Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Knicks-Celtics Rivalry Renewed

The NBA begins its 2012 season today with a noon game between the Boston Celtics & the New York Knicks. Over the last 4 seasons, the Boston Celtics have dominated the New York Knicks en route to 4 straight Atlantic division titles. In that time span New York has only won 2 of 20 head-to-head games against their regional rivals. Last year despite a full season from Amar’e Stoudemire and a partial season from Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks lost all 8 games against Boston, including 4 consecutive playoff games.

This offseason both parties attempted to bolster their roster. The Celtics eyed a pair of All Stars, but failed to land either of them. They were unable to trade for point guard Chris Paul, and free agent power forward David West rebuked their offer and instead chose to sign with the Indiana Pacers. Not only did Boston fail to make a significant upgrade, but they also lost a player already on their roster, forward Jeff Green, to a season ending injury.

On the other hand the Knicks signed premiere free agent center Tyson Chandler and recently landed former All Star point guard Baron Davis. Although New York appeared to get the upper hand this offseason, it remains to be seen whether New York has done enough to surpass Boston this year.

Boston’s sovereignty over New York could be seen statistically. Basketball analysts have identified four factors in which relate most to winning: shooting, rebounding, turnovers, and free throws. Recent studies show that one can account for 96% of point differential of any NBA game by using the proper metric for each factor.

For shooting the most useful measure is effective field goal percentage (efg%), which accounts for three pointers. A team that shoots a field goal percentage (fg%) of 40% would appear to be inefficient, even if all of the made shots are three pointers. On the other hand, a team that made 4 of 10 three pointers would have an effective field goal percentage of 60%. By using the more advanced metric we know when a team has a higher effective shooting percentage than their opponent in the NBA, they win 80% of the time.

Last year the Celtics had a higher efg% than the Knicks in 6 of their 8 games, and in the other two New York only had a slight edge. In the December 15th game, the Knicks bested the Celtics in effective field goal percentage 58.6% to 56.4%, and in game 1 of the playoffs they had a miniscule edge (47.4% to 46.9%) of +0.5%. But New York lost both games by 2 points. Meanwhile in the final 3 playoff games, the Celtics held a whopping 10.0% differential and won by an average of 10.7 points.

By acquiring Tyson Chandler, the Knicks aren’t necessarily looking to improve their shooting. Chandler did average an amazing 65.7% efg%, but his 13.1 points per 36 minutes means his meager rate didn’t help his team’s offense much. Where the Knicks new center enters the equation most heavily is by reducing the other team’s ability to score. Last year Chandler was a member of the NBA’s All Defensive Second Team, and in a recent poll of ESPN’s experts Chandler finished second to Dwight Howard for potential defensive player of the year.

New York’s new focus on defense cuts at the heart of Boston’s main weakness, offense. The Celtics offensive efficiency has dropped in each of the last three seasons. Measured by points per possession, Boston was ranked a mediocre 18th last year among NBA offenses. There were rumors that the Celtic front office was so desperate for scoring, that they were rumored going to send their 24 year old 2 time All Star point guard Rajon Rondo in a package for Chris Paul.

As the two teams square off today, the winner will have a head start for claiming the Atlantic. Should Boston take the first game at Madison Square Garden, the Knicks will have a tougher hole to climb out of later in the year. Even if New York wins, they still have three more games (two at TD Garden in Boston) before they can claim victory. What may be most interesting is how the effective field goal shooting for the teams turn out in their four regular season games. For the Knicks to be successful this year against their main rival, the differential in shooting needs to be more in their favor.

273 comments on “Knicks-Celtics Rivalry Renewed

  1. Matt Smith

    I forgot how much I disliked Rondo. It looks like he’s trying to get a jump shot though, and if he get get them to fall he’ll be a downright nasty player.

    Loving our defense – just great effort all around, and I especially appreciate the boxing out.

  2. xduckshoex

    I love the way the defense looks. It hasn’t been perfect, but I can live with this for the entire season if the offense is clicking.

  3. Matt Smith

    Also – big fan of D’Antoni going deep in the roster. We’re already putting more people on the court than we did all of last year. We’re going to need it with our injury threat and the condensed season.

  4. JamesHA

    Is it just me or does Fields still look hesitant? Like, he is driving then stops and doesnt take a fluid shot, but looks for an open man? At least Douglas and Shump take initiative (as well as Rondo).

  5. BigBlueAL

    Agree with really liking the defensive effort so far. Nice to not be switching everything and getting caught with mismatches on D all game long.

  6. xduckshoex

    Great effort by Melo fronting Garnett on that switch. That’s the kind of thing he’s always been capable of but has never done consistently, I hope that changes this year.

