Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Knicks 90, Celtics less than 80 again, somehow

New York Knicks 90 Final
Recap | Box Score
76 Boston Celtics
Carmelo Anthony, SF 37 MIN | 12-25 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 26 PTS | +8

After a 2-8 start that saw him hoist one too many turnaround Js with four arms right up his nostrils, Melo locked in tight most the rest of the way, hitting on eight of his next 11 — all of which seemed more reasoned in terms of timing and flow. Wide open threes, easy shots, tough shots, impossible shots – it seemed like every time the Celtics cobbled together the faint foundations of a run, Melo was there to smash it back to gravel. The one rebound thing wasn’t exactly inspired, but nor were the shit blizzard of turnovers and glacial pace that put even missed shots at a weird kind of premium.

You can question the logic of hitching your franchise wagon to fleeting efficiency. But “logic” and “effectiveness” are two totally different things.

Iman Shumpert, SF 20 MIN | 1-5 FG | 1-2 FT | 8 REB | 2 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | +8

If killing or otherwise maiming passing lanes were a crime, Shump would be on Alcatraz – by himself, with bazooka-loaded helicopters to drop down buckets full of fish heads. The jumper was mostly silent, but Shump’s incessant ‘bounding and hounding D helped set the tone for a Beantown thumping.

Tyson Chandler, C 30 MIN | 3-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 6 PTS | +13

Another game, another notch on the health belt – or so it would seem. After something of a slow start (a couple late paint rotations, a bobbled pass), Tyson looked degrees more spry as the game wore on. He was never much of a consistent factor on either end of the floor, but anything is found money so long as his head stays attached.

Raymond Felton, PG 35 MIN | 7-14 FG | 0-1 FT | 2 REB | 10 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 15 PTS | +12

I’m happy for Raymond Felton. There, I said it. // spleen falls out.

Just a tremendous overall outing for our favorite Neognathae – a mix of tough, stifling defense, timely buckets, and poised penetration mostly free of fault. When he wasn’t beating the shot clock with a tough jumper, he was stuffing one of Avery Bradley’s. When he wasn’t driving into the teeth of KG and laying it in over the evil bastard’s outstretched meatclaw, he was taking a transition charge. That Ray seems to want this series as badly as the veterans of our 1-8 two-year stretch speaks volumes about the man’s locker room appeal. Let’s hope he keeps it up, because he’ll need all the priming he can get ahead of the semis.

Pablo Prigioni, PG 30 MIN | 3-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 5 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 9 PTS | +13

“911. What is your emergency?”

“Yes! Hello! This man, he’s stealing everything.”

“…What man, sir?”

“This guy, he’s from South America but has an Italian last name. I don’t really get it. Anyway, he’s lifting our balls every other play.”

“…Lifting your ba—“

“HE DID IT AGAIN!”

Five steals. Five! When Pablo came back from his ankle tweak and put up a passable – if hardly incendiary – outing in Tuesday night’s game, he claimed he was “only at 85%.” Which, after Friday’s sneaky-genius performance, I can only take to mean that, if you’re 50% in Argentina, you’re clinically dead. Pablo came out poised and aggressive from the perimeter, making the Celtics pay for going deep under high screens by drilling a pair of threes. But Pablo’s biggest contribution came at the defensive end, where he pested, pesked, and annoyed his way to a peck of steals. He very nearly nabbed a sixth, but lost his balance — and the ball – before making out with a camera man’s shoe. On offense, his ball movement and decision-making was as boringly brilliant as we’ve come to expect.

Kenyon Martin, PF 17 MIN | 2-4 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 5 PTS | -1

I keep waiting for the moment – a rebound, most likely – when Kenyon lands on the floor and turns to smoke, never to be seen again. Thankfully, the production continues apace; Kenyon’s rebounding and overall defensive presence helped keep the Celtics – and Garnett in particular – from forging any kind of rhythm on the interior with Tyson on the bench. Now, all we need is a K-Mart fatality of KG in a sweep-clinching game four: a deep-post chair-pull that gives KG a bruised tailbone and forces him to cower back to the locker room like a hunchback.

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

CHRIS COPELAND ANAGRAM FUN: PLACID SCORN, HE

Steve Novak, SF 16 MIN | 3-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 8 PTS | +1

Oh shit, the Knicks signed Steve Novak!

Seriously though, it was nice to see Steve find something of a rhythm. There’s a joke about white people in there somewhere.

Quentin Richardson, SF 2 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +2

Seriously, I want our Game 4 blowout to end with Q coming on in garbage time and, as he passes a dejected Pierce at the scorer’s table, just smacking him as hard as he can right in the face.

Jason Kidd, PG 26 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 6 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +4

Kidd’s fossilized fingerprints were all over this one. Six rebounds in 26 minutes alone would have been a sterling contribution. Instead, a pair of blocks (as in, Jason Kidd registered two goddam blocked shots), a catty swipe of a would-be Jeff Green buzzer-beater, and general kung-fu hands throughout rendered his oh-fer outing totally moot. Well done, old chap.

J.R. Smith, SG 24 MIN | 6-12 FG | 1-3 FT | 4 REB | 3 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 15 PTS | +6

EARL SMITH, EVERYONE! Throughout the first two tilts, J.R.’s efficiency suffered somewhat – less because of objectively poor shot choice (although this definitely happened) than sheer shot clock circumstances. Tonight, J.R. played it close to the chest for 24 whole minutes, taking what the defense was giving, picking pockets at the other end, and generally playing the part of measured marauder.

Then he elbow-jacked Jason Terry in the face, and will now likely miss a game because of it. Yes, Terry was trying to build a house in J.R.’s shorts. Yes, I’ve often thought of hitting Jason Terry myself. Just not during a Playoff series. Perhaps the flagrant-2 and resulting ejection will prove sufficient, but it seems likely the league will look to send a message on this one. Shame, too, in that it really does jeopardize our chances for a clean sweep. Go to your room, J.R.! Yes, the champagne room is fine.

