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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Just A Phenomenal Game

It’s heartbreaking for Knick fans, because you could argue the home team deserved to win. Did the refs miscalculate the time left after Pierce’s shot? What if Garnett’s layup doesn’t swirl around the rim right back to him? What if Felton didn’t fall down on a drive giving the Celtics a 4 on 5? What if Amar’e doesn’t take that hop right before he shoots that last three?

But that’s immaterial. There’s no need to make excuses. New York lost a close one, and that happens to good teams. However, they showed that they can hang with any team in the league. Prior to last night’s game, New York had the league’s fourth best offense. They imposed their will on the Celtics. The game was played in New York’s style at New York’s pace. At times Boston’s great defense looked mediocre against the Knicks offense. That’s what good teams do – make other good teams look foolish at times.

For those not old enough, this is reminiscent of a 1990-era Knicks bitter loss. They played great, but came up without a victory. However, considering that this franchise has been irrelevant for a decade, that’s a solid step forward. Sure the 90s Knicks were frustrating, and were thisclose to winning a title without actually doing so. Still they were a great team, and were capable of bringing home a trophy.

A roll here, a shot there, one ref’s whistle, a millisecond – these things can swing a game from one side to another. Those things can’t be controlled, as throughout the season every team has close calls which could send a game into the balance. A good team is like parenting; you do the best you can, then let go. If all the stars align, things should go smoothly. Unfortunately there are times when bumps in the road derail even the best of them. The most anyone can hope for is to do their best and then hope.

Tonight the Knicks were good enough to beat Boston. This wasn’t a “career-night” game where Jamal Crawford scores 50. Amar’e Stoudemire, Raymond Felton, Wilson Chandler, and Danilo Gallinari played really well. Each of them bettered or equaled the man in green across from them, and there were no flukes. Tonight the Celtics were fortunate enough to beat New York.

107 comments on “Just A Phenomenal Game

  1. Z

    Wow.

    I just finished watching the DVR. Unbelievable. I can’t wait to read the game thread. Great news though. If the Celtics can’t temper our offense no one can. We lost that race by .01 seconds. (And yes, there should have been .06 on the clock after Pierce’s shot. Refs hosed us!!!

  2. greatscott

    For those old enough to remember last year, Nov 22 vs Boston. Loss. 107-105 OT. Feb 23 vs Boston. Loss. 110-106. I remember. Same old Knicks.

  3. Robert Silverman

    Z: Wow.I just finished watching the DVR. Unbelievable. I can’t wait to read the game thread. Great news though. If the Celtics can’t temper our offense no one can. We lost that race by .01 seconds. (And yes, there should have been .06 on the clock after Pierce’s shot. Refs hosed us!!!  

    The hosing (so glad that’s catching on) wasn’t the time left for the Nix’ last possession, it was the shot that Stat took before Pierce’s ISO where he got hacked and the refs “let them play.” That and the numerous touch fouls that Pierce accumulated really made for a hose-fest.

    Coincidentally, Simmons was kvetching about Pierce “not getting the calls” in his ESPN chat.

  4. BigBlueAL

    The difference is that a bitter 1990′s Knicks-era loss wouldve come in May or June.

    It will be very interesting to see how this team plays Friday against the Heat. For as tough as Pierce and Allen are and have been for the Knicks to cover they aint nothing compared to Wade and Lebron, especially considering how Wade usually torches the Knicks and has hit similar game-winners against them at MSG.

    Hoping the Knicks dont come out flat on Friday after this emotional loss. Although I do think they probably matchup much better against the Heat than they do against Boston.

  5. Z

    Almost as entertaining as the game was reading through the game thread just now. 420 entries! You can tell the tide has turned. I remember a few years back Frank O. and I were the only people to show up to a thread. The two of us basically filibustered the thread. Now, I’m afraid another game like today and the site may crash!

    The only thing I think I would have added to this game thread was re: JVG quitting. My memory is that he quit because two of his friends died on September 11th and he didn’t have the passion for the game anymore. And I’m sure I remember him saying at the time that he was quitting basketball because he wanted to become a magician. (Did I dream that? Does anyone else remember that statement?)

  6. Z

    Cool. (I’ve actually been waiting for JVC’s magician career to take off. I guess if he was a real magician, though, he’d be able to make Mark Jackson shut up :)

  7. John Kenney

    I think it’s obvious at least .6 should have been put on the clock. I’m curious what the reasoning behind the refs not checking the time is. The problem is, for Amare to take a 3 pointer just takes so much time… I don’t know if it would have done any good. I do know that given the circumstances it was a bad option. I love stat taking jump shot 3′s on occasion, but did D’antoni really think that in the time remaining he would get the shot off? Instant flash back to the most famous .4, Derek Fisher’s…Fisher is a guard who can presumably speed up his release more than Amare and still be accurate, and on top of that is left-handed so had a faster catch and shoot than Amar’e when rolling to that sideline. Watching on HD I couldn’t even get excited about the shot because it was so clearly late. I would have liked to see them use Amare as a diversion somehow and see if we could get Chandler free on a lob- he definitely has the hops to throw it down. With the obvious exception being if they don’t lock down on Amar’e we just lob it to him.

    Tough game, tough loss…. I really think Amar’e and Raymond’s minutes need to come down, or else we’ll see more instances like amar’e on the bench with an ice pack on his neck. But I want to be on record that the proposed telfair trade is not something I want to see at all, even if all we gave up was cash.

  8. jon abbey

    can we can it with the JVG revisionist history? he was maybe the single worst offensive coach in NBA history and went on to do a crappy job in Houston. there’s a reason he’s a putrid announcer now and not a head coach.

    reading through the game thread, I’m very glad I was able to watch on MSG. my tolerance for Van Gumby/Jackson is close to nil, those guys are brutal.

  9. nicos

    Really tough loss- especially when you consider the Knicks got pretty lucky at the ends of both the second and third quarter with Felton’s long banker and then the foul which doesn’t always get called in that situation. Yeah, there were some no calls and that bad bounce that led to a KG put back was a killer but this was still a game they had and lost.

    On the plus side- hopefully someone gives Gallo a tape of his second half performance to play every night before he goes to bed- he plays like that even every other night and there’s no way he’ll get traded and more importantly, the Knicks become a serious threat to win a round or two in the playoffs even with the thin bench. Speaking of the bench- I’m for throwing AR out there 5-10 minutes a night and hoping with consistent minutes he can figure out some way to contribute- as poorly as he’s played on offense (and he’s been shockingly bad) he has rebounded and blocked shots at a solid rate and his man defense has been okay- the Knicks have to start getting some production off of the bench and barring a trade he’s still the most talented player we have on the bench.

  10. BigBlueAL

    jon abbey: can we can it with the JVG revisionist history? he was maybe the single worst offensive coach in NBA history and went on to do a crappy job in Houston. there’s a reason he’s a putrid announcer now and not a head coach.
    reading through the game thread, I’m very glad I was able to watch on MSG. my tolerance for Van Gumby/Jackson is close to nil, those guys are brutal.  

    If winning 45, 51, 34, and 52 wins is crappy than damn. Sure he didnt have the postseason success he had in NY but the West those years was beyond loaded.

    Sorry I love JVG and his teams had some of the greatest moments in Knicks history.

  11. Peter87

    Great game; tough, tough loss, very hard to take. I’m glad I have my fellow Knickerbloggers to commiserate with.

    Sports aren’t important enough to “hate” anyone over, but man how I’d love to wipe that (*&@$^(% grin off Pierce’s face!!

  12. Peter87

    Also, good comeback by Gallo…he was definitely nervous in the first half; a 90% shooter missing 3 free throws ! One in a thousand, has to be nerves I think. But he had the mental toughness to come back. Good to see.

  13. Cesara74

    Yo let’s all take a step back on your Knicks impending supremacy talk. Yes, that game was an impressive offensive display from the Knicks and Celtics, but do not go thinking that the Knicks are going to unseat the Celtics in the division quite yet. Once the C’s have any one of their first three centers ready to play it’ll be alot tougher for Amare to do his thing early and KG can match him up very well late in games. Everything went perfectly for the Knicks in this game (including Rondo getting hobbled early in 4th) and they still couldn’t way.

    By the way, Girlinari’s 3 point play was a nice fingeroll, but there was no foul on that. Please

  14. Spree8nyk8

    Yeah, C’s fans got put on notice today, the biggest threat to them in the east may in fact live in their own division. And Cesara, you can put a green uniform on anyone you got and Amare can still throw down 40 on your team. He’s too strong for your old dogs. And I love how Rondo who really wasn’t a factor all game rolling his ankle and missing like a minute and a half becomes a “reason it was close”. If you go back and look I’m pretty sure the Knicks were winning that game before Rondo injured himself.

