Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Knicks 100, Nets 97

New York Knicks 100 Final
Recap | Box Score
97 Brooklyn Nets
Carmelo Anthony, SF 44 MIN | 15-24 FG | 10-11 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 45 PTS | +5

Gerald Wallace once again succeeded in slowing Melo down early, with the latter beginning the game settling too often for hinterland jumpers. But a second quarter 14-points-in-six-minutes blitzkrieg single-handedly helped get the ‘Bockers back in it. He also started spewing platelets from a brand new hole – his lip – which means he’s officially broken the record for most times bleeding while on the court at I LOST COUNT TEN GALLONS AGO.

Mostly, though, he was getting buckets – like a hard-up Chinese porter, Pop-A-Shot bar rat, or NBA Live set to “embryo” difficulty. In what may have been his finest stand in a half-pipe uniform, Melo shot, slashed, and slayed his way out of Brookly with a truly legendary second half barrage; dagger after dagger after shiv after machete after Acme anvil. No one could stop him, not even Melo’s own bewitching right hand. Forty-five points and one officially full-term rivalry later, the crowd dives and platitudes and blood are no longer makeup over bullet holes – it’s all very real, and it’s all happening before our very eyes.

Ronnie Brewer, SF 12 MIN | 0-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 0 PTS | -14

Holy $#!%, Ronnie. I’d have to consult my Gray’s Anatomy (the book I in no way own, not the television show – Dempsey groupy) to figure out if knee swelling can somehow travel by way of flesh tubes (medical term) to the brain and arms, but Ronnie’s seven first half minutes indicated that’s eminently possible. Even he fell victim to the Knicks switch-happy, double-down ways, resulting in enough mismatches to force Woodson to insert J.R. early and leaving Brewster bench-bound the rest of the half. Ditto the second, where Ronnie played but five clock turns and was even more invisible.

As Seth Rosenthal wisely pointed out, the Nets are the kind of team where having a guy like Shump — someone who can make a mismatched big pay off the dribble – would be hugely beneficial. Nothing against Ronnie; he’s just not the kind of guy who can break down a defense with dribble penetration (or find the open man) the way our fade-pimpin’ bard can.

Tyson Chandler, C 31 MIN | 2-5 FG | 1-2 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 5 PTS | -6

If it wasn’t explicitly posed prior to tipoff, the question had to be on the mind of more than a few Knick fans: How might the presence of Andray Blatche’s…. how do I put this… cerebral cricket factory rub off and affect Chandler’s effort? In the first frame, the osmosis was quick and complete, with Tyson proving slow on rotations, disinterested in boxing out, and committing a couple silly – if questionable – early fouls. Thankfully, Blatch was satisfied enough with his 10 point (on 5-5 shooting) first quarter performance, that he just jogged through the tunnel, the back door, and straight to whoever was hosting Lap Dance Tuesday. Meanwhile, Tyson re-engaged on offense to the tune of a couple nice bunnies, but managed a meagerly single board in the first half.

Chandler again found himself in the shit to start the third, only this time it was Reggie Evans – he of the “get you up in the air so I can launch my body at you like a 45-degree missile” – who succeeded in getting Tyson to bite. The prospects of a Rasheed Wallace-anchored interior having turned First Manassas, Chandler was by far the most effective late in the game, grabbing some key ‘bounds and coming up with the mammoth tap-out that lead to Kidd’s geriatric dagger. Certainly not his best performance, but at least he was there when it counted most.

Jason Kidd, PG 37 MIN | 6-9 FG | 0-1 FT | 6 REB | 6 AST | 18 PTS | +3

Jesus Kidd (WHOEVER ORIGNALLY SAID THAT ON TWITTER I DON’T KNOW BUT PLEASE EMAIL ME TO CLAIM YOUR PRIZE) was crucif…crumbled pretty badly on the Nets’ guard-post offense at times throughout – particularly in the first half. But all that has to be forgotten in light of the fact that Jason Kidd may very well be the most intelligent basketball player who every laced up a pair of mandals. Forty-eight hours after tallying a season high 17 points and a couple of clutch stretch buckets, J-Kidd’s 18-6-6 provided a second Melo in miniature, hitting six of his eight three point attempts (all of them, it seemed, larger than the last), slithering his way into the lane for timely boards, and generally providing a wafer of methodone to Raymond Felton’s bathsalt insanity.

Where THIS Jason Kidd has been the last few years, I have no idea. But I’m sure as shit glad he turned up on our front porch – to chase the punks off the lawn and hand us a lemonade when the times are tough and the temperature’s rising.

Raymond Felton, PG 32 MIN | 3-12 FG | 1-2 FT | 1 REB | 7 AST | 8 PTS | -1

Let’s get down to brass tacks here: Felton played like raccoon shit in a wheelchair for about 30 of his 32 minutes, not being nearly as aggressive as he should’ve taking it to the hole, careening it off the backboard at absurdly high velocities whenever he did, getting reduced to caramel by Deron Williams on the defensive end, and single-handedly ruining a chance at a Melo 50-spot.

