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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Knicks 106, Celtics 104…. Wait, what?

Sometimes the most rewarding gift is the one that’s hardest to unwrap.

In a game that showcased both the best and worst of last year’s Knicks, Carmelo Anthony’s clutch Christmas heroics punctuated an afternoon at once nerve wracking and promising.

Anthony netted 17 of his 37 points in the final stanza, single-handedly  matching Boston’s entire fourth quarter output and propelling the Knicks to a 106-104 victory — the team’s first over the Celtics since 2010.

Kevin Garnett (15 points, 8 rebounds) had a chance to tie the game in the final seconds, but missed a 15-foot contested jumper from the wing.

Amar’e Stoudemire chipped in 21 on 11 shots (including a pair of three pointers) to go along with six rebounds, two blocks, and two steels.

With the two long distance dial-ups, Stoudemire — who says he spent much of the summer extending his range from deep — needs just one more trifecta to equal last seasons’ output.

With a sore heal sidelining Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo picked up the slack for the visiting Celts, rendering the Knicks time and again a helpless Christmas turkey en route to 31 points, 13 assists, and five steals.

Brandon Bass — acquired from Orlando in a trade for Glen Davis two weeks ago — tallied 20 points and 11 rebounds in 28 minutes off the bench.

Toney Douglas added 19 points, four assists, and three steals for the Knicks, in a mixed bag performance defined more by the streaky guard’s inability to contain the hot-handed Rondo — particularly in transition. Still, Douglas finished the game with a +12, second only to Anthony’s +15.

In his first regular season game in the orange and blue, Tyson Chandler coupled a quiet seven points and three rebounds with six booming blocks and trademark interior defense that helped ignite a number of early fast breaks.

Rookie Iman Shumpert registered 11 (on 13 occasionally questionable shots) before leaving mid way through the third quarter with a sprained MCL. The injury is expected to sideline the Knicks’ first round draft pick for at least two weeks.

It was a tale of two halves for the Knicks, who led by as many as 17 midway through the second quarter before a late Boston flurry cut the lead to ten at the half.

Aided by a 35-17 third quarter blitz, the Celtics would eventually build their own double-digit lead, and it seemed for a moment that the old rivalry’s recent demons were doomed to haunt the Knicks anew.

That’s when Melo took over.

Echoing his heroic Game 2 performance  from last year’s largely one-sided first round Playoff series, Anthony connected on four of five fourth quarter shots and seven of eight free throws – including the two go-ahead tallies in the final minute — erasing at least momentarily the bitter memory of last April’s disappointing exit, and giving the raucous Garden crowd a Yuletide gift they won’t soon forget.

Anthony’s deft touch (a TS% of 78% for those keeping score at home) — while by no means an expected harbinger — certainly bodes well for a team still searching for an offensive identity.

With injuries to Shumpert and Jarred Jeffries (a strained calf is expected to keep the newly re-signed Knick vet out 1-2 weeks) further denting an already shaky bench, it might not be the last time the Bockers beckon a Melo bailout in the coming days.

The Knicks begin a three game West Coast road trip Wednesday at Golden State.

 

 

63 comments on “Knicks 106, Celtics 104…. Wait, what?

  1. Robert Silverman (@BobSaietta)

    Everyone realizes the Knicks’ bench for the next week is Jorts, Balkman, Bibby, Walker and Novak, right?

    K. Just checking

  2. jon abbey

    part of the problem is that the starting guards are Douglas and Fields. who is our 5th best player with Baron/Shump Shump out? Balkman? Fields? yikes.

  3. llcoolbp

    Knicks have to sign some offensive help for the bench. Just don’t know who is available. Tddwtdd is also horrific as a starter, but we are stuck till b diddy is healthy. Lot of iso ball for the next few weeks.

  4. Ben R

    I think people are overreacting about our offensive struggles. Boston was the 2nd best defensive team in the NBA last year and has been at least top 5 for the last 4. Rondo is the best defensive PG in the NBA. We still put up 106 points with a 53.4% efg (7% higher than Boston allowed last year). It wasn’t always pretty but neither was our offense for most of the 2nd half of last season and we were still a great offensive team. I think our offense with or without Baron will be fine.

    We’re going to miss Shumpert and Jeffries but Balkman can get more minutes, which should help and Bibby will be healthy, which might help, but overall I found this game much more promising than alarming.

    I would give Douglas a B-/C+ this game conidering he was matching up against Rondo and taking into account he had our best +/-. I think he will adjust and in two weeks he should be looking solid.

  5. Ben R

    Ben R: I would give Douglas a B-/C+ this game conidering he was matching up against Rondo and taking into account he had our best +/-. I think he will adjust and in two weeks he should be looking solid.

