Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Knicks 105, Spurs 101: REMEMBER THE ALAMO (BECAUSE WE WON!)

Most Americans believe we lost the Battle of the Alamo, because educators hate America. They are wrong.

The following is a collection of accounts revealing what really happened that fateful day in 1836, and the men that made it happen.

New York Knicks 105 Final
Recap | Box Score
101 San Antonio Spurs
Antonio Borgnini, PF

22 MIN | 3-8 FG | 4-4 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 10 PTS | +19

b. 1807, Italy. Not a soul knew of the Roman’s story, short of his name and birthplace. His gait was awkward, as were his abilities in hopscotch, in which he would partake apropos of nothing at all.

Mysteriously, Colonel Woodson chose to place Borgnini in the vanguard on the Western Wall, where he was last seen aiming his rifle backwards, before abandoning it and running, arms flailing, into the charging army, who out of sheer confusion did not slay him. He was found the next morning, three leagues from said post, hair tussled and a strange smile about his face, clothes in tatters. He would later return to this native country to become King of Rome, a position which he manned for two weeks, before the city was sacked, its defenses having abandoned their posts after not being paid an honest wage.

Carlton Anthony, SF

39 MIN | 10-20 FG | 5-5 FT | 12 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 27 PTS | +10

b. 1806, New York. Expert rifleman, first served his country during the Second War with Britain, aged six years, as was the custom. Conducted himself honorably, and found his conscription retained in perpetuity. Came to Texas on furlough to make money in the dirt farming trade. However he would enter into contests of sport on week-ends, and was known to bag dozens of quails in a Saturday session.

Having successfully recovered from a severe sickness, sustained after eating raw barking squirrel, Anthony’s valiant heroics were second only to Emmanuel Shumpert’s, and consisted of entire regiments done in by rifle fire and a most deft manning of the cannonade from various perches about the highest façade. His shot was quick, his aim true, his temperment even. A hero’s hero if ever there was one, although it was recommended that his beard be trimmed, so as not to appear as patches of sticker burs.

Thaddeus Chandler, C

22 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | +5

b. South Carolina, 1805. A close aid of Colonel Jim Bowie, who imparted upon Chandler skills of both battle and charm. Sadly, a bout of tricks with the Bowie knife the night before the engagement had ended with Chandler’s leg being stabbed rather deeply with the knife, which he left there for lack of adequate medical supplies.

This injury severely hampered his services, although many would acknowledge his rousing pre-battle speech, in which Chandler marked a line in the sand and asked all who would heed their Patriot’s duty to cross it. All but one did. Jebediah Smith was eventually dragged across, having consumed too much agave root.

Benodictus Udrih, PG

32 MIN | 4-9 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 7 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 10 PTS | +7

b. 1804, Ilyrian Provinces. Born to a rocksmith, arrived in Boston upon a dolphining vessel. Would make a considerable fortune fashioning sturdy boots that left the wearer virtually immobile, though sound of footing. This put him into favor with the Army, who admired the Cossack’s ingenuity, and brought him West.

Had to be awoken from a deep slumber during the first hours of engagement, but came to and quickly served a most notable purpose. Eventually felled five Mexicans, all of whom he filleted with a bayonet taken from one of the dead, a feat which earned him the nickname “Appache of the Slavs.” He also tended to many wounded, using the mysterious salve with which his Caesarian hair was made so pointed.

Emmanuel Shumpert, SG

31 MIN | 10-13 FG | 1-1 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 27 PTS | +10

b. 1813, Western Territory. Poet by education and soldier by inclination. Came to Texas during the Great Beef Migration of 1830. Was known as a sporadically brilliant marksman, though uneven of temper, which had put him into ill repute with commanding officers. Prior to battle, Colonel Woodson, his chief rival, attempted to give him leave, but Shumpert refused.

His heroics will be taught alongside Heracles, though the facts of the matter have not hitherto been fully noted: After consuming a strange cactus brew, Shumpert, by now wild-eyed and foaming at the mouth, proceeded to fell ninescore soldiers in less than an hour, feasting on the corpses, bone and all, when a wench from a nearby tavern retrieved him, and brough him under shelter for calming and proper congratulations. He would proceed to run successfully four years later for THE PRESIDENCY OF THE UNITED STATES.

