Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Knicks 94, Timberwolves 91

Minnesota Timberwolves 91 FinalRecap | Box Score 94 New York Knicks
Carmelo Anthony, SF 44 MIN | 10-25 FG | 10-11 FT | 7 REB | 2 AST | 33 PTS | -1
Was frustrated for much of the night. Frustrated by the defensive versatility and contact embellishments of Andre Kirilenko. Frustrated by yet another officiating crew with whom he didn’t see eye to eye. Frustrated by a group of teammates that couldn’t make a three. Frustrated into forced shots and five fouls and four turnovers and more and more chirping until, 3:03 before the gun, it boiled over into a technical foul in reaction to a loose ball whistle on some ticky-tack jostling with Nikola Pekovic.And it was at that point that one Carmelo Anthony decided that the whole frustration thing had outlived its usefulness and that he would be best served to play the last three minutes of the game with a different outlook. Which is to say: “pissed.” And it was anger — not the hot, uncontrollable, unreliable sort but cold, composed, determined anger that he channeled into a good-the-second-he-let-go three, then a bully-ball spin, finish, and-one on Kirilenko, and then an interminable (and unblemished) procession of game-icing free throws.

Carmelo Anthony’s frustration almost lost the Knicks this game. Until his anger won it.

Ronnie Brewer, SF 13 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 PTS | -7
Where’s the guy from the first week of the season? The lockdown defender with a pure stroke and passable handle, whose off-ball movement was so precise that he provided a viable offensive option for any passer who cared to look for him? Because we could sure use that guy. But every week the gap between his offense and JR Smith’s gets a little wider and the gap between their defensive games gets narrower. At this point he’s a starter only in name. I hope we get him back.
Tyson Chandler, C 38 MIN | 4-7 FG | 8-10 FT | 9 REB | 3 AST | 16 PTS | +6
His performances are starting to run together a bit, give or take a block, a roll on a lay-up, an alley-oop here, a foul call there, a split second of timing on a roll or switch. He’s spectacular one game out of five. In the other four he simply does his job and does it well.
Jason Kidd, PG 34 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 0 PTS | +2
Soccer fans should recognize Jason Kidd’s game today. It’s the game that a central midfielder has in which he helps control the pace and flow of the action without scoring a goal, registering an assist, or dealing out a vicious tackle. A caretaker prizing substance over style and style over stats. Like a dinner table: steady so that others could impress. That you didn’t notice him means he worked.
Raymond Felton, PG 39 MIN | 7-15 FG | 1-1 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 15 PTS | +4
A weird line — only two assists on a day where some others shared the task of creating looks. Thoroughly outdone in that regard by candidates no less unlikely than JR Smith and even Tyson Chandler. Did lose some stats to missed open looks. Shouldn’t lose sleep over it. Did just enough until it was time for everyone to get out of Melo’s way. Played a major role in an effort by the Knicks’ perimeter defenders that held Minnesota’s guards to an 18/49 showing.
Kurt Thomas, PF 10 MIN | 2-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | -3
Kurt – 1) (n.) A masculine given name. Its principal English variant is Curt, while others include Cord, Curd, and Kort. 2) (v.) To score 4 points with 2 rebounds on 2 shots in 10 minutes. 3) (v.) To take care of one’s business.
Steve Novak, SF 19 MIN | 1-3 FG | 2-2 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | +2
The best thing about Novak, obviously, is that he makes a lot of threes. When that isn’t happening, at least we still have the second best thing, which is the need for someone taller than 6’5″ to be chasing him around at all times making sure he doesn’t get a clean look at the rim. So at least we had that second thing tonight. But you’d have to be throwing the word “effective” around pretty liberally to apply it to his performance in this one.
Pablo Prigioni, PG 4 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 3 PTS | +4
Veni. Vidi. Sedi.
J.R. Smith, SG 39 MIN | 7-15 FG | 3-4 FT | 5 REB | 7 AST | 19 PTS | +8
Everywhere and anywhere. Shooting, passing, rebounding, jumping passing lanes, closing, contesting. By land, by sea, by sky the best player on the court for the 42-45 minutes before Melo decided to take charge. This game is a hum-drum and rather disheartening lost without Mr. Smith in white, orange, and blue. Will even forgive him his awful giveaway in the closing seconds that allowed whichever ex-Backstreet Boy that was (Kevin maybe? I never could keep them straight, try as I might to stay current on the issues that most concerned the girls at my middle school) that hit the three that closed it to 90-89. That was really the only moment of consequence at which Bad JR poked his head out of his lair. Good JR reigned this evening. Long live good JR.
Rasheed Wallace, PF DNP SORE LEFT FOOT MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | PTS |
Someday soon, we all will be together.
Chris Copeland, SF DNP COACH’S DECISION MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | PTS |
If the fates allow.
Marcus Camby, C DNP SORE LEFT FOOT MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | PTS |
Until then, we’ll have to muddle through, somehow.
James White, SG DNP COACH’S DECISION MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | PTS |
So have yourself, a Merry Little [54 DAYS UNTIL THE DUNK CONTEST]…now.
Mike Woodson
Love the way he sticks up for his players when the calls are going against them. Hate giving away a point with a technical in a tight game with 3 minutes left. Really would have sucked to lose this one and have that be the margin. There’s a balance there somewhere.