    Second best +/- excuse me.

  6. LMNYKFAN4LIFE

    Gotta say i agree with ben we just put up over a hundred points and very solid numbers on the skirts who are known for great d. On the other hand we must find a way to stop all gaurd play, which is a huge question mark. 31 points and I believe 13 assists is way to much for Rondo and for me too swallow and even though this was like a preseason game the skirts didnt have the Knicks heart PIERCE.
    I think TD Douglas put up good numbers, STAT was a monster, Tyson the Tasmanian Devil had an average offensive game for him but did his job on D as the beast he is. The injuries have me worried since we are kinda scarce in the pg department but it gives us a chance to get nate back if those rumors are true which is not a terrible look. If he listens n plays to win and not to pad his stats it will be an amzing pick up.
    I think the Knicks have a great team barring injuries and lets not forget we have the second best small forward in sweet as candy Carmelo who knows how to close a game and not choke in the fourth like the the so called best player in the league ;) you know who im talking about.
    QUIICK PREDICTION: JORTS will play great next week off the bench against the Warriors.
    And on that note. bdbdbd thats all folks.

  7. Frank

    The only thing that was disturbing to me was the complete mental meltdown in the 3rd quarter. Every single time a Knicks guard drove into the paint it equaled an easy transition basket for Rondo on the other end – this is EXACTLY what happened in the playoffs last year.

    The other thing was the uneven defensive effort by Amare. He was really active in the 1st half, then was his usual watching self in the 2nd. We’re going to need 4 quarters of defensive focus from him.

    Otherwise – what a game by Melo. For anyone who is counting (not me of course) that was 37 points on 17 FGA which = TS of 78.4. All against the 2nd best defensive team in the league in 10-11 (97.8 points allowed/100poss, just 0.4 points behind CHI). Fine, it was without Pierce, and it’s just one game, but still. Meanwhile, Amare had 21 points on 11 shots = TS of 82.3. Obviously unsustainable but to do this against a good defensive team and without a real point guard is promising.

    Re: Rondo – he just OWNS Toney Douglas so it’s no surprise the way it went down yesterday. And if he really starts shooting his J like that — he’s unstoppable no matter who’s guarding him.

    On the Nate front – I would be for signing him if he is willing to understand that he’s probably a bench-sitter after Baron and Shump come back. He’s probably as good a guard as is out there right now for a minimum-type contract, and already knows the system.

  8. Frank O.

    When you look at the TS% of the Knicks front line it is a wonder why the hell they tolerated the back court taking as many shots as they did. Some one needs to have a long chat with shump while he does his PT. should sound something like this: do you see these three guys? There are no better front three in the nba! So next time you chuck up a prayer before the team can get set, or with defenders in your face or you’re out of control, Chandler and Amare are going to hold you down and Carmelo is going to spray desinex all over your genitals. Okay, a little much…but you get the point.
    Just saying. If your two tops guys have a TS% of around 80 the team should do everything to enable them. The opposing big men will not be able to contain them. @Ben R: I can’t agree more. Remember. Team with seven new players defeated one of the most established defensive teams with a virtually unchanged core. By all rights, the good, established team should crush the pick up team. Yet, it did not.

  9. flossy

    Frank O.:
    When you look at the TS% of the Knicks front line it is a wonder why the hell they tolerated the back court taking as many shots as they did. Some one needs to have a long chat with shump while he does his PT. should sound something like this: do you see these three guys? There are no better front three in the nba! So next time you chuck up a prayer before the team can get set, or with defenders in your face or you’re out of control, Chandler and Amare are going to hold you down and Carmelo is going to spray desinex all over your genitals. Okay, a little much…but you get the point.
    Just saying. If your two tops guys have a TS% of around 80 the team should do everything to enable them. The opposing big men will not be able to contain them.

    I don’t think Shumpert was nearly as bad as you or his stat line would indicate. 3 or 4 of his misses were not bad shots, just lay-ups that rimmed out due to first-NBA-game jitters (unless you think he’s perpetually Jeffrightened). He was being aggressive, getting out in transition, breaking down Boston’s D and getting into the lane in a way that Toney Douglas could only dream of. He was also playing passable defense on Rondo (especially in comparison to the horrowshow that was TD trying to check him). I agree that Shumpert should look to defer a little more to the frontcourt, but of his 13 FGA I’d say 10 or 11 were shots that I’m perfectly fine with him taking.

