Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Knicks 96, Bucks 86

Milwaukee Bucks 86 Final
Recap | Box Score
96 New York Knicks
Carmelo Anthony, SF 44 MIN | 7-22 FG | 8-12 FT | 8 REB | 6 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 7 TO | 25 PTS | +19

There were more than a few one-on-everyone heaves than I care for and missing free throws makes me want to take a meat thermometer and shove it in my ear as far as it’ll go before taking out my trusty ball peen hammer and giving it a few good extra whacks until I can feel the thermometer scraping my skull, but it’s always fun to watch Melo physically impose his will with bully-boy offensive ‘bounds and take-no-prisoners drives hoopward. He was just plain off in a number of non-shooting ways as well. Each nifty dish out of the double or gutty rebound was seemingly met by it’s evil twin, that reach-around offensive foul he’s getting whistled for with greater and greater frequency or any number of unforced turnovers (Seven total. Ew.). It was enough to keep his 20-point streak going, but I doubt Anthony’s going to be clipping the boxscore from tonight and pasting it to his hope chest.

Tyson Chandler, C 36 MIN | 4-6 FG | 1-2 FT | 20 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 3 TO | 9 PTS | +15

Maybe Woodson should haul every Knick into his office for a good talkin’ to. That’s two downright beastly performances since the Goateed one verbally upbraided our all-star center a few days ago. He wasn’t the recipient of nearly as many lobs (possibly due to Larry Sanders’ vicious swat of an alley-oop attempt early on. There’s a tale that Jim Carroll tells in The Basketball Diaries about Kareem playing at Rucker and blocking a shot with such ferocity that the rock darn near exploded with an audible “THWOCK”, landing on the court like a sad, little, used prophylactic. Story’s probably apocryphal, but that’s what it was like tonight. And go read Carroll’s book. We’ll wait.), nor did he unleash his Hakeem-approved baby jump hook. Instead, he focused every iota of the magma-like energy within his 7’1” frame to gobbling up rebounds, 20 in total, with a white-hot rage. It was like this:

But, you know, with rebounding.

Jason Kidd, PG 24 MIN | 1-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 3 PTS | -2

Nice to have Kidd back (pun intended) but his disintegrating vertebrae clearly was putting a serious kink in his shot. He just looked stiff and awkward out there, which is to be expected. It’s a good things his hands aren’t connected to his spine, though, as he kept sticking his mitts hither and yonder to deflect many a pass. Hm? His hands are connected to his spine? Shut up, Poindexter before I shove your Ventolin inhaler down your throat and bash you over the head with your Entomologist’s jar and/or Oboe case.

Raymond Felton, PG 37 MIN | 5-8 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 8 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 14 PTS | +15

This is all ye need to know: the x-rays came back negative. http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/knicks/post/_/id/35068/notes-feltons-finger-kidds-play Thank God(s). I can’t overstate how much Felt means to this team’s offense. He’s a battler, our lovable penguin. I personally wouldn’t have put him back in in the 4th, even if he did nail a clutch three, twirl in a layup and make a bee-yoo-tiful one-handed pass to Tyson rolling rimward. Watching him avoid dribbling with his right hand was plain frightening. I like sticking it to Milwaukee as much as the next guy (more on this later), but losing him for another 10-15 game stretch, especially with Kidd needing time to rest his weary, calcium deprived, arthritic bones, would be devastating. I don’t know about you, but I’m going to be biting my nails till they bleed until I see him suit up tomorrow night, prognoses be damned.

Iman Shumpert, PG 19 MIN | 3-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 7 PTS | +5

To paraphrase Dickens, “‘Twas the worst of games, ‘twas the best of games.” “Rook” looked…well…like a disjointed, out-of-his-depths rookie to start, utterly befuddled as to whom to guard and in what matter (not that his defensive ineptitude was distinguishable from that of most of his mates) and disturbingly hesitant on offense, unwilling to either drive with authority or take an open outside shot. The nadir arrived a minute into the 2nd half, when, after losing Ellis on a back door cut, he was Ronnie Brewer’ed, leading to a demoralizing shot of his flat top poking out from behind Woodson as the latter was planted face-forward, his entire body calcified with Stonehenge-ian disappointment and dissatisfaction and the former pleaded his paltry case. That gave me a big ol’ case of the sadz. Pine-bound he would remain until the final seven minutes, when 2012 Shump took his place, shadowed both Jennings and Ellis like a fiend and converted two nifty layups and banged home a corner three. I want Dr. Jeklyl to be the norm going forward, but considering the severity of his injury, we should expect a few more whiplash-inducing efforts like this for a while.