As Ray started settling down in the first half, so did the team, and our burly court marshal ended the half on something of a positive note. But the second half was a complete acid nightmare, amounting to a performance that only adds to the theory that Raymond’s propensity for getting “amped” ahead of marquee matchups might well be the death of this team. Just not tonight.

Rasheed Wallace, PF 14 MIN | 3-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 8 PTS | +7

Thank you for hitting two three pointers. Thank you also for out-rebounding our starting center. Here’s what I won’t thank you for: Providing the defensive interior help effort of a compost heap, attempting a one-handed fall-away runner on Andray Blatche, and agreeing to meet Dick Bavetta for chess and a snuffbox tomorrow afternoon.

J.R. Smith, SG 32 MIN | 7-15 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 16 PTS | +11

Whatever oversized worm is sucking out J.R.’s court force managed to slow from a chug to a sip, though there were more than a few ugly moments. Yeah I know every one of his 15 points was more important than the last… and he had a handful of nice defensive shutdowns, stops, and rotations… and that he lived through a Gerald Wallace linebacker seizure to tell about it (if you haven’t seen this, do yourself a favor and find it, and then marvel at how J.R. Smith finished the game without collapsing like a Jenga stack). But the give’s takes were pretty awful: a few bad rotations, more than a few bad shots, and one end-of-the-first-quarter sequence where he completely ignores trying to get a 2-for-1 and instead holds on to the ball needlessly for 10 seconds before loping aimlessly at the rim (the Nets scored at the other end, incidentally). It’s progress on some level, I suppose, and there’s no denyin’ dude’s tough as nails. I just wish nails weren’t so, well, dumb sometimes.

Steve Novak, SF 22 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | +12

We might just have to accept that the Nets are simply a bad matchup for Novak; there’s just always someone on the court (tonight, Joe Johnson) capable of either closing him out or bodying him up. Like J.R.’s shit-defying +12 the other night, Novak likewise ends up with a +12 for tonight’s sub-par effort. Twitter followers, hopefully.

Pablo Prigioni, PG 10 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 PTS | 0

Another mostly invisible performance from our resident Sudlander – again, there are no matchups here that work in Pablo’s favor. So…. An anagram? Sure: RAIL BOO PIPING

James White, SG 6 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -2

That childish nap must’ve served him well, because James – aided in part by Ray’s struggles and J.R.’s Hyde-ish first half showing – hit the floor uncomfortably early in this one. Not much of mention here, although I will say that his defense on D-Will was a lot better than the refs gave him credit for. Which, I mean, Dick Bavetta’s headphones are connected to a Victrola.

Five Things We Saw

  1. For all the adrenaline and good vibes, some pretty alarming things went down in this game, and it neither starts nor ends with the Nets’ 23-7 first quarter start on 70% shooting from the floor. Take, for instance, the fact that – thanks to a combination of interior malaise, over-switching (this is what my face looked like after the 75th instance of this), and genuinely great passing on Brooklyn’s part – our foes more than doubled up on us in paint points (48-20)….
  2. … Or that our pick-and-roll defense was slower than a dogshit popsicle. Credit the Brooklyn wings – Williams, Johnson, C.J. Watson, Wallace, even Calvin Natt – with being simultaneously aggressive and prescient enough to find the open cutter or abandoned shooter. Sooner or later Woodson is going to have to re-evaluate his strategy on this front; the switch-at-all-cost ethos might well work with a personnel largely interchangeable length and quickness-wise, but not with a cast of character which – while smart and defensively sound in most cases – aren’t exactly a bunch of Andre Iguodolas running around out there…
  3. …. Or that the Knicks were way too eager in helping on the Nets in the post – particularly Johnson and Williams, who are both more than capable of crisply and accurately passing their way out of it. I’m no Norman Dale, but I really just don’t understand the thought process here. To my mind, I’d much rather have Williams / Johnson / whomever spend 10 seconds backing a guy down and either a) hit a tough turnaround jumper, b) find a cutter in traffic, or c) kick it back out to the perimeter on a shortened shot clock than what happened instead – namely the Nets moving the ball beautifully out of the initial kick-out and getting uncontested layups and jumpers dozens of times. Again, maybe there’s something here I’m just not seeing or understanding, but I’ll take my chances on an isolated 6’4”-6’6” guard making plays out of the post to hedged-on defenders than witness another installment of that intermittent bloodbath.
  4. (Big thanks to Kevin McElroy [@knickerbacker] via Jared Dubin [@JADubin5] for this one)
  5. Earlier today I was reading a gameday interview with Woodson (can’t remember which – they all Bleacher Report together in a slideshow haze) when it suddenly struck me that we might be mistaking for banal a refrain eminently germane to the Knicks’s still burgeoning gestalt: “Got to.” It may well be the most oft-used word combo in the Woodson lexicon – a throwaway platitude glossed over by ear or eye in any transcription – and at the same time the most underappreciated. “GOT TO.” Whether it’s we “GOT TO” communicate on D or Melo’s “GOT TO” be that guy or Ray’s “GOT TO” keep his head held high after soiling his Huggies or J.R.’s “GOT TO” keep shooting even though the ball don’t love him no more – Woodson’s shaman-like emphasis on these two syllables run the gamut between the trivial and indispensable. Not just “GOT TO,” either. “WE GOT TO.” He likes that one even more. I didn’t listen in on his post-game speech or hear anything beyond a couple mic’d up seconds worth of what he said mid-game, but “WE GOT TO” was everywhere where and when it mattered most: In the timely rebound or crucial stop, on the cookie jar wrist of Melo waving bye to another nylon-drowned jumper or in J-Kidd waterbugging across the baseline for an impossible ‘bound. “WE GOT TO” means we never give in; that even the most routine second quarter pass is imbued with a war’s importance; that – however batshit crazy this sounds – there’s a moral imperative to this mission to bring a banner back home.