  7. Spree8nyk8

    JamesHA:
    Is it just me or does Fields still look hesitant? Like, he is driving then stops and doesnt take a fluid shot, but looks for an open man? At least Douglas and Shump take initiative (as well as Rondo).

    He drained a three and made two really nice cuts to the basket and scored on one. He’s looked fine to me.

  8. SeeWhyDee77

    My 1st quarter remark? WOW.
    I could really envision Humpty Hump(Balkman) an Shumpty Shump causing so many problems on D..those guys are long an active.

  9. KnickInSeattle

    This is just awesome!
    Boston is off without Pierce, Allen looks old, all true.
    But our effort, especially on defense, is great to see.

  10. art vandelay

    Neither do I want him to get too 3-point happy (STAT) at this stage in his career, but it is a good sign that he has developed that outside shot…for later on in his career when the athleticism inevitably declines, a la what happened to LJ.

  11. tmoneyny

    xduckshoex:
    This Douglas-Shumpert backcourt is going to be dangerous on the defensive end all season long.

    I really hope D’Antoni can come up with plenty of minutes for this backcourt even after BD comes back. They pester the ball and can double really quickly.

  12. SeeWhyDee77

    citizen:
    can Amare become Dirk???

    Even if he could, he shouldn’t. He is too big an too athletic to not take advantage in the paint. However..he absolutely should use his perimeter skills to his advantage as a secondary weapon to give defenses more headaches.

  13. xduckshoex

    Shump having trouble around the rim, I’ll chalk that up to his first time seeing a full speed NBA defense.

  14. Jake S.

    Who did the casting for this Ciroc commercial? It gets weirder every time I see it. Was that Philly Leotardo?

  15. BigBlueAL

    Time to sit Shumpert and bring back Melo. Tough shooting debut for Shump but def gotta love his energy and defensive intensity. Kid has a long way to go though on offense but looks promising so far.

  16. SeeWhyDee77

    Boy this egg nog is good lol.
    OH!!! The game? Right..umm..even against the Pierce-less C’s i’m still impressed thus far. If the team can sustain this type of effort and intensity throughout the season, I see no reason why we can’t grab a top 3 seed.

  17. BigBlueAL

    Rondo has been the best player on the court. By far. Single-handedly keeping the Celtics in the game.

  18. Spree8nyk8

    I mean I really wanna blame someone for Rondo being nearly unstoppable but the plays he is making idk who could really stop him on those. I mean I am really trying to make an effort this season to not be over the top positive, but I can’t really fault the Knicks D on a lot of those plays.

  19. art vandelay

    For all the great defense talk, and I agree the intensity has been outstanding, Boston still shooting 12-for-16 this quarters sans Pierce.

  20. Spree8nyk8

    jon abbey:
    let’s see them sustain it through one whole game to start, Boston hanging around.

    cosign, still a better 2 quarter effort than all of last year lol

  21. xduckshoex

    The thing I love about Shump so far: he makes mistakes but makes up for them with hustle plays. He shot an ill-advised floater before, but got the offensive board off the miss. He turns the ball over but he gets a deflection on the outlet pass. I can live with that from a rookie.

  22. art vandelay

    Second half I would switch Jeffries onto Rondo as we did in playoffs, having him play the all-purpose safety-like defender….dare Rondo to shoot open J’s and see if he hits them….this worked pretty well in game 1 last year…wasn’t until TD started to pick him up at full court and not get back in transition that the wheels fell off in game 2.

  23. llcoolbp

    First half observations:

    1) you have to like the effort on d

    2)melo is going to be HUGE this year.

    3)rondo is playing with a chip on his shoulder. If his jumper is dropping, he’s in the MVP talk.

    4)shump is playing unbridled. He’s a rookie. He’ll get under control eventually.

    5)stat still has some defensive lapses, but overall was better on d.

    6)Jeffrightened with another charge drawn. You have to love that guy sometimes.

  24. art vandelay

    Well, on the plus side they have kept Ray Allen in check, who also killed us last year…though probably that is a function of being able to focus more on him and take away more open looks without Pierce in the lineup.

  25. RastaPappa

    Looking good, even Rondo has been great. That’s why our defense is in trouble. But we take this one. Go Knicks!

  26. Spree8nyk8

    idk, IF our D plays that well on average we are going to be an elite team. Even despite Rondo, he’s one of maybe 3-4 pg’s that are going to be able to do that. And even with him going HAM we are up 10. And they did it staying mostly out of foul trouble as well.

  27. art vandelay

    Wow…reminds me of the 2 regular season games at the Garden last year against Boston….we came out gangbusters on Beantown only to blow both games in 2nd half…hopefully that doesn’t happen yet again!

  28. Matt Smith

    Knickerblogger = smartest guys in the room outside of games, a raving band of overreacting lunatics during them.