Amar’e Stoudemire, PF 24 MIN | 5-10 FG | 7-8 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 17 PTS | +5

Another day, another sterling effort from our super sub, STAT 2.0. His post moves are getting more and more deft and his defense, while still dotted by the occasional moment where he freezes like someone had taken a shunt to the base of his neck, is approaching passable. I’m impressed and genuinely surprised he’d be this good, this quickly.

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

Hi Chris!

Ronnie Brewer, SF 1 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -5

Mang, now Ronnie’s even getting denied his patented under-10-seconds-to-go-in-a-non-fourth-quarter-defensive-stint. I hope he isn’t squatting with Jim Todd in a seedy, hourly motel somewhere, the two of them wearing nothing but wife-beaters and heart-patterned boxers, chain smoking Newports and dumbly muttering to themselves while downing a crate of strawberry-flavored Boone’s Farm, but I wouldn’t be shocked if he was.

Steve Novak, SF 8 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 3 PTS | -10

Even more dispiriting than the clang from a wayward Novak heave is what we saw tonight—hesitant, reluctant-to-shoot Novak. That’s a circle of hell so deep/low that Virgil would’ve whispered, “Nuh uh, Bro. You don’t wanna go there.” I’m not surprised he was kept in his warm up togs for but 6 minutes.

Pablo Prigioni, PG 11 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | -5

A quiet 11 minutes from Prigs, save for one delicious flop-tastic drawn offensive foul on Mike Dunleavy, who I hate. We’ll get into that in a jiffy, I super-promise.

J.R. Smith, SG 36 MIN | 6-14 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 17 PTS | +21

Aside from a gift dunk on a breakaway, J.R. was solely deployed as a spot up three-point shooter. Like Jimmer Cavan mentioned the other day, this is a good thing and infinitely preferable to one-on-one, fadeaway flings.

James White, SG 1 MIN | 0-1 FG | 1-2 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 1 PTS | -4

The return of Kidd meant that James had to give up his ceremonial starter status. Sorry James. Please return your secret decoder ring and silk sash with “Starter” emblazoned across the front and your key to the starter’s private washroom to Herb Williams as soon as possible. And take your Mazda Miata out of the reserved starter’s parking space. It’s emitting a disturbing smell, for one, and anyone who has a car bra is assumed to be the kind of guy who’s got a stash of date-rape pills in the glove compartment.

Mike Woodson

STOP. SWITCHING.

Also, if you keep playing Melo 49 minutes a night, it’s going to come back to bite you in the derriere. This, I can guarantee.

