Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Knicks 123, Sixers 110

Philadelphia 76ers 110 Final

Recap | Box Score

123 New York Knicks
Amar’e Stoudemire, PF 30 MIN | 9-10 FG | 5-8 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 23 PTS | +21Let’s get the bad news that isn’t really news at all out of the way first: Amar’e Stoudemire is not someone who can offer even a remotely passable performance on the defensive end when he is the center in an otherwise small lineup. And his defense was atrocious tonight: his rotations were slow and sloppy, his help uncertain and lazy. Henry Sims, Arnett Moultrie, and Jarvis Varnado went a combined 9 for 11 in leading Philly to a whopping 52 points in the paint. The Sixers rebounded 14 of an available 39 misses (36%; they average 25% for the season) and STAT grabbed a pathetic 3 on the defensive end in his 30 minutes.

It is hard to do enough on the offensive end to paper over that kind of a defensive performance. But damned if that isn’t exactly what STAT did; his combination of explosion on the move and quickness and guile in the post racked up points and fouls aplenty. He was the key figure in the Knicks’ comeback from an early 12 point deficit and he helped bring it home in the part of the second half that has proven so treacherous for the Knicks all season. His on-paper value on a night like this is hard to pin down and will remain so until a better means of teasing out an individual’s impact on team defense is discovered. But this FELT big and it was one of those performances where the feeling ripples and swells and infects and ends up meaning as much in the end as it felt like it meant at the start. Bravo.

Carmelo Anthony, SF 32 MIN | 9-24 FG | 4-4 FT | 9 REB | 5 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 22 PTS | +13A weird one from Melo, his makes were gorgeous (three acrobatic finishes stand out in particular and, despite the ugly 0/7 from deep, the arc on his jumper looked pretty all night) but the were sporadic and his peripherals (9 boards, 5 assists, a steal) slightly overstate his overall impact on the game. Got hot at the right time in the second half and in a win that carries him to a B- but this was a generally forgettable, if by no means bad, evening.

Raymond Felton, PG 27 MIN | 4-5 FG | 2-2 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 13 PTS | +1A really great game, better even than the numbers suggest (and 13 points on 5 shots suggests quite a bit to begin with). The bagel in the turnover column was indispensable in a game that could have gotten away from the Knicks in the first half had their brutal defense been paired with sloppy offense. Two assists doesn’t do justice to his command over the offense, he matched Philly’s intensity by pushing the break harder than usual and he moved the ball exceedingly well. It may not show up in his line of the box score but it sure as hell shows up in the FG% and 3-point shooting columns.

To my eyes, Felton was also one of the Knicks’ better defenders tonight, his switches were tight and his hustle was consistent. This says more about how lost New York was on that end than it does about Felton but he was passable defensively and excellent on offense.

J.R. Smith, SG 39 MIN | 8-18 FG | 2-4 FT | 3 REB | 5 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 22 PTS | +21In the words of Stringer Bell, JR’s been giving us a lot more 40 degree days lately. Appropriately, as we (hopefully) near the end of what has been a vicious winter, 40 degrees doesn’t seem half bad. Smith has kept the fireworks to a minimum — both the good kind and the bad — while shooting a solid percentage and contributing all over the stat sheet. Against the better teams, the Knicks need to catch the better side of his volatility but on nights like this against teams like the Sixers, all he really has to do is avoid imploding. Implosion avoided.

Iman Shumpert, SG 31 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 3 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | +13Blech. Do you even lift, bro?

Jeremy Tyler, PF 18 MIN | 2-4 FG | 2-4 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 2 TO | 6 PTS | -6He is a bright, shiny, colorful puzzle whose pieces are strewn all over the old ping pong table in the half-finished basement and I’m just praying to God that there is somebody in this organization who has some conception of how to put him together.

Earl Clark, SF 7 MIN | 0-1 FG | 2-2 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -810 blocks per 36? Meh.