    You don’t need to be calm but the overarching (negative OR positive) sweeping generalizations about our team during a run for either team are so, so stupid.

  29. JamesHA

    llcoolbp: 2)melo is going to be HUGE this year.
    3)rondo is playing with a chip on his shoulder. If his jumper is dropping, he’s in the MVP talk.

    This is pretty much all I have to add… Rondo is a beast!! I forgot how damn good Melo is on the boards..

  30. jon abbey

    xduckshoex:
    This quarter has made me like the Baron Davis signing a lot more.

    you mean you don’t want to see Landry Fields running the point in a tie game in the third quarter?

  31. art vandelay

    If we’re not down by 10 by the time Melo returns that might be a great feat! absolutely no one who can create his own shot right now.

  32. jon abbey

    art vandelay:
    If we’re not down by 10 by the time Melo returns that might be a great feat! absolutely no one who can create his own shot right now.

    or who can create for others, that’s a bad combo.

  33. JamesHA

    wow this has gotten baaad. On a positive note for Boston, at least they got Bass for Davis…
    TD makes a difference!

  34. jon abbey

    BigBlueAL:
    Knicks showing they are pretty damn soft mentally right now.

    no, their guards are all playing out of position.

    nice move by D’Antoni getting Toney back in with 4 fouls.

  35. art vandelay

    How badly did we need those last 4 points and a stop….and a defensive rebound and/or boston turnover?

  36. BigBlueAL

    Alright, I will be offline until the game is over. Nice to see TD return and right the ship a bit. Hopefully they can keep it close until Melo returns in the 4th.

  37. jon abbey

    JK47:
    Landry Fields is awful. Just useless.

    he did do a good job on Allen in the first half, but yeah, he’s exhibit #1 as to why Dave Berri needs to be mocked constantly.

    and uh oh, shump shump.

  38. JamesHA

    JK47: Landry Fields is awful. Just useless.

    Just glad someone else sees what I see… He is not physical or decisive or anything. I loved him early last year, but he just looks “useless”.

  39. jon abbey

    JamesHA: Just glad someone else sees what I see… He is not physical or decisive or anything.I loved him early last year, but he just looks “useless”.

    yep, I said this last week. his passiveness allows teams to double Melo and Amare much more also.

  40. art vandelay

    Let’s not just assume he is gone…I recall last year we were all but certain Gallo was gone with a similar looking injury sustained and he missed maybe 2 weeks tops.

  41. jon abbey

    Spree8nyk8:
    Even if we pull this game out it’s a devestating start to the season.

    just stop, have you never seen a game before? it’s game 1 of the regular season.

  42. triplewgf

    Shump was able to pick himself up at least, and get to his feet without much help. That’s a good sign, I think.

  43. jon abbey

    great D! John McEnroe! go Knicks!

    just a strained MCL for Shump Shump, yay.

    and hey, Amare is still on the team!

  44. llcoolbp

    I think this is out 6th straight game against the celtics. Last game of the regular season plus playoff plus today. I can’t wait till we play someone else.

  45. art vandelay

    Strained MCL they said….out around 2 weeks….could be worse if that winds up being the definitive prognosis.

  46. JamesHA

    DReDD: Whatever the outcome of this game, I think this rivalry is gonna get nasty

    Yep, Knicks have put Rondo to the floor alot…It is physical. I thought we were elite but we havent even seen Pierce yet.

  47. xduckshoex

    jon abbey:
    Chandler credited with 6 blocks so far.

    And there were a half dozen plays where guys didn’t even bother trying to lay the ball up because he was waiting at the rim. If he does this every game he’s well worth the money.

  48. jon abbey

    JamesHA: Yep, Knicks have put Rondo to the floor alot…It is physical.I thought we were elite but we havent even seen Pierce yet.

    or Baron, he’s really going to make a huge difference.

  49. bobneptune

    knicks might still win…. but now you can understand why i wanted a distributor like barera. knicks aren’t going far with this sort of pg play.

  50. xduckshoex

    jon abbey:
    so sick of watching Fields play hot potato.

    Did you notice where Allen was on that last entry pass to Amare? He wasn’t even thinking about Fields, he was playing off him even though he was on the strong side. Fields needs to switch things up or he’s going to end up hurting the team.

  51. art vandelay

    The one thing I love about Melo, for all his warts, is that I don’t remember the last time the Knicks had a player in whom I had absolute faith to come through consistently in the 4th quarter of tight games….I just want them to get him the ball…I expect him to score or draw a foul almost every time.

  52. jon abbey

    xduckshoex: Did you notice where Allen was on that last entry pass to Amare?He wasn’t even thinking about Fields, he was playing off him even though he was on the strong side.Fields needs to switch things up or he’s going to end up hurting the team.

    he already has, he killed us in the playoffs last year. NY needs to find a better crunch-time option.

