Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

J.R. Smith Not Only To Blame

After the Knicks lost Game 4 to the Pacers, putting New York in a 3 game to 1 deficit, one player has decided to publicly take responsibility. J.R. Smith told the press “I take the blame for this whole series… I haven’t been playing my part. I’ve been letting my teammates down. I’ve been letting my coaches down.” It’s a certainty that Smith hurt his team. Thus far in the first four games, the Knicks guard has hit only 18 of 64 shots, amounting to a pitiful 28.1% field goal percentage.

However Smith isn’t the only person to blame. During the regular season, the Pacers were the best defensive team in the league, measured by defensive efficiency. They boast a goonish front court in Hibbert, West, Hansbrough, and Mahinimi. Meanwhile the Knicks had the league’s third best offense, fueled by excellent three point shooting. However in this series, New York has gone away from their team’s strengths to disastrous results. And that can only by the fault of the coach.

Normally the Knicks are able to keep defenders away from the rim by forcing them to defend players that can shoot on the perimeter. Putting marksmen on the outside allows for inside penetration via the pick and roll (Felton/Chandler) or by a drive to the hoop (‘Melo). If defenders leave their man to assist in the paint, the outside shooters will usually find an open shot. If they stay at home, the middle becomes a soft and friendly target. It’s a two pronged attack that requires both aspects to be present. The yin and yang of floor spacing.

In Tuesday’s pivotal game, Mike Woodson inserted forward/center Kenyon Martin into the starting lineup alongside center Tyson Chandler. It was an attempt to match Indiana’s size, but it took away from New York’s potent offense. By placing a defender who doesn’t shoot well in Martin on the floor, Indiana was able to have one defender cheat towards the paint making it more difficult for the offense to operate. And lo’ & behold, the Pacers got off to a quick 11-3 start.

Even though the pairing didn’t seem to help the team, they played together for 20 of the game’s first 30 minutes. Martin ended up with 29 minutes, 8 more than he averaged over the first 3 games.

But giving Martin extra time wasn’t Woodson’s only mistake. The Knicks were first in three pointers made (897) during the regular season, but three of their top shooters were marginalized. Steve Novak who led the team with a 42.5% three point percentage, saw only 8 minutes total in this series. Chris Copeland (42.1% three point percentage) averaged less than 8 minutes per contest, And Pablo Prigioni (39.6% three point percent) was only given 3 minutes in Game 4. A case could be made that Novak’s slender frame would have been a liability against the bruising Pacer big men. However Copeland’s listed weight is 235 pounds, and he could have given the Knicks some needed outside shooting without submitting to Indiana’s muscle.

Finally it’s hard to comprehend why Woodson chose to give Jason Kidd playing time in lieu of Prigioni. Kidd hasn’t scored a single point since April 23, spanning 8 playoff games. Meanwhile Prigioni posted positive plus-minus scores (+/-) in the first two games, and led the team in assists in games one through three despite playing limited minutes. One of Prigioni’s strengths is forcing turnovers, which aligns with one of Indiana’s top flaws. The Pacers ranked 28th in turnover percentage.

Yes if Smith hits half his shots, this series is tied at 2. But a coach’s job is to give his team the best chance to win. Mike Woodson blundered badly by placing the wrong personnel on the floor, and deserves his share of the blame for the Knicks collapse. It’ll be interesting to see how he approaches Game 5, especially with regards to his lineups. Although any change would be too little too late, it’d be good to know if Woodson recognizes this deficiency, or rides his “let’s split 5s with the dealer showing a 9″ into the ground.

131 comments on “J.R. Smith Not Only To Blame

  1. Hubert Davis

    Correction: it is unclear whether Woodson backed out or the Knicks made him cancel.

  2. Hubert Davis

    er:
    If the Knicks win three in a row due to a different rotation Woody should be fired

    Shouldn’t we commend him for learning from his mistakes before it was too late.

  3. DRed

    woody is thinking about putting Pablo back in as a starter! Thats some brilliant coaching.

  4. d-mar

    er:
    If the Knicks win three in a row due to a different rotation Woody should be fired

    If the Knicks win 3 in a row, Frank Vogel should be fired, because it means he made Woodson-like “adjustments”

  5. er

    d-mar: If the Knicks win 3 in a row, Frank Vogel should be fired, because it means he made Woodson-like “adjustments”

    lmao…..yea i was kidding. But the fact that copeland and novak have been in siberia is making me wanna vomit. You cant find 10 mins for Novak and 15-20 for cope? Really

  6. Hubert Davis

    If we win three in a row because he puts Prigioni back in, plays Copeland at the 5, and quits doubling on Roy Hibbert, he’ll be a slow learner but he’ll be in the ECF and all will be forgiven, in my book.

    I hope it happens. I like Mike Woodson. I hate what he’s doing, but I like him and I want him to succeed because I love the Knicks.

  7. Hubert Davis

    “Although any change would be too little too late, it’d be good to know if Woodson recognizes this deficiency, or rides his “let’s split 5s with the dealer showing a 9? into the ground.”

    If he doesn’t, we have to watch out for an offseason overhaul in which we overreact to this loss by getting rid of our best shooters, floor spacers, and ball movers, in favor of more veterans who can rebound and play defense. I’m talking stupid shit like trading the rights to Chris Copeland for Reggie Evans so we can go all in with the same strategies we used in games 3 & 4. Don’t kid yourselves, it’s a possibility.

  8. Knicks4Eva

    Dred, where did you see that Woody is thinking of starting Priggy Smalls again (the obvious right move)?

  9. DRed

    More seriously, there is a ton of blame to go around, but Woodson (who i was a big fan of in the regular season) has had a disasterously bad playoffs. some of our problems aren’t his fault. Woody cant fix whatever is wrong with Tyson (although giving a few minutess to Camby would be worth a shot, at least), or make Carmelo shoot better. And he doesnt have a lot of options for replacing those two. Kidd has been terrific for a lot of the season, but its crystal clear he cant be on the court right now, and not playing at least one of our two best shooters when the team is crying out for some good shooting is just hard to understand. Not playing Pablo last night is one of the dumbest coaching decisions I’ve ever seen, and Woodson’s inability to even try to explain the move is pretty troubling. We startted last night with 3 guys who cant shoot on the floor and then gave a majority of our bench minutes to two other guys who cant shoot. And this is a series where we need offense.

  10. Juany8

    By the way, Tyson Chandler has had 2 healthy postseasons in his entire career. Might be time to accept that this isn’t a coincidence and that there is a reason (besides his non existent offense) that Dallas was both able to acquire him so easily before letting him leave again immediately. We already have one perpetually injured big man on the team who no will trade for, why not try and see if they can get some real value for Chandler? You can try to trade Melo too I guess, for all the good Grenwald did this off season there is only so much you can do with a shit medical staff and $30 million dollars worth of players sitting on the bench every playoffs. Even Lebron wouldn’t be winning shit with this team right now, the second best player in the playoffs so far has been Felton, a pickup pretty much everyone hated for a starting point guard.

  11. stratomatic

    Let’s not forget that Woodson was an ISO heavy coach in Atlanta and was brought to NY as a defensive assistant. The only reason we’ve had a good offense is that he mostly stayed with what D’Antoni was doing except for some minor adjustments to appease Melo that Pringles didn’t want to make.

    That he doesn’t know how to cope with Indiana’s brilliantly executed defensive scheme (which is to take away 3s and the inside and give up the mid range jumpers) is not a shock.

    This team has struggled all year when they either weren’t making open 3s or the other team was very geared towards taking them away. There’s no plan B except ISO Melo and JR, throw up tough shots, and pray it’s a lucky night.

    Granted, we probably need better spacing from either Novak or Copeland, but for whatever we gain on offense we are going to lose that much plus more elsewhere. I prefer Novak, but either way you are losing rebounding and defense.

    To me the only solution on offense is to run and try to get easy looks, but we may not have the personnel for that.

    Not playing Prigioni us pure idiocy no matter how you slice it.

  12. Nick C.

    The more I think about it the Pablo minutes is so strange. The guy was one game removed form having his name chanted in the Garden, in part because of his shot making. (Novak and Cope are inexcuseable for at least 5-10 minutes).

    Major props to JR for manning up. Though if he thinks its just as simple as shots going in and neglecting the dribbling with blinders and/or doing it aimlessly while the shot clock dwindles, then he is missing the point and being a faux martyr.

  13. ephus

    Let’s not be too harsh on Woodson’s decision not to play Novak. Novak has been out with back spasms. None of us know how spry Novak is at this moment. If Novak cannot rotate at his usual speed, he would go from slow to glacial. And if a weakened Novak got caught on a switch guarding West or Hibbert in the post, he might get broken into two pieces.

    On the other hand, I literally cannot see any justification for playing Kidd over Prigioni. Kidd is HURTING the Knicks ball movement, because the Pacers are not bothering to guard him on the perimeter. Kidd’s man is dropping into the elbow area, cutting off any chance for penetration. Kidd, nonetheless, is passing up wide open shots and getting the ball to teammates who are covered late in the shot clock. I have seen Kidd pass up open shots that led to 24 second violations and wild heaves as the shot clock was expiring.

    Finally, I still have love for JR Smith. I think he is due for an explosive game. There is nothing that JR Smith cannot do on a basketball court. Of course, there is nothing that JR Smith will not do on a basketball court. With this lineup, the Knicks are not going anywhere without an effective JR Smith. Call me a crazy optimist (and I may be), but I am OK with that.

  14. flossy

    I think Woodson has been awful, but I do think it’s a bit more complicated than “he’s gone away from the strategy that was successful in the regular season.” Sure, he has done that, but think about it–what is the benefit of playing small and shooting as many threes as possible when the players who will be taking those shots are guys like Carmelo Anthony (.300 3FG% in the playoffs), JR Smith (.283), Shumpert (.375, but only .153 vs. Indiana), and Kidd (RIP).

    Playing small only works if you actually can outshoot the other team. If you’re small, slow, AND you can’t shoot, that’s just a recipe for disaster. And yes, we do have some shooting specialists on the bench that might help, but if giving Steve Novak and Chris Copeland heavy minutes in the a bruising playoff series is the answer… well, you’re probably too screwed for it to make a difference. When everyone’s laying bricks, I can at least see the temptation to throw a hail mary and go big.

