Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Knicks 108, Grizzlies 101

Memphis Grizzlies 101 Final
Recap | Box Score
108 New York Knicks
Kenyon Martin, PF 26 MIN | 2-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 4 PTS | +10

A rather quiet night for the Knicks’ best big (That still feels uncommonly disconcerting to type.), mainly due to a flurry of ticky-tack and/or silly early 3rd quarter fouls (Don’t worry—we’ll talk about the arbiters in a jiffy). That said, when he did get to spin in the 1st stanza, he wholly throttled Zach Randolph, who probably outweighed him by a good Nate Robinson pounds or so, jamming every tattoo he had into Z-Bo’s rolling mounds of voluminous, hyperadiposic flesh, pushing him further and further away from the hoop and using all of his 78.65 years of experience to keep him from gobbling up rebounds. Being a sadistic, vicious ogre m’self, I most enjoyed Kenyon’s interpretation of the “no layups” rule.

I LOVE YOU, MANG

It’s like one of those overly-masculine/macho, way-too-aggressive embraces where you can just tell that there’s a closeted, homoerotic impulse buried deep inside, like this is how the hugger gets to touch men and be punished for it at the same time. I LOVE YOU, MAN. NO I REALLY LOVE YOU. I MIGHT BE CHOKING YOU, BUT IT’S ONLY BECAUSE I REALLY, REALLY LOVE YOU MANNNNNNNNNNNNNN.

Carmelo Anthony, SF 40 MIN | 8-20 FG | 6-6 FT | 7 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 22 PTS | -2

I was chatting with a few wise Knick wags about Melo’s shot last night. Honestly, I’m not well versed enough in basketball shooting mechanics to say either way, but the general opinion was/is that he’s bricking jumpers because he’s not following through on his shot and/or getting enough lift. They also opined that even with the leeches that MSG’s crack medical team used to remove the synovial goo from his balky joint, he’s probably still not back to his pre-Howard garroting best. (SIDE NOTE: All of Melo’s injury woes this year date back to a cheap foul by that Pez-gobbling fart aroma-connoisseur. I remain gobsmacked that Knick Knation, which collectively has the tendency to get the dial veering wildly to the right on the victimization/perpetual-outrage-at-the-basic-unfairness-of-the-universe-o-meter, has let D12 off the hook for this transgression. In sum, go sit on a tack, Dwight.)

In any case, tonight I tried to screw on my best Red on Roundball face and see if I could determine if there was any merit to the notion that there’s something discernable in Melo’s form that would account for his post-injury trip to Brick City. In the first, he was so set on facilitating for the rest of his ‘mates and/or taking the rock to the rack that I couldn’t tell. In the 2nd half, which was filled with fadeaway jumpers and ball massaging, it seemed like it wasn’t a question of form as much as it was bad decisions, though his shot was a little flat. He did a swell job dealing with Gasol or whichever brute he was forced to guard, and the two shots nailed in the fourth were clutch, but I remain worried. You guys are smart—is this just a stretch of poor shooting or is there something more there?

Iman Shumpert, SF 21 MIN | 6-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 16 PTS | +9

I can’t state strongly enough how important Shump banging home those three early treys was to discombobulating the Gracelanders 2nd ranked D. It opened the whole floor up and was the catalyst for the ping-pong, precision passes that were soon to follow. Being guarded by a sofa-denter like Z-bo certainly helped his confidence. I don’t know about you, but Shump’s shot looks textbook-pretty, even when it’s clanging off iron, so it was even more eye candy-ish to see those first four bombs splash the net (12-25 overall during this recent six game winning streak). And that gorgeous one-man fast break, frosted with a deft fake and lay in? Yummy yummers.

Raymond Felton, PG 32 MIN | 5-6 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 13 PTS | -4

‘Member those shrewd village elders I mentioned two players ago? We were also discussing the rather paltry stat lines that our portly, penguin-y point has been putting up (We don’t get this alliterative when we chat. That’d be super annoying.), and it seemed as if Raymond wasn’t driving the ball as authoritatively as we’ve come to expect, especially considering the last five opponents haven’t been rife with shotblockers. I’m generally of the opinion that, like a teething, sugar-addled toddler, he’s better when he’s seen and not heard but he definitely penetrated decisively tonight and nailed a few of those, “No, no, no, no…YES” triples. Solid game.

Pablo Prigioni, PG 19 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | +6

If we forged an official, Vatican-stamped decree from the new Argentine Pope, do you think that’d make Pablo shoot more? I think it’s come to that. His defense on all manner of guards and wings was lovely and he’s been a wondrous revelation as a starter, positively interring all of those atrocious 1st quarters that we’ve grown sadly accustomed to, but I get Woodson yanking him after he passed up a trey that led directly to a fast break opportunity. And if he’s feeling dodgy about his shot, we’ve seen him convert a couple of Nash-like floaters/runners. Shoot more, Pablo. We’ll only love you with greater fervor, even if you miss. Pinky swear.