Five Things We Saw

  1. Much was made of the Celtics mining emotional juice from the crowd, and the classy pregame ceremony seemed the perfect siphon. Well, classy save for the handful of douch-nozzles yelling “KG!” and “GO GET ‘EM, PIEE-AHHHCE” during the fucking moment of silence. Really, it had all the makings of a momentum-altering – if not momentum-changing – evening. Not so much. Give the ‘Bockers credit for refusing to be fazed by the gravity of the moment, and – let’s face it – for being the only team to even come close to giving those fans their money’s worth.
  2. The first three minutes were an unadulterated nightmare of bad shots, even worse misses, and horrifically helter-skelter all around play. Through it all, Boston’s program remained much the same: turn grace into grizzle, and ugly the joint up. But when Boston’s second trip ended with, like, 15 point-blank misses and zero points, the writing of another sad, 48-minute tale was quickly put to wall. The Knicks would eventually find their rhythm, manufacturing points thanks to crisp ball movement even while Melo struggled early.
  3. For the second straight game, the Knicks took advantage of Boston’s complete indifference to possessing the basketball – 17 turnovers forced, 14 by way of steals. Fourteen! That’s 34 in three games, for those keeping track at home. But it was how the steals happened that was so utterly fascinating: The Celtics weren’t getting ripped so much as, like, just handing the ball to the Knicks. Like, “Here you go. I’m not entirely sure what to do with this leather sphere. Please, you take it – make an exotic casserole.” It was really weird. I think I accused no fewer than five Celtics of being “on drugs” at some point during the game, each time because of some totally mystifying cough-up.
  4. The Celtics are weird, man. I lost count of how many times Boston would bully the Knicks for 15 full seconds of the shot clock – good rotations, good on-ball D – only to completely collapse in the last few ticks and give up precious looks from the perimeter. To their credit, the Knicks made them pay dearly.
  5. After J.R. was ejected early in the fourth, I sincerely believed Boston would make one last, impossible run – Jordan Crawford scoring 19 unanswered points or something. Instead, the Bockers regrouped, stayed poised, and answered every big Boston bucket (if you can call any Boston bucket in this series “big”) with one of their own. In another time, this kind of thing would’ve caused the tires to fly off into the ditch, the engine to catch fire, and the tailpipe to spew pure blood. Either Woodson grabbed them all by the ears before Game 1 and threatened to jam bamboo shoots up the finger nails of anyone who compounded a tech or ejection with a dumbass play, or the Knicks really are that confident in their own abilities – or, on the flipside, wholly unconvinced that the Celtics will ever make them break a sweat. Whatever it is, we’re going to need that kind of cool, collected poise in Round 2, where Indiana’s bone-chewing style – already the catalyst for many a Bocker freak-out – lies in wait.

167 comments on “Knicks 90, Celtics less than 80 again, somehow

  1. Juany8

    With all the renewed optimism around here, I just wanted to take a second to review the biggest difference between the Knicks and every other small ball team: Tyson Chandler. He hasn’t played great, but if he’s at full strength in the ECF, Miami is going to have a hard time covering him either on the offensive glass or on the pick and roll. There is a decent chance they will have to play big, which means putting either birdman or Haslem next to Bosh. That would help them slow down the pick and roll and rebounding advantage, but then one of those guys would have to guard either Melo or JR, and the Heat would lose some of their awesome spacing advantage. Felton has lit up the Heat this year, and the Felton Chandler pick and roll will probably be used to initiate the offense more so than against Indiana or Boston (partly because Chandler hasn’t played quite like himself yet).

    That was the strategy Dallas used to gain an advantage against the Heat: instead of just posting up Dirk or running a pick and roll with him, which Miami would easily stifle, they ran the pick and roll with Tyson Chandler, forcing Miami to send extra help to prevent the lob. As soon as that happened, you had Dirk waiting on the wings to take advantage of a disoriented defense, and he would easily pass to the many open 3 point shooters along the perimeter.

    One other highly effective play that worked for Dallas, and that we’ve seen a few times with the Knicks this year, is a double, staggered screen, where Tyson Chandler and Dirk would both set screens close to Jason Terry and everyone would essentially go in different directions. I think Felton and JR could make some good plays using a similar setup, and having both Kidd and Chandler on the roster should help them crack Miami’s defense (which has not actually improved since their first year, it’s been all offense)

  2. Loathing

    Good thoughts there Jua, but this might be jumping the gun a bit…let the K’s close out the Cs, then let’s worry about Indy/Atlanta next. Mr. Cavan, great write-up as always…love the anagrams!

  3. Juany8

    As far as Indiana goes, I’m more worried about someone getting injured against them than I am of the actual team. They’re a solid squad who’s just not at all explosive on offense, as long as the Knicks stay disciplined and don’t allow a bunch of easy buckets (which they sometimes do for a quarter or so) Indiana is not going to be able to score a lot. On the other hand, Paul George is a pretty tough matchup for Melo to get by, and Hibbert and Hill should do a solid job covering the pick and roll, so JR is going to need to step up in a big way, or the series might end up going 7. The Knicks should win in that case, but you don’t want to leave that one game to chance, anything can happen at that point.

  4. Z-man

    “I keep waiting for the moment – a rebound, most likely – when Kenyon lands on the floor and turns to smoke, never to be seen again.”

    Great line. I truly can’t believe how good K-Mart is, and that nobody wanted him. He might turn out to make all the difference this playoff season.

  5. chrisk06811

    It’s been so long, I almost forgot my favorite thing about Steve Novak, which is when he is right, and he hits a 3, and I announce to everyone else in the room (nobody) “It must feel good to be able to stroke it like that”

  6. ephus

    This is a great time to be a Knick fan. I watched last night’s game at a memorial gathering for one of my good childhood friends. She was a rabid Yankee fan, and a strong Knick fan. Tended bar for many years at some of the best sports bars on the UWS.

    As we watched the Knicks pull away, it seemed less important to beat the Celtics (and I HATE the Celtics) than to celebrate the community of Knicks fans. We gather together in hope of seeing something transcendent. Red Holtzman, Willis Reed, Bill Bradley, Walt Frazier, Dave DeBueschere, Earl Monroe, BERNARD KING, Patrick Ewing, John Starks, and Charles Oakley have each given us moments of great joy (and sorrow).

    Now ‘Melo, Chandler, JR Smith, Felton, Kidd, Prigioni, K-Mart, Shumpert and (maybe) STAT are knocking on the door to enter that pantheon of really memorable Knicks. I hope that the Knicks are able to close out the Celtics in four games, I hope that the Pacers are no better than they appear to be against the Hawks. I hope that the Heat imitate that the 2008 Patriots. I hope that the Spurs are too old and too tired to deal with the Knicks’ depth.

    I hope . . .

    Rest in peace, Jenny.

  7. Z-man

    ephus:
    This is a great time to be a Knick fan.I watched last night’s game at a memorial gathering for one of my good childhood friends.She was a rabid Yankee fan, and a strong Knick fan.Tended bar for many years at some of the best sports bars on the UWS.

    As we watched the Knicks pull away, it seemed less important to beat the Celtics (and I HATE the Celtics) than to celebrate the community of Knicks fans.We gather together in hope of seeing something transcendent.Red Holtzman, Willis Reed, Bill Bradley, Walt Frazier, Dave DeBueschere, Earl Monroe, BERNARD KING, Patrick Ewing, John Starks, and Charles Oakley have each given us moments of great joy (and sorrow).

    Now ‘Melo, Chandler, JR Smith, Felton, Kidd, Prigioni, K-Mart, Shumpert and (maybe) STAT are knocking on the door to enter that pantheon of really memorable Knicks.I hope that the Knicks are able to close out the Celtics in four games, I hope that the Pacers are no better than they appear to be against the Hawks.I hope that the Heat imitate that the 2008 Patriots.I hope that the Spurs are too old and too tired to deal with the Knicks’ depth.

    I hope . . .

    Rest in peace, Jenny.

    Sorry to hear it, ephus, I hang on the UWS, she probably served me a drink or two over the years!

  8. Z-man

    Continuing the discussion from a couple of threads ago re: assists, there are so many ways that players who don’t score a basket or make a pass that leads directly to a made shot should get statistical credit for the basket but don’t. Here are some

    Setting a great screen, either on the ball and off the ball, that leads to a layup or wide-open perimeter shot.

    Drawing defenders a step out of position because of the threat you are to score if left single-teamed or wide open

    Boxing out a rebounder so that a teammate gets an offensive rebound basket

    Making a very tough entry pass to a guy like Melo when he is being aggressively fronted, leading to a defensive rotation that results in Melo passing to a wide open cutter

    Then there are all the great passes that lead to players only missing because they get fouled, or just missing a high percentage shot.