43 comments on “Knicks 100, Nets 97

  1. Webjai

    Where’s J.R.’s grade? I give him an A. Timely shots on mostly good shot selection, good man-to-man defense, and playing though obvious pain…. just giving it his all. Really a good showing. You know what he looked like out there tonight? A freaking New York Knick… old school, no excuses, play your freaking heart out. Gerald Wallace freaking speared him like a flaming cannonball in the backcourt (I threw a penalty flag for hitting a defenseless receiver in my living room as the refs decided to swallow their whistles as though two men crashing into the court somehow magically happened by the forceful fire breath of an invisible dragon) and he still somehow willed his way back to the front court. Oak, Starks, Mase and Ewing would be proud. I’m sure they’d take this Smith over the softy Smith they had back then…

    Ugh… just trudged up memories of “You’re like 7 feet tall, Charles! You’re literally two feet from the basket! Just freaking dunk the ball!!!”…

  2. ruruland

    I totally agree with Cavan’s serious basketball analysis in the “Five Things We Saw” section.

    Did not like Woodson’s tactical gameplan on defense, and the energy was not what it needed to be much of the contest.

    Veteran teams like this one typically play defense in spurts, but I’d like to see more of them.

    Felton is dead tired right now, too. Hopefully this long home stand getsguys right.

    Really wish Amar’e and Shump were ready. The offense could be due for a downswing if Raymond can’t get in the lane like he was prior to the back-half of the 4 in 5 stretch.

    Those two guys complete this team in ways that should be really easy to see at this point.

    bottom line is that the Knicks on these last two games, and thee of their last our wins have come when they didn’t play as hard as their opponent.
    That’s more of a good thing than a bad thing. My concern is Kidd and Felton wearing down.

  3. lavor postell

    This recap encompassed all of my thoughts on this game. A great win considering how lackadaisically we started. Obviously not a good habit, particularly on the “road” against a solid division rival, but to get a win in a game like that is a great escape. That game is why Carmelo Anthony is a superstar, because he virtually carried us to the finish line with a phenomenal second fiddle in Kidd.

    Kidd is a great orchestrator and it seems as if his presence on the team has taken a grip on Melo. His comments after the last game where Melo apparently told Woodson to run the offense through Kidd and not him. Kidd has made very tangible contributions in these last 4 games, but even when he’s been barely visible in the box score his contribution to the team’s success is unbelievable.

    Ruru in regards to your question in previous thread I did see MDA’s outburst. Team just looks old and slow and they are trying to push the tempo with this personnel, because that’s how MDA coaches. His offense is great if you build your team to match it, but the Lakers’ roster he has can not and should not be running and gunning.

    Look at what Woodson did with the same roster during its toughest stretch of the season while losing Lin and Amar’e in the process. I’m not saying Woodson is the second coming of Phil Jackson, but it’s obvious he is a tactically astute coach and is willing and capable to adjust his schemes according to personnel.

  4. nicos

    ruruland:
    My concern is Kidd and Felton wearing down.

    I think Amar’e’s return should help as I think it should really help Prigioni to have someone who’ll actually roll to the hoop. If you can squeeze another 5-7 minutes a night out of him it’ll let Felton and Kidd get a bit more rest. Right now the spacing on that second unit is really bad- 5 guys hanging around the three point line leaving no space for shooters. And the opposing big is generally sagging into the paint because most teams are happy to let Sheed bomb away from the three point line. All that should change with Amar’e back. Even three more minutes a night from the second unit would help everybody- regardless of what JVG might think.

  5. Brian Cronin

    Man, let me tell you, the Barclays Center pales in comparison to MSG. PALES. Compared to MSG it is a shithole. The seats are tiny, the rows are narrow, the steps are steep – it is awful. Still was great to watch the Knicks win a close one. The fans are weird. There are a decent amount of Brooklyn fans but the Knick fans still definitely outnumber them. It is fun watching games with my wife since she really doesn’t watch them when they’re on TV so when we watch them live it always surprises me how excited she gets. Her voice was hoarse like crazy after the game from yelling so much. She was quite irked at Mr. Felton but she is also quite enamored with Mr. Kidd.