    However, in light of all this, benching Prigioni in favor of Jason Kidd has got to be one of the more stupid decisions I’ve ever seen a coach make. Prigs is shooting better than .400 from 3! And he can run the offense! And he’s probably the best defensive PG on the team! WTF Woody?! Jason Kidd was a great player in his day, but his performance in the playoffs is making me pine for Mike Bibby. I understand not wanting to give Copeland and Novak minutes that would otherwise go to Melo and K-Mart, but Kidd over Prigioni?? Really???

  15. PC

    What I would do if I was the coach:

    (1) Play the entire first half of game 5 without doubling any big game. Under the theory that giving up challenged two pointers is better than wide open three pointers to a group of guys who have proven they are in a rhythm.

    (2) The rebounding differential is probably going to be bad. So, forget sacrificing offense for trying to fix the rebounding – play Prigs most if not all of Kidd’s minutes, and play Copeland and Novak a little more. Certainly if one of those two hits a three, leave them in the game.

    (3) Tell JR to attack the basket all game long and only shoot threes that come in transition (because I will be playing Felton 45 minutes and demanding that he run until his body gives up (which is hopefully at about the 46 minute mark))

    (4) Have my wife start updating my resume.

  16. flossy

    Juany8:
    By the way, Tyson Chandler has had 2 healthy postseasons in his entire career. Might be time to accept that this isn’t a coincidence and that there is a reason (besides his non existent offense) that Dallas was both able to acquire him so easily before letting him leave again immediately. We already have one perpetually injured big man on the team who no will trade for, why not try and see if they can get some real value for Chandler? You can try to trade Melo too I guess, for all the good Grenwald did this off season there is only so much you can do with a shit medical staff and $30 million dollars worth of players sitting on the bench every playoffs. Even Lebron wouldn’t be winning shit with this team right now, the second best player in the playoffs so far has been Felton, a pickup pretty much everyone hated for a starting point guard.

    Who do you think we could realistically get for Tyson? I’ve been messing around on the trade machine but the best I can seem to do is DeMarcus Cousins and the corpse of John Salmons for Tyson and Shumpert, which seems like a wash at best.

  17. stratomatic

    ephus,

    I agreed with you about Novak until last night. If his back is an issue, then he shouldn’t have been playing late in the game last night when it was already pretty much over. Once he played, I interpreted that as meaning Woodson was not playing him earlier for misplaced strategic reasons.

    It’s not like Novak or Copeland is the answer. They are both horrible defensively and on the boards. The last thing we need is to get even more buried on the boards, but spacing has been such an issue I think trying Novak made sense.

  18. Frank

    ephus: Let’s not be too harsh on Woodson’s decision not to play Novak. Novak has been out with back spasms. None of us know how spry Novak is at this moment. If Novak cannot rotate at his usual speed, he would go from slow to glacial. And if a weakened Novak got caught on a switch guarding West or Hibbert in the post, he might get broken into two pieces.

    I can see not playing Novak because Novak is beyond useless on the defensive end. But I think not playing Copeland is a horrible mistake. Copeland isn’t that bad a one-on-one defender, and if you’re not going to play guys because of bad rotations, then you’d better bench JR, Melo, Kidd, and Amare also.

    The Pacers defensive game plan against us is predicated upon Hibbert taking away the paint on the PNR. It’s just mind-boggling that Woodson is not playing Copeland more because “he looked nervous in his first playoff game”. There’s trusting your vets, and there’s stupid. This is stupid.

  19. DRed

    Look, i get that playing Copeland and/or Novak might not work with the bricklaying we’re doing. But Woodson’s refusal to try plan b when plan a clealry isn’t working is ridiculous. Shump had an orthopedist flown in too look at his knee-was it remotely surprising that he sucked last night?

  20. thenamestsam

    I don’t see the purpose of talking offseason junk yet. Fire Woodson, trade Chandler, trade Melo, all of those discussions for after the body is in the ground. It’s a long offseason with not much to talk about. I don’t see any reason to try to get a jump on it.

    Knicks fans are pessimists with good reason, but we’re good enough (and they’re bad enough) for us to win 3 games in a row. It’s not likely, and the odds certainly don’t look better if Woodson doubles down on his asinine moves from Game 4, but we still just need to protect our home court and win one road game.

    ephus:

    On the other hand, I literally cannot see any justification for playing Kidd over Prigioni.Kidd is HURTING the Knicks ball movement, because the Pacers are not bothering to guard him on the perimeter.Kidd’s man is dropping into the elbow area, cutting off any chance for penetration.Kidd, nonetheless, is passing up wide open shotsand getting the ball to teammates who are covered late in the shot clock.I have seen Kidd pass up open shots that led to 24 second violations and wild heaves as the shot clock was expiring.

    Yeah, the Pablo one is the one that has stayed with me all day. I mean Novak and Cope are very flawed players. I think their benefits would outweigh the costs in this series, but there’s a case to be made both ways. Kidd over Pablo is unjustifiable to me. Kidd should be the last guy on the bench the way he’s played recently. I would MUCH rather see Q out there than Kidd at this point. He’s washed up and you can see on his face that he knows it. He doesn’t want the ball, he doesn’t want to shoot, he doesn’t want to dribble and he’s not even looking for challenging passes. He just gets the ball and swings it to the next guy. Complete liability.

  21. stratomatic

    flossy: Who do you think we could realistically get for Tyson?I’ve been messing around on the trade machine but the best I can seem to do is DeMarcus Cousins and the corpse of John Salmons for Tyson and Shumpert, which seems like a wash at best.

    Cousins is very talented, but that’s like already being in “behavioral disorder hell” and thinking digging deeper is the solution. No thanks.

    Chandler has always had some health issues, but IMO he’s far and away our most productive player when healthy. There’s a reason his previous teams gave him fewer minutes per game than we do. They were trying to save him for a playoff or championship run. I suppose we didn’t have that luxury this year with Camby, Wallace, and Amare going down. But either way, IMO Chandler and Shumpert are the only untouchables on this team.

  22. flossy

    DRed:
    Look, i get that playing Copeland and/or Novak might not work with the bricklaying we’re doing.But Woodson’s refusal to try plan b when plan a clealry isn’t working is ridiculous. Shump had an orthopedist flown in too look at his knee-was it remotely surprising that he sucked last night?

    I mean, once the bricklaying started, I think going big with K-Mart starting at the 4 was Plan B. The argument is whether more Copevack would have been a better Plan B than going big. In hindsight, it’s easy to say we should have tried that instead, but as a coach in the playoffs I can understand the temptation to go with a vet that plays great D and has a ton of playoff experience rather than those two. Kidd over Prigs is just inexcusable though.

  23. DRed

    K Mart scored 0 points last night. K mart, Shump and Kidd were outscored by one minute of Steve Novak.

  24. stratomatic

    Frank: I can see not playing Novak because Novak is beyond useless on the defensive end.But I think not playing Copeland is a horrible mistake.Copeland isn’t that bad a one-on-one defender, and if you’re not going to play guys because of bad rotations, then you’d better bench JR, Melo, Kidd, and Amare also.

    The Pacers defensive game plan against us is predicated upon Hibbert taking away the paint on the PNR.It’s just mind-boggling that Woodson is not playing Copeland more because “he looked nervous in his first playoff game”.There’s trusting your vets, and there’s stupid.This is stupid.

    IMO you are overrating Copeland’s defense and I assume you know his rebounding sucks.

    Copeland was in the game “about” 2 minutes and he got burned backdoor twice. He’s a huge defensive liability and can’t board at all. That’s why he’s a 27 year old rookie and wouldn’t be a rotation player on any other serious playoff team.

  25. thenamestsam

    flossy: I mean, once the bricklaying started, I think going big with K-Mart starting at the 4 was Plan B.The argument is whether more Copevack would have been a better Plan B than going big.In hindsight, it’s easy to say we should have tried that instead, but as a coach in the playoffs I can understand the temptation to go with a vet that plays great D and has a ton of playoff experience rather than those two.Kidd over Prigs is just inexcusable though.

    I understand your argument but I think it’s hard to look at games 1-3 and really think that we really tried our Plan A. Our strength and indentity as a team was the sheer number of 3 pointers we attempted. Almost 30 a game. We shot 30 combined in games 1 and 3.

    To me, a good coach looks at those games and says, “It’s not that we’ve played our game and they’re beating us, it’s that they’ve stopped us from playing our game so far. Hell, the only quarter we really looked like the Knicks, bombing 3s and swarming on D was the one quarter where we really ran away with things. How do we get back to that identity on a more consistent basis?” Woodson seems to have looked at those games and concluded that we played our game and couldn’t beat them doing it. I think he got entirely the wrong takeaway from those losses.

  26. flossy

    DRed:
    We need offense though, flossy.K Mart should be backing up Tyson.

    I mean, I don’t think it’s as simple as saying “we need X.” Given Tyson’s total failure in game 3 to do anything but serve as Hibbert’s doormat, you could have easily said “we need interior defense and rebounding.” The sad fact is that at this point we need many things, and there’s nobody on the roster who can give us all of those things, so it becomes a question of “will K-Mart be more of a net positive, or at least less of a net negative, than Copeland?” That’s the difficultly of having a bunch of one-dimensional players.

    Jason Kidd, on the other hand, is zero dimensional and should never play professional basketball again. I was honestly hoping he’d retire at halftime last night.

  27. Hubert Davis

    flossy:
    I think Woodson has been awful, but I do think it’s a bit more complicated than “he’s gone away from the strategy that was successful in the regular season.”Sure, he has done that, but think about it–what is the benefit of playing small and shooting as many threes as possible when the players who will be taking those shots are guys like Carmelo Anthony (.300 3FG% in the playoffs), JR Smith (.283), Shumpert (.375, but only .153 vs. Indiana), and Kidd (RIP).

    Playing small only works if you actually can outshoot the other team.If you’re small, slow, AND you can’t shoot, that’s just a recipe for disaster.

    It’s not really apples to apples, though.

    The 3PA’s that Melo & JR get when they’re playing with Martin, Chandler, and Kidd are significantly harder shots than the 3PA’s they were getting when they had Melo at the 4, 2 PG’s, and a floor spacing 5 (either through an effective PnR w Chandler, or with Copeland’s shooting).

    That’s what drives me nuts about Coach saying it’s all about shots going down. It isn’t. It’s about putting the personnel on the floor that leads to shots that are easier to make.