Chris Copeland, SF 6 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | -5

After a positively miserable outing in Beantown, it looked early on like Cope had returned to permanent exile at his Elba, the end of the bench. When Camby was allowed to leave early to attend his weekly book club meeting, Cope got the call and converted a couple of tough interior buckets. Given that the Knicks only needed to exchange baskets to salt this game away, I would have liked to see him get a little more floor time.

Steve Novak, SF 16 MIN | 3-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 9 PTS | +6

For all you Manhattan natives, Steve Novak will be at the McDonalds on 641 6th Ave tomorrow between 12-2 to try the new Premium McWrap. No joke. This is a real thing. I’m seriously considering going and presenting him with my drawing of him. Whaddaya think? Funny? Creepy? Both? Anyhoo…something I’ve noticed the last few games is that Steve’s been staying an extra foot or so more behind the three point line. I assume this is to give him a sliver of space to launch. In the first half, (like all things Knickly tonight) it worked like a charm. Afterwards, not so much.

Marcus Camby, C 8 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | +5

Marcus, Marcus, Marcus…good job as the defensive anchor for the Prigs/Kidd/Smith/Novak group that went absolutely bat guano crazy in the 2nd. Woulda been nice to see if you could have done the same thing later on. That would’ve helped. So you’re getting an F. I’m trying to teach you a lesson here. This hurts me more than it does you.

Jason Kidd, PG 29 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-1 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 4 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 3 PTS | +4

Here are my more or less unedited notes: “I know he’s started grumbling about retirement, but there’s really nothing stopping him from playing effectively for the next two years of his deal—he sure ain’t gonna get any dumber / The hands, dear God(s), the hands! That behind the back, no look pass to Novak in the corner…aside from Rubio, who does that? A look-away 30’ alley-oop to J.R? That’s just uh-may-zing!” Even before Jason Kidd banged home the bomb at the 1:15 mark that more or less stuck a fork in Memphis’ hairy backside, I realized that watching Jason made me grin so wide my face hurt. Back in the day, when he was on the Jersey Shore, I was so busy loathing him, I’m sure I underappreciated his talents. Imagine all this wisdom with a nitrous oxide burst of actual speed. Lawdy. I’ve certainly said this before, but it bears repeating. He’s the smartest player I’ve ever rooted for. Period. If anything in your life has you feeling blue, just watch this a few times.

J.R. Smith, SG 42 MIN | 10-18 FG | 12-13 FT | 7 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 4 TO | 35 PTS | +8

Here’s a fun bit of statistical noise: In his last two games, J.R. Smith has scored 67 points on 23-for-42 shooting. That’s good right? Yeah it is. More impressive than his continued insistence upon using his contortionist-like athleticism to bob, dance, and weave through a flurry of rim protectors/finish with aplomb is the fact that Tony Allen, a Bowenian irritator of the first order, was digging deep into his dirty bag of dirty tricks to try to goad Earl into losing his cool or becoming shot-happy. I know what you’re thinking: “J.R. can’t lose his composure. He never had any to lose to begin with.” (rim shot) Amazingly, improbably, he appears to have leased some cool with an option to buy, all due to the tough-love/kindly hand of Son of Wood. Peep this quote:

“We have a funny relationship, honestly,” Smith said. “It’s crazy. Off the court it’s like father-son. On the court we bump heads sometimes. He cusses me out, I cuss him out and we just go from there. By the end of the timeout we’re on the same page. It’s fun. I love playing for him.”

Hey, whatever works. Stick then carrot or carrot then stick. “Carrot and Pipe” is probably more accurate. Anyway, J.R.’s 4 offensive ‘bounds were a serious bonus too. He’s playing great. Not much more to say.

Mike Woodson

Why all the ISO-Melo in the fourth? It’s not like his j was sopping wet or anything. Seriously, I’m asking. The schizophrenia was a team-wide issue, but certain our fearless leader can see what’s working and what isn’t, right? I know I’ve ripped the Goateed one a new…one…before, but it’s because I cannot tell whether he’s a good coach or a bad coach or both. Often I go back and forth in the same game, like tonight, f’rinstance. It seemed like every good move was wedded with a counter that brings my head forcefully down upon my desk. It’s a perfect microcosm for the team as a whole, if a maddeningly frustrating one.