    All this said, assist numbers seem to match up pretty well with the eye test. Melo’s assist numbers are low, and should be. There are plenty of times I see him ignore a wide-open teammate and take a difficult shot, much more than I see LeBron or Durant do it.

  9. Brian Cronin

    Back-to-back amazing endings to playoff games. First the Denver/Golden State game and now Nate Robinson/Nets.

  10. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Using a timeout there is so strange. If they miss this shot, they have no way to advance the ball. I say go up, run a PnR or something, and foul and advance if they need a second shot.

  11. Brian Cronin

    Agreed, THCJ, the timeout was dumb. Especially when THAT was the shot they ended up with.

  12. Tony Pena

    Also a myth: Elite receivers who draw two defenders and open the field for secondary and tertiary options. Power hitters who draw easier at bats for teammates.

  13. Unreason

    Anybody with remotely fresh legs might have a huge advantage in the third OT if it goes that far. These guys are all toast for the most part.

  14. marechal

    The Bulls and Nets will end up scoring more points in this game than the Celtics did in the previous 2 games combined.

  15. Kahnzy

    I am sooooooooooooooooo glad I am not a Nets fan today. Wow, what a gut wrenching loss. I’d be inconsolable if that were the Knicks.

  16. Unreason

    Kikuchiyo:
    Which Net gets sent to Siberia? Carlesimo?

    Yeah. Any invitation to celebrate the success of the Nets’ season at an event in Moscow should be regarded with suspicion.

  17. ruruland

    Tony Pena:
    Also a myth: Elite receivers who draw two defenders and open the field for secondary and tertiary options. Power hitters who draw easier at bats for teammates.

    Only in baseball is it a myth because each at-bat is completely independent of another.

    To say that an elite receiver doesn’t draw attention and create other opportunities for the offense is to say that defense doesn’t exist, or if it does, is a constant regardless of alignment. Same with QB, RB, et al.

    Dean Oliver would laugh in your face at such a statement. Same with basketball.

    I think Jowles is referring to the Bulls, who are facing a just above average defense,and implying that Rose’s shot creation does not add value above the efficiency of his total true shots.

    Going into today, Chicago had a 94.7 offensive efficiency in the playoffs. It had a 92 off. efficiency last year in the playoffs without Rose.

    What about when Rose was playing for the Bulls: 2011 — 101.6 off. eff, 2010 — 101.6 off eff., 2009– 102.2 off. eff.

    What happened today? Nate Robinson, in his own way, produced like Rose would in one of his better games, which Robinson is capable of occasionally doing.

    So yes, Rose’ shot creation has been extremely important to Chicago in both the regular and postseason.

    Iverson/Kobe/Rose/Felton assists are real, too.

    The Bulls off. rebound % jumps 3 percent in the playoffs with Rose on the court in the playoffs. And the Bulls are 9 points better on offense with Rose on the floor in the playoffs despite posting a meager .503 TS and 104 offensive rating and .098 WS/48.

    Rose is a great player, but yes, he’s also a pussy.

  18. ruruland

    Chris Paul is also an amazing player, and clearly one of the 5 best in basketball. But even with his ability to take over games (by far the best 4th quarter player), playmaking in pnr, his low usage requires his teammates to really produce and make shots for him.

    When the Clippers were swept by the Spurs last year, Paul averaged 12.8 ppg in the series. He scored 10 points when the Lakers (who were later swept by Dallas) closed them out in 2011.

    He scored 16 points in the final two games against Denver when they closed out the Hornets.

    And since that amazing first year in the playoffs, Paul has scored 30 points just twice.

    So, yes, a lack of shot creation by your superstar requires everyone else to produce in place of it.

    By some metrics, a 7-13, 19 pts, 6 assists, 1 turnover game (like Paul had vs Memphis tonight) is actually great.

    It’s certainly considered better than say, 12-25, 34 points, 9 assists, 3 turnovers.

    The question is, does the second stat line represent an improvement for the team.

    Can a player like Paul, in theory, shoot the final 12 shots ( in which he went 5-12) better than his teammates in most situations?

    I’d argue in the playoffs against a good defense, depending on how the defense is playing, most of the time, yes, the second game is more valuable to the team than the first.

    Not always, but most of the time.

    It’s no coincidence that Paul’s teams have always really struggled in the playoffs when his usage goes down, even when he keeps his efficiency numbers pretty.

  19. ruruland

    Pacers down 20 to Atlanta. Think Indiana has firepower to beat Knicks four times in a series?

    Definite slippage defensively the last 6 weeks of season, too.

    Pretty good team, but their three highest usage players come in at around .525 TS with high turnovers, and they don’t have the shooting around their creators (ranked 22nd in 3pt %).

    Another example of high effort regular season team that probably doesn’t translate quite as well to playoffs as the Knicks do.

    Knicks can sweep Indiana, but will probably go 5 or 6.

    You can make the case that the regular season Celtics with Garnett in the lineup actually performed better than the Pacers on the season, even defensively.

  20. mr.JayP

    Things are getting chippy @ the IND vs ATL game!! David West with a dirty play.

    Im on the same boat Ruru, Ind doesn’t have the same voodoo or mystique on their side like Boston does nor do they have enough offensive weapons to truly compete with the knicks and beat them 4 times in a series.

    As Long as the knicks play consistent D, it should be a 5-6 game series. Hopefully 4 lol. give amare even more rest.

  21. ruruland

    mr.JayP:
    Things are getting chippy @ the IND vs ATL game!! David West with a dirty play.

    Im on the same boat Ruru, Ind doesn’t have the same voodoo or mystique on their side like Boston does nor do they have enough offensive weapons to truly compete with the knicks and beat them 4 times in a series.

    As Long as the knicks play consistent D, it should be a 5-6 game series. Hopefully 4 lol. give amare even more rest.

    I’d actually prefer Amar’e plays 5 games so that he’s back to where he was when he left. The Knicks can win the NBA championship if Amar’e plays like he’s capable. I don’t believe they can beat the Heat w/out Amar’e playing very well.

  22. mr.JayP

    ruruland: I’d actually prefer Amar’e plays 5 games so that he’s back to where he was when he left. The Knicks can win the NBA championship if Amar’e plays like he’s capable. I don’t believe they can beat the Heat w/out Amar’e playing very well.

    IMO we need amare to beat MIA, after that idk who will be coming out of the west. most likely either SaS or OKC and we beat both without Amare.

    But i agree, getting him into rhythm will be important during the 2nd round.

  23. Hubert Davis

    Why are people still talking about JR getting suspended? It was the 5,000,000th elbow thrown in the playoffs & would be the first to merit suspension. He shouldn’t have even been ejected.

    Stern couldn’t possibly.

  24. Hubert Davis

    Should’ve been announced by now. Isola tweeted he thinks that means the league wants to suspend him and Dolan is fighting this bitterly.

  25. Tony Pena

    ruruland: Only in baseball is it a myth because each at-bat is completely independent of another.

    I’m assuming this is a moneyball-derived conclusion. So a pitcher walking a guy, just to face his lesser teammate, and giving up a hit, is not a direct result of the first batter’s ability? What’s the premise, that only one batter at a time takes part in the action? Makes me want to pick up some books and try to understand sabermetrics… Kidding. Idk, seems like the defense is playing one guy differently, to the benefit of his teammates, which would be in some way similar to shot-creation.