  6. ruruland

    Brian Cronin:
    Man, let me tell you, the Barclays Center pales in comparison to MSG. PALES. Compared to MSG it is a shithole. The seats are tiny, the rows are narrow, the steps are steep – it is awful. Still was great to watch the Knicks win a close one. The fans are weird.

    Thanks for the report. That’s exactly the vibe I get every time I watch. It’s like they’re not really sure what’s going on.

  7. ruruland

    nicos: I think Amar’e’s return should help as I think it should really help Prigioni to have someone who’ll actually roll to the hoop.If you can squeeze another 5-7 minutes a night out of him it’ll let Felton and Kidd get a bit more rest.Right now the spacing on that second unit is really bad- 5 guys hanging around the three point line leaving no space for shooters. And the opposing big is generally sagging into the paint because most teams are happy to let Sheed bomb away from the three point line.All that should change with Amar’e back. Even three more minutes a night from the second unit would help everybody- regardless of what JVG might think.

    You know how much I agree with this take.

    That second unit, as you mentioned, has no consistent dribble penetration threat or inside out threat, though Wallace is good for an occasional post-up when he has his legs.

    Everyone has tried to turn JR Smith into a driver, and despite
    his speed, decent lateral quickness and leaping ability, he just doesn’t have the quickness to get by people very frequently. That step-back is a very challenging shot athletically, which he has to kind of rely on times. He certainly puts the work in on it, but I’m hoping it becomes more of a third option when Amare returns.

    Way back in the day after the first month of the ’06 season, people used to think JR Smith had a higher ceiling than Melo. Smith is certainly the flashier athlete, but Melo’s short range burst and quickness, his first step and second jump, and his ability to get on-balance jumpers off in motion make him really unique athletically, but all of those attributes translate better than Smith’s, allowing Melo to be a great offensive player despite being an average jumper and not having a wingspan or height advantage like Durant/Nowitzki.

  8. ruruland

    nicos: I think Amar’e’s return should help as I think it should really help Prigioni to have someone who’ll actually roll to the hoop.If you can squeeze another 5-7 minutes a night out of him it’ll let Felton and Kidd get a bit more rest.Right now the spacing on that second unit is really bad- 5 guys hanging around the three point line leaving no space for shooters. And the opposing big is generally sagging into the paint because most teams are happy to let Sheed bomb away from the three point line.All that should change with Amar’e back. Even three more minutes a night from the second unit would help everybody- regardless of what JVG might think.

    I would love to see the Knicks draft a quick, pnr-oriented pg wit their pick next year. Someone like Trey Burke might be available. Feltons penetration is so important to this team, adding another guy who gives you that and reduces Felton’s minutes would be huge.

    Adding a second attack guard, to me, is the most important off-season move along wit making sure JR pcks up his option and Brewer is re-signed somehow.

  9. ruruland

    lavor postell:
    This recap encompassed all of my thoughts on this game.A great win considering how lackadaisically we started.Obviously not a good habit, particularly on the “road” against a solid division rival, but to get a win in a game like that is a great escape.That game is why Carmelo Anthony is a superstar, because he virtually carried us to the finish line with a phenomenal second fiddle in Kidd.

    Kidd is a great orchestrator and it seems as if his presence on the team has taken a grip on Melo.His comments after the last game where Melo apparently told Woodson to run the offense through Kidd and not him.Kidd has made very tangible contributions in these last 4 games, but even when he’s been barely visible in the box score his contribution to the team’s success is unbelievable.

    Ruru in regards to your question in previous thread I did see MDA’s outburst.Team just looks old and slow and they are trying to push the tempo with this personnel, because that’s how MDA coaches.His offense is great if you build your team to match it, but the Lakers’ roster he has can not and should not be running and gunning.

    Look at what Woodson did with the same roster during its toughest stretch of the season while losing Lin and Amar’e in the process.I’m not saying Woodson is the second coming of Phil Jackson, but it’s obvious he is a tactically astute coach and is willing and capable to adjust his schemes according to personnel.

    Of note, Kidd has been amazing, but his game-tying 3(91-91) and his game-winning three were both a product of Melo creating defnsve attention.

    First, Melo had the ball on the left-wing and Evans was tilted own into the paint. On the winner they trapped Melo, swung it to Felton in the corner against the rotation, which created a wide open shot hen the bal was swung back across.

  10. ruruland

    “When things get hard, you should get more determined, not shake your heads. It just seems when it rains it pours. It’s like this cloud is following us around at all times. I’m one of the fastest guys on the team — and I’m like 50. What does that tell you?” — Kobe Bryant

    What do you think that really means?

  11. lavor postell

    ruruland: I would love to see the Knicks draft a quick, pnr-oriented pg wit their pick next year. Someone like Trey Burke might be available. Feltons penetration is so important to this team, adding another guy who gives you that and reduces Felton’s minutes would be huge.

