Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Knicks 120, Bulls 112

Just going to make a quick post here, because we should have another more lengthy article up some time tomorrow. The Knicks won their first tough game of the season in Chicago, 120-112. Douglas led the team with 30 points on 14 shots, and Gallo came out of his slump with 24 on 11 field goal attempts. Felton had 20 points on 11 shots, coupled with 10 dimes. Amar’e continued his turnover fest with 8. The team hit 16-24 from downtown (66.7%).

Oddly enough the Bulls sat out their star players Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah for most of the 4th quarter. Coach Thibodeau stayed with his reserves down the stretch, perhaps because many of them helped to come back from a 28 point half time deficit. The Bulls fans were cheering for Rose with about 3 minutes left, to no avail. Chicago relied on Kyle Korver’s shooting late in the game, but were unable to come back from such a large deficit.

70 comments on “Knicks 120, Bulls 112

  1. crazchino

    Felton / Amare gotta work on their pick and roll.

    Couple times, amare had a good roll but no pass.
    Once or twice felton stayed too close after the pick and had bad spacing on the pass to amare.
    nd Felton needs to use the picks better. he’s lettin the defender get around it too easy.

  2. BigBlueAL

    Reading the game thread I dont know if the Knicks won, only that Amar’e sucks. lol

    It has only taken Amar’e 4 games to start getting the Patrick Ewing treatment I see. Look there is no defensing his absolutely horrible offense tonight, 5 for 21 FG and 8 TO’s is pathetic. But you know what, he lead the team in rebounds and blocked shots, took a charge and shouldve drawn another one but he was barely stepping in the no charge zone. When he missed that dunk he quickly got back on D and got a big block which lead to a fastbreak basket for the Knicks. He never sulked or complained when he got no calls on drives and just got back on D.

    He isnt a horrible player look Duhon or Jeffries and doesnt act like an idiot like Nate. Since Day 1 he has embraced playing for the Knicks and seems like someone very easy to root for. Does he deserve to get criticized for the way he played tonight, 100% yes. But they did win and he did do other things too. Its one thing to criticize but Jesus after 4 games some of you guys are acting like Amar’e is already the biggest bust FA signing ever!! lol

    Hey man it was a real nice win tonight and has set the stage for a chance this weekend with a couple of home games against weak East teams to be 4-2 by Sunday afternoon.

  3. BigBlueAL

    Also I cant believe I actually read this article but unfortunately I did and had to link it here. Warning its an interview with Isiah who plans on taking over once Donnie Walsh retires and believes he can bring LeBron to NY in 2014. Also apparently his plan all along was to bring LeBron to NY in 2010 from the day he got to the Knicks. Its some real funny stuff but also real scary at the same time:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/new-york/columns/story?columnist=oconnor_ian&id=5766026

  4. Nick C.

    Nooooooooooooo….I couldn’t read that whole article, it got too sickening. It’s just the ramblings of a delusional idiot and pathological liar. Why why why would any journalist talk to that person….why????

  5. Frank

    My favorite part of the article was this:

    “When I look at my GM/executive record, if I’m evaluated on that, then whoever’s after Donnie, if you’re not talking about some of the top people in the game, I’ll put my draft evaluation record up against anyone’s.”

    #1 – why WOULDN’T we be talking about “some of the top people in the game” to take what should be one of the most coveted jobs in sports?!?!?!?!

    #2 – um, someone should tell Isiah that being GM is about MUCH more more than draft evaluation. One would think that he should have already learned that.

    Meanwhile, someone should should lock Ian O’Connor in a closet and throw away the key. He’s a perfect example of how bad the media has become in this internet age – sensationalist stories left and right, destroying players one day then praising them the next. Then interviewing someone who should be a complete pariah in the NBA on the same day the Knicks get a big win in their first national TV appearance in 3 years.

  6. supernova

    BigBlueAL: Also I cant believe I actually read this article but unfortunately I did and had to link it here. Warning its an interview with Isiah who plans on taking over once Donnie Walsh retires and believes he can bring LeBron to NY in 2014. Also apparently his plan all along was to bring LeBron to NY in 2010 from the day he got to the Knicks. Its some real funny stuff but also real scary at the same time:http://sports.espn.go.com/new-york/columns/story?columnist=oconnor_ian&id=5766026  (Quote)

    Before I thought Isiah was simply just the worst GM ever in the history of the NBA. Now I know he is also the most delusional former executive and quite simply INSANE!!

    This in particular is the most insane quote of the article:

    “When I look at my GM/executive record, if I’m evaluated on that, then whoever’s after Donnie, if you’re not talking about some of the top people in the game, I’ll put my draft evaluation record up against anyone’s.”

    Isiah needs some meds and some real help. How can he actually be proud of his overall record. What a disaster. If he ever came back to the Knicks it would be a nanosecond, before I quit being a fan. Worst GM EVER!! Go away ISIAH, I never want to hear about you again, and certainly never mentioned in the same breath as the Knicks.

    Just when things seem to be going good for the Knicks and there is finally some light at the end of the tunnel we have to hear about Isiah again. Please go away.

  7. SeeWhyDee77

    Welcome back Gallo
    RE: Amare’…I’m not too worried about him rite now. Felton’s a good PG and he will figure out how to make the game easier for him. Kerr said it best last night. Amare’ has his talents, but a creator he is not. Now, unless Rooster’s performance was an aberration, we should see a far more efficient Stat from now on- especially since Felton has shown thus far that he can’t be taken lightly either. As BBA alluded to, I am extremely happy to see Stat look for other ways to contribute when his offense was horrid. Who woulda thought rite? Fields is a revelation for us, he may even make Azu expendable. I said MAY lol. In all seriousness, maybe Walsh should look to move Walker and Mason or Rautins when Azu gets back-especially if Walker re-discovers his game. Now I know nobody will take Mason off our hands, but if Walsh can lose the dead weight in the backcourt for someone who can create their own shot a la Jamal Crawford, then he should do so. I’m not suggesting he gets somebody of Jamal’s caliber becuz I like the potential combo of Fields/Azu. Maybe Walsh can pull a Daequan Cook or Courtney lee out of the trio of Walker, Rautins and Mason. Walker is very puzzling to me. For as athletic as he is, he seems to have fallen in love with 23 footers. He’s got the body and ability..why not create more off the dribble? Maybe he lacks confidence in his handle, now that I think about it, so do I lol. I don’t kno..maybe i’m just reachin again…we’ll see what the backcourt looks like once Azu gets integrated.

  8. New Guy

    Long time reader, first time poster. Met a bunch of you at the meet up for the opener. That article was so preposterous I had to break my cherry on the board to discuss. Money Quotes:

    “In Toronto, Indiana and New York,” Thomas said, “I’ve never actually gotten fired for a basketball reason.”

    “That’s a problem with being a visionary,” Thomas said. “You’re way too far out, and by the time it catches up, people will hack you to death.”

    The guy honestly believes he forged this current revival, and if it werent’ for Annucha Browne Sanders, we’d have LeBron and Wade. It’s frightening how delusional he is. More frightening is that we all know Dolan buys this crap.

    Thanks for the nightmares, Ian O’Connor.

  9. Ted Nelson

    BigBlueAL: Does he deserve to get criticized for the way he played tonight, 100% yes.