Five Things We Saw

  1. I don’t know about y’all, but I just do not like the Bucks of Milwaukee. It’s not like they’ve been a particularly good team since they broke up the Glenn Robinson-Sam “Really, I’m not an alien. I was born on planet Earth. I never abducted Whitley Streiber and even if I did, why the hell would we repeatedly administer anal probes. C’mon. Assuming we’re a highly advanced society with the technical wherewithal to develop, you know, space ships that can traverse the known universe and whatnot, you’d think we’d have developed a more sophisticated method of examining the human body than sticking things in your fanny. If I was an alien, that is to say, which, again, to reiterate, I’m not.” Cassell-Jesus Shuttlesworth troika, it’s just that no matter what, every contest against the Wisconsinites has either been a knock-down, drag out struggle to the death or an unpleasant blowout in which a milk-complexioned nonentity like Mike Dunleavy or an oily, you-can-tell-he-buys-Axe-Body-Spray-in-bulk, flop-tastic devious little imp like Carlos Delfino ends up shredding the Knicks with a career performance. Heck, I remember being a young’n and screaming at our massive RCA that someone should possibly get a hand in Ricky Pierce’s face and dumbly muttering about taking a 2 x 4 to the femur of one of the legion of lumbering, Caucasian centers who inevitably beat the tar out of Bill Cartwright. Jack Sikma, Paul Mokeski, Randy freakin’ Brewer, fer Pete’s sake. They all sported disturbing, Randy West-era porn style perms and thus, in their green-on-other-shades-of-green Bucks’ unis, looked like radiation-infused, irritatingly-effective, giant stalks of broccoli. In short, I don’t like the Bucks.
  2. So, prior to tonight’s tilt, with the added, deadly curse of that practitioner of the Dark Arts, Robert Randolph warming up his vocal chords, and the threat of two slithery point guards capable of driving to the tin at will, I was bet-the-farm-with-Italianate-fellows-who-break-kneecaps-and-fingers-and-also-buy-Axe-body-spray-in-bulk-level ready to grimly stick this one in the loss column. The first half seemed to vindicate all of my pessimism and general hand wringing. There were forced and still-more unforced switches galore and even when the ‘Bockers did manage to deny penetration, Ilyasova and Udrih and possibly Paul Pressey were knocking down everything in sight. Basically, it was indistinguishable from the vast reams of shoddy, switch-prone defense, replete with pointless double teaming in the post (I mean, Ekpe Udoh? Luc-Richard Mbah a Moute? If the Cheeseheads want to run their offense through those two cats, LET THEM.), and an utter inability to pick up open shooters and/or cutters that we’ve seen over the last, I don’t know, a jillion games. When was November anyway? I can’t recall. I’m sure it was right after Eli Whitney invented the Cotton Gin. Blech.
  3. To start the 2nd half, they returned to trapping or at least hedging the ballhandler on the high pick and roll. This led to some ugly openings for back door cuts (at one point, one of the Bucks play-by-play guys [I was MSG-less tonight. Long story.] noted, “There are nights when the Knicks lose cutters.” [In my best Josh Lyman voice, I bellowed] YOU THINK?!) and the repeated bulging of the lead to double digits. Said lead would be cut into by a flurry of Knick treys only to see it return to a place of flinging objects at both wall and screen because of the aforementioned defensive lapses and a spate of ugly, unforced turnovers, like a particularly cruel Sisyphean, purple and green (ick) rock that kept rolling back to the base of the mountain. But fear not, True Believers, like a rusty Cotton Gin, this New York team may take a while to get cranked up, but when they do, they separate the cottonseed from raw cotton fibers at a rate capable of producing more than fifty pounds of cleaned cotton daily. Cotton! At some point towards the end of the third, the Knicks came to the realization that they were just plumb bigger than the Milwaukeeans and began to force the ball down low to STAT and snaggle multiple possessions via Tyson Chandler’s otherworldy glass-cleaning. It’s one of the few times they’ve had a 10+ rebounding advantage this season. Take a look.

    Of course, all this grinding away towards a victory would have been for complete naught if the injury to Felt was as bad as it looked. Or rather, didn’t look. I’m not sure whether it was the fates trying to spare your humble correspondent the panic-drenched agony of losing our penguin-shaped bulldog-y point to yet another dodgy digit, but I missed the whack that landed him on the bench and would surely lead to a post game flipper amputation. The TV-machine kicked back in just in time to see him grimacing with a Stephon Marbury memorial pouting towel over his head and pumping his fist with his (good) left hand. The horror, the horror…Alas, he spat on it or rubbed some dirty or had Roger Hinds administer the Cablevision leeches and Felt made a series of boffo plays which, combined with Son of Wood, FINALLY siccing Shump on a speedy lead guard, more or less put the game away.

  4. The narrative will be that the defense that Woodson had been begging on both knees for had finally returned with gusto, but to my eyes, the Bucks missed a ton of layups and putbacks. The Knicks did a much better job contesting shooters in the final 16 minutes, aided by the aforementioned hedging and resistance to switching, but I don’t know if we’re talking about a lockdown effort here. The fact that they ended the game on a 33-16 run (with 5 of those Deer points coming in the last 60-odd seconds) and held an opponent under 40% from the field is fine and dandy, but I wouldn’t go around puffing out my chest and claiming that this team’s defensive woes are solved. Plus, this falling behind ish because they either lack the effort or are perpetually recycling the same, stupid, failed schemes has positively got to stop. They’re fattening up on the league’s lesser lights this way, but smart teams are going to take a gifted half and gobble it up all the way to an insurmountable advantage. To be continued.
  5. And that’ll about do it. All my caveats/kvetching aside, this was a good, gutty win against a spirited opponent whose roster is dotted with players possessing a skill-set that’s kryptonite for the Knickerbockers and is still basking in the pleasant aroma of “New Coach Smell”. There’s another gimme tomorrow night v. the soon-to-be-former Sacramento Kings (And more purple. Gah.), but let’s end this one with a moment of silence for the passing of Ed Koch. I’ve got reams of complaints about his tenure as Mayor, but, without a doubt, he was a New Yorker, through and through. If you weren’t here at the time, it’s hard to get to the essence, the gestalt of what the city was like in the 80’s, but Koch’s as good a touchstone as any. Godspeed, Ed.