  10. Frank O.

    flossy: I don’t think Shumpert was nearly as bad as you or his stat line would indicate.3 or 4 of his misses were not bad shots, just lay-ups that rimmed out due to first-NBA-game jitters (unless you think he’s perpetually Jeffrightened).He was being aggressive, getting out in transition, breaking down Boston’s D and getting into the lane in a way that Toney Douglas could only dream of.He was also playing passable defense on Rondo (especially in comparison to the horrowshow that was TD trying to check him).I agree that Shumpert should look to defer a little more to the frontcourt, but of his 13 FGA I’d say 10 or 11 were shots that I’m perfectly fine with him taking.

    with all due respect, read what you just wrote: the rook took 13 shots in three quarters. If he played the fourth, do you think Carmelo would have had as many shots as he did? Probably not. He’s shooting at a rate of a little over four shots per quarter. Meaning he would have taken about 18 shots if he were not injured. Amare took 11 shots all game! Really? You’re okay with that disparity?
    I’m not saying shump shouldn’t play, or that his defense wasn’t valuable, I’m saying he should facilitate more and shoot less, period. Amare taking 11 shots with a TS% around 80 is great but it’s also a travesty. We are not a guard oriented team. Our best players are in the front court. Also, it would seem that Chandler a generally very efficient scorer needs to get more touches in the paint to maximize his ability an athleticism. If shump halves his projected total of shots, say he takes 10 shots, and creates 10 more opportunities for Amare and Chandler, the game last night likely wouldn’t have been as close.
    Shump has a role, but there is no way he should be taking 18 shots a game. There is no statistical evidence from college or this year so far to indicate he should have that large a share of…

  11. Kikuchiyo

    Frank O.: Amare taking 11 shots with a TS% around 80 is great but it’s also a travesty.

    Point taken. But, especially this year, if the Knicks can win games with light use of Amar’e (35 minutes yesterday), it is a very good thing. This is the kind of year that per game statistics will suffer. I’m okay if Amar’e scores 20 ppg and comes into the playoffs with some spring.

  12. ptmilo

    As fun wins go, that one was pretty ugly. Rebounding, in particular, was a disaster. Chandler, Stoudemire and Fields combining for 11 rebounds isn’t going to cut it. The Celts are not a great rebounding team and Bass over Big Baby should only help a little. Boston missed 37 shots and pulled 13 offensive boards. The Knicks looked like the more fatigued team, though that’s admittedly tough to tell on television. Maybe just a fluke.

    Stoudemire was very efficient but it seemed like a mirage. He desperately needs a player with pg skills to run a decent pick and roll with him (wouldn’t hurt Chandler or Fields, either). If he spends the whole season trying to become Dirk, as seems to be the unspoken game plan, it isn’t going to look nearly this efficient (though no big defensive adjustment will be necessary). The growth spurt and iron man body fat ratio didn’t seem to turn him into a help defender, at least after the first quarter.

    Carmelo was phenomenal, though the point forward plan is at best making lemonade from lemons.

  13. danvt

    Really too bad that our roster is perpetually chaotic. That’s the only negative I take from yesterday. I thought the Knicks defense was much improved. There were some bad fouls at the end of quarter 1 that enabled the Celtics to get about 4 more points. Then, as I think was mentioned, all those run outs. If Melo is going to initiate the offense then maybe he needs to be responsible for picking up the opposing guard on that, or someone does. Just little things that any High School coach could clean up.

    The Knicks beat the Pierce-less Celtics, who were excellent without KG in the playoffs a couple of years ago and would be good without any of the big 4 (except maybe Rondo). Rondo gets a lot of offense because people are letting him beat them as opposed to someone who shoots a better %. It made me happy to see that, with Chandler, we were physically superior to this team. Garnett became a jump shooter. We can guard people man to man now, I believe, in most situations.

    We should have won this game by more, but, there’re no style points. Give TD a break already. He wasn’t so bad. Meanwhile, he IS our PG, so let’s focus the analysis on what he can do to get better.

  14. bobneptune

    Ben R:
    I think people are overreacting about our offensive struggles. Boston was the 2nd best defensive team in the NBA last year and has been at least top 5 for the last 4. Rondo is the best defensive PG in the NBA. We still put up 106 points with a 53.4% efg (7% higher than Boston allowed last year). It wasn’t always pretty but neither was our offense for most of the 2nd half of last season and we were still a great offensive team. I think our offense with or without Baron will be fine.

    We’re going to miss Shumpert and Jeffries but Balkman can get more minutes, which should help and Bibby will be healthy, which might help, but overall I found this game much more promising than alarming.

    I would give Douglas a B-/C+ this game conidering he was matching up against Rondo and taking into account he had our best +/-. I think he will adjust and in two weeks he should be looking solid.

    he gets an F on the defensive end, a D as an orchestrator and a B+ as a shooter, as, in a stunning turn of events…. he’s an excellent shorter back-up 2 guard.

    just in case you guys forgot in the first 5:46 of the game, rondo scored 9 points and drew fouls on douglas, carmelo and amar’e breaking TD down at will.

