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Saturday, November 1, 2014

Knicks Crush Raps to Continue Road Streak

Riding a 6 game road win streak, the Knicks faced off against the Raptors in Toronto. New York got off to a hot start, erupting for 33 points in the first quarter. They pushed the pace with Felton at the helm, recording 9 assists in the quarter. Chandler led all scorers with 12 first-quarter points, while Felton and Fields contributed 7 apiece. The Knicks hit 4 of 11 from 3-point range as well.

In the second, with Amar’e on the bench, the Raptors gained some ground. Leandro Barbosa served as the facilitator, while Jerryd Bayless was feeling it from outside and scored 11 in the quarter. Amar’e returned to the game, reaching double-double figures before the end of the half, and the Knicks went into halftime up by 10 points.

The third quarter belonged to the Raptors Amir Johnson, who put up 10 points and grabbed 8 boards, along with an ESPN Top Plays put-back dunk.  With the crowd fired up and Bayless continuing to shoot well, the home team cut the lead to 7 by the end of the third.  Amar’e scored consecutive baskets and Shawne Williams hit a three followed by a tip-in to start the fourth. Fortunately the Knicks scored rampantly as they poured in 34 in the final frame, crushing the Raptors by 17.

It was a solid showing from the Knicks on the road as they continue to win games that they are expected to. Amar’e continued his stellar play with 31 points and a season-high 16 rebounds, 5 of them on the offensive end. Rookie Landry Fields also recorded a double-double and Shawne Williams impressed off the bench, hitting 4-4 from beyond the arc and scoring 14 in just 21 minutes. 

The shorter rotation seems to be working for D’Antoni. I expect Douglas, Williams, and Mozgov to get the bulk of the minutes off the bench in the near future after the early-season uninspiring play from Anthony Randolph and Bill Walker. Gallinari continues to struggle with his shot, but is finding other ways to help the team. He grabbed 4 boards and dished 5 assists. In 40 minutes of action, though, he needs to find a way to score more than 6 points.

Other positives include the Knicks shooting 86% from the stripe and 44% from downtown.  The only negatives were being outrebounded and finishing with only two blocks while leading the league in swats per game. No one should be complaining, though, as New York matched its longest road winning streak since the 1994-95 season.  It has been a long time since the Knicks have had streaks of dominance like this, and the fans are hungry to see just how far they can roll.

69 comments on “Knicks Crush Raps to Continue Road Streak

  1. massive

    The Knicks record is the 4th best in the East… Boston (16-4) has the best, then Orlando (15-5), then Miami and Atlanta (13-8) are tied for 3rd best. Then New York at 12-9. Too bad we’re the 6th seed in the East (Chicago, at 10-8, is the best in the Central Division, giving them the 4th seed). So far, the Knicks have a better record than Chicago. Let’s go Knicks!

  2. Spree8nyk8

    That actually gives us 5th best record but I hear what your saying. Only 1 game back of 3rd best though…sick.

    This is the weird thing though, goto espn.com and look at the conference standings and you’ll see something weird.

    Miami is 3rd with 13-8
    Chicago is 4th with 10-8
    Atlanta is 5th with 13-8
    Ny is sixth with 12-9

    All three teams have a better record than chicago, but chicago would have the 3rd seed for being first in division. So I could understand if chicago was listed as 3rd and miami/atl was tied at 4th. But why list Miami above chicago and ATL and NY below?

    I saw the same thing with the Lakers the other day being listed ahead of the hornets when the hornets had the better record. Weird glitch.

  3. Mike Kurylo

    Good stuff from ESPN’s stats!

    http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/22444/knicks-spreading-the-news-on-the-road

    The Knicks have won seven straight road games, tied for the second-longest road win streak in team history, the longest since the 1994-95 season. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Knicks are the fourth team in NBA history to get nine of their first 12 wins on the road.

    Amar’e Stoudemire led the Knicks with 31 points and 16 rebounds, but perhaps more importantly, the Knicks outscored the Raptors by 24 points with him on the floor. Stoudemire entered the game with a plus/minus of -10 for the season (not good for a team that entered two games over .500). The Knicks are +55 with Stoudemire on the floor during their current four-game win streak.

    The only Knicks team to have a longer road win streak is the one considered to be the best in franchise history, the 1969-70 squad, which won 12 straight on the road to open the season.