    As far as the C’s not having their bigs. I kinda wish you had them. The Knicks would have Shaq looking for the oxygen tank after about 5 mins. Please please please put that guy in…..Amar’e gets 50 then. Those two guys are extremely overrated for the C’s this season. The big 4, are great, can’t take anything away from them. But please don’t go looking for excuses for why this game was close. I mean seriously, have we already reached the point where Boston actually needs the excuses? Maybe? Maybe you guys are aware that you were 1 foul call (on two straight possessions where the refs swallowed the whistle) away from losing that game. I can’t wait to play that team again. It’s going to be a slugfest.

  15. Spree8nyk8

    Noah is out 8-10 weeks after surgery today on his thumb. Despite the loss Knicks 2.5 games back of the #2 seed and they can get a game of that back tomorrow night. Should be fun!

  16. Frank

    This ending is one of the reasons I don’t like instant replay for these particular purposes. You can obsess about 0.1 or 0.2 sec at the buzzer but what about all the 0.1 and 0.2 sec that get bled out earlier in the game that no one ever thinks about? It’s like in football where in the 2 minute drill the 84 year old ref is running to spot the ball — why aren’t you running to spot the ball the other 58 minutes in the game? It’s good for show but if they were really worried about getting the time exactly right, instant replay on the very last play is probably not the best way to do it.

    check out this picture that shows 0.7 on the clock when Pierce’s jumper is already through: http://twitpic.com/3gbngi

    Anyway – I’ll take a moral victory out of this. Shaq would have been a load at the offensive end but STAT would have scored 50 in the first half with Shaq guarding the pick and roll. (Perkins being out there would have been a whole different story though). And as for Rondo being out for most of the 3rd – Rondo was a -8 for the game and didn’t seem to have the same impact as usual with Landry guarding him.

    One last whine – I know it has been mentioned plenty of times on this board, but Amare gets NO LOVE in crunch time from the refs. He gets hacked from here to Hackensack and no calls. If Kobe has the same amount of contact on that play, they call a flagrant 2 and give him 5 free throws and personal letter of apology from David Stern. It might be a big man vs. small man bias (ie. Shaq probably got fouled twice on every shot he took for the Lakers) but still…

  17. d-mar

    Frank: This ending is one of the reasons I don’t like instant replay for these particular purposes.You can obsess about 0.1 or 0.2 sec at the buzzer but what about all the 0.1 and 0.2 sec that get bled out earlier in the game that no one ever thinks about? It’s like in football where in the 2 minute drill the 84 year old ref is running to spot the ball — why aren’t you running to spot the ball the other 58 minutes in the game? It’s good for show but if they were really worried about getting the time exactly right, instant replay on the very last play is probably not the best way to do it.check out this picture that shows 0.7 on the clock when Pierce’s jumper is already through: http://twitpic.com/3gbngiAnyway – I’ll take a moral victory out of this.Shaq would have been a load at the offensive end but STAT would have scored 50 in the first half with Shaq guarding the pick and roll.(Perkins being out there would have been a whole different story though).And as for Rondo being out for most of the 3rd – Rondo was a -8 for the game and didn’t seem to have the same impact as usual with Landry guarding him.One last whine – I know it has been mentioned plenty of times on this board, but Amare gets NO LOVE in crunch time from the refs. He gets hacked from here to Hackensack and no calls.If Kobe has the same amount of contact on that play, they call a flagrant 2 and give him 5 free throwsand personal letter of apology from David Stern.It might be a big man vs. small man bias (ie. Shaq probably got fouled twice on every shot he took for the Lakers) but still…  

    Amare in his post game press conference said he got hacked on his missed shot. It happens in the last minute, but superstars do get that call, esp. the human foul shot, Paul Pierce.

  18. d-mar

    Cesara74: Yo let’s all take a step back on your Knicks impending supremacy talk.Yes, that game was an impressive offensive display from the Knicks and Celtics, but do not go thinking that the Knicks are going to unseat the Celtics in the division quite yet.Once the C’s have any one of their first three centers ready to play it’ll be alot tougher for Amare to do his thing early and KG can match him up very well late in games.Everything went perfectly for the Knicks in this game (including Rondo getting hobbled early in 4th) and they still couldn’t way.By the way, Girlinari’s 3 point play was a nice fingeroll, but there was no foul on that. Please  

    Yo,, Cesara, watch the replay of Gallo’s shot, Pierce bumps him and then winces as the ball goes in and he realizes he made a dumb play.

  19. Frank O.

    Z: Almost as entertaining as the game was reading through the game thread just now. 420 entries! You can tell the tide has turned. I remember a few years back Frank O. and I were the only people to show up to a thread. The two of us basically filibustered the thread. Now, I’m afraid another game like today and the site may crash!  

    Z:
    I was shocked to see more than 400 posts this morning. I do recall those days.
    These knicks are something.

    The difference in this game was just experience. The Knicks suffered a few too many TOs late in the game and it cost them. You can’t make those kinds of mistakes against a good team. They clean that up and the Knicks win that game by 10.
    I still think the Gallo FTs misses were the weirdest thing.

    I too think that if Shaq plays the Knicks win. Shaq can’t run and t he Knicks dominated the tempo of this game.

  20. Nick C.

    d-mar: Yo,, Cesara, watch the replay of Gallo’s shot, Pierce bumps him and then winces as the ball goes in and he realizes he made a dumb play.  (Quote)

    Guys don’t feed the troll.

  21. jon abbey

    BigBlueAL:
    If winning 45, 51, 34, and 52 wins is crappy than damn.Sure he didnt have the postseason success he had in NY but the West those years was beyond loaded.Sorry I love JVG and his teams had some of the greatest moments in Knicks history.  

    dude had Yao and McGrady in their primes and couldn’t get out of the first round. one-dimensional, mediocre coach at best. again, it’s not an accident no one has hired him since even though he spends half of each telecast begging for someone to.

  22. Nick C.

    On the time issue IIRC and I think I have b/c I DVR you may FF stuff like Nets games…but ordinarily after made baskets the clock keeps running. Which until I did that or paid attention was unaware of. Is there something obvious I am missing as to why endgame the time when the shot falls is such an issue. Is there a simultaneous TO call that I am neglecting to factor in.

  23. rayhed

    not to take anything away from STAT who has far exceeded my expectations, i am still a little dissapointed by his defensive rebounding- there were a few plays, notably kg’s putback with a minute to go, where stat leaves his feet while the ball is still in the air instead of boxing out…. a guy with his athletic ability should be dominating the boards, and he isn’t yet

  24. AnaheimAmigos

    I agree with rayhed. The Knicks played such an amazing game and had so many factors in their favor (home court, Rondo’s injury, rejuvenated crowd, red-hot Amar’e) that it seemed like if there was ever a time to leave a mark on the Celtics, it was last night. How did they lose that game? Pierce came alive for sure, but that wasn’t going be enough all by itself. Garnett got way too may offensive rebounds in key spots — some of it was just dumb luck, of course — and I looked to see how many defensive rebounds Stat had. He had 7 defensive boards, which isn’t awful, but it is still a disappointment when you play 40+ minutes in the paint.

  25. Spree8nyk8

    AnaheimAmigos: How did they lose that game?  

    1) No call on Feltons drive when he gets knocked into the photographers, allowing the Celtics to come up the court 4 on 5 and move the ball around until they found the open player. It was a pretty easy call.

    2) No call on STAT’s bunny shot. An even easier foul to call. Amar’e doesn’t miss from 4 feet away, he got hit on the arm, shoulda been two shots all day.

    3) Not even looking at the replay to decide if anymore time should be added, which they almost always seem to do. I’d venture to say that in cases like that they add time on MOST of the time. But for some reason they didn’t bother.

    All those things in a close game makes a loss. Realistically they only needed any one of those things to not break against them. But someday they’ll get those breaks.