  15. JK47

    This squad is still a work in progress, that’s for sure. Without a true PG we’re having real problems getting the ball to Stat anywhere near the basket. When you watch the Celtics on O it’s an endless parade of screens and curls. When you watch NYK it’s one pass to Melo or Stat at the elbow and a lot of chaos. Those two are so talented that it actually works, but I have hope that the addition of a talented passing playmaker like Baron Davis will change the look of the offense and allow us to get some PnR going. I dunno, I just have a good feeling about BD.

  16. bobneptune

    Ben R: Second best +/- excuse me.

    i guess josh harrelson was the mvp of the game then as he was +9 in 9 minutes practically 3 times better than TD and melo. :-)

    and i’m not pointing this out to be a bad guy, as i think td is a plus back up 2, but the knicks are really trying to jam a square peg into a round hole here and are going to have huge problems vs the teams they need to beat if you are looking this team as better than a .500 team.

    i understand they had to make a hobson’s choice when they saw the cp3 fantasy go out the window, but it opened up a real problem that many of you seem to brush off.

    this looks like a 38-28 team with big plus match ups at the 3 and 4 and a black hole at the point unless davis gets healthy. if he does get healthy…. this could get really fun.

  17. JK47

    We have lots of very winnable games coming up, even with our depleted roster. Next ten are: @GSW, @LAL, @SAC, TOR, CHA, @WAS, @DET, CHA, PHI, @MEM.

    The only games that look tough out of those ten are the Lakers, Memphis and Philly. The rest of those teams don’t figure to be playoff teams. Toronto, Charlotte and Detroit are some of the worst teams in the NBA.

  18. bobneptune

    Frank O.: with all due respect, read what you just wrote: the rook took 13 shots in three quarters. If he played the fourth, do you think Carmelo would have had as many shots as he did? Probably not.He’s shooting at a rate of a little over four shots per quarter. Meaning he would have taken about 18 shots if he were not injured. Amare took 11 shots all game! Really? You’re okay with that disparity?
    I’m not saying shump shouldn’t play, or that his defense wasn’t valuable, I’m saying he should facilitate more and shoot less, period. Amare taking 11 shots with a TS% around 80 is great but it’s also a travesty. We are not a guard oriented team. Our best players are in the front court. Also, it would seem that Chandler a generally very efficient scorer needs to get more touches in the paint to maximize his ability an athleticism. If shump halves his projected total of shots, say he takes 10 shots, and creates 10 more opportunities for Amare and Chandler, the game last night likely wouldn’t have been as close.
    Shump has a role, but there is no way he should be taking 18 shots a game. There is no statistical evidence from college or this year so far to indicate he should have that large a share of…

    c’mon! look at the shot chart and the game and not the stat sheet. 7 of his 13 shots were within the restricted area! is he supposed to pass up 4 footers and whip it out to amar’e behind the arc? not very often, imo.

    he was breaking down the vaunted celtic d with insane regularity…. something seldom seen in these parts. i’ve gotta believe a guy with his lift will make a fair % of those shots moving forward.

    i’ll take my chances with a 2 guard shooting 7/13 of his shots within the restricted area for his shot selection. moar of these shots, plz.

    he chucked up precisely one bad shot all day

  19. sisterray

    I would give Douglas a B-/C+ this game conidering he was matching up against Rondo and taking into account he had our [2nd] best +/-. I think he will adjust and in two weeks he should be looking solid.

    and i’m not pointing this out to be a bad guy, as i think td is a plus back up 2, but the knicks are really trying to jam a square peg into a round hole here and are going to have huge problems vs the teams they need to beat if you are looking this team as better than a .500 team.

    i understand they had to make a hobson’s choice when they saw the cp3 fantasy go out the window, but it opened up a real problem that many of you seem to brush off.

    I couldn’t agree more with bobneptune here. TD’s performance has to be assessed based on the role he’s being asked to play, i.e. starting PG. And there’s no way that he earned even a borderline B grade for his work at point yesterday.

    His defense on Rondo was atrocious, despite the fact that his defense is one of his main strengths. And his offensive decision making was even worse.

    He screwed up numerous PnRs and seemed to have a knack for forcing passes to already double-teamed players instead of finding the open guy. He’s lucky to have gotten out of that game with only 2 turnovers attributed to him.

    He scored 19, but on 42% shooting, taking more FGA than any of his teammates — despite the fact that Melo and Stat were hot, shooting 59% and 73% respectively. It usually looked like he was taking shots just because he was more confident in his ability to get the shot off than in his ability to get the pass off, which is disastrous for a PG.