  4. endyendy

    Spree8nyk8: That actually gives us 5th best record but I hear what your saying.Only 1 game back of 3rd best though…sick.This is the weird thing though, goto espn.com and look at the conference standings and you’ll see something weird.Miami is 3rd with 13-8
    Chicago is 4th with 10-8
    Atlanta is 5th with 13-8
    Ny is sixth with 12-9All three teams have a better record than chicago, but chicago would have the 3rd seed for being first in division.So I could understand if chicago was listed as 3rd and miami/atl was tied at 4th.But why list Miami above chicago and ATL and NY below?I saw the same thing with the Lakers the other day being listed ahead of the hornets when the hornets had the better record.Weird glitch.  

    Well they take the three division winners and the team with the best record otherwise then seed them based on record, iirc, so Miami gets third based on the better record and the head to head win over Atlanta.

  5. sammyknicks

    The Knicks could finish the season anywhere from third to seventh. If they play like this then at least fifth. Right now they have a four game lead on the ninth seed so they’re looking good for the playoffs. I’d like to see them pass ATL and MIA for third but sixth is great right now. Let’s see if they can beat DEN, BOS, or MIA next week to really gain ground. This is surprising. Didn’t expect the Knicks to get this good this quick with Amare. And Chicago will never fall out of top four because they’ll run away with the Central. But, the Knicks beat them and have the better record so third seed is possible by tonight if MIA or ATL lose.

  6. BigBlueAL

    Im as excited about the Knicks right now as anybody but um I aint gonna start thinking they can finish 3rd in the East. Lets calm down a bit :-)

  7. Spree8nyk8

    endyendy:
    Well they take the three division winners and the team with the best record otherwise then seed them based on record, iirc, so Miami gets third based on the better record and the head to head win over Atlanta.  

    That can’t be why though because Chicago is still the division leader, so they should either be over both of them or over neither of them. Makes no sense for one of them to be above and the other to be below because neither of Miami or Atlanta are in first.

  8. latke

    Spree8nyk8:
    That can’t be why though because Chicago is still the division leader, so they should either be over both of them or over neither of them.Makes no sense for one of them to be above and the other to be below because neither of Miami or Atlanta are in first.  

    They changed the rule a few years back — division leaders are only guaranteed a top 4 seed (not top 3). If the top two teams in the conference are in the same division, they will get the 1st and 2nd seeds.

  9. Abasi

    It’s a little premature to think the Knicks are as good as they recent winning streak would indicate, given the level of the opposition they have faced. Basically, they have feasted on the worst teams in the NBA and, while that’s a very good thing, we have to keep our enthusiasm a bit in check pending the brutal schedule coming up.

    That said, I believe this is a 45-win team if the coach works on defense and limits the 3-point shooting to those who can shoot 3’s! I also think the team’s fortunes are tied to Gallo’s and chandler’s performances, because their scoring takes a lot of pressure off Amare.

    We will have to see how the team continues playing when they face the league’s elite. Crossing my fingers….

  10. Nick C.

    This is real nice. I love how no article can give them credit, instead always with the “teams with losign records.” Well duh, isn’t that what good teams do is beat teams with losing records. They can’t win, when next they lose all the halfwits in the media will break out their “I told you so” and if they win it’s all “they had a losing record, it was at home, XYZ’s cat died, David West was out, etc…” Its starting to get real tired these are not the Zekekerbockers. I don’t know why people who get paid to watch and comment on this for a livingn seem to be the last to know or maybe they just don’t have the mental capacity to come up with a new tune to bash their old drum to. Phew sorry for the rant.

  11. NYK Ewing

    @12

    I prefer that mentality of downplaying our performance more than the alternative of saying that we’re great because we’ve beat bad teams. Good teams beat bad teams consistently, great teams beat good teams consistently. Great teams win championships. Right now, we’re a good team. A playoff team, but a lot of Knicks fans put the unrealistic burden on us to be a title contender when we’re at least a year away from that (barring a 1999-like streak). I would LOVE to be proven wrong, obviously. What I really like is Amare and D’Antoni’s reaction to being 9-9 a week or so ago: they didn’t care about the winning streak, but rather they put more pressure on only being .500 and needing to improve. That’s a winner’s mentality.

    As Mark Stein put it, New Yorkers are the quickest to overhype a win and overly bash a loss. Getting overly euphoric this early in the season is the type of mentality that gets destructive later during a bad stretch.

  12. taggart4800

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/blog/?p=8339
    Inconsequential but fun blog on Basketball Reference comparing the best games by players against teams they played for the year previous, centered around LeBrons 38 at Cleveland. Incidentally he was not far from the top spot which was taken by Willie Burton against MIA.
    Does get me thinking how Stats return to phoenix will fair…
    I will be interested to see if they know how to slow him down or if their classic deficiencies of poor interior defence will be exploited by the man that was in part responsible for that in previous years.
    On another note i’m really not sure where this longing for other pieces comes from… There are weaknesses on any team. The general feelings that seem to be showing themselves on the blog are that we need a legit centre, a back up pg and a trade for melo. What I loved about the site was that it seemed to disprove conventional wisdom and find diamonds in the rough that the Front Office to jump on. Months ago if someone had offered me these prospects to fill gaps on a team i would have been very happy.