    ‘Nough said. I agree with the rest of your points, and think you are definitely adding to the conversation by pointing them out. However, no one said Amare is a bum. No one said he isn’t trying defensively and playing pretty well on that end overall (though last night wasn’t his best defensive game, IMO… but still solid enough, better than Lee or Harrington for example). All I have said is that he is not playing well offensively (.468 TS%, 6.2 TO/36, 9.5 PER, -0.86 WS/48) and that as long as he’s catching the ball at a stand-still 90% of the time, playing with his head down 90% of the time, and going into triple teams regularly… it’s not going to improve.

    BigBlueAL: Its one thing to criticize but Jesus after 4 games some of you guys are acting like Amar’e is already the biggest bust FA signing ever!!

    I don’t think one commenter has thrown the word bust out there, at least certainly not in the present tense. He deserves to be criticized. People are criticizing him…

    SeeWhyDee77: Felton’s a good PG and he will figure out how to make the game easier for him.

    The problem I have with all the Amare defenders: why is this all Felton’s fault? Certainly he deserves some criticism (and I’ve always been the first to criticize him…), but Amare is ultimately responsible for Amare. Last night maybe he tried cutting a little more, but when you’re dribbling into packed-in zones (Portland) or triple teams (Chiacgo) with your head down… that’s on you, not your PG. If he was playing with Nash he wouldn’t be doing that blah blah blah… He’s not playing with Nash. He needs to step it up. I think he will, but I can’t say for certain. I can say that I think he wants it. But when the guy you just gave $100 million needs to have his hand held and the game of basketball explained to him (not my opinion, the opinion of his defenders who want to blame it on Felton)… not a good thing.

    SeeWhyDee77: Now, unless Rooster’s performance was an aberration, we should see a far more efficient Stat from now on

    Another argument I don’t understand… Gallo and TD cannot have better scoring games than last night. They just can’t. Yet even when both of them were KILLING, Amare stunk. When Amare was out of the game, the were still killing… I understand the intangible, making your teammates better by your mere presence argument. I agree that it’s true in some cases and probably this one to some extent or another. However, when Amare stands around and dribbles into triple teams and gets stripped, don’t blame that one someone else. When Gallo and TD are on fire and Amare is still terrible offensively, blame that on Amare. People have to be accountable for their own actions at some point.

    SeeWhyDee77: Fields is a revelation for us, he may even make Azu expendable.

    He’s a free agent after the season, so he may be expendable either way…

    SeeWhyDee77: if Walker re-discovers his game

    He was 2-2 for 6 pts last night. He was 3-5 for 9 points against Portland… Somehow I’m not worried about him re-discovering his game. He just had one bad game and one mediocre one, the last two have been great.

    SeeWhyDee77: Now I know nobody will take Mason off our hands

    He makes almost no money and he’s the team’s 12th man when they’re all healthy.

    SeeWhyDee77: if Walsh can lose the dead weight in the backcourt for someone who can create their own shot a la Jamal Crawford, then he should do so.

    Really? Wilson Chandler and Amare aren’t “creating” enough low efficiency looks?
    The Knicks big advantage is all the shooters and defenders they have around Amare. I like the current roster construction. I would obviously go for a big talent upgrade, but Daequan Cook and Courtney Lee? These guys don’t “create their own shots” anyway… they are spot up shooters, and not particularly good ones. The Heat had to give away a 1st rounder with Cook (who only makes $1 mill, by the way… not a real salary dump) to get a team to take him for a 2nd rounder… They’d be competing with Mason for 12th man duties. And he’s finally learned how to play basketball, but I’d rather not have a matador D chucker like Knicks version Crawford around.

    SeeWhyDee77: Walker is very puzzling to me. For as athletic as he is, he seems to have fallen in love with 23 footers.

    The man is an amazing jump shooter. Reggie Miller was also in love with jumpers. That’s the only thing Walker does at an NBA level: shoot jumpers. He’s a good finisher when left alone, but can’t finish in traffic. His handle is mediocre. His vision and passing ability is mediocre. His defense is mediocre. His rebounding is mediocre… Shooting is what he does.

  10. Ted Nelson

    Begrudgingly, I will make one non-Amare comment (kidding). I cannot believe Steve Kerr was an NBA GM for so long after hearing him call that game. Almost as shocking as Isiah. At least Isiah is correct that he can draft. Maybe Kerr is just not articulate (pretty likely if he was kidding about challenging Korver’s record, because the sarcasm wasn’t palpable at all), but it just blew my mind to hear some of the things he was saying.

  11. ASyrett19

    @10
    Kerr was bad, but Chuck really made me mad. The Knicks put up 70 points in the first half and all he can say at halftime is that they are a bad team, and you can’t lose to a bad team at home. How about some credit, or at least acknowledging that the team is better and has made progress.

  12. Garson

    I am very pleased after the first 4 games.

    Last night we outplayed and outhustled a very strong defensive team on national TV. The Magic game getting postponed was a blessing in disguise as they were coming off a embarrasing loss to the Heat and would have trumped any team that night.

    the next few games are as follows: Wizards , Sixers , @ Bucks , Warriors @ Wolves and the Rockets.

    There is no reason why we shouldnt win at least 4 out of the next 6. My only fear is that this win gets to their heads and we dont take them seriously. The old knicks had a habbit of playing down to the competition even though they werent that good to begin with.

  13. rama

    BBA – That Isaiah interview…I’m just shaking my head. The guy is so delusional I can’t even get mad. If Dough-lan ever took him back, I would wave goodbye to the Knicks in two seconds and never look back. And I’d pick a team to be a fan of that played good ball and I could feel reasonably sure they’d be in the playoffs for the next few years, so I could take some pleasure in the game for a change. Like Miami. That’s how bad it would be if Zeke ever returned to the Garden.

    It’s just…sad. Very, very sad. Even if his plan in 2004 was to build to acquire James, that’s STILL totally crazy. A six-year plan in the NBA, based on one player? Bat-shit crazy. And of course, it ISN’T true. Just more rationalizations from a deeply troubled individual.

  14. d-mar

    @10 Kerr is also running around saying the Knicks might have made a mistake grabbing Amare as his crack team did research and concluded he only has a few productive years left due to his micro-fracture surgery. A pretty blatant attempt to justify to the fans that you lost one of your franchise players for nothing, and a little scummy, if you ask me.

  15. tastycakes

    Unfortunately have missed a couple of games (and a non-game!) due to travel, but I’m pleased with the record and there seem to be positive signs in every game.

    People need to keep in mind *very small sample size* when evaluating any Knick after 4 games. Landry Fields may not be Jerry West, Amare Stoudemire may not be Othella Harrington, Gallo may not be Chuck Knoblauch. It’s FOUR GAMES!

    Amar’e has been a super efficient scoring machine his entire career. He looked great in pre-season. There’s just no good reason to worry about him too much. If anything, I’m excited to see what this team looks like *when* he comes around.

    Gallo’s troubles were more concerning if only because he doesn’t have the track record and everyone is hoping he becomes an elite, unstoppable sharpshooter. Which he isn’t, yet.

    Things I like: the Knicks are blocking shots. The Knicks are playing some D. The Knicks bench is making a difference. The Knicks seem to have found a solid rookie in the second round. The Knicks are at .500. The Knicks haven’t gotten blown out, and have played well against 3 playoff teams!