    There really is a crisis at PG now, especially with Shump out for a few weeks. TD’s great at what he does, but he doesn’t do point guard and doesn’t seem able to learn. This is not a matter of making adjustments; this is a matter of who TD is as a…

  20. flossy

    @12 Obviously the focus offensively should be on the front court, but our guards have to be threats to score as well so that the defense stays honest.. Ideally I don’t think Shumpert should be shooting more than Amar’e, but I have absolutely no problem with him blowing past people and shooting layups (assuming he will convert them at a higher percentage than yesterday). Especially if his role is first guard off the bench, he should be looking to score. It’s just a matter of how. Pull-up jumpers off the dribble? No. But wide open threes? Sure. Lay-ups, transition baskets? Absolutely. If he was really such an offensive liability that he couldn’t even be trusted to shoot when open I don’t think D’Antoni would play him. As it stands he just needs to mature a little and learn how to pick his spots, which was to be expected. I have a feeling this will come with time.

    I have far less of a problem with Shumpert’s taking a lot ofshots than with TD, who is ostensibly our starting PG and is a limited player offensively (can’t penetrate, can’t pass), leading the team in FGA.

  21. johnhardyy

    Melo’s numbers are gonna be out of this world for a couple weeks. Either that or the knickerbockers lose a lot. They HAVE to pick someone else up or it could be a long, long winter.

  22. Spree8nyk8

    bobneptune:

    this looks like a 38-28 team with big plus match ups at the 3 and 4 and a black hole at the point unless davis gets healthy. if he does get healthy…. this could get really fun.

    I’ll take the over on that all day long if your serious.

  23. Spree8nyk8

    Nick C.:
    Holy *&%# its only one game and they actually won and all this gloom and doom.

    Dude we could win by 40 and someone would post “I know we won but Melo missed 3 FT’s in the 4th quarter and he’s gonna have to close out better if the Knicks are gonna win.”

  24. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Spree8nyk8: Dude we could win by 40 and someone would post “I know we won but Melo missed 3 FT’s in the 4th quarter and he’s gonna have to close out better if the Knicks are gonna win.”

    I don’t know what “close out” means. Also, the Knicks blew a huge lead against a team with their arguably best player sitting out and got lucky to squeeze by with a win. Carmelo played great, but if you think he’s going to shoot 80 TS% all season, you’re mistaken. This team is going to lose a lot of basketball games unless their guards stop doing the Jamal Crawford impression and improve their efficiency.

    If the Celts have Paul Pierce, they probably win by 5, all other things being equal. We’ll see how this season plays out. I’m standing by 36-30 as a final record.

  25. Nick C.

    I’m typically a naysayer. I was pretty psyched watching quarter #1 and twhat looked like active fourth quarter defense. So it was a bit of a surprise this morning to read the feedback on the game.

  26. Spree8nyk8

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: I don’t know what “close out” means. Also, the Knicks blew a huge lead against a team with their arguably best player sitting out and got lucky to squeeze by with a win. Carmelo played great, but if you think he’s going to shoot 80 TS% all season, you’re mistaken. This team is going to lose a lot of basketball games unless their guards stop doing the Jamal Crawford impression and improve their efficiency.

    If the Celts have Paul Pierce, they probably win by 5, all other things being equal. We’ll see how this season plays out. I’m standing by 36-30 as a final record.

    waah waah waaaahhh, yeah yeah pauls out, big deal. Baron was out, shump got hurt, JJ got hurt. Shit happens. And we really don’t know what would have happened if Paul played. The Celts were making everything yesterday so I don’t really think that PP was going to increase the % that they shot.

    Oh and for things you don’t know. I’d try http://www.google.com it’s a really good resource.

  27. Ben R

    People are throwing Douglas under the bus way too fast. When Rondo is making his jumpshot, which he was last night, he might be the hardest defensive cover in the NBA. On top of that he is the best defensive PG in the world so Douglas who is still learning the position isn’t going to look good running the offense. At least 10 of Rondo’s points came on leak outs which were not TD’s fault because he was in the key on the other end and defensive responsibility had shifted. Let’s give Douglas a couple weeks before we start making definitive statements like TD is not a PG, or that he is terrible, or that we have a PG crisis.

    As for getting Amare the ball within the flow of the offense Billups couldn’t do it last year either. I think it might be a flaw of our personnel because Billups is a “true” PG and he couldn’t run this offense any better, or make it run any smoother.

  28. twoseam2007

    The Knicks really need to add frontcourt depth for the playoff run behind the big three because RenaldLOL Balkman and JaROFL jeffries are atrocious. Kenyon Martin tweeted the other day he’d be interested in signing with the Knicks, although that can’t happen til march.