    TD around 4rebs, 2 stl and 15 points per 36 minutes not bad for a guard. D’Antoni just has to find a different way to run the offense when he is in the game.

    Gallo speaks for himself as the alternative for melo. just need him to be more aggresive.

    And as for C. Caleb rightly championed AR as D’Antoni’s solution. He is the perfect fit imo to fill the void and if not try a 7’1″ Russian with great tenacity, touch and good range who just needs time to learn the game. We would have jumped at the chance and did months ago. Turiaf is also a great option. Any center neends to be a backdrop to stoudemire, someone athletic with good quickness who will not clog the lane…… Where can i find 3 of those to fill out my roster…….?
    Sarcasm aside I do think the defense of Toney was a little stretched. maybe a swing for JWill. His salary is low and matches that of Bill Walker

  13. Frank

    So strength of schedule aside — seriously, WTF is going on here? Have we really won 9 out of 10 and 7 straight on the road? Do we really have a guy who has 4 straight 30 pt games (efficiently too!)? I feel like this is a dream that I’m about to get woken from.

    We definitely need more frontcourt and PG depth. I love the JWill idea although not sure he’s even available? Hahn also brought up Telfair although just to be safe I think we need to stay as far away from Marbury blood as possible.

    Center depth is tough — I think AR is too slight to handle C duties even though he is a good rebounder — but maybe just as a 5-10 min/game thing against the right matchups it would be good to get him thinking about D, rebounding, and scoring inside rather than playing as a wing.

  14. Frank

    Meanwhile – while the Fire D’Antoni crowd seems to have disappeared, Coach really deserves a lot of credit, not only for this amazing (so far) turnaround, but also for doing the things that people said he would not do. The defense, although pts/100 poss is not great, is clearly improved especially in crunch time. He is playing young players (Gallo, Mozgov, Shawne Williams, Fields etc.) for important minutes, developing them for the future despite his supposed reputation for not liking/developing young players. Gotta hand it to him.

  15. NYK Ewing

    @ Frank

    I honestly think we don’t have PG depth. It depends on how you look at it. Felton, right now, is the only person on our team who we can rely on to pass. TD is a fantastic defender and a streaky scorer, which makes him more of a small 2 in my mind, but his basketball IQ and passing instincts are highly suspect.

    And it seems like Knicks management agrees with me, if this ESPN Rumors page article about us trying to shop Walker for a PG is any evidence.

  16. NYK Ewing

    @ Frank

    Woops – I misread your post. I agree with you, I think it’s one of our bigger weaknesses.

  17. Spree8nyk8

    I think saying that they are not as good as their record appears because of the strength of schedule is bs honestly. Because honestly, this team is BETTER than their record. Look at the games they have played and tell me how many games that they lost that they should have won (blown late leads and such) it’s a pretty good amount, at least 4. How many games have they won that they should have lost? Not many, maybe 1. This team could very easily be 16-5 right now, amongst the best. 12-9 imo lowballs them. And the bottom line is that you play who the schedule puts in front of you. And right now this team is slaying pretty much anyone that is put in front of them. The lone loss of the last ten games was ATL, sure a good team, but anyone that watched that game will tell you, the matinee start was the problem, as was the problem several times this year before that. Which is why I think they jumped on the Raptors as hard as they did yesterday, knowing that they have started off so poorly in several matinee games it was in their heads to get going early and often. How many teams are winning 7 straight on the road period? This team is 9-4 on the road and we still find excuses for why they aren’t that good. Maybe, just maybe they are that good? I was dreading that two week schedule coming up, but you know what….now I relish it. Because anything that gives the naysayers a reason to stfu is great in my book. I think they are going to play so much better through that period now. I really do.

    This is not the Knicks teams of the past, don’t ask them to pay for their sins. Start believing. It’s the toughest thing about being a knicks fan as opposed to being a laker or whoever fan. Lakers fans are shocked when it doesn’t go in, knicks fans are shocked when it does. That needs to change.