Five Things We Saw

  1. Massive exhale. Dickensian game, amirite? Best of times and worst of times. When we heard the news that Marc Gasol, who’d been out with a shredded midsection (Which hurts like a mofo FYI, if you’ve never had the pleasure. If you’re not the type that’s prone to Pilates-ing your core into a glorious washboard of core-muscle-y goodness, a torn abdomen’s a wonderful introduction into all the ways in which you might used that part of your body that you don’t even realize; sitting, standing, breathing—basically anything that involves moving outside of batting your lashes at a particularly comely lass of virtue true.), would in fact be suiting up, I was powerful afeared of yet another thuggish whomping from Memphis’ beastly, bruin-like frontline; similar to what we experienced way back the first time these two teams clashed. Considering Tyson’s neck was preventing him from looking up, (That’s an important skill to possess when toiling in professional hoops, methinks.), I was girding my loins for a knock, down, drag-out, low-scoring game in which the Knickerbockers not only lost, but were pounded so mercilessly they’d be left a bloody, staggering pulp, dumped in a Hefty bag by the Sbarro’s outside MSG by the time the final buzzer sounded.
  2. But glory be! We did travel back to a simpler, nay, more innocent time—the halcyon days of November, Twen’y-Twelve. There was a table laid with the finest cured meats and well-aged cheeses; the ball whipped around the perimeter until it nestled in the mitts of a wide open three point shooter, like the borderline Platonic perfection of a sequence in which Prigs drove the lane, kicked to Kidd in the corner, who immediately jump passed to Novak, who kissed the ball to J.R. at the top of the key. Orgasmic; Children were skipping, giggling and gallivanting about with nary a morsel dribbled onto their best finery; the defense rotated with vigor, closed out on shooters, team-rebounded with gusto, and artfully deflected/snaggled many a wayward pass or ill-conceived drive into paint; father lit his pipe, leaned back in his chair and regaled us with tales of fighting alongside the Republican forces to take down that scurrilous tyrant, Generalissimo Francisco Franco; the Knicks combatted their lack of size by forcing a bigger, more physical team to go small/match up to them; and even Uncle Telemachus’ drunken lechery was greeted with a kindly eye.
  3. Life was but a dream. The first half was a massive chorus singing, “November Rain,” but not like Axl Rose intended—the sad tale of the misery of a former multi-platinum blues-influenced rock star, now so drunk and drug-addled he never knows what day it is, who reminisces over an on-and-off-again relationship—but a bombastic ode to basketball joy. The Knicks banked a season-high 69 points, hit 61% from the field, led by 28 (!) and all seemed right with the world. And then…gah. Look, we all expected the Elvises to make a run, but in an annoying, eerie repeat of the first time these two clashed, a few sketchy whistles and all of a sudden, we found ourselves in the midst of a bad remake of Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Iso, as they forgot about the all the wondrous things that had given them a 30-point bulge in the first place. And the refs…double gah. It was a terribly, stupidly officiated game on both sides, but the aggrieved kvetching positively has to stop. Take Marcus Camby (please). Yes, that was a poor call. He was without a doubt mugged by Gasol the Younger. But considering Martin and Shumpert were already glued to the pine for the duration of the third with four fouls apiece, and at that moment, our side was still up 24, he cannot begin shrieking and wailing like a bereaved, bent Italian crone/Fellini stock character, leaving the Knicks to feebly insert Novakland at center. Dumb. So dumb. It’s happened before, and it’s going to happen again, possibly as soon as the 1st round of the playoffs. If the standings remain unchanged, you can betcha bottom dollar that Kevin and Paul and all those wily, dastardly Celtics will do everything this side of munching a certain breakfast cereal during the game to get our guys to lose their bits.
  4. And the Ursines just kept creeping closer and closer, aided in no small part by a seemingly-endless parade to the charity stripe (14 freebies in the 3rd alone) and suddenly, what looked for all intents and purposes to be a care-free jaunt through extended gahr-BAHZ time (as Marv is wont to say) turned into the grindhouse affair we all expected prior to tip off. If the Grizzlies had one or two more non-Jerryd Bayless long range marksmen, the ‘Bockers would have been in a heap of trouble. Speaking of which, eff Jerryd Bayless. It’s not just that he looks like a botched clone of Carlos Boozer. It’s not just the way he sticks a foot/hop at a shooter when he’s in the air. It’s not just that when the Knick D faltered and he began to torch them from inside and out the yappy sumbitch just would not shut up. There’s just something about Bayless that fills me with an unrelenting, nails-on-the-blackboard, chewing tinfoil-type venom. I have a feeling many a Knick feels the same way. After Jerryd picked up his sixth foul, Melo said something that made me wish I were a trained lip-reader. I’ll assume it was a Nelson Muntz-esque, “Ha-HA!” or possibly, “Take your Slick Watts-style cocked headband and git the eff outta our house, you annoying lil’ motherscratcher.” Either works for me.
  5. But hey, they won. They won a hard-fought game against a good team on a night where a loss was certainly in the offing. Their best player had another off shooting night, they were without the reigning DPOY and, after all the ejections and foul woes, they were so vertically challenged they’d have a hard time dealing with Britney Griner down low. This is a good thing. Six in a row – the longest streak in the league now that LeBron et al have finally (finally!) dropped one – is a very good thing. The pesky RobertCats come into town to kick off the weekend. Friday night portents of doom notwithstanding, they’ve got a good shot to hit lucky number seven. Excelsior!

59 comments on “Knicks 108, Grizzlies 101

  1. GAx

    first time commenting in a while, but that Woodson piece, hell every section, had me nodding my head like a toy bird dipping into a glass of water. Another gem of a recap.

