Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Knicks 100, Spurs 83

San Antonio Spurs 83 FinalRecap | Box Score 100 New York Knicks
Carmelo Anthony, SF 36 MIN | 9-20 FG | 3-4 FT | 8 REB | 3 AST | 23 PTS | +16
With a quick move just 13 seconds into the game, Anthony was able to draw a foul. I was really pleased by this. I saw this as a sign that the Knicks were coming out as the aggressor. I was enthralled. “Hey, quick shots taken in rhythm and catching the defense off guard. Finally, we are getting back to what worked so well. We are going to make the most of these possessions. We are going to…aww hell, you missed the free throw!”Yes, the rest came true, but the missed freebies are really starting to annoy me.
Ronnie Brewer, SF 16 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 6 PTS | -2
Solid defense, didn’t get in the way, started each half with an open three that he was able to hit each time. We really don’t need much else from him with the 8 minutes a half he gets until Smith checks in.
Marcus Camby, C 16 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 2 PTS | 0
Thank you for getting healthy. Please stay that way. You really don’t need to do much to out-produce Kurt Thomas of late, but 6 boards in 16 minutes will suit me just fine. Nice interior defense as well.
Tyson Chandler, C 32 MIN | 3-4 FG | 4-5 FT | 14 REB | 4 AST | 10 PTS | +16
This rebound tap out thing he does should become a stat if it is not already recorded as one. He saves maybe two possessions a game doing that.
Jason Kidd, PG 21 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 5 PTS | +1
Spoiler alert!So, you may have heard in The Amazing Spider-Man #700 Doc Octopus created a machine that allowed him to place his brilliant mind in Spider-Man’s super-powered body, and Spider-Man’s mind in Doc Octopus’s body. This launched a new series called Superior Spider-Man. I’d like to see if it is possible to place Kidd’s mind in Smith’s body thus creating Superior J.R. It would be one of the most amazing things basketball has ever known.
Amar’e Stoudemire, PF 21 MIN | 4-10 FG | 2-4 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 10 PTS | +9
I can forgive Stoudemire for being a step slow, for not having his touch back, and for not having lift, but i can’t forgive him forcing the issue. Passing out of a situation where you are unlikely to create a good shot is the right thing to do. I’m not quite sure if this is due to Stoudemire wanting to force the issue, or just not yet knowing the offense. I’m going to go with the later because even without the ball he doesn’t seem to know where he needs to be on offense.
Steve Novak, SF 22 MIN | 5-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 15 PTS | +10
The Knicks are 7-0 this season when Novak hits 4 or more from deep. 7-8 when he hits fewer than 2. Clearly, the team is better off when Novak gets it going. So it would be nice if the coaching staff drew up a play or two for him. Novak doesn’t really run off screens to get open looks, he most waits for a late rotation. This may not be in Woodson’s playbook, but it could be worth a look.
Chris Copeland, SF 18 MIN | 1-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 3 PTS | -2
Chris Copeland did his Bizarro-Chandler thing this evening getting nothing in the paint and everything from distance.  Stop doing that.
Pablo Prigioni, PG 27 MIN | 3-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 9 AST | 6 PTS | +16
Prigioni reminds me of Rocky. Not the boxer, not the cartoon squirrel, I’m talking about the wrestler Rocky Maivia.Yes, before he became “The Rock”, Dwayne Johnson started off as the colorful doormat, Rocky Maivia. Maivia’s schtick was win or lose (mostly lose), Maivia had a smile on his face. Like Maivia, Prigioni kept on smiling through games as he turned over the ball, missed threes and lay ups, and got beat easily by just about anyone. But tonight Prigioni had reason to smile easily playing his best game of the season. I can ignore the 3-9 because his 9 assists to 1 turnover are far more valuable than his shooting stroke.
James White, SG 5 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -6
2 boards in 5 minutes. Well they don’t call him “flight” for nothing.
J.R. Smith, SG 27 MIN | 9-17 FG | 1-3 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 20 PTS | +27
When J.R. puts it all together, it really is an absolute joy to watch him play. Okay maybe not an absolute joy. He still gambles quite a bit on steals, and has this really bad habit of throwing his body into the people when going for a loose ball. But since there wasn’t much of that this evening, I can just enjoy the plus-27 the team enjoyed when he was on the floor. I can only hope that Kidd is pouring everything he knows–everything about basketball–into J.R. If that ever happens, J.R. Smith will possess The Power Cosmic. Maybe J.R. is on his way. Clearly he read the defense correctly when he flashed to the basket and pulled off this amazing dunk….um, anyone know how to insert a .gif into these recaps?
Kurt Thomas, PF DNP COACH’S DECISION MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | PTS |
DNP Coach’s Decision.
And a fine decision at that.
Rasheed Wallace, PF DNP SORE LEFT FOOT MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | PTS |
Each time the Knicks win, I hear your name whispered in the breeze.
Sheeeed.
Sheeeed.
Mike Woodson
First of all, great call starting Camby over Thomas.Sure, it was the obvious call but Wood still had to make it. Second, it was great to see the Knicks get back to the the proper spacing and ball movement that created so many good looks. Making the right adjustments matter in this game.