  26. rayhed

    two other points to nitpick about (although i am extremely impressed with the knicks, theres always room to be critical)

    it seems like felton, who is playing out of his mind, is still forcing some bad shots… every now and then he would take some quick shots from deep which were a bit forced and unnecessary… he looked great while taking it to the hoop, but from deep it seemed to ruin some of the flow… it also seems like at times they weren’t feeding amare enough- when someone’s got a hot hand, you gotta get it to him more… i think it was the start of the fourth when amare just didn’t see the ball for a few minutes… if a guy is playing that well he needs more touches

    finally, i was really dissapointned with hte knicks final possession (not the last second three)… i haven’t been able to watch a lot of knicks games this season, but my sense is that they don’t have a set strategy for these key possessions- last night’s looked pretty bad… they barely got a decent shot off…. last week’s felton three could easily not have gone in, it was a pretty lucky shot…. i’d like to see d’antoni have a better plan for the last minute

    but a great effort overall

  27. AnaheimAmigos

    Celtic fans have to take notice of the Knicks now. The Knicks won’t win the Atlantic Division, but if you’re a Celtics’ fan, you want no part of a 3 vs. 6 matchup with the Knicks in the first round, or a 1 vs. 4 pairing in the 2nd round. The Knicks play exactly the kind of mobile, fast-paced game that could kill the Celtics, especially if they get hurt and lack depth in the playoffs.

    Besides, who else in the East other than Miami looks like a challenge to the Celtics. It’s not Orlando, where Rashard Lewis and Vince Carter are having a race to see who can decompose fastest. Nor is it Atlanta, where Bibby would have to “guard” Rondo. The threats to Boston in the earlier rounds are the younger, athletic teams: Milwaukee, Chicago, and the Knicks.

  28. Cesara74

    Peter87: I suspect Cesara74 is a worried Celtic fan ;-)  (Quote)

    I like the Knicks being relevant again, it should make for more fun in the Atlantic Division for sure. AS far as me being a Celts fan, yes that is true (although not a worried one) and I read Mike Kurylo’s blog on ESPN.com and it reeked of whiny one-sided nonsense. For every missed foul on the knoicks there was two the refs didn’t fell compelled to call on the home team. Normal home court stuff but true nonrtheless (Ray Allen got laid out on a layup attempt in the 3rd and there wasnt anything called on that either).

    As far as having our bigs healthy, it really means more fouls and physical play on Amare who masquerades as a Center for D’Antonie’s style of play (by the way, the next time a run and shoot, no defense team wins a title will be the first ever, just ask Phoenix). Perkins, remember him, is an excellent pick and roll defender and can provide 6 more hard fouls then we have now. diddo both O’Neils.

    Also I object to the troll label as I’m giving you perspective from another angle that you can certainly disagree with and discuss if you want. I do beleive the Knicks will be battling the Celts for East supremacy going forward though

  29. JK47

    Sure, the Celtics are better than us right now, but let’s remember: the C’s played an outstanding game last night. They were 21 for 21 from the free throw line. It’s not like they had an off night. When they won by the skin of their teeth, they jumped around like they had just won game 7 of the Finals.

    They’re as good as they’re ever gonna be; Pierce is 33, Garnett is 34 and Allen is 35. They have this year and maybe next year, and then their core is just going to be too old. We’re a work in progress and still have lots of key pieces to add. We haven’t passed them yet, but we will.

  30. AnaheimAmigos

    Spree8nyk8:

    All those things in a close game makes a loss.Realistically they only needed any one of those things to not break against them.But someday they’ll get those breaks.  

    In any one-point game, you can look back at 100 plays and any one of them could have swung the outcome. The problem is, though, that the Knicks were playing well enough that they should have been up 10 points at the end of the game. Gallo had his jumper going in the second half, Amar’e got 39 points , Felton had a 26/14, and as a team, they shot 39% on 3-pt. FG — with that type of game, you should be pulling out to a big lead. You’re never going to get every bounce, but if Amar’e gets more of the rebounds that he should get, the Knicks don’t even have to worry about end-of-game sequences.

  31. Mike Kurylo Post author

    jon abbey:
    dude had Yao and McGrady in their primes and couldn’t get out of the first round. one-dimensional, mediocre coach at best. again, it’s not an accident no one has hired him since even though he spends half of each telecast begging for someone to.  

    T-Mac’s best TS% as a Rocket – 52.6%. 3 of his 5 seasons there he was under 50%. Although to be fair Van Gundy’s Knicks teams were well below average with regards to offense.

  32. Bruno Almeida

    d-mar:
    Amare in his post game press conference said he got hacked on his missed shot. It happens in the last minute, but superstars do get that call, esp. the human foul shot, Paul Pierce.  

    that was the real call, the time on the clock at the end was wrong, but if Amare had gotten that call, it might not have mattered.

    people keep talking about how Kobe and Duncan complain all the time to the referees, but they always give Pierce the bull**** “oh he never gets any calls”, he had 10 free throws last night and probably six of them were terrible calls.

  33. Spree8nyk8

    AnaheimAmigos:
    In any one-point game, you can look back at 100 plays and any one of them could have swung the outcome.The problem is, though, that the Knicks were playing well enough that they should have been up 10 points at the end of the game.Gallo had his jumper going in the second half, Amar’e got 39 points , Felton had a 26/14, and as a team, they shot 39% on 3-pt. FG — with that type of game, you should be pulling out to a big lead.You’re never going to get every bounce, but if Amar’e gets more of the rebounds that he should get, the Knicks don’t even have to worry about end-of-game sequences.  

    You are playing the best team in the east, you aren’t worrying about winning by ten, you’re worrying about winning. Those numbers that you put up….those have been ever night numbers lately. The Knicks didn’t have a super game last night, they had a normal Wednesday. That game wasn’t the exception, it’s become the rule.

  34. Nick C.

    Thing is the bench gave them zip. IIRC weren’t there some here who thought the team was deep going into or early in the season. It’s the one thing that has turned out out to regress over the course of the season whereas most others have improved. Some but not all of that is swapping Chandler into the starting line up and Mozgov to the DNP/CD. Anyone still hot on Bill Walker and his 40% from 3 coming into the season. When was the last time there were TDDWTDD posts??? Now TDDWTDD might be code for “comes in and the lead evaporates” Anthony Randolph still looks like a guy who played a year in college, despite two years under the wing of Don Nelson (is he in the HOF if so what a joke).

  35. Bruno Almeida

    Nick C.: Thing is the bench gave them zip.IIRC weren’t there some here who thought the team was deep going into or early in the season.It’s the one thing that has turned out out to regress over the course of the season whereas most others have improved.Some but not all of that is swapping Chandler into the starting line up and Mozgov to the DNP/CD.Anyone still hot on Bill Walker and his 40% from 3 coming into the season.When was the last time there were TDDWTDD posts??? Now TDDWTDD might be code for “comes in and the lead evaporates”Anthony Randolph still looks like a guy who played a year in college, despite two years under the wing of Don Nelson (is he in the HOF if so what a joke).  

    I think AR was more on Don Nelson’s doghouse than under his wing lol.

    yeah, our bench looks absolutely terrible right now, and this has to change, Felton is already banged up and TD is killing us every time he gets on the court, the Celtics outscored our bench 24 to 7.

  36. Spree8nyk8

    And also, I’m not looking at 100 plays trying to find a play to swing it, I’m looking at 3 things that happened in the last 2 minutes of the game and all three of them had to go against NY for them to lose that game. Especially the Felton no call, because that was literally a 5 point swing. But that being said I think the Amar’e shot would be called a foul 90% of the time and I simply have no understanding of why they wouldn’t at least check the replay to see about the clock since it is very obvious from that picture that time would have been added.

  37. eyeke

    I felt like Landry did much more than his 6 points and 6 boards shows. Definitely too many drives under the basket with no plan and bad passes to try to salvage something. Definitely need to find more ways to ge to the line too. Free throws are key to running a short rotation.

  38. Abasi

    Lost in all the brouhaha is the fact that Fields is playing a very passive game – he needs to be far more aggressive on offense. Gallo’s inconsistency has become the norm (you figure this one out, Mike Kurylo :-)) and the atrocious bench play is bound to kill a promising season. How long before either Amare or Felton burn out or get hurt?

    D’antoni needs to address the defensive shortcomings – sooner or later. Yes, the team plays very entertaining basketball, but will always come up short against the better NBA teams. What’s the point of scoring 110 if your opponent scores 111?

    The high Knicks scoring comes at the cost of ignoring defense. That has never won anyone a championship. But, once again, this upcoming games will let everyone know good good the Knicks are or are not…

  39. Mike Kurylo Post author

    rayhed: not to take anything away from STAT who has far exceeded my expectations, i am still a little dissapointed by his defensive rebounding- there were a few plays, notably kg’s putback with a minute to go, where stat leaves his feet while the ball is still in the air instead of boxing out…. a guy with his athletic ability should be dominating the boards, and he isn’t yet  

    That’s a tough one to blame on him. That ball took a wicked roll right back to KG. But yes in general his rebounding could be better.