  2. GAx

    also I’m so happy I’m not the only one that thought the entire game that Boozer’s ugly little brother was playing for Memphis tonight

  3. GHenman

    If only the Knicks had a three point specialist that could knock down those open three’s early in the game evey night the way that Shump did tonight. But who? Ronnie Brewer, James White, Shump, Cope? There must be someone…

  4. ephus

    Good JR is an All-Star. Woodson deserves COY consideration for succeeding where everyone else has failed. JR Smith has put himself back in contention for Sixth Man Of The Year.

    Mike Woodson:JR Smith::Crash Davis:Nuke LaLoosh.

  5. Zanzibar

    Memo to Woodson – We’ve got a bunch of talented but undisciplined knuckleheads. That’s where you come in fresh off your transformation of JR. All of this whining on ref’s calls has to stop – it’s hurting our team. Refs don’t like to constantly be showed up especially when they make the right calls to begin with. Melo moans where there was no foul and fails to get back on defense (happens a lot). Camby was channeling Tyson – not his grittiness but his whininess. Melo, Tyson, Camby are veterans who should be setting a tone for the rest of the team. But no – even Shumpert argued a call where he nearly ripped off the opponent’s forearm. The last thing Shump needs is to get a reputation with the refs at this stage of his career, especially given the way he plays defense. You ever wonder why Durant seems to get favorable calls from the officials? Maybe his personality and how he interacts with refs? The time to talk to officials is at a break and then make your case politely. Tech free throws, points allowed by failing to get back on defense, and alienation of refs by overall team bitching costs us and we don’t have any margin for error. This Grump Old Men movie has been playing for far too long – time for you, Kidd and Clyde to have an intervention.

  6. Frank

    @7- overall agree but you do realize that Durant has the 2nd most techs in the league this year?

    Great win last night- a little shaky at the end but like someone wrote above, you had to get a 30 point lead in order to almost lose it.

    Loving how JR is playing although if he keeps this up, he might just be playing for another team next year which would really really hurt our chances for making noise going forward.

  7. prezs2reprsntme

    melo was def tired from banging with gasol and zbo, and playing the day before. same shit happened first time we played memphis — one of the rare downsides of him playing 4 against huge opponents.

  8. Frank

    prezs2reprsntme:
    melo was def tired from banging with gasol and zbo, and playing the day before. same shit happened first time we played memphis — one of the rare downsides of him playing 4 against huge opponents.

    totally agree- this was the 2nd night of a back-to-back —
    so great that Melo can sort of sit back and let JR do the “shot-creating” now.

    Speaking of guys getting tired – it might be time to decrease JR’s minutes too — he is averaging about 36 min/game for the last few weeks – and considering how hard he plays on both ends (and how many hits he’s taken now that he’s attacking the basket), I’d hate to see him wear down.

  9. Frank

    btw, can Brooklyn lose please? this is getting ridiculous. I still think getting to 50 wins will win the division for us, but they really are playing well. Wouldn’t surprise me if we needed 51 or 52 wins to clinch this thing.

  10. mcliff05

    During the game I was chaulking Melo’s off night to playing Memphis on a back to back. Z-bo is just one of those 4s that will punish you for ‘disrespecting’ him by playing out of position. Now though I as I look back on it, Melo just cant be playing near 100% healthy right now.

  11. Sovereign

    I was chewing my fingernails when they managed to drop a 30pt lead down to like 7, but it was great to see them pull this one off. Kidd’s three was just “wow”.

    I was at MSG for this one and it was amazin’.

  12. Frank

    mcliff05: Z-bo is just one of those 4s that will punish you for ‘disrespecting’ him by playing out of position.

    I’d love to see Z-bo’s bar tab from the night before the game. He was beyond awful last night.

  13. DS

    It’s funny how Crawford and Z-Bo have become media darlings in the right systems. I don’t miss either much at all.

  14. DS

    All this noise about D-Rose has me thinking about Shump. They say that torn ACL’s require becoming mentally comfortable testing the knee. All things considered, IMHO, Shump is returning to form nicely.

  15. d-mar

    Hilarious how the sports media has jumped all over the Bulls bandwagon in droves based on last night’s game. Miami was bound to lose at some point, and it could have been to Chicago, NO, SA, NY, etc. Now the Bulls based on one game are the one true threat to the Heat in the playoffs because they “stood up to them” last night.

  16. Frank

    Great stats from this AM

    From Tommy Beer – JR is the first bench player to score 30+ 4x in one month since Ricky Pierce in 1990.

    From radio – Knicks haven’t won the division since 1994. almost 20 years!!!

    From Beck – Knicks haven’t won this many games in a season in 12 years. Haven’t been 18 games above .500 since 2000.

    From me – JR’s FTA/FGA last 8 games: 49.2%. JR’s career FTA/FGA: 23.4%

    From me – JR is one of only 5 bench players since 2000 to have a streak of 8 games or more with 5+ FTA. Others are Corey Maggette, Kevin Martin, James Harden, and Etan Thomas. Strange company.

  17. mcliff05

    Frank: I’d love to see Z-bo’s bar tab from the night before the game. He was beyond awful last night.