  26. Kahnzy

    I don’t get why some of you are so surprised at the suspension. Don’t get me wrong, I’m as big a fan of the Oakley/Mason/Ewing/Starks Knicks as anyone and I completely agree that the softness of the league these days is less than thrilling to watch. However, given the way the league has changed and become softer, this suspension shouldn’t really come as any surprise.

    Yes, Terry’s reaction was delayed and he made sure the refs saw it. But watch the replay; JR clearly elbowed Terry square under the chin and, at least by appearances, he meant to do it. He looked like he meant to do it, and that’s why he got suspended. I’d have been surprised (pleasantly) if he hadn’t gotten suspended. Hopefully it won’t matter and we can still complete the sweep.

  27. ruruland

    Tony Pena: I’m assuming this is a moneyball-derived conclusion. So a pitcher walking a guy, just to face his lesser teammate, and giving up a hit, is not a direct result of the first batter’s ability? What’s the premise, that only one batter at a time takes part in the action? Makes me want to pick up some books and try to understand sabermetrics… Kidding. Idk, seems like the defense is playing one guy differently, to the benefit of his teammates, which would be in some way similar to shot-creation.

    From what I understand there is no change in batter performance based on the lineup order and the performance behind a great hitter, but the great hitter will walk more if there aren’t great hitters behind him.

  28. ruruland

    Kahnzy:
    I don’t get why some of you are so surprised at the suspension. Don’t get me wrong, I’m as big a fan of the Oakley/Mason/Ewing/Starks Knicks as anyone and I completely agree that the softness of the league these days is less than thrilling to watch. However, given the way the league has changed and become softer, this suspension shouldn’t really come as any surprise.

    Yes, Terry’s reaction was delayed and he made sure the refs saw it. But watch the replay; JR clearly elbowed Terry square under the chin and, at least by appearances, he meant to do it. He looked like he meant to do it, and that’s why he got suspended. I’d have been surprised (pleasantly) if he hadn’t gotten suspended. Hopefully it won’t matter and we can still complete the sweep.

    Yeah, but you can find examples of that in every playoff game. If you don’t think the league holds biases, you haven’t been paying attention.

    KG does shit like that virtually every game.

    It’s pretty much an outrage, and I’m guessing unprecedented.

  29. nicos

    Can’t say I’m surprised- though without the super slow motion replay where you can see JR kind of glance up at Terry (which would have been .25 sec in real time) no way he gets suspended. The slow motion makes it look like he was staring Terry down before throwing the elbow. Perhaps it was knuckleheaded enough to scare teams from making too big an offer on him in the off-season- who throws an elbow like that up double digits in a playoff game?

  30. Hubert Davis

    Stern is a punk.

    I’ve seen that not get called a foul. Fucking Hibbert nailed JR w an elbow 2 weeks ago and they called the foul on JR!

    The ref should’ve just called the foul on Terry in the first place & none of this happens.

  31. Kahnzy

    ruruland: Yeah, but you can find examples of that in every playoff game. If you don’t think the league holds biases, you haven’t been paying attention.

    KG does shit like that virtually every game.

    It’s pretty much an outrage, and I’m guessing unprecedented.

    Well I won’t argue that point, and I can’t see where you think I was. The superstar treatment is real, no doubt about it. But JR isn’t a superstar so the rules actually apply to him. We can cry about bias and inconsistent calls all we want (and I’m sure we will); but the facts are JR elbowed Terry in the head and it looked intentional. If you want to argue that the rules shouldn’t apply to JR because they don’t apply to KG, you’re welcome to complain until you’re blue in the face…but you won’t get very far in your arguments unfortunately. Simple fact of the NBA since the 80′s, at least.

  32. BigBlueAL

    Kahnzy:
    I don’t get why some of you are so surprised at the suspension. Don’t get me wrong, I’m as big a fan of the Oakley/Mason/Ewing/Starks Knicks as anyone and I completely agree that the softness of the league these days is less than thrilling to watch. However, given the way the league has changed and become softer, this suspension shouldn’t really come as any surprise.

    Yes, Terry’s reaction was delayed and he made sure the refs saw it. But watch the replay; JR clearly elbowed Terry square under the chin and, at least by appearances, he meant to do it. He looked like he meant to do it, and that’s why he got suspended. I’d have been surprised (pleasantly) if he hadn’t gotten suspended. Hopefully it won’t matter and we can still complete the sweep.

    Here is my thing, if Terry doesnt lunge in and basically foul JR then stay right up on him JR doesnt elbow him. It wasnt like JR just elbowed him in the face blatantly for no reason.

    JR didnt go out of his way to elbow him is what Im saying and that should be taken into consideration. Plus he walked away and didnt escalate anything afterwards while Terry was putting on some tough guy act. He got ejected from the game, that shouldve been penalty enough.

  33. Tony Pena

    ruruland: From what I understand there is no change in batter performance based on the lineup order and the performance behind a great hitter, but the great hitter will walk more if there aren’t great hitters behind him.

    That seems more logical. I guess the biggest hurdle with these things is you can’t borrow the billion-dollar business for testing.

  34. Tony Pena

    He can’t command 10 mil a year now, the guy is out of control. Damn headcase. Spread the word

  35. Kahnzy

    BigBlueAL: Here is my thing, if Terry doesnt lunge in and basically foul JR then stay right up on him JR doesnt elbow him.It wasnt like JR just elbowed him in the face blatantly for no reason.

    JR didnt go out of his way to elbow him is what Im saying and that should be taken into consideration.Plus he walked away and didnt escalate anything afterwards while Terry was putting on some tough guy act.He got ejected from the game, that shouldve been penalty enough.

    And I thought JR walking away like he did would be his only saving grace to prevent a suspension. Unfortunately it wasn’t.

    Look, I’m not saying Terry didn’t initiate contact. He did. But you don’t respond to a swipe on the ball with an elbow to the jaw. If Terry had raked his face or something, I could see the argument. But Terry made a play on the ball; foul? Maybe. But let’s not complain at the softness of the NBA for suspending JR for a thrown elbow and then complain that a swipe on the ball should have been a foul (THAT would have been a soft call, legal or not).

    Further, I’d argue JR knew he screwed up at the way he walked away. He didn’t want to compound his mistake any further; something for which he deserves credit.

  36. Kahnzy

    Tony Pena:
    He can’t command 10 mil a year now, the guy is out of control. Damn headcase. Spread the word

    For real. Let’s photoshop some blood and a mangled face onto Terry. Maybe a neck brace too. JR can’t be trusted with a bigger contract.

  37. Hubert Davis

    Could they at least have fined Terry $5k for the flop? I mean, it can be a flagrant foul and a flop. They’re not exclusive.

  38. Hubert Davis

    This is fucking amazing, by the way:

    Celtics angry about Knicks’ showboating

    Bradley, who has been torched by the Knicks’ point guards all series, said the Celtics were not pleased with the Knicks for “showboating” in the waning minutes of Game 3.