  29. danvt

    Ben R: Let’s give Douglas a couple weeks before we start making definitive statements like TD is not a PG, or that he is terrible, or that we have a PG crisis.

    Thanks!

  30. Frank

    great article on Amare by Zach Lowe today –
    http://nba-point-forward.si.com/2011/12/26/stat-to-watch-stats-role-in-new-york/

    I have a feeling we’ll see a bit more of Amare as that Dirk-like player to save some wear-tear on his knees. It’s a luxury to have 2 PnR finishers like Chandler and Amare, and it’s not such a bad idea to have Amare shoot uncontested jumpers when TriMecca are all on the floor together.

    Re: all the naysayers – let’s just celebrate the win and move forward. It’s game #1 on a team with 2 new starters and a bunch of guys who have not played a lot in this league. Obviously there are things to work on, like freaking defensive rebounding and transition defense, but that’s a GREAT win on national TV with the entire country watching.

    Re: Melo – it WAS a great game. To THCJ I’d say this – obviously he won’t be shooting like this for the whole season, but the real question is, how many players are even capable of putting up a WS/48 of 0.472 even in a single game against a great defense? Probably not more than 10 players in this league. And also, injuries are part of the game – if they weren’t then we would get a redo in the playoff series from last year. If we have Baron Davis healthy maybe we blow them out by 30. If Shump doesn’t get hurt maybe their 3rd quarter run isn’t quite as strong because he actually plays defense on Rondo unlike TD (there must be some mental thing with TD against Rondo – he just CRUSHES TD).

    So let’s just be happy. Bibby is back so at least we’ll have a little bit of experience in the backcourt, although it’ll be ugly watching him try and cover Monta Ellis or Curry.

  31. danvt

    My point on TD has been:

    We have allocated most of our resources on players for our front court. We brought in two veterans with playoff experience and a rookie to play PG. Right now, one of the veterans is day to day and the other one is out a few weeks. The rookie just sustained a knee injury. This leaves Toney, who scored 19 and had three assists in a win against the Celtics.

    When you play on a team, it’s the best people play, and when someone gets hurt, it’s next man up. Our fledgeling GM and our old one have done a good job giving us depth on our roster.

  32. LMNYKFAN4LIFE

    Wow you guys are too much. if nobody realized WE WON THE GAME. We did what we could only do twice in the past 22 games and wat we couldnt do all last year with felton chauncey or toney, so if you think im drooling over a two point win against a Pierceless team of dinosaurs your right.

    We beat the skirts with great offense and shut them down on their last posession after being down ten in the fourth. Lets really dissect that last Boston possession; Ray Allen open in the corner stopped with a man in his face one pass out followed by a pass to a wide open Daniels in the corner missed shot, okay one bad thing no defensive rebound, Fast foward; KG misses a shot he usually makes due to two men in his face, leading to a skirmish which will lead to a suspension for his next game. Now thats what i call D not only did they not score but got their best scoring option suspended. So am I excited hell yeah is there valid reason hell yeah. To top it all off KG did not have one point in the paint no wonder he was fustrated.

    Now that thats done with, these are the improvements I saw and what will be fixed over time. First we played good overall D and better D when it counted. Second we did great in ISO plays which we will need to do when we run a good lead to run some clock hint hint coach. Next we proved we dont need a pg to win, We do need carmelo on the floor so melo please no foul trouble. Now it wasnt a perfect game but its our third game together with a new system and only a handfull of players that know the system, that being said the new york skyline is not the limit we have a huge ceiling and a full team of proud hard working athletic ballers that havent reached their potential as a team, Now thats something to be excited about so to all you scrooges i say bah hum bug and to all you real knick fans I say merry Knicksmas cause it will be a exciting new year!!!!!

  33. sisterray

    Ben R:
    People are throwing Douglas under the bus way too fast.

    As for getting Amare the ball within the flow of the offense Billups couldn’t do it last year either. I think it might be a flaw of our personnel because Billups is a “true” PG and he couldn’t run this offense any better, or make it run any smoother.

    I wouldn’t say that I’m “throwing TD under the bus,” since I still think he’s great at what he does (which should not be playing point), but it’s a fair point you make about how he’s doing no worse than Billups. In fact, let’s compare their stats for yesterday:

    TD: 35 min, 8-19 FG, 4 assists, 3 steals, 2 turnovers
    Billups: 38 min, 6-19 FG, 4 assists, 0 steals, 1 turnover

    Sure, Billups was playing alongside Paul while TD was supposed to be PG — and these are just a few abstract numbers that give a very vague sense of actual performance in 2 very different games — but I think it’s fair to say that Billups, a true PG, wouldn’t have played much differently than TD yesterday if he were still with us.