Amir the Jew, PF

24 MIN | 4-6 FG | 3-4 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 2 TO | 11 PTS | -15

b. Palestine, 1805. A giant among the Hebrews, would parlay a successful career as a rabbi to an American passage. Arrived in the port of New York in 1832, where he learned of a great Canaanite desert far to the west. He then went to Ohio, and noted that the landscape was worse than that of Juda, its people considerably cruder and worse-smelling, and continued West. His arrival in Texas was met with much wonderment, for many of the soldiers and the citizens had never encountered such a Jew.

His lack of understanding of the basic rudiments of defense rendered Amir relatively superfluous, but his stature, stationed as it was without much movement, gave the enemies pause. He miraculously avoided even the slightest wound, a feat that Kenneth Martin took as divine providence, and the two would enjoy much smoked herring afterwards.

Torrence Murry, SG

15 MIN | 2-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 5 PTS | 0

b. Kentucky, 1813. Here was a vagabond who had never found his station, until a regiment passing his home caught his eye. He joined post haste, and found the opportunity to fight for his country most exciting indeed. With no formal training, he was subjected to the more menial tasks – the washing of the spittoons, the shoveling over of the latrines, the cleaning of the syphilis wounds – until a bout of sickness on the eastern cannonade made his presence necessary.

Served admirably, though his nerves weren’t quite still. Upon winning the battle, he chose to forgo the penultimate letter in his surname, so as to not to share but a single vowel with that Torquemadian butcher, Santa Anna.

Timothy Hardaway II, SG

12 MIN | 0-1 FG | 3-4 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 3 PTS | -7

b. Spanish Florida, 1814. The son of a wealthy donkey manure salesmen, he followed in his father’s footsteps before a higher calling took heed, though few existed in those lands. Arrived by way of circular travel around the Floridian peninsula and up through New Orleans, where he cultivated a reputation for firing his rifle at the most inappropriate times — in Church, while bedded, at the post office — accurate though he often was.

His hatred of Santa Anna, whose exploits had enraged Hardaway so, compelled the later to San Antonio, where his services where heroic, though minimal. Pushed many scaling ladders off the walls, bludgeoning the enemies with the butts of abandoned rifles.

Jebediah Richard Smith, SG

29 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 4 PTS | -5

b. 1809, New Jersey. Was cited regularly for misconduct in the city of New York, and spent many days in incarceration thereby. Became notorious for his escapades upon the Mississippi River, where he practiced games of prestidigitation. Was known to cavort with Colonel Crockett over whiskey of considerable potency, and ended the night before battle clutching a copper spittoon, into which he evacuated his excesses.

He appeared only sporadically during the battle itself, once stumbling over an oaken barrel and onto an enemy’s bayonet. He would survive, however, having been thoroughly attended to by a most accommodating Spanish nurse who, among other friendly gestures took to lighting his pipe.

Colonel Matthias Woodson

b. Mars, 1881. Woodson’s inclusion in this account is merely anecdotal, for we had seldom come across someone of such strange behaviors and decision-making from a commanding officer. When pressed, none of the surviving heroes could quite ascertain what Woodson was actually tasked with doing. Some claimed to see him turning the canons backwards, and then sitting astride them, humming strange fugues. Others recall him with a blindfold over his head, chewing on dried-over corn husks. Still others attested that Woodson was commanding entire regiments to switch their stations, although no officer heraldry could be seen.

One account in particular, however, astounded us to no end: That of Woodson removing the uniform of a fallen enemy and placing it upon his own body. When recognized and asked by a nearby officer why he had done so, Woodson’s reply was at once mysterious and frightening: “The Mexicans are big, man.”