    True, they mentioned the brewing beef with him and Hollins a few times on the broadcast last night which seemed to have a big role in his play. He still was called for 2 offensive fouls against Melo. Im just saying playing D against someone like Z-bo can really have an effect on your energy on the other end of the floor.

  18. mcliff05

    Frank: From me – JR is one of only 5 bench players since 2000 to have a streak of 8 games or more with 5+ FTA. Others are Corey Maggette, Kevin Martin, James Harden, and Etan Thomas. Strange company.

    That is strage company. I remember seeing Etan Thomas and Felton together in Aruba (same hotel) the offseason before Felton came to the Knicks for his 1st stint. And I remember thinking they were a strange pair. Like going out with the predator and winnie the pooh. But I digress…

  19. massive

    DS:
    All this noise about D-Rose has me thinking about Shump.They say that torn ACL’s require becoming mentally comfortable testing the knee.All things considered, IMHO, Shump is returning to form nicely.

    Iman Shumpert was on the Dean’s list at Georgia Tech. The kid haa strong head on his shoulders if he can do that as a student athlete, so it doesn’t surprise me.that he’s been able to bounce back from this injury better than Derrick Rose of the “I let another kid take my SAT for me” division. Derrick Rose could never be a Knick and do what he is doing now.

  20. Douglas

    Frank: @7- overall agree but you do realize that Durant has the 2nd most techs in the league this year?

    But… but… MA NARRATIVE!

    massive: hat he’s been able to bounce back from this injury better than Derrick Rose of the “I let another kid take my SAT for me” division.

    We can’t forget, however, that Rose’s injury was more serious than Shump’s.

    Robert, your bit about Father lighting up his pipe (pipe, eh?) to regale a gaggle of rapt-eyed children about his exploits in the Abe Lincoln Brigade might be my favorite comic digression in a game recap to date.

  21. lavor postell

    massive: Iman Shumpert was on the Dean’s list at Georgia Tech. The kid haa strong head on his shoulders if he can do that as a student athlete, so it doesn’t surprise me.that he’s been able to bounce back from this injury better than Derrick Rose of the “I let another kid take my SAT for me” division. Derrick Rose could never be a Knick and do what he is doing now.

    Haha amazing how that story got swept under the rug, since it doesn’t fit in with the great, hardworking, honest kid from Chicago who’s returned to “save the franchise”. You’d think this was a perennial 50+ loss team for the 5 years before his arrival, which they certainly were not.

    Also on that not Lebron bitching about getting fouled hard and not getting calls is hilarious. If anybody on the Knicks pulled some shit like he did on Boozer last night you can bet they would definitely have been ejected and probably suspended for an additional game.

  22. Zanzibar

    “Also on that not Lebron bitching about getting fouled hard and not getting calls is hilarious. ”

    Do you really believe Lebron bitches as much as Melo and Tyson and is habitually slow getting back on defense when he does like those two? We’ve got 3 players this season in the top 15 in techs. Last season we had 3 in the top 10. Not counting Sheed who surely would have made the list but for an injury. It seems to be a team phenomenon with us but it’s not just, or even mostly, the techs. Saint Tyson it seems has never committed a foul in his entire career. As for Melo, players who pound the ball in the post should complain but there’s a more effective way to do it. It’s convenient for fans to argue that Stern hates Dolan and that filters down to how refs call Knick games but I’m not convinced. Again, to my eye, our team’s got a rep because of the behavior of a few key players and it’s hurting us. Why would it surprise anyone that refs, being human beings, might then – consciously or subconsciously – favor our opponents on close calls?

  23. johnno

    Zanzibar: Do you really believe Lebron bitches as much as Melo and Tyson

    You completely miss the point. LeBron gets the Michael “breathe on me and they’ll call a foul on you” Jordan treatment and HE, of all people, has the nerve to complain about Kirk Hinrich’s foul? He says THAT wasn’t a real basketball play? Hinrich sacrificed his body and got in front of a steaming Mack truck and committed a foul. Not a real basketball play? It was not only a real basketball play, it was one of the best basketball plays I’ve seen all season. Hats off to Kirk Hinrich!

    On another note, to those of you who are criticizing Melo’s performance last night — he spent a good part of the second half wrestling with Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol, who COMBINED for 16 points and 9 rebounds, not to mention 7 turnovers. I’ll forgive the bad shooting night in light of his defensive performance.

  24. lavor postell

    Zanzibar:
    “Also on that not Lebron bitching about getting fouled hard and not getting calls is hilarious. ”

    Do you really believe Lebron bitches as much as Melo and Tyson and is habitually slow getting back on defense when he does like those two? We’ve got 3 players this season in the top 15 in techs. Last season we had 3 in the top 10.Not counting Sheed who surely would have made the list but for an injury. It seems to be a team phenomenon with us but it’s not just, or even mostly, the techs. Saint Tyson it seems has never committed a foul in his entire career. As for Melo, players who pound the ball in the post should complain but there’s a more effective way to do it. It’s convenient for fans to argue that Stern hates Dolan and that filters down to how refs call Knick games but I’m not convinced. Again, to my eye, our team’s got a rep because of the behavior of a few key players and it’s hurting us. Why would it surprise anyone that refs, being human beings, might then– consciously or subconsciously – favor our opponents on close calls?

