bob Thornton

    It was, without a doubt, a simpler time. Sigh.

  5. And now on to Game Four. I’ll be there. You’ll be there. We’ll all be there. It’s endgame time, true believers and rather than leave you with the utterly maudlin portrait I’ve been painting for the last five hundred or so words, here’s a photo that Renaldo Balkman distributed tonight. At least he seems happy. Party with Sluts, indeed.

30 comments on “Heat 87, Knicks 70

  1. nicos

    What a demoralizing night- the Knicks season is basically done and my favorite NY athlete’s career is probably over.
    It’s going to be a long summer- I almost hope the Heat win so I never have to sit through another telecast where the commentators spend half the game opining on whether or not LBJ has what it takes to win a championship.

  2. BigBlueAL

    Ive said this before many times but I thinks its pretty applicable right now too, would really love to know what Dolan is thinking right now.

  3. Peter87

    Yes, I guess that’s the only positive I can take out: I hate to see stupidity rewarded, and Dolan is stupidity incarnate. My biggest offseason wish of all would be that, somehow, someone decent buys the team.

  4. Shad0wF0x

    Let’s go Rangers! Let’s go Rangers. Yeah I got home 3 hours ago, watched the DVR and yeah….Let’s go Rangers!

  5. 2FOR18

    Where the hell is ruru to list all of the excuses for melo?? He predicted things for this game

  6. Richmond County

    I’m still waiting for Miami to put Eddy Curry out there, you know, just to rub it in.

  7. 2FOR18

    where is ruru? What a punk not to show up tonight. You know if a majority of melo’s long 2′s happened to go in tonight he’d be making sarcastic comments about how dumb knicks fans can;t recognze melo’s brilliance.

  8. Brian Cronin

    I dunno, seems like a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” thing. If he shows up to defend him, he gets shit for defending him. If he doesn’t show up to defend him, he gets shit for not showing up.

  9. RastaPappa

    Dear Mr Dolan,
    please bring Mr Jackson to NYK. And don’t bring Michael, he is wrong man to do this job.

  10. Spree8

    I missed the days when each and every one of our “scrubs” on the team gets an A/B grades when Lin is out there on the court.

  11. daJudge

    Thank you for the fine summary Robert. I also really appreciate all of the writers and contributors to this blog. This blog is “my morning jacket”. Moving on….We really buried ourselves this season by losing to crappy teams. We should have been ten games over 500 and had a far better seeding. Matching up with Miami first round has been brutal. This is so frustrating to me. However, I am looking forward to next year and in my opinion we have the nucleus to make some real noise. My concerns are: (1) Shump’s health. (2) the STAT issue. (3) signing Lin (4) Coaching situation. I just feel terrible about Shump, but I am optimistic that he will return strong. Something needs to be done to acquire a power forward. Lin’s signing is a must. Like Robert, loved Woodson, but options must be explored. Over and out.

  12. David Crockett

    Bob,

    I can’t remember if it was you who tweeted last night about changing your tune and now regretting the decision not to tank for CHI. I still think that the best move was to chase ORL as they imploded.

    It got me thinking though, the two regular season games that remain stuck in my craw are (1) the HUGE lead we blew at IND, and (2) the late season giveaway game vs. CLE.

  13. flossy

    “Tupac Hologram was just Tupac.”

    You must have gone to some crazy parties in 2001

  14. David Crockett

    On the coaching situation…

    unless it’s a hands-down better option FOR THIS ROSTER, and I don’t see one, I think we need to roll with what we have. It seems to me that Knicks fans should be all kinds of acquainted with the concept of switching costs by now.

    The defensive improvements seem largely sustainable. Let’s assume that even if Tyson doesn’t have a POY type year next year, he’ll remain a legit defensive anchor for the foreseeable.

  15. Brian Cronin

    Whether it is the right move or not, I think Woodson’s chances of sticking around are slim. I think he’s in the “if everyone else turns us down, we’ll take you back on a one-year deal” level right now (or two-year deal, whatever the minimum job offer is to a coach nowadays).

    Hopefully, though, “everyone else” is, like, three coaches (Jax, Calipari and Sloan) and they then bring Woodson back after all three turn them down.