Four Things We Saw

  1. Everyone knew what San Antonio’s strategy would be: Use Tony Parker to put the Knicks into as man pick and rolls as possible, and otherwise exploit mismatches at any given opportunity. The approach worked in spurts, with the Spurs getting hot from deep early (they connected on seven of their first nine threes) before cooling off during the middle two periods. But Parker was mostly quiet for the rest of the game. I’d like to think Shumps D had something to do with it.
  2. The Spurs entered the game boasting the league’s best bench – 43 points per game, which is pretty nuts. The Knicks would hold Bonner, Mills, and the rest to 34. Which doesn’t seem like a big deal, but if one more of San Antonio’s reserves had gotten even a little warm, we might’ve been looking at an entirely different ballgame.
  3. Marco Belinelli scored a career-high 32 points on 12-16 shooting (including 6-9 from deep). If there was one player I’d pick to go off, knowing that we’d win in the end, it would definitely be Belinelli. I don’t know why. It just makes sense.
  4. But this wasn’t about the Spurs. It was about the Knicks. It was about a team that had no business getting off the bus, let alone winning this game. But they did, and the way they did it made all of us – a dreadful end to 2013 behind us and with a team rancid in makeup and reeling in spirit – finally find some sliver of light at the end of this otherwise cold, cavernous tunnel. The ball moved when it needed to; Melo took over when he had to; and Iman Shumpert – perhaps the most dispirited of our destitute team – looked like the All-Star we all thought might be en route at the end of last season. This was about a team that kept its cool, a team that executed with a frequency seldom seen, a team that withstood every absurd punch that a tremendous team could land. It was about a group of guys looking like they cared, like they were actually having fun. It was about us screaming at the television for all the right reasons. It was about beating a better team and being the better team, and not beating ourselves. It was tremendous and it was terrifying. I loved every second of it.
  5. I also loved every second of this, which I think I watched somewhere between 500 and 1000 times as a kid. Pretty morbid, I know.

30 comments on “Knicks 105, Spurs 101: REMEMBER THE ALAMO (BECAUSE WE WON!)

  1. ephus

    There were a lot of encouraging things about last night:

    1. Murry can defend the PG. He is an asset. Not just a fervent wish.
    2. JR Smith was looking to get Shumpert the ball in the same way as he looked to get Novak the ball last year. Makes both players more productive.
    3. Amar’e has some explosiveness back.
    4. Melo played a smart game within himself.

    Strong recap.

  2. hoolahoop

    Almost forgot that a good knicks game is fun to watch. From the opening tip, didn’t switch channels once to watch Naked and Afraid.

    Waiting and waiting for the knicks collapse, it never happened. SA went on a 9-2 run in the fourth to take the lead, but the knicks came right back. 48 minutes of good effort and good team work.

    Short of a rebuild, the knicks have two glaring needs. A great PG and a great coach.

  3. thenamestsam

    I’m having to try really hard not to get sucked back in. Team played pretty great last night in just about every aspect. Even with that, we were still damn lucky to win that game, but we were overdue to get some bounces, and playing SA to a pretty much stalemate on the road would have been a step in the right direction even if we hadn’t gotten the few breaks we needed to put it over the edge. It’s almost shocking how much better the team looks offensively when we get NBA-caliber guard play. Defensively we took a gamble that SA wouldn’t get hot from 3, and they didn’t. It wasn’t exactly convincing as a strategy and I felt like if the game had gone 5 minutes longer we probably would have lost by 15 points, but given our other options I don’t think it was the worst strategy.

    That said, I don’t think the ceiling of this team has ever been the question as much as the floor has. We’ve seen positive flashes from this team, but we haven’t been able to sustain it at all prior to this. It’s a nice thought that this team is going to be galvanized by this and go on some monster run, but I’ve been expecting that run all year and yet…10-21 speaks for itself. The schedule is getting brutal also, the next nine games we have @Houston, @Dallas, @Pacers, and the Heat, Suns and Clips at home. It’s going to be tough to keep the positive vibes going against that type of schedule.

  4. hoolahoop

    Toure Murray should get more playing time. He’s young, fast, long, a good defender, has the athletic skills to run the offense – and cheap. Based on last nights game, he seems to have a lot of potential.
    He needs to build his confidence and playing time.

  5. Kikuchiyo

    Maybe I’m just giddy from the happy surprise of the 2014 Knicks, but I especially enjoyed this recap. So many sports blogs are insufferably humorless (or frat boy jokey). Our beloved Kickerblogger is erudite, philosophical, and funny as hell. As Clyde is to the other announcers around the league, so is Knickerblogger to the generic Sports Blog.