    “That’s what made us so mad, so angry,” he said. “We’ve just got to go out there and play the right way. We’ve got to not let that happen again. After the game, somebody said it right after we got in the locker room: ‘They’re showboating and they’re dunking,’ and everybody kind of looked like, ‘You’re right.’ But all we can do is go out there and play the right way and play hard and don’t give them a chance to showboat at all.”

    http://www.newsday.com/sports/basketball/knicks/celtics-angry-about-knicks-showboating-j-r-smith-s-elbow-and-their-own-play-1.5153229

  39. Kahnzy

    Hubert Davis:
    This is fucking amazing, by the way:

    Celtics angry about Knicks’ showboating

    Bradley, who has been torched by the Knicks’ point guards all series, said the Celtics were not pleased with the Knicks for “showboating” in the waning minutes of Game 3.

    “That’s what made us so mad, so angry,” he said. “We’ve just got to go out there and play the right way. We’ve got to not let that happen again. After the game, somebody said it right after we got in the locker room: ‘They’re showboating and they’re dunking,’ and everybody kind of looked like, ‘You’re right.’ But all we can do is go out there and play the right way and play hard and don’t give them a chance to showboat at all.”

    http://www.newsday.com/sports/basketball/knicks/celtics-angry-about-knicks-showboating-j-r-smith-s-elbow-and-their-own-play-1.5153229

    If they don’t want the Knicks to showboat, maybe they should play better defense. I’ve never believed that a team winning by a big margin should play at the intensity level of the losing team. In other words, if you don’t want the other team scoring in the final seconds of a blowout, maybe you should play better defense.

    Also, to hell with the Celtics. We’ve waited long enough; we’ve earned a little fun.

  40. Kahnzy

    Also, this Atl/Ind game has been a complete snoozefest. But on the bright side, if we lose game 4 because of Smith’s suspension, at least we don’t give up any extra days of rest to the Pacers. We lose a few days, sure, but at least the problem won’t be compounded by losing a few days while Indiana gets a few days. In the big picture view, I don’t think Smith’s suspension will be all that costly to our playoff run.

  41. er

    All you guys that agree with the suspension are nuts man. JR hit Terry with a swing thru elbow. Not a punch, not a flyin elbow. At worst a flag 1 this is fucking disgusting. Lil Nate basically body slammed Watson today and got a double tech. FUCK STERN

  42. Z-man

    IMO, Smith deserved the suspension. You can’t throw a flagrant elbow like that. I think we win without him anyway.

  43. ruruland

    Kahnzy: Well I won’t argue that point, and I can’t see where you think I was. The superstar treatment is real, no doubt about it. But JR isn’t a superstar so the rules actually apply to him. We can cry about bias and inconsistent calls all we want (and I’m sure we will); but the facts are JR elbowed Terry in the head and it looked intentional. If you want to argue that the rules shouldn’t apply to JR because they don’t apply to KG, you’re welcome to complain until you’re blue in the face…but you won’t get very far in your arguments unfortunately. Simple fact of the NBA since the 80?s, at least.

    I know that. Some people on this board think otherwise.

  44. ruruland

    Kahnzy: If they don’t want the Knicks to showboat, maybe they should play better defense. I’ve never believed that a team winning by a big margin should play at the intensity level of the losing team. In other words, if you don’t want the other team scoring in the final seconds of a blowout, maybe you should play better defense.

    Also, to hell with the Celtics. We’ve waited long enough; we’ve earned a little fun.

    What showboating?

    What an ugly way of going down for such a proud group of players. With Doc’s comments yesterday, and Ainge’s comments the day before, they’re making things up and in total denial.

    Terrible losers. Pitiful. I hope tomorrow is a much bigger blowout and they actually showboat at the end this time.

  45. Kahnzy

    er:
    All you guys that agree with the suspension are nuts man. JR hit Terry with a swing thru elbow. Not a punch, not a flyin elbow. At worst a flag 1 this is fucking disgusting. Lil Nate basically body slammed Watson today and got a double tech. FUCK STERN

    Watch the replay again. How you can watch it and not think it was intentional is just delusional. You can even see his arm speed up considerably midway through the swing; that’s not something you do with just a “swingthrough” elbow.

  46. Kahnzy

    ruruland: What showboating?

    What an ugly way of going down for such a proud group of players. With Doc’s comments yesterday, and Ainge’s comments the day before, they’re making things up and in total denial.

    Terrible losers. Pitiful. I hope tomorrow is a much bigger blowout and they actually showboat at the end this time.

    Here’s the thing though…those “proud group of players,” those “battle-tested warriors,” those “insert meaningless phrase here” Celtics are really just two guys at this point; Pierce and KG. The rest of that team is a lottery team, even in the East.

    I’d like to see the entire Knick team come out to halfcourt after the game when they generally do their Knickstape thing and instead do JR’s 3-pointer air guitar to hallelujah celebration thing that he does. That would almost make the entire last decade of awful worth it.

  47. Hubert Davis

    er:
    All you guys that agree with the suspension are nuts man. JR hit Terry with a swing thru elbow. Not a punch, not a flyin elbow. At worst a flag 1 this is fucking disgusting. Lil Nate basically body slammed Watson today and got a double tech. FUCK STERN

    You’re right. There will be at least 50 worse infractions in this playoffs that will go unpunished. What made this a suspension was Terry flopping and trying to escalate the issue and the ref ejecting JR to compensate for letting it get out of control.

    It’s a joke. But it was predictable.

  48. BigBlueAL

    Someone on the Knicks needs to walk off the court holding a broom after they win tomorrow like Ewing did in Philly after sweeping the 76ers in 1989.

  49. mr.JayP

    KD is going ham right now… he almost single handily made as much points as the whole rockets team. crazy

  50. er

    Kahnzy: Watch the replay again. How you can watch it and not think it was intentional is just delusional. You can even see his arm speed up considerably midway through the swing; that’s not something you do with just a “swingthrough” elbow.

    I don’t know if your joking. But it was a swing through elbow. Speed do t matter. I never said it wasn’t Intentional, it sure was but not suspension worthy

  51. Hubert Davis

    We all know how this movie goes.

    Stern hands down the bogus suspension, Melo picks up 2 fouls in first 4 minutes, stays in foul trouble all game, Celtics take a 12 point lead into the half, win the game with a +18 FT advantage. League gets one more Boston-New York game on TNT next week.

    The script is old.

  52. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    mr.JayP:
    KD is going ham right now… he almost single handily made as much points as the whole rockets team. crazy

    Typically we use the word “many” with countable nouns like “points.” Much is to many as money is to dollars. Etc.

    That said: yes holy mother of god Durant has bucketed much points.

    Where’s Russell Westbrook to keep the defense off-balance?

    Oh, wait. Kevin Durant’s 37-foot jumper can do that all on its own.

    Look for Durant to score 60 and high-usage apologists to explain why it’s a fluke.

  53. er

    mr.JayP:
    KD is going ham right now… he almost single handily made as much points as the whole rockets team. crazy

    The rockets d has been awful lol. You double KD at the 3 point line make him pass dumbasses

  54. er

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: Typically we use the word “many” with countable nouns like “points.” Much is to many as money is to dollars. Etc.

    That said: yes holy mother of god Durant has bucketed much points.

    Where’s Russell Westbrook to keep the defense off-balance?

    Oh, wait. Kevin Durant’s 37-foot jumper can do that all on its own.

    Look for Durant to score 60 and high-usage apologists to explain why it’s a fluke.