One Thing We Saw

Most of us here spent the last decade pouring time and money into a pursuit that seemed frustrating at best and, more frequently, utterly hopeless. This was, to put it mildly, something of a bummer. But there is a morbid joy in hopeless pursuits, from which are born sarcasm, schadenfreude, satire. The Knicks did not simply play poorly, they BECAME their poor play. It defined them. Good nights were easily dismissed as isolated bright spots by all but the most optimistic among us (and I was never to be mistaken for the most optimistic among us).With nothing gained, there was never anything to lose; when 3-7 was the norm, 2-8 was hardly noteworthy.

In 1994 the Knicks made the NBA Finals. They lost in 7 games to the Houston Rockets because…well, the because doesn’t matter. They lost. And none of us — NONE of us — thought to ourselves “Welp, there it goes. That was our shot, and we blew it. We’ll never be back here. That’s it.” We didn’t see Shaq coming, or Jordan returning, or the suspensions in Miami or the Duncan Spurs or the Ewing trade or Larry Brown or Isiah Thomas or Stephon Marbury. We saw a really good team that was one Blackman-for-Starks substitution from calling itself the defending champion, that wasn’t losing key personnel, that would get there soon. Which, of course, it didn’t.

In 2001, Alfonso Soriano hit long fly ball into the Arizona sky that won the Yankees their 27th championship and ranked among the clutchest and most famous home runs in baseball history and cemented his place among the immortal Yankee heroes until a bloop single by Luis Gonzalez off the best closer in history made sure that Soriano’s homer absolutely did not do any of those things. Today, Gonzalez’s cracked bat is in Cooperstown and the 2001 World Series Trophy is in Phoenix and Soriano is in Chicago, more punchline than hero, more trivia question than immortal.

A decade of losing sucks. But the worst thing for a sports fan — the thing that haunts you if you let it — is letting a moment come and go without realizing that it’s the apex of the experience. The sad truth is that you can never really know that moment when it’s happening: a division title portends a conference title, which portends a championship, which portends a dynasty, which feels like it will never die.

Except that, at some point, that hope goes unfulfilled. And once that happens, it’s impossible to go back to the moment before and drink it in for what it was: the consummation of something wonderful.

I don’t know where this Knicks season goes, or the next, or the one after that. Starts like this can mean titles or they can mean first-round exits. Some teams grow and others crumble. But today it’s Christmas Eve, and the Knicks are 20-7, and their franchise player did the thing that franchise players do in the movies and in our imaginations. He lived up to all our hopes. He willed his team to victory. He made us feel like, whatever the next challenge, he will show himself to be its equal. I hope that’s right.

But even more than that, I hope we can savor the night when he did these things, look back on two months as bright with joy as the next 6 are with hope, afford the proper respect to an uncertain future. The Knicks tip off on Christmas Day with the most wins in the Eastern Conference. If only for a moment, let’s see that for what we know it says about the present rather than what we hope it says about the future.