    So yeah, good times. Hopefully no let down tonight! I am *expecting* victories over WAS and PHI.

  16. Nick C.

    The more I think about that interview, it seems like Isiah is the NBA version of one of those batshit crazy elderly female movie stars in old movies like Sunset Boulevard or Whatever Happened to Baby Jane.

    As for the team I cannot really add anything that hasn’t been said other than to reiterate how great it is to have a team to like, root and even hoot at the TV for again after all those years.

  17. hoolahoop

    Great game. Big win!
    What concerns me is how they won. Unless the Knicks are going to shoot 67% from behind the arc every game, they’re going to need another formula to win games. In the second half when the Bulls were coming on strong they looked like the better team. Credit the Knicks for holding off the onslaught, but I don’t think you can build a team around TD shooting from three. Also, great to see Galo emerge. Where was he in the second half?
    Not to take anything away from the win, but I think it would be healthier to win with Amare doing more of the scoring, rolling to the basket with good spacing on the court and good ball movement.

  18. gbaked

    I really think the problem with STAT is that he is just simply trying to hard.

    Also, the teams we have played are all very good P&R defenders and he is still avg 20/8. Yes… no many turnovers and Yes… too low a shooting %, but those are both things I think will improve as he relaxes a bit.

    Out of all the new players, he and felton have the hardest assignment. One needs to step right in and be an orchistrator and the other needs to step right in and be the focus. The role guys can relax a little… and it is showing.

    I think we will see a breakout game from STAT next week, but I will give him this month to get used to the new team. If we are still concerned about the same things when December rolls around, we should start to worry.

    Remember. Still avg 20/8 (not cornerstone numbers, but still good) and still getting to the line and is going to remain someone the opposing d has to be aware of every second he is on the court.

  19. jaylamerique

    hoolahoop: Great game. Big win!What concerns me is how they won. Unless the Knicks are going to shoot 67% from behind the arc every game, they’re going to need another formula to win games. In the second half when the Bulls were coming on strong they looked like the better team. Credit the Knicks for holding off the onslaught, but I don’t think you can build a team around TD shooting from three. Also, great to see Galo emerge. Where was he in the second half?Not to take anything away from the win, but I think it would be healthier to win with Amare doing more of the scoring, rolling to the basket with good spacing on the court and good ball movement.  (Quote)

    i think you can build a team around TD and Gallo shooting from three. if the Knicks shoot 38 or 40% from three most nights they will be hard to beat.

  20. TDM

    Great game to watch! Every time the Bulls tried to make a run the Knicks fought back and held the lead. I know most of the players are different, but mentally, this is a much different team from last season. These guys know they can compete with any team and that makes it fun to watch.

    One thing I noticed – Gallo was ‘lights-out’ in the first half, but then seemed to disappear in the second. Correct me if I’m wrong (and I’m certain at least one of you will), but Gallo one hit one shot in the second half. Was that because TD got the hot hand in the second half? Or was Mike D just drawing up plays for other guys to get them involved as well? I just thought that since Gallo has been in a slump and was shooting really well in this game that they should have kept going to him. I’m not complaining because it was great seeing TD and Felton go off, just nitpicking I guess.

    Also, loved Turiaf’s aggressive play last night.

  21. Ted Nelson

    tastycakes: People need to keep in mind *very small sample size* when evaluating any Knick after 4 games. Landry Fields may not be Jerry West, Amare Stoudemire may not be Othella Harrington, Gallo may not be Chuck Knoblauch. It’s FOUR GAMES!

    You can’t draw conclusions about what they will do in the future based on 4 games, but you certainly can analyze what they did in those 4 games.

    You can see some things that Fields did and say that he has a good *chance* at being an NBA player. Not from one shot going in, but if you watch 4 games and see that he is consistently doing x and y well… yes.

    tastycakes: There’s just no good reason to worry about him too much.

    Again, people aren’t drawing too many conclusions about the future. However, there is a reason to worry. That reason is that he is not doing the things that made him such an efficient scorer. He is doing things that will never make him an efficient scorer if he keeps doing them at such a high frequency.

    He has not, by the way, been an efficient scorer his entire career. His first two seasons in the league, his only seasons without Nash and the 7SOL Suns… he was not efficient. He was quite inefficient for a bigman. He cannot go from a stand-still off the dribble consistently. He is a finisher who needs to be getting a head of steam towards the basket more often.

    With all due respect, if you’re missed the games and haven’t even seen what he is and isn’t doing… How can you offer an analysis?

    tastycakes: Gallo’s troubles were more concerning if only because he doesn’t have the track record and everyone is hoping he becomes an elite, unstoppable sharpshooter. Which he isn’t, yet.

    1.5 seasons in the NBA as a 40% 3-pt shooter on a ridiculously high volume plus being one of the best players in Europe at 18 isn’t a track-record? It was a fluke that he took so many 3-pt shots and hit them at a high rate? Amare has no track record of being an efficient scorer without Steve Nash, Gallo does have a track record of being a good shooter. Let’s not twist the facts around here.

  22. Ted Nelson

    hoolahoop: Unless the Knicks are going to shoot 67% from behind the arc every game, they’re going to need another formula to win games.

    It’s a valid point. When they are hitting 2/3 of their 3pters, though, they have to go with it. We’ll see how they adjust going forward.

    hoolahoop: I think it would be healthier to win with Amare doing more of the scoring, rolling to the basket with good spacing on the court and good ball movement.  

    The problem I have with this is that Amare took 21 shots last night plus had 8 TOs. How much more can he shoot? I understand that you are also saying that he needs the ball in better spots: score more not shoot more. Why isn’t that his fault, though?????? When a guy dribbles into triple teams, can’t finish at the hoop, turns it over 8 times… how do you not only not blame him for it, but say he needs to be more involved? Until he proves he can score efficiently, I think he needs to shoot a lot less. Take good shots as they emerge, when they don’t emerge pass the ball, and don’t force shots just because you want to prove you’re the man and worth $20 mill per.

    jaylamerique: i think you can build a team around TD and Gallo shooting from three. if the Knicks shoot 38 or 40% from three most nights they will be hard to beat.  

    This is also true. They HAVE TO emphasize the 3 with all their shooters. But I also agree with hoolahop (probably first time that’s happened), that they have to get the rest of their offense going more. Mostly, I’m looking at Amare and asking him to step up.

    gbaked: Remember. Still avg 20/8

    Those numbers are totally irrelevant without context. You sound like Charles Barkley…

    TDM: Gallo was ‘lights-out’ in the first half, but then seemed to disappear in the second.

    It’s a valid point. He did only make one shot in the 2nd half. However, notice that when the defense keyed on him, Gallo did not start forcing wild shots and getting away from his strengths. He only took 3 2nd half shots and made 1 3…
    Amare, on the other hand, forces the issue way too much when he’s double and triple teamed. Amare was 0-8 in the 2nd half… O FOR EIGHT………… That’s why I keep calling him out for shooting too much and not being a team player. What Gallo did is basically what Amare needs to do. Gallo took one for the team in the 2nd half, drew a defender out of the play, and waited for good looks. That’s what Amare needs to do. Realize he doesn’t have to take 20 shots every game to help his team. He needs to help the offense get the best possible shot to help the team. Him going 1-on-4 and heaving the ball toward the basket is seldom the best possible shot.