  28. reiser

    In 40 years of watching basketball I have never seen a team shoot as poorly as the Knicks have done in games 3 & 4 against the Pacers. There is no excuse. There has never been a consistent starting line up all year long. The biggest weaknesses are now being exposed. We have shooting guards who can’t shoot, a center who has absolutely no offensive moves (not a single one) unless he receives an allioop, and an average point guard. Losing Rasheed Wallace was critical – the guy had a low post game and could hit outside shots as well. Amar’e getting hurt also affected the rotation. Jason Kidd is done. He hasn’t scored a single point in 2 playoff rounds. It’s a shame. He played well at points during the season, but now it’s obvious he’s shot and has nothing left. Hopefully he will retire at the end of this year. The experiment with collecting old players has failed. I am so tired of being a fan of this team – words cannot express. 40 years of futility with no end in sight. I don’t even know if I can stomach watching game 5. Even if the Knicks win it will only prolong the agony for one more game, so we can watch the Pacers celebrate on their home court. Don’t blame the coach – he worked with the hand he was dealt. The players seem to respond to him. He can’t make JR Smith a better player – that’s up to JR Smith. There’s a reason why JR Smith wasn’t a starter – it’s because he plays well only in spurts, and from time-to-time. He’s proven that he’s not a reliable 2nd star. So where do the Knicks go from here once we lose to the Pacers? At least the Bulls have Derrick Rose returning, and a slew of guys who grew up in the playoffs. The Knicks? We have 40 year old Marcus Camby who is washed up, James White, a 29-year old Rookie in Chris Copeland who showed promise but slogs his way up and down the court playing one one level of speed or lack of it (and thus is nothing more than a half-court player), Steve Novak who is a…

  29. flossy

    stratomatic: Chandler has always had some health issues, but IMO he’s far and away our most productive player when healthy.

    I think “far and away” is a massive overstatement. If Chandler is 100% healthy he can be a dominant player on defense and an efficient, if limited, offensive cog. But he was basically a net zero on defense all year if you look at his on/off court splits (and with the motley crew of elderly or defensively incompetent back-up bigs, that’s really saying something), and when he isn’t 100% healthy he is a non-factor making nearly a max deal.

    I’m not falling over myself to trade him for someone like Cousins but when you consider that Amar’e cannot be traded and Melo will not be traded, there are only so many options to shake up the roster that bring in a high-end talent and don’t compromise the long term cap. It’s not a slam dunk but any GM should at least be putting out feelers. Chandler’s been labelled an All-Star and All-NBA defensive 1st teamer a year after actually earning those accolades, so his trade value has probably peaked.

  30. Hubert Davis

    This is great.

    Per Berman: “Woodson says ‘blame me’, not JR.”

    We were, Mike. We were.

  31. stratomatic

    flossy:

    I’m not falling over myself to trade him for someone like Cousins but when you consider that Amar’e cannot be traded and Melo will not be traded, there are only so many options to shake up the roster that bring in a high-end talent and don’t compromise the long term cap.

    I’m not in the business of predicting what the Knicks “will” do. I just assume they will probably sacrifice the long term for some short term gain, overvalue some overrated scorer, and make matters worse. So you are probably right in your analysis of what they will do.

    But if you want to know the right tying to do, it’s to try to move every single player on the team not named Chandler, Shumpert, Prigioni, and one of either Novak or Copeland for youth, picks, etc….

    The biggest emphasis should be trying to move Melo because he still has a lot of value in the market place, but is the worst value on the team other than Amare (and that’s only because he’s hurt and can’t be moved). Mind you, I’m not saying Melo is bad. I’m saying he’s bad value.

    That’s the right thing to “try” to do now, will definitely be available in 2015, but we won’t do it either time and we’ll still be suffering in 2018 or whenever.

  32. Juany8

    flossy: Who do you think we could realistically get for Tyson?I’ve been messing around on the trade machine but the best I can seem to do is DeMarcus Cousins and the corpse of John Salmons for Tyson and Shumpert, which seems like a wash at best.

    I don’t think we’re getting back a star player for Tyson if that’s what you’re asking. More like trying to see if we could pry some valuable players for him and Melo and be the Nuggets, a fun team that doesn’t have the pressure of actually doing anything since people will make excuses for why they lose in the first round instead of being disappointed when they lose to a solid team in the second. Chandler really wasn’t that good this year and he has literally only been healthy 2 postseasons in his entire career. Amare has a better chance of showing up for next year’s playoffs at this point.

    As for Melo, he’s not Lebron, and therefore he isn’t worth a max contract. Not even trying to be a sarcastic, there is no one worth the contract except Lebron right now. The thunder’s offense has fallen to shit without Westbrook (non surprisingly) harden was the third best rocket of the playoffs, Chris Paul can’t defend anyone bigger than 6 ft and high jacks his offense to a bigger degree than Kobe Bryant, and Dwight Howard is an immature dummy. Wade and Kobe are looking older each day…. Seriously none of these guys are really that good. The only player in the NBA currently in his prime who would ever be a top 20 all time is Lebron James.

    My theory is that defenses have gotten too good. Foul calls have been favoring defensive players more and more each year, and it has become far too easy to pack the paint and force offensive stars to shoot over the top of your defense or space the floor in extreme ways to score. You might as well spend the money on defense and shooting, unless you stumble into multiple stars

  33. Juany8

    stratomatic: I’m not in the business of predicting what the Knicks “will” do. I just assume they will probably sacrifice the long term for some short term gain, overvalue some overrated scorer, and make matters worse.So you are probably right in your analysis of what they will do.

    But if you want to know the right tying to do, it’s to try to move every single player on the team not named Chandler, Shumpert, Prigioni, and one of either Novak or Copeland for youth, picks, etc….

    The biggest emphasis should be trying to move Melo because he still has a lot of value in the market place, but is the worst value on the team other than Amare (and that’s only because he’s hurt and can’t be moved). Mind you, I’m not saying Melo is bad. I’m saying he’s bad value.

    That’s the right thing to “try” to do now, will definitely be available in 2015, but we won’t do it either time and we’ll still be suffering in 2018 or whenever.

    Chandler sucks too get over it. Neither is a player you want to build around, which is why Tyson chandler has been on like 7 teams in his career and advanced past the first round only when he had actual stars on his team. You can’t just ignore that he’s never healthy….

  34. stratomatic

    Juany8: Chandler sucks too get over it. Neither is a player you want to build around, which is why Tyson chandler has been on like 7 teams in his career and advanced past the first round only when he had actual stars on his team. You can’t just ignore that he’s never healthy….

    This is so wrong I’m not sure why I am responding. He was the KEY player in taking the Mavs from automatic flameout to a championship.

    He can’t give you big minutes for 82 games, but he’s wildly productive when he’s 100%. The Knicks simply torched him this year because Amare, Wallace, and Camby went down. They need a decent backup. That’s all.

  35. nyk8806

    Hubert Davis: This is great.

    Per Berman: “Woodson says ‘blame me’, not JR.”

    We were, Mike. We were.

    I hope that means he’s recognized how much of a dumbass he is and will try to make the adjustments that every damn person on this board/hemisphere find to be completely obvious (seriously, has it ever been this unanimous?), but I fear it’s just an expression of his manlove for his adopted son–”my bad for not getting you enough touches–don’t worry boy, I’ll draw up some more plays for Kidd to feed you the ball at the elbow so you can brick stepback 18-footers until you are out of this slump.”

  36. Juany8

    stratomatic: This is so wrong I’m not sure why I am responding. He was the KEY player in taking the Mavs from automatic flameout to a championship.

    He can’t give you big minutes for 82 games, but he’s wildly productive when he’s 100%.The Knicks simply torched him this year because Amare, Wallace, and Camby went down. They need a decent backup. That’s all.

    Right, which is why they made the Finals without him and had to get robbed by the refs to lose it. But hey, because he was an upgrade over guys like Eric dampier, he must be awesome, couldn’t possibly be that dirk played the best offensive playoffs of the decade for that run. I mean they only won 55 wins the year before, that’s pretty terrible when you compare it to the 57 wins they had for their championship run.

  37. BigBlueAL

    I assumed the doom and gloom of the next 2 years would surface again (probably the 10th time this has happened this season despite winning 54 games and being in the 2nd round) but for me I have no problem staying the course and having basically the same roster for next season.

    This is the team we have for the next 2 years and Im willing to watch them and root for them during that time. I do not want to start making stupid trades and killing the cap space the team should have in the summer of 2015. They will have to make some tough decisions on Chandler and to a lesser extent Melo but I cant see them just letting him walk but hopefully they dont re-sign him to another max deal.

    I see no reason why this team cant repeat their regular season success next season. Hopefully Shump can continue to improve and who knows maybe they can get a full season of Amar’e playing 20-25 minutes off the bench. I know its a weak draft but its a weak draft in the Top 10, even so-called weak drafts have players drafted in the 20′s who turn out to be solid NBA players. Hopefully the Knicks can draft someone who can be a solid rotation player.

    The key will be re-signing JR as much as it may look like a bad idea today. Would love to also keep Cope and Prigs and hopefully see their role expand a bit next season. The only real downer for me is knowing Woodson will definitely be back so we will have to hope that he somehow learns from this postseason and improves as a coach.

    Regardless Im still hoping/expecting the Knicks win tomorrow and then Saturday night lay it all on the line and whatever happens I wont be too devastated.

  38. Hubert Davis

    nyk8806: I hope that means he’s recognized how much of a dumbass he is and will try to make the adjustments that every damn person on this board/hemisphere find to be completely obvious (seriously, has it ever been this unanimous?), but I fear it’s just an expression of his manlove for his adopted son–”my bad for not getting you enough touches–don’t worry boy, I’ll draw up some more plays for Kidd to feed you the ball at the elbow so you can brick stepback 18-footers until you are out of this slump.”

    I think you’re fear is right. I think it demonstrates a complete lack of awareness that he is to blame, and he thinks he’s being noble by accepting it.

    I think the Garden crowd is going to be vicious on Thursday, and I think it’s going to take him and some players by surprise.

    That’s probably not a good thing.

  39. Juany8

    Hubert Davis:
    This is pretty funny.