37 comments on “Knicks 94, Timberwolves 91

  1. jon abbey

    that’s a very good recap, except:

    “In 1994 the Knicks made the NBA Finals. They lost in 7 games to the Houston Rockets because…well, the because doesn’t matter. They lost. And none of us — NONE of us — thought to ourselves “Welp, there it goes. That was our shot, and we blew it. We’ll never be back here. That’s it.” We didn’t see Shaq coming, or Jordan returning, or the suspensions in Miami or the Duncan Spurs or the Ewing trade or Larry Brown or Isiah Thomas or Stephon Marbury.”

    huh? Shaq was already in the league, finishing 4th in the MVP voting as a 21 year old in his second season, plus Penny Hardaway, Dennis Scott and Nick Anderson around him.

    I can only really speak for myself, but I most certainly thought that was our best shot and we’d likely never get that close again with that crew (and we overachieved to get that far). most of the key guys were on the wrong side of 30 already (Ewing, Oakley, Harper, Rivers, Blackman) and besides Orlando, Houston had the best player in the league plus two young studs in Cassell and Horry to build around.

    and I don’t exactly get the relevance of the 2001 Yankees to your thesis there, but I still maintain their postseason run was more enjoyable to root for than the teams that actually won in 1999 or 2000. they beat the team with the best second half record ever (Oakland), then the team with the best full season record ever (Seattle), then came two outs away from somehow beating the team with maybe the best postseason pitching duo ever.

  2. Brian Cronin

    Yeah, I definitely thought at the time, “Shit, that was this team’s best chance of winning a title.” Especially with the aging roster and lack of emerging young talent outside of Mason. They did a great job reloading in 1996 by bringing in Houston (and for that specific year, LJ for Mase made sense, since Oak made Mase’s defense less of a priority), so I thought that the 1996-97 team could have competed for a title, but back in 1994, I had no idea that they’d be able to clear as much cap room as they were able to. Oh, and I definitely thought that they were absolutely fucked after they lost in 1997.

    Now don’t get me wrong, I am sure all of us thought that the 1994-95 team would be competitive, but competitive the same way that, say, the Orlando Magic were competitive under Dwight Howard. That they would have a decent shot at home court in the first round and if everything goes right they might luck their way into an NBA Finals where they’d be severe underdogs. The 1991-92, 1992-93 and especially the 1993-94 team (since there was no Jordan) were legit no doubt about it title contenders. They were good on offensive and otherworldly on defense.

    I would put this year’s Knick team right up there with the 1996-97 team but probably a tier below them (if I had to pick between being a top 2 offense and being mediocre defensively and being a top 2 defense and being mediocre offensively, I’m picking the defensive team every time).

  3. Brian Cronin

    But speaking of the 1996-97 team, I do wish to speak about tonight’s game to note that I was never worried. Not for a second. I knew that they’d pull this game out. You could ask my wife. I never doubted it for a second. And as I noted back in the Brooklyn comeback, that’s the first time that I’ve felt that way about a Knick team since 1996-97 (don’t get me wrong, Van Gundy’s later, worse teams, would always play such good defense that they were never out of games, but they also were terrible offensive teams. 1996-97 was sadly the best offensive team Van Gundy had so I had more faith in the them. Amazingly, the league-wide defense slowdown made the amazingly bad offensives of some of those later Van Gundy teams actually compare better to the league as a whole than the 1996-97 team).

    That doesn’t mean that Felton doesn’t sometimes annoy the heck out of me just like he did in the Brooklyn game, but the other guys are just too reliable, especially Melo and Chandler.

  4. Brian Cronin

    Here’s a fascinating (if depressing) stat.

    After tonight’s game, the Knicks are now 15th in the NBA in defense (while being 2nd in offense).

    Do you know the last time that the Knicks finished a season ranked in the top half of the league in both offense and defense?

    1991-92.

    Yikes.

    Hopefully Shump will offset Amar’e when they return and the Knicks can remain in the top half of the league!