Four Things We Saw

  1. The Knick offense looked its best when Pablo Prigioni was on the floor. Prigi Smalls showed a knack for speeding up the offense while keeping things under control. I think pushing the pace was a good idea against the Spurs since they showed very little speed on defensive rotations. The Knicks got off to such a great start to the season playing a slow, efficient pace. In recent games, the pace stayed slow but the efficiency wasn’t there. I thought Prigioni’s minutes woke up the team from whatever offensive doldrums they were mired in for the last 10 games.
  2. The best defensive showing in a while. There was a lot of effort and energy, hell even Novak had two steals.The Spurs did get a number of open jumpers, but in the early minutes of the third quarter, they lost interest in making them. The Spurs went 0-8 in the paint in the third, and only hit 5 shots from the floor. Kudos to the Knicks on doing something to bring that defensive rating down from the current 106.3 (20th).
  3. My oldest son is really into Legos. He has thousands of them. We spend hours following instructions in order to put together whatever castle, or vehicle, or city (yes, he got an entire Lego city from Santa) he has. Then after we have it all together and we are enjoying things, he wants to take it all apart to make something new. Well once that thing is down, there is little chance you can ever put it back together the way it was. You are sure to misplace a part or two, but you find a replacement and you move on.Two days ago, he asked me to make the Bat-Mobile. The instructions were long gone, and I had found maybe a third of the parts I needed from that bottomless Lego bin of his, but he loved the result. So did I. We called it the Black-Mobile.Limitations teach you how to get the most out of what you have. Even if you don’t have all the parts, you can find a way to make things work. The Knicks haven’t had all their parts this season, yet they are finding a way to make it work. They are learning things about who they are that will serve them well later in this season.  I am really enjoying this season.
  4. And now, I give you, the Black-Mobile

40 comments on “Knicks 100, Spurs 83

  1. Thomas B. Post author

    DRed:
    Nicely done, Thomas.The other recap authors should note that a little humor goes a long way.

    There was humor in my recap?

  2. Brian Cronin

    Is Mark Jackson actually…doing a good job in Golden State?

    I wouldn’t have expected it, but dayum, did you know that the Warriors are currently ninth in both offense and defense in the league? A team that starts Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and David Lee (and has played most of the season without Andrew Bogut) is ninth in the NBA in defense!!! Mark Jackson might actually have some coaching skills. Wow. Did not see that coming.

  3. ruruland

    Smith had 20 points on 9 of 17 shooting, which gave him his 10th 20-point game of the season. It was also his fifth-straight 20-point performance, which is the longest streak of his career.

    What has brought Smith to playing the most consistent, effective basketball of his carer?