    Lol I agree but you gotta admit Houston’s d is awful

  55. mr.JayP

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: Typically we use the word “many” with countable nouns like “points.” Much is to many as money is to dollars. Etc.

    That said: yes holy mother of god Durant has bucketed much points.

    Where’s Russell Westbrook to keep the defense off-balance?

    Oh, wait. Kevin Durant’s 37-foot jumper can do that all on its own.

    Look for Durant to score 60 and high-usage apologists to explain why it’s a fluke.

    typically i don’t care about grammar this late at night or the grammar police (you). So i guess thanks? for nothing? ahh w.e. enjoy KD slaughter Hou

  56. Nick C.

    BigBlueAL:
    Someone on the Knicks needs to walk off the court holding a broom after they win tomorrow like Ewing did in Philly after sweeping the 76ers in 1989.

    I think that’s why Barkley has a bug up his ass about the Knicks. On a memory check: I always remember it as Mark Jackson with the broom. Either way it’s been too long.

  57. Kahnzy

    er: I don’t know if your joking. But it was a swing through elbow. Speed do t matter. I never said it wasn’t Intentional, it sure was but not suspension worthy

    So you’re saying that in today’s NBA, intentionally swinging an elbow at someone’s head is not suspension worthy? Whatever you want to call it, swing-through or not, JR intentionally swung his elbow at Terry’s head.

    Flip the script. KG intentionally connects an elbow to Chandler’s jaw, or even worse on Melo’s dome. Would you then argue KG shouldn’t be suspended? I doubt that. In fact, I’d be willing to bet you’d be calling for KG’s soul as recompense.

  58. er

    Kahnzy: So you’re saying that in today’s NBA, intentionally swinging an elbow at someone’s head is not suspension worthy? Whatever you want to call it, swing-through or not, JR intentionally swung his elbow at Terry’s head.

    Flip the script. KG intentionally connects an elbow to Chandler’s jaw, or even worse on Melo’s dome. Would you then argue KG shouldn’t be suspended? I doubt that. In fact, I’d be willing to bet you’d be calling for KG’s soul as recompense.

    Nope I’d take the flag 1 even a 2, but no way in hell suspension

  59. Kahnzy

    er: Nope I’d take the flag 1 even a 2, but no way in hell suspension

    Call me skeptical. But we’ll just have to agree to disagree then if you’re not going to be honest.

  60. AnonymousODG

    After watching the Hawks dominate the Pacers at home… is anybody worried that the Hawks might take the series, go against the Heat and forcing us to take on the insanely clutch Bulls in Round 2????

    Because I am scurred right now. I want nothing to do with the Bulls.

  61. Juany8

    Ugh I’m glad I didn’t go to this rockets game, Beverly got in foul trouble instantly, Lin can’t get anything going, and harden is being shit down again. Was hoping they might be able to steal a game or 2 with Westbrook out, but Durant is being ridiculous. Would help if the rockets weren’t terrible at defense, the Knicks would get an open 3 against the rockets every time down the floor lol.

  62. er

    Kahnzy: Call me skeptical. But we’ll just have to agree to disagree then if you’re not going to be honest.

    Whateva man, idk who the hell u think u are to call me a liar but Idc anymore fuck it

  63. Kahnzy

    AnonymousODG:
    After watching the Hawks dominate the Pacers at home… is anybody worried that the Hawks might take the series, go against the Heat and forcing us to take on the insanely clutch Bulls in Round 2????

    Because I am scurred right now.I want nothing to do with the Bulls.

    We get the winner of the Pacers/Hawks. Miami has to deal with Chicago.

  64. Juany8

    er:
    Lol at what happens to harden without a friendly whistle

    Yea he really needs a move other than jump at a defender an flop his arms around. It worked in game 2, he got 20 free throws, but he just can’t do shit on offense. Still hasn’t had more points than possessions in a single game this series. He has a long way to go before he gets to Melo’s current level. Has all the tools to get there offensively though, and obviously drawing fouls will always help lol. He’s just too blatant about it right now, he knows he can’t do anything to get past OKC right now.

  65. Kahnzy

    I REALLY hate that armswing foul KD always draws. I’m glad it’s not automatically a shooting foul, but it’s not enough. The league needs to either make that a no-call, or hell make it an offensive foul since he’s the one initiating contact. It’s starting to spread and other players are doing it, and it’s really stupid that the defensive player gets penalized for playing defense…but that’s been the progression of the league for decades. Favor the offense, penalize the defense because no one tunes in to watch good defense.

  66. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    mr.JayP:
    wow. that Tech was kinda bullshit…

    Joey Crawford’s tech on Tim Duncan for sitting on the bench the wrong way? That was bullshit.

    This is Serge Ibaka slapping his arm about 4 feet from Crawford’s face. That’s a T from just about every ref in the league. You can be pissy about a (decent) call, but you can’t be demonstrative about it, and certainly not that brazen.

    Anyone notice Durant’s frustration with Reggie Jackson? Dude is running plays in the complete opposite direction of KD. I bet the halftime conversation will be something like:

    KD: GIVE ME THE FUCKING BALL, ROOKIE.

    RJ: [incredulously] I’m not a rookie. I play last–

    KD: SHUT THE FUCK UP, ROOKIE. YOU GIVE ME THE BALL OR YOU WILL NOT PLAY ANOTHER MINUTE FOR THE REST OF THE PLAYOFFS.

    RJ: [turns to Scott Brooks]

    SB: [stares blankly at wall, perspiring deeply]

  67. BigBlueAL

    Nick C.: I think that’s why Barkley has a bug up his ass about the Knicks. On a memory check: I always remember it as Mark Jackson with the broom. Either way it’s been too long.

    The clip Ive seen is of Ewing, remember seeing it in his NBA Entertainment home video (Patrick Ewing Standing Tall). Wouldnt be surprised if Mark Jackson, Oak and Gerald Wilkins did it too lol.

  68. AnonymousODG

    Kahnzy: We get the winner of the Pacers/Hawks. Miami has to deal with Chicago.

    Yeah? Even though ATL is lower seed than Chicago?

  69. mr.JayP

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: Joey Crawford’s tech on Tim Duncan for sitting on the bench the wrong way? That was bullshit.

    This is Serge Ibaka slapping his arm about 4 feet from Crawford’s face. That’s a T from just about every ref in the league. You can be pissy about a (decent) call, but you can’t be demonstrative about it, and certainly not that brazen.

    Anyone notice Durant’s frustration with Reggie Jackson? Dude is running plays in the complete opposite direction of KD. I bet the halftime conversation will be something like:

    KD: GIVE ME THE FUCKING BALL, ROOKIE.

    RJ: [incredulously] I’m not a rookie. I play last–

    KD: SHUT THE FUCK UP, ROOKIE. YOU GIVE ME THE BALL OR YOU WILL NOT PLAY ANOTHER MINUTE FOR THE REST OF THE PLAYOFFS.

    RJ: [turns to Scott Brooks]

    SB: [stares blankly at wall, perspiring deeply]

    SB: [Adds another lucky wristlet thingy to his arm to distract himself]

    granted you’re right, it could have been a little “much” by ibaka, but i don’t think it was tech. worthy compared to what i see other players do with refs. A stern warning would have been appropriate imo. Then again, this is crawford.