  40. TDM

    In case any of you are interested, Hoopshype has put out a list of free agents for 2011. Some interesting names on the list. One person that I’d like to see the Knicks try to get is DeAndre Jordan from the Clips. He still fouls too much and is abysmal from the line, but he’s a talented young 7 foot shotblocker that snags a good number of rebounds as well.

    http://www.hoopsworld.com/Story.asp?story_id=18192

  41. DS

    @36 – I am disappointed at the bench (essentially consisting of two players) too. I feel like Turiaf’s +/- for the first 13 games was +30 and was like -50 for the last 13 games. Douglas’s jumper certainly looks different than when he scored in double figures the first 6 games of the year.

    I hope those two are just slightly off due to their injuries and perhaps with some rest can play closer to how they played earlier in the year.

    On another note, Chicago is starting to look really tough despite the setback with Noah’s thumb. I think Orlando is going to pull off a big trade (Brand and Iguodala? Arenas?) after which, the Knicks’ place in the bottom half of the East playoff seedings will be cemented.

  42. villainx

    42, I thought it was just the true hoop network thing in general. But I’d say luring trolls (just kidding, I mean fans of other teams) to this site sure is an indication of 1) how big the game was and 2) Knicks improvement.

  43. Jimmy C

    Just out of curiosity, why are people so vehemently opposed to nabbing Telfair? Obviously there’s a lot of karmic red flags, but if they can get him for basically nothing, doesn’t he fill one of the voids we’re concerned about? I could be way out in left field on this, but it’s not like he’s going to have the pressure Stephon had — indeed, if anything it might serve to rejuvinate him, at least to the point of being reliably effective. I think he could thrive in D’Antoni’s system, and furthermore I think it could help carve out a slightly different niche for TD as pure scorer off the bench, to where he doesn’t have to worry about being the primary ball handler / facilitator. Again, I haven’t paid an enormous amount of attention to the finer details of his career, but it seemed like in the time both Flynn and Ridnour were out, he played some fairly serviceable ball. Which is all that we’d be asking of him, to the tune of 15 or so minutes a game. Thoughts on this?

  44. Nick C.

    TDM: In case any of you are interested, Hoopshype has put out a list of free agents for 2011. Some interesting names on the list. One person that I’d like to see the Knicks try to get is DeAndre Jordan from the Clips. He still fouls too much and is abysmal from the line, but he’s a talented young 7 foot shotblocker that snags a good number of rebounds as well. http://www.hoopsworld.com/Story.asp?story_id=18192  (Quote)

    Two things one how many of the absurd lookign contracts (all except Kenyon’s maybe) were Zekekerbockers?? Based on AR, and lately Moz, I am skeptical that even if DeAnrdre Jordan was with the Knicks he would see much burn if he is offensively challenged. There’s a lot of the vets hanging around guys like Magloire, Battie etc and a whole lot of nothing.Tyson Chandler may be too expensive or may not leave dallas, Pryzbilla looks interesting though maybe a touch pricey and agan will Coach D play him?

  45. PC

    Wow. No talk of Melo yet in these postings. I will start it then.

    Remember the T-Wolves with Garnett. Their end of the game possessions always sucked because a tall power forward isn’t going to create his own mid-range shot in the last few minutes. It was until “huge balls” Sammie Cassell came that they started to win those games.

    Amare is playing like the old out of his mind KG. But – he needs some help getting getting buckets down the stretch in a set offense that is standing still (which for some reason always happens in the NBA when you could just keep your motion offense flowing, but whatever, it is what it is). So – that’s what Melo would give the Knicks.

    Paul Pierce got himself an easy mid range jumper and it was like a practice jumper. Remember Melo trading baskets with Lebron last year and Melo nailing a huge 20 footer in Cleveland. That’s what he would bring. We can’t wait four years to see if Gallo will become that guy when there is a guy who is that guy (constantly winning 50-55 games in the touger west) who actually wants to come here!

    Don’t trade Gallo. Don’t trade Fields. And do whatever else you have to do to get Melo. For god’s sake – send him some free cablevision and a briefcase of ten million dollars and tell him to sit tight and become a free agent next year. Do something!

    We need a Paul Pierce. We need a Kobe Bryant. A Steve Nash. A guy who nails mid-range jumpers like its practice in the last few minutes. His name is Melo.

  46. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    PC,

    The problem is representative heuristics based on performance outliers: that is, you see a particularly notable sequence, and you believe it to be demonstrative of a player’s actual value. Incorrect. You see “trading 20 foot shots” and you think “Carmelo is a winner.” Incorrect. Way too much subjectivity in that argument. It’s not convincing anyone that’s not already convinced. When you reconcile Melo’s perception with his performance, you’ll find that Carmelo is not Paul Pierce, and certainly not what this team needs. He’s not Kobe, Nash, or Pierce. He shoots the ball, and not particularly efficiently.

    Now please, everyone: stop talking about Carmelo. If Hoophype posts another rumor, talk about it. But last night showed that this team does not need an $18M volume scorer. It needs interior defense.

  47. Abasi

    Getting Melo is good, but it would be a wasted move for as long as the defensive woes are not taken care off. There’s only so much you can score: Melo’s points will necessarily include a few “stolen” from Amare’s score line.

    At this point, the Knicks desperately need a big man patroling the paint and some relief for Felton. My fear, though, is that even if we sign Dwight Howand, D’antoni would not play him much because he can’t shoot the 3′s consistently. That’s the most serious problem the Knicks have: D’Antoni’s un-wavering belief that any defensive problems are corrected by scoring some more, as he said it last night after the game.

  48. Abasi

    Can we realistically ask more offensive production of this current team? It’s pretty obvious they are giving 100% of their capability and scoring higher than most teams in the NBA. What is missing is interior defense. As simple as that.

  49. rrude

    I was pretty shocked at how easy it was for the C’s to score down the stretch. They just waltzed into the lane and flipped it in. The Knicks O looked great most of the night but they had to work much harder in those last crucial possessions. That difference really cost them the game. We could really use another big in the paint at crunch time.

  50. Frank

    Abasi: Can we realistically ask more offensive production of this current team? It’s pretty obvious they are giving 100% of their capability and scoring higher than most teams in the NBA. What is missing is interior defense. As simple as that.  

    No doubt that interior defense is needed, but some of the mismatches inside are intentional – yes Amir Johnson may get 22 and 16 against us but while trying to guard Amare he will foul out and Amare will get 35 and 10. It got magnified last night because of some fortunate bounces that allowed O-rebounds to Garnett, but I’m not sure that D’Antoni is playing Amare at C out of necessity as opposed to a perceived favorable mismatch.

    Meanwhile – I actually came out of this game thinking more that we need Melo. When Amare goes to the bench, the offense just looks bad. As much as we would hope that Gallo, Chandler, or Felton would pick up the slack, at this point in their careers they just can’t. Having a guy like Melo would have the benefit of a bonafide 1A in terms of scoring, but also would probably allow Felton and Amare to play 35 min rather than 44 because at the very least, the offense wouldn’t fall apart when they were out.

  51. cgreene

    I was at last night’s game and, frankly, am still recovering not from the loss but from the energy expended being there. Wow. Really fun stuff. Some comments:

    1) Officiating – the reality is that the NBA is an inconsistently officiated league. Bad calls both ways. Seemed even from our perspective so you can’t blame this on the refs. Sorry.

    2) Bench – that seems to be the biggest issue even more than interior D. We need a bench player that can give us really productive minutes. We got outscored 24-7 there. That’s the game.

    3) This is just the beginning – Isn’t it awesome that we are on the rise!! This team is good and getting better!! I see the ceiling being 47ish wins and “the team no one wants to play in the first round” being the ceiling unless we make personnel changes i.e. a Melo deal that costs us only 1 starter.

  52. ess-dog

    I agree we could use some more post defense, but we could also use a shut down wing defender as someone stated in the last thread. I love Gallo and think his defense is ok, but he’s not a shut down guy like an Artest. Pierce just had his way near the end.
    And really, would 10 minutes of AR a game kill anyone at this point?

  53. Frank

    Cesara74:
    Perkins, remember him, is an excellent pick and roll defender and can provide 6 more hard fouls then we have now. diddo both O’Neils.

    FYI Shaq is probably the worst pick and roll defender of any player ever that is/will be in the HoF. He was horrible even when he was young and spry, and now that he’s old and slow, he’s probably even worse. I seriously think Amare would have scored 50 points on PnR vs. Shaq.

    Perkins is a great defender and gives anybody problems — that is a huge hole for the C’s. They will be seriously scary when he comes back.

  54. villainx

    Can we realistically ask more offensive production of this current team?

    Not saying Melo is the answer, but the Knicks have great offensive production because everyone is playing out of their mind ball. Stoudemire has been terrific, but I’m not sure how realistic it is that he’ll maintain that level of production (and playing time) and he could use more help.