  16. Nick C.

    I just wish this wasn’t a perpetual start from scratch every year, sometimes two two three times per year, proposition. Jax is a great HOF coach etc. but if I have to go thru a year of “give them time…the right pieces for the triangle, flex, bribe recruits” style of the aforementioned coaches i’m not gonna be thrilled.

  17. Owen

    Yep, excellent write up…

    Not sure I could have swallowed the pain.

    I actually thought we were going to win. Silly me.

  18. Doug

    flossy:
    “Tupac Hologram was just Tupac.”

    You must have gone to some crazy parties in 2001

    I wrote this song a long time ago…

  19. Frank O.

    It was pretty obvious at the end of the first half they had blown the opportunity to extend their lead. The weren’t finishing periods.
    And you could also see that melo was tired and mentally worn down. Every time he touched it he faced three all stars triple teaming. Essentially, the Heat said everyone else will need to beat us. You will not.
    And it worked.
    You also could see that Wade was going to be a stone cold killer again. Before Lebron even showed his face again, Wade had buried several key shots consecutively to extend the lead. Lebron at that point was piling on. Wade had virtually performed the coup de grace.
    I also was stunned at how few picks were being set to free up Novak. Usually Jeffries is the guy who does that stuff, but Jeffries on a bum wheel is like having nothing at all out there.
    Out three starters. Some others limping around. The Heat were a tough match with all our starters present, although healthy, I believe with all my heart these Knicks would have taken it to seven games and it would have come down to a final shot to determine the winner. Lin, Shump, Melo, Stat and Chandler could beat those guys.
    This squad is simply outgunned. Period.
    Given everything this team has undergone this season, getting the seventh seed was an accomplishment and we have seen heart from these guys. They never quit.
    In the end, that is more than respectable.
    Next year, this team makes noise.
    But mark me as relieved it is coming to an end.

  20. PC

    Can we stop with the Novak screen setting? Wade was guarding him. He closed out so ruthlessly Novak never had a chance. Now, where Novak does have a chance is in the corner waiting for the ball to be swung to him after a Melo doubleteam. Watching some of the game a second time, Melo would draw a double, pass to Baron and he needed to pass to Fields for an easy swing to Novak in the corner. Baron, for some god damn fucking reason, puts his head down and stares at his defender. Can you make the game any easier already for the best defensive team. It has nothing to do with Baron’s gifts being taken away – he is a selfish dumb basketball player. A swing pass is something my 95 year old granfather could have done in those situations.

    Also, Novak had 3-4 opportunities for pullups that he passed on. That’s on him. Shoot the ball.

  21. chrisk06811

    I’m not sure what to think of JR Smith. His skills are probably only topped by his confidence. He knows how to relax. he doesn’t shy away from neck tatoos. And, he probably scared the living shit out of China, which must have been priceless.

    But, when i watched the video of his dunk, I love his reaction afterwords. He claps and yells “come on” at his teammates. This isn’t some asshole doing a dance in the endzone when his team is losing. I like that.

  22. chrisk06811

    just noticed the Balkman photo. I told him, Naldo, don’t post that shit or the bitches will be on to us. And, your moms might see that tweet. the first 2 we tried, he had a shit eating grin and a thumbs up, but this one came out good. Not sure why his whole possee didn’t get these hats. Mine says “i’m with Naldo”

  23. Bruno Almeida

    Owen:
    Yep, excellent write up…

    Not sure I could have swallowed the pain.

    I actually thought we were going to win. Silly me.

    yeah… the Melo defense camp took another hit, I guess.

    and I hate so much Baron Davis right now I can barely watch him play without swearing at the screen.

    this is a sweep, unfortunately, but pretty obviously.

  24. RastaPappa

    Nick C.:
    I just wish this wasn’t a perpetual start from scratch every year, sometimes two two three times per year, proposition. Jax is a great HOF coach etc. but if I have to go thru a year of “give them time…the right pieces for the triangle, flex, bribe recruits” style of the aforementioned coaches i’m not gonna be thrilled.

    No don’t worry. Jax has more tricks than triangle. Maybe our stars listen to him. If he doesn’t come send Stat & Melo hell out of NYK. We got Tyson, Novak and JR.

  25. WeirdJohn

    New York fans in general got such a brutal, supersonic, high intensity kick to the balls last night I’ll be surprised if any of us can procreate ever again.

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