    “Coaching,” he said. “Between Herb [Williams] and Woody, they have been working with me in practice, trying to get my feet ready and get ready to score the ball; not worrying about taking shots but taking GOOD shots.”

  4. jon abbey

    good job, Thomas!

    and yeah, Brian, I think I mentioned it here a while back, but I heard Mark Jackson interviewed on the radio earlier this season and he came across shockingly well. I was sure he’d be a bust in GS, but they look great so far. it’s amazing when you look at the personnel that he somehow has them playing D, I don’t really understand that.

  5. ruruland

    The lowest paint point total for San Antonio — by far– for at the very least two years.

    It’s likely one of the lowest totals of Pop’s tenure.

  6. johnlocke

    Nice recap. I think Amare deserves a solid C or C+ given circumstances. His offensive rythmn is still a WIP but I rewatched the game and his defense was much much better ESP in rotations than the previous game. Woody just needs to stay on him. Amare doesn’t strike me as dumb, overconfident yes (most elite athletes are) but not dumb. He just needs to watch more tape. Melo deserves a b+ for his unselfish passing out of doubles and I think Cambys stats belied his impact on the game.

  7. GHenman

    I believe that if you put Jason Kidd’s mind in JR Smith’s body you would have Michael Jordan.

  8. Nick C.

    Great write-up. Great win. Do we attribute the better first quarter to starting Camby instead of Kurt or 4th games in five nights for SA or just a random occurrence? I tend to go with Camby who offers a little more liveliness than Kurt can. So now if Brewer hits a shot all five guys are more than just live bodies that can get whistled for fouls.

  9. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    johnlocke: I think Amare deserves a solid C or C+ given circumstances. His offensive rythmn is still a WIP

    My favorite play of the game was when Prigioni had the ball and called for a pick, and Amar’e just stood at the free-throw line fighting for position like he was on the low block, no pick set. I think Prigioni made a drive and kicked it out to Amar’e, who bricked a 19-foot jumper.

    We can talk about “rhythm” and all that, but man, he looked pretty bad out there.

  10. flossy

    Whoa whoa whoa, Amar’e gets a lower grade than Chris Copeland??

    This man is basically playing his second preseason game, against one of the best teams in the league, and managed to play almost flawless defense (I watched him on every defensive possession and he didn’t really blow a rotation or lose his man until it was super garbage time).

    He still doesn’t look comfortable in the offense and is working himself back into shape, but at least 3 of his shots were perfectly fine looks that went allllmost all the way down before rattling out. If 2 more of those go down we’re talking about 6-10 for 16 points in 21 minutes. Even as it is, C- is way too harsh.

  11. jon abbey

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: My favorite play of the game was when Prigioni had the ball and called for a pick, and Amar’e just stood at the free-throw line fighting for position like he was on the low block, no pick set. I think Prigioni made a drive and kicked it out to Amar’e, who bricked a 19-foot jumper.

    well, along these lines, my “favorite play of the game” was when legendary offensive force Chandler decided to take an easy foul line jumper and threw up an air ball that was so off it was lucky to hit the floor.

  12. Hubert Davis

    I know we’re not Spurs fans, but just as a basketball fan I have to say I was impressed with Poppovich’s stunt with Kawhi Leonard 13 seconds into the game. Leonard didn’t pick up another foul the rest of the game, and Melo only shot 2 more free throws. Impressive coaching, the kind you can only really pull off when you’re a legend.

    I would love to see Woodson so something similar with Felton those times when he’s shooting us out of a game. Maybe not as drastic – Woody, for instance, would be better suited calmly explaining to Felton why what he’s doing is hurting us rather than pulling the Pop stare + berate routine.

  13. Thomas B. Post author

    flossy:
    Whoa whoa whoa, Amar’e gets a lower grade than Chris Copeland??

    This man is basically playing his second preseason game, against one of the best teams in the league, and managed to play almost flawless defense (I watched him on every defensive possession and he didn’t really blow a rotation or lose his man until it was super garbage time)…..Even as it is, C- is way too harsh.