  23. xduckshoex

    I liked the defense last game. It wasn’t consistently great, but when the Bulls were trying to fight back the Knicks showed a knack for forcing turnovers or getting a couple of big stops in a row to slow the momentum. Being able to turn it on like that is the next best thing to being consistently great, I can live with that as long as the offense comes around.

  24. Garson

    There were a couple of plays where Amare got the ball and passed it back out which led to some points. (douglass 3 in the corner in one instance)

    until the opponents D starts giving more room to amare we need to start using in more of a decoy role to attract doubles and triples. It will eventually open up things for him in the future once the other teams relize we will punish them from the exterior.

    I know thats not what we are paying him 100Mil to do … but it would be best for the team and best for him in the longrun. He dosent have to make the hard passes… just pass is back out for a swing around or immidiate shot.

  25. TDM

    Berman’s article today says that the Suns may look to trade Nash if they start losing.

    http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/knicks/nash_might_become_available_9NJXSZdMNcO8FR9cs1I0NI

    If the Knicks could play like they did last night on a more consistent basis, I think I’d pass. The guy is 36, and I wouldn’t want to give up Felton or Douglas to bring in Nash for a year or two. Also, he’s dishing out about 4 less ast/game than he did the past 5 seasons. Granted, part of that is the fact that he doesnt have STAT anymore and instead the Suns are starting 2 SFs and Lopez, as well as Dragic eating some of his minutes.

  26. Ted Nelson

    Garson: There were a couple of plays where Amare got the ball and passed it back out which led to some points. (douglass 3 in the corner in one instance)

    There were a couple of those, and 31 where he either shot or coughed it up… I’m not saying he does absolutely nothing right.

    Garson: until the opponents D starts giving more room to amare we need to start using in more of a decoy role to attract doubles and triples. It will eventually open up things for him in the future once the other teams relize we will punish them from the exterior.

    Agree. This is pretty much what I’ve been saying. Be a decoy. Pass the ball. Don’t force horrible shots. Don’t dribble so much. Shoot when you have a decent shot.

  27. JK47

    The Bulls never did get around to playing much perimeter defense and did a poor job of harassing the Knicks’ ballhandlers. Amar’e had the ugly 8 turnovers, but the Knick guards did a very good job of protecting the ball. As great as Derrick Rose is on the offensive end, he just seemed to lack effort on defense. Several times Rose drove to the hoop for a pretty layup only to immediately give the points right back to TD on the other end.

    There are still things that need to be fixed, but the blend of talent on this team is far superior to what we’re used to here. Most of the guys getting minutes are good two-way players and the more
    one-dimensional guys like Turiaf and Walker are still useful. I’m very happy with the Knicks’ play so far.

  28. ess-dog

    rama: If Dough-lan ever took him back, I would wave goodbye to the Knicks in two seconds and never look back.  

    THIS.

  29. Frank

    Ted Nelson:

    Again, people aren’t drawing too many conclusions about the future. However, there is a reason to worry. That reason is that he is not doing the things that made him such an efficient scorer. He is doing things that will never make him an efficient scorer if he keeps doing them at such a high frequency.He has not, by the way, been an efficient scorer his entire career. His first two seasons in the league, his only seasons without Nash and the 7SOL Suns… he was not efficient. He was quite inefficient for a bigman.

    While I do agree with you on your overall point (that Amare needs to get back to doing the things that made him great, not go iso on every play), Amare does deserve a break on the “inefficiency” of his 1st two years. First, he was an 18 year old playing against grown men. Second, he was bad FT shooter back then. If you gave him the 80% FT shooting that he has averaged over the last 5+ years, his TS% would have 56% — not awesome but pretty damn good for a teenager.

    I will choose to believe this is part of D’Antoni’s master plan — get by over the first 10 games or so of the season letting Amare do whatever he wants, then sit down and say look – you lead the league in turnovers by 45234 after 10 games – perhaps you should not be alpha dog iso man all the time. And he’ll have the #s to back up that statement.

    AND – I have been relatively impressed with his demeanor overall (no sulking/pouting about sucking on offense) and with his stellar defensive/rebounding efforts. Again, I don’t put a whole lot of stock in gross rebounding numbers — I want to see how many contested rebounds in traffic players come up with, as opposed to rebounding numbers that are contaminated by “free” rebounds ie. after most free throws, 3pointers, etc. (is there any site to find that kind of info by the way?). To the naked eye it appears that he is fighting for those contested rebounds, blocking shots, taking charges. These are all things that people thought were weaknesses in his game that are now becoming at least adequate if not strengths.

    Like Gallo and his 3 point shooting, I think we can count on the fact that Amare and D’Antoni will figure out how to make him efficient again. If he can do the little things AND become efficient again, then we really will have a max player (Finally).

  30. irvin00

    I don’t worry too much about amare because 1. It’s still early in the season 2. He has a track history of playing better than this, so it is perfectly reasonable to expect his game to improve.

    There is no question amare is trying too hard and his game (and the knicks, by extension) suffers as a result. But all that will be fixed if Gallo, Chandler & Douglas manage to produce solid games 2 out of every three times (they can take turns). When the opposing defense has to worry about other scorers they will give amare the space he needs to be his best. When his teammates start producing, Amare will relax and become aware he doesn’t need to force the issue.

  31. Nick C.

    I think it is a huge step in the right direction that our two inefficient players (for now), Amare and Chandler, have other ways to contribute as opposed to the sieves that were here in the past. I’m not trying to make them out to be Dikembe and Rodman but they ain’t Jamal, Eddy, Zach (who did rebound) et. al.

  32. irvin00

    I have said it before, and will repeat it today (still full of optimism from last night’s performance): the current Knicks team should be good for 45 victories with sound coaching.

    And, no, I’d not trade anyone for Carmelo, because the team can’t afford to get rid of the foundation to have another pure scorer. Best to wait until he becomes a free agent and see how far we can go with this pretty good-looking group. We may be in a very good bargaining position if the team can consistently play like last night.

    BTW/ Turiaf has many limitations, but he is a very positive presence for the Knicks, I think. The guy plays hard and may be the key to their recent improvement on defense.

  33. Ted Nelson

    JK47: Most of the guys getting minutes are good two-way players and the more
    one-dimensional guys like Turiaf and Walker are still useful.

    Good points JK47.

    gbaked: I am incredibly insulted by this.

    I’m sorry if you’re honestly insulted. The Charles Barkley part was a joke. I like the guy and obviously he knows a ton about basketball, but he focuses on points and rebounds per game and tries to use them to explain things that are easily explained using over metrics. (“Well, his 20 and 10 is not the same as another guys…” There are metrics to explain this and also subjective ways to, but Kenny Smith and Chuck prefer to just use PPG.)
    The larger point is not meant as an insult. Just that PPG and RPG don’t tell us much of anything outside of how many point and rebounds a player accumulates in an average game. Minutes played, efficiency, TOs, possessions used by that player, pace of the game, teammates, opponent… All of these things provide a context and are necessary for any meaningful analysis. Obviously no one can make a perfect analysis every time, but I just don’t think it’s relevant to say Amare got 20/8 without talking about minutes, possessions used, and position played.

  34. xduckshoex

    What happened with Anthony Randolph? I missed the first part of the game because of a birthday party so I must have completely missed his appearance.

  35. Ted Nelson

    Good points irvin00 and Nick.