Pablo Prigioni, PG 15 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 4 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 3 PTS | +18Increasingly invisible but that’s not even a bad thing. He was +18 in just 15 minutes tonight. Good things happen around him whether or not he appears to have anything to do with him. You don’t give awards to rabbit’s feet but you still keep them around.

Tim Hardaway Jr., SG 29 MIN | 9-13 FG | 5-6 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 28 PTS | +8How thoroughly has this season broken me? I spent portions of today defending Isiah Thomas, Phil Jackson, and Tim Hardaway’s son on Twitter and none of that seems odd to me right now. It really can’t end soon enough.

Bombs away from Junior tonight, though. A nice oasis in a month-long desert of crappy shooting. May his canteen be ever full and his camel’s humps provide only the softest of upholstery.

Mike Woodson
Called a timeout after Tyler dove for a loose ball in the second quarter that was the fastest I’ve ever seen him react to everything. Two competing theories:1) This winning streak has spurred Woodson to a higher level of consciousness and attentiveness; from this point forward his adjustments will be spot-on, his strategic decisions well-placed, his personnel management unimpeachable, his clock management pristine. He needed a whiff of success to allow him to become the coach we thought he was after last year and the coach he’s always known he could be.

2) Before the season he thought “Hmm, at some point if somebody dives for a loose ball and gets it, I should call timeout right away” and has been waiting for this situation to develop all year. Aside from his quick trigger in that moment, this would frankly explain his the majority of his in-game decisions and post-game comments all year, to say nothing of the “Fuuuuuck….my car isn’t parked on this level, is it?” look that is permanently…

Yeah, it’s Number 2.

Two Things We Saw

  1. Yes, the Sixers are awful. We can only win the ones we play. And more importantly, we can lose ANY of the ones we play. Some nights it’s nice to just watch basketball and not have to contemplate the emptiness of life and shit.
  2. Nothing from me on Phil tonight because 1) Chase Thomas already hit that hard today; 2) Who knows? ; and 3) I’m writing something specifically on that later. I’m sure that will take over the comment board right quick, though, and frankly it’s ‘much more interesting than this game anyway.

26 comments on “Knicks 123, Sixers 110

  1. Dudley

    As the playoffs go, we need to keep winning a lot now. Our March schedule from now on is pretty easy, and we need to win like most every game. April is 7 games against Eastern playoff teams (two Toronto, two Brooklyn, Washington, Chicago, and Miami), not to mention the end of March is a Western tour which ends with Phoenix (who needs wins), Golden State, and then the next night Utah (if they only had let Burke shot one more three against the Hawks tonight). That’s 10 rough games. We need to be in 8th spot by our game against Brooklyn April 2nd to really have a chance. In other words, it’s all about the Pacers game in the Garden on the 19th. They’ll be plenty of rest. The Knicks almost beat them earlier. And the Pacers are not playing that well as of this moment. If that goes down, we are talking about a serious winning streak (assuming we beat Bucks and Celtics before) that can hopefully lead to winning games that the Knicks “shouldn’t win”. How ironic that game is the date of scheduled protests? Turning point game in my opinion if this team is serious…and by serious I mean serious like the 8th seed in the Eastern conference.

  2. danielbubbs1

    Looking at Knicks and Hawks schedule, hawks have a lot of home games against tanking teams,; went over it game by game, I’d say 13-4 the rest of the way gets the Knicks in, and a slightly generous win loss prediction for them is 11-6.
    Wonder if any Phil announcement is agreed upon yet waiting till elimination is guaranteed?

  3. Brian Cronin

    I think Jackson has pretty much agreed but I think they’ll announce it as soon as it is official, so I imagine we’ll hear something in the next couple of days. I don’t think he’ll wait to announce it.