    Durant bitches more than anybody and is 2nd in the league in techs yet he gets a better whistle than anybody in the league. Paul is probably one of the most serial whiners in the league not to mention entering the pantheon of great floppers (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcxXGPDC1Gs) in the history of the game. Lebron, Wade and Battier not only get away with serial flopping, but Lebron and Wade constantly draw fouls with the patented just jump into a defender when you have nowhere to go, flail your arms and scream like you’ve been shot move.

    Better question for you is why would Lebron ever bitch as much as Melo? He gets a better whistle and let’s not get into the amount of defensive fouls he simply doesn’t get called for. How many offensive fouls a game does Melo get called for simply fighting for post…

  25. Zanzibar

    First of all, flopping and Reggie Milleresque tricks, are different animals from whining – the players are not directly confronting the refs. As for Durant, he was 35th in techs last season so this appears to a relatively new phenomenon unlike Melo and Tyson who have a history. Perhaps if he continues down this path he won’t keep getting the calls; it takes a while for a reputation to set in. The Lebron situation raises “chicken or egg” question, but I will concede he probably does get favorable treatment because he’s the best player in the NBA. And that also could account for why Durant and Paul MIGHT get more favorable treatment than Melo (top 5 players). Part of it also might be that Melo is similar to Shaq in that his strength makes it difficult for refs to gauge fouls. Whether it’s fair or not to me is ultimately a separate issue. The real question is this: Does Tyson’s and Melo’s behavior hurt the team? If it does, then they should change it and again, there are better ways to work the officials.

  26. johnno

    Zanzibar: The Lebron situation raises “chicken or egg” question, but I will concede he probably does get favorable treatment

    “Probably” gets favorable treatment???? There was a six game stretch in December in which he played 40 minutes a night and didn’t get a SINGLE foul called on him. Really? He didn’t commit even one? In six games? If there was EVER a guy in the NBA who had no right at all to complain about refs, it’s him.

  27. DS

    massive: Iman Shumpert was on the Dean’s list at Georgia Tech. The kid haa strong head on his shoulders if he can do that as a student athlete, so it doesn’t surprise me.that he’s been able to bounce back from this injury better than Derrick Rose of the “I let another kid take my SAT for me” division. Derrick Rose could never be a Knick and do what he is doing now.

    I’ve always felt that intelligence (emotional, cognitive, obviously spacial), not to be confused with “basketball IQ,” was underrated in evaluating players. I assume being a pro athlete is a learning process like anything else. Although don’t ask me what’s going on w/ Landry Fields.

  28. lavor postell

    Zanzibar:
    First of all, flopping and Reggie Milleresque tricks, are different animals from whining– the players are not directly confronting the refs. As for Durant, he was 35th in techs last season so this appears to a relatively new phenomenon unlike Melo and Tyson who have a history. Perhaps if he continues down this path he won’t keep getting the calls; it takes a while for a reputation to set in. The Lebron situation raises “chicken or egg” question, but I will concede he probably does get favorable treatment because he’s the best player in the NBA. And that also could account for why Durant and Paul MIGHT get more favorable treatment than Melo (top 5 players). Part of it also might be that Melo is similar to Shaq in that his strength makes it difficult for refs to gauge fouls. Whether it’s fair or not to me is ultimately a separate issue. The real question is this: Does Tyson’s and Melo’s behavior hurt the team? If it does, then they should change it and again, there are better ways to work the officials.

    I personally think whining and flopping, often, go hand in hand. Guys like Lebron, Durant, Harden, Paul, Griffin, Paul, Pierce, etc. certainly lead the way in both categories, but do not receive the same easy whistle Knicks players get. Rasheed Wallace got T’d up for saying “ball don’t lie”. What is that?

    It probably is symptomatic of the Knicks bitching a lot, Melo and Tyson definitely heading up the list, but there have been several games this season where the Knicks have gotten fucked by the refs. Both Memphis games, @LAL, Chicago and OKC at home come to mind immediately. How many times this year has Melo been hit in the face or eye without a foul being called? Would that ever happen to Lebron or Durant?

  29. Zanzibar

    johnno: “Probably” gets favorable treatment???? There was a six game stretch in December in which he played 40 minutes a night and didn’t get a SINGLE foul called on him.Really?He didn’t commit even one?In six games?If there was EVER a guy in the NBA who had no right at all to complain about refs, it’s him.

    I said “probably” because I would have to watch his games regularly like I do the Knicks to render a definite opinion. But probably means highly likely here based upon league history: the league’s best player usually does receive favorable treatment. You’ve raised the question of hypocrisy in your posts and again I would have to look more closely at how Lebron complains when he’s called for a foul. Last night, he was obviously frustrated and barreled into Boozer but I did not notice him complaining when the Flagrant 1 was upheld.