  53. Spree8nyk8

    A sprain is ALWAYS the initial diagnosis, it’s the only possible diagnosis without an MRI. The only good news from that diagnosis is MCL as opposed to ACL, unfortunately Shump is a 2 footed leaper so either would be bad if it’s a tear.

  54. llcoolbp

    JamesHA:
    Crap! Garnett on the outside is the equivalent of Amare on the outside. Let them try..

    Garnett is wayyyyy more money then amare from 18 feet. Especially in the 4th quarter.

  55. art vandelay

    Yes, we have been outrebounded 39-30 and it seems, for some reason, MUCH worse than that the differential.

  56. JamesHA

    llcoolbp: Garnett is wayyyyy more money then amare from 18 feet. Especially in the 4th quarter.

    Agh, every year I always think that Garnett is going to lose it “this year”.

  57. art vandelay

    Dear Baron Davis,

    Please get well soon! This team has no one who can distribute the ball in the backcourt….please may your shoddy back heal itself ASAP! We are looking forward to having Mike Bibby’s corpse available…..’nuff said!

    Sincerely,
    Team Knickerblogger

  58. SeeWhyDee77

    we got away with 1 today yal. We shoulda controlled the game from the start, but there were too many mental lapses in tha 2nd half. You simply cannot afford that against a veteran team like Boston. But a win’s a win and for now we are 1-0 and Melo played a phenomenal game. Chandler had 6 blocks and several alterations..we HAVE to keep him healthy. Speedy recovery Shump! We need u out there. His shot wasn’t fallin but I think he played very well

  59. BigBlueAL

    Merry Christmas!!!!!!

    I think I actually prefer the way the Knicks won this game instead of blowing them out like it looked would happen early on. I mentioned how the Knicks looked mentally soft in the 3rd quarter when things started going bad but give them credit, they definitely it seems have a different mental (and physical) toughness this season.

    Also Melo is pretty damn good :-)

  60. RastaPappa

    Mr Pringles needs to change his way to think our plays. Melo was great. Use more Tyson and Amare, otherwise we’ll have long long season ahead of us. Still nice WIN :o)

  61. bobneptune

    JK47:
    Shump somehow managed to hoist 13 FG attempts in that game.

    yeah, but half of them were at the rim and he really only hoisted one bad chuck out of the 13.

  62. art vandelay

    I really think Melo gives the team a lot of late-game confidence…with the exception of Landry Fields, of course, who looks like a zombie out there….I don’t know…maybe we should trade him before his stock completely bottoms out…hate to say it, but he just doesn’t seem to fit, at least not at the 2…he is a 3 playing the 2….he doesn’t curl or come off screens…he doesn’t even seem to move without the ball anymore like he did when we had felton…maybe when b diddy is healthy he will find fields open looks and we might see the reappearance of the old fields….but for now, he just looks like a perpetual deer in headlights…amazing for someone who, during the first 50 games of last season, was being touted for not being a typical rookie, wiser than his years, etc.

  63. jon abbey

    art vandelay:
    I really think Melo gives the team a lot of late-game confidence…with the exception of Landry Fields, of course, who looks like a zombie out there….I don’t know…maybe we should trade him before his stock completely bottoms out…hate to say it, but he just doesn’t seem to fit, at least not at the 2…he is a 3 playing the 2….he doesn’t curl or come off screens…he doesn’t even seem to move without the ball anymore like he did when we had felton…maybe when b diddy is healthy he will find fields open looks and we might see the reappearance of the old fields….but for now, he just looks like a perpetual deer in headlights…amazing for someone who, during the first 50 games of last season, was being touted for not being a typical rookie, wiser than his years, etc.

    if Baron and Shumpert were both healthy, he’d be able to move to the backup 3 where he should be.

  64. art vandelay

    btw, 8-11 FG for STAT for all you efficiency demons…he clearly will need more shot attempts than that, too…he, too, seems to be a forgotten man at times when he plays with Melo….as he is more dependent on having a good PG….this is why getting Baron Davis is so critical…not only will he shore up the position, but I think STAT will be a beast again when he is running the point.

  65. bobneptune

    art vandelay:
    I really think Melo gives the team a lot of late-game confidence…with the exception of Landry Fields, of course, who looks like a zombie out there….I don’t know…maybe we should trade him before his stock completely bottoms out…hate to say it, but he just doesn’t seem to fit, at least not at the 2…he is a 3 playing the 2….he doesn’t curl or come off screens…he doesn’t even seem to move without the ball anymore like he did when we had felton…maybe when b diddy is healthy he will find fields open looks and we might see the reappearance of the old fields….but for now, he just looks like a perpetual deer in headlights…amazing for someone who, during the first 50 games of last season, was being touted for not being a typical rookie, wiser than his years, etc.

    styles make fights in boxing and sometimes systems make players in hoops.