    The complete list of people who take worse shots than JR Smith:

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/mikeuy/the-complete-list-of-people-and-groups-who-take-worse-shots

    Lol this made me laugh. For all the shit we’re giving him though, JR has unquestionably cost himself millions of dollars this summer. He would have been better off if he had been injured the first game of the playoffs and then this happened, which would make him seem indispensable to the team. Now he might have trouble getting a freaking deal, why would anyone else sign him when Woodson was supposed to have a special relationship with him that made JR play better. Instead it seems the special relationship simply means JR cannot play badly enough to get benched

  40. david

    I’m all in on playing our shooters, Prigs plus Copeland and/or Novak. It’s worth it to sacrifice some defensive quality (particularly if we are going to double) to stretch their defense. We can scramble on defense, double, get in passing lanes etc even if we are undersized/are playing minus defenders, but Felton and Melo won’t be able to get to the basket unless we space the floor.

    Another thought on this front: Amare looks like crap, but he can hit jumpshots. We should tell him to be a floor spacer, rather than a scorer down low, if he’s playing with Martin in the 2nd unit…

  41. Juany8

    david:
    I’m all in on playing our shooters, Prigs plus Copeland and/or Novak.It’s worth it to sacrifice some defensive quality (particularly if we are going to double) to stretch their defense.We can scramble on defense, double, get in passing lanes etc even if we are undersized/are playing minus defenders, but Felton and Melo won’t be able to get to the basket unless we space the floor.

    Another thought on this front: Amare looks like crap, but he can hit jumpshots.We should tell him to be a floor spacer, rather than a scorer down low, if he’s playing with Martin in the 2nd unit…

    You know as bad as this series looks right now, if the Knicks had avoided a bad whilste in game 1 (Melo was in foul trouble and the pacers were -8 when he was in the game) This series would probably be even right now. Game 3 was bad, but I firmly believe that was at least partly a bad effort from the players, and Felton playing his one bad game of the playoffs. Problem is Woodson decided to adjust his strategy and lineup dramatically because we got out hustled in game 3. I could have seen some tweaks, like bringing in cope a bit more and maybe dusting off camby to help with the boards, but Woodson decided to do all the wrong things and got us killed. I just don’t have a lot of faith in him pushing the right buttons to get this team to play properly.

  42. AvonBarksdale

    Coach Woodson had the entire season and Celtics series to fix this shit by just simply understanding how the dynamics of this team should be working Copeland needed to get his 5-7 minutes in a game in place of novak so he doesn’t shit his pants entirely on defense now that we need him cause Jason Kidd / Jr Smith have been shitting there pants on offense. He didn’t think ahead he tightened his rotations and we have been struggling ever since. Chandler, Smith, Kidd and Jr have all gone off the reservation and everyone is hesitating, complaining, confused, bewildered. These guys shouldn’t make excuses either but i think Coach has been mixing it up way to much in the wrong areas and not giving this team the offensive identity it needs to keep the players clicking collectively which always feeds the defensive effort(shouldn’t). FUCK THIS ENTIRE SEASON I HAD A NIGHTMARE LAST NIGHT THATS HOW BAD THIS SHIT IS….Pacers are not good enough to beat us this can’t be happening. I think Jr has a substance abuse problem, and i saw Jason kidd smiling on the bench maybe he is drunk.

  43. ruruland

    Never saw that sweep coming. How does one get a refund for game 5 tickets?

    I’m as disappointed, frustrated and depressed as anyone, and I do think game 4 showed us something about the team that I wish weren’t true, but let’s get a few things straight.

    Last night the Knicks made 2/9 lightly contested threes and 1/8 uncontested threes prior to those two garbage time bombs.

    That’s the difference in a game between two relatively evenly matched teams.

    I haven’t looked at the other games, but I’d venture to guess that the Knicks have shot well below their average on those kinds of looks this series. I’m hoping Herring can find out for us.

    That has nothing to do with the Pacers defense. That’s a shooting slump.

    Woodson was wrong to not play Prigs and Copeland more. He admitted that mistake after practice today.

    He tried to match the Pacers with a big lineup and it failed. But the small lineup had the Knicks in a 2-1 series deficit. And shit, hard to blame a guy’s instincts to try to cover up the most glaring hole through three games.

    Woodson is right though. Guys who made open jump shots much of the season — Kidd, Shump, Junior, even Melo — haven’t in this series.

    Hard to call that a scheme problem. That’s called choking in the playoffs.

    But here’s the other thing: it really does only take one game for that to turn around.

    I’m not saying it’s likely. I’m not saying it can be sustained for three games if the Knicks somehow find it on Thursday.

    But is it out of the question to believe that the Knicks can start to knock down a much higher percentage of these shots and then, I don’t know, get somewhat hot?

    What if the Knicks pulled shot 38-42% on those open threes in the next two games?

    Would that not put the pressure on the Pacers, who’ve had that big shot confidence all series, thwarting every run.

    Do you like the Knicks chances in a game 7 at home on a two game win streak? I do. A lot.

  44. Hubert Davis

    Where are you reading Coach “admitted that mistake after practice”?

    All I see is Herring saying Coach “is contemplating reinserting Pablo”.

  45. ruruland

    So, am I surprised that there’s not even an inkling of hope from the fanbase at this point?

    Knicks fans are the most fatalistic I’ve ever come across. For much of the board, the season was over before it started, it was over during the 18-5 start because the Knicks couldn’t sustain it, it was over during the January slump, it was over with Melo injury, it was over with the Amar’e injury, the Chandler injury, the Celtics game 4 win, the Celtics game 5 win, the ugly ending to the Knicks game 6 win.

    Let’s look at the team that have come from a 3-1 deficit.

    Houston, 94-95. Were blow out by an excellent Suns team by 20 + points in 2 of the first 4 games. Had a game 3 blowout win. Won the final three games by a total of 10 points. Won two of the three on the road.

    Suns of ’06. Won two of the three at home.

    Miami Heat ’97. enough said.

    ’03 Pistons. Won two of three at home against the eight seeded Magic.

    (It’s happened four other times prior to ’95)

    This is not a 3-1 deficit to Miami with two road games.

    It’s a 3-1 deficit to a team that finished with a worse regular season record than the Knicks, that has not advanced past this round with its core of players, that does not have one great player/closer who can control a game by himself.

    I’m also a Nuggets fan, as you know.

    I got hooked on NBA basketball as a kid because of the ’94 playoffs.

    The eight-seeded Nuggets came back from a 2-0 deficit to beat the Sonics three straight. They were blown out in the first two games. There was no reason to have hope.

    Most people remember that comeback, but forget that the Nuggets were down 3-0 to the Malone/Stockton Jazz and won three straight to take it back to SLC for game 7.

  46. ruruland

    Hubert Davis:
    Where are you reading Coach “admitted that mistake after practice”?

    All I see is Herring saying Coach “is contemplating reinserting Pablo”.

    “That [smaller] lineup has been great for us for two, three months, and I went away from it last night,” the coach said. “There were a lot of things playing into why I did what I did, but that lineup has been good and there’s a strong chance we could go right back to that lineup.”

  47. Hubert Davis

    I gotta tell you, man, you are a key part in my recovery cycle after after dreadful defeat. Thanks.

  48. Hubert Davis

    ruruland: “That [smaller] lineup has been great for us for two, three months, and I went away from it last night,” the coach said. “There were a lot of things playing into why I did what I did, but that lineup has been good and there’s a strong chance we could go right back to that lineup.”

    That’s the best fucking thing I’ve read all day.

  49. BigBlueAL

    Hey man Im hoping and expecting a Knicks win tomorrow and I mentioned after Game 3 the Knicks could and probably will lose Game 4 and the series aint over. The Knicks only need to win 1 game in Indiana and it really doesnt matter if its Game 4 or 6.

    BUT obviously the way games 3 and 4 went its hard to feel optimistic especially after Woodson’s coaching debacle last night. But again I said after Game 3 just win Game 5 at least and go back to Indiana for Game 6 and hope the Pacers continue their poor offense and the Knicks can steal Game 6 and come back home for Game 7.

    I still have hope!!

  50. nicos

    david:
    I’m all in on playing our shooters, Prigs plus Copeland and/or Novak.It’s worth it to sacrifice some defensive quality (particularly if we are going to double) to stretch their defense.We can scramble on defense, double, get in passing lanes etc even if we are undersized/are playing minus defenders, but Felton and Melo won’t be able to get to the basket unless we space the floor.

    Another thought on this front: Amare looks like crap, but he can hit jumpshots.We should tell him to be a floor spacer, rather than a scorer down low, if he’s playing with Martin in the 2nd unit…

    The problem with Prigs as a shooter is that he’s so low volume that he doesn’t take advantage of his high TS%. A lot of that is self-imposed though in this series his slow release and the size of Indiana’s guards aren’t helping. That said, he has to look to shoot more or at least penetrate when run off of the line by bigger guys.

    On Amar’e- outside of fouling everything in sight (he did that his first few games back in January too) he played pretty well- he only got credit for one offensive rebound but his activity on the offensive boards got the Knicks multiple extra possessions (two balls tipped out of bounds by the Pacers and his one trip to the line was on a loose ball foul going to the offensive glass). If the Knicks actually look for him on offense, he could have a really good game 5.

    On Kidd- If he was really the veteran leader everyone says he is he’d bench himself.

  51. d-mar

    I’m going tomorrow night, and if the Knicks don’t come out and play desperate, balls out basketball, I will boo so loud my vocal cords may disintegrate.

    That being said, if they do win, I would love to see Indiana sweat for once in this series. Really, how hard have they been pushed other than one quarter of game 2? How about a game 6 where it’s tied with 5 minutes left, where do they go for offense?

    All I ask is that we go down fighting.

  52. ruruland

    Hubert Davis:
    I gotta tell you, man, you are a key part in my recovery cycle after after dreadful defeat.Thanks.

    Down 2-0 in that ’94 series going back to Denver, the Nuggets hung a GIANT banner that covered the entire front facade to McNichols Arena that read: WE BELIEVE

    Maybe it was because Denver fans had been so spoiled by John Elway’s miracles, and really some of his comebacks can only be described as such, but those fans really believed something would happen.

    It didn’t take long before the team was convinced of it, and they played one of the most inspired elimination games I can remember.

    It started with a couple of made shots. And the entire confidence of the team changed, which trickled into every other facet of the game as the Sonics tried to over-compensate, forcing the issue into Mutumbo, playing impatiently on offense, et al. Eventually, it was the Sonics that lost their confidence, and they played desperate and undisciplined, panicked even.