  18. Spree8nyk8

    To put it in perspective…

    Boston 4pt loss knicks surging at the end and just fell short
    Portland lost 9 pt lead with 5:00 left
    Philly lost large late lead
    Golden State, overcame huge deficit to take 2 pt lead late, then lost anyway
    Minnesota, gave up 21pt lead in second half
    Denver, gave up 2 pt lead with 2 mins left

    That’s SIX games! Six games that were blown three of them were pure chokes. The reason I’m putting these here is because THIS is what has stopped. They are no longer losing THESE types of games. They hold onto leads now, the leads may shrink, but they usually don’t get surpassed. They can’t get these games back, but they did learn from them and they became better because of them. I just don’t look at this team as a 12-9 team who “only beats bad teams” I don’t think that’s the fairest assessment of them.

  19. Abasi

    @19
    “I think saying that they are not as good as their record appears because of the strength of schedule is bs honestly.”

    It’s pretty clear that the Knicks have had the easiest schedule in the NBA to date. So, that’s a fact that a sensible fan will not overlook. Yes, the team is playing very good ball for a good stretch – and that’s a huge step in the right direction. But it is too early to be CERTAIN (as you appear to be) that the team will be over .500 come February 1st. They may or may not – nobody knows. For now, all we can do is be cautiously optimistic, enjoy the wins and hope for the best. Part of the fun – at least for me – is to OBJECTIVELY analyze my favorite team’s performance.

  20. NYK Ewing

    @ 21

    Cautiously optimistic is a great description about how we should approach to new-look Knicks.

    @ Spree

    It’s good to be excited about them, but we have to be realistic. No one is saying that this team isn’t the best we’ve fielded in at least 10 years. We’re definitely a solid playoff squad. But until we start taking a few games from the better teams in the league, I’m not going to feel fully comfortable. But I think this team will be dominant in a year, and hopefully this season if we can continue this play at a high level.

    I honestly believe we only have two quality wins, and those both come with an asterisk: both teams were playing without an all-star second-best player. Boozer (who might be worse than Noah, we’ve yet to see how well he meshes with that team) was a DNP with the Bulls, and that was our most quality win (especially because it was on the road). The second was against the Hornets, who missed David West. I don’t think the Hornets are as good as their hot start indicated, and missing West (their most reliable scorer) hurts them more than missing Boozer hurt the Bulls, especially with the Knicks weak interior D.

    The fact that we play great teams as close as we have as you pointed out gives me confidence, and I hope the winning streak gives them the edge to get the win in upcoming games.

  21. taggart4800

    I think what my ridiculously long post was meant to say was that if the guys we currently have at those weak spots were on other teams or in other situations, we would be suggesting them as targets. They are all, imo, high upside guys that are great to have on a team. I just think we should stick with what we have and see how Mozgov ends the season and the same goes for AR.

  22. Abasi

    @23
    “I just think we should stick with what we have and see how Mozgov ends the season and the same goes for AR.”

    I couldn’t agree more.

    Decimating the team in order to bring other player we may or may not need would be foolish at this point. I’m certain the Knicks – as presently constituted – are AT BEST a first round playoff, early- exit team. They are a good 2 or 3 (including solid backup at PG) players away from contending.

    But if this rebuilding process is to be successful, the Knicks must be given the opportunity to play an entire season without distractions. THEN, we will now what player or coaching changes are necessary to improve the team. Unless a true bargain (like when the lakers got Gasol) comes along – but i doubt it.

  23. Frank

    We’re 12-9 right now – this is how I hope our record looks going forward:

    15-9 after the upcoming stretch against T-wolves, Wizards, and Raptors.

    Then we have a run of 19 games during which the only teams we SHOULD beat are Cleveland and Sacramento (17-9)

    The games we have a good shot of winning are Indiana, 2 PHX games, Portland, and Houston. Let’s hope we go 3-2 on those (20 -11)

    Then we have the 12 game gauntlet that includes Denver, Boston, Miami x2, Chicago, Orlando, SA x 2, OKC x 2, Lakers, Utah. Brutal. If we even come out of that stretch 4-8 I think I’d be happy – because we’d be 24-19 having gone through the worst part of our schedule. Hell, I’d even be happy with 22-21 after that stretch.

  24. stratomatic

    I have a couple of questions:

    1. How much of our improved performance can be traced to swapping Amare for Lee vs. the addition of Felton, Fields, Turiaf, and improved play by Chandler?

    2. How much of Lee’s dropoff in output this year can be attributed to playing with two very high usage scoring guards, playing in a different system, being defended by PFs instead of Cs, random etc….?

  25. Frank

    stratomatic:
    2. How much of Lee’s dropoff in output this year can be attributed to playing with two very high usage scoring guards, playing in a different system, being defended by PFs instead of Cs, random etc….?  