    Fair enough but try to keep in mind that the grades are just a person’s subjective view of the game. I gave Stat a lower grade than Copeland becasue Copeland didn’t call for the ball only to pull off a slow motion spin move that creates no space and forces him to push his body into the defender to create space. This happened on two maybe three possessions. Stat was lucky to only have his shot blocked three times. He could have picked up an offensive foul for some of those moves. Plus he refused to pass out once he had the ball. This offense works when the players know where to be and trust that people will be in the right spot.
    Copeland just had a night where shots didn’t fall, but he played within the team concept. I didn’t see that from Stat. If he plays, I’m not grading him on a curve.

  14. flossy

    Thomas B.: Fair enough but try to keep in mind that the grades are just a person’s subjective view of the game.I gave Stat a lower grade than Copeland becasue Copeland didn’t call for the ball only to pull off a slow motion spin move that creates no space and forces him to push his body into the defender to create space.This happened on two maybe three possessions.Stat was lucky to only have his shot blocked three times.He could have picked up an offensive foul for some of those moves.Plus he refused to pass out once he had the ball.This offense works when the players know where to be and trust that people will be in the right spot.
    Copeland just had a night where shots didn’t fall, but he played within the team concept.I didn’t see that from Stat.If he plays, I’m not grading him on a curve.

    I mean I think it’s pretty obvious he’s still trying to figure out how best to use the post moves he’s been working on. Copeland is a nobody–if he makes waves, he doesn’t play. Amar’e, on the other hand, *should* be calling for the ball, and unless a double comes (which it didn’t), why should he pass out of the post instead of trying to score?

    I’d also point out that knocking Amar’e for calling for the ball ignores the fact that the respect he gets from the defense as a scorer (which Copeland for instance does not get) opened up a huge number of wide-open 3s for other players when he and Prigs ran the PnR and he was the featured scorer on the floor–even if he wasn’t doing the scoring himself.

    For his 2nd game back I think there were a ton of positives to take away and few negatives that weren’t to be expected.

  15. d-mar

    jon abbey:
    good job, Thomas!

    and yeah, Brian, I think I mentioned it here a while back, but I heard Mark Jackson interviewed on the radio earlier this season and he came across shockingly well. I was sure he’d be a bust in GS, but they look great so far. it’s amazing when you look at the personnel that he somehow has them playing D, I don’t really understand that.

    “What Mark Jackson knows…” Its a blessing that we don’t have to listen to him blabber on NBA telecasts, but you have to give the man a lot of credit. And David Lee is playing the best basketball of his career, pretty good for a 30th draft pick.

  16. mokers

    In the context of this game, I think Amar’e was a C+. If the double doesn’t come, he has to make a move. He said in an interview everything was moving fast. When it slows down, it will look much more polished and he will abuse teams trying to hide a slower defender on him.

    More importantly, the mere danger of the pnr with him on the floor seemed to make things easier for the second unit. So many fewer possessions of watch JR try and beat his man off the dribble.

    It was also great to see Prigs do well with the first unit. It means there is a good chance that we don’t run Kidd into the ground while Ray is out. When Felton comes back, maybe Woodson sees there is an alternative when he is just chucking the ball in the first 5 seconds of a possession.

    Loved the passing today as well. A lot of their looks got picked for TOs in the first half, but it really paid off in the second half.

  17. mokers

    I live in Oakland so get to watch the warriors on tv a lot. Thompson and Curry have at least decent size at their positions. The rookies especially know that they are going to play based on what they do on D. Not sure if Jack’s and Landry’s performances are sustainable for the whole year, but I think they are overall doing a great job considering they have three rookies as major rotation players and Bogut hasn’t really played. The team was also lost Rush early to injury.

    They have done pretty well in the draft and since bringing on West the personnel decisions have been much better. they would be even closer had they amnestied Biedrins and had been able to use that salary for another decent body up front. Fun team to watch if you are bored and have league pass.