  5. Mr.RIGHT

    B MINUS? Ray Felton has 2 assists and 4 turnovers and you give him a (B MINUS) SMH! Like I said on other thread … “”” Ray-Ray the perpetual Game #7 John Starks. And is quick to prove they’re Knicks fans not Jeremy Lin fans professing how much better this team is with Felton (NOT) … If this team had a PG of Rubio or even Goran Dragic abilty WE WOULDN’T BE seeing our guys challenged as much at three point line …As of now we have a guy at Point who can’t even finish a Lay up and you all think we’re better off with Felton just to prove you’re not Lin fans but Knick fans instead ..Guess what I’m a Knicks fan too

    …I rather have Mr.BigShot “Billups” back too both of them Bibby or Billups or even Hinrich, Ellis, Curry, Austin Rivers or Redick over Ray Felton ANYDAY!Ray has to go! I rather have Bibby back!”””

  6. BigBlueAL

    I still thought the Knicks had a chance to win it all entering the 1994-95 season for the simple fact that MJ still hadnt returned (he did so toward the end of that season) and it wasnt like the Rockets were some powerhouse. The Knicks that season won 55 games which was 2nd best in the East and only 2 games less than the Magic. In fact if I remember correctly they got off to a pretty slow start and were exactly .500 after losing in Chicago on Christmas (12-12 I think) but from that point on they had the best record in the NBA.

    I fully expected them (naively perhaps lol) to win it all heading into the playoffs and had total confidence they would beat the Magic in the conference finals but of course Miller’s miracle comeback in Game 1 and Ewing’s missed layup in Game 7 of the 2nd round series vs the Pacers deprived us of that matchup.

  7. naztorious

    Mr.RIGHT:
    B MINUS? Ray Felton has 2 assists and 4 turnovers and you give him a (B MINUS) SMH! Like I said on other thread … “”” Ray-Ray the perpetual Game #7 John Starks. And is quick to prove they’re Knicks fans not Jeremy Lin fans professing how much better this team is with Felton (NOT) … If this team had a PG of Rubio or even Goran Dragic abilty WE WOULDN’T BE seeing our guys challenged as much at three point line …As of now we have a guy at Point who can’t even finish a Lay up and you all think we’re better off with Felton just to prove you’re not Lin fans but Knick fans instead ..Guess what I’m a Knicks fan too

    …I rather have Mr.BigShot “Billups” back too both of them Bibby or Billups or even Hinrich, Ellis, Curry, Austin Rivers or Redick over Ray Felton ANYDAY!Ray has to go! I rather have Bibby back!”””

    Mr.Right is quite biased no? I mean I can see rather having Billups; but Bibby? That’s just plain being blinded and holding a grudge.

  8. Frank

    Good win but there are, like @netw3rk tweeted, warning lights all over the dashboard. Obviously great defensive effort in the 2nd half, but the offense feels a little broken right now. The T-Wolves are not bad defensively (actually quite good, 6th in DefEff per hoopdata), but it shouldn’t take a superhuman effort by Melo to beat this team at home without Kevin Love.

    I love Ronnie Brewer (have had the opportunity to meet him, and he is really as good a guy as you can find), but he has been with a negative +/- 6 out of the last 7 games, and over the last 3 games is a -33 in 38 minutes. In his last 10 games, he has a TS of 30. Not that JR’s numbers are that great either, but it’s really tough to play 4 on 5 on offense, and Brewer honestly isn’t making a difference on defense right now.

    I say start JR so we stop falling behind by 10 every 1st quarter. Or start Novak so at least we get more spacing with the 1st unit.

    Shump can’t come back soon enough.

  9. Nick C.

    It doesn’t seem so long ago that the meme was the Knicks have so many options offensively. Now it’s “get well soon Amare” and who is Melo/Felton supposed to pass to. Somehow I don’t think the loss of Sheed is the explanation. Funny how things change in the span of a few weeks.

  10. Frank

    Nick C.:
    It doesn’t seem so long ago that the meme was the Knicks have so many options offensively. Now it’s “get well soon Amare” and who is Melo/Felton supposed to pass to. Somehow I don’t think the loss of Sheed is the explanation. Funny how things change in the span of a few weeks.

    Well, I think we were all pretty sure that Ronnie Brewer wasn’t going to shoot 45% from 3 point range for a season. And we all thought Kidd would eventually regress back to high 30s or even 40%. And we all thought Felton would go back to mid-high 30s on 3′s. It’s just everyone’s shooting has collapsed at the same time. The looks are still good for the most part, so I think this’ll turn around.