  66. Gamecockerbocker

    Did the refs call a foul on the celtics in the third quarter? damn. Oh well, we got the win anyway. Sucks for Shump Shump… I really thought he looked good despite the poor shooting %. How sad is it that we’re going to rely on Mike Bibby to distribute the ball now…

  67. JK47

    Sucks that Shump is hurt but it could have been far worse. Maybe with the short season and now the missed time due to injury he won’t hit the rookie wall.

  68. art vandelay

    Given the severity of the injury (or at least how it looked)…2-4 weeks is not the end of hte world….of course worse in a compressed season than a normal one.

  69. d-mar

    I thought the biggest sequence of the game was when the Knicks turned away Boston twice under the basket (not sure if it was Chandler or someone else) and the C’s came away empty. That’s what wins games down the stretch.

    Oh, and that Melo guy wasn’t bad, although I still want to unwind that trade (-:

  70. citizen

    Jeffries was really good (!) tonight too…
    Also Jorts looked way too nervous/ovematched out there – I think he dropped maybe the first three touches he had on offense?

  71. JK47

    I have a real good feeling about Baron Davis. He looks PUMPED to be here and already seems like a team leader. The offense was fugly today and we still gutted it out. If BD can give us even Ray Felton-caliber play he will be a major help.

  72. Z-man

    BTW, considering the layoff and short training camp, the quality of play was excellent. Guys look in shape and ready to play.

  73. Spree8nyk8

    Hopefully they can expand on the first half defense. They really need to address the scenario where guards are releasing on Knicks shooters. Shouldn’t be a tremendous adjustment but it definitely needs to happen. That I thought was the biggest flaw on defense. I know Rondo was a menace tonite but that is Rondo. I mean against him, Paul, and DWill it would be a huge problem, but that is about it. They also do need to get mentally tougher. While they did bounce back today, they need to focus on not getting unwound in the first place. They get a little too chippy when close calls go against them.

  74. Matt Smith

    Great game! I guess a blowout is less exciting than what we had, but that third quarter really threw me for a loop as to what Knicks team we’ll see during the rest of the season.

    Three takeaways:

    1) I’m still confused as to what caused our defensive breakdown after the half, lack of hustle (as per D’Antoni) or better playcalling by Boston. However, I think we showed we have the pieces on D to make us really effective, and I’m very excited to see that transition.

    2) The officiating was very ugly. I really hope this was just because of Crawford but I definitely hope the trend isn’t toward more technical fouls. The two late in the game on Pavlo and O’Neill were absurd, and I even felt that in the heat of moment – and they certainly helped us win that game.

    3) We can’t rely on that offense for us to win, we needed much more movement and better passing. Melo can’t save us eveyr game.

  75. art vandelay

    I think if Baron is healthy then Ray Felton is his floor this season for us….which would be great….we traded Billups essentially for Chandler and B diddy….remarkable! Let’s hope Shump is out 2 weeks and no more!

    btw, mavericks down 24 points….can’t say I didn’t see this coming!

  76. triplewgf

    JK47:
    I have a real good feeling about Baron Davis. He looks PUMPED to be here and already seems like a team leader. The offense was fugly today and we still gutted it out. If BD can give us even Ray Felton-caliber play he will be a major help.

    Yeah, he looked fully engaged into the game, and wasn’t hesitating to give TD and even Amare/Melo some input. I can’t wait for him to get on the court. For all the chirping we’ll hear from Celtics fans about Pierce not playing, I think BD can and will have a large impact — we’ll probably see Amare and Chandler getting a lot more easy buckets, and hopefully Melo won’t have to bail us out too often :)

  77. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    Balkman simply has to play more now, right? I am so happy he’s getting an opportunity.

    Sucks about Shumpert. Hopefully he’s back soon.

    Very good win – at home without Pierce, the Knicks should win this game but there are tons of games over the years that they “should” have won that they did not, winning this one was big.

  78. art vandelay

    Winning this game was important paul or no paul for nothing else than to get over the hump against the Celts, give us a little more confidence that we can take them out for future encounters….I think they had lost something like 10 straight games against them, including preseason last year.

  79. bob cook

    1. Interesting to see a 10 man rotation. I think we’ll need it with the compressed schedule. Jeffries and Balkman did some good things. Even Harrelson got a look.
    2. I don’t mind that we won by “only” two. We came back at game’s end from a deficit and the c’s were bouyed unconscious shooting in the 3rd and unworldly play by rondo. They will not always have that.
    3. As was speculated, Melo’s playing point forward. Good at it too.
    4. C’s are a bit more settled as a team so as our guys learn to play together, we’ll get better.
    5. I saw a committment to defense (other than in failing to deal with Rondo’s basket hanging) which was ahead of anything I saw last year. Woo Hoo.