  18. lavor postell

    David Lee is the ex-Knick in the league that I’ve always rooted for even after leaving the team. So happy for him that he should finally get a chance to play some playoff basketball after being stuck in purgatory for the majority of his 10-year career.

    Stephen Curry is one of the most underrated players in the league. That kid is an absolute killer on the floor. His command of the game is exactly what you expect from a point guard and he is just so smooth in whatever he does on the floor.

  19. Nick C.

    I’m am struck by an apparent contradiction. It was apparent or so we were told that the Knicks were defending the paint and thus unable to contest every three by design. fair enough. But typically with respect to the Knicks in the past and now with reference to Amare/Prigs PnR the open threes are credited to the awesomeness-scariness of the Knick of choice. I’m sure there is a middle ground somewhere but we can’t have it both ways.

  20. d-mar

    Nick C.:
    I’m am struck by an apparent contradiction. It was apparent or so we were told that the Knicks were defending the paint and thus unable to contest every three by design. fair enough. But typically with respect to the Knicks in the past and now with reference to Amare/Prigs PnR the open threes are credited to the awesomeness-scariness of the Knick of choice. I’m sure there is a middle ground somewhere but we can’t have it both ways.

    Yeah I was asking about that last night since I only heard on the radio. But it sounded like the Spurs were clanking a lot of open 3’s, overall they were a horrid 9-34. So was the D as awesome as I’m hearing, or was it just a matter of the Spurs missing shots they usually make?

  21. Eternal OptiKnist

    flossy: This man is basically playing his second preseason game, against one of the best teams in the league, and managed to play almost flawless defense (I watched him on every defensive possession and he didn’t really blow a rotation or lose his man until it was super garbage time).

    Thank you Flossy! Couldnt have said it better myself. Everyone is so quick to sh!t on him for his bad defense, but slow to give credit for when its good. I’m not sure if any of today’s stories pointed out his D but i doubt it. As far as evaluating his performance is concerned, i couldnt care less about his offense..I believe that will come..I LOVED what i saw last night on defense.

    But speaking of offense (lol), i cant remember but i think it was the first Novak 3…did you notic what created all that space? The defense completely sucked into the paint to defend the Prigioni/Amare P&R! Novak was more wide open than ive seen in a long time…man this bench is going to be good. Amare is really going to benefit from the PG play and good shooting on this team.

  22. Nick C.

    Again was the defense sucked in to defend the pick and roll or was it a conscious choice by SA (as we heard it was with the NYK) to defend drives. This is actually a real question. To me it seems sort of homerish that open threes by the Knicks are because “player X is so awesome he sucks in the defense like a whirlpool” but open threes by the opponents are “pfft let em have them we’re guarding the paint.”

  23. mokers

    d-mar: Yeah I was asking about that last night since I only heard on the radio. But it sounded like the Spurs were clanking a lot of open 3?s, overall they were a horrid 9-34. So was the D as awesome as I’m hearing, or was it just a matter of the Spurs missing shots they usually make?

    The spurs were definitely bricking their share of open threes, but the Knicks were denying them the easy looks in the lane for Parker, Duncan and Ginobli. Compare that to the Portland or Sacramento games where you had people getting all kinds of good looks in the paint and the difference was clear. If the spurs hit their shots it would have prevented it from being a laugher, but the knicks looked in control the second half. If the knicks had half the defensive effort vs. Portland or Sacramento and those games aren’t close.

    The schedule favors the knicks with only a few back to backs in January and February. Great chance to integrate STAT and let Felton get healthy. Add in Shumpert and that is a lot of good depth to go into a schedule that is busy the last couple of months.

  24. cgreene

    If the argument is that both teams were trying to shut down the paint and both teams got open 3’s because of it and the Spurs just missed shots we hit so we won that argument is flawed because we dramatically outscored them in the paint.