    For as good as Payton and Kemp were, neither guy was capable of settling things down by themselves.

    The Pacers don’t have that player either.

    That energy still comes through: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUsK-2hRz7E

    So, it’s not just that the Knicks making shots would equal more points, it would give them a belief and confidence that can change the entire dynamic of the series.

    The Pacers are a flawed basketball team. They are not a good 3-pt shooting team. They can be incredibly sloppy on offense.

    They have a power forward that doesn’t have a prayer of guarding any wing on the roster (outside of Kidd).

    They give up a lot of uncontested jump shots because of how they defend pnr, which really is a relative defensive weakness of theirs.

    How well did Jason Kidd break a 7-51 3pt slump earlier in the year?

    It started with a 4-5 game against Miami.

  53. Brian Cronin

    Instead it seems the special relationship simply means JR cannot play badly enough to get benched

    That is a hilarious take on their relationship.

    Yeah, I think JR seriously has gone from getting guaranteed offers for 5 year/$50 million to hoping that the Knicks come through with their under the table promises after he signs a 2 year/$10 million contract (the second year being a player option) with the Knicks to re-sign him next year for $10-12 million.

  54. thenamestsam

    I still have a sliver of hope as well and I’m glad to know some others do. I’m probably an idiot but I actually still think the Knicks are a marginally stronger team and that if we played this series 100 times the Knicks would win more than 50. But even with that rosy assessment of the relative merits of the teams its hard for my confidence to get above a sliver for a couple reasons.

    The first is simple. 3-1 deficit. It makes us feel better to get ahead of ourselves and say things like “Hey if we can just win game 5, then the pressure is all on them in game 6, and if we can survive that one, then you have to like our chances with a two game winning streak coming back to the garden.” But still, a 3-1 deficit is a 3-1 deficit. Winning 3 straight against a team that has shown that they’re at least on the same level as you is not easy. Flipping heads 3 times in a row isn’t likely even if the coin is loaded. And this one may actually be loaded against us.

    The second reason is that I just don’t trust where this team is mentally right now. Ruru used the word “choked” and I don’t think it’s entirely inaccurate at this point. At some point a shooting slump is in your head and that next shot isn’t independent of the one that came before. You saw it with Kidd last night when he chased his shot before it left his hand. You can see it in JRs reactions after misses and makes. You can see it in Melo’s constant rubbing of the shoulder. This team doesn’t believe they’re about to break out of it. Maybe the pressure is off now that everyone is giving up on them and that does it, but I’m dubious. They look like a team feeling the rpessure to me.

    And third, I do not expect the Garden crowd to help them out on that front. As you can see on the board the fans are going to be antsy at best and hostile at worst. If the Knicks are down 5 in the first quarter they’re going to hear boos, guaranteed. Not the ideal way to get your confidence back.

  55. ruruland

    How did JR Smith bust a 6-34 slump from three in the middle of the year?

    He went 39 of his next 90 with, making at least 3 threes in 14 of his next 19 games, including 9 games of at least 4 makes, and 7 games of 5 makes or more.

    Melo busted three slumps during the year, two of them injury related.

    The first was broken with a 15-24, 45 point game in Brooklyn, which was followed by the 10-15 half game against the Lakers, and a 12-22 against Brooklyn.

    He came back from the hamstring with a 14-24, 45 point game against Portland.

    He busted the fast/KG slump with a 15-28, 42 points against Atlanta.

    He came out of his final slump with the 50 point game in Miami, which was part of the 7 game run where he averaged 39/11 on 57/50/84….

    Yes, they are all due. The defensive aspect of the poor shooting is being overblown.

    But I think it’s a lot less likely to happen if the home fans are jumping down their throats at the first miss or in warm-ups.

    It’s easy to be cynical and negative, it’s hard to expose your heart and emotions by believing even when you shouldn’t.

    But that, to me, is the greatest reward of being a fan. As we found in the first series, there really isn’t much joy in watching a team do what it’s expected to.

    I hope Knicks fans respond as much as the team, but I don’t believe they are mutually exclusive.

  56. d-mar

    Ruru – don’t misinterpret my post, I’m not gonna boo if shots aren’t falling and they fall behind. I will boo if they get outhustled and give up a lot of BS second chance points, or if Indiana scrubs are getting wide open looks because no one is rotating on defense.

    (And I will definitely scream “stop fucking double teaming Roy “Kareem” Hibbert!!”)

  57. MeloDrama

    It’s ok ya’ll, Stephen A. is placing blame at the feet of Grunwald, cause signing Camby is why we’re in this mess or something. I’m sure Dolan will do the “right thing” and listen to this outcry, can Grunny, keep Woody and install Isiah back atop his throne.

  58. jon abbey

    ruru, we’re fatalistic because disaster is all we’ve ever known.

    but also sometimes fatalism is realism: I said last summer that Woodson would have a massive job ahead of him trying to juggle so many one-dimensional players, and also that we would live and die by JR Smith. you haven’t taken Indiana seriously as an opponent for NY all season, to the point where you were still arguing they had no chance to knock NY out immediately after the massive beatdown in IND right after the All-Star break (pull up the tail end of that game thread if you want, I believe that’s where it is).

    anyway, this all seems both inevitable and depressing, to the point where I skipped ahead and couldn’t stand to watch most of the second half yesterday. you’re right that it’s not down 3-1 to MIA with two games down there, but NY has shown no signs of being able to turn it around. remarkably Woodson has never been able to set a rotation all year, because of injuries, player’s deficiencies, and his own mediocrity. given that, it’s kind of surprising we ever got this far.

  59. Juany8

    Ruru I get where you’re coming from, there is still definitely some hope for this team, but it’s hard to have any optimism when the true and spectacularly unsatisfying answer is that you don’t get far in the playoffs when your best 2 players look injured and the rest of the team is crumbling under injuries, age, or sickness. There’s no narrative to be talked about here, no player to really blame for this series (except maybe JR, but I kind of feel bad for him at this point).

    Just like losing to Memphis says nothing about the Thunder’s chances going forward, the Knicks are going to have to wait until they have proper health in the postseason before evaluating what this core can do, if anything. Furthermore, I really do believe that the Knicks medical staff has to be at least partly to blame for this. What are the odds that the team is breaking down every freaking year? You can’t talk about playing time because the Knicks played a super slow pace, and perhaps more importantly, had basically no charges and blocked shots this season. We all saw that they were taking it lightly on defense, especially Tyson Chandler. We all saw that the team would turn it on in the 4th quarter and just blow teams away. This was a smart team that paced itself, and no one can stay healthy, or has in the past.

    Sucks to admit, but trading medical staffs with Phoenix would probably do more for this team’s chances of winning a title than any player we’re going to get for a mid level type deal. You can’t have fun arguments on the internet about how good your team’s medical staff needs to improve.

  60. ruruland

    jon abbey:
    ruru, we’re fatalistic because disaster is all we’ve ever known.

    but also sometimes fatalism is realism: I said last summer that Woodson would have a massive job ahead of him trying to juggle so many one-dimensional players, and also that we would live and die by JR Smith. you haven’t taken Indiana seriously as an opponent for NY all season, to the point where you were still arguing they had no chance to knock NY out immediately after the massive beatdown in IND right after the All-Star break (pull up the tail end of that game thread if you want, I believe that’s where it is).

    anyway, this all seems both inevitable and depressing, to the point where I skipped ahead and couldn’t stand to watch most of the second half yesterday. you’re right that it’s not down 3-1 to MIA with two games down there, but NY has shown no signs of being able to turn it around. remarkably Woodson has never been able to set a rotation all year, because of injuries, player’s deficiencies, and his own mediocrity. given that, it’s kind of surprising we ever got this far.

    I’m really over with the martyr complex. It’s fucking pathetic. Knicks fans aren’t special because their Knicks have lost more than other teams, or because Knicks fans have gotten their hearts broken more than anyone else. Give me a fucking break and grow a pair.

    Fanbases are special because a. they’re smart, and I think you can argue that Knicks fans are smarter than average and influence decisions because of it, but b. they definitely don’t turn on their team in the playoffs, even in the midst of underachieving.

    That’s where I sense Knicks fans really fail. Hope I’m wrong. But if the boo birds come out in the first quarter……

  61. Juany8

    jon abbey:
    ruru, we’re fatalistic because disaster is all we’ve ever known.

    but also sometimes fatalism is realism: I said last summer that Woodson would have a massive job ahead of him trying to juggle so many one-dimensional players, and also that we would live and die by JR Smith. you haven’t taken Indiana seriously as an opponent for NY all season, to the point where you were still arguing they had no chance to knock NY out immediately after the massive beatdown in IND right after the All-Star break (pull up the tail end of that game thread if you want, I believe that’s where it is).

    anyway, this all seems both inevitable and depressing, to the point where I skipped ahead and couldn’t stand to watch most of the second half yesterday. you’re right that it’s not down 3-1 to MIA with two games down there, but NY has shown no signs of being able to turn it around. remarkably Woodson has never been able to set a rotation all year, because of injuries, player’s deficiencies, and his own mediocrity. given that, it’s kind of surprising we ever got this far.

    To be fair, I remember you saying with full confidence that the Knicks would lose in the first round and that they would not get to 50 wins ;)

  62. ruruland

    jon abbey:
    ruru, we’re fatalistic because disaster is all we’ve ever known.

    but also sometimes fatalism is realism: I said last summer that Woodson would have a massive job ahead of him trying to juggle so many one-dimensional players, and also that we would live and die by JR Smith. you haven’t taken Indiana seriously as an opponent for NY all season, to the point where you were still arguing they had no chance to knock NY out immediately after the massive beatdown in IND right after the All-Star break (pull up the tail end of that game thread if you want, I believe that’s where it is).

    anyway, this all seems both inevitable and depressing, to the point where I skipped ahead and couldn’t stand to watch most of the second half yesterday. you’re right that it’s not down 3-1 to MIA with two games down there, but NY has shown no signs of being able to turn it around. remarkably Woodson has never been able to set a rotation all year, because of injuries, player’s deficiencies, and his own mediocrity. given that, it’s kind of surprising we ever got this far.

    the point is this: No team to come back from a 3-1 deficit has shown signs of turning it around, at least no more than the Knicks have so far.