    Sheed IS a big loss though, at least until Amare and Camby are back. Tyson definitely plays a little more timidly when he has only Kurt Thomas backing him up. And right now Tyson is playing way too many minutes (35 min/game in last 10 games). Given how much energy he expends on both ends, he really needs to be down near 30 min/game like he was in November. Wonder whether the bad FT shooting is just fatigue? 79% in November, 60% in December.

  11. knicknyk

    Nick C.:
    It doesn’t seem so long ago that the meme was the Knicks have so many options offensively. Now it’s “get well soon Amare” and who is Melo/Felton supposed to pass to. Somehow I don’t think the loss of Sheed is the explanation. Funny how things change in the span of a few weeks.

    LOL so true. We will see how everything develops I had this team pegged as a 4th seed & second round exit in the summer & my opinion has not changed.

  12. Bruno Almeida

    well, finally my pc is back…

    nice game from the Knicks, this could have been a bad game to lose after Chicago’s game, and the Wolves are better than most people give them credit for.

  13. Bruno Almeida

    that said, I’m not worried about the shooting regressing, the open looks are still there and that’s what matters, but I am worried about Raymond Felton… whenever Carmelo is struggling we have to turn the ball over to him, and he cannot be trusted imo.

  14. Nick C.

    Frank: Well, I think we were all pretty sure that Ronnie Brewer wasn’t going to shoot 45% from 3 point range for a season. And we all thought Kidd would eventually regress back to high 30s or even 40%.And we all thought Felton would go back to mid-high 30s on 3?s. It’s just everyone’s shooting has collapsed at the same time.The looks are still good for the most part, so I think this’ll turn around.

    Sheed IS a big loss though, at least until Amare and Camby are back.Tyson definitely plays a little more timidly when he has only Kurt Thomas backing him up. And right now Tyson is playing way too many minutes(35 min/game in last 10 games). Given how much energy he expends on both ends, he really needs to be down near 30 min/game like he was in November.Wonder whether the bad FT shooting is just fatigue? 79% in November, 60% in December.

    The too much time for Tyson is true. As for the regression, that may be true. That wasn’t what you heard. One thing I don’t see is that great ball and man movement or at least commentary regarding same as there was during those first few weeks.

  15. Brian Cronin

    It is a bit of a shame that Felton just can’t keep from shooting. I really hoped that he would shoot less as a Knick. I should have known better, but I was willing to hope!

  16. knicknyk

    Woodson is such a funny guy. He would completely shit on Landry Fields last year & yet he lets Felton chuck to his hearts content. Just because Felton has the green light though doesn’t mean he can’t be smarter in his shot selection. 3′s as opposed to long 2′s, attacking the basket as opposed to settling for jumpers etc.

  17. Frank

    Meanwhile, can you believe MDA played Nash 41 minutes in his first game back? He is going to run Nash into the ground by the end of the season especially since it’s going to be tough for the Lakers to just make the playoffs after that awful start.

  18. Static

    Frank:
    Meanwhile, can you believe MDA played Nash 41 minutes in his first game back?He is going to run Nash into the ground by the end of the season especially since it’s going to be tough for the Lakers to just make the playoffs after that awful start.

    I know right? As opposed to the approach the T Wolves are taking with Rubio. Nuts.

  19. Nick C.

    Coming from the guy who said he would “ride Lin like Secretariat” or words to that effect the surprise would be if he played him 28 minutes. Not that makes it any less insane. In fact it seems like perhaps his fatal flaw is an inability to adapt. Didn’t he run Duhon and Felton into the ground as well?

  20. ephus

    First and foremost, happy holidays to all. For everyone from THCJ to Jon Abbey (and all in between), I wish you peace, health and happiness in the new year. Hopefully, this is the year that the Knicks win the last game of the year.

    On a less important note, the only shot I was really upset about that Felton took last night was the fadeaway in the first quarter when he tried to post up early in the shot clock. Posting up Barea seems like a good idea, but if the result is an early off-balance fadeaway, then it is not working.

    Can’t wait for STAT and Shumpert to return. This team is dangerous.

    This is a great time to be a Knick fan!

  21. flossy

    Frank:
    Meanwhile, can you believe MDA played Nash 41 minutes in his first game back?He is going to run Nash into the ground by the end of the season especially since it’s going to be tough for the Lakers to just make the playoffs after that awful start.