  4. Brian Cronin

    Here’s Atlanta’s schedule…

    vs Milwaukee – Should be an easy win
    vs Denver – Toss-up. Let’s call it a win.
    @ Charlotte – Toss-up. Let’s call it a loss.
    vs Toronto – Should be a loss.
    vs New Orleans – Toss-up. Let’s call it a loss.
    @ Toronto – Should be a loss.
    vs Phoenix – Should be a loss.
    @ Minnesota – Should be a loss.
    vs Portland – Should be a loss.
    @ Washington – Should be a loss.
    vs Philadelphia – Should be a win
    vs Chicago – Should be a loss.
    vs Cleveland – Toss-up. Let’s call it a win.
    @ Indiana – Should be a loss.
    vs Detroit – Toss-up. Let’s call it a win.
    vs Boston – Should be a win.
    @ Brooklyn – Should be a loss.
    vs Miami – Should be a loss.
    vs Charlotte – Toss-up. Let’s call it a win.
    @ Milwaukee – Should be a win.

    That comes to 8-12. I think that’s a realistic result.

    If that’s the case, the Knicks would just have to go 10-7 in their last 17 to tie them, but as Frank noted earlier, it is more likely that the Knicks would have to win out to break the tie-breaker, so they’d have to go 11-6. Can they go 11-6? Let’s look at the Knicks’ schedule.

    @ Boston – Should be a win.
    vs Milwaukee – Should be a win.
    vs Indiana – Should be a loss.
    @ Philadelphia – Should be a win.
    vs Cleveland – Toss-up. Let’s call it a win.
    @ Los Angeles – Should be a win.
    @ Sacramento – Should be a win.
    @ Phoenix – Should be a loss.
    @ Golden State – Should be a loss.
    @ Utah – Should be a win.
    vs Brooklyn – Toss-up. Let’s call it a win.
    vs Washington – Should be a loss.
    @ Miami – Should be a loss.
    @ Toronto – Should be a loss.
    vs Chicago – Should be a loss.
    @ Brooklyn – Should be a loss.
    vs Toronto – Toss-up. Let’s call it a win.

    Hmmm…that gives them 9 wins and 8 loses. That, obviously, will not cut it. I guess the Knicks will just have to win some more games that they would not be predicted to win. Like beat Wasthington (which is certainly not an absurd thing to imagine happening) or take two against either Toronto or Brooklyn.

  5. massive

    This version of Amar’e Stoudemire with this version of Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler will drag the Knicks into the playoffs and hopefully piss Frank Vogel off enough in the playoffs to turn his face red (and I hate Frank Vogel’s face, so that would bring me joy).

    If Amar’e isn’t our best player when he’s not bothered by health, man. Healthy Amar’e is arguably the best offensive basketball player the Knicks have had since pre 92 Ewing. You put that with point forward Melo and you’ve probably got the 2nd best offensive 1-2 in the East behind LeBron and Wade.

  6. GoNyGoNYGo

    @massive – Amare’s not the Knick’s best offensive player Melo is. However, when used properly, like he’s being used now, he can be a force. The Knicks were fortunate that Chandler missed a day when the team played the worst team in the NBA ofer the last two months. They might have gotten slaughtered by a team with a real center.

    As for the the chances to reach the playoffs, It’s still a long-shot. Forget about the Hawk’s schedule. It’s all on the Knicks. To make the playoffs, the Knicks need to win, win, win. The schedule is rough, but to be the best, you have to beat the best. I just hope they keep it interesting.

  7. mj1

    What happened to the Melo and Stat can’t play together meme? They seem to go together like PB&J on white bread to me. Add Chandler to the mix and they have suddenly turned into a formidable front court. Looks good against the scrub competition. Like to see what they do against the Pacers. It will probably come down to that game with them having the chance to send the NYK home. Still, if they just get to that point, it’s a loooooong way from where things were a month ago. Question, if they do make the playoffs, is Woody safe, or would it take one of those 8 seed defeating 1 seed miracle scenarios to keep him from being fired?

  8. yoda4554

    What happened to the Melo and Stat can’t play together meme? They seem to go together like PB&J on white bread to me.