    This is not a total mismatch, and the 3-1 deficit is at least partially self-induced.

    It can all change. This series is far more ripe for an amazing comeback than the vast majority of them that become 3-1.

    the percentages look a lot different when the team down 3-1 has HCA.

    Goes from extremely unlikley to, hey, this can happen.

  63. jon abbey

    Juany8: To be fair, I remember you saying with full confidence that the Knicks would lose in the first round and that they would not get to 50 wins ;)

    yep, and that is what would have happened if Kenyon Martin hadn’t shown up, which he did after I said that.

  64. jon abbey

    ruruland: I’m really over with the martyr complex. It’s fucking pathetic. Knicks fans aren’t special because their Knicks have lost more than other teams, or because Knicks fans have gotten their hearts broken more than anyone else. Give me a fucking break and grow a pair.

    Fanbases are special because a. they’re smart, and I think you can argue that Knicks fans are smarter than average and influence decisions because of it, but b. they definitely don’t turn on their team in the playoffs, even in the midst of underachieving.

    That’s where I sense Knicks fans really fail. Hope I’m wrong. But if the boo birds come out in the first quarter……

    you need to try to disentangle the wishful thinking pessimism of people like Thomas B from realistic pessimism, which is what I’m giving you. you also need to stop passing judgment on a fan base that you’re a Johnny come lately to, because after 40 years of constant disappointment to one degree or another, it’s no surprise that the bulk of the fan base expects to be disappointed and fuck you for telling us how we should be acting.

    anyway, here’s where I’ll disagree with you: I don’t think this team has the heart to even win game 5, let alone three in a row. they have the talent potentially, but their coach is doing them no favors and I don’t think they have the fighting instinct in them. I know how they battled all year, I’m talking about right now. I really hope I’m wrong.

  65. Juany8

    ruruland: the point is this: No team to come back from a 3-1 deficit has shown signs of turning it around, at least no more than the Knicks have so far.

    This is not a total mismatch, and the 3-1 deficit is at least partially self-induced.

    It can all change. This series is far more ripe for an amazing comeback than the vast majority of them that become 3-1.

    the percentages look a lot different when the team down 3-1 has HCA.

    Goes from extremely unlikley to, hey, this can happen.

    Problem is that you go from maybe a 5-10% chance of winning the series to 15-20%. It would be pretty awful to see the team get booed, they certainly don’t deserve that unless they pull a 2011 Lakers and get blown off the floor in an embarrassing fashion, but I really don’t see why anyone would have serious hope for this series. Put it this way, for Chandler, Kidd, and JR to “regress to the mean” they’re going to have to more than double their current outputs. JR isn’t having the kind of series where he is mediocre, he is practically tanking with some of these decisions. Kidd is usually not much of a threat, but he has as many points this series as you and me. Chandler has gone from a dominant rim presence to a guy who gets 3 defensive rebounds a game and needs a double team in the post after shutting down everyone last year.

    If JR started shooting with a 40 TS%, Chandler started getting 6 defensive rebounds a game, and Kidd scored 3 points a game, they would still be playing pretty bad…. AND IT WOULD BE A MASSIVE IMPROVEMENT! Those were 3 of the guys that were part of the best lineup the Knicks used all season, the lineup that would blow teams away in the 4th with regularity. Shump and Prigs were offering hope, then one got injured and the other benched, while Kenyon Martin is just too small to go at Hibbert with Melo at the 4.

  66. Juany8

    jon abbey: you need to try to disentangle the wishful thinking pessimism of people like Thomas B from realistic pessimism, which is what I’m giving you. you also need to stop passing judgment on a fan base that you’re a Johnny come lately to, because after 40 years of constant disappointment to one degree or another, it’s no surprise that the bulk of the fan base expects to be disappointed and fuck you for telling us how we should be acting.

    anyway, here’s where I’ll disagree with you: I don’t think this team has the heart to even win game 5, let alone three in a row. they have the talent potentially, but their coach is doing them no favors and I don’t think they have the fighting instinct in them. I know how they battled all year, I’m talking about right now. I really hope I’m wrong.

    Have to agree with the last paragraph, honestly if I didn’t root for the Knicks I’d be putting down some serious money on the Pacers to win game 5, especially considering the Knicks are favored right now. Really lost a lot of hope with Woodson’s nightmare lineups last game and the simple fact that every single time the Knicks started to go on a little run, somebody would do something incredibly stupid, like Melo running a pick and roll a couple of times in a row, getting good looks and moving the ball, then immediately rushing down the floor and taking a terrible jumper. Or the stupid technicals early in the game. Or Cope hitting a 3 late and getting benched the next play while Kidd was the sole point guard out there. I’m not even sure the Knicks think they can win game 5, JR is certainly acting like the series is over.

  67. Brian Cronin

    Or Cope hitting a 3 late and getting benched the next play

    One of the most hilarious(ly sad) moments of Game 4.

  68. Brian Cronin

    And yeah, I’d certainly say that I am quite optimistic about this team overall, but come on, the odds are just really poor that they’ll win this series. Is it over? Of course not. Could they win? Certainly. Just not particularly likely. I don’t think that’s “giving up” on the team or being overly pessimistic.

  69. Hubert Davis

    All those teams who have come back from 3-1 down had one thing in common:

    they knew who they were.

    The only reason I don’t have faith in this team to come back is I don’t trust that Woodson knows he needs to spread the floor with shooters.

    If he’s figured it out and he goes with what got us here, we have a chance.

  70. jon abbey

    on top of everything, they seem to have lost the one guy actually playing well in Shumpert. if we had the Shumpert of game 6 against BOS still, I’d be a notch more optimistic, but I think he’s gone for this season.

  71. Brian Cronin

    It IS pretty interesting to see what Shump’s knee problems have done to the D-Rose debate. I think the effect is over-exaggerated by D-Rose defenders, but it is certainly at least a little interesting.

  72. Z-man

    It is mind-boggling that we are losing the way we are. It’s almost as if the 2 teams have switched roles…they are the hot perimeter shooting team and we are the ones that can’t score. The biggest surprise for me is the complete ineptitude of Kidd. Is this the same guy who couldn’t miss in the first 20 games of the season? What happened to Dave Hopla? Also, why are we doubling the post? I’d rather Wilt Hibbert score 100 points than let them predictably rotate the ball for an open 3 time and time again. At some point, you have to live or die with last year’s DPOY playing mano-a-mano against him. Then stick JR on George, Felton/Prigs/Kidd on Hill/Augustin, and Shump/Cope on Stephenson/Young.

    That would boil the game down to the Melo/West matchup, Which I think we win.

  73. Juany8

    Brian Cronin:
    And yeah, I’d certainly say that I am quite optimistic about this team overall, but come on, the odds are just really poor that they’ll win this series. Is it over? Of course not. Could they win? Certainly. Just not particularly likely. I don’t think that’s “giving up” on the team or being overly pessimistic.

    I do hope the Knicks fans tomorrow at least appreciate what the Knicks have done this season and cheer them through the game, barring an embarrassing performance. It’s a disappointing end to the season, but the Knicks won a bunch of regular season games, ended the KG and Pierce era for the Celtics, and really did better than most people predicted before the season.

    There’s still enough solid pieces to believe that at the very least they’ll have a nice regular season and get out of the first round, although I think it’s safe to say that barring a miraculous recovery from Amare or a major trade, they won’t be serious threats to make the Finals next year. I understand taking a chance with all the veterans to try to win it all now, but it failed, and it might leave the bench pretty bare next season if half the team retires. I believe Grunwald can do enough to fill out the bench, but I’d say even someone as good as Shump is hard to hope for. Everyone wants to be favorites for a championship of course, but even if this team really had the talent to beat the Heat, injuries prevented them from really having a chance to show it. Anyone else remember when Sheed and Brewer were playing awesome and it was an open question if there would even be room in the rotation for Shump and Camby? Look at us now.

  74. DRed

    The prodigal ruru has returned to tell us all what ball-less whiners we are days after throwing a snit and making an unbelievable promise to quit posting until the end of the series. You’re the one complaining about a martyr complex? Look asshole, it’s likely the Knicks will lose this series. I think we’re a better team than the Pacers, but we’re down 3-1 and that’s just the math. It’s frustrating, because this has been the best Knicks team I’ve rooted for since I was in HS, and that was a depressingly long time ago. We can certainly still win, but it’s not looking good, and if people want to bitch about it than too fucking bad-go somewhere else.

  75. flossy

    Z-man: The biggest surprise for me is the complete ineptitude of Kidd.

    I cannot believe Jason Kidd got a multi-year deal. I didn’t think anyone could make me nostalgic for Mike Bibby, but here we are. If he has a shred of decency he’ll just retire. Yes, he’s a legend and a first-ballot Hall of Famer, but… he simply cannot play pro ball anymore. 8 straight games, 180 something minutes without scoring ONE point? Come on, Jason. You’ve had a great run and even managed to play great at times this year. But you (and Camby) are clearly done.

  76. BigBlueAL

    Last 2 times Knicks had a Game 5 at home down 3-1 in the series they did win (1989 vs Bulls, 1995 vs Pacers). Of course back then hey had Ewing who had a monster Game 5 vs the Bulls in 1989 and hit the game-winner with less than 2 secs left vs Indiana in 1995.

    Completely irrelevant I know but its always fun for me to invoke fond memories of Patrick Ewing lol.

  77. nyk8806

    raraland, if this whole sports journalism thing doesn’t work out, I think the Knicks City Dancers are having tryouts soon. That, or I hear Melo is looking for a Fonzworth Bentley for the offseason.

  78. BigBlueAL

    I dont like when ruru starts lecturing us on how to be Knick fans but I do agree with his overall sentiment that we should still root for this team and have some hope that they still have a chance of winning this series.

    The thing is while this franchise hasnt won it all in 40 years and just went thru a decade of being the laughingstock of the NBA most of us still remember and can recall the 90′s like it was yesterday. They went to the 2nd round for 9 straight seasons and only twice got eliminated when they had the better record and therefore homecourt and that was to the defending champ Bulls in 1993 and in 7 games to the Pacers in 1995. They usually got eliminated in long, tough series (lost in 7 games 4 times, 6 games twice) and usually to the eventual NBA champ or at the least conference champ (7 times).