  70. Kahnzy

    AnonymousODG: Yeah?Even though ATL is lower seed than Chicago?

    Yeah. The winner of the 2/7 matchup plays the winner of the 3/6 matchup. The winner of the 1/8 matchup plays the winner of the 4/5 matchup.

    So round 2 is Knicks vs Pacers/Hawks (money is on Pacers though) and Miami vs Chicago/Brooklyn.

  71. AnonymousODG

    BigBlueAL: The NBA doesnt re-seed after the 1st round.The NHL and NFL do but not the NBA.

    Kahnzy: Yeah. The winner of the 2/7 matchup plays the winner of the 3/6 matchup. The winner of the 1/8 matchup plays the winner of the 4/5 matchup.

    So round 2 is Knicks vs Pacers/Hawks (money is on Pacers though) and Miami vs Chicago/Brooklyn.

    Ah, so. I’ll take the blame for my ignorance, rather than blaming the Knicks for being so historically irrelevant during the playoffs that this situation never even presented itself this past decade and some change.

  72. Kahnzy

    AnonymousODG:
    Ah, so.I’ll take the blame for my ignorance, rather than blaming the Knicks for being so historically irrelevant during the playoffs that this situation never even presented itself this past decade and some change.

    I actually lol’d. It is nice to look forward to the post season again, isn’t it?

  73. er

    Whoa so it seems Ruth’s box score conspiracy is real , KD was not credited with his last missed 3

  74. er

    er:
    Whoa so it seems Ruth’s box score conspiracy is real , KD was not credited with his last missed 3

    Ruru*

  75. Kahnzy

    er:
    Whoa so it seems Ruth’s box score conspiracy is real , KD was not credited with his last missed 3

    Hell, even Melo’s boxscore in this very recap has him with 0 assists, even though I clearly remember a pass out of a double to Felton at the top for a deep catch-and-shoot three.

    Have to admit though, I’m VERY interested to see how KD plays throughout the rest of the playoffs. His unhealthy love of his efficiency is going to have to take a backseat to the fact that his team needs him to basically turn into Melo and carry most of the offense. Of course, the story will be about how Durant steps up when his team needs him, while Melo is a selfish ballhog…

  76. AnonymousODG

    Kahnzy: I actually lol’d. It is nice to look forward to the post season again, isn’t it?

    h5

    Gotta admire HOU’s guts. They’re really taking control.

  77. er

    Lmao at the announcers slobbing Durant, not even mentioning the shitty D on the possession , ignoring the fact that it was the first time Garcia wasn’t on him

  78. BigBlueAL

    KD is amazing and I certainly dont think he needs Westbrook to be as great a player as he is. But KD in this game right now is finding out what someone like Melo or Rose (when he plays) have to go through every game being the clear-cut #1 option on virtually every play especially in close games down the stretch.

    It aint easy man.

  79. Juany8

    BigBlueAL:
    KD is amazing and I certainly dont think he needs Westbrook to be as great a player as he is.But KD in this game right now is finding out what someone like Melo or Rose (when he plays) have to go through every game being the clear-cut #1 option on virtually every play especially in close games down the stretch.

    It aint easy man.

    Durant has the advantage that he can hit pull up 3′s like it’s not bit deal. Helps him out quite a bit…. As well as the more floppy method of drawing fouls.

  80. mr.JayP

    BigBlueAL:
    KD is amazing and I certainly dont think he needs Westbrook to be as great a player as he is.But KD in this game right now is finding out what someone like Melo or Rose (when he plays) have to go through every game being the clear-cut #1 option on virtually every play especially in close games down the stretch.

    It aint easy man.

    agreed.

    but imo, kd supporting cast ain’t too shabby. Not having westbrick exposes scott b. lack of coaching chops on the offensive end.

  81. Juany8

    Can’t believe the rockets have come all the way back, all of the sudden it seems like they have a little hope after all. Gotta give harden credit for excellent rebounding these past 2 games too, and his efficiency has actually been pretty solid this game.

    Overall though freakinh Francisco Garcia has been the key to this whole thing. Playing great D on Durant and making some nice shots.

  82. Kahnzy

    Again, I HATE that rip through foul of Durant’s. Really needs to be a non-call at worst, and an offensive foul at best.

  83. Juany8

    Brian Cronin:
    Does Scott Brooks actually have any offensive plays?

    None that actually work or that you couldn’t design yourself on a playground. He’s a pretty bad coach

  84. AnonymousODG

    I don’t think anybody but Durant and Kobe likes the rip through foul. It really is bullsh1t.

  85. Brian Cronin

    None that actually work or that you couldn’t design yourself on a playground. He’s a pretty bad coach

    “Playground” is a very good way to describe their offense. Imagine what a good offensive coach could do with KD.

  86. Brian Cronin

    Appropos of nothing, Chandler Parsons is a really good looking guy. Most basketball players are kind of weird looking, but Parsons looks like a freakin’ model out there.

  87. BigBlueAL

    At this point I think its more of a foregone conclusion that the Spurs will make the NBA Finals than the Heat. The Heat having to go through the Knicks (hopefully) might be a tougher challenge for them than any team the Spurs have to beat in the West thanks to all the injuries.

    Cant believe I just typed that and actually believe it lol.

  88. Brian Cronin

    I dunno, Al, the Spurs have some issues, as well. They’re just lucky to be matched up against an insanely banged up Lakers team. While it is fair to say that whoever wins between Denver and Golden State will lose to San Antonio, I think the Clippers or the Grizz could easily beat them.

  89. mr.JayP

    Brian Cronin:
    Appropos of nothing, Chandler Parsons is a really good looking guy. Most basketball players are kind of weird looking, but Parsons looks like a freakin’ model out there.

    *Pause for my fellow hoodlums and ruffians*

    Its ok buddy, i got you with the pause…LOL

  90. BigBlueAL

    Brian Cronin:
    I dunno, Al, the Spurs have some issues, as well. They’re just lucky to be matched up against an insanely banged up Lakers team. But it is fair to say that whoever wins between Denver and Golden State will lose to San Antonio, but I think the Clippers or the Grizz could easily beat them.

    Spurs will have an easy 2nd round which the Heat if they play the Bulls wont at least from a physical standpoint.

    Thunder/Clippers/Grizz winner not sure can take more than 2 games from the Spurs right now if that many considering Spurs have homecourt vs the Clippers/Grizz.

    I dunno, I think it has clearly opened up in a great way for the Spurs while everyone assumes the Heat will have it easy in the East and Im not so sure about that. Let me put it this way, this can be considered an actual debate right now compared to a month ago where if you wouldve tried to debate this you wouldve been called nuts lol.

  91. Brian Cronin

    I dunno, I still think that the Knicks have better odds to get to the Finals than any team in the West. I think the Heat have about a 60% chance and the Knicks 40% while I’d put the Spurs no greater than 33% right now.

    I know it is completely unfair of me to totally discount the Pacers like that, but, well, fuck them. They couldn’t score 70 points on the Hawks, so they can’t be taken seriously right now. I guess I should give the Bulls a 5% chance.