    Adding Burke would be amazing especially with the experience he is getting at Michigan under Beilein. His system has always emphasized pNr and spreading the floor with shooters. Now at Michigan he has finally been able to incorporate some major talent at the wings in Hardaway Jr. and Glenn Robinson III along with Mitch McGary as a potentially very effective pick and roll player with the ability to pop out for a jumper as well.

    Burke is running that show right now. I cannot imagine a better situation for a young pg to come to the Knicks than playing with two dominant scorers and a good roll man. If he proves his pedigree again this year in a conference as brutal as the Big 10 however he’ll probably move up to 15-20 range and I doubt we’ll be drafting there.

  12. ruruland

    lavor postell: Adding Burke would be amazing especially with the experience he is getting at Michigan under Beilein.His system has always emphasized pNr and spreading the floor with shooters.Now at Michigan he has finally been able to incorporate some major talent at the wings in Hardaway Jr. and Glenn Robinson III along with Mitch McGary as a potentially very effective pick and roll player with the ability to pop out for a jumper as well.

    Burke is running that show right now.I cannot imagine a better situation for a young pg to come to the Knicks than playing with two dominant scorers and a good roll man.If he proves his pedigree again this year in a conference as brutal as the Big 10 however he’ll probably move up to 15-20 range and I doubt we’ll be drafting there.

    Nice post, it’s a fun team to watch. I agree with all of that, especially given the exposure he’ll get in the coming months.

    But there are always teams looking to trade out of the middle of the first round if they don’t like what’s out there.

    Remember that Denver traded up to 18 to get Lawson. That’s the kind of over-the-top move Knicks will need to make next year if they can’t quite get it done this season. I trust that Grunwald saw this long before any of us and has a plan.

    He is clearly a guy who understands fit or going for the high ceiling, as we’ve seen.

    48 minutes of downhill pg play is not something you see from the elite teams, expect perhaps Paul and Bledsoe.

  13. Mr.RIGHT

    How does Fat Ray Ray NOT get a F or a D minus. He couldn’t eve n hit a layup. If that was Prigs out there I have to say the biased anti-Lin staff here would be crucifying him

  14. ruruland

    And while he said it upset him having to divorce himself from the Magic and the Orlando fan base, Howard, 26, said his decision to leave ultimately came to being where he thought he had the best chance to win. And Howard, who can become an unrestricted free agent in July, even hinted that if he didn’t think he could win in L.A., he would move on from Southern California in the summer.

    “You only get one shot. People might not ever understand that, but at the end of the day it’s not their life. You can’t let anybody else dictate how they want your life to be,’’ he said. “I only have one shot to play and do something that I love. Not everybody is blessed and have an opportunity to do what they love.

    “So I want to do it the best that I can and I’m going to take everything in I can to get what I can out of the NBA. Which, for me, is winning a championship,’’ he added. “So if I have to play on another team or do whatever I have to do to get one, that’s my goal. This is my passion, so I’ll continue to fight.’

  15. Nick C.

    ruruland:
    “When things get hard, you should get more determined, not shake your heads. It just seems when it rains it pours. It’s like this cloud is following us around at all times. I’m one of the fastest guys on the team — and I’m like 50. What does that tell you?” — Kobe Bryant

    What do you think that really means?

    I see why he couldn’t take it any more and made the Lincoln crack. Also perhaps questioning the play style/coaching choice and the roster eptitude.

  16. Nick C.

    That was a great game but it really seemed like a three man show: Melo, Kidd and JR. Ray Ray’s best plays were in choosing not to make one and just moving the ball along to someone who might.

  17. Frank O.

    Jim, I confess, I look forward to reading your recaps, and I typically laugh out loud at least once per, and I agree almost 100 percent of the time. But a little perspective:
    Yes, this was a flaw performance
    Yes, they stole a win
    Yes, we had some lame brained play.
    I even agree with your grades
    But…
    This is the 5th game in seven days, for the oldest team in basketball, playing a solid Nets squad, who were at home and coming off a tough run that made this a near must win for them.
    …and the Knicks won.
    I guess the bar is now set very high, which is fine, but I’m not gonna get all George Costanza over this one. Our guys played very tough, literally shut down the Nets down the stretch and won’t big game.
    Color me pleased

  18. Juany8

    I agree with the comments from the last post that it’s clear some players on this team are either dead tired or pacing themselves long term. Until the Knicks get Camby and Amar’e back, they are actually pretty thin in the front court, Melo and Chandler can’t afford to be getting into a lot of foul trouble, especially since a guy like Melo leads the league in the 2 most subjective calls in basketball (offensive fouls and technical fouls)

    As much as everyone hates to hear it, winning this game is not as important as winning in the playoffs. If Miami and the Celtics are going to take the regular season easily, the Knicks shouldn’t try to be like the Bulls and win 60 games that does them no good later on.

    The past 2 Finals were won by the road team, and it’s been years since a top seed from the East made the Finals. It’s not the end of the world if the Knicks don’t make it to 60, I don’t think any team is except maybe the Spurs

  19. Hubert Davis

    Brian Cronin:
    Man, let me tell you, the Barclays Center pales in comparison to MSG. PALES. Compared to MSG it is a shithole. The seats are tiny, the rows are narrow, the steps are steep – it is awful. Still was great to watch the Knicks win a close one. The fans are weird. There are a decent amount of Brooklyn fans but the Knick fans still definitely outnumber them.