17 comments on “Knicks 96, Bucks 86

  1. Juany8

    ruruland: Dallas, 2010-11.

    Haha exactly what I was thinking. It’s going to be fun to see 10 point comebacks with 3 minutes remaining. I’ll also admit that so far, you have been more right about Amar’e than I could have hoped for. The post game looks legit, and the way he is capable of moving towards the rim with the ball off cuts or pick and rolls is beautiful. His defense is only average at best, but it’s not like melo and Novak were killing it at the 4. If Woodson is serious about keeping Amar’e on the bench for health/team balance issues, I’d like to see Camby starting if he ever comes back healthy. Should shore up some of our first half issues on defense, the Knicksa are totally fine on that end when they turn it up in the second half.

  2. Juany8

    Knicks are now 21-7 when Felton, Chandler, and Melo play. One of those losses was when the game Felton was injured (but still played through) and another was the game he came back, and didn’t exactly look like himself. Those are the 3 guys that make the offense run, and Chandler is the main cog on defense as well. A lot of the mediocre stretch the Knicks have had recently is just injuries to key guys, Melo dealt with a suspension as well and Amar’e is actually playing the backup 5 right now for big stretches. At the beginning of the season Brewer was making Shump seem expendable and now he’s glued to the bench. It’s the same with the Lakers and Mvs, it’s very easy to pile on when it was just Kobe, Nash, and the Washington Generals trotting out against NBA teams, or when guys like Mayo and Kaman have to play like all stars to get wins while Dirk is out.

  3. massive

    Mike Woodson needs to stop playing Carmelo Anthony so many minutes. Amar’e and Felton are more than capable of keeping the offense afloat while Melo rests. I understand that he needs him out there due to the early deficits, but those also fall on him as a coach.

    I don’t know if starting Camby will make much of a difference, though. It’s just a matter of “stop switching so much, stop doubling bad post players, and stay in front of your man.” Once Shump and Felton get their land legs back, I think Camby will be best suited in backing up Tyson Chandler.

  4. massive

    Around the conference, two good things happened tonight:

    1) The Nets beat the Bulls. If we end up with the 2 seed, I would much rather face the Nets over the Bulls (who currently have the 3 seed).

    2) David West torched the Heat. If the Heat couldn’t stop West and Hibbert, Amar’e and Chandler won’t exactly be a walk in the park for them.

    All in all, a good night for New York basketball.

  5. ruruland

    Melo kind of looks worn to me. He’s averaged 42 minutes the last 15 games with a usage of 35.

    There are very few athletes in the history of the game who can consistently handle that kind of a burden, I’m not sure Melo is one of those.

    As an aside, 10 of Melo’s 22 shots last night came with five seconds or less on the shot clock/game clock. He made two of them.

    his efg% drops about 80 points from his normal efg %(excluding those shots) in those situations, of which Melo is taking about 16% of his shots.

    It’s one of the highest % of last second shots in the league, higher than any of the of the high usage players outside of Lebron and Deron Williams.

    It would be interesting to do a study on this. Folks like Owen and Jowles would remark that these sort of shots have a very minimal effect on efficiency. That is of course true on a team level or averaged out by position across the league, but there seems to be some very uneven distribution of these shots depending on shot creation ability.

    It would be interesting to do a study on the amount of increase on these low-efficiency last second shots when non-skilled players are on the court.

    I also think that 82games.com should change the categories for shot by shot clock remaining.