    So yeah losing to this Pacer team is very disappointing and in 5 games would really be tough to handle. Winning tomorrow for me at least saves them face and as long as they dont go on and get blown out in Game 6 I will be able to handle losing this series w/o overreacting and calling this group losers or chokers or whatever. Hell who knows maybe in the end it will work out and make them even more hungry and battle-heartened next season.

    But yeah please just win tomorrow. They deserve the MSG crowd to give them a standing ovation as the game ends with them leaving MSG for potentially the final time this season as winners at least. Would be a sad ending to the season seeing them get booed at MSG.

  79. DRed

    I think it’s safe to say most of us are rooting for the Knicks. If you people really want to seee a bitter, hostile, self-loathing fanbase I can take you to some Jetsblogs. Some people here go overboard with negativity sometimes, but Knicks fans in general aren’t that bad. Jets fans are awful. I’ve gotten into arguments with people booing the Jets when we were up 4 touchdowns

  80. Mike Kurylo Post author

    jon abbey: you need to try to disentangle the wishful thinking pessimism of people like Thomas B from realistic pessimism, which is what I’m giving you. you also need to stop passing judgment on a fan base that you’re a Johnny come lately to, because after 40 years of constant disappointment to one degree or another, it’s no surprise that the bulk of the fan base expects to be disappointed and fuck you for telling us how we should be acting.

    Well said. You couldn’t capture being a Knick fan any better.

  81. mcliff05

    All it takes is one game. Personally I was the most dejected after game 4 than I have been for a long time. But it’s amazing isn’t it? After 13 years (13!, that’s 43% of my life. Carry the 1, yeah I’m 30) we’re acting like this season is an abject failure. Remember 54 wins? The Atlantic? Taking the heads of Pierce and Garnett? Yet despite all of our successes we have this bizarre disgust for this team, myself included. But seriously if we can win game 5 then we can win game 6.

    The sentiment on this board and NY in general is a mix between the self-fulfilling doubters, the quietly rejoicing Melo-haters, those who overrated this team and are getting their souls crushed and the previously scorned pragmatists. We’ve all been burned by this team, and we can take one of two mentalities for game 5. We can say this team has no heart, the coach is a stubborn lobotomized fool and the team is full of one dimensional a-holes; there’s no way they win. Fine, think that way and ensure yourself a shit Thursday because you still won’t be happy if they lose and if they win you’ll say that they’ll just bow out back in Indy. Why not have a modicum of faith? FAITH! The belief in something that cannot be empirically supported. Yeah it might sting more if you wake up tomorrow optimistic and they blow. But it’ll be much sweeter if they play like the team we watched on OKC, MIA, or BOS.

    Lets worry about the offseason once the offseason starts. Which could be 24 hours from now but ask yourself do you want them to play inspired and with belief? Or with the current attitude of their fan base?

    It starts with one game. Lets fuck these guys up tomorrow, get MSG rocking, and put the pressure on Indy to close out at home. Sorry for sounding like a newt Rockne speech but I needed to get that off my chest.

  82. Brian Cronin

    Hopefully the Knicks put on a better attempt than the Thunder. And hopefully Melo shoots better than Durant’s 5-20!

  83. Brian Cronin

    Brooks, by the way, should also be fired. He doesn’t have any plays on offense! His entire offense for the Thunder is “You can’t double both Durant and Westbrook, so whoever has the ball tries to score.” Which, as we saw, led to “Wait, one of them is gone. So I have no idea what to do now!”

  84. Brian Cronin

    Even here, Brooks showed his moronic ideas. Down 4 with 49 seconds to go, you start fouling now.

  85. jon abbey

    that’s a good speech, mcliff. too bad you’re not in the locker room or on the team, because those guys are the ones who seem to need belief and motivation. those guys are the ones who Woodson said got outworked in a game 1 at home, the game that will almost certainly end up costing us this series. I can believe all I want from my living room, I can doubt all I want, it doesn’t matter either way, even if I like to fool myself sometimes that it does.

    meanwhile, somehow OKC has a chance to steal this game, down 2 with the ball.

  86. alchpe17

    Well said mcliff05…I’m so tired of us playing down to them….they owe it to their loyal fans and to themselves as professional players to win at home tomorrow.
    No excuses…Peace out.

  87. Brian Cronin

    Omigod, Durant, you don’t have to shoot the ball! Trust your teammates, dude. And that is it for OKC. Very bad job by OKC. However, Memphis has to worry about Randolph’s FT shooting.

  88. BigBlueAL

    For Melo’s sake hope he doesnt have a Game 5 tomorrow like Durant had tonight. People will let Durant slide for this performance but no chance in hell Melo will get away with a performance like that lol.

  89. BigBlueAL

    OKC crowd giving the Thunder a huge ovation after game is over despite the loss. Safe to say if Knicks lose tomorrow night they will be getting a slightly different response from the MSG crowd.

  90. Unreason

    BigBlueAL: People will let Durant slide for this performance but no chance in hell Melo will get away with a performance like that lol.

    I don’t know about that. I think people will keep that performance in mind for a long time with thinking of KD. I know I will. That was small squeamish and brutal. He killed his team’s chances. Period. Not much else to say about it really. How can that not reflect on him. It’s like Lebron coming up small in key playoff games. Whatever else he does or has done, it’ll be there I think till he makes up for it.

  91. BigBlueAL

    Yeah I mean I aint ripping KD at all. I mentioned it when Westbrook went down and KD, though he put up great numbers vs Houston it was a struggle, that it aint easy having to face so much attention from the opposing defense like Melo does now and guys like Iverson and TMac in the past had to face. Ditto someone like MJ before they mastered the Triangle offense. It aint easy.

    But there were people who thought Westbrook held KD and the Thunder back……

  92. DRed

    The lamestream media “gives KD a pass” because this is only his 4th time in the playoffs and he’s generally been very good. Don’t you people worry-the whispers will start soon.

  93. Unreason

    I’m talking about tonight. Not his career. Tonight, when it mattered most, he missed a lot of very makable very important shots. He’s so amazingly great, the simplest explanation isn’t “off night”, it’s “cold feet”. There aren’t many times when everything rides on how you do. Tonight was, obviously, and if he makes half his open shots, they win. Tonight I expected him to make those. Next time I seem him in a similar situation, I won’t know whether to expect him to dominate like he clearly can or to choke like he clearly did.

  94. er

    Unreason:
    I’m talking about tonight. Not his career. Tonight, when it mattered most, he missed a lot of very makable very important shots. He’s so amazingly great, the simplest explanation isn’t “off night”, it’s “cold feet”. There aren’t many times when everything rides on how you do. Tonight was, obviously, and if he makes half his open shots, they win. Tonight I expected him to make those. Next time I seem him in a similar situation, I won’t know whether to expect him to dominate like he clearly can or to choke like he clearly did.

    he choked at the line for sure

  95. Unreason

    ruruland: That’s where I sense Knicks fans really fail. Hope I’m wrong. But if the boo birds come out in the first quarter……

    I expect they might and it is what it is. I think the team did well this year and some recognition by fans in the form of support through tough times wouldn’t be out of line. I don’t care that much though. The expectations are high and that’s how New Yorker’s deal with dashed expectations. They don’t swallow it and say, “Well you did better than before. We’ll get ‘em next year.” They, like you, say “Grow a pair and play like you’re capable of.” If better is expected, why pretend otherwise? To me it reflects generally uninhibited habits of expression mixed with a bit of arrogance. I think that’s how New Yorkers are for good and for ill. Either way, and more to the point, like honking your horn in traffic, booing in New York is really not a big deal.

  96. triplewgf

    If we’re working on the thesis that the rebounding will be a disadvantage to us no matter what, would it make sense to put out a lineup with Carmelo and Amar’e at the 4 and 5? STAT won’t have to chase people around on PnRs, as Hibbert’s mainly a post up guy — do you think Amar’e could hold his own one on one?

    The offense would essentially be the same spread PnR offense, but since Amar’e’s a greater threat than Tyson from outside the paint, Hibbert would have to come out somewhat.

    Or am I overrating what STAT can do at this point?

  97. er

    triplewgf:
    If we’re working on the thesis that the rebounding will be a disadvantage to us no matter what, would it make sense to put out a lineup with Carmelo and Amar’e at the 4 and 5? STAT won’t have to chase people around on PnRs, as Hibbert’s mainly a post up guy — do you think Amar’e could hold his own one on one?

    The offense would essentially be the same spread PnR offense, but since Amar’e’s a greater threat than Tyson from outside the paint, Hibbert would have to come out somewhat.

    Or am I overrating what STAT can do at this point?

    also cope at 5 was good

  98. Brian Cronin

    I do hope the Knicks fans tomorrow at least appreciate what the Knicks have done this season and cheer them through the game, barring an embarrassing performance. It’s a disappointing end to the season, but the Knicks won a bunch of regular season games, ended the KG and Pierce era for the Celtics, and really did better than most people predicted before the season.

    I said for months that I would be happy with a second round exit this season after not seeing the second round for over a dozen years. I blame Z-Man for convincing me that I should demand more from this team. ;)

    There’s still enough solid pieces to believe that at the very least they’ll have a nice regular season and get out of the first round, although I think it’s safe to say that barring a miraculous recovery from Amare or a major trade, they won’t be serious threats to make the Finals next year. I understand taking a chance with all the veterans to try to win it all now, but it failed, and it might leave the bench pretty bare next season if half the team retires. I believe Grunwald can do enough to fill out the bench, but I’d say even someone as good as Shump is hard to hope for. Everyone wants to be favorites for a championship of course, but even if this team really had the talent to beat the Heat, injuries prevented them from really having a chance to show it. Anyone else remember when Sheed and Brewer were playing awesome and it was an open question if there would even be room in the rotation for Shump and Camby? Look at us now.

    Who knows how things will look next season but yeah, if you had to bet on it, you certainly would have to place this season as the Knicks’ best chance of winning a title over the next three seasons.

    I really do think that there is some silver lining in JR playing so poorly that he’ll be easy to re-sign. Think about it – would it be better if JR played really well and the Knicks lost to the Heat and then he left as a free agent when another team made him a Godfather-style offer or would it be better if he played like has and the Knicks lose in the second round and the Knicks get to keep him next year? As painful as it is, I think you have to pick the latter over the former.