    That was my first game there, too, and I agree completely. I was practically on top of the guy next to me, the guy in front of me, and the guy behind me. I was also disappointed with the view. I sat in the 5th row of section 226, which is to the left of center court. The upper seats were REALLY far away from the court. The consensus reviews I’d read seemed to indicate that I’d feel on top of the court up there, but no way. It was far.

    The Broooooooklyn things are definitely piped in. And annoying as hell.

    The most telling aspect of the divide between fans was when the arena PA would play the bass drum and the Nets fans would respond accordingly with half-hearted chants of Defense, while on the other end Knicks fans without being prompted screamed defense from the depths of our tortured souls. Nets fans are alright, they like their team and all, but they strike me as transient and not likely to endure after the shine has worn off.

    Having said all that, that might have been the most fun I’ve had at a basketball game since the 94 playoffs. The atmosphere was pretty charged, and the game mattered a lot to everyone, including the players. It will probably be less fun to attend one of these games at The Garden, where Brooklyn will be just another road team with some patches of support.

  20. Frank

    Owen: Look, as I have said, there really is nothing that special about Carmelo Anthony. All you need to do to see that is to compare him to the genuine high usage superstars in the league today and yesterday.

    I think I beg to differ Mr. Owen.
    Yes, it’s a relatively small sample, but consider Melo’s current #s of note:

    USG = 34.2
    Pt/36 = 27.5
    TS = 58.3
    TOV% = 10.5

    So right now we have a ultra-high usage player who scores a lot very efficiently, and rarely turns the ball over. Other players who have met those criteria (USG>30, Pt/36>27, TS>58, TOV%<11)?

    Michael Jordan
    Larry Bird
    George Gervin
    Shaquille O'neal

    That's it. And considering Shaq wasn't really a ballhandler, his low TOV% probably shouldn't count. So right now, Melo is having a season for the ages. But there's nothing special about him, right?

    45 points on 24 shots despite being doubled and having Gerald Wallace, a pretty damn good defender, shadowing him all night.

    ANyway – Kidd is just amazing too. 37 min = 10 min too many though. But a huge win especially considering it was intra-division.

  21. d-mar

    Frank O.:
    Jim, I confess, I look forward to reading your recaps, and I typically laugh out loud at least once per, and I agree almost 100 percent of the time. But a little perspective:
    Yes, this was a flaw performance
    Yes, they stole a win
    Yes, we had some lame brained play.
    I even agree with your grades
    But…
    This is the 5th game in seven days, for the oldest team in basketball, playing a solid Nets squad, who were at home and coming off a tough run that made this a near must win for them.
    …and the Knicks won.
    I guess the bar is now set very high, which is fine, but I’m not gonna get all George Costanza over this one. Our guys played very tough, literally shut down the Nets down the stretch and won’t big game.
    Color me pleased

    Totally agree Frank O. Early in the season, the Knicks were blowing out just about everyone. Lately, it’s been a little bit of a grind, which is pretty normal in a long season where we are playing games every other day without a break. But they find a way to win, which is what good teams do. The Charlotte, Denver and Brooklyn games are perfect examples – nights where they were a little flat, maybe a little tired but they found a way to win.

    I was pissed as hell during that 1st quarter, but I knew they would make adjustments and it would be close down the stretch. (and it doesn’t hurt to have a lights out assassin like Mr. Anthony, either!)

  22. jon abbey

    yeah, an incredible two man effort to steal that W, with Kidd’s part even more impressive when you consider he was going against the much bigger Joe Johnson for the bulk of the game. Smith helped too, hopefully NY can start to spread out the contributions a bit more on this homestand. and come back soon, Amar’e!!

    Melo shot 14 for his last 19 yesterday after a slow start, and they were not easy shots. by game score, that was his single best regular season game as a Knick thus far.

  23. Jim Cavan Post author

    Frank O.:
    Jim, I confess, I look forward to reading your recaps, and I typically laugh out loud at least once per, and I agree almost 100 percent of the time. But a little perspective:
    Yes, this was a flaw performance
    Yes, they stole a win
    Yes, we had some lame brained play.
    I even agree with your grades
    But…
    This is the 5th game in seven days, for the oldest team in basketball, playing a solid Nets squad, who were at home and coming off a tough run that made this a near must win for them.
    …and the Knicks won.
    I guess the bar is now set very high, which is fine, but I’m not gonna get all George Costanza over this one. Our guys played very tough, literally shut down the Nets down the stretch and won’t big game.
    Color me pleased

    Totally fair. The only caveat I’d add is that this is our 5th recap in seven nights, and our nerves are shot accordingly. Obviously this was a great win. It’s just that after so many nail-biters, the nerves connecting my brain to my fingers stop functioning at times.