  80. Z-man

    When I saw them carrying Shump to the locker room, I felt physically ill. As a Jets fan, and with the Knicks blowing a 17 pt lead and down 10, and just after Shump hits a sweet pull-up J, I was thinking, this could be up there in my worst sports fan weekends ever. Seems like it is all turning out well in the end, though.

    Knicks-Celts rivalry is for real again. Glad we got the win, although it took two wide open misses in the end to seal it. Loved to see that Garnett and Allen had to play big minutes, and that we roughed up Rondo a bit.

    Brandon Bass was a monster, don’t remember him being that good.

  81. Z-man

    The communciation on D was pretty poor for the Knicks. In the 3rd Q, Rondo was running our every time a Knick PG went into the paint, and nobody was getting back (Kerr mentioned this, blamed Melo on one play.)

    P&R D was lousy too, freeing Garnett up for those open J’s in the 4th.

    Back-door cut by Daniels in crunch time was also on a flubbed rotation after a P&R.

    I expect these things to be addressed in the film room, and to be fair, the Nets didn’t give us much to study in the way of game film. Celts are a smart team and exposed our weaknesses well, so this film should be very valuable in terms of D.

  82. Z-man

    BTW, did anyone notice Amare and Chandler banging into each other on the last play, freeing up KG for that open look?

  83. daJudge

    I had to record the game, so it just got done. I am taking my heart medication now and I am calming down. Wow. Great game. Some major issues, I feel bad about Shump (I was chanting shump-shump for Jon), but hell, what a win. As much as Chandler is a Knick’s elixir, BD will be the next team fixer. “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need.” Oh yeah.

  84. BigBlueAL

    It was Chandler and Walker colliding but if you look at the replay Walker did recover and challenge KG’s shot pretty good. Also the Knicks held Boston to 17 pts in the 4th quarter even though Boston did shoot 51% for the game but only 2 for 5 from 3pt range which they usually kill the Knicks with (granted Pierce missing game helped alot in that regard).

  85. Z-man

    Thanks, BBA. Generally, I thought they did a great job of containing Allen, especially on those last few possessions.

  86. nicos

    While you have to love Chandler’s six blocks, he’s got to pull down more than 1 defensive rebound in 34 minutes. And I think Toney has to be aggressive in looking for his shot in order to be a factor but he should never lead the Knicks in FGA, especially in a half court game. Little sigh of relief with Shumpert- I really hope we don’t hear worse news tomorrow after an MRI.

  87. art vandelay

    regarding SHUMP: at least I can’t remember the last time when they said a player would be out around 2-4 weeks and lo and behold the next day we find out he is gone for season….could be a little worse than the 2-4 week estimate, but usually if it is THAT serious that it might be season-ending, they don’t even issue a timeline until after the MRI.

  88. BigBlueAL

    Celtics missed 37 FGA but 11 of those were blocked so there really werent that many defensive rebounds available for the Knicks to grab this game (Celtics did have 18 turnovers too).

    Chandler did tip out a few rebounds and I specifically remember TD and Fields coming up with a couple of those.

  89. Spree8nyk8

    Matt Smith:

    1) I’m still confused as to what caused our defensive breakdown after the half, lack of hustle (as per D’Antoni) or better playcalling by Boston. However, I think we showed we have the pieces on D to make us really effective, and I’m very excited to see that transition.

    I’m not the best person to answer it but in my opinion it was an adjustment that Doc Rivers probably made which was to start releasing Rondo anytime a guard shot the ball because the Knicks were not rotating back to pick up that guy. I know it led to at least 4 easy cherry pick type baskets. It’s just something they’ll have to address. What can you say Doc is really good at finding holes. I think it was a combination of that adjustment, Boston starting to hit ridiculous shots, and the Knicks going cold when Melo went to the bench that caused that quarter to happen.

  90. rohank

    I only have one thing to say about today’s game:

    DE-F***ING-FENSE

    The effort was amazing. Reminds me of the 90s. What a Merry Xmas!

  91. alsep73

    Couple of Amar’e thoughts:

    1)I think his compatibility with Melo is still an issue, or at least will be until we get better playmaking from the guards. In the first half, at leas, Stat was much more comfortable in the offense when Melo was on the bench, while Melo mainly tried to run the PNR with Tyson instead of him.