  30. massive

    Don’t forget the game at Dallas when Melo took a freaking uppercut from Chris Kaman in the closing minutes and there was no foul called. And we all saw the Nets get demolished by the Heat numerous times this season. They stand no chance against Miami.

  31. ephus

    The one part of Zanzibar’s comment that I think is indisputable is that ‘Melo is particularly likely to be slow to retreat on defense when he does not get a call on the offensive end. Everyone from THCJ to Ruruland has called him out on this. I hope that ‘Melo finally puts this bad habit behind him.

    After a two week stretch of doubt, I close to ready to once again say, “This is a great time to be a Knick fan.” A healthy Tyson Chandler seals the deal.

  32. flossy

    jon abbey:
    Danny Granger out for the year.

    Meh. He played in 5 games and was awful. Doubt it means much as far as the playoff picture is concerned.

  33. er

    flossy: Meh.He played in 5 games and was awful.Doubt it means much as far as the playoff picture is concerned.

    It means p George is the only playoff experienced wing for Indy which does help a lil

  34. ruruland

    chrisk06811:
    I think that tackle proves he’s really not Fugazi, whatever the hell that means.

    People actually think K-Mart is a fake tough guy?

    Wait until you watch how he plays KG.

  35. max fisher-cohen

    er: It means p George is the only playoff experienced wing for Indy which does help a lil

    George Hill played his first 3 years with San Antonio. It does make one fewer guy to d up Melo though.

    In regard to Durant’s tech’s, I think it’s a choice on his part. He realizes that the main thing separating him from Lebron, Melo, Kobe in terms of popularity is that he comes off too soft spoken and nice. No one wants to wear the jersey of a nerd, no matter how great a scorer he is.

  36. jon abbey

    ruruland: People actually think K-Mart is a fake tough guy?

    this is a famous story from when he was on the Nets and Tim Thomas was on the Knicks, maybe you don’t know:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/playoffs2004/news/story?id=1787142

    he might have been a bit of a fake tough guy back then, but he is definitely not now. I’m not sure anyone gets away with as consistently hard fouls as him currently, he has people a bit scared to go inside at times.

    and too bad Tim Thomas never put that effort into his game, that dude had unlimited potential.

  37. ruruland

    jon abbey: this is a famous story from when he was on the Nets and Tim Thomas was on the Knicks, maybe you don’t know:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/playoffs2004/news/story?id=1787142

    he might have been a bit of a fake tough guy back then, but he is definitely not now. I’m not sure anyone gets away with as consistently hard fouls as him currently, he has people a bit scared to go inside at times.

    and too bad Tim Thomas never put that effort into his game, that dude had unlimited potential.

    I know the story. I think it was actually less true then than it is now.

  38. ruruland

    Not that it was ever true, though Kenyon will sometimes pick on the little white guys like KG does, he is way more tough guy than KG, and you’ll see that when they match-up.

    Also, he put up 36/13 in game 4, two days after Thomas’ comments from game 3.

    People make fun of those Nets’ finals teams, but forget that they took eventual champion Detroit to 7 games in that third year.

  39. BigBlueAL

    Brian Cronin: Ha! Yeah, they’re a pain. But I think that the Knicks will still end up passing them for the #2 seed.

    I think its gonna come down to their game against each other late in the season. If the Pacers win they clinch the tie-breaker, if the Knicks win they will basically clinch the tie-breaker because they should have the better conference record since right now they have 3 fewer losses than Indiana vs the East.

  40. ruruland

    Brian Cronin:
    Yeah, the Martin of 2013 is a lot different than the Martin of 2004. He’s definitely a much tougher guy these days.

    Maybe because you get to watch him play every game now and isn’t on a rival? Just really odd what you and Abbey would think that. I watched a lot of those Nets games and then got to watch all of Martin’s games starting in 2004 when he was traded to Denver.

    Martin didn’t receive a max contract nor was he traded for three first round picks because he was a great rebounder or low-post scorer.

    The Nuggets traded for him because they had been bullied in the 2004 playoffs by Garnett’s Timberwolves.

    It was way too much to give up for Martin, obviously, and he was never a max guy, but it’s not as if Kiki Vandeweghe was deluded into thinking Martin would develop into something more.

    He wanted what Martin was, a great defensive player and a true tough guy.

    The Nuggets won five of their eight match-ups against Minnesota with Martin in the lineup, when Martin was often at his best, posting four 20-10 games against Garnett during that span.

    Unfortunately, San Antonio got a lot better by then, and Martin was less of a factor defensively on Duncan as he was Garnett.

  41. max fisher-cohen

    The one reason I don’t think I can ever really like Kenyon Martin (or Richard Jefferson) is this: http://www.nytimes.com/2003/11/21/sports/pro-basketball-mourning-and-martin-nearly-come-to-blows-at-practice.html

    What kind of idiot taunts a guy (a teammate no less) whose kidneys are failing and is on dialysis? Four days later, Mourning retired. Yeah, he came back later, but regardless, that sort of behavior is on the level of laughing at a stroke victim because he now has a stutter. I usually don’t give a crap about what players do on the side as long as they respect the game itself, but such blatant cruelty towards a guy who throughout his career, you could never doubt his effort, is just despicable to me.