  34. Frank

    Sounds like D’Antoni doesn’t want Nate back, which is fine I guess. Is anyone interested in a return of Andy Rautins? At least he knows the system and can shoot – is another body for practice and to put in in case of emergency. Otherwise the cupboard is pretty bare out there, unless someone wants to bring is Gilbert Aren-@&$%%. Sorry I just threw up in my mouth.

  35. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Spree8nyk8: waah waah waaaahhh, yeah yeah pauls out, big deal.Baron was out, shump got hurt, JJ got hurt.Shit happens.And we really don’t know what would have happened if Paul played.The Celts were making everything yesterday so I don’t really think that PP was going to increase the % that they shot.

    Oh and for things you don’t know.I’d try http://www.google.comit’s a really good resource.

    Wow, thanks spree! More outstanding analysis for our most astute poster!

  36. The Infamous Cdiggy

    bobneptune: i guess josh harrelson was the mvp of the game then as he was +9 in 9 minutes practically 3 times better than TD and melo. :-)

    and i’m not pointing this out to be a bad guy, as i think td is a plus back up 2, but the knicks are really trying to jam a square peg into a round hole here and are going to have huge problems vs the teams they need to beat if you are looking this team as better than a .500 team.

    i understand they had to make a hobson’s choice when they saw the cp3 fantasy go out the window, but it opened up a real problem that many of you seem to brush off.

    this looks like a 38-28 team with big plus match ups at the 3 and 4 and a black hole at the point unless davis gets healthy. if he does get healthy…. this could get really fun.

    Agreed; and FWIW, I have a good – really good – feeling about Baron Davis joining this squad. I’ve seen the statistical arguments people have made prior on here regarding his potential impact, but I just can’t help to think he’ll really want to help.

  37. The Infamous Cdiggy

    sisterray: I wouldn’t say that I’m “throwing TD under the bus,” since I still think he’s great at what he does (which should not be playing point), but it’s a fair point you make about how he’s doing no worse than Billups. In fact, let’s compare their stats for yesterday:

    TD: 35 min, 8-19 FG, 4 assists, 3 steals, 2 turnovers
    Billups: 38 min, 6-19 FG, 4 assists, 0 steals, 1 turnover

    Sure, Billups was playing alongside Paul while TD was supposed to be PG — and these are just a few abstract numbers that give a very vague sense of actual performance in 2 very different games — but I think it’s fair to say that Billups, a true PG, wouldn’t have played much differently than TD yesterday if he were still with us.

    Ehh… Billups at his best is a one-and-a-half. To me he was always a good passer but a lil better scorer. To me, his best passing days (and numbers) were when he was in Detroit.

  38. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    I’d love Jeremy Lin on this team as a back-up. He’s the perfect third-string PG with upside.

  39. BigBlueAL

    Knicks were in a no-win situation yesterday. With Pierce out, any win would come with an asterisk. A close win or loss would bring out the doomsday critics.

    We can properly start assessing this team after 10 games I say. But the game-to-game analysis does make this site fun lol

  40. BigBlueAL

    Knicks-Celtics yesterday was most watched Christmas Day game on cable ever. Lockout really hurt NBA’s popularity lol

  41. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    Knicks-Celtics yesterday was most watched Christmas Day game on cable ever. Lockout really hurt NBA’s popularity lol

    Ha! I know, right? I found the talk about the lockout hurting the league’s popularity was overblown, but it was nice to see some confirmation of that.

  42. jon abbey

    BigBlueAL:
    We can properly start assessing this team after 10 games I say.But the game-to-game analysis does make this site fun lol

    a general rule of thumb is that it takes 40 games/half a season to judge the chemistry of a new major part (and NY has at least two in Chandler/Baron).

    considering Baron isn’t even going to be playing for a few more weeks and considering there will be virtually no practice time for anyone this year, I don’t think we’re going to have much of a bead on what this team really is until close to playoff time.

  43. BigBlueAL

    Yeah, I look at Baron Davis as the wild card in this season. If he doesnt come back healthy and play that well I still think this current team will finish in the Top 4 or 5 in the East and hopefully win a playoff series. If Davis is healthy and playing very good it should push this team to the Atlantic Division title and give them a very good fighting chance of upsetting the Bulls or maybe the Heat in the playoffs.

    Regardless of how good Baron Davis can be and how much he can possibly help this team it is clear as night and day though that the Bulls and especially the Heat are light years ahead of everyone else in the East (although a fully healthy Celtics team is still very dangerous). It will be interesting to see come playoff time how this Knicks team is playing and what realistic chances they will have of challenging the Heat and Bulls.