    It’d be great if Gallinari/Felton/Chandler can maintain their performance or keep improving but – as especially evident with the short bench – they pretty much must do that for the Knicks to have a chance.

    I think it’s too easy to point to the weakness, and say C or interior defense (or back up PG) are what should be addressed when those options aren’t necessarily easy to find or readily available.

    I’m sure the Knick FO is looking over a bunch of options. I definitely wish there were more names out there for us to speculate or opine about other than Melo, Melo, and more Melo.

  55. TheRant

    ess-dog: And really, would 10 minutes of AR a game kill anyone at this point?

    Well, I think DAntoni thinks it might’ve killed the coach.

    DAntoni seems to really like a short (eight man) rotation with very little variation on the theme. One might argue that it’s been good for the chemistry development over the last month. One might argue it’s been bad as the season wears on and the legs tire.

    We all want to see a deeper bench and think that will be key to any serious Knicks run into the playoffs next year and beyond.

    Personally, I agree that devoting ten minutes of development time to AR and DWTDD and Kelenna once he’s healthy makes sense and can only build them as players or trade assets. But I think DAntoni might have been afraid, perhaps for good reason, that if the team hadn’t quickly developed chemistry as a small, cohesive unit, people might have lost faith in him and Walsh.

    I think the faith is there now. We can afford to experiment in the name of growth down the pike. So your overall point is spot on.

  56. dubisaweapon

    I was fortunate enough to be at the Garden last night. Tough one to lose but I think all in all it is hard to complain with the Knicks performance. The reality is we are a young team that has played a grand total of 26 games together — a few different bounces and we walk out with a victory over the deeply-experienced Celtics, the team to beat in the Eastern Conference.

    A few thoughts:

    - I’m surprised that D’Antoni didn’t huff and puff over trying to get a few more tenths of a second put back on the clock. After Pierce’s jumper and the clock at .4 I just assumed the game was over.

    - Gallo was on fire in the second half (8-10 from the field, 1-1 from 3pt land), yet on many key possessions down the stretch it felt like the offense didn’t flow in his direction. I say “felt like” because when I look at the stats today I see that in the 4th Quarter he took only one less shot then Stat or Felton did (Gallo 5, Stat and Felton each 6). In any case, I think Gallo needs to demand the ball more often and I personally would’ve like to see him take one or two more threes down the stretch.

    - We need a back-up PG way more then we need Carmelo, or even another big man IMHO. When Felton sits our offense goes to sleep, and last night that allowed the Celtics to stay in that game. One more distributor and I go from liking this team to LOVING this team.

    - Nice vibe last night, even if not every one was in their seat by tip-off. Quite a few Boston fans in the house, with lots of good-natured ribbing going back and forth. Needless to say, it was the most energetic game at the Garden I’ve been to in the 21st century.

    As much as I wanted to win this one, I think that this is far from a deflating loss for the young Knickerbockers. I’m confident that this group of guys is going to look at the tape of this game and realize they are “this close” to being an elite team — and respond by working even harder and more diligently then ever before.

  57. rayhed

    @56…. definitely agree on AR- dantonis got to figure out a way to get him involved… this team obviosly needs some interior d and bench play and AR seems to provide answers to both

    also- whats the status of azubukie?

  58. Nick C.

    The we need Melo argument is really devolving (and I heard it earlier on 1050 as well so Frank just reminded me). A max player and/or trade at least one of your wing players and/or AR to get a focal point of the offense for the 5-10 minutes that Amare sits is the reaon du jour. As for the whole last minute shots theory, remember how Mark Sanchez was all that after a few last minute completions? Anyone want to rethink that now. As in what about the other 47 or 59, minutes. Finally why can Felton play at a career best level with what the announcers said was a back injury but TD since his alleged back injury is awful. sorry for being ranty (and probably incoherent).

  59. DS

    AR would have completely disrupted the flow of the offense last night. Can you imagine him setting a good pick for Felton and then making a nice cut to the hoop, or rolling out for a smooth open jumper, or making an extra pass to a cutting Fields or Stat, maybe finding a shooter open in the corner?

    Yeah, me neither.

  60. PC

    Seems like we’re going to be running on fumes at the end of the season. I agree with everyone that we need interior defense. But what interior defender is dying to come to the Knicks. Its rare that a top ten player wants to come to you so friggin bad. I mean, Amare wanted to be here and that worked out pretty nice.

    But, to the the more realistic issues – we need a backup PG. Poor felton won’t be playing this well in games 60-82. D’Antoni’s short rotations are eventually killing us.

    Everyone who thinks we don’t need more studs on this team is crazy. If KG got hurt tomorrow the Celtics would still be pretty good. If Felton got hurt tomorrow – we would go back to the basement.

    I totally agree with the poster that said AR should play a little each night. Why not? If we found time for Shawne Williams to launch corner threes (which 80 percent of the league can do) why not let AR play a bit and maybe he’ll block a shot each night. That would make his ten minutes worth it.

  61. Ben R

    People are overstating the minutes issue a little bit. Felton is averaging 38.9 minutes a game, twice in his career he has averaged 37.6 minutes. Amare is averaging 37.6, year before last he averaged 36.8 minutes. We have played a number of close games lately which has forced D’Antoni to play Felton and Amare a little more than he would like but one or two blowout wins and all of a sudden Felton and Amare are back in line win their career averages in terms of minutes.

    With that said we do need better bench play. I have faith that Douglas will get it together and start playing how we know he can play but my faith is getting tested by the minute. Turiaf is who we thought he was, I think the amazing play to start the season was the outlier and the Turiaf we are getting now is who he is. He is a solid bench player but there is a reason he’s never been a starter. As for Walker and Williams they are end of the rotation players and are probably best getting limited minutes.

    I think once this tough run of games is over D’Antoni will start playing Randolph and getting Moz back out there. Once they are able to contribute I think that them, combined with Turiaf, should be able to provide us with a nice bigman rotation off the bench behind Amare and Chandler. Azubuike, whenever he returns, should be a nice lift off the bench at the wing. As long as he is back by the all-star break, he should be in the flow by the playoffs. So that just leaves Douglas getting it together. If he can, great, if he can’t, I would be down to adding a cheap PG, not Telfair, to flesh out the rotation.

    Let’s be patient, our bench is young; Mozgov, 24 – rookie, Randolph, 21 – 3rd year, Douglas, 24 – 2nd year (barely 1000 minutes last year), Walker, 23 – 3rd year (less than 1000 minutes prior to this season), Williams, 24 – 4th year (barely played last season). Let’s give them time to grow into their roles, they, hopefully, will be ready to step up by the playoffs.

  62. Nick C.

    Ben you are right tho Amare only was @ 36 once out the the past 3or 4 years since the surgery he’s been 33/34. Everyone is snakebit from Duhon’s first year.

  63. JK47

    The more I look at it, the more pro-Melo I become. I’m absolutely convinced that SSOL, when run properly, makes offensive players more efficient. We sure do have a lot of guys putting up sky-high offensive numbers this season, several of them performing beyond our wildest expectations. Raymond Felton had a career high TS% of .525; this year he’s at .581. Landry Fields, a rookie second-round pick, is putting up a .604 TS%. In this smoothly running version of SSOL, Wilson Chandler is 40 points above his previous best TS% and Danilo Gallinari, despite his struggles at times is 25 points above his mark from last year.

    I could easily see Carmelo Anthony stepping into this offense and besting his career high TS% by a considerable margin. Melo had a .568 TS% in 2007-2008– is it really a stretch to think he’d be able to put up .590 or better in this system? You don’t think he’d get more open looks here than he does in Denver? If Melo could get his TS% to the .580-.590 range he would be a quite similar scorer to Paul Pierce– not as good from 3P% but with probably more trips to the line. In his age 28 season Price had a .582 TS% with a USG rate of 31.2. I really truly believe that Melo would be able to put up numbers like that in this system. We could go from being a top offense to a ridiculously amazing offense.

    I can really picture Melo on this team, and I think D’Antoni can too. The 2004-2005 Suns were #1 in offensive rating and #17 in defensive rating, and won 62 games, and that team had Quentin freaking Richardson playing 2800 minutes and Joe “Inefficient” Johnson as the starting SG. Add Melo to the current Knicks and I think D’Antoni would have even more offensive talent than he did on the best Suns teams.

  64. Grymm

    I’ve been reading this blog/forum for almost a year and couldn’t register (problem with hotmail emails?), but, after last night’s game, I was inspired enough to get another email account.