    But excellent points all, Frank. These boys have moxie. MOXIE I TELL YA!

  24. Owen

    Frank – I only caught the last eight minutes last night but Melo was spectacular. That’s the best game he has had as a Knick and I am incredibly impressed by his overall line, both for the game and for the season to date. If this is the way he is going to play, then we were right to acquire him.

    But the scary thing about how good Lebron and Durant are is that Melo, even now, playing at an insanely high level, still falls way way short of them. That’s not a knock. Those guys are legends. But the disparity is still there, just a bit smaller.

  25. PC

    The end of the game was a nail-biter, yes. But, I saw this game as an ass-whipping by the Knicks. After being down 26-9 (which can happen to any team at any time against any opponent), the Knicks went 91-71 for the win. We romped them for the overwhelming majority of this game.

    J-Kidd is so much fun to watch it’s stupid.

  26. Z-man

    Owen: Frank – I only caught the last eight minutes last night but Melo was spectacular. That’s the best game he has had as a Knick and I am incredibly impressed by his overall line, both for the game and for the season to date. If this is the way he is going to play, then we were right to acquire him.But the scary thing about how good Lebron and Durant are is that Melo, even now, playing at an insanely high level, still falls way way short of them. That’s not a knock. Those guys are legends. But the disparity is still there, just a bit smaller.

    Agree 100% with this, Owen, and appreciate that it might not have been easy for you to write.:-)

    Melo still has warts, but he also has some strength that are stronger than some of Durant’s or than LeBron. I would trade him straight up for either of those guys, but there’s no getting around that he is at least capable of playing on their level, if not as consistently. I had argued from the start that the trade was not about who Melo was but about the promise of what he could be. For the first quarter of this season, he has been living up to the promise, and I still think there is room for improvement, i.e. he hasn’t reached his ceiling yet.

    It’s mostly about Woody and Kidd, though, and ruru’s point about Kidd’s potential impact is turning out to be balls on.

    If you get a chance, read what Simmons had to say about Kidd in his “The Book of Basketball.” Essentially, he concludes that he is an all-time great in the category of making other players better. He talks about the two Nets teams Kidd went to the finals with, and how those rosters were essentially a bunch of middling to stiff players who had no real success after being separated from Kidd. And then, after the book was written (I think) he converts Dallas into NBA champs after they were locked into also-ran status for over a decade.

  27. Owen

    The Kidd-Yoda thing has really taken off, heard it in a few places.

    This is something special from Kidd and it will definitely burnish his reputation. But I think he was already recognized as an all time great right? Wasn’t he a mortal lock top ten point guard before he arrived in Dallas? I remember watching those Nets teams. They were all Kidd. He made Kerry Kittles and Richard Jefferson NBA relevant.

    The thing about Kidd is that like few players he has changed his game dramatically in his NBA career. And maybe we are seeing that with Melo and the three point shot.

    I have always said that the problem with Melo’s game is his insistence on shooting 19 footers rather than stepping behind the line. This year, he is doing it and it is paying big dividends. Long may the threes rain down….

  28. Brian Cronin

    That was my first game there, too, and I agree completely. I was practically on top of the guy next to me, the guy in front of me, and the guy behind me. I was also disappointed with the view. I sat in the 5th row of section 226, which is to the left of center court. The upper seats were REALLY far away from the court. The consensus reviews I’d read seemed to indicate that I’d feel on top of the court up there, but no way. It was far.

    Yeah, you’re really far away from the court. It is bizarre. I’ve sat in literally the last row at MSG in the past and been much closer to the court than I was in a technically much closer seat at Barclay’s.

    The Broooooooklyn things are definitely piped in. And annoying as hell.

    What I don’t get is what is the point of that? It sounds like it is mocking Brooklyn, doesn’t it? Like when people mocked Darryl Strawberry with “Daaaaaryl. Daaaaarryl.”

    Man, so much of the Brooklyn set-up bugs. Even their PA announcer is a pain in the ass.

  29. Brian Cronin

    Melo shot 14 for his last 19 yesterday after a slow start, and they were not easy shots. by game score, that was his single best regular season game as a Knick thus far.

    I can totally believe it. It seemed like he couldn’t miss in the fourth. Which made is maddening early on when Ray wasn’t going to him enough.

  30. Z-man

    In Kidd’s case, his reputationed suffered due to the perception (confirmed by a casual look at stats) that he was a poor shooter. Consider that he was traded for Stephon Marbury straight up, how many immortal players have traveled around the league as much as he has? Yet in my book, he has always been a much better all-around player than guys like Nash, Stockton, etc. because of his knack for making the critical, game-changing, often intangible play at the critical time. We are seeing that close up now; forget the 3-pt shooting, it’s the key steals, ball-denial, penetration-denial, ball-moving, floor-spacing, tip-out, turning ball-handlers towards help defenders, taking away passing lanes, and his ability to inspire and calm guys down. He not only makes others better, he knows how to get other guys to make him better!