    IMHO impossible to say – probably a little of everything. His usage is down to <20 now, he's not shooting nearly as well (51.8 TS), and is turning the ball over more. Different system, different role, so his previous stats here probably give some clue as to future performance at GSW, but not at all conclusive. He's only played 12 games in the new system so overall it'll probably just take a little time for him to figure it out…

  26. Zach Horst Post author

    I am just interested in seeing how we fare against a “good” team after going through this awesome stretch we have been in. I really think our confidence is through the roof right now. Winning at New Orleans against CP3 is still a pretty big feat – David West or not. We have three more games to keep improving and fine-tuning our play before we face Denver, which should be a good test for us. The only other quality team we have faced during this stretch is the Hawks. For some reason, I don’t think we came out ready to play that game – we could have beaten them. I am really interested in the Denver game and I think we will pull out the win.

  27. stratomatic

    Other thoughts:

    I think the two most pressing needs are a playmaking backup PG and a starting C.

    I like Douglas, but he’s not enough of a playmaker to run the offense. As far fetched as this seems right now, I’m still holding out hope that Andy Rautins can become the backup PG in the second half of the season. He has the outside shot and passing skills to handle the job. He just has to learn the position better, get some experience and prove he can defend the positon. If not, then the rumors of trading Walker for one make sense to me.

    Finding a very good rebounding, shot blocking, defense oriented C that’s efficient on offense at low usuage is going to be a lot tougher. Personally, I don’t see Mozgov as the long term solution. I think his offense/hands will turn around and he’ll learn to limit the fouls, but rebounding is not somthing that players learn. He’s a poor rebounder at the C position. I can’t count how many times the few rebounds he got bounced on the floor first. If it wasn’t for Fields being other worldly good at SG, rebounding would be an issue because Amare is only about average for a starting PF.

    I still think AR should be getting limited minutes with both Turiaf and Amare when the matchups work. Perhaps he can’t handle the bigger stronger guys on either end yet, but he can rebound, block shots, and score efficiently if limited to shooting/dunking around the basket. I think he MIGHT BE the long term solution if he puts on some muscle, settles down a little, and plays offense within his skill set. There’s got to be a way to work him from time to time against the smaller teams.

  28. JK47

    I love waking up the morning after a Knicks win and checking out our Four Factors progress over at basketball-reference.com.

    We’re 5th in the NBA in offensive rating. We rank a very encouraging 6th in eFG% and 5th in FT/FGA. A propensity for turnovers and lackluster offensive rebounding are the only things keeping this offense from being an elite offense rather than a very, very good one.

    We’re 18th in defensive rating, which represents some progress– we’ve spent much of the season ranked in the low 20’s. We’re 20th in eFG% allowed and 22nd in defensive rebounding. We’re doing well in FT/FGA on the defensive end (10th overall) and average in defensive TOV%.

    It seems kind of obvious what this team needs most– a center who is a very good rebounder. Imagine our current team with a guy in the middle like, say, Marcus Camby. We’d probably go from being ranked #19 in offensive rebounding to something like top 10, and we’d be an even better offensive team– one of the truly elite offensive teams in the league. And a guy like that would have a similar effect on defense. A master defensive glass cleaner like Camby would probably instantly make us at least an average defensive team.

    Of course, we have a player on the roster who bears some similarities to Camby: Anthony Randolph. This team could really use Randolph’s talents. He’s the best pure rebounder on the roster. D’Antoni has done a really good job this season and I have faith in him, and if he can develop Randolph into the fearsome defender and rebounder we all envision, he’ll be a serious coach of the year candidate. We’re good without AR, but we could be SO good if the guy emerges as an asset. And I completely agree that it’s worth waiting it out to see if Randolph comes around.

  29. Frank

    Great quotes from Gerald Wallace in the Charlotte Observer re: Felton (via Truehoop)

    “Wallace notes a key difference between Felton’s intensity and Augustin’s more deferential personality.

    Wallace misses Felton’s “aggression, his approach on defense. The point guard is the head of the team. He picks everybody up and brings us along.

    “D.J. doesn’t have the fight. Not to compare them as far as abilities, but D.J.’s personality is not as high as Ray’s was as far as aggression and attitude on the court. D.J. is more laid-back.

    Augustin acknowledges he’s shy by nature and Brown calls Felton a “bulldog.” But Brown said if there’s a leadership void, it’s Wallace’s and Jackson’s task to fix that as captains.”

    http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2010/12/05/1890300/key-ingredients-missing-for-bobcats.html#ixzz17MCj191B

  30. stratomatic

    Several stats guys use efficiency differential adjusted for quality of competition and home/away to evaluate teams. Based on those adjustments the Knicks look like about a .500 team. I would simply argue that part of the slow start was the players getting used to each other’s game and forming positive relationships with each other (the dreaded “chemistry” word that many stats guys hate). If so, even with the easy schedule, we are quite good.