    Thanks and Happy Snow Year!

  6. Frank

    Defensively we took a gamble that SA wouldn’t get hot from 3, and they didn’t.

    lol Spurs shoot 14/32 (43.8%) on 3′s and that counts as “wouldn’t get hot”. Granted they missed a fair amount of wide open 3′s in the 2nd half, but they also hit a bunch of contested ones too.

    Won’t really have time to look how, but they somehow managed to keep Danny Green quiet – surprising after his explosion against us last time.

    Will be interesting to see what the PG minutes look like when Felton and Pablo come back. I sort of feel like Beno should be out of the rotation again. He’s really terrible on defense and has TOV% of 20. Not good. Pablo’s is also about 19 but at least Pablo plays good defense and has a TS of 61. Play Felton for 26 minutes, Pablo for 20, Toure for 10 with 2 on the floor at the same time occasionally.

  7. callmened

    Jim Cavan…I never understand what youre talking about. I know you’re smart and make points but sometimes I just dont get you. Your summaries are hit or misses. Its a shame because I feel like im missing out. – just some constructive criticism.

  8. Nick C.

    I really liked Toure’s play. I hope this sinks in with Woodson when Felton is back. As for Shumpert, one can only hope the work I thought I heard them say post-game during the break “works” and this isn’t a case of the blind squirrel. Oh and corking write up James.

  9. Jim Cavan Post author

    @9

    That makes two of us.

    Don’t worry, we’ll get back to peppering in more straightforward recaps soon. I blame all this on a combination of cabin fever and a fantastically strange season.

  10. DRed

    That was a very fun win. Obviously, Shump is not going to shoot that well every night, but hopefully he won’t immediately revert back to being terrible on offense. And it was fun to watch him and Toure play defense together. Who would have thought that playing better defenders at the same time would result in better defense?

  11. williamlou

    I don’t even like the Knicks (I’m a Raptors fan). I just come here to read the excellent work of the various Knickerblogger writers and I can honestly say that I’m always impressed.

  12. johnlocke

    That was an interesting one to watch. Started off watching with the usual condescension, then getting pulled in and cheering for Shump, then being mad for being bamboozled again when the Spurs went up by 10, and then “just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!”

    Don’t think we can expect this from Shump every night, but what was great was how under control he was with the scoring. He took good shots, was unselfish and played great defense. I’ll take that every game even if he’s not scorching hot and hitting 6 threes.

    Melo did a great job passing and everything else. Beno’s stats look ok, but he has the worst penchant for having turnovers at the worst possible moment. I actually would have liked to see Tracey Murray get more time on the floor. JR probably played to many minutes and made a bunch of mistakes on defense, but did hit a couple of his patented no, no, no, yes shots and made some unselfish passes.

    But man, that tip in by Shumpert…..best moment of the season.

  13. thenamestsam

    lol Spurs shoot 14/32 (43.8%) on 3?s and that counts as “wouldn’t get hot”. Granted they missed a fair amount of wide open 3?s in the 2nd half, but they also hit a bunch of contested ones too.

    That’s a good point. Maybe it was because I was watching through the slats between my fingers with my hands over my eyes but it seemed like every 3 they took was pretty open, and that is the best 3 point shooting team in the league. I’m not saying the defense wasn’t much better than usual, because it was, it just felt like they were about to hit that backbreaking 3 over and over again and they couldn’t quite get one to go.

  14. lavor postell

    A lot of Udrih’s turnovers seem to come when he attempts to penetrate into the lane, but his lack of athleticism and a slick handle gets him in trouble when the defense collapses and there isn’t an outlet easily available for him to dish it too. I actually don’t think Beno should be dropped from the rotation if we can find him minutes in any 2 pg lineups. Him and Murry off the bench may be a backcourt combination to explore as the season goes on.