    There are a few HOF-caliber players that sort of reinvented themselves as they got longer in the tooth…take Wilt, MJ (became much more of a fadaway jump-shooter and passer,) KG (same game but more deferential.) Kidd’s transformation is pretty extreme, though!

    The 3-pt shot is becoming so in vogue compared to the pre-D’Antoni days that unless they move the line out (and widen the court,) more and more guys are going to base their games on it, from grammar school onward. Back in the Bird-Magic days, only “specialists” like Dell Curry and Craig Hodges shot 3’s regularly…most guys weren’t even defended out there.

    People criticize Isiah’s shooting because of his poor 3-pt%, but Simmons points out that he actually measured up very well league-wide for his time. He’s an example of a guy who never practiced 3-pointers growing up (they didn’t exist except in the ABA!) Now everybody grows up practicing them.

  31. Frank

    I’d like to give credit where credit is due. We all know ruruland is a huge Melo fan, and maybe that colors his perception of his strengths and weaknesses at times. But credit should be given in terms of what ruru expected from Kidd, who 80% of this board was opposed to signing. I recently found the “search” Knickerblogger function, here are some of Ruru’s greatest hits — all before the season started:

    He’s a very unique player at this stage in the half-court. It doesn’t look like he’s doing much, but he actually facilitates a great deal of half-court ball movement. ?The trust he engenders in his teammates who always know they’re going to get the ball back in good position, I think has a downstream effect on chemistry and synergy in both a game and over the course of a season.??

    Kidd would be a better fit than Nash…perfect in every way. Much better defender, doesn’t need to dominate the ball to add value, fantastic spot up shooter, and yet he’s an extreme pass first player like Nash– something Lin needs to pick up on.

    I’m not sure why the Kidd addition is being so overlooked. His impact isn’t all that far off from Nash in this situation, IMHO.
    I think it’s going to play out the same way it did for Denver in ’08 when they acquired Chauncey Billups. Obviously Kidd isn’t going to be a highly efficient No.2 scorer, but the way he manages the offense and organizes the team on both ends will be difficult to quantify. His passing, despite the assist numbers drop, is still all-world.

    And if anyone has had a chance to watch Dallas on Synergy, Carlisle simply couldn’t keep Kidd off the floor — he does so many things well, perhaps subtly to even the trained eye.

    He does so many great things for an offense. You can only get so many assists playing hot potato on the 3pt line.
    You’ll see and we can talk then.

  32. jon abbey

    Brian Cronin:

    What I don’t get is what is the point of that? It sounds like it is mocking Brooklyn, doesn’t it? Like when people mocked Darryl Strawberry with “Daaaaaryl. Daaaaarryl.”

    THANK YOU! this is exactly what I’ve been saying for weeks, it’s so odd.

  33. Frank O.

    Jim Cavan: Totally fair. The only caveat I’d add is that this is our 5th recap in seven nights, and our nerves are shot accordingly. Obviously this was a great win. It’s just that after so many nail-biters, the nerves connecting my brain to my fingers stop functioning at times.

    But excellent points all, Frank. These boys have moxie. MOXIE I TELL YA!

    …and true to form, I laughed out loud again.
    You’re a talented writer, which you don’t need to hear from me.
    And I admit after that first period I was frustrated as well, but I had a sense that they would fight back. It seems to be this team’s character to do so.

  34. Frank O.

    jon abbey: THANK YOU! this is exactly what I’ve been saying for weeks, it’s so odd.

    I have to agree. when I first heard it, I thought Knicks fans in the crowd were mocking them. Now, I like their anthem.

  35. ruruland

    Owen:
    The Kidd-Yoda thing has really taken off, heard it in a few places.

    This is something special from Kidd and it will definitely burnish his reputation. But I think he was already recognized as an all time great right? Wasn’t he a mortal lock top ten point guard before he arrived in Dallas? I remember watching those Nets teams. They were all Kidd. He made Kerry Kittles and Richard Jefferson NBA relevant.

    The thing about Kidd is that like few players he has changed his game dramatically in his NBA career. And maybe we are seeing that with Melo and the three point shot.

    I have always said that the problem with Melo’s game is his insistence on shooting 19 footers rather than stepping behind the line. This year, he is doing it and it is paying big dividends. Long may the threes rain down….

    Remember when we talked ab

    Frank O.: I have to agree. when I first heard it, I thought Knicks fans in the crowd were mocking them. Now, I like their anthem.

    Remember when we talked about this?

  36. ruruland

    Frank:
    I’d like to give credit where credit is due.We all know ruruland is a huge Melo fan, and maybe that colors his perception of his strengths and weaknessesat times. But credit should be given in terms of what ruru expected from Kidd, who 80% of this board was opposed to signing.I recently found the “search” Knickerblogger function, here are some of Ruru’s greatest hits — all before the season started:

    Thanks

  37. Juany8

    Lol I’m glad I’m not the only person who thought those dumb chants were jeers, not cheers. Fans usually do that type of chant as an insult as far as I’ve hear. Next they’ll play “Brook-lyn Nets!” in the same style and tone as the more popular “o-ver-rated” chant

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