    Frank,

    We agree, Amare needs to get his crap together.

    Frank: Amare does deserve a break on the “inefficiency” of his 1st two years. First, he was an 18 year old playing against grown men. Second, he was bad FT shooter back then.

    He turned 20 his 2nd month in the NBA. The FT% point is a good one that I didn’t even consider. Doesn’t mean Nash or whatever else caused the uptick, but the correlation at least makes it a possibility. That’s all I’m saying. 2 seasons at 56% TS% if he hits his FTs without Nash, a bunch of seasons above .600 with Nash. It’s worth monitoring. My main point is not that he necessarily needs Nash, but that he needs to me in more of a role like he was in at the Suns. Not a poverty-stricken-man’s LeBron James, which I think we agree on.

    I have also been impressed with his demeanor and think he truly wants to be great. I just wonder what is taking D’Antoni so long to tell him to stop being terrible. The greatness is hard to achieve (figuring out how to get him good looks), but the terribleness is fairly easy to avoid (play team basketball).

  36. SeeWhyDee77

    Ted..i’m not gonna quote things cuz i’m kinda in a hurry, but I just wanna address some things. Ur rite about Amare’. Ultimately it falls on him. But Felton should recognize that ballhandling is not a strong suit Stat’s and try 2 not give him the ball so much until he gets in position. Felt and Gallo had GREAT games last nite, especially from the perimeter. My thinkin is Gallo’s effectiveness from out there should leave Stat more room to operate. When Gallo was in a slump it seems like Stat was runnin into a wall more often.
    When I say we need another creator in the backcourt, maybe I didn’t expain it well enough. In my mind Cook and Lee can create better offense than Mason can as the 12th man..and when the offense gets stagnant Mike D can throw those kind of perimeter players in the game. I’m not suggesting those guys for heavy minutes. Honestly, Nate was the perfect fit when we needed a spark. But losing him netted us walker so I can’t really complain. As far as Walker goes, I remember when he wasn’t a “great” shooter and he was crazy athletic. I know knee injuries robbed him of a little athleticism, but I’d like to see him use his athletic ability more often. Look, Starks was good from 3 (when he was on), but he was a much better driver given his athleticism and acceptable handle. Starks drove me crazy when all he did was fire away. And that’s all i’m sayin…get in that lane sometimes. When it came to perimeter shooting Reggie was in another league in comparison to Walker, but Reggie didn’t have Walker’s athleticism. And Reggie drove a helluva lot more than Walker. But on the flipside of that, ur rite about his handle..so maybe I shouldn’t complain. But I don’t think it’s too much to expect him 2 be a better finisher. Maybe Douglas or Felton becomes that creator off the dribble we need, I certainly hope so becuz i’m lookin at a solid rotation once Azu gets in the swing of things. I’m just a little uncomfortable with putting faith in Amare’s passing out to shooters if he doesn’t have a good shot. I’m also uncomfortable with havin one dimensional shooters, somebody has to make defenders pay off the dribble. Am I expectin too much too soon? We can’t win alotta games with Stat tryin 2 be the creator and averaging 6 terrell owens a game doing so. But believe it or not, I may have wild ideas (I think it’s safe to say i’m the Nellie of this board lol), or I may see different things and have different counterpoints…but Ted our views aren’t really that much different, meanin I agree with alot that u say. Maybe I use the eye test too much and it kinda skews my vision a lil becuz I rarely involve stats in my thinkin. But that’s what “debates” are for rite? Maybe we can all spawn some ideas that our Knicks can take to heart lol

  37. ess-dog

    I can’t wait to see if this red-hot shooting continues tonight. Aside from Wall (possibly) I just don’t think that the Whiz have quality guard or wing defenders. McGee is definitely a presence in the post, and they have some scorers, but if TD and Ray can lock down their guards, I think we’ll take this one. We clearly have an advantage over them in terms of depth, so I’d like to see us run like hell, even though we are finishing a back-to-back. If we shoot over 50% from the field and play what is now our standard very good defense, I think it should be an easy win.

  38. Z-man

    I am not concerned about Amar’e. In baseball is, at the end of the year he wil have the “back of his baseball card” numbers. I said the same thing re: Gallo a couple of weeks ago, the guy is a shooter and will figure it out and revert to form (although last night was even better than I expected!) Amar’e will figure it out as well.

    Also to be fair to Amar’e and WC, the shooters that showed up last night weren’t exactly doing much in the previous games (in terms of assertiveness, not efficiency.) As such, I agree with your take, Frank, in that it is a legitimate coaching strategy to let things unfold until you have compelling evidenct that a player will not adjust or perform on his own before getting too worked up. The team is 2-2 after 4 games, with two road wins and two losses against elite-level teams and a convincing win against a more established playoff team. Ted, I agree that Amar’e has been a horror on O and must play better to merit superstar $ and status. I did see him getting the ball and starting his moves closer to the basket than in previous games, and I did see him pass more (albeit not much more) out of double teams, and I did see him make critical plays on the boards and on D at the end of the game. I think we also agree that you are critiquing his performance in games 1-4, and not saying he can’t or won’t get better.

    I do think that as his teammates play better, and some trust and chemistry develops, Amar’e will adjust accordingly. No matter what, though, he is always going to be a high-volume shooter and a first option unless we get another superstar or a PG that better controls his touches. I’m fine with that, he (and D’Antoni) just needs to be smarter about it.

    PS F–k that arrogant coattail-riding prick Steve Kerr.

  39. Ted Nelson

    xduckshoex: What happened with Anthony Randolph?I missed the first part of the game because of a birthday party so I must have completely missed his appearance.  

    My take/memory: He had one really nice outlet pass off a rebound, one goofy looking play where he lost the ball out of bounds… not sure if it was a bad play or a failed good play, and was otherwise fairly invisible (to me… he had 2 fouls, but I don’t really remember them). I remember at least one time where he popped onto the TV screen and looked totally lost… Not lost like floating around, but like he didn’t know if he should be aggressive or not. Taking a step forward, a step back, looking confused… Since it was a minutes=play situation and he only got 3 minutes, I think it’s safe to say D’Antoni wasn’t impressed. Saw some flashes, but a lot of confusion.

  40. d-mar

    I shouldn’t torture myself but I just happened to put Francesa on while in the car, and his take on the Knicks game (and it’s a shocker the great one even stooped to talk about the Knicks) was that if you shoot 16-24 from 3, of course you’re gonna win, those numbers are just freaky and unsustainable. No credit given for defense or a road win against a playoff team, just a crazy shooting night for NY.

    So using that logic,when Phil Simms was 21-22 in the Super Bowl, it was just a freak thing as opposed to a player and a team performing at an extremely high level.

  41. DS

    I think Amar’e deserves some credit for the win. He had a bad game for sure but I think his quick start: (http://scores.espn.go.com/nba/playbyplay?gameId=301104004) put the Bulls in somewhat of a conundrum for the whole game; should they collapse on Amar’e and leave shooters open or defend the perimeter and allow Amar’e to work 1-on-1 against Taj down low.

    I think Amar’e will quickly learn the rule of thumb that we all seem to be able to see: if he’s more than 3 feet from the basket he should not be dribbling much; if he can’t release a quick jumper from mid-range, then the ball goes back to Felton/Douglas.