    A couple of points:
    1. The Knicks were +4 with Felton on the bench last night. They didn’t fall apart with him out. They usually do, but he was only out for 2 minutes last night (played 46). Felton was -6 on the game according to ESPN.
    2. The Knicks only really have one functional offensive set. They got the Felton/Amare PnR working and basically run everything off of that. At the beginning of the season, the Knicks ball movement was poor and having Turiaf who is both a decent passer and barely shoots in facilitated the offense. It looked comparatively better. Him being on the floor in the high post seems to hurt the PnR now that it works because he can’t space the floor much and takes a 3pt shooter out.

    I’d love to see Douglas and Mosgov work together. Mosgov sets the best picks on the screen and Douglas would rather shoot than pass. I’ve seen plenty of guards practically fall over running into a Mosgov pick. I’d also love to see Fields initiating a couple of plays. You’ll see him and Amare work a give and go once in a while.

    I thought what really lost us the game was basic defensive rebounding. Davis and Garnet both got offensive rebounds for layups immediately under the basket because they were not boxed out at all. Kevin Love grabbed a million offensive rebounds under the basket by not being boxed out. Rebounding is about positioning and boxing, not vertical jumping. Amare gets most of his rebounds by being tall, jumping high, and being near the basket. Love and Lee got rebounds through better positioning. On the Garnett rebound, Amare should have been boxing KG out. Chandler was by himself on the other side of the basket. Mosgov actually boxes out. Too bad he can’t catch the ball.

  65. Jafa

    More news guys:

    Knicks inquiring about Przybilla from the Blazers:
    http://www.realgm.com/src_wiretap_archives/70616/20101216/knicks_have_asked_blazers_about_przybilla/

    Walsh confident he can get a 1st round pick if needed:
    http://www.realgm.com/src_wiretap_archives/70613/20101216/walsh_very_confident_he_can_trade_for_1st_round_pick/

    Apparently, the Blazers are ready to blow their team up. I read somewhere that Roy went ballistic on the team, saying it was not constructed with personnel that suit his skill set. He apologized to the team later.

    So, who do we want from the Blazers, and is Przybilla the best we can do? Also, should we just give up on all the Melo talk and start getting pieces from underachieving teams like Portland and Houston?

  66. Bruno Almeida

    @67

    yeah, I agree with you, that’s exactly what I think, our offense seems tailor made for that kind of improvement.

    anyway, front office NEEDS to focus on getting a backup PG, TD’s play has hit rock bottom and we need someone else, every game Felton looks like he’s hurt, and yet he needs to play 38 a night.

    and can’t we trade AR for another big man? I mean, Mozgov is not going to cut it and he already seems to be in D’Antoni’s doghouse, and AR will never get to play consistent minutes to develop as long as D’Antoni keeps him bolted to the bench, so why keep him based on talent that will probably never develop here?

  67. Bruno Almeida

    @69

    wow, nice story.

    I’d actually rather we get Przybilla then Camby, he’s got some injury issues but when he’s healthy he can be a beast, I watched Portland a lot on League Pass this past season and he’s an excellent interior defender and rebounder, exactly what we need.

    he averaged 13.2 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per 36 as recent as 08/09.

  68. PC

    Duhon only averaged 36 minutes per game that year. Plus, he was also playing tons of meaningless games because we sucked. And, Felton is a big boy who bangs a lot with other players.

    If you think the minutes issue is overstated – that’s a little crazy. I think we can all agree that Felton logging these minutes in these types of games will eventually hurt him. Tony D. is not a backup PG – we can all agree on that. Thus, it’s an issue.

  69. ess-dog

    I think the positives of Melo would be 1. more love from the refs and 2. another draw for vet. min. free agents looking for a ring. These reasons may seem minor, but they are nothing to sniff at.
    That being said, I’m comfortable riding out the year with this crew and seeing what happens at free agency. If there are no other suitors (because of the extension) and Denver begs us for our package of choice, then fine.
    Hahn mentioned that we’re looking into Pryzbilla which I think would be a good move since he’s expiring and probably won’t cost that much. He’s an above average big that can give us rebounding, defense and all around court smarts. And again, the price would be cheap. Back up pg is a little hazier – I still think TJ Ford makes sense since he’s expiring and a vet. Those moves would shore us up for the playoffs this year without hurting us in free agency next year when we can get either Melo or preferably, Marc Gasol who I think would beast in this system.

  70. villainx

    I read somewhere that Roy went ballistic on the team, saying it was not constructed with personnel that suit his skill set. He apologized to the team later.

    I did read that Roy was critical of Andre Miller and or his playing style recently.

  71. Bruno Almeida

    villainx: I read somewhere that Roy went ballistic on the team, saying it was not constructed with personnel that suit his skill set. He apologized to the team later.I did read that Roy was critical of Andre Miller and or his playing style recently.  

    Yeah, the press made a lot of that saying that they didn’t fit together (which is ultimately true).

    I think the real issue is that they rushed Roy back last year, and that might have had something to do with his further problems…

    Roy is incredibly talented, but I’m afraid his body lacks the conditioning required to be a NBA player… maybe he can reinvent himself as a shooter, but it’s sad to watch him trying and not managing to be the wonderful playmaker he was.

  72. Jafa

    Hey guys, are you making sure to vote for STAT to make the all-star game as a starter? Right now KG is ahead of him. KG!?!

  73. Frank O.

    Last night’s game made some things quite apparent to me:
    1. The Knicks, as currently constructed, do not lack for scoring punch. While they are not as imposing with Amare out, they are usually getting double digit scoring from WC, Gallo, Fields and occasionally from some bench players. The offensive scheme is really beautiful to watch. What this team does need is a back up point guard who can occasionally help out Felton.
    2. After 26 games, this brand new team already has shown immense improvement. And with WC at 23, Gallo and Fields at 22, Douglas at 24, Felton at 26, and Amare at 29, there is plenty of room for improvement. Last night’s game was a great teaching moment. These young guys made a few key mistakes down the stretch. They learned about the intensity that comes with a playoff game.
    3. It was also instructive in that in most playoff games, defense is key. The Celts dominated the Knicks’ paint, getting too many second chances, and pressured the Knicks offense. It probably cost the Knicks the game. My belief is that the Knicks would do well to try and get a quality defensive center, or push Mosgov and AR to play a more defensively- and boards-focused game. I maintain, as I have all along, that D’Antoni needs to reconsider using Amare as a center.
    4. While I think it would be great to have another elite scoring option like Carmelo, I would be unwilling to gut our core of young players to build a trade for him. I think Gallo, Fields, and WC could grow into outstanding, if not elite, players. Few teams have this much talent. Their trajectory has been impressive. If they can get Carmelo – who I believe would become a far more efficient player with D’Antoni’s system and Amare as the focus – as an FA next year, I’d love it. Sadly, it would mean letting WC go as a restricted FA because his salary demands would be great enough to take the Knicks out of the hunt for a max player. But Melo would be hard to pass up.

  74. JK47

    I would think last night’s game has got to make Melo want to come to NY more than ever. I would think there’s no way Melo would ever sign on to a rebuilding project in NJ after seeing the scene at MSG last night.

  75. d-mar

    Not to jump ahead to tomorrow’s thread, but I think unfortunately the massive booing and heckling will motivate LeBron into having a monster game, which he’s been known to have on occasion at MSG.

  76. latke

    Bruno Almeida: [pierce] had 10 free throws last night and probably six of them were terrible calls.  

    The most painful part for me was watching Pierce just lower his shoulder into Gallo on several occasions and draw a block, whereas when TD drove the lane in the 4th, he got called for a charge (and Nate was clearly in worse position than Gallo was on any of the other calls). But bitching about calls is more or less useless…

    AnaheimAmigos: The Knicks played such an amazing game and had so many factors in their favor (home court, Rondo’s injury, rejuvenated crowd, red-hot Amar’e)

    One could argue that each of these factors are the status quo now for the knicks and for all good teams:

    1) crowd/homecourt: MSG was like this for 10 years in the 90s. It should stay this way.
    2) Rondo: We had successfully defended rondo. Nate was outplaying him. One could argue that we may have won if rondo hadn’t gotten hurt.
    3) Amare: At what point do we accept that Amare is the kind of player he’s shown himself to be, and he’s not just on a hot streak?

    AnaheimAmigos: with that type of game, you should be pulling out to a big lead.

    This has been the case a lot during this win streak. We play really well and yet we aren’t blowing out teams, even bad teams. I’m not sure why this is the case, but it is definitely offputting.

  77. latke

    Abasi: The high Knicks scoring comes at the cost of ignoring defense. That has never won anyone a championship.