  92. mr.JayP

    After seeing Chi resilience; the regular season without rose, coming back from a game 1 spanking, gutting out a 3OT win against the Nets…

    Chi vs Mia will be interesting to say the least…

  93. MJG1789

    So the shots that Westbrook normally takes got spread around to Kd 13-30, KMartin 3-11, Sefalosha 1-7. However in this battle of two teams who run the offense codenamed Operation Flail Arms, Okc 28-30 over Houston 17-25. That said, Rockets pretty much threw this game away with poor ball handling and decisions.

  94. BigBlueAL

    I guess a good way to look at it is this. Right now they are the odds on favorite to reach the NBA Finals. Assume both the Heat and Spurs win tomorrow and sweep, who will lose more games in the next 2 rounds before they face each other in the NBA Finals if they make it there??

  95. Kahnzy

    MJG1789:
    So the shots that Westbrook normally takes got spread around to Kd 13-30, KMartin 3-11, Sefalosha 1-7. However in this battle of two teams who run the offense codenamed Operation Flail Arms, Okc 28-30 over Houston 17-25. That said, Rockets pretty much threw this game away with poor ball handling and decisions.

    Now THAT is the team Bruce Bowen must have been talking about when he mentioned a “young and inexperienced” core. Houston just got carried away in the moment, but they have some potential to be a good team in the future. Contenders? Too early to tell. But definitely playoff staples for the next several years.

    Also, Jeremy Lin is a wimp. He’s got a bruise, and everytime the cameras panned to him he was wincing and looking like he was ready to cry. Felton broke a finger and finished the game, not to mention his host of other injuries during the season that he played through (although I will admit that the bone bruises he played through probably hurt the team when he should have just sat out and rested). I was really pissed when the Knicks chose to bring in Felton rather than match Houston’s offer on Lin; but at least the guy wouldn’t let a little thing like a chest bruise keep him on the sidelines looking like he’s ready to collapse from the sheer agony of his boo-boo.

  96. naztorious

    Kahnzy: Now THAT is the team Bruce Bowen must have been talking about when he mentioned a “young and inexperienced” core. Houston just got carried away in the moment, but they have some potential to be a good team in the future. Contenders? Too early to tell. But definitely playoff staples for the next several years.

    Also, Jeremy Lin is a wimp. He’s got a bruise, and everytime the cameras panned to him he was wincing and looking like he was ready to cry. Felton broke a finger and finished the game, not to mention his host of other injuries during the season that he played through (although I will admit that the bone bruises he played through probably hurt the team when he should have just sat out and rested). I was really pissed when the Knicks chose to bring in Felton rather than match Houston’s offer on Lin; but at least the guy wouldn’t let a little thing like a chest bruise keep him on the sidelines looking like he’s ready to collapse from the sheer agony of his boo-boo.

    Hehe, looks like Bowen has had a change of heart.

    “Bruce Bowen ?@Bowen12 26 Apr

    WOW! Knicks have played OUTSTANDING ball against the Celtics! Every adjustment Celts made, Knicks countered and got STRONGER!”

  97. jon abbey

    Kahnzy:

    Also, Jeremy Lin is a wimp. He’s got a bruise, and everytime the cameras panned to him he was wincing and looking like he was ready to cry. Felton broke a finger and finished the game, not to mention his host of other injuries during the season that he played through (although I will admit that the bone bruises he played through probably hurt the team when he should have just sat out and rested). I was really pissed when the Knicks chose to bring in Felton rather than match Houston’s offer on Lin; but at least the guy wouldn’t let a little thing like a chest bruise keep him on the sidelines looking like he’s ready to collapse from the sheer agony of his boo-boo.

    heh, exactly. ever since last game, every time they show him on screen, I say to my wife “I have an owie!” :)

  98. Brian Cronin

    I guess a good way to look at it is this. Right now they are the odds on favorite to reach the NBA Finals. Assume both the Heat and Spurs win tomorrow and sweep, who will lose more games in the next 2 rounds before they face each other in the NBA Finals if they make it there??

    Hmmm…yeah, I guess you’re right, in the sense that Miami looks like they’ll at least be challenged by Chicago and the Knicks while there is no guarantee that San Antonio will be challenged. They certainly COULD, especially if they face Memphis (who they have some tough match-ups with), but there is no guarantee that they will.

  99. er

    http://scores.espn.go.com/nba/recap?gameId=400459781

    “Kevin Durant had 41 points and 14 boards in the Thunder’s Game 3 win at Houston on Saturday night. He became just the fifth NBA player in the last 25 seasons to record at least 40 points and 14 rebounds in a road playoff game. Here’s the list: ”
    Year Player Opponent
    2013 Kevin Durant* Rockets
    2012 LeBron James Celtics
    2012 LeBron James Pacers
    2001 Kobe Bryant Kings
    1995 Hakeem Olajuwon Spurs
    1994 Charles Barkley Warriors
    * Tied playoff career high with 41 points
    – ESPN Stats &

    Espn with the melo consipacy too, this is getting creepy lol

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/boxscores/201104190BOS.html

    42 pts 17 rb 6 ass

  100. jon abbey

    we could use another one of those today if we’re going to close out the sweep without JR.

  101. Juany8

    One thing everyone is forgetting for point out about the spurs is that they’ve been I injured. Manu’s played great while being guarded by…. Whoever Kobe’s replacement is, but he just came back for th playoffs, and Parker has looked a step slow too (their stats against the Lakers layup line should not be used as a proof of anything)

    The west is wide open right now, the thunder will be screwed since pop will just play Durant like he does Melo and just double him at every turn. Chris Paul couldn’t score at all against the spurs last year, so Memphis has the best chance of beating them, and have looked great the past 2 games. It sure seems unfair that most of the top contenders can’t seem to get healthy while the Heat are in pristine condition. They’re not even bothering to make this difficult, the Knicks might be the second best team in the league right now and even they’ve been finishing games without Tyson chandler. Worrisome stuff, I’m actually kind of hoping birdman gets injured or something, even up the odds lol.

  102. Frank

    Crazy how this Linsanity vs Felton narrative has been turned on its head. Felton is now being lauded as the X-factor in the series (which he HAS been), and Lin is having a nightmare of a first playoff series.

    Felton:

    Lin: 23.7 MPG, shooting 25% from the field, TS 31%, 25% TOV, averaging 6.6 points, 3.3 rebounds, 4.1 assists per 36.

    Felton: 38.3 MPG, shooting 47.6% from field, TS still crappy at 49.3, but 10% TOV, averaging 13.8/4.1/5.6 per 36. And no doubt has been at least the 2nd most important guy on the floor.

  103. bidiong

    We still have another round to see if Wade can hold up and not get injured against the bulls.

  104. jon abbey

    Frank:
    Crazy how this Linsanity vs Felton narrative has been turned on its head. Felton is now being lauded as the X-factor in the series (which he HAS been), and Lin is having a nightmare of a first playoff series.

    Felton:

    Lin: 23.7 MPG, shooting 25% from the field, TS 31%, 25% TOV, averaging 6.6 points, 3.3 rebounds, 4.1 assists per 36.

    Felton: 38.3 MPG, shooting 47.6% from field, TS still crappy at 49.3, but 10% TOV, averaging 13.8/4.1/5.6 per 36. And no doubt has been at least the 2nd most important guy on the floor.

    Lin has been the worst player in the entire playoffs thus far according to EWA (Estimated Wins Added) at -0.4:

    http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/hollinger/statistics/_/sort/VORPe/order/false/seasontype/3

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