    *Sorry if anyone else made this point, it’s not always easy to skim 40 comments.

  42. Nick C.

    D-Mar to know about the defense he would have had to watch the game. What are the odds on that. lol

  43. jaylamerique

    AR truthfully looks out of shape and doesn’t really add anything to this team that we aren’t getting already. He did not look like he was in the shape needed for 7Sol last night. The knicks are rebounding well and blocking shots.

  44. Ted Nelson

    SeeWhyDee77: But Felton should recognize that ballhandling is not a strong suit Stat’s and try 2 not give him the ball so much until he gets in position.

    Pretty much agree. Give and take where Amare has to get in those situations more and Felton needs to find him. Like others, I am confused why they didn’t pnr at all in preseason. At the time Amare was getting his anyway so I didn’t worry. In hindsight…

    SeeWhyDee77: My thinkin is Gallo’s effectiveness from out there should leave Stat more room to operate.

    I agree, but last night according to this line of reasoning a. Amare should have had room to operate in the 2nd half and/or b. if he didn’t have room he should have looked for the shooters rather than forcing shots. I’m not asking for Magic like court vision, but when there are 3 guys on you there has to be someone open. He was 0-8 in the 2nd half.

    SeeWhyDee77: In my mind Cook and Lee can create better offense than Mason can as the 12th man..and when the offense gets stagnant Mike D can throw those kind of perimeter players in the game.

    My thinking is that TD is better than those guys, and most of those minutes should go to him. Possibly Fields, too (he doesn’t have the handle, but he creates by moving off the ball and being in the right place). WC can also get minutes at the 2. Roger Mason isn’t my favorite player, but his shot should come around, he’s a vet who knows how to play, and his overall game is pretty good for a 12th man.

    SeeWhyDee77: I’d like to see him use his athletic ability more often.

    He tried it in Vegas this summer against B level comp and it wasn’t very pretty. He is a really good finisher, but mostly only when he’s left open on a cut to the basket.
    I’ll take the spot up shooter until he demonstrates he can do more at the NBA level. He’s very good in his role, and the athleticism should help a little defensively (where he’s historically been pretty bad) and with the occasional finish at the hoop.

    SeeWhyDee77: Starks drove me crazy when all he did was fire away. And that’s all i’m sayin…get in that lane sometimes.

    Walker hasn’t demonstrated the ability to get to the basket off the dribble. Doing so would be a much lower % shot for him than the ones he takes. I’d rather he be an efficient low usage guy than a chucker like Starks.

    I think you are seriously underrating Walker as a shooter. He is not John Starks. His career 3p% and TS% are both amazing. Small sample, but point to a very capable outside shooter.

    SeeWhyDee77: I’m also uncomfortable with havin one dimensional shooters, somebody has to make defenders pay off the dribble.

    Walker is the only one dimensional shooter I can think of. Chandler can’t shoot. Gallo got to the basket last night. He created for others. He showed what we all want from him. Even in his awful games he was trying to get to the basket and work off the dribble a little. TD is easily as good off the dribble as spotting up. Felton isn’t a great shooter, but he showed the ability to pull up and hit last night. All those guys defend.

  45. Ted Nelson

    d-mar: if you shoot 16-24 from 3, of course you’re gonna win, those numbers are just freaky and unsustainable.

    I think this is clearly a better team, but the Knicks W-L record probably tracked pretty closely with their 3P%… They beat some good teams last season when their shots fell, and lost to some terrible teams when they didn’t. 16-24 from 3 is unsustainable. They won that game in a very convincing fashion, but they do have to do more going forward.

    Also, their defense wasn’t that good last night I don’t think. The Bulls had 112 pts on 100 possessions (about I just did FGA + 0.4*FTA + TO – OReb)… If they did that every night they’d be one of the top offenses in the NBA.

  46. nicos

    JK47:
    one-dimensional guys like Turiaf and Walker are still useful.

    I don’t know if I’d call Turiaf one-dimensional- yes the shot blocks and defense may the first thing you notice but while he’s obviously limited as a scorer, he’s been a real plus on the offensive end- He’s a very good passer, he’s in constant motion setting screens, and has made good hard cuts when his man has left him open. While I’m not too big on +/-, there’s a reason beyond shot-blocking that he’s been + in every game this year (+37 overall).

    As for Walker, he is pretty one-dimensional. And I’m not sure how dimensional that one dimension is- His 3pfg% is terrific but he’s really limited (at least right now) to being a stand-still spot-up guy. His release is fairly slow and he hasn’t shown the ability make quick hitters coming off of screens- his % may be Miller-esque but I can’t see him ever getting anywhere remotely close to Miller-esque usage. That said, there’s real value in having a guy who can spot up on the perimeter and knock down three’s. And I’d say he’s put forth more effort on D lately- at least I’ve noticed him once or twice for something besides having his head turned the wrong way and letting his man cut in for a lay up.

  47. SeeWhyDee77

    I am a lil worried about Azu comin off of knee surgery though. Will he be as one dimensional as Walker or will he still be able to slash and jump like he used to.
    Ted, amen to ur comment on Rooster’s game last nite-he was incredible. See how dangerous the team can be with Rooster using all facets of his game? Up until last night he was pretty much one dimensional..or at least he didn’t have any confidence in his full arsenal it seemed.

  48. DS

    @49 – +1
    The Knicks clearly play better with Turiaf on the floor. In addition to all the qualities you mentioned, he is averaging 2 steals per game, is sporting a PER of 21.0 and TS% of .603.

    It’s funny, usually you get a *spark* off the bench. I think Douglas and Turiaf bring energy, but mainly they seem to bring stability!

  49. Frank O.

    What a lively group!

    I have this vision of Ted (have no idea what he looks like, so imagine a stick figure) with a tennis racket batting balls (comments) around left and right, point by point. :)
    He’s got to be exhausted.

    I think the Knicks can live by the three and die by the three. Amare needs to play better and figure out how to play with this bunch. When he gets his game right, they will be far better balanced.

    Having said that, despite the scoring, this team is winning with defense. They are getting key stops, blocks and steals, which has catalyzed their offense. They scored a bunch off turnovers.

    Someone noted that the Bulls perimeter defense was weak. I beg to differ.
    The Bulls defense broke down because the Knicks moved the ball well. It was interesting to watch as Felton or Douglas ran a PnR. Rather than hitting the rolling attacker, the ball often swung to the 3-pt line. It appears that D’Antoni installed this action (it happened at least five times last night – a great video breakdown for Mike if he hasn’t already done one) to counter the way teams were collapsing on the roller. When the team collapses on the roller, invariably the Knicks had a shooter out on the elbow of the 3pt line.

    I think as hard as one can be on Amare for his ball-handling and his shooting thus far, his defense and rebounding have been a pleasant surprise. He is a more complete player than I gave him credit for.
    Kerr, despite having said some really blatant self-serving crap last night, made a good point about Amare that has been made repeatedly here: Amare is not a ball-handler, he is a great finisher. Nash made certain to accentuate that about Amare and it is why Amare is an elite player.