  99. Brian Cronin

    Also, you know, it’s funny, I really don’t care either way where the Kings end up, but I admire the way that the NBA didn’t let the Maloofs push them around on this decision. I am absolutely shocked that the Kings are staying in Sac-town.

  100. Brian Cronin

    The prodigal ruru has returned to tell us all what ball-less whiners we are days after throwing a snit and making an unbelievable promise to quit posting until the end of the series. You’re the one complaining about a martyr complex? Look asshole, it’s likely the Knicks will lose this series. I think we’re a better team than the Pacers, but we’re down 3-1 and that’s just the math. It’s frustrating, because this has been the best Knicks team I’ve rooted for since I was in HS, and that was a depressingly long time ago. We can certainly still win, but it’s not looking good, and if people want to bitch about it than too fucking bad-go somewhere else.

    ___________________________________________________

    raraland, if this whole sports journalism thing doesn’t work out, I think the Knicks City Dancers are having tryouts soon. That, or I hear Melo is looking for a Fonzworth Bentley for the offseason.

    Geez, guys, you can disagree with a dude without being so over-the-top offensive. I also am not a big fan of “You’re like a girl!” as an insult.

  101. ruruland

    nyk8806:
    raraland, if this whole sports journalism thing doesn’t work out, I think the Knicks City Dancers are having tryouts soon.That, or I hear Melo is looking for a Fonzworth Bentley for the offseason.

    God forbid someone tries to lift a few spirits around here.

  102. Brian Cronin

    Like I noted, I think the over-the-top responses to you were out of line, ruru, but at the same time, you were quite aggressive yourself. I wouldn’t exactly term it “trying to lift spirits.” It seemed more like trying to shame people for not being good enough fans.

  103. ruruland

    Brian Cronin:
    Like I noted, I think the over-the-top responses to you were out of line, ruru, but at the same time, you were quite aggressive yourself. I wouldn’t exactly term it “trying to lift spirits.” It seemed more like trying to shame people for not being good enough fans.

    Fair enough. It’s a tough time to keep emotions in check. I was just trying to provide a little hope.

    And Durant, how do you like them bad apples?

  104. Douglas

    Brian Cronin:
    Geez, guys, you can disagree with a dude without being so over-the-top offensive. I also am not a big fan of “You’re like a girl!” as an insult.

    Agreed. Telling someone to join the “knicks city dancers” is straight-up sexist. There’s no place for that on Knickerblogger.

  105. Spree8nyk8

    I’m optimistic to a fault and I know it.

    But I also know that before the season all of espn’s “experts” picked NYK to be team turmoil and they were wrong.

    All of them picked a team other than NYK to win the Atlantic and they were wrong.

    When NYK went through about 40 games of .500 level play and didn’t beat any above .500 teams all of them expected the Nets to catch them and they were wrong.

    And after Indiana surpassed them they were certain that NYK would not finish better than 3rd in the East and they were wrong.

    This team has played it’s best ball all season long when things were looking bleak. And THAT more than anything is the reason I do have a glimmer of hope. Realistically they have to win a game at home, and steal one on the road. If that happens (yes admittedly a long shot after the way things have gone thus far) then all bets are off for a game 7.

    I did something this season that I’m pretty unaccustomed to doing which was giving up on them. After Lin, I gave up on them. I mocked them for signing so many elder statesmen. When they went through the .500 period I pretty much gave up on them seeing as the schedule was going to get much harder. But honestly they persevered. And maybe it’s blind faith but until they are done I’ll believe. I mean it’s not gonna kill me if they lose when they are supposed to lose. But it’s definitely going to bother me if I lose faith and they come through. They have the hard part. I have the easy part.

    I believe.

  106. JR Sec 112

    This thread really surprised me. I just dont get all of the negativity. Its not like we’ve been blown out. Game 1 we lost due to a bad whistle, game 3 was the best game of Roy Hibbert’s career, and game 4 we got outcoached. Ok, fine.

    But we only need to win one game. One game on the road. Why does everyone doubt the heart of this team? the playoffs are hard. they always are. I think I am one of the older people on this board. 41, to be exact. I dont remember any of the epic battles with Chicago, Miami, and yes, Indiana being easy.

    I remember us coming back in ’95 from down 3-1, only to lose on Ewing’s finger roll in game 7. ’97 we go up 3-1 vs Miami and lose the series (ok, there were some mitigating factors ) . ’98 we beat Miami game 5 on the road. ’99 another game 5 win on the road.

    This series is not over. i dont think its irrational to think that at all. I realize most people on the board think of the Knicks as perenial losers. But the reality is they’ve won a number of important playoff games on the road in the past.

    Finally, re: the crowd at the Garden tonight I couldnt disagree with the board more. The crowd will bring it. They might boo Woodson a bit at the intro, but once the game starts I expect a serious boost. I think with a fast start the floodgates could open.

    Which will bring us to game 6. By then, we’ll be back 100% to the small lineup. Kidd will be benched. I think Woody has learned his lesson. And it will be Melo 1×1 against Paul George. And if we go down that way, so be it. But I believe Melo is the better player. And I think we could see something special.

  107. Z-man

    Brian Cronin: I said for months that I would be happy with a second round exit this season after not seeing the second round for over a dozen years. I blame Z-Man for convincing me that I should demand more from this team. ;)

    I take full responsibility. :)

    I will say that I am really surprised and disappointed that we have not shown up at all for this series. There’s no excuses, not even Woody’s coaching. At the end of the day, if you can’t hit the open shots that got you here, you deserve to lose. Indiana is tough, smart, balanced, and they have a solid identity. They know who they are, and their coach knows who they are. They are playing with a confident swagger. If Granger comes back healthy, they are gonna be a force to be reckoned with.

    Look, we win tonight and anything is possible. The key for me is showing them that we don’t have to double the post, and then to make shots. Simple game, don’t over-complicate it. Can’t let them beat us on 3′s, let them work for 2′s in the post all night.

  108. Z-man

    Douglas: Agreed. Telling someone to join the “knicks city dancers” is straight-up sexist. There’s no place for that on Knickerblogger.

    Well, the whole concept of the Knicks City Dancers is sexist, so whatever.

  109. Nick C.

    The sick thing is Indiana has been throwing the ball all over the place and still winning. The Knicks have to keep their focus and play smart. When the shot is there they have to take it, not pass it along to a less open player. JR has got to realize just because he has been passed the ball it neither means it is his job to shoot or to dawdle away the shot clock waiting more an opening. Are pick and rolls with Chandler enough to get Hibbert in motion. Chandler has to f’in box out and everyone else too since Hibbert isn’t the only one on the o boards. Not that I wish it wouldn’t happen but it would be foolish to expect or put the onus on Melo to have to be unconscious. While he has had those games, to expect them is another matter. A lot of this is on the coach, his playing time, substitution and getting on people. If he is just going to make faces while keeping his pets out there if they don’t do the job while chaining the guys who don’t fit his pre-conceived notion of a basketball player to the bench then our chances are greatly diminished.

  110. Nick C.

    While the list of teams that have come back is inspiring the last time the 3 losses didn’t include a loss by 5 or less was in 1970 when the Lakers won the first game then lost by 13, 14 and 10 to the Suns (who must have been in their second year of existence). The other 7 times: Phoenix 2006 (W,6,7,1OT), Detroit (5,W,9,8), Miami (9,W,4,13), Houston (22,24,W,4), ’81 Celtics v. 76ers (1,W,10,2), ’79 Washington (21,W,2,16), ’68 Celtics (W11,8,5). Most of those series look on paper to have had several if not all close losses. That is why for me its not looking so hot, even game one which was 7 and had crappy refs was never in reach, the last two less so. On the other hand (7,W26,11,11) the total point differential is 3. Can they win tonight at home, of course. Can they go on the road and win. They did in Boston. Look anything is possible but for that to happens they cannot play like they have for the better part of the last two three weeks.

  111. Mike Kurylo Post author

    Douglas: Agreed. Telling someone to join the “knicks city dancers” is straight-up sexist. There’s no place for that on Knickerblogger.

    I disagree. It’s quite progressive. Why should only beautiful women be chosen for that profession? It’s about time they open this position up for a man. If Griner can get a look by the Mavs, why can’t one of us get a tryout for the KCD?

  112. Juany8

    Well at the end of the day it seems the Thunder were only contenders when they had an inefficient shot creator as their top option. Where’s Stratomatic and THCJ to tell us all how Westbrook is merely an average player, and how it is a terrible idea to give max contracts to inefficient shot creators who have the top usage on your team?

  113. Juany8

    Mike Kurylo: I disagree. It’s quite progressive. Why should only beautiful women be chosen for that profession? It’s about time they open this position up for a man. If Griner can get a look by the Mavs, why can’t one of us get a tryout for the KCD?

    While I suppose it would be ok to let men try out, they’re not stupid enough to actually let men join. Much like griner, it would be a fun publicity stunt, but people want to watch hot women in skimpy outfits. It’s just the facts, just like it’s a fact that griner would be about as effective as 40 year old Jason Collins in the NBA.

  114. DRed

    They actually tried to incorporate some men into the Knicks City Dancers. I was at the game where they made their first, and I believe their last appearance. The crowd booed them mercilessly.

  115. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Juany8:
    Well at the end of the day it seems the Thunder were only contenders when they had an inefficient shot creator as their top option. Where’s Stratomatic and THCJ to tell us all how Westbrook is merely an average player, and how it is a terrible idea to give max contracts to inefficient shot creators who have the top usage on your team?

    Oh, you and your presumptions of causality.

  116. nyk8806

    Seriously, learn to take a joke? If you can dish it (“grow a pair”), then you better be able to take it. My comment wasn’t even directed towards the male/female aspect–more the fact that Ruru’s basically a cheerleader with words. Nothing wrong with that, of course–way better than people who piss on everything that happens, and at least he provides some insightful analysis. The second comment was obviously a jab at Ruru’s self-admitted love for melo, but hardly over the top compared to the unbridled vitriol often seen on this board.

    You can be a fan without being all puppy dogs and ice cream about everything. Maybe some prefer to be pessimistic and be pleasantly surprised when they’re proven wrong instead of the reverse. Or as they say, “every dark cloud has a silver lining, but lightning kills hundreds of people each year who are trying to find it.”

  117. DRed

    I’d like to point out that the Thunder won every playoff series they played Ronnie Brewer in.

Comments are closed.