    They’ve played together for three seasons now. They’re both supposed to be top scorers, right? Well, riddle me this–how many games can you find in which they both scored 18 or more points, with each getting more points than their FGA+FTA/2 total? That seems to me a reasonable, not-very-high bar for effective scoring while playing together. I haven’t kept a thorough count, but I’ll tell you, the number is low–like, single-digits low. And when you add the requirement that the team not have been a defensive disaster in that game–which was the main worry about Anthony-Stoudemire in the first place–I think you can probably count them on one hand. That’s over a span of about 150 games–it doesn’t speak well to their ability to play together.

  9. chrisk06811

    strange to see the words ‘should be a win’ vs. any knicks opponent this year. I guess maybe Sacremento….now that Jimmr’s not there to kill us?

  10. cgreene

    No idea what Chandler’s personal issue is so not trying to be insensitive but when is absent he tends to be absent for much longer than anticipated. I would bet he misses Boston game and Rondo plays well and Knicks lose there and it’s over. Sorry to be downer but…

  11. johnno

    “They’ve played together for three seasons now. They’re both supposed to be top scorers, right? Well, riddle me this–how many games can you find in which they both scored 18 or more points, with each getting more points than their FGA+FTA/2 total? That seems to me a reasonable, not-very-high bar for effective scoring while playing together. I haven’t kept a thorough count, but I’ll tell you, the number is low–like, single-digits low.”
    Total nonsense. In the 25 games after the Melo trade (which, unfortunately, was Amare’s last extended run of healthy play), Amare averaged 24 points/game on 50% shooting and Melo averaged 26 points/game on 46% shooting.The idea that they could not co-exist offensively was a figment of the media’s imagination. If you remember, that year, when Melo and Amare played together, the Knicks led the league in offensive efficiency. Defensively, they struggled, but they were an offensive juggernaut.

  12. ephus

    Knicks probably have to get to 37 wins to make the playoffs, 38 might be necessary. That means winning 12 or 13 of the remaining 17 games.

    Knicks have to win all seven of their games against non-playoff contending teams and then win five or six of these games:

    1. Wed, Mar 19 vs Indiana

    2 . Fri, Mar 28 @ Phoenix (currently .5 game out of the playoffs)

    3. Sun, Mar 30 @ Golden State

    4. Wed, Apr 2 vs Brooklyn

    5. Fri, Apr 4 vs Washington

    6. Sun, Apr 6 @ Miami

    7. Fri, Apr 11 @ Toronto

    8. Sun, Apr 13 vs Chicago

    9. Tue, Apr 15 @ Brooklyn

    10. Wed, Apr 16 vs Toronto

  13. lavor postell

    Would help a lot if Toronto has clinched the division by the time we have a back-to-back against Brooklyn and Toronto to close out the season. If we can manage a split in the home games against Brooklyn, Indiana, Chicago and Washington that would also go a long way. If we win out before facing the Pacers on the 19th I will be very excited to see how a Melo-STAT-Tyson frontline fares against them.

  14. Frank

    Surprisingly BKN is only 3 games behind Toronto now. The race for the Atlantic title really may come down to that last week, which would be bad for us. You know Kidd will rest his guys if they’re locked into a certain seed. But it’s not just the Atlantic – it’s also the other teams around them – they’re basically tied with Washington and only a couple games ahead of Charlotte.

  15. Frank

    Also Berman is reporting that Steve Kerr would be a coaching candidate for Phil if he eventually decides to stop this mating dance and actually sign on the dotted line. Not sure how I feel about that, but I’d rather Kerr than a retread coach like Rambis or Byron Scott. He always seems like a smart guy on TV. His record as a GM in PHX was pretty awful but if you look at his moves on B-R it looks like most of them were probably Sarver $ saving moves. Not sure if he’d be a triangle guy, but he did play almost all of his career with Phil Jackson and Greg Popovich, so he definitely has seen good coaching in his career.