  6. ruruland

    Juany8: Haha exactly what I was thinking. It’s going to be fun to see 10 point comebacks with 3 minutes remaining. I’ll also admit that so far, you have been more right about Amar’e than I could have hoped for. The post game looks legit, and the way he is capable of moving towards the rim with the ball off cuts or pick and rolls is beautiful. His defense is only average at best, but it’s not like melo and Novak were killing it at the 4. If Woodson is serious about keeping Amar’e on the bench for health/team balance issues, I’d like to see Camby starting if he ever comes back healthy. Should shore up some of our first half issues on defense, the Knicksa are totally fine on that end when they turn it up in the second half.

    One thing that should be abundantly clear is that Tyson picks up his energy level when he’s playing alongside another true power forward or center.

    His best defense/rebounding this year has come when he shares minutes with Amar’e, Camby.

    Chandler averages a rebound more per 36 when Amar’e is one the floor and two rebounds more per 36 when Camby is on the floor.

    conversely, Amar’e seems to play better defensively when Chandler is in the game.

    My suspicion is that without another true big in the lineup, it has the reverse psychological effect of where he feels overburdened and it drains his energy thinking about everything he has to do inside.

    Surely Jowles can explain this for us.

    Moreover, while Melo can be very good at face-guarding power forwards and centers so that his teammates can snag boards, the Knicks simpy become a better rebounding team when he is loose to chip in on the boards along with the guards.

  7. ruruland

    massive:
    Mike Woodson needs to stop playing Carmelo Anthony so many minutes. Amar’e and Felton are more than capable of keeping the offense afloat while Melo rests. I understand that he needs him out there due to the early deficits, but those also fall on him as a coach.

    I don’t know if starting Camby will make much of a difference, though. It’s just a matter of “stop switching so much, stop doubling bad post players, and stay in front of your man.” Once Shump and Felton get their land legs back, I think Camby will be best suited in backing up Tyson Chandler.

    It’s interesting, since Amar’e came back opponents paint points have steadily declined.

    I think Camby fits in perfectly as a starter for each half and a guy you can bring in for a third six minute rotation or two three minute rotation at other points of the game.

    Teams will curb their offensive rebound attempts if their efforts are proven futile early, moreover I think think teams that get a few early offensive rebounds stay aggressive longer in a game.

  8. ruruland

    I also thought Shumpert had some very important sequences offensively. Some great pnr passes, drives against rotation. those are the weakside plays he should be really efficient with as his offensive game starts to eventually catch up with his talent.

    It could take a couple of years, but mark my words, he has a chance to be a really good offensive player in screen and role and isolation. Two of his finishes were strong, left-handed, one where he had Illyasova on his hip.

    He is much quicker with his first step and accelerating than Jr Smith, for example. And he even has Smith beat with his length and peak jump.

    Junior developed his ballhandling and passing skills over 4-5 years. Shumpert is way, way ahead of him in those two areas.

  9. Frank

    ruruland: I also thought Shumpert had some very important sequences offensively. Some great pnr passes, drives against rotation. those are the weakside plays he should be really efficient with as his offensive game starts to eventually catch up with his talent.

    Opposing teams are still hiding their worst defender on him. Korver against Atlanta, Ilyasova last night. Shump has to make them pay for that kind of treatment. Glad to see he was more aggressive in the 4th last night.

    btw these Amare numbers are starting to get out of control. So far at least, gotta hand it to Ruru who predicted a USG in the mid 20s and a TS >60 — followed by pretty much universal taking of the “under” on that, including me.

    Excluding the first 2-3 games when he was obviously getting his wind back, in the last 4 weeks he is 52/82 from the field (63.4%), a FTR of 74.7, TS 70.9. Even his TRB% is 13.3 which while obviously not great, is solidly in Marc/Pau Gasol and LaMarcus Aldridge territory.

    The defense still needs work obviously, but wow.

    btw, lineups with Melo+Amare+TC are still with a net +16 per 100poss. Sample size is growing all the time but still small (218 possessions). It might — just might- be time to think about whether those 3 should be starting together. I know we’ve won 2 games going away against Miami with Melo at the 4, but I still think the way to beat them in a 7 game series will be to beat them up on the boards and in the paint, like Indiana has done twice already this year.

  10. Douglas

    I loved this recap, Robert. Steve Novak getting the Gentleman’s F *and* an extended Eli Whitney/cotton gin metaphor? I’m in nerd heaven.