    You’re rooting for the wrong team then, my friend, MDA’s system values offense more than defense, so unless we fill the roster with fantastic 2 way players like kobe and howard, this is always going to be, at best, an average defensive team. If not for horry hip check on steve nash and the subsequent suspensions of Amare and Diaw, the Suns very well might have won a championship. They would only have had to beat Utah and San Antonio. That Phoenix team had the best defense of any MDA team, and it was only a little better than our own.

    Jimmy C: why are people so vehemently opposed to nabbing Telfair?

    Marbury shell-shock I suppose. Telfair is not Marbury though. He is a very low turnover player who plays decent defense and generally just runs the offense rather than looking to score. And he’s really fast, so who knows, maybe SSOL brings some more out of him.

    rayhed: definitely agree on AR

    Another thing people haven’t mentioned RE: AR is that if we can get him to play well, he’s value in a trade goes up.

    JK47: We sure do have a lot of guys putting up sky-high offensive numbers this season

    I think MDA’s teams in Phoenix illustrated this. Marion, Q-Rich, Frye, Nash, Diaw all either vastly improved upon coming to phoenix or became significantly worse upon leaving. I think what MDA’s system does do is reward role players. The Nash/Felton to Amare PNR is so potent that it takes the pressure off secondary players.

  78. BigBlueAL

    d-mar: Not to jump ahead to tomorrow’s thread, but I think unfortunately the massive booing and heckling will motivate LeBron into having a monster game, which he’s been known to have on occasion at MSG.  

    Im more worried about Wade than Lebron which shows you how scary that team really is what that duo.

  79. Bruno Almeida

    @82

    I think the reason we’re such a terrible defensive team and those Phoenix teams were kinda decent was much more personnel than coaching.

    Shawn Marion was at the very least and above average defender, Diaw could guard a lot of different guys, and Raja Bell and Kurt Thomas were pretty good too.

    if we get a good center who can somewhat stop the easy penetrations, it will all be much better.

  80. Frank O.

    Wow:
    From google:

    Rockets center Yao Ming’s comeback suffered another devastating setback with a stress fracture found Thursday morning in his left ankle.

    The injury is not in the same area as the previous stress fracture, but it is a major setback.

    Tests taken after his Nov. 10 sprained ankle and subsequently did not show the injury.

    Yao had said in the offseason that he would consider retirement if he had been unable to stay healthy.

  81. ASyrett19

    I like the idea of adding the Vanilla Gorilla, but what would it take to get him? The Blazers are over the cap, so salaries have to match, and since he’s an expiring contract wouldn’t Portland want talent in exchange (i.e. not an Eddie and Mason/Walker package) or for the Knicks to take a longer contract off their hands. It would be a good pickup, but how would it work?

  82. Ben R

    PC: If you think the minutes issue is overstated – that’s a little crazy. I think we can all agree that Felton logging these minutes in these types of games will eventually hurt him. Tony D. is not a backup PG – we can all agree on that. Thus, it’s an issue.

    I am alot more worried about Amare playing over 36 minutes than Felton playing over 38. Felton has averaged over 36 minutes 3 of the last 4 years and over 37 in 2 of the last 3. In his five year career he has missed a total of 12 games. Felton is a tough player that has shown the ability to play lots of minutes. Felton is playing a little higher minutes than his career average but we’ve had very few garbage minutes this year going either direction. If we get two or three blowouts, wins or losses, Felton’s average will be right at his career numbers.

    Jimmy C: why are people so vehemently opposed to nabbing Telfair?

    Because he is a bad basketball player. I have no problem that he’s Marbury’s cousin, I would sign Marbury himself if I thought it would help us win games, I don’t think that. Telfair is a truly horrible offfensive player. This is the first year in his 7 year career he has managed to shoot over 50% TS% and has actually shot below 48% 4 different seasons. He is turnover prone averaging 2.6 tos per 36 on his career (3.3 this year) a 16.8% TOV% (21.4% this year) and for a “pass first” PG has never been above 7 asts per 36 and has 4 seasons where he is below 6 (5.9 this year).

  83. latke

    Ben R: Telfair is a truly horrible offfensive player. This is the first year in his 7 year career he has managed to shoot over 50% TS% and has actually shot below 48% 4 different seasons. He is turnover prone averaging 2.6 tos per 36 on his career (3.3 this year) a 16.8% TOV% (21.4% this year) and for a “pass first” PG has never been above 7 asts per 36 and has 4 seasons where he is below 6 (5.9 this year).  

    You make good points, but I think it’s only fair to point out that he’s only been on terrible teams. Other than the 4 games he played for cleveland last year, no team he’s been has won more than 29 games. If you’re a backup PG on a bad team, your outlets for passing are usually pretty terrible, forcing you to take more shots than you would like to and lowering your assist opportunities.

  84. Ben R

    I don’t think being on bad teams would have that great of an effect. I actually think being on bad teams is the only reason he is able to get in games at all. If he is good enough to be in your rotation your team must be pretty poor. There is a chance that playing in a good offense surrounded by talent would allow him to prosper but I think at this point taking a flyer on a d league player is a much better move, and we can burn through prospects until one fits.

    What makes me sad is I think Sergio would be the perfect backup PG right now. Too bad we didn’t try and keep him.

  85. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Telfair is awful. A truly awful pro basketball player. I recently checked, and he’s made $12M over the course of his career. Probably takes home half of that. Wonder how hard it is to be the “next big thing” and live off of $6 million. I can’t imagine he’s got much left…

  86. Bruno Almeida

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: Telfair is awful. A truly awful pro basketball player. I recently checked, and he’s made $12M over the course of his career. Probably takes home half of that. Wonder how hard it is to be the “next big thing” and live off of $6 million. I can’t imagine he’s got much left…  

    well, his ability warrants much less than that, he should be thankful lol

  87. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Your boy Carmelo should probably send Christmas cards to all of the Sportscenter anchors, producers, and video editors. Without them, he wouldn’t be in line for a $100M payday.

  88. Brian Cronin

    What makes me sad is I think Sergio would be the perfect backup PG right now. Too bad we didn’t try and keep him.

    Agreed, except – did they have the money to sign him?

  89. Spree8nyk8

    We might get some help in the standings soon, Rondo out 2 weeks (ankle) and Noah out 8-10 weeks (thumb surgery)

  90. Jimmy C

    Ben R:
    Because he is a bad basketball player. I have no problem that he’s Marbury’s cousin, I would sign Marbury himself if I thought it would help us win games, I don’t think that. Telfair is a truly horrible offfensive player. This is the first year in his 7 year career he has managed to shoot over 50% TS% and has actually shot below 48% 4 different seasons. He is turnover prone averaging 2.6 tos per 36 on his career (3.3 this year) a 16.8% TOV% (21.4% this year) and for a “pass first” PG has never been above 7 asts per 36 and has 4 seasons where he is below 6 (5.9 this year).  

    I went and looked at his numbers after my original post, and to the extent that his advanced stats are, in fact, quite terrible, I stand corrected. I do think there’s something to be said about his playing on bad teams and never truly developing, but whether he would be any more effective than TD I guess isn’t a gamble worth taking.

    We should petition the Knicks to put up fences around the court and let people climb to the top to watch the game when Telfair’s in. That, and let him wear muscle shirts. That might bring the best out in him.

    ….Or maybe we should look somewhere else. What about a guy like George Hill? The Spurs are pretty deep at PG between Parker, Quinn, and Gary Neal being, well, a poor man’s George Hill. Think the Spurs would entertain offers, or is his punch off the bench and insurance factor too high?

  91. Bruno Almeida

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: Your boy Carmelo should probably send Christmas cards to all of the Sportscenter anchors, producers, and video editors. Without them, he wouldn’t be in line for a $100M payday.  

    yeah, after all, he would never be able to average 28.2 ppg or lead his team to the conference finals without their magnanimous contributions.

  92. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Bruno Almeida:
    yeah, after all, he would never be able to average 28.2 ppg or lead his team to the conference finals without their magnanimous contributions.  

    Actually, when you cite points per game, you make my argument stronger. You think he’d be allowed to shoot 19.0/FGA per 36 were it not for everyone in the #^$@ing universe thinking he’s the greatest scorer (.477 career eFG%) next to Kobe, LeBron, and Wade? Points per game means nothing. It means he took a lot of shots, and made a league-average number of them. Big whoop.

    Also, if you’d like to argue that he led that team in Morale Units Contributed, then, shoot — I can’t argue. But you should look at the stats before you assume that he was the best player on that team. Far from it. As I remarked several threads ago, by nearly any measure of player contribution, Carmelo wasn’t even close to the best on that immensely talented and deep team.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/teams/DEN/2009.html

    Look for yourself, and have fun reconciling it with your cognitive biases.