    But again, I come back to defense.
    Turiaf, as someone said, is not one-dimensional. He can score in close, rebounds well, plays very tough defense, defends the rim, passes well, hustles his ass off and serves as a nice enforcer. Frankly, he’s a glue guy, who opposing teams will have to respect.
    I loved watching Fields play last night, doing little things and making a 3 pt that did as much to stymie the Bulls surge as some of the other late threes. He plays hard, generally makes good decisions, and is unafraid.
    Chandler had a rough night, but he too played strong defense (1 block, a steal and 5 boards in 25 minutes).
    Gallo also played pretty sound defense (a block, 2 steals, 6 boards in 37 minutes). I remember one time he managed to keep Rose in front of him on a switch, harrassing him enough to force the ball out of his hands.
    Felton did a pretty good job on Rose, who, frankly, is going to get his points, as someone noted to me as I bitched last night.
    Douglas was a revelation last night, IMHO. He was the best guard out there.
    He played tough defense, and was very patient. He hit a lot of threes, but there were a number of plays where he chose not to take a tough shot to find a better opportunity.
    In particular, he had a break where he could have driven, but decided to pull up and back off. I believe that was the sequenced when Fields hit his 3pt.
    Douglas scored a bunch of points, but I was impressed even more by 4 steals and 4 assists with only 1 TO in a game that saw him with the ball a ton over 31 minutes.
    Could be a break out game for him.
    Knicks had six blocks and 12 steals.

    You know, in the past few years, every so often the Knicks would have a game like this, and then run a five game losing streak. The big victory was hollow.
    Certainly, I am hyper aware of past year setbacks after big, enthusiastic wins. I’ll be wondering if they will break our hearts again with a losing streak.
    But the Knicks beat the Bulls with good defense, with selective, key stops, blocks and steals. It wasn’t the kind of hollow win from the past.
    They got scoring from all over their bench on a night when two big guns were off their game. They hit 83 percent of the their free throws, which cannot be under emphasized. If they shoot FTs as they did in past games, they lose this one.
    This was as close to a complete win as I have seen them have in years against a credible Eastern Division playoff team in their kitchen.

    It’s hard not to feel good. Now, they need to survive another unbelievably talented point guard tonight.

  50. Ted Nelson

    nicos: his % may be Miller-esque but I can’t see him ever getting anywhere remotely close to Miller-esque usage.

    I never meant to imply that he could. I didn’t mean to even compare him to Reggie Miller, just say that players can have value even if all they do well is shoot Js. Kyle Korver is probably a much better example in relation to Walker.

    Frank O.: He’s got to be exhausted.

    Just unproductive…

  51. ess-dog

    DS: @49 – +1
    The Knicks clearly play better with Turiaf on the floor. In addition to all the qualities you mentioned, he is averaging 2 steals per game, is sporting a PER of 21.0 and TS% of .603.It’s funny, usually you get a *spark* off the bench. I think Douglas and Turiaf bring energy, but mainly they seem to bring stability!  

    Wow, I had no idea that Ronny was playing THAT well. He has a .229 ws/48! On a career high 24 min. per game. I know it’s only 4 games but we’ve played 3 out of 4 against quality deep playoff teams.

    This does make it very hard to find minutes for Randolph, b/c you have to play Ronny. Maybe he fights Walker for minutes behind Gallo now, and Walker sees more time at the 2? Maybe we play Amar’e less than he’s used to as well… 25-30 min?

  52. d-mar

    @48 Ted, I was quoting Francesa, of course 16-24 is unsustainable, my point was that he didn’t give any credit or kudos to the Knicks.

    I didn’t think it was possible,but I hate Isiaah Thomas even more today, he’s dominating sports radio and pushing the Knicks win off the airwaves. I wish he would just go away.

  53. Ted Nelson

    ess-dog: This does make it very hard to find minutes for Randolph, b/c you have to play Ronny.

    As well as Ronny has played, Timo hasn’t really played all that well. I know he should get better, but at this point he doesn’t *have* to be in the rotation unless he picks it up. In certain match-ups the Knicks are going to want Timo’s big body, but in others they might want to go smaller/quicker with Randolph…

    d-mar: @48 Ted, I was quoting Francesa, of course 16-24 is unsustainable, my point was that he didn’t give any credit or kudos to the Knicks.

    I understand and agree that the Knicks do deserve credit. My point, which I didn’t type, was that last season they often lived and died by the 3… Beat some good teams on hot nights. If you shoot 16-24 from 3 it is pretty hard to lose. You’re going to have to do a whole lot wrong. The way the Knicks played competitive games before this against good teams puts it more in context, but the Bulls also scored very well in that game. 112 points, 100 possessions more or less. It’s hard to credit the Knicks D in this one. Gibson and Korver smoked them and Rose and Deng did pretty well too. Even Scalabrine looked unstoppable for an instant. Their shooting really did win the game. I think they are a better team this year and will find more ways to win with a better rotation… just saying that 3p% was the story of the night. 8-24 from 3 and Bulls probably win…

  54. ess-dog

    It’s strange, but when I heard terms like ‘versatility’ early in the season, I took it to mean “guys that weren’t really good at any one thing.”
    But I have to say, the versatility is paying off so far. The 2 pg set with TD and Ray, Fields and Turiaf doing a little bit of everything, Amar’e hitting the boards despite not scoring, small power forwards, big small forwards, true centers, non-traditional centers, shooters, slashers…
    We’ve really got a lot of quality out there. A team like this seems like it would be less effective in the playoffs, but now at least, I feel like we can GET to the playoffs.

  55. Nick C.

    Frank O. now that you mention it I noticed there were a fair amount of plays where the ball was driven forward and then flipped back to the wing for a 3. It was nice to see.

  56. Frank O.

    but the Bulls also scored very well in that game. 112 points, 100 possessions more or less. It’s hard to credit the Knicks D in this one. Gibson and Korver smoked them and Rose and Deng did pretty well too. Even Scalabrine looked unstoppable for an instant. Their shooting really did win the game. (Quote)

    To borrow from facebook, *dislike* :)

    I think good defense is situational. I don’t go as far as D’Antoni, who says good defense is when you score more than the other team.
    Sure, the Bulls scored, but the Knicks as a team had 12 steals, 5 blocks and played at parity with a good rebounding team. They also scored 21 points off turnovers.
    Now, the Bulls performed remarkably similar. They outrebounded the Knicks by a couple, scored as many on turnovers and had as many blocks, but had a quarter fewer steals or so.
    The Bulls did not have Boozer, but all in all, the Knicks equaled if not bettered the defense intensity of what many believe to be a better team.
    The point differential was based on the fact that the Knicks were better from the line (five more made) and 3 pt (seven more made).

    The key is the Knicks got stops where the Bulls could not, and up to this point everyone believed the Bulls, with their defensive-minded coach, were the better defensive team.

  57. Frank O.

    I asked last night, but no one responded, so I’ll ask again:

    Was it me, or did it appear that Amare simply turned the wrong way on a few PnR tries?

    I swear I saw it happen two or three times where instead of rolling while facing the guard, He actually rolled and turned away from the guard. It just looked wrong.

  58. NateRobinson

    Questions that will determine how far we get to…

    -Can Amar’e find a groove offensively?
    -Can the Knicks defend the p&r consistently?
    -Can Chandler stop taking that many outside shots?
    -Can Gallo take it to the rack consistently?
    -Can Randolph find a suitable role in this system?