  31. Bruno Almeida

    stratomatic: I have a couple of questions:1. How much of our improved performance can be traced to swapping Amare for Lee vs. the addition of Felton, Fields, Turiaf, and improved play by Chandler?
    2. How much of Lee’s dropoff in output this year can be attributed to playing with two very high usage scoring guards, playing in a different system, being defended by PFs instead of Cs, random etc….?  

    hey guys, first time poster here.

    While I really loved David Lee, Amare has that superstar feel to him that David just didn’t have, it’s that feeling when you watch a great player score 4, 5 baskets in a row and it seems like it was effortless.

    Lee is a great player, no doubt, but could he score like Amare did against Toronto in the 2nd half, even with a better supporting cast than he ever had with the Knicks? I don’t feel like he could.

    and well, he’s went from being pretty much the only consistent scoring option on the Knicks to being the 3rd (and sometimes 4th) option in Golden State, so it’s only natural that his stats would drop.

  32. Zach Horst Post author

    @stratomatic

    Completely agree with all of your points. Douglas has not reached his full potential, but he will always be more of a scorer than playmaker. That was his game in college and that seems to be his approach in the league so far. Rautins would be interesting to see at PG. I am not sure if he has the speed or passing ability to get a ton of minutes at the point though.

    One key, I think, is to keep the short rotation. Three coming off the bench is perfect. When one or more of these three doesn’t play up to standards, then another player should be inserted into the rotation, yet always keeping the number of players off the bench at 3. Our players seem to be thriving when they get more minutes/opportunities. Randolph deserves minutes, but playing 3 or 4 minutes a game is not really helpful. He should be given a shot to play 10-15 a game for a few games in a row while Mozgov sits, perhaps.

  33. Frank

    Zach Horst:
    One key, I think, is to keep the short rotation. Three coming off the bench is perfect. When one or more of these three doesn’t play up to standards, then another player should be inserted into the rotation, yet always keeping the number of players off the bench at 3. Our players seem to be thriving when they get more minutes/opportunities. Randolph deserves minutes, but playing 3 or 4 minutes a game is not really helpful. He should be given a shot to play 10-15 a game for a few games in a row while Mozgov sits, perhaps.  

    Trouble with a short rotation is that it will lead to Amare and Felton getting worn out over the season — considering the fast pace, 38 minutes for Felton is about 10% too much in my book, and given Amare’s injury history, I’d like to see him <35 min/game also. If one of those 2 guys goes down, we can kiss goodbye to the season.

  34. southasianbasketball

    At the end of the day the Knicks have begun to beat teams that they should be beating.

    Now they steal a few games here or there (Hornets type of competition or the game that they lost in Denver) and they are a play off team.

    For all of the talk about Lebron owning NY, right now everyone should be lining up in droves to kiss the ring of Amare.

    Not only is Amare scoring efficiently but he is also grabbing rebounds and playing defense. He has been the vocal leader on the floor, and who knows what else he is doing behind the scenes.

    The Knick fans finally have a chance for optimism. Looks like the Rockets getting the pick from the Knicks this year won’t be a lottery pick.

  35. Zach Horst Post author

    Frank:
    Trouble with a short rotation is that it will lead to Amare and Felton getting worn out over the season — considering the fast pace, 38 minutes for Felton is about 10% too much in my book, and given Amare’s injury history, I’d like to see him <35 min/game also. If one of those 2 guys goes down, we can kiss goodbye to the season.  

    I still think it could be possible to bring their minutes down a bit and keep a short rotation. If our players off the bench average about 18 or 19 minutes per, Amare and Felton should only have to play around 34 or 35 minutes each. I just feel that giving three players off the bench quality minutes is more effective than adding a fourth or fifth player to the rotation just to give them 2 or 3 minutes each.

  36. Zach Horst Post author

    Sorry for the mistake on the last post, lol. It’s finals week so I am rushing through things. The second paragraph is mine, the first one is Frank’s.

  37. JK47

    It’d be nice if Amar’e and Felton could get more rest. An 8-man rotation is okay in the playoffs, but I think you definitely run the risk of burning guys out with a rotation that short in the regular season.

    We have three guys on the roster who are essentially redundant: Shawne Williams, Bill Walker and Roger Mason. Moving Walker for a backup PG makes a lot of sense, but I’m just not sure Walker is a very useful piece to anybody. He has a 7.4 PER and 0.015 WS/48 in 210 minutes. That’s pretty useless. Perhaps a very bad 3PT shooting team like the Raps, Sacramento, Clippers or Bucks might take a flyer on him but realistically Walker is roster filler.