    I mean, the guy is hanging on to his brand-new job by the skin of his teeth, and Nash is the one player who can maybe make that whole mess work.

  22. flossy

    Nick C.: Didn’t he run Duhon and Felton into the ground as well?

    Really, though? Chris Duhon sucks, and Raymond Felton is playing as poorly over the past couple weeks as he was in January 2011 when everyone said D’Antoni has ruined him through overuse.

  23. Mr.RIGHT

    http://www.talk-sports.net/nba/sucks.aspx/Raymond_Felton

    Mr.RIGHT:
    B MINUS? Ray Felton has 2 assists and 4 turnovers and you give him a (B MINUS) SMH! Like I said on other thread … “”” Ray-Ray the perpetual Game #7 John Starks. Alot of folks here are quick to prove they’re Knicks fans not Jeremy Lin fans professing how much better this team is with Felton (NOT) … If this team had a PG of Rubio or even Goran Dragic abilty WE WOULDN’T BE seeing our guys challenged as much at three point line …As of now we have a guy at Point who can’t even finish a Lay up and you all think we’re better off with Felton just to prove you’re not Lin fans but Knick fans instead ..Guess what I’m a Knicks fan too
    but ….

    …I rather have Mr.BigShot “Billups” back or even Bibby, both of them Bibby or Billups or even Hinrich, Ellis, Curry, Austin Rivers or Redick over Ray Felton ANYDAY!Ray has to go! I rather have Bibby back!”””

  24. Juany8

    It Baffles my mind how much hate Felton gets when Novak and Brewer get free passes for doing NOTHING every other game. One is such a major offensive liability that the Knicks starting unit can no longer get good spacing and the other is terrible at everything but taking wide open 3′s, and he can’t play with the units that are good at shooting 3′s because he can’t defend and is a black hole on offense (if Novak gets the ball and he doesn’t shoot instantly, the possession is dead)

    Prigs literally refuses to shoot, so I find it outright laughable that people consider him to even be a real option to finish games. Teams adjusted to the Knicks offense by basically deciding to give Felton whatever open look he can get in the pick and roll. You can’t pass it to 3 point shooters that aren’t open, and resetting the offense isn’t a wonderful option either. I’ve made the case that quite often Felton is just better off shooting since Chandler happens to get monstrous offensive rebounding position with the way teams defend the Knicks pick and roll.

    So unless you know a point guard out there than can make the type of mid range looks Felton is allowed to take, can run a pick and roll at a high level, can space the floor off the ball, and defends well, all for about $3 million dollars a year, you can bitch about Felton like he’s the worst player on the team instead of the 5th best. This team has two good offensive options, get Melo to do one of the many things he does to score, and the Felton-Chandler pick and roll. With all 3 of those players, the team gets +10 points better on offense efficiency as opposed to when they sit. It also just so happens Felton has played the most minutes on the team.

  25. jon abbey

    amen, my brutha, except you were looking for ‘boggles’ instead of ‘baffles’ at the start there. but yeah, a lot of silly overhating of Felton the last few weeks IMO.

  26. Juany8

    jon abbey:
    amen, my brutha, except you were looking for ‘boggles’ instead of ‘baffles’ at the start there. but yeah, a lot of silly overhating of Felton the last few weeks IMO.

    Haha I saw that after I sent it in and honestly couldn’t tell wtf I was trying to write

  27. massive

    I agree that the “Felton sucks” brigade is a bit overdone, but his inability to not hit open shots when the defense says “we will allow Felton to shoot” really hampers the offense. Of course the offense’s recent struggles cannot be pinned entirely on Felton as Juany rightly points out, but a .468 TS% on a 27.3 USG% is indefensible. It would help immensely if any of Mike Woodson, Tyson Chandler, Jason Kidd, Steve Novak, and Ronnie Brewer could create better shot opportunities for the offense.