  25. Eternal OptiKnist

    Nick C.: Again was the defense sucked in to defend the pick and roll or was it a conscious choice by SA (as we heard it was with the NYK) to defend drives. This is actually a real question. To me it seems sort of homerish that open threes by the Knicks are because “player X is so awesome he sucks in the defense like a whirlpool” but open threes by the opponents are “pfft let em have them we’re guarding the paint.”

    To this i do not have an answer..maybe i’ll fire up the DVR and see. But i think my point was the P&R is so tough to defend and Amare is going to be costantly rolling to the basket..even if he or the ball-handler arent scoring, it will be effective in that it will create more space for shooters. Plus Amare can pick & pop vs just roll.

  26. lavor postell

    I don’t understand this argument about us giving up open 3’s. The strategy which we executed was clearly to force San Antonio into making us pay from 3 and to live or die with the results.

    On the other hand the Spurs had no such clear strategy that they were able to impose on the Knicks. When we ran pick and roll initially the Spurs rotations were atrocious and we got a ton of good paint looks.

    Then in the second half their adjustments made it easier for us to make them pay for downtown which we did to great affect. We didn’t score nearly as many points in the paint, but we forced San Antonio into adjusting and when they did we made them pay from downtown.

    San Antonio never forced us to adjust our defensive strategy because of their inability to hit from downtown. You are never going to take away everything an offense as varied and effective as the Spurs’ so you pick your poison and hope it pays off. In this case we were content to let them bomb away with the trade off being that points in the paint were not going to come easy. If Bonner, Leonard, Green and co. got it going from deep we would have adjusted accordingly and sacrificed some paint protection in order to better contest perimeter attempts.

    This happens all the time in the NBA. The best example is the 2006 NBA Finals when Riley urged Miami defenders to give up the corner three in order to send multiple defenders at Dirk at the elbows and essentially force ball rotation to the corners. Miami played a dangerous game giving up highly efficient looks in order to take away Dallas’ best option of isolating Dirk in the middle of the floor. They won a championship.

    We took away Parker’s incredible ability to get inside and score with his floaters, pull up jumpers or create open looks for the Spurs’ rolling bigs. We were willing to concede 3’s and it paid off because the Spurs didn’t make us pay for the shots we did give them.

  27. Nick C.

    Fair enough. During the game thread last night it was pointed out that the Knicks strategy was to defend the paint and risk the threes. In other words a team strategy rather than a response to the abilities of Manu, Parker, Duncan or whoever. Then reading here and in the game thread, superficially the same action, an offensive player going or threatening to go into the pain results in a wide open three was attributed to the offensive players abilities. Last night Amare-Prigioni, in the past Melo’s passing out of double teams (which even I noted) or having “floor tilt”, Chandler on the pick and roll in the Miami game, Felton’s penetration. To me the description seemed on first blush to be a way of supporting a point of view or pre-conceived perception rather than a 100% accurate reflection of reality.

  28. flossy

    Nick C.:
    Fair enough. During the game thread last night it was pointed out that the Knicks strategy was to defend the paint and risk the threes. In other words a team strategy rather than a response to the abilities of Manu, Parker, Duncan or whoever. Then reading here and in the game thread, superficially the same action, an offensive player going or threatening to go into the pain results in a wide open three was attributed to the offensive players abilities.Last night Amare-Prigioni, in the past Melo’s passing out of double teams (which even I noted)or having “floor tilt”, Chandler on the pick and roll in the Miami game, Felton’s penetration. To me the description seemed on first blush to be a way of supporting a point of view or pre-conceived perception rather than a 100% accurate reflection of reality.

    Not sure what’s so hard to understand about this–when Amar’e Stoudemire rolls to the basket defenses cheat in a bit to try to stop him and it makes it much harder to recover out to 3 point shooters. When Chris Copeland rolls to the basket most teams will not send help, because he is not even on the same planet when it comes to the ability to catch on the move and finish in traffic.