  16. Farfa

    Hello to everyone, my first post here from Italy (go on, crank it up to 11 with the Bargs jokes!).
    I think the race to 8th seed will just come down to two things: health issues and coaching issues.

    I know the Knicks roster as it stands now is not a worldbeater one. At the same time, apart from a glaring hole at the PG position (although I have to admit that Felton has played much better as of late), we have a roster that’s not that depleted. If the Tyson-Melo-Stat frontcourt stays healthy it’s enough to beat most of the teams coming ahead in the schedule; the problem is that these guys are not properly used. Better yet, it seems to me that they’re left to their own fate. I have no faith that all of those Melo-Stat two-man plays that we’ve seen in the last few days are Woodson’s ideas. I still think that we’d be better off firing Woodson and letting someone else (Herb?) take the reins of this team. Do you remember how it went for Indiana when they fired O’Brien and replaced him with Vogel? It’s thoroughly evident that Woodson is well in over his head even in the last games. I mean, do you recall any (any) adjustment made in-game that have affected the quality of Knicks’ play? Yes, don’t think so.

    All that said, it means that I’m (sadly) positive that the Knicks will miss the playoffs because one between Stat and Tyson are going to miss some games because of nagging injuries or because Woodson will be called to make sound decisions in close games and, well, you know how that went before. And since you can’t defend yourself against bad health, you should do something in the coaching department. I know it’s kind of unprecedented to sack a coach this late, but to not do it means to hope that Woodson’s going to be struck on the way to Damascus. Not quite likely.

    All in all, this is going to be a very Dolanesque ending to this season. Still, in Phil we trust.

  17. yoda4554

    Total nonsense. In the 25 games after the Melo trade (which, unfortunately, was Amare’s last extended run of healthy play), Amare averaged 24 points/game on 50% shooting and Melo averaged 26 points/game on 46% shooting.The idea that they could not co-exist offensively was a figment of the media’s imagination.

    You’re right, I had forgotten about the end of 2010-2011. Even then, though–look at the box scores. 29 games (counting playoffs), and only 10 in which they both had a decent scoring game (by the standards I posed) at the same time. That’s not really a sign of quality offensive complementarity. Billups, really, was the guy carrying the offense, based almost entirely on his absurd free-throw numbers. (Incidentally, Stoudemire’s TS% fell from 57% before the trade to 55% after, even though his usage also fell from 32% to 29%. ) And that was all while being the absolute worst defensive team in the NBA.

    They both had very good games on the first day of the next season, but since then, they’ve very, very rarely been good in the same game. I overstated my position, but not by much–it’s been a handful or less each year,. In the regular season, I see 5 games meeting my standards in the ’12 season, 4 games in the ’13 season, and 3 this year. I might’ve missed one or two–but that’s basically 12 games with both of them doing the one thing they’re both supposed to do well at the same time over a sample of over 100 games. I feel perfectly happy saying that, at this point, they’ve proved they don’t play well offensively together, in addition to being atrocious defensively.

    By the way, in ’12 and ’14, the Knicks have been 10 points/100 worse with Stoudemire on the floor than off, and in ’13 their W/L was 16-13 win him and 38-11 w/o.

  18. Farfa

    I might’ve missed one or two–but that’s basically 12 games with both of them doing the one thing they’re both supposed to do well at the same time over a sample of over 100 games. I feel perfectly happy saying that, at this point, they’ve proved they don’t play well offensively together, in addition to being atrocious defensively.

    Then again, yoda4554, maybe they’ve just proved they’re not coached well offensively together. And come on, at this point in the season, we just have to admit that in ’13 Kidd (at least until he was not mummified, so before the playoffs) had a much bigger impact than he was credited for; that is to say that they never had a coach who exploited their talents. D’Antoni could work for Stoudemire, Woodson/Kidd and the lucky smallball find could work for Melo. They need someone to coax the best out of them, and I think we won’t be seeing any of that, given that Stat becomes an expiring contract in a few months.