    IMO, what it comes down to is Felton has an ability to get himself open with his superior ball handling, but he cannot convert those open looks well enough to be relied upon. Nobody but Felton can shoot his open looks for him. Tyson Chandler is a good enough P&R finisher that defenses must respect it and leave Felton wide open. Does that not count as shot creation? The same way Melo creates unbalanced defenses and open looks for his teammates, Chandler creates open looks for Felton in the P&R. The same way Melo commands his defender to stay at home and not help on penetration, Novak and Kidd do the same by just being behind the three point line. In other words, the defense allows Felton (and Brewer) to shoot open looks because his teammates are good enough offensive players that they must stay at home or double team them. Felton has to be able to convert open mid-range looks. He also needs to be able to stay in front of his defender. That kills us defensively.

    Brewer does need to be removed from the rotation since he can’t really do much. He needs to be cutting and defending like he’s a Bull and shooting like it’s November again.

  28. Z-man

    Look, the Felton stuff has been going on for a dozen games now. At what point does it become Woody’s responsibility to tell him to shoot less? If Felton is just doing what the coach is telling him to do, then all we can do is hope he makes more shots. If you recall, JR went through a 7-8 game slump and has now been playing better. Maybe Woody’s take is to stick with guys through slumps to develop confidence.

  29. flossy

    Felton gets the hate a) because this is the PG the Knicks FO (controversially) chose to run our offense, and is a much bigger part of the team core than marginal role players and b) and because he shoots SO much and SO poorly. People would be calling for Ronnie Brewer’s head too if he took 17 shots per 36 minutes, and Felton’s TS% is down there with Brewer in the holy-shit-what-is-wrong-with-you basement near .45-.46.

    Instead of comparing Felton to Novak or Brewer, compare him to Westbrook and Irving–since those are the only 2 PGs in the league who shoot more than Felton. I don’t really care that he’s a good deal at $3 million/year because he can walk and chew gum at the same time. He sucks at shooting and needs to either knock ‘em down or knock it off.

  30. JC Knickfan

    Right now the only answer seem to be Copeland. In his limited minutes he posted TS% 0.621 which including 2 start. Unless Woody give him a chance we not going to fucking know if he can continue perform. Unlike Novak or Brewer he can create own shot. His herky jerky drives to basket don’t look pretty, but he so far been able score with it.

  31. jon abbey

    I agree that Copeland should get some minutes, but also keep in mind that the bulk of his damage was done in garbage time in the second half against Houston.

    and it’s easy to say that Felton should shoot less, but there aren’t a lot of alternatives with some of the lineups he’s been playing with, especially when Kidd’s shot seems to have totally deserted him. FWIW, he hit two big shots down the stretch against MIN, no one besides Melo and him scored in the 4th quarter. Prigioni goes to the opposite extreme when running the team, never shooting unless he absolutely has to, and that generally is even less effective for the team than Felton’s gunner approach.

  32. Static

    Prigioni goes to the opposite extreme when running the team, never shooting unless he absolutely has to, and that generally is even less effective for the team than Felton’s gunner approach.

    What makes you think that? I think the jury is definitely out on whether Prig’s shooting to little is better that Felton’s chucking or not. I’d like to see him get some more of Felton’s minutes. and we’d see.

    Either way, the Knicks have 3 competent but flawed PG’s in one way or another. The turnover stat thing seems great, but bad shots really are turnovers

  33. jon abbey

    that’s just my perception, no numbers to back it up. I’d be curious to see game by game breakdowns on points per possession with Felton and Prigioni running the offense (Kidd is almost never the primary PG), since averages can be misleading.

  34. Static

    jon abbey:
    that’s just my perception, no numbers to back it up. I’d be curious to see game by game breakdowns on points per possession with Felton and Prigioni running the offense (Kidd is almost never the primary PG), since averages can be misleading.

    Yeah, me too…although I don’t think Prigioni actually has had enough minutes with the first team to tell much.

    My impression is actually that when Kidd is the primary PG, the offense runs by far the best, but that he can’t stop opposing PG’s on D anymore which is why he’s better at the 2, because they aren’t as fast.

  35. maxwell_3g

    felton is going to shoot etween .405-.420 this year. we knew that going into the season. he has not been turning it over much and is playing hard. he has done a good jo penetrating, although not necessarily a good jo finishing his drives. he is also being paid 3 mill, much less than the average veteran starting pg. If you are that disappointed with his performance this year, you have completely unrealitic expecttions going in

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