  44. nicos

    The Celtics are a tough team to gauge an offense against because they stay at home much more than most other teams. I don’t know another team in the league that would leave Pavlovic and Daniels to cover Melo one on one without having a guard sag back or a big cheat over. They let Melo catch the ball with way too much space to operate and while he may not shoot that well every game, if he sees single coverage like that all year he’ll lead the league in scoring (and efficiently too). Similarly, most teams will send someone at Amar’e the moment he puts it on the floor- the C’s didn’t and he had success just about every time he drove the ball. Of course, without the space Melo and Amare create by drawing doubles, ball (and player) movement becomes much more difficult so it’s not so surprising that TD struggled (though his inability to throw a lob or hit anyone on the P & R makes me skeptical he’ll ever be efficient running the point in D’A’s system).

  45. BigBlueAL

    Doc mentioned after the game that he made a mistake by not doubling Melo immediately and getting the ball out of his hands like he did in Game 2 last year.

  46. daJudge

    48 & 50. Given that it will clearly take time for players to get acquainted, the Knicks need to win games the old fashion way-Ugly. I’m great with that for now. I think expecting more is unrealistic at this point. Chandler will help us win the ugly games and so will Melo’s isolations.

  47. Caleb

    It’s only one game, so anything more than 5 comments here is overanalyzying, but why not?!? It’s fun!

    The Knicks won. They beat a good team, with or without Paul Pierce.

    The offense was good. Maybe ugly with no PG, but they put up very good numbers against a top defense.

    The defense was awful.

    It was a ragged game. 2 weeks of training camp, 2 exhibition games – what do you expect?

    We

    @20 and Shumpert… I’ll agree he looked good, and his shots weren’t bad, but let’s put down the rose-colored glasses. It’s not a fluke he never finished at the rim; he was a low-efficiency player in college and he’s not going to suddenly turn into a great scorer his rookie season as a pro. He and TD need to cut back their attempts and get the ball to the guys who get paid for it.

    I’m a little worried about TD – he made the league as a defender (DPOY in the ACC, I think) but seems to have decided he would rather make a contract push by jacking up shots, than spend his energy guarding someone.

    We knew coming in the Knicks were weak at PG, but it’s a lot easier to fill that hole than it is to find Tyson Chandler. Hopefully Baron will make for an upgrade.

  48. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    It seems pretty clear to me that Shumpert needs to work on his jump shot before he starts jacking up the threes. He wasn’t a good shooter in college, and he won’t be now if he doesn’t put in a whole lot of work.

    I think the rim-finishing was more fluky than normal (no way of quantifying that), but it’s his long-range shot that really sucks, no matter how “smooth” it looks. I think I remember him kicking his legs forward and leaning back a bit on his three ball, which is a big no-no. Straight up, Ray Allen style.

  49. daJudge

    CJ–when you say the rim finishing was more fluky than normal, do you mean that you thought he got to the rim, but for whatever reason did not finish? Personally, I loved his attack to the rim, and his finishing can certainly be broken down, quantified and fixed. From watching the plays, I thought he was being a bit too fancy and was pinching his release, not going high enough on the back board, which is very common. He will improve on this and it is relatively easy to correct. You can take that to the bank. Also, I don’t think the rook realized how open he was on some of his forays. Who would have thought? Three point shooting not so much. Anyone that has missed an open lay up after beating his defender knows what I mean. However, his confidence is a major asset to predict success on the outside jumper, a three or otherwise. His smooth release is clearly important and I think all of you know that. His shot selection is another issue that can be taught, but probably not by BD or Coach (no snark intended).

  50. Jafa

    JK47:
    We have lots of very winnable games coming up, even with our depleted roster. Next ten are: @GSW, @LAL, @SAC, TOR, CHA, @WAS, @DET, CHA, PHI, @MEM.

    The only games that look tough out of those ten are the Lakers, Memphis and Philly. The rest of those teams don’t figure to be playoff teams. Toronto, Charlotte and Detroit are some of the worst teams in the NBA.

    I predict we start the season 9-1.

  51. swiftandabundant

    I was ecstatic the first half. I almost died in the 3rd Quarter. And I was screaming when Melo hit that 3. On Christmas in the Living Room I was screaming at the tv. So they didn’t have Pierce (we didn’t have Davis and lost Shump). So its just one game and a lot of our flaws were shown in that 3rd Quarter. They came back and beat a team that has owned us for the last 4 years. The team showed great heart and its a good sign for the season. We have lots of work to do, but the future is bright!

    The Knicks Are Back and so are Blaze and Willie G!
    http://tinyurl.com/ChandlerStatMelo

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