    2)I can’t remember exactly which play it was, but Stat blatantly gave up on defense on one of many Boston second chance buckets, and D’Antoni pulled him immediately for, I think, Jeffries. Good to see the immediate consequences. A lot of Stat’s defensive issues are about effort, not skill, and maybe the coaching staff and Chandler can get him to try more consistently.

  92. bobneptune

    Spree8nyk8:
    Hopefully they can expand on the first half defense.They really need to address the scenario where guards are releasing on Knicks shooters.Shouldn’t be a tremendous adjustment but it definitely needs to happen.That I thought was the biggest flaw on defense.I know Rondo was a menace tonite but that is Rondo.I mean against him, Paul, and DWill it would be a huge problem, but that is about it……..

    let me add a few more to the list of “trouble”/too quick point guards

    jameer neslon
    darren collison
    brandon jennings
    rose
    rondo
    d-will
    john wall
    tony parker
    ty lawson
    rubio/berea
    westbrook
    chris paul
    monta ellis
    tyreke evans

    pretty much anyone not named kirk hinrick and derek fisher :-)

    if baron davis is lame, we are looking at mismatches awful mismatches at the point and scrambling rotations all year long…….

  93. Ted Nelson

    Not sure what to do now that Knicks are finally fielding a basketball team… I’m fairly confused. Been a while.

  94. Caleb

    We know the Knicks are weak at PG, and they just played one of the 3 or 4 best guards in the league. Surprise!

    I’ll just say – Tyson Chandler can erase a lot of mistakes.

    Since the Knicks are suddenly sporting a gigantic hole at the point for the next two weeks, I’ll point out that Nate Robinson just got waived…

    Shumpert looked pretty sharp before he went down. Although his flaws were very much on display – you can’t have him and Tony taking more shots than Stoudemire and Anthony (oh yeah they did… although if you factor in FTs it was about even).

    Hopefully Balkman pulls a Wally Pipp on Jeffries these next two weeks. He looked pretty good out there today, aside from the overaggressive foul.

  95. art vandelay

    There may be a better chance the Knicks fly Marbury in from China on a private charter to play point than seeing Nate Robinson, he who enjoys shooting the ball into the opposing team’s basket, coached again by Mike D’antoni.

  96. bobneptune

    Caleb:
    We know the Knicks are weak at PG, and they just played one of the 3 or 4 best guards in the league. Surprise!

    I’ll just say – Tyson Chandler can erase a lot of mistakes.

    Yes…. and chandler being forced to cover the frequent point guard forays into the lane lead to your 7′ 2″ center getting 3 boards on 37 minutes and the team giving up an outrageous 13 offensive boards to a team without their #1 option.

  97. Spree8nyk8

    bobneptune: let me adda few more to the list of “trouble”/too quick point guards

    jameer neslon
    darren collison
    brandon jennings
    rose
    rondo
    d-will
    john wall
    tony parker
    ty lawson
    rubio/berea
    westbrook
    chris paul
    monta ellis
    tyreke evans

    pretty much anyone not named kirk hinrick and derek fisher :-)

    if baron davis is lame, we are looking at mismatches awful mismatches at the point and scrambling rotations all year long…….

    Hardly any of those pg’s can attack quite like Rondo. I never said anything to say that we match up well with most of those guys, but most of those guys are not going to abuse us the way Rondo did. I mean it’s the first game, whoever is in there is probably going to get a little better as they get acclimated. I’m not terribly worried. The defense was fine with exception to the adjustment that needs to be made on rotating to cover releasing players on shots. I’m sure that will be addressed asap. Rondo is just one of those guys that is going to get his. We beat Boston with them missing a starter and us missing a guy who will more than likely be a starter, and we did it without our best effort. I’m gonna remain optimistic for now.

  98. daJudge

    In follow up to Caleb, any love for Nate if he clears? I’m not saying he will help much as a straight 1 (which we do not have anyway), but maybe at the 2, a spark off the bench. Some carbon based life at least. Don’t kill me, just asking. No chance, I guess… among other things, coach(es) hates him. I’m sure I’m in the vast minority, but I would like to see him back. As an aside, Amare and Melo are not exactly like Clyde and Pearl. Is there such a thing as a negative synergy?

  99. llcoolbp

    I wouldn’t mind seeing Nate brought back. He brings energy, knows the system, and thrived in the big city. They are very thin off the bench, especially offensively. Nate would help.

  100. llcoolbp

    Regarding rondo, he obviously is a top tier pg, but more then other top tier pg’s he just seems to own us. He really turns it to another level against our team. Now if if he plays at this level all year against everyone, then we are talking historic MVP numbers. I’m not as worried about every pg lighting us up like this every night.