  38. Bruno Almeida

    I think that when Turiaf returns, we might see 4 players coming off the bench, I think Mozgov, Chandler, Toney and at least one of Williams or Walker will see minutes.

    that could specially be true if we trade Walker for a backup PG, then it’ll most probably be a 4-man bench rotation.

  39. Z

    I really don’t think the Knicks have had an easy schedule so far. They played 21 games so far, the most in the league (and that was with a cancellation). Some teams have only played 18 games.

    Plus, we’ve played 13 road games, also most in the league, and at least two more than any other team (and twice as many as the Kings!).

    Plus 6 back-to-backs. (And all six included travel the night between them).

    Plus a west coast trip with 4 games in 5 nights.

    That is not an easy schedule. No shame in going 12-9.

  40. TDM

    Why not grab Antonio Daniels? The guy is a bit long in the tooth, but he’s abusing the kids in the D-League. Or how about Aaron Miles from the Reno Bighorns? At least that way, the knicks retain Walker.

  41. Brian Cronin

    I like Antonio Daniels, but he’s nearly as much of a scoring point as Toney is.

    But I do like your basic way of thinking, Todd, as I don’t see anyone the Knicks could get for Walker being any better of an upgrade over Toney as someone they could get off of the scrap heap. And a player like that would only cost them cutting Mason (which I’m sure most of us would be fine with even if it did not lead to the Knicks signing another player).

  42. Robert Silverman

    Brian Cronin: Who could you get for Bill Walker that you’d actually play over Toney?  

    What about Sebastian Telfair? Minny just recalled Jonny Flynn from the D-League and Ridnour’s starting, so he should be available. On Dec. 15th, Mason & Walker for Bassy works under the cap. Not that I’d play him “over” DWTDD, but he is a true pg (albeit not a very good one. But we’re only talking 10 mpg or so).

    Or is even a whiff of Marbury DNA too much for anyone to stomach?

  43. Frank

    TDM: Why not grab Antonio Daniels?The guy is a bit long in the tooth, but he’s abusing the kids in the D-League.Or how about Aaron Miles from the Reno Bighorns?At least that way, the knicks retain Walker.  

    I’d be all for Antonio Daniels if he’s healthy. More veteran leadership is always a good thing, especially a guy who is scratching and clawing his way back to the NBA and has a healthy 80 game playoff history (with a respectable average WS/48 of 0.134). Other than Amare, pretty much no one on this team has any history of success in the playoffs, so he might be a nice signing.

    Who would we dump to get him on the roster? Send Rautins to D-League?

  44. Robert Silverman

    Frank:
    Who would we dump to get him on the roster?Send Rautins to D-League?  

    Players sent to the D-League are still on the active roster. They’re just on the Inactive List. It’d be Mason, most likely

  45. Brian Cronin

    And, again, I’m almost okay with dumping Mason just to keep him from ever getting a chance to get into a game.

  46. Bruno Almeida

    Frank:
    Who would we dump to get him on the roster?Send Rautins to D-League?  

    yeah, probably, even when most of the starters are resting on easier wins, he remains seated on the bench.

    I’d like to see Antonio Daniels too, he’s always been tough and he’s tall enough to defend some guards that would have a height advantage on TD.

  47. TDM

    Frank: Who would we dump to get him on the roster? Send Rautins to D-League?

    I think a buyout of Mason or designating Rautins to the D-League is the way to go. Personally, I’d prefer that they do both, then sign AD and a big from the D-League like Courtney Sims or Chris Johnson.

  48. JK47

    We’re probably not going to be able to really shore up the PG position with the assets we have, so here’s the plan: Try to get by with Felton and Douglas this year. Pick up a Daniels or Miles from the D-League if you really need to. Then draft a PG next year, when we’re likely to draft somewhere in the 14-18 range.

    The two best PGs in the draft (Brandon Knight and Kyrie Irving) will probably be off the board by the time NYK picks, but some guys who might be available are Kemba Walker, Maalik Wayns and Jimmer Fredette. Out of those three I’d probably choose Kemba Walker, who seems like the most pure PG of the bunch. Fredette brings the added bonus of a very sweet outside shot, and Wayns is probably the best defender of the three.

  49. Brian Cronin

    Remember, assigning a player to the D-League does not free up a roster spot. Only cutting the player does. So sending Rautins to the D-League would not give the Knicks space to sign another player. And I think that is why they’re pursuing the Walker trade. That way they could then cut Mason and use that roster spot to look for a back-up big man while using Walker’s spot for the back-up PG.