  11. Douglas

    Frank: Opposing teams are still hiding their worst defender on him. Korver against Atlanta, Ilyasova last night. Shump has to make them pay for that kind of treatment.Glad to see he was more aggressive in the 4th last night.

    btw these Amare numbers are starting to get out of control. So far at least, gotta hand it to Ruru who predicted a USG in the mid 20s and a TS >60 — followed by pretty much universal taking of the “under” on that, including me.

    Excluding the first 2-3 games when he was obviously getting his wind back, in the last 4 weeks he is 52/82 from the field (63.4%), a FTR of 74.7, TS 70.9.Even his TRB% is 13.3 which while obviously not great, is solidly in Marc/Pau Gasol and LaMarcus Aldridge territory.

    The defense still needs work obviously, but wow.

    btw, lineups with Melo+Amare+TC are still with a net +16 per 100poss.Sample size is growing all the time but still small (218 possessions). It might — just might- be time to think about whether those 3 should be starting together.I know we’ve won 2 games going away against Miami with Melo at the 4, but I still think the way to beat them in a 7 game series will be to beat them up on the boards and in the paint, like Indiana has done twice already this year.

    I have a feeling an entrenched starting frontcourt of Melo/Amare/Tyson is going to straight-up murder teams. They’ll clobber lesser squads into oblivion by the 1st quarter.

  12. maxwell_3g

    guys. amare is doing very well offensively and is doing OK (which is agreat thing defensively). he is anchoring our second unit and complementing our starters well in spurts. he is killing second team big, and some starters when in there. that is a great thing. WHY, OH WHY, would we want to change this by starting him? why increase his minutes in the middle of the regular season? why would we want him to play more minutes on his balky knees??? we have had him for 2 playoff series, and he has been injured for both. the proper response to “Gee, amare is playing well and is fresh and healthy” is “lets keep him in the role he is thriving in” not “OK, lets start him and play him more”. the latter is simply going back to the failed strategy that has repeatedly screwed us over for the entire amare era in new york. and yes, melo needs a break once in a while as well

  13. flossy

    Frank: btw, lineups with Melo+Amare+TC are still with a net +16 per 100poss. Sample size is growing all the time but still small (218 possessions). It might — just might- be time to think about whether those 3 should be starting together. I know we’ve won 2 games going away against Miami with Melo at the 4, but I still think the way to beat them in a 7 game series will be to beat them up on the boards and in the paint, like Indiana has done twice already this year.

    Well, actually one of the wins against Miami was with Melo not playing at all, and I don’t think anyone would suggest that should be our playoff approach…

    I’m with you, Amar’e should start against Miami. Let them think long and hard about which one of Melo, Amar’e or Tyson should be guarded by Shane Battier lol.

  14. lavor postell

    flossy: Well, actually one of the wins against Miami was with Melo not playing at all, and I don’t think anyone would suggest that should be our playoff approach…

    I’m with you, Amar’e should start against Miami.Let them think long and hard about which one of Melo, Amar’e or Tyson should be guarded by Shane Battier lol.

    I’d prefer to keep STAT coming off the bench since I think he really helps open the floor up for the second unit. That should actually become an even bigger strength as teams are forced to start respecting Amare’s post game and start sending double teams his way.

    We will dominate the interior against Miami. I really don’t see what their solution is going to be when they have to combat Melo, STAT and Chandler together in the fourth quarter. I really like our chances against Miami in a playoff series in particular because we give them plenty of matchup nightmares.

    It’s virtually impossible to be better than Miami at doing what they do (small ball, Lebron at the 4, etc.). In Wade and Lebron they have an advantage over almost all teams that try and match up with them by going small, in particular on the defensive end.

    That’s what I loved about the Knicks off-season they acquired pieces that Miami cannot match up against with what they have available to them on their roster. When you have Melo, STAT and Tyson together on the floor does Lebron cover STAT or Melo and regardless we have a mismatch with whoever he does not defend.

    We also can go small with them if we choose which is a very nice luxury. If Shumpert can find form and is peaking come playoff time a small lineup of Felton-Shump-J.R.-Melo-Chandler could be explosive. Shump can give Wade, who’s definitely lost a step, nightmares like he did at the Garden last year.

    Maybe I’m not giving Lebron enough credit for being a cyborg, but I love our chances…

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