  19. BKQuick

    I don’t understand this argument regarding Stat and Melo not playing well offensively together. It just seems to flat out ignore that fact that for most of the period in question, only one of them has been healthy enough to perform up to expectations.
    I think it clear to see that Melo respects Stat’s game and when he see evidence that Stat is on, he and the Knick guards, ensure that Stat gets a healthy number of touches. I think its just been so long since they were both healthy and able to play off each other, it seems like it never happened before.

  20. The Ghost of Ted Nelson

    I don’t understand this argument regarding Stat and Melo not playing well offensively together. It just seems to flat out ignore that fact that for most of the period in question, only one of them has been healthy enough to perform up to expectations.

    For the 1/3 of a season after the Anthony trade, the Knicks had the best offense in the league.

    But they were a .500 team during that stretch because their defense was not strong.

    So the reason that they can’t co-exist (on a successful team) doesn’t have much to do with offense. When you pay max salary to two people with duplicate skills, you have diminishing returns. That’s why when Amar’e misses games, the team doesn’t really get worse. There’s only one ball and only one person can score it at a time. But defense, rebounding, and not turning the ball over is going on all the time, and the most complementary player to Anthony has to do those things a lot better than Amar’e does (did).

    If Amar’e stayed healthy the past three years, I don’t think the Knicks would have a whole lot more to show for it. (Unless he learned to play a mean point guard:)

  21. Brian Cronin

    t’s been rumored that Carmelo is not all in with the Phil Jackson thing, so maybe we have lost him yet.

    What? Are there really rumors that Melo isn’t a fan of the Phil Jackson move?! What the fuck? That better not be true. And if it is true….man….

  22. BKQuick

    I heard and read a lot about how Wade and LeBron would never work as well. I truly believe that if both these guys had been playing together regularly over the last 3 years, the Knicks would have certainly reaped the benefit and barring some of the other bad decisions made during that period, would be much further along as a team.

    Also, besides the fact that Wade/Lebron are better at everything than Melo/Stat, they were certainly known as players who could be lock down defenders when properly motivated. That has never been said of either Knick and no one expected this when they came to play here. What should have happened and didn’t is that the FO should have surrounded them with the type of players that would offset this deficiency in their respective games. Tyson was obviously brought on to help out in this regard and the rookie version of Shump and to a lessor extent Fields, seemed to be the tough defender that would also go well with the “all offense” Melo/Stat pairing. A decent two way point guard and a dead eye three point shooter or two, and we’re all set! Right?

  23. johnno

    The “rumors” come from hack reporting. According to Marc Berman, when asked about Jackson, Melo said something like, “The front office hasn’t talked to me about it, so I don’t know anything. I assume that nothing is going to happen until the end of the season.” Berman then proceeded to dredge up Jackson’s comment from a year or two ago that the Knicks’ roster was “clumsy” and put 2 and 2 together, came up with 12, and reported that Melo doesn’t like Jackson. Berman, like SAS and Broussard, makes stuff up so that he has a story to write.

  24. Brian Cronin

    Oh phew. It doesn’t make any sense to me that Melo wouldn’t be on board with Jackson.

  25. The Ghost of Ted Nelson

    It doesn’t make any sense to me that Melo wouldn’t be on board with Jackson

    It didn’t make any sense that he wouldn’t be on board with D’Antoni.

    Or Lin.

    Or that he would opt out just to re-sign in NY for less money.

    Or that he would still be on board with Woodson.

    Or that he wouldn’t go running to the Bulls as fast as he can.

    Or that he would tell Denver he’d consider playing for the Nets.

    Or that he wouldn’t call timeout, whether his coach knows he has any or not.

    Or that he wouldn’t know he can pass out of an isolation in the last minute of a game.

    Basically, there is a lot that doesn’t make sense about Carmelo Anthony and the things he says/thinks/does.

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