  42. ruruland

    max fisher-cohen:
    The one reason I don’t think I can ever really like Kenyon Martin (or Richard Jefferson) is this: http://www.nytimes.com/2003/11/21/sports/pro-basketball-mourning-and-martin-nearly-come-to-blows-at-practice.html

    What kind of idiot taunts a guy (a teammate no less) whose kidneys are failing and is on dialysis? Four days later, Mourning retired.

    It was in response to having his toughness questioned. It wasn’t pre-meditated or pre-emptive. IDK, he definitely crossed the line, but I think it’s pretty overblown.

    A lot of the great trash-talkers have gone further.

    Ever cross the line in the heat of the moment or as an impulsive defense response?

    I just don’t think the guy’s character should be questioned for an off-the-cuff remark, as cruel and stupid as it was.

    Kenyon has a foundation for at-risk children and actually goes on a speaking circuit in the off-season for children dealing with speech impediment.

    Martin was not only bullied throughout his childhood because of his stutter, but his family situation was absolutely insane even by NBA standards.

    His mom is batshit crazy, and has been at the epicenter of at least three fights in the stands that I know of. I had the displeasure of sitting by her in the 2005 playoffs.

    Martin has had a few incidents with coaches and teammates over the years, but that shouldn’t overshadow the fact that he’s generally regarded as a great teammate, big brother/enforcer.

    Next time a Knicks player gets flagrantly fouled (which not coincidentally hasn’t happened with Martin on the roster) watch how quickly he responds.

  43. lavor postell

    Pisses me off that Zo has a ring and Patrick doesn’t. Always thought Mourning was a great defensive center with an extremely limited offensive game that paled in comparison to Ewing’s fantastic shooting ability and general low post game. To me it was never a question between the two, who was better. Ewing all day.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Spkec2GcUM

    I went absolutely apeshit when Ewing threw it down.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/e/ewingpa01.html

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/m/mournal01.html

    Mourning has a higher true shooting percentage which is probably partially due to his higher offensive rebound percentage. Through most of Patrick’s best year’s he was by far and away our best scoring option. Mourning had much better scoring talent around him in his career with Larry Johnson in Charlotte and Hardaway and Mashburn in Miami. Obviously he was still a major cog in the offense, but not the undisputed no. 1 and certainly not down the stretch of games. This allowed him to crash the glass and he faced far fewer teams that built their defensive game plan on shutting Zo down.

    Ewing on the other hand had John Starks as his best scoring sidekick in his prime and the unforgiveable Charles Smith. By the time we got him legitimate support with Houston, Sprewell and Johnson his game was on the decline at age 34.

    Ewing has a better DRB% and TRB%. His defensive rating is better by a point and he had two seasons better in that stat than Mourning’s best season. Ewing also destroys him on total win shares though he trails him in WS/48.

    Ewing also had a lower turnover rate at a higher usage over the course of his career. Ewing has a much better assist% as well.

    Sorry I rambled

  44. BigBlueAL

    Zo was a monster on D but I never feared him offensively. He was a turnover machine, in the 2000 series (i think it was Game 4) he had 9 turnovers in a game. Couldnt handle a Knicks double-team at all.

    But I never hated him (unlike Tim Hardaway). I knew how close he and Ewing were and they would battle the crap out of each other but not once did it ever come close to getting dirty or overly physical. Except for the LJ fight he never really went out of his way with trying to intimidate or do stupid, tough guy acts vs the Knicks (which maybe was why they couldnt beat them, he respected Ewing too much).

    Hardaway used to bitch and whine during and after those games (called Dick Bavetta Knick Bavetta after Game 7 in 2000) and he got ejected in Game 3 in 1999 while they were getting their asses kicked for talking crap to Chris Childs. I was scared though every time he took a shot, even in 2000 when he was nowhere near 100% in the playoffs and was barely playing more than Anthony Carter I held my breath any time he launched a 3pter lol.

  45. Brian Cronin

    It could be a big night tonight! Brooklyn has Denver and the Knicks have the Charlotte Cannon Fodders. My wife got us nice tickets for tonight’s game for Valentine’s Day because she knows I love to see Knick wins. :)

  46. jon abbey

    when you’re a superstar, rings that you get at the end of your career as a supporting cast guy don’t really count in discussions about how good you were later. Gary Payton got a ring for that Miami team too, Karl Malone failed in his attempt with the Lakers, neither matter much either way IMO.

    Mourning was clearly never in Ewing’s class overall, and he also seemed to come up small in the playoffs quite a bit (certainly not due to lack of effort), a bit like Garnett in Minnesota (who was a better player but was similar in that he gave max effort all year long and often didn’t seem to have enough left in the clutch in the playoffs).

Comments are closed.