    In a sense Tony Parker is the Amar’e in this scenario, because the Knicks chose to pack the paint to prevent him from getting layups and wreaking havoc. If the Spurs didn’t have someone so great at breaking down the defense and scoring in the paint, maybe the Knicks defensive gameplan would have been different.

    The offensive players’ abilities force teams to react, which in turn creates other opportunities. The difference is a) SA was never able to completely shut down the paint whereas we were and b) SA was not able to convert the 3 point looks that resulting from packing the paint, and we were.

  29. Nick C.

    It’s not that I don’t get it it is the way it was described that seemed agenda driven to some extent rather than factual. If someone said as you did: “duh of course they are going to pack the paint against Parker, Ginobli etc. and make them beat us from outside with Green, Neal etc.” it would have been more acceptable. So now we would have when certain guys move inside (Amare, Parker, Manu, Prigs, Tyson etc.) the defense will react and as such move off the 3 point line. I guess with this board there is lots of posting made through rose colored monocles and it is read by more than the twenty or forty people that post regularly so we may as well try to be as reality based as we can. OK I’m done ranting and rambling its really much ado about a largely semantical issue.

  30. Frank

    btw, I’ve totally slept on them, but Twitter reminds me that Toronto is 8-1 since 12/14 — best record in NBA since.

    That Dwayne Casey can coach. And so can Frank Vogel – Indy 19-13 now.

  31. DRed

    Frank:
    btw, I’ve totally slept on them, but Twitter reminds me that Toronto is 8-1 since 12/14 — best record in NBA since.

    That Dwayne Casey can coach.And so can Frank Vogel – Indy 19-13 now.

    And people mocked the Landry Fields signing. . .

  32. Juany8

    DRed: And people mocked the Landry Fields signing. . .

    The guy with the sub .400 TS%? I hope this was some kind of joke, Landry Fields is a terrible basketball player.

  33. Juany8

    Nick C., defenses will always prioritize defending the paint over defending 3’s. Simply put, the number one outcome for an offense in most possessions is a layup. Defenses prefer stopping paint scoring without sending a bunch of extra help, but guys like Tony Parker, Duncan, Amar’e (historically), and Melo are simply too good to play straight up. A team that is excellent at running the pick and roll (Felton and Chandler for instance) will also cause more defensive rotations than a team like Sacramento that lets guys do whatever.

    If the defense feels they can’t prevent the other opponent from getting layups, they will give up 3 point looks since they have significantly more variance. Keep in mind that starting a possessions from a defensive rebound off a miss is preferable to starting a possession out of bounds after a made basket. So even though 3 point looks are worth more, the misses are just as painful and 3’s miss a lot more. A layup is also easier to get an offensive rebound off of, so protecting the paint is by far the top priority. If a team like the Knicks also manages to support their “paint scorers” with good 3 point shooters, the defense is forced to give up the 3’s in order to protect the paint.

    You’re right that the Spurs missed some good looks and the Knicks didn’t, but the margin was big enough that it wouldn’t have mattered much. I don’t think the Knicks are a clearly better team than the Spurs, although it is an excellent sign that the Knicks swept them. As of now, I’m convinced that the Knicks have the best single lineup in the league (Felton-Kidd-JR-Melo-Chandler) and that’s going to be a big deal late in the playoffs when Felton JR and Melo can play 40+ minutes and Chandler and Kidd can go hard all the time. If Amar’e is also capable of playing defense like yesterday, the Knicks have as good a chance of winning the title as any team in the league

  34. David Crockett

    Couldn’t catch the game but seems like Prigioni has to play more, yes? As I’ve watched he seems to bring a Duhonian presence to the pick and roll game that Kidd no longer brings. JK is more of a ball rotater and spot up shooter now.

  35. DRed

    David Crockett:
    Couldn’t catch the game but seems like Prigioni has to play more, yes? As I’ve watched he seems to bring a Duhonian presence to the pick and roll game that Kidd no longer brings. JK is more of a ball rotater and spot up shooter now.

    All this and it’s just so fun to watch him get steals on the inbounds.

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