  93. latke

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: As I remarked several threads ago, by nearly any measure of player contribution, Carmelo wasn’t even close to the best on that immensely talented and deep team.

    HCJ, I agree that Carmelo is overrated, but you have to remember what he’s costing us. To trade for Kobe or Wade or even Kevin Martin, who is a highly efficient scorer, would likely cost us significantly more than Carmelo. Why? Because Anthony has demanded to be traded to the knicks.

    As far as salary goes, we absolutely have to get over the cap before the end of next season when paying Felton, Fields, and Gallinari will make any cap room we have moot. Even waiting until this summer has its costs, in that paying Chandler this summer will eat at our cap space (and cost us the MLE).

    We all love to rip on Al Harrington for being a ball hog and an inefficient scorer, but the truth is that without him last season this team would have lost a lot more games. Gallinari, Chandler and Fields are really good role players. They can’t create good shots, but they play well off of others in that they know how to exploit a recovering or hedging defense. It’s a lot easier to drive past a guy who’s trying to recover from double teaming than to beat a man on an ISO (when’s the last time anyone but Amare on the knicks did this?) or worse, beat a double team. Carmelo will go from trying to beat a man on ISOs and double teams to simply having to beat a recovering defense.

    I don’t think anthony’s necessarily the best guy to pursue here, even among available players (I’d rather trade for Nene, for example), but I do believe that if he comes at a reasonable cost (no more than Chandler and Randolph) he will make this team a good deal better.

  94. Bruno Almeida

    @97

    Ok man, whatever, Nene is probably much better than Anthony, after all, he surely could keep his crazy high percentages with Carmelo’s usage rate.

    There’s an actual GAME going on in the court, aside from the statistics, but you choose to ignore that so what can I say?

    The Nuggets offering him a max extension so they can to keep him is just a PR stunt then? Just to show the fans, who are dumb and take whatever espn tell them, that they’ll try to keep the guy? After all, isn’t the Nuggets a better team without Carmelo? Why bother then?

    Just because you think the guy is a terrible player, doesn’t mean that everyone that disagrees is an idiot that keeps repeating whatever ESPN says.

    By the way, you “conveniently” forgot to adress the second part of my post, the conference finals part.

  95. rama

    Bruno –

    You really want to believe what you already believe, huh? “Forget the numbers, it’s all about what happens on the court!!” Except that every statistic, whether it be PER, WS, TS%, per 36, whatever, shows that Carmelo is basically just…a good player. Not a bad player, not someone we’d hate to have on our team, but a good player. Pay him $20 mil and watch our flexibility disappear, watch us be unable to fill the holes in the roster, and watch second-round mediocrity. With a GOOD PLAYER. Not bad. Just…not the game-changer you think he’ll be.

    As for the playoffs, follow the link and you’ll see that HCJ DID answer you, since those statistics are available at the bottom of the page. I was curious, so I looked, and here’s what I saw:

    1) Billups really was the reason that team did so well in the playoffs,
    2) Melo was good,
    3) but the other reason the team did well was that there were several other players playing at or near his level.

    Again, the guy is good. But he didn’t “lead Denver to the Conference Finals.” Billups did. And Nene, Anderson, and even Kleiza were right there with him.

  96. rama

    Latke –

    I don’t think you’re right about the cap situation and being able to resign our current players, but my knowledge isn’t complete, so could you please take us through the problem step-by-step? A big part of your advocacy is based on not being able to do anything with our cap space anyway, and if that’s the case, it would be helpful if you could show it, since to me it looks like it isn’t a problem.

    Thanks.

  97. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Bruno Almeida: By the way, you “conveniently” forgot to adress the second part of my post, the conference finals part.  

    I showed you the team’s statistics from that year. Even if Anthony “allows” other players to be good shooters, he’s still not very good. To you guys, it’s all about reconciling Carmelo’s play with the data that opposes it. Nene? Not very good, despite his numbers. Billups? A role player, despite his numbers. It’s weird. It’s like everyone’s brain works in reverse when it comes to volume scorers and the rest of the league, as if the value of offensive rebounds or turnovers (~1 point per extra possession) weren’t as clear as it is.

    And honestly, since when is something’s actual value necessarily represented by its assigned value? Jerome James was offered a $30M contract, so he must be worth it, huh?

    I don’t think all Carmelo supporters are idiots. I think they’ve been swindled. Oh yes, they’ve been swindled, but they’re not idiots. It’s just odd to me that your lot is here on a board that holds advanced statistics in a position of privilege, yet has to make myriad excuses as to why Carmelo’s stats don’t show him to be the uber-scorer that mainstream media (and its legion of knuckle-dragging commenters) make him out to be. There are other scorers in the league who deserve max salaries who draw double teams as often as Carmelo does, yet put up fantastic shooting numbers. Why is that?

  98. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    latke:
    HCJ, I agree that Carmelo is overrated, but you have to remember what he’s costing us. To trade for Kobe or Wade or even Kevin Martin, who is a highly efficient scorer, would likely cost us significantly more than Carmelo.Why? Because Anthony has demanded to be traded to the knicks.  

    I hear you. I simply don’t want Carmelo on this team at all. Not via trade, not via free agency. I think it’d be a gross misallocation of valuable resources that could cripple the team for the next several years. Carmelo Anthony makes us a 2nd round playoff team. That’s not good enough for a $100M contract. I think his skillset could be found elsewhere for far less money. This team needs a Camby or a T. Chandler and it becomes a deep playoff team instantly (provided this streak is no fluke).

  99. Bruno Almeida

    The problem is that you guys make it look like I’m the “defender of Carmelo Anthony” and that’s not the truth.

    I already said many times that I’m not favourable to a trade that sends any valuable assets to Denver, because I’d rather keep Chandler + Fields + Gallinari then get Carmelo, and I don’t really think Carmelo is 100% worthy of a 20 mil per year contract.

    but it’s the NBA, teams overpay for talent, even really good teams… or has Andrew Bynum’s on court contribution made him worthy of 13 mil per year? obviously not, but will the Lakers get rid of him because he “kills their financial flexibility”? obviously no.

    Ron Artest is one of the most inefficient offensive players on an elite team, and yet he was the guy who hit the biggest shot for the Lakers in the finals… What statistic could predict that? How can you look at statistics and predict the impact a guy like Derek Fisher (.499 TS% last season) or Ron Artest (.514 TS%) had for the Lakers last year?

    I’m not comparing Carmelo to them, obviously there are MANY differences, I’m just saying that we just watched two players who had awful seasons shooting the ball become the main reason their team was NBA Champions (Artest with the putback against Phoenix and the big shots in game 7, Fisher winning game 3).

    The thing is, I respect your opinions and I think you have every right to say whatever you think, specially because you guys make very good arguments at that, which is something I’ve always recognized.

    But you’re still discretiding everybody that thinks something different than you by just assuming those people can’t see through the media hype.

  100. Bruno Almeida

    and I’ve already said too that if it was a guarantee that we’d get Marc Gasol or Tyson Chandler as a free agent, I’d rather get one of those two then Carmelo.

  101. latke

    rama: Latke –
    I don’t think you’re right about the cap situation and being able to resign our current players, but my knowledge isn’t complete, so could you please take us through the problem step-by-step?A big part of your advocacy is based on not being able to do anything with our cap space anyway, and if that’s the case, it would be helpful if you could show it, since to me it looks like it isn’t a problem.Thanks.  

    All free agents have “cap holds.” You have to renounce your free agents to get cap space. For example, I believe David Lee’s cap hold was something like $8 million. We had to renounce him last summer in order to sign Stoudemire. If we are at/over the cap this summer, we will still be able to sign Chandler via bird rights, and at the same time we will get to keep whomever we trade for. If we don’t, we will have to choose: do we renounce Chandler and sign other players, or do we resign Chandler and have his contract eat into our cap space? Furthermore, if we are over the cap going into free agency, we will have access to the mid level exception, another $6 million that we can use to sign free agents. Therefore, you can say that in terms of the amount of money we can spend, adding, for example, Anthony this season only costs us about $6 million in real money. His contract costs $20 mill, but we get $8 mill extra to sign chandler and $6 mill extra via the MLE.

    Summer 2012 will be even worse, in that while we could have up to $35 million in cap space (if we only bring in players who expire next year), but we will have to either sign or renounce Fields, Felton and Gallo. If we could get over the cap before this summer, it would make our virtual cap (the total amount we can spend on contracts) $50-$60 million larger.

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