  59. Frank O.

    Nick C.: Frank O. now that you mention it I noticed there were a fair amount of plays where the ball was driven forward and then flipped back to the wing for a 3. It was nice to see.  (Quote)

    Yeah, it clearly looked set. Someone said, run the PnR and if they collapse look to the elbow for a shooter. You rarely see it because most will dish on the PnR. Douglas was particularly effective doing it, if I remember correctly.
    By the way, both teams had 27 assists.

    I thought it was a remarkably well-played, exciting, see-saw game. With some key plays. The Knicks put tremendous pressure on the Bulls when the would get a stop and nail a three. It happened several times and just deflated the Bulls.
    When Rose and Deng made that 3rd period surge, the Knicks absorbed it, quelled it, and overall appeared utterly unflappable.
    Poised and confident on the road

  60. Z-man

    Their D overall was erratic, but the situational D, especialy when the game got tight, was better than anything we’ve seen from the Knicks in a long time. I am very encouraged that we are averaging nearly 8 blocks per game, up from around 3.5 last season. That in and of itself is a major upgrade. We are also averaging almost 1 more steal and are forcing 16.3 turnovers vs. 14.4. Considering that we’ve played 3 very tough teams, our defense is a breath of fresh air, not that we’re an elite defensive team or anything, but definitley easier on the eyes. Tonight will be a good test, a game we absolutely should win, but a back-to-back coming off a great road win. Hope they don’t come out flat.

  61. tastycakes

    Ted,

    For the record, I have a ton of respect for your analysis, agree with your take on the Knicks this season, and was in no way trying to diminish it. Certainly, the way Amar’e has been playing is disappointing and Fields has been a very pleasant surprise, no arguments there.

    Also for the record, I have watched half the games and highlights on the others, and I can read a box-score, so I am cognizant of the problems thus far.

    When I said Gallo hasn’t become an “elite, unstoppable sharpshooter” yet, I meant just that. Certainly he has a track record as a pretty good player and there is no reason to think that he will suddenly turn to crap … but the expectations among Knick fans are that he will make significant *improvements* this year, being effectively a second year player, and very young, and our hopes for the ‘bockers are predicated on him (or forgotten man AR) taking a big step forward and becoming a star. We’re not seeing that yet, so perhaps that is of greater concern to my dreams of the Knicks taking the league by storm this year.

    Sometimes reading these forums it sounds like the sky is falling if a player has a few bad games, but hey, that’s because we care.

    Really, all I’m saying is there are positive signs and no reason to panic. If all goes well, this team could be 4-2 by Monday.

  62. Ted Nelson

    Frank O.: all in all, the Knicks equaled if not bettered the defense intensity of what many believe to be a better team.

    Being better than the Bulls defensively last night isn’t saying all that much… All Korver does is shoot the ball and he had a lot of wide open looks. Taj Gibson looked like… I don’t know, the good Amare or something out there. There were stretches where I thought the defense on Rose was good, but there were also stretches where he did what he wanted.

    I don’t know what you mean by “situational.” I think good defense is doing everything you possibly can to keep the opponent’s pts/poss as low as possible. I can’t say the Knicks did that when Amare fouled out, WC picked up 5, Taj Gibson and Kyle Korver ran wild, Rose got his and Deng did too…

    I’m not saying I don’t like the Knicks’ defense this season. I do. I’m just saying that I don’t think you can say they won on defense last night. Obviously every time you win you played better defense than the opponent. I’m just saying I thought the Knicks could have done a lot more defensively. If nothing else, don’t lose Kyle Korver and keep a hand in his face. All he does is shoot spot-up Js.

    Frank O.: The key is the Knicks got stops where the Bulls could not

    I disagree… I think the key is that the Knicks hit 67% of their 3s…

    tastycakes: Really, all I’m saying is there are positive signs and no reason to panic.

    Agreed.

    tastycakes: When I said Gallo hasn’t become an “elite, unstoppable sharpshooter” yet, I meant just that. Certainly he has a track record as a pretty good player and there is no reason to think that he will suddenly turn to crap … but the expectations among Knick fans are that he will make significant *improvements* this year

    I would say he’s already an elite “sharpshooter,” and the improvements we’re hoping for are in other areas. Hoping he can do more than just stand around and shoot.

    tastycakes: We’re not seeing that yet, so perhaps that is of greater concern to my dreams of the Knicks taking the league by storm this year.

    Last night he looked good. I think the Dirk expectations some have are unfair, but besides hitting his 3s, he also got to the rim twice, had 6 FTAs, made some passes, 6 reb, 1 blk, 2 stl, 1 TO (travel near the end), and played generally smart ball. Obviously the shots won’t always fall (and he missed a bunch of long 2s even last night… mostly shots he probably shouldn’t be taking…), but even if he only has 15-18 points that was a good overall game…

  63. Ted Nelson

    Ted Nelson: (and he missed a bunch of long 2s even last night… mostly shots he probably shouldn’t be taking…)

    To clarify, I don’t mean 11 FGAs is too much or anything. I mean step back and take a 3 rather than the 5 19-22 footers he took.

  64. Frank O.

    Gonna start calling Ted, “Tenacious T.”

    :)

    You know what I mean by “situational.”

    You also know that Korver was hitting some out of his ass 3 pt shots. I specifically remember a fading to his right with a hand in his face 3 that was infuriating.
    I loved when someone called him a bitch last night because I was thinking the same.

    Indeed, there were defensive breakdowns. But sometimes you have to account for the fact that in the NBA, you have scorers who are going to score.
    They will slip defenders or make tough shots, and there’s not much to be done.

    I have not said they are an elite defense. I said they made key stops, and in some cases those stops were accentuated with 3 pt daggers.

    As much as the Knicks 3 pt shooting helped them win, 12 steals and 5 blocks, and a number of other defensive stops certainly kept the Bulls from scoring more. This was a pretty high possession game. There were going to be a lot of points scored.

  65. Ted Nelson

    Frank O.: You know what I mean by “situational.”

    I really don’t.

    Frank O.: I said they made key stops, and in some cases those stops were accentuated with 3 pt daggers.

    They made key stops by hitting 16 3PAs… The Bulls scored 112 points on 100 possessions. I don’t know what more to say. They would be the 3rd most efficient offense in the NBA this young season if they did that every game. You can’t say, “we won on defense” when you let the other team score that efficiently. The Suns won a lot of games last season, that doesn’t mean their defense was good.

    Bulls fans could argue their team played good defense, too. They executed their game plan. They shut down Amare and basically WC too. After Gallo killed them in the first, they took him out of the equation in the 2nd H. They made the rest of the Knicks beat them and they did. They *could* say that, and I’d tell them they were full of shit.

    Frank O.: I have not said they are an elite defense.

    I have not said they’re not an elite defense. I have said nothing about their defense overall. I have said last night. Last night they let the other team score a lot of points per possession. By definition that is not good defense. Korver might have hit some tough shots, but he also hit some wide open ones. It’s hard to separate defense from shot making, but I can’t fault a radio host for not complementing the defense of a team that gave up 112 pts on 100 possessions. That’s ultimately my point. The Suns got key stops last season as well. Doesn’t mean their defense was good.

    Frank O.: This was a pretty high possession game. There were going to be a lot of points scored.  

    Seriously? I said POINTS PER POSSESSION. Last night the Bulls had 112 pts in 100 poss. I am accounting for pace. That is 112 pts/100 poss. That would make them 3rd in the NBA behind the undefeated Lakers and Hawks if they did that every night.

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