    Very nice to see you Iman Shumpert, solid supporting scorer and defensive guard that we have been waiting for. Obviously I don’t think Shump is going to put up 27 on 13 shots consistently, but if he can make his catch and shoot threes and space the floor while playing that level of harassing perimeter defense he helps our team tremendously. The three he canned when we were tied at 98 came because JR had a step on Leonard and Parker helped off of Shump on the wing. Shump making that shot consistently (and JR making that pass consistently) will help him and the team’s offense out a lot. Melo, JR, Felton all thrived last year when were able to space the floor around them and down the stretch of the season into the playoffs Shump was a major part of that.

    Chandler really needs to pick it up. I don’t blame him much for our defensive breakdowns because of Woodson’s horrible switch everything and anything strategy, but we need him to be a monster on the boards at the least which we are yet to see.

  15. Hubert

    I completely ignored this game last night in order to focus on drinking during the blizzard.

    Then some time around whenever I got a scorecenter alert on my iphone, saw that it was the Knicks, did a huge double take, shouted “the knicks did what?!”

    That was a pleasant surprise.

    Shump Shump!

    Then I spend the rest of the night thinking that if that happened this snow storm was probably going to end NYC.

  16. tastycakes

    Love the themed recaps.

    However, I feel like they’re keeping me engaged in a team that is otherwise dramatically uninteresting.

    Oh, who am I kidding, I’m a hopeless addict, clever recaps or none. Last night was the long deferred methadone hit, I still feel like my drive to Houston is going to be the first step in another long and miserable withdrawal. BUT THAT ONE HIT WAS SO GOOD.

  17. Hubert

    I feel like Jim had an even better Alamo recap pre-written, assuming the Knicks were going to get slaughtered like the Texans at the original alamo. Then he had to frantically re-write it after we reversed history.

  18. sekou

    I live in Austin so the Spurs game is the only knick game I watch live. Two things I noticed being up close

    1. The switching on defense looks worse in person. Almost every open look is the result of a bad switch. Woodson needs to do better. We look truly lost out there half the time.

    2. JR has lost a step. He used to do the step back before because…well I never knew why he did it so much before, but now it’s because he can’t get by his man. Last year when the shot was off, he could always get to the rim for easy points and to get his rhythm back. Now all be can do is shoot himself out of the slump.

  19. Zanzibar

    Nice recap, but in the interest of historical accuracy, I must note an overlooked event of some significance. A few days earlier Jebediah had tragically lost his beloved younger brother Christopholus under the most bizarre of circumstances. Known to have been gifted at rock collecting, the lad upon a visit to his parents back East, while scouring the water’s edge, encountered that notorious prankster B Jennings who let fly a bayhawk which spooked Christopholus so much he tumbled into the Erie Canal. It wasn”t ’til days later when a microcephalic head washed up that the townsfolk worst fears were confirmed. A crestfallen Jebediah, upon hearing the news, took afoot to the nearest tavern but his attention along the path was diverted when he happened upon a traveling Curios, Novelties, and Medicine wagon. Upon hearing Jebediah’s complaint of persistent knee pain hampering his mobility, the strapping handlebar-mustachioed man disappeared inside his wagon for a moment and emerged carrying what he proudly proclaimed to be his new-fangled invention sweeping the land called the Tandem Two Wheel Bicycle. Well Jebediah’s eyes lit up like a child’s at the annual pie bake-off. He immediately emptied his pockets of all coinage to acquire it and then proceeded on a giddy ride on his bicycle built-for-two all alone non-stop for the next 2 days, unwilling to share it with another soul, even his best buddy’s girl, the temptress Lalaetitia. Lo and behold, this ride so sapped him of his energy that he was able to hoist up a mere 5 shots, a crucial factor in our most glorious of victories!

  20. chrisk06811

    Jim’s entire recap could have said SHUMP SHUMP and we would have all been thrilled. unless or course, he had a lot of this in his back pocket thinking we’d get blown out and didn’t want to wait a year to use it. At any rate, “Amir the Jew” is brilliant, and I for one hope it sticks.

    The other good news nobody mentioned……we won on the road in Texas last night. That means Bernard is going to go off for 50 again tonight!!!

  21. Tony Pena

    I looked up from my phone and smiled at random people on th train today, while reading this recap, couldn’t help myself. Good stuff.
    Hoping Woody continues to minimize Bargs and Beno tonight. Fingers crossed…

Comments are closed.