  50. Brian Cronin

    Then draft a PG next year, when we’re likely to draft somewhere in the 14-18 range.

    I think it is way too early to be guesstimating draft pick range. That said, the rest of your post I agree with. Pick up a cheap stopgap then draft a real backup PG.

  51. NYK Ewing

    @ Brian

    We would play anyone who can pass the ball and isn’t a huge defensive liability. See my comment before. TD is a monster defender and a streaky scorer who can’t pass and has an unimpressive basketball IQ. For me, that’s not a PG, that’s a small 2. We have scorers in abundance. We need a passer outside of Felton to get the ball to them.

    In other news, the Knicks have finally won enough for Doc Hollinger to write about them in his PER Diem.

  52. GHenman

    I’m not sure 59 minutes is enough to judge Mason’s ability, but if we did cut him, I be in favor of picking up Rafer Alston.

  53. Brian Cronin

    Both John Hollinger’s objective and Marc Stein’s subjective rankings have the Knicks #12 on their Power Rankings! That’s the highest I recall seeing the Knicks in any sort of Power Rankings since the days of Marcus Camby! Wow!

  54. TDM

    In further lamenting the Rautins pick, is there anyone that would trade Rautins to the Wolves for Beas? Furthermore, how about Moz for Darko?

  55. BigBlueAL

    Plus Hollinger’s Per Diem piece today is on the Knicks titled “Start spreading the news: N.Y. is good”, although it is Insider.

  56. BigBlueAL

    Also Amar’e won Player of the Week again. Adamek tweeted that Amar’e Stoudemire is first Knick to win Player of Week multiple times in same season since Patrick Ewing in 1992-93.

  57. nicos

    I’m with everyone who says whatever backup pg’s & c’s are available aren’t going to be any better than what we have now. If Turiaf is coming off the bench I think his passing will really help take some pressure off TD when Felton’s not in the game- I think if TD is scoring like he’s capable of- right now he’s not only missing jumpers but his penetration is mia as well- you can live with the sub-par play-making for 10-12 minutes a game, especially if Turiaf is there to help run the offense from the high post.
    I do think that Turiaf’s absence has actually helped Felton- clearing out one big body and having three guys out by the three point line while Felton and Stat run the P&R had it much easier for Felton to see the floor. You’ve also seen Chandler really looking to take bigs off the dribble somewhat mitigating what the Knicks are giving up on size on the defensive end. And given Turiaf’s injury history I wouldn’t be surprised if you see him coming off the bench for the rest of the season.

  58. NYK Ewing

    I have insider – nothing too enlightening in Hollingers PER Diem. He does compliment Dantoni on playing his best players and for his short rotation, particularly bashing Moz:

    Hollinger: D’Antoni is an eternal optimist, which is why he looked at Timofey Mozgov in the preseason and thought his size and mobility would make him a quality starting center. Mozgov is indeed quite big and moves fairly well for his size; unfortunately, he isn’t any good at basketball.  (Quote)

    He also commented on the shorter rotation, calling it effective, but he also thinks that it will eventually wear Felton and Amare down. Particularly Felton. I agree… Felton looks exhausted at the end of games (not that he plays badly, just how he looks), and he’s not known for his physique.

  59. Brian Cronin

    Yeah, I wasn’t much of a fan of Hollinger’s article. I mean, it was nice to see praise for the Knicks, but a lot of it was fairly shallow insights.

  60. Ben R

    I think the key to helping Amare and Felton get rest is not based on adding players but substituting in specific ways.

    First off Amare and Felton should not be sitting at the same time. With Amare on the bench we lose the focal point of our offense and that makes running the point harder, too hard for Toney.

    Second when Felton sits we should bring in Turiaf to help take passing pressure off of Toney.

    Third Mozgov’s minutes should come when Amare sits, when Amare is on the bench Mozgov has some room to operate and can actually be somewhat effective on offense, when Amare’s on the floor all Mozgov does is ruin spacing and get in Amare’s way.

  61. Zach Horst Post author

    I think that amare essentially chooses his minutes for the most part. D’antoni hinted at this a few weeks back on the mike d show on msg. There have been a lot of times where amare starts the fourth quarter and continues to play for the whole period, despite looking tired. But at points you can see him telling d’antoni that he wants to stay in and that he is “all good.” Basically, this is exactly what superstars do. Kobe, Lebron, wade, etc. all do this. Not saying it is the correct thing to do, but coach d is known as a player’s coach and most of the time he let’s the players do what they want to.

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