  101. jon abbey

    maybe the best thing for me to see is every single time they show Baron on the sideline (preseason too), he is smiling ear to ear, into the game and often in someone’s ear and (the difference from Marbury) they seem to be actually listening to him, even Melo once today.

    also, even a slightly sluggish Tyson Chandler is incredible to see in blue and orange. gone are the days that we lose the physical matchup to any real center.

    Balkman needs real minutes on this road trip, hopefully Bibby is good for Wed.

  102. JK47

    I don’t think the problem is that Stat and Melo don’t mesh well. The problem is that since we traded Felton we haven’t had a player on the roster with legit point guard skills.

  103. llcoolbp

    JK47:
    Hell no to Nate. Nate is not a point guard, he’s a midget shooting guard and a crappy one at that.

    Nate can flat out score and handle the rock. Who is getting hoops on that second unit? Balk man, jorts, mike bibby’s corpse?

  104. Spree8nyk8

    JK47:
    I don’t think the problem is that Stat and Melo don’t mesh well. The problem is that since we traded Felton we haven’t had a player on the roster with legit point guard skills.

    Why didn’t they mesh well? Melo made great passes all game to both Tyson and Amar’e.

  105. BigBlueAL

    There is a reason the Thunder cut Nate and Doc stopped playing him last season. Its probably the same reason D’Antoni hated him.

  106. JK47

    @259

    I’m with you, Spree, I don’t think there is a problem. I was responding to #251.

    I do think that poor PG play is preventing our offense from really reaching its potential. I think our offense will be pretty deadly once we get a real point guard in there.

  107. Caleb

    What was I thinking re: Nate, we ought to spend our $1 million exception on one of those great starting PG types who can lock down Rondo and distribute at least as well as Ray Felton :)

  108. jon abbey

    evidently because of the busy schedule, teams can suit up 13 guys and play them all if they want. we only have 14 under contract including Baron right now, so with Shumpert and Jeffries out, that is down to 11 for at least the next week or two, and that is counting Jerome Jordan and Bibby. so everyone else should get real minutes, hopefully Walker can score some.

  109. jon abbey

    Breen and Van Gundy doing their second game of the day, I don’t like JVG, but maybe he will be better without the insufferable Mark Jackson.

  110. llcoolbp

    Are espn analysts required contractually to hate on the Knicks? When they show the highlights during halftime of the clips game they all comment on how Carmelo was not fouled when he fell at the end. That troll wilbon was the most emphatic, “did he get fouled? No he didn’t! (annoying wilbon voice)”.

    On the flip side they all practically jizzed themselves going over the heat highlights. Magic johnson being the worst offender of lebron worship. We get it, the heat are big for the ratings. But this is just ridiculous.

  111. llcoolbp

    jon abbey:
    the Heat looked a thousand times better than the Knicks, stop being so parochial.

    The heat also have a squad that’s been together for more then one season and are the prohibitive favorites for the second year in a row. So they should be better then the Knicks. I didn’t need your snark to inform me of that.

  112. jon abbey

    well, then that’s the team a national telecast should focus on in their limited time for halftime highlights, so no idea what you’re whining about. ours was a hardfought but ugly home win over a team missing their best player, theirs was epic domination of the defending champions in their own building. gee, which is more impressive?

  113. bobneptune

    Spree8nyk8: Hardly any of those pg’s can attack quite like Rondo.I never said anything to say that we match up well with most of those guys, but most of those guys are not going to abuse us the way Rondo did.I mean it’s the first game, whoever is in there is probably going to get a little better as they get acclimated.I’m not terribly worried.The defense was fine with exception to the adjustment that needs to be made on rotating to cover releasing players on shots.I’m sure that will be addressed asap.Rondo is just one of those guys that is going to get his.We beat Boston with them missing a starter and us missing a guy who will more than likely be a starter, and we did it without our best effort.I’m gonna remain optimistic for now.

    i’m an optimist too, but plz don’t equate shumpert missing most of the second half with pierce missing the entire game….. he’s only their first option and their crunch time go-to scorer.

    and they still gave up 51.3% from the floor and 102 points sans pierce. they made brandon bass look like karl bleepin malone

    the knicks are going to win plenty of games as presently constructed, but they need a huge upgrade at the point to get a sniff of the better playoff teams.

    i mean, did they run a half dozen decent half court sets the entire day today?

  114. bobneptune

    llcoolbp:
    Hopefully the Knicks can put shump on the 15 day dl. And sign someone for 2weeks.

    i think that’s why they allow you 15 guys under contract and you dress 12 (now 13 with the lockout)

  115. jon abbey

    bobneptune: i think that’s why they allow you 15 guys under contract and you dress 12 (now 13 with the lockout)

    you can apply for hardship signings to go over 15 if you have too many guys hurt, but I’m not sure we quite qualify, as